Frustrated and confused by the modern day dating world (and so over the fuckboys), I decided to take refuge in one of my all time favorite goth romance novels, "Rebecca."
Originally published in 1938, "Rebecca" has reminded me of the stark differences in dating “back in the day” versus our current dating environment, but it has also pointed out some striking similarities.
The story is about a young woman trying to work herself into high society and she ends up falling for a mysterious and famous millionaire. He's edgy, closed off and hides a dark secret.
I totally get her infatuation with him. There's just something about an emotionally unavailable man that drives girls nuts. It did back then, and it certainly still does now.
What I found most shocking about her situation was the way she felt while embarking on a relationship with this man. Decades later, it's almost identical to how so many of my girlfriends, myself included, feel when starting a relationship with someone who's hard to read, intriguing and who we can't imagine not exploring something further with.
Similar to the modern girl, Rebecca seemed insecure and unsure of herself after the first several encounters. Every encounter was piled high with hopes and expectations. Sound familiar?
What is it about falling for someone that makes us so unsure of ourselves? Do guys feel like this too?
I mean, the poor girl is critiquing every single word, action and hair out of line in front of him. I don't know about you, but I find feeling this insecure in a new relationship absolutely miserable.
The thing with this “teensy” insecurity problem is that it exacerbates itself even further than the initial stages of the relationship. It did back in the day, and it still does now.
As demonstrated by this book, when you feel insecure you let yourself feel as though your partner is superior; they can do no wrong. Then, you start to make excuses for them.
"They were really stressed with work today so that's why they forgot to return my call, no big deal,” “He's with the guys tonight, he needs his guy time, I'll let him be." We convince ourselves of these dumb excuses, when really, they're just excuses.
If you're in the right relationship with the right person, you should never feel any of the above, especially early on. It should be easy, and your relationship shouldn't heighten your insecurities, it should validate you.
Your boyfriend should build you up in a real emotional way, not just superficially boost your ego because he's rich or famous. That high never lasts long.
So what's the resolve here? It seems that these difficult-to-figure-out relationships, and men, are the ones that we gravitate toward. They're just so damn attractive, yet it takes a hell of a lot of patience to be constantly trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle of a man.
Until we realize that when relationships start like this they never end well, we'll continue to stay on this endless cycle of hard to figure out guys, insecurities and making excuses for someone who actually just doesn't give a fuck.
There comes a point in every single girl's life where she becomes ready to hang up her detective equipment and find her equal -- someone who loves and understands her, who validates her and who makes her a better person.
To me, that's the goal that's worth waiting for. I can't imagine a life with someone when I'm constantly second guessing what's going through their mind and constantly excusing them for not making me a priority.
I can forgive myself for learning my lesson on men the hard way time and time again. These guys must really have something if they've had power over us females for near a century but I'm hoping I've finally figured out how to get over it.