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  • Writer's pictureAnderson

Love (Sex) & Literature #3

The city is tall and black and lunar luminescent neon on my computer screen. It’s the nape of night and my lover is asleep meaning I’m alone and talking to no one, I’m just here with you, dear reader, and your bleeding romantic heart. I already love connecting with you like this and advising you on how to protect your innocent inner instinct for happiness. It looks like a jade egg in my mind’s eye and I’m holding it with palms to the sky with you like a baby bird. 

If two people have an on and off relationship, and one side is still feeling guilty over behavior over a previous attempt at the relationship, can that get in the way? And if so, in what ways?

I get this, I do. Sometimes it’s more fun when you’re not together. Crazy chaotic unpredictable obsession, all-consuming. I’ve been there. So take this answer with that in mind, I’ll never yuck your yum. Also please realize I am an unpredictable individual myself. You might not expect what I say to this, or to any answer, and I don’t claim to be a particular authority or expert on anything. But you might have some fun trying my ideas out. Above all, life is meant to be lived.

So. Why are you feeling guilty? (I’m assuming you’re the one with the guilt if you’re looking for an answer somewhere.) All’s fair in love and war. Guilt, like all feelings, is a message. Your core disagrees with your vessel. Somewhere along the line you betrayed your own values or word. In hindsight, you regret your actions, and inadvertently you’ve hurt someone, and/or yourself. It hurts to look hindsight. 

That’s OK. That’s great, actually, it means you’re growing to look back and cringe. It’s a message: now you have more clarity around the orientation of your moral compass. Much of the soul is indistinct until exposed through experience. Let the guilt’s discomfort discipline you into behaving differently in the future. There’s no point ruminating on the past if you understand your error. Reflect, then another revolution of the rose wheel. You don’t want to give up yet, do you? 

Have you apologized? Even if you’re not the guilty one. If you’re asking this I think it would be worth your while to talk about whatever happened in the past. It’s incredibly compassionate to express vulnerability if your goal is to encourage them to open up. Make it feel safe. Be genuine and present, even if you choose to be opaque. Any expression of feeling should be welcomed in any relationship. If you have that kind of hot-cold thing going on, I’m afraid it’s too cold for me to reasonably recommend as worth your while. Seek an abundance mindset if you’re having trouble detaching from a poisonous symbiosis.

Maybe I’m assuming the situation is “you haven’t committed to each other”, as in, you’ve both chosen it. Maybe it’s not a mutual decision. Often in these situations one person doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship and the other is tolerating it. Enduring it. Many reasons why someone wouldn’t want to commit: you’re not ticking all their boxes, probably. OR they’re afraid (of pain, of closeness, of messing up, of honesty, etc). They could like you but they also really like at least one other person and they don’t want to hurt you but not enough to leave you alone. Maybe everything is actually really great except for this one despicable thing it’s hard to accept. I hope this isn’t the case for you, but it happens. 

Honestly? Even in one of those painful uneven unreciprocated situations, a relationship is a two-way street. Subconsciously, people treat us how we allow them to. If you want or need commitment but you’re continuing to show up in a partnership that decidedly does not provide that, you’re tacitly expressing that you’re ultimately fine with it. Commitment is something you’re willing to compromise on. If it wasn’t, if you didn’t accept this kind of relationship into your life, you wouldn’t keep it around. You’d fight like a dog to be rid of it. It’s allowed or maybe you hate it but deep down you maybe think you deserve it. It’d be too hard to find something better. You’re afraid. I feel for you, but I know you can do better. You know it too, and I’d like you to believe it.

Maybe I’m off the mark and I’m digressing. Maybe one of you out there needed to see it spelled out like that. When I write I’m channeling from my higher self so I won’t question why that flowed from me. Let’s move on.

In the last bit of your question, I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. Is it possible for one person’s guilt to complicate things? Of course. Them not voting in 2016 could complicate things. Their big toe could get in the way of things. Relationships are volatile and malleable and you’re not committed to each other, or you’re so volatile you can’t decide if you want to end it or stay together (“previous attempt…”), so I imagine there are many ephemeral things that could further complicate this, respectfully. I hope your lover isn’t gaslighting you into thinking there’s no way this could be an issue, and I hope you’re not gaslighting yourself out of feeling it. 

The worst thing you can do in love is ignore your intuition. I can’t begin to imagine how such a subtle shift in emotion would manifest in this mystery not-marriage but if you’re sensing it then it’s there. The investigation is your duty, if you want this to work. There’s no fun in not understanding each other. If you keep returning after the off-again phase then you’re willing to forgive and understand this lover, meaning, this is a crusade you want to win to continue. When there’s understanding, the sex is better. 

So talk about this. Be brave. Be honest with them and your own feelings. And be forgiving. Nobody is perfect and humans have emotions which go out of control sometimes. Humans make decisions they go on to regret. Humans act in contradiction of their values or beliefs, it happens. If you can forgive yourself you can forgive anyone; start there. 


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