Sunday, March 15, 2015

Not quite yet

I know, better than many, how bad an idea it is to rush into meeting new people after a heartbreak. So I know that right now is not a good time for me to return to online dating. If I had any active profiles, now would be the time to hide them all.
Besides, I meant it when I said that deleting those profiles was my way of breaking a bad cycle. The last thing I need right now is to revisit bad habits.
I found myself wondering why it's such a temptation. Am I lonely? Do I just feel like I need to do something to take back control? Am I just bored? Do I just want an ego boost?
I think it's a little bit of everything. A few minutes on a dating site could cure any of those problems. I'm single, I want to have a little fun, so what's the harm?
Meeting people is great - and obviously necessary when you want someone new in your life. When motivated by an honest desire to just find new people, it's the best thing possible - fun, innocent, healthy. All good stuff.
The problem is, when motivated by boredom or loneliness or low self-esteem, all that healthy fun goes out the window. You (or at least I) meet the wrong people. My guard is down, and I'm looking for just anyone, not good, quality people who have something to add to my life. That pattern is how I've met some of the worst guys ever (and I've met some pretty bad guys).
I am open to meeting new people right now - in other ways. That keeps me open to possibilities, without returning to bad habits. Meeting people online is familiar and easy and it can work - and I may return eventually. Just not quite yet.
(So if any of you know a nice single guy who likes short, curvy, sarcastic brunettes - send 'em my way. Just make sure they're not psycho.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Not enough

Turtle told me the other night that, while he still isn't ready to date anyone, he has realized that when he is, it will not be me. He said he doesn't know why; he likes everything about me, likes spending time with me, and all that. But he's hesitant for some reason, and apparently doesn't think that's going to change.

He wants us to remain friends. In fact, I think if he had his way, we'd still talk everyday and see each other regularly.

The thing is - I just can't. I can't just flip a switch, and turn off my feelings. Seeing him would be a heartbreaking reminder that he doesn't want to be with me. I know me; I would also remain hopeful, and that would cloud the friendship. I would feel hurt every time we were together, and eventually I would resent him.

It's also confusing to me. As soon as I told him I couldn't see him, he tried to extend our evening. He said he would miss me, he held me for what felt like forever when he hugged me goodbye. Heck, when I came back from the ladies room, he had a smile from ear to ear.

I suppose I could be wrong (I mean, obviously I am) but isn't that what we're all trying to find? Someone we enjoy, who makes us smile and laugh, who we can talk with about everything, or nothing, someone who we actually miss when she's not around? I read once that you should date someone who makes you feel the way you do when you see the waiter bringing your food to the table.

So I don't understand why Turtle feels all those things (or at least says he does and behaves the same) and yet, does not want to date me. He admitted it's confusing to him, too. I think if I spent time with him, my desire to understand would get in the way of our friendship.

My friends all insist this has nothing to do with me. While I suppose they could be right, the truth is their opinions are bias.

Of course I realize that Turtle is a complicated guy. I knew that going in. I always knew this ending was a possibility, but I felt he was worth sticking it out, to see what could happen. I realize some of this has to do with him; by his own admission, he likes everything about me, and even he doesn't understand his hesitancy.

Still, it's tough not to take it personally. It's a huge blow to my self-esteem, in addition to being truly heartbreaking. I knew that he needed to get past a lot of stuff if we were ever going to have a chance. It would be easy to pin this on him; say he's afraid to commit, he runs when things get serious, he's attracted to crazy - whatever.

That could all be true. But it's also true that he knows he will want someone in his life. He knows what qualities he'd like her to have. At the end of the day, something inside him knows that person is not me.

He may find me beautiful, smart, funny, fun to be around, comfortable....all those things. But he does not find me to be enough.

Right now, that's all that really matters.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

That tenth time

Way back when, when I was a young, old married lady, I pretty much thought nothing was my fault.
Well, actually, that's not true. I secretly thought everything was my fault, but I pretended to think otherwise.
Having learned the hard way that strategy can only work temporarily (if at all), when I started dating again, I over-corrected. I took all the blame. If I didn't like something, I figured it was me being over-sensitive, or jumping to conclusions. I never wanted to challenge anything my date did or said, because I didn't trust myself to know for sure if it was his issue or mine.
I'd also learned, from bad relationships, that sticking up for myself or speaking my mind was equal to complaining or starting a fight. I didn't want to be "that girl" anymore, so I stopped saying anything.
Over the last few years, I have come to learn that there are ways to tell a person how I feel without making it into an argument. I have also come to realize that a big part of effective communication has to do with the other person. Some people honestly just want a fight. Some want to blame others for everything. Some just take every little observation as criticism, and react defensively, which often leads to an argument.
So, I'm learning. In the last 6+ months, since meeting Turtle, I have also learned that timing is important. I have learned that sometimes it's better to wait, even if I'm certain that what I have to say is of the utmost importance. Waiting not only gives me a chance to mull it over a bit, it also gives me an opportunity to have to conversation in an effective way (eg., in person versus over text message).
But I still find that I don't always know when I should say something. Granted, my situation is a little different. Turtle is not my boyfriend, so the expectations are slightly different. But even without an "official" title, we still have a relationship. If something is bothering me, I should be able to talk about it, the same way I would if I had an issue with a friend.
I find myself wondering if something bothers me because it really bothers me, or if it's maybe me being upset because things are not as I would like them. Nine out of ten times, if I take a little time and remind myself that things have not changed, think about the good stuff between us, and try and remember that hope and patience are my focus - it works itself out.
It's that tenth time that occasionally haunts me. But I suppose this is one of those things about myself that I am working on.