Unfortunately, I don’t have the best dating record to my name. It can all be traced back to high-school when I experienced my first heartbreak. We dated for about three years before he broke up with me straight out of high-school. His reasoning for the break-up has stuck with me ever since, causing me to self criticize myself every day. He told me I was “too safe,” meaning that if I had put some more effort in my style, or had been more socially popular, things would have turned out differently. As I said, it made me criticize myself; overdoing and over-correcting every little piece of criticism I received. It wasn’t the only time it happened to me, and each time made me feel like I needed to conform to a certain box in order to be truly loved.
"... it made me criticize myself; overdoing and over-correcting every little piece of criticism I received."
It happened again a few years ago. I dated a cute guy I met through mutual friends. Usually, I would have avoided dating someone from my close circle. However, I made this one exception. We dated for several months before he started ghosting me, ignoring my calls and texts. Considering the fact that we have a lot of shared friends, we met again not long after. Seeing him, I confronted him and asked him what had happened. In response, he told me I was “too much of a commitment,” as I was very clear of what I want and looking for in life. Apparently, that was too much for this guy, who ran away from the relationship.
It took me some time to gain a new perspective on all these unfortunate events. Now that I am in a healthy and mature relationship, I often take the time to look back at my previous relationships in hopes that I’ll see things in a new light. What I had noticed is a pattern. With each criticism, with each “too much,” I was stuck in a loop, trying to prove to them and myself that this is not true about me. Too smart, too high maintenance, too dominant, too present, and so on, all of which I received from men at a certain point. It made me wonder, how can anyone be "too much" of these wonderful qualities?