Staff writer LeeAnn Yops discusses repeating patterns in dating and relationships.
Last week while I was talking to a friend, he told me that I always go after the same type of person – the unattainable. What is the unattainable, though? It’s not like I’m seeking out my Funky brand poster of Bon Jovi circa ’86 or that boy with the piercing blue eyes I eyed over a cup of WOP at a frat party 12 years ago or even my favorite married man with children. I guess it’s not so much the unattainable, but the unavailable. I’m not talking about unavailable as in celebrity crushes or people in happy marriages with offspring, but unavailable in mindset.
When I was in college I was all about the chase. As soon as a boy showed interest, I was no longer interested in them. As I’ve grown older these feelings aren’t quite the same, but they are still there in some form. These feelings are kind of like buying that skirt that’s on sale that is a size too small. You know realistically that you will probably never look that good in it, but you buy it, think about the “what if” and then it sits in your closet for way too long not being thrown out until the next time you move. I want to change this mentality, but how?
How do you break the pattern of going after the same person? You know what you like. For example, I love Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, but does it love me back? Nope. It just likes to add on to my fat ass. I don’t need that extra baggage. So do I try the bland, fiber cereal knowing I’ll probably just want to douse it in sugar? No, because it’s not about going after something completely different, but finding that common ground between things you can tolerate and things you want to try. Do I become an astronaut and seek a widowed vet? I’ve never dated someone like that before. I don’t know.
As much as I’d like to believe I don’t have a type, I do. My friends tell me to keep doing what I’m doing and something will eventually fall into place. Does that mean you have to make a bunch of crappy choices leading up to it? Sure, but how many is the real question. I honestly feel a part of me will always be attracted to the unavailable. The chase can be fun, but when it comes down to it I think a lot of those chases were because I was unavailable too. I’m not getting any younger. Maybe I’ll take the advice of MJ and start with that (wo)man in the mirror. He may have been talking about starving children, but I’m talking about my starving dating life. What’s more important here? If anything, I need to learn to make that change or force my friend to sing “Man in the Mirror” to himself in the mirror again. It’s very entertaining.