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Archive for the ‘Dating Advice & Tips’ Category

Ever felt strong emotions or a strong attachment to someone you probably shouldn’t?  I’m there.

I’m inexplicably drawn to a man who stirs up emotions I have never felt before.  It sounds wonderful until I say that he is not emotionally available.  I think sometimes he wants to be, but then other times I think it’s a game of cat and mouse that he likes to plays.

It’s the worst game of back and forth with poor communication mixed in.  Riding this ride is a natural wreck for me.  It triggers
feelings of not being good enough and wondering what I did wrong – only I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

I’m not sure how to get this guy out of my head, out of my heart and out of my system.  There’s always this small nagging pull.  It’s even worse when he randomly reaches out.  I can logically tell myself that his random texts asking how I am doing have no substance, but they are enough to cloudy my mind.

So it’s even more important for me to remind myself of my basic must-haves and that a loving relationship should be just that … loving.

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I’ve been emotionally unavailable. I thought I was in a position where I could open up and love a potential life partner, but I wasn’t. I was able to develop deep feelings and perhaps love that person, but I wasn’t able to open up and let go of my defenses. I think I just might be ready now.

I can’t blame the guys I was dating for the relationships not working out – many shouldn’t have worked out! Some were amazing experiences I think I was supposed to have in life. Others were a testament to what I have learned since my divorce about myself … how early experiences shaped my thinking and behaviors; how family dynamics created learned dysfunction; how I created barriers that led to repeated experiences and how I have to take chances in order to live a fulfilling life.

I have the power in my life to create a healthy life with a healthy relationship. The first step is knowing I deserve it! The second step is allowing myself to take chances – emotional chances where I open up and don’t create an invisible safety net. I won’t lose myself in the people I date and I know I can survive if the relationship doesn’t work.

Now I need to make a decision; do I stay in the city I live in now or do I move elsewhere. I can’t open myself up to a relationship before I answer this question. I have a small network of incredible people I call friends and that will be difficult, not impossible, to recreate elsewhere.

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I’m not sure why this thought hit me today, but I am glad it did. I realized that I would tell a friend to move on and end whatever relationship she was in if he/she were experiencing the same “dating woes” I am.

I’m a firm believer that if someone is interested in you they will make the time to see you. Lately, this belief has been over-shadowed by phone calls and text messages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see someone investing an effort to connect, but there should be a warning bell if that’s all there is. You have to spend time with a person to really get to know them and figure out if you are compatible.

If the person you are getting to know or seeing doesn’t value your time and doesn’t make opportunities to see you, he/she won’t in the future either. The getting-to-know-you phase and honeymoon phases are when people are on their best behaviors, so if your needs are met now they probably never will be.

It’s great to give people the benefit of doubt, but there is a cut-off point where you have to be real with yourself and realize hope is not going to turn into reality.

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This is a brief post where I rant about flakey behavior. I’m not a needy person and I’m not demanding either, but I do think you should treat people with respect and consideration. I get that things happen and “life” can get in the way sometimes. Sometimes plans have to be changed because you just can’t make them. It isn’t a big deal until there’s a strong recurring pattern of not showing up and making excuses.

I used to accept a string of excuses and explain away flakey behavior. (Notice the past tense there?) No more. We all deserve equal consideration. There is no one out there that is so great that their needs always trump everyone else’s.

So, to the self-absorbed, self-important, self-centered or those who are simply unaware, we’re not a match. I don’t want to waste my time waiting when I could be spending it laughing and making great memories with people I care about and who care about me.

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There’s no right or wrong to a must-have, but I do believe they evolve as you do. I feel that I have grown in many ways and need to clarify a couple of my must haves that I posted last year. For one, I know I want the person I am dating to appreciate and cherish me. I know I am not perfect, but I want my partner to appreciate me for all that I am and all that I am not. Also, my partner must be authentically interested in me; not my potential.

• Honest with good character
• Loves to laugh
• Mature, but enjoys life
• Follows through on things started
• Financially responsible
• Appreciates/cherishes me as-is
• He must be authentically interested in me
• Challenges me in supportive way to be the best person I can be

What I haven’t stated clearly is my list of deal-breakers. I think my deal-breakers are implied by my list of must-haves, but there shouldn’t be any doubt in this area.

• A current addiction or substance abuse problem
• Self-centered or selfish approach to life
• Doesn’t have a passion for travel
• Unwilling to communicate and share experiences, thoughts and emotions
• Financially irresponsible
• Doesn’t follow through on obligations or promises
• Bad hygiene

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I have been dating a wonderful man for a few months now and will admit things have progressed quickly. As with almost everything, time provides prospective and this is no different. I still don’t know where I am right to be concerned or even annoyed and where I am being a bit too inflexible and impatient.

On paper this man sounds wonderful, and he is. I just don’t know that he is wonderful long-term for me. I’ve had a few “transition” relationships since my divorce and am starting to think this may be one too – just on a higher level.

With my past “transition” relationships I was unwilling to become emotionally invested and kept myself at a distance. It wasn’t that these were only physical relationships, but there was just a limit to how much I could allow myself to feel and become attached. I knew there wasn’t a future in these relationships and I was okay with that because I didn’t want a future from these relationships.

The man I am dating now, and the relationship I am in, is different. I do care about this man and I thought there was a potential future, but am not sure. Let me clarify, I don’t have a need to get married or be in a deep and committed relationship. This is just the first time I have let myself and met someone worthy of thinking of a potential long-term relationship.

As I get to know this man more, I grow more confused about when to compromise. For example, I can’t expect everything to be my way although I am used to living on my own. One of my must-haves in a partner is financial responsibility, but I have realized people define financial responsibility in many ways. I’m not sure I am financially compatible with this man as our thoughts on savings in almost opposite. Coming from a marriage where my spouse was financially irresponsible and a mother who is a shopping addict, I’m not willing to bend much on my definition of financial responsibility.

I also come from a family full of various chemical addictions and hid the addictions of my ex-spouse. I don’t want to return to that way of life and have concerns this man may drink more than I am comfortable with.

Many people reading this blog would probably say any concerns in either area, finances or addiction, are reasons enough to end the relationship. I’m unsure. Am I overly sensitive or simply clear on my boundaries? I honestly don’t know. So, when is good, good enough? When is good a means to settling and giving up?

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I’m behind on blog posts and dating stories, and apologize for the delay in posting this first meeting story. I still laugh when I recall the encounter; hope you do too.

I met an online match in-person for and early happy hour on New Year’s Eve. I can’t complain his online profile contained old pictures, but pictures can’t predict if you will or won’t have a physical attraction. In this instance, I didn’t.

Anyway, he arrived a few minutes before I did and was already more than halfway through his first beer by the time I sat down. I had plans to go out later in the evening to celebrate New Year’s Eve and didn’t feel like drinking. I ordered water and a soda instead. Not very “sophisticated,” but as you will learn sophistication wasn’t needed.

I can’t recall what we talked about, do clearly remember how he would spit while talking and a facial twitch. (Luckily, I dodge the spit and the twitch wasn’t contagious.) I was barely present mentally as he ordered beer #2, #3 and #4. (Let me clarify I wasn’t out with a 20-or 30-something guy. This man was in his late 40s and had a “professional” career.)

I sat thinking of how to gracefully exit, but my verbal abilities and backbone were very weak this particular day. After an hour I finally spoke up and said I needed to leave and get ready for my evening plans.

There was no doubt as I left this was not a good match. I was sure within 15 minutes of meeting. In fact, there were so many red flags it was like a bat cave going off in my head.

The next day I received an email from this guy thanking me for my time but saying we weren’t a good match because I couldn’t keep up with his drinking. What???? Really???? Here I was thinking his level of drinking might be a sign of alcoholism; but no, it’s me.

To “Happy Hour Guy” … thank you for taking the initiative. Thank you for being so comfortable with your addiction you didn’t hide or temper your drinking. Good luck with your search and your liver.

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