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Starving For Love

Picture this, "You're a hungry dog and smell a donut. You go out looking for the donut and come across these crumbs. Starving and excited, you grab the crumbs and scurry away to eat. After some time your stomach starts to growl again so you scurry back out, find more crumbs, grab them, run away, and eat them. You repeat this process over and over until eventually, you feel full. Deciding to go out for some more food, just to be safe, you go back out for more and see that you were never actually eating the donut, it was a brownie all along. While you thought you were satisfying your hunger, you were slowly poisoning yourself all along."

I proposed this scenario while talking to my therapist last month. Completely in tears and unable to explain any other way of how I was feeling except through that analogy. You see, I want love so much that I try to start dating with all these intentions of what kind of love I want and I meet someone who gives me a tiny bit of love. They do little things that make me happy and I end up falling for them because they're giving me these small things but when I take a step back (usually after I've been hurt) I realize that they were never the right person for me, they were missing the core of that I was looking for, and that sometimes they were toxic all along.

As I jump back into the dating world I've started to realize that I don't know what I'm looking for. At least not specifically. I still want the classics - love, monogamy, cuddles, orgasms. But what exactly do I want to get "full" from? You see right now, I get so excited to be getting any love I forget to look at the whole person, I forget to pause and look before running at love. I smell food and I get excited and run forward to grab it because I'm so hungry I don't stop to make sure it's what I need first.

When I decided that I was ready to start dating again I did ask myself what I was looking for and my list was pretty much just everything my ex wasn't, it was more about what I wasn't looking for vs what I was looking for. I didn't want someone who made me plan dates, I didn’t want someone who wasn’t nice to my family, I didn't want someone who didn't make me feel beautiful, etc. All of these things made it so that I'm looking at what the people I'm dating don’t, instead I focus on what they are doing. As I realized that I wouldn't find what I was looking for that way, I realized that I needed to figure out what exactly I am looking for and also realized that I don't actually know what that is.

I've started reading the book The Sex You Want by Rena Martine because, as I've talked about before, I'm Scared To Have Sex Again, and what I'm enjoying about the book so far is that it goes further than just "what kind of sex do you want?" and asks questions like "what does intimacy look like to you?" The book is helping me realize how important it is for me to understand who I am as a person so that I can find a happy relationship moving forward, both alone and with someone else. As someone whose theme for the year is reclamation, I love the idea of connecting with myself again and understanding my wants and desires outside the confines of my previous toxic relationship.

But as I'm realizing, it's not an easy thing to do. The book talks a lot about baby steps, and that's something my therapist has been talking to me a lot about as well. I've said it before but I'm someone who thinks in extremes, black and white, all in or nothing. Baby steps are a weird concept to me, I just want to start running, or at least walking. But a "step" isn't even the first step babies take, first, it's holding themselves up, then it's crawling, then it's standing, and then it's taking a step. And the idea for someone who wants to run right now but is stuck at the holding themselves up stage makes me want to just sit back down and be happy with the fact that I can even hold myself up to begin with. Pretty much, I already want to quit because getting to the place of knowing myself again, the way that I know I can, seems so far away that it's daunting.

I'm exactly one chapter into this book and there's this exercise that's made me want to throw the whole book away, crawl under my bed, and decide that maybe I don't need to find love. Before I tell you the exercise I do want to say how funny and silly I find this whole thing to be. I bought this book, I went to a store after work very specifically for this book, and spent my money because I knew that it was a book that would challenge me - that would have exercises and homework assignments and yet here I am at the helm of what I was asking for and instead of doing the exercise, I'm here writing this blog post. (But I guess blessing in disguise as I've been pushing off writing this post as well.)

So the first exercise, it's asking me to create a list of 27 things that I want to do or feel in my intimate life that I haven't up until now. As I said earlier, they defined intimacy in a way I enjoyed, "Intimacy is being truly seen (and, by definition, allowing yourself to be seen) by another person whether that be emotionally or sexually, platonically or romantically." It goes on to say that intimacy can mean "allowing yourself to be seen in the world around you." Wearing a bikini, setting boundaries, telling someone you like them. Aaaaand as I'm writing this I realize that I ran away from writing this list because of my fear of being vulnerable. I worry that by writing down the things I want to do or feel I'll start to go out and seek those things out and a partner will feel that I'm too much, or maybe I will realize I'm too much and will never be able to tackle this list. And the funny thing is, in the back of my mind I know I have a list. I have a list of more than 27 things, but putting something to paper is scary, it's no longer just an idea in my mind, it's concrete and physical.

Now my dear readers, you know that I don't believe in TMI but I must make a confession - I have written my list and I will not be sharing it with you all. Before you get mad! I know that I came here, to this blog, to make myself vulnerable in the hope of making other people feel less alone. But, this is something I have to keep to myself, at least for a little while longer. You see I only have one rule, as I listed in my blog's Start Here section, and that's that I won't speak about my current relationships. Wanting to keep that as the one thing I have for myself, I'm starting to realize that I need to start taking my current relationship more seriously, the relationship I have with myself. I'm tired of being the dog running out hungry for food, slowly poisoning herself. I'm ready to know myself better, and hopefully know what I'm looking for in a partner as a result. What I will say is that writing the list was both an incredibly sad experience and one that made me feel hopeful. Writing 27 things (I actually wrote 28) made me realize that there are so many ways I've been limiting myself in terms of intimacy and that almost brought me to tears. But it also made me realize that there's so much to look forward to, things I missed from being with my ex but that I could see now weren't authentically intimate and things I've never done before that I'll be able to experience with a new partner. I looked at my list and realized I am someone who craves love and intimacy and the only thing holding me back from finding that is my fears and insecurities. I feel confident that as I move through the year, and my life, connecting with myself, I will find a love that truly feeds me. 

Until Next Time!


A Whelmed Christy


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