Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's a Disgusting Process

Is it me, or does everyone on those dating websites all look like they could be Hannibal Lecter's love child? With every profile I read I'm convinced I'm one blind date away from the inside of someone's freezer. It's kind of depressing, when one reaches a certain age, to have to actually go through all that dating crap, not to mention the humiliation that is online dating, just to live happily ever after (if there is even such a thing). Why can't I just blink my eyes "I Dream of Jeannie" style, and have my perfect match standing in front of me complete with flowers, a good bottle of wine, a compilation CD of all my favorite songs, and a book of poetry by ee cummings. Is that so much to ask?

It recently dawned on me that I have had one, just one, legitimate relationship in my entire adult life, and I'm here to tell you, it didn't matter how many times I kissed him, he remained a lifetime member of the frog club. Nothing says "forever" like a thirty something Peter Pan who's primary goal in life is to find a woman to keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed. Sexy! The rest have been one utter train wreck after another.Take for example the gay guy in college. That was a year and a half of mixed signals and hand holding that ended abruptly when he finally came out of the closet. I really should have seen that one coming. He was named after a plant for Christ's sake, and he shared a bed with his roommate because "they couldn't afford two". Seriously, how did I miss that?

Then there were the two married men, one of which went no further than an intense two year phone conversation while I waited for his separation to turn into a divorce. It never did. No, I'm not proud of myself for those digressions, and I realize now that with each "affair" there was a woman who I betrayed right along with the schmuck she was married to. But in both cases I was naive enough to believe them when they told me they loved me, and perhaps they did, but not enough.

All of these pseudo relationships, along with the countless other obsessive, unrequited infatuations have had one thing in common; they were all with unavailable, and therefore, safe men (guess how many years of therapy that charming little realization took?). So now I'm wondering if I will ever have the capacity to have a normal relationship. Will I be able to fall in love with a relatively stable, emotionally available man, and let that person in enough for them to be able to love me back?.

What if I can't?

What if I'm doomed to ride the relationship short bus for the rest of my life?

I know a lot of it is wrapped up in low self esteem, and a poor body image, blah, blah, blah; but somehow it feels deeper than that. It's an innate distrust of men. I don't know if I can trust anyone enough to show them the real me, to hand them the keys to the gun cabinet and give them the ammunition to do some serious damage if they wanted to. Hmmm, interesting metaphor. What would Freud say?

And now I don't know where to go with all this. Ive just barfed up a giant hair ball of a character flaw(sorry 'bout that), and I just can't wrap it all up in a neat-cohesive-lesson-learned-pearls-of-wisdom-bow. It's a mess. Hell,I'm a mess.

I know, I know, I'll never get good at it unless I try. I see others dating, and actually making headway through to their own happy ending, but I think I'm a little worse off than most. Oh yes, here's where the weight thing rears(no pun intended) it's ugly head. There is no way any self respecting man is going to find this attractive. And if they do, they immediately become suspect to me.

Okay, so I'm going to have to work on that.

There is a lot I'm going to have to work on, because I do know I don't want to be single my entire life. I do want to have someone I can share all my bits and pieces with, and the only way I'm going to get what I want is to actually go out and get it. Maybe spewing all this stuff out here is some sort of bizarre first step in making that happen. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

12 comments:

Cammy said...

Ah, dating. As if we didn't have enough to deal with, right?

Some of the internet dating thingies are okay. I know personally three couples who are married now because of match.com . And now that I think about it, two of the three women (and one of the men) are overweight. Maybe it was easier somehow to get the relationship started by email or phone first?

It's all vewy scawy. Hang in there!

Lara said...

You don't have to like the weight, but you need to find a way to be comfortable with who you are. You have other things that make you an amazing person. Focus on those things. You need to learn to see the amazing person that you are.

And if you find someone who focuses on those things too, you know you're on the way. The right man won't be blind to your flaws, but he will have a way to make you KNOW that they truly are inconsequential to him.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I don't like it when posts wrap up into neat little life lessons anyway. Doesn't ring true.

But your words do, beautiful. Keep writing them.

FairiesNest said...

What a fabulous intimate post, how could any guy not fall for you?!

thailandchani said...

Oh, gosh. I'd have to write a book here.

Several things come to mind. The first one is "it's not you. It's the process itself."

I don't believe the "shopping" method of "dating" really works. It's a fabricated ritual whereby two people bring their fantasies to the table and see if the other one will be able to meet those typically unrealistic expectations.

Fantasies are fantasies for a reason.

It's competitive. There's always the feeling of getting "chosen" like a pair of shoes at Nordstrom's or a puppy in the window.

Those are the two primary elements in my view. Not so unlike a job interview.

Really. Think about it.

Now, the "it's not you" part. When two souls resonate, body size and all of that becomes irrelevant.

You are NOT a product! You are NOT a commodity to be chosen like that pair of shoes. You are NOT some man's service object. Have I said that strongly enough?

If/when you meet the right person, it will be in the normal process of living, doing the things you care about with people you like.

I honestly believe that.

we_be_toys said...

I wish almost every day that the rest of the world, guys in particular, could see the Bea I know. I wish you could see her, and realize just how incredible and truly loveable she is.

You are kind and nurturing; sensitive and thoughtful; funny and a good listener with sincere feedback. All of these things make you a person TOTALLY capable of loving and being loved, but you have to take the first step and not only allow someone else to love you, but you have to love you first. I know that sounds all twelve-step; pat and trite, but I can testify: until I cut myself some slack, accepted me for myself, I wasn't able to open up enough to truly love someone.

Nicole said...

You made me laugh with the sharing the bed comment. That was precious.

As for the rest of it, I know that, for myself, I had to lose weight before I would be a good partner and find a good partner. The men I would have attracted when I was nearly 300 pounds weren't the men I was looking for. So, after my divorce, I took two years to work on myself. I exercised, ate right, excelled in college, planned out my life, and then--guess what?--I met Hiren!

I'm not saying that's the same path you have to follow, but for me there was a lot of merit to it.

Lynn said...

Pffft.

I now weigh less than I did when my husband and I got together.

I know we all feel horrible about how we look, but when you find the right person, it's not how much he weighs or what you look like. It's about how you fit together. It's how you can talk to each other and laugh together, and make jokes, and just... feel better being together.

"There is no way any self respecting man is going to find this attractive. And if they do, they immediately become suspect to me."

Pffft.

Trust me on this; guys can have some really wide ranges of acceptable when it comes to 'attractive'. In fact, I'd be willing to say that 90% of the guys out there are happy with "yes" and "enthusiasm". Which leaves 10% of the male population who are jerks and you don't want them anyway.

A lot of guys talk big, but when they don't think they have anything to prove, you'll find out they're just as body-conscious, worried, and have as low self esteem as anyone else. Actually, they're worse, because they're 'not allowed' to talk it out with their guy friends...

Don't write someone off because he likes *you*...

Heather said...

Oh deary, there is hope and you are lovely. I know that there are men out there, even on dating websites.

There is so much here to talk to you about, but, it all boils down to you are you and that is just right.

More later. Take care.

flutter said...

OK I seriously don't know how I missed this, but you and I are soulsisters, you know?

Gypsy said...

God, dating sucks. Especially when you've got a trunkload of issues that need working out.

Just take some time to get good with yourself, then when you feel better about you someone else will notice, too.

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