Climbing Jersey in Stilettos (1/4)
Chronicles of Life and Love in the Soprano State
Part 1: Refusing to Settle While Making Lemonade
Springs makes people either search for love or begin a massive emotional spring cleaning and I knew exactly what mindset Sofia had as I tried to pack another one of her storage totes into my already cramped black sedan.
See, my good friend was ending her living arrangement with her boyfriend, Stan after months of weighing the pros and cons; so on a sunny Jersey morning, I lent a hand as she extracted herself from a stifling relationship.
Now I must say, for the record, I liked Stan when Sofia first introduced him. They were S squared. I was his advocate when he implored her to open her heart and share his life with him. I watched her beam after their holiday family gatherings and engagement ring shopping but after she moved in with him… things changed. It wasn’t sudden; it was a dark, systematic undercurrent of controlling behavior that slowly eroded her self-esteem. Every woman has been there –where you find you find yourself wondering if the time invested in the relationship outweighs the sudden annihilation of a carefully constructed façade.
Soon Sofia’s smile was replaced by a creased brow and she referred to her phone as a tracking device instead of a means of staying connected. One day, during our lunch hour, she wondered aloud if she needed to embrace the fact that relationships would always be a power struggle of wills –a warped, stressful sort of ebb and flow. It broke my heart of see her wrestling with relationship ideals and her present reality but I was there only as a sounding board –the decision had to be hers. I had to wait for her to decide what she wanted in a relationship.
Now I’d like to issue a preemptive response to all people that believe women should lower their standards to be in committed relationships because so-called ‘high standards’ are keeping them single. That’s a bunch of CRAP. No one wants to be someone’s fallback option, no matter how long they have been on the single scene. It’s great to rethink your reasons for wanting a romantic relationship but ‘settling’ and ‘marital bliss’ cannot co-exist. Besides men know when women really throw out their ‘relationship checklist’ and when they’re just hiding it in the back of the closet in last year’s Coach bag.
Ladies, love yourselves enough to learn from your relationships. Yes, you might discover a potential long-term mate has vices or idiosyncrasies which are deal-breakers and its okay to end a relationship because of them. Your heart is your GPS and your intuition is your compass. Just make sure you’re happy with yourself. Is Sofia 100 percent at peace with this relationship decision? No, but she’s on the right path.
As I watched her smile cheerfully as Mike and Carl moved her bookshelf into the moving van and I knew it was only a matter of time before the finality of the move hit her. You know that blindside, sucker punch that happens only when you stop moving long enough to realize you failed at another relationship. It makes your throat tighten and tears pool in your eyes as you wonder why your new place is making feel claustrophobic. Well, that hasn’t happened yet to Sofia…but it will and when it does you know what they say, “When Life Gives you Lemon, Make Lemonade” and honey, I’ll be right here to provide the sugar and pitcher.
1,4,3…’til next time, Chicas