I like doing series and I’m doing a new one called ‘Dating in the Age of Dumba$$es’ because when it comes to love and relationships we’re such dumbasses. I’m including myself in that number too. We’re forever trying to get advice on how to date, find a mate, get true love or get married when most of it is just instinctual. People been courting, falling in love and getting married for centuries without a book or blog about it. This is a little reminder on using the sense God gave you to find love, for yourself and with someone else.
How did I ever overcome my fear of a new relationship? To tell you the truth I didn’t, I just dated through it…after my divorce I was almost paralyzed and overcome with fear at the prospect of moving into another relationship. I had a failed marriage on my hands along with with some other not so winning choices in boyfriends in my past. My record pretty much sucked and after dating a few people spottily I really did think that it was fate to be in bad relationships. I’m not the kind of person that when things end, whether I or someone else does the heartbreaking, to put the blame on one person’s shoulders. I believe it takes two people to make a relationship work, takes two to fuck it up. I wasn’t taking all the blame but I couldn’t take the coward’s way out and absolve myself of all responsibility. And I really do think that’s one of the first keys to really and truly moving through fear, face that you had some responsibility in your bad relationships even if that means just facing you had a bad picker. I was atrocious at communicating my needs, which meant my needs never got met, which meant instead of trying to figure out how to communicate those, I just let resentment build up because I wanted him to be better at guessing. But if I could take responsibility for my bad choices and lack of relationship skills, that meant I could overcome those things. I had the power to change them and that was a relief. I had a bit of a bad picker, I could find myself wildly enchanted by a man’s good looks and just excuse the rest even inconsistent or bad behavior, when I was younger. I mean, no lie, I’ve threatened to do away with a couple of folks for 10 minutes with Brad Pitt. I had to do something with not only how I chose men, but with my criteria for keeping them around.
So how did I get back up on that horse? How did I decide that I’d make another attempt at dating with a dating track record that was nothing to write home about? I first had to shift my thinking. I’m not even gonna lie and tell you this is easy, it’s not. I’d had this thought process all my dating life. This was my dating ‘normal’. How do I turn that on it’s ear? I had to do it consciously each time I went on a date, each time I talked to a guy. I wasn’t always thinking of his potential of having a good relationship with, I was thinking of mine. And even after I met Matt and we started to move into a serious relationship, I still had doubts and had to stop myself from potentially sabotaging the relationship. This is something you have to do consciously all the time, it’s easy to slip back into old habits so you have to continually remind yourself you are worthy of a good relationship and that you’ll make a good partner. Hey it may not be with the guy sitting across from you on that particular date but you’re worthy of someone who knows they’re also worthy of a good relationship. You know that you CAN have a functional relationship. You know those exist, don’t you? The point being if you believe every relationship is a potential failed one, guess what, your dreams will come true. Your relationship will fail, we’re more inclined to prove ourselves right than wrong.
You know why my relationship with my husband won’t fail, because I don’t believe it will. I am married to a man that also doesn’t believe it will. Each of us will make the necessary efforts to have it work. I’m not saying try to make your relationship with an abusive jerk work, this is for people who are in relationships that honor them and meet their needs and vice versa. Divorce is not an option for me, that does not come into my thoughts. So if it’s not an option I’ll do the work on me that helps me to honor my husband and meet his needs as he does the same for me. Stop sabotaging yourself, I know a ton of beautiful, smart, charming, sweet, women who aren’t dating anybody, they’re not even going on dates or looking for dates for fear of failure. They haven’t even failed yet and they’ve built that fear so great in their minds they’re petrified to open themselves to anyone. The fear that no one will love them for who they are, no one will understand them, no one can meet their needs, they can’t meet another person’s needs, or it will end like all the other’s. Then we want people to sit around and listen to our pathetic sob stories. We want sympathy with no effort, whaa? I’m not saying you won’t fail, hell you probably will and if it hurts when you fail or something you thought you wanted fails go home and cry. I’m not joking, go home and have a good cry about it. Release some of that pain you’ve been suppressing all your life. After one or two of those, potential failure won’t be as devastating take it from one who’s cried. But trust and believe that one day it won’t be a failure, one day you will have a successful relationship.
Next blog in the series ‘Dating in the Age of Dumba$$es-Stop Beating Yourself Up or How I Overcame My Fear of Being Vulnerable Pt. 2