Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finally... Closure and Release

Way back when... I started this blog.  I started it because my world fell apart and my heart was broken. I started it because no closure or final explanation was ever offered me and, as a wise friend once told me, I needed to make my own closure.  In so many ways I tried to do that through this blog, failed dates/relationships, and in my own head.  I'd say my success rate for creating my own closure was at about a 80%. I was/am functional but the failure of what I thought was meant to be my forever relationship haunted me.  I always had a horrible, niggling feeling that there was a concrete reason why things didn't work out... a reason with boobs and lady parts to be exact.  I had no evidence or proof, just that voice that screams inside us women that we tend to ignore so we don't mess up a "good thing."  Well, because I'm a nosey person who just can't let things rest, I found the ex on Facebook and it turns out he's married.  It turns out that he was in a relationship (thanks for the timeline effect, Facebook) that was committed just a few short months from the ending of ours.  I won't lie, I cried when I found out because it meant I was right those times I felt uncomfortable in our relationship, that I was right when I felt like the final intimacies with him were a chore and obligation to him, that I was right when the voice inside was screaming that it wasn't just distance between us, it was someone else. And it hurt that I was right to be so sad, confused and angry with myself for so long.  It hurt to know that I didn't trust myself and that I had given up so much of who I was just so I wouldn't mess up the "good thing" in my life.
My wish?  I wish he had the courage to speak truthfully about what was going on.  I wish I had been confident and secure enough in myself to ask him boldly.  I wish I trusted myself enough to listen to the inner voice that is never wrong.  I wish it didn't still hurt.  I wish I was 100% already.  I wish (and this is no joke, sarcasm or lie) that he and his bride are happy and have a long, fruitful and faith-based marriage (really people... if you know me, you know that I've always said that at the end of the day I never thought he was a bad guy, he just wasn't my guy).
And I think with the closure of that and with finally knowing, I can release the last of the tears, learn the lesson about listening to and trusting myself completely from now on, and I can let go of this blog.  I don't need a space to find healing anymore... I just need to let go.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Guest Blog from the Author of Never Marry a Momma’s Boy, and 62 other men to avoid like the plague!

On one of my last red flag issues, I received a comment from a stranger named Susan Connor.  She was a fan of my blog and the series I had been writing and told me that she was an author with a book out that was along the same lines of the red flags.  I had a gander at the link she provided and thought it sounded pretty interesting and so did she.  I offered to let her do a guest blog entry and she obliged... nice, right?!

Here is her guest entry:

Thank you for allowing me to do a guest post on your blog!  I am very excited to have this opportunity!
I have recently published a book titled “Never Marry a Momma’s  Boy and 62 other men to avoid like the plague!”   This book deals with types of men and the problems they automatically bring to a relationship.
Now don’t get me wrong-I really like men-I have been married 4 times (yes, four-I am the eternal optimist!).  Men can be interesting creatures-they see the world differently than women, have different interests, and can be fun to be around (not to mention the sex thing!). 
But “Being around” a man and marrying him are two different things!  Marriage changes everything-you are stuck with the whole person, not just the fun parts!
Men and women are very different (in case you haven’t noticed!) Men tend to be shallower and more rooted in the moment.  Women tend to be more introspective, caring, and nurturing.  We plan more for the future, and just generally have a much deeper nature in all ways.  It makes me laugh that most of the famous philosophers were men-the women were probably at home caring for the family and guiding him in his deep, deep thoughts (that he got credit for!)  Anyway, back to our topic…
Some men are genuinely wonderful people (in some ways). Sometimes you would swear this same man had the brains of a nit- and just about as much compassion and understanding!
 With all this said, many categories of men come with predictable problems, not just because of the man.  Certain problems are just inherent with different habits, families, personalities, or occupations.
This book has been the result of years of observations made as a Public Health Nurse, also working in the ER, Labor and Delivery and teaching Psychology.  As the years passed, I noticed, as many of you probably have also, that many men tend to fall into categories, with each category having its own set of problems.
This book was triggered by an event at work-the Momma’s  Boy of a co-worker was engaged.  Looking at the invitation sent to our office(with a lovely picture of the couple) was a horrifying experience-I saw myself years earlier, and knew exactly what kind of hell that poor girl was going to marry into!  That started a cascade of thoughts about types of men to avoid.
At around the same time I emailed an author about a book of hers that I loved, mentioning that I liked to write.  She said “Only you can write your book”.
Well, this book took over my life-I would dream of types of men-and wake up to write them down.  In the bathtub, types would pop into my mind, and I would scribble them down as soon as I stepped out.  I wanted to be done, but kept thinking of different types. 
I felt that if I could save ONE woman from a bad marriage, then I would be happy!
So here I am, sharing this on your blog-I hope it helps someone, or at least makes you laugh!  If you read this book, please email me your thoughts at would love to hear from you!
Here is the link to my book:  “Never Marry a Momma’s Boy, and 62 other men to avoid like the plague!”

Monday, February 11, 2013

Another Red Flag: Too Familiar Too Soon

I know I said that this would be a 10 entry series, but I broke that with the bonus entry on presents.  And then I asked my friends if they had any suggestions and I came away with two more entries, this is one of them.

Have you ever gone on a date or been hit on and the other person immediately glosses over your name and immediately begins with the pet names?  I have, I've even had it happen while chatting online to decide if I want to even go on the first date.  And since this suggestion came from a friend, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's experienced this.  Here is why it's concerning:

Pet names should be reserved for people you actually know.  When someone starts using a pet name with me right away, it leaves me feeling cheapened.  Why? Because if my name isn't memorable, I'm fairly sure I'm not either and this date isn't going to turn into anything more than a physical interaction.  And since that's not what I want in my relationships, it should be a red flag right away (has it always been, nope... I'm a slow learner).

So drop the nicknames until you know that person, don't get too familiar until you have a reason to.  Each person has a name for a reason... use it!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Red Flag #10: Sad, Sad, Sad

It's been a busy few weeks and I haven't had much time to do as much writing as I would have liked.  So, apologies for the late entry.  This is meant to be my last red flag entry (although I have some great ideas from friends), so I hope you've enjoyed the series.

The reason I came up with this red flag is from a very specific incident that happened to me near the end of my most serious relationship.  I remember it almost more clearly than the actual break up that happened a short time later.  Here's what happened:

I went to the grocery store to do a little shop for the week.  I remember that I wasn't wearing any make-up, was dressed down in my most comfy clothes and my hair can only be described as a mess.  But I didn't care, I had a boyfriend who I loved with my whole heart, so I didn't care to impress strangers on a 30 minute grocery shop.  I remember wandering the aisles looking for a few specific ingredients.  My mind wasn't on anything in particular.  I remember noticing a very handsome man walk past me at one point, he gave a second glance (which I immediately attributed to my ghetto styling of the day).  I met him again in another aisle and this time he spoke to me (even a few years later I remember his words perfectly and clearly): "I sure hope that whoever he is, he is good to you because you are just too beautiful to look so sad."  I remember blushing at the obvious compliment and mumbling something about how my someone was good to me.  And then I remember that that comment was under my skin for days and weeks.  I remember thinking to myself, am I sad?  How does he see it? And I remember clearly coming to the conclusion that this stranger was right, I wasn't happy in my relationship, I was sad, very sad.  It wasn't long after that that my relationship came crashing down and as much as it hurt, I knew it wasn't the right relationship because I shouldn't have felt alone and sad, I should have felt loved and cared for, treasured and happy.  But I didn't.

So the red flag in all of this is to not be afraid of the ways that strangers can sometimes see the things you aren't aware of.  And if your sadness or unhappiness is that visible to a stranger, then you need to pay attention to that.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Red Flag #9: Fake Anything

So this red flag is so pointed at my last serious boyfriend.  But in all fairness it points to a bigger issue and red flag overall.

When I was seeing the ex, there was a point where things almost bottomed out for us (see the second red flag).  There was a lot of fear and sadness on my part, and on his too I guess.  When we were getting it sorted, one of the things he asked me was to marry him.  He told me how much he loved me, told me that he couldn't and wouldn't picture his life without me in it, told me that I was the best thing that ever happened to him.  And then he told me that it wasn't a real proposal, but that he needed to know I'd say yes when the time came for the real one.  Said he couldn't face the thought of a denial, needed to know I was on the same page... blah, blah, blah (excuse my moment of bitterness here).  In my stupidity and love blindness, I shed tears and agreed wholeheartedly.  I was in love and knowing that he was in the same place and wanted a forever with me... well, it was all I wanted.  So I said yes, I felt secure that we were secure, but I'd been duped.

Sorry friends, but any time you are in a relationship and your significant other thinks it's okay to offer you a fake explanation, a fake orgasm, a fake proposal, then it's a red flag.  If you don't have honesty and trust in a relationship, all you are left with is manipulation and control and something is wrong with that.  I didn't see it at the time, I was too snowed under with what I thought I was hearing and what I wanted to hear (that's my fault).  I don't know how you keep yourself from getting snowed under like that but I hope that the next serious guy will have the integrity to mean it when he asks, to have a ring on hand to go with the adoration and tears in his eyes.  I deserve that, as do all other women (or men... whoever you are in love with deserves that).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Red Flag #8: Control

Now, I know that word, CONTROL, can mean lots of different things to different people. But in this entry, what I am referring to is when another person tries to influence your behaviour and reactions based on what they want and need alone.

When I was dating my last serious boyfriend, we had arguments and issues from time to time. Normal, right?  Of course it is.  In a relationship, you are bringing together two totally different people (no matter how alike you think you are or seem to be).  So it's normal to have some friction involved in that.  Got it... no worries.  But when you are having an issue with another person, they should at no time try to control your response or feelings.

Let me give you a specific example.  Once, my ex and I had a major miscommunication.  My heart was literally breaking about it.  I felt alone, confused, sad beyond understanding and frustrated.  He wasn't living close to me and so I decided to drive to where he was to have a face-to-face discussion because I simply needed that to get a better handle on what was going on.  When I told him that I was coming, he messaged me back with something to the effect of no conversation will take place if you cry or are upset.  Uh... ???  I told him I'd been crying for days and probably didn't have a tear left in me as it was (and that was true, I didn't cry when I talked to him but my hurt was real and I'm a girl... I cry when I hurt, why can't that be allowed? It isn't always used as a manipulation... although I know some girls who do that... a lot). We talked and sorted the issue out and all was good for a time but I just remember thinking it was strange that he made demands on my emotions, in a bid to control the situation.  It wasn't the only time.  Another time we were arguing and I was angry... so was he.  But I remember clearly that he said if I raised my voice at all, he would simply leave and the conversation and relationship would be basically over.  I remember learning to control my anger (something I am thankful for) but I also remember feeling shut down and like I wasn't allowed to express myself how I felt I needed to.

I guess what I am saying here is that you should be able to hang on to things that make you who you are.  You should never feel like you can't express yourself fully or that you are holding back some of who you are because your significant other doesn't like that part. They should never mandate how you react to situations... instead, they should be willing to listen and respond how they need to. Sure, over the course of your relationship, you may find yourself changing in how you react to situations to better suit your partner... but that should come from a desire to communicate better, not because the other person demands it of you and shuts you out unless you comply.

If your partner is controlling how and when you interact, that's a red flag and you need to solve the issue or get out.  Be with someone who respects you enough to accept all of you.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Red Flag #7: Definitions

I've been away for a week, hence the lack of posts.  Sorry for that (you loyal 4 or 5 readers).  ;)

Number 7 in our series seems like an obvious one, but I missed it and even though I'm relationship retarded in so many ways, I figure that one or two other people may have missed this red flag too.  The red flag I'm talking about? Defining what you are.

No, I'm not speaking about throwing a label on your relationship after date two, but I am talking about knowing where you stand with your significant other.  And as a testament to my own lack of relationship prowess, I can say that this has happened to me MULTIPLE times... in fact, in nearly every dating relationship I've ever had (should also tell you that my man-picker is broken and in need of some serious tinkering to fix it). As always, I'm going to give you some examples and see if they ring true for you too:

1. Once, I was seeing a guy and took him to a place I frequented and was friends with all the staff.  They asked me who he was (and who he was to me).  When I looked to him for an answer he simply supplied his name to them and dismissed it.  Sure, it was early on but not so early that we couldn't say we were dating each other.

2. Another man I was dating told me in private that he wanted to be exclusive and that he didn't want to see anyone else... and yet, when he met with a friend of mine (he didn't know that she and I were friends... I knew they were meeting... she knew we were dating and was meeting him to figure out the deal - he asked her out to dinner), he told her that I wasn't his girlfriend and that we weren't dating... that I was some psycho who was overly attached... uh... yea...

3. My last serious relationship.  He wasn't shy to tell his friends that I was his girlfriend or anything like that, but almost 2 years into the relationship he still struggled to define what we were, what he wanted and where it was going in his eyes.  He would say things like, "I should get you some jewelry so that everyone knows you are my girl." but hadn't even told his children that we were seriously dating and when it came down to the wire, he freaked out, didn't want to label our relationship and left me hanging with the decision of what to do... guess what I did?  Walked away!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, if the person you are with is unsure about what you are to them, they are unsure about being with you or committing and have no business being in your life.  Of course, I caution that with don't throw a label onto things right away... but you shouldn't ever feel afraid to tell someone else that you are dating.  You shouldn't worry about backlash from your date if you call him a boyfriend or her a girlfriend if you've had several dates. I think our I-can-have-everything society and mentality has messed up how we treat and deal with others.  Date me or don't but if you do, be prepared to be called my boyfriend at some point. ;)