To Know is To Love

When we think about sharing our lives with another person we must consider what we know about love as an individual. Think about the love you have with parents, grandparents, siblings and your siblings families, even the love you have shared with exes and maybe your own children. Then think about the love you know and share with your friends, coworkers, even your pets. Finally, think about the love you give to yourself. To truly have a strong and loving relationship with a significant other you must know what love is for you and be able to communicate it to the other person. Feeling and showing love is not the same for everyone, that is why there are books like, The Five Love Languages.

When you begin to truly know what you value and start dating, then you can be more aware of what you need to learn about the other person as well. What you find important in a relationship in order to feel love, respected and supported may not be obvious to someone else. I have friends who have learned that punctuality is important to me and I am also a bit of a planner. My love languages are words of affirmation and quality time. So discussing plans to get away for the weekend for some quality time with someone I love is super exciting for me. I have a very outgoing and humorous personality but I don’t necessarily like a man who is that way. I find myself often attracted to men who do have a great sense of humor but are more quiet and reserved types, at least out socially. The strong and serious, all business and authoritative mans man is what I find myself often attracted to. I find it special and sexy when a man has a certain side of himself that he only shares with me. I have certain things I reserve for only those most special to me as well.

As I have moved through life and become older and wiser, I often see my friends going through relationship issues or settling for a partner that isn’t quite what they want but “close enough”. I understand there may be certain compromises and exceptions made because nobody is perfect, but make sure you are being honest with yourself. Often we find ourselves making exceptions to things that we may only find slightly bothersome or annoying in the beginning stages when love is new, exciting and fun, only to realize once the new wears off, that little thing gets bigger. If you are truly accepting of someone who never makes plans until last minute or is consistently late or whatever the “thing” is, then understand…this will NEVER change so you cannot get pissed about it later. Part of dating is not just getting to know the other person, it is also letting others know who you are and in order to do that you have to know yourself and be honest.

We all know we cannot change people and we also need to admit, allowing love to grow with someone you want to change is not fair. Someone who is always late is not really an awful person who doesn’t deserve love. There are people out there that do not find constant lateness a deal breaker. It also does not mean that person disrespects everyone else in the world, maybe they are selfish assholes, or maybe they just struggle and truly want to do better. No matter which category they fall in, it is not your job to fix it. I have struggled in dating because I may encounter a guy that has many qualities I love but I realize there are things about him that really bother me. I try to rationalize and make excuses at first because he seems to fit so many aspects of what I love, but this is where we get ourselves into trouble. We must remember, the very beginning stages of dating is when we are supposed to be putting our best foot forward, so if this person is already doing things that raise flags then you have to know when to walk away.

To know yourself and what you find important in a relationship is the most important part of dating. Do not waiver or make exceptions unless you truly feel the compromise is worth it for the long haul. If you find it annoying that your new guy never puts his clothes in the hamper or dishes in the sink but he is fantastic at telling you how much he appreciates and loves you and he plans special dates with you, then maybe you can see yourself making the compromise. Only you know but you must be honest with yourself. Communication is key also, never sweep things under the rug, address the things that bug you in the beginning and give the other person a chance to think about it and take action to do better, if they continue then you will know this is something you will either have to accept or walk away from. You do not want to continue having the same conversation over and over about the same issues because those will turn to arguments and then resentment and it just never ends well. Either accept them and drop it or move on. You have to know yourself and as you get to know them, then you can decide if knowing them is really to love them.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Chance and Romance

Lisi Harrison Quotes: Besides, taking a chance on romance is a ...

Deep down I am finally admitting I am probably a hopeless romantic. I want to just randomly meet a guy and feel the instant connection and chemistry that starts with asking your name and then your number and moves through the normal process of getting to know each other over coffee, drinks, dinner, a road trip and eventually growing into something amazing. Does that only happen in the movies? I have had bits and pieces of that story unfold in my life. I have a lot of friends of all ages and walks of life who share with me their relationships and how they begin and end and the rules and boundaries they set within the relationship. It is amazing to me the number of non-traditional relationships out there, like wives being okay with husbands having a girlfriend or they both knowingly having relationships outside the marriage. I am not judging what works for others, if they are happy in that lifestyle more power to them, but it is not for me.

I still hold out for the real deal or nothing at all. I am not a half-ass kind of girl. I know myself well enough to know I am a one man woman and I want a one woman man. I want to be married again. I am done raising children. I am focused on my career path, personal growth, and finding a true partner to travel the world with occasionally or just stay in and watch TV and cook together. I love both adventure and stillness. I love to be at home and I love to try new things. I want it all but I want to share it. I have learned to live on my own. I have accomplished so much and feel stronger than I have ever felt as a woman but I do miss having a great guy by my side that gives me that warm deeply loved feeling of protection, strength, and support.

Lord knows I have dated and tried to be open minded. I have had long open discussions with many men and women, listened to audio books, read books, watched documentaries, YouTube, even read long, peer reviewed journal articles on the subject of men and women and my conclusion is…it all comes down to chance…timing and choice in that moment leads two people to a chance encounter that will either ignite into something fantastic, ignite but quickly fizzle, or never ignite at all. There is no specific magic, it is a combination of things that varies for each person. There are many factors that come into play when dating someone: chemical, physical, emotional, social, success and intelligence, humor, confidence. We determine what the person brings to the table and if we would like this person to even sit at our table.

At the beginning of this year I considered not dating at all. Then I allowed myself to give it a try as I finally started to heal from my heartbreak. This year has been very emotional and complicated so far but I am learning. What I have learned most is, I must be true to myself and I am worthy of all that I want so do not settle for less than. I don’t want to become jaded on the dating process. I still believe that it is necessary to take a chance and it is possible to find love and romance between two people, even in today’s world.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Be Patient

Perspective is everything #newyearthoughts #dating #single ...

Many of us have to work hard to be patient in life. This is a world of instant gratification and long bucket lists of things people want to see, do, and have. Often, people go through dating a few people and may find a person they are with for a few years and then once that relationship ends they move on, and they still have expectations they cling to. This often happens when we are older and more clear on what we are looking for. It is important to remember that each new person is a whole new process and you must start from the very beginning. Just because you may have been further along in your mindset with the last person doesn’t mean you get to start at that point with the next person. You have to hit the reset button and not rush in to things. Rebounds and moving too soon can get people into complicated situations that are not only frustrating but can be hurtful. It takes time to really know a person authentically.

If you are separated but not divorced, or in the process of a divorce, or maybe you are just discussing divorce and unhappy in your relationship/marriage…please do the world a favor and finish that before you try to date. If you cannot fully be present with the person you are trying to date because of loose ends in another relationship then you are basically being selfish. It takes a strong individual to push aside their own wants and needs and do things right, but isn’t that the whole point? End the unhappiness you are currently in and realign so that you can do better. The point is to admit you are outgrowing the current relationship, learn from it, and resolve to move forward making wiser decisions.

I do believe you can have chemistry very quickly and a chemical reaction like lust can feel so strong that you lose logic. When someone is hurting from a recent break they long to find those things they have been missing. This can cause a person to latch on to aspects of a person without fully taking the time to know all of them. Sometimes it isn’t physical, it can be more of a mental connection that draws you in. The goal is to get to know every aspect of the person and this takes time and patience. Physical aspects of a relationship can happen fast leaving us to navigate deeper conversations later and that is not always a bad thing. If the physical chemistry is fantastic then you have something to build on. Obviously, sex isn’t everything but it is an important part of a healthy relationship.

Good relationships are built on a good foundation. It takes time to establish trust, support, respect, understanding, teamwork, friendship, and mutual goals with another person. You can’t jump in all willy-nilly judging someone from your own past or what you get at face value. You have to get to know them and their own story to fully understand if the potential for a future is there. Enjoy the process by having fun with the occasional calls, texts, dates, and other adventures and you will begin to see their true colors in a few months time, if not sooner! Patience is most definitely a virtue when it comes to dating!

With love, health, and happiness

Stacy

Recognizing a Good Thing

I have found in my dating process that often things are not what they seem to be at first. Of course we all put our best foot forward in the the beginning and only after time do we start to see the reality of what things might be like longterm. However, the older we get in the dating game the more quickly we can see through to the real deal and determine if this is a person with potential. It is also good to have boundaries, and know your deal makers and deal breakers. I find my list of deal breakers interesting at times because I may waiver on one only to see another revealed that seals the deal of a big no thank you! Each person we meet brings something new to the table and it isn’t just a process of checking off boxes on a list but taking in the whole package of the person.

As we get older and grow in our lives our desires in a partner will change. One of the qualities I find important now that never occurred to me when I was younger is consistency…a man who is constant and steady in his morals, values, beliefs, behavior, and words, no matter what the situation might be. If I engage in a conversation through text and I can look back on previous conversations and see inconsistencies it leads me to believe that he may be grasping at straws to connect and only telling me what he thinks I want to hear in the moment and not truly expressing himself. By our forties most people should know where they stand on certain things in life and have the ability to state it clearly. I also think being a man of your word is important, if you say you are going to call at a certain time, then call and if you don’t, be aware and apologize. I also find it important to understand all five love languages when dating someone. It can quickly clue you in if this person is capable of expressing their love in all areas and help you narrow down which one may be their primary love language because usually what they show to others most is how they feel most loved in return.

When dating, it is also good to remember that men and women are different and often men can go through their busy work day fully focused on the task in front of them and nothing else. While women are natural multi-taskers who can do work, make a grocery list, and analyze the last words said to her by the man of interest with a girlfriend! Knowing the differences can save yourself a lot of confusion and misunderstandings in the dating process. I highly recommend the late and great, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus to get a clearer idea on how our thoughts and feelings translate into a relationships from a male and female perspective.

In the end it is important to stick to your own wants and needs in a relationship but also understand the difference between a want and a need. I have higher standards than I did 10 years ago and I am much more clear on the type of man I see myself with. Sometimes it is hard to admit when you really get down to it, the things you want in a relationship are going to require you to make changes in how you live as well. I had this recent revelation with someone I am newly dating. It is rare for a man to state upfront that he has an end game and states that goal is marriage. He isn’t dating to just be dating, he is looking for a partner. When that is stated before the first date it puts a whole new spin on things, but it is also refreshing. After many wishy-washy men, it is so attractive to meet a man who has a game plan and states it confidently and is taking steps to actively reach the goals, not just all talk. When you find a person who matches you on many levels and has similar goals in mind, along with the chemistry factor it can be very exciting. Forcing yourself to take things slow and steady is smart because you still have to give the dating process time to develop and remember reality has not fully been revealed yet. Choose to give the person adequate time and space to reveal who they are in many aspects, not just always seeing them in the dating realm. Learn how they interact with their children, at work, with their ex, family and the types of friends they have, and even around pets. Take time to evaluate and not rushing is the best way to recognize a good thing.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

False Start in Dating

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As of Tuesday around 1 pm my attempt at dating someone new failed.  A friend of mine once warned me about those whirlwind romances and how they can end as quickly as they start.  Sadly, I feel this guy is a great guy in many ways and how he chose to end things was very disappointing.  I knew the end was inevitable because he just didn’t fit into my world.  There is something to be said for taking time to heal and learn to be on your own after a divorce or breakup.  I realized I wasn’t ready in some ways, but he was even less ready and in denial of that fact. The jealousy and insecurity on his part often came out in ugly random texts when we were apart, but then things were fantastic when we were together.  The red flags were there early on but I chose to set them aside and wait to see if there would be a pattern or if it was just the normal navigation of dating someone new.

Sometimes we get side-tracked from our goals  and ignore boundaries when we find a person that is so close to what we want. Basically, I allowed myself to be side-tracked and make excuses for him.  I was allowing many things that I knew were not okay with me because the pros were outweighing the cons.  However, the cycle was continuing with the pattern of negative remarks being made, me getting upset, him apologizing and giving me all the excuses of stress, not feeling well, and being insecure from people who had done him wrong in the past.  None of these things are my fault and I no longer wanted to be the person he chose to take it out on.  After a couple of months of seeing this cycle I knew it was not just his current situation but who he is as a person.  So when I finally pointed out the pattern he broke up with me…through text.  Sadly, his response was to just disappear and not even attempt to discuss the possibility of growth or change.

Since I have not reached out after his disappearing act I may never know exactly why he chose to just cut off communication instead of trying to talk it out.  I will choose to be positive and hope that he realized he needed to learn to be alone a bit longer and work on himself before entering into a relationship.  I guess his perspective no longer matters at this point.  It is up to me to decide how I feel about the situation and how I plan to move forward.  When someone drops communication that easily after such a short amount of time I conclude that I was never as important as they said I was.  This realization can sting a little until you realize that you just dodged a major bullet.  Looking back over the last two months I really have no regrets.  I enjoyed getting to know him and enjoyed the time we spent together.  I feel sad that we could not have parted in a nicer way but his cold exit speaks more to the type of person he is and has nothing to do with me.

It was a good start with the potential for so many things to come but as I have learned, you can’t fall in love with just potential, you have to fall for the person as they are.  I think maybe I was still learning that lesson in this experience.  I think it is important to learn something from each experience and in the process become more clear on what you really want in a relationship and out of life in general.  I think the last two months definitely helped me do both.  Looking to the future and still keeping my eye on the prize!  Stay positive my friends!

I highly recommend the book pictured in this post if you are navigating the dating world! It gives great insight and forces you to be honest with yourself!

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Unexpected

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Sooo I had a plan.  I am not saying I am giving up the plan but I may need to re-evaluate the plan.  See, I thought I needed to work on myself and some of that probably stemmed from the break-up last Summer.  Okay, maybe most of it did.  When we get rejected by someone we care about it makes us feel like something is wrong with us, or at least it did me.  So it is common after a breakup to really work hard at becoming better versions of ourselves.  I have been doing my yoga and meditation each day, journaling and prayers, and trying to drink more water and make healthier food choices and all of it has paid off.   I am a positive person I think most would say and I do believe that if you put your desires out into the universe with full belief and faith in the process and with good intentions, then good things will come your way.  

I had a plan to go a year without dating but I had also painted a picture of what I want in a relationship in the future.  At my age and after dating a few different guys you become pretty clear about what you definitely do want and what you don’t want in a relationship and significant other.  I had planned to stay open to making new friends but I wanted to focus on my career and school.  I have been working on healing my heart for six months and trying to come to terms with the fact that I was single again.  I have always heard it happens when you least expect it.  I accepted the phone number but made it clear I am not looking for a relationship.  I accepted the invitation to meet up for dinner and the conversation is easy and the night ends in a kiss that left me thinking…okay that would probably qualify as a date.

When the flowers come to my office on Monday I know I am in trouble.  I like this guy and he obviously likes me.  Is it really unexpected?  Yes and no.  I think the law of attraction worked exactly the way Abraham Hicks said it would.  Put your desires out into the universe and let God have it in his control to set in motion and make happen.  So this week I have struggled with this unexpected chain of events and I have had to ask myself…what is really happening here?  Basically, I set my intention to find a partner and then I let it go and got focused on my school and career.  I didn’t go out looking for him, he found me.  I didn’t force it or try to control the situation, it happened without me trying at all.  It happened just like it was supposed to, just like I wanted, naturally.  Am I saying I know without a doubt this guy is the one for me?  No, not just yet but I do think there is some serious potential behind those green eyes and that easy smile.  I guess it is true, some of the best things in life are the ones you never expect…. I guess only time will tell.

With love, health, happiness and the unexpected,

Stacy

A Year of No Dating

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So if you have been following my blog you know that I went through a hard break-up from a man I still love in 2019.  I have tried to consider the idea of dating again and after much thought I feel that maybe this is my year to just focus on my personal and professional growth.  To date right now would be pointless anyway because it would not be fair to anyone considering I still have feelings for another.  So as I move forward in this year I will be tackling school, career, physical, mental, and emotional growth and learning.

If you have followed my blog you will also remember a series I recommended called Just Ask It and you can find it at justaskit.org.  I highly recommend watching the entire series but part 4, called Edged Out is a must watch, it actually touches upon the idea of going an entire year without dating.  The truth is, I really do not mind being alone, it doesn’t feel lonely to me most of the time.  I do have moments on some days where I miss the companionship of another but I would prefer to be happy and alone than miserable in a relationship.  I remind myself, making compromises of my bigger picture goal to overcome a moment of loneliness is really not worth it.  So what is the bigger picture goal?

As I work through my mental health counseling degree and started therapy on my own to get the feel for what it is like as a client, I realized the importance of knowing what we bring to the table in relationship versus what we want from a partner.  I admit that I often did not feel good enough in my relationship, especially in the beginning.  There were many things I wanted to accomplish and work on within myself when I met him.  I am not saying that you cannot be in a relationship while working on big goals in life because I did go into my relationship believing I could accomplish it all and still have the relationship.  However, as the relationship progressed and my goals started taking shape I could see my feelings in the relationship start to change.  I wanted more in every aspect of my life and did not want to settle for just being the girlfriend anymore.  I like steady progress, I want to see progress in my career, my education, my finances, my personal self and my relationships and I want a man who desires the same.

So, as I move into the new year I realize that it is probably best to rise up to my own personal standards first.  Then I can feel confident when I am ready to date again to feel good enough when I enter into a new relationship.  We cannot pray and meditate for a partner who has it all if we are just sitting on the sidelines in all or even just some areas of our lives.  Get happy with yourself and feel full in your own world then it is much easier to attract and join together with someone who wants to navigate the world with you.

With peace, love, health and happiness,

Stacy