You know, I have always considered myself to be a pretty trusting person. I leave my car doors unlocked way too often. I am very open with a lot of my stories, even the ones that make me look like an ass. (See every blog post I have written on this site.) In my younger years I was somewhat gullible because growing up in a small town in Wisconsin didn’t leave me with tons of life experience. I like rollercoasters…. a lot. Remember the trust falls, you do at camp or leadership trainings? Yeah…. I kicked ass at those.
So you can bet I was surprised as hell when trust looked me in the eye not too long ago, challenging me in a 4th grade stare down. Turns out, I lost.
Here is another one of those stories where I pretty much look like an ass. But it IS Ladies Dating Badly week, so this one is for you.
Awhile ago, I was exploring something new with someone pretty special. Things had been going swimmingly, which is remarkable for me. After a long time of my own self-discovery, I had finally found someone who wanted to meet me halfway. He was crazy smart, down to earth and the kind of guy that when he started laughing I couldn’t help but laugh with him. His accent made my toes curl and his sweetness towards me would instantly kick down any wall that had been left there from previous suitors. Here is the real kicker, though. He would ask questions, truly listen and every day make sure I was feeling taken care of. True story.
Being a recovering “fixer,” that was very brand new in the slightly wacky world of Kira. Although I was able to thrive like I had never had in a relationship before, I occasionally would default into the artist formerly known as “Freaked Out” and find myself not quite sure what to do with all of the…. goodness.
It was scary. Having this person consistently and lovingly offer something of himself to me every day threw me off. I had never known this and with this beautiful gift comes the fear of it being taken away; once you feel this stunning happiness that you never even knew existed, the thought of it going away is terrifying.
Finally, one night, way too late, we stayed up talking in a tough conversation. I was feeling vulnerable, he was a little confused and I was immediately going to that place waiting for the other shoe to drop like it had so many times before.
Although we were having a healthy and open conversation, in my mind, I was waiting for him to tell me that he liked me and all, but was moving along. Sweetly, of course, because he was just that good of guy. I was waiting to hear that I had been too much of one thing or too little of something else, and it just wasn’t going to work out. I sat there that night knowing we would fix this, but wondering how long it would take him to realize that I was very imperfect, that the confidence I have fades away some times when things get tough. That I have messed up many times before. That I say the wrong things. That tend to spill things. And I spill a lot.
So, in the quiet of the evening. Way too late for him since he had to wake up early to work, I sat there. Silent. Wanting to shout out my fears. My insecurities. My stuff. My feelings for him that downright overwhelm me some days. But as my mind was tired and running, I became scared that he might take one look at “the crazy” and run away. Like so many had before.
So, I blurted out some kind of nonsense. Mumbled something about fear and leaving and liking him.
And then, he looked inside of me, saw my fear and gently took it from me. He quietly said, “I am here. It is time that you trust me. I think I have proven myself to you and deserve that. Without it, this is never going to work.”
And you know what? He had. Over and over again. Whether some days I deserved it or not. He was always there. Willing to listen, laugh, care or tell me how much he liked my hair.
It was time for ME to stop dating badly, ladies. To put some trust in this incredible man who deserved it. Because by me not believing in him, believing in the relationship and trusting him, I was subtly sabotaging it. Pushing him away. Buying a ticket on the crazy train although no one had done anything wrong. A relationship can not grow or thrive without trust. You will just keep hitting walls, fears and hurt until you have pushed so hard that you have given the relationship no choice.
Ladies, we love to bitch about how tough dating is. How many jerks and douchebags are out there. How hard it is to find great guys. How many times and ways we have been hurt. But I will tell you this: even when you find it, the really really, good stuff, it is still hard. Then the battle with yourself begins.
But don’t worry, The College Crush is on your side, and you can win. We have an arsenal of awesome to help you out.
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