Rethinking Definition of Failure
The thing that bothered me most these last few weeks was the situation with Racquetball Guy. We had a conversation where he unexpectedly agreed to return something to me by a certain date. I then got all excited thinking it would happen. Then when said day came and went and nothing happened, I sent an email. He hasn’t responded. This really upset me.
I know that we are no longer dating, but I just assumed that the love that was once there meant that we would continue to treat each other with a certain level of respect. For me in this situation, that meant providing an update as to why the promise would not be kept. But that didn’t happen.
And after a week of waiting, it was at that point that I called my Best Guy Friend in tears. I was furious that Racquetball Guy would be so uncaring. I was even more upset at myself for getting involved with him in the first place. So through my tears and mumbled words, Best Guy Friend tried to be supportive but at the same time challenge me on some of the statements I was making about my past relationships with men.
For example, I considered every romantic relationship I’ve ever had to be a complete and utter failure. I mean, for me success meant dating someone, getting engaged, getting married, having children and then living happily ever after. Anything less was a failure. I am now starting to realize that this definition might not be a healthy way of looking at things. After all, I have learnt somethings about myself from each relationship that has ended up helping me become a better person. So that in and of itself that has been a good thing. Plus, despite the fact that the romantic side of things haven’t always worked out, I have made some solid friendships along the way.
Perfect example is Best Guy Friend. We met the fall of 1991 when I was a senior at Michigan. It wasn’t exactly the best of times as I had just been dumped by another boyfriend. And despite the negative stuff he heard about me, he still wanted to spend time with me. Now our romantic relationship hasn’t worked out (for good reasons I might add), but through all the headache, I’ve gained a dear friend for life. So dear in fact, that should I get married, I’d like him to walk me down the isle because really, he has been the most supportive male figure in my life these last 15 years.
So, despite that fact that I feel hurt by Racquetball Guy, I’m going to try and stop considering the relationship, a complete failure. Granted, I didn’t get the happily ever after, but there were some good things about the relationship. So in an effort to move on and not feed off the negative energy, I’m going to focus on the positive. More importantly, really internalize what I know to be true, he wasn’t the one and by continuing to wallow in self-pity, I’m jeopardizing being open and emotionally available, should the “right one” appear before me.