Spain Update #10: To All Those Boys…

Let’s talk about DATING.

Navigating the cruel and crazy beast that is dating can honestly be exhausting. It is fun, but sometimes it’s also the worst. As an extrovert, I really enjoy meeting new people, but it can be hard to put yourself out there emotionally and risk getting hurt. In the past 5 months or so, as I’ve navigated the dating world for – really – the first time, I’ve watched my preferences and wants evolve enormously.

As you all know, in order to make connections and actually receive love, you must open yourself up to it. You must allow yourself to be vulnerable to others. So in the spirit of exercising vulnerability, I decided to cover a few of my own personal experiences. Oh hell, I will just address those boys DIRECTLY. Here we go:

To the boy I deeply connected with but the timing was all wrong…

You’re damaged, and I knew it from the moment I started talking to you. But I was closed off too, so I went for it. It was all so easy. I honestly wasn’t expecting such an amazing connection with you, and it took a long time to let you go – to be honest. I don’t know how or why the chemistry was so electric between us, but I want to thank you for teaching me that connection alone is not enough. You aren’t ready for someone like me, and it makes me sad to think about how the energy ended up feeling so toxic. One day, I know you will make a lucky girl very happy – once you get through what you are dealing with. The thing is that I could always see behind your front, and I know you are a decent person. Because of you, I learned that sometimes even complete strangers can feel so in sync. And going forward, I think that type of connection is something I will always seek and strive for.

To the boy that sent me mixed signals…

I know you are a nice guy, and you weren’t doing it on purpose. You were trying to keep me available as an option. But I’ve already learned that lesson, and I don’t allow myself to play that role. So I had to walk away. You live so far, and I can understand why things would never work. What you don’t know is that I needed you that day we met to help me heal. I picked you on purpose for a reason – because of another dude. Thanks for helping me get over the other guy I was stuck on, which you knew nothing about. And unexpectedly, you helped remind me that good guys still exist, at a time when I was convinced they didn’t. I wasn’t expecting to like you and your friends so much. I’m honestly so glad I met all of you. Walking away was something necessary for me, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still think of you often. I appreciate you unintentionally showing me a glimpse of the type of man I actually want to be with some day. 

To the boy that ghosted me after we hooked up…

I knew what it was, and I still wanted to do it. You were hot and visiting from a country I’ve never been to. We had some great conversation over a nice meal, and we danced the night away. I didn’t think I’d get attached and actually like you. I didn’t know I would feel a little used. Part of me thought that getting to know you was pointless, but I was having so much fun – and I don’t regret a thing. From you, I learned that I finally wanted more than just hookups – that I want to connect and get to know people, so thanks for that realization!

To the boy I dated the longest here…

I’m grateful for the good times we had together. You were a gentleman, and you always got the check. You took me to your favorite restaurants, and then on a trip to a different country. You even cooked for me. In the end, we both weren’t ready for more commitment – and I think we realized our connection felt forced. With you, I learned how to date a Spanish man, or how to date ANY man after being in my previous relationship for so long. You really were exactly what I needed after a crazy summer because you helped me see the value in settling into something steady. I’m glad we can catch up amicably when we see each other.

To the boy that I didn’t want to keep dating…

First, I’m sorry for that time I ghosted you. In a big city, it is sometimes hard to manage priorities or know how to respond. I was in a phase of serial dating when I met you. I was talking to too many people, and I definitely didn’t want anything but fun. I’m glad you never took it personally. I never saw a connection there, and although the conversation was great, that is not a reason to continue dating. Thanks for driving me out to watch the sunset and to eat some amazing food, on more than one occasion. I still hope we can hang out again as friends.

To the boy in the club that was trying so hard to score with me…

I don’t know why you thought I was that girl, even after I told you I wasn’t. I used to get offended and feel disrespected, but these situations have really taught me a lot. Thanks to boys like you, I learned to gauge a man’s intentions early on. I learned how to play right back, and I wanted to let you know something. Ladies will always accept your free drinks, but don’t start thinking that we need you – because us ladies can pick anyone in that club we want. I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to feel empowered and to really show myself some self-respect. Good luck with those lines though! My girls and I enjoy the laughs… and the free booze.

To the boy that insulted me but I still gave the benefit of the doubt…

Looking back at when I met you, I was so naive in my dating experiences. You told me I looked like the joker for smiling so much. I brushed it off as a “lost in translation” type of situation – and I was emotionally closed off anyway, so maybe that’s why I didn’t care. It wasn’t until later that I really saw the type of person you are. I have to admit that when we hung out, it wasn’t really all that bad though. Our date was fun, and you took me on my first motorbike ride through BCN. I will never forget us riding through the riots and avoiding burning trash cans. I now know that all you really wanted from me was sex, even though that wasn’t made clear to me at the time. So thanks for teaching me more about the importance of understanding someone’s intentions. Thanks for helping me see that sometimes people play “one-and-done” roles in your life. And thanks for helping me identify what I don’t want from a man.

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