Let’s face it. Dating in 2018 is complicated. Whether it be the struggles brought on by social media, a lack of adequate communication skills in relationships or the constant easily accessible distractions in this generation, dating in this day and age is not as straightforward as it used to be. With that said, the last thing I wanted to do while playing the dating game is deal with the consequences of dating a man and his insecurities. Unfortunately for me, that’s exactly what I did. After that experience, I vowed to never do it again.
When we think insecure, we often think of unnecessary jealousy, controlling habits, obsessive Instagram lurking, you know, the basics. But what about the man who isn’t only insecure about the relationship, but also insecure about himself? Now I don’t mean physically, because in my case this man was gorgeous. Instead, I’m referring to the man who appears confident to the world, but deep down is dissatisfied with his place in life. The man who can’t fully support your success because he hasn’t had enough of his own. That type of man is the one I dated and it was an experience filled with dysfunction.
He started off sweet, was consistent, and we seemed to have an automatic connection. However, he flipped pretty quickly.
I’m a proud, educated, ambitious woman, and in the beginning that was one of the key reasons he seemed to be attracted to me, or so he said. But ironically enough, that was also one of the issues that caused us to go our separate ways. You see, unlike me, he wasn’t as ambitious. He wasn’t a college graduate, and although he had a job, he wasn’t on his ideal career path. But those things didn’t bother me one bit. Still, he was bothered by it, especially since he was older than me and wanted to be further along.
I’ve always been a strong believer that we all have different journeys and paths, and my path isn’t necessarily the path others should take. Therefore, our differences weren’t an automatic deal-breaker for me. I figured our connection surpassed all of that.
It didn’t take long for him to allow his circumstances to form insecurities that ultimately pushed me away. He would attempt to belittle me because of our age difference, make petty comments about guys I’ve dated and share unnecessary opinions about my college degree and what it was truly worth.
I realized he was the worst type of insecure man I could date, because his problems weren’t even something I could help him fix. Unlike in other cases of dealing with insecurity, when certain actions create self-doubt and couples can work it out through communication or noticeable changes in behavior, his uncertainty had nothing to do with me. It was all about him.
Being the naturally supportive and understanding person I am, I still attempted to subtly help him deal with his issues and see his full potential, but my efforts went completely unnoticed. From my words of encouragement to even simply communicating my opinions on ways he could go about changing things, nothing was working. After many failed attempts, I then had to come to terms with the fact that dealing with him and walking on eggshells around his feelings was becoming a job. It was a job that shouldn’t have been mine.
Why was I trying to fix this man?
I don’t know what it is about some women (myself included) who feel we have to fix all the wrongs in our partners or believe that’s a role we automatically sign up for when we agree to be involved. That is not the case.
It was not my job to help him grow through his insecurities, it was not my job to fix him and it was not my job to diminish my success to appease his ego.
I was this hard-working, determined woman with big dreams prior to dating him and I was going to remain that woman regardless of his opinions on it. He may have started off as a great guy with a great aura, but I realized he had a lot of self-development to deal with, and that he needed to work on it alone.
As much as you can be someone’s biggest cheerleader, I came to the conclusion that if they aren’t in the game to even try to win, it’s pointless.
Insecurities are something we all deal with, but we must deal with them internally. We shouldn’t expect the outside world to fix them for us and we shouldn’t punish the outside world for not feeling the way we do or for not being stuck in the much where we are. Never be ashamed of your success or dim your light to pacify anyone’s feelings. As I realized, putting yourself first is a necessity, and you owe it to yourself to respect that.
Removing myself from that situation kept me sane, secure and successful, and I hope he’s since been able to obtain these things as well.