Like all good things, the Men Are Not Perfect series must come to an end. I will continue to learn lessons in Love but they will happen in real time and maybe at some point in the future, I will again reflect on events from my past in a place of peace in my present. If this is your first time, please check out the entire series here. To wrap things up, I decided to summarize the lessons I’ve learned as I near the eve of my 30th year on Earth.

Ok, I must admit it was interesting reading how the comments evolved as I progressed through the series. It seemed people were more forgiving of my faults in my early years. As I got older, I noticed the comments became more critical in their analysis. It was also interesting – and admittedly surprising – to see the number of comments from men who championed for me to right the wrongs of my past rather than focus on preventing them in my present.

I failed to clarify one point in the introduction of the series as I did in a comment in a later piece. These stories were told in reflection not in regret. For one, I didn’t cover all my experiences with Love; I picked and chose. Additionally, I didn’t cover how the women’s actions prompted or failed to prompt me to act a certain way. It was interesting that most overlooked this fairly significant detail. Instead choosing to assume that since I didn’t speak on the sins of the women, they must have been complete angels. I will neither confirm or deny this theory.

I will,  however, clarify that I have made peace with all the women covered in these stories. With some, I remain friends and with others, we found peace not in the continuation of our relationship but in its ending. Some of these women went on to find Love through others, which includes marriage and kids. There are some stories whose ending I am unclear, but I wish them all the best. For myself, in some cases, I would not have been able to Love the subsequent woman if I didn’t first stop Loving the woman preceding her. Sadly, sometimes that’s how life goes. Lastly, while there are some decisions I regret more than others it is only in the lows of my mistakes that I was able to discover the highs of lessons learned.

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Looking back with the clarity, hindsight, and maturity of an almost-30-year-old it is easy to point out my mistakes. Now that I can see how the journey ended, it is much easier to second-guess the path I chose to follow in the first place. But, I cannot go back in time and change my actions. Therefore, I choose to focus on the present and make better decisions in the future. That is where I have personally found peace. Using a variation from a quote I heard recently: I wasn’t losing. I was learning how to win.

You see, I’ve accepted that whomever my wife-to-be is, she will benefit from the mistakes of my youth.  I will admit, unfortunately, I did wrong some women in my past before learning how to do right by the woman in my present. A few commenters asked if I’ve changed from these experiences and my answer is, “of course.” However, my past can only act as a guide. It has not made me without fault. I have no doubt that I will fall short of the perfection I seek to treat my future wife with, not because I’m me, but because I am human. I can only hope that my wife-to-be will accept me as I am today and through her I will continue to become a better man, husband, and perhaps one day, a father. I guess only time will tell.

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I am not a relationship expert

I never claimed to be one. I don’t even desire to be one. Interestingly enough, stealing from a Dr. J reference here, I sound like a former basketball player who claimed never to be a role model. Although it is not a label I ever proactively sought to lay claim and have in fact gone out of my way to avoid, it is a title that has been forced on me by my current position.

When I tell people I’m a freelance writer, they often ask what I write about. Every time I list off a plethora of topics I’ve covered over the past decade. I’ve written thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of blogs, stories, and articles but no matter how long or informative that list, I can always count on hearing one follow-up question at or near the top: So you write about relationships?

Look, I do not write about relationships. I write, and relationships are one of the topics I happen to cover. This often-ignored distinction notwithstanding, it is not lost on me that my posts on relationships are the ones most people (women) pay attention to, so much so they are also the topics that bring in the most money (so far). Still, let us be clear. WisdomIsMisery is no more a relationship expert than he is a donkey and quite a few people (women) would argue I’m more closely related to the donkey. I was recently having such a argument debate with a woman who reads my articles from time to time. She asked, once again, in a poorly veiled sarcastic tone if I consider myself to be “some kind of relationship expert?” I replied in the following manner:

I don’t consider myself to be sh*t. I hate labels and I don’t like to be boxed in. I write. I want people to know me as a writer and respect my opinion on whatever subject I choose or I am asked to write about. I don’t want to be known as a “relationship writer/expert” because that implies relationships are all I can write about. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I find the title itself somewhat oxymoronic, but whatever.

The subjectivity of relationships makes them extremely difficult to write about. I like facts, figures, and black and white. These are areas where I can prove people wrong. Relationships aren’t even what I’m particularly passionate about writing. At best, the mistakes I have made and watched close and distant friends make allow me to write about those topics with some degree of comfort. I also don’t care if I’m right or wrong. I don’t need other people’s permission to have my own opinion.

That said, no I am not a relationship writer or any kind of an expert. I am simply someone who happens to write in mostly complete sentences about relationships – and some people seem to think I do this well. If I’m lucky, sometimes those people pay me to do so.

In closing, for those of you out there – new readers and frequent commenters and lurkers alike – I hope you enjoy my writing and by extension, the SBM website as we both continue to grow. Whatever the subject matter, writing is something I truly enjoy doing in my life. I hope this comes across when you are reading. Your comments, and as stubborn as I am, even your critiques do make me a better writer. I welcome them both, even if I debate you with great vengeance and fury or I choose to remain musing silently in the background instead. What can I say? I’m an artist. I’m sensitive about my sh*t. But even a sensitive, passive aggressive, stubborn, and sometimes anti-social artist longs for an audience. For continuing to entertain me as I hope I entertain you, I thank you.

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– WisdomIsMisery