Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Looking at a Peach of a Gem

And NOT seeing it.

Saturday my wife left early to go do errands and was gone most of the day. That evening when she was reading that day's Times-Standard she asked me if I had read the article by Sharae O'Shaughnessy, How to lose your significant other without really trying? She then said, "If you didn't, you missed a real gem." Then she read the whole article to me. I must say was impressed.

In the past, I must admit, I've not been that impressed with what I did read, so I just passed over this article without looking. She was right, my wife that is, it is a real gem. Life is best lived by positive experience. Learn from the mistakes of other, then move on in life learning from your own mistakes. From now on I'm going to take the time to read what she says. So, if you missed it, here it is posted in it's entirety. ENJOY.

How to lose your significant other without really trying
Eureka Times-Standard, Posted: Sat Jun 07 13:23:00 MDT 2014 Times-Standard.com 
New romance. The possibility of forever. It's one of the most exciting things that can happen to a person. And if it does happen, we put our best foot forward. We take more pride in our appearance, suddenly we remember our manners, we're incredibly ambitious, our energy is renewed and going the extra mile for that someone special is in no way a burden. In short: we campaign. And because we are our best selves during this tedious time we often fall in love with each other's perfect representation of us. When love happens eventually we learn to become comfortable. That's when our true colors show. That's when someone farts or lets their crazy hang out. 
Her: OMG, this jerk NEVER picks up his socks. What a slob. 
Him: Whoa. Did she just give my mom a backhanded compliment? Chill out, Slagathor. 
So here we are. In our true form. The new car smell is now that of socks he won't pick up and that sassy personality you thought was so progressive now just sounds a lot like nagging. I suppose we should throw in the towel because things aren't perfect, right? WRONG! Don't be a quitter! 
I am currently in a relatively new relationship that is beginning to settle into something far more substantial. Spending copious amounts of time in close proximity is the best way to truly expose your final form. I am discovering that my final form was molded over an eight year marriage that was riddled with trouble and now these eight years of learned behaviors are rearing their ugly head and eating away at something that has nothing to do with them. After eight years of being with the wrong people, my ex and I got real good at cutting each other down. By the end, we were professional terrible spouses. Something I'd like to have left behind with the relationship. Unfortunately years of being one way doesn't just shed itself in a few months. In order to make this work, I have to actually work on myself. Puke. Unfortunately I hadn't given myself time to accept that in the wake of one failed relationship many things can happen. A festering guilt can boil to the surface, causing an intense fear that you may be hurt again or you may hurt them enough first to deserve it. In order to be happy with something new I needed to learn that I cannot go from one extreme to the other. Do not expect mountains to move but then don't immediately anticipate the worst. 
I've been doing a lot of research with the goal of adding some tools to my relationship tool box. One reason history is taught in school is the hope that it will prevent us from making the same mistakes in the future. I learn from people who have been there, done that. Following are a few things I've picked up from folks I like to call "Love War Vets": 
Love yourself first. Do away with the insecurities that make you lash out or introvert by accepting yourself. Make improvements where necessary and taking pride in the things you're awesome at. 
It is also vital to remember that you can recover from almost anything. Like, if someone breaks your heart it isn't the end of the world. But the anxiety you feel about the possibility of someone breaking your heart can ruin your life. It's out of your hands. Don't waste a minute worrying about something you have no control over. Insecurities like that can awaken the little green jealousy monster and then you'll have a whole new super fun set of problems. Avoid this at all costs! Jealousy is a symptom of neurotic insecurity which is troublesome to your relationship and torment to yourself. 
The obvious suggestion I'm choosing to address is to always be communicative and honest. Sometimes transparency is painful but knowing your partner won't keep things from you relieves so much anxiety of the unknown. And I know there are those of us who hhhhate talking about our feelings (Me. I'm talking about me right now. My feelings are my own and no one needs to know about them.) But if you don't address the problems head on they will fester until one day you're cleaning up the sticky debris from a messy blow up. These are hard to come back from. Put in the work/dialogue so it doesn't come to this. 
And the silliest but in my opinion most important thing I can suggest is to laugh sincerely and often. It's hard to stay angry, feel lonely or be pessimistic when you're spending the majority of your time together laughing like idiots about nothing and everything. I am lucky in love to have a guy with a solid sense of humor. Even if he is the very definition of a fart machine. Best of luck to everyone brave enough to willingly enter into a new romance. 
Sherae O'Shaughnessy is a Eureka resident, a host at 93.1/94.1 FM KSLG, an emcee, a freelance writer, the founder and owner of BA-DUM-CHH Comedy Presents, was voted Humboldt's Best Comedian 2012 by readers of the North Coast Journal, and writes this column for the Times-Standard. Contact her at shutupsherae@gmail.com.

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