As a single gal, there’s another why I find myself asking fairly often. Namely, “Why didn’t it work out?”
I love to learn, so mistakes are fine as long as I’m learning from them. I don’t know that I always do, but I really try. Though, that might be part of the problem. I’m always trying to see what I did wrong that I can learn from. And in life, sometimes shit just doesn’t work out. I’m getting a lot more comfortable with the fact that there’s a lot in my life I can’t control, but I’m taking responsibility for the things I can.
Reasons why it hasn’t worked out in my past relationships:
- I came out.
- (Very) Long distance for too long of a duration.
- Lying (on their part)
- Manipulation (on my part)
- Lack of communication.
- Moving way too fast (on either end)
- Ego (I told you I date narcissists!)
I’ve definitely learned that open communication and honesty are paramount to a successful relationship. I’ve also learned that sometimes “great chemistry” can be explosive… and not in a good way. Dating someone too much like yourself? You share strengths, but weaknesses also. Better to be with someone who you compliment rather than mirror. But your heart is going to do what it wants.
And timing is everything. A good third of my relationships may have worked out if the timing had been better.
My first (and only) boyfriend lived an ocean away from me, but we were together for nearly five years. It was a strange relationship, based more on intellectual attraction than physical. Not to say that when we did see each other we didn’t fuck like bunnies– we totally did. But so much of our relationship took place via online conversations. It eventually ended when I came out, but the distance had been straining things for a long time.
Much later I did try a distance relationship again, but this was with someone only 100 miles away from me. In some ways, that was more frustrating, since they felt close by, but without a car I maybe saw them twice a month. So while I can see long distance working on a temporary basis, it’s pretty much a deal breaker for me personally.
My best friend once outlined four factors that are required for successful relationship: physical attractiveness, proximity, similarity, and reciprocity. Usually physical attractiveness and similarity aren’t my problems– reciprocity and proximity are. I like someone, but they don’t move in the same social circles I do, or even live in the same town. And often I fall for people who wouldn’t look twice in my direction (I’m open to being proven wrong).
At the end of the day, though, I think I have to let both the “Why?”s go. All relationships end for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean that days, weeks, months, or years you had together weren’t worthwhile, or that perusing relationships in the future aren’t worthwhile. I hate when folks write off an entire relationship because it ultimately ended. People ebb and flow in our lives, some stay longer than others, but all hold a purpose. Or at least that’s what I like to think.
So I keep sailing along, following the current, eager to see what shore I end up on next.