Changing Gears

One of my good friends posted about what I think must be one of the most common problems of the human condition: Why do I do what I do when I know what I know? I was discussing this with my therapist the other day. In my case, I’ve found the moment I get interested in a guy, I start acting exactly like I did when I was married. My opinion disappears. My needs disappear. I turn into a giving, conforming machine, available at the drop of a hat, and impossible to disappoint. Decent guys hate that. I hate it. I know better. Another good friend exclaimed one day, “Do you have an opinion about anything?” He knows I do. But like I say, the moment I start thinking about a guy as a potential sweetheart, some subconscious part of me takes over and starts acting like an idiot.

So I talked to Chris, and while I can’t quote the guy exactly, he pointed out that it’s not really all that shocking that I’d automatically do what worked (and in fact was necessary) for ten years of my life. It’s comfortable, even if it’s wrong. “But it’s time to change gears now.”

“Okay, but where’s my clutch?”

He pointed out that if it was as easy as pushing in the clutch at the right time, none of us would have these kinds of problems with knowing one thing and doing another. Said that shifting gears is going to be inherently uncomfortable, sometimes painful enough that it might feel wrong. With me in the dating scene, I have to learn to be real, even if that means some heartbreak here and there. But being the way I was leads to more heartbreak, that much I know. I don’t want what I had, so I can’t keep doing what I’ve done. I have to push through that discomfort and keep going.

Which I suppose means I’m going to have to get up the nerve to start dating again one of these days. I think I’m going to give myself more time. Maybe start dating again on my birthday in August, or maybe when my divorceiversary rolls around in June. Or maybe in late March when it’ll have been two years since I got out of that situation. All I know is I’ve got to be a lot stronger than I am, but I don’t know how to do that without exercising now. Hmm.