Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let It Go

Now that the Frozen song is stuck in your head....

I recently shared my experience of being completely betrayed by a "friend". This person lied to me, manipulated me, used me, made excuses, and then actually had the audacity to blame me for his blatant inability to keep his dick in his pants. He was stupid enough to think that two women - friends at that - wouldn't talk, compare notes, and realize that they were both being played by the same ignorant, lying pig. How's that for being delusional?

I have a tendency to always want to process everything; to be able to understand it, organize it, wrap my head around it, and put it in a neat little box. Sadly, sometimes that's just something that can't be done (as is the case here). You simply can't justify someone's reprehensible behavior. There's no amount of explanation that can make you understand it; you just can't fathom that someone would behave in this manner. It can be impossible to comprehend someone's actions or motives; try as you might, sometimes you just can't make sense of things. Maybe that's what separates the good people from the bad.

Here's the thing - this guy's inability to take responsibility for his actions is his shit, not mine (there's something to be said for accountability, huh?). No amount of arguing or reasoning with him is going to change anything. You can't rationalize with or force someone to see the err of their ways either. The only thing you can do in this situation, for the sake of your own sanity, is to let it go. Move on.

While you don't necessarily have to accept it, you do need to recognize it for what it is - something you can't change, nor take personally. People are fucked up. We don't always act in the best interest of others - in fact, we rarely do; we're selfish creatures by nature. This certainly doesn't justify or excuse it - it's just a fact that we need to remember so that we can deal with the bullshit, pack up our pride, and move onto something better and healthier.

Bottom line - people are going to come into your life that are going to be wicked and evil. They'll lie, cheat, steal, and hurt you more than you could ever imagine. Unfortunately, this is just an inevitable fact of life. Nothing will ever prepare you for it and it may very well be impossible for you to understand it. In moments like this, I believe we need to have faith in and trust the greater good, and just let the rest go. It's the only way to move forward and stop them from dragging you down to their level.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How'd You Have Me?

Today I want to touch on something that really bothers me. So many people stay in dating relationships out of boredom or loneliness, for companionship or sex. It's quite sad. And it's not right. I contend that after a few short weeks of getting to know someone, you should know if there's the potential for a relationship. I believe that if either party is waffling, something is missing.

Getting along isn't enough; having similar hobbies, interests, and political views isn't either. Nor is having off-the-charts chemistry. If you're not sure how you feel, that's your answer! The way I see it, you're either in or you're out. And if you're out, you need to actually get out. I've seen so many people that have been led on and strung along, myself included. It flat out sucks and it's just not fair. In essence, both people are prohibited from finding the relationship that is right for them.

I get it. It can be scarier to be alone than to be in an unfulfilling relationship - at least you have someone. It's depressing to realize you won't have someone to share special moments, holidays, or experiences with. There's no one to keep you warm at night and no excitement to look forward to. Often times, many of us hang on for dear life in the hopes that the other person will eventually come around. But do you really want to be in what is actually just a temporary and mediocre relationship while one (or both) of you bides your time waiting for something better to come along? (If you're being honest with yourself, the answer should be "no".)

When someone is into you and they're emotionally healthy (hint: if they're not - you don't want them anyway!!), they're going to make sure you know it. They're going to put safeguards in place so that someone else doesn't scoop up your fabulous ass. They're not going to still have an active dating profile, they're not going to hide you from their family and friends, and they're sure as hell not going to be trying to get into other people's pants.

When someone is into you they're going to be there in the worst of times too, not just the best. They're going to make you a priority; your happiness will rank right up there with theirs - they will be "all in"; they're not going to risk losing you. It's a simple concept really, but so many of us ignore these truths. So many of us accept crumbs as if they're enough to sustain us, and then try to justify why it's okay to settle.

No matter what side of the coin you may be on in this situation, both show a lack of respect - for yourself and the other person. If you're currently with someone that you're not into, cut them loose. No one wants to feel cheap or used, no one wants to waste their time. And if you're dating someone and the facts are as clear as day that they're not into you, walk away. You deserve better. Shame on them for keeping you around for selfish reasons. And shame on you for allowing them to.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No Appreciation

People never cease to amaze (and appall) me. I've seen some pretty reprehensible behavior in my time, but nothing could have prepared me for a recent experience with a trusted and valued friend.
Those that know me well know that lying is something I will not tolerate. It's completely senseless - a selfish act with utter disregard for anyone else. What's more, the truth always comes out (and karma, as we know, tends to be a bitch). I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone that gets caught with their pants down, so to speak (though, also quite literally in this instance).
Without going into the nitty-gritty details, I discovered that a "friend" has been blatantly and purposely lying to my face while simultaneously completely effing over another friend of ours in matters of the heart. For someone to think it's perfectly acceptable to completely play others to get what they want is sickening. And it's entirely unforgivable when it's a friend behaving in this manner. There is absolutely no excuse for it. The phrase "with friends like these, who needs enemies?" comes to mind.
Here's the thing, trust is not an easy thing to regain - in fact, it's nearly impossible. Once it's damaged, there is rarely any going back. The fact that this person took the risk to destroy not one, but two friendships is extremely disappointing (and truthfully, a little hard to swallow). It's behavior I'd expect from some loser dude I've recently met online, not from a dear friend you love and trust. How does one recover from that? How can you ever trust anyone when someone this close to you completely disregards your feelings and hurts you this badly?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jar of Hearts

As some of you know, Crayola recently resurfaced again. Several weeks ago he asked if I wanted to get together and I told him not unless he had figured things out and was serious about seeing where this could go. Big surprise - he vanished without a response. And then 4 weeks later, he reappeared...
So, we spent some time together and while my expectations weren't even on the radar, I did enjoy seeing him. We had plans to hang out again when he pulled his usual MO, flaked out, and cancelled with a lame excuse. Now, in the past I would have just let things go, but not this time. This time I did something I normally wouldn't have done - I stood up for myself. Usually I won't even acknowledge bad behavior because I don't want a guy to think that he got to me. Plus, I like to keep doors open, just in case.
Well, this time I told Crayola to delete my number and never contact me again. I told him that he keeps contacting me for another chance only to flake out again and again. And I told him it's not okay. I will admit, this was very scary for me. But I've completely had it and I really don't care what this assclown thinks of me. I will not sacrifice what I want. And I'm not about to tolerate his bullshit behavior either.
Here's the thing I've finally realized - this is all his shit. It's not mine. These are his issues; they're not my problem. And guess what? I don't care! So Tim, do me a favor - don't come back at all. You've exhausted your chances. And while I'm not angry or upset about it (after all, it's his problem, not mine), I'm done. I'm not going to let some wishy-washy dude flit in and out of my life every time he feels a whim. This is about me moving forward.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bat Shit Crazy

I think I've found the answer to finding a guy - I need to act completely psychotic.

I've been giving some thought to the guys that I'm friends with and the types of girls they've become smitten with. It's funny - they've all said time and again that they want a nice, normal girl without drama. And yet, the girls that they can't seem to get enough of are completely bat shit crazy! These women play games, they start drama, they treat their men like crap, and the guys end up falling head over heels in love stating they can't live without them.

You'd think that a level-headed, relatively drama-free, stable chick like me would be a welcome commodity. Nope. Apparently when you don't bring "psycho" to the table, the relationship lacks excitement and passion. I don't know if it's the thrill of the chase in wanting something they can't have that keeps guys coming back for more from these girls or if all their past relationships have had some level of crazy, that "normal" feels uncomfortable to them (there's something to be said for the patterns we seem to follow with relationships).

So maybe it's time to start being that girl that stalks via text, who shows up at his house when he doesn't answer the phone, who accuses him of cheating on her with every female friend on Facebook, but then acts completely indifferent when he shows the slightest bit of interest in commitment. Oh yeah, and I'll be sure to throw in a hearty dose of "slut" just for good measure.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I'm Like the Sahara

As of last night, my dry spell has officially hit the one year mark. Surprised, aren't you? And here you all probably thought I was a skanky little whore based on all the dating I've done! I actually happen to take intimacy very serious (how else would I know how long it's been since I got some action?).

Sure, it would be nice to take a sweaty romp in the sheets every once in a while and I certainly have no shortage of opportunities. But I'm looking for more than just an orgasm - besides, there are plenty of products in the market specifically made just to get us girls off all by ourselves (wink, wink).

Here's the thing, and I've put a lot of thought into this - I want to show the universe that I'm serious about finding the "one". If I'm out knocking boots with every other chap that comes along, what vibe am I putting out there? Right - that I'm just looking for a good time and I'm not really serious about finding the kind of relationship I say I want.

So, until that guy comes along, my chastity belt will remain under lock and key, and I'm okay with that (thank God I have this ridiculous bucket list to keep me busy). I'm not about to share my body with someone that I wouldn't consider sharing my life with. In the meantime, I'll be sure to keep my battery supply fully stocked.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Checking 'Em Off, One by One

Well, since I'm not dating and have no crazy stories to share, maybe I can entertain everyone with my bucket list accomplishments! I invite you all to live vicariously through me for the next year...

This past Saturday was my actual birthday - and the start of my 40th year. I started the day bright and early with a trapeze class in Philly, joined by my fabulous sister-in-law. Little did I know my first challenge was probably going to be the scariest one on my list (and one of the more physically taxing ones)! I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm afraid of heights.... until I got up on that platform and had to consider jumping off!

All in all, it was an experience of a lifetime. The video that was taken during the class makes it look effortless, but let me assure you - flying through the air upside down while trying to maneuver your body on the trapeze bar, all while praying you don't pee your pants or fall to certain death is a lot harder than it looks! It was a huge exercise in trust and I'm incredibly proud to say I accomplished it. I wouldn't exactly call it "fun", since I was way outside my comfort zone, but I may consider going back (once my muscles finally stop aching!).

She flies through the air....

Following that enormous adrenaline rush, I found myself in a tattoo parlor. Yep, this girl's got ink now! Getting a tattoo is an idea I have always toyed with. My concern was getting a design that I would later regret. I mean, I'm admittedly pretty fickle and this would be something I'd have to live with for the rest of my life. After deliberating for months, I finally decided on a symbol for strength - something to remind me of how far I've come in life and how strong I really am. Of course, I put way too much thought into where I'd put it on my body as well - I chose my left side which represents the feminine, creative, and emotional side of our personalities. It also reflects your past and how you draw on that in dealing with the now. Seems fitting! Anyway, it's pretty tiny and no one can see it (unless they get me naked).

Now, I've given birth twice and really wasn't worried about the needle or pain, but it wasn't the sensation I was expecting and it caught me off guard. It didn't really hurt, but was more of a stinging or burning feeling. Needless to say, I'm glad it was finished quickly and I could cross off another item. I think I'm happy with it, though it still surprises me sometimes when I'm changing - I forget that it's there! Oh, and let me just note that my 12 year old daughter now wants a tattoo (she went with me to get it - making it even more special); I told her we'd talk about it when she's 18!

With 2 items accomplished on day one, you know I had to squeeze in another last weekend. On Sunday I went whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River in the Poconos. The rapids were only class II and III, but I had so much fun. And I was the only one who fell out of our raft (a hysterical adventure in itself). It was an absolutely beautiful day and it was awesome to connect with nature (and a great group of girls). I haven't laughed that hard in quite some time so it was therapeutic in many ways. I'd definitely recommend this as an activity for everyone, especially families.


So, my list is off to a great start. I'm planning to cross a few more off this weekend - ideally, I'd like to be half finished by New Years. And for my bucket list bonus round, this happened this week....

I really wish I had put it on my original list; it was such an amazing experience! Yup, how many people can say they hand fed a hummingbird?!? It's going to be an awesome year.


Friday, July 25, 2014

40 for 40

I know I haven't posted in a while; I'm completely taking a break from dating. I just can't deal with the nonsense right now.

Speaking of nonsense, my ex-husband got married last weekend. The whole thing pisses me off. Not because I want him back or anything like that. If I'm completely honest with myself, it probably wouldn't have bothered me at all if I had someone in my life. Instead I feel slighted; like I'll never get what I want.

Anyway, I'm celebrating a birthday this weekend (my 39th). Since I have no life, I figured I'd devote the next year to doing exactly what I want and try everything I haven't gotten around to yet. To commemorate my 40th year, I've created a "40 for 40" bucket list which I hope to entirely accomplish in 12 months time....

1.  Participate in flash mob
2.  Go skinny dipping
3.  See whale in the wild
4.  Swim with dolphins
5.  Niagara Falls
6.  Parasail
7.  Hot air balloon ride
8.  Crater of Diamonds State Park
9.  Preserve Resort, TN
10.  Waterski
11.  White water raft
12.  Run 10k
13.  Run 10 miler
14.  Firebird festival
15.  Zombie run
16.  Brazilian wax
17.  Nassau, Paradise Island
18.  Write/publish book
19.  Surf lesson
20.  Swing dance lessons
21.  Weekend in Boston
22.  Get weight to xxx (no one here needs to see this number!)
23.  RV trip
24.  Put feet in Pacific Ocean
25.  Boudoir shoot
26.  Get tattoo
27.  Helicopter ride
28.  Zip line
29.  Watch sun rise and set in same day
30.  Sing karaoke duet
31.  Try acupuncture
32.  Eat alone at fancy restaurant
33.  Leave 100% tip for server
34.  Go to movie by myself
35.  Trapeze class
36.  Go to drive in movie
37.  See Broadway show
38.  Clay shooting
39.  Bathe in natural hot spring
40.  Pan for gold

I'm taking care of numbers 35, 26, and 11 this weekend and have quite a few of the others already scheduled. It should be an interesting year!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who's the Fairest of Them All?

After yet another mediocre date with a dude I wasn't attracted to, I've come to the indisputable conclusion that online dating is an exercise in futility. What's the definition of insanity? Clearly I'm suffering from some sort of abnormal mental or behavioral patterns, operating under the assumption that I'm eventually going to get different results....

Here's the thing. People put their absolute best pictures up on these dating sites (at least, one would make that assumption). But attraction, chemistry, spark - that can truly only be determined in person. The majority of the time, people barely resemble the pictures they post online (I'm sure the same goes for my profile). Factor in that many use non-current pics that show them at their best weight, shape, hairline, etc., and we've got a recipe ripe for misrepresentation and disappointment.

There's something to be said for meeting someone at Wawa and feeling attracted to them. There's no doubt or question in your mind that it's there. More than 9 times out of 10, that just doesn't happen when you meet an online dating candidate in person. You honestly just don't know what you're going to get or how you're going to feel (even if you've started developing a rapport or emotional connection with them prior). And that leads to many, many worthless encounters. (Sure, we can argue that it's dating "practice", but my time is limited and valuable; and if I don't know what I'm doing by now, it's a hopeless cause).

Let's take it a step further and consider the impact of pheromones. Scientists have long debated whether a suite of chemicals emitted from our bodies subliminally sways potential partnerings. Smell, it seems, plays an underappreciated role in romance and other human affairs1. That basically means that all the getting-to-know-you conversations that occur prior to actually meeting someone in person are a moot point. It's the whole good-on-paper concept and just not feeling "it" when you're with the person. Logic plays no role; we're at the mercy of what our bodies feel.

So, unless these sites can come up with some sort of scratch-and-sniff function, online dating doesn't seem to be the best use of my time and resources anymore. I think it's much more productive and efficient to randomly bump into some dude somewhere whose clothes I instantly want to rip off. At least I know I'm attracted to him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oh, I am So Embarrassed!

So I've been on vacation for the last week or so and have attempted to really hone in on exactly what it is I'm looking for in a guy. Basically, I came up with this - I don't what to be embarrassed by him. Yes, I realize that sounds sort of vague and completely bitchy. Before you go getting all judgy, let me explain.
First let's define "embarrass" - to make (someone) feel confused and foolish in front of other people.
The last guy, Wolverine (aka Mr. Muscles) - that's his new nickname for reasons I don't even feel like explaining here - he had a lot of the personality traits I tend to like. But his utter lack of integrity in public (making fun of people and wanting to start fights) completely embarrassed me.
Bernie (aka 52) lied to me about his age. When I found out how old he really was, I was embarrassed that he lied in an attempt to manipulate me to get what he wanted. This in turn made me feel really uncomfortable with how people would perceive us (and me). Had he been upfront about his age where I could have made an educated decision as to whether I wanted to pursue a relationship, well... that's a completely different story (I never would have gone out with him).
There have been other guys that I haven't written about here too. One in particular, that I dated for nearly 4 years, was not too terribly bright. He wasn't capable of holding a quasi-intelligent conversation (umm, he thought the National Mall in DC was a shopping mall and that Rome was in Greece!). I'm well-educated and am constantly on the quest for even more knowledge. Sorry to say it, but he embarrassed me.
There was another serious, long-term guy that seemed like he was just trying way too hard to be liked by my family and friends. His lack of confidence (both in himself and our relationship) was embarrassing.
Then there's Columbus, embarrassing because I was constantly making excuses for his poor behavior.
Of course, there have been plenty of guys in my past that never left me feeling this way. Maybe my love for them overpowered what would otherwise have been perceived as a flaw or annoyance point. Or perhaps they did actually meet the qualities I was looking for but just didn't work out for other reasons.
Some might argue that I never should have gotten involved with the guys that would later embarrass. Well, dating is an exercise in getting to know someone and that takes time. Not all of this is apparent from the get-go (thankfully, Wolverine showed his true colors pretty early); in fact, many people will hide their "shortcomings" as long as possible. And actually, most of the examples above took quite some time to actually present as an issue.
Bottom line, I want to be proud of the guy I'm with. Look again at the definition above - it's not about what other people think. It's about how he makes me feel. I want to be proud to be on his arm; I want to feel like he's my "catch". And I want to be that for him too. Listen, it's all about having standards. I want an intelligent guy that has integrity and modest confidence (that's it - there really isn't more of a checklist, except to be attracted to him). Behavior that is contrary to that makes me feel foolish. I'm not about to compromise what I want just to be in a relationship. And it's important to me that whoever I'm with doesn't leave me feeling like I settled.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why Don't You Like Me?!?

There's seriously something very wrong with me. I mean it, I am so effed up in the head...

So, the recent second date dude (Mr. Muscles) - I haven't heard from him. To a normal person, this would be fantastic news - there's no need to have that awkward conversation about not being interested because he's completely annoying and obnoxious. But in my twisted little mind, his lack of contact is panic inducing. Yup, I'm actually upset that he doesn't like me! Yes, I realize how totally illogical and backwards this is.

I guess it's a good thing that I can recognize my issues and patterns. It will allow me to try to deal with the underlying triggers. I think it boils down to this - I'm feeling rejected. Even though I don't like him. Even though something about him gives me an uneasy feeling. Try and make sense of that. Am I really that insecure?

I really don't know why I feel this need for him to like me. I mean, I'm sure it stems from my childhood, but I'm an independent, capable woman - I know that I don't need outside validation. Yet for some reason, I still feel slighted and not good enough. Even when the rejection is coming from questionable sources.

While there were a few things I liked about this guy and he reminded me what I'm looking for by way of communication from a partner, I know that he's not "the one" for me. One of my New Years resolutions was to effortlessly let go of the guys that aren't right for me; to not waste my energy on the wrong guy. I guess I need to figure out how to do that without getting so offended and upset that I might not be the right one for them...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Second Chances

Something weird is going on. In the last week, I've had 4 guys from my past resurface. I'm seriously baffled...

First up is a guy I had gone out with about 2-3 months ago. The date was decent enough, but distance would likely have been a challenge. It didn't matter though because I never heard from him after that first date. Well, he contacted me last week apologizing for having gone MIA. It was a nice gesture, but I know he reads this blog and has no interest in obtaining Crayola status, so it could be he's feeling guilty and just covering his ass.

That very same day, I received a text message from a guy I had gone out with twice earlier this spring. He was a nice guy but was in a terrible place (unemployed) when we met. It was obvious that he wasn't in the position to be dating and things just fizzled out. He reached out to ask how he could get involved with the Special Olympics. Was it a guise to take my temperature about going out again? Who knows...

Yesterday I received an email from a guy I had dated 3 years ago. We had gone out 3 times but it felt like the chemistry was missing; he may have been a bit too goofy for my liking too. We're in the process of catching up so his motive is yet to be determined.

And finally, last night I also received a Facebook message from 52. Yup, Mr. Saggy Balls. It's been a little more than 2 years since we split and he sent this gem:

"Hi Carla... I would love to talk to you soo much... you have no idea... Can we are you...are you single married? I smile when I remember all that we did...."

Ick. That's all I have to say about that.

Oh, I almost forgot. I also got a message yesterday from a guy that I didn't date, but that one of my friends had dated in college. Our paths have crossed now and again over the years and he frequently tried to get me to have a threesome with him and his wife. Ewww! So, he reached out yesterday to let me know that he and his wife had split. How thoughtful. As if that's going to change the fact that I'm not interested in sleeping with him...

So, anyway. Yeah, I don't know what the hell is going on, but it's entertaining. And it makes me wonder, is it ever a good idea to give someone a second chance?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Me Meathead, You Damsel

I recently had a second date with a guy. I had really been looking forward to it - our first date went really well and despite the fact that he isn't typically my type (a little on the short side with numerous tattoos), I was attracted to him. I really liked the amount of contact we had between dates too (i.e., calls and texts). He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. So I went into the second date feeling pretty good; like maybe there was some decent potential here. I really wish I hadn't done that....

The date itself was okay, but I left feeling like he was annoying and obnoxious. Okay, I get that guys will sometimes act in a certain way to try to impress you or show off a bit. But repeated requests to "feel my muscles" left me with a bad taste in my mouth. After hearing "Come on, I know you want to - don't you want to feel my muscles?" for the umpteenth time, I think I finally said "Seriously, dude - I'm good" upon which he wanted to feel my muscles. Coming across as full of yourself is never attractive.

Now, I'm a pretty observant person and I like to point out observations I make about other people (for example, the way people interact with each other). It's not meant to be rude or to make fun of anyone; people and behavior just fascinate me. While I may share my thoughts with the company I'm with, I would never say anything to that person. Well, Mr. Muscles certainly didn't have a problem with not only making fun of people to me, but also directly to them! I was absolutely mortified; I will never tolerate bullying or rude/inappropriate behavior.

It's weird. Between the first date and the second, it's like I was out with two totally different people. I really don't know what to make of it and I'm a little disappointed (and totally dumbfounded). Serves me right for getting my hopes up....

Reflecting back on the date, I can't help but wonder if I am too picky and quick to judge guys like many of you accuse me of being. Am I being too harsh? Or is the behavior from the second date closer to this guy's actual personality (in which case I suppose I should be glad that he let his true colors shine so quickly)? What do you think - should I give the guy the benefit of the doubt that maybe he was just nervous and go out with him again? Or do I chalk this up to being an indication of his true, less-than-stellar personality?


Friday, June 13, 2014

Don't Act Like You're Not Impressed

Yeah, yeah - I know. I haven't posted in ages. I've been busy being a world traveler while also trying to get the kids through the end of the school year in one piece. But the good news is that my profile is up on one of the lower quality dating sites for no other reason than entertainment purposes. And in true online dating fashion, the fellas haven't disappointed.

"Hello how are you? My name is Alan. I would love to chat with you if you would like.....please pick me I won't let you down or I don't think I will :)..."

Please pick me? I won't let you down? I can't help but have a visual of a sad little puppy dog in a pet store window longing for someone to take him home. It just seems like a weird and awkward thing to say. What's equally as weird is that nearly 70% of the emails I've received lately include something along the lines of: "Check out my profile and let me know if you would like to talk. If you aren't interested, that's okay too." Gee, thanks for giving me permission to not respond.

Anyone with any experience in sales knows that you should only ever put forth a positive message. Showing doubt or negativity only invites that train of thought into your consumer's thinking and decision making process... and drastically lowers your chances of "closing". The same applies to dating. Introducing a possible reason to say no should be avoided at all costs. The human brain processes the statement as "why wouldn't I be interested?" and actively looks for a reason to justify or confirm the idea. It's simple psychology.

"Super cute... oh, and you as well...
Sooo buying an EZ Pass if we start going out, 5,000% not even kidding, best news ever right, or no???"

Umm, what? This is just confusing. "If we start going out". Are we in middle school? Seriously, this is something my kids say. And no, your EZ Pass acquisition is not the best news ever. Dude, I really couldn't care less that it would make it easier for you to date me. He's obviously hell bent on the convenience factor though - a full 5000%. Yes, his email is attention grabbing and slightly witty, but he has provided nothing for me to connect with.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Shell Keeps Me Safe

Last week was utterly exhausting - both physically and emotionally. Work was nuts, the kids were terrible, and I had two dates that left me completely disappointed. Plus it's been nearly two weeks since I last heard from Crayola.

I've gotten a lot of honest feedback regarding my recent posts and I've realized a truth that I wasn't aware of. I have put a massive wall up around myself, not just romantically, but in social situations too.

Obviously, no one enjoys getting hurt and putting your true self out there (in any situation) can feel like a risk not always worth taking. But I also know that without dropping your guard you'll never experience true intimacy with another person. I do believe that intimate relationships are the most basic of all human needs that all of us long for - they facilitate feeling heard, understood, and loved.

I've been putting up a tough exterior for a very long time - I act like I can do and be it all. I work full time, raise my family, take care of the house and yard; I don't need anyone - I don't ask for help.  I have created this tough shell to portray that "I'm just fine by myself" when inside I'm dying for someone to see (and accept) my vulnerabilities.

My self improvement project for the summer is to learn how to let my guard down; to stop being the tough guy that needs no one and nothing. I don't yet have an idea of how to even begin the process and I'm pretty sure it's going to be extremely uncomfortable, but I want my relationships to flourish and I know this is the missing piece.

So, welcome to my new journey - wish me luck and let me know of any suggestions. And please, drag me out of my shell kicking and screaming if you have to.

Monday, May 19, 2014

I Will Survive

I dealt with some pretty uncomfortable emotions over the weekend. Admittedly I didn't delve quite as deep as I wanted to or should have - it was too scary. I do believe I got to the root of my problem(s) though and it all boils down to this...

I feel and truly believe that I'm unlovable.

My parents are the type of people that probably shouldn't have had children. I don't have a single memory of my parents ever hugging or kissing me, or telling me that they love me. They never came to any of my school sports or functions (it's a wonder they even showed up at my high school graduation). They never offered praise or encouragement, but had plenty of criticism and harsh words (I can proudly say that I've broken the cycle with my own children). Those that know me well know I'm an overachiever. Looking back, I always felt like I wasn't good enough - that if I were somehow better or did more I would earn my parents' love and the nurturing I so longed for and needed. Even now, I don't have a relationship with my parents. I cut them out of my life a year ago because I couldn't subject myself to that kind of treatment anymore; I recognized it was toxic, that I couldn't change them, and that I needed to end the relationship to survive (and give my kids a fighting chance). I can't even begin to tell you how painful it is to feel unloved by your own parents - the two people you're supposed to be able to count on no matter what.

It's really no surprise then that this has carried over into my dating life. Consider the last few guys I've dated - Columbus, Crayola, and numerous others that weren't mentioned here. All of them have had one thing in common - they're emotionally unavailable just as my parents are. I think it's highly possible that I've unconsciously chosen the same type of men in an attempt to "fix" the situation from my childhood. I'm trying to right the wrong and so desperately want to be shown that I am worthy of unconditional love. Ironically, I've been chasing it from sources that aren't capable of giving me what I want/need (just like my parents). It's never going to work and instead has become a self-fulfilling prophecy only reinforcing the belief that I'm not good enough, not worthy, and unlovable.

This epiphany hit me last night as I laid in bed and I was overcome with emotion and desperation; I wept like a baby. So much of what I've struggled with finally makes sense. It's time to break this pattern. This is where all of you come in - I need your help. I have an idea that might provide some of the love I need to feel so I can begin the healing process, put my childhood behind me, and finally start pursuing relationships that are healthy. I'd like to ask each of you to share some thoughts/feelings/observations about me (whether via anonymous comment, email, letter) that will help me "feel the love" and realize that I'm not the unloved, undeserving, unwanted child that my parents' actions led me to believe I am. Maybe if I read everyone's words enough times I'll start to believe it too....

Friday, May 16, 2014

Take Your Steps Away From Me

Tomorrow marks one year since I went out to Ohio and caught Columbus with another woman. In some ways it's hard to believe it's already been a year. In others, it feels like a lifetime ago. As I sit back and reflect on how I've changed or grown in the last year, I struggle to really feel like I'm in that much better or different of a place. Yes, I reaffirmed that I can handle just about anything life throws my way and I've become a lot clearer on what I'm looking for. But my life really isn't any different, at least not in the way I had hoped - I'm still single, I'm still fighting my personal demons, I'm still feeling discouraged about meeting someone amazing.

Factor in all my "failures" with dating over the last year and I actually feel like I've taken a step back in that aspect of my life. Mind you, the rest of my life is relatively fantastic - I've traveled, my career is really taking off, my relationships with new and existing friends are strengthening, and I've tried all sorts of new adventures and experiences. But that one little puzzle piece of finding love has still managed to elude me. It's like the one thing that I really want just isn't available to me. And it breaks my heart.

I also can't help but think of my most recent dating experience with Crayola and feel like I've made absolutely no progress. I should know to walk away if I'm not getting what I want or need; to recognize my worth and not be willing to settle for any less. Instead I've been scooping up whatever crumbs are being thrown my way like I'm undeserving of something magnificent. In essence, I've been behaving like I'm starving. I really feel like I've learned nothing at all.

Yes, this anniversary makes me really sad. Not because I'm still grieving the relationship or want Columbus back. I guess I just thought things would be different, that maybe I'd be in love by now. That I wouldn't still be in this awful, dark place. Alone. With no one to love me...

So I've decided I'm going to try to spend this weekend reflecting both on myself and my worth. I'll allow myself to cry if I need or want to (sometimes I think our eyes need to be washed by tears in order to see life with a clearer view again). And I'm going to dig deep to find my inner strength again - the part of me that knows I don't need a boyfriend to be happy or feel complete. I know it's not going to be easy. But I think it's an exercise I need right now. I need to feel like I'm enough again.

Monday, May 12, 2014

What's a Girl to Do?

I seriously need to get out of my head. I'm almost obsessed with trying to figure this thing out with Crayola and I'm beginning to lose my sanity. Yes, I'm one of those people that needs organization and logic - I need to have things (thoughts too) categorized, labeled, and squared away so I know what to expect and how to proceed. So much for going with the flow... Sadly, this quirky character trait of mine does not bode well with the current situation. I want to know how to move forward and what to think - and I'm unable to do that right now. Basically, I have no control.

The only thing I can control is how I react to or handle the situation. And in the last 48 hours, I have been all over the map. I think I've identified and considered all of my options at least a dozen times. What it boils down to is this - he is clearly in no place to be dating, let alone in a relationship. And I want a relationship; I don't want something casual (not that I think he's even capable of something casual right now). I don't know what to do. So, here are the feasible options I think I have and the pros and cons for each...

1) Continue to hang out with him, but only as friends. Let's face it, this is all he's capable of if I want to remain a part of his life. The positive? I stay in his life and get to know him better. Ideally, we'd build a solid foundation of friendship and trust - and I'd survive the torture of not truly being able to be with him by hoping we'd eventually fall in love with each other. The negative? He'd only ever see me as a friend. I'd stand by and support him as he works through his issues, only to watch him fall into the arms of another woman. I can't fix him, nor do I want to be his shrink. And I don't want to be his friend - I want more. But he's not able to give it to me. Which brings us to option B....

2) Walk away. Who wants to deal with unrequited like/love? The positive - I don't open myself up to more potential hurt down the road. He would hopefully work out his issues on his own and begin to wonder about me and miss me. And he'd still see me as the sexy minx I am - not some sweet friend who's always there for him. The negative? He's no longer even a small part of my life (and there's no guarantee he'd come back when he's in a better place).

In reality, I truly believe these are the only viable choices. This situation isn't going to change anytime soon either - serious effort needs to be made on his part to be ready for dating or a relationship. Right now, I feel like neither are even on the radar for him. I don't want to be that girl that sticks around waiting for him to get his shit together (that's pathetic). I also don't want to try to convince him that he should give me a chance. I don't want to play Florence Nightingale who tries to help or fix him or cheer him on either. I'm not going to settle for crumbs from a man when I want more.

But giving up the hope and potential is equally as hard to bear. Chances are, I won't ever be with him under either scenario. But could I settle for just being friends with someone who is slowly revealing himself to be a good man? Or do I chalk it up to bad timing and possibly lose him for good? I guess I just need to trust that everything will work out exactly as it's meant to, regardless of my actions or his circumstances. But I don't want to use that as a license to behave in any way I want either (imagine late night drunken texts). That leads me full-circle back to my original question - what's a girl to do?


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Here it Goes

So, I saw "that guy" over the weekend (yeah, yeah - I know....). I opened up and told him how the lack of communication between dates doesn't feel good to me; that it feels like he's been stringing me along or keeping me on the backburner while he sees if there's a better option out there for him. To my surprise, he said he isn't dating anyone else and we started a conversation about what's really going on (aren't those so much fun?).
It seems this guy is still coming out of a pretty dark place. His last relationship completely messed up his head and heart - much like Columbus did for me. He acknowledged that he enjoys spending time with me, likes me (I'm funny, smart, and sassy), and is very attracted to me. He has concerns about there not being a "spark" (even though the spark scares him because of how badly things turned out with his ex) and doesn't want to waste anyone's time - that it's better to be disappointed now than down the road. We actually had a very open and honest dialogue about where we are. Long story short, it seems pretty clear that he's not ready to be dating.
People often say that when the right person comes along, you'll make it work. I couldn't disagree more. The right person isn't going to "fix" whatever issues you're dealing with. Honestly, I think they're just going to confuse or complicate things even more. Some person magically coming into your life isn't going to help you deal with your problems any faster; you need to figure that shit out on your own watch so that you're ready when the right person comes along. Otherwise, it just turns into a bad timing issue. And if you really think about it, you're not even going to recognize that it's the right person because you're not in the right place or frame of mind to fully see it.
So where does that leave things with Crayola (yup, I'm ready to admit it's Crayola)? Well, after a long conversation, I think we're going to continue spending time together to see where this could go and if it can "blossom into something" (his words). I'm annoyed by his spark comment, but not discouraged. I think the whole spark thing is actually created by tension - and I mean the bad kind (like, you somehow unconsciously know that the person isn't right for you, but you confuse the feeling for something "exciting"). It makes people do things or get involved in situations without thinking them through or building the proper foundation first; it puts blinders on people. I think that if Crayola and I can continue getting to know each other without the pressure of trying to define this or be on some sort of timeline, in a way where we're really building a strong friendship, that it might actually have a chance of developing into something meaningful. Those that know me know that this is going to be a huge challenge for me (see my previous post about "instant relationships"). All I know is that I like what I've seen with this guy so far (shit, I've given him 3 chances now - what does that mean?!) and that I want to continue exploring it.
This is me with my heart on my sleeve. I'm going to take the risk - sure hope it doesn't bite me in the ass!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mermaid Man

"Good Afternoon Smiling Lady:
Sweet & Sassy are dynamic character traits that setting the foundation for positive communication. Besides I noticed that we share several passions & interests, I wanted to explore more about this intriguing woman behind your inviting words & glowing smile! BTW amongst the (site) crustaceans, eels, sharks, swims this gentleman Aquaglenn. I'm also flexible with all senses of humor...dry and wet with sarcasm intertwined. For moi, it's knowing where you've been and focusing where you are headed in life. Perhaps life experiences have helped us both focus on more worthwhile priorities family, friends, smiles, laughter & happiness. I'd prefer an optimistic & compassionate woman who balances silliness and seriousness in all aspects of her personal and working life.

I'm also drawn to a like-minded, intellectual lady who prefers a healthy lifestyle of exercising and eating. I'm convinced wherever & however people enjoy their mental & physical fitness plus endorphin energizing, "it's all good!" For moi, it's definitely my h2o sanctuary aka any indoor pool wherever I can swim my abundance of laps! Although I'm like a fish, I'm always looking to expand my fitness adventures outside the pool like weightlifting, hiking, biking, jogging, walking and etc. I believe in a balanced instead of a fanatical approach with exercise and eating.

There is so much more to say but it's your turn to tell me more about yourself? Perhaps my sprinkling of some info about moi continues with your response!

Keep Smiling! (-;"

Can anyone make any sense of this? The language just seems a little forced. And what's with the repeated use of the word "moi"? I wouldn't even know how to begin responding to this....

In all honesty, I found the email to be so unusual/odd that I didn't even look at the guy's profile or pictures. I mean, it's a lot better than the usual "hey sexy, how r u" email, but it just comes across as being a bit kooky. I think his energy level and enthusiasm would drive me nuts - and that's saying a lot considering I'm pretty high energy. Plus there's my usual complaint - ask me a pointed question that I can actually answer. A general "tell me about yourself" requires too much thought on my part and not enough on his.