Thursday, December 8, 2011
Lessons Learned From a Year of Smart Dating
In the book, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, our emotional outbursts are the result something other than what we say they are. An example of this is a blow-up over forgotten dry cleaning. It isn’t about dry cleaning because you can leave your dry cleaning at the cleaners for a month and not be too upset. It is more about not having an article when you need it. It is also about not being prepared. If it is about someone else not picking up your dry cleaning then it could be about they don’t value you or your requests. Things are definitely not what they seem on the surface.
When I started writing my blog about dating, I thought it had a two-fold purpose. The first was to share the dating experience with other women over forty who might be hesitant to date or just needed feedback to see if their experiences were unusual. It was also shameful self-promotion as a writer to get my name out there, but something strange happened. Something I didn’t plan. I found underlying reasons for my blog. They were you might ask?
Discovering the real me was probably the biggest outcome of the entire blog. By writing and examining my past dating behavior in print, I suddenly saw the old me in all my tattered wrong beliefs and foolish behaviors. My past dating life scrolled by like a bad reality television show and I was the character who always did the stupid thing while all the viewers knew it was the stupid thing. Painfully, I forced myself to watch each episode. Managed to dig up mediocre dates I had forgotten to rehash them online. Why torture myself like this? I definitely wanted to do better.
I wanted a good long-term relationship where people actually enjoyed being with each other. Since it hadn’t happen yet, I knew I had to change to create what I wanted. Through books, videos, television shows, online dating services and even a dating coach I did change. Although, I changed like a cruise liner turns, very slowly. It was easy to fall back into the stupid dating behavior because I was familiar with it. Just like I was familiar with being the over compensating girlfriend who did absolutely everything leaving no dragons for the guy to slay. I not only slayed the dragons, but turned them into cute boots and handbags too. Ironically, I was miffed because the man did so little on my behalf. LOL
My first step on discovery was doing less. My second step was expecting the guy to do more. My third step was believing that I deserve the guy doing more and that may have been the hardest. My old smelly coat of poor self-esteem needed to be shed, but even though it never served me well it was all I knew. Eventually, I threw it to the ground allowing me to grow into the person I was always harboring inside. The me who always wanted to come out and play, but was too shy.
Now I do laugh loud and occasionally break out into song in public. Instead of worrying about people staring at me, I smile when they do. It is truly amazing to be simply me, not a weak copy of whoever I think people want me to be. It is freeing and energizing. I believe it is this freedom and energy that brought me my soulmate.
Yes, I set out on a mission and accomplished it as you can tell by the various blogs. Which brings me to the last thing the blog has done for me; it has confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that I got it right this time. You see even in the very beginning of my dating and blogging, my sweetie existed, at first only as a name on a profile. As I wrote about past dates and dating behavior, I learned from my mistakes.
I would take the knowledge I gained and put it up beside my new-found cutie. Even though he was aware he was being scrutinized he didn’t always know why or how. If I blogged about a man having no ambition, I would gently probe to see if he had any. He has just the right amount and plenty of time left over for US. Of course, since he read my blog he had an amazing insider info that most men would love to have. When I was put out about something he did, it showed up in the blog. Talk about not holding things in, I raised it to a new level. On the other hand, this was as upfront as I have ever been in any relationship and it has made a profound difference.
With each blog, I learned to appreciate my sweetheart more. He was busy reading the blogs trying to get hints about his competition and at times perhaps growing jealous. That was never my intention. I may have wanted him to appreciate me, which he does. Yes, I did compare men, but he always came out the winner. Through blogging about my experiences, I learned my sweetheart may not be perfect, but we are perfect for each other.
Even if I started this blog with the intention of writing for writing’s sake and I did not believe I would find my soul mate. I am glad I found more than I intended, much more. I discovered myself, many wonderful readers, and of course, my soul mate. It has been a year well spent. Now it is onto my next adventure, marriage, moving, and a new career.