I’ve Been Dating Lemons, Dreams, & Introspection

This morning I had a dream that was very vivid and relevant to my spiritual and mental growth, but I can only remember a few specific details. If I don’t write things down as soon as I awake, I forget them. Years ago, I read somewhere that it’s what you do remember that matters.

I believe there were two men in the dream, but no one I know in real life. I believe one was someone I didn’t want to talk to or be around. The one I was corresponding with the most reminded me of Toe Ring Guy, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the way he was built physically but not the personality. The guy gave me a pair of beige high heels with rounded closed toes that were really nice – totally something I’d wear in real life. Apparently, they’d belonged to someone that had just died (I believe it was his mother), which was a little weird – but in the dream, I felt it was a nice gesture. At some point in the dream, I recall him saying something about waiting on his mother’s inheritance, and even within the dream, I thought that was strange.

The place that I was at was possibly a hotel – it was large, and even though I didn’t see stairs, I could see across a sky and felt that I may have been above the bottom floor. I believe my aunt was there and we saw part of a beautiful sunset, but there was another large, ugly building blocking most of it – which annoyed me, just as it would in real life. We said something about the sunset being so beautiful but we couldn’t see it entirely due to the building in the way.

Then back to the guy that gave me the shoes – I felt as if he was the better option of the two guys (by then the other one had disappeared), but I still felt something was off about him – which was probably knowing he was waiting on the inheritance, because that would be a complete turnoff for me.

I’m going to interpret this as:

Some guy giving me his mother’s shoes means filling in for someone else, perhaps in a motherly role. Perhaps I have a habit of taking on a motherly role (very domesticated) when I’m in a relationship. I want to say the high heels probably represent sex in some way, probably another role that women tend to fulfill. What’s the cliche? A maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom? Well, maybe I’ve been offering the Madonna-Whore Complex of being someone’s servant and taking what I can get instead of an actual partnership that I really want and deserve.

As for my aunt and the sunset being partially blocked, this aunt in particular is someone I like talking to, and she’s fun and artistic. Yet something large and ugly is blocking the sunset – which is something beautiful and something I always enjoy seeing. The building reminded me of some of the newer ones being built in my area that I refer to as monstrosities, because they have ruined the beauty of my area – including sunsets no longer to be seen.

I have often thought of buildings in dreams as a representation of a body or mind, but in this one, whose body? Perhaps the hotel represents a temporary frame of mind I’m currently in, but the bigger one represents things to see and sunsets are to come? I really don’t know. The only problem I have is that the building was just big and ugly, and I’m not exactly sure what that would mean in this context. Maybe I have to discover an ugly part of myself or my emotions to see the sunset clearly? Maybe I have to face an ugly part of a relationship (either from adulthood or childhood) or something else that’s ugly that has happened that I haven’t quite moved forward with. (UGH!!!)

Again, this is a lot to contemplate, because there are so many facets it could relate to, not only now but throughout my life entirely. This is frustrating not to know, because I’m probably already an over-thinker and over-analyzer. And sometimes this is why I hate myself – I just want to be normal, whatever the fuck that is.

Somewhere in the dream lemons appeared – I believe towards the end – but I’m unsure as to what aspect. The “off” feeling about this dream guy is probably the way I feel about men that I meet and/or date – since they’re the “only” option available, I tend to go along with it, because I feel that I should “try.” But in reality, they are all lemons!

And as I’m writing this, a big butterfly is fluttering around me – another sign of positive transformation!

All Frogs and No Princes

Last night I noticed a frog in my bathroom. He was quite large, and it was getting late, so I left him alone figuring he’d find his way out eventually. Then I forgot about all about him. Around 2 a.m., I heard a knocking or thumping sound, checked to see if anyone was at my door. Nothing in sight, I went back to bed. This morning I heard another knocking at my back door, got up and saw it was the frog trying to make his way out. Later on, I noticed my bathroom mirror had little marks all over it, which were his tiny little footprints. I suppose that’s what I was hearing at 2 a.m.

Frog symbolism means a few things – particularly transformation, since it goes through different stages of metamorphosis. I suppose this resonates with me, body, mind and soul, because of currently going through all three of those changes.

I realize I need to take better care of my body, because I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t heal as quickly as I used to. Allergies have been worse over the years, so cutting out certain things is something I need to try to build up my immune system again. A few weeks ago I went to my doctor to discuss some changes that didn’t seem normal to me; however, she told me these things are normal as women age. I said, “So basically, women have nothing to look forward to in life?” – because that’s exactly how I felt. She said pretty much – we go through a series of changes throughout our lives and always seem to have issues. What the fuck.

Meditation has helped me in the past, but a problem I have is when the routine is disrupted. I started meditating regularly several years ago and not only did I notice a huge difference in how I felt, I manifested things that I never imagined possible. Then my life picked up and changed dramatically, and I had difficulty getting back into it. It probably didn’t help that my partner didn’t meditate or have any interest in my spirituality (at that point I realized we had nothing in common, which was spiritually draining). I started meditating again recently, but something interrupted my daily routine, and I stopped. I kick myself for doing this!

Spiritually, I feel that I’m changing again, and I’m aware that I need to make a lot of changes. When I was younger, I would set my mind to something and just go for it, no matter what. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I stopped having goals except for getting through each day and making rent each month, and my focus was completely off. I’m sure my health issues had a lot to do with that, but I think they’re manageable now, and keeping toxic assholes out of my life certainly helps! I pretty much gave up my dreams in life for various reasons, but now I’m ready to make things happen again. Perhaps I should make a vision board so I can better focus and meditate on what I have always dreamed of in life.

A last note on frogs – I am utterly bored out of my mind with online dating, like usual. I still have my POF profile, and since I was traveling recently, decided to change my location to see what options were out there. It seems like all frogs and no princes. I have no desire to converse with anyone that messages me, no profiles stick out for me, and organically, no one in my area interests me whatsoever. I suppose this is also part of my spiritual growth.

Saying Bye-Bye to People Pleasing

I was reading a young woman’s blog post about her being a people pleaser, and it’s something that came up as a topic in one of my counseling sessions last year. I believe the discussion had to do with staying in relationships longer than I should, because I didn’t want to hurt the other person. I feel that’s what you do with the people you love, whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship. I was always taught to stick through things, even when you’re miserable, because things will eventually work out. I’m not sure that’s accurate, because it’s never worked!

That’s when my counselor told me I was a people pleaser. Although I’d never really thought of myself as one, it makes sense as to what I have experienced in all types of relationships. I am slowly learning and making changes, but undoing something you’ve been doing for most of your life isn’t easy! I recall finding myself catering to men I dated without getting anything in return – often hosting, cooking, cleaning up everything – you name it. What the fuck was I thinking? As far as friends go, I would be a shoulder to cry on, but when it was my turn, those same people weren’t there. The thing is – I enjoyed doing that for someone I cared about or loved. I treat the people I care about the way I want to be treated, even if I am being taken advantage of, and I’ve had enough of that shit!

I resonate with most of this article from Psychology Today, “Are you a people pleaser?” Neglecting myself by serving others’ needs before my own? Check. Fear of rejection? Check. Resentment when I don’t feel appreciated or feel like I’m giving more than the other person? Check. This is another thing I have to work on, because being taken advantage of is a really awful feeling. Usually, once I realize someone is taking advantage of me, it’s a little late and a lot of resentment has built up by that point – and once I get to that point, I’m over the relationship. But I’d rather see the signs prior to that point.

I do believe I’ve gotten better over time, especially the last couple of years in romantic relationships, friends, and jobs. Now I don’t feel the need to make dinner for a man to please him if he doesn’t do something in return, and I’ve limited friendships with people that haven’t been there during times of need. Unless I’m working for myself, when it comes to jobs, I do what is in the job description and nothing more. There is no need to burn myself out again trying to please others that will do nothing more than move on to the next person when I stop giving.

Answers After Abandonment

I just reread a post I wrote about a year and half ago about dealing with abandonment issues that stemmed from my childhood and how this is a recurrent theme in my life. I am still trying to figure out what it is about my choosing of people that are inclined to abandon or ghost without explanation. Sometimes I do get explanations, although they may be months or years down the road. Other times, I have to suck it up and realize that some people are just cowardly assholes and I’m better off without them.

I recall the time when I was in the army and received a letter from the ex-boyfriend that I’d lost my virginity to. Initially, I was shocked at receiving anything from him at all, as it had been about two years since I’d seen him, and I was far beyond over him. I can’t remember everything the letter said, but he’d apologized for treating me like shit, told me how beautiful I was, and said something about me looking like Mariah Carey (which made me laugh – must have been the hair!). Years later, he attempted to date me again, but that wasn’t happening; I don’t repeat the same mistakes with the same person.

Most “abandonment” that happened pre-internet was just what it was, and I believe it was easier to move on, because there was no communication available if someone moved or changed phone numbers. Out of sight, out of mind. People would just wonder what happened to that person until their class reunion. But today, there is no excuse – or maybe poor excuses – like the one “friend” that suddenly quit talking to me, because she blamed me for working in a place where her ex knew people and some other lame-ass excuse. That was total bullshit, and I realize now so was our “friendship.”

What I don’t need in my life are fair-weathered friends. We all go through things in life that are inevitable and difficult to deal with – sickness, death, divorce, etc. It’s another thing if the issues are just drama type of bullshit that can be avoided, but if someone else can’t handle the problems you never invited them into in the first place, that’s on them. What’s really shitty is when you’re at your worst place and you get abandoned by those you thought had your back, especially when you would never do that to them.

With that being said, I had a male friend that I’d known since my days in the military, and about three years ago, he suddenly disappeared. I knew he was taking a break from social media, but I did have his email and phone number. I also knew he’d had some health issues, so I was truly concerned for his well-being, especially since I hadn’t heard from him and my emails and phone calls went unanswered. It was really out of the norm for him not to keep in touch at all. But then I happened to log into an old Facebook account where we were still “friends,” so I messaged him asking how he was, excited to get back in touch, because I truly enjoyed corresponding with him most of the time. Immediately, I was blocked. I thought how fucking bizarre and dramatic is this? I thought maybe he’s dating someone, and he can’t be friends with other women. Later, I was unblocked so that he could send me a very lengthy message describing in detail how he blocked a bunch of people a few years ago that weren’t adding positivity to his life. Ummm, okay, that’s understandable, but I’m not exactly sure how I fit in there, being that we live 3000 miles apart. He added something about the drama in my life, which wasn’t drama at all – I had a family member with cancer, and around that time a close friend had died. That’s not drama – that’s life! But what I really think happened is this – since we’ve known each other, he’d wanted a romantic relationship with me, and I wasn’t interested. I recall probably telling him a little too much about my personal dating life, and I honestly think he was jealous. I mean, I understand if I wanted someone romantically and they were rejecting me, but the reality of it is we’d never get along in that type of relationship anyway, not to mention the distance. Besides, I didn’t drag him into my “drama” or whatever you might call it; he tends to do that himself with other people’s business. Either way, at least I found out the truth behind the matter, and he seemed very sincere about it, which is a lot more than I can say for other people in my life who have done the same type of thing.

Am I guilty of ghosting anyone? Absolutely! But there is a difference when you’re not getting along with the person or you’ve had a falling out rather than just never speaking to them again without warning. I wish there was an abandonment meter when meeting someone, because it is truly heartbreaking when it happens, and I would definitely avoid those types of people. It’s completely unfair and selfish, not to mention immature, to abandon someone close to you without warning or explanation, and it says a lot about that person’s character.

Online Dating: From Friendly to Bye-Bye in 48 Hours

I’m still on POF as an experiment but rarely active, because it just doesn’t interest me enough. Last week I wrote about some of the harassment and abuse towards women on online dating sites. Not all of them are initially batshit crazy; some of them take time, which is why I like to chat and feel them out before replying or giving out my number or meeting in person.

I matched with someone in my area that had a great profile, which means he actually took the time to write things out in complete sentences and punctuation, along with adding more than one photo. However, he was in his 50s and had never been married and had no children. When I asked him how long ago his last relationship was, he never actually gave me an answer, just said a while and he didn’t want to talk about it. This was probably red flag #1, but I always give people the benefit of the doubt, because what if she had passed away or something tragic?

This conversation started on a Saturday. We were having great banter back and forth, but as it started to get late, he told me he had to go to watch his favorite TV show, Saturday Night Live, and he literally cut off the conversation. (I will name him SNL Guy.) I didn’t think much of it at the time, because it was late.

The following day, I’d gone to an art show out of town, which also happened to be the day of the Super Bowl. In the meantime, SNL Guy texted me his number and we exchanged some conversation off and on throughout the day. Somewhere around this time, I got an intuitive feeling that I can’t explain, except that his texts were starting to get on my nerves. I wasn’t having that great of a day, so I thought maybe it was just me.

SNL Guy mentioned he wanted to speak on the phone at some point, but he was going to a Super Bowl party and would contact me after that. I thought to myself that he should have probably asked me if it was okay to call me that late (red flag #2), because I was exhausted and ended up falling asleep. When I saw my phone the next morning, he’d texted me four times and called twice from 10pm until just after 11 (red flag #3). That seemed a little much for me, and I don’t know how else to describe my feelings, except that I felt a little creeped out.

On Monday, I had a very busy day, and he sent me some texts to which I barely replied, because I had priorities. In the evening, he texted me while I was driving. An hour later, he tried texting me again. I told him I was in a place where I couldn’t speak. He tried calling and texting again, and I told him I was still out. That’s when he asked if he should “give up,” to which I replied, “If you’re impatient, then yes you should.” Well, that did it!

SNL Guy said he felt a disconnect and based on my answer, that sums it up for him. And then his next comment clarified that intuitive feeling that I didn’t quite understand the day before… he said, “I said I would give you a shout today when my day was over but you blew me off. You were logged into POF. What’s that saying of throwing rocks from a glass house?” (Tons of red flags!!)

Whoa!! Dude is totally controlling and selfish and lacks boundaries. While it was fine for him to be unavailable when he wanted to watch tv and play, it wasn’t okay for me when I was busy. The fact that he went online to look at my activity was another warning. (I was probably at a stoplight when I noticed I had seven unread messages on POF.)

I said, “Thanks for making it so easy, and in case you didn’t know, it works both ways. I was available when you wanted to watch a TV show and a football game, but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I’m looking for someone with patience and doesn’t need instant gratification. Maybe you can find a woman to meet your demands in such an early stage. Good luck!”

SNL Guy tried to argue his point, which he didn’t have, except that we aren’t a match. Yeah, no shit! This is what I mean by online dating sites being such a waste of time getting to know someone only to find out they have issues no one wants to deal with. Even if it was only 48 hours, it was a lot of messaging that could have been spent on doing something better for myself.

** NOTE: The following day, I took a bike ride and put my phone in the basket with my water bottle. The water bottle rolled over my phone and opened apps and misc things… and somehow it actually called SNL Guy (his number was the last to call me), and by the time I picked up the phone to figure out what was going on, it was an operator message. Oops! Sorry, not sorry! **

Single on Valentine’s Day is Better Than Being in a Relationshit

Valentine’s Day is here and you’re single….again. For those that dread this day of phony love, V-Day is just another reminder of those horrible, yet unforgettable, relationshits that force you to remember why being single isn’t so bad. While there are probably too many to name, everyone can probably identify with these few types of (pri)mates: Sponge, Leech, Casanova, and Hang-Man.

Sponge is the guy that calls or texts when he’s bored, needs a ride, money, or any kind of help or service that you can provide – and you’re willing to give it to him. Sponge tells you everything you want to hear until he absorbs everything from your wallet, your sex drive, your convenience, and your soul. When you finally take off the blinders and see how things truly are, it’s usually too late.  Sponge has absorbed your life – and you are left a hard, dried up, rusty Brillo pad.

Leech is a parasitic creature that won’t go away. He seems to be a really nice guy and may make a great friend, but you have friend-zoned him for reasons you can’t explain. Leech destroys all of your hopes of ever finding anyone else because he won’t leave you alone – he shows up at parties, at your work, during a girls’ night out. He’s one of those guys that’s just always there. Because he’s always hanging around, people think you and Leech are together. You avoid his calls, his Facebook messages, his 450 texts over a two-day period – but Leech still doesn’t get it. Your friends refer to Leech as the Stalker or the Cock Block.

Everyone has heard of Casanova. He’s the guy that makes you feel like the sexiest person alive. He takes your breath away and tells you everything that dreams are made of. You are sure he is THE ONE. After an exquisite evening together and promises of the future, Casanova is never heard from again. You make excuses for him – like maybe his phone is broken or maybe he’s working late, and your calls and texts go unheeded for days or weeks. Casanova has ghosted you, and he isn’t seen or heard from again until you bump into him at a bar – locking lips with Flavor of the Week. Casanova is another name for man-whore.

How many of us have heard of Hang-Man? Not the game with letters, although this guy likes to play games alright. He hangs out with you at his own convenience but never seems to make real plans. You wait and wait for Hang-Man to make decisions, whether it be from what you’re planning to do over the weekend to what you want to eat for dinner. No matter what, Hang-Man always keep you hanging and wondering. Ranging from being consistently late to standing you up completely, Hang-Man acts as if you’re supposed to wait for his superior ass self while his mother still does his laundry. As a matter of fact, Hang-Man is probably keeping you waiting at this very moment.

There is one thing in common with all of these characters – besides the fact that they’re self-centered, arrogant people out for their own interests; they are types of men you can learn to easily avoid. Do yourself a favor – your dignity is worth more than any of these creatures and their false hopes – so don’t find yourself in a relationshit on Valentine’s Day! Instead, order some sushi, sit in the tub and cuddle up with your pet – the one who really does love you.

All Women Online Blackout – A Protest

If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you know that I have some experience with the online dating world. For the most part, my experiences haven’t been so great, as I often write about them. What makes them even worse is getting unsolicited dick pics, sexual harassment, threats, rude messages from men that I have politely rejected, nasty messages from men that don’t happen to like what I’ve written in my profile (they obviously don’t make the cut), being called racist for being uninterested in someone that happens to be a different race, and overall misogynistic attitudes. But this doesn’t just extend to dating sites; this happens all across the board with social media in general, with Facebook and Instagram being the worst culprits.

As for Instagram, there is no way to report an actual private message; only profiles and posts can be reported for obscenities or whatever goes against their terms. So when I received unsolicited dick pics from men I didn’t even know, my reports went unheeded, and those men got to keep their profiles. Yet, if I happen to screenshot the message, hide the dick pic with an emoji, and share it to my story – Instagram flags it and takes it down, even threatens to remove my profile. This type of behavior and inequality needs to stop. Right now.

This also happens with some online dating apps – you can report their profiles, but not their actual private messages in the app itself. If there is nothing violating the app’s terms in the profile, those men keep their profiles, even if the person sends a dick pic or tells a woman he’s going to rape or kill her. (Yes, this actually happens!) In some cases, the messages can be reported, however, often the abuser still gets to keep his profile. I suppose if the apps are making money off of these perpetrators, they don’t give a damn about the safety of women using their sites.

The real issue besides the idiots sending the messages is that these online platforms seem to cater more towards men in these cases. Oftentimes, when their profiles get reported, nothing happens. Sure, there’s the option to block them, but sometimes they make alternate profiles and continue the harassment. It sends a message to these men that it’s okay to harass women, since the block option is there. All it does is send them to the next woman, many of whom do not bother reporting them (or can’t), so nothing ever gets done about it, making it seem like it’s okay for men online to abuse women. Well, it’s NOT okay, and women are fed up.

Someone I have been following on Instagram for quite some time has exposed some of these jerks. Sarey Ruden of SareyTales was tired of the online harassment and misogyny, so she decided to make art “The Art of Online Dating” out of the awful messages received from men on dating sites; she even gave a TEDtalk about it. And now other women are joining in and revealing their online dating horrors – all very similar stories, and some even have the same types of messages from the same users in the same area. Even when reported, these men have no consequences, yet women who report them by outing them on social media (since there is no other option to report them within the apps) have actually been silenced and/or banned from the sites! Not only is this unjust, it feeds into the rape culture and perpetuates abuse of women.

On May 9th, a women’s movement is happening called AWOL – All Women Online. It is a week-long blackout on dating sites (also extended to social media) to combat gender-based dating app injustice and abuse. I will be joining it, along with thousands of other women (and also supportive men) in protest to the way women are treated unfairly by dating apps and social media apps that continue to fail us. To find out more and to participate, visit her website at SareyTales.com.