Relationship Trouble

love, hate, valentine's day, romance, relationship, men, womenOK, maybe men don’t suck so much. I realize now that I’m dealing with my feelings more, unpleasant emotions are usually based on something that happened in the past. For example, if you miss someone desperately after being away from them for a day you may have abandonment issues. So many of the symptoms of being “in love” are actually unhealthy reactions based on past dysfunctional relationship problems that were never resolved. I’m no shrink but it’s what I’ve pick up from reading and observing in my own life and talking to others who have been willing to be honest about such things.

So my anger toward men in general in the last post was more about my anger toward specific men in my past who treated me badly. And then my anger toward myself for letting them do so. I’ve never been abused but I did let my ex-husband treat me as though my feelings didn’t matter and that I was bothering him if I wanted to discuss anything deeper than a puddle. Anytime I’ve shared my feelings with a man he’s called me crazy and told me in essence that I wasn’t entitled to those feelings. Of course, this is devastating and a complete betrayal of trust. Along with texting, it’s another thing I’m no longer willing to accept.

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Men suck

May-December-romance

What? Nothing weird here!

More reasons I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with men right now:

Sarah Wilson discusses why having a good career is keeping women single: our gender roles are all out of whack and women are pursuing men rather than the other way around apparently. I’m not pursuing anyone and no one is pursuing me. Yay!

Oh, and here’s another one: http://thehairpin.com/2011/01/the-sexual-cost-of-female-success/

Thank God I don’t have to think about men for the next six months. Because after reading those articles I can’t fucking stand them.

Crossing the threshold

I can’t believe it, but I’m feeling almost chaste. Literally, I am chaste since I’m abstaining from sex for a year, so I guess the word I’m looking for is modesty. Where in the past I would sleep with someone I met a few hours ago, now I can’t imagine exchanging more than a handshake with any man I’m not deeply involved with. I have crossed a threshold where I now know that I am not having sex with another man unless we are in a relationship. That may sound obvious to most normal women but for me holding out until you were in a relationship seemed completely uptight. After my divorce I just wanted to play the field and experience as many sexy men as I could. I was like a starving man at  a smorgasbord. I had no interest in relationship because the idea of being stuck with one person when there were so many out there to explore sounded like jail to me.

Now I realize how that self-destructive thinking kept me stuck in a place that wasn’t good for me. Refusing to let anyone get close to me kept me emotionally and spiritually stunted. Not that I regret anything I’ve done. Because everything in my past has brought me to where I am today, which is a pretty good place. I feel a lot of pride in myself because I don’t need men’s attention anymore to feel validated. I wear a lot of blazers now when before I used to expose a lot of skin. I don’t bring attention to my body and I don’t over-exercise so it looks “perfect”. I am perfect.

I am even beginning to feel strange about using my vibrator. I used to think it was a necessity, this substitute for sex but I realize now that it’s not. I do have the craving for sex and sometimes it is purely physical, ie., all I want is to be penetrated. But I can feel that and not have to fulfill it. Like the quote I read on Twitter that said:

“I have discovered happiness by limiting my desires rather than attempting to fulfill them.”

I no longer walk around like one big ego that needs feeding all the time. Sure I miss sex, but right now it’s not what I need. Until and unless I meet someone with whom I can imagine falling in love and sharing a true connection, I’m staying celibate. I don’t care how long it takes.

Boy Meets Girl

Boy, girl, man, woman, relationship, across a crowded room, abstinence, datingI saw a cute guy today, and he saw me, too. That heated exchange which I remember was so intoxicating…well, it still is. Then I reminded myself that boys are off-limits for now and I did everything in my power to refuse to look his way again. I could see him turn to look at me several times during the gathering but I held fast and kept my face front. I even planned what I would say if he approached me:

“You’re very attractive, but I’m on a man fast. Here’s my card; if you’re still interested in August, give me a call.”

Instead, at the end of the meeting, I ran out of the room, exited the building and jumped in my car, exhaling as I headed home, feeling as though I’d dodged a bullet.

Although it was a moment of weakness, the good part is that I didn’t entertain any notions that he might have been “the One” put there just for me and that I may have been depriving myself of an “opportunity” to meet someone who could turn out to be my soulmate. Because, hand on my heart and God as my witness, these are the ridiculous notions that went through my mind when I exchanged heated glances with members of the opposite sex in the past. Often, these exchanges were in a bar.

Thank God I am now sane enough to understand that there is no “One” and a cute guy is just that, nothing more or less. I feel such freedom in knowing that no person has the power to make me feel better or worse, to improve or ruin my life. No person except me, of course.

Halfway Home

sex, single woman, relationship, abstain, celibateFeb. 1 will mark six months of sex-free bliss. Sex-free bliss may sound like an oxymoron but I have been so beautifully drama free since eschewing men that I feel as though I have found heaven for the first time. They say true happiness can only be found within; you cannot seek it without. That means it doesn’t matter how much somebody else loves, wants, or needs you; it will never help you love yourself.

I’ve found self-love actually grows the less stock you put into what others may think of you. And as the savvy among us know, they aren’t thinking very much. Most people are too busy thinking about themselves to pay much attention to others. There are always those who will judge, however, and when we accept ourselves that judgment matters less and less.

As the six-month mark approaches on my journey (how is it possible I’ve abstained this long?) I am pleased to learn that I have changed in some fundamental ways. I dress more modestly: no longer detached from my body I don’t want to disrespect myself by treating it as an object for display. I don’t ogle men anymore and I can say in all honesty that when I talk about “The One” I am referring to myself.

What should I do to celebrate my upcoming half-anniversary?

Snow shovelling

It’s been almost six months now since I had a man. I haven’t gone that long without one since before I lost my virginity. I don’t miss having a man, except when it comes to things like hanging a picture or shovelling the driveway. Just today, I was brushing off my car after a heavy snow fall and it crossed my mind that I might like a man to take care of this while I sat nice and warm inside the car with a hot cup of coffee. Then I thought “Nah, I’d rather be single and do my own dirty work.” Because after he brushes the car, he gets inside and sits beside you and you’re stuck with him for the whole drive and maybe even longer. The thought that I would instead drive alone in peace made me so happy that all of a sudden brushing the snow off my own car seemed like a wonderful privilege rather than a chore.

I guess I am settling into being single and liking it quite a lot. The reason for that is I am growing to like myself. Before I didn’t know myself at all because I was so distracted by the drama of serial relationships that I never had a chance to get to know me. Now that I have had some time away from men, I am finding that I have so much more time for healthy self-reflection. I have no idea if I will wind up in a relationship with a man anywhere near the end of this year-long experiment. I will, however, have the gift of self-knowledge and a healthy and loving relationship with myself.

No boyfriends, please!

boyfriend, relationship, sex, abstinence, celibacy, single womanBoy, I really don’t want a boyfriend. It is at the point where I feel sorry for someone when she says she is in a relationship. I assume she must be living a life of either boredom or drama, and I am free of both since giving up men five and a half months ago. Now, I have nothing against men, I’m just not sure why I need one. I am still stuck on the sex thing: I can think of no other reason to want a man. Which is exactly why I have to keep going and refuse to be with one until I can think of a better reason to share his company.

Wax and a pedicure

STFC, BBC, Swindon Town Football Club, Children In Need

STFC player gets waxed for BBC Children in Need

I went for a leg wax today which I haven’t done for a very long time. I cut out the Brazilian after I stopped having sex with men, then it seemed the legs weren’t that important either. It’s winter after all so no one is going to see them. And I mean, no one. As usual, the Vietnamese girl who does my waxing carried on about my beautiful “tan” (it’s natural) and my svelte figure but this time, rather than feeling vaguely annoyed, I was so moved I nearly cried. After five months of having my body under wraps the sound of someone, even my female esthetician, praising my physicality made me feel so beautiful I can’t describe it. I had no idea how starved for attention I was!

And then when she held my foot for a pedicure (I needed one of those, too) she complimented me on taking good care of my feet! She thought I had pretty feet! Again, I nearly wept with gratitude. So, I see there are things I miss from men that are not directly related to intercourse. I miss being appreciated for silly things like painted toenails and soft skin. The trick is to be appreciated for something more, too.

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 3:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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No text allowed

It’s amazing how simple my life has become since giving up men and sex. There is simply no drama. At first I found it quite boring but now I am settling into a satisfying lifestyle in which I don’t have to engage in stupid text “conversations” where someone inevitably misunderstands the other. I’ve decided that once I begin dating again, texts are off-limits. He doesn’t call; he doesn’t get me.

The wonderful part of this hiatus from sex and dating is that I’m not willing to deal with immature behaviour like texting or emailing rather than calling. It’s so obvious now that men who do that lack character and courage. I used to make so many excuses for them, though, thinking myself understanding and compassionate. Really, I had low standards. Now that I know how easy and wonderful it is to live without men in my life, I don’t need to make excuses for them anymore. No texting, period. It’s a new personal rule of mine, and I had to abstain for a while to realize it was important to me. I wonder what else I”ll discover about myself on this journey which has seven months left to go.

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 4:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Emotional Intelligence

“Choosing a partner out of loneliness is like going to the grocery when you’re hungry: everything appeals but nothing fills.”

That makes a lot of sense to me. It means you have to work on your relationship with yourself before you can attract someone to complement you. If you’re coming from a negative or deficient place like loneliness you can’t expect to attract anything good.

Another reason I’m taking this year off from sex is that I’d like to attract something different than I had before. I tended to attract men who were kind of like my dad: men who were respectable, upstanding, gainfully employed, protective, polite…and completely emotionally detached–both from me and from themselves.

I suffered the frustrating feeling of reaching out for someone who had no desire to be reached, or if he did, his soft side was so deep-seated a therapist of Jungian proportions would be required to reveal anything resembling an authentic emotion.

I am beginning to understand now, by withdrawing from men and relating to myself, that I deserve someone with whom I can share authentic emotional and spiritual experiences. I also know that he has to come “as-is” meaning no fantasies that he will change or come to understand my point of view after he comes to his senses. I am finished with those flights of fancy. As mentioned before, if this man is unavailable I am okay with nurturing those feelings in myself. The most important relationship is between me and myself.

I still have a healthy sex drive, especially around certain times of the month when the mere thought of a penis makes me salivate, but I must do without because I need to understand my pattern of choosing men who withold their affection, and learn to find a new way of relating to men that is mutually respectful and based on our humanity and shared interests rather than sex alone.

I understand that our society is entirely messed up and finding a straight man that cares for an equal and loving relationship with a woman is like finding a needle in a haystack. I have the feeling that once I uncover the real me and understand my motivations better it will be clear whether I want a man at all or maybe just need to find a way to satisfy my sexual urges or ignore them altogether.