I have far more dating/relationship mishaps to share than I do success stories…those mishaps make for great lessons. In the time that I’ve been writing this dating blog, it’s helped me to learn a lot about myself and the role I play in my own dating drama. Yes, I actually do think that I am partially at fault… One thing I’ve come to notice about myself in general is that I am an avoider, meaning that I avoid things in hopes that they’ll go away. I ignore my toothache because I can’t afford the co-pay or I have too many upcoming engagements to be holed up in the house gone off Vicodin and Tylenol-3. I ignore that bump in the night because it actually might BE something. I ignore my feelings, hoping they fade before they get hurt…they usually don’t and I usually DO.
The way it starts is an innocent attraction. I tell myself it’s nothing, and it probably is…unless it’s not. Under some circumstances, I end up spending more time with this guy. Maybe it’s friendly hanging out, maybe we’re working together on something. Either way, the line gets blurred to me, and instead of asking a question I don’t already know the answer to, I start adding things up in my mind and collecting evidence. They always say, “If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, acts like a duck, then it’s a duck.” Nah…in my experience, we don’t always know our birds the way we THINK we do…
I was listening to the Steve Harvey radio show this morning as he was answering a question for “The Strawberry Letter.” If you’ve never heard his show, people write in their questions about dating and relationships, and he gives his advice. Now, I’ve never been impressed with him because anything he’s ever told someone you either should have learned from your mama or had enough common sense to figure out on your own. This morning, he got me, though. A woman had been in a relationship with a man for three and a half years. They dated, hung out, had good times. She assumed he was her boyfriend until her son introduced him to a friend of his as his mom’s boyfriend and the man corrected her later. She was stunned. She THOUGHT she had a man. Steve Harvey went into a tirade that smacked me dead in the skull when he said, “Stop thinking and start knowing.” Yep. He was talking to me. He didn’t know it, but he was talking to me.
I’d similarly been in a relationship that looked to be more than what it actually was. We talked on the phone day and night. We pretty much had a standing date night. He told me he loved me. He was jealous of other men in my life. We even got a little physical. To anyone on the outside looking in, we may as well had been together. I was of the understanding that we were at least headed in that direction. Even as he was telling me he didn’t want me and probably never would, his actions all said otherwise. Ladies-always listen to what the MOUTH says. Since I was too chicken to be honest in the beginning, my duck turned out to be a very convincing turkey, and too late for my broken heart, I went vegan.
I’ve learned in my dating life that the avoidance of pain and embarrassment has only led to deeper pain and embarrassment. The longer I wait to confront the object of my affections, the more I invest myself into the feelings I try to hide, and when the truth finally comes out, I’m way more hurt than I probably would have been if I hadn’t prolonged the conversation. I can’t profess to know the desires of another’s heart, nor the thoughts in another’s head. It’s easy for me to say love is for the birds, but if that’s the case, I am a Phoenix. I’m just hoping not to get burned next time.