Thursday, February 28th, 2013

my_lost_mind: (FML)
Something strange and somewhat shocking occurred to me over the past few days.  
See, I've been doing a lot of reading, and thinking, and thinking some more about my psychological programming and the type of personal relationships I've had over the past decade or so.
I realized that the following things are true about me:

I am very poor at accepting gifts, praise, help, and kindness without wondering "what's the catch?"
I have a difficult time remembering a feeling of being loved unconditionally.
I can make friends and maintain friendships, but I am also a lazy friend - I'm never the one to pick up the damned phone.
I have found it far too easy to jump into bed with men I barely know, and the less I know about their faults the easier it is.
I have made a habit of being involved with emotionally unavailable men, or men that give the impression of needing "fixing" or "saving".  They gravitate to me and my poor boundaries and willingness to give up my sense of self to focus on them.
Of course they resent any creepy boundary-busting help I try to offer (without them asking) and the relationship implodes fairly quickly, or it just drags on and on like a vigil over a corpse laid out in a parlor.

I'm still being courted by this same man I met a month ago.  We've had a few dates, and I'm being very cautious about the whole thing because he seems so sure about me.  
The only thing that I'm sure of is that he's lonely, but kind.  He's almost 60, and this just absolutely blows my mind, but he's still got this dreamer's heart. 

He spent too many years of his life dating the wrong women, or the 14 years he spent married to a woman he said he did not love - married her because he felt he needed to settle down.

Yeah, I can actually relate to that feeling.

He said something to me the other night that was sad, but also one of the most honest "tell it like it is" things I've heard from a man in a very long time.    We were at a meetup event together, and he realized that he and I were still not truly a "couple".  

"just don't go falling in love with some guy...

This comes from a place of insecurity on his part, but this tells me that he knows that my ambiguity is obvious, and that he acknowledges it.  He still courts me, slowly, with kindness and friendship.   There's no hinky weird hookups, no creepy text messages, and he doesn't live on social media.  He calls me when he says he will, makes dates a few days in advance, it's real grownup dating.

So back to my original point....

I am struggling with this conflict in my mind.
Here is this very nice, funny, kind man who I would have jumped on a decade ago before his hair went from dark to white, when he was closer to 50 than 60, all superficial stuff.   He loves music, reading, history, is honest, works hard at his job, takes care of his son, is close to his family (comes from a big family - he's somewhere in the middle of 8 kids).   He's also got these amazing dark blue eyes that just seem to draw me in. 
Why do I struggle with giving him a chance?

Because I think there could be some perfect guy out there who is just like the alcoholic ex, or the emotionally unavailable ex, or the endless parade of guys that were "just not that into me" - except that they wouldn't be alcoholic or emotionally unavailable and be absolutely exactly like me and maybe they would want me this time.

WTF gurl!?   You don't NEED a man who is exactly like you, you need someone who would help you be a better person.  Someone who loves and accepts you as you are 

I am one stubborn, hot mess.  There are no perfect men out there.

I am an emotionally unavailable commitment phobic perfectionist who can't seem to loosen her grip on Dear Mr. Fantasy (who doesn't exist).  

I remember two men in my life that I pushed away.  One of them was just as conflict avoidant as me and rather than dive deep and try to solve our problems together - I ran off for the quick fix of "something new".

The second was a man who courted me slowly, was first my friend until I was "single" and available to date him.   Of course once I got too close and things started to get more serious, I fled.   I could have been with him too, he loved me, we would have been good for each other.  

Nothing can ever bring back those days, or allow me to undo those mistakes, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by how difficult I'm finding it dating (just dating) a truly nice man.   This whole process is really making me look at my own bad habits, and it's quite a humbling process.

March 2013

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