Dating a Different Kind of Guy - Making the Shift to a More Mature Relationship
I am writing to you after reading a bunch of your hubpages on relationships. I believe I am in transition. I'm 29 years old now and I have purchased a house. I have a good job but I'm exactly happy with my career. I have always been the independent sort and I have come to a place in life where I am not happy with my relationships. I had lots of different friends in my twenties but I don't seem to have those friendships anymore. Partly because some of the people I'd be friends with are married or raising families or moved away and don't have time for friendships anymore. Like, they've moved on. But many of the friends I have had through my twenties are still around and still single, many of them work where I work, but I don't want to be friends with them anymore. I don't even know why. I don't feel like they want to be friends with me either. Maybe it's because we just want different things out of life. I don't want to say I've grown up and they haven't but in many ways they are the exact same people they have been all along and I am feeling differently now. Nothing specific happened that made things change. It's just me and whatever this is that I am going through. I still go out and hang out with them and meet guys, and in my line of work I meet different people all the time. However I just feel like I keep meeting the same kind of people. I feel like I am beginning to want a real relationship. I am ready to make a commitment and I would even think about marriage and children now if the right person were to ask. I started to ask myself why I'm not meeting the right kinds of guys for this that want these things too. I realized I'm not even meeting the right friends either. I seem to be attracting the wrong people. What am I putting out there? I am a nice person and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I am not judging anyone. I don't understand why I am just not content with my life anymore. I am being purposefully vague about some of the aspects of this, I hope you can understand and still offer some advice. How can I meet the right people, both as friends and as dates. How can I change whatever I'm putting out there to meet more serious or mature people at this point in my life. How can I move on like I think some people I've worked with in the past have moved on. Thanks for your time.
You're at a very interesting age. You're at a turning point. You've probably just come through your Rites of Passage or Saturn Return. You're experiencing a maturity and a sense of grounded self that is truly new. You may have changed or e-evaluated some of your values, some of your goals. If they didn't change, then they have refocused and solidified. It is an amazing time. Things become clearer. Things become less diffused and fringed.
Energy is a very strong force in our lives. We may come to these places where we stop and take a look around, but the energy around us keeps moving. And it keeps moving in the manner it had been. You may be feeling new, seeing things differently, ready for changes, but energy will do what it's doing until acted upon. The energy around you is still propelled by what acted upon it in the past. The inertia is what you're experiencing.
The best thing you can do is to put energy into a new direction, into new things that better amplify the way you feel and the things you want out of life. Right now you're looking around at the life you've had and you're saying OK I am ready for a change. But what are you doing to change it. It's just like if you were in the super market standing in front of the frozen dinners, saying "I'm hungry, but I want something different," but you're still standing right there looking over those Lean Cuisines. You have to actually leave the frozen foods. You have to walk out of the store. You have to go to the farmer's market, and look at the apples and corn and all the fresh produce. It ill be then that you'll start seeing different things... things you want.
I am picking up that there is some vagueness in your email. That's fine, you don't have to share whatever it is you don't want to share. It will limit how specific I can be with my advice, but perhaps for you the broad strokes are what you need.
There is a tone to your email that is hard for me to grasp regarding your job. You said you have a nice job but you aren't exactly happy with your career. Later you said you meet lots of people through your work but they aren't the kinds of people you want to be meeting at this point. You didn't say anything bad about them. You even qualified this point regarding your friendships of this past decade. You said it seems you're the one that's changing, these people are the same.
I'm just going to throw an example out there just to have a platform to discuss this. If for example you are an exotic dancer or a cocktail waitress, you may be experiencing a change in in yourself that has no room for mirroring outside of you. While this may be a good job, and you were able to buy a house, and you've enjoyed friendships in the past from the establishment where you work, you may just be ready for something different now. That doesn't mean there was anything wrong with the time you spent at this job. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the people still there, just like you said. It doesn't mean anything derogatory. It simply means, you've changed.
Since certain work atmospheres, say for example a gentlemen's club or a bar, have a tendency for large turnover in employees and clientele, there can be a feeling of transience, a feeling of things not being permanent. Having come to a point in your life where you are looking for deeper connections to friends and boyfriends, maybe you're instinctively seeking an environment that breeds more of a sense of permanence and security. It could be common in the industry or it may be just the way the particular establishment where you work feels. You're expressing a hesitance to say this, so I will say it for you: You've outgrown this place. You've had good years there, but it's simply time to move on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Someone told me a long time ago to live as if you are having the life you want. Live as if you are what you want to be. It's sort of a practical application for positive visualization. Of course you need to be responsible. If you want to be a doctor I don't think you can go out there and start performing plastic surgery in the back of your Honda. But, you an enroll in a first aid class. You can become CPR certified. You can volunteer for an ambulance corp. You could visit hospitals, you could look into a career where you can be around doctors and medicine even if you don't have the education. Working in a hospital cafeteria, working in medical billing in a doctor's office, working as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company, are all perfect examples of ways you could get started living the life you want to live.
Not everyone has a job that spreads out over other aspects of their lives. You didn't make it sound like there was much a difference between your life and your work life. If you can't afford to leave this job and move onto something you'd like more, then maybe you could cut back the hours. Part time at this job and part time at one you like. Or, if you have to keep this job full time, begin a count down. Frame out how long it will take you to extract yourself and being looking forward to it. 6 months? A year? begin saving some money if you can, taking a night class or two, or even picking up a few hours part time doing something you really love, even if it's on a volunteer basis.
There's a movie called Waiting about the wait staff of a big chain restaurant. You see them all working together, but you also see that they are all friends, or that they are dating, or that they all hang out together after work. It's one of those places that doesn't just give you a job, it gives you a life. For some people that's exactly what they want. I have a friend who is a lawyer that lives his job. He's always working, always reading something about a case, always answering emails and phone calls from people at the office, always dating someone he works with, always going golfing or hanging out with the guys from his office. He's very happy. He wanted that kind of life. I referenced a girl I met in another article once, who was a marine biologist. I believe she had a very similar kind of life. She took on work where she was spending time around the clock on a given project, with the other people that signed on for the same kind of commitment.
Some people might say these are careers not jobs, and that's the difference. In Waiting, they all choose to hang out together, but it does appear as if most of them do eventually move on in life. I also know a lawyer who's priority is definitely her husband and sons. She writes, she cooks, she gardens. She raises goats in Vermont and doesn't seem to spend much time with the other people from her law firm at all. For her, it's a job. Her life exists outside of her job.
I think you can make anything a career or a job depending on your passion. I think for a long time you have had one of those employment situations where the people are friends and the job becomes your life. I think for you, it's just time to move on.
If you have to keep this as a full time job at least for now, then begin to make the transition from this being your life, to this being just a job. You said you meet lots of people at work. Start meeting them elsewhere instead. Start living the life you want instead of the one you have. If you're into music, start working at a music store. If you're into animals, volunteer at a shelter. If you love to cook, start meeting people at some cooking classes.
You asked what it is you're putting out there, that is attracting these people that you don't knock, it's just that you want something different now. Are you putting out there "whatever the job is that you have?" It's just not working for you anymore. Put something different out there. Be something different. Become the someone that you see yourself as in your mind's eye.
If you try something like online dating, fill out your profile and your "about me" with your goals and thoughts and dreams. Don't dwell so much on your job or the past. Put the you that you want to be out there, instead of the you that you're changing. I'm not encouraging you to be dishonest, I'm encouraging you to focus on what you want.
Don't write a profile focusing on your past: "I'm a cocktail waitress in a bar, I've been there for 8 years. I make a lot of friends at the bar and I meet new people there all the time. My whole world is this bar."
Instead, write a profile focusing on your future: "I'm very interested in Tae Kwon Do and I've just started taking classes. I'm only a white belt but I'm having a lot of fun. I'm hoping to meet new people that are into health, fitness, Eastern philosophies, and trying new things. I have just bought a house and I'm looking for a new jobpath at the moment."
Can you feel how differently those two attitudes would represent you? Obviously I'm exaggerating but can you see how the different views of your life would attract different kinds of people?
Make your changes. Let yourself grow. Best to you.