Written by Author, Dear Thor
My Aha moment happened when I realized that it really wasn’t ever about me.
About 11 months ago, we began dating fast and furious from the start, until suddenly and without warning he broke up with me. Broken hearted I tried to move on, but he refused to leave me alone. He spent 8 months of “just kinda” pursuing me. Basically the single worst nightmare for this former bad boy magnet. Harder to kick then cigarettes, and far more dangerous. Illusive texts, calls and dinners only heightened his intrigue. He mastered the ability of giving me “just enough” before I’d realized he was actually giving me nothing at all. It became so predictable I could set my clock to it. Sometimes my life felt like a bad re-run from an old 80’s sitcom playing on loop every night on TBS. “I can’t commit,” he’d say. “Great,” I’d respond, “now leave me alone and have a nice life.”
But he never would. I’d be uninterested and stand offish, he’d pursue me harder. I’d let down my guard, he’d run. But 4 weeks ago something changed. I was back from a trip when he suddenly pursued me like never before. Calling me multiple times thought out the day and taking me out almost every night. When I asked the reason for his sudden change he responded, “because I’m back now.”
But then I asked a question I had never asked him before, “have you had this feeling with any of the other girls you’ve dated in the past 3 years?”
To which he answered, “yes, every single one.”
Suddenly, it all became so clear. His past record spoke for itself. Every time he felt himself getting closer to a woman, he’d flinch and tell himself, “she’s not the right girl.” Burned by his 1st marriage, he actively chose to avoid dealing with the pain. Years later, that choice would end up having a bigger impact on his life today then his marriage ever did.
A lightbulb went off in my head it’s not me. It’s amazing how a single phrase had the power to set me free. Hearing the words, instantaneously discredited the story I’d been telling myself for the last 11 months. I’d justified his wishy-washy attitude thinking it was a reflection of me not being good enough. When in fact, it had nothing to do with me. Why hadn’t this option even crossed my mind before? This revelation stopped me dead in my tracks. After a zillion relationships, you’d think I’d have learned something. Well, clearly I hadn’t. What a rookie mistake I’d made. How could I have let a guy’s own issues chip away at my self-confidence? Ok, so if this wasn’t about me being good enough for him suddenly the question became is he good enough for me? And this question gave me a sinking feeling. I’ve always admired character, above all else, but his character always remained in question.
I’ve probably loved this man from the moment I met him but I find myself at a crossroads. If I was in my 20’s, I’d want to fix him, like I have with so many other ex boyfriends. But suddenly I’m left with the question, what about me? When does he show up for me?
While it’s lovely we share this special bond, but if his own issues prevent him from actually being able to see the real me, then what’s the point?
“Why?” I asked.
“Because why not?” she replied. I must admit she makes a pretty strong argument. Then she asked me if I could picture him as the father of my children. Ha! I can’t even picture him as my steady boyfriend, let alone the father of my children!
It occurs to me that the man he really is and the man who I thought he could be are actually two entirely different people. So, if the man I’m in love with doesn’t actually exist, then staying with him or breaking up with him, in reality, appear to be the same thing. In both scenarios, I’m alone. Either way, I’m not with the person I’m in love with. By walking away I’m not really loosing anything, at all. How can you lose something you never had to begin with? So it appears my options are the following: more of the same or let him go and find someone better. Worst case scenario, if I don’t find anyone better, I can just find another man (like him) and simply choose to fall in love with his potential instead of his reality.
The greatest benefit of having a wildly vivid imagination is that it’s entirely possible that every man I meet can be the “one.”Thus, making the likelihood of finding happiness with someone else, an absolute guarantee.