Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written but I felt the need to get my thoughts and feelings down on paper to help me process the shit show that is my love life.
Around this time last year, I met a guy who was really kind and sweet but I quickly knew he had some emotional blocks he needed to work through. I was about to turn 50 and had not dated anyone in over three years. I thought that if I did the work on myself and healed the trauma from the last several years that I would finally find “the one”…my person…Mr. Right….my true love…blah blah blah.
Wrong again! I realized that I still had to learn some hard but necessary lessons. Lessons, mind you, that I had already learned but apparently I forgot and had to learn it all over again. I’ll blame it on my starving libido overriding my spiritual journey to find love and the fact that I had just given up on the fallacy that abstaining from sleeping with men would somehow attract a good man.
Spring was in the air and I joked with my girlfriends that I really needed to get laid. After three long years of celibacy, I was starving for affection and just needed to feel desired again. I was done waiting for prince charming and vowed to find a decent guy to have sex with by the time my birthday came around. I felt that since I had done the work and refrained from having sex with assholes for three long years that the universe would reward me with a lover and a life partner.
Turns out the universe gifted me with a great lover but a life partner…not so much. He was a very sweet guy and I felt a genuine connection with him but for several reasons (I won’t get into out of respect for him) I just felt like he wasn’t the right fit. We barely text during the week and he never took me out on dates but like clockwork I got my weekly booty call every Friday night. Go figure.
Normally I would never allow a man to get what he wants without investing in a relationship. As my mother used to say with her Irish brogue, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” I realize that is an absolutely awful saying–referring to women as heifers is problematic but somehow it all makes sense now.
In this case, I was the one that wanted no strings attached. I was the dude in the relationship keeping him as a companion without getting too emotionally involved. After all, I knew he probably wasn’t my person but that didn’t mean I wanted it to end it either.
We continued seeing each other for 10 months, which is actually the longest amount of time I stayed in a “situationship” since my divorce 10 years ago. I really cared for him. We would talk for hours before heading to the bedroom. He would clip roses off his rose bush as he walked me to my car or buy some little tchotchke as a random gift. He was a sweetheart and I trusted him. He was safe.
My friends would give me a hard time wondering why I stayed in the situationship when I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. My response was that I really liked him as a person and companion. Not to mention the sex was probably the best I’ve ever had. I mean…why not? I could still keep my options open and continue to spend my Friday nights with him.
One night, we started talking about our all-time favorite movie and of course, I picked “The Notebook”. He said he never had never seen it and I wasn’t surprised. Not many men would choose that as a “must see”. That following Sunday he actually text me and told me he was watching it and proceeded to give me the play by play of how he felt about it. At first he didn’t like some of the main characters but by the end of the movie he was literally sending me crying emoji’s and telling me how much he loved it. I mean—how cute is that? What man would admit that The Notebook made him cry? I thought to myself—maybe I can crack open his guarded little heart after all.
Later on that day, I felt the urge to watch it for the fifth hundredth time. Something stood out to me that I just couldn’t shake. If you’ve ever seen the movie, there’s a character named Martha that Noah hooks up with when he lost Ally who is the love of his life. I realized in that moment—I’m acting like a damn Martha! I’m a place holder. A convenient uncomplicated lover that scratches the itch.
Then it hit me that I’m no damn MARTHA! I want to be an ALLY! It made me question why the hell I was wasting my time with someone who after 10 months hadn’t shared how he felt about me at all.
Ironically this all happened right before Valentine’s Day. On one hand, I was wondering if we would exchange gifts or maybe…just maybe he would plan something special. On the other hand, I knew that he wasn’t capable of giving me what I wanted in a relationship. He was not only emotionally unavailable but he really didn’t want to spend time with me. I was just a booty call and I knew I deserved more.
Sure enough, Valentine ’s Day came and went and all I got was a booty call that I didn’t answer. I sent him a text explaining that I didn’t want to be a Martha anymore and that our time together had come to an end. I also told him I loved and cared for him as a person but I wanted and deserved love and commitment.
I didn’t even get a response. Nada, zilch, zero…guess that’s over!
Ironically, that next weekend I ran into a guy that I’ve been really attracted to for a long time. Long story short we started texting and decided to go on a date yada yada yada. He would text every day and put in a little more effort, but when he starting opening up about his childhood trauma I could tell I found yet another wounded soul that was emotionally unavailable that was just looking for a “situationship”. I ended that after a month.
I told him that I really liked him but we want two different things. I led with love and compassion for all the pain he’s endured in his life, but that I couldn’t be the collateral damage in his unwillingness to open his heart. It was a sweet goodbye. He messaged me to thank me for being authentic and genuinely caring for him. He said that I absolutely deserve love and fidelity and that made me cry. A deep guttural cry because I know that I do deserve more than what either of those men were capable of giving me. Instead of being bitter and resentful towards them, I send them love. I pray that one day they can move past their pain and open their hearts to someone. That someone won’t be me because I would rather be alone than with someone that can’t give me what I want and deserve.
I don’t regret either relationship (and I use that term lightly). I think I had to encounter both of these men to gain clarity on what I do really want. I had to be willing to open up to them and be willing to take a chance at love. You see, what I learned was that being completely closed off for three years didn’t allow me to grow. Perhaps some healing took place but growth only happens when you go through it rather than avoid it. I also learned that sleeping with men right away isn’t in alignment with my core beliefs and it doesn’t allow me to find out if I’m dealing with just another f*ck boy or do they actually have the emotional maturity to want a deeper connection.
Honestly, I feel very lonely. I liked having a man that desired me and miss having someone to chat with every day. My ego liked the attention but it was empty and always left me wanting for more.
I can’t pretend that I’m not disappointed and hurt but I know that the universe will keeping showing you the same lesson until you actually learn it and change your behavior. The universe must be banging it’s head against the wall because this is a lesson I keep needing to learn.
I’m not saying I’m going back to being completely celibate, but I am going to be more discerning when it comes to the next man that comes into my life. I’m not going to let this deter me from being open to finding love. In fact, I’m more hopeful than ever. I feel it deep in my soul that I am closer to finding that special someone to share my life with and this time it’s going to be everything I never had and everything I truly deserve.
For the first time in my life I am letting go of negative beliefs about men that prevent good men from entering my life. These two guys were good men just not “my man”. They showed me that I am lovable and desirable. They showed me that I am worth more than just a lover and companion.
In both these lessons, I found me and my heart is so much more open to finding love. Now that I hold the belief that I’m worth more than just a casual fling and I respect myself enough to set higher standards, I will meet the man that matches those beliefs. It’s right at my finger tips—I can almost feel it. I’m more than ready to lead with an open heart knowing my own worth. These experiences were empowering me to say goodbye to men that couldn’t meet those standards but still hold on to hope for the future. I hope you find that too.