Lots of things in life irk me, and tops on the list are people who create trouble for themselves and then complain about the trouble they are in, blaming someone else. You did this to yourself and yet you’re bellyaching about it as if someone did it to you rather than take any responsibility for your role in it.
This associate, whom I’ll call Tammy, was in the break room at work upset about a situation in her home life. She met a fella a few years ago. She thought he was a nice guy, smart, and very nice looking. She actually went on and on about how cute she thought he was. (This reminds me of the Jeremy Meeks case.) Her only concern with him when they met was that he wasn’t working and wasn’t very motivated to do much work, other than short-term assignments. (Note #1: Why should he want to work when, according to Tammy, he was living in his momma’s house rent free and had no bills?). First off, she made it seem as though a man unmotived to work was a minor thing…but in my mind that’s very telling. Second, why does a healthy, able-bodied person not want to grow and have his own home and life? God bless the child who’s got his own, right? She liked him so much that she even offered to make dinner for him and his mom on several occasions, and she even was willing to take dinner over to the house, but he always declined. In spite of this, she continued dating him and things got serious. (Note#2: If you’re dating someone and they never have you over to their place, something is wrong with that scenario and you need to investigate before you proceed too quickly in the relationship.).
If you didn’t already guess what happened next, well let me tell you. She got pregnant, and he expressed excitement and joy about becoming a father; however, a few days later, he disappeared. He stopped calling and didn’t answer his phone. All the emails she sent went ignored too. She eventually stopped trying to contact him until after the baby was born, and with the help of a lawyer, she realized he had several court orders to pay child support, which he paid only sporadically. At this point she wondered what she saw in him. She also found out that the woman he lived with was allegedly a fiancé and not his mother, which Tammy felt was far worse than if it were his mother. (Note #3: Frankly, at this point it doesn’t even matter whether the woman was his mother or his wife or concubine or whomever.).
She sat in that break room telling me all of this, sobbing left and right, upset at this man for deceiving her. I wanted to ask her how much did she know about this man before she embarked on such a commitment with him. I wanted to ask her if she ever had that deep gut feeling that something isn’t right with this guy. You know that feeling you get when the voice in your head and the voice in your heart is telling you to wake your behind up and smell the coffee. You know that voice that always turns out to be right and would have saved you tons of trouble if you had only paid attention and listened to it. I also wanted to ask her, after acknowledging that she had a problem with dating a guy who is jobless and has no ambition, why she continued to date him – resulting in the types of problems that she anticipated from dating a guy like that. (Note#4: Always listen to your inner voice. Enough said). Getting a child support judgment against him is probably moot, given that he also has fathered other children whom he has failed to support.
I know, this sounds like the plot of a Lifetime movie. I could go on, but I’ll stop here. The rest of the story gets even crazier. But I’ve shared enough of the story to make my three points:
1. Get to know people before you invest too much time and energy in dating people. Take time to actually court and date them engaged in a variety of meaningful activities;
2. If there are things about someone you find unacceptable, then stick to your standard and don’t make exceptions just because you think they are cute; and
3. If things end up differently than you wanted them to, take some responsibility for the part you played in creating the path you are on. Your plight is not always the fault of someone else. Usually you are to blame, for the choice that you made. That can be a hard pill to swallow, and consequently, it’s easier to blame it on others.