Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So it begins...Chapter 1: Dating for Fulfillment

First impressions: Sinking gut. That lead weight feeling you get when you know you've really messed something up. As I read the "Introduction I couldn't skip" I felt a wave of self pity wash over me. I was these women Dr. Alex was describing.

I had flashbacks to my last blog joking about my wild attraction to guys without jobs or enough money to even take me out on a decent really isn't all that funny. I do want a "Good Guy". As I read the description of what I want aka The Good Guy (strong internal compass, leader, comfortable in his own skin, knows what he wants, etc) I could hear my inner optimist screaming, "Yes! Yes! Yes!", but once I finished the paragraph my inner pessimist chimed in with, "pshaw, yeah right...not in LA."

"When you chase anything in life, you are affirming its lack in your life". p. 31

Wow. Duly noted. I think the greatest frustration with that painfully poignant sentence is that it goes against what has made me successful today.

Early in life we are taught to chase our dreams..."Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss you will still be amongst the stars!". For most of my life I have been an overachiever. I busted my ass in high school so I could get into a great college and win scholarships to pay for it. I kicked ass in college so I could get a high paying job. I worked myself ragged in a high paying job with a successful company so I could be financially secure. Now what? I did everything they said to do and I succeeded.

Now I want the Man, the family, and the white picket fence to match.

"Most people think of success in terms of possession: in order to be someone, you must have something. If you have money and spend lots of is, you are rich. If you have an attractive mate, you are successful in dating." p. 35

So true. I once had it all. A six figure income and a very attractive mate...but I was miserable. Clearly the relationship I was in didn't "catalyze an abundance of fulfilling feelings in my life, like love, peace, and contentment", so I got out (or more accurately he left). I also left the six figure income. I often thought that my success was a liability in my dating. I generally made more money than the men I dated. Most men will say that it doesn't bother them, but I know it did.

***1:09 am...fading fast...will finish in the morning***

Continued....2:40pm a night to sleep on it. I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed and defeated. I also found out that one of my recent prospects is going on a "date" tonight through a mutual friend. It was an odd physiological reaction to the news. Slight gut sinking. Flush feeling through my body like a warm sweat. Much like the feelings I got with the realization that I am those women Dr. Alex speaks of in the introduction to the Tao of Dating.

I KNOW I deserve better, but for some reason I settle for guys who seem to only make me an option. I deserve to be an entree vs an appetizer. What the hell am I doing wrong?

What KILLS me is that I'm having these physiological reactions to guys that I KNOW aren't on my same level, but clearly financial success hasn't always been a requirement with me.

"I don't care what car you drive; I don't care what neighborhood you live in; what matters is how you make me feel when I am with you."

This is the first sentence of my online dating profile. Clearly, I take that to heart since most of the guys I seem to date aren't on the same level of success that I have achieved. Why do I keep choosing these men???

I am grateful for the blessings I have. I am thankful everyday for a beautiful home, great health, financial security, and most importantly an amazing circle of friends. I have done it all. I have hiked the Great Wall of China, I've dived the Great Barrier Reef, I've climbed to the top of the Tour Eiffel, and I have completed numerous triathlons...but I can't seem to find one man that can appreciate me as much as I appreciate them. I know, I know...the whole first chapter talks about abundance and that I must always think about abundance for me to have abundance but for just a few paragraphs of one blog let me go ahead and have my pity party.

I'm tired. Part of me wants to give up and start shopping for big crazy hats so I can be the crazy Spinster with the pack of dogs. I'm tired of feeling like I have to dumb down my intelligence, athleticism, or success just so I don't immasculate the men I date. I am successful. I am exceptional. I should expect the same.

"What kind of person would you be if you truly believed that you have everything that you need? And what kind of people would you draw into your life if you were that person? Start there." p. 41

That sounds reasonable. Fine. I will start there. I will put aside my feelings of insecurity and self doubt and focus on all that is great in my life (and there is a ton). I will stop chasing that which doesn't wish to be caught. I will focus on my own abundance and fulfillment. If not now then when? Now is the time.

"Welcome anything that comes to you, but do not long for anything else."
-André Gide, The Fruits of the Earth

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Brazilian

I had lunch with the Brazilian today. He called around 11am just as I was about to head out the door to grab lunch in Santa Monica. "Sure, I'll meet you for lunch".

We met sometime last summer on a popular dating website. He was great looking, successful, intelligent...but fresh out of a failed marriage (about a year and a half fresh). We shared a love of adventure, extreme sports, and were both confessed gear whores. (Is there such a thing as REI anonymous?)

We dated on and off for several months and I even considered the prospect of a LTR with him. Then the inevitable happened. I started the downward spiral of why we wouldn't work out & talking myself out of "like" with him.

Suddenly, the casual laid back manner he wore became indifference. His spontaneity morphed into careless impulse. Brazilians are known for their infidelity, right? Could he really be faithful? What was I doing?? He's a great guy, right?? At least he has a job & his own place (sadly, not always prerequisites to dating me, but that is another blog)

Despite my roller coaster of falling in out of like with the Brazilian, we kept in touch. He would send a txt or leave a message every few weeks to see how I have been.

He was as handsome as I remember since seeing him last in November. He was extremely charming & complimentary saying how beautiful I was, which is always nice to hear. Over ribs and biscuits we exchanged stories about our recent snowboarding outings and adventures abroad.

He was sweet. He even picked up the tab (which again isn't a normal occurrence in my dating world). I thanked him with a friendly kiss and a big hug. We promised to try to see each other more often & even plan a snowboarding trip together soon.

I passed on the opportunity once, am I really willing to give it another shot? Perhaps I wasn't in the right mind set the 1st time & didn't really give it an honest chance.

I am picking up my copy of the Tao of Dating tonight from Dr. Alex...perhaps I will find my answer within...

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Phoenix

1. a mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, to burn itself on a funeral pyre, and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope.
2. a person or thing of peerless beauty or excellence; paragon.
3. a person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation.

How did I get here? Odds are I’m probably a lot like you or someone you know. Female, early 30’s, reside in Los Angeles, California. I think most would consider me reasonably successful given my age and well “lived”. I own my own home, financially secure, educated, and attractive enough to have once earned a living based on my appearance. I am the one that you probably ask, “why is she single?” Trust me; I hear it all the time. It’s odd since being in LA lots of people are single in their 30’s…however, in most parts of the country when people hear that I am single I feel like the Old Spinster with the pack of small dogs. (I only have one dog, by the way.)

I used to be the girl who always had a boyfriend. I went from one long term relationship to the next. The "Serial Monogamist" I was called. Once I got to college, that all stopped. Suddenly I was too focused to be bothered with a boyfriend. I was there on scholarship and had to maintain a 3.3 GPA in addition to working several jobs. Who had time to date?

After college I had two long term relationships that lasted 2+ years, but I knew that I had yet to find “the One”. I never was much of a hunter. I suppose if someone was persistent enough and willing to deal with my career focus, I would date them. It wasn’t until my last relationship that I really started to think long term.

We dated for nearly 2 years. Bought a place together (well, I bought it, but he helped fix it up and lived in it with me) and were practically married. Then things fell apart and I got my heart broken. This was 5 years ago and I suppose that is another reason why I remained single all this time…still mending a broken heart. I kept thinking that I wasn’t emotionally ready to be in a relationship. I dated, but once things got too close I would inevitably pull away.

If I don’t let people get close they can’t hurt me, right? Not an ideal way to live, but it was safe. I liked safe.

But here I am now. I am ready. I want to find “the One”. I am emotionally healthy (at least I finally feel I am) and ready to at least put myself out there. I know that I want to be in a loving and stable relationship and I will never get there if I don’t actually take some initiative.

That brings me to how I got to this blog. I am a personal friend of Dr. Alex Benzer. During a recent event he had brought The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Embracing Your Inner Goddess and Finding Fulfillment You Deserve. As I thumbed through the pages looking for the juiciest morsels of information I suggested that he find someone to actually test out the theories in the book and blog about them. Like a Sex and the City for the relationship challenged. Little did I know that in making that statement I had essentially volunteered myself as the first subject.

What do I have to lose? Nothing, but I have everything to gain. Clearly my own tactics and strategies have not worked, since I am still single and would prefer to not be. I am constantly told that I am a great catch, but seem to lose interest in the guys who show interest in me, and vice versa. I’m sure that I am probably making the same mistakes a lot of women make, but never really took the time to figure out why.

I do not have a problem finding dates. I do have a problem finding meaningful connections with the guys I date. I am assertive and dominant in my professional life, but when it comes to dating I am very old fashioned and perhaps even timid. I’m thinking if applying the techniques and strategies in this book can help me, odds are it can help anyone. Not that I’m a lost cause, but because I have tried in vain for quite some time to find a meaningful relationship in one of the most difficult cities to date, Los Angeles.

So there you have it. I am inviting you to join me on my quest and welcome your comments. My inner Goddess awaits and is looking forward to that elusive fulfillment that I so deserve. I am the Phoenix. Hear me roar.