*stream of consciousness*
another potential suitor bites the dust. *raises glass*
fuck, i don’t know what it was. as you like to say, “it was something.” i doubt you will ever give it more credit than that. what was it? what were you to me? what was I to you?
I was your greatest ally during a time of great trepidation in your life. or I tried to be. you couldn’t even ask me about my fucking day. I have no desire to hold together the shards of your confidence; and also I could have. you know you are better than this. I’m not entirely sure which you fear more.
Please? understand this. I can’t martyr myself to the potential disease ever again.
Tonight was brisk and rainy.
Around 8pm, I met him again for a drink in the hotel bar. We got closer as our conversation continued. We walk a couple doors down for dinner. He seems satisfied afterwards and I’m certain we will part ways, but he asks me to have another drink with him. We take our time walking the city block. He tries to capture the mood with a picture: a dark, wet passage lit up by string lights and store fronts that dance in the drizzled, rippled puddle reflections.
Over our last drink, he brings up one of our first conversations, a question I posed that has really caused him to do some soul searching. He tells me he feels an attraction to me: and also he feels that he is still very much jaded from his prior relationships.
I’ve been really sick recently. (I’m not even willing to admit how much or how isolated it makes me feel from “normal”– whatever the fuck that is. Perhaps, a better word would be normalcy.) Anyway, this led to me having to cancel a first date with a gentleman I met just earlier this week, at Starbucks of all places. When given this information, he texted the following response:
Well…get some rest. Then, you can come over tonight and I can take care of you. I can make you dinner and we can just chill. Come over around 630. Two options for dinner. Chicken on the grill, wild rice and broccolini. Or garlic chicken with Alfredo sauce over penne with French bread that we dip into olive oil as appetizer. Which one?
I was so dumbfounded by the whole thing, I didn’t even know how to respond. It brought me to tears. The only word I could get to my lips was: damn.
How fucked up is it that I have become so accustomed to not expecting a man to do … well, anything anymore that I don’t know how to handle it when they do? (Jesus. That may be the saddest thing I ever wrote.)
To make a long story short, I accepted the invite to dinner and that pasta and french bread would be the best bet because carbs heal all wounds. When I went over for dinner, I walked into this:
I need you to understand that in 39 years of life no one has ever made me a homemade dinner, set up an appetizer with a lovely, aged bottle of wine, poured into crystal and served it by candlelight. As I was taking this picture, he is to my left finishing his culinary orchestrating. He plates the meal directly from the stove top, wiping the edges of the plate he is about to present. He makes one stop before pulling out my chair at the table to roll up fresh basil leaves and garnish the pasta in spirals.
The whole scene was foreign and felt like an out of body experience, but also what I always thought it might be feel like to be … home.
Sometime around New Years I signed on to a dating site. I took the time to write a very detailed “About Me” section and then, I was overwhelmed by the response.
So overwhelmed that I didn’t respond to any messages and I shut down the profile. After a long discussion with my (longest) male friend about my experiences over the past year and my expectations moving forward, his advice to me was: “Slut it up, Stephanie”.
It sounds way worse than the intended message, which was that I needed to end my streak of serial monogamy and just go on a TON of dates, embrace my passion for meeting and learning new people, listening to their stories and getting to know them. It is one of my favorite past times and something I set aside as my depression turned me inward. He was absolutely right. I know what I want and need in a man, but not every man can handle me full on. I have learned that the answer is NOT becoming smaller to make him more comfortable, but I wasn’t sure what the answer actually was.
Then I began to grow curious and inspected my relationship with this man and why it had lasted 25+ years. Yes, we dated in high school, but even denying a marriage proposal didn’t end our friendship. <— THIS IS THE ANSWER.
Why is it that when we go into dating that we automatically focus on finding love, instead of friendship? Why do we get so anxious about our worth in a complete stranger’s assessment? Why are we waiting for returned calls, texts and affections to determine our relationships fate? When we don’t hear from a friend, why do we reach out and ask if everything’s ok, instead of thinking “They don’t like me. I wonder what I did wrong?”.
Turns out upon closer inspection, my longest lasting, most fulfilling relationships were with my friends. The ones who love me just as I am and unconditionally. Those friends have become my tribe, my family. I love my friends.
Shouldn’t love be … friends on fire?
Just think about the difference that could make in our lives by approaching romantic partners with a friends first philosophy.
I’ve started trying.
I reactivated my account and changed my status to “Looking for: Friends”. I weeded a ton out and also saved myself a whole lot of time just by this one simple click. The results amaze me. Ive been on more quality dates with more like-minded individuals in the last two weeks, than I have in my entire adult life. Im making new friends and I love it.
Perhaps a prospect may indeed start a fire, but in all honesty, I am able to fully enjoy and engage without reservation outside of romance and because Im already certain that I am a friend, accepted just as I am, Im daring greatly without the fear of anything being swept out from under me.
Friends first. I highly recommend it.
I heard someone say, “Somedays you eat salad and exercise, somedays you order pizza and binge on Netflix, its all about balance.”
That stuck with me.
Like…somedays you feel top notch and sincerely dont give a shit what anyone says or thinks about you, somedays the wrong glance brings you to your knees.
Somedays youre certain your dog is the best dog that ever existed, somedays your dog takes a shit on the floor right after you take him outside because he’s a prick.
Somedays you believe that marriage is a beautiful, sacred bond that will last forever, somedays you finalize your second divorce and feel like you dont have enough middle fingers to shove in love’s direction.
Somedays you leap into the dating pool while throwing caution to the wind and are optimistically surprised when you meet a nice guy, somedays youre left questioning your sanity after finding the “nice guy”‘s multiple dating site profiles.
Somedays you think family is a precious gift to be cherished above all other relationships, somedays youd like to pack your shit and move into a vast wilderness…forever alone.
Somedays you are in awe of your children growing older and wish you could slow time down, somedays youre certain there is no way you will survive your spawn’s teenaged years and wish death would find you.
When you have a mind where you overthink every little thing and anxiety twists and strangles your every single thought process, it’s difficult doing normal things like dating.
Even as a young woman, it’s difficult to allow myself to trust someone and just feel okay when I feel a bit crushed by it.
Lately it seems that there is a rash of men going around telling single ladies, when asked why they never called, after having sex with them and even being caught in a lie involving another woman, that the reasoning for all of this is “you’re intimidating”.
As a married woman, an outsider looking in if you will, I call BULLSHIT.
Sure, a guy can be intimidated by a woman. Not in the same sense you are afraid for your physical well being when a sterotypical, tattooey, biker type with a meth habit approaches you in a dark alley, but in a “she’s out of my league” way. However, in that scenario let’s face it, you probably never gave the guy your number, surely didn’t sleep with him and if he didn’t think he was good enough for you, he didn’t think he could handle you AND some other chic.
This is my theory: it may be that you’re “headstrong”, “know what you want”, “too smart”, “make more money” or more “experienced” than he is, if you know what I mean, but usually it means that you’re not, as they used to say, “the kind of girl you take home to mother”.
In my experience my friends who get this ” intimidation” schpel the most are the ones who like to go to bars, drink, are very loud, very opinionated, very happy to share their opinions…loudly, and very comfortable with their sexuality. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and ladies, the right guy will love you just the way you are. I love you just the way you are.
BUT what I’m trying to say is that you have to realize this intimidation line is bullshit, that the guys who are telling you this are total douchelords and you can do better OR you have to take it down a notch so he can get to know YOU you and not OUT you.
My advice, if you want it, is to NEVER meet up or go home with any guy at the bar/club. No! NEVER! And don’t have any kind of sex with someone whose been around for a shorter amount of time than your toothbrush.
Look, you would not pick up a toothbrush at the bar and put it in your mouth or vagina for that matter. You dont want to use somebody else’s toothbrush – gross! You want to know where your toothbrush came from. I dont like cheap, $1 store toothbrushes. Why? Because you have to replace them sooner. Theyre not reliable. I dont want a travel brush at home.
Ladies! You need to know things, first! This will save you so much trouble.
The truth is you are not intimidating…this is just another tactic for a guy to avoid accountability but not hurt your feelings. It’s a variation of ” it’s not you, it’s me” or “hes just not that into you” but more vague and more confusing because it can make you feel like you’re a scary Amazonian ogre or something. You just may be too much for a guy to handle all at once.
Like, whoa. Pump the breaks.
These are men we’re talking about.
And if it’s a man you want, there’s lots of them out there. If you don’t want to deal with scrubs ( no job, no car, lives at home wit yo momma) – DON’T. You know better. Its that simple. If you can’t handle baby momma drama – DON’T. If he just got out of a relationship, go even slloooowwwer. Relax. Red hot passion may sell books and movie tickets, but its just as fleeting as the dialogue. You need substance to have a relationship. Be friends first. You should be able to sit at a table and drink a cup of coffee, have a good conversation and feel absolutely no awkwardness before you progress to romance. Its not old fashioned, it’s really coomon sense and the best way to respect and stay true to yourself.
And fellas, enough with this line. Its played out and makes no sense. Be honest. Keep it real. You’ll find you get just as far. We can handle it. And should you encounter a woman who can’t handle it and starts to lose her cool and becomes all, you know, intimidating? Then and only then are you permitted to use this fallback.
I went shopping for Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom. I guess it wasn’t really until actually preparing for the holiday that I actually started thinking about “the holidays” and what all that would entail. I know how Thanksgiving will pan out just because it’s already been discussed. But it still seems weird, not to be having dinner with the in-laws, not to be having to hurry from one place to other, not having to feel uncomfortable and self-conscience the whole time. There really isn’t a sense of loss. It’s more like releif. Releif that I can finally be myself, just as I am, all the time, special occasions, normal occasions and people get that and appreciate me like this. That’s cool.
But then there is… Christmas.
I have my own selfish needs to spend some time with a new love. I’m very curious to see what new things the holidays and the new year will hold for “us”. I’m really looking forward to that. But, otherwise, I don’t even want to touch it with a 10 ft pole. It’s going to be hard.Mostly because of finances and feeling like the kids deserve a whole hell of a lot after having their family ripped apart. I guess you can’t really compensate for that with material things.
The EX and I have discussed buying presents together. I can’t see shopping with him, but I guess we could just discuss what we would like to buy and then say you buy this and i’ll buy that. I think I will have him over Christmas morning to watch the kids open their presents. But I’m beginning to wonder if that is even a good idea. I think that would be nice, but he’s not nice. He’s been making things awkward lately. I don’t have a use for awkward anymore. Like calling me at 11:30 last night because he forgot to tell the kids good night because he’s so busy. Asking me to have the kids call him if he forgets. I think that’s laughable. I mean seriously, how is that my responsibility? It surely didn’t matter to tell the kids good night all those months he was getting wasted and not coming home or passing out downstairs. THEN, today….he tells me “Oh, well I might be having a friend stop by tonight, so if the kids say anythings, that’s what that’s about.” And I was like, “Is it a girl?” and of course, it is. So I ask if it’s serious and he says, “Yeh, it could be.”
First of all, SINCE WHEN? Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for moving on, and I’ll be pleasant with anyone who comes around with him, until they give me a reason not to, but it was just last Thursday, that he sat in my family room acting like he didn’t want to leave and then told me that he missed us. When I tried to be supportive and say, “Well, I know you miss the kids, but now that you’ve moved into your own place…it shoudl get better and easier for you to spend time with them one on one.” And his response, was, “No, I miss ALL of you…. I miss you.” Then when I told him I was tired and had class, he acted all weird about leaving. He would say bye and just hover int he doorway, staring at me and waiting for something. Again, I did the nice thing and gave him a hug, but even when he pulled away, it was like he was still waiting, or wanting something more from me.
Second, why be shady and beat around the bush? This is what bothers me because it’s his pattern. Seriously, if he was genuinely “serious” with somebody and came to me like that about it, I would respect it, hell, I’d be happy about it, but don’t flip-flop all over the place and expect me to happy that you’re having this chick around my kids. Is it so hard to understand that I don’t want people rotated in and out of their life? Especially Pickle, he’s already been through enough, lost one “mother”. C’mon. And how freakin often does he really have the kids? Twice a week for a couple hours and then every other weekend? And the first time the kids go over to his new place, she has to be there? I’m sorry, but that upset me and I told him I thought it was a poor decision on his part. Of course, he got all cocky and self-righteous and told me I’m a hypocrite. Blah, blah, blah…. but…it just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m sure he is really satisfied with himself thinking that he’s upset me by telling me about his “friend” but he’s totally off base. It has nothing to do with her. And then what’s more upsetting, is that he’ll go back to this girl and tell her I don’t want her around my kids and then she’ll think I’m a bitch and then we get off on the wrong foot….vicious cycle, all because he’s being shady.
I guess somethings never change.
But then somethings do, and that makes me eternally grateful and not able to be angry about much else.