"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Deeper Dating Experience

Well as usual I have a lot of my mind. I went to another singles event this Sunday at the 92ndStreetY. It's a famous Y and has a lot of programs and gets a lot of famous entertainers performing and lecturing there. That wasn't the case with this event however. This one is called Deeper Dating. I thought it would be more lecture and tips and less meet and greet but that wasn't my experience.

I was a bit nervous realizing just how much forced interaction I was about to partake in. And I should note that there were about 8 men and 16-17 women. No surprises there! And before I go into all my other thoughts...I was offered one phone number, gave out my number to one guy (not the same person) and got an immediate call from that person before I could even arrive home for the evening.


If there is ONE THING I know well about me is that I don't really like to be unprepared or surprised in most situations. Now that doesn't mean you can't throw me a surprise birthday party or anything like that. That's a fun surprise!

And that thought brings me to another issue of differences between men and woman. I am pretty darn positive that if I said the very same thoughts about not be comfortable being unprepared and surprised [in context with this dating stuff...] to a guy I was either friends with or dating, he would only hear that I don't like surprises rather than seeing that the issue I am bringing forth is not the surprise element but when I am surprised that I don't like at all.

And I think that many women reading this blog understand this all too well and are probably nodding their heads and thinking about many examples that relate to their own spouses and partners making this mistake as well.

This thought brings me back to the seminar I went to earlier this week, when the presenter pointed out that men aren't multi-taskers like women. They hear one thing and go with it. Women on the other hand, are seeing all the possibilites and thinking about how we will do this or that.

Now before Darrin and Robert comment protesting what I JUST SAID, here's something from a male's blog I read today making my point for me:

Men in general cannot
multitask. That is why when you are on a date, your eyes glaze over while you stare at woman’s cleavage and all you hear is bla,bla,bla (to be fair you’re probably not missing much, but that’s not the point here).
So how do geeks differ? It is not that geeks do not appreciate breasts (they are men after all) but what’s almost universally common in geeks is the presence of old-fashioned chivalry and plain old good manners. You’d be surprised at how far that can get you with a girl (as long as you don’t roll over and play dead).
Given the choice between breasts and listening to the bla bla of their new lady friend, odds are that the geek will be discreet in his stares and learn to multitask. Hey, you can’t avoid great cleavage…

But I digress...

At Deeper Dating which was run by a therapist who says she practices Imago Therapy , which I just myself looked up, she mentioned a few key things to make dating and finding a lifelong mate work better for us.

We are to set personal goals of where we need to grow. -CHECK
Some examples of this would be to know if we have trouble looking people in the eye or become a better listener or that we need to be more bold and walk up to at least one person at a new event and start a conversation with them.

We are to set ONLY 3 Deal Breakers and these cannot change based on who we meet. These three deal breakers automatically make the person who has them stamped rejected for us. I have to think long and hard about these. I know one of mine is that my life partner MUST be Jewish. I am not looking for a religious Jewish man. I am looking for a Jewish man who indentifies culturally with his faith and wants to raise his children Jewish. If you want to know more about this topic in particular - please let me know on the comments. I was asked about this today by a good friend and I am happy to put my thoughts about this subject online if asked. The other two I must give thought to.

I do know that he must have certain personality traits. But those do not go into the deal breaker category she mentions. Those are things that are used to automatically elimate someone.

She says past those 3 deal breakers the rest become possibilities.

She did say that one of the things that makes singles in their 30's and 40's very special and lucky is that because we stayed single we had the opportunity to work on ourselves and develop ourselves more than those who paired up younger. Once you pair up this tends to slow down and other issues are then worked on.

In scanning the information on Imago therapy one glaring issue popped out at me:
"We marry someone who is an Imago match, that is, someone who matches up with the composite image of our primary caretakers. This is important because we marry for the purpose of healing and finishing the unfinished business of childhood. Since our parents are the ones who wounded us, it is only they who can heal us. Not them literally, but a primary love partner who matches their traits."

I do agree that this happens for most people. However, with me and a handful of friends I know, we have done GREAT work on our own, through our past dating and relationship experiences and have a great understanding of who we are, our childhood wounds and have healed them on our own. I know I have. Mostly! And I am not looking for this kind of relationship. I AM looking for something and someone very different to marry. And I am looking to get married!

I am looking for a healthy partnership where both parties love and respect one another, value their differences, samenesses, and come together for our healthy traits not the ones that need to be healed, as we are basically healed on our own and can be a comfort to each other when needed but not there for each other to work out old issues, as they are done. I am looking for the man that I can enjoy the rest of my life with.

Now here's something interesting that Imago Therapy believes in:
"We move into the Power Struggle as soon as we make a commitment to this person. The Power Struggle is necessary, for imbedded in a couple's frustrations lie the information for healing and growth."
I have always said, on this blog and to friends and even men I have dated that this is a normal part of relationships. However, I have noticed that almost each and every time this stage begins, sometimes earlier than later, that this is when the men I am with completely BAIL! At the first sign of a difference of thought or misunderstanding, when any kind of work to make things be stronger between us must happen for us to continue, he is done! If it ain't completely 100% fun he is not interested. I believe this is called the Peter Pan Syndrome and more recently the Man-Boy situation.

I am willing to put in as much as I say I want to get out of a relationship. I am looking for the male who can say and do the same, who wants to spend his life with me.

The facilitator told us to be bold and not to be afraid to say what it is we want. She told us that she told everyone who asked her the year before she met her husband, who happens to be 12 years younger than she is, that she wanted to be married.


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