“I’m never dating a ride again,” my friend states loudly on one of our socially distanced walks, oblivious to the family cycling behind us.
“My nerves are gone,” he continues, before I can question his outburst. “He has fellas on to him every minute. He could have anyone, I don’t know what he’s doing dating me.”
I turn incredulously towards my pal with the purpose of telling him to cop right on before he cuts me off. “I know, I know. But c’mere, you felt the same about your one so don’t be giving out to me.” I hesitate. ‘Your one’ refers to a woman I was dating for two months at the tail end of 2020.
Mid-20’s, tall, ridiculously good looking, from the get-go, I’d described her to my walking buddy (and anyone who would listen) as being ‘out of my league’ when it came to looks, finances and the places she had been. In response, he had righteously contested my statement, much like I was about to challenge his, insisting that from what he had seen and heard, we matched well. At a rational level, I knew that he was right. I have a successful career in ICT. I’m a few months away from attaining a Masters and in terms of attracting women, I’ve never had an issue with pulling someone I fancy. Yet despite these facts, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d never be able to hang on to this woman.
Mistake number one.
You see, nobody ‘hangs on to’ anyone. As human beings, we have free will. While we can, through our behaviours, mind-set and personality, influence whether or not someone wishes to stay in a relationship with us, we can never nor should we ever, cling to another person in search of certainty or a guarantee. There are none, nor should there be.
My second mistake was assuming that we would be the right fit, simply because we had a great back and forth and an intense physical attraction. I laugh now but before we had even met, I was concerned about when she would return to the eclectic and vibrant city that Covid had forced her to leave. As it turned out, through no fault of our own, we were never going to be what the other person needed and therefore neither of our geographical locations would be of importance less than eight weeks later.
And now onto my third mistake.
Everyone has insecurities. A person can be the most beautiful, wealthy and well-travelled individual and still feel that they are lacking in certain areas of their life. By refusing to acknowledge this, you are doing your partner a disservice. Taking all of the above into consideration, I can clearly see that the romance was doomed from the moment we started dating. Had we even been the so called ‘perfect’ match, I know in my heart that I would have unconsciously sabotaged it then. It is a fact that if you don’t feel good from within, that mind-set will permeate and result in unattractive traits and behaviour that slowly, but permanently, changes how the other person feels.
At the end of November, we did decide to end things on somewhat mutual terms and haven’t spoken since. I think we both felt relieved, perhaps for different reasons. Tellingly, neither of us have reached out, which I believe is not a reflection of how little or much we cared, or perhaps on occasion have thought of the other since, but is demonstrative of our inability to envision a future together.
As I come to the conclusion of this article, I should add that this woman was about infinitely more than her looks. She is driven, intelligent, independent, headstrong, sensitive and loyal and this piece is in no way meant to objectify her nor portray her as a two-dimensional human being.
And so…where does that leave me? Well, I’m single and have no intention of changing that for the foreseeable. I’m getting to know new people at the level of friendship with an open mind for the future. But more importantly, and as ‘LA’ as this sounds, I’ve been engaging in a lot of self-reflection. I have started working with a life coach (a whole other article!)
Under his guidance, I have started practising mindfulness, meditation and have taken up running and one on one PT in Muay Thai. I am also seriously considering pursuing a qualification in psychology come the Autumn, as self-awareness and the ability to help others form a positive frame of mind to make real and effective change has appealed to me for quite a while now.
Yet I would like to stress again that smashing goals and materialistic, academic or physical gains mean zero if you can’t look in the mirror and feel a positive sense of self.
If you make unfavourable comparisons, overthink and anticipate every minute twist in a relationship, you lose the magic that accompanies the process of falling in love. For me, over the years, it’s been a work in progress, yet I now feel mentally and spiritually stronger than I ever have. While I’m sure there will be ebbs and flows on this path, I know that I am on the right one.
And as for dating that super hot guy or girl and subsequently placing them up on a pedestal?
Don’t do it! They are looking for a partner, not a fan.
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