I’ve noticed a pattern in my relationships. I meet these amazing guys and I give the relationships my all then they eventually fizzle out. I understand that happens. What bothers me is that it seems like once my exes leave they’re so much better…they’ve become husband material and they all have left me to join long term relationships or get married. It’s almost like a guarantee that if I date you, by the time we’re done you’ll be ready to get married…to someone else. It’s draining.
– Empty Heart
Dear Empty Heart,
Thanks for writing to me. If I’m to believe what you wrote, you are some kind of “Maker of Men.” You date these guys and attempt to groom them to be great mates for yourself. Unfortunately, in the midst of this grooming process, things obviously go left between you and these men, and you wind up single again. If I’m to take what you wrote at face value, your “Midas touch” on these men’s lives makes them relationship gold for people other than you. Please don’t think I’m trying to shade you or insult you with what I’m about to say, but I have to say it. Don’t give yourself this much credit.
While it may seem that you shine your exes up for the next person, it’s more likely they simply just find a person more compatible with who they are. Or they found someone who is more willing to accept their flaws. Or perhaps both. Regardless, think about this. You’re focused on why they find happiness after you, and they’re focused on their own happiness.
Now let’s say your exes do in fact change and become better men and “husband material” after leaving you. It’s doubtful you’re responsible for their change in personality. As the saying goes, people don’t change unless they want to change. You can’t force an addict to stop addictive behavior unless he wants to. You can’t stop a criminal from committing crime unless he wants to. And you can’t force a man to become a better partner, unless he wants to. So if in fact your exes become better, it has less to do with something you did, and more about their own desires to grow and mature.
I think you should be less concerned about your exes and more concerned about you. If you feel you’re having a problem finding a lasting relationship with a good guy, then I suggest you do some self-reflecting and self-evaluation. Perhaps you’re a “problematic dater.” (For more information on that, click the link.) There’s also a possibility that your exes are good guys and husband material while they’re dating you, they just aren’t your perfect match. And that happens all the time. I’ve dated great guys that just weren’t meant for me. To be honest, I’m thankful things didn’t work out with them, because they released me to find my perfect match, and vice versa.
Suggestions going forward.
- Don’t be so concerned with what your exes find after you. They’re your past. If you do think about them, think about what lessons you learned from them in terms of dating and what you want and don’t want going forward.
- I didn’t address it earlier, but try not to be in the mindset “why do my exes have a man and I don’t?” At the risk of sounding like someone’s auntie, every home is not happy, and everyone that looks happy may not even be in a home. (If you’re confused, just let the words marinate a minute.)
As always nothing but love,