About nomadic life after 50
How to stop dating unavailable men?
For many years after my divorce I chased unavailable men, from married to single and not showing emotions. Men that will withdraw from me the moment intimacy sets in, or men that have baggage they cannot overcome. And I even dare say now, with the lessons learned, that even my marriage was with an emotional unavailable man.
And in all those years I wasn’t so emotional available myself
I’ve had 3 therapists in my life who helped me cope with childhood trauma. It wasn’t the kind of trauma that would hit the newspapers on child abuse, but for sure, if I were to be a child in these days, my case would have rang a bell at child services.
My mum was awkward, to say the least. She would run away often leaving me in charge of 2 young toddlers that were frightened as hell when they witnessed their mum slam the door shouting: I can’t bare the sight of you kids I’m off.
My dad, I remember, liked his morning ‘tea’, a glass of cognac before facing the day. God knows how much he needed to get through his day.
There was a lot of shouting, name calling and beating in my childhood. And being the eldest of three by nine years with my younger brother, I played ‘mum’ a lot and took a lot of the beatings.
I did not have an extreem bad childhood, I do have good memories. But it is in those days a pattern was created that has been limiting me my whole adult life. Love in my childhood was conditional. If I did this or that well, my mum could be the sweetest person on earth. But hell would break lose when I did not do it according her wishes.
Well, I guess even you can see the pattern growing here right? Weird it took me so many years, so many break ups, shattered hearts and articles to read and even therapists to learn to see that pattern myself.
I learned how to put myself first in relationships without becoming selfish
It was my last therapist that opened the door to healing from that pattern. He taught me that in relationships I could be in charge of me. I did not have to hand myself over to the moods and availability of the other partner. Unfortunately for myself I was with him at a point I was not ready to grasp the fullest of what he was teaching me.
It is only here in this strange culture and foreign country I put the dots on the i in my lessons about unconditional love. Because I have no other choice than to contemplate on loving myself, and enjoying my own company to the fullest. I do that by remembering the years just after I divorced the father of my 2 children.
I loved the woman I was back than, her self confidence her sense of freedom and her goals. I would love to be that same person again. Including the smooth skin, full hair and younger age. Yet at the age of 57 I’m learning to love me all over again. Fighting the: who would ever like me…summing up all the negatives about myself…..kind of mood that is pure self sabotage.
Dating outside your own cultural habits is confusing. And I made mistake after mistake in this country. I searched the internet on why I keep chasing emotional unavailable men. For I recently got ghosted twice by the same guy. How stupid a woman can be right??
Well I am that woman. But it was an awakening. For his second time around I was reluctant on us getting back together, I was halfway learning my lessons on boundaries and loving myself and putting myself first over a partner.
Being ghosted by the same guy twice was my true eye opener
So when he showed up, pressing the reset button and trying to get back in my life, I was kind of reluctant, telling him that maybe we should get to know each other better before labeling anything.
In the Philippines relationship move with the speed of light. And I decided not to follow that cultural habit but to honor my own need for space and growing intimacy first.
Lucky I did that, for after a few visits to my house and a few days of texting all day he vanished again. Like he did the first time. My drama queen had a blast! Just my luck: ghosted by the same guy twice. I really know how to pick my men!!
Although I kept one foot in reality this second time and refused to go head over heals, the rejection still hurt a lot. And I know it isn’t about me, and all about him, but still……Having a low self esteem can pull you down big time when you get rejected like this. And with it came the rising urge to proof to him I was lovable. And my sms bundle was used to the max.
But than I realized I was doing it again, I was chasing him
I realized that I need to love myself, totally, completely and in all honesty. Both my bad sides and my good sides. Both my wrinkles and my age. Too often I look in the mirror asking myself why a guy would want me. And I need to stop doing that.
For I am worth loving, and I am a wonderful woman. And I can be vulnerable in relationships and I have a lot to give and to add to a persons life.
During him vanishing the second time I found it time to write down a list of things that are essential for me in a relationship. I can sum them up, but sometimes for me it helps to see it in writing. So I made it.
- I need my date to make me feel like I am his princess He needs to have his priorities straight and I should definitely be in his top 3, preferably his number one. I need romance and intimacy I need to be touched, also in public. I want honesty and openness and I need to be able to say: Not today I need to have some me-time without him getting hurt He needs to have his own life, and I want to know all about it. I do not have to participate in every part but I like him to share about every part. He needs to have a job and be self supporting His kids, if he has any need to be grown up, for I do not feel like raising more kids He should not drink beyond infinity, but he should know his limits and he should never, ever raise his hands on me.
I want him to take care of me, so I can take care of him, I want him to be sweet to me, so I can be sweet to him. I want him to give me his heart, so I can trust him with mine.
And most of all: I want him to be consistent and follow up on his words. For I know I will do the same and I want equal partnership in a relationship.
I want my man to be consistent and follow up on his words
I would love to have those ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ text messages again. For I miss being in someones heart. I am a happy single and I can live very well on my own, but we all need that special somebody in our lives. No matter how hard we deny that.
I hope with setting these ground rules I can enter that final stage of self love and be in control of my own love life. And not always make it about ‘him’. For that is what I have been doing wrong. Programmed by a demanding mother that only loved me when I made my life about her and doing things her way. I saw a challenge in every unavailable man: if I do this than…If I do that maybe…..and I chased them in my eagerness to win their love.
I hope I will meet a man that will romance my out of my flip flops, and I hope that the man that wins me over, will teach and show me the beauty of unconditional love.