I lost my child’s father, who was also my boyfriend, February 2012. When February rolls around every year, it is the hardest for me no matter where I may be at in life. I never truly recovered from losing him, and I do not think I ever will. I never thought I would date again, but I did. My first time “talking/dating” anyone was an old high school friend in late December 2014. He had just recently gotten out of a relationship, or so he told me. Once I found out this was not true I eventually stopped talking to him. At first, I was too blindsided by his lies and deceit. I cared for him a lot, I helped him as much as I could but he stole from me and did other things that were unforgivable (such as being verbally and physically abusive, cheating, humiliating me publicly, etc). I reached my breaking point and discontinued any contact I had with him.
I then started dating an old high school boyfriend and over the last ten years, we have been so off and on. Every single time I say I am done, I allowed my loneliness to let me be vulnerable and allow him back in my space. Only to realize that he was still not ready for commitment and only tells me what I wanted to hear to string me along, again. Finally, after discontinuing my communication with him earlier last year, I date yet another person from high school.
This turned out to be truly one of those most short-lived but terrible relationships I have been in. Have you ever had someone you helped and literally would give the shirt off your back, rip your heart out? Not only by lying, cheating, but using you for a place to stay or maybe a sex object, only to be traveling with another woman and her child, CONTINUOUSLY? Yea that feeling is the worse. I can’t quite explain it but it’s real. I let him go with the quickness too!
I learned one lesson after those failed “situations” because I can’t truly call them real relationships. I learned that one, I have a bad habit of staying in my comfort zone when it comes to dating. All situations included men who went to high school with me, and when I think back on anyone I’ve ever talked to or dated, they were all from high school, except my child’s father. Several of my friends told me “Brittani, you need to stop dating men from high school” and I would just be like “yeah, yeah whatever!” I didn’t want to hear it but after continuously hearing it, and seeing the situations fail, I decided that my next relationship would not be a situation, and praying that it would be real. I don’t like the beginning stages and I don’t like getting to know people, because of everything I have experienced. Meeting someone drives me nuts, and several of my friends don’t understand it. I think this is why I am so comfortable with dating people I already know but this is where I went wrong every time. I believe it makes me nervous to meet someone new just for them to disappoint me.
Something I have always wanted was for someone to be everything I am. I am loving, affectionate, romantic, selfless, encouraging, faithful, hardworking, to say the lease. However, I never really get that in return, and when I don’t I become upset and get called crazy. Really I am truly a broken woman, who is hoping one day a real man will be everything I am to them and more. I’m not looking for anyone to fix me, but for someone to understand where I have been and never take me there again. Why is it that I require so little and that doesn’t get me much of anything? When I think about all my failed relationships, they ended because I required the bare minimum and they refused to do so. That is ultimately the problem, requiring the bare minimum gets you bare minimum results.
Then I met him.
Or so I thought. He was everything I ever wanted, plus more, and he was someone I never met before, which sweetened the deal. We had a class together in my last semester of undergrad at UHD, and the rest was history. We started out as classmates helping on assignments, to texting then eventually dating. I had a huge wall up with him at first, I was nervous, dating new people scares me, and disappointment is even scarier. In the beginning, things were great, but there was one problem that continued to progress into a big one over time, and it was just that, TIME. He begins to rarely have time to NEVER having time for me. I would address it and nothing would change. We would go weeks without seeing each other because he worked two jobs and goes to school full time. I was always willing to be flexible to meet and work around his schedule, then I got a second job to catch up on my bills. That became even more hectic, but I was willing to be flexible because I was willing to make that sacrifice and compromise, just to spend time with him.
Eventually, everything I experienced, lying, cheating, abuse, trust issues, crossed my mind and I begin to feel this as beginning stages of the same to come. I know him, I know he’s not anything like I’ve dealt with. He’s actually the total opposite, but what can I do with a person who is refusing to make time for me? Nothing. Once a month isn’t cutting it. I had to do what’s best for me. I’m closer to 30 than I am 20, and if anyone at this point isn’t showing my signs of what I need I can’t allow them to be in my space, nice guy or not. I’m not bashing him or any of my exes. I just refuse to go through it AGAIN.
I began to feel as if he’s doing all those things the previous men did, then I accuse him of these things. Can you blame me? We don’t talk on the phone, our text conversations are dry, we see each other once a month, if that. I mean what woman wouldn’t feel this way? I begin to feel as if he should be man enough to take the accusations and prove to me that he isn’t the same, but he doesn’t. That made me feel like everything I was feeling was real. What man that cares can go weeks without seeing the person he loves? Especially if you’re in the same city. This plays on my emotions and I can’t have it happen again. I can’t help it I am a little insecure and need assurance and not just your word. I am sorry I held you accountable for what my past held but I also can’t have another person stringing me along again. I can’t be betrayed again, I can’t be lied to again, I can’t be publicly humiliated again, I can’t be cheated on again, I can’t be mentally, physically, or verbally abused again. I have to protect myself, I have to look out for who I have in my space. I am sorry I can’t do this again, I do not want to start over again, but I can’t promise you I won’t accuse you of anything again. I know that’s crazy to say, but can you blame me? A woman who’s so broken tries her best to move on but only to be pushed down so many times after giving her all, I can’t have that again.
I have had my fair share of relationships that did not work out in my favor. I stay in these situations with the fear of starting over and possibly ending up alone. My problem is, I am a little too forgiving, sometimes a little naive. I believe in this fairy tale love that I never even seen in real life or ever experienced. I just have seen it showcased on television, social media, or others around me who are in relationships. I always see myself falling madly in love with someone, getting married, starting a family, building businesses, traveling and growing old with someone. I see this in every guy I liked extremely hard. I have learned over time, that “head over hills” stage is what gets me in trouble EVERY TIME! I have only had 3-4 serious relationships, and all ended in terrible, detrimental, heartbreaking ways.
I attract toxic situations because I don’t set my requirements and standards high in the beginning. I also stay in toxic situations with the fear of “starting over” or even telling my friends and family that yet another relationship didn’t work out. As I look back on each situation I’ve encountered they all ended on bad terms, and because of the same reasons. I required so little and got just that. I would say all the time “I don’t even require much but I still get hurt.” THAT IS THE PROBLEM. If a man sees he does not have to put much effort from the beginning, you will never get him to see that during the relationship. Sure in the beginning stages, he will do what he needs to do to get you, but if you don’t require much he will get comfortable. I allowed these men to get comfortable, thinking that the bare minimum would make any man go over and beyond and that’s actually not true. I compromise too much, I sacrifice too much, I listen too much, I help too much, I am too available. I shouldn’t be doing anything “too much,” especially if it isn’t reciprocated. I shouldn’t have to continuously address a concern and get told I’m being argumentative. I shouldn’t ignore red flags. I shouldn’t feel less than the woman I am because of anyone’s misfortunes. I can’t promise I’ll be with anyone again anytime soon, but I will never allow any mediocre, half-ass love again.