When it comes to dating and relationships, especially after the whirlwind of bullshit from my very recent past, I am the sort of person who constantly gets cold feet. Rather than putting up with difficult feelings or pushing through the hard stuff, I throw my hands up instead and am quick to exclaim, “Fuck this! I’m out!”
When I sense myself feeling jealous, or paranoid, or worried, or any other manner of negative vibration, I just get this yucky sort of feeling inside. Why am I wasting my time feeling sad about something when I could enjoy being single and carefree instead? Why am I worried about some guy, I think, reducing him to an object without feelings, when I could be doing my own thing and focusing on me?
Having been in the sort of relationships where I constantly put 110% of myself into trying to make things work, only to have things backfire terribly, I now hesitate to throw myself into new partnerships because I just don’t want to face that sort of pain again. It terrifies me, actually. It terrifies me so greatly that when someone I might be interested in shows signs of possibly being interested in me too, I run in the other direction and pretend I can’t tell. It terrifies me to the point where I would rather everyone just be my friend rather than someone I could potentially be with. It scares me so much that I recently put a time limit on how long I want to be single before I start dating again.
… Which isn’t working too well for me, actually, because single, eligible, and attractive men in San Francisco are abundant and persuasive.
Heartache is the worst kind of pain anyone can suffer.
It’s not just a mental thing — it’s a physical thing, too. You can’t function. You can’t get out of bed. You don’t want to see your friends. You don’t want to take phone calls. Every step you take is accompanied by a sob. All you want to do is just sleep forever and never get up. It’s miserable. It’s agonizing. It consumes you.
I don’t want to have my heart broken again.
And I’m sick of writing about love and dating on my fucking blog.
Get out of here, love!
No one wants to read your crap!
I know I should heal, too. I know I should try to see new people and try to be more open-minded. And I know a lot of it has to do with perspective. So … Okay. Let’s try the perspective thing.
I like who I am when I’m in the good parts of a relationship.
When I’m with someone I respect and love, someone who I feel has earned or deserves my affection, I am warm, inviting, nurturing, and cuddly. I am obedient (if you value that sort of thing in a mate), fiercely loyal, committed, and submissive by nature (despite an interesting past in playing the reverse). I am eager to please, maintain and improve myself so that I may always seduce my partner, and I am bright-eyed, curious, and open-minded. I love having experiences with the person I’m with. I love slaying “firsts”. I like making simple things our thing. I listen. I text back right away. And I am the master of filthy pictures because it turns me on when he’s turned on.
As for actual sex, I like sex. A lot of it. With one person. And I want to have it often. Every single day. Several times a day. For the rest of our lives. I want us to beat each other into a sexual coma where the most we can do is get up for glasses of water or cook for one another naked and feed each other in bed while only taking breaks to read or flip through the boring channels on TV before both realizing our books and TV suck and we’d rather be making out like teenagers or cuddling instead.
I’m the sort of person who, when at the theater, likes to hold hands, tangle our legs, and look over at one another just to smile and kiss. I am the sort of person who, when I’m in love, literally does not give a shit if her partner gets big and fat because I will rub that big belly and make wishes on it like Buddha and tell him how much I love his big tummy anyway and that his body still turns me on because he is smmmoookiiiinggg hottttt. <3
So. It’s those parts of a relationship that I miss.
I miss being that sort of person.
I know who I am when I’m in love with someone and really care about someone, and I really like that person.
It’s not that I don’t like being in love.
Or that I don’t like dating.
It’s that I don’t like the way I feel when the person I am actually in a relationship with doesn’t appreciate the things I do for them and feels I owe it to them, or takes advantage of me, or betrays my trust and hurts me, abuses me, cheats on me, or does any number of the terrible things any of my exes have ever done to me. And because my previous relationships lasted so long (I’ve only ever really been in long-term relationships), any number of things can trigger my want to pack up my things and run.
My past has effectively taken the kind, warm-hearted, loving person I typically am in a relationship and beaten her down into a shaky, quivering pulp hiding in the corner. I find myself panicking over every little hiccup or bump in the relationship road because I’m so worried that things will turn out exactly like the relationships I’ve already had. So instead, when I start to have feelings for someone (any little pinch of jealousy I feel, or any smidgeon of worry over their health, or anything that makes me feel even slightly vulnerable), I slap myself in the face and yell, “FUCK THIS. I’M SINGLE.”
I was talking to some girlfriends yesterday about my fears.
I was thinking about completely calling it quits with someone I’m talking to right now who I’m worried I’m starting to have actual feelings for. I’m not ready for this. I’m not “good enough”. I feel guilty for having baggage because I don’t feel like someone should have to put up with that. It’s not fair to them.
But my friends are …
They’re my friends.
And they’re amazing, and they’re supportive, and I’m so lucky to have them because they always manage to pull me out of the dark depths of my mind and help me see the silver lining.
Here’s a snippet:
First: everyone needs friends like these.
And second: they’re right. They’re absolutely right.
I am a very honest person.
I know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I want to go. The way I see it, if I’m clear from the beginning about what stage of my life I’m in, it leaves the ball in their court over whether or not they want to play with me knowing full well that I am like a skittish, abused kitten abandoned in the shelter who might scratch at her new owner.
When beginning any new dating period, I introduce my new suitor to these facts quickly: “I just exited a terrible and abusive relationship. Because of my experiences, I have trust issues, co-dependency issues, and I can get really jealous. I fully believe that I should be single right now so I can just work on myself.” I make it obvious that relationships and commitment freaks me out, and if they want to know why, I am totally prepared with a whole host of personal experiences to back up my claims.
But I’m trying.
I’m really trying.
Recently, for example, I felt paranoid and jealous and worried for absolutely no reason (though I didn’t know I had no reason to be jealous or worried at the time), and I felt sick. It wasn’t just that I was jealous or worried about the particular situation that triggered it, I was also jealous and worried because of the shittons of times I’ve had to be jealous or worried in the past because I was actually being cheated on or two-timed, and it all came down on me in this flood of emotions that made my stomach twist and my heart beat faster and my face heat up and it was just all too much and AHHHHHHH–
I felt sick.
I didn’t like the way I felt, and I didn’t want to feel that way, and so because I simply felt that way, I immediately thought to myself, “Fuck this pseudo-relationship. It’s over. I don’t want to deal with it! PEACE. I’M OUT.”
… But then he reached out to calm me down.
He actively worked to reassure me.
And by doing so in the kind and gentle way that he did, it made me feel foolish. Humbled. Stupid. Like I had overreacted over something I obviously shouldn’t have worried about. Like I should be grateful for him instead of angry at him for no reason. And I was. After he reacted the way that he did, I was so grateful for him. He didn’t make me feel like an idiot — he just reminded me how amazing I was and that he cared about me. I’m lucky that someone cares about me enough to, as my friends put it, hold my hand while I work on healing.
But you see my predicament, don’t you?
I want to be loving, warm, and trusting, but so much has happened that it makes it difficult for me to just be myself with someone, relax, and 100% put my faith in them. It’s difficult to trust that I’m good enough. Or trust that they have zero intention of hurting me.
Relationships are scary.
My friends think I need to keep trying. They say that perfect guys throw themselves at me all the time, and that I’m lucky if the worst of my problems right now is trying to decide on whether I should date one of them or not. Woe is me, right?
Here’s how it’s going down from now on.
Whenever I feel something that triggers bad memories about my ex, I’m going to be honest with my partner about it and communicate to him exactly why I’m feeling the emotions that I’m feeling. Open communication. This puts us both on the same page. Then, if I’m being totally ridiculous, he can use his ultra-sweet and disarming charm to gently explain to me why I have no reason to feel upset or worried. He can show me how he’s nothing like my ex by reacting better than my ex ever has. Which will result in me feeling all warm and loving inside, and then we’ll have sex.
* I was trying to find a sort-of-safe-for-work sex gif, and found that. And it’s hilarious. And I hope you’re all laughing as much as I am right now at it.
I’m not so naive that I believe I can heal from the past lickety-split, but I am at least working towards it, and I am grateful to have people on my side who are there for me no matter what. I want to start trusting again. I want to start believing there are good people in the world. I want to heal.
Forget “no dating for a year”.
I am officially calling that off.
I want to work on healing instead.
I’m going to date nice guys who are willing to work with me on showing me that there are perfect gentlemen out in the world, and that I have every reason to trust and love again.
God, that sex gif is super distracting. I’m trying to write the rest of this blog post and all I can see is a fish jizzing in a girl’s vagina and I’m like, “what the fuck am I looking at?”
Just going to exit gracefully now …
Sherilynn “Cheri” Macale
PS. I swear I’m not as high-maintenance as this rant makes me seem. … Okay. Maybe I am. Just a little. I’m cool with it.