Yes, I’ve spelled male correctly!
These last few months, I’ve been evolving to this wonderful place in my life where I’m truly coming into my own. Hurts of the past are long in the healing stage. Questions that have haunted me for almost 30 years are sowing their answers firmly in my heart. Dreams that have been locked in my soul far too long are starting to take form. I’m no longer sitting on the sidelines of my life. I’ve been sprinting straight toward a renewed sense of self worth, confidence and tremendous accomplishments. The latter has opened my eyes to unhealthy relationships and behaviors in my life, specifically as it relates to men.
After my divorce, almost 10 years ago, I found myself catapulted to into the rabbit hole of the dating world. The last time I had dated was in 1989. The rules of the game had dramatically changed, as had I. In an effort to be accepted and loved, and probably in a subconscious way of hiding the pain of my divorce, I fell into a pattern of accepting highly unacceptable behavior from the men I became involved with. I found myself tolerating actions and indiscretions that were deeply inappropriate, yet I was enabling them by not putting my foot down. I dated or became friends with men who would essentially take advantage of my kindness, talents, vulnerability, time and heart.
My eyes have been forced wide open of late. I started taking stock of the many male relationships I have/had and came to the sobering reality that I needed to do some housekeeping. I’ve been in the process of hitting the delete button on men who:
- Worship at their own alter. Let’s face it; no one is as amazing as he is!
- Flaunt their wealth. Sorry, baby, but you're rich in the things that don't matter to me.
- Are on the advisory board of the local narcissists chapter.
- Ask for a date but have been in a long standing “complicated” relationship with someone else.
- Call solely for the purpose of a potential booty call. Immensely degrading and not going to happen!
- Do nothing but talk and lament about their ex.
- Think it's perfectly acceptable not to call for several days and then expect me to jump when they do. Um... NO?
- Pay more attention to their cell phone and emails when we’re together.
- Use my talents and energy for their own personal gain.
- Think it’s alright to cheat on their significant other and want me to comply. As if!
- Send dirty pics of themselves and expect me to be impressed. GROSS!!! If you want to impress me, show me a picture of your last 401K statement.
- Don’t make me feel like the talented, loving, beautiful, accomplished woman that I am.
- Forget that I have a heart beating inside of me and that it hurts when you wound me; and, like any heart, it needs to feel loved and nurtured, not used!
It’s been deeply empowering to come to a place in my life where I can say no to several of the unhealthy relationships I’ve been holding on to. By saying no, I’m drawing a line in the sand that says I’m no longer going to enable you to treat me like this. You no longer have access to my talents and gifts. You no longer have the luxury and right to my kindness and compassion. You no longer have access to my mind, body or soul. If you want me, you need to earn me and I have to want you to earn me. It’s been a bold step to take and one met with resistance. In the end I’m finding healthier and happier relationships making their way into my life. Most importantly, my confidence and self worth have been restored. In essence, by hitting the delete button on my junk male, I’ve hit the enter button on a world of renewed possibilities as well as some new male!