I was 19

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a relationship, and an even longer time since I’ve been in a good one. Since then, I seem to have had a thing about attracting and falling for men who are unavailable.

Failed case studies

First there was the rebound I dated, who spent more time drunk with me than he was sober. Then I tried to rebound from the rebound guy, which ended disastrously, so I’ve mentally blocked most of that out.

Fast forward a year or two, and some of you may remember the dreamboat investment banker I flew to England to see. Perfectly timing. The “relationship” imploded alongside the economic collapse in 2008.

Then there was “the bouncer” who had so many issues we could never date for more than a few months (sometimes weeks) without getting pissed off with one another. That’s likely why many of you never heard about him, but I got caught in that cycle for five years until I finally ended it once and for all last New Year’s.

And there were the married men who in all senses of the word should have been off limits. I’m not naming names, obviously, but I should have known better, and they should have too.

Most recently was the guy rebounding from a serious long term relationship who didn’t have a clue how to deal. I actually really liked that guy, so I refused to see the signs that he wasn’t ready for anyone else in his life.

Whether it was distance, commitment, or timing that made these men unavailable, I went for it. Or they went for me? Sometimes it’s hard to tell which happened first.

My theory

I suppose people could draw their own conclusions – low self esteem, daddy issues, questionable morals, whatever – but I have my own theory. I’m not afraid of being in a relationship. In fact, I can’t wait to be in one! I know I will be a great girlfriend, and someday, wife. It’s getting past the initial dating stage that trips me up.

I’m scared of putting my heart in someone else’s hands, scared of getting hurt again. I’ve had enough heartbreak for one lifetime, and I don’t know that I’m strong enough to survive another. So it’s been easier to put myself in situations where I know there’s no chance of me getting attached, getting hurt.

The only problem with that strategy? It doesn’t work. I still get hurt, and in more cases than I care to admit, so do others.

A new strategy for getting a man

Thankfully, I’ve started coming to my senses, and I have my good friend Memory to thank for that, at least in part. See, Memory is a big believer in karma, that what you put out into the universe you get back in some form or another. And the more lunchtime conversations we’ve had, the more I’ve begun to incorporate that into my own life. I started making more positive choices when it comes to men a while ago now, and it feels really good.

Since being in Australia I’ve been reading a lot more too, about karma, the power of the universe, and the law of attraction (Check out “The Power of Now” and “Creative Visualization.”) From everything I’ve read, I think maybe I need to start putting some positive energy out there, some “good vibes” about the type of man I want and deserve to have in my life, rather than settling for and ultimately attracting the unavailable ones.

When this realization came to me, I tried to recall the last time I had actively thought about the type of relationship I wanted to be in and the type of man I wanted it with. I was shocked to learn that the last time I’d given any serious thought to the matter was over five years ago.

My top 10 list

Over the years I’ve had my priorities straight. I’ve known exactly what I wanted and went after it. I made my top 10 list for the type of car I wanted, the home I wanted to create, the vacations I wanted to experience, the puppy I wanted to buy, the job I wanted to have. But I hadn’t given that kind of consideration to the man I wanted in my life. And surely the type of man I’m looking for at 26 isn’t the same as the one I was looking for at 21.

My list five years ago went something like this: (1) Male, (2) Straight, (3) Single, (4) Hot, (5) Tall, (6) A good kisser, (7) Rich, (8) Has a car, (9) Doesn’t live at home, (10) Likes to party. Probably the list of a pretty typical of a 21 year old girl, but also very superficial. If that’s what I’ve subconsciously been putting out into the universe, no wonder all my relationships have been crap! And no wonder I’ve been single for so long!

I’m not foolish enough to think if I make a new top 10 list I will magically meet the man of my dreams, but I do have some work to do. After all, if I don’t at least know what I’m looking for, how will I be able to spot the man for me when he does appear in my life? I haven’t given up; I just haven’t met him yet.

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