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Posts Tagged ‘lesbian’

My Big Fat Life – I’m Not Gay

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This is possibly one of the most difficult blogs I have had to write.

I know this will be pretty unpopular, and I am prepared for the backlash of previous readers, but it’s something I simply need to talk about.

When I started this blog I was hurting.. really hurting.. from the break up of the relationship with my *now* ex Registered Domestic Partner. I was in a place where grief seemed pretty all consuming, and I had no doubt I was truly devastated that things didn’t work out. I also didn’t question my sexuality, because as far back as I can remember, I was attracted sexually to women. Things with men didn’t seem to *work* in a lot of ways, and things just seemed so much more natural with women.

When I was in my relationship with the ex, there was one guy I had met that I was attracted to, and it surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to do with the attraction I felt, and I put it away. The word ‘bisexual’ in the LGBT community is one that is often seen with a lot of discrimination, and prejudice. I didn’t think I was bisexual (and I don’t think I am now), but I also didn’t know what to think.

I continued to date women after the ending of that relationship. Though I wrote about those relationships from time to time, I also kept a lot of it to myself. I never really liked the idea of writing about my dating life to begin with. One, I didn’t want to make the person uncomfortable, and two.. well, I didn’t want to write about it and then when it ended have it be another failed relationship that became the focus of my writing.

When Gabriel had his surgery last year, and I was in a relationship at that time. I won’t go into details about what happened, though I know a lot of it I under a tremendous amount of stress. I was also at a cross roads in my personal life.

When you are faced with the reality of life in such a raw way, you start to ask yourself questions. You start to wonder if you are really on the right track in your own life. Maybe career, personal life, romantic relationships, friendships.. so many areas. I thought I had known who I was, what I wanted, where I wanted to be. I had plans for life, and I was trying to live out my goals the best I could.

I am not so sure anymore.

The past 6 months, I have been on some dates. All those dates were with men.

Now, please hang with me. I know some of you are automatically labeling me as a bisexual. I can almost hear my ex screaming “I knew it!” in the background (that is in no way to suggest she is actually doing so), but let me make this clear.. I do not label myself as a bisexual. In all honesty, labeling me is the least important thing about this entry.

Over this past year a lot of things have changed in my life, and one of those changes has been what I feel I desire in a relationship. I can’t explain to you exactly where and when my heart changed, but I can tell you that today.. here behind the screen of the computer.. is a woman who realized that I am not the certified, card carrying, absolute lesbian I believed I was born to be. I am a woman who doesn’t want to label herself in anyway, other than to say that I fully believe that dating women is not where I want to be anymore. It’s not where I believe I am to be anymore.

I am not sure how to even begin to talk about why I believe the changes came about without sparking some serious debate about faith, but yes.. I am a Christian. I have never hid the fact that I believe in God, and I can’t explain how these drastic changes in my very being have taken place because it’s such a personal experience. I can only tell you my experience is that I am no longer attracted to women either sexually or romantically.

So there you have it.

I’m not gay.

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My Big Fat Life – I Learned.

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Yesterday Gabriel had another echo to check things out, since it was his two week mark of being off of the prednisone. If we can make it a few more weeks without a flare, then his chances of having made it over the bump, may have finally arrived. I’m still holding my breath a bit, but I will be so happy to finally take a breath in and let it out. That means I haven’t unpacked the hospital bag just yet, and keep it ready to go at a moments notice.I have learned a lot about what it means to be a Mom to a child who has struggled with his health. I learned that it takes a lot out of you, but it also teaches you just how important your role as a parent is. It’s more than peanut butter smeared on the counter tops, sibling rivalry, long nights, and early mornings. It is a special place of your life that carries so much joy in the midst of the battles, where you realize the strength of your children teaches you more than any parenting book ever could, and wherever your children go you will always be as well.

Since I have been relaxing a bit, I have been reflecting on what I have taken from the last 7 months. So much has changed about me. Nothing quite shakes your life up and forces you to reevaluate every thing you stand for, other than standing by as you watch someone you love struggle as a machine breathes for them. Suddenly in that moment you are faced with every truth, every moment you let slip by, every time you didn’t bend and compromise when you should have, or bent too far and settled for less than what you wanted in this life.

In the past 44 years of my life, I have seen some pretty horrible things in people. I have been on the receiving end of their bad choices, and I am sure I have hurt people along the way myself. There have been things that happened, that reminded me that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for, and things that have brought me to my knees and reminded me just how weak I truly am. The past 7 months though, I learned something about myself I wasn’t expecting. I learned how that it’s okay to be weak while standing strong, and it’s cool to admit that. That opened a door for me to be honest with myself in ways I wasn’t exactly ready to embrace, but I was finding the courage to.

Let me say that something I always prefer not to do, is write about the people I date. I have been asked in the past to write something, or share, but there is always this apprehension. If the relationship fails it’s just documentation of your failures. Once the words are out there, there is not taking them back. You can erase them, you can hide them, you pretend you never wrote them…. but there they are. I don’t like people knowing my secret spaces, thoughts, fears or failures. It’s always kept me a safe distance, and provide an easy escape if things go awry. On the other side of that, I don’t like talking about the break ups for the same reasons. It’s just another documentation of a failure, and heaven knows none of us need that. After all, this whole blog was birthed from a failed relationship. Who needs more evidence that love is difficult? Having said that, I am pretty sure that you have been able to gather from previous posts, that my last relationship didn’t survive the process of my sons surgery and subsequent illness over the last 7 months.

When Gabriel was sick, I stayed with him the hospital every moment of every day. When I wasn’t watching him take every single breath, and keep my eyes on the monitors, I was faced with some hard truths about me. One of those things that would forever change me as a person, is that I have a much different view on what love looks like than I used to. I used to think it was all about compromise and giving in, rather than giving up. God, I am so sick of giving in. For all of the people I have allowed into my life, and compromised for in the name of love, I spent a tremendous amount of time settling for what someone else wanted, rather than what I needed. I learned what I need is consideration. I do not want to be smothered, I don’t want to be ignored. I simply want to be the balance of being considered. There is a lot of power in that realization. This extends beyond romantic relationships. It defines so many levels of communication I share with others. Yes, life is compromise. When the cost is yourself though, that’s one hell of a price tag.

I learned that there is nothing more important than the people you can be yourself around, and still love you. I learned that it’s okay to cry and want to be held quietly. I learned it’s okay to say “no” and hold to it. I learned it is okay to say “yes” and that follow through with action is just as important as the word itself. I learned to not stress over the little battles and to pick up only the big ones. I learned to smile more, and that life is really more worthy to spend with joy in your heart if you can find it. If you find something, or someone, that makes you smile.. go for it. I learned to talk to people more. I learned to hug strangers that are family in the walk. I learned that for someone who loves words, touch is the most affirming and comforting expression to me. I learned that grief can teach you more about love and life, than a single person. I learned that consideration is not the same as smothering someone with attention. In light of that, I learned I don’t like to be smothered with attention. I learned that hope is a four letter word that can provoke anxiety. I learned that instead of hoping for the best, to just live in the now and take the changes as they come while hoping they change. I learned if circumstances don’t change, I can.

 

Most importantly I learned that life is here and now. It’s not planning for 15 years from now, not for a month from now. It is right now. I don’t want to spend the last moments of my life on this earth regretting the ways I wasted my time, or the risks not taken. I don’t want to lose another moment of being afraid of what could happen, and just embracing what is set in front of me. Having said that, I also learned to not be afraid of some changes I found myself experiencing. I learned that in those moments of facing myself, that I am attracted to men and I am learning more about what that means to me.

I also just learned how scary that was to tell you that.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life -The Divine Comedy AKA The Marriage Bed

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

This past April, marked 2 years since I got rid of the ex. I was able to just recently get rid of her bed. If I had replaced it already, I would be jumping up and down on it, but I haven’t yet. When I do, I will. A lot.

If you’ve read along, you know that the bed has been a source of contention for me. It’s not like any great sex took place between her and I on the thing. Had she not been there, I am sure the sex would have been perfect. However, she was and coupled with the fact I spent more than my share of nights falling asleep crying, it came to represent all things awful.

It feels so good to not have to share space with her anymore. So very, very good.

I haven’t had the ability to tear the bed down again, so it stayed in the room I used to not get laid in share, with my ex wife. I tried to sleep in it, only to have horrible nightmares. Which just solidified my belief that it was the fabric equivalent to The Divine Comedy.

Before the bed was taken apart, I snapped some pics and planned to sell the bed frame. I quickly made the listing on Craigslist and waited. It wasn’t long before I actually got a serious offer, and decided to meet the woman who was so graciously offering me money to remove something so ghastly, from my home. We loaded the frame into the van, met her at a store, loaded the bed into her truck, and in all honesty I just couldn’t take her money. I don’t believe in talking about giving, I think it is nothing more than showing how awesome you want everyone to think you are, but there is a story here. I gave it to her. I just felt moved by the spirit that she needed the bed frame, and in all honesty, she was doing me a favor by taking it.

The mattress was set outside the dumpster area. I didn’t even bother trying to list it, because most people wouldn’t take a used mattress. So it was set out there, and then it was gone within hours. As we were walking across the parking lot, one of the neighbors made mention that she just found the most awesome mattress outside, and swapped it out for her worn out one.

What was a horrible ghost to me, was let go at the perfect time for someone else. I love it when things like that happen.

My big Fat Lesbian Life – This Is What It Is About

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Looking back at some of the things I have written, I am almost amazed at just how much shit I put myself through. A lot of it could have been avoided or ended way sooner if I had just not engaged myself. Yet at the same time, it has chronicled a journey I have been on. Healing from grief, realizations about myself as a woman and life. If you’ve ever played video games, or watched someone, think of it as standing in a room. You need to find a clue or whatever, to move to the next level. You have opened ever single door and window until  you click on the bookshelf and suddenly a hidden door reveals itself. On the other side all of these really cool things are just there. You can’t imagine how you even managed to make it this far in the game without knowing about the things you are about to pick up and experience. Given it is a video game example, but it’s exactly like that.

That’s worth waiting for.

My Big Fat lesbian Life – Valerie Harper, Cancer & My Son Is Coming Home Today.

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Today is March 7th 2013 and today is the day that my son will be home. It’s been a little over two years, a cancer diagnosis, 5 surgeries and heaps of tears since I have laid my eyes on that kid last.

He spent the week competing in the Warriors Games Trials in California. Last night, the Marines took the gold in wheelchair basketball. I am so proud of him being a part of something that can show him that life can move on, even if it’s not the original direction in which he thought he would be going.

Today I read about the sad news of Valerie Harper, and her diagnosis. It seems so sad to me that cancer has to be such a part of our lives. If we don’t know someone who has it, we certainly have heard of those impacted by it. It touches too much. It pisses me off. As I read the news, I happened upon her People Magazine article in which she says “Don’t miss your life”. I read that and thought about all of the things I do in a day that I whine about, and yet have to do (like laundry and dishes). If my sons cancer has taught me anything, it is to appreciate that I am even alive to do the laundry and dishes. Yet I seem to be so exhausted by the end of the day and I feel only productive, if nothing else. I sometimes wonder if I am thankful enough, or if I am just so busy thinking I have to do everything, that I am afraid to leave the dishes in the sink and let the unfolded laundry go so I can just walk out the door and enjoy the sound of birds or visit a place I have wanted to experience. I sometimes wonder I am so thankful to be alive, that I am so busy doing everything I think I need to do, that I am forgetting to enjoy the things I can do. I stand in reflection of the things I need to adjust to keep moving forward with the most vibrant and productive self I can be. I need to not only learn to let my life me a productive one, I need to let it be a celebrating one. This life is such a gift.

My heart goes out to Valerie Harper and her family. I know they have a journey ahead of them, that isn’t easy. It’s full of too many lessons in a short amount of time. I am sure I am amongst many who were touched when we read of her diagnosis. I grew up watching her show, and as an adult I have watched the reruns. What I didn’t understand as a child, I certainly understood more as I grew. I think above an appreciation of her work, I will carry with me the words that I needed to read this morning. They spoke to me. As a single Mom with adult children, and children still at home (3 of which have disabilities), I really did need to read those words this morning. Not just for myself, but to teach my children.  I pray her family has the strength and peace they need to face the goodbye and embrace the legacy she leaves. As for myself, In a few short hours I will finally embrace my son and say hello. It seems so weird how life can bring such opposite acts, that can produce the same lessons.

If you follow me on Facebook (My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce), I will be posting photos tomorrow. Until then, be safe and happy and above all else…. live, and don’t miss it.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Warm Blankets & Pizza

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm

My life is so nice right now. It’s like a big warm blanket on a cold morning. I don’t want to emerge from it, even to pee. Well, maybe to pee. But I’d run really fast to the bathroom, so I could quickly jump under the warmth of my big ol’ blanket.

My son had another biopsy to remove a growth under his tongue, of all places. I didn’t want to say anything about it, until we heard the results this time. The up and downs. the stress and the worry, is sometimes more than I feel I can handle. I am happy I have God to help me through it all. My relationship with Him is a lot like that big warm blanket. Emerging to deal with my day to day needs, can be a cold reality at times, but I know I have the warmth of Him when I really don’t feel like I can carry the worry I have over any of my children. Which, I do a lot of. The biopsy came back negative, and it turns out it was another cyst. I am so happy for that kid. I am so happy for my heart. I am just so happy, that to add a cake to the whole mix he is coming home the first week of March, for a visit. This will be the first time I have seen him since his diagnosis, and 5 surgeries later. He is sending me his schedule, so I know it is real this time. The Marines aren’t keeping him for an appointment, he has specific leave off and there is nothing they can do about it. My son is actually going to be here for a visit. I am so happy.

So the summary for my recent week is: My son had his second clean pathology report, my son is coming home in just a bit, and I have an amazing girlfriend.

There shall be cake, there shall be joy and there shall definitely be pizza.

 

My Big Fat Lesbian Life- My First Time

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Last time I wrote I had spoken of Bea, who I deleted from my Facebook. I have to admit I was surprised to see a note from her in my inbox asking me why I had. I didn’t think she would even notice to be honest. She did. I struggled with an answer for a bit, and had to process. Because I was still uncertain as to why in some aspects. But I wanted to be honest with her this time. She is the woman I just stopped contact with when I moved up here to Portland, because I found it easier.. safer.. to just stop talking to her, than have to be vulnerable and share with her the truths that I had been carrying around. So I responded. I am working towards being open with people, even when I don’t like being vulnerable. I guess I have believed if I kept it to myself, then it’s safe tucked somewhere away. There it can sit and that information can’t be seen as a weakness in my shield or expose some part of me that might show how vulnerable I can really be.

When I found myself in a place with her 20 something years after high school, she was  more than just a sexual experience with someone. She was by all accounts, my first. There was a lot of meaning behind what I shared with her. It wasn’t just a sexual thing that happened, though I knew it couldn’t be more. She was literally just out of a relationship with someone and both of us were in places that weren’t really the best foundation for the start of something new. I knew that, but my heart wasn’t listening to my head at the time.

When things came to a halt between us, I walked away feeling hurt and honestly I felt like maybe I was just a fling that didn’t mean much even though in reality I knew that’s all it would be for me. All this time I held the idea that what we shared, and what I had shared (unbeknownst to her) was nothing more than just sex. It hurt every time I saw her post something on her page, and for the longest time I guess I couldn’t really understand why. But when I sat down to write her back, the words just spilled out and there it was before me. There was no longer denying it, or even escaping it. For what it was, I knew I had to be honest with her and tell her everything.

I didn’t know how she would respond to my left field confessions, and I didn’t even know if she would respond at all. But there they were, and there was no taking the words back to fill in the cracks I was exposing in my shield. While writing I also realized part of why I never shared with her, was because I didn’t want to give that power to someone else. To know that they were given something that could be used against me in a way to hurt me, or have some sort of power. Yet, she wrote me back the most thoughtful, caring letter. It was more than I expected, and it was mindful and considerate. Tears that I didn’t realize I had for her flowed without restraint. She told me that I wasn’t just sex to her at the time, and shared some things that explained the space she was in at the time. It made sense to me, and I understood with consideration. This hurt I felt was healing, and I was feeling a closure that I couldn’t create for myself. I felt like that maybe a door was opening for me to be able to reach out to her in time, and a friendship.. a real friendship.. could develop. Bea had no clue that she was more than my first big girl crush in high school, she was also a first in many other ways and was becoming a first for me again in some way. I don’t regret that I shared those firsts with her, I only regret I wasn’t open with her to begin with. Who knows how things would have been had I been able to be more open with her, I am not sure I even want to analyze the reasons why. I just know that it felt good to show a crack in my shield and while I know not every response will be as generous or as caring when I do, it still felt nice to jump out there and be openly honest with myself.

They say you never really forget your first, but I would like to actually meet her.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Come here, Go Away, Go Away.

In dating, Divorce, family, gay, Lesbian, lgbt, Love, single, Uncategorized, women on January 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm

In the spirit of my new change, I have been backing up my way of thinking with action.

This week, I blocked the phone calls and text messages of someone who would literally stress me out everytime she sent me a text. I won’t go into all the reasons why she stresses me out, only to say that she seems to be in a place I don’t want to be. The negative energy, the denial.. In the past, I would have been accepting. Not anymore.

I started going to Al-Anon. Al-Anon is for the family and freinds of alochoholics. While I have dealt with a lot of the things that I expereinced at the hands of my Mothers addiction, I still have that caretaking mentality. It is what has kept me in bad relationships, making excuses for the others behavior. In the process none of my boudaries were respected. Actually, I am not sure I even had any. But I have them now, and I need to repect them. I need to hold them close and true. If someone chooses not to respect those boundaries, at least I will.

I deleted someone I had an involvement with at one time, from my Facebook page, It was Bea.. the one I wrote about, who I was totally into in High School. I have no idea why, but seeing her page and topics seemed to upset me in some weird way. So, after some thought, I decided to let whatever it was, be what it is.

I feel good about these changes. Of course I never want to hurt anyone. I find that a difficult thing to face. I also know I am tired of hurting myself, while choosing to protect the feelings of others. It’s time to take those steps and finally let my actions show that I care about myself and that I respect the boundaries I have set out for myself.

It feels good to finally liberate myself, from myself.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Wide Awake

In Blog, blogging, Break-up, C.S. Lewis, christian, communication, connection, dating, equality, gay, God, healing, Lesbian Relationships, LGBTQ, Life, Love, Oregon, Portland, relationships, Relationships, respect, sex, single, Uncategorized, women, Writing on January 15, 2013 at 12:14 am

I will open this with a hard truth.

Recently a friend of mine, Lisa Mae, asked me a very honest question during a conversation, as she listened to my latest mess of a dating situation where I had to break off yet another disaster. She asked me “Aren’t you tired of telling the same story?”

Yes. Very much so actually.

In my recent awakening that I have an incredible tolerance for bullshit (see previous blog titled “Bullshit”) I have been far less tolerant of the bullshit, much quicker. While it is awesome, it also really makes dating a challenge. Because people are just full of all sorts of crap that they haven’t dealt with. Her question reveled something to me quite honestly that I need to deal with. I want to write a new story.I had to think about what that means to me.

What it means to me is taking a new step. My first step.. I have decided to change my complete outlook on how dating will be.  I want to change my story in a lot of ways, and it starts with me. While I have a new lower tolerance for bullshit, it makes no sense to keep putting myself into situations where I give space to people I find in a matter of time, I have to walk away from. It’s empowering to walk away, but it also gets very lonely.

So how will dating look? I want to spend time getting to know someone. I want to bring back the lost art of conversation. The kind of conversations that don’t have sentences like “Hey, want to move in?”, “Let’s buy a puppy together.” and the ever so popular “Who’s paying for the U-Haul?” (add side conversations regarding bubble wrap and trailer hitches).

Since my proclaimed change, I have been asked a lot of about what it is I am looking for in another person. I think I have attacked this question in another blog, but I also think my thoughts may have changed (I hope at least matured) since. There are some things that of course, always evolve. These are the things though, that I have found over the past two years, that have come to mean the most to me as a woman.

1.) I need someone who is whole. By this I don’t mean someone who has never lived. I mean someone who has closure in their life. No open doors to the past that keep shades of light flooding into their space. No hauntings of ex partners they haven’t made closure on. I NEED to know that there is space for me in their life. I don’t want to share that space trying to compete with the memory, or emotions of someone else. I am an amazing woman. I deserve nothing less this time.

2.) I need someone who can deal with their own shit (pardon the language).  I need someone who has the ability to handle their own affairs, and does it well. I want to be there to support them in the way a partner should. I don’t want to be a treated as nothing more than a personal assistant.

3.) I need someone who has room for me. I want to be the only woman who is in their life. I want a life partner, not someone to just fill my time, but to share life with. I am not talking about every single moment of every single day. I need them to have outside interests and something separate from me, but I don’t want to worry if they are the type to not keep boundaries with others, for me.. us. I want someone I can build security with, and build trust. That is something that a lot of people don’t get either. I am not paranoid that everyone is a cheater or a manipulator, but trust is built. It is not just given. The floor to build trust on, is security. Make a woman feel secure, and she will trust you. It’s a two way street though.

4.) I want to be able to openly communicate and feel heard. I want to be able to talk to my partner when something isn’t working, and not be met with resentment. I want to give that to my partner as well. Respectfully talk, respectfully listen, respectfully react. I want someone who is able to take personal responsibility and work through something with a resolution, instead of trying to make me feel my response is just wrong and avoid having to take personal responsibility for anything. Ever have someone tell you “Well, it’s your fault. You are just insecure, get over it.” ? Well guess what? Sometimes, we do stupid things to make our partners feel insecure. If we are unable to take personal responsibility, we are not ready to take on the responsibility of being the lover of our partners heart.

5.) I want passion. I know romantic love comes and goes, I have always know that. Though passion is something I want to always work on. Not just the sexual, but conversationally. Mentally. I want someone who can mentally stimulate me. Teach me something I don’t know. Share new things with me. Music, books, literature, spiritual… Something that makes me feel alive. I have to admit, there is something about a mind that drives me wild. Share music with me, and I swoon. Music that is strong, alive with meaning and depth. Someone who can connect to those things, *sigh*.. yeah. Explore me with your mind, before  your hands.

6.) A sense of spirituality. It doesn’t have to be the same as mine, but a mutual respect of my faith, as I respect theirs. There is something to be drawn from each other when you share faith.

7.) Do not try to rescue me. I do not need rescued. I do not need a Prince riding in on a horse. Horses freak me out anyways. Just someone who can stroll in and share a stellar conversation. I want to walk next to someone and be a team. Someone I can depend on, and someone who can depend on me.

8.) I want to meet someone who wants to get to know me, just as much as I want to get to know them. Someone who will ask me questions about the person I am, and show interest in getting to know who I am. I always ask questions, and start conversation. I would love it if someone took the time to show me that I am worth getting to know, as well.

That is a good start to explain what it is I want. I almost venture to say need. I’ve compromised a few of these things from time to time, and well.. how has that worked out for me so far? Yeah, I know that no one is perfect. I am not looking for perfection. I am just looking to be true to those things that I know I have longed for.  Those things I know that move me, as a woman. I know I have compromised these things in the past, to not even be met half way. It doesn’t feel good to have people rush in, take what they want and leave the rest. It’s like allowing yourself to be an emotional clearance sale, opening the doors, and allowing people to just pull off what they want, and leave.

No more emotional clearance sales.

I’m just so much more worthy than being last seasons trend.

 

*Insert Wide Awake by Katy Perry. I couldn’t pick a more perfect song for this entry.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Dating After Divorce 

In Blog, blogging, Break-up, Choose Joy, Christmas, dating, Divorce, equality, Facebook, Foolish Hearts, gay marriage, God, homosexuality, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, LGBTQ, Love, Marriage, minivan, Oregon, Portland, Rain, relationships, respect, sex, single, women, Writing on December 3, 2012 at 3:17 am

Ever live in one of those places that has one of those crummy water settings in the shower? It’s like you barely touch it, and it goes from freezing cold to scalding hot. You are standing there naked, usually with shampoo in your hair, and trying to dodge the extreme streams of water shooting at you.
My dating life has been pretty much the same way.

The dangers of dating, especially when you write a blog, is that you can’t really talk about some of the things going on in your mind, because the chances are they will read it. However, I am not dating any of these people any longer, and I really need to talk about it. One, to talk about how things have moved on in my life, and also because I learned a lot from the past few years. It would be ridiculous to try and say that some of these experiences haven’t impacted change in my life one way or another. In fact, the blog “Bullshit” was an epiphany I had while dating someone, and is what gave me the ability to call her up and drop her like I probably should have done after the first date.

There is one person who I encountered before my ex wife, and I need to share about her. I know this is about how my life has moved on since my ex, but she has woven herself in my heart and she played an important role. Her name was Bea (not her real name). It wasn’t a relationship, in fact she was just ending a 2 year relationship when I reconnected with her. I am not sure what it was, or how she defined it. I do know that I loved her. Back in mid 80s in high school I had a crush on her. She couldn’t come near me without my palms sweating, and I could never really look at her without feeling that rush of blood going to my face. I don’t think I spoke a full sentence to her being able to make eye contact with her. She was like a dream. Her smile, the way she carried herself, her laugh… it all penetrated my very being. I wanted to be close to her, but I lacked confidence. Fast forward to 2009 and I had found her on Facebook. I dropped her a line and we reconnected. When I laid eyes on her all those years later, it was like being in high school all over again. Exactly like high school all over again… I still lacked composure when she was near. I still remember our first kiss. It was everything I had thought it would be, soft and wonderful. Things didn’t turn out so well (I really don’t want to bring up all the details that took me so long to grow through) but I don’t think she ever knew to the extent of how much my heart broke after things turned messy, and I have never told her. I can state the reasons why it was a mess, I was in such a different place then, but I could never bring myself to tell her just how much I had loved her, how much she meant to me, and how I just wanted to make her smile. Instead, I just cut her out of my life. It was the easier, less painful road for me to take at the time. I cried for months, and I wore my friends ears out over that. I must have picked up the phone to call her what seemed like a million times just to hear her voice, but instead I’d just sit and stare at her number on my screen and eventually just put my phone in my pocket. All the texts I’d type out, then just erase. I can’t play the “If I could only go back in time” game in my mind, so I don’t. But hindsight is 20/20 and I do wish I had been in a much better place in my life during that time.

There was one more woman I met before I met my ex. There was an interest there, but we never dated. I am eternally thankful for her friendship. She needs a mention here, because she is a truly beautiful person. I’ll call her Songbird.

Then there was my ex. Since the first whole year of this blog has been about her, I think you get the picture. What. A. Mistake.

Then there was the first person I dated after my ex. I’ll call her Thunder. She made me feel attractive again. After a year and a half living with the Siberian Queen of Winter, it was nice to feel attractive, desired and even capable. Thunder and I were compatible in some ways, and in others.. not so much. She was a spitfire, she still is. There were times she would say things that would just cause me to stop in my tracks. I felt she lacked a filter at times. and at times it was overwhelming. But she also could make me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. And the sex….. I’ll be honest, it was the most functional thing we had going for us some of the time. She was present, and it was nice to feel like I was in bed with someone. If you’ve ever been in a bad relationship, you know what I am talking about. That feeling of loneliness that comes with sharing the same bed with someone who just isn’t emotionally there. It is one of the worst feelings of loneliness I have ever experienced. I broke it off with Thunder, and it took time for us to restore a friendship, but she will always be an important part of my journey.

After Thunder, I spent some time just dating. I met some nice people, and some really messy people. One lady comes to mind, and to this day still makes me cringe when I think about it. I spent two hours seated across from this woman as she told me every single sexual encounter she had ever had in all of her life, including the man she slept with 3 months prior “just to make sure” she was gay. She ended her long tale with the closing sentence of “I’m lucky I never caught anything.” I was horrified. She later went on the blow my texts up with proclamations of how she wanted to be a part of my world. Uh…. no.

There was Beaverton. OK so that is not her name, but it is where I would see her for lunch. It wasn’t a relationship, but we dated. I really liked her a lot. She was pretty hot and cold though, just like that shower I was talking about. One minute she seemed really into it, and the next.. I had no idea. I was often confused as to what was going through her mind, and so I couldn’t really emotionally move anywhere with it. I was pretty disappointed, because I really liked her. But I couldn’t take the hot & cold mess. I never knew from one to the next if I sent her a text, that she would freak out and think I was getting serious, or if I didn’t text her and she would think I didn’t care. Since I would go for a few days in between hearing from her, I just never knew if she was coming or going. I ended up writing her a note and just ending it. I still smile when I think of her, because despite everything, she made some really sweet memories for me.

Then I met someone through a mutual friend. I’ll call her Cave. The reason I will call her cave, is because she really should have just moved to one. She was in the middle of a divorce from her wife.. dating mistake number 1. Mistake number 2 was even going on a second date with her. At first she seemed kind, and compassionate. But as time moved on, I realized that there was this depressive darkness that just seemed oppressing, all around her. It slowly started to creep into my own life, and even my friends were asking me where my joy had gone. I smiled less, I laughed less, and I seemed tense a lot of the time. I was tired a lot, and seemed to drag my feet. It happened almost without me knowing. One day I was happy… me. Then a few months down the road, and I am just going through the routines of the day. She was toxic to me. One day she would be so kind and so gentle. The next, she wouldn’t answer the phone or texts because she needed space. She did this with her friends as well. She would just shutdown. It often left me wondering if I did something wrong, and if I asked she would tell me “no’ but would proceed to talk to me as though I had. She was abrasive, and yet would expect me to remain gentle despite her tone or words. Then she would accuse me of not being “connected” or “feeling” her. It was like being caught in the spiral of water heading down a drain. There is so much a person can endure, and I honestly just couldn’t take it anymore. The whole experience was like walking in the dark with no clue where the light switch was.

So then I met the last person I dated. She seemed to be the opposite of Cave, and that was my initial attraction. She was funny, moved around through the day, respected her faith, and I was drawn to what I thought was light. What I thought was light, turned out to be the first layer of many that were the onion of dysfunction. I’ll call her Onion. Onion and I only dated a few months before I made the call and broke it off with her. I let her feel it was a mutual decision after presenting to her the reasons why we shouldn’t date, but the truth is I was not going to date her again whether she agreed or not. We only dated a couple of weeks before she flew back to see her parents for a wedding. It would be another month before I spent any real time with her after that. The most I saw her was to pick her up from PDX after her returning flight, and took her home the next morning. But not before Onion had carelessly brought poison ivy into my home. She had contracted it while back home, and I begged her to please be considerate in how she cleaned it off before coming to my home. I have to admit I was really taken back when she sat on my couch crying because she was having separation anxiety from her parents (her explanation) after the flight. Little did I know at that time, that I needed to be as persistent with her as I would have to be with a teenager, because she ended up tracking poison ivy it into my home, and I ended up getting it on my leg. I didn’t want to see her for two weeks after that. Her nonchalant attitude about it, was even worse. It was the first red flag of lack of respect of space, and sadly wasn’t the last. The vision that stayed with me thought, was when I walked out to my kitchen and caught her in my cupboards, eating chips out of a bag. That might not seem like a big deal to most, but I was raised with respect of other peoples space and homes. I would never dream of just walking in, tossing open a cupboard and start eating your flipping chips. Yet, I found myself seeing her as teenager trapped in the body of a woman from that moment on. Every connection with her just seemed unbalanced with me, and I even started to wonder if she really just needed to pack her stuff up, and move into her parents basement. Maybe that is a harsh thing to say, but she was very dependent on them in ways a woman in her 40s really shouldn’t be. It felt so good to just end that disaster.

During the last dating escapade, is when I was talking with my pal Nancy and came to the realization that I have a high tolerance for bullsh*& from people. I could never figure out why I seemed to give things more of a chance than it really deserved. I would meet broken people, and allow broken behavior. I wanted something functional and happy, but it just never happened. I would enter into something with the hopes that it would be good, but the first shot of dysfunction and I would just shrug my shoulders and say “OK”.. Of course I knew it was dysfunction, but I never really understood to the levels of dysfunctional it was. My childhood had made desensitized me in a way, and made me just accept it as something that could be dealt with, because I had the survival skills to deal with it. But once I realized that it’s really not OK on any level, and I don’t have to deal with it, that was it. My bullsh*& tolerance is really much more smaller now. In fact, I really don’t care to ever deal with it. I know relationships go through things and seasons. I get that. In dating though? No.. I am so done with putting myself though the bs.

So what do I want?

Gentleness. Kindness. Compassionate. Honest. Loyal. Patient. Knows how to smile. Has interests outside of mine. Willing to share interests with each other. Soft spoken, but not passive. Has faith. Has hope.

The past 4 years has taught me more about what it is I am wanting in a relationship, and what I am unwilling to put up with from another person. I’ve made mistakes along the way, and I am not claiming to be without blame in any of the above mentioned situations. I am sure they have their side of how things went, but this is from my perspective. I do know the last two experiences especially were my breaking point, and my teaching moments. Perhaps I should thank them in some odd way, for providing me some growth moments.

Compromise and meeting someone where they are, is one thing in a partnership. But in a dating relationship, you really should be having fun as you get to know each other. It doesn’t have to be this intense situation where you are finding yourself make soft spaces to fall for the other person, merely to avoid a confrontation or because you are afraid to say ‘this is what I want’ and you aren’t willing to settle. It’s not like I am saying “Gee, I can’t date you because you drive a Honda and I only date those who drive Toyota.” No.. This is my future, my happiness, my choice for a life partner. I want to be happy. I want to be happy with someone else. I want to share my space with someone I can make laugh, smile, feel love and appreciated. I would like that in return.

The past 4 years I have had my heart broken, I have felt restored, I have had tears, I have had smiles.. but now is the time I can allow myself to say what it is I want from another person, and not feel like I’m being too selective. Is it really being too selective to say “Hey, I’d like you to be healthy too, because I’m ready for a mature and balanced relationship.”? No.. But we tell ourselves way too often that if we are somehow standing on that ground that we are just not compromising. When in reality we are compromising our own standards for what we would like to share with another person.

That is just one crummy shower to take for the next 50 years with someone else.