Healthy Relationships: What I Have Learned
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who was telling me about a friend of hers. This girl is beautiful, smart, and single. My friend mentioned the girl was having a hard time meeting a good guy, to which I replied, “well, that's just downright shocking.” Which is total sarcasm. It's actually not suprising at all. There ARE good guys, great guys in fact. But they are like blue whales or something. They hide and surface rarely. Finding a great man, with a great family, that treats you like gold is hard to find.
This is my take on things:
Dudes that go to bars to pick up girls can sometimes (most of the time) be jerks and the good guys stay home playing video games or watch sports with their buds.
Some women are willing to accept less than stellar behavior from men, thus perpetuating the ability of the jerk to do what he does—they can basically get away with it because some women don't expect respect.
There have been many times when I have been in a yoga class, out for lunch with a friend, or at the grocery store and overheard girls/women complaining about some dude that “didn't call them.” Let's be honest. We have all done this at one time or another. Analyzed a man's behavior; tried to figure out the situation like we were Nancy Drew. But I have learned a lot about male behavior and about the female response to men acting like jerks and here's what I always want to say:
A man who knows how great you are WILL call and will ask you out and won't let up till you are his girlfriend. Period. You won't have any need whatsoever to analyze a man when he's the right man because there won't be any guessing with him. If you're guessing how he feels about you, move on.
Take a break from dating. Just a few weeks. A few months even. Focus on your hobbies, fitness, healthy eating, spending time with great friends that make you laugh, your family and siblings, your nieces and nephews, your friends children, volunteer at a local women's shelter, a food bank, get into something crafty---whatever you have to do to give yourself some space away from finding a man that suits you. When your life is full of happiness and fun, analyzing men, dating men, and finding men becomes secondary to all that other good stuff you've been up to! The greatest value is that your happiness is number one.
It sounds cliche, but the right man will come along. By taking this break, you give yourself a break from the jerks of the world. Stop discussing their motives and what they, want, need and expect from you. You start focusing on YOU. Your life. Your goals. Your future.
It may seem like I am just spouting off advice. Being all “righteous” about what to do with your life. “She's not single....what does she know?” It is true that I am in a happy relationship. But let me tell you that I, Cat of This and That Cat, hold a Bachelors Degree in Dating Douchebags from the University of Stupid Cat. It's true. I can smell them a mile away at this point. I may have even earned a PhD. for some of the stupid man choices I have made. But I don't beat myself up about it-you live and learn. That's what life is all about. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're not. I also was very lucky to meet the great man I have now. We both know how lucky we are.
Some of the men I have dated may be reading this and thinking, “that BITCH.” Calm yourselves. I am not talking about every man I have dated. There's men I have dated that I have great respect for and wish them nothing but happiness. Sometimes things don't work out and that's totally normal. I am not taking about those men. I am talking about the OTHER men. The losers, the assholes, the douchers, the weenies, the selfish jerks we have all wasted our time seeing, thinking about, talking about, etc. It happens. It's part of being a woman to analyze and try to “figure out” men. We are problem solvers by nature but sometimes we take it too far when it comes to dating.
That being said, I regret none of it because each of those men taught me something very important about myself. They taught me exactly what I did not want, and did not deserve. It was just a matter of figuring that out and making good choices for my future.
The advice I just put forth about taking a break from the dating scene worked for me. When I stopped all of that baloney I met Patrick six months later. I took time to myself that I wanted and needed. I figured out what I wanted, I healed from the mistakes I had made and I knew from the first moment I met Patrick that he thought I was the bomb. And I think he's the bomb too! :)
Points to Remember
You should never be guessing about how a guy feels about you because he will tell you.
You should not be crying, angry or have any feelings of anxiety about a man you just went on a date with, are dating, etc. A man who cares for you will bring you nothing but positive emotion.
You the the BOMB. Seriously. If a dude you're dating doesn't know that and tell you that and treat you like that----lose that loser. You deserve the best.
If you have struggled dating people who do not treat you right, take a hard look at why you have formed this pattern. Do your best to break it. That may mean you're loney for a period of time. Just remember that there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Lonlieness can be combated with the above things I mentioned to fill your time. But you're never really alone. There's a world of single people just like you, just like this friend of my friends---that are seeking out a potential partner that's going to treat them like a star. It's a fine balance beween being realistic and cynical.
To the Male Reader
I am sure there are some male readers that are just dying to jump down my throat about this. So let me tell you---I know it can be the same for men. Whether you're a straight or gay man, I know that there are good men and that there are nasty men. This message is not man hating, it's man awareness for those that need it. It's also a way for me to (selfishly) call out all the losers out there, which gives me great pleasure.
I dont want to rattle on about my relationship too much here because that's not my intention with this post. But there are good guys out there ladies. There really are. You need to be patient and you need to not give the losers a chance to take away your happiness, your positivity and your self respect by accepting their shitty behavior.
Keep being your awesome selves and if this advice speaks to you, realize that I am not trying to impose my views on you, rather sharing my own experience and what worked for me. It may not work for everyone. I hope you find what works for you, and that your life is better for it.