I don’t like this dating business. I haven’t even gone on one and already I’m in strung out and tired. I don’t like strangers pinging messages to my phone every day and I don’t like that I’m going out to meet them – I feel anxious, jumpy and irritable.
I now have four dates lined up – one tonight, one tomorrow night, one on Wednesday and one next Sunday.
I keep thinking, what if they don’t like me? What if they say ‘you don’t look anything like your pictures?’ – which, of course, I don’t. I have put up BY FAR MY BEST PICTURES. I know that this is part of the game but seriously, I could be done under trade descriptions.
I’ve spent the last few days hating my teeth and my bum and my hair. I’ve been looking in the mirror and finding the ways I am wanting. I am thinking things such as: ‘why are your eyes so weird and puffy at the moment? Who would want to look into them?’ I’ve been looking at my lumpy arse and thighs and thinking the same thing – ‘who the hell would want them? Why have you let yourself go?’ etc etc.
I am already setting myself up for rejection. It makes me want to cry.
I know hardly anything about the men I’m meeting – but I am already projecting like crazy.
My biggest projections are going onto the guy I’m meeting on Sunday night. He volunteers and just took a week off work to help his sister do up her new flat. He has a good job and lives in Richmond. I’m building him up into some kind of saint. A tall, sexy saint.
I’m not really a fan of Richmond (for non-Londoners it’s a posh bit of town full of Rugby playing, management consultant types and yummy mummies) – but already I’m picturing moving into his book lined house (I have no idea if he even reads, but my fantasy life always involves rooms with tall ceilings and book shelves) and having hot sex and lying in bed on Sundays… and then… then what?…
All these feelings comes up… feelings that I suppress… feelings that maybe deep down I do want to fall in love, get married and have babies…despite the fact that this is not what I think in my normal life.
While my single friends are certain in their desire to do all that – I never am. When I look to the future I imagine travel, fun, adventures. I rail against this idea that if you’re single you’re sole existence is trying to find Mr Right – I don’t think that anybody can make you happy, I think you have to do that yourself. As for children, I don’t feel a deep need to have my own. I do worry that I’ll wake up at 45 and think ‘You missed the point of life’ but right now my biological clock is not ticking.
BUT there must be a big level of denial going on because half a sniff of someone who might be nice and wham, bam, I’m into Happily Ever After fantasy land.
And I hate that. I hate that deep down I might just be a big old Bridget Jones cliche and also I hate how vulnerable this makes me feel. I have spent my life not admitting – even to myself – that I’d like to fall in love and settle down because what if nobody wants to marry me, love me, have a family with me?
I spent most of my twenties quite certain that nobody would. I sat at wedding after wedding thinking there is no way any man will look at me the way that the groom is looking at my friend, no way that a man would stand up in a room and talk about the day he met me. Each wedding I went to was a reflection of everything that my life wasn’t and it broke me heart a bit every time. And so I just closed myself down to even the idea of it.
Over the last couple of years, since the Hoffman Process, I’ve come so far in that regard. I like myself so much more than I did and I know, in theory at least, that it’s not inconceivable that someone could love me – in fact, men have told me that they do – but the whole thing still scares the crap out of me.
I’ve just finished reading a brilliant book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. She talks about this idea that there are two primary emotions – love and fear. If we feel love every day, we go through the world in a different way, we attract people and situations and life flows. If, however, we allow fear to take hold, then our hearts close and we are brittle and isolated. We become angry, stressed, suspicious… everybody we meet seems to reflect back our negative feelings.
Hate isn’t the opposite of love, she says, fear is.
It’s so true. I have been in proper fear over the last few days – fear of rejection, of being hurt, fear of not being good enough, fear of falling in love and losing myself….
I’ve been hearing horror stories from friends about guys on the internet and have let myself get suspicious of the guys who have been texting me. I’ve worried that they’re just manipulative monsters, who’ll use me and laugh at me, but that’s just fear talking.
But men aren’t monsters, any more than women are. I think that we’re all trying our best and sometimes we behave badly but that doesn’t make us bad people.
I know that I’ve behaved badly in the past, out of fear and self-protection. I have been stuck up and proud. I have dismissed people who were brave enough to open their heart to me because I didn’t believe it, didn’t think I deserved it. I have run away. Time and time again.
But enough running. According to Marianne Williamson, and indeed Tolle, and the Bible, and just about every spiritual text in the land… love is the reason we are alive. Not necessarily romantic, find-a-partner-love – but love of your fellow human beings. Without it we are nothing. Without it, life is pointless, life is hell.
Marianne Williamson (and all the other spiritual A-listers) also believes that everyone who comes into our life does so to teach us a lesson. Even bad dates can be good dates, if we see them as an opportunity to learn something.
She writes: ‘Looking for Mr. Right leads to desperation, because there is no Mr. Right. There is no Mr. Right, because there is no Mr. Wrong. There is whoever is in front of us and the perfect lessons to be learned from that person.”
So I’ll do my best to think of each date as a lesson and an experience. I won’t get hung up on the outcome. I’ll also do my very best to lower my defences enough to have an open mind and an open heart.
In fact I was thinking I might introduce myself this: ‘Hi, I’m Marianne and I love you.’ Because that wouldn’t be at all weird, would it?! Ha ha.
Right, over and out, I’ll report back on Monday.
LOVE TO YOU ALL.
A COUPLE MORE MARIANNE WILLIAMSON QUOTES
“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
― Marianne Williamson
“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson
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