Dating and Analysis Paralysis

November 29, 2008

Lately, I have been reminded of a friend of mine named Sarah.  I met her in 2000.  We were both hired at the same time by the same person, who, as it turns out, was getting ready to leave her job.  We were barely introduced around before she announced her departure.  We were too new and dumbfounded to ask many questions.  We spent the next year-and-a-half doing the best we could to salvage the project.

I was in unfamiliar territory with a new job, new responsibilities, and a lot of new experiences.  I responded by being anxious and trying to figure out all of the details in advance, but stress is never fun.  Then, I learned something important from Sarah.  I learned to let go.  I learned to think less.  I learned to have faith that everything would work out.  We travelled around the country together for work and sure enough, everything had a way of working out. 

That is where I am at in this new relationship with Harley.  My tendency is to be anxious and to try to figure out everything ahead of time.  But, I can’t.  That’s not how relationships work.  I want to know what will happen next, but I don’t.  And it drives me nuts!

I had forgotten how much I rely on routine to make my life manageable.  I keep my life pretty simple…and predictable.  The downside of that is that my life has been pretty basic and not very social.  My weekly routine revolves around parenting, working, sleeping, cleaning, and running errands.  When I am solidly in a routine, I exercise regularly.  And I write. 

Lately, I have been spending a lot of my free time with Harley.  The weather has been colder and rainer over the last month.  Between that and the shorter days, my exercise routine has completely fallen to the wayside.  Same thing with the writing.  But the thing is, I need to write now more than ever.  I need to make sense of all of the thoughts and emotions that come up.  And I have to remind myself to relax.

The Neediness Monster

November 17, 2008

In my recent bout with PMS et al., my inner needy monster came out to play.  I’ve noticed that once I get into the honeymoon period with a guy, I start to flip out (at least inside my head).  Everything is great…so when is everything going to blow up and go to hell in a hand basket? 

When is Mr. Nice going to turn into Mr. Jerk?  When is Mr. Generous going to turn into Mr. Selfish? 

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit.  I think there is a 21 day rule with dating, too.  At least in my experience, people’s true colors start to emerge somewhere between day 14 and day 21…or the moment you start falling for them…or whichever comes sooner.  I’ve dated guys where the change seems to happen overnight.  I’ve also dated guys where the change is very, very gradual.  He starts out very charming, full of interesting stories, cooking amazing dinners…then one day you notice he stopped trying…but you’re not sure when.  It’s x months later and now that your lives are fully intertwined, he’s a jerk.

Well, that’s my experience.  So, like clockwork, with Harley, my unconscious brain was going tick, tock (no, that’s not my maternal clock, thank you very much).  When is he going to say something rude?  When is his other personality going to take over?  When is the act going to end?  Is it going to happen slowly or quickly? 

My body remembers every time I have felt this way.  Every time, I have ended up hurt, disappointed, and lonely.  For every up, there is a down.  For every honeymoon, there is a…rude slap of reality?  Well, sheesh, to make a long story a lot shorter, I’ve been waiting for Harley to turn into the Antichrist.  And, uh, he hasn’t, but I did.  All of my anxiety and fear and worry got the best of me.  I turned into a pathetic, needy mess…and Harley rode it out like a champ.

Thankfully, the neediness monster went back to sleep.

Regaining my Balance After the Most Recent Ride on the Dating Roller Coaster

September 16, 2008

Yesterday I was feeling pretty crappy.  I rode my bike home from work, which takes almost an hour.  I still felt down during the whole bike ride, but decided to embrace it and allow myself to feel it without giving into anxiety and worrying if this would turn into my worst fear…being depressed.

Although I didn’t feel even the remotest enthusiasm for life on my way home, by the time I went to bed last night I realized I was feeling good…really good.  What a relief.  I am sure getting exercise helps.  I fell off the exercise wagon for the most part when I was seeing Dave.  I think that’s why we sometimes take “breakups” hard, even if we’ve only been dating the person for a brief time.

In addition to whatever hormonal (adrenaline, sexual attraction) roller coaster you’ve just gotten off of, you return to a neglected state of being.  It’s a double whammy.  You’re feeling bummed and sorry for yourself or whatever and you find that your house is messier and you’re more out of shape than when you got on the roller coaster.

After three consecutive weeks of being lazy, I rode my bike to work 4 days last week.  Today is Tuesday and I’m on day 2 of biking to work this week.  While I’m focusing on settling back into a healthy routine, I plan to post a series of posts about my ex-husband, Mark.  He is also the father of my son.