Identity

5 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Even though I wrote this almost a year ago on July 16, 2012, this was a pivotal learning for who I am today. And while the relationship I speak of ended (and I'm no longer in LA), I am so grateful for him and that experience. 


Men are supposed to take the lead. That is what society told me for 27 years. Let him be a manTherefore, it is not surprising that I mold myself into the person I date. I try to fit my life perfectly into their life…their dreams become mine and their needs come first. I’m starting to realize that isn’t how it works (and why I was so unhappy). I shudder to think where I would be if I hadn’t left my past relationships.

Yes, I am currently the cliche girl sitting at Starbucks with her laptop onMelrose in Los Angeles, but at least I am doing something for me…instead of sitting above a tractor in the-middle-of-nowhere, Tennessee watching a movie onVHS with an active mouse trap in the hallway.

We girls all know the famous Sex and the City line in which Carrie laments to her therapist that all of her exes were wrong for her. And the therapist responds with, “The thing they have in common is you…maybe you are picking the wrong men.” We all rolled our eyes because that was such an easy answer…and simple. But it gives us second pause because it’s true.

I never knew why I was unlucky in love. I couldn’t figure out what made them wrong for me. And then finally I had an epiphany this weekend about the common thread all of my exes have. They were/are closed-minded.

My biggest issue in past relationships was that they were convinced that their life views were the one and only way. The correct way. They had this attitude that any other lifestyle is simply wrong…and I needed to be taught their way, the “right” way. It’s insane. (Then again, of course someone so aimless would be attracted to someone so pointed.)

It came to me when someone asked me what made my current relationship different from the rest. And therein lay the answer. He lets me be me. Granted, this revelation is a little late. And perhaps I wouldn’t have had this discovery had I not yet experienced a good relationship. (And since I am currently happily in a relationship, this newfound wisdom will go unused.)

But what I can learn from this (and share) is that those silly little cliche sayings are true. You really can’t change someone, you should know who you are before you fall in love, and you can’t fault someone if they want something different out of life. You need a partner and that requires shared interests and beliefs. Instead of getting angry at a person for not sharing what you believe, find another person. Skip the drama. It doesn’t mean that they are “bad”, it just means they aren’t for you. You can’t convince someone that the flower is blue when it’s red.

Originally posted: http://memtolax.com/2012/07/16/identity/

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