I’ve noticed that when dating a new boy, there is a repetitive rhythm that beats until a certain point.
From walking through the door for the first date, to arriving at the fork in the road of potential Boyfriend-land. To the right, there is a roundabout that leads you straight back to Single Village, turning you away from potential heartache. Or, the left, where you teeter over the edge of a dangerously wide crack in the road. If you hurdle hard enough to land on the other side, the grass is gloriously green. But if you leap, miss and plummet, it’s back to the beginning with bumps and bruises and wounds to lick. This fork is where the repetition stops itself and each experience becomes unique.
When I think to myself, “Oh shit. I really like him. This is terrifying. Now what the **** do I do?!” When this voice in my head starts playing the broken record of my previous failed relationships. This voice urges me to look at old photos in retrospect of what went wrong. Reminding me of the reasons why my former beau intentionally made me weak in the knees, then didn’t help hold me up. The debate of risk stands boldly before me.
I’m there, staring at this fork in the road, questioning, am I ready to risk myself again?
In the past when I have been dropped, it’s been more or less the same feeling that hits home. It’s a feeling of being taken advantage of. In my case, I am a very caring, nurturing, attentive woman. I’m not the greatest with my words, but I show my appreciation and “like” with gestures of cooking, back rubs, head scratches, full interest in their work and friends. My investment grows and in turn, I expose my self, my personality, characteristics, heart, flaws and all. As we dive deeper, I sense an imbalance and question if they like me or just like what I give them.
Because in the past it’s been a matter of me giving too much and not receiving enough. Ultimately, I walk away feeling less than when I started.
How do I decide if this person is worth the risk of possibly going through all of that again?
The risk is the question of what if?
What if he loses interest? What if he doesn’t want a girlfriend? What if he is lying to me in order to just use me and what I have to offer? What if he is still messaging other women even though he says he isn’t? What if he leaves me high and dry?
A result of this grey area, is my defense kicking in. I start closing up because fear overtakes my flirtation. Fear of him seeing our relationship as serious and wanting to back out to avoid any label. Fear of him finding out more about me and not being too keen anymore. Our worlds start colliding and we get to know each others friends and family, so now there is a fear of explaining to others why we ended.
The fear that as they coax you in closer and closer to the edge, just before you jump, they cease all efforts and turn their back to you.
Although it has generally been the same feeling I’ve had to endure after a stint ends, the reason changes from guy to guy. As I type this out, I clarify to myself the precise reason each fling flung off the wire. They’re all different! One couldn’t get over his ex, another blatantly didn’t want a girlfriend, someone else didn’t like my tomboy qualities.
I am carrying all these reasons with me and it is stopping me from wanting to continue to another relationship. But the chances are it won’t be a repeat offense, as I have yet to experience that. The fear from the past is blocking the possibility of the future, and that is just such a waste of time.
So to play devil’s advocate and switch the inevitable, what if around…
What if this person can give me what I need? What if this guy can reciprocate equally what I give to him? What if he is on the same level as me, feels the same as me, appreciates me as I do him? The one I crave the most, what if he supports me with my professional endeavors in the same way I do for him? I am not sure I know exactly what that feels like, but I am so damn curious!
Perhaps this is worth the risk. Because if I back out now due to my fear of a repeat let down, how will I ever find my side kick? My dude that has my back, believes in my talent, passes me a tequila shot and proudly holds my hand in public.
So let’s investigate this fork in the road and make a choice…
You go right. You save yourself from falling, from potential hurt and sense of betrayal. But, you also leave never knowing what could have happened. What experiences the relationship could have given you. Safe… but boring.
You go Left. You jump and don’t make it to the other side. You hurt yourself, it aches and for as long as you see the bruises, you think of him. But here’s the kicker, he wasn’t the one for you. Move on. You have some fun memories, learned a thing or two, re-established your check list for the next guy. Bye Felicia. Get on with your life and keep working because you’re a hustler. You were brave and no one can take that away from you.
You jump and make it, landing softly on the green. He just might be your new manfriend. You took the risk and it was worth every ounce of bravery you summoned from inside.
The you can proudly say, “My boo just passed me a tequila – hold up.”