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!

What I learned in Chapter’s 2013/2014

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Well friends, the new year is coming upon us very soon, in fact this is the first week of December and considering it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything thought provoking, I think that now is a good time for me to share some of my reflections on these past two years– years that will soon be just another conglomerate of memories, a past-read chapters to reminisce upon, in each of our individual books of life.

I have gone through many changes these past years. In just two years I’ve worked my ass off during these past two years, gained myself, finally, moved to a new apartment and moved again, lost everything, fell in love and had my heart broken, left behind a crazy former life, entered a new career path, changed jobs far too many times, gained friends, lost friends, gained a best friend, got in and out of a relationship, met a ton of people that I thought would stay in my life but never did, have been estranged from family members and then reunited with them– finding both forgiveness and remorse in my heart to give; I’ve been as blue as the deepest depths of the ocean and as radiant with joy as the sunniest sky; I’ve felt lost and then I’ve felt found, only to feel lost once again, but then knowing that one day I will be found once more.

Through all that I’ve gone through these past two years, like every year-I’ve learned a great deal.

Here are some of my reflections that I hope may be of some help to you:
Forgiveness is the pathway to peace. To forgive not only others, but also yourself, is the only way to find true rest in your heart.

People will hurt you, and the pain they inflict may or may not be intentional, but you must remember that all acts of malevolence or negligence are only born out of ignorance. People inflict harm because they lack wisdom and understanding, and for that reason you should attempt to develop compassion for all human beings, especially those who cannot love, because these are the ones who are who enduring the greatest struggle with their own unruly mind and restless heart.

People will most certainly come and go in your life, and only a very select few will stay for a while, and an even lesser number will stay forever. For this reason, appreciate all those who walk into your life, because they are there for a reason, but don’t attempt to cling to their presence. If their presence is needed in your life, then the universe will make it so they stay, but if they are no longer needed and each of you have your own respective paths to follow (which branch in diverging directions) then let them go and wish them abundance on their journey through life.

~YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE. This has been a huge theme in my own life that I’ve had to learn. Attempting to make everyone proud and pleased with your decisions is a lost cause. Everyone has their own opinion on how you and everyone else should be conducting their lives, and everyone’s opinion is different! It is tempting to try to make everyone around you believe that you are making all of the right decisions according to them, but you are forgetting a very important piece of the puzzle… you’re forgetting YOU! What makes you happy? What makes you feel the most alive? What do you want to get out of this existence before your inevitable death? These are the questions you should not only be asking, but chasing. People may not, (and surely will not) always agree with your decisions in life, but almost everyone will respect a person who follows their own heart and their own path, and someone who is true to themselves despite all outside criticism.

~There is light and darkness in everything: in life, in others, and most importantly, in yourself. There will be great sorrow and destruction in the world, as there always has been; there will be thoughts and feelings within yourself that you will be ashamed of, dark impulses that you fear and try your best to repress and avoid. You cannot extract the darkness from life, nor from yourself. However, you must realize that amidst the darkness, there is a greater and even more powerful light– both within life, and within yourself. The light in life and the light in yourself is always more powerful than the darkness, and everyday you can choose the light. You can choose to grow the light in yourself and then you can choose to spread this light into the world around you through your actions and your treatment of others, so that you can do your part in dispelling the darkness of the world.

~Judgment causes pain: pain for others, and pain for yourself. Some judgment is natural, but when it causes you or others strife, you must step back to see if it is not yourself or others who are the problem, but rather your close-mindedness that is the problem. As it relates to my prior point, there will be dark and light impulses in both yourself and in others. However, the darkness in ourselves and others is never dispelled by greater darkness, which comes with judgment and harshness. Darkness is dispelled by the light that you can give with your own loving-kindness, understanding and compassion. Seek to love and understand yourself and seek to love and understand others, even if you feel neither yourself nor others deserve such a courtesy.

~Life is much greater than you, and to remember this may allow for an objective peace. We are all brief and momentary waves on a vast, endless ocean. For a brief moment in time, we arise, are formed as crests from the boundless, watery pool of life, and then, when it is our time, we again are dissolved back in to the greater ocean, becoming one again with the body of life. We are all individuations of the same thing– the same ocean: we are all one. Honor that sameness that is of all things and beings, and seek to honor the greater power of the ocean, the power which is beyond our comprehension and which is a mystery who gives all things their brief hour to be individuations of itself

Soul Made – the fallacy of looking for “THE ONE”

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Falling in love is not my specialty. My daughter likes to joke that my relationships have been informed by the torrid and never happy ending Russian novels I used to be so fond of. And she is not that far off the truth. But those novels also taught me a couple of valuable lessons: obstacles are par for the course when it comes to love, and “the one” does not exist. I believe the definition of love changes as we do and that more than “one true love” can be had during the course of one’s lifetime. And, above all, that “the one” is made and not sent by divine intervention to cross our path at the perfect moment.

And all those good dreamers, myself included, who spend countless hours pondering just such matters, It might not surprise you to learn that the science of romance isn’t incredibly romantic. That believing in soul mates—or destiny, or the idea that there is exactly one person who you were absolutely put on this earth to find—can and probably will backfire.

If you are one of those people who have been with the same partner for the past thirty years with nary a disagreement, you would be a very rare breed indeed (and an enviable one). Most of us have to contend with the job of resolving petty arguments and overcoming disappointment in as healthy a fashion as possible.

Let’s assume we meet the perfect specimen, someone who meets most, if not all the criteria, we look for in a partner (because, let’s face it, who hasn’t drawn such a list?). It’s absolute bliss for a while, maybe even a good while– maybe we marry or live together, and even add children to the mix. One day, he or she will do something that will get on our nerves, which will tarnish that shiny patina of perfection. At first, we will overlook it, we will let it go but then the behavior will repeat and how we confront it is crucial. Those who believe in destiny and soul mates will be more likely to start questioning whether this is “the one” indeed, while those who take relationships more in stride and equate them to a journey, will be more likely to look for solutions, work out compromises and treat what comes up as a roadblock to be surmounted with ingenuity.

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Russian novels aside, what we believe, even our notions of love and relationships, might be rooted in how we were raised.
If we start a relationship believing in its perfection from the outset, we are doomed. Working towards a goal–not necessarily of perfection–over time, through collaboration, repetition and trying hard, will more likely result in a healthier relationship down the line.

It was actually the foolishness of Madame Bovary who made me see that love at first sight, “the one” and waiting for something good to happen is a load of bullshit.

“Love, she thought, must come suddenly, with great outbursts and lightning, a hurricane of the skies, which falls upon life, revolutionises it, roots up the will like a leaf, and sweeps the whole heart into the abyss.”

Love can certainly do that. But what matters most is how we learn to climb out of that temporary abyss, with patience, resilience and a tolerance for boredom. Even the most exciting journeys, after all, have their share of hours spent chugging along.

Paris images found in the public domain