I find myself in an experience that I have never had before (or cared to be aware of until now). I’m dating myself. No, not in that “I take myself out on dates because no one can love me like I can” way, but in the “I’ve finally met the male equivalent of me” way. And I don’t like it.
I’ve never been a person who believed that opposite attract. Unless you’re a magnet, you’re pretty much seeking out a person who has certain similarities as you. So when I met HomieLoverFriend almost a year ago through a mutual friend, I initially knew why she felt that we would be a perfect match: we had the same sense of humor. That kind of witty, sarcastic, often times dry, I understood his jokes and he understood mines. Our first date was at a pool hall; very relaxed environment and something fun. One date became several and text messages evolved into sitting up for hours just talking about any and everything. I was taking things one day at a time and staying in the moment and I thought he was too. I felt that this would be the relationship that I would be able to move around in and really get to be myself. But, unlike my HomieLoverFriend, I actually paid attention to our conversations and body language. There was a hesitation there. He wasn’t taking his time with me; he was afraid. He wasn’t trying to “get to know me” (like I said, he rarely paid attention to our conversations, instead listening to the negative voices in his head); he was waiting for me to fail. Plus, he was in a rough place in his life: he was starting over….and I knew what that was like.
So I’ve been giving advice that I’ve learned over the years and maybe that’s been my problem, because he has met me with opposition. I tell him to pursue his passion, he tells me he’s too old to be successful in it. I tell him to start a website for his business, he tells me that it’s too much work. I tell him to appreciate where he is now, he tells me how he’s more talented than the person who’s more successful than him. I began to feel drained around him; it seemed that I was constantly pouring into a person who had nothing to give to me in return. I was encouraging a man who just wanted to read from the “victim” script. I wanted to expand the mind of a man who chooses to be closed-minded on a lot of subjects. Sure, he says he’s “trying”, but even those words are beginning to feel like an excuse he tells himself in case everything goes to shit. I know the late Maya Angelou said, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” but what is it saying about me?
I could sit here and go on and on about how his negative, limited views on life is weighing me down, however, there was something in him that attracted him to me. HomieLoverFriend really represents the worst in me. The fears he has, even though they’re not to the letter, are also mines. There’s a reason he only wants to “date” me and “get to know” me….and I’ve been okay with that. I’m not that much better than he is; I’m just more aware of it. And every time we have a discussion or he does something that upsets me, it’s a way for me to check myself. Just recently, he’s cancelled on two dates in one week. One of the reasons was because he was low on gas and out of money, but I knew, as well as him, that he was already low on those things prior to agreeing to the date. The excuse he gave was to ease his conscious into flaking out. But, I do that with my friends. I say I’ll be somewhere and then bail out at the last minute. When things get hard for him, he gives up. So do I, instead of finding another solution. Relationships are a great way to getting to know yourself and ultimately, if you’re willing to do the work, grow as a person.
I don’t mind dating myself. But I’d rather date a better version of myself.