Tag Archives: dating

What is Love? Don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me no more.

If you remember the 80’s you sang that title in your head…don’t lie.

I want to talk about Love.  I’ve been mulling this over in my head for days…but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around exactly what I want to focus on.

See, growing up the way I did, love was abusive.  I didn’t really know that at the time, I just knew when my mother beat me, or when she shamed me, or embarrassed me in public, it was all because she loved me, because she said so.

When I was married, I don’t think my husband ever told me he loved me.  I’m not sure he even said yes when I asked if he loved me.  In all fairness, I’m not sure I loved him…but the problem with that is that I don’t really know what it means to love. I was comfortable with him.  It was familiar and for all intensive purposes it was the kind of love I knew.

If you are raised to believe that love is abusive…or that the people who are the main and most important people in your life tell you that the abuse = love, but it’s not abuse, and you are making shit up or that they can love you this way, but to show your love to them you must do it that way…it’s hard to say  with clear certainty that I loved my husband.

What I do know, is I tried.  With all of my fucked up examples, all the books, the years of therapy, the tears, the begging, the KNOWING that neglect, emotional abuse, shame, abandonment, withholding of affection was not what love was, I still tried like hell to love that man.  BUT, if I can be honest with myself, maybe what I was really trying to do was get him to love me, the way I needed, not the way I was used to.

I love my kids…this I know for sure.  No matter what, those kids taught me the truest meaning of love.  It was through them that I learned that I was lucky enough to have had other people in my life that loved me in a true and honest way.  My paternal grandmother for instance.  I remember crying so much when she died…I remember thinking that was the last person on this earth (besides my kids) that truly loved me for who I was and that I was being abandoned and left in the clutches of an abusive mother and a love-less marriage. Damn.

Though, because of the negative and abusive way I was loved, and because I was fortunate to have had a few people in my life who loved me in positive ways, I was able to show my kids love in the best way.  At least I think I have.  I do those things I wish my mother had done.  I apologize when I am wrong, I let them have room to be who they want to be and not who I want them to be, and I tell them I love them…I tell them often, and I back it up with action, not abuse.

I wrote once about being asked by my counselor if I loved the Hunky Stallion.  At that time, I was thrown completely off.  I knew, I had not a single clue if I loved him or if I just wanted to be in love.  It was a reflective moment that lasted a super long fucking time.  Do you love him? Do you know what love even looks like? Are you just imagining a Disney like romance that doesn’t even exists? Are you following old patterns?  He’s damaged, you know this, are you looking for someone to fix or are these genuine feelings?  Love??? Bitch please, you don’t even know what love is.

Nope.  I am certain that my feelings at that time were not feelings of love…they were feelings of infatuation: an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.  At that time, it was more about passion, than intimacy and love. Then one day it happened.  Did he just say he loved me??? I mean, it wasn’t just me he was talking to but…um, I think in a roundabout way he said it.  I will ignore this because, um, well, yeah…I’ll just ignore it.  What the fuck??? Did he just say it again??? It wasn’t to my face…and he may have said I love “this” and not you but why don’t you just ignore it anyway…You know because, ew…feelings.

Like most people who have had bad relationships…I knew like I knew what the gates of hell looked like (um the door to my past relationships) that I was NOT going to be the first to say I love you. I was NOT going to even acknowledge it until he was in my face telling me he loved me without any distraction or misconception.  No fucking way was I going to be the first to say it…cause, well, you know that this isn’t really love anyway and this ain’t going to last so don’t put yourself out there and look like a god-damned idiot.

I don’t listen to myself very often.  Probably not at all…so I did it. Not to his face, geez, do I look like a strong, self-assured woman to you??? Nope I said it in a text…and I started by saying “listen fucker” ….and off it went. I went and threw that word out there…wondering where it would land, but not caring too much cause for once I knew that it was genuine and even if it wasn’t reciprocated, I felt good about letting it out.  I am used to loving without it being returned…and yet, I felt safe enough to know it would not be used against me, even if he didn’t feel the same.

He did not let it linger out there on its own for long.  He addressed it and we had a beautiful talk.  For once in my life, my love was not used as a weapon against me, to hurt me, to keep me in my place to be bargained and beaten down with.  It was received…and it was embraced.  For once, in my 47 years on this earth, I felt like Love was a safe emotion to express (to someone who did not come out of my lady parts).  I’m going to just let that sink in to my bones for a while.  I am not going to get all mushy and start dreaming of our wedding or a fantasy life that ends like a Nicholas Sparks book. Fuck that shit.  I am going to just revel in the peace of knowing that it landed in the hands of someone who will not abuse it, or me because of it.  That, for me, for now…is enough.

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I found my Crazy swtich.

Why oh why oh why, do I keep telling myself I know this is wrong, I know this is not going anywhere, I know that this is not what I want, or dare I say, what I deserve.  Yet…somehow keep flipping the crazy switch on the hunky stallion. I feel like shit, apologize to him, beat myself us, then back off, until the next time.  Why?

I thought about what it was that was flipping the crazy switch on in the first place.  What I realized was that it’s the same pattern I’ve engaged in my whole life.  In my ever so naive state of mind, I keep thinking that if the other person doesn’t walk away, that means somethings going to change.  It doesn’t. Ever.  All of the sudden I realize “Hey, I’m still not getting what I want!!”  I’m still hanging on to something that isn’t going anywhere and I flip out when I realize that NOTHING HAS CHANGED.  Rinse and repeat. Over and over again.

I’m not going to blame him.  This isn’t about him.  This is all about me and my crazy shit.  I’m not following through, period.  It’s not fair to him…and it most assuredly is not fair to me.  So, now that I found the switch, I decided to disengage it.  Telling him was part of the problem, so that stopped.  Believing he would change, stopped.  Putting too much trust that he would do what he said, stopped.   Thinking things would ever be different…stopped.  Wanting to be important enough for him to want to change, stopped.

I made a decision that if he wasn’t going to make an effort, I wasn’t going to chase after him.  A commitment I made to myself.  I didn’t share it…just did it.  Now over the last couple of weeks things have picked up online.  Men have been requesting my company and I’ve had some really great conversations.  This commitment to myself had to go a step further.  If I am no longer willing to take the crumbs offered by the hunky stallion, I wasn’t going to take crumbs from anyone else either.

Date with the 30 year old tech, cancelled.  He’s been nothing but sweet and respectful.  He was the first one to put out an offer for a real date.  So why did I cancel? A part of me knows this isn’t going to be what I want.  I’m over dating younger men just for the fun and excitement, and the ego boost.   I feel like I would be setting myself up for more of the same disappointment.  So I cancelled.   My friend said I wasn’t giving myself enough credit, and I think that saying no to something that isn’t what I want IS giving myself credit.  I get way too comfortable accepting what is being given, instead of holding out for what I truly want.

Conversation with the 34 year old IT guy, done.  Again, very nice and respectful, but we’re on different paths and I don’t want to be on his.

Messages from anyone under the age of 35, who start off with “Wow your sexy” or “I think you’re absolutely gorgeous” deleted.  For that matter anyone who starts out with those type of comments have gotten deleted immediately, no matter what the age.

On the positive side.  I had a wonderful phone call from a 36 year old who lives a little far.  He’s moving closer over the summer…so for now it’s all about getting to know each other.

There is the 42 year old banker.  He’s not been overly engaging, but it’s been good.

Then, just to throw a monkey in the barrel…here comes the hunky stallion.  After all this time he decides to ask me out.  I don’t know what’s going on with him, and why NOW he feels he needs to take this step, but the invitation was sincere.  He also admitted I am special and he knows he doesn’t show it.

Now…of course I bet your first instinct was  that I probably dropped everything and jumped back on the “ooh the hunky stallion and I are going to live happily ever after” wagon.  I did not.  It was an offer.  He’s made them before and never followed through.  I’m not about to put anything into it, especially now.  If he wants to take me out, then he is going to have to take the lead, I’m not doing it for him.

Today, another offer to meet from someone I’ve chatted before, but never met.  He is 46 and offered coffee and good conversation.  I said yes.

Bottom line…I found my crazy switch and have flipped the bitch off.  I’ve stepped out of the role I put myself in and am trying to stand firm.  Keeping my focus on the end game and not allowing myself to fall “victim” to the same trap.  A trap I know I put myself in not the other way around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things will never be the same.

I had a bit of a breakdown, completely lost my shit and had and epiphany all in a span of 5 days.

It’s been quite a week.

I’m not going to go into details of the breakdown (cause I’ve been there before), or the losing my shit (yeah, that too).  I am going to tell you how all of that got me to a clearer understanding of myself, in a way I haven’t before. (even though I totally know I should have by now)

I’m reading the book The Conscious Parent.  What I like most about it is that it isn’t telling you how to discipline your children or how to get them to behave the way you want…It is about understanding yourself, as a child and as a parent.  It is about finding truth behind what it is your children do and the things they trigger in you. It’s also about accepting them completely, as they are, who they are…right at this moment.

I am completely and immensely grateful for having read this book.

Anyway….after my breakdown(don’t all great stories of triumph start in the gutter?), and after losing my shit (the hell storm before the calm), I was in sort of a “what the fuck am I doing?? why do I keep doing this shit??” state of mind.  While I was reading the chapter about the roles we play as children, when I got it.  I am chasing love and acceptance.  It was absolutely clear that was my role as a child, my role as a sought our romantic relationships, and the same role as parent.  What was so eye opening was that I do it with my children too…every single trigger is about my feeling loved and accepted.

Ok, here it is, I’m chasing love AGAIN!! Instead of stepping back and making some room for it to come to me I’m trying to control a situation I know damn good and well is not going to change no matter what I do.  I was not accepting things as they really were.  Still trying to say the right thing, or do the right thing, or take the blame for anything and everything…just to make him love me.

I chase and chase until I’m exhausted.  With my mother, with my father, my ex-husband, friends, lovers…Every fucking person, every fucking time.  Chasing love and acceptance from anyone who has rejected me, but claims to care for me.  This shit has got to stop.

I told my counselor and he agrees.  I was nurtured for this role…and I have perfected it.  I’m exhausted.  Chasing love is a lot like running, and I really don’t like running.  Why do relationships have to be so hard??  Well, he says, good healthy relationships AREN’T hard.  The one’s I try so desperately to hold on to are.  Shit, I don’t want to do hard anymore.

HOW do I snap out of it??? How the hell do I stop myself from doing it with the next schmuck??  If I keep chasing every idiot who will not ever love me…I will never have room for someone who will.

The answer is to just stop and ask.  Am I chasing or am I allowing???  If the answer is chasing…get the fuck out, shut the damn door…turn your ass around and high tail it out of there.  You don’t have time for this crap anymore.

So all you handsome narcissistic assholes, charming emotionally unavailable and/or emotionally immature men….This chick is OFF the market.  For YOU that is…off the market for anyone who needs someone to chase them.  Off the market for anyone who triggers that part of me.  I’m not chasing anymore….Done.

Things are never going to be the same.  There are going to be a few Universal tests coming I just know it.  I laugh cause I know it’s not going to be easy, but maybe a little easier than it would have been a year ago.  I’m going to be unpredictable to those who know my type…and I’m sure that, again, I’ll piss a few people off in the process.  I’ve had some experience at how changing affects the people who desperately need you to remain the same.

Ok, I’m all fired up and ready let go of the role of Chaser.  Now I just need to have a little faith that no matter what my past has been like, there is someone for me out there.  Someone who does not need me to chase them, who will not withhold their affections as a weapon, who will love and accept me completely.

Here I go…

 Different Wolf…Same Sheep’s clothing

Counselor “He is thinking only of himself and his needs, right?”
Me “Um…well.”
End scene

Daily I let things settle in with my situation with the Hunky Stallion. I have little Ah-ha moments that strengthen my resolve that this is and always will be a dead end relationship. Even though my intellectual brain KNOWS this…my emotional brain needs to understand and analyze it or I know I will continue to make the same mistakes.

One day I was thinking about our last (and not only) conversation about what I wanted from a relationship…then all of the sudden it hit me.  “Why does this sound so fucking familiar???”  I realized that it is the same exact conversation I have had with my ex husband year after year of our marriage.

It was always the same…Me doing my best to be ok with not getting what I need from the relationship until one of us explodes.  Sometimes it was him. Sometimes it was me.  However it started, it was always ALWAYS the same damn conversation.

Me: I need this!
Him: Yes I know. OR Yes you deserve that. OR I can’t do that.
End scene

Nothing changed. NOTHING.

You would think I would have learned. I guess there are some things you have to learn again and again and a-fucking-gain to get it through your head.

I’m seduced by sweet words of intention….I want so much to believe that the other person really wants to give me what I want, what I deserve.  Somewhere in my crazy fucked up brain I honestly believe that when someone says they understand that withholding their affection from you hurts you that they are going to stop withholding…stop hurting you.  Experience has taught me otherwise…and it seems I still need to repeat the lesson.

Now…I get, it is ME who needs to do the “changing”.  Why do I let myself get stuck thinking that if I just give him more time he’ll get on board?  That’s a great question, and I think if my counselor were to answer that, he would tell you that I was raised to be giving…and giving…and giving….Yes, folks, we can blame my fucked up relationship behaviors on my mother.  Come on! Give me a WHAT WHAT!!!  It’s not my fault…she fucked me up good.

Except for one little thing…I am an adult.  I’m now responsible for my own actions…even if those actions are breed into the very fibers of my existence.  I am responsible for whether or not I continue to play the part I was raised to play, or stand up for my own well being and say FUCK that shit.

Yes the wolf is different…but it’s the same dynamic every single time.  I am catching on.  Thankfully I’m becoming wiser faster…I was married to my ex husband way longer than I should have been.  I’m not going to say I regret it because in all those years I was blessed with two beautiful children and grew as a person in ways I probably wouldn’t have had I been in a different relationship.  The thing is that at my age…45 this year (fuck)…I don’t have another 20 years to wonder if he is going to love me enough to change.  Now I have to be the one to love me enough to say goodbye and move on.

Now…if some handsome, confident, strong yet sensitive, fun, passionate, adventurous and loving man would just ask me out on a damn date.

I guess I got time.

Raising my standards

So I was talking with this guy from POF. He seemed nice enough.  I agreed to meet this last Friday.  Truth is, I wasn’t really all that attracted, but I was thinking it was time to get my ass off the couch and get out and start meeting people.  We exchanged numbers, and started texting.

He sent me several messages telling me what he was looking for, and what he had to offer a lady.  I told him, he didn’t need to sell himself to me.  I was looking forward to meeting him and see where it goes.  Then he asked me if we went out, would I still talk to other men.  Huh?  Yes.  Until there is a commitment, I would still be leaving my options open.

Then he says that he only focuses on one woman at a time.  Ok. Flag one.  I ended the conversation telling him to have a nice Christmas and that I was looking forward to meeting him Friday.

Christmas morning I got a message “Marry Christmas.” Huh??? Typo obviously.  I didn’t respond right away since I was already feeling a little off on this one.  Then I got another one.  “Marry Christmas.”  Seriously dude…you’re 44 years old and MERRY Christmas is flashing in your face every 5 seconds.  I replied “Same to you.”  10 mins later…”Hi”.  I ignored.  An hour later….”Hi”.  Now, mind you, this may seem like I’m being a snob, and honestly I hope you understand that is not my intention…but I knew, in my gut, this was not the guy.  So I blocked him from my phone and online.  I didn’t feel like I needed to explain myself…I just needed to get out.

My counselor said that was a smart move.  Remember, I have a one strike rule now.  Whatever it was about this guy…my instincts said No! Get out. Over the years I’ve learned that my instincts are way smarter-er than my brain or my heart have ever been.

He asked about the Hunky Stallion…I brought up how I had made an offer to bring him and his guys lunch at work.  I told him not long after I made that offer, I knew in my gut was another attempt to “change his mind.”  When I realized that was what I was doing, and that I knew that it was not going to change anything, I wanted to back out.  The sad part is I didn’t know how without sounding like an asshole…or a total flake.  Thankfully the Universe gave me an out, short day, they’ll all be gone by lunchtime.  I feel like it was my reward for being honest with myself about the intention behind the offer.

I told my counselor that I was thinking about my place in the Hunky Stallion’s life.  It’s the holidays…we’ve been together for nearly two years, had countless passionate nights together, long deep conversations, confessions of our own demons and regrets.  Given all of that, he still has no desire to spend any part of the holidays with me.  I realized, I’m not on the list.  I told him that I could understand not being at the top of the list…but I’m not even on it.  Nowhere.  To be honest, I don’t believe that I should be on his list…I’m just acknowledging that I’m not. We all have the right to have whomever we want on our list, and no matter how wonderful I am, if I’m not important to him, I shouldn’t have a spot.

He told me…I SHOULD be at the top of the list.  But…but I said, what about the kids?  Shouldn’t they be at the top? He said, we have our kids…and we’ll take care of them just fine, but as far as a relationship goes I should be at the top.  Me??? At the top of someone’s list??? WTF??? This is a completely strange concept for me.  I’ve spent my entire life settling for being somewhere in the middle….or even the bottom, just happy to be on the list at all.

He said it’s time I raise my standards.  He said I stay way past my welcome in any negative situation…be it job and/or relationship.  It’s time for me to be on the top of my own list…and settle for nothing less from any relationship.

Honestly, I’m still wrapping my head around that.  It makes perfect sense, and deep down I know it’s what I want, what I deserve and certainly what I give….but there’s a long lifetime of conditioning to dismantle here.

I’m ready to put 2014 to rest.  I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me this coming year.

It’s gonna be a good one…I know it.

Interesting facts…so to speak

So the world of online dating has been a little quite for me.  I’m taking that as a sign, but not letting myself get discouraged.  There are a few things I have found to be rather interesting…if not a little disheartening. I’m not good at math…but I’ll try my best to give a clear picture.

Since December 1st there have been over 100 eligible bachelors (or some not so) who have been interested in meeting me.

Of those 100+ men, about 15% have actually looked at my profile.

This means that 85% of them like what they see.  I’m thinking it’s the picture with the giant animated hot dog that makes me seem like the right lady for them.

Of those that have messaged me after actually viewing my profile 40% just say Hi, 30% comment on what a beautiful woman I am (the actual adjective varies slightly), and 10% send incredible long messages that should basically be covered in their profile. The last 10% usually have only one line…usually “goodmorning” or “good evening” or “how is your day”.

I have messaged back 5. There is maybe 3 that would be interested in meeting.

I have sent messages to approximately 25 men.  My messages have varied. Sometimes I comment about their profile.  Occasionally I mention something we have in common.  Mostly I tell them I find what they have to say interesting and would be happy to get to know them better.

All of them view my profile the same day I message.  0% have messaged me back.

Yes, it’s a little bit of a buzz kill.  0% isn’t good odds.  I want to message them back and ask…hey, I know you’re not interested but could I ask Why?  Maybe there’s something about my profile that needs to change.  Maybe they don’t find me all that attractive (can’t change that) or maybe there is something else I’m not aware of.

Anyway…I guess I really have enough stuff to be dealing with at the moment.  Not the time to be trying to figure all that shit out.  Still…I wonder.

On a positive note…I haven’t gotten one single “Fuck me” message yet.  I guess in the grand scheme of things, that would be considered progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FWB

I have allowed myself to be back in the “game”.  This time it feels different.  I’m no longer desperate or lonely or feel like I need to fill my space with a man.  Given this new attitude and my newly found confidence I have been able to see each and every potential candidate in a more mature way.

Over the last few years I have tried many different online sites in an effort to find some companionship.  I refuse to even attempt to calculate the amount of money spent on the more upscale sites.  I can tell you the amount of return on my investment has most definitely put me in the negative. At this point I can no longer afford to invest in these sites…so I’m pushed into the free ones.  There has to be some quality in there somewhere…at least I’m hoping.

I’m trying Tinder for the first time.  What I like is that you can only communicate with someone who has shown mutual interest.  Makes it easier than filtering through messages from men there is no attraction to.  Well, at least it would seem easier.  I find myself swiping right on men that seem interesting and have something to say about themselves.  There have been approximately 20 mutual matches.  When there’s a match, I send out a message hoping to connect.  So far I’ve gotten about 4 who have returned one message, then nothing else, one who was interesting but lives in another state (how I missed that I have no clue) and two who are offering the ever popular FWB.

As a smart woman, I can see the appeal of the FWB.  For anyone who isn’t really interested in a traditional relationship, you can have sex with someone who also has no interest in a relationship.  For two people who want to keep their freedom, but don’t want to rely on random hook-ups or one night stands…this offers an alternative with no hidden objectives.

What I have learned is that the “benefit” is sex, the “friend” is someone you can have sex with. I hang out with my friends, we do stuff together, movies, dinner…what have you.  That is not part of the F in FWB.  Another thing is that maybe this week I would like a different benefit, perhaps, the benefit I’m looking for is someone to come change out the drippy faucet in the bathroom, or help re-wire a light…or do some “manly” things for me around the house.  Apparently, that is not open for interpretation. The only benefit these men are looking for is sex…without any investment.

The other thing I found out is that accepting an offer of FWB does not allow me the opportunity for a drink or meal.  Pretty much, let’s meet and have sex.  Hmm….well, I do like sex, and I appreciate how “sexy” or “beautiful” you think I am, but why can’t you wine me a little??  Is that too much to ask? Apparently, yes it is.  No matter how “stunning” I am…we’re not going out in public, I’m not taking you to the movies or the local bar.  Again, where’s the real benefit for me??

So thank you for the compliments…I’m sure that there are a lot of women out there who are willing to go right from your compliments to your bed without the desire for anything in between.  I am not one of those women.  Maybe at one time or another that would have been enough.  At this point I’m not interested in how attracted you are to my outside…I’ve got way to much to offer than just something good to look at and a place to tuck your willy.

Just a couple of weeks in and it’s been relatively quiet.  Online and in my head.  I’m not worried about the “what if’s” or whether or not this is all that is out there for me.  I’m trusting the Universe on this one.  Somewhere out these is my partner in crime…the man who has been looking for me.  For now I’m going to just float along this little path…and not take any shit.