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Good luck !! Have a great time, don't worry about a thing, there's nothing to dread, you're gorgeous and smart and funny! Is it that you smell bad? cos that can be fixed lol Have fun

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Besides working on my business, I've just been living super simply. And it's helping a lot. Lots of exercise - I bought myself my first new bicycle as an adult! - and expanding my garden. I bought mys

I'm turning 42, which means I am now the same age as my dad was when he died. It's an odd feeling. I've been thinking of him lots. He had a wife, a 14 year old and a 12 year old at this age. He was go

Yesterday, the SO and I were disagreeing about something and it got a little bit heated. Then he says "Cite your sources!" and I started laughing and next thing you know, we are belly laughing. It's b

lol no I don't smell bad.

 

I had a nice time. I really did. We laughed a lot. That felt really good. I kept the expectations very low, and was pleasantly surprised. The biggest battle was my nerves before meeting him - from being out of the game so long, I suspect. But once I got there, that dropped really quickly. It felt light and we got along great. We are going to see each other again on Thursday.

 

I just need to remind myself to keep up with this approach of not putting too much focus on a date or dating. There is a lot going on in my life, and that's good! It's probably part of the reason why I was able to put a good foot forward and let be natural with him. But I also did what I saw so far; it felt like we had a lot of common ground and it was easy to be with him.

 

So here is where I apply all the hard won wisdom acquired over time and prior dating/relationships and being single.....if it's not in front of me, I'm not going to spend a bunch of time thinking about it.

 

Today is for catching up with family. Going to have a real old fashioned Sunday dinner with my brother and his girlfriend, and tomorrow is a very busy day so going to have myself organized for all that.

 

It's nice out!!

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Weird thoughts have been popping in my mind. Like the ex telling me, "I can't be alone. I can't."

Well yeah obviously and now that is his choice and his life.

 

The man I am with next has to be someone who can be alone. Who knows it. Who has taken some time in his life, somewhere, to embrace that and get comfortable with that and understand the truth of it - at some point you are going to be alone, it could be argued we always are, and living a life where you honestly feel deep in your guts that alone is some horrible thing that is pain and to be avoided, makes people do crazy ass things.

 

I was thinking about this because I am at a place where alone is fine. Alone is cool. I've never been one to be afraid it - that doesn't mean I haven't had my own issues. More to do with intimacy though - truly letting someone in.

 

So. Kind of interesting that I hooked up with someone who had a deep fear of being alone, abandonment, and in a way my fear has been abandonment too. Just different way of handling it. He finds it easier to try and keep someone always there, clinging on to the idea that you can keep it far away if you do this somehow, I'd have rather distance myself because of fear of the inevitable seperation taht is going to occur in some way or another. Leaving, or death. Gonna happen.

 

The only difference is I have tackled that bi/ch head on. Yah, it's true people are gonna be seperated from me in some shape or form. but it's possilbe to have deep healtly connetions, and have those end in one way or another, even traumatically, and to go on and survive and emotionally trhive and love and anything you set your head and heart out to do. YOu can do.

 

I always looked my nose down, frankly, and hated people who clung on and couldn't be alone. started with my mother. Perceiving her as weak, unreliable, and foolish and hurtful to those who actually cared about her because of it.

 

And then I went and felll in love with someone who had those traits written up ten ways and sideways about him? Uhh ...oh course...but emotionally we are idiots that way, it's so simplified and spits in our face when we haven't resolved something.

 

So here I am. I can't even summon mad anymore. I ain't mad. I'm looking at people with those traits nad feeling, thinking...whoa boo, that is a suck place to be. And I'm not there. Don't think I've ever really been there. But I get it. I understand. And I'm just going to step off here and no disrespect. But your issues ain't my issues and that isn't something I'm prepared to handle. It's a deal breaker.

 

Still...my initial youngish reaction and interpretation that "I can't be alone...help me!" makes people act bat s/t crazy stands. It seriously does. And that kind of bat s/t crazy is the kind that feeds right into my wanting to run for the hills and not get close to someone....can never feel totally secure with someone like that, no matter the boundaries set, no matter how much caring there is,....this is a need of mine; I need to know the important people in my life can stand alone as well as with.

 

All this to say...in my new dating adventures...men who show those traits are going to be weeded out at the gates and without fuss. I'm sure I'll encounter it at some point or another. and it has different forms, but there are a lot of very clear hallmarks of it that I can recognize very well at this point.

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You took a lot of the words right out of my mouth, IAG. Except, I've been there. Afraid of it. 3 years on my own and - Yeah. It's cool. I wouldn't touch a person with a 10 foot pole now, who hasn't been there and capable of it. And I don't just mean...DEALING with it. I mean, doing it. DOING it. Putting their self into that journey.

 

I like my breathing room and my space, emotionally, physically. I cherish it, actually. And it means more to me because of how long it took to get here. I don't want...anyone impeding on that. I don't want to be around those that haven't sailed that journey(should there have been the reason for them to do it to begin with). I don't want to be clung to. And for other reasons, like - Because I know it isn't really about me. That desperation for closeness. They are holding onto me because of their fear. I think...when you feel like that...You just can't really ever know that person. And I'm not even talking about years of getting under all those layers, I'm saying what is the point here - If you hold onto me so tightly, can you still know what I am about? Do you know what you are afraid of losing? Is it me? Is it loss? It is being left to your own devices? I don't think you can know. And I can't place my faith in that kind of connection - Not the faith that it will or won't work, but the faith that it is an actual connection.

 

I don't know if that makes sense. I hear you.

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It makes total sense. And I appreciate your feedback and relating to what I said. I was trying to put into words this basic instinct I have about it - and I think I did, and you helped me to clarify it even more.

 

I know this time around is going to be a lot different on so many fronts. It's an exciting place to be.

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I relate to this too. I'm the same way. Really I've been that way all of my adult life.

 

I think people who aren't comfortable being alone can potentially hurt themselves too. My sister is one of those people who like can't be single. Just can't. The result? She works in retail and has dated like five different guys there since a year ago. It's like, at what point do you worry about your reputation?

 

But I also think the struggle is finding someone else that needs space too. I think because of the way I am a lot of people label me as "distant" etc. (which is a risk you run,) but I don't think that of myself. It's hard to explain to people that you don't necessarily want/need someone around all the time.

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Yes, exactly Super, the struggle is to find someone who needs that space too and understands it. And can be secure about where things stand without making it into a 'thing'. I think that is what happened in the past in part; is that I even started to believe there was something really wrong with me if he was so uncomfortable with the level of engagement I was prepared to give at any given time. And yet he always said too how I was the most affectionate gf he ever had, he always knew how special he was to me, and he praised me for being honest.

It was just not a good fit....because his buttons pushed my buttons in a vicious cycle.

 

With others, it hasn't been that way. It's a compatibility thing I think. And out of everyone out there....there have got to be some great compatible people for all of us.

 

As far as the distant thing goes, I understand that too. I think some experience and time out in the world and relating to people helps get us to a point where we can reach past that to some extent. Some people may still find us distant because of certain traits but ...I find with getting a bit older and all I've been more willing to try and reach people at the middle somewhere, whereas when I was younger I was a lot more rigid about what would work. There's all these points along the way to negotiate something that works for everybody, y'know?

 

Bottom line : basic compatibility needs to be there, and the effort on both sides to understand each other and work together so everyone is happy. It helps a whole lot when both parties have settled up any real issues they have personally (that doesn't mean no one will have some little ones, but the major ones, or else, it's going to show up in ANY relationship no matter how good).

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But I also think the struggle is finding someone else that needs space too. I think because of the way I am a lot of people label me as "distant" etc. (which is a risk you run,) but I don't think that of myself. It's hard to explain to people that you don't necessarily want/need someone around all the time.

 

You know, speaking from how it was on the 'other side' - I don't know about other people, but...That was a really hard concept for me to grasp. I think a lot of it is really just simple projection. "Well, I feel like this, so naturally they would feel like that? And if they don't, then it means...something not good." There was no way I couldn't take it personally. Even though I get that it wasn't. I couldn't even rationalize it then, it wasn't one of those things where I knew logically/didn't emotionally. It was just beyond my comprehension on any level. So I thought something was wrong with those people(lol). Or they were lying to me/themselves about what they actually wanted.

 

And now...I find people maybe side eye me the same way, in regards to my preference for being with myself. Much like how I regarded people who felt that way. The disbelief or the suggestion/implication that I can't be whole. I talked to my therapist about it at length, actually. I didn't realize exactly...how many people felt the way I used to feel.

 

That's funny, IAG - I actually find I am more rigid the older I get. I mean, I suppose it depends on the context. Maybe it's more like, solidifying deal breakers and stuff. Just...when you don't really have good boundaries, I think everything feels rigid from the get go.

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I even started to believe there was something really wrong with me if he was so uncomfortable with the level of engagement I was prepared to give at any given time.

 

I honestly still struggle with this one. Well, I struggle with it all, because I have a simultaneous strong empathy for loneliness or need in someone else (I know I'm not above it), and the fear of losing (not above that, either)...alongside a feeling of "this is not right for me, I need my own rhythm." I simultaneously want to reassure someone, and run. And then I end up confused about myself -- their needs would seem to trump mine, each time. And then I'm feeling both guilty and resentful about this dynamic. It seems to by default be falling to me to make this dynamic feel more whole and "loving", by compromising something within myself. Why has it always felt to me that my rhythm is the *wrong* one? That his being uncomfortable with the pace and level of engagement was a referendum on how "available" I was and how healthy, even though when I give, I know I really do give to something/someone?

 

Sometimes I think there's a subtext in society that if you're not pining for someone right out the front gate, YOU REALLY AREN'T READY TO COMMIT, or to give full love, or you have some hang-up. Being able to be alone and treasure your space is turning out to be more of a liability -- it doesn't compute to others, and it gets perceived as distant, like Superman said, or else that you have a lack of real desire to invest. Nothing positive, anyway. All the ostensible fanfare about being okay with your own company, about being okay with being alone that is touted as the healthy, sane way to live is really undermined by how you're perceived when you actually start to live that way. Society endorses the idea in theory, but in practice, places you on the periphery where you can enjoy your aloneness all you damn well please.

 

I'm feeling resentful these days that there's so little appreciation for the quality of steadiness with oneself - -that there's an aspect of having that marginalized.

 

I also find that men who enjoy their aloneness are at the end of the spectrum where they're still avoiding intimacy in some way. It's really a great cover for that.

 

I don't know where I can possibly find someone who enjoys life no less when I'm not there, but equally joyfully anticipates my being with him, and in both cases, holds me deep in his heart as someone he feels unified with on all levels. Who does not conflate intimacy with "being with me physically and talking and doing stuff", even if that's part of it at times.

 

I feel suffocated by most men's expectations (and it's not just a male issue). Which are all considered to be "normal", so that makes me the "not normal one," right? I'm often feeling these days that it's a good thing I enjoy being alone because that's how I'm going to have to remain.

 

I do believe we are "all alone" in the end. I've felt more lonely in a roomful of people than by myself, walking around the park and enjoying the more diffuse awareness of humanity buzzing around me. I think that needing other people in our lives is healthy, but deceiving oneself into thinking we are in some way safe from harm, death, change, loss, etc. because they are there -- in other words, that they shield us from the existential solitariness we share side by side, not conjoined -- is folly. And so easy to lapse into.

 

Being separate but together in the web as well...is I think the model of our reality, and so one I'd like to see mirrored in a relationship.

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I really related to this paragraph.

 

I've gotten to know someone recently, who has presenting himself as very needy. He's done a lot of work on himself over his life and says he's learned "to express his own needs more" -- and that seems to include demanding a certain quota of time from me, to show that I'm attentive and care about our connection. It's hard for me, because it's being presented as "these are my needs, and I am standing strong in you honoring them" -- which I'd always want to encourage and support. It just so happens that his needs are that I not have as much space as he would give to me, so what about my needs?

 

In the end, I sense that his holding on to me in this way is really not about him understanding or liking ME -- it's about me being some kind of symbol for him. I feel like a symbol for closeness, with WHO I am being completely secondary. It's almost like I'm not here -- I'm just present.

 

I don't feel this is real closeness, it's just two people trying to "have something", and nothing feels good about it, even though we have a lot to give each in our own ways. It feels sad.

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You know, speaking from how it was on the 'other side' - I don't know about other people, but...That was a really hard concept for me to grasp. I think a lot of it is really just simple projection. "Well, I feel like this, so naturally they would feel like that? And if they don't, then it means...something not good." There was no way I couldn't take it personally. Even though I get that it wasn't. I couldn't even rationalize it then, it wasn't one of those things where I knew logically/didn't emotionally. It was just beyond my comprehension on any level. So I thought something was wrong with those people(lol). Or they were lying to me/themselves about what they actually wanted.

 

Yeah, I've experienced women thinking that about me, oh probably only about 200 times in my life lol. But I'm stubborn so my thought process was always: "You know what hotshot? Maybe I think it's weird that you think I'm weird/act weird around me. Maybe I don't want to be treated differently. Maybe if you made an attempt to get to know me, you're perception of me would change. It wouldn't be the first time I busted someone's notions about me.

 

Or maybe you just need to be right.

 

 

Sometimes I think there's a subtext in society that if you're not pining for someone right out the front gate, YOU REALLY AREN'T READY TO COMMIT, or to give full love, or you have some hang-up. Being able to be alone and treasure your space is turning out to be more of a liability -- it doesn't compute to others, and it gets perceived as distant, like Superman said, or else that you have a lack of real desire to invest. Nothing positive, anyway.

 

I also find that men who enjoy their aloneness are at the end of the spectrum where they're still avoiding intimacy in some way. It's really a great cover for that.

 

See, I don't agree with me personally not being ready to commit/afraid of intimacy. I think it's a balancing act of kind of wanting a relationship, but also knowing chances are realistically slim, because as you said, (in my case, women) aren't exactly lining up to be with someone who is ok being alone or attached. So it's kind of like, "Well, better be ok with being alone." It kind of becomes self-fulfilling, I think.

 

I mean during the week, my life is like, work, then gym, then home to read and/or watch a movie and/or play PS4.

 

Does that make me a loser? Probably. Do I still think it's better than sitting in some loud, crowded bar (or whatever) with a bunch of people I don't know and feeling weird and nervous? Definitely.

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See, I don't agree with me personally not being ready to commit/afraid of intimacy. I think it's a balancing act of kind of wanting a relationship, but also knowing chances are realistically slim, because as you said, (in my case, women) aren't exactly lining up to be with someone who is ok being alone or attached. So it's kind of like, "Well, better be ok with being alone." It kind of becomes self-fulfilling, I think.

 

I mean during the week, my life is like, work, then gym, then home to read and/or watch a movie and/or play PS4.

 

Does that make me a loser? Probably. Do I still think it's better than sitting in some loud, crowded bar (or whatever) with a bunch of people I don't know and feeling weird and nervous? Definitely.

 

I'm with you on all this -- and I'm sure there are men like you in the woodwork (good balance of capable of intimacy/commitment but also need their individuality and alone time), I just haven't encountered them, lol. It's never been balanced, in my own encounters.

 

Maybe since they're fine with their alone time (as I am), THEREFORE, they're tucked away at home or in their routine being fine with themselves (as I am), which is why I don't get to find them! lol

 

So the zen koan here is, do loners ever meet one another?

 

Totally agreed that it's better to opt for these ways of spending time than being in the wrong places to find connection for the sake of just having people around. I don't think that makes you (or I) a loser...but I do think getting out to see people at venues that provide quality opportunities to meet people is somewhat important, if meeting someone is a goal. I do know I'm not going to meet anyone in my own living room, haha.

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Well, I struggle with it all, because I have a simultaneous strong empathy for loneliness or need in someone else (I know I'm not above it), and the fear of losing (not above that, either)...alongside a feeling of "this is not right for me, I need my own rhythm." I simultaneously want to reassure someone, and run. And then I end up confused about myself -- their needs would seem to trump mine, each time. And then I'm feeling both guilty and resentful about this dynamic. It seems to by default be falling to me to make this dynamic feel more whole and "loving", by compromising something within myself. Why has it always felt to me that my rhythm is the *wrong* one?

 

Wow, I relate to this so much.

I feel pushed and pulled at the same time, struggling with contradictory desires and trying to somehow hold things within the relationship too (because I am usually the one more 'in touch' with emotions and it somehow falls on me). A part of me wants to be 'together, forever and share it all' and another part of me wants to lead an unconventional and daring life on my own.

 

Anyway for me...I think there is an aspect of wanting to be a hero of some sort..important, influential. So things don't 'somehow fall on me'. Is it Ego? I don't know. Is it that I want the world to be different perhaps, an idealistic vision I need to believe in, so I can keep living.. a project to keep me going. In some ways I subconsciously want to separate/elevate myself. Those thoughts are a huge contradiction to my enthusiastic demeanour. But there is a great conflict within. I have been both needy and distant, depending on who has been opposite me. I'm more balanced now, no extremes. But realistically when I am comfortable with someone? I like to spend lots of time with them because I feel so comfortable it's like I am on my own anyway.

 

You know, speaking from how it was on the 'other side' - I don't know about other people, but...That was a really hard concept for me to grasp. I think a lot of it is really just simple projection. "Well, I feel like this, so naturally they would feel like that? And if they don't, then it means...something not good." There was no way I couldn't take it personally. Even though I get that it wasn't. I couldn't even rationalize it then, it wasn't one of those things where I knew logically/didn't emotionally. It was just beyond my comprehension on any level. So I thought something was wrong with those people(lol). Or they were lying to me/themselves about what they actually wanted.

 

Back in my co dependent days pretty much everything could feel like a rejection if it wasn't in line with what I had in mind. I couldn't remotely comprehend one could be single and happy. I thought 'those' people were just cold. I am talking in my 20s here. Then after 30 I became so comfortable being on my own that the only reason I pushed myself to date was BECAUSE of how comfortable I had become. Although it felt healthy it also felt too safe and I worried I would struggle to accommodate anyone new.

 

IAG, that banker I dated claimed he didn't need time to himself and always wanted to meet up, man..I felt suffocated.

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Cheet, it's interesting how you described it from the other end of things. How it is taken personally. Really personally. And why.

That fits with my experience with people who can't be alone.

Specific memory here "why are you so afraid to be close to me? You know I need to talk and text every day many times a day. When you don't, I feel like rejected, and wouldn't you?"

And when I said "well no, I wouldn't. And I don't. I'm fine with less texting, seeing each other when we see each other, just calls and texts sprinkled in. I love talking to you and seeing you but all day every day is just hard on me. Makes me feel pressured and stressed."

He couldn't understand it. At all. Somehow it became all about him. It was hard on me because I did love him very much and it wasn't about me trying to avoid being close to him. And even after to years to have someone not understand something like that about you is hard.

 

I can be stubborn too. I am trying not to be so much so though. I can concede now that maybe it is alright for me to put in more effort at times. Maybe I need to - - I am open to at least considering it.

 

TOV,

I do know what you mean about how the party line seems to contradict itself at "be happy within yourself, learn to be on your own" and then when you are dating, in a relationship, or looking even....suddenly it's "you didn't text him back right away? He's gonna think you are emotionally unavailable, are you?". Like...jesus...

 

I've got date number two with let's call him John for now tomorrow. There has been one or two texts between us since we first went on a date. That to me is perfect. Like , perfect. and the texts were about seeing if we are still on and talking about the restaurant we want to go to.

 

I had gone on a date with this other guy, lets call him X, and after the date he was sending texts like crazy. Chatting about everything. I responded once to him shortly and then dropped off, not because I didn't like him and the first date but because I am not up for this kind of thing. We had 'tentative' plans to meet up a second time but it looks like that won't happen. And I do suspect part of it is because I wasn't getting into the texting groove with him.

 

But really. I figure I may as well be consistently who I am to start. Even with my best friends, who sometimes send tonnes of texts to me in a day, I will maybe return some and much shorter. Unless it is important, or for making plans or whatever. And they understand - when we are face to face though, they get my full attention and I don't see myself as an unavailable or negligent friend at all.

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Then after 30 I became so comfortable being on my own that the only reason I pushed myself to date was BECAUSE of how comfortable I had become. Although it felt healthy it also felt too safe and I worried I would struggle to accommodate anyone new.

 

This is where I'm at, realistically. It's more effort to date right now than it would be for me not to.

I'm trying to keep that in mind too that it could influence how I'll be perceived. Without my even intending it to. I do want to meet new people. And I do want to date. And I do want to potentially meet that special person.

So it's important I put the effort in - I am trying to keep bringing it back to my end and not fixate on what others do. I am trying.

 

On this same note, when my mom found out I went on a date, she was thrilled. Like, too thrilled. Asking a million questions. It's like , mom, relax. She was all "You are a beautiful girl and I don't understand." And then goes on to list all the good qualities she sees in me and telling me I am a catch.

She seems to think this is a case where I don't feel like I could meet someone or be with someone good. That just isn't the case at all. It's not that. Again though, I just tell her thanks for the ego boost and don't even try to explain it all.

 

Another thing that has come up with dating again is seeing "ex" written here and in my thoughts. I'm not pining, I'm not in love with him anymore, I've let go of that relationship. But this reappearance of "ex" has to go. Of course I don't talk about him or 'ex' things at all with new people - and not even with friends. Only here.

But it has brought to my attention the fact that these things are still rummaging around in me and how that can be holding me back.

I don't need to reference him anymore. Even if because it's the last serious experience I've had (barring one short relationship since, and it was so healthy, and ended in a healthy normal way, that I don't feel the need to even bring it up!).

 

Basically it's time to stop referencing the unhealthy and give it up already.

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My question is why do loners even want one another? I'm not afraid of being alone. It's not an impetus to hitch up with someone that's bad for me. However, when you remove fear from the equation you have the luxury of looking at it from a "value-added" perspective.

 

I'm not afraid of intimacy or love -- I just don't value either thing. Would I enjoy my life any more at the present if a compatible romantic interest loved me? No. I'd be in the same position feeling the same things with the added complexity of having to consider the interests of someone else.

 

I'm not advocating that we all, having conquered this fear, should become monks. If you want to have sex then have sex. If you want to spend time with a witty conversationalist then do so. You don't need intimacy, commitment, or love to enjoy almost every aspect of a typical exclusive relationship.

 

You can have your cake and eat it, too. And then you can leave -- no explanation necessary. Why sacrifice that freedom for someone who pays lip service to the freedom that you value? I say "lip service" because people always say how much they value their alone time until they are alone. Your partner is good with your desire to carve out your alone time until he or she isn't, and they can't know that until they experience it.

 

Why conquer the fear of being alone only to ultimately pair off with someone indefinitely? It seems like a waste of an advantageous mindset.

 

Does that make sense to anyone but me?

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It makes sense, actually. Plenty.

 

Why conquer the fear of being alone only to ultimately pair off with someone indefinitely? It seems like a waste of an advantageous mindset.

 

I've toyed with the idea of whether or not I want to date, and I just realized I really don't. Not now. Perhaps later, I will. Right now, I'm enjoying myself and I rather not mess with a good thing.

 

That being said, I don't particularly desire sex. Maybe it's my medications, maybe it's just me, maybe it's both. I want to enjoy company with a witty conversationalist on my time. I want to do it all, on my time. I don't want to feel responsible to anyone other than my family. Perhaps it's pretty selfish, but that's how I feel. And I feel like, I couldn't just do those things on my time, my schedule, my desire without some sense of feeling indebted. That an explanation is always going to be expected or the very least, desired.

 

Does anyone else feel that way? Indebted to people even with something as simple as having a 3 hour conversation about cheese? That's my thing. That's why I'd rather live like a monk(for lack of a better description).

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I don't agree with that sentence in bold. And that's because you can't dissect and remove the parts of a "typical exclusive relationship" and throw away some, keep others, and end up with the same "gestalt". If you gut a relationship of the parts, you gut it of the whole which is greater than its parts.

 

To make a very imperfect analogy (but it's the best I can come up with at the moment), if you want to enjoy an authentic New York hotdog, you can always try to go out and buy a package of Oscar Meyers from the grocery store, a bag of buns, and a few jars and bottles of condiments. You can go to your apartment and fry the hotdog and sit in your basement and put the hotdog in the bun and slather on the condiments, and sit there and consume it. But it's not the same as it would be with the aroma of the vendor's truck, being served with it piping hot by a pro who's gotten the proportions of the condiments just right, all wrapped in special paper to catch the juices, going to the park and people-watching while you munch away, and feeling that you're HAVING AN EXPERIENCE, not just EATING A HOTDOG.

 

I think it really comes down to what you're looking for, in a total package, and how total you want it to be -- and you said that in YOUR package, love and intimacy would not be there. So some things would be MISSING in your experience, and you then can't call it an interchangeable or parallel experience anymore. It's something else, and that something else lacks. (And if you don't see a loss in that lack, well, there's not much that can be said about that. To me, it's like a deaf person who thinks they're missing nothing, because there's always sign language [not that I don't greatly admire/respect people with disabilities who overcome them!])

 

Anyone can have witty conversation, if you've got two equally-matched minds. Anyone can have sex, if you've got two bodies. But neither of these requires intimacy or love, and in fact, each could be highly impersonal. No one here would say that sex with a prostitute is intimate in any way. It's about as intimate as scratching an itch.

 

Your way, you can have impersonal sex and impersonal conversation. But you can't have personal sex and personal conversation, witty and otherwise.

 

So there are a lot of things people could do with others that amount to stimulating an area to scratch an itch, and while that may feel relieving or pleasant, it only goes so far. My experience with witty conversation (and to a lesser extent, sex that's just physically driven) is that there's a superficial quality to the enjoyment, and sometimes it even feels like it's lacking something more essential.

 

The question really becomes, what are you missing out on without love and intimacy? I think the answer is going to be different for everyone, but probably there's also a lot of universality/overlap in the answer. Not speaking for anyone but myself, the root of intimacy for me is a feeling like we "get" each other. That there's a deep sense of knowing that binds us, because we understand each other. And that's because in some way, you've let down your guard, and have mutually become vulnerable enough to see each other's weak sides, or fearful sides, or soft spots, or areas of uncertainty. You have learned something of each other's history, the conflicts and struggles that have made the person what they are. And you not only understand those and feel some solidarity with them, but because this person is someone you relate to, you care about all these things.

 

A big part of intimacy for me -- and wanting to have a partner -- is wanting a "partner in crime", which has become something of a cliche. But essentially, I want someone to share a vision, a goal, or shared goals and visions. For me, liking a person's personality isn't enough. The heart and soul of a relationship to me is a commitment to a life of excellence together, where we are striving in a similar way in the world and sharing its journey. The poet Khalil Gibran likened it to two pillars holding up a temple -- separate, but standing together. Otherwise, for me a relationship is just "there", to have someone around to have someone around, and that's where it loses its appeal to me. I don't need someone JUST to keep me company on this road. But someone to keep me company who is a fellow traveller, moving towards something he values for himself, where we can enhance, benefit, support, and edify each other's progress/process? Where we are two players on the same team? That's meaningful to me, as a bond.

 

And that goes way beyond witty conversation or sex, though those are part and parcel of the total experience. And those become GREATLY enhanced by the intimacy and love that is produced from sharing in the way I've described. It's like, all of these components are made richer and more potent with love and intimacy as a driver. All these things potentiate each other.

 

Love and intimacy act as "performance enhancers", lend continuity, and deepen the levels to which you can venture to go. The longer and better and closer you know someone, the more multi-dimensional the parts and their sum become.

 

So I don't really think you can have your cake and eat it too, in the sense of having a full-bodied relationship (or even a facsimile with disjointed ala carte pieces), without intimacy and love. You will miss so much of the depth and richness.

 

Love itself is essential IMO to not leading a fully self-centered life, where it's become solely about scratching your own various itches.

 

There needs to be give and take, reciprocity, sacrifice and compromise, to be whole and balanced as a person and have a whole relationship. And you really can't get to that if you don't care enough about any one person (love) or understand them enough (intimacy) to want to be a part of that.

 

Otherwise you're just skittering on the surface of pleasant interactions.

 

I can't tell you how many times I've felt enlivened with witty conversation, but at some point, it felt like diminishing returns with a given person. Because it was impersonal and in the end, I do need both "levels" of operation.

 

So I'm just thinking that if you're a loner, you've got more parts that crave solitude and space but that doesn't preclude wanting to experience and enjoy the wealth of what comes with a love/intimacy connection as well. Just because I love my alone time doesn't mean I don't want the full monty of depth and superficiality bound together in the right proportions at other times.

 

That would be having my cake and eating it, too. And that's seeming like too much to ask.

 

"So what you want is to be alone together? Whateverrrrrrrs....good luck to you!!" they say. Yeah, you got that right. And also wrong. You just don't get it, really GET it.

 

So since I can't have my cake and eat it, too, I'm seeing dating now a bit as something I'm doing to explore the limits of what's possible. The way it's all set up, I now feel the limits to be akin to chainmail. It's an open question I'm exploring. How much further I want to hamper my movements with this garb, or whether there is any alternative way to the cake that allows me a freedom I'm not finding yet, I'll know when I know.

Edited by tiredofvampires
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Does anyone else feel that way? Indebted to people even with something as simple as having a 3 hour conversation about cheese? That's my thing. That's why I'd rather live like a monk(for lack of a better description).

 

If it was 3 hours and about cheese, yeah, I'd feel indebted. I'm not even sure if I could get that far, or if I did, that person would not be someone I'd seek out in the future for conversation (unless this was a rare instance buttressed by other types of conversations.)

 

If it was a 3-hour conversation weaving relevant social issues and observations, philosophy, cultural references, and humorous personal anecdotes together, that time could easily fly. And that would not make me feel indebted or drained.

 

But I do know what you mean, and because my energy reserves are low lately, and I'm dealing with a lot of life turmoil, a lot of times I feel that friendships can start to develop strains of "obligatoriness" when the other person is expecting a certain quota of my time/energy. So no matter how good the connection, if it can't be flexible or someone's keeping tabs on how often we interact as a barometer of the quality of the friendship, or what a good friend I am, that dynamic can sour anything.

 

Sorry to be running off at the "mouth", IAG!

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I don't mind you 'running at the mouth' TOV. I like reading what you have to say.

 

I can relate to each of you and what was posted in different ways. I've thought and felt each of these ways at various times.

 

Even Protest the Hero - because there has been a time where love and intimacy was just so down on the priority list (I wanted that energy for me) that ah well why would I give that up?! Getting with someone with the responsibilities and all did seem like a burden, a PITA. So I didn't even go there. I don't want to hurt anyone and I don't want to waste time on something that I can't put my heart into.

 

I've had times where I tried what you suggested PTH- getting companionships, conversation, physical affection and even sex, without the 'obligations' of a relationship.

It doesn't satisfy me, it doesn't work for me, on a lot of fronts.

A lot of what TOV said about that resonated for me - it bores me quickly, I can not emotionally invest in that (and don't), and frankly I just didn't like the kind of person I was while doing that either.

 

I do value love and intimacy in the grand scheme of things. Taking time outs has been more about getting me to a place where I could feel confident that when I did get involved with someone again, my end would be taken care of. My demons. My issues. My re charging. Knowing what I have to offer and it's something great.

 

Are we loners? It's funny....I never thought of myself that way, but maybe there is something to that. At least perception wise.

 

The more I think about it and the more I read what you all are saying, the more I think it is a matter of 1) being at a place where you do value love, intimacy, being in a relationship, etc. enough where you are willing (and able!) to put in and give the effort necessary to sustain something like that in a healthy way 2) being with someone COMPATIBLE.

 

Personally I am at a point where I'd love and am more than willing to put the effort in, to naturally and just normally share life with someone special, but I know for sure there won't be any jumping into anything quickly for me because - it's part of who I am and always will be, to build a connection slowly and over time 2) it's only worth it to me for something/someone really special, otherwise I am more than fine being on my own, regardless of what that means as far as lost opportunities to have biological children or hitting some certain time frame for anything.

 

It's a matter of choice and I fully embrace that. I just know it's not going to work for me longer term if someone can't embrace this part of me that sometimes just wants to be alone.

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I confess that I have been questioning the time I spend online more and more. I seem to get sucked in rather easily. And the next thing you know I've spent a bunch of time I didn't intend on spending in front of the computer. It's really not in my best interests.

 

This happened today and as part of my plan of taking steps out of my comfort zone and towards a more varied life, I'm putting myself on an internet lifestyle change.

 

No more of coming online whenever I feel like it or when its convenient. I am cutting back to not using the computer except for work/when I need to, for music, and visiting/posting here being limited to once a week for half an hour at most. If anyone wants, they can always pm me. I'll probably stick mostly to journal section and OT now too.

 

It's really important that I keep making this push forward. Life has been looking and feeling sweet - I want to make sure to do everything humanly possible to keep building on this good place I am at now.

 

Til next week then. I'm going outside! lol.

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I'm headed out to a big party. The type of situation I would normally avoid.

I (even) put on real make up (not just lipbalm and mascara) and a nice dress.

I'm nervous. I'm embarrassed that I am nervous.

What if....I have a good time?!

Anyways, I'm going to find out.

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I actually had a lot of fun at the party. A friend of mine was one of the ones who planned it, and I didn't know very many people there. Since she was one of the hosts, I knew she would be mingling amongst everyone through out the night. That's what I had planned for going in.

So I mingled around and made some new acquaintances. Danced, had a good time.

Once again, once I got there, nerves fell away quickly. I'm finding this a lot. I build things up in my mind, I think.

 

Had another date with John on Friday. This time we went to the zoo. I am really liking that we are having early more day time dates. Dinner and evening dates are nice, but this early on, and when I think about it actually in general, day dates can be a lot of fun and we are starting now to get to know each other. I like him. He has struck me as very down to earth. That is something I like a lot. He doesn't beat around the bush either. There were a bunch of moments where we were talking and it goes back to the sense of having common ground with him; there is something here that just flows.

I know that I would like to keep dating him. I threw out a suggestion for a possible next time and he was on it like comet. It did feel good.

 

I had a meet up with someone from online (John I did not meet online). I do have a profile up. The meet up was fine. Fine - but no. There wasn't a connection there to even want a first date with him. I would actually be surprised if he did contact me again because I got the same sense from him. It wasn't terrible, nor traumatic lol, but there wasn't attraction on my end (maybe not his either) and even if there was, the sense I got about the types of things he values are not for me.

 

I have swimming tonight. I am loving loving this swim group.

 

I work my last 12 hour shift on Tuesday!! Yay!!!

 

I am much preferring the 'meet someone in every day life, and date from there' - and I guess I always have. But this time around, I am going to give the online a chance as well. As people here have said and I think there is wisdom to it "use it as one piece of your plan to meet potential matches". Makes total sense. I honestly can not see myself meeting more than one person a week through online though - it does have a totally different feel, and I don't like spending much time on the site. I think focusing more on getting out there and meeting people and having a good time is what is important and will keep me with a healthy mindset about this whole thing - at least those are my thoughts at this time.

 

Oh one other thing, and something that is out of my comfort zone and it will be happening later this week is at work, I was asked by the Big Boss to do some networking event - really out for me, it's going to be thousands of people from all over coming to this event. And they asked me to represent for us?! At first I was surprised; but maybe that is because I just haven't thought of myself that way. But I said yes and I honestly do think it will be fun, a good opportunity to meet a lot of people I otherwise may not, and inside I know I can do it and do it well.

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I woke up sore with a pounding head ache this morning. Twelve hours of 'networking'. It was ....fun, extremely busy, a learning experience.

I learned I am actually pretty good at this!

I learned...I need to stay on my game as far as being aware that I tend to count myself out on things before even giving myself a chance to see if I am good at something or not.

It doesn't even matter to me at this point why I do that - I am simply going to be aware when a limiting thought/belief like that comes up, and then I will challenge it.

 

I also woke up to a mess of clothing strew around, looking for something that would be appropriate for 'business professional'. All my clothes are for grunt work, where looking too together actually plays to your disadvantage.

 

I have to admit I liked the vision of me in the mirror when I am put together.

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