In the Eye of the Beholder

Life has a sense of humor and I couldn’t help but chuckle when both my exes texted me asking for relationship advice. I’m not exactly sure why they wanted my opinion and it was a bit of an awkward position to be in, but nevertheless I’m always rooting for love to win.

It was odd listening to Stubborn anxiously debating how soon he could text his girl and what she might be thinking when he wasn’t talking to her. The ironic way in which I related to him as he read deeply into her actions and phrases, trying to decipher if she likes him and if it was as much as he likes her. It was when he mentioned all the times he’s seen her lately, all he wanted to do for her and with her that I realized how delusional I was in thinking he ever liked me. I was quite embarrassed but that was quickly washed away by the shock of realizing my stubborn was someone else’s Mr Romantic.

For a girl he really cares for he will make time for her, try to dazzle her with his thoughtfulness, and make the effort to plan dates and trips with her. But as I said life has a sense of humor and unfortunately for my emotionally unavailable Stubborn, his girl is also a bit emotionally unavailable at the moment. For the other side of Stubborn being Mr. Right is Stubborn having his own Stubborn to plague his mind in the middle of the night picking apart sentence by sentence to see if she’ll love him or not. It’s a bit sweet to know the guy I pined for and was ignored by to be pining for a girl that is ignoring him.

Ironically, I’ve also met an amazing guy who was someone else’s Stubborn. She fell for him as he kept her as his friend and play thing for just about as long as Stubborn did with me. Everyone still single and on dating apps and the guys not seeing the girl who cared for them so deeply right in front of them. He might wander but he would always come back to her so he must secretly really care about her too right? She was crushing on him but he was only crushing her. The love we so desperately chased for two years, he freely and quickly gave to another who actually had his heart.

Our Stubborns did not love us and Thank God for that because they were not meant for us. We easily mistake our caring, gentle hearts for relationships and love. The men we grow to love and who truly love us back will eclipse every man before them into a faded memory just beyond reach. And we will laugh for ever thinking this resembled love.

Do We Ever Stop Thinking About Our Exes?

I don’t know if it was the nostalgia of the holidays or what but I’ve been thinking about my two ‘exes’ a lot. That’s actual total BS, it wasn’t the holidays because every time I hear a loud truck engine I think of Mr. Romantic and Stubborn’s favorite season is Fall so I thought about him and now it’s the month of the Capricorn so I think of him again.

I actually wrote a list of all the things that remind me of Stubborn, I titled it “Things Stubborn ‘ruined’ for Me”. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that long. So what gives? The guy never gave me the time of day so why 2-3 months later does going into his part of town affect me so much? I decided to play along with that 1 week for every month break up idea, turns out I’d still have 2 months and 3 weeks left. But that wouldn’t explain why I still think about Mr. Right, I should have been over him in 6 weeks.

Do I have an obsessive personality? I am I not over these boys? Do I feel like each ‘relationship’ was left unfinished? Am I a hopeless romantic caring too deeply?

I tend to give up on shows mid season so I don’t really think obsessive is right. Mr. Right and I don’t have a possible future together and Stubborn could never show his appreciation for me so I don’t really think it’s because they were ‘the one that got away’. So the only current option left is my hopeless romantic heart.

Mr. Romantic actually wished me a Happy Holidays last month so I don’t feel so weak for thinking about him because clearly he was thinking about me too. And I believe he’s a hopeless romantic as well so this just solidifies my own theory.

Hopeless Romantics always want love to work out. They constant seek out love and are warmed by the feeling. I don’t think any other feeling will compare to romantic love and therefore I cannot wait for the day I find it. But this idea often makes me a fool for love. I try forcing love where it is not (Stubborn) and I try stealing a love that is not meant for me (Mr. Right), trying to make a round peg fit into a square hole.

I think about my exes because they helped me learn what type of love I’m looking to receive and give to my future mate. And for that, I must Thank them. I also look forward to the day that old memories are replaces with new and that list shrinks down further till I rarely think of them at all.

Because God help me if I’m 50 and Eric Church’s Springsteen comes on the radio and I still think of Stubborn being 18 and falling in love with some girl he met before me.

 

Head Vs. Heart

I went from nearly one extreme to the other. First, I talked to Mr. Can’t Get Ov3r You, who started out as fun and easy. It was all just texting and it didn’t cross my mind to even consider meeting up with him till 4 months later. We met in April, the non-date coffee date lasted twice as long as I thought it would last. Regardless, we didn’t meet up again till August. He was the one I wanted to date and yet he remained in exactly the same place he had been when we first talked 14 months ago. It’s really hard for him to open up, he tries to ignore feelings he’s uncomfortable with, and I think he’s been burned a few too many times by those close to him.

I was finally ready to accept the fact that he would never be what I wanted him to be and I began dating again (No, I did not remain completely single waiting for Mr. Can’t Get Ov3r You to finally change his mind- I went on many a first dates).

That’s when I met Mr. Romantic. He would send me Good Morning and Good Night texts, paragraphs of my great qualities and how appreciative he was of me. He was kind and respectful, buying me my favorite candy for my birthday even though we hadn’t known each other for long at all. He brought new button down shirts because he wanted to look sharp for me on date night. It would have been easy to love him.

Am I just supposed to date the guy because it would be easier on me? Despite Mr. Romantic being easy to love, he had 3 strike -outs on my deal breakers and our futures did not line up together. Do I date Mr. Romantic selfishly because he’s good for my self -esteem even though he’s not actually right for me? Sure, Mr. Can’t Get Ov3r You is seen as harder to love but does that mean he deserves it less? I don’t think I’ve always been easy to love, was there a point in time when I did not deserve love just like everyone else?

Maybe this is more about me than either of those boys. Because whether I’m talking about my heart or my head, I’m still talking about me. Maybe I have to wonder why my head doesn’t agree with my heart. And why my heart would even want something that doesn’t want it back. And what’s stopping my heart from following my head.

 

(If you read this article hoping for an answer of Head vs. Heart, it’s Heart that will always win.)

 

Photo Credit

Do You Date the Guy You Know You Won’t Marry?

If you’re in a crunch and don’t have time to read, the short answer is No.

 

I mean yes, sure you could date him as long as you both know the deal: that it will eventually end so that you can each marry someone else (if you happen to choose that marriage is for you).

But that leads to a lot of IFs:

IF you catch hard feelings then it will be much harder to let things end later down the road.

IF you (or him) are counting on you changing your mind about your deal breakers.

Or you’re hoping he’ll change his mind, which is also a big IF.

I’m sure there are plenty of stories you might hear about loving someone so much that the deal breakers don’t matter or they just find a way to make it work. Those stories are definitely real and definitely happen. But even those relationships take a lot of hard work, communication, and compromising. And let’s face the facts, those are rare relationships and most of us aren’t that lucky.

If you don’t think you’re going to marry him, then you probably aren’t going to marry him. You can continue to date him, trying to convince yourself that you can make it work long term. You might succeed, you probably won’t. I might sound a bit too harsh but I’ve been here before. I’ve been the one looking for an answer that will make me love the guy I don’t truly love. Yes, I care for him, yes we have good conversation or good sex (fill in here whatever it is that makes you want to keep dating him), and yes he’s good for me. But if I really, really loved him, I probably wouldn’t have been on the Internet looking for answers. And you wouldn’t either.

Now if you also answered yes for when I said he was good for me, then I’m going to assume you and I have a lot in common. You probably tend to date assholes (the Cheater, the Liar, the One who Couldn’t Commit – I’m sure you know at least one of them), undervalue yourself, and jump from guy to guy looking for that real love.

Well, Honey the good news is you’ve come along way if you’re now able to recognize a guy who is actually good for you, respects you, and supports you. This guy might not be The One and you probably still have some work to do for yourself but I’m confident the right one will come along when you’re ready. Until then, live your life, continue to date that guy or don’t, order that 5th margarita or don’t, sleep in on the weekend or don’t. Just try your best to judge yourself less for the past and honor yourself more for the future.

You have a lot of love to give, and any guy of your past or future is lucky to experience that love, but it’s time you gave that love to yourself.

Don’t Settle, Mr. Right

So I was watching Bachelor in Paradise Monday night and could not stop shaking my head at Izzy. Izzy and Vinny hit it off right away and seemed like a very solid couple. A few weeks go by and a guy finally comes to Paradise peeking Izzy’s interest. Izzy just has to talk to Brett to see if he’s worth the risk of letting go of her strong connection to Vinny. Vinny, not wanting to wait around on the Backburner, leaves Paradise.

Some more time goes by, Brett goes on a date with someone else and then tells Izzy that they just don’t have a strong enough connection. Izzy then departs from Paradise, realizing the mistake she made by letting Vinny go and tries to win him back via phone call. He shuts her down quickly, making the right decision in my opinion.

I met my own Vinny, my own Mr. Right. He was a great guy, treated me really well, and I would be a fool to let that go. But I did anyway.

I did it for the potential of Stubborn. Or maybe because Izzy and I have a lot in common and we did it because we didn’t want to end up ruining a great thing and getting left heartbroken. There’s a 75% chance that my Brett will go on a date with someone else that will end up outweighing my connection with him. But I guess that’s where my similarities with Izzy end.

I wouldn’t go back to Mr. Right. If one man was all it took for me to question my relationship enough to let it go then eventually, another man will come along giving me that same desire to risk it again. I think Izzy feared being alone more than she loved Vinny. I think Vinny realized that too and he wasn’t going to settle for someone who doesn’t truly love him.

I’m not going to settle and I don’t think Mr. Right should either.

 

Photo Credit

 

 

I met Mr. Right and He was Dreamy (and He’s Single)

It took me a long time to date the right guy and it wasn’t because I refused to date. I did date, a lot. I went on more first dates then I can count nor care to remember. But I was really bad at picking the right guy and I even starting setting rules for myself in order to only go on a date with a guy who REALLY liked me and meant it when he said he would treat me right.

And boy did he! He opened car doors for me, always asked about my day and how I was feeling (remaining completely supportive always), and he constantly reassured me that physical intimacy would move at my pace. He was a hopeless romantic, respectful, old school kind of guy.

This was the dream guy, Mr. Right. And I still maintain that months after breaking things off with him. It’s just that he’s Mr. Right for Someone Else, not me. We had different visions for our futures and I realized I would have to let this sweet man fall in love with someone else. And if any girl reading this is interested, I’ll gladly pass it along to him!

Mr. Right for Someone Else showed me that I deserve someone who is supportive, considerate, and trustworthy. He gave me the confidence to know that I’m worth the effort and don’t have to settle nor hide my true self from love. He gave me the hope that I will find that perfect someone for me and I’ll always appreciate him for giving me that.