Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “self-awareness

A Moment of Enlightenment Has Arrived: The Path I’m Leaving Behind

moment of enlightenment - blake, newton

I could hope for an Age of Enlightenment, but I’m being realistic.

I can comfortably say that I have passed through the Dark Ages, and I am somewhere in the Between Ages. But I have also reached a moment, this moment, where I can see certain things quite clearly. And while the path ahead is not clear, the mistakes of the ages behind has never been clearer.

The other day I was describing what I was seeking in my relationship.

“Someone who is warm and deep feeling.”

Online dating is an opportunity to refine your perspective, and building a profile is like setting intentions.

You see, I believe those are two of my strongest qualities. 1. Warmth: expresses joy and togetherness easily, often encourages and brings energy and happiness into a room when they arrive. 2. Deep Feeling: able to connect with the emotions that are often the cause of suffering, disappointment, and immense joy.

It is my understanding, at this moment, that deep feeling and warmth are the two qualities I have not held out for in my first attempts at marriage. There are a lot of traits to connect and disconnect with people on, and somehow my other “needs” or “connective traits” seemed more important at the time. Maybe I was lonely. Maybe I lost sight of what was possible. But somehow I settled on these two qualities in both my previous marriages.

While my most recent wife was beautiful, smart, devoted, and organized. The labels of “warmth” and “deep feeling” are probably not going to be generally applied to her personality. That’s okay. We are all different. And maybe what is warmth to me is something different to others. That’s all fine. But for me, even at the beginning, when we were courting madly, there was that spark of joy missing. The deep feeling seemed to arise when we were engaged in love making and enjoying a glass of wine, but of course, you can’t always be fucking and drinking, there’s a lot more to life.

So outside of those kind of extraordinary circumstances, what is the quality of the person you are looking to be with? When the tasks become more mundane, what is the timbre of the relationship?

So this momentary illumination of these two critical traits is important. I don’t have to try and convince myself that these two traits are more important than a flat stomach or a an activated and creative imagination. Both of my wives had brilliant creative impulses, and both were beautiful to look at.

As we travel through this process, appraising, arranging, asking, flirting, explaining… we get a chance to refine our pitch and our wish list.

Online dating is an opportunity to refine your perspective. In many ways, building a profile on an online dating site is like setting intentions.

1. We have to say who we are: Here is what I want you to know about me. Here is how I present myself in my best light. Here is a picture that I think does make me look cuter than others.

2. We have to begin the process of identifying who we want to be with next: Initially it’s a bit like browsing for a house online, you are looking for the initial curb appeal. Again, these photos are some of the best this woman could find to represent who she wants you to see. Photos lie.

As we travel through this process, appraising, arranging, asking, flirting, explaining… we get a chance to refine our pitch and our wish list. And once we get clarity on those non-negotiable traits that we must have in our next relationship, the task is much easier. Or, at least, clearer.

Now I have it. At this very moment I believe that everything comes after my two main criteria. Warmth and Deep Feeling. Of course, there has got to be the curb appeal or I won’t even have a chance to say hello. (this cuts both ways) And, I believe my “enlightenment” comes from the realisation that other traits are important (1. intelligence, 2. outward beauty, 3. self-awareness/spirituality) but without warmth and the ability to express it at a deep level, well, without that we have the path I am leaving behind.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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The Ballet Dancer and the Buddha – Do We Have a Disconnect?

fit or fat or just right?I am not happiest when I am going through a fat period, but it happens. Sometimes fatter than others. I guess it’s common for a lot of folks. Maybe the balance between our bodies, work, and spirit are an interrelated display of how in-balance we are in our lives. But if the disconnect begins to happen between someone’s body and how it feels to be in it, bad things can happen. I know, I’ve been there.

I’d say I’m not obsessed with the skinny-fit abs on a woman. I guess I’d better hope she’s not obsessed with my abs either. (grin)

That said, I had the opportunity to crush up against that imagined flexibility quite recently. My ex-y is a very fit and finely tuned woman. And if I were to describe my first wife, I’d say she is still as hot as she was when I met her, petite, wiry and fiery. So in my two core relationships I’d say I’ve leaned towards the lean.

And last week I had an opportunity to explore my proclivity for the athletic body type. A wonderfully fun and witty woman showed up in my life. And before we’d even met in person, I could see from her Facebook pictures that she was of a different body type then I was trained to crave.

[I recall when I first started dating my ex-y, telling a friend, “She’s kind of a big girl.” I was speaking primarily of height, but she was stout compared to my wispy first wife. “That’s the way I love’m,” my friend said. And I too became familiar and fond of the woman who could match me toe to toe in a balance of strength and femininity.]

And so I prompted my mind before we met, about this woman’s body type being a bit more in line with my current shape.

What if I’m not into that? I wondered. What if the woman [the women] I’m really after are after someone fitter than me? Makes sense.

Well, I’m after the fitter me too. And I’m more in touch with the feeling of being out of balance with my body today than I have ever been. I am aware of my minor Buddha belly, and I am in motion to make things different again. However, until then… What am I saying about that woman that may just be my own dorky inexperience?

Can the Buddha in me love the Buddha girl, or does my craving for the ballet dancer override my intellectual attraction?

And how’s it worked out so far with these amazingly beautiful women?

I had a theory when I was younger that you had the triad of Spirit – Mind – Body. And, in my understanding, I could only focus on two of the three. And it was clear I had chosen Spirit and Mind. It’s not that I’ve not had very fit periods in my life, I have. And it’s not like I’m massively obese, I’m not. In fact my waistline is 8 inches bigger than it was at my peak fitness moment, sophomore in high school, swimming team. So I’m not off the map of myself. But I am a bit out side the comfort limits.

Today I’m much more aware of what’s happening with my body. I have more time alone to discuss things with myself. I have this relationship pause to self-assess what happened before and what I want to happen next. And I am fascinated by several of the most beautiful women I have ever been around. And while I desire them both, I am clear that they are not who I want to be with. I wonder if that is not my same self-deluded radar showing them as out of bounds, or damaged in some way.

Both my marriages ended in some pretty serious sexual dysfunction.

Marriage one brought her sexual abuse past out of the closet after we’d been married about a year. And the skeleton never returned to the closet, or left the side of the bed when we were making love.

Marriage two was more complicated. There was nothing wrong with my ex-y’s sexual functioning. At least not in the beginning. We had the most fulfilling and full sex lives of anything I’d ever experienced. But at some point she began closing something off from me. She began protecting and guarding some inner part of herself. And when that starts happening, it’s not long before the person would rather not more than rather. So as she withdrew further into her protected self, she had less willingness to open up to me. Even a casual quickie became something we had to map and schedule and detail. And after a while, even my desires began to be re-channeled.

So today, am I a Buddha in search of a ballet dancer? Or am I an athlete in a Buddha phase still looking to return to a less Buddha-like time? And would I be willing to be with the Buddha girl? Is my taste for ab candy as much a habit of experience or cultural imagery? These questions I don’t know.

But an illuminating moment comes when I think about the two “most beautiful women in the world” that I have been hanging with. Would I do almost anything to have another amazingly hot woman in relationship? And would I over look her potential red flag warnings while examining her musculature? I don’t know. I have in the past. But I’m trying to do better this next time.

And I guess the most important part of this entire process that is becoming more clear is my need to love myself. I am going through a fat period. That’s okay. [One of my friends was talking about my need to get in shape before I could find the woman I wanted to be with. “Dude, if she can’t appreciate you for exactly who you are, fk her. You’re not a different person when you’re in better shape. If that’s what she’s all into, she’s not the one.”]

So, I know, we project The One. There is no ONE out there. But am I willing to miss all the Buddha girls out there, just because I think I’m only attracted to the ballet dancer?

Good question.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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The Women of Mad Men: Pick Your Type

type of women - the ladies of mad menCan you define your desire in terms of a type? Is Joan your speed? Or Betty Draper? Perhaps the feisty and direct Peggy Olsen. (She looks a bit hotter here than in Mad Men don’t you think?)

Sometimes men try to identify themselves as breastmen, legmen, assmen.

I prefer to be an all-over-man. And now having come off a 12-year one woman man thing, I’m ready for a bit of anything. Legs, breasts, hot baths, ritas and queso. Mostly I’m into women. Having not had the scent of another woman for a long time, I’m a bit over-ripe. And that’s what’s juked my two near misses from online dating. So I’m looking into my own “projections.” I need to get further from my current divorce and into self-awareness.

what type of woman do you like - joan from mad menBut when she arrives, she’s in for a treat.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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