I’m finding lately that the best material for my column is that which derives directly from my own life, whether chaos or calm and depending on the week, the trials and tribulations of Shana are pretty amusing. Over the last week I have started to really see the affects of past relationships and how those experiences sometimes leave us jaded and apprehensive to enter a new one. I’ve been single for two years and felt for a long time that it was merely because I wanted to “find me.” In part it has been mostly about that but the dark side of it has been more about me just being scared to do it all over again, sad but true. Though I’ve dated a few people here and there, my feelings were always questionable and it was more like I was doing it just to do it, not because I genuinely had feelings for them. If anyone I dated reads this, sorry but it is what it is…I just wasn’t that into you. I’ve been lucky up until recently though. By lucky I mean not having feelings has been an act of grace because once you do or I do rather, strange things start to happen. For me an alternate version of myself surfaces..awkward and socially inept. Hard to believe, I know.
Is it Them or Me?
One of the questions I’ve asked myself lately is whether or not I was just with the wrong type of guys and perhaps I need to steer completely away from that type and embrace something different? People have been telling me for months who would be perfect for me and the more I see what they come up with the more I realize that they haven’t a clue. I’ve have however been a person to type cast my dating life and the only three relationships I’ve been in were all similar in nature, how they started and how they ended. Was it them or was it me? In the last two years, I can tell you that I think without a doubt it was me. I rush things, I push and pry, I analyze and over think and all it did was land me into 13 years of something not right. Certainly not a waste of time, it’s just taken me a longer time to realize exactly what I want and what I deserve. I can tell from most of my friends who are single that we all do the same thing and I know my married friends are thinking, “Thank God, I don’t have to go through that anymore.” The blind dates, the setups, the online dating catastrophes .. I am pretty over it. I think I have the capability of knowing when someone deserves a second look, a third and fourth..so the steering committee in my life can take a seat. I will commend however, a few strangers for handpicking someone I was already interested in though, gold stars for them.
Don’t Ask My Neighbors. – The Emotions Had it Right.
The other problem, though I love them dearly, friends. They tend to allow their own jaded perspective interfere with rational advice giving. I offer the same kind of ridiculous advice myself so I recognize it now. Assumptions are really a cancer to any relationship and why do we so often seek the advice of others rather than going directly to the source? Dating is tough enough without the noise pollution of assumptions by others. No one could possibly know exactly what anyone is thinking especially someone outside of the situation. Yes, there are patterns and signs of things but there are also exceptions. If a guy doesn’t answer my text right away or call, most would say “Hey he’s not interested, move on. Can people be busy anymore, or just shy.. or want to take the time to get to know someone, where did all these rules come from? What happens then is I start to pull away because we all believe what were told in some way and though we boast that we are confident in the decisions we make on our own, sometimes we really aren’t at all. We’re just under the influence of craziness, yes craziness. Having feelings for someone can do that. My advice, take time to get to know someone. If something upsets you address it, let the person know why you feel that way and if it continues despite your mentioning, then you know .. yeah, they are probably not interested or don’t really care that much. Communication is a marvelous thing. In general we make way too many assumptions in life. Everything depends on something and anything CAN mean anything. Why search for answers when most things are eventually made evident? Live for the day and whatever happens happens, it’s not going to change you unless you let it.
Did I let It?
Yes, but with good reason. I did need to find me. I recognized that after the end of the last relationship that the only person that needed to change was me. The great thing to come of my “time off” is that I realize the benefit of things happening over time and I no longer think of dating as “Eventually I have to meet someone!” Eventually tends to mean things need to happen within a certain time frame or they will never happen at all. That thinking is a very constricted way of living and not really living at all. Worry takes over and reading into things really is just worry. Worry is useless.
It’s great to be attracted to someone but what I’ve learned is that attraction over time can fade and successful relationships in love are based on friendship and can not exist without it. Though I’ve never been a person who really weighs looks, none of my relationships were based on a real emotional connection immediately and I know that now. The connection happened over time with some but I was more in love with the idea of love than actually being in love. What I want is friendship, a person who I can be myself around someone who fully excepts the dork in me but also sees the extraordinary things in me that I sometimes don’t see in myself…and I in them. We are all going to be old and wrinkly one day, I really just want a person who can have a good conversation, is nice and makes me laugh. There’s not much of anything more attractive to me than that, well other than beards a love for coffee and an appreciation for nerds. Whoever said that it happens immediately, that comfort level was wrong. How could you possibly be comfortable with someone you’ve just met? Take the time to get to know someone and don’t be scared of the outcome. I think it’s okay to be awkward and shy, I’m starting to think that it may even really be a good sign. Whether a person is meant for you or not, nervousness may be a good thing…for me it means I can feel again. Something for a very long time I didn’t think possible. I could have easily been the person to jump right into something new two years ago, but I didn’t .. sometimes it makes sense to hold out and wait. Let go of what you think you need and want and let nature run its course. I’m okay with being the nice girl that finishes last if last means I end up with the right person at the right time and that’s not something I control. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason or a season..and that depends on you.
Hey, thanks for reading. Not sure if this helps you or not but it was therapeutic to get it off my chest.