Tuesday, May 22, 2012

He Moves Me.

Lionesses are hard to draw.


My guy of two years just got offered a great opportunity in a different state. Like, a real different state. Not like how Maryland and Delaware pretend to be different states. He wants me to move with him, but I don't know.


Never move for a man. Move for you. If he happens to be there, all the better. Committed relationships are about two people looking in the same direction. The individual goals don't have to be identical, in fact, they probably shouldn't be, but they should be going in the same general direction. 


You are following him. Visualize that for a second. If you are following him, how can you see the goal? You are trusting that he is moving towards a goal that benefits both of you, but you can't tell because his big head is in the way. (That's not specific to your man. All men have big heads...It's ok to giggle at that double entendre because I did.)


Healthy relationships aren't about following. They are about chasing. There is a world of difference between following and chasing; it's the difference between becoming a strong, independent lioness and a lazy, domesticated house cat. Sure, you can love your cat, but Mr. Piddles doesn't excite you (I presume). You don't think about Mr. Piddles during that boring budget meeting. You aren't filled with anticipation about whether Mr. Piddles will like your new shirt, because, of course Mr. Piddles will like your new shirt. He likes everything you do. Mr. Piddles will always be there to sit on the couch with you and watch 14 straight hours of Arrested Development (assuming there are 14 hours of Arrested Development to watch) and eat cheese curls until you pass out. Yawn. 


A lioness acts for herself. You feel honored that a lioness chooses to spend even an hour with you. It's exciting, because at any moment she could disappear into tall grass...and then pounce on you, mauling you terribly. (Don't take the metaphor that far.) The point is that the lioness is wild; she owns her actions and she owes no one. That uncertainty makes her attention valuable and desirable.


And since I know someone is going to say it, don't tell me the chase not for everyone. Everyone deserves to be desired and no one should be sentenced to a life of following--of subserving someone else's goals at the expense of her own. People that claim to be happy without excitement and independence have just forgotten what it feels like. It is easy to slip into a comfortable rut. We drift along. We become complacent. We eat at Applebee's. We forget the passions and dreams that used to motivate us. We forget what we wanted and so, when someone asks us to do something, we can't think of a reason not to do it. 


Assuming you haven't robbed a bank recently, there is always a reason not to uproot your entire life. The fact that you are so vague about the impact on you makes me suspicious that you haven't thought about this decision from your own perspective. He's thinking about the move from his perspective and you are thinking about the move from his perspective.  Someone is getting inadequate representation. (That's a cheesy law school joke.) You need to evaluate the move from your perspective and decided whether it is the right choice for you, assuming worst (and most likely) case scenario: you move and immediately break up with him because it turns out he clips his toenails into his empty cereal bowl in the morning. Even if you have been living with him and think you know all his habits (you don't, by the way), you need to factor in your likely feelings of resentment for uprooting your life. Resentment makes cutesy habits unbearably annoying, which then leads to contempt, which makes cutesy habits seem like intolerable cruelty. 
If the world were fair...


But I'm not saying you should just immediately refuse. This is a great opportunity to learn about yourself and what you want. Then, you take ownership. If what you want is to follow your guy and be with him, great. Own it and stop asking people if it is a good idea. If what you want is someone to tell you it is a horrible idea that has a long and florid history of epic failure, you've got it. Neither of those two extremes may be appropriate in your case. You need to decide where you fall along the spectrum, and you can't do it unless you look at it from the perspective of an independent you. If you let his wants and needs creep in, you are buying a ticket for the Resentment-Contempt train.


You know it's true.




Since you asked, this is the conclusion that I came to when I tried to place myself on the spectrum: The only person you should ever move for is the one that would never ask you to do it. That's the person that values you as a lioness and wants you to follow your passions. If your passions align, great. If they don't, respect each other enough to realize it won't work. But don't align your goals with someone else because it's easier and safer than forging on your own. Be a lioness, not Mr. Piddles.

_______
I'm hanging out over at yeah write again. You might wonder why a naturally competitive person such as myself has decided to link up with the non-contest part of the site. The reason is that I have a new thing where I try to enjoy the actual act of doing something, like writing, and not the prospect of winning at all costs. So let's see how that goes. In the meantime, head over to yeah write and check out some of the great blogs!

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the explanation at the bottom of your post. I was wondering why you were hanging out this week. Writing for writing's sake is always a good thing.

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    1. I'm trying...it's hard to suppress the natural desire to compete. I also won't have as much time this week, so I thought it was better to not sign on to read 50 blogs...although I probably will anyway.

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  2. I always said that I would never follow a man and never let a man decide for me and so on. But here I am, up and relocated from Texas all the way to Connecticut. And as much as I hate the cold here, I'm still super proud of what I have become by making a commitment to my man. Because of him, I was brave enough to quit my job and start my own consulting company. From there came the blog and now I've started my book. I would have NEVER done that if I lived alone. I was too scared to be without a regular pay check.

    So, be a lioness. But remember, lionesses need lions.

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    1. That's true. There is a certain independence that ironically follows being dependent. I would not have had the courage to go to law school if I had to support myself the entire time. And sometimes a change of scenery is just what is needed to knock a person out of a rut. That's why I didn't rule out moving completely. I know there are success stories. If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, I'm all for it. I just get nervous when someone de facto assumes they need to follow (or the man assumes) because I wonder how much of a benefit they are really receiving versus how much of a benefit they are to the other person.

      Can't wait to read your book when it comes out!

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  3. It's all about the type of relationship you really want. Do you want a true partnership or do you want to remain independant? Ask yourself those tough questions, and be honest with yourself, and you will figure out if the move is right for you.

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    1. I think there is a way to be independent in a partnership, but that requires knowing what you want as an individual. There is always compromise, but how big of a compromise are you willing to make and how big is this compromise, really? That's the question.

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  4. I like this. I met my BF in Cali when I was still living in Philly, and I chased him out here because neither of us wanted to do the long distance thing and I was ready for a change. It's been nearly 4 years and I don't regret a thing!

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    1. You rock making it work...I had a BF in Cali once...once. (I was too pasty and cynical for LA.)

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  5. I think you got it when you said that it's a chance to figure out what you really want. For me, I see someone choosing to STAY somewhere for someone as the same thing. You need to ultimately do it for yourself and not for a not-wholly-committed relationship. And no, I don't think that marriage makes something wholly committed. It's about what's in the people. Great job putting into words what ought to make a lot of people think.

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I love comments. They make me feel like I'm not talking to myself. I try to reply to all of them, eventually.