Paging Stuart Smalley

This post started one way, but took a wrong exit to a place in my head I visit sometimes. It usually passes within a day, and then I’m back to at least a marginally normal self-image.

I went on vacation in part to get some perspective, maybe achieve sudden clarity via Southwest Airlines party mix.

I did, but not as much as I’d like.

But I did realize I can’t meet this guy I’d been talking to on OkCupid. We’d talked about meeting once I got back, but I realized I’m not feeling a connection, at least not yet. I have pretty good instincts for that, though, so possibly not ever. (This has also happened with two other OKC people.)

I feel bad, but even though That Guy felt nothing for me except my clitoris, that whole debacle helped me remember how I feel when *I* feel a spark with someone, even if it’s not mutual. My ex, too — I felt that in my gut and in my butt, and I’m not feeling it for these OKC people. Whatever the issues, my interactions with That Guy and my ex set a standard for what I need to feel and how I need to be treated.

I know I have to move on eventually. I just don’t think I’ll be able to, or should, until I feel something more compelling — I don’t need to be in love, I just need to feel a chemistry.

I wondered if I should meet that OKC guy just to interact with a man in a potentially romantic capacity, the way I used to go on job interviews for practice. But I don’t want to make anyone my practice. Having BEEN used fairly recently, I can’t do it to someone else. (Though I hear it’s effective.)

I may still be too damaged for this. I can’t tell if I’m really not ready, or just scared.

I already wasn’t feeling the best about myself when my ex and I broke up. I asked him why he was even with me, what I’d contributed to our relationship, and why he’d want to have children with me. He explained the kid thing, but wouldn’t tell me why he’d been with me. He said I should know. I still don’t. I believed he loved me. I believe he still does. I just don’t know why. (The best I can come up with is that I let him have his own space and his own time, and never made him watch “The Notebook.”)

Following that, That Guy made me feel smart, sexy, and funny…buuut then told me he never really thought any of that. Well, I guess the “sexy” part was true — as indicators go, his constant erection in my presence was probably a good one. 

When I thought he cared about me, I spent time with him thinking, “Pfft…I’m amazing.” He said my confidence showed, that I owned my business in the bedroom, that I was funny and a good writer — he was one of the reasons I kept writing this blog. And then he was like, “Ha ha, just kidding, you’re none of those things.”

So I’m not enough to keep one man if I don’t want to have a baby, and not enough to keep the other guy because…I guess maybe I’m NOT the person he made me feel like I was.

Plus there have also been professional aspects where I wasn’t good enough to do one job or another, and a general feeling with my family that I’m just not worth being heard.

So… I don’t know what I’m doing now. I know it’s called SELF-esteem, but mine’s been knocked around a lot the past few years. I don’t know if I’ve ever considered how deep-seated all this is, and I see the therapist partly because I don’t know how to fix it myself. I have friends who, if they’re reading it, would punch me in the neck for thinking any of this. I don’t ALWAYS feel this way, but when I do, people can tell me whatever good things they want, I just can’t see it for myself.

Ahem… Why, what do YOU think about on vacation?

P.S. Next post, I promise, back to OkCupid snark, Valentine’s rage, masturbation, and the feminism of bath sponges.

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4 thoughts on “Paging Stuart Smalley

  1. Aw, Smug. I don’t want to punch you in the neck, I just want to give you hugs.

    Honestly, That Guy is a syphilitic dick. (Not literally, I’m sure. But you get my general point.) To hell with him and his ‘just kidding’ and the other stupid reindeer games he plays. Please, please, please stop wasting energy on him. He’s not worth it.

    I’m pretty sure Ex loved you for being *you*. You two just had different ideas about what you wanted in life, and they weren’t compatible. Either you were going to be pressured into having a kid, or he was going to be pressured into not having a kid, but one way or the other, someone was going to wind up resentful. You made an adult decision to recognize that and part ways. Stop taking that as a judgement on your personal worth – sometimes people just want different things, and it’s not a reflection on anybody. The tale we like to tell ourselves about love conquering all is lovely, but it’s not necessarily true. (There’s a reason Austen heroines also pay attention to practical details, like how the bills are going to get paid.)

    Don’t push it on the OKC front. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it. Take care of you first, and the rest will eventually follow. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Aw, thanks. It’ll shake off, this almost never happens.

      Also, just FYI, he didn’t actually SAY “just kidding,” I’m just sarcastically summarizing, but point taken regardless, and same for the ex bit.

      Thank you!

  2. Just wanted to say that I think this happens to everyone, or at least, it happens to me and most of the other women I know. Our friends might try to be supportive, but there’s that stupid voice saying awful stuff in our heads.

    In the words of Vivian in Pretty Woman, “the bad stuff’s easier to believe.”

    Acknowledging that the mean voice might be lying is always a good step. And reaching out when the voice is loud also seems good. I hope it helped.

    (Also, no neck punches, just hugs.)

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