Before you feed your greedy eyes with Part 5 of my dating misadventures, are you up to date with all the crazy happenings? If not, here's a quick recap:
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 1 - An introduction to me, nude photos and two fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 2 - Intimidation, confidence and two more fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 3 - MTB Hoe Bags, dating jargon and more delightful fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 4 - Sex
Ok, so I know I ended Part 4 with a bit of a teaser regarding "successful" dates that I've had but I'm still shaping that feature so, I figured it more important to first dig deep and pick open some old emotional wounds.
Reflection is a good thing. Taking a step back to look at your life; is it going where you want it to? If not, why not? And, how can you change this? I've come to realise that while I can ponder these things tirelessly, I won't have the right answers and can only hazard a guess at many of my own life's mysteries.
"Why are you single?"
Perhaps the most common question I've been asked is; "Why are you single?"
Well, if I knew... I probably wouldn't be single. I also don't like how this question comes with a negative undertone which is delivered in such a way that it implies there's something wrong with me. Why isn't it just okay to be single? I'm probably single for the same reason that many other singletons are single, just haven't found the right one yet.
I'll admit, however, that this question did get me thinking; "what am I like as a girlfriend?" and "is there something wrong with me?" - Instead of looking within myself which would undoubtedly yield a bias conclusion of; "Nah, I'm fucking awesome", I decided to do something in a momentary lapse of sanity and contact my ex-boyfriends to ask them. I know what you're thinking but in the name of research, dating dedication and curiosity, I ran with my wild idea. So, let's hear it for these valiant ex's of mine who chose to take part - bravo!
Lee - “I have no idea why you’re single… but dating you was always a thrill, it was always interesting. You weren’t an arsehole, you were stubborn, but not an arsehole.”
Stubborn - how very dare he?
Joe - “ I think you were always looking for something. It's like you weren’t content so you were oddly materialistic. You were caring and needy, but who isn’t at that age? I have no negative memories. I didn’t think dating you was hard work, we had fun but we’re both just very different people.”
This is true. Doesn't matter how much you love someone, if you're not right for one another, it won't work
Adam - "I don't think you were a cunt during the relationship but I do think it had a bad dynamic. At around 17, you think you're all grown up and adult... We were both in generally bad head spaces when we were together... getting out of Switzerland, high-school and all that associated bullshit probably weighed a lot on the relationship"
Oh, those high-school first loves.
Annon - "I think there were times in the relationship where I felt like I didn’t know who you were, you could act out of character or be very cold towards me... over time this had an accumulative effect. Also, I felt that even though you said you had forgiven me [for stuff] it had been brought up at later dates and ultimately, I felt it was always looming over me seemingly indefinitely." - yea, that's true.
Cons: You would close yourself off or not be fully open about things - If you were in a bad mood it would cause tension in the room, but if you were in a good mood you could make everyone happy and brighten their day - You can be stubborn, where we would end up at a stalemate.
Pros: You have a great capacity for kindness, and you can be very thoughtful - You were very helpful and with most things in my life, you would get involved and find the best way of doing it... working as a team together and always fully investing yourself into what you do - You were fun to be with. I remember all the fun things we used to do and be silly and laugh, it did genuinely feel like I’d had the best times with you.
I can't argue with any of that.
Just for good measure, I asked my sister for her unwavering brutal honesty in the matter by naming three pros and three cons about me, here's what my dear sister said:
Cons: can be insensitive and harsh with banter – not overly feminine – stubborn
Pros: strong – independent – decisive – easy going – up for a laugh
So when my sister says I'm insensitive and harsh with banter, it's because I have virtually no filter. Something pops into my head and I say it, usually followed by a gasp and immediate apology, but it's hard to keep a lid on these naturally occurring, and hilarious, burns.
So, what have I learnt from all this?
Well, there appears to be a reoccurring theme around stubbornness being a problematic trait of mine. Now, this doesn't shock me as such, but I always considered this aspect of my personality to be more "head-strong" rather than stubborn; a need to defend myself and/or stick up for myself. I've now realised that perhaps, my desire to be right is not as important as the need to be fair. That's some serious food for thought...
Another thing that I've taken away from this insightful insanity trip is that each of these relationships occurred at various stages of my life with an ever (d)evolving maturity level and a need to find my own self... as cliché as that may sound.
I can't say whether I would recommend contacting your ex-partners for some personal insight, but I think I came away relatively unscathed. Phew!
Next time, I promise to attempt to talk about the successful dates... but I've found that to be just as difficult, if not more so because they come with their own web of entanglement, mixed messages and general what-the-fuck-is-going-on-ness.
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 1