It has been longer time than usual between posts and I’m re-posing one of my most popular ones from 2010. The reason is that for the last 3 weeks I’ve been with my 97 yr. old mom who was in her final days on earth. She passed on May 22nd. Her hospice nurse, Li Ann was truly amazing, she gave my mom comfort, support and most of all dignity. It was an immeasurable gift to us who stayed behind. Hospice is truly a calling of the heart and soul and to me she is the very definition of a hero. I will be back to my regular posting very soon. With love, Virginia
Where are all the good men?! I asked myself this question over and over again when I was dating and trying desperately to find a man to marry. For years I was a magnet for men who weren’t good for me, men who were not the marrying kind.
I couldn’t stop myself from dating them and getting involved in unfulfilling and unhealthy relationships. I felt like a victim, a walking target for men who were narcissistic, self-centered and cruel.
Then one day I had a wake-up call. I got involved with a particularly cold and aloof man. He acted charming when we were out socially, but when we alone he would become another person. I didn’t know there was this other side to him until it was too late.
At first he acted like a gentlemen, he was very attentive to my needs and concerned about making me happy. But within a few months his real personality started to emerge, but by this time I was already “hooked in.”
I didn’t realize that his treatment of me had changed the way I thought about myself. I got used to feeling unhappy and worthless around him.
He was sullen and uncommunicative, making it seem like his unhappiness was somehow my fault. I often got the silent treatment, and could not coax him out of his darkness. I was at a loss as I got sucked deeper and deeper into his dark world. A part of me knew that being in love is supposed to feel good, so I kept trying to make our relationship “work.” But I couldn’t do it by myself, it takes two, so I’d end up being dragged into his bad moods and negativity and I’d lose myself.
Fortunately, I had a good woman friend who finally took me out to dinner and challenged me to look at my life. She pointed out how much I had changed over the past months, so much so that I had to admit it was true. This is what she observed about me:
- I stopped being social
- I had no time for my friends
- I was always tense
- I seemed perpetually distracted
- I seemed sad
She reminded me that life was too short to be stuck in a miserable relationship with a cold and heartless man. This woke me up and after going through a lot of angst and self-doubt, I broke up with him. It was hard for me, but he didn’t seem to care that much — more validation that I was doing the right thing.
Once again I felt the disappointment of another failed relationship. I was back at square one, as far away from getting married as ever. I had been dating the wrong men for years, and I again asked myself where were all the good men?
Then I had an ah-ha moment. There was only one common denominator through all these years of disappointing relationships…me!
My happily married friends found good men, why hadn’t I? I was going through life like a horse with blinders on. I was like an alcoholic who knows the location of every bar and liquor store in their neighborhood, but doesn’t have a clue where the bakeries are.
To help me find a good man, I decided to observe my friend’s husbands to learn about the kind of men I should be dating. Here are just a few qualities I discovered:
- They were supportive and respectful
- They were reliable and worked hard to take care of their families
- They were openly affectionate and attentive
Where are all the good men?
The good men had always been there, I just hadn’t been looking for them. I decided to take my “blinders off” and I make an effort to look for the men I would normally pass over. Now that I knew what to look for, I began to enjoy their company and want to be around them, even as friends. It was like the world had changed; where I had only seen the bad boys, I now saw good and decent men everywhere!
The wrong men didn’t disappear; they were still out there, showing up everywhere and tempting me to give them a chance. But I could now smile to myself remembering how I used to fall for their bad behavior. Thankfully, those days were gone, I had a choice and a great many good men around me to chose from.
If you can’t find the right men to date, do yourself a favor and take the time to take stock of yourself in the same way my good friend did with me. You just may find that you have your own ‘a-ha moment’ – one that could lead you down a new and completely different relationship path.