As I begin to dip my toes back in the dating waters, I wrote the following in my journal this morning:
Remember, I’ve always attracted my loves/guys when I’ve been at my best. I want a guy to attract me when he’s at his best!!! Hmm. Have I been attracted to health before? If not, why not? If so, when & how was that? Never. Ugh. Ow.
What does this mean? My models of grown-ups were utterly dysfunctional and that’s upon whom I made my template of how to “grown-up/adult” and who was attractive. They. Were. Broken. And I thought that was, if not normal, then the only option. So that’s what I’ve sought. Oh, man, that’s hard.
Reflecting on this, I feel like a cast iron pan: I’ve seasoned and molded and re-seasoned and re-molded for years, trying to get the best results out of this one pan, but ultimately, the whole thing is never going to produce the results I want—the flavor I want, if you will.
I need to smash that pan; I need to “take another street.” But I don’t yet have directions to that new place — or, to continue to mix metaphors, the template for that new pan.
I am learning, gathering code on what makes a healthy adult. And it is pretty satisfying to note that, lately, some of the pieces I hope to attract aren’t pieces that I’m missing or wish I had, but pieces I know I’ve built and am building, like having a job and career I love. We so often look at the deficits in ourselves; it’s rare we contemplate our assets.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if I did look and if my partner did, too? If we engaged in a cycle of uplift and inspiration, challenging one another to reach for the next rung?
It’s both painful and necessary for me to see that, frankly, not once have I attracted a man who was on an upswing in his life, feeling confident in his place or jazzed about what was next. This isn’t to point fault but to affirm that I don’t merely want to be on an upswing myself, I want to attract a partner who is also jazzed, psyched, engaged … and stable.
In order to do that I need to start to even see those men in the world! Like being red/green color blind, I’ve never even seen those people before. I sift through the mental catalogue of former mates and dates, yet there isn’t one who was stoked on life, on an upward trajectory, joyful and confident in their person and future. I mean, isn’t that WEIRD???
I know this all sounds egregiously judgmental, I do, and for that I truly am sorry. But it is not my aim to judge these men, whose positive traits could fill the Library of Congress. Rather, my aim is to explore the idea that in order to advance on an upswing myself, I need to see where I’m limiting myself, where I’m not seeing the reds and greens, where I’m blocking out the positive things in life.
Magnets are attracted to one another because of forces of nature that none of us can cancel out. We can pull them apart, attach them to other things, paint them funny colors, but the magnetic force is extant with or without our permission — and I have been drawn to a type of person whose magnet looks eerily similar to those of the people who raised me.
I need to stop being a magnet and become something else altogether. Because even if smashed, a magnet re-creates the same set of poles from the new pieces!
So, what will I be? A shattered iron pan, a sidewalk without holes, a detector of ”upswing” metals?
If the latter is to be the case, then it will be imperative that I do a sweep for those upswing metals regularly within myself and begin to amass them into a meaningful concentration.
Because in the end, like everyone else, I am still a magnet.