I went back and read the last five entries of my blog the other day after someone told me they started reading it. I never do that. I’m the type of writer who puts down thoughts and feelings to work through my own issues and when I do that, I walk away from them. When I read what I’d written it all felt so long ago, when really it was only a few weeks. It’s amazing how fast things move in my mind. I always think it’s strange when someone mentions this blog to me in person. I don’t know why they’d want to when they have the actual person with them. Maybe they don’t understand that nothing here is secret. I think that’s the most amusing part of this process—I don’t hide what I’m thinking or feeling. Anything I’ve ever written about anyone, including myself, I’m willing to say directly to your face if you’re brave enough to ask me. I think the difference between me in real life and me in this blog is that there are no social boundaries here. I commonly refer to this as my journal and try to ignore the fact that other people read it. Sometimes I call it internalized therapy. I used to say that I’m unfair here, emotional. To talk to me in person is to get the nice, rational Elitist. The one who does and say what she should, cries at home, and always stands up straight and keeps a smile on her face. I feel like that has changed lately. As the days fall off the calendar, I’ve been welcoming a warmer, more integrated me. Trust me, nobody is more surprised to see me act emotionally in public. I’m not always fair. I don’t always do and say the nice thing. I gave myself permission to feel what I want, when I feel it. Not when it’s convenient.
Now I’m not suggesting that every time someone hurts me, I promptly burst into tears. In fact, I think I cry less these days when it comes to people I’m dating or whatever it is I do with them. I’ve been learning to not give people more importance than they deserve (with heavy reminders from my friends) and put them in the proper place in my life. Easier said than done. I’ve been able to look at someone, evaluate their place in my life, and walk away when they don’t serve a positive purpose quicker. I don’t waste 15, 7, or even 3 months on them anymore. But I feel like the entire system of dating works against me. Let me explain. There are so many differences between men and women that it boggles the mind. I’ve been accused of operating more like a man than a woman on more than one occasion. I’m never quite sure how to respond. Usually it’s by being insulted. Normally it’s the result of a man who is dating me (or trying to) finding out that I’m dating other guys. Interesting. So basically the fact that I date multiple guys means that I’m a guy myself? Gotta love that they’re upset by that. Wait, you’re not sitting around thinking about ME all the time, wishing you were MINE and only for ME to touch, even though I’m out sleeping w everyone who will let me in their panties? NO!!! Wait, I was supposed to be waiting for my “turn” to get married and day dreaming about that special someone? As my girlfriend would say…barf.
I had no idea how narcissistic men were. I love, love, LOVE how I can not talk to a man I’ve gone out with before for a month, two months, four months, or whatever, and he messages me, texts me, calls me out of the blue and offers to take me to dinner, fly me across the country, or come visit like no time has passed. Like I’m sitting here waiting for him. Or I missed him. Or I was ever even just his. Am I the only one this sounds crazy to? Women are naturally insecure. We think that no man will want to be with us and keep us for good. Men assume they’re God’s gift and every woman they’ve ever touched or talked to is sitting around waiting to be blessed with their presence. It’s fucking unbelievable. I think the funniest part of this blog is that some of them will read it and think I’m not talking about them. Like I could only possibly say nice things about my time with them. This must be someone else. Of course. The egos never stop. In fact, they’re SURE they’ve made a large impact on my life and have made my blog several times. They say it to me like it’s soooo obvious. Well you were crazy about me and wanted me all to yourself, so I’m assuming I’ve made quite an appearance in your writing. Actually, you didn’t. There are a few men who made a hell of a fucking dent in my life and in my heart. They know without a shadow of a doubt who they are. They’re the ones I actually had the conversations with. I don’t communicate secret messages through my blog. Who would do that? Sounds a bit too awkward for someone as straight forward as myself.
My relationships with men are categorized in a very strange way in my mind. It takes a lot for me to call you my boyfriend or an ex boyfriend, but not so much for me to call you an ex. All you had to do was date me a little. If we went out a few times, then I’ll call you an ex. I picture something like a yearbook page in my head and I draw a big X over your face once I find out you’re a dbag and you’re taken off my “to do” list. Sometimes if you catch my attention and I think I might want to date you, but you disappoint me before you actually do, you get a big black X too as a precautionary measure. I’m sitting here laughing to myself picturing some of these guys thinking “Is she talking about ME?” hahaha. Forgive me, I have way too much fun thinking about all of the crazy experiences of my life. I have to laugh at everything I’ve been through and how many, many mistakes I’ve made. There are so many of you charming “mistakes” that I don’t think I could take a role call if I wanted to anymore. Maybe that’s a blessing because most days I’d rather forget. I asked my girlfriend today when it became ok for men to treat women like whores. She said when most women started acting like them. Fair point.
I’ll tell you why I have such a hard time giving people too much importance. It’s because I consider everyone’s value as equal. I struggle to understand how one person’s opinion can mean more or less to me when I’m already taking the time to interact with them. In other words, I don’t care what the majority of the world thinks of me (obviously, look at this crazy fucking public blog), but if I’m dating you, hanging out with you, or talking to you on a daily basis, I may start to think that you’ve gotten to know me and then your opinion will matter in some regard. What I’ve come to realize is that most people don’t actually get to know me. They get close to me to use me for something. Also, I’ve figured out that not everyone’s purpose in my life is permanent and that means their impact on my mind or heart doesn’t get to be permanent either. So what does that mean? It means my selfish new year’s resolution kicks right the fuck in. Hey you from my past, you don’t matter anymore. Please leave me alone and torture someone else. You were dismissed for a reason. Hey you who I was dating for a long time, you don’t get to tell me how to lead my life or what I should be doing. Worry about yourself. Hey you that I really, really wanted at one time. That time has passed. Be graceful enough to not be an ass around me or I will simply ignore you. Not everyone has a place in my heart. And for days when I can’t figure out if I’m being fair or allowing myself to feel what I want, there’s my counselor.
Let me talk about my counselor for a minute and how important he is in my life. Yes, my counselor is a man. It was intentional. I needed a male perspective. I also NEEDED to see a man act professional around me, assure me that not all men were fundamentally selfish, and tell me exactly what the hell is going on with some of the ones in my life, from my father to the most recent idiot I decided to show my panties. He makes sure that I’m responding correctly to all situations I’m in. Isn’t it strange that there’s a “correct” and “incorrect” way to respond to things? That always surprised me. So when a man tells me that I view men strangely, I smile. When the kid I’ve been sleeping with tells me I’m so smart and self aware that I don’t need therapy, I wonder what he would’ve thought of me before counseling. I know exactly where my strengths and weaknesses are. I’m not ashamed of the fact I see a counselor; I’m proud. I’ve stuck with it for a long time and I can see the progress I’ve made. I feel it in my heart and I hear it in my thought processes. He also gives me a unique perspective on my life and my social interactions that I can’t see from the inside. It seems like the longer I talk to him, the more I see about myself that I didn’t know was there.
I think his latest observation about how I operate in relationships is my favorite thus far. I’ve always thought it was strange that men never ask me to be theirs, just theirs. It would hurt my feelings. How can you text me all day, see me twice a week, or whatever, and still not come out and say “give me a chance, be my girlfriend, don’t sleep with other guys” or something along those lines. It doesn’t matter what the duration is—one month to one year or anything in between. The story is still the same. Am I not the loving, attentive, fun girlfriend that they wanted? Do I not give them space, understanding, and crazy sex with no drama. He finally said something really interesting to me that hadn’t occurred to me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Allow me summarize: He said that the problem is that I already act like their girlfriend. I give them SO much of what they need that it doesn’t occur to them that I could possibly be seeing anyone else. No normal woman could carry on 5 complete relationships with separate men that effortlessly. How do I keep them all separate? How do they all get me all day, every day, see me regularly, and feel affection from me all at once that is completely genuine? I gave him my typical smartass answer of “I multitask like a motherfucker” and we both laughed, but I was quiet after. Do you know what it made me think about? How much love and energy used to go into my marriage. How much time do you think I spent thinking about my ex husband’s happiness and well being and making his life the best it could be if I can literally take less than that energy (since half of it goes to my daughter now) and still keep several men happy enough to think that I’m just with them? A lot.
I’ll be the first to admit this sounds shady as fuck. How can I carry on with several different men at the same time? Well, I guess they’re not very demanding compared with what I’m used to. Second, here is the narcissism at work. I don’t know why it never occurs to them that I could be seeing other guys. Even when I tell them there’s no reason to trust me or assume anything, they smile at me like I’m being cute or coy. Alrighty then. I’d like to remind you that I don’t hide anything from anyone and I never, ever lie about where I am or who I’m with. So any of these guys could take two seconds to ask me where I am, who I’m with, where I was, or what I’m doing to tomorrow and I’d tell them. They never do. Ever. I don’t understand it. If any of them ever referred to me as “their girl, girl friend, mine” or anything possessive, I would question them and then act on it. I always said that if anyone wanted to date me exclusively I’d give them a chance. Hilarious that nobody ever asked me for the chance, even after I said to one guy that he was the first one I’d actually wanted to be with. Yeah, I SAID it and got NO response of the same kind. Dude, are you really surprised I ended up dating other guys at the same time? What sort of person just sits around and does nothing when the guy she wants isn’t making a commitment to her? I don’t indulge assumptions and unspoken agreements. They’re stupid. I remember once a guy who was trying to justify not using condoms with me said something along the lines of “but baby, I always use condoms with other girls!” when I finally forced him to confess to sleeping with someone else. Not like I ever hid it. Look, I like to have sex 3 times a week. How often did I see you? Do the math or show up often enough to take up my time yourself if you don’t want a commitment and don’t want me with anyone else either. The stupidity abounds.
So here’s the deal now. I’ve decided that I don’t need to go out with every man who asks me, whether I’m interested or not, just because the guy I really have an eye on isn’t talking like a boyfriend. I think a different approach is in order. I need to understand that there’s no clock ticking. There’s no rush. I can literally sit still for a week or a month to see what happens with a guy instead of going out with someone else just because I’m free. I like to think there was or is some sort of golden age of dating where people only date one person at a time. I know plenty of guys have said it to me, but I don’t actually think it ever occurs. I need to not be quite so jaded. I know most of my girlfriends will only date one guy at a time. I know I’m a juggler. It’s almost like I prefer to have 5-10 up in the air at all times to make sure I’m not bored until I get into a relationship where I can devote all my time and love to just one. You know what that gets me? A lot of annoying drama all the time. I think I’d rather just have one guy annoy me at once, or God forbid make me happy. Ok, so here we go. New year, new attitude, new approach. Time to grow up and start being a little more up front. I shall solemnly swear to utter phrases like “are you dating anyone else?” and “I think we should give this a chance and not see other people.” when I find myself sighing and looking off into space when he pops into my mind or texts me. I’m so cute sometimes, aren’t I? I also solemnly swear to quickly give someone the axe as soon as I’m sure they’re not the right one instead of keeping them around to amuse me or keep me warm. Not that anyone has ever complained, but, well, now I’m complaining. All together now, repeat after me: “Close enough is not good enough.” I suppose as with most of us, the lessons that stick with us the longest are the ones we learned the hard way. Now that I’ve had my eyes opened to yet another truth about myself, I think I’m going to let it roll around in my head a bit and see where it takes me.