the runner is created the same way tornadoes come together. two conflicting fronts collide to form a force of nature that is totally epic. with tornadoes the meso tornadic* storm develops when hot and cold butt heads like big horn rams. the runner is made when strength and fear slam into each other. the strength is hers, the fear is something that gets inflicted upon her by a guy, or more often guys, that broke her trust. and oh boy, did they do a good job of it.
burn units haven’t seen scars like this.
the one thing that defines a runner is the light speed sprint she does from anything that looks like intimacy. get too close, she’s going to pull a vanishing act. you will be left with you head spinning and trying to clear your eyes from the dust she kicks up on her way out.
but…it just might be worth it to go after her.
it is highly likely this girl has a heart as big as her brain. she’s caring and smart and will never cease to challenge you at every turn. what gets in her way is that her heart has been stomped on and her brain causes her to over-think e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
then there’s the fear. she’s been so ravaged by other relationships that she is terrified of ever letting anyone that close to her again. which seems obvious to you and me. she, on the other hand, doesn’t see it that way. she chooses to believe she is just being smart. she has rationalized her fear to the point of it not even resembling fear anymore. at least not to her.
remember that ridiculously optimistic and forgetful blue fish that sounded suspiciously like ellen degeneres? you could learn a thing or two from her about how to get under the skin of a runner. more specifically from the dynamic between dory and marlin. marlin is the runner; he tries to shake dory every chance he gets. dory is the one who refuses to be shaken. relationship advice from Finding Nemo? really, sharideth?
1. “Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?” – keep it light. that’s what you’ve got to do. the moment you get serious and want to “talk”, she’ll bolt for the door. your job is to look for “talkable moments”. she’ll allow them every now again. but again, KEEP IT LIGHT. back off when she tenses, make a joke when she scowls. patience, grasshoppa. when she breaks a date, say, “cool. but you should be here for dinner on friday, i’m having movie night.” even if you don’t have movie night, make one up. get her back in her comfort zone with a group thing. give her some line and reel her in. give her some line and reel. her. in.
2. “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”- dory’s advice to just keep swimming could be the most important key to not only surviving a runner but to also winning her over. perseverance, my friend, perseverance. her greatest fear is a guy with no staying power. you’re going to have to have it and prove it to her. in spades.
3. “Ha ha ha ha ho! I love to swim!” – running just a hair’s breadth** behind perseverance is the attitude you have while you battle the current. dory is always happy. pathologically happy. nothing gets her down. the runner will make you mad, she’ll frustrate and confuse you, she may even hurt you (though it will very likely hurt her more than it hurts you to do that). marlin pulled all of it on dory. your response to this is critical. smile, laugh, poke fun at her when she rages. sound crazy? it is. that’s why it works. the runner is use to getting certain responses. throwing her off by not giving them to her will make her just confused enough to hang around.
4. “I suffer from short term memory loss…see, it runs in my family. At least I think it does.” take the whole forgive and forget thing to an extreme. don’t hold on to and catalog all the things the runner does to try and get you to leave her. she doesn’t mean any of it. there is no intent to harm you, only to protect herself. when she finally gets frustrated enough to look at you and say, “why are you still here?!?!” what she’ll really be asking is “why haven’t i run you off yet?!?!” feign blissful ignorance and you’ll have her.
there are ways to get around the barriers, but the runner is not for the faint of heart. she will throw reason after reason for you to give up on her like a ninja throws stars. holding up against her testing your staying power will be like taking the bar exam without all the schooling. you’ve got to be as strong and as smart as she is. you’ve got to be honorable enough to own a white horse and suit of armor. and above all else, you’ve got to be brave enough for the both of you.
chances are, she’s totally worth it.
*i lived in Tornado Alley; i’m a better meteorologist than most people on TV.
**terrible cliche that i would have made worse if it weren’t for Matt Gates.