So, last week I gave something up (anger) to let something in (love). It was awesome. It is awesome still. I feel good, very good, about where I’m at. I’m full. I’m happy. Motivated. Making progress. Redefining my life, again. I’m enjoying my freedom and expansion. I like this space I’m in right now. However, I must admit I feel a bit, well, alone in that innermost circle of the space. Solo. On my own.


I’m still struggling a bit with the whole relationship status thing. I’ve had five years of singlehood. Five years to learn about myself. To date different kinds of people. To make new mistakes. To create better experiences. To figure out what the fuck I’m actually looking for in a partnership. Five years is a long time to be rollin’ in as a party of one these days. Sure, I’ve had some long-term relationships squeezed in there, and a few flings and whirlwind romances that end in radio silence for both parties. It’s fun, but often it’s exhausting. I love being able to make my own decisions, go when I want to go, stay when I want to stay, and yet despite evidence to the contrary,

being single is really not my thing.

The facts however, suggest this is not the energy I’m putting out there.


One of the groups I write for is hosting a “most eligible bachelor and bachelorette” event tonight, and while I’ve been to many singles events over the last few years, it will be the first time I’ve attended a showcase of that very status. My friends find this rather intriguing. So much so that two of them, on separate occasions, while learning about the event, asked me:

Oh, why weren’t you nominated?”

Followed immediately with:

Well there’s always next year.

Yes. That’s right. Next year. Because apparently I’m still going to be single this time next year. Ummmmmm, how about no? How about HELL NO? Insert indignant foot stomp here. Except. . . If I’m being honest with myself, if I don’t knock a few bad habits off here soon,

I just might be.

I’ve hit a point in my dating life where I’m can identify a clear pattern in the type of men for whom I keep falling. It’s. . . not really a good one. Apparently, the way to win my heart is to possess some (completely random and unrelated) combination of any of the following (varying shades of shallowish) attributes:

  • Abs, biceps, and other kinds of muscles that come in packs.
  • Tattoos. Most especially tribal and placed on said rippling musculature. I just.cant.look.away. Or stop touching. Not apologizing for that.
  • Confidence. Not arrogance. Smooth charismatic confidence. Yes, this also means a man who speaks in complete sentences. And can write. Well.
  • A head that rises at least an inch above mine. Not even kind of sorry for this.
  • A wicked sense of humor and full mastery of the art of sarcasm. If I have to explain it to you, we’re done here.
  • An April birthday. Don’t ask. Please.
  • Athletic prowess, abilities, and interest. Keep up or move out.
  • A massive sense of adventure. Couch potatoes need not apply.
  • People skills and compassion the size of Texas. Must.Love. Dogs. People.
  • The ability to pick me up (and not just at the bar)
  • A Hey Girl smile. Yes, this includes your teeth.
  • Eyes on my eyes. I see you, seeing me.

And, most significantly:

Total emotional unavailability or interest in having an actual relationship

No really. If you’re smoking hot, successful, sporty and intelligent but only call me when you feel like it, I might love you forever and think wistfully of receiving just one minute hour of your attention. On the contrary, if you smother me with compliments, let me know right from the beginning how you feel about me, put off any vibes that feel less than what I’ve (admittedly stereotypically) categorized as manly, I’ll be bouncing like a superball baby, stat. Yes, I am shaking my own head at myself. Actually, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. Yuck. That’s just. . .  not okay. Unless of course I want to remain perpetually unattached or heartbroken, in which case I have really got this game dialed in tight. But I don’t. (Sigh.) Because this is what we do, we imperfectly perfect humans.

We want what we can’t have.

We like the adrenaline rush that comes with the chase. It’s exciting. Until it isn’t anymore. Until we learn better, and do better. Until the version of ourselves we’ve been waiting for shows up and represents. Until we see below the surface of our images, accept what we deserve and invite it home to stay. Perhaps it’s time I choose differently. Proceed more wisely. Stop turning in circles and looking for gold at the end of the rainbow.

Slow down, so I’m not so busy being busy that I leave no time for anything lasting.

Observe and then respond. Be vulnerable, but with discretion. Be open, so I can see and receive that which is truly prepared to be given. Say no to being treated as something other than a priority, something other than important, no longer allowing myself to be an afterthought. This round, maybe I can for once and for all get this love thing right. Maybe.

And if not, then I suppose there’s always next year…

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7 thoughts on “LOVE ME HARDER

  1. Duncan says:

    Sweet Michelle. If you’re looking for a confectioners masterpiece, that’s probably what’s going to manifest. Thing about taking a confection to serve as a meal is that you’re pretty much sure to get a sugar low… I won’t stretch the analogy except to say that if you were to create a recipe for Chateaubriand you’d have a much better chance of manifesting it.
    Hope I don’t sound pedantic. I’m stirred up about my own history of finding myself in the same kind of relationships and it’s put me in a crappy mood. I guess I’ll thank you for reminding me at some point… but for right now, I’m going to stomp my foot and make a suggestion that I won’t take for myself.

    • ctfdmama says:

      Do as I say, not as I do, right? HA. My point was to stop looking for the same thing and expecting to find something different. If I want new results, perhaps I ought to take a different approach.

  2. t. says:

    Emotionally unavailable. That’s it. Because I was dating the skinny, brooding intellectual types and they weren’t any better. They were worse actually.

    • ctfdmama says:

      There is a delicate parity between the intrigue, mystery and passion found in playing with fire, and in settling for predictable ashes. Happy are those dancers able to find and hold the balancing pose.

  3. drjcs3John says:

    Hello Michelle,

    Wow!!! You do ambivalence and emotional contradiction very well. Caution? Cynicism? Well earned scars, visible and otherwise?
    I recall reading about Mick Stranahan, a detective in Carl Hiaasen’s novel, “Skin Tight”. He had a rule of emotional involvement which was: only date women who know first and last names of all four Beatles. Otherwise, the chronological/emotional divide was likely to be too great.
    My own well earned scars from reconstructing what is and is not visible lead me to fewer criteria. I have come to believe there are more folks out there like us who will not TRY to measure up, simply because acceptance is better offered, not earned. The differences can be obvious, the important, way-down-deep similarities take a while to surface.
    Superficially, I have replaced six pack ripples with vertical scars. I have grown to appreciate the sage advice of a dear friend. He once advised me to date only women who really “got” Side 2C of Keith Jarrett’s “The Koln Concert”. If they showed no tears or even a catch in the voice, then I was with someone wrong for me. Their life changing experiences and mine were far apart. He was and still is correct.
    Good luck to you in your search. I hope the cost of the hunt is worth what you find.


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