Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bad Relationships

Today I feel like writing. But about what? What possible jewels of wisdom could I share with the world? I'm a 25 year old who currently lives in the same town I grew up in. I have a degree and a job that I don't quite love. Most of my adult life I've spent in a series of bad relationships and therapy. The scary part is, I don't know what's next. The exciting part is, I don't know what's next!

What I do know is, I see a lot of women in my same position. I think back to the classic argument of nature versus nurture, and I still cannot pinpoint what it is that makes women so different from men. For some reason, many of us find it impossible to walk away from a bad relationship. We want to fix these men and pray that through our own love, understanding, and guidance we can help guide that transformation along. Wrong. 100% dead wrong.

The problem is not them, it's us. There's something hardwired in our brains that tells us we deserve this. Maybe we came from a family where our mothers were treated similarly, or maybe we felt abandoned, abused, and neglected. When you're used to that, you don't know the difference between a good relationship and a bad one--all you know is familiarity.

Dr. Drew constantly reminds me, through the calls he receives on his radio show, that women like myself are attracted to men who remind them of the things they once found terrifying in childhood. Trauma, he calls it. I call it bad luck. Bad luck that for every 10 guys you are attracted to, 9 of the ones who seem like nice guys will only end up leaving you stranded in the Taco Bell parking lot, half an hour away from home (yes--that almost happened to me). Or worse yet, that they will spoil you with attention for 3 weeks, confess their undying love for you, and then leave you at the drop of a pin when their ex-girlfriend that they complained about for god-knows-how-long, proposes to have a threesome. That's love right there, folks.

You see, that's where it gets tricky because in the beginning these so-called nice guys always put their best foot forward. But within a few short weeks their true personalities start to show through--farts and everything. There's nothing you can do but be aware of your unhealthy attraction to jerks and go for guys that seem slightly less appealing--the real nice guys. If that sounds like settling, it may seem to be at first. Nice guys aren't going to have the sexy long hair, pick you up on their greasy motorcycles, or make you play cat-and-mouse games that drive you up the wall but leave you feeling oh-so-satisfied at the end. Nope, those things simply won't be there. But nice guys will take the time to listen when you want to talk things out, make you soup when your not feeling so well, and opt to stay in with you rather than go out for a night with the guys just because. Besides, aren't those the things that really count?

So, what I've learned is that instead of putting myself through more painful scenarios, I need to sit back and try to focus on the things I want out of life. Marriage, children, a house--a loving family. Time is of the essence, they say. At the ripe old age of 25 I may have years ahead of me, but what I lack is patience. However, one must learn to be patient because while I recognize that I don't want to spend my better years like the stereotypical old cat lady (except that I have a dog and I crochet instead of knit), I also recognize that I don't want to waste my time being in an unfulfilling relationship that's headed down a road to No-wheres-ville either.

I guess that's the difference between the women who find themselves in good relationships and those who find themselves in bad ones. I always thought that other women were just lucky, but the truth is they made a choice. They put a price on their own self-worth and chose not to accept any less than what they deserve.

While it may seem hopeless at times, at some point you have to decide for yourself--what am I worth? What will or won't I put up with in a relationship? What things do I have to have? For many, being alone is a frightening idea, but it also gives you a chance to reflect on yourself, get to know yourself, and build yourself up to the best version of you that you can be. If you treat yourself right then others will follow by example.

Sometimes our biggest strength comes from the times when we feel our weakest, but it's always there waiting in the reserves for the moments in life that will test us. Maybe that moment's now, or maybe it's further down the road. The only real advice that I can offer is that whenever that moment comes, you will get through it. Life always has a way of working things out.

So ladies, do yourselves a favor and ditch the loser, turn towards your family & friends for support, and remember that life goes on. And who knows, Mr. Right could be waiting around the corner, and if you delay, you just might miss him.

1 comment:

  1. That's not true about nice guys being slightly less appealing. The one man I've found the most attractive, sexy and appealing in life is the man I'm with. That's not even love talking. That's real. But if you're looking for that type of nice guy, I know of a really nice one that lives not so far from you.