I recall a friend who messaged me on Facebook (BTW: I hate Facebook Messenger, so don’t even…) with some friendly “advice” that went something like this. “I see your relationship has ended again. Maybe it’s time for you to give it a rest. Take a timeout.”
My Anger Issues As a Modern Male
My anger was quick and easy. And that’s something because I don’t often have any conscious attention on anger. My anger. My hot temper. Oh, it’s there. I just don’t express it or feel it much. My reactions went along these lines.
- Um, thank you for sharing your opinion
- You have no idea what’s going on for me personally, spiritually, emotionally
- Are you even reading my blog?
- Yes, advice and opinions… Everybody has them, and everybody should keep them to themselves
- Stay in your lane, sister
Okay, now that I’ve recovered my self-centered self again, I can tell this friend,”It’s okay. I’m good. We’re good. And this woman… Well, this one is something completely different.”
Perhaps all the experiences in your life have brought you to this very moment in your life. (Of course, you know this to be true.) And it’s also a fact that all romantic relationships up to this point in your life, have failed, that’s why you are single. Yes. These are truths that we share. But there is one thing that we don’t share. I believe the Universe (my higher power, Jesus, God, the holy ghost) has a plan. And I’m just tuning into that plan, paying attention, and doing my best to lean into what I am being given.
Let’s Examine These Ideas Further
All romantic relationships before this one have failed.
Okay, that’s a bummer. And it’s enough to give many people reason to pause, sit on the sideline, and settle for being alone. That’s not me. Never has been. I am undaunted in the face of the previous failures. In fact, I’m inspired by my two previous long-term relationships. And I can say with some confidence, that I understand this is the next long-term relationship in my life. Amazing. I have had FIVE long-term relationships in my 56 years on the planet, so far. And we are in this together.
Let’s just take it one day, one step, at a time. Let’s give it up to a higher authority. And let’s be honest and present and see what happens. The Universe is much better at directing my life than I have ever been.
Tuning Into the Plan of a Higher Power
I have been praying hard and working harder on myself in the last 9 months than ever before. And if I listen to the prayers I’ve been repeating on an infinite and holy mantra “Thy will be done.” I will also bow to the message when it comes through so clearly and strongly.
Honesty Above All Else
I do believe if I am honest with myself, with this woman who has arrived to challenge me, and with the God of my choosing, then I can relax into the moment. Even this moment, as great as it feels, is fraught with anxiety, joy, racing thoughts, and wildly emotional mood swings. But this is the way of the Universe in my life. It has always been my way to burn a bit brighter than the average person and I do have the potential to crash with despair. Since I was 15 and a freshman in high school at a prep school in New Hampshire, I’ve had wonderful and terrifying mood swings. But, in the last few years, I’ve been building my own self-care program that has been successful at keeping me out of major depression. (SEE: I Know My Depression Frightens You: It’s Okay, We’re In This Together)
“Are you bi-polar,” I’ve been asked frequently.
“I was classic bi-polar back in my teens. Yes.” I reply with a glimmer of hope in my eyes. “And I can identify with that definition of creative fluctuations, but… It’s more like I’m on the bi-polar spectrum. Am I bi-polar? I suppose the answer is going to be ‘yes’ for the rest of my life. But the answer is much more complicated and wonderous than that.” I can go into this more in other posts. (SEE: Dark Days section and let me know if you have any further questions.)
If I am honest with myself, my higher power, I believe I can rise above my teenage diagnosis and manage my mood swings with grace and only a slight bit of drama.
Leaning Into the Universe and Plans Beyond My Comprehension
Okay, so let’s say I’m a bit high at the moment. Who can blame me? And let’s say, I’m also on the edge of my “up” moodiness. For many people, and 99% of my friends, this looks like JMac on Fire. And some of them will be alarmed when I’m in what I call an UP-State. But, I’d like to give you a bit more personal information, that may help you manage your worries about me.
I have not had a manic or depressed state that required medical intervention (beyond meds) since I was a junior in high school. Let me repeat that in case it’s not clear: I have not been MANIC or CLINICALLY DEPRESSED for over 40 years. Are you feeling more at ease? Do you think I’m being defensive? Dear friend, I cannot tell you anything more than that. I have been managing my “condition” for over 40 years with 100% success. And while you are free to worry about me, or warn your friends, or contact me in dramatic fashion… But it’s not necessary, and it’s actually not welcome either.
What my friend did not understand, and failed to comprehend from my writings, is that I’m fine. I’m really fine. Even at this moment, as I preach “going slow” while rushing headlong into the fire of a romantic relationship, it is okay. Relax. I am relaxing on a minute-by-minute basis. You take care of yourself and your feelings. Reach out if you want to. Ask me anything. (The comments are always open here and in our Facebook group and Facebook page.)
Opening To Plans I Cannot Comprehend
I’m going to pray a lot in the coming days. I’m going to continue slowing my roll. And I’m going to meet this relationship head-on. I’m giving up my plans for something bigger and far more exciting. And I assure you that God has got me in his arms and is comforting even my highest aspirations for what has cracked my world yet again.
The last two relationships, as painful as the endings were, and as devastating as the loneliness was as I confronted being alone again, both taught me valuable lessons. And this is not a silver lining strategy or rationalization. Here are a few of my lessons.
- I did rush in with both the previous relationships
- I knew early on that each of these relationships was a long-term relationship (and that changes your approach completely)
- From that position of reverence and awareness, I celebrated and cracked open large swathes of love with each of these women
- I learned that physical chemistry, sexual chemistry, and fantastic friendships were not enough to sustain a relationship
- A major element was missing from both of these earlier relationships: emotional maturity.
- As I cratered into my loneliness, I did not fall apart. In fact, I grew stronger and more self-reliant
- Opening up to the fire of raw and honest love, I was able to fail faster
- In the time between my last kiss and now, I have been growing and dealing with it
Where Do We Go From Here?
I am celebrating this experience of love and a heated emotional connection. Here’s how to enjoy the journey with me.
- Follow along.
- Keep your advice to yourself.
- Deal with your own distress, and I’ll deal with my own.
- And let’s stay friends and work to remain in alignment with our higher powers.
And may your life be blessed.
- May you be safe.
- May you be happy.
- May you be healthy.
- And live with ease.
Get the full story of those early long-term relationships in John’s book: Single Dad Seeks
- When Things Go Right, I Mean Really Right: Dating a Single Dad
- Relationship Mistakes: Intoxicating Sex vs. Emotional Intelligence
- 18 Signs a Single Dad Likes You: Dating Again as a Single Mom
- A Relationship Fable: Am I Addicted to Touch?
- **A General Theory of Love Thomas Lewis, M. D. et al.
- The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love Thomas Moore
- ** Care of the Soul Thomas Moore
- The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman
Check out my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End