Stop Wanting What You Don't Want

Growing up, my mother would always lecture me on how important it was to date as an adult. To have “casual courtships with multiple men” instead of one serious relationship after another.

Which maybe sounds like a good idea, but it also maybe means she was a little promiscuous and now resorts to using words like “courtship” to cover it up.

I don’t know, I’m still doing the research.

But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately – why I don’t date like that, I mean, and I’m guessing it’s because I’m bad at emotional restraint. I’m black and white when it comes to love, I’m either in or I’m not. I either like you in a big way or I don’t.

And if I do?

I really, really do and I’m full-focus and intensely question ask-ey and I’m forever tucking all of your answers away in alphabetized mental folders like, “Awesome Birthday Gift Ideas” and “Stuff He’d Kill To Try In Bed.”

In practical application, my being like this means that I’m quite good at being your random hookup and I’m even better at being your girlfriend, but I simply have no idea how to handle the in-between relationship (you know, that point where it’s more than brand new dating but isn’t quite a full blown coupling up thing).

Because, regardless of whether or not I’m really crazy about the guy, I always find myself wanting more from him. More flirting, more phone calls, more dates, more sex, more expressions of affection, more late night conversations and, at some point, more commitment – even if I’m not willing to give those things in return.

Which, really, is total bullshit. I mean, if I only have a certain amount of time and energy to use each day, why am I wasting it wanting things for the sake of wanting them?

Because it makes me feel good in my warm little ego-ey places, that’s why.

And so my challenge to myself is to stop doing that, stop wanting what I don’t want.

Instead, I want to force myself to take the bigger risk of wanting fewer things, but wanting them more sincerely and more passionately than ever before.

photo credit: Peter Kaminski

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