The Eagles sing “Love Will Keep Us Alive.” And while this is one of my favorite songs, romantic relationships need much much more than love to keep them alive. They require maintenance, nurturing and other components that we aren’t always too ready for.
I can honestly say I have experienced great love in my life. I have felt the intense love, the spontaneous love and even the turbulent love. I have had the relationship you weren’t quite ready for and the love you never saw coming. Each love has taught me a lot about myself and for that I am grateful. Each love has also taught me to never dare compare.
With great love comes great responsibility, and sometimes even great consequence. When you love someone, you refuse to let them go and this sometimes leads to arguments. We want our partners to be on the same page as us but that is not always the case. If it were, well, we would be dating ourselves, now wouldn’t we?
So why is it that in the middle of an argument with a new dude I oftentimes compare him to the old dude? I never mean to, it just happens. I think long and hard about how old dude would have never done or said that. What once was begins to hold so much more promise.
I believe girls compare the new dude to the old dude because love can literally lead to insanity. When we feel threatened, we often retreat to what was once so familiar. Healthy or not. Old dude doesn’t seem so bad once new dude exhibits some new flaws you have never experienced before.
I try to be the best version of myself with new dude but I sometimes punish new dude for things the old dude did. It is not his fault someone hurt me so deeply. It is not his fault somebody said the wrong thing in the worst way. It is not new dude’s fault old dude made me second guess myself time and time again.
I think I can’t help but sometimes compare new dude to old dude because of the fact that old dude was so horrible to me. I see any similarities between old dude and new dude as red flags. Differences are welcomed, but only if they work in my favor. If new dude is doing something “better” than old dude, then I am okay with that. But if new dude is failing at something old dude always excelled at, then something must be terribly wrong with me. Did I pick the wrong dude?!
The truth is, I hope to never be hurt again and I do this by analyzing patterns of relationships past. I am stronger in my convictions with new dude because old dude did me so wrong. I am harder on new dude, because, well, he should know better. Is this mentality always fair? No. Is it realistic or productive? No.
Emotional scars are not fun to revisit. And while this is true, we shouldn’t blame new dudes for things old dudes did just because they triggered us to remember past pain in some way, shape or form.
Just because new dude shares similarities with old dude that doesn’t mean new dude is the spawn of Satan. At the end of the day, dudes are dudes. They aren’t always going to get it right, they are always going to read our minds, but new dude should at least be trying his best.
Oh, and one more thing, if something new dude does hurts you, make sure to let him know. Even though you might not want to always tell him exactly why, you might want to just give him a heads up so he doesn’t hurt you the same way old dude did. While there are no guarantees in love, communication can definitely make it less likely to get hurt so deeply or so often.