Sunday, May 20, 2012

Finding My Own Missing Piece: Lessons Learned by Being Single Part I

I was a late bloomer. 

I spent most of my childhood ugly and fat, and I spent the rest of my childhood believing I was ugly and fat.  Along with these beliefs, Catholic upbringing, and being reminded repeatedly as a child that I was annoying and “weird”, I grew up believing I was unworthy, annoying, and not good enough for any boy to like me. 

I got my first boyfriend when I was 17 and never looked back.  Each relationship lasted about a year, and each time (except one, who, at the time, broke my heart) I was the one who ended the relationship.  I was certain I had a one-year dooms-day timer.  A final factor in my doomed relationship makeup was that I often selected guys I felt were somehow below me, whether in status, looks, or social skills. 

More than love, I needed to be loved, and if guys had to live in fear of losing me, I wouldn’t have to live in fear of losing them.  I would finally be loved above all else, and I would be complete. 

I am aware this behavior is a bit sick, and it took me finally being single and willing to honestly look at myself to realize I was doing this.  We all have reasons of why we do what we do, and we will find those reasons if we are willing to see the ugly truth.  While I will not excuse my behavior, I will share that my choice in boyfriends may have stemmed in part from the first crush I had who actually seemed to like me back.  He was a good looking hippy who already had facial hair!  He seemed to like me, we kissed a few times, and then he set me up with his nerdy friend while he then hooked up with my hot friend. 

His nerdy friend was a great guy, and we spend a year together, with no real spark, but I didn’t really know what a spark was or that I should be feeling it in the first place.  Either way, that situation helped burn my perceived social ranking into my brain.  Hot guys?  They don’t want me.  

For better or worse, that is a bit of my history. 

Since those early relationship discoveries, I have spent almost my entire life in one relationship or another.  My single life consisted of a couple weeks or months at a time.  Being single was uncomfortable.  The usual questions crept up: Will I ever find love again? What if no one wants me?  What if I am too ugly? What if this was the best I was ever going to have?

This last relationship lasted seven years, a feat I didn’t think I was capable of.  He was a good man, and I regret many of my actions to this day.  I also know that the relationship needed to end and spent a great deal of time in the obligatory maybe-he-or-I-will-change-and-everything-will-be-good phase.  After this relationship of still not feeling complete, or healthy, or altogether happy, I finally made a change.

I decided to be single...
Photo/painting by me.  All rights reserved.

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