Good Girl Gone Bad… Probably Not

I’ve always been the “good girl.” I’m not mean or vindictive, and I always try to do right by others. Treat others as you would want to be treated is one of my mantras. Keep a positive attitude no matter what, and don’t be bitter. I try my best to see the light at the end of the tunnel… a real, silver-lining kind of girl. In relationships, I try my best not to fight about anything that’s clearly not worth arguing over. Never cheat, don’t lie, be open minded and accepting. Be supportive even when you don’t share their vision. Even while being single, I’ve been good. I’m not out partying (I’m not saying anyone is “bad’ if they do these things) or doing drugs. Hell, I’m almost 31 and I can count on one hand how many sexual partners I’ve had! Yet and still, all of these things have not worked so far because I’m not married. I’m a single mother with hopes of having more children with not one prospect in sight. I think I’m a catch, but have I been doing this wrong this whole time?

From the age of nineteen to my late twenties, I was in a relationship with a man (The fact that he wasn’t always in that relationship with me is a totally different subject). I did my part in standing by him regardless of everything that he put me through. I supported him through countless business ventures, baby-mama drama, and money issues because I loved him. And being in love can make things that shouldn’t make sense, make perfect sense—especially when you are young. By the time I got older, I was holding on for different reasons. “Maybe he will want to change so we can work,” “If I just continue to stick by him, he will see all his wrongs and want to do right by me.” If I had a penny for all of those hopes and dreams, I’d be a millionaire. Truth is, a man won’t change until he’s ready. And why on earth would he change if he isn’t required to? When I gave him my all and he didn’t have to work an ounce for it, why would he? Looking back on it, if I was that kind of person I would have mistreated me too.

While I stayed faithful and committed, he experienced being with other people. I didn’t know while it was going on, but it would always come out later. He would say sorry and I would forgive him—you know the drill. While I went to work and school then came home, he worked and partied with friends which is the normal stuff someone in their 20s should do, but I missed out on because I was being “good.” I can’t be mad at him because he definitely lived his life how he wanted to. I just wish at times that he would have left me alone, or that I would have just walked out and never returned. Then maybe, just maybe, I would have experienced life as an average twenty-year-old also. Instead, I spent my twenties being married to someone who had no intention on marrying me at all.

All of this taught me so much about life, myself, and how much I am capable of enduring. I have so much love inside of me, and if I can love this person this much and he not be the one for me, imagine how much I can love the man who God has made for me. I don’t believe in wasted time, and I don’t regret any of it because we did have so much fun over the years. To this day, our bond is hard to explain to others. I believe that no matter what bad things people go through, no one on the outside can know what those two share by just looking in. So, I thank him for the whole experience because it certainly molded me into the woman I am today. Most importantly, had I not gone through all of this I wouldn’t have my daughter. For her, I would change nothing in the world about those years.

My thoughts on relationships are a bit different now. I am still the same person in being loyal and loving, committed and honest. But when it comes to dealing with certain matters, I know I have to change some things. I know what I will and will not deal with in a future relationship because I know what I’m worth. But the thought of my easygoing personality being the reason of why certain relationships have not worked scares me. I’ve been told that I’m non-confrontational which translates into being a pushover to most, and that’s sad. I just pray that the next man who enters my life is ready to be with one person and is ready to give his all like I am willing to.

Since being single, I’ve come across a lot of girls in their early twenties that talk about wanting to be in serious relationships and when asked advice, I always tell them to just enjoy their life. I never want to sound like the old girl who got her heart broken, but I definitely tell them to wait on all the seriousness. Go out on dates, party, and enjoy life (safely) without being tied down to someone because you are still trying to learn who you are. And you have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE who you are at 21. It all comes from experience and growth, and I found my growth through a different set of experiences. No road is the same. Here I am in my 30s finally experiencing things that I should have in my 20s, but no matter what, now I can do it all unapologetically and completely for ME.

Dominique Harkness

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