How Every Potential Relationship I’ve Had Has Been Screwed Up

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If you’ve read one of my earlier posts you will know that I’ve never been in a relationship. I’m 19 years old. Additionally, it’s only been recently that I’ve had any potential relationships. Do you know what I mean by “potential relationship”? The kind where you meet someone and something is there. A spark. An urge to know their story, know what makes them happy, what gets them through a tough day. So then you begin to talk—or, in my case, text—because the feeling is mutual and you can’t help but think about the person all the time. And every time their name or nickname lights up your phone, and sets it scooting across your nightstand due to the high vibration setting (so as not to miss a message), you can’t help but spread your mouth in an unnaturally wide grin. Things are perfect. And then they aren’t. At least, this has been my experience. Flirtation will go on for a while and, just as you hit a peak, it plummets to the ground and I am left wondering if any of it was real at all. Often I ask myself, “Did I just fabricate the idea that this person was interested?” I never have an answer for myself. But, upon analyzing these different correspondences I have categorized the many ways that my potential relationships have been squashed.

The Faders

The first type I’d like to call The Faders. These are the guys who text and communicate almost nonstop for a week straight and then suddenly disappear, seemingly from existence altogether. These are probably the most painful because I always feel as though I’ve done something wrong to drive them away. It gets worse. I will try to contact them diligently in case it was just a mistake or they were busy with something. But, nine times out of ten they don’t respond to my attempts at reconnecting. So, I’m forced to give up. I’m left with questions. Was I too boring? Was I needy? Are they talking to someone else? Why did they stop talking with me? I move on with tiny cuts on my confidence in approaching guys. In the back of my mind I have posted a note that says “Warning: Do not get attached! Especially early on because it will just end in pain.”

The Nervous

I have a habit of falling for really nice, shy, and nerdy guys. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the quiet, yet intelligent types. This then forces me to be the upfront and conversation starting/continuing type. Which is a problem. I’m shy myself and never trust that anyone has feelings for me besides friendship so it’s difficult for me to contact them because I feel as though I’ll only annoy them and, ultimately drive them away. So, the talking is scarce. When it happens it’s great! We both open up slowly to each other while becoming more comfortable. Unfortunately, that certainty and comfort only lasts as long as the current conversation. It takes real effort and courage to start another message because we both aren’t sure what to say. We’re too afraid to make mistakes. It’s worse to say nothing than to say something wrong. As they reach out less and less I begin to shell up and hide how I feel about them because I don’t want to be the one who’s more attached. As I wait for them to make a move I go on with my life thinking, “They deserve someone more outgoing. I really do hope they find someone who makes them happy.”

Too Far Away

This type can describe almost every guy I’ve seriously talked to. Distance is a real issue. No matter how much mutual attraction there is it doesn’t change the ache I feel when I can’t hug the person or hear their voice in person. With these guys I wake up thinking about them, wishing I could be near them. Pining for proximity. If the gap between us wasn’t so large we could do normal things like other potential daters do. Movies, shopping, mini gulf, sunset-watching, talking late at night in the dark. Unfortunately we are so far apart that we can only talk about doing these things. And, let me tell you, discussing such sweet activities is never a substitute for actually physically doing them together. Although fantasy is often greater than reality, nothing beats real experiences because I can be sure what they mean. I am affirmed that the feelings are mutual. That something more than friendship is budding here. As I realize how difficult closing the distance would be I slowly give up. I pull away. There’s no point in cultivating feelings for someone you might never meet in person. I chop down my little tree of affection while it is still an infant; it’s better for it to die now than when it grows stronger and more resilient to destruction. As I shut down the other person notices and often does the same. So much for growing orchards together.

Only Want One Thing

To be honest, these guys really annoy me. They are the ones that only want satisfaction. And, I’m sure you know the type I’m talking about. They only care about getting what they want. They don’t want affection. They will only tell you you’re beautiful or sweet because they want you to tell them, or send them more than that. Here’s a little piece of advice for the guys who do this: women are people, with feelings and more to them than their bodies! It’s disgusting to me that men will use women in this way, especially when they know this lady is looking for something more permanent. They will tell you anything they think you want to hear. Anything to loosen you up, get you to let down your guard. That is when they strike. They charm you until they think you’re ready to give in. Please, women everywhere, don’t give into these guys! They disappear as soon as they get what they’ve been searching for all along. And, most likely you will be left feeling used, thrown away, and polluted. These men are responsible for my distrust of compliments. If a guy tells me something sweet I will most likely think he wants something from me. They are also the reason I am very careful about how open I am with someone. Why should I tell anyone how I feel as well as personal things about myself when they could easily just leave the next minute, taking snapshots of my life along with them? They are tourists who vacation in your life, view the beautiful scenery, and leave after they’ve littered loads of garbage everywhere.

Self-Preservation

This last one is my fault. I’m not perfect. No one is. As I’ve explained through the other types, my encounters with guys have left me scarred and broken. I have a shattered and obscured view of what relationships are and how people interact. I used to love freely, easily. Now I trust next to no one. I’ve been hurt too many times before. Unfortunately this has caused me to hurt the ones that had the most potential and probably would’ve been worthwhile. As I talk with someone, building a bond and growing attraction, I get scared. Usually it happens instantly. Something clicks in my mind. One minute I think, “This person is amazing, I could talk to them forever,” and the next I’m screaming, “No, this is all wrong! I’ve got to stop this! I can’t get attached, I’ll only get hurt.” So, as always I pull away. I say something stupid, something I know will turn the other person off. They always get the hint. They’re surprised by my sudden change in sentiments, but they know I want out. I wish when I did this I could step outside of myself and see how illogical I’m being. When I act like this it is surely a sign that I love how things are going. But, I’m afraid of getting attached and being burned again so I make the preemptive strike. I’m fundamentally flawed in these thoughts, but I feel like it’s better that I hurt myself—when I’m fully expecting it—than to blindly face a strike from someone I like. I’m a boxer who’d rather lay down my gloves in the center of the mat than have them ripped off by my masked opponent.

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