July 23, 2010

Day 343-To Take or Not to Take

After reading the response to Thursday's "Male Perspective" post, I had some thinking to do. There were certainly two different opinions at stake. Which to choose? Who to follow? Was there a right answer that would win me the golden ticket?

As I sat on these questions, I went back and forth as these weren't anonymous comments but rather, two people who I like and admire very much. I was sitting on the fence, justifying both sides. It was then I realized there was a bigger issue for me to confront.

It's true that I'm big on advice. I have several go-to sources which include girlfriends, family (younger brothers included), co-workers, authors, magazine columnists, tv shows, a select group of guys, and nowadways, even bloggers. Come to think of it, I'm kinda Oprah-like with my neverending list of gurus. I've got a sampling of tough-love, no nonsense advisers while others always offer a shoulder to cry or whine on. And a rare few offer a sympathetic ear while still being able to bring me back to reality.

Sometimes my gurus dispute my decision; sometimes they justify it. Regardless, I value them all. And as I've been off the market this month, I've realized that having wonderful people in your life to give advice is a good thing. Sometimes you just can't see clearly on your own. You lose the facts and the objectivity of a situation when you're still close to it. This is my support group in love and life, after all. Surely they know what's best for me!

But while debating yesterday's post, I found myself falling down the advice slippery slope where too many opinions results in not knowing my own mind or heart. You would never be able to pry a piece of pizza out of my hands once I decided to enjoy it. Yet, how many times have I let others' opinions of my relationship trump my own?

I think back to the shy guy who didn't jump into my family's conversation the first time they met. The one who went through rounds of different groups of friends for approval. How many times I've wanted to reach out to someone despite EVERYONE saying not to. The days I spent more time focusing on some guy's opinion of me and being perfect rather than deciding if I actually wanted to date him at all. Not to mention the times I took care of other people's needs instead of taking care of my relationship's needs.

The thing is, we all see others' relationships through a dirty glass as a result of our own experience. Guilty here. I instructed a friend this very week, telling her not to call her new guy when she was wondering about date details. Of course, my behavior was the effect of seeing the disastrous effects pressure can have on a new relationship. Am I saving her young romance? Or am I teaching her to placate and not stand up for what she wants? I may have her best intentions at heart but since I'm not in her relationship, I really have no idea what the best course might be.

Advice is important. I certainly wouldn't be this far without having gotten some good pieces along the way. Hopefully, we can learn from other mistakes and save a few like the quote goes. But at the same time, this blog has made me realize more and more that there's not a single answer. Life is just not black and white.

So what's my opinion on whether guys should do all the asking or a girl should step up to the plate once in awhile? I say take in all the advice you want, but ultimately, listen to your gut. I hope guys continue to pursue me. I think the majority of guys are not going to give up someone they want to be with. But, I hope not to miss an opportunity with someone who intrigues me just because he hasn't asked for my number yet. Maybe he's shy or having a bad day or worried about getting too close for fear I'll see he's breaking out. It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. I've been there.

Of course, that may not be the right answer for everybody. You may not want to take anything from any of my posts, for that matter. But it's the best advice for me.

I'm off the market & in the moment

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