Dating While Weird #3: In which I encourage you to tell haters to buzz off. Read the other Dating While Weird posts here.
Your sparkle. It’s that little flickering fire in your soul which is responsible for the following:
- Uncontrollable laughing fits apropos of nothing
- That feeling you get when your jam comes on the radio in the car
- Exaggerating about literally everything (i.e. “This is the best/worst/most romantic thing that’s EVER HAPPENED TO ME!”)
- Random dance breaks
- How you feel when your pet runs to greet you when you get home from work
- Smiling at strangers when you’re happy
- Decorating your home your own way
- Making up songs about mundane tasks as you do them
- Nicknaming people, pets, and things for your own amusement (i.e. pecan sandies = sandals, patties = hands, chumpies = snacks)
You get the point. Your sparkle is the thing that keeps you feeling young and alive. But it is a very delicate thing, and it can easily be snuffed out by an event or a person. In a new relationship, it’s easy to be “on your best behavior” while your sparkle falls by the wayside.
I am a very sparkly person. My mom will be the first to tell you that I participate in all of the actions listed above on a daily basis. I am generally always singing or dancing for one reason or another, and I almost never shut up. It must be very annoying. But this is how I express my sparkle.
My child, it is time for an anecdote.
One time, I met this man. He was very different from all the other men I’d dated, and for that reason, I was enchanted. He was about 10 years older, a brilliant professor, and from Europe. I remember having an early niggling feeling that we had nothing in common, which I ignored, as I was once wont to do (you can read my post about ignoring dating red flags here).
At first it was okay. We were attracted to each other. We had a few things in common, like yoga, sharp minds, lifting weights, and eating healthfully. But slowly, I realized we weren’t getting to know each other at all. He didn’t share with me about his past, and he didn’t ask me about mine. I’d do a funny dance or make a face, and he’d scoff. He didn’t seem to enjoy music (wtf).
We (very stupidly) moved in together after a few months, and he wouldn’t let me hang my beautiful art on the walls, even though he didn’t have anything of his own to hang in its place.
We’d get into an argument about nothing at all, and I’d try to be an adult and talk it through, but his response was to say, “I’ve never argued like this with anyone else,” to make me feel like it was all my fault.
Slowly, I did start to feel like it was all my fault. I’d lie awake crying, wondering why we couldn’t get along. I looked into therapy because I’d been made to feel like I was selfish and confrontational. I tried twice to break up with him, but he’d seem so remorseful and promise to try to be better.
Finally, in the middle of a very melancholy journaling session (I only journal when I’m sad), I realized that nothing I could do would change the way he reacted to me, and that he had stolen my sparkle. I didn’t have fun anymore. I didn’t want to hang out with my friends anymore. I even kept shunning my cat, who was only trying to love me.
So, the very next day, I sat him down, and said, “[Boyfriend], I think we should break up. You took away my sparkle.”
Now I am very cautious about how a new relationship makes me feel. I know that I’m kind of a wacky person, but wacky is deserving of love as much as “normal” is. (But what is normal, really, anyway?) So now I guard my sparkle very carefully and if I start to feel like ME isn’t good enough for someone, I move on. Life’s too short.
Do you know what I mean by sparkle? Does your significant other love you, sparkle and all?