Tag Archives: dating

Back

I’m back.

Back from Italy.

Back to work.

Back in the dating game.

But I also don’t quite feel back.

Maybe it’s jet lag. Maybe I’m still recovering from being sick for 2 weeks on vacation.

Whatever the reason, I feel a little floaty, disconnected, unsure where I am and where I’m going.

My inclination is to set some goals to help ground me, but every goal I can think of seems terribly inadequate or way too much.

Possible Goals

  1. Work hard at work. It’s crunch time. Get it!
  2. Catch up on all the episodes of The Voice. And Grey’s Anatomy. And Glee. And anything else I’m feeling drawn to. Watch ALL the TV!
  3. Get my dating life in order. What do I want? Who do I want to draw in with a revised profile? What do I like / not like about the folks I’m currently dating?
  4. Get off my butt and move to Oakland.
  5. Get serious about all the boring, everyday stuff that keeps me going – cleaning, cooking, meditation, exercise. Figure out what it takes to just do it and get it done and enjoy doing it.
  6. Read ALL the books. So many in my pile and I keep adding more!
  7. Plan a Ballots & Beyond fundraiser
  8. Get writing & editing on personal projects
  9. Call people! Hang out!

Too many goals! All feel important! Or compelling (The Voice is on in the background right now)! Can’t choose tonight … but trying to do all the things only leads to doing none of the things.

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Happy August!

Hello August!

Hello to my brand new niece, born today!

Hello to a month where I will be in town the ENTIRE month. This might have happened in March? And perhaps the previous October? In other words, this is rare.

What do I hope for this fine month?

1. Relaxed Motivation toward Work

There’s a lot to do at work. I even want to do much of it, as we’ve just dreamed up a cool project that weaves together so much of what we’ve been dreaming about since I started a year ago.  I want to find both motivation and relaxation – not striving too hard, not lazing around too much. Remember the 7 Factors of Enlightenment as a tool for balancing relaxation and motivation!

2. Refrain from judging things as “good” or “bad” – especially when it comes to dating

Because I’m no longer clear what I want from online dating, it’s felt kind of confusing as some people I was excited about fall away and other people I found so-so seem more interesting. It’s hard to know whether some of these things are temporary or permanent, whether they are good or bad in the long term.

I’m reminded of this great story from Buddhism:

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

3. Get Everything Settled for Italy

I leave for Italy September 13! I need to brush up on my language skills, reserve a rental car for part of our trip, get a new suitcase, and probably a hundred other details I’m not even thinking about yet. It’s time to think about all the tiny details!

4. Have a BBQ

I’ve been slowly working on the back yard. It’s time to get some patio furniture finally, and pick a date to host a little party.

This makes me panic a little – what if I pick a date where no one can show up? Ahhhhh! Get a couple of people lined up, and the rest will fall into place. It will be fun even as a small party.

Till Things Change Enough that We Should Part

Insights from meditation are notorious for being both obvious and profound at the same time.

One of the key insights Buddhism offers is that “everything changes.” Look anywhere, and it’s obvious this is true. Yet every day, we live life as if this is not true, as if there are things we can count on to last forever.

This is one of my (many) beefs about marriage. “Till death do us part” leaves little room for the change and growth two people might go through in their lives. In the examples of long term marriages I’ve seen, too often it appears to be that one or both people make major sacrifices in their happiness and self-fulfillment in order to maintain the relationship. My independent self chafes at the thought.

Yet I’m also unafraid of the kind of commitment to working through hard places that marriage requires. I have been in several long term relationships which required challenging, emotional conversations. I’ve learned to enjoy digging in to these messy places as “the goods” – this is where trust and intimacy and connection are forged.

My initial forays into online dating have been focused on casual connections with people who seem interesting, attractive, and fun to spend an evening with. My profile is playful, focused on meeting new people, detailed about the activities I’d enjoy having a partner for, short on qualities I possess that might be interesting to people seeking a longer term relationship.

My beefs about marriage have had me turning my nose up at the thought of a long term relationship, something even more than the serial monogamy I’ve practiced most of my life. Yet I have other models. Some friends of mine say that their long-term partnership will remain, as long as it’s still better to be together than to be apart.

On my meditation retreat, James Baraz talked about love and lovingkindness. In his book Awakening Joy, he talks about his marriage, and how his commitment with his wife was to use their relationship as a vehicle for growth. In his talk on love, he asked (as I remember it), “What beliefs do you hold about love that might not be true?”

I was able to see instantly a core belief about relationships. My belief that “Marriage = Stagnation of Self” has had me ignoring all the other forms that long term relationships can take. If I stop believing this is true, what forms of relationships might I really want?

I’m not entirely sure of the answer to that question yet, but I think it’s going to require an entire rewrite to my online dating profile!

How (not) to pay me a compliment

I love online dating because OMG funny!

Today’s Study: A lot of terrible ways to pay me a compliment. Plus one excellent one.

Tell Something I Don’t Already Know: youre gorgeous in your pics

Maybe $omeone’s $tyle, but Not Mine: Hey, Wuzzup Wit’cha $exxy!! LOOOKIN’ LOVELY!!

I Already Have a Stable of Fellas Younger than You, but Thanks Anyway: It would be an honor to have you rob my cradle!

Unfortunately I Have a Weird Attraction to People Who Don’t Think It’s Weird to Like My Body: I have a weird attraction to bigger women with thick thighs. [Side note: You must watch this internet awesomeness tearing down fat haters]

In the midst of all this idiocy, there are also some gems. My current favorite is this one: Your body looks exactly like a woman’s body is supposed to look. God, I love all of your curves.

Of course, he got the benefit of saying all that to me in person 🙂 It’s time for the rest of you boys and girls to step up your game!

Not a Math Equation

While I’m rocking online dating, there are still parts of it that suck.

Like the d00ds who have nothing to say but “hi i’m h0rny.”

What do I say back to that? “I am too, but not for guys like you who spell horny with the number 0 in it.”

I’m glad I’m not the only one who attracts guys who are just looking to get laid, and don’t care how creepy your conversation gets.

But my favorite online dating post includes THE BEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN:

I’m an actual human being, not some math equation that can be solved by triangulating all of the nearest boners.  – Lindy West

I can now face another round of shitty incoming messages. Perhaps I should just respond with this quote to the next d00d that says, “hey wanna sext?”

If I could only do one thing well this month, I’m glad it’s online dating

In May, I decided I wanted to be diving deep. I wanted to explore more of what brought me out to the Bay Area, and discard anything that wasn’t fulfilling my needs. And I wanted to play with proxies for things that felt hard.

I did one of these things well, and the rest got brushed aside, forgotten in the rush of online dating energy. I can’t decide if this is fine, or the root problem of one of my patterns.

1. Practice the energy of destruction

I forgot about finishing my project of cleaning out my iTunes library.

It feels like a pattern for me. Things get screwed up, I freak out, and my brain just erases any reminders that I should be working on a project.

Or maybe not. I did leave town for a week, which didn’t help matters. I also made progress on other goals (like getting an online dating profile), which is a WAY MORE FUN project than deleting music files.

But this is the pattern, yes? Leaving messes behind so I can go get distracted by pretty shiny things!

I feel lost about how to resolve this.

2. Play with online dating

I am rocking online dating. Who cares that I left a mess of an iTunes library when I can go find cute people to date?

So far, I’ve mostly responded to people who have messaged me first. Luckily, they have not all asked me about Richard Gere.

I do want to spend some time looking for people I’m interested in. Just the practice of identifying what I desire feels important!

3. Do what I love at work

I feel like I lost sight of this since I’ve mostly been grumpy about work this week.

I’m pretty sure my grumpiness is only partly work related, but now that I read this admonishment to “do what I love” at work, I’m not sure that’s what I’m spending most of my time doing.

Instead, I’m sending email responses to people who sent me pretty snarky, and sometimes offensive notes. I’m doing my best to be on point and not feed the trolls. But I wonder if  I need to remember what I really want to be working on?

4. Play with incorporating other activities

I was outside all week while visiting Colorado. It was lovely.

Now that I’m back in the Bay, I am not getting outside nearly enough. I blame it on living all the way up in the attic (two flights of stairs before I can get outside!). I blame it on not having good patio furniture.

But really, I just need to do it. Walk more. Go sit in the sun more. Have breakfast and coffee on the back patio instead of at my desk. Lunch too. Enjoy the warm sun while it’s here.

Bringing Back the Goals

Last month, there were no goals.

That worked well to give me some spaciousness, but it also left me feeling adrift. My suspicion is that I did nothing last month, but I’m pretty sure I actually took two vacations, wrote an article for an anthology, trained a new staff member, dealt with more transition at work, and let life catch up to me.

Overall the month was about remembering how to feel what I wanted, and act on that. It was about dropping other people’s agendas to make space for my own agenda.

This month, I have already set some light goals.

1. Practice the energy of destruction

I love to grow new projects and ideas. But when things get overgrown, it’s necessary to prune back. If pruning hasn’t been done for awhile, sometimes there’s a much bigger ripping out that is needed.

I have a hard time with pruning as I go, often waiting until I’m being choked off before I make a move. Then I’m flailing, destroying things in my path in an attempt to survive.

So I’m practicing destroyer energy this month, pruning things that have been neglected. Like my actual back yard. And my iTunes library that got corrupted at some point, and now has 6 copies of each song.

2. Play with online dating

I just set up a profile on OK Cupid. I want to meet some new, interesting people and go on dates as a way to explore new people and places.

I feel overwhelmed already – how do I decide who to message? Who do I respond to? How do I keep it fun and playful, rather than another task?

3. Do what I love at work

There are so many things I feel like I *must* do. What happens if I do the things I love first? And then tell people about those things as fundraising & communications strategies?

What happens if I minimize the administration even more? Anything I don’t love, anything that feels complicated – gets dropped. Invoke more destroyer energy!

4. Play with incorporating other activities

Fundraising for Catalyst, planning the trip to Italy, writing projects. Plus the ongoing meditation, walks, dance, connecting with friends.

For awhile, I liked setting weekly goals. Then I liked having randomized to do lists. Then I liked dropping all pressure and only doing what I wanted to do.

I would like to play with different ways of doing this. How do I keep motivated to do the projects in my life, particularly ones with timelines or parts that feel hard to complete?