Juggling Exclusive Focus Immediately vs Own Focus
Coaching a delightful man client of mine through some relationship stuff I thought you might benefit from as well!
He's talking about having 2 women in his life he's feeling caught between. And his struggle with exclusive focus immediately vs own focus until they've gown to know each other better. (I see this a lot)
Him: I just don't know how to juggle more than one without feeling horrible! It is a curse I swear! I keep pushing these amazing girls out of my life. I met this one girl who has her life together, job, degree, house, she's smart funny beautiful and sweet... however, recently a different girl came back into my life that absolutely destroyed me and probably will continue to do so. She has been the only girl to ever have a hold on me like this. I don't know what to do. I feel like a mess. I have pretty much stopped talking to the girl with her life together... I feel like it's not fair to her if I know in my heart it's not going anywhere. Or if I only give a small portion of my efforts am I just wasting both our time? Would I drift off into the path of just using them? I mean I don't want to be alone. But I don't want to lose who I am in the process.
Me: Damn, that's pretty raw and awesome to share that! And I'm a curious cat... so don't mind my questions and feel free not to answer! I won't get offended. This destructive damsel (DD), have you let her back in your life? And the got-it-together goddess (GG), why wouldn't it go anywhere?
Him: I don't know if she is back in my life or going to disappear. Part of me knows I'm crazy for letting her but I feel like I'll live with regret the rest of my life if I don't try. And the GG I'm sure would go somewhere. I just feel like my heart wouldn't be in it. I want to stop it before it turns into more and harder to let go.
Me: Ok, so riddle me this: what benefits do you get with DD? What part of you gets fed by her? Same with GG.
Him: Well, with the DD she is like the gambling for the highest prize. She's amazing, but not stable and I feel like I'm just waiting for her to vanish. But if she doesn't I know she is the kinda of girl i have been looking for. With the other, she is young sweet and full of potential. But if I continue I know right now I will only hurt her. Before the other girl came back (DD) I was very excited for things to continue.
Me: So I'm going to take a wild guess... Tell me if I'm way off!
DD makes you feel like the stable one, the one who is the good guy, the one who's needed. She gives you a sense of purpose as you help her ground. Even if it bites you sometimes.
GG doesn't need you like that, she's got her shit together. She's not hard work. But you also don't feel as needed, and feel like you'd be holding her back, or like you'd be the bad guy in the end...
Him: Wow... I don't think I've ever had it laid out like that. You just seriously made me think 🤔
Me: In teaching real people how to have powerful relationships, it all starts with us. Knowing what we're really getting out of each connection. And then you decide if it's what you like in the long run or not.
Raw example? My ex hubby gave the the trade of me getting to be "the good and loyal woman" the strong one in exchange for putting up with his rage and abuse. I was the Martyr for love. I liked being the one who had my shit together while he was a mess.
That's why I stayed in that relationship.
4 years later, I decided my ego could go fuck itself, the price of its satisfaction had become too high.
The flip side of that was dating a guy who was like a God to me! I felt so undeserving, like I was dead weight to him. That gave me the ego feed of being the "bad girl". I didn't have to own my shit, I just sat in it.
Again, that price became too high in the end as well.
The balance? Dealing with my inner desires. What did I really want out of a relationship? I didn't want to be the good girl OR the bad girl. I just wanted to be a fucking powerful woman! With a man who believed in me, supported me, and challenged me to be my best self. One where I could do the same in return.
That became my measuring stick. Every connection I had, I asked what side of me was being fed and if I wanted that side to continue growing. (That whole light wolf and dark work analogy.) Then I made my choices from there.
Him: I think I see what you're getting at... I need that measuring stick! I don't want to settle. I'm a good guy and stayed with my ex wife for 7 years. It was a toxic and terrible relationship. I don't want to let girls in that want more than I can give. Or ever get into something like my marriage again. I have to be honest with myself.
Me: Never settle. If it can't be magic, don't buy it. I've been coaching a lot of Good Guys lately and I've seen a lot of patterns between all of you. What I guessed at above was pretty much it. Most have said they date the girls who might use them and hurt them, but they know what to expect from them, so it feels safer. And it makes them feel good cause they get to be the good guy!
Women who have their shit together make them feel less needed, they don't know how to have that level of balance between being needed and simply loved without having to jump through hoops and shit.
It's the curse of the good guy/girl. 😐 But I'm on a mission to change it!
Him: Can I ask you something? Am I normal? Is the way I think a way other guys think? I feel like I'm broken. When I talk to other guys about this I don't think they understand. They always don't understand why I don't just date them all. Or sleep with them and disappear.
Me: You're normal, but so are they. Just different sides of the same coin. Vulnerability is a hard pill for most men to swallow, especially with other men! Each guy handles it differently. Some get hardened by life, others get opened by life, others get beat to hell and back. It all depends on us and what choices we make. Run from your shit, bury it, or own it and find the magic in it! I'm a fan of the last option.