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Together or Alone

When I was a little girl, I would insist on sitting in the front seat during every single carride. If my brother would ever try to steal it from me, I would refuse to get in the car, forcing my poor mother to chase me as I did laps around our old Jeep Cherokee.
Now, at 22, I'm (slightly) more mature, and (most of the time) would happily hand the front seat off to my brother if he wanted it. However, I came to the realization last night that not much has changed in me since those days, except that my behavior is no longer connected with car seating... now, it is linked with my self-destructive dating habits.
Everyone always says that even the most heart-shattering relationships are worth it in the end, because your failures teach you about your life and about yourself. "You live, you learn," they say. I used to believe that; I used to enjoy quotes like, "Scars and stiches always fade, and only strengthen me," and maybe I still do believe all of that... to a point. But mostly, for me, it seems like the more relationships I endure, the only thing I learn is that I don't have a ****** clue what I'm doing.
I haven't gotten smarter. I haven't learned what it really is I'm looking for. I'm far more lost than I was when I was 16 and madly in love with my high school sweetheart.
I guess I have a vague understanding of what I'm supposed to be learning, but I always seem to just repeat the mistakes of my past.
You see, when I wanted that front seat and couldn't have it, I did whatever it took to get it -- even if that meant making a grown woman run around her garage for 15 minutes chasing after her brat of a daughter. Because eventually, she would end up getting so frustrated with me that she didn't feel like dealing with it anymore, so she'd always make my brother get in the backseat. I'd always win. I always ended up getting what I wanted.
Now that I'm older, if I come across a man that I can't have for whatever reason, I (again) will do whatever it takes to get him. Unfortunately, these men don't give in as easily as my mother... and that's how this game becomes self-destructive.
I am lucky enough to have had a number of amazing guys in my life who treated me perfectly and would have done anything for me. Unfortunately, I am also stupid enough to have quickly lost any interest in these men, and did whatever it took to get rid of them. It was too easy.
However, if I express interest in a man who lets me know he doesn't feel the same way -- or he does, but there is some obstacle in the way of our being together -- my attraction for this man immediately increases, with rapid acceleration over the coming months.
This is all completely unconscious; I actually just figured out that I was even playing this little game.
I think my dating habits are much more emotionally dangerous than those of women who fall for the ******. At least the ****** are pricks from the beginning, or somewhat early on in the "relationship." My men, however, are never the disrespectful, cocky guys who are just trying to get laid before they go off and ****** someone else. My men have always treated me well. We have long, deep conversations. We spend hours curled up in bed watching movies. They take me out to dinner and make me breakfast. Each becomes, essentially, my "boyfriend" ...except, not my "boyfriend," because by definition these men must have some sort of firm inability to have a "girlfriend" at that particular point in their lives. He just broke up with his girlfriend of 5 years and the term "girlfriend" scares the shit out of him, even though he sincerely enjoys being with just one girl (in this case, me). Or, his best friend is secretly in love with me, and he could never do that to his friend. Or, he's had too many dysfunctional relationships to let the title "girlfriend" ruin this one.
Not that the title really matters here.... but sometimes, I must admit, it does.
I have now come to realize that my desire to have what I can't get is what attracts me to these types of men.... the types of men who have genuine feelings for me, and with whom I share unforgettable moments.... but who are also strongly opposed to relationships and will never be able to completely acknowledge me in public, always leaving me to feel just-not-good-enough.
The most frustrating part is I completely set myself up for it. The fact that they are somewhat emotionally unavailable actually makes me more attracted to them. And then I end up heartbroken when I realize they are never going to be able to give me what I really want... but I don't even know what that is anyways, so like I said in the beginning, I don't have the slightest ****** clue. I am doomed.
If you have a hard time with relationships, either keeping meaningful ones or picking bad ones, it may be a mental illness, talk to a therapist or a doctor, they can help you out.
You are actually well on your way to helping yourself. You've already determined the problem, admitted it, and realized the cause. Now the hard part has to happen. You say that you are doing these things unconsciously. Start doing things consciously! Go over all of your past loves and determine what it is you like and dislike about them. Do you just like the drama it creates in your life? Do you like that they aren't willing to commit because maybe you are not willing to commit? It's the things you don't like that will be the most telling. Perhaps you don't like that they wouldn't call you their girlfriend? You want to look for someone who will. Was there a specific reason each one broke up with you? I had someone break up with me because he thought I didn't fight my own battles. In some cases I didn't, but he also would not stand up for me in almost all situations, even though I could stand up for him at the drop of a hat. I figured out that I was testing him and he didn't pass the test.

Your post proves that you are good at analyzing situations as long as you are looking in from the outside. Step outside your self and analyze yourself. And make sure you write down your findings. That way you will tend to progress. If you just keep thinking things over in your head you tend to forget or go in circles. This way you have a record and can review what you have or correct things that you've changed your mind about!

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