For those of you that don't know me all that well, let me lay down a history of my dating life (or lack thereof). In gradeschool/JR high, I only dated one person. Nothing serious. Just that normal little pre-teen "HAI! We're dating now!" In high school, I began dating someone that I pretty much thought I was going to be with for eternity. After having a string bad luck and lots of horrible instances (which I'll get into further down) with guys and dating, I had pretty much figured that he was it. I was "in love" and knew I wasn't going to be able to find anyone better so I stuck with him for what was close to a decade. Considering that I'm 28, that's a pretty damn long time.
Note: It's been nearly a year since I've cut off all contact from this person and I feel that I can talk about this now. Many of my friends may or may not know any of these details, but all I ask is that you don't forget that the past is over.
Over the years, the relationship between myself and my significant other deteriorated to the point that I was more caretaker than girlfriend. The main problem with it was that I was semi-comfortable. I was still absolutely convinced that I'd never be able to find someone else who would love me. Of course, the bad absolutely outweighed the good. He was mentally abusive, constantly putting me down in order to make himself feel better. The last few years, I stayed with him simply because I was afraid he would try to kill himself if I left him (something that proved right later).
He was mentally unstable and completely over-medicated which meant that he, eventually, became physically abusive. There were only three instances of this happening, but that was three more than there should ever have been. The relationship itself ended after a huge argument in which I nearly ended up dead. He went crazy after I "caused" him to lose an auction on Ebay. He beat me pretty bad, held a gun to my head, and did a lot of other things that I would prefer not to re-live. The only reason I never said anything to anyone who knew us was because I know a couple of people who would kill him and they'd never find the body.
Not long after this incident, I graduated and moved to Little Rock in order to try to escape everything about him. Of course, this was short-lived. After three months of no-contact, I decided to call him and talk to him. Somehow, he managed to slime his way back into my life. He basically told me that I "owed him" for that auction and practically moved in with me. That didn't really work out. I was miserable. Because of him, I ran up my credit card to the maximum (trying to "pay him back" for what he'd lost) and did everything I could to support him. This, too, ended in violence. I asked him to leave because I couldn't stand it any more. When you're sitting in the living room at three am and wondering how you can beat someone to death as quietly as possible with a baseball bat, you know you need to get them away from you. I joke when I say this, but it's the honest truth. I was going to kill him that next night if I couldn't get him to leave.
Somewhere in there, I had asked him to leave before, but he told me he would kill himself. He took a bunch of his pills (so he said) and I took it back, making him vomit so that he wouldn't die. (In hindsight, I should've just let him die. Period.) There was something with me screaming bloody murder and not getting any help from my neighbors as well, but I don't really remember what it was. Those days all blur together and I'm just trying to forget them now.
So, last April, I got into Gears of War 2 on my Xbox and ended up meeting a great circle of friends that I interact with online. I also met my latest ex-boyfriend. He was everything that the guy before him wasn't. Gentle, funny, easy-going. He was practically the opposite of boyfriend number one (now referred to as "Thing One"), right down to no ambition or goals in life. Thing One had too many goals and this guy (Let's call him "Thing Two") had none at all. Well, maybe one or two. We talked non-stop for nearly six months. I became completely enamored with him and thought that maybe, just maybe, I could be in love again. I might have been, but he definitely wasn't. I'm old enough to want to be serious with someone and go for long-term togetherness, but Thing Two just turned 22 and he's not ready for that. I don't think he was even ready for me to tell him that I loved him. Of course, I did ambush him while we were in the middle of romance and I think it frightened him. Your first serious girlfriend tells you she loves you the first weekend you meet in person? Scary. I had been completely guarded and, when I finally thought I could let my guard down for him, I got kicked in the face. I felt cheap, like some trashy whore, and I still hurt a little when I think about it.
Now that I've gotten all that off my chest and you've seen my track record with men. I've been cut down physically and emotionally by my last two relationships. Thing One did it on purpose. Thing Two? Not so much. I don't think he ever meant to hurt me. I think I just set myself up for failure. Considering that I haven't dated much, I just don't think I know how to handle men.
So... onto my adventures.
I've been doing internet dating. It's really hard to meet men when you can't go out to meet them on the weekends when real people go out. Instead, I read profiles and send chat/text messages. I've had a little bit of luck actually. Maybe not what I'd totally consider good luck, but luck.
Date #1 was so cute. Air force reserve. Fit, trim, wonderful. We literally talked for hours. It was great. Of course, we're pretty incompatible. He's an outside person and I'm an inside person. Of course, I haven't heard from him again since April so I deleted his number. Clearly, I wasn't the girl for him.
Date #2 is a West Memphis cop and, honestly, he's not that cute. At all. Not to me anyway. I'm sure he'd be cute to someone, but I just don't feel it at all. He's everything I'd like in a man: sweet, sincere, good sense of humor, and thinks I'm hot. I just can't get past the physical. Even with Thing One & Two, I found them attractive. I just don't find numero dos attractive at all. I've gone on two dates with him, just to see if maybe I was wrong about him, and I'm not. He's a great person, but if I don't find him attractive, I can't form a relationship with him.
So, that chronicles my dating efforts so far. There have been a handful of men that I've been messaging, but I just can't find any that I find attractive. The enthusiasm that these guys show for me is what really throws me off though. Let me lay down why "enthusiasm = insincerity" to me. When I was in school, it wasn't uncommon for some hot idiot to tell me that his buddy wanted me to be his girlfriend. Of course, this was something that they did for laughs. Always wanted to tease their buddy and hook him up with some ugly/fat/geeky girl to embarrass him. No guy has ever wanted to be serious with me. They've all wanted to use me as some comedic prop. So, because this repeated itself from middle school on through college, I've never been able to accept any guy who was sincere about wanting to date me. Thing One & Two have been exceptions. Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, they're either wanting to turn me into comedic fodder again or they're "chubby chasers" who only want me because I'm fat. I don't want a guy who likes me just because I'm fat. That's the same as a guy who only likes a girl because she's skinny.
I think I just don't want to be caught up in things and get my heart broken again. It's hard to really get into a dating mode when you're trying to figure out how to make yourself attractive. I feel sexy when I look nice, but then I see a full-length mirror. I don't know what to say really. I'm just tired of having to sort through all the weirdos and men who aren't attractive. I don't understand why they think I'm hot and I worry that I'm going to try to get serious with someone who's in it for sex and then will leave. I don't want sex (at least that's not what I'm dating for right now). I want to get to know someone that I can go out with and enjoy being around. I just don't know how I'm going to find that person when I'm suspicious of the motives of every person that thinks I'm attractive.
So, what now? I've got another guy on Xbox that thinks I'm awesome. He likes to chat with me privately sometimes in order to get to know me though I don't know a whole hell of a lot about him. I'm weary of that just because of past experience. I've got a couple of guys that I'm texting/messaging who want to get to know me, but I just don't know if I find them attractive. Again, the enthusiasm that these guys show about me just makes me weary. I don't want to be the butt of another joke.