In recent years, I was always drawn to women with a similar past as mine; difficult childhood, struggles with mental health and a somewhat broken family relationship. As a result, those relationships were always missing an emotional connection that I have longed for in my adult life. Intimacy with them was non-existent and I often felt anxiety in my body whenever I spent time with them (warning signs that something wasn't right). There was a push-and-pull feeling where I'm drawn in, then pushed away, leaving me with doubt in myself. Yet I held onto those relationships, feeding into my own anxious attachment style.
Facing our fears is perhaps one of the most terrifying experiences a guy can have. Why is it so painful and daunting to look deep into that abyss? Is it because we're afraid we'll discover things about ourselves that we'll reject? It's painful enough if the World rejects you, so why would I delve deeper into myself and run the risk of rejecting myself? Why would I walk straight into a burning house?
I've never been a "handyman" and it still puzzles me especially in this day and age, we still call it a handy "man". Let's just say, I'm not very good when it comes to fixing or building things at home. When it comes to being a Man, what's more important to me has been listening, sharing thoughts, being compassionate, being encouraging, sharing my feelings and challenging others to think deeply for themselves. That's been more of my scene ever since I could remember as a kid, but I've only finally come to embrace in the last 5 years.
Does love mean accepting the person as they are? If that's true, we wouldn't be fussing at them to turn off that gawd awful TV show the Bachlorette, would we? Yet, we still love them regardless of their different interests. Thus my perspective's changed. You can still love someone, and not accept them entirely. So, my quest continued to define what love means for me. Here's what I came up with and jotted down...
I recently did some reading about different forms of attachment styles in relationships. I'm fascinated to learn more about myself as part of my ongoing personal development journey. Basically, what I've learned is that there are 2 attachment styles: Secure and Insecure. I dug deeper to determine what my attachment style has been in past relationships, determined not to repeat the same pattern in my current relationship with Annie. Based on a checklist of the behaviors, I fell into the Anxious Attachment Style.
Throughout all my years of learning about improving my mental health and acknowledging my own personal growth, I sometimes think about how things in my life has happened for a reason. I love to self-reflect because it's a reminder of how far I've come since my days of kicking the dirt on the ground feeling defeated. Things happen for a reason. There's a cause and an effect, and if we choose to see an opportunity, greater things will come to surface given some time and patience.
My delightful millennial coworker Stella often teases me at work about my Gen X philosophies and idiosyncrasies. When I was in my 20's I never would have imagined going to bed at 8pm and that's one of the many things about me that she banters about. When I explained to her that on my dating profile, I included that I like to have meaningful conversations about life, she exploded in laughter pointing out that it's far too serious and a turn-off to say that. After her brief 101 on dating, I stood back and said yikes...she's right! Thus, I elected to save the meaningful conversations about life for a blog or with my close friends only.