Relation-ships, passing in the night.

So this is pretty typical, as far as what I post.
Well, kinda.

So I've been single since March or so and it's Christmas Eve.

I've spent the last 9 months really just digging my heels in, eating right, getting fit again.. and my self-esteem is slowly improving, and a lot of it has to do with my job too. I see toxic situations every day, working with people in the mental health field so I have learned more about humans and relationships in the last 9 months than I ever have in life. I feel like this job has cleared the skies and made it able to see what I actually deserve.

I would like to explain something though.. when I was a kid, I was constantly told I was fat and ugly, so growing up, I was already destroyed. I already thought I was unlovable and unwanted. I'd been abandoned by my mother, my father.. was in an emotionally and physically abusive household, neglected, malnourished, and eventually pimped to grown men and sexually assaulted due to my uncle's need for money to feed his addiction. Then my boobs came in and this kid at school saw me lean over on the bus to pick up a book and saw them and made fun of they way they looked. So literally, I've hated everything about my body for as long as I can remember. I never dated while I was in West Virginia, because I had zero confidence. Then I moved to North Carolina and with the help of my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Frank, I was able to see my potential. I got a job, had an attractive boyfriend in the Marine Corp who we'll call K. and I had cool friends. I surfed, I went to skate parks, and really just started to finally develop based on who I wanted to be, and not out of fear.

So now, at 35, I've just started really learning to accept my body. It's honestly not even that bad, it's just that I've always thought that since I wasn't some tiny petite girl with an hourglass figure, that I wasn't pretty. When I was in the Navy, I felt pretty confident in my body though, because I was in peak physical condition, but even then I was insecure about the same things I've been insecure about since. Mainly boobs and tummy. But I also found out about some medical reasons why I've got these problems, so it helps me cope, but it doesn't make it easier to look in a mirror.

But yeah.. when I moved back to West Virginia, I saw this beautiful guy, who we'll call S. and I immediately was attracted to him after spending like, an hour talking about philosophy, psychology, religion, spirituality, paranormal, etc. Plus, he's gorgeous body-wise too. But because of circumstance, I thought he wasn't into me, and began trying to date another guy, who we'll call W. Turns out (I know this now, bc he told me) W was in a terrible place mentally and wasnt ready for a relationship. But at the time, I just took it as another rejection. So with every rejection, my self-esteem dwindled, until I ended up dating someone who was completely toxic for me. He ruined me. we'll call him D1. He made me feel ugly and unwanted. He made me feel inadequate in pretty much every way possible. I couldn't clean as fast as he could dirty. I couldn't keep him interested sexually. I couldn't find a full time job until his mom suggested I work at the same place with her. She was toxic too. It was just awful all round. Long story short, that's over. Then I dated M for two years. He wasn't awful but he was an alcoholic who let his narcissistic mother run him like a deer being chased to death by dogs. That was the final straw for me. That was my last relationship and I finally learned he difference between making compromises within the relationship and compromising your wants and needs for someone else's comfort and laziness.

I'll never do that again. I can't.
So I've been trying to learn how to love myself better. Because I realize now that, maybe I'm the only one who's truly capable. I used to think I was a 4 on a scale of 1-10. I think now, I'm somewhere between a 6-8, depending on my effort and health that day. Was recently told by a few folks that I'm a helluva lot prettier than I think and that they couldn't understand why I was dating the people I was dating. I explained my self-esteem and they were dumbfounded.

ANYWAY tho..

This is the longest I've ever been single in my entire adult life. It's not for the lack of offers though. Old Jess would've accepted anything that came her way and would've been codependent and stupid already. Old Jess was also naive and looking for love wherever it presented itself, even if it was only 10% of what she (and I, still) wanted. I've finally grown out of that though, (FINALLY) and I've just been taking care of business, doing the things I love, and people keep coming and going.. I keep losing interest in pretty much everyone.

There's one guy, has some serious zaddy vibes. We'll call him C. He's gorgeous, but he gives off that "be ready whenever I ask you to be" sexual vibe and I'm not really about that life. He's probably just a playboy anyway, to be fair.. and he's probably used to getting whatever he wants. Which, well.. I don't mind pleasing someone, it's definitely something I enjoy doing, but I'm done trying to win someone with sex. There's more to me than my body and I wanna make sure I don't sell myself short like I've been doing my whole life. So we've still not done anything.

There's another guy, J, who is literally the same as C, except less nerdy and a little more of a good ol' boy that works with his hands. They both seem like fun guys, but in the end, they both seem like trouble in the long run. Not trouble in a bad way, but trouble as in, they might be gorgeous, but they're too pretty to be tied down.. so any advances made just feel disingenuine. Very minimum possible investment types. Again, someone who I would like to get to know, but don't think I could trust or date longterm. So we've not done anything.

Then there's well.. we'll call him J2, and he's cute, but kinda boring and oddly full of himself. I'm already super indifferent to him. We hung out a few times, had a single unimpressive dalliance, and well.. it's been left at that.

Got a crush on a boy across the country too, J3. But I'm pretty sure I came on too strong to him and now he's not interested in any way at all. Not that it matters anyway, with that kind of distance, there's no point in pursuing it.

Then there's J4, who's actively tried to get me to be his girl for over a decade, but I can't move to Oklahoma. I am terrified of tornadoes. He refuses to leave OK, and I'm like, well you don't want it that bad then...

And there's L. Super cute guy who I've been friends with for years, he's into gaming and he can hold his own in a conversation, which is rare. But I doubt that'll ever go anywhere either.

Then there's S. I've had a crush on this motherfwubber for a very long time. We've flirted with each other a few times over the years, but it's kinda like that "Christmas Wrapping" song by The Waitresses.. never seems to line up for the opportunity to be had. He's the type of guy I would like to settle down with, but I just don't think it'll ever happen. We're both chickenshits.

Then there's about another dozen or so guys who I'm not really attracted to at all, who've expressed interest. I try to drop hints and be nice about it, but some folks are just really entitled and can't pick up on tiny hints. So I've had to be aggressively rude to some, and even block some too.

Then there's a couple, who'll I'll just refer to as ABC. I'm attracted to the female of the couple but not the male. I thought we could've ended up as friends with bennies, but the male kept inserting himself into the conversations and kept trying to be dominant toward me, which honestly, just comes across as insecure and I'm not trying to deal with that insecure third wheel mess. Shame too, because she's actually pretty cute and sweet.

I've been in a poly relationship before btw.. a girl I used to be in love with, (I'll call her P.) who was in the Navy with me, we started off as best friends. We did everything together and we were pretty inseparable. She and I started seeing a guy named Gary, who was an underwear model. Then when he moved away, we started seeing a guy named Mike, who was a Navy pilot. We worked so well together, every time... and I think a big part of that is because she and I truly loved one another and there was zero jealousy at play.

Now, however, I've been burned a few times, such as life, and I'm a little more wary of poly/open relationships.. because most, let's be honest, are just looking for someone to be a third wheel, then folks get jealous and people end up hating each other. That's not something I want. At all.

But. I've recently started talking to someone who is in a poly/open relationship and I really actually like him quite a bit, which is pretty unexpected, to be fair. We'll call him.. PGB. We've known each other in passing for years, and have talked about photography, art, etc.. but never really took time to know each other. It was really just happenstance that we even stumbled into talking this way.

So here's the thing that worries me. He lives with his girlfriend and they've had a life together for over a decade and they've recently opened their relationship up. He's a pretty busy guy, travels quite a bit, and is planning on moving out of state within the next year, I believe. But, I truly feel attracted to him, his personality is actually exactly the kind of vibe I want in my life..

So, how is this to work? What if I end up falling for this guy and then he moves out of state with his girlfriend and I'm just here, starting over again. I haven't asked what his plans were and kind of don't want to, because it's still a bit early. I think he might be worth the risk of heartbreak though. He's genuinely someone I wouldn't consider a waste of time, even if it were to come to an eventual end.

I just.. I have a lot of options and it's not a FOMO situation, but a "don't waste my time" situation..
and what if I invest time in an open relationship and it's all for nothing..?

I just wish there were clean and concise answers to this situation. But there's not.



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