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dating me

Im sick. OK, I am man sick. I have a cold. But, In my defense, this cold is the kind of cold that, if used maliciously, could deplete armies (if they were men), decimate populations, and be a general nuisance for millions of drippy noses everywhere.

When I am sick, I become very nostalgic. I run through the events of my past and consider my path. I think it is like life flashing before my eyes, but in slow motion. I get the opportunity to see how things have changed and the threads of existence that have played such a factor in weaving through my life.

This cold, being a decimator and depletor, has me considering advice I have gotten. I think that, in general, advice is meant to be helpful. At a minimum, it is to help avoid negative consequences. However, no matter what decision we make, there will always be a negative consequence. If I decide to now jump off a cliff, I miss out on that feeling of free falling, which if Tom Petty is accurate, sounds delightful. I have gotten some pretty bad and some pretty good advice in my life. I cannot think of any advice that didn’t have negative ramifications, however.

After my divorce, I dated as often as I could. Dating is a liberal term in this circumstance. I was a bit of a whore. A troll, if you will. The advice I originally got was to go out and experience life. Unfortunately, it was advice I gave myself. There were benefits, obviously. The drawback is that there was no real relationship involved. There was no emotions. I had left a love free marriage to experience even worse. I was left depressed. OK, after a year or so, I was a tad bummed. However, I wasn’t fulfilled. I felt lonely. I wanted someone to complete me, a soul partner. I wanted a reason to live.

The advice I got was to date myself for a year. My first response was that at least I knew Id put out. (It had been a long year). He went on to explain that the unhealthy thing we do is to look to be completed by another person. ?He said that isn’t a partnership, it is parasitic. He described it as me inviting a tape worm into my limbic system. Naegleria Fowleri is an amoeba  that lives in hot springs, it worms it way into the nose and eats brain material, like a mono cellular zombie. I think that is a more apt analogy, but I didn’t say so at the time. He described that until I knew what I was like, what I liked, I had little to share. I had little value to someone else. Basically, my tape worm girlfriend, would decide what I absorbed from life. Or the prehistoric zombie would decide which thoughts I could keep, Either way, I was no longer in charge of my direction. If I dated myself, and honored the differences and changes in myself, I could be in a partnership later.

Well, that sounded just lovely. I get to spend a year just hanging out with myself and trying to figure out who I am. And, I had to be alone. I have no idea how I could ever be left alone. The noise of silence is deafening. I watched allot of TV just to keep things quiet at first. I had just gotten a house and decided I was going to paint it. I spent hours trying to decide what colors I liked. My house, in Colorado, looked a little like a tourist spot in the Caribbean. There were some funky colors. I loved it. The agent who sold it, didn’t agree. His advice was to paint it back before I sold it. My second house went through the same changes, twice. My third house did not get painted. My current house has seen three different colors in two years. They are much more neutral that the Caribbean whore house. I am now decorating on a theme instead of individual things I like. I called it eclectic, but it was really just narrow visioned.

That advice was good advice. I have a better understanding of who I am and how I change. I can see the history I have been through and how it affects me in moments. I can see the pain that causes avoidance, I can see the joy that causes longing. I can be alone without being lonely. I can even be alone without the radio and TV on. I enjoy being alone for the most part. Now, there is the rub. The negative consequence. I have avoidant-dependent tendencies. I want to alone and with someone at the same time. Someone told me once its a Taurus thing, but I don’t know much about that. My fear is that I am always going to be alone or never be alone. What if this self dating experiment resulted in a long term monogamous relationship? What if I can only be with me perpetually? Wont I get tired of my stories? Wont I bore myself? What if I know everything there is to know about me, and it is lacking? What if I withhold from myself, or lie about stuff to me? What if I squeeze the toothpaste wrong or put the toilet paper on backwards? (I have dated a woman who turns my toilet paper around each time she was over.) What if I am not enough? What if I am no longer capable of being whole? What if no one wants to be in a mutual partnership?

Sure, everyone I have ever dated says that is what they want. I say everyone, but that’s not true, one wanted my money, and one wanted sex. I might be the only guy I know who was jilted because I wouldn’t put out. Most, say they want a true relationship. They want to be whole, and encourage each others wholeness. And then, the expectations get started. If you were into me, this is how that would look. I have explained that is how that would look if they were dating themselves, but to no avail. People talk about being free and together. Not in the “open relationship” kinda garbage, but truly encouraging each other to grow whether that means together or apart. It sounds great, but impractical and seemingly improbable. I have no idea how anyone does that all the time. I have my doubts that anyone really does. However, it would be nice to be in a relationship that was the target. When I was dating myself, I allowed for growth and change. I let myself be wrong and right. I let myself learn. I let myself struggle and succeed. I was nice to myself. I learned to encourage rather than discourage. I learned to be real rather than dogmatic. I generally, learned to like my journey more than who I was at the moment. The empowerment of wanting to be with someone for how they grow and experience life was tremendous. Thats what I want. Does it exist?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2020 in divorce, journey, life

 

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Hey, wait, I might be sicilian

I was having a conversation about online dating with a friend recently. A preliminary note to those of you who have not had to take the step into the horror of online dating, it is not nifty. I no longer fear clowns, heights, spiders, or children with freaky adult masks because I have dated online. OK, that’s not true about clowns. The dating horror that is online dating is more of a psychological thriller than a gore movie. From what I can tell, the goal is to find a way to lie well enough to attract someone who is lying in the same way you do. It is awkward when you have lied about your height and she about her weight. You cant really be mad at the lie. Fortunately, there is the universal out clause, “you seem different than your pictures.: If you do have to venture into this forest of terror, borrow a car, walk, or park two blocks away on the first date, Also use a false name. I prefer Buck, Ted, or Armando. I tried Huey, Dewey, and Louie but it didn’t work out. I think she told me to “duck off.”

I was trying to describe to my friend what online dating is like. I decided it is like the Princess Bride. In our youth, we started out with relationships that were kinda sappy. We said things like, “As You wish,” instead of “Duck off.” We thought this was love when it was really just dependence and manipulation. IT felt good and it felt like love. At the time, it was. Over time, we vanish and are replaced with the stark reality that the other person is gone. The paths of life have separated. We long for the time next to the water pot. We crave the simple phrases of, “As you wish.” Eventually, some friend decides you would be better off with someone else. They force this Prince of a guy on you. He has a nice transportation, he is rich, and many women find him alluring. He is great except he has a weird friend and is a psychopath.

From what I can tell, we guys fall into the categories represented by the cast of the movie. We all want to be the Dred Pirate Roberts. However, remember there is no Dred Pirate Roberts, its just a borrowed name to induce respect. However, we still want to be him. IT would be easier to use someone else’s name and reputation than to have to admit we once said, “As you wish” to a woman who saw us as pond scum. As I am told the vast majority of online dating is like dating that Prince. Except for manly adventures and an entourage of weirdly fingered friends, it is dead animals and shirtless bathroom pics. I am amazed how many women say they love to camp, fish, hunt, and fart during football games. As far as I can tell, it is the woman’s dead animal call. If you wonder to yourself if you could be this kind of person, you are likely not.

The other kind is the big brute. The big brute has the tender heart and has a great personality. IT is true, he does not have the fancy transportation. He is not super smart. He likes the simple pleasures. However, he is fiercely loyal. he is a great friend and will defend you. He never gives up. He might not be much of a show pony, but a good solid choice. I am not that guy. There are many times I wish I could be that guy, but I am not that guy.

Another is the man bent on proving his manhood. Heart crushed as a child, he has tilted at windmills for his entire life. He seeks only revenge. He will not die without getting revenge. Miraculously, getting revenge actually gives him a new life. Although very gallant, very loyal and headstrong, and gifted at swordplay, he is much more interested in proving he is a man rather than being one. I’m not gallant. .

Finally, there is the Sicilian. This is not the best looking guy in the bunch. He is balding and can only be called in shape because round is a shape. He thinks highly of himself and enjoys the fantasy of lofty thoughts. H loves a puzzle. He thinks about overriding concepts. When on target, he could be a great ally. If on a tangent, he is to be dismayed. Notice that of the three would be kidnappers, he is the only one to die. The search for real relationship, real victory is worth dying for. He would rather sacrifice than settle. he knows his limitations as far as dead animals, shirtless pics, and false bravado goes. Sure, he is a bit different than the average Wesley, but he is unique. I think I am a Sicilian.

In the end, frequently, the fairy tale wins. The dream wins. The allure of avoiding reality and floating to a white horse transplants the idea that relationship is the time in the fire swamp.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in divorce, journey, life

 

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Captain Funkadelic

Funky. Yep, funky. I feel funky in various meanings of the word. I have felt them all as of late. I think I might be Captain Funkadelic. Its a bitter sweet nickname, but I am learning to embrace it. I am looking to purchase the Technicolor Dreamcoat that Cosmo Kramer wore in Seinfeld. I cannot decide if I will do a fedora or a top hat.

Funky can mean morose. I had a week or so that I was certainly down and out. I was truly in a funk. I really don’t know why. There were many things going on. I felt ignored by those of whom I have affection. I have felt that often in the last few years. I have been belittled and tormented. I have been pushed away or hidden from. I have had a broken heart. I have mended and healed. However, from time to time I feel the pain afresh. There wasn’t anything overt, just messages dropped or phraseology. It was subtle. It was pervasive. it draped me in a Funk. 

Funky can mean an odd smell. Not a stink or a stench, but an odd odor. Perhaps, moldy, but certainly funky. I had stopped growing. I had stagnated. I had staled out. As I became a still pond of goo, the funk began. It didn’t stink, and it wasn’t bad enough to call it a stench. It was just a funky existence.

My favorite thought of funky is the best. It is Captain Funkadelic. It is the 70s elevated shoes, a cane, and a technicolor Dreamcoat. It is that internal jig that happens when there is a funky beat from a great song in your heart. It is that moment in time that the song, Renegade speeds up. It is that jive talking, fast thinking. It is the emotional honesty. It is the heart felt joy. It is delight in life, regardless of circumstances. Yep, I have been there. Intermittently with the smell and the morose, there are those times when deep inside my ass is shaking and my heart is thumping.

Trudge on, Funk Brother.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2017 in journey

 

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but, I have the suit

There are times I have been accused of being able to see into another persons soul. Ive had people turn away from my gaze feeling it is too intense. I have been told I am an empath or super intuitive. I have had people tell me that I get them. I was told that I understand and have great insight..

So, how come with all of that in my ego bonnet, I thought I might be ready to do relationship better. I was sure I was armed with a heart and mind that could navigate connection. I carried my super powers with me and set off to find me a connection.

I have no idea how to use those super powers. I feel a little bit like The Great American Hero. I have this great suit and some really cool powers and no idea how to use them. In that 70s TV show, he tries to fly and crashes frequently and each show he learns a new thing the suit can do for him. He learns and tries and falters. 

I am that guy. I tra la la’d into the land of dating, wearing this new suit that had the capacity to be wonderful. I tried to fly and be mindful and open and crash landed. I flew crooked and waved my arms in a comical fashion. All the great tools I had and I couldn’t figure out how to use them in relationship. I tried again and again and each time, I learned new things but they never added up to much. The suit and powers never made me a super hero. No matter how much I wanted to be.

After crash after crash and tending to my wounds and bruised heart, I rested. I evaluated the suit and the tools and the powers. As I counted them and sorted and regarded, I came to realize that none of them were really me. I was trying to love from a place of façade. I was trying to fake and bluster into love. I had nothing but being honest. I had to be emotionally honest with myself before I could be with anyone else. I had to be me. 

I’m going to miss that suit, stretchy pants rule.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2017 in journey, life

 

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dating is a disease be nice to catch a cold

I think I am a social leper. I’m not sure when I caught it, but I have the dating plague. I think I might have caught a virus from an internet dating site. I think I have a social disease from the lack of social interaction. I think I have broken heart disease, a spiritual malady, a brain illness. I don’t feel bad, other than lonely. I have no fever, not even a fever that needs more cowbell. Its cold inside.

Parts of my heart and soul have fallen away. I feel unwhole, like part of me is missing. I fear it wont ever come back. The leprosy has taken pieces of my heart flesh, leaving it disfigured. It is an appearance that requires getting used to. Many have looked upon it and cringed, horrified at its vulnerability.

While dating, I have become weak legged and quiet. I fear I will stumble and fall. Many point at me and titter. I am awkward and unsure. I am eager but unknowing. I don’t boast of accomplishments or strut around swinging my balls. I seek that quiet connection, I seek communication. I seek the real and whole, not the pretend and diseased. The plague has made me weak and the world seeks a hero.

Internet dating is just plan odd. It is fraught with problems, but sometimes is the only answer. It might be because it is so crowded, but the virus of insincerity has spread. The dishonesty, the desire for the fast food diet of romance, the myalgia of defeat has corroded the fabric of trying to cyber meet.

My heart is broken. And I know the only way to heal is from the inside out. First loving myself for the disfigured, weak, superficial thoughts I have.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in journey

 

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dating bites

Thinking about dating. I have dated in the past several years. I dated around for awhile and frankly had the goal of dating as many people as possible. Immediately after the divorce, all I cared about was not feeling empty anymore. I had spent time feeling like a desert on the inside. It was a wasteland in there. I had been there before. I tried to drown it with alcohol for decades. It was as if I was trying to pour an oasis into my heart and soul. IT left me more thirsty and more desolate than before. Grace reached down and led me to an actual life. I began to see the sprouts of life and feel the cool breeze. I felt the summer rain on my face. It was difficult to see, I imagine. IT was watching change. As I emerged from the cocoon, I imagine it was difficult to not rush it and also to not fear it. I began to feel the desert encroach on me again. IT was an expectation to be parched. I tried. I had tasted the rain of life and couldn’t do thirst again. That longing and lack of directional honesty led to my divorce. However, if I am going to mess up, I do it with gusto and flourish. I lost my ability to practice, my friends, family, kids, church, and self concept. I was in a whole new desert. Former friends reveled in the idea that I was miserable. They spoke awful things to me. I heard the hearts of my kids break and felt the smelt bellow from their mouths. My soul was pierced as my friend and pastor shoved me away with petty anger. There was no love in the professed Christians I had surrounded myself with.

All that to say, when I was going through the divorce and horrors associated, I needed to feel again. I was looking for a life saver in an ocean of pain. I met some woman looking for the same thing. We clung to each other for warmth and safety. But when push came to shove, Id be released to the depths like Leonardo DeCaprio in the Titanic. It was short lived, and not fulfilling. I don’t regret it and learned incredible lessons. I learned that I didn’t crave the physical intimacy near as much as I thought. I wanted more. I wanted emotional intimacy.

I dated a few women that I really thought I loved. That’s not true, I loved. I felt the bond and closeness. We shared struggles and victories. I laughed again. I felt alive. I felt loved back. IT was such a welcome relief to know that I could be loved despite being a long resident of the desert. I began to crave the sympathetic ear. I hid and changed myself so that I could still feel loved. I had no understanding of how to have a mutual relationship. I became a victim. I needed to be told how to feel, how to love, and what to say. I was afraid of being alone, so I did everything to not be, firmly securing myself in the desert once again. I craved intellectual intimacy.

I dated a few smart choices and a few calculated poor choices. I was trying to find someone that I could discuss things with. I wanted someone who understood my journey. IT was a fools errand. The reality is that no amount of knowledge ever brings full understanding of another individual. As I was trying to understand, I was manipulated and cajoled. It cost me a pricey education to learn that the brain cant love.

I craved spiritual intimacy. I tried to date people touting different spiritualities. I was told that I was an answer to prayers and that the Universe shined on us. The Universe must be fickle, it fell short. Without heart and mind, a spiritual connection is hollow.

I want complete intimacy. I want journey. I want to be cherished, loved, treasured, respected, honored, questioned, delighted. And I want to cherish, love, treasure, respect, honor, question, and delight. I want the good and bad. I want the complete package. From what I can tell, many proclaim they want the same thing, but run away when it becomes real. I have so much to offer, so much to give. I want to grow with someone, three journeys: theirs, mine, and ours, all nurtured.

I ache.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in divorce, journey

 

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if it smells like a fairy tale, its poop

MY oldest daughter was called “Chicken” as a term of endearment from my ex-wife. hen she was a new born, she would wind up and cry when she was hungry.  She was very small and looked a lot like the bird in “Are you my mother”.  I don’t really understand the logic of how it became “Chicken,” but it did.  She now goes by “Monkey.”

I was thinking about that book recently. I realized that I am that bird. Not because I get hungry and wail an unhappy tune, but because I didn’t know how to form relationships. I still don’t, but I am learning.  It isn’t important how I missed the message of relationship as a child, but I did. There was just something about it all that baffled me. I wasn’t clear on how to express my needs or get the attention I desired.  I fell into the habit of crying and stealing. I wasn’t really a bad kid, but did seem to get caught a lot. I wasn’t very good at being bad. However, it did help me get attention. As I noticed that yelling, crying, and general mayhem wasn’t working for me, I ventured out of the nest. I also fell to the ground with a thump.  I didn’t know how to navigate this big world and wanted someone to care for me and help me.

I came up to the cow in the pasture, asking if it was my mother. In my story, this was girls. I wanted girls to like me. I tried to be funny. I had to, I wasn’t very athletic. I tried to be nice, because I was also conflict avoidant. I tried to be smart, which didn’t work because I was also a last student. I flirted and tried to get attention. Occasionally, I would have success. I could do all the right things and try and be the perfect boyfriend.  I developed the strange tendency to fall in love very quickly.  By the end of my adolescence, I could fall in love, run a life scenario, be divorced and depressed by the time I got back from the bathroom. I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted to be the Prince Charming. I wanted to freeze frame my life whenever it seemed perfect. But it was celluloid madness. In fairy tales and romantic comedy (adult fairy tails with brief nudity), the reality of life never seems to sneak in. The cow was not my mother.

I went to the steam shovel next. The steam shovel was alcohol. IT actually made me feel better for a short period of time. When I drank, I was 6 inches taller, gorgeous, and brilliant. It told me that I was wonderful and funny. It also said I was sexy and smart. I held hands with this pseudo-mom for a long time.

When I left the steam shovel behind, the cow reappeared. It told me that it was my mom after all. That in order to know if I was alright, I needed to have others, and women in particular, tell me I was ok. I sought it in my marriage first. It was exhausting for her, and she was unable to rebuild me. It was like having 5 million dollars to rebuild the 6 million dollar man. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know how to really love. I had been putting on a happy face and trying to do it right for a lifetime. The cow bit.

I would like to say that I had the same happy ending as the bird. I didn’t get to find my mother in the physical sense. I did hear her voice telling me that I did learn how to love, I just don’t recognize it. My fear gets in the way. My low self regard got in the way.  My mom said I should stop yelling and crying and listen to my heart.

My head is confused with the songs and movies of the 80’s. I imagine that love is possessive and forever and grand gestures. I want to think that I will believe that every little thing is magic, and we will live happily ever after just like we are in this moment, and that all I have to do is hold a boom box outside her house before my kick boxing lesson.

IT wasn’t that I didn’t learn to love. IT was I didn’t learn to love myself first.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in journey, life

 

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