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.