Mr. Available + Truth That Frees

feelsoff

When I turned 30 (more than a few years ago now) I temporarily lost myself.

My identity pixelated. Shattered like a billion broken shards of glass.

I thought I was supposed to be married. Or at the very least not alone. I was attractive. Educated. Spiraling along with a solid career.

Wasn’t I the very definition of A Catch? I mean…my friends thought so.

I woke up one morning convinced that I should have the marriage + kids + 2-car garage tied up by now. Or least, in motion. Fast-motion.

One week after my 30th birthday, I said “yes” to a first date with a man we’ll call “Mark.”

He was attractive. Fun. Flirty. And totally wrong for me. But Mark was there — and he was well, available.

Funny how when you’re starving you’ll gorge yourself on junk food, without a second thought.

Mark and I dated for a little over a year. I wanted a love story. What I got was … toxicity.

I told myself of series of lies and half-truths about him and our un-fulfilling relationship. I often looked the other way — not wanting to witness behavior that upset me.

Happy? I wasn’t happy. But I told myself I was.

Because I was 30 + single + he was (didn’t I mention?) available. Wasn’t that sort of good enough? The disappointment escalated. I ignored, ignored, ignored …

Cut to: debilitating insecurity, clamped fingers, head-splitting isolation, bitter resentment and — eventually — the complete dismantling of self that comes from incessant self-doubt. Those voices … those questions …

What could I have done sooner / later / more of / less of / better / instead?

Who will I be without this relationship?

Do I even have the strength to start over? Again?

I knew that I wasn’t a victim. I’d chosen my relationship with Mr. Available, because he was there, and I was scared. The truth stung, but it felt better than the lies I had grown comfortable telling myself.

New questions arose:

What do I believe that I deserve in my relationships?

Where can I bend and sacrifice? Where can I … not?

What are MY authentic choices?

I chose happiness over half-suffering. It was a simple choice, in the end.

Deep breath.

OK then. Here we go.

Let the rebuild begin.

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What do YOU believe you deserve from your relationships? Where can you bend and sacrifice? Where can you … not?

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I’m a Los Angeles based relationship + life coach. I offer a sharp combination of keen insight, know-how + intuition.   Want more life + dating advice?  Jump on my newsletter.   Interested in laser focused one-on-one treatment?   Hire me.  You won’t regret it.

Hey! Do you have a pesky question burning a hole in your pocket? Email me at
d@danielle-dowling.com to submit a letter for my Smart Advice column.  Identities strictly confidential-of course.

© 2011 Danielle Dowling

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