I have been in my fair share of unhealthy relationships, which plays a pretty significant role in my lack of trust for the male species.
I have been debating whether or not to share those individual stories as I do not want to humiliate or cause unnecessary pain as a result of their previous behaviours.
I decided I will share my experiences, but please note that people do change for the better. They learn and grow from their mistakes (hopefully). They should not be judged currently for their previous behaviours or actions (or lack of).
I noted in a previous post [Letter to my Bully(s)] about my troubled years of dealing with the psychological abuse of being bullied. This is when my lack of trust, and resulting Major Depression really began. I am not really sure how all the rumors began, but I assume it had to be the result of my ex crush telling his friends some made up humiliating story, which ended up spreading like wild flowers around the school. If you read my previous post [Letter to my Bully(s)], you are painted a picture of just how debilitating that time was for me. The common theme during this time was him, a boy. Everything that had happened, everything that I was feeling, resulted from him, that relationship. I learned very quickly to hate myself, and I turned that trust switch down low.
Now lets fast forward to my young adult life.
I had met the man of my dreams, my lover, my soulmate, my best friend – or so I thought. I put every ounce of trust, love, honesty, and respect into that relationship. Strangely enough, a tear just came to my eye. I hadn’t realized this still affected me. Our relationship was far from perfect, like all relationships we had out pit falls. The most important parts of the relationships were certainly lacking. We lacked basic therapeutic communication, intimacy, and common interests. He lacked respect, honesty and loyalty. I still remember that night, when my whole world came crashing down. We had been together for 5 years, and that night was the night I found out about his repeated infidelity (with multiple woman). The interesting part of this story is I suspected it for many years, but was completely blinded by love. I made an endless amount of excuses for him. I should have trusted my instinct. Furthermore, I probably shouldn’t have given it a second chance, when a second chance wasn’t deserving. This experience only confirmed my desire to withhold trust. I needed to protect myself.
Okay let me stop right here for a moment, as many of you are probably having the most horrible thoughts about this guy right now. People make mistakes. I don’t hate him, in fact a part of me will always love him for the person he is. I forgave him long ago, and we are civil and talk from time to time. We just weren’t meant to be.
After him I started serial dating. A horrible idea and it is NOT recommended. I was extremely fragile and easily taken advantage of, and I was. I was looking for love in all the wrong places.
I craved closeness, and companionship. I couldn’t bare the thought of being alone. . . I turned to online dating (again another horrible idea). I remember falling in love over night with the next guy. We were inseparable. He provided me with all the basic things I never received for so many years. About 4 incredible months, he abruptly sent me a breakup text. Two months later he is engaged, married, and with a baby on the way.
A few dates later, I meet the sexiest man alive, but his arrogance, bad temper, and ego-eccentricness quickly turned him ugly. Nothing more to say about him.
Then there was the guy with multiple faces. I seriously should have known better with this one. I am still shaking my head over it. There were plenty of warning signs, but again my heart went above my mind, and I was unable to appreciate and recognize those signs. We had dated for 5 months, and after doing some detective work (due to his bizarre behaviour), I discovered he was married with a 2 month year old baby. This man had lied about every. His name, career, his life, and wife!!!!!!!!
A couple of months later, I met the ‘true man’ of my dreams, but just not meant for my dreams. It was an incredible 4 months. I can honestly say I fell in love with this man overnight, but again my heart went above my mind, and I lost all sense of reality and what I truly deserved. I lost myself in this relationship. I tried to live up to his expectation. He wanted to live a high class lifestyle with matching high standards. In the beginning it was fun and exciting, but eventually the conflicting self-identities started to take a negative toll. He expected me to dress a certain way, to have my hair done a certain way, and to present myself in a certain way. It was “unacceptable” to wear track suits; dresses were encouraged. Our relationship lacked communication, and even basic intimate touch. We spent most of our quality time together lying horizontal on the couch. He is a very social being, and he couldn’t fully understand and respect my level of social anxiety. This relationship was toxic for me. It triggered another Major Depressive state. I eventually became disconnected, uninterested, and excessively worried. We surprisingly stayed together for a year, and then the most magical thing happened. He broke up with me! At the time, it was a very emotional battle, but now I see it as an answered prayer. It truly was the best thing that could have happened to me.
Again, I know I highlighted on what seem to be some “unrealistic” expectations, and you may be viewing him in a negative light, but please understand that his expectation are just part of how he views his ‘reality’ and it is what works for him. It was my mistake trying to live up to those. It was my mistake trying to change who I was. There are many women out there that would make a better fit to his type of lifestyle. In the end, we just were not right for each other. His latter lack of involvement and his behaviours were the result of him also not being happy. He deserves happiness, we all do. I wish him all the best in life and in love.
The newest guy. I questioned whether or not to even bring this guy up. I wouldn’t classify him as a ‘relationship’, although we did share some meaningful times together over a short period of time (about a month). It was heading in a positive direction, and a future could have been a potential with further exploration. This guy matched my “ideal guy list” totally. I was prepared to allow myself to open up to him, and when I finally decided that I wanted to…. he decides to go on a 3 month vacation.
But you know what? Great for him! He is just living his life to the fullest. He sees an opportunity and he takes it, without question (maybe a little bit of reasoning). He has an incredible outlook on life. He is on a mission, and is committed to, and consistently trying to better himself in this world. His work brings him happiness and a sense of fulfillment, which has created a lifestyle that doesn’t feel like “work” him. If you find something you love, it will never feel like work, and that is the way it should be. In any case, who knows what the future holds, for anyone.
Dating is all about trial and error. It is like an interview process, trying to determine who will make the best fit.
What did I learn from ALL this? A whole lot!!!!!
I learned to be true to myself, to go after what [I] want, and that I am deserving of the basic necessities of love (trust, honesty, loyalty, communication).
I learned that I require someone who is willing to ride the highs and lows, and will love me for me, through sickness and through health.
I learned that I need someone who is more of an extrovert, someone who can help give me a little push out of my comfort zone, when I am so reluctant to do it myself.
I learned that my primary love languages are Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Quality Time. If you want to learn how to express love to me wholeheartedly, learn those!
I learned that I need to stop chasing love, and to embrace being “alone”. The truth is I am not alone. I am surrounded by an incredible supportive network; my family and friends, and an entire online community. No one is ever alone when they love themselves (a concept I am still learning).
I have learned (learning) to go with the flow, and to let go of my expectation, and to allow life to unfold the way the universe is creating it.
I learned about the power of The Law of Attraction, and practice it and gratitude daily. Positive thoughts bring positive experiences; thoughts become actions. I highly recommend everyone pick up a copy and read ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. It has transformed my life, for the better.
I have learned to accept that I have a Mental Illness, and ways to cope more effectively (I have come back stronger than ever before) and (most importantly) to not be afraid to talk about it. I was so worried about the way my friends, family, and coworkers would respond (especially after my absence). Everyone has been so incredibly supportive. Thank you.
At the time, those relationship life experiences seemed to create so much heartache and revealed no purpose, but with time, it was just life (the universe) guiding me along my path, showing me what I desire and require in order to be happy. I was able to learn from love (and continue to learn), preparing me to connect with my ultimate soulmate – someday.
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