written for mamakbest.com on 2.14.13.
Fathers be good to your daughters, daughters will love like you do. And girls become lovers who turn into mothers, so mothers be good to your daughters too… John Mayer
I mean, why is John Mayer so sexy?! And What in the hell does he know about women loving the way they do? And again, Why is he so dam sexy?! I digress… I’m not here to tell you how I could be the halfie to turn John onto the dark side, but I’m here to talk about love, I mean its Valentine’s Day people! But, if you’re out there…hey John!
If my love life were a book, there wouldn’t be a ton of chapters, but they would be long! They would be intense and full of love and then they would just end. Of course as the reader, you would see it coming, then you would see the pattern, and then you would yell at my character, “You have serious issues! Get over yourself!” You see, I used to be a commitment-phobe, serial monogamist, runner! Ok, I know that’s a lot to take in at once so let me go back to the beginning, or where John thinks it began, with my parents.
My father is an abusive person. He hurt my mother physically, mentally, and emotionally and then he moved on and did this to other women, lots of other women. He left a good amount of children in his wake too, and I was no exception to his careless ways. Knowing just this small piece of my history, John (Mayer, stay with me people!) would probably say that I’d love carelessly too. But that John, he’s so smart and he knew that my Rosie (my mother) also played a key part in the way I would love. So, I grew up with my mother, and while she dated and eventually married when I was in high school, I always saw her as a single mother because the men who moved in and out of our lives where like ghosts to me. They never really participated in my growing up, financially, emotionally or otherwise. In my eyes, my Rosie raised us on her own. I watched her selflessly love and give herself to men until I’m not sure that she knew who SHE really was or what she even wanted anymore.
What does my Rosie & Tyler (my deadbeat dad) have to do with how I love? Everything, did you not read John’s lyrics?! I watched how my parents loved, not just each other because I’m certain that whatever lived between the two of them was not love, but how they attempted to love others and themselves, and I knew that this is not how I wanted to experience love. I just didn’t know how to get the love experience that I did want.
As I got older, I worked really hard on figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be and I took relationships and love really serious. John was so right! The way I loved was a true result of how I was loved and saw love growing up. We either end up just like them or completely the opposite kiddos! I chose the latter! Trying to not be like my parents turned me into a serial monogamist compounded with a phobia of commitment. I didn’t date men casually because I’m a Scorpio and we don’t love superficially, but I also didn’t want to end up like my father with quantity and no quality. And even though I was having deep and meaningful relationships, I was never truly willing to commit, out of fear that I’d end up like my mother and lose myself.
My life has been filled with great men. I’m not one of those women who complain, “there aren’t any good men left,” because I’ve had my fair share, and maybe your share too! Sorry! Despite their greatness, all of these men had a subconscious expiration date, around the two-year mark is when ish would get real, too real! Talks of the future became inevitable and I am a magnet for men who come from nuclear homes and who are ready to breed. I call them nesters: ready to buy homes, start families, and settle down, AKA build a nest! I have yet to meet a nester who hasn’t had thoughts of locking me down! I know what you’re thinking, “such a tough life!” but you know what I was thinking, “Yikes!” because that’s when the thoughts would start: “is this going to be my life for.ev.er?!” and “is he seriously the last person I’m going to have sex with?!!!!” and the scariest of them all “you’re going to lose yourself in him.” They would haunt me, then I couldn’t breathe, and then I ran! Metaphorically of course. Real running is hard.
At the age of 29 is when I hung up my running shoes, entered into a relationship that I was truly committed to and began to work on all of my flaws. I knew that I wanted children and a family one-day and I wanted these successes to come along with a healthy relationship. I was getting old-fashioned in my old age! So I really looked at why I wasn’t ever successful in a relationship and finally acknowledged that I was the common factor in all my failed endeavors. I realized my parents really did me in, and in their defense, most parents do their children in! No child comes out unscathed. They were young, sixteen kind of young, and didn’t even know who they were, let alone how they were going to shape the person that I would be. So I forgave my parents and then I forgave myself for the role I played, over and over. I admitted that I was afraid to commit and that I ran when things got real or hard.
My relationship had made it three years. See my work totally paid off; I smashed that two-year curse! And, even though he, like the others, was a good man and I was working really hard, we had a lot of life happen to us in that three, short years. I found myself more and more unhappy, not because I was losing myself, but because I wasn’t able to truly be myself. It took me a while to leave that relationship because I didn’t want to be a quitter and I didn’t want to run. But in the end, our end, was the healthiest choice and here is where I learned the lesson that I don’t know if my Rosie ever got to learn…the key to saving yourself, in the name of love, is to find & get to know yourself, so you will never be able to get lost in another.
I come to you in what I hope is the final chapter of my love life, to tell you that it turns out that our beloved John is only half correct. So here is my halfietruth: We are indeed products of our environment and while we can’t change where we came from or how we got to be here; he forgot to tell us that we can change how we allow it to govern where we go. I believe that we accept the love that we think we deserve. I knew I deserved a kind of love that was genuine, strong, and unconditional. My parents taught me that, whether they meant to or not. I know that making a change, especially in yourself, can be extremely difficult, it was for me; but who better to invest in than you? And the truth is, without knowing who you are, you are running the risk of searching for it in someone else or getting lost in who someone else is; and the love you deserve will not be found there. So on this day, when love is so symbolic and on our hearts…in our faces: on cards, on cakes, on balloons…everywhere; I hope that you choose to actively invest in yourself and getting the love that you deserve and if you don’t know where to start, let John lead the way.