My Comfort Zone

by mssinglemama on August 11, 2010

Here’s the latest from Mia. If you missed the beginning of her story catch up here.

But first, she’s been dating. And having a lot of fun but now that the adrenaline is wearing off she’s doing a lot introspection about her pattern – her comfort zone.

My Comfort Zone (may be a speed zone)

By Mia

“Your first step is figuring out what you want, what will make you happy a year from now. Your second step… just worry about that later.” — Wise words from my best friend.

If the worst problem I have is that everything in my life seems to be changing — is that really a problem? This is the question I asked myself the other night while complaining to one of my closest friends. The advice she gave is above. And it’s brilliant.

I’ll be honest, I am confused. I am slightly overwhelmed, but only at times. Otherwise, I’m happy. Aspects of my life are changing everywhere I look. Some friends who are having, just had, or thinking about children are the ones I could selfishly call before at any time for a quick glass of wine; maybe my job; most likely my schedule with Sydney – or so her dad has been saying for months now. All of these changes, even the good ones, are scary. The only thing not changing is my “pattern”. You know, the relationship “pattern” that all of your friends know you have but you love to deny? Yeah. Well I have one. I don’t fully understand it, but I know its there.

My name is Mia, and I have a pattern. I call it (lovingly) “my comfort zone”. But it has recently been pointed out to me it is more like a speed zone.

I go from 0-60 in about three dates. Although, not in the traditional way. I have never been the type to fall head over heels and ditch her girlfriends, or wait on the edge of my seat for a phone call, or (god forbid) cyber stalk or do drive by’s. It happens totally different for me. It starts with one, honest, good conversation. I have a knack in that department. I can make someone feel as if they are the only person in the world. I’m a good listener, a bad small talker, and I love deep conversation. Getting to the root of someone (AKA 60 mph) very quickly is my passion. I love this about me for a lot of reasons but when it comes to new relationships, the verdict of whether it is a good quality or not is still out. Note: I have not dated a tremendous amount since becoming a single mom, but I am noticing this pattern resurfacing from even before my ex and I got together and I have a sneaking suspicion it is something I should acknowledge. Even change.

What’s the problem you ask? The outcome? A relationship that should be at a school zone pace is highway cruising before I have even decided if the car is is right for me! I like relationships of all kinds. I am an includer. And I tend to put the real me out there pretty fearlessly (wearing messy buns in my hair, revealing inside jokes, and laughing about quirky shortcomings pretty soon out the gate.) Apparently, a lot of guys like this. (Or at least the ones I initially go for…)

So, what happened to being courted? I’m not even sure I know what that means. Shouldn’t I be comfortable with the guy that doesn’t divulge himself to me completely right off the bat? Maybe he doesn’t drop his plans to be with me whenever my schedule allows. Is that alright? Maybe the first few weeks we don’t have long, late night conversations on the phone, or even childish flirtatious texting all day. Is that bad?? I have no idea. It is possible I could be dismissing the school zone guy, even if I am pretty sure I would be barreling along, hair blowing in the wind, in the wrong direction with the highway man – Far away from where I want to be in a year.

I spent a long time, most of my 20’s in fact, with a man who wasn’t deep. At all. In fact, deep conversation was rare. But I remember our connection was something else back then. It was speed zone pace as well, in it’s own way. It was my pattern. And in this case I think it was there, leading me to loving him, so we could make our daughter. So it was worth it. I haven’t felt much of a connection to anyone since I started dating again. Until recently I wasn’t sure if I could or wanted to. Now I am afraid it is all for the wrong reasons. As comfortable as those reasons are to me.

So, the advise I received from my friend– “Your first step is figuring out what you want, what will make you happy a year from now. Your second step… just worry about that later.” — is becoming my mantra. I plan on finding out what and where I want to be and letting the rest fit in how it may.

Wish me luck!


And P.S.

(It’s Alaina again) if you feel that her post screams a need for reading Marry Him! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough you’d be correct. I lent her my copy months ago but she won’t read it. It’s the title, it’s a misleading controversial title but it’s such an amazing book.

Don’t forget to vote for Mia’s panel, too.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Star August 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm

She needs a copy of “He’s just not that into you.” too. It just clarified how I should be treated in a relationship and I think primed me for letting go of the Mr. Wrongs that felt right and seeing Mr. Right for who he really is! I would also caution her though that when she does finally shift her pattern and find Mr. Right, her mind will still continue to keep second guessing and trying to tell her it’s all wrong because it doesn’t fit her normal pattern. I’m having to talk myself through it EVERY single step of the way. I think I’m making progress but patterns are SO hard to break. I have a great guy who is everything I want for a future of happiness together and STILL my mind seeks out my normal aloof, emotionally unavailable, immature, surfer type and tells me that’s who I need to be with. Are you kidding me!?!?! Get over it BRAIN! We LEARNED that lesson already!!!!!!


Hillary Ruiz August 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

I loved that book!


cheska August 19, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I sooo love the book too. It’s like an eye opener to what guys really are. very, very nice.


Alyssa August 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm

AHH! I did that so many times! I’d spend 10 hours at a time on the phone with a guy, text all day the following, go out a couple times and then I’d realize I didn’t really like them. And instead of actually telling them I would just blow them off gradually (I’m horrible I know!!) It took me a long time to stop that pattern, either that or I just found the right guy…who knows!


April August 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Star and Alyssa,
I totally know what you mean!! I have this great guy that I have really treated bad (broke up with him 2 times) and he still takes me back. And it is the same story. My mind would STILL seek to find that instant, exciting, passionate, and all consuming love that I had with my ex-husband. Granted it wasn’t the fairytale ending, but I knew it was real at the time. I have never felt that way about anyone since my divorce, but I don’t think you find that same type of love twice because no two people, or relationships are the same. What I do know is that I always miss the “good guy” that I am seeing now, when I go back out into the dating pool and start finding the jerks. I have come to realize and it took a very long time that you have to train your mind to think differently about the qualities that you want in a mate. My guy now is so understanding of my feelings and where I have been, because he has been there too. So, I have just told myself to enjoy him, get to know us together, and hopefully the rest will just fall into place. 😉


Erin August 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Mia’s sister, here. Gotta say… this pattern must run in our family, because it is exactly my case as well. Knowing her my whole life, I must admit, I don’t think of her as someone that goes from 0-60 with guys, but now that I reflect on it, I guess I can see it. I just always saw THEM adoring her, and felt, out of the two of us, I was the sister that was always heartbroken over some guy when she was the one always breaking guys’ hearts. But… every story has an unfolding sub-plot, I guess.

I think there is something to be said about embodying the kind of spirit that makes people feel “understood” and accepted by you. Mia has always been that person that draws people in. I think both Mia and I have an inherent need to connect to people and it is most apparent by the number of people who remain in our lives. That is a good thing, a virtue of sincerity and depth. But, our downfall is our expectation for others to be as probing, intuitive and demonstrative as we are. There is someone in my life who is constantly referring to that aspect of my nature as “dramatic”. That is an easy cop out for people to defer to, in my opinion. Anything can be reduced to that word, drama. And I find it to be a meaningless word now.

Being perpetually deep can be awkward. People often don’t like to feel too much or think past the immediate, and when someone, by nature, espouses their thoughts, interpretations, concerns and vulnerabilities on an effortless level, it can come across as heavy, and men, for the most part, grow weary of “heavy”. At least in my case, the very depth that made the guy take a swan dive into your life and heart is now the ocean he claims is drowning him. Ironic. My question is always: why? Is it passion-turned-disinterest or is it that people are afraid to feel too much, so they resort to shutting out that which poses an emotional risk? Falling in love is the easy part. Staying there is the part that counts.


Cheryl August 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I picked up a copy of “Marry Him…” after reading this post. I’m almost done w/ it. And I want to buy like 900 copies and give them to EVERY. SINGLE. WOMAN. I know, have known, or will know.

I’m 43. I’m a single mother “by choice”. My daughter just turned 4 in June.

Dating SUCKS. Why? B/c I too had a ridiculous check list of all the things I wanted in a man, from his height (over 6′) to his hair color (black or brown, definitely wavy, and definitely LOTS of it), to his eye color (green), to his skin (pasty white), to … well, YOU get the idea.

And while I also had things like KIND, SPIRITUAL, COMPASSIONATE, LOVES KIDS, GOOD PROVIDER on my list too, those didn’t seem to be the things I focused on. And even if a date (or potential mate) HAS those things, I’d often discount them entirely for things like CHEMISTRY.

Bad idea dudes.

Read it or not. I’m speaking to you all as an OVER 40 woman who threw away a lot of awesome & perfectly perfect men over stupid, inane, petty bullsh*t that had nothing to do whatsoever with what kind of husbands they might be. I could have been married ages ago. I might have even had more than one child. You know what else? I’d be happy. Not lonely. Not angry. And most certainly, not having to completely upend everything I ever thought I “KNEW” about dating, partnership, marriage, etc.

Thanks Alaina (and by proxy Mia) for sharing this little gem with me. I’m picking up the proverbial ball, and I’m running with it baby!



Nancy August 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Sounds like I might have to pick up a copy of this book that seems to have changed your mind/thoughts. I’ve been single for 5 years now and haven’t dated. Now that I’m actually “thinking” about maybe one day meeting someone, I too have a long list. And of course I won’t let my guard down. Especially because I have two young boys that are my number one priority and afraid of their reaction to “mom dating someone”.

Any advice on how to get started on the whole “dating thing”? It’s been over 15 years since my last date and now I have children and things are so different.

I’m just so scared of what’s out there, not even sure if I want to start dating… So confused..


Jen October 5, 2010 at 12:02 am

This reminds me of the time I was sitting on the beach with my Aunt, talking about relationships (leaving the marriage, possible new men, etc.), and she said, “Jennifer, you just need to figure out the things you wish you had learned and look at why you haven’t learned them.”
Huge turning point for me…and I definitely have a pattern; one that I AM changing.
Totally, completely relate to Mia’s writing there…


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