Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places

Sometimes it’s not them, it’s you.

Before you guys start coming for me, lol, let me explain. I have had my share of failed relationships. Mercifully, I’ve managed to steer clear of any entanglements, but I’ve definitely found myself in a situationship or two. 

To be clear: The guys in question have acted like trash. There is no delicate way to put it. And I do not absolve a solitary one of them of their trash behavior. But I do take responsibility for my part in the fiascos, because frankly, my selection process was flawed. Ok…it was completely broken.

Like most of us, I had been socialized to think that: 

  • Getting married is a goal, THE goal, in a woman’s life.
  • Presenting myself as a “good woman” is necessary.
  • My goals and career aspirations must be subsumed to those of my life partner.
  • Being ignored is normal. 
  • Being abused is normal.
  • Being gaslighted (gaslit?) is normal.
  • Having to “prove myself” to a man is normal.
  • Sacrificing my health to “serve my partner” is normal.
  • Putting myself last is normal.
  • Love should be difficult and a little (or even very) painful. (If there’s no angst, is the love even real?)
  • Stability is “boring.”
  • “Bad boys” are more fun.
  • Resume is more important than character. 
  • You should trust “the community” more than your own instincts.

You get what I mean. With these self-destructive ideas implanted in my brain, it’s no wonder that the men I used to choose were bad for me in every possible way. Conditioning is a doozie. This is what I mean when I say that sometimes it’s not them, it’s you. 

And it’s not about blame. It’s about responsibility. It’s about recognizing your patterns, recognizing your conditioning, and doing what it takes to break those cycles. 

And when you know better,  you get better.

When you get better, you feel better. 

When you feel better–about yourself–you choose better. 

And when you choose better, you give yourself the chance to experience healthy, happy love relationships.

But you have to #dothework. 

I’ll expand on what doing the work looks like in another post, but for now I leave you with this poem that I wrote a while back. Heartbreak is so inspiring, lol. Hope you enjoy it, and that you found my #SundaySermon useful.

So often I have sown the seeds
Of my good love on stony ground
And scattered them, so crows, like thieves
Could pluck them, crush them; but I’ve found
Or I’ve discovered, finally
The value of the fertile patch:
To help my love grow verdantly
I’ll plant my seeds where they can catch.

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Text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix


  1. Kathleen Hurley says:

    Love the post. Love the poem. So strong!

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