Honestly, I don't know why I thought dating someone was a good idea, I really don't. And I especially don't know why I've "fallen in love" again. It's fucking with me. But hey, we live and learn - and boy, have I learned recently. So, I am where I am, and I have to put things in order (or my mind goes crazy), I thought of this last night, if it fits your situation, then I suggest getting yourself back in order, if not, then watch out for it if you are "in love", in an LTR or married. Here you go ...
I'm her favorite pair of shoes (comfy, adorable, worn in, and still cute) but there's something wrong with this old pair (let's say, there's a stain) and it has to be fixed - she just isn't convinced she wants to fix them - because it will take some effort to get the stain out. And there's the possibility the stain will never completely come out - and besides, she'll always know the stain was there (you can't unknow what you know).
Now, she's ready to look for a new pair, but not necessarily replace her old pair of shoes (in fact) she still wears them occasionally - because they are so cute and comfy. But hey, looking never hurts and she might just find something much better than an old pair of shoes - if nothing else, even if they aren't as cute or comfy, they will be new. And she knows from experience, there are lots of shoes out there, in her size, there has to be a few she'd rather have than this old pair with the stain.
So, she goes shoe shopping. Is there guilt about replacing the old pair - sure there's a little, but let's get real, they are only a pair of shoes - she loves them and doesn't necessarily want to throw them out, but they are just a pair of shoes. And guess what, there are lots of shoes. In her size. New, shiny, with that new shoe smell. She tries on a few pairs, and they are comfy - but some are too flashy, some are too dull, some are not right for her everyday shoe.
But there is this one pair she found completely by accident, she keeps going back to the store and trying them on. She likes them, but they aren't quite as comfy or cute as that old pair of shoes in her closet (they're there, just waiting for her to come back and put them on). Oh and there are those shoes that are wrong for everyday, but they are so right for this or that occasion - she knows she's not shopping for that type, but they are fun to try on and walk around in, and admire in the mirror - they make her feel very good, if not a little naughty.
So, she continues to ponder, to question, to wonder - What If? Confusion reigns for the time being. She will make a decision - to fix the old shoes or buy the new. She knows a decision has to be made. It's very uncomfortable to be bouncing back and forth - but it's so hard to decide. So the old pair of shoes waits, and the new pair of shoes waits, while she wrestles with her decision.
The problem is - Men are not shoes. And if you think you're a pair of shoes (or any other analogy as an accessory for a woman) you are not thinking of yourself as a Man. Time to quit thinking of myself as a pair of shoes, and start thinking of myself as the Warrior Poet that I am.
Keep in mind ... your time IS special, your attention IS worth more than a casual thought. You will not be dismissed with a smiley-face text or a "Bless your soul" themed off handed comment - you are a Man - time to start acting like it. Your Frame, not hers.
I have to continually box and rebox this thing. Shit keeps popping out, and I have to evaluate what I think about it and if it fits in the box or not. If it does, then I put it back in, if not, then I discard. This is becoming way too much work, and the mental gymnastics are tiring. In the end, Everything gets evaluated against two things (1) What do I want and (2) My Frame, not hers. If it doesn't fit those two things, then it's out (and if she no longer fits, then she's out). And if she's shoe shopping, walk.
Eyes front Gentlemen. Live. Learn. Lead.