She’s right beside me in yoga class. She’s a few courts over at the tennis center in a white tennis skirt and she’s got a wicked service motion. She’s in the checkout line at Whole Foods, a few customers ahead of me, with coconut oil and almonds. There is no limit to my impulses of desire. And that’s all they are, impulses. When we are IN a relationship, beautiful women are still beautiful. And there is a difference in the looking, when we are securely attached in a relationship of our own. When we are single again, there is a hunger in our gaze.
The Energy of Desire
I gain a lot of energy when I tap into my desire. It’s not really about sex, or a relationship, or pursuit, it’s more like joy. I get joy at seeing a stunningly attractive young lady walking around the lake. It is similar to the joy I get when I see an exotic car parked along my path. I don’t want the young woman, as I don’t want the exotic car, but I can be appreciative of their grace and beauty. God designed one of them. Men designed the other one. Just pure voyeuristic joy.
So, What Are We Looking For?
And then… We’re back in the dating game. We’re letting go of our last hopeful relationship. And we’re trying to make sense of what we really want, what’s important, and wouldn’t it be nice to just go for a fling or two? No strings attached?
Not really. It’s never been my dating strategy to go for casual sex. In fact, sex becomes more sacred as I get older. As I have experienced open and authentic sexual bonding, I don’t want superficial dating-sex. I remember a woman I was starting the dating conversation with, on the third date she said, “I don’t think you’re that attracted to me.” I was surprised.
She was right, however. I was not really after the sexual vibe with her. I was trying to suss out if our connection had relationship potential. As we explored the conversation a bit further, she admitted she was sort of into the idea of sex and was wondering why I hadn’t begun to give the flirty, sexy vibes yet. I explained my perspective, of how sex sort of throws my logical and emotional sense out the window. “I’m not interested in finding great sexual chemistry when there’s no long-term relationship potential.” I simply don’t want to invest the time, sexually or otherwise, to be dating a person I can’t see going down the road with. Today, I think I’m still in that same mindset.
I’m semi-interested in dating again. I’m more interested in resetting my own physical and spiritual goals again. When we’re all the way IN a relationship, we tend to begin warping some of our primary individual needs for the greater good of the relationship. For example, if there is less time available in your relationship for relating, you might start spending more time reading or writing. But when that relationship is gone as well, suddenly you’ve got too much time to read and write. (As I am feeling, today.) So, what should I do with my regained alone time?
Finding Our Own Center Again
The two dates were nice. They were attractive and active conversationalists. And there was no magic in our interactions. Maybe it’s just me. I’m not feeling all that enthusiastic. As I was watching myself today, trying to imagine a casual encounter with the woman across the table, I couldn’t do it. There was no “get up and go” motivation to be seductive or flirty. I asked my friend a few days ago, “But, can’t I just have an adult dating experience? Do I have to always be looking for the ONE?”
I am off-center at the moment. I am not interested in anything less than 110%. I’ve just blasted out of the closest thing I’ve ever had to full-blown love. Yes, there were problems, but… Well, this post isn’t about that one. It’s about the next one. So, how do you get excited about the next one, when the standard keeps getting pushed higher? That’s the goal, I understand. But it doesn’t make it easier, it actually makes it harder. If we can’t (won’t) settle for an 80% solution and a little fun on the side, we’re going to be spending a lot of nights alone.
But, with each of my last three relationships, I learned some fundamental truths about myself in a relationship. I am not surprised that dating has little or no allure. I had such a wonderful partner. I learned what if felt like to be loved with abandon and openness. And I learned how far I could go before I broke down over the disconnections that continued to happen. I learned from going ALL IN. I learned from giving 110% of my love and energy. And I learned how a partnership could still fail. Fk. It’s the lesson I didn’t want to learn again. We don’t really want to learn the breakup lesson again. We don’t want to get the universe’s message, “Focus on yourself now, alone.” It sucks.
But Alone We Are
Pause. Feel the loss. Breathe. Move your body. Don’t rush back into anything.
“I didn’t want to be alone again. I don’t like it,” I told my friend. “I thought I had found the person who was going to be beside me for the long haul.”
And, it’s okay. I know it’s okay. I’ve made the choice that it’s okay to let the relationship go. And, I know, that giving a bit of breathing room, a bit of space for the sadness to just be, is the best plan. I don’t want to be alone. But, I’m also not ready to move on. I can write about it. I can fantasize about it. I can lust over a casual date, trying to imagine her embrace, but I just don’t want to do it. If there’s no REAL in the relationship for me, there’s no point in acting like there is.
So, alone I am. Again. Hello old friend. We meet again.
What do we want to do next?
Note: this post was originally written in 2014.
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More articles from The Whole Parent:
- Giving Up the Ghost of Your Love
- Additional Online Dating Data Indicates: It’s a Shitshow Out There
- Time, The Currency of Modern Relationships: Either You Have It To Give
- Starting at Zero: Relationship Basics for the Newly Single
- When the Sexual Chemistry Knocks the Sense Right Out of You
- The Dating Journey: From the Break Up to the Pre-Dating Checklist