Monday, November 21, 2011

my shady past... with dating. part 3.

If you've read the two posts from last week about my tawdry affair with dating, then you know about the pitiful lack of experience I had with boys by the time I turned 18, you've seen me do some annoying number crunching that went nowhere, and you've also maybe read about the fact that in college and beyond I rocked at finding men to date. I mean, they were the wrong men. But still, they were there, dating me.

At 18 I dove headfirst into the waters of the college dating feeding frenzy instead of considering what I was comfortable with, what I was looking for in a guy, and what I expected a relationship to be.  I went ahead and just let whoever was giving me attention sort out all that stuff. *
*(Except sex. I hung onto that V-card like a sacred flower.)
Getting into a pattern like that is easy peasy and also totally unhealthy because it's a hard cycle to break and sometimes it hits you one day that you're 24 years old, a shitty partner, and you have no idea what you actually want.
Thankfully, I did 'wake up' so to speak. And once I was up, there were reminders of my passive journey through Relationshipland everywhere.
For instance, one day I had just set off on an all-day drive. I popped in the first cd I found whilst digging around in the center console without looking and Social Distortion started rocking through the speakers. I could have slid on my sunglasses and sung along but instead I fixated on the fact that I had no idea if I actually liked this band or if I just knew all of the words because a former flame loved this band and I thought I could make him love me by liking the music he liked.
What the hell? I've always been a strong, self-confident, outspoken female in nearly every other facet of my life, but when it came to men I was reduced to some malleable substance vaguely resembling play dough.
Granted, I do think we pick up a lot of things from the people we date. After all, we like them, we spend a lot of time with them, and we ideally learn a lot about them when we're together. For instance, I still run my toothbrush under the sink before and after I put toothpaste on it due to a former beaux. It's just a habit I picked up that I ended up liking. I don't often think of them, but he's the identifying source of said habit.
But I think a large part of my problem was that I spent a lot of energy trying to become the perfect girls for every guy I was dating than considering if they had a potential to be my perfect guy. Or even a guy I was compatible with.
I know it seems strange that I say I never intentionally entered into a relationship or really wanted one- and then I go on to talk about how much I lost myself in the guys I was seeing. It doesn't really make all that much sense to me either, and it didn't happen overnight, but gradually, which I probably why I didn't notice it at the time. Because of the guy I was dating, I've been full-on country, punk rock, a total hipster, and extremely preppy. You should see my closet, it STILL looks like an overflowing costume trunk.

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