Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pulling yourself "together"

I went to the local bars last night to celebrate St. Patricks day with the rest of the 21 - 51 year olds wearing great.  I was out with 3 other wonderful single ladies (all divorced) who were tons of fun and each a good balance for the others.

At the bar, I met a decent guy who is a few years old than I am. He has a good job, is physically fit, seems pretty sharp.  While we were talking he commented that I really have my stuff together and went on to say that most of his friends wouldn’t date a girl like me. They’ve talked about it and his friends feel intimidated dating a girl who doesn’t “need a guy” because she already has things handled on her own. He meant it as a compliment, as he was saying he finds the “together” girls to be very attractive, but it made me realize that the more value I see in myself, the more narrow the pool of potential dating prospects becomes. (and I did acknowledge that I have been told this exact thing in the past by another guy - see post-drinks conversation with the Twinkie circa summer 2012 where he asked me why I was even hanging out with a “scrub like him” as I tried to explain that I think he’s a cool guy)

As I related this story to my mother, she took it in a different direction and said “you are a prize BUT you are very strong” and continued with a ‘talk’ (could be classified as a lecture) about how I stick to my opinions of things strongly and argue them strongly and it is hard for other people to take until they just want to yell “shut up” at me. I started crying and said “do you think I’m not aware this is a large part of why my husband had an affair?”  Geez is it painful when your own mom holds a mirror up and says “hey, here’s a reason why no guy is with you”.  She said she was trying to show me there are more constructive ways to handle a difference of opinion.  Yes, thanks for the advice.

I can’t figure out how this ties to realizing the more value you place on yourself narrows down who you might date because you start to recognize mismatches much earlier. I thought that was the goal, to pick better and better until one day, you pick right!  She said something about needing to flex with what I’m looking for, maybe she was just hitting me from all angles saying how inflexible I am.  I don’t know.

At a time when I continually struggle with that disconnected feeling that everyone experiences after a life as you knew it ends and you start to rebuild, I’m not sure it helps much to have people point out reasons why you are alone.  When I’m trying to learn to be gentler with myself, to “be ok with the consequences of being me”, it really throws me off to start wondering how much of “being ok with me” means “go fix yourself” and how much means “be kinder and gentler to yourself and everything else will follow”?

This whole process of healing keeps going back to things coming together and things falling apart. Pulling yourself together, unraveling a little more, pulling yourself together again.

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