The horrible, ugly truth of it is…I am happy. Ridiculously and grotesquely and I don’t really know how to BE happy without making apologies or fearing it. I suppose the past 5 years has been a torrential downpour and I’m so comfortable in that environment that I don’t know what to DO when things have been going decently and life has taken a respite from pummeling lemons at my defenseless body.
Oops, I Did It Again
If you’ve read the blog you know that 2014 was chock full of hedonism and debauchery. Well, not really anything that exciting or scandalous—but I did make the effort to date a lot and sprinkle around a few morsels from my heaping bag of wild oats. Most of my posts about dating came off as whimsical and kind of fun, and it WAS— up until a certain point. The truth of the matter is that I really hate modern dating and how it is set up. I had simply given up and adopted a “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude” and learned to use these new lazy courting methods to my advantage. After a while, juggling men, keeping up with text messages and hang outs and being treated like a piece of meat took its toll and I believe I was at an impasse. I was either going to become this jaded chick that dated multiple men and never settled down or made a commitment OR I was going to grow up and realize that sometimes LOVE HURTS! That’s the risk we take every day by involving ourselves with other human beings and allowing them the power to disappoint us. There is absolutely no way around it and I was beginning to look like a fool for thinking that I could avoid heartache by controlling the men around me and remaining aloof in soul but not in body.
I made the decision to do better. I had reached a certain level of maturity to understand that there is no reward if there is no risk. I missed the days of rubbing someone’s back and actually listening to the story they’re telling me because I care about their thoughts and philosophies on life. I missed consistent communication, lazy Netflix marathons and inside jokes. I MISSED having a boyfriend. As a woman, it’s hard to confess or admit these things to yourself because with the whole “bad bitch”/ “feminist” movement wanting the company of a man automatically makes you weak. Lucky for me, I don’t consider myself that kind of feminist. My pet peeve is feeling censored or judged by others for simply wanting what I want. I am sure there are women who admired that I was going through my sexual revolution phase…then why can’t I be equally praised for my “I want to settle the fuck down and chill with one dude” phase?
But, I digress. Let’s move the story along…
Meanwhile, a persistent young man began to contact me on the dating site for which I was a lackluster participant. I wasn’t really all that wooed by it, but I was bored and his persistence had a hint of desperation in it that gave me the impression that maybe he was just tired of all the bullshit that is modern dating and ready to settle down and give something a chance. We went on a date to a poetry outing and he was cute enough, could carry on a decent conversation and seemed genuinely impressed and interested in me (HUGE points for that). He lived relatively close, as well, so we ended up spending a lot of time together. THIS WAS IT—FINALLY!
In an attempt to disable my account I logged into my profile (for what was supposed to be the final time) and I am messaged by a lovely young man whose dating profile claims he is a whopping 6’5” (yes, please!). Being the flawed individual I am, I entertained conversation with this gentleman because he was hot; plain and simple with no way to sugarcoat that. After exchanging numbers and talking to him a bit more I realized that he was intelligent and fun to talk to even more so than my pseudo-boo I was spending all of my time with (two weeks of pure, unadulterated oversaturation). Some uncommitted dating overlap occurred with the two men for a few weeks and one night, as I sat in the booth of a TGI Fridays forcing myself to smile at the first guy, I realized that I didn’t want anyone else but the second guy. Once I came to that realization I proceeded to do EVERYTHING wrong, by ending things with the first prospect and shifting all of my free time and attention over to the man I favored and could see building something with.
The rules of the blog are that once a male figure becomes a significant part of my life he gets a name. Because I am not a complete asshole I’m always polite enough to not use the actual name of the guy, so let’s call him JW. JW is actually a real, live grown ass man that does real, live grown ass man stuff like; pays rent in his very own apartment, owns a car, has a job, supports his children… It sounds like simple stuff but finding this in dudes nowadays (in the area I live in) is harder than it should be. Those things are nice, but I can’t really qualify them as the things that I care about all that deeply (except for the taking care of his kids thing). As I spent more time with the man I came to realize that his actions actually matched the words that came out of his mouth! He expressed his affection for me verbally and physically, he consistently communicated and touched based regularly and he didn’t play games. As much as I hate this phrase: everything WAS what it WAS…it was GOOD!
Nobody Said It Was Easy
…but it is. I don’t know why and it scares the shit out of me. As it turns out, once I let go of my past hurts and fears; accepting love into my life became easier. JW and I went through the phase of casually dating and after about 3 weeks I was sooo tempted to have the uber confrontational “WHERE IS THIS GOING?” conversation, but something in me told me I didn’t need to. When you are dealing with a real man, it seems things fall into place a little more naturally. I was treated so respectfully on such a consistent basis I just had the feeling that I was finally dealing with an individual that was courting me in the correct way and doing what he could to be clear about his intentions. Look at me everyone; I’m dating a real ADULT!
After the demise of my “relationships” with my children’s fathers and finding out they were both philandering assholes not my true soulmates, I approached dating like a naïve teenager and wasn’t even sure of how I wanted or expected to be treated. I learned plenty of lessons about the importance of giving the benefit of the doubt, the importance of softness and submissiveness, communication, fighting fair, etc.—but I hadn’t yet learned the lesson that these characteristics are NOT TO BE WASTED ON THE UNAPPRECIATIVE! I had acquired all of this knowledge on how to be a good partner but I wasted it on slutty dudes that were not that interested in me, or obsessive dudes that were way too interested. Somewhere along the way I had adapted the motto of “aim low so you won’t be disappointed” so I attached myself to men I knew didn’t want any kind of commitment from me, were not going to pay for any dates, give out any back rubs, no gas money, and definitely no kind of commitment. Dealing with cheaters, liars, ex cons, the selfish, the young, the lonely, the restless was my way of saying to myself “I don’t deserve any better than this.” So now, when I do have a man that loves and appreciates me, treats me like a priority and protects me I find myself asking the question, “Do I really deserve this?”
I still don’t quite have the answer to that question. But I do know that while I am gifted with this man who goes out of his way to make me feel special everyday, I am going to appreciate that for once in my life, something is easy. He is not perfect— though I am very nearly perfect 😉 –so there is still going to be work involved in the effort to try to get this thing right. Because of my past hiccups I am insanely jealous, suspicious, insecure ALL of that, but I am determined, for once, to chase after happiness. I have put a lot of time and effort into dysfunctional relationships, it’s about time for me to grow up and invest in something healthy that makes me insanely and absurdly happy—even if it scares me shitless