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What I Have Learned From The Women Who Quit Me

She said I was going to be fine, but I didn’t believe her.

First of all, how dare she put words in my mouth and thoughts in my head. I wanted to be with her and she didn’t want to be with me, and somehow she’s trying to convince me that if I just went along with this, I would be all the better for it. I thought she was wrong. I thought what I was feeling was real, but as it turned out, it was something else. Less like heart, more like ego.

My problem was, and has been for quite some time, not being able to distinguish between what is motivating me to pursue a woman: Is this heartfelt or is it prideful?

I don’t pose this question in hopes of someone answering it for me. Nor do I ask it so I can answer it myself. Ultimately, the question might be rhetorical — with one of those depends-on-the-person type of answers. But I have given a lot of thought to it as I continue to date not just one women, but multiple women at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the way women have been quick to quit me as of late. We’re dating, everything seems to be going well, then suddenly, they quit. Sometimes they say it’s not me, it’s them. But I’m too smart to know it’s never them entirely. Something about me affected them to the point where they choose to move on.

What happens as a result is I make an effort to change their mind. Sometimes this is a two hour effort, sometimes it’s a two day effort. I suggest we slow down instead of stopping things entirely, tell them, “Not so fast. Let’s talk about this.” And I feel like it’s all coming from the heart, like I don’t want to stop dating them because by doing so, my feelings would get hurt.

Two weeks later, I’m dating someone entirely new.

As hindsight is wont to do, I look back and see it wasn’t my feelings getting hurt at all. It was my pride. I will be fine, like they say, and it is not necessarily because I have found someone new, so much as it is I have gotten over the blow they delivered to my ego.  Hat tip to them for seeing what I couldn’t. I was confusing matters of the ego with matters of the heart; a common mistake we all make, but men especially because so much of what we do is swallowed up in hubris.

So thank you ladies who quit me. I appreciate your foresight and the ability to see my  feelings for you were real…real egotistical. Had it not been for you, I’d still be out here chasing you down, thinking that it was with you I would be most happy when all it really was that fueled my pursuance was a need to satisfy something I can easily satisfy on my own. It was with you I realized, just because I like someone, doesn’t mean I have feelings for them. I have a feeling for them. It’s singular and usually a matter of pride. The women who quit me delivered a blow to my ego, and because of them I realized, a blow to my ego is a lot easier to recover from than a blow to my heart.

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The Process: Ran this weekend, 3.25 miles. Will try to do it again tomorrow.

Poppin’ Questions Podcast: Episode 28 is up now for your entertainment. Click here to listen. Hit me on my Formspring or email me at feedback@untiligetmarried.com for a question to be considered for Episode 29.

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If you saw The Adjustment Bureau, which opened this past weekend, and didn’t read my post about it, please do so. Would love to hear your thoughts. [As Fate Would Have It: ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ And Us]

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  • Anonymous

    “It was with you I realized, just because I like someone, doesn’t mean I have feelings for them. I have a feeling for them. It’s singular and usually a matter of pride.”…the women might have sensed that and THAT’S why they quit you or they felt the same way and didn’t want to waste time. Not everyone wants to date as if they are 22 for as long as they can…

    Maybe your next post can be on “What you learned from the women YOU quit”

  • Mschatman

    I wish more men would be able to distinguish between the two. Then it would make things much less messy. A feeling for them vs feelings for them, is more monumental than the additive “s”. Often times while trying to spare someone’s feelings, we end up hurting them more instead. ..
    and you’re right. I’d take a bruised ego vs a bruised heart anyday!

  • Anonymous

    I sometimes think it is a “feeling of them” that causes the ego to get bruised on both sides even more. Who likes to know that they are dating just for the sake of dating and now whomever is bored or what have you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30401700 Tahani Tompkins

    this was real… i’m struggling with the whole feed the ego dating thing right now. sometimes i just date people just to do it and that’s not cool… interesting to see a man’s perspective on this…

  • Candy

    What does “dating as if they are 22” mean?

  • http://twitter.com/EvWasLike Junior

    This is exactly what I needed to read. A lot of women have just up and left me in the past few months, and I’ve been racking my brain to figure out why. I probably never will get a reason for my breakups, but instead of looking to them for answers, I realized I don’t need their validation to feed my ego or make me feel like I’m capable of pleasing someone.

    You said it best: It’s not enough to just ‘like’ someone because like is one, singular feeling. I’d rather them let me go, seeing that I’d be better off without them, than me try to keep a woman who has her own reasons for ‘quitting me’, for lack of a better term.

  • Anonymous

    In my 20’s my friends and I dated, and dated a lot just for the sake of going out. Its a saying that we use. It doesn’t mean anything negative and sorry if it came out that way. It was just a time when we dated and didn’t look for substance. After a while guys would get a whiff of that and ask if we wanted anything more. At the time we didn’t. Now we are in our mid 30’s and we’d rather have substance than just date for the sake of going out.

  • Anonymous

    Plus the thought is that your 20’s is supposed to be the time when you “find yourself” and “have fun”, “experiment”.

  • Guest

    “just because I like someone, doesn’t mean I have feelings for them”
    The line that i believe was a highlight to me throughout your article.

  • SLB

    “Two weeks later, I’m dating someone entirely new.”

    Maybe this is why women quit you, they sense that to you, all you are changing is the face and that what is between their legs is all the same. I kind of have an idea where you were going with this post, but for some reason, I think it was lost in translation. It doesn’t paint you in the best light, but rather makes it seem like it IS because of your ego that you find a replacement so soon.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you said this, as I really wanted to give the benefit of the doubt…

  • http://www.outsidesinside.blogspot.com/ esoteric

    “…what I’ve come to realize is, a blow to my ego is a whole lot easier to recover from than a blow to my heart.”- I so wish I would have had this quote to ponder in the past. I had to learn the hard way! I ended up with a fractured ego and a broken heart… I couldn’t figure out which one was worst… I’d never embraced the power of the heart and I over valued my ego… smh… le sigh …

  • http://twitter.com/Kat_LynD Katina-Lyn Denosi

    I think after a while we all become really susceptible to give Jozen the BOTD because he is willing to pour his heart out on a daily basis here. However, I have to agree with this sentiment. Some women grow up with the desire to be “the good girl” who is strong and takes all the emotional beatings a man can put us through like a champ, but it just isn’t healthy and it’s better for us in the end to just walk away from his destructive path (not to say this is the same path you’re taking, Jozen) but from the outside looking in, seeing yourself as a replaceable face is an image no man or woman desires to possess. This post is definitely one to ponder.

  • http://blackgirlblue.com Katsumi

    I can’t presume to know exactly what the women who quit you meant when they assured you that you’d “be alright”-but I do know that this line always accompanies my good-bye. Sometimes it’s been said coldly while chuckin’ the deuces– but on other occasions I’ve said it while caressing his head in my lap (the long good-bye, as it were). I say it whether or not he was with me because of his ego–or because of his heart. So, prior to tipping your hat to them “for seeing what [you] couldn’t,” realize that it’s sometimes one of those things that is said just to say.

  • CristinaNYC

    I think this is very insightful, we have all been there at some point!

  • Cli

    How are you to know when the right girl comes along if you aren´t able to differentiate between the heart and the ego..What if she has already come and gone..

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