On My Incessant Need To Be In A Relationship, No Matter The Cost


As is the case with most people who continuously seek out people who are not exactly good for them, I have experienced a lot of breakups. Some were civil, most were not, but all taught me the same lesson I’ve hated learning over and over and over: being single is difficult. Being single is not really my “thing,” per se, and as much as I have wanted to change that, it’s just not something that has gone away.

Throughout college, I bounced from relationship to relationship, never really stopping to catch my breath. A lot of this resulted from insecurities regarding safety, loneliness and anxiety, but it was also because I felt that if I didn’t use every opportunity I had to get to know people I liked, I would somehow miss out on the perfect relationship (because, yeah, I believed there was such a thing). I’ve always been a “people person,” and while that translated to making a lot of amazing friends, a few extremely close confidants and having a pretty decent social life, it also led me to wanting to date new people whom I found particularly fascinating.

Because of my draw towards new, fantastic romances — as well as being drawn back toward the ones I found so wonderful in the past — I wound up in a lot of long-term relationships. I wish I could explain just how ridiculously I bounced between relationships, but then I would have to use names or very specific situational details, and I’m friends with some of these fellahs (most of whom, I have a feeling, would get sassy at me if I did). Suffice to say, my single days were few and far between. This may sound like bragging, but believe me, if you saw some of the shambles these relationships were built out of, you’d realize that I am not exactly proud of continuously choosing the route I did

But it was a choice. I chose not to be single after each subsequent breakup; it wasn’t just happenstance. And sometimes, it was a choice with very bad consequences.

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    • Lastango

      This is a great read — I admire people who take responsibility for their own choices, and who take stock of themselves, make decisions and set new directions. And I think the world needs all kinds of people, including relationship-oriented folks who give their partner a strong feeling of being wanted and needed.

      One big plus of being “fully capable of surviving — financially, emotionally or otherwise” is being able to wait for the right partner. When dating lots of different people, that means being able to confidently step back and keep things light, knowing that just because the other person is available and wants a relationship doesn’t mean we have to agree or feel pressured. We can say to that person that we enjoy going out, having a good time, meeting their friends and family, but that it won’t go beyond being social. It’s a good day when we realize we do owe them the information, but we don’t owe them an explanation. It’s our choice about what’s best for ourselves.

      BTW, I’m not a fan of too many relationships in a row. It’s too easy to become jaded that way, and being together with someone isn’t very special anymore. Not to mention the wear and tear from all those emotional up’s and downs. There’s better things to do with our energy than allow it to be drained away by soaring to the heights then tumbling down into the depths, then rinse and repeat until we’re all washed out.

      (I feel the same way about hookups, but that’s another subject.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

        Thanks! I think that being able to wait for somebody safely and securely is incredibly important now, whereas I used to think that it was impossible to do on your own. I am already fairly jaded by other things, I think, so I don’t feel my perspective has gotten abnormally skewed in that way, but then again, I have no idea what it’d be like had I made different choices.

    • gemma

      this was a beautiful piece. i was in an abusive engagement since i was 18, i’m 22 now, and it was so hard for me not to have him. even though it was constant agony when i was with him i’d rather be with him than by myself. i’m slowing moving on, getting better, and feeling happy. i identify very strongly with your piece.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

        Thank you so much! I appreciate it, really. It is difficult to be stuck in that kind of situation, and I’m really glad I wasn’t in it for longer than I was, and I am so happy for you that you got away, too. <3

    • gemma

      this was a beautiful piece. i was in an abusive engagement since i was 18, i’m 22 now, and it was so hard for me not to have him. even though it was constant agony when i was with him i’d rather be with him than by myself. i’m slowing moving on, getting better, and feeling happy. i identify very strongly with your piece.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jess.mccloskey Jess McCloskey

      Does this site always delete comments that aren’t completely flattering to an article, even if the criticism is politely and non-obscenely stated? I’ve wondered before why so many articles don’t have any comments; I’m starting to think there might be an explanation.

      • Lastango

        No. I’ve only had one of mine deleted lately (that was over at Blisstree, about two weeks ago), and I frequently challenge the bloggers head-on. The last deleted-post incident before that was months ago.
        My guess is that reader involvement is spotty because not all of the content is successful. This group of websites is a commercial venture, and they often change the mix to increase readership. For instance, they quickly dropped a lame attempt at a lifestyle site for men. The least-comented-on posts are at the Grindstone, and unfortunately their “solution” has been to prune the original group of bloggers back to one, and repost content bought cheap from other sites. They’re also starting to spike the page with hot-button-pushing, nakedly political posts that have little or nothing to do with working women. It’s dull, and disappointing.
        There may be some other missteps. For instance, there’s far too much material at Crushable. The good stuff there gets buried under a never-ending flow of drive-by trivia. Noone cares. Sifting through it is too much work. IMO, cutting the number of Crushable posts in half would improve reader engagement.

      • Lastango

        BTW, I should add that what I’ve said above are my general impressions. I don’t know what their click rates are like, and if those are available somewhere on the site I’ve never bothered to look.

        One other thought on Crushable: it seems to me that there are several types of content there that don’t belong together, and that’s part of the confusion. It comes across as a jumble. I think successful websites are usually about something fairly specific, or at least grouped around a them, and not a hodge-podge. So, before cutting out half the posts, I’d see if some of the content should be pulled out into another site. Maybe I’d make Crushable just about Hot Guys, and start another page for some of the rest. (But a fair bit of it is junk and I’d drop that outright.)

        Clean up some of these problems, and there might be a lot more interest and commenting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sameurysm Samantha Escobar

        Honestly, no…I mean, the closest I ever came to deleting a comment was one that just said the N-word several times, but even then, we decided not to delete it because it seemed too much like censorship.

        In fact, if you look back, there are LOTS of critical comments, both angrily and obscenely stated as well as politely. We feel that if we’re allowed our voices, people should be allowed theirs. =)

        Also, I took a look behind-the-scenes to make sure your critical comment didn’t get swallowed by the page but, alas, it’s not there. Maybe you clicked to post it but the Internet connection was out at that moment and it didn’t post, or Disqus simply wasn’t working. That has happened to me plenty of times, and then I wind up with two of the same comments I’ve written. Who knows!