Tonight, I remembered with a lot of clarity what it's like to be in a relationship -- interesting because I think I had forgotten.

Also, interestingly, I saw two ends of a relationship play out for me. The beginning: the lovey dovey, call you 50-11 times part and the end: the hanging up on, calling back and hanging up on again part. And in both cases, I found myself automatically annoyed that these non-present others were interfering with the type of evening I wanted to have but then, out of nowhere, came this really... I don't even know how to explain this without sounding cheeky and crazy... deep understanding of what that person was going through.

One of my friends is ending a relationship with someone he lives with. Tonight the process of him moving out got serious when he was threatened with having his stuff put out and/or having someone come get it. I was so frustrated by the way he was obviously being manipulated. This wasn't about being wronged, this was about getting revenge. His former lover wanted him to hurt in the same manner they had and was pulling out all the stops. I was frustrated with the way he sat on the phone and repeated himself over and over. Said things he probably didn't really believe just to appease the other. But for the most part I was upset with how this was interfering with my night. How instead of having a good time we were all... not.

And I immediately was able to call up several times I was that person. I had such empathy for his situation because I remembered being in that position. Wanting to have fun with my friends but knowing I couldn't not have this conversation because I was being forced to. It was have the convo right then -- which was my then significant other's way of controlling me -- or face consequences I wasn't ready for. It was crazy how I went right back to that spot in my feelings. The embarrassment, the frustration, the anger, the fear...

Later in the night, I found myself frustrated by the other one. I thought "are you really on the phone with this person right now? While we're in the car with the music blasting? Can they really not let you have one night with your friends? Sheesh. It's 2am!" But again, I went back to those times where I didn't care who I was with. I was fine being on the phone with my person of interest whenever they called, whenever they were free -- whether I was free or not. It was a simple sacrifice (and I surely didn't think of it as a sacrifice for anyone else...)

I felt like I was supposed to see these situations and that I went back to those feelings so quickly so that I could remember and be empathetic (huge for me in terms of really paying attention to how empathy works and where it comes from -- counselors need that) but also to check my expectations, ask myself some hard questions about what I want and what I'm looking for and what I'm truly willing to risk.

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