Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Asking the right questions


I was reading an interesting post from one my new blogger friends. In it, he's contemplating the "mixed feelings" that he has for a girl that he barely knows.

As I read his words, I was found myself really impressed by the way he's dealing with his situation. Rather than jump in headfirst, he's taking a moment to objectively analyze his position and his feelings toward her. I think that this is a critical step to forming a great relationship with another person.

Why didn't I think of this earlier?!

If I would have relied on the same analysis that he did, maybe I wouldn't be in the strange and hurtful place that I'm in now. In the past year, I've been burned by...not one...but two different people. Though I could try to cheer myself up by telling myself that "It was them, not me...", I don't think I believe that. In fact, I think that my downfall was really the product of me not asking myself the same self-assessment questions that I read on his blog. Instead, I jumped in the pool headfirst, assuming that there would be nice, cool water in there. What actually wound up being there was nothing but concrete. Ouch...

All I'm left with from my experiences are those cartoon-sized lumps on my head; reminding me not to go "jumping in" to areas of uncertainty without asking myself the right questions.

Damn. The truth really does hurt...

- ACL

17 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Yasser Rahman said...

Well Andre, your right about this. It is pretty important to ask the right questions and then jump into the pool. This paticular girl, shes got a hundred genuine reasons to turn me down, its probably why im thinking so hard about it.

We have all jumped in those pools that have nothing but concrete in them, and we will all eventually learn :)

Diane said...

Andre,

Your soulmate is out there, but you may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your princess.

Love comes in many different forms and packages. Ever look at a couple and wonder what he/she sees in his/her partner?

If you want someone you can take home to Mama, don't be turning over rocks. Be looking at church, and other decent places.

Be patient, but be prepared to be bold. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you attempt to start a relationship with a girl, and it fails, at least you tried.

You have to break some eggs to make an omelet, but hearts are fragile and break easy, too. Be sure before you commit your heart into someone else's keeping, that they are going to be careful and worthy to hold it for you.

Now, was that all clear as mud?

My 18 year-old daughter broke up with her boyfriend tonight. As I told her, our head and our eyes may love someone, and maybe even our hearts, but just because we love them, it doesn't mean they're good for us. That person may be perfectly good and decent, but if they are not the one for us, it just won't work, no matter how hard we try to make it work.

Be careful, be sure, then be bold.

Andre said...

Thanks to both of your for your insight.

@ yasser: Would you say that those "hundred genuine reasons to turn me down" identify your faults or hers?

The reason I ask is b/c I've always felt like I was doing things 'by the book' when it comes to relationships, but still wound up getting short-changed in the end. How do you make ammends for the "You're a nice guy, but..." lines that women through out there?

@ diane: (1) Personally, I don't believe in soulmates. I think that it's a Hallmark phrase used to sell more teddy bears and diamond rings. But I do have, what I would call, a "spiritmate". She has been, hands down, the most significant person in my life. As my spiritual and intellectual partner, she's been there during some of the most difficult times in my life. But, there's no "mate"-type chemistry there. We are just two really, really, really like-minded people.

(2) I understand the 'seek and find' approach you're suggesting. But, I'm not so sure that the 'decent places' you cited are my answer. Most of my relationship tragedies came from my church. But, I do understand the principle behind what you you're saying.

I guess one of my problems is that I'm from a pretty small town and I've developed a small town mentality; which only involves a FEW people. I'm working to shed that mentality and extend myself outside of my city limits. I guess that this starts by breaking apart from the things -- and the people -- by whom I've been surrounded for most of my life. I think that it'll come with time (and GEOGRAPHICAL RELOCATION!)

natasha said...

Hi Andre,

I think that you made some good points. I'm from a small town also, but now I live in big city. Once you make that move, you won't regret it. It minds you that there are soooo many people out there. Unlike in small city where the pickings are slim, you'll have an assortment of diverse people to choose from. I hate the use the world "choose", but I can't think of a more appropriate word. But, I think you get my drift.

joanne said...

Maybe the problem is just in your selection of women. Even if you ask all the "right questions", you'll still wind up in the same situation if you pick the wrong person.

You shouldn't get so strung out on doing self-assessment that you forget to do assessments of the other person.

Andre said...

@ joanne: Thanks for your comments. I think that the point of the post was to say that as I ask those "self-assessment" questions, that I do so within the context of relationships.

For example, instead of asking a question like "Why do I feel this way?", I should ask a question like "Why do I feel this way...about her?"

I think that it's safe to say that I'm pretty critical about myself all the time. But, very seldomly, am I critical of myself when it comes to women. That's where my problem lies, I think.

natasha said...

Andre,

I love the way that you express yourself. Please trust me when I say that you sound like a real catch.

Based on what I've read, anyway...

Andre said...

@ natasha: I think you're making me blush...

Now, with that out of the way, can I have your number?

Oh, come on! I'm just kidding! Sort of...

Diane said...

Andre,
I agree with natasha, you seem like a very nice, well spoken, decent person, someone I would like to get to know better if I had the opportunity. In a friendly kind of way, in my case. ;)

Is it just me, or are you more comfortable interacting with someone on the net, like this, or on the phone, with space between you? I get the feeling you get shy and don't relate well face to face. And yet you are so open here, in your blog and your comments.
It's so hard to open up to someone, to take the chance of getting hurt, but it's the only way to move beyond just being acquaintances.
I wish I had more insight for you, but I can only encourage you to keep trying. There is someone special out there for you. You just have to find her.

Yasser Rahman said...

Andre...the hundred reasons would be general ones, without blaming either me or herself...One fine example would be that she has her final semister exams comming up in less than a month..Three years of working towards graduation, no one would want something to change at such an important time would they ? :)

Andre said...

@ Diane: I'll admit, I can be a little shy when it comes to approaching women. But, I'm not a total introvert. From my experience, though, my issue with women is not necessarily an issue of confidence. I think that it's an issue of...well, I really don't know.

To some extent, though, you're right. I feel pretty comfortable using outlets like my blog to share ideas with others that I probably wouldn't do in a public square. That way, the only thing I'll have as a determinent of people's response to me is what they type. It's a lot easier, for me, to pour myself out using HTML where a person can just scan over what I've said, than to tell them in person; have them embrace me; then cut me off with the "you're a nice guy, but..." line. I'm not investing any emotion through the internet. Here, if you want to cut me off, just click on the CLOSE box. Its a lot easier to get over...let's say...an anonymous onliner, than it would be a person with whom you've physically interacted.

natasha said...

Andre,

I'll be happy to leave you my number. It's "555..." LOL!

Seriously, you seem like a really nice guy. If you're anything like you are on your blog, you'll make perfect husband material for any girl!

Keep your head up!

Andre said...

@ Yasser: It seems to me that our situations are a little different. Your "hundred reasons" are considerably less complex than mine. Your concerns are more circumstancial (i.e. her juggling her final semester and her relationship with you), while my issues are less circumstancial.

I've had more than one woman tell me that they had feelings for me, accept my gestures of affection, and then turn around and dump me in the same month. It doesn't seem like any amount of "self assessment" can prepare a person for that kind of treatment.

But, thanx for the attempts at optimism anyway...

Andre said...

@ Natasha: (1) So, you're pulling out the ole' "555" trick, eh? I'll remember that! :)

(2) Let me just say that ALL marriage is wrong.

(3) I'm sorry to sound like an embittered sour puss. Bad experiences do that to a person (far more than they do to help a person. Trust me...). I'm not completely buggin' out. I'm still really close friends with one of the women in question (though, there's some question marks there), and the other one, while not that close to me, is at least friendly toward me.

I'm not as grumpy as I might sound.

ellena said...

Sounds to me like you've got some serious chips on your shoulder.

A blog is worth a thousand words. Actually, I guess that a blog COULD BE a thousand words...

:)

michelle said...

Don't stress about it Andre. Once you give yourself a chance to go out into the world and explore all the possibilites, you'll find your "one".

It's pretty hard not to, given the billions of people in the world.

Andre said...

@ ellena: I'm sorry, I missed that. Was that a joke or were you serious? The "thousand words" reference...

@ michelle: I'm not trippin. Well, not right now anyway...

I'm just a little concerned that the "Andre, you're a good guy, but..." flu seems to going around. I think I'm just trying to protect myself.

Haven't you tried to protect yourself at one point or another?

Thanks for your comments, guys.