As a kid I loved playing video games. We had them all from Atari to Playstation 2. One feature on many of the games was hitting reset, either on the joystick or during gameplay. Hitting reset was usually a good thing. If I was not doing as well as I wanted to on a certain level I would just hit reset and do it over. However, there were times when I would be doing fine and then I would hit reset by accident. It was the most frustrating thing having to start over when I did not want to.
Alas, this article isn’t about hitting reset in video games. It’s about hitting reset in relationships, which can be hundreds of times more frustrating regardless of if we wanted to or not.
The reason why is because of the time involved. All of the time we spent getting to know someone is wasted. Then we need time to heal emotionally and to find someone new. When we finally do find someone new worth their salt,we have to go through the tedium of starting all of our stories over from the beginning and explaining how we feel about things all over again.
It reminds me of the phrase ‘back to the drawing board.’ There are some professions where people spend so much time drawing plans, doing research, and creating prototypes. However, when enough things go wrong with the product, they have to scrap the plans, go back to the drawing board, and start all over again. Whatever they came up with previously was rendered null and void.
On the other hand, as they work on the next plan, they keep in mind any flaws that rendered the previous plans unworkable. Likewise, in relationships, whenever we start over we should keep in mind what worked and what didn’t work with the previous relationship and learn from that when seeking the next one so that we are not constantly picking the wrong person due to our own negligence.
Personally, I am hitting reset after an almost-relationship, not even a full one. The guy, whom we will call John, was everything that I thought I wanted and we had been knowing each other for years, so I went after him and made it known that I was interested. Yet, I had to accept that he was emotionally inept and that I would probably do better elsewhere.
I think the scariest part of hitting reset is time. The last time I hit reset was in 2008 and here I am in 2012 going after the next guy. That’s four years! Will it be another four years before I find the next guy? Who knows.
There is a lot involved in hitting reset. First I have to find a new man and observe him from a distance to make sure he is sane, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally mature, reasonably healthy, and who likes me too. Then we have to really get to know one another. I’m exhausted just typing about it!
I don’t know if it will take another four years or not, but, as I stated previously, I am learning more about myself when it comes to what I do and do not want in a relationship. From the first guy, I learned that mental maturity is important. From John, I learned that I need someone who is in touch with his emotions and not so mysterious about how he is feeling.
In my particular case, there is hardly a man who is sane, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally mature, and reasonably healthy who likes me too where I live. I am now literally having to go way outside of my boundaries in order to find one. In fact, it is so dry where I live that some of my girlfriends are just settling for anyone who is good enough. Settling is something that I refuse to do. The person whom I date and ultimately marry is someone who I want to enjoy being around, not someone who I’m stuck with because I settled. I’m not asking for Mr. Perfect or anything unrealistic like that, but I want “’til death do you part” to feel like a lifetime achievement, not a life sentence. And because of the seriousness I attach to marriage, hitting reset is not an option once I say, ‘I do.’
I have so much more to say about relationships and hitting reset while dating but it would take up all of cyberspace, so I’ll leave you with this: While hitting reset can be frustrating and time-consuming, it is not in vain if you really learned some lesson from the previous relationship that you can keep in mind before starting the next one. I don’t know what is in store for me in the relationships department, but I am trying to remain optimistic and am hoping that there is still something good left for me. If you are reasonably considering hitting reset, try to look at it from a positive viewpoint. No one knows better than me that it is aggravating, but would you rather waste time by starting over, or by continuing in a relationship that is going nowhere? The decision is yours, and that’s today’s tip from Flo.