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I convinced myself I could make things work, no matter the obstacle. But I wasn’t really trying to love them; I was trying to fix them. They whirled in their gyres and I’d throw myself in, too.

That tendency to “convince myself” is at the heart of what I now recognize as a problem. Partly, I liked the rush, but I also liked the challenge of ordering their universe. To point out where they had lied, or disappointed, or broken my trust.

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I’d stay in relationships that weren’t working, with people who clearly were not invested, because I thought I could work hard and invest enough for both of us.

I put precious energy into being the perfect possibility, hoping they couldn’t help but be drawn into my orbit.owadays, I try to ignore the mirages sparkling in the distance.

So, I’ve turned to fixing myself rather than other people.

In the process, I’ve seen how focusing on a mirage of the future made me overlook pretty shitty behavior in the present.

Find out if I actually like this guy who just climbed my hair. ” From books, film, and TV — even from my own family — I’d absorbed this lesson about women turning frogs into princes.

It didn’t happen through a single kiss, mind you, but through enormous effort devoted to sorting your man out, whether he liked it or not.All I did was point to each opportunity and facilitate things I was better at; things that were more straightforward for me, a native speaker and a Westerner. I tried to “do better” by dating wildly different men rather than working on myself.After a rather regrettable rebound with a man I nicknamed “Bad Decision,” I dated a string of people I will call “complicated,” with all of that word’s casual irony.I’ve also had to admit I’ve been less confident than I should have been.I believed I needed to prove my value by fixing the most brilliant, beautiful object in the room, rather than recognizing my own worth as a subject.On one hand, they were actually complicated: most were brilliant at something, or in general. They had stories to spare, and I always fall for a good story.

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