Friday, August 29, 2014

The Attraction Spectrum

I found this amazing article in psychology today that makes me feel more normal, for sure!  I’ve never seen it spelled out that we go for people who remind us of our wounds and that’s why we are always nervous and anxious around them. The first story immediately hooked me - hopefully you will enjoy too!

Every time we enter a room of people, we make choices based upon our attractions: Whom do we notice? Whom do we pass over? Deb, a young stockbroker from Chicago, once told me, “You know, it’s almost magical. I can go to a party, and there’s always one person I’m most attracted to. If I date him, within a few weeks or a few months I discover he has the same emotional qualities as my previous partner. But when I first saw him from across the room, I had no idea at all that this would be true!”
Our attractions are forged in the deep space of our being, born of countless, often unknowable forces. When we encounter someone for the first time, our psyche and our heart begin an astonishingly complex scan, picking up obvious cues like physique and facial structure, but also noting myriad subtle cues such as body language, facial expression, the contour of the lips, the nuance of the voice, and the muscles around the eyes. We instantly process all this information without even knowing it. All we feel is desire or the lack of it. Scientists tell us that a silkworm can smell one other silkworm moth of the opposite sex from six and a half miles away. While our mating instinct may not be as developed as this species of moth, nature has bestowed an exquisite sensitivity upon our romantic radar, programmed to find just the right person to trigger whatever emotional circuitry we need to work through.

All of us are attracted to a certain type that stops us dead in our tracks: a physical type, an emotional type, and a personality type. Let’s say that there is a spectrum of attraction, from one to ten, and the people at the low end of the spectrum (like numbers one and two) aren’t physically or romantically attractive to us at all. But those on the “ten” end of the spectrum are icons: they’re compellingly attractive, they make us weak in the knees, and they trigger both our insecurities and our longing. Harville Hendrix, the founder of Imago Therapy, illuminates this phenomenon in a way which sheds light on our entire intimacy journey. He teaches that these people are so attractive to us in part because they embody not only the best, but also the the worst emotional characteristics of our parents!

Even though we may be adults, all of us have unresolved childhood hurts due to betrayal, anger, manipulation or abuse. Unconsciously, we seek healing through our partner. And we try to achieve this healing by bonding with someone who we sense might hurt us in similar ways to how we were hurt as children, in the hope that we can convince him or her to finally love and accept us.

Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which remind us of how we were wounded the most.

This explains part of why we get so awkward and insecure around people we’re intensely attracted to.
It also explains why our greatest heartbreaks often occur with these most intense, fiery attractions. Some of us react to these past heartbreaks by only dating those on the low end of the spectrum. We are frightened of the intensity and the risk of painful loss when we deal with people on the high end of the attraction scale. We often feel safest with people who don’t do much for us on a physical or romantic level because it just feels more comfortable that way. But the downside is usually boredom, frustration and lack of passion.

Many others only date people on the high end of the spectrum, just going for the iconic types, because they believe that that’s where real love and passion lie. With someone who is a “high number” on your attraction spectrum, you can tell that you’re attracted in a fraction of a second. While this can be achingly exciting, it’s rarely comfortable or secure.

In my experience, people who only date in the high number section of the spectrum are much more likely to remain single.

By contrast, attraction to people who are more in the middle of the spectrum is rarely immediate. With our mid-range attractions, it usually takes more time to really get a sense of how interested we really are.
People who are willing to date in the mid-range are more likely to find real and lasting love. It’s not a matter of selling out, because immediate attraction isn’t the best forecaster of future passion. Intense attractions blind us to the actual quality of our interaction with others, and to the actual characters of the people we date. Attractions can grow.

Many of us have had the experience of becoming more attracted to someone as we got to know him or her better.

So, what do we do when we meet someone who inspires us, and we feel some spark of attraction, but not enough to fall in love?

Sexual attraction is much more mutable than we’ve been taught. We all have types that turn us on immediately and intensely. But as I said, attractions can grow. It's doubtful that you’ll become attracted to someone who isn’t physically appealing to you. But if someone holds a spark of attraction for you, and has other qualities you love, your attraction can blossom. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, don’t make a snap decision based upon whether you’re instantly attracted on a physical level. If you’re not sure, just keep dating. In time, something lovely may happen: He or she may actually become more beautiful to you. And if not, you’ll know that it’s time to stop dating them.

If you’ve ever seen artists working on a portrait, you will notice that they often squint. Squinting helps them focus on the essence of their subject without getting distracted by its harsh outlines. We need to do the same in our dating life. It’s so easy to get lost in the hard assessment of people’s imperfections, but it serves us better to simply sense their spirit. That is what makes attractions grow.

As we start to care more deeply about someone, invisible tendrils begin to grow in our thinking, in our sexual imaginings and longings, in our growing sense of dependence on that person. Our psyche, our sexuality, and our hearts begin to create attachment to that person, to make him or her our own.
When we build muscle through exercise, our body creates new capillaries to feed that muscle. When we create new love, something similar happens. New neural pathways, emotional pathways, new rituals, sense memories and needs get created. An entire web of new connections is created, as our hearts allow this once-stranger to become our loved one. We become specialized in them in so many ways. That’s why breakups can hurt with real physical pain; these lovingly-built tendrils are being ripped out, and that experience is anguish.

In many attractions of inspiration, it can take time for our attraction to build. In such cases, it can be difficult to stay; to resist fleeing in search of something more clear-cut. As a result, many potentially wonderful relationships get cut off before ever being given a chance. The truth is that we can deepen our healthy attractions, and we can intensify the passion in those attractions.

The more we focus on the things that trigger our desire, the more our passion can build.

If there’s a spark of attraction to someone special, and if you want to make that attraction grow, start by giving yourself space. No matter how wonderful the person, you’re not obligated to be more attracted to him or her than you are! Forcing your feelings will only block the natural flow of attraction. Instead, allow yourself to reflect on what attracts you to them; what turns you on and what you appreciate.

There is more to the article that is about physical attraction that I didn’t include - click here to read the full article.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Calm and Content

I solved the mystery of ‘crazy in context’, learning exactly how the discussion unfolding and it was as innocent as the Good Doc made it out to be (perhaps with a bit of miscommunication mixed in). Either way, the guard I had up quickly melted after we made fried green tomatoes and had dinner together followed by wine and talking for 6 hours.

I don’t even know how to describe this feeling (ironic to write a blog if you can’t articulate what is going on), but the Good Doctor is one of the sweetest people I’ve dated. Not by gushing but by doing nice things & occasionally dropping in the sweet comment.  I don’t feel nervous or anxious around him but instead calm and content. He does things to make my life easier, not harder. And seems to be overall interested in my well-being.  

It is funny, after a pattern of constantly giving, giving, giving, I almost feel guilty receiving so much kindness. Like I’m somehow taking advantage of him.

I’m excited to see what happens next, but cautious that it’s still early days and there is still much to find out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crazy in Context

I finally worked up the nerve to confront the Runner about telling the Good Doctor about my last bad relationship.  I asked that he please refrain from sharing my history & personal information, as that’s mine to share when I’m ready to. In response, The Runner told me that Good Doctor made an off-handed comment to the effect of “seems like she could be a little crazy” and The Runner felt the need to defend me explaining the last guy I dated sucked (i.e. I’m not wired to be crazy so if I give that impression it’s purely situational).

So...why would the Good Doctor make a comment about my possible craziness. It hurt to hear. My heart sank with by stomach dropping just as fast. I took a few minutes to process and then texted the Good Doctor that “as I was giving out to the Runner for sharing my personal info, he wanted to give context so he said you were concerned I might be a little crazy. If you have any concerns, you can ask me straight out.”

The Good Doctor replied via 4 messages, “Sorry. That was bad on my part. Please don’t take offense. It was asked in a completely general way. I have zero concerns.” “Ok, that sounded bad. I thought I asked in a way of, ‘I don’t really know this girl and you apparently do so is there anything I should know?’”  “So what I’m trying to say (badly) is that you have done absolutely nothing to make me think you are crazy, I would have asked that question about anybody. Please don’t take offense and if you’d like to talk about it call me when you can. Sorry”

I thanked him for his apology and sent a light-hearted text back. I thought maybe I was ok with it but when I woke up this morning, any excitement I had was gone.  I’ve had my guard so high up around him and was just starting to bring it down a little after 3 good dates but it is right back up.

So either he will think I’m the ice queen and give up or he will figure out a way to melt it.

I don’t know if I need to or how to let me know that I’m still hurt he would say something behind my back. Even if he thought it was probing (let’s face it, if I met a girl that knew him, I would ask “so is there anything I need to know about him?” - I just wouldn’t attach it to a negative comment) - so even if he thought it was probing, The Runner took it as a criticism of me and felt the need to defend me. Which tells me the question wasn’t ‘completely general’.  Or was 2am and they were drunk guys at a the context and intent may have gotten lost somewhere in between.

We are supposed to have lunch today. And I wish I felt giddy and excited. But I just feel let down.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tinder Date #10: The Good Doctor

I ran into someone I went to high school who recently moved to my area on Tinder. Though we didn’t know each other in school, upon realizing the connection, we quickly agreed to meet for a drink.  3 hours later I learned he got his PhD in chemistry, did some post-doc work at St. Andrews in Scotland and recently landed his first corporate job.  Though I went into the evening referring to it as a non-date (wasn’t clear on what the intentions were, or if there were any), in retrospect it was a date. It lasted 3 hours & was great conversation and good company. As we walked out, he asked to hang out again and shortly thereafter set another date for saturday night.  

It was a rainy day on saturday, not one where you want to be out and about - so he texted and offered to make dinner at this place and then we could go to a local bar to grab a drink.  Though I was nervous about going to someone’s house for a 2nd date (that sounds like a lot of pressure to me){, it seemed silly to turn down a PhD who was offering to make mussels and crab stuffed tilapia, so I accepted. After dinner we hung out and listened to music, swapped songs and told stories.  It was relaxing & comfortable….but not very flirty. I left around midnight because I thought it was kind of late & had a meeting for the Rwanda trip the next day.  Nice good night kiss at the door and I was off.

It turns out his neighbor invited him out for drinks after I left. In a lightning strike coincidence, he met his neighbor who was out with The Runner!  What are the odds? At 2am I got a text from The Runner informing me he was at a bar with the guy I went out with that night. Eeks. Now exactly my ideal combo.

The next day The Good Doctor texted and invited me to hang out for the afternoon. We got brunch and went fishing - I caught 4 fish!  He dutifully put the worms on and took the fish off - that’s a stand up guy :) I did tell him that I dated the Runner a couple of years ago but we were strictly friends now. He told me that The Runner told him about Chap and how mean he was. Why would The Runner tell the Good Doctor about the last bad relationship I had? I was steaming when I found out (still am) but tried to play it cool.  The Good Doctor took it all in stride.

At the end of the afternoon, we parted with another short kiss at the door and I headed home to await Grace’s arrival.

All in all it was 3 great dates. But I wasn’t very flirty - nor did he make a move. We talked about tons of things but I could feel my wall up so high that seems greater than the one in China. I wanted to flirt. Why didn’t I just reach out and rest my hand on his leg? I settled for sitting shoulder to shoulder on the couch and at one point he took my hand briefly.

The minute I start to examine what I am thinking or feeling I have been stopping it. I can sense a wall is there but I’m not ready to say it should be up or down. I want to be closer to him but I am not really reaching out. I don’t want to know why, I want to just enjoy the space I have to get to know him better. And with each passing conversation I grow a bit fonder and looking forward to the next.  I am sure that things will unfold the way they should as long as I don’t push myself to think or feel anything that isn’t there - just flow with it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

First Date Criteria

As I’m starting to more carefully evaluate who I will agree to meet for a first drink, I thought it would be good to have some tangible criteria to add some logic to the process.  This will help avoid know it alls, guys looking for hook ups, guys who only talk about themselves, guys who aren’t cool with kids, and guys who will have nothing to say, making an one hour first drink stretch into an eternity of purgatory.

To avoid the aforementioned guys and other unsavory types, here is my criteria - please add to it!

1. Must ask for a date within:
- If we meet in person and he asks for my number, a date must be requested within the first 24 hours of texting.
- If we meet online, a date must be requested within first 4 days of contact. (Any longer and it turns into a pen pal. The ones who have waited longer to ask for a date have typically turned out to have commitment issues, not exactly a shocking correlation)

2. Must be divorced, not just separated

3. Must have acknowledged the existence of my daughter in a positive manner (not just ‘oh you have a kid’)

4. Must have asked get-to-know-you questions about me. If someone spends the whole time talking about themselves when corresponding...guess what happens on that date!

5. Must be willing to meet at a venue near me

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Break A Spiral

I’m #tbt (throwback thursday-ing) to a post from September last year about how to break a spiral. To be honest, when I re-read this I thought someone else wrote it until I realized these were my insights from breaking out of a rut. And once again I’m using the same recipe to lighten up.  So I thought re-posting would be worth-while - at least for me - hopefully for you too!

Does this happen to everyone? Where your head spirals down and takes your heart with it?

I spent most of the vacation in tears. I don’t know if it was a natural reaction being around a family that had its fair share, if it was wishing I had a partner to enjoy the vacation with, or if it happen to be the only time all of the stress and toxicity from work combined with the loneliness and isolation to manifest a nuclear meltdown.  Either way, I spiraled.

I hate the feeling. I fight it tooth and nail. I beat myself up for being so self-indulgent that I would feel bad about my life when others have so many more challenges (nothing makes you feel worse than when you want to be validated but instead someone compares you to someone else who has it worse so you feel guilt instead of relief that understanding can so easily bring!)

At this point in my life, I am intimately familiar with the spiral. It happens more than I’d like to admit. So I’ve spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out the magic key to breaking the spiral.

Here is my recipe (continually refined until is a recipe for preventing the spiral at the onset):

Goal: Gain perspective

Ingredient #1: Gratitude. Gratitude is needed to gain perspective. It is needed to see all of the points of light shining through the dark.  What isn’t there, isn’t there - it’s not going to change by brooding.  What is there is something to be noticed and acknowledge, because what is there is frequently so much more than we realize.

Ingredient #2:  Rest. Exhaustion opens the gate to spiral. When I’m well rested and buzzing along, perspective stays intact. But exhaustion will wipe out perspective faster than my dog can wipe out a plate of leftovers (lightening speed!).

Ingredient #3: Healthy food. This is exactly when I want to sit in bed and eat sweets all day. Which only help to fog up the mind and weigh down the belly. Some form protein along with healthy stuff helps to clear the head and make room for the gratitude and perspective.

Ingredient #4: Levity. Frequently this can come in the form of music, or even better dancing until your insides are properly shaken up!  

What do you do to break a spiral? Please add to the recipe!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tinder Date #7: The StartUp Geek & The Conclusion of the Roofer

Tinder Date #7
Last week I went out on Tinder Date #7 with a guy who runs a startup company in the city. He was tall, handsome, had one tattoo on his arm & he does triathlons. What’s not to like?  We had a good conversation about this work (which relates to what I used to do so I can geek out on that topic all day), but there was no flirting and not many laughs. I could feel that I had a wall up that was a mile high, and for his part, he wasn’t giving off any fun date vibes or making much of an effort to ask aobut me.  We both said we had a good time & texted for a few days after but there was no ask for a second date and I couldn’t convert my mile-high wall into a welcoming vibe, much less flirty.  And to be fair, he didn’t really crack any jokes and only mildly laughed at mine - which is a huge red flag because everyone knows I’m very funny :)

The Roofer
The Roofer has been sending mixed signals for the last few weeks. While I said in my previous blog post about The Roofer that I was done with him & his mixed signals (I also said I was done with Tinder) - apparently I was wrong on all 3 accounts.  (Though for Tinder, as I said before, I’m being much more selective about who I meet in person and only agreeing if the guy puts in the effort).  So anyway, The Roofer sent a few texts saying how he wants to go out again soon but he’s really busy right now. Then nothing for days on end. He said some complimentary things and “Sorry I’ve been unavailable” and then nothing for days on end. No explanation. I assume it is from his work, which he said was a record-breaking busy month, but he could be at the beach every weekend, could be on dates every weekend, could have a sick mother, house could have been swallowed in a sink hole - I really don’t know because he didn’t keep up communication during his busy time.

So I’ve rewritten his last text in my head to say “Sorry I am unavailable” - because regardless of what he occupying his time, he is unavailable and I want to spend my energy pining over someone who is (or no one at all), but I’m not wasting it waiting around for him.

Monday, August 18, 2014

"I am Love"

I’ve been doing the Oprah - Deepok Chopra 21 day meditation experience.  Each day Oprah gives a few thoughts on the day’s topic and then Deepok Chopra does a deeper dive before giving you a centering through and mantra on which to meditate.

On Friday, I hit a turning point. I was feeling awful, about all of the bad decisions I’d made with boys over the last few weeks, about feeling so alone even three years after the divorce, just unworthy in general.  My Mom came over and told me that she never worries about me hitting bottom because she knows that my core is based in love. So there is no rock bottom. I will always come back to my core, which is love.

After we talked, we did the Oprah-Deepok Chopra meditation for the day (it was technically Day 4 because I’m a day behind).  Oprah discussed how we spend our time looking for love outside of ourselves. Deepok went on to explain that we already are love. We are all connected from the source and we are love. We can radiate that out to others. We don’t need to seek it out in others.  The centering thought was “I am love” and as I repeated this silently to myself for 10+ mins, my heart began to lighten and I could full love and light streaming out.

Since then I’ve started to feel lighter and lighter. Remembering that even as loneliness touches me (like on a Sunday night), I am love, I do not need to seek it elsewhere to see it.  In the next meditation I focused on sending that love to all of my loved ones, hoping that maybe they would feel like a little more lightness in their day as the love that I sent comes to them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Confusing Charisma for Substance

I’m attracted to charismatic guys. Who isn’t? They are all charming & full of wit and energy. Who wouldn’t want to be around that? But I’ve recently realized that charisma does not equal substance. And what I need is substance. I can’t date ‘average’. It’s just not for me. I get bored and my mind wanders and frequently I find myself wishing I was at home or doing something else..anything else but sitting across from someone who has fallen far short of capturing my attention.

The charismatic guy always captures my attention. I’m instantly drawn in. But after a short time, the charismatic guy who lacks substance is usually revealed to be as average as the others. Without substance to back it, they are still two dimensional. Substance is what adds dimension and what will hold attention over time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

“I see you making sure no one can see you yet and there must be a darn good reason for that.”

Upon reading Monday’s blog post, Little Buddha sent this note:
“I don’t see anyone rejecting you.  I see you making sure no one can see you yet and there must be a darn good reason for that.  You are an exceptional person, you have the ability to see more than I think you even know.  Even though if feels like you are unloved, I think, in this incredible way, you know none of them are worth inviting in quite yet.
This house you are building, it’s just not finished yet and why have some stranger come in and take over renovations when they have done none of the work to get it where it’s at now?  When you are done is when you will be open to visitors and only then will you be ok sharing in what you’ve built.”

She brings up an interesting point, I am not letting anyone really see me.  And she’s right that the house is not yet finished.

So that brings up the question - to date or not to date while you are working on yourself?  I took a break for a couple days from online dating but I gave in and went right back out there and have another date lined up this week (Plan A was to take off for at least a month).  However, I decided this time will be on my terms - no more saying yes because I think it is the right thing to do. There has to be a reason that I WANT to meet the guy. Nice and average is not a reason. Substance and interest is.

The catch 22 remains though - Do I stop dating while I build the rest of the proverbial house? Yet I’m too scared to stop dating because it feels like I’m not moving forward.

I’ve read tons of articles about people who stopped dating and focused on finding themselves, only to have true love arrive at the end (my fav is this one published on Tiny Buddha, “Love Shows Up When You Do”).  However, it is fair to say working on myself is an ongoing process, not something I pause to do. My life is neither empty nor incomplete. In fact it feels fuller than ever after the last 3 years of being on my own.

Can you date and build your house at the same time?  Can you focus on yourself while learning from others along the way?  Is dating merely the nails that helps to put things in place in your house until you are ready for a true visitor?

So my answer is this: Live fully. Learn as you go. Maybe a companion will come along when the time is right.

Monday, August 11, 2014

“You cannot keep letting these guys and your past ruin you”

For weeks, probably about 2 months now, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and haven’t been able to put my finger on what was causing it - so I’ve done whatever I could to escape the feeling. Finally over the weekend, I realized what was underlying -- I’ve been divorced for over 3 years now and I’m still single. I feel like a reject. Like my husband rejected me, followed by a long line of guys since (although I know that isn’t quite true because I turned down more than half).  I have this overwhelming feeling that my friends are getting married, having babies and having more babies - and I’m standing still while everyone else moves forward without me.  I feel bad for Grace because she has a mom who is rejected and broken rather than the mother she deserves. Sometimes I wonder if she can tell how broken I feel inside.  This has been my inner voice for the last couple of months. This is why I’ve been so fixated on the last few guys - because I thought if someone would just like me then my life would move forward and I wouldn’t be a reject anymore.  It is total fear. The fear of unlovable is so strong that it creeped in when I wasn’t looking and slowly took over my thinking.

I know I need to change my story: that my husband was broken and couldn’t be in a relationship. I didn’t deserve how he treated me the whole time & I never deserved to be 2nd in his life.  He left because he was too broken to know how to stay.  And that long line of guys just weren’t a fit. And I learn each time and try to make better decisions, even if sometimes I slip. And Grace is lucky to have a really strong person as a mother. Super hero strong. I NEED to keep telling myself these things and to be extra compassionate while I’m hurting and feeling vulnerable.

I shared this with my single-mom friend this weekend and among her empathy and wisdom she also said, “You cannot keep letting these guys and your past ruin you.”  She’s right. The story has to change. The fear of being unlovable is strong but the power of the love that surround you (or me) is stronger.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I am Nancy Botwin.

I’ve caught on to the craze of Weeds, albeit many years too late. Luckily Netflix has all of the season ready to plan at my whim. As I’ve watched Nancy Botwin make shapr decisions with a dash of well-meaning but bad decisions, I started to identify her.

Here is a women who did not expect to end up in this situation - a widow, now single mom with two boys. Though her decision to sell drugs may fall on morally questionable ground at best, she attempts to take control of an out-of-control situation and make something better happen.

I’m only on Season 3, so please no spoilers - but so far she follows a pattern that she is trying to control what she can in an out-of-control life. But due to things outside of her control, and some decisions that she brought on herself, things spin even more wildly out of control and when she starts to get overwhelmed, she acts out. She does crazy stuff that leaves you wondering “Why are you doing that girl? you are better than that!” Isn’t that exactly what my friends and I have been asking of myself lately?

I am sure my friends are tiring of the endless barrage of texts that fly faster than my brain can process a logical thought. I’ve been running on almost pure emotion fueled by fading dreams, lofty ideals and Black Box Pinot Grigio.  I admire my friends for their kindness and support as I attempt to bring what was an out of control situation under control, but I can only imagine what goes through their minds when I start to get overwhelmed, feeling the restrictions on my life tighten and suffocate, and I act out - to break the pain, to feel some sense of control - even if the action actually causes more chaos and will inevitably result in a sense of lost control again (both for me and for my gal, Nancy!).  In the moment, acting out feels like freedom. You can see it in Nancy when she got the U Turn tattoo - she was acting out to be breaking free of her life’s restrictions for that one moment.

I want to thank my amazing friends for being by my side. I would apologize for the emotional rollercoaster that I jump on and off of, but the truth is, until you’ve walked in my shoes, you don’t know who you would be. I still don’t know who I am.  Just like Nancy’s husband’s death changed her, my husband’s affair and destruction of our family changed me. Maybe I’m still muddy on who is underneath but I have a pretty good idea of who is there - and she’s pretty freaking badass.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting Back on My Path (and Why It’s Important to Shower Before a Date)

I had one last online date scheduled from a guy who I emailed with for way too long.  After he informed me he would be coming straight from soccer practice and wanted to meet somewhere casual and outdoors, I informed him I was worth showering for and called it off.  I mean really, if you can’t shower for the first date, what does that mean for future efforts?

So I put stinky soccer coach, along with the roofer and my Tinder profile on a shelf and have been trying to spend time being alone with myself. Boy, being alone after such a run of guy craziness is an adjustment. I can feel my mind squirm at the new-found space it has that is not occupied by trying to reply to someone, trying to set up a date, or trying to interpret what a text means!  

Our true nature is like a precious jewel: although it may be temporarily buried in mud, it remains completely brilliant and unaffected. We simply have to uncover it.

I may have walking through the mud and the weeds, buried in a muck of anxiety but that doesn’t change who I am - and I’m happy to be back on the path to uncovering that!

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Why don’t you just be your fabulous self for a while and forget about the rest?"

My anxiety is back up at a high. The constant dates and energy output to try to meet someone has taken a toll and it’s time, once again, to take a break and declare a month of me.  I’ve already started with either running or meditating every date, but even that isn’t enough to break this tidal wave of anxiety that has set in.

I was really hoping all of this effort would have yielded someone with potential to go further. I was even sure that it would. So I’m disappointed, down, and once again left with the fear that alone may be my always and final facebook status.

Knowing that I’m in need of rejuvenation and grounding, I recognize it is time to take a break again and reinstitute the infamous (and consistently effective) “Month of Me”

I was reading an article in Vogue this month about a failed whirlwind romance that resulted in an unexpected friendship. The end of the article says, “You must hold out for the right now, and make sure that the life you’re living in the meantime is a full one.”

I haven’t been ‘holding out for hugs’, I’ve been getting swept up by anyone who peeks my interested because so few have. It’s time I put energy back into my life and set everything else aside.  A friend at a party this weekend said “You are fabulous. Why don’t you just be your fabulous self for a while and forget about the rest?”

Tinder Date #6 (and Last): The Roofer

9 years ago when I was living with my then to-be-husband, we had to have some roofing work done. When the young, super cute roofing salesman came out, I blushed and readily agreed to his proposal.  I informed my to-be-husband that our roofer was hot and recommended that local friends call him if they ever needed  a roof repair coupled with some hot eye candy. How often is it that a contractor-type that shows up is your age and very good looking?!

Fast forward 9 years, I get married and divorced and I run into someone on Tinder who looks a little familiar. After introducing ourselves and our occupations, I quickly realize this is my hot roofer crush from years ago!  I tell him that we’ve met before and he informs me he’s divorced too and promptly invites me for drinks.  We have an amazing first date, followed by a kiss and an invitation for a second date.

Between the first and second date, he texts almost all day. Saying how happy he is to have met me, closing with ‘night cuties’ before he went to bed. Letting me know if was looking forward to hanging out again.

The second date takes place a few days later and we go go-karting and play games and then land at the local bar for drinks and some shuffleboard. Laughing the entire evening, the connecton is tangible.

I come off of the second date with a high that you only get from that instantaneous connection, assuming it will move forward because of his references to setting my friends up with his, etc.

Unfortunately, immediately following the date started his busiest work week ever, followed by a long weekend vacation.  He dropped of the radar. Texting minimally. Always responding warmly to mine. I tried to give him space to get this stuff done and get out of town. When he left for vacation, I tried to give him space to enjoy his time with friends & family. All the while, receiving minimal texts.  He wasn’t exactly blowing me off, because he was texting things that were unnecessary (like his fav song of the moment or a funny article he read, he even asked what I was up to). But among the texts were no ‘can’t wait to see you again’ much less an ask for a second date.

On saturday night we texted a bit and I dropped off the conversation when it came to a natural conclusion. I figured if he wanted to see me again, he could follow up and text me. But nothing came. That damn phone lay there silently, no vibrations, no chirps.

I can surmise many reasons why he went from hot to cold but whatever he is thinking is ultimately unknown and irrelevant. It was really hurtful to have something built up and then drop without a heads up. I understand busy, but you have to throw out a thread to keep the connection going. So as we bid adieu to my 9 year crush, we also bid adieu to Tinder, at least for a while.