Let’s Be Honest

Growing up, we were taught by our parents, role models, friends, favorite Romantic Novel, and even society, that when in pursuit of a suitor, we shouldn’t be ourselves. On a first date, we should make small talk and avoid major topics like politics, religion, and even exes. We were taught to not eat our entire meal, or order a salad to maintain our feminity. We were taught to laugh at the man’s jokes, even when you’ve heard them before, or they weren’t all that humorous. We were taught to be flirtatious, but not too revealing. To summarize, we were taught to hold back, and put on a front that men find “attractive” or worthy of their approval and attraction to us.

But here’s what I say… screw that. Soon enough they will open the door to the closet that holds your skeletons, and the whole facade you put on, in the beginning, is destroyed.

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In a generation where everything seems unknown, and no one knows the truth about anything, why not be honest? Why not say what comes to mind without the “impress the man” filter? Why not show all your skeletons upfront so they know what got you to where you are today? Why not talk about touchy subjects and open the table for discussion? And for the love of all things holy, we should order what we want, and eat however much of it as we want.

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I’m a believer and an advocate for the “Brutally Honest” dating method. I believe that we should say what we want to say, expose our weird laugh, tell stories that we find funny, explain our weird theories, talk about our family and where we grew up. Just create an environment where the conversation could go anywhere. Let’s create engaging conversations that expose who we are as people. Let’s talk about who we were, who we are now, and who we want to be. Talk about goals and ambitions. Talk about fears and pet peeves. Talk about your exes. Talk about mistakes you’ve made. Break the rules.

Before we get carried away… I’m not saying to show up in your sweatpants and cuss every other word. Still have class, still, have pride in yourself, and be confident.

I’m not a dating expert. I’m not happily married to the love of my life because I used this method. But,  I have opened my “potential suitors” up a lot in terms of communication. I’ve learned a lot. Some dates became meaningful relationships that taught me so much. And some dates were just first dates only, because I found out many red flags, or they found some issues with me. But you know what? That’s just fine because it saved us both time, money, and emotional investment.

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So women and men too, let’s be ourselves. Let’s show our dates, ourselves, and the world what we are made of. Let’s stop worrying so much about how we should act and what we should say on our first date, and let’s focus on who we are as people. Pay attention to who is sitting across the table. Learn what they have to offer, and learn what makes them tick. Meanwhile, show them what you have to offer. If it doesn’t work out, it’s probably for the best that it ends now. And if it works out, down the road, it’ll be the best thing in the world, because there are no secrets to be discovered, and no room for dishonesty and deceit. Let’s be honest.

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So… am I ready to date?

Catching up on the last couple of days…

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I went to therapy on Tuesday night for my bi-weekly appointment. I’ve been feeling kinda sad and overwhelmed.  She thinks that I’m ready to date again.  But before I elaborate on me being ready to date again, let me say a few things about my going to therapy.  I couldn’t write that sentence without thinking that I would be judged for admitting that I see a therapist, but I think there needs to be more awareness around mental health.  As an extrovert, sometimes I want to be in the limelight of the world but in a second it can feel like too much, and it feels like there’s too much energy being thrown at me to process.  A couple of years ago, I was brutally assaulted and started experiencing a high frequency of anxiety and depression due to the assault. I became a shut in due to my fear of that night, sounds I heard and the not rational fear of “they” will come back. I spent days in my hall closet in fear, that behavior and fear ended up hurting me.  I  suffered from extreme anxiety (especially when it came to men) and I didn’t take care of myself and lost about 45 pounds.  I don’t know how to on some days to deal with the fear,  I should be able to function but some days I just can’t  and what it’s supposed to look like if I did, but I didn’t know how to get there.  And so began the journey, with my therapist as my teacher and guide.

It’s been almost 4 years since I began therapy and at times I’m doing well then on other days I’m a train wreck.  I’ve changed a lot and have a better sense of self-confidence and love and appreciation for myself that I didn’t have before.  I’m still a work in progress, as we all are, but I’m much stronger than I was when I began.  Therapy isn’t for everyone, but for me, it really helped.  For anyone considering going, it’s worth a shot.  At least if you go once and you don’t think it’s for you, you can say you tried it.

So — about me being ready to date again.  According to Colleen and Tracy  (my therapists), they think I’m ready.  they think the recent events with my birthday last year and the “friend” I met  is an indication that I’m looking for a connection but my fears are holding me back, so I choose situations where I know I’ll be “safe” — i.e, nothing can truly happen between us and so I won’t have to deal with the messiness of a real relationship and the possible pain that can come, and I won’t have to deal with my demons that only come out when there’s a guy involved.  I’m also ready because I’m at a point where I don’t consider finding a partner to be essential to my happiness, and so I won’t put any pressure on the situation.  All accurate statements.  Anyway, I’m saying no and the thought is definitely in my head.  I don’t know when I’ll do something about it, but I’ll know when it’s right.  I’m not really going to think about it too much.

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Do not go gentle….

This weekend was not one of the best weekends for me. It’s not that anything bad happened in particular, it was more that I had a deep sense of melancholy.

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I thought back on the past few years, the adventures that I had, the friends that have now become strangers and the sense of life that used to burn through my veins.

 

I had so much life in me. I had so much to look forward to. So much to live for.

What happened to me? What happened to that woman I used to be? The one who would say yes to any adventure, the one who never say no to trying something new…the one who could laugh so loud and so much that tears streamed down my face and my stomach hurt.

I lost her somewhere along the way. In between working and stress and trying to stay afloat I completely lost myself. The essence of who I am.

A warrior. A fighter. A woman who does not let the world get her down.

 

But I have let the world get me down. I have let work become my life, I have let stress rule my life and I feel like I am carrying the world on my shoulders.

I left so much of what made me happy behind. I stopped exercising  because of my health (heart, depression and anxiety)  and because I could no longer afford it. I left going to Temple because all I found there was fake people living empty lives. I left so many friends behind because I knew they were not good for me…

And what have I become? A loner? A recluse? A wolf with no pack?

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I want it back! I want my life back! I want to live a quality life…not this shell of a life that I am living right now.

The word “Warrior” was a word many people used to describe me…but I no longer feel like I am worth of it. What have I fought? What have I concurred? What difference have I made?

I used to make a difference…I used to be this strong, independent, Amazonian woman. I used to be a wild woman who ran with wolves.

Who am I now? I can’t remember the last time I went on an adventure. I can’t remember the last time I truly laughed. I can’t remember the last time I really felt strong.

 

This made me think of a poem by Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night”. Not because I am dying or anything, but because I want to fight again. I want to fight for my life again. For my happiness. I deserve a quality life, a good life… a happy life.

Not this. Not this that I am living right now. I will get through this darkness, I have done it many times before and I will do it again.

I just have to start. And it starts now.

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“Do not go gentle into that good night”- Dylan Thomas

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Some life lessons…and random thoughts

This post was going to be one about honesty and lying and how we find it so difficult to be honest. And it is still going to be…but I have come across so many other ideas that I feel I need to express and that have been sitting with me for a while now.
So, call this a life-lesson blog entry. Or a random brain fart entry. It is yet again one of those things that I need to write in order to get it out of my brain.
I need to do that every now and again when things get too crowded in there.
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Firstly, I heard a comment on a show I was watching yesterday: “Whats so complicated about being honest?”

As simple as this question sounds, it is layered with doubt and insecurity and is actually quite complex.
People lie. It is what we do. We lie to save face, we lie to protect, we lie to hide…we lie on a daily basis.
I am not talking about massive, life altering lies and if you have, then the lie must have protected a hurt or your damaged soul to have told such a lie and to the receivers ” Before you cast the first stone , look within your own closet for skeletons. I am talking about those little white lies that are so quick to form and so quick to be dispensed. One can almost understand and justify why we lie to others, but what gets me the most is that we lie to ourselves. We tell ourselves lies about ourselves on a daily basis. We tell ourselves that we are okay, that we are coping. We tell ourselves that we deserve to be treated the way that we are. We try and justify our actions through lies. Why? Why would you lie to yourself? It is probably the most damaging thing you can do to yourself! Because, in all honesty, you are hurting no one but yourself. And if you look at it that way… doesn’t that make you want to think twice about how you see yourself and your life?
I am guilty of this. I lie to myself all the time. I tell myself that I deserve to be treated like shit. I tell myself that I am not good enough to go after my hearts desires. I even tell myself that if I’m lied to, cheated on, it’s okay because I’ve lied before, it’s what I deserve…
There are so many things that I lie to myself about… because it is easier. It is easier to face a lie than what it is to deal with the truth. More often than not, the truth is harsh. It hurts and it is like a slap through the face. Stupidly enough, one of the things I have been passionately lying to myself about is that I am okay with being alone. That I am okay with being single and that I don’t want to be in a relationship.
Telling myself, I deserve the scraps of  that, so called relationships of my past have been thrown my way…What a load of bull!
I deserve the best kind of relationship. I deserve to be with someone who loves me, accepts me for who I am and who is proud of me.
Proud to have me in their life.
I don’t want to be a little secret. A occasional time-filler. I deserve better than that.
That is also why I am now going to be very honest with the people in my life. I no longer have time for people who don’t make time for me.
I am tired of going out of my way for others when they don’t even give me the time of day.
People who make plans and promises and then cancel? Sorry…you’re out!
People who only contact me when it is going bad with them? I am not your psychologist.
I have people in my life who are actually in my life. People who have stuck by me and who I have stuck by, through thick and thin.
They are few, but they are quality. The rest…well the rest I am no longer going to even make an effort with.
I was promised so much by “family/friends” only to have them cancel on me because something better came along… that’s not right. And that is a lie of love for your family and a friendship.
Another thought that I wanted to write about is that of life and living and all that fun stuff. I don’t want to die knowing I did not live.
We get so caught up in work and relationships and commitments and stress that we forget to do the one thing we were created to do: Live. Even as I am writing this I know that I am guilty of this. There are moments in my life that I can say I have truly lived. But they are completely overshadowed by my absolute fear of life. I am so scared of taking that risk and doing what it is that I want to do, that I freeze and accept that this is as good as it gets. This can’t be as good as it gets. Because if it is then I demand a refund. Living paycheck to paycheck, barely making it by, constantly being broken down by people who are “superior”… They never experienced what you have been through or going through,  so you must have asked for it?!?
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Is that life? Is that how its supposed to be?
I understand that we all need to make a living. I understand that not all of life can be an adventure and extreme and fun. But what I do know…is that this is not the be all and end all for me. I deserve more than this.
I have been dealt blow after blow after blow the past few months and I am really getting sick of it now. All I am asking for, is one good thing to happen. One ray of sunshine that can light the way. I know I am a fighter and I know that I will get through whatever is thrown my way…but it would be nice if what is thrown my way is something positive.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means wallowing in self pity about the way things are. I mean, I have some pretty amazing people in my life and I have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Its more of a…if I can just get a leg-up.
Just that little boost, then I can get out of this final layer that I have been stuck under.
I am ready for new challenges, new adventures, new opportunities. I know I have so much more to give. I know I have so much more life in me!
Fuckin’ hell! I have been through hell and back and I have come out on top and I am damn proud of that. I know I am strong.
I know I am a fighter and I know that I will conquer anything that comes my way.
But even a fighter needs the war to end some time. My war has been going on for long enough. So…even if my last ray of sunshine is simply that it catches the last of …light…and that lies and pain of my past have stolen my identity, my self and caused havoc in my life.
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Letting go. That will already be like a burst of sunshine.
I guess what I am trying to say is: Be honest. Not only with those around you, but with yourself as well.
It is scary as hell and you will probably be met with resistance and rejection and who knows what else.
But you will also be met with gratitude and respect and unexpected awesomeness (of this I am convinced).
Live. Even if all you do is take 5 minutes a day to do something that you absolutely love to do. Those 5 minutes of selfish enjoyment can go a long way.
De clutter. Remove the people in your life who suck the life out of yours.
Stop making excuses for people.
Stop giving them second, third, fourth and fifth chances. They don’t respect you or your time.
So why should you bend over backward to accommodate them when it is convenient for them?
Never stop pursuing the life you know you deserve. Never settle for mediocre, the good enough or safe… Don’t let fear rule your life.
Love. the people you love with all that you have.
And tell them that you love them.
As much as you can.
You never know when you wont be able to anymore.
Appreciate the small things. A perfectly made cup of coffee. A crested Carolina Wren singing outside your window.
A sunset after a hectic day at work. The feeling of waking up at the crack of dawn and pursuing your passion before the world starts to wake up. Dancing around to your favorite song without fear of looking like an idiot. No one looks stupid when they are doing something that they love.
Don’t be afraid of looking like an idiot! Try that new sport. Dance to your own beat. Sing as loud and  horrible as you can.
Tell someone how you feel. Embrace your inner child. You will be surprised how many people are out there…just waiting for you to come out and play

Come on over, Baby or Not

It would seem that I had epiphany while I was in the bath.. Maybe it is the gentle swooshing of the water, maybe it is the soothing smell of the bubble bath or maybe it is the echo of my singing in the bathroom. Bathrooms have great acoustics…and for the non-gifted singers like me, this is fantastic! So this particular 20/20 vision, “Ah-ha” moment was to do with the style in which we date these days.
We don’t.
We have forgotten how to date and how to behave on dates. I have spoken about dating behavior in a previous post, so I am not going to go into that all that much here. This has more to do with the build up toward meeting someone. Especially if it is the first time that you will be meeting them.
When did it become acceptable to invite someone over to your house on the first date (And I am not talking about coffee after the date)? When did it become acceptable to stop whoo-ing someone and just “hang-out”
We have become a generation of lazy, ill-mannered, selfish daters. Look, I am all for hanging out and playing guitar hero or binge watching series or simply talking for hours on the couch with some good wine. But not on a first date, or even possible a second and third date.

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I want to be whoo-ed. I want to be able to get dressed up and go out and do something exciting. I want to feel like I am special and beautiful and that the person taking me out values me enough to want to show me off in a way or to make an effort to show me a good time. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about money. I am not one to talk when it comes to money…partly because I generally have none. Its more about putting thought and effort into something. Its about making someone who you are supposedly interested in feel special.
I do it. I make effort for someone who I care about and want to get to know. I do the whole spoiling thing and I love it! It gives me great satisfaction to make someone else happy, because seeing them happy makes me happy.
This whole thing of immediately just hanging out at one or the others house is not on…I don’t want to feel like you are hiding me or that you simply do not care enough to make actual plans or that you want me in your house for one reason only.
In the past I have written a lot about settling and how you shouldn’t do it…and then I realized that I was doing exactly that. I was settling for a standard of dating that was below me. That stops now. I am not saying that I am going to set a 4-date minimum before we hang out at someones house, but I am saying that I am not going to settle for anything less than someone who actually makes an effort to spoil me and make me feel special. I can guarantee you now, if you do that, then you have already made a huge impression! Besides, I love spoiling people and doing little things to make them feel special…why? It is my way of showing how much I care.
I am reaching an age where I am tired of games, I am tired of dealing with these men that keep creeping out of the woodwork who are not nearly close to what I deserve. I am tired of being a player in someone else’s game without even knowing that I am. I have dated a lot of guys, or rather, I have been on my fair share of dates…and there has only been maybe 1 or 2 where I actually felt like this guy made an effort.
I am not the woman that would not pester you with constant, “Hello” texts at 10 p.m.
I am not the woman that is going to constantly drive all the way to your house to see you.
I am not the woman who you can booty call, hide away or use only when it suites you.
For now, this is my story. I am currently so busy to actually date anyone what with work and my goals and my therapy, and that is completely perfect with me! I am happy with where I am right now. I know I am being a bit selfish, but I would like to find a man that can change this plot line and rewrite a joint story with me.
The title would be You, Me then Us, so until then maybe in a month or two from now someone will come along and want to take me out and then I will read this back to myself again just to remind myself of what I deserve… and also that I must never settle.
I have to admit that I have actually been fairly lucky with regards to this since I’ve “re-started” dating over the past weeks. I don’t think I ever got the 1 a.m.“what are you up to?” text, and men generally put an effort in our dates (varying degrees of effort…but still). Having said that, I find that they slip into the “want to come over?” attitude after date 3 or 4, which is generally when I cut it because I don’t like this attitude…does anyone have idea of how to slow this down? How to make them understand that there will be no “come over” unless there is a proper date before that at least until we are a few weeks or even months into dating?
(we could go for dinner/drinks/lunch/run/museum/theater…anything!…and THEN we could end the evening at someone’s place).
I am glad that someone out there is getting good dates and the good men behind them…very encouraging. I should possibly reconsider the type I go for, or go for someone completely different.As for the slowing down of the come~on~over…
I have no idea! It’s as if we have become to relaxed about the whole dating thing and get too familiar too soon. I personally don’t let just anyone into my home… I think you need to be straight and honest with them. Set the boundaries before the time and if they don’t like them…
Well then they are not the one for you!

The Wild and Crazy Spectrum of Acquiring a Date

922d428bfa19bbec3bbd4e5a53698fccWhat a wonderful thing modern technology is! Or is it? I actually don’t know how I feel about that statement… yet.

Either way, technology is here and it is not going anywhere. It is, however, getting more and more intertwined in our everyday lives. We use it for everything. Or we can use it for almost everything.

Recently, I have been on a sabbatical from dating . For both emotional and private reasons.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to get back into the dating world. Completely unplanned, may I add! This didn’t just happen all at once for no apparent reason and then one day during the week or two or three there it was standing right in front of me and I feel I needed to take that first step and say Hello. Here’s my number , gimme a call and text for days. This is how the modern dater communicates…Now don’t get me wrong, the day of meeting at a coffee shop and talking face to face is long gone due to the hours we keep and jobs we have. but you can get the top level of a person with texts and phone calls but it only scratches the surface of a person.I need a face to face to see their reactions to a joke instead of emoji or “LOL”, watch how they treat the waiter/tress , the attention they pay to me and most important stay off their phone!
But, as the saying goes: You won’t remember the nights you slept for 8 hours, but the nights you stayed up making memories! I am sure I said that wrong, but this is my blog and I have creative freedom to do what I want. So deal with it.

Ok, back to the point: Did you know that there were an almost endless amount of ways in which to go about getting a date?

Here’s a list:
1. Chance meetings
2. Through friends (well meaning but no)
3. Blind dates (again through friends or family)
4. Co-workers (again not a good idea)
5. Standing at a bar (need I have to explain why?)
6. Church/Temple
7. Internet dating

Well, those are mine at least. And this all happened within the space of several years or so. Like I said:With the years of relationships and break ups. When it rains, its like a freakin torrential downpour! I am exhausted! And I am a PRO at first dates. Like…if they were interviews, which I am pretty sure they actually are, I would get all the jobs applied for. With a bonus. And added leave. Possibly with Fridays off as well.

Practice people, it just takes practice…but I am so damn sick of it. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Bet you thought this was going to be a witty rehash and recount of my dating or relationships adventures (Which are plenty! I mean…Chance meetings. Enough said. Really? Like…yes and no. Not again. Although, I did meet one nice guy, so I guess its not that bad.)

There comes a point in all of this, when you get home after yet another first date, and your heart sinks and you just don’t want to do this anymore.

I have had many first dates, even second and third ones…one even managed to last a few months and then that ship sailed to Antarctica or somewhere.

I know that what I am doing may be seen as a desperate attempt at meeting someone…but in all honesty, fuck you and what you think! I will never apologize for wanting to find a friend…that best friend that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Why should I? Why should I feel bad about that? Why should I be embarrassed by that?

What else am I supposed to do? Sit on my ass, at home and twiddling my thumbs and hope that someone will knock on my door and BAM! Man of my dreams. This is not a fairy tale…there is no cute Olaf the Snowman that likes warm hugs and summer. This is life. Real life. Really life.
Why is it acceptable to tell people to go out there and pursue everything under the sun that their hearts desire but as soon as it comes to relationships, we are supposed to be all coy and quiet and reserved. Oh and heaven forbid if we make it TOO obvious. Shock and horror then that is just way too overboard and you mustn’t let people know that you are looking for someone special.

WTF people? I thought we were over all of this! I thought we have evolved and grown up at least a little bit! And honestly if one more person tells me that as soon as you stop looking the right one comes I am going to stab them in the face. With a fork. Or keys. Or a squirrel. Whatever I can get my hands on.

Honestly, if someone is reading this right now and they personally know me and they decide that they will rather stay away, then you aren’t the right person for me anyways. Because the right person, is going to want you to show that you actually give a shit about them and are interested in them and have stopped playing stupid games. They are going to want clear communication and honesty and you. All of you.
Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that what you deserve?

I don’t know…maybe I am a stupid hopeless romantic. Maybe I am delusional and naive… Although after all the crap that I have gone through with regards to men, I really don’t think I am. But I am not going to pretend anymore. I am not going to pretend to be anything or anyone other than who I am.

I am a single, 40 something year old woman. I have hopes and dreams and goals. I work hard for what I have and for what I want. And I want someone to share my life with me. I want someone to witness my life…be part of my life.
I refuse to apologize for that and I refuse to pretend otherwise.

You shouldn’t either.

 

Self-Evaluation – Scary, but Necessary

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Okay,
So many of you who have read this blog have commented to me that, perhaps, there is something on my end that has caused me to be in the relationship situation I currently find myself in. In other words – there’s GOT to be something wrong with ME, after all I am the one constant in all the messed up relationships I’ve had.
Well, who am I to argue against that suggestion. I am sure there are many things “wrong” with me–no one is perfect, well I’m perfect, LOL just kidding or maybe not. The last perfect person, I am told, was born 2,015 years ago…So, admittedly, I have room for improvement.
And that’s the thing–I know, I KNOW that I am light years from where I was just a few years ago. I base that on experiences I have gone through that I can tell have changed my life. I know I am a better person, but how do you quantify that? Simply saying it doesn’t really make it true–so how do I figure this out.
Okay, so as you may already know and I’ve been told– I am “blessed” with both OCD and perfectionism, so I am really hyper about being neat. Anyway, with those personality traits, I decided to do what you would think I would – I made a list.
Yup – I am a big list girl. Personal life, professional life – lists help me get through the day. There’s something satisfying about seeing a list, in writing, of all the stuff you need to do and then the tremendous feeling you/I get when I cross things off the list; a sense of accomplishment, to be sure. And if I create a bulleted list on my computer, getting in there with all the cool bullet choices, the formatting–WHOO HOO! Man, it’s like heaven…
Oh, sorry…lost myself there for a second…
Anyway, so I created a Pros and Cons list of my personality (aka–good and bad to dating me.) To say it was a revealing experience would be the understatement of 2015.
Now, not many people take an “inventory” of their personality–listing what makes them, them. Not that everyone has a ton of spare time, but if you get the chance, it’s really a great exercise in personal development and growth.
So, here’s my list:
Pros:
· Funny
· Intelligent
· Educated (well read, so to speak)
· Responsible
· Loyal
· Ambitious (this is also a con)
· Caring
· Sensitive
· Understanding
· A Good Listener
· Supportive
· Protective
· Perfectionist
· Organized
· Good Hygiene
· Adventurous
· Trusting (to a fault–see below)
· Flirtatious
· Passionate

Cons:
Hmmm….
Wow, this is harder than I thought…
I’m a pretty awesome woman – what cons could I possibly have?!
Just kidding…here are my Cons:

· Moody
· Judgmental (at times)
· Perfectionist (yes, this is both a pro and con)
· Tenacious (Set in my ways to a certain extent)
· Trusting (which inevitably leads to me being hurt, or worse,)
· Not a morning person (unless I am getting up early for work or going to the gym)
· Sarcastic
· Brutally Honest
· Jealous
· Possessive
· A-Type Personality (very demanding and very demonstrative)
· Flirtatious (yup, pro and con)
· Secretiveness (very high wall and a few skeletons)
· Controlling (safety mechanism, I gotta drive the bus ,so to speak of)
· Obsessive (the whole OCD thing)
· Suspicious
· Manipulative (have stepped on a few for my own gain~goes hand in hand with the above traits)
· Unyielding (again, control freak)

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Now, I realize both of the above lists are not complete by any stretch of the imagination. I am sure I left a ton of stuff out of both categories, but it was a good place to start. Again, seeing it in black and white (well, actually I used a blue pen and a yellow legal pad, but who really cares?) allowed me to begin to see what areas I needed to improve and what areas I could accentuate and expand upon.
But I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted a sense of validation, I guess – I wanted a third party perspective on this project. I thought I was on to something – after all, decades of failed dating necessitated some sort of change, a tipping point if you will. So I decided to solicit the aid of a friend who lives in Denver, has a degree in Criminal Justice and has a life long lessons in human psychology.
My friend will remain nameless, but this individual and I have chatted a few times in the 3 years since I’ve lived there . This person understands  my background and knows my personality pretty well. And helped me through the holidays when I was feeling really, REALLY blue – and it is this person who provided me with tools to use when I felt like things were really slipping away and I needed to remind myself of all that is good in my life.
And that’s the thing – I know many of you are reading this blog and may think “gosh, she’s just whining and complaining.” And there may be some merit to that, but I want you all to know that I realize that I basically have “uptown problems.”
I mean, I have a decent job (that does have some fun parts to it,) I have my health, my children are all healthy (thank God) I have a roof over my head (even though it’s a work in progress) I have friends, etc. Trust me, I get it.
There are many, many others out there who would kill – literally kill – to have what I have. This fact is not lost on me – it would just be nice to be in love with someone and they in love with me so we could share this journey we call life together. I think that’s what most human beings desire, no matter their place on the globe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – life is better with company.
After emailing my list to my friend and talking a bit about what was troubling me, the one thing I got from it is this fact: I am normal.
Yes, despite what you may think (or some of you have heard,) I am normal. I have normal feelings and aspirations. I have normal desires, and my pros and cons are pretty normal. Now, I understand that’s a subjective term – normal – but the fact I was told that by someone with a bunch of initials after their name and a few diplomas from pretty prestigious institutions of higher learning hanging on their office walls (granted, they were crooked, so I adjusted them…sorry, OCD) gave me a sense of relief.
That’s because, if I’m honest, I thought for sure that, once my list was divulged, I would immediately be classified  “certifiable “. But no – surprise, surprise, I was told that what I was feeling was “pretty normal.” That doesn’t mean everyone feels what I am feeling, and that’s okay. Everyone’s life experience is unique, but knowing I wasn’t a complete basket case was comforting.
So yes – I am moody, and a bit judgmental. I may be too trusting at times, and I may be set in my ways. But I’m also a really funny, and in today’s world, we all need to laugh as much as possible and need those around us to make us laugh. I am a decent honest person – hey, I know, I’m no  Mother Theresa, but then again I’m no Persephone (Google it…) While I may be a bit of a mess in certain areas, overall I have my Shit together.
The trick, my friend told me, is to find someone who isn’t perfect, but who is perfect for me and I for them. It’s like finding a good job – every job has its own level of BS you have to put up with, the key is finding something you love to do and that you can deal with the BS. Same with the relationship, I am told – everyone has their goofiness (yes, that is a scientific term) but it’s finding someone who’s goofiness you love and who loves your goofiness that makes things work.
So, here I am – on the one hand, I have been reassured that I’m okay. But on the other, I am really no closer to finding the man of my dreams. I am better equipped knowing who I am, what I truly have to offer and where I can improve. I figure the better person I can make myself, the better person I am more likely to attract.
Either that, or it’s Match.com….

Dating: What are we doing?????

I read something somewhere and I can’t seem to remember what it was or exactly how it went. However, in essence, what it said was that we are in an age of dating where we think we have millions and millions of options. So we don’t ever really commit to one person in the beginning phases of a relationship and focus on nurturing that. We keep looking out for other options, stringing people along as we go about doing this.

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This is the age that we live in. There are so many ways to meet people. Be it online, on your phone or through situations like speed dating. Now I have written about that before, so I am not going to go into that now, but I do feel that it plays a major part in why so many people struggle to find that someone special or to have a relationship stick. Especially one that you really want to have stick.

I have tried many forms of “dating”~blind dates, chance meetings like at work, family and friends and gone on a lot of first dates. Some horrible disasters, others really pleasant. But then comes the downfall (either on my part or on the other persons part). There is no second date. Sometimes it is a mutual decision, but other times it is purely because one or both parties think that they have so many other options that they are not going to give someone a second date.

They go back on Tinder or straight to the bar after the date, even if it went well, and start swiping. Like kids in candy stores. That’s what we are. Kids in a candy store. We are presented with so many options, and then we sample each and every one and eventually we feel sick from the sugar rush.

The principle applies to how we date now. We sample so many different people, but never fully allow ourselves to open up or to settle on what we want. What we actually want. We saturate our evenings with date after date after date, never quite really getting below the surface of a person. We present ourselves as best we can, put on our best outfits, master the small talk and then…well then we get freaked out that we may be missing out on someone who is “better”. Better looking, better matched, better at whatever it is you want them to better at.

It is this fear of missing out, or FOMO as the kids are calling it, that actually stops us from giving someone the time that they deserve. I know I do this. Not always, but sometimes. I keep thinking about everyone that I could be missing out on instead of focusing on the person that I am with at that moment.

I must say, I have stopped doing that since I read that quote and it honestly scares me. I am afraid that if I get invested in someone then they are going to pull a “FOMO” in search of a better version of me. There probably is a better version of me out there…but…why do we dismiss people so quickly? What is it in us that we can just not commit?
We are scared…and that fear leaves us exactly where we started: Single and looking. Building up walls because we think all men (or women) are the same and that there just aren’t any good ones out there anymore. BUT THERE ARE!!!!!
I have seen it, I have experienced it, I have lived it! And you know when that was? When I stopped fearing that I may be missing out on someone better and just got to know the person who I was with and enjoyed the process of getting to know them.
We think that we can get to know someone over emails and text or tinder messages. We think that if we stalk their Facebook or Instagram that we know exactly who they are. That is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. That we can know someone without even knowing them.
We don’t invest face to face time with people anymore. We text them or email them or send them a short voice message and maybe, just maybe we meet them and hopefully a second date.
From my perspective, I can be a completely different person via digital means. But that doesn’t mean that that is exactly who I am. You don’t know that I have some weird habits, especially when I am nervous. You don’t know how my voice sounds, what it sounds like when I laugh or how I like my coffee. You don’t know me, and can’t know me if you are just communicating via digital means.
I want to know YOU. I want to sit across from you with a cup of coffee and speak to YOU. I want YOU to know that I am not dating with a FOMO mentality. I am seeing you because I saw something in you that I liked and wanted to explore…and I hope you feel the same.
We jump from “relationship” to “relationship” so quickly that its become habit. We are habitual daters. Conditioned to never fully allow ourselves to be in the moment. And that is not fair…to you or the person you are seeing.
To sum it all up: I don’t want to date a digital you. I want to date a physical you. I don’t want to “keep my options open” for in case someone better comes along and then I can just disappear off the radar (and I have fallen off the face of the earth, many times before). By the way, that is not nice nor is it fair. If you know something isn’t going to work out with someone, be straight with them. Be honest. You will save that person from a lot of time wasted on wondering where and how and why you disappeared.
Just… get to know the physical person. Don’t ever make the mistake in thinking that their digital persona is exactly like their physical person.
Date with the intention to get to know a person, not to get the most out of that person.