Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

I’ve got an addiction to dating guys named Matt. It’s got to be a form of masochism, so I’ve titled it, “The Curse of The Matts.”

In total, I’ve dated seven Matts, and one of them I dated twice, so 7.5 Matts.

Of course, I use the term “dated” loosely, because some of these relationships just consisted of a few outings.

Let me give you the rundown:

Matt #1: Went to sorority/fraternity functions together in college; got rejected by him for a dance; attempted to feel a spark mere months ago over nachos and beer (1.5).

Matt #2: Dated for nearly four years in and after college; thought we were going to get married; he is now married to the woman he cheated on me with.

Matt #3: Met at Roux House; was completely a rebound from #2; had a great body.

Matt #4: Met at a wedding; had great hair; was really insecure about sex.

Matt #5: Met at a bar in the Houston Airport; was incredibly sexy; had baggage (outside of baggage claim) to deal with.

Matt #6: Met through mutual friends; is really into budgeting; keeps sending me text messages even though I never reply.

Matt #7: Was a setup through Myers-Briggs results; went on three dates; is still in love with his ex-girlfriend.

After the first three Matts, I just thought it was a coincidence, and that maybe there were just a ton of guys named Matt who were near my age and lived in South Louisiana.

So I did some Googling. According to the Baby Center and the US Government Social Security Administration, Matthew ranked #3 in popularity for baby names in 1983, 1984, 1985 (the year I was born), and 1986.

“While most people have a relationship pattern of dating the same person with a different name, I’m dating different men with the same name.”

When Matt #4 came around, he was my third consecutive Matt, and my friends were over it.

“Seriously, Holly,” they said. “Stop dating guys named Matt. Just walk away.”

They had a point. Then I met a hot guy at the airport, talked to him for an hour, and before jumping into a cab with him, I said, “Wait, I don’t even know your name.”

When he said, “I’m Matt,” it took everything I had not to laugh. It was a risk I was willing to take.

While my addiction is peculiar, it’s not abnormal to be attracted to the familiar. Although, aside from their first name, the only thing they have in common is they dated me, kissed me, and it didn’t work out.

It’s said that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, while expecting to get different results. And while most people have a relationship pattern of dating the same guy with a different name, I’m dating different guys with the same name.

“Maybe you’re destined to date a Matt,” my friend suggested. “You just need to find the right Matt.”

Maybe so, after all, what’s in a name? Matthew means, “Gift from God.” Although I had some fun times with the 7.5 Matts, none of them were a gift from God.

I told Matts #6 and #7 about my curse, asking if I could call them by their middle names instead, Paul and Brian, respectively.

But you can’t trick a curse, and I was starting to fall for Matt #7, hard. But when he told me he visited his ex in Boston, I wished he’d choke on a dry lobster roll, and then I decided the joke was on me. I was done being a “Welcome Matt.”

If I put all of my former Matts in a room, they would seem different in appearance and personality. However, dating patterns are all about disguise — same character, different costume.

From this point forward, I need to mix it up. No more Matts.

The first step to fixing things is admitting the problem: Hi, my name is Holly, and I’m a Mattaholic.

Next step? Try a horse with a different name; I’ve always liked the name Alex, or Zach, or something innocently sexy like Parker.

Stepping into the unknown is always scary, but there’s something exciting about it, too.

To all the non-Matts, I’m looking for someone who is truthful, funny, and willing to date someone with a curse. I like patterns — in fabric form — but I’m looking to break mine, in order to keep my heart intact.

Read more about Holly’s Curse of The Matts on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com. 

Breaking the Cycle

How to date outside of the box:

1. Recognize the Pattern- Whether it’s abusive relationships, unavailable partners, etc., look at your past to see the cycle.

2. Find the Why– Figure out why this is your pattern. If you’re meeting all of these people in one place, avoid that place.

3. Think Positive- Change takes time. Dating someone out of the box might be scary at first, but it also might be right.

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