So in an attempt to meet some men to date or just to get to know (let's be honest, I need to invest a little more time into the getting to know you part for the dating part to be successful), I've joined a couple of websites. I am not obsessive about them or anything, I just like to look, maybe connect and chat with someone here and there. Really, it's hard to meet people these days and websites that facilitate it are just a nice way to go about it. So anyway, yesterday I was looking at one of the sites and some of the members (you know they send you matches etc). And I noticed something about some of the photos of some of the members... they looked MEAN! I mean, I am sure they thought they were giving some kind of sexy pose to the camera and thereby showing the single women of the world that they were hot stuff... but they just looked angry and mean! It actually had me laughing and looking to see how many mean muggers there were on the site... Ah... silly men... women aren't attracted to your tough, mean side... we like the smiles and the sweet side. Anyway... just thought it was a funny moment in this thing called singleness. ;)
Yup... that's single life up there in that picture. Full of twists, turns, ups, downs, fasts and slows. Sure, married life can be like that too, all of life can if you think about it. But, today, I am thinking about single life and dating. Sure, it's fun and you have all this anticipation as you wait in line for your turn (when you are a kid, still waiting to be old enough to date etc). And then your turn comes and you feel a little nervous and excited as they strap you into the seat. It seems like it might be a long ride. You start rolling forward, going slowly uphill and it's all you can see, the goal is getting to the top and you are on your way... all excitement and thrills. Nothing negative about the ride so far, right? Of course not... all you can see is the ups, and the speed isn't incredibly fast yet... it's actually quite comfortable. And then you get to the top... oh, my... the top...or so you thought as you stare out and wonder if the tracks still remain below. It's like taking a leap off a high building and hoping you land safely... you start to plummet down and the speed increases and you begin to realize that you have no control over this ride and that it's making you feel just a little bit sick. And then it slows down and goes upwards again... this is the next dating relationship and you're filled with hope once again, the goal is clear, it's the top. You've forgotten the stomach in your mouth feeling of the last drop, and you are focused... this time will be different or better. And maybe it is, maybe being flung upside-down isn't as bad, but you don't let go of the bar... you're still white knuckling the cart of this crazy ride called single and dating. And the pattern repeats over and over. Sometimes it gets better and you think it's even kind of fun, you raise your arms and give over all control, vowing to just enjoy the ride... others you feel positively ill at the thought of another uphill climb and earth shattering, speed defying drop. And then the ride comes to it's final destination and stops. And while you vow that it was all good fun, you aren't sure you'd line up for it again, and that's okay because usually you aren't asked to. So there you go... my latest musings on what it's like to be single and dating... hehe. I had fun writing this, I actually visualized the whole ride happening... lucky for you I couldn't figure out how to add the part about the sucker stuck next to you in the cart or behind you who just can't stomach the ride and yacks... don't worry, faithful readers... I'll work it out and add it... hahaha j/k
I know, we all tend to think that the game hasn't changed all that much... but hasn't it? I remember when lots of my friends (not all) and some of my family met their significant others. Some were met in bars or bar line-ups (usually the guy would take the initiative and start up and conversation... perhaps with a bad one-liner), some were met through friends or on a blind date set up by friends or family, some were met at university or church or some place where the two frequented and some were just met at some random social gathering. The thing is that they mostly started in a face-to-face interaction. This is not the case for the most part anymore. Sure... it happens, but not with the frequency that you might hope for or think.
We dating girls today have to be tech savvy. We have to know how to log onto websites, upload images (hopefully ones that present our best sides and look respectable), type quickly and flirt via text messages and instant chat. Sure, it's a sign of the times, look at our schools. Most classrooms have computers, most businesses do too. I guess dating is taking that route as well. But it changes the game for sure. Either party could be lying or making up some grandiose story in order to bait the other. Those pictures could be 15 years old... who knows?! It's risky to meet that person for the first time too. You've chatted, you've shared pictures so that you'll know what the other looks like... but then comes the moment of truth. Did that person tell the truth? Are they who they said they were? Are you stepping out on the town with a good guy or a straight psycho?! See... the game has changed. A little anyway... that guy in the bar could be a psycho too.
Anyway... dating girls... warm up your typing fingers and get in the game! As for you married or already in a relationship friends of us dating girls... just keep supporting us and laughing when the guy turns out to be not the guy in the picture (because even though we are mortified at first, we all know how to have a good laugh about it too).
My friend just commented to me that a man she went on a date with used the phrase "too independent" to say why it wouldn't work between them. I've gotten that phrase a time or two in the past as well. Come on, guys, you can't think of anything better?! What is that supposed to mean anyway? On one hand men talk about how they love an independent woman... I mean look at all the songs put out recently about how sexy and important it is to have an independent woman.
This song is just one example of the message that's out there for women... you want us to be independent but when we are, you tell us it's too much. Come on, men... make up your minds!! hahaha
I think that everyone needs a support system. Think about it, most countries have one (think government, infrastructure, citizens), most businesses do (stocks, money coming in, going out, workers etc) and people have it too (family, friends etc). But the one that I am thinking of is the support system for single women and men... more so the ladies (sorry guys, but I really have no clue what it's like to be a single dude... dudette, I got... dude, no).
Today I was having important hang out time with one of my single friends and we began to talk about all kinds of things. We talked about school, higher learning, books we've read, memories from our university days, men we've dated, goals we have and the list could go on for pages and pages. I love days and people like her. She sets my mind to thinking and my fingers to typing... it's good.
Anyway, much after our chat I began to think of the importance of support systems in my life. As a 35 (yes, spinster or old maid in the eyes of some but not mine!!) year old single woman, I began to wonder what were the support systems in my chronically single walk (yes, it feels like a disease sometimes... I don't think it's contagious though... but if it is, whoever gave it to me is going to get it!!!). Sure, sure, there are the obvious ones of family and friends (and I am ever grateful for that) but beyond that, what do I lean on to help me get through days of loneliness etc?
Well, here is what I have. I'd be interested to know what your (men, women, single or involved) support systems are too.
1. I am a woman of faith, so that's my number one support system: God. I spend a lot of time praying and talking to him, trying to discern what direction to go and where to retreat.
2. My single friends... don't be distressed married friends... some of you are soul sistas/brothas and I couldn't do without you either... but whether you are newly married or married for years, you don't know what it is to be single today, at 35. So it's good to lean on others who share my experiences. I need them so that I don't feel like a complete failure in my romantic life. They help me to see that being single isn't the end of things... married people, you don't make me feel like it's the end, but sometimes it's hard to see your happiness and not long for my own. So, a balance of singles and marrieds is what works best for me.
3. My parents... I'm VERY close with my parents. My father is a hero to me... I love the way he loves my mom and I love the way he is so giving and kind, not to mention manly, strong, sensitive, funny, responsible and SMART!! My mom is beyond a heroine to me... she has a strength that I will never know and I am grateful for her and her wisdom daily (it's her birthday in a couple of days... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!). They show me what relationships take to work... lots of love, patience and the willingness to choose each other daily.
4. My kindred spirits.... these are women who know my heart without me having to say words. When they are in pain, I cry with them and they do the same for me. We are closer than sisters... they push me to be better, ask me questions that force me to think beyond the here and now and they always want the best for me (LG, ST, SA-M, SJ, KH, DO and NG... you are my GIRLS).
5. Books... sounds weird, right? But sometimes the best way to feel better for me is in printed word. I had someone ask me if I really needed to read books on relationships to know how to handle them (what do you think: 35, all failed relationships? Hm.... maybe I need some help and advice!! haha). I do... I learn best through reading and visual representations... so reading books on relationships, on the psychology of things etc help me feel supported, smarter and stronger.
So there you have it... those are my support system... what's yours?
So I finally got a response... in it all he had to say was that I was living in Turkey, too far away... and that was it. So that further lets me know the lack of respect he had for me and the relationship we had. I won't lie, it hurts... but you know what?! I finally have closure and an answer and I let him know that. I know that I've attracted these kinds of men because I was so lonely, so sad and, let's just say it, so desperate for love that I was willing to lower my standards and take what I could get. I won't lie, I did feel a genuine connection to Will, but perhaps I was the only one feeling connected... whatever. It's all done with and now I know that I am woman worthy of more. I've passed the test, I've stood strong and I've made a step forward in my journey.
So after my post about Steve Harvey's book and my confusion post, I sat and thought about what was going on with Will and the whole confusion aspect. I wrote to a very good friend of mine about it to see what she had to say and she just validated the confusion that I was feeling and inspired me to be the woman that I want to be. I sent him a message detailing my expectations and feelings about the whole thing. I don't have any response from him yet but that's on him, not me. I feel like for the first time, I am displaying the standards that I know are true to what I deserve.
What are those standards? Let me tell you:
I expect a man to profess his love and intentions for me in words and actions. One cannot be enough, I expect both.
I expect a man to provide for me physically, emotionally and, above all, spiritually.
I expect a man to protect me in those same realms.
I expect his honesty, his honour and his respect in dealing with me at all times.
I don't think that these things are too much. In fact, I know that they aren't because if he is a man of his word and of the WORD, he will easily be able to do these things for the woman he loves and intends to spend his life with.
I was tested by what Will sent me and I sent the above message right back at him! I want him to know that I am a woman of standards and that if he is unable to meet those, then we best stay friends only.
I'll update you on how it goes... *sigh* Keep me in your prayers that I am able to stay by my standards as I've been known to weaken before.
These words belong to Cyndi Lauper's song Time After Time, but right now they ring through my head over and over. I made the post I did last night and felt empowered as a woman and ready to look for the last guy... for HIM. And then the one before now and I were chatting (we've managed to be "friends" I guess... although now I'm not sure what's going on) and things were said that left me in a state of confusion... and this song came to mind because it's what I feel. Thank you, Lord, for the protection of distance... I'm afraid I would make some poor choices if I didn't have that on my side at least.
Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick, and think of you caught up in circles confusion-- is nothing new Flashback--warm nights-- almost left behind suitcases of memories, time after--
sometimes you picture me-- I'm walking too far ahead you're calling to me, I can't hear what you've said-- Then you say--go slow-- I fall behind-- the second hand unwinds
chorus: if you're lost you can look--and you will find me time after time if you fall I will catch you--I'll be waiting time after time
after my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray watching through windows--you're wondering if I'm OK secrets stolen from deep inside the drum beats out of time--
chorus: if you're lost...
you said go slow-- I fall behind the second hand unwinds--
chorus: if you're lost... ...time after time time after time time after time time after time
I know that's not how you spell it... give me some credit. hehehe I spell education that way sometimes to illustrate how little of it I have from time to time. I am especially uneducated in the ways of relationships (hence the chronically single status of my life hahaha) but I'm trying. I've made more errors in judgment and choice than I care to talk about (but, isn't this blog about being honest?!?!), but then who hasn't?! Life is often learned best by trying to live it and then learning from the mistakes that you make. And while that's a good method for somethings or for many things for some of the time... sometimes, it gets old. And it's getting old, my friends, in the area of relationship development. Many of my friends have recommended books over the years and I tend to read them... many of them are fantastic and were wonderfully applicable in my early 20s when the world was a little sunnier and hopeful in this area. However, now that I am in my mid-30s and nearing the age of the spinster, I find that I need something a little more realistic, a little more honest, a WHOLE lot more applicable to this reality that I am living in. I don't want a book to tell me that the sun will come out tomorrow (and, yes, Annie fans, I am humming the tune now that I've written those words), or that the man of my dreams is just a thought away, or that there are multitudes of fish in the sea, or that I've never made a mistake, all the men have... I want a book or a person that will sit down with me in brutal honesty and tell it like it is. And I think I've found that book:
In this book, comedian Steve Harvey lays it all out. He tells us women where we've made mistakes (and I agree with all of them... I've made them for sure!!), he tells us the basics of the man's game plan and what they really need, and he empowers us to make better choices. I love it. If you are single... read it. If you are in a new relationship, read it. If you are in a long term relationship, read it. If you are married... READ IT! It's the kind of edumacation that we all need in order to better understand our partners' needs and wants. I know it's opened my eyes and given me the empowerment that I needed to make better choices in my future (my biggest issue after my break up with Kelvin and my subsequent whatever it was with Will is that I wasn't able to trust my choices and decisions... now I can. Steve Harvey has given me steps, questions, ideas and a game plan that help me heal that part of my soul).