Why are we doing this, exactly?

I’ve been having some thoughts about my whole life, my mind, my desire to have a happy relationship.

I’m very goal oriented. It’s hard for me to just “go with the flow” and “enjoy the journey,” etc. I tend to focus on the objective. My immediate question for any activity is, “Why are we doing this?”

So I’ve been doing the spiritual stuff, new age stuff, personal growth stuff, etc., as a means to an end. I really don’t give a rat’s ass about personal growth. (Well, I do hope and expect that the natural process of living my life will hopefully mature me and make me into a better person. I’m just not inclined to do it on purpose.) Deep down inside, I really don’t care if I never learn another thing again for the rest of my life, as long as I get what I really want.

It feels so liberating to admit that.

I’ve been reading “thoughts for the day,” doing affirmations, praying, making vision boards, etc. for over a year now. I see now that I’ve been doing it as if I was putting money in a vending machine, and getting frustrated when the thing I want doesn’t appear.

Maybe it’s all been doing me some good in spite of myself. But I still don’t have the kind of life I want.

Oh, and gratitude lists. I’ve been listing things I’m grateful for every day. I know I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a good job. I live in a place I like. My family and I are on good terms, and I have friends. My health is decent, I look pretty good for my age, and there are some men interested in me.

The only problem here is ME. I want a stable, long term relationship with a man that I feel chemistry with. If only I could let go of that idea, everything would be perfect. (For me, personally. My family has a health crisis going on, and my country [U.S.] is a mess right now. But right now I’m talking about my own personal life.)

I think the gratitude exercises have helped me a lot. I can really, honestly see that on the whole, my life is pretty good.

Around the end of last month (July), I got in one of those moods where I just want to say, “Fuck it,” and quit everything. So, I allowed myself a six-week vacation from both dating and personal growth stuff.

I can’t take six weeks off from my job, but I allowed myself just six weeks to avoid doing anything I don’t want to do that isn’t mandatory. If, on a non-work day, all I want to do is sit on the beach and read thrillers, then that’s what I’ll do.

So I cut back the personal growth stuff to one or two readings a day, plus the gratitude list. (Before this, I had been spending 30 minutes to an hour most days doing various self-help things.) I was starting to feel like Ash in the Evil Dead movie: “All right, I said your damn words!” So I quit saying the damn words.

I also got sick and tired of dating. Since none of the activities I like are things that attract men to a group of some kind, I have been online dating. I’m not going to suffer through a sports bar when I’d rather go to a book group. So, I don’t waste time on sports bars; but if it weren’t for online dating, I’d never meet any damn men.

But after a year, and 13 guys, online dating was starting to feel like I was working a second job. A lot of work with not much in the way of results. One man crazy about me, one man who likes me, one potential scam artist, one guy who sounded like an entitled MRA type and threw a temper tantrum when I declined to see him again. And maybe 9 or 10 other men with whom there was nothing wrong, exactly….except that I didn’t feel the right way about them.

A great, dear friend of mine from ILIASM keeps insisting that I not settle. And at this point, settling may not even be possible for me. When I was younger, I could do it. I did do it – with bad results. It’s a part of my past I’m not proud of. Nobody should be “settled for.” That’s hurtful and insulting, and I’m sorry I did it. I don’t think I could do it anymore, even if I wanted to. I’m just not as good as I used to be at hiding my real feelings and my real self.
If I want a man in my life, I guess I’ll have to resume dating. I was originally planning to do this in September. August, IMHO, is a crap month of the year anyway. Where I live, it’s so hot I feel like I’m being cooked. The novelty of summer wears off for me around the end of July, and I get cranky and irritable when it’s hot. The good thing (singular) about August is that several of my friends have August birthdays, so there are a few excuses for fun. 

Anyway, since I’m usually in a bad mood in August, it seemed like a good time to take a vacation from my second job of dating. I find that I’m not looking forward to September.