The Bad Girlfriend
I never learnt how to be a girlfriend. I don’t like being a girlfriend.
I love being a friend, a buddy-girl, a punching bag, a co-conspirator, a worthy opponent and an ally. But the role of girlfriend just never fit me all that well. Could that be a reason for the way all my relationships have ended up? Possible.
What do I mean by this revelation? Well….being a friend, to either sex, a person of any age, in virtually any sort of situation comes naturally to me. I have been blessed with a lot of truly wonderful people across the world who are close to me.
I have people I share an interest with, people I keep running into, people I have nothing in common with but our propensity to argue, people I know the conversation could go anywhere with, people I know I just can’t have any other kind of conversations with. There are classmates, colleagues, blogger-friends, net-friends, ex-turned-friends (yes, a few), fellow booklovers, hanging-out-with buddies, close confidantes, fun groups and soulmates (yes a lot of these!). It took no effort to start up a friendship with these people and there’s no major thinking energy required to keep it up.
As a girlfriend on the other hand, I am never sure just how independent is too independent. When I start dating someone, I suddenly have no clue where to stuff my men-are-such-pigs attitude since the assumption is that if they all were such, I wouldn’t be dating one. I’m naturally argumentative but given that most men can’t handle being beaten or even given competition by a woman (don’t tell me they can….they so CANNOT!)…I try and shut up for a bit. That doesn’t work too well…I’m just too fiery for that.
I’m barely sure how to behave in social situations. I’m just too much of a singleton. That’s not necessarily independent..just a singleton. In social gatherings I like flitting around, group to group, having several one-to-one conversations in a few hours, listen in somewhere and then wander off for a bit myself. I can’t help it…it just is me. Like my astrological element water, I need to be fluid and moving around, without any apparent pattern. Another person doesn’t always fit into this picture. In the rare event that someone does, the kind of surprise it seems to generate from other people is just too much of a nuisance to handle. My best friend and I are both tired of fielding off shock-tinged-with-nastiness comments like “How can you stand her? She’s such a flirt/wallflower!!” Suffice to say these situations get madly complexified with a man.
I’m almost guiltily gleeful after a break-up when I can go back to being my sharp-tongued self in public. I’m just not the nice sort, especially with the people I am closest to. And the strain of having to be cute-sweet-eternally-blissful with a guy is just too much for me to bear. Oh, the mortification!!! Sweet release…..’catty ex-‘ is a tag that suits me oh, so well!
There’s the whole space bit. Now truthfully I hate it when someone I’m seeing tells me he wants space. That in my mind says “I’ve had enough of you!! Back off!” and I’ve learnt to do just that by running away when I get a whiff of the other’s restlessness. On the other hand, I just realised, I’m rather a restless creature myself. I can’t bear too much closeness after a bit. Ask my family, ask my best friend (don’t bother asking my boyfriends….they all thought it was PMS)…and they’ll tell you I get cranky if I’ve been in their company too long. People who’ve stayed a part of my life a long time are those who’ve learnt to realise it isn’t personal and I just need a little time to mess around alone. Boyfriends never realise such things. Oh well, I don’t want to realise it myself about the person I’m dating so its only fair I suppose.
And finally, I have no clue how people can be friends and lovers at the same time. I seem to be too good a friend to make a good enough girlfriend. I’ve consciously decided to stop being a friend to the men I date. When you find yourself patting the guy’s arm and telling him not to worry…the girl he dumped you for will fall for him someday….you know something’s gone totally awry.
Practice maketh perfect or so I’d have believed. Well this is one area it hasn’t. So much so I think I’d so much rather be single and sparkling than in a steady relationship. Is that committment-phobia? It so is not! It’s ‘girlfriendism-o-phobia’
hmm i’m a virgo which means my ruling element is earth but then how the hell do i exhibit signs of a cancerian? Why is it that I’ve almost exactly the same problems?
“I can’t bear too much closeness after a bit. Ask my family, ask my best friend (don’t bother asking my boyfriends….they all thought it was PMS)…and they’ll tell you I get cranky if I’ve been in their company too long. People who’ve stayed a part of my life a long time are those who’ve learnt to realise it isn’t personal and I just need a little time to mess around alone. Boyfriends never realise such things. Oh well, I don’t want to realise it myself about the person I’m dating so its only fair I suppose.”
This is soooo me!! And because I dish it out quite frequently I have to gulp some of it down when someone else does it. And hence the confusion as in exactly when the backing off is really important for my sanity. 😀 Or backing off for a few hours would do the trick. sigh…. the complexities of human relationships now exhaust me. 🙂
@Rakhi: I think the trouble is when one or both of the people in the couple think the relationship should be about being stuck together all the time OR about being mirror-images of each other. I’ve been talking to some couples recently, happy with each other and I find the common thread linking them all is the balance they’ve struck between togetherness and independance.
By the way, I had forgotten about this post. Reading your comment made me revisit (and rethink) some of my old attitudes, in light with what I know now. So thank you! 🙂
This is nearly identical situation to my past girlfriend. she was a free-spirit and enjoyed spending time with all her single clingy girlfriends and flirting and teasing her entouage of guy friends. she never cheated but enjoyed being validated constantly and not caring. She was basically very independent and in my eyes began living the single life but at the same time needed me, catch 22. Basically i felt disrespected and no longer admired. In the end i had to break up with her as i no longer felt wanted or needed. She openly admitted that she’s commitment phobic and we’ve moved on for the better.