"A man who can see through her walls and testing is in for an extraordinary treat when she finally lets down her guard, but it will take an incredibly strong man to do so."
We all want to be loved, right? But for some of us, it’s not that easy. For some of us, relationships haven’t come easy, they’ve been abusive, they’ve been traumatic, and for some of us, we simply haven’t had the time to devote to somebody else due to careers, children or the busy-ness of life.
When you have been living an independent life for so long, it’s quite a challenge when somebody appears into your world. Many fears and questions arise: how do we fit them in? Will they love me? Will they abuse me? Will they leave me? What if I’m not good enough? Will I lose myself in the relationship?
For the past nine months I’ve been in the fortunate position of being loved by a most amazing man; he’s generous and kind, loving and attentive and as previously written in my blog, he has helped me to open up to being loved. This month I experienced my first Valentine’s Day ever, complete with roses and dinner on the beach at sunset, yet I find myself wanting to run, hide, to avoid him to stop this feeling that is building up inside me.
I’ve started pushing back against his adorations of love and more than anything, I’m scared. I’m scared of making a mistake, I’m scared of his love, I’m scared that he might have made a misjudgement about who I am, I’m scared of being loved and cared for and I’m scared that I am incapable of loving him with the same intensity that he loves me. Ultimately, I think that I’m scared of being happy. Ironically, I’m scared that it’ll be easy and not have the troughs and peaks of previous experiences.
I’ve spent my entire 42 years waiting for someone as amazing as this and yet now that it’s here, I simply don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to be. I don’t know who I am when I am a part of a couple. I don’t know what it means to be someone’s partner; I don’t know how to be, I don’t know how to love him.
So, in an effort to help myself and others in our situation, here are my top tips for loving the woman who has never been loved.
A man who can see through her walls and testing is in for an extraordinary treat when she finally lets down her guard, but it will take an incredibly strong man to do so; a man with heart and resilience, a man who knows when to walk away and when to fight for her. Ultimately, it’s about whether you think she is worth it or not and I assure you, she is.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2017
"I’m 42. I was effectively single for my entire adult life not because there weren’t amazing men out there, there most definitely are, but because I wasn’t willing to let them in. I wasn’t willing to open my heart to being loved."
There is so much advice in this period of the Law of Attraction, particularly when it comes to attracting a mate. We are told to write a list with all of the qualities that we want in a partner, but what that list fails to capture is the feeling that you want to have with a partner. As one of the perpetually single, I never met anyone who could meet me where I was. I mistook instant sexual attraction for a potential mate. So, I made a list; height, eye colour, star sign, likes and interests, education level…but what I forgot was to list the most important things.
If I look back on my interactions with men or relationships, I did it all wrong. I was pursuing men because I liked them, but I never allowed them to pursue me, it scared me when a man was interested in me. I remember even in high school a boy wanted to go out with me and I liked him but looking back I was petrified of having no control of the situation. We went out for a week or two before I called it quits. I think somewhere in my adolescent brain I thought that you had to marry the boy you went out with and that terrified me. I carried that fear throughout my adult life.
So instead of embracing dating and trialling relationships with men to see what I loved about men and let them love me, I admired from afar. The moment that they showed me love or care, I ran. And I ran so much. I ran because I’ve never known what it’s like to be cared for or nurtured by a man until now. I’m 42. I was effectively single for my entire adult life not because there weren’t amazing men out there, there most definitely are, but because I wasn’t willing to let them in. I wasn’t willing to open my heart to being loved.
Instead, I pursued men who didn’t want more than friendship with me because underneath I harboured a deep secret; I didn’t feel worthy, I didn’t feel like I was enough. I figured in some subconscious way that if I showed them all that I was on the outside, how great I was, they would never see the vulnerable little girl inside. I never gave those beautiful men the opportunity to see me because I present as being very strong and capable and like my previous article in Elephant Journal, I don’t need a man, I didn’t need a man. And men pick that up, they want to feel needed. It builds their sense of self-worth. With giving off the strong woman vibes, it showed my strength, but not my vulnerability and its vulnerability where now ironically I feel even more powerful as a woman. I found this Cherokee proverb which sums up how I feel at this time about it:
“A woman’s highest calling is to lead a man to his soul, so as to unite him with the source.
A man’s highest calling is to protect woman, so she is free to walk the Earth unharmed.”
Most strong women can survive quite successfully with some wonderful girlfriends and a vibrator, but there is an enormous amount of strength required to be vulnerable. So a year ago I started dating with the intention of seeing who I was when there was no obligation to them other than a drink at a café. Then I met Kind Man. He was exactly what I needed, without me even knowing. For the past seven months, I have been learning to be loved. It has been emotionally confronting for me and he gently nudges my boundaries every day. He doesn’t force and patiently shows and tells me that he loves me in his words and actions, his care and devotion. Every day my heart cracks open just a little bit more and I can feel my heart growing in love with him. It’s scary, but I feel safe not just physically but emotionally and spiritually.
If there is any advice I can give to the perpetually single strong women out there, these are the top five things that need to come first on your list of qualities that you need in a man far before anything else:
©Alyssa Curtayne 2017
"Unlike previous dates he didn’t turn me off with sexual desperation. He had a presence that I felt calm in. It was like he could see me; the real me, the vulnerable me, the me that put up wall after wall to block his expressions of love that he patiently waited for me to take down."
Single? I’m going to give you some advice, you don’t have to take it, but if I had this advice years ago, my life would have been very different.
I’ve pretty much been single most of my adult life. I’m now 42 and I am in the first stable relationship I’ve ever had.
Previously, I’ve mostly been attracted to men who make my heart race. Who I feel an instant bond with and he feels the same. What then happens is; I pour out my heart and he runs for the hills. For whatever reason, I’ve attracted one-sided relationships where I like him much more than he likes me.
The last one, who I have nicknamed GSM (Gorgeous, sexy man), on previous blogs even said that he saw a great future for us together, felt a very strong attraction and said that it was this connection that made him pull away. It has taken two years, but I’m finally coming to some acceptance that despite this amazing connection, perhaps the universe was giving me a gift, perhaps there was someone better suited to me.
So, I joined online dating and went out with a few men. Mostly they wanted casual sex and as fascinating and temporary as that is, I declined, I’m more than a magnificent vagina and wanted to find someone who could see that and wasn’t afraid to meet me where I am.
Then I met KM (Kind man). I wasn’t instantly attracted to him, but I was interested. He was interesting, deep and aroused my curiosity in a way that I wanted to know more. Like a good blurb on a book, I wanted to open the book to see what was inside. So we went on a few dates, he spoiled me, brought flowers, opened doors and showed genuine care for me. Unlike previous dates he didn’t turn me off with sexual desperation. He had a presence that I felt calm in. It was like he could see me; the real me, the vulnerable me, the me that put up wall after wall to block his expressions of love that he patiently waited for me to take down.
If someone had said to me years ago to not go for the massive charge of electricity, but go for the one who makes you feel like the most important person in the world I wouldn’t have listened, but sometimes you need to experience these things for yourself. We see the instant chemistry on television and think that that is love, but for me, what the instant chemistry has provided massive and painful soul growth. With KM, I feel myself growing, but it’s not painful. His patience is helping me to open up like a flower in the safe space that he creates.
I find myself in this new space of my heart opening up to the possibilities of what may be.
So my advice for you is this: give that “nice” guy a chance. If he has a great relationship with his mum, his sisters or daughters, you’re probably onto a winner because he knows how a woman deserves to be treated. I met KM who treats me wonderfully when I stopped accepting less than I deserve. We’ve created a relationship that is; loving, kind and generous and every day I am so grateful for what it is. He tells me and shows me in his actions that I deserve the best.
I certainly didn’t expect this, and I certainly didn’t expect the chemistry to grow so quickly as a result of my gratitude for his calm, gentle presence and kindness. He surprises me every day with his love and kindness and his ability to say just the right things at the right time.
I don’t know where this relationship is going, but he is allowing me the space to open my scared and vulnerable heart to open up in my own time. Even if it lasts another month, year, a decade or the rest of my life, I am taking it one day at a time and living in the bliss of the moment without expectations of what it might be.
Date that nice guy, I promise, he will be so worth it and so are you.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2016
This article also featured on @ElephantJournal
To the man who will probably never see this:
There is something about you which is like a magnet for me and for someone who usually has no trouble with words, I am tongue-tied.
I am scared. I am completely scared of how I feel about you. It’s a new feeling for me to be so fascinated, curious and desirous about another human being and see that same fascination, curiosity and desire expressed back at me.
I’ve never had a proper relationship, as such. I’ve avoided relationships where possible and the ones I have had, I pushed them away when they had any sort of feeling for me because I don’t know how to be loved by a man. I was petrified. I don’t know what it feels like to receive love so as a result I don’t let ANYONE in. Like I said to my girlfriend the other day, “I only let people in who I think that I can build some sort of relationship with” and so as a result, I have lived a fairly solitary kind of existence.
In this solitude, I have become a master at self-pleasuring, self-love and being a strong, independent woman and I know that I can achieve anything. I have an amazing life. But this fear is stopping me from being loved by other human beings, I am living a half-life. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say that I didn’t take that leap of faith in love.
But this letting go of my fear about the feeling of being loved by another human being without running away or finding reasons that it couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t work, this is one of the biggest challenges of my life. The irony is that I want to fall into you. I want to embrace you within me, to be still in that moment of union where we are meeting as one and seeing the love for me in your eyes. I see your fear too and I need assurance to help me to transition through this fear of being loved. Maybe I need to assure you too?
I am more than strong enough to hold your fears, but are you strong enough to hold mine? Will you crush me when I’m vulnerable and my heart is fully opened to you? Are you afraid that I will crush your heart?
The moment we met, we both visioned a shared future together and in that vision, it is more amazing that either of us could possibly imagine, but you’ve shut me out with silence and I don’t like it. I know you are working through your “demons” but I miss hanging out with you. I think of amazing adventures we could have together, but you’re not there. I see enormous inner strength in you and I wonder if you know how very strong you are?
I know you are scared of being hurt again. But I am too. I am like a baby taking her first steps and I will fall, I will try and run away, but if I knew you would be there to encourage me to get back up again and tell me that you are there, it will give me the strength to stand up again. I think that what we have is fucking amazing. I have never telepathically communicated with anyone the way I do with you and you’re so delicious that I can’t get enough of your body and I desire to understand how you think, the way you see the world, what I can do and say to be there for you.
I’m not asking for a lifetime commitment. I’m asking for a commitment for the moment, to follow the growing love that we are feeling for each other and allow it to be what it will be. To do things as friends and see what develops.
When a flower blossoms, it takes zero effort, but it will never blossom if you keep it in the dark. Your silence is the dark for me and I feel ready, oh so very ready to blossom and be loved, just let me in, we will be amazing.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015
In the days around my 40th birthday, I met the most amazing man and the impact of the connection was so incredible for both of us that, in all honesty, it shook us for a number of months. Naturally, I wanted more of this personal growth and more of him. I was addicted to him, he was delicious in every way and our compatibility was intense in every area of our lives. But at the end of the day, he was still grieving the ending of his marriage and for me, no matter how amazing he was, I had to let him go. In the ensuing days, weeks and months, I learned to love him and let go again and again, but also that when a man says “he’s not ready,” it probably means that you aren’t ready too.
“Of course I’m ready!” I hear you protest, “I’ve been ready my whole life!”. Of course. You are right. You have been ready for a relationship for your life, but are you ready for what it is you deeply want and have asked for over and over again: the conscious co-created partnership with Divine love at the core? Is he?
For many women, our spirituality forms the basis of who we are and many women are not willing to settle for the traditional or “normal” relationship, we desire a spiritually-based one that can take both parties to the bliss of ecstasy. For that, no, you are probably not ready, there is a lot of inner work that needs to be done. It involves a number of things:
Ultimately, our search for love is one of self-love; that is when we truly, deeply love ourselves as a divine spark of the Universe. So the reality is, your longing and waiting is a reflection of the divine waiting and longing for you to connect with Source. You need yourself to move into a space of “I love myself enough to let you go,” with the other person. Like one of my meditation teachers, Kat, always used to say “Fake it until you make it.” Use this affirmation every time you think of the other person.
If it’s a spiritual based relationship that you are after, you really need to do the spiritual work required to get it and that means letting go of the past, the ego and being fully and mindfully in the present and being in divine love and joy in each and every moment. Then, that’s when the magic happens. The universe is taking care of all the details. All you need to do is to be open and receptive to receiving the abundance of love that you asked for. And it happens, just like that. Your only job is to be open and receptive to receiving your dreams: your only job.
Please let me know how you go with these tips. I’m happy to answer questions.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2014-15
The search for the One, or the soulmate, consumes the life of many of us, particularly women. We are seeking the one who just ‘gets’ us and the search continues until we find him/her. In many ways, we have been conditioned for this behaviour through the masterful work of Walt Disney and the brainwashing on the media that has us seeking for a relationship that simply doesn’t exist. If you want a superficial sort of love, well, by all means dive into the ‘romance’ of Disney but if you are like me and want something more, read on.
I haven’t met my one soulmate, I’ve met four of them and that's only the men. I'm not talking here about my soul sisters whom I adore.
At any given point in time, had our choices been different, I would have committed to any one of them. But I wasn’t ready. They weren’t ready. I want a love that is extraordinary, not normal. If I wanted married-with-kids-living-in-the-suburbs, I could have it.
But I want more. I deserve more. I deserve a man who I can love, who I am willing to lift up when he is down, who I can trust so much that I can open my heart wide and fall into him, who I know who will stand by me and who I can give space because I know or understand at that point it’s what he need and that by doing so, I am selflessly loving.
You’ll notice that none of what I said is about him. It’s about me.
My first major relationship was with a man nine years my senior. I saw him playing football as a teenager and knew that I would have him. It was my first lesson in manifestation really. I got him four years later. The problem with me in this relationship was that I became so attached to him that I associated him and sex for a long time. He set a tone for what I wanted sexually and it took a long time before I met a new benchmark in that area. The other problem of course was that he was married. I knew I deserved more. I knew that he could never give me what I needed but more importantly, I knew that he belonged to someone else. I was being selfish. Selfish is not love.
Number two was the father of my children and I was instantly attracted. We had a whirlwind courtship and were married within three weeks. Yes, you read that correctly. It was a crazy time. Things were not good from the beginning but you know, when you make a commitment to someone, you do your very best to make it work. And try I did for much longer than necessary. The problem with me in this relationship was that I wasn’t compassionate to his homesickness, his adjustment to a new country, I didn’t love and accept him for who he was, I wanted to fix him, to change him. Changing someone is not love.
Number three was a case of unrequited love. I adored him and saw how seamlessly our families merged together. I wanted the married-with-kids-living-in-the-suburbs, but it wasn’t what he wanted. We created great memories together, but again I was being selfish. Selfish is not love.
It took a long time until I met number four. I had a lot of inner work to do. I had found some patterns. I had seen the flaws in my seeking for the stereotypical love, when in reality, I wasn’t being honest in what I wanted. I was using the stereotypical model when in reality, I wanted deep and complete connection to myself, to the spirit within and without. I thought that I was ready to walk alongside another in a shared life. I wasn’t. I wasn’t ready until I could be completely happy being with myself, of being alone with my thoughts, my being and without desiring anything from anyone else. In my early 20s, my grandmother said to me, ‘you may feel lonely, but you are never alone,’ and I never really got it. I mean, I understood cognitively, but I didn’t FEEL it deep into my bones until the past 12 months. Whether I’m in a relationship or by myself, I am divinely connected to the universe and every living being on this planet, I feel loved in this moment and everything is perfect.
Finding who you truly are and being strong enough to love, despite the flaws and imperfections is the reason that you haven’t met that one you are seeking because he/she is within you. To truly love yourself, to feel the divine beauty of your soul, the sexiness of your body and be able to touch yourself in a way that you want an intimate lover to, that’s beautiful. To be able to hold your head high and feel the Goddess and deliciousness and perfection of yourself and to be able to see the God and deliciousness and perfection in another is where I am at, which brings me to GSM (see previous posts), number four.
To find yourself you need to do hard work. You need to dig deep and clear the debris from your past. You need to seek a counsellor and work through your past relationships, starting with the most important, yourself, your parents/grandparents/family connections and intimate relationships. You need to appreciate you for the beautiful human being that you are. Participate in journaling, drawing, workshops, find teachers or whatever it is that you need, or you could simply start valuing yourself by changing your thoughts. We can get so bogged down in over-analysis and talking about it all that we lose sight of the divine being that we are and our infinite power to change ourselves by changing our thoughts, our perception of what is.
I am completely and utterly in love with myself. I love myself from a place of deep love and respect. I love myself enough to walk away from this man if being with me is not what he wants. I have no desire to change or modify him in any way. I accept him for who he is right now and I want to know all of him and I feel safe enough with him to open up myself to him completely. I feel comfortable in sharing the best part of my life with him. I completely love him for who he is and for the lessons that I’ve learned about myself during the past 12 months. I am so grateful for our time together, whether it is for a day, a month, a year or a lifetime. I want him to be happy. I want him to follow his heart. I’m happy to flow with him in love, because if it’s not him, someone else will come along and I can practice, loving compassion, patience, unselfish loving, to open up my vulnerabilities and completely holding myself in a place of love as the Goddess that I am, because anyone can be our soulmate. We just need to be ready to know how to love them unconditionally when they come along and not accept anything less than we deserve.
©2015 Alyssa Curtayne
Again, thank you to Leyolah from kundalinidance.com for your Goddess wisdom and teachings.
In the movie Eat, Pray, Love when the main character, Liz, is on the beach and her amazing Brazilian lover is offering her an adventure, an opportunity to leap off the metaphorical cliff of faith and go with him, to take their relationship to the next level, she hesitates. She has lost her centre. She has invested so much in their relationship that she doesn’t know who she is anymore and is no longer connected to the divine. It’s a scary place to be and one many of us are familiar with. My recent experience with this was an important lesson in holding on and letting go. After meeting the most perfect partner in my life (let’s call him Gorgeous Sexy Man or GSM), I was engaging more and more of myself into him and not holding onto myself, I lost my balance and I fell. In my mind, I had messed up the potential of this amazing and most wonderful relationship because I was not only scared of the growing feelings developing on both sides, but also because I unconsciously sabotaged it by showing my worst side. On one hand I very much wanted this relationship, but the fear of how amazing it was, and could be, terrified me. I didn’t know how to be in a relationship. I didn’t know how to feel when I got what I wanted. I was petrified of intimacy and sex and I wanted someone to help me with that, but instead, I put up the walls; the walls that said that I wasn’t good enough, or attractive enough or experienced enough or adequate enough…just enough. This presented itself as a clingy, needy, desperate woman – all things that I thought that I’d mastered, yet there they were – triggered by his presence, my vulnerability and the growing energetic feeling between us.
There’s a good reason why the book Eat, Pray, Love and subsequent movie have struck a chord with women the world over, it’s because of the fundamental truths in it. We as women, continue in relationships long after they’ve reached their use-by date in some vain hope that he will come around, or rise to what we expect, then we bounce from unsatisfactory relationship to another and then, when we find one truly magical and perfect, we sabotage it with regressing back to the old patterns of behaviour that we are used to, because that’s a safe space, a space where we don’t have to show our vulnerabilities. Every woman sees themselves at some point in her journey – either in New York, Italy, India or in my case at the very end in Indonesia. I don’t think for a second that we all need to live the same experiences to experience Liz’s journey to growth, but I do think that learning from her and identifying yourself within her journey is extremely valuable. As is learning from other women and honouring their journey.
In my case, my saviour has been yoga. Within yoga, the pranayama practice settles the busy mind and brings me into my heart, the asanas make me focus on the present moment and savasana settles it into my bones. After my first intimate encounter with GSM, my energies were dynamic and erratic, I needed to find my centre, after the Vinyasa session I felt so much better, but still there was this erratic energy that lingered. What was it? How do I find a balance between joyful and wonderful connection and maintaining self? How did Liz do it? How did Liz find her balance? When standing on the beach and confronted with this experience, Liz wanted to hold her balance, she wanted to be fully in control. Wayan and Katut both give her advice and Katut says “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.” So where is the middle ground between holding on and letting go? Where is that place where you can enter your own vortex but also be a part of a shared vortex between two souls joining in love but neither party loses themselves, where they are empowered and strengthened by the union. How can we let go and go with the flow of the energies between us without feeling like we are so out of control? And is losing control a bad thing?
This brings me to Trust. I’ve put it with a capital T, because in many ways it is personified in the sense that it is a challenge that comes up again and again for me. Trust in men, trust in my judgement, trust in my intuition that tells me again and again that this is the one for me, of him and of the universe and perfect timing. There’s a sense of learning to trust all of the above, but even more so, trusting in the feelings and the knowings I have about GSM. Our relationship has been unfolding slowly, and in many ways I asked for slowness, of taking time to know each other. My marriage was, shall we say, short of any courtship and that ended in disaster. I see in GSM fears of trust and of being hurt, and of fear of rushing into anything too quickly. I want to honour that. I want to honour where he is right now and allow it to unfold as naturally as a flower, yet, he takes up a lot of head and heart space in my body already and I’m certain I take up a portion of his thinking and heart space too. Patience is one of my lessons here, a part of me wants it now and can’t wait.
Relationships are like a partnered dance. I learned tango a few years ago and my biggest challenge was allowing the partner to lead. After a lifetime of being a strong, independent woman, learning to let go and trust my partner was a challenge. I found an excellent partner who taught me a lot about my own sexuality, but also began my journey in learning to trust men and the process. He was open and honest and we are still friends today. Recently, I started to learn swing dancing. Again, there is an element of trust with the lead. There’s a man in his 60s who is a dapper dancer and whenever it’s my turn to rotate to him, I’m excited. This is a man who knows what he’s doing, where he’s going and I trust that even if I mess up the steps, he will be there to recover. I think that’s what’s missing with GSM, he’s still in a space where he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, where he’s going or the direction of our relationship, or to quote author Jeff Brown, our “loveship”, or whatever it is that has brought us together. Surrendering to the lead doesn’t mean surrendering all control, but it does mean to trust in the lead to get you both to where you need to be. I suppose I really have to look at GSM as a man learning to lead a dance again after having his toes stepped on, and probably crushed. It will take time, patience and understanding while he learns the steps, he learns to trust me, all women and the universe and he learns to lead again.
At the end of Eat, Pray, Love, Liz ends the movie by returning to her lover and choosing a word in Italian which means “let’s cross over.” I’m not Liz Gilbert, but what I’ve gained from her story has empowered me to find my own place on the relationship rollercoaster. By no means is my relationship with GSM an “official” commitment to each other as yet, but it’s a journey and that wavering connection I have with Trust manifests for me as an intense desire to run away. Usually after we’ve spent intimate time together, GSM pulls away. This leads to me responding by having a greater desire to run away. It brings up insecurities and that “not enough” response. I am able to see the pattern now and the reality is, he’s probably not even pulling away, it’s probably just my imagination, but what’s not my imagination is how we connect with each other. When I use my yoga practice and drop into my heart centre, everything is sweet and okay, it’s the mind that creates the drama, the insecurities and the fears. I can call the running away response when it comes up and it’s having less and less power over me.
As a result, I’ve come up with a mantra which helps me to balance, to stay centred and to be aware of the fears. Trust represents the masculine, flow represents the feminine. So now, whenever I am worried or concerned I meditate on “Trust in flow; flow in trust” from my heart centre. It works for me and helps me back into the vortex of manifestation. I hope you in your journey to your loveship find a mantra and path that works for you. My loveship with GSM could all be an illusion, but isn’t it all? I’m still fabulous, no matter what is in store for me.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015