Hello, my name’s Marianne and I love you

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 12.42.25I don’t like this dating business. I haven’t even gone on one and already I’m in strung out and tired. I don’t like strangers pinging messages to my phone every day and I don’t like that I’m going out to meet them – I feel anxious, jumpy and irritable.

I now have four dates lined up – one tonight, one tomorrow night, one on Wednesday and one next Sunday.

I keep thinking, what if they don’t like me? What if they say ‘you don’t look anything like your pictures?’ – which, of course, I don’t. I have put up BY FAR MY BEST PICTURES. I know that this is part of the game but seriously, I could be done under trade descriptions.

I’ve spent the last few days hating my teeth and my bum and my hair. I’ve been looking in the mirror and finding the ways I am wanting. I am thinking things such as: ‘why are your eyes so weird and puffy at the moment? Who would want to look into them?’ I’ve been looking at my lumpy arse and thighs and thinking the same thing – ‘who the hell would want them? Why have you let yourself go?’ etc etc.

I am already setting myself up for rejection. It makes me want to cry.

I know hardly anything about the men I’m meeting – but I am already projecting like crazy.

My biggest projections are going onto the guy I’m meeting on Sunday night. He volunteers and just took a week off work to help his sister do up her new flat. He has a good job and lives in Richmond. I’m building him up into some kind of saint. A tall, sexy saint.

I’m not really a fan of Richmond (for non-Londoners it’s a posh bit of town full of Rugby playing, management consultant types and yummy mummies) – but already I’m picturing moving into his book lined house (I have no idea if he even reads, but my fantasy life always involves rooms with tall ceilings and book shelves) and having hot sex and lying in bed on Sundays… and then…  then what?…

All these feelings comes up… feelings that I suppress… feelings that maybe deep down I do want to fall in love, get married and have babies…despite the fact that this is not what I think in my normal life.

While my single friends are certain in their desire to do all that – I never am. When I look to the future I imagine travel, fun, adventures. I rail against this idea that if you’re single you’re sole existence is trying to find Mr Right – I don’t think that anybody can make you happy, I think you have to do that yourself. As for children, I don’t feel a deep need to have my own. I do worry that I’ll wake up at 45 and think ‘You missed the point of life’ but right now my biological clock is not ticking.

BUT there must be a big level of denial going on because half a sniff of someone who might be nice and wham, bam, I’m into Happily Ever After fantasy land.

And I hate that. I hate that deep down I might just be a big old Bridget Jones cliche and also I hate how vulnerable this makes me feel. I have spent my life not admitting – even to myself – that I’d like to fall in love and settle down because what if nobody wants to marry me, love me, have a family with me?

I spent most of my twenties quite certain that nobody would. I sat at wedding after wedding thinking there is no way any man will look at me the way that the groom is looking at my friend, no way that a man would stand up in a room and talk about the day he met me. Each wedding I went to was a reflection of everything that my life wasn’t and it broke me heart a bit every time. And so I just closed myself down to even the idea of it.

Over the last couple of years, since the Hoffman Process, I’ve come so far in that regard. I like myself so much more than I did and I know, in theory at least, that it’s not inconceivable that someone could love me – in fact, men have told me that they do – but the whole thing still scares the crap out of me.

I’ve just finished reading a brilliant book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. She talks about this idea that there are two primary emotions – love and fear. If we feel love every day, we go through the world in a different way, we attract people and situations and life flows. If, however, we allow fear to take hold, then our hearts close and we are brittle and isolated. We become angry, stressed, suspicious… everybody we meet seems to reflect back our negative feelings.

Hate isn’t the opposite of love, she says, fear is.

It’s so true. I have been in proper fear over the last few days – fear of rejection, of being hurt, fear of not being good enough, fear of falling in love and losing myself….

I’ve been hearing horror stories from friends about guys on the internet and have let myself get  suspicious of the guys who have been texting me.  I’ve worried that they’re just manipulative monsters, who’ll use me and laugh at me, but that’s just fear talking.

But men aren’t monsters, any more than women are. I think that we’re all trying our best and sometimes we behave badly but that doesn’t make us bad people.

I know that I’ve behaved badly in the past, out of fear and self-protection. I have been stuck up and proud. I have dismissed people who were brave enough to open their heart to me because I didn’t believe it, didn’t think I deserved it. I have run away. Time and time again.

But enough running.  According to Marianne Williamson, and indeed Tolle, and the Bible, and just about every spiritual text in the land… love is the reason we are alive. Not necessarily romantic, find-a-partner-love – but love of your fellow human beings. Without it we are nothing. Without it, life is pointless, life is hell.

Marianne Williamson (and all the other spiritual A-listers) also believes that everyone who comes into our life does so to teach us a lesson. Even bad dates can be good dates, if we see them as an opportunity to learn something.

She writes: ‘Looking for Mr. Right leads to desperation, because there is no Mr. Right. There is no Mr. Right, because there is no Mr. Wrong. There is whoever is in front of us and the perfect lessons to be learned from that person.”

So I’ll do my best to think of each date as a lesson and an experience. I won’t get hung up on the outcome. I’ll also do my very best to lower my defences enough to have an open mind and an open heart.

In fact I was thinking I might introduce myself this: ‘Hi, I’m Marianne and I love you.’ Because that wouldn’t be at all weird, would it?!  Ha ha.

Right, over and out, I’ll report back on Monday.

LOVE TO YOU ALL.

XX

A COUPLE MORE MARIANNE WILLIAMSON QUOTES

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
― Marianne Williamson

“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson

15 thoughts on “Hello, my name’s Marianne and I love you

  1. SallyB

    Marianne

    Go out each evening with no other expectation other than to try and have a lovely time with someone who obviously wants to spend a bit of time with you. The only person putting yourself under pressure is you. You’ve got 4 dates this week how cool is that! Just relax and enjoy each experience. You are beautiful, you are enough, just give it time x

    Reply
  2. Anne

    it is a scary world out there but I am reminded of a peom called Risk
    “To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

    To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

    To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

    To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

    To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

    To love is to risk not being loved in return,

    To live is to risk dying,

    To hope is to risk despair,

    To try is to risk failure.

    But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

    The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

    He may avoid suffering and sorrow,

    But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

    Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

    Only a person who risks is free.

    Reply
  3. Di

    Imho, internet isn’t necessarily full of creepy people looking for a quick hook up — definitely not more than an average pub on a Saturday night. A few people I know found the love of their lives online, and a common thing I heard was the fact that they would never be able to give each other a chance if they didn’t meet online.

    Btw, I’ve been reading your blog for ages and I think you are super fun and cool. Isn’t there any nice guy contacting you from your blog and asking you out? I’d do so if I was a guy 😀

    Reply
  4. Helen

    You’re quite fabulous. As Sally B says, just have no other expectations but a lovely night out.
    He may be just as nervous!
    Can’t wait to hear how you get on x
    P.s the paragraph about weddings to anyone who is single is so common. I still have that fear now and I’m 39….x

    Reply
  5. Lucie

    Dear Marianne, really well put with honesty and humour. If Mr Richmond reads your blog before you arrive, he will no doubt be out there stocking up on books….. Xxx

    Reply
  6. Michelle Bunt

    Aw Marianne! I relate to so much of what you said. Especially the bit about not being sure if you want a partner and kids. I used to feel that way but realised I was in denial. I think I really would like a husband (absolutely no desire for kids though) but I also know that I could be happy and live a great life without a husband too.

    The scary thing about dating (which I’m currently experiencing) is how someone incredibly strong and independent like myself suddenly feels weak. When there are no guys on the horizon I’m so secure in myself however when guys enter the picture I suddenly feel like I need their approval etc. And I hate that.

    I hope your dates go well. Four in just over a week is a lot! Go you! (But also remember that if you continue to feel exhausted by the dating process then it is ok to cancel or spread them further apart). You are doing fabulously 🙂

    Reply
  7. Arthur

    I read an article on the BBC website recently, which recommended choosing your less-than-perfect picture for your profile.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31168242

    I think I’ll follow that advice. Putting a picture of me at my best pressures me to always look my best, which I rarely do (I’m one of those pale people who always look like they didn’t get enough sleep). It creates expectations I know I cannot fulfil. It also reflects my insecurity and desire to be loved. Mostly I get along fine in my singleton life. Just occasionally, I suffer pangs of lonliness. It’s probably a trauma thing – nothing I can get rid of, but not something I should be driven by, or I’ll be meeting people for all the wrong reasons.

    You’re fine, Marianne. You have dates. If you feel humiliated and rejected before they have even happened, just remember, we love you. We may not be hot and handsome in Richmond, but we think you’re a lovely person 😉

    Long story short, I know hopw you feel. Fear of rejection makes us take everything extra personally. Try to relax and see it as fun.

    The book “Scarcity” by Mullainathan and Shafir reports on a study that shows how lonely people appear and sound more interesting to others when they are just being themselves, as opposed to when they try to make a good impression. So f**k it. Have fun.

    Reply
  8. Jessica

    I met my now husband four years ago online. It turned out that before meeting we had been on the same commuter train every day for years and had never noticed each other. We’d even on two occasions stayed in the same hotel at the same time and never met so if it hadn’t of been for online dating we’d probably still be ‘bumping’ into each other without ever realising.

    I hope the dates are going well xx

    Reply

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