Go ahead and admit it. You make bad decisions. You choose to do things you know are not good for you – even though a silent voice in your soul hopes this time it’ll be different. You ignore red flags. Give passes to people you know don’t give a flip about you.
No? You don’t? Okay. Maybe, it’s just me.
Okay. I’ll admit it. My name is Rosalind Guy and I make bad decisions. I have entered relationships with people who I knew didn’t like me like I liked them. People who I knew I wasn’t equally yoked with. I have stayed in relationships long after their expiration date. I knew it wasn’t about love, but the fear of starting over. I made excuses for people who didn’t even bother to excuse their own treatment of me. I ignored red flags. I have tried to save people who were trying to drown me.
Whew! That feels better.
Not long ago, a guy approached me at work. I’d missed a day because my car wouldn’t start when I went outside that morning to start it. I ended up having to call in a substitute teacher to cover my class until I could get there. But I never made it in; I took the day off to have my car towed to the shop so it could be repaired. When I went back to work, he stopped by my classroom and gave me his telephone number with the offer that I should call him the next time I experience car troubles. I didn’t use it. He kept coming back asking why I never called him. I’d just shrug and smile.
Later, he asked me if I knew why he wanted me to call him.
I shrugged, “To talk?”
He laughed at my naiveté. “I thought I’d be able to spit some game and encourage me to let you take out.” This, of course, would end with him getting some booty.
I laughed and said, “No.”
I’d seemed naïve to him because of the type of person I am. I am quiet and keep mostly to myself. I smile when someone smiles at me, but I’m not outgoing by any stretch of the imagination. But he was wrong about me. At the end of that conversation, in fact, he told me that I was the type of person who would keep him in line because I wouldn’t do anything wrong, so it would keep him from doing wrong. At least with me. Because, you see, he’s a married man. The irony of the situation: he told me that I carried myself like a married woman.
Anywho, I had made a conscious decision to do things differently in my life (I realized a while ago that I was the problem in my life) so even without the ring, I still wouldn’t have been interested. Because another thing I learned: Just because someone shows interest in me doesn’t mean I have to accept it. This is one of the lessons that came from understanding that I was the reason for a lot of the bad experiences and heartbreak I’d experienced in my life.
You’ve, no doubt, heard the saying that if you want to get different results, you have to do something different. You can’t keep choosing the same types of people, expecting different outcomes. You have to step away from the comfortable and familiar when you realize you’re the one who’s hurting yourself.
There are people who like to generalize their experiences by saying, “All men are dogs.” or “All women are gold diggers.” These generalizations actually speak louder about the people saying them than the people they’re pointing the finger at. These are the same people who have a “type” that they keep meeting and entering relationships with, confirming their own misconceptions.
To these people, I would say, “Stop being the victim in your own life. You’re not a tree that someone planted. You don’t have to stay where you are and you don’t have to keep choosing to deal with the same types of people.”
I once overheard a teenage girl say that she wanted a baby daddy. When everyone around her started laughing, she said, “I’m serious. I just want a baby daddy.” This was what she desired. And there are those women who only deal with “bad boys.” Or men who deal with chicks whose heart they can buy their way into. Somewhere deep within each of these people is the belief that this person will be different once they hook up. They just don’t believe fat meat is greasy and so they have to learn the hard way that the old maxim is true: You can’t turn a ho into a housewife. Really, you can’t. A whorish person, a materialistic person, a selfish person, a person who expresses no interest in you other than to accept what you offer them, well, all these people can decide to change only if they want to change. Like I tell my female mentees, don’t take on any “fix-it projects.” Because while you’re trying to fix that person, you’ll constantly run into obstacles because more than likely that person doesn’t want to change. If they wanted to change, they would, right? Right.
If you pay attention to your own habits and choices, you can make a conscious decision to change. You may be shaking your head and saying, “But this is who I am” or “I like what I like.” My response is this: “Okay, that’s fine. But stop blaming other people for the choices you make.” The people in your life didn’t agree to be your fix-it project, you’re the one who cast them in that role. Once you become aware of what your “thing” is, you are better equipped to understand why things keep happening the way they do and to change them.
You’re a human being who’s capable of making choices. So, know yourself and choose well. Because, yes, sometimes the problem is you.
I’ve only been truly in love with one person. A person I loved for no specific reason. I didn’t need or want anything from him. I just loved him. I’ve been in a total of five serious relationships in my adult life, but only one person that I genuinely loved. And it’s because I was the problem in all of my relationships. With the one person I did love, I didn’t overlook red flags or convince myself to see something that wasn’t there. One relationship where I loved just because. And it was only after I began to know myself and to know that the reason that I was unhappy was because I was making bad choices, settling for people who, in the end, weren’t willing to settle for me. And I am grateful to them all for that.
Peace & Love,