My birthday is Aug. 23, which makes me a Virgo. An astrological sign often met with mixed reactions and, frankly, I can understand why. Over the years, I have read many things about my beloved zodiac sign and there are a couple of “typical” Virgo characteristics deeply imprinted in my mind like the supposed fact that we’re all highly critical perfectionists. Now there are certainly more flattering traits I would prefer to discuss, but for the purpose of this entry, I must highlight “the darker side” of my Virgo traits.
My first two serious boyfriends were each three-year relationships. While the men were both unique enough, the common thread stringing these six years together was my critical attitude. I frequently commented on all aspects of our lives and our relationship. I shudder now to think of some of the things that I said to these significant others because both are really good men grounded by strong character.
While we were dating, I was quick to point out shortcomings in regards to actions taken, or lack thereof, that contributed to “what could be” a good relationship. I easily overlooked the many small gestures the guys were making to try and contribute to our relationship, and instead responded fiercely to all of the things I found to be lacking. I once even hurled a high heel in the direction of a boyfriend when he refused to spend the money for us to go bowling with friends, but sweetly offered to host another night “in” while enjoying Top Ramen. Luckily, he ducked and the shoe hit the wall. I am not proud of this temper tantrum, nor am I proud of the fact that I rarely sat down to look that man in the eye to say “thank you.” Thank you for being faithful to this long-distance relationship and thank you for the small gestures of random flowers. I was too busy telling him that he needed to get his life on track and find a job because being a summer camp counselor at 24 was ridiculous.
In the end with both long-term relationships, I was the one doing the breaking up. Despite the critiques and consistently verbalized dissatisfaction, there was love there, and for the men it was enough. Not for me; I had to move on and find something better. Something less flawed. Something perfect.
Once I was old enough to look back with a bit more insight, I recognized that in those moments, my vices took over the steering wheel and crashed the vessel. Just a few years ago, after being on the receiving end of a hurtful breakup, I swore that I wouldn’t do it anymore. I was fully motivated to overcome this inherent Virgo nature to be overly critical. I am actively seeking out the good and hoping to find something just perfect. But life isn’t perfect, people aren’t perfect, and relationships definitely aren’t perfect!
Balance and context are extremely important and influential on how we perceive the world around us. We must take the bad with the good. Do I need to acknowledge the small gestures? Absolutely, but I also need to take off the rose-colored glasses and appreciate that the bad gives the good its proper context.
From now on, I intend to maintain a more critical perspective in dating and relationships. There’s a delicate balance between having an opinion and standing up for what we feel we deserve. I just hope that the universe doesn’t hurl a high heel in my direction as some form of karmic retribution.
Images courtesy of Destinyzodiac.com, Gameinformer.com
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