I was on the phone with a good male friend of mine, giving him the run-down of my latest dating adventure when he stopped my rambling and asked me if I realized something.
I thought he going to point out my excessive story telling abilities that’s kept him on the phone for many hours (poor guy). But in a serious tone, he said. “Have you wondered why you keep attracting assholes – why do you keep attracting abusive men?”
I was washing dishes with headphones in my ears, the phone in my back pocket. I put down the soapy plate and froze. I was hurt – humiliated – startled by the truth! He was right and both of us knew it. I’ve asked myself this question so many times before, but to hear someone else say it – a man say it, it really hit me.
When I came back to reality, I wanted to hang up the phone and cry. Cry, because I was guilty of victimizing myself over and over again, I’m used to being a victim, even though I’m a survivor. Cry because I’m a grown woman, a mother, an entrepreneur – yet I still gravitate to emotionally bankrupt men. How embarrassing….
I’ve hidden parts of myself – in order to be accepted, parts that I used to love .
I’ve hidden having needs, for fear of being seen as too needy.
I’ve hidden crying, for fear of being labelled as too emotional.
I’ve hidden my achievements, for fear of attention or success that might make him uncomfortable.
– when really…my fear was heartbreak.
You see…my dates usually start off with amazing conversation and a strong spark. I’m a passionate person and I express it in most things that I do. So, my discussions and connections are intense, therefore starting the relationship on a high. My illusion is that he might be the one – although never quite…how would it even get ‘there’ – I’m always on guard!
Potential suitors, say I appear shy, reserved or cold, which is just me hiding who I really am – I’m a complete softy, over sensitive (which I’ve come to embrace) and these angry men can see past the wall I’ve put up to ‘protect’ myself and use it as ammunition.
For a long time, I’ve been pessimistic about finding my monsieur, my missing piece of the pie, yet secretly hoping to meet him.
I’ve tried singles events, blind dates, and online dating, but usually they all come to same conclusion. The conclusion is that as much as I’ve told myself to be more vulnerable and let down my guard – the actuality is that I have been vulnerable.
My life without was without a father, he left, he abandoned me and he also set the standard – none. So, I’ve wondered around aimlessly trying to find validation in men who had didn’t deserve to even know my name! And chronically repeated this behaviour with the same outcome – pain and hurt, it became too familiar, I was comfortable with it and attracted it. Not to mention…hurt and pain’s favourite cousin, rejection, who’s been my best friend for years, that visits me periodically, but like a real bff, no mater the distance, never quite leaves.
As an avid reader, one of my go-to relationship (or lack thereof) books is ‘Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men’ by Lundy Bancroft – this is an amazing book! I’ve read it backwards, forwards, upside down and on repeat. Despite how epic this book is to me, it is still short-term empowerment. I always felt great, strong, after reading it, and it comes highly recommended but it hasn’t solved the root of why I continue to give men chance after chance after chance to treat me with simple respect.
The magical solution is not in a book, but rather in the core of who I really am, with or without a companion. I try to dig deep and when I do, the root to why I suck at dating begins with fatherlessness. My father that never once told me ,I was beautiful, intelligent, or loved. So, now I try find love within myself, without the validation.
Consciously and deliberately, I’ve scaled back on dating, but it’s not like the phone was ringing off the hook anyway. LOL. I love my own company and I can hang out by myself allllllll day – but isn’t it so much better to share your life with someone special?
Until then…I am working on breaking the pattern, identifying it before it starts, making better choices, and setting boundaries – I look forward to meeting him, if I haven’t already 🙂 I’m keeping hope alive!
Do you suck at dating? Did you previously suck at dating? Lend me some tips in the comment section!