Let It Live and Die

Every relationship has its lifespan. Some are meant for a night and some for an eternity. The rest fall somewhere in between. The trick is recognizing where each one falls.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell and sometimes two people don't feel the same way about their time span together. For those of us emotionally mature, the simple solution is open communication. Then it can be allowed to live and die in its allotted time. Sometimes all we need to get us refreshed and ready for life is a happy weekend or month or two.

After C was born and his father had been kicked out of our home, I was dealing with an insane amount of change in a short amount of time. I needed something or someone to keep me sane and on track. I'm not sure I would have made it through that first summer alone. I certainly was not ready for any sort of commitment, but I certainly could stand to have someone to look forward to in my life. An adult someone that is. It's hard to keep your sanity when your only communication is with a small child.

Luckily, I met someone looking for something similar. He only had a couple of months left in town and didn't want any emotional/relationship baggage to carry with him, but he did want someone to spend his last little bit of time with. It was perfect for both of us. I had adult companionship to look forward to in the evenings and not just the endless cycle of work, be a mother, try to sleep, not sleep, go back to work. I had movies and occasional outings, card games and conversation, and sometimes someone to cook dinner with. When it was over, it was over, and we each went our own way with plenty of happy memories.

I've found since that not every man is as comfortable being upfront about what he needs or is looking for. I guess the fear is that if he tells a woman he just wants something for right now, she'll be out the door without looking back. Unfortunately, this assumption is based on the misogynist misconception that women solely desire lasting or permanent relationships and that our single-minded goal is get married and have children.

Random Related Fact: Women have a much smaller corpus callosum than men. This means that we use both sides of our brain in harmony and more efficiently. In other words, we are far from single-minded.

What generally sends me straight out the door is when I get the impression that a man has little to no respect for my intelligence or emotional maturity. Telling me precisely what type or length of relationship he desires will at the very least earn my comradery. It is entirely possible that I may respectfully decline, but the keyword is respectfully. Heck, I might even know someone that would be a better fit that I would be happy to introduce.

What I absolutely despise is manipulating my emotions--making me believe what he wants is long-term--while all he desires is something for the here and now. Then, to end it by brushing me off rather than showing me the respect I deserve by admitting I am not want he wants now or ever. I find it insulting to say the least.

Random Related Fact:  In a study of gender differences done by Petrides and Furnham at the University College in London, they found that women possess a higher level of social/emotional intelligence than men. They also found that men tend to rate their own levels higher than their actual levels of social and emotional intelligence more frequently than women. In other words, men think they know better than us...

So when are we all going to be on the same page? I think the day is sooner than we expect. The simple fact that I and other women have had multiple mutually understood relationships like the one I described proves it. However, I've had just as many or more where I was mislead in a man's intentions. As a matter of fact, I have enough of those tales to relate that I could easily post a blog on each one and never run out of material...

Over time the number of men who respect a woman's intelligence and maturity will increase as they see the positive results for men who choose to be communicative. In the meantime, us ladies simply need to continue responding appropriately to open communication and developing our own understanding of ourselves in order to see this change over time.


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