when i was younger -- and i suspect this is not so idiosyncratic -- i was tremendous at offense. i was this constant ball of energy all the time, obviously exceptional, etc., etc.. and awful at defense; i had no idea what i was doing inside a relationship, no idea how to continue to make someone feel special even when i really loved them. again, i suspect that this is not very particular to myself.
as i've gotten older, things have shifted. i can't deny that i make a worse first impression than i did before; worse both in terms of less appealing and less accurate. the latter is the problem, really; i have no desire to trick someone into liking me when they're inevitably going to become disillusioned, but it's kind of nice to project yourself accurately.
so i feel like i'm in a different failure mode than before. i used to have this spectacular offense which would (mostly figuratively) charm the pants off people -- not a bag of tricks but genuine excitement, because that's really who i was: the charmer with the dimples. and so i'd end up in all these relationships, but i had no idea how to do the whole stability defense thing. i overthought molehills into mountains; i was poor at conveying the depth of my feelings; i wasn't instinctively thoughtful. and of course, the bad part about offense is that the relationship probably can't live up to the initial supernova. i never saw this as a bad thing, because, i mean, i certainly wanted something that was awesome all the time. and a couple times in my life, i did have that.
now, not to say that i don't do those things, but it's sort of different. to be fair, i'm not trying to be a charmer most of the time, but after what can by this point be categorized as a variety of heart-rending experiences, i'm a little cautious, a little shy. in some sense, i've had the irrational hope beaten out of me in all but the most obvious (even though irrationally obvious may be something of an oxymoron, it does exist; maybe that's a good definition of love, come to think of it) of situations.
and, of course, i like to think that i've learned some things over the years from relationships, both mine and others'. i honestly think that at this point i could play decent defense, certainly better than ever. it's almost certainly a more healthy combination. it just feels a little weird.
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