I have a broken picker. I know it. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this I could retire, or at least take a fantastic vacation somewhere tropical.
I’ve thought a lot about why I always pick the wrong guy, and I’ve come to a few conclusions. One reason is I can see their potential. I can see the best version of whatever man strikes my fancy. Doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, does it? You can’t date potential though. Sometimes my rose-colored glasses are so tinted I can’t see the red flags. By the time I take those glasses off, it’s too late. I’m already in.
I can rationalize poor behavior better than anyone, (my own included, but that’s a story for a different day). I think I’m being too judgmental if I raise an eyebrow when something doesn’t sit right with me. I say to myself, “He just got divorced,” or “maybe his baby mama really is that crazy” or “he doesn’t drink THAT much”, or “maybe he really is just friends with his ex-girlfriend, there’s nothing going on”. These are the lies I tell myself to justify loving their potential. These are the things that slap me in the face when the inevitable end nears.
I never like the guy who looks good on paper. I don’t seem to be attracted to the nice guy, the guy who would lay his coat over a puddle so I wouldn’t get my shoes wet; the stable guy who drives a mid-sized sedan, and takes his mother to church on Sunday mornings. I want to like him, I really in my heart of hearts do. I try him on for size once in a while; usually after a crash and burn with another failed relationship. I put on my blazer and kitten heels and blankly stare at him while he tells me about his day at the office. I fake laugh at his humor. I kiss him and feel nothing. I picture a future with this man and it’s filled with PTA meetings, soccer matches and work dinners. The thought of this life makes me want to find the nearest high rise and jump.
I don’t necessarily want a bad boy either. I’m not interested in full sleeves of tattoos, criminal records or a drug problem. I run from these guys as well. I am forever looking for someone who has both sides. I always end up with the male version of myself; the commitment issues, miles of failed relationships and emotional walls so high, it’s almost impossible to knock them down. It’s all quite exhausting; however I love these men, because I know deep down in there is a good human. I’ve seen glimpses of him. I just need to catch him. The problem is, he doesn’t want to be caught.
I am a problem solver, it is my profession, and I take it into my personal life as well. I think if I just “fix” whatever is wrong, we’ll be happy. We’ll be together. This will be it. You can’t fix someone else. Hell, it’s hard enough to try to fix you, and maybe that’s just it, if I focus on what is broken in others, I don’t have to see what’s broken within myself. I’ve realized this about myself and I’m trying to work myself. Starting with my broken picker.