Eventually Works For Me

After my last disaster of a relationship (realistically its been the last two but who’s really counting?) I decided to go on a hiatus from the dating scene. It wasn’t more than a few weeks into my celibacy that my close friends were adamant that I get myself out there again. Never being the type to rebound date it took  me months to really even contemplate going out one on one with a guy.  Five months later I woke up one  morning thinking to myself that maybe I was now ready to go out and at least mingle with the opposite sex. As I went out with friends I began actually looking at the strangers around me, wondering “what if”? Not many peaked my interest. Those that did were either already locked down, lived long distance (not doing that again), played for the other team, or after a moment’s conversation just wasn’t meant for me.

On a random night, while my amazing roommate and I were having a glass (or two) of wine by the pool deck, he decided to try to bring up the whole “dating app” scene to me. He already knew that I was never a true fan of making up a profile to try to “find love”. He always poked fun at the way that I was set on finding the man of my dreams organically. This night however he decided to give the topic of conversation another try and this time I was more open to listening. He listed cons but his pros outweighed them. In his eyes it was the most obvious answer to what he called my dilemma. As far as I knew I was in no dilemma. Being single was good for me. It was only random periods of time in which I really craved having someone again. But like any other craving, as quickly as the wave would come, it would then again go. His advice wasn’t one I took seriously until there came a moment of sheer boredom.

On this particular night I had been extremely bored. I wasn’t in the mood to write or read ( I know! Can you imagine?) nor was I in the mood to binge watch Netflix or anything else that I had been using to combat time. I decided to open up a dating app and see what actually resulted from it. To be quite honest, coming up with the profile was to me the fun part. Answering profile questions, setting up a summary of yourself, pictures, ect.. that was all fun to me. The moment I hit the button to actually activate my profile was exactly the moment the anxiety crept in. Within just a couple hours I had 663 potential “matches”, a list of people who liked my profile and wanted to chat. About 400 of those people messaged, most messages being one liners like, “Hey mami..” or “Hi there beautiful. Wanna chat?” There were quite a few creepy messages, explicit and very to the point in what it was they were desperately searching for. I decided that instead of me sifting through all the crap, I would just scroll through and I would message the ones  I was mostly interested in.

I was active on the app for about 2 days total. I personally messaged two guys and have since then gone on two dates with one of them. The other has been really trying to convince me to “allow” him to take me out but I haven’t been motivated to do much more than a little messaging here and there. Both great guys, yet neither have me feeling comfortable enough to join the “official” dating scene again the reason having nothing to do with them, and all to do with me.

Its been weeks now since I have discontinued my profile and I have officially stopped looking for a special someone to meet. Instead what I’ve done has been much soul searching and trying to understand exactly where I am at this point in my life and what I really want for myself.

My findings are honest and real.

Simply put, I am at a point in my life in which I want to be completely and utterly selfish. I enjoy spending time with myself focusing on the things I want to do and the things that make me happy.

I want to think that due to all the newness in my life these last few months (real single-hood, new home, new job, new friends, ect..) I have come into a new self. A revamped and upgraded version of me. I got rid of all that was weighing me down and it has only been just recently that I have found balance in this new life I lead. Changes as small as choosing who to keep within my inner circle or as big as taking a better job but with a slight pay cut affect who we are, how we live our lives, and what priorities we set in life. For the past few years I have sacrificed a lot of the things I’ve wanted to pursue or do because I place the importance of others and what they might think or say above my own needs. I relocated to a new city solely  for a significant other (do not recommend it), I have quit jobs due to other’s disapproval of it, I haven’t taken travel opportunities due to a boyfriend at the time not “liking” the idea of them not being able to come along. Since being single, really single, there has been no one to answer to or keep in mind. If I have money to take me out, I do it. I choose where I go, who I invite (if any one at all), I decide how long I stay out for. If I decide to stay in whether due to wanting or needing to, I decide how I spend my time. There is no me feeling guilty because maybe I chose to go into my room to read a book. When I get ready to leave the house, I get ready for myself. I don’t get anxious about where I’m going, who I’m going to meet, what I should wear, will I say something stupid and embarrass myself (I mean it’ll happen, but I don’t care if it does.)? I don’t have to worry about meeting a guy’s group of friends and then their family (Will they like me? What if they don’t?) My days and nights are carefree and genuinely happy. I daydream of places I want to travel to and not of those places I’m compromising to see. I am not living out anyone else’s dreams, just my own.

I thought I was ready to hit the dating scene but now that I have dipped my toe in the water testing it, I know that I’m not. I have friends that tell me that maybe I’m overthinking it. “Just let them wine and dine you for fun… a free drink and some dinner never hurt anyone” but to me I don’t see the point. To find new friends is great and I’m always open to it, but to date for the hell of it, simply for a free meal and drinks? To me, that’s not only a waste of time but also asking for bad karma. To me that’s leading people on, taking advantage of their sincere interest in me in hopes for a future together. Instead I rather tend to go on dates only on the rare occasions in which I have money. That way I feel no guilt or any obligation. Being Miss. Independent I never want to leave myself at the mercy of others. I like to be able to contribute for half the check or at the very least, the tip. Yes, most times a man won’t take a penny in the name of good ol’ fashion chivalry but this lady also understands the meaning of hard earned cash and will be damned if she uses a man for a  meal ticket.

There was promise with the one I went out with from the dating app, but my current financial situation hindered me a bit. One of the very first things he mentioned to me while on our first date was how he highly believed in financial equality within a relationship. Right now, what I can afford to do between paychecks is very minimal so for me that was just another sign as to why I should not be dating at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, he was quite the (handsome) gentleman and would always offer to pay for any date we planned for but if I’m not comfortable being able to hangout with someone due to personal financial reasons, then the simple fact that I feel uncomfortable is enough to deter me from moving things forward as an item. To be totally honest, this is probably residual trauma from the last relationship I was in where monetary issues ruled every important aspect of our lives from the very beginning. It left one hell of a sour taste in my mouth and therefore I always swore to myself that I would never allow money to play a major part in any of my relationships again.

The idea of dating to me signifies much more than a meal and a means to kill time. I’d like to eventually find that person to share and build with. We can make memories and be support for one another through our future stages of life. I look to add to their life and they add to mine. A solid friendship that’ll endure the test of time. A friendship in which we both can be comfortable in being ourselves and where we don’t impose unrealistic expectations upon one another. The compromises we would make would be out of genuine care and not because you feel as though you “have” to. I’d like to find that one who will make me smile and laugh much more than cry and stress out. One who I could do the same for as easily as it is to breath. I believe that in life, if you do not settle for anything less than what you hope to have, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. I believe that eventually it will happen and “eventually” works for me. Until then, I will continue to live my single-hood happily and in peace.

Dating Miss. Independent

I am 31 and still very single.

I won’t say that it bothers me in the least bit.

Dating isn’t easy. Can we even really call it enjoyable? Don’t get me wrong, I am not jaded. What I am is realistic and although dating is more times fun than not, I wouldn’t consider it entirely enjoyable. The process can be exhausting from meeting someone, to having to get ready to go on dates, to later meeting his friends and family, to then establishing some sort of compromising routine so that all parties involved are at least equally as happy. I mean, breaking it down like this and who really wants to go dating?

Try doing all of that while being highly independent and the dating world suddenly gets even murkier. That’s what I’ve always gone through, and even though I still tend to jump right in, it doesn’t take me very long to quickly get back out.

The unknown typically doesn’t make a person like myself very comfortable. Funny thing because independent people tend to go adventuring into the unknown but only because of our curiosity and uncomfortability with it; the unknown usually driving us to wanting to know more. Relationships are a huge unknown. Although many would like to constantly express their trust and comfortability within their relationship, no one can be 100% sure because we all know that in life, anything can happen. With that said no wonder we independents find comfort in the walls that we built around our hearts, letting only a countless few in. An average man who desires the independent woman’s heart, can’t even see beyond that wall.

Men tend to always crack me up. In conversations with the male counterpart I often hear that an important quality that they look for in a woman is that she be independent. Later on they meet one and before you know it the relationship is over and it is because of her independent ways that didn’t sit well with them. It’s one example of how sometimes what we think we want in another person isn’t exactly what we may need.

An independent woman won’t be that girl waiting by the phone for his phone call. She will most definitely not be the “doormat” type of girlfriend. She is picky and why shouldn’t she be? Forever is a long time so she’s got a long list of traits she wants because she is ambitious even when it comes to her love life. Although we love to love and crave that emotional availability and companionship with another, we won’t bend for just anyone because for most of us, we have been living a life for so long on our own that we have even built a metaphysical wall around our hearts; just another safety precaution to help us get through this crazy life. Most of us ‘Miss. Independents’ have faced life challenges with a courageous heart and yes, we have overcome a lot yet there is still a fear of failure that lingers on, just like with everyone else. Independents are typically strong and know much about themselves and this can be intimidating for many men. Hence why it takes someone very secure with themselves to be with an independent and will have no problem standing behind their partner when support is needed. A man who is a ball of mush will never be able to hold the attention of a strong woman because it shows her that he will never be able to give her the stability she needs.

Most men tend to want to be that knight in shinning armor aiding in the rescue of his damsel in distress. When he begins dating an Independent woman, his entire game is thrown for a loop. An Independent isn’t looking to date you in order to feel financially secure, which is the foot many men want to begin to lead with, and even though Independent women aren’t necessarily more financially successful, they still won’t seek or accept offerings.

An independent woman will respect a man who is the type to plan their dates and romances her, is chivalrous to her and respectful towards others; a man who will take the reins when need be. She respects the man who maintains an independent social life apart of the one they share together because for an independent woman, alone time is key. A man who lives his own life alongside hers and doesn’t intertwine the two is a major plus. If he is possessive, overbearing, or tends to come on too strong that will be the perfect repellent to keep this kind of girl at bay. She is anti-clingy and so she will never be the woman who will be obsessed with your looks and who will be continously feeding your ego. Simply put you are a part of her life and not her entire life. She is a big advocate on each person keeping their own serperate identity when also building one as a unit. For her it isn’t about not wanting to bend to his ways but more so keeping who she has worked so hard to become. When she meets that man who is willing to invest in doing the things that make her her without a fight, she is loyal to a fault because of its rareity.

Independent women tend to always give off the “I’m fine” vibe. It is almost second nature for us. Even though we cherish our independence we also know that it can get in our way of our asking for help when we needed. Strong communication is important in general but more so with an Independent. Communicaton is not only when it comes to verbally speaking or listening, but it is also interpretation. It’s importnat to listen to what she doesn’t say because what she isn’t saying can speak volumes.

Guys, dating an independent woman isn’t easy. Like any other relationship it can most definitely be a bumpy ride but one that will be 100% worth it. An independent woman has a clear idea of who she is and what she wants and if you’re the kind of man who knows himself and feels comfortable in speaking up about and desires and limits, this relationship will be rewarding.

My advice to you is to be patient, be yourself, and always enjoy the ride.

Love. It Doesn’t Force.

I had to kick a boyfriend in the nuts once. It was the second time I had ever done that to someone. I mean, I hadn’t kicked him hard. Now looking back, maybe I should have.

Before you go on feeling bad for him and end up taking his side, I’d like to just mention that the asshole wasn’t taking “No” for an answer and had forced himself upon me. The way his hands pinned me down by my shoulders while making sure to spread my legs with his knees sent me back to a time in my life that I never wanted to revisit again. He was full of laughter of course. To him, I wasn’t seriously saying no, was I? How could his girlfriend, or any woman for that matter resist and say ‘no” to him?

It happened in what felt like a blink of an eye. I was 13 again and being pinned up against the wall by my abuser. I was too weak at the time to get away from this ex-marine’s grip and so there I hurt until I remembered to do what I had been taught to do in a situation such as this. Kick and Run.

No matter how fast I ran then, or how fast I had continued running even after all those years, the damage had been done because trauma has a funny way of keeping up with you no matter how fast you run. Here I was with my guy, and within seconds he is now my new abuser. After struggling against him, panic rising up within my chest, after not being able to take his heavy breaths and laughter landing upon my face, I brought my feet up towards his chest and propelled him off of me. He was a big guy so I hadn’t thrown him far. He quickly regained his balance and was again on top of me before I  was able to wiggle away.

“Why are you fighting me..you know you want..” and as he goes to unbuckle his belt, I swung my foot back and landed a strike on his most prized possession.  He quickly went down, “What the fuck, Nat!!..” and as he caught his breath I roll off the bed and told him to get the fuck out. I hadn’t cared if he was in pain. I wanted him out of my sight.. and to be honest I wanted him out of my life.

How is it possible that someone be so selfish? Most of you are probably thinking, “How was he supposed to know that he would trigger such a feeling?” Well simple, because we had talked about what had happened to me. Although within our relationship it was I that would mainly listen to him rant on about his problems, his demons, his life…I had once been given the split second chance to share this moment of my life with him. Not in full detail, his attention span was like that of a chimpanzee, but in enough detail that he knew what I had gone through and the pain that it had caused in my life.

SHOULD IT EVEN MATTER??

Does one ever really need a “good” reason to say no to someone’s sexual advances? Should it be one’s job or duty in a relationship to continuously feed a person’s insatiable sexual appetite with disregard of one’s own feelings?

There is more to the story. Steroid use and drug abuse definitely played a big role in this person’s actions, and once reminded of why I instinctively reacted the way I did, his anger had subsided. Mine had not, yet still I stayed.

Sadly, this incident hadn’t been the only time, just the first. The later times had never ended with a swift kick to the balls. I had just given up fighting but with every incident the anger within me ferociously grew until a fire began to burn and slowly incinerated any love for him I had to give.

We ended badly as I’m sure you all have now assumed. He was discarded in to the pile of ex’s long ago. I take with me from this experience that no matter the role someone can play in your life, if selfishly they behave, you must selfishly leave.  The red flags had always been there. I chose to push them off to the side in hopes that what I was experiencing and feeling maybe wasn’t true. A figment of my traumatized imagination but, no, it wasn’t.

When it comes to people like me who have dealt with certain tragedies of life, handle with care. Selflessly listen and try to understand. No person should ever have to be placed in a situation in which they are taken back to the darkened corners of their minds. Do not try to force something into existence that just isn’t meant to be because to force it will instead repel and always remember,

“That who loves will in turn be loved.”

 

Great Independence

The wrist grips have been released and these arms have turned to wings. The feeling of liberation dings loudly, an anthem of sorts. Let freedom fucking ring!!

Far and few in between are the moments that I think of us and when  I do, I am left with a sour taste in my mouth. I won’t be totally insulting though. I learned much from being bound to you. For instance, the belief that there is much more to life than occupying the days with mindless routine and merely filling a home with tangibles, opinions of life that I had heard and read before, are now cemented within my core. The knowledge the lesson has taught me, is indeed a fact of life and not just an opinion. It is the anchor that keeps me put instead of floating along with just anyone who slyly slithers by, baiting me with materialistic goods. I learned to distinguish they type through the perfectly made example set by you.

I have learned that I cannot save someone, nor can I change them.

You taught me that I cannot erase the demons that haunt a person, nor can I make them fade away if the person is not yet truly ready.

I now understand that if my intuition is whispering , I should not dismiss it as doubt, but head its warning.

You educated me on how easily manipulation can be embedded in the courting process and on how easier it is to be immersed in someone’s trap without noticing the existence of the trap at all.

A beautifully destructive lesson constructed by need is what we were, and although brief, we did obtain what we needed from each other. Could we have made better choices? Most definitely, and because we didn’t we instead got front desk seats at the school of Hard Knocks. I’m not sad of the journey we took. I am grateful. Years from now we will look back on this time of our lives and laugh our asses off. In reality it wasn’t all bad. We shared a few good moments sprinkled throughout our tumultuous relationship. I won’t deny that, but I will just add that I am happy it is over.

We have written our story and have now slammed shut that chapter of our lives.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

The Sacrifice

When you hand over your entire life to someone it takes the sacrifice of your entire heart to say goodbye. Nothing that you ever touch forever lasts. Sometimes I think we tend to forget that. As quick as it began in the same speed it could end and to dive deep into the dark depths of love is a risky game we all love to play.

Life is precious and within that life lies our individuality. We have a course we each run with our own lessons to be learned. We are gifted with many capabilities as well as handicaps and through these is how life lessons are dispensed to us. A shame it is when we come across another soul, one you believe to be that mate for life. You become engulfed in who they are and how to become a part of them that you slowly begin to handover who you are bit by bit, which could quickly lead to an unhealthy relationship.

In an unhealthy relationship there tends to be one who depletes themselves by handing over their entirety, and there is one who is more than willing to take. Materialism, although it is a BIG part of this dynamic, it is not the main issue. It’s all the intangibles. The love, the genuine vulnerability, the emotional giving and taking, the loyalty, the respect, the honesty. These are all the things that count and far beyond more important compared to the purchases made on a Visa or Mastercard. The lack of balance in the area of  what is the intangible is a far bigger debt than that of the materialistic.

To hand over who you are as an individual is a high risk move and you always hope to receive the same back in return. When it doesn’t happen, there is only so much time before the relationship self destructs. In that detonation all hearts get shattered. For the one who emotionally  gave until their well ran dry, they walk away with a shriveled heart. They feel like a failure because their self seemed to not have been enough to get what they deserved back in return. They’ve lost themselves in the other person and hardly remember who they are, what they like, what they hate. Their entire self has become a mirror image of who they came to love. For the other person, the one who took and took, their greed (or maybe addiction?) draining while hardly replenishing, they too hurt. They’ve lost their control. They lost the one thing they have always needed, a heart who gives without really asking for much in return. That’s the ultimate treasure, one that cannot be bought. A priceless gift handed over, to then be taken away? How could that not hurt?

Love has many layers and for each set of souls the layers are different. We can all agree though, when love is lost or even unrequited the pain is like no other. We are each left with the hurt and the question, was the sacrifice worth it? Was it worth the sacrifice of handing over your heart, of letting go of your individuality? I like to always think that no matter how difficult the goodbyes, no matter the pain, to live through such a lesson is always worth it because no  matter the kind of layers the love was made up of, at the core of it all there was of course Love.

 

Bluntly Upon My Sleeves

You are completely mistaken.

It wasn’t because you were doing well and then all of the sudden you weren’t. White Lies. You were never doing well. It just took me a while to figure out that you were badly put together. Taped in lies, out seeped the truth.

The best revenge is that which is written down on paper.

And while neither of us are perfect, never did I try to sweep dirt under the rug. Confronting and communicating is all that I ever tried to do. Giving up is what that led to, for I always found myself speaking alone. All the time alone.

You say that behind curtains I hide but that too is simply not the truth.

Who I wear bluntly upon my sleeves is the heart of who I am. That does not mean that I am not nicked, dented, or imperfect and as time wears on, those who stand beside me find out my deepest stories, understanding each flaw.

Because I was not perfect, as perfect as your eyes betrayed you to see, you retreated in your hermit shell, instead of trying to understand me. Once again running… You ran from who we are as individuals, you ran from who we could have been as a team.

While running you ran into the arms of the exact demons that have kept you in hiding for so long. The Devil’s Brew. There you dance with the devil to the melody of a dangerous song. You have lost yourself over time and now deeper in the hole you seem to be, and although your rants and raves fall deaf to me, through the grapevine your messages have been received. Everything that you say is said because you’re sour. Everything you write is written as a coward because again you hide behind the strength of a bottle.

So yes, disappearing is what I had to do. Why run the risk of coming across this doppelganger you? This venomous character who I am just only now getting to know? Do you now realize that what you reap is too what you sow? All of those uncalled for words have hurt,  so you think I am just going to let it roll, us remain friends, let you say bye to my dog?

You should understand me now enough to know that I refuse to house hostility in my heart. I keep negativity at bay and I always remove any toxins that affect my life. Unfortunately this called for the removal of you.

Someday, once the pain subsides, once your mind is clear, and your soul is back to feeling right, you’ll see and understand why. Until then, if that day were to ever present itself, I wish you well. I pray that you get clear so you can see all that the Universe has for you in reach. I pray for your soul to feel free, and that when you someday choose to shoot for the stars, there you find what you so desperately seek.

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Photo Credit: Angie M. Muse: Natal Galvan

Giving More FXS

For that split second…

for that “flick of two fingers” split of a second he thought to himself,

“What the fuck are you doin’?” It was the perfectly phrased question when thinking about his life. The question only popped up into his mind once while he fucked her. But now every time they hung out, which seemed much more often than he was currently comfortable with, the question danced in his mind.

What was he doing with his life? What were his goals? He’s got dreams and fantasies, but what are his goals? A better question would even be what was he doing with her? Someone so grounded and career driven. A woman, he felt, was way out of his league. Not because he wasn’t “worth” it but because she’d never give him the proper time of day. He could provide a roof over their heads, cover the major bills, and still have enough to go out on the town with friends for some smooth jazz and whiskey. Still, all this without a socially accepted title, is an embarrassment.

For a split second…

for a split “blink of an eye” second he thought about leaving her. He still thinks he just might. Just let her sit there at the table waiting. Her deep red recently polished nails fidgeting with the white linen napkin that sat in her lap. His soul is much more valuable than some swanky new job title he’d now have to accept in order to meet her unspoken standards. He peered at her through the crack of the bathroom door. He had direct view.

She was beautiful there was no doubt about it. That kind of beauty that takes your breath away without registering why first. Her eyes were kind and you knew her soul was full of love, with just a tint of sadness. She was relateable and within seconds she could make friends of strangers. She was that kind of beauty. Yet, because of that very beauty he was almost ready to run past their table and out back towards the kitchen doors.

How horrible would it feel for him to have to live with such judgment, mostly self imposed, and such pressure? How would he measure up in her eyes? Could he ever be her equal? He would most likely feel second at best.. *Push yourself* something internally whispered.

She instantly turns her head towards the direction of where the men’s bathroom lies. He knows she cannot see him but he can see her fully now. That face, that stare, slowly taking his fear away. He snaps out of whatever absurd thought he was in the middle of having and straightens himself up before heading out the very doors he was just hiding behind. The look on her face spoke volumes. She was waiting for him and he could not keep her waiting any longer. Without her knowledge she had injected him with courage and he walked towards her fearless. Anything can happen. She loved him, he saw that in the flicker of her eyes as he approached their table. This story could turn into “happiness ever lasting”  just as easy as it could end in tragic heartbreak, but he gave a fuck and that’s why he won’t be running away. He cares about knowing the outcome to this story. He gives so much of a fuck that he will trek the journey and see to it he strives hard for a positive outcome.

He wont let fear govern his life, nor love, because he wants to live and he wants to love. Simply because he gives a fuck.

Before he reaches his chair, he slowly walks over towards hers. He reaches down, one hand wraps under her chin tilting her head up, and he swoops down like a vulture, taking her mouth in to his. He kisses her passionately but only for a quick beat, and then he lets her face go and goes to sit in his chair, not once taking his eyes off of hers. A slight smirk revealed itself, her red lips still perfectly painted, perking up in the corners. He waved their server over and ordered a second bottle of wine. Their finest, her favorite.

He’s got this….