I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath!  As promised, what follows is my seriously humiliating story of falling for the wrong man and holding on for dear life.  I’m quite sure I’ll feel fantastic once I share this so publicly…not! (The things I do for you!)

(If you missed it, you can read Part One here.)

When I met Steve I was 35. I was an accomplished, independent, grownup woman.  Steve told me on our third date that he would never marry me.  He said that he would “hang out with me” until I was ready to move on, but would never make any commitment.

I was looking for marriage and told him so. But yah, you guessed it: I chose to stay and fell in love.  After about 3 years (!!) with him, during which time we practically lived together and he was always kind and fun to be with, he never ever called me his girlfriend. And although he never swayed from his initial declaration, I was oh so sure he would change his mind.

Any day, I thought. But it never happened. I was crushed when I realized the truth and I finally left. I cried my eyes out for months.  I honestly thought my chance for love had passed me by.  (Steve quickly moved on and last I heard, at 50+, he is still single.)

Fast forward to today.  It’s many (many) years later.  Years spent in a some mini-relationships and affairs; dating offline, online, and speedily; going to seminars and reading books so I could “understand” men; and paying for some bad and some great therapy.  And voila!  Here I am, an extraordinarily happy and fulfilled woman married for life to an amazing and loving man, sharing the grown-up relationship of my dreams.  (It took a lot of work to get here, but let me tell you that the payoff is spectacular.)

So now, I’m here to say to my dear Steve: Thank you so freakin’ much for rejecting me by refusing to marry me!!

Praise the Goddess, Allah, the Universe, your Aunt Tilley…whomever…that the Steves in our lives reject us.  I now understand that men tend to be clear about who they are, what and who they want, and how much they are willing to give.  And if they declare it as Steve did; believe them!

If a man has no real interest in knowing you and making you happy, he may hang out with you but he won’t commit to sticking around to nourish your heart and mind. No matter how convinced you are that he’s The One, you need to take a man’s rejection as a red flag.  It may mean he sees that you’re not a good match.  Like my Steve, it may have absolutely nothing to do with you and how fabulous you are. Rather, it may have everything to do with him, his chosen path, and his goals in life.

Or maybe he just wouldn’t be caught dead married to a gal with your hair color.  No matter; these guys are doing us a huge favor when they don’t reciprocate our adoration and they reject us.  They don’t necessarily do it out of the goodness of their heart, but it’s a mitzvah nonetheless. (Mitzvah=good deed, for the Yiddish challenged.)

Girlfriends, many of us at various times in our lives fall for men who are not good for us.  We do it for many reasons.  We’re attracted by all sorts of whacky things, and can make bad choices.  You need to like and respect yourself  enough to expect from a man the happiness and adoration you deserve.  Until you find him, thank the man who rejects you, dumps you, and disappears.  He probably knows something you don’t.