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From a young age, I’ve always had crushes on boys, I think since the age of five years old. As I grew up in school and started to interact more with guys, I created my ideal boyfriend. But at this time it was very vague. I didn’t date till I was 17 and so my idea of what I wanted in a guy was based around the movies mostly and from what I saw from friends boyfriends. But their boyfriends were just boys, they were still immature and many didn’t understand the importance of maintaining a relationship with their partner.
As I was a very sporty person in secondary school (Mid middle school and high school), I was always surrounded by really attractive sporty guys, but I was never able to get their attention. I realized just because I was athletic, didn’t mean that it would instantly attract a hot guy. However, after I was bullied for three years, mainly from these hot guys that I always idolized to date. I started to change the way I liked guys, and maybe for the better.
By the time I was in year 12 (11th grade), I had an epiphany moment where I realized that the type of guy I idolized for the longest time was the people that made me feel shit about myself (This doesn't occur for everyone). I started to notice guys that I wouldn’t have considered before, in a sense they were really sweet guys, they weren’t hot but I was happy with that.
At present, I’ve only dated five guys, including the one I’m currently dating. The first one guy I ever dated (who I was in a Long distance relationship with), I thought he was the one as I felt comfortable with him, we were able to talk about interesting conversations. However, I lost trust in him with the things he didn’t like about me, as well as his constant controlled control over the way I do things. This relationship made me start questioning who I date.
But with every person I dated, I discovered new red flags that I didn’t have before. The next guy I dated had really bad insecurities and was jealous of other guys I was with as I did salsa dancing. It then made me feel very insecure about myself and that I should hang out with him more not to make him feel bad. Although I knew I didn't really like him as much as I did. He just hid the fact that he liked someone else and wasn’t honest when he broke up with me.
The 3rd guy I dated was a good friend of mine, but he was still treating me like a friend while being in a relationship. We would only hangout to do errands and it got boring after a while. He basically told me it wasn't going to move any further from what it was and I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to continue.
The 4th guy I met over a dating site, I’m a millennial and I just wanted to try online dating once. I actually met an interesting guy from Azerbaijan and I thought we connected really well. Sadly because of my anxiety, I emotionally exhausted him, even though a week later he told me he loved me.
I’ve only dated five guys currently, but I’ve definitely learned about what I wanted and what I need to be in a relationship.
I’ve noticed that you only really get to know how your partner is in the relationship at around the 10 months to the first-year mark. So don’t assume that your partner is perfect (you shouldn’t ever), and you shouldn’t hold onto the idea that they could be your soul mate. It’s rare to know if they are your soulmate straight away.
It’s a good thing to open up, but don’t let people walk all over you and don’t get your heart to attached to someone. For me, it was hard, after coming out of a three-year relationship the phrase "I like you” has less meaning to me as I was always used to my partner saying "I love you.” As a result in my last 3 relationships, I was trying to speed up the relationship and make the guy fall in love with me because I wanted to be loved. But realized it was worse in the long run as it wasn’t natural and eventually the relationships ended. I know I should take my time, open up but not be attached to someone I like. I still have my own life and freedom which I should enjoy to the fullest. When the time is right and I feel deep down that that the person I’m with is the right person, I will know and I will say I love them.
I also feel that you need to know your boundaries with your partner, you don’t want to be too clingy and you don’t want to be too detached. I would say talking to your partner once a day is a good amount, but have a good balance of who talks first so you can always know if your partner has continuous equal interest as you do. But don’t make it into a game, as your partner might realize that you are doing it to keep them interested.
You should always give someone the benefit of the doubt, but if your partner is affecting your emotions too much you need to realize it needs to end. The last thing I would say is that you should take your time when you are dating, really try to get to know the person because at the beginning of every relationship we try to be perfect. But the longer you are with someone, the more you see there true self and that’s where you start assessing if this person is right for you.
You need to be your true honest self with your partner, sadly a lot of people are not ready to open up but it will happen if you are with the right person. For someone like myself having depression, anxiety, past trauma, and insecurities. Being able to open up to my partner showed how much I liked them and how much I wanted them to know about me. But also it can allow them to open up to and feel they can talk to me about anything personal.