“Hi Anna! First of all I love your videos, you’ve really helped me so much over these past few months, so thank you. I wanted to ask for some advice. For context, I’ve been seeing this guy since late December, at first we saw each other at least once or twice a week but then I had to move back to my university town after the holidays. Since then we haven’t seen each other as much due to conflicting schedules. However he has made the effort to come and visit me 3 hours away on his days off every now and then. Over the past few weeks I’ve been wondering if a relationship with him is really what I want. We get along so well and I’ve never felt like I need to water myself down around him. He makes me feel so good, attractive and desired, and I am constantly happy and laughing around him. I guess the main reason I’m messaging is, I find myself wondering if the grass may be greener on the other side. I sometimes worry that if I get into this relationship, will I be missing out on something better?”
My Dearest Bad Biddie,
When I was in high school, I dated a guy who was my first real boyfriend and most definitely not a Chad. He loved and cared for me in a way that we don’t typically associate with seventeen-year-old high schoolers in both big ways and small. Not-Chad planned dates, listened to all of my deepest darkest insecurities without judgment, and, perhaps most tellingly, refused to brag to any of his buddies that we had “gone all the way” for a long time even after we had broken up. And, guess what? I fucked it all up.
I broke up with Not-Chad to go be with a different guy, let’s call him Chad. Chad was edgy, he was tortured, he was artistic, played mediocre piano and I loved it all. I left Not-Chad to go be with Chad because I was convinced that I was living my real life version of the freaking Notebook, and that somehow, leaving my stable, good-looking, well-mannered boyfriend with an amazing family for the high school personality equivalent of Noah Calhoun but without the big white house with blue shutters made sense. It didn’t take long for Chad to ghost me, cheat on me, and never speak to me again for no other reason other than the fact that he got bored of me after a few months.
And, I would do it all over again if I could. Well, I would do it all over again without hurting Not-Chad this time, but unfortunately, just as I have been collateral damage in other men’s journeys to find themselves, Not-Chad was collateral damage in mine. I left Not-Chad because the possibility of “what if” was too captivating for me to resist, and because the fantasy of what could be with Chad overshadowed the very real and very good reality I had with Not-Chad. It took me a decade of dating all the wrong men after breaking up with Not-Chad to meet my husband, and, as I sit here now at the ripe old age of thirty-two, I can tell you this: you will never smother the question of “what if?” burning within you if you do not go out and find the answer yourself. I don’t know exactly how old you are, but given the fact that you’re still shuttling between your university town and your hometown, I can wager a guess, and that guess is that you are freaking young as all hell.
Leave this man, not because he hasn’t been absolutely devoted to you, but because you want to, and because you need to in order to find out what it is you truly want. There were so many moments through the ten years between Not-Chad and prior to meeting my husband where I had fleeting moments of regret that I let a good guy go only to find out that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side. But, ultimately, Not-Chad deserved to be with a girl who didn’t need to let him go to realize what a catch he was, and I needed to let a good guy go and be with some not-so-good guys before I could be the partner my husband deserves. We are not born whole, we are forged into the people we are by the fires we are willing to walk through. Pick your fire.
Your internet hype woman
Broke up with my “Not-Chad” a few months ago for the same “What-if” feeling. This post really helped me get some clarity. You rock!
Thank you so much for sharing this, I just broke up with my not-Chad a month ago after nearly 4 years of dating and this helped reaffirm my decision! He deserves better and I deserve what I want.
Well, what we want, what we think we should want and what is actually good and suitable for us is a huge and lifelong struggle to find out.
Listen to your self telling you that you are probably not ready for this. Us women sometimes learn to ignore our true feelings about a situation because we are taught by this lovely patriarchal society that a man’s love and attention is the ultimate prize in life.
Love is a blessing nobody can deny that. But when it is the right kind of love for you, you know, you don’t bother with what ifs. But to know that you have to go through your own journey. Maybe you’ll find your soul mate, maybe not and both situations are ok, because all those beautiful things that this guy makes you feel now, you should be able to feel for your self.