When people are important to me, I tend to allow them to take over my life. I’ll work myself around their plans and usually tend to cancel anything I planned on doing.
I remember my roommate once getting annoyed with me because I wanted to cancel our plans after my city randomly rocked up for a weekend trip.
On one hand, I like spending time with these people so naturally time with them would be a priority over everyone else and everything else. I don’t want to some day regret that I chose to spend the day at some stupid concert instead enjoying my sisters company for a weekend. I already have a few of those regrets.
There’s many problems with this.
1. People think you are just always available.
2. People don’t value the time you spend with them.
3. You can’t really make your own plans when around them.
4. People tend to not make plans with you. Since you are always available they tend to drop things on you last minute.
5. People stop trying to make time for you.
6. People don’t treat you the same. They won’t drop or change their plans to fit you in.
7. You’re pretty much a doormat. Co dependent. Unattractive.
Family, close friends and my boyfriend are generally at the top of my priority list. University was hard because made a whole lot of new friends part of different circles and they were all on the same priority level so choosing who to spend time with was a nightmare.
Almost every self help book tells you to be selfish. To put yourself first. But it’s really hard when you’ve felt the guilt of having put the wrong person on your schedule.
When I met my boyfriend, I had my own life. Slowly I began to put his schedule first. He worked at strange times and he’d stay over most days and didn’t have a car. He didn’t ask me to pick him up or drop him off or prepare supper, I just did it. I did it because I believe that’s what someone who cares about you does.
Likewise, for weekends and public holidays, spending time with him becomes my priority. It’s our only real free time together. And I love it. I look forward to it. But it’s not the same for him. He has a life here. He has friends here. He lives with his sister and her friend. They have family here. There’s always braais and parties and meet ups and suppers and drinks.
He scans all his other plans first and then fits me in.
Which is healthier. It’s how relationships should be. Two people who have each other but have their own life. My life seems to have disappeared. I have no friends here. No family. And most times when I do make plans, he changes his plans to see me and I happily cancel mine. Because there’s no one other than my ex boss who i feel I really connect with here.
Is this what they mean by saying no? Choose yourself.
I need to rebuild my life somehow. Create a routine for me. Learn how to exist alone. Do things on my own. Not expect him to want to see me. Not get hurt when he doesn’t see me.
For us, Thursday is a national holiday and I was waiting for him to let me know whether he wants to do something. Now when I asked he had a list of things to do that didn’t involve me. Only when I went quiet with disappointment did he invite me to join in on his plans.
Where do I start rebuilding my life?