It’s the story of my life: I start dating someone who’s pretty clueless about what it means to be in a relationship and I take the time to teach him skills he should have already had before he even met me. Once he gains confidence and knowledge on how to be a good boyfriend, he ends up dumping me and getting together with his all-time dream lover woman instead. I’m sick of it.
I’m like their training wheels.
I’ve long used this term to describe my romantic relationships and it isn’t getting any better. I teach them how to communicate and trust and deal with a real live woman in a relationship. I get them to where they understand how to be a better partner. Then when the training wheels come off, they get rid of me and go find a tandem bike to ride with someone else!
I date a lot of guys who haven’t dated much.
This is probably a huge mistake on my part — I just love how sweet and innocent they still are. These guys don’t have the smarmy player air of a guy who’s been with a lot of chicks. They also don’t have the jaded cynicism of guys who’ve been hurt by a lot of women before. They’re fresh and new and eager to love and learn. I’m a sucker for that.
I don’t know how I pick these guys.
I’m obviously attracted to something that’s very wrong for me. I have to figure it out. Why am I going for dudes who are totally clueless about how to be in a mature, emotionally connected relationship? It’s a problem. I think that I’m choosing a totally different kind of dude, but it always winds up essentially the same. They may look dissimilar on the outside, but they have very closely related issues internally.
Obviously I have some bad patterns.
The funny thing is that I think these guys seem safe to me, like they’re sweet and they won’t hurt me. Sure, they don’t cheat, but they still end up hurting me all the same. The frustration of dating them isn’t worth the effort I’m putting in. I give them so much love and time and energy, only to have them move on when they don’t feel like trying anymore.
I think I’m training them for the long-term…
I don’t mind the work because it feels like an investment. If I really love a man and think he wants to do better, I’ll be eternally patient with him. I keep thinking it’ll pay off in the future, that we’ll grow stronger and he’ll improve his communication skills. Of course, it never really happens that way. They just get sick of trying to please me and I get sick of the fact that they don’t understand what I need.
… and then we break up.
It’s absolutely infuriating to get dumped by a guy who you gave everything to for a very long time. All my love and understanding and commitment is just thrown out the window. Suddenly they want to move on to other things because our relationship isn’t really what they want. The kicker is that I basically taught them how to figure out what they actually want! Such BS.
I need to pick guys who don’t need teaching.
Obviously the idea is that in the future, I’ll find a guy who’ is already capable of engaging in a mature relationship. I’m just terrified of thinking I’ve met one and then realizing too late that he’s just as bad as the rest of them. I don’t know which is worse, a guy I know from the beginning is going to need a lot of work or one who tricks me into thinking that he’s already evolved.
It’s time for a guy who knows what he wants in the first place.
I definitely do want to be with a man who picks me because he knows what he wants in a partner. I don’t want to have to teach him a damn thing. Screw that — I’m over it. A relationship shouldn’t be that much work and it shouldn’t be such an uneven load. The only work that those guys were doing was trying to understand what I needed, which I laid out for them pretty plainly. Amazingly they still weren’t able to give it to me. No more of that.
They grow up a little, get their act together — you’re welcome! — and move on.
The worst thing about all of this? The guys who I was very patient with who ended up doing everything I ever wanted for the girl who came AFTER me. It makes me want to punch something just thinking about it. What was it about me that didn’t warrant the same effort? I’ll never know, and it drives me crazy. Why didn’t they love me enough to put in that work when I was putting in so much on my end?
Next time, I’m going to wait for someone who’s already an evolved adult.
I just hope I recognize it and identify it correctly when I see it. I’m too scared right now to date anyone at all. I feel like I will just be disappointed, and that sucks. I guess I can’t know until I try, but frankly, I’m sick of trying. I want a guy to put a lot of effort into me for a change. I want someone who understands me, wants to make me happy, and knows how to do so. I want an equal partner who isn’t intimidated by me. Let’s hope I can find all those things someday.
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