Good Enough for Who?

Sometimes, I can be a little much – for a friend, for a man, or even for my mom. I’m outrageously impatient, incurably stubborn, and intoxicatingly optimistic. When I pick a new project, go after a job, or a date – I won’t give up unless I absolutely have to or I am turned away.  I can go weeks without washing my dishes, cleaning out my fish tank, and if you ring me, I probably won’t pick up the phone…and it’ll take me a while to return your call. I get lost in thought mid-conversation, I’m not always understanding, and at times, I’d rather be alone than with the company of anyone else.

I’m far from perfect and I don’t always do my very best to be a better person, but overall – I think I’m more than an average human being. I have qualities I believe to be attractive, admirable, and honest. Though my 5’4”-ness would never allow me to be a model (nor would my problemsome acne from time-to-time), I find myself to be blessed with beauty, both inside and out.

And even though I realize what I have to offer and that I am a person of goodness, kindness, talent, and passion – for a very long time, I always wondered what was wrong with me, that no man (or at least the ones I wanted) found me worthy of love?

I mean, it had to be me, right?

We’re advised to never compare ourselves to others, but I think part of human nature is to size ourselves up to those we are a tad bit jealous of. To fight the envy, we try and determine ways we have a one-up on pre-determined competition. And though I find myself seeking to have perfect skin, a perfect body, a perfect sexy disposition and attitude – the thing I desire the most that other women have…is a man. Or rather, a man who loves them.

It isn’t that I put myself above anyone else – but there are these girls, these women – who are just not that great of people. They do not have things going for them. They are not full of charisma and grace. They are not kind to others, nor do they feel the desire to help the unfortunate. They are not intelligent and they don’t demand excellence on themselves or those in their life. They are the type of ladies that my group of friends can’t stand, who we shy away from at the bar because they’re spilling their drink everywhere with their boobs popping out.

And yet, for whatever reason, these are the same females who have a man who adores them. A man who is successful in every aspect of his existence. Who is full of charm and is dependable beyond his means. Who without reasonable doubt, should be the standard of a man who is attracted to someone who is not ridiculous, but commendable.

Why do the girls we hate tend to be the ones who date the men we want the most? How are they worthy and I’m not?

After a particularly devastating breakup, I discovered the man I thought would be my next love, was Facebook official with a girl…I couldn’t stand. During the duration of our courtship, he consistently made fun of her for being a “groupie” of his friends, joked at her lack of common sense, and one night, because she was so intoxicated, she had to sleep on his couch, while he and I shared his bed. She was open (and proud) that college was merely a way for her to get her Mrs Degree, and she had no outside interests other than consuming large amounts of alcohol and finding a boyfriend. She was, in all shapes and forms, the complete opposite of me.

So when he fell in love with this chick – and for the record, is still dating – I was stunned. I couldn’t believe or understand why he would go from one extreme to the other, and even more – why he would find her valuable as a partner, and not me.

Perhaps the trouble with unrequited love, other than the fact that’s one-sided, is the rejected party always feels the need to blame themselves. Surely, if this man who we find to be the answer to our “wish-list” in a partner just doesn’t seem to feel like we’re his match – it has to do with us, right? If somehow we just changed who we are, if we weren’t so intimidating, if we weren’t so damn independent – maybe, we’d be what he wanted. We’d be the girl who got the guy – instead of the she we despise.

Instead of pleading with the relationship gods or cursing them all together – I finally concluded that his choice to stray away from me and into the incredibly open arms (and legs) of this gal wasn’t because of a flaw in me, but rather, a flaw in the could-be relationship. I was blinded by romantic illusions and even though I saw him as this ideal boyfriend, he obviously wasn’t. Because if he couldn’t fall for me, support me, and decide to be with me for who I was – it simply wasn’t meant to be. And perhaps, he and the chick are, just like one day I’ll be meant for someone more up to my speed and up to the challenge that I am.

It took me a very long time (years, if I’m honest) to reach the point where I was happy for my ex and his new girlfriend. I’ve never added her back on Facebook, but seeing pictures of them together or reading the sweet exchanges on his wall doesn’t bother me anymore. After a while, I had to sincerely refrain from stalking her via web once I reached an unhealthy level of journalistic research about someone I didn’t even really care for. Maybe a turning point was when I slightly considered signing up for Spokeo to find hidden information – and yes, I realize this makes me grade-A crazy. She is still not a person I would choose as a friend – but what’s more is I finally realized he is no longer someone I would pick as a mate.

Time has a funny way of changing things and if I’ve learned anything from the tears and the cheers to true love – it’s that the best thing about life is that it always changes. Even when there seems to be no possible way for anything to go worse, something or someone comes along to give you hope. When you’re convinced fireworks are impossible to ignite again, your heart opens up to a possibility. And when you’re feeling like your love, your company, your presence is undesirable or not good enough – a strike of confidence compels you towards something much greater: to the point where you know, without a doubt, that what really defines your worth is not a man, jealousy, or other women – but rather, yourself. And nothing, no one, no defeat, no rejection – can ever make you lose your value…unless you let it.

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Today, I Pick Me

I’m afraid that every man I ever date will always pick another woman over me.

There, I said it.

As someone who is pretty self-confident and considers herself successful, independent, and attractive – it is so hard to admit feeling inadequate. And this fear that swells up in my heart and my eyes frequently is a big one to overcome.

Part of this journey is noticing trends, both in my past and in my current thinking, and one thing I’ve always battled is not feeling “good enough” or “pretty enough” or “cool enough”. I know I have alluring qualities and I’m easy to be around, but when it comes to hooking a  guy and keeping his interest, I tend to feel like there is always another girl out there who does it better.

With all of the men I’ve dated (Mr. Faithful, Mr. Rebound, Mr. Fire, Mr. Curls, Mr. Buddy, and most recently Mr. Idea), they all found and fell in love with another girl shortly after things ended with me. For some it was a month or two, or a few weeks, and with one, only a day. Knowing that these men who I’ve given parts of myself to, both literally and emotionally, can just move on to the next gal without batting an eyelash has made me feel so invisible. And even more so, like my love, my presence, my feelings were just disposable.

I’ve made a vow to not bash anyone – male or female – on this blog, but rather talk about what I’ve learned, instead of what I resent. However, the women who have followed after me have been completely opposite of me. Given, I don’t know them very well (or if at all), but they look and act differently. They have totally dissimilar interests or goals or ways of speaking or looking at life.

While I don’t think there is anything wrong with these women, and if I actually spent time with any of them, I may hit it off and we’d be the best of friends (though I doubt it) – what does it say about me that men I’ve loved or dated, have made complete 360’s in the post-me gal they choose to date?

And what about the fact that all of them have not only started dating another woman, but fell madly in love with them, too? Or for the ones who wouldn’t agree to commit to me, they suddenly can be exclusive with someone else?

While I’ve made progress in this journey and feel more in-tuned with who I am and what I want, and especially what I deserve – I still compare myself to most girls and I still wonder, “When a guy could have any of the beautiful women who grace and strut the streets of Manhattan – why, oh, why, would he pick me? And if he does, won’t he just pick someone else later?

I think the new question I need to be asking myself is: “Why do I think it’s about him chosing me?

I’m not a pro on relationships (honestly, I don’t think anyone ever truly is), but to be “successful” in a relationship, you have to pick one another. I think that magical, mystical, and unbelievable passion is there at the beginning, but after a while, and especially when you’re married – you choose to stay in love. You choose to preserve the reasons and the feelings and the memories of why you agreed to be together in the first place. And while those men I dated chose me at some point, over the course of the relationship, we stopped chosing one another, and they inevitably picked another one out of the single-lady-fied line. And eventually, I picked someone else, too.

It’s not about deciding to go to another girl over me or not being good enough – it’s a matter of the difficult choices we make in life and in love every minute, moment, hour, and day. It’s not me. It’s not her. It’s not him. It’s just the natural progression of being in, falling into, and getting out of a relationship. And though I realize this, I think I’ll have to still aim to be genuinely happy for each of them…one day.

A part of me knows that I’ll chose someone one day and he will pick me, too – a larger part of me has decided against selecting a man right now. Because my life isn’t defined about what happened in my past or what man is in my life. It’s not about the girl with the long, brown, hair and pretty smile. Or the woman who takes the place in the bed where I used to lay. And it’s not about why the man decided to walk away or allow me to leave. It’s not about them – it’s about this woman, right here, looking back me in this mirror, in this tiny NYC apartment.

And today, this woman picks herself.