Just a little break from work and school stuff to share something I’ve been pondering the last week or so.
This pretty much applies to my single friends, but of course, anyone’s thoughts are welcome.
So…I’ve been dating for a couple of years now. If you know me, you know that the whole dating scene was pretty new to me after the divorce, right?
Let’s just say I’ve learned and continue to learn so much about myself and about my own patterns (good and bad) through this process. It’s easy to go where I am comfortable, even if comfort is not in my best interest.
If there is interest on both sides, I am learning the value in sticking with one person at least to explore each other for a time and not going on other dates during that time frame.
A dear friend and I had this conversation and I found so much significance in it. Online dating gives us the constant option to keep looking ‘for the next best thing’ and in doing so…we aren’t being present and exploring what’s right in front of us.
Why? For me, I think when I started dating, everyone just told me this is what we do…date lots of people…so I did with the exception of those two relationships. Honestly…not so fabulous.
All of that said…I have an observation. Out of the ‘sample population’ that I have dated…there have been a couple of relationships, many first dates, and a few several time dates. I think that sums it up.
Out of all of these, I can name only 3 people who have been totally honest with me. I mean honest in saying what their intentions are, whether they be a long term relationship, marriage, fun, or just sex. Three men. Not cool. (except one that was a little creepy honest and I could’ve done without that).
I get it if you aren’t sure what your intentions are…say it. I get it If you desire nothing but a sexual relationship, say it. To engage someone on this level and indicate that you want a relationship when that is not at all the truth…just a jerky thing to do. Give them an informed option.
I’m quickly losing my naivety but don’t want to become jaded in the process.
If you want to explore your relationship with someone and would like that to be something you are on the same page about, say it.
And for goodness gosh sake, if you are no longer interested, please, please, please be honest and kind and tender. Don’t just disappear. It is mean and it is cowardly.
We can all be grown up’s, right?
It just feels like dating increases the likelihood of disposability, like people are seen as objects rather than humans with a heart, emotions and a brain.
So…what’s your view? I am kinda not in the mood for jokes, I am truly seeking thoughtful feedback.
Without judgement and from my heart….
I recently dated someone who ended up in a relationship with a married woman. …because you know, her husband is a total ‘ass’ so she is seeking her solace outside of her marriage. Not in counseling, or in a divorce, or in honesty but in an affair. The man I dated, I don’t know wtf he is thinking and it’s not my concern but it is so heavy on my heart. There are countless unmarried people…so help me understand the why. (Don’t really help me, I know the general why’s and none of them are good)
Then, recently,someone who was very dear to me flirted endlessly and felt justified doing so because they are in a horrible, sexless, loveless marriage. This is sad, I totally get it. Again, get to a counselor, talk to God, talk to your friends, divorce…just stop the cheating because I promise, nothing good will come of it and I certainly am not going to play that game.
BTW, hitting on me and offering sex to me is not generally the way to my heart and if you are in a relationship, I feel like you are a predator and I am the prey. This is especially not the way to my heart. It makes me feel dirty and I hate feeling that way.
This stuff just makes me sick to my stomach and if I could encourage one person to make a better choice, I will. If you are already in the middle of infidelity, it happens. It’s also a great opportunity to seek help and get honest…especially with yourself.
Also, I’m not speaking to those who choose open relationships, I’m speaking to those where it’s a super secret.
Lots of love, I promise. Just not a pretty topic.
Did you know that a doughnut experience or bar is a really trendy thing to do at weddings right now? I love it! I especially love it since it goes right along with my current train of thought.
I’ve been thinking so much about doughnuts (and not just because I have had no more than two bites of a doughnut since last April!). My ex husband and I had a delightful conversation about donuts a couple of weeks ago and this analogy has been spinning around in my brain since then.
So…let’s take a little trip to the corner bakery shop. (Remember that childhood song; “Well, I walked around the corner and I walked around the block, and I walked right in to a bakery shop…and I picked up a doughnut and I wiped off the grease…and I handed the lady a 5 cent piece. Well…she looked at the nickel and she looked at me, and she said, “kind sir, can’t you plainly see?” There’s a hole in the nickel, there’s a whole right through. Said I, there’s a hole in the doughnut too!) This is apparently the world’s best song, so says my brain as it hears it for the billionth time!
There is every kind of doughnut imaginable. Iced, sprinkled, coconut flakes, powdered sugar, cookie bit toppings, even one with bacon bits. I’m a pretty simple lady. I just want something comforting, traditional and of course, absolutely delicious.
Countless doughnuts are before me, their tempting aromas floating through the air. I choose what I imagine will be the most wonderful doughnut of all. It was just set out on the cooling rack. Warm and sticky to the touch, but not hot. I pick it up, inhaling it’s sweet scent as I bring it closer to my lips. My tummy rumbles and my mouth waters, I have not tasted a confection treat like this for a full year.
This particular doughnut (because it’s my chosen doughnut), is softly round, gently iced with freshly made chocolate icing, perfectly heated and so melty that it will dissolve in my mouth. Oh! It is wonderful to look at, arouses my senses when I think about how exquisite it is going to be to eat every last bite of it.
I lick my lips and bring the object of desire close, I open my mouth and take the first bite. Savoring every nibble; I am pleased that this doughnut is every bit as magnificent as I’d hoped. I’ve eaten about 1/2 of it when I begin to feel it’s sticky sugars coat my teeth and the roof of my mouth. I need a napkin because even though I have licked the icing off my fingers, they are still sticky. I am quite thirsty.
Unfortunately, the water at the doughnut shop has been shut off and they are out of milk and juice. I ask for coffee. There is no coffee. So, I sit down at the lone booth, all of a sudden aware that there is no one in the bakery shop other than the man serving donuts. My thirst grows and my mouth feels pasty. Where is the doughnut guy anyway? It seems I am my only company.
I look at the doughnut remains in my hand, looking drastically less appetizing than before. I am a little bit bored and unfocused…so I finish it off; not enjoying the last 1/2 nearly as much as the first. Still, no one is here. I am a little lonely. Actually, my stomach kind of aches. I don’t know if it was the sugar or something else. I kind of wish I would’ve stopped after just a taste. I feel bitterness rise in my throat. I haven’t experienced acid reflux since I stopped eating sugar and now look…one little doughnut. Why did I choose this when I knew what it would do to me?
I am alone in the bakery. I see that the counters are a 60’s kind of bright yellow and the room all of a sudden feels too bright. My stomach is bloated at the top and I need something to quench my thirst. Where are the people? My feelings of loneliness increase and I’m overcome with the feeling that I can’t leave fast enough.
I place a dollar bill on the table, in case the guy comes back and I walk out. I feel the breeze on my skin, a little colder than when I came in. The sun is out but it’s not warm enough. I am reminded of the way life used to be when I consistently chose the doughnut. I am uncomfortable in my own skin and wish I could have a re-do.
This is me talking about my dating life right now. Let me break this down.
Physicality in a relationship…that’s the doughnut. It’s sooooo yummy! It’s soooooo fantastically good to a woman who loves feeling desired, giving, being close, being told she’s beautiful, ALL of the good stuff. It’s enjoyable, phenomenal, pleasurable and fun!
The point is, the doughnut is super sweet in the beginning. It is scintillating, intoxicating, forbidden yumminess! Let’s be honest…kisses are fabulous, snuggles are warm, our insides are gooey goodness. It’s all incredibly hard to resist. In spite of all this, it might be best to not indulge in the doughnut; or at least give some thought and intention before that first bite. Once you have a nibble, the cravings set in.
But, if that is all there is…the doughnut…I’m left with nothing but reminders of what I don’t have that I once (kind of) had. I tell myself, no more doughnuts. No more donuts! NO MORE DOUGHNUTS!
I eat the doughnut anyway. I get angry with myself because it was just a doughnut. My hunger is not satisfied, I am thirsty still and I am alone.
Doughnuts aren’t bad. Doughnuts are very, very good. They should just be ingested with a generous dose of awareness and wisdom. There’s good stuff in that doughnut song. There is a reason there is a hole in the doughnut. The doughnut alone isn’t enough. At least in my life, for me, for now.
Picture that same warm out of the oven, sticky, perfectly iced, soft doughnut. Instead of an empty coffee shop, I am in line with many others. I don’t really see them though, because my attention is focused on the one special person who I walked hand in hand here with.
We order a doughnut to share, because neither of us eat much sugar. (Okay…that’s too much of a fantasy, we each get our own doughnut!) He quietly pays for our purchase and for the family behind us. I admire and respect his heart and consider that he is worth everything I have been through to get to him. I know he looks at me the same.
Also, we have coffee with real cream. We sit down with our doughnuts. The conversation is easy and the laughter is abundant. This guy. He is yummy, he is kind, he thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. We both think the doughnut is so much better when it comes with coffee and connection. We discuss a little bit of the silliness of the doughnuts we enjoyed when we didn’t believed doughnuts were all there were. There is deep gratitude for the now.
We agree, this is how it’s been for us…
Only the doughnut…. It’s sugary and temporarily satisfying. But then what? (Again, if one is in a place of only wanting the doughnut, enjoy the doughnut!)
Then, there is the whole bakery experience. Enjoying the doughnut with someone who savors it with you; someone who takes you to the bakery shop and sits with you; sips coffee; kisses and conversation are never ending. Maybe even read the paper (or a little Anais Nin and Henry Miller to each other).
Doughnuts vs. The Bakery Shop…my preferences are a changing.
|I NOW WANT||
IN THE PAST, I’VE BEEN ATTRACTED TO
|TRUSTWORTHY||LACK OF HEALTHY EMOTION|
|KIND||LIVES BELOW ABILITIES|
|TEDDY BEAR OF A GUY||UNSTABLE FAMILY|
|THOUGHTFUL||LACK OF RESPECT FOR SELF/OTHERS|
|COMPASSIONATE||NO SPOILING ME|
|LOVING, ENGAGED W/ FAMILY||RIGID|
|SOCIALLY AWARE||BLACK AND WHITE|
|REALITY OVER PORN||THEY ‘NEED’ ME|
|CONSISTENT W/ EMOTIONS||ANGER IS DOMINANT EMOTION|
|CAN HANDLE EMOTIONS||PORN OVER REALITY|
|UNDERSTANDING||I AM NOT A PRIORITY|
|ROMANTIC||MAJOR POWER IMBALANCE|
|ATTENTIVE||NOT IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL|
|LOVES MY FAMILY||NOT AS SOCIAL|
|OPEN||STRUGGLES WITH AUTHORITY|
|RESILIENT||SUBSTANCE ABUSE/SOME DRUG OF CHOICE|
|TWINKLY EYED & SWEETLY MISCHEVIOUS||LACK OF PASSION/DRIVE|
I created this list on a whim about a year ago. A friend challenged me to write down what I want in a partner and then write what I tend to choose. I was not to think about it and just wrote what was on my heart. Pretty much the same today. Lots to ponder.
I wasn’t going to write tonight. Each time I had started to do so, I came up with nothing but feisty, unkind, passive aggressive wording, yet, here I am. Thanks to the love, prayers, positive energy and encouragement that surround me, I have decided to try to be brave and share my heart. Let’s hope I don’t regret it in the morning.
This is not a pretty post. Not at all. It’s kind of ugly and I just pray that I keep it about my experience and not someone else’s story. Whatever.
I am in the middle of learning some tough lessons. About myself, relationships, the difference between love and lust…so much. So fucking much. Lessons that I expect I ‘should’ have down by down at the ripe age of 46. I guess after being with one man for 23 years, I’m not joking when I say I am like a teenager at times and these growing pains are simply yuck.
My heart aches. Deeply. Every time I face rejection from a man, in any aspect, it’s like I bring into it a lifetime of rejection. It rapidly becomes all about everything I am not rather than about what the situation really is. Tonight, someone I am particularly fond and who has been precious (in my eyes) ‘defriended’ me on social media. Really. So familiar to what I hear my teenagers struggle with at times. I don’t even know why. It doesn’t matter. It stung and started a flood of tears that I can’t seem to stop.
An onslaught of failures, lies and struggles suck me in. Failed marriage. Poor choices. Less than. Never enough. Won’t happen. Negligent. Disorganized. Scattered. Settled for. Two faced. Fat. Broken. Messed up. Crazy. Damaged. Wounded. Stubborn. Less than, again. Optional. Disposable. Debris. Stupid. Boring. Too much. Not enough, again. Temporary. Unworthy. Plain. Short hair. Gross. Hurting. The list goes on.
Through it all, my mind keeps hearing the words of a dear friends prayer for me, along with a sermon that I have listened to numerous times lately. It’s all about the story we tell ourselves. We might tell ourselves something that is not necessarily a lie, but instead a twisted up version of the truth. It really pinged my heart because I know that I tend to live in the truth of my story instead of the truth of who God really made me to be….especially in regard to my relationships with men.
I am happily confident in my job, work hard in school, and adore my internship. I am a magnificent friend, the best Momma for my kids and try hard to fill my other roles with all the love, giving, compassion and care that I can give. Bottom line, I feel ‘good enough’ in these roles for the most part and when I don’t, I make changes accordingly. That’s one Sarah. She knows who she is and what she wants. She believes it is just as important to play hard as it is to work hard; she is not hesitant to go for what she wants.
Then…there is the Sarah who sees herself as disposable. She is seeking a real and deep love, a true connection with a gentleman that holds truth and freedom in it. She is looking for the hands that will hold her heart with love, gentleness and protection. She knows she has much to give BUT….this woman sees herself as a young girl who is overweight, awkward, painfully shy and unwanted. No matter how she ‘looks’ to others, and despite the way she works on positive changes…she mostly sees herself as someone broken, deeply lacking or undesirable. This feeling sucks. I know it’s not truth, but it ‘feels’ truthful in the moment and operating from that truth leads to a plethora of poor choices. Choices that disregard who I am at my core and what I hope for in this life. Choices that are made out of a fear of being without companionship. Choices that give a temporary band-aid to lonely feelings but absolutely do not result in long term fulfillment. Choices that are made because there is gratitude that someone desires me vs. knowing it is a privilege to have time with me.
I’m not speaking to intentional choices I make as a grown woman to participate in relationships that are fun, fulfilling in their own way and not long term. I am referring specifically to participating in relationships knowing full well that it won’t be what I want it to be, but choosing to believe I can change it to what I desire. I can BS myself like no other, but don’t worry, I speak the truth to others. So often that it gets me in trouble…not everyone wants that.
The story that I tell myself is that I will never find the love of my life, so I may as well enjoy whatever the moment offers. I will not ever be ‘the one’ to someone special, so I shall act accordingly. I’ve already had that, kind of, so God wants me to live the rest of my life alone and serving others. (I put those words to God, nothing I feel from him). I may as well go for the men who are not going to be long lasting, because in the end, they will leave. So why choose the ones I will really give my heart to? They too, will leave. Both will hurt but the latter will hurt far less. Choose the lesser of two evils, right? In the process, I am getting hurt and I am hurting others…unintentional as it may be. All of my protective forces are accomplishing nothing worth mentioning.
Who knows what of this is true and what is not? I know I am supposed to honor who I believe I am…a brave, worthy, happy, truly loved by God, whimsical, whole and surrendered woman. That is who I believe I was made to be, yet when I am engaging with men I am willing to trade that in for whatever they need me to be. That’s got to be better than what I really have to offer, right? Better even, let me serve as therapist and best friend ever, maybe even as a nurturing mom role. Ewwww. But it comes so natural.
A precious friend recently told me that “God made me and his work is always beautiful”. I love that friend and his heart. I want to believe his words. My heart agrees, it is beautiful…my brain taunts me by letting me know I’ll never measure up. But to who? How long am I going to let others opinion of me determine how I view myself. It’s ridiculous. Real stuff, but ridiculous.
I have a safety plan. Another dear friend and I have a ‘twenty year plan’. If neither of us are married at age 60, or in 20 years…we can marry each other. This is our little funny! In truth, I freak myself out. What if I die before then without experiencing the gift of a deep and abiding love with the ‘right’ man. I know…God’s timing…it’s just so hard for me to trust.
I am tired. I cannot believe I am ‘here’. There are new crinkles around my eyes and I see faint wrinkles on the delicate skin of my neck. I can’t seem to keep up with the fastness of passing time.
My precious children…lots of love and hugs from them tonight. That should be more than sufficient. Why do I long for anything more? I just do. Even in my deep gratitude, there is a constant yearning.
This is my story. I’m trying to figure out how to live in the truth of who I am…in ALL of the circumstances and with ALL of the people. I am trying to let go of the story I once helped me survive and embrace the story that is truth.
This is my honesty.
Transformation, alteration, renewal, metamorphosis….constant change is a certainty of this human experience. Stubborn resistance may root us in place. Still, the very change that surrounds will also change us. Why resist? We are forever becoming.
I was playing a little game with a friend, we were giving each other a number, and we had to share the photo from our phones that matched that number. He asked to see the 10th picture of only me.
The 10th picture of only me sent me spinning with shame and embarrassment. I could not show him this one. However, I promised…no cheating. Before sending the photo, I let him know that this was taken at one of the worst times of my life. My ex-husband had just told me he no longer loved me and wanted a divorce; my precious daddy was dying after a 12 year battle with Alzheimer’s. The picture (which is here for all the world to see) was a clear image of a lady who had no love for herself and her eyes held a deep sadness, despite the smile on her face. The only reason I share it is because I am trying to practice what I preach…vulnerability and transparency. In this moment, I also share in hopes of diminishing the pier of shame this photo holds.
This precious friend heard my shame and replied with, ‘it’s just a selfie, look at your smile’. Then he made me laugh with a gentle joke about chipmunk cheeks. I never thought I’d giggle looking at that picture, but I did, and it was genuine. However, I have obsessed over that picture since. It’s not just that I hadn’t realized how much I changed, it brought back a rush of painful memories.
I remember the day the man who was the only love I’d ever known told me he was leaving. I was inundated with feelings of unworthiness, disposability and fear. For some reason, I made a little video on my phone to myself. I guess to commemorate the day. I very clearly stated (to myself) that I wanted to learn to love myself, no matter who else loved or didn’t love me. That my friends, is the journey of transformation I have been and am still on.
My timehop today reminded me that at this time last year, I had lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers. I then stopped Weight Watchers, and started doing my own thing. It’s called the ‘keto’ish but not all the way because life is too short to not enjoy ice cream” diet. Clean eating pretty much, low carb, very low sugar and almost no processed foods. In doing this, I have lost another 28 pounds. This makes 48 pounds gone! I should be so proud.
Rather, my first reaction was “wow!, but I have so long to go.” I began a laundry list of all the men who would like me better if I had a better body, and of how life would be different if my ass matched my sass! (Borrowed from a favorite meme). Somehow, I stopped myself in the middle of my negative recitation. I wondered to myself, “what will it take for me to be good enough?”
I asked myself what I wanted. Easy. I want to love myself. As is. I want to believe I am enough and honor that deeply, no matter where I am on my journey. I want to be excited about the work I am doing for ME while enjoying who I am right in this moment.
I want to practice gratitude, for I have so much to be grateful for. I am here, breathing. I am a miracle, just as we all are. Life is the celebration! I have two legs that are strong and lovely, and they get me where I want to go. The gift of walking was taken away from me in 2009 and I had to relearn that skill at the age of 35. How dare I fuss that I am not enough? My heart is strong; it is full of love, life and laughter. I can easily exercise on the elliptical for 35 minutes without rest. I might not be the most graceful, but I am me and I am a masterpiece. There is no one like me, ever, anywhere. I am blessed in every way, I want to remember this every second of every moment of every day.
I want to realize that when someone asks me out on a date, they are every bit as lucky to have time with me as I am to have time with them. It is not settling to be with me, it is a gift, for I am pretty damn cool. I want to stand in this truth. It changes my choices, it changes everything.
I want to show my kiddos who I am at my core and that we are ALL capable and worthy of beautiful, positive, transformation…their Momma included.
There is so much joy in the transformation these days…one day the pain will be nothing but a motivator for better.
The first man…he prefers a woman with long hair. Mine is on the shortish side and even when it’s long, it’s soft and baby fine. He tells me he longs for a woman with a tight, thin body as I sit next to him thinking that no matter how hard I work out and how much weight I lose….my body will still have carried two babies and is marked with scars that mean life to me. My breasts are small, my booty flat and my tummy round. I want to hide myself but there is nowhere to hide…so I distract him with humor or kissing or listening or whatever the situation calls for and I hope he cannot feel how much I have adored him and how sad I feel in this moment.
The second man doesn’t understand how an intelligent girl like me can believe in a pie in the sky mythical being. How can someone who thinks for herself and is smart claim God and faith as her foundation. He does not have a clue what I’ve been through and really has no interest in knowing. He might never grasp that all I wanted was to show him respect for his path and how deeply I hoped he could respect my own path. He is not going to go deep into the topic. The walls are palpable. I can get up and leave or I can dive out of the discomfort and into his body. I choose the latter.
Third guy…we have met in person, because we were at the same place at the same time. We bumped into each other again on a dating site. I had heard he thought I was flirting with him. He was beautiful to look at yet I had been doing nothing but being my normal playful self. He also knew he was hot…he just had that air about him. We chatted a bit….teased about the flirting comment. Before I know it, he is inviting me to be a friend with benefits. If I just wanted eye candy, that may have served me well. Friends with benefits I am not searching for, that’s been an easy come easy go disaster. He still pops up with an out of the blue text now and then. Just not gonna happen.
Last guy, he is a dear old friend going through a divorce. He thinks it would be a great idea to ‘get together’ and he has been very explicit about what that might look like. I know the depth of his loneliness and my heart aches for him. I am not interested in being a distraction from his pain in that manner. Gotta appreciate his asking though…I guess.
Just a teeny sampling of dating life as it is right now. I’m feeling pretty down and out tonight. I did something horribly stupid to someone I value greatly and I probably won’t be forgiven. It is what it is.
I am beginning to see that I have a habit of sabotaging something with great possibility before it has a chance to happen. Just in case it doesn’t. Guess what? I am the one hurting and sitting in the shit I created. Again.
I did this to someone dear that I dated a few months ago. He cherished me. Adored me. Treated me like a gentleman treats a lady. He is also the only person that I have been 100% myself with from the beginning. He appreciated my intelligence. He encouraged my feminine energies. He laughed at my jokes and truly thought I was beautiful just the way I was. He traced my scars (both the physical and emotional) and said they were lovely reminders of the preciousness of life. He was kind. I messed that up by doing something very hurtful and although I know we are not each other’s long time person, I am incredibly thankful for the experience and forever sorry for my actions. He gave me a glimpse of what I deserve and that it is possible.
So…why, why, why do I feel more comfortable seeking out the men who I know are going to give me crumbs; see me as their back up, or just plain use me? In saying this, please realize I am no victim of anything here. With the exception of one toxic relationship, I have knowingly and willingly walked straight into, or even instigated, these types of relationships.
I seem to have a radar that tracks these men, specifically. The ones who won’t last…and although I know this, I begin the process of wondering if it can work and how it will look. EVEN THOUGH my head and heart both know better.
Lots of tears, guilt, shame and deep thoughts today. I’m really trying to identify my own actions and behaviors that are a detriment to me. I could blame others all day long but that’s useless…in the end, my unhealed stuff is what hurts me most.
A hot truth smacked me in the face this afternoon. With the exception of the one dating relationship (that very healthy one where I was absolutely cherished), there is not one person with whom I have been purely me.
This only applies to dating relationships. I don’t do this in other areas. I think I so deeply want to be accepted and loved and I’m certain no one wants me for messy me. This feels a little like desperation and the feeling makes me sick to my stomach and doesn’t at all line up with my desire to live authentically. I’m still trying to figure out who I am as a single woman, not as wife and mom.
I have contorted myself all kinds of ways just to make sure I keep the attention or approval of some guy. “Two-faced” would be painfully accurate here and getting this understanding feels like a punch in the gut.
Just in case there’s not ever a man who doesn’t think I am broken, I am striving to make sure I am going to be thin enough, pretty enough, sexual enough, fun enough, smart enough etc to please them. So far, save one precious soul, I have not been enough.
I mean…I’ve been enough to be a friend with benefits (again, my choice to walk into), but not enough to enter into something healthy with. And those ugly tapes are loud. If I were thinner, richer, louder, bigger boobed, not shy, blue eyed…whatever fits. I type and I ask myself how in the world I could expect someone to cherish the real me when I have turned myself inside out to be someone else for them.
I feel so sad and ashamed. Desperate. Icky. A little unhopeful and maybe even a little scared.
Also, I feel that the way I’ve behaved at times, someone is going to not get my heart and instead view me as the crazy chick. Since I was raised by a mentally ill person, that terrifies me.
A wise person just asked me two hard questions. “How would life look if I decided that I was not somebody who had to be settled for?” and “How would my dating life look if I decided you weren’t going to settle for anybody who didn’t want me exactly as I am?” .
I have often said I will not settle (I call bullshit on myself). Never have I considered this perspective. I absolutely believe if someone is dating me they must be settling for me. That helps me rationalize that when someone better comes along, they will move on and that is to be expected.
Settle for someone who didn’t want me exactly as I am? What else would I do? I can be an expert chameleon as long as it means I am pleasing someone. It is horribly yuck to admit that.
“Becoming all God sees you as begins with the courage to let go of all He doesn’t”…my list of the doesn’t(s) feels everlasting. I’m so tired of putting myself in situations where I feel less than. I do it. I choose the opposite of what I desire because I know I will get that. Ewww.
My heart hurts. Learning to fully love myself is so super hard when I am trying to be someone else that ‘he’ might like better.
There’s got to be something better than this.
If I were to be interviewed tonight regarding my thoughts on dating, men and myself, I might be banned from opening my mouth again. Or maybe my words would reverberate a familiar tune to those walking a similar path.
There is a linguistic dance party in my brain and the words all seem to be dancing to a different tune.
I have been officially divorced for about a year and a half. I was legally separated for about a year and a half before that. To clarify, this was a first divorce after an 18 year first marriage (23 years together). I had never planned on a divorce and I am not sure what I think about another marriage. I do know that I never want another divorce. Ever.
The only reason I share this is to say that other than my ex-husband, I really had no experience dating. I had experience partying in college, but I am not of the opinion that this is the same as grown up dating. Furthermore, after an 18 year marriage, I came out knowing (mostly) how to be a wife…not how to date. Vast differences.
I find the quote in my picture quite funny. Although, in all honesty, I sleep on one side of the bed always. My side. It’s been “my side” for over half my life. I guess I’m still saving a spot for someone. I also stand under only one of my two shower heads when I shower, though I turn them both on. Again…Saving a spot. Oh the subtle ways we humans express the unspoken and maybe even unrealized is intriguing. Ironic.
I thought I wanted to date soon after our separation. My first ‘date’ was with a dear, dear long time friend. We had a lovely evening of wine, music and deep conversation. He kissed me…twice. The first time I cried. The second time I laughed uncontrollably. These were not the lips I had kissed for the last 23 years and I felt like a cheater. I have apologized to him a multitude of times.
If I remembered how to contact them, I would apologize to the men that took me out during that 3 or 4 month period of time. I would tell them that I was sorry for talking about nothing but my dissolved marriage and my children and to please not take it personal that I couldn’t wait to dash out the door after dinner. Oh…and that I appreciated them offering to walk me to my car but the thought of them trying to kiss me made me vomit in my mouth (but not to take it personal).
Obviously, I wasn’t ready to date. It just took a few dates to let that solidify.
Fast forward to post official divorce and I was in a different place. I was actually ready to explore the world of men (whom I found terrifying). Online dating was my means of exploration. I started, tentatively, soon after the papers were signed. It was not long before I went out for drinks with a really nice guy. One thing led to another and the date lasted until morning. I woke up, and I wanted him to leave. There was an obligatory kiss goodbye, a few nice little follow up texts and I’ve not spoken to him since. I think of him figuratively as the guy who broke the seal. Nothing less, nothing more.
Initially, overwhelmed with guilt, I immediately went to my best friend’s house and told her all about it. I can’t remember…I think I cried at her house that morning.
I had moved one step further away from my broken marriage and I knew it.
There was such a sense of freedom, even among the sadness. I had no regrets.
Soon after, I met the man with whom I would spend the next 9 months. I thought I loved him. I did love him. We experienced things together that I had never experienced. It was exhilarating, until it wasn’t. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a very wounded soul who would’ve destroyed me had I not gotten out when I did.
I’m thankful for my time with him…it grew me up immensely in a short amount of time. There is a broken piece inside of me that still misses him at times, but I know better than to ever delve back into that world.
I had one other relationship for about 3 months. This one was with a super special gentleman that I wronged in the end. I will always treasure those three months and hope that he finds the love of his life because he is incredibly deserving.
Lesson learned…there are titanic size differences in boys and men and age does not define manhood.
Intermittently, I have dated men that I have met online. There have been some fabulous friends made, many first dates, a few that I dated several weeks, a couple of disappearing acts and yes, one or two ickies.
I’ve listened to more Matthew Hussey and Single Smart podcasts than anyone ever should, really!
I have learned terms I never knew I’d need to know during this process.
I’ve been “breadcrumbed” And “benched”, maybe even “cushioned”. The trouble is, sometimes it takes me longer than I’d like to understand this is the case (games suck). I’ve “ghosted” (only once bc he freaked me out) and I’ve been ghosted. “Micro-cheating” feels macro and isn’t cool. “Love bombing” is real. “FWB” is fun’ish until it’s not. “Hi” is supposed to open the doors to a world of fascinating goodness but never feels sufficient.
Some people are able to convey a much broader range of emotions through emojis than they’d ever express in word and deed. For real. 😉🤔🙄😜😇😈💋🔥❤️ and I won’t even get started on the produce emojis!
Here’s a great little link if you’d rather read than experience the terms. (Or perhaps you’ll choose both. I got ya!😉) https://bestlifeonline.com/online-dating-terms-older-people-dont-know/
A bit of personal wisdom I’ve collected through my “research”…
- The dating culture online is fast moving and it’s not uncommon to get ‘real familiar’ with each other quickly. I think it’s something about the false safety of technology.
- Kissing is superfun and men are supercool. Seriously, I like them way more than I ever knew…not so terrifying after all. Also, a kiss can just be a kiss. It is not a covenant. Seriously.
- The range of wants is on a spectrum. Imagine one end is raw, uninhibited sex for a couple of hours and the other is deep, intimate connection for a lifetime. EVERYTHING FALLS IN BETWEEN . I must be clear about what I want in any given situation. Even better if the other party is clear you. I am learning all about what I want through an experiential training in my own life. Honestly, it’s often confusing and I don’t know what to do but feel it out and absorb the experience.
- Some can be intensely overwhelming the first few interactions…block them. As a matter of fact, block anyone who gives you any sense of the heebie jeebies, without regrets. No fixer uppers needed.
- Dating can be fun. It can also be exhausting and feel like being on a continual interview. Take a break when a break is needed and enjoy it fully when that’s what is needed.
- Dignity, honesty, respect, safety, boundaries, and a sense of humor…absolute necessities in my world.
- It’s lovely to be treated like a lady and it’s just as lovely to enjoy the company of a gentleman. I love my girlfriends but it’s simply not the same. Men smell good (hopefully), they feel good and they are just enjoyable to be around in a different way.
- I am a little bit old fashioned in some ways and a little bit ahead of my time in others. That’s okay. Just gotta be me.
- Someone does not have to be evil to not be good for me.
- I don’t have to be evil not to be good for someone else.
I told my best friend today, I would love to just date one person but I don’t really want a relationship yet. She asked exactly what I meant. I let her know that I wanted one someone to do fun things with; talk deeply with; someone to take me out; someone to kiss and snuggle and all the other stuff. She asked how this was not a relationship. Why? Simply because I said so.
I let another close friend know pretty much the same thing the other day. But I added that I wanted to be seen and appreciated for who I was; I wanted to see and appreciate the other person for who they are and I wanted to really love and cherish each other.
Currently, some part of me still goes toward and connects to those who likely won’t be my long term partner. I seem to unconsciously be drawn to the men that fit lots of my criteria but not the part that includes love and cherish in the intimate, forever sense. It’s tough…commitment is fleeting and vulnerability is rare.
In this arena; A grown up kid enjoying the playground and also knowing she yearns for her own “When Harry Met Sally” kind of everlasting love….that is me.
Until then…The journey is mine to embrace. Me learning to love myself fully is my assignment.
That’s a lot.❤️