I dreamed for years about the perfect bed. I envisioned majestic, luxurious, romantic nights of impassioned lovemaking in that bed. I saved and saved, and then I found it–an Ethan Allen British Classics Montego Canopy bed, California King size. A four poster bed of carved mahogany with pineapple finials, that’d look right at home in the antebellum south. The bed was so big, it had its own wardrobe for linens.
Once lovers experienced it, they’d invite themselves to spend the night. And the next night, and the next. Proposals, marriages, and other longer term relationships were built around that bed. A bed that no longer felt my own.
Today the bed I call my own is a vintage brass and iron bed–Queen size. Dressed in linens and a primal quilt.
In which I feed myself pineapple and chocolate.
Any one who’s ever been in love can attest to the power of attachment. It’s easy to understand, after all our first attachment occured as babies to our mothers. Attachment–a feeling that bonds a person to another creating the desire for repeated interactions with that person, can be a source of intense pleasure, or as in the case of unrequited love, great pain.
Although this hasn’t been the case for me, a person can also be attached to things. Three years ago, when I relocated from MN, I left behind a house, all of my property with the exception of a few select items (a bed, my children’s favorite toys, and cooking utensils.) Yet, despite a decade’s worth of accumulation, I haven’t missed a thing. Or when I think about the sales process involved in the car I purchased today, and Jose the salesman’s futile attempts to get me to view this vehicle as something other than transportation.
Me, I’d get attached to people. In the past, I’d experience this intense desire to be welded to lovers, or cool people I’d just met. I mean like become an integral part of their lives. After all I’m a fixer by nature and I could so improve their lives (while putting mind on hold.) In retrospect, it all seems quite silly and a bit desperate. How draining these interactions must’ve been for those involved.
So nice, this being able to look back detachedly.
My name is lovelydated and I’m a co-dependent. Recovering co-dependent, really. A co-dependent is roughly defined as someone who values a relationship more than themselves. Despite spending a greater part of my life suffering from sub-clinical levels of low confidence, I was nonetheless, surprised to learn that my co-dependent tendencies were rooted in low self esteem, probably originating from childhood. Given these descriptors, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that we are legion, albeit with unique variations.
As background, I’ve experienced serial romantic relationships with men who on the surface couldn’t have been more different; camera man, investment banker, multi-specialty surgeon, rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief, sensitive, arrogant, family oriented, narcissistic…the list goes on. The relationships followed a predictable pattern–me doing everything to please a modern day Oliver Twist (i.e. the dependent partner) who kept asking for more, in re-entry rhythm fashion–with similiar dire results. After a while, I could no longer deny that the common denominator in all the relationships was me. When I complained to a friend that I was a magnet for dependent-type men, he said, “Um, no hon–YOU are the one choosing the men.”
What I’m learning as I continue dating myself, is that to love others you have to first love yourself. And to love yourself you have to be willing to walk away from the ones you love. It’s about setting boundaries.
The struggle continues…
If I had to do it all again, I’d want to be the man in ALL of my relationships.