Yes, that’s an Aladdin reference. In light of semi-serious postings going on lately making my mother cry (April 16th, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) (Ma, do not go back and read those), today we’re going to get back to the good stuff. Yes, boys and men. I know. Sorry. Actually I’m not, but whatever. I’ve professed before about the power in a relationship, but today I’m going to share more in depth the subtleties of the power in a relationship, the power shift, and maybe even how to get the power back if you lose it. And it might even spawn sequels of this post. We’ll see how it goes.
I have this friend. She was seeing this guy. He seemed really awesome. The type that you tell all your friends that he’s so good, it’s like he’s too good. But it appears to be true. She make all the right moves (and so doe he), letting him initiate phone calls, dates, hang-out sessions, cutesy text convos, and she’s checking off all the little “he’s just not that into me” boxes. And by that I mean, she is assuring that he is actually into her because he’s making this grand effort. High five to my friend. But she’s still sort of hesitant, because of that feeling in the back of her mind that “this is too good to be true,” so she’s guarded. We all tell her obviously to get excited and be happy, he sounds awesome, blah blah blah. Here’s a shocking revelation: girls in packs give turrible advice. Girls one-on-one give great advice [usually] but put us all in a room together and plug your ears. In the end though, we all agree that she should follow her heart, advice frequently handed out by my favorite Marine. So she keeps it light, and then after a while decides she either isn’t ready for this relationship to progress, it doesn’t feel right, or she just doesn’t want to see him anymore, and she tells him so. Simple, straightforward.The “because” really don’t matter.
If you’re trying to guess, at this point it is my friend who has the power. She’s taking her situation into her own hands and choosing for herself. When a little while goes by and he seems to be ok with it, not calling 90 times to get to to come back, singing Darius Rucker songs beneath her window, she still can hold her head up high and proudly say, “I chose. I am more than fine. I love myself. And he can screw whatever he wants and I don’t care.” And she’d be honest. In this situation, it’s not really important that he know she has the power. He might even think that he has the power (if guys even think about this) but it doesn’t matter, because she is fine, confident, and self-empowered. And sassy. And she moves on, and is even more empowered by her own choice when she finds out that he has a girlfriend just a few short weeks later. This is affirmation that she followed her heart and did the right thing for herself and she’s not missing out.
I think this is really what “having the power” is all about. It’s not about abusing the power, knowing that you are holding the other person in the palm of your hand. Knowing that they’ll do anything you ask, say anything you want, as long as they can be with you, and abusing it. Or whatever. It’s about knowing your destiny is in your control. That sounded deep, but it’s really not. My friend had the power because she chose and didn’t let infatuation with someone she didn’t know too well get in the way of doing what she knew in her heart (and head) was the right thing for her. She didn’t let the insecurity that we all feel about being that one girl we all know who is still “alone and single” get in the way of watching out for number one.
In my experience, the power shift happens when you perceive that you are more invested than the other person. My friend in this little anecdote perceived this, feared losing control of herself, and kept things light until she could figure out his true intentions. This part is tricky because sometimes boys are really good at pretending you rock their world, and then they get a little hooha and you are yesterday’s hooha and they’ve moved on to fresher and newer hooha. [I love using the word hooha.] One can encourage the power shift by doing many things, thus losing control over your own situation. As ladies, we can easily lose sight of keeping our cool in favor of being too available and smothering our current man with communication and emotion. While I’m not in favor of playing games, it is important to keep your cool and try to be normal. If you realize one day that he totally has the power and you don’t like it because you don’t know what’s up, there are things you can do to alleviate the situation and perhaps bring the power back to neutral. Stop smothering. See if he misses it, and more importantly, you. If he doesn’t, say goodbye. And presto, power is back to you. Are we seeing a trend? This applies to guys and girls. If you think she has all the power and you don’t like it, and you’re not sure how she feels, stop smothering. See if she misses you. If she doesn’t, say goodbye.
We seem to be getting closer to my oft-repeated mantra. And now that I think about it, it seems the balance of power gets back to “he’s just not that into you.” If the power isn’t shared almost equally between the two parties, seems to me that one of you doesn’t care enough. And don’t we all want someone who cares more than enough? Personally I prefer someone who cares a whole lot, versus someone who could really go either way, depending on what’s on ESPN at the moment and if he’s hungry.
And now I’m over 1000 words. I guess we’ll have some sequels coming soon. Because we know how much I love sequels. No one likes to say goodbye after just one.