For all the times somebody broke my heart, I’ve broken my heart three times over. What am I talking about you ask? Coveting. I should’ve paid attention in Sunday school (sorry, Mrs. Fredericksen), as I’m pretty sure there is a Commandment against this. Coveting is worse than it sounds, in fact I didn’t even realize that I’d been doing it for all these years.
I am the master if relationships- relationships in my mind, that is. I meet a guy, date him, talk to him, things are all around going well. In my mind, however, I am already picturing the progression of this not-even-a-relationship’s relationship. In my mind I am imagining how he is going to fall hard for me, so hard that it will pain him to be away from me for long. On top of that, I picture that he will be a guy who actually treats me with respect, for once.
It starts off good, but then suddenly comes a landslide and he falls off of a cliff. He stops calling. I can’t figure out why. Doesn’t he want everything to fall into place the way I’d pictured it? Doesn’t he want to fall in love with me and see how wonderful and caring of a person I am? Especially to a guy who deserves my adoration… Doesn’t he know what he’s missing? Doesn’t he want to go with me to Vermont for the weekend like I’d planned we’d do in a month or two? And what about Valentine’s day? Wasn’t he going to be my date? This is my internal dialogue, I want to make that clear. He did not disappear because I vocalized this, no. These thoughts never left my mind, until now, of course.
So why is coveting- or as I like to call it- this overactive imagination a problem? Well because I always end up broken hearted of course! Haven’t you had it happen? The person your dating pulls a disappearing act and even though they didn’t make any promises for the future or lead you on in any way you are heart broken and disappointed? Well it’s because like me, you’ve built it up in your mind. They aren’t breaking your heart- you are. I suppose this is why they tell you to keep things casual and warn you not to get carried away naming your future children or imagining what you might say in your wedding vows too soon into a relationship. In retrospect, if you never interceded reality to begin with and added in all this imaginary fluff, there would be nothing to be upset about when it abruptly ended, now would there? Instead, you would be forced to look at the situation for what it was rather than for what you thought it was going to be.
You went on a few dates. He called and texted you a lot in the beginning and then he kind of disappeared. Okay, nothing to see here, just move along, now– that’s how it should be, but that’s not how it is for us coveters, ahem, I mean those of us with overactive imaginations. I now realize why they say that coveting is bad. I guess coveting in general can drive people to do crazier things than write a guy-you-barely-know’s last name in cursive after your own… The real concern with coveting is when it causes human beings to do things like steal and hurt people in order to get what you want or to make what you want happen. Coveting, in most cases, is more benign than those aforementioned scenarios; usually the only person who gets hurt is the one guilty of coveting because of the inevitable disappointment that ensues when the covetee is forced to distance themselves from the desired result they’ve attached themselves to when they are finally faced with reality. It still stings though and feels as if a real relationship really did end- even though a relationship never even started to begin with.
So what advice can I give about this? Well for both myself and for anyone else out there who has done what can in most cases can start off as something as innocent as daydreaming, all I have to say is this:
There are plenty of people out there who want to break your heart or will break your heart by accident and on purpose. So with that said do yourself a favor and don’t be one of them!