Getting rejected will turn you into a better dater

Today, I came across another fine article. It made me smile. I’m book marking it here, so if I ever felt sad, I can come back here to re-visit this article.

I’m doing some things to improve myself after being “rejected”. One of which is, I realized how I have not been in touched with my feminine side (externally) for a long time. Being a Sagittarius, I’m really a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal. I have not worn a skirt or dress in years ever since I don’t need to touch my old work clothes anymore. But I’ve made a new resolution to wear a skirt ALMOST everytime I go out now. It’s not that I don’t like it in the past, but I’ve just been so comfortable in my jeans. Just 2 days ago, I was so thankful I was in a skirt. It felt light and because it was a hot day, I was happy I was in a skirt. I’m going to be only buying skirts and dresses from now on. I’ve enough jeans in my wardrobe.

It’s not that I am changing myself to appeal to the opposite sex. I actually am a feminine person, and I realized how much I enjoy wearing soft flowing fabrics. Due to life circumstances, I had to be so reliant on myself that I just didn’t had the time to embrace my femininity. I’m learning how to do so slowly right now…I’ll become better, I’m sure.

http://www.thedatereport.com/dating/advice/getting-rejected-will-turn-you-into-a-better-dater/

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Not necessarily a bad date BUT

So I did end up having a coffee date yesterday evening. It was my first date after my episode with John ended. I didn’t have high expectations prior to meeting this new guy, but as you know there will definitely still be some nervousness prior to meeting someone new.

But I’ll say this. I think I’m doing better dealing with my nerves each time, although I still have some difficulty making constant eye contact with someone while we are not talking. But I notice guys who are interested in me, like looking at me constantly even though we are not talking.

I also try to talk a bit more about myself even when the person doesn’t ask me questions. Part of it is training myself to provide more information to the other person. Sometimes guys just don’t ask me enough questions. So I’m actually happy with my own little progress.

I know within the first few minutes if I am attracted to the person.

You can’t force attraction. It’s either there or it isn’t. Unfortunately in this case, I just felt there wasn’t enough attraction for me. But I can tell he is attracted to me. When I’m not attracted to a person, I cannot bring myself to let him touch or kiss me. We hugged though, and the hug was longer than usual. I was trying to see if I could feel something different with the hug. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m still not really attracted to this person. But human beings desire physical touch, and a simple hug makes you feel comforted in a way. I’m just cognizant that it is not physical attraction.

I am thankful that he is patient and told me some more things about how men thinks. I have better insights. I am grateful.

I thought about if I should stick to a few more dates and just experience the physical closeness like hugging and touch. But I feel like I would just be using him and that doesn’t seem right to waste people’s time like that. So I have to let him go…

I may have said something this morning via text that sends a subliminal message that I’m not physically attracted to him. I think he senses that, and I think he won’t be contacting me anymore. He’s a smart guy and knows he only wants to be around someone who desires him as much as he desires the person.

So it’s a little unfortunate that the date ends up this way…

I just have to accept the fact that dating is not always going to be smooth sailing.

But you know what I was really thinking after this episode? I hate to admit it, I wished I didn’t meet John so early in my return of the dating world. I was still so naive and didn’t really understand how men works and wants, and I screwed up my chance with him. If only…I met him later on in my life, it may have turned out better. I wished I had more dating practice with other men first. So that hurts. I know I’m still attached to those old feelings, but I can’t turn back the clock. The only way is to move on…

I’m still learning about love and attachment.

Just today, I came across another wonderful article that clearly talks about love and attachment.

http://static.squarespace.com/static/50aff114e4b054abacd31e0a/t/5288d486e4b0a1b235b3ae91/1384699014174/2013-09-20-can-you-love-without-attachment.pdf

Jimmy

I wanted to back track to sometime July this year, where I had my first date in a very long time. Jimmy is much younger than me, almost 10 years. I don’t believe he paid attention to my age before asking me out, because when he realized I was that much older than him, he was shocked. But it was all clearly stated in my dating profile, so he must have not paid attention to it.

I can clearly say, of all the dates I’ve been to, this is one of the most draining one. It felt like an interrogation in some way. I don’t speak that much normally, and I felt my throat hurt after that 1.5 hrs coffee date. In an ideal situation, I would have love the date to be a chance for both parties to ask questions and take turns to know each other better. In this case, he was driving the conversation and at the end of it, he was still quite a mystery to me.

I also learnt the basic fundamentals of dating from that one date with Jimmy. If a guy doesn’t call or initiate conversation with you after a date, the truth is, he isn’t interested in you. I was “silly” enough to ask him after 1 week if he would like to catch up. I didn’t get a response. I learnt my lesson.

Interestingly, I don’t feel hurt since I wasn’t attracted to him. And obviously Jimmy soon disappeared from my life. Gone with the wind.

My first therapy

So I had my first therapy session today. It was my first time ever. The main counselor came and lead the session. The student took a back seat. But for future sessions, she would be the one who will see me. I actually had some time to speak with the student before the main counselor came.

They asked me specific questions and also liked to touch on questions that involved how I feel. I had to recall certain emotions and feelings and express them. We also covered quite a lot, from things that happened in my childhood, to my adulthood, specific events that I felt were the most impactful. We also talked about previous relationships.

As I gained strength from week to week, I realized that I’m not all that “damaged” so to speak. The counselor also don’t think I am, and don’t find any singular item that we need to fix right away. She seem to be able to understand the situation clearly and know where I can work on areas in my life. Her observation was that because of my past experiences, it has driven me to be extremely self-reliant. Some people go the other way. The past experiences could have driven them to be extremely needy. I just seem to be the opposite. And being too self-reliant may not be good in a relationship. So I need to learn how to let that go a little, and learn how to be vulnerable.

She helped me to understand that sometimes, a divorced man, coming out of a marriage, view relationships differently from someone like me, who hasn’t been in a relationship for a long time. They tend to pursue sexual compatibility sooner first before other things because they viewed those things as highly important. There is no right and wrong. I now understand why John and I are not aligned in that aspect. We never had that discussion. But he made it clear he had no problems finding sex with other women, just that finding emotional connection was rare.

Since they didn’t see a real crisis to solve immediately, what we are going to do for future sessions is to talk about how I feel and what goes on during dates. I may have a date this coming Saturday, I look forward to it. 🙂

My next therapy session is in late October.

Goals for October

September is coming to an end, and I had such a ride this month. The month started out feeling down, but I gained strength as time passes by. That’s what life is all about.

October is going to be a fabulous month, partly because I’ll be traveling out of the country! It will be my first holiday trip this year, probably my only trip but I am so happy and looking forward to it. Towards the next few weeks, I’ll be busy making arrangements like changing currency, packing my clothes, preparing necessities. I will enjoy the process and anticipation.

I want to get a swim suit in October, so I can hit the pool and do laps when I am back from vacation. Just the other day, I realized I haven’t gone for a swim in years as I don’t have a swim suit anymore. But the pool is quite near where I stay, so I should make use of that. I plan to hit the pool 1-2 times a week, to alternate between my jogging routine. That would be fun and I can exercise different muscles group. Besides, I’ve always loved the water. The other day, I wanted to go to the gym to use the bicycle but it was closed for renovation and wouldn’t be ready till Nov. Maybe that’s what prompted me to try swimming. It will be one of my goals in October. I’m excited.

Also, not forgetting, therapy. The lady hasn’t called me back yet, but I’ll wait again till tomorrow to give her a call. I hope she didn’t forget about me.

So, October really is going to be another month of continuous improvement. I’m embracing and looking forward to it.

Getting Better

It’s hard to believe that it took me almost 3 years to get over my past relationship  – that was some many years ago. I knew I have gotten over it when it doesn’t hurt thinking about the person or the past relationship anymore.

What happened recently to me and John, well the funny thing is, John and I wasn’t even in a relationship per se. As I stepped back and thought about it, this flawed, imperfect person has given me so many lessons in life. There are no bad lessons.

And I don’t really know what happened, but I’m feeling better as each day goes by. Was it because of the meditation? Was it because of the change in mindset? Was it because of the few enlightened words I heard from the dharma videos I happened to come across at the right time? Was it because writing it down helps? It could be a combination of things, but I’m grateful.

I think of John less each day, and when I do, I am thankful for the lessons he gave me even if our encounter was short. What do hurts each time I think about him is that….I know he is suffering inside. I’m not hurt because we are no longer talking or seeing each other. I really know why it hurts thinking about him. And I pray that he will be freed of suffering soon. He’s been hurt pretty badly before and that’s why he is who he is now.

Several things are very clear to me now, as I gained more clarity over the past few days.

Why does a person keeps talking about past relationships when he is with you? Why does a person talks about the hurt in details while he is with you? And his expression shows the pain when he says it. When a guy keeps many photos of his ex in his home, what does it tells you?

I think it’s pretty obvious – he has a lot of suffering and emotional baggage that is still deep within him.

Unfortunately I can’t be the person to help him. He has to heal within himself. That’s why I have deep compassion for him, because I see all this suffering inside him. It makes me sad a person of that great quality has so much emotional baggage that is affecting his relationships. I’m not a relationship expert but I’m sure it does.

Is sex really the answer to finding emotional connection with someone? He has his own modus operandi of finding emotional connection. He told me before that he has no problems finding women who would sleep with him, but he has yet to find that emotional connection.

I wish that he would be free of suffering someday, and also he will find the wisdom or answer to release all the built-up pain he has experienced in his past relationships. I also wish him happiness and that he finds the love that he so desires.

I truly do.

Help comes when I need it

Just came back from my daily routine jog. I must say it’s something I look forward to daily. I cannot believe I missed out on this peaceful sanctuary all this time while living in my area for the past 30 years. I’m a little ashamed. But everything is about timing. For 2 years, I’ve been jogging near my area, in fact downstairs where I stay.

But when things happened during the past 2 weeks and I was feeling a little down, I’ve had this urge to seek new places to jog. I chanced upon the 2 beautiful gardens that is a little distance from my home. Granted, I doubt I had that stamina to run that far 2 years ago when I started this jogging routine – so you need time to build stamina and perseverance. I am able to cover longer distances now.

So, I’ve been really enjoying the tranquility that the gardens provided. I’m thankful for that. It has such amazing restorative powers that I find myself going back there repeatedly. When I’m there, I switch off my music and enjoy the whispers of the leaves on the trees. We had beautiful weather the past 2 days – a little overcast and windy and I’ve been able to enjoy a nice little breeze with tiny drops of shower. I also find myself looking for quiet little spots where I can sit in silence and just watch the calm lake waters when I need to rest my legs a bit. Everything comes to a standstill then, and it is indeed a peaceful, beautiful moment that I enjoy so much.

So right after my jog, I came back home to rest. As I cool down, usually I’ll continue working and listening to music or dharma talks. Today, I chanced upon this dharma talk and wow, I gained clarity on things. I’m so appreciative of this talk that I want to share it.

Ask a Monk: Life Partners

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So, I touched a bit on seeking psychological therapy in my last blog post. I’ve been doing some research for the past few days, looking for suitable and affordable therapists. Most private therapists here are very costly, and if a course of treatment takes 12 sessions, I really can’t afford it.

Yesterday I found a donor funded organization that provides heavily subsidized counseling, but I think issues with my father and childhood abuse is something that requires therapy, and not counseling. There is a big difference between counseling and therapy. But I asked for it anyway, and the lady was supposed to call me back today to let me know the date, but I did not hear back from the organization.

Today, I continued with my research and found one! Yes they are private and their professional rates are expensive. But I also found out that there is an option to book an appointment with a student, and the rate is affordable. So I was very excited with that option and decided to give them a call.

The lady director called back in the afternoon, and I asked about the background of the students. And yes, they are currently psychology students, one of them is a PhD student, and the other is doing her Masters. I explained my situation and asked if I can do a session with the student first. The lady director was really nice, and in fact she said she would either sit into the first session with the student, and if not, she would appoint a senior psychologist to sit in if she can’t make it. In this way, they can better understand the issue and help me moving forward. I was very appreciative of that. And the best thing is this place is the nearest to my home! She will call me either tomorrow or Monday after they find a date to fit me into the first week of October. I told them this is not a pressing issue, so I am happy to wait till October.

So I gained some great progress in seeking help and am so happy and hopeful with that. I’ll be sure to talk about my first therapy session when that happens!

What a day!

17 Sep 2014 – A day in my life where so much happened, that I need to document it.

Let’s start off with this. Have you ever had moments in your life, whereby you thought of a person, or missed a person, and you wonder how the other person is doing. Of course you hope the person is doing good, is well and is happy.

When I was in my 20s, I had a special friendship with a Japanese teacher. She was very kind and I felt close to her. She stayed rather close to me, and often time, whenever I pass by her block, I often think of her. Sometimes when you think of a person that much, the person would show up on the street walking. A few times, this happened to me. I think it’s Heaven’s way of telling me, “This person is alive and is OK.” I would be happy whenever I see her on the street while I was in the bus.

What I am going to say next is similar to the event above. Besides that, what was important to me was it tied in to an earlier post where I talked about unconditional love. I like to think that what happened was actually an opportunity that Heaven sent for me to practice what I wanted to achieve.

John – I’ve been thinking quite a bit about him for the past weeks. The feelings range from missing this person, to a tinge of sadness, to great compassion, to wishing that he would find happiness and be set free of suffering. (This will be blogged about in detailed, in a dedicated post about this person)

Because we lived in such a small country, and in fact we live in the same west area, it is inevitable that at some point in our life, our paths would cross again.

That day, I had to run errands downtown, and I had a past life regression workshop later in the evening. I left my house about 3 plus in the afternoon, and took a bus. There is more than 1 bus that would bring me to where I need to be, and of course, I would take whichever bus arrived first.

I sat on the right side of the bus, enjoying the scenery and listening to my music.

As the bus turned into Tanglin, I happened to look on the left side. And there, right before my eyes, I spotted John.

He was wearing a white singlet, and white jogging shorts, jogging along Tanglin. It was 4 plus in the afternoon, and the sun was rather strong. He looked focused and intensed in his jogging. Was he in pain? He mentioned about pain in his nerves on the thigh. But he was jogging slowly.

Immediately I was really happy to see him. To see that he was well, doing the usual routine he likes doing makes me happy. Still seated on the right side of the bus, I tried waving to him. I was smiling. But he didn’t see me.

Right away, I remembered Dr. Brian Weiss words Instead of worrying about specific outcomes and results, just do the right thing. Reach out unselfishly and with love.

That prompted me to send John a text message. I asked if it was him jogging at 4 plus in the afternoon, with a smiley face. I said I was in the bus and waved, but he didn’t see me. I just wanted to say hi.

He replied 20 minutes later, with a short message saying yes it was him, and sorry he missed my wave.

I didn’t reply back and left it at there. There was no need for further communication, since he didn’t ask me any question. I understand what that means.

I’m thankful for that precious opportunity to practice care for a person from a distance. I was actually happy for that experience. Even if I see him somewhere on the streets in the future, I will continue to be happy and wave or smile whenever opportunity arises.

________________

That evening, I went for the mini past life regression workshop. Truth is, I was internalizing a lot of learning after seeing John jogging on the streets, so you can imagine my mind is in a wild train of learning and thoughts. That probably isn’t the ideal situation to be in for a past life regression session.

When I reached the shop, I probably knew it was going to be a little hard for me to be regressed. There was loud music coming from the other pubs nearby. I am sensitive with hearing and am a light sleeper in nature. This means I would be easily distracted by noise. But I was still hopeful.

I tried, but my mind was not in focused, with the noise, and with the earlier event that took place. I felt my day was so clocked with experiences, I had a hard time dealing with it all.

I could visualize myself in certain images, whenever the person spoke. But I know that wasn’t really regression, I was just able to visualize those images. The 2 spiritual guides that I had in mind was the Goddess of Mercy and John. Of course I know John isn’t my spiritual guide. I was acutely aware that this person came into my mind only because I thought about him and the learning lessons a lot.

So, the past life regression didn’t work out for me sadly. But it was a good experience overall. Maybe the timing isn’t right for me. I’m looking at psychological therapy instead.

That night, I didn’t sleep very well (for the first time in days!). It was only natural, since there was so much going on during my day.

But I remembered waking up feeling much lighter in the morning despite some lack of sleep. I wonder why.

A dream last night

Sigh, I thought I did well the past few days in terms of my mood and emotions. I am feeling much more calm than last week, but still why do I dream of John? It is a rather sad, isolated dream, which describes the present moment rather accurately.

I tend to forget about my dreams the moment I wake up. But in this case, because it is part of my process in healing and learning about life and love, I wanted to quickly write them down before those memory fades. Actually they are somewhat fading. In years to come, I may laugh about it and think about how silly I was.

Dream on 18 Sep 2014

I dreamt about John 2 times last night, but I think the first one is somewhat fading as I cannot recall what that dream was about and where I saw him in my dreams. The second one is a rather disturbing dream.

I dreamt that due to my business requirements, I had to go meet this male client for a quick meeting at a place. It’s not exactly a pub, but a place where you can order drinks. We were sitting side by side at a sofa and there is a table in front of us where drinks are placed. This male client is older, in his 50s and is a little overweight. For some reason, he kept inching closer to me while we spoke, up to a point his shoulders were leaning onto my shoulders. Then, he leaned over and kissed me on the lips. I didn’t like the kiss. It felt rather uncomfortable and in my mind, I was actually comparing his kiss to John’s kisses. Immediately I couldn’t do it and broke free. I said sorry, I can’t do that, and I left the place.

Outside, it was a huge car park. I was walking and suddenly I felt so alone and a little sad. I was trying to catch a cab. I wanted to flee from that place. It was in the evening, about 7pm. And then suddenly, this little red car drove past and it was John’s car. There was no mistake about it. He was driving to his gym, which was just nearby the car park. As the car park was so huge, and I was walking to a place where I can easily catch a taxi, I actually had no control but to walk towards nearer the gym.

By then, John had exited from his car and was already inside the gym, right beside the reception counter. There he was, adjusting his clothes. Perhaps he saw me, but there was nothing else besides that. No interaction, no smiles, nothing.

In my dream, I had difficulty catching a cab home. There were many people fighting for cabs.

I woke up feeling disturbed. I didn’t like it. It made me feel sad, lonely and I felt my past 2 days of effort in keeping myself strong were wasted. Such is life. I’m coping.

My homework for Love

As I continue this very tough learning curve in the field of dating, I feel that my emotions are not as calm as before. Well, that make sense. In the past, I’ve just been focusing on working and there is nobody to “test” me on  emotional levels. When you throw yourself out into the deep sea of meeting and interacting with new people, you have to learn to deal with all sorts of situations and personalities.
When I decided that I was ready to take on these learning challenges in the area of “dating” and “love”, I set myself 2 pieces of homework to focus on :
1. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
2. Learn to love in the gentlest way, and even if 2 parties have to say goodbye, part in the gentlest way.

I follow a few buddhist monks teachings/words because what they say makes a lot of sense. Thich Nhat Hanh is one of them. The first homework piece came from him. So simple, yet so powerful. I think I’m doing well in that area. Not making demands, expectations, etc. But to some people, it may be taken in the wrong context of “no-interest”. Some take it as you’re a “pushover”, or you have “low esteem” or you’re not a “high-value girl”. So it still can be very hard.

For No. 2, it’s partly my personality. I always think, even if the love is unrequited, as a human being, you want the best for the other person. You want the other person to be happy. If the other person can find happiness in other ways, you must learn to be happy for him/her. So far, I haven’t have the lesson to “say goodbye” to a person. (Silence and non-communication doesn’t count as goodbye). But if the opportunity arose whereby 2 people have to say goodbye, I would remind myself to part with loving words: “The door of my heart will always be open to you”. This means, whenever you feel you need someone to talk to, I’ll be there. I see this as the highest form of saying goodbye in a gentle way to a person you respect and care for, even if the person don’t care that much about you.

Non-communication/Silence/Disappearance

There will be lots of such cases in dating relationships. There are many reasons for this behavior.

I currently have this pending homework with this guy, called John. The way I see it, non-communication/silence can be a good thing too. It gives people the space to breathe, and anything is possible. When we parted the other time, it was not on bad terms. It was a good parting, we hugged. But we are currently in the silent mode right now. I know it’s fading off and it’s just that we haven’t said our goodbyes. The other day, I was on the bus. I thought I saw a car that looks like his, and I thought I saw him. But I could not be sure as the bus was moving along and there was another vehicle blocking my view. But I know this for sure. If the person was in fact really him, I have no problems waving hi and smiling to the person because I’m happy to do that, and seeing him triggers good memories.

So, what if the silence was because the guy was just too afraid to hurt my feelings and chose this way to “close the chapter”? I’ll still be OK and even if I saw him on the road or the street, I’ll still be happy to wave and say hi. No hard feelings. I want the best for the person and want the person to be happy. Everyone like kindness. Even the hardest person will like that.

In fact, this piece of homework came true for me, believe it or not! The power of the mind is quite magical. I’ll like to dedicate a blog writing just for John, as I learnt so much from this short, sweet journey. Therefore I had to blog about this first before moving to the next proper piece so that there is some continuity and consistency.