Going through a break-up is tough, regardless of whether or not it was your decision to end it. If I could go back to give my former self some advice, I think I would find myself seeing that the advice would apply to my current break-up as well.
High School Boyfriend – I was the one who left him in this case because he would not talk to me for a week at a time and this stressed me out. I would tell my high school self that I absolutely did the right thing and there is no need to even look back to wonder whether it was the right choice. He was not able to deal with his emotions and really he needed to grow up. There was no way he could have had a real mature relationship with me at that point. Well, more than 15 years later and he is actually still the same and has not been able to have a relationship with anyone other than me.
This is the same for Mystery Man. He is immature and not able to appreciate me for who I am. There’s a lot more growing up that he needs to do to learn how to treat women right and this is unfortunate because he is thirty years old! My mom thinks that his knack to look at other women will always be ingrained in him. She says men do not usually outgrow that trait. I’ve seen him flirt with both me and another girl that he previously had interest in at the same time before and there is no telling whether Mystery Man is capable of outgrowing these behaviours.
First Real Boyfriend – Oh man, I was so into this guy but I finally left him after realizing how selfish he was. He was older than me and to this day he has yet to overcome this selfishness and has lost friends and lovers because of this. If I could tell my former self anything, I would say that it was good riddance and not to even look back. I had left him with his friends at the time, but years later, those same friends chose to leave him and unexpected ended up being my close friends later.
He was so similar to Mystery Man in that he thought he knew what he wanted in life, but in fact he just had a very narrow mindset. He wanted to get this very specific model of car that was popular when he was in high school, years later, he still dreamt of the same car even though it had been discontinued. He still purchased it anyway. It’s just that singular mindset. Mystery Man has a bit of that, and similar to this ex-boyfriend he has a very singular mindset of what kind of girl he wants based on a previous crush or in Mystery Man’s case, ex-girlfriend. This ex-boyfriend ended up continuing to work at his first job, got this specific car model that he wanted and tried to date this ideal girl but it didn’t work out because she thought he was selfish. If Mystery Man keeps going down this path, it’s very possible that by the time he realizes that I was one of the best things to happen to him, I would have been gone. Once I got over my first real boyfriend, I never looked back and I have an even clearer image now of why he really wasn’t right for me back then, and especially now. Like Mystery Man, he did not openly love me as much as I wanted or needed him to because a part of him was saving himself for this ideal. Despite my fear of him finding another girlfriend that he would love more, (a similar fear that I have for Mystery Man), he has not changed and that never actually happened. And even if he did find that special someone right now, I’m completely over him so I couldn’t care less. I would never ever re-open that chapter in my life.
The Ex-Boyfriend – I dated this guy for almost four years! There were some really good ups with this relationship, but ultimately he was too immature and was not able to prioritize his life with me in it appropriately. He was obsessed with his motorcycle and planned his entire life at the time to support his so called “passion”. After I broke up with him, he ended up with one of my best girlfriends! When I ended it with him, I had dealt with so much that I just did not feel anything for him anymore, so him being with my best girlfriends was a dick move but I actually wasn’t that fazed. He had begged to take me back, and this one was probably the most difficult because I think that had I stayed around there was definitely marriage potential, but really, only because he was scared of losing me – prior to the break-up he was actually a bit of a commitment-phobe. From what I am hearing with the new girlfriend, he doesn’t openly acknowledge being with her because of how they got together. They have been together for about the same time that I was with him at this point and they are not yet married either. I admit, I sometimes think about this one, but every time I do think about it, there is really no scenario in my head where this would have worked out and I would be happy about it. He would have had to completely change his life for me to actually be happy with him. His plead to change, I don’t think any of that came to fruition.
Mystery Man displayed many of the same traits that this ex-boyfriend did in his unwillingness to travel with me and lack of effort to plan dates but for some reason I overlooked it. It’s hard to change. Mystery Man will highly likely always be Mystery Man, which means that he will always have one eye on another girl. It might even mean that he will always have some kind of ideal that he expects the girl to fit. I mean, even his first girlfriend that he was supposedly in love with did not meet his expectations. It’s possible that being emotionally open is something that he will have to embrace, and that will also require change.
I guess what I am trying to say is that based on my experience, I will highly likely look back at my relationship with Mystery Man and think that it really was a nicely dodged bullet rather than a devastation. My real thoughts on mutual friends is that the real ones will rise up. I’ve given a lot to this group of friends, and those that realize that won’t let me go so easily, at least that’s what I think.
As for me, sometimes I think about what I could have learned about myself to possibly change and improve for my next relationship. My friends seem to think that I am perfect, but of course I have to take that with a grain of salt. What common and underlying theme are there in my relationships that I can look to as hints?
- Well, I think one underlying theme is my choice in these men. I think that they were all just not ready to be in a relationship. They were all selfish in one way or another, putting their lives first. I like to say that I like ambitious men, but when it comes down to it, I like men that put their needs first. I need to find a man that knows how to give more than he takes.
- I need to find a man that is stable. These guys that I dated were particularly unstable compared to their peers. High school bf was just mentally unstable, first boyfriend and ex-boyfriend both were juggling school and changing jobs. Mystery Man just left his start-up and is looking for new projects, everything from an online community to just working on a farm to flipping a house.
- I need to find a man that sees me as his partner and I think this really would overcome some of the above points. Men don’t necessarily have to be completely ready to be married, but part of dating is the journey to get to that point together.
- I need a man who truly appreciates me, my sense of humour and my positive traits. From a few boyfriends I would get pushes to be more feminine or to act a certain way.
I feel like my path to a more successful relationship is clearer now, and I really should see this as a blessing that I am able to see Mystery Man in this light sooner rather than later. More on the path to a more successful relationship soon and more on that soon.