Wednesday, 22 February 2012

the dark side of dating

We've all got them - dating horror stories.  We bring them out as gruesome treasures when in groups of single people.  Or revisit them when we're feeling particularly lonely, as a way of reminding ourselves that we're better of single.  Or use them to reflect on the statistical probabilities of the next one being the hidden treasure.

But sometimes, it goes beyond a horror story.  It's about ending up, usually unwittingly, dating someone who is just downright bad.

Another blog I subscribe to had a link to this article on it.  Read it.

Not much else to say on this one...other than READ THIS.

Monday, 20 February 2012

totally wasted,man

A Facebook friend recently posted the question:
What do we waste?

He was talking about things like medication, education for people who don't want it - those kinds of things.  But I thought it made an interesting point about relationships and people.

At the end of a make that extremely...tumultuous relationship I was told that I had made my ex ''waste a year of his life''.

At the end of my marriage, I grieved that I had invested 15 years into something that no longer was.   Not for a second did I consider it a waste.

Which is true?  Is the time spent in a relationship that doesn't work out a waste? Is it an investment? Is it neither - just, as the Taoists would say, IS?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

staying cool

Call me an over achiever but I try and give 110% to everything I do (well, the stuff I'm passionate about anyway...).

I've been spending time reflecting on the awesomeness of disaster that has been my dating life over the past 4 years.  Not to say I haven't met some great people, and had some lovely times, but the reality is, here I am, single still, and the man I seem to get along best with is my exhusband, who knows me best....

I am trying hard to be relaxed about it - heck how can I not when I could add up the number of actual dates I've been on in the past 2 years on one hand - and I'm also doing my best to STAY CALM and CARRY ON when the faint glimmer of hope turns out to be receding rather than coming toward me.

I haven't asked anyone out on an actual date - now that would be way too scary! - and I think I'm doing okay at appearing open to opportunity.  I want to do the right things by people, I want them to feel valued by me.   And so I make an effort to start conversations, develop friendships, be interested.   But maybe in the world of dating I need to take a step back from that and put in a bit less effort (ergo, make the boys do the work?).

what do you think?

Friday, 17 February 2012

i feel your pain

I've been away for a couple of days with work.

There were 12 people at the conference.  I was the only one not married.  It shouldn't matter - in fact, it didn't matter - to them anyway.  But it mattered to me.

The fact is, I HATE that..I hate being the only one.  I hate it when someone, when hearing the ages of my children asked ''what does your husband do''.  I never know how to respond.  I don't have a husband is going to make the other person feel more uncomfortable.  I'm divorced/separated/single sounds a bit too much informationish.  To state his profession, therefore by implication saying I actually have one, seems dishonest.

I've done plenty of hours ön the couch'' about this stuff.  I'm mostly reconciled to how life is.  I have a few stock answers.  And sometimes I unfortunately share (way way way) too much information about myself too early on.  Got to work on that....

I'm not saying I want to be married. I'm not saying I want to be reconciled.  I'm just saying...sometimes I hate feeling like the one who's different.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

a wine fueled blog...

I had a glass of wine tonight...which isn't so unusual...but to do so and then blog is.  Mainly because I believe alcohol (even a measly half glass of red) doesn't make us do things we wouldn't do ordinarily, but because i reckon alcohol just loosens the inhibitions enough to make us do what we would do if only we had the (non-alcohol-fuelled) nerve... (and it also excuses the spelling errors and bad grammar)

So here it is:  The Pinot Noir version of whatsgoingoninmyhead....

I bumped into a male friend today.  He fits the just-younger-than-me/always-tells-me-how-great-i-am/single-and-never (or no longer) -married demographic.  As always he was chatty and friendly, no more no less.

I have probably four or five guy-friends in this group.  The kind who seem to genuinely like women, and who women genuinely like.  They are good looking, confident, smart guys.  We can talk for ages about all kinds of things.  There is a kind of chemistry, for sure with some more than others - which I guess there has to be in order to maintain even friendship.  I know them quite well.  We have either interests, or people in common.  My kids like them.  They are open about themselves and their hopes and dreams.  Mainly, they have dealt with whatever stuff they needed to deal with.  None of them have red flags waving over their heads.  They are always pleased to see me.  These are guys people want to be around.  Who are happy to tell me what a great catch I'd make.  Who are almost always single.  They are all younger than me, although only by a couple of years or so, placing them firmly in the just 40 age group:).

It got me thinking.

Firstly, how come these fab people are still single?  They are literally all great catches!

Secondly, how come none of them have ever asked me out....

Saturday, 11 February 2012

blind trust and the steely exterior

I have a knack for being too trusting. 

The problem is, I keep getting hurt.  I make a lot of allowances for what in retrospect is usually simply bad behaviour.  I make excuses, pour oil on troubled waters and shield the perpetrator from the feedback (aka criticisms) of my friends.  I've done my time in counselling and remain at a loss as to why I keep doing this.   But I think it's because I want to believe the best of people, that deep down we are all decent and honest.  That everyone is redeemable and a lifetime of bad decisions does not a bas**rd make.

Its hard to find a middle ground, because I also don't want to be one of those ''you can't mess with me or I'll crush ya'' kind of girls.  You know, the ones who have that brittle exterior that is supposed to show toughness, but actually suggests they'll break without too much provocation.  They trust no-one and take that into their relationships.  

It would be easy for this blog to turn into a place for horror stories, for notes of dire warning and a home for sob stories.  But in order to protect the probably-not-that-innocent after all I am doing my best to avoid it.  That said, I have had the dubious pleasure of crossing paths with way too many players, users, and frankly dangerous men over my life which tells me there just might be a place for it!  Of course, I would also say that the players, users and danger-men were all basically good guys that just had a few things they needed to sort through - that although it is not my job to rescue or redeem them, it is also not fair of me to judge them on their shortcomings.  Goodness knows I have enough of my own after all...

But if there's a life lesson here, I guess it's about boundaries.  This year I want to stay (well, try and stay) true to my goal of setting and maintaining good ones.  Deciding what things I think are okay and what aren't.  Figuring out what is human frailty and what is deliberate pain infliction.  Remembering that those same broken people, men or women, can be as broken as they like, but I don't have to welcome them in and allow them to practice that on me.

I still believe in believing in people.  I still hope to meet that magic combination of energy, kindness and integrity.

But in the words of a wise friend:  it's a matter of learning how to balance a willingness to trust with a self-protecting cynicism.

Friday, 10 February 2012

I can i will i do

I have started doing some renovations.  Actually not some, quite a major undertaking.
It's half way scary and half exhilarating.
I get to decide how I want my house designed without ''input'' from another.
I get to choose the bathroom fittings, colours and carpet.
I get to pay the gigantic mortgage all by myself.

the longer i live alone and get used to making these decisions, the less inclined I am to be considering sharing my living space with another. It's been nearly 4 years and I am well in the habit of being the only adult in the house.  And yes, I'm fussy about how things are.

In some ways it was a revelation to discover I was quite capable of making these decisions on my own - not sure why as I think I knew it all alone - and hugely rewarding to complete phase one last year under my own steam.  I own a big ladder, an electric drill, all the things one needs to be independent;)

On the other hand, I keep getting sage warnings from the long-term single that it is not wise to become to settled in ones ways (I have kids, don't think that's likely!), nor live as the only adult for too long.

Its a conundrum.  In the meantime I'll get on with the new bathroom.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

designyourown date

Let's take a moment to move into a fantastical world.

One where all the hurts of the past have been healed and the disappointments are mere distant memories.  Where baggage is packed and stowed.  Where all the stuff you wish you'd known then, you now do.  And the things you wished you'd never done, are not even on the record anymore.

What would you wish for?  Who would you look for?

What would be on ''the list'' for you. You don't have one?  Come on...Even those of us who say we don't, do!

Are you fearless enough to share? what would your dream date... your ''perfect match'' be like?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

sleeping together?

I am not good at sharing.  What is mine, is mine:)
Herein though, likes a problem.
One of the things I Don't particularly like sharing is my bed.  Because I like being able to sleep on the cool bits...or the warm bits, when ever I feel like.  And I'm a terrible sleeper.  I mean...really bad. I wake up about every 30 minutes.  Have done most of my life.  I have nightmares.   Often.  And I tend to throw the blankets on and off.  and occasionally talk in my sleep.  which means I'm probably better off in my own bed, by myself.

On the other hand, I hate sleeping alone.   Or rather, I hate going to bed alone,  going to sleep alone, and I hate waking up alone.

The best way to fall asleep is embraced by another.  And I reckon it's also the nicest way to wake up.  And since I wake a lot, it is always nice if there's a warm body breathing beside me.   And without a doubt, when I have a nightmare, I HATE being on my own when I wake from it.

Looks like one day i might have to get used to sharing after all.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

In defence of dating

I have found myself feeling a bit defensive lately.
Why do I feel like I am being judged for being open about the idea of being in a ''real'' relationship?  Or for even entertaining the idea of dating?
I don't just mean ME doing these things...I speak for many singles, especially single parents, and especially women.  To be honest I'm starting to get kind of irritated by it.

There seems to be a couple of different schools of thought on the process of recoupling.
The first says ''no, absolutely not, accept your singleness, focus on your life as it is.  The second says, get out there and meet people, go on a date, go on several in fact!  (The latter is invariable directed at others I know, never at me - I tend to get the first bit of advice).

The steadfastly single maintain that they have the right idea - being alone gives you choices and freedom.  There's no risk.  It's all fun fun fun and no one to be accountable to.

The happily coupled gladly offer sage advice about having to be happy being single before the right partner will come along (this bit is probably true), and point out the challenges of blended families, joining personalities, and co-habitation after living alone.

The bit that irks me is this:  apparently it's okay for others to ask me if I've met ''anyone nice'' recently.  It's fine for them to encourage their single friends to ''get out there and meet people''.  But the second one of us start talking in terms of actually doing these things and that we just might have met someone with potential, there is lots of tooth sucking and cats bum lips, and well placed words of caution.

Ooh, not the Internet, that's not safe.  Oh, not HIM, he's not your type.  What!? Her!?! No, way too many issues.  At a pub?  Hopeless...doomed from the start:(.  enjoy being single!  (yes, thanks for that...)

I'd like, just occasionally for the single to be encouraged and supported in their quest to recouple.  I'm fortunate enough to have a handful of friends who are my cheerleaders.  But the majority of people are not.  When I hear one of my friends is going on a date I'm cheering from the sidelines.  (Cautiously of course...)

I stick by my previously shared theory that we are not designed to be alone.  Sure sometimes its for a season, and sometimes we are going to make some dumb choices, but the long term view is surely to find someone to grow old with.

Which means dating.  Which means actually admitting to each other that we want relationships not casual flings.  Which means being open and vulnerable with our feelings.  Scary stuff.  And all the more reason that we singles need to have the support of our friends, and to support each other along the way.

Friday, 3 February 2012

giving it a go, giving in, giving up

How do you know when a potential relationship actually has potential?  Is it simply a matter of giving it a go? Is that about keeping things simple, or low key, or going slow?  Or do you just ''know''?

How do you know when you are making a compromise you probably shouldn't be?  How do you know when the compromise you are making is actually the right decision?  Is it the difference between giving generously and giving in (which sounds defeatist by it's very nature?)

How do you know when it's time to say goodbye?  Do you fight until the bitter end, when the bodies are lying bruised and battered?  Or do you concede gracefully and walk away, knowing you gave your best?  If you make the call sooner rather than later do you describe it as giving up?  Or does giving up come when there's actually nothing left to give?

Shouldn't relationships be easier than this?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

actually no it IS you and not me....

Seriously, I can't believe the total rubbish I have heard, the lines I have been fed, and the lies I have been told over the past 4 years...and in the years preceding my marriage.  So when the guy I was dancing with said ''is there a bar here'' and I said, no, it's an alcohol free night tonight, and he responded ''oh well I guess you'll be going home single tonight then'', I finally had my worst fears confirmed....

Remember back in the eighties, when you went to the Bank, there was a little light box they would put your passbook under to check your signature?  And it would show up in the ultraviolet light?

Well I reckon that I have a message on my forehead. Only instead of needing a UV light source, I just need to get within a metre or so of testosterone.  The sign lights up and sends a message to those close enough to read it.  Now obviously I haven't SEEN the sign myself, and no one has admitted to actually reading it, but I think it probably says something like

treat me like rubbish, or simply be insulting