Monday, October 3, 2011

A Man of My Own?

Maybe I will just have to settle for wax men!

 Sometimes just when you think you have something all figured out, then all of a sudden you feel like you don't! Why does this happen? Why can't I just feel settled about this one particular area of my life? In Eat, Pray, Love, Liz Gilbert calls it brooding. Oh yes, brooding over relationships and what they mean for me.

Currently, you could say I am single, although I have a guy that I date, but he doesn't like to be thought of as a boyfriend. In fact any kind of verbage along the lines of boyfriend or something more than friend, literally, freaks him out. I actually really like our arrangement. We did try the full-fledged couple thing, and it really didn't work for us. It didn't work, I think, because I am so independent, and he is a hugantic commitment phobic, and it was extremely hectic to try to blend four children, his two and my two, and different family styles. We have pared way down. We do still have times when we get all four kids together for a meal at McDonald's or some other small, not all day, event. We see each other once or twice a week. We may talk once a week on the phone. Sometimes we text or send each other an email or two. However, there is no set schedule or expectation that we need daily contact. I am sure that I love him, and he has said that he cares about me and wants me to be happy.

Really I do love not having someone here all the time, underfoot, or bossing me around. I enjoy having complete decision making in my own home. I can paint the walls whatever color I would like. I can buy a piece of furniture and come home with it guilt free and place it just where I want it. When I was married, I ran the household myself anyway. Being on my own, makes it so much nicer because there isn't someone disappointing me by not doing things or not being supportive all the time. I truly feel that I am more at peace and happier on my own than when I am trying to bend my life around a man's life, which seems to be what inevitably happens in every relationship with a man that I have had.

So why, oh why, did I have one of my overly vivid and realistic dreams the other night in which my guy and another guy that I had previously dated were vying for my attentions, and the other guy ended up asking me to marry him. I even said yes, although I spent the rest of the dream pondering if that was what I really wanted to do.

These dreams that I have are so realistic, and they stay with me for days, weeks, and sometimes even years. I sometimes contact the person or people that are in the dream because I often wonder if it isn't the Universe or God or whomever telling me something is wrong with a loved one. I did tell both of the guys that I had had a dream. I didn't tell the other guy about the marriage proposal part. My current guy said it is just normal to have these feelings and thoughts about wanting to have a regular, stable relationship.

I don't feel that the relationship I have with my current dating guy is unstable. However, it doesn't always feel secure in the fact that I know he will always be there. I don't really think he is going anywhere, but he could because there are no ties keeping us together. Mostly, I just feel like the dream and its resulting brooding is just so girly and fairy taleish. I know that fairy tales are not real. I also feel that marriage is sometimes just a societal pressure trap. But I have been sidetracked by this dream and the renewed desire to have that lasting, loving, stable relationship with my own special person.

I see other family members or friends of mine who seem to have those fairy tale relationships. I have always been envious of those that seem to be able to find that other half of themselves. In recent years, I have found myself thinking that is just not going to be my story, my life.

Mostly I don't think it will happen for me because I hate dating! I hate having to retell my story all the time. I don't want to get to know someone all over again or tell all my stuff all over again. I just don't have the energy for it! It can be exhausting rehashing things and draining listening to someone else rehash all of their things. It seems selfish to just want to keep closed up, but maybe it is more self preservation than selfishness. I don't know.

I actually had a nice, and rare, Saturday evening out with my current guy. We had a good dinner and great conversation. I hadn't intended to tell him about the dream, but then ended up spilling it all. Then I just cried because I hate feeling vulnerable. He was supportive and sweet and nonjudmental. He even called on Sunday evening, and we had a brief chat about the upcoming week and how nice the past weekend had been. I really would be fine if we just dated or didn't date or whatever this is for a very long time. I feel that he is one of the best matches for me that I have ever dated. He is smart and educated. He is an educator and we seem to speak the same language. He is for the most part, not overly egotistical or arrogant, but he is still a man and can have his moments. As I am sure he thinks I have my girl moments as well. He really is nice and caring. He is probably the best suited to me. I guess I would just like to know sometimes that he actually loves me and would want to do this (whatever it is that we have) for a long time too. I have heard of couples that never end up living together or getting married and yet are together for decades. They just know they do better living in separate homes and leading separate lives, yet still being together.

The other guy in my dream has rejected me several times. He has said he is not interested in a romantic relationship right now. However, I wonder if that really just means mostly not with me, and he is trying to spare my feelings. We officially dated a long time ago, when I was first graduated from college. I remember him being nice and sweet and accepting of me as me. Now we are sort of friends, although it is hard for me to find the energy to have just a friend. It sounds horrible, I know, but I have so many other things going on in my life, that I just can't rally myself to try to spend time with someone for whom I care very deeply and know that it would never be more than just friends. Plus, I think that he may just be the same as many others, very close in characteristics to my dad, and I definitely do not want that. I feel like after the dream that if he were to say, "yes, let's give it a shot," I might actually say yes to him, and yet I know deep down inside that is probably not the best course of action for me. I think in the long run, it would just end up in heart break all over again.

I think, for the most part, I have set my life up like this. Current dating guy says that all these guys pursue me because I don't ever close the door completely on any of them. I think that part of that is true, although there are some that I have been very clear with and they still stick around, and others that I cannot bear to say, "no thank you," to because they are going through bad times, and I don't want to add to the bad.

Another guy, not in the dream, has been semi-pursuing me. He is an old friend from high school going through a bad divorce and many other sad times. He calls sometimes and mostly just vents about what is wrong. I do really care, but I find myself feeling drained and strained when he is done. Last week, he called and vented for almost an hour. He did ask me at one point how I was doing. I should have just said fine and left it at that, but instead I said that I had been having troubles getting both kids back into the swing of things with school. During my explanation, he just started laughing. I stopped abruptly. He apologized for laughing, but said he is looking forward to the day when those are all the problems he has to face. I do understand that his problems are very big right now, but it really didn't make me feel very good with him trivializing what feels very big to me right now, especially after having listened to all of his mire for almost an hour.

I would like someone who can support me and accept me for me, who would be willing to have give and take rather than take all the time and I have to give until I am so drained I can hardly stand up. I am awful at asking for help and mostly have no idea what to even say when someone asks how they can help me in my life. I would like a guy with initiative, who could just come along and help without making me feel inferior or judged. Does someone like that really exist? My dating guy asks me how he can help, but I truly have no idea what to tell him. What should I say? Would you like to come over and vacuum my house on Tuesday evening? I just don't think that will happen either.

I think some of the thoughts are still roiling around in my head because I was watching the Shania Twain series on OWN this weekend. She has been through a similar end to her marriage as I had with cheating and betrayal. She ended up starting a relationship with the man who was the husband of her friend that cheated with Shania's husband. (She does admit this is a crazy twisted scenario, but somehow ended up working out!) Her new guy, Fred, seems like such a sweet and gentle man. Shania's sister describes him as an angel. He seems that way. He seems supportive and helpful and encouraging. He comes in beside her and helps her. When I see things like that, I wonder if that would ever be possible in my life? Or am I just done? Am I just better off alone? Is it just too hard having young kids and finding someone who would take me as I am with all my baggage in tow? Of course, Shania Twain has this. Look at her; she's Shania Twain! She is beautiful and talented and seems to be a real person who is kind and loving.

I heard a story once about Kurt Warner the football player for one of the NFL teams that won the Super Bowl in somewhat recent years. The story goes that he was a regular at a restaurant and consistently tried to ask out this waitress, Kathy. She always declined his offers. Finally he wore her down and she conceeded. However, when he went to pick her up, she said she would have to cancel because her babysitter didn't show up. Kurt said that they would all just go out to dinner together. She said that would not be a good idea because her oldest son had cerebral palsy and that would just be too much for a first date. Kurt just came into the house picked up the son and carried him downstairs to the car and off they all went on a date. Of course they eventually married and had several more children together. I don't know if stories like this make me feel better or worse. Would it mean there was really hope, or is it that I simply could never actually attract a man like that?

I swear that the only man that I can attract is the same one over and over. I think I am a magnet for the wrong man. If there is a man out there remotely in my radar, he will be the same overly arrogant, self-centered, egomaniac that I see my father being. Basically the only man I can attract is my dad over and over again in different forms. My sister was able to break the cycle, but I just cannot seem to do it. If the guy isn't some right-fighting, negative, judgmental man, then he is so afraid of commitment that he cannot see straight.

I really think there are no answers for me. All of this has just been weighing heavy on my mind since the dream. Maybe I just need to have a good cry all by myself, then get back up, put on my big girl pants, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward.

Also on OWN this weekend, was the behind the scenes of Oprah's new series, Oprah's Life Class. In it she says that her show was her therapy. She never actually had to go in to a therapist's office. All of her issues and struggles were worked out with her guests on her show. I wonder if my blog is becoming the same type of venue for me. I feel like I should thank any of you who managed to make it to the end of this long, rambling entry! So.... Thanks for listening and until next time take care of you!

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