Some boys don’t know how to love.
Ain’t that the truth, Mr. Gibbard.
Tonight, out of the blue, a friend asked me, “Do you feel genuinely valued?” We chatted about how feeling valued is so important, but people just sometimes don’t know how to really show it.
Whether my friend knows this or not, I struggle with the issue of validation and value quite a bit. The most common issue I seem to have in relationships is not feeling like I’m thought about, which is a very big problem when every relationship I’ve been in since starting college has had a distance component.
To be honest, I have never felt completely valued while in a serious relationship (which explains partially why those relationships are no longer). I’ve had moments where it feels like I am a priority in someone else’s life, but as I started to explain, that feeling tends to die down as comfort levels for the other party increase.
It’s an assumption that I know completely how much I mean to someone else.
False. I don’t.
It’s a known issue. Whether that’s normal or not, or it’s something that should or can be fixed, the fact of the matter is that this is what I live with.
Of course, you might too, if you had your trust invalidated multiple times. These last couple of rounds of trust-breaking have been so intense that I am irrationally suspicious of intentions now.
Sometimes I still cry when I think about how awful it felt to be told that I was flawed in this way or that way, to be toyed with, and to ultimately learn that I wasn’t even important enough to not only not be a priority, but that I was actually one of a handful of “options.” That was the ultimate invalidation; I was disposable and interchangeable. Immediately after that, I was deceived by another person.
And then my dad died. I was at a very low point when it happened, and I’ve struggled in getting through the event and processing things on my own.
Basically, I’m an emotional wreck when I let the weight of the world get to me. I’m usually fine being my normal happy self, but then there are still moments when I think, “Am I doomed to get myself into situations where I don’t seek out validation and value?” It’s scary to face that unknown, and it’s a daunting issue that I’m coping with.
Another problem is that I love the thrill of the chase, and the guys I’m attracted to seem to be the same way. I, however, also enjoy the fun in sharing dumb jokes and funny stories throughout the week, connecting over little conversations here and there. I’m not a, “Tell me what you had for lunch,” every day type of lady, but I like to feel included in little ways. I just tend to see value in sharing stories, and especially with distance, I want that other person to know he’s still in my thoughts.
I don’t like to be the initiator all the time, though. Most of the time, my relationships tend to morph into me always initiating–conversation, plans, whatever, you name it. And if I like the guy, I’ll go with it, even past the point where I realize I’m putting in a billion times more effort.
Then I get sad because I haven’t felt valued in a long time Then I try harder. Then things fall apart because I’m emotional and insecure and clingy. It’s a rightful mess that I’d like to avoid for, oh, the rest of eternity.
So, if you were my partner–how would you plan on keeping me around once you’ve got me on the hook? Like I’ve said before, I’m not some trophy one gets to show off every now and then. I’m a real human who needs to know she’s wanted and cherished.
Conversely, though–dating isn’t one-sided. So, as a lady, what can I do to be the best possible partner? How do I show someone he is valued in my life?
How does something shiny and new keep its luster in the long-run?
In other news, I am making some pretty rad playlists on Spotify. Username: ardithlaverne