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Thread: Reaching out

  1. #11
    Member Komerebi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Given what your situation is as you described it I'd get a lot simpler and basic. I'd avoid the whole focus on "dynamics" and "align" and that kind of thing and force yourself to be simple about it. Sometimes I find people get in their own way by complicating basic stuff about how people interact and date and get serious sometimes.
    I know you’re right! My mom has been telling me for years to get out of my own head - i can be very analytical, it’s part of my personality. Part of my focus this year has been to have more fun, so your comments resonate.

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #12
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Great stuff from Batya.

    Self-work is great stuff. It's also, from one angle, pretty #basic stuff, as the kids say. It's just being ourselves, the forever journey, at least until forever is met with death. So there's a fine line—well, not so fine—between thinking of all that as life and thinking of your life, and your self, as a kind of psychological experiment. Hard to meet someone in the meadow when you're stuck in your own forest, you know?

    To put it in crude terms: "analytical" can quickly become a softer way of defining "self-absorption," which is a state of being that doesn't foster connections with other selves. To put it in woo-woo terms, instead of pop-psych terms: it's kind of about inhabiting the brain and body in a harmonious continuum rather than spinning around in the head at the expense of the body.

    People are not vessels of self-growth, it's worth remembering. Neither are relationships with people, nor are relationships "rewards" for self-growth and self-work. Turn them into that and you will be frustrated from a few angles: the "evolved" people won't have interest in being a laboratory for your growth, the "less evolved" people will leave you feeling stunted, and the whole thing feels pressurized from A-Z. But all that is just fancy talk for iffy connections, bad matches, people who don't meet you at your level and, as such, are not people you can grow alongside as an individual.

    Relationships, in other words, are just so much more basic than we think, which is what makes them so beautiful and complex, when they work. Think of a good friend, someone you have an easy rapport with. It's not a master class in boundaries, communication, and self-acceptance, but just a person you can be yourself alongside: static here, in flux there. The mystery is that it's not all that mysterious. Romance really isn't any different.

    Where it gets complicated? When we don't have firm boundaries ourselves, when it comes to what we want and what our limits are in pursing what we want. Without all that, we kind of look to others to tell us what we want. Or maybe we do something we don't quite want to do, hoping it might bring us what we want. And, in all that, we've already lost. We get a version of connection that feels gritty, thin.

    So let's cut to to bones, shall we? You're 30something, a bit lonely at the moment, frustrated, it seems, by the casual encounters that blur into a kind of blur. Cool. That puts you in great company, a room full of millions of people of both genders, not a room of your own. Now, why are you struggling to connect with those millions in the same room?

    Rather than answer that question from an angle of psychoanalysis, maybe it can be answered in simpler terms. Do you find a certain pattern emerging? If so, what can be done to alter that pattern?

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by Komerebi
    I know you’re right! My mom has been telling me for years to get out of my own head - i can be very analytical, it’s part of my personality. Part of my focus this year has been to have more fun, so your comments resonate.

    Thanks for your input!
    I am very analytical too. You can be analytical and do what I suggested if it works for you. It's part of my personality too. Having fun is great and not my point - sure have fun - getting down to basics and simplicity can be fun and it also can be very deep and far deeper than relying on broad or abstract notions of purpose or dynamic, etc. Getting specific forces you to face truths about yourself that relying on those broader terms often cannot accomplish. I do find when I do my daily cardio exercise is when I think the most clearly and get to the point more.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Komerebi
    Hey! New to the site and wanted to share a bit about myself and my recent experiences. I’m in my early to mid-30s and really only started dating in the last year. I dove right in, and have been able to maintain a positive attitude giving the guys I’ve dated a lot of grace perhaps out of my own desire for compassion. Honestly, they’ve all treated me less than great and I’ve stayed in “situationships” far too long, taking (excusing??) every phase as a much-needed learning lesson.

    After a year of dating, I am actually grateful I have yet to be in a relationship although I still want a relationship. I’m not one of those women with a long list of traits who is holding out for Mr. Right. I’m more interested in developing better communication skills and learning how to navigate relationships (romantic and otherwise) while seeking something that is in alignment with my values and standards. I desire someone who supports my self-growth and development, someone who treats me right, someone who is committed to building a healthy relationship.

    Anyways, that’s what brings me to this forum. Because dating is hard and I’m feeling discouraged. I’m hurting and wishing sometimes things played out differently... not necessarily resulting in a relationship, but simply handled with more respect and care. And I’m feeling a bit lonely in all of this... it hasn’t been easy discovering my patterns, pitfalls, and imperfections all while hoping you come across someone who celebrates you for you... when that’s something you’ve never even experienced!! All the while learning to let go... especially when you’re testing out vulnerability, learning to communicate boundaries, and having to constantly reset your practice of self care, self love, self worth, self acceptance... all the “selves”.

    Yeah, I could really use some encouragement! Relationships are not easy! And support isn’t always readily available. I know I am on the right track, but this is no cake walk!
    Boy oh boy. I can heartily relate to all you've said especially the bold portion. Good for you for focusing on your own forward growth. Meeting the right person is a lot of luck and there are no real secrets to it. If you are already putting yourself out there and being honest in all your interactions, you've got a great deal going for you. All I can say is continue your learning and find encouragement in pursuing your own goals. I didn't plan to get married. It happened and I couldn't be happier. Enjoy life and don't waste a moment of it.

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  6. #15
    Member Komerebi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Getting specific forces you to face truths about yourself that relying on those broader terms often cannot accomplish.
    Hi Batya, I really appreciate everything you've shared and will look at each section from your prior post. This last year has been about diving in and tearing off bandaids to whatever was holding me back before. I used to think NYC dictated the dating scene (really intimidating with its reputation!), then that evolved to letting guys define what we were and going with it, but now I feel much more empowered to be the one who calls the shots of what i do and don't want in my life. I feel that's why I am satisfied I didn't rush into a relationship, and am embracing that so far nothing has worked out. Now I want to use my singleness to really breakdown each of the sections you went over, define what I want, what my dealbreakers are, soundly walk away from those clearly not meant for me rather than stick it out and go with the flow. I am focusing on "fun" and "playfulness" as exercises to break away from ruminating and desecting myself to bits, to get out of my own way as you suggested - I didn't mean to make light of your advice. I still feel I am a ways off from getting where I'd like to be as far as mindset and defined intentions. One day at a time.


    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    So let's cut to to bones, shall we? You're 30something, a bit lonely at the moment, frustrated, it seems, by the casual encounters that blur into a kind of blur. Cool. That puts you in great company, a room full of millions of people of both genders, not a room of your own. Now, why are you struggling to connect with those millions in the same room?

    Rather than answer that question from an angle of psychoanalysis, maybe it can be answered in simpler terms. Do you find a certain pattern emerging? If so, what can be done to alter that pattern?
    You have great insight, too! Patterns, yes. So clear! I'm working with a therapist to break through them. And I loved what you shared about the millions in the room. I am a bit lonely now... I worked really hard at building a core group of friends in the city (I've been here for 2 years) and that has recently fragmented. And I was seeing a guy consistently since February, but I believe it's become clear to both of us that we are not combatible and he is pulling a slow fade. Which sucks and feels like crap, but all the same I'm just ready to move forward and with what we have been through together I'm happy he seems to be ready too. Not going to lie about it though, those two things happening at the same time has left a vacuum. It is frustrating to feel I am back in the same circumstances I was a year ago! And connections that were once strong (or at least growing) were just not meant to last. I've begun taking steps to reconnect to those millions of others out there, but it takes time. In the meantime, I am focusing on the things that bring out my smile.
    Last edited by Komerebi; 10-03-2019 at 02:43 PM.

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by Komerebi
    Hi Batya, I really appreciate everything you've shared and will look at each section from your prior post. This last year has been about diving in and tearing off bandaids to whatever was holding me back before. I used to think NYC dictated the dating scene (really intimidating with its reputation!), then that evolved to letting guys define what we were and going with it, but now I feel much more empowered to be the one who calls the shots of what i do and don't want in my life. I feel that's why I am satisfied I didn't rush into a relationship, and am accepting of the fact that so far nothing has worked out so far. Now I want to use my singleness to really breakdown each of the sections you went over, define what I want, what my dealbreakers are, soundly walk away from those clearly not meant for me rather than stick it out and go with the flow. I am focusing on "fun" and "playfulness" as exercises to break away from ruminating and desecting myself to bits, to get out of my own way as you suggested - I didn't mean to make light of your advice. I still feel I am a ways off from getting where I'd like to be as far as mindset and defined intentions. One day at a time.




    You have great insight, too! Patterns, yes. So clear! I'm working with a therapist to break through them. And I loved what you shared about the millions in the room. I am a bit lonely now... I worked really hard at building a core group of friends in the city (I've been here for 2 years) and that has recently fragmented. And I was seeing a guy since February, but I believe it's become clear to both of us that we are not combatible and he is pulling a slow fade. Which sucks and feels like crap, but all the same I'm just ready to move forward and with what we have been through together I'm happy he seems to be ready too. Not going to lie about it though, those two things happening at the same time has left a vacuum. I've begun taking steps to reconnect to thoes millions of others out there, but it takes time. In the meantime, I am focusing on the things that bring out my smile.
    Oh I did not take it as you making light of my input at all! I just was clarifying what I meant by it. I'm glad you're evaluating what went right and wrong. I dated in a very similar city for decades -very intimidating, very difficult.
    One suggestion -if you truly are not looking for marriage right now I'd avoid going on a date with a person who shares with you that he is (like in a dating profile) because it's not fair to the other person. I'm sure there are people looking for a long term relationship and not marriage or not marriage "for now". Be clear with what you want and why - like if you want marriage but in the distant future, maybe ask yourself why so that you can explain to someone who you might be interested in but who doesn't want to wait for the distant future. I almost never agreed to meet someone or to see someone again who wanted marriage only "someday" except when I was in my early 20s and newly unengaged (because I had no intention of getting engaged again in the near future).

    My other suggestion is volunteer backstage at a community theater - several friends met romantic partners and great friends this way. I did not volunteer like that but I did volunteer weekly at a local homeless shelter for 7 years and met some lovely people including a few guys who wanted to date me (but I wasn't available at those times).

  8. #17
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Ah, NYC. I know it well, was forged there. Sometimes hard to tell if your the pinball or the pinball machine—a fun way to feel until, of course, it's not so fun.

    Originally Posted by Komerebi
    I desire someone who supports my self-growth and development, someone who treats me right, someone who is committed to building a healthy relationship.
    The above jumped out at me as an over-complication of a few simple things. Indulge me while I bring out the scalpel. What you desire, for yourself, is self-growth and development. Cool—dig in, enjoy, knowing that stops when you stop breathing and will be clearer some days than others. That has nothing to do with a romantic relationship. What you want from romance is someone who treats you right and with whom you feel like you. Cool, simple—eyes and heart open, with head and spirit as guides.

    Most people in healthy relationships, in other words, are not really focused on their partner's commitment to "building a healthy relationship." That part is just there, the thing you do together, over time. You meet someone for a drink, that night becomes a week, that week becomes a month—that's just the time to enjoy the process of seeing if you two can build something healthy together. Your spirit—or gut—will let you know pretty quickly if it's working, just like your gut, right now, and perhaps for a good stretch, has been telling you that Mr. February isn't working, or workable.

    Sigh. But easier to call that for what it is than break the brain to make it something else, even if breaking the brain, for some of us, is kind of fun. Still, better to make that fun part of the self-growth stuff, not the connection stuff. That's kind of what therapy—or yoga, or chanting, or crystals, or whatever one's cup of tea—is about: scrubbing away the corrosion in the gut so your compass remans sharp.

    I'll get personal, so you don't feel alone in the petri dish. When I was dating I knew what I wanted: a partner—not just a girlfriend, and not just a plaything. I'd done those things, with much pleasure gained and, I'd like to think, given. But I wanted something else now. I had some firm ideas of what that required, while also trusting my gut. So on the surface dating wasn't really any different than it had been in the past: I swiped here, was set up there, but was clear in my intentions—to myself, to others. But to myself was the key.

    That didn't mean front-loading a glass of wine with a monologue about where I've been, everything I've learned in therapy, and so on, but basically saying "I'm looking for a partner" and spending time with people who said "So am I." Most of those people, of course, didn't work out. They weren't into me, or I wasn't into them, or after a few week or so "So am I" turned out to mean "I'm processing a lot more right now than I realized and..." Snooze. Cool, process away! Best of luck! But not the limbo stick I was interested in navigating.

    Along the way there might be some hits, some missteps, some clothes piled on the floor in a home you won't be in again. That's fine! Some of them will suck more than others, and some will sting. That is fine. Those stings don't need to be tuned into a gigantic verdict on things—or be seen as some glaring gap in that self-work to be chewed over too much in therapy. That is just the reality that you ain't gonna jibe with most of the millions of people in the room. Once I could see it like that—and you may get the sense here that I'm prone to turning every prism every which way—it all got kind of simple. And fun.

  9. #18
    Member Komerebi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    ... basically saying "I'm looking for a partner" and spending time with people who said "So am I." Most of those people, of course, didn't work out. They weren't into me, or I wasn't into them, or after a few week or so "So am I" turned out to mean "I'm processing a lot more right now than I realized and..." Snooze. Cool, process away! Best of luck! But not the limbo stick I was interested in navigating.
    Heh... I had this conversation with Mr. Febs early on. He asked me what I wanted and I said just that... partnership. And I won't get into all that unraveled from there, because ultimately we both stayed too long in something we both knew the other didn't want. Both of us were wishy-washy - me on my desire for a partnership, and him on his wavering sense of commitment. Truth is, I wanted to play things out and see what happened probably just as much as he did even while both of us knowing he wasn't the man for me and I was not his girl. I tend to focus on the silver lining in situations like this, but I don't want to dwell on it anymore. It happened and I'm ready to move forward. I do appreciate your candor and need to get better about walking away when it's clear things are not going to work. It'll help if I work on what Batya suggested and hold on to a clearer picture of what I'm looking for.

    I like how you write... btw. That petri dish line was great!

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    My other suggestion is volunteer backstage at a community theater - several friends met romantic partners and great friends this way. I did not volunteer like that but I did volunteer weekly at a local homeless shelter for 7 years and met some lovely people including a few guys who wanted to date me (but I wasn't available at those times).
    I've been looking for something extra to get involved with and a volunteer opportunity I recently went for fell through. This is a great idea!
    Last edited by Komerebi; 10-03-2019 at 03:53 PM.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Oh, I've got some Ms. Februrarys too, rest assured. A Ms. July-October 2018, to be precise. Should you have interest in feeling less alone in the room you can click on my name, find some past spiraling posts penned by yours truly, pop some popcorn and enjoy the show.

    But that little chapter in my life was different than versions of that chapter in 1.0 versions of myself. We seemed to be on the same page, for about 8 glorious weeks. Then came three heroically non-glorious weeks where there was no way I could reconcile "I want a partner" with what I was doing and who I was doing it with. And, with that, it ended and I blew off some steam here where in the past I'd probably have stretched that taffy out a bit longer out in the lands of IRL. But, call me cray-cray, I'd come to like the version of myself that said "I want a partner" more than the version of myself that asked a therapist "Do I hate myself?" Thanks, self-work, for that little nugget!

    Maybe what I'm saying is to focus on the real silver lining in situations like this: life telling you that you have not yet met your life person. Sad, from one angle. Glittering, from another. Sometimes sadness is like the rag we need to polish the surface, so it glitters again. Sometimes those situations are Feb-Oct, sometimes they are a 45 minute glass of pinot with a rightward swipe realized in the flesh. So it goes. As Freud or maybe Buddha used to say: shrug emoji.

    I'm in a relationship now. From one angle—well, from approximately a zillion—it's quite different from Ms July-October. But from another there is parallel: the glorious feeling, only sustained and expanding, softening and deepening, rather than contracting and getting all sorts of jagged. Is she my partner for life? I don't know that answer; my obituary does. Am I with her because I believe she could be? Yes. Level of brainpower and/or self-work required to keep that belief humming? Close to zero.

    Per some of what Batya said, I did take a moment, maybe 2 years ago, to write a list of my non-negotiables for partnership. If there could be an exercise that is "less me" I've yet to try it out. But I'm really happy I did it. My list was short, simple, and did not include the phrase "Penelope Cruz with a Nobel in lit." But something about the act of writing it did, I think, clear the pipes between head, heart, and body, so I didn't mistake too much build up in only one of those chambers as being more than it was.

  11. #20
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    30 yrs old and one year into dating? I think you are right where you are supposed to be.

    Learning about yourself, figuring out what you want for yourself and in a partner. With each experience you get closer to your truth. It's a very tiny percentage that finds it one year in.

    Most people are 10 or more years ahead of you and are still trying to figure it out. Some people never get it.

    It's as if you are a toddler, learning to walk, getting accustomed to what to hold onto and what to let go of. Part of that might mean you fall down and get hurt. But you pick yourself up and learn to not do that again.

    Be patient with yourself. You'll get there.

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