Breakups are the ideal time for self-reflection and a whole lotta talking. Personal growth – or so they say.
I usually just translate it to a lot of ‘self-care’ instead. Which pretty much translates to binging (drinks, fastfood and Netflix) the memories and pain away. Brutal but effective.
There always comes a point, however, when you get pensive. Start thinking. Try to figure out where you went wrong (again) and how you can prevent doing so in the future. And somehow – I feel like this is not a ‘separate’ activity throughout break-ups – but a buildup to a final answer. It’s truly like my love-life is an extensive calculation and I’m just adding the numbers that will eventually allow me to find the correct answer. And todays newest math-tip was, as always, a surprise.
When I said ‘it’s not me, it’s you‘ in my last sobby break-up post (I think I need to put a limit on this amount of whining on the blog) I meant it.
And though I was feeling a whole lot like a victim in that first one, these last few days a sense of self had descended upon me. Like vultures on weak and dying prey. No more victim. Culprit.
Now (though it might surprise a lot of people round here that I know this about myself): I’ve been whacked with the ‘narcissistic’ stick a couple of times too many when it comes to my radiant personality. But I DO know this. I’ve always known this. It’s not something that’s very easy to hide and it IS something that is very hard to change about oneself. And it inevitably weighs in to my (bad) choices in my dating career. Obviously. Let me demonstrate:
When I started off with my first crush – I obviously fell for the hot popular guy in school. And let us be frank – I was like EVERY main character in every romcom ever. Mousey. Invisible. Unkempt. It took me three years but in senior year – I scored the guy. It was like achieving a lifegoal, back then. Nobody expected it (least of all me). But it happened.
And it ended. Badly. Obviously.
It took dating two more infuriatingly ‘popular’ guys before I got the first part of my calculation. 1+1 can only equal 2 and then magically transform into 3 – when both of the ones feel and act like that one.
If either one of the two pretends to be a 10 due to unbelievable arrogance, or a 0 due to crushing insecurities…things break. They do.
Then I found love. The real thing with gooey eyes and soulmatey qualities and so on and so forth. Except – we somehow forgot to have all of the sex and thus fizzled into best-friends-living-together territory. So after I dated a 1 for 8 years, unsuccessfully, I figured out that some 1’s only look like a one but that somewhere in some subcalculation to make up that 1 – some numbers need to be present and that 20% awesomeness instead of the normal 10% could not compensate for 0% sexual attraction. The percentages that make up that 1 need to be just right (I conveniently forgot that he might actually be a 1, with me just being the wrong number in that calculation, but hey, narcissist. It’s never me).
Alas. After that I just proved time and again that I’m a stubborn goat, notoriously bad at math and hopelessly narcissistic by plundering Tinder for all the guys who were definitely-not-a-one but looked like a fucking 10. Gorgeous. Empty. Stupid.
Which is, suffice it to say, a pattern that I’ve always found hard to break. Mostly because I never really understood the reasoning behind why I picked the guys that I knew would never be a one in my calculations.
Well. After my previous break-up. I got a whole lot wiser, I think. Because (outside of the guys preferably having a sixpack and REALLY good hair) the one thing all of these men had in common was this:
They made me feel insecure in all the right places.
Because that’s how I was hit with the narcissistic stick. I need to feel ‘better’ than someone in all the areas that matter to me. Or at least. The areas that I pride myself in.
Looks never was one of them – so I prefer my man stupidly hot and way out of my league. I ain’t ever gonna be hot anyway. They can have that one.
Which is absofuckinlutely the stupidest thing ever – but it’s how my brain kinda works.
I need to be smarter than my partner. Which isn’t all that hard seeing as I have a pretty decent IQ and education even though that usually doesn’t show (my favorite humble brag, folks!). I need to have more ambition than my partner (because god, what if can outcompete me in the workfield?! THE HORROR). I need to have had it worse and recovered better from a desolate childhood (psychologists would have a field day. Which is obviously why I avoid them as avidly as non-vaxxers). And the list goes on.
But the area that I’ve never felt good about myself in? Looks? They can be ALL that ALL the damn time.
Let me tell you something though. Because even though I kind of think my tactic is brilliant – it also DOESN’T. FUCKING. WORK. LONGTERM.
You see – at the core of all of these bad picks and mismatches is one thing: I am a WHOLE lot scared to not be enough for someone.
Which is easily solved when you keep picking the dudes you KNOW you’re too much for. (As proven by the fact that I tried it the other way around once and almost crumbled at the blow when that exploded)
Key too the unavoidable too much/not enough issue is to simultaneously make sure that they have you on a constant level of insecurity about how you look while you’re pretty much feeling better than them in all other regards. (Over the top arrogance. It’s mah thang). They might be gorgeous. But you’re so smart. And successful. And and and. But fuck. You do need to start losing weight. Goddammit. Because two people who constantly feel like something’s off – are obviously meant to be, right? Not. Amirite? Sound lovely don’t it.
You catch my drift, right?
It’s a wicked form of self-sabotage when you sort of knowingly pick the wrong numbers for your calculation only because you’re afraid of getting the answer wrong even if you do pick the right ones.
Because it’s hella scary to work on feeling enough – instead of cheating yourself into a position where you are. Because then they’ll never be enough. Your ‘us’ will never be enough. And even though it does mean that your number is still whole and awesome and you ARE enough (or too much) – you’ll never get the right answer.
Because in the end all of those looks, and perks, and character traits and all of the rest don’t matter in the actual calculation. All you need is two ones and a bit of magic to come to a three instead of a two. The way love should be. You just gotta be willing to do the math right.
But hey. I suck at math. Don’t take it from me.
12 thoughts on “The ‘Not Enough/Too Much’ issue of love.”
It seems that you put a lot of pressure on yourself. The paragraph about deliberately choosing wrong because what if you choose right and it doesn’t work out, that says it all. I think it’s more difficult in the world of online dating because you get so much information about the person before you even meet them, it removes that element of spark you might get from meeting someone randomly in person, who isn’t what you thought you wanted but their laugh makes you melt, that sort of thing. It’s natural to learn what not to go for from past relationships that didn’t work out, but love is not a formula and can’t really be predicted or calculated.
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“but love is not a formula and can’t really be predicted or calculated.” And there it is. Said perfectly.
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“Then I found love. The real thing with gooey eyes and soulmatey qualities and so on and so forth. Except – we somehow forgot to have all of the sex and thus fizzled into best-friends-living-together territory. So after I dated a 1 for 8 years, unsuccessfully, I figured out that some 1’s only look like a one but that somewhere in some subcalculation to make up that 1 – some numbers need to be present and that 20% awesomeness instead of the normal 10% could not compensate for 0%
Hmm.. It’s True
Lust Doesn’t Last
Forever Neither Does
Falling in Love Or Nothing
Would Get Done Yet of Course
Dear Zoe With Dating Apps There
is Always the Potential to Keep the Sex
of What Dudes
Have Learned Particularly
to Keep Life Interesting if that
Is What they Are Mainly Interesting in
As the Gooey Eyed Soul Mately Best
FRiEnD Qualities May Beyond Their
The Zipper AS Such…
Of Course i’m Still as Sexually
Attracted to My Wife Since She
Was 18 as Her Body Is Identical
At 51 And Even More Voluptuous Now
So It’s True i Can’t Imagine Going through
That Hehe… Yet if Had to Go Without Sex
There is Surely Imaginary Lovers Who Never
A Five Course Meal
And Insists She is the Best
At All Housework And You
Are Just No Good At Anything
Associated With Work Around the
Home SO SHE DEMANDS TO DO IT ALL
Just Waiting For me to tell Her
She is THE BEST COOK EVER!
of my Love Success….
Anyway Not Unlike You i was the
Little Sheldon Cooper in School…
And Managed to Finally Get Some
Contact Lens to Mesmerize My
(“Through Black Velvet
And That Little
Surprise and Gift…
True i Started out as
Cinderfella too.. Sprouted
Some Glass Slippers for
my Wife to Fit into Perfectly Enough…
Lonely People Lonely People So Many
Lonely People i Come Across in Poetry Land Every Day…
You Are too Dammed Creative to Stay Lonely For Long You
Are Not the Kind of FRiEnD i would ever be worried about for long..:)
some of us have no need to break up cos we never take up with another any more
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😁 oh the simplicity
no just a smart choice
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That’s interesting. Well you might not be narcissistic just insecure and extroverted.
Do you have any pets? I can’t remember. I think we mostly don’t feel loved enough and a romantic relationship can seem like the thing we need or the only option available, when our lifestyles our inherently insular and lonely.
I think you are hard on yourself too. And frankly, I find it difficult to accept that some people (me, especially) manage to give the men so much power to make us feel like we’re the ones at fault.
Why do we have to change? We don’t. Neither they do (ok, maybe a little bit…)
Until you find your match, and you will, this sort of thing at the very least provides fodder for the blog. 😉 And I’m sorry you’re hurting. I get it… Hugs.
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I read your post and it felt to me like you were having a tough day. I think we are all our worst critics. I think that finding happiness in love is difficult especially when you are looking. I wonder if the best matches happen accidentally when you are busy enjoying life and enjoying something you are passionate about. I suspect you are clever and hurt because you put high expectations on yourself. Be your own best friend, and give yourself that encouragement you would give your bestie. Take care.
Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet and commented:
Don’t Miss reading this!
I read your words, I’m sitting with them, right next to you. It’s all we have. 💕C