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Dating rules.

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cmego posted 4/16/2014 09:43 AM

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently…and of course it finally hit me that I'm at my d-day anniversary. 4 years.

My ex took the kids on a fabulous vacay for Spring Break. I get to see all the photos and listen to them on FaceTime every night having a wonderful time. I miss them and I'm jealous.

No one talks about how feeling "off" after all of this is also OK. We are supposed to be healed and perfect and move on with our life. Find a relationship that makes sense again. But, at some level, isn't it OK that life changed drastically for me and I am forever changed? Some for the worse, but mostly for the best?

Where I am hurt worse is around relationships with men.

I feel like when I'm dating…I'm watching everyone else play a game and I wasn't given the rules. I watch from the sidelines wanting to play. I try to play the game, I watch everyone else to figure out the rules. I listen to different people tell me different rules and none of the rules make any sense to me. I keep fucking up from the fear of the game. Fear of failure.

"Let the guy chase you!!"
"You HAVE to flirt with them!!"
"Don't let them know you are interested!"
"Show some cleavage!"
"Don't reply for at least 4 hours!"
"Be sexy"
"Be a size 2"
"Don't have sex for at least 3 dates"
"Don't introduce them to your children"
"Just be friends"
"Make eye contact wherever you go."
"Smile at men"
"Go where the men are!"
"Be mysterious"
"Men are clueless, you have to tell them you are interested in them"
"Men only want beautiful, younger women"
"Men don't really care what you look like as long as you show up"
"You are so cute, men should be falling all over you!"
"Men only want long hair"

I literally realized yesterday that I keep trying to do what everyone is telling me to do. I keep hoping this game will make sense to me.

So, I took my dating books and I threw them in the trash. I cancelled the email advice from websites promising me the "key to understanding how to get a man."

The only thing I can do is be myself. If I fuck it up, I fuck it up.

Be. Myself.

nowiknow23 posted 4/16/2014 09:46 AM


Amazonia posted 4/16/2014 10:37 AM

The only thing I can do is be myself. If I fuck it up, I fuck it up.

I bet you're going to do great.

ajsmom posted 4/16/2014 10:46 AM

Standing Ovation!


norabird posted 4/16/2014 10:56 AM

How freeing!

Sadmumma posted 4/16/2014 11:05 AM

Be yourself, indeed. You may not be everyone's 'cup of tea'... But you'll be someone's 'perfect brew'

Williesmom posted 4/16/2014 11:05 AM

Yep. I had the same epiphany.

nutmegkitty posted 4/16/2014 11:08 AM

Love this!

kg201 posted 4/16/2014 11:25 AM

If you need to follow those sorts of rules to have real human contact with someone, then date a law book, otherwise be you yourself.

Ellejay posted 4/16/2014 11:30 AM

Love it.

Quite frankly it has been so long since I've "dated" I don't think I would have a clue how to go about it anymore. I am almost back to pre-pubescent status. Maybe I should keep that list

A friend of mine recently started dating a younger man and she came rushing home one day saying "Do you know he's got a PA!" I didn't think having a Personal Assistant was such a big deal but NO apparently these days PA stands for Prince Alfred. I didn't have the heart to tell her I had no idea what she was talking about so I googled it only to be greeted by a lot of pictures of mens dicks with metal rings pierced right through them. My only question is............WHY?

I think I might stay home for a while longer.


better4me posted 4/16/2014 12:09 PM

Like you and WilliesMom I have recently had the same epiphany. I'm me. I'm enough. There are no rules to follow. Running around trying to get it right, made me get it wrong. All wrong. And it took me about 3 years to figure that out!

Funny thing though, it was a dating book that got me to realize this... It wasn't the usual "do this" and "do that" book, it was more of a "figure yourself out first" kind of book. And I was ready, and it made sense, and it changed everything...

PurpleRose posted 4/16/2014 12:25 PM

So I'm finally doing something right??!!

I am being me- nothing more, nothing less. And I have found an incredible man who wants to hear me, takes me places, enjoys my company and cares about my feelings.

Just being me. It's so refreshing!

[This message edited by PurpleRose at 4:53 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]

cmego posted 4/16/2014 14:54 PM

I think a lot of my dating and meeting new people is somehow driven from fear. That fear is what I'm trying to get on top of.

I do rock. I have a 4.0 in my grad classes. Just bought a larger new house. I am damn cute. I can handle large amounts of responsibility without blinking…yet somewhere fear grew and I've almost allowed it to take over.

If people want to be in my life, then they will be. If I fuck it up, then hopefully they will allow me a pass or two, and I have to learn to give a pass or two.

There are no rules. Or, the rules as I knew them no longer exist.

I know the fear is a fear of rejection. How to stay on top of it is the next goal. Don't let the fear rule me, but allow my strengths to shine through. I am going to make mistakes and it is OK to be fearful, it is protecting me (as a dear SI friend told me). Fear has its job. Fear protects my heart from allowing another man to do what my ex did. But, fear is also preventing me from opening up to possibilities.

The fear can perch on a branch in my heart, it has its value, it just can't rule my decisions. Hope has to find a way to rule.

PurpleRose posted 4/16/2014 17:00 PM

I just had this exact conversation- fear and rejection- with SO over the weekend. I'm trying so hard to allow myself to go along with the process of opening my heart again, but it's just so damn scary!

I have not opened up my heart because I don't want to ever be as hurt as I was from the affair... But if I do not let go, how can I move forward into a new relationship? I am very lucky to have someone who completely understands my fear...

And even though he says he really cares about my feelings and won't push me, I need to open my heart fully to him, or circle the wagons and push him away.


I love that you posted about the stupid dating "rules" because I have felt like I never know what I am SUPPOSED to be doing, so I was just doing what I felt was right.

You do rock cmego. Letting go of the fear has been my biggest obstacle so far. I'm a work in progress.... You will find your path too just by being you.

gypsybird87 posted 4/16/2014 19:38 PM

Be. Myself.

^^^^ Bingo. That's all you need to do.

Ever heard of Trent Shelton? Amazing guy, motivational speaker and highly quotable. One of my favorites by him:

"You're perfect for the heart that's meant to love you."

Be you, cmego.

Tripletrouble posted 4/16/2014 21:00 PM

Awesome! One of the great part of hitting my 40's is that I am pretty much at peace with myself. I live a good clean life and I act like an adult. I don't get all the "rules". It seems rather childish, and I'd rather be with a man.

Add it to the list of things I would never have learned about anywhere but SI.

phmh posted 4/17/2014 20:09 PM

I'm glad to read this. I'm all for people being themselves. If my XWH had not tried to cover up his true self, I would have saved myself a lot of pain. And I'm sure that's true of a lot of relationships.

I'm eccentric and I'm not going to hide who I am to attract someone because if I'm playing games, then they're not attracted to the real me, and then things are never going to work!!!

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