My Birthday Challenge

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I want to start by telling you about two old ladies. The first lady is called Emma Morano. She is a 116 year old woman living in Italy. When asked for the secret to her longevity, she credits two factors: eating raw eggs every day (yuck) and being single. Then there’s 109 year old Jessie Gallan from Scotland. She attributed her long life to porridge, exercise, and never marrying. Notice a common denominator? Does eliminating men from your life create a sense of well being?

I hate being single. Most of my life has been spent in a relationship. It’s what I know and what I’m comfortable with. Being alone totally sucks for me. I try to make the best of it, and sometimes I succeed in having an awesome adventure or a rush of happiness all on my own, but for the most part, I hate it.  I never really took a break from men. Right after Dr ManWhore and I separated, I started with dating websites. Can you believe it only took two weeks? Why so fast? When Dr ManWhore explained why he didn’t want to be with me anymore, one of the reasons was that he was not attracted to me. This devastated me. It really crushed me.

I was desperate for a man to tell me I was pretty, so I joined a dating website. I didn’t actually intend to meet anyone, I just wanted validation that I was attractive. Of course, curiosity got the better of me, and I started making dates. Meeting men was fun. I felt desired. I got taken to restaurants and told lovely things. It was pretty great. I was able to use men as a distraction from the pain I was feeling. And actually, it worked. The thing is, I never was able to parlay any of this into a healthy and long lasting relationship (no surprise I guess). That killed me.

It’s like I have some kind of weird love addiction. I don’t know what the word for this is.  It is just a constant need for validation and “protection” by the opposite sex. I don’t feel good about myself unless some guy is giving me attention (this has nothing to do with sex by the way, it’s all about attention and receiving affection). I have never admitted this before, so writing about it is kind of a big thing for me.

After I ended things with Birdy, I decided that this has to stop. I set myself a “birthday challenge” Until my birthday, I am taking a break from the opposite sex. Mind you, my birthday  is only like 40 days away–but still, this will be the longest I’ve been without looking for a man since I was 17! What, I wonder, will it feel like to not get ANY validation from the opposite sex? So far, it’s only been a few days. I am trying to distract myself by listening to motivational stuff on YouTube and job hunting. I also have New Orleans coming up. I am trying to keep my mind engaged as best I can, which is hard because I have loads of time on my hands at the moment. If I could just get a job, well, that would be great. That would take up a ton of my time and energy.

It’s highly likely that I will extend this break to continue after my birthday. I just didn’t want to commit myself to more than I could handle. I want see where this goes. What happens when there is no guy around to tell me the lovely stuff I want (and need?) to hear? What happens when it’s just me?

Fun fact:  The oldest person who ever lived was a woman called Jeanne Calment from France, who lived to be 122. According to Wikipedia, her secret was “a diet rich in olive oil  … (as well as) one  kilogram (2.2 pounds) of chocolate every week.” I guess if the man diet doesn’t work, I can always try eating more chocolate.

22 Comments

  1. I think that feeling you described after Dr. Manwhore left is normal. I also was devastated when my husband left and I was desperate for a man to show me some affection. Quite frankly, if prostitution was legal and/or if I could have found a gigolo, I would have paid for it. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the only escorts I could find in my city were either female or men who were available for other men. I even cruised the online personal ads for a time, but couldn’t work up my nerve to answer, let alone arrange to meet someone I had never even seen for sex. Online dating seemed a safer option — but it’s been slow going and the men I have dated turned out to be less than desirable for continued dating (that’s my nice way of saying they were jerks). Since the dating pool is so shallow in this area, I’ve pretty much been forced to be alone for long periods of time. I have to admit, I didn’t like it. I wanted someone to love me, hold me, and treat me as if they couldn’t get enough of me. I still want that and hope to find it eventually. However, being alone, with all of those emotions in turmoil, gave me the opportunity to really work on myself and figure out how to change things that I didn’t like about myself. That helped me to forgive my ex for bailing — as I realized he is a flawed human (like the rest of us) and can only be and act in ways that his damage and limits allow. Since he always refused to go to counseling to work on his own issues — I imagine he’ll have those limits forever (or until he decides he is unhappy enough to deal with things). I still date occasionally, but I’m not feeling that desperate need anymore — which I’m grateful for. I also hope that I’m emotionally in a better place and healthier so that when/if I do find someone, the relationship will also be healthier. Congratulations for taking that first step and feeling those uncomfortable emotions!

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    1. This is the first time I ever admitted this. I’m glad I’m not the only person who ever felt this way. I know it’s not a healthy coping mechanism. I totally want to get rid of that “desperate” feeling. It’s awful! ❤️

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  2. Words of comfort: Even if I have gone one or two years here and there of being single, (and I am single now, too), I’ve never really “loved” it. Well perhaps when I was like 21 years old or something, but never after the age of 25.. Sure, I have managed to make it “work” enough not to hate every day etc, and to have good days and travel by myself and found “some sort of contentment”. But happy..? I don’t think I will ever be completely happy as single. I am a person who needs love, to bloom. Perhaps people are different but I’d say a majority of people would rather have a loving partner in their life, than not have that…

    Besides, I think it is pretty much inherited in our DNA. People have always lived in couples, tribes, etc. So you are not “weird”. 🙂 But still, we must make the best of our lives as singles. Good luck on your challenge! 😊

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    1. I wonder if I could learn to love it. Some people act like they are so content being on their own. I have no idea if they mean it or if that’s what they just say. I wonder if it’s possible for me to be happy without a partner. Will I be crawling out of my skin by my birthday? LOL ❤️

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      1. Think like this,,too: we can be pretty unhappy a lot of the times WITH a partner, aswell…
        And we can also think about it in a sliding scale: miserable – bored- ok- content- happy- extremely happy. I think without a partner, I can reach up to content and sometimes happy. With a partner i can reach happy and extremely happy ( but also a lot of times slide down to bored / ok).
        So, the point is, we will be OK, no matter what. No one is happy all the time, I believe… 🙂 let’s be strong. 💪❤

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  3. —Caroline,
    Once you are (fully) happy with yourself, you will be able to be okay w/ not craving those affirmations from men. In the end, what matters is how you feel about “YOU, You, you.”

    It can be a struggle, lonely, and SUCK like triple hell, but you are strong and powerful.

    And that’s the truth. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay you.
    We are trained from a very early age that our validation means nothing. Less than nothing. So of course we crave that approval and support. And comfort.
    And those cravings have lead me to do some things which, with the benefit of hindsight, are pretty embarrasing.
    You might be dateless – but you are sooooo not alone.
    Hugs.

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  5. I’m not surprised by their advice. I remember reading studies where they concluded that marriage improved the health of men but decreased the health of women. I’m not going to delve too greatly into that because there may be many reasons why that is but I think a great deal of it has to do with our roles in relationships. Often it is the woman who is the caregiver. I know my own mom and her widowed friends all say they have no desire to get married again. Maybe it’s an age thing as most of them were widowed past the age of 60 or so. Those women I know who lost their husbands at a much younger age frequently do remarry. But if you look at widowers a lot of them remarry or repartner quickly! I think it’s because the death of their wife leaves a huge void in their world, and not just companionship. They are used to being taken care of- meals made, laundry done, house cleaned, appointments made, etc. I know that’s very stereotypical but I also know that’s exactly how it worked with me and CF and what my mom and her widowed friends say as well.

    As for me and dating… well, I haven’t yet. I’m not ready to put myself out there. Perhaps it’s easier for me because 1. I have kids to keep me busy and 2. I already did so much by myself because he wasn’t a social person. I’m used to going places and doing things by myself or with me and my kids or me and my friends. It would be nice, though, to have someone tell me how wonderful I am and how stupid CF is. Equally wonderful to finally have great sex again! And it would be nice to have someone who wanted to do things with me, who wanted to be a partner and maybe even a father figure to my kids. I’m not counting on it, though. I figure I’ll be alone for the rest of my life.

    Good luck to you, Caroline. I know you can do this if you put your mind to it! You are mighty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I did a little browsing and I read the same thing. Men do better with marriage than women do. I think you are right.
      I know I’m not a guy, but if it makes any difference, I think you are wonderful 😊❤️ thanks for your confidence in me!

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  6. Caroline, allow me to introduce you to L. L is my best lady friend, she is awesome. She has also been single for 8 years, and when I say single I mean not a date, no sex of any description, she’s chatted online to some men she’s known for a while all of whom would give their third toe to take her on one date. Sometimes she lets them think they might have a chance, but they don’t.
    I love L, but you don’t want to be L. I’m not sure what the point is, just seemed pertinent to introduce you – balance! L needs balance, you need balance. Phew got there in the end!! I think this break is very prudent…good luck 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I’m not going to become L. I feel that one of my purposes in life is to love and be loved. I couldn’t shut myself off, that would be denying who I am. Sometimes my heart gets tired and frustrated. I keep going anyway. But this is just a teeny break. The first in 23 years ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a 18 ‘man break’ before I met Richard, having been in a relationship for the previous 4 years and bouncing straight into another my head was reeling. It did me a world of good, I was able to decide what I wanted from a relationship but also what I wanted to give in a relationship – I hadn’t even thought about that before!! You’ll do it good x x x

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  7. Did you see British Vogue’s 100th Birthday video featuring Bo Gilbert, 100 year old “fashion model.” SO cute! “I certainly don’t dress up for boys..” 🙂

    Being totally honest, I know I could live alone, but I don’t want to. I love BE and honestly couldn’t imagine my life without him and that is why we are still together… the only reason really as he has certainly tested my limits. You deserve to have the companionship you seek. I think your birthday challenge is a good one if only to give you time to realize you don’t NEED a man to feel good about YOURSELF… you WANT a man in order to feel GOOD! I totally understand having that partner to make your life more fun, less lonely, but only you, the beautiful, the caring, the loving C, can make you feel good about yourself. I believe now, more than ever even though I have been hearing it my whole life, that no one else can make us whole… we must do that hard work ourselves. It is a challenge for me every day.

    I love that you can talk it out and be honest with your feelings here. For me it is such a good thing. Much love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t see it. I wonder if it’s on YouTube. I’ve been spending a lot of time there in the last few days. I don’t watch much tv though.
      I know BE has caused you grief, but I’m so glad you are making it work. Whenever I see your pictures, I can’t help but think, “that guy is totally in love with her.”
      And you are right: two halfs don’t make a whole, two wholes do. I’m not there yet.
      And yes… Where would I be without my blog? There’s a reason I was never able to give up blogging 😜❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A break is good. It’ll clear your vision. And for once in your adult life you won’t have to worry what someone else is thinking, if they love you enough, why aren’t they calling, are they lying, etc. In other words, no drama. 40 days is a good start. If you think this is a problem for you, you are probably right. And your explanations all make sense.

    Love/lust is definitely an addiction. But when it’s the right person, it’s a good thing. Fitting a square peg in a round hole is something we all do when we desperately try to make the wrong person work for us. I think re-evaluating yourself and your life choices by yourself will help you make better decisions about a future partner and anything else that comes along.

    Good luck! You can definitely do it. I love this new superhero strong Caroline!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you❤️so far so good. It makes me slightly sad that no guy I was chatting with has bothered to text me, but I know it’s for the best. The guys I’ve met all lay it on kind of thick in the beginning, and I’m always a little surprised/sad when they fade away just as easily as if I don’t exist. But this is for the best. I’m tired of people who never, as Beyoncé sAys, “put respect on my name”

      Liked by 1 person

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