- Anonymous friend's Facebook status.
I have spent a decade being ravenously attracted to selfish and arrogant men. Only recently, just recently, has this reaction within myself been significantly neutralized. I can be around assholes and feel only the slightest longing to sleep with them. I know that it’s not worth the trouble, and that I’m worth the world. You may ask: How did I come to this point?
Well… first, I learned that if you’re dating men who suck, you probably suck too. Or in nicer terms: unavailable attracts unavailable. I’ve witnessed this pattern over and over again in my life, but also in my friends’ lives. We’ve waited by the phone for a guy we secretly knew wasn’t calling (or texting, if we’re being real), when we could have been doing something constructive or fulfilling with our time. We didn’t know that we deserved to be ourselves, and do our thing, and trust that the right guy will find us and want us that way.
This fear of unworthiness drives the insidious and often subconscious aspect of our dating lives: We deliberately pick men who won’t call, and pretend we don’t know they are that kind of man. Because, at all costs, we ground ourselves in avoidance to anything truly risky. We take small risks, or the illusion of risks, with men we are certain will let us down. Then we get fake broken hearts and cry with intensity, projecting all of our trapped emotions onto an empty relationship. This is all so that we don’t have to fail at anything real—like a great guy who has the audacity to go down on us for hours.
That’s all fine and good, but for me, it wasn’t anymore. With 30 around the bend, I didn’t want to be “not ready” for love. I wanted to get married and have babies… or at least have a long term companion after many years of solitude. So the question was: How could I learn to be the right girl for the right kind of guy?
With my New Fairy Tale project I have spent seven and a half months figuring out what ready looks and feels like. Phases I’ve been through: dating and getting rejected frequently, wearing too much makeup and getting a pinched nerve from stilettos, losing 15 lbs through various dietary experiments, meeting and losing a good guy by acting like psycho, and avoiding it all by finding orgasmic bliss in dance, yoga, and acupuncture.
I compared myself to Rapunzel in my first piece, and the theme has lingered throughout the project. At the risk of sounding trite, something valuable came when I climbed down the ivory tower, and sunk my toes into the mud of real world experience. Even though I got a little banged up running through the forest and returned to the imprisoning illusion of my lofty ideals, I’ve earned enough memories of what life can be like when I enter the world deeply. The most rewarding moments of the past seven months, by far, are when I’ve taken the risk to be vulnerable, to express myself without shame, and to let someone close enough that it is unnervingly sexy.
So I will leave you with this: If you want to be ready, stop being ideal. If you have been playing games with guys for years, you might want to stop and notice that your body is rigid, your breath is shallow, your eyes are glazed, your thoughts are scattered. You have lost your sparkly ‘is-ness’ that makes you so evocative to people. Be who you are. Now. It’s terrifying, it sounds like the completely wrong move. But, it's right. It is so right. It's the only thing that works.
Trust that you are enough. Let this "enough-ness" be reflected in your breath. Do yoga, learn how to move at half the speed, and to lower your defenses. Let the world come through you. Let it coast along the waves of your laughter. When you start to think, breathe instead, and only trust the words that want to be spoken after you’ve left a space. Give a rest to your compulsions, your plans, your fears. After they rest they will become less intensified, less needy for attention. Breathe so deeply that people feel at peace to be in your presence. Be grateful that you aren’t at this moment being crushed by the Angel of Death.
And then, you’ll meet, or for the first time SEE ....the guys who are ready for a relationship. The guy you like might not like you anymore but you didn’t like him anyway. Not really. You just liked proving that you were likeable to the men who are least likely to like you. You were proving your invincibility, your ability to conquer love. Love doesn’t work like that; not through conquering. Being this way brings you out of love, and brings you into the ivory tower again— into a space of arrogance where you find and attract these men. You’ll stop liking them when, in being ‘enough’, you realize you never liked them. They may lose interest, but for the first time you’ll have earned their respect. Could be something so honest in you breaks the spell in them too.
Then life has a funny and magical way of making shit happen: you both could start to like the real versions of each other. You can have a friendship or a relationship for the first time with these guys you used to “date”, because you don’t need to use them anymore, and are free to enjoy them. Compassion starts to bloom in the unlikeliest of places, and you find yourself filled with it most of the time. You have enough to give now, and you aren’t concerned with taking. And you become THE ONE who is ready to find “the one.” At least that’s what I believe.
My personal story ends at the second to last sentence. I’ll tell you how it goes when I finish the rest.
-Melissa Marc, GG Guest Blogger. Read more at thenewfairytale.wordpress.com