Monthly Archives: January 2012

I am a moron

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So last Thursday night I went to an women’s basketball game with B6.  I sort of invited myself, as I may have told you, because I had emailed him an invite and when I didn’t hear anything back I realized I had sent it to the wrong email address – one of his but one he rarely checks.  Because one day he may find the invite, I sent a message to the email he does check explaining the situation but that now I had to un-invite him but would he make good on the raincheck to see a women’s b-ball game.

So I arranged for childcare and met him at 6:15pm at a sports bar to have a drink before the game.  He had explained that he had some event to attend before hand so we should meet there before a 7:00pm game time.  I hadn’t thought about the implications for eating dinner in regards to this odd timing until late afternoon and then I was busy and didn’t eat anything before meeting him. I don’t have his phone number so I couldn’t call to find out and it was too late to email.  I prayed that he had some plan because me and alcohol on an empty stomach is not pretty.

When I arrived he gave me a hug and big smile then the night just got weird.  I know I have some pretty important things in common with this man like a similar spiritual belief system, we are both into exercise, and he enjoys live theatre but we never seem to talk about any of that stuff.What we do talk about are two of his passions – running and sports – two subjects I have actively avoided throughout my life.

His eyes kind of glazed over when, at one point, I changed the subject to something stupid like how I had struggled with what to wear to a women’s basketball game.  He is a straight man of a certain age after all.

Anyway…

I made some stupid gaffs over the course of the evening and try as I might, I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the game.  I was so drained from trying to be interested in what was happening on the court that afterwards when he invited me to join him at a different sports bar to watch the end of a men’s college basketball game, I had to decline.  I felt that I could not try to hold a conversation with a man who had one eyeball on the television.

When I got in my car to go home I knew he would not be contacting me again.  He sped off before I was seat belted in.

I emailed him after a few days to thank him for taking me to the game but haven’t heard a peep from him.  Nor has there been any contact from B4.

My ego is bruised.  I am a little forlorn and feel that I need to give this dating thing up for a while and concentrate on creating a career for myself.

My committee is all but evaporated ( a genuine “thank you” to the few of you who have kept up and commented).

But I have learned some things through this process already. Namely:

  1. Most of my friends and family, even though they thought it would be a hoot to give their honest two cents have , in practice, learned that they are uncomfortable with that.
  2. In an effort to keep these men anonymous I leave out important details that may sway the DBT’s opinions.
  3. I really don’t need a committee.  No one can know what my heart feels except me and no one else can possibly know the unique journey I am on.  My friends and family want to protect me from harm and hardship because they love me but it is through those things that I learn, grow and become a better person.  Most people would have warned me against marrying my second husband. Some claim that they did but I just failed to hear them.  But even though our marriage ended in divorce, he was right for me in that being in a relationship with an alcoholic made me grow in ways I may not have otherwise. Yes, it SUCKED at times but that pain was the impetus for finding my spiritual path, learning to meditate and practice yoga- priceless gifts that may have eluded me otherwise. Life with wasband #2 also taught me new tricks like detachment with love, acceptance, forgiveness, how to truly love someone despite their faults and that it is important to make major decisions from a place of peace and love rather than anger and resentment.
  4. I am not ready for the kind of relationship I want.  I am self-centered, judgmental, overly emotional and equate not getting my way with rejection.  I have a lot more work to do before I am have the proper tools to forge a lasting, loving, satisfying partnership with a man. Plus I need to get my financial house in order which entails centering my career path. I want to be in a real partnership rather than a dependent situation.

Door number 3 had summed it up pretty nicely in the beginning of this whole thing when he said I should just wait and when the time is right it will come to me. So for now I am taking a break and focusing on other things.  I will put my energy into finding a better self and pursuing more study of various disciplines of yoga, Buddhism, and the keys to successful relationships.

I will continue this blog as I continue to learn about relationships and life, something about the journey to make myself a better person.

Who knows?  Right now I am tired and want to work on me.

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B7 comes to town

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Apologies for being a blog slacker.  I have been awakened to the fact that my finances are dire and have been using every moment to work on paid gigs in order to remedy the situation.  I now have a minute to share about B7’s fun visit weekend before last and to catch you up on B4.

B7 arrived at the lovely resort near my home on Friday evening and came over to see my charming little farm cottage.  He is 6’5″ and had a rough time navigating the beams and in some places low ceilings of my goofy, architecturally unique abode (to read more about the cabin check out blackcatcabinchronicles.wordpress.com).  Once the tour was finished he went back to his very nice room while I changed clothes. My friend, Sarah (not her real name) was coming to meet B7 and B4 to give her opinion and see if she liked either one, I having decided that B4 was not happening for me was happy to introduce her but alas, he was unavailable.  All that fretting about what to do about him for nothing.  He has not called me since the night he cancelled making dinner at the last minute and when I called him to invite him out for this occasion now two weeks past, he was polite and said he would call soon to arrange another time to get together but has yet to do so.  I am glad to stop fretting about him.

Anyway… Sarah was interested in meeting him so it is his loss.  They might have actually been cute together.

So I got dressed and met Susan in the bar at the resort and B7 joined us after he showered. We had some wine and some fantastic fries cooked in truffle oil and sprinkled with parmesan then shot off to my favorite restaurant in town to meet up with a mutual male friend, Kevin (married so not game and not his real name either). All four of us had a wonderful time eating fabulous food, drinking some good wine and chatting. B7 ordered a cab to take him to the resort and Sarah and I to my house and that was that.

B7 came to the house for a home cooked breakfast of Italian frittata, fried potatoes, bacon and tea.  He got points for brining a copy of the Washington Post, my favorite newspaper. Then after a proper rest he and I returned to the resort for a private yoga lesson.  Really- yoga.  I was truly impressed with his ability to keep his mind focused on the practice and his willingness to try something new and challenging just because it is important to me.

I left him all zenned out in his room and went horse back riding while he worked.  In the late afternoon I went back to the resort to take advantage of the claw foot tub and luxurious shower in one of the two bathrooms in B7’s room since I lack a bath tub in my house and my shower is small and cramped.  He laughed at how quickly I locked the bathroom door to ensure my privacy.  Of course, I would only be in a man’s bathroom in his hotel room if I knew him well enough to know that he would respect my wishes for whatever interaction I deemed appropriate and B7 is an old friend whom I trust.  I enjoyed a lovely undisturbed bath and shower, got dressed (this bathroom is huge) and we got out just in time to make it to a restaurant for a nosh and to the theatre for a play.

I went straight home and returned to the resort in the morning to join B7 for a scrumptious breakfast with a gorgeous view from the dining room. He left and I went on about my day.

It was a fun visit and he sent me a nice present of some fantastic baked goods from one of my fav bakeries in Georgetown.

Tonight I go to a women’s basketball game with B6.  I had to sort of invite myself so we’ll see what is going on. I had an email from him two weeks ago suggesting he would like to get together last week and then nothing.  So I invited him to a play but sent it to the wrong email.  Several days later I realized my mistake and emailed him Tuesday confessing my goof. He wrote back and I asked if I could collect on the rain check for an invite I had to previously decline due to scheduling issues.  He bit and I’m going to see him tonight.

Will keep you posted.

 

 

Great Expectations?

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My New Years resolution is to be mindful of how I expend my energy and to release as many expectations as possible.  These are both challenging goals for me but the “expectations” part is particularly difficult.  I can pause throughout the day and determine where my energy is going by focusing on how I feel about a specific task or idea and get a pretty good handle on whether that task or idea is energizing or draining for me.  But expectations for me are tricky.  Often I will have an expectation of something and not even know it because it is so buried in my psyche like I used to think that love was expressed via gifts so I developed the  expectation that men should bestow nice gifts as an expression of love.  I had the belief that someone who really loved me would lavish me with gifts, take me out for nice meals or arrange trips that included plane fare and things l like to do.  This expectation was the direct result from my father’s habit of gift giving and how he spent time with me.  He often gave gifts of nice jewelry for birthdays or holidays and took me out for dinner or the theatre (or both) when we spent time together.  It took me years to get over that one but I must say I have gotten some pretty nice gifts from men who have thought the same way.  Now that expectation has been reduced to :nice but not necessary.

Other expectations sneak in as what I perceive as normal like I expect a bathroom in a nice restaurant to be clean.  In terms of a potential mate, I expect him to be able to communicate and problem solve with me which includes demonstrating empathy.

But our expectations can get us into big trouble in relationships.  In fact in an article in the January 2012 issue of Psychology Today, Are You With The Right Mate? (I mentioned this article before in the post about characteristics that make a good relationship),  claims that relationships are good for examining and adjusting our expectations and that is a primary catalyst for personal growth and growth as a couple.

Here is a chunk of that article talking about expectations in relationships and how they are a problem:

To the extent that people have an ideal partner and an ideal relationship in their head, they are setting themselves up for disaster, says family expert Michelle Givertz, assistant professor of communication studies at California State University, Chico. Relationship identities are negotiated between two individuals. Relationships are not static ideals; they are always works in progress.

To enter a relationship with an idea of what it should look like or how it should evolve is too controlling, she contends. It takes two people to make a relationship. One person doesn’t get to decide what it should be. And to the extent that he or she does, the other partner is not going to be happy.

“People can spend their lives trying to make a relationship into something it isn’t, based on an idealized vision of what should be, not what is,” she says. She isn’t sure why, but she finds that such misplaced expectations are increasing. Or, as Doherty puts it, “A lot of the thinking about being married to the wrong mate is really self-delusion.”

I have a friend who appears to have a successful marriage who tells me that when she realized that some of her needs were unmet, she began to examine her expectations with the help of a psychologist. She attributes her satisfaction in her marriage to giving up all expectations.  This is confusing to me because I think there have to be some expectations is order to make a relationship function- like the expectation that this person will come home (this was the bar my ex-husband set- he used to say, “You know I love you because I come home.” which would really piss me off when used in an argument because it seemed like a really low bar to set for a marriage but perhaps there was wisdom in it that I failed to see at the time.)  I think one needs to have the expectation that someone will follow through with agreements and if those agreements cannot be upheld to have the ability to communicate that and why (which preserves sanity in a relationship).  Is that unreasonable?
However, I do have a better understanding of what she means.  Not the big stuff like fidelity or coming home but smaller things like being on time or eating healthfully.

What I am learning is that the key to happiness in this relationship thing is really about self growth.  I am unhappy when I try to change people or insist on things being done my way.  In the past, I thought I was negotiating but really I was only satisfied if I got what I wanted. I wrapped myself up in what my partner did and felt rather than paying attention to myself.  I ignored the natural strengths and weaknesses of my partners and spoke in demands rather than respecting the relationship and speaking in requests. Frustration is really a wake up call to examine something in myself like unrealistic expectations, stubbornness, and inflexibility.  Usually it means I am trying to flow upstream of something and if I meditate on it I can usually figure out what it is and find a mutually satisfying solution.