Part 2: The Match
“Why do you build me up, Buttercup baby
Just to let me down and mess me around
And then worst of all you never call, baby
when you say will, but I love you still
I need you more than anyone, darlin’
You know that I have from the start
So build me up Buttercup, don’t break my heart
“I’ll be over at ten”, you told me time and again
But you’re late, I wait around and then (bah-dah-dah)
I ran to the door, I can’t take any more
it’s not you, you let me down again
Baby, baby, try to find
A little time, and I’ll make you mine
I’ll be home
I’ll be beside the phone, waiting for you
To you I’m a toy but I could be the boy you adore
If you’d just let me know (bah-dah-dah)
Although you’re untrue, I’m attracted to you all the more
Why do I need you so?
Mike d’Abo and Tony Macaulay
As you can tell by the lyrics I include with each type, I am a child of the sixties. To me, this song nails the frustration many of us have felt trying to be in a relationship with a Buttercup, with promises to call that are never kept, with us waiting by the phone. What gives?
But I’ll give Buttercup the benefit of the doubt here and we’ll examine why she (or he) keeps breaking her promises.
Buttercup is the classic Match type. Matches are great, but only for the moment. The trouble with matches is you have to keep re-lighting them. In the moment, Buttercup really does mean to call when she says she will but here’s the thing: she has love and intimacy hooked up with running away.
I’ll even go so far as to say that Buttercup may be holding inside some grief that never got unpacked. She probably experienced quite a bit of loss as a child and is holding a level of resignation and protects herself by not caring. There were even moments in Buttercup’s life, when she cared deeply, but was shamed for caring. I don’t think Buttercup is the ‘player’ she pretends to be. Deep inside she cares deeply and this terrifies her. She fears that what she cares about will be taken away from her so why bother, or that she’ll be shamed for caring so much. So she behaves like a match through all of her relationships. Her love can be ignited for a while but goes out again and again. As irrational and crazy-making as this seems, it’s her (or his) way of staying engaged – to a degree.
Here are some other scenarios that contribute to a person becoming a Match in life. They can’t stay lit because as a child, their caretaker’s affection ran hot and cold. One moment a parent would be loving and totally merged with the child and then the next moment that parent would be self-absorbed, leaving the child feel ignored. Another Match may have had parents that totally doted on them, until other siblings started arriving on the scene, stealing the attention, and the future match becomes resigned that love gets turned off, so why try. An even more traumatic scenario would be a parent getting gravely ill, leaving the child to fend for themselves, while the illness dominated the house.
You get the idea. You may come up with some possible scenarios yourself of the impact it can have on a child who one day is enveloped in love and the next day overlooked. Unhealthy decisions then get made that create an environment for a Match to develop when strong attachments in childhood are inconsistent.
Matches are often the one who end up parenting or consoling the parent when they needed it.
I had plenty of experiences trying to re-light Matches in relationship. But one day, a very wise person said to me, ” Voge, you’ve been attracting Matches. They’re great, they light once but they go out. You have to keep re-lighting them. You are a Furnace. A Match won’t do. What you need is another furnace. Only a furnace will do.”
You know those moments in life when someone says something to you at the right moment about your external world, and your interior world gets the truth of it in a way that it has longed for; a mystery solved.
When those words were spoken to me, it was like a veil fell away and I could clearly see who was a Match and who was a Furnace. His words went right into my heart.
But I also realized that to be with another Furnace, I had to release my addiction to Matches, and my ego’s delight in figuring out how to re-light them, and believe me, I was addicted.
Just before I started dating my husband, I had one of those relationships with one of my favorite matches. Within a week it went from the highest heights, to splat! On our last date I said to him, “I’ve been doing you my whole life. I’m done!” Of course he was shocked and came back with, ” I know we weren’t getting along that great tonight, but don’t you think that is a bit extreme?” But during that drive home I knew that I had to take extreme action in order to create what I wanted in relationship, instead of staying with what was familiar, what was known to me.
The very next day, and I mean, the very next day, Hugh was in the neighborhood and stopped by for a visit. When I looked at him with my newly acquired awareness I saw that he was a Furnace! You see we were friends, but neither one of us fit each other’s pictures of who we thought we wanted for a relationship. When he came in I said, “Guess what?” Without skipping a beat he answered, “You and Sam broke up?”
My God, I thought, the rumor mill moved fast on this one. “How’d you know?” I asked.
“I just knew it wouldn’t last. I’m asking you out. How’s tonight?”
And so began my transition from dating a Match to a Furnace. This also upped my own Furnace game, requiring me to show up in a bigger way, or should I say heated way. Fittingly, that wise man who told me I needed to be with a furnace, married us two years later.
We all have the capability to turn the heat, love, on and off.
What extinguishes your fire?
What lights your fire? Yes, I just asked that!
What triggers your match?
Who were the Matches in your life?
As a child where you often put in the role as the consoler/confidant to a parent?
Have you felt rejected or turned away from a parent?
Do you fear being ‘too much?’
Are you able to recognize the difference between a Match and a Furnace?
( I will be going into a more in depth explanation of the Furnace in Part 3)
Tune in for Part 3: The Furnace