For a long while, I’ve debated on whether or not I should air this laundry for the cyber world to see. As it’s been cropping up in my dreams more and more, as I catch myself repeating the mantra that comes along with it (which is not a positive mantra – but more on that in a bit), and as I increasingly feel more neurotic about it – I’ve decided that, yes – I’m going to display the dirt.
I’m not going to mention anyone by name, as I am not trying to scald anyone’s reputation with metaphorical hot water. This is about me needing to process and RELEASE some really crummy emotions that have come along with a series of inappropriate attentions.
I’ve spoken before about my tendency to be attracted to unavailable men. Whether they’ve been otherwise involved, simply not interested in me romantically, or heading in drastically different directions in life than myself – these are the men whom I’ve allowed myself to fall for. All the while knowing it would never become anything more than wishful fantasy on my part, and as a result, falling into the familiar heartache of wanting what I knew I couldn’t have. At least that heartache was familiar, and I knew exactly how it would feel.
I totally own this about myself, and I’m aware of why I’m initially drawn to the unavailables. Believe me. I’m also consciously working on being open to a new story for myself, with a new outcome – which is, of course, what has always terrified me. An outcome I can’t control?! That’s terrifying.
Anyway, I digress.
What I have not yet divulged, aside from confiding in two of my closest girlfriends, is that I’ve somehow managed to become a magnet for unavailable men and their wandering interests.
In the past few years, six (yep, SIX!) men, who are either married or seriously involved in long-term relationships, have – to put it respectfully – expressed their interest in me.
Again, I will not be naming names; and unless the culprits themselves are reading this, I doubt anyone will be able to determine their identities.
That’s not what this is about.
This is about how shitty this has made ME feel. This is about me somehow managing to internalize this as some sort of deficiency on my part – I’m good enough to be the sideshow, but never the leading lady. That’s the mantra I mentioned earlier. Needless to say, not exactly a healthy or productive way to feel.
This is about me wondering whether or not this is the reason I have basically zero experience with long term relationships. Could it possibly be because I’m only appealing to men who have already committed themselves to others, and for whatever reason, are drawn to the ‘greener grass’ illusion?
In my logical mind, I know this couldn’t be further from the truth. I have my insecurities, but I’m not an insecure person. I know my value, and I have confidence in what I have to offer. I can definitely focus on my flaws more often than I should, and I’m extremely self-critical… At times, to a fault. But at the end of each day, I know exactly who I am – and I’m awesome.
What’s the lesson here? Why am I allowing myself to feel miserable and responsible for the advances of men who should know better and keep their salacious thoughts to themselves? And, quite frankly, these are men who should have more respect for their partners – and the mothers of their children.
I’ve wondered how much I’ve contributed to their behavior, whether or not I’ve encouraged them, or flirted inappropriately. I’ve always felt like I’m hopeless at flirting, and that I come off more awkward than endearing… So when I like someone, I will typically just tell them – bluntly. This doesn’t usually work out in my favor, but – I hate playing games. I feel like people should be honest about how they feel, say what they mean, and if you have feelings for someone – tell them. Don’t make them guess. That’s just a stupid waste of time.
If I have encouraged these men, it’s been unconsciously done. Truly. If I’ve flirted or been suggestive in my behavior, it was never intentional. Trust me when I say that these are not men I’d choose to be involved with, single or otherwise, so I suppose my behavior towards them has been comparable to how I am around my other male friends.
In fact, two of them are old friends of mine; and once upon a time, I had romantic feelings for them. One of them was a high school infatuation, the other was a buddy I had a crush on in my mid-twenties. They both chose to date other people, and eventually got married. And both times, I definitely got over it.
Looking back, I’m grateful for these outcomes. We would have been thoroughly incompatible romantically, and probably lost our friendships had anything further happened. However, if they have regrets about not choosing me when they had the chance – honestly, that’s not my problem, and I’m tired of feeling like it is.
When I was talking to my friend Jessica about this situation, she said:
“It’s okay for you to own your actions, but it’s not okay for you to ‘victim blame’ yourself here, so don’t do that. At the end of the day, you’re not the one who is committed to another person and expressing your interest in someone else.”
Always my voice of reason, that gal, bringing me back down to reality from the ‘Messy Molly Cloud.’ And she’s right. I am not responsible for the actions of others, and I did not solicit any of these grown-ass men to proposition me. End of story.
So. I’m using this as my time to be blunt, and to officially release myself from the feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, shame, and sadness that I’ve been carrying with me in regards to these six men and their unwanted confessions.
I’m done allowing my people-pleasing tendencies to prevent me from defining the boundaries, and following my innate desire to avoid conflict and keep the peace.
It’s time to purge this particular ghost – it’s blocking my Love Chi, and I’m sick of it lurking around, polluting my aura, and quite possibly – keeping the honorable men at a distance.
Away with you. You’ve made your choices, so live with them. I choose none of you – and I wouldn’t choose you, even if you were available.
The person I choose will be wholly unattached. He will be certain in what he wants, and confident in who he is. He will undoubtedly come with baggage from his past, but he will be aware and accountable. He will be patient, and accepting, and worthy.
Above all else, he will be certain that he wants me.
Even when I frustrate him, and drive him to the edge of the insanity abyss with my glorious messiness, he will end each day knowing that I’m his chosen person. In return, I will give him my heart, my body, and my soul.
To the rest of you clowns that need to grow the ‘eff up, and particularly to the six –
Away with you.
In terms of the established friendships that I have no wish to disregard, I remain open to only that – your friendship. Nothing beyond.
Life is too short, friends. Own your choices, appreciate who you have beside you on your journey, and keep breathing.