Let’s play a game. Let’s think about all of the insecurities that come up for us when dating, otherwise known as seeking a relationship. Don’t worry, even if you’re already in a relationship or steadfastly love abstinent you can still play this delightfully fun game.
Here are some that you have shared with me of late:
- By virtue of being out in public on a date you are admitting that you have somehow failed to sustain a relationship.
- Related, but even worse you are admitting publicly that you want a relationship which means you visibly want something but have not managed to achieve it, the horrors!
- This in turn means that you are not part of the special club of the love worthy.
successfully, as opposed to someone who has opted out or
simply couldn’t care less.
- Or the H-E-double hockey sticks with caring how meet cute you look to the barista at Starbucks while you share the ‘about me’s’ and the ‘about you’s’, some of you are afraid of how you look in that fierce midday sun; the new wrinkle that sprung on the bag under your eye on account of the employees who quit, the bad press leaked to the board; the latest invoice from your divorce lawyer. You are suddenly aware of your lack of a six pack, the fact that they might secretly prefer, be attracted to or feel entitled to date someone half your size or age –awkward!
- Maybe you don’t want to be seen as the one who was left for a younger hotter you, or the one who ditched for a younger hotter them. You have a good tale to tell about how you were the hero and the X didn’t show up for you but you don’t like telling it, it feels gross, like you can’t possibly capture the nuances of why they ran off to a tropical island to find themselves with the babysitter/pool boy.
- What if your problem is that you break a cold sweat when your new love interest likes someone on Instagram? You’re over the past until you casually glance at their profile and that voice that says I am sure it’s nothing they are a good egg is silenced by the voice that says ya well they’re always a good egg until Susan’s neighbour’s cousin’s dog trainer sees them openly snogging through the restaurant window and suddenly your worst fears are cute little G rated versions of what really went down. Now you’re just supposed to not blame your new date for what the X did because everyone deserves to be trusted? Well that is certainly a fool’s game and aren’t we pretty much taught to outsmart, outplay, plan ahead, get on top of being made a fool before they get on top of you know whom?
- Sometimes you are just cruising along and love feels sublime and then suddenly you can’t breathe; they want too much, get too close, call you their “special friend” and you’re like looking at tickets for TIMBUCKTWO because…INTIMACY.
And there are more triggers friends, triggers for her, him, you, them and everyone, handed out like holiday candy.
All of those things that measure love; words, deeds, time, MEANINGFUL GIFTS, prioritization, seeing us, hearing us, thinking we’re brilliant, texting us, making us laugh, respecting us, building us up, appreciating us, wanting us –can come in too little or too much and make us panic, guess, toil and trouble.
Basically everything everyone ever did to you whether they knew it meant it owned it or lied about it that landed you this fated day on a PUBLIC date in the WORLD stripped of your marital status badge of honour and down a few gold stars, somewhere on the spectrum from plan B to Z is waiting to trigger you, creating an uneasy destabilized feeling somewhere between the pit of your stomach and backs of your knees.
I realize that by now you’re pretty sure I am ANTI-LOVE and all of this is a trickery designed to spare you from imminent heart ache and failure; to wise you up, snap a zee in your grill, keep you single for the future of ever.
Nope. It’s not. I promise.
But I AM against the behavioural minefield that stretches between you and the love you want and deserve filled with the guessing and the avoiding and protecting; the texting analytics, the judgments, the fear, the lying stone cold in the night while the romance dirge plays on and Eeyore and the band croon, I’m just meant to be alone.
That is not the dance I want you to be dancing Friend.
So let me pose it to you this way.
WHAT IF THERE WAS A WAY TO SKIP OVER ALL OF THAT HEARTACHE, SELF DOUBT, CHAOS AND BASIC BEHAVIOURAL COMPENSATION FOR OLD HURT?
Imagine that you could just sit down and have a conversation with the one that you like, who likes you back and throw all of your garbage on the table labelled garbage, and agree to give it no power and also help each other OUTSMART IT. Not love, dummy, we don’t want to outsmart love. Or our paramour. THEY ARE NOT THE ENEMY!!! But what if we stopped throwing the baby out with the bathwater which is gross but also exactly perfectly metaphorically describes this situation.
Imagine that you could self declare your way out of the guesswork when it comes to meeting that future paramour?
And imagine for you relation-shippers, that you could OUTSMART the conflict in your relationship, those ouchy spots, the very same way!!!
I’ll even throw in three extra containers of magic juice for the same price if you sign up today Friend. JK. Lol.
I want you to have the kind of relationship in which you can find yourself at the table with a proposal to outsmart the garbage NOT the person you hope to spend forever with.
Which brings me to my true life story.
Some of you know that my mom lives in a small town. I came to see her this weekend, and as some of you also know I like to run. One of the things that is so very nice here is that there are washrooms populating the public walkways. It’s like the town is encouraging you to get outdoors and be fit and healthy, unlike my home city which has a more withholding approach to facilities that I can’t understand for the life of me. And don’t even get me started on the extra disadvantage to women who are you know made much more vulnerable if they try to pee in a bush or at the side of the road. Think predators; ants and poison plants and general lack of privacy. Whereas you know men can make do. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve seen it with my own eyes!
It turns out that after October 15 even people in this small town don’t have to go to the bathroom anymore. Or they are expected to stay indoors. The public washrooms get locked! Which means that if I am going to run all of the way down Lakeshore Drive I had better not drink water first, which poses its own problem. Cough hack faint.
So Sunday morning I stretch and read my little bit of wisdom from my wisdom book, and the morning’s wisdom is all about ditching rules and laws that are not loving and, well, wise. I could write you a whole series about laws of love versus laws of fear because I am that wise, Friend, but instead I’ll just tell you how it went down.
I drank the water. Maybe lots of water. I felt better. I left for my run. 15 mins into a 90 min run I had to pee. I tried washroom number one. It said closed from Oct.15. Just as we suspected. Just as the rules told us. I tried the door, because I am a cup half full of water kind of woman. No go. Not funny though.
Like Forest I ran on. At 30 mins I started scouting for restaurants or gas stations. I became acutely aware of the lack of remote wilderness in my vicinity. I felt sad about the world and specifically my gender. I hate to admit it, but Life. Felt. Hard.
And then, as I stared out at the giant toilet bowl of a lake (cause when you have to pee all water serves as visceral reminder of the vessel of relief) a magical spiritually wise voice chimed in my head. Ding. Dong. Today you must practice releasing all of the laws and rules that are not based in love. I found myself musing what if there is a practical application of this spiritual truth? What if I could OPT OUT of all these shitty limiting and painful laws and rules to the tune of magically opening up a washroom STAT on Lakeshore Drive in Osoyoos?
Was the teacher trying to teach us how to unlock a toilet? Maybe not.
But next washroom, with my holy vision top of mind I ran up to the door, observed the ominous Closed Oct. 15 sign and TRIED THE HANDLE ANYWAYS.
Guess what?!!! *Cue choirs of Angels (ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!)
I was able to pee FRIEND, in a safe space with no dogs or attackers or poison ivy.
But also A HOLY MIRACLE.
I tried it.
I asked for it.
I believed in it, enough to check it out.
And it worked.
Which brings me back to dating. And relationship. And LOVE.
It’s time to ditch and RELEASE, rewrite, override, say no to, quit subscribing in and giving power to shitty painful fear based rules that make everyone on the attack or defense and that make everyone crazy or mean and that keep us all guessing or drive us into deep apathy and avoidance when it comes to love.
It’s time to learn about ourselves.
It’s time to learn that our insecurities don’t mean anything about us or anyone else.
It’s time to take the piss out of shitty dating and relationship rules and laws and patterns and practices.
Change the conversation.
START having fun with it all.
Fall in love with love again.
I’m here to help you do it Friend.
I am opening up the Holy Toilet.
You can work with me privately.
Or join my membership coming soon to a port-a-potty near you.
Because I know you deserve to have a love like ours.
You deserve to laugh.
You deserve some sweetness.
And it’s just around the corner, at the dog park, glimmering porcelain white.
— Love Erin
P.S. 2021 I am bringing on the love. I’ll be featured in a podcast all about better loving, from healing your broken heart to intentional dating to creating a relationship that thrives, and I’ll be launching a sister site for all of you relationship and love enthusiasts, with all kinds of insights and offerings. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.