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.

It’s Not Another Love Story

I had ended it a month before I was to meet who is now, the love of my life. It wasn’t like there was anything truly serious between us. It was more like we were beta testing what it would be like if it had turned into something more. Now looking it back, it is apparent to me that even if we had made us “official” the relationship between us would have never lasted.

We had been friends for years, or maybe “friends” is a term I’m using loosely. I met him through mutual friends and eventually when I had bowed out of the circle, our friendship had turned into one of acquaintances. It was only years later that we had reconnected.

When you’re living in a world  that is often cold and lonely, certain things, people, places, situations, begin to look more appealing than under normal circumstances. You begin to give life to thoughts that normally wouldn’t exist or at the very least would have quickly been dismissed. It had months since I had last seen him. I had been out one night with a few friends, and there he was chatting it up to some of his customers at the bar. As quickly as we said hi to one another, we said our goodbyes. My group and I were changing scenery but after that night we began to exchange FB messages here and there. After some time I knew there was an interest there, but knowing what I thought I knew about him, I didn’t feel the urge to pursue anything.  If I would have continued to follow my intuition, maybe the drama would have been avoided. Yet, no matter how certain you may be of something, once the seed of doubt is planted, it hardly take much for it to grow. My seed of doubt?What if I ended up dismissing something beautiful simply because I felt like I had an idea of where it may lead me to?

On the day that it had all began, I had been hours in to day drinking by myself on the beach. Season had finally begun to die down and there wasn’t much traffic so I had taken it upon myself to take advantage of the quiet, and decided to have a “me” day. Not that I had much of a choice considering I hardly had any friends on this side of town… or hardly at all for that matter. By this point, we had gone from speaking only through FB to texting and almost on a daily basis. The invite to hang out via text arrived in the early afternoon. Since I was already too buzzed to even think about driving anywhere, I insisted he meet me at a bar in walking distance to where I was. The bar I suggested was on the beach with a pool. I figured if we ever hit an “awkward silence” moment, it would provide us with, at the very least, a distraction.

Under normal circumstances I would have never been down to hang out one on one like that. Not just with him, but with any guy who I wasn’t already real friends with. Under “normal” (meaning sober) circumstances I would have known what us hanging out could have potentially meant for him, and it was more than what it would have meant for me.

Now I understand what you’re thinking,

“This b!T%* really is so full of herself that she believes that this poor guy is just going to fall in love with her and her not feel a thing. How does she know she won’t be the one falling for him?” 

I understand what you’re saying. It’s not that I am full of myself, not by any means. To give a little history here, during the time that I had initially met this particular person, it had been made very clear to me by his closest friends, that he was very interested and very smittened by me. Fast forwarding to this moment, the flirting through messages was obvious and strong. I knew right away that I wasn’t interested (in that way) and this is why that up until this particular beach day we hadn’t hung out. Up until this day I had really been the one to choose not too.

By the time I had gathered myself off the beach and walked into the bar, he was already sitting there, drink in front of him. Within minuets of our initial greet he presented me with a well thought out gift. I remember my last clear thought that day was “Well that was really nice of him,” and after that it was all a cloud.

I don’t remember much of our conversation. I know that once it got dark, we made it to the beach, where we sat and smoked a joint. I vaguely remember listening to the music that erupted from his phone. To this day I will never forget the song River. He introduced me to that song that night and I remember having made him replay it what seemed like hundreds of times while we sat there on the beach. Had we kissed that night under the deep night sky? I do not know. To this day I do not know because I had later been too embarrassed to ask.

Eventually we made our way back to my place where we said our goodbyes and once inside my apartment, I remember plopping down on my not so soft couch futon, thinking to myself, “Fuck, now what are you going to do?”

I woke up the next day to find a message from him telling me how much he enjoyed the day before. I was hungry, hungover, and thoughtful. It was over a reheated slice of pizza that I decided to weigh out the pros and cons of what would happen if it was decided to take this friendship of ours a step further. To my surprise the list was a draw. It could go either way. That’s when I decided to give this a whirl. It wasn’t like he was a bad guy, no matter how much of an asshole he tried to project. That was just a show for others, I knew that. Sure, he hadn’t looked like the man I had always dreamed up in my mind. Yes, he was a little more negative than I had hoped for my other half to be BUT those were things one could look past and even maybe with time, change. (by this very thought it should have been clear to me that this was not to be…you don’t attempt a relationship with people in hopes to change them. Not like that.  When it is pure and true, you accept them as they are. You love down to the very flaws that once would have made you think twice and if needed be, with love they evolve, on their own to be better versions of themselves, of yourself.) 

We continued hanging out after that night. At first a couple times a week. Quickly a couple times a week ended up turning into almost everyday. Days had then turned into weeks and still the doubt was there and just wouldn’t let up. I was angry at myself because I didn’t understand what was internally wrong with me. He was funny and attentive. Two qualities I had always loved in a man. He had household skills that would put many housewives to shame. A particular set of skills in the kitchen that only a true chef could master. Still, all these great qualities and I just couldn’t fall in love. Not like he wanted me to. The flame was just not igniting for me no matter how much I tried to force it.

The heart is strong and it is pure.

One cannot convince the heart to feel things that do not come natural. I learned this the first time when it came to my father. I would later learn this many more times in a number of different situations. It is a lesson hard to learn and only when one comes to accept this does life become a little tiny bit easier.

We had been “talking” for a little over a month when I had finally decided to be completely and 100% honest with him. Not only was it what he deserved, but I truly did come to love the friendship and I wanted to preserve what we had built up to that point. Silly girl.

It wasn’t at all easy for me to have the conversation. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, news that would emotionally hurt someone for that matter. It wasn’t easy for him to hear. No one wants to stand there and get their heart broken.

His hurt wore many faces. He was angry, sarcastic, hurtful, all of which I understand. He tried many times to make me realize how perfect we were for each other. “How could two good people who deserve each other not be together?” he asked me once.

“Just because two good people come together doesn’t mean they should date. Maybe they’re in each other’s lives for a long lasting friendship.” I answered.

The friendship has now completely diminished. His anger over time built into resentment and once I made it public that I was officially in a relationship with someone, he completely let me have it.

I had known this reaction would come but I hadn’t believed it to be permanent. I thought that he would eventually see that my honesty was something that had to be. What was I supposed to do? Suck up the fact that I was’t emotionally connected to him like we had hoped I’d be? Was I to live a life forcing something there? I thought he would get over his angry and understand that I had not meant to hurt him. That he would understand that if I had continued on to force love, things would have ended way worse.

The understanding never came. Instead there was more insulting and hostility. Today we don’t speak and with all the sadness that a dying friendship brings I do morn for its loss. I move on with my life coming to the understanding that sometimes the pursuit of happiness can be difficult. You will encounter tough situations and maybe hurt others along the way, but happiness is what we’re on this earth to experience. Not for others, but for ourselves.

029-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Venice Beach California

 

The Three Month Mark

In life I believe that everything has a bit of a probationary period. Some range longer than others. If you start a new job for instance, it’s usually three months before you are able to obtain any kind of benefits from that set job. You take your car to a mechanic, it’s usually a few days before you can tell whether or not they’ve really done a good job repairing your car. You maybe order some Chinese food from a new spot that just opened and within a few hours you can tell if you’ll ever be ordering from that place again.

The same holds true for relationships.

The dating scene has always been quite a challenge for me. Long ago it took me absolutely no time to fall “in love” with someone. I quickly learned that by always jumping in head first that it could be truly painful for the heart. Though the heart is strong and resilient, there is no need to place it in a constant state of unnecessary vulnerability. Slowly I began adapting what I call The Three Month Mark. It was a three month period in which I noticed I would “dip out” of a relationship for one reason or another, the underlying reason being that I knew it simply would not work out. It wasn’t something that I purposely set myself up for. It was more like I slowly noticed what it was that I was doing. I had found my own way of protecting my heart by purely building up a wall. It wasn’t a wall made of pure cement. It was more like dry wall, where it seemed thick and impenetrable, but if given the proper tools one could knock it down in no time. There were a few that came close to getting through that three month mark, but in the end it was intuition that led me to know that to enter a true relationship with that individual would just later lead to heartbreak whether it be them or me who was left broken. The three month mark was a way of me getting to know someone, who they were, their intentions, before getting attached. I started noticing that within three months one could discover so much about a person before it was tragically too late. Before the heart became truly involved that is.

That is until I met the love of my life. My soul mate…

He walked into the dark and empty nightclub, alone and radiating an energy that just seemed to pour out of his soul. His eyes locked me in and I knew that very second that I had met someone truly special. I just hadn’t known how special they would become until later.

The night we met we spent the entire time talking. Just two strangers surrounded by good music, watered down cocktails, and shitty disco lights. We spoke about all good things in life never once spending time on a negative sentence. From that night on our friendship developed past the point of something typical. It was as though we had picked up right where we had one day long ago left off.

Quickly things escalated. We spoke every single day and spent every free moment together. We became exclusive within days, unnaturally quicker than with any other person I had met before.

It wasn’t until recent that I noticed that we had hit our three month mark. We had taken a trip up north to meet each other’s parents. It was when sitting with his mother in their cozy little living room, warmed by a fireplace, and surrounded by the sounds of Jazz music coming from his father’s room that it hit me. The thought had never crossed my mind before that moment. We had overcome that self imposed probationary period without even the slightest hiccup. I had met his friends. I had met his family. I had been thrown into his Georgian culture, engulfed by food, drink, music, language, and tradition, and had not only survived but actually came to love. The same went for him. I knew the very second the realization of our three month mark hit that this was true. I had finally found what I had so terribly wanted for so long and this time I hadn’t even looked for it. He had arrived unexpectedly yet at the perfect time.

I’ve come to truly fall in love with him, quickly and without fear. I had no preconceived attitudes towards him. I felt no reason for a wall to be taken down for one hadn’t even been built. I’ve given my heart completely to this person without conditions or concern and I thank The Three Month Mark for this. It has kept my heart protected for all this time. For when the moment truly came it would be healthy and happily willing, without fear, to love again.

People have asked me, “Well how do you know that this is it?” and all I can answer back is all I’ve ever heard, you just know. It’s a feeling of certainty that no one can confirm other than the true inner self. It is a moment that arrives and it whispers in your heart. A feeling no person can describe. That’s how you know. You’ll know when you realize that from the moment that you met, there was never a three month mark.

img_20161018_103935-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

Only Two

I’ve only truly been in love twice. Although I’ve dated A LOT, no one quite captured my heart and forever changed my soul, no matter how small a change, like my only two loves.

Both, needless to say, ended pretty tragically.

The first one, my high school sweetheart. A romeo, a lady’s man. That would always be our demise. I spent the better half of my teenage years and half of my twenties on and off again with him. The man had broken my heart in every way possible and still I would go back for more. It wasn’t until the ultimate betrayal on his part that I decided no relationship between the two could ever be. The true sadness rested in the fact that being as though we had known each other for so many years we had truly become great friends. In the end I had lost not only my boyfriend but also my best friend.

The second love of mine came at a time where life for me had hit an all time low. This was when I lived in California. I met him at the local library where I would go to take out a shit load of books for me to read and movies for my sister and I to watch. He was a couple years younger than me but he could have fooled anyone as to him being older. He was well educated and mature. Well mannered and treated his mother like a queen. Not only her but he treated me like a queen. He was an amazing person to be around. His friends would tell you so. He was the one who made me realize how important a close circle of friends are. The value of true friendship. Like I said before, we met at a time in my life where I was broken. He made me feel amazing no matter how broken I had become, but no amount of love given could have saved our relationship. I was moving back to New Jersey and our love was so much that they only way we saw it was to have to let each other go. A love truly parted by life but never fully extinguished.

Both loves were vastly different. One lasted almost an entire lifetime while the other was more like a lifetime happened in just a few months. One was so tainted and damaged that no amount of time could ever heal and make it beautiful again, while the other had a freshness and energy, a bright light that shined from it that time could never dim. Both loves felt different. One felt more strangulating and slightly exuded obsession, making anxiety the most common emotion felt. The other love was so liberating. We were so bound by our love, so enthralled with one another, yet it was a breath of fresh air. It was easy.

My loves were different yet in other ways similar. I learned so much from each relationship. I learned things that would serve me well for the next one. Like I mentioned before I have dated a lot and one thing I do know, each and every new person that makes it into  my life has been of value to me. Whether today we are in each other’s lives or not, I have learned something to help me out later on down the road and if for only that reason alone, I cherish the time spent together, no matter how good or bad it was.

I look forward to meeting my next love. I feel like it’s definitely going to be IT. I’ve been through all the preparation. I have weeded out the confusion that plagues the minds of people when they become seriously committed to someone early on in life. I have not only had my fun but I have learned many valuable lessons while doing so. I understand life and the real meaning behind it. I can appreciate and love, while also being more aware and mindful, more vulnerable and open, because that’s how you connect with people, by being vulnerable.

Looking back on everything that I have gone through with past relationships I am grateful because although I won’t be going into it with the heart of innocence I’ll be able to see and feel love for what it truly is, with out the games, just its purity.

I sometimes think about my two loves and wonder how it is that they’re doing. You must be thinking that I am probably wishing one luck while I wish for the other misery and unhappiness but that is not me. I wouldn’t ever wish difficulty on another. The way I look at it, him who had broken my spirit to love I wish the treasures of the world for is he not just as broken as I was, or maybe yet even more so? Only hurt people hurt people and I know enough about him to understand his hurt even if he did bury it years ago.

In a world in which the ultimate goal is to find true love and happiness, I can look back on my life and say that Yes I have truly loved. If it weren’t to happen again, which would be a tragedy in my book, at least I have had the opportunity to feel what it was to love someone other than myself, than my family, than even my pets. I have loved a stranger before and it speaks volumes as to the capacity my heart can hold. I wish to discover love again, this time it hanging around longer. This time it being both reciprocated and permanent. Yet I cannot help but wonder, how permanent could love ever be if there is no such thing as forever??

 

 

A Tiny Web Fear Weaves

I’ve heard the same old sayings since I was a kid….

“Patience is a virtue” Or “Don’t look for it, for it will find you.”

Or better yet, my favorite, “What you’re looking for will be right under your nose.”

When it comes to romance, love, ect… we’ve got sayings for days. When giving advice I too have been guilty of spewing out the cliche lines I have just now shared with you, but you know what?? I feel no guilt of doing so because no matter how cliche they may sound, they are cliche for a reason. Truth! Truth is what lies behind the repetitive. They are stated because they are true! Although I have hated these sayings because of how insensitive they are to one’s needs at the moment, I have recently understood. I am in the situation where “it” was indeed under my nose the entire time. I was just too blind too see and too busy to stop and smell the roses. “It” was lying under my nose the entire time and not in an obscure manner but in the most obvious way possible. It couldn’t have been more obvious even if the man was holding a sign made from God with an arrow pointing to himself that read “Here I am”

Yes, that’s right I am talking about finding the “One” (or so I claim…again…) and I guess I shouldn’t say I found him for it was the other way around completely. It seems as though he had found me years ago and I just didn’t want to believe it. In a way I kick myself because I could have been living in this moment of pure bliss for quite a while now, but since I was too busy looking for love in every other person in any other situation, I missed out on extra time.  I’ll admit, that maybe the timing before wasn’t right. Maybe I didn’t see it before because I wasn’t ready to see him for what he was? I’ve done much growing since first meeting this chap, growing that wouldn’t have ever happened if we would have linked up earlier, so I mean maybe that’s why it didn’t happen sooner. All I know is that it is happening now and I am ecstatic even if our situation isn’t the most ideal.

You read right, our situation isn’t the most ideal and why? Because years ago I fucked up. It’s a difficult thing to acknowledge when you fuck up but when it’s the truth it’s better to face it head on than to come up with excuses that will never help the situation. It wasn’t something that I purposely went out seeking. I don’t go out into the world and say to myself, “You know what? I’m going to royally fuck up today and I hope that this small royal fuck up continues to haunt me years down the road.” No. That’s not how it went down then but it’s how it’s going down now. A small infraction of my part and now years down the spirally road I have walked down has it come back to bite me smack on the ass. And Ouch, does it hurt.

Funny thing too, it seems that when I look back at most of my mistakes, they always end up being the same exact mistake I make except in different situations.

I know you’re wondering what mistake I made and I will tell you, but before I do, I want to really express 1) How difficult it is for me to acknowledge my mistakes and 2) that the only reason I am willing to broadcast one of my many flaws in this little article of mine is only to help others who may one day read this. Learning from each other is a part of life and I wish to not take my secrets to the grave but to eventually share each and everyone of them so that someone else may decide to not take the road I have. Or maybe they will want to for maybe in their eyes it was not as much a mistake but as a proper learning curve.

So what did I do? What has been my mistake that seems to be the same one I keep repeating time and time again?? Detachment. Detaching myself from people is one of my most frequently made mistakes and although I am aware of this, it is hard for me in the moment to stop myself from doing it, especially when I feel that the reason for me to do so is a valid one.

If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know or at least have an idea about me being diagnosed with Co-dependency. One of the conditions set for my probation not too long ago was to seek out therapy. 8 sessions were what I was to complete and thank the Universe I did because I learned so much about who I really was and why I am the way I am. Not too many people get the opportunity to figure out why they tick the way they do and I fortunately was given that chance. So six months ago I was told that I suffered from Co-dependency, which explained a lot and unlike the name makes it sound, I suffer from very high levels of commitment issues (in all aspects of my life). Not only do I fear commitment but I have an unhealthy obsession with people pleasing (explained to me as being an addiction). Some symptoms of Co-dependency are painful emotions (such as anxiety, low self esteem, hopelessness, ect..), problems with emotional intimacy (aka: letting people in), denial of ones own faults in problematic situations, needing to have control in any given situation, dysfunctional communication, obsession with things like taking care of others, instant reactivity, and setting poor boundaries with people involved in your life (friends, family, lovers..). When I began to really do research on what I was being told about myself, I had discovered so much about why I was the way I was, which in turn helped me to realize how much I had fucked up situations even more than I needed or even wanted to. Many times in trying to make my point of how upset I was or maybe simply not wanting to deal head on with the presented situation, I chose to walk away. Cut all ties from the issues at hand and never again face them. This is obviously not the way to go about problems, not in the least bit. Not if you ever want to overcome them because let me tell you, by sweeping it under the rug, the dirt is still there and eventually it’ll be brought back out in to the light. Another cliche saying, yet again because it is true.

He was under my nose the entire time. I had known him for years and never did I dance with the thought of him and I being together. He was a friend whom I could totally be myself around. Someone to share laughs with and make fun of life with. I could even share some of my most deepest darkest secrets with him without a seconds hesitation. I never considered him a best friend even. Just someone I met through a group of friends. Someone who was always there and so connected we became.

Long story short, because it is one hell of a long story, I stopped communicating with this group of friends. I detached. I was hurt by something and instead of dealing with the situation, I made my most infamous move and fell off the face of the earth. In the weeks leading up to my disappearance I felt like no matter what I did, I kept making small mistakes to annoy some of these friends of mine and the anxiety of it all I just couldn’t take. In my mind I figured, “Well if everything I do pisses you off, why be friends with me then??” So before I felt like I was to be rejected by them (which would have devastated my soul) I instead broke away. In short, I left them before I felt that they were going to leave me. That’s my MO. The fear of rejection has always plagued my life. Up until recently that is, since then I have been able to uncover this hidden knowledge of myself and have been working on tweaking a few things 😉 So yes, once I stopped talking to a selected few it wasn’t long before I broke away from the entire circle, slightly having contact just one or two people.

It was years later that this small world rotated back and I find myself facing what I so long ago thought I would never have to deal with again, except for now there is much more at stake. Now it’s not just about me anymore. There is someone else involved and for them this situation is really not ideal. This group that I so casually walked away from for the fear of rejection was too much to bare, are his best friends. Although we don’t speak much of it, I know that if we decide to continue with whatever it is that we’re trying to do here, I must fix what I broke and I have no clue as to how to go about it. Yes, I do understand that an explanation and maybe an apology is due from my end. Maybe it did really bother them they way I handled things. I don’t know because none of us have ever really spoken about it. They were my closest friends at one point and I had shared a lot with them, many firsts and a few lasts. Before this guy and I had even spoken true words between us since reconnecting, I would travel back to the times of all of us hanging out and building memories and I truly missed them. Yet, I never dared to reach out. In that aspect I let fear govern my senses.

I find myself in a harsh predicament now. I may have waited too long and now there is much more at stake. I am at a loss because I don’t know what first move to make. For now I suppose I’ll just allow the Universe to take its course. For now I’ll go with its flow and see what happens. I try to stay positive when I think about every outcome this situation could have. No matter what happens I am enjoying the moment. I won’t be dwelling on the “what happens if..” only on the “what is going on right this minuet”

Still I can’t help but think of life and all its cliches. For example, how life has a crazy way of giving you what you need, when you need it. It also has a crazy way of teaching it’s lessons and changing your perspectives, allowing for evolution to take place, mentally and emotionally. These, and others I can totally appreciate.

Scratch that.

I am totally appreciating them. Appreciating them for what they are, the beauty in truths.

 

The Shell of Cynicism

They were the days, when you were young yet trying to grow up and be that adult you so craved to be. Many times my mother would tell me, “You’ll get burned out if you try to grow up too fast. You’ll have nothing to look forward to if you do it all now.” As a kid, you just shrug it off because you are just a kid, you don’t truly understand. Now I get it.

In a slight way I wish I would have listened, especially when it came to guys. I have dated enough of them that now I find myself guarded and cynical when I think about relationships and love. Before, every relationship had that fairy tale feel. The potential was always there. Prince charming and a happily ever after life always seemed very possible for me. Now I damn Disney and all of its misleading movies of love and life. How dare you mislead me into thinking that love always conquers all. All toads don’t turn into princes, just as we are not all princesses, us, who end up kissing these gross little amphibians. Love, in the romantic sense of the word, is made for everyone yet we are not all made for love. Life and its conditioning will take care of that, robbing some of the chance to accept and dish out what is unconditional love.

I’ve been let down by many, hurt by more, and now I’ve gotten to the point of truly not worrying about finding a life mate because at this point I rather enjoy my days alone than with bad company. My quest to find my prince charming has ceased and now I simply embrace this journey as a solo explorer. I live my days just enjoying what is life and think, “If he comes around, great. If not, I’m cool too..” Funny thing, once I gave up the search, poof, someone pretty cool appeared. A special little someone who in ways makes me want to believe again, yet I can’t allow myself to. A dreamlike thought will pop up in my mind and quickly I counter it with any other thought to turn it into something more realistic. In the moments we are together, I allow myself to get lost in a good time, yet once I head back to my normal life, I reassure myself that this will be something that’ll be over before it began. I rehearse all the excuses that have ever interrupted a romantic relationship before. I rehash the reasons things never worked and remind myself that surly this too will be one of those times.

I no longer have this innocent way of thinking when it comes to diving head first into a relationship. If anything, I now wear a life vest, floaties, goggles, and anything else to keep me safe while trudging through these hectic waters. I’m even more aware of the long list of defects I’ve got going on, most now acquired after many heartbreaks and let downs brought on by life. Ouch… Maybe defects isn’t the proper word for it. No matter the term, the effect is there. I’ve got a list of “qualities” that I find difficult for a stranger to cherish. How do you meet someone without fearing that one day they’ll wake up and realize that you aren’t perfect, and that one does have flaws? How can one relax when you know deep down inside they’ll one day see certain flaws in you and if these certain flaws are hard to deal with yourself, how is this person, a stranger, going to deal with your imperfections? It’s only a matter of time.

Don’t think I am totally numbed out to the hopes of one day finding my perfect kind of relationship. I have a tiny glimmer of hope dressed in the garments of cynicism and I try to never let fear govern the beautiful aspects of life. In a sense it’s healthy to look at things with a bit of skepticism. I’ve never been a pessimist, nor a total optimist. If I had to throw a label on my outlook on life, I would call it being a realist. Optimistically speaking, I look forward to the dates full of conversations and full bellied laughter (oh man does he make me laugh). I swim around in the good vibes and the pure energy this person brings into my life. The inner negative Nancy, that small bit of a pessimist that hides within me, tugs at my brain and reassures me that this too will be short lived. But those two are complete opposite sides of the spectrum.  They are two extremes I try not to follow for I am no extremist when it comes to emotional involvement.  Realistically, I know that there’s a good possibility of this may work out if we both want it to, but life is full of well calculated surprises so who knows what could happen. Would it be difficult if it didn’t turn out happily ever after? Yea, but would I die (insert “But did you die” meme here)?? Of course not. It would be another tiny nic on my heart that with a little bit of nature’s neosporin (time) it would heal with hardly any scaring.

I know that there are tons of people, both girls and guys, who have been through a lot when it comes to search for love. I know that it gets to be exhausting, hence why I’m writing to you specifically. Stop the search. It is a waste of time and energy and by looking, all you end up truly finding are people who are not meant for you. Yes, they are great learning lessons, or decadent distractions, but once the charm and the fun wears thin, you’ll find yourself unhappy. Stop looking and shell up with a slight hint of cynicism. Go on about your life and doing the things that make your heart truly happy and that allow that wonderful face of yours light up with a smile. That confidence in doing what you love, that happiness that shines from doing what makes you happy without worrying about “Do I look ok? Will I meet the one tonight? Am I funny enough? ect..” will be exactly what brings you closer to that person who is perfect for you. A healthy hint of cynicism when approaching life and its curve balls won’t drive anyone away. The right person for you, will see that as just a small obstacle to get through in order to achieve that grand prize, you. For no matter how many flaws you think you have, or how tarnished you see yourself, that special someone will see you as that magnificent person you are. They’ll see you for that one love they have always searched for, perfectly made for them, and will not let it get away.

The Problem Was Me

After my last failed relationship, I decided to look back on certain things and really try to figure out why the hell  I seem to be finding the same type of guy over and over again.  I laugh at myself because no matter how different the guys are, at the end of the day they are the same “type” of guy with maybe just with a slight difference.

I’ve dated them all. From school teachers and lawyers (I know I know. I said I’d never date a lawyer…) to tattoo artists and musicians. From “high” class guys to guys in the lower income bracket… It doesn’t matter where they’re from, how they were raised, education level, they all end up being the same type of guy.

For years I have been plaguing my mom with the same question, “How do I keep finding the same type of guy??” and for years her response would be to laugh. I can’t blame her. My love life is like an awful romance comedy that instead of getting better… it gets funnier and funnier (which means worse and worse) by the minuet. Or shall I say by the boyfriend.

It was just a couple days ago that it finally hit me. It’s me. I’m the problem. After speaking to a few chosen ladies and really analyzed my situation, I have come to the conclusion that the common denominator is me. Therefore the problem lies within myself. Not them. Me.

Am I being a little too hard on myself? Nope. If anything I need to get tougher. I need to “tough love” myself because if I want for this ridiculous cycle to stop and eventually meet someone right for me, things have got to change.

First I’ll tell you the mistakes I’m making. Then I’ll tell you the kind of men I’ve been pulling. You’ll realize what I’m talking about soon enough and then hopefully you too will stop making the same moves I have been making.

My last few bf’s I’ve found online. Whether it be through a dating site or app, or through “mutual friends” listed on FB. My current ex is the exception. I met him at the bar he worked at. Everyone of them I discovered because I was out on the hunt. When I describe myself as being on the “hunt” I do not mean I’m out there searching high and low for prospects with my binoculars and rifle, haha. No. My plan was simple. It was to just put myself out there to see what happened. What ended up happening was that I hit one dead end after another and who else to blame but the driver, right? I uploaded a profile onto a ridiculous site, or maybe I would go solo baring and would frequent a certain bar until one day, Poof, a knight materialized. Either way you look at it, I was a sitting duck. I basically set myself up and waited for the next one to show up and be the guy of my dreams. When it comes to Love you cannot search. That is one thing in life that if you do go in search of you’ll find everything BUT what it is you’re looking for.

They were dreamy. All were charismatic, good looking (to my standards), funny, had jobs, and of course there was always chemistry. At first. I’m sure many of you can relate when I say that the beginning of any relationships it was always great.  It wasn’t just the excitement of going out on cool dates, but more of the getting to know one another and realizing how much one had in common with the other. You begin to hang out often and the time you spend together you just think to yourself “holy cow I think I found my other half!” But the beginning of any relationship is always smoke and mirrors. Things will always seem wonderful in the beginning. Each person is on their best behavior, only setting forth their wonderful qualities. In time, the smoke begins to settle. The fairy tale slowly fades and in its place stands real life.

Real life. You gotta love it. It’s what snaps you back into the reality of life and how it operates. Life will never go 100% smooth. There will always be SOMETHING that takes a dip for the worst. It could be health wise, financial crap, or maybe family issues. It could be anything. These issues and how people handle the situation and move forward is very telling about who they are as an individual and what role, if any, they’ll play in your life. With each and every ex there were always red flags and every single one of them I chose to ignore. My second mistake.

It’s very rare when a relationship is heading south for one or both people involved to be completely broad sighted. There are always signs telling us, warning us, that shit is about to hit the fan. I truly do feel bad for our Sixth Sense, good ol’ Intuition, because more often than not it is ignored. If we followed our intuition more, or paid close attention to those red flags, we would avoid so many problems in life.

I cannot tell you how often it has happened that I knew a bf was going to lose their job weeks before it even happened. Or how often I’ve been told about shady pasts that they have “over come” just to know that later on it would fester up again and come back with a full vengeance. Yet what do I do? I ignored the signs, the warnings. I dismissed them thinking, “Ehhh, maaaybe not” because there IS always a chance of misjudging, right? Wrong. It’s weird to think that way. It’s weird to go thinking against a million red flags just for a minuscule possibility that you may be wrong. Think about it. Subconsciously, as we become more involved in a relationship and we begin to form a pattern and routine with someone, you begin to really take in notes about that person. You become familiar with their actions, how they respond to things and situations, the way they even think through the words they speak. Without even thinking we take all this information in and our minds slowly begin to build your reality of this individual. Red flags pop up in our brains, intuition goes off in our soul, our heart even falters for a second, when moments arrive that flare up  a feeling in you that things either aren’t adding up or are off alignment with  you and what you need out of life. Heed those warnings, take a step back and truly analyze  the situation.What’s the worse that could happen?

Here is a list of what can be considered red flags or warnings:

*they have mental, emotional, and/or physical ailments that should be tended to by a professional yet they never seek the help they need.

*became unemployed and have no interest of obtaining another job or completely lack the motivation (unless wealthy of course).

*they lie about  things that make you wonder, “Wtf would you lie about that?”

*they have kids that they don’t care to take care of.

*instead of owning up to past mistakes and taking full responsibility they continue to excuse what they’ve done and/or blame others.

*they live at home with their parents due to the desire of wanting to keep being maintained and lack of drive versus that of the need to (ages 30 and over).

*if they have cheated on multiple exes and/or still consider themselves a “player”

* they are rude to or look down upon people in the service industry

With some of the ones listed, you couldn’t possibly even get into a relationship and expect for your it to be a healthy one. The fact that I am a co-dependent (currently working on that) and am addicted to helping people  has always placed me in a bad spot. I always want and believe that I can help and save everyone, when in fact, that is totally far from the truth. No one can help or save anyone that doesn’t want to help themselves. Remember that. Always support people emotionally but never allow yourself to be convinced that you are there to save someone. That’s a ton of responsibility unnecessarily placed on someone that truly has no power in the situation.  Keeping this in mind will save you from many head pains and heart aches.

Here are some guidelines I came up with from my own experiences to maybe help others out there in the dating scene. For now, there are only three:

1) Don’t go searching for Love. The way the Universe works, it is always conspiring for you. But just because it is working for you doesn’t mean it’ll be timed the way you want it. Love will find you once it’s ready, once you’re ready, once your partner is ready. So “let go and let God”, otherwise, you run the risk of continuously finding the ones not at all meant for you.

2) Listen to your inner you.

3) You are no one’s hero. They must be their own. Instead, think more along the lines of being their biggest cheerleader.

Go out. Mingle with people. Have fun. Live out your life. Go about your business while always being in the moment. Stop thinking that the next person you see may be “the one.” Stop worrying about “Ways to Meet Your Soul Mate” or the “10 Places to Meet Your Future Spouse.” Those magazines titles are so lame, honestly.

Trust me. I’m taking my own advice. I’ve been repeating the same mistakes time and time again. The difference now is that I am aware of what I was doing before and can now knowingly decide to not commit the same errors again.

Funny, because I feel like these were all things I’ve heard before. Advice from the elders that one never truly followed through with after listening to.  I guess it’s the way of life, us trying to experience things on our own, even if it is the hard way. One thing is for sure, it makes for great writing.

Love and Instant Gratification

In an age where technology has made everything so readily available one must wonder are we conditioning ourselves to believe that anything and everything is easily obtainable? Before, society used to have to work hard in order to achieve anything that was remotely satisfying. Your kid needed to do a 10 page research paper, the assignment was given weeks in advance for teachers knew that it would take time to gather such information. Kids would have to go and spend free time at the library or maybe even have to go so far as to visit a few museums in order to get the information needed to write a proper paper. If you had a dream of becoming a model, you knew there was serious work to be done. There were portfolios to be put together. You’d have to truly grind and figure out ways to make appointments with agents or show up for auditions. The ability to pose for a picture, edit it with a few different filters, and with one click post it on your Instagram (today’s portfolio) for the whole world to see, that was almost unfathomable. There are many who have gained, what I’ve termed Insta-Success, in dream careers that for them was once an almost impossibility yet today they are rolling in their passion. These are all great examples of how technology has helped humanity exceed and advance in many aspects of their lives such as knowledge, success, exposure.. But what about the downs of such advancement? There is always a negative to counter a positive. Life is about balance and I’m here to speak on whether or not the negatives balance or outweigh those positives.

One of our most important purposes here in life is love. I truly believe that love is something that not only every single individual on this planet strives to feel in one way or another, but it is also what makes the world go round. Not just the love of money, or success, the love to travel, or the love of food, or a hobby, but most importantly the love of an individual outside of yourself. To obtain true love whether it lasts forever or not is something that we all try to experience at one point or another. Some may have loved once, and got burned in doing so. Maybe those individuals have given up on feeling that emotion, but the point there is that they have experienced it. Others  may be looking for love and a percentage of those will find it while others will spend their entire lives in search of it. So how does the topic of “Love” come into play with “Insta-Sucess”? Take my friend Janet for instance. Janet falls under the percentage of those who are on the constant hunt for love. She’s got a profile on every single internet site or dating app that is out there. Whether it’s free or she pays a monthly fee, that girl’s heart is on everyone of them waiting to be captured. I know many people who are reading this may have or have had a profile up or two. I’ll be honest and say I’ve had one or two up and took them down for the simple reason that it just didn’t work for me. There is nothing wrong with having a dating profile. In fact, for many it is a godsend and truly their only way of being able to find love. Whether they’re to shy to go out and mingle, while there are others that are maybe too busy. Some prefer to have an array of choices at one time to date versus having to go out and pick up a date here and there. There is no wrong when it comes to having a dating profile, unless of course you’re looking for that Insta-Gratification from your Insta-Meet like my friend Janet.

Janet is trooper. She has a date pretty much every night of the week. Sometimes they are with the same guys. Most times her dates are with someone new and different. The problem doesn’t lie in the fact that she’s got numerous dates under her belt. If fact, before I would say “Good for YOU!” for I believe that in order to find out what you really want in your ideal mate you must first find out what you DON’T want. Her issue lies, and this is where most people’s issues lie in the online dating scene, is with the belief that with a few dates you either got it or you don’t. God forbid there be a flaw or a not so ideal quality in a person (because we’re all so perfect, ya know) it’s DELETE and onto the next one. No if, ands, or buts… You’re OUT. Many of you may be thinking “Well good for Janet!! She’s picky! and that’s important when it comes to not settling for less than what you want!” And I hear you. But what if that ease of “deleting” and moving onto the next one is exactly what’s keeping her from being in a happy relationship?

This is where today’s society and its entanglement with technology comes into play.For years now we have been able to be a  click away to learning and perfecting almost every aspect of our life. From typing up the perfect resume, or editing your pictures to look like a Hollywood starlit, to ordering groceries online while also paying your parking ticket at the same time. Everything is instant. Everything SEEMS perfect. We no longer have to work hard for anything. We’ve become a society who’s number one focus is physical appearance and instant gratification.  People are no longer patient enough to work hard for something. Actually it’s now the complete opposite.It’s as though in today’s world, if you’re working hard for something then it’s not worth to pursue so it’s time to move on and when it comes to love, I often hear (not just from Janet but many others her age and younger) if it’s meant to be, it’ll just work. The pursuit of “Perfection” has become such a norm in life that we have forgotten that we are human and we each have flaws or certain issues within us that make us far from perfect. Yet those very same issues or flaws are the very things that set us apart and make us unique from the next person. To be able to look past that, not only accepting it, but to the point where you cherish those flaws, that’s where true love for someone else lingers.

Janet, as well as many others out there, finding out that (insert name here) isn’t perfect, or doesn’t have all the qualities she looks for in her ideal mate, that instant gratification or her idea of perfection she’s in search for, that Insta-Love, is exactly what’s getting in her way.  The belief that you can meet someone and just love them immediately and them love you unconditionally without having to put in any work is absolutely absurd. One disagreement, one fight, one of anything negative, and good-bye. You are dismissed and onto the next one. Yes, there are those cases in which you will find what they call “love at first sight” but still to MAINTAIN that emotion for someone, it takes work. It’s not easy to maintain a relationship of any sort. There is time and effort that’s to be put in, and that is exactly what life today is lacking… Time and Effort.

I share this with you because everyone is deserving of love. When you’re out there looking for it, or it just so happens to find you, don’t get into your own way simply because you’ve been conditioned to believing in the hype around you. Listen to your heart and intuition. Understand, no one walks around wrapped in vintage filters and cropped out problems. We are all imperfect and that’s what makes us each so perfect.

049-2 Photo Credit: Natal Galvan Location: Santa Monica, CA