“There comes a time, in a short life. Turn it around, get a rewrite.” ~Cold War Kids, First
My dating and relationship history is not good. I dated immature bozos and consequently unsuccessfully married one. Why did I date these guys? I have no idea. That’s not true. I know why. They were funny and bended the rules on life. I love both of those things. What those things weren’t paired with was honesty, loyalty, true love and respect. Those are some pretty big gaps in a relationship, and since I am not used to them…I get a little suspicious when I meet someone with those qualities. I mean, I know these exist; they just haven’t been my personal experience. Let me explain with examples of behavior and sample conversation.
Here is an average conversation I would have with my ex after getting dolled up to go out:
Ex: (playing video games and not looking at me) You ready?
Me: Yep! (waiting for him to look in my general direction and perhaps say I looked nice)
Ex: Ok. Let’s go. Can you drive? (He may or may not have made eye contact with me.)
Me: Sure. (Actually, not cool. Did he notice me? Or is he not saying anything because he doesn’t have anything nice to say?)
Ex: Cool. The sleeves are kind of weird on that shirt.
This is a recent experience I had:
New person: You’re beautiful.
Me: (quickly looks at myself and wondering what his angle is…or wait, do you think he means it? Is he being nice because he just wants to fuck me? Do I care if that’s the reason? This dude just told me I’m beautiful. Say something!) Thank you!
Here is a list of things from various relationships I have put up with in the past and thought was normal:
- Silent treatment for no reason
- Playing video games online with pre-teens and cursing at them (for hours) then complaining to me when he was wasted he doesn’t get enough time to play video games
- Putting thousands of dollars on my credit card for tattoos then complaining we didn’t have money for vacation
- Criticizing my appearance
- Getting so drunk nearly every time we went out that I have to carry him into the house while he is saying mean things…then of course doesn’t remember in the morning
- Taking his turn being the designated driver then proceeding to match me drink for drink and get mad at me for expressing concern; inevitably I would stop drinking and be the designated driver anyway
- Passive aggressive controlling
- Jealousy over guy friends I’ve had for years and demanded I no longer speak with them
Crazy, right? What the hell is the matter with me? I wish the enlightened me could go back and smack stupid, sad me. I got accustomed to being treated with second hand love that I thought that’s what I deserved. When a nice guy comes along and sees me as this kickass woman, it causes a double-take and questioning. I wonder what his motivation is rather than accepting the compliment. This is sad. I deserve more. It took me a minute, but I now know I deserve the nice guy. It feels amazing, and I’m not looking back.
When you’ve dated bozos because they’re exciting and somewhat unpredictable…that’s what you get…unpredictability. When you’re growing up and wanting to put substance in your life, these are not the guys that are going to make you happy. Is it fun at first? Yes, but they’re not going to give you what you need or, most importantly, what you deserve. Is it attractive at first? Yes. Excitement is hot, but it’s superficial. You’re not superficial. After a certain amount of time, you have to figure this out and either accept your life are those bullet points above or get the hell out. I chose the latter.
You know what’s hot to me now? A guy who shows up. A guy who calls and doesn’t play the stupid wait three days before contacting game. A guy who is career motivated. A guy who knows what he wants. A guy who respects women. A guy who is HAPPY. That’s hot.
Are you wondering what happened with the “new guy” from our skit above that told me I was beautiful? This guy bought me a drink, offered to buy me a second one (I declined so as to not get too drunk talking to him) asked me about myself and was a true gentleman. He didn’t overstay his welcome. He didn’t say anything creepy or sleazy, so yes…he got my number. Did he wait three days before texting/calling? No. He didn’t. The first message came the next day. That’s what I’m talking about! Or texting about, rather.
My mom once told me that what I allow in a relationship is what will continue. She’s right. I would like to add to that, what you think you deserve is what you’re going to get. If you think you deserve the best, he’ll find you. What you are looking for is looking for you, too. Be patient. It will happen.