Monday, September 15, 2014

My heart knows

So the "what are we" conversation happened. It wasn't totally planned, though I gave it a lot of thought beforehand. Mostly, it just happened.

It went fine, though a little unexpected. We sort of agreed to hold off and continue the conversation at a to-be-determined time - but also, agreed to keep communication open. He wanted a little time to think, which seemed fair.

Or, so my brain tells me.

My brain knows that there's no need to rush. In fact, it doesn't do any good anyway, because stuff is going to happen when it's going to happen and not a minute sooner (or later).

My brain also knows that if this doesn't go my way, it just wasn't meant to be, and that's OK. It opens up the door to something even more wonderful.

My brain even knows that I am very lucky to have met a great guy. No matter what, I learned the advantages of taking a little time to get to know a person. I learned a better way to value myself. I had the chance to put my feelings on the line again - and was reminded the world won't end when I do.

My brain is super smart. My heart? Not so much.

My heart has wondered a couple of times why I can't just have what I want, when I want, and how I want. My heart wonders why things can't just be simple. My heart wonders why it feels like it's being punished, when it did nothing wrong.

Rejection sucks. No matter how rational or well-adjusted you are, it stings to lose something, even if all you're really losing is the hope for something more. Doubt sucks, too - even when you know you'll have an answer soon, the wondering can mess with you, just a little.

My brain tells me I'm weak, for even thinking any of that. I disagree; I think it proves I'm strong. Strong enough to put myself out there. Strong enough to say what I want, and will accept, while still allowing someone to get close enough to know what I'm feeling. That takes some courage - courage I was never sure I had until now.

My brain may be super-smart - but my heart is strong as hell.

Friday, September 12, 2014

How to ask

While I do kind of enjoy the "getting to know each other" thing, it occurs to me that I may, sooner or later, need to ask what is up with Turtle and me. It's probably unrealistic to expect some sort of Hollywood-type romantic revelation, complete with a scenic backdrop and theme music. My life needs better writers.

Theme music aside, I absolutely dread "what are we" conversations. I think they cause problems on so many levels.

First, it forces everything. Once I tell what I'm thinking, I'm practically committing myself to a relationship I'm not even sure I want. If I'm going to bring it up, I have to be prepared to put my money where my mouth is. Meanwhile, he's forced to rush to a conclusion he hasn't come to yet. This could go one of two ways; the point being decisions made under duress don't always turn out well.

Second, I don't care how good a communicator you are, how carefully your words are chosen, or how nice a person you try to be. There's really no way to raise this question without sounding like you're giving an ultimatum. That's really no way to start an honest, healthy relationship.

Then of course, there's the obvious problem. I'm not too "cool, aloof single gal" to admit I like Turtle. If I don't ask, the possibility of something more remains. Once I ask, I may find out that possibility is gone. This is the real bummer no one ever wants to admit.

Once I get past that insecurity, I know I'll need to do something.

I do not want to mess up a nice friendship by making Turtle feel as though he's been backed into a corner. I do not want to let my severe lack of patience ruin what could possibly be a good thing. I do not want to unwittingly paint myself into a corner by coming across like I want something serious right now.

I also do not want to spend my time wondering what is happening between us. I do not want to over-think every text or Facebook post. I do not want to waste precious energy worrying about something that I don't control.

All I really want is a little context. We met on a dating site. Presumably, that means at one point, there was the potential we would date. I am really just curious if that potential still exists, or if he's made a friend-zone assignment already. If he has, I'd be disappointed, but at least I could deal with that set back, and move on.

So, here's my question: How do I ask for that context, without backing myself into a corner, sounding like I'm giving an ultimatum, or making things so incredibly awkward that friendship is impossible?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Right time, right pace

Turtle and I are still seeing each other. He was out of town for 10 days, and I will admit, I really thought things between us would just die a natural death while he was away. I didn't think we had enough of a connection to withstand the distance and time.

Before he left, he added me on facebook. This opened up a whole new way for us to get to know each other (more on that in another post). It also allowed us to keep in touch, even when we weren't texting.

I give credit where it's due, and Turtle did keep in touch. A lot - definitely more than I expected. We texted just about every day, and less than a week into his trip, he asked to make plans for after he was home. Then, even better - and totally unexpected - he called the day he landed and asked me to meet him for lunch.

It may not seem like a big deal, but I thought it was a nice thing, that he wanted to see me the day he got back. Especially since we still planned to keep a date that was two days away.

I still find myself wondering. Are we just friends? Actually, I know right now that's really what we are. But it feels like something a little more. Like we're investigating the possibility.

I told Baking Suit that as long as there's progress - even subtle - each time we get together, I think it's worth the time and effort. If it stalls, and we seem stuck in a particular place, I'd probably have to bite the bullet and, you know, ask.

This is truly unlike any other dating situation I've been in. I haven't made it to date number eight in years - and I've never made it this far and only hugged a guy. My first reaction is to run away. Tell him it just isn't working for me, we don't seem to be on the same page. You know, before I really start to like him, and risk getting hurt.

I stop just short of that because, while I know there's always the possibility it'll fizzle and we'll just remain friends, I find myself really digging this guy. Plus, the change is refreshing. At the very least, this will teach me a whole new way to value myself and my relationships.

I have not put my feelings on the line since Trooper. I've been too scared to feel that pain again. Even though I know every date, every hug, every Facebook "like" puts me a little closer to the fire, I feel like it's finally time to put myself back in the game.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It really is OK

I'm always saying how much I love being single. It's true - I love my single life. I love all the things about my singleness - not having to share, making my own plans and schedule, no fights, only having to deal with my family (which is more than enough family, believe me). Did I mention not having to share?

But, just because I like being single doesn't mean I wouldn't love to find a relationship. I might be a little more appreciative of my life than some who haven't embraced their singledom - but I'd give it up for the right guy.

In the past seven months, I've watched three friends get married. Each wedding was different from the last, but the one thing they each had in common was that a dear friend had found love.

It was a mix of emotions for me, to witness these unions. Most of all, I felt happy for my friends, the people I believe are most deserving of their happily ever after.

I also feel a little left behind. My inventory of single friends is dwindling. I'd be lying if I said that doesn't feel a little lonely.

A teeny part of me also feels a little sad, like maybe it will never happen for me. I know I may never find the guy who makes me feel happily ever after.

Then, I'm reminded of all those things I don't like about relationships - and I honestly feel a little relieved. I'm still single - phew.

All these emotions don't make sense, all jumbled together in my head. Big part happy, little part sad, small part lonely, and a tiny part relieved. I may have shed a tear (or two) and am not even sure just why.

Most single / dating blogs will say it's not OK to be sad. You should be happy for your friends, and have faith your happiness will come. Others will say it's not OK to feel relieved. You should be looking to your friends as an example of what you want to find.

I say, all of it is OK. It's OK to be happy for them, even if it's not what you want. It's OK to feel relieved, because you get to continue enjoying your single life. It's OK to wonder, to dream, and yes, it's even OK to cry.

Feelings change, just like people and circumstance. So, give yourself a break. Cry if you need, wonder if you want.

Just remember, in the end, it really will be OK.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rejection isn't personal

No matter how you slice it, rejection is tough. Even when it's coming from someone you barely like, it stings.

When I think about it, I think rejection is one of the main reasons I rush with so many of the guys I meet. I rush so I can reject them, before they have a chance to reject me.

The truth is, rejection early on isn't personal. If someone rejects you after just a few dates, that has much more to do with him than it does you. After a while, though, that changes. At some point, a rejection has more to do with you - your personality, values, habits, etc - than him.

I've been on seven dates now with Turtle. They say ("they" being dating blogs that I can't remember right now, so you'll have to take my word that I read this somewhere) that if two people have not had sex by the fifth date, it will not happen. Turtle and I have only hugged - and that didn't happen until date six.

Without divulging the sordid, somewhat embarrassing details of my sex life, let's just say this is a first for me. After date five, I figured I'd been friend-zoned. When the hug happened, I thought perhaps it was just a buddy-hug. Then I thought, hey, if we're still making progress after the fifth date, perhaps this thing - whatever it is - just needs more time.

Unfortunately for me, in order to find out for sure, I can't rush. Well...I could. I could rush to the conclusion that we are just going to be friends, and move on to the next guy.

Normally, that's what I'd do. Turtle is on vacation for 10 days, and I seriously considered just seeing who else I could find while he's gone. There's a big part of me that thinks, even though we've progressed, we may just be moving forward in our friendship. But there's another part of me that thinks maybe that's what this needs - a friendship base, in order to grow into more.

Which is great. The problem is, by allowing our relationship - and my feelings - to grow, I run a risk of being rejected.

Not the impersonal, it's him, not me sort of rejection I would have had after date four, either. I'm talking about a full-on, four-alarm, rejection after a few months. A rejection that is all about me.

Talk about personal - and scary as hell.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Questions and answers

I need to learn to take my own advice, and not poke around on a potential's* online profiles. Whether it's his dating profile, or his facebook page (we recently became Facebook friends - his doing), online stuff is too open to interpretation.

Stalking profiles doesn't do anything but lead to confusion and mis-trust, and hinder communication. Jumping to conclusions doesn't help anyone. If I have a legit question, I should be able to just ask. If I can't ask... well, that's a separate problem altogether.

Of course, the temptation to look always exists. Whether it's insecurity or curiosity (let's be honest - it's probably a bit of both), I can't deny that I just want to know.

But the truth is, I won't find any answers online - only more questions.

*Thanks to my cousin, this guy's name will be Turtle - because he's moving soooo sloooww.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Draft stage

No kidding, I have like six posts in draft stage right now. I hsd a clear idea of what I wanted to say, but I couldn't make sense of it in writing. I returned to one post after a few days only to realize I didn't even understand my point.

I have started seeing a guy I actually, you know, like. We're moving glacially slow at this point, so I have no idea where it might go. But I like him enough that I haven't even signed into a dating site in a couple of weeks. Those who know me well will agree - that is saying something.

In the meantime, I've been poking around dating blogs, looking for inspiration. Nothing. Which is surprising - there are some great blogs out there.

I think being in limbo in real life might cause a writing block for me, as well. It's almost like avoiding expectations or wondering in my life also suspends my ability to write about looking towards the future. Putting a hold on my feelings must mean I have to put a hold on the writing, too - at least for now.

So, while my life is in its own "draft stage," I'll keep taking notes. Things are bound to sort themselves out at some point, and then I'll hit publish.

In the meantime, feel free to talk amongst yourselves.