Other Catfish in the Sea: Intention, Action, and Internet Dating

by Patia Braithwaite

I broke up with That Guy. I think I’ll call him The Besticle. Actually, he broke up with me for various reasons that I’m still too confused about to get into — give me a few weeks to find a lesson and then I’ll be willing to share. Until then…I got nothin’…

Ironically, with the dozens of posts about forgiveness and healing surrounding my other ex, Dr. Dolittle, breaking up with The Besticle actually feels worse. I’ve been in denial for a long time, but it’s clear. I’m still adjusting…coming to terms with the fact that it’s over, and I’m really really sad about it. Like…really really sad.

Sometimes tho, sadness looks
like “getting back out there,” and in the wake of this turmoil, I found myself on Match.com filling out a profile and posting cute pictures. I added info: books I’ve read, favorite
movies, how much I love my life…blah blah. I can sound really cute and well-adjusted if I try. ;-)

Anyway, I’ve connected with a few men, winked at a few, but during an email conversation with one particular guy, I was at a loss when he asked: So, why are you on Match?

That’s when it hit me that — I have to get the f*ck off Match.

Why? Because intention is such an important component to action. And when asked about my intentions, all I could think was: It’s a few weeks into 2013 and I am lonely, feeling rejected and unlovable. I’m feeling ugly and unworthy and much like a failure.

Don’t judge me, you guys. I’m being honest…

I started my Match profile in an attempt to feel desirable. I needed someone to want me the way I thought The Besticle wanted me. Without knowing it, I was asking for someone to validate me. External validation is the Achilles heel of my effing life.

Anyway, I didn’t tell homie on Match any of this. I actually haven’t responded, but after I do, I’m going to disconnect my profile and try to heal…

This is the part where I should lament for a few lines about how I’m so ready and deserving “of something real,” but the truth is, I am deserving and prepared BUT NOT necessarily READY for my soul partner. I’ve done so much inner work, I own my own emotional baggage and I understand my purpose in this life. But the truthier truth is…. I’m a little heartbroken. The Besticle was the first person I thought, “wow…I could do this forever and actually be happy.” Like the first ever. In my entire life. So out of respect for the gravity of the “forever thought,” I have to take some time and sit this out. I have to honor the validity of my feelings as they move out of my experience. And…even more…I have to mourn the ending of possibility.

Sometimes the hardest thing to let
go of is a really good idea. The Besticle and I…were a really good idea. So I have to sit with the hope, hurt, anger and rejection…until it diminishes. I’ll take my time, then I’ll be prepared AND ready to get back “out there.”

I don’t have all the answers, and I wouldn’t say I’m handling this well at
all, but this is what I know for sure: clear purpose and clear intention are central to emotional freedom and happiness.

In order to move through life in a way that supports our growth, we have to be aware of our intentions. We can’t just act or react (though that’s often the appealing option). We have to be clear before we act. Don’t misinterpret me: we don’t have to know the outcome, BUT we have to make peace with our own feelings and intentions. I have to acknowledge my feelings before moving forward.

I’m uncomfortable today, but I won’t be forever. And, while I am certain there are other fish in the sea, if I cast my net with the wrong intention…I’ll bring back things I do not want. And, if there’s anything that MTV can teach me, its that I must be clear about my intentions if I’m going to date (on and off the Internets). I won’t bring any ANY MORE impurities into my puddle of love. I have no interest in compounding my sadness and isolation.

I am only interested in releasing.

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