I haven’t had much luck when it comes to love (shocking, I know). Sure I’ve been in several long term relationships, and was even married for a little while, but I’ve never been able to make anything stick. Whether they left me, I left them, or we mutually agreed to split, the culminating result has always been the same – I always ended up being the last girl before they met THE girl.
I’m not quite sure you can possibly understand how soul-sucking and emotionally debilitating it is to see every man you’ve ever loved find their actual “soul mate” right after your relationship ends unless you’ve experienced it for yourself. You expect your exes to move on and meet other people, sure, but it’s a bit jarring when they all end up meeting “the one” right away, as has been the case for me. You start to wonder if your entire purpose in life is to turn men into the best versions of themselves so that they can go out there and be those amazing people for somebody else.
We all want to believe that we are the best thing that’s ever happened to someone. That no other woman could ever hold a flame to us. And of course that we will be “the one who got away.” Well let’s just say I have been forced into a reality check that I didn’t exactly bargain for and it has definitely been a blow to my ego, to say the least. Truthfully, it’s fucked me up.
I certainly know that I didn’t have any of these men at their best, or at my best for that matter. Most of my relationships were difficult at times. All of my relationships forced me and the men in them to take long, hard looks at ourselves and acknowledge our faults and our baggage. My method of delivery can be considered a mixture of brutal honesty and apathy – which needless to say has resulted in me leaving no confusion in their minds as to what I was unsatisfied with. But since the men in my life have always seemed to trust and value my feedback, these were always the things that they worked on changing after the relationship ended. As for myself, it wouldn’t be a relationship if your man hadn’t told you every single thing you did that got on their nerves. So let’s just say I knew some areas that needed improvement. At the end of the day, I think each of us left our relationships a little better than how we entered them; a little more knowledgeable about our strengths and weaknesses. The major difference, however, is how we’ve all fared afterwards. One after another, each and every man that I have cared for has found his real true love right after we split. Meanwhile I’m still single and rejecting sexual favors from strangers on Tinder. So what does that say about me?
It’s hard not to wonder if something is seriously wrong with you when you’re consistently the girl that they just can’t make it work for, that they are not motivated enough to make changes for, that they don’t feel enough of a longterm spark for. And it’s not that I haven’t been loved by these guys, because I have been. At the time I believed they loved me as much as they were capable of. Unfortunately for me, it turns out that they were actually capable of loving a lot harder and deeper than they were ever able to love me (well emotionally at least…). It’s painful always wondering why you weren’t good enough, and impossible to not question what all of these women have that you don’t. I always liked to think that I had pretty healthy self-esteem and I am quite certain that I’m pretty fabulous in the sack – just saying, but I will admit that nothing has broken me down and made me doubt myself more than finding myself in this situation over and over again. How can it be that every man ends up happier without me and that the next girl always ends up having everything they’ve ever wanted? Am I that much of a fucking disaster?
I often think back to a relationship that I walked away from and I wonder, was I the stupid one? Why did I not see in him what this current woman sees? How can she be made so happy by the same man who had made me feel so disillusioned and frustrated? Perhaps she is just a better and smarter woman than I am. But then I remember all of the reasons I left…and they weren’t small things, or at least they didn’t seem to be. Was I just too picky and too unrealistic? Maybe was looking for perfection and she is more accepting of the flaws and the issues that I thought he had. However, I haven’t ended all of my relationships. Some men have left me and some relationships just fizzled out. I wasn’t being too picky or unreasonable in those situations, but the result was still the same. So what gives?
It’s been almost four years since my marriage ended, and every single man who has come and gone since then seems to have ended up better off without me. The immature one who wanted to just party and have his freedom is now settled down with a family. The nice guy who was happy with things staying the same and who couldn’t move forward is now moving forward with someone else. The commitment-phobe who told me that it wasn’t me, that no woman would ever be enough for him and that there was no such thing as “the one,” for the first time has stars in his eyes and feels emotionally connected to someone. Does being with me make them realize exactly what they don’t want in a woman? Or do they learn from me what women really want in a relationship and begin to be those men once I’m out of the picture? There is no worse feeling than loving someone with everything that you have and only getting a portion of it in return, only to find out later that they are actually able to give 100%. Just not to you.
The most interesting and confusing part is that I have always managed to stay on good terms with my exes. There has never been a great deal of resentment, and the break-ups, while always filled with tears and regret, have never occurred because of anything so horrible that I could never speak to them again. So I know that they think pretty highly of me. I joke that they would all give me really good references. I’ve even gone as far as to ask one of them point blank – what was it about me? What did I not have, what did I not do? What about me wasn’t enough and what about her makes her a better fit? And the response has always been the same – “I don’t know. It’s just a different feeling, unlike anything I’ve experienced before.” Ouch.
It’s kind of like when you know that you’re sick; you know something is wrong with you, but you just cannot get a diagnosis. No doctor can find anything in your bloodwork or on your scans. And you go from doctor to doctor until you finally reach a point where you are begging for them to find something, anything, even if it’s terrible, just so you know once and for all. Because any answer is better than uncertainty. Anything is better than “I don’t know.” That’s all I want. I want a diagnosis –the ugly truth. What’s wrong with me? What can I work on, so that the next guy I meet and fall for can find ME to be unlike anyone he’s ever met before; so that he doesn’t turn out to be just another guy who uses me as a stepping stone on his path towards true bliss? Is that really too much to fucking ask for?