The Brutally Honest Reason I Can’t Stop Dating Jerks
I have often said that I am a bit unlucky in love. I seem to exclusively pursue unavailable men who pay me little regard and are simply uninterested in a future with me. The way I describe this phenomenon to others paints a picture of victimhood: I am a poor, sweet damsel who has been burned by one too many lovers. Lovers that never call, never show up, disappear, and frankly do not even care.
The truth, however, is an entirely different story. The truth has everything to do with me and my own insecurities.
I can’t stop dating jerks. I end up with these men because I know they will leave. These relationships lack emotional challenge and deep down, I know this is why I keep choosing them.
In a way, dating jerks is my easy way out. Though they do sometimes hurt me, they affect me in a way that is oddly within my comfort zone – albeit a F’ed up comfort zone. They hurt me on the surface, but save me from wandering too far into my own heart where I may become lost, confused, vulnerable, and upset. They linger just outside the barriers I have built up around my heart and never try too hard, if at all, to get in. They almost always equal emotional safety.
And yes, I know this is quite strange and a little messed up.
Building these barriers around our hearts is a direct result of getting hurt. Often, we build these walls so tall and so strong that we cannot even remember how to let ourselves in, let alone other people. In our minds, the walls keep us safe from emotional trauma and harm. In the process, we lock ourselves away from the world and our natural ability to love and be loved.
Have we really done more harm to our emotional well-being than good?
The men I mess around with avoid tearing down their own walls by sleeping around, living unavailable lifestyles, and treating partners as replaceable. Though my issues manifest differently, they produce the same inability to experience honest intimacy and breed perpetuated singleness.
This perspective shows me that I am no different from the crappy men I fall for.
There is a part of me that actually loves the men that weave in and out of my life, but I love them in a way that never truly hurts me. Knowing they are inconsistent and will eventually disappear gives me the equal freedom to peace the heck out at any given time when shit gets real.
It is important for us to realize that we are not always the victims and much of what is happening to us is a direct result of our current and past choices. Yes, I have had some really shitty lovers and their behaviors are inexcusable, however, if I was not busy building impenetrable walls and avoiding all my problems, perhaps I would have never chosen them in the first place.
Breaking down internal walls is a simple solution to many of our problems, but it is NOT an easy one.
We have basically mastered the art of seclusion and have become creative in masking the parts of ourselves that are most vulnerable, sensitive, and easily hurt. There is no easy way to overcome such powerful creativity.
This is not a self-help piece because I am not even entirely sure what being more open to love actually means, but it probably starts with admitting I have weaknesses and accepting myself as I am. It probably would not hurt to begin avoiding men who reflect my own issues and begin seeking emotionally available partners. It might even mean enjoying my life as it is with or without a partner as I work to dismantle the entire security system that is wrapped around the inner workings of my heart and mind.
It means finding security in our insecurities and allowing people to see and accept the delicate state of our hearts even though we are terrified.
All things start small, but slow and steady wins the race. Maybe do something tomorrow that scares you. Tell someone you love them. Admit that something made you sad. After all, fear, love and sadness are all emotions that make us human.
Emotions connect us to humanity and we cannot and should not discount the power of vulnerability.
I can blame singledom on my unlucky stars all day long, which I do ALL the time, trust me. However, I realize that my love life isn’t truly cursed; it’s a reflection of me and my choices! It is therefore my responsibility to seek more fulfilling relationships, to realign my values, and gradually tear down my internal walls one stone at a time.
Because if fail to break down these walls, I may be trapped inside them forever and the right person will likely pass right on by.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Barker is a self-proclaimed beer connoisseur with an affinity towards writing and music. When not working in IT/Marketing, Amy can be found singing cabaret/jazz throughout the city, tucked away in her living room watching movie or writing or gallivanting throughout Chicago with her pals. Her hobbies include, writing, singing, laughing, Netflix binges, and long walks on the beach. Find her on Twitter: @AmyMBarker1