Relationship vs Entanglement: A 40-Something Tells Us the Difference

shutterstock_153136628Today some insights from a 40-something woman reflecting on her marriage, her reinvention and being yourself both inside and outside relationships.

On relationships…

Don’t lose your self-value. When I’m with a guy, I tell them straight away, “Listen, I’m really independent. I love my time with you but I also love my time with me and I’m going to need time with me. There’s no need to question us. If I’m with you. Let our relationship be a relationship. There’s no need to think you have to be together every single night.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not aloof. I’m there. I love to do beautiful things for him. I’m a nurturer. But I believe you can be your own person and not get lost in the relationship. Your identity is not the relationship. The best situation is two very healthy people coming together. Anything else is just an entanglement. It’s an entanglement when you are not two healthy people coming together.

Shared expectations are really everything. When you think “this is the way it should be” and he thinks, “That’s the way I am or it should be.” If they don’t match, then you’ll always have a problem.

On creating a new life for yourself…

You are stronger than you think you are. You really are. Just think back on all the things that you’ve been through and that you’ve made it through. At the time you think, “I didn’t know that I could do it.”  There are times I know everyone feels like,“I’m going to die. I can’t do it. I can’t make it through this.” But you do. You always do. You are stronger than you think you are. You can’t feel it now but you are.

You power through. You ride it out. Eventually, you’re going to feel better but at that time, you’re like, “OMG. Is this feeling ever going to end?” It will but you just don’t know when. You’ll do it. You’ll do it and you’ll be fine.

On listening….

It’s an old adage, but when he tells you who he is, you should listen. When he says, “I’m not a guy who wants to be married” or “I don’t this or that”… listen. Believe it.  I thought, “He says that but I’m different. I’m going to change him if I just act this way. He may think that’s what he wants but really it’s not true.” That’s b*******ing yourself. I wasted 5 years of my life with someone who I convinced myself that he wanted to get married and have a child. But it never happened. When I woke up, I was like, “Wow! I’m 39 years old and I have to stop this.”

Believe it and move on because there’s somebody out there who you want and who wants you.

How do you find it? My advice would be to not worry about having a boyfriend. Work on yourself. I think the most important thing for any woman is to be good with you. If you like to spend time with yourself, then everyone will want to spend time with you. If you learn to be with yourself then you’re going to be good company to someone else.

On friends….male and female…

The advantage of friendships with men is that you really get into the guys’ minds and it’s going to be very, very insightful. You need to take it on and understand it. It’s not the way it is in romantic comedies. I hate to burst the bubble—but that is not the way life is. Guys are pretty simple.

Yet, the thing I appreciate most about friendships now—your good friendships with women are forever. You need those. You need them to nurture you. They’ll always be there for you.

– 40-Something, investment banking and an entrepreneur in a relationship,

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