At school we often sit around talking about our experiences in other schools. The foreign staff is diverse(ish)–at least if we look at the places that we’ve taught. As soon as they start school bashing (or student bashing) I speak up. At least I used to–now they pretty much know where I stand…
I always say the same thing: This is nothing. I’ve had worse.
Recently, a foreign teacher that I really enjoy being around said, “You know what–you were in an abusive relationship before. That’s why you’re happy with anything better.” I can’t seem to get that analogy out of my mind–as it is true! Jobs are so much like relationships!
The First Love
You think this will last. After all, it is the first time you’ve had the perfect mate with no flaws! People try to tell you to shop around, but you know better. You were made for each other–and as soon as they realize it, you can plan your future. This will not end well. Your heart us broken–your dreams shattered. You will be more careful next time.
The Needy One
A relationship where someone needs to be with you all the time is so unhealthy. You end up feeling smothered–and tend to forget all the things you enjoyed about them in the first place. You usually are hesitant to leave. After all, how can they survive without you?
The Selfish One
This isn’t too different then a needy relationship. It is all about what you can do for them. No concern on the place of the other party exists for what you need to be happy. Your time is their time. And heaven forbid if you dare think of something else that makes you happy. You may not spend any energy or time with that endeavor.
The Abusive One
While I’ve never been in a physically abusive relationship, I have been in relationships where I ended up feeling unworthy. That’s emotionally abusive! The abusive one builds you up to tear you down. It tears you down to make you feel small. Once you’re small, you are easier to control… It doesn’t compliment you or care how you feel–not genuinely. The only time you get to hear the good things about you is when they hurt you. And when you leave–you have to sneak away, run fast, and never look back. Unfortunately, just when you think you’re safe, they find a way to exert power over you…
The Summer Romance
You only are allowed one or two of these. Naivety is a must–and you can’t become jaded. My Minnesota experience was a summer romance. We both knew it wasn’t going to last–although we tried to keep it going longer. It was exciting, new, and full of surprise. When it was over, we promised to keep in touch. I think of my summer romance with fondness and longing for the same spirit of carefreeness.
This is where you try out a new taste. It’s not going to last. You know it from the beginning. You don’t even think of introducing your family and friends to this one. Most likely, something is a little off anyway…
You know this won’t last too, but your friends say, “Just have fun! You just got out of a realtionship! You don’t need anything serious!” It is different than what you’ve had. You’ve intentionally looked for something different to give yourself a break. You might flirt with the idea that it is lasting, but you probably will just use it to compare with the Ex. After all, look what you have now!
This is the one where you knowingly enter an unbalanced relationship. You know that what you have to offer is going to make the other party better off in the long run. You willingly give advice and support, but more than likely, it won’t be accepted. Fixer-uppers need more than what you can give. They need to believe in themselves–not have a savior.
This is what everyone wants. It’s a partnership of give and take. In this relationship, someone is trying to please you. You are special and valued. In return, you are more than willing to please them. Your visions and values are enough alike, a future is easy to imagine. The Keeper is one you hang onto–you can’t let this one get away.