Those Abandoned Need Not Apply

Vintage Teddy Bear Toy in Dusty Old House Attic

I recently decided to put my dating profile back up online, for a variety of healthy and unhealthy reasons that are kind of irrelevant here. Suffice it to say I’ve been honest with myself about it, and have proceeded with utmost caution, including shutting it down after a few days when it became overwhelming.

Looking at people’s dating profiles is an interesting study in humanity. I will, one day, wander over to some women’s profiles to see what kinds of things they’re saying, but for now I’ve only been scoping out guy profiles. Specifically, the profiles of guys who have indicated that they’d like to meet me. Any girl who’s ever done this will tell you that lots of guys indicate they want to meet girls. If a score is potentially as easy as clicking a button, lots and lots and lots of guys will do so.

So I had lots of profiles to sift through. If the guy was completely and fatally unattractive in his profile picture, I didn’t bother to look. That left about 30-40 profiles for me to scan. The vast majority of them were riddled with spelling mistakes and terrible confusing writing. Some were really entertaining (note to guys: be entertaining. Big points.). Some are obviously written by dicks who just want ***** with no complications. But one in particular was like a punch in the face.

The guy’s picture wasn’t terrible, he looked like a fit guy, not a head-turner for me by any stretch, but not bad enough to skip over. He indicated that he was a teacher, didn’t have kids, and his longest relationship was 3 years. At 40, that’s not a super fantastic sign, but who knows what people’s stories are.

His profile was mostly boring self-aggrandizing tripe, describing how he’s a fantastic catch. There’s a section called “you should contact me if”. Here’s where it got me a little worked up. I can’t remember the full suite of conditions you had to meet in order to contact him, but two in particular stood out for me. The first was that you had to have a *living* adult figure in your life that loved you unconditionally. The word *living* was emphasized, and there was a link to some information on attachment theory (are you gagging yet?). It *couldn’t* be a dead person, ok? The second was that you had to be a good sleeper. “If you’re not a good sleeper that’s a sign of bigger problems,” he wrote.

So basically this guy is saying that if you’ve suffered a significant loss or abandonment in life, you’re not good enough for him. And if you have any kind of problem that keeps you awake at night, also an ineligible candidate for his raisin heart.

I kind of appreciate the approach in a way, it is borne of some thought and introspection, but it skips right over the behaviours he’s probably seeking to avoid, and goes right down to the traumas that are common triggers to them.

The message to me in that is, I am an unworthy person because of some really unfortunate traumas I endured that were not my fault at all.

There was a period in my life where I believed that. I believed that what I endured in childhood really seriously damaged me beyond repair. The only way I’d stand a chance in any relationship was to hide the pain and feelings of unworthiness and profound self-doubt. Hiding and denying these feelings is where a lot of personality disorders arise–narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder just to name a few. And people with these disorders are capable of extremely destructive behaviours that can cause huge amounts of pain to the people in their lives. When your inner resources are stunted or robbed through neglect and abandonment, you can become a bottomless well of pathological need.

It takes a lot of work and time to develop inner resources out of a vacuum, but it can be done. I may have been dealt a crappy hand when it came to my family, but I was fortunate enough to tap into some great therapy over the years; read some amazing enlightening books; have a lot of incredibly supportive friends; and an introspective, curious, self-honest and open mind (that’s where the sleep problems come in). I am an independent, kind, capable, accomplished, intelligent, funny person and I’m a lot of fun to be with. That, I know to be true. I have dark moments for sure, where I grieve the absence of a *living* adult who gives me unconditional love, but I can also look in the mirror, and know that that’s what I’m there for. That’s MY job. And it’s a job I now take very seriously.

Part of that job is to make sure that nobody undermines that. And it’s very important for me to hold out for someone who will respect who I am and know and appreciate what I’ve experienced,appreciate how I’ve grown from that, and support me in continuing to build my own inner resources. Those who pass judgement on those abandoned need not apply.

-Sagecarrot

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Sagecarrot

Navigating the perils of dating as a single parent has been great inspiration for the study of people—single men, not so single men, and of course, of my own self.

Online Dating: Bloodsport

online dating can be a bloodsportIn the good old pre-internet days, I think there was a natural manageable pulse to the frequency with which single people would meet other single people. Nowadays it’s a plain old hemorrhage.

I have 2 online profiles, which I open briefly every once in a while when things slow to a trickle. It’s like releasing a tourniquet. Men gush out then I have to tie it back up again while I mop up the carnage.

A couple of years ago my friend Dave told me “You’re way too delicate for online dating. You’ll be eaten alive.”

My first two rounds were over pretty quickly and painlessly. The first time I went out with a couple of nice guys before I met the man I’d date for a year and a half. The second time I was on for an hour before my last boyfriend contacted me and I just kinda knew right away I didn’t need to look any further. Bam, boom. Done.

This time has been far more epic. I specified in both my profiles that I need ample correspondence before I’m willing to meet a guy.  And some amazing stuff has come out of that. One guy and I dreamed up a series of 5-minute musicals. Another guy and I came up with an x-rated animation mash-up of classic Christmas characters. Another guy and I corresponded in haikus. And then there was the guy who asked me what I was looking for in a man.

I said, you know, that’s a very valuable question. So I mulled it over, and this was my reply:

So let’s see…a guy has to be intelligent first and foremost. Funny. Able to express feelings. Able to acknowledge and empathize with mine. Able to say sorry! Considerate and generous without being controlling. Good with kids. Capable in a practical sense–cooking, cleaning, basic repairs, gardening. Relatively organized. RESPONSIBLE. Cares about the work he does and does it with dedication. Respectful of everybody and able to see the good and strength in people. Laughs out loud easily. Loves music. Snuggles and huggles hungrily. Finds things amazing and isn’t afraid to say so. Takes care of himself physically and mentally. Not afraid of introspection and self-examination and self-honesty. Constantly growing as a person emotionally and intellectually and personally. Comfortable with people. That sort of thing. It’s a tall order, but if I were allowed to put in an order it would look like that.

He LOLed, and said “no such thing, but would you consider just ******* me?”

I stopped corresponding with him then. Bloodsport, I tell you.

In the end I’ve met a handful of guys in person. And this is where things get really messy because they’ve all wanted to see me again. And at various points I’ve realized, yeah, I don’t feel the same. And I hate hurting people. And I fret and worry about how to let them down gently and no matter what I do they end up disappointed and pissed off. Nobody likes to be rejected. I know the feeling and I don’t like knowing that I’ve caused suffering. This is where Dave was right.

But so far, I’ve managed to hang on to my conviction that I’m not going to settle for ‘good enough’, and sure as hell I’m not going to keep seeing a guy because I’m afraid to hurt his feelings. I have a pretty clear sense of what I’m holding out for, and I truly believe I’m worth it. I don’t think I’m ‘better’ than any of these guys, or that they are ‘not worthy’ of me, they’re just different from what I want and need right now.

Who knows how this will continue to unfold. Maybe the end is imminent. Or maybe after another few releases of the tourniquet things will dry up and I’ll be left beating a dead horse. Maybe some scorned psycho will kill me. But I can’t dwell on those gruesome scenarios. All I can do is continue to trudge bravely through the gore in the hopes that I will emerge victorious, and fall into the arms of the right man for me.

-Sagecarrot

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Sagecarrot

Navigating the perils of dating as a single parent has been great inspiration for the study of people—single men, not so single men, and of course, of my own self.

How to pick yourself back up – Guest Post

ID-100283Starting new. As I write this I am sitting among a pile of boxes, I can’t find my comforter cover or my favourite tuque now that the weather is getting chilly but I’ve managed to make do. I went from living in a townhouse in the suburbs with what I thought was the love of my life to a basement apartment in the student ghetto with my brother’s long-time buddy within the blink of an eye. We’ve had our post break-up closure after the usual back and forth. It’s time to stop the whining, stop the crying, and start putting the pieces of my life back together.

“You’re in transition,” my girlfriend said to me with a smile when I complained for about the 7th time in our conversation about living in a rundown hole in the ground. The last thing I’ve wanted to do is be grateful for all the wonderful and fortuitous things in my life, like my ever-patient and lovely girlfriends. I’ve been quite content in my misery; just stewing in my anger. I can only allow that to go on for so long before it swallows me up and I turn into a jaded, crazy dog-lady.

I watched some chick-flick starring Reese Witherspoon yesterday and there was a scene where she went to see a therapist and asked them for general advice for any situation in all of life situations and the therapist responded:

“Figure out what you want then find a way to get it.”

So it was some cheesy chickflick but whatever, I think this is truly wonderful advice. For all aspects of life, not just relationships, and I’m using it. Man, I could really go for like an entire thing of pringles.  I have small hands so I can reach the bottom of the can. I bought all this fruit at the grocery store, I guess I could eat a mandarin or something. I digress. So yeah, figure out what I want. That’s what I’m doing right now. That’s the mission. Time for my comeback. I’m going to start new, fresh. Here goes.

Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

Lonely are the brave – Guest Post

I used to walk along the river by my old place on fall evenings this time last year. The relationship with Ace had just begun blooming and I was in a nucleus of the giddy day-dreaming phase. On those crisp night walks I’d stare across the river at what looked like a park, there were beautiful light fixtures with huge spherical bulbs and from what I could tell a path and a sprinkling of trees; I’d wonder what it was like, how do I get there? Did a part of me know that at the same time, the following year, I’d be looking out at the water from that very park? My new place is only two blocks away and I find myself there for daily walks with my dog. When I look across the river and see the clearing at which I used to stand and ponder; like the flashback in a movie, I see my ghost. The woman I was, my hopes and dreams, melt as if in fast forward into the reality of my life today.

Lonely are the brave. A flashback strikes me from around this time last year. Ace dropping me off at my old place after one of our dates. He’d surprised me with a dinner proposal after I’d told him I’d had a stressful day.

“My gut is telling me to be careful with you,” I confessed to him.

“Well as much as I’d hate to say this, you have to listen to your gut. There might be a subconscious part of you that thinks we aren’t compatible,” he’d said to me while focusing intently on the dashboard of his old green Buick.

The memory dissolves and I find myself back in the park, on the other side of the river, empty. I’d rationalized that gut feeling away, telling myself that I was only trying to stir up trouble in what was a perfectly adequate fledgling relationship.

fallI go through the motions in hopes that one day I’ll look up at the fall colours around me and find enjoyment in them as I have so many years before instead of the state of numbness. Fall is my favourite season. It’s a rejuvenating time for me. The catalyst for wonderful memories to come as my birthday falls at the end of summer. One year older and wiser. It makes me think of Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas cookies; delicate snow that lights up the night’s sky with the moons glow. Then comes spring and new beginnings with whispers of promises for summer fun.

Lonely are the brave. I walk alone along the other side of the river. I walk alone because I know I must.

 
Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

Fear – Guest Post

fearI referenced fear in my last blog here on WinkWisely and I thought I’d expand on it. If you let fear drive you, you become more susceptible to pain and heartache. I think it’s fear of being alone that drives us to take risks with our heart, when our head is screaming “NO! DON’T DO IT!” I think it’s fear of losing someone that makes us open up our pocket books to those scammers who prey on your emotions. If I don’t help them out of this situation, I might risk losing them! Or it’s fear of losing someone that makes you sabotage and push them away so that it won’t hurt as badly if you let them in. It’s fear of rejection that stops us from taking the risk for what we really want and instead settle for perhaps less than what we deserve or could achieve.

We all know fear. We have all made decisions based on fear. All I’m saying is not to let fear be the thing that drives you. Make your decisions based on happiness and not avoiding sadness. Living life waiting for the bottom to drop out,  is not living. It’s true, the bottom does drop out from time to time. That’s life. There are ups and downs. You can try to avoid it as best you can but it’s pretty well impossible to do so. Unless you’re a complete recluse and never accept any change into your life,but then you aren’t really living, you’re merely existing.

Ask yourself. Why am I doing this? Is it going to make me happy? Am I doing this for me? Take the time, that few seconds to really reflect on your decision before making it. If you realize that it’s because of FEAR that you’re making a decision then maybe it’s time to reconsider why you’re doing it.

According to this CBC article, Canadians lost $17 million dollars to online dating scammers. A lot of the time, even if the person is caught, the money is long gone and there is no way of getting it back. If you’re the only person they can turn to for money and you’ve never actually met them, then I’d say there is a big issue. Where are their families? Have they no close friends who can help them out? People who can’t hold close friendships always make me a little leery. I’m sure these scammers have all the excuses in the world but I’ve always thought that people who care about you only want your company, not your money. Just sayin’.

Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

Be the Bamboo – Guest Post

We accept the love we think we deserve. Let me tell you something about love. It’s out there in this cold cruel world. Why else would so many people write poetry or novels about it? Paint it? Make movies about it? Write songs about it? Strive for it? It has to be out there.

As I’ve mentioned in my own blog, I recently went through a break-up after a year-long relationship. I wake up each morning and feel the weight of the loss of that relationship when the reality that I’m not in what was my own bed, strikes me. I learn something new in every relationship; getting me closer and closer to what I hope will be the right person. I fooled myself this time thinking that relationships take work and that I needed to keep working at it, but I realized that all I was doing was changing myself to please somebody else. That’s not right.

vista-wallpaper-bambooMy friend says I was the vine. There is some psychology analogy of an oak and a vine. The oak is sturdy, with its roots planted firmly in the ground. Unmoving. The vine grows around the oak, changing its own shape in order to co-exist with the oak. He says a healthy relationship is where you’re both bamboo and bend with the wind but never break. Bamboo is of course sturdy and resilient.

I also feel my old self coming back, a version which isn’t always walking on eggshells or feeling judged. I’m sad as hell but I know it wasn’t right. We gave it a shot but in the end we just weren’t compatible. We both knew it but I think we valued each other’s friendship and company too much to actually let it go.  I kind of thought we weren’t right for each other after we’d been dating about three months and I was close to breaking it off but didn’t. Maybe I would have spared myself the heartache but there were some really nice memories made. If I had I might wonder today if I’d made the right choice.

It is what it is. I’m sorry I have no advice to give you this blog. I guess the only thing I can say at this point is don’t be afraid to take a risk with your heart from time to time. There is a lot of fear. A lot of hate. A lot of deception. There is also a lot of happiness. A lot of kindness. A lot of love.

People make a lot of poor choices because of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of being hurt. Fear of rejection…

Make sure love is what drives you.

-MexiGinger

mexiginger

Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

What to consider before accepting another date – Guest Post

ladythinkingThe date was ok…it didn’t knock your socks off, but it didn’t make you want to go straight home and kill yourself. What are some things to consider if you’re on the fence about a date before accepting another one?

How was the conversation?

Was it like pulling teeth to get any sort of conversation going? Was it pretty natural? Maybe there were a few awkward pauses but overall it seems like you have some things in common? Maybe give it another go.

Were you bored?

If you were bored then it’s not going to get any better honey. Call a spade a spade and move on.

Did you find him attractive?

It isn’t everything but it’s definitely important to be attracted to someone in order to date them. If the attraction isn’t there or if they did or said something that really turned you off then it’s probably not going to work out. Even if they are gorgeous on the surface, you can’t let that cloud your judgment overall.

Is he boyfriend material?

You know there are tell tale signs of a guy who is just looking to date casually. If he seems like the type that you can eventually see yourself introducing to the folks or you’d trust him to take care of Sprinkles the Cat – then it’s worth a shot.

Did he make you laugh?

They say a way into a man’s heart is through his stomach well I think the way into a woman’s heart is through her funny-bone. If he had you laughing and at ease then he’s definitely worth a second date but if he is too serious and you found yourself having to explain “it was a joke” then I’d think about losing his number.

Was he a gentleman?

I know they say that chivalry is dead and I’m still on the fence about that. I think perhaps it has evolved, it isn’t about him pulling the chair out for you and holding the door (although that IS nice) but did he respect you? Did he take what you say into consideration or blow it off? I think that’s what defines a gentleman these days; a man who’s man enough to handle the independent lady of today without having some sort of sense of inferiority or control.

Did he pay attention to you?

Was he focused on you or the server? Or maybe he was on his phone the whole time? If he couldn’t show you undivided attention for a couple of hours then…find someone who will.

Did he contact you after the date?

If HE is interested he’ll definitely send you a text or email or even call you after the date. I’m talking 24 hours ladies…MAYBE 48 hours. If he asks you out again after a week without a peep then he’s either playing games or you’re one of his back-ups. And ladies, we ain’t got time for that!

-MexiGinger

mexiginger

Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

Image: Free Digital Photos

Are There Vices To Dating Advice?

dating adviceWhen I look out into the blogosphere, I see countless dating blogs, dating “coaches” and dating experts.  Everyone who dates is an expert these days.  Experience has made experts of us all, and, there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s not only theory that makes you knowledgeable about a topic.  We all know a degree means nothing if you don’t have practical knowledge and sometimes that’s all you need.  Personally I don’t care what someone knows in theory but I do want to hear about how they dealt with a situation themselves.  That’s why any advice should be relatable.  But are they really?  With so much dating advice “noise” who do you listen to? What advice is the RIGHT advice?

Choosing The Best Dating Advice For You

I always advise people to listen to their gut and this applies to taking dating advice.  There is never a black or white clear answer to any situation.  Even you yourself treat each experience differently because the person you’re dealing with is different.  The same thing applies when you’re reading a blog or an article about the shoulds and should nots of dating.  So how do you weed out the best dating advice?

You need to ask yourself:

  •  Is it realistic? You need to determine if this dating advice is applicable to you and your own situation.  Not all advice is created equal.  You should feel like they’re “preaching to the choir”.  The goals need to be attainable.
  • Is it relatable? You need to conclude whether or not this advice speaks to you.  When you read this person’s writing do you automatically think “yes, that happens to me too”.  This is very important because when a person’s experiences and knowledge are relatable to you then the solutions they suggest from experience are more often than not applicable to you and your situation.
  • Is it concrete?  We all know what we NEED to do we just don’t always know how to do it.  We need the steps or a process to follow.  It should also include what the consequences are.  Good advice is well rounded and logical.  You should be able to easily apply the steps given.
  • Do you get a good feeling about it? What does your gut tell you?  Your instincts should tell you whether or not this dating advice is good for you.

Inspiring Change Through Caring and Interaction

Good dating advice shows empathy and all points of view.  The person giving advice should show that they care about you and your situation.  When you’re reading someone’s advice, you should feel that this person is imparting their knowledge because they want to help, that it’s not self-serving.  You can identify this from their interactions.  Do they just throw information at you or do they speak with you if you reach out?  If you ask them their opinion do they respond?  Also, a person who gives good advice knows their limitations and isn’t a “Jack (or Jill) of all trades”.  They are recognized as an expert in their field by others and are not self-proclaimed.

There is a lot of advice out there.  You need to weed through it for yourself, and, if you find someone you really like and that’s relatable then make sure to let them know how they’ve helped you.  I know personally, I enjoy very much interacting with my readers and helping where (and when) I can.  Stop by and say hello and make sure to ask me if you need help with any situation, I’m always happy to help.

Happy (and Safe) Dating Everyone!!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Single Dating DivaSingle Dating Diva iconsulting services an award winning blog from dating expert Suzie dedicated to single people everywhere! It showcases the many adventures we have and how challenging, but also exciting dating really is! She shares her dating stories as well as those of others. With experience comes wisdom and she also shares some lessons learned along the way helping others through her . WINNER of Best Overall Dating Blog and Named one of the 10 BEST Women’s Dating Experts!

How to get over a break-up – Guest Post

ID-10078586I know I googled that after my last break up. Honestly, you need to give yourself time before going into the dating battlefield again. I made the mistake of putting myself out there too quickly which resulted in a lot of bad dates and ruined some potentials because I just wasn’t ready.  I’m not sure you’ll know when you’re ready  but following these steps might ensure that you are:

Wallow

That’s right. Watch Dirty Dancing or Braveheart and cry into your popcorn. You’re sad and you’re allowed to be. Trying to deny your feelings is only doing YOU a disservice. This isn’t about your ex. It isn’t about showing them that you don’t care. You did. Face it. Cry until there is nothing left to cry while listening to “All by myself” on repeat and drinking buckets of wine. When you wake up splash your face with some cold water and start the process of healing.

Cut off communication

Take them out of your phone. Delete them off Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and whatever other social media outlets you can think of. You might go through withdrawal but you can’t move on if you’re still in contact. I seriously believe this. You’re in relationship rehab my friend and first things first. You’ve got to cut yourself off from your addictions.

Write it down

Write down exactly how you’re feeling. Keep a break-up journal. Another option is to write them a letter. Hand-write it. Then rip it up, burn it, do whatever you need to do give yourself the illusion of letting it go. You might not be letting go that easily but baby steps, ok? It might stop you from writing an angry drunken email and/or text because you’re not bottling it up.

Do stuff

Exercise or go on that trip you’ve always wanted to. Take up a hobby you were always curious to try. Keep yourself busy and do stuff that makes you happy.  Whatever that might be – do it!

Hang out with people who love you

Once you’ve gone through the mourning process don’t isolate yourself from the world. Even if your insides feel like the inside of the Silent Hill creepy-nurse-lady’s, go out and be with the ones who love you. Their energy will nurse that broken heart.

-MexiGinger

mexiginger

Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

Image: Free Digital Photos

How to close the second date by the end of the first – Guest Post

It’s simple gentlemen, you have to close on the second date before the end of the first date. If the conversation is flowing, she’s finding reasons to touch you and she’s playing with and/or flipping her hair, then you’re in like Flynn. If she is avoiding eye contact, kind of looking around, and checking her watch every three minutes then, I’m sorry dude, there is nothing I can write that is going to help you out on this one. Only thing I can suggest is going dutch, unless you don’t mind paying for someone’s meal/drink/coffee that you’re never going to see, ever again.

 Here’s how to close tID-10090781he second date before the end of the first one:

Honesty

Throwing it out there when the date is wrapping up can also be a great way to close that second date. A simple: “We should do this again” when the bill has been ordered but before it comes means she’s trapped and has to answer you.  Usually if she agrees to see you again in person, she will. If she says something sketchy like “we’ll see” then you’re going to have to put in a little extra work to get that second date. As she is leaning towards ‘no’

Paying the bill

If she offers to pay the bill, say something like “You can get the next one” with a playful wink and smile. You’re implying that you’re going to see her again without actually asking her out. If she says “Ok” then you’re good to go. If she’s looking offended throw in a: “I’m obviously kidding! I’m getting the next one too.” You have to read her face very fast as there can’t be too much of a pause between those two phrases without it looking unnatural.

Talking about the second date

Ladies like a little assertion. Talking about where you’re going to take her on the second date will get her excited and intrigued. If you can pull this off playfully you’re a master dater. If she mentions a restaurant she’s always wanted to try or an activity in the city that she’s interested in attending take that as your moment to say “Maybe that’s where I’ll take you on our second date.” If she says something like “What makes you think you’re getting a second date?” You can retort with something like “Aren’t I?” and make sure you smile!

-MexiGinger

mexiginger

Bio: Online dating veteran who prefers to find the silver-lining in situations. Life is short. Might as well laugh. Masters in the school of life with hopes of gaining my PhD in time. Real life advice because, well, I’ve been there. @MexiGingerMe

Image: Free Digital Photos