An uncomfortably vaunerble post.
I share this passage from my private journal in hopes of shedding light on my self reflective process. It is no secret my obsession with dating stems from my own journey with healing my ideas around love. With my birthday and Valentine's day coming up, I've been feeling a little emotionally triggered lately as I rapidly try to manage my expectations and insulate myself from disappointment. This long train of thought is a result of that. Today you get to take a peek into my mind, enjoy.
Relationships have often left me feeling inadequate.
I must remember that waiting for what I want doesn’t equate to being unworthy of what I want. I often wonder if my unwillingness to conform to respectability politics has something to do with it? Like why can’t I get a partner who’s sees me as something to be cherished? I've felt like leftovers at the buffet for as long as I can remember. I don’t want that to be my continuing narrative, though. I haven’t been actively perused by a man in ages. Yea, I get courted regularly in dating because I demand it, but it never feels genuine..... I know they are just doing what they gotta do to get what they want. I just think I should at least also get what I want. 🤷🏽♀️
Where are the enthusiastic men at? More importantly, why don’t I like the enthusiastic men I come across? Why does every emotionally available man turn me off? Why do I run from or ignore every man who tries to pursue me only to fall for the lackadaisical ones? Is my taste in men broken? I didn’t always choose emotionally unavailable and avoidant men. I used to allow men to actively pursue me...
I hate being the hunter, yet somehow, somewhere in every relationship, I look up and find myself in that role, pinning for the affections of a man turned cold.
I got a problem leaving before my time is up. I always see the signs & just ignore them. Acknowledging them challenges me to cope with a deep-seated fear of abandonment and rejection. That is not something I effectively know how to do yet, at least not in practice.
When did I stop believing I was the prize? When did I begin to internalize that I am not enough?
The shift happened after years of violation, abuse, & betrayal. After my first heartbreak. Sometimes it feels like the compounded years of various forms of relationship trauma have left me brainwashed & I’ve been desperately trying to get back the pieces of who I once was.
Every time the Devil has touched me, it’s been through the hands of a man. My Achilles heel has always been the men in my life. It’s like I was so traumatized by this reoccurrence of ill men grasping for control of me, in reaction I decided to only deal with men who don’t want me at all, completely removing the possibility of boundaries ever being crossed.
All the men who loved me abused me. At least, this was true of my past. Since then, by choosing men who have a very shallow attachment to being with me, I feel protected from the possibility of abuse ever re-entering my life.
Because logically, if every time a man seeks access to me &, it ends up being an opportunity for the Devil to attack me, then the safe men must be the ones who are indifferent to the outcome & uninterested in keeping me.
After breaking my toxic cycle of abuse at the end of 2017, I have since had delightful experiences with men who don’t actually want me. They may want the idea of me for a moment or just the vibe. They may even value me for my wit & nurturing qualities. They always court me and act right, but only for so long. Only as long as I can hide my ongoing healing & not let any of my pain or panic slip out. Only as long as I am convenient.
My dating life is by no means is bad. I have always been really good at dating. I just also always fail at long term relationships because I pick partners unwilling to do the work to maintain with me. Since breaking my toxic cycle, I’ve dated nothing but good men. Good men who have no interest in building a family or commitment with me. My dating life has been good; it’s just now, I am at a point where it's become deeply dissatisfying because my needs have changed.
Too many times, I have taken what God promised me in private & let my anxious ego run wild with the information.
The problem is that I always start off wanting just a positive experience (because at one time in my recovery, this is genuinely all I needed), but then I end up feeling convinced this guy is different, so our bond will eventually heal me and override my general fears & lack of emotional availability.
Regardless of how it starts, somewhere down the line, I want more. It’s like the supermom adult part of me takes over. She demands all the trimmings of a healthy, loving relationship; she wants commitment & partnership in family and life. She sees an opportunity to create the emotional security I and others have been unable to provide her. She runs with it because that’s what moms do. The issue is she pops up after the people I fall for are already not in a position to or willing to move forward.
I want more for a plethora of reasons. Mainly because I have become reacquainted with myself & have made a vow to cherish, love, protect, and honor myself. Naturally, I want this reflected in my relationships long term. Partly because I finally realize more is actually available to me. I’ve learned that women like me don’t have to settle for being abused & used.
I know I deserve it despite my flaws & the marks of my past. Sometimes I think if only someone could see past the imperfection of my healing, but honestly, why would they?
I also crave commitment for not so stellar reasons like to gain the validation & security I still crave and prove to myself I am capable of completing the picture of a family that I have in my head because being a single mom is lonely.
The issue is I’m still taking what I wanted back in 2018, but I’m not waking in that space anymore. I’m now walking in the shoes of evolved me. What served me at the start of this journey is now what is hurting me.
I want more than I’m ready for. My ego often gets ahead. The idea of actual commitment makes me feel just as panicked as the thought of abandonment does. I want a commitment, but I am unsure of my abilities to not fumble it. I seek something to validate my healing & signal the definitive end of a longtime pain.
While I logically know that no one is coming to save me from myself, I still fall into the unhealthy habit of wishing someone would then feeling hurt when no one cares to. In this way, I have been picking at the same scab, never fully allowing the wound to close.
Am I wrong for craving a bond so strong it surpasses the bounds of this realm? Should I be more ok with letting go of the desire for a commitment? The "strong" modern black woman doesn't need men, love, companionship, etc., because she has her career, but that doesn't sit well with me. I don't identify with those women. I dont want to be a one woman provider and show forever. I want it all; the career, the house, the independence, the partnership, the kids (at least that's off the to do list), the husband, the family game nights, the trips to see in laws, all of it but why? Why can't I just be satisfied with the idea of an endless string of year long relationships forever? Why do I even want commitment? I ask myself this regularly, unsure if my deep desire for commitment is valid or not.
Because how can someone want a commitment but actively make choices in men that are so against it?
Can a bitch get swept off her feet without having to demand it? And without all the wild up and down rollercoaster rides?
How do I build a life I am committed to without the presence of a partner?
How do I heal the pain left by my parents and exasperated by past partners so that I can function from a space of secure attachment?
How can I find balance in wanting my deepest desire for union & a healthy acceptance of it not being there?
How do I heal this last open wound from childhood so I am more ok with the prolonged sitting with myself?
How can I better care for myself so that I may attract more nurturing and caring partners in the future? One that doesn't need to be asked or obligated to show his love.
How do I move from a place of faith while still keeping my feet firmly on the ground?
How do I love and honor myself as I grow and my needs change?
I am honest enough to know I scare away all the decent men. It takes them longer to run off but ultimately I would like to stop that pattern. I would like to move to space where I feel comfortable and secure in love. A space where I am ok with leaving before the timer is up.
My New Narrative:
"Simone dates men who adore her. Simone has no issue letting go because she trusts better is to come. Simone constantly finds willing and able partners. Simone has deeply satisfying dating experiences. Simone dates men who see the immense value she holds and desires long term commitment with her. Simone chooses emotionally available, considerate, empathetic, and nurturing partners, she does not always throw herself into the role of a martyr. Everyone Simone dates wants long term commitment with her. Simone is a chooser and she chooses people in line with her life goals and deepest desires, not inline with her trauma or fear."
Ultimately, I believe God will give me what I want, but I am out of alignment right now.
“Faith the size of a mustard seed.”
Alas, this too shall pass & one day I know I won't carry the pain of feeling like beautiful leftovers.
I will eventually heal this old wound because God doesn’t break his promises.