I have truly been on a journey! With the definition of journey being ‘traveling from one place to another’, I have traveled within myself in ways I could have never done in any other sphere of my life. Through the experiences of dating I have learned about myself, what my needs are, who I am, what is important to me and most importantly HOW to love myself.
I used to think I needed someone else to love, for me to love myself, and I have realized it’s the exact opposite. I have to truly love myself and all that I am to invite the love from another.
The ‘mistakes’ I have made along the way aren’t truly mistakes. They are intentional growth opportunities that gave me the strength to tap deep within and find the things inside me that weren’t serving me.
Let’s take texting. Something as simple as communicating. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves and we can make the assumption that another communicates the way we do…NOPE! What do they say about the word assume? It makes an ass out of you and me! That alone is a lifetime of learning.
So…I have gone on dates and sat by my phone staring at it…as if it was real and alive-waiting for it to jump and with every glance filled with a longing for it to scream out to me that ‘he’ is there. And there were many days and nights that ‘he’ wasn’t there. I needed to pull myself out of that reverie and realize that I had my own pattern of communicating and this man I was waiting to hear from had no clue what that was…unless I told him. So, I stopped staring at my lifeline and instead picked it up and said to myself “What the hell? I don’t play games. I am not doing the 3 day waiting game. I am way too old for that”!
I would text something like this: “I had fun meeting you today/tonight. Thank you for the tea/coffee/great kisses/whatever. I would love to see you again!” And what happened next was unpredictable and random.
There was some waiting…waiting…more waiting…and those minutes/hours felt like forever. I wondered why someone wouldn’t have the grace to reply even in he wasn’t interested or at least text me that he was busy. Some immediately texted back…those were usually the ones who kissed me and wanted more…not that all first dates need to have a kiss to get a reply but so far that’s been my assessment! Some were just plain nervous/confused/unsure. And some were the best communicators and truly wanted to meet again. Those were the texts that helped me continue along with my search. Something like ‘I loved meeting you too, Diana. Let’s plan something for this weekend’. Thank god for those men!
Many of us are in the same boat. Looking for SOMETHING. WHAT, pray tell, is that SOMETHING? We think we know. I thought I knew, 15 years ago, when I started this. I thought I wanted a father for my son, a husband, someone to grow old with. Then my son grew up without that father I was searching for, and I realized I no longer was looking for a father for him. Husband? Not sure that was needed anymore. I was self sufficient. I wanted sex and lots of it! So I did that. Then I got tired of the one night stands and short relationships that were empty and void of real depth. I started looking for the husband again. But then a friend asked me if I really wanted to be IN a relationship.
That made me pause. “Did I”? I thought I did. That thought doesn’t mean it remains true all those years later. And I deliberated for days. “OMG. I don’t really want a relationship” was my conclusion. And that marked a long 6 year break for me. That’s when my real internal work began.
I was searching for all the wrong things.
I needed to learn how to truly accept and love me. I needed to dig deep and face all the demons I was hiding in my really huge closet. I wanted love from another but I had to give love to the person I was seeing in the mirror, instead.
So, I took care of myself. My son. My father. My patients. My friends. I re-learned how to sing, took tap dancing lessons, started painting, journaled my fingers out, became a Reiki master, started deadlifting and built muscle, re-started yoga, created a book club with my sisters, did detoxes, read tarot and goddess cards, asked the deep questions. I started a truly spiritual quest.
And that quest continues. Each man I met has taught me something about myself. How to speak up. How to ask for what I want. How to say ‘no’ when something didn’t feel right. How to have 100% confidence that I was not making a mistake if I was being 100% authentic to myself. Learning how to love what I saw in the mirror, recognizing that someone has just passed up an incredible mind-blowing experience and it was his loss!
So let’s go to the question my son asked me last night “How many men have you kissed”? That’s the next post!