I’ll begin by saying that I recently managed to get myself into a fairly short relationship that wasn’t good for me. I ended it two days ago. Yup. That wasn’t good for me, and I fucked that up. This blog is about, first and foremost, an authentic example of one person trying to live a life worth living. And that means taking risks. And sometimes that means taking some lumps and fucking up. And so – if I’m aiming for authenticity, that means those lessons should be shared here, with you, so that hopefully you can learn something from my fails, and also watch me grow through them.
My first error was caring more about the fact that *Derek and I had what I thought were matching goals as far as what we both said we wanted out of a relationship than who Derek actually was. That allowed me to convince myself to accept his idea to get into an exclusive relationship far earlier than I should have.
It started out promising. I thought it had incredible potential. We had a really good emotional connection. We had physical chemistry. We liked the same things. We wanted the same things, mainly, we both wanted a serious relationship that could go the distance. He was incredibly into me. He wanted to know everything about me. He wanted to spend a ton of time with me. He wanted to be exclusive right away. I was flattered. I thought about it for a few days. Despite my mind telling me that I should slow it down a bit, I found myself saying, “Shoot, maybe I should go for this. “Why not?” I also told myself. “What do I have to lose?” and also “This might be ‘THE one’ and so why waste my time?”
It’s important to know that I hate breakups. I will do a lot to avoid a breakup. I will give a person a million chances and make a million excuses for them. Deciding not to see someone you’ve seen a few times again is, meh, not that big of a deal, but once you’re in a relationship, well, for me, I now realize that means you’re committing to either marrying that person, or if not, breaking up with that person. I wasn’t thinking about that second part when I chose to get exclusive with Derek.
What I now know is what I had to lose was a chance to see all the red flags and mismatches before committing myself to an exclusive relationship, and so what I lost was the chance to know someone first without any obligations. Because of my choice, once I found things I didn’t like, I had to decide if it was worth ‘working through’ those things, and then decide when the balance has been tipped enough that a breakup should happen. Which is a lot of bullshit if you’re just trying to get to know someone and how they approach their lives. That’s on top of the opportunity cost of time, and the possibility of having met someone else in that time that was a better match for what I was looking for.
And so, oddly, my first mistake, which then allowed me to make a bunch of other mistakes in rapid succession, trust me, was wanting to be in a relationship with a lot of wonderful qualities, and choosing someone who also said they wanted to be in a relationship with a lot of wonderful qualities, without fully getting to know said person first.
I’m thinking, instead, I should have let the relationship develop organically, and then decide if it should be exclusive or not, rather than get exclusive, and then see what kind of relationship evolves, and then having to worry about if it’s “Good enough” to keep around, or “bad enough” to toss. Which is a place I’ve been in a lot, and one I’ve really come to hate to be in. And I don’t want to do it anymore.
*Name changed to protect the innocent? Not-so-innocent? He who probably shouldn’t be named? THAT guy? You know what I mean.