Is there really any way of breaking our dating patterns? Looking back, I’ve always thought it was the men in the wrong. I hate men. But is that because of what I’ve dated? Is it too late to break the habit?
I’ve always labelled the men I’ve dated as narcissistic, and most of them probably are. But it was my habits that lead me to them in the first place.
After Dad died, I was veritably lost. I needed the reassurance I didn’t get from him and I looked for it in all the wrong places. I was looking for love, not to receive it, but to give it. I was desperate to fix people, to make myself feel worth something. But the people I chose weren’t fixable.
I didn’t realize until I was 30 that I was the one who needed the help. I didn’t need to fix anyone, and I didn’t need to be fixed by anyone; I needed to fix me for me.
After going through yet another break-up, I resigned myself, happily, to the fact that I would be single for a rather long time. I was enjoying my life as it was, and didn’t have the time, nor the inclination to let another man back in. But was that where I was going wrong?
My sexuality had never really been up for debate before; I was just straight and that was it. There was nothing else. Whether it was out of fear of disappointing anyone or I just hadn’t bothered looking at myself in depth, I only dated men. But I instinctively hated men because the only one I had ever really loved had left me and I was broken. It was no one’s fault though; it’s just life.
Realizing now that I am nearly 33 and one day my son won’t need me as much as he does right now, I need to make a conscious effort to change my habits and find someone I can actually build a life with.
I always joked that I would end up bitter and alone, but as life plays out, I don’t want to. I don’t want to be alone; I want to experience love. I want to experience the ups and downs of life.
I want my son to be happy and be free to live his own life too, when the times comes. I don’t want him to feel he has to stay be my side because I am alone. I want us both to experience happiness.
So this is me figuring it out. All of it. Where I went wrong and where I can go right. One thing I need to figure out is how to bring my self-esteem back up to a reasonable level and not be co-dependent.
Co-dependency has led me to all the wrong men because I’m desperate to please people and be liked. I wasn’t aware of this at the time, though. I was the yes-woman. I was the one who sacrificed my hobbies and thoughts for them. I gave up music and films for them. I gave up writing and thinking for them. All to make others happy and just comply and fit in.
I won’t lament, but I could’ve been greater. I could’ve had greater. Things would be different if Dad was here, but he’s not and they’re not. I just have to make do with what I’ve got.
Photo courtest of Chris Ensey