Psyching Myself Up To Date

Part of the problem of being an introvert who loves my dog more than I love most people is that it’s really difficult to meet potential dates out in the world. I don’t really go “out” places, and when I do venture forth from my home, I’m pretty sure I have my resting bitch face on. I don’t mean to, but if I’m at the grocery store or the gym, I’m just trying to get stuff done so that I can go back home. This has always been the allure of online dating; I can scroll through numerous pictures and profiles, converse with people without brushing my hair, and not have that awkward in real life fumbling until we’ve at least established some basic commonalities.

Recently, I ventured back onto OKcupid; this latest try lasted about four days. I was talking to five different guys. One of those conversations had moved over to Facebook Messenger so that he could send me pictures from his recent trip to Alaska. I was making many matches, and I was gaining plenty of admirers (duh). Here was the problem – I didn’t care to invest any amount of time getting to know any of the guys I was talking to, and I was beginning to resent the call on my time that having to message them back was taking.   When I would be notified that I had made a match with someone, or when a guy responded to me, I had no excitement whatsoever. In the past, when I first met Dan or Jay on OKC, I would get total butterflies when they messaged. I couldn’t wait to get online and see what they said! With this latest round of guys, I’d get the notification that I’d received a new message, and I’d delete it and think, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it later.”

And it wasn’t just this time around. The past few times that I have tried online dating, I’ve had no interest in actually pursuing anything. I’m looking because I feel like I should be looking, like I should be making some kind of effort to meet guys. The last time I went on a date from an online site was over a year ago. Granted, I was dating Dan again from August through New Year’s, but we’re at the end of July, and I haven’t set up even one date. Every person seems to say, “Oh, it’ll happen when you stop looking, when you least expect it.” Please provide to me an example of how that is true for any other aspect of life. How often do people find new jobs when they’re not looking for them? How often do people find their dream home when they’re not looking? I get that you can be offered a job that you weren’t looking for, but typically, in any other area of life, the advice is to not give up, to not stop looking until you find the right fit. I get that love has it’s own rules, and doesn’t play out like other areas of life, but come on!

I disabled my OKcupid account on Sunday because I just couldn’t work up the energy to be excited about anyone I was talking to. Had I talked to every guy on OKC? Of course not! Had I even talked to every guy that I had matched with? Of course not! But just thinking about making the effort to get dolled up to go on a date, or even a series of dates if there was a connection, made me so tired that  I wanted to take a nap. I just want to naturally find someone who immediately makes me laugh and just fits well into my life. That may be too much to ask, but I’m asking. The worst the Universe can say is “no,” and then I’m no worse off from where I am now, which really isn’t bad at all.

– Finch

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You Don’t Owe Him a Response

I know I never really gave y’all a proper ending to my relationship with Jay. Synopsis – broke up “for good” January, 2016. Slept with him once in April, 2016, while dating Dan. Jay moved to California in May, 2016. In August, 2016, Jay and I have this long talk about maybe getting back together, and he says he wants to move in, at which point I tell him that we need to date for a minimum of 6 months before I will consider letting him move in. Jay says that he’s not coming back to Austin unless he’s moving in with me. I tell him that he’s not coming back to Austin. Flash-forward nine months to May, 2017. Jay starts texting, I ignore him, he tells me really needs to talk to me, I say he can call. He just starts babbling away, until I ask him to get to the point of the conversation. He says just talking is the point. I tell him that he no longer has a place in my life and that I don’t think we need to communicate again. We hang up. He continues to text for 6 more weeks until I finally block his number. Peace and quiet at last, right?

Back to present day. Last Friday, Jay sent me an incredibly long message on Facebook, telling me that he needs to explain his past actions, he *thinks* I might have blocked his texts, and going on about how great and wonderful I was (um, duh). Only, it’s the worst email ever. He starts off by telling me that he was seeing a girl last year, but it didn’t work out. Then he literally says, “I don’t want to make this message about me, though, because it’s about you. I’m way more self-aware than you could ever realize.” Uh, isn’t bragging about your self-awareness about you, and not me?? There were parts of the message which were incredibly manipulative – classic narcissistic lessons here. Telling me that while he has dated a wide variety of very successful women, *I* am the only one who he’s ever wanted to be with permanently. First off, jackass, I am incredibly successful and you know that. Second, so I’m supposed to be grateful that you chose me over everyone else you could be dating? I rejected you. He brought up my dog, saying that he loves her and she loves him, and he really hopes he gets to see her in the future. Dude, my dog is a hoe. She loves anyone who will pet her. He told me that nobody had ever shown me that I was good enough, but that he now could. Then he ended by saying that he had so much more he could tell me, and that he hoped he got the chance to.

So of course I let all of my friends and my mom read it. There were some who felt that I owed him some sort of response. Not necessarily a nice one, but at least one that would give him some closure. Enter my mom – talking to her Saturday morning, she was adamant that NO, I did not owe Jay a response, that this message was all about him and what he wanted, and that I needed delete his Facebook request and walk away. So I did.

Because here’s the thing. With narcissistic people, you can’t explain or argue anything. They hear only what they want to hear, and no matter what you say, you will still end up at fault. And if you open that door even one inch, they will jump in and try with all of their might to  get you to engage. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for protecting yourself and your mental and/or emotional well-being. You do not have to explain why you are breaking up with someone who treats you poorly. You do not have to explain to an ex why you moved on. You DO have to take care of yourself. Truly, the only way to break free from a narcissist is to walk away and don’t look back.

I’ll finish by sharing one of my favorite lines from last year – “If you love someone, let them go. If they come back, it means no one else wanted them. Let them go again.”

– Finch

Quick Thought: Chinese Food as a Lesson

I live across the street from a Chinese restaurant, so I am constantly smelling the tempting aromas. I keep thinking, “Hmm, maybe beef and broccoli tonight?” But then I usually just end up eating chips and salsa and calling it a day.

Here’s the problem – just a couple of weeks after I first moved into my condo, I went over to grab some takeout. Went home, ate my food, and then, a few hours later, experienced the most horrendous stomach pains ever. Not nausea or anything, but swollen belly and curling up in a fetal position pain. So I swore off the Chinese restaurant.

And then a year or so went by, and I thought, “Maybe it was just that one time. I’ll try something different.” But no, exact same thing happened. It happened again last night.

I say all of this to say, this is like going back to exes. You let some time pass, you think maybe it’ll be better this time, maybe you’ll try things a bit differently, take a fresh path… No. You’re still going to end up curled into a ball on your bed, cursing your lack of self-control. Just save yourself the pain and misery.

– Finch

Being Brave Is Worth It

A very dear friend of mine is getting married this winter, and she had asked me to be a bridesmaid. Through a series of unfortunate events, her wedding had been pushed from it’s original date of this past February, and we are all still kind of scrambling to get all of the dates and parties and events planned and scheduled.

A couple of weeks ago, the bride had sent out a mass text, asking how everyone felt about a destination bachelorette party to either Chicago or Charlotesville in October. Only one person responded, and I hadn’t heard anything else about it. But I was starting to feel the strain. I’m already planning on going out to Santa Barbara in October, and I might be going back to Mexico in September, so my travel money is already spoken for. I kept going back and forth on whether I should say something. For one thing, she’s the bride, it’s her special day, etc. Also, no one else had said anything so I didn’t want to be a debbie downer. But I could tell that I was starting to get resentful and defensive and something needed to be done.

As y’all know, I have no problem breaking up with people over text, or ghosting people, but those are obviously people that I don’t care about that much. I couldn’t text this to the bride. So I asked if we could talk, I called her, and I laid it out.

Do you know what happened? Every concern I had about the bachelorette party was shared by the bride. She agreed with and/or understood everything I was saying, she said that she was already thinking that we might need to scale back some of the ideas, and that a couple of other bridesmaids had already voiced similar concerns.

And that was that! We had a lovely conversation, each of us felt good as we got off of the phone, and each of us was happy with the path going forward. The most uncomfortable aspect of the whole thing was working up the courage to ask if we could talk. And I think that’s a pretty common thing. We get worked up about situations or conversations before they even happen, we fear the worst outcome, and then we get too scared to take any action. Yes, the worst that could have happened was that my friend would be totally upset, would have told me I couldn’t be in her wedding anymore, and we could’ve lost that friendship. That was what I was working with going into it. But anyone on the outside would have (and did) quickly say that the bride is not that kind of woman, and that we’ve been friends for 15 years, and this wasn’t going to end it.

My one resolution this year was to fear less. Not to be completely fearless, because I don’t know if that’s truly possible, but just to fear less. Be less fearful of the consequences, and more open to the possibility that everything will work out. As my aunt says, “It’ll all be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.”

– Finch

My Boredom Problem

Shortly after high school graduation (2001, represent!), I was at Barton Springs with my mom and sister, telling them all about my latest idea. Havianas were just becoming popular, so I had this great plan for making flip-flops with interchangeable straps. You could snap on different straps with different patters/colors, and make your flips totally unique! I laid it all out to them, even how I would make the prototype and how I would sell the pieces. My mom, who has more cowboy boots than flip flops, said, “Yeah, sure, sounds great.” My sister, oracle of my universe said, “Is this another one of those things that you’re excited about for a few weeks and then you lose interest?”

She knows me very well.

Throughout my life, I have had ideas, boyfriends, friends, projects that I am really, really excited about, and then I just lose interest. I become bored. It’s not even that anything takes away my excitement; I didn’t suddenly find out that someone else was already doing my idea or my boyfriend (insert laughs). It’s just that I no longer cared. And this isn’t the case with everything. My two best friends have been in my life for over 20 years each, and I’m not bored with them. I see B every single day, and July will be 10 years since I found her; she doesn’t bore me. I’m not bored at work or with my car. So this isn’t a blanket problem that I can seek answers for.

As the older readers will know, I tend to repeat-date and repeat-friend. Every time that Jay and I would get back together, everything would be great until the three week mark. It was like clockwork. At the three week point, I would start to see that everything that had annoyed me previously was still there, and nothing had changed. At that point, it just didn’t feel like it was worth my time to put any effort into the relationship, since I had brought up my issues with Jay to him and we had talked it through, ad nauseum. The same thing has happened in friendships. I’ll leave a friendship for whatever reason, then something will bring us back together, everything will be great for a while, and then I will see that the initial problems are still there, and I lose interest in trying to make things work.

I get that the relationship aspect is different than the idea/project aspect. In the relationship aspect, I’ve been dealing with people who exhibit the same behavior, no matter what I say or do. With the idea/project aspect, I just lose interest. Recently, I was telling my mom how I would like to start a YouTube channel for makeup/lifestyle, since so many of the people I regularly watch are in their early to mid-twenties, and have different life issues/styles than I do. I researched, I looked at vlogging cameras, I thought of video ideas. This went on for about two months, and yeah… I just don’t have any interest anymore. And who knows? Maybe this is the Universe’s way of steering me away from something that is not a good fit for me. But this is clearly not a new thing in my life, and it’s something that keeps popping up, so I should probably figure out why I lose interest. Hopefully I’ll figure it out before I get bored with the question.

– Finch

 

 

Can I Gain Knowledge Through Osmosis??

This past winter, I broke up with someone I had already previously dated (Dan, for those of you who are old readers). I know, aren’t you shocked that it wasn’t Jay?? However, while it wasn’t Jay, it turns out that Dan and Jay were very similar. On the surface, not so much, but there were some key alignments – both were always playing the victim, both created all of these dramatic reasons why their lives weren’t going as planned (another recurring theme this year it seems), and both were kinda mentally and emotional abusive.

Since I recognized the patterns between them, I started really trying to seek out how I could better myself so as not to attract those types of people anymore. I bought many books on: how to detect and avoid narcissistic people; how to express my empathic side and not be taken advantage of; different types of relationships; how to love myself more; how to live in the moment (those books just came this weekend); how to know my path and purpose; and how to be more open to the universe’s blessings.

Here’s the thing… I bought A LOT of books! And don’t get me wrong, I am a very fast reader (thanks Mom!!), but still. I like to read other types of books too, and go hiking, and watch t.v., and I have to work. I want to gain this knowledge, I truly do. I want to be a better person, and I want to learn my lessons so that I can stop repeating past mistakes (no more Jays or Dans!!!) And I understand that to gain that knowledge, you have to put the work in, you have to be willing to go through the steps.

But in the meantime, while I’m finishing my latest farming book (don’t ask me why), can I just pile all of these self-help books by the bed and absorb their knowledge while I sleep?

– Finch