Posted by: Judy | July 5, 2012

Why am I not married…

Yahoo posted a video not long ago about why women aren’t married. The video wouldn’t play for me, which is okay, because I ended up reading the comments and gaining some insights.

Many of the female commenters said they didn’t want to be married, citing various reasons. I have my own, but I’ll get to those later.

Several men also commented they didn’t want to be married, also citing various reasons.

What caught my attention?

The guy who said, “I’m a nice guy, but girls won’t even look at me.”

One woman replied she’d love to go out with him. He didn’t respond. Hmmm… wonder why girls don’t look at him… Granted this is a comment on a thread, but it set me to thinking… always a dangerous proposition.

What about the “nice” guys who girls never look at ~ did I do that? Ignore a potential relationship?

I had to be honest with myself.

Yes.

Why?

Am I really that shallow?

It’s no secret I have a serious crush on Jimmy Thomas. I also know the reason is because he’s safe. I feel safe with him, and I know he is totally unattainable. I’m not his type. I like him as a person, and admire him. I gladly claim him as a friend.

What of the other men in my life through the years?

For the record, not being married is a choice I’ve made over and over. It wasn’t lack of opportunity. I probably should have mentioned that sooner. I’ve had a number of men interested in pursuing something serious with me. I ended each and every one.

There were men I was interested in who never allowed anything to get started.

I remember one of them complaining about how difficult it was to find someone. I glared at him and told him he’d never asked me out, so his sob story didn’t wash with me.

Men have asked me out, and I have asked men out.

Another for the record: I haven’t dated in about 20 years. I’ve spent time with some male friends, but there was no way those relationships were going anywhere. We had completely different goals in life. I have a standing “date” with one of my male friends to the Ren Faire every opening day. We usually attend once or twice more while the fair is open. It’s the only time we see each other. We laugh. Have fun. And then don’t see each other again until the next year. Sorry. It isn’t a date. It’s a tradition.

Back to when I was trying to date.

Guys who wanted a physical relationship zeroed in on me. It took me a long time to figure out I was giving off signals without realizing. I’d been trained young to be an object. I didn’t know anything else. I had to beat the creeps off with a stick. I’m not particularly pretty. My pictures don’t show the acne scars. My sweet sister makes them go away with photoshop.

I’ve watched men visibly recoil when they get close enough to see my face, so it isn’t my imagination. This probably angers some people, but I don’t care anymore. I also considered it a bullet dodged. I’ve been rejected because of my weight, because of what I do, i.e., I wasn’t successful enough, because I send off mixed signals.

I can’t argue that last one. I’m incredibly innocent in some regards and know way too much in others. I confuse the hell out of a lot of men. I can be sultry one minute and blushing the next. I can come across sophisticated and then backwards.

The truth: I never learned how to play the man/woman games with any degree of healthiness. I lived in two extremes: Inviting and shy. The men I’ve known have never wanted to work through the labyrinth. I don’t blame them. I hate living in the maze myself. I finally reached the point where I decided I couldn’t bring myself to try to invite anyone into the insanity with me. I don’t want them hurt, and they will be. When you care about someone, you hurt when they hurt. I couldn’t bring myself to condemn anyone to my nightmares. It was bad enough I have to live with them.

So, I stepped back and took a close look at all the failures. Failure is not necessarily a bad thing. I always figured it was better to fail early rather than later. I knew I wasn’t healthy, and I knew the only way for me to have a successful marriage was to be healthy. When I realized how huge the mess I call my life was, I stopped trying to date.

Back to the nice guys.

I did try to be open minded.

What I found, over and over: We either had nothing in common, or he decided figuring me out was way more work than he wanted. I was more work than I wanted, so I couldn’t complain.

Sometimes, we’d have one thing in common, like a love for reading, but we didn’t read the same things. Sorry, but loving reading isn’t enough to base a relationship on. Trust me, I didn’t throw it out simply because we didn’t like the same reading material. They liked doing different things than I did. Our sense of humor didn’t even come close to matching. They were uncomfortable with me laughing a lot. They wanted me to be more restrained, not so passionate, not so opinionated.

The vast majority of the time they simply weren’t comfortable with me, because I didn’t fit their idea of what a wife should be.

The nice guys would tell me their girl problems. I lost count of the number of men and women I helped marry off. If I had healthier boundaries, I would have been a great counselor.

The funny part was that some of them would share their girl problems with me, and I would learn to fit into that role of “big sister.” Then, somewhere along the way they’d decide that maybe I wasn’t so bad, and Β they’d want to go out with me. The problem was that I’d gotten over my disappointment about them not being interested in me and put them in the “little brother” box. Sorry, but once you’re in the little brother box, that’s it.

I actually had a guy talk to me about it. He apologized for taking me for granted. It was nice of him, but it was also too late. Last I heard, he was happily married. I’m happy for him.

So to the guys who complain about being in the friends only column, you might want to ask yourself how you got there in the first place and try something different next time.

For myself, I am now able to be honest enough with myself to know I did send out mixed signals. I’m sorry. I’m grateful I didn’t make the mistake of trying to make any of those relationships work out. They wouldn’t have.

Why?

I was in the habit of conforming to whatever was expected of me. Every single relationship was a lie on one level or another. I was constantly trying to please whoever I was with. I was NEVER EVER myself, except for occasional slips, which always rattled the person I was with at the time.

Now, I’m still struggling to be myself in public. I do pretty well online. I have time to think things through. Face-to-face, I still slip into old habits, though I am improving in that regard. I’m more myself than I have ever been before.

Hi, I’m Judy. I’m a Christian Romance writer, and I’m a survivor.

It’s a start.


Responses

  1. Hugs. ((((Judy))))

    • Thanks ((((Ruth))))

  2. (((Judy))) “the habit of conforming”,”constantly trying to please whoever I was with”, yes, I’m guilty too. I still catch myself thinking of wearing a different style of clothing depending who I am going to see as if just wanted to blend in. I’m working on not doing that and just wear what I feel like wearing. It’s a start. πŸ™‚

    • (((Kara))) it was a necessary habit to survive the insanity. I think clothes are a really good way to practice. Good for you!

  3. I am pretty much an idiot when it comes to romantic relationships. I don’t think I give/gave off mixed signals — I think I was so shuttered that no one knew what I was thinking. I found it easy to let suitors down before they even made an attempt to do more than out a testing toe in the waters with me. I barely even realized I was doing it until many of these guys would later tell me. I’ve only had a couple guys not get the hint (or flat out “not interested” as it were). Sadly one was a dear friend of mine and I ended up having to end our friendship.

    I don’t think I’d know how to flirt. I know what it looks like at can write about it ably, but it comes down to not being comfortable in that mode. I’m deeply ambivalent about my sexuality. And the guys who gave come on strong usually have me looking for the hidden candid camera.

    So I guess I’m saying that although I’ve been married twice, I understand much of what you are talking about. I’ve had only those two serious relationships (a boyfriend as a freshman in high school for 4 months hardly qualifies) and only one other date as an adult. Getting close to people is not something I do easily. Those I do let close to me, I like to think I am myself.

    As for your crush on Jimmy – I think that’s sweet. πŸ™‚

    • It bothers me to know I flirt without realizing I’m flirting. I was trained that well. I’ve had to stop making eye contract at all, which keeps the creeps away, but also keeps the nice guys away. Now that I have healthier boundaries, I’m starting to develop friendships with men again.

      For years, I was angry that they violated my boundaries, never realizing I didn’t have boundaries, except in my own mind. I knew what boundaries I wanted, but I never actually established them, because growing up with a Narc boundaries are not allowed.

      πŸ™‚


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