How does someone age gracefully? – Starting to See Gray
I couldn’t say it better than this video:
Dear ZZ help me,
I’ve tried so hard to be friends with my ex-girlfriend and it’s been rough. We share the same friends and we love each other. The hard part is I see her at events and usually she’s drunk and flirting with men (or my friends) and I just want to be cool about it. I am trying so hard to not take it personally. I mean we have the same friends and get the same Facebook invites to the same places and I don’t want to be “that guy” that asks her not to be someplace because I want to be there without having to see her, but damn if I can’t help but wish I could have a night alone where I knew it was just me. I would like to enjoy a night out that is just for me and I selfishly want a place to relax. What do you think of all this?
– Breaking Up Sucks
Facebook has made breaking up a fiasco. It’s like high school where you can’t escape seeing your ex in the hallway or you are in the same class. What a pain! I can only imagine that this is making you bonkers. I appreciate that you want to be the nice guy and not “that guy” that asks for space, but what is wrong with asking for space?
You have every right to ask her to go to a different event, or negotiate events, for a few months while you work out getting over each other and can transition into friendship. I’ve been in this situation and the only way I was able to stay friends with a couple of my ex’s is when we had enough time apart (no phone, no text, no emails, and no bumping into each other). Usually it took about six months and then it was easy to see each other. The thing is this, without enough time to heal the emotional wounds it’s nearly impossible to get over someone. By seeing her too soon you trigger all your past feelings and your brain doesn’t have time to re-group.
If she refuses to be part of creating healthy boundaries for a short period of time, then it’s up to you to find other things to do where you know you won’t bump into her. The good news is that you’ll probably meet new women in new places that are not connected to all of your friends. Just remember that healing takes time and you have total control over how to handle this. If you can manage to stay away from her for about 3-6 months I think you will feel a big relief and then be able to approach her as a friend and build on a healthy friendship.
How do you draw the line between helping friends and being used?
– Where do I draw the line?
I can only imagine that this is causing you confusion and pain because it sounds like you love to help. It also sounds like you feel a bit of resentment towards some friends, while you feel a sense of fulfillment with others. Let’s first look at the idea of being used.
Creating proper boundaries is something most people have a difficult time with. We want to say yes but sometimes we feel a heaviness in our bodies because we know the person we are helping is not honoring our boundaries.
It’s important for you to be able to explain your feelings and needs to the friends that are being demanding or unappreciative. This is a hard thing to do for some people. Ultimately you are 100% responsible for your choices, and yet from what I understand you are doing your best to be a good communicator.
It comes down to being brave enough to say no to the things that don’t feel right.
Perhaps you could say, “I would love to help you but things feel imbalanced in our friendship. Would you be willing to talk about this with me?” If he or she is a good friend they will want to create a feeling of ease. If they don’t understand, or want to blame you, then these are not friends to keep around. You deserve better. Asking for what you want, and being recognized for your time and energy is not an ego-trip, it’s a basic wish for understanding. And remember when you are saying no to one thing, you are saying yes to something else. In this case I would practice saying no kindly and realize that by doing so means you value yourself and your time.
Help. I’m at a loss. I am a one-of-a-kind woman who deserves plenty of dates. I’m financially successful, hot, in shape and awesome. This is either good or bad I can’t tell anymore. I’m surrounded by oodles of good-looking guys. I’m told I deserve a good man. What gives? Why do I find my datebook empty, or at least sporadic – if that? Men fawn, but these fawnings usually lead nowhere. People tell me I’m a flirt, but flirting leads me nowhere so I’ll describe what I do. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.
I’m not a fan of online dating so I go to lots of social gatherings. I maintain eye contact with a man I like across the room. Always. Any situation. Bar. Party. BBQ. I have a very seductive stare. I look at men and smile and make them know I am available, so I’m confused as to why no man approaches. I’m always dressed well and tend to wear provocative clothes. Low cut shirts, nice skirts, and heels. When I’m around guys I know I’m told I’m a fabulous talker and witty. Men laugh and tell me I’m fun, funny and pretty. All of this has proven to be a waste of time since men walk away or don’t ask for my number. I’ve tried giving men my number and they willingly hand me their phone, or take my card, but never call. What on earth am I doing wrong?
~ My Eyes Hurt
I love that you understand that eye contact goes a long way in flirting and it gives a signal to approach. I also love your self confidence, but you might be over-doing it. What you might be missing is that your internal energy gives off a bigger sign than your external energy. Men don’t want to feel stalked. They can smell it and see it a mile away. When you expect too much, or expect anything, you give off a certain vibe that triggers them to think “crazy chick” or “stalker,” especially if you never look away.
I’m going to attempt to give you advice by examples, but please keep in mind the difference between an internal process versus an external process. This is huge when it comes to flirting. (And note: dressing up all the time isn’t always a turn on for men. You might be more approachable keeping your look a little casual. My father used to tell me three things 1) “When you walk into a room don’t act like you’re looking for a man. Let the men in the room find you first.” 2) “Never stare. Always glance a few times with a smile.” 3) “Getting a man to notice you is an inside job. Make sure your not too needy inside.”
Let’s take a look at two different woman:
Woman # 1
WANTS: She wants the hot guy across the room to ask her out or to approach her.
ACTION: She stares at the man for 3-5 seconds or longer and doesn’t look away until he does.
INTERNAL: She’s thinking “Look at me. I’m awesome. I wore this dress and these shoes so that someone would look at me. LOOK AT ME! I want a boyfriend (or get laid).”
EXTERNAL: She’s still looking and smiling at the man while shifting her weight from leg to leg.
THE MAN: He probably already feels the neediness in her. This need is palpable in terms of energy. He notes it, thinks she’s hot and is weighing his odds. He’s wants to approach but feels something is off about her.
Woman # 2
WANTS: She wants the hot guy across the room to ask her out or to approach her. (Same wants.)
ACTION: She stares at the man for 3-5 seconds. Looks away. Then back. Looks again. Glances and smiles and doesn’t really care if he’s interested. She’s interested and wonders if maybe he likes her, but it’s not a priority.
INTERNAL: She’s thinking, “Cute guy. It would be fun to meet him. Oh look, another friend of mine walked in.” She detaches from the man and is present with herself and what’s in front of her.
EXTERNAL: She is having fun being herself without an agenda of getting a man, though she is definitely open to meeting a man that night.
THE MAN: The man feels her want his attention. He feels comfortable looking at her again. There is something very open and carefree about her. Now he wants her attention. He approaches her as he walks by and says hello.
Can you see the difference? The needy woman #1 is trying to control the situation. Woman #2 is detached from the outcome but is clued into what she wants. My homework for you is to get clear on your internal life and try to detach from the outcome of trying to control the situation. Once you let go a little, relax, stay present and enjoy the journey you’ll see the men approaching you in droves.
A few years ago (almost 7) I ran into someone who, shall we say, shifted my reality when it comes to all things sex. I had been going along just fine (so I thought) with all my monogamous vanilla sex relationships until said point in time. This person introduced me to a part of myself I hadn’t consciously encountered, and opened up a new world to me that I hadn’t realized was there. I discovered that I really enjoyed pain and/or being completely submissive with my partner. Four months of bruise-collecting bliss and then, due to some issues he was dealing with at the time, he disappeared.
This was fine-ish. We had no commitment. (But aside from the typical “hot guy who gets me suddenly disappears” situation, this short-lived period managed to leave me more confused than relieved about my new found desires.)
How was I supposed to find this again? Was it something to be ashamed of? Was there anyone else around that felt the same or was I some sort of freak?
I know I’m not alone here. The problem for me is finding new partners. I am still relatively naive when it comes to BDSM and unsure even what I like and don’t like (as I haven’t experienced much outside of this one person). When I brought it up with a subsequent partner and he attempted to please me by tying me up and hitting me, it was clear that it wasn’t his thing and the experience felt completely awkward and forced. I really have no desire to become a part of a scene, go to dungeons, get on FetLife, etc.
This is what I know: I want a man who can mentally and physically dominate me in the bedroom. A man who knows his knot-tying and exactly what to do and say to me once trapped in said knots to have my eyes roll back and thus I forget my own name. Droolyespleasemorethankyousir. (But half hour dress-up sessions in latex and leather while getting hooked up to the ceiling? Not so much. UG.)
I’m a pretty shy person and have a good deal of social anxiety when it comes to being a part of a group of people I don’t know well. I’m also a picky person and prefer sex with someone that I have a real connection with. Sure I can hold conversation fine at a dinner party, but when it comes to giving up my body to someone and allowing them to dominate me, I really need it to be someone I can trust and that isn’t something that can happen after a few OKC messages and a drink.
Yes, I have done the OKC thing and I’ve only found either sex starved boys (weak, scared, too nice, too misogynistic and hateful while pretending to be too nice, you name it), or seemingly creepy predator types.
So far, I have yet to find anyone other than this particular guy who really seems to “get it” the way he does. So please tell me, how does a girl in my situation – who is also a (hot) 40-year-old single mother, and low on free time – find a guy to have some fun with that is not a complete creep or misogynistic sociopath? Oh, and I’m just realizing some clarification is needed – the obvious answer, “get over to Mr. Gets It’s house and bent over his lap immediately” doesn’t work. He’s in a committed relationship that may one day be more open, but until that time comes (which may be never), that isn’t an option. Wah wahh wahhhhh.
~ Sincerely, Sadly Unbruised and Confused
Congratulations on being brave enough to explore your sexuality and to recognize all these new and fun sensations.
In my opinion this question has less to do with specific pain-points, knots, and bruising and more to do with chemistry in regards to dominant/submissive qualities. And since you’re not going to find it waiting for Mr. Knot-Slap-Number-One to come back around, it might be time to understand how this energy exchange works for you, so you can recognize Mr. Knot-Slap-Number-Two. Remember it’s never going to be the same. Why? Because two people make a certain type of chemistry that can never be duplicated with a different person and that’s okay.
You might want to think about finding ways to satisfy this submissive side of yours without always having to be tied up, bruised or slapped. First, let me say I totally appreciate good knots, a well placed slap, and a few bruises from time to time. I’m not judging.
However, at this point your journey gets a little deeper in getting to know yourself by looking inside rather than outside.
For instance, during my year of total celibacy (in my 30’s and not even kissing) I had to learn how to satisfy this need of energy exchange in a totally different way. I’m a strong woman who likes to be submissive in the bedroom but with celibacy I was at a loss, or so I thought. Suddenly everything came down to eye contact and/or simply feeling other people’s energy and getting in tune with it. With a little practice I started to tell the difference between a dominant man and a submissive man (or woman) instantly and sometimes it was just as fun to have a silent “knowing” than to ever touch or express it verbally. After I discovered this life became vibrant and alive in ways I had never known. I could satisfy my submissive energy needs without so much as a kiss. Now it’s just plain ‘ol fun. I can go to the grocery store and have a very interesting exchange with the produce guy about what kind of cabbage I’m looking for and get excited for a few moments.
But let’s get back to the nitty-gritty of dating and finding Mr. Knot-Slap Number two. I think at this stage you are getting to know yourself sexually in a new way. Any man/person can learn how to tie knots and learn how to give a well-placed slap, but in the end (as you mentioned) it’s more about the oomph, chemistry and buzz behind it. Keep dating and stop focusing on having to find him right away. Focus more on how your body and energy feels when you are with a man and what tantalizes you. Practice just being on the other side of a table and don’t even consider it a date. Consider it information. Learn to ask openly for what you want and then feel how your date reacts before you even think about kissing him. Even a submissive has to learn how to ask for what he/she wants. In many instances the dominant person is pleasing the submissive and it’s your job to find your personal power to express your needs in a way that is strong yet vulnerable. Consider this to be a great time in your life and enjoy the journey.