'I'm a parenthesis.'

I thought we signed up for the same thing. I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. I mean, you are... an escape. You're a break from my normal life. You are... a parenthesis. Did you guys ever see 'Up in the Air'? George Clooney? Anna Kendrick? It was good. Quite good. Much better than I expected. Above is a line from the movie, near the end. A pretty pivotal scene. The scene stuck with me, like a sliver in my damn finger. One of those real bitchy ones. No matter how much I dig, it won't come out, and instead, there's just a bloody mess. And a sliver. In my finger. Still.

I'm having major revelations about myself today. That scene - that line - made it all clear. I'm a parenthesis. I allow myself to be a parenthesis, which , in and of itself, is worse than being of parenthetical means.

I'm no good at relationships. I end them. They end me. I can't keep them. I don't want them. I beg for them. I need them. I want better. I'm insecure. I fall too hard. I open up too fast. I shut down too late.

So I put myself into unhealthy relationships. Situations I know will end, and end badly. I don't know why I do this. Part of it is naiveté. As a guy is holding my hand, he'll tell me he doesn't want a relationship. Not ready for it, he'll say. But because he's holding my hand, my mind will tell me, You're good enough. You're good enough that he'll come around. Don't run. Try.

Try.

Sadly, this scenario doesn't reflect a specific incident. It reflects two. In the last year. In a third scenario, he told me he wanted to be with me. Circumstances wouldn't let it be. I fell hard, it was silly. I knew it couldn't be. That it wouldn't be. But he wanted to be with me, he told me.

Try.

That damn word again.

In the end, each of these situations ended the same. I was the comfort. I was familiar. I filled a need. I was present. I was there. I was good. But I was not enough. They didn't want me. Not one of them. They wanted the idea. They wanted the comfort. They wanted affection. They wanted what I would give them, because I would give them that. The relationship that wasn't. No strings. No commitment. When they let go of my hand each day, they got to go back to their real life. The life I was not a part of. The life reserved for relationships. Real life. (Not the escape).

The parenthesis.

They didn't want relationships with me. And when each of them let go of my hand for the last time, do you want to know where they ended up? In relationships.

I was not enough. I was just the escape. The stepping stone to what they really wanted. A distraction. Trying did not change that. You can only be naive for so long.

This happens to me because I let it. When I'm handed a glaring red flag, I take it and paint stars and stripes on it, pretending it's something different. I hang it in my figurative front yard on my figurative flagpole. Smile at it when I pass by. But when it rains and all the paint washes off, IT'S STILL A RED FLAG.

No more of that. No more painting over the flags and waving them in the breeze. These are lessons learned. You can't change a person. You can't force feelings. I can't cling to hope. The right relationship will happen. It won't be forced. No punctuation. I won't be naive and I will be enough.