Thank you for your quick reply. It did give me a lot to think about. I do remember the repeating themes and I have reread the old threads several times over the years. I remember that you said that that it’s almost impossible to change what attracts you, but as you become more aware, you should attract people who, like you, have done the work and are more aware of their own patterns. So I guess I’m a bit frustrated that I don’t see even that having changed. I also know that I need to be careful about not getting attached to men who are really not available, but that is not always so easy, as it’s not necessarily obvious WHY they are unavailable and sometimes contradicts what they say they want. I agree that the key would be to practice seeing the old patterns in play more clearly and just stop when the old painful feelings start to come up. Not easy to do, but I will keep working on that.
I think I’m also more at peace with the togetherness/solitude contradiction and I’m looking for different ways to make it work with all the relationships I have (friends, family, colleagues etc). I get what you say about not focusing too much in making it happen and that it should just come naturally. But I’m not sure I buy into that 100% any more. In my own experience, and form what I see around me, I think it is important to date many different people and be open to meeting someone new, not just believing that it will happen when it will happen. In fact, I think starting dating again has been very good to me in many ways. I didn’t go out on dates for several years, at first thinking that I’m not ready or not interested and later I didn’t even know why not. But when I finally did start dating again, I realized that there was actually a big fear related to that that I had to overcome. I was so anxious and nervous on the first few dates that I wanted to just leave, but I was committed to going at least on one date each month and I can say that by now I can meet someone new and enjoy a nice date even if I never plan to see that person again.
For sure part of the reason I’m thinking more about relationships and dating at this point is because all my friends are starting families, getting married and it seems that being a couple is the norm at my age. I also want all that, but I know I can’t force it. That is why I have put some much effort into building my life up again since I came back and I’m actually very pleased with the progress I have made in all other areas of my life. I guess I just need to trust that everything will work out for the best. Meanwhile, I’m getting a puppy next week, so I will have my hands full with that little bundle of joy.
Thank you again for your insight into all this!