“He just wasn’t the right guy for you.” “You deserve so much better.” “It’s him, not you.”
I think we’ve all heard some kind of variation of these phrases before. You probably got your hopes up that this guy would be “the” guy, and it ended up crashing and burning. And your best friend, who, of course, is only trying to help, gives you one of those horrible “there are more fish in the sea” motivational one-liners to try and make you feel better. But does it ever really work? Do we really ever believe anything they’re saying? I know I don’t.
I’ve been single for over 3 years now, and when time and time again I get my hopes up about a guy and it just goes downhill, I start to wonder: Is it really them, or is it me?
Don’t get me wrong… I’m definitely not someone who feels the need to be in a relationship. I used to when I was younger, but being single for as long as I’ve been, I’ve learned how amazing it is. You don’t need to think about anyone other than yourself which makes doing exactly what you want to do that much easier. I’ve traveled around the world, made so many amazing friends, and I’ve discovered myself and figured out exactly what I want in life. I’m beyond grateful I haven’t been in a relationship because I doubt I would’ve experienced all that I have, had I been attached to someone else.
All that being said, I am probably the biggest romantic to ever live. (To give you an example, I’m one of “those girls” who watches The Notebook at least once a month – I can’t help it!) It’s not that I need a boyfriend, it’s that I want one. I am perfectly fine being on my own… In fact, I love it! My life right now is amazing… and that’s the problem. It’s so amazing that I’d love to share it with someone.
Super cheesy with extra cheese, I know…I can’t believe I said it myself, but I speak the truth.
I want someone to go on road trips with while singing Backstreet Boys at the top of our lungs. I want someone to sit next to me on the couch while we both read books upon books, occasionally looking up at each other and smiling. I want someone to go to church with and hold my hand as we sing songs and learn more about God. I want someone to spend time with my family and me and love them just as much as I do. I want someone to eat as much food as I do and watch as many movies as I do and go on as many adventures as I do.
I just want someone to share my life with, but I haven’t found that person yet.
What bugs me so much though, is that I’ve met a lot of “almosts.” And I’ve just about had every kind you can have. These guys have all been amazing, but there’s always just one thing missing.
The first “almost” I had was this guy who, for the sake of him finding out, I’ll call Luke. Luke was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. He was a year younger than me, and had already made so much out of his life. He was training to be a firefighter, had traveled abroad to build houses and help people in need, was close with his family, a devout Christian (which in my book is a big plus), and he oozed confidence. I mean… how could he get any better than that? But the one thing that I just couldn’t get past was that I wasn’t physically attracted to him.
I hope you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking… I’m probably the least shallow person you’ll ever meet (pinky promise). To further sell you on that, when asked what my “type” is, I always tell people that I don’t have so much a physical type as I do a personality type. If you have an amazing personality, you’re definitely on the top of my list. And this guy was! But for some reason I just wasn’t attracted to him in a way I feel you need to be if you want to be in a relationship with someone. Looks are not that important to me, but I do need to at least get the feeling that I want to kiss the guy, and I just didn’t get that feeling with Luke. And it was such a disappointment because this was the kind of guy you take home to meet your mom.
So… that was the story of my first “almost.” After realizing that it just wouldn’t work, our conversations waned off and Luke was history.
My second “almost” came into my life just a handful of months ago, and this guy was like a flip-flop of the first.
He was super tall, insanely attractive, had graduated college and started a company, was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, and to continue with naming the guy a totally different name, I’ll call him Tyler. We went on numerous dates where he wowed me with his charm, wit, and good looks, and for a while I was thinking to myself, “How did I get so lucky?” But… there was something off from the beginning.
Tyler had everything going for him. If I had a list of everything I wanted in a guy, Tyler had each one of them checked off. I think this is why I was blinded to the fact that he just didn’t make me laugh. The conversation didn’t flow naturally most of the time, and when I finally realized what it was that “off”, I laughed at how much of a red flag it was. It was his personality. It wasn’t that he had a bad personality at all, (“Tyler”… if you’re reading this and you’ve found out by now that it’s you, please don’t take it personally!) it just wasn’t the personality of someone I always pictured myself being with, so I had to call it quits. And yet again, I was so bummed because I was that close to being with someone. (At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow, maybe it is her and not these guys.” You and me both…)
The last, most recent, and most heartbreaking “almost” was with a guy we’ll call Derek. Derek was the guy of all guys. He was laugh-until-your-stomach-hurts funny, super cute, a follower of Christ, great with children, so much fun to be around, and on top of all that – my sister met him and liked him (big plus). We had known each other for a while through church and after months and months of waiting for him to ask me to hang out, I finally just asked him.
We hung out a few times and each time I started liking him more. There was just an ease about him that made me feel comfortable and like we had known each other for forever.
This was the guy I had been waiting for.
But sometimes life just gets in the way.
You wouldn’t have known everything Derek had gone through in his life by just simply meeting him and talking with him. He has so much joy and happiness exuding from his personality that you wouldn’t have guessed the pain he had gone through when he was younger – not unless he opened up to you and told you, like he told me.
I can’t even imagine how everything he had been through had shaped him to be this amazing guy I really started to like, but it did. Although, I guess what made him who I saw him to be, still churned inside of him and made him struggle to make sense of his life. Still trying to figure himself out, he just wasn’t ready to be in a relationship which makes this the hardest “almost” because I was.
I have so much respect for the reasoning behind him not being ready, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt like hell. Derek is the type of guy I want to be in a relationship with, so it definitely makes it hard to be okay with the mere fact that the timing just wasn’t right.
“He just wasn’t the right guy for you.” “You deserve so much better.” “It’s him, not you.” All things my best friend tried comforting me with yet again, but none of it worked.
After every failed relationship and every “almost” that comes and goes, it’s easy to put yourself into a place where you put the blame, and the mistakes, and the reasoning behind why it didn’t work out on yourself. It’s easier that way. It gives you a definite answer to why things didn’t go the way you wanted them to.
But sometimes if you take a step back, you can see the bigger picture.
Maybe the reason why my first “almost” didn’t work out is so I could meet the second one. And maybe the reason why my second “almost” didn’t work out is so I could meet Derek and know all the qualities I want in someone to share my life with. And maybe the reason why things didn’t work out with Derek is so I could meet the next person I meet. Or maybe it was just to give Derek a chance to better himself. You never know…
One thing I’ve realized is not everything is supposed to help or hurt you. Sometimes sucky things happen that involve you but are there to better someone else. Maybe the reason things didn’t work out with Derek is because God wants him to get better. It’s not because of me or about me, but because of him.
I’ve gone through a lot of “almosts” over the past few years, and you probably have too. They give you a clearer perspective and make you truly realize what it is you’re looking for. When these “almosts” come to an end, and your friend gives you the infamous one liners she’s bound to give you, just think about how maybe the next “almost” you meet ends up being more than that.