Kissing Frogs

Dating sites are such a crapshoot. If you’ve never been on one, consider yourself lucky. The free sites are so full of scammers, it’s almost unbelievable. I have run into pineapple farmers in Ghana, people who tell me they were born and raised 20 miles from me, who can’t put together a sentence with proper syntax in English.

I’ve also met some real people. S, for one. K, the artist from long ago. Also a number of men who think they are in love with you after messaging for 2 days.

You think you’re gonna go on there, and start up a conversation with someone, and just see if you feel any sparks. Seems simple. I mean, why else is someone on a dating site?

But I find that there are more men (and I have to make this about men, because that’s all I see, so it’s my only experience, but I’m sure it’s the same from the other side) that will view your profile every day, I mean EVERY day….and never message you. Men who will send you a “flirt”, so you respond if you think you might be interested, and never hear from them again, (though often they still view your profile regularly). Or you find someone who seems perfect, with the same interests and a compatible personality type, and so you message them….and never hear back. You gotta wonder, why would they not at least check it out? And then there are men who seem perfect, but after you message them for a day or two, all they turn the conversation to sexual intimacy…..UGH. I always feel like this was a guy trying to suck someone in just to satisfy himself while you talked.

Shy? On a dating site you are anonymous until you choose not to be with someone, so that should help with shyness. Shouldn’t it?

So many are just duplicates of each other. They like “walks on the beach, dinner out, dinner in, cuddling in front of the fire.” They never give up any of who they are, in their profile. One man this morning said in his profile, “Who you are is what you do, right?” NOOOOooooo. It’s not.

Boring. Shallow. At least, to me.

Metaphorically speaking, it gets tedious, kissing frogs who remain frogs.

Still, I look. Still, I don’t know how else to meet men my age. I don’t think anymore that I won’t find someone without baggage. I don’t think you find yourself single at this age, and not have any baggage. It’s really a matter of finding someone whose baggage you can deal with, whose baggage is similar to yours, so you can work on it together. If you are divorced, or widowed, at this point in life, it has affected you, and to deny it is to deny your life experiences. Silly, unhealthy…..

I have a new friend I met online…which is nice. He lives close to me, we enjoy each other’s company. But he’s moving in the summer, a long way away. So….I can’t get too attached to him. I don’t want to open my heart too wide, because I don’t want to be in pain when he goes. I’ll have to be vigilant, to make sure that doesn’t happen. One heartbreak a year is enough. And really, I’m still pretty raw from the last one to get involved with someone yet.

But still I look. There’s a song by Crosby, Stills, and Nash called Southern Cross. The end of the song has this line: “Somebody fine will come along, make me forget about loving you, at the Southern Cross.” Hopeful. Still hopeful.

Islands in my Dreams, A Little Tease from the Universe

I was on a dating site last night. I don’t know how else to meet men my age. There are scammers, and crazies, but every once in a while there is someone real. I think I was on the site, just to take my mind off of the ugly way in which the relationship with S ended. And end it did. I am relieved, glad, happy not to hear from him again. Glad to feel free to move on, with no left over emotions, no regrets, but with real recognition that it was a toxic relationship for me.

But I digress.

I was on the quickmatch thing, where you see a person’s pictures and profile, and click yes or no. Generally, this site gives me a few that are geographically acceptable and a lot that are over 100 miles away. A little too far to say, catch a movie at the last minute. I don’t understand why they show me those profiles, when my parameters are set to 50 miles from my home. (As a friend says, they are GUD – geographically undesirable, lol.) This site also rates their compatibility by percentage, based on your and their answers to what could be 100’s of questions.

But whatever. Last night I was just kind of future tripping, sitting in front of the TV, while it snowed yet again here in CT. It was just fun, reading profiles, checking out answers, etc. Just getting back into the dating mood.

Then, like a joke, it showed me two men back to back, that were perfect. 94% and 98% compatibility. Both were creative types, grounded, laid back, happy. And why shouldn’t they be. 94% lived in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s one of my favorite places.

I should interject here, that I used to cruise the New England coast with my ex in our 41′ boat. The Vineyard was a regular destination each summer. It’s just beautiful. I have a print of Menemsha, a fishing village on the Vineyard, on my family room wall, beside one of New London Harbor which is my home port.

Needless to say, I stopped on that profile. Now…the Vineyard is a good 4 hours from here, by car and ferry. Absolutely not a possibility for a relationship in reality. But I did a bit of daydreaming about this man and being on the Vineyard with him. One of my best friends husbands grew up on the Vineyard, (he is also a close friend) and one year we met them up there, and they drove us around the island, to Gay Head, Menemsha, other beautiful spots.

He was definitely my type. Nice looking, laid back, creative, a warm smile. Looked quite capable of loving a woman. I sent him a message and told him I wished the Vineyard was closer, and that I was sure he was going to make some woman quite happy.

Then I sadly clicked no….

The next match popped up and it was the 98% match.  Another creative laid back type, and he lived in Siasconset, on Nantucket. If there is anywhere I love more than the Vineyard, it’s Nantucket. At first I was like, WTF, dating site?? Why are you teasing me with these profiles, so perfect and so far away. But I did a little remembering and daydreaming again.

Nantucket was another place we visited fairly regularly in the boat. The village of Nantucket is quaint, with cobblestone streets and gas lamps. One year when we went we rented a jeep and drove all over the island, to the villages of Madaket, Surfside, Miacomet and Siasconset, which is better known as ‘Sconset. Sconset is where Ahab’s wife lived, in Sena Jeter Naslund’s book “Ahab’s Wife”, my all-time favorite book. Probably my favorite because a lot of it takes place there. ‘Sconset looks east, to the vast Atlantic. It’s like another world. I sent 98% a message similar to the one I sent 94%, how lucky he was to live there, and I hoped he found a wonderful woman to share his life with.

I don’t know why I sent the messages, but it was lovely to have a small daydream about some of my favorite places on earth. I call them “places of my dreams”. I hunger to go back there some day. To be out in the middle of the ocean, on solid ground, and breathe the salt air, feel the sea breezes. God, I miss it.

Sigh. Back in reality, here in CT, sitting comfortably cozy while another snowstorm makes it’s mark, I was happy. Just to be reminded that there is beauty out there, waiting for me.

The universe was teasing me, for sure. Teasing me into remembering all the possibilities, as ugly memories fade away into oblivion. I am grateful.

The Continuing Journey

The name of this blog is Learning to Live Like Water. Lately, I have been getting some real lessons in that. I suppose I should say, more real lessons.

When I left my abusive marriage, I spent 4 years trying to disentangle 32 years of my life from those things that had tied me to that relationship. I spent 2 years trying to free my son from it. In the end, he freed himself, he walked away from it, to my ever waiting open arms, with the clothes on his back to the promise of a better life. I spent 2 more years fighting for what was mine.

All during that time, I learned. I learned about stillness, and unconditional love, and connection, and energy. I realized that I had been learning all through the marriage, I learned that what doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. Smarter. More resilient. Hopefully, more graceful, happier, more fulfilled. Grateful. I became grateful for all that had happened to me, because everything that happens to us brings us to where we are. I like where I am now. Therefore, I am grateful for the lessons.

I didn’t even consider dating for the first 5 years I was out. I was fighting the good fight, for one thing, and had no energy to give to a thought about dating. I was afraid too, with a little PTSD, about it. I knew that I had a ton of baggage, which I didn’t want to bring to another relationship. If I were ever to have another loving relationship, I wanted it to be healthy. Not bogged down with the past. I have this dream that a relationship that connects on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level is possible.

So, about a year ago, I finally signed on the dating sites, and began actively pursuing the dating. I have had dates, some interactions, I have made one really good friend, but nothing that really clicked on all three levels. I made a commitment to myself, that I would not settle for less. Not part of that connection, but all of it.

So, maybe I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. Maybe not. But the whole thing is a lesson in living like water. Trying to force it does not bring it into my life. I have found myself excited about people I’ve talked to on the phone, only to meet them and have no real connection. Or, in the case of my good friend, connections on some levels, but not on all levels. He is a blessing though, because he is the first man I have ever been able to discuss the whole thing with, and we have discussed our differences, we understand them, but still enjoy spending time together because we connect on many levels. We know what each other wants, we know each others boundaries. Neither of us asks for what the other cannot provide.

Our friendship has been a great lesson in learning to live like water. To learn to go with the flow, to move around the obstacles, to change form. To continue the journey back to source. And to find joy in the present moment, appreciating what we are given.

This morning, I have felt a letting go. Just a letting go of that attachment to the outcome of having a complete, full loving relationship. I am feeling space in my heart, where that attachment was, which is now space for some new blessing to fill. Not that I want a loving relationship any less, but the time is here to let go of driving it, trying to make it happen. I have put the energy out there. The universe has heard me, I know because one thing I learned in this never ending classroom of life, one thing I know for sure, is that the Universe always hears us. And then conspires to bring us what we want.

I have been so blessed in my life. I have really learned to “Let go, and let God.” In the battle for my son, I surrendered, and he walked to me, on his own. In the battle to reclaim my life, I surrendered, I followed my intuition, I listened. I let go when my gut told me, I held on when it directed me to. I got what was rightfully mine, despite the epic battle that was waged to keep it from me. Lao Tsu tells us

“The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.” I know this to be true, beyond the possibility of doubt.

 Today, my gut says to let it go. My intuition is telling me that is what I need to do, should do. Not to give up the dream, but to surrender it to the Universe. It is a slightly fearful thing to do, but I have learned to trust that which I cannot see, the enormous energy around me that will bring me what I ask at the perfect time.

Always, always, learning a little more, a little more deeply, about living like water.

 “Nothing in the world is softer

and weaker than water.

But for attacking the hard, the unyielding,

Nothing can surpass it.

There is nothing like it.

The weak overcomes the strong;

the soft surpasses the hard.

In all the world, there is no one who does not know this,

but no one can master the practice.

Therefore the master remains

serene in the midst of sorrow;

evil cannot enter his heart,

Because he has given up helping,

he is people’s greatest help.

True words appear paradoxical.

– The 78th verse of The Tao.