He tells me to “let it go…”

Today, I was told “just let it go” a few times in a conversation. The “let it go” was in reference to an object.  I found it a curious comment, since I rarely hold on to possessions and, with ease, give them away.

I found it curious that this person did not realize that the “thing” to which I was holding, if I were holding anything at all, was actually something intangible, something far more precious and valuable than any object.  That is, friendship.

Friendship, whether young or old, is far more important in our lives than any item that can be purchased.  It is through the connections that we build with others that we truly learn about ourselves and the process of living.  Sometimes the connections that we form are unhealthy for us, damaging, and can darken our perception of ourselves and the world around us.  Other times, our connections can pull us out of the temporary abyss in which we sometimes find ourselves.

As time accumulates with each passing moment, I have come to understand that there is nothing truly to which we can hold, except ourselves.

This connection that we have with ourselves is one to be nurtured and acts as a guide through even the most difficult of moments.Thus, even as we make or lose connection with others, we never let go of ourselves.

To my young friend, who advised me to “let it go,” I say there is no “it” of which one must let go.  Rather, one must simply let go…of every “thing” that one has ever desired to possess.

For many years, I have maintained an “open embrace,” allowing others to come into and go out of my life as they choose.  It is the way in which I prefer to live, i.e. neither feeling the need to hold on nor having the necessity to let go of…

"Black Health Is..." Found: http://cdn.madamenoire.com

“Black Health Is…” Found: http://cdn.madamenoire.com

Until Next Time,

D.

So… Into What? Pretending…

"Arms Full of Words," photography by Dolores Juhas (2011). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

Truly, no one owes anyone else an explanation for his or her relationship preferences.  When it comes to breaking the news to someone else that you cannot return romantic interest, then it becomes important to consider what you say as well as when and where you say it.

Think back to the first time or last time (or any time) that you have told someone that you “liked” or “loved” or were “interested” in him or her.  How much courage did it take?  Did you deliberate over it for some time alone?  With friends?  With family?  Did you feel vulnerable telling this person how you felt?  Were you worried about being rejected?  Were you concerned that he or she would never speak to you again?

Use your memories of emotional vulnerability to guide your words when speaking to someone about your feelings (or lack thereof) for him or her.

So, what might be good to say, if not “I am not that into you” or “I am not into you” or something similar?  Well, I am no dictator.  I believe each person can find his or her own words through the experience of empathy.

I am so into…

I might, however, suggest some guidelines (truly, this is in no particular order):

  • Focus on the positive of the person. Compliment who he or she is.  What you like about him or her.
  • Be honest about your incompatibilities.  You know… things like, interests, values, religion, culture, height, age, sexual preferences, psychological baggage, relationship status… Whatever “schtuff” (as a former colleague of mine would say) it is that you get hung-up on when you are considering someone for a relationship. Really… be honest with yourself too!
  • Be truthful.  That is, do not lie… I promise, it will come back to haunt you.
  • Be honest about what type of relationship you think can work between the two of you.
  • Be open to dialogue and encourage the other person to speak about his or her feelings, i.e. if he or she wish to do so.  Either way, allow the person to know that you are available in the ways that you can be in that moment (everything has a time limit… and the duration of that time limit should be relative to the nature of the already established relationship)
  • Be clear.  Do not leave hope.  That is, do not say things like, “Perhaps in the future…”  or “Maybe one day…”  This only causes confusion and leads the person to hang on/remain hopeful.
  • Compliment the person on his or her ability to speak with you about his or her feelings.
  • Move on… from the subject.  Normalize as quickly as possible.  This will help to alleviate the feelings of awkwardness between the two of you.  There is no need to have a long and drawn-out conversation about the issue, especially if you are clear.  If the person needs space, then allow him or her to take it… and then move on from the situation yourself.

So, what might a conversation be like?

"The Revenge of Pride," photography by Dolores Juhas (2010). Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

Well, let’s pretend ;) 

———

Person A: I really like you… and I was wondering if you would like to go out some time.

Person B: Wow, that was an unexpected compliment.  Thank you so much.  I like you too.  Going out for coffee would sound interesting, but I could only do so as friends.

Person A: Oh… I… I thought you liked me…

Person B:  I do like you, but only as a friend.

Person A:  But why only as a friend?

Person B:  Well, because typically I tend to date people who share the same interests as myself, and I know that we don’t share many common interests.  It would make things difficult.  Also, although you are a physically attractive person, I am not sexually attracted to you.  I know that that is probably hard to hear and I hope it doesn’t hurt our friendship.

——— This would be the move on point———

Okay, so… Some people might say that this statement is harsh and hurtful.  Well, it may be hurtful in the moment and for a moment.  It is, however, clear and caring.  That is, Person B is direct that there is no hope for a romantic relationship now or in the future, but she or he really wants to maintain the friendship/relationship that is already established.  Above all, it is respectful. 😉

After that interaction, I would suggest that if Person A felt wronged…. then grab a friend and a copy of the film “He’s Just Not That Into You“… watch, commiserate, laugh and learn… then come back and read my blog. 😉

Until next time!

Best,

D.

 

Self-potrait, photography by Dolores Juhas

Photographs are by Croatian photographer, Dolores Juhas, whose work has been featured in such magazines as Italian Vogue.  You can visit her website at http://www.dolores-juhas.tk or email her: d_juhas@yahoo.co.uk.  She has her own blog at http://themax.bloger.hr