~Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hurry up and wait

I wasn't expecting to be feeling lonely in the month after I left Christopher, but I did and it was big and gaping and glaring. My schedule hadn't changed at all. If anything I was seeing my friends a little more frequently. But it wasn't like Christopher and I talked or texted every day, and we were only hanging out for a few hours one night a week. So why was I lonely on a Tuesday when nothing about my schedule had changed?

I guess the expectation was gone. Even though he previously never called on a Tuesday, with the breakup I now knew for certain he would never call on a Tuesday. I was done waiting. It's what I wanted: to stop waiting. My entire relationship was spent waiting on that boy. Waiting for him to call, waiting to pick him up, waiting for him to get a job, waiting for him to emotionally commit.

I never realized how much energy I had spent waiting on him. Because even though I'm still sitting on my couch watching TV on a Tuesday night, I'm no longer waiting, and that's what feels different. That's what has been missing, making me feel lonely. I guess I was the ultimate multi-tasker. I would cook dinner while waiting. I would eat dinner while waiting. Watch TV and knit while waiting. Sleep and wait.

I realized in my past two relationships, I have been waiting for the boys to catch up to me. Get a job. Get your finances together. Be productive with your life. Rise up and meet me. And the saddest part about that was that these boys were significantly older than me: S by 5 years and Christopher by 7.5. If you don't have your shit together by your mid-thirties, it ain't going to happen.

Somewhere in my mid-twenties I started dating older men. Adam was 35 when I was 24. Christopher, the first time, was 32. I guess it was those last few years of college when I had four boyfriends in a row break up with me because they weren't ready to commit. I remember crying to my mom about it and she said my father did the same to her and that men go through this weird stage when they're graduating. So I thought I would bypass the commitment-phobia and go straight into the thirties where men were supposed to be a little more settled. Domesticated, as I like to put it.

That turned out to be a pretty naïve idea.

I don't remember which friend said this to me—because apparently I have really wonderful friends who say really wonderful things—but she said that I needed to date someone who would elevate me. I just remember how foreign that sounded when she said it.

So this is my pledge to stop waiting, including the whole "I'm going to live my life and if he calls, great, and if he doesn't, I won't notice." Because apparently I do.

20 comments:

Curvy Jones said...

Yeah... I am now past the mid thirties mark, thinking about dating men in their 40's because they might be more mature. :/

And also near retirement. The last 40+guy I dated talked nonstop about his IRA and how many years he had before he retired.

::cries::

Sarah said...

Maybe we should just bypass them all and go straight for the 50s?

Aritza, Goddess of .. said...

I'm also beginning to think men in their mid-thirties are no different. The game's still the same.

Jaclyn said...

In the research I've read on marriage, as a general rule men tend to get married a few years after they are settled into a career. So more highly educated men (doctors, professors) tend to get married later since they spend more time in school. There are certainly exceptions to this, but you will probably be happier if you limit future relationships to men who have already caught up with you (have a stable job, are emotionally stable).

I'm really glad to see you thinking about these things - identifying the patterns of mistakes in previous relationships and learning from them is exactly what you need to do in order to have stronger relationships in the future.

Amber said...

This whole post reminded me of that song, "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing" by Jack Johnson. You should listen to it -- I think you'll really relate (if you haven't already heard it).

I'm glad that you seem to be finding some roots within yourself and are making some changes. Having some revelations about yourself and your world.

Only then can we stop doing what we've always done, and stop getting what we've always gotten.

Here for you if you need a friend.

((( Hugs )))

Sarah said...

Jaclyn, I think you just added years back to my life with that. Thanks!

HomeImprovementNinja said...

Well, part of the whole commitment issue is that it means different things to different people. For some girls, that might mean someone to be with them and have children and take care of them, which sounds very comforting to a girl, but terrifying to a man because to him that means added responsibility and a loss of freedom.

Maybe that's why things progressed so naturally with my current GF--she never made demands about being exclusive or demanding a status update on the relationship so I saw the progress as something that I chose rather than something that was being forced upon me. So even though I could've dated other girls, I didn't, and even though she didn't ask when I was going to start referring to her as my GF, I did.

I think maturity is an issue to. She's 26 and I'm 39, but she's more mature than most of the girls I've dated in their 30s. I think my maturity is an issue too. At this age I have a house and good job, fun hobbies and am ready to settle down and think about kids, and I don't think most guys consider parenthood a possibility until they hit their 30s.

Bathwater said...

You do not want to go straight to your fifties! It is funny the things we notice when we have the time to reflect.

k_stin said...

Gosh. I totally understand this! I don't usually feel lonely, but I have this week. I realized it was because I knew for sure the guy I had been interested in "wasn't really into me." He was before, but I guess I went too slow. So before, I wasn't lonely thinking somebody MIGHT be interested in me, but now I know somebody ISN'T interested in me. And I got a little depressed. One helpful thing, though, is hope. Maybe that perfect one is out there, so I can stay busy looking for that!

J said...

Again you have managed to capture how I feel exactly. I know that waiting thing all too well. I have been doing that for years...it is a pattern with me. I am working on just living minus the waiting.

packupthemoon said...

So this is my pledge to stop waiting, including the whole "I'm going to live my life and if he calls, great, and if he doesn't, I won't notice." Because apparently I do. <--- This. This is what I do ALL THE TIME. And I pretend I don't care if he doesn't call, but we all know the feeling we're missing - the happiness we would have felt had he called.

Ugh, it's like you can read my mind.

gekkogirl said...

You reminded me of my own struggles with waiting & how this trait damaged me. But that lesson was for me, not you.

There does come a time, when armed with knowledge about what we really need - we women need to filter the prospectives accordingly.

And you will. Find him, I mean.

X

Amy said...

Oh, THE WAITING is awful! My relationship before I met Mark was exactly like that, only I stuck around for 3.5 years (off and on...DOY). I felt this crazy relief whenever I would end things, and especially the last time. While the loneliness is also going to be there, I hope that relief comes (or stays?) to you soon.

Whatever happened with Goals Boy (the changing tire date guy)? I liked the sounds of him! I know you don't want to rush into anything right now, but he would make a great friend who could possibly turn into more once you're ready. Hey, I'm just wishing and dreaming for you. Can't blame me for that! :o)

V said...

Hey, I'm an old guy ready for commitment! I'm on my way to Georgia! :p

Oh, we're much too complicated, we single creatures. It should be simple.

1. Stop dating losers as SOON as you know it.

2. Try dating more people. Everyone's 99% the same anyway. Increase your odds of success by opening more doors.

3. Always save part of your life for yourself. You'll always be there, whether or not your sharing your life with someone.

Now, if I could just follow all that advice myself, especially #2.

Sarah said...

I think my issue is #1.

Ugh.

preciousandpriceless said...

I HEAR YA!!!!

unfetteredsultana said...

LOL, go straight for the 50s, that made me chuckle. I agree with Jacyln since I always apply that rule after a very bitter lesson: must be atleast my level (even at my level I don't tolerate, for some reason a man just has to be better than me, I'm a bit eeer...traditional) or higher.

prettylittletangents said...

Well said, my dear.

But I'm with Amy - what happened to tire change guy? Inquiring minds want to know!

dont eat the token said...

I enjoyed your waiting and multi-tasking story! I love the ending.

cornflakegirl74 said...

I can really identify with this as I've also been trying to date older men lately. But I find myself just as disappointed because I don't know if there is an age when the lightbulb turns on for them and they realize what they want out of life and in their future. I think it depends on the individual person. Some people just have their sh** together more than others, regardless of age.

That being said: I'm also glad you're realizing some of your previous dating patterns and you're trying to learn from them. It's helpful to step back and reevaluate what it is we're looking for. As simple as it sounds, we need to figure ourselves out first before we become entangled in a relationship. Best of luck to you!

 

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