Monday, August 30, 2010

I'll Never Be Your Option

"Don't let someone become a priority in your life when you are just an option in theirs."

So I saw this quoted today and it felt like someone had thrown a Shuriken (ninja throwing star) at me. And it stuck. I can actually still feel the mark where it lodged in. Yeah, it sucks.

I'm guilty of this one BIG TIME. So... it's time to blog.

I suck at dating. I'll admit that readily. I'm a wonderful friend and an amazing girlfriend. I'm witty, charming, and downright adorable sometimes... but friends & boyfriends...well they know me. And to know me is to love me. But then comes the problem for me... how do you get there?

I'm an incredibly outgoing person. I'll talk to anyone. I'll be sassy and playful and intriguing. But I'll only let you in so far. You see, I'm also incredibly guarded. I'll keep a million people on the surface of my life, but for you to actually get in. Now that's a challenge. But once you're in... you're in deep. My gut's telling me that's this has something to do with why that quote jabbed me.

I've seen this pattern with the last few guys in my life. They show interest, I hold them at bay for a bit because well I have some really big walls. Even if I feel it, I struggle really hard with showing my interest in someone (aka being vulnerable) until I'm 100% sure they're into me. Now comes the problem. This causes some guys (maybe the good ones?) to assume I'm disinterested. They bolt. Then there's those are willing to wait and stick around. They lay low, keep it casual, give me time. But my experience lately is that those who do stick around and wait might just have some other options on the side. Unfortunately, I didn't really notice this until recently.

Instead, for some reason, I assumed that if they stuck around and waited, they must really be care about me and want to get to know me better. (Yeah, not so much.) Logically, I know people date around until they find that right person and something clicks. For me, it takes awhile to click so the pattern is, they stick around, I let down my guard, and I begin to care. And once I care, they become a priority. But since I didn't really show my interest or push for exclusivity early, we're now in a pattern of casual yet somehow I got attached. Next thing I know, I'm wondering how I became an option. Didn't they use the time to figure out they wanted me too? Oh no, see they took the time to figure out that they didn't have to choose... CRAP!

I know realistically, you're not going to meet someone and just instantly know they're "the one" you want to be with. That happens occasionally in dating, but generally it takes awhile to get to know someone and figure it out. So how do you know when to transition from option to priority? It seems no matter what a guy says when I first meet him, once we get down the line there is a line of excuses from "I don't have time for a full relationship but when I do..." to "I need time to figure out what's best for us." I'm so not the girl who likes to push. I don't want to force a guy into a relationship with me and I'm damn sure not going to give a guy an ultimatum to make him choose me. If he isn't going to choose me of his own accord, I'll move on first. And I have...time and time again. But sadly, it's only after I've realized that somehow I let them become my priority and while I somehow slipped into being an option.

I'm not quite sure how to balance it. I don't know quite how to navigate when we should have made the transition to priority vs. when I need to cut and run. But I do know I'm not willing to be anyone's option. I'm not ever going to be okay with being someones "B" or "C". If that's the case, I'll remove myself from his list. Period. I need to be with someone who chooses me and stops the list there.

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