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Sex in the Suburbs

What better way to lick my wounds and mend my bruised ego after another failed attempt at finding love than to binge watch five hours the Sex in the City marathon. Judge me all you want but what the hell else can I do on a Saturday night during global pandemic?  I love this show now more than ever. I fantasize about being Carrie Bradshaw. Living in New York City as a columnist writing about love and relationships. Having her impeccable sense of style and dozens of Manolo Blahniks. She is the antithesis of how I wish my life had turned out yet we share one thing in common—the search for love.

Like Carrie, I have the misguided belief in fairytales yet we are drawn to emotionally unavailable men. She had this wonderful relationship with Aden and she screwed it all up by having an affair with Big. I sometimes think we sabotage relationships with “nice guys” because secretly we are the ones that are emotionally unavailable. This is what I learned from my latest experience with the guy I was talking to for over a month during quarantine. I started to observe how I reacted when I began to really like this guy and when he said all these sweet things to make me feel special. I retracted.

One minute I was smiling from ear to ear and feeling all the feels then the next minute I was scared shitless to open up to someone for fear of rejection. The thought of being vulnerable terrified me. Even though I tried to open up to him more than I have in the past, my energy was one of fear and doubt. Say what you want but I am a big believer in how your energy draws in exactly what you put out. Thus, why I’m attracting emotionally unavailable men. I have far too much fear surrounding my beliefs around men and being vulnerable enough to fall in love.

A prime example of this is my theory of why this guy blew me off. I created this whole story in my mind that he was saying all these nice things to lure me into bed with him and when I didn’t give him what he wanted he found someone that did. I mean how negative is that?! Granted it could be 100% true but that’s the kind of energy I put out there therefore, that’s the kind of man I’m attracting. My theory went even further to ease this bruised ego of mine. I shared my theory that men are physical beings first, and to just accept them for who they are and maybe I shouldn’t expect anything more.

 I conceded to the gender bias that is perpetuated in our society that men are biologically and psychologically hard-wired to think with their “members” first and their emotions second. The notion that men need sex to feel connection whereas women need to feel connection to want sex. If I’m insulting my male readers right now I deeply apologize. I know that if men made broad gender-bias statements about women as I am now I would show up at their door with my feminist t-shirt on holding a picket sign.

Don’t think I don’t see the error in my biased belief system. Forgive me because this is all I have had in my personal experience for the past decade (or more). Yet in other people’s reality, I see great men all around me that I admire as faithful husbands that prove that negative stereotype wrong. I mean, be honest, men do look at women as sexual beings because that’s how society portraits us. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t single men out there that want a deeper connection in a long-term relationship they just don’t want it with me.

Why? Because I’m too scared to let them in. It’s not that I have low self-esteem and don’t think I’m worthy of love. On the contrary—I think I’m a great catch. If you can catch me that is. I’m repelling the “good guys” because I only believe the bad ones exist. I want to put my guard down but when push comes to shove—it goes right back up again. I want to blame it on my unrealistic “relationship goals” like something you see in all the Rom-Coms I watch on repeat. The only thing I can blame it on is my negative beliefs about men and the fact that I keep attracting these men to prove me right.

Bottom line is—I still have work to do. I’m so grateful that this last experience illuminating the areas that I have to work on. I’m re-reading a book I read many years ago called, “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson and it’s such a gift. I see myself in her words and the error in my thinking.

Shows like Sex in the City glamorize the dysfunction in dating. Each character represents a person you may know. Carrie the analytical hopeless romantic that attracts all the wrong guys (such as myself), Samantha who uses sex as a way to avoid true emotional connection, Miranda who represents the strong, driven woman who feels she intimidates men with her intellect and success. Charlotte the conservative, innocent prude who creates a persona to be the perfect Stedford wife. All of these characters as polar opposite as they may be represent the roles women play in the quest to find a man that will love them.

 It’s no different here in the suburbs. We just trade in our Manolo Blahniks for the white picket fence and tennis shoes. Sex in the Suburbs would cast the same female archetypes and perpetuate the same bias against men.

Perhaps the women that allow those kinds of men to behave badly and still chase after them (or attract them) are to blame. After all, you’re giving them exactly what they want without creating boundaries that protect your self-respect. You’re not loving yourself enough to reject the kind of men that sweet-talk you one minute then “SQUIRREL” chase after someone else the next minute.

Ultimately, you are attracting that into your life when you allow it. If you continue to have false beliefs about men and low standards for yourself then that’s what will continue to show up in your life. Make a shift in your thoughts and beliefs.  To quote from Return to Love:

“If we hadn’t been looking for a cheap thrill, we wouldn’t have been vulnerable to the lie.” “Our barriers to love are rarely consciously chosen. They are our efforts to protect places where the heart is bruised. Somewhere, sometime, we felt as though as open heart caused us pain or humiliation. We loved with the openness of a child and someone didn’t care, or laughed or even punished us for the effort. In a quick moment, perhaps a fraction of a second, we made a decision to protect ourselves from ever feeling that pain again.” The only problem is, [according to the Course in Miracles] that which we create is what we defend against.”

It’s only until we are willing to leave our pain in the past and correct the false narrative of our beliefs in regard to love and relationships can we open our hearts and return to love. I will no longer allow the seduction of his words intoxicate me only the actions of his intent. Sex is not a weapon, tool, or barrier it’s a portal into experiencing a deeper connection with another person. Using it otherwise is a lie to yourself and the person you are with. If I am choosey with who I have sex with it’s because I attach more meaning to it than most. The cheap thrill doesn’t sit right with me. It never has. I want to share that with someone that truly cares about my well-being and wants to commit to me. It’s okay if someone I meet doesn’t feel the same way. It just means that they weren’t meant for me. I’ll wait for as long as it takes. Even if it means there will be no sex in the city or the suburbs.

With Faith, Hope, and Love,

~Teresa

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