Moments of Genius – Relationships

I’ve had lots of posts recently about relationships… Opportunities for me to re-evaluate my own friendships and romantic interests as well as talking through relationships with friends who are struggling.

I don’t know that this post fits in with Lydia’s Moments of Genius Prompt, but what the heck. Epiphanies are Moments of Genius too, right?

Over the last few weeks I’ve really started to notice just how odd I am. Not in a bad way – I love who I am but I’m not exactly normal… This is especially apparent when I talk with my mom… and a few of my friends…

Something I’ve found myself saying over and over and over again –

I don’t close doors. Just because someone doesn’t work as a romantic partner, doesn’t mean that they don’t still have qualities and attributes that I welcome in my world.

I think that I’m in the minority on this one. So many have shared that when a romantic relationship ends, the door is closed and that’s that. I’m not wired that way.

For me though, it goes back to accepting people for who they are instead of demanding that they are who I need/want them to be.

And you know what? {Something else I’ve said a few times in the last few weeks to myself and others} When you see it from the standpoint of people give what they are capable of, instead of believing that people are choosing not to give more, it makes it easier to see things clearly and without the cloudiness of emotion.

Oh there are still emotions. ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. Trust me.

But when you sit with those emotions and truly allow them to be, you can move past them into a state of peace easier when you have the clarity of what is.

I don’t know that any of that makes sense…

Lemme tell you a story {’bout a man named Jed… kidding but you were singing along weren’t you?}. In truth – it’s not my story to tell… so forgive me the vague references but I think the feelings and thoughts are semi universal… or maybe it is just me. {Keep in mind I only have one side of the story here… the side my friend has told me}

A husband and wife have been together for several years. Together, they’ve survived the ups and downs of regular life along with some fairly large mountains they’ve had to climb.

Over the last few months he has – in his own words – fallen more and more in love with his wife. More so even than the day they wed. He thinks that all is wonderful and then the bottom drops out. She’s confused and needs time and space to figure things out. She wants a trial separation.

Now, I don’t know her so I can’t speak for her but I know him and the range of emotions he’s dealing with. Fear being the biggest one.

Some of the things he’s shared with me as we’ve talked many late nights …

“I just want to be there for her…”
“I just want to wrap her in my arms and comfort her…”
“I just want to help her through this….”
“I can’t lose her…”

I feel his fear and pain through the typed words he shares. I’ve known those feelings of wanting to MAKE someone feel what we feel. I know the feeling of inadequacy as we feel like if we had only been some how “more”… loved them enough… showered them with attention… something… that we would have been able to stave off this scary situation.

Here’s the Moment of genius when it comes to relationships… or my epiphany…

You can’t.

You can’t make someone else happy.
You can’t make someone else feel something they don’t.
You can’t force something that isn’t there.

Knowing and believing that to be true can be both sad and freeing. Sad because inside we can all be toddlers and we aren’t getting what we might want in the moment so our inner child is throwing a bit of a tantrum… Freeing because when you look at a situation from the standpoint of “They can’t” instead of “They choose not to” it’s harder to hold onto the anger and resentment… for me anyway. How could you be mad at an infant for not being able to run? Truth is you wouldn’t but we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others that can distort our views…

relationshipsAnother point to ponder… the only person who can make ME happy? Me.

Oh sure, you can do or say things that I don’t like but then I still get the choice to either accept the situation or remove myself from it. If you don’t treat me with respect, that might bother me but if I stay, I’m responsible for my own unhappiness because I’m allowing it.

On the flip side, you could be the most amazing person in the world who showers me with affection and attention in an effort to make me happy… but if I’m not happy with myself, nothing you do will change that… in fact, it’s highly likely that I will resent you for treating me in a way that I don’t believe I deserve and I will sabotage the relationship.

**I feel compelled to add a caveat here… not all are in a position to remove themselves from toxicity. I’ve been there too and to you I say this – I love you. You deserve more. If I can help, please let me know.**

Love and accept yourself for where you are. Love and accept others the same way. Accept that not everything is black and white and sometimes you have to fumble through some grey to get to the rainbows.



  1. Sigh. My heart wants to hug you. You’re more zen than the dalai lama because he doesn’t have a uterus and has never known the necessity of aqua net. You’re like the y’all-e lama.

    • Your heart hugs me every time you comment my love. And I ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY love the y’all-e lama. Can I get that on my business cards?

      Ima gonna hug you big in October. Count on it.

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