Saturday, August 20, 2022

Use Your Head

There was a phrase that we had when I was growing up to tell someone, "Use your head."  It is pretty self explanatory.  It meant to think about your situation and what you are doing.

I have had a couple discussions with my classes over the last week about choices and consequences.  I told the class that no one is a victim of what happens in the classroom and that we all have the ability to chart our own course in the class.  If you want to be receiving more rewards, you must choose to do things to deserve it.  If you make poor choices and act out, you receive the negative consequences.  I told them this was not just true in the class but also in life.

The problem is... as an adult you have to "use your head" to make the choices... not hopes, not lust, not greed, not even the desire for companionship.  Too many times in my life, even recently, I made choices to ignore warning signs, based on a combination of what I wanted to be true and what I allowed myself to see in the other person.  In fact, I think that specific combination is responsible for all the heartbreak I would eventually have in my life.

It was true that there was reason for hope, as the person would assure me that ... they were over their ex, they had time for a relationship, they had changed, etc.  Or, they would give me evidence of positives in another area that would make me willing to compromise to make it work.  I would say to myself, "Everyone has a few flaws," and I would charge forth.

While it is true that everyone DOES have a few flaws, it should also be recognized that at the beginning of dating, almost NO ONE is showing all their cards.  They are showing what they WANT the person to see, and many of the positive actions that we see that offset the ones that don't work are just being shown to close the deal in getting you.  Once that is done, they disappear, as I have noticed in both of my past marriages and several dating experiences.

I don't often tell this specific story, because it embarrasses me that I did it; however, it is relevant to the point of this post.  There was a time in Oklahoma, before my last wife, that I started dating this radiation lab tech, and we seemed to be hitting it off great.  It felt so good that after a few months she suggested that I move in with her.  So, I did, as it seemed to be safe and going well.  I was ignoring the fact that she had many ex's in her past and wasn't that far away from her last ex.  I WANTED it to be solid, so that was all I was willing to see.  

Literally, less than a month from moving in with her, she decided that she didn't want to be with me, anymore (a running theme in several of my attempts so you see why the recent one bothered me)... AFTER I had moved into the house.  I no longer had an apartment into which to return.  So, we agreed that I would stay there until I would find somewhere else.  Then, a few weeks after that, she brought her new date home (someone else she had been chatting with on the dating apps so you see why I don't like them in part) and they literally had sex in the room next to the guest one in which I was staying.

Now... ALL of this could have been avoided if I had used my HEAD to at LEAST say, "Let's give it some time before making long term commitments."  It is a painful memory, but I give it as a cautionary tale and to remind myself.  No matter how perfect it feels or how much HOPE you have for it working out well, give it some time and "use your head" to make safe choices based on a history of experience with them... and that experience should be seen clearly and any warning signs noted and considered.  If they don't want to wait, that is a warning sign all in itself.

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