Well, this is going to be more like, how not to pick Mr. Right. Since my track record is rather stellar in that department, I can at least share with you what not to do when dating. If you put ten men in the room with me, I would pick the one that has the most issues and would spend the next year or so trying to bend over backwards to make sure those issues were made into non-issues.
I don’t have the confidence that I did when I was younger (so wasted on the young) nor is my body the same as it was ten years ago. I often get that “your crazy talking” look when I say that I am shy. I have a naturally bubbly personality but when I get into a situation where I know few people, I get quiet and become worried that I will say something that screams “oh yes, the dumb blonde!” I am also quite the dork and it takes very special people to really get my humor and understand that my missteps make me laugh just as much as it makes them laugh. At least I have that down, right?
I have been learning (albeit slowly) how to assert myself when in a relationship. Now, I am pretty good about saying I need some me time. Living on your own for years will do that to you. But when my mate does something that hurts my feelings, I used to just let it ride, not say anything and then, well, then a fight starts. I also used to hear an ex’s voice in my head telling me to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve.
The boy was really bad about making sure everything was about him. And per my friends, talked down to me. Now this is the second guy that has been accused of that and I guess I will have to train myself to see when this happens. He also was big on labels. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some labels. But I also have to be realistic in the fact that I don’t have tons of money to indulge like I would want to, so I pick and choose, save up for the big purchases or just dream of owning it at some point down the road. I don’t judge people by the labels they wear or carry. He even had Polo underwear for goodness sakes! He was generous at gift giving times but while things are nice, they are just things. I would have given my eye teeth for the chance to go somewhere, watch something or just spend a weekend lazing around on my terms but normally, it was his call.
I also forgive easily when I am in love. Mike was keen on this because he could go be bad and knew that when things got boring, tough or lonely, I would be there waiting. How sad is that? He did offer up an apology years later and that is the only reason I nurtured the friendship we now have and I am grateful for it too, because I can always get a good laugh out of his daily escapades.
Which leads me to a month ago; the boy wanted to talk, after many months of not talking. I should have been leery of this and I should have just ignored the request but I have a big heart and was curious. He too offered up an apology and his appreciation of how good of a girlfriend I had been to him. We talked a couple of times for several hours and he wanted to take me out for dinner when I was up in Nashville. The kicker was he had just been diagnosed as severely depressed, broken up a a very immature and kind of crazy girl. That was a red flag that I didn’t want to see. I wanted to see him, I wanted to hang out with him and take care of him. That is what I do. I like to nurture people and sometimes that need to do that tends to get me hurt. He called a few days later, stating how sorry he was, he wanted to work it out with the girl because she promised she would get therapy and she wouldn’t behave like that again. I told him no worries and kept my head held high because you know what? It is not my place to fix him or take care of him. And with that I finally got around to deleting everything that had his information. I don’t want to hear from him again and more than likely will not. It was closure for me and I got to say, the boy just did me a huge favor by doing that.
My best story of all times has to be when I was dating George. . .we dated for two and a half years and at least from my perspective things were going well. We went to NYC shortly before Valentine’s Day, had a great time and I thought he was going to propose. Nope but two weeks later he dumped me. I went into a deep depression, lost a lot a weight, had a fling with a much younger guy, got a bit wild and then settled back into my boring life. But not before he called me up (again, hadn’t even spoken to him in many months) while I was at work to tell me that he got this girl pregnant shortly after they started dating and they were getting married. And I was his first call, not his family, not his friends but me. I was a bit baffled by that one but the only reasoning I can put together was that maybe he wanted to turn the knife a bit or maybe he just thought I should know the news from him and not others.
I also tend to compare the new guy to the old one, petrified that I will make the same mistakes all over again. I don’t know how I got here but looking at 40 rolling around in four short years I am starting to panic. Those dreams of getting married and having children are disappearing very quickly. I have also gotten to a place in my life where just sitting at home seems to be the thing to do.
I hear my friends talk about how they were proposed to, watched them get married and go on to start a family and I feel very disconnected to the whole thing. Not once have I ever been proposed to or come close and the rest is like a pipe dream.
I do have things to be thankful for and I truly am. I just wish I had the wisdom to put it all together, come out of my shell and trust a man. To open up and forget about those bad habits that I have created in the past. The good news is I pulled the plug on the boy before we hit the year and a half mark. I did tell him when he hurt my feelings and I was very honest about wanting to get married and have a family. So there might be hope for me but don’t hold your breath! I am pretty bad at figuring out the right path!