Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Is Someone Getting the Best of You?

How come some girls/women let men who aren’t worthy get the best of them?

In a conversation today (I’m providing no details on the off-chance someone I know someday finds out about this blog), I learned that someone’s boyfriend is up to some shady business. Evidently, it’s apparent to everyone around except her. This girl is fantastic. She’s smart, sweet, good at her job, well-respected, pretty, etc. And yet she puts up with crap from a guy who doesn’t deserve her.

I dated the same guy through most of high school. He was nearly three years older than me – a nightmare to some parents, but given that mine were 17 years apart in age, they didn’t have much to say about it. A lot of that was because this guy was good, though. He was very smart, very responsible, totally had his life together. He treated me well, and I’m grateful for the time we spent together. We decided together to end our relationship for good after about three years, when I was a freshman in college

After him, I began dating a guy attending the same school as me, and things were great for awhile. This guy was beyond charming. In retrospect, that was the biggest thing he had going for him. I was smitten. He was the opposite of my high school boyfriend – outgoing, into concerts and parties and going out – and he showered me with attention. For awhile. Without going into a ton of detail, I eventually learned that there were other girls spending time with him, that he was experimenting with drugs and that he’d been fired from his job due to some questionable behavior. I agreed to give him a month to get his shiz together, which was not the right decision. I had to get out. Being alone was better than being loved (loved?) by someone not worthy.

When I ended it for good, I decided to leave the dorms and spend the night back at my parents’ house. I walked in the door after 11 on a Saturday night. My mom met me in the hallway and I told her I’d ended the relationship with the boyfriend. She hugged me tightly and then gave me space – she was there, ready to talk, but not pushing the issue. Eventually I spilled the details of the relationship and how it had turned south. And she told me to never settle for less than I deserve. “You have so much to offer, Kate – don’t give it to someone who won’t be grateful.” My next choice was my best choice. I began dating my husband a few months later.

One of the best things parents can do is help their children understand their value. I don’t think I’m the best at anything: I’m smart, but was never a 4.0 student; I’m strong and active, but never played on a select sports team; I’m a talented dancer, but never the star of the show. But I do know that I am valuable because I’m good and I have something to offer. A good mother instills this in her children, and so I say “thank you, Mom,” wherever you are up in heaven now.

Me with the man who was worthy.
He's also cute.

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