The Idea of Being Comfortable

15 10 2012

Photo: Timemanagementninja.com

About a month ago, I mentioned to you all that I’d had an ex contact me recently, wanting to get back together. After we’d gone through the awkwardness of me letting him know that I was not interested in the same, we both agreed that we could try the new awkwardness of being friends again.

Since that time, we’ve had several conversations about nothing and about everything all at the same time. And we’ve also had our fair share of what I like to call double meaning conversations. One such convo was brought up a couple weeks ago when we were talking about our careers and the different things we were striving towards.

He noted that I was doing some pretty great things right now. I casually replied that while I agreed, I was no where near accomplishing the numerous goals I have career-wise. And then he asked something that kinda hit me to my core – did I ever think I’d be comfortable with what I have?

It was a question about my career, but we both knew it wasn’t just a question about my career since he’d implied in previous conversations that my reluctance to be with him stemmed from me always wanting more. So the implication with this question was clear – did I ever plan to stop looking for more/better in a guy?

I’m sure that considering the post I wrote last week on creating a guy, many people (if they didn’t get that it was just for fun) would probably agree with him on my inability to stop looking for more. But the idea of being comfortable can be looked at in two different ways as far as I’m concerned. In one way, comfortable can mean content. Do you feel safe and happy with this guy? Does he make you feel like being vulnerable is okay, because he’s not going to take advantage of those vulnerabilities? Do you feel like you will ever get to the point that one man is enough for you? And to those questions – my answer would be a resounding yes! Of course, I want that. I think most people do, right?

But there’s another side to the word comfortable that I worry about sometimes. Sometimes I think comfortable can be synonymous with settling. With deciding that you don’t want to work anymore, so you’ll be comfortable with what you have. With figuring that this is the best things can be and so you’ll just take what’s in front of you. And in that idea of the word – I’m absolutely totally NOT okay with the idea of comfortable.

Weighing both aspects of the word and wanting to answer the explicit and implied question, I responded in the best way I knew how: that I’d never be to the point where I wasn’t striving for the best or reaching for things I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, but that I did want to eventually get to a place where I was happy where I was and who I was with (even if that meant still growing in my craft and growing in my relationship). But that I wasn’t there on either aspect just yet.

He took my answer in stride and kind of chuckled it off, saying that he hoped I would one day be at the point where I wasn’t looking for more, and the conversation ended soon after. But days later, I was left still wondering about what my own definitions of comfortable signified for me. Was it my own hang-up that I felt like comfortable could sometimes be synonymous with settling or was that something that most people thought? And if it wasn’t, did most people agree with my first definition of the word?

So now I’m bringing it to you all. What do you think when you hear the word comfortable applied to careers or relationships? And do you feel like I do – that it can have a good or bad meaning depending on the context? Or is it that he’s right, and I have a hang-up on the word because I’m forever looking for more?

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2 responses

19 10 2012
Brenda

Its kinda hard. When I apply comfortable to my career, to me that means going nowhere, stuck in a rut, which is exactly why I wanted to leave my last job.. But when I apply comfortable to my relationship, the words familiar, safe, and home come to mind. i like that I don’t have to put up a front for my hubby- he knows exactly who I am and what I’m,about. BUT people can only be comfortable for so long before they want some change. And that is what kills some relationships, when one person looks for different, exciting. So I agree with you that comfortable can have good and bad connotations. I guess maybe there can only be a certain degree of comfort before it turns into settling.

23 10 2012
dbaham

It’s so difficult, right? I think maybe by virtue of the fact that I haven’t been in a long term relationship in awhile – my definition of comfortable automatically goes to the idea of settling. But when you speak of the good kind of comfortable in a relationship, I can say that I definitely want that some day.

I don’t know. I think it may be that there’s a thin line, not just between love and hate, but also between being comfortable and settling. You certainly don’t want to feel like the latter, but if you’re not careful – comfortable can head that way. And because I’m so adamant about not settling, I may miss out on some of those benefits that come with being comfortable.

Great thoughts, Brenda. As always, I love when you contribute to the convo!

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