So. At the ripe old age of 38, I am embarking on the next phase of my life. I don’t quite know how I’m going to do this as all my old coping mechanisms are outmoded, and I am slow to develop new ones. For a long time, I resisted having a positive outlook on life. This was in part because I hate the whole Pollyanna everything happens for a reason and if you think it, it will come attitude. This was in part (yes, I’m explaining the explanation, deal with it) because I relate that kind of attitude with the Christianly thought that if you’re good, God will be good to you. To me, it simply meant I was trying hard enough; I wasn’t believing hard enough; I wasn’t good enough. It was also in part because it felt phony and fake to me to be always spouting positive thoughts a la Stuart Smalley (FREE AL FRANKEN!).
In addition, I am terrified of failure. So, if I were to actually act upon my desires, then, I could fail, fail, fail. I hate failing, so I decided it was much better not to even try. Notice, that got me off the hook for doing any kind of action as an added bonus. I could remain as inert as I wanted in the name of guarding my fragile ego.
I am being sarcastic and flippant, but there is a kernel of truth underneath the glibness. It’s tied-in with my earlier belief that I had no right to live. At one of my therapy sessions, I finally said, after a bit of a prodding, that I wanted to date someone–not just hook up for a one-night stand. It felt criminal for me to announce this out loud. Why? Because I didn’t think I deserve it, deep down inside. To be fair, it’s also in part because of how my past relationships have played out. I have been dumped many, many, many more times than I’ve dumped, and it’s usually because of my famous “intensity”. Well, time has not soften my intensity, and it’s enough to tire ME out, let alone someone else.
Ever since my last relationship ended (waaaaaay back in 2002), I firmly believed that I would remain alone for the rest of my life. I mean, hell, I thought that, anyway, before I had my first date, and my dating life did nothing to dispel my secret fear that I was undatable. Not, as I found out, unfuckable, but un-live with-able.
I mean, I am moody, tense, hypercritical, alternately clingy and stand-offish. I keep a healthy part of myself to myself. I am mecurial, pissy, hotheaded, and, apparently, insatiable. In addition, I have no desire to get married or have kids. Indeed, as I have chronicled before, I don’t want to live with someone. I have no desire to talk every day except by IM, and I certainly don’t want to see the other person every day.
In addition, I am not strictly monogamous, though I am also not truly polyamorous. I want to be able to mess around, but I also want to be the primary person in my partner’s life. With my last partner, I never felt I could really say what I wanted because it was so not what he wanted. Of course, I believed that I had to mold myself to what he wanted because, well, because I didn’t deserve what I wanted. Indeed, I didn’t even deserve to want, let alone to have that want fulfilled.
In addition, I didn’t think there was anyone who would meet my criteria for a partner. I mean, let’s face it. What I want isn’t very usual. Then again, neither am I.
I use the case of relationships and dating, but this could apply to any part of my life. I want, but I don’t think I deserve what I want. In addition, I am afraid that I will never get what I want. Therefore, I stuff down the desire and continue to stultify. That way, I don’t have to ever know if I would have gotten what I wanted if I actually tried to attain it. Yes, it’s a way to stay safe, but it’s also a way to never get what I want.
Then again, I never even had the courage to acknowledge my wants before, let alone state them, so it’s no wonder I didn’t actually, you know, try to get what I wanted.
So. That is a big step in my new venture.
Oh, back to the relationship thing. I still am fine with being alone, but I also realize that I do want someone with whom I can go out to dinner, see a movie, perhaps (or not. Pulp Fiction broke up a relationship of mine, so movies are not a safe area), then go back to his/her place to have mind-blowing sex before I return to my own bed and my boys.
It is very strange to actually put that out there into the cosmos, but so be it. Who knows? I may even expand my limits enough to spend the night.