Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Contemplations on dating

Well, as I sit in a Gawdawful workshop/conference learning about how to make engaging classes, which I assure you isn’t happening here, I am contemplating what to write next on ye olde blog. My mind wanders and I think about dating in one’s 30’s and 40’s. And, I think about the things I need to remind myself of the most as I proceed into the murky waters of a dating relationship.
Speed, in either direction can cause fatalities. Clearly, moving too fast is a danger in and of itself. Historically this has been my vice. I go rushing into a relationship filled with the giddy joy of attraction. As it turns out, my “relationships” barely make it to the third date before crashing and burning, so I don’t deal with the undesirable by products of sleeping with someone early in the relationship. Yea, me.

It is an interesting situation to find myself with someone who moves shockingly slowly. I am beginning to realize that it is probably a product of his own concerns about making good choices etc, and I know it is good for me to work on slowing down. However, is there a point at which a relationship falls into inertia from lack of movement? I don’t think we are there, but I think it is worth noting as a possibility. I do appreciate his desire to go slowly. I think one of the hardest parts of dating is trying to get a guy to slow down. It is strange indeed to be wishing he would hurry the hell up.

Be real. My cousin, San Francisco, gave some good advice recently too. First, he made me laugh cause he said at our age men move slowly ‘cause they are trying to determine the level of crazy that they are dating… But the great piece of advice had to do with how easy it is for us to start relationships thinking the other person is fabulous and amazing. He thinks that it is important to start real and remain real. It became real for me when the Drummer told me how fantastic I am. That is really nice, but let’s be honest, there are lots of girls way better than I am. I know that, and I am ok with that. I bring my own uniqueness to the table, but I know that there are lots of girls more everything than I am.

Listen to your heart and not your friends. Oh, this is a hard one, isn’t it? (Especially for the extraverts.) I’m a talker. I need to talk through my feelings and thoughts. That means the BFF and the big sister and strategic others get to hear me process all of my relationships on an almost daily basis. I am lucky to have them and they give great advice. The BFF said it best though. Early on, she asked the question, “What does your gut tell you?” It is important to remember no matter what we tell others, there are pieces of the puzzle no one but the people in the relationship can know. Me, my gut and my heart give the best information and measure on a relationship. Just have to remember to pay attention.

Don’t be afraid. This, my friends, could be the rub. Especially if one has been dating for as long as I have, it is hard to not be fearful. Dating is hard. No doubt about it. I have always laughed at people who feel not having been married = less baggage. Paleezzeee. If anything, it means more baggage. Over 20 years of dating, I have dated a lot of freaks and developed some healthy walls for protection. Someone that has been married twenty years has one suitcase courtesy of primarily one person. Figure out what went wrong in that marriage, and you know their luggage. Me, gonna have to put some effort into figuring out the shit I’m hauling around.

I got some great advice from my friend, Sergio. I was telling him about the Drummer and my fears and concerns. He told me to let go. To enjoy the moments. Falling in love is a great thing, and I should enjoy myself. My sister, yougottawonder, said the same thing. Don’t be afraid. How easy is it, after years of dating and heartbreak, and dating and heartbreak, to hold myself in and not quite let myself go.

I wish I had looked up commitment phobia while I was dating the Yoyo. (As I entertain myself in the conference from Hell I am Googling all sorts of stuff.) I read through an article on commitment phobes, and lo and behold if the yoyo didn’t get a check mark by most of the descriptors. Could I have saved myself a lot of time, heartache and pain if I had realized accepted that I couldn’t change him?

Well, as my adventure with the Drummer moves forward, these are the thoughts that wander through my mind.

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