The following was originally published on literallydarling.com and can be found here.
“Oh, he’s so not even my type–he has a ‘Come and Take it’ flag over his bed,” “I mean, he’s kind of too skinny, ya know?” “He’s probably going to vote for Trump.”
All of these are legitimate complaints I’ve had about various boys I’ve met. I’ll whine to my friends about how unperfect he is, how I don’t even care about him. And yet, a week later, he’s got me. We’re texting every day, making plans to see each other, and I can’t help but think of him at least three times a day. It’s annoying, and yet, I keep doing it. And so, we’ll be together. And in our togetherness, I don’t feel he’s wrong for me. I feel happy. I start to imagine that maybe my life really can be like a Harlequin romance, or a ’90s teen movie: maybe the annoying jerk guy will change for me. Maybe he’s wrong in every way but one: He’s right for me. I keep thinking that maybe the wrong guy isn’t so wrong after all.
Spoiler alert: I’m wrong. In looking back at my track record with guys, it’s pretty obvious none of them have been real winners. From the get go, I’ve known that. Before I even knew their last name, I knew they weren’t what I was looking for. But still, I went for it. And when it (surprise, surprise) didn’t work out, ever, I would just shrug my shoulders and repeat one of the many complaints I had said before anything even started. I could blame it not working out on whatever I had originally deemed was wrong with him. It could be his fault, and I’d walk away clean. Unscathed. Unhurt.
Continuously going after the wrong guy has been my go-to move in terms of romance. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever gone for someone I deemed as “perfect” or “too good to be true.” Maybe it’s because I’m insecure about being rejected by someone I like too much, or maybe it’s because I know I’m at a point in my life when I don’t have time for an actual serious relationship, so when I crave attention, I seek it out from someone I won’t mind saying goodbye to in a month or so. It’s my insurance policy, and, for the most part, it works.
Except when it doesn’t. When I actually fall for the wrong guy, when I give too much of myself to a relationship I had originally presumed to be insignificant. At that point, my relationship insurance falls through and I’m left wondering how I did something so stupid. Why did I waste my time with someone who I used to think was an idiot? Because, while he may have grown on me, he’s still a sexist manboy who I cringe to think of as ever being a father to my child. Even in the haze of developing feelings, I know I would never want it to get that serious with him. Whether he’s the possibly gay narcissist, or the smoker with the foot fetish, or the Canadian with the Spongebob tie–I know I’m not in it for the long run.
Maybe I just get bored, or want someone to gossip with my girlfriends about. I don’t really know, but I do know that I’m never going to truly be happy if I continue to go for the wrong guy. Of course, it does make things a little easier in the feelings department–to an extent. Because sometimes, if I’m not careful, and I let my insurance policy fall through, well, things tend to suck.
My oldest sister once shared something our grandmother told her a long time ago: never fall in love with someone you can’t see yourself marrying. And while that’s great advice, it’s also more than a little tricky. Because how I took that advice was to only go for guys I couldn’t see myself marrying until I was ready for something more serious. I thought timing was everything, and wouldn’t it suck if I met the perfect guy, at the wrong time? I would much rather be with the wrong guy at the wrong time. Of course, I guess I could just have no guy at the wrong time, but that would be much too mature of a decision for me to come to without making some mistakes first.
Although, I will admit I’ve claimed to be going on a boy-cleanse at least twice in the past year, and that obviously hasn’t worked out. But, I think that my most recent “wrong guy,” has made something just click in me. Because this was the first time I had been so adamantly disgusted at someone, and so vocal about my disgust. My friends were shocked I had gone for him, so shocked in fact, that when it ended, they asked the question I had been avoiding for years: why the actual f*ck did you even waste your time?!
And now, I’m forced to answer the question. And I still don’t know. Maybe it truly is one of the myriad of reasons I’ve already talked about. Maybe it’s because I secretly crave drama in my life. I’m sure someone could analyze my choices and let me know, but for now, I think I’m OK with not having a solid answer. Because for now, I just need to be OK with myself. I need to be OK with being really, truly alone and single. I need to be okay with the fact that I don’t need any guy at any time. The next time I meet the wrong guy, which, let’s face it, won’t be too long from now–I think I’ll bide my time. I would much rather be alone than with another idiot.