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Dealing with Disappointment


WickedSunrise
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I get really excited for things – really easily. I enjoy planning and organizing, putting a lot of thought into things, and sometimes this leads to me being really disappointed with things don’t work out.

 

I understand that this is illogical. Life is unpredictable, and you need to be able to go with the flow… but sometimes when it doesn’t work out the way I was imagining I get overcome with emotion – I know its okay and I shouldn’t be upset, yet I get upset.

 

For example, my boyfriend and I have been planning an in-date night for tonight for a few weeks. The first hour or two was great. We had an indoor picnic with sushi and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. We watching some of The Office, and learned how to play the card game Rummy. Then he wanted to take a nap – and I enjoy naps together, so that was okay. But I was thinking we’d wake up in an hour, just a power nap, and get the party started… but he slept for a few hours and said he was tired, felt like he might be sick, and wanted to go home, at 11pm. (He got here a little after 7pm).

 

I spent most of the afternoon yesterday and today getting ready for tonight. I was all over town getting things to make tonight perfect. I woke up super early to get to the farmer’s market for fresh apple cider we were going to make fancy drinks with. I spent hours getting myself ready, doing my hair, shaving, giving myself a pedicure. I bought some new lingerie.

 

I understand that he needed sleep, needed to get well, but I was really upset when this night that I had worked up so much in my head just ended – not doing many of the things we had planned together. I know the problem isn’t him – it’s me. I need to be able to go with the flow a little more.

 

For some reason it’s just with my boyfriend I feel this way. Last night I was supposed to go out with one of my friends, and she canceled on me last minute. I wasn’t that upset - but I guess that could have led to me being more disappointed tonight, as it was my one night of fun this weekend.

 

Do I need to not plan things so thoroughly? I mean, I planned a lot of things because I wanted our night to last without us getting bored. I really enjoy planning and making things all nice, but maybe that's a bad idea.

 

How can I learn to be more flexible and not get so disappointed? Logically, I know I shouldn’t be. I understand the situations where it is okay to be disappointed, and when it’s just something that happens that I shouldn’t worry about. But my emotions take over… I actually teared up a little when my boyfriend was leaving. I tried to hold it back, but my boyfriend noticed. He felt so bad… but really wasn’t feeling well. I feel so bad that I let myself tear up, and let him feel guilty for leaving. :sad:

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I don't blame you for being disappointed, I've been in your shoes...feels awesome and so liberating to get something all set up, you're all excited, and then it just doesn't matter and you want to throw everything you've gotten ready at the wall and wished you had just thrown on some sweats instead of chillin in the bathroom for two hours!...I don't think it's you who needs to change.

 

At least you got to watch The Office I missed it this Thursday.

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I don't blame you for being disappointed, I've been in your shoes...feels awesome and so liberating to get something all set up, you're all excited, and then it just doesn't matter and you want to throw everything you've gotten ready at the wall and wished you had just thrown on some sweats instead of chillin in the bathroom for two hours!...I don't think it's you who needs to change.

 

At least you got to watch The Office I missed it this Thursday.

 

Yea I'm enjoying the Office. The two of us started watching it together from Season 1, watching it on Netflix, last spring. We're on season 5, so we're not watching the current episodes yet.

 

Yea I guess maybe you're right. But I wish I didn't get disappointed. I wish I could have at least been strong enough to hold back my emotions until after he left. He was looking sick... and I wish I didn't make him feel guilty.

 

In general, I still feel that its something I want to change about myself. Another example, last night my boyfriend and I were supposed to go get dinner before he went out with some of his friends. When he called when he was leaving the library he said he didn't feel like it and wanted to order Chinese with his roommates. Now our plans weren't anything major. I had talked to him the night before, and he said "why don't we grab dinner before I go out". Again, I felt that pang of disappointment. I just want to be able to go with the flow, especially for things that aren't majorly planned...

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The higher my expectations the greater my potential disappointment. You put in a huge effort and didn't get the result you wanted, of course you're disappointed. If you had decided ahead of time that any outcome was okay with you, do you think it would have gone any differently?

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That's not really going with the flow...that's letting him put his friends before you after a night you had specially planned for the two of you. That's not acceptable.

 

That one was different - two different nights, two different disappointments. Friday night was his planned night out with friends that he mentioned to me earlier in the week. Saturday night (tonight) was our date night in that I spent hours preparing for. But since he wasn't going out until maybe 8pm Friday he called me Thursday and suggested we get maybe dinner before, and then changed his mind. Still unacceptable? He came over tonight for our date night right on time, affectionate, cheerful, until he started feeling sick - and I could tell as the night went on he wasn't looking well...

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Hmm, okay then. Sorry for the mix-up. It still seems like you put more into the relationship than he does. It needs to be 50/50 so you both don't have any/as much insecurities.

 

I'm not sure you can do anything to stop yourself from being disappointed because if you didn't make the plans that made you disappointed when they were cancelled, you would have been disappointed if you thought to yourself that you didn't want to make any plans to have them fall through...you'd be disappointed either way...

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I just figure that a certain percentage of the things I work for will pay off, and a certain percentage will not. I cannot know what will and what won't until I try. And if I don't prepare well, then I am not doing my part in giving opportunity a chance.

 

I try to chalk disappointment up as a learning experience and head back to square one and try for what I want again. Sometimes to get what I want the next time I don't even have to do anything different on my part ... just try again in a different time and place and/or with different people ... and probability tilts in my favor in successive tries.

 

So I have to be disappointed in order to eventually get what I want, i.e., disappointment is a part of the process. Thinking about disappointment in this way eases my commitment to continue to pursue my own wants/needs.

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