Used to be when I met someone, I would size them up immediately. I would consider the things they said, the way they talked and their friends. I would consider their work, their family and as much other information as I could gather. Then, I would decide if we should be friends or not.
If I decided we shouldn’t, I would still be kind to them. I would hold the door and ask about their families, but I wouldn’t pursue them. If I decided I would give it a try I would try and make plans, make an effort to talk to them any chance I could for as long as I could and do things like get them lentils if I remembered they liked eating lentils.
I’m not kidding about the lentils.
I would be so insistent that I would ignore signs they weren’t interested until it happened so much I started to resent them. If they returned my affections we would be friends. No matter what the person did or didn’t do to me, I would hold on and forgive over and over again.
You can imagine this didn’t lead to many healthy relationships. Worse than that, I had this black and white judgment that I made so hastily, it usually just led to heart-break. A person couldn’t be a healthy shade of gray – they either were, or weren’t suitable.
One such example was meeting my, then boyfriend’s, best-friend’s new girlfriend. I sized her up and thought we might be friends. When I saw her for the second time, I was engaged and was excited to show her my new ring. “You already showed me,” she told me. I couldn’t have; I had just gotten it that night. Before I explained that to her, she turned away.
At that moment, she went from white to black. I didn’t like her and wouldn’t be her friend. Ever.
Now, if I were an emotionally healthy person at that time I would have been a little hurt, probably, but I wouldn’t carry the almost ten year old grudge. In reality, I have learned new ways not to like her, and in reality, no one cares. She probably doesn’t know and if she did I doubt it would be even a blip in her radar.
Waiting for the moment it’s just a blip in mine.