This post has the potential to go in several different directions… and while the title is pretty straight forward, I am willing to allow its contents to take me wherever the power of an epiphany decides to take me.
I stated that as a form of a disclaimer but I hope that you all are willing to journey with me in this moment of emotional transparency.
My simple answer to the title is Yes. But in reality, are matters of the heart ever simple? Especially as it relates to dating?
The irony is that… there are a lot of heartbroken people out here passing themselves off as individuals who are ready to date.
And, unfortunately, that creates a vicious cycle that many of us either deny or don’t even recognize to begin with. Heartbroken people dive back into the dating pool prematurely and simultaneously interrupt their own healing process… even if it’s just a minor interruption.
And then there are the ones who then become the “Heartbreakers”, whether intentional or not.
Do I believe that you can get over somebody by getting with somebody else? To an extent yes, I most certainly do. But do I feel that is the healthiest and most effective way to move on.?
Not at all.
And to be honest, I think that being true to what you are really feeling… facing the pain and the responsibility that you have in whatever experience you have encountered.. is the first step towards healing. Honesty.
Sometimes we tell the biggest and most detrimental lies to ourselves. Then we wonder why we continue to have the same experiences and outcomes. Some of us don’t even “keep it 100” with ourselves. We are to ourselves the “fake” people we talk about in memes on Instagram everyday. Isn’t that a shame!?
I was on the phone with this guy one day who had been pursuing me. He was cool but I knew it would never lead to anything. He just didn’t inspire me… but I was open to being his friend, and so we conversed as such. We got on the topic of dating and I mentioned the fact that I believe the problem with dating and relationships is that people are doing both before they are ready.
He agreed and he asked me did I feel that I was ready to date. And without hesitation I said “No, I’m not.”
And it was at that moment that I knew I had hit a level of growth that I never would have recognized a few months ago.
The reality is that I am not ready to truly date… without inhibitions, without preconceived notions and defense mechanisms… with that optimism that inspires the butterflies in your stomach. I’m not even close to ready.
And the reason why I have not allowed myself to get excited about anyone is because I’m still very much in love with a man who is not ready to love me. At least not in the way that I desire or deserve.
To even type that hurts but it is the truth. My version of the truth.
Yet ironically.. if THAT man was ready then I would be ready for him. No second guessing. No moment to consider. Just yes.
And that man, whom I’ll refer to as “Libra”, has consumed me.. my mind and my heart for a year now. And while some of that year has been beautiful.. most of it has been pain. Because both he and I have been so unstable in our love for each other that it has become toxic.
And no matter how many times I’ve walked away… declared that it was over.. even forced myself to break all communication.. I’ve repeatedly went back. Regardless of how many motivational speeches I gave myself.. tears I’ve cried and even moments when it angered me that he wasn’t there.. I was always willing to fall right back under his spell.
All it took was the right kind of apology.. the right nostalgic moment or memory to flood my mind with thoughts of him and it was like he had never disappointed me or made me cry. Ever.
I knew that was detrimental to me… and it was confirmed every time I went on a date with a new guy during our “off-again” moments. Nobody was funny enough. Tall enough. Charismatic enough. Nobody listened as well. Nobody had his laugh. Nobody talked the way he did. They weren’t attractive like him. Their physical stature wasn’t like his. They didn’t look at me like he did. They didn’t captivate me like he did. They didn’t inspire me the way in which he did every time I looked at him, thought about his smile or said his name. No one moved me like “Libra”.
And so these unsuspecting men had set themselves up for failure the very moment that they asked me for my phone number. Because, unbeknownst to them, I
was am Emotionally Unavailable.
We usually throw that word at men, as we assume that is the excuse for why “we couldn’t get them to commit”… but honestly I had become those very same men. To a certain extent.
And with the “Guys of Dating Past”… maybe
I have we have been a little too hard on emotionally unavailable men. Some of them at least.
Or better yet, maybe we have misunderstood them all along. Maybe they were men who were still emotionally anchored to someone else… and with good intentions were trying to break free from that bondage & move on. But we didn’t inspire him enough to escape.
And as an unsuspecting victim we were pulled into a fight we could never win… until he figured out how to release himself from that “anchor” in which he was strapped to emotionally.
And maybe that is “Libra’s” reality too and he just has not disclosed that to me. Maybe some other woman is to him what he has been to me.
The reason he can’t move on.
And although he says he loves me, I can’t say with conviction that he’s lying or telling the truth. All I can say… with confidence, is that I love him.
And for that reason I have betrayed my own possibility for bliss.. security… assurance… & my own “happily ever after” because I have not figured out how to love this man from a distance. To love him but love myself more. To love what he was to me when he was good to me but to accept that currently he can’t be that man to me anymore.
The irony is that even when he upsets me… when his actions (or lack thereof) bring me to tears… I STILL can’t speak ill of him.
Because I still value him… and respect how I feel about him.
Crazy right? The man who I can only count on to disappoint me still has my loyalty….
And because of that I have failed to effectively date. Because even when I try to with the purest intentions… I start to feel guilty.
I’m stricken with guilt for the unsuspecting guy that thinks I’m attractive and pursues me.. because he has no clue that he will never win my heart. At least not any time soon. He doesn’t know that while his efforts are appreciated… they are only the product of the wish that they were coming from someone else.
These men don’t know that every time they call or text me there’s that small moment of hope when I look at the notification that it will be someone else.
That when I sit across the table at dinner I wish I was sharing that meal with someone else. When he tells me a joke and I laugh that I am secretly wishing that the source was someone else.
When I get tipsy or silly.. stressed or lonely I only want that “someone else”. That Libra.
And not him.. that unsuspecting guy who thinks I’m attractive and pursues me. Not even a little bit.
So if asked the question again… the title to this post…
Should You Date New People If You’re Still In Love With Your Ex? …my answer would change slightly.
Yes… YOU (as in whomever is reading this) should… IF you can handle the complexities of that kind of scenario.
As for me personally… I’ll let you guys know if I should once I get to the point where I can awake and fall asleep without my thoughts being consumed by “Libra”.
Until then, I think I should leave dating to those of you with unanchored hearts and just explore platonic friendships in the meantime.
Because in reality, no one deserves to be dating someone who is secretly craving the presence of someone else.
And then the cycle continues…