One of my resolutions this year is go prioritize writing and to become more consistent with posting. Part of my job as a therapist is encouraging people to delve deeper. Surface communication is the norm. Recently I was challenged to take inventory in my own life of the people that I consider myself to be close to. I have been incredibly lucky to have had some amazing colleagues who have become friends. But there’s only a handful of people who I consider really close friends. It can be so easy to fall into multiple surface level friendships that lack the depth of a meaningful connection. I remember being told that if you find one good friend who is truly a friend you need to keep them around because people like that are rare. As I’ve gotten older I have personally experienced the truth in those words. I like the closeness of my circle and the people who I have chosen as`friends. When you have genuine people in your life it becomes easier to be honest (even painfully so) with them and also with yourself. You feel comfortable with opening up and expressing yourself without the professional filter. These are the kind of people that last a lifetime. This year I’m truly taking inventory of who is in my corner and some changes will be made.
It’s funny how fast time flies but how slow it can drag by. My birthday is right around the corner and it’s always around this time of year that I take another inventory of what exactly has been accomplished. Last time this year I lived in California and was working at a rehab center. This year I’m in Georgia working as a therapist and I have no clue where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing next year. The biggest thing for me right now is trying to finish school. It’s been a long long journey and I’m ready for it to be over. I’ve learned that it can be important to pace oneself at times. I’ve accomplished a few things professionally this past year. I added two additional clinical licenses in separate states and I’ve made some progress with my degree. Personally I’m still single and while it’s not a surprise to me I still find myself thinking, “maybe next year things will be different.” But there’s no huge surprise there and I’m even more cautious since my job requires me to listen to horror stories of relationships gone wrong. Needless to say, I did have one, yes one really good date this year. And while I’m grateful for that, I’m crossing my fingers to double that to two good dates next year. Celebrate the wins right. I’ve definitely learned more about the importance of self care and as much as I want a significant other, I’m just tired of not winning in that department. I feel that eternal optimism only goes so far. I’m deciding to focus on something else for now because it’s a little too depressing. However, I’m grateful to be where I am for now but I’ll continue to constantly look for different opportunities. You only live once.
I don’t rant very often. I make an intentional effort to not do my ranting on social media because I’ve seen personally how things posted in the heat of the moment can impact your future. Lately I’ve been doing some reminiscing. I wrote yesterday about the month of May and how it always makes me think. I’ve gone on some great trips and have some good staycations in the month of May. But that’s not what my post is about. I decided to once again try my hand at online dating because if I end up old and alone and I want to at least know that I tried. I’m hoping that it will be some small consolation to me in some way. Now that I’m a little more seasoned in the game (because it is a game), I can say that my optimism is still present but skepticism still reigns supreme. It’s literally the equivalent of going through a landfill in hopes of finding something (or someone) that you can dust off, take home, and live with. With this method you’re guaranteed to find some duds or shiny tokens that look like the real thing but aren’t. It’s annoying, frustrating, and hopeless at times. I’ve posted some of my dating stories and while they are hilarious, they all actually happened. I have to say that the most frustrating thing is getting ghosted. For those who aren’t aware of the concept, it means that someone just decides to stop returning messages and calls for no apparent reason and moves on with their life without you and without warning. You meet someone and realize that you have a lot in common with them. You make plans to meet up and then they completely flake without any explanation. This current dating culture absolutely sucks. There’s really no other way to categorize it. Funny how everyone wants to be different than the last person you met but without any knowledge of what the last person did, they do the EXACT same thing. Communication is a lost art. Ugh.
Assume that being independent and being in a relationship have to be two mutually exclusive things.
@BYONELOVEShe wants your reassurance without you perceiving her as ‘needy’. She wants to hear you say you love her and that you’re not going anywhere. She wants your arms around her as you say it, showing her with your affection how much you care. She wants you to understand and not be annoyed when she…
Without adding any snarky comments and making a generalization about “all” men out there, I will say that this sounds nice. It’s interesting how people who appear so self assured in other areas of their life can feel so unsettled and anxious within a relationship. I think that it’s because there’s something that is out of their control. It feels weird and different and naturally some anxiety ensues because you find yourself really self-doubting for the first time in a while. Great article
As I do every year, I’m preparing to do a purge of my contacts and delete the hundreds of random messages I don’t have any use for. My strategy is that if a number isn’t saved the message is deleted. Not too long ago I had an interesting exchange with a young man who happened to have one of the numbers in my phone that were never saved. He indicated that he wanted to meet me in person and said he was interested in me. Mind you, he popped up every few weeks or so and texted me regular small talk stuff. Nothing substancial or notable enough for me to save his number because it was obvious he only texted me when I got bored. Then he asked for a picture. Side note, what is it with guys always asking for a picture? You haven’t done anything to deserve a favorable answer to your inquiry and I don’t acquiesce to random demands from strangers. Needless to say, the answer is almost always no. But I digress. I ended up telling him what needed to happen in order for me to take him seriously and I may have also mentioned that I didn’t know his name and that his number had never been saved because he never earned that right. My point is that sometimes you have to clear your life of people who are just taking up space. They don’t have a vested interest in your success and don’t care about who you are as a person. Clearing can also involve deleting messages and contacts because you don’t have the time to entertain nonsense. It’s a necessary part of moving forward because you’re making room for something better.
Getting to know someone takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight or without some sort of effort. As a hopeless romantic of sorts,I love the idea of a whirlwind romance. But as a therapist, I’ve worked with couples who got together without taking the time to get to know each other. Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain and I think that distance tends to make them more complicated. Of course with modern technology you can communicate and see the other person on a frequent basis but it’s not the same as having the person be physically present. It takes a lot of time and energy to be in a relationship with someone that you don’t see often. I remember reading an article somewhere that said long distance relationships can work when they are for a specified period of time. They become harder to maintain when the time apart (weeks or months) is undetermined. I think that it’s especially hard if the relationship started online because you don’t have the experience of the initial chemistry in person and the process of building trust with someone you’ve never seen in real life is difficult. It’s not hard to feel alone in a long distance relationship and find yourself seeking out companionship that lives locally. I read a quote that said,”if you aren’t with the one you love, you’ll end up loving the one you’re with.” I think that’s a great example of how some relationships meet their demise. Absence can make the heart grow fonder but it doesn’t happen all the time.
I always attempt to not tell personal stories too soon after the fact so that I doesn’t seem like I’m going after anyone. Anyway, this story is about 2 years old so I figure that it’ll be ok. Here goes:Two years ago I lived in a western state and decided that I was going to try online dating. I didn’t have any prospects and figured that after years of “focusing on school and my career” that it was time to at least test out the waters to see if the bad luck of college had followed me through graduate school. I created a profile on a very popular website that has tv commercials all the time talking about how people are matched based on their compatibility in multiple areas. I got matched with someone and went through all the preliminary questions in order to finally message him. I’ll call him “Sam.” Now, Sam looked really good on paper. He enjoyed playing soccer, had a masters degree and seemed pretty well rounded. We started talking and he asked for my number. Not too long afterwards he called me and we chatted for a bit. He had a Caribbean accent and seemed ok. He asked me out on a date and I picked a burger place not too far from where we both lived. I drove out to the place and got there early as usual. I went inside to wait for him. So he got there and he didn’t look like his picture. I take it back, he looked like his “from the shoulders up” picture. But I was looking at him in his eye. We were the same height. Now, I know height is something that can’t be changed and that no one has any control over so I kept an open mind. We got out seats and sat down and proceeded to order food. At that point I told him that I was a vegetarian and homeboy was flabbergasted. You would have thought that I said I was the offspring of aliens from Mars. “You’re just so weird,” was said multiple times during the conversation in response to other things that I disclosed (like being homeschooled). The food arrived with his coming first and he proceeded to eat while I was still waiting for my food. I understand that there are people who weren’t raised to wait for others before just digging in but I was still somewhat annoyed by his declarations of how weird I was. The conversation continued. He said that he was ready for a serious relationship and marriage and asked if I was on the same page. However under closer inquiry he disclosed that he lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 of his friends and didn’t intend to get his own place anytime soon. Fine. Rents are high, you save money when you can split bills. Then he says that he doesn’t have a car . I asked why because it clearly wasn’t a financial issue (he was a CPA working for a decent sized firm), and he said that he didn’t think it was necessary. But you’re “ready” for a wife and kids? The conversation ended soon afterwards (to be honest I was just tired of being called “weird” 20 times in a row). When the bill came I’m pretty sure we split it as he didn’t offer to pay for what I ordered. We start to go outside and I realize how dark it’s gotten and I look at him. The poor thing doesn’t look like he could defend himself against anything, he looked about 115lbs soaking wet. He had taken the bus to the restaurant. So, out of some maternal urge to help someone in their time of need I had compassion (maybe pity) on him and offered to drive him home. He eagerly accepted the offer. So I took him home. He thanked me for not leaving him to wait for the bus in the dark. He tried to hug me before he got out the car and it was the most awkward hug I’ve ever experienced. He asked me when we were going to get together again. I smiled and never replied. Ever.
Twenty20, hmmessersmith 1. After you two hang out, he texts you to make sure that you got home safely. 2. He records the shows that he knows you can’t stand, so he can watch them after you leave and won’t miss out on any time with you. 3. If his phone beeps while you’re out on a date, he won’t even…
Recently I had a very long conversation with a friend of mine regarding a similar experience we were having. Don’t get my wrong, I’m glad that I chose my particular career path. Social work/counseling is a good fit for my personality and I genuinely enjoy helping others. However, one sees things in a totally different light when you’ve studied human interactions and behaviors from an academic point of view. When you’ve met with hundreds and talked at length about their personal challenges and relationship woes. The way you perceive the world around you changes when perfect strangers feel comfortable walking up to you and sharing details about the personal life and current problem because (apparently) you have the “trust me I’m a therapist/safe person” face. One thing my friend and I discussed was how hard (somewhat impossible) it is to separate professional knowledge from actual emotion in personal relationships. As a therapist you question everything. One’s hidden motives, past history, emotions, and body language to come to a conclusion on the best course of action to help them. I think that’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to take anything at face value in personal relationships and the tendency can be to overthink. If overthinking was a professional sport, I would be a pro. I love connecting the dots and making sense of complicated and complex information. It’s a great professional skill to have, but using a professional skill for personal use definitely has a downside. I think it comes down to taking it a day at a time and becoming okay with not knowing all the information up front. Which, by the way, can be very frustrating but also necessary to cultivate a healthy balance.