Damn you, fear.

by mssinglemama on November 24, 2008

It’s happening…

My relationship phobia is kicking in.

Always hits at the same time – after about one month. I start freaking out imagining this terminal diagnosis of actually being with someone indefinitely. Mr. Man has been incredibly patient -no, he has been more than patient – he has been considerate and totally understanding of my sudden mood swings and deflection of his warmth.

He calls these my “blockers” and they “scare the shit” out of him. It seems they are beyond my control. My gut is screaming at me – yelling actually – “You aren’t ready. You can’t do this because you don’t know how. Being single is much, much easier and besides men are a pain in the ass (eventually it always turns sour).” Then I act like a bitch or go cold on him.

A few nights ago, deep in freak out mode and feeling so frustrated with myself, I vented a bit to Matt Logelin. Ever since our SMW radio show together we’ve been e-mailing here and there, nurturing our virtual friendship which I can only hope becomes one in the flesh some day.

As a friend, he’s just as insightful and inspirational as he is on his blog:

Matt: How are you?

Me: I’m fine. Just trying to get my head around the idea of actually being with someone – being in a relationship again. I’m just not sure if I can handle the idea of permanency. So very scary to me. But he’s not threatening my freedom at all, and I realize not all people in relationships are locked down, unless they allow themselves to be and I’ve never been treated this well in my life (except by my father).

Just having a weak moment. And realizing that I probably need therapy for my commitment phobia.

Matt: i don’t think you need therapy at all. when you do this shit by yourself for so long you eventually resign yourself to the fact that you don’t need anyone else. i know that’s how i feel now that i’ve proven to myself that i am a capable parent.

it’s gonna take a long time for that mindset to change, even though you’ve found someone so amazing.

just keep enjoying yourself with no pressure. your issues will work themselves out.

i’m sure of it.

He’s right. I too resigned myself to the fact that I would be alone indefinitely a long time ago. So the idea of someone else joining the picture has me a bit overwhelmed. I’m not a freak, or a commitment phobe, I’m just a single parent – taking my time and having trouble envisioning an actual significant other in my life.

And just as it took me some time to adapt to being alone, it will take me time to adapt to being in a relationship. I’m thinking at least 6 months to a year. There’s a blessing in disguise in Mr. Man and I’s future… we’ll actually be apart due to circumstances neither one of us can control for just over three months this winter. (I may explain later but have to keep it close for now).

The time apart will be the perfect test… for me. I am quite certain Mr. Man will pass with flying colors.

P.S.

Matt, who lost his wife Liz just 25 hours after their daughter Madeline was born has partnered with SingleMindedWomen.com to create a My Stuff Bag Foundation charity. The charity provides clothing, toys and necessary items for abused, neglected and abandoned children (newborns – 18 yrs.) throughout the United States.

Please click here for more information. It would mean the world to me and to Matt if you’d make it the charity of choice this holiday season. And you wouldn’t have to splurge, there are items as low as $5.99 in the registry.

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The point of no return.
November 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

T November 24, 2008 at 9:44 am

Yep, been there, done that!

We do have to just enjoy this moment and try not to think about the future. I know that’s difficult but NOW is where the love is. NOW is the only time we can appreciate what is right in front of us.

Besides, it sounds like he’s doing you some good.

Thanks for the link to Matt’s charity. Good stuff there.

((hugs))

Oh and RELAX!!! :)

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April November 24, 2008 at 9:46 am

Still, therapy couldn’t hurt, if that’s something you feel like would help you. I think of it as taking an hour of me-time. I actually haven’t done it in quite a few months myself, but whenever I go, I learn a little bit more about myself and my relationships become stronger for it. Just my two cents.

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mssinglemama November 24, 2008 at 9:53 am

Thanks T… my voice of strength. I will try to relax… not sure what threw me off kilter this weekend but something did.

April… I know, I’m definitely still considering it. I am a HUGE advocate for therapy just need to find a way to go – to make the time.

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singleworkingmommy November 24, 2008 at 10:52 am

I’m echoing April’s sentiments. If you think therapy might be needed, it probably is! I know I’m struggling with getting to a therapist myself, but I’m making it a priority. Making *ME* a priority.

I’m trying to find one close to my work, so I can just jet out an hour early, or at lunch. That wasn’t working, so now I’m looking close to home. I’m not sure how that might work, but we’ll see. SD doesn’t watch Son on a regular schedule, really, so it’s hard. Plus, I have no family around

Ben pretty much always sees his Dad on Mondays, right? I declare Monday night therapy night!

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fraizerbaz November 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

Oh my gosh. I thought I was the *only* single woman who felt this way. Almost like a cat in the bathtub!

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QTMama November 24, 2008 at 11:04 am

Dude. I’m going with T on this one. RELAX. You’re gonna miss all the good stuff here! All the good beginning stuff because you’re so phobia-prone. Remember that they don’t call it FALLING in love, like, whatever, without reason. Don’t miss the fall sweets.

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Cyndi November 24, 2008 at 11:09 am

Oh I’m there too. I can’t even ventrue beyond on line dating right now because the face to face thing scares the CRAP out of me. At least on line, I can just fade away and not have to deal with the reality. I can’t shake the fear that once I pick a man it has to be perfect or N-man will get hurt. And since I’m aware perfect doesn’t exist, it’s just easier to do nothing and stay single.

But you’ve let yourself get this far and the wheels are still on!!! So go with it. Don’t start looking for the wrench to take the wheels off yourself. You’ve got an amazing thing going. Nothing wrong with touching base with a therapist if you need some feedback… even if they say you’re normal…. which mine just did to me this morning and is the topic of my next blog post later today.

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SIngleParentDad November 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for sharing.

I think it is an amazing place to be, to be happy on your own. I think any counsellor will push you towards to what you have already acheived. It also means that anyone hoping to increase your family number, will have to be pretty darn amazing. Which, I sure, we all hope Mr Man will turn out to be.

Your current, and future, happiness is deserved. Whether that is as a two, three, four or however many piece, I’m sure you’ll work it out.

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LB November 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm

You have come a long way and I have no doubt that in time your fears will subside.

I wish you all the best and look forward to sharing more about our respective relationships!

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jenn November 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm

I’m not in a relationship and haven’t dated at all since my divorce. I can understand your fears and I’m sure I would be feeling the same way. That’s one reason why I haven’t tried to date at all yet. Of course, you also shouldn’t run away from being happy. Easier said than done, I know.

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Matt T. November 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm

I, too, know the feeling MSM, and I am a plain, ol’ single childless male. Every relationship I’ve ever been in has ended badly, for various values of bad. And yet, when the opportunity for another relationship occurs, I know I will try once again.

Why? I guess I feel that, for me, the happiness and joy I feel in a relationship with someone I love is worth the hurt that, well, has so far been inevitable in my experience. I guess for me it is better than the semi-permanent ennui I seem to feel when alone.

Of course, it’s not like there are a lot of women, single mom or otherwise, out there looking for an overweight chemist…despite how much I try to find one. Still, I try and try and…

But you? You seem to have something, someone wonderful. I know it’s hard, but, as many have said, relax and try to enjoy this. Overcoming fear is hard, but it’s when we overcome that fear that the amazing can appear!

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Momma Mac November 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm

It’s so great to have friend’s during freak out mode. I love mine. I love reading about your Mr. Man, he sounds great, you two will be fine!

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O Solo Mama November 24, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Oh, you don’t need therapy, you just need time. Que sera sera. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You discover you guys are not *meant for each other* (what ever that loaded baggage means) or you discover that you’re actually comfortable with this guy and can take it to the next level–again whatever that means. Don’t think about anyone else’s definitions. Be free, Ms. Single Mama. Own your happiness! Take your own advice! Know you can decide (who else will?). . .hmm?

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Leah November 24, 2008 at 10:16 pm

All I can say is that I SO get it. I am excited about a burgeoning relationship I’m in now but there is sort of that sense of “caution! caution! put on the brakes!”

I echo what Matt said and everyone else’s wise sentiments above. You have such an awareness about what is going on with you and that is the first step to change. Therapy or not, you have a commitment to growing in awareness and that will serve you in good stead.

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mssinglemama November 25, 2008 at 4:33 am

XOXO to all of you…

Thank you.

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jamie November 25, 2008 at 7:58 am

Let your self go…but still be responsible. If that makes any sense. You will never fall if you don’t allow yourself too! If he has proven himself worthy of being around your close friends and especially your son then give him a break! He obviously likes you A LOT! So be extra sweet during the holidays. And enjoy yalls time apart, if he really misses you and your son, he’s a keeper!

By the way…I need to take my own advice! lol

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Laura November 25, 2008 at 11:25 am

This whole thing is hard hey!!

Really we want it, then we get it, then we not sure and it goes on and on.

My only real advise is what the others have said – enjoy it, relax and trust yourself!

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littlemansmom November 25, 2008 at 11:40 am

Oh honey….reading this entry I found the little voices screaming in my head “SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS JUST WHAT YOU ARE FEELING!!!! SOMEONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS!!!!”

I can tell you honestly that if I can (and almost have) overcome this fear….I KNOW that you can!

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