Holding Your Own
Imagine that you are driving a car. After the initial acceleration, you still have to drive it steadily in order to go anywhere and have a quality journey. Sometimes you have to put your foot down on the accelerator; sometimes you have to gently apply pressure to the brakes and sometimes you have to slam down on them. This is the same as holding your own in relationships.
The only position for you in a relationship is to arrive as an equal party and remain equal. You can only do this if you know yourself and don’t think that being yourself, having boundaries and saying NO is a danger to you having a relationship.
I make this point particularly for women. Many of us ‘arrive’ talking the talk of holding our own and then in a blink of an eye, it’s gone or we don’t walk the walk but keep up the talk. We’re putting our lives on hold to wait around for someone that asked for our number to call, relegating friends, family and even work into the background, open 24/7 like a Tesco superstore or 7Eleven and may think it is totally normal to explain and reexplain disrespect.
Your value, your values, boundaries, sense of self and self esteem are not a ‘game’ or only there to serve the purpose of getting someone through the door. If your sense of self and self-esteem go into a decline or are abandoned as soon as you attach yourself to someone or get a sniff of interest, it’s like taking your foot off the peddle. Much like in a learner car with a driving instructor, whoever you’re involved with has the option of taking over the ‘footwork’. If it’s a temporary blip, they are likely yo chalk it up to no big deal. However, much like a driving instructor, if it becomes clear that you’re not holding your own and in fact, you are incapable of it, their confidence in your abilities diminishes rapidly and you communicate all the wrong things about yourself.
The wonderful thing is that you pay a driving instructor to recognise where you need work and help. In relationships, it’s not the job of the other party to teach or force you to hold your own. When you don’t hold your own, there’s either a major shortfall in the relationship or the other party will grab onto the power.
The respectful person that knows their own mind, will recognise that the type of mutually fulfilling relationship they potentially want cannot work. The less you hold your own, the more alarm bells that ring and the further you diminish your own value. The opportunistic person will take you on a drive to Booty Call Town, or Ego Stroke Town, Passing Time Town, Rainy Day Option Town, Last Resort Town or even Abusive Town.
You are not that desperate.
Both sexes are looking for relationship partners that can hold their own, not doormats. Doormats don’t get more dates, commitment, respect, happiness etc – they get people rubbing their feet in, putting themselves on a pedestal, not feeling like they have to commit and being treated like an option.
Desperation, even in its more subtle forms is highly unattractive.
If you’re willing to take your foot off the peddle so soon into a relationship, to be indispensable, to devalue yourself and you don’t even know them or aren’t in a mutual relationship, it begs the question of what you’d do for someone you know or with whom you have even the flimsiest of ‘commitments’ ?
You may think you’re communicating that:
You’re very interested
You’re in love
You love them unconditionally (read: without boundaries)
You’ll do anything for them
But you’re actually communicating that you’re desperate.
You’re communicating that you’re too available, “Let me abandon my friends, family, work, sense of self and personal time to make way for someone I hardly know/who treats me like an option.” You’re saying “I don’t value my time” and truth be told, if you’re willing to do so much or so quickly for them, they assume this is how you are with everyone you’ve been involved with even if you say different.
You’re communicating that you have a disproportionate interest in them – How can you be willing to be and do so much off the back of a potential you’re hoping for but that they’re not living up to? You can communicate that you’re interested without being desperate and throwing your life and self respect away.
You’re communicating that you don’t love yourself enough. If you did, there’s no way in hell you’d be so quick to abandon yourself or put up with shady behaviour. You’re actually saying “I love you or the idea of what you could be more than I love myself.” You’re communicating that you have no limits. For someone that you hardly know or has shown they’re not available for the relationship you want, that’s like a red flag to a bull or for someone half way decent to hit the eject button.
You’re inadvertently communicating that you’re desperate. Leave something off the table and be indispensable to yourself! They’re just not that special and you’re not that desperate. Really you’re not. You’re not that desperate for a relationship that you need to throw away everything and unless someone is adding to your life rather than detracting from it. Never let someone think that they’re irreplaceable when they’re not even in the same relationship with you or treating you with the basics of love, care, trust and respect.
Relationship smart people of both sexes recognise inappropriate behaviour, have their own lives and aren’t so afraid to walk away that they’ll keep banking on someone else that keeps disappointing instead of banking on themselves. They value themselves, their time and their lives.
Get your foot on the peddle of your life and hold your own. Only you can hold your own. Try not to make decisions based on fear or the idea that if you give it all up that they’ll reciprocate. By loving blindly and giving excessively, you’re missing the point that they’re not holding their own and being mutual.
Oh and one last thing, as soon as you recognise that they like busting up your boundaries, put the peddle to the metal and leave them in the dust.