I Want To Be Part of A Smug Couple. There. I Said It.

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After the whole stupid drama with P and S on Monday night, I remained in a funk. It was just so unnecessary on all of our parts. I was cruel to S (the ex-girlfriend) when I should have shown compassion. His explanation was as follows: She’d called him Monday morning. They talked. He told her he was feeling sick from drinking the night before. She asked if he wanted her to come over. He said no. Right after he texted me to confirm he had my brace and would be over at noon, she showed at his apartment. How much of that is true, I don’t know. He said he went to lie down thinking she’d leave and he fell asleep, unaware that she was even still in his apartment when I came over. I believe the gist of his explanation, but it still didn’t make me feel better.  Even though I was the ones he had plans with – she was the one whose feelings he’d cater to, and that realization hurt. He could have asked her to leave. He didn’t. He could have texted me to say he wasn’t coming over. He didn’t. Message received loud and clear. He didn’t treat me like  friend of fifteen years. He treated me like a side-piece.  Ouch.

When I get in these funks, I like to write myself through them. This weekend, I wrote an intention list for the summer. There were a number of things on it. (Post a selfie of myself in a bikini; go out-of-town for a few days to someplace sunny; finish twenty-more scenes of my book; take Firestarter and Boot Camp at Equinox. ) But the last item on the list was something I hesitated to include, because it made me feel really, tremendously pathetic:

By the end of the summer I want to be dating someone. Really dating them, not just hooking-up with them. Doubling down on that intention, I included in the intention that I wanted to post a photo of us together. I want a smug couple selfie, dammit. Like I said, pathetic. I carry a shame with me about my inability to sustain a relationship or to even get dates. The women who leave biting comments calling me “easy” (lol. Thanks, Nana) and saying I don’t love myself enough aren’t saying anything I haven’t told myself in the darker times. When I’m not allowing that bully voice a say, I know I respect myself. Men who sleep with crazy women are given a pass because, penis. A woman sleeps with a guy like P has no self-respect. See how that works?

What I seek is rare, and I won’t settle for anything less. I am not desperate. What I am, at times, is lonely. It’s difficult to admit that even though loneliness is a human condition experienced by many. Sometimes I just want attention or a connection and my go-to solution is sex. There are other instances when I just want to get laid, but I would say half the time I’m hooking up with a guy, it’s because I just want to feel like I matter. You can call that “easy” if you want. I don’t see anything wrong with being easy. Or being lonely. Part of the reason I’ve become so physically active is because of the sense of connection I get from being at the gym. I said awhile back that I was being pulled in many directions and, as a result,  my soul needed nourishing.  I’ve found that nourishment in working out and yoga. I’ll still seek casual sex now and then, though. To say I won’t would be disingenuous.

As I said to someone last night, there’s this pressure on me (and really, most women who writes about their personal experiences) to produce, to prove I am lovable and capable of being in a relationship. I definitely have moments, after a guy has flirted with me or show interest, where I think, “I have to write about that so people know men find me attractive.”

After months or years of writing about your romantic foibles, you get to this point where you get tired of being perpetually single, especially when one big reason for that has to do with experiences over which you had no control. Experiences that made you harder, less trusting, and more closed off.  I think that’s what frustrates me the most. Would I be a different person if my mother hadn’t died? Would I have wanted kids? Would I have been softer and less abrasive? Would I be less stunted? Or were all these experiences – even the darker ones – just part of The Plan? Is this how my life is supposed to play out?

I suppose I’m giving this more thought because I’m probably more open to a relationship than I’ve been in many years. Part of me fears it’s too late for me. Another says I figured things out right on schedule.

Only time will tell.

Thoughts?

 

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15 comments

  1. I think admitting this to yourself and to others, is very powerful. It takes courage to admit you want something when it’s possible that you may never get it. I hope you do and you certainly have a lot to offer. But either way, you are closing the gap between who you thought you were and who you really are. You are getting closer to identifying a different version of yourself, reinventing for the second half of your life. You don’t have to be defined by things that happened in the first half. Good luck!

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  2. Wow, Moxie. A beautiful, honest expression of vulnerability. It reads like something you’d write and then delete before posting. I wouldn’t have believed you’d have the soul to post it.

    Bravo for having brass ones. Good luck.

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  3. Have you ever been to the Omega Institute? It’s a great place for a weekend get away and they have a chartered bus out of Manhattan. They offer loads of workshops that nourish the soul. Eomega.com

    Also, study and practice compassion–self-compassion and compassion for others. When you feel yourself being unkind to yourself or a commenter take a moment and see if you can replace it with compassion. It’s a process but it becomes a habit in time.

    Wish you the best.

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  4. I think one of the reasons you’ve been confused about your conversations with guys at the gym is that when you have a job/hobby/interest that plants you in a big group of people, interactions come so much more easily. It’s not that these guys are flirting more than normal – that’s what it’s always like to talk to nice people! It makes you feel good and valued and attractive.

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  5. Excellent reflection on your experience with that guy. You are worth more than that. So much more!
    Getting out of town is an fantastic idea. An easy-ish thing to do. There is so much beauty out there.
    As far as feeling pathetic-you are worthy of good things in your life and you are not your past. It may shape you but it does not define you. Write your own story from this point. Your list is an excellent start. And have fun!

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  6. I had a similar moment this morning. After having a fine weekend with friends, I woke up with this ache to be with someone. It’s been so long since I sustained a relationship beyond a few months, I also wonder if I’m capable. And I think all that is normal and reflects our human need for connection. Relationships are the modern day tribes and without one, we feel lost. But then I think: this is the new normal. Everyone is broken (online at least) and single is the majority. It helps me to know others have similar issues. And if the internet is any guide, they absolutely do.

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  7. I appreciate your honesty, Moxie. I’m pretty sure most people can relate to wanting to feel desired and likeable, and wanting other people to realize that to some extent. I know that I often feel like I look to the events that have happened to me recently for social validation. And it’s basically never too late to pursue a relationship. I’m trying to get more serious about dating at 32 after pretty much not dating at all in my 20’s. I’ve already had a little success although it seems to have been kind of short-lived. I still figure it’s worth a try. I admire your ability to be so open with your readers.

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  8. I have often said that I am OVER the cultural idea that women especially should breeze into or stumble into or “find themselves” in a relationship and that saying “I want a partner.” is somehow needy, desperate, “psycho” or lame.
    A good relationship is a rock. It’s a safe, soft place to come home to at the end of a draining day. It lifts you up and challenges you to be better, more forgiving, more loving, more positive. It can show you reserves of patience and kindness you didn’t know you had.
    It’s not about a stamp of approval or being one of the girls or bragging rights (although, to be real, that’s not nothing). It’s about feeling a sense of security; because, no matter what happens, you have one person who’s by your side.
    That’s worth looking for and making an effort and putting it out there.
    I think one of the most damaging things people say is “You’ll find it when you stop looking.”
    The intention is to help people not settle for any one who comes along out of true desperation, but it comes off as tone deaf and disingenuous.
    I have a friend who really wants a guy, but rarely leaves the house and works as a house cleaner. She’s alone all day, working in empty homes for the most part. Where exactly is she supposed to meet this guy if she’s not “looking”?
    It’s okay to look. It’s okay to try. It’s okay to say outloud “I want a boyfriend.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree 100% that it’s not weird or desperate for a woman to seek out a relationship. However, my experience is that it’s easier to avoid confusion and gray zones if the guy is initiating and showing active interest. I really do think that, just playing the odds, if a woman wants a relationship that doesn’t stress her out, she really does need to wait for a guy who has decided to pursue her.

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      1. Sure, I agree (to a point). But I think putting yourself in situations like speed dating, online dating, or putting the word out there that you’re looking to friends, saying “hi” or asking an attractive man to a coffee date aren’t desperate. Pursuing someone past that point can bring heartache, but there are many, many stories of women who made the first “half-move” as I call it (smile, said hi, made a joke, asked for “coffee” or the like) and are married/partnered to a guy who loves them to bits.
        Asking him out, planning the date, making the first move, showering him with compliments, never calling him on his BS, being always available, not having any life outside of him, ignoring his very clear “I’m not into this” hints, obsessing over his every move….those are the moves that lead to Heartbreak Hotel.

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        1. Oh I completely agree with you! Getting out of the house and taking the initiative to introduce yourself to cute people is something that everyone should do if they think they want to start dating. It’s just the specific dynamic of women having to constantly lead men by the nose and then wait 4 hours for an “ok” text response that never seems to work out the way that the women want it to. Those are the women who think that they’re being empowered and taking control when really they’ve just honed in on guys who don’t actually want a relationship in that moment.

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  9. I think it’s really important to be clear about what you want, so that you don’t end up settling for something less. If you wanted to find a job, you’d make a proactive effort to find a good one. Finding a relationship isn’t any different. If you’re lonely, it’s also important to have a good friendship network. Dates can come and go, but friendships are – hopefully – solid and long-term.

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  10. This is a really positive posting! In an era of snark, cynicism, and detachment, it may indeed revolutionary to simply write that you want to find someone special.

    And not all people who have been in marriages or LTRs necessarily have solid relationship skills or even maturity. Some are living in (or creating) nightmares and catastrophes in their homes. If and when they get out, they have learned nothing. Some repeat the cycle into 3 or 4 marriages.

    Singles can of course be delusional (“looking for my Idris Elba/Beyonce” types), but others can be very mature just having accumulated a lot of experience dating, observing, and even thinking. I don’t think a never-married has to justify himself/herself (of course, this logic is convenient for me as I look in the mirror), anymore than anyone else.

    Anyway, this is an awesomely positive response. Good luck, Moxie!

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  11. I agree with the beautiful and honest comment. At times being single is really hard and lonely. Funny thing is that being in an LTR is not at all like all the lovey dovey sexy facebook posts imply. Its mostly super mundain shit like negotiations bills and chores. Dates and even sex take a super low priority over time and many a saturday night might find you in one corner of the room watching netflix while your man is in the other corner playing video games.

    That said, you should absolutely pursue your relationship goal and I have little doubt you wont get it (although thats a pretty aggressive timeline). I know its cheeseball to say this but sometimes getting what you want is just a matter of rejecting what you dont want. Good luck!

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