I’ve been officially single since January 2002. That’s four years and seven months. In that entire span of time, I’ve wanted nothing to do with any kind of relationship. To that end, for a significant portion of that time, I adopted dating as a sport. Trying to fit in as many meaningless dates and anonymous sexual encounters as possible. Tiring of that, I just stopped. Ceased the dating game nearly altogether, only fitting in the odd date here or there. Finally understanding the extent to which I have contributed to the fact that all of the relationships I’ve had have been bad, realising that all of the men I’ve ever chosen have been Mr. Unavailables, and accepting that I needed to take a good look inside of myself to figure out why.
Why have I been unfailingly attracted to Mr. Unavailables? Because I’ve been a Miss Unavailable.
Often, I’ve wondered about the extent to which my very first relationship has contributed to this phenomenon. Did the fact that my first boyfriend, Vito, shattered my fairy-tale image of love, forever skew my attitudes about love? But does it really matter? Spending my time and energy playing the blame game isn’t going to solve anything. Because no matter where my commitment-phobia originated, I still have to move forward and figure out how to become a Miss Available. I now know that my conscious and subconscious ideas and attitudes about relationships, about people and about myself have been keeping me a prisoner of the Unavailable Realm.
I vividly remember the first time I realised that I had messed up ideas about relationships. It was my junior year of college and I had already been in my horrible on again-off again relationship with Vito for five years, and was engaged in a conversation with a co-worker one evening. All the specifics of the conversation escape me now, but he was talking about getting engaged and I, of course, made some snarky remark about relationships and commitment. What I do specifically remember is what he said to me, NYM, your issue is that you don’t see marriage as a beginning, but as an end. His words have never left me.
To this day I see all relationships as an end. Is that because my experience with Vito was so horrible? Is it an attitude that I learned as a girl? I have no idea. However, during my semi dating hiatus, which has not officially yet ended, there has been much time for self-reflection. Time to stand back and look at the person in the mirror. What are my issues? Why am I attracted to certain kinds of men? Why do I find relationships so distasteful? Why the hell am I a commitment-phobe?
The following is a partial list of the issues, the sub conscious and conscious, attitudes and beliefs that hold me back from believing in and finding good relationships. Some of this stuff may be part of my personality; some of it may have been ingrained in my head as a child, and some of it I’ve probably picked up as baggage along the way.
- If I’m not perfect I am not lovable.
- The desire to be in a relationship is a sign of weakness
- If I don’t accomplish everything on my own before getting permanently involved with a man, the accomplishments are not valid
- It’s easier to be single than take a chance on love and get hurt
And there we are. The four main reasons that I’m a commitment-phobe. Why I always choose men with whom I know a relationship cannot work. In the coming weeks, I’m going to explore, in depth, each of these issues. Because, who needs to pay a therapist when they can air their dirty laundry to everyone on the Internet?
Why do I want to air my dirty laundry on the Internet? Other than the fact that I’m an exhibitionist and narcissistic attention-whore? Well, after so many years of being contentedly single, I feel as if I may be approaching a state of being that would welcome the addition of a relationship. The addition of a GOOD relationship with a DECENT man, one who will BE AN EQUAL PARTNER, and add all kinds of wonderfulness to my life. If I’m ever going to have that, I know I need to come to terms with my issues and get myself sorted out.
So, let’s all raise our glasses in a toast to self-reflection, and I’ll see you all back here next Tuesday. chin chin
This post was contributed by New York Moments who no longer runs her blog.