Journal Entry: Andrew Gerald Millas-11/28/2023

Journal Entry

11/28/2023 (Day #4353)

Healthy relationships

In SOTP-NR, one of the modules addressed healthy relationships. I focused my attention with specific, enthusiastic interest in the “romantic relationships” part of this module. My past romantic history is…let’s call it inconsistent, with some instability, immaturity, and mixed good and bad experiences. Therapy helped me identify some of my shortcomings as a good partner without judging or throwing rocks at ex-wives or ex-girlfriends. It also helped me identify some of my good qualities, assets that I brought to relationships, to keep in mind and build on.
Partner selection, and emotional “availability” and intimacy were especially beneficial for me to explore. In hindsight, I didn’t have a clear idea of important or “essential” qualities and attributes I wanted or needed in a potential partner, or the importance of having shared values and beliefs for compatibility. This seemed to be a byproduct of my underdeveloped thinking (read: emotional immaturity) that contributed significantly to incompatibility issues, which led to unstable and unhealthy relationships. My insecurity and abandonment issues compounded matters by guiding me to overlook or ignore “red flags” and unhealthy behaviors out of fear of being alone. To put it plainly, I abided by a “low bar”, and lacked clear boundaries of acceptability. I was inclined to stay with the wrong person for bad reasons over seeking the “right” person for good reasons, and that led to a number of failed relationships. Let’s be clear here, though – that isn’t an indictment of the women I was in relationships with, no slander or disparagement towards them. My “low bar” related to compatibility concerns, not to anybody’s character, values, or beliefs, and it’s fair to afford them the benefit of the doubt that they could have had their own “low bar” that led them to prolong bad relationships with me.
Now that I’ve attained more confidence and self-esteem, developed my emotional maturity, and I have a better sense of my self-worth, I have a clearer idea of what is important, and what isn’t in a potential partner. And similarly, I have a greater understanding of what constitutes unhealthy or unstable behavior. Ultimately, I’m much better prepared and capable of healthy partner selection, and of BEING a much better healthy partner to someone.
Intimacy, in the communication sense, was a big liability for me. Any survey of my failed relationships would likely report communication as the most common factor contributing to their failing. My insecurity played a part by diminishing my trust in partners, and that distrust impeded my willingness to be vulnerable or transparent. In turn, my reluctance reciprocally diminished my partners’ trust in me and their own willingness to be vulnerable. It was an unhealthy and damaging cycle of distrust, lack of vulnerability, emotional unavailability, and poor communication. Now, as with partner selection, my self-esteem, confidence, and emotional maturity, I’m honest and transparent, and I have a greater capacity to trust others and be vulnerable and emotionally available. The positive gained from that has carried over to other relationships, creating deeper connections and healthier relationships across the board. That’s growth.

More confident, more content, more trusting, more trustworthy.