So more adventures in dating this Sunday morning for you! Spoiler alert, I am overcome on this one and it is a sappy love story instead of the usual “wow, that sucked” story hahaha!
I met this guy on Hinge. He wrote about his kids and how they were his pride in the very first paragraph of his online profile. My kids are grown and my daughters don’t live with me but they are still an important part of my life. My son lives with me so he is a pretty big part of my picture as well!
We texted for a bit and then we video chatted. I am pretty new to the video chat way of dating but it was like a first date. I couldn’t figure out how to get my phone camera to work. Good clue to how he would handle frustration and unexpected problems! It is sad that I even notice or care about that stuff but unfortunately it is important for me to see, I have allowed people to make me feel less than and I am just not doing that anymore. He talked me through how to get it to work and it was smooth sailing from there.
Several online dates and then an in person date. I would be a big fat liar if I didn’t say I wanted to throw up for the ride to his house and probably the first half of the date! He ordered a pizza (can’t go wrong with pizza, am I right?!) and we watched a movie. Good thing it was one I had already seen because we spent the majority of the time talking. Our lives are so similar, we just clicked on so many things. Not going to lie, I could have stayed all night. TALKING, why do you have to go there?!
I read somewhere that the point of the first date wasn’t to impress the other person, you should have done that already. Nope, it is to decide if you wanted a second date. How wrong is it that I planned the second date in my mind throughout the entire first date? I am pretty sure I would not have accepted no if he didn’t want to have that second date hahaha!
So now it is several dates in and I am floored at how well it is going. There have been conflicts, I have gotten stuck at work and I have had a work crisis to deal with on a date. All fine with him. What? I am not used to having someone just roll with it and it is exhilarating and scary all at the same time.
I did not realize how much I feared another person’s reactions. I guess there is some stuff in my mind I have to work through since I am holding my breath every time something comes up I can’t control. I always just figured I was a control freak but it is so much more than that…I spent so much time trying to keep things smooth so there were no waves in my life that it just became a part of my identity. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard to make sure everything goes perfectly and that is a huge character asset. But always being on alert to put out fires is only a good thing if you are a fireman!!!!
So that is it. It is still early in the relationship but I plan on being in this for a long time to come!!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am afraid of fire. No…I am TERRIFIED of fire. It is a funny story really…
When I was a little kid (like really little…I don’t know, 4?) my brother and my cousin were playing with matches. Under the bed. As a grown up, that is so bad and so dangerous! But as a kid, I was a little awestruck actually. I thought they were so amazing and cool already. My Mom, however, did not think it was cool OR amazing. Actually, she kind of flipped out! Her response was to show them how dangerous fire is by burning them. BURNING THEM! Some 70’s child discipline right there, right?! She burned their fingers on the stove so they would never forget that fire is painful and dangerous. The funny thing is that my brother and my cousin both grew up to smoke so it wasn’t effective for them. I, on the other hand, still can’t handle fire. I can’t light a match. I can’t light a lighter. I can’t even stand too close to a bonfire without having heart palpitations about it. As a matter of fact, I have a fireplace in my home and there is a TV in front of it BECAUSE I WILL NEVER USE IT!
So someone needs to pat me on the back or high five me or something because I did something super scary and something super cool today. I lit my own charcoal grill. Yup, you heard that right. I LIT A GRILL WITH FIRE. I cooked 6 turkey burgers so that I didn’t waste the charcoal. And I cried. I am not going to apologize, it was such a big deal for me! I will probably not cook on the grill again but I can now. I was not sure I could do it but my friend knew I could. He encouraged me and honestly I only did it because I didn’t want to tell him that I didn’t even try. Peer pressure, am I right?!
Anyway, I guess the moral of this story is that fire is a metaphor for life. It is so scary to go out and do something instead of just putting my chair far enough away from the bonfire so I could still enjoy the warmth and hear the crackling but not close enough to smell the wood burning or have my cheeks turn red from the heat. Or risk getting burned by the fire. Sometimes life is dangerous like fire and sometimes I get burned. I can’t play it safe all the time, I have to light the grill sometimes. I can walk through life and watch people do things or I can try to do them myself. I might get burned but I might learn how to do something cool like lighting a grill. And who doesn’t want to be a cool grill master?!
Once upon a time there was a girl who only thought of herself and how to make herself happy and comfortable. She was selfish without realizing, she honestly believed that by taking care of her own destiny she would be making everyone around her content as well. “You can’t love others without loving yourself”…”you can’t make people happy without being happy with you”…”you do you” and all those cliches. People around her pointed it out (a boyfriend dedicated the song Cold As Ice by Foreigner to her at a club during a fight) or they followed her around like the goddess she just knew she was. Life was good. Or was it?!
All the narcissism was an act to cover the fact that she didn’t feel important or needed. Fake it till you make it was the true cliche she lived by–she just knew someday she would find the person who would make her want to care about someone other than herself. She even got married right away so she could have a reason to put someone else first. She didn’t know that at the time, just like she didn’t know that caring for her younger brother growing up instead of being a kid who was incapable of caring for others like a normal 4 year old was a huge reason for her codependency and whirlwind relationships.
Then she met someone who was so much more narcissistic and self important. Now, instead of being the rule maker and the front runner, SHE was the follower. She drank the kool-aid, she didn’t make a decision or have a thought without getting his superior opinion first. And again, she was unaware. She fell right in line with the belief that she was less than, she did not think twice about the fact that she had no original content anymore. She had finally found the person who she loved more than herself. The person she checked the temperature in the room for to be sure it was perfect. She could just put on a sweater or a short sleeve shirt if she was uncomfortable, how she felt was irrelevant.
When he left, she began to wake up. She looked around and realized she was temperature checking the room for everyone in it, she still felt like she was irrelevant. Even though she tried to go back to being the leader of the pack, she knew she wasn’t happy in that role.
She is still growing and changing, she always will be. She has found a new person to love and adore, except he doesn’t have a “love me fully or you are worthless” vibe surrounding him. And the funny thing is, she feels like she has known him her whole life. With all the “if I don’t take care of me no one will” decisions she had to make in her life, it is pretty clear that He was steering her then. She knows in her heart that everything that happens, every choice she has to make are put in front of her to help her become her best version of herself. She knows that when she is unsure or worried about something she can go to him and talk freely. And when life is good and things are going smoothly, she knows that He is steering that as well. Turns out He is always with her and always ready to listen. Life is good, for real this time.