A friend once pointed out something interesting to me. I was complaining about the things that were going on in my love life, or rather not going on. I felt invisible and ignored by men and really wanted to meet more men that I appreciated and who appreciated me.
After an evening of talking about life, love and relationships my friend started to see a pattern in what I was saying and frankly told me that I was in fact meeting a lot of men who did appreciate me but that I for some reason not only failed to appreciate them but even failed to see that they were in my life! For me it really felt like I wasn’t meeting any men, when no less than 3 men had shown clear interest in me just during the last week.
So what was going on here? I’m obviously not literally blind, so why couldn’t I see what was right in front of my eyes (and occasionally even in my bed!)?
When I thought about it I realized that I had a pattern of thinking that compliments, invites, flirts and even whole men “didn’t count”.
I’d think: “sure, he said I looked nice and that he really enjoyed spending time with me but I’m sure he was just being polite.”
Or: “I’m sure he flirts with all women like this, it has nothing to do with me, it’s just the way he is.”
And even: “well, he probably just wanted to see me tonight because the 3 more interesting women he asked before me were busy.”
For real! I’d think these things for real! No wonder I never felt chosen, appreciated or flirted with – but it had nothing to do with the men. They could flirt with me in all kinds of obvious ways and I’d still find a way to disregard it.
And of course it was no fun to flirt with me when I didn’t take it seriously or even noticed it. Of course they thought I wasn’t interested or available and moved on. But when they did I could suddenly see very clearly, that was living proof that men didn’t choose me…
It was a chock to realize that my head and heart was full of countless excuses that made it impossible for me to feel close to and appreciated by men. But this was of course the unconscious point of these automatic thoughts. I was afraid of vulnerability, taking a chance and losing, or being rejected. And I must admit, disqualifying everything and everyone before it even starts is indeed a very effective way to avoid that. 😉
But the problem with strategies designed to protect our tender hearts is that they also protect them from love and joy and connection. It’s a high price to pay so I decided to take the risk, open my eyes and receive what men wanted to give and share with me.
And when I did, as you can imagine, everything shifted.