Tiny Tidings: Why Am I a F*ckboy Magnet?
Subject: I am a fuck boy magnet
Message: How does one cleanse their dating cycle?
Dear FuckBoy Magnet,
During college, my friend, Caitlin, had the strangest problem. For the first three years of undergrad, she would start hanging out with a guy, they'd have a very casual relationship. Nothing monogamous and it mostly revolved around sex. But everyone was consenting adults enjoying themselves. And it was very consistent. Then one day, they would abruptly end the fling. But that Caitlin's strange issue. That's a scenario we hear about a lot. What was strange is that these guys all found themselves in committed relationships with other young women within a month of breaking this off with Caitlin. And they'd remain in these relationships until after Caitlin graduated and left campus. They met their person. Or a person that was going to be a significant player in their lives. Either way, that person, wasn't Caitlin.
And it wasn't just 2 or 3 of the guys. It was every single guy she had a fling with. And nearly all of the guys she hooked up with. The pattern was hard to ignore. So we joked about it. We had a joke that Caitlin was matchmaking for the guys she was sleeping with. That Caitlin was heinous that she drove these men to find their future wives. Oh, we laughed, with/at her.
This joke was strong all of freshman year, through sophomore year, and all during junior year. But in the Fall Semester of senior year, Caitlin started hooking up with a guy friend. He was actually close friends with Caitlin and her friend group since high school. They'd known each other for eight years and remained close friends. I thought hooking up with him was a bad idea. I saw the disastrous endings.
A month into their "fling", he professed his love to her. He told her that he loved being her friend for nearly a decade and the last few years, something changed for him. He had very deep feelings for her. He wanted to be with her. Like maybe forever.
That was 8 years ago. And Caitlin and Tom have been married for five years and are expecting their first child in October.
My point is, its’ never clear why things happen or when you will meet the love of your life.
This sentiment can often be overheard from a well-meaning friend consoling her bestie after a breakup, when they inevitably blurt out, “It will. Happen when you least expect it.” Our more logical well-meaning friends like to bring reason to this phenomenon by saying, “No one will love you until you learn to love yourself.”
Both of these statements are true. And they are both very false. Yes, you can find love when you’re not looking for it. But you can also find love when you are looking for it. Just look at the 7% of marriages in 2015 that were between couples that met on a dating website, according to eharmony.
And you can definitely find love when you’re not in love with yourself. I know lots of people who didn’t love themselves when they found their partner, and their partner supported them in this growth. That’s also a very self-defeating thought. I think it’s silly to tell someone they have to love themselves in order to find love. That makes love conditional – and that is not the kind of love you want, Fuckboy Magnet.
Everyone has been out with a fuckboy or two. Most of us have dated at least one fuckboy for a few months. Some of us, feel like that’s all that’s out there. And that last group, is filled entirely of single people.
Because once you’ve found your person, you know and believe that there are good people out there. People who are worth your time and attention. People who will show you their heart by being vulnerable. People who will love you when you haven’t eaten all day and your blood sugar is really low and you’ve been screaming at the truck driving in front of you for going the speed limit and its stupid shade light blue.
That’s why it’s so easy for our non-single friends to say things like “It will happen at the right time!” and “It will happen when you least expect it!”. Because they know there are people out there that we can date, and love, and maybe marry. Because they’ve seen the goodness of humanity.
Right now, Fuckboy Magnet, you are only seeing the shit of humanity. You’re only seeing the sides of people that tell us to stay indoors binge-watching Law & Order: SVU. These fuckboys are reinforcing the belief to you that there is no one worth dating, let alone loving. And I completely understand that. I don’t blame you for feeling this way. It’s rough out there. It takes a tremendous amount of vulnerability and courage to date. It’s exhausting. It doesn’t make much sense that we force ourselves to do this thing that delivers nothing in return. I get why you’re frustrated and you feel like you need a cleanse.
Your original question – how to cleanse your dating cycle? – is important but a bit of a misnomer. Because it implies that you need to lose something, or a lot of things, in order to stop your pattern of dating shitty men. But loss is not what you need. You can’t “cleanse” your way out of this. You need MORE! More fuckboys. More dates. More dating apps. More coffee dates.
Add so much into your dating life, that you come to instinctually understand exactly what you want to feel in a relationship. Literally, make a list of feelings. Become so comfortable with dating that you have little to no expectations of the Fuckboy. He’s not a potential source of your happiness. He’s only someone you are inspecting as a viable candidate. Then when you inevitably meet the dozens of men who are unable to meet your list, you will be okay with saying “see ya”. Nothing personal. No hard feelings. Go on so many bad dates that you eventually understand that everyone is a Fuckboy until you meet the person you will marry. Get your heartbroken so many times that your heart grows bigger and more open, knowing that pain is just a part of life.
You’re not a Fuckboy magnet, you’re just not dating the right person yet. In other words, you’re single, which is not inherently a bad thing, but it can be incredibly lonely. We can be lonely when we’re single. We can be lonely in relationships. We can be lonely or connected no matter our relationship status. Because loneliness is not determined by how we date or marry. Loneliness is created by isolation; i.e. you’re disconnected from others.
You might be socializing at work all day, hanging out with friends and family, and yes, even dating all of the fuckboys. So how can you possibly be lonely? Let me ask you this - are you allowing your most vulnerable self to be seen in order to cultivate connection? Or are you allowing your shame to control you and your decision making and hoping to get the same results?
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” - Brene Brown
It is normal to be full of shame, anxiety, anger, depression, doubt, sadness. It is normal to feel these things for no reason. Suffering and pain are experienced by every single person in this world. No one person’s pain is greater or less than another’s. We’re all connected by the experience of human suffering. I have found this to be extremely comforting and helpful in forgiving others and building connection with them. Once I was able to understand that we’re all suffering, I was able to send people who had hurt me some compassion. But before I could find that, I had to send myself compassion.
I’ve had to forgive myself for not having everything figured out; for fucking up and being in credit card debt; for drinking too much and making mistakes; for not being far enough in my career as my dad was at my age; for being fired, for being in debt; for not being at the weight I want to be; for not being poised and graceful, for being bawdy and anxious. I had to be proud of myself for the growth I’ve made, but also forgive my past self for being less than perfect and accept that my present and future selves are less than perfect too.
I’ve had to get comfortable with being in pain. I’ve had to accept that there is no magic cure or one true passion or magic lightning bolt to make me feel like I’m living my life that I want. It’s going to be a lot of different little things and it all starts with just moving. I have learned that I have to act and take chances to figure things out.
And the same goes for you, Fuckboy Magnet. Forgive yourself for not meeting any arbitrary deadlines you’ve put on yourself. Especially around relationships. Lean into the pain, it’s not going anywhere. And bring more into your life. More dates. But especially more connection. Genuine, authentic, vulnerable connection.
You are loved,