Saturday, March 17, 2012

The woman who is allergic to dating and relationships, yeah it's me

I've been sick for about a month and have taken I think 3 weeks off from this supposedly weekly blog. I'm still fighting this ugly resistant infection, made more complicated by the fact that I am allergic to just about every type of antibiotic except the ones that the bacteria is resistant to. I've just started yet a 4th one and hoping, praying it will work. But what does this have to do with dating, my personal dating experiences and search for a meaningful, fulfilling relationship with a man?

I'm not sure exactly. I've had a lot of time to think about why I'm still single 5 plus years after my divorce and why in that time I chose some of the more short term relationships I have been in or went through phases of rejecting just about every guy who showed any interest in me or even being unconsciously completely oblivious to it. Maybe like with antibiotics, I've somehow become "allergic" to most types of men and that isn't their problem but my own. Or is it that I just have been choosing the wrong types? You know, the types of men who I should avoid because I am "allergic", i.e. they are bad for me or I am bad for them and instead I should work on being attracted to the rare type of man who I am not going to break out into a rash over or worse causes me to go into shock.

The latter is what my former marriage did and I've so been in shock, I didn't even realize it until quite recently, as in last week sometime. For those who've known me personally for awhile, this is old news but for readers who don't my history, the short version without going into details right now is that I was emotionally, verbally and physically abused during my marriage and actually even before. I am one of the strong and lucky ones in that I left him after only 4 years. Some women never can get up the strength and courage to leave because it's been literally bled out of them on multiple levels. And the other stroke of luck is that he only stalked me a little before he gave up.

However I am still healing the wounds. I mistakenly have thought for years that I actually was completely healed and ready. I actually congratulated myself about 1 year after the divorce on being so successful at pulling myself together. This was just when I had started just short term dating. I ignored the fact that I had given up dancing yet again because my ex had shown up at a milonga (place where a person dances Argentine Tango) he knew I frequented. That was just a couple months after we separated, before the divorce was final. Obviously since even after moving to a completely different state a few months after this pat on my own back to myself, I still did not set foot in a tango, salsa or ballroom dance class or event.

For the last 5 years I have either been celibate, willingly a friend with benefits or maybe in a roller coaster on again/off again pseudo serious relationship with another person just as wounded and unready for a real relationship as I was. Now I live in yet a 3rd state and I want to date again but honestly I am terrified of attracting and/or being attracted to another abuser. This past summer I was in my mind (but turns out not his) dating someone seriously for about 3 months until it became clear from his actions that he was using me for sex. So now I'd gone from willing casual lover to unwilling and so I broke it off.

When I first posted my intro to this blog, friends on facebook posted comments like "don't worry, you'll find a guy" etc. But in truth I have no trouble finding a guy. Guys approach me online and in person all of the time. The problem is, I'm not initially anyway attracted to most of them and the guys I am attracted to either aren't available, not in my extended circle of friends and acquaintances or just not interested/attracted to me. (To that last group: What the fuck is your problem? I'm hot)! It's the age old problem of she loves him but he loves somebody else or she loves him but he doesn't even know she exists/but she doesn't exist in the stratosphere of the world that he does.

Intellectually I know that I push guys away either by being aloof and/or caustic or by being "needy" and obviously I do this to avoid getting hurt and I do it even more since my divorce. I feel more vulnerable so I just grew tougher and completely impenetrable armour. So although I've been complaining alot about being sick this past month on facebook and even longer about men, I'm happy that this blog is really forcing me to look deeply at how I approach dating and relationships and also to really ask myself what I want and what mistakes I don't want to repeat while becoming excited and courageous about meeting a guy, the right guy.

And even now I'm still avoiding revealing my type. So here it is after going over a list of guys who've given me intense butterflies over the years: I like tall guys with dark hair who are strong, alpha males but also may have hidden or not hidden sensitive side and who have a sense of humor and can get really good banter going. The eye color isn't important. The most important parts are decisiveness, assertiveness and intelligent sense of humor. Yep so a guy that may at times be a "player" because he can but he might not be either. I like to think that in my maturity I can tell the difference and not mistake a guy's charm and natural flirtatiousness for sincere romantic interest like I did when I was in my twenties and a bit into my thirties.

Oh and I freely admit, I tend to be attracted to guys in their early to mid thirties and a couple who are only in their late 20's but I addressed that one already. I think it's because I look like I'm in my early to mid thirties and not in my early forties and because really I'm attracted to people who are open to new things and who aren't bitter while I desperately fight my own slide into bitter divorced harpy spinster territory.

So I don't know. Have I answered my own questions at the beginning of this post? Do I know how to find and start a relationship that I won't be "allergic" to? Maybe. I just have to take the plunge and see. While I've been sick I've taken time off the sites I'm on which are OK Cupid, Chemistry and Zoosk. Before I started the blog, a couple of guys from one site or another were texting and/or emailing me but it never led to many actual dates. I did meet one of them but it was obvious we weren't compatible. He talked way too much and not to me but at me. Plus he kind of dissed special needs kids and that does not fly with me. I did get a nice sushi dinner though. Thankfully the realization that it wouldn't work was mutual and I never heard from him again.

Since I began the blog a couple guy friends have begun talking to me more. This is a good thing. I don't know yet if anything romantic will happen. For one I'm starting to wonder why guys who live in L.A. who never tried to flirt with me when I lived there are now joyfully making regular contact me when I've moved to another state. Don't get me wrong. I do like it. And maybe romance will blossom. Or maybe it's just a new kind of "safe" flirtation. Hopefully I haven't discovered yet another type of friendship that I'm "allergic" to. Maybe one of these guys or another one I haven't even discovered yet will be that rare find that doesn't give me hives.

So that's the end of the post. But a last note related to this blog and my privacy since it's so personal. I've been thinking about what I will do once I am in a relationship or just dating someone seriously. I wouldn't ever divulge personal details of any romantic relationship I'm in. When that time comes, I may take the blog in a different direction or just make it a more general dating/relationship column. I'm not sure. But I do know it will not be the equivalent of a reality TV show in blog form. So guys who want to date me, I promise not to kiss and tell and like I said before in the initial probationary dating stage and the process leading up to that I will never use names and just give general details.