Goodbye, Swoony McLovestruck

Seventeen months ago I posted about the absurdities of internet dating. Ironically, that very same night, I went on an internet date with a guy who knocked my socks off, triggered a series of lovestruck posts, and started me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could step off the dating merry-go-round for good.

Alas, dear readers; that is not how the story ends. Oh, it ended. Just not like that.

My big romance is well and truly over. So, I’ve taken the usual steps: crying, ranting to my girlfriends, buying shoes, drinking, eating, buying more shoes…and all of that helped.   I’ve taken healthier steps, too, like painting and taking long walks. I even tried yoga for the first time. (Wow, yoga! More on that later.)

Mostly, I’ve done a lot of thinking. It was hard for me to let this relationship end, because I wanted so badly for it to work. This is the first time in my adult life that I really threw my whole heart into a romantic relationship, because this is the first time that I felt like I’d found someone who was worth that kind of risk. I fell hard, and I think in the process, I forgot something very important.

I went through a lot of crappy internet dates to learn this important lesson, and one sweet romance almost blew it right out of my head.  A year later, when things were starting to unwind with my beloved, the lesson came back to me.

Here’s the short version: I can’t control what another person wants, and I can’t become what another person wants. Instead, I need to decide what I want. I need to be who I want to be, and find someone I want to be with.

When I was younger, and I first started dating, I worried all the time about whether guys would like me. Was I pretty enough? Thin enough? Sexy enough? Wholesome enough? Should I be more open? Or more mysterious? I’d be out on a date, gripped with insecurity, always worried about whether I was what my date wanted.

Then I got a little older. The beauty of getting older is beginning to accept yourself.  I’m not perfect, but I’m perfectly acceptable. I started to see what a waste of time it was to try to be what someone else wanted. When I look at myself now, there are things I want to improve and things I struggle to accept, but the bottom line is this: it is what it is, and really, it’s just fine.

Instead of trying to be what someone else wants, I need to decide what I want for myself.

That outlook greatly improved my dating life. I began to go out more, because I stopped ruling myself out.  In my early days of dating online, I’d look at someone and think, “I’m not his type”—even, sometimes, when he approached me first! I started enjoying my dates more, because instead of trying to prove myself, I focused on each person I met. I’m sure that made me a lot more fun to be around, too.

Eventually, this strategy led me to my boyfriend ex-boyfriend. (Ouch.)  For the first year, it seemed pretty close to perfect. When problems cropped up, I thought, well, all relationships have problems; this is worth working for.

So I tried hard to not cause the problems. I tried to be more tactful; I tried to be more communicative; I tried to be more available; I tried to be more feminine; I tried to be less independent; I tried to be less stubborn; I tried to be more open; I tried to guard my words; I tried not to upset him. I found myself apologizing for things I never knew were wrong. I found myself trying to change things about myself that I’d always been proud of.  I tried and tried and then I remembered:

I can’t become what another person wants. I can’t change what he wants.  I can only decide what I want.

The fights continued, but instead of trying to prove that I was a good girlfriend, I began to try to evaluate our relationship. Am I being reasonable? Is he being reasonable? Are we really compatible? Are we really loving each other?

Is this what I want?

It sounds selfish; I know. “Meg, really? It’s all about what YOU want?”

Well, yes. Because I can’t control what he wants. And I can’t be what I’m not.

Sure, I can work to improve myself, and I can work at being better in a relationship. “What I Want” includes standards for me, too: I want to be reasonable, gracious, forgiving, open and kind. I know that I fall short of those attributes sometimes, and I know when I’m not at my best. But I trust my own judgment. I know when I’m trying my hardest to be the person that I should be. I want to be in a relationship that allows me to be that person.

And I wasn’t.

So it’s over.

It hurts; I wish I could breeze through this on the confidence that I’m doing the right thing, but it’s not that easy. The right thing hurts too, sometimes.

And the question now is… what do I want next?

24 thoughts on “Goodbye, Swoony McLovestruck

  1. It’s a difficult thing in life to learn you can’t be what anyone wants you to be. And your happiness can’t depend on someone else either. We have to be ourselves, love ourselves.

  2. Good for you for being brave enough to choose to be happy (and for the right reasons). You sound like you have a very positive, healthy attitude about the whole situation. So congrats, because that’s hard!
    And stick with your yoga practice for immeasurable benefits all the way around. 🙂

  3. Thanks, Cathie. Actually I should be better about posting now. I have a bunch of ideas. My ideas just dried up, or they all were too depressing. I didn’t want to be a downer. But all of a sudden I am full of ideas again. Maybe I am more creative when I’m single?

  4. Bravo Meg, for having the courage to throw your whole heart in to begin with! Hard to see the current reality in print but bravo again for the courage to stand up for the reality of YOU! xxoo

    • Yes, that was the scary part, and it will be even scarier to do it again after this, but what can you do? If you commit halfway then it’s sure to fail. Vulnerability, man. Thanks for reading, Gina.

  5. Thanks for being so open! I so enjoy reading your blog because you’re real. Don’t change who you are for anybody. You’re awesome the way you are! I remember somebody telling me when I was getting married that it’s not two halves coming together and being whole. Any moron can put two halves together. The miracle of a successful relationship is two wholes coming together and being one. You’re in a healthy relationship when you’re a whole person and so is your partner and yet you’re able to be one. You need to be who you are and the right person should only cause you to shine more. You go Meg!

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement, Loren. You know I respect your opinion so much. I wholeheartedly agree with the two whole people notion! Thanks for reading my blog. Big hugs to you.

  6. Oh hard to read your words w/out knowing the real pain that is behind them. I’m sorry it is over but happy that you aren’t willing to compromise on what you want. I love you Meg! Stay the wonderful, awesome person that you are!

  7. What a wonderful post Meg! I empathize with you. But you are forever right my sister! I too am sorry, but I know how hard it was for you to make that decision and I am so proud of you!

  8. Oh Meg… sorry that things didn’t work out it what seemed like such a “match made in heaven”………….however, I know too well…..things aren’t always what they seem! Kudo’s to YOU, for realizing you need to be YOURSELF & do what is best for you & be true to you!!! We can never be anything more, or less, that who we are…………the right man will love us, exactly as we are………..the rest can “take it or leave it”! 🙂 Miss you!!!

    • Thanks, Kathy. Miss you too, and hope your new business is rocking! Thanks for reading the blog and for your encouragement. Yes, things are not always what they seem for sure. 🙂

      • Things are going FABULOUS! I’ve never felt better and it really is all about taking care of ourselves! I haven’t felt this good & healthy for at least 25 years! LOL One of these days we need to “do lunch” or drinks or dinner or whatever! It’d be fun!!! Where did you do the painting thing? That would be fun, too!

  9. I would love to get together with you; message me on Facebook and we can set something up.

    I did the painting thing at The Art Bar in Santa Ana but it is a class taught by a woman called Whitney Freya who does a program called Creatively Fit. Since I took the class, Whitney has gone a little weird, in my opinion, and she gets more into new age-y Goddess/Spirituality kind of stuff than I really am into. I don’t know if her Right Brain Painting class is skewed that way too, now, but all the promotional stuff she sends out is, and I find it a wee bit off-putting. She’s coming to Old Towne Orange next month and if I had the money I’d do the class anyway, because I want the certification to teach the class. Still might try to do it. I want to teach her approach to painting because it was so liberating to me.

    • The classes do look interesting & fun! Don’t know if I’d go for all the other “stuff” though! If you started teaching these classes, for sure, I’d make the drive! 🙂 LOL I guess you can put up with a lot, for the fun part, right? 🙂
      I will message you on FB! 😉

  10. While I’m sorry your relationship didn’t work out, I’m so relieved that you made the choice to honor and respect yourself. You are the prize! How I adore you, Meg, you are precious 🙂 xoxo,

  11. “The right thing hurts too, sometimes.” – you nailed it with this statement, Meg… Hope it’s hurting less these days.

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