Post # 1
This is kind of a follow-up from all of my recent posts but I’m struggling with this one. How do you forgive yourself for letting someone waste your time? I knew my last relationship (2 years) was a waste probably around the year-ish mark. Maybe before. Yet I stayed for another year, constantly thinking of breaking up with him, but fearing being alone and wishing things would get better.
I’m really angry with myself for letting someone so shitty (he treated me like absolute crap the 2nd year) stay in my life.
How do you forgive yourself? I feel like I’ve wasted so much time. And my relationship before that was 10 years which also had some major red flags at a certain point.
I’m going to be 33 in a month and I can’t help but think I’m alone b/c of my own fault. Any advice would be appreciated. I wish I could go back 10 years. I feel like I’ve done it all wrong.
Post # 2
I would see it this way: if I already felt that a whole year or more of my time had been wasted, then I have no time to spare sitting around being mad at myself.
What is the point? What purpose does it serve to be mad at yourself? I can’t see one. Lesson(s) learned, move on. Otherwise you’ll end up being mad at yourself for wasting time being mad at yourself. When does it end?
Instead you should be learning your value, to trust to your intuition, to act when you see red flags, to know that you have a right to certain expectations, boundaries, agreements and understandings that you require in a relationship. To know the difference between compromise in a relationship and compromising yourself, your values or needs for a relationship. If you haven’t already sorted that stuff out this would be a much better use of your time.
With a 10 year and a 2 year relationship under your belt already at your young age it sounds like you haven’t spent much time single and dating. You are plenty young, my advice is to date, date a lot, date lots of different types. It’s a learning process, a discovery mission and can take a lot of work to find your life companion. You are still plenty young and you never know when or where you’ll meet the right guy. But you have to get out there to find him. So do the personal work needed to be ready to know him when you see him. Don’t feel hopeless or out of time, it’s just not the case. And stop being so hard on yourself, it’s not helpful in any way.
Post # 3
Thank you for your reply. I had tried to be so selective before the 2 year one. I went on 15 dates before I met him and he had checked all the boxes (at first). Since he broke up with me (in January) I’ve sorted through I’m sure a thousand profiles, talked with a ton, went on 8 dates and not even one I’d see for a 2nd date.
Everything I said I wouldn’t tolerate before I ended up bending on b/c I didn’t want to be alone and I never want to do that again. I guess hindsight is 20/20 but I look at some of my friends in their 40s who are still alone and I don’t want that to be me.
I know I have to be gentle and nice with myself and forgive my mistakes but it’s hard. I hope I haven’t missed “the one” when I was wasting time with the last one, you know what I mean?
Post # 4
I let someone treat me shitty for 7 years. Just be thankful you’re way smarter than I was!
Post # 5
One, I have gratitude that I did get out. Two, I’ve dug more into why I stayed and understanding those motivations and having empathy for myself at that point in my life. At least in my experience, this doesn’t happen for no reason. Also know that it’s human nature to stick with the status quo even if it doesn’t serve us (there is a whole behavioral economics principle around this) so in some ways it’s just our irrational mind and going against inertia can be harder than you think.
Post # 6
I struggled with this. I was with my exH for a total of 7.5 years before I could finally force myself to leave. I sometimes still regret wasting all of those years of my life with him….but then I think about how much I learned and grew from that experience.
Try not to live with regrets and use it as a learning experience and don’t repeat the same mistake again.
Never go into a relationship hoping someone will change.
Post # 7
Everyone goes through life on their own path. Give some thought to why you are more afraid of being alone than being in a bad relationship – that is at the core of why you stay too long. Once you get a handle on your fear of being on your own and the work you’ve already done and will keep doing to overcome it, you will be kinder to yourself and forgive yourself for staying too long.
There isn’t only one “the one.” There are many people we could be compatible with. In the meantime, enjoy being young, healthy and free of encumbrances, like a bad relationship, to do anything you want. Gaining confidence in yourself and enjoying the life you have, with or without a guy, is your reward for recognizing that you would rather be on your own than in a bad relationship.
Post # 8
I think your problem is trying too hard because you’re, by your own admission, afraid to be alone. When you can’t be happy single and independent, you start settling, over-looking red flags, trying too hard to make an unsuitable relationship work simply because you don’t want to be alone &/ or don’t want to start the ‘looking for someone’ process all over again.
So my advice would be to focus on yourself. Learn not to be afraid or being alone, embrace your independence. Focus on trying to live your best life in ways that aren’t attached to dating and relaiotnships. I think you may suprise yourself at how independent and fulfilled you’re actually capable of being.
Then, if you end up in a relationship, it will be because someone truly amazing and wonderful has entered your already happy and fulfilling life and you want them to be part of your life. But you won’t settle for anyone who isn’t right for you or doesn’t treat you right- because you’re not trying to fill a void so you don’t need to settle and you’ll set the bar so much higher.
Post # 9
Thanks guys, I appreciate your replies. @crustyoldbee you nailed it when you said didn’t want to start looking for someone all over again. I remember at the end of the relationship thinking exactly that. I dreaded the thought of the horrible online dating process and wanted to avoid it at all costs. Here I am single and doing it again anyway lol.
And thank you for saying there’s more than one “the one”. You’re right, and I need to remind myself more often.
You guys are great, thank you for listening xx
Post # 10
I recently cut off all contact with a man I “dated” for 1.5 years and I knew from about 2 weeks in that he wasn’t going to commit to a relationship. I went on a few dates during the time that I was with him, but he made me feel guilty when I tried. He said that he wouldn’t commit to me because I wouldn’t “focus” on him. Finally, I had enough, I told him that I did not have any more time to invest in him and I blocked him. Be kind to yourself!
Post # 11
pinkglitter2017 : Yet I stayed for another year, constantly thinking of breaking up with him, but fearing being alone and wishing things would get better.
Bee just ask yourself this question…..In the future, will you allow yourself to stay in an unhappy relationship out of fear of being alone ever again? If the answer is no, count this as an invaluable experience worth the two years you spent on it. Sometimes it takes marinating in that environment for a while to get the lesson that this experience isn’t healthy and you need to leave it. I call it “being sick & tired of being sick and tired” and that’s the catalyst for positive change.
If your answer is yes/probably/idk, then you need the extra help of therapy to get you to a healthier state. This is just life bee and pretty much all humans experience what you have. It takes some longer than others to learn. You got it in two years while others take 5, 8, or 10 years to get to that point. Either way if it encourages you to seek help it wasn’t all bad and you can accept it as your learning experience. Pass the lesson on to someone else so maybe they can avoid making the same mistakes okay?
Post # 12
1. Such extreme avoidance of being alone allowed you to stay much too long with the wrong guy which only delayed finding the right guy. This was entirely counter productive. So you have to get past this avoidance of being alone but I think you know that.
2. Try not thinking of it in terms of missing the “one”. Try thinking of it in terms that there are multiple suitable companions out there in the world for you. It’s just a matter of bumping into the right one at the right time. Because just like being mad at yourself is a waste of time so is worrying that you’ve missed the only “one” for you on the planet a waste of time. If we all truly only had one soulmate in the world the vast majority of us would never find him or her. Since there’s millions of happy relationships it can’t be the case that it works that way – the whole “the one” way.
Don’t think about being alone in your 40’s. That is so far off. You could easily be married with kids (assuming you want them) by the time you’re 40. You need to start living in the present. You’ve talked about living in the past (angry with yourself/regret) and living in the future also in a negative way (worry about being alone). This will not help you with your goal of companionship. And you deserve to be happy now! And if not gloriously happy, at least not burdened with all this stuff of the past and future worry.
Build your life to suit your current status. Which is a young single woman. Design your life in a way that you enjoy that status. Through the friendships you keep, through your hobbies, etc. Learn to enjoy the great freedom being single offers. Most coupled people do miss this or feel nostalgic for it from time to time, it is a beautiful thing that you deserve to enjoy.
You have to find a way to be content with your single life or else you’ll repeat the same mistake of settling for less, compromising yourself just to stay in a relationship that ultimately fails anyway all because you don’t want to be alone.
Post # 13
There is no ‘one’. The world is full of many different types of people and you probably could be happy with a substantial number of them, given an open enough mind.
You are 33. You still have time. You didn’t waste anything, you learned a lesson. Now you’ll know to cut bad relationships off. I know what it’s like to wish for a do-over, but you are the person you are now because of those years, and you will eventually meet someone who makes it all worth it.
I know there’s always a possibility it won’t happen, but honestly given your past posts I feel you are being too picky and when you are willing to date guys outside of your self-imposed parameters you will find decent men. And again, there are a lot of men who are less attractive but driven, successful, and kind. There are shorter men who are romantic and affectionate. Etc. Look for men that other women tend to pass over and you’ll find a ton of great guys. My cousin is gorgeous and she married a man who was not very attractive, and it was sort of a surprise until I got to know him. That guy is just incredible…so talented, smart, kind, and pretty successful. She definitely got lucky.
Post # 15
The best way to come to terms with this is to not do it again. You’ve wasted time in two different relationships that have resulted in you single at 33, and not where you want to be. If you had done things differently, there’s no guarantee that you’d be in a different relationship or you’d be married now, but these long term wasted time relationships certainly made it more likely you’d be single now and not happy.
So, from now own, be relationship goal oriented. Establish what you’re looking for from a partner in the first 2-3 dates. Don’t waste time. If someone isn’t treating you well, end it – don’t waste your time. If they can’t commit in a timely manner (1-2 years at your age), then leave – don’t waste time.
Don’t let these relationships define and determine your life. Learn from them. Change the behavior. Work toward your own happiness.
Post # 16
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I feel as though over time, you will naturally just stop blaming yourself because what is done is done. The most important thing to do is focus on you and the here and now. I changed the way I thought about meeting someone, whilst I had blips where I was like, ‘there’s no one else’ or ‘I can’t go through it all again’ I started thinking about how exciting life was…I was only 28 and I was like – I get to restart and find a good person now rather than feeling like I was trapped in a shitty, unhappy relationship before. Thank god.
You say you’re almost 33 – Bee, that’s great! You still have a future ahead of you – lots of years to find a decent human being and someone who is happy and excited to be with you and you get to experience something better. Rather than keep looking back and regretting – put all your energy into looking ahead and enjoying it.
I had to just sit and think about how I got over the ‘Why did I stay…why did I think he was the one’ the simple truth is, I just stopped looking back, I took what I needed to, learnt from it and then start living your life. You don’t know what’s around the corner and that’s exciting – for me, it turned out to be a mucher nicer, kinder and much more good looking man – who treats me so well and doesn’t make me feel shit at all.
I know you feel like you want to start all over again but you can. You just need to choose when to do it and let go of all that came before.
Good luck x