I never could quite get the hang of them.
I have had about 6 serious relationships in my life and when I say 6, I mean the ones that have lasted more than a year.
And apart from my ex-wife who I was with for 7 years, the other 6 relationships have ended almost bang on 12 months.
Because that’s when I get bored, decide that the woman is not right for me and throw in the towel.
And something very similar nearly happened with my current girlfriend who although I have been with for 18 months, spent 10 months of that apart because of Covid.
Now, I don’t know if you have ever spent a long time away from a loved one, but it is not easy, especially as Covid meant that I wasn’t too sure when I would see her again.
Although we spoke twice a day, every day when I was in the UK, I noticed those familiar ‘I am not sure about this’ conversation in my head begin to appear. And when the time came to fly back out so see her again in January, doubts about our future together had already set in.
When she picked me up from the airport, it felt very odd in a way that I wasn’t expecting. It felt like a first date, but in that awkward way where your conversation doesn’t really flow, but is random and meaningless to cover up the embarrassment of silence.
I felt nervous and I could tell that she did too.
This lasted for about 24 hours and although we were both feeling more relaxed on the second day, I still felt a lot of uncertainty.
Something had changed I wasn’t sure what and although I tried to pretended it hadn’t, she knew.
She questioned me about it and I said I just needed my space. I was used to being single and I wasn’t ready to move in with her and wanted us to take things slowly at first.
I think she took this as a rejection. I didn’t mean it that way, but this made her feel insecure and the more she felt insecure, the more she wanted to spend time with me and the more I backed away.
And then this cloud came over me, the same cloud that always comes over me when I could only see the negatives about being with her. The cloud that takes me on a downhill spiral until I eventually muster up the courage to say “it’s over. I don’t feel the same way about you anymore”, pack my things and leave.
It wasn’t just me feeling this way though. She felt it too and we spoke many times about breaking up.
But what made me stay this time was that this same scenario has happened to me so many times in the past that this time, I decided to face the problem and deal with it instead.
Maybe it wasn’t my ex-girlfriends that caused the problems in my relationships. Maybe it was me! Why else would the same thing keep happening over and over again?
So, I decided to try and hang on and fix it.
And who would have known that Netflix was going to hold the answer!
Now I rarely watch movies but one night I decided to watch ‘The Secret’ which I hadn’t watched for about 10 years.
And there was one small part in that movie that talked about troubled relationships, going on to say that if you focus on all the negative aspects of your relationship, you will just make enhance the problem and make it worse. Instead, focus on all the things you love about your partner and your relationship will soon blossom and flourish.
So immediately after the film finished, I wrote down all the things I loved about her and wow, there were a lot of things and here are just a few:
She is funny, she is kind, she makes me laugh, she is confident, works hard, is always trying to improve herself and do well at her job, is independent, has lots of friends, is a very smart businesswoman, very trusting, loving and puts up with my terrible forgetfulness!!! She is incredibly patient, shares my warped sense of humor and as an added bonus, she is drop dead gorgeous with beautiful eyes and a gorgeous smile!
And the more I started to think of all the things that I loved her for, I started to realize what a lucky guy I was and what an amazing girlfriend she was.
Since contemplating all the things that make her one in a million, our relationship has completely transformed over the last few weeks. I have wanted to spend as much time as possible with her and it feels like those first days of dating again when I get all excited to see her and look forward to every phone call.
She has been much happier too. Where as before she would make me feel guilty if I wanted a night at my place to myself, she now suggests it to me. And I am 99% it is because she now feels more secure about our future together (and hopefully not because she needs a break from me 😊 😊 😊)
Love is love. It is unpredictable and takes many twists and turns in life. No one can predict where or it will end and I am definitely not saying that this is the final cure for all the future challenges we will face as a couple. But this experience has been one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learnt from a relationship. And who knows, maybe if you are experiencing a similar thing now or in the future, it is something that might repair those broken bridges too.