I’m thinking about just getting out of the dating game completely. To give you a little background, I’ve had two terrible relationships with a smattering of bad first (and only) dates in between. The first woman was a complete psycho. When we first got involved things seemed fine, but soon she was constantly finding reasons to be angry or suspicious of me, hated all my friends and got furious if I ever saw them and if I wasn’t right by her side every second. She was calling my cell every five minutes and when I did see her, I got accused of cheating. I tried to make the breakup quick and painless as possible, but got a month’s worth of psycho drunk dials anyway. Then I met someone I thought was a really nice person. She was separated from her husband and had a two-year-old son, but she was sweet and kind and really had her shit together, or so I thought. Well, come to find out, she’s also still been seeing her ex, and not just for her son either. Turns out, they had been talking about getting back together and she had slept with him a few times and THEN told me the truth because the guilt was getting to her. I admit I got more attached than I wanted to her and her little boy, and that one really tore me up. Since then, I just can’t stand the thought of going through this again. What’s the point, why put myself through hell and a horrible breakup just for sex and a few good months with a temporarily nice girlfriend before she screws up my life? Do you ever think there just isn’t someone out there for everyone, and some people are just supposed to be alone? That’s what I think I am sometimes, and it’s depressing as hell. Should I just hang it up? Thanks for the vent,
Dear Punching Out,
I strongly believe that our expectations greatly affect our outcomes, and that much of our current situation is the result of the choices we have made. I’m sorry to hear about the lousy run you’ve been having, but actually, I think taking some time off from dating is a great idea for you. Don’t misunderstand, the hurts you’ve suffered are not your fault, but sometimes taking a step back can give a person new perspective. You might need some time to figure out what is attracting you to either unavailable or unsuitable partners, and make some changes in your standards, or perhaps keep a more open mind to women you might not have considered before. Besides, dating is supposed to be at least somewhat enjoyable, and it’s hard to have a good time when you’re still reeling from your latest romantic disaster. Take a few months to cool with friends, follow other passions, and get your “house in order” — and I think you’ll emerge not only ready for healthy dating and relationships, but with a clearer understanding of who you are and what you want. So take it easy, and take your time, we’ll all be here when you get back.