I’ve had an epiphany.

This is the first time I have not overthought once about things with Doctor Boy.

Not once.

And that’s huge for me, I mean, I *am* the self-appointed president and founder of Overthinkers Anonymous, and in every past dating or quasi-relationship, I overthought everything. Like whoa. From going on second dates after “eh” first dates, to pondering wtf was going on with CBE and his weirdness (see some posts on that here, here, here, here and here!). I look back through a lot of my dating forays and I think I have an overthinking moment with almost – if not all – of them.

But with Doctor Boy, I haven’t given any decision or choice a second thought.

It’s all felt natural.

It’s all felt like the right thing to do.

It’s all felt at the right pace (not too fast, not too slow).

It’s all felt right.

And that, folks, is my epiphany, and I think it’s something to consider for anyone that tends to second guess themselves (um, all of us, I would imagine, at some point or another!) when they’re dating someone. I feel like I can be honest and upfront with him about everything, and I feel like I can go at my own pace, we both can. I give him the space and time he needs, and he gives me mine. We see each other at least once during the week, and then a night or sometimes two on the weekend, but we still have a healthy balance of “me,” friend, family and “us” time and I think that’s so important.

Being comfortable enough to do that is huge. Simply put, it’s right where I’m meant to be.

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Writing this post has sparked a few ideas for me, such as going back to some of my older posts, particularly my mini-series on re-learning. I actually think a lot of that re-learning has happened so naturally, I wonder if it’s something I thought would be something I’d be more aware of than just happening naturally.

Hmm. Something to ponder (but not to overthink…!)

Yup, that’s right…not only am I an overthinker, I’m an overpacker too!

Literally, all day, I’ve been packing, repacking and packing again. I haven’t had a week-long trip anywhere but locally (Maine and such) for a couple of years (which I’m just realizing…wow, really? Last week-long vaca/trip I took was in April 08 to Aruba with my ex), so to pack for this trip is seriously stressing me out.

Why?

Because not only am I packing for Bloggers in Sin City in Vegas, but I also have a two-and-a-half day “detour” to San Jose for work. So, I have to pack some work-related clothing and then some clothes (okay, a lot of clothes!) for Vegas. What’s my tally? Well, I’ve pared it back, but first, I had 5 bathing suits, 9 tank tops, 3 pairs of jeans, 5 dresses, and 4 pairs of shoes.

Um, really?

It’s six days not sixteen!

Yea, so, really, not only am I an overthinker, I’m an overpacker…so the combination of the two is, well, bad news 😉

So, on that note, it’s been a fantastic weekend, I’m winding down, trying NOT to think of my bulging suitcase wondering if I’ve forgotten anything (lest we forget a few workout outfits, yes, I DO plan to work out a few times…yes, I know, crazy, it’s vacation, I shouldn’t, but you know me by now!) and looking forward to kicking ass in my meeting on Tuesday in San Jose, and then enjoying every last minute of Bloggers in Sin City…because, dammit, I deserve it!

on myself.

Yep, you heard me.

I’m going to stop thinking – and overthinking – things with CBE.

Why?

Because I’m sick of torturing myself thinking and rethinking and overthinking and maybe even underthinking things. I need to see him again to see how I feel, to figure out where I want to go (or not go, for that matter) and I’m not accomplishing anything by just continuing to think about things.

Because I know a few things: I still like him. He is fun and makes me happy. And, he does have some of the qualities I’m looking for in a man. Not all of them, but some of them, and way more of them than anyone else I’ve dated. And, really, is there anything so wrong with wanting to still see someone that fits the bill in quite a few ways?

Sure, if I come to find out that maybe I don’t feel as much as I did feel for him the last time we saw each other, then yes, I will make a decision, because I also don’t believe in stringing anyone along (as I wouldn’t want that either), or “dating to date” (sure, there’s a time and a place for that, but for me, I’m dating to find love, not to “just” date…if that makes any sense).

And I’ve received so many comments – countless really – from my most recent posts on CBE – from both my “real life” and blog friends and I want you all to know that it’s meant a lot to me. As my BDF noted to me today – ‘we’re just sharing our experiences and reactions, but it’s up to you to decide what you want and what you feel.” Amen, sista (and have I mentioned how excited I am to see you in two days?!).

And, as a few of you also noted (T and StudentMama) – maybe I do just need to “let it be” and see what happens. Why are you all so right all the time?! 😉

This is me…letting it be. (let’s see how long I can stick to that!)

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On a side note – my guest post on being alone came out today from How Not to Marry the Wrong Guy – take a read, if you have a minute, let me know what you think. And, I’m so excited to have a copy of the book, which, coincidentally arrived in the mail today! (And, if you are interested in Anne and crew have to say over there – follow them at @MarryWrongGuy) or become a fan on Facebook (type in “How to Not Marry the Wrong Guy” and it should pop right up).

First of all, thank you everyone for all of your feedback over the past two days on my ambivalent feelings towards CBE and/or getting into a relationship (since I clearly can’t decide what the ambivalence is about!), I truly appreciate it, and all of it has been helpful in one way or another.

I must say, though, that the feedback was, well, all over the map! From Diary of a Divorced Guy suggesting that perhaps my gut is telling me to walk away, from several others viewing this as simply overthinking and that I should just enjoy it for what it is/was (a blissful weekend, beginnings of something promising), to two very insightful comments from T that really helped me (here and here), and finally, to another great question to ask myself, from Shannon.

While I’ve addressed each of these comments, I do want to expand a little bit more on Shannon’s quesetion, in particular, first:

Think if it this way for awhile…what if you weren’t seeing him this weekend? Would you think about him all weekend or would you feel free to be more yourself?

The answer to that? I’m really not sure. But, I am more leaning towards not seeing him this weekend for that very reason – to see if this ambivalence feels like it’s him, or the premise of a potential relationship (and, as an update, he threw out his back this afternoon and told me he may not be up for company on Friday, now, anyway, so it may be a moot point).

To some of T’s comments:

Breathe. Observe how you feel when you’re with him. Try not to react but observe. You might even consider keeping a feelings journal outside of the blog to track those things.

This is what I need to do – I react, I don’t observe. Or, I observe after the fact and overthink.

Like crazy.

It’s clouding my thoughts and judgements, for sure. Snark had a similar comment that I found helpful, and right in line with what I am thinking – if he isn’t wiling to bend or meet in the middle on my own perspective on happiness and expressing feelings, then that’s probably a bad sign or over-rigidity. I tend to agree fully there.

So, back to the all over the map-ness (yes, that’s a word, in my book!) – I’m still feeling that way, and I’m really not sure what my next step is beyond definitely seeing him again to see where things stand, see how I feel, discuss the whole happiness/feelings thing, and see if we can come to some kind of consensus.

And, who knows, maybe that whole convo was overthought and overworked and things will get back to some sense of normalcy. We’ll see.

~~

On a super-exciting side-note – I took the plunge and am going to Bloggers in Sin City in May!! I am SO excited to be going, and I just know it will be a blast – with Shannon, Melissa, and a few others (Akirah, Imerika, and PERHAPS even Lil Devil Mama!!) Mini reunion – here we come!! Anyone else debating on going?! Should be a fantastic time, EPIC, even 😉

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Another final note – please check out Sunshine‘s post on natural beauty – it came out awesome – a collage of woman in their “natural” beauty” – see me and my sis in there? 🙂

One of the things that I constantly am reminding myself of…re-learning all of the things you end up taking for granted in long-term relationships and/or marriage.

Things like…trust, love, figuring each other out.

Tackling trust today (will likely expand on the others as well in follow-on posts) – it’s one of those elusive feelings that you naturally build up when you get involved with someone, but when does that happen? How long does it take? How do you “learn” (or re-learn) to trust that person?

And before you begin wondering why I’m asking – no, it’s not because I don’t trust CBE, it’s that I feel as though generally, going through the dating thing over the last 7-8 months or so, I’ve trusted too easily, and taken words at face value when oftentimes those words were not true, or were half-trusts, or in some cases, complete BS (hello, BS detector, where are you?!), and maybe that’s made me a little jaded, a little dis-trusting, and generally, more of an overthinker than I was in the past.

But back to trust.

How do you build it up? How do you know words spoken are genuine, legitimate and well, honest?

I guess it’s just something you learn, and there really isn’t one answer for it, it’s not cut and dry and all I know is, it takes time. And yeah, that’s okay, but I just want to not have self-doubt, not over-analyze everything and just feel completely at ease…and while I do think CBE is genuine and honest, I guess I just get a little bit afraid of the “what-if” factor – what if he is “just saying” all of these wonderful things, and “what if” his actions towards me, his affection, his words, aren’t true, and “what-if” it doesn’t continue?

See where and how badly my brain rambles on?! Hello, overthinkers anonymous, save me!

It frustrates me, because I am happy with where things are going with CBE, and maybe that’s where the self-doubt starts to creep in…because I am starting to have feelings “beyond chemistry” with him, and I can see this going forward into something more concrete.

And maybe that’s completely normal.

But, sometimes I wish I could fast-forward a wee bit and see what’s around the corner. I think I know, and I hope I know, and I don’t really want to fast-forward life, or where things are going, it’s just that little piece of me that just wants to see what happens around the bend.

Is that wrong? No, I don’t think so.

Am I overthinking? Probably.

Will I learn to trust – with CBE or whomever I’m meant to be with next? Yes – but when that will be – to be determined (I knew I called my blog To Be Determined for a reason!!).

Hmmph. Thinkingthinkingthinking.

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Hopefully this post doesn’t come across as doubtful or down or upset…because I’m truly not, I’m just inquiring and inquisitive tonight. Maybe a little pensive.

And now you know why I always say “we’ll see what happens” – because I think I’m a little bit afraid of getting hurt…even though I shouldn’t, because if I do, it was still worthwhile to take a chance, and I know I’m resilient enough to get through it. I just prefer *not* to get hurt…don’t we all?!

I guess it IS the risk we take, and we hope for the best. And that’s what I’m hoping for – to relish what it is, and where it’s going and hope for the best, strive for the best, and see what happens.

Thoughts?!

Wow, I didn’t realize yesterday’s post was going to gather such an outpouring of support (THANK YOU – I can never say it enough!), and words of encouragement and insight. Your comments also spurred tonight’s post – what I’m calling my search for the happy medium.

One of my favorites posted a comment that was so wonderful:

All I have to say is don’t rush it. Enjoy what you have right now, be happy, stay adventurous and live for you. Discover your wants, desires, and needs first and when you least expect it that perfect companion will find you. If you miss dating, stop your hiatus, keep your eyes peeled, go on dates, enjoy it. And trust me, when you are “looking” for it, you never find it, it’s when you stop looking, stop taking things too seriously, go out have fun and just be happy, that’s when “he” finds you.

When I read it – it reminded me of what I would have posted as a comment to a blog on this topic (and well, she is one of my bestest, so I’m not surprised that her words reminded me of my own!) and words I should be taking to heart. But, it also got me thinking back to the question of what DO I want?!

And, I think the answer to that question is – I want the happy medium.

What is the happy medium, for me?

The happy medium is sort of what I had with boy #9 (not to keep referring back to that, as it’s over, but it’s the closest comparison I have personally experienced since my divorce) – nothing official in terms of a relationship, but dating one person, seeing them 1-2 times a week, but still having my independence as a single woman, exploring my still-somewhat-new world and figuring out what I want in a relationship. Okay, sure, that still sounds a little wishy-washy, but for now, it is what suits me right now. The one-off dating is harder, since you’re always starting at the awkward first date with no real sense of if there will be a date #2 or not (after going through 8 non-starters, it gets old, trust me!).

And, I know what some of you may say – don’t limit yourself to NOT getting into a relationship, because you never know if you’ll happen upon it anyway (okay, maybe that’s ultimately what I am hoping will happen with TBD next man in my life, but who’s counting), or you shouldn’t rush into a relationship anyway (hopefully it’s pretty clear by now that I’m not the rush into it type, or the force-fit type, and to be honest, after being on my own now for, oh, 1 year 4 months – but who’s counting – I wouldn’t really call it rushing it at this point anyway!), or you should let it happen organically.

All of that is true in some form or fashion, but for me, setting out for somewhere in the middle of all that feels “right” to me. And, of course, all that could be tossed out the window if my Prince Charming walks through the door, but that I won’t believe till I see it or feel it 😉

And yes, this post screams Overthinking Ollie – but hey, that’s who I am. I think about stuff, I ruminate, I debate, I hem, I haw, you call it what you want, but it helps me move forward and figure out my next step, so I’ll own it – my overthinking ways have never really steered me in the wrong direction. Yet.

So, I totally kept this one on the down-low, but I had a date tonight – let’s call him boy #8 (I say that because he MAY have been another number earlier, but we sort of stopped emailing after I got back from a vaca this summer and we reconnected a few weeks ago – long story, nothing bad, though, and he SEEMS normal…so far).

So, part of my reason for keeping this one on the DL – 1) I didn’t want to jinx it, like some of the other earlier dates with other boy #s, and 2) he wanted to meet somewhere low-key…as in a coffee shop. The last part of that made me nervous – does he want an early exit strategy? Is he boring? Is he not convinced he really wants to go on a date with me?? Well, it didn’t really seem to be any of those things, to be honest, so I am coming home pleasantly surprised…and we kept a conversation going over coffee for 2 1/2 hours – that’s pretty impressive, no?

So the details – he is admittedly a bit shy (which, as one my sisters pointed out – is funny coming from me, because I’ve been labeled shy in the past!), but he seems genuinely nice. And I know what you may be thinking (or maybe it’s what I’m thinking/overthinking!), is he REALLY nice and genuine or is there something more there than meets the eye? Well, the fact that he was still interested after we lost touch for a few months tells me that he MAY be pretty normal for some reason. And, he’s a nurse in the surgical unit at the hospital near where I live, he loves what he does, and he’s very close to his family. All plusses in my book. He also seems to enjoy living alone, being independent, and is very grounded. So, I like that. Could he be “too” low-key for me (again – funny for me to say that since I tend to think I am lowkey, but I do like a good night out too!!)? Time will tell – maybe. I think there may be a date #2, but we’ll see…hopefully so, and hopefully this time, dinner, not just coffee 😉