Why Am I Bad at Relationships?

And, how to get to know yourself better. They go hand-in-hand.

I recently wrote an article about the time of Galileo and how, as a people, Earth used to be considered the center of the Universe.

To really make a substantial change in your relationships, it is going to take an “AHA!” moment like Newton had when the apple hit him smack on the head.

Spoiler Alert: He learned that Earth wasn’t the center of the Universe.

One thing I’ve figured out is, no matter what might actually be the center of the Universe, there is no stopping it from moving. Even the sun is revolving around something bigger.

There is no way to avoid being well traveled!
Perhaps that’s why ninety percent of people are walking suitcases. Sent around the world and returned home with labels plastered all over them.

Me too.

Some of the labels are faded. Washing out gradually from all of the back and forthing down in the cargo bay.
Some of my labels have barnacles growing on them. They’re old and stubborn, probably formed while sitting down in the stern when sent home by ship.

Strange that… Shipments being sent by airplane and cargo by ship.

But,that’s what we are. People.

We have value as wives and husbands. We can see our own value when we call ourselves a gymnast or a juggler. People can use us, and know exactly how much we are worth when we are a good son or daughter. An upstanding citizen. A church-goer.
We’re valuable and reliable as mothers and fathers.

But these are not relationships. These are bumper stickers. Trophies. Awards you’ve won for doing your duty and making the grade.

Real relationships are built from the stuff inside of the suitcase. Which means you have to open it up.

There are a lot of us who have been out-at-sea for a long time. Opening the clasps is going to take some thumbs with thick callouses.
I hope you have some tough friends!

That’s just a joke. If you wait for someone else to open you up, you may never form a relationship to begin with.
In reality, the first person you have to open up to is yourself.

You have to be real with yourself. Find out who you are.
What you enjoy. What makes you smile.
Go ahead. Ask yourself.

Being a wife, a dad, a teacher, a husband… These are all great things!
In fact, they are perfect things with perfect definitions that everyone already knows!

But, to make real connections with yourself and others, you have to show up as who you really are. The imperfect you.


Because we’re all works in progress and the only way to craft ourselves is with the help of others. Those people cannot help craft us if we are invulnerable… impenetrable.
Quite frankly, if you think you’re perfect, you’re really just a locked bag.

There aren’t many people who are willing to spend their precious time picking a lock just to see what’s inside. Especially when it’s already labeled.

Besides, what if it’s empty?

So, is it best we remain mysterious?
If only! But, unfortunately we have jobs to do, kids to raise, responsibilities…

No. Be proud of the labels, even the bad ones, but don’t let them define you. You will never be able to control what other people think of you. The only control you ever really have is over your own emotions. Are you going to be happy or sad? Nervous or pleasant?

Be brave! Lay on the bearskin rug and let a lover paint you in the nude.
Yes, it can be scary because you never really know what someone else’s eyes may really see?
You wouldn’t know until they turned the canvas around.

But the result on the canvas should not deter us from our more noble cause of presenting our true selves.

We cultivate true value when we have the courage to be ourselves, even in a world which may not like it.

Writing is my way of cracking the seal on my identity. It works great with people who read. But, in the real world I am just as closed up as the rest of you, expecting people to love me for the labels society has slapped on the outside of my crate.
The only reason I can see so clearly that this is no way to live is because I have just as many bad labels as good.

What can I say, I’ve metaphorically been around the world and have had a healthy share of apples fall on my head.

Though, I must admit that labels, both good and bad, do one really great thing for our relationships.
People see one that reminds them of something they have been through and immediately feel more comfortable opening up about themselves.
They’re passports of a sort.

You just have to be certain that you don’t let bad company convince you that you’re a permanent resident of one of your shipping stickers. Remember, all of those labels are really more like lessons.

Just because you’ve been through history class, doesn’t mean you agreed with the holocaust. Be proud of your passports!

Then who knows, maybe one day we will actually get a chance to really travel!

Looking to form new relationships? Then, leave me your email here.

Wanna tip me and move on? Blow my skirt up here!

Wanna collaborate? Connect with me over a cup of coffee…
but not here.
That would just be weird.

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Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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