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My biggest problem isn’t that other people aren’t judging my for my timeline — I am.
You say you care. You do. Say I’m the center of your universe. But your actions paint a different picture.
I have this other mode. One that goes, “I might get my heart broken, but this is worth the risk.” It doesn’t happen very often at all. Has only happened a couple of times in my life. But when that happens, I get really calm.
I’m tired of this entire pattern. I think it’s time to admit to myself how I feel. Because shame lives in the shadows. And I don’t want to be stuck there anymore.
Now that I know it’s possible for someone else to understand me, there’s no unknowing that. There’s no going back.
Manipulating someone I care about is as ridiculous as cheating at Wordle. Controlling the outcome ruins the whole thing. The whole point is that this is someone I can trust.
“You know, it’s funny,” I say to my friend. “Other people have been encouraging me to get out and do more, all fun things, but I haven’t wanted to. And they said this meant I was depressed, but I have to say… now that I have a few things off my plate, I feel so much relief. So much relief.”
Being left out and simply being different can feel so similar. Your emotions can be sloppy about recognizing the difference between others excluding you and isolating yourself.
There was a meme that got really popular a while back that advised people who were dating folks who had been abused in the past. They’ll be grateful for little things, the meme said. And they’ll try to thank you for that. You need to discourage that behavior, the meme advised.
Just because it’s taking me a while to get over this stuff, it doesn’t mean it’ll never happen. Time got really darn weird. And there’s no deadline on healing.
It has to be truly painful only to appreciate value in hindsight. To only want the things you’ve already lost.
People often assume that because I write every day in public for an audience that speaking my mind is really natural to me. That it’s something I’ve always done easily. And that I was supported for it when I was younger. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m burned out beyond compare. And I’ve reached a point where I have to retool my priorities. To take a second and think. About what matters to me, what doesn’t. What is necessary and what just feels like it’s necessary.
Prioritizing people who don’t care about you can doom your relationships.
I’m bad at telling the people in my life that I’m sad when I am. It’s something I’ve been working on. It’s hard for me.
I don’t want to be an actual person today. I’d rather be an abstract concept.
I have a confession I’d like to make: I’ve dated a lot of people who were just barely attracted to me. Most of them actually.
I love you. I’m pretty sure I always will. And I’m going to be here to support you. But I need to keep a bit of distance so I don’t get wrapped up in your chaos with them.
In today’s Advice Friend column, a reader asks, “Is selecting partners to be monogamous the same process as choosing them when you know you’re going to be polyamorous? If it’s different, how so?”
Maybe it sounds kind of cutthroat, but you can waste your whole life trying to impress people who don’t want to stick around. And I’m done with it.
I thought I’d settle down young. Stick to my little country life. My boring job. Grow old in one place. I was happy to settle down after a rough adolescence. I was looking forward to nothing happening for a while. Because I’m easily amused. I can make my own fun.
“The trouble is that I’m always the lowest priority. Consistently. In every situation.”
Some people tear down the people around them so that they can look impressive in comparison. They’re willing to clear-cut the forest if it means they can be the tallest tree.