There are so many things that come to mind when I hear 'but do you see me?'
Romantic, platonic, familial. They are require us to step outside of what we want in order to truly connect with one another.
Most of the time we see people throughout the lens of our own struggles and passions, never giving them the chance to just be. How many times have we made a decision from our perspective without thinking about all parties involved? How many times have we tried to show affection in a way that was not well received? Or better yet, how often have we been on the receiving end of something that we didn't want?
Relationship requires us to see each other and to allow ourselves to be seen.
I'm not good at this. Ok, let's be real. I suck at this. (But I'm getting better.) Vulnerability does not come easy for me, but as I soften into myself, I realize people aren't mind readers. Sometimes I want candles, music, and back kisses. Other times I want to be left alone. 🥴 Some days it's snacks and a movie. When these needs are met, I find myself open to doing the things that allow someone else to feel seen. Not as a means to get something in return, but in the sense that when I feel loved, I want to be loving in return.
And I'm not only speaking about romantic relationships. Platonic friendships have needs too. Allowing people to dump their shit call after call, conversation after conversation, gets old. When you start to feel that the relationship is one-sided, maybe you should speak up. Some people don't realize that they are doing it, but others can be so caught up in their own lives that asking how you are is the last thing on their minds.
Familial ties can be the worst because sometimes as you step into your true beliefs and values, people try to make you feel bad for bucking the system. "They've always been like that." Or "Well, that's your 'insert random family member'." None of this is so important that you ignore the things that you feel called to have/do/be.
So you know how to get this plan in motion, right? You gotta talk.
Yeah, I can hear you now
'Well, they'd know if they were paying attention.'
'I can just deal with it. It's not that big a deal. They'll figure it out'
But will they though? Closed mouths don't get fed. Not to mention I pray that we've grown a smidge while in these relationships for extended periods. What filled me at 21 definitely ain't hitting the spot at 39. But how would he know if I don't tell him?
Now it goes without saying that if you have articulated what you need, and ain't nothing shaking, then maybe you need to think about what's more important: being true to yourself or diminishing your worth for the sake of a relationship. And this is across the board. Emotional, mental, physical. All of it is important.
So as we enter into fall, take a step back to assess your relationships. If you realize that you aren't being seen, or maybe, it's you who isn't doing the seeing, make the changes necessary to create a better dynamic within them. We need community, but it needs to healthy community.