Everyday Baby Steps
Well, I told some of my social media friends that I would be writing a summary of my 2014 dating experiences and what I learned from them. After all, I wrote one for 2013 that was pretty fantastic, if I do say so, myself. I had some incredibly meaningful relationships and some experiences that truly impacted my life straight out of the dating gate in 2013. I fully expected 2014 to be the year of only bigger and better things. Damn, I was cocky.
In looking back over 2014, what's stood out to me is that it seemed to be my year of giving second (third, fourth, etc.) chances. Some turned out, thus far, to be a good thing. Others didn't work out so well. Here's a recap.
You know the one. I oftened referred to him as "Cute Scientist" on Facebook. After seven months, though, he simply became known as "Fucker." He was neuroscientist #2 out of three, for those keeping count. I met him in January. It seemed like a great start to the year. He was a little different than most men I'd dated. Quiet, and a bit awkward even, I do believe I gave him the most chances of all, when it comes right down to it. I saw him for seven months. We all know how that ended. In case you don't, you can read about how he was married and I had no clue. I won't rehash that here. However, what I will mention in this post is that I know I gave that one far too many chances. He was emotionally unavailable and showed me time and again he didn't value my time. Yet I continuously gave him a pass. At the time, I excused his behavior as simply being quirks of his uber intelligence. Looking back, I now realize that I simply valued the comfort and consistency of having him in my life. He was routine. I saw him reguarly. We stuck to a pretty regular rotation of dates. Some may see it as boring. For me, it was comfort. When it comes down to it, though, that comfort wasn't worth sacrificing my dignity.
The Scientist That Came Back
The first man I dated after my separation was neuroscientist #1. It was a whirlwind of intense emotion. I loved that man fiercely. Then he went away. He had his reasons, but it hurt like hell. He was gone from my life for nearly a year. Then one day, out of the blue, I received an email from him. I didn't hesitate to let him back in my life. I have such an attachment to this person. I don't make genuine connections easily. So when I do, I tend to hold on for dear life. I welcomed him back without question. He's a complicated person, and it took some time for me to reconcile the nature of our relationship. So far, I have no regrets at giving this one a second chance and am content to have my friend back. Chalk one up for second chances.
The Local Man With an Air of Mystery
We dated before. It didn't work out. So why would I give it another shot? Well, if I'm being completely honest, I'd have to admit that it's because of the sexual chemistry we had, as well as his many talents. Also, while looking at things honestly, I realized that the main reason things didn't work with us the first time was due to a serious lack of communication. So when I saw him visiting my OkCupid profile multiple times, I sent him a message telling him that he could at least say hello if he intended to keep stopping by. That got the conversation rolling.
We set up a date and actually talked about some of the underlying reasons we didn't see eye to eye in our previous go round. Armed with our newfound information and understanding, we ended up having a fantastic time together. We've enjoyed each other's company on a different level from our last attempt and seem to be moving forward in a positive way. We're going slowlly and building trust in each other, which was much-needed. I'm looking forward to seeing where our newfound openness and understanding take us.
The One Whose Ego Is Bigger Than His Heart
There's another man I ended things with due to a disagreement. In fact the disagreement was actually more of a fight, and it was rather hurtful. I may have mentioned him in another blog post, referring to his tactics of disagreement as a "mindfuck." So don't ask me why I decided to reach out to him when I saw our match rating on OkCupid had gone up to a 99%. I though that maybe we could be friends, since we seemed to be so compatible in a lot of ways.
Our initial reunion was amicable. It was actually a comfort to have him back in my life. He sent me a friend request on Facebook and was there to "like" my posts and encourage me. It was nice. Until I posted something he disagreed with. It got quite ugly. I held my ground and explained my reasoning. He dug his feet in and continued to push his position. As it turned out, friends who had initially agreed with him actually ended up pointing out the flaws in his argument, as well as his style of making that argument. One woman even told him he was being a bully. Long story short, he ended up telling me we could no longer be friends and blocking me. But, truthfully, it was a relief to have had that argument occur publicly. It was validation that our earlier argument was not my fault and that I hadn't imagined his bullying tactics. Despite the fact that I belive the guy genuinely does have a big heart, his ego and need to be right are much bigger. Chalk this one up to a learning experience that second chances don't always work out.
So it seems the recurring theme of my romantic life in 2014 was "second chances." These are merely a few examples. There actually are one or two more instinces where second chances were given, either by me or by someone else, in my dating life. But these are the main ones. Navigating the decision of whether to let someone back in your life or to stick to your guns can be difficult. No one wants to allow themselves to be used or treated badly. And I do always advocate for following your instincts. If you think someone is bad for you, you're probably right. However, for the most part, I am inclined to give someone a second chance. Thankfully, important people in my life have afforded me a chance or two, or even three, over the years.