If I were ever to write a “how to” guide, I think that this post might come closest to that. Except I’m not going to tell you what to do. What I will tell you is that you will learn that for and about yourself by doing what “you shouldn’t do”.
The process of elimination can be very illuminating as it can show us what we do want by helping us to identify what we don’t. This is pretty straightforward when it comes to clothing, dinner, or drink choices. It becomes a little more involved when we start talking about people.
To illustrate the point, a scenario:
Boy meets Girl and both agree they have chemistry. Boy tells Girl he isn’t ready to be in a relationship, but the two continue to deal with each other. Boy develops strong feelings for girl, but decides he would rather have the freedom to live in the moment than to tie himself down. Girl goes along with this for some time but ultimately decides she would rather be with someone who is comfortable with a title/has solid future plans for the relationship. Boy and Girl part company, and Boy is hurt about it.
Let’s start with Boy. On the surface this might seem like nothing more than a classic case of someone wanting to have his cake and eat it, too. I would say his life was probably much more difficult than that. If this gentleman was keeping a stable of girls, then he could probably attest to the same. Any man who thinks he can keep more than one woman happy and for any prolonged period of time is nothing less than a study of insanity. To simplify -0r over simplify- all relationships need attention. If a man is truly cultivating and sustaining relationships with multiple women then he is doing so at no small cost to himself. Perhaps he has convinced himself he has his composite woman, and that the burden is one worth bearing. Being “the” man to all of these women means disappointing all of them at one time of or another, as all of the woman will be demanding of his time, his attention, his emotional reserve, and perhaps even his physical reserve.
Boy came to a crossroads and was faced with a choice: He could make Girl his girlfriend or he could continue to play the field. He took a gamble and lost. While some of his hurt could be ego, some of it could be the fact he lost someone he would have rather kept.
Now Girl also had a choice. Girl knew Boy wasn’t ready to be in a relationship, but she took the leap anyway. Maybe it is because she thought that what she had to offer would change her mind. Perhaps it is because she enjoyed the attention and she could have an easy, breezy tryst and move on. She, too, took a gamble. While she might have left because she didn’t “win” him, she also might have left him because she realized her worth.
Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl get in a relationship. Boy is willing to move heaven and earth to make Girl happy with no thought to the consequences of his actions. Boy finds that he is losing himself in the relationship, he becomes resentful f of that fact, and Boy and Girl break up. Boy goes on to date other girls, but won’t invest 100% of himself in any of them.
While one could argue that Boy knows what he wants, they could also argue the he won’t let himself have it. Anyone who isn’t willing to invest themselves in a relationship would be hard pressed to say they truly want one. There has to be a “but” involved. It might revolve around fear, it might be because the person hasn’t really gotten over a lost love, it might be because the person isn’t sure who they are or what they want, but since it exists it will stop the person from getting something they claim to desire.
So how is exclusion related to these scenarios? I believe that every experience any person goes through is designed to teach him/her something. Sometimes he/she might not be immediately receptive to the lesson which is why he/she might keep revisiting it. To the point, any time you are in a relationship wherein you don’t get what you need, you learn about what you don’t want. Once you learn to recognize that you can save yourself a lot of heartache and a lot of time. Still, have the discernment to know what you don’t want is just part of the picture. What may be more important is learning how to recognize what you do want and how to make sure you get it.
That part I know I can’t teach. That part you learn through being willing to risk it all to win big.