Jealousy is never a good look and it’s all I wore.
Jealousy over others relationships is a feeling I used to be far too familiar with. I’ve been single for about 6 or 7 years now and I just found out this morning the last guy I dated is actually getting married next weekend.
I’ve dated on and off for years, gone after men who were no good for me too many times to count. I found myself with men who were emotionally unavailable far too often, who kept slipping the words “my ex” into conversations while we laid in bed. I’d stay with them though because I didn’t want to be alone. I’d stay even if I knew I wasn’t the only one they were spending their time with because I wanted to pretend I had what everyone else had – someone who cared about me.
It was no secret they didn’t care about me. I knew these guys didn’t care about me and I knew that they were just filling the time until the next person came along. I knew it was only a matter of time before things would fizzle out and I’d be left swiping on Tinder again, if I even stopped in the first place. That doesn’t mean I didn’t care about them, it doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt when it ended and it sure as hell doesn’t mean getting over them was easy while trying to move on to someone new.
I’d look at other people’s relationships and feel insecure about love and myself. Feelings of jealousy, insecurity and fear would flood my mind. I’d constantly question why I wasn’t good enough or why no one loved me. I felt I wasn’t good enough to make someone want to stay. I would get so wrapped up and worried because I’ve been single for so long and I didn’t see any sign of that changing.
It made me hate myself, which is what started the self-crippling cycle of dating shitty men. The only thing I could feel was self-pity in a world of perfect Instagram relationships. It seemed like half of my friends were getting engaged, married, buying houses, having children, traveling together – everything that I wanted that I wasn’t experiencing.
Everything became negative in my life. My mindset became toxic. All I’d talk about is how I’m alone, my self-deprecating humor became exhausted and I wasn’t fun to hang out with. I’d become attached to guys too quickly who didn’t care about me. I’d change who I was to try to be who I thought they wanted me to be. I felt too big, too much, too out of place, like I didn’t belong anywhere with anyone. Everything about me was wrong, so I needed to change it. Jealousy is never a good look and it’s all I wore.
I wanted to have someone to talk about, someone to make me seem like my life isn’t so empty and that’s what I tried to do for so long. I tried to make something out of nothing. I tried to convince someone to stay but I eventually learned beginning someone to stay is only prolonging their leaving.
I was venting to my friend about how everything was terrible, how I stopped hearing from another guy, how I didn’t understand why this kept happening and it pushed her to her breaking point with me.
“Shut the fuck up.” She said, without a hint of reservation or remorse. And in that moment I knew I needed to change.
So I did, and here’s how…
- I realized I was the toxic person in my life and started working with a life coach. I was bringing everyone else down with my terrible attitude on life and men. Instead of silently suffering from my choices I was choosing to drag everyone else down with me, which is absolutely not fair. I started talking to a life coach (if anyone needs any recommendations, I have the BEST one) and we really worked on adjusting my mindset about myself and dating. She made me aware of tendencies I had, like that I’d fall for men I probably wouldn’t like otherwise when I had sex with them before really knowing them. Having someone unbiased to work through things like this can be very rewarding.
- I accepted being single. I knew I wasn’t going to find the right person by putting all that negativity out into the world. I was looking for someone to fill my void, someone to post a photo with on Instagram and show off to the world. I wanted to stop feeling jealous of all my friends and their relationships. I cared more about not being alone than I did about being happy, and that’s where I went wrong. Dating those men made me feel like I was even more alone than I would have felt if I just accepted where I was at and being alone. I changed my mindset to accept that being single isn’t a bad thing and I made a conscious decision to just start having fun. I started dating with no expectations. I started going into dates with the idea that maybe I won’t like them and that’s okay. I don’t have to like everyone and everyone doesn’t have to like me, and that’s absolutely fine! Once I adjusted my mindset everything felt lighter and easier.
- I accepted that I did deserve love. I told myself I did deserve love, that I was enough the way I am, I learned to love my body and learned to love myself. Every day isn’t easy, it’s a process I continue to work on. I stopped changing myself and once I started accepting who I am I realized I could be happy for others instead of feeling overwhelmed with jealousy from lacking what others had.
Transitioning out of this mindset and changing my toxic behaviors wasn’t easy. For months I struggled with finding myself falling back into old habits but each month I saw progress. Slowly but surely I stopped dating assholes and started dating men who would treat me the way I knew I deserved deep down, which led me to my current boyfriend who is an absolute angel.
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