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Friday, January 6, 2012

What it feels like to date again....

It feels a little raw - wonderful, but dangerous.
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photo source: happylittleart.blogspot.com
I underestimated the intensity I would feel, and the desire.  I forgot what it was like to be pursued (it's wonderful).  The insecurities that I bear shouldn't have surprised me, but they do and at times I feel weak in my neediness. Hopefully, my insecurities are not projected onto my guy - he does not need to bear the burden from my previous relationship woes.  The sheer logistics of a more established life make getting together more complicated.

At the beginning, I held back a little.  Okay, I held back a lot and I still find myself fighting that impulse.  The good thing is that now I recognize it and usually choose to do the opposite: I call him.  Reach out to him.  Share something.  Make myself vulnerable.

Complicated.  Vulnerable.  Incredible.  Hopeful.  Inspiring. 

Yet finding companionship and passion with another human has reminded me how much I crave it.   I have a great capacity for love, to give and to share, to support, laugh, play and dream with another person.  I have found that in my guy which delights me to no end, makes me feel giddy like a young girl.

The man I have discovered is different from what I thought I might find in this season of life.  He is all the standard things any woman would want: responsible, moral, kind, charming.  He meets every item I needed on my "list."  You have a list, right?  I think it's important to have a short list of bottom-line necessities that you know you need in a partner.  There are many things I want and so many more that I didn't even know ask for.  My man is not perfect, yet the imperfections allow me to be flawed, too. 
And we all are so flawed

Now I find myself balanced precariously in this place of hope and basking, to doubting he could feel the same.  I am cautious to keep my emotions based on me and not give that power to another person as I did in the past when I let my ex determine how I felt.  But to care what someone feels and thinks does give that person a measure of power, and it feels so risky.  I'm taking the risk, but I wish I knew how the story ended!

It would have been easier to wrap my heart in a protective shell and never risk getting hurt again.  Now I know I wouldn't miss this moment for anything.  Whether for now or for always, I'm thankful for the chance to connect with someone in so many ways. 

Has anyone else taken a recent risk?  Do you have a 'list' for what you need in a partner?  Is there really such thing as a second chance in life and love? Do share!

34 comments:

  1. There are definitely more than second chances in life...unfortunately i wasnt there at the right time for a lot of them, but i did get a second chance and grabbed it...its hard to open up your heart and let a man in....but someone once told me...you have to hold things with your palm wide open....so if its gone then its gone...but if it stays then its yours!!! all the best!!

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  2. I just recently found your blog and I really love reading it, especially this particular post :)

    I am only twenty, so some might say that I don't know very much about love and relationships. For the first time last summer, I did make a list of what I wanted in a man. Not a long one, but qualities I considered to be extremely important. And while I don't know right now if I have found someone that matches all of those qualities, it has helped me to keep a lot of toxic guys out of my life. Whereas throughout high school and my freshman year of college, I didn't have a list because I was afraid of being too picky or judgmental. Yet, I enabled myself to be treated poorly because I didn't know how or when to say "stop" or completely walk away all together.

    When it comes to moving forward, I have this saying that has helped me immensely: Don't let the pain of the past keep you from having joy in the future. While we all go through pain and heartache, we're ultimately in control of how we allow it to affect us. There are some things that will always be a part of your life history, but you can't let it become your life.

    So yes, I believe in second chances and new beginnings. If it feels right and comfortable for you, don't be afraid to move forward. At the very least, it will teach you something and help you to grow.

    All the best,

    Alyx
    http://alsmusings-alyrose.blogspot.com/

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  3. It's perfectly natural to be a little more cautious the second time around (or the third, etc.). It sounds like it's going at exactly the right pace for you.
    I've discovered that I'm single at heart. I'm most content this way.

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  4. I spent the early years of my adulthood (18-23) allowing a boy to tell me how I felt. I didn't know myself, I knew myself through his eyes and expectations. After that, I thought allowing another in was never going to happen, because I was so hurt. Second chances exist, and they are from God. I am going on 26 now and I have a partner...someone who walks beside me rather than holding onto my coat tails or worse, dragging me along behind him.

    God Bless you Missy and the new love you've found! <3

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  5. Best of luck with your new love!

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  6. Best of luck the same thing happened with me.:)

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  7. Go with the flow.wish you luck

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  8. Only thing I would add; I have been a single mom of 4 boys for seven years. They are now 13, 11, 10 and 8. Seven years sounds soooo long, huh? It does to me too! However, I have learned so much and healed more deeply because of my time alone, and the way I have learned to lean on God. I took the Divorce care workshop, and they recommend being single one year for every three or four years of marriage. By the way, I have been in a couple of longer-term dating relationships, but I am still waiting, and I am ok with waiting for God's best. You do want best, not better. Wishing you the very best, and thanks for your posts. I really appreciate them!! Your sis-in-Christ, Lydia :)

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  9. I can truly relate to your story. I became pregnant when I was 17 years old and my parents were very old fashion and out of guilt I married the father of my baby, this was a HUGE mistake as I had no clue what love was, and the marriage ended 1 year after it started. I was an unwed single mother who had no clue what life was really about. My mother was constantly trying to fix me up with people because she would tell me that I better take what I could get because no man wanted a girl my age with a child. So again to appease her I began talking to one of the guys that she was pushing on me. I became very depressed and started to believe what my mother had said. I married him and tried so very hard to make it work, but I was unhappy and so was he, and at the age of 24 I found myself married and divorced twice. I was in such a mess it was unreal. I swore off dating and wanted nothing to do with men in my life. I concentrated on my career and turned down many dates. I felt that something was wrong with me, like I was not capable of having a committed relationship that would last. I am now married and have been for 10 years to a wonderful man who accepted my story and gave me love in return. I was so cautious with him and did not fully give myself to him until several years after we were married. I kept waiting for something bad to happen..but it has not yet. We are by no means the perfect couple and we have our fair share of arguments, but at the end of the day I have such peace knowing that he loves me and I love him and that will get us through anything.

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  10. Taking a chance on love is never easy but as in the case of life, reward almost always surpasses the risk. Finding the right guy is never easy and you have! Forget your inseurities, your fears and just live, embrace the love because at this juncture, thats all that should matter. The future can take care of its self. Tomorrows just not promised.

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  11. I certainly hope there is such a thing as a second chance that will one day rise from the mess of emotion I find myself in. Keep inspiring.

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  12. oh it so nice to read your post!
    Well I do hope there is a second chance, but one never knows.
    i think it is important to let yourself flow a littel and not stick to your list.
    it is better to let things happen and to don't give away so much I think. maybe.
    love, louisa <´xo

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  13. I've recently started reading your blog (love it) and this post about dating again really caught me interest. I have dated in five years and while I'm so lonely, I'm also so afraid. I admire your strength to let go and go forward. Maybe I'll do what you suggested and start with a list.

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  14. I've just exited a 3 year relationship. I'm 21, I have a child and I jumped too fast into an attempt at dating. After 2 mistakes thus far I've learned that I need to take a step back and evaluate myself. And I need to learn what it means to be a strong woman.
    It's very encouraging to see that it is possible to date and have a life while being a single mother.
    My list is as follows:
    No drugs of any kind.
    History of a steady job.
    Independence: I need a guy that can stand alone and doesn't need to be with me all the time. He needs to have his own friends and a life.
    A goal for something in his life.
    Taller than me. :)

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  15. the getting to know sn and conecting in many ways is so thrilling! wish you luck! xo
    www.miouprincesslovespink.blogspot.com

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  16. hmm.. every moment is an opportunity to make a difference in one way or another... :)
    You were given some talents I am sure I do not have... and you can use that to make people smile :) I am sure you do too!
    Nice blog! I hope you can check mine out :)

    God bless Always,
    christine
    beyoutifulhope.blogspot.com

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  18. That was a truly inspiring post, making me want to get involved in dating again just the fears of getting hurt all over again is scary,I was in a 4 year long relationship adn till this day were still trying to figure things out, but lucky for you re falling in love is amazing! congrats looking forward to more of your post im new to blogging, i would appreciate a follow thanks:) and goodluck!

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  19. there is always room for a second chance, and life is risking and dearing and if u don't you won't live :) embrace love and life and the man that seems to make you so happy. It might not last forever, but at least you got to share your time with someone wonderful :)

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  20. This absolutely reminded me of myself. I recently took that leap (kicking and screaming however). I wouldn't say my list is "picky" I did however learn much of what I DO NOT want from my previous marriage.

    This man, who I am falling for so very deeply summed it up for me. " You don't need me. You're a beautiful and strong women. Let me want you please." SOLD.

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  21. I love this! Your writing is very eloquent. I actually went through this as well a couple years ago... very hard. You sound like a strong women though, I can't wait to come by and read more because of it. :)

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  23. Hi Missy!

    I love this post. I appreciate your honesty very much. So mush of what you wrote here descibes how I felt just a few years ago.
    My ex and I went our separate ways in late 2005 after 14 years of marriage. He was a great person and a good father but we wanted different things out of life and marriage. I stayed in the marriage way too long. I mention that to say when I got out I was in the bad habit of not doing what I truly wanted. I didn't know how to serve my best interests. I literally didn't know how to make myself happy.
    I know you can't judge a book by the cover and wanted to keep an open mind about men. I really didn't know what form "Mr. Right" would take so I too made a list of what is important to me in a relationship. I had a first priority, second, etc. I figured as long as I stuck to that I would be ok.
    The dating game was a long and frustrating one for me. I went on a lot of dates but "it" was just never there for me. I even thought gee maybe I can't feel anything for a man, could I be a lesbian?! I reached the point where I simply gave up mentally, stopped dating and resigned myself to being alone.
    In May of 2009 I met the man of my dreams. I still marvel at the moment I first saw him. I was beside myself thinking of him. I told a friend even before I knew his name that I'd met the man I was going to marry. Three days after first seeing him I introduced myself and gave him my number. He called very quickly and asked me out. We had two dates that day.
    It's been almost three years and I love this man more every time I think about him. We have a beautiful daughter together. We are very different from each other. He is as reserved as I am outgoing. Our approaches to dealing with our ex and parenting our other children are different.
    It's been a bit of work for us. Through the challenges we've stayed focused on how much we love each other. Kevin is a Christian(my first priority in a relationship). He is marvelously funny, sweet, intelligent and interesting. I am happier than I have ever been in my life.
    Divorce is horrible. Finding someone new and all that goes with it is like being on a rollercoaster ride. This is my story. It's going to be different for everyone. If a person follows their heart, is willing to do the work that comes with a relationship and feels they truly deserve to be happy, it will happen for them. I know it will happen for you. I wish you all the joy life has to offer.
    Thank you again for sharing your experience here. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Mary

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  24. HEY ~ Most excellent post, I like your expression and honesty.........PEACE (^_*)

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  27. It's feeling really want to know who

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  28. It's ironic that I ran across your blog... I recently went through a messy break up and realized that maybe this was the time to create my "list". I realized that perhaps because I am young, I've been dating without purpose and without really setting ground rules for what I need and most of all, what I deserve. So, I've dated just because I liked the guy. I realize now that it takes more than that. He has to be willing to give certain things and commit to the needs of being in a relationship.

    Saying that, I think it's important to note it's unrealistic to hold anyone to expectations we don't require of ourselves.

    As I am learning more about myself, I am learning more of what I need on my list.

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  29. Hey..i'm young.Like near to zero real love story experiences but that's cool.And i'd just like to say "merci" it's really nice to read such uplifting stories...and to realise that insecurities and being vulnerable and feeling a little afraid is okay...

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  31. I'm a single mother too...just one child though...it's been 3 years since I left my husband. There's a big part of me that wants to find love and companionship again, but I just don't know how I would find time for a man. My daughter takes up all of my time outside of work and I would feel like I was neglecting her if I started leaving her with sitters so I could go out on dates...I could only really feel comfortable with one date a week...but I would feel that one date a week would be neglecting the man's needs as well. I just feel like there's not enough of me to go around. How do you find the time to do it and do you have any advice?

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  32. Great post! I usually have a long list of wants and needs but after my last disaster of a relationship I just want man that is there for me, i.e. truly supportive.

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