How many of us like to admit when someone isn’t into us, or at least not as into us as we are into him – and yet we still call him, wait for his texts, or let him come over at midnight to hang out, hoping he’ll see we’re the one? Have you done the walk of shame in your heels and LBD after a drunken night? Have you gone for the no-strings-attached rebound, only to fall in love again?
There are a few dating mistakes we’ve all made that we’d like to forget about.
I’m reading this great book by Tara Lee Reed (not the actress) called Coulda Woulda Shoulda. It’s like the Choose Your Own Adventure series for adults – specifically single people dating. In it, we get to play the protagonist and make all the decisions – oh, and suffer all the consequences, too. There are lots of endings. It’s not pretty, but it’s fun. Mostly because you get do-overs if something goes horribly wrong.
Too bad we can’t do the same thing in real life. I would love a few do-overs, especially for a couple of embarrassing moments. But I digress.
Let’s say you did get a chance to correct the wrongs of the past. Maybe you decide not to call or send a dozen texts to the guy who disappeared for no reason. Maybe instead of getting drunk you politely decline last call at the bar and go on home – alone. Maybe you think to yourself, kissing my best friend’s ex is probably not a good idea right now…
While you might have dodged that particular bullet, life is always presenting lessons for us to learn until we learn them. Am I right? Maybe you wouldn’t make the same mistake with the same guy, but what about the next time? It’s kind of pointless to beat ourselves up every single time we do make a dating mistake. Isn’t life about learning from all of our experiences, not just getting it right every time? There’s no such thing. We’re not perfect. We’re human. But we also need to learn something.
We’re always learning from our screw-ups, and this is a good thing.
I’ve discovered that no matter what path you choose – get drunk with him, sleep with him too soon, leave him after a brief kiss – wanting more, not answering his phone calls in order to look less available – in the end, these mistakes don’t matter to your overall love life trajectory. It’s the decisions you continue to make after you’ve made a mistake. Do you keep doing the same thing, or do you choose a different course of action next time?
In other words, the mistakes don’t matter in the long run. We all make mistakes. It’s part of the process. But we have to learn from them, or we just keep making the same ones over and over.
I’ll leave you with this nugget I learned back in middle school:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana