Now, I cannot imagine ever loving someone like that again because I cannot imagine allowing myself to be that vulnerable again. I no longer have a need to discover myself, I have already done that. I KNOW who I am and how I fit in the world now, in a way that I did not know when I was 20. I don't need acceptance from anyone. I yam what I yam what I yam. If you do not like it, whatever.
Another big issue I have is trust. Frankly I trust no one, even trustworthy family members. How can I truly love someone if I cannot even bring them into a circle of trust?
Do I think that being in a blow-your-socks-off loving relationship wouldn;t be great? Of course it would!! DUH!! But I don't "need" it. Hell, right now I am not even looking for it. If it found me, then great. But I am too busy in my day to day life to even think about it.
I do envy those who have it. I watched my niece get M this past weekend and I do think that she and her new husband have it (I have not been convinced of this at my other niece/nephew weddings...)
Frankly after all we have been thru, it is a wonder that ANY of us even attempt to love again. But I do think that all of us do. Some seek it out. Some don;t. Some strike out, others have found love.
I guess my point is that you are not a loser just because you have not found love after D. If you have, great for you. If you have not, great for you too because you are STILL living a valid life!
It's a journey.
Years 0-2: I wanted romantic love so much! I was so used to being in a relationship... it's all I ever knew as a grown-up. But I was a lost. A wreck. And I attracted similar wrecks. My girlfriends told me I sent out negative "vibes". Huh? Thought I would just die if I couldn't find someone... and I'd be alone--and pathetic --forever. I was generally unhappy. Bad, bad, bad.
Years 2-4: The concept of romantic love became more and more foreign to me. Realized I was just not capable of a real relationship (and at the time I thought I would never be worthy of one). I started working on myself and healing. I dated quite a bit, but nothing serious. But I connected with my girlfriends. Journaled. Picked up new hobbies. Redefined "me" since I was no longer a "we". Decided that being alone forever is actually okay. Better than okay; it was fun! Alone does not mean lonely. I was getting more and more content with my life. Romantic love? Bullshit!
Years 5-6: Became a more experienced and pragmatic version of the "me" I was before my M. I liked me! Warts and all. And I started giving off those confident, positive, happy vibes that I wasn't giving out before. I didn't "need" anyone. But I started "wanting" someone: a BIG difference. My dating became a little more serious. Lasted a little longer. I became open to the possibility of a relationship. And a relationship found me.
I am now in a romantic relationship so amazing and intimate that I didn't believe was possible! All I know for sure is if I met my SO "the man of my dreams" 5 years ago, I wouldn't have been ready for him. Do we need romantic love? I now know I do. But I had to feel I was "worthy" of it first.
[This message edited by HappilyUnMarried at 11:05 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)]
But THIS relationship is built by 2 people who WANT to make it work and keep the romance alive.
And I can pretty much "ditto" what HUM wrote although my timeline was a bit different.
Year 1 after D-Day....no men, no relationships, I knew I was vulnerable and needed to heal.
Year 2 I met XSO. I was ready for something but didn't want to commit to life at this point. He was perfect for this period in my life.
Year 4 I came to the conclusion that I could lead a very happy and fulfilling life on my own, with or without XSO or any guy. I was comfy in my own skin, built a huge base of friends and support to hang with, talk to, have fun with, and socialize with. At this point I realized I would be very picky about allowing someone in my life again because I wasn't desperate, I wasn't needy, and I was having fun being single and being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
All I know for sure is if I met my SO "the man of my dreams" 5 years ago, I wouldn't have been ready for him
I think you are still too wounded and tender in your heart, OIAL. I see some of your thoughts and feelings and I was there a couple of years ago....I wouldn't let anyone in close for the fear of being hurt. I said I didn't need anyone but honestly I just wasn't ready to take that chance. I needed that year or two of healing, growing, and learning that "I" am enough, all by myself, and although I did miss the sex and physical closeness, I wasn't going to date someone just for those reasons. That was the mindset I was in when I finally allowed something deep and fulfilling into my heart.....
I think you are still too wounded and tender in your heart, OIAL
You're right, in the sense that rejection has gotten very old and I've formed scar tissue around it. Over the last few months, every now and then I'd poke back in the OLD site and browse around for potential dates, and poop out almost instantly. Why would I want to put myself through that again? It's like playing the lottery for a long time, only to finally get it that you've just been throwing your money away.
If I make finding a partner a goal, I'm bound for frustration unless I can truly let go of all my ego. If I don't make finding a partner a goal, I'll never find one. Catch 22.
So, I've chosen to believe that I don't really want a partner.
I havent' put my green light on. But, I don't think I ever did therefore it feels foreign to me. I'm trying to practice just by talking to any man that I come in contact with.
I do feel like my walls are still pretty high, but now I'm WORKING on taking them down. I feel less jaded and like I'm just now opening my eyes to the men around me. Actually LOOKING at them, trying to be friendly instead of expecting the guys to just pursue me. Which, granted, is how my youth dating life was. The guys were just there, I never had to try.
I do think I want romantic love. I liked being in a relationship, but I need to make sure my walls are down and not holding on to the pain of the past. I thought I was ready, but I'm seeing now that I have still been pretty shut off.
It sound like, to me, you are going through some more self realizations. Recognizing that your walls are still up too.
Yes, flirting is uncomfortable for me, but I found I have to give more obvious signals to guys. Be open. So, maybe you should try to flirt a little with harmless women...grandmothers, ladies at the grocery checkout, etc. Just kinda practicing being open.
Rejection sucks. I don't like it either, but I do realize that if I am not compatible with someone, it isn't personal. It just means our FOO issues and our personalities don't mesh well.
I still think online dating is brutal and not a good way to go for you. I won't do it. I know it is more difficult to meet people IRL, but some girls need a guy to kind of grow on them. (I'm one....I don't date guys I don't know, which obviously makes it difficult for most guys but I just won't do it. I prefer to get to know a guy a little bit first, as a friend or at least see what type of character he has. I have to feel a bit of a warmth towards someone before I will even go out on a date with them. Of course, I'm weird and a lot of women do date strangers....that is how you are supposed to get to know someone, but it is very slow going and I can't form a deep attachment to someone based on a few dinner dates. And I won't stick with someone without some type of attachment.)
I know that probably doesn't help, but I am just letting you know there are all types out there, there will be someone that fits with you, but it may take a while, and you have to be open to it. Right now, you may be limiting yourself on what you would consider (you remember this guy is considerably younger than me and pursued me for a year before I opened up my mind to him. We both feel it was totally worth it though.) And I know you said you don't want to pursue someone a year, but he wasn't mooning around and not keeping his options open either. In fact, I actually tried to help him get other girls, but they obviously didn't work out.....
If I don't make finding a partner a goal, I'll never find one.
I think you really need to examine this assumption, OIAL, because it's leading you to try to sell yourself on this...
which you aren't necessarily buying and is why you find yourself here asking us to reinforce this idea.
Maybe this is a different season in your life right now, one where you just simply don't have the time or the energy, given your other priorities, to nurture a relationship. Ok. But that doesn't mean it will always be that way. Sometimes we just need to let life lead for a few of the songs. You may find that she's a really great dancer, ya know?
[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 8:42 PM, June 6th (Thursday)]
It won't just happen by itself. And I don't run into new people in the course of day to day living. And, being a guy, I'm usually expected to take the initiative. So it has to be a goal with some energy and effort behind it.
But you're right. I don't have the energy these days. Life is keeping me exceptionally busy. The thought of romance is still a tease, but I don't currently have the wherewithal or the desire, really, to dive back in just yet.
What were the odds? I didn't even bother looking.
And then all the other stuff happened.
Such is life.
A few of her points:
WHOLEHEARTED living means cultivating…
1. Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
2. Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
3. Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
4. Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
5. Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
6. Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
7. Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
8. Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
9. Meaningful Words: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”
10. Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
I remember being married to X and realizing that romance was over for me for ever and how sad that felt. This was a few years before the A. I said how sad it felt that romance was over for me to my X and he just shrugged his shoulders, like so what? or 'whaddya-wan-me-todoaboutit?' and I felt even sadder. Damn that was depressing.
I should have gone out and seen a lawyer and filed for divorce the next day. Seriously. That was The Moment. And I just didn't act.
I know with great clarity now that if I am in a serious relationship that I need to be with someone that knows how to cultivate romance and acts accordingly.
Right now I am in a romantic relationship, but we are both working hard on jobs/career/making enough $ to pay bills that our relationship is like a little oasis or vacation in the middle of endless hours of work and practical responsibilities. It's sweet and romantic, but it doesn't occupy a lot of my energy. It's a nice thing to enjoy on our very little time off.
I seriously would not have the energy for hearing ILY 20 times a day or anything more romantic than it is.