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Trust was the topic of the week over coffee with friends. I was all set to talk about the different kinds of trust… financial, emotional, and spiritual, not to mention the physical. Anyone who’s seen trouble has “trust issues.” Unless you want to spend the rest of your life repeating the same mistakes, you work through those things. I learned trust wasn’t just about not telling someone everything; it was more than just about boundaries. But this week, trust took on new meaning.Image

“I don’t trust myself…” tumbled out of my friend’s mouth and the world stood still for a second. Holy shit. Flip the script and turn everything you know about trust on its ear: Do I trust myself when it comes to women? Do I trust my judgment regarding whether or not I should really move forward? How do I discern whether or not that person can – or currently is – meeting my needs?

For review: What’s my criteria for dating… heartbeat? You like me? Sweet! It’s on!

I jest, but really – what I say I want and how I behave are two completely different things. I want a long term, committed relationship. I need someone that’s not going to date me “just to date” or bide their time until something better comes along. Yet I select partners that either have no intention of maintaining long term relationships or are fantastically ill-suited for me.

If I had a friend that that I told time and time again what I needed and wanted yet continually let me down, I would absolutely cut that person loose. My current circle of friends is clear evidence of that. I don’t tolerate mistrust. Yet, when I look in the mirror, it’s ok.

Can you unfriend yourself?Image

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A friend asked why I hadn’t posted in a while and I pointed out it’s difficult to write a blog about lesbian dating and relationships when you are neither in a lesbian relationship or even dating.

Her response: So write about that. We’ve all been there.Image

I can’t say the decision to not date was conscious but it wasn’t unconscious either. I got into an endurance cycling event and had to start training my ass off. Frankly, no woman would have wanted to entertain dating me with this regimen. I was up at 6am on weekends and gone for a minimum of 10 hours. I was in bed at 8 or 9 on the weekends. When I had recovery weeks, I was sleeping or hanging out with friends that I’d neglected the other 3 weeks of the training cycle.

In the midst of this I went out to dinner with some friends and – as it always does – the topic of my love life came up. The words, “dating and women are a pain in the ass” came tumbling out of my mouth and I was rather shocked. I’m not a bitter person, I’m actually an optimist. What’s this about? My friend pointed out she didn’t think her partner was a pain in the ass…

I was so taken aback I thought about my words and here’s what I’ve come up with so far… I’ve chosen to date several women that I knew from the start it wouldn’t last. Because the beginning of any relationship is exciting, you make sacrifices and I was giving up time with friends, running, riding and paying lots of money for animal care. LOTS. When the reality of the situation would hit me in the face – I’d get resentful. Then I’d try to make it work. And… queue death spiral.

This phase has been interesting. A friend had a birthday party about a month ago and in trying to sell me on the idea of staying up late and coming straight from a hard-ass training session she said, “there will be single women there.” My response was indifferent, much like that when someone says, “Hey, we’re going to get sushi, wanna come?” Sometimes… you’re just not in the mood for sushi.

It is what it is… for now.

No, that’s not a typo.

I was having dinner with some coupled friends last week and the topic of my personal life came up as it always does. I mentioned how I had finally transcended the phase of dating girls with a big “but” to which one of the women replied, “oh, yeah, another one of our friends kept dating girls with big heads.”

Eh… Not exactly what I mean… let me explain…

I noticed I dated a number of women – half a dozen maybe – that all seemed to go the same way:
We’d go out on several dates and have a great time. This would continue for a few weeks to a couple of months then she would say, “You know, you are great, perfect, everything I’ve ever wanted… BUT:
… I’m not ready for this. Or…
… I don’t want to come out to my family yet. Or…
… I’m not over my ex of eight years and I just can’t do that to you.
… I’ve really got a lot going on right now and I kinda have a huge thing for a straight girl.

It got so I’d go out with a woman and close friends would text after dates: So – does she have a big but yet?

When it happens once, it’s an instance. Twice is a cause for comparison. When it happened three (plus!) times, I had a trend line and needed to look at the data. In the final analysis the only common denominator was: me.

The first order of business was putting a moratorium on dating until I had this thing figured out. When I lined up the situations some things became crystal clear:

  •   My picker was broken. I was subconsciously going after women who were not available and who had no ability to meet my needs. I had every indication of this from our first few encounters, yet I ignored those signs and pressed on.
  •   I had a full-court press going on. Somehow “dating” ceased to be “dating” but evolved into “interviewing for The One.” Maybe interviewing is too light. How about interrogating. Professionally, I’m not altogether a patient person, and apparently I translated well that to my personal life and most specifically dating. If I saw a glimmer of potential, I was forcing the situation to move at a lightning pace. This is likely the behavior from which lesbian U-Haul jokes stem.

How did I stop dating girls with big buts? First, the moratorium helped break the cycle and enabled me to understand and spot my own behavior. The next thing I’ve started to do is stop dating unavailable women or those who can’t meet my needs (that does require knowing one’s needs). Finally, I’ve lightened up. It’s not easy to let go, to stay in the present moment 100% of the time when that’s not your regular state of being… but it’s getting easier.

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