32 dates?

Despite my dating history, I have not given up on the possibility that there may be someone special out there for me after all.

Everyone seems to have an opinion. My mother doesn’t want me to date anymore. Like somehow at the age of 43, my romantic life shouldn’t be a priority. My two younger brothers think their gender is a disappointment and have no faith that there are any good men left out there, especially none for me.

If I could have conducted some kind of ‘Weird Science’ experiment and created the ideal man for my sister, it would be her finacé. He couldn’t be a more perfect fit and after her own divorce, she certainly traded way up. They met online, so of course, my fingers are crossed that the process could work for me too. According to her, she went on 32 dates before she found him. I don’t think I had been on 32 dates in my life. If I took the time to count them, maybe I’d come close, but I decided to wipe the slate clean and restart the count just to be sure.

I have dated in every decade. I met my first husband in my late teens and we married in my mid 20s. I was a mother barely two years into my marriage, and a divorcée shortly afterwards.

I didn’t date very much in my 20s, because I met my youngest daughter’s father three years after I left my husband. I felt fortunate to have moved on from my first mistake. It took me eight years to figure out he wasn’t the one.

I split my 30s and the beginning of my 40s torn between a man who couldn’t live without me and a man who couldn’t figure out a way to keep me.

So here I am. Dating in my early 40s. You would think that being more mature and having lived a little more life, the prospects would be more promising.

I have been online since May. I have spaced out the dates. I have met 5 men in person. I have chatted with several others and now that the initial excitement has worn off, I have settled down to the point where I am no longer take things too personally.

Promising conversations have died without warning or explanation and I am told that this is the new norm and to not take it personally. I am nothing if not adaptable. So my ego is bruised when it happens to me, but I have also not responded to messages or blocked a stranger myself. So, tit for tat, I guess.

Dating does force one to grow a thicker skin.

27 dates to go.

You down with NLP? Yeah, I know me.

To deal with my anxiety, one of the avenues I have explored, is Neuro Linguistic Programming and how it can be used to cope with and hopefully overcome any mental issues/blocks one may be experiencing.

I have been doing whatever possible to cope with the fact that my heart is healing. I fell in love with a boy, when I am a grown ass woman who has bigger balls than he ever will. That is just how it is. There is nothing wrong with that. He just clearly needs a woman with a weaker disposition who will willingly accept his bullshit and not ever question his motives or goals.

A little over a year ago, through a friend, I met a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Say what you will about alternative methods, but if you have never tried them and are still willing to dismiss them, I sincerely wish I had all of your confidence and all of your answers. I admittedly do not, and I am not afraid or ashamed to ask for help when I need it. I recognize that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to explore and appreciate these methods because stress and anxiety and fear are no joke when they are all you can think about. And if you are one of the chosen ones who isn’t affected by any kind of mental issue, I truly envy you because I would not wish one millisecond of the overwhelming feeling of anxiety on my worst enemy. If you have never had a panic attack, be thankful that you have never mistaken it for a heart attack and have never had to go to the hospital to ease your fears.

But I digress. What my NLP guy does is try to bring emotions to the forefront so they can be recognized by your brain and somehow ‘reprogrammed’ so that one no longer associates a particular memory with certain feelings. More clearly, he had me think of four especially painful moments I experienced when I was in my last relationship.

Once, my ex woke up in the middle of the night practically choking to death. I watched and listened to him literally stop breathing for a couple of seconds. Several times I suggested he go to the doctor and make sure he didn’t have sleep apnea. Of course, he didn’t listen. So, when he woke me up out of a dead sleep, my first reaction was, ‘Are you okay?’ Clearly, that was the wrong question. I was supposed to just ‘Leave him the fuck alone’ followed by a barrage of names. Flinching, I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed that he didn’t die in my bed. That would have been very difficult to explain to people who had no idea I even existed.

Anyway, that was one memory to which I was supposed to assign a name/word. Then I had to choose three others. Then I was asked to recall them.

I cannot remember the last time I cried that much. You know the kind. The heaving sobs that take your breath away.

My eyes were closed and I was just focusing on recalling the memory every time the name/word was repeated. I don’t know what my NLP guy was doing, but by the end of it, when I was asked to recall the memories associated with the name/word, I couldn’t cry about them anymore. I still can’t cry about them anymore. Why should I be crying anyway? He clearly does not give a fuck.

I had a fantastic sleep last night–peaceful and rested and determined. I am on Day 25/30 in my Heartbreak Cure journey.

If I ever fall in love again, it will be with a MAN.

I am not any means suggesting that NLP is the solution to ANYONE’S problems, but I needed something that would take me over the hump and actually go out on the dates that I have been asked to go on.

During my writing class tonight, we had to choose a Tarot card from the deck and write about it before knowing that the card actually meant. This is the one I got:

If this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.

Day 22: Fifty Shades of What in the Actual Fuck, Satan?

I am on Day 22 of my 30 day heartbreak cure. I can honestly say, I’m getting better. I lived without him just fine before I met him, and I am definitely fine now. I did the right thing. I am positive. He was not my person. If he really loved me, I would have felt it and I would have kept giving him all the love he wanted. I am very good at giving love. I love being in love, I love being loved and I love being with the person that I love. Love isn’t always enough to make a relationship work, and that is finally okay.

One of the things that has helped me move forward faster is my relationship with my friends. I went to see Fifty Shades Darker tonight. It has been a tradition with a couple of my girlfriends to see the movies in this series. The movies are terrible, the sex scenes are ridiculous, but we go anyway. One of my favourite lines from this cinematic fluff was:

Christian: I was looking for you. (opens the refrigerator)

Anastasia was sitting on he kitchen table eating ice cream suggestively.

Was Christian thinking he would find his wife in the refrigerator? Is that why he opened it before looking for her? This lead to, of course, the couple having simulated sex after rubbing cold ice cream on each other’s bodies. Ummmmm….ok?

But the three of us laughed our asses off. I will give it to the author. She got people interested in reading again and I think that is always a good thing.

On the topic of love, Valentine’s Day came and went. My manager gave her team a beautiful bouquet of flowers and I’m pretty sure I will always have a Valentine in the homeless man I bought a coffee and Tim Horton’s gift card for. I was both dreading and hoping that I would hear from the ex. I didn’t…and I’m thankful. I don’t want to set myself back 22 days.

I wasn’t alone on Valentine’s Day. I dropped my oldest daughter and her boyfriend off at a local restaurant for dinner. I  went on a mommy-daughter date with my youngest and went to my writing class.

I have had the pleasure of spending my last 8 Wednesdays with a group of wonderful writers. I have seen the course offered so many times, but it always conflicted with one of the girl’s activities. This time, we all agreed that we would make the scheduling work. I am so glad it did. I hadn’t written anything for years. Now, I make it a point to write at least once a day.  It has been cathartic and painful and fun and hard and worth every minute.

During class, I get a text message from someone I dated almost 3 years ago. He never truly went away. We have always checked in with each other. We have both dated other people, but we love each other. I don’t know if we are still in love, but I think he’s the one person that I will love until the day I die.

We are both single at the moment. However, I have promised myself that I would give myself some time. He wants to have dinner. I’m conflicted. We broke up. We had our reasons. So…………