Tonight I went on a date. It had been 6 months since my last date, and before that, a couple of years. During my sebatical from dating I did a lot of work on me, and was granted a lot of recovery by my God.
But what I want to share is:
A nice man took me out tonight. He wore a suit and tie, bought me a drink, and paid good money for us to see a live jazz concert. I was somewhat repelled by his cologne, his looks, and his trying to hold my hand. He reached out to hold my hand and I did not extend mine back.
When the concert was over, I said, "I'm ready to go home." He hugged me goodnight, I wasn't looking for that. I just wanted to get the heck outta dodge.
Why, I wonder don't I find men who are kind, responsible, and mature attractive? Why did I want to run like heck? Why did I not want him touching me? Is it true that you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you get a prince?
First off, this guy does not represent ALL "kind, responsible, mature and attractive" men. He may be ONE. But there are MILLIONS out there. And just as I am not attracted to every "kind, responsible, mature or attractive" man out there I wouldn't expect you to be either. Or anyone for that matter. That's possibly one of the biggest mistakes we make as recovering Love Addicts. We think we SHOULD be attracted to ALL "good" and "healthy" no matter what package they come in. Well, we shouldn't. That's not how it works. Healthy people who start out dating other healthy people don't just marry the first one that comes along. They take their time and they date. AND THEY DISCERN. So...don't be so hard on yourself. He's not the only one out there if there is truly no compatibility.
Second, in my opinion, recovering Love Addicts should NEVER get to know men via an actual "date." This is just entering the lion's cage. It places your expectations so high and quite frankly, no matter how much work you've done on yourself, you can't shake the "hope" that this is going to be "the one. " Not only that, but we are all fresh from the battle ground. Shellshocked from the last PoA. The last situation we need to be in is this one. It's too complex, too triggering and we are simply not strong enough to handle "dating" or picking up the right signals or giving them off. My suggestion has always been for those who want to start dating to set up an understanding with someone that "THIS IS NOT A DATE." That, despite the fact that you may be going out to dinner together, there doesn't need to be any hand holding, any hugs, or bill paying by the man. Create a LIGHT and easy alternative. A non-date, where the two of you simply go out as potential FRIENDS. This way, as a Love Addict, you are not feeling threatened by the love or sexual expectations placed upon, nor are you able to get your hopes up that something will "happen." Instead, you are protected nicely with your boundaries, and you are able to test the waters and see if this person shares your same values.
Third, don't give up so easily! It's your job as a recovering Love Addict to have values in place by this point. And when you go out and meet new people, be they men or women, friends or potential dates, it's your responsibility to yourself to find out if they share your same values ( l0velyjune.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/what-are-values/ ). You cannot POSSIBLY find this out on a first date. And that is why you cannot possibly determine if this guy is the "kind, responsible, mature and attractive" man he comes off as. Forming a connection with someone takes time. Cologne can be changed! Hair can be cut! It's his VALUES that count. That's what you have to look for. Is he really kind (even after a first date), is he honest, has he ever cheated on anyone, does he have patience, would he be willing to let you be you, does he like you, is he wiling to go at YOuR pace, etc. . These are the things we cannot see in one date. They are things that must be uncovered slowly. And likewise, your trust for any person is built slowly. Looks are secondary; and compatibility takes time to uncover. At our age, we'd be fools if we believed the only people that had a chance with us were those with whom we fell madly in love with the moment our eyes met. That's Hollywood. That's not reality.
Lastly, you wanted to run like heck because you were scared. Dating is scary! And you didn't want to be touched because WHO THE HECK WOULD WANT TO BE TOUCHED RIGHT AWAY BY A STRANGER?? I don't blame you. You don't know this man. It would take me a very long time to decide whether I would want to kiss someone or hold their hand or not. If there is one thing I personally can't stand is when the canopy of "date" assumes that kissing and hand-holding is acceptable. Well it's not. At least not for you, maybe. You might need to set some dating rules for yourself, and any man you meet. ANd you have the right to do that. Another of our biggest problems is that as LAs, we don't recognize that WE can set conditions. That WE have certain comfort zones. And that WE HAVE A RIGHT to be comfortable in any given situation. It sounds like this man just didn't know you have boundaries, and he crossed them. In his defense, how would he know if you had boundaries, unless you came out and told him? That kind of fumbling around, not being able to read the other person, making mistakes is NORMAL though. And that's why communication is essential. The more you are upfront with people, and tell them your values, the better able they are to read you. Good men will respect your values. They will help you to uphold them and in that sense, you learn to trust. Once trust is established (far down the line!) boundaries can begin to be removed. Bad men, however, will not respect your values. If you say, I'd like to go at my own pace and they get angry with you, this is a red flag. Keep your boundaries up and MOVE ON! That's a personality-trait you don't want to deal with.
So, be patient with yourself and with anyone you may meet. A healthy relationship is not a lovesick emotional rollercoaster relationship, maybe like the one you are used to. You are not yet used to what a healthy relationship FEELS like, and at times, you will not recognize what's healthy and normal. At times too, things will not feel "normal" to you. But keep checking in. Keeping looking for signs. And don't give up so easily. All too often we are still expecting immediate gratification, like children. We expect to know immediately if someone is right for us. But recovery demands that we have patience, that we don't look for the same signs that we're used to. Recovery demands that our approach to the way we have normally experienced certain situations like dating changes. And that might mean taking the risk of a second get together-- but maybe this time, on YOUR terms.
Hope this helps!
Last Edit: Feb 20, 2011 5:32:30 GMT -8 by LovelyJune
Post by Healing Ku'uipo on Feb 20, 2011 5:46:44 GMT -8
Great Wisdom Telmita.. Thank you for sharing. I once went on a Date and was so frozen in fear I ordered Rice for dinner. That was no fun at all. The amount of stress was caused by what you talked about..and too much Pressure! A guy recently mentioned to me going to a museum with his Dad, I closed up and looked away.... I am Clearly not ready even for the potential closeness of a museum... but I'm thinking something similar would be good after more recovery. No Dinners for me! No Traditional Date scenarios. I would be in too much fear.
Roz- I can't stand cologne! That is a total turn off to me, its too 'set up' for me. It always raises an alarm that the guy might be putting on a phony front. That might not be true, but my Ex Work Poa would wear that Axe spray, the one with the commercial showing women throwing themselves at the guy wearing it, and thats what I did too. Even stole his shirt once. Aaaahhhh!! It was a trap! Good Luck on the next date.
Hi there all, These are such important discussions.
T, You give wonderful advice and ideas for dating.
roz, when I was first single after my divorce, I only met for fun dates, like I would meet them at a certain time at the the bottom of the the ski-lift and ski a few runs, or just meet for 1 cup of coffee. I did go to a play with one guy, but it was a long time to hang out and I wasn't ready for that. I found that Internet dating was not for me, but I did try it for a few times.
I met my next BF (last POA) playing pool. I would meet him for a game of pool and get to know him. I really loved that guy. Too bad he was a ALA. Too bad I was still a LA. I did go slow with him. He went slow with me. But it was all for me to see that I was not doing my work............I was doing work, but I was still major co-D and sure that all I was learning about self growth, I was supposed to teach him...... I just set myself up for so much pain...
Thanks, because I am moving that way. I meet some men, who want to date me, but I just am not going to date to date. I like seeing them out and visiting with them. then leaving on my own.
I watch my friends date and wow, I am so glad I know what I know.
One friend said to me, why don't you go out with him, he likes you,. I said , that is great that he likes me, but I don't know anything about him, so I will just be his friend right now. I like being solo right now.
I am getting my house ready to sell, or rather dump, due to the horrid real estate market. I am ready to do something else. Everybody asks me , what are you going to do? I say, I am not afraid. I can do anything I want. Doing all the preparation and everything is really helping me grow up and make decisions. It feels really good. If I meet a man right now, it would take away from this really impotant process I am in.
But really I look when I go out, and love to talk to guys. When I am ready, I may know more about a few of them to have a cup of coffee with sometime. In the meantime, I have reached out to friends and am working on being a better friend and human being.
today, I am SURE that there is nothing wrong with being solo.