Buried in between all the unhealthy relationships that never turned out the way I wanted them to, in between all those heartbreaking dramatic episodes with guys that could never give me what I was so looking for, there were a few men who were what I now recognize as really healthy, relationship material kind of guys. But at the time I was just not open to seeing them that way; instead I continued to chase the unhealthy romantic fantasies about love that I had in my head.
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These were genuinely good guys who were looking for an exclusive relationship, weren't afraid of commitment, were honest, were real and didn't play games. Guys who would talk about real life everyday topics, would call when they said they were going to call, show up and plan ahead for when we would see each other so I felt confident that I was a priority, and basically treated me the way I actually wanted to be treated. But because they weren't igniting my own unhealthy chemistry indicator, or maybe because they weren't going full tilt on the romantic pursuit that made me feel so desirable and worthy, they never stood a chance.
Of course, all of them got married and started families not too long after I gave them the "it's not you, it’s me" speech, while I remained single still holding out for the one who existed only in my unhealthy fantasies. The kind of guy I considered my type.
I'll never forget the guy I found too boring (read: he was emotionally stable, financially secure and genuinely a real nice guy), but it was so even-keeled a relationship (read: healthy) that it didn't do anything for me – and so I left for California telling him there was nothing here for me. And I still didn't get it when he asked "What about me?" I simply refused to believe it could be love if there wasn't an extreme rollercoaster feel to it.
But what if I had known then what I know now? What if I had been looking for a real person to have a real relationship with instead of someone based on the unfinished business of my childhood? How much time, energy and heartbreak could I have saved myself if I had figured this out early on? Of course, I was fortunate to have finally realized that what I thought was my type was actually not going to get me to the kind of relationship that I knew I really wanted.
And you can too.