Evolution of Hope and Dead-end Relationships

dead-end

Hope is hard to kill, crush, destroy, even dissipate, hope is strong, maybe the strongest thing in the universe, maybe the very glue that holds us all, maybe the bones, the filling the in bones, the morrow of all of our skeletons.

 

Oh man…I have been turning an “I’m back” blog post over and over in my mind for a couple of months now. I have thought about several different approaches to take, how to explain where I went, and where I went wrong, and why I am here again, still here…but I didn’t have it in me. I didn’t want to post any bitter seeds, because, you see, this blog is about hope, and for a split second, my hope evaporated. But funny thing, hope is resilient. Hope is hard to kill, crush, destroy, even dissipate, hope is strong, maybe the strongest thing in the universe, maybe the very glue that holds us all, maybe the bones, the filling the in bones, the morrow of all of our skeletons.

So, I paused. I regrouped. I waited, knowing that hope always comes home. It’s a good thing too. No one needed to read those first evolutions, those “there are no men who _______” (fill in the blank with whatever the man didn’t do, or did do for that matter) or the “love is a lie” rendition, or the “I am ever dating again” version. Ugh, no. I am not in high school, I cannot be THAT angst-filled, at least not publicly.

In the waiting, was real waiting, and a little bit of reforming, and a little bit of bargaining, and a lot of wondering and supposing and planning and the denying but most importantly—the realizing.

It’s on that note that I am typing this post, the realizing. The ugh-inducing light-bulb moment when I learned the lesson from the experience, and that lesson is that I have a problem. It’s dead-end relationships.

Yes friends, relationships that go nowhere, that is the theme of the romantic/potentially-romantic/pretend-to-be-romantic relationships I am engaged in. Every last one of them.

The bread-crumbing friend, the aloof friend, the honest-about-not-wanting-to-be-in-relationships-but weird-when-I-am-in-one friend, the ex jockeying to be a friend—they all have one thing in common. They are going nowhere. Nowhere towards the goal previously stated at the inception of this blog anyway. Yet, they are oddly comforting. They are strangely magnetic. Like a boomerang, I go back, unspoken hope still hanging in the air, thick with unpopped bubbles of disappointment, I go back. Backwards is not forward. Nor helpful. But like the quilt on your grandma’s bed, it is somehow comforting, Warm, safe, familiar. A nice place to pause when recuperating, a place where your vulnerability is not real vulnerability. A place to pretend to move on while not really moving on. And probably destructive, at least a little. But for now, it’s all I am prepared for.

My analysis of this is incomplete. I am not sure what it all means or how to change the pattern, but at least I know it is a thing, and I can think about it and make better decisions for myself going forward. You know, maybe.

So, that’s where it’s at. And I will get back on this blog bandwagon, with some flashbacks for context. Until next time, stay hopeful!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Trauma from the Game: the last post

 

pennies-ground

I like to think that we all start out starry-eyed and innocent. When we start the process of finding our ever-after, we still believe in love and the goodness of people.

But as time goes on, the longer we stay in the game, something happens. Like a shiny new penny that has been dropped on the ground and stepped over one too many times, our optimism dulls. Our faith in others turns jaded. Our faith in ourselves erodes.

But maybe all those people who turn out to be jerks really aren’t…maybe they have just been brainwashed by the game, have accepted the nonsense as normal. Maybe they too have been exposed to the trauma caused by the game.

I was only there for a brief time but it was long enough. (And hope to never go back but that’s a whole different topic) I feel like my experiences with the games people play has altered my perspective on people. Maybe permanently. It’s hard to take people at face value. It’s hard to believe it when someone is actually into you, when you have found someone immune to the games. You have an incorrect measuring stick, so your judgment may be off.

Ghosting and bread-crumbing are the two things I experienced the most and were probably the most damaging to my perspective. (Along with unreasonable expectations, but can’t really do much about that one.)

After meeting someone wonderful, who was different and not a game player, I found myself with fear. Fear, I believed, was caused by trauma from the dating games that people play.

Many times before, people seemed to appreciate me for who I was, right up until they didn’t. Abrupt disconnections, oftentimes unpredictable, made me doubtful and cautious. The game made it difficult for me to believe the words. It made me cautious to think about the future, especially sharing it with someone else.

Show me…..

Even then, I have to drop my expectations and leap, despite the fear. You can’t have what you want without risk and taking chances. You can’t be in a relationship without faith.

Faith in yourself, for having discernment, for being worthy of good things.

Faith in the other person, for being truthful, for being genuine.

Faith in God for taking care of you, for bringing an answer to your prayers.

2777a91

Beyond that, you just have to be patient, despite ALL your waiting. Being patient is hard, because you have already been SO patient. You are just ready to know what you want and then have it already. But it doesn’t work that way. It’s a brand new canvas each time, and you have to take your time painting that picture.

And you have to believe in the good. Surmise that maybe all those ghosting bread-crumb droppers were once like you and were burned one too many times until they numbed themselves by succumbing to the game. You have to work past your fears and accept that no one is perfect. We all come with baggage—and that doesn’t mean settling—but accepting the baggage that goes with yours.

You have to give, but not too much. You have to be vulnerable, but also not too much.

It’s a difficult balance.

It’s a scary prospect.

It can be worth it, but it might not be.

Like everything, it’s a gamble.

I prefer the adventure of a new, blooming relationship to the hustle of online dating, but its not without challenges. But for now, I hope to have no more dating stories.

Here’s to taking a leap.

20171108_073006

 

Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty

nasty

Dang it’s hard being a grown up. Dang, it’s even harder being a single, Christian woman trying to date.

Let me tell you a story about the dirty boy, having integrity, and how being a little sad in the moment can help you maintain your integrity in the long run.

Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty

I met a nice guy on Bumble. Buzz, buzz, he was organized, steady, responsible, good dad, financially secure, all that. BUT… he’s kinda a pervert.

Sure, sure, most dudes are. But this was different. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that he preferred to memorialize and share certain things. I’m not down with all that….dirty!

About the sexting…..

OK, we’re all adults and we can do what we want, yaddy yadda….but the sexting and the send nudes stuff, isn’t that a little much? I’m not placing judgment on anyone who likes that but it’s not for me. Here’s why:

  1. That’s a looooooot of trust you are placing in their hands. One forward and your intimates can go viral. I don’t care how much they promise they won’t share them, don’t believe it.
  2. It’s skipping steps. To get to the place where you are in an adult, exclusive relationship, you cannot skip steps by sharing all the intimates from the jump. Save that stuff. Keep some mystery.
  3. You don’t need to show all the cards in your hand (or all the skin) just so someone will like you. If that’s their requirement, move on. That’s not respectful. Your skin is scared. It’s not for the world to see, judge and dissect.
  4. You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day. For me, I wouldn’t be able to feel good about that. I am a leader for high school girls. How can I be the kind of leader I want to be if I do something I would advise them NOT to do? Something I have told my own child to never do?

earmuffs

I know the pressure to send explicit pics is big. It’s like we have accepted this as a normal practice in the dating game. Being different and saying no to that can (and has) cost the interest of potential suitors. Fear not though, that’s a very shallow reason and I have no interest in a person who isn’t more genuine then that.

So keep those boobies and booties covered girls! Hold out for the one who will respect you enough to treat you like a person and not a visual aid to their pleasure.

Men, boys, PLEASE. No woman wants to see a pic of your eggplant. I am so serious right now. Let it be a surprise. Plus, it’s REALLY BAD MANNERS!!!!

2015_04_28_31_eggplant1_ced08

So, as of now, my life is crazy busy and after the last series of dating disappointments I cannot invest any more time in that quest at the moment. Winter break is coming soon, maybe I’ll jump back on then!

Potential responses to requests for nudes:

“No thanks”

“Naw”

“I can’t right now, I’m driving” (just say that every time)

“LOL”

“Sorry, my phone storage is full.”

“I don’t understand what you mean!”

End the conversation, move on…..its ok really!

Send GIFs of Michael Jackson moonwalking

Send pics of Naked juice

Send pics of famous art with nude people

Send pics of nuns

Send other random pics of things unrelated to your body, get creative, have fun.

Can your eggplant do this? No…?Cool, I’m not interested.

eggplantno-noodle-eggplant-lasagna-sliceweb

 

 

 

 

 

The Universe Is a Lie… (and other unfortunate truths)

universe

This is the universe and it lies. 

 

 

The Mr. Universe blog was not supposed to be next. As a matter of fact, I fancied a much different version of this story. For once, I thought, for once this will be something good.

There are people in the world who don’t care. They don’t’ care about, your feelings, or integrity. At all. They will be all willy-nilly with your emotions, dangle your time at the end of their fishing line—they will do whatever it takes so that they get what they want. They. Are. Reckless.

They are manipulative. Diabolical even. This is a story about Mr. Universe.

Mr. Universe…I thought for a brief second that maybe he was the lobster. Turned out that he was just a liar. He said things that should be sacred…

I am only talking to you

We super click and I trust my gut always

Me: what do you want from me? Him: everything

You gotta trust your feelings and the universe.

The UNIVERSE? Really? That was a new one and I gotta say, I was bamboozled.

Damn right I believe in the universe….but what was the universe trying to tell me? Did we click, yes…but what did MY gut say? Proceed with caution!!

Unfortunately I was right, but it’s still disappointing.

I recounted the series of events to my friend who responded with “gosh, is anyone genuine??”

I don’t know universe, you tell me….

The lesson learned is that yes, trust your gut. Trust your gut and not what the other person is saying to you. But don’t be closed off. I decided to jump in and it was the wrong choice, but maybe it was better than being closed to everything. Experiences teach us, mold us and shape us. I can only hope I am smarter and stronger each time I am a party to someone else’s faults and failings. My gut also gave me a nudge of warning, and I listened to that too.

The lesson learned is that it’s still not about me! I can control who I am, what I do and what I think. I can’t control the universe, or Mr. Universe. If he wants to lead his life as a manipulator and a liar, than he will attract much of the same. I am not wishing that on him, but we get what put out there.

The lesson learned is that I still need to work on being cool at the beginning. That’s the worst for me because I want to know where I stand immediately. Are we doing this or not? That’s not the best approach and I will have to work on chilling out or I will sabotage everything!

So, my question remains that if we do really get what we put out there, and I am putting out genuine and honesty….why am I still wading through the garbage?

I still believe in magic. I still trust my gut.

Come on universe, be kind.

Next: I’m not giving up! 

I am blue, he is gray….I am bamboozled….

Mr. Universe 1Mr. Universe 2

P.S. Dear Mr. Universe,

You don’t know what’s good. You think you do, what you are wrong. Good luck out there.

Dear Readers….a day after writing this I am wondering if I could have handled things better. Actually, I know I could have. This incident has revealed some important points that I need to work on…trusting people (whether they are trustworthy or not I suppose) instead having distrust on auto-pilot….confrontation…I already know I need to wait until I think something through I before send the text or say the words but I didn’t do that, and I often don’t, and it’s always a wrecking ball. I also realized that I need a person to be my deflector. The beginnings of a date-lationship always makes me a twisted knot of self-doubt, urgency and crazy. I need someone to help me be cool. So, in hindsight, yes, he lied. Does that make him terrible? I don’t know. Maybe I jumped the gun or maybe I did myself a favor, either way, I could have done it with more grace. I sent an apology text. Now I can live with myself.

Lesson learned….

 

 

Back in Beesness (??)

Bumble

What’s up blogosphere?

I live in an urban area, but I commute to a small town for work. I am not a fan of small towns. They have their charm in small doses, and are probably good for raising families and good ol’ American values and all that. But there’s not even a Target there. Or a Panera. Sometimes I am tired of the drive, so I stay in a little cabin—a tiny house in a small town. I don’t like to stay there though, I told my tribe that it feels lonely there, and I am not usually a lonely-feeler.

After several lonely evenings at my small town tiny house, I decided to jump back into Bumble without giving it much thought at all. It was really hot that week. I think my brain was melted a little.

A New Plan!

This time, I had a new plan. I’ve been really thinking over this whole do I want to be independent and free or in a relationship thing. Before, I was dating for the long game. Now I’m just there for the whatever game. This may or may not be a good idea but you can’t even control the outcome of what happens anyway. It’s all a chaotic, swirling mess that has potential for awesome or disaster, like the universe, you know.

Two New Ideas

Now, I have a different filter for things when they go sideways. One day I was frustrated about the things that people do and I asked my friend, “why do dudes do blah blah??” He said, ‘goodness, in life we are all dealing. Some of us want someone but are cautiously waiting.”

pushing-a-rock-up-a-hill (LIFE)

He’s right….we are all dealing with life as it is. Never mind all the dating stuff and its array of crap. These guys are people, just like me. Maybe struggling, maybe insecure too, maybe afraid, maybe have too much on their plate, maybe have wounds and scars and baggage…I’m not on the bottom rung of the ladder and neither are they. I am going to sabotage everything I attempt to build if I don’t remember that fact. We are all just humans, as my other friend says….don’t be surprised when humans act human. I have to let go of some of the negative expectation I project on men just because of my negative experiences.

chance-the-rapper-grammy-ad-billboard

The second new idea is that I am faking the hell out of being confident. I am BELIEVING (faking it) that I am a great catch. I have a lot to offer someone (that is true) and I am acting like it. No more giving them the upper hand because I think I am fortunate to have their attention at all. I am following self-positive Instagrams and taking those positive messages to heart. I am enough. I am good, I can be someone’s something that they are looking for.

You would think that after 40ish years on Earth I could conquer that whole self-confidence thing, but I guess it just ebbs and flows just like everything else in this life. It’s like the Chumbawamba song. “I get knocked down, but I get up again!” (And sometimes pissing the night away too.)

So far, I have met two new potentials. Right after that, I deleted my account again. I don’t know why I do that….it’s just feels like wading through garbage to have to deal with the swipes and the small talk and the are they interested or aren’t they.

Are They or Aren’t They….

This is the part I hate. I don’t know how to like it better.

 

In Unrelated News….You must Watch This!

It’s a train wreck and you cannot look away. I promise you! Set your DVRs for Spouse House on TLC. Its Big Brother meets the Bachelor meets crazy-town. The put 14 singles, matched by professionals, in a house together and are all very serious about getting married. So much so, that they actually have weekly engagement ceremonies where singles propose to each other and WEDDINGS! I’m not ashamed to say that I watch it immediately when there is a new episode. Sunday nights. Trust me, you will be too flabbergasted to be disappointed!

Cries Ohhhh Ashley….you have all the feels.

Spouse-House-Missy Missy’s not leaving without a husband!

Until next time!

Buzz buzz!

Next time…The Dirty Boys and Chaste Dating and Mr. Universe—Can You Trust That Swirling Mess?

P.S. Dear RUN DMC T-shirt Guy,

Every single time I go back on Bumble we match and chat, only for me to disappear with no warning or explanation. Thank you for talking to me EVERYTIME. I am sorry I am so indecisive. If I come back and you swipe right on me again, hurry up and ask me out already! Your art is cool.

 

 

Slumming

“You can take the girl out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the girl.”

 

That can be translated one of two ways; either it means that the girl will always be a little bit ghetto or the girl will always feel a little bit ghetto. One is a little bit bad ass, and the other is a little bit sad.

When you have grown up with lack or lackluster circumstances, you might always feel a little bit beneath other people–even if you aren’t–even if you “make good” in life. That feeling is always still there, just beneath the surface though you might try to squash it, have forgotten it or pretend it’s not there.

There has been a time or two (or three or four) when I have felt like the lesser person in the pair. It could have been because they had more money than me, or because they actually thought they were better than me, or sometimes because they actually were better than me.

It’s been a little while since I have had that feeling. That cold ball in the pit of the stomach, like fear except different. It was shame. And disappointment. But mostly shame.

I don’t feel like I usually have a shame problem. I have done a lot of work in the area of giving myself a break. If you feel like you want to work on that, I highly recommend Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown. That book has been an amazing tool and I have gone back to it several times for a refresher on being okay with my level of achievement and accomplishment in life.

But today,  I felt the feeling sneak itself right into my rib cage. I shared something with an old friend. Something I felt a little proud about. They took a look around and didn’t say anything negative, but I saw the look flicker across their face. I thought to myself, oh yeah, they are fancy now, they like and expect nice things. The moment passed in real-time but continued simmering in my mind, until I no longer felt proud of my accomplishment. What I considered an accomplishment, they thought an expense. What I considered independence, they considered lacking. Like they had poop on their shoe. My cool thing was poop.

What does this have to do with dating, you might be thinking a you read this. Well, I’ll tell you, it has everything to do with dating. If an encounter with someone leaves you feeling lesser in any way, don’t bother with it. It will lead to shame, heartache and a destruction of your self-esteem.  You will find yourself constantly striving to be good enough for them, when you really only need to be good enough for you. The right person will see you as good enough no matter where you are on your journey. If dating them makes you think they are slumming, walk away.

Now if you want to go slumming, that can be fun. Just make sure to be kind.

20170529_214036 (2)

I might be here (my actual feet)

20161028_165242

But feel like I am here

           

The Guy With All the Ghosts

Brad* (not his real name) was is one haunted man. He lives with the Ghost of Relationship Past. It happens to be a ghost of marriage past, turned into ex-wife present, with equals him being chained to her and it’s a big ol’ mess. But he was non-judgmental, and a painter, and truthful to a fault, things I like. So…..I gave it a shot.

I met Brad in the early days of Snatch.com. He was socially awkward, not at all charming, but adorably rumpled, artsy, and weirdly interesting. In my phone, he was listed as Adorably Rumbled Brad, inspired by one of my go-to chick flicks, My Best Friend’s Wedding.

I met ARB at a downtown restaurant one warm, April Sunday. I had tried to lure him out the night before at a very cool author reading, but he was too nervous and was adamant that he was terrible in social situations. In fact, he was so nervous about our pending date that I called him the night before so we could get comfortable with each other. By the end of the call, we were both less nervous.

But next day, I arrived at the restaurant first and called my friend. I was so nervous. The most nervous I have been on almost any date. I saw him drive up and got out to meet him. Ugh I was so nervous, but he clearly was too. We had lunch, the conversation was nice and flowed easily. We walked around downtown for bit afterwards. It went well.

We chatted a for a few weeks or so. He said I was pushy so I backed off. Then he said he didn’t think he should be dating right now, (he was right) but he wanted to be friends. (Friend zoned for $100 Alex!!) I agreed. I wasn’t terribly hurt or upset. I was pretty sure being his friend was the right move. He was interesting and spontaneous and comfortable, but I didn’t dare let my guard down knowing that he was still tangled up in the past, so there was no chemistry.  We remained in touch and met up a few more times. Then, he disappeared.

Fast forward a couple of months. I hear from him. He has been going through some stuff (with her, the ex-wife.) It would be cool if we hung out. Okay, I say. We make plans, we hang out, we chat a bit, then he’s gone again.

Fast forward a couple of months. Repeat previous paragraph. Do that a couple more times.

At this point I back all the way off. No Instagram likes, no texts, not anything. Then out of the blue, I hear from him again. It would be cool to hang out, he was wondering how I’ve been. So we work on plans but due to busy schedules they don’t happen right away. Then, within two weeks, she’s back again…… Damn Brad!!

I back off. We’ll see what happens next.

Ghost  Actual photo of ARB…..

65e4e363c57ac48c159aea5c5267185b--daring-greatly-brené-brown

I am a huge fan of vulnerability. I know, I know…..

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want)

This weekend I spent some time with a friend who is excellent at creating extra deep conversations. Afterwards as I mulled,  I again addressed the question I often ask myself in relation to the dating thing- what do I really want?

Not who. I’m not writing a recipe for my fairy godmother.  Sure, I have a list,  but that thing would be forgotten faster than the last Ariana Grande song if things clicked in that magical way. 

I mean what. Bare bones, down to the bottom of my heart-midnight-whisper-prayer want. Then I question it again, is that really what I want?

It’s not the same as what I think I want, what I think I need, after another exhausting week when I felt like I never stop hustling, those weak  moments when I just want to be in this with someone, or need a shoulder to rest my head for a moment while I catch my breath. And it’s not the same as what I think I want, after my head has been on the pillow for hours,  and the only sounds are ticking clocks and my own breathing, surrounded by extra pillows and the night streaked with the heaviness of feeling alone. Those aren’t real, in the realm of wants. Those are gaps. Gaps that can be filled- should be filled- by other things rather than trying to fit someone into my world like the corner piece that finishes a jigsaw puzzle. 

So what is it then?

Some of my favorite friends are great models for relationship goals. When I figure out what I want, I hope it’s like their marriage. They get on each other’s nerves, but they love each other crazy. When one makes a mistake, the grace is quick and automatic. They are a team,  and without a doubt, they know that they have each other’s backs no matter what. You can tell they are each other’s favorites. 

I want something like that. Not  just something to fill the gaps, but someone on my team, no matter what. And I have to wonder,  am I running out of time? Do things like that even exist anymore? And perhaps the biggest question of all, what would I have to give up to get it and am I willing to do that?

Now that you’ve stuck with me through all those unanswered questions,  I promised a review of Bumble, so here it is!

I discovered Bumble after reading an Upworthy article about how the dating app banned a guy who sent hate mail to a gal. I decided to see what it was, downloaded it, and promptly met the meatball man. (Haha)

Dubbed as the ‘feminist Tindr,’ Bumble’  is set up much the same way-swipe right if you like, left if you don’t- but if you match, the gal communicates first,  and you only have 24 hours to do it before the match disappears. 

There are some premium features you can pay for,  like unlimited time extensions and sneak peeks of right swipes. 

I liked Bumble because it seemed like there were more men who were serious about dating and relationships,  not just hookups. The drawback was related to my location. Not many people in my city (or maybe my age demographic) had heard of it yet, but I think in bigger cities it would work well. It’s also connected to your Facebook account and location so it’s harder to make fake profiles. I would probably try it again when I make up my mind. 

Until next time!