Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late Bloomer

I had an epiphany (actually several) and I think I can officially say that I am on the dating scene.

Sure, I've had a couple of boyfriends in the past, and sure I've engaged in more than just "talking" since I am the mother of a 9 year old boy, but I don't think I ever really "dated."  It's amazing how experiences from one's past are so powerful that they can affect one's future.  And I think that at the age of 35 I finally got tired of relinquishing the power over who or what was going to shape my future. 

Before, when it came to dating, for me it was all about finding a mate, a partner, someone to grow old with.  And I'm not saying that idea isn't something that I would like to be a reality, but I had to pull back a bit and explore why I haven't been a  'dater' in the past.  Luckily there were a few things that helped me to revise my thought process and approach when it comes to tangling with the opposite sex.

1. Reality checks kick ass! (in a good way!).  Age, health, circumstances, personal and professional growth (or lack of) - all of these things made me stop and look at my situation as objectively as possible (luckily I'm pretty hard on myself so it's never difficult for me to realize and accept when I am doing something wrong, lol!).

2. Past experiences are today's lessons.  Every time something doesn't go our way it's so easy to SAY that 'I'm never gonna do that again,' but DOING it is a whole other issue.  I'd decided to question whether something that felt good at the moment would last, or was it just a temporary high?  Was I being honest with myself because maybe it isn't good at all?  Or, am I repeating past actions that did not lead me to a good place?  As a result of asking myself those questions, I have found it easier to step away from situations that I knew deep down inside, would only lead to heartache for myself and others.

3. I really like me.  I never hated myself, but I never thought I was extra special either.  But despite all of my personal flaws, I really like me.  I like my own company and think that anyone who is willing to enjoy life would enjoy my company as well.

4. Don't work on anyone but myself.  I never was the kind of woman who wanted to change a man into what I wanted him to be (especially since I don't necessarily have a type).  He either has to be someone who I want to be with, as is, or he just isn't the one (or the two, lol!).  I don't want anyone telling me what I need to change about myself, so why would I be interested in being a hypocrite?

5. Let a man be the man.  I am so used to taking care of everyone that I forgot that, at least in the types of relationships that I strive for, I have to allow myself to be taken care of as well.  That, my friends, was one of the hardest things I've had to face thus far.  My excuse has always been 'I'm used to no one doing anything for me' and I think that mindset has blinded me to situations where (maybe) there was someone who actually wanted to do something for me and I did not allow it.  Maybe that has or hasn't happen, but I'm real and clear enough with myself to know and admit that although I like taking care of others, I had no clue as to how to allow someone to take care of me.  But I'm learning.  On a recent date I actually allowed the man to hold the door open for me each and every time we came to a door.  That's big for me, because in my experience there were men who walked ahead of me, didn't even attempt to open a door for me, or if I held the door open for them - walk thru and not say a word of thanks, so for me, this truly is a big step (even though I had repeat in my head over and over again: "do not race him to the door!" lol!)

With those, and probably a few more, things in my arsenal, I am taking chances again on finding men who are interested in dating me (and vice versa of course).  And when I say dating, I literally mean sharing experiences (outside of the bedroom) when we can enjoy ourselves and get to know each other at the same time.  It's not about sex.  It's not about love.  And I am digging that big time.  Finally, when I think about the dating world, I'm not asking myself what's wrong with me.  I'm sure I'll have a "moment" or two (or more) down the line, but right now my eyes are on the prize.  I am ready to have fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Single Friend

I'm at an age - in my mid 30s - where I find myself surrounded by friends, co-workers, family who are all either involved in long term relationships, including marriage, and I wonder when did life continue to be high school for me even as I got older.

I once attempted to take part in what I thought was a mature discussion on a blog about relationships and how bad girls and bad boys always have someone while the nice girl/guy was home alone.  One poster felt the need to state that I couldn't have been all that lonely since I have a child.  I ended the convo right there because unlike some people I know the difference between getting knocked up versus being loved... but that's a whole other discussion for another day.

Anyway, and I hate to do this or even admit that I am - but it just popped in my head. I wonder, when is my time going to come?  I'm not completely unattractive - physically and emotionally - so what's the deal.  There has to be something wrong with a woman who hasn't been in a semi-loving relationship in over a decade.  And why am I not in love with those who show even a little bit of interest in me (old, nasty men way beyond their prime don't count).   I keep telling myself several things like:
  • it's not over for you 
  • you are a cool person 
  • you look nice
  • you will find someone who moves you 
And then I end right back at "just get over it" and knit more. 

And don't get me wrong - I love that my son loves me, but I'm feeling a little greedy.  I don't know a lot of things, but one thing I think I know for sure is that you can miss what you never had. 

I hope one day this post will be words that I end up eating because I would like to be wrong about living a life while never being the object of a man's love.  Anyway... whatever... random post... I'll get over it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Can you be half turned on... and is that enough?

'Expect the unexpected' is a statement that is true many times, especially when it comes to romance and sex and relationships (I believe these words are not synonymous by the way). A lot of times we may meet someone and have instant chemistry (even if that chemical reaction is one-sided), and other times we may meet someone and think they're cool, but not feel that spark that pushes you toward attraction, lust or love.  But what about the times when there is something about someone that turns you on, but it's not the whole package?  Is that enough? 

I've had the experience of trying to force a relationship to work because I started to believe that a) I was too picky; b)no man would be interested in a single mother; c) I still wasn't attractive enough to land a man (moreso of the "I'm not walking around with my tits and ass hanging out" in the hopes of scoring a dude; d)I just wasn't meant for "all that" (my nickname for love and 'healthy' relationships).  So when I met this one man, there was an interest (I think we both said all the things the other wanted to hear, but putting it into real practice seemed to be difficult for some of us  - uh, not me, but anyway...), and I tried to make it work, but I knew that it was going no where.  After that relationship ended, I detoxed from "all that" for about 4 years.  And now I find myself standing at the same crossroads that has me asking 1) Can one be half turned on? and 2) Is it enough?

I already know the answer to number 2 - hell no it's not enough.  I know that from experience.  But the 'half-turned on" thing - I think the answer may be yes.  I also know that trying to make a relationship out of being half turned out can only lead to massive heart ache either for myself or the gentleman.  It's amazing how one person can see something and another person see something completely different, and yet still connect on so many other levels.  Anyway, since I prefer to only watch repeats on television and not in real life, I'm going to have to walk away, but it's so unfair in general (to not be completely turned on by someone, to be on the receiving end of someone who isn't completely turned on by you, and for one of the parties to make the adult decision to cease and desist before drama ensues).  I've never been one to have a line of dudes trying to get my attention so being in this position is weird - to walk away from opportunity - but I think it's growth to actually know when to step away.  Life is indeed strange.