I’m remembering back to high school English class my senior year. I looked at a cute boy across the room wearing a letterman’s jacket and imagined him unattainable. As soon as he asked me out, I wasn’t interested. He liked me, and that had to mean something was wrong with him. The only boys I ever liked were the ones I thought I couldn’t get. When I got him, he was easy, so instead of raising myself up to his level, I brought him down to mine. Instead of thinking “Oh this guy is so great and he likes me and therefore I must be someone special,” I thought “What’s wrong with him that he likes me and therefore he must not be so special.” What was wrong is that I didn’t like myself.
Even as I got older and enjoyed a better sense of self-worth, I would follow this same pattern over and over again. It wasn’t as bad as when I was younger when I would immediately lose interest, but it had its own version that I’ll call “flipping.” In some relationships I would feel like I was the one in control,the boss of the relationship, and in others I would give up my control. I was either on the top or the bottom of the relationship, and sometimes even within the relationship, I would switch from top to bottom and back and forth. My relationships were never equal. I think that may be evidence of why they failed to flourish. I wanted so badly to find that balance within a relationship that was equal. I thought I had it in my last relationship, but as soon as we married, he changed from a flipper to a top settler, and there he stayed until I left him.
I have been single for almost five years, and for the first time in my life, I am not looking ahead to another relationship (which I’ve always done with anticipation). Instead, I’m looking forward to spending the years I have left alone in a relationship with myself because it took almost a lifetime to love myself and find my truest love. Me.
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