Practice Makes Perfect (But Only If You Learn From Your Mistakes)

Do you ever look at men that you dated before and think to yourself, why? Like, honestly … why? Why, oh why? Okay, enough of the why’s now.

But seriously though, why? What was going through my mind when I thought some of those dudes in my past were a good idea? Some of them weren’t bad looking at the time, obviously, and have just gone downhill with age. But some of them … Some of them never had any hope. Ugh. Seriously, why?!

This all stems from that whole ‘people you may know’ can of worms I opened the other day. You know, when I was talking about those couples with their matching Facebook accounts and how pathetic I think it really is. Guess who was there, in that list … Oh yeah, Brown Eyes. But not his regular account. Oh no. I didn’t have a clue about this new account. I know about the multiple Instagram accounts. But not multiple Facebook accounts. This man really does have too much time on his hands.

I know I was hung on up him for a really long time, and now I really can’t understand why. I think that about a lot of the men I’ve dated over the years, and The Director was another of them. He popped up in the ‘people you may know’ too. Twice. Y’know … because no one has just the one social media account these days. Apparently we’re all rocking two, three, four, Lord knows how many. Could we be any more stalker-like?

Looking back now though, I’m struggling to understand what I saw in them in the first place. The Director wasn’t a bad looking bloke, but Brown Eyes? He was far from an oil painting, let me tell you that. But at the start, these people were beautiful to me. As I found out more about them and their sneaky, underhand and cowardly ways, they became less and less attractive. Isn’t it funny, the power a personality can have over how attractive someone is?

Bear saw a photo of Jock the other day and started asking questions. He told me that he was trying to understand what the connection was, because he didn’t see us a “couple”. I was trying to remember how I felt when Jock was around. How I felt about the way he looked. Whether or not I found him attractive. You know, physically attractive.

I know Jock wasn’t a good looking bloke. He was short, dumpy, always had the weirdest hair and facial hair styles because he liked to be controversial like that, and couldn’t dress well to save his life. For the most part, he was a mess, but I loved him anyway. I’m sure of it. And the good news is, I’m now so far over him that I can look back over our time together and smile. I’m no longer bitter or twisted, and I’m not entirely sure when that happened. Maybe it happened when Bear came along and I fell in love again? Real love, not lust. Not obsession that gets confused with love. Real love.

I don’t know why I pick the men I do. I have no clue what leads me to the conclusion that they are great people to date. The Director, for example, wouldn’t have been in my life for long, being the heavy drinker he was. I’ve been entirely tee-total for not long off a year now. It just wouldn’t have been a good idea. You all know how much of a slutty monster I turn into when I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine … But why did I think that Brown Eyes was a good idea? He didn’t even have a job. No job, kids who could only stand him on a part-time basis, and multiple mental health problems that he just wouldn’t address. I know you guys all think he’s just a cunt, but I think he needs help. I think he’s in denial. I think that he knows something is wrong but he just doesn’t want to admit it. Not that it matters, he’s no longer my problem, thank fuck.

And that’s the thing – he really isn’t my problem anymore. I don’t care about him. When I saw his photo come up, I wasn’t even really filled with hatred, or disgust, or anything close to negativity. I just laughed. I laughed because I felt sorry for him. Not even sorry for him, that’s still too strong. But to have that much time on your hands that you can have so many different social media accounts … Well, I’d kill for that. I barely have enough time to check Twitter regularly.

Do you want to know what I think? Of course you do, you wouldn’t be here otherwise. I think that our dating life is just a serious of lessons. We’re not figuring out what we DO want, because I don’t think anyone really knows what they want. But we are figuring out what we DON’T want, and when I look back over my dating history like that, things don’t seem quite so depressing. I now know that I can’t date someone who drinks. I also know that I should trust my gut instinct more. I know that people only deserve so many second chances. But I’ve also figured out some other stuff too – lots of things that I DON’T like. That’s what’s brought me to Bear.

If Bear and I were to ever break up, and I seriously hope to fuck it doesn’t happen, would I look back over our time together and think, WHY? Maybe I would, but I don’t think so. On paper, he’s probably not the right man for me. The guy with serious mental health issues. The guy with kids, a couple of which he doesn’t even talk to. The guy who’s unreliable. The guy who’s had a really hard time in life, and has made some huge mistakes too. If we were talking about how this looks on paper … well, I probably wouldn’t have gone on a date with him in the first place.

But now look at things from a different perspective, because I have. I know that I don’t want a drug addict, because I’ve already dated one of those. I don’t want a man who drinks, because I’ve already dated more than a few of those and it’s never gone well. I don’t want a man who will cheat on me, because I’ve already dated one of those. Scrap that, a few. Not just one. I don’t want a man who will beat me, for all the same reasons. I don’t want a man who belittles me. I don’t want a man who doesn’t understand basic manners. I don’t want a man who can’t take care of me if I need him to … I could keep going for a while with this list, but the short version of the story is this – Bear doesn’t have any of the traits that I don’t want. He’s never laid a hand on me, and I genuinely, hand on heart, 100% don’t think he EVER would. The way he touches me, the way he treats me … I believe him when he says I’m like all of his Christmasses have come at once, and if he’s lying, he’s a damn good fucking liar. The best.

He gave up drinking for me. For us. I’m not counting, but it’s been almost 7 months. We haven’t had a single hiccup. He’s either doing really well and trying really hard, or he’s the world’s best liar. I don’t think it’s the latter.

In the same breath, I don’t think he would ever cheat on me. Pretty much for all of the reasons I listed above. He’s well mannered. He doesn’t treat me like shit. In fact, he treats me like a queen, which is something I definitely DO want. I deserve to be treated like that because I like to think that’s how I treat my man. Well, perhaps not a queen, but at least a king.

He gets my sense of humour. I don’t aways get his, but we’re working on that. He gets me. He gets my good moods, and my bad too. He understands when I need space. And if he doesn’t understand, he tries to. He asks questions. We actually talk, and not just about the bullshit, but about serious and sensible things too. This is the most grown-up relationship I’ve ever had, for something that should be so fucked up on paper. For once, I have nothing to worry about. I have nothing to rant about. I have nothing that makes me want to cry, scream and shout, or pack my bags and leave, if only for angry effect.

I don’t even know what I’m trying to say in this post. It feels like I’ve tried to make a thousand different points in one post, which definitely goes against blogging 101 I’m sure. But that’s just what I’m thinking today. The 40-odd men in my dating history … those are all men I’ve worked out I don’t want. And now I’ve come to a man who doesn’t tick any of the don’t-wants, and does tick almost all of the do-wants. Even a few of the do-wants I didn’t even know I wanted.

I guess, in a funny sorta way, I’m kinda saying that all exes are exes for a reason. They are versions of what you don’t want. Mark one, mark two, mark three … right the way up to mark 40-something, if you’re like me. Like making something out of clay, over and over again until you finally get it right. But you need to learn lessons. Practice makes perfect but only if you learn from your mistakes. If you don’t, practice just makes for heartache and pain.

I like those words. I wish I could go back and tell them to my twenty-something self. 

Practice Makes Perfect

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