Saturday, April 21, 2012

Goin' Courtin': Relationship Girl Vs. Dating Girl

You should not date until you are at least 16 years old. When you begin dating, go with one or more additional couples. Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. Developing serious relationships too early in life can limit the number of other people you meet and can perhaps lead to immorality.  --For the Strength of Youth

I think I did this backwards.

It wasn't long after I turned 16 that I had my first boyfriend.  If I cared to look, I could come up with an exact number of days, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't more than a month.  And that's how it was. I pretty much went from relationship to relationship.  I can count the number of guys I dated just once from my high school days on one hand, and it wouldn't take all five fingers.  I had a few months in between each relationship, but it was purely a recovery period, and I didn't date much in the interval.  This led to me having a total of five boyfriends before I got married (the fifth being my husband).

Back then, that also meant I had only kissed 5 boys, because kissing was something that didn't happen unless we were exclusive or on the road to being so.

To quote my favorite TV show, "I have boyfriends, not escorts." (Name that show!)

My, how times have changed.

Okay, maybe it didn't start out any differently post-divorce.  I was still in my old patterns.  An admittedly stupid attitude of, "If I'm not exclusive with a boy, I can't have fun with him."  And I had one boyfriend under that premise.

Enter "online dating."

I tried doing dating like I was used to doing it, and it was just depressing. It's my own fault, I know.  I would get excited that a guy liked me, and my imagination would get all tangled up in the possibilities of the future, only to find out he "wasn't that into" me, ha ha.   I realized this probably wasn't an attractive quality to quality men, either.

So I decided I could flirt with a lot of guys.  I posted some new pics, flirted a little, and answered most flirts that came to me (which started coming in at what was to me a startling pace).  It was fun for a while, having several guys telling me I'm cute/pretty/beautiful and great/amazing/wonderful.  And I figured that they would all just naturally fall away if they weren't right. A Utopian ideal, perhaps.  I'm not unused to being the one to end a relationship, or end the possibility.

The problem came when more than one progressed to levels that in my former life would have meant exclusivity.  At one point, that number was as high as five.

I started to be wracked with confusion. What was wrong with this picture? Was I acting inappropriately?  Maybe my definitions were off, and I was actually okay doing what I was doing?  I didn't know. I still don't know.  I've never done this before.  How far can you go, how close can you get with a guy before it's wrong to be that way with more than one at a time?  Were my limits before reasonable, or just set up by circumstance? I can honestly say I didn't have more than one pursuing me at a time in my younger years. I only learned much later that it was because most of them were following the counsel cited above prior to missions or life in general, which we have already established I did not do. LOL.

If this is standard events for a Dating Girl, I'm not sure I'm cut out for it.  When I do it, I just end up feeling guilty, which leads me to detach myself from feeling anything, which obviously prevents me from attaching to anybody, which defeats the whole purpose of dating in the first place.

So, Dating Girls: What are the limits? When do I start to look like a whore, or some equally unflattering adjective applied to women?  What's okay, and what's not?  Help a sister out here.

P.S. If you men out there have any advice to offer, please feel free.

P.P.S.  If you are dating me, and this idea offends you, I'm sorry.  This wasn't intentional. And I think it should count for something that I'm trying to figure it out. Right?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Needles don't scare me!

A few weeks ago, I took the kids to get some blood drawn for lab work for our new doctor.  All four were going to set in the big chair. I think the hardest thing was that they had to be fasting. They get so cranky when they don't eat!
This was not how the kids were!

We didn't have long to wait for our turn.  I'm sure we must have been quite the sight, mom and four kids skipping, running, and walking down the hallway.

Kael volunteered to be first.  He hopped up in that chair with a big smile on his face.  The staff were amazed! He answered all their questions with aplomb and enthusiasm. They were shocked! When they poked him with the needle, all he said was, "Cool!"  They gushed!  Then they gave him stickers.

Next was Lorelai, at my insistence because she was really suffering from lack of food. (I had brought snacks for them to have after.)  One of the staff held her in her lap.  When they poked her with the needle, there were no tears, no hysterics. I believe the best way to describe the look on her face is something like, "Are you done yet? I'm hungry."  They began to be astonished!

Next came Tristan.  He'd done stuff like this before, so he jumped in the chair with much energy, and stuck his arm out like a pro.  The staff just couldn't get over it.  Again, no tears.  He didn't even need to look away.  He got his stickers, and he was happy.

At last it was Elizabeth's turn.  She was the only one who managed to get a little worked up.  She insisted that I hold her on my lap, so one of the staff took Lorelai again.  When they poked her, she gasped, and then started to giggle, I think because she realized it wasn't that bad after all. They gave her stickers, and she was happy.

This whole time, all four staff members talked to each other and to me, remarking how amazing it was that they weren't freaking out, how they had never seen kids like that, and how wonderful my kids are. (No surprise on that one, just a new facet of their wonderful-ness.)

Today, we went back, this time just Tristan, Lorelai and me, and only Tristan and I were getting blood drawn.  The lady in charge called us back. She seemed surprised at Tristan's happy attitude.

"Has he done this before?" Yes.

"Does he know what's happening?" Yes.

We had one of the staff from the last time, a young man. While Tristan was in the chair (which he once again climbed into most happily), he said, "Remember a few weeks ago, when I told you about that big group of kids that came in, and none of them was scared?"

"Those were my kids," I said with a smile.  I loved that they had been talking about my kids after we were gone! So much fun!

They kept asking me how I'd gotten them to be that way.  I honestly don't know. I'm pretty sure Lorelai was born that way.  Also, I never freaked out about it.  However, I am relatively certain it's either part of who they are, or a product of the environment they live in. I do try to keep things happy and peaceful, and welcome the Spirit in.

All I know is, needles don't scare us!  And if that makes my kids remarkable, then that's super.

Just more of what I already knew.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Goin' Courtin' Series

Yes, we're "Goin' Courtin'" now.

This series will mainly be a self-therapy method.  I've had quite the time trying to figure out dating this time around.

Questions I have in mind already are:

Why can't we be "just friends"? Is it really impossible?
Should I be Relationship Girl, Dating Girl, or is there a balance to strike?
How can you like more than one guy at a time?
How is dating now different from 10-15 years ago?

And hopefully at the end of this, I'll have some kind of answer to:

How do you know it can last forever?

Do you have any questions you'd like resolved?  Even if you're married, are there some things that still mystify you?  Are you wise and sage-like, and just want to give me something to ponder?  Let me know.

I realize I'm taking my dating life in my hands with these things, as several of the men I'll be referencing have access to this blog.  But it must be done. (I won't be using names, or even much description, but they know who they are.  And for those who are just finding out that I've been "seeing" more than one man at a time, I'm sorry.)