Spirit Lovers, please welcome to the Spirit DJ fold, the wonderful, talented, smart and handsome to boot, David Hrostoski of How To Get Girls In College
David is a Mens Confidence Coach who helps college guys get the meaningful relationships with women that they really want. Like all good connections these days we met online(!) and for the last few weeks have been talking about love, romance and relationships and the male and female experience respectively. These conversations turned into a mutual blog fest.
David has written this brilliant piece about the classic conundrum that women often face throughout our romantic lives: Are you dating who he is, or who he could be? And I shared my unique and personal perspective over at HTGGIC on one thing I would love all men to know about us womenfolk. Check it out here
Let us know what you think, leave comments and join the conversation... But first read what David has to say about dating the guy he could be...
Are You Dating Who He Is, Or Who He Could Be?
By David Hrostoski
I’ve been asking this question a lot lately, and it’s a trend I see in many unhappy relationships.
In fact, I asked this question just yesterday to a really close girl friend, Ashley (names have been changed).
I was sitting in the back seat of a car, riding to a hookah lounge with my friends Ashley and Brittany. On the way, I asked Ashley how her relationship was going, and all she had to say was, “Eh. It’s not the best.” Brittany looked over and readily agreed: "He’s a dick,” she said.
Loving relationship talk as much as I do, I politely dug a bit. “What do you mean?”
At first, she couldn’t quite put her finger on exactly what it was he was doing that was so terrible. But, she knew without a doubt that wasn’t happy anymore. She was leaving the honeymoon stage of her relationship. That initial excitement was fading, and she found herself with someone who she just wan’t very fond of.
Then these words came out of her mouth. I’ve heard them way too many times, and they absolutely kill me to hear:
“I mean he sucks right now, but he’s promised to get better, and..I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just stick with it for a little longer and see if he can change.”
He sucks right now, but he can change.
Is this true?
Well, I was slouching a bit, and having a pretty casual conversation up to this point. But this peaked my interest. I sat up and asked, “Can I ask you a hard hitting question?”
“Of course,” she said.
“Are you dating who he is, or who he could be?”
She paused. Her energy dropped a bit. She thought, and said, “I don’t know...both?”
It started to click in her head. She didn’t really love him; she loved the ideal him. She loved the ideal man she had in her mind and was trying to cram her boyfriend into this mold.
I felt her pain and frustration, and they reminded me of my first relationship: my high school sweetheart. She had it all. She was the cutest girl in school, could hold a conversation with anybody, and brought out the best in me. For a while, that is.
Here I was two years deep in a relationship that drained me. I really did like her as a person, but deep down I knew she wasn’t the one I was going to spend my life with.
I tried to end things multiple times, but these scripts would run through my mind and hold me back:
“I’ve spent so much time investing in her. I don’t want to start over.”
“She isn’t perfect, but who is?”
“Maybe she is the best I can get. Who am I to say I deserve more?”
“I’m just afraid to be alone."
The day I ended it, I was really sad. And that sadness continued for a bit. Less because the relationship itself was ending, and more because I was now alone.
But, a few weeks later, I looked back at the weight I had been carrying on my shoulders for so long, and regretted not doing it earlier. I had the freedom and motivation to meet girls who were truly what I yearned for.
Now, I’m not saying that any time a relationship gets rocky, it’s time to break it off. Not at all.
Just like life has it’s ups and downs, so do relationships. The best times wouldn’t be so great if they weren’t contrasted with the worst.
But that relationship I found myself in, and so many relationships I see each day, are sadly just better off coming to an end.
I’m a Management Major at a top business college in America. One of the principles I learned my very first year of college was sunk costs. It’s the idea that in business, no matter how much capital you pour into a project, if it isn’t profitable today and won’t be in the future, stop it now! Get out!
My professor gave me an awesome example. It stuck with me to this day and has shaped the way I make decisions. He asked me to imagine that I just bought some opera tickets. They were $90, and non-refundable. Minutes after I bought them, I got a text from my best friend inviting me to a party. I’d much rather go to the party, but I just spent all this money! What do I do?
Well at our emotional core, these pretty intense thoughts and emotions come up right?
“I just spent so much money on these tickets! I have to go! Dang it!”
But wait a minute. The $90 is in the past. There’s absolutely no way to get it back. So why in the world do we have such a strong pull to make the second bad choice of going to the opera and missing out on something we find to be so much more fun?
We tend to hold onto things we’ve invested in. And nothing builds investment like time or money.
It’s the same in our relationships. Why is it so much harder to end a relationship of two years than a relationship of two weeks? Investment.
But if we take our investment out of the picture, what do we have left?
A crappy relationship that drains us.
Bam. Right to the heart. Now, that’s hard hitting! At least, it was for me.
I’m not here to end relationships. I’m here to help you feel alive again. And often, the first step is getting out of situations that drain us.
If you’re in your twenties, like me, you have less than 20,000 days left to live on this planet. We all have 168 hours in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. Our time is precious. Spending it with someone that tears us down, is quite literally a waste of our time on this earth.
It’s time to take control over your life. Because, only you have control over what you do, and how you do it.
If you are in a relationship, I ask you again, “Are you dating who he is, or who he could be?
If you’re dating who he is, and he’s wonderful, congratulations! I’m so unbelievably happy for you. You’re bound to have some great times ahead of you. If you have a close friend who is going through a tough situation with a guy who she constantly complains about, please pass this on. Don’t you want her to feel the level of love that you do?
If you’re dating who he could be, please. I beg you. Get out now. And put yourself back out there. I promise there is someone in your near future who will open your heart to love and let you experience everything you desire.