It's the end of the world as we know it...

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24.7.05

A college friend and I were talking the other day. We concluded that there are two different types of people in relationships: chases and runners. Actually, I guess there are three different types of people. The third are masochists...They are the types who chase what they want, but know that they are never going to get what they want.

Anyway, I am a runner. It's in my nature. And I'm ok with that, for the most part. I am petrified at the thought of getting caught, and I don't have a great desire to chase anyone else. (Every so often I'll try on the masochist role, but that's more because I know that since they are runners themselves, it's safe for me. I can pretend to be all open and whatnot, without the risk. So I get to play the victim, and it's only those who really know me who can laugh and understand my motivation, that I would never chase if I thought that the guy didn't have even more issues than I do. I know it sounds impossible, but there are a few of them out there, and I try to save them all.)

So anyway, today at lunch, another college friend was talking about my tendency to run away. And she brought up a valid point - if I say that I want to one day (emphasis on "one day") get married and have kids, ummm.... I gotta stop running sooner or later. Cause that's not generally the first quality to a successful relationship. (For the record, I'm not opposed to relationships. I'm opposed to *me* in relationships. That one doesn't work so well. Though as she pointed out, how the hell would I know, because I stop them before they get to that level. The husband of another college friend commented that it appeared that I was scared to get hurt. Who needs therapists when you have friends who are willing to be honest with you?)

Anyway, her point. Very true. Very valid. And in order for my growth as an adult (as fucked up as the adult me may be) it is very important to have my friends challenge me -- and to be honest, she is one of only a few who will actually do so. (I said one of the FEW Alli, not the only one!!) So that's appreciated. Though I think I've done a magnificant job at being better in the last year at opening up and trusting people. Of course, that's sorta like someone with a batting average below the Mendoza Line considering it an accomplishment once they hit .200. It isn't exactly like I'm going to make the "Trusting People Hall of Fame" here or anything. So perhaps I shouldn't exactly pull a muscle patting myself on the back too much. But hey, at least the thought of getting caught doesn't send me twitching with convulsions in the fetal position, ready to slip into a coma at any moment anymore. That's progress, right?)

So where was I with this? Oh, yes, walls. I was talking to another friend last week about his particular walls, which prevent him from trusting people. Stereotypical walls. But I think that in some ways, mine are more complex, because they aren't as immediately apparent and then sucker punch people. I'm awesome at casual. (Note I did not say that my walls were "higher" or "worse" or anything like that. I'm not all Morrissey where I think that my devils are any worse than anyone else's demons. My best friend would never get away with that anyway. Her comment to me this week - not in reference to me but in reference to someone else - was that she hated when people thought that they were so much more complex and difficult than everyone else, because everyone else around them thinks the same thing as well. But my walls aren't any better or worse. But they are less apparent, which can be more complcated because others don't realize right away that I have walls - I appear to be relatively open.)

Where was I again? Oh, yes, my particlar issues. I do casual, and, as an extrovert (yes, I can accept it now. I've fought it for months, but I've come to accept it), people don't realize that that is the easy part. It's the next part that paralyzes me. Call it sorority girl formal rush mode (experience that I've needed to use on more than one first date...), but I can be all extroverted and tell stories and rant and all sorts of things (this also leads me to experience a totally different first date than the person I'm with. I may think it's the most painful experience of my life, ala formal rush, but the guy has no idea. Seriously, you all are clueless. But I digress.)

So my walls work in reverse, it makes me keep all sorts of people around me, so that at any time I can call up a dozen people that I don't really care about, so no one person is around with any real power or control over me. If there are 12 different people, my theory was that no one person could hurt you. You would care about them all equally, right?

I'm learning that might not be the case...

I wish I had some sort of conclusion for you all. Some sort of epiphany that made it worth reading this far b/c you realized that I had grown as an adult, right in front of your eyes.

I don't.

22 Comments:

  • At 10:33 PM, Blogger Steppie said…

    I admit it: I'm a masochist. I am in love with a man - a friend - who wants nothing to do with me romanticly. He's almost everything I want in a man, but what he lacks isn't earth shatteringly important. What is important is that he's on of my best friends and he gets me better than anyone else. And I hate him for that. Because that makes me love him more and realize that it will never happen. It sucks.

     
  • At 10:58 PM, Blogger Jen(nifer) said…

    Ah, yes.

    See me? I find 1/3 of something wonderful in every man I want, and then whine because none of them out there will ever be what *I need*

    My brother and sister in law this weekend informed me that I am not looking for a man that has more than 1/3 of what I need. SO I never have to take a chance and get hurt.

    Relationships. Blah.

    Although, lately? Thinking of some of the relationships of people around me? I would much rather be lonely and cry myself to sleep than clueless, or settling, or unhappy. I did that far too long...

    I am not unwilling to *try* again, I just don't see anyone matching what I want...

    I only keep 1-5 *friends* on hand at anytime, and I have pretty much realized this makes me unhappy too.

    :(

     
  • At 10:59 PM, Blogger Jen(nifer) said…

    I wish I was with Lady Stephanie of Cleveland this past weekend to have these talks :)

    Also, with Lady Stephanie of Pittsburgh...

     
  • At 11:02 PM, Blogger Alli said…

    Estephania. . .how can you write that you have not grown before our eyes? That is exactly what you did when you recognized your friend's (brilliant) comment about one day having to stop running, as true. The whole post was about growing. Recognizing and naming your fears takes real courage and is the first step to overcoming them. . .Bravo. You have grown much.

     
  • At 8:52 AM, Anonymous FriendsHubby said…

    I hope I didn't offend you in any way. I was merely asking a question, not analyzing or judging you in anyway. I am truly sorry if I did offend you, that was not my intention.

     
  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger Me said…

    Lady Stephanie of Pittsburgh - is this the same guy from New Years Eve?

    Jen, So you should go for 1/3 of what you want, but all of what you need. But I understand your reasons to the contrary. And bro and sis and probably correct. Can they analyze me too? Oh, and I agree. Though I've never cried myself to sleep cause I don't much care that I'm alone. And I'd prefer you not settling too! And I absolutely depend on you to tell me if I ever am...

    Alli, you are FORCED to say such things. :)

    And I wasn't offended at all!

     
  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger Matthew said…

    I used to be a masochist, although many of my friends thought that was cover for 'runner in disguise.'

    At any rate, things worked out well for me in the end, and I hope they do you for you, too, Stephanie.

    Have you ever thought about therapy? And I ask/suggest that in all sincerity. It could (possibly) do you a world of good.

    Take care.

     
  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Steppie said…

    Yep. Like I said, I'm a masochist.

     
  • At 9:36 AM, Blogger Dennis! said…

    You tell it! I actually wrote a post related to this topic the other day, but it's still sitting in my draft box. But I totally hear where you're coming from.

    Meanwhile, as a tangential comment: While I totally think it's great to have friends who are "honest" with you, that honesty totally needs to come with TACT, and it needs to be delivered when the friend knows you're in a position to hear and appreciate it. Sometimes people just need friends to bitch to or to sympathize with them, other times they need their friends to tell them to just deal with it. The trick is for the friends to be able to tell the difference between the two.

    Okay, that rant's done for now. :)

     
  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger Messiah said…

    Hey, here is my reply to you: http://mexplanation.com/

     
  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger Me said…

    Stephanie, where does he live now? Wasn't it NYC?

    Dennis, actually, I don't mind the blunt. Sometimes it's necessary. And for how long it's been going on. This particular situation of mine has been going on for 29 years - we are PAST tact...

    Messiah...umm...ok???

     
  • At 10:19 AM, Blogger Me said…

    Oh, and Matthew, ouch! A world of good? Am I really so bad??

     
  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Erinna said…

    Great post...I'm proud of you. :)

     
  • At 11:40 AM, Blogger Steppie said…

    Yeah, he moved there a few weeks ago. We had a fantastic night out (a group - not just us) the night before he left. He told me I was one of his best friends here and he's really going to miss me. He even invited me to NYC this month to see him. And we hugged every 2 minutes. But when I called him about visiting he never called back and his emails ignore it. And he told me he was going to get me something special for my 30th. Well the bday has come and gone & not even an email from him. Men suck.

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger Scarlett said…

    Ah, but you have grown up. The very existance that you are consciously aware of what you do, is half the battle.

    Your choice now is what to do about it.

     
  • At 3:42 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    I'm definitely a runner, too. I'm sure part of it is fear of getting hurt (I hate appearing vulnerable), but I think a lot of mine stems from fear of something else. Like, let's say I've been in a relationship for a couple years and I just wake up one day thinking, "this is it? I thought this is what I wanted but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Am I supposed to live my entire life like this?"

    Basically, I feel that I'll never be satisfied and will always be, even subconsciously, looking for something better. So, commitment scares me. Which, I know I have to work on, too. There's no easy solution for us runners, is there?

     
  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger EasyW said…

    Hey Stephanie--

    I think you just sound a bit too focused on the wrong things.

    Come to Chicago, and I'll make sure your attention is redirected to all the right places.

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Thanks Erin. :)
    Sorry about that Stephanie. That sucks. Boys suck sometimes.
    Mac, yeah, but I've been consciously aware of the entire thing for many years. So far no good.
    Sarah, most of my friends are runners too, actually. But a couple of years in a relationship? Wow. But I agree, commitment scares me. And if there were an easy solution, it wouldn't be worth it.
    Easy W, too focused on the wrong things, huh? LOL. Next time I'm in Chicago, I'll let you know.

     
  • At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Keith said…

    Isn't it interesting what frequently happens is that the person you like is not interested in you, and the person you're not interested in wants you. I hate when that happens. It happened often and still does on some level. I'm a bit of a masochist. I hate it. Even after a year, I still wish I was with the "one". It sucks, but I'm out there dating. I could say so much more....Ciao.

     
  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Keith, I agree that does happen, but that's not my issue. My issue is more when I'm into someone, and they are into me, and then my walls come up and I do everything in my power to push them away. I'm rather skilled at it. I'm only occasionally a msochist. :) And at least you've met "the one." I haven't.

     
  • At 7:36 PM, Blogger dawnamarie said…

    I'm a recovering runner. I'm sure I'll run again sometime, but it will be much more difficult what with a child in tow. I'm a bit of a masochist also, but i win, so it doesn't count. Married man, totally perfect for me, got through all the walls, I was totally comfortable with him, but.. he was married. He still is married, except, it's to me now. Someday, the right guy will find you. And you'll still try to run.

     
  • At 9:30 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Dawnamarie, Married, huh? And do any masochists win?

     

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