Story time - For the purpose of this series I collected a few stories from girlfriends or members from the tribe. I rewrote their words into a story line and use fictional characters for people who didn’t want to reveal their identity.
”He was attractive very attractive, it didn’t help that we had history, a short live one time hook-up. When we reconnected (years later) he was the one who reached out. He found out that we were in the same city through social media. To be honest I myself was shocked when I saw the DM. I didn't really know how to feel, I mean it’s not like I had feelings for the guy but I definitely was attracted. It took me a while to answer, I mean to be honest I had no reason to say no at the time: I was single, I was in a new city and he was sexy-except there was always awkwardness between us due to that one time hook-up. Let me just say: hooking up isn’t for every body, I envy people who can be intimate with someone for one night and not make a big deal out of it, that person however isn’t me. To me what happened that night was a mistake hence the awkwardness.
This time however it was different, we were older or more “mature “ I guess. So I said yes. We went out for drinks, it was nice. The following weeks or so we kept in contact communicating often via phone. I was starting to get emotionally attracted to him, then things went south. He started sending mix signals like ghosting or being unresponsive. It was weird like he was leading two different worlds, when we hanged out in front of people he seemed interested and flirtatious but then he would ghost for weeks on. It didn’t help that I shared the story with a few girlfriends who pressured me into pursuing him. Finally a voice of wisdom hit me with the truth:
“ If someone is interested in you they will make an effort to spend time with you.
-Anonymous tribe share.
This last quote may not be true for every one, because people have different ways of expressing their love or show their interest, but it is an important point. The important aspect of the story is that (let’s call her A) A realized that her needs for attention were not being met.
What does a healthy relationship looks like? : On insight
We all have an idea of what a healthy relationship looks like. When asked the question most of us answer with very abstract concepts like: good communication, or love ect. These are very interesting and politically correct answers (lol) but are they really at the root of what makes a relationship healthy? what does good communication translate into if you don’t consider all the ways a person can communicate their needs? People have different ways of loving and of communicating.In fact in my personal opinion love isn’t enough to maintain a healthy relationships. Joanne Davilla the author of “the thinking girl’s guide to the right guy” mentioned that your definition of a healthy relationship has to be based on how your own personal needs are being satisfied by your partner (or in our story line our “person of interest”) .
What I am saying here is that a healthy relationship starts with you. If you don’t have a good insight of what your needs are, it will be difficult to make the right choice when picking a partner or even enjoy your current relationship.
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Quick little exercise: Here is a useful list of questions that I obtained from Joanne Davilla’s book that I thought was useful to help you find insight or develop a healthy relationship with yourself. (take your time to drop down a few ideas you may have):
Familiar: Do you know your best AND worst traits? if you don’t it always helps to ask those around you whom you trust.
Authentic: Do you know and understand all aspect of who you are because you face whatever fears you have of doing so?
Attracted: I am I comfortable with the body that I have?
Desire: Do I feel comfortable being intimate, do I know what I am ready for, and do I know what sex and intimacy means to me? -some people enjoy casual sex without making a big deal out of it others can’t have sex without being intimate, understanding which side you fall on is important.
Interesting: Do I have a life of my own that I feel good about regardless of whether I’m in a relationship?
Support: When faced with challenging or upsetting situation, do I deal with them by actively problem solving rather than avoiding them? - Evidence shows that active problem solving is healthy and provide better outcomes than avoiding problems. What are the strategies that you used to solved your problems? for instance can you solve them on your own or do you have no issues asking for help?
Care: Are you aware of how you feel and treat your feelings as legitimate, and do you use them to guide your behavior? -some people find it helpful to give voice to their feelings by writing them down aka journaling.
Listen: Do you pay attention to what your gut/intuition is telling you? and use it to help you make better choices?
Important: Do you consider and value your needs in my choices? -do you take yourself seriously?
Trust: Do you trust yourself not to engage in behaviors that would betrays who you are or what you need?
Accept: Do you accept who you are? DO you take responsibility for your behavior, without being self-critical, feeling ashamed or treating yourself in a harsh manner?
Forgive: Do you forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve acknowledge and allow yourself to stop thinking about them and move on?
Helps: Do you take responsibility for what needs to happen in your life and make sure it gets done?
Safe: Do you recognize situations that are potentially dangerous for you ( emotionally, phusically and practically) and make your safety a priority?