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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Healing, Next Steps and The Difference Between Male and Female Rebounds

Healing one's heart is a process in trial and error; it's trying new things, stepping outside of one's own comfort zone and finding what works and what does not.  One acts out in pain, anger and rejection and finds that it isn't healing but, rather, destructive.  One then decides to step back for some space and perspective only to find that distance begets longing and nostalgia, and then reinforced loneliness.  One then moves on looking for distraction, sympathy, optimism and comfort with new faces only to find that there is no distraction from heartache, sympathy from strangers, optimism in the midst of despair or comfort in the arms of the unfamiliar.  

These have all been my next steps, my trial and error.  In the end, I keep coming back to home base: acknowledging that the healing process cannot be manipulated or rushed.  That heartache still exists, that loneliness cannot be filled with distraction and that longing will make it's long overdue stage-left exit when it is damn well good and ready.

I met a lovely woman recently.  She is everything I'm looking for: mature, intelligent, feet on solid ground, fun to be with, enthusiastic about life and really easy to talk to.  A year ago, I would have been beside myself to have met her.  And despite all that I am feeling and processing through now, I really like her.  But I know that my heart is still so tragically chained to another.

Here's the difference I've found in my last two dates: one male and one female... The Irishman, while sweet and generous with me given my current state of mind, kept persisting.  After I unceremoniously blew him off, he checked in again wanting to get together for some "no strings attached fun".  And when I refused him by telling him that it just wasn't a good idea, he said he understood.  And several days later, he checked in again!  "How are things going now?"  Look, I get it.  You want a hook up.  I'm flattered but you should know that when a girl says no, you should just walk away.  Trust me when I say that neither of us would enjoy this as much as you think.

My new lady friend, on the other hand, takes a much more mature and thoughtful approach.  After our first date, which was simply lovely by the way, she sent me a sweet text message:
I just got home... you home safe n sound?  I had a great time, thank you for dinner and the laughing (YOU crack me up!)  I sense you have a little more healing to do before putting your heart out there again.  I'd love to hang out again sometime.  No pressure.  Just fun...
Beautifully played.  Beautiful indeed.  She acknowledged that I need time.  She respected the space that I'm in .  And yet, she still threw her hat in the ring... on my terms, with ZERO pressure.

So I thanked her for a really lovely date and agreed that I do, in fact, need time to heal.  This lady has real potential if I can get to the space where I can be ready to give my heart away again.  So I asked her if we could go one... slow... baby... step... at a time.  I would like to see her again, continue to get to know one another and to see if there is real potential if and when I'm ready.  And she graciously agreed: one slow baby step at a time.

I would love to get to a place where I can offer more of myself than just a dinner and some amusing stories to another person.  I even think that she could be that person.  But I also know that that isn't even a possibility until I recover my poor shattered heart from the Lost and Found section of this fucked up amusement park located somewhere between "Heartbroken" and "Have you seen my long lost fiance?"

Bloody hell.  I really miss my old life.

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