Dear Bolde Geniuses,
I’m a long time reader, first time writer and I am in need of some serious advice. I’m a chronic single lady who has built a life around being happy, fulfilled, and thriving being alone. In my younger years (early 20’s) I was a serial dater that would man-jump constantly; I was always pursuing the next bigger, better thing. So much so, that until I was 26 I was never in a relationship for more than a year. Things always got boring, confusing/hard, or argumentative. Probably due to my own, broken home, upbringing, I HATE arguing and it never seemed truly worth the topic. At 26 I got roped by a guy that, honestly, didn’t deserve me, but I was so caught up in the need to feel like I was on that “timeline” and “growing up” that I put up with so many controlling and hateful things that I pretty well lost myself. Fast forward to now…
I have been on my own, and loving it for 3 years. I have made new friends, grown hobbies that I enjoy, and explored a side of me, built of strength, love, bravery, and hope, that I never knew I possessed. I am stronger and more sure of myself than I have EVER been in my life and, of course, the universe throws a monkey wrench in it all.
I’ve met a man that seriously came out of NO WHERE. He is kind, compassionate, professional, and HAS HIS ACT TOGETHER. I feel like you can feel me on that last part. Here’s where we reach the issue though. I don’t want to give up the friends I’ve made. I don’t want to give up my freedom. I don’t want to stop drinking an insane amount and dancing ridiculously. I’m so afraid that I will be sucked into the same thing all over again, where I forget myself. I was so depressed, so sad, so hopeless for anything more, that I would so rather be alone than go back to that place. So what do I do? He hasn’t given me any reason to doubt his honesty or sincerity (and I’m an especially observant person), but that’s what scares me. I’m waiting for the catch, the face plant, the ruse to be shown. I’m sacred that he might actually be it and my fear could be holding me back from something amazing.
Sorry for the nonsensical rambling. We had a Wine and Whine Night tonight and my ladies were so incredibly unhelpful with this particular problem. Any insight you can provide would be so greatly appreciated.
Dear Lauren J,
For starters, don’t apologize for what you call “nonsensical rambling.” To us, you make a whole boatload of sense, because wine, of course. (Also, Wine on Whine Night sounds like the best idea ever, so thanks for introducing that brilliance to us.)
What we’re seeing in your words is that you, like this guy you’ve met, have your act together. As you say yourself, you’ve been on your own for three years, living your life, doing your own thing, and more importantly, you’ve built yourself up to be a strong woman who possesses bravery, hope and love — these are amazing qualities that some people will live their whole lives and never experience. So, kudos you!
But here’s the thing, maybe this guy isn’t exactly a monkey wrench. Maybe, instead, he’s an opportunity to try your hand at a relationship and maybe even love again. This doesn’t mean that in opening yourself up to this man you’re somehow betraying the person you’ve become, but from what we’re gathering, you have such a strong sense of who you are and what you want, that there’s no way in hell that you would ever forget yourself again. Simply, you wouldn’t allow it, because you’ve been there, done that, and knew it sucked. Because of your deep love for this life you’ve created, YOU WOULD NOT LET IT HAPPEN. Put differently: You can be in a relationship and still get wasted with the ladies, dance until dawn, and continue the life that you’ve built for yourself, the life you obviously love.
As you said yourself, you’re an especially observant person — so our advice is to observe yourself as you let yourself fall for this guy and be mindful not to repeat the mistakes you made in the past. This requires trusting yourself: trust yourself to make choices that are good for you, to be your own advocate and best friend, to not lie to yourself, to not fall for BS and accept less than you deserve, and to let yourself seek out amazing, crazym, awesome love. So many of us have wallowed in dark, desperate places after we fell for the wrong person, or when someone took advantage of our vulnerability — you haven’t lived unless you’ve experienced that — but the idea is to learn from those experiences and use them to become more balanced and grounded. It sounds like you’ve done that — and now it’s time to shake things up again by taking another risk.
All that said, if you ask us, you sound pretty . And, like we often say on TheBolde, there’s nothing sexier than a woman who loves her life and independence… Who knows if this guy is THE GUY but you sound eminently capable of handling whatever happens. So, we suggest you let go a bit. Allow yourself to believe in love, to believe that this guy could be it (which also means feeling lots of feelings that are scary), and to believe in your ability to figure that out without losing your mind. If this dude gives you any real reasons to doubt him, listen. If he starts playing weirdo games, don’t get sucked in — bounce and go do you. If you can stick to that, we think you’ll be just fine.
Your BFFs at The Bolde