One question I ponder frequently, is how to find Mr. Right. Over dinner, my father and I were having a conversation about men and relationships. I started rambling on and on about how I wish I could meet a good man, because the last few were disappointments. My father looked at me and right before he got ready to speak, I interrupted and asked what was wrong with me if I keep picking the wrong men.
My dad’s response, “Exactly”.
As I fell silent, I started to really think to myself what was wrong with me if I kept picking the wrong type of men to have relationships with? Obviously, I didn’t have “daddy issues”, which in my opinion can sum up the answer for a lot of women. There was something about me made me flock to the wrong type of men like a moth to a flame. At the rate I was going, I wasn’t going to find Mr. Right in a carton of rotten eggs.
To answer the question, let’s look at my dating history. Now take in mind there were quite a few that fell in between. Some good, some not so good and some that were just a blurb on my timeline. We don’t have the time or the patience to go through each one, but I figured I would describe men I dated in my teens, my twenties, and my thirties.
Let me start off by saying that ninety percent of the men I dated were decent. I can honestly say that I can count on one finger the men that were downright sinister and purposely tried to break me down. I think this has something to do with the fact that I stayed away from men who were extremely jealous. I was smart enough to know they could become dangerous. I had a low tolerance for cheating and ended things if I found it out. As an adult, I pretty much made this clear to the men I dated and if they wanted to play the field they usually left on their own. I trust easily, but once it’s broken it’s hard to regain.
So if I was able to date decent men, how did the scum sneak through? I wonder that myself. As I look back at who I dated, I noticed that there was a high correlation between by self-esteem and the quality of the men. I also realized that I may have felt really good about myself, but something about some of the men nicked at it little by little, causing me to stay around a little longer than I should have.
Going back to when I was 16 years old, I fell for a guy who was three years old than me because he had a car and dressed nice. As a teenage girl, the older guy always look hotter than they are. This guy would become the father of my only child. Though I was attracted to him for mostly vanity reasons, I ended up staying because as a teenage mom, I felt like if I disappointed my parents, then I had to show them that it was worth it.
Trust me, it wasn’t.
In fact, if I knew about the other girls at the time I would have moved on with my life. Though I know that if I did, my son would not have been here today. My mother tried to shield me from how this man truly was, but I think it hindered me in a lot of ways. I remember being in my third term of pregnancy and having received a phone call from a young lady, who two minutes into the conversation cursed me out and told me she was going to come to my house to beat me for messing with her man.
I didn’t know what the hell was going on and I became overly emotional. Blame 50% of it on hormones. I later found out that my mom had intercepted the previous calls from this young lady who was dying to tell me of her relationship with my boyfriend. That night he and my mom went to her house to “settle things”. Though I never cared enough to ask what they talked about, I never trusted him after that. I actually became upset with the fact that I was stuck pregnant with his child. I stayed because my mom was adamant about my child having a father around.
I put up with a lot of stuff for awhile after my child was born, simply because there was a stigma of being a single mother in my family.
My issues: low self-esteem, uncomfortable being a single mom, self-deprecation
Years later, I met a young man at my job as a special education teacher. He and I immediately clicked and we spent a lot of time at work together. We spent most of the day flirting I don’t even know how either one of us got any work done. As an occupational therapist, he spent a good amount of time in my classroom working with my students. He was sweet, kind, funny, smart, and handsome. He had all of the qualities that I am still looking for in my husband. The only problem was that he was just as shy as I was.
He would drop hints about going out on dates, but it didn’t click to me that he was asking me out on a date. I remember he showed me a movie in the newspaper that he wanted to see. I didn’t even know he liked me at the time and didn’t realize he was trying to ask me on a date until I went home that evening. It took me months to became aware that he had feelings for me, which was probably much too late. He was offered a position elsewhere and we never really kept in touch.
I can’t say with certainty what our future would have been, but I can say that I’m sure I would have been happy for most of our time together. I knew I was hooked when he rushed back to “rescue” me when I had a flat tire after having dinner with a group of coworkers. Good looking, smart and comfortable with a car jack.
As I look back at it now, I think I sabotaged our chance because I didn’t think I was good enough for him. I always felt good around him and he always handled me gently, I think that for some reason I would have held him back. I was a single mother and even though he was older than me by four years, he didn’t have any children. I think in some way I didn’t think our lives would mesh well. Even to this day, my friend reminds me how I messed this up and how he could have been my husband.
I actually agree with her.
My issues: not feeling good enough for men without children, baggage from past relationship
Most of my relationships after 25 have been with teachers. This was due to the fact that these were the men I came in contact with on a daily basis. I’m happy that I came in contact with these men, because I had a lot of fun. I can honestly say that these were good men and I can confidently call 98% of them today just to see how they’re doing.
Fast forward a few years later and three years after the end of one of my serious relationships, and I hit a dry spell. I started working for myself and didn’t go out as much to meet anyone. When I started working again in a traditional job, all of the men were either not my type, married, or gay. I started feeling anxious, because it seemed like everyone around me were in relationships. My friend introduced me to a friend of a friend.
We hit it off and I found him to be very funny. A quality I usually enjoy the men I date to have. During our early conversations, I found out that he had been in prison, had multiple children with multiple women and didn’t have a stable place of residence. All of the signs where I should have put on my tennis shoes and ran the other way. Needless to say, I didn’t. I stuck around and ended up really liking him. We would hang out, but each time we had concrete plans to go somewhere, he would either cancel at the last minute or wouldn’t show up at all. I would become angry and then I made my mind up (temporarily) to leave him alone. Needless to say he would call days later apologizing and promising he wouldn’t do it again.
Of course, he did it again. What was strange is that I stayed around far longer than I should have. Though I didn’t think of it at the time, I believe he was with someone else and I was someone he would deal with when there was nothing else for him to do. He would give me a sad story about his situation and I would feel sorry for him. All he gave me was promises. He didn’t buy me anything, except for a couple of drinks and meals. I was used to going out and exploring different places. Why else would you need to be in a relationship if you couldn’t go anywhere together?
Things didn’t get better and he would disappear for weeks at a time. I have never felt as lonely as I did when I was with him. I realized that this wasn’t a relationship, this was some sad attempt to force myself to believe that it was. I wanted so desperately to be in a relationship and to eventually get married, that I was willing to put up with a lot I hadn’t in a very long time.
My issues: Loneliness, ticking biological clock (even though I didn’t want anymore children), the fear of being single when I turned 40
When I felt unsure of myself, felt lonely or had a crumbling self esteem, the relationships I found myself in were a waste of time. Though I was never abused, thank goodness, I ended up with men who were either narcissistic or fighting their own demons. I held on when I knew I should have walked away. I also noticed however, when I felt good about myself and believed I deserved to be with a quality man. These men all had qualities I desire in a husband.
So what does this long post mean to you? Hopefully a lot. By showing you through my own life example, I want you to start to understand how something about you plays a role in the type of men you choose to date. Maybe you do have unresolved daddy issues that have you picking men to fill that void in your life. Or if you were like me at times where I didn’t feel good about myself, you pick men who are not worth your time. Listen to me when I tell you that there are men out there who sniff low self-esteem like sharks do blood, and will use you up. If you allow yourself to be used and taken advantage of, it’s not their fault, it’s yours. They know they can get away with it because you don’t believe you deserve any better.
Now that you know you have issues, what are you going to do about them? Head over here and read my post on how to become the type of woman that attract high quality men.
Do you think you pick certain men when there is something missing in your life? Do you continuously pick the same type of men? If so, sound off in the comments. Also, if you know of someone who would appreciate this post, please share.