This week in the Men Are Not Perfect series, which you can follow here, I describe my role and failure in letting a woman I loved get away (For the fellas who never got over their first (or second and third), I also recommend this article: I Never Got Over My First). As is always the case, there were a myriad of factors that ultimately contributed to our relationship’s untimely demise but the Men Are Not Perfect series focuses on my actions and shortcomings as a man. In this post, I recap one of the many lessons life has taught me. In this instance, pride and prejudice kept me from pursuing the woman I Loved at all costs.
All my exes live in Texas like I’m George Straight
Or they go to Georgia State where
Tuition is handled by some random n***a that live in Atlanta
That she only sees when she feels obligated
Admitted it to me the first time we dated
But she was no angel, and we never waited
And we never talk too much after I blew up
Just only “Hello” or “Happy belated”
And I think I text her and told her I made it
And that’s when she text me and told me she prayed it
– Drake HYFR
She was one of the most beautiful women I had ever come across, but she wasn’t the first. By now, I had learned to temper my instinctive reaction towards beautiful women – fear. The key difference here is she wanted me, too. It was a mutual acceptance of lust at first sight, but the distance between us kept our more immediate primal urges at bay. We had no choice but to get to know each other better. A couple weeks would pass before we could finally meet up. In the meantime, I got to know her as a person and I realized I liked more about her than just her looks. I pushed these feelings aside. I had my heart ripped out of my chest about 9-months earlier and I had no plans on falling in Love again anytime soon, like ever. Regardless, me and her moved fast, literally.
Between the teeth marks embedded in my shoulder and the sweaty strands of hair matted against her face less than an hour into our first face-to-face encounter, I wasn’t sure if we had just made love or had a violent fight that happened to end in O’s. Either way, I wanted more. I returned home at the end of that marathon weekend pretending it was nothing more than great sex, but I was denying the obvious. I was already falling in Love. My heart was simply waiting for my head to get onboard.
Coincidently, her lease was ending in a few more weeks. She had the option to renew but she wanted a change of pace. I had just graduated college and I was starting my first real job. I had a crappy one-bedroom apartment and an even crappier used car. I was broke, in debt, and all I had to offer her of value were promises of a better future together.
I was normally a practical guy. I didn’t take risks where I couldn’t accurately gauge the reward. This is why I wasn’t particularly fond of relationships, which, in my opinion, were filled with inherent risks I habitually avoided like the plague. Although I was still in denial about the potential longevity of any significant undertaking between us – and I can’t remember who volunteered the idea first – I jumped at the idea of us living together. In total, I had known her about 6 weeks. I didn’t care. I wanted her.
Our multi-year relationship would become a passionate undertaking. We fought hard; made up harder; and loved hardest. By now, we had moved into a bigger, newer apartment together, bought two dogs, a big screen TV, furniture and a new(er) car to share. We shared expenses, food, and laughter and Love. Perhaps encompassing the episodic nature of our relationship best, I remember one of our more particularly intense arguments. I was passively paying attention as she yelled at me about a topic I had deemed of minimal importance almost as soon as she had begun while our dogs hid in their crates staring out at me with a look of fear or pity – I wasn’t quite sure. She had strategically moved in front of the TV, so as she busied herself screaming, I busied myself watching the heavy downpour outside of our glass door patio.
As she took a deep frustrated breath, I can only assume to transition between rants, I took the opportunity to finally make eye contact, “Have you ever done it in the rain?”
I watched as her eyes slowly transitioned from fury, to confusion, to curiosity. Minutes later, I was balancing her against the patio railing as the mist from the rain washed over us from the rooftop. We’d flinch simultaneously, then laugh, as the night sky briefly lit up before thunder rumbled violently around us as if jealously trying to intimidate us back into our home where we belonged. Our relationship was the kind of organized chaos that you read about in Jet magazine 50-year wedding anniversary summaries. I had plans to make her my wife, sooner rather than later. We had already browsed potential engagement ring settings, but then a series of events would quickly unfold that unraveled the fabric of our relationship almost as quickly as it had formed.
Being silent or nonchalant is one of men's(myself included) biggest faults. It's easy to not care or to appear not to care. In some instances men find peace in that aloofness. Yet after reflecting we may sulk on the failed opportunity to truly prove or show to the one that we love what they mean to us. I call these defining moments in relationships those "Movie(Chick Flick) Moments", the points in time where your relationship and pride is one the line and it's up to you to forge through for the happy ending.
One problem is that in society we have delegated the role of heartfelt communication to women. Which I believe has more negatives than positives. Even though I'm pretty sure women have had moments of not acting upon what they felt as well. It's not fair to put the load or burden of "putting yourself out there" on one person. Both parties have to be brave, both have to make a wagers with their hearts. Both parties should make it regular practice to fight for one another, rather against.
We as people don't have the right to squander opportunities with others we believe to mean so much. The agony of "what if's" is only befitting to the vile act of not fighting for what/who we want and letting them know how we truly feel.
-I think I have let at least two(women) go, but before the first I thought I would never meet another. So my outlook is maybe there is an other or others that could be the one. So I try not to sweat it.
My recent post 15 Things Good P*ssy Can Do
I agree with all of this. I feel as though there are multiple right ones for everyone. Timing is everything. I once had one that got away. I was in a similar situation to where she had already signed up for the military when we met. I didn't want to be selfish and ask her to stay so we could pursue her goals. She is now happily married with a son. I am truly happy for her, but from time to time I always wonder….what if?
Whats the perfect girl if its not the perfect time. Essentially.
Nothing, Timing is everything and when things don’t work out a person must sit back and think “what did I learn”. In this case he learned that he should have communicated about his feelings. With this hopefully he can take this tool to his next relationship. Ol girl was only meant to be around for a season.
Sadly, My girlfriend and me broke up a month ago. yeah.. i'm young ,handsome,lonely and still hurting.i may be in need of someone to love..still..My friends told me about ===cougarkissing_ C0M=== and i got curious about it.. they met their girlfriends there.,It's the best place to meet a older girlfriend . i cant risk myself..So i got a usename(Qcdude) there in order to find a new girlfriend.is it wrong?Jessica Simpson is fighting the battle of the post-baby bulge, a process she says is slower than she expected.
"Both parties have to be brave, both have to make a wagers with their hearts. Both parties should make it regular practice to fight for one another, rather against."
Yes, I love that! Vulnerability I like to call it.
i love all of this comment. all.
My recent post On Finding The Grey
@WIM You will find the woman of your dreams soon enough. She will come into your life when you least expect it. All of these experiences will prepare you for when she comes along. Once she does im sure we will read all about her.
I so sincerely appreciate this series. You all are really giving me the other side of the male psyche. When I started reading blogs, there always seemed to be a bit more of “What women need to change” or a lot of women talking about what men feel, but it is SO REFRESHING to see this and to read the other side.
This is why I love y’all. For Serious. 😉
Thank you SBM.
this is why im cheering this post/series on so hard!!!!
My recent post the diary: can we talk
*slow clap* Good post, sir. I believe many men can relate with a story of their own in some sort of way, shape or form. I know I can.
“It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.” – John Ruskin
“I figure all my decisions lead to a designated point in my life that an alternate decision may not have…” ~ there are 2 sides to every story (this, apparently, your side) and when you say this right here… you have to ask yourself are you happy where you are right now, and do you think you would be as successful (and happy) had you chosen to forget about yourself for once and support your woman’s dreams?
I swear if I could find a man that would be willing to sacrifice and “full throttle” 100% the way that I have done and will do, no doubtingly that would most definitely be my husband!! Talk about pressure. It will be applied. Until then, I’m staying single!! lol
In the grand scheme of things, I’m very happy with where I’m at. Unfortunately I had to go through what I went through to get where I am. You can’t pick yourself up without first falling down. Obviously I have no way of knowing how things would’ve worked out had I gone or chose to be with her. Really all I can do, as is the theme of these posts, is not make the same mistakes with the woman I care about in the future.
" Unfortunately I had to go through what I went through to get where I am. You can't pick yourself up without first falling down." ~ uugghh, the ABC's of life I tell you.
First step of improvement is recognizing the cause and effect. I believe your heart is in the right place and I'm rooting for your prosperity in persuing love with current/future candidates. I loved this post! It almost made me cry, lol
Life isn't always fair. Neither is love.
Great post WIM.
“Life isn’t always fair. Neither is love.” That is nothing but the TRUTH Hugh.
A Story that happens more often than not.
Live, love and learn.
Men usually have more stories of "the one that got away" than women not because women don't mess up relationships (players eff up) but I think women naturally communicate their feelings more and perhaps a little better. Had that been me at the airport I prob would have broken down and poured out my feelings during the car ride. I know me personally I don't like for my significant other to EVER wonder how I feel about them or think that I wasn't in it for the long haul so I do or say whatever is necessary to communicate that point. So if you eff up after all of that I have no regrets with moving on b/c my stand with you has been clearly stated.
I have learned over time that sometimes you just have to be vulnerable. Not saying that WIM or any other man is weak for not being so, but we have to do better with purely communicating with the ones we care about. I think it eliminates a lot of "what ifs"
OAN WIM I cannot WAIT until you fall in love for the last time, I love love love these posts and can only imagine how much more beautiful they will be after you're on lock down!
Women communicate, however I wouldn't say more or better. Some women have a tendency to say about 78% of what they feel (the remaining 22% being held back by pride, fear and lack of rationale). For every girl that would've broke down on that ride, some would claim he failed a "test", or the favorite "he was afraid to commit".
good point Tristan…..We ALL men and women alike fear Rejection sometimes more than taxes and death. Men & Women make many mistakes in dating and relationships for fear of rejection. If anything I think men sometimes put themselves out there a little more because they are used to rejection. Every man has approached a woman he liked and she told him no do not pass go do not collect $200.00 from the door. Ladies aren't used to rejection in the way that men are and to the degree that men are. So if anything a lot of women wait on the man to make the moves, and if no moves are made by the man, then not a damn thing happens and it's the mans fault, because he did and said nothing.
I agree. I tend to hold back until I know for sure the guy feels the same. Not for fear of rejection, but I always believed that the guy should like/love me more than I like/love him in order for the relationship to end in a solid commitment or marriage (which is what I want).
My recent post Dear TT: He Gave Me A Promise Ring
Hard to say, as I do not know if she was the one or I’m merely projecting. I guess perhaps I simply want the new me in my old me experiences, more mature, more in control of what I want, being able to repair all the damage the younger me caused. I’ve let 3 go, got 2 back and neither lived up to the what if I had in my own mind.
The first I got back I still love to this day, however we’ve done so much to each other it could never work, too much anger, resentment and regret has gotten into our hearts, eventually I learned to leave it be. The other had a child in my absence, as selfish as it sounds I knew I could never be #1 anymore. I knew she would never be the same girl again, her dreams deferred.
The last one I simply let go too far. Unlike most of my relationships this didn’t end amicably. I wish it had, I wish there was still an opening to be in her life. To be honest I don’t know if she even loves me anymore, if I was the one she let get away or just another ex she might refer to. When she hears certain songs on the radio does she think of me and smile, or is that just me? I can only guess and assume, perhaps she took a complete 180, perhaps she’s still the love of my life. But for now, until paths ever cross, she remains just a projection.
Hard to say, as I do not know if she was the one or I’m merely projecting. I guess perhaps I simply want the new me in my old me experiences, more mature, more in control of what I want, being able to repair all the damage the younger me caused.
Tristan I believe most everything happens for a reason. I believe when men are really truly ready to give their heart to that one woman and put a ring on it he will. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding if he doesn't, it means he wasn't ready and that 1 woman was probably not "the one." He may have thought she was and wanted her to be, but she wasn't. As you said the 2 u got back didn't live up to your ideal of them. Sometimes we have this ideal of a person that becomes our reality, but it's not who they really are and we end up disappointed and still having regrets.
There are a few men who I let get away, but for good reason. I knew I was not in a place in my life and at a maturity level where I would've made really good wives for them. I'm glad I was taught better by the women in my family and had enough self knowledge and common sense to know this. At the time I felt like I made the best decision for myself and for them and I have no regrets. There is no guarantee that things would've been great and that the marriage would last forever if I had taken a chance and not let my fears of not being a good enough wife supercede my feelings for them. But the men I've dated for the most part have been wonderful and treated me really well. I felt like they deserved the best and they deserved to get all they wanted and needed in a wife.
If that woman was not me I was honest enough with them and myself and let them know it. It was my way of saving them heartache and pain and wasted time. They have all told me they respect, love and appreciate me for it, even though yes they were hurt by it at the time.
We all as human beings for the most part do whatever we feel is the best thing at that particular time….and thats all we really can do. Some folks will step out on faith and take a chance, while some of us will not. Thats what makes us all unique and "beautifully human."
I had one or two of those fun stories.
However the older I get the more I realize that the 'fantasy' of "what if" is WAAAAYYYY better than the reality. Those whirlwind thing-y's are just not sustainable.
It wasnt until I experienced a love that brought me PEACE and renewed my energy rather than draining it (to only be temporarily 'recharged' by a physical connection) that I realized the emotional rollercoaster romance- while always appreciated in the short-term-was for ME at least, a bit overrrated.
I'm not saying anything, really..just musing.
Waaaay off topic but…did you have fun/have the look you wanted Friday?
Yaass!! **Mo'Nique shuffles down the stairs**
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW shucks, now!!!!!!!
Now I'm mad we ain't real life homies so I can get all the deets! Lol…
Just check my twiter, lol
and i finally met her and all her fabulousness! fun night.
Only to be eclipsed by YOUR fabulousity!
I wondered the same thing cyn…..
As a poster child for #PrideIssues, I feel all of this on so many levels. I just told someone today, "you call them #PrideIssues, I call them 'standards'", LOL. *sigh* The saga continues…
I've never had this happen in my love life…where I lost a loving relationship that I felt I should've fought for. But, I've had more than one ex or someone I was dating at one point to circle back and see if things could be rekindled with me. I entertained two instances. One instance actually worked…and its still working. 😉
My bf told me that once he accepted the reality of how he was feeling/what he wanted after we stopped dating, he just knew and did what he had to do.
We, each individual, has a personal responsibility to make sure our emotional needs are being met…and thats what he did. If there's any wrong here, its the fact that you sold yourself short by overlooking your emotional needs. Interestingly enough, that was the time to be selfish concerning your feelings…not where you'd live, lol. You live and you learn…
Great avi CO! Looking like a queen!
Aww, thx! Purposely felt like showing my fivehead, LOL!
Those babies keeping you busy, krys?
Girl you better ROCK that fivehead! You're FIERCE chile!
Interestingly enough, that was the time to be selfish concerning your feelings…not where you’d live, lol.
Missed this gem earlier. See, this is a strange idea to me. Lol in my mind, forcing her to choose between me and her dream would have eventually only made her bitter. I def wouldn’t want someone to force me to make that decision: my dream or them. So I didn’t want to put her in that position BUT you are right that I could have made my side more clear so she could make a more educated decicion about which route to take. Not saying I pushed her away but I definitely didn’t make my side seem as appealing as I probably could have. Right or wrong, I made her decision easy. Maybe I should have made it difficult – but I didn’t want to make *for* her either.
Like ya said, live and learn. Although hopefully I won’t be in this situation again. It was fairly unique that we both had career opportunities that happened to diverge paths.
"…I could have made my side more clear so she could make a more educated decicion about which route to take."
Exactly! No force at all…just tell people where you are and how you feel. Then let them make a choice.
You know…like the convo Nina and Darius had in the rain outside of The Sanctuary at the end of Love Jones, lol.
LOL I should have known that movie was going to come up eventually!
I see your point tho.
I tried to resist the urge to mention it…
…I failed, LOL.
Why did you capitalize the L in love? You don't normally do that. Anyway, part of me wants to say you made the better decision but of course, you just never know. Good, thought-provoking post Wim. Thanks for sharing.
It’s a stylistic thing. Actually I’ve done it for a few years when I’m referring to Love in it’s grammatically proper form. So like you might capitalize Him when referring to the man upstairs. It’s just something I took to doing as a passive way of emphasizing my respect for Love.
Lol sorry if you hoped for a deeper explanation. That’s all I got! Also, welcome back stranger.
Oh I guess I hadn't noticed that you've done it before but I'm not surprised that's all it was. I suppose I just thought it was meant to mean something bigger in reference to this particular woman in the story.
Thanks for the welcome back honey!
(finally decides to stop staring up at the ceiling in complete gassed-outness)
I’m pretty sure I almost killed my best friend when I left. I really don’t take people’s feelings seriously. I still don’t. but when I got back from this epic ‘push the limits’ journey I embarked on — which, by the way, wasn’t even my dream career — I lost my mind. He was in such bad condition. He had a good job and was still in school but he looked SO bad. Like. grief. and sick. and in all my b*tching and lecturing about it everyone looked at me like ‘YOU did this’. lol I’ve never been so suprised in my life. or shocked. *I* can pretend for forever that I’m fine. I have entirely too much pride to be hurt or in need and for him to be so obvious and in such a state of need for me I kinda cracked. but I mean….I did a lot career wise. Kind of. I think I was a corporate hustler more so than I hustled for the career I wanted. Anyway, the point is. I chose to venture over him and it almost killed him. He was so shocked to see me again lol. and now I know exactly how it feels. The worst part is he’d never do for me what you did for her.
Even with all my insight, there’s no family sedan, no cute little condo or one level. There’s no home to be naked in all day just because I like the freedom. There’s no grass to cut. No food to cook. No companies to build up. No cute little fantasy. No s*x to heal my wounds of missing him. Just thoughts and inaction. I don’t know how you let a female get away who lives fifteen minutes away or if he even realizes my life reflects that of a newly widowed woman, or if he knows I physically can’t go anywhere because the seperation would be the end of me….but. I’m gonna need him to act on those desires asap. I really don’t want to get away I’m waiting here for a reason.
falling in love sucks. I feel like a needy, emotional creature with bambi legs. It truly is difficult to admit you need someone and you want them and you desire them. It's hard to be that open. It's hard to let them see your love for them manifest but sometimes it becomes a necessity and it's no longer about pride. It's just life. It feels better to be honest and exposed.
this was a wonderfully written post.
it’s not very often we (ladies) get to hear a man’s side of the story about this situation.
so thank you for writing it.
as for me? there is not enough space in the comment section to write about the one i shouldn’t have let go of and the one that shouldn’t have let go of me. you’ve inspired me to write. thanks. 🙂
you’ve inspired me to write
One of the greatest compliments you can give a writer. Thank you.
you are very welcome sir.
My recent post the diary: can we talk
*waits for blog post*
Beautifully conveyed WIM
this may be me sounding like an asshole but there isn't a woman whom i've dealt with in my past that i could compare this story to. there is one woman who comes close but i don't wish i could go back to that relationship. if anything i wish i could have that friendship back. that's what i miss the most. i mostly learn from my mistakes going forward and try not to make the same ones.
Doesnt make you sound like an asshole at all to me. Then again I’ve been called an asshole more times than I can count so I might not be the best judge of character. I’ve been in love a few times, hence these stories, but I’ve also loved differently each time as I matured and grew as a person. I think I Love the best way I know (or knew) how each time I encountered a woman who inspired those feelings in me, which is why I’m confident one day I’ll meet another woman who will do the same, perhaps for the last time but if not, I’ll enjoy it for as long as it last.
" I think I Love the best way I know (or knew) how each time I encountered a woman who inspired those feelings in me"
See, that statement is probably why I don't really consider any of them "got-aways".
I know the person that I am now would not put up with the things I had to put up with to make that perfect storm of love that was that particular relationship. The me I am now would not lose herself in the same way to make those feelings possible (& by "lose herself, I mean identity, not the full giving of yourself into a relationship). The me I am now searches for different things in people than I did then. The me I am now knows for absolute certain had my loves of then met the me I am now-we would have never been at all. And that's fine. I just really look forward to the future and am appreciative of the people in my past for what they brought to me & left with me.
Lovin those pics @Amaris…….you must be a "shorty" like me…love it….*smile*
Was that really a squirrel in your house????? Mr. Squirrel would have to go.
Wouldn't be keeping him as a pet, if it was a bunny rabbit…..yeah I might. He
would have to get his shots immediately…lol
Yep. A squirrel. The story is even more epic than the picture. It made me consider re-activating my personal blog, because my entire life is like that…
Lovin the pics @Amaris…..nice dress. Was that really a squirrel in your house??? lol
"if anything i wish i could have that friendship back. that's what i miss the most."
Exactly what I was thinking as I read the full post! When I let a woman go, it's usually because we both know we're not right for each other in a relationship capacity. But with that admittance, sometimes you have to let the friendship part go too. Most people say they can remain friends with an ex. However, the awkwardness looming over your heads will never allow the friendship to be as organic as it used to be. I find myself wanting to call her just to say "hey how's life" or wanting to talk to her about the dreams we once shared. It sucks, but like Tunde said, every relationship is place of being of what went wrong and not repeating it.
You know what? I had this situation in which we “tried to be friends” but there was still too much love between the two of us… sharing the intimacy of a relationship, but the boundaries of a friendship… Only to lead to us no longer being able to be friends, as it was impossible… for the many times we tried to make it work and the magnetic pull we had, it was best for the both of us to go our separate ways… Do I still love him? Yes, always will… but not all love is good love…
I must say this is the BEST post I have seen on this site in a while. Shouts out to you @WIM
Did I ever tell y'all the story of the girl I deleted her number because she had a crazy amount of control over me? I knew that I would do just about anything in the world for this girl and I just didn't think I needed that in my life at such a young age. I deleted her number and started dating another girl for three years. Randomly… because I tried to put her out of my head and couldn't. I'm sitting here not too long ago and I search for her on Facebook. I actually find her and waited like two hours to decide if I would send a Friend Request. Did so…
Two weeks went by, no response. I'm thinking, "Well Jay, you guys would have been married and everyone knew it. She's probably not interested in any relationship with the guy who deleted her number and disappeared at random." So I left it alone.
Then I got the message she had accepted my friend request. I am reading the reply to the short message I sent her and then I click on her page.
It was pictures of her wedding on there. She had just gotten back from her honeymoon. That was the two week wait.
To say, I was just like, man if I had spoke up… man whatever. I told my boy that was the one that got away right there. What's worst is this… he agreed with me, literally was like, I told you not to do that.
Wow. Even I felt a sinking feeling in my gut when you started talking wedding pics, smh.
Live and learn…
*gives comforting shoulder pat*
In all honesty, every time I read this all I can think is:
"THAT was the universe's way of telling you the person REALLY meant for you is around the corner, and you best not mess it up this time."
some things aren't meant to be…
Great post, WIM. Not much to add to other comments I've read.
This piece is why I still come to read this blog. I Love the raw peeks into a man’s mind. The pride, the ego, the nonchalance, the foreign ways that a man shows his Love. They have a voice beyond a womans hindsight interpretations/obsessions/analysis. And its good to hear that voice. I Love that you guys have dedicated yourselves to fostering such understanding between the sexes. I think a man’s aversion to feelings makes it easy for me to forget he indeed has them. Thank you for sharing your humanity.
I haven't finished reading the piece yet, but….
"I wasn’t particularly fond of relationships, which, in my opinion, were filled with inherent risks…"
Inherent risks?! I think we've got an auditor on our hands 😉
Question is, do you have the same mentality as when you let her go as you do now? Or have you changed?
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i’m sorry but this whole story sounded a lil too good to be true, kind of like maybe you embellished it, or just plain ol made the whole thing up