I Stopped Falling For Jerks And So Can You

Smarmy man with a cigar

When I was a high school senior, I fell in love with a boy in college. It was just the kind of romance my over-emotional adolescent self craved.

This was back before email, so our relationship took place over handwritten love letters and the occasional phone call. I would imagine well-soundtracked reunions in my head, complete with tears and long, lustful kisses—something slightly Reality Bites with a splash of Far & Away. (It was 1995, after all.)

When it was finally time for my college man to come home for summer, I had all but convinced myself that we would continue our romance and soon find ourselves with college degrees and a marriage license. Sadly, two weeks after his return, he still hadn't called, and I did what most 17-year-olds with heartbreak did back then: I put on Tori Amos, threw a big old tantrum, and told myself that I would never fall in love like that again. Bad Breakup? 10 Things To Remember

Of course, I was wrong. I fell in love like that again within the month. I fell in love like that again and again over the years. Because, as I wrote in my memoir, 51 Weeks / 50 Dates: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life, I always fell in love with people who never called. And the only thing worse was if they actually did. Beware The Man With an Exit Plan

I liked assholes. No, I loved them, but now, looking back, I realize it wasn't just that. For the most part, every man who failed to call me was capable of calling someone else, and at a certain point, I had to face the fact that it wasn't just them, it was me. I begged for men to be unaccountable. I allowed them to be untrustworthy. And I expected them to leave. Breaking The Love Addiction

Advertisement Ditch the detox teas and meal replacement shakes! Noom has helped millions of people lose an average of 15 pounds in 16 weeks, and gain newfound confidence. Start your weight loss journey today!

Unfortunately, by the age of 32, those ideas had also left me incredibly, terribly alone. I hadn't been in a relationship in five years, and I had never lived with a man. Ever. My father left when I was three, and I spent my formative years living with a mother and a grandmother. No man ever slept in our woman castle. It was like a small, two-bedroom convent that doubled as a condo. And as I entered adulthood, it stayed that way. There were boyfriends, sure, but we were either too young or too casual to make it a co-habitation.

Written by Kristen McGuiness for lemondrop.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!