My match maker found me a date!
I feel nervous… but not for the reason that you’re probably thinking.
I actually love dates. Even if they’re “bad,” I still learn something and at least walk away with a funny story. Dates are like job interviews, which I also love. It’s a blast to talk about myself, and to learn about the person/people across the table. These events are two way streets. I used to worry about whether or not the guy or the interview panel liked me. And while that’s important… I kind of don’t care. 😂 Now, I focus on whether or not III like them, and how I feel in THEIR presence. Dating is just another playing field in which I learn more about myself.
I feel nervous because what if this whole match making thing ACTUALLY WORKS?! I’ve gotten really good at being with myself, and I wonder what a drastic change will be like.
I remember the first time I stayed at a hotel after my break up. It felt so… empty, like there was too much space, like it was too quiet. Now, I LOVE staying at hotels by myself! I can spread my stuff everywhere and I don’t have to consider anyone else. I love my peace and quiet in MY apartment. I love MY OWN company. I love doing whatever I want with MY time and on MY schedule. I love focusing on just MY priorities.
I’m paying a pretty penny for this match making service… shouldn’t I WANT it to “succeed,” shouldn’t I WANT to find “my partner”?! I do… AND I feel nervous (and excited!) about what that change will mean for my life.
I booked a few nights in Yosemite next month. It’s been a long time since I’ve been camping, and I’m ecstatic to just sleep in my tent and wear fresh wool socks again. I remember falling in love with this activity two summers ago. At the time, I wondered, “Whoa… someday, I’ll be sharing this tent with someone… What will that be like?!” 🤯 I think I feel nervous because a relationship will mean MAKING SPACE in my life. Physically, emotionally, and energetically. I won’t be able to just spread my gear out and take up the whole tent anymore. I think it will be really fun to have amazing company on the trails, go skinny dipping in alpine lakes together (let’s be real, I already do this 😏), and share in the triumphs and tribulations of the backcountry! AND it will be a major adjustment from my current life.
Single or coupled up – neither is better or worse. They’re just DIFFERENT. VERY different. While I’m grateful to have experienced a loving, supportive, and wonderful relationship – I also know that they are NOT always easy. But being single is NOT always easy, either. BOTH are worth it, and both take WORK. NOTHING is ALWAYS easy and flowing and joyful. You take the good with the bad, optimize the good, minimize the bad, and you ride the waves as you go. That being said – if I’m REALLY honest with myself, these are my two biggest fears/concerns. I want to document and capture this moment in my life, and if sharing them helps someone else on their journey, then I’m more than happy to do so.
Fear #1 – Losing myself in the relationship. I’m really, really, really proud of and amazed by the person that I have become. I’m sure there’s a bit of pride and some healthy ego mixed in there, and sometimes I think I can be TOO proud of being a “strong, independent woman,” but – I’m proud BECAUSE of everything I’ve done and everything I have BECOME in this time as a single lady! Of course I LOVE myself – but I also really LIKE myself! I never liked the, “You Don’t Need No Man! *snap snap snap*” culture. Of COURSE I don’t NEED a man, that’s obvious and goes without saying. I WANT one, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Concern #1 – I don’t want to lose myself in his life, or in our dynamic together. I look at couples and I honestly wonder – how in the HELL do you strike the balance of being yourself, AND being a partner to this person?! Each person contains an entire universe. Put them together, and that “relationship” becomes this whole other “entity.” You, him, and the dynamic between you two – you’re now dealing with THREE universes!!! (Don’t even get me started on children. 😳 I want kids someday, but the relationships and dynamics blow my mind when I get in a “math” state like this. I love being 1 of 3 kids, so I think I’d want 3 of my own… well now my head is trying to draw an image of all the interrelationships and universes of a family of 5… hmm I guess it’s just a 5 pointed star…) How in the world do you empower and support THREE “beings”?! What do you do when your values don’t fully align? Obviously no person will 100% agree with me 100% of the time, so there will be healthy discussions along the way. How do you love them, AND love yourself at the same time? How do you gracefully hold space for all the magic flowing between all these different universes?
Fear #2 – Growing apart. I said it in my last relationship, and I think I did a pretty decent job of it… I DEFINITELY practice this now as a single lady… but I refuse to let ANYTHING stop my growth. I also refuse to let anything stop MY PARTNER’S growth – even and especially if that something is ME. I want both of us to reach our full potential and unleash everything we’ve got within us during this one precious lifetime.
Concern #2 – Thinking about vectors since I’m in a “math” mindset… if I am growing infinitely, and I want him to also keep growing infinitely… if growth and inner peace are my highest values… then there is no guarantee that our trajectory will stay together, that our lines will continue to run parallel, that our energetic spheres will stay in the same orbit. I look at couples and I honestly wonder – how in the HELL does anyone stay together for a year, let alone decades, or even a lifetime?! How do you keep choosing each other? Related to Fear/Concern #1, how do you “do you,” AND do what’s best for “us,” AND fully support your partner in what’s best for “him”?
I honestly have NO IDEA what the answers are…
Best Guess Resolution #1 – I can do everything in my power to continue to be my most authentic self, and keep re-evaluating the balance in the dynamic. Don’t bulldoze, but also don’t be a doormat. Voice myself. I think it will be fun to play with finding that ever-changing sweet-spot.
Best Guess Resolution #2 – I don’t have much control over this. I think it’s just an inevitable risk of being in a relationship. And even if we do grow apart and break up at some point – isn’t the whole point of life to grow into our best self? So it’d still be a “win.” And I know I can handle a break up and rebuild myself if that time comes again.
I ask these questions to my friends who I believe are strongly coupled and it’s funny – they ALSO have no idea, and ask me to report back when I figure it out. 😂 From my outside vantage point, it looks like they’re dancing beautifully together! But I think no one ever has it fully figured out. We are alive because we get to play with what works best for this current evolution of ourselves.
I always found it annoying when I asked couples how they knew they were with their life partner, and they’d just shrug and say, “you just know.” It was annoying because it wasn’t useful, applicable, practicable information! But the older I get and the more I learn myself – I believe they are right. I go on lots of first dates, and I get asked on second dates, but I decline a vast majority of them. (I once left a date 3 minutes into it – that’s a story for another time!) I don’t think I’m being “too picky,” either. I think this is just my current expression of “you just know.” I’ve learned how to recognize when someone is NOT “it.” It’s like a sixth sense, a gut feeling, an intuition – I just KNOW I don’t want to spend anymore time with them. I feel complete. It isn’t logical, it isn’t something that I can articulate, it’s just… I don’t know, “you just know”! 🤷🏻♀️
I don’t believe in love at first sight – because I believe love is a VERB, and it’s something you actively cultivate with time and mindful action. But the more I think about “you just know,” the more I start to sense – I think I DO believe in RECOGNITION at first sight. I may not want to marry the man right after meeting him. But all the work I’ve been doing honing in on myself and listening to my intuition – I sense that I’m going to be able to RECOGNIZE him when I meet him. Something inside me will just “know.”
I’ve actually been wanting to see how I will apply all my learning and growth in my next relationship. I’ve been wanting to find a partner worthy and deserving of ME, and I of HIM. I want to be IN the arena playing the game. I don’t know how it will all unfold, but I just have to do it and trust that my wings will carry me as I jump. I trust that I can handle whatever is coming my way.
Of course I’m going to give this whole match making thing my best shot. I have an odd hunch that it is going to “work.” That I am going to have to, *get* to, grieve the loss of my single life. That I am going to gain a partner more wonderful, more aligned, more… EVERYTHING… than my wildest imagination. That we are going to build a powerful life and a beautiful empire TOGETHER.
I’ve talked a lot about fears/concerns, but I also trust that I am going to be gaining so much in/through a divine and equal partnership. I’ll get to be there for him – I love giving, and I will GAIN joy by GIVING to him! And he’ll get to be there for me – I have work to do on my ability to fully receive, but I will also GAIN peace and fulfillment from THAT growth! I’m sure there are a billion other things we’ll both gain that aren’t even on my radar right now.
Y’all know how much I love journals. My jaw dropped when I saw this Moleskine with one of my FAVORITE quotes from Frida Kahlo – “I am my own muse.” It could not be more true for me. No matter my relationship status – I always have been, and always will be, my own muse.
Dating, job interviews, partnership, marriage, motherhood – these different dynamics, these different life stages – yes, they will include other magical people – but I think that ultimately, they’re a study of ME. My life is FOR ME. I have no answers. But I’m super excited to watch myself learn and navigate these different phases and roles in life. I think I’m really going to miss my current, delicious, gorgeous chapter. I think I’m going to have some fascinating insights and some profound lessons to learn – and share – along the way. I think my life will unleash some gorgeous things within and from me.
Let this wild ride of a journey continue!
Addition 10/25/2020: Okay. I had to try drawing it.