rekindling old flames & the grateful train

I would call myself a hopeful romantic. It’s easy for me to see the positives of a pairing possibility.

I walk into new ventures with plenty of smiles and my head held high. I listen, ask questions frequently, and am enthusiastic. 

I can say with no ego that my tenacity is astounding when I apply it; I like the chase and I’m good at seeing an end to it when I’ve decided I want to commit to something more.

The surges of energy are my favourite part. Goodness knows that my last long-term (long-distance) relationship had no shortage of ’em. The mind and body are more likely to go into overdrive after long periods of pleasure denial and short periods of desire fulfillment.

While the aforementioned’s cheery and all that, the not-so-great aspects beg mentioning as well.

1. I have a habit of leaping before I look. I’m the sort that enjoys having her head in the clouds, but typically the result of that is learning the repercussions of such the hard way.

2. I often find myself doing things I don’t want to do. Instead of attempting to strike up some sort of compromise that might include benefits for each person involved, I have a habit of letting others get their way because I believe I’ll ruin everything if I don’t. It’s irrational, this fear, and I’ve already modified my behaviour to put this issue to rest (after lots of practice).

3. I overextend myself. The three all tie in, you see. New prospects are fairly exciting, and it’s not uncommon to throw myself into the fray without considering that I may need some ‘me’ time. This may be the most common trait I share with others involved in similar romantic situations. It also may be the most difficult to rectify, as it comes into play elsewhere.

About 80% of this goes out the window if the romantic venture is a reconnection. The events leading up to the severing of ties previous is usually at the forefront of my mind. Paranoia. Second guessing.

It is likely that a rekindling will not see much success because of all of the things it has going against it, namely its history. Even if you get past that, there may be unexpected bumps in the road that are ill-handled. The damage can be irreparable. Fingers get pointed.

In times of frustration, anger or general pain, the first instinct fallacy (paraphrasing: ‘your first instincts are your most correct’) can easily come into play. For me, telling myself ‘it’s not my fault’ is a coping mechanism to deal with the aftereffects of a break-up. Blaming others for the downfall of a relationship isn’t necessarily the best idea. There needs to be some analysis, support from friends and/or family, and a period of mourning.

One behaviour change begets another. In changing Not-So-Great Aspect no. 2, I didn’t realize that other changes would be affected. 

Mourning does not seem to be as important as it used to be; it expends tons of energy needed to do daily life tasks and enjoy people and activities. It is not altogether useless, especially if the history is long and intense, but there needs to be a cull at some point.

My experiences reconnecting with people on a romantic front has taught me a great deal, though I am no longer so keen on dating anyone from my past. 

The best I can do is try to keep some kind of platonic, warm tie alive with folks I’ve known very personally and intimately — this is not always an available option, mind you. The best I can be is open about my shortcomings in the hopes that I can eventually sort them out. Sometimes only another person can reveal what these shortcomings are.

A close friend of mine recently said, “The day I stop learning, I die.” I’m inclined to agree with her.