I’ve dated a few guys over the years, and each for different reasons.
I hope not to sound too cruel as I write this, but for the sake of this article, and for the sake of girls like me, I’ll be real.
I’ve dated guys because they were my first ‘something’. (Too young to know better)
I’ve dated guys because of convenience. (Sorry)
I’ve dated guys because I didn’t want to be alone. (Loneliness sewers you)
I’ve dated guys because my friends had boyfriends. (Third wheeling sucks)
I’ve dated guys because I felt I had something to prove. (What a joke)
I’ve dated guys because they were hot. (Doesn’t excuse arrogance)
I’ve dated guys because they were mean to me. (I don’t even know what to say about this one)
I’ve dated guys because I didn’t think I could do better. (And I could have, btw)
I’ve dated guys because I was bored. (Sorry again)
But something really cool happened over the last year, specifically this summer… I started consciously not dating. Instead, I spent my summer exploring, traveling, writing, breathing and celebrating – myself, by myself.
I’d been in some sort of relationship since I was 16 years old… and that’s a lot of time spent caring about people other than myself. I had this terrible habit of becoming defined by the person I was dating. I was always ______’s girl… And as a vulnerable young woman in love, I was actually flattered by it… Embarrassing. Once I finally woke up from that needy nightmare, I realized all I really wanted was to be me… because being me was actually pretty cool.
Superficial attraction and too much self-worry had me attracting and welcoming boys who liked to cheat, and boys who liked to fight… so I decided to stop inviting anyone in. That’s not to say I didn’t go out with a few guys over the past year.. I had some interesting experiences for sure… But, I didn’t get serious – because why the hell did I need to?
I use to hook up with a guy a few times and instantly think we would probably turn into something – because that’s what has usually happened for me. However, once I actually stopped worrying so much about what was going to happen next, some really cool things started to happen… I’ll skip all the liberating details of this past year, but you can use your imagination.
Doing my own thing became the: Best. Thing. Ever. It allowed me to actually decide (but not worry) about if I wanted to be with someone, if that person was truly worth being with, and to figure out the real reason why I would be with them at all. I stopped being needy and impulsively jumping into new relationships with boys who weren’t good for me… because I had actually figured out what I wanted, and actually began to demand it. I started caring about who would actually add value to my life, and to who’s life would I want to add value to in return. No longer would any guy be my crutch or a way to pass time. I decided to try to take things slow and actually get to know someone. I would go on real dates and wouldn’t settle to just be someone’s hook up if I knew they mean’t more to me than that. I had worked to become the best me, and the best me deserved someone who appreciated the really cool qualities I came to accept that I had.
The coolest result of my ‘experiment’ is that right now I’m with someone who is actually good for me and who I truly believe I’m good for in return. He may not turn out to be ‘the one’ (it’s still very early) (and if you’re reading this beb… don’t panic), but he makes me happy to be me. He digs who I am, how I am, and it’s really freaking cool to have his support in my everyday life. He makes me hopeful to see what great things will happen for not only the ‘us’ that’s emerging, but for me, and for him, as individual people, making our way in this world.
The most valuable thing I’ve come to realize is that every person deserves these types of relationships; with partners, friends, and family members. They deserve people who make them more excited than anxious, more comfortable than fearful, more confident than insecure, that build them up and don’t tear them down, and remind us that although they may mean the world to us, they aren’t our entire world… they just make our days a lot more awesome.