When I was 22 I knew I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I thought I was too young to settle down so I spent my time casually dating different fun guys and only being serious with my friends and my career.
The guys I dated were out-going, fun, party guys. I thought they were exciting and a little bit dangerous.
One night out with friends I met a guy who was the complete opposite. He was a friend of a friend who came to happy hour with us. He was smart and cute, but he had his whole life planned out. He had just bought a house. Not a condo, but a house. With a yard and everything. He had a career he loved, hobbies he liked, and he knew what he wanted.
This guy talked about his hopes and dreams, traveling, goals, and even marriage and kids. Wanting them, not being afraid of them. This guy was scary!
He knew what he wanted and he was ready for it. That was way too much for me to handle. So, I did what most 22 year olds do. I ditched him at the bar and went out with the fun rich guy who put us all in his limo.
I told my friends and myself that the relationship guy was too safe. He was boring. He knew what he wanted so there was no challenge, no game.
But I was wrong.
The guy who was ready for a real relationship wasn’t safe. He was the dangerous one.
The guys I was dating were safe because I knew what to expect. I knew they weren’t ready for a relationship either. And I knew I would never take them seriously.
There was safety in knowing what to expect. There’s even safety in getting your heart broken because you knew all along it would never work.
But something that works? Not getting our heart broken? That is scary.
It all clicked in and made sense for me when I was watching a recently discovered show, Fairly Legal. Yes, it’s fun to watch because the protagonist gets to show up late for work everyday in a different pair of Christian Louboutins. But it also shows a lot of truth about relationships.
The main character kind of has her choice between two guys. One is her ex-husband and the other is a co-worker. She and the co-worker, Ben, had a big, romantic kiss and then she went back to her ex-husband.
Ben spelled it out for her. She went back to her ex because he is safe. Something that could be real, that was scary.
Suddenly all those ”boring” guys I wasn’t ever interested in made sense. It wasn’t because they were safe or boring. It’s because they were real. They were ready.
When we don’t believe we deserve a great relationship, those real guys are scary.
The douche bag, the party animal, or the mama’s boy? We know they’ll break our hearts, but we know we’ll get over it. That makes them the safe ones.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I can see what my 22 year old self missed. Those real guys are worth the risk. Yes, it will still be scary. But, now that I know I deserve it I’ll be willing to take the chance.
When I meet the guy who talks about his hopes and dreams and what he wants out of life, I’m going to stop, take a deep breath, and listen. No more running off with the safe guy.
Do you date guys when you already know how it’s going to end? Are the guys who know what they want scary? How do you give the real guys a chance?