View this post on Instagram
It was a Friday night, and I had been waiting for this date all week.
I pulled my hair into a ponytail and added some lip gloss. I was 20-something; dates were casual.
I had met him at the gym and the chemistry was on fire. He stayed at the gym later than I did on most days. So I would add extra time to my normal workout routine in hopes of bumping into him in the parking lot—alone.
We had been doing the flirty stare thing for weeks, and I had enough of it. I wanted his name, number, and maybe a few makeout sessions.
Then finally, one day, he asked me out. My consistent stalling at the gym had paid off.
We hit it off. He had everything I wanted in someone. There was an attraction. My body screamed for him. We had so much to talk about. He was smart. He was successful. He had available time to date because he was already established in his career. Score.
I loved every minute with him.
But something was missing. I couldn’t tell what it was right away. I had been without a boyfriend for some time, so I wasn’t looking to couple up with anyone. I just liked spending time with someone. Not just anyone, but with him. I liked dating him.
As I slipped on my flip-flops, my phone beeped with an incoming text message.
I hurried over to my phone and my stomach dropped when I read his words.
“Can’t make it tonight.”
This was the third time this month he had canceled. Last month, he canceled four times. And the reasons, if I got any, were really lame.
But I kept my mouth shut. I really liked this guy. I didn’t want to mess up what we had. I didn’t want to push for more. I wanted to keep seeing him when he had free time. So I let him control when we would see each other. I never asked for time with him. I kept telling myself I didn’t care whether he called or not. But every time he asked me out, I said yes. I said yes because I liked him. I said yes because we were dating. I mean, is that not what dating was about?
But I allowed him to give me little bits and pieces. And here’s the thing about that: he was giving me the scraps. He was giving me just enough to keep me waiting, but not enough to give me all of him.
Why did I allow someone to give me scraps?
I didn’t want a boyfriend. I wasn’t looking for my forever person. But I deserved someone’s full attention, even if we were just casually dating. I deserved someone who came through when we made plans. I deserved someone to make me feel like I was a part of this thing we were doing, not just when it was convenient for him.
I allowed him to continue to give me his f*cking scraps, even on my birthday, which he had completely missed. We were dating for months. We were sleeping together. He couldn’t even remember my goddamn birthday.
I kept telling myself we were only dating and that was how dating went, right? We were trying to see if, maybe, it was something.
That is not how dating goes.
Why did I allow this person to treat me this way?
For starters, I wasn’t meeting anyone of interest during this single time in my life. So when we clicked in so many areas, I hung on even when I knew something wasn’t right.
I felt lonely. It didn’t matter how complete I felt on my own; lonely is lonely. So I allowed the loneliness to take over what I knew wasn’t good enough for me. I was satisfied with any time versus no time with anyone at all.
Loneliness will do that to you.
I missed having companionship. So I let whatever little time this person was willing to give me be enough. And I made excuses why it was okay that I received the scraps.
I knew what it was and I accepted it anyway. I was already prepared for the worse so I wouldn’t get hurt when it ended. But that still didn’t mean I should ever accept that sh*t.
Sometimes, anything is better than nothing at all. At least in my head, it was. When we come from nothing, we tend to make something better than it actually is. But also, because I still didn’t think I deserved better than what was being handed to me.
Even though I wasn’t looking for forever, I still deserved more than the scraps from the person I was spending my time with.
How do we know when we are being handed scraps? If we have to question any part of it, most likely, it is scraps.
Just dating is not an excuse to treat anyone less than they deserve. Just dating is not an excuse to accept being treated less than we deserve.
When we find someone good for us, we will know it without a question. We will feel it in every part of it. They don’t have to be our forever, but we deserve to date the nice ones. The ones who will give us all of them during our time together, no matter how long it lasts.
F*ck your scraps. I deserve the best.