The Picky Series: Part III - Stop Talking
Forgive my bluntness, but there's no better way to say it. Stop. Talking.
It's that easy.
If you want to eradicate all opinions of friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and everyone else regarding what you want in a mate--if you never want to hear how picky or selective or whatever someone thinks you are--stop talking.
Stop inviting the conversation. Stop participating in the conversation. Stop serving up your dreams for analysis. Stop sharing significant things with insignificant people.
Let me clarify right away. I'm not saying to never talk about your vision. But, who you share your private thoughts with matters.
What you want is a private thought that represents the desires of your heart which should no sooner be shared haphazardly than the sexual positions you prefer.
Value Your Relationship
Everything leads with this concept.
If you openly discussed the most intimate moments shared between you and your mate, your relationship problems, or private things your partner shared with you, you will have betrayed your partner's trust.
Well, in a way, we single people betray ourselves because we don't recognize the singular relationship that we're in. We don't have a partner, but we do have ourselves whose privacy we must respect. Valuing and protecting your privacy begins with being very selective of the people with whom you share information.
Keep Your Business Off The Streets
How often have you heard this--or a variation of it--in your lifetime?
- Keep people out of your affairs
- Keep your friends and family out of your business
- Keep your business to yourself
This is wisdom for the ages, right up there with thou shalt not kill, bear false witness, or steal.
Your friends and family do not need to know granular details of your romantic life because, more often than not, boundaries will be compromised and lines will be crossed.
To repeat, I'm not advocating not talking to anyone. We're human, so it's wise to bounce ideas off of others--to have a few confidants--trustworthy people who will not repeat your stories, use your life against you, talk you out of your dreams, or condescend you (see more on The Worst Two, listed below).
After learning in my early twenties how overinvolved in your love-life those closest to you can get, I evolved into a private person. This became a source of frustration for my friends and family, but I was willing to let them work out their own feelings for the sake of the freedom and privacy that I believed myself entitled to. Today, my being a private person is just accepted as who I am.
Listen to your inner voice
You don't need a committee to help you figure out answers that lie within. Looking externally for answers that should be worked out internally often leads to disappointment. And there's nothing worse than making someone else's mistakes. Seek solitude and quiet to listen to your inner voice for answers and direction.
If your internal voice is weak, then the goal should be to strengthen your voice (as opposed to amplifying the voices of others).
The Worst Two
On your way to becoming more private, you may have an occasional lapse in judgement and say a bit too much. You'll be confronted by two types of people. These people have always shown up on the scene when you've publicly spilled your beans. It's just that, maybe now you'll recognize them for the first time.
Revealing the desires of your heart to undeserving listeners invites characters into the moment who add no value to your vision. Beware the worst two characters.
1. The Skeptic
It starts out as a light-hearted, fun conversation about relationships. You jump in and eventually get sucked into defending your vision--trying to convince the cynics that your dream is possible.
The reality is that expressing your desires can incite discomfort in others that expresses itself as pessimism, which is typically a manifestation of projection, as discussed in Part II of The Picky Series. You'd be faced with the same pessimism if you waxed on about becoming a millionaire (particularly to people who aren't millionaires or can't conceive that they will ever be wealthy).
These people are either angered or entertained by your vision. Either way, rest assured, your vision will be ridiculed.
2. The [unlicensed] Relationship Counselor
You say you hope for someone who's loving. The counselor's job is to warn you that they won't be loving all the time. You do understand human beings, so you kind of figured this.
You say you hope for someone who's romantic. The counselor's job is to let you know that romance is not what you want. You want kindness, which is better. Umm, you actually do want romance. Kindness, too, but, one virtue at a time.
To be sure, we are not talking about a professionally-trained counselor here. This "counselor" revels in telling you what you should want and, generally, explaining how life works.
With relationships, there's no way to fully, accurately, or rationally express your vision for something that is widely described as irrational, but this point seems to miss the relationship counselor as they pick apart every single thing you hope for to teach you the real lesson: how to weaken your vision.
It is absolutely ok to want what you want. If there are compromises to be made, then you'll make them if and when the time comes. If there are lessons to be learned, life will teach you. You will adjust along the way, but you mustn't begin with a compromised vision.
Note how the skeptic and the counselor only give their opinions after you've given them plenty of material by discussing your private thoughts. Stop talking.
Don't Believe Me? See For Yourself
Recently, a friend sent me a link to an article: "The Difference Between Loving Someone And Being In Love."
The piece was more interesting for the comments section than the article itself. The writer reflected on loving vs. being in love. Here's an excerpt:
To love a man is to support his passions; to be in love with a man is not only to back his passions, but also to admire them to the point that his hunger for them motivates you to be just as hungry for yours.
Her position was a very personal one where she revealed the desires of her heart, which is all the bait needed for skeptics and counselors to show up in force.
Here are a few of the nicer comments:
There are comments in support of her vision, but they are outnumbered by pessimistic viewpoints.
This is what happens when you reveal what your heart wants, particularly to people who are undeserving of such an intimate glimpse...and who aren't in a position to do anything useful with the information anyways.
Please stop talking.
As long as you're single, you will be asked these questions.
Q: So, what's your type? What are you looking for? What do you want?
On the face of it, they're innocent questions, but, in fact, they're rather invasive because answering them requires you to reveal intimate details about yourself.
I imagine us answering...
A: I do have a vision for my potential mate, but I prefer to keep that close to my heart.
Photo credit: Daves Cupboard via CC Flickr
S/O: Charlene James for referenced article