I only recently decided to stick my pinky toe back in the dating world (August to be exact) . For some reason, people seem to be SO very interested in how that’s going for me. That seems to be the 1st question everyone loves to ask. I chuckle and answer “Better than ever” and they lean in closer….waiting for me to divulge some juicy details. But when I start to tell them WHY “things are easy and breezy”, it appears to me as though they begin to tune out because I’m not giving them the answer they’re looking for. And I feel sad….
…not sad for myself. But disappointed because they don’t get it. I don’t have a boyfriend. And I won’t (I don’t think) for a while. At this point in my life, I think that it’s kind of a waste of energy to officially “boyfriend” someone until I’m pretty sure in my mind that I’m headed towards a commitment of life, love and family. I haven’t been available long enough to be able to discern right now whether or not anyone in my life is there for more than a reason, season or lifetime.
“From the seeds we sow….
to the time it takes to grow….
Long enough to show you….
I won’t let go of you….”
Truth is, what’s making this time “better than ever” is my daily development MYSELF. One of things that I’ve noticed in conversations w/ my friends, in the blogworld, etc. – is that there is a large focus on FINDING a mate for those of us that are still single. I don’t know about you guys, but finding an interested dude isn’t difficult. But being able to determine whether or not a person complements me has been a challenge. I’ve looked at my peers and their situations (good and bad) and either tried to not make the same mistakes or focus on the foundations that my friends built w/ their mates and learn from them.
The advice that people tend to give us singles always seems to be well and good, but I rarely notice us focusing on personal growth – figuring out our strengths and weaknesses. How many of us look into the mirror and honestly assess whether or not we would want to spend a lifetime with our reflection?
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Taking an honest assessment of who/what I’ve attracted over the years and determining whether or not – my “type” is what I really want. By “type” I don’t mean physical. If you had to pick my type in a line-up, I don’t think that I could. But what I have noticed is that if your relationships reflect your subconscious self (and I believe that they do), mine have all been in one way or another emotionally unavailable.
That’s not to say that they’ve treated me poorly. With the exception of not.the.one (and truth is, even he was a good person at his core), they’ve been kind, sweet, well-meaning men. But if you delve beaneath the surface, there has always been emotional baggage that has prevented them from truly loving and accepting me and vice-versa – whether its issues from childhood, attachment to previous relationships, low self-esteem beneath a confident facade, a fear of complete vulnerability…you name it, it’s there. Different physical manifestations, same spiritual melody. In other words, “SoJo” – tied up neatly in a masculine box for me to open up and play with, never realizing that my “play date” was my own inner self.
I had to take an unbiased look at myself to determine what was it in my aura that cause me to attract that. I think that I’ve finally realized the root. The beauty of knowing your own root issues, is that you can recognize them in others and finally begin to avoid potentially damaging situations or walk away from them. And I hope that by the time I do find myself in a full-blown relationship, it will be with a partner that’s 100% available….because I’m 100% available. <~ it feels SO good to write that after not being able to for so long.
Truth is…I haven't been in that place for over a decade…almost 2 decades. Emotional vulnerabilty scares the SHYT out of me – because I KNOW how beautiful it can be with the right person and dangerous it can be with the wrong person. I used to prefer to keep up pretenses with Mr. Maybe than be completely authentic about my emotional needs. I'm over that now. I make observations in my dating experience that I didn't used to.
More than the superficial "did he call me back when I called him because if I called and he didn't call back I can't call twice back to back" bullshyt. Now I take note of whether or not a guy asks questions – uncomfortable ones – about my emotional health and then FOLLOW UP w/ interest. Or does he seem to make assumptions about who I am based on superficial, casual conversation? Does he care about my past or change the subject? Hell, does he care about my PRESENT or does he change the subject? Is he actively engaged when I'm speaking? Does he know/remember the things that are important to me? Or pretend to forget? Do I have to prompt or remind him that there's more to me than meets the eye or is he comfortable with who he "sees"? Can he "FEEL" me? Those are things that are important when interacting w/ a mate. It's those factors that allow me to feel comfortable and blossom.
None of those are things that can be discerned overnight, but will be crucial to cultivating a relationship w/ the real me. When it's all said and done, I want to be one of those old ladies in the nursing home w/ a twinkle in her eye that knows that she has and has been truly loved…whether that means I wait until I'm older or if it drops into my life out of the blue….I trust that it'll come when it's supposed to ….which is why I'm patient, even when those around me aren't….