"we may all wake up one day and realize that our significant other can not give us everything we want."
You can't get milk from Home Depot. This might be my favorite analogy. Not because I made it up but because every time I use it, someone laughs. I like making people laugh. Anyway…
Sometimes we want something emotional and/or behavioral from someone else and we don’t get it. The more we don’t get it, the more we want it. And because we’re not getting what we want it’s a problem. Some of us might even allow ourselves to believe that this thing that we want is actually something that we need and soon the fact that we’re not getting what we need becomes a bigger problem. Furthermore, because the other person is not delivering this thing we need, that person becomes a problem too. They are flawed and don’t really care about us the way they say they do because if they did they would give us what we want.
I have been here many times. I have actually gone so far as to end relationships with friends and significant others because they refused to give me what I want. I had allowed myself to believe that something was wrong with these people because I wanted something; I made it clear what I wanted; and I'm not getting it.
My revelation came in a discussion about myself. A friend of mine had gone through a really bad breakup but during the breakup he hadn’t talked to me about it at all. When it finally came up, I asked “why didn’t you say anything to me?”
“No offense, Yusef,” he said, “but you’re not really the go to guy when I’m hurting.”
“Yeah. I mean, you’re cool and all and I love you, man, but you aren’t really the sensitive, consoling type. Trying to get empathy from you is like…like…like…”
“Trying to get milk from Home Depot?” I said.
“Yeah,” he said. “It’s like trying to get milk from Home Depot.”
We laughed. Later, I reflected. Then I learned.
My friend had accepted the fact that there was something I didn’t have to give and instead of making me the problem, he just didn’t look to me when he wanted it. I realized that what I needed to do was be more accepting of the people with whom I was involved.
I know emotional outsourcing is a lot easier to do with friends than with significant others. One is allowed to have many friends and in committed relationships there is the concept of emotional cheating. However, the fact remains that we may all wake up one day and realize that our significant other can not give us everything we want. And just like Home Depot is an awesome store despite the fact that it doesn’t carry groceries, our significant other is still an awesome companion despite the fact that they don't possess everything we may want or think we need.
And that’s okay.
Remember. No always. No never.
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