I am a work in progress. I will continue to evolve, grow and adapt my entire life.
About four years ago I created a list of things that I wanted to change or improve about myself emotionally, mentally and physically. That list was also the reason I created my first blog, “Almost Back at One.” Some of the items on the list were simple (e.g. Smile all the time.) and others required more time. I found I had to understand why a behavior existed, where it came from and why that behavior bothered me (e.g. find something positive in the people who have hurt you.) Some things on the list just didn’t take (e.g. Don’t be so crude.) I worked the list, became more positive, took responsibility for my actions and had a much clearer understanding of myself.
I haven’t been feeling very positive about the idea of dating and pursuing a relationship, lately. I decided to employ what has worked for me in the past and has helped me change certain behaviors thus ensuring I won’t make the same mistakes in the future. And if you feel that this strategy may work for you please feel free to use it (and let me know what you think.)
So after thinking long and hard about what really bothered me about happened in my last “relationship,” I was able to isolate one behavior that I absolutely have to change in order to care for and protect myself in any relationship.
Behavior: I am willing to sacrifice my emotional needs to sustain some kind of connection with someone I care for. (This is has been an issue with both of the men I have been serious about, since my return to dating.)
Where did this behavior exist?: I was raised in a home where displays of affection and positive sentiment seldom occurred. As a result I have been willing to accept far less love and support than I give.
Why this is behavior bothers ME: I am sacrificing what I want and need in intimate relationships. This behavior results in emotional pain and stress that inhibits my ability to deal with my peers in a healthy way. I am having a much harder time being positive, optimistic and open.
What can I do to change this behavior?: Socialize with people who are open and reciprocate when I am open and express sentiment. When dating, only pursue a stronger connection with people who appreciate and acknowledge what I offer and who reciprocate.
Sometimes identifying and understanding why a behavior exists is easy. Changing the way you think about in personal relationships and how you behave in them isn’t always so easy. If you are doing something that YOU find detrimental to your emotional and mental well-being, you are the only one who can change it.
Posted by trjensen on September 21, 2012
My whole approach to dating since I have decided I am somewhat ready for a full blown relationship has been pretty simple. I tend to be attracted to men who have a glaring void in some aspect of their lives. It doesn’t necessarily imply they have drama, they are just missing something and I feel like I can occupy that space.
This is just part of who I am. I want to take care of people and if I see some area where I can help I am typically going to try to do so. The catch is, as I am learning, not everyone wants or needs help and taking care of, even if I notice something seems to be missing. Actually someone coming into your life and trying to address certain issues can be quite annoying and intrusive. It can also be something someone appreciates initially and takes for granted as a relationship progresses.
I have been trying to occupy a place in someone’s life because I see a place I fit rather than working on the dynamic of myself and my partner as a couple and letting my partner determine where and how I fit into his life. I can’t decide that I want to be in someone’s life in a certain capacity and only build a relationship based solely off that aspect of a man’s life.
If someone doesn’t ask you for help you need to wait until they are willing to accept it. Maybe that isn’t why they are interested in you at all. By overstepping your boundaries you are far more likely to push someone away. I need to focus less on where I can help and more on how I fit in to someone’s life. Just filling a void doesn’t make an instant relationship, even when it is accepted. Working together creates a relationship.
I don’t need to know how and where I fit in when I start to date someone because even if I do meet a specific need everything changes as a couple bonds. I just need to appreciate that someone enjoys spending time with me as much as I enjoy spending time with him.
Posted by trjensen on June 15, 2012
Friday, Pretty Boy and I got together. We spent Friday and the better part of Saturday together. Sunday he had plans to go to the mountain. Sunday evening he messaged me on Facebook and I asked him how his day went. He told me he was sore. I asked why and he said he had an accident, tubing.
He explained that he had taken a ten foot jump off a tube and landed on his neck. He said his back hurt. I asked if he drove himself home and he said he did. He said he thought he may need to go to the ER. I agreed that he should and asked him a series of questions, suggesting some things that might alleviate the pain.
The fact that he was in a significant amount of pain was worrisome to me and I actually considered going to his house but I am vehicle-less at the moment made that impossible without him driving some more and I didn’t think that was a good idea. It was driving me crazy that I couldn’t be there with him but didn’t mention it. Then he said, “I wish you were here.”
My concern for his pain was taken over by this warm fuzzy feeling. I sat and stared at the screen smiling, not because he was hurt but because he just wanted me there. I really couldn’t do anything to help with the pain but I loved the fact that just having me there would make him feel better. All I wanted was for him to be okay. I promised I would come by when I could and just hang out with him.
I like this guy and I knew in that moment that he really liked me too. We’ve been stuck in this weird place where we are trying not to come on too strong with each other but him actually wanting me makes me so happy. He decided to go to the ER after we stopped chatting. He has a concussion and pulled some muscles in his back. The doctor told him it may take a few weeks before he was feeling better and prescribed him some medication for the pain.
Today when I spoke to him on the phone he was still dealing with issues associated with blunt head trauma but the medications was definitely helping with his back. I was glad and promised I would be over Wednesday to spend some time with him. I told him I had this insane desire to want to take care of him and he just said come when you can.
In a way, PB getting hurt has forced us to move past our insecurities about moving forward. He is being open. I was at point where I was starting to get overcritical and nervous about what could go wrong and now I just want be there for him. The poor guy is all laid up and hurting and I am just happy because he wants me.
I just want him to get better. He is hurting pretty bad and if my being there would make him feel better then I need to be there but I am happy. Not happy he is hurt but that I know he values me being in his life.
Does that make me mean?
I hope not.
Posted by trjensen on February 7, 2012
Do I need to be needed?. One of my favorite bloggers discussed one on my recent posts today. Please check it out.
Posted by trjensen on January 18, 2012
“Why are you still single?” Many of the guys I entertain the idea of dating ask me that. My answer is always the same. “I don’t know.” Maybe I waited too long to have what would really be a starter relationship. Maybe I am too emotionally damaged. Maybe I just try too hard adding additional pressure to a situation without knowing I am doing it.
Last year I started talking to a guy I went to high school with and he asked me that question as we started flirting during a Facebook chat session. “I really don’t get it. You are a cool chick. Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” I assured I didn’t really get why it seemed impossible for me to lock someone down. We continued chatting over the course of the next few days until on the fourth day he said, “I know why you aren’t in a relationship.” I asked him why he thought that was and he answered simply, “You don’t need anyone.” I got a little pissed off at first. “But I want someone! Why isn’t that enough?”
A few days later I was talking to a friend about that conversation and how annoyed I was with that summation of my situation. “Men need to feel needed,” she said, “and it took me a long time to figure out how to show a man that he was needed.” I told her I had no idea how to pretend that I had spent the bulk of my life having only myself to rely on. I was not comfortable leaning on someone else. I trust me. That is the one thing life had taught me was that I could really just count on myself to do what needed to be done and I didn’t know how to “pretend” that wasn’t the way it was. I said, “I want a partner but I can take care of myself.”
She explained that if a man didn’t feel needed he didn’t see his value in a relationship. I really didn’t know what to do at that point. Quite frankly I thought might actually be shit out of luck. I spent a lot of time thinking about why I felt so strongly about what I wanted in partner. What was missing from my life that I really wanted now? Then I realized that making a man feel needed was more about emphasizing the things I wanted in partner so that he would feel valued and needed.
I am still not very good at it. I should prabably work on that, huh?
Posted by trjensen on January 16, 2012