Friends with kids normalizes casual sex

I saw the film Friends With Kids about two pals who decide to have a baby together without a romantic relationship. They are inspired to the arrangement by their married friends who went from being cool Manhattanhites to hate-filled suburbanites upon becoming parents. The story was interesting and unique and the cast rendered the film highly enjoyable, especially Maya Rudolph who is a personal favourite. The intense dinner scene at the chalet was a huge turning point in the film and I’ll stop there with the synopsis as I want you to see it unspoiled.

My problem with the film is not so much in its ridiculous premise, but with a scene in the film in which the lead actress (who also happens to be the writer and director) meets a wonderful man after striking out countless times on the dating scene….AND SLEEPS WITH HIM ON THE FIRST DATE. The act of sudden intimacy was portrayed as normal and desirable and the couple went on to enjoy a mature and loving relationship. What? Films are usually terrible about glamorizing casual sex and treating sex with a virtual stranger as the norm but the characters at least know each other a little bit before diving into bed! I was astounded to see sex on the first date touted as a cause for celebration. In reality, this woman would probably never hear from this man again if she gave it away on the first date. What a terrible message and what a LIE to tell women. Casual sex is not liberating unless you are a man. For women, it is punishing. If you want a relationship with a man …MAKE HIM WAIT! He will love you for it.

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Why do people lie?

My friend called me the other night in tears because she had discovered someone she was seeing was seeing other people. She wasn’t even #1 – more like #3. A few hints revealed the betrayal: the Victoria’s Secret bag she found in his room and her excitedly awaiting her lingerie gift which never came. His refusing to let her take off his t-shirt during sex even though it was 90 degrees hot – when she put her hands under his shirt she felt the scratch marks on his back. If he wanted to be with other women, why had he told my friend the two of them were in an exclusive relationship? Why had he lied?

I had told this friend about my addiction to unavailable men and she said she thinks she is addicted to men who treat her like shit. Because in spite of his lies and disrespect, she still wants this man and it is taking everything she has not to text him. She admitted to knowing she should be feeling angry and betrayed but she still finds it tremendously difficult to stay away from him. Now, let’s take a look at the definition of addiction: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (I’d add detrimental – ed.) to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Clearly, my friend is under the thumb of an addiction.

Over the past week or so since I discovered how serious my relationship troubles are, I’ve felt traumatized and even a little depressed. I’ve had to let go of the lie that a romance is going to rescue me from my life. It’s a subconscious lie I’ve been telling myself for a very long time and it’s caused me to live my life “in the meantime”. Yes, I’ve done a tremendous amount of work on myself since I took a vow of celibacy in August 2010 but I’ve still clung to the belief that finding the right partner was what I needed to make me feel right, that I wasn’t enough on my own. It’s a lie that is sold to us by all forms of media including movies, romance novels, love songs and the like.

That type of romance – love at first sight, can’t eat, can’t sleep – is better described as obsession rather than love.  Look at any popular media image of love: love involves great struggle and obstacles to be overcome. Love hurts. Love takes you away from your real life. Love is an escape. Real life love is actually the opposite of movie love: love is easy; love is kind; love is not a struggle; and love does not hurt. One of the few films that shows the “ever after” part of the Cinderella story (which ends at the wedding, by the way) is Blue Valentine with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as a couple who fall in love and then fall apart. The film captures the realism of a couple who never took the time to get to know themselves and could therefore never be any good for a partner.

I’m a person prone to extremes and it’s difficult for me to comprehend that love might feel good in an even-keel kind of way. As the daughter of an emotionally abusive mother and a distant father, feeling good does not feel like home to me. For me, the familiar is uncertain, unpredictable, unavailable, and unsupportive. Accepting that about my parents was too painful so I went into a pattern of denial which has continued to present day. It is only today, LITERALLY, that I am accepting the fact that some people lie. And sometimes they do it to me. I keep repeating the same phrase when someone lies to me: “But they said… But they said…” Guess what? They LIED. There’s no excuse for it and it’s not the end of the world. Lying happens. And sometimes it happens to me.

Are you attracted to unavailable men?

I have been away for a while and am touched to return to many lovely comments on my last post in which I wrote I have met a compatible man: one who has all the qualities I desire and who makes me feel like no one else. I have been working on myself relentlessly over the past year-and-a-half because I know that being your best and most authentic self is the way to attract someone worthwhile (and, hey, it’s the only way to be regardless of your intention).

After all my work, I attracted in a man who is everything I wanted – I dreamed him and he came true.

Although I adore him, I believe this man is unavailable. Do you know what I mean by unavailable? He may be married. He may be a workaholic. He may be a CIA agent. Whatever the reason, he has failed to call me on more than one occasion and then apologized after about an “emergency” that prevented him from connecting at the promised time. The first time was taking a colleague to the hospital and the second was unspecified. I sense red flags and my newly-honed intuition is saying ‘stop’.

I’ve learned over the past year or so that if something unfortunate happens to me I must have had something to do with it. What is my part in this situation? I believe, lovely readers, that I was enjoying the feelings I was experiencing so much that I did not ask the questions I needed to ask and I ignored the red flags that would indicate this man is taken….either by another woman or his high-achieving job (perhaps both).

I’ve also learned (from this experience specifically) that actions speak louder than words. I was in love with the things he was saying to me and the way he made me feel, but in reality, his actions did not back those up. He is still contacting me and I am still remaining open…but I’m also open to other men and know that I must stand by my boundaries and stay true to my new standards: no unavailable men and no secrets.

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

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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)

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How 5 becomes 1

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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.

Where have all the real men gone?

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I’m excited about one of the men I’ve met recently. We’ve been talking daily, sometimes twice a day, and he has many of the qualities I desire in man. Through the latest part of my inner work, I spent much time and energy figuring out what I want in a man and I realize I really need a dominant man who will take charge and be in his masculine energy. I love the way this man communicates with me. He tells me what he wants and then asks me how I feel about it. So much better than a man asking me what I want. Men who ask you what you want, whether it’s what movie to see or where to go eat, are not nice or polite…they are lazy.

Preparing for The One

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I will get the chance to find out more about that gentleman I was talking about in the last post because we are going out this Friday night. It will be my first date since I took a vow of abstinence in August 2010. The celibate period was only meant to last a year, mind you, but I got so involved with discovering myself and my own motivations that I needed a little more time to be sure I would attract the right person for me. Today someone told me quite simply, “you attract what you are” and I am hopeful that all the inner work I’ve done on myself will help raise the bar in terms of the men that come into my life.

I know my man is coming; in the past 3 days I have been asked out by five different men: three of them online, one from my past, and another who I met through friends. Now I get the pleasure of going out with these men and discovering more about them, finding out what I like and what I don’t like and I’m excited because I’m going into dating now as a new woman who knows herself and her boundaries. Rather than doing whatever I can to please the other person, I’ll be using my boundaries to weed out the ones who are not willing to wait. In a little over a year I have gone from being a woman who had sex on the first date to one who is saving sex for marriage and who will not kiss on the first date. How is that for transformation?

The Dating Pool

Well, now that I’ve put my toe into the dating pool I’m beginning to get a few bites! I was asked out for the second time last week and for the second time I did something to mess it up! I am pretty sure this is my subconscious which is not ready for dating, even though my conscious mind says yes. A gentleman asked me out and did all the things the way I like them done – asked for my phone number, called me several times, asked me out and then planned the date. On the morning of the date I woke up sick and had to cancel. But instead of being disappointed I was relieved. Relieved because I wouldn’t have to go outside my comfort zone and risk being rejected or finding out that he wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the reason I got sick is that it wasn’t meant to be: he is younger than me and I am looking for a marriage bound relationship while he is looking for a good time. I am pretty sure that if I told him I am waiting until I’m married to have sex he would bolt. But I won’t know for sure because I didn’t get the chance to find out. Another guy asked me out and although I’ve said yes I am not feeling optimistic – and I am a very optimistic person! I keep coming up with reasons why this date will be a waste of time and I’ll never find the right man for me…what kind of an attitude is that?

I think I will go out with both of these gentleman and reserve judgment: go in without any expectations about the outcome and find some joy in meeting a new person and the growth that comes from stretching outside one’s comfort zone.