I have spent the past year ready to date, I have tried different avenues and I have to say I have found my journey so far pretty interesting. I have learned more about my self than I ever imagined because I thought dating was about others. I have seen many of my friends go through breakups, people I thought were truly meant to be together and it has shifted some of my belief in the reality of what we see in others versus truth. I have had deep conversations with both men and women about the process of dating, the kinds of dates out there and the journey to find what we are looking for in our search for love. I wanted to share with you all what I am discovering and my hope is that you will contact me with your own insight after reading.
The first thing I want to say is I am learning. I am learning about the human condition, the desire to want and to be wanted, to love and to be loved, to trust and to be trusted. I believe over time as we age we become very set in our ways based on our life styles, our desires and our choices. I had an interesting conversation with someone recently who seems to have more confidence in himself than anyone I have ever met. He appears to have no fears of dating or with relationships. He spoke confidently about how easy it was to gain any woman’s interest and admitted to cheating on past lovers. He seems to always have beautiful women at his beaconing but when I look at him I see something missing, I don’t see him being truly happy. In my opinion he appears to act the part of being a “stud” but appears to fear getting too close to anyone. I have to ask you men out there is having any woman your desire really that great, do you not hope for more, is it fulfilling to just sleep around if there is no deep connection? I am sure there are women that should also be asked that question. Upon digging deeper I discovered that with my friends lifestyle of playing the field he had never actually experienced the heartbreak of someone cheating on him and no one had ever broke up with him. He was always in control in every relationship he had been in. In my own journey I have been cheated on by almost every man I have ever dated and here before me was one of those guys, yet he had never been cheated on. Could it be that those who cheat have no idea of the pain they cause those whom they cheat on? I tried to image how it would feel to have never experienced what that act of betrayal feels like, how would I be different, my mindset, my actions, my choices.
I pondered that for weeks and wondered is that perhaps the way a player gets labeled? We all seem to have a different definition of what a “player” is. In my world a player is someone who leads someone into believing they are “the only one” while dating (or sleeping with) multiple people at the same time. They are truly playing the field with no desire to be in a committed relationship. Is a player a bad person, I don’t believe that is the case, I believe they are that way because they fear something when it comes to relationships. Can a player be honest? I think they can be honest in saying they are not looking for commitment but somewhere down the line they are being dishonest if they are not telling the truth with who they are spending their time with or where they are spending their time. The worst part of their dishonesty is that they are not allowing themselves to be loved or to love and that is, in my opinion what we as humans are supposed to experience. I won’t label this a man or woman thing because I am finding through my guy friends that there seem to be just as many women players as men.
I have talked to men about the women out there and there are a lot of women who say they want desperately to be in a relationship but are playing the same games as the men. Partying every night and serial dating in men and women will not find you anything other than that. Trying to find the right mix is hard but you have to know what you want before you can start finding what you want. Making changes that are not always comfortable but sometimes they create the greatest treasures.
The biggest common thread in all my discussions of dating were that on the topic of cheating. So why do people feel the need to cheat? Yes this still applies to the dating scenario early on because you have to trust that date as you are getting to know them or you are never going to feel fulfilled in a relationship with that person. After talking to so many people who have experienced being cheated on I started to think about what our society is putting out there in regards to morals. In my opinion cheating and lying go hand in hand, it is not only a moral thing but a selfish thing and that is where integrity comes into play. My mom always told me treat others how you would want them to treat you. That has always stuck in my mind and it is how I have learned to live with integrity. I admit I am no angel, I have slipped outside the realms of integrity and honesty in my past but I can say in the last 3 years I have worked very hard to become a person I love, living with honesty and integrity frees up my insides so that I can deal more clearly with what is happening on the outside. It truly feels good to be in that space! I recently visited Jason Aldean’s FB page after those pictures were put out there of him kissing all over a woman in a bar. I was amazed that most of the remarks were forgiving him because “we all make mistakes”. I think our society is starting to believe that and with that train of thought we are doomed with ever having true devotion and trust with someone, with fully giving our hearts or with love. True, we all do make mistakes but we shouldn’t just brush it under the rug and move on. An apology is not change, changing our behavior, understanding what truth is and how it feels to live with that is change. Treating others the way we want to be treated is key. I am sure Jason would’t feel so good if his wife had been caught in the same situation. What has happened to our morals, to our desire to be honest loving people. I hate watching tv any more because everything out there is about cheating, dishonesty and anger. My friend Amy Venezia had a great post on flirting recently that also shows how our morals are changing referring to “the grass is greener on the other side…”.
So our past, especially our childhood sets up the path to the people we become, the struggles we deal with and the places where change needs to take place in most cases. Being aware is the first step. It dawned on me that I may be dating those “not so truthful” kind of guys because I am not being truthful with myself about my own commitment issues. I was taught very early on in my life through people close to me that trust, commitment and love hurt. It was played out over and over and as I grew older I wouldn’t allow myself to give my heart fully to anyone because I always feared it would be hurt. The problem is, giving a little of your heart still hurts when someone betray’s you. Most times I would feel as if I was in control, stay in a relationship knowing it was wrong, the signs were there but I always questioned my own judgement more than the actions of the person betraying me. Over and over again I attracted the same kinds of men, gave just enough to be hurt and experienced the same pattern. I believe they were good people but not good “FOR” me. Last week I had that aha moment when I caught myself making sharp, sourcastic remarks about my lack of belief in marriage and the idea that all men were the same. I was laying in bed and started feeling really embarrassed with what I had said, I felt the energy when those words left my mouth and those around me had nothing to add. I realized they did not feel the same and I was coming off as one of those wounded, angry broken hearted people. Well folks if the shoe fits you will wear it! I began digging deeper and realized how perfect “players or bad boys” are for me, they don’t want commitment for their own reasons so they do what they do. I date them because I fear anyone who shows me too much attention, who isn’t a challenge or who might make me commit. That “game” of keeping them interested knowing they won’t commit is no different than them keeping me interested yet wanting to be with others because nothing is holding their interest fully. Wow, in that moment I realized what a turd I was being, how can I find a good relationship with out realizing my commitment issues. I definitely won’t attract that into my life. Yes I truly believe we attract, weather consciously or unconsciously what we are putting out there and folks my banter was creating exactly what I was supposed to have!
So with my dating experience so far I have discovered woman are just as scared of commitment as men often seem to be. People cheat because they are not whole inside and until they discover and repair what lies on the inside they will not be able to find or make healthy choices on the outside. We all need to feel a spark, it may not always be the personality, it might just not be the right energy. There has to be intrigue, compatibility or something that creates chemistry. Just because someone is hot as hell doesn’t mean it will make for great chemistry, it might in the beginning but that will go away quickly once time factors in. We are all searching for something but we have to be in tune with our hearts, with our emotions and with our choices to figure out what we really want. Life is a lesson and dating is a huge part of finding one of the many links to wholeness. As I said earlier, I am learning. Just because I have had some aha moments does’t mean my choices will change right away or that I will attract the right one for me right away. I still have work to do, I have to start by changing my vocabulary. My negative banter is a defense mechanism because I don’t want to be hurt. It is tough talk yet I am as fragile as a baby on the inside. I will start right now by admitting out loud that I do want to find love, I want to be in a relationship and I am not apposed to marriage. BUT I want it to be healthy, I want to be aware of what I am offering, not just expecting the other person to give me what I want. I want to be the best person I can be for that person who will someday be in my life. I know relationships can become work but communication is key. I want to be sure they are deserving of me, that they believe in honesty and they live with integrity. I know that in a relationship each person has to give and take. They should be proud of who they are with, comfortable being themselves around each other and share not only what they want with their partner but also their fears. The person I am with has to love himself first or I can’t expect him to be able to love me. I had to discover that in myself and I get it. We all have the ability to attract a mate whom we desire we just have to believe we do and that we can! I have my list of what I am looking for, I know what I want I have to remind myself to not settle and to keep my emotions in line with my gut. I know my awareness has to help me in the future as long as I continue to love myself. I may get my heart broken again but at least Im willing to open my heart up enough to feel love and that is part of being alive.
We have all worn different hat’s in life, some were just a phase we were going through others were our true style. I am creating a hat that fits perfectly for me as I head into the next 40+ years, this time with a better understanding of how I tick and what it feels like to operate with internal love for myself first. My goal is to be the absolute best I can be, for myself and toward others with integrity yet without judgement.
Thank you for reading, I hope to hear from you. Sending love….pass it on!