The thing that amuses me the most about dating is the comparisons we make and the conclusions we draw based on our past. History is a potent motivator. My No-Good-Horrible-Very-Bad-Ex is Italian, he was fifteen years my senior, he wasn’t college educated, multiple kids with multiple women, had no drive or motivation to be great, and had bad teeth. What drove me to him, you ask? I was 17 and desperate for affection. So starved in fact, that I literally ran to the first man who treated me like I mattered. We met online, talked for months, and then met in person not long after I turned 19.
I’ve learned a great deal, and grew from that shy, insecure 17 year old, to a less shy, less insecure more neurotic 35 year old. I have dated some strange men over the years. Some I dated for the safety they provided. Not physically, I’ve never been a victim of domestic abuse and pray no one would dare try to make me one. Emotional safety though, I clung to. I dated a man for almost a year because he was absolutely no threat to my heart. Then broke up with him because I just didn’t feel the love for him that he deserved. He was a perfectly wonderful man, completely misunderstood, but I couldn’t be what he needed because he wasn’t what I wanted.
I’ve also dated an alcoholic who lied regularly, a man completely and utterly controlled by his mother, a drug addict who held his violence close to the surface, and a man who struggled with his own sexual demons. You know what I haven’t dated? A normal, healthy, man with his shit together. I’m beginning to wonder if this type of person exists. I get it, we all have issues. I can go from 0 to bitch in 3.5 seconds. But I seem to attract a specific type of crazy and I don’t know what I’m doing that I keep walking into the same doors. I thought we were supposed to learn from our mistakes at some point.
Last night, as I was going to bed (at a decent hour I might add!) I received a message from a guy on the dating website that amuses me so. We talked for like four hours and though he kept trying to sneak in sexual innuendo, he respected the boundaries that I clearly set. That alone surprised me and was oddly comforting in that he at least made the attempt. He waited for me to open the door to any type of personal conversations and let me know at different points in the conversation that he found me amusing, and engaging. I found him the same way except of the historical parallels. He’s Italian, he’s ten years my senior. Even though time and space have grown far beyond that of the 17 year I once was, I can’t seem to escape the thought process. I enjoyed talking to this man, and yet I’m probably going to blow him off if he messages me again because I’m condemning an entire race and anyone older than me out of some ridiculous fear that I didn’t know I still had.
Or I can rise above my fear, be the human that I strive to be and quit over analyzing everything I do, say, think, or feel. Of course then you wouldn’t have this delightful blog to bring you insight to my crazy. Who in your history has had the most impact over your choices? Doesn’t have to be an ex, just someone that left a profound impact on the choices you still make.