How I Discovered I Have Perpetually Bad Taste in Men

Watercolor by Beth Jorgensen, print available for purchase  here

Watercolor by Beth Jorgensen, print available for purchase here

The aftermath of a heartbreak from catching feelings for someone who cannot emotionally commit is without a doubt one of the worst feelings in the world. The other person is free to leave and carry on with their lives, as if they had not just left a massive rift in their wake. And you’re left wondering where to start cleaning up the mess, scared that you won’t be able to, and it’s only when you reach the bottom of the debris that you realize that nothing is the same. You’re not the same.

My friend told me that I would never love again in the way that I loved him. I asked other friends of mine, not wanting to give into the possibility that what she had said was true. I desperately wanted someone to tell me that it’ll be okay, that I would find someone who I would be able to love in the same way as I did him, but each time I was met with the same truth: I will never love someone like that again. Because my heart was different before I met him. It was raw and completely untouched, untainted by the world and people like him, and totally vulnerable.

The pain that occurred he left was unparalleled to any other pain I had ever experienced in my life. I took that pain and internalized it, wreaking havoc on my own heart. I wanted to feel something, anything, instead of this agonizing nothing that constantly plagued my body.

I learned to grow into this pain, accept it and realize that I needed it in order to move on. The days gradually became more bearable. I focused on trying to make myself happy instead of being caught up in finding someone else to make me happy.

Now and then I connect with a new stranger on social media, and I get to talking with them, hoping that maybe this time, this guy, will help me to change my perspective on love, but 9 times out of 10 I realize very quickly that they are not who they seem to be. I get flashbacks of him, and realize that maybe I can never escape guys like him. I believe in too quickly the outward appearances tailored towards girls like myself. And I hate that I can’t seem to see past the bait. Guys like that prey on vulnerability, and I seem to have too much of that these days.

It happened to me again today, and immediately I felt tired. Tired of falling for the same bullshit, tired of thinking that maybe this guy would be different, tired of getting my hopes up. I perpetually set my expectations so high when I meet someone, then become angry with myself when it doesn’t turn out the way I planned it.

I used to think of myself as an optimist. I constantly searched for the good in anyone and anything, proof that there is still some good left in this world. Now… now I’m not so sure.

I’m stuck in this all too familiar cycle. And I don’t know how to stop it. I’ve often wondered why I let myself get so caught up in this false fantasy of my mind’s own doing. It’s cruel isn’t it? That your own mind is the thing that will betray you the most in this world. It builds such fantastic visions that will never come true, and you’re disappointed when reality doesn’t quite match up.

Anonymously submitted to ArtParasites