Here’s a random thought for you – when it comes to dating and relationships (or life), it’s probably not a good idea to think about winning and losing. Winners or losers.
Nope, not a good idea.
Here’s a story - I have a friend, a married friend. She was unhappy. I’d say unhappily married, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. She was unhappy in her life and that made it impossible for her to be happy with anything, her marriage included. Anyway, she got herself involved in a very messy affair. I say, “very messy” because they were both married and both couples knew each other/were part of the same professional community.
From the very beginning she kept telling me that she did not love this other man. That she was just unhappy (I’ll leave the other details out). But then, after many months, things shifted.
At first, it was the other man who was doing the pursuing. And he’d said a lot of things. Said he loved her more than his wife. Stuff like that.
And she really like hearing stuff like that. So much so that after a while, she decided that she wanted to hear it more often. All of the time (yeah, I’m simplifying). So she asked him to leave his wife. For her. And then he flipped out and said he couldn’t. Wouldn’t.
At which point my friend started to want him more. She became determined to get him to leave his wife. For her. Which seemed insane to me, because just a few months earlier she’d told me she didn’t really care about the guy, at all.
Her reasoning (because I did ask), was that she couldn’t stand losing. She was actually motivated by the fact that he picked someone over her. Her competitiveness kicked in, driving her to compete for him. Aggressively.
All the while, her husband was willing to give things another try. Go to counseling. Whatever. But she was focused on winning.
So that’s their story. Or, at least, part of it.
I’m also freakishly competitive, in my own way. And so I get it (not the cheating on your husband with a married man part, but the not being able to accept being second best part). And I’m also willing to admit that some of my own dating and relationships behavior has been motivated by this whole winning/losing mentality.
I’m going to cut us some slack here. We’re raised to be hyper-competitive. To see everything as a challenge. To strive to succeed and overcome every new obstacle. So it makes sense in a sick, twisted and completely wrong kinda way that when a person doesn’t love us back, we see that as losing. But only in a sick, twisted and completely wrong kinda way…