This might actually be me giving up on looking for romantic love.
After my last internet dating experience my thought was ‘I don’t know if I am going to do this again’, and as it stands now I am still thinking that I probably won’t. The feelings of disappointment were so great they were becoming all consuming (Internet dating as a woman? Its shit.). And of course it’s not just that very short last relationship that triggered this but a lifetime of romantic disappointment – and still the underlying knowledge that even when I had it, a ‘proper’ relationship was, in the end, nothing near what I had been led to expect it would be. Sure, it could be different with someone else, sure there are loads of lovely guys out there – but as ever, people saying this to me, the abstract knowledge that it may be true offers me nothing in comparison to the reality of what my romantic life actually is.
I found a myriad of emotions working through me.
First there was the grief of this loss: many may agree – grief for something you have never had and maybe never will can be as real as the grief of losing something you did.
Then there was the deep disappointment & frustration that in spite of hoping, and working so hard towards something, thinking I could do things to help it along, thinking I had an element of control over my own fate, of wanting it to ‘be ok in the end’; this was just something I had no control over and I didn’t have a choice but to accept that.
As these thought & feelings set in I also wasn’t comforted by the thought of having a child anymore – I realised it was something I wasn’t ready for. This was a hard thing to accept, as that is what had consoled me before, that I could create my own family, have a hand in my own fate, have something to look forward to that didn’t depend on success in this weird love game I kept losing at.
Then, worst of all (and actually I can take the rest, just not this) were the feelings of inferiority – of being a failure for not having managed to secure a partner, something that so many around me seem to have achieved with such ease, without any of the heartache I seemed to have to have tolerated, or certainly a lot less of it, and it being ok for them ‘in the end’. By what I mean, they had a chance at it, a stab at it, someone that was willing to give it a go with them, invest the time, energy & work through the difficult relationship bits with them. In spite of myself, these old ancient, familiar feelings of low self-worth returned. This last rejection (as I felt it to be) had triggered this feeling (straw that broke the camels back really…) and there I was, a sorry picture, convulsing with it all….
It felt to me like a ‘do or die’ scenario – I had to DO something with those negative feelings before it felt like they were going to destroy me.
I had seen a documentary (film) called ‘A complete history of my sexual failures’ by Chris Wiatt. In the film, after being dumped again (it turns out everyone Chris has ever been out with has broken up with him), Chris contacts as many of his ex-girlfriends as he can to try to find out the reasons why.
It occurred to me – I have searched inwards for so long, done so much work on myself, been through all kinds of therapy, self-help, taught myself CBT, meditation and practice practice practice to the point where I am comfortable in my own skin, confident and have, at last, a good sense of self-esteem. But…still – STILL the same patterns play out with men, STILL I find no answers as to why and cannot seem to affect change there at all.
I thought: Maybe it is time to turn the lens outwards?
So I am considering some kind of project like this. Maybe they will speak to me, maybe they won’t. Maybe they will have answers for me, maybe they won’t, who knows.
But two things I do know;
- I’ve done about as much work on myself as I can do, and am certainly not getting any more answers looking inwards.
- These negative, hurtful feelings have to go somewhere, have to be galvanized into something else: I need my disappointment to become curiosity, my sadness to become action.