Dating and other stuff I can’t explain
Two weeks ago, I was totally prepared to write a long diatribe recounting my recent dating and relationship fails. It would’ve been filled with anecdotal evidence supporting my shortsighted belief that “men are the worst,” sprinkled with a list of reasons as to why “I suck at dating and relationships”. Luckily, my INTP (Introvert iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving) senses kicked in, causing me to take a more analytical, dare I say, less emotional approach to documenting my reflections on my current dating experience.
Here’s a list of what I’ve learned so far from the dating process, with some explanation but very little context. Or should I say some context, very little explanation? Ehhh, you be the judge.
1. Unhealed trauma will rise to the surface as you get close to a potential partner, so keep a therapist in speed dial. Good men freaked me out. I had to learn how to ignore the voices of inadequacy and unworthiness constantly heckling me in my head. My therapist helped me lean into my feelings, determine the cause, and move past it.
2. Take things slow! This is an important step especially for someone like me who’s been out of the game for while. Jumping into a relationship too quickly led to a short-lived romance and contentious breakup. Dude is still salty. (Insert eye roll 🙄 here...LOL).
3. Be honest about your feelings.
4. Share your past/history in your own time. Don’t divulge too much too soon; this is a lesson I learned the hard way.
5. Don’t ever talk about your exes. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. No one wants to hear about your ex-wife, ex-husband, ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend when they’re getting to know you. When a guy talks about his former partner, it makes me think he’s not over her. If you don’t want to give off that vibe leave those memories at home.
6. Good sex is important, so be honest about your sexpectations!
7. Be open to dating against type. I pick men based on qualities not just looks. I’m not expecting him to look like Boris Kodjoe or Idris Elba, but I would like him to have a great personality, personal and professional goals and be open to living a healthy lifestyle. Being open minded about the benefits of a plant based diet is always a plus.
8. Reflect on the lessons learned in each encounter. What did you learn about yourself? What, if anything, did you learn about men or dating? I stopped worrying about why things didn’t workout because nothing is permanent and temporary loves are special too.
9. It’s okay to be vulnerable. My friends accuse me of getting too vulnerable and open too soon. While there maybe some truth to that, I get vulnerable because I’m not afraid to show the real me. He can take it or leave. And if he leaves it, I firmly believe someone else will like that side of me.
10. Starting out as friends is a good idea. This ties into lesson #2 - take it slow. You don’t always have to jump into exclusivity,
11. For every dirty pic and fetish request I received, I interacted with 3 times more men looking for serious relationships. Guess the odds are in my favor!
12. Be optimistic about the dating process. Radiate positive energy. If you think all men suck, then dating will suck. But if you think possibilities exist for finding a wonderful mate, then know the universe will guide you to your special someone.
Poetry inspired by a night in DC
I spent Saturday night exploring Georgetown DC. I stumbled into Urban Outfitters where I bought this amazing hat (see pic below) and fell in love with the poetry book, Pillow Thoughts 2. I can’t begin to explain how the words in this book spoke to me. I was so inspired and captivated by this book I wrote a poem inspired by my latest breakup. I plan to read it an open mic in two weeks.
Surprisingly, I’m not nervous about the idea of doing the open mic performance. I’ve always wanted to perform on stage. Now I get the chance to check another item off my bucket list. Go me!
Photo from CreateHerStock.com