It’s been over a year since I’ve seen you at the pub; you know, life and COVID and such. It was our conversation last year that inspired me to dip my toe into the dating pool after years of being single. Call me curious, I wanted to know if you were right that the dating world changes at a certain age (ahem; the forties are amazing, btw.). So, I signed up for two dating services for one entire year to see what would happen. (yes, pandemic and all).
You were right. The dating game at forty is a totally different ball of wax than it was in my early thirties when I was floundering around looking for a mate. The only trouble is, I am also a different person—so the problem has changed into a whole new complexity of variables.
Back then, I was looking for a partner, someone who could meet me step for step and not slow me down or derail me from my mission. They didn’t need to be committed to my mission and goals, just not actively working against my dreams. If I even got a whiff of it… I just quickly moved along. After a time it was just more energetically efficient and a much higher level of happiness to avoid dudes all together. A sad but true testament, because the ones that smell yummy and speak well are so entertaining to be around. Alas.
At the end of a year of dating as I close out my accounts this is what I’ve learned: the men I met and or chatted with were men I would have sold the farm and re-arranged my life to be with fifteen years ago. Nice guys. Decent fellas. Sweet and genuine as can be. Worthy and wonderful gentlemen, all.
But as much as the dating game changes in the forties—I am also completely revolutionized in what I am interested in or willing to pair myself with now. That old bar was set a lifetime ago. I hate to say it, but if I’d matched with any of those guys and sold the farm and re-arranged my life to mesh into theirs… I would have evolved out of them eventually if our relationships hadn’t been able to evolve along at the same time.
Because I am no longer looking for, or interested in a mere boyfriend, or companion, or partner. I’ve set my new bar at an “engaging empire collaborator”.
Whoa, Gladys, whoa. I know. I bet you didn’t see that coming. I didn’t. It caught me completely by surprise. Like, blindsided with my mouth full of bagel one morning while I was staring out the window with my journal kind of surprise.
Whaaaat? I’m open to the idea of matrimony again? What? The idea of family open to negotiation? World travel? Re-settling? All of it… the toggle popped and there was really only one thing I had an absolute about.
Happiness within to collaborate happiness with another.
I know Gladys, I know. It should always be about internal happiness. Obviously. But how many people are aware of what that actually means to them and what they have to do to make it real for themselves SO THAT THEY CAN GIVE IT FREELY TO ANOTHER?
Radical trust and collaboration, especially in terms of partnership and romance, means if you don’t have it to bring to the table—you can’t offer it in collaboration. You can trade for it, sure, but when you’re talking about the foundation of happiness: happiness cannot be given to you by anyone BUT you.
The love has to be within you and FOR you in order to give love with genuine and powerful freedom. If you give love you don’t have… what is that?
Really nice gentleman who could offer me their worlds, enable my dreams and support my future have all sat at the table with me as they spoke with language and vibrations that ached, ACHED with self-loathing, regret, and fear. (In the many ways that lack mentality shows up in energetics and material manifestations) They have been wonderful. Truly. Worthy of great bounty and dreams, all of them. They are humans having a human experience, right? We all are.
But as a collaborator looking for a collaborator—I’m looking for conversations and energy that are wired to possibility, potential, Yes+And, to build, develop, and create=create=create.
I’m not too ashamed or embarrassed to say, I plan to build an empire, and I think it would be marvelous to have a fellow builder along for the adventure. Imagine the worlds we’d manifest!
I know who the collaborators are not, when they roll their eyes at that statement or put qualifiers on what I can bring to a table. I know who the collaborators are when they engage with Yes+And.
Dear Gladys, not one of the nice gentlemen this year was an active collaborator. That’s not to say he doesn’t exist. I know for certain he does; we met in the dream world. That’s pretty real, right? Anywhoo, all joking aside, I owe you a great thanks and a few beers.
Without you asking the questions, and seeding the curiosity, I wouldn’t have gone looking. I wouldn’t have stepped out of the wilderness to pause at some watering holes and take in the new views. Without the experiences, I wouldn’t have realized where my new collaborative bar sits, or what I can and will bring to a negotiation table. I wouldn’t have realized the old fears no longer rule me, and the old desires no longer hunger.
Without venturing into the dating desert, I wouldn’t have known for myself how much I’ve changed, and how much there still is to create or experience—and that finally... I'm ready to dance.