I'm not sure if it's age and maturity or sheer fear, but I realize that I'm far more cautious in my approach to dating than I was in my twenties. That was the last time I was single. Back then I was so easily lured by looks and raw physical attraction that I was pretty reckless with my heart and my body; not thinking of the emotional consequences of giving too much or giving it up too quickly to someone not worthy of me. It's as if I didn't know my value beyond my body or beyond pleasing and appeasing someone physically and emotionally. I never really thought about what I ultimately wanted from a guy or out of a relationship besides feeling... simply wanted. That illusory sense of feeling wanted filled the void of never feeling good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough... So, the only pre-requisite to my heart or the vajayjay was any kind of superficial validation, and I'd quickly fall at the mercy of guys who ended up treating me accordingly.
Decades later, plus a marriage and divorce that left me feeling like I still wasn't enough, I finally know my value. And I'm the mutha-fuckin' bomb, if I do say so myself! And because of that, my new approach to the dating process is a more conscious intention toward a friendship with depth, trust and emotional intimacy. I wanna fall in love, not just because of the way he makes me feel, but because of his character and integrity. 'Cause I finally figured out that I am good enough, pretty enough, smart enough and talented enough to deserve more. And even on days when negative mental chatter clutters my brain, I still know at my core that I'm a person of substance, candor and moral values that allow me to bask in the glow of my Indie Girl Spirit. And as much as I own my strengths, I'm also conscious of my weaknesses and make it a practice of doing better and being better.
At 41, I'm less needy and dependent on external validation and far less impulsive when it comes to love and dating. I don't need a man to complete me and I no longer equate a little attention with sincere interest or love. Age, experience, intense love, intense heartbreak and divorce have prompted the slow death of my ego and I'm more clear than ever where I've been stuck in my own personal development. With that, I want someone of similar age and experience. Someone who possesses a quiet confidence seasoned with trials and errors that have flavored his life with maturity, trustworthiness and compassion. Someone with personal strength that knows who he is and what he wants and needs out of life and his relationship with me. Plus, the ability to communicate those things lovingly, effectively and patiently. I want a masculine man that respects the strength of my femininity, supports and appreciates my dreams and interests, while busy cultivating his own. I want a real partner that recognizes that a relationship is an unselfish commitment. And that the initial excitement of new love eventually fades, but into deeper hues of friendship, love and passion that are incomparable to the surface emotions of the lust phase. I want a man willing to endure the inevitable highs and lows inherent to all relationships by remaining grounded in the patience of unconditional love and mutual respect.
Is this really too much to ask? Does my Mr. Right even exist? 'Cause I'll be damned before I settle for anything less than I know I deserve.