I used to be an avid dater. Well, ‘dater’. I wouldn’t classify every relationship I had in my 20s as dating or a significant relationship. I did the stereotypical young person partying with hormones running wildly while trying to fit in. But after a slew of unhealthy relationships and broken hearts, I’ve decided to take a break.
I realized that I really need to focus on the underlying problem to all my relationship woes: me. I am the common denominator for the reason my relationships didn’t work out.
Now, I’m not saying that everything that happened inside the relationship was all my fault, but the fact that I attracted the type of person who would cheat on me or verbally and emotionally abuse me is my fault.
Like attracts like. That’s common knowledge. From knowing that, I realized that if I attract an unhealthy relationship, well, that’s because I’m unhealthy.
I’ve always been attracted to the sun — you know, the guy that everyone is looking at because he’s super charismatic and gorgeous and the whole world revolves around them.
The qualities that have attracted me to men in the past have been the following:
• Handsome • Nice smile • Smart
And usually, a big ego. There’s something exhilarating about having the guy who every girl (and gay guy) wants. Not to mention that the chase is exciting and adrenaline-inducing. Although, it comes at a cost.
I’ve dated the narcissists, the personality disorders, the depressives, the neurotics, the players, the whole gamut. I was so afraid of relationships and abandonment that I would subconsciously attract the unavailable men. The men who would abandon me physically or emotionally. Or when they turned out to be the good guys, well, that was when I ran.
Dating Bad Guys
Having had a lot of failed relationships, you start to notice patterns. You ask yourself the question, “What is wrong with me?”
Ironically, I’m usually the one who ends the most serious relationships. I get too close and freak out. I nitpick every little annoying idiosyncrasy or behaviour that is “unacceptable” to me. Until all that’s left is me crying wondering what went wrong.
Finding Joy in Being Single
And so, here I am. Alone. Single. And pretty happy about it, actually. Because I’ve been working on me the past year. I’ve been nitpicking myself. Uncovering all the reasons why I prefer unhealthy men, why I’m so afraid of commitment, and I’ve been working on developing a healthy relationship with myself.
Back in college, the one man (and I mean man in the respectable, gentleman sense) who ever turned me down while I was in bed with him told me this:
"You can never truly love someone else until you learn to love yourself."
He saw the pain I was in and my lack of self-worth and he didn’t take advantage.
His words hit my e-spot so hard. You know, that tender emotional spot that resonates throughout your whole self that you remember whatever it was that hit it for the rest of your life.
And so, for this past decade, as I’ve navigated the torrential waters of relationships, I remembered his words.
I’m not dating at the moment. But I will again. However, unlike many people my age, I’m not in a hurry. And in the meantime, I will continue to work on myself, so when I finally am ready to date again, I will attract a king who understands and supports my queendom.
What I’m looking for is a man who compliments me, not complements me, because I’m already complete.