Where have all the real men gone?

relationship, wife, husband, marriage, God, man, woman
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.

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Preparing for The One

single woman, abstinence, dating, relationship,
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?

Feeling your feelings

Right now I’m in this place where I’m feeling my feelings. Feeling my feelings? What? Well, I’m learning how to observe my emotions without judging them and even taking information from them that might be useful for me as I move forward on my journey. I used to do everything I could to stifle my emotions; I found them inconvenient and annoying more than anything. I didn’t understand that anger could be anything other than rage, so I was afraid of it and stifled it until it came out in inappropriate ways.

Now I know that anger is the body’s way of providing information and making it difficult not to act. Anger may be telling you that your boundaries are being violated and you need to establish them more firmly or let go of a person or situation that is repeatedly trampling on those boundaries. Anger has generally been a sign to me that I have not been treated the way I deserve, that my feelings were being minimized or invalidated, and I used to accept that and move along. Now, I insist on being treated with dignity and know that my feelings are worthy of validation. I have a right to my feelings! We all do and there are no good feelings or bad feelings…they just are.

Now, if I share my feelings and someone tries to tell me I’m overreacting or I don’t have a right to feel that way, I begin to question whether that person is a positive force in my life. Maybe they need to deal with their own problems around feeling their feelings. Me, I am seeking out others who can be honest and forthright about their emotions, who are not afraid to tell the truth about how they feel, and who will not make me feel bad for having a feeling that might be “inconvenient”.

Not a love match made in heaven

dating, relationship, man, single woman, match.com, internet

Well, I’ve called in one and it definitely wasn’t The One! I’ve told you guys that I’ve been reading a book about learning how to love and accept yourself so you can draw in a lover who is just right for you: law of attraction type of stuff. At the same time I’ve done the unthinkable (for me anyway) and signed up for an internet dating service (it’s a big one: maybe you can guess). The response has been kind of spotty with lots of winks and “likes” on my photos, the occasional email exchange without any follow-up and one guy who was totally randy and only wanted to talk dirty all the time. His second email to me read: “I really want to get naked with you. Am very attracted.” He even invited me to check out a “hot picture” of himself that he took for me… so we may have been entering Wiener territory, I’m not sure.

Then a cute, younger guy sent me a very nice email. The age difference was significant so I wrote back and mentioned that I am ten years older than his upper limit on his profile so he may have made a mistake. Perhaps that’s my low (let’s call it developing) self-esteem talking but I just wanted to be clear. He wrote back and said “No mistake” and he’d like to get to know me better. He asked for my phone number right away but I wanted to wait until I knew him better for security reasons. I want to stay true to my new boundaries and not bust them up all over again looking for the approval of a man.

After a few pleasant exchanges he asked once again for my phone number and I obliged. The very next morning he sent me a text saying hello. I thought that was nice although wondered why ask for my phone number if you’re going to continue typing. I also have a boundary with men in which I don’t exchange text messages. Although I was tempted to return his text again because I feared he might go away if I didn’t, I held fast to my new rule and reminded myself that I deserve a nice good morning text without being obliged to return it. Also, I want to start as I mean to go on. If I have set a boundary in which I don’t engage in texting with men, I must send the right message from the beginning.

Later in the day he phoned me and I got a voice mail message which sounded very nice. He said hello and asked me to call him back when I could. At that point I was off to pick up my children from school and spend the remainder of the evening with them. So I made a mental note to call this much younger man about 9:30 after my children were tucked in bed. Right in the middle of bedtime rituals, my phone rang again and I had the feeling it was him. I was on my way to the phone but got there on the last ring and missed the call. Immediately, a text came in that read “What was the point of this?” This, less than a day after I have given him my phone number.

I really wanted to ignore him but I know how that feels when you think someone is playing games with you (although I’d usually wait at least three days before getting upset about it!) So I called him back expecting him to be a little sheepish or embarrassed, even apologetic. All the men I’ve dealt with do their best to keep their cool. Instead he was mad and started in on me right away. All of a sudden, I knew what it felt like to be a man! And it didn’t feel good. I have read so many dating advice books that say “always let him know you are happy he called” and now I know why! It feels crappy to call someone and have them be mad at you. I’m not sure if I ever did that to a man before but I’m never going to do it again. I’m taking it as a really good lesson, and in case you haven’t guessed, I told this young man we’re not a good “match”.

Do you have any interesting internet dating stories?

Calling in ‘The One’: The Sacred Wound

relationship, love, marriage, dating, man, single woman, wedding, abstinence, celibate
We’re getting down to the nitty gritty with the Calling in ‘The One’ book. Today we must write about the ways we have been wounded from a stance that is courageous warrior rather than victim. Can you think of a trauma from your past that left you feeling unlovable? Can you re-write the story to give yourself credit for surviving or even rising above the abuse? They say that those who have fallen the farthest will rise the highest (or something like that!). Our wounds are how we heal the world. First we heal ourselves and then we share what we learned through the experience with others who may have suffered the same ordeal. People with ordinary lives with not big ups and downs don’t get that privilege. Their lives may seem easier but in the end their purpose is different.

The central lesson I am learning from this entire experience – not just the book but the whole celibate trip – is that happiness can only come from within. There is nothing another human being can give me to make me happier; I can only give myself that gift which, for me, comes through a deeper relationship with God. I’m not sure if this is conducive to the mission of the book, but I realized today when I was out running that it doesn’t matter to me whether I meet someone or not. I am happy as I am and the only time I feel incomplete is when I see some popular culture version of what happy is supposed to be., ie., always based on something/someone outside of yourself.

Getting back to today’s “love lesson”, which says to write about your sacred wound (for me that would be my emotionally abusive mother) and how it puts you in the unique position of healing others. Right away, I thought about my daughters and how my own healing and self-awareness will give them a more competent mother. I also thought about the idea that self-awareness is the only way to heal the world and the only education we all need. We think education is best when it’s about abstract ideas, books, and historical events when in fact the most important education is learning to understand one’s inner self, what motivates you to do what you do. Change yourself, change the world.

Calling in the One relationship guide

relationship, single woman, wife, husband, marriage, love, dating

I picked up a book Calling in ‘The One’: 7 weeks to attract the love of your life. Ooh, sounds so desperate I know! I heard the author in an interview and I liked what she had to say about finding love for yourself before you can find it with someone else. The book is written as a 7-week course with one small lesson every day that gets you in touch with yourself and others and primes you to become a magnet for love. The first lesson was a meditation on being open to giving and receiving love and it really did change the way I felt – happier and more beautiful; it was pretty profound. The second lesson is a repeated mantra: “I am connected to everyone and everything.” I’ve been saying it throughout the day and have been feeling more relaxed and more chatty with people I encounter like store clerks and so on. That’s as far as I’ve got and it’s quite promising.

I do believe that change comes from within. Nothing outside of you needs to change in order to feel better…once you change your thinking then the external things shift. It’s all perception. Our thoughts create our reality. I’m sure that’s how the book works. If you change your thoughts into more loving ones, of course love will come your way. It’s basic law of attraction. What do you think?

The wisdom of waiting for marriage

By the title of this blog it’s obvious I started it to document my journey of sexual abstinence. At the time I was sure I would white knuckle it through the twelve months and jump into bed with the first available guy as soon as the year was up. Of course during the year I spent a lot of time on my own which gave me the chance to raise my level of self-awareness and without the distraction of a dramatic relationship, I could begin to see my patterns and what drove me to do the things I did, especially self-sabotage.

I used to look for a partner to fill the hole inside me, to “fix me” so to speak and now that I’m emotionally healthier I see that is a recipe for disaster. That’s why I’ve been working on myself incessantly and understanding God has not sent me the right person yet because I’m not ready for him. Now that I understand the Law of Attraction (that like attracts like), I’m committed to developing my character until I am at a place where I would want to attract someone like me. If I went with what I would attract now, I would outgrow him in short order and I’m looking for a long-term marriage bound relationship.

The greatest gift I have earned over this year of celibacy (almost fifteen months now) is the wisdom of saving oneself for marriage and the truth that men and women are not equal but different. I realize now I don’t want a man to go toe-to-toe with but one who will take care of me and my feelings and to whom I can look up and respect. The world we live in doesn’t support that point of view, but I only need one man who understands this, not the world.

Guest Post: 6 years celibate and finally happy

abstinence, sex, men, women, relationship, single woman, dating, one night standToday’s post comes courtesy of Madi, a reader who has been celibate for over 5 years now. I can relate to the experience of having casual sex with men and then becoming afraid of them when you stop. I can also relate to feelings of inadequacy and people pleasing. Here is her story:

My celibacy journey started with a break-up six years ago.  Back then, I thought I was in love with the man but now I know I wasn’t. Now, I know something I didn’t:  Love mustn’t hurt. I only loved the fact that he took care of me. I thought he did, but I wasn’t good enough for him to take me out. He destroyed my self-esteem which wasn’t very strong and made me think I was good for nothing except being his sex-toy.

I let him use me as a tool and for almost 5 years of my celibacy journey, I still acted like one: never saying no, always smiling, forgetting what I love, what I don’t.  The worst of it is I wasn’t aware I was erasing myself.
I was with another man that I thought would take care of me, but I didn’t love him: I only held the hope that he could make me happy and love me.
After that I remained alone; in fact, I was lonely because at that time I lost myself. I slept with a friend who only wanted a one-night stand. I was crying but he didn’t notice.  I felt very bad. I don’t like that.

At that time, instead of treasuring myself, I wore a suit of armor.  I built it and polished it:  nobody would find the real me. I was smiling here and there, saying exactly what people wanted to hear. I survived three years like that. Then, I discovered “The Secret” and things slightly changed. It was the year before. I started to go out with friends again but I was still in my “love me” role. And I was thinking the more I go out the more chance I would have to meet my soul mate. So with “The Secret”, I was only imaging the future and still being haunted by my past.

I started salsa. I always wanted to dance but I always needed someone do things with for everything. I wouldn’t do things by myself.  I discovered that I fear men; I didn’t want them to touch me. It’s quite annoying when you are dancing!!
But, God sent me last month all the answers I wanted to destroy this armor. I have freed myself and I can dance now.
These are the rules that I apply:

1.       I must treasure myself and take good care of me.
2.       I must love myself as I’m a part of God.
3.       I must live now and enjoy every moment: appreciate food, books, and flowers; there’s nothing extraordinary but it’s life.
4.       I don’t have to pretend to be perfect
5.       I don’t care if people don’t love me as long as I do.
6.       I don’t need to change
7.       I stop with the “when I‘ll have that, I’ll be happy”
I know I’m not ready to be this someone although I’m nearly 30 and everybody puts pressure on me. But it doesn’t affect me. I’m well with myself. I take my time to appreciate all the things I do in life and I can say: I’m truly happy.

Conversations With God Part Deux

I mentioned I’m watching a video series by Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God. I had to pay for the privilege but I’m sharing his insights with you for free! The main idea in the second of the seven-part series is that wanting is the most non-beneficial thing you can do to achieve that which you desire. If you put out a feeling of wanting something then that is what you will get back, NOT the thing you want but more of the experiencing of wanting it.

The “universe” (or God as I call it) answers “yes” to every desire you express. So if you say “I want to make more money,” God says “yes” and you will continue to WANT to make more money. If you say you want a beautiful relationship with a lovely man, God will say “yes” and you will keep WANTING a beautiful relationship. How to get around this quandary? Neale suggests saying to yourself and God (however you interpret that) “I know the perfect relationship is coming to me. Thank you, God.” Isn’t that amazing? So much more fun, too, because you feel hopeful and I guess that is the whole idea around manifesting.

I am also studying A Course in Miracles which is a free program of daily lessons that reprograms your mind so you can be happier and more peaceful. So far, I have gleaned from the course that most of my thoughts are attacking, especially against myself, and that I identify with my ego even though that is not me. I discovered from today’s exercise a difficult truth that explains a lot about my past behaviour with men: I don’t believe I will find a man who is willing to wait for me and that is an attack thought against myself.

What do you think of these spiritual ideas?

Conversations With God Neale Donald Walsch

celibacy, abstinence, sex

Remember Neale Donald Walsch from Conversations With God? I’m watching a new video series of his on spiritual education and he says there are 5 levels of truth telling:

1. Tell the truth to yourself about yourself. Sounds easy but can you really accept and confess all your attributes and weaknesses? It’s called self-awareness and I’m just learning how to embrace it fully on this year’s celibate journey. He says #1 is the most important of the 5 levels of truth-telling. He encourages you to write down 5 things about yourself that you want to acknowledge about yourself to yourself. These can be positive or negative.

2. Tell the truth to yourself about another. He says to write down 5 truths that you need to tell yourself about another (just one person). It could be a spouse or a boss or a friend or a parent or a child. Here he points out that there are no universal or absolute truths. All truths are contextual.

3. Tell the truth about yourself to another. Choose someone you trust utterly, your best friend perhaps, and let them know in advance what you will be doing,

4. Tell your truth about another to that other. Yikes. This one separates the women from the girls. He says to tell five truths to the most important living person in your life.

5. Tell the truth to everyone about everything. I love this! And I love getting permission to do it. I’m so tired of worrying about what people think and editing what I say to try and please them. All truth all the time from now on!