By Javinne J. McCoy
In previous posts, I mention receiving my “Relationship Aha Moment” (a call to wake up and smell the Unhealthy Relationship Roses).“Mr. Soul Mate Speech” sparked this call to attention. This wasn’t my first romp with an E.U.P (Emotionally Unavailable Partner); it was the umpteenth. However, this experience was different because I kept my eyes wide open (albeit passively at first) and my feet firmly planted on the ground about my contribution (AND his contribution) to our dysfunctional love escapade. It was clear that I was mistreated, emotionally abused, mislead etc.-but only because I had allowed it. Tough pill!
One of the first “happy” moments we shared was on the Cyclone Roller Coaster at Coney Island (NYC). My ex wasn’t a fan of roller coasters but indulged my request to ride the coaster with me. After we rode, he purchased a picture of us from the picture booth. The shot was us descending on the second drop of the Cyclone in mid-air. Ironically, this was a prophetic picture of what connected us in our relationship-drama, intensity, excitement, the unknown etc. This is exactly how our relationship unfolded. It was an emotional cyclone of sorts. Roller coasters are fun at first, but if you keep riding them, the high wears off and you can become sick as hell.
Currently, I am six weeks of no contact with my ex (a necessary strategy for exiting the pain of an unhealthy pairing). This time I have decided to stick with it (after eight times of attempting it but failing). It has been hard. However, getting clear about WHY the relationship ended and that it can’t be fixed by my efforts alone (it takes two to tango ), has aided me in shutting down the Unhealthy Relationship Roller coaster. The ride is now closed!
I was under the spell of a long-held unhealthy pattern that I was succumbing to. It wasn’t just my Ex that I was experiencing outrageous Love Antics with; it was ALL of these relationships (same person different package). All of these men were emotional chumps- always dodging responsibility, talking the talk but not walking it, saying grand things “in the name of love”, and being consistent with being inconsistent. I couldn’t chalk it up to misfortune anymore. There was definitely a cycle present. Here are a few tidbits from my “Relationship Aha Moment”:
1. All of these men were living INAUTHENTIC lives
I always seemed to choose people who are “semi-out”. They were not self-affirmed in their sexuality (the issue here is bigger than sexuality). Many were closeted or barely “out”. I mean some of them were so gay you could spot them standing from the planet Mars on a dime (not saying that they were super effeminate but you know a gay man when you see one; no matter how much he tries to “put on”). My ex after twenty seven years had never had sex with females-only males. I mean hello, DING! DING! DING! If that ain’t rooting for the same team, I don’t know what is! I do have compassion for the “coming out process” but when you cannot accept yourself and be your true-self with others; you are inauthentic as a person and will have inauthentic relationships. PERIOD!
Because I had internalized the deep rooted message of “winning the prize of love”, these situations turned out to be perfect for performing in the Love Olympics (i.e. fighting for them to choose me over their own ambiguity). I was always in a position of begging for them not hide our relationship. I wanted them to accept me, introduce me to their friends, family, and include me in their life. I had to pump my breaks. They hadn’t accepted themselves. How the hell could they accept me? If someone is ambiguous about themselves, they will be ambiguous about you. That ain’t cute! You are not a rainy day option! I eventually realized, it wasn’t my job to force someone to accept themselves and love me. This brings me to my next point:
2. You will always come across as emotionally demanding if you are trying to get your reluctant love source to change- instead you should walk away if you find the relationship is not their priority.
I still remember my Ex screaming in my face “…and you know what? You’re emotionally demanding!” This was in response to me trying to “make a case” against him for mistreating me. When he made his statement I silently thought “Ummmmmm…crap, you know what? You’re right!” It clicked that he had nothing more to offer me. He tried his best (which was limited in the first place). I knew I deserved better treatment- he knew it too. My err, was staying passed the relationships due date- fighting for his love via my crazy Love Antics.
3. They ALL initially pursued me in what I like to call “a HOT phase”. After the initial “Hot phase” wore off I was the one who was doing the chasing. Initially, I was just not that interested.
If you have ever found yourself thinking “love is about the chase”, when someone pursues you with gusto, you will get caught up in being showered with attention-mistaking this for genuine interest. Their pursuit will be especially appealing to you if initially you were “not that interested”. In hindsight, my relationships with E.U.P.’s always began this way. In the beginning stages, we would “kick it” but I would find myself feeling uneasy about them- not “that interested”, sometimes turned-off, could take them or leave them. This was my gut, intuition, inner-self warning me that “something ain’t right”. Eventually, I would convince myself to give them a chance.
As soon as I reciprocated by matching their hot pursuit of me, they would back off, want to just be friends, take some space etc. – turning the tables. That’s when my crazy Love Antics would kick in. I would find myself performing stunts and shows to get their love back (which was never there to begin with). Remember, we are human. Other people have flawed ideas about what love really is too. For some love is about “the chase”. Once they think the mystery is solved, you will be discarded. Sad but true.
Ladies (and Gents) if you find yourself thinking the other party must pursue you first for you to be interested and invested, you are setting yourself up for disaster honey! The “pursuit” should be mutual, organic, and reciprocal. If either one of you is doing more of the calling, reaching out, showing consistent interest etc., your relationship scale is imbalanced.
Isn’t it time that we start examining our contribution in relationships? Nobody can tell you about you! If you know your pattern, you know what you are dealing with (unless you are living on Illusion Island). If someone is consistently mistreating you, disappointing you, and not being present in the relationship with you, YOU need to change. NOT them! Emotionally unavailable people are limited in their capacity to change (you will be on hold forever).
If you don’t believe me just check out this season of the Reality Show “Marrying The Game”-featuring the rapper The Game and his “on-hold baby mama” Tiffney Cambridge (I watch as one of my guilty pleasures but also get some great insights). According to reports and her website, she has been dating the Father of her children for 9 years. The show is running Season 2 now. Still no wedding! Major red flag! No one should DATE for nine years! That is MUCHO being put on-hold in a relationship and a sign of major emotional unavailability. If he liked it, he WOULDA BEEN put a ring on it (said with Beyonce’s siren voice).
If you commit to changing your views about love, get real with YOU, and learn to trust YOU; E.U.P.’s won’t stand a chance in your presence. Not to mention, you won’t be in a position of wasting your time for someone to wake up and smell your value. You should be the one on alert! Have you woken up and smelled your Unhealthy Relationship Roses? When will you experience your “Relationship ‘Aha’ Moment”? Ever had a break-up which made you wake-up? Your thoughts?