Dating Don’ts: Be Switzerland

My relationship has hit a roadblock. This roadblock may be like a piece of highway shrapnel that we need to swerve around or it might be more like the Berlin Wall, which would take radical change to make fall. I don’t know yet. If it’s the latter, I’d better take up graffiti art. And I call West Berlin, obvs.

I don’t want to go into detail about the impasse my guy and I are at because it’s über-complicated (isn’t it always?) and because I’m a private person sometimes (despite being a blogger). And because I’m taking a radical approach to conflict resolution.

Last week I was out with one of my best friends. He’s been with his husband for 15 years now, so he knows a lot about this “making relationships last” stuff. I told him about the issues we were dealing with and expressed being torn over the future — not knowing whether to have hope and fight or stop trying altogether.  He responded with the most genius bit of advice ever (and you know how much I dislike relationship advice): “Just be Switzerland,” he told me.

Meaning, I should try to be neutral about the future of my relationship.

“Don’t take the side of hope or the side of defeat,” he instructed.

This made immediate and perfect sense to me, the swift kick in the ass I’d been waiting for. This idea of being Switzerland was revolutionary! I hate being Switzerland when it comes to my life. In fact, I am the opposite of being Switzerland about everything. I make a decision about what I want to do and I go with it full force and never look back. Also, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I am a control freak. I think that if I plan everything and try hard I can make anything I want to happen, happen.

While I’ve found this to be true in certain aspects of life, I am wise enough to know that in relationships, effort and planning don’t mean shit. I thought about embracing this concept of being Switzerland and what it would mean, how I would embody it when it came to the current roadblock.

I decided for once not to make a decision.  I talked to my guy and suggested a time out on the relationship for a few weeks. This includes a break from all communication until I come back from my European vacation. (Have I sufficiently bragged about how I am going to Paris and London next week?)

I am going to spend this time out being neutral about what the future will hold and not getting attaching to one outcome or another. I’m going to spend some time in the cafes of Paris with a notebook and a pen and lots of espresso and wine and croissants. I’m going to spend a few days tromping around London in my trainers. Who knows, maybe I’ll eat blood sausage? Probably not. Just please, God, let me run into Gordon Ramsay.

Whatever happens, I will spend the next few weeks surrendering for a minute and seeing how it feels to be released from any inevitable outcome.

Yes, I’m sad. And yes, I miss him. But being Switzerland feels surprisingly freeing.