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When we love, we strive to be better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything else arounds us becomes better too.
– Paulo Coelho

The Producer and I found a place! It’s official, we are moving in together in about a month. Shacking up! I’m really excited at the prospect of living with him! Though someone I work with asked if we’d be living in sin? Well, yes, I hope so I replied! Is that still a thing?!

Given that the new place is much smaller than my current place, I’ve got a lit of decluttering to do! I seriously need to let go of a lot of furniture. It’s long overdue! I stand to gain so much more in my life than anything I’m giving up. In a way it is a liberating shedding of my old life.

So as we embark on our new adventure together, I was recently chatting with a male friend who was bemoaning singledom. He’s not loving it.

In the course of the conversation though I realised this. The perpetual struggle to find love when you’ve decided you’re ready is as challenging for men as it is women.

Granted, this guy does seem to have a very long wish list from which he seems not to ever deter from. He’s in his early 50’s, and has been internet dating for several years.

He’s meeting women, sure. But I feel he’s a pattern dater. He meets the same kinds of women each time. Dates them with great enthusiasm And then looks for flaws. Which of course he’ll always find. We all have them.

She’s attractive. Tick. She’s got a sense of humour. Tick. She likes music. Tick. The sex is great. Tick. Oh wait..:this one had kids. (Even though he also has kids, that’s a minus for him). This one is a bit overweight. (Great girl but….). This one isn’t financial (I have property and I’ve been stung in my divorce…). This one lives too far away. This one seems too needy. You get the drift.

I would never suggest someone settle for anything less than their ideal person. Ever. In this case though I have to wonder if he even knows what he wants. I mean he’s a nice guy and he’s fun, but he has flaws also. He seems to think he’s a great catch.

For the right person no doubt he would be but in the end he’s deeply scarred from a broken marriage. His ex wife had an affair. I don’t think that’s easy to recover from, but it’s possible if you do the work.

Instead he continues to date a string if women (one at a time). He dates vulnerable needy women (he has a saviour complex). They believe it’s developing into a relationship and then he starts searching for something wrong. Really what he’s doing is dating against his own type. While he really wants a strong and independent woman with her shit together, he’s not ready to deal with anything real.

I think he’s terrified of emotional intimacy. I think a lot of people are. Sexual intimacy for some is easy. Anyone can have sex and get caught up in the high of abandoning themselves to a moment of pleasure.

Emotional intimacy requires a leap of faith. It requires enough trust to open your soul to another person and allow them to see your vulnerability. That’s not easy for anyone but it’s harder for some than others.

He is like most of us suffering from fear. The fear of getting hurt again if you trust another. In his case, the fear of being betrayed.

He wonders why he’s attracting the “wrong women”.
Like all of us, dude, you attract to you what you can deal with at the time. He’s attracting women who are still hurt from previous relationships. He attracts women who are scared of being on their own. I think deep down he’s attracting mirror images of himself. He’s not liking the reflection. He is dating a row of women carrying their own baggage because he hasn’t let go of his own.

The same applies the other way too. Take for example a gorgeous friend of mine who has been single for some time, but was now ready for love. One night out with single girlfriends at a singles event, she met a guy. They chatted. The next day they met for breakfast and that was it.

They have seriously been together for several months and enjoying every moment. She looks incredibly happy. Sometimes when you’re ready and they’re ready – bam! It just happens! They live on opposite sides of town. She has teenage children. He has no children. She’s in banking. He’s a tradie. All of that hasn’t made an ounce of difference. I’m is happy for her. She was open to opportunities and bingo. (Yes she’s had a journey along the way too).

We are all braver than we think. Anyone who has been hurt in a relationship but dares to love again is proof of that.

In the mean time the dating continues. And lessons get learnt along the way. Through dating, you learn so much about yourself. I know I did. So much. I figured out who I was. I healed. I found out things about myself I didn’t know. I met some great people. I learnt what I didn’t want, and eventually what I did.

I know dating is sometimes tough but I honestly believe it’s a valuable part of the journey.