Let me first say that I intended to write this months ago but somehow time got away from me (ahem, life). I left you with Part III, The F**kery back in March where I recapped my experience and that of a few friends. I would definitely recommend reading Part I and Part II, The Men’s Perspective, but don’t worry you can jump in now and read those later. There are 5 main points that I want to touch on that made the rest of the (dating) year memorable…
Lesson #1 – Not Being Able To Say Goodbye
My high school sweetheart passed away in July and it was not easy. We dated from my freshman year in high school through my freshman year in college. He was my first love, but he was also an awful boyfriend (lol). I laugh at it now because we were so young… and so crazy. He tried to reach out over the years but I am stubborn and when I’m done, I’m done. I realize now how foolish I was because although he was not a good BF, he always had my back and was very protective of me. I knew that if I was in trouble that he would be there. When we broke up, I also broke up with his family… not because I wanted to but because I knew that if I kept them in my life it would be harder to get him out of my system. And I LOVED his family, everyone from his mama, to his big sister, to his brothers, nephews, cousins, etc.
Sometimes we forget that we aren’t just dating the person, we’re dating their family and beginning a series of memories with them… and I had built a lot of memories. The funeral felt like a family reunion and a boo-hoo’ed (then prayed, then cried some more) when I got home. Not just because I missed his family, not just because he was my first love, not just because I was stubborn and didn’t talk to him when he tried to reach out, but also because I realized I was still not far from his mind (and I have to admit that he crossed my mind over the years).
When we first broke up he kept trying to contact me. I told him that if he really loved me that he would leave me alone and let me move on in peace, and he did for about 5 years which I truly appreciated. And for the last decade he tried to reach out a few times, but in true Beth fashion I ignored him. So how did I know that I still wasn’t far from his mind after all this time? When I was introduced to his 11-year-old son and he blurted out that my name was all of his daddies passwords… I would like to give myself a gold star for not bursting out in tears right then and there.
This lesson was the absolute hardest this year and makes everything else look insignificant. When I look back on what we went through, and how young we were, I realized way too late that none of it was that important too never be able to talk to him again.
Sometimes we forget that we aren’t just dating the person, we’re dating their family and beginning a series of memories with them…
Lesson #2 – Keeping The Past in The Past
This was a funny lesson because I knew better but did it anyway (smh at myself). I started up again with an ex from many, many moons ago and somehow thought that he had changed. Well, the reality is that not everyone changes over the years… he was still him but it took me a very short time to figure that out. When we ended again, I was upset but after about 48 hours I realized that I wasn’t upset about it ending… I was upset that I knew better but did it anyway. Some people absolutely change and others don’t, he definitely matured in some aspects but in others my mind was blown at his mentality. Yes, I am admitting that I did something stupid but luckily I am able to laugh at my own stupidity. #life
… the reality is that not everyone changes over the years…
Lesson #3 – Ignore the Bullsh*t
People will say and do things emotionally and irrationally when they are not getting what they want from you. They will TRY to provoke a response or a reaction. Do not lower yourself to meet them where they are. Do not allow their bad energy to tamper with yours. Do not allow their insanity to change you. Do not waste your time trying to explain things that should be common sense when we know common sense is uncommon.
Everything you think does not need to be said, being able to stay silent is a gift. Being able to not respond to someone’s tirades, improper statements, and misinformation (even when you think it’s purposeful) is a blessing. Do yourself a favor and rise above other people’s bullsh*t, always and in all ways.
Do yourself a favor and rise above other people’s bullsh*t…
Lesson #4 – Self-Reflection
You may recall the guy from the “drug deal” in Part III, unfortunately I’ve had to resort to blocking him on Facebook, my phone, and on email. And these are all things that I didn’t expect to do…
Here’s the deal, if someone doesn’t want to be with you and they tell you why, sometimes you just have to accept it. Don’t make excuses for your bad behavior, just apologize. Trying to build a case for why I shouldn’t feel the way I feel or trying to convince me how what I’m feeling is incorrect by polling people (including your mama), and going on tirades does not help your case, it makes you look crazy as hell. CRAZY. AS. HELL. But I know better to argue with fools, ignoramuses, prideful, or crazy people especially when you know that they are just coming from an emotional or irrational place. Sometimes people just prove who they are, how they don’t get it, and how crazy they are without you doing or saying a thing.
The old Beth would have sent responses reminiscent of a dissertation including text message screenshots as examples and reference points to correct the slew of misinformation and buffoonery that his communications started to entail, however at this age who has time for that? I used to feel the need to respond and correct information to ensure me and the other person were on the same page, and that I was clear in what I was saying because communication is important to me. But the older and wiser Beth knows that it’s easier to block and ignore once you realize that what the person needs is beyond anything that you can give… and is a complete waste of your time. Some people don’t get it because they don’t want to or because they are mentally incapable of self-reflection, save yourself the frustration and realize that it’s not your job to help people that are toxic to you.
The old Beth would have sent responses reminiscent of a dissertation including text message screenshots as examples and reference points…
Lesson #5 – Don’t Waste Your Time
Don’t spend more time on debating than on loving and building. Don’t waste your time with people that you know you are not well-matched, just for the sake of being with someone… it’s not fair to them, or you. Don’t do the opposite of what your instinct tells you to do, because that is usually a time-waster.
Life is too short, and too valuable, to waste.
Don’t spend more time on debating than on loving and building.
What dating lessons have you learned in 2016? Sound off below!