I have lots of friends (I’m so popular!). Not really, but I do have a good number of male friends that tend to seek me out when they have girl problems. Probably because they tend to forget I’m a girl.
Recently, I’ve been dealing with a few friends that are embarking upon new relationships, or are in limbo with an existing one. (Allow me to digress for just a minute: Most of these new relationships are with bipolar people. WTF is up with all of them finding and dating bipolar people?! Is bipolarity the new trendy diagnosis for adolescents and twentysomethings, because the trendy ADHD or ADD doesn’t cut it past age 16? WTF!) They all say the same thing, and I seriously don’t understand it. Maybe I have a mental block to stupidity, but I just don’t get it. They say, “Well, s/he’s been hurt and treated badly in past relationships, so
- I’m ok with waiting while s/he plays the field despite the fact I’m investing lots of time, money, and effort into something that might not even happen;
- I’m going to let him/her walk all over me, both in private and in public, to prove that I care about his/her needs; or
- I’m going to spoil him/her rotten, and make it expected instead of treats, because the ex never treated them well.”
Ok, so you want to be Prince Charming for a while, but what happens when she gets used to it, but the cape and crown come off, and you’re just a toad again?
Let me tell you, it’s not pretty, and the problem is usually more than a few warts. You get your heart broken when she decides she wants someone else, or you become resentful because your new SO is terrible and emabrrassing, and a full on jackass. Or, it turns into “You never take me out. At the beginning we went out all the time, and you was so selfless, and you showered me with presents. We never do what I want, it’s all about you.” And that leads to, “We’re breaking up, you don’t treat me well,” and when she meets someone else, it starts the vicious cycle all over again.
Here is the other part of this: If you were treated badly in a past relationships, the only thing you can do is to learn from it. You can’t expect your next boyfriend or girlfriend to make up for all the mistakes your past SO made. You can’t expect the honeymoon period of the relationship to show the person’t absolute true colors. The honeymoon period of the relationship is like the first marriage of Heidi and Spencer Pratt:
That being said, if you’ve been badly burned in the past, you can’t assume that everyone is a cheating bastard or trashy whore and is out to break your heart.
The point is that if you keep having the same types of relationships, it’s not necessarily the type of person you go for. You might have a penchant for bad boys, or the girl next door, but just because you like a certain type doesn’t mean that they’re all the same within that category.
Not every bad boy has the Chipper Jones complex, and not every girl next door bakes apple pies and plays football. I’ve dated four engineers, all car guys, and cute and dorky, and all older than me. Sure the guys changed, but after each one, so did I. The result? One was a disaster, one was a joke, one was a fantasy romance, and one is the guy I’m going to marry.
You’re supposed to learn from past relationships (assuming the other person is different each time); if things progress in the same manner, obviously it’s something you’re doing. You’re the only constant in all your relationships! Maybe you’re too high maintenance, maybe you have unrealistic standards, or maybe you’re an enabler. You can’t expect someone else to change because you want them to. You have to reflect on what went wrong and then reflect. If you date girls that cheat on you all the time, figure out what it is you’re doing. Maybe they’re sluts, but maybe you don’t sex them up enough. If you date guys that ignore you, sure they could just be jerks, but maybe when they pay attention you “don’t care” or “whatever” them to death, so they don’t want to be around you anymore. Relationships are supposed to help you grow and become a better person, but if you’re not open to working for it, and being self aware enough to notice, you’re probably doomed.
Whatever the problem, you have to be the change you want to see in your relationships (Gandhi would be so proud).