Consider me Bob the Builder of relationships. Whatever the circumstances might be, if I like him, I’m determined to fix it. I have all the tools in the world to make a successful relationship work and I’ve determined it’s my job to take this dilapidated man and make him better.
Isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Aren’t you supposed to help each other grow and be better people?
However, as I’ve come to learn, there is a line. There is a big difference in growing a flower and planting a garden. I’ve been known to plant the garden. Planting the garden is the man who is broke with no job and you spend every waking moment trying to help him find a job – though he is not helping himself and then getting mad at you when are helping because you are being “his mother.” Planting the garden is jumping through rings of fire to make the man who sleeps with you and “dates” you make it official because he does all that yet says he isn’t ready for a relationship. Planting the garden is knowing he ain’t shit and then reaping the consequences.
Yep, that’s my life.
And it is incredibly draining.
I want nothing more than to be like most of my friends and not give a damn. I want to be the woman who can easily walk away from someone I like/love because loving them is draining to me. I want to be the woman who sees the red flags and ACTUALLY runs the other way.
The title may be a bit misleading because learning how to ‘not care’ isn’t a 10 day process. But you have to start somewhere.
Learning to not lose yourself in love and allow it to slowly kill you starts by listening to your instincts.
Look out for the warning signs and run like hell.
When you first meet a man, we sometimes pick up on negative traits that are considered warning signs. Maybe he’s a bit more aggressive than you like or he seems to have too many late night phone calls from “his boys” (right). Typically, if you have a big heart like me, you’ll brush it to the side screaming nobody’s perfect and hope he’ll change in the future.
Don’t do that anymore.
See the flags and run like hell. My best male friend said men will always rise to the bar a woman sets. When you tolerate negative behavior that you KNOW you won’t want to live with, he will continue to engage in the negative behavior if you never make it clear that it’s not okay. I know, you are wondering what if you speak up and he leaves? Good. Let him leave. In fact, help him pack and go.
Warning signs and that “something isn’t right” feeling are the universe’s way of helping you help yourself. I am a firm believer in second chances but if you continue to tell someone that what they are doing is hurting you, and they continue to do it, that person doesn’t care about your feelings.
Care less about being demanding and care more about knowing your worth. It’s quite alright to say something someone does isn’t going to work for you and leaving.
Put Yourself First. Always.
Now to someone with a big heart that sounds like suicide. How can you just kick someone out of your life like that when you can help them?
You want to help someone? Go volunteer. Stop looking at your love life like a Saturday afternoon service project.
On your journey to “I don’t care” you’ll have to learn to value sanity above all else. YOUR HEART AND MIND ARE YOUR FIRST PRIORITY, his are second.
Trust me this is easier said than done but it’s necessary to survive. Yes, as the relationship continues you will need to reach a balance of putting your partner’s needs above your own. However, in the beginning, you have to look out for yourself and understand if something hurts, makes you uncomfortable, or is TOO much compromise, then it’s time to go. He is looking out for himself; you are looking out for him; so who is left to look out for you?
Part of caring less is knowing to care about yourself more.
Don’t Put the Square through the Circle
Remember those block shaped toys? You had a square, heart, star, and a circle and you put them through the matching space in a puzzle board. I remember I would try to force the square through the circle hole because even though it didn’t match exactly, it still seemed like it could fit.
I find myself doing the same thing with relationship. Something seems like it should fit and should work but it’s not quite falling into place. So I take more time, more energy, and more resources to make it work.
Moving into a space of “not caring” means that when something doesn’t work, it just DOES NOT work and you let it go. Just because you like each other doesn’t mean that you are meant to be together.
No second guessing that if you just try harder he’ll love you more. No bending yourself into a pretzel emotionally to fit his wants and needs but ignoring your own. No more over compromising because “he likes you so much” and thinking you should accept that although it’s not what you want.
It means you let go of thinking all relationships are complicated. They aren’t. You learn to start caring less and as a result, caring for yourself more, when you know that it shouldn’t kill you emotionally just to get the relationship started.
Becoming someone who doesn’t care as much isn’t a free pass to be cold-hearted, ruthless, or a asshoe. And don’t go to the extreme and forget how to love. It’s more like putting a condom on your heart so that you aren’t giving it away easily to everyone that you like or who likes you without some protection.
Value yourself enough to know that you DO have the inner strength to not carry your heart on your sleeve all the time. Know that you CAN notice the warning signs and leave. You CAN put yourself first and not feel bad. You CAN give up sometimes and realize it’s just not meant to be BEFORE spending so much time trying to “make” something work. Your big heart and caring spirit to rescue everyone around you is a blessing, but when it comes to love, it may be doing more harm than good. Taking on an “I don’t care” attitude (at least initially) is a way to protect yourself until real, healthy, love comes around. When that time comes you can let all of your big-hearted love out in a safe space where you know it’s appreciated, valued, and most importantly – reciprocated.
(s/o to @BrwnGirlSlimmn for creating the title of this article! Follow her!)
Check out more from Dee Rene at Laugh.Cry.Cuss.