Plan to Bandage My Broken Heart

Dear L-,

If my Valentine’s gift brought us closer together emotionally, then it has fulfilled a very good thing. Though, I am not mad at you for the manner in which you received the gift, i can’t seem to get it out of my mind. Concrete words do not convey the feelings well, so allow me to use and analogy:

Imagine Pepper affectionately rubbing against my leg. I freat out, accidentally step on her and break her back. She’s not dead. Yet, her back still hurts from being broken.

Pepper represents my romantic nature. I still love you and will purr when you’re near, but my romantic backbone still hurts. I woke up this morning still in pain and realized a relational obstacle we are bound to encounter in the future.

Before I continue, I want to be clear about something. I see this situation as an opportunity to build on our relationship. Every relationship has its obstacles to overcome. I think we’ve come to our first one. At this point, I have three choices: (1) give up on our quasi-commitment and move on; (2) ignore the obstacle only to run into it again in the future; or (3) approach the obstacle and see how we can break it down together. As I’ve said, this is our chance to work together to build on our relationship. So, I choose option 3.

That being said, here is what I think the obstacle is. I envision a future where I will be disappointed everytime I do something romantic. Being romantic takes time, effort and creativity. Without proper appreciation, there is no incentive to be romantic. I will feel unappreciated, as a result, and will either be unhappy in the relationship or seek appreciation elsewhere (both of which are equally bad consequences).

I feel there are two mutually exclusive causes to this potential bad situation: (1) my own expectations; (2) the way you respond to romantic overtures. They are mutually exclusive because we only have to change one to prevent the bad situation from happening. My expectation would cause the problem because I don’t perceive appreciation. The way you respond to romance would cause the problem because it is not enough to demonstrate appreciation.

These two causes lend themselves to two possible solutions. I can change my expectations, or you cna change the way you show your appreciation.

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