I’ve had a few long-term relationships, but none of them turned out to be the man who’s love for me is so palpable that no amount of effort required to make it work seemed too much for me or compelled me to grab hold and fight like hell.
Don’t cry for me, this is not an attempt to elicit affirmations of love finding me one day. I am not sitting at home on my couch like a black Bridget Jones drunkenly belting out Celine Dion’s version of “All By Myself”. I am not sitting around waiting to be chosen by a man.
Admittedly, my girlfriend game is not that strong. I lack some emotional intelligence and I’m pretty much incapable of communicating where there is conflict.
mode switch = shut down.
To be clear, I’ve always put forth what I felt was the appropriate effort to “make it work” in relationships, sometimes more than I should have and at my own expense, but so far…I’ve had to always choose me.
I type that with confidence now but it took me a long time to understand that choosing me is okay and to not feel guilty about it. As empowering as “choosing me” sounds, there is struggle in that action because the other persons perception has almost always been a negative one. And at times, those perceptions have left me feeling selfish and unwilling. But in the end, I am fundamentally who I am and my ability to compromise only goes so far. There is a huge difference between compromising in a relationship and surrendering your own wants and needs.
After my most recent breakup, I gave myself six months to deal with it however I pleased. I chose to be introspective because I needed to deal with how I ended up in that place. Having to deal with your own shit hurts like hell, sometimes even physically. After I couldn’t cry anymore, I wrapped up in a cocoon self-care…and a little bit of selfishness. And after I was done being selfish, I reconnected with my family and friends who I knew would allow me to be vulnerable but still usher me forward. As I had hoped, I emerged from that space with a real sense of self and full of real joy. I have managed to evolve even though everything else around me has pretty much stayed the same.
I wouldn’t be being completely honest if I didn’t admit that the idea of dating and relationships still plagues me with a bit of anxiety and sometimes just the thought of reemerging myself into it pushes me back to a place where I want to be okay with it just being me, because I know for sure there is happiness in solitude. I have always been completely content with being with myself and I consider that a strength, but like most women 30 plus, I do still have a desire for companionship, maybe marriage, and possibly children.
As I start to try and open myself up to meet and connect with people, I struggle with standards. Not upholding them, but revising some old standards that I feel may be blocking my ability to organically meet someone.
I have written previously about sex and dating and at the time I was adamantly against casual dating, mainly because I didn’t have the patience to deal with the uncertainty of it, but also I was/am not into the idea of casual sex. Simply put, sex with connection is just better and good sex without connection is dangerous.
Angela 1:13 If thou ain’t my man, thou cannot place thy hand on my cookie…or get this nookie.
But even still, I have concluded that that “all or nothing” approach to dating is just way too serious for the space I am in now and that it may have put pressure on situations before that moved them forward too quickly or moved them forward when they they weren’t meant to at all. Don’t get me wrong, I wont be tossing my cookies all over Chicago, but I resolve to be more chill and less definitive where dating is concerned.
I have absolutely no idea how to do this or what it will look like, but I am sure it will make for some great content.