Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 3: Content Yet Not Satisfied

MANY men from different aspects of my life have told me that I’m intimidating. My boss, friends, men that I’ve dated… they all agree that something about me is intimidating and makes them feel like they need to “bring their A game” to be with me.

I’ve been told that I’m, “a good catch,” “the whole package,” and “have every quality in a woman that a man’s looking for.” Really?! Because I’m single, and I have been for a while now. Can it be that I’m truly that intimidating to men? Do I make them doubt themselves? What’s going on here?

At this point, I can’t blame every man out there, I’ve got to look inside myself and see what’s causing the same results over and over. The result being that I don’t have a partner. A special someone in my life to snuggle up and watch a movie with; go do things together and talk about our individual perceptions of it afterwards, cook a new recipe together, and when it turns out terribly, order a pizza together. See? No “A Game” needed! But, maybe I’m missing something here. I think it’s the perception of me that’s intimidating and not the real me. Here’s what I’ve been told is intimidating about me:

My education. I have a Bachelor’s in Marketing and an MBA.
My physical being. I’ve been told I’m attractive and in shape.
My profession. I’m a professional, young woman, and I’m passionate about my career.
The way I carry myself. I’m not sure the details here, but I keep hearing that I carry myself really well.

It’s frustrating to me, no – VERY frustrating to me, to hear these compliments over and over and over, only to come home to an empty house. I’m trying not to dwell in it, but obviously since the issue came up into my blog, then I guess I am dwelling in it. My strategy right now is to just keep doing what I like to do anyway, with the hopes that it will all fall into place naturally. I am content with my “single life” situation, but I’m not satisfied.

Day 2: Love is Not an Emotion

Love is not an emotion. It is a mutual sustainable effort. So, if any of those factors cease to exist, then it's no longer love. Think about it... if it's not mutual, then it's one-sided. Well, then it's not real love, it's infatuation. The second part, sustainable, is a requirement for the existence of real love. Sustain is a loaded word. By definition, it has at least 8 different meanings:

1) to keep in existence, maintain or prolong
2) to provide sustenance (nourishment) for
3) to carry the weight of, support
4) to endure, withstand
5) to comfort or encourage
6) to suffer
7) to uphold the validity of
8) to confirm, corroborate (another word for confirm and support)

It's nearly identical to the Corinthians verse. It's the recipe for all that Love is and should be.

To keep in existence – love is not love unless it continues forever
To provide sustenance – unless both people nourish the love, it dies; and therefore is not & never was love in the first place
To carry the weight of, support – you must be self-LESS and support the other person. This is why love is not an emotion; rather it’s a series of actions. It’s about what you do and say and how you treat the other person in the relationship/friendship. It’s about carrying the other person when they can’t carry themselves. It’s about having their back when others are attacking them. It’s about being there when no one else is, to help them when they stumble
To endure, withstand – because face it, at some point it gets challenging & you just have to get through it. If you give up, it’s not real love
To comfort or encourage – again, like support. Be kind. Sometimes helping someone is tough love, but sometimes, it’s HOLDING THEIR HAND & LETTING THEM CRY. Sometimes, though, it’s pushing them out of the nest to get them to fly. So yes, comfort, but also encourage. There’s nothing wrong with an “I know you can do it” every now and then. Just like there’s nothing wrong with a “I know this sucks, but I’m here for you & I’ll go through this with you.”
To suffer – exactly. When you love someone… REALLY love someone, you better count on suffering at some point. That’s just reality. I won’t even begin to mention all the ways you might feel suffering in a relationship/friendship. You already know, because it’s happened to you… hasn’t it?
To uphold the validity of – be faithful. Be loyal. Prove in all your actions and words that this is a real, strong, and credible relationship
To confirm – prove that it is true
See… no emotion yet. All of these are actions that must be mutual. So, onto the last part, this is effort
Effort means to use energy and to try or attempt. You better believe that you will use energy AT ALL TIMES in a real, loving relationship. Sometimes the energy will come easily, naturally… it might even be fun. Sometimes, it will feel like work. Other times, you’ll be so damn tired that you won’t have the energy, but you at least have to try. You’ll have to try when you don’t want to, when you can’t.

So, there it is: mutual sustainable effort. These words hold so much meaning and power… so much more than a fleeting emotion. Love isn’t something that can ever die. If you truly TRULY love someone, you will NEVER stop loving them. You may not like something they’ve done. You may not like something they’ve done to you. But, if it’s REAL LOVE and not just infatuation, you will NEVER STOP loving them.
It took me this long to figure this out. I haven’t perfectly loved anyone, but now I realize what it means & how to do a better job of truly loving someone unconditionally. You might think I’m full of it. You might cling onto the concept that love is an emotion. But, you won’t convince me. I’m taking my theory and running with it, and I’m not looking back. I won’t say I love someone if I know it’s not a mutual sustainable effort. I won’t throw those words around like pennies in a wishing well. That phrase has a deep meaning to me now. It’s not an emotion anymore. It’s a series of actions over time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 1: Imitation is the highest form of flattery

My dear, amazing friend has recently created his blog, "100 days of happiness" which can be found at He is an amazing writer, and he's on a path towards nirvana by finding the goodness in every day. He has inspired me to write my own blog. I don't like constantly utilizing my friendships for free therapy, so I've decided to let it all out... not in a "give out negative energy and it comes back to you" kind of way. No, I'm releasing it like a dove released at a wedding on the beach. As a sign for a brighter future, a more fulfilling life. I want to release all my negative energy and allow the positive energy to flood into my core. I hold onto too much. So, now's the time to let it go.
I don't know if I'll truly vent for 100 days straight, but the idea seemed good at the time. So, here it goes: RELATIONSHIPS. Not friendships. Not flings. Not family. A partnership. A true partnership is such a simple idea yet so very, very complex.
Simply, a partnership is something that two people sustain together. It's mutual. It's something else that both people are contributing to. In reality, there is so much more to it. There are emotions and feelings involved. Even worse, there are humans involved, and that complicates things more than anything. "If there were no people on this Earth, then there would be no problems." I said that last week. (I was obviously having a rough day.) I'm not in a relationship, but I want to be. I want to have a partner that supports me and that I support back. But, when people get into relationships, they eventually (and almost always) end up feeling stuck and miserable. They have to consider the other person's feelings so much that they begin to lose themselves. Their independence is jeoparadized and they begin to resent the person they once fell in love with. The fun is gone. But, when you're single, the fun is empty. Curling up on the couch with someone, watching a movie, while they play with your hair sounds so fulfilling it's heart wrenching. Like my favorite group, Jagged Edge, says, women "just want to be loved, just want to be hugged." I feel like that. I just need that supportive partner that believes in me. But, here's the thing: men are attracted to my strength and independence. When we get comfortable, and I open up and start revealing my concerns, fears, stress factors... they lose interest. I'm not the strong, independent goddess anymore. I'm... human. So, what do you do to keep the interest of the one you care about? Do you save your problems for your therapist or do you share them with the one that you care about the most? If you limit your conversations with the one you're closest to, are you really that close at all?