Human beings are naturally competitive. We all want to win; we want to be the best. It takes a real sport to shake off losing to someone else. I, for one, hate every form of competition because I hate to lose and I hate to fail.
With all that said, not only have I been told over and over again, I have also learnt that, unfortunately, in life, one cannot avoid failing and losing every once in a while. So, obviously, like everyone else, I have had periods when I lost and failed – periods that I pray would never re–occur (if only that could be).
Still on the subject of losing, many times, I thank God that I am not a man. I can only imagine what men go through to approach women they find attractive only to discover, sometimes with much pain and humiliation, that his feelings will never be returned. I guess “man” can be defined here as “an interesting creature that continually puts his heart on the line, bearing in mind that there’s a good chance that it’ll be smashed!”
I had a particular “toaster” over a year ago who was true to this definition. Although I was physically attracted to him, things just didn’t work out between us and I felt this was for the best. I figured that I needed more than physical attraction in a relationship, so I let him go and wished him well. I think, somewhere in me I didn’t see the need to hold onto him for the sake of it because he deserved to find a woman who would love and care for him in a reciprocal fashion.
One year later, I heard that he was getting married. The minute I heard of this, my heart skipped a beat and I fell into a mild depression. Why so? After worrying about his proposed BIG day for a couple of minutes, I repeatedly asked myself – why? Why was I so bothered about this? Why did it matter and why did I suddenly hate him and his bride-to-be whom I didn’t even know? After all, I had practically left the door wide open for her to walk straight into his life. So why on earth did I feel depressed? What was wrong with me?
I began to think long and hard about this. Ordinarily, even though I would love to be married someday, I am not the type to be unnecessarily preoccupied with getting hitched. In fact, I find that many are concerned that I don’t dwell on the issue as much as I ought to. In the past, I have celebrated weddings and marriages whole-heartedly with friends and family, so I knew it wasn’t jealously that was behind my unexplained mild depression.
It was simply because this “ex-toaster” of mine got to the finish line (altar) first. Although I had convinced myself that I wanted him to find his own – one who would love him uncontrollably and unconditionally – I just didn’t expect that he would find her before I found mine. I suddenly discovered that it had been important to me to prove that I am more desirable than he (even though desirability has little to do with finding the ONE) but I just didn’t realize it. I really wanted to win this unspoken competition and yet I didn’t. I had failed – my gripe wasn’t that I had lost him, it was that I had lost to him.
It was almost like this realization brought with it a sudden calmness and my brain and heart began functioning as they once had. I reminded myself of how much I didn’t want this groom-to-be even when he was all up in my face and of all the reasons that led me to that choice. I reassured myself that I could do much better, and that he also was better off with his, hopefully, God–given wife.
Today, I find those emotions I went through humorous. It really is typical of the human nature isn’t it? Suddenly finding this man attractive only because he was taken! When I spoke to my friends about it, they told me that they too had gone through the same feelings; even my male friends admitted this to me. It’s almost like we can’t believe what we rejected can be found acceptable, even to the point of marriage, by someone else, especially when we ourselves are still sitting on the shelf gathering dust!
For me, there was a vital lesson to be learnt. Before I discard the next guy, I must think carefully about that decision. I must weigh the pros and cons carefully. There is no need to start crying over spilt milk when I see the man of my dreams walking down the aisle with another woman when I practically drove him to her myself. God forbid! That way, if I do decide not to be with someone and I hear later on that he is getting married, before me, I can with all sincerity wish him and his bride to be the very best that marriage can offer.
My advice to every single lady out there is simple. Although, it is undisputed that there is an unspoken competition between ex-es when it comes to relationships, we don’t need to waste precious time analyzing to find that this kind of competition really is unreasonable and a complete waste of time. Even though some move faster than others, ultimately everybody moves on. I have come to accept this and I implore you to do the same if you haven’t already.
So what if he gets there first?
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