Urban Dictionary is a little site I like to have fun with sometimes, especially if I need to derive an off the wall definition of a word to really bring my point home. Whilst doing research for this blog topic, I typed ‘Co-dependency’ in the Urban Dictionary search engine. I did not get a definition for ‘Co-Dependency’. Instead, I got a definition for ‘Whip Lips’. I know, right? Uhhhh-mazeballs.
Whip Lips: A woman who possesses co-dependent traits and is both possessive and controlling with regards to the men she dates. The male gender’s underlying assumption is that said woman’s boyfriend remains in this unhealthy relationship due to the sexual gratification the female provides, specifically, fellatio. A common turn of phrase pertaining to this is “He’s being whipped”, which means that the person in question is being dominated or controlled, historically represented by a whip, which was used to drive slaves. If this phrase is intriguing, you can find the full disclosure here.
Kids these days. How do they come up with this shit? Also, damn Urban Dictionary, sexist much?
Further research on Co-Dependency in regards to BOTH male and female turned up nothing via Urban Dictionary. Side note: If you get nothing out of this blog post other than trying to insert ‘Whip Lips’ into conversation after reading this, I feel as if I served my purpose.
All kidding aside, Co-Dependency is bad for your health and it’s also incredibly bad for your relationships. Platonic, familial AND romantic. However, for the sake of you love stricken fragments of star-dust, I’m going to focus on cupid and how sometimes I think he takes one too many shots of tequila and then plays kamikaze match maker just for shits and giggles. (PS – you’re cupid)
Definition of Co-Dependency from the mind of Mercedes: Relying on someone else to meet all of your needs by placing the relationship/other person above the overall existence of yourself. Which results in, You doing all the work and them not really giving a shit.
And since I’m big on analogies and imagery, I see it like this: A relationship is like being at 30,000 feet and the air masks suddenly dropping down. What does the safety brief tell you to do? Put your OWN damn mask on first before your loved one. You can’t help the other person if you’re passed out because you can’t fucking breathe. You also need to to put your own mask on first so you have the clarity to realize that the person you were sitting next to is the one that tampered with the smoke detector in the bathroom 5 seconds prior that’s making said air masks drop in precautionary fashion.
I took sex-ed when I was in 8th grade. Aside from staring at disgusting pictures of Gonorrhea and watching girls faint, we also had test tube sex. Which turned out to be mildly awesome. I can still remember all 21-ish of us running around the classroom, with clear test tubes in our hand, pouring and mixing our imaginary sexual fluids with everyone else. At the end of the game, those whose tube contents remained a light shade of pink were not infected, but the one that had the darkest pink of all, gifted the herp. Turns out, none of used protection and a girl named December was our proverbial and sexually transmitted Santa Claus. Looking back, I can guarantee none of us took from that little experiment what we should have.
Why did I just go there? Because it’s a great fucking story, why else?
Seriously though, I wish someone, anyone, would have talked to me about being an independent and complete person in romantic relationships. However, since it seems my destiny is to write about all the ways I’ve fucked up and then share it with y’all, here’s 5 ways to check yourself before you fall in to a pit of co-dependent fuckery:
1. The WHY doesn’t fucking matter. HOW you’re going to do something does. It doesn’t really matter WHY you’re Co-Dependent. Sure, you could go spend lots of monies to sit in front of a dude or chick that has numerous framed degrees on their wall and letters after their name to tell you WHY, but that’s not going to fix a damn thing. If they aren’t going to help give you tools and insight on how to overcome it, find yourself a new couch to sit on. This is not me hating on therapists. The only reason I’m saying quit focusing on the why, is because I actually sat on someones leathery couch and analyzed my life from the age of 3 and it really got me nowhere until I started deciding to stop giving a shit WHY things happened and decided HOW I was going to move forward. The past is the past. You can’t alter it, you can only accept it for what it was and move on. aka Focus on the solution, NOT the problem.
2. There is nothing heroic and strong about taking back someone who says they realized they really do care about you, AFTER losing you. Truth is, it took them fucking up and you being strong enough to walk away for them to see something they were too stupid to see before. Is that YOUR problem? Only if you take that shithead back. It boils down to this simple fact. When people truly want something, they rise to the occasion. Moreover, if someone is gonna step out on you, they are gonna step out on you. It’s inevitable and there is nothing you can do to stop it. There’s no power in worrying if it will ever happen, it’s having the power to walk when it does.
3. We all have assholes, which means we ALL are assholes. You don’t say? My theory is this: We all have the shiny, glittery sides to our characters and then we have the really awesome Halloween movie sides. Well, let’s hope we’re not all running around with chain saws killing people. You’re a liar if you say there isn’t a Dr. Jekyll to your Mr. Hyde. The person you decide to do the damn thing with, should bring out a lot of the butterfly and pony shit. Not the actual, legitimate shit. So if you find yourself with shit covered surroundings more often than not…looks like you’ve got yourself a double ply solution to focus on. Yes, that’s double ply. It takes two to make a relationship sail and two to make it fail. You’re both responsible for whatever is going on, so you both can get your fucking hands dirty and decide if you can use it as fertilizer for something better, or throw it out for good.
4. Don’t be like Humpty Dumpty and sit your round ass on a square wall. If that dude was smart enough to realize his very un-flexible, curved behind needed a cushion to sit on BEFORE setting up backside shop on that wall, well, the nursery rhyme would have gone a little different. He probably would have been coaxing all the kings men to sit on that wall with him and drink beer. And then feed the horses cheez-its. Relationship Awareness aka knowing what the fuck you want and what you will and will not accept. If you lack relationship awareness, you’re gonna be the idiot in #2 that’s taking back said shit head even though he’s been throwing shit all over your walls for quite some time.
5. Don’t become Dora the Explorer with your own personality, but then do. Though treasure hunts and singing maps are totally rad; If your interests, opinions and beliefs are the very things you’ve seemed to misplace, FIND THEM. And quickly. A relationship can not sustain any lengthy amount of time if either one of the individuals has nothing that makes them individual from each other. You love throwing on your hot pants and roller skating on a Friday night and he doesn’t? Go any ways. You extremely dislike his friends and single handedly disarm his weekly penis time with his bros and he doesn’t put up a fight…well, that just makes me want to smack you both. You are both TWO different people. You probably like a lot of the same stuff, but you’re not gonna bring anything exciting to the relationship if you A) give up something that’s important to you because the other person has their panties/manties in a bunch or B) give up something that’s important to you because you lack the respect and love of yourself to cultivate the hell out of yourself. And by all means, do shit together. Start a rugby team or maybe go volunteer at a homeless shelter. Be kick ass as individuals, but be even better together.
I started this blog post fully intending to talk about airplanes…How the HELL did I end it with Dora the Explorer? I don’t have ADD at all…..
Oh, by the way….Happy a lot of people are probably either gonna get pregnant, engagement rings or fat from all the chocolate your stuffing into your mouths day!
I don’t remember the exact moment in time I was given the option to indulge in Hummus. If memory serves me right, I’m sure it was in my teens. I had no idea what it even was, I just know that I didn’t like the name, the color or the idea of “chick peas”. Somehow the orangey spread reminded me of my Aunt’s Ham and Green Bean dish that I HATED.
Enter years of telling people, “Eww. I don’t like Hummus, no thanks.”
Problem is, I never even gave Hummus a chance. I went with a first impression and projected a dislike of something completely different. Poor little Hummus, taking the rap for my disdain for Ham and Beans.
Well, I tried Hummus for the first time a few days ago. Dude I love the shit! Maybe it’s the almost chalky texture or the flavors that burst whilst eating it with pita bread. I don’t really know, but this girl is a Hummus fan.
This little revelation reminds me of a very similar, but more soul touching lesson I recently learned. Remember that blog post I wrote about that boy who was really tall, handsome but worked at a gay bar? Remember my first impressions of him? Well, he’s pretty much the Hummus in my love life…
I failed to tell ya’ll where little old me was emotionally and situation-ally when I met D. I was still trying to heal from a relationship ending in May. I came out of it pretty wounded, fearful and straight-up guarded. I really didn’t have any business opening myself up to someone…I’d just be wasting their time. But my justification to myself was that I was never going to be able to get back into the dating scene if I didn’t throw myself out there. Well, that’s true if you’ve dealt with your shit. I wasn’t at the place in my life where I would be able to give anyone anything other than my past injuries that they weren’t responsible for healing. That was all on me.
I hate baggage, I really do. And all the relationships I tried cultivating with people who had baggage and were unwilling to tackle it, with or without my help, well they didn’t work out. Subconsciously, I knew that’s what was going on here.
About 7 dates into whatever it was that D and I were doing, I realized I wouldn’t do it. Yes, that’s right. There was no “couldn’t” about it. I straight up refused to 1) Get vulnerable 2) Experience spending time with him without projecting and thinking about how hurt I got before. This really was a double-edged sword for me. On one hand I was guarding my heart and being stronger and more aware of what I thought were red flags. But on the flip side, I was literally looking for anything to dramatize just so I could have an excuse to get out. The other side of the coin was that I was honestly doing what was best for me by choosing to walk away.
Sure, the reasons I told myself weren’t really true at all; it was just my ego trying to justify and not admit that I really was looking out for myself and heart just so I could appear confident and never be a women led with emotion again. It is human nature to resist what we do not know. Foreign anything feels, well, foreign. My list of others before included very negative things, things that I grew accustomed to and thought was all I deserved. So naturally, I fought the shift in quality of person I was choosing to spend time with. He literally was like a foreign language to me. That description really wasn’t a double edge sword at all, more like one of those star looking things or a three-sided boomerang…oops.
Yes, I absolutely was way too hard on him because I was protecting myself. But, I also checked out of putting myself in a situation where I could be wasting both of our breath and time. There was also one very cold hard fact: I 100% disliked his job. I knew that it would be impossible to try and build a relationship with someone that worked in a bar full-time. I actually told him that I would not seriously date him while he worked at the bar.
Nevertheless, I broke it off, offering only an explanation of “I might be moving at the beginning of the year and I don’t want to start something”. Though that statement was true, I was leaving out a lot. But I figured a clean, unemotional break would be best. I said I wanted to remain friends but we didn’t. Communication stopped and the only thing we saw of each other was on Facebook.
Remember when he worked at the bar? He doesn’t have that job anymore. Not because of me, but he actually had graduated with his MBA a few months prior and was already planning his transition before we met. But 3 weeks after I “split”, he quit and began looking for a degree related job. A few weeks after that, I saw on Facebook that he accepted a position in Minneapolis. I was really happy for him. I figured since he’d be leaving soon, I’d reach out and hang one last time before he left. I thought enough time had gone by that we’d be able to just hang out without any emotional undertones.
I invited him out to go bowling with friends right before New Year’s. It was nice to catch up. And that was it. We went our separate ways.
But right after New Year’s, I was laying in bed and he popped into my head. I recalled the ease of being in his presence when we went bowling and how similar it felt to our first date. So I texted him. He replied. Before I knew it, he had invited me over for dinner a few nights later.
As we sat there talking, eating salmon and listening to music, I realized how different things were. I realized how well we connected and how we weren’t the same people we were back in October. So much had changed for both of us.
In a moment of seizing what was right in front of us and forgetting the past, we mutually decided to try again. Cue wine and vodka consumption and drunkenly changing our Facebook statuses…totally giggle worthy.
So here I sit right now, missing the hell out of D because 3 weeks after we decided to be “us”, he left for Minneapolis. Never in a million years did I think I would be falling for someone from a distance, but it’s happening, right now.
This is not a lesson in “What’s meant to be will be” or “Serendipity” or even “The best things in life are worth waiting for”. Nope. I think it’s a lesson in taking responsibility for what you can control and what you have to offer someone and either checking your baggage at the door or unpacking it and putting it away for good. I think it also speaks volumes for two people actively choosing a relationship together and not relying on a false sense of romance. I’m glad the first time around didn’t work. Had it not been for what happened, I don’t think I would have been able to learn things about myself that I did.
Will this be easy? I can bet money that it won’t be. I don’t know what the future has in store for either of us, but I do know that I can confidently and with hope, move forward and strive to live each day in this moment and not in moments that have already come and gone.
I may be here in St. Louis and he may be freezing his balls off in snowy Minnesota, but that’s what facetime is for. And now, I want some Hummus.