"Carolyn's stories are like a cozy blanket, a pair of stretchy pants, a lifetime movie, and a pint of ice cream to come home to after a DUMB! dating experience. It makes you breathe a sigh of relief and think "Phew! Its NOT just me!!!!!!". -- Ozlem (my hairdresser)

Love the blog Carolyn!! Just read every entry - it's all great! really interesting and a lot I could relate to-- it's hard for me to imagine you having any trouble meeting guys, but I love the honesty and openness of your voice.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"You Need to Love Yourself More"

I met a girl at a party in L.A, who is considered a psychic, so I asked her if she saw a meaningful relationship in my life anytime soon. "What is your relationship like with yourself ?" she asked. Well, there are times I feel like shit, there are times I feel like I'm on top of the world and there are times that I feel every emotion in between.

I like myself. I strive to be a good person. Sure, I have fears, insecurities and numerous challenges like everybody else, but typically, on sunny mornings, I wake up and feel pretty good. "You need to love yourself in order for a man to love you," she told me. Really? Does everyone have a such a great relationship with himself and feel so positively ecstatic right before they meet that special someone?

"Kayla" was married for 12 years before her husband decided to leave her and their four kids for the blonde, red Corvette-driving bartender who worked at the family restaurant 2 miles from their home. A year after the divorce, Kayla was struggling, trying to pay the bills with the paltry child support check her husband sent late each month. She was severely depressed and spent many nights crying on the phone with her friends, drinking bottles of 'two buck Chuck,' once the kids were in bed. She was at rock bottom when she met Walter, an attorney, in the produce section. He fell in love with her. They dated for six months before he proposed. Kayla and the kids are much happier now than they have ever been.

I thought about my mental state each time I met my significant relationships. Tim introduced himself at jury duty, during a major turning point in my life. A big job had ended and I was nervous, but excited, about embarking upon a freelance career. Tim also worked for himself and, after two months of dating, he was talking marriage, until I offered some insight into an issue he divulged, that his therapist of 9 years hadn't quite figured out in their weekly sessions. He was excited about my discovery, however, the therapist was nervous I wasn't the right woman for him. Her advice to him, after her meal ticket's next session, was that we should take a break from dating. So we did.

I met Alejandro right after Tim, when I was wholeheartedly involved in a passion project. We ended up sharing two and a half passionate (and dramatic) years together before I broke it off, upon discovering his infidelity.

One week after my traumatic breakup with Alejandro, I met Eddie. If feeling low about yourself attracts the wrong breed, then I have to admit that's what happened with Eddie, a deluded man who preached integrity and honesty, but preyed upon my generosity.

So, upon reflection, my emotional states were pretty similar to the type of relationships I experienced. So, maybe if I do love and appreciate myself more, I will attract a loving man. Besides, how hard can it be to love myself like how I want to be loved, right?

I spent a wonderfully amazing weekend in Denver with good friends and was feeling a lot of love when I boarded the small commuter jet back to Los Angeles. I took my window seat in the middle of the plane, next to a man with a full head of dark, thick hair, slicked back with pomade and a full black beard, peppered with grey. His eyes were green, his nose wide and he spoke with a thick Middle-Eastern accent. He reeked of cigarette smoke.

"I'm sorry if I smell," he said, "I smoked too many cigarettes all day today." Oof. I was sitting next to a chimney for the next two hours on a sold out flight, so there was no chance of changing seats. I laid my head against the window, closed my eyes, and tried to fall asleep.

Halfway through the flight, I reclined my chair and laid my head back, thinking about the week ahead. A few moments passed before the man next to me repositioned himself, so that he was laying on his left side, facing me. His feet were curled up on the seat and his face rested on his hands under his cheek. The close proximity of his face to mine was uncomfortably intimate for a complete stranger laying next to me on a small plane.

He opened his eyes and exhaled through his nose and mouth. His rank breath blew on my face. "Are you on TV?" he calmly asked, waking up from his nap. "No." I replied, raising my seat, so we were no longer laying next to one another. "Well then, you look like someone on TV. Or, there is someone on TV who looks like you." He scooted up in his seat and I could feel his eyes examine me.

"You have a beautiful face and a beautiful body," he said. I'm trapped in a seat on a packed commuter plane with nowhere to run and the stinky guy laying way too close to me is now saying inappropriate things. "Thank you," I answered. "That's very kind of you." I said, turning to my left side to avoid him. "Are you married?" he continued. "No, but I have a boyfriend," I stated and closed my eyes. "We could have fun," he offered. I checked the time on my cellphone. Forty-three more minutes before we land.

But we didn't land. The plane circled around Burbank airport and then diverted to LAX. The pilot came on the loud speaker and said they were having a "flap problem". Since there are no mechanics at Burbank, we were being diverted to LAX. As we approached the runway, a dozen ambulances, fire trucks and emergency vehicles awaited us with flashing lights. Wait a second! The pilot sounded so calm... are we going to crash upon landing? Am I going to die alone, sharing this moment with a stinky, creepy man? If I loved myself more, would I be seated next to the handsome, single guy two rows up from me?

Fortunately, the plane landed without incident. However, my first attempt of loving myself more did not attract the right guy. I assume my love for myself must travel much deeper and love all the insecurities, flaws and self-worth issues I've grappled with since I was a child.

"Too bad our fathers didn't raise us like Gwyneth Paltrow's did," offered a girlfriend.