Mirror, Mirror: Am I The Reason Why I'm Single?
Yes, maybe. Just maybe.
As I scoured the web in search of a topic for today's blog, I began reading Ebony.com's relationship expert Sil Lai Abram's column. Years ago, I met Abrams's and read her book, No More Drama: 9 Simple Steps
to Transforming a Breakdown Into a Breakthrough. It was smart, on-point and boy, did she ever have a story to tell. I was quite glad to see that she now has a regular space to share her adept opinion. So, as I clicked away reading post after post, I came across an entry that read "5 Things Guaranteed to Keep You Single." What I read stopped me in my tracks. I had to admit that I had fallen victim to not one but all five of the traits currently or at some point in my dating life.
The list reads as follows: 1. Dating unavailable people; 2. Choosing partners based upon superficial traits; 3. Failure to distinguish between romance and love; 4. Avoiding commitment/committing to people who are incapable of making one themselves; and 5. Being cynical about love.
Numbers one and four seem similar, but they are not. I know because they are the two traits on this list that I have personally struggled with most. As a teenager and later as a college student, while all my friends were being bitten by the love bug, experiencing and recovering from their first heartbreaks, I was a relationship avoider. I was terrified of having my feelings hurt so much that I programmed myself to shutdown if anything started to get too serious.
Then, as I got older and a little wiser (just a little), I realized that this was a problem and pushed myself to start being more open to the possibility of commitment. Then a new pattern cropped up, dating the unavailable man. In my 20s, I swear I dated every version of him -- the workaholic, the long-distance guy, the guy with a girlfriend and the ultimate trickster, Mr. Emotionally Unavailable. I did some hard work, read a lot of books and took in a little therapy to get at the root of these issues but still, I find myself a work in progress.
Holding up the mirror and admitting, "Damn, I am cynical." Or, "Geesh, I did just list the most meaningless list of B.S. as to why I am attracted to this person," is a very difficult thing to do. However, it's worth it. Like any bad habit, recognizing the problem and admitting that it exists is the first step toward healing.
What do you think about this list? Do you see yourself anywhere in there?