I'm stuck. I'm THAT girl. You know the one. The single friend that everyone who knows her thinks she's great, but is doing all the wrong things? Yep, that's me. I'm not talking about doing the wrong things just when it comes to dating and men, but doing the wrong things with life in general, thinking that this next great thing will make her happy. I want happiness. Not just the happiness that comes and goes with the external situations and circumstances that determine that happiness, but REAL happiness. The kind of happiness that NEVER goes away. A certain feeling of peace no matter what life throws at me. That's what I want. And a man. I'll admit, I'm boy crazy. That could be part of my problem. In fact, I'll be honest, I KNOW being boy crazy is one of the main problems of why I am unable to find happiness within myself. So we'll start there.
I'm addicted to the validation I get from men that I should be getting from myself; and when it comes to dating, I'm doing it ALL wrong. I mean, I seriously come off looking like crazy fatal attraction girl because he's not calling, or texting, or actually wanting to date me. Because well, I'm also the hook-up girl. The girl they DON'T take home to mom. The girl they don't take out on dates. The girl they don't call when they need someone to talk to. Why? Because I use my sexuality to attract men instead of my sparkling personality because I know it works... in the beginning. And that's when it all starts to unravel and I end up looking completely psychotic. I was just their fun night, or 10. When really, I just wanted to spend time with them and have them like me. I'm a pleaser, and if that's what it takes to please and get them to like me, then so be it. But it doesn't. Not even close.
What I didn't understand was that guys don't see hanging out and hooking up as “getting to know someone”, they see it like it actually is... just a hook up, no more, no less. But my biggest challenge and question after realizing this was, “how do I get myself to act differently if I know that what I'm doing isn't working?”. Old habits die hard. It's also hard to get men to see past my looks. I'm not saying I'm the most gorgeous person on the planet, but I'm pretty and petite and little, with a pretty big chest for how small I am. I haven't had one conversation with a man where they didn't bring it up. Even the sweetest, nicest guys will. Granted, they bring it up politely, but still, c'mon! But as you'll recall, I'm a pleaser, so I act like it doesn't bother me, and talk about it with them and answer their questions (mainly questions like “you're so tiny, are those fake?” which to clarify, they are not).
I didn't realize when I engaged in their questions that this was not good for me when it came to how they saw or thought of me. Until I met a guy, whom we'll call Ideal Guy (because, well, he is really quite perfect to me) that gave me the best, most honest lecture I've ever had given to me. Yes, it was painful to hear and I shed a tear after hearing it, but it seriously opened my eyes to exactly what I had been doing. No one had ever explained how guys think to me in this way. Yeah, I had heard variations of the same thing but they never clicked with me. I was shocked. No wonder I'm 30 years old and still completely single without a prospect in sight, except for the guys that just want a little hanky panky!
So, I want to tell you what he said to me in our very first phone conversation we had late one night, because I think so many women could learn from this. It changed the way I think about men 180 degrees, and it may do the same for you:
He said, “Earlier in the evening when we were chatting on Facebook, we were having this great conversation. You were cute and funny, and had tons of personality and I was really enjoying chatting with you. But when I asked you about personal things and you answered, with honesty, about those things, in that moment you went from being a Girl to Take Home to Mom, to The Hook-up Girl. I automatically changed the way I thought of you and put you into the Hook-up Girl category, even though I knew you were just answering my questions with honesty and without being sexual. All you had to do was change the subject and you would have stayed out of the Hook-up girl category. The entire tone of our conversation changed from fun and interesting to just sexual.” He also said that it was very, very hard and almost impossible to get back to the Take Home to Mom category once you've been put into the Hook-up Girl category in a guys head, no matter how hard you try. Whoa. What??
I was shocked and kind of offended. HE asked the questions... I didn't bring anything up first, and I answered because I didn't think anything of just stating the facts! I had no idea how easy it was to flip the switch... or how fast. I also really liked Ideal Guy, and didn't want to be in the Hook-up Girl category. I wanted to be in the Take Home to Mom category. I deserve that, and told him so!
We eventually ended up talking about how using your sexuality to get validation was an addiction, and that I didn't need to use my sexuality at all to get guys to like me. He said that guys ALREADY see how sexy we are and we don't need to talk about it or flaunt it because most guys are more interested in finding out if we have anything of substance to go along with that sexiness they already see in us. Yes, they will test that and see what kind of girl we end up being to them. And yes, there are the guys that just want the hook-up, and aren't interested in anything else we have to offer, but that's NOT most guys.
Of course I had heard about those two categories that guys put us in more than a few times, but what I hadn't known was just how easy it was to be put into the Hook-up Girl category. That any little thing we do or say can put us there. I also naively thought that even if I was the hook-up girl at first that a guy would grow to care for me and put me into the Take Home to Mom category once he had gotten to know the real me, and he'd want me as his girlfriend. It doesn't work like that, and I've learned the hard, hard, hard way.
So now, I'm faced with the daunting challenge of changing the way I attract men, and also finding the validation I get from them within myself instead. The first thing I know I need to do is clean up my contact list. I'm going to cut loose all those men that just use me. I need to find myself to be happy, and I know that task will be easier without them. It'll be tough to change the habits I have, and without a doubt a little lonely, but I know it'll be worth it in the end. I refuse to be the Hook-up Girl any longer!
I'm sharing my journey with the mere hope that it could help inspire other women out there to find the happiness that they deserve too, without relying on the superficial validation that we get from men. I know, without a doubt, that I'm not the only woman out there that wants to find happiness and change my validation habits. I would love to hear any comments or insights that you may have to help and inspire those who read the blog. So here goes my journey to finding happiness and the love and respect that both you and I deserve. Kudos to me... and to you.