Okay, I broke down and did it: I subscribed to an online dating service. Eek! I mean, I paid real money, not just the free subscription, you know, the ones where you can't see any photos or communicate with any of the inmates, er, members. I have done this under much internal resistance. "I don't need a relationship right now. I'm very, very busy." was what I told myself. "I have a full life. I have my business(es). I don't mind spending time alone." All true statements, but, I realized a while ago, that I had closed the door on new beginnings in relationships. Not only closed the door, slammed it, and nailed that sucker shut. Then bolted it.
If I dared to look through the peep hole in that heavily barricaded door, I would have to admit that there is still a part of me that wants romance and companionship and yes, passion. Not to mention support and someone to talk late into the night with and share some laughs.
The truth is, I'm terrified of "getting out there" again. I'm fifty-four years old and have not become so spiritually evolved that I totally love the extra forty pounds I gained going through mental-pause. MOst of the time when I look in the mirror, I think, "Who is that?!?" In my mind, I still feel like I'm in my thirties. One of the reasons I appreciated Brad was because he accepted me for who I was, and was still turned on by me, even after I gained the weight.
In spite of all this, I subscribed. I won't have to ever date or even speak to anyone, if I choose, and it will be a good exercise in opening my heart to possibilities, I reasoned. And, I can do it all from the safety of my living room.
So, I took the time to fill all of the questions out truthfully. After all, I didn't want to give and false hopes. I love to cook and hike and my family is very important to me. and I have only recently decided to consider being in a relationship again, so I tend to be cautious in my communications. I may elect to communicate via email initially before I venture further. and, under Something else you should know about me: I'm sparkely. I included several pictures of myself from different angles plus a few of some activities I enjoy. Then, with a big sigh, I clicked the SUBSCRIBE button.
The next day I was surprised to find a dozen or so potential "matches". As I clicked on each profile I experienced a mixture of interest and dismay. Some of these guys looked really old! I mean, they were within the age range I had checked, but really, was I just delusional about the men my age? To be fair, some of them didn't look like they were already "circling the drain". Although none of them really struck a deep chord, a few looked interesting enough to want to know more. One guy lived fairly close by and, judging by some of his photos, seemed like he might be fun. He had a "cheddar head" picture, was originally from Wisconsin, something we both had in common. There were a few others I thought might bear more research, so, I clicked on a preselected set of questions and awaited their answers.
Soon I received some questions from other members as well, and I clicked on their profiles to learn more. Ack! Too old. Too sad. Too needy. I left their questions unanswered and ventured back to the COMMUNICATING tab to see if my requested questions from Bruce, formerly from Wisconsin had been answered. Nothing. Upong further exploration, I discovered that, with a click of a button, you could cease communication with another member with out having to go through all that direct messy, "I don't think we're right for each other" crap. I clicked on his mailbox and found this disheartening reply:
bruce chose to close communication with you on October 16, 2010, 02:00PM PDT.
Finding the right person always comes with some degree of trial and error. Move forward and remain focused on the matches that interest you.
To move bruce to your Closed folder, please close him.
Really? I was rejected by a man wearing a huge wedge of cheese on his head?! Hey, I said I was Sparkely! Closed, it is. click. This dating business is not for the faint of heart, I realized anew. No wonder I had avoided it for so long. After licking my wounds for a few hours, I decided, once again, that I needed nothing from these emotionally dismembered "members". I had a perfectly fulfilling life and I went off to furiously clean my kitchen.
Each day a few more "matches" find their way into my mailbox. I click on their profiles and check them out. I noticed, that, while I want to think of myself as "spiritually evolved" appreance is important to me. I mean, he doesn't have to be an Adonis (although I wouldn't turn one down), but he needs to have a twinkle in his eyes and be reasonably fit.
What I've found more telling is the reasons listed under The most important thing I am looking for in a person is:
The number one thing men seem to be looking for is: Honesty. Along with Integrity and Fidelity. Have so many men been betrayed by sneaky, conniving, cheating bitches? Are we women really so deceptive? I have to admit, they are some of the same things I am looking for in a mate. And it is precisely due to my past history in relationships. What if I had the ovaries to simply state: "I really want someone who can be themselves."?
I have a great long list of attributes that I have posted on one of my vision boards. Ond of the things I advise those I work with who are looking for a prospective mate is, after you have made your list, make another with the attributes of the type of person who would attract such a mate. And, then another list that honestly assesses which of those attributes you already possess and what areas you need to work on.
So, here's what I need to work on:
I still need to be willing to open my heart for another. To make a place to welcome them in and to extend and receive love to another. I closed my heart to this years ago and have barricaded the door so rigorously that my chest and shoulders ache from self-protection.
Part of my weight gain has also been from a need for self-protection. Not wanting others to get too close. To shield me from my own desirability. I don't need to access my passion I have a full life and I'm a very busy woman! I have been rebelling against more exercise and movement. I've never had to work at losing weight, being thin for most of my life and eating whatever I wanted. I'm pissed that I have to work at it now. But, I'm also sick of losing the strength and tone in my muscles and the continual ache in my left shoulder that makes my fingers tingle and my arm go numb.
Today I started yoga. I realized I did not feel comfortable or confident enough to go to a class yet, so I downloaded a video and followed along in a "beginners" yoga stretch. I could barely do half of the moves, and there was absolutely no way my body was doing a reverse table pose. But, I felt myself open just a little. I felt some of that anger and rebellion rise to the surface. "Oh sure", I thought as I watched the instructor on my computer. "You can do this because you are a skinny bitch!" Oh, the hostility! I also went out yesterday and found a set of dumbells at a garage sale. I started exercising my shoulder and neck muscles.
I decided I wanted my passion back and all the felxibilty and strength to go along with it. I might even buy a Zumba! DVD. Right now, I need to go for a long walk and transform that hostility into desire and passion. I need to go be with my friends, The Trees.