Tackling Fear Head On And Finding My Independence. Again.

I took stock recently and noticed I am letting fear run the show again.

Ever have one of those moments, where you take a look around at your behavior and you see more that you dislike and less that you like?

I am probably exaggerating. And I have done a lot of personal development work over the last two years so I caught things before it got as crazy as it used to.

I used to spin a bit out of control. It would be a total downward spiral so subtle that most of my friends wouldn’t even notice. They would just see me going through a rough patch, and needing more support than normal.

So I noticed a few of my old patterns. Such as I ten to get stuck in my head and distracted throughout my day. My mood and energy are lower.  I start feeling jealous or insecure. I start obsessing. And sometimes crying for no reason.

Check, check and check. Yes all those old patterns were coming back in full force. I needed to nip it in the bud.

I went back to an old trusty friend- the books by Gabrielle Bernstein. I decided to start each day by reading a little and meditating a little. It’s not always easy to wake up earlier than normal, but I think it’s been helping.

I also made a commitment to myself to start working out again. It was mostly motivated by vain reasons. As a former personal trainer, I used to be moving around all day and I was pretty fit. When things got really stressful I dropped my workouts because I didn’t have time or energy. And in the last six months I have put on a few pounds and I’ve gotten squishy. I don’t like feeling squishy.

I have two weddings coming up in August and September plus a big gala event. There are going to be plenty of skin baring and curve hugging dresses and I would like to not look squishy! So I am eating better and I am back at the gym. Which also has an incredible effect on mood and self esteem. I love it when everything works together.

When I started this blog as a way to share what I was going through and what I have learned, I decided I was going to be the happiest Single I could be. I don’t need a relationship to prove my worth to my self or to anyone else. I don’t need anyone else’s opinions either, my opinion of myself is the only one that matters.

I have always been very independent and I pride myself of that. I know that it’s something that the men that I date find very attractive. Let me be clear that isn’t why I am independent, it’s just a happy side benefit that it is an attractive quality.

But I know when I get into these moods, these moments where I start to spiral and get out of control I completely lose my sense of independence. I start to cling to the person I am dating like a life raft from the Titanic. “She’s going down! Women and children first! Save yourselves!”

And that must be confusing. It must seem like a complete disconnect to have such a strong, independent woman suddenly become so needy and small. It is probably a major turnoff.

And I am sure my friends find it just as confusing.

So I put on my Big Girl Panties this week. I faced the hard stuff head on and said “Fear, you are not getting the better of me this time! There is too much love and good stuff out there in the universe and I am giving my energy to those things!” And that’s what the Gabrielle Bernstein books are helping with.

And to mark my return to independence, I stopped procrastinating and I went to look for a new car. Mine is nearly dead. And I really was dreading car shopping.

But I went last night. Alone. No male relative or friend in tow to make sure I’m not hustled. No, I did my research, I kept my Kelly Blue Book app handy. And it was incredibly fun and liberating.

Sadly I didn’t get to negotiate. Something I was really looking forward to giving a shot. Stupid car dealers price everything at a fixed price these days. What a shame.

Today my meditation and focus is on gratitude. Gratitude is my only attitude today. Thank you all for being my readers, thank you for being such great friends in keeping the conversation going and for supporting me.

If you need help or support during your low moments, know that I am here. I’ve been there. See this as a safe space to vent and try things out.

And if you’re good at negotiating and would like to help me practice, drop me a line. ūüėČ

 

 

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What To Do When An Ex Comes Back

There are a few different camps of people when it comes to exes. And you definitely have some options:
1. Run away screaming and cursing the day he was born.
2. Ignore it.
3. Hash it all out and give him a piece of your mind, finally saying all those things you always wanted to say.
4. Grin and bear it, until you can get away and gossip about how awful he looks with your girl friends.
5. Jump into bed for ex sex.
6. Have a genuine friendly conversation and walk away with your head high.

There are probably some grey areas in there that I didn’t mention, but you get the idea. The men that meant a lot to me in my life, as well as the ones that treated me with respect (they were usually the same few guys- the ones that meant a lot treated me with respect) are the ones that fall into category number 6. But they are few.

I think no matter who the ex is, no matter¬†what circumstances surrounded the breakup and the getting back in contact, there is a moment of panic. An¬†“Oh shit, what so I do?! How do I look? What should I say?” kind of moment.

Of course that’s normal. It’s also normal to engineer the situation so that you see him looking smoking hot and making sure you have control of the situation.

Every once in a while I lose my cool and let the guy have it. But only when necessary. Only when I feel like not standing up for myself would do myself a disservice.

It’s ok to lose your cool when you walk away with your head high, not regretting or worrying about what you said. When the bridge was¬†already burned long ago because he did something that totally disrespected you.

Usually these days I tend to ignore my exes if they contact me. And I use the term “ex” loosely, including men then I went on a few dates with maybe we hooked up and maybe we didn’t.

I used to reply to these guys. And I usually fell into bed with them pretty quickly. I figured what was the harm!? I’m not adding to my number, it’s fun, it makes me feel sexy. Until it all falls into the same pattern and I remember why we aren’t hanging out anymore. Things normally don’t change.

I think I mentioned I dated a train driver. It ended because he worked literally all the time, so I never saw him. Our whole relationship was by text because he could do that on the train but it was too loud to talk. I saw him every once in a while, and I even made a trip to Philly to see him in his hotel room. There was plenty of sexting. And usually when he would pop up out of the blue, we would catch up. And fall into old patterns. And then I would realize it’s not going anywhere and I would forget to reply to a message and let it go.

He tried to involve me in making his girlfriend jealous one say, and I would have none of that and I cut ties. He texted me out of the blue the other day with “hey stranger! How ya been? I had a dream about you last night, it was the strangest thing.”

You had a dream about me? My ass. There is no reason for me to pop into your head after two years of not talking and not being friends on Facebook, not to mention barely having a relationship two years before that.

What a lame excuse, and I know it’s an excuse because I’ve used it! I’ve used it for guys that I haven’t talked to in a while and I ¬†would like to take a shot at talking again and getting back together for at least some making out. With someone that doesn’t know it’s an excuse!

And then there are the few exes that things could rekindle.

I saw The One That Got Away last night.

And I will admit that I engineered it. I knew what I was walking into when I went to an event that I knew he was working. I knew that if I told someone on headset to tell him I said hello that I could very likely be opening the door to reconnecting.

I actually laughed when the guy asked me if he would know who I was by just my first name.

I just said, “Yes, we go way back.”

So my heart started pounding when I went back to my seat and I saw this security guard look at me, talk into his walkie and then look way off to the right. And I went into tunnel vision when I saw a tall, blonde, thin guy walking from across the field. And then he disappeared and, nothing.

I figured, well I guess that was it. He knows I am here, and he doesn’t want to see me. I was disappointed but I let it go and focused on the game I was there to watch.

Fifteen minutes later he plops down in front of me with an excited “Hiya!” God I wish my face had been caught on camera. A mix of total shock and excitement.

And so we chatted for about fifteen minutes. We hugged several times and neither of us could stop beaming. When we sat down because I commented on how short I felt (he is a foot and two inches taller than I am), he scooted right next to me so our arms and legs were in contact.

I lost count of how many times he said it was good to see me, or he wanted us to get together for a drink, or he apologized for how he handled things before.

Damn straight.

So what now? I don’t know, to be honest. The ball is in his court, so there is a good chance nothing may come of this.

But what I am more interested in right now is what makes this ex different from the others? Why does this one get different treatment? Why am I willing to keep the conversation going?

I’m going to explore that more in depth tomorrow, so stay tuned.

What The Hell Happened To That Guy?

I guess I had hoped that he would be all the things I had been looking form yes, I am guilty at looking at a guy, having a few conversations with him and leaping to the conclusion that perhaps he will fill in all those gaps that the other guys have left!

Oh, he was so cute. Like, made me gasp kind of cute. And so my type. He was a musician hunt also witty and humble. And we had easy conversation, once we started talking the topics flowed easily and before you knew it we were divulging small secrets to a relative stranger (like I had never learned to ride a bike. Not major things, just small intimate details you learn about a person that you are interested in).

i was so hopeful. He seemed like such fun! And he lived near by so it could lead to fun, spontaneous adventures!

What the hell went wrong?

Was it because I pursued it? Sure, he found me on Facebook and friended me. But I initiated contact, and after many messages I ultimately suggested getting together for a drink. I took his statement “sounds like you need a drink” as an invitation so I pursued it.

Was it because I was questioning if he was gay? I know what you might be thinking, if you’re questioning if he’s gay, maybe don’t pursue that guy. But I work in the arts, every guy is assumed gay until proven otherwise. At one point during the drink, I shifted my intentions because I didn’t feel like there was any flirting from him. I thought, ok he just wants a friend and I can be a friend.

Was it because I wouldn’t sleep with him? He pushed for me to come back to his place for a night cap several times, and I turned him down. Just because I say no during our first “date” (quotes are because it was hardly a date. Drinks and splitting some nibbles is hardly a date if you’re not sure about the person’s intentions until he pins you against the car and kisses you. Which was hot.) doesn’t mean I’m not interested. It means you need to put in some more effort so step up!

Maybe he couldn’t handle the rejection.

What a shame, he had such potential.

I think we all have those people that we wonder what the hell happened? We had a great date, why did he disappear??

Do I close the gap and ask him out? (No, I know better now. When I was younger I would have called and gotten radio silence. No need to do that again, I get the message) What about a Facebook message? Do I say… Wait, what would I say?

Nothing. There is nothing to say to the guy that disappears and isn’t that interesting in putting kick effort into spending time with me.

I am sure he has other people lined up that are willing to do whatever without much effort on his part.

As a side note, ladies, let’s all agree to stop being that girl. Raise the bar a little bit. Nothing wrong with sex on no first date if he deserves it. But let’s stop saying yes just because he asked or because we feel pressured to say yes or because we’re afraid he’ll walk away if we say no. Good riddance to those guys. Please, for the good of all of us to weed out the wimpy, lazy dudes- let’s all raise the bar, ok?

It irks me. I don’t know about you. I have at least a dozen of these under my belt- the great date and then he disappears. Where do they go? Did he get hit by a bus?? Did his ex suddenly come back and declare everlasting love for him? Did he pick up someone at the bar after we left so he could get his rocks off come hell or high water?

It never gets easy. I am just left wondering “where did you go?” And “will you come back one day and say ‘sup? Let’s hang out.”

What is the logic behind this? I demand to know!

Confusion, Disappointment And The Reappearance Of The Dangerous Guy

I am disappointed. In oh so many things that I don’t even know where to start.

But I’m not disappointed in myself, so at least I’ve got that going for me.

Remember that guy that I made the big mistake with a few months ago? He came to town and contacted me. I was very clear that I was ok with catching up but not ok with anything else. He promised he had no other intentions.

Fast forward two hours and he stopped being coy and started seriously making moves and trying to advance things. That makes him sound really gross, but trust me it wasn’t gross. He was smooth and said all the things I wanted a guy to say.

I’m going to spoil the ending because it’s important. Nothing happened, I shut him down every time.

Which strangely turned him on even more.

He told me he was attracted to me, the real me. He loved my independence and that Iw as sure in who in was. He thought I was hot, complimenting all the things thati would like a guy to compliment. He was aggressive, which felt masculine and not pushy. He flirted and spoke his mind.

It was hot.

I spent the better part of an hour blushing and laughing at his winks and advances. What struck me was ¬†when he asked if I laugh this much all the time. He didn’t even wait for an answer before he said “Because you should. You deserve to and it’s hot.”

And so I started thinking. Yes, the guy I am crazy about makes me feel that way and makes me laugh. But neither of us is this honest. Neither of us puts all of our cards on the table.

maybe the Dangerous guy can be so honest because he has nothing to lose. And I can’t be honest with my guy because if I am honest I can lose all the good stuff.

So do I out it on the line? Do I be honest and straight forward and risk having this guy get scared and run away again?

Maybe I should be honest, that’s what everyone says. Be honest, tell someone how you feel. If they reject it then it wasn’t going to happen anyway.

But the twist is the other reason why I am disappointed. I guess you could say that I tested him. And he did not pass.

I was a little freaked out about the evening’s events, but I was definitely questioning my relationships. If a guy that is completely unavailable can “get” me and make me feel great, then it makes me feel like there are men out there and it’s not a limited number. It rattled me because I guess you could say I am hanging on to this guy that I am crazy about because he “gets” me, really gets me. I thought that it was rare, because it is, I don’t find guys like that very often.

But apparently they are actually out there.

But this guy isn’t available to me either. The Dangerous guy isn’t available because of his relationship status. The guy in my life isn’t available because he chooses to be incredibly busy with work. I responded to a text he sent five minutes earlier and said I had a bad night and needed to talk. No response. Sometimes he doesn’t get texts so I called. No answer.

The guy I want choose to be unavailable. What if something bad really happened? Would he be there? Can I count on him for support when I need it? I’m worried that my answer is that I can’t be sure, and I’m not ok with that. I want a guy I can count on, I think I deserve that.

I am disappointed and confused. Does this mean that I have to lay it on the line and say what I want: someone I can count on if I need them. And it doesn’t happen often, I don’t have crises on a regular basis. I am great at getting through them on my own, but I want someone that can be there for me.

And I’m worried he’s going to say he can’t give that to me, and then what? Then I end it? That feels so anti-climactic. “Welp, that was a great couple of months and an intense connection but now it’s all over. See ya.”

The Dangerous Guy was right. I do deserve a lot.

And I don’t know what scares me more, how much I care about the one guy and the possibility that that will scare him off? Or that I am going to ask him for more than he can give and that will scare him off?

Can I ask you for a little bit of support? Knowing how important it is for me to be honest kept me strong when I was presented with temptation, so know that you have already helped me say no to the Dangerous Guy. I felt accountable to you my readers and I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice.

Can I ask you to help me be strong again? I am really afraid to ask for what I want and to tell the guy how I feel and then I lose him. I know I can start over again, but I don’t really want to. I want this guy to step up because I think what he and I have is special. I have the strength to start over, if that’s what it takes.

I don’t know if I have the strength to be completely honest and risk losing something I deeply care about. Send me some support?

The Guy That Girls Keep Around Just In Case

For those of you that are not die hard bachelorette fans (and to those of you that aren’t, I’m jealous that you never got hooked. I was sucked in many years ago and haven’t been able to stop watching), a few weeks ago¬†Andi our bachelorette took her men to Marseille, France. She decided cooking would be passionate fun for a one on one date , and I would agree. Shopping in a French market and sampling wine, cheeses, breads, and more seems like great foreplay for creating something hot. She thought so too. But¬†her date was far from it.

The dude was awkward, to say the least. He was standoffish. He stayed physically separate from her in the kitchen. He says it’s because he’s uncomfortable cooking. Just say that, dude.

I wish people understood that we are willing to excuse a lot of things if you are willing to be honest and upfront. Feeling uncomfortable? Say it, let’s call out that shit and then move forward. Hate cooking? Ok, say that and maybe find a way to do something special. Offer to do the dishes, give a back massage. There are other ways to make it sexy and fun without making it awkwardly painful.

Just see for yourself:

Would you be surprised to hear that she kept this guy around? I sure was. But in a way I could relate.

Brian has been reliable and every once in a while he surprises Andi with a gesture of masculinity. He’s cute and fit and thoughtful. He’s great on paper. And we all know what that means. He doesn’t have a shot in hell.

I know that I have dated guys just like this. I date the nice, fit, attractive men. Maybe they’re great kissers and really smart. But something just feels off when we’re together. But I keep them around indefinitely.

Why? Why do I keep them on the hook and I don’t move things forward?

Let me list the reasons I say in my head.

  • I met him through a friend, so I don’t want to make things awkward for anyone so I really want to make sure I know how I feel.
  • He’s such a good kisser. The rest of it is probably good too.
  • He’s so cute. Just look at that smile.
  • He responds to text messages quickly, so at least he’s responsive.
  • Maybe I haven’t given him enough time, maybe he will grow on me.
  • He’s reliable.
  • He tries to really get to know me and be interested in what I am interested in.
  • He’s just so nice. I’d hate to crush him.

Ugh. Just looking at this list makes me sad. It feels pathetic how much I am reaching to find reasons to keep a guy around.

No matter how long the list of reasons why I should keep someone around, why can’t I just go with my gut and say “no, thanks” when I am not interested any more?

Rejection is really tough, for both parties. I know when I have rejected guys in the past there has been some unpleasant backlash. I’ve had a guy lash out in anger, demand better reasons, try to convince me that I’m wrong. I guess that I want to be really sure when I tell a guy I’m not interested. I’d almost rather let a guy disappear because we fall out of contact with each other. It’s passive, and non-confrontational. Win-win for everyone, right? Neither of us were really interested, so we just let it go.

But I think it’s more than rejection. It’s a combination of not wanting to hurt someone, not wanting to get an unpleasant reaction, and hope. And pressure.

I’ve been dating since I was fourteen, and sometimes I feel like people are frustrated and confused about why I don’t just settle down already. People meet the nice guy and wonder if he’s the one that will stick around. When I dump him they are confused. He seemed nice enough. Why didn’t I want to keep him long term?

And I doubt my decision and ask myself, yeah why didn’t I keep him around. Just because I felt things were off?

And suddenly that doesn’t feel like a good enough answer. Hence why this poor guy remains on the bench, I have gone through this scenario enough that when it comes up now I second guess everything.

So what’s a girl to do? Keep the guy around in case something develops? Which it likely won’t so you end up dumping him anyway. Or go with your gut and dump him when you realize it’s not going anywhere?

I keep going with the latter, for better or worse. Maybe it’s wrong. Maybe things would develop and I will never know. But I have also experienced enough of what feels really good, and I want more of that! And if it’s not there, I don’t really stick around for long.

what about you?

I Have Some Questions

I have some questions.

Maybe you have answers. If you do, feel free to chime in below in the comments.

  • Can love be uneven?¬†

If you’ve been watching True Blood, Sookie had this speech where she was telling Bill about her relationship with Alcide. That is weird enough as it is, to have a conversation with your first love about your current love. But she talked about how she thinks Alcide loves her more than she loves him. He means it more.

Bill tells her that love isn’t always even, and maybe she will grow to love him.

What’s true? I’ve been broken up with before because the guy thinks I have stronger feelings than he does. And I’ve used that as an excuse before too.

But what is the alternative? Hold back your feelings, and don’t be open when you like someone about how much you like that person? Dole out your feelings and affection slowly, and only in the same amount as what they’ve given to you?

That doesn’t feel right either. It feels like it’s holding back and not showing the truth.

But people get scared and overwhelmed. And Sookie even tells Bill we can’t control how people hear the things that we say. Which is also a huge statement in itself. But when we share our emotions, we can’t control how someone else is going to deal with it or how it makes them feel.

I think we can all hope that it will be ok, and that they will feel the same. But they often don’t, and then we’re not sure how to deal with these unbalanced feelings. So people just choose to break up, because unbalanced must be bad.

Why doesn’t anyone talk about unbalanced feelings? Why doesn’t someone with experience talk about this? Do couples that last forever have experiences when they think that feelings are unbalanced and they work through it? What gets them through it?

I feel like all I ever hear about are the great moments. The “how you know” moments, and the dirtier side is less often revealed. A dear friend of mine was fighting with her partner and was venting with me. And she revealed something that was helpful for me, it was like a sneak peek into how a long term relationship works.

She said “I love my wife, but I really don’t like her right now. And I wouldn’t be telling you any of this if I hadn’t already talked to her about all of it. So none of this would be news to her.”

That was such a telling moment for me. I already knew couples had those moments of difficulty and they worked through them. They committed to each other and know that they both want to work through them together. But I don’t think that I had ever heard someone give the detail that what someone says in public has already been said in private. It was like “Oh, that’s how that works!”

So can someone please tell me if relationships go through periods where things are unbalanced? Or does unbalanced mean that it’s just doomed?

  • How do you know when it’s love versus lust?

I used to teach an after school program for high school kids, and we taught these kids to write poems, performance pieces and we would practice performing often. So many of the teenagers had their hormones raging and would write about love and lust. And I heard the same question from every teenage kid I have ever known, how do you know when it’s love or lust?

And as someone older, I thought I was wiser and knew the difference. But honestly, I don’t know if that question ever goes away.

Sometimes that lust feeling is interpreted as a “connection” or that special “spark.”

What the hell does that even mean? I place so much value on that spark, I want to be attracted to my partner and I expect that early on. I know people say that it can grow, but if I don’t feel it then I usually lose interest. But it’s a double edged sword because you can lose interest after sex because the tension dissipates.

But then there is also the complete opposite. When the lust is so strong the you find yourself in a sex haze. It blurs the line of what’s real and what is just sexual attraction.

And the sex doesn’t even have to be that good. The oxytocin chemical doesn’t care whether it’s good or not, your biological chemistry is going against you and trying to get you to choose a mate. Female biology will link you to the person you are having sex with, whether you want to or not.

But especially when it is good, it confuses everything. It makes the relationship seem more than it is. It’s more meaningful, it’s more caring, it has more long term potential.

And for me when I am in the sex haze I can’t see the end. Once I realized how powerful the sex haze is, I started getting much more selective. And wary of everything that comes with it.

But if I am still feeling those strong feelings, how can we know when it’s love?

I’m trying to think of all the things I used to tell the kids. And they seem pretty trite. I can’t believe I used to get away with¬†some of the vague answers.

But maybe the answers to these questions, like so many of the big questions, don’t have definite answers. Maybe it’s a floating line, maybe they will have different answers for different situations.

Or maybe I find out one day that they do have answers. And if I figure that out, I will let you know.

 

An Update On My Unusual Situation

So in my post about an Unusual Situation I talked about my personal predicament that I jump in with both feet when I really like a guy.

Well, where do I start with this update?

The guy I dated from my soccer team is basically out of the picture, I realized fairly quickly that there was no future there. But, as you may have gleaned from other posts I’ve made, I’m dating a few guys and I’m loving this dating phase in my life.

But the one guy? That one that gives me butterflies, that gives me the feeling that I want to jump all in and yell from the rooftops about how I feel… yeah, he’s still around.

And surprisingly, I figured out my own way to make it work and keep my cool.

I’m not sure if I can say 100% that it works, because it’s too soon to tell for sure. But things are going well so far.

Here is what is working.

Confidence: (because the opposite, insecurity, is a real big turn off) I stopped doubting how he feels about me. He’s been very clear through words and actions about how he feels. ¬†I stopped listening to the ¬†people in my life that doubt everything that sounds different from their own relationship, and I stopped listening to my ego that has been programmed by TV and movies for way too many years. TV and movies say that the guy that doesn’t play the normal rules doesn’t deserve the girl, and then if they are really meant to be he changes for the girl and everyone lives happily ever after.

But I realized that this isn’t true.

I read a book about the different ways people relate to each other when it comes to attachment. Most people are secure when it comes to attachment. However, the problem is that these people are very rarely single, because they attract other secure people and wind up happily together. The other part of the people are variations of insecure. They are either anxious or avoidant. I am mostly anxious- meaning that I get extremely attached, I think about the guy non-stop, and I need constant reassurance.

The guys that I (an most anxious types are attracted to) are avoidants. An avoidant runs away from showing any feelings, pines for “the one that got away” or that perfect “one” while neglecting any one in front of them. Anxious types repel each other, and the avoidants are attractive because you can’t have them.

This is over-simplifying the theory, but I found the concepts extremely enlightening. I realized that he and I are insecure types, which doesn’t mean we are unworthy of love or that we don’t care about each other. It just means that we have our own issues with love that we are working through.

Knowing that, each person has to decide whether or not they want work with that for the length of the relationship. You can choose whether or not that is a deal breaker. Because you have the right to say either way- it is ok to say that you do not want an insecure relationship.

I think I am trying to walk the line with a foot on each side. I am still dating my guy that I adore, while I am fully aware that he is insecure in relationships. I am trying to decide if I want to deal with this. I am taking it slow, enjoying the good parts and evaluating the parts that seem insecure.And then the other foot is looking to see if I can find an equally happy and satisfying relationship with someone that is secure.

I recognize what is happening, when things get deep and meaningful he is going to pull away and create distance. He is going to be afraid. It is not me, it is not because he doesn’t care about me.

A busy schedule with lots of interests and friends: I say this often about being a single girl. It is important to keep your friends as big a part of your life when you’re dating someone as when you’re single. Keep your social life and your interests, because this is what makes you interesting.

Besides, both keep me appropriately distracted when I need to be.

Patience and a sense of humor: I am a bit uptight and a control freak, I am the first to admit that. I like to know what is going on all the time. But what has been a wonderful part of my own personal growth is developing faith and trust.

A part of this journey that I am on as a single woman was developing a spiritual practice. I turned to many of the modern day spiritual guides for help when I was struggling when I was newly single many months ago, and when I was feeling particularly low. My go-to people to follow (and I’ve written about them several times, I draw a lot of inspiration from them) are Gabrielle Bernstein, Danielle LaPorte and Mastin Kipp at The Daily Love.

They all speak about the metaphysical part of the universe, which is something that I can get behind. Yes, I do believe that the universe is on my side and that everything is working out the way that it is supposed to be. I do believe that the forces of the universe work on our behalf to help us recognize and fulfill our purpose, especially when we ask for help and guidance.

For a control freak like myself, I have been working on developing patience, trust and faith. And a belief in abundance. One person is not the end all be all in my world. If it doesn’t work out with him, there is so much love in the world that he will not be the last person in my life.

Once I realized and accepted that I cannot control a situation and the harder that I try to control it the more it is going to squirm to get away. Think about… just about anything! If you squeeze it and try to hang on, it is going to run away. But if you relax and go about your own business, it will stay around.

And gosh darnnit, that actually works!

I am not one to say go with the flow, but I want to be one of the go with the flow types. So I’m developing it.

Here is my theory, and I am calling it a theory because it hasn’t been fully tested. Feel free to jump in with both feet, if that is who you are. But that does not mean that you have to be crazy and intense. That is a major turn off. You are completely allowed to be into a guy and to feel strongly for someone, your feelings are not wrong or the problem. You can choose how to behave and how to act on it, though.

It’s like what we were probably all told as kids, “Be cool, dude. Just be cool.”

It actually works. My friend that told me to be flakey was actually just giving me this same advice but in his lingo through his filter. (Isn’t this the worst part about advice? Everyone is giving it through their own filter, so it makes it hard to re-filter it through my experiences)

So, the most general way I can pass on what I’ve learned is to be cool.

Do Business Principles Work In Love?

I love the business teachings from James Altucher. He pulls no punches, he is direct, sometimes offensive but he always tells the truth. And it’s good.

He’s walked the walk, made millions and lost millions, been married with kids then divorced now happily remarried. He’s built businesses, sold them and built new ones.

I like his emails, I always find them a worthwhile read and I always walk away having learned something.

Yesterday’s email made me think. It was about the power of persuasion. And his principles are based on his own experiences of what has worked time and time again. These principles are actually based in science, because in order to do sales or anything that requires you to get buy in from other people requires you to get them to like you. And shockingly, there is a science to people liking you.
So, if it works for sales and building new relationships with clients, would it work for a love relationship?

He uses love as sort of a tongue in cheek way to get you to read and take what he says seriously. If you get your stranger to fall in love with you during your elevator pitch then you are more likely to close your deal.

But, seriously, would this work for love?

This thought occurred to me when I was reading through towards the bottom of his post, and he’s talking about how to overcome objections. And it clicked that a person that has a unique personality and confidence(in his lingo this would be unquestionable proof that you, the product, are awesome) is way more attractive.

No one would want a sale from someone that didn’t believe in what they were selling and they couldn’t make it unique. And it’s the same in love, why date someone with no self-esteem and seems like everyone else?
I think this may be unintentionally working in my favor.

I am dating a guy right now that told me flat out that it wasn’t going to go anywhere.

What I heard was someone that was scared and confused. So I addressed the emotion, not the words that was said.

I told him that it doesn’t have to go anywhere. But we have something incredibly rare when it comes to relationships. We have fun together, we’re comfortable, we’re honest, we understand each other and we’re willing to make space for each other’s crazy. Let’s have fun.

It was as if I could feel his sigh of relief and the weight lifting from his shoulders. The tension broke and he agreed to everything I said.

What I did is really rare. I had a shit-ton of confidence in myself and in what we had to fight for it. I was clear that I was removing the pressure, and stressed what was different about our relationship and got him to agree to it. (that hits unique, ultra-specific, user-friendly and unquestionable proof all in one) I think the nature of the conversation felt pretty urgent in general, but I matched his pace and tone so that I was speaking exactly like he was, which works on many levels but it met his level of urgency and got us on the same page.

I swear I didn’t do any of this intentionally trying to “sell” the guy. It came as instinct. I wanted this, this is why I want this so badly. Then I waited and kept my mouth shut.
Now, months later, the guy tells me how much he values how special I am and loves having me in his life.

So far, so good.

I wonder how this will play out. Again, I want to stress I’m not intentionally selling a guy myself as a product. But these principles seem to actually work. I wonder where it will go.

 

There’s More To Life Than Boys

There! I said it.

I had a friend from college that I valued his friendship and his insights. He visited me once, and I must’ve spent all my time asking his advice for a dating situation. He wrote me a letter that I have kept in a frame, because I wanted to remember the fun we had and his wise words. He wrote “Don’t worry too much, you’ll find there is more to life than boys.”

I finally agree with him.

Being single doesn’t mean you spend all your time thinking and talking about boys. Being partnered doesn’t mean that’s all you do, either.

It is really easy to fall into a rut of talking about boys and relationships. It’s interesting, there can be drama which makes it exciting, and it’s always changing. But it doesn’t feel very deep or meaningful. And there is a lot more to life than boys.

Even though I know I have had times in my life when that feels like the only thing.

Have I mentioned the Bechdel test before? It examines if a work of fiction (movie, novel, TV, play) features two women talking to each other about something other than a man. I remember first hearing about this when they were discussing the 2009 Academy Awards and if it was a requirement to pass the Bechdel test half of the best film nominees would have been in jeopardy. Also, when looking at the top grossing films of 2013 only about half of the films passed the test.

Take a look around pinterest for all the other interests, there are so many different ways to express yourself outside of a conversation about a guy.

Does anyone else find it frustrating that so much time and energy is spent talking about men? Like that¬†Sex and the City episode where Miranda gets frustrated and asks “How do such smart women have nothing to talk about but men? It’s like seventh grade with bank accounts.”

Yes the girls looked sheepishly at each other, because it was true. But, really, nothing changed. It’s still all they talk about.

And they say the TV show is about the friendship between the women. But their friendship is solidly based on supporting each other through their ups and downs in their relationships.

I have been making a solid effort in the last several years to make conversation about other topics. Art, passion, work, money, children, long term goals, travel, books, movies, music.

My conversation and relationships feel deeper and more meaningful. I feel like I can handle tough situations, and I feel really connected to my friends.

I know they still enjoy hearing my stories about all the men I date or the awful people that they never have to go out with, but it isn’t what I lead with. I like to hear about their life and then I share the important parts about mine.

And I think it makes me a more interesting person, with my friends or on dates. There is more to say, it works in all directions.

I don’t know why it took so long for me to come to terms with this. I don’t know why it felt like I spent so much of my life chasing boys. Maybe for a while I used dating as an escape. I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I hated my job, or I didn’t want to deal with my¬†last boyfriend that cheated on me.

Maybe I found it a lot of fun. And I liked the attention you get at the beginning when everything is shiny and everyone is on their best behavior.

I haven’t had a long term relationship in a long time. I like the beginning of when you start dating someone. It’s all the excitement. And you really do get to see the best of someone, he is¬†trying to impress so you see him¬†at their charming-est, his¬†flirty-est, his¬†most attentive.

Things get messy when you start fighting, or he starts getting judgmental, or he starts calling less often. For me it was always easy to find a reason why I didn’t really like the guy anyway and then I would move on. Find a new guy to enjoy for a few months.

It has actually become a habit.

And maybe this is why I spent so long spending so much time talking about boys. It was always in that shiny, new phase where I was really excited about the guy. I was excited to talk to my friends about him, and maybe a little of it was bragging. Look, you can stop worrying, I won’t be alone forever and ever! I have someone, for now.

But it does get old. You can talk about that new guy while he is new, but eventually each new guy sounds exactly like the last one to all my friends. They blend together and I keep having to answer the question “Which one is this?” “What happened to…?” ¬†And all that is boring!

I think that my friends would love me to find the one, and they would love to hear all about how great he is. And even if I never find him and I take great lovers for the rest of my life, they will also be happy to hear about all those guys.

But to fill in the gaps, I think I grew up a little bit when I realized that boys are not a very interesting topic, and it will only sustain a friendship so long. And the deeper stuff can only be avoided for so long.

What Do You Do With Jealousy?

I understand that jealousy is a worthless emotion. I know that it is worth nothing when it comes to the grand scheme of things.

It is one thing to intellectually know something and another to know it in your body and soul. It’s when you know something mind, body and soul that you’re really ¬†living it.

So jealousy is something that I am still working on in my life. Some days are better than others, and lately I’ve had a few bad brushes with the green eyed monster.

Why am I jealous?

I have been asking myself that question over and over. It’s an exercise I picked up from Danielle LaPorte actually, she used a different question in a different context but the principle is the same. Ask yourself the same question, over and over and you will get to some deep shit.

And shit it was.

What I dug up was all this stuff about comparing myself to this other girl. I went through all of it, she’s more interesting, talented, intelligent, stylish, available, witty…oh my list went on and on. I’m starting to feel bad just writing it again, but I wanted to share it with you. I wanted to share my vulnerability and insecurities because I know that in calling them out I weaken them.

And to show that I have no real reason to feel bad about these things. Especially¬†because I don’t know this girl hardly at all so everything that I am jealous of I am completely projecting on her. I am assuming these things because she is dating a guy I am dating and she must be pretty wonderful if he’s dating her. So I assume she is better than me at all these things, that I wish I was more of those things, that she has something that I don’t.

But maybe that¬†isn’t true at all.

And I know more than anything this truth that I was told years ago: Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Comparison did.

I am wonderful. I am special.

Yes, the guy tells me these things, but I don’t need him to tell me in order for me to know it.

I am.

Yeah, it’s nice that he recognizes that. But I know inside of me that I am a valuable person, and comparing myself to someone else doesn’t change what I am.

My value is inside, it doesn’t come from comparing myself to someone and saying “I’m better than she is.” And it doesn’t come from a guy that tells me so. It’s within, and I get to choose how brightly I let it shine for the world.

And all those things that I see in her than make me feel jealous? They are the same qualities I value about myself, maybe I’ve just been dulling them a bit and not letting them shine at all.

I was doing a little research on jealousy and how I can overcome it peacefully.  I came across this beautiful piece. Maybe you will find it helpful, too.

When was the last time you felt jealous, and what triggered it? What did you do about it?

 

PS. A big shout out to my dear friend that was there for me in my time of need when I was feeling crappy and beaten down by jealousy. I started writing thinking that was enough to diffuse the jealousy. But I needed a little extra help from someone that loved me. She was exactly what I needed. I¬†love you, friend. ūüôā