Single? I’m going to give you an advice—you don’t have to take it, but if I had this advice years ago, my life would have been very different.
I’ve pretty much been single most of my adult life. I’m now 42 and I am in the first stable relationship of my adulthood. Previously, I’ve mostly been attracted to men who made my heart race and who I felt an instant bond with. What then happened is, I poured out my heart and he ran for the hills. For whatever reason, I’ve attracted one-sided relationships where I liked him much more than he liked me.
The last one, who I nicknamed “gorgeous, sexy man,” even said that he saw a great future for us together, felt a strong attraction and said that it was this connection that made him pull away. It has taken me two years, but I’m finally coming to accept that despite this amazing connection, perhaps the universe was giving me a gift—maybe there was someone better suited to me, maybe he wasn’t the one who could bring out the best in me.
It’s taken a long time to get to this point and at the very heart of it is an enormous amount of self-love, inner work and self-nurturing. I’m not just talking about the “yeah, I love myself,” but the deep and whole body rush of being in love with me, my life and all that is. It was also being open to who turned up in my life and flowing with it rather than having expectations of a “relationship” or of something more.
So, with this new feeling of self-love and self-respect in mind, I leaped into the online dating world and went out on a few dates. Mostly they wanted casual sex and, as fascinating and temporary as that is, I declined—I’m more than a magnificent vagina and wanted to find someone who could see that.
Then I met the “kind man.” I wasn’t instantly attracted to him, but he was interesting, deep and aroused my curiosity in a way that I wanted to know more about him. He was like a good blurb on a book—I wanted to open the book to see what was inside. So we went on a few dates, he spoiled me, brought flowers, opened doors and showed genuine care for me and my family. Unlike previous dates, he didn’t turn me off with sexual desperation. He had a presence that I felt calm in. It was like he could see me—the real me, the vulnerable me, the me that put up wall after wall to block his expressions of love and he patiently waited for me to take down.
If someone had said to me years ago to not go for the massive charge of electricity, but go for the one who makes you feel like the most important person in the world, I wouldn’t have listened, but sometimes we just need to come to certain realisations on our own.
We see the instant chemistry on television and think is love, but for me, what the instant chemistry has provided was massive and painful soul growth. With the kind man, I feel myself growing but it’s not painful. His patience is helping me to open up like a flower in the safe space that he creates.
I find myself in this new space of my heart opening up to the possibilities of what may be. It feels free, it feels open, it feels accepting and mostly it feels safe. Being vulnerable with someone can be very difficult, but when you find someone who holds space for you to be vulnerable and in fact loves that part of you, hang onto that one.
It is scary. Don’t get me wrong. For someone who has kept a big barrier over her heart for most of her life, I have fear of intimacy pop up every day. But he is patient and loving and gentle with my emotional opening and I am honest with him about my fears. He accepts those fears for what they are and knows that it is a part of my journey of learning to love and be loved.
So my advice for you is this: give that “nice” guy a chance. You know, the one you went out with once or twice, but there just wasn’t any “spark.” If he has a great relationship with his mum, his sisters or daughters, you’re probably onto a winner because he knows how a woman deserves to be treated.
I met my “kind man” when I stopped accepting less than I deserve.
We’ve created (and are creating) a relationship that is loving, kind and generous and every day I am so grateful for what it is. He tells me and shows me in his actions that I deserve the best. I didn’t expect this, and I certainly didn’t expect the chemistry to grow so quickly as a result of my gratitude for his calm, gentle presence and kindness.
I don’t know where this relationship is going, but he is allowing me the space to open up my scared and vulnerable heart in my own time. Even if it lasts another month, year, a decade or the rest of my life, I am taking it one day at a time and living in the bliss of the moment without expectations of what it might be.
Date that nice guy. I promise, he will be so worth it and so are you.
Author: Alyssa Curtayne
Image: Angel Monsanto III/Unsplash
Editor: Katarina Tavčar