starting over

Where Have I Been?

Dating… it’s crazy and it seems that I get myself into the weirdest, most awkward, drama inducing situations.

When I broke up with X, I started to reconnect with friends that I had been “off limits.”  Along that journey, I reconnected with a male friend from college.  This was the guy I had all my good stories with, the guy who took me on adventures, got me into trouble, and I didn’t have to impress because we were friends.  It was one of the easiest and enjoyable friendships I have ever had.   He was exactly what I needed in my life after all this nonsense.

It started off innocent and simple-catch up on the present, rehash the past, and discuss the future.  Somewhere in between talking about a jello party and why we were both single, flirting ensued.  Now this wasn’t normal flirting, this was raw and emotional.  Maybe because there was a pre established comfort level there, but we shared things that most people don’t share after six months of dating even after a lifetime together.  And so it began, against my better judgment, I feel for this guy-hard.

Slow down with the celebrations over there—this is me and we all know my life is complicated.

New Guy, or shall we call him World Traveler, does not live in the same state as me.  In fact, he does not really have a state to call home because he travels all over the world for work.  He is rarely in the area, and when he is, it is for 48 hours (if we are lucky).  You can only imagine how obnoxious that is!  We have roughly laid eyes on each other three times in the past two months (talk about long distance huh?).  We work opposite schedules which makes communication a nightmare as well.  We talk every day, by text mostly, and have set up “rules” for our relationship survival (still a work in progress).

Are you screaming at me through the computer yet?  Are you telling me this is the biggest mistake ever?  Well… you should be…. this gets interesting and ugly….

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Why is it so Easy to Fall Out of Love?

People throw the words I love you around so carelessly these days.  Men say it to get women in bed.  Women say it to find security in a relationship.  What does it actually mean to be in love?  I cannot speak for everyone else; I am not a mind reader, a doctor, or a therapist.  What I am is 30 something woman with a lot of life and dating experience, so maybe that does make me an expert….

As I sit back and reflect on my past relationship/engagement, I start to wonder… What was I thinking?!   Why couldn’t I see then what I see now?!  Why didn’t I walk away sooner?!  Why did I even say yes?!  I can ask this now because I am removed from the situation.  I have had time to think and reflect on what my life could have been.  Believe me, this wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight; it took writing this blog and realizing that I was never in love with my ex to spark the change…

I did love my ex, but I was not in love with him.  He was my best friend, I told him everything, and we had fun together.  That’s true love right?  So I thought at the time …. X was more of a girlfriend than a lover.  The love I felt for him was the same love I feel for my friends not the love I felt for HS BF or even the love I felt for The Canadian.  There was no passion, no spark, and no heat.  All the feelings I had in the beginning of the relationship, the honeymoon phase, had been replaced with resent, distrust, and disgust.  I tried to “fix it”, to “make things better”, to “force” feelings that were not there–we were engaged after all, how could I not feel the way I used to?

When all was said and done, I was left with this question…. Why is it so easy to fall out of love?

Love needs to take place between both partners; taking care of and supporting each other.  It requires trust, honestly, and respect.  Love means accepting a person for who they are; I do not want to have change someone to make us fit and work together… they will never change because you forced them or begged them to.  Sure, they may change for a little while to ease tension or appease you.  But unless that person really wants it, they want to change for them, it is never going to last it and it will only breed resentment. When we say I love you in the beginning of a relationship, we need to make sure we actually mean love and not lust.

As I go through the dating process, I have fine tuned what love looks like to me.  What it looks like in happy, successful, long term relationships.  I learned to love me first; learned to be mature enough to stand on my own.  I know that love will be disguised as lust, friendship, desperation, and comfort. To me, love is knowing that I do not need someone to complete me, but rather they should compliment me.

Exciting News

Not too long ago I was approached by Singles Warehouse, a great site, to write a post for them.  After some careful thought, I came up with a topic that is oh so near and dear to my heart…. INTERNET STALKING.  Although I am very guilty of doing this, very, very guilty… I can see the potential harm in doing it.  Please check out my post on their site and let me know what you think by posting comments.

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/?p=29905

Could Online Stalking Be Bad For Your Dating Life (1)

Deal Breakers

Sitting with one of my oldest and most brutally honest male friends, I decided to probe him and get to the bottom of what guys are really looking for… or better yet, what pushes them away.  We got into a very interesting conversation on deal breakers.

Needy…. Clingy… Frigid… These were of few the words that came up.  They really stuck with me because they sound like someone’s worst nightmare, male or female.

Needy and clingy can be describe with almost the same words.  The person becomes your main focus; you think about them all the time, you want to talk to them, to see them, to text them (guilty!).  Who could blame you-you like them and enjoy their company.  Shouldn’t they enjoy yours and feel the same?  Be careful-there is a fine line between showing your interest and showing your obsessed.

This is a typical needy girl move- you text a guy you went on a date with twice.   You start to go ballistic that he didn’t respond to your text messages within two hours.  Here come the questions and negative thoughts… Does he like me?  Should I call him?  What did I do wrong?  Did he find someone else?  I’ll call him so we can talk about it.  Danger!  You have now become a Stage 5 Clinger.  Abort immediately, this one is a goner, darling.

Guys are attracted to confident girls.  I mean don’t we look for the same thing when we look for a guy?  Do we really want that guy that shows up to the bar when we are hanging out with girlfriends because he was worried when we didn’t answer his text an hour ago?  Kind of sucks the sexiness right out of him no matter how hot he is.  Neediness and clinginess come down to you defining yourself based on other people—makes you seem weak and insecure.  Everyone has insecurities but there is a tipping point when grave insecurity becomes pathetic and annoying.

Frigid is not a complex concept either, we are talking about guys here aren’t we.   It’s whether or not you have a sexually healthy appetite.  No one says you have to be a porn star in the bedroom, but taking chances shows that you trust your partner and you are willing to open yourself up to new experiences with them.  Always within reason of course, and only what you are comfortable with.

This is not rocket science, although having the self control to do this makes it seem like it is.  What cause us women to become “crazy” you ask… Being pushed into neediness or clinginess is based on the mixed messages guys send.  When guys are not able to express emotions or not able to communicate and problem solve or work through a solutions, it forces us to come up with our own scenarios, usually negative.

I discovered that the things that are turning guys away are the same things that turn us girls away.  The only difference, guys are quicker to toss a girl aside while we are busy trying to change the guy or make excuses for him, or worse, blame ourselves.

I want a best friend not a boyfriend!

Can someone please tell me why finding a good friend is harder than finding a good man?!  I am not talking about facebook friends and twitter followers; I am talking about living breathing people who you interact with.

In your 30s people enter your life, through work, other friends, and relationships, but actual close friends those are in shorter supply.  As people approach “adult life,” priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.  It gets increasingly harder to meet the three required Cs of friendship—closeness, convenience, and comfort.  This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, and I’m left still searching.

Let’s face it, most people my age are “set in their friend ways,” so why would they be willing take on new friends they have to get to know? People become more wary about making themselves emotionally available to new people, friend or otherwise.  I thought back to the advice I constantly hear while trying to find a man: get involved, do things you love, don’t sit around, go out and meet people. So I did in hopes of finding a good friend, but none of this is working!  Like my failed attempts at trying to find a good man, I am failing at trying to find a good friend.

For example…I was shopping and a potential friend-worthy fellow shopper asked me about my handbag (love connection!).  We chatted for a moment about the bag when I noticed her handbag.  It was quilted.  It was expensive.  It was a-mazing.  Naturally, I told her I loved it, from one handbag lover to another.  If the friendship thing did not work out, I could steal her bag, right… That is when my fantasies took over.  I started to place her in my life like I do with potential love interests.   I imagined us meeting up for coffee, going out to dinner, her fixing me up with her cute older brother, sharing clothes, and becoming besties.  Before you sound the psycho alarm, I snapped out of it and started to panic.  I didn’t want her to think I was a lesbian trying to hit on her, nor did I want to appear like a loser with no friends (am I?!).  I ended it before it began, without an email exchange or hope for future meetings.  I couldn’t help but think it would be so much easier if she was a romantic interest.   At least with a romantic interest there’s flirting, chemistry and sex.  And, maybe even the added benefit of making friends with or through them.

People will say that at my age finding a mate is more important than another friend, but boyfriends come and go and friends are forever, right?!

The end is just the beginning…

Today is the first day of the rest of my life, well my blogging life. It is the birth of Dating, Dresses, and Drama; a dream that I have had for a few years now.  A chance to expresses myself, tell my stories, and break free of what I am “supposed to be at this age.”   It is time to tell the truth about life in your 30s, about friendships that hurt more than they help, and engagements that are meant to be broken.

How did this all get started? I am glad you asked that serious question because it has a very long and complicated history.

I haven’t discussed my relationship much to other people because I was trying to maintain my perfect image of what I was supposed to be at this age, the path I was supposed to follow, even if it was riddled with thorns and wild beasts in the form of a cruel future husband’s side of the family. I am walking away from my perfectly planned out life; from my relationship of four years, with an engagement of two.  Have you been in this relationship before? The one that you know you don’t belong in, the one you’re your family and friends tell you is toxic, where your own mother tells you to make a choice because she cannot watch her only child be emotionally abused by a guy?  For your sake I hope not.  Why did I stay you ask?  Fear.  Habit.  Security.   Expectancy.  Loneliness.  I can go on forever.  I was trapped in a hell of my own creation… I had lost myself completely in this person…in his lies and emotional unavailability and inability to love me like I wanted to be loved.  How could I leave him, he was my best friend, my partner in crime, he knew everything about me, he was my fiancé?!

Here’s what I decided:  I needed to stop worrying about what other people thought, what I was “supposed” to.  I need to start caring about myself and work towards my dreams instead of depending on others to make me happy.  I knew what my future would hold if I stayed in this relationship–bruised, broken, beat down, fight after fight, and conversations that went in circles with no result.  I know in my heart that this is not the person intended for me …I am little psychic and should trust my gut more.

Now that you know where I have come from, come with me as I figure out where I am going.  Enjoy my stories as I try to find new love, make friends, and reinvent myself.   Share your input, your ideas, your stories, so we can learn from each other.  I just freed up the passenger seat in my car and you’re more than welcome to hop in for the ride.