Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year, New Relationships- All You Need is Love

All You Need is Love
Yesterday, I talked about the conclusion I came to this year, that there is no shame in wanting to look better. It doesn't make you a narcissist to simply want to send the message that you care about your appearance. My second resolution is also about shame.

Something I want #2: I want to stop being embarrassed about the love I have to offer. I know there are some people who think I have no sense of embarrassment at all, but I’m not talking about my ability to make bad jokes or get very drunk and say inappropriate things. I’m talking about the embarrassment I have had for a long time about “putting myself out there.” In the past, when I have reached out to friends and potential friends, I have been shot down enough that I adopted an attitude of “let them come to me.” It seemed sensible at the time, especially since I have been told directly that there are people I’ve reached out to who actually don’t like me very much. So, even though I don’t hesitate to make the occasional wry comment or political argument or curmudgeonly quip, I have avoided letting people know just how much I like them and want to be friends with them. It can look desperate.

Well, so what – I’m desperate, then. If you don’t want to hang out with me or talk with me or be around me, that’s up to you. It’s not going to stop me from asking.
This is true both for friends and for potential romantic relationships, by the way. This past New Year’s Eve was better than a lot I’ve experienced, but I noticed something. There were at least four people in the room who, now or previously, I had enough of a “crush” on that I could see myself dating them. They were all kissing other people. What a bloody waste – it’s possible each of them would have rejected me if I’d asked them out. But it’s also possible they wouldn’t. I think I’m now less worried about rejection than I am about uncertainty.

There is, of course, another side to the coin, however, and that means knowing who deserves that love. Eventually, you have to know when to give up. This may sound mercenary, but the truth is that we only have a limited amount of time and resources for people. Those resources should ultimately go to people who care as much about you as you do for them. Do people deserve second chances? Sure. They even deserve third ones. But it is time to stop worrying about whether people like me, or why they don't like me, or if they like me as much as they like other people. If people are not going to give back what you give out, then start giving it out to someone who will.

This year, I am going to be less afraid of reaching out to people – and less guilty about walking away.

Next: The last part of the series. Why Yoda was right.

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