Friday, December 13, 2013

Stop the Dysfunctional Dating Cycle!

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At 47 years old, I was single, in and out of relationships, dating and not happy with the personal relationship part of my life.  My professional life was great, and as always, I loved my work.  That area of my life has never been a problem, but intimate relationships had always been challenging.
I woke up one morning after yet another failed relationship, emotionally exhausted, and I became determined to figure out how to get into a healthy, monogamous relationship with a man and get married.  So many of my friends and family members were married, and if they could figure it out, then I could as well.
I got so tired of always being the “single” guest at weddings, bar/bas mitzvahs, dinner parties, you name it.  I also got very weary of feeling like I was the black sheep in the family, or that everyone, including myself, looked at me as if there was something wrong with me because I had not yet been married.  Perhaps it was a projection on my part, but comments like “when are you going to get married?” or when I would go on a date with a man and hear in a very incredulous tone, “you mean you have never been married or engaged?” This of course did not help matters and only perpetuated my own insecurities around this issue.
I finally made up my mind and became absolutely determined to figure out how to get into a healthy relationship and get married.  It felt like something crucial that I had to do with my life.  I remember talking with my friend Brette on one of the many occasions that we spent processing our current love life situation, and she said to me, “I want a relationship that is excellent, nothing mediocre, but truly excellent,” and I said, “but what if that doesn’t happen for us?” and Brette responded “Wouldn’t that be a cruel joke from the Universe for us to have such a deep soul desire to find our life partners and it didn’t happen?”  she continued, “Liz, I just don’t think we would have such a deep soul desire and not have it manifest.”  I reluctantly agreed.
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I was so done with all the ups and downs of dating and getting involved with the “wrong man” for me.  I was done with trying to make myself fit with a man like a square peg into a round hole.  I was done with making excuses for the man’s behavior to myself and my friends.  I was tired of spending hours on the phone with my girlfriends processing his every move and dissecting every little noise he made.  I was done trying to make a man change in order for them to be a fit for me.  I was tired of dating the same dysfunctional, unavailable, man over and over again but with a different face.  I was done with responding to my internet site match-ups.  I was done with the 20 minute coffee dates following the internet site match-ups.  I was done with waiting for him to call because he said we have a “great  connection” on that first date and never hear from him again.  I was done hiding my spiritual beliefs and what I did for a living.  I was done with crying for hours over a relationship gone wrong that I never should have been in in the first place.  I was done feeling anxious over a relationship.  I was done waking up alone or with the “wrong man”.
And most importantly, I was DONE being single, and every pore of my being longed to be joyously partnered with the “right man” for me.
All of these things and so much more led me to begin to work diligently to figure out how to break this cycle.  I didn’t just want to do this for myself, but I thought that if I could figure this out it would somehow help my girlfriends.  I was determined to figure this out for myself and all those people in the world who had not been able to figure it out yet.  I knew if I could do it, then it would give REAL hope, not false hope, to everyone else who was struggling in the same way I did.
I embarked on my mission.  I did tons of soul searching, personal growth exercises, spiritual ceremonies, praying, a lot of self discipline, until I finally got it.  I broke the dysfunctional dating cycle.  I found the “right man”.  He is everything I want in a life partner.
Two years later, I was walking down the aisle in an off-the-shoulder satin and lace wedding gown at dusk on a Saturday evening in March 2010, with my beautiful fiancé waiting for me with tears in his eyes at the end of the aisle under the chuppah.  My dream came true.

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