I don't consider myself to be anything special at all. I have tried to live my life from a place of kindness and to do as much as I can for others. This does mean I have been prone to being taken for granted, but it doesn't meant I stop caring about other people. It does also mean, I haven't shown great judgement in the past. The big relationships in my life have been with men who really didn't want to be me with me that much. The appeal of drugs, other women and the rugby was stronger than any desire to be with me.
I have a tendency to try really hard to keep a relationship going - I call it loyalty, but it might be more accurate to call it denial. Dogged determination is fine in a career, but not so much in a relationship where there is an uneven distribution of affection. Early in my life I was told I was selfish and should be more grateful. In adulthood this manifests as a desire to prove I'm not a bad person. I have stayed in relationships even when I was 'invisible' or bullied because I didn't think I deserved any better. I would deduce that it must be something about me that made them like that - even though the behaviour / habit existed before I knew them. The need to be 'good enough' kept me turning up for men who didn't consider being with me to be even in their top ten priorities.
In the beginning it's all lovebombing and romance. Of course that doesn't last forever, but I would hold out for it becoming something like affection. Over time it would become clear that I was an afterthought at best. As the man pulled away from me I would do more and more to prove I was worthy of the scraps of affection I was getting. I would go to great lengths to ensure that their needs were being met, with little acknowledgement. Of course if I said anything I was ungrateful for not noticing the effort they were making for me. After all I shouldn't have expected anything at all.
I grew used to being 'fitted in' to the spaces between the things that mattered. He would see me late at night after he'd been out with friends - like a guilty secret. If I asked for better I was told I expected too much. We would arrange to do something together, I'd look forward to it and then he would cancel a day or two before - I was expendable. If I said as much he would accuse me of being ungrateful and unappreciative. After all he was making an effort. He was fitting me in when he could. Then the inevitable guilt gifts, money usually. I remember once explaining to someone that the reason his partner was upset with the gift of money was that she didn't want to go for a spendy weekend away with her sister, she wanted to do something with him. Giving money says, "I have better things to do than spend my time with you," or "I'm paying you to leave me alone."
So, back to the search for a boyfriend. Last week my boy asked me who Rob Lowe was. He saw a photo of him on my vision board and I explained that I am setting the bar quite high. A great body, nice to look at, nothing flabby or saggy please. Truthfully though I'll be happy with simplicity. If I do go into another relationship I'd like it to be with someone who loves and appreciates me. Who looks at me like I am the most beautiful woman who walks the earth. Someone who gets my passion for swimming and cinema and strawberries. Someone who will sit with me on the sofa and put their arm around me - who likes to watch movies. Someone I can share a fantastic Indian meal with that I got from my mate Sara. Who makes me tea the way I like it. That's not a lot to ask for really. Well maybe the tea as I am quite particular about that.
My boys want me to be with someone who will love me and care about me. They want me to be happy and not on my own. For my part I'd like someone who will notice me and make time for me. Who wants to be with me and is free to be.
I can wait. I'm in no rush.