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I'm just a girl in the world.. that kind of likes to write. Mom of 2 teen girls & work as Talent Attraction & Marketing professional. Oh, & I'm addicted to my phone, Social Media, HR/Talent Marketing & Caffeine... you can learn more about me at www.linkedin.com/in/theonecrystal

Piglet, Pooh & Relationships

“To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship.” ~Domenico Cieri Estrada

Tonight on Twitter, they had a discussion – a chat – on one of the Twitter channels, #GenYChat.  I went, expecting it to be on business; but, it was actually on marriage/significant romantic relationships.  So not my area of expertise; as the closest thing I have to a romantic relationship is my love affair with coffee.  And since it’s a one-sided love (1) as I’m pretty sure the coffee doesn’t miss me the way I miss it when I don’t have it?? Not sure that really counts. 😉   But, despite my experiential disadvantage in the subject matter; I tried to stick it out.  Made it about halfway through & then they started talking about cheating, and “must-haves/must-not haves” criteria lists for partners, are we naturally monogomous … very subjective and personal questions.  Stuff I’m not going to be learning from; but rather turning purple sharing my opinions/history on those subjects with strangers on twitter.   Which, when I think about it is kind of funny; as I share a lot of my life on here & goodness knows who ends up reading it!

So, I eventually bailed and attended to a status update I had made on FB regarding the chat when it started.  I made the comment that I don’t think I should be giving out relationship advice regarding how to be in a serious relationship/marriage because.. well… my track record says I’m not keeping them – clearly, as I’m not in one.  🙂  I shared the overall depth of my relational wisdom (2) – one of which was the quote above.  This is, I believe, at the core of my relationship #fail(s).  I’m horrible at knowing when to draw someone near or step away and let them be.  I’m a ‘fixer’ by nature – I want, bordering on need, those I care about to be happy.  I’ll seriously attempt to move mountains to make it so. Maybe ‘pleaser’ is a more appropriate term; but it does seem like I spend a fair amount of ‘relational time’ fixing or solving one issue or another.  This is not always a good thing, I’ve decided… especially when it wasn’t asked for.

I’ve spent the better part of the last six months (3) trying to figure out why I do that – because, I don’t always like it.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing nice things for people & making others happy is fantastic – but, when I was honest with myself?  It was often to the detriment of my needs; and that’s when I unraveled a pattern years long- of putting aside my emotional needs, life goals, and/or silly wants when they didn’t fit in with my partner’s… and then losing respect for them when they let me.  Not fair – to either person.

I’ll spare you the recap of the emotional ‘self-workshop’ I’ve gone through over the last several months.  I will say that I started with the same phrase I learned when trying to re-innovate in business:  “First throw out all the rules.”  (4)  To continue to go on as I had would be akin to insanity; besides, as one of my favorite people told me “If you do what you always do; you’ll get what you always got.”  I’m not in any big rush to be in a relationship; but as a general rule I don’t see the benefit in repeating past mistakes.  Throw out the rules.  Check. Done.

My ‘relationship how-to’ book was now blank.  For awhile, it stayed that way –  there was nothing there to write.   I read, I talked with people,(5) I consulted my Bible because -for me- that’s a big part of my value system.  And after all of that?  Here’s what my inner voice kept coming back to:

Some of you will think that’s silliness; others?  Will totally get where I’m coming from.  A.A. Milne was pretty brilliant, in my opinion.  He packed an emotional mountain into those couple of lines… sharing how we all need love, comfort & reassurance.  We need to feel close to others – and that’s okay – but what I really loved more than anything out of that was the simplicity of it.  That’s where I always went south, I think.  I’m fabulous at grand gestures, sweeping in and saving the day – when sometimes a simple “I adore you; let me know if you need me & I’ll be there” coupled with space to let them figure their own life out was really what was needed.   Reaching out with a hug instead of a solution – because I trust that those I spend my time with are capable of finding the right solutions for themselves.  And the funny thing is?  I pretty much always have… trusted they were capable, that is.  Just didn’t often give them a chance to show it.   At the end of the day, most of the time those we love aren’t looking for a ‘white knight;’ they just  just want to be ‘sure of us.’

I’ve been practicing this with my kids & friends recently.  Not going to lie, it was extremely difficult at first.  It’s still challenging at times, especially with the girls; but it’s become MUCH easier.  So, would I preach that to a bunch of married folk on twitter?  Nope, absolutely not.  But for anyone who wanted to know more about ‘Being Crystal?’ Well, here’s where I’m at these days. 🙂   There you have it; told you it was simple.  But, then again, so were Piglet and Pooh.

Footnotes:
(1) read:  obsession
(2)Okay, so that’s not quite true; I forgot the quote from A.A. Milne; but I’m getting ahead of myself 😉
(3) Yes, for anyone that knows me well enough to do the math; that did include time in my last relationship

(4) This is similar in nature to the book, but that’s First BREAK all the Rules – so, little different.

(5) focused largely on those who had been married for longer than 25 years and seemed happy

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6 Comments on “Piglet, Pooh & Relationships”

  1. lp 08/24/2011 at 11:55 pm #

    this was interesting! i liked the a.a. milne quote. i’m a fan of pooh bear. and i love the civil wars! great choice to include it!

  2. TheOneCrystal 08/25/2011 at 5:09 am #

    Thanks! Yeah, big A.A. Milne fan… though, my favorite character has always been Tigger. I think I identify with his ADD. :p Re: the Civil Wars – they are FANTASTIC – noticed you have quite a few music posts on your page, too! 😉

  3. therelationshipflunkie 08/25/2011 at 10:55 am #

    Excellent thoughts!

    But Crystal – a hug and a solution are both means to the same end. Putting forth an effort to be present in any way – should allow our well-adjusted partners to be ‘sure of us’.

    More often than not; however, people are not receptive to that which they haven’t planned for.
    Bottom line is – we could all just be more understanding with our others.

    Really, it’s a simple:
    ‘Babe – I want a hug; not a solution. And – thank you.’

  4. TheOneCrystal 08/25/2011 at 3:07 pm #

    So let me first say? I appreciate and like your comment. 🙂 Thanks! And you’re right that, generally speaking, both are effort. And yes, I think you’re right that the simple solution you provided is a good one. 🙂

    That said, you’re working of the predication that most of us are w/ “well-adjusted” partners. ‘Relationally-speaking’ (totally making up that phrase there)? I don’t think most of us are. By the time we hit our mid-thirties, we’ve got significant relationship baggage we’re toting along with us.

    Also, I think there’s a difference in the amount of effort between the effort required for the simplicity of a hug and the complexity of a solution or “Saving the Day.” Going overboard? Is probably it’s own baggage.

  5. therelationshipflunkie 08/25/2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Point well made. Essentially – most of my partners have been completely f*cked-up, yes.
    🙂

  6. TheOneCrystal 08/25/2011 at 3:37 pm #

    LOL – we’ve ALL got baggage (though some of us are carrying Steamer Trunks, I think!!!)… 😉

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