My twenties was a dire decade in terms of relationships (not that you could really call them that). Gosh, my head must really have been in a bad place to attract such pathetic idiots! I would attract this type of vile man like a beacon. Although I did have quite low self-esteem and a poor self-image in those days, I did have the good sense not to give all of them the time of day. Here, however, are some that stood out.
- A guy who wanted my number, but stated in no uncertain terms that although he really liked me, I would virtually be at the bottom of his priority list.
- A guy I thought was my boyfriend who never actually got in contact with me unless I contacted him, or even bothered to wish me happy birthday, even though it is on the same day as his friend. One year on my birthday he asked if he could go to his friend’s party rather than do something with me and my friends. In fact, after the ‘relationship’ had ended, I realised we hadn’t even so much as kissed. *Eye roll.*
- A guy who told me he was disappointed with my face as it wasn’t as pretty without makeup.
- A g*t claiming to be ‘legally separated’ from his wife. He was insidiously controlling, manipulative and abusive to the point where I ended up in a rape crisis centre and had to go through months of counselling.
As I get older, my tolerance levels for b*llsh*t is decreasing.
I just do not have time for it.
I now know what I do not want:
- I do not want to be an afterthought or a distraction for boredom, or a reserve on my partner’s reserve list.
- I do not want to beg the person I am seeing to spend time with me and make me feel desperate and insecure.
- I do not want someone who constantly tries to change my appearance or character.
- I do not want someone to disrespect me or make me feel worthless.
And I am beginning to realise what I truly want (which I would reciprocate):
- Someone who can treat me like the special person I am.
- Someone to take time out of their day to see how I am and is proud to have me on his arm and show me off to the world.
- Someone who is happy and proud of my natural state (I enjoy the natural look and prefer it to makeup which I very rarely wear), and can tolerate my flaws.
- Someone who values me and who we can bring out the best in each other.
Looking back, I am glad I no longer settle for dregs, when someone of my dreams can be waiting for me, just around the corner. I am willing to take the risk. I would rather try to the find the angel I don’t know rather than the devil I do.
I hope if you have settled for a relationship, you are willing to do the same too. Extricate yourself from your prison. Don’t suffer the humiliation of not being introduced to your ‘partner’s’ family or friends, or being seen in public – you are not a dirty little secret. And if possible, don’t remain with someone if you want opposite things. Staying because you think starting over again is too much effort, or that it is better than being alone (especially on the weekends and on Valentine’s Day etc) will just leave you depressed. It will also shred your self-esteem. You might not think you cannot do any better, but you can. You really can!
However, there is one thing you should do first. Work on improving yourself. Focus on increasing your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself. Your partner should only enhance you when you are together, not take away from you if/when they leave. You have to love yourself and feel confident about yourself first, before you can attract the right person.
So, don’t lower your standards. Go and find someone deserving of you. I’m still waiting but I know it will be worth it!?