Don’t Shop for Your Relationship On the Clearance Rack

I was trying clothes on the other day and I sweat more in a changing station than I do at Lifetime fitness (that shiz is a lot of work).  I needed a new outfit for a house party I was (embarrassingly enough) going to.  I was tearing off clothes, putting them on, shoving clothes onto racks, getting deodorant all over non-purchased items…).  I found a great top at one of my favorite stores in the Mall of America – Franchesca. I spun in many little circles, letting the fabric hit my legs.  I fell in love.  It was just to flawless and beautiful!  But the practical side of my wallet, (the little slit on the outer edge that stores a few one dollar bills from restaurant tips) said no.  Brittany, buy lunch today instead.  Feed yourself.

So, I went to the next store.  A cheaper one.  Embarrassingly enough, I went to Old Navy. Once there, I found a simalar outfit I could get in place of the other.  I tried it on, sweating my little life away in the dressing room and looked at myself in the mirror.  For some reason, wearing the new outfit – made me want the other one more. Once the new fabric was against my legs, I compared it to the other fabric.  I compared how my boobs looked in the other fabric, what people would say to me when I was wearing it….and I wanted it all back.

I wanted the dress from Franchesca.  Now, after trying something else on – more than ever.

Does the same thing happen in relationships?  Does it take one relationship to want another one even more?

I mean, it makes a lot of sense to me.  You are given the ample opportunity to compare two relationships by actually trying another one on.  Don’t your teeth look whiter when you put nude lipstick on?  What about this metaphor?  When you eat more spicy food, doesn’t the next food you eat taste bland?  Relationships are all stronger (or not stronger) in contrast.  We are able to physically compare. It’s effective, hands on, physical, and very experienced.  But why does this happen?  Do we crave dipping into other relationships to have a go ahead nod that you really enjoyed a recent one? Do we crave dipping into other relationships just to experience things more than we had before?  Are we routinely inclined to do so?  Why can’t we just figure it out?  Why can’t we just openly understand who’s right for us and who’s not? Maybe we want to taste the spicy food first, maybe we want our teeth to look whiter.  Does toying with our own minds and others in relationships constitute that?

It’s especially frustrating, because it’s too late to go back.  In a way, a recent relationship we failed to understand before is understood better after we visually see and feel a new thing.  We are able to compare real elements to other’s – and view another relationship from a place we were unable to before.  How is this fair?  What makes us feel the need to go through that?  I would think my taste buds had a fewer less morals than my own heart and mind.

Is this the way we should go about living?  Is it all a waste of time?  Maybe the games are not a waste of time.  Maybe they let us learn the hard way, but treat us the right way.  Maybe we wouldn’t do things the same or act upon things if we didn’t explore this way.  If we didn’t “date other people” we wouldn’t get a chance to see the greatness in another good thing.

But what if you have to hurt someone to get to that realization?  I know I’ve hurt a few people to get there.  I try them on, see they just don’t work – and shamelessly run back to something that didn’t even work out before.  However, we probably gave them a lesson in return – as long as we were kind and honest. In retrospect, they got to try you on as well.  If they really liked you, their standards for others was heightened. They are able to choose someone else based upon their recent (and pleasant) relationship.  Now isn’t that nice? Seeing the bright sliver in the dark hole.  If they didn’t like you – even better.  They got rid of  you (and know not to date anyone with a donut addiction) or whatever the issue may be.

Therefore, I’ve come to a brief realization that relationships are for trying on.  They hang up on racks like clothes, you page through them, bust a sweat trying them on and tearing them off…they go on sale – you wear them once.  They are crazy expensive, and you just keep going back to the store if they are available on clearance.  Essentially, you get what you pay for in relationships.  You get cash back or store credit if you return and if you work hard and make enough – you will get what you want in the end.  Hopefully, you will try something on, find it is the perfect fit and it’s not even on the clearance rack.

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real. college. love. really smart people.