Our gifts are often our curses.
I have learnt over time that I am a loose woman. No, not that kind of loose woman. Let me explain.
I really like people. I am open and friendly. I am genuinely interested in others. And I trust people unless I find reason to do otherwise.
However, I've also learnt that I have loose boundaries and it can get me into strange situations. Here is a very simple example.
A couple of years ago, I was on a bus travelling to Edinburgh from the village where I lived. A woman in her 50s got on the bus and sat down next to me. I’d never seen her before. Nor the large hairy animal that accompanied her!
I swear that within several minutes of sitting down Gillian was telling me about her sex life. "Voracious appetite I've got", she said.
I may have been more shocked about what she was saying except for the fact her dog was lying on my feet. On my brand new boots.
Gillian didn't draw breath for the whole 40 minute trip. I am not even sure how we got to that point. I think she started off complaining about how the hard seats did nothing for her bad back, then how her large breasts caused her back pain, how she didn’t want a breast reduction because she would lose all feeling in her nipples and how if her nipples were tweaked in a particular way she could climax within minutes. Then she was off and running.
I said only one word to her. And that was. “Really?”
I should have known better. Even though I will concede I did learn a few things. Least of all that dogs are allowed on Scottish public transport.
There is apparently something about me that invites such confidences, as if people can look at me and tell I have boundaries that can be demolished with the flick of a finger. Now I know many people wouldn’t have even made eye contact with Gillian or just turned the other way when she started talking or told her to stop because they weren’t interested. Oh no, not me. They say good fences make good neighbours but as we know bad boundaries make for way more interesting blog posts.
Except, and it is a big EXCEPT, you have to know when to be on guard. And that is most definitely when it comes to romantic relationships. That’s when loose boundaries can prove dangerous. And the stories can end up more harmful than hilarious.
Love Sharks can sniff an open door a mile away. And tear you to shreds before you've had a chance to slam the door in their face.
Take my adorable friend Annie. She had a relationship with a guy for some years. He was a successful businessman. She trusted him and believed him to be the person he said he was. We all did. He appeared to be a really great guy. It turns out that just about everything about him from hello to goodbye was a lie. It was almost as though he was leading a double life for the four years they were together. Yes, the stuff you see on Jerry Springer except he came dressed in a suit and tie and reeked of respectability.
Abusing a loved one's trust happens every day. So its best to choose wisely to begin with because once you fall in love it's hard to see the reality of your situation.
How many times have you heard that if your partner is having an affair or lost all your money you may be the last to know? It seems there could be some truth in that.
Scientists have found that love is indeed blind and there is a biological basis for that. Strong emotional ties to another person inhibit not only negative emotions but also affect the brain circuits involved in making social judgements about that person.
So we can finally explain why some people can't see all the faults in their partners which others, like close family and friends, may clearly perceive.
We are pulled along by the strong sense of reward you feel when you love. But we are also pushed by a tendency not to objectively see faults in the other person which might threaten love, because circuits in our brain responsible for critical social assessment and negative emotions are literally switched off. So it's important to have strong boundaries regardless of what stage of a relationship you are in.
As Shakespeare says love all, trust few and do wrong to no-one.
And I never saw Gillian again which was a shame because I had some questions for her.
Do you think love is blind or we choose to not to see the truth?
Note: I found a really interesting post touching on the issue of karma at Cleo's blog, Rosin Dubh .