Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What does it take to make connections with people these days? The sense of comradeship, friendship, even affection? I've been trying to allow myself to reach out, to be vulnerable, and to ask (in one way or another) for what I want. However, it seems as though at each turn, I am getting rebuffed. Or that sometimes I'm putting forth the bulk of the effort and getting nothing back. My mood right now is pensive and discouraged. I guess in a way that's good. A few months ago I would have been depressed and considering stopping all attempts at making connections. There's the slightest urge to do that now--to stop trying. The thing is, I know that doesn't work. Pulling back and removing myself from trying just assures that I'll be alone and lonely, and I want to feel close to people and make friendships. I want camaraderie. I want love and affection from a romantic partner.

A friend years ago was dating someone who told her: "We all have an endless supply of ourselves to give." I loved the idea at the time--I suppose I still do. I wonder now, though, if it's true. Or is it like a bank account where you withdraw in order to give (and withdraw and withdraw and withdraw), but if you're not getting anything back in the form of affection or connections with others, the balance eventually dwindles to zero.

At the same time, I am feeling the most personally fulfilled that I have in a while. My friendships with the women in my life have lifted me up and supported me recently in a way that I didn't even know I was missing.

So...I guess I keep trying. I keep giving myself and hope that the balance of what I have to give doesn't go down to nothing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Once a douche bag, always a douche bag

Okay, so maybe that's a bit harsh. But I signed onto my Yahoo email account and it automatically pulls up Yahoo chat (or a version thereof), and I see this guy I used to talk to in the "contacts" list. We had known each other for a while after having met in a chatroom on IRC. We started talking one-on-one after about a year. We got along and were similar in age, religious views, political views, and the non-desire for kids. We would chat online and on the phone every night. He started mentioning coming out here to see me (he lives in California, and I live in Colorado), and had even gave me numerous potential dates of when he would be able to come out. He mentioned coming out in May 2010, but as the date of him being out here drew closer, he cancelled. Then it was sometime in the summer, but that never happened. He had even mentioned me joining him in San Francisco at some point--guess what? That didn't happen either. The final straw came last fall when he mentioned a possible October visit. Again, as the date drew closer, his plans fell through again. He always blamed it on work. All of his never-happened trips out here were all scheduled around his work that would bring him here. Here's the thing: I knew how much he made because he told me (way above decent), and a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Denver isn't all that expensive. Yet he never once made the suggestion of coming out here WITHOUT work footing the bill.

I understand that I allowed it to happen. Truly I do. I also think that if someone isn't really all that interested in you, he should have the balls to come out and say so. Instead I was getting emails that said things like: "I hope to take many walks with you in the future." and a birthday card that said "Here's to spending many more birthdays together." Silly me thought he actually meant it!!!

So here is my warning and advice to you ladies: men who choose online as their main source of meeting people need to be very closely scrutinized. Online relationships allow men to keep both physically and emotionally distant. I believe that many men who like online relationships like them for the very fact that they don't ever truly have to commit or be in a true relationship. And if your relationship is solely online and on the phone it is NOT a real relationship. Real relationships are about being *with* someone in all of the senses of the word. With them day to day, spending actual time with them in a physical presence, being emotionally available to each other, and actually wanting all of that. But a lot of guys--like my "prince" out in California--are perfectly content with online non-relationships. And if that's what suits you as well, then more power to you. But don't lament that your online relationship isn't moving forward. Cut ties, cut your losses, and move on. Because there IS someone out there who wants to be with you. But there are things you must do in order to have the relationship you want.

1. You have to believe you are worthy of a committed relationship.
2. You have to get out there and actually meet people. Mr. Right isn't going to show up on your doorstep and announce "Here I am!"
3. You have to be crystal clear about what you want. It's all well and good to know what you don't want--that can actually help clarify your true wants--but don't focus on what you don't want. Because sure as shit that's what you will draw to you.
4. You have to be willing to cut your losses when you know things aren't working in a relationship. Don't settle because you're afraid to be alone. If you can't stand to be alone that means you can't stand your own company. And if *you* can't stand to be with you, why would anyone else??
5. Go out and live your life. Stop waiting to do things until you have a partner. When you're out living, doing the things you love, that's when you're going to meet someone. Be the person you want to be NOW. Don't put your life on hold. Once you're leading a happy and fulfilled life, you'll be a much better partner to someone. Looking outside of yourself for happiness is setting yourself up for failure. It's unfair to expect someone else to fill the void.

May you all find your happiness.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Two steps forward, three steps back?

Some days that's exactly what it feels like. Today is one of those days. I've been in therapy for over a year now and have made progress. I know I have. Interestingly, I don't think my latest bit of angst/funk has anything to do with it being Valentine's Day. I knew I wouldn't be with anyone this year. I knew I wouldn't have a date. And at this point, being by myself is something I'm getting used to. Some old tapes are playing, however.

Maybe if I just say what happened it would ease some of it. My sister calls it "getting it out of your head". It's a good idea. I'm usually far too inside my head where I think things make sense. Where I can rationalize my feelings of doubt and make the doubts true. The thing is, a lot of this feels so damn silly and I'm rather embarrassed and feeling foolish as hell for letting it bother me. But, here goes anyway.

So I started playing this new game on my phone. Sort of like mobile Scrabble. Same board setup, same rules, same tiles and racks. Anyway, there's a guy who I started playing with (you can ask for a random opponent), and we stared playing and chatting. He's fun, smart, WAY too good at this game (more about that coming soon), and we hit it off. Cool beans, right? We've played quite a few games these past few days and he's won all of them except one. Now I consider myself a pretty smart cookie, but playing with this guy makes me feel like a junior high schooler who's in remedial spelling. And it really hadn't been a big deal until today. I liked the challenge of playing with him and the camaraderie was pleasant and enjoyable. We were playing a game today and I was actually in the lead for once. I was feeling all right and then in just a few words, this guy shoots past me by almost 100 points. It felt as though he was trying to make me feel good by letting me win. And that felt downright condescending. And then we played another game and he really kicked my ass. And I got quiet and moody. I was feeling downright pissed off. Not because he beat me (again). I've gotten used to that. But that game where I *swear* he was letting me win still is sticking with me. Do I know for sure that's what was going on? No. I don't. But it sure feels true. See? It's silly. So why am I letting it bother me so much? Why did I allow it to strain what had been a fun, lighthearted conversation? And then, of *course*, I worry about what he thinks. "Oh dear. He's going to think I'm a moody, psychotic loon."  And if he does? I'd worry that he wouldn't want to play anymore. I'm already worried about that. Because the thing is, it's extraordinarily difficult to find intelligent, decent, funny people to chat with and relate to. Sure, you can say that there are more out there. Tonight, however, feels pretty bleak and the company is scarce.

Yup, somedays is most certainly does feel like two steps forward and three steps back.