With a subject like this it is no wonder why this page has been blank for a week. I am hardly a person to give advice to anyone but I must say, I am quite the scholar on this subject. There is just this one thing.. Who wants to really reflect on their past mistakes, let alone write about it for everyone to see? I normally like to do it the old fashioned way and forget about it. But after downing two glasses of wine and watching about 6 episodes of Sex and the City, I have decided that I am ready to share a bit. I am ready to talk about my experiences with toxic men and why I believe we are, or have found ourselves to be, attracted to these creatures.
At the ripe age of 24 I have had quite the experience. The cheater, the guy who threatens to take his life if you leave, the guy who commits but doesn’t (ladies you know what I mean), the emotionally unavailable men, manipulators, etc. Put them all together and what do they have in common? Me. When dissecting relationships, it is easier to pin point where it all went wrong with the ones who did you wrong, this is true. But it is harder to dissect yourself. To look in the mirror and question your own actions, your own decisions. To notice a pattern holds a lot of pressure because now your newfound awareness is owed a solution. It is said that ignorance brings about bliss. So, instead, what most of us do is put our focus on these men who have broken our hearts. The reality is that we owe ourselves more than these men could ever owe us, we have been breaking our own hearts. Maybe we are toxic too.
The day I decided I was done I didn’t think I really pondered too much about it, I always thought of it as a strong moment for me, just acting on instinct and moving on. Yet, as I think back to that moment now, I can vividly remember the feeling I had in stomach, or even worse, in my heart. The man who broke the camels back was probably the most insignificant man of my life thus far, meaning he was no one to expect the world from. I had known that from the day I met him. But that is the thing about toxicity. You break down the more and more you are exposed to it, until one day it just takes you. I tried to make myself okay with a situation that was far less than I deserved, to say the very least. When it all blew up and I was left with the ashes, I had this disappointment in myself, a feeling I had never had before (surprisingly). I did something that was very rare for me, I allowed myself to cry. The ugly face, puffy eyed cry. It wasn’t just any cry, I was crying tears that amounted for years. I was tired of unrewarding love. I couldn’t possibly allow myself to give any more to anyone else before giving to myself. I owed myself so much lost time and I was ready for the work. So I cried, for a few hours, never wanting to feel that way again, and then decided to break those patterns. I was finished with toxic men but most importantly, I was done exposing myself to them.
So, the big question is why do we do it? Why do we fall for these men who we know are bad for us? Many people would love to insert the answer, daddy issues here. But I think we can do better than that. I believe we may have daddy issues that, yes, may put us through a phase with the bad boys. We are all a little curious about the bad boys and to be frank, the human mind is keen on wanting what we cannot have at times. Eventually, we grow up and slip out of it. The ones who fail to slip out of it, who turn it into a lifestyle, may need a deeper explanation, I’m afraid.
I cannot pretend to know one answer that applies to all, but I have been thinking about relationships a lot lately. I’ve been wondering, how do some people find the good ones versus the bad ones? Is it just straight luck? As I start thinking of all my pursuits versus the successful pursuits of some of my friends, I realize it isn’t about luck at all. It is all about mental placement. How you place yourself in your head is how you insert yourself into the world. Women who have mastered self improvement or who have little to no self esteem issues do meet bad men too, (no one can control meeting bad versus good). But, the difference is this, they see red flags and they run. If you view yourself of worthiness, you only apply yourself to things that are worth your time. The women who see themselves in the highest regard are not wasting time with toxic men, they know what they deserve and do not think twice about it.
Though this may seem like an obvious answer as to why women choose toxic men, I promise it can get deeper. Before mastering self work and improvement, it is safe to say that you are lost. You have this void that you are trying to fill, subconsciously. Unfortunately, you fill that void with temporary pleasures that are disguised to you as life solving answers. The truth of the matter is this, if you are choosing toxic men over and over again, you are not looking for love. You just may be looking to be wanted. People who have not began the work of loving themselves do not seek to be loved, they are seeking to be desired. We all seek to be desired, it is a natural emotional response in life, but when we are ready, we reach a certain point when we want to take it further. It is impossible for any individual to take it further or to be capable of looking for love without knowing what love is first. If love does not come from your own definition that you set for yourself, then how could any one else define it for you? That also explains why some women tend to push away those good guys that aren’t toxic but have bushy eyebrows, or who seem “too available”, or are “too nerdy”. No, you are not looking for the guys that could actually love you, you are too busy being picky, you are not ready for them yet. You are looking for the emotionally unavailable men because they already lack the thing you are not ready for. If you are not ready to love yourself then you are not ready to receive love from anyone else. These toxic guys come along and in the back of your mind you know they are no good, but you go for it anyways. You are curious, you want to see if you can change them, take on a project. But your hopefulness is a lie to yourself and you know it. You block yourselves from your potential blessings because you would rather try to fix anyone but you. If you do not believe me then ask around for yourself. Go to any female who has worked on themselves, began loving themselves, and see if they have ever resulted back with a toxic man. You won’t find one.
We all have our share of bad men, we cannot control bad people. What we can control is how we deal with them and what we allow. Having a bad dating experience is one thing, but having a handful of toxic relationships is another. It is no longer something that just happened to you, it now becomes something you are choosing. Choose to love yourself. Choose to reflect inward and become your own project. Leave these toxic men to have to be their own projects as well, stop enabling them. Inner work is sexy and necessary. Allow yourself to have a real shot at love and let it begin with you.