When I was 28 I stomped on someone’s heart. Now, keep in mind that I have probably broken a few before this (I had a reputation), but this was different. He was kind, friendly, respectful and had a promising career in front of him. He was pretty cute too. He made the string of guys I’d left behind look like real losers. Probably because that was my type.
After I divorced, I decided to date whoever I wanted and cared very little for anyone’s feelings. I would warn any man I met how much heartache would come his way if he got attached. So when I broke things off with this guy, I didn’t think it would be any different. But he was the first one who remembered my words.
“You told me you’d break my heart. I should’ve listened.”
It was around then that I noticed I wasn’t the only one who warned people about themselves. I find that most people will tell you their intentions. All you have to do is listen.
My friend and I spent an evening in Spain with a few folks from England and one of the guys kept telling me how he’d like to rape me. Y’know, as a joke. Cause that’s funny to some people. I was pretty clear I didn’t find it humorous but that didn’t stop him from trying to drag me down a dark alleyway. Classy.
Another time a man told me how he’d want me to get breast implants if we got married. Also, I wouldn’t be allowed to have friends. Are people really saying this out loud?
Needless to say I keep better company these days. My husband tells me things like “Get used to being treated well.” My book club can’t wait to meet and discuss my first published novel.
So many of us don’t really listen to what someone is saying to us. Or in my case, you might think, They don’t really mean that, do they? Yes. They do. And if it doesn’t jibe with you, say so. Or stop spending time with them.
Because as I learned from a heart-broken man, if someone tells you what they plan on doing, you’ve been warned. After that it’s your choice. It might sound cold and calloused, but it’s true.
Who knows? Maybe by leaving a situation because of what someone’s intentions are, you’ll change their life. Maybe that — an unexpected shift in their world — will break the cycle.
I’d like to think that’s what happened with me. I was cold and calloused. And heartbroken too. That last heart I broke made me realize I was hurting mine too: creating a cycle of unhappy and unsatisfying encounters.
And once I decided I wasn’t going to break Sante’s heart, that I was going to treat it like a precious object, suddenly love opened up in front of me. My intentions shifted and so did those around me.
So listen. Other people’s intentions reflect your own.
Does this resonate with you? Have you heard other people speak their intentions? Do you speak yours?
If you haven’t had a chance to read my latest article, How to Overcome Perfectionism, over at Think Simple Now, check it out. I’m super-proud of this one!