by Jane Moneypenny

“Maybe you’re not ready.”

Chrissy muses as we take a drive to a show. With these four words were said outlaid to me, I actually stopped completely to take in the meaning. Not ready? How is that possible? In the last few years, I’ve claimed I’m open to relationships, open to the idea of fitting someone into my very busy life, open to the possibility of love. I’ve put myself out there, taken risks and really truly lived life.

“I mean, why else would you always end up with people that are such disasters at life, such as Mr. Alcoholic?”

She had a point.

In the last few years since my new life in Austin, I tried with Mr. Co-worker and Pen, but true to form, they a disaster at their own lives. Far removed from those situations now, I not only regret both, but can’t grasp why I was ever attracted to them in the first place.

Every guy in my life has been a mess. I’m a mess. The pain and heartache and angst are emotions I would never wish upon people, but I seem to keep falling into it, like an old bad habit. It’s what I know; I have the process perfected. When it really comes down to it, as much as I have a little bit of heartache when I see happy couples, I’m terrified of a real relationship. Panic seizes my heart. Am I as bad a the guys I fall for? Am I merely amused by the THOUGHT of love?

Mel, you’re right, I obviously don’t go after the guys I should be, either out of fear or some lingering after effect of abusive ex-boyfriends. As you said:

“For me, the change came when I was no longer willing to compromise. I had a very clear idea in my head of who I was looking for – what he stood for, how he would treat me. I also had a very clear understanding of my own self worth. I knew without a doubt what I deserved. And I wasn’t willing to even give emotionless make-outs to guys who didn’t measure up.”

My best Austin girlfriend says, “You either play the game or you don’t. When he texts and you’re bored and want to have fun, answer. If you know you can’t handle it, don’t. It’s all in your court.”

Chrissy’s boyfriend is constantly wanting to set me up with people (unfortunately, all losers) because he thinks “Jane needs to share her awesomeness with someone.” I’m turning 28 in a month; I’m well aware of who I am, my self-worth and how far I’ve come along this very tough journey. Why do I keep slipping into old habits then?

Maybe I’m really not ready. Huh.