You may often wonder why you’re that woman who finds herself liking men with unlikable qualities. You may get drawn to a certain “bad” type because it’s easy and comfortable. Falling for a good man can be scary. The outcome isn’t as predictable as it is with your usual types, and with a “good” one you can’t always blame them and their tendencies if it doesn’t work out.
It’s hard to lose someone you invested in. It’s even harder if you also have to take a look at yourself and wonder if they would still be around had you done something differently.
It’s this look inside yourself that sometimes makes you realize that you can’t apply the same dating rules to a different game. If he’s a good one, he isn’t going to play the same way.
Often, when we find something normal, it’s easy to confuse this with boring. A man that respects you and your boundaries and is courteous, you may complain to your friends, is “too nice”. A man that doesn’t really use social media and constant texting as a way of communication might seem “too quiet” and “weird”.
This is when it’s important to tell yourself to grow up, let go of your familiar standards, and stop being scared. He might not do all the things you are used to falling for, but he deserves the chance to win you over in his own way. Whether he’s standing in a parking space of a crowded lot to hold it for you or he quotes your favorite stupid ‘80s movie to make you giggle, he can easily become something more than a perfect face if you just let him.
There’s this pivotal moment in dating someone you realize for the first time that this could really be something. What that something is or what it means is still unknown, but with it comes a sense of relief and excitement. You know you can stop questioning if you really like them. When this moment comes, you know you do.
This moment is like a sudden click. It’s almost as if a button goes off in your head and you suddenly see him in a different light. You want more of him. You respond faster and with more than a one word answer. You stop being vague and you get more open, and with that, you get vulnerable. You know this and it scares you, but if you don’t get the “click” too often, you know it’s worth the risk.
With really liking someone comes wanting to hear from them more often and see more of them. It’s easy to go from being able to take or leave a date with them in the beginning to now wanting to see them twice a week. You’re getting closer and you’ve had sex—incredible sex that you want more of. You expect them to keep up the same behavior they offered you when they first met you, nothing more, nothing less. But the more you want that, if you’re not careful enough to hide your new eagerness or lack of trust, the less of it you may get.
You wonder if you’re letting your unfolding feelings about him produce this unnecessary anxiety that maybe he isn’t into you anymore, even when he still is. You begin acting a certain way, fearing you’ve lost control, questioning his regular behavior that’s the same but affects you differently now. You just want things to go back to the way they were before, and you don’t know what’s changed.
Is it him, or are you different now that you actually care?
Either way it’s easy for you to start to unravel, especially if you’ve been hurt and seen this pattern before. With this, you suddenly put him into the same category as the bad guys, even though he might not belong there.
You might not need him to be serious, but you want him to be real. But the reality of him becoming something fake can easily overcome you as you let your emotions take over. Even without many expectations and being content with the boxes you have already checked off, if he takes them away slowly as he tries to pull back, you will lurch forward to avoid letting them go.
When you haven’t known anyone with a good heart in years, you will look for the holes in theirs because it’s all you’ve come to know. And you will hold on tightly if you can’t find any.
You try to retrace your steps and figure out where you lost him as your phone goes silent and you count the days since you’ve seen him.
You will ask yourself over and over again, “Was it me or was it him?”
No one ever wants to feel like they’ve pushed anyone away, but it’s easy to blame yourself initially when something falls apart, even when the red flags were there all along.
You will look at everything you liked about him and try to piece together his newly revealed inconsistencies. You’ll ask yourself things like, “Why does he prioritize going bar hopping with his friends at our age? How could he buy me a Christmas present but not want to spend New Year’s with me? Why does he fit me in between his family drama and boys’ nights?”
These things were there before, showing who he was and how much he was willing to give. But what changed is that they didn’t bother you until you really liked him.
When he’s officially gone after a gradual, long, and sad silence, you won’t just be upset and hurt that it ended. You’ll also wonder whose fault it was. Did you just not know how to act with the “good guy” or was he the one who needed to get it together?
Maybe he was just incapable and this was his way of escaping something he wasn’t ready for. Maybe his aloof behavior and elusiveness caused you to show that side of you that you didn’t want him to see, the side that can never really trust anyone after the things you’ve been through.
Maybe he really was kind and gentle but still capable of hurting you regardless of what side you showed him.
In the end, you know what you would do differently next time—if you aren’t able to find each other again one day, then at least with the next one you have the “click” with.