Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Child Waiting for a Candy Bar

How You're Being Manipulated to Stay in a Bad Relationship

"She's hurt from her last relationship -- how long should I wait around for her to commit to me?"
"He says we're just friends, but maybe someday that will change."
"She doesn't love me yet, but she said to be patient."
"He's still married, but doesn't even share a bed with her -- he really loves me...I think."
"He won't marry me yet, but it's only been two years. My friends say to 'give it time."
"He wants to move in, but he won't call me his girlfriend."

In relationships, there often comes an unequal situation. One person crazy in love with the other, and the other, not so much. But maybe SOMEDAY! Yes, SOMEDAY things will be perfect! They really come around after (problems magically dissolve). Then it will be FANTASTIC!

I'm writing this about relationships, but these same concepts can be applied to any situation -- career, friendship, or otherwise. Be careful about people stringing you along in any area.

The problem is, this keeps both people from being happy. One is wanting more from the relationship, and the other wants to put on the brakes. It's better for both people to just walk away -- the world is FULL of right matches, new possibilities, and things that are meant to be -- but you can't allow what's meant to be to find you, if you're allowing Mr./Mrs. Right Now to occupy your time.

Often, for the person who is less interested, the situation is appealing. They can get all of the great rewards of love -- romance, intimacy, friendship, companionship, emotional support, financial help -- without giving commitment (or much else) in return.

This is an unequal situation. It leaves the person who cares more waiting, and they grow more attached, assuming that eventually, it will magically get better.
If it's not GOOD NOW, it will NOT GET GOOD LATER.

Your mantra should be "Give me the minimum of what I need, or get out."

This is basic self-respect. But it's hard to live by when you are thinking things like "There's no one else out there," or "No one else is going to care about me," or "It's so hard to find anyone I like -- it's been (X amount of time) since I've liked anyone," or "No one else is as cute/smart/hot, etc." or "No one else will love me, so this is the best I an do." I PROMISE YOU, THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF BETTER PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET. A BETTER, AWESOME PERSON WILL LOVE YOU -- UNLIKE THIS LOSER.
People often ask, "Why doesn't this person just leave if they're not loved/haven't gotten commitment?" It's clear their partner isn't really in it for the long haul. Why stick around?


1) THE SLOT MACHINE FALLACY -- For one thing, what we invest in, we want to keep -- even if that thing is crap. We have just poured our life savings into this slot machine, do you think we're going to just get up and walk away? We invest all kinds of things: emotions, we disclose our innermost thoughts and feelings, we listen to theirs, we pay for dates, we pay for clothing/getting ready for dates, we work to ensure the conversation is flowing, we are physically affectionate, we invest our valuable time is seeing this person -- after investing so much, it's difficult to cut those loses and walk.

2) THE LOVE IS PATIENT FALLACY -- There is an idea that love should be patient and endure -- even if that means sacrificing your own self-respect, needs and wants. This works well with all of those chemicals flooding your brain, telling you to stay because the feeling of love feels great. Why would you want to give up this great feeling of love?

3) THE CANDY BAR FALLACY -- There is also the lure of the "candy bar." This is like telling a child "be good, and later, you MIGHT get a candy bar!" That child will do almost anything for that candy bar. They'll think of nothing else. And if they don't get it? After a meltdown, they'll return to a single-minded focus on attaining that candy bar. In this focused state, they don't realize that ANOTHER PERSON may give them what they want IMMEDIATELY -- that candy bar -- without even a fight. A kind person somewhere will recognize that the child wants a treat, and give it to them, WITHOUT them having to complete an obstacle course or wait all day. Love should show up and be giving from DAY ONE. You don't need to wait until "someday." If you're waiting, you've fallen victim to the candy bar fallacy.

4) THE LOVE MUST BE EARNED FALLACY -- So many of us have been raised to think we need to EARN these rewards. "We'll see." and "Maybe later," and "Maybe if you're good you'll get that." This is a way parents control their children, but it's NOT love. Love is not earned. It is given from the start. If you feel entitled to love because you have paid for all of the dinners, or did your make-up perfectly and laughed at the right jokes, this simply isn't the case -- but it's understandable since we're raised with a "maybe if you're good" mentality. No matter WHAT you do, you can never EARN love. It's given from the start, or it's not. If you're not getting what you want, WALK.

5) THE "SOMEDAY" FALLACY -- This is common. Someone (who has no real intention of wanting to be with you) will tell you things like "I'm kinda messed up right now, but someday I might want a relationship with you." Or "be patient" or anything else that speaks of "not now, but maybe someday." Maybe they're "hurt from a divorce" or "confused" or "focusing on their work" or whatever other EXCUSE they give you. How fun is it to wait for a bus that might never show up? How about you walk away from that stop, and take a good walk home. If they want to come back and give you want you want later -- perhaps someday -- then that's fine. If you feel like taking them back "someday," then at that point, after they agree to you need from a relationship, then consider it. Otherwise, forget that flaky might-show-up bus and WALK.

5) THE "THIS IS THE BEST YOU CAN DO" FALLACY -- This may be explicitly spoken, or implied. If they're sending you the message that "you're not that great, but I am a great catch, so you should hang around," or "you don't have to be one of those people with a perfect relationship" or "marriage is for losers" or "you should be happy with the crumbs they give you, because you're not really that great" then realize you're being manipulated. The right person WILL think YOU REALLY ARE that great. Don't you deserve someone who finds you to be hot, smart, and awesome? Versus someone who thinks you're "eh, they're ok."

Don't waste your valuable time on the planet with people who don't see your worth, or else you might to start to be blind to your strengths as well.

Don't you deserve better? Is your relationship making you feel safe, secure, and giving you all you need? Emotional intimacy, enough physical affection, a feeling of love and stability, commitment and safety (knowing this person won't cheat on you or flirt w/ your friends?). If not, GET OUT.

If someone is making you feel like a child desperately waiting for a candy bar, then know the truth...


1) A SLOT MACHINE THAT ATE YOUR MONEY, WILL NEVER PAY OUT. Yes it will hurt to leave the casino with pockets empty, but sometimes that's how it goes. Feel the pain, and leave. Kick that bastard slot machine if you must, but don't be the loser who waits for a prize they will never get.

2) LOVE IS LOVE. People who fall in love typically do so within 3-6 weeks. If this hasn't happened, something is not progressing normally. Whether they are hung-up on an ex, not emotionally available, physically or mentally ill, or otherwise screwed up -- it's really not your problem. You deserve to be LOVED. Right away you should feel the beginnings of love, with good will towards one another and a feeling of safety. If you aren't feeling that way, chances are good it will not develop.

3) IF SOMEONE IS LURING YOU WITH A CANDY BAR...Then realize you have numerous options here. You can get your OWN candy bar, as you're an adult. Others can buy you a gift of a candy bar. Why would you wait for a candy bar from someone who is stingy and not likely to buy you one? Isn't it better to give up on a useless person who won't care about your needs, and find a giving/kind person who is concerned about you? Who will freely, from the start, give to you? Step out from this controlling situation and go find your OWN candy. There is plenty out there, and plenty of people who WANT to give it to you, so step out from this trap.

4) LOVE IS NEVER EARNED. If you feel that you are "earning it" it is not love. You don't need to be or look perfect to be loved. If you feel you need to be perfect or look perfect, you're not being loved. Find someone who loves you flaws and all. It's the least you deserve as a human on the planet, no matter what your past experience has taught you. This is a universal truth.

5) SOMEDAY MEANS NEVER. If you feel yourself hanging on to "someday" or "I'll give it X amount of time" then that's a clue to walk. Someday means never. If you ever do get this person to commit, it will likely result in a bad relationship or divorce (since they are not enthusiastic about moving forward, they are not meeting you half-way). Dragging along dead weight sounds like a blast, doesn't it? Cut your loses. Someday means never.

A big clue that something is up with your relationship is if you often feel anxious, confused, or like you can't quite pin this person down. If they seem hot/cold, if they send you mixed messages (such as actions and words that don't match), then this is NOT a good situation for you. You deserve the calmness from knowing with CLARITY that someone is the right person for YOU and vice versa. Love is one of the greatest gifts of being alive and on the planet. Don't waste your love, or your life or time, on someone who doesn't completely, totally, always, LOVE you back.

It's NOT your job to fix anything, earn anything, or wait for anything, when it comes to love. You're walking in a similar direction and are just a good, solid, compatible fit, or you're not. It says nothing about YOU as a person. Some people fit, and some just don't.

WALK. You might be sad for a short time, but you'll be HAPPY to keep your self-respect and self esteem. This will boost your confidence and make it easier to find the right person.

And yes, this applies EVEN in New York! ESPECIALLY in New York. Having self-respect will make you STAND out from the rest in this crowd.

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