I think in this whole recovering, divorce, healing thing it’s important (for me) to re-evaluate most of the things I do and the ways I approach them in regards to forming new relationships. This especially includes dating. I’m writing this largely so I don’t forget, but maybe others will find this helpful too.
I think when I started dating way back in HS my self esteem wasn’t the best. I was awkward and had no clue how to even approach asking someone out. That’s not to say I was awkward around girls in general, I have and always had a number of female friends. Thus, I gave that power to someone else, as a means of looking for approval by being asked out. I was a Sadie Hawkins dream date! This hierarchy acceptance/rejection stuff needs to go. People will ask people out; some people will say no some yes.
The physical aspects of the relationship quickly became the dominating factor with hsgf, ex-wife and AP; i.e. sex, sex, sex. The feelings of affection (brain chemistry) that went with was very strong and I would get further lost in myself. In hindsight I think this, while fun, was also selfish and a failure to see the other people as anything but a source of pleasure and approval. Moving forward I think taking the time to get to know people on those more cerebral/mentally/somewhat emotionally intimate levels needs to be first. Physical stuff can come with natural comfort and a desire for closeness in good time and not from a purely carnal desire (as fun as carnal desire can be).
While dating I tried to be the perfect gentleman, overly accommodating and overly sensitive to moods, needs, etc. I’d lose myself. This wears thin after a while…typically months and I would result in me angry or blowing up. I would give up activities and, in the case of the ex-wife, give up on what some of my dreams are. I would also quickly limit my dating options and miss getting to know others and make new friends. There is a little regret from my college days where I remained faithful to the ex- despite there being mutual interest in dating others, which in hindsight is natural. Thus, I need to not lose my sense of self, by feeling complete with myself, standing up for me (while not being an ass either). Keeping from taking such plunges may be difficult at first, but I think it’s now important to be me; find someone who’s comfortable being themselves and seeing that we work together to an extent we want to share in each other’s lives.
Finally, I know the world is a bit different these days with online dating, etc. I’d like to set out without the online stuff at first. If anything, it will help in approaching women overall. To take a baseball analogy: the best hitters often only hit 1/3rd of the time 🙂
Enough rambling. Happy Friday everyone!