Making sense of my last six weeks of practicing relationships. I’m going to call this guy ‘TMI Historian’.
1. Single and available to spend a lot of time with me, lives close by.
Freshly separated (four months out of a ten year marriage) so not quite single, but available to spend a lot of time with me. From this point on, when I say single that will mean really, truly single.
2. Artistic, creative, imaginative.
Very much so! A writer and a piano player. Very wonderful and agilely creative mind. Out of this world conversations. My favorite person so far in terms of planning fun dates, being romantic, being able to dream stuff up that really surprised me, he loved to dress up and go out. Very fun. I miss him.
3. Curious, self-educated, knowledgeable.
Yes, although really valued the ‘cerebral’ side of things. I love self-educated people that surprise you when you learn how well read they are, and he’s spent a great deal of time in ivory tower environments where it can be culturally self-replicating. I’m not a fan of educational materialism. But anyway, yes, he was really smart.
4. Handsome, strong, healthy.
Healthy, not really strong, not really handsome, but his confidence was a huge turn on for me, and I began to see him differently. I started to think he was totally adorkable, to be honest.
5. Sexually compatible with me.
6. Humorous, respectful towards me, gentle, accepts me, comfortable to be with, honest, good at mature conflict resolution.
_Humorous, sort of respectful to me but talked about past partners a lot(!)...like everytime we were together which made me feel weird, and when we talked about it, he refused to see it as anything other than my problem and finally broke up with me about it. He also interrupted me a lot and it made me feel like he felt like what he had to say was a lot more important, gentle mostly, very very generous, sarcastic a lot and in conflict defensive and blaming, didn’t really accept me in the end but thought I was the cats pajamas in the beginning, comfortable to be with 90 percent of the time, and honest (often to a TMI fault). Adding to this list ‘good at conflict resolution’, because his way of doing it was just to make it my fault and continue the behavior rather than amend it. He had a hard time finding fault with himself for anything and told me that he was ‘a very good person’. Even wrote me a note saying that ‘despite what happened, this is not a judgment on you as a person.’
7. Spiritually compatible with me, open to personal growth.
Yes…on a similar spiritual path, and also both from a Reformed Jewish background.
Yes! A piano player and we were both very musically compatible and had a great time sharing music with each other.
9. Likes my cat.
He seemed to.
10. Well-traveled or wants to travel. Curious and knowledgeable about the world.
Yes, and loved the US in the same way I do. And had traveled overseas a little.
What did I learn this time around?
1. Wait, wait, wait, wait. When things go too fast, I start to feel a bit crazy. I need to go really slow.
2. I have a thing about people who are in transitions…divorces, grieving, etc. I love them. I can’t get enough of them. Maybe I don’t really want the real thing? I also love long distance and maybe addictions? Damn!
3. Practice saying no to transitional situations. I feel a bit sad because possibly he and I could be friends and gotten to know each other that way. But I liked being his person. It was fun. But in the past, there are people I could’ve spared myself from that I would be happy to have. Practicing this could potentially be a great adventure.
4. Continue to trust myself. I am greatly improved at this these days!
5. I fall in love and feel attached easily, especially when the person is as wonderful as this one, so all the more reason to be careful and make sure there is possiblities of a sustainable relationship.
6. That I like Bill Evans and Hyde Park.
7. That I speak my feelings and am not afraid of ‘conflict’...conflict is really just conflicting truths and I am willing to hear others. I need to be with someone who won’t shy away from conflict and won’t be mean during a disagreement, won’t try to make me feel bad. I need to practice this as well, and work on engaging in conflict without attacking the other person. I sometimes do this without even realizing it, and am studying ways to express disagreement without making the other person wrong.
8. It’s only dating for the first trimester. If it’s considered a relationship, it’s only an illusion, an ‘imaginary relationship’ because each person is getting to know the other. Also, considering it a relationship puts a lot of pressure on its early development, very much like expecting a baby to know who to speak complete sentences in the first year of his existence.
9. I feel really burned out on people talking to me about their exes, and it feels crummy to me. I feel really exhausted by it. It’s too hard, it feels like working too hard. It makes me feel insecure and jealous, and uncomfortable with the other person. I want the beginning stages to be easy and fun.
10. I want to be in love, be in relationship, be married. I am willing to practice and explore, experiment.
11. A lot of these things I knew before, but… 23 months ago