Begin Again

I’ve been told when it comes to dating, I’m just too damn picky.

I think I reserve the right to be picky. I’ve dated Newspapers, Mr. Emotionally Stunted, guys who are completely incapable of love because they’re emotionally crippled, narcissists, physically abusive morons, cheaters, etc. My track record effing sucks. Part of that is because I chose poorly. I didn’t see my own value. I allowed people to walk all over me because I didn’t think I deserved any better. But, now, I look differently. I want someone who will help me evolve as a person, compliment my life, all those cliches.

The picky comment came from a friend after I told a guy I didn’t want to see him anymore when I found out he didn’t have a job. The Gleason Table & my new coworkers agreed that this is a deal breaker. I don’t see that as picky, I see it as smart. “I thought you were an independent woman,” the guy snarked when I told him. I am. I live in a house I pay for. I pay my bills. I support my children completely on my own, as I have not received a child support payment in 22 months (although his wages are finally being garnisheed). Everything I own I have purchased with my money from my jobs. While I currently only have one, at one point I was working two jobs & attending school full time. Why? Because I support myself. I don’t need another person to support, so employability is kind of a must.

Late last year, I made the list of the seven rules to dating MHC. It’s important to me to maintain high standards so that I meet the right person & it works. That doesn’t mean I won’t compromise on little things. For example, I don’t really want to date a man that smokes (ironically enough, every man I ever dated, even casually, has smoked), but I will compromise. But I won’t compromise on unemployment. I just wonder why are you wasting your day pursuing a woman, you should be finding a job! I’m really glad I took time away from dating, as it helped me understand how to make good dating choices. After all, whom I choose will be around my daughters (after one year) & they will base their romantic choices around mine. Too often, people rush from one partner to the next because being alone deafens them. They fear the being alone, the lack of intimacy, the idea that it will never end & you’ll always be alone with your thoughts & self doubt. That’s why all of those relationships fail; because they’re making choices out of loneliness, not because they really care for the person. I wondered if that’s why I kept making bad choices. All of the men I choose are the same; broken birds. Perhaps my lonely, sad & jaded year helped me. It helped me discover that, in the words of WWE Superstar (& my husband in my imagination) Seth Rollins, we are the authors, the finishers of our fate. The reason I was unlucky in love is because I was making bad choices, forgiving men & accepting their mistreatment & taking them back without expecting them to make changes. I was just blindly giving. Well, insanity is defined as doing the same thing & expecting different results. I can’t keep doing the same things. I can’t keep overlooking things I shouldn’t. I can’t be a doormat. I can’t keep losing my identity in a relationship. I need to be able to be me, just with someone. I needed to learn that I wasn’t in the right place to be a partner. I needed to grow up, stop letting others define my happiness, define my own happiness & stop letting love be the excuse for why people treated me like crap, because if they did love me, they wouldn’t treat me like crap!

The old MHC would have looked past the joblessness, and his excuse that it wasn’t his fault, the manager was an ass & wanted to help. The new MHC saw the lack of ownership & knew it’s a red flag & walked, knowing she deserves better. Maybe I am a little bit picky, but that’s only because I need to be. If I don’t think I deserve the best possible partner that compliments me & will be a good male role model for my girls, then who will? My friends? It’s nice that they want what’s good for me, but it’s not up to them to build me up. That’s on me. My family? See above. I have to want what’s right for me, & not push down the doubts because I’m too blinded by love to see that I’m being torn apart piece by piece & becoming a simpering, weak, baby. Maybe that makes me too picky, or frigid, or I’ll die alone. But I’d rather die alone with my kids & my cats & blissfully happy with my life, my writing & my fitness than miserably in love with someone who either a) mistreats me or b) just doesn’t work, or in this case, literally doesn’t work.