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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WEEK #68 - THE 90-DAY COOKIE

So, after taking a year off dating, sex and all things romantic, I was super excited to get back in the game!  I had all this new knowledge and understanding that I couldn’t wait to put to work.  Little did I know that there was so much learning yet to be done.  I equate it to studying statistics in school, then getting a job and having to apply that learning in the real world.  There is still so far to go!  Mainly, I think you learn all the things you don’t know.

Since August, I have been dating.  It has been interesting.  I had a little bit of a relapse into Girl Brain while pursuing things with the first gentleman, the Russian.  He and I had been working together and he showed interest and was pretty insistent about chasing me, until I reciprocated and then he disappeared and I dropped back into my normal patterns of obsessing and chasing.  That is, until The Blue Fairy came up and talked me down.  It was a bad scene, but I got over quite quickly, faster than ever before and most importantly, I could see it happening and knew it had to change.  Nothing came of it.  We were from different parts of the country and we parted amicably.  It wasn’t the right relationship for me, but I was just so excited to be a participant in the dating world instead of an observer, I lost all sense of myself (that, and I was super horny, let’s face it!). 

After that, I tried online dating.  It was okay.  I was seeing one guy for a while, but we discovered that we were looking for different things.  I also learned a bunch about how I need to go about forming a relationship with someone.  I still have a lot of work to do on trust and acceptance of kindness.  When it comes to forming a romantic relationship, I need to move at a pace slightly slower than molasses on a cold winter’s day.  I still have training wheels on and was trying to ride a big-girl bike.

Also, my therapist suggested long ago that when I start dating, I should institute the “90-day cookie” rule.  This means that you refrain from getting intimate with a partner until 90 days (or so) into the relationship.  This gives time to develop the intimacy between the couple before adding the physical.  Well, I was still in the middle of my year off when she suggested it and the thought of adding 3 more months was like increasing a prison term for good behaviour.  Like always, she proved to be right.  I felt myself physically drawing away from a relationship because I couldn’t balance both physical and emotional intimacy all at once.  Being emotionally vulnerable while physically naked was overwhelming.

I have always found it easy to be physically intimate when there is no emotional investment, but as soon as feelings get involved, I freak out.  Not surprisingly, it was about 3 months before The Ex and I first had intercourse and we ended up staying together for many years.  We waited because I was a virgin and I wanted to be sure that I lost it with someone who I really cared about.  And isn’t that really the same thing I want from a relationship today? 

Coming out of this year, three months seemed like torture.  I had already waited twelve… actually thirteen months.  I wanted it to be done with.  Also, it felt like a new type of “virginity”.  I had made such a big deal out of the year and now that it was at an end, it felt momentous!  Who would the lucky gent be to end the year?!  In my mind, I had made it into something bigger than it was and abandoned some of the things I had learned in order to get it over with.  Obviously, I didn’t totally rush out and bang the first guy out there.  Even with the Russian, we courted for a bit first.  Well, now that all that fuss is done with, I’m back on track.  Three months doesn’t seem like such a hurdle.  With our busy lives these days, it goes by in a blink of an eye. 

Sex complicates things.  It pains me to say those words, but after all my experiences, I have come to learn it is true… at least for me.  *sigh* As much as I may want to jump quickly into a physical relationship with someone, that’s not the way I operate.  If there is a hope to have something more than a one night stand, I need to take it slow.  Things always end up falling apart as soon as emotion gets involved.  Some people are outside in, I’m inside out.  I need the emotional intimacy to be present for me to enjoy the physical.  I think this is why I have had so much success with “friends with benefits” situations.  There was a pre-established emotional connection that the physical was built upon.  That’s what I need.  I need to be friends with someone before I can become physical.  It is a hard, but necessary lesson to learn.

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