Why is it that I keep attracting men who “poof?”

I can’t bring myself to go into the details of what happened this weekend.  It is still too painful, too raw, too embarrassing.  I don’t know if I can even go there at all on this blog. I plan to do some private writing to begin to try to make sense of it all.  I have been working on an epic essay about my first year as a single woman and mother and there is a whole mess of fodder here for me to add to it.  

Right now I am sitting in a hotel room full of disappointment and bitterness, with no one to blame.  I must sit with myself and the consequences of my decisions, my actions.  As much as I want to blame MoTH for begging me to come out here, for wooing me like I’ve never been wooed in my life, and then deciding that he “didn’t want to be in a relationship” as soon as he got his prize, I was the one who took the bait, who caved in and agreed to come here.  I was the one who opened my heart, believing in romance and fate and true love and all that jazz.

This experience has been a real lesson for me in taking responsibility for my own actions.  I refuse to see myself as a victim.  Many times this weekend, I cast myself in that role.  But luckily I was able to see myself doing that, and was able to take action to get out of that totally unhelpful mental state a fair amount of the time.

Tonight I sit with that feeling of “I opened up my heart to someone again and got stung.”  This time it was really bad.  I bared my heart, body, and soul to someone, I traveled 3000 miles to see him and was rejected for no reason that I can understand. There will never be a reason because he never gave one, and I am never speaking to him again to find out.  So I will have to live with a lot of unanswered questions.

The truth is that my ego is incredibly bruised.  I try to rise above such things, but I am human and the bottom line is that rejection hurts.

What really irks me is that there is such a clear pattern here: it feels like this has happened with every man I’ve dated this year (with the exception of my rebound relationship, which I ended).  

My mind wants to slap a label on it: “he’s an a$$hole and that’s all there is to it.”

But why do I keep attracting sadistic, unstable men?

Is it because I, on some level, hate myself?  Am I myself unstable?  I have felt in the past that I have “exploit me” written on my forehead, and I guess that is still the case.

I thought I had worked so much on myself, that I had come so far since the ugliest days of my separation one year ago.  I was actually proud of myself.  I had convinced myself that I was ready to be in a relationship again and that I was healthy enough to attract someone healthy.

What this experience has shown me is that I have a lot more work to do on healing myself and on growing up.  It’s so scary when you truly think your eyes are open, but indeed you have been living in illusion.  How can you rebuild trust in yourself or anyone else after you discover that you are capable of such self-deception?

I have contradictory reactions to this experience.  Part of me, of course, wants to cover up the wound by finding someone new.  But mostly I feel like giving up for a while.  To stop dating altogether.  To resign myself to being alone.  Yet I can’t let him have that much power over me - to drive this incurable romantic to lose faith in love.

What I do know is that I will not allow myself to get caught up in anything whirlwind again.  If and when someone else appears in my life, I will insist on taking things slow, excruciatingly slow, and if the guy is not OK with that - NEXT!

Also, I know that I have a bad habit of making myself too available, too accessible, to men. No wonder they lose interest in me.  I make it too easy for them.  Another mistake I won’t make again.  

My heart is on lockdown.  I am nursing the pain and the shame of this and will be retreating inside for a serious soul-search for quite a while.  I’ll still be writing here, but might also need to take more time to write privately in order to uncover what is it in me that causes me to get into these distressing scrapes.  If I don’t understand my own personal history, I will be doomed to repeat it.  I really thought I understood it, but it seems that there is more to uncover.

I write a lot about unconditional love, and while it is my ever-present aspiration, right now I am not capable of loving myself a whole ton.  I’m aware that I’m caught in a whirlwind of emotions, and I am willing to be with them as they unfold, to give them as much space as I can.  Again, I know that the lesson here is to love myself more, even if I am rejected by others.  ESPECIALLY if I am rejected by others.  I am such a resilient person and I have been through much worse than this.  With time, I will see the value even in what feels like a terrible, useless, pointless experience.  I still believe that there are no mistakes, only opportunities for deeper understanding and evolution.

What makes me smile is that I have a great ability to make the best of a bad situation. Sami and I spent over an hour tonight alternating between the hotel pool and the jacuzzi.  We splashed and played in the water and his unguarded laughter reminded me of all that is good and beautiful in this world.  In those moments I was, literally, buoyant.