Contrary to some (many) folks' beliefs/tweets/moanings, Iyanla Vanzant's Fix My Life was not really about reality star Evelyn and her soon to be ex-husband Chad. Seriously, it wasn't about them. It was about relationships and how unresolved issues from previous relationships (including childhood) set patterns and pathology into adulthood.
I had a pretty good childhood by most people's standards. Sure there was some drama, we weren't the Cosbys (though damn close). But if you asked me before watching Iyanla's show if I'd dragged anything from my childhood into my adult relationships with men, I would have vehemently denied it.
However, as she went on and on about repeating patterns to chase the fairy tale? She struck a direct hit with that one. After careful reflection, with the exception of maybe one - I've been dating variations of the exact same guy for twenty years. What guy? My Dad. May he rest in peace.
Talk about being a Daddy's girl - this is taking it too far. Every guy I've been remotely serious about has had major traits in common with dear old Dad. Top five things - ambition, success, sense of humor, confidence, family. (Not to mention height, hair and general style of dress) What can I say? I love a tall buppie who can rock a suit and jeans with equal panache.
Now granted these are fairly common characteristics for men to have in common. But they all had the same kind of swag, the same sense of humor, the same career ambitions (though not the same career), have reached a certain level of success and have that dedication to family. It's kind of spooky when you think about it. Additional things include traditional values and gender roles, appreciation for women of all ages, shapes and types, and a bit of old school old-fashionedness.
Problem with this combination of traits in this exact iteration is that it also comes with cockiness, some chauvinism, some entitlement and some marginalization of the woman as her own unique being... among other traits I find difficult to get down with.
None of these relationships worked out in the end. And instead of racking my brains to figure out why? I've got it. Much as I loved, loved, loved my dad? No desire to be married to him.
Now whether or not I break the cycle and try someone completely different the next time? That remains to be seen. Whether or not I need someone different or just needed to recognize what I was doing? That remains to be seen also. Stay tuned. Thanks, Iyanla!
Fellas, do you date women like your mother? Ladies, do you date men like your father? Is this a good or bad thing? No creepy answers please, Iyanla is not here to fix all of us. Do discuss...