I have a confession to make: I have this habit of stalking people. But wait, before you report me to the authorities, I assure you that it’s not the creepy kind. I just sort of lurk in other peoples’ social media pages, trying to figure out what kind of lives they are leading, or if they are fake or genuine. I guess it’s not the stalking part that I’m enjoying but the act of navigating, investigating and putting pieces together. (Okay, maybe silently judging here and there.) I love to read people just by observing them.

So anyway, I have this former colleague who, based on her recent posts in Facebook, just broke up with her long-time boyfriend. (Honestly, those bitter hashtags are a dead giveaway.) A few days ago, she shared this beautiful essay called She Can Tell The Difference from Elephant Journal and it just hit me.

Let me quote some of my favorite lines:

Most women you meet will say they knew instantly their beloved was the one. They know as well, when it’s time to say goodbye– even though many live with this knowing for many years before, if ever, acting on it. She knows the difference even if you think you hide it well. Love, like the most vibrant of colors is something which begs to stand out.

…She can tell the difference when you can’t wait to cut the grass, but rebuff even her smallest attempts of creating a modicum of intimacy. She can tell how antsy you become if you don’t have something to do yet you are unwilling to ever try to involve yourself in something that interests her. Simply put, she can tell that you would prefer that she just live her life, so you can live yours and rarely should the two ever meet.

…She can tell the difference in how little she fights now.

Before the relationship and her love for you was a strength that would propel her to fight for the notion of “us”. She would try to fix flaws, find ways of growing closer and come up with things that could be done to make things better. She would stand up and demand better treatment, ask for what she needs and sometimes even beg for you to hear her; to see her.

Now she just stays silent, nods her head and cries alone when no one is there to make her feel stupid for having a human moment and daring to think she deserves better.

…She can tell the difference– she sees and feels and has no choice but to accept the difference. And she knows that sometimes it’s not events of tornadic proportions that destroy relationships– once filled with great potential. Sometimes it’s the silent and slow death that comes from total indifference.

Whew! That was quite long.

They say that women have strong intuition. I myself feel that I am intuitive. I look at a stranger and I instantly feel whether or not he or she is up to no good. Most of the time, those hunches turn out right. Like I said, I love reading people.

So about the essay above, I admit that I can relate to it in more ways than one. I’m not saying that the relationship that I have with my boyfriend is on the verge of dying. However, I feel that we lack proper communication and it frustrates me most of the time. And I am afraid, so afraid, that if this continues then we will inevitably grow apart and end up as strangers.

Now here comes the tricky part: how do you know that it’s intuition and not paranoia? How sure are you that what you are feeling raises genuine concern and it’s not simply your own insecurities and fear that’s messing with your brain? There is a very thin line between the two and this is what makes me so confused. Damn, this feels like that movie Inception.

I honestly don’t have an answer. I’m not even sure if my worries are legitimate or not. However, here are some things that I think would help a lot:

1. Communicate. 

Me: Why don’t you want me touching you?

BF: …

Me: Why???

BF: zzz

Me: Hey!!!

BF: …

Me: Thinks *maybe he’s hiding something* or *maybe he doesn’t love me anymore*

Note: EVASION WILL DO YOU NO GOOD. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY. Yada yada. If you don’t want the other party to get any wrong ideas, just answer the freaking question.

2. Have a little faith. 

In yourself. In others. In life. In the world. Not everyone is out to get you. Not everyone will hurt you. Not everyone will leave. Just loosen up, live a little.

3. Stop reading essays and/or articles about how relationships should be.

More often than not, doing so would only fuel your doubts and fears.

You don’t live life using a tick-box approach. Just because yours does not fit in one category doesn’t mean that it’s not good enough. Just because your relationship resonates with what you are reading doesn’t mean it applies to you…because everyone is different.

…And now I figured out that I may be a bit paranoid than others.


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