The Definition of Love

relationship, marriage, man, woman, single, God, Bible

I heard the best definition of love: “sacrifice for the spiritual growth of one’s self and another.” So, love is all about growth. Love is also about acceptance: accepting your partner exactly as he is and not hoping to change him. Love is also unconditional. Love and abuse cannot co-exist. I haven’t been in love (even though I’ve said the words) because I never accepted any of my partners as they were, I never cared about their growth, spiritual or otherwise, and I didn’t know the meaning of unconditional. Even though I’ve been hurt alot, I realize I’ve been pretty selfish in what I wanted out of a relationship and that may have had something to do with my results.

They say whatever you want, do that. If you want to receive, give first. If you want certain qualities in a partner, embody those qualities. Love yourself first, and the world will love you back. Until very recently I wasn’t sure about the meaning of self-love and now I am beginning to understand. Do nice things for yourself and be easy on yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Don’t berate yourself. Speak to yourself the way you would want a loving parent to speak to you. Especially if your parents were neglectful or abusive, it’s important to learn to nurture yourself. I am just now learning to love myself and it feels nice!

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Shame, a film about sex addiction

Shame came out on DVD today. The film by director Steve McQueen stars Michael Fassbender as Brandon, a sex addict living in New York. I used to laugh at the idea of being addicted to sex – how ridiculous! Now I realize sex can be just like any other addiction – when you use something outside of yourself to fill a hole that only God can fill. The fellow in the movie was obsessed with sex, having daily encounters with strangers and prostitutes, consuming constant pornography both at home and at work, and masturbating several times a day at home and work. Ironically, even though he was swapping fluids with strangers, he was compulsively clean: a germophope. And fittingly for a sex addict he had no real intimacy in his life. When the opportunity came to have sex with someone he cared for he couldn’t get it up! Immediately he went and had sex with a stranger in a high-risk encounter. He was hooked on illicit sex but sex with any tenderness was impossible.

Brandon’s sister who has her own issues (perhaps alcoholism) comes to stay with him and turns his perfectly ordered life upside down. she speaks my favourite line in the film when she says to him: “We’re not bad people; we just come from a bad place.” To me, that ties into childhood traumas and how they can cause pain so deep that addictions seem the only way out.

Entering new relationship territory

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’m not about to give you one of those apologies and excuses about my busy life which drives me nuts on other blogs. The reason I haven’t posted is that I may be entering into a relationship and I’m afraid to say the words out loud. We’ve known each other for two months and have just decided not to date other people. This is not a stretch for me as I had been on a total of two dates before meeting him but it does mean I stop looking for dates which is a big step for me. I found myself comparing other guys to this one anyway and they consistently came up short. He just seems like a really good fit and possesses all the qualities I had been hoping for but thought I would never find. I have never received a text message from this man.

He knows I am waiting for marriage to have intercourse or oral sex and he is okay with that. When I asked “how will I ever say no to you?” he said he would not even try because we’ve made an agreement. That is another thing I thought I would never find: a man who is willing to wait. I thought I might end up alone and join a nunnery or something and that was actually okay with me. I’m at the point where I would rather be alone than compromise my boundaries. If I have to lose myself to keep someone else, that person is not worth having.

I’ve worked hard to restore my virtue (abstaining 18 months now) and my friend jokes that I am a born-again virgin. I like that and I am going to keep working to keep my virtue intact. I understand not everyone understands my need to stay celibate till I’m married but I do and that’s what matters. And now the work might be avoiding a pleasure that is so readily available to me with someone I care for and might eventually love. I have learned the greater satisfaction that comes with delaying gratification and not giving in to every whim and desire just because “I wanna”. I’m also encouraged by the fact that my new fella is down with the whole idea. “Imagine the anticipation,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

Why men pull away

relationship, marriage, wife, husband

One of my men (my favourite because he seems to read my mind and know exactly what I want) pulled away for a few days. I did not hear from him for 5 days and I was disappointed, but my skin is thickened so I sloughed it off and moved on. As these things happen, as soon as I had forgotten about him he got in touch. I was shocked to see his email in which he wrote that he feels I am the woman for him and he would like to take our relationship to the next level. He said he wanted to talk to me that night and we spoke for 2 hours as he asked me about what I want in a relationship and what he would give me. We spoke again on the phone for 2 hours the next night. (He is travelling for work).

I remembered hearing this is what men do – pull away right before they decide to get serious. Of course, I had never experienced it because I never gave anyone enough breathing room to let that happen! When he called, he was surprised to hear “a smile in my voice” and I said, “Well, I’m happy to hear from you!” Before I probably would have tore a strip out of him and possibly ruined a chance to get to know a guy who could be a compatible partner. All out of my own pride and controlling expectations of the way a man should behave.

I read somewhere about embracing the surprises in life, that you don’t have to always know the outcome, what’s going to happen and when, and that’s they way I want to be with this man. He wants to know the real me, communicates authentically, and he cares about whether I get enough sleep, whether my children are having their needs met, and how I am feeling. He is constantly asking about me and I am so happy to bask in that attention that I forget to ask about him. I am being a little bit selfish and he seems to like that. He accepts the fact that I’m not having sex (oral or otherwise) until marriage and says he will support me in that.

I am going on a date tonight with the athlete who had to cancel last week but I will be thinking of my man. For now, I am taking things day by day but I feel I have found someone very compatible with me.

Ephesians 5:31

I found the following image on Facebook and thought, “This is what I want?” (question mark intended)

Bible, God, Christianity, spirituality, marriage, relationship, single woman

Online dating and The Bible

relationship, dating, marriage, husband, wife, single woman, online, internet

It’s funny I wrote a post called “How 5 becomes 1” recently because I think the title has come to fruition already! I’m not sure if I am a particularly good man repellent, or this is a normal weeding out process. It’s also possible 2 men are still standing because one said he is in town next weekend and would like to see me. Maybe he’ll call, who knows? Are my expectations too high? Is it weird of me to think a man will be in touch every couple of days if he is interested? Anyway, one of them is and maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be. Like I’ve been saying… you only need one.

My Match.com subscription is expiring on February 2 after 3 months. I decided to let it go due to my abysmal track record with them. But this morning I received a promising match in my email and when I ‘winked’ he replied instantly. He is a passionate man who describes himself as a humanitarian, bold but not arrogant, educated. The only minus so far is that he’s not athletic but, hey, I could probably overlook that if other values line up with mine.

I have to say this match came in immediately after I dedicated an hour to reading the Bible and meditating on what I read. That doesn’t mean this man is a gift from God necessarily, but when I focus on God, good things seem to enter into my life instantly and effortlessly.

My dating life: is God having a laugh?

I am beginning to wonder if the time is still not right for me to be in a relationship. Or maybe God has a few more lessons for me to learn before I get there. I scheduled a second date with the guy I saw last week…I say ‘guy’ because I can’t call him a man – he’s a boy, young and a bit self-involved, but nice enough, so I want to give him three dates before I make any decision about him. He was at a tournament (he’s an athlete playing at the top tier of his game) so we were to go to a movie when he returned. He kept me up to date throughout the day which was thoughtful and they ended up going the whole distance, winning all their games, so I was happy for him.

Sadly, he didn’t make it back as the weather became very bad and they had to stop and stay for the night. He was extremely apologetic and it was out of his control but I just can’t help feeling that my dating life is getting ridiculous, that God is having a good laugh. I refuse to feel sorry for myself, but I am bewildered by my bad luck.

The other fellow I was interested in stopped talking to me because I expressed my need for him to contact me when he said he would. I waited until he had failed three times to fulfill his intention to call at a certain time and I was clear but certainly not mean in my email. I haven’t heard from him since. I suppose this is a weeding out process and as my friend says “This dating game is not for the faint of heart.” I’m developing a thick skin and I’m not sure if I like that.

Practical dating and texting

dating, relationship, single woman, men, marriage, God

The fellow with whom I had my “first” date last Friday definitely liked me because he texted me the next day to say hello. The fact that he won’t use the phone to dial my digits and call is an issue for me but at least I know where I stand with him. The thing I don’t like about text (and the reason I decided not to use it to communicate with men) is that it doesn’t tell you anything and it doesn’t go anywhere except on the occasion when it is misinterpreted as written communication is wont to be.

So the text conversation goes something like this:

Him: How are you doing tonight?

Me: Great thanks just getting home.

Him: What did you get up to?

Me: Spent time with some friends.

Him: What did you do, dinner or something?

Me: Just met up at someone’s place for a chat

Him: Sounds like a fun time

Etc.

What’s happening here is I’m getting more a feel for this guy and seeing he’s not the leader I need in a relationship. He does not take charge of the conversation and use it to find out more about me or take it in a direction that will help me know more about him. It is useless fluff. I refuse to lead the conversation and so it just fizzles out after going nowhere. The fact that he does not call also tells me something: either he is too lazy or lacks courage, both of which are unappealing.

What I’m learning now is that every experience with a man is an opportunity to find out more about what you want and don’t want, what feels good to you and what doesn’t. It is a journey of self-discovery. I never saw dating that way in the past. I would have been so busy trying to get him to like me that I would never had paid attention to any of these signals or had any idea what I really wanted. The new way is so much better for both of us because nobody is being manipulated or lied to, we are both just trying to get our needs met.

How 5 becomes 1

relationship, man, women, marriage, dating, match.com, husband, wife

I mentioned in my last post that 5 men were expressing interest in me, not to brag but to compare the way that feels now as opposed to then. Then it would have been an ego boost; now it represents a weeding out process. Today two have already demonstrated they are probably not the “man” for me. The first one gave me his phone number and told me to call or text him so we can get together. NO! You ask for my number and make the call because you are the man. I gave him my number instead so we’ll see what happens.

The second one just emailed me about a date Friday night and asked “So what do you want to do?” NO! You are the man, you tell me what we are doing and then maybe ask how I feel about that. Again, I threw it back to him. I regret that I did make a small suggestion that it be low key since it is a first date: I needn’t even be doing that if this is truly a weeding out process, but I am beginning to feel sorry for these men….which is definitely not the way to go into a relationship. I want a man I can look up to and respect and who will take the lead. It seems this type of man is incredibly hard to find.

The Single Woman

new kids on the block, relationship, marriage, men, women, dating, celibacy, abstinence, sex, God

“There is truth to the ‘just not that into you’ phenomenon. The more you accept that, the better off you are. Move on. Don’t think of striking out as a failure, or somebody not calling you as a failure…it’s just another step in finding somebody. Don’t fear rejection. Don’t put so much emphasis on it. It just may not be the right time or the right person. So what?” ~Jordan Knight via The Single Woman

I used to fear rejection so much that I’d do anything to avoid it, including having sex with someone I barely knew. Consciously, I didn’t realize I was seeking approval but in hindsight and after much self-improvement work, and nearly a year and a half of celibacy, I can see my motives clearly. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted because I was so busy trying to figure out what other people wanted, and altering myself to please them. It was truly soul-sucking and it wasn’t until I made a conscious effort to discover what made me tick – in other words what motivated me to do the things I did – that I could begin to change.

I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to realize I don’t want somebody who treats me poorly; I just wanted him to want me and it had very little to do with him as a person. He was more like a mirror to me of myself. If he rejected me, then I must not be lovable or acceptable. I had no inner core of wisdom to tell me I was fine on my own. For the past year and a half I have been on a mission to find self-love and I can honestly say I am finally there. Random thoughts run through my mind that say “You’re a lovely person” (and I am!) rather than “Loser!” or “You’re so stupid,” which is what my self-talk used to sound like.

If a man stops contacting me I don’t obsess on it or, heaven forbid, call him again. I know enough now to know that if a man wants to get in touch with you he will, even if it requires him to hire a private investigator – no lost phone number is going to stop him. Rather than fuming over a lack of attention, I acknowledge my need for a certain level of attention and if he can’t give it, he’s not the right one for me. Right now I have about 5 men interested in me. That would have been a big ego trip for me before, but now it is simply a weeding out process. 5 could easily and quickly become none. If he asks me what I want to do on the date, he’s probably not the one for me. If he doesn’t want to pick me up for the date, he’s not the one. If he goes three days without contacting me…not the one. I am learning what I want and don’t want in a man and it’s based on authentic desires rather than a desperate need to be accepted. I accept myself now, I really do.