I’m disastrous with relationships. Like if there’s anyone you should learn from what NOT to do in a relationship, it’s me. At least 2 men I’ve ever dated ended up finding long term relationships right after breaking up with me. A few men I’ve dated were high achievers who either weren’t ready to commit to a relationship, had better options, or I scared away with my strong desire to not be lonely (or all three, one can never tell in these situations). A few times I’ve walked away from a good thing. More times than I can count I’ve fallen hard for the emotionally unavailable bad boy and not to mention that I’m a single mom. There’s some overlap here between categories but yeah I think its safe to say I’m not good with relationships.
Being in a relationship in theory sounds wonderful. Someone who loves you, you love them back, cute ways of showing each other your affection, gifts, anniversaries, holding hands, dedicating songs to each other, saying you’re going to spend the rest of forever together.
But every relationship I’ve been in has never met me where I need it to be. After I get over a break up I realize breaking up was actually the best thing that could have happened. I actually didn’t want the same things that other person wanted from me. But I idolized relationships. To me, you couldn’t really seem like having it all and being put together unless you had a strong relationship to prove that I don’t know you weren’t ape shit crazy or something.
I’ve been out of the dating pool for a while now, and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. I don’t chase after men, I don’t even intentionally flirt to get attention. My weapon of choice was the bashful eye contact. So most of the people I’ve dated were people who were courageous enough to disregard my standoffish vibes and approach me. Once someone did approach me I gave very desperate “please I don’t want to be lonely” vibes. Once one person realizes you might be clingy, other people start to catch on which may also account for not being approached more, or drawing out all the crazies. So when someone apparently normal did try to get to talk to me, I was head over heels. So head over heels that most of the time I wouldn’t notice all of the reasons why we couldn’t possibly be compatible. Reasons from we didn’t have any similar interests to more serious matters like how they treat women. I was in love with the thought of being in love, but never really felt it.
Having a son and raising him alone gives you a lot of time to think about the kind of man you want him to become. I would play these hypothetical scenarios in my head and list all the qualities I want my son to develop. And realized that these qualities I want him to have are the same qualities I would want in someone who I would hypothetically spend my whole life with.
It’s good that I’ve come to that realization so that I can be more selective when I date but this time to reflect has also made me realize one other thing.
I’m kind of through with dating.
Yes I’m 24, but I’m a 24 year old mom.
Things that are on my mind are how to get my son to sleep in his bed, should I train in the mornings before work so I can spend more time with my son in the evenings, how can I shift my schedule at work to benefit my son more, what can I do to get my son to eat more vegetables, what in the world is that rash on his skin, trying to remember to put my phone down from 6-9 every evening so I can give my full attention to my son, really what kind of rash is that, teaching him it hurts people when he hits them, trying to find something interesting to write for this blog, how can I connect with more professionals and how should I go about meeting them, looking for a way to find fulfillment in my work so that my son can be proud of his mother and so I can pave the way for him to have an even better future, trying to save up for a better car and a house my son can grow up in. In a nutshell my life and my thoughts revolve around a little being who today for the first time reached for my hand to hold as he walked beside me.
I don’t need a relationship anymore to define me. Because I think I’m pretty awesome on good days and merely awkward on bad ones. I still have a lot of things I want to learn (which is reflected by the 90% of self help/self taught books in my reading wish list) but I’m not seeking validation that I’m a worthy person from another human being who doesn’t have my best interests in mind. So instead of worrying that all the good men may be gone, or that I’m turning 25 in June and genetics and time are going to start working against me, and that the number of eligible candidates significantly drop off because they don’t want to date someone with children, I’m going to instead focus on making the most of every day, every moment, every breath I have because not only is someone depending on me, but I think I deserve it to myself. I’ve been waiting my whole life to feel like I can start living my life. What I hadn’t realized is that it’s always been within my reach.