Friday, October 31, 2008

short but sweet (scully)

So I had dinner and a screening of Wasp Woman with Shep last night. Luckily, more moves were made and a talk was had. Long and short of it, I think we're giving this another try. At one point we bore our testimonies to each other which I've never done with a man I've dated before. (Which is kind of sad when you think about it.) That was very powerful to me. So time will tell, but I'm feeling good about it:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Keeping the Faith (Marnie)

Have you ever had a time in your life when you were doing really well again? You had just come out of a tough experience (or experiences) and were starting to gain momentum? You were thinking, "OK! I've endured that, and I lived through it!" And then suddenly you find yourself in another problem - harder than before! It's like having the wind knocked out of you.

I know. I hate it when it happens to me too! And I find it's hard to keep the faith and have a positive attitude when you are in the midst of another hard time.

A friend sent a link to an article that talked about our relationship with God. And this quote is so true to how I think sometimes:

"Too often we create and want a god who demands nothing of us, protects us against all disappointment, tramples the agency of others so we may never be hurt by them, arranges life so that we must never stretch beyond where we are, instead of worshiping the loving, powerful God who sees all and promises that all things in their time will work together for our good if we just hold on with faith and trust in Him."

Maurine Proctor, "Pouting Before the Lord"

This quote describes how I have felt in the past - OK, maybe even yesterday! Why can't I just trust God??? I mean, out of all the people I know, shouldn't HE be the one true person that knows what's best for me?? Yet still I doubt him whenever it gets tough or when things don't go my way! And I have even gotten mad at him for letting these problems happen to me.

The eternal perspective is so hard to keep concerning life here on earth. Everything around us is temporary and the world's philosophy is all about "what I want RIGHT NOW." So it makes sense that it would sneak into our daily lives and make us confused and forget the real reasons we are on earth - 1) to get a physical body and 2) to be tested with different life situations to see what we will do and what we will get out of those experiences. That's the core of it. But we are also to be happy along the way...(" are that they might have joy" 2 Nephi 2:25)

So how do we go through what is expected to be some "hard times" and be happy with it? Well, I'm not sure I know exactly how to do that. I know the Sunday School answers are all about service and being grateful for what you have. And I believe that they do help in getting outside of yourself and seeing the forest from the trees.

But I also believe stopping and looking around you - right in the middle of your problem - and trying to see the bigger picture. If I can keep my perspective, things seem less tragic and disappointing. But it's hard. VERY hard. When I can do it though, it helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel faster, because I'm actually looking up - instead of down, crying in self-pity.

Lately, my goal has been to be an "adult." The kind of adult that we all thought we would grow up to be and that we thought all grownups were. The kind of adult where you think through things FIRST before you say or do anything. The kind of adult where you try to think rational thoughts instead of letting emotions take you to some new level of absurdity. (Can you tell I can be a drama queen at times???) The kind of adult that you wish the TV character would be when someone is possessed and starts saying really crazy hurtful things to those they love. (You know, like on Charmed, when one of the sisters goes crazy and says she hates the other two and points out all of their failings and problems. And you think, "DUH! It's so obvious!! She's possessed by a troll!! It's not really her!"). I can't tell you how cool that would be! Not being possessed by the troll - but being the adult...a real, live, mature adult.

I guess it's about maturity. And in relationships, sometimes I come off so short in my reactions to what life throws me. And really, the situation needs some maturity to deal with it properly and to keep things in perspective.

I'm kind of rambling, but that's what has been on my mind lately. So my new goal? Start actually believing that God does know what's best for me and being mature enough to deal with what happens like a real adult.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Whole New World (Lorelai)

Our second guest blogger- this is great!

Hi, I am Lorelai guest blogger. Here is my story: I was cruising along thinking I had found my prince and then slam things changed and I found myself bouncing in a lifeboat through an ocean of uncertainty. Where had the fancy cruise with endless buffets of yummy food gone?

As I was out there alone in the darkness of anger and hurt I felt like I wanted a big pity party in my honor. I had done all the right things and look where it landed me. But clinging to bitterness and defeat is just not in my nature. I did not date at all for about a year and then hesitantly tried to get back in the game.

I have dated one good man and one not so good and gone on several one-time dates but realized recently that I am sitting at home with the lights turned off. You know when Halloween night you run out of candy and instead of making a late night run to the store you just turn off the porch light. The thing is that I have been willing in theory but not in practice. So what does it take to brave the dating game? To be vulnerable AND to trust that it will be different this time? For everyone the answer must be different but for me it was my son.

I was getting pretty content living alone, doing things my way. It was easy; hard in many aspects but easy on the heart. Having a loving five year old tell you that you are beautiful does wonders for the soul. But one day he told me he wanted to buy a brother because in Primary they talked about families and he wants a brother so bad he is willing to buy one because mommy you know families are forever. We talked about how buying brother was not going to happen. But it got me thinking. I had been complacent and perhaps I will not marry again but I wasn't even trying – at all. So with renewed hope, faith and a not so gentle shove from friends I am back in the game. So good luck to me and good luck to you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Have you ever had one of these?(Bridget)

On Wednesday I saw GSE, who is someone that has been a crazy,strong force in my life for 12 years. We went to Indian, which is both of our favorites. We hadn't seen eachother in more than a year. It is complicated. Scully's post "weird dynamic" reminded me a bit of the dynamic GSE and I share. Driving to meet GSE I was aware of the butterflies in my stomach and the ever familiar giddiness I feel when I am driving towards him. I say driving, because even when I am not in a car, I am essentially driving via some emotional,physical,spiritual force towards him. Its a drive that is familiar, but is very confusing to me. My relationship with him has brought many firsts to me. He was the first man that said "I love you" to me and he was the first man that I said it back. He feels like home to me. But its a dysfunctional home. One that maybe I'm used to. One in which one is always chasing and one is always running, and vice versa. Its the moments in which we rest together and sit still for a few moments,synchronized heartbeats, that I justify my continued running. He wants to see me again this week. We have planned to see eachother on Wednesday. Its complicated...the boundaries always get skewed when we see eachother, if there were any boundaries to begin with. He still doesn't know what he wants. He asks me to tell me what's wrong with him. I tell him unapologetically, but it doesn't fix it. Now someone tell me what's wrong with me? And hopefully I can fix it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

wierd dynamic (scully)

A guy that I dated about six years ago that I've been friends with since then came over for dinner the other night. We'll call him Shep. We established about five years ago the reasons it wouldn't work between us. Most of which I won't mention here—not wanting to betray confidences. Well, we definitely have chemistry when we're together. And he's such a good man. Seriously, without guile and always wanting to do the right thing. I could see us having a good marriage because of that. So after we had dinner and watched a great 1960s Walt Disney movie with Dean Jones/Suzanne Plechette and everything I started wondering if maybe things had changed. He made some moves that he hasn't made since about five years ago and I was struck again with how good he is. This is usually as far as it goes with him and then he seems to sabatage things and/or disappears for a while. It's like a bad accelerating/braking lesson from the football coach in high school drivers ed. Well, I figured it would do no harm at least to tell him how great I thought he was even though things could never work out so I sent him a short e-mail telling him so. He replied back saying some very nice things in a very heart felt e-mail. My hope soared, but prayed to put it out of my mind and not respond. Which didn't really work very well for the rest of the day. He called that night and we made plans for the next day. So wierd. Right after our phone conversation my excitement for the whole thing pretty much collapsed. The next day he called me at work to say he was going home sick and wouldn't be able to make it. I was not really suprised, though disappointed, and also a bit relieved all at the same time. I'm still hoping to maybe have a conversation with him about the dynamic of the whole thing. Good ol' Shep.

The Lag (Leah)

Last night was the mark of the first week that New Phil did not call to get together in the last four months. Call me silly and over analytical, but it sort of worried me. He's rather predictable and has called to ask me out, or called to spontanesouly go out for ice cream, by Wednesday at the lastest, so when Wednesdsay night came and left I felt a bit of a let down. I felt that ominous dark cloud that dating seems to always bring - the dreaded drop of interest. It didn't help that my mother called and happened to do a bit of prying and asked innocently, "Can you think of any reason he didn't call?" The very fact that something seemingly so minor could be made into such a big deal is what really bugged me the most - more than the fact that he didn't call! As one of my married friends observed, I'll never notice this one blip of a week in the eternal perspective or even the yearly perspective. And here I am blogging about it only adding to the mountain of this molehill. Silly. I think Bridgette's post was the perfect thing I needed to hear this morning. And I have to admit I had a great night last night hanging out with an old friend and taking care of some errands. I woke up in a great mood, ready for the gym, and a day of work. True I wish/hope I hear from Phil, but life is for living, not regretting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

wherever you are, thats where you are( Bridget)

Ok, so its been kind of quiet on the western dating front. I have a couple internet meetings a-brewing, and saw my own personal Mr Big tonight for a reuniting dinner tonight after a year. So, perhaps will have more to speak of in the near future.

What I want to blog about is the trip I just went on to New York with my two brothers and one of my sisters. I had a great time, but with all of the hustle and bustle and the many, many people hustling and bustling around..i was very happy to get back to the west coast. The strong desire to get back home told me that i am in the right place for me geographically. The question I then have found myself asking is, Am I in the right place emotionally? Spiritually?

I answer this with an unequivical YES.

I read through a Depak Chopra book while in New York..he proposed that basically if we're in a situation, there is a reason and instead of wishing we were in a different place, to accept that what we are feeling, experiencing in our life at this very moment is the way that its supposed to be. A lot of anxiety in life, he noted, is the fight against the feelings that we're having, and would be diminished if we can just again, accept.

In the current theme of blogs, imaginining and seeing ourselves in the situations we would like to be in is so helpful. Saying that, there's a reason we are going through the experiences we're having...there's valuable lessons involved. The ability to accept is important to master...and to just be in the moment, because according to many wise teachers, the moment and being in it is a very important tool for joy.

Many times in the past for me , a trip to New York would be spent thinking and obsessing about the moment that I would be back at work and the moments in which I am seeing the sunset on the top of the Empire State Building, or eating the amazing chocolate cake at the delightful eatery Serendipity , or singing along to Elton John songs played by the piano man at Brandys Piano Bar would be past and lost. Never to be found again. Its in the moments girls, I feel it in my soul.

to anonymous (marcia)

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for sharing your feelings about Marnie’s posting about Visualizing Marriage. I can feel your pain in your words and I’m so sorry you feel the way you do. I think we’ve all been discouraged at different points in our lives – I know I’ve been there more times than I care to remember.

What I love about this blog is that it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I also love how the other writers remain hopeful and optimistic about reaching the end goal – even when the process is sometimes painful. I think everyone who is single and who wants to get married has been discouraged many times. What I’ve learned is that there really is no one right way to date or get married. What works for one person may not work for another. The point of this blog was to force us out of our comfort zone, to try things differently, to just make us accountable for getting out there and doing something…anything.

I give total credit to this blog for getting me married after 42 years. My relationship with Clue was on a path headed towards failure. We weren’t communicating, we weren’t connecting and we definitely weren’t progressing. For me, this blog helped me open up and communicate my feelings with Clue. That was all the opening we needed. In hindsight it seems so simple, but at the time it seemed so difficult and hopeless.

So my challenge for you, Anonymous, is if visualizing marriage hasn’t worked for you, try something new. Maybe you could start with Marnie’s “security guard stare” experiment. I’ve been trying that lately and it’s not always easy, but it’s something!

Hang in there Anonymous…we’re rooting for you and we’re here for you if you need a cheerleader!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Even though I'm not exactly where I want to be, I'm glad I'm not where I was (Scully)

Sorry it's been awhile, but nothing's really been happening. I've had some health and work things taking over my psyche lately.

I have had some conversations with some friends who are younger than I am who are where I once was about 7-8 years ago. Kris's last entry brought this back to mind. At this point, they're not dating and they've never been kissed. These are beautiful women in thier 30s. How do I put this . . . within the context of my perception of what a "good mormon girl" is—they are all much closer to that than I am now and will probably get to heaven quicker than I will. Having said that, I'm so glad I'm not where they are anymore! I'm so grateful to have had some experiences with men! Some good—some bad, but not all bad and in-valuable because they didn't end in marriage. Speaking to those friends I remember how confused and closed and bad I felt about myself for things that DIDN'T MATTER! I let issues that I had about my body and beauty and whether I thought God even liked me so overtake my thoughts. I'm grateful for the changes I made (including some counseling) that put me in a different place and let men into my life.

Now I'm just working on finding THE one. I haven't been very open to men in the ward in a little while. Feel like I'm maybe starting to round the bend on being too old for them or something. Online I'm having a hard time getting to the meeting in person part. Maybe I'm coming off as arrogant or something. I don't know. Seems like that has dried up a bit. Maybe some new photos. (I so hate taking those) Maybe I'll switch services for a while.

Anyway, thanks for all your latest posts ladies! Very inspiring. And congrats Marcia and Kris!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Change of Heart (Kris)

Leah's last post got me thinking of things I've done in the past to change my vision of myself. Through high school, college and for some time after, I was never much of a dater. I would have random dates here and there but it was rare and they never seemed to go anywhere. I didn't know why but wanted to figure it out. After a good deal of self examination and prayer, I decided that there were some things I was holding onto that were keeping walls around my heart. I couldn't even tell you then what they were, but I felt there were small passing comments from random guys, men who dated all my roommates and not me, self-talk, probably lots of things I didn't remember that had made my heart hard.

The next question was what to do about it. I felt I needed to change to have a more forgiving heart and be able to let go of everything in my past, big or small, and be open to love. I did a number of things. I fasted every Sunday to have a forgiving heart and for the ability to open my heart to others. I worked on changing my self talk about myself and men. I made an effort to have gratitude for the men who were in my life, even if they weren't asking me out, or even be grateful for the men who asked me out that I didn't find particularly desirable. I focused on changing my energy and keeping my desire in the front of my mind, for instance, I wore a necklace that had a chinese character for love on it.

It took a few months, but it worked. I've dated more since then than I have my whole life (which isn't saying a lot since I've never been a huge dater). That was six or seven years ago. I admit I went into it thinking it would bring "Mr. Right" into my life immediately, which it didn't. But I've always tried to be grateful for whatever relationship- one date, a casual boyfriend, a serious boyfriend, or even a pretty rotten boyfriend- that came my way. That seemed to help keep my heart open through it all.

I realize some of what I did will seem silly, and I'm not saying my specific experience is what anyone else should do. However, I do think the idea of honest self reflection together with prayer and a willingness to change will lead us in whatever direction that will bring us the most happiness.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Commitment (Kris)

I’ve been wanting to blog more on here, but not sure where to take the subject matter since getting engaged. I did have an interesting experience this morning that I thought I’d share. Last Spring I went on a trip to Cambodia and loved it. My good friend and her sisters are taking a similar trip in a few weeks. I called her this morning to see how the plans were progressing. She told me she was nervous and people kept telling them they were crazy to travel there just as single women. I laughed and told her I never felt like I was in any danger. As long as you’re not doing anything stupid- like playing in dark alleys or going home with a man you meet in a bar- then there is nothing to worry about.

The conversation then turned to me and my wedding plans. This is a friend I’ve known since I was about 7 years old. She knows me well and as I started rattling off wedding plans she stopped me and said, “Yes, but how are YOU, are you getting cold feet?” Ah, she knows me well. In fact, I have been scared spitless about getting married. Apparently when you’re almost 40 and still single there are possibly some phobias around commitment. Ü I proceeded to tell her how much I’ve enjoyed being single all these years. I have figured out how to be happy and on my own. Now I’m faced with heading into something I know very little about and I’m scared. Can I really be as happy or happier? And if I’m not…. then what? I’m stuck.

My friend laughed and said she is seeing a mirror of this situation and her trip to Cambodia. She called and was worried about doing something unknown and I laughed because I knew it would be OK because I’ve been there. Now I’m stressing about my unknowns and she can laugh because she’s on the other side knowing that all the bad “what if’s” are just in my head. It’s the same kind of thing- as long as I’m not going to do anything really stupid, it will all be fine. Just like her trip.

Funny- reading my post from a few weeks ago, it's pretty much the same issue. The funny part is that it felt like a revelation to me last night figuring out what has been bothering me, however, looks like it's the same issues coming up in different ways. Recognizing where it is coming from helps a lot. I'd just like to know how to get rid of it altogether. Any ideas?

Visualizing Your Way (Leah)

Okay, the anonymous response to Marnie's visualizing post got me thinking. About a year ago I read The Secret and have been big on the visualizing thing ever since. In fact, about a year before that a friend sent me an article about an older woman who exercised every day because she had a a vision of running around a park playing with grand kids she didn't yet have. Both things got me thinking about my own visions of the future. Obviously, as a single woman the big vision I had was getting married. According to the article I needed to start working backwards from the end goal. I also needed multiple routes for getting to that end goal. I put in my planner the date I envisioned wearing white in the temple with a man across the altar. I worked back from there picking a date to be engaged and then a date to be dating exclusively and then a date to actually meet the guy. Soon after creating this vision I started dating a guy I'd broken up with in the past. I had hopes he'd fit my vision. When the date came that I was supposed to meet this future husband I wasn't especially interested in meeting anyone new but I went to the scheduled activity (I put it on an FHE night since I figured single men would be there). I walked into the room and saw a group of women I didn't know and a group of men I didn't know. I breathed in and headed straight for the women, happily introducing myself. I quickly justified that if I was going to meet every guy I didn't know I might as well meet the women - you know - to be in the "meeting people zone." It helped! I was able to face the men soon after. I made a friend and a couple acquaintances. About 8 months later one of the acquaintances asked me out. He is now the New Phil I write about. I have no idea where that's going - he's been going slowly these days - but I'm still hopeful. The vision wedding date is long gone, but I have no regrets. Creating the vision and actively working on aspects of it has empowered me. I have more confidence. I can more easily see myself going on dates and having those hard conversations.

As for the vision I had when I was 14 - the one that had me in a white dress and all - well I never really lost it. I never turned my back on it. But truth be told, the older I get, the harder it is for me to really fathom the idea that it will happen. When I start dating a guy it's natural for me to start seeing and making accommodations for the inevitable break up. It's what I'm good at. I still see the white dress, but the vision I really need to work on now is the relationship getting past the slower harder awkward parts without giving up or self destructing. And for the record, I still have a hard time being able to say that I can get a guy to want to even go out with me. They ask every now and then - but really - not very often. I don't know why New Phil asked when he did (well I might - I blogged about it early on this blog), but I don't know why he keeps asking me out. It's not surprising when he doesn't call. Hurtful a bit, but it's very natural for me to go this route. I wish I could see past it. I'm working on that.

So whatever step in the vision is hard for you... figure out a way to see beyond. Look through the bedrock mountain and press forward. I've found that just my talk - the kind in my head and the kind out loud - can make a huge difference. Even when it's hard to believe I make myself say things like, "I'm in a meaningful productive relationship. Men ask me out. They enjoy my company and we have deep connections." Stuff like that. Okay, I think that's my two cents for the night.

Guest Post from Anne Elliot (the heroine in Jane Austen's Persuasion)

Yay our first guest post! Thanks Anne. Keep it coming...

From Anne:
About five years ago, a super-chic, super-cool woman a couple years older than me moved into my Midwestern ward. She was so glamorous, introduced me to Sephora and In Style Magazine, and convinced me that every year, we needed to attend at least one Single Adult activity. I had no problem going with her, because she made everything an adventure. Even when the activities featured dozens of women and 3 men. Then she moved. But I continued her challenge, considering it to be an offering on the altar of "please-don't-let-me-die-alone."

Well, these Single Adult activities usually leave me frustrated, sometimes in tears, and it gets more difficult to gird up my loins to attend them solo. There's one coming up next weekend, and I'm still on the fence about making an appearance. I can't make it to the keynote (Julie Beck!) because we are rehearsing for the Primary program, and I am the pianist. But I could make it for the workshops and—gulp—the dance.

I've been feeling like I need to make my yearly offering (it is October, after all), but I'm not sure I have the emotional strength for a conference. So when a friend asked if I'd be interested in "just emailing" someone she knew, I said sure...and let his email address sit in my inbox for a couple of days. He had my email too, and why should I be the one to write first? Wasn't that a little desperate? But then I weighed my options: attend the conference, or send an email. I sent an email.

I don't know if it will go anywhere—long distance, email-ish things have not been kind to me—but it is this year's offering. I am willing to do something, to not just wait for Heavenly Father to FedEx a decent guy to my doorstep. I took action. Again. The next step is taking more than one action a year. Hard to do in the Midwest, but is it any harder than parting the Red Sea or sending seagulls to eat up crickets? Probably not.

Monday, October 13, 2008

answer to prayer (marcia)

Just thought I’d write a little bit in response to Bridget’s last “That can’t be him” post … which I totally related to. I’m just like Bridget’s best friend. The package that Clue came in is totally different than the type of guy I’ve always dated in the past. Among other things, Clue is a recent convert and his former life is so different than mine not to mention so different than the person he is today. It boggles my mind to hear him talk about his former life (which is a testament of the atonement and the conversion process).

If you’ll recall, when we were first dating, I didn’t feel a connection. Clue also “accused” me of being emotionally unavailable. Gradually things started to change. I was starting to really fall for him but he wasn’t the type I thought I’d end up with. I was both resisting and falling in love at the same time. One night I was praying about what to do about Clue. I don’t always receive strong or immediate answers to my prayers, but that night I did. The answer was so clear that it brought tears to my eyes: “He’s what you’ve been praying for.” I was completely surprised. And then I thought long and hard about Clue. His resume looks different than what I was looking for, but I realized all the essential elements plus more are there. I'm grateful for prayer and answers to prayer since I wasn't smart enough to see that myself. From that point I tried to focus on learning from rather than worrying about our differences (and I still have to remind myself of this). The rest, as they say, is history.

Hopefully my experience helps…personally, I think you’re on to something Bridget!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That can't be him (Bridget)

This last weekend one of my best friends came to California and I got to meet the guy that he believes he'll spend the rest of his life with. It inspired me to hear them talking about the way they met and how it just seemed to happen an. My best friend talked about how the actual package that his boyfriend came in was nothing that he had anticipated. It got me thinking again, as I have for the last few months about how important it is to be open to what package the love of our lives will come in. I know for me I have historically put requirements such as, he needs to have this sort of education level, needs to have this sort of height to weight measurements, he needs to be this nationality, no kids, never been married,or exwife is somehow out of the picture, he has to have a love for 80's synth pop (i'm not joking here) and you know how I feel about guacamole(see prior post). I've seen in myself and other women how we can be so specific about what we're willing to date, that we can limit ourselves drastically and perhaps miss the love of our lives. I've been trying very hard to be open to all possibilities..and remember it is a hard task to ultimately anticipate the minor details of the person that will be the love of our lives. I have lately tried to picture, or feel how I will be with this person in my life and how this person will make me feel. I will feel comfortable, wonderful and awe inspiring to him, while all the while being inspired to be better,and to want to grow with him. I just wonder how many times a man has walked by me, and I have turned my head because they didn't come in the package that I thought they would."That can't be him," I said to myself..

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Visualizing marriage (Marnie)

Well, we've had some great success on this blog! Congratulations to Kris and Marcia! You are true inspirations! I know I've learned a lot from your experiences and posts.

In 2003, my best friend and roommate got engaged and was going to move out. I remember distinctly one very cold morning I was walking from my car into work and pondering this huge change in her life. And I tried to put myself in her shoes and envision myself getting married: putting myself in a wedding dress, envisioning a reception...what it would look like...what HE would look like. And the harder I tried, the more I couldn't do it. I could NOT see myself being married! Since my biggest desire was to be married, it scared me to death!

When I was 16 years old, I decided I wanted to go to BYU's study abroad program in Israel. At the time it seemed SO far away and so impossible to accomplish, but it's what I wanted. And from what limited knowledge I had about Israel and the BYU center, I could envision myself being there...going to classes and seeing the country. A lot of what I pictured wasn't even close to what happened or how it really was, but I could see myself there. It was a hard road getting there (lack of money, political unrest, etc.) - but without that picture in my head, I honestly don't believe I would have gotten there and experienced the Holy Land.

So, for me not being able to even SEE myself in a wedding dress - something girls dream of since they are little - was a real wake up call!! It was then I realized I needed to change my way of thinking and envision me - as a bride, wife, and mother.

At about that time, a good friend started challenging me to "get outside of the box." Her ward was working on many things that would help them grow and change for the better. I accepted the challenge. Basically, I started doing things that scared me spit-less...blind dates/set ups, going to grad school, living by myself in my own place - there are too many to name them all here.

I also had to start putting myself in an image of marriage. Before when girlfriends would ask me about what I wanted when I did get married (dress, colors, ring etc.), I had no idea. I had put off the decisions of what it would all look like when that day came, because I just couldn't see it. I didn't understand that it was a mental block that kept me from doing so. I had to force myself to think about what I would want in a dress, a ring, colors at my wedding, where I would have my wedding and wedding reception. It actually was hard at first, but the more I applied myself to the task, the more came open to me on what I wanted. The point was not to plan it out so that 2.7 years later it would go as I had drawn out, but to "see it" all in my mind's eye and let my brain and heart accept the concept that yes, I could get married! It could happen, because I can see it!

It's an image I've had to work hard to keep in my head. I know for so many it's so easy to do, but I think fear and lack of faith - in my myself and God - really held me back for a lot of years. I'm just grateful that I at least see now what was blocking my path. Because once you see it, you can start conquering it!

And trust me, when that day arrives, I'm going to look gorgeous in my ivory, sparkly, buttons down the back, sweetheart neck wedding dress!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Announcement (Kris)

I've been holding off on this post because there were a few other things I wanted to blog about before getting to this. It seems, however, that I'm not getting a lot of things these days. So... here's the big announcement...

(not really my hand or ring - protecting my not-so-secret identity - but you get the idea)

I'm giving a lot credit to the blog for this relationship. There is no way I could have been so casual and open to internet dating had I not felt like I was just doing an assignment for the blog. Plus support from fellow bloggers and tips from Bridget helped as well. It took away a lot of inhibitions. Thanks to all of you!

Let me put it out there again, if any of you want to join as a regular blogger or guest contributor let us know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Game (Leah)

I have a few friends that I meet with on a regular basis to discuss all the good stuff related to the game of dating. We try to inspire each other and hold each other accountable in our efforts - kind of like this blog does. I love my "group therapy." Well a couple weeks ago I was talking to a friend and he told me about group therapy he participated in. It sounded interesting. He told me his group was going to be featured on KSL's talk show this week. I remembered to watch one segment. I liked it. I think you'll like it. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Inspire Me (Bridget)

Ok, so its been a long time since I blogged. Just to tell you where I'm at..i'm currently trying to figure out where I want to go for my master's/PHD. Do I want to be a Marriage/Family therapist, or do I want to go the whole route and be a Clinical Psychologist? Do I want to stay in California, or do I want to go back to Utah? I am in the middle of making many decisions. Somehow, the experiences that i've been having lately have taken much of my energy, and left nothing for blogging. I apologize.

I've had some interesting realizations lately.

1. I know the Lord send us people that help us to keep the hope alive. I met someone from an online dating site about a month ago. We talked for about a week before we met up...during the week we texted and talked on the phone a few times. It was very cool to get to know this guy. In the week of chatting, and moreso when we actually met (we had a nice time...)I just focused on having fun. I focused on being comfortable, even though I would be out of my comfort zone. In the end, we didn't have the chemistry to get to a secon dated..but I continued on with more hope that the person I'm looking for will appear at some stage of the game.

2. I know the Lord hears our prayers. And answers them when its the right time. A few weeks ago I prayed one week specifically to have a fun date, to kind of break up the monotony of life. I volunteer up at a children's hospital and many of the Saturdays i am up there, there is a really cool guy that volunteers as well. I had never looked at him as someone that I would particularly like to date. But a few days after I started praying specifically to have a fun date, he asked me if I wanted to go lunch with him after volunteering. I felt very strongly that this was an answer to my prayer. We had a great time and went to lunch another time as well. I don't necessarily think we're compatible...but I do know that my simple prayer was answered .

3. I can ultimately trust the way I feel about a situation. I can trust that things work out the way they are ultimately supposed to. I don't have to question why,or analyze why I don't want to date someone, I can learn to trust my gut feeling. Although it takes practice, to listen and hear what is going on inside of us is a great skill. Remember Dodger Guy, he was an online prospect from one of my first blogs. For some reason, the thought of actually meeting him in person made me anxious. Ultimately, I didn't meet up with him, I let him know that a long distance relationship (he lived 6 hours away,in Northern Cal) was not an option for me right now. I stressed and wondered, why can't I just go out with him and see where it goes? Why do I need to be so closed minded? I kind of stressed myself out about it. Recently I texted him to see how he was, because in the time that I talked to him, I got a sense that he was a really good guy and was genuinely wondering how he was doing. He said he had a found a wonderful woman that lived close to him, he felt he would marry her. I was happy for him. During that conversation I felt for sure that things had turned out the way they should have. I felt like my lack of inspiration to meet him, was just that, a lack of inspiration. It didn't have to say anything about my commitment issues, or social anxiety..or that I was "wasting" a chance to meet a potential husband, and I would be alone forever because of my close mindedness,or whatever else I obsessed about at that moment. Saying that, I know it is also important to make sure we are open to stepping out of our comfort zone and into the unknown when we feel inspired to. But its ok if we're not inspired...I have been since, and I will be again...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Painful Lesson (Leah)

Okay, so as I mentioned in my last post, I told Old-Phil no for good. It broke my heart. Really really really - it hurt bad. What hurt was how offended he was when I told him it wasn't a good time for me emotionally to date him again. I was more comfortable with the status of friends that we've been the last 6 months - you know, after he told me that he wasn't ready to date me exclusively, and that maybe we should take a break, and that he was dating someone else. Yes - that hurt a lot too - but I accepted it as his right to choose for himself. I came to terms with the hurt and realized that he wasn't hurting me personally - he was just choosing something else that brought him happiness. Since I loved him I wanted him to be happy so I got myself to an emotional state where I was happy for him living his life separate from me. I came to the understanding that I can love someone but not necessarily marry them - I have lots of friends that I love. I respected his decision and supported him the best I could. So... when I told him I wasn't emotionally ready to go back to dating him I thought he could respect that. I thought he could understand a person's right to choose and a person's right to be in a different place emotionally. I was wrong. So now what really hurts me isn't that he and I will never be together for forever, or that we'll never even be friends now, what hurts is that he's going away from our relationship in pain himself. But then I have to tell myself to stop being so self centered. He is again choosing to feel something - an emotion of his own choosing - who am I to tell him how he should feel? If he wants to hurt and be in pain I should honor his choice and give him his space and not take on any responsibility. I told him as kindly and gently as possible that I wasn't ready. What he does with that information is his right. He has his agency. Only Satan believes in taking away agency. Only Satan wants us to feel guilt and misery. Boy, this dating thing is hard every which way you turn. Oh, and by the way, did I mention - I don't want to ever again be involved with a man who pouts and blames and complains and doesn't know how to do any self reflection?