Monday, December 16, 2013

Dating: A Contemplation of Self

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I have had lots of horrendous luck in the dating and man attracting arena all of my life.  I am encroaching upon my 30th person in a few short months and I am truly curious about what I am projecting out into the universe to attract such horrible luck.  I had posed this question to my facebook friends and received a lot of wonderful perceptions and insights from others.  I wanted to share some of my thoughts and excerpts of some of those comments.

here is my original question:
Question for my fb fam, I keep reading that the main reason a woman cannot find a man of substance is because she has nothing to offer or bring to the table in return. I wonder what I appear to bring to the table from the eyes of others or what possible opinions or comments you might have on why I have such abysmal luck with men. Sincerely curious here. I have my own thoughts on myself but would really like to know how I am viewed by others and what you would see as possible reasons:

 One of my guy friends informed me that: That's a gross oversimplification and generalizing women can't find good men because (enter unique set of circumstances here). 
This lead to my response of: It got me thinking about how I am perceived by others. so what do I project?
He later said: You're attractive, smart, capable and confident. You don't try to burden anyone with your child or your life. But you do like black guys and you do live in the south. You're gonna go through a lot of frog kissing.
To which I responded with: my attraction to one color of person is the biggest fallacy that anyone could ever think of me. Being in the South has been atrocious for my dating life. I find the beliefs of many people in Texas are so vastly different from my own that it is hard to find common ground in key areas. I like men of all color, in the last few years I have probably dated more black guys, but that is not for lack of trying with men of other color. I get rejected ALL the time by men of many races.
His response: Oh I wasn't saying that's all you like. I'm saying that it's who you've been dating.
But I am happy you see the correlation between horrible dating and the south. The culture is just profoundly different. And not necessarily in a good way.

Me: the last guy I was going on dates with was not black. I cannot classify a whole section as bad, and I don't give up. I know I grew up with a lot different beliefs than a lot of people I come into contact with here but there is a lot of good in people as well. 

I also got the generic girlfriend response of: You simply haven't found someone worthy of you.
 Later, she insightfully added: I fell in love with the most unexpected person in the most unexpected time. My ten year relationship had failed, I was alone for a couple of years and can't necessarily say I wanted to do this all over again. Look at me now, I'm 35 and blessed to have found the most perfectly imperfect person for me.
So I said: I am just me, simply another human being on this planet. Better at some things, worse at others, but it seems that as I am approaching 30 that I would have at least had something remotely close at this point. I am far from perfect but feel like I have quite a bit to offer someone

More positive insight from a man: I also have less-than-ideal luck with women.
I've felt your pain...I've realized it's because I have very high standards and also because I'm not always putting my best side forward.

 All too often I, like many others, am so concerned with just having *any* relationship that I am not willing to wait for and work for the *right* relationship. Also, it's very much going after what I want. I can't just sit around and wait for my dream girl to show up-when I see her, I've got to go after her.
That's my situation. You're not alone in wondering "why?" : D

 While my response was: Thank you, I love to hear another person's perspective. I know I have high standards, but I also know that I give people the benefit of the doubt. I won't settle for something wrong, but once I commit to something I really put myself into it and then end up in something one sided
His response: Something to consider too is where you're looking for love. It can make all the difference.  I once looked in bars, in gyms, etc. but quickly came to realize that I was better off looking at school, at religious events because it was there that I found women I had more in common with, a more sincere connection. Otherwise it was primarily physical attraction, which was not a solid ground to base a relationship on esp. when I had no idea what else I might or might not have in common with the person.   We all have to be willing to "go fishing" so to speak until we find the right one. You don't have to kiss every frog LoL but you should at least be willing to catch them and talk to them until you find the right frog for you.
ME: although I don't think I would find the right person at a religious event, I have tried various avenues of approach, everything from dating sites, to friends of friends, to random encounters at the book store. I keep an open mind, but I want to know if there is some other way to project what I want out into the universe to get some other signal in return 

In my Internet browsing I came across: Hahahaha perusing the internet, I found this written by someone and tend to feel like it can definitely fit into my life: this is the type of guy I keep attracting - they say all the right things, then treat me like rubbish. When I approach a guy I am always rejected, but if I wait to be approached, I am only approached by the type mentioned above - do I have "Loser-magnet" tattooed on my forehead?? 
I can also relate to this: I lacked self confidence growing up. So, in high school, college and there after, if a guy found me interesting, I'd never realize it. He could flirt all day long till the cows came home and I wouldn't see it, simply because my brain automatically threw those signals into the "he's not interested in you" box. I happened to be a jokester and just figured the guys thought I was fun to hang around with (shrugs).
The bad **** (****) were the only guys bold enough to literally ask me out point blank...never understood that part

I also pondered upon: Someone recently told me that because I am willing to do things for others I only see things as one sided and expect people to go above and beyond for me and this is placing unfair expectations on another person. Although I could not disagree that I expected another person to go above an beyond for me I do not feel that it is wrong to make an effort for someone that you care about. I feel like if I am the only one making an effort it's not going to work. Am I wrong to expect someone to make an effort in return for me, to not ALWAYS be the one to call or text first or go out of my way. We should gladly do these things for one another. 
I got the response of: It's a good expectation to have, but I would be careful entering into new relationships with it. People are imperfect. No one will always be above and beyond as everyone falls short now and again.
It's a good thing to expect reciprocation from you
r partner, but you must also be patient with them. It's all a matter of how much you like them, how much they cherish you, and how patient you're both willing to be. Sorry feel like I'm on a soap-box.
Talking about projecting, something I've tried that has worked is simply off-the-bat talking with romantic interests about what they're looking for in a relationship before starting one. It's a great way to figure out if you're both looking for the same thing or not, and how compatible you might be.

Me: Haha given some of the horrendous toad-ships I have had. I think that I give people quite a fair chance and the benefit of the doubt. I expect nothing even close to perfection. What I want from someone at the base is really quite simple. I just want someone who makes me smile and make me laugh. Someone who I can feel comfortable just being with. Someone who can teach me new things and is opening to learning new things as well. Someone with some drive in life towards something. Someone who I can consider to be a good male role model. I have a wonderful career, many goals, I love to cook, I do my best at being a mother, I love animals, I care for my family and friends, I do not need anyone to support me or take care of me, but I get told often that this is emasculating for men and that they need to make more money than me and feel subversive to my independence. The other night I was told that deep down a man really wants a 1950s relationship and does not want an independent woman. Although his approach was quite sexist, I think at the base he touched upon a problem that I might have. Although I am hopelessly devoted to someone I am with and think of myself as quite affectionate, perhaps I am not feeding into the man's ego enough to make him feel as desirable as he really needs to be. Another comment has been that when I go for guys who take care of themselves physically that I am ending up with men with low self-confidence that cannot hang with my lack of co-dependency and am therefore setting myself up for failure.

Another woman's perspective:  We now live in a world where things are more fast paced, temporary, and people tend to be more selfish. That can be hell on a relationship. Just be patient and don't worry too much about the men in your life. I'm sure you are doing nothing wrong and there is certainly nothing wrong with you. You may meet a wonderful man and settle down, and you may not. Just work on yourself and enjoy your life and appreciate everything good that comes along. There is no use dwelling on past relationships and what may or may not have gone wrong. You just have to accept that things ended because it wasn't the best match. Let things be and you will be much happier. That is something I am starting to learn myself and it is like a breath of fresh air.
My response: I am not feeling so much that there is something wrong with me or with anyone for that matter, but just wondering what I am doing or approaching in the entirely wrong manner to end up with people who portray themselves as something compatible for months or even years before we date and then they are something entirely different.
Her: well I just ended things with my boyfriend of three years and for a while I felt that he misrepresented himself in the beginning but then I just realized that it wasn't intentional and I can't be hurt by how things ended. He had no designs to fool me. Most people enter a relationship wanting to put on their best face to impress someone. With the rare exception, most mean no harm by this, it is just human nature. I would say it is similar to a peacock showing his feathers. Unfortunately as time goes on people quit putting forth that effort and their real selves come out, good and bad. Sometimes these are things people can get past and accept about each other and other times it isn't. All we can do is keep moving forward and hope that one day someone will come along and you both can accept each others flaws and still be happy together. 
Me: I completely agree, we all misrepresent ourselves to some extent whether intentional or not. Some of my stories have been such horrendous intent it is downright comical, others were just who they were as people. I know some day I will find someone who's weirdness and crazy and love with be compatible with my own. Or at least I hold out hope for that. I am not feeling like a ticking time bomb with my birthday encroaching upon me, but after so much failure I tend to wonder what I can do differently to have better "failures" to kiss better frogs before I find my prince. And sometimes finding yourself again after all that time is more liberating than anything else in life. I know everyone has been placed in my path for a reason and that I have learned so much from so many people and I do not regret anything that has made me who I am today
Another man's perspective: Most Men are assholes...and don't know how to treat a lady...A lot of my guy friends are single because they are not worth the relationship....Listen to what the guy says next time and if its not sounding like future plans involving you and your son then keep that situation moving...Don't sleep with the guy until he makes you his Number One...And keep God in your relationship
My response:  I know we have talked about this many times, I actually get told that is my problem with a lot of men is that I don't sleep with them right away so that in this day and age I will never catch a man unless I "give it up" so to speak. I find that this just CANNOT be true for every man. somewhere out there has to be a COMPATIBLE partner that craves real substance and not just something quick and easy. I wish people would quit being so lazy in "love"

Another woman building response:  it has been years since we have hung out....but what I have seen from our Facebook friendship are these few are hard working...a great mom...and seem to have things pretty together and also have accomplishments that you should be proud of....the right person will come along and when you know you will know...personally I have dated some pretty dumb men and over the course of some years of being single I have learned that there were things I could have done and there were things he could have done to make the relationship work but inevitably we weren't right for each other...and I learned a lot about myself and have come to realize that in my life settling isn't an option....and I also learned that every guy I meet or date could be "the one"...but to not focus on that and just enjoy the moment. ...I perceive you to be one hell of women who works hard for herself and her son and any guy would be lucky to have some some hotties and enjoy them because one of them will probably be the one...and you will know. ...keep your head up and enjoy the will show up...
ME: I think you have a lot of good points in what you say. Thus far I KNOW that I have NOT been in a relationship with the person I am meant to spend the rest of my life with. I keep wondering if maybe that kind of love is not meant for me until I am in my 60s and Liam is off to college, or maybe that's just not meant for this lifetime. Perhaps I have been blessed with so many other amazing kinds of love that romantic love is the one that shall always be just out of my grasp 
HER: I'm single too and sometimes I think that I won't find love either...but choosing to stay positive about it will meet someone and he will be terrific and he will love you and Liam unconditionally. ..and it will happen before Liam is in college...and if not you can move with my friend and I down south or to Vegas and we can troll for thirty something men. 
A loving female relative: I was single for nearly two decades. I have only one thing I want to share with you. The quality of man you end up with seems to become better in direct proportion to the number of toads you've kissed on the way!
Keep on going! You are a fantastic catch and you make me so proud!

Another loving female friend:I have been a single mom for 5yrs now of two amazing boys. As you know my youngest son has special needs and can be a handful all on his own. Its harder to date just being a single mom period!! Most men in my opinion and experience is afraid of the unknown and don't feel they can carry the weight that you already carry with out them. They look at a women with total commitment and love for their children as intimidating. I'm being honest most people in general are selfish and want the person they are dating\getting to know all to themselves.....
Just remember you are amazing loving mom with so much to give and nobody can take that away from you. Someday a real man who will admire and cherish you and your boy will come and not look at you as a choice but a great opportunity and blessing!!!
Untill that day just remember no time spent with your son is a wast of time and to always let him know you are complete with him! If someone comes along there just a added bonus so stop wasting time wondering or feeling your missing out cuz your single. Its not true! I am very close to my boys and both of them are drug free they love and respect themselves and are my befriends all because I lead them by example and was even honest when they didn't want me to be.... I hope this helps a little.
Love you girly xoxox

A married man's point of view: I know finding a person that is all things is difficult, so don't try to find that person. Instead, focus on what makes you happy. Not your perfect match, but is he a man that is willing to communicate, compromise, and have some sort of stability. 

A Childhood friends insight: I have two thoughts on this -
First, the only people who bring "nothing to the table" are those who believe they don't. Just because what you have to offer may not be tangible - like money, or influence - doesn't mean that you don't offer ama
zing things. I haven't seen you in over a decade, and I know you bring an amazing mind, boundless love, and determination that seems to have no limits.
Second, don't ever settle because you're afraid that there may not be anything or anyone better. Approach every potential relationship demanding everything you deserve, and give everything your partner deserves. It has to be in balance. If it isn't, neither of you will be fulfilled, or satisfied. If a man is demanding more of you than you are getting in return, then he isn't good enough for you, and you should move on.
Keep your chin up, woman. You will find someone who gives you everything you deserve, and recognizes you for the amazing person that you are!

Another woman's point of view: Just a thought; Maybe stop actually looking. Honestly? Maybe being alone, being comfortable with being alone and being happy with yourself alone is key here. A man is nice, but isn't the key to your lifelong happiness. Being happy as a strong, independent woman is far more important than any man, and provides your son with a healthy outlook on how to treat women later in life. Go out on dates. Don't commit. If it's right, you will know it. Always trust your gut. Be hard to get - but not to hard to get - it's a fine line. It will work out at some point - it's not the end all be all 

My responses to the last couple: The mass amount of responses has been amazing. I apologize for any who took the original status as out of context with my character. I have in the past spent time looking for a man, but at this time I do not and have been very happy with being single. I have enjoyed the extra time to myself and have found myself selfishly guarding my alone time when Liam is asleep. I have had some approaches but have found no one yet that was amazing enough to cut into my new-found hobbies and personal space. I know how I can be in relationships and I don't want to compromise my personal time for just anyone. Someone amazing is going to need to come along in order for me to devote my attention to him in addition to what I already have going on. Bottom line relationships require work, a lot of work. They work if you work them, and if you stop, they fall apart. If you can't devote the time to actually spend with another person or to show them how much you care than you shouldn't waste yours or anyone else's time! 
I do honestly believe that I have a lot to offer to someone, and I can't wait to find someone who has something awesome to offer in return to so we share in the greatness of our union. Until then I am undoubtedly content with life. I LOVE being a mom more than I have ever loved anything in life. I love that I am blogging now, I love the extra time I have to get into zumba, and I love that I can try to at least spend time with one or more friends each day to try to improve upon and genuinely check up on someone else selflessly. I want to do more of this. BE the friend I want someone to be for me.. I am humbled by your high opinion of me, and the high opinion that so many of you seem to have expressed this evening. Although this started out as a curiosity, it has truly brought me great insight into myself and into the situation from a sociological stand point. I have valued all of your opinions and comments very highly. 

*All in all these discussions really gave me an immense amount of insight which is why I have chosen to share it with my readers because perhaps you can take something from it, or perhaps you have something to add.  Comments are always welcome.  Thank you so much for your love and support.  Benevolence upon you all in love and life and health and happiness.

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