May-December, can it work?

The May-December romance – a romance between two of a significantly different age.  The terminology coming from someone being in the “Spring” of their life (earlier/younger) and someone in the “Winter” of their life (later/older).  Can it work?

I don’t know about you, but when I started out in the whole relationship dealings in life, I generally modelled it around the relationship closest to me, my parents.  So I had an expectation early on that my partner would probably ballpark somewhere around 3-4 years my senior and that was generally where I set my limitations, as my parents were three years apart in age.  When I was younger, age was one of the first inquiries I made in getting to know someone (and rightly so, I want to stress here that the age differences I speak of are only alright for those classified as adults), though as I now get older I’m finding it’s a less important question right off the bat….Funny how that works isn’t it? The older we get the less age matters 😉

There are those that venture outside of those 3-4 years and look for a much significant age difference, society has even provided nicknames that I’m sure we’ve all heard.  For instance “cougar”, an older woman seeking a younger man, I know most of us have heard of that.  But it works all ways, both genders seeking younger or older (I’m not just centring this blog about us women seeking out a poor, hard bodied, unsuspecting, younger man…lol).  In a quick internet search, I’ve learned an interesting take on the animal kingdom.  In addition to the term “cougar”, a younger man that seeks the older woman is called a “hamster”.  I’m tickled with this because it’s giving a young man such a meek and defenceless animal while giving the older woman (cougar) such a predatory animal, I find it highly amusing due to the flip side of the coin….An older man that seeks a younger woman, apparently is called a “rhino”, a strong animal but not necessarily predatory; while the younger woman that seeks an older man is referred to as a “panther”. Now, a cougar could eat a hamster, while a panther could still kick a rhino’s butt or at least put up a good fight; how fair are these nicknames ladies?  I’m just saying, but I think these nicknames were made up by a man…lol.  I digress, but I just wanted to share these “definitions” as they were funny.

Now in my opinion (which is what you are getting in my blog), the May-December romance thing, can work as long as both parties’ needs/wants in the relationship can line up or mesh.  Having dated outside of my age realm I have often heard the statements from others, “what could you possibly talk about?”, or “what do you have in common?” Funny enough, our hobbies and interests do not an age make (if this were the case, with my musical tastes, and some of my interests I would probably be close to 60)…  Quite frankly, having different life experiences at different times can make for really interesting conversations, and really if we were all the same life would be really boring.   

Some obstacles to consider. Children. Do you have them?  Do you want them?  On the December side of the relationship, they may have had their children already and put in their time raising them and not really relish in doing that again, this could be a make or break instance for a May if they have yet to have this life experience.  Same theory could be applied to marriage. Also, and though a bit morbid to consider early on, but, health.  We all can get ailments no matter our age, but scientifically, the odds increase with our age.  So, if you’re a May, something to consider, are you going to be okay taking care of your December later on in life?  It’s not always the case, but as said, to consider.

In my dating experience, I’ve attempted the May-December relationship a few times. No, I do not wish to be called a “panther”, as I do not prey on poor, defenceless, older men. I am a healthy, young woman, I’m secure in myself and have no “Daddy issues” (it’s sometime assumed when a younger woman goes for an older man, she’s looking for a secure father figure – I’m sorry if I’m looking to have the semblance of a romantic life with a guy, Daddy is the furthest thing from my mind). I just have happened upon men that have similar tastes and interests to me and they happen to be older (and bless with brilliant genetics that make them look younger than their years). In theory, it could’ve very well worked out.  In my experiences thus far, different lifestyles (that were not hinged on age) were the downfall –see Mr. Wrong.  I also tried dating a fellow 23 years my senior, but he partied alot and seemed to want someone to go to the bar with every weekend, not what I’m looking for (bet you thought that may be the other way around, huh?) .  But when I meet someone I don’t automatically go to “wait a minute, how old are you first?” I want to know can we talk, can we keep eachother interested, do we have anything in common, what do we like, what do we not like?  I’ve seen a successful relationship with age difference, I know of a couple who get along very well, relate excellently to eachother, and really seem to balance eachother out.  She is 13 years his senior, they happily live together, and it works!  A close friend’s parents when I was growing up, 15 years apart and one of the happiest households I remember! So, in my opinion perhaps age isn’t one of the first screening factors in this dating thing..

Prince Charming just may have some tarnished or “well worn” armour is all, no big deal right? 

Still learning….

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A poem: The Gift

gift

I wonder who can handle me, or who will ever see;

I cannot offer stars or moon, I can only offer me.

This isn’t something small or slight, it is quite a prize;

Love and soul possess me, just look into my eyes.

You may see my passion, or a soul of old;

You may see a vibrant light, or a distant look of cold.

But if you try to look deeper, into my soul’s abyss;

You may come to understand me, and the hunger in my kiss.

I have loved much and deeply, and had it unreturned;

To this day my soul is calling, for which it always yearned.

A soul that calls to mine, and relishes in love;

A gentle hand and strong resolve, to place my heart above.

An equal to share life with, and grow in many ways;

Someone who follows promise, and actually stays.

So when you glance upon me, please remember this;

There is much more to me, than a body or a kiss.

I wonder who can handle me, or who will ever see;

I have a wondrous gift to give, it is the gift of me.

It’s not you, it’s me…

What a crock! Hands up if you’ve heard this line before? I bet if we were all in a room together there would not be many of us sitting smugly with our hands down. Well, unless you’re the one that uses this cliché as your out in your relationships. Ok, ok, sure, there are some out there that legitimately realize that there’s an issue within them that prevents them from a healthy relationship, or a realization of a difference that could lead to potential relationship problems down the road. But for the love of all that is holy in this world, tell the truth! Just using the blanket statement of “it’s not you, it’s me” and that’s it, is a total cop out and really unfair to the receiving party. Now I know there are some of us out there that believe this is “the nice way” of doing things, using such a vague statement is meant to make the receiving party feel that it’s really nothing that they did or could’ve done and you don’t have to have an icky, uncomfortable conversation of what didn’t work in the relationship and can maybe stay friends because they can’t call you a “jerk” for taking the sole blame of the relationship ending on your shoulders, right?

I’ve experienced this first hand in the recent few months. A fairly serious relationship at that and I get a phone call while they’re away across the country and the words you never want to hear from your partner when the relationship is going seemingly well, “this isn’t working, and has to end”. Now, I give myself credit in this department, and it has to be said I think I am quite level headed when it comes to relationships ending. This isn’t my first rodeo; sometimes I’ve had to end relationships, sometimes it’s been mutually ended, and yes I’ve even been on the receiving end of the “this isn’t working” conversation (though, who in their right mind would give up this, right? –note: this is not arrogance folks, I am a good catch, this is called confidence and knowing one’s self). So, while I’m gobsmacked from this seemingly wonderful relationship all of a sudden ending, mustering composure, I ask, why? What happened?…..I don’t go off the handle, I don’t scream, I don’t start throwing things, I don’t break his things, I don’t toss his clothing out of the nearest window, I do not throw a tantrum that a two year old could be proud of (you laugh, but I have known grown women to go totally off the deep end when a break up happens, we’re an emotional gender and it can happen before we even realize it’s going on to reign it in). I’m still ever learning at this relationship thing, I want to know what went wrong, was it something I did, was it something he did, something that I should’ve looked for, was it something that was out of my control, too fast, too slow, someone else, incompatibility, what???? I was told no solid reason, he responded with, that’s right, you guessed it: “it’s not you, it’s me”. I’m in shock at this point, someone who claimed to love me in every way just used the biggest break up cliché in the world on me! There’s silence on the line, and he chooses to continue on the same line of reasoning, “you’re wonderful, and you’ve done nothing wrong”, this snaps me back to the conversation at hand, “oh I know, I was a good partner”, I responded strongly. More silence, I’m not sure that’s the response he expected, I think he was more prepared to argue with/convince me that I did nothing wrong. “Well, good I’m glad you know that”, he finally said. I have to admit, my ex was an inherent people pleaser and had a personality trait of wanting everyone to like him and think he was a nice guy, and keeping true to this personality I’m thinking that’s why he chose his verbiage as such. And, in the past for him, when he’s ended relationships this way, I’m sure the women have sniffled an understanding and let the conversation end at this, and part ways in a friendly manner letting him take full blame, but the blame for what not ever be quite sure.

Before I continue, I should explain something about myself for those who don’t know me and are new to me as they’ve stumbled across this blog. I am a wonderfully communicative person, I try to be reasonable and understanding towards most, and I am brutally honest, almost to a fault; and I appreciate all of these qualities in someone when they are dealing with me as well…

So, did I let this poor lad off with the uncomplicated and self sacrificing ending that he probably wanted? Nope! I wanted to understand, I wanted to know what the problem was, no matter who that problem was with! So in this circumstance “it’s not you, it’s me” wasn’t an appropriate ending note. We talked, and talked, I asked any question I could to try and understand what was happening. I gave him total absolution of any ill will toward him, as long as he was honest. By occupation I sometimes have to take the role of a teacher/facilitator, and I even tried incorporating useful traits from this into my personal life at this point; I asked probing questions, I offered scenarios, I empathized even, all to try and get some actual reasoning for this relationship coming to an end. Unfortunately, he was stubborn and thoroughly convinced that “it’s not you, it’s me” was the way to go, despite how I explained a need for closure and how a reason would actually help me, I never got it….

In my opinion, any relationship ending when you don’t want it to is going to hurt, but it would’ve helped me to process that hurt a little quicker and more easily if I could’ve gotten some honesty and a lesson learned out of it perhaps. I understand some of those “nice people” out there, that don’t want to hurt feelings, and want to shoulder the entire brunt of the relationship ending to avoid hurting another person. Or, maybe there are those out there that don’t want to admit to another person the actual issues they have, and just use this blanket statement to try and avoid expressing their vulnerabilities. But the person that is on the receiving end of “it’s not you, it’s me”, are you doing them any favours? Closure is such a hard thing to come to on your own without any solid reasoning, and being a person that processes things factually when there is not fact given or nothing to learn, it’s a challenge. Now this is not a challenge that cannot be overcome, it’s just a challenge, and in my view, perhaps an unnecessary one this time.

As I’ve explained previously, I love me, and I’m honest with me; that gave me my closure. I tried my best in my relationship with honesty and love, and there was never a mistake of what I wanted in my relationship; and that is how I sleep at night. As for it not being me, it was him; it probably was him and whether he didn’t want to admit to me (or himself for that matter) what the issue was, he lost a good woman. I am a catch 😉

Still learning…..

Internet dating vs. however else you do it…

Society has become so rushed and desiring of convenience, that even something so simple as meeting someone has been given an electronic avenue.  I’ve tried it briefly, and albeit at a poor quality site, I found pros and cons about internet dating.

Pro:  You can have conversation and get to know people in a comfortable environment (wherever you choose to be) and perhaps converse enough that it’s less awkward upon finally meeting.  Or, even find out enough that you can determine it’s not worth you to be meeting.

Con:  I’m a big believer in body language, you can tell a lot about a person by their body language.  Plus you can also learn a lot through people’s initial response in a conversation.  Electronic communication (unless video), allows for thought to a response, this can be good or bad; good as in we can think about what we say to make a good impression, but it can also allow for thinking of what we think that other person wants to hear and not necessarily leading to an honest impression.

Pro:  Allows for convenience for those who have a busy schedule, and wish to invest time into dating sparingly or don’t have much time to allow.

Con:  If we really don’t have time to invest in looking for someone, are we going to have time to invest in an actual relationship when we do want to form one with someone we met.  Ask ourselves that when choosing this avenue.

Pro:  You can see a picture of someone.

Con:  The picture may not be them, or could be them….30 years ago.

I’ve met some interesting people through online.  It’s so funny what people can portray versus what they really are though.  I had an experience of meeting a young man (and by that I only mean a couple of years my junior), we chatted online for a couple of months and he seemed pretty nice and a little shy even.  So when the time came to meet in person, I was pretty confident in already knowing (somewhat) who this person was and what they were about.  Needless to say, this was an experience; we met at a local Tim Horton’s had a coffee and chatted, then we went for a little walk.  During our walk (in a well lit, public area) he offered to see me home, which was polite but I declined this offer on first meeting (safety first, I don’t quite know him yet, so he is not finding out where I live).  We parted ways, saying it was a pleasure to meet eachother, with a hug and a peck on the cheek (it was really quite cute as he still seemed a bit shy to come near me).  Upon returning home I started getting numerous texts from this guy, asking me why I didn’t invite him to home with me, didn’t I think he was attractive, and why didn’t I sleep with him? Ugh, talk about nut job.  I deleted his number and blocked his dating profile immediately….. But not before advising him how he should talk to a lady and that he needed a few lessons on the “art of wooing”.

Another experience I had during my online dating experience was bittersweet.  A very straightforward profile of a guy with lovely long, dark hair (I have to admit, guilty pleasure, I admire a man with better/longer hair than me), stating he was looking for Miss Right.  Again, chatted a couple of months, got to know eachother and arranged to meet.  I have to say it was probably one of the best first dates that I’ve ever had!  We met at the local mall and had coffee then walked around the mall.  During our mall excursion we played with light sabre swords in Toys R Us (this appealed to my inner Geek), did you know that store staff do not stop adults found sword fighting in the aisle?  Then upon passing a jewelry store, he smiles and grabs my hand and pulls me into the store directing me to the engagement rings “what do you like darling?” he asked with great lavish, a sales lady even came over to “help” us; you should’ve seen the look on her face when I announced it was our first date.  So here we are again, he was so playful and fun, this man-child could be my Prince Charming, right?  No noble steed, but his eyes glittered with a playful soul and he had lovely, long locks… After a couple more month the playful lad admits distance (about an hour or so) is too much for him and he’s not sure what kind of commitment he’s ready for.  But you know what?  The guy still remains a friend.  So perhaps not dating success, but I have a new, fun, and kind person in my life.

So, internet dating, I had success and well, not so much success.  I have heard some horror stories from others and I’m not quite sure I’d ever go back to using this avenue of dating.  But on the other hand, I know a lot of people that have had success with it as well.  I take an interest in human behaviour and body language, therefore I think initial meeting I would prefer in person and perhaps electronic avenues to keep in touch.  The first impression is the most honest in my opinion.

Still learning….

Allowing Mr. Wrong

Having a drink with an old friend and listening to some live music in my hometown pub a voice comes from the stage “hey young man, are you dating that young lady with you? Because if you’re not, I wouldn’t mind doing so…”  I blush inwardly, I can’t help it, there’s a vain part of me that loved that attention; and to be picked out of a crowded pub did something for my ego as well (even if it was a rather small place).  My friend not missing a beat says “she’s not mine, we’re friends”, and then turns to me smiling “you have an admirer”.  I didn’t get too excited about this, sure this guy with shaggy dark hair, twinkling eyes, and awesome stage presence/confidence is really cute and is engaging us; but I have to remember: musician.  I try not to paint all with the same brush here but it has to be understood, pub/bar musicians (male and female) have to turn it on and flirt with the audience to get them interested in their show and them, that’s how you create a following and fans so they will come back and see you.  I get that…  We were decidedly this night’s focus to try to get out to another show, during the set break my friend and I get the attention of this boyishly handsome musician. “I’m playing tomorrow night at a town only 30 minutes from here”, my friend quickly declines as he’s working but where this guy is playing is the town I am currently living in.  I’m single, I have no plans, and I adore classic rock music which seems to be this guy’s main repertoire. “Sure, I may be able to make that”.  “Great, I hope to see you there”, he responds then goes back to the stage to finish his set… It’s harmless, I get to give him the sense of accomplishment of accumulating another fan, and I have no plans the next night and get to go out rather than sitting at home alone on a Friday night.

A lot of my friends are married, with children or have partners, so finding a last minute date to go out to a pub on a Friday night was near to impossible.  Well, just because I’m single and can’t find someone to go out to do something fun with, should I just sit at home?  No, I’m quite confident and happy with my own company.  And being in the same town, if I wasn’t having fun, it was easy enough to get home.  I went to see this guy’s gig by myself.  I went to the pub, sat myself at the end of the bar and took in the show.  I love live music, and if the musicians are good it makes the experience that much more enjoyable, and if they have a broad repertoire even better!  This guy was like a human jukebox, and quite impressive.  First set done he came right over to me, I didn’t even think he noticed that I came in (this was a bigger place than the first time I saw him).  He sat down with a drink and chatted, asked questions about me, asked what I did for a living, and in turn talked about himself, where he played, what he aspired to do; that was nice of him to sit with me instead of circulating and working the crowd, he had noticed I was by myself and took pity on me, and that was good business, every fan appreciated.  He went back to do the next set of the show, and the bartender placed a whiskey and soda in front of me smiling and nodding toward the stage “from him”.

Admittedly, I swooned a bit from the attention.  I still very much kept my head about me that it was flirting and part of the gig, but it didn’t stop me from giving my number when it was requested at the end of the evening.  The allure of the musician, exciting lifestyle, and Mr. Wrong, were very appealing attributes at the time.  I view myself as quite average, I work a day job, I can go out and party every now and then, I can even perform and have my own talents; but this guy travelled Canada, played numerous shows (this was all he did for a living).  Maybe because this was exciting for me at the time, I could live vicariously through him, all while I had my safe and secure life.

We seemed to have quite a few common interests despite an age gap; which was totally unexpected upon meeting him as I had guessed him in his mid 30s (me in my mid 20s at the time).  During a first date he was talking about his son to which I said “oh how sweet, how old is your little boy?” “Um, 19”, he replied with a bit of an awkward pause. I did a quick math in my head, okay wow, I only have 7 years on junior.  Apparently Mr. Wrong was 17 years my senior.  But in most circumstances age is just a number, I said most circumstance, not all (future blog to come on my views on this topic).

We went out for dates as often as his scheduling allowed, we had a great time together, even managed a trip or two in his down time. I think we kept the semblance of some sort of casual dating relationship for 8 months.  And I did the good “musician’s girlfriend” thing, I went to gigs, I smiled and socialized with the fans/regulars, I listened to his recorded material, provided critique, encouragement, and enjoyed the time of something that I all the while knew was not going to be going far.

In retrospect, I can remember thinking about the red flags as they popped up, and still going forward.  We all have that little checklist that we go through in the dating process and looking for that forever partner (“checklists”—another future blog topic), we don’t just focus on appeal, attraction and interests, for those of us who want that family some day we look for financial stability (or some semblance of it).  Mr. Wrong was a travelling musician, had no real home base, and essentially lived on the road.. This was red flag number one..  Mr. Wrong travelled all of the time, he worked nights and I worked days, and driving all of the time allowed him very little communication as well.  To nurture and grow a proper relationship, we needed a lot more time to spend together in something so new and getting to know eachother… That was red flag number two… And the last significant red flag was the places we were at in life, Mr. Wrong already raised his child, but for benefit of dating a younger woman I’m sure, debated having more at his point in life.  Did any of these red flags make him a bad person or mean that he didn’t treat me anything less than great? No, not at all. We had a great time with eachother.

Why was any time put into Mr. Wrong do you ask?  Why do some of us do this?   Because I am not the first, nor the last to invest time into some form of relationship all the while pretty sure that it’s not going to go anywhere.  I have a few theories, and again I cannot stress enough, this blog is reflection and speculation of MY experiences and analyze my personal situations..  Mr. Wrong had talent and excitement in the travelling and partying aspects of his lifestyle, it’s sometimes said that we crave in others what we are lacking in our own lives, well these things were appealing to me at the time, but not present in my life.   Also though, because I recognized these red flags, Mr. Wrong was a “safe thing” if you will, he wasn’t going to get overly invested in me and I wasn’t going to get overly invested in him, therefore keeping an emotional hurt to a minimal.

I think these relationships are okay and can be a learning experience, and they can allow for a stress free companionship, as long as both parties are honest and up front.  If you go into something and think you can change someone to fit your idea of “Mr./Mrs. Right” you could be fighting a losing battle.  Be clear to yourself what it is you’re wanting and looking for, and if that ever changes, it may be best to let other involved parties know too.  For what it’s worth at the time, for Mr. Wrong and I, at that particular point in life he was what I needed and I think I was what he needed.

BUT, if you’re looking for Mr. Right, I think you should put out there what you’re looking for and pay attention to those red flags, we should not be settling for anything less than what we deserve.

Maybe a simple practice can be found in this, it’s an easy thought to be honest with others and what you’re looking for and wanting in your life/relationships, but make sure you’re honest with yourself too.  We will only get into the type of relationships that we allow ourselves to, whether right or wrong.

Still learning…..

The ever dreaded rebound

My journey continued…So, after a few relationships and a divorce, I’ve got this now, I love me!  I don’t need to be needed, and I have a good idea about what I want in a relationship and the behaviour I’ll accept.  I’m clearing my horizon for that prince charming on noble steed to come and sweep me away.  To clear that horizon, I took some time for me to just do the things I enjoy, and wasn’t necessarily looking.  At this point in life, I was on a relationship hiatus, really wasn’t sure if I wanted to test the dating waters or even have a clue what I would do if approached by the opposite sex.  So, I surrounded myself with friends, and started a social life again.

Funny how things can happen when you’re not looking, I still have to sort out and understand that attraction rule in life (when you want to meet new people it never happens, yet when you don’t want to meet new people guess what…).

I’ll set the scene for you: crowded pub, loads of people, the smell of beer and nachos, opposing sports fans exchanging jeers, and me hanging with a couple of my buddies drinking beer and watching football (soccer for all of my “Canadianized”  sport fans).  The epitome of anti-romantic setting;  I’m with my lads, adorned in fan gear of the team I’m cheering for and I’m safe, not even contemplating other men around me……Then… Hello blue eyes!  These sparkling, playful, bright baby blues catch my attention from across the room.  They belong to a fella who is smirking directly at me as he stands for the national anthem of the opposing team to which I am so evidently clad in and supporting.  This man had great eyes, but he had no taste in football, I turned back to my game and enjoyed my pint of Kilkenny.

“Hey, haven’t seen you on the pitch in a while, where ya been hiding?”, I looked up and blue eyes is standing in front of our table, talking to my buddy next to me.. We know blue eyes?!  I feel a little spark ignite, that instant attraction feeling, we all know it right?  My heart skips a beat and I’m just trying not to smile dumbly.. He plays in the same soccer league as my buddy, if I wanted an “in” to talk to this guy it’s on a silver platter right now.  “Do you mind if I join you guys?”.. No “in” required, blue eyes wants to join us! “Well, I’m not sure, you seem to  be cheering for the wrong team and I’m not sure if I can accept that at this table”, I smile sweetly with a playful tone in my voice..Hmmm, flirting, am I doing that?  I can’t remember at this point what that is; eye contact, check… smiling, check…playful, demure, tone of voice, check… head tilt, check…Well, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, yep, by George I think I’m flirting!  The game went on, the beer flowed well, and he was totally smiling at me and engaging me in conversation at every turn.  I am smiling and kicking my buddy under the table who leans over and says in my ear “you want to hook up with this guy? Cause I so got this for you!” (how sweet, isn’t it so awesome when one of your best male friends offers to be your “wing man”?).  I casually lean back over to my buddy and say while still smiling “I got this hon, don’t think I’ll need the assist”.  I am smiling, I’m tossing my hair, and nodding my pretty little head; maybe I can flirt?  My inner self is cheering me on with pompoms and jumping up and down, success!  we remember how to do this!!!  (FYI, I had an inner self before the Fifty Shades Trilogy made the “Inner Goddess” popular by the way).

Surely good should have come of this meeting, right?  I met a guy, I was my charming self, and we could talk sports (what guy wouldn’t love that, come on?!).  My prince charming traded in his steed for a soccer ball, it could happen?

After a few dates, I got to find out that lovely blue eyes was on the rebound, and he shortly thereafter went back to his ex.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Fortunately, I wasn’t emotionally invested in this one, but I have heard others’ experiences where they have been crushed because they were someone’s rebound relationship…

BUT, I am ever learning…There are some things that are beyond our control in the dating world, being someone’s rebound may be one of them.  But the whole point of dating is getting to know someone (to see if they’re relationship worthy), and if we just met that person we really don’t have any background on them and have to take them at their word.  It’s unfortunate at times to have to trust blindly, but most days I leave my telepathy and crystal ball at home.

How do I plan on not being that rebound girl?

  • Date!  Don’t hop into a relationship and get that emotionally invested straight away.. Yes, yes, we all like that cushy “aaaahhh, I’m in a relationship and don’t have to worry about dating anymore” feeling.  But it’s essential to getting to know someone.
  • Ask questions.  I am impeccable at this and have a fairly inquisitive and forward manner about me.  Think you’re being too nosey?  Space the questions out over a few dates, that way your date doesn’t feel like they’re in an interrogation.  In my opinion, questions like “how long were you in your last relationship?” or “how long ago was your last relationship?” are legit questions.  It’s not like you need to know the ex’s favourite restaurant or really any details about them as a person, but it would be nice to have an idea if there is a possibility of still being hung up on them.
  • Listen.  Do they bring up their ex, or volunteer any information about their ex that isn’t relevant to the current situation (ie. You two)?  This could be a red flag.

So far, I haven’t been the rebound again, but I empathize with those who have.  But you know what I got from blue eyes?  Attention, interest, and that nice little spark.  I was so hesitant to even bother talking to a member of the opposite sex, I didn’t think I could relate, or even manage a conversation.  But, I can still flirt and have a bit of interest shown my way, who knew?  I got my groove back 🙂

Still learning…

Introduction – Self learning and my journey in waiting for prince charming

prince charming
Disclaimer:  Reader beware, this is just an opinion piece from my personal experiences.  I am not a professional, any advice or opinion is solely my own and not meant to be a direction to anyone who may be having the same problem/experiences.  My purpose in doing this is to 1. Vent,  2. Maybe even inspire discussion, 3. See if the response could encourage a future blog, or who knows?  See if I can capture people’s interest as a writer, 4.To gain personal perspective by thinking and writing it out, 5. Maybe have someone think about things in their own lives from these happenings, and 6. Have I mentioned to vent?

Names have been omitted of persons referenced in this piece out of respect.  Though a bit miffed and irritated at the time, I hold no ill will toward anyone.

My apologies to hockey fans for this injection of humour into my piece.. But has anyone ever seen that joke picture of the skeleton in the Maple Leafs jersey sitting in a chair with the sign that says “Maple Leafs fan waiting to win the cup”?  Dress that skeleton in some boots, tight jeans, and a pretty top, and you got me “waiting for prince charming”.

A whole, entire decade of dating/relationships, “the excitement!” you must think…”She must’ve met some really cool people” more of you may think… “Oh my God, that would be terrible” others may think.. But you know what?  I have met some pretty cool people, I’ve had some great (and not so great experiences), and I’ve come out the other side of it with lessons in learning about myself and also new questions to ask and seek answers to in this crazy thing we call life.  I’m still learning, and hey if I start a blog from this first attempt at writing, you can follow my learning 😉

Most people I have spoken to about the challenges I’ve went through in the past ten or so years have all given me the same ballpark of responses:  of looking at me in dumbstruck awe, or “I’m glad I don’t have to do the dating thing, I’d have no clue how it works these days”, “I don’t understand”, “better you than me”, or, my personal favourite “you could write a book”… Have I mentioned the majority of my friends that I have spoken to about this are older, married with children, or in a relationship?  That’s right, I’m the single girl in my world full of couples (essentially).

So in my talking to people, I’ve heard every dating recommendation out there, and also, because I am who I am (always thirsting for knowledge and an avid reader), I think I’ve read a good portion of the books on the market about “how to attract the one”.

Dating/relationship adage #1.. You have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

Done! Easy enough, right?  No!  But I learned…  I thought I was an alright enough person;  I liked me, I was good to those around me and always treated people how I wanted to be treated.  Surely this should equate to loving one’s self, right? No…

Loving yourself is allowing others to treat you as you should be treated.  I learned this lesson the hard way, and got to build up my self esteem and sense of self worth in the process after having what I thought I did have torn down.

Cusping on my 20s, I was with a man who all but worshiped me when we met.  Dates, compliments, looks, talent, humour; he was what a young woman would’ve thought was the whole package as first impressions go..Then slowly things changed, even so simply as starting to always be late when we had plans.  Then it progressed to the phrases that provided him the reassurances that I guess he needed; “we’re meant to be together”, a nice sweet sounding statement turned into, “you know, I’m the only one that would have you”.  Little by little, with missed dates, insults, and demands, the relationship became this unhealthy controlling mess. Next thing I know, arguments and disagreements become physical, and I became one of those women that went work with bruises saying “oh, clumsy me, I fell”.  Being younger, I let this go on longer than it should have, until a very dear friend helped me break this pattern and get away.  I learned I had to look out for # 1, me!  And it was NEVER ok to be put down, controlled, or abused.  He didn’t like that much when I came to this realization.  But, a restraining order and parental intervention later, I moved on.

Excellent!  One bad experience, one lesson learned.  I like myself now, I know I shouldn’t be put down or abused.  This means I love myself, right?   Self love, and grasping your own self worth can have many different aspects to it.. More to it I found out…

In my early 20s, I reconnected with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a few years.  He remembered the little things I liked, and little trivial details about me, revealing he always “had a crush on me” throughout the years (much to the chagrin of the ex wife he accumulated in those past few years).  We started dating, things went swimmingly.  I met his friends and family, they accepted me.  I love me, people were starting to see why, and they loved me too!  Then he started to get a little odd at times, moody, unsatisfied with “where he was in life”, and even sad.  Then he started using drugs to cope and “take the edge off” as he put it to me at times.  I couldn’t have that, I loved this person, they needed MY help.  I was NEEDED.  He didn’t want to help himself though.  Diagnosed with clinical depression, he did everything to the opposite of what a doctor suggested.  The mood swings he endured started to take aim at me.  Yelling, name calling, threats of ending the relationship, and throwing things; surely these were things that someone who loved themselves wouldn’t put up with?  I stayed longer.  He needed me. Can you guess where this is going?  Another lesson in self esteem, another form of low self esteem and lack of self confidence is the need to be needed.  Co-dependence is a horrid thing, and it doesn’t only exist on the leaning party.  There are some of us who are totally strong and don’t NEED anyone to be complete, but we feel that we need to be needed to be complete (the other side of co-dependence, the “needee” if you will, instead of the “needer”… yes I know these aren’t real terms, but you get my point).  Because I wasn’t the “needer” I thought my self esteem was good, but this isn’t the case, it was just another insecurity that I needed someone else to justify my worthiness.  I met someone else later on that needed to be needed to, but will touch on that later (it’s a different dynamic when you recognize your former self in someone else).

Challenge number one, overcome!   I love me, truly I do.  I know my self worth, I know I’m a good person, I am independent, and I have a pretty good idea of what I deserve in a relationship.  It took my early 20s, and a divorce to get to this point…. I have my own goals that don’t hinge around having a partner, I appreciate my friends and family and the close bonds/relationships that I do have in my life, and continue to nurture them.

With this out of the way “Mr. Right” should be banging down my door, sweeping me off my feet, and taking me to my “happy ever after”…Right???????

More challenges and life to come………….

But in closing of my first reflection, I’m still smiling and remembering: so far in life, I have a 100% success rate of surviving unpleasant times.  Also, I have learned how to be happy with myself, do you know that many still cannot claim that?   It may not serve as a victory in the dating/relationship world for me yet, but it’s my own personal victory J

If you’ve made it this far, I wouldn’t mind hearing an opinion on if such a topic is worth blogging about?  I am tempted to create a blog on dating, relationships, life, and human behaviour.. Maybe with a little fun thrown in here and there…Let me know what you think!