Dating

As the months have passed sitting in my own space (9 months now!) I have had some of my most self-aware moments. I’m not claiming sudden enlightenment, but I do have a new sense of self and can feel my strength and belief in myself coming back to life. I admit, this was a long time coming and it feels great.

As I’ve said before, there was no great epiphany, no secret sauce, no magic pill. I just did it. One step, one day, one molecule at a time. I practiced, failed, tried again and kept going. I paid attention to details I had let pass me by before. Small life details I didn’t have time to notice. I learned to take a deeper breath and hold it before exhaling. As this started to happen, as I took better care of my mind and body – I finally started to heal.

I am much more tentative than I have ever been in my life, I carry some fear around now. I am terrified of losing the tenuous grip I have on my new found sense of self. I am terrified of failing again. Believe it or not, I am hesitant to fall in love again. Maybe a little fear is good and will calm me down and perhaps make me a bit more kind and patient (two things that are not exactly strengths for me). Maybe I can label the fear as learning to be humble and demonstrating gratitude. I think this is something I need to work on.

As I’m sitting here thinking about where I am in my journey and where I’m heading, it occurred to me that dating has fallen off my priority list. It was never a “need to do,” but it’s always been “want to do.” Now it’s “I don’t actually care at the moment if I do or don’t, it will happen in its own time.”

I think I put it out into the universe after that last bad date. I was chastising myself for choosing to go out with someone who had red flags because it just showed me I was more interested in the going out part than the person themselves. I have plenty to keep me busy that I don’t have to waste dates. So a few weeks or about a month has passed where I didn’t engage in any relevant way on the dating sites. Sure, I looked and swiped right a couple times, but never really found what I was looking for. It became background chatter.

I still want a partner and I still believe I will be even better to myself if I have partner – I am certain I am made to be in relationship rather than on my own.

The difference is now I feel a sense of calm that my future partner will come to me when it’s meant to be. Knowing that is frustrating because I wish it was sooner rather than later, but I do believe once I’m healed I will be putting out the right vibes to attract the right partner.

I know what I want, I had it with Tony. I know I can’t recreate that, but I can certainly look for some of his hallmark characteristics. He definitely was a bit of magic sauce, the way he loved me and made me feel about myself. I may never get over the lingering heartbreak and sadness of losing him, but I can put it firmly behind me and look forward to what’s right for me. I now know I can do this.

I’ve met a couple men over the past months that ignited a little spark in me one way or the other. Rather than get depressed that those men didn’t work out, I’m taking the lessons and bringing them forward. I know natural banter is really important, as are decent social/dating skills. I know they have to really be into me and demonstrate it. I know they need to be tall (enough) and handsome (enough) to rev my engine. When these gears click, I slide easily into the next gear without thought. I can feel the difference between a natural and easy conversational cadence and one that requires me to make too much effort to sustain over time. I know I need the man to have children because parenting is supremely important to me. I know he needs to be invested in his job. I can find out all these things pretty quickly – and when they are missing, I don’t try and go looking for them anymore. I simply exit and move to the next, or as I’ve done more recently, just take a little break for a bit.

I had neglected to realize how important physical activity was to many men but I’ve rectified that in my own life and now even look for someone that is more active.

I still have my long, long list of requirements but I’m trying not to use it as my shopping list and instead stick to the above initial cues. If we can have a date where I feel good about our banter and intellectual and physical connection, then I’m all good. It’s been slow going, but I’m now ok with that.

Relationship Requirements – Refresh

*Note my original list was published in 2016 (I even included original comments) and I adjusted it today with some comments as I have been mulling over “Tony’s Magic”

I spent a lot of time compiling a list of all the “requirements” I had for the perfect mate.

Needless to say, my list was long. I realize this list is ridiculously long, but I truly can’t find an edit option.

1. A man who can think for himself
2. Strong shoulders (not in the physical sense though this is my favorite physical attribute)
3. Trust
4. Honesty
5. Respect
6. Calm communicator/great listener/sound advice giver (challenges me)
7. Not a complainer
8. Handsome and tall, generally I don’t like bald
9. Sexy and sexual
10. Intelligent and well-educated
11. Above 44 and under 55
12. Interested in me, responsive, caring
13. Witty sense of humour, can elicit belly laughs from me including in bed; gentle teasing and banter in both directions
14. Dominant
15. Gracious
16. Emotional generosity
17. Kind
18. Solid career/ambition/white-collar/makes money

19. Wants to spend his money, doesn’t worry about it all the time – definitely NOT cheap
20. Has traveled and has a desire to see the world, even better if they are more well-traveled than me.

21.  Puts me on a pedestal and is the wind beneath my wings – I know he loves and adores me

In addition to my own criteria, there is an article out there called “18 qualities every alpha female needs in a boyfriend” and you can see √ where most of these cross over to my list above:

  1. He someone you can tease and can tease you
  2. He challenges you
  3. He doesn’t get jealous
  4. He isn’t waiting on you but has his own plans
  5. He doesn’t air your dirty laundry
  6. He knows how to deal with your bad moods
  7. When he apologizes he really means it
  8. He’s moving at the same speed as you
  9. He doesn’t belittle you but he doesn’t put you on a pedestal either (don’t agree with the way this is worded, I want someone to hold up my pedestal!)
  10. He is someone who teaches but never lectures
  11. He makes you laugh
  12. He will call you out when you need to be called out
  13. He wants to be the wind beneath your wings (I call this holding my pedal steady)
  14. He isn’t the life of the party but is always there is you need to be carried home (don’t agree with this, I like the life of a party)
  15. His opinions aren’t irrational they are backed up
  16. He has dreams as big as yours (this isn’t hard as I don’t really have specific dreams)
  17. He knows when to drop it and when to address it
  18. He is a great listener but also expects to be heard

So when I looked at these two long lists again, I didn’t find anything that needed to be removed that was originally part of what I deemed important in a relationship, but I did adjust a few very minutely.  I could add more after Tony, but the goal isn’t to recreate Tony.

I think I have to add ONE I can’t seem to get right:

Must be single

So, why do I now say “Tonys Magic?”  Because, other than not being married, that bastard managed to hit every one of those things plus others I didn’t even know I cared so deeply about (like his ability to be such a good father that I learned from him and trusted in his parenting skills).

The hard truth is – I am deathly afraid I can never have that magic again.

What I need to reconcile is – maybe I DON’T ever – maybe he was THE ONE.  That sucks, but perhaps its the truth.  Either way, if its true or not, I can’t have him, he doesn’t want me and I must move on.  Period.