Category Archives: Dating

You Are Just What I Needed

I feel like I told you everything.

You listened so completely that I didn’t need words any more. You opened me up so that all that I was, am, and will be lay stretched out before you, comfortably naked. I believed you could handle everything I shared, nothing would be a burden. I heard myself too. I really revealed myself to us both.

You made me feel beautiful, resplendently adorned with every detail of my past. I got drunk on you. You saw all of me and I felt entirely seen. Your attention undressed me before my clothes could come off. You unpeeled my layers from the inside out.

You made me feel safe, wrapped in your arms or even just in your presence. Your gentle strength amazed me (how did you get so strong?), and my trusting you amazed me more. You sheltered me while I removed my protective barriers. I saw how freely life could be lived without them.

You touched me like I have always wanted to be touched. You showed me what is possible. I have never felt more like a woman, a strong feminine woman, than I did that one night with you.

You taught me what I deserve to receive from a man. I lacked for nothing with you. And whether or not we see each other again, you were just what I needed.


I Don’t Know What I Mean to You

I have been feeling guilty about wanting to stop seeing my therapist, mainly on her account. In this context, she asked me if I am very concerned with how I affect other people. Strangely, this innocuous little question knocked me for a loop.

My first reaction was “that doesn’t resonate with me at all.” We both paused, waiting for me to continue.

Magically, in the best way therapy can, this opened up a new avenue into my psyche, one I would not have discovered on my own. I proceeded slowly at first. I related that I am more concerned with how others affect me…but that didn’t sound right. Did that mean I am obviously self-absorbed? Goddess forbid! I wanted to find a shred of evidence that I did care how I affect others.

When I couldn’t immediately, I defensively explored out loud that it seems useless to be concerned about that because it is just guessing then. If someone doesn’t tell me how I have affected him, how can I know? Why be concerned about that? I felt better, almost smugly proud, after making this arguement. Then I backtracked.

Memories of worrying about my negative effect on people started trickling into my awareness. Once I admitted that I do care about my negative impact, I realized that I rarely or never consider how I positively affect people.

Friends, mostly women, have told me how wonderful I am, how happy they are to know me, but oftentimes I barely believe them. I don’t accept the compliment which means I don’t take it personally. My inner self never receives the message. In my philosophy class, my teacher explained that we are active participants in being offended; someone says words but we have to accept them to be truly affected by them…we stab ourselves with those words and feel offended. If I don’t want to do that, why would I want to refuse the positive words, preferring to stab myself with negative words of my own choosing?

I continued to talk out loud in general, even though I was thinking in specifics, namely, my ex-boyfriends. I was getting choked up, realizing I have no clue if any of them were positively affected by me. How do they even remember me, if they do at all?! Something close to panic began to grow inside me. I kept talking to keep it at bay.

My therapist and I are both Scorpios, so it was easy and natural to seque into the following point. In all the love horoscopes I have read for fun, Scorpio women are highly praised. I have read countless times that you will never forget a Scorpio woman, you should hold onto her if you are lucky enough to find one, she is passionate, loyal and worth the ride! This used to bring me pride and confidence, but after a few “failed” relationships, I cannot help but wonder why no one has thought that about me.

I am not proud of that thought, and I am still exploring who I would actually be compatible with. It is becoming clear that I might be falling for the “wrong” kind of man (subject for a future essay). However, this journey had helped me to see that I hope I did positively affect the men I loved, but I doubt I did without any proof. Only one of my exes is someone I talk to, and I don’t think I affected him much if at all.

Looking at my last relationship, I wondered if there was any evidence I even affected him while we were together. Did he change at all to accomodate me? Was our relationship a dialogue or two one-sided monologues? I haven’t looked hard enough yet, but there is one memorable thing which he did differently after he got to know me better. I was pleasantly shocked when he first did it. After we showered, he would wait for me to wipe all the water from my body before handing me a towel. That made me ridiculously happy. This was a sign that he noticed a preference of mine and was willing to do something differently for me! It seems silly even as I write it. I am having trouble thinking of anything further…something that was for me and not just any woman.

After we broke up, for good, I wanted to complete our relationship (along the lines of: http://www.interchangecounseling.com/blog/6-steps-to-completing-relationships/). I doubted he could do it, but I still asked. When he didn’t respond, I accepted it wouldn’t happen. Then when he did ultimately refuse, I pretended to be ok with that. It is just now I can acknowledge how painful it was. By not needing that for himself, he was demonstrating he didn’t care what I needed. So I will never know how I affected him, for good or ill. His lack of communication on this is, in effect, a denial that I did affect him at all. I feel written out of his story, and that is more hurtful than anything.

I want to believe the best relationships are those between people who are mutually affected by each other in positive ways. Perhaps the men I have loved did not want to be impacted by me and we broke up because of this. Maybe this is a red flag I have never looked for…maybe my lesson here is look for people who know how to be affected, who know how to love in dialogue.

(Although I don’t believe this next statement yet…I want to:) I deserve to be in a relationship in which my partner is happy to be changed by me, through me…and so he must truly see me. I am more than a woman; I am my Self, unique and myriad. I am also fluid, willing to be changed, to be affected…I am not rigid and attached to one “right” shape. And while I have no idea what it feels like to be in a love dialogue, I do know it is what I want for my Self, and choose to deserve.


Learning to Receive

Lately, I have been on a quest to discover what authentic feminine energy is, and this is harder than I expected. I found a lot of advice about how to dress more femininely, or how to use some feminine wiles to get a man, but I don’t think that is what I was looking for. 

One piece of dating advice that I do believe is important, is that “alpha” women should learn how to receive from a man, not just give or take. Feminine energy has been described as receptive, so this is something I am trying to practice. Some examples of receiving that can be practiced include accepting a compliment (no modesty needed), fully following a plan not laid out by yourself, allowing acts of chivalry (women are partly to blame for its near death) and waiting for him to ask you out (what’s your hurry?).

Since I am trying to live what I am learning, not just write about it, I am trying this out too! I do not want to be considered insane, for persisting to use masculine energy to “chase” men, while expecting them to also chase me. We both cannot do that and get together; we would just be running around the mulberry bush!

Right now, I am trying to wait for the men who said they were interested in me to remember I am back in NYC from a week away and contact me themselves! This is very, very hard for me to do! I was ready to make a plan last week with one of them so we could get together this week and…boy, do I sound impatient! There is no urgency, no rush. I have never paid attention to the fragility of a not-yet-started relationship; my passion (and desperation?) demanded something happen as soon as possible, now if possible. I have to stop that.

Yesterday, I told myself that I would give him (the one I am most interested in seeing) until Wednesday, then I would contact him myself, but today, I am telling myself to keep waiting. Try it! Let go of the attachment you already have to the outcome of this encounter and just live life as you would without men in your life. Remember, Self, you have dance tomorrow and philosophy class on Thursday, so this will be easier when you are actually busy. Tonight, write some more, work on that project you keep neglecting…let’s try to embody femininity tonight! Remember, what you put your attention to grows…


How Do We Know HOW to Fall in Love?

Is it any wonder we have a hard time determining who to love if we have never been in a relationship that led to commitment and marriage? How are we supposed to know what we want and need in a partner when we have never had the “right” one?

If we cannot truly know what the right partner looks until we have it already…maybe this is the wrong angle to take. I have wanted every partner I have evet had to be the right one…but they we appeared to have disagrees. Was I therefore wrong about my feelings? Is it just luck when you find someone who feels the same way at the same time?

We have to believe in our partners, believe they know what it means when they say, “I love you.” Even if our love ends before forever, we have to somehow trust ourselves and our partners. How do we learn this?

Love is indescribable. Love is not teachable from textbooks and chalkboards. Learning to love is a rite of passage; one that we all must go through alone. But how do we know we have got it right? Just like climbing a mountain, there are many false peaks to love.

As we are thrown into this trial by fire, the hardest challenge is to build our ability to trust ourselves. Advice and how-tos are everywhere; all professing to know the secret. How tempting it is, though, to want to help people find the light of love once you yourself have found it! It seems that you truly cannot hurry love, but you can make the road much more confusing.

Our knowledge of love may need to be built up over time like a stalactite. Unconsciously, knowledge has been filtering in from our own families and from the media. These thoughts and beliefs influence how we maneuver through the obstacles we will all face.

In the spring of our loving lives, we begin slowly, with beautifully irrational crushes; obsessions with some boy or girl in class who we get nervous around, dream about and stare at way too often. Without knowing it, we have begun our journey. It seems natural to start loving with this innocent romanticism.

This love is about developing our emotional hearts, exercising our love muscles. Looking back at my school-age crushes, my feelings were more about me than anything the boys were or did. It was one-sided practice love.

Teenage dating is practice of a different kind. Mutual attraction and affection allow basic exploration of the acts of love. We learn to kiss, hold hands, spend time together as more than friends, and, most importantly, how to communicate our love to our partner. By trying these first two-sided partnerships we experiment with what works and what feels good.

Are we really ever compatible because of shared interests or how we like to spend our Friday nights? Or is it just that we both decide to make the relationship work and be the best partner we can be for the other? My own interests change from year to year; my partners have all introduced me to new interests as well. I can adapt to spend my Fridays in new ways. So what is the essential element to a relationship that works?

Most romantic movies end with the first kiss, at the beginning of a beautiful romance. What comes after, Hollywood? What does it take to maintain love and commit to love? What are the characteristics of a husband or a wife that we should look for? I just want more than a passionate kiss.

So many of my married acquaintances speak about the ups and downs of marriage, complaining for themselves more than offering advice. I have never expected marriage to be utter bliss, but so many people seem to want out when things get hard. Our culture and times are making it acceptable to end relationships when they are no longer fun. Are we happier when we are unwilling to persist with our partners through the hard times and seek greener pastures or deeper pockets or younger breasts?

I just wish we could stop idealizing love by selling it short- by limiting the love stories we tell to the romance of the falling into love. We need more examples of love that lasts and deepens.

As I maintain an open heart to welcome another man who I can love, and by whom I can be loved, I am looking for one thing above all: the desire to actively participate in maintaining and sustaining love. I want someone who knows that love gets better with age, that love is much more than a first kiss.

I am not done learning yet myself, but I am putting aside as much advice as I can, getting in touch with what I truly want and trying to find a really good partner for myself…not just a good person, a good friend, or even a good potential father. Those all can be aspects of the person, but I took those pieces of advice too literally, and I have forgotten to find my own “definition” of Mr. Right may be defined differently and that too is part of this process.


The Best Questions For A First Date « OkTrends

The Best Questions For A First Date « OkTrends.

Not sure how I feel about this, but I wanted to share it!

Would you agree that these three questions are important for partners to agree on?

  1. Do you like horror movies?
  2. Have you ever traveled around another country alone?
  3. Wouldn’t it be fun to chuck it all and go live on a sailboat?

Everything I Know about Sex, I Learned from Birds

How do we learn how to select our life partners? How do we learn what a loving relationship is? Most people would say there is some learned knowledge from our families and some ingrained impulse from our biology. I was born with baby fever, and an intense desire to further the species. This biological urge has dominated my search for a mate. I may have been overly focused on finding a good father for my future children that I have neglected to consider who would make a good partner for me, irregardless of children.

My informal sex education was a weird conglomeration of information, like that of most people. Before I ever had a personal interest in boys and sex, I knew I wanted kids. My own mother told me that I have wanted kids for as long as has known me. And I wasn’t very picky about where my babies came from either. In elementary school I had a strong conviction that I would find an abandoned baby in a basket on my way to school one day. Around that time, my favorite book was Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink in which two sisters (ages 12 and 10) and four babies they were carrying for end up in a life boat after their ship starts taking on water. If you had asked me then what five items I would take with me to a desert island, I would have said four babies and a crate of condensed milk! 

In fifth grade, I checked out The Miracle of Life from the library to watch at home, just for fun. The science of pregnancy fascinated me, and still does…part of me wants to be pregnant just to study the phenomenon first-hand. My class watched the film later that school year, and I felt so mature, and probably a little superior, that I had already seen it, and hadn’t been grossed about the ending…or maybe they didn’t even show that to us.

Discussing pregnancy and birth never made me uncomfortable until I started to associate them with sex. I must have known how someone got pregnant, but I cannot recall the specifics about when or how I learned what sex was. The topic of sex began to embarrass me and I became kind of prudish. What I think happened was I was implicitly raised to believe certain topics were meant to be private, not talked about openly, and this included sex. Consequently, once I knew how babies were made, I was always shocked when someone would announce enthusiastically that she was pregnant. What I heard was a loud admission that she and her husband had had sex! When my mother got pregnant through IVF, it was hard for me to say the word, “pregnant” out loud, even though in that case sex was not the direct cause. And to this day, I still immaturely think about sex every time I hear about a new pregnancy, I am just no longer embarrassed by the topic.

In high school, I stopped watching any television or contemporary movies as an experiment, preferring musicals with the likes of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. Considering how PG these films are, and since sexuality was not really discussed in my home or with my friends, I had to get my misinformation about sex elsewhere. Spurred on by my budding sexuality, I developed a proclivity for nature documentaries about the mating behaviors of animals. I was especially fond of the ones on birds! See some prime examples below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqsMTZQ-pmE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L54bxmZy_NE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG5SUX1V6BE

In the life of birds, it is the males who try to impress the females and the females who select their mate when they find the one with the most impressive voice, plumage, or nest. The males never seem to care who their partner is as long as they have one. As for infidelity, animal males may impregnate many females, but the females are not blameless either. Some female birds cuckold their mates into raising the children of another bird (named for the cuckoo bird). So, I think I got the impression that men are supposed to attract me and I get to keep the one I choose!

Unfortunately humans are not birds, and our mating rituals are much less straightforward. I have “chosen” many men who I was convinced would be good fathers to my future babies. But when these partners opted out of our relationship, I was very confused. I hadn’t done anything wrong, I was fulfilling all my responsibilities as a partner, so how could they choose to leave?!

If I am honest, I still do not understand why anyone decides to end a serious relationship, be it a friendship or a romantic partnership. I have always stood by my choices without question. The more I realize my choice is not all that matters, the trickier it is to trust myself to again attempt to choose a mate.

I had a good first date last night and so I plan to see the man again. But I am scared that I do not know what qualities might make him a good choice. All I know at this point, is that I was attracted to him physically, we had fun, and we agree about what kind of relationship we want as far as we could discuss it in one night. Although, I wish I was a female bird who could make a quick decision and be done, I am trying to remember that I am a female human and there are more factors to consider than voice, plumage and nests.

So, dear Self, be picky like a bird, but take your time with your evaluations…be patient like a human, but have a clear idea of what you want…and please do not choose someone just to pass on your genes with…human love involves so much more! Keep going on dates, see who is out there. But love before offspring. Love someone for yourself, and see what comes from that. You have a human form in this incarnation, so love like one, and leave the birds to be birds!

Your Past Self


Dating advice fron Fleetwood Mac

http://gothamist.com/2013/04/08/fleetwood_mac_plays_msg_tonight_rev.php


Craigslist: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Funny situation presented to me from my behavioral economics course about a woman trying to trade her beauty for a man’s wealth. But she has tampered with the societal norms by making this seem like a financial transaction…she is less likely to marry who he wants now.

Psychohistory

Silly post this evening.

I don’t usually post or forward urban legends or humor emails I receive. Truth be told, I don’t get many of these any more – it’s as if the world went through 10 years of forwarding silly email as they got used to the medium, and that silliness has past.

I thought this email was fake, but I did this Google search, and I was able to verify that this was, truly, a legitimate Craigslist posting recently, and a legitimate response. So enjoy… it has exactly the right mix of humor, social commentary, and financial reference for my tast.

Here is the original Craigslist posting:

What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful
(spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy.
I’m not from New York. I’m looking to get married to a guy who…

View original post 1,524 more words


The Behavioral Economic Position on Whether You Can Get Your Ex Back

To the Irrationality which is is in all of us,

In my wonderful Coursera.org class taught by Dan Ariely, we learned about the “endowment effect,” which describes how ownership automatically ups the value of something. An example was given that if there was an extremely popular but sold-out event, the ticket holders are likely to set an extremely high monetary value for their tickets, whereas other people who wanted to attend just as much would normally set a much lower monetary value as the maximum they would spend to get a ticket from a current ticket holder.

Both groups would explain their reasons in terms of what they do have. The ticket holders would emphasize how amazing and important attending this game will be for them, helping reinforce its value to them. The would-be ticket buyers would rationalize in terms of saving their money, so maybe they could watch the event on television and pay less for refreshments, thus solidifying this as the the best option.

When I proposed breaking-up to my ex-boyfriend, he was at first extremely agitated and passionate that we try to work things out. He was focused on losing me; I was something he had, or had “a girlfriend.” I was on the fence at this point, so we tried to work it out. We couldn’t keep it going like we wanted it, so we broke up; it was mutual. We both suffered the loss of something we had during this time. I had loved having “a boyfriend” and thought he was an amazing person…yet here we were.

After a bit, I missed him too much and told him I wanted to get back together. He also missed me, but thought he shouldn’t be in a relationship for reasons I do not know. We tried to be friends. I wanted him still, or maybe I was still feeling “loss aversion,” another economics term that refers to how we are more affected by loss than we are by gain (in respective directions). I think we both were feeling averse to loss. 

However, when I brought up this issue again about getting back together, my ex had been having lots of free time which he could spend without worrying about me. He now would have to give up something to get back together with me. So feeling the endowment effect, he decided to not rekindle our relationship once and for all.

Perhaps, there is a window of opportunity, or perhaps there is a strategy of being so awesome and wonderful that he only feels the loss of you and not the gain of anything else, but I do not advise scheming when you have asked and received a clear answer. Just go deal with your loss aversion, and start to think about what you have been endowed with now that HE is gone!

A Mind full of connections


Compassionate Dating?

Dear Heart,

Let me first commend you for taking the bold step of starting to date again! Well done! I know you were very anxious about dating again, because you prefer being in a relationship to searching for one. Let Us take a moment, to remind Our Self that attitude matters so much when dating. If you can approach dating with an excitement, thinking, “I may meet a great love today!” you can transform your dating jitters into something far more enjoyable.

I am not sure what part of Us can take responsibility for Our dreams, but We had a nightmare last week about this blind date. So many factors in the dream led to greater and greater anxiety before even meeting the date, so Our dream self was in no fit for anything…and We woke up with our physical heart thumping and the rest of Us very unsettled. To avoid having the chance to get anxious We scheduled the date right after a discussion of the Tao Te Ching (and I was actually a bit late as a result).

I came to the date, fully present and engaged, practicing Buddhism’s lovingkindness for this other individual who was seeking love. We were both searching for happiness, both for the evening and for our future. I came without expectation, without desperation, without a need to find a body to touch, or a heart to love. My attention was open, come what may.

So, Heart, you were open, but i also sense you were guarded in some small way…but no, that cannot be true. What I can see as being guarded is just less desperate and eager to find love. You were calm! It is amazing to see how you have evolved.

Our Mind was quite entertained and engaged by our date, wouldn’t you agree? The conversation flowed well and was deep while still being quite playful. Mind was definitely intrigued, but thankfully, not the only part of Us that was engaged…

A truly important feature to the experience of human love is physical chemistry. And, Body was not feeling intrigued by this date. Basically, Body was enjoying the wine and not expecting to be called up to bat on a first date. I had made it clear that I was not someone what wanted physical intimacy on a first date. Well, our date decided to kiss me, and We let it happen, but Body was shocked by the absolute absence of any feeling in response!

How many times have we all heard that the first kiss can really help determine if there is chemistry? I only partially bought it…I never had fireworks explode on a first kiss, but I have had bad ones before…but mostly I knew already that I was not interested before those former kisses occurred. Mind thought We wanted to see this man again, Heart was waiting to be more appealed to, but Body vetoed this poor man absolutely! Our kiss was so bad, that my lips did not feel like they were mine, and neither his nor mine felt like living flesh! It was too long for a first-date first kiss and it was not executed well. Our overall opinion went from an optimistic “there is potential here!” to a confident “there will be no second date!” in seconds.

Unfortunately, our first kiss was not our last kiss. He kissed me goodbye in the same way, causing me to endure it out of lovingkindness, but then having to laugh it away after I was safely in the subway station alone.

When this gentleman texted me eagerly this morning to ask for a second date, I had to reflect on how my open,genuine enjoyment of our time together could be perceived by a date as confirmation of equal attraction. I knew I had to refuse his request, but could not anticipate the task with joy. The truth of the matter was, I did enjoy myself, and I was glad to have met him. I think we had lots of things in common, but it was just simply and truly not enough for us to have a romantic relationship. I employed lovingkindness again in my reply.

I am curious, Heart, what you feel is the best way to date with compassion. There is so much advice that recommends being yourself when on a date, but in this world where love is so hard to feel on a day to day basis from strangers around us, I worry that my attitude of lovingkindness is not truly kind to the people who are misinterpreting it to mean I am really interested in them. Mind, is whispering these worries in my ear, so I am going to just say one more thing on this subject…mainly to Mind…

By practicing lovingkindness last night both my date and I had a wonderful night. By practicing lovingkindness as I told my date I was not interested in pursuing our relationship further, I received a very lovely and respectful response that seemed to only express gratitude as well. So my dears, let Us continue to practice lovingkindness, since it seems to be working just fine!

Kindly,

Self


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