Monday, October 05, 2009

Out with the Old (Relationships), In with the New (Relationship)

In the last few months, I've learned some good lessons about building a solid foundation for a relationship. I tend toward the conservative in theory when it comes to these sorts of issues ("wide margins"), but in practice, I've let remnants of past relationships continue to linger.

For example, until recently I still had hundreds of photographs on my computer of ex-boyfriends. I never look at the photos; they serve no purpose whatsoever. Yet I've never taken the time to delete them. And really I'd never given any thought to doing so until I asked about a photo album in Clay's closet. He had to look to even know what was in it. It was photographs of his ex-fiancee and him from years ago, and I didn't like how it made me feel. And it made me think about how Clay would feel if he ran across the photographs, cards, letters, etc. that I've held onto for years from various ex-boyfriends. Granted most are in boxes at my dad's house ("storage"), but they aren't things I need to hold onto as I move forward.

Similarly until recently I've talked to Carter when he calls each month or so. While our conversations involve nothing inappropriate and I enjoy chatting with Carter, it doesn't feel wise to continue investing in a friendship with an ex-boyfriend. And it doesn't seem like the best way for me to care for Clay and our relationship.

It's cost me very little to make these changes/deletions; it's just taken a little effort and time, which is absolutely well worth it to help build a healthy relationship that leaves less room for insecurity and doubt.

p.s. I'm grateful for a weekend filled with time with my family and a growing friendship with my secretary.

12 comments:

TC said...

it's just taken a little effort and time, which is absolutely well worth it to help build a healthy relationship that leaves less room for insecurity and doubt.

You make a great point there.

I think sometimes we hold on to things, or people even, and say "but I'm not doing anything wrong!" And while that may be the case, if you're causing someone else pain or worry, is it really worth it?

Relationships are about putting the two of you before just you.

HappyascanB said...

Smart Girl! Delete away! Log onto ingleside.org and listen to Tim's sermon yesterday. Fantastic!

Ally said...

TC: Yes! I think that's why "am I doing anything wrong?" isn't the best question. The better question is "is this wise?"

B: Thanks for the suggestion!

Aaron said...

Just to be certain, I deleted your mobile number from my phone. :)

Kidding!

But an excellent point. If you're "not doing anything wrong" and someone else is hurt, there may be an excellent point to be made that you are, in fact, doing something wrong.

Does this mean I have to throw away the two pictures from my high school prom? :)

Ally said...

Aaron: Ah, good point as to whether something is "wrong." And nah, prom photographs (as well as the Sears studio portrait of my first boyfriend and me...we were four!) should be ok.....but you may want to double-check with Sarah.

r8chel said...

Very interesting. I used to journal a lot, and about a year ago I stopped. Within the past few days, I've been considering shredding all of those old journals. They were an important tool for figuring some things out, but I have no interest in reading them, and they certainly don't reflect who I am now. Hmm.

BrunetteKoala said...

This is such a great point Ally. I like your point of asking 'is this wise?' as opposed to 'is this wrong?'

Ys said...

I boxed up my stuff to do with the ex. It's not that I want it to look at but it's a part of my past and I'd be sad to throw away the memories. I did delete the pictures off my computer though cos really they were just wasting space.

TC said...

If you're "not doing anything wrong" and someone else is hurt, there may be an excellent point to be made that you are, in fact, doing something wrong.

Aaron had a good point. I guess it comes down to how much you truly respect the person you're with. Because if you really care about them and their feelings, even the ones you might consider to be a bit irrational, you'll make that extra effort to at least put yourself in their shoes. Sounds like that's what you've done in this case.

TC said...

PS: "Is this wise?" could be a good question, but I think I'd be most apt to ask myself "Is this going to hurt someone else?" Because that's always the last thing I want to do.

Christina said...

The only thing I'd add, Ally, is that you *know* you're ready to get rid of these things. People who aren't should be allowed the time to recover or heal, because otherwise they'll regret the decision later.

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

You may a great point. However, I've never wanted to throw those things away because they are a large part of who I am. If I threw away all of the pictures of my ex, I would only have a few pictures of myself from the last decade. Despite who the memories are with, they are still memories that are important to show who I am today. Of course, I'll never share them with new boyfriends! :)