My new mantra in life: No promises. No expectations. No labels. No plans.

Just take it as it comes and make the most out of it.

That’s a lot of ”nos” for someone like me who finds it often difficult to say ”no”. I’m not the prototype of someone who has commitment issues, so where does this mantra come from?

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. If there are no promises, there’s nothing to break. If there are no plans, there are also no expectations. If there are no expectations, there can’t be any disappointment. If there are no labels, there is no concept of a break-up. No such concept of cheating either. It’s like you’re taking all the positives while leaving all the negatives behind. So in theory no one can get hurt in this model, regardless of what happens. And honesty is easily maintained.

All of my previous relationships were labelled as such, came with love declarations and high expectations on both sides. Most of them are measured in years. The break-ups were not forced on either side, but rather mature decisions. No dramas, I’m still in good terms with all my ex-boyfriends.

Broken promises – definition of a lie

But after every break-up, everything was gone within days or weeks. So what happened to that strong love? What happened to all those promises? What happened to all those big statements and plans? What happened even to the friendship? Vanished. All vanished within days.

There’s a song called “Broken promise” sang by Scroobius Pip (I like these guys, I think their songs are very smart – here are the lyrics) that often comes into my mind. Among other things, it says “Is a lie really a lie if you mean it at that time?”. Yes, I guess it kind of still is a lie. At least long term, it definitely is a lie. What’s the point, then, of saying things that you’re not even sure are accurate or not? You might be lying without even knowing it.

Welcome to Guiltland. Easy to get in, tough to get out.

One of the nastiest feelings for me is guilt. I feel guilty all the time. There’s the oxymoron: I usually say I don’t care what other people think about me. Why, then, do I end up feeling guilty if I’m breaking a promise, if I don’t meet friends’ expectations, if someone gets angry with me? And why is it so easy for people to manipulate me by making me feel guilty?

I can handle disappointment much better than guilt. If I get hurt, it’s just about me. I cry a little, I eat a bucket of ice-cream, a kilo of chocolate, I hand write 10 pages in my offline diary, questioning what’s the point of trusting people, the point of life, analyzing my feelings, but then I get my shit together and move on.

However, if there’s someone who might have gotten hurt because of me, it’s not about me anymore. I don’t even know the extend, how bad I’ve messed it up. I might not even be able to fix it. Maybe crying, ice-cream, chocolate and offline diaries can’t fix everyone. And it’s about me creating suffering in the world, when that’s the last thing I want to do. So…welcome to Guiltland. Easy to get in, tough to get out.

Hence, no promises, no expectation, no labels, no plans is the best way I can think of to avoid not only getting into Guildland, but also disappointment (I can’t afford one kilo of chocolate in Namibia).

Yet, I am aware that sometimes I’m forcing the mantra, trying to control the uncontrollable, desiring badly for my mind to keep its rationale, getting annoyed with myself and my irrational reactions.

I’m sometimes confused where’s the line between lying and being honest.

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