As much as I avoid it, it is inevitable that I am part of at least one relationship/marriage talk every week. When girlfriends - and guy friends - get together, we talk about old and new relationships, other people's relationships and maybe our feelings about things in general. And for some reason, at a lot of these discussions I come across as being disengaged or nonchalant.
A girlfriend made this accusation the other day and then commented "You will probably feel different when your exes start tying the knot". Her comment stuck with me, mostly not because of the fact that I have had maybe one now ex-boyfriend to be concerned about, but because it is fascinating that a lot of us actually take our emotional cues and responses from how we feel about what is going on with others and not ourselves. What is it about the events in other people's lives that makes us look at ours in a totally distorted way?
For me, it isn't necessarily my exes, but I am more than guilty of reacting to situations because of how I see myself in relation to others. Like how I thought yesterday that maybe I should be out in Central Park playing in the snow with my dog because everyone was out there, even though I absolutely hate being in the cold and snow. Or planning a major birthday getaway because as my friend just said "Because it is your 30th" ignoring the fact that I hate big birthday celebrations.
Lately I have found myself pausing and questioning my feelings and reactions to things. Why do I go to the places I go to? Or like a certain song? Or spend time with certain people? Why do I feel the way I do about relationships and marriage? What exactly do I feel about these things? For me, it has been so healthy to be able to say unequivocally what I want and do not want because I have thought about it and decided for myself.
What are your "married exes"? The things that make you feel or do things that you ordinarily wouldn't do or put pressure on you to place yourself on a timeline that has nothing to do with your life and experiences.
How do you get those things out of your mind so you can focus on being yourself?