I was almost done writing a different blog post for tonight.
I was almost done.
Let me tell you, it’s powerful. It touches on women’s issues. It was written from my heart.
But the couple at the table in front of me started arguing.
I have been single for a while now and forgot the part of being with someone you love like crazy who can also drive you like, crazy. I am also generally not an argumentative person, particularly in public, so this kind of suckered me in.
Slightly raised voices, leaning in to get the point through gritted teeth, and side glances at me as I was in closest proximity to them.
I was very much seated in an audience position.
Don’t judge me. I still kept trying to finish my post. Tried to get into the feeling I had only a few moments before she raised her voice, and he raised up his hands in response….
But I couldn’t.
I felt like I was a peering cautiously into an exhibit at the relationship zoo.
More raised voices, her running off to the bathroom, and more side glances. She comes back in tears, and proceeds to ignore him as they look at their menus. Attempt to deflate the tension in the air with a softer, lower tone. Hair flips then silence.
Maybe I can stop chatting online and get back to this heartfelt meaningful pos-
Uh oh. Suddenly with clearly frustrated body language he leaned across the table and did the thing.
And I knew exactly what he was going to tell her, more or less.
You love to eat with-I have never really think about this, but food, meals, the way I cook and explore…it would be only fitting to be with someone who carries at least some of my interests in this area!
Who helps you evolve, and wants you to.
Who loves your heart as much as your backside-looks change, we are more than our beautiful bodies, and you want to be with someone who is just as attracted, if not more, to your heart.
That enjoys your silenceas much as your words….no awkwardness in the quiet. I was actually thinking I would like to be with someone who also appreciates it.
That motivates you just by thinking about them.
Who is ready to be vulnerable with you! For those of us who date men-listen up. A sensitive man who shows you his heart on all sides is showing you he trusts you. Appreciate that. In the world we live in right now.
We need these men to more boldly step forward.
I don’t spend much time looking around for advice about being single because it all tends to be the same, and in my 30s it’s unfortunate that for the most part, advice is based off of trying to help me reach some end point of ultimate happiness. I very much appreciated this video, and just had to share.
To the ones who are happily single-you can continue to be truly happy and still desire to connect with someone! And, to the ones who are not-from personal experience, you won’t be able to genuinely connect with someone, until you can truly be happy.
Most of the time I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I plan on certain things happening-eating, sleeping(at some point), work, and bills. Most everything else, I navigate day to day, gut feeling by gut feeling.
I kinda just do as I go, and go as I do.
I love it.
I love it because I used to plan a lot in the past.
I had a plan for every possible negative outcome that could happen when it came to my health, relationships, and any natural talents I possessed.
You see, all the planning I was doing essentially stemmed from fear. Sketched out by my insecurities, outlined by my worries, and essayed by my anxiety.
I didn’t realize how much this way of thinking contributed to my habit of self-sabotage until I saw a therapist.
Which is a whole different blog post I might get to in the future.
Back to the planning thing. Planning is not all negative. Planning can be really great, and imperative for certain situations. The planning I was consistently doing was not healthy. Over the years I learned, and am learning, what kind of planner I am, what kind of planner I want to be, and what kind of planner I don’t want to be.
These are three things I believe we should not hold off on for the perfect plan.
The weather, people, and creative ideas.
Waiting for the perfect sunshine weather to take a walk along that beach you love? First of all, be grateful you live close enough to a beach to do that because I am very jealous right now, and second, put on a hoodie…go for that walk. Waiting for the perfect person to sweep you off your feet? Sweep yourself off your feet, and your vision of this desired person will become less narrow, thus opening your eyes to greater possibilities.
Have an idea that charges up your creative mojo, lights up your mind, and ignites your soul? Don’t wait to talk to someone you think has it all together to help you perfectly lay things out. Don’t wait until you’ve sorted through all your notes, sketches, or recordings. Pluck one thing from the beautiful mess of a potentially amazing idea, and do something with it.
Because if you wait until some perfect sign, person, or plan comes around you are not really doing much more than waiting, are you not?
You gotta do at least one thing with your something in order to figure out if this something, is even…something!
And who knows? This one thing from this something could be the key to discovering if it is even anything.
I have a student at my work who is a little negative Nancy. She never seems entirely happy from moment to moment, nor easily satisfied. For example, one day we were coloring during free time, and she mentioned wanting to have her old teacher back. I asked what did she like about her that made her want be back in her class? She replied “Well she let me draw and color during free time.”
A few days ago it ended up being just us two girls and a handful of boys in program. For first period they all wanted to play basketball. Normally I play with them (grandma shots and all), but of course, my negative Nancy was unhappy that we all wanted to do something physically active…during physical activity time. She slumped onto a bench nearby and crossed her arms. I decided to see if I could help shift her mood.
“Have you ever played M.A.S.H.?”
I took out some paper from my work binder and gave her first turn. She chose potential jobs, number of children, pets, and “types” of future husbands. When it was time to count off she declared that picking a type of husband was the hardest part.
I might have to agree with her on that one.
When we finished the first round she was appalled at the job she landed. “Whyyyy did I get THAT job?!” Imitating her signature whiny tone I answered.
“Becaaaause, you CHOSE that job!”
Then, it was my turn.
Now this is where it got kind of cool. My girl initially picked some pretty mediocre shit. She had never played the game, and was understandably unfamiliar with how to fully engage it. So as my turns went on, and I had named a horse as one of my pets, “a wild warrior” as a potential husband, and one of my jobs getting paid to travel it started to sink in for her.
There were no limits.
What were her dreams like at this age?
We played back and forth for the entire period. By the time we got to her last turn she was clapping in delight, as she landed an “artistic guy,” a pet dragon, zero kids, and a job as an artist. When I asked if she thought these things could come true she shrugged, but then mentioned with a slight smile, “But it’s what I WANT.”
Later that night I thought about our time together and how my turns went. The initial ones were more in the area of magical outcomes, more silly to reflect the lightness of the game to my Nancy, but also with a hint of truth to which I would not share with even the closest of friends. Sometimes children keep the best secrets. One turn midway I realized was what I thought I wanted, and the very last turn ended up being most of things I currently, really wanted.
When the date is “funny” it means at one point I was doing my uncomfortable laugh, and/or at one point confused by who my date was.
Generally, as a human.
I grab my keys posthaste as we walk to my car, and give the polite pat on the back hug as I say thank you. I immediately want to call a friend so that I can transmute the oddness of my experience with comedy. Over the years I have had a handful of first dates that when shared with friends inspired the type of laughter that always made me feel like a stand up comedian. And still does.
What is my point? Well, my point is this…laughter really is the best medicine in the case of first dates. Before to calm nerves, during to connect, and after to decompress. Whether through continued laughter from the date (phew! it went well.), or a fresh new set of laughs to share with a good friend by way of simple story telling.
Single friend over 30, it can easily feel daunting at times. I understand. I empathize. I live it. But I also try not to see it this way. Why think things are daunting when this can end up becoming a belief that things are hopeless? My Beautiful, Hopeful, and Uniquely Spirited single person-feeling hopeless can turn into harsher types of negative thinking. If you are to attract positive you need to be positive and happy about dating. And you (and I) don’t need anyone or anything in our lives to create these feelings.
That is our job.
So I say why not be a little humorous about it? Bad date? Oh well. It was one date and you knew at one point during it this person was not someone you wanted to invest anymore time with. So you make the best of it, you take your leftover food home, maybe crack open a beer, curl up on the couch, and call a friend. As you share and reflect on the date, placing yourself outside of it you now realize the funny parts. The odd or confusing parts. The parts that made you have a better understanding of not only the type of person you are looking for, but the type of person you are at the core. Nothing about the date can change that, and that is the beauty in it all. You just had this one date that didn’t make you really excited, happy, or yes, laugh.
But one day you will lock eyes with someone and you will feel it as the conversation flows. Where the laughs happen during the date, after the date, via text, the phone calls, and everywhere else; for so much longer Thereafter.
Do you ever ask yourself this question? Maybe you’ve had to make a decision that would be great for you but might upset or shift a situation that you are either way too comfortable with, or someone else is?
I used to do this too much. It was like I was always second priority when it came to making choices. Even when the only person that would be affected was me-yes, I would put my “eh” self before my best one. And we know what this generally ties into right?
So, I try to ask myself these days:
“Who do I love more?”
Then I compare. For example, something I check in with frequently is the people I choose to keep close and support in my life. Boundaries can be a frequent issue for the givers. So, if I am “helping” someone by constantly giving them advice an ear and my time…but it is sucking up my mental energy, I would (and have) asked: “Who do love I more-that person, and their perhaps unrealized need to feed off my energy or me, and my need to preserve it?”
Does that make sense? Think about how effective this question can be if we really sit with it. It can even be for little things. Like, “Who do I love more-Jack and the Box jalapeño poppers or my body which has to deal with uncomfortably digesting it?”
So next time you are faced with a decision that you KNOW in your gut could have an excellent healthy solid answer if it not for some external factor or possible outcome that is maybe not so hot, again including your own not so hot feelings to stay comfortable or agreeable…ask yourself this question.
Who do I love more?
Because even when we have the best intentions and considerations for the things outside ourselves, that answer should pretty much always somehow,
Yes friends, I had a dream relationship with Khal Drogo. He bought me a sweet red leather jacket, and ice cream. He picked me up from my dorm every day to see how I was doing. At night we would sit barefoot on the grass under the stars, and talk for “hours.” He adored me. I woke up pretty amused! And of course, kind of bummed, but grateful for our day in the sun. Or should I say moon.
Another feeling I experienced when I woke up though, was a twinge of discomfort. I had forgotten what it felt like to hold someone’s affection this way, and to have someone be completely enamored with me. I can only describe it as discomfort because it has been quite a few years in my reality that I have experienced this type of attention from someone. It felt nice in the dream, albeit it only that. You all know how real they can feel.
It is in my nature to be affectionate, loving, and expressive to those who already do, or begin to take up space in my heart. I am aware this is not common of most to outwardly express it with such ease, even if they feel it. Rather than search for reciprocity I consider it my gift, and part of the way I help light up this crazy world. I am guessing the discomfort stemmed from the loss of recognizing how good it fucking feels to be shown love in this way. Excuse the french, but come on…doesn’t it feel fucking fantastic??
Anyway, I shared this dream on Facebook with some of my friends, and as usual, I have my one greatest cheerleader, who is always there to remind me, that I deserve what I dream. Another slight moment of familiar discomfort returns with her comment, but then I override it with what my true nature knows. YES. You are right my friend. You are right.
Although I might have to tweek the dream a tad, seeing that I am not in college anymore, and Jason Momoa might not have the time to see me every day. What with his travels and all…
The truth of the matter Is
I am not longing for a relationship. I am hungry for a connection. I am not waiting for “Mr. Right.” I am continuously working on myself to always feelright. But not for anyone else. Just me. I figure, if I am going to treat someone awesome, I need to feel awesome.
And as I’ve shifted my perceptions on what singleness means to me, I experience a different opportunity. Because I do not have the day to day romantic connection with anyone at this time, I open myself to what it feels like to heartily fall in love in other ways. When I first moved to Texas I met a girl in a meetup group who I instantly connected with. I fell in love with her spirit and beauty within weeks of getting to know her! She lights up my life. I am in love with the first savory bite of a really spicy jalapeño popper. I am in love with my California friends more than ever because I am often reminded they are irreplaceable. I am in love with my bedroom window, and the way the sun hits it later in the afternoon.
I fall completely in love with my Nephew and Niece every single time they call me “Curly Titi.”
Would it be nice to meet a cute guy who could talk books and pull me in for heated kisses while we’re taking a walk? Hell to the Yes. I rest in the knowing this is my future somewhere. So there is no need to wait for something that has already arrived. It’s just not my time, or I guess, it’s just not ours.
So to my 30+ single friends…You’ve asked, and I am answering…
Don’t Wait. Just Be.
P.s. Disclaimer…I do believe those in romantic partnerships still fall in love in other ways, but my perspective can only represent my current situation =)
I pulled up the text messages with clearly mundane, disinterested replies. I gave a huge throaty sigh, And as if a mother or great friend were scolding I heard myself say:
“Maggie of course you like him, he’s an asshole.”
So I am doing the Internet/Smartphone uhh…”dating” thing.
Actually don’t really like it, and don’t believe I’m going to meet “the one” this way, but figure I could use the practice, and some of the experiences I’ve had have been these wonderfully weird stories to share. Which IS one of the fun things about dating in my 30s compared to my 20s.
In a good way, I care less.
20s: Does HE like ME?
30s: Do I like HIM?
20s: He hasn’t called even though I texted him hello, what did I do? Maybe I should text one more time. I’ll add a cute unnaturally-posed selfie so he’ll be reminded of how pretty I am.
30s: Wait, that guy I saw last week hasn’t called. Oh well.
Where’s the beer I ordered?
Ya’ll wanna go home soon? I can’t wait to take off my bra.
(There’s always a but)…
I have noticed one habit I still haven’t completely shaken off that really needs to get squashed once and for all. And I am glad this has come to my attention NOW…while I…practice…”dating”…
I still go for assholes.
Oh yea, I used to date assholes. Chase assholes. Fall in love with them.
Spent the last year or so addressing this pattern, but hadn’t really dated to put into practice what I’d learned. Then recently I started to notice who I was paying more attention to.
The guys that didn’t have any descriptions on their profiles. The guys that looked like my asshole exes. The guys that didn’t want to actually meet me they just wanted to text a lot. Red flags. Everywhere.
And then I thought about the few exes I couldn’t say were jerks. I met them through friends. They were weird like me. They were dorky in some way like me. They were kind.
Bear with me on this post…I am feeling a bit salty as I start this.
Thursday marked the closing of a thread of toxic relationships in my life.
At first I was upset-this last friend was someone I had known for a long time, and I expected more from her because of that. I expected to be treated with the consideration that for the first time in our friendship I spoke up for myself. I was kind yet honest, and I was…you know…considerate. But no. Apparently I struck a major cord by communicating that I needed some space so she decided to put permanent space between us.
The Facebook unfriending!
When I realized this was the manner of which I was getting the boot I had to chuckle. I guess in this sense, my expectations were met.
But as many of us learn the hard way…it is in general, really not healthy to hold expectations with others. Especially the ones you have seen repeat the same negative patterns in other relationships.
Why would I be any different?
And that is totally okay.
I don’t believe every single thing happens for a reason, but I do believe that the last few people who have exited my life in ways that do not honor all the years we’ve shared with each other is a sign I am experiencing the clearing of emotional clutter. Because clearing means creating space for greater things to come.
I would like to thank these last few people who I have parted ways with.
For your time in the past, however we left things it healthily clears my present, but I do honestly wish you well with your future, and release you with love.
I am going to keep it moving looking forward, and up.