Years ago a friend and I were out having drinks and a couple of older gentlemen began a conversation with us. During the conversation, they spoke about independent women. They seemed to be fine with a woman having an apartment and a car but when they found out that we had degrees and I had my own home, the response was different. One of them said “Oh no! A man isn’t going to want you because you’re already set. He can’t offer you anything.” I told him that was ridiculous. How can a man be that chauvinistic and shallow? A man shouldn’t be threatened by an accomplished woman. But in reality the gentleman had a point because I always seemed to end up with that type of man—I just didn’t realize it at the time
Three years ago I took a break from dating. I’m a relationship person so whenever one ended I was immediately in another. I never had enough “down time” between relationships (3-4 months tops). I thought that was enough time to ‘process’ but I was only fooling myself.
Because I didn’t give myself time to really learn about what I truly wanted from a man, I’d end up with the same man (just a different face). The men I’ve been with were insecure or jealous so they tried to find ways to control me or make me feel “less than”. They didn’t listen, had no idea who I really was, and possessed no desire to find out what my aspirations were. And, if that wasn’t bad enough the last man I was involved with was a huge step down—in every way possible—and yet he was the same as the rest. That was a wakeup call and I knew that it was time to stop the madness. I broke it off and made a vow to take a break from dating until I felt that I could trust myself to make a healthier choice in men.
Companionship was the main attraction. There was someone to talk to, hang out with, make love to, etc. But the cost was too great because at the end of the day, they didn’t know Kim and therefore didn’t know how to love Kim. Also, in a lot of ways I didn’t know or love myself enough and I had to take responsibility for my poor choices.
Over the last 3 years I’ve been asked out the answer has been “no.” I’d tell them simply and truthfully that I needed time to myself. I just didn’t want a man distracting me from learning who I am and what I require in a healthy relationship. I wanted to examine what I really had to offer as well. This break has given me a power and self-control I never thought possible. I don’t have to say yes to a man just because he asked me out. I needed time to heal from every bad relationship I ever had, every devastating betrayal, and every man who was not worthy. I’ve finally broken my relationship cycle!
I feel healthier and complete. I don’t feel in a rush to be with anyone. When I’m ready to date again, I now know that I won’t settle for less than a whole man- one who is comfortable with me regardless of what I may (or may not) have.
Bolder Sisters, how did you break a self-destructing cycle?
Kim Woods earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University. She developed a love for writing poetry and short stories as a child. Kim is socially conscience and her desire to use her life experiences to help others is what drives her to seek opportunities to share her story. She decided to write freelance for the Bolder Sister because it is her desire that women evolve and thrive in their own authentic truth.
Kim resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son, Donald. In addition to writing, she spends free time creating unique wall art, decorating, and teaching herself how to sculpture.