Things That Terrify Me

I recently started dating someone. Let me preface this by saying my luck with relationships is terrible. They’ve all ended (lately I’m the dumped not the dumper) and left me single and rather happy. I’m good at being single. Really good. I have a lot of fun and when I say fun, I mean that I’ll have to explain that later on my NSFW blog and my journals (which ironically I don’t share here).

So one thing I’m afraid of–terrified of–is falling in love, again. It seems like right when I let myself go I find myself falling and no one is there to catch me. Call me melodramatic, but it’s true.

The other thing I’m terrified of is getting close to people. I’m good at it, but I’ve been betrayed in ways that give me nightmares. I don’t like vulnerability. In fact, I find myself already trying to hide my vulnerability with jokes or comments that I don’t even mean with him, because let’s face it…when your previous boyfriends don’t reciprocate the kind of love you feel for them, you end up feeling a bit like you were born in the wrong century where love affairs happened to people and they fell into them…hard. Today people just call you “co-dependent” or say you care too much.

This relationship is different in some ways. We’re long distance and I’ve only done that once. Me and the other LDR met in my home town and he informed me shortly after we met that he was moving to Washington. I didn’t care. I was swept away. It was incredibly romantic. I mean, he romanced me in ways that only seemed to happen in movies. There were trips to Spokane, walks in the park, candlelight dinners. And it was the first time I had sex with someone who I loved. One time he flew in to see me and I surprised him with my own version of romance-a hotel room filled with rose petals, candles and music playing. When he walked in the room, he grabbed me and started slow dancing with me to “our song.”

Within six months we were talking about me moving up there and marriage and babies-and he meant it. His parents loved me so much and I loved them.

And then he made a mistake–saying he wasn’t ready for me to move up there–and I freaked out on him. I had been planning my move already and my dad was going to help me bring my stuff from California to Washington. What went wrong on his end wasn’t even that tragic. All he meant was that he wanted to pay for my apartment and bills and couldn’t at the moment (what with just moving and starting a new job). But I was like, “Who does that? I can pay my own bills. Just fucking let me be there with you.” And just like that, I was mad and he was misunderstood. I told him if he wasn’t serious then he should just break up with me and let me get over him. So we ended it over a misunderstanding.

Three weeks later in an incredibly romantic gesture, he flew to see me and took me to dinner and begged me to come back to him. And I….refused. What the flying fuck? I was already in a new relationship-dating a terrible person-really, not a good guy-but my pride was in the way and I couldn’t get past my anger and hurt. I was so hurt. And I sent him back to Washington alone. Then when I broke up with the loser/terrible guy, I emailed Washington boy (for years…even THIS year)  and begged him to come back. He told me he didn’t love me romantically anymore and now he doesn’t even respond to my emails.

At least my tragic love life makes for GREAT stories, right? For a writer that’s awesome. I should really pat myself on the back for taking so many broken hearts for society.
So after reliving the Washington memories, there’s already this feeling of “Is it doomed?” with this long distance relationship. I mean–someone has to move or it’s just not going to go anywhere. I love where I live and life is awesome here–except I don’t have him. And he loves his school and he’s doing fucking amazing there. He can’t move here.

Maybe I’m already preparing myself for the broken heart because I know they hurt so bad and in my life, they are inevitable. The thing that sucks about this time is that no matter how much I try to numb myself, it’s happening. I can’t help it. I’m litterally trying to protect myself but he hooked me already–in the first few weeks. The romantic things that were said and done left me feeling things for him that I haven’t felt since Washington. And it’s been several years since then-sure I’ve had relationships since then. But it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt something this sincere and this deep. In fact, I literally am in tears all day today and I can’t help but think it’s because of him/this. The helplessness I feel because I’m falling and I can’t stop. I can’t protect myself.

And then there’s this one small detail. Where he lives. He lives in the South, but not just anywhere. He lives where the bane of my existence lives. My Lex Luthor as one friend put it. The whole incident that inspired this blog–living in a cult. It happened in his city in Louisiana. And the only thoughts I have of that place are nightmares and memories of me wanting to kill myself. So, as if long distance relationships aren’t hard enough, there’s that one small detail-his location-that has had me tense for weeks.

Life is so ironic sometimes and love leaves no prisoners.

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

(quote and photo from Facebook)

In Which I’m Sappy About My Boyfriend

I have this habit of simultaneously being confessional and sappy. I apologize. Unless you like it, then I don’t apologize. (I’m a people pleaser.)

The boyfriend and I had a heart to heart last night. About a lot of things. For one, I was just frustrated with people–my family has been giving me shit; people on the internet have never ending amounts of shit coming out of their mouth; and I was just tired. One person I was having issues with on the internet was a person I really had come to care about who I felt misinterpreted some things I said and was judging me. It turned into a huge misunderstanding and one of those very uncomfortable conversations you have to have with people. Or you can delete those people–but I liked her!

As I talked to the boyfriend about it, he began to make too much sense–talking about how it’s normal for friends to have disagreements and it’s normal for you to go through stages where you like your friends and then you don’t, or you get irritated by them. I’m not good with “normal” usually, but he was making a hell of a lot of sense. So I apologized to said online friend. I realized he was right and that I definitely overreacted. It’s okay for someone to misinterpret something I said or even disagree with me. Phew.

And then he moved on to something far more difficult for me to handle. It wasn’t “pick on Lisa” night at all. We were just talking–we’ve become quite close and we talk every night before bed. But he started explaining to me how I pressure him about things–like transferring schools mid-degree and moving here (we’re long distance). Yeah, so here’s my confession: I pressure ALL the guys I date to commit within the first month. Don’t ask. I know it’s crazy/dumb/psycho. But you know, everyone has their hangups and I have one (million).

But this is what I like about the guy-instead of waiting 6 months and being fed up with it and then breaking up with me like the last few boyfriends, he’s getting straight down to business within a few weeks of the issue and communicating to me how it makes him feel. This shows me he’s a good communicator and he’s self-aware. But more than anything-that he really cares about me because he’s STILL here. It has definitely scared of plenty of guys before (and I often wonder, Would this be an issue if I were lesbian?) so it most certainly could’ve scared him off as well.

Today I’m thankful to have him in my life–he’s already helped make me a better person but more than all that, he’s teaching me how to be loved (and that is quite hard for me). Hopefully our “chapters” in our stories will continue on and on…I really like this one.

Why Single Women Should Break “The Rules” From Dating Experts

Recently a friend of mine and I started talking about her feelings for her best friend. She likes him, but she feels incredibly shy telling him how she feels. She feels like he should be the one to pursue her and ask her out.

Yet, he doesn’t know that she has feelings for him.

She’s afraid of rejection, and understandably so. Any time you put yourself out there, you risk rejection. What women don’t always understand is that some men fear rejection too.

I’ve encouraged her to ask him out, or at least tell him how she feels. I believe women should pursue what they want and if what they want is a relationship or sex with someone, they should break “the rules” and go after it.You’ll never know until you try.

SEXIST DATING ADVICE

Telling a woman to go after a man is contrary to what most dating “experts” and relationship coaches say. A few years ago, I read the book He’s Just Not that Into You. It’s incredibly sexist and not very helpful. It’s also very condescending to women. [Although it may be a  helpful read to the women out there who always end up in toxic and abusive relationships, or to the women who “date” married men for decades hoping he’ll leave his wife.]

The sexist message of women should just sit back and let a guy do all the pursuing is everywhere though, including on Huffington Post’s site. Dating and Relationship coach Jag Carrao says women make five mistakes in dating and the first one is this:

Dating Mistake #1:  Approaching Him First.  Among all the invaluable lessons in The Rules, authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider emphasize this point as the most important. It may go against conventional dating advice, which encourages women to flirt and even strike up a conversation.  While there are always exceptions, the women I coach who are struggling with boyfriends who won’t commit or husbands who ignore them almost invariably made the first contact.  A man may date and even marry a woman who approached him first, but there will likely be consequences later on…when he approaches the girl he really wants.  This goes for online dating as well.

So if I understand Jag clearly, she thinks if a woman approaches a man first, there will be consequences later including her husband may leave her?! This is incredibly stupid advice and although I haven’t read The Rules, I now have a bone to pick with their authors. Telling women not to pursue men, not to flirt, or approach him first is childish.

I think most relationship and dating advice is incredibly old fashioned and archaic. It assumes men and women are tightly bound to traditional gender roles and we’re simply not.

I’m not a relationship coach, but I do think I’m better suited to give you advice than Jag Carrao. In fact, I think anyone is better suited to give you dating advice. She says in her article:

If you talked him first or even asked him out, you can try to restore some of the feminine mystique and you forfeited as the initiator by being a bit more elusive – a little less available, a little more mysterious.

What the…?! You can try to restore some of the feminine mystique you forfeited?

I’m sorry, but approaching a man first doesn’t mean you forfeit anything, ladies.

Encouraging women to hold back from talking to men encourages women to stick to a traditional gender role–to be docile and let things happen to her. It also encourages women to play games. In turn, men either think women are crazy and/or play games back.

Here are my Five Dating Rules Women Should Follow [And Feel Free to Break]:

  1. Relationships should be built on honesty, not games. If you have to play a game to get him or her, you may have to play games to keep him or her on a string. If you’re honest and up front with who you are and what you want, you’re more likely to get what you want out of the relationship.
  2. You should be yourself in a relationship, not what someone says you should be. If you’re the “needy/clingy” girl, you’re often criticized for being overly romantic. You’re faulted for being who you are and you’re told by dating “experts” that you’ll never get what you want unless you change. This is horse sh*t. There are men who are romantic and who like spending quality time with a girl. Perhaps there is a limited dating pool of men who like this, but statistics say you’ll meet that guy. You should be yourself and be comfortable with being yourself. You’ll be more satisfied with your relationship if you’re allowed to be who you are and you’re accepted for it. [This isn’t to say that if you have serious co-dependency issues you shouldn’t work on those. We can all use a little self-growth.]
  3. It’s okay for women to break the rules. Men like women who have confidence and these days some men like to be pursued. It shows confidence for a woman to go out of her way to talk to a man and honestly, it helps dudes out. Some men get rejected often and after awhile some shy guys give up on going out of their way to talk to women. Which  leads me to my next point:
  4. Shy guys are “keepers”. Forget the “bad boys” and the “assholes”. The keepers are the shy guys, the smart guys, the nerdy guys. These are the guys who are grateful for women who go out of their way to talk to them and ask them out. They’re respectful, interested in equality and like you for who you are.
  5. Break all the other rules. Those sexist messages that say you shouldn’t talk to a man, shouldn’t seek out a guy, shouldn’t ask a man out? Break them all. You’ll be happier for it in the long run and you’ll likely land a man who’s really into you for who you are–inside and out.