"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option."
I tried to scan down to the next quote, clearly this one had nothing to do with the snappy automotive headlines I so desperately needed, but failed to do so. My eyes kept leaping back to that line, reading it over and over again while one relationship in particular flashed in my mind like hazard lights.
It also made me think of so many friends and loved ones. How many stories have I heard of men and women who dedicated themselves to a husband, wife or lover who didn't seem to care one way or another about what their actions did to their significant other? Oh, how they held that love so lightly, so carelessly, they let it slip from their fingertips as though it were nothing more than last season's silk scarf.
I read once that the only way to guarantee a happy marriage is to marry someone who loves you just a little bit more than you love them. Never be the one who loves the most, or you'll surely be heartbroken at some point. Certainly I've seen marriages like this, and I've seen a lot of happy women who were worshipped and adored by their loving husbands. How they doted on them! How secure and carefree were the beloved wives in their husband's affection. I marveled at it.
Such confidence. Such self-assured ease.
Women are told that men won't love you if you're too clingy. We all want what we can't have, men love a challenge, and all that pop psychology we've digested in Hungry Man-size portions. "He's Just Not That Into You," is entirely based on this premise. Don't chase after someone who isn't as into you as you are them.
But some of us seem to be chasers. Men and women alike. We think if we just love them enough, or the right way, or change ourselves just so, that they'll come around. It's a humiliating enough experience that it could turn your heart cold if you let it.
Rather than let it turn my heart cold and untrusting, I did develop a hyper-sensitivity to being "optional." If I'm in a relationship, you're the priority. If you aren't the priority, I'm breaking up with you. I'm not going to string either one of us along. If I get the sense I'm being balanced ever-so-lightly on your fingertips, I'm outta there.
I won't ever make that mistake again, and neither will my boyfriend. Perhaps it works for us because we were both there. We both lived life as someone else's option, while they were everything to us. Rather than be embarrassed by this, I often remind myself of my sister's kind words:
"You should never be ashamed that you loved and trusted someone. They should be ashamed for betraying that love and that trust. They are the losers, not you."