Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life Unmanned

Everyone has their bad habits, addictions -- whether it's alcohol, drugs, food, work, shopping, etc -- most of us have something that we carry to excess. Something that tends to be bad for us. Mine was men. I was a love junkie. I always needed to have a man in my life. For decades, I went from one boyfriend to another, usually with no break in between. I suppose subconsciously that I felt incomplete without a man. I was afraid to be alone. I thought I needed someone to love me, to tell me I was beautiful, or I wouldn't exist. I craved male attention. And I ended up with all the wrong men.

Ironically however, during the biggest events of my life (purchasing my car, my first home and now having a baby) I always seem to be flying solo. It's a sign that I can do things on my own. I don't need to rely on a man. Most of the men I ended up with were pretty unreliable anyway. It almost seemed like I gravitated toward men that couldn't commit or that I couldn't commit to. Men who would leave me or men that I would have a good excuse to leave. The truth was that I was terrified of commitment. When someone would ask if I was married, I used to joke "No. I've managed to avoid it so far!" Although I was afraid to be alone, the thought of being tied to another person forever (especially the wrong person) was terrifying. I'd sometimes spend years with them mind you, but always had one foot out the door. 

I was torn. Though I was a hopeless romantic who dreamed of finding my one true love I actually ran from love all the time. I would push men away. I would seek out relationships that were doomed from the start. I kept thinking if I found the right one, I wouldn't want to run. I would meet Mr. Right and we would live happily ever after. Sometimes I thought I had come close. Some men can put on a good show and seem perfect in the beginning. Then the truth starts to come out and you realize he isn't what he seemed to be at all. Each relationship would end in disappointment, after a few months or several years. I could never imagine marrying any of them. There was always an excuse, an escape clause. I wouldn't marry unless it was forever. So each relationship was destined to end. Then another would begin, almost immediately. There was never much of a gap between my boyfriends. Sometimes I'd be wanting to leave one and his replacement (usually his opposite, which would be attractive to me at the time) would show up and give me an out. It was hard to let go of one unless there was another to cling to.

So many times my friend got frustrated with me. She saw me go from one dead-end relationship to another. Once while we were having brunch she sat and made a list of all the men I had dated. It was exhausting and depressing. Most of them, she concluded, weren't worth my time. Why was I wasting myself on them? Didn't I deserve better? When was I going to stop? She told me that I needed to end this pattern, to take a break from dating altogether. To take at least a year, alone, to find myself. "A year?!" I stammered in disbelief having never gone more than a month without a boyfriend in the last 20+ years. Yes, she insisted. I needed to give myself time to heal properly for once, to be on my own, time to just be me and discover who I was. It made sense. But it was too scary. I ignored her advice. I always recovered from the demise of one bad relationship by diving into another one. It was easier for me. Human beings will usually take the path of least resistance.

It wasn't that I enjoyed dating. I actually hated it. Embarking on a new relationship was always scary. Putting your heart out there again. Not knowing how it would turn out. But when it was good, the excitement, the newness was intoxicating. After stifling in a bad relationship to start a shiny new one was irresistible. And each time I'd get my hopes up that this could be it. I didn't want to keep dating several men. Just one. The right one. The difficulty was finding him. Some of them seemed to be or even claimed to be my Mr. Right but always turned out not to be. Some of my boyfriends were basically good guys, just wrong for me. Some were bad guys.

My baby's father was the probably the worst ever. Anyone who could abandon his girlfriend and his unborn child, that could promise to be in it forever and tell her that he's excited to be a family together then sneak out in the middle of the night (while I was at work) without a word of warning, explanation or apology when she's four months pregnant, is completely void of character, integrity, responsibility, or any redeeming qualities. You can't get much lower than that. Oh and he left owing me money. Yeah. February was one of the worst months of my life (if you haven't read it yet, see my post "FebRUEary" for the story...)

Of course even if he had stayed, he was more of a hindrance than a help. It's not like he was a partner. He was a dependent. A boy, not a man. Financially he was costing me money (doubled my hydro bill, quadrupled my grocery bill.) I don't know how I would have managed being the only real breadwinner in the house and having to support he & I, a dog (his pitbull) and four cats (2 his, 2 mine though 1 of mine passed away in February because that month wasn't cruel enough already) and a baby on the way.

Somehow I always seemed to end up with men who were unemployed or underemployed. Men that had issues - financial, emotional, you name it. Some men were strong and stable but emotionally unavailable and I wound up feeling alone in the relationship. Other men were sensitive, had emotional depth and I felt a strong bond with them but they were fragile, falling apart (alcoholics, substance abusers.) I had a weakness for broken boys, wounded doves, beautiful but self-loathing self-destructive lost souls. I'd try (and fail) to save them. Then I would be drawn to someone cold and confident, detached, unsympathetic, unfeeling. That felt like strength and normalcy. After the chaos of a broken boy I would crave the stability of a steely man. But I missed the vulnerability, dependency, the depth of the broken boys. Somehow that always felt more like love. For decades I would swing back and forth like a pendulum between two opposite types of men. The truth was that the perfect man would be somewhere in the middle -- someone who could be both strong and sensitive but that didn't seem to exist. It was usually either/or.

At one point, I met a man who seemed to have it all. He had offered me a job with the company he owned. He seemed quite taken with me. At the time, I was torn between two relationships: A friendship and possible reconciliation with a stable though insensitive man I had dated off and on for nearly a decade and a tragic romance with an alcoholic who was destroying himself but who felt like my soulmate. I loved them both in different ways. The "better prospect" man as I'll call him told me that if you're ever torn between two men that neither is right for you. Each is only half of what you need. Of course he was right. I didn't take him up on his offer to go for what was behind door number three. I didn't accept the job offer or the date. Though he was charming, successful and attractive, for some reason I felt no spark for him whatsoever. (Of course not! He probably would have been good for me! I couldn't have that!) He looked great on paper. But the heart wants what it wants and my heart wanted the lost soul who had already dragged me through Hell and back. I ended up staying with the alcoholic. Trying and failing to save him from himself. It was Drama. Tragedy. Romance. Completely irresistible. Everything else in life dulled by comparison. He was my sensitive Pisces dreamer. We were going to sail the world together one day. When it was good, it was the best. When he wasn't drinking, it seemed perfect, beautiful, my fairytale love. I had never felt so loved, wanted and needed in my life as I did with him, before or since. But he couldn't stop drinking and it eventually destroyed him. It got to a point where if I couldn't save him, I had to at least save myself.
Could there be a love so deep, passionate, intense and all-consuming without it falling apart? That's what I wanted. Romeo & Juliet but with a happy ending. Somehow it eluded me.
Overall, men were bad for me. They just seemed to break my heart. They were almost more trouble than they were worth. When your happiness is pinned to someone else, you are left so vulnerable. If you lose them, you lose your world, your dreams, yourself. It's no way to live. Especially for a control freak. I admired my independent friend who was quite happy without a man in her life. If you were happy on your own then no one could take that from you. It would be so liberating. I kept seeing movies about heroines who went on a solitary journey and found themselves. I wanted to be that strong, empowered woman who didn't need a man to make her happy. Somehow I knew, and I'd certainly read about it enough in self-help books (I loved reading self-help books but once I closed the book I wouldn't change a thing. I kept making the same mistakes anyway) that the love I was seeking would never come from someone else. It had to come from within. I needed to love and accept myself, then I wouldn't need a man to define me. It made sense. But after years of low self-esteem (a difficult adolescence left its scars) it was still easier to find a man to love me (even imperfectly) than to try to love myself.

I loved male attention. It made me feel alive. I kept meeting men, falling for the worst ones, getting my heart broken time and again. I knew they were bad for me, but I couldn't seem to resist. And I couldn't just have flings. I'm not the fling type. My heart gets involved. I always had to have a boyfriend. So I'd meet someone, start to date him and he would be my next boyfriend. Usually I'd figure out in the first few months or the first year that it wasn't working, but I'd stay, sometimes for years because I would get attached. They would become a habit. Habits are hard to break. Especially for a Taurus. I loved them, even when I hated them. And the fear of being alone was too great.

I actually admitted to someone, many years ago that it was easier to hide in relationships than to face myself, to find out who I really was. When I got involved with someone, he became my world. I lost myself in him. I stopped doing anything independent or creative. I would adapt to him, chameleon-like. It wasn't their fault. It's not like they asked me to stop being me (well, actually some of them did demand that I become more like them). I just didn't know who I was. I could play so many different roles. Whatever it was that they appreciated about me, I would be that. Whether it was my sense of humour, my talent, my sensual side, my philosophical side. I could be what they wanted. Each one would introduce me to different foods, music, shows, hobbies. I would create a world around him and fall into a comfortable rut. When things would end (as they always would eventually whether he made the exit or I did) it was devestating because it meant my world was falling apart and had to be rebuilt. Luckily (or unluckily) there was usually another man waiting in the wings to help me pick up the pieces so I never really learned to be independent.

Most of my boyfriends I had met in bars. My mother always used to say you'll never meet anyone decent in a bar. My argument was that I'm decent and I'm there. Of course I was probably the only one there who wasn't drinking and shopping for a one night stand. I went to nightclubs to dance and hopefully to meet someone worthwhile. The way I dance (and no one could believe I was sober!) I would usually get attention and have men try to pick me up. Unfortunately most of them were looking for one thing. But sometimes I'd get lucky and meet a half-decent guy.

The sweetest guy I ever dated (and man would he come in handy now!) I had met in a bar. He approached me and took my left hand. Seeing that I had no ring he asked "How is it possible that an incredible woman like you isn't married?" Pretty good opening line, I thought. I laughed and said "I've avoided it so far! Spent 9 years with someone and didn't marry him!" and so it began. He taught me to play guitar and for that I will be forever in his debt. It opened up a whole new world of creativity to me. I had always written poetry. Now that I had the music, the songs started flooding out. To date I've written close to 800 songs (I have over 500 videos on my Youtube channel. Last year, 2011 I actually posted an original song every day if you want to check out the playlist 2011 Song of the Day.) He was kind, thoughtful, sweet, loyal. He waited on me hand and foot. Cooked, cleaned, did everything around the house inside and out, fixed things. He gave the most amazing full body massages and foot massages I ever had in my life. Wouldn't let me lift a finger. Carried my bags, opened doors for me. Put me on a pedestal. Treated me like a princess. Unfortunately he was unemployed. Well, you can't have everything. I loved him but wasn't in love with him. I knew that he wasn't my Mr. Right. I tried to leave him several times and couldn't go through with it. Until one day someone else, a fellow musician that I admired stole me away. Looking back, he was the sweetest man I ever dated. He took such good care of me. He would have been a godsend right now. I miss those massages. I miss having someone do things for me. If only we'd had more in common and if only he'd been able to hold down a job...

Things didn't work out with the musician though it took me years to leave him. He was a Taurus like me. Two stubborn bulls battling for control, we had some heated arguments. We were too alike in some ways, too different in others. He had many amazing qualities and was a great mentor/teacher to me. He helped me to be more positive and taught me to love myself. I will always be grateful for that. Unfortunately it seemed we were spinning our wheels, stuck in a rut. Neither of us committed. We couldn't see a future together, we just didn't know how to let go. Then someone came along and stole me away from him. And no that one didn't work either. Nothing ever worked.

For the few minutes when I was single, I would go out dancing. I couldn't stand being home alone on a Friday or Saturday night so I would hit the bar scene. I liked the attention and I usually wound up meeting someone. But the bar scene can get old. Having creepy strangers randomly try to paw you or grind against your buttocks on the dancefloor loses its charm. Having men assume that because you may dance or dress somewhat provocatively that you're easy (and I would inform them, think again pal, I'm as difficult as it gets!) gets frustrating. Trying to explain for the millionth time that I'm looking for a boyfriend not a one night stand, that I love to dance and I don't even drink alcohol gets exasperating. I needed to try something different. Some people said that you find love when you're not looking for it but I didn't know how to not look for it. Everywhere I went I noticed men. Even flirting while driving. I had men approach me in the mall or at the beach. Everywhere I went I was open to the possibility. If Mr. Right was out there, he could be anywhere. How could you not look?!

People had suggested I try online dating sites. It seemed too contrived to me. I always thought that if you're meant to meet someone that they will just stumble across your path somehow.

At one point I thought I had found Mr. Right. I met him in the most random way. He bought my old car. He showed up at the door and it was love at first sight. He seemed to be sweet, sensitive, attentive, romantic. Everything I was looking for. His work schedule was the same as mine (he had the same weekends off.) It seemed like it was meant to be. But the illusion began to unravel. He lost his job and spiralled into a depression. It turned out that he was an alcoholic. On top of that we were completely incompatible. He was an Aquarius, distant, independent. Apparently the worst match in the zodiac for a passionate Taurus. The more I tried to reach him, the more he withdrew. I finally had to give up. He seemed so perfect in the beginning but he was hiding the truth of what he really was. We tried to remain friends but even that proved a strain. We are so fundamentally different that we could never see eye to eye and would end up frustrating each other. I'm too open and he's too closed. We never could meet in the middle. And he never did stop drinking. One alcoholic in my lifetime was more than enough.

Whether it's bad luck or bad instincts, if there was a tragically flawed man within a 100 mile radius, I would fall for him. One time I was at a wedding and there was an entire table of single men. One of them caught my eye. We danced together. We had a fabulous conversation. He was attractive, funny, charming, sincere and had apparently had as much bad luck with women as I had with men. He said that most of the women he ended up with just took advantage of him. All he wanted was an equal partner, not someone that would live off of him. I told him that I'd had the same problem. We were really hitting it off. All of a sudden, I could see my friend in the distance trying to get my attention. He was miming slicing his throat and shaking his head frantically, obviously trying to warn me that this guy was bad news. So I excused myself to get the low-down. How could my instincts be so wrong? Then I found out the story: While Mr. X was a nice guy, unfortunately he had the worst luck on the planet. He was a hemophiliac who had contracted HIV from a tainted blood scandal many years before. He got a million dollar settlement (not that any amount of money would be enough for destroying your life) and didn't have to work but he was understandably depressed (he could never have a family as he wanted and had to live in the fear of developing AIDS), a gambler, alcoholic and drug user. Oh. Yes, this is the one I pick out of a crowd! He was a very cool person and we did become friends. I obviously could never be anything more given his health issues. Sadly he passed away years ago of an overdose.

Of course most people aren't going to advertise their issues when you first meet them. It's too bad they don't. It's too bad you didn't have to have a mandatory tattoo on your arm, a warning to the world -- "alcoholic," "passive aggressive," "sociopath." Most people try to make a good impression to win you over. Then they drop the bomb after your heart is invested.

A friend, trying to be kind, told me once that it was a beautiful quality of mine that I never lost my childlike innocence, my romantic idealism, that I would see the good in people and hope for the best. The truth was I was probably just blind, gullible, foolish. I kept looking for my Prince. I caught glimpses of him. Each man that I dated had some good in him, some beautiful quality that drew me in but most of them had flaws so serious that I should have run screaming within minutes or days, instead of staying for months or years.

So last year I decided I had nothing to lose and might as well try something different. I finally took the plunge and went to an online dating site. I reasoned that I couldn't do any worse than I had done meeting men in person and maybe on the internet I'd meet a different sort of man. Someone who would never hit the bar scene. Someone shy and genuine, looking for a real connection. Sure! Well, it didn't quite play out that way. There may have been some shy ones but they were probably too shy to write to me. I mostly heard from jerks. I won't say the name of the site. All I can say is that we all know the saying about there being "plenty of fish in the sea" unfortunately online most of them are sharks! And for a vulnerable mermaid, it's probably the worst place to be. I did like the attention. Within minutes of setting up my profile I was getting emails and instant messages. It was actually overwhelming. I nearly had a panic attack and pulled the plug. I met some pretty scary characters who were only after one thing (a self-professed werewolf who nearly attacked me, a Romanian truck driver who kissed my hand, a sexy but very aggressive Russian, a chiselled young Italian stallion whose hug goodbye I'll never forget -- he was very happy to see me!) I met some painfully dull characters that I knew I'd never want to see again. I met some guys that were nice enough but felt no chemistry with. Usually I opted for meeting them at Tim Hortons. It's a safe first date. Even if he's a serial killer he probably can't make a move in public. If you hit it off you can always move on to dinner or something else. If there is no connection whatsoever you can make a quick escape after you drink your small iced cappuccino.

Then last Spring I met the Hungarian. I knew that he had some issues, life complications before I even met him, just from his profile and from talking with him online. I didn't plan to fall in love with him. I just thought it would be fun to meet him. What the hell? You only live once. He was a fascinating character, very attractive. I loved his accent when we spoke on the phone. He was unique. I was too intrigued not to meet him. What could it hurt to go for a coffee with the guy? I told my Mother. Nothing bad can happen at Tim Hortons. Unfortunately it was love at first sight, for both of us. The connection between us -- physically, mentally and emotionally -- was palpable. The way he gazed into my eyes was electrifying. There was an energy between us unlike anything I'd ever experienced. And our first kiss was Heaven. There was no walking away from this. He was beautiful on the outside, a 6'2" slender blond blue-eyed chiselled god of a man. Beautiful on the inside, romantic, artistic, philosophical, spiritual. He was a Scorpio. I had known Scorpios (my mother was one and frankly they scared me!) but had never dated one. He was very intense. Sensual. The relationship was extraordinary. Life was magical. When it was good, it was the best time of my life. We made a road trip to Florida together and I will never forget it. I will always be grateful for that experience. I believed it was forever. But his issues (huge red flags that should have prevented me from dating him at all, but love is of course blind and a little stupid in my case) made it impossible to be together. We could only avoid reality for so long. His life was a shambles. Financially, spiritually, he was lost. He said he was too proud to let me try to save him (it's what I tend to do). He had so much to sort out but had to do it on his own. He flew back to Hungary to be with his parents and find himself. When it fell apart, I was devestated. My beautiful dream was shattered. How could I go back to ordinary life now?

Determined to get back on the horse, like a fool, I went back to the online dating site. Unfortunately there didn't seem to be any extraordinary characters like my Hungarian. There were guys who were nice, but boring. Guys who were sexy, but mean. Men I had nothing in common with. Men who were just frightening. No one seemed to be boyfriend material. 99% were just trying to get into my pants. Though I was admittedly in my sexual peak and climbing the walls, I needed more than that. I needed someone with a heart. And a brain. Someone deep and real and funny. Someone who would challenge me at Scrabble and snuggle with me and laugh about stupid things. A boyfriend. A love. And sure, mind-blowing sex would be nice too. Then I found M...

His photo stopped me in my tracks. Something about his eyes was mesmerizing. Like the Hungarian, he was a 6'2" slim, blond, blue-eyed Scorpio. No way this could go wrong! I must have been crazy. The definition of insanity, I've heard, is to continue doing the same thing expecting different results. M was different from the Hungarian however, and from anyone else I'd ever met. I loved reading his emails. He was clever, sarcastic, edgy, a lot more than just a cute boy. He had a bit of a dark side, but a sweet side too. And he wasn't just after sex. He wanted to beat me at Scrabble. He was looking for a relationship. He almost seemed to good to be true. He didn't seem phased by the age difference (he was 10 years my junior). He said from my photos I looked much younger anyway (most people guessed me 10 years younger than I was). To M's credit, at least he didn't pretend to be perfect. After we had arranged to meet, he wrote me a heartwrenching email about how he probably shouldn't meet me, that it wouldn't be fair to me. That he was so messed up he had no business being in a relationship. He told me about his troubled past -- never knew his father, taken from his crack whore mother at 1 year old, in and out of foster homes, never had a home, constantly moving, no one he could trust, every girlfriend cheated on him, getting in trouble, suffering bouts of depression (the blahs as he called them). On and on. He was a trainwreck. He said that he felt pathetic. His email was so raw, so honest, so heartwrenching that instead of scaring me off, it made me want to meet him all the more! I appreciated his honesty. Most people don't tell you about the skeletons in their closet until after you've dated them a while. Plus, the lure of the wounded dove, the lost, broken boy was too great. I told him he wasn't getting off that easy, that I'd take my chances and have a coffee with him anyway. It was reckless and irresponsible of me to meet with him. But I was living on the edge. I had wanted to go skydiving and never got to. Meeting someone at Tim Hortons seemed pretty harmless in comparison. In a billion years I couldn't have imagined what would happen. That meeting for an iced capp would change the entire course of my life. That I would fall for this guy. That I would have his baby.

I'd never had a relationship move so fast. He joked about kidnapping me on our first date and it wasn't really a joke. He took me home and held me captive for days. I was a willing prisoner. I cancelled my plans the next day because he wouldn't let me leave. And I didn't want to leave. We were inseparable. He sulked when I had to go to work. He asked to move in after us only dating for a couple of weeks. Within a month I was pregnant. It was crazy but it seemed like it was meant to be. We were going to be a family. Something he had never had. And I was committed. I couldn't leave him. He was the father of my child. He told me I was stuck with him forever.

Then he disappeared in February without a word. It made no sense. We had had fights (mostly about money. He didn't have any) but we always made up. The day before he left he hugged and kissed me and said he'd see me later. He didn't want me to go to work. He was sweeter than ever. He gave no indication that anything was wrong. He was supposed to be giving me a check that day. Maybe he didn't have the money. Maybe he was ashamed. I'm sure he had skipped out on rent before. But this was more than rent. This was skipping out on his girlfriend and his own child. I just wish he had been honest. Told me. Warned me. Left me a note at least. Anything. It still baffles me how he could have done that, the way that he did. Packed up everything and left. Disappeared without an explanation. It was like a movie. A country song. A tabloid headline. "Pregnant woman abandoned!" It was the most shocking, most hurtful thing anyone had ever done to me in my life. I couldn't believe it. I still can't, really. He had claimed to love me but he must have hated me to be capable of that. Or maybe he loved me, loved us enough to save us from the monster that he was. He tried to warn me not to date him. I didn't listen. I went ahead and fell anyway, knowing what I was getting myself into. For some reason, out of all the men I'd known and loved, he was meant to father my child. I didn't think I could get pregnant, especially so easily and at my age (I was 42. 43 now.) It was Fate. This baby is a miracle, a blessing and I am grateful for that. Even though it took falling in love with a monster to get her.

And so, since his exit in February, I have been unmanned for the first time, for the longest span (six months now) in my adult life. This is the longest I have gone without a boyfriend. I couldn't date while pregnant (that would be crazy.) Not that I would have wanted to anyway. After what I've been through I'm not even sure how I'd trust someone again. I can't date with a newborn. I'll have my hands full raising a baby on my own. It would be quite a while before I would have the time or the inclination to meet a man again. And my priorities have changed considerably. My child comes first. I couldn't date someone who wasn't worthy of her. (My friend pointed out how sad it was that I didn't feel that protective of myself as I often dated men who weren't worthy of me.) Now I would have to be much more careful, much more selective. A man would not only have to be a good man and a loving partner for me, he would have to be a good father for my daughter. That's a pretty tall order. I don't know if anyone would measure up.

My greatest fear was always being alone, without a partner. Now I have been alone since February and survived. Being pregnant, you would think more than ever you would need a partner for support, physically (to do things for you because everything is harder with the big pregnant belly), emotionally and financially yet I have survived on my own for the past several months. Surprisingly I have rarely felt lonely. The truth is I'm never alone and never will be again. My baby is always there. Feeling her move inside me gives me the most intense feeling of connection that I've ever had with another person. She literally is a part of me. I can't feel lonely because she's always there. I'm also very fortunate to have the support of a loving family and friends to help me through this journey. It doesn't feel like I'm missing anything. In many ways, it's been kind of nice not having a man around -- having my space, privacy, freedom. Living with someone can get on your nerves.

It's strange how much my priorities have changed. I used to love having men look at me and flirt with me, now I feel sort of invisible but it's just as well because these days comfort means more to me than appearance and frankly I can't be bothered making an effort. Men don't look at me the way they used to. Once in a while when I'm driving, a guy in another car will turn his head, smile at me. One day I was wearing a rather revealing top (and there's a lot more to reveal these days. I've gone up several bra sizes.) and the guy in the car next to me was looking over and smiling. I smiled back and thought "Oh buddy, if you only knew what was behind this car door!" I guess he couldn't see the belly.

Usually I don't even notice men anymore. Now I have a radar for pregnant women. And babies. I seem to see so many babies everywhere I go and I'm drawn to them like a magnet. Though, embarassingly, I have to fight back tears, especially when it's a newborn. They are so beautiful it's overwhelming.

Once in a while though I like to look at beautiful men, the way I would admire a work of art. My friend suggested going to see "Magic Mike" -- the film about male strippers, starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. Sure. I can enjoy watching a bunch of hot men with six packs dancing! Not surprisingly the audience at the matinee was 100% female! It was a fun film. Better than I expected actually. A man with a six pack who is also a good dancer. Those are hard to come by! It would be fun to find one. Of course in real life it would be nice if he didn't have women shoving money in his underwear. But you can't have everything.
Being pregnant has certainly changed my feelings toward men though. I used to think I couldn't live without them but now that I've discovered I can, I don't really miss them. And I don't care about sex anymore. I don't miss it. My fantasies these days involve Oreo McFlurries and foot massages! Someone who would take out the garbage for me. Maybe the sexual peak that I experienced last year was just my biological clock ticking (unbeknownst to me, I wasn't planning to have kids!) and now that I'm pregnant it's like mission accomplished, don't need it anymore!

Of course I'm sure the day will come when I would like to have male companionship again. To fall in love, to have a man to share things with. They do have their good points. He would have to be wonderful though. A real man not a broken boy. Strong and sensitive, smart, sexy, successful, sincere, sweet, stable, with a great sense of humour. I couldn't settle ever again. I couldn't take the chance. There's too much at stake now that I'm going to be a Mom.

I've been watching The Bachelorette (I did a previous post when the show had just started, now the season is nearly over and she's down to the final two) with more interest this season than ever before. Emily Maynard is my favourite bachelorette in the show's history. She's a sweet southern belle, ridiculously beautiful and she's a single Mom. I have really been rooting for her to find love. She's suffered so much heartbreak. Her childhood sweetheart was killed in a tragic accident and after his death she discovered that she was carrying his child. A single Mom she had a tough time finding a partner for her who could also be a good father to her daughter Ricki. She went on The Bachelor and ended up winning Brad Womack's heart. Unfortunately their fairytale romance was too good to be true and self-destructed off-camera. It sounded like he wasn't prepared to be a father. When the producers approached her, she reluctantly agreed to take another chance at finding love on camera as the bachelorette.
She has been much more cautious this time. I was proud of her when she managed to weed out and eliminate snakes like Narcissistic Ryan who referred to her as a trophy and said he wouldn't love her if she put on any weight and arrogant Kalon, who callously referred to her daughter as "baggage." She kept the ones who were genuine and the total package -- beautiful inside and out. She had it down to three, Sean, Arie and Jef. A tough choice, each one wonderful in his own way. She let Sean go (he's the one in the first photo. I know! How could she say goodbye to him?) He was not only attractive but sweet and sensitive and romantic. They all are. Watching the show has been encouraging. At least it shows that there are good guys out there. Men who can be strong and sensitive. And funny and romantic. Kind and stable. And eager to commit to a single Mom. I am interested to see who she ends up with. I wish her the best. A good man is hard to find. She found three that fell in love with her. (Four actually, Chris whom she let go last week was also a good guy.) Lucky lady. Though it's a blessing and a curse because falling for more than one great guy means she has to break a few hearts. That's not easy to do.

Maybe one day I will find my Mr. Right. Someone beautiful inside and out. Someone that I feel a strong chemistry with, a solid friendship with. Someone I can trust completely. Someone with integrity. It's different now because I'm not afraid to be alone. I would rather be alone than in a dead-end relationship. So if the perfect man shows up, great. And if he doesn't, great. I will not settle for less. If and when I ever date again, I would be so much more careful. I wouldn't take reckless chances. I wouldn't go for coffee with a man that I knew was bad news. I wouldn't put myself in a dangerous situation. My child is my top priority. A man would have to be pretty extraordinary to be allowed into our lives. No more broken boys for me! I've quit cold turkey. I am happy to say that I am not addicted to men anymore! I have proven that I can live without them and I've actually been happier these past few months than ever before in my adult life. And it's a happiness that no one can take from me because it comes from within and isn't dependent on someone else. Now I am overflowing with love. Love that I can share with my child. There is no one in the way to deplete me, change or control me, disappoint or betray me. I have space to be creative. I feel strong and independent. Sure I have rough days, but I pick myself up and realize that no matter what, I'm going to be OK. I have faced my greatest fears and survived. I don't need some prince to rescue me and I don't need a wounded dove to rescue. I am embarking on a new adventure. I am becoming a mother. This is the most important relationship of my life and I am committed.

It's funny that my friend kept telling me I needed to be alone for a year. Now I will be. I'm already halfway there. It took a pretty drastic life change to make it happen -- having a baby! This baby is the best thing that ever happened to me. She's keeping me out of trouble. She's awakening me to a new state of being. She's teaching me what love really is, who I really am, what life really means.

I was always looking for love. I've finally found it. Not in the way I expected, but in the way I needed. I have learned to love myself. I have learned the most profound love is the love you have for your child. I thought I needed romantic love to feel fulfilled. But romance is so conditional, so tenuous. It is a heart made of sand that the tide can easily wash away. The love of a mother and child is eternal, unconditional, pure. It can not be undone. This is commitment. This is forever. It scares me but it feels right. It feels like this is where I'm meant to be. I thought I needed a man to feel happy. Turns out maybe I just needed a little girl.


  1. You have such a positive self awareness, very admirable. I love how you worded the last paragraph, very beautiful! & so very true!

    1. Thank you so much. This awareness only came recently, through great pain and the biggest shake up of my life. My baby has rescued me from a pattern that I may have been stuck in forever. I either didn't realize I was doing it or just didn't know how to stop. I'm a creature of habit and got stuck in a bad one for 20+ years! The baby has opened my eyes. Now I am free and seeing things clearly for the first time. For years I was lost, looking for love or running from it. Afraid to be alone yet ironically afraid of commitment too. Now I am finally ready for real love & a lifelong commitment -- to my child! :)