Recently I met a guy I could immediately envision building a future with. I really liked him, so even though I was crushed when he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship right now, I decided to stick around. I assumed if I waited a while, he’d suddenly realize maybe he was ready after all. Needless to say, I lived to regret that decision.
1. I WANTED HIM TO BE SOMETHING HE WASN’T.
I thought that if I stuck around, maybe we’d spend more time together and he’d realize that we were meant to be. It was so stupid! I was fantasizing about a guy who wasn’t even real. What was real was that the guy was gently saying he didn’t want to be with me, but I was way too into him to listen.
2. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “NOT READY.”
Now, if a guy tells me that he’s not ready for a relationship, I leave ASAP. I’ve learned that when guys say this, it’s the biggest lie. While waiting for Mr. Never Ready, I asked myself what I would’ve done if the tables were turned. There’s no way I would have turned him down, so why should I have put up with him doing that to me?
3. HE WENT OUT ON A LIMB… FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
After I woke up and realized that I was living in a dream world waiting for this guy to decide to be with me, I moved on but we remained friends. Shortly afterwards, I saw firsthand how he made a serious effort for another woman he was dating. He didn’t give her mixed messages. He worked hard to show her how much he liked her. It hurt like hell, but it was a lesson I’d never forget.
4. WHEN A GUY WANTS ME, HE’LL SHOW IT.
This has become my dating mantra, thanks to that guy. I want someone who will make it clear that he wants me and isn’t afraid to show it. I don’t want someone who’ll brush me off with talk about how they’re not ready for or are afraid of something serious. What a load of crap!
5. HE GOT WHAT WAS CONVENIENT FOR HIM.
I realized that Mr. Never Ready was really just hanging around and casually dating me because he got what he wanted. No, we didn’t have sex, but he got to have company and fun when he was in town without having any demands or expectations placed on him. Meanwhile, I’d been torn up inside about how painful it was to be with him without actually being in a relationship with him.
6. I GOT BLINDED BY HOPE.
Hope is a thing with sharp claws. I was holding onto it and it scratched the hell out of me. I kept hoping that since the guy had told me he wasn’t ready “right now” that it meant he might become ready some day. It didn’t help that when he felt me slipping away, he’d suddenly become friendlier, more charming, and excited to hang out ASAP. This made me believe that something romantic would happen for us, but it never did.
7. I WAITED FOR HIM TO CHANGE.
I should have changed myself! Hanging around hoping he’d change was stupid. I now know that even if he had changed and chosen me, I never would’ve been happy. I would have wanted him to have wanted me from the beginning. Nowadays, if a guy doesn’t make that sort of effort right from the start, I’m not going to stick around.
8. I SETTLED FOR AN “ALMOST RELATIONSHIP.”
Sometimes it felt like we were a couple. Even other people we hung out with would joke about how we were so meant for each other. It hurt because I knew we weren’t official and we were just casually dating. We weren’t going to become anything more, and yet I settled for that for four months. I wouldn’t do that again because I want a relationship that’s 100 percent or nothing at all.
9. I HELD OUT FOR HIM AND MISSED OTHER OPPORTUNITIES.
I was afraid to move away from this guy in case I’d miss a chance with him. The problem was that by doing this, I blocked any romantic opportunities from coming my way. And for what? Some guy who didn’t even know if he liked me enough to be with me? What crap!
10. I TRIED TO BE WHAT HE WANTED.
I thought there had to be something wrong with me if he didn’t want me, so I tried to be the type of woman he had dated in the past. I thought if he could see me as carefree and fun-loving, maybe he’d fall for me. What a waste of effort for a guy who really wasn’t worth it. These days, if a guy doesn’t like me the way I am, then I’m not going to try to persuade him. I know I’m a catch.
11. I WASTED MY TIME WHILE HE MADE THE MOST OF HIS.
While I was waiting for this guy like some naive Victorian woman, this guy was out dating other women and living his life to the max. I’m sure he wasn’t waiting around for me — otherwise, he would have been with me. I won’t do that again. The older I get, the more I value every hour of my day. It takes someone really special to make me give them any of my time.