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May 9, 2013

Dating 101: Transitional Men & Heart vs. Brain

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/dating_101_transitional_men_heart_vs._brain/

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I am not really a transitional kind of girl.  I hate the dating dance and at this stage of my life am able to make quick decisions in terms of the men I want to spend time with.  I have friends who swear by the "transitional man" method of getting over a love.  A man that will get you back in the saddle so to speak, so you can mend your broken heart, and then meet the next man you will love.  For me, I'd rather have a practice round instead of a transitional man.  I'm not transitioning from anything.  I had love, lost it, and want it again.

Yesterday I spoke with a single male friend of mine.  He is in his 50's, divorced, successful, sexy, smart, funny, planted firmly in Judaism, and unable to find love.  I have had a crush on him for years and don't get why he is not in a relationship.  We spoke about dating and it was interesting to get a look into how a man's mind works. It is very different.  Forget about Mars and Venus, apples and oranges, or black and white.  They differences between men and women are far vaster than planets, fruits, and colors.  We are just inexplicably different.

He spoke of being bored with meeting women for coffee or dinner.  He sits and talks to people all day and so going out to talk is not appealing.  It made perfect  sense to me.  Isn't the real test of compatibility whether you can be quiet together?  I can talk to anyone, it's a gift, but being quiet with someone is a special thing. Relationships are not just about talking.  Or sex for that matter. There is more intimacy in lying down with someone and listening to them breathe, than in having sex.  Sex is important, but not necessarily always intimate.

I never invite men to my home unless we are in a relationship.  My son lives with me, and meeting him must be earned. I will go to a man's home if I feel comfortable, but if that comfort fades once I'm there, I leave.  My friend spoke of inviting a woman to his home on a second date.  He loves his home, and thought having her over would be relaxing and less of a forced talking marathon, which dates can be.  She took the invitation to mean he wanted a relationship, as home meant intimacy to her. Wrong, but understandable.

If a man is invited into my home, the place where I am my most happy and self-aware, in my mind it is a relationship.  For my friend, inviting her into his home was simply another location for a date.  Women are seeking signs from men to make us feel special.  If we are invited to his home, we’re special.  The truth is that if we saw a list of women invited there before us, we would see it is not special at all.  Not everything men do and say has a hidden message of love.  Men don't think like that, and women are unwilling to understand or believe it.

Couldn’t all dating for men be classified as transitional? How exactly will a transitional man help me? What am I looking for? I don't need to get married again, I don't want to have another child, I have my own home, car, and ability to support myself.  My son does not need a father, and neither do I.  I am looking for a friend, confidant, lover, and ultimately a witness.  I want a witness to my life.  I want to look next to me and know they have the same memories as me.  I want to include someone other than my son and myself in my dreams.

Men are, in my opinion, better able to handle a transitional relationship. They can get from point A to point B with a few pit stops along the way.  Women want to get from point A to point B quickly, with no stops in between.  I am spending my transitional period with myself, and that is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I am avoiding some of the pitfalls that come with transitional dating, and a curse because I spend more time looking backward than forward.  I am not sure how I am supposed to see a future when I’m facing the past.

Is the point of a transitional person to make you move on faster?  Is fast really the way to go when mending a broken heart?  When a relationship ends we focus on the heart, which makes no sense.  You can fix a broken heart, transplant one that is not functioning, patch a hole in one, or make it slow down so you can catch your breath. The focus when suffering through heartache should be the brain.  You can’t get a brain transplant, or path a hole in your brain, or slow it down so you can catch your breath.  Heartache requires a new brain, not a new heart.

I like my heart.  It loves deeply and openly.  Is has compassion, empathy, hope, and love.  My brain however, needs a little work.  It is unable to acknowledge red flags, listens to the ramblings of my heart, which let’s face it, is a bit of a drinker, and seems incapable of learning from its mistakes.  At the end of the day I am a bit of a mess.  My heart, while lovely, is not that bright.  My brain, while brilliant, is that that savvy.  They are both important, but need to get along. If they could just pay more attention to each other, I’d be much better off.

My heart needs to communicate better with my brain, and my brain needs to acknowledge the feelings of my heart. They both mean well, and have my best interest in mind, but they both want to win the battle of love and in battling with each other, are making me a little crazy. Love s certainly a game, but it does not need to be a war.  I am not sure who to listen to most days, which is simply exhausting. I am getting through each day, hoping to spend more time looking ahead than back, and trying to always keep the faith.

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