Hello, lovely reader. Do come in. Shall we sit in the garden for a change?
Very often in life it seems that we get ourselves into strange holding patterns: we repeat unhealthy behaviours, keep staying up late on school nights, and even convince ourselves that THIS TIME going shopping on a Saturday will not be hellish. (It is always hellish. There are no exceptions.)
Part of the psychology behind repeating the same mistakes is, I reckon, to do with being comforted by routine. Better the devil you know and all that. If we burden ourselves with grimly grotesque hangovers weekend after weekend then it’s ok, because we understand them. Hangovers are the logical conclusion of drinking too much. Getting into a row with your friend about the same football team all season is ok because after a while the argument may as well be scripted: you both know where you stand. When it comes to matters of the heart, pursuing a relationship with someone who is just as unsuitable as any of your exes has a certain appeal because it’s familiar. We can tell ourselves that “this time” it will either a) go wrong in a way that we already know we can cope with or b) work out marvellously, which would be a pleasant surprise.
I, for example, have an unhealthy habit of going after men who are emotionally unavailable. (Let’s not fall into the horrific rabbit hole of reason for that particular tendency. It ain’t pretty down there.) Every time I start to like someone I go through the exact same stages of excitement, nerves, overthinking, panic and eventually resignation. The pattern ends at a very unhappy stage called “well, rejection was inevitable”. What I usually fail to realise is that I am responsible for the inevitability. It’s a large part of the reason that I was attracted to the guy in the first place.
The main thing that I wanted to say to you, lovely reader, is that inevitability can be good as well as shite. Throughout my stupid cycle of fancying someone, my friends inevitably rise to the occasion with magnificent love and kindness. I am extremely lucky in that respect (and I’m aware that they deserve better than having to spend several months at a time listening to me crying/sighing/whinging down the phone). The other inevitable aspect of failed romance is that you do always get over it. No matter how hurt or angry or confused you are at the tipping point, you will always be happy again. You know that because it’s always happened before.
The unhealthiest patterns can be broken and the heart does heal. The absolute pickle of it all is that it can take time, but that doesn’t mean that the recovery is any less definite than the problem.
Have a stupendous day.