Posts Tagged With: relationship

KNOWING LOVE


This is a picture of my wife at 4 years old.

andrea-at-4

Every time I look at this picture, I smile and think to myself, “I wish I’d known her then. I would’ve been her friend!” Seriously, I would’ve friended her so hard. lol I would’ve rode bikes, made mud pies, endured protracted doll activites, discovered bugs in the yard, and listened to every fantastic tale her young mind could conjure. I would’ve done all of it. Gladly.

I used to lament the fact that I didn’t know her when she was younger. That is, until I understood something very important…

She is still that little girl.

That 4-year-old little girl lives inside of her. And every time she shares with me stories of her childhood, or introduces me to cousins she used to visit in the summer, or I sit and watch while she reminisces over faded, old photos of Canadian farmland, I learn more about her 4-year-old self… and her 13-year-old self… and any other year-old versions of her that I may not have witnessed firsthand. And I fall in love with each and every one of them.

Because they are all still there.

As I picture this beautifully blonde, rambunctiously creative, spirited little girl, I realize that I love and have loved… all of her, throughout time. It is impossible to separate the woman she is, from the girl she was. They are one and the same.

So I no longer wish I’d known her at 4-years-old, because… I do. I know her as a preteen in the school performance at Play Mountain Place. I know her as the high school graduate who set off on her first year at UC Santa Cruz. I know her as the coed who took a summer trip to a lake house with friends. And I know her as the woman who bought her first house in Pasadena. I know… HER.

Instead, I now wish that I will continue to know her until she’s 104-years-old. Because I can’t imagine a more amazing gift than over a century of knowing and loving someone like her.

Happy Valentines Day, my love. ❤

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

LIFE LESSON #223 – Letting Go


When it comes to any type of relationship – be it friend, family or potential spouse – it is a complete waste of your valuable time to chase after people who are actively running away from you. Let them go.

Instead of lamenting those who don’t return your calls, keep cancelling on you, won’t respond to your emails and text messages, devalue your feelings and constantly imply that other things, places and people are more important, recognize those who are running toward you, those who acknowledge with appreciation, your value in their lives. These are the people on to which we hold.

Know your worth… ❤

know your worth

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Broken Walls


I read a quote once that went something like, “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.” That was ringing in my thoughts after a conversation I had with my brilliantly insightful wife about friends a while back. See, for a long time I couldn’t say that I had very many close friends. That’s not to say that I didn’t have people that I cared deeply about. But aside from my wife and parents, there were maybe 2 other people on this earth that I felt I could trust implicitly.

The more I thought about it, the more it made me wonder if perhaps I had created walls that I was silently hoping people would care enough to break down. Was I baiting people? Were my friendships going to be based on some arbitrary display of perseverance? Would I take the fact that people hadn’t yet attempted to circumvent my relationship walls to mean they don’t really care about me? And then, in the absurdity of it all, turn around and feel as if this would allow me to not care either and so cast them aside? fist-break-through-wall

Heaven forbid…

It’s not that I thought people were disposable. But I could very well have pushed them away unintentionally with these walls of my own invention. The design of which is really not very fair. I mean, what kind of deep relationship could I really expect to gain if I made someone jump through hoops that THEY may or may not even realize exist?

I had to do some soul searching to figure out what this was really about.

It became clear that it was partly/mostly my own fault. There were people with whom I believed I could have a really close relationship. Some of them had actually pursued me. But I hadn’t reciprocated much if at all. Was it because I was a horrible person? I don’t think so. Instead, I’d convinced myself that it’s an issue of time. With all of the chaos that I’d been dealing with at any given moment, I told myself that I didn’t have the time to dedicate to the cultivation of a deep friendship with someone else. At one point I actually said to someone, “I really enjoy hanging out and talking with you, but I can’t give you the kind of things you want from this relationship and I don’t want you to constantly be disappointed when I don’t come through.” Unfortunately, this went against my own belief that you will make time for those things (and people) that are important to you. My wife called that a cop out.

So where did I go off track?

I think it was simply a defense mechanism. After being wounded in past relationships, I hadn’t really allowed an opportunity for anyone get close to me. I mean, not REALLY close. Yeah, I could share interests and show compassion and provide encouragement to others. But that was all about giving and nothing about receiving. Few people knew the details of the things that I struggled against on a daily basis. Heck, my blog audience probably knew (and still knows) more about the intimate details of my life than people offline. I believe it was an underlying fear of rejection. The less I put myself out there, the less chance I had of getting hurt. But I couldn’t live my life in fear of potential pain inflicted by others.

After that talk with my wife, I found myself lamenting the lack of deep friendships. It was then that I decided that I needed to pursue people.

Slowly. Just 1 or 2 in the beginning. But it was a start.

I’m curious if I am alone in this…

Does anyone else struggle with developing close friendships? I mean, the real friendships. Not superficial, mere acquaintances or people who want to be more but you’ve friend zoned them. I’m talking Best Friends. People you’d protect with your very life if necessary. Is that a challenge for anyone else?

Because in spite of the obstacles I’ve created in the past, I genuinely want those kind of people in my future.

Broken walls and all.

break-wall

Categories: personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pull Of The Cape


Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to be a HEROcool Not the kind of super hero who foiled the plans of criminal masterminds with my single bound tall building leaps, locomotive power and bullet speed. Not necessarily the kind of hero who safely retrieved POW’s from deep in enemy territory.

No.

I wanted to be a kind of machismo-infused hero, rescuing contemporary “damsels in distress” who, in my limited experience at the age of 16, were so often the victims of relationships gone horribly wrong. The tales I’d hear of betrayal, degradation and distress from some of my female friends angered me, but also filled me with compassion and an overwhelming desire to comfort them in some way.

So it was that I wanted to be that stand-up guy who came along and mended their broken hearts by being to them what other men could or would not. Fulfilling their unrealized expectations. I wanted to fix the traumatized emotions of all the disappointed and disillusioned women I knew.

Ha! As if that were even possible.

As you can probably surmise, this was not at ALL practical or realistic. Still, it took me a long time to realize that, though I had the best of intentions, I simply couldn’t save everyone.

Correction…

I couldn’t save anyone. bummed

Except one.

To that one, I endeavored to define a man who successfully balanced his testosterone-influenced emotions with chivalry, romance and an understanding of authority. I made a silent promise to show her what it meant to be a modern-day hero upon whom she could always rely, trust and rest her confidence. I made a similar promise to my only daughter so that winning her heart would require the power and determination that only a hero possessed.

And yet, even now I will occasionally feel the “pull of the cape” begging to be worn when I talk to my female friends who are miserable and misunderstood. I refrain because I understood a long time ago that trying to be that for more than one woman would actually mean being that for no one. What I mean is that every woman deserves the undivided attention of the man who holds their heart. My divided attention would be both hypocritical and ineffective.

So for those, I simply listen with a sympathetic ear and an encouraging smile. And hope that one day THEIR hero will appear.

Categories: personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DOVE NOTE #19: Like Fine Wine


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes “)

Like fine wine, some things only get better with time…

I like talking about my wife. Mostly because I’m hopelessly in love with her, and my interactions with her provide ongoing fodder for, among other things, my blog and my book.  But I’ve had people ask me, “What do you mean when you say you’re hopelessly in love with her?” Oh, well let me explain…

Being hopelessly in love means that there is no hope for my love for her ever changing.  She’s got my heart sewn up and it’s safely tucked away in her care. She and I work very hard to define our relationship as one that gets better as the days go by. We actively pursue peace through honest assessment and vulnerability. She knows the areas where I fall down and helps me get back up again.

We believe that success includes being able to own your mistakes. When you make excuses for something you’ve done, whether or not it was intentional, you rob yourself  and your partner of the opportunity to work together to modify future behavior and prevent it from happening again. Accountability also allows you to celebrate your accomplishments together. If I’ve overcome a paralyzing fear of public speaking through her encouragement, support and nudging, it becomes a victory not only for me, but for her as well. Being transparent with someone is not a simple thing to do, but it is possible and the rewards are endless. Better communication. Better understanding of our needs. Better intimacy. The list goes on…

In many relationships, it’s not enough to be intelligent, beautiful, outgoing or talented. Nope. Those things are great. But what matters most of all is personality and character compatibility. See, you can have two relatively nice people who both enjoy music and dancing. But life experience, coupled with how they were raised… whether or not they have siblings… how they get along with their parents… and personal temptations (money, alcohol, attention, etc) can all have an adverse affect. One person’s tendencies can push another person’s buttons.

For example, let’s say a guy grew up in a family that consistently avoided conflict by ignoring the obvious elephant in the room. The girl comes from a family that addresses conflict immediately so that it doesn’t fester and become a bigger problem. Put the two of them together and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. While she pushes for communication, he will constantly blow off having an uncomfortable conversation. She feels ignored. He feels pressured. Do they still share the same interests? Sure. Do they find each other attractive? Of course. But unless this issue is dealt with, the relationship becomes unhealthy and eventually unsustainable. It’s another sad case of good people who unfortunately weren’t good together.

It’s all about finding compatibility with someone who is equally committed to creating a healthy relationship. And no, it’s not automatic. It takes time, effort and patience. But the end result is becoming another couple that’s hopelessly in love. 😉

Categories: Dove Note, intimacy, marriage, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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