Dating, Love

The 4 Pillars of a Quality Relationship

Listen on Spotify: https://anchor.fm/malia-beer/episodes/The-4-Pillars-of-a-Quality-Relationship-e12kbm9

What are the most important things to look for when selecting a potential partner? I have done a lot of reading on relationships and although I am no expert, I do think that I have learned a lot from experts and understand a bit of psychology. I am currently single and taking an intellectual approach to selecting the right person while also trying to remember that love is never supposed to be a business transaction. Relationships are transactional as there is always a give & take but they also need to be approached with emotion and tenderness. We all want to find someone who can meet us where we are at and where the energy exchange is equal. In the past I have given too much to men and have been taken advantage of or treated poorly. Now I am wise enough to know that how a man treats you in the beginning is how he will always treat you and there is no purpose trying to make something work with anyone who doesn’t meet your basic needs. Through trial and error, and a great deal of self reflection, I have found the most important pillars to building a solid relationship are: 

Compatibility, Chemistry, Connection & Communication 

To be compatible with someone means you are in similar places in life, want similar things and are going the same direction. This to me is the first barrier to get past and if this doesn’t line up there really is no point in moving forward. It takes time to really grasp whether your long term vision aligns with someone. However there are a few basic things to look for to determine whether their life is similar to yours. Do they work days, weekends or nights and does that align with your schedule? What do they do for fun and how do they spend their free time? Do they drink, smoke or have certain habits that don’t align with you? Do they have a job that can afford them the same luxuries that are important to you? Compatibility is more about day to day life habits rather than your favorite movie, band or ice cream flavor. That is all surface stuff and you have to get a little deeper.

Chemistry is all about how you feel when you are with someone. Do you feel like you are being yourself or putting up a front? Does the conversation flow easily or does it feel forced? Can you be alone together without distractions and still enjoy each other’s company? Are you agreeable and do things to appease them at the expense of yourself or are you able to speak up about your wants and needs? Does it feel good when they touch you, kiss you and are near you? For me, I need to have a spark with someone when they touch me. It has to feel natural and exhilarating. I have also noticed the way a man smells is important to me. I want him to smell good and have good hygiene, however I also want to know and love his natural pheromones. Too much cologne is not attractive to me and if they have bad breath or body odor then they’re not getting anywhere near me sexually. I actually broke up with a very nice man in the past because I didn’t like the way he smelled. I don’t feel bad about this because in the animal kingdom where they don’t use body sprays and perfumes the way they determine a mate is based on smell. This is how you know if you are a genetic match. People who overuse perfumes to cover their natural smell are often misleading their potential mates. 

Connection is the HARDEST thing to find in a potential partner. I have only felt it twice. I felt a spark with all of the men I seriously dated but in retrospect the connection was never real. It was either puppy love, infatuation, admiration or lust. When things got hard they ran away or I shut down. I’ve never been able to get over the 8 month marker and still stay with a man because as the honeymoon phase ended and reality came into play I discovered things that didn’t fully match up between us. The only person in my life that I made a lasting connection with was my ex-husband. We were friends for over a year before we got together so there was already a level of love and respect for him. However once we came together we were bonded. It was rocky in the beginning and we even broke up for a while, then broke up again, but I always knew in my heart that we were meant to be together. I knew that we had that rare connection and that is something you can not make or break. It just *IS*. No matter how much time or space is between you there is always a familiarity when you come back together as if there was never distance. It sometimes happens in friendships too. My best friend of 23 years is a shining example of what I mean by “connection”. We have known each other for so long but sometimes we come together and sometimes we drift apart. We have always been linked spiritually and I consider her my star sister. We met in middle school and became instant best friends. We hung out every day and over the summers. Then in high school we had a mutual friend who put a wedge between us and we didn’t talk and actively disliked each other for about a year. Then one day we just re-connected and became instant best friends again. We couldn’t even remember what exactly happened to make us stop talking(?) Since then we’ve gone through different phases of life but somehow the Universe just kept crossing our paths. She got pregnant within 6 months of me so our kids have known each other their whole lives. Her parents love me so they’ve always invited me to their family celebrations. Since I didn’t have a solid family life growing up they became my family. The craziest part of our alignment is that her older sister met my uncle on a dating website and now they are now married… so we actually ARE family, by law. As for my co-parent, I still have a connection with him because it can never be destroyed but it has transformed into something different. We still have a great deal of respect for each other. We say I love you but not romantically. He has just always been there for me and we both know you can never stop loving someone when it’s unconditional. I believe in my heart that we were meant to find each other at a young age to help us grow up and become adults. We both had Jehovah’s Witnesses as parents and we both dropped out of high school to work. We were forced to grow up fast and we needed each other at that time of our lives. Our children were also meant to be brought into this world and that is the best thing to come from our union. Just because we grew apart does not mean that we still aren’t friends who care about each other. I didn’t know myself when we were married and it took me a long time to learn who I was and what I wanted in a partner. Now that I know what I want I understand that “connection” is the pillar that is the most important in partner selection, while also being the most difficult to find. 

While connection is the most rare, communication is key to maintaining the connection because there can and will be breakdowns that need to be navigated through to insure the relationship stays intact. The best relationships and friendships need to be fostered and nurtured and laying a foundation is important. I like to communicate with my partner almost daily to check in and let them know I am thinking of them. I appreciate when the exchange is equal so that I am not the only one initiating conversation and to know they are thinking of me. I don’t need to text all day long, rather I like to have an ongoing dialogue. I like to stay close to the people I care about and usually like to see someone I am dating once a week. However my life is busy and assuming they will have life obligations, time doesn’t always permit a weekly visit. In which case I think an occasional phone call to hear their voice is important to stay connected.  I have never tried a long distance relationship and wonder how that works but I feel once you have laid the foundation and know your place in a relationship then I’m more interested in quality time than quantity. When in a partnership time should flow freely and we should just ride the wave. I need a level of freedom to feel comfortable and want a person who also values their freedom and independence. I also need someone who is emotionally intelligent and can verbalize their feelings. It’s sometimes easier for me to write out my feelings to organize my thoughts and the person I am meant to be with will know how to accept my deep, raw and unfiltered emotions without getting scared or offended by them. I need a safe space to express myself and be accepted at my most vulnerable. I also need my man to be willing to work through our disagreements and understand that disagreements are normal but disrespect is not. 

Conclusion… I have not found all 4 pillars in one person but I’m hopeful. Even when I was married we were missing the communication aspect and a lot of that was due to being so young. It takes time to learn how to express yourself and hear other people. It takes courage to be honest & vulnerable. Many times people avoid tough conversations out of fear that they won’t be accepted or that they’ll lose their love. Many people settle for comfort because they don’t want to be alone. Unfortunately when you settle, you are dismissing the possibility of finding the *right* partner, for you. I’m not looking for perfection but I have settled before not understanding what builds a solid relationship and this time I know what I’m looking for and I will keep myself open until he finds me.

Dating, Love

Adventures in Dating Pt.4 – FRUSTRATION

Listen on Spotify: https://anchor.fm/malia-beer/episodes/Adventures-in-Dating-Pt-4–FRUSTRATION-e12kagl

Well I am about over this whole “dating” thing. However I made a goal and I am going to stick to it. My goal was 21 dates in 2021 and let me tell you, they have mostly been lackluster! I have met one person I have a connection with and that needs more time to develop. In the last couple weeks I went on 3 more in person dates.. One was a young guy who I seemed to communicate well with online, however when we met I didn’t feel anything. He was nice, decent looking and easy to talk to but with all the pleasantries we exchanged over a glass of kombucha we never found that connection. Sure we both like nature and camping but those things are so basic in Colorado. I decided to ask him where he sees himself in 5 years just to learn if there is any compatibility. He said he didn’t know and hadn’t thought about it so I pried a little more… “What is one thing you want to do before you die that will leave you feeling fulfilled?” He said he wanted a family and to have kids. I asked how many and he said 2-3 which made me realize we are definitely not compatible. I am a 37 year old mother and my kiddos are teenagers now. While I am still young enough to have another (and this is something I have considered quite a bit lately) I also know that I want a little time to travel & experience more before I sign that contract again. I need time to meet my person and for us to decide together what we want in life before making any decisions. Part of me has always wanted a girl and I’ve known her name since I was young. I even had a dream about her recently. Her name is Elizabeth but I would call her “Libby” for short. I don’t want to fully close that door, however I don’t see myself having more than one, if at all. It really comes down to the partner I choose and what serves our purpose. Part of me has also considered adoption since there are so many parentless children in this world. At any rate I don’t disclose that I have children online because this is more of an “in person” conversation. I am not exactly trying to attract men who have young children because that would mean it’s unlikely we are in the same place. I want someone who is a little more free and wants to explore the world with me. Oftentimes that is hard to do with young children, though not impossible. I am also not trying to deter men and a lot of times men think that if you are a single mother that you are looking for a man to take the father role, which is the farthest from what I want. My children have a father and no man will ever take his place. My boys are old enough to be their friend, not their responsibility. 

The other man I met up with was 11 years older than me which is not a deal breaker however we didn’t have a lot in common. He asked me to “Sunday on Santa Fe” which is right up my cultural alley and in my physical neighborhood. We perused the art & antique shops followed by grabbing sushi. He seemed a little nervous but polite. Not exactly my flavor of man but sometimes personality makes someone more attractive. Once we had some sake we both opened up a little more and talked about our past relationships and how we got to where we are today. His story was tragic as his wife of 20 years got caught cheating with his neighbor who was also his best friend just a year prior. Within one week his wife moved in with this man, who was also married and who also divorced his wife after getting caught. Their children were old enough to witness all of that and his wife was unapologetic. Now he is still friends with the neighbor’s wife while his ex is off playing house with the other man and the kids. When someone shares something that raw with you there is almost an instant bond. I had a lot of empathy for him and can definitely relate to being cheated on and left for another. When that happened to me I took a few years to reflect before dating again. I usually need time to grow and learn before I get back on the horse. I can’t imagine this being an easy transition after being married for 20 years and personally think people need time to heal…however not everyone is like me. We had the time and nowhere to be so we went to play games at the arcade 1Up in Denver and had a couple more drinks. It was a fun day but one big turn off was that he didn’t offer to buy me lunch or drinks so I spent a lot of money! Something about chivalry is attractive to me. I never expect a man to pay my way however I enjoy when they offer. For one thing I find that it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. I even teach my boys this when we go out for ice cream. Always ask a girl what she wants while you’re in line and then order for her. It shows confidence and care. Then pay for it. It shows chivalry. I want to know if you think my time is worth your investment. After games, he drove me home and went for a kiss. Although I was not really attracted to him I allowed it. Mostly in the name of “research” and trying to learn how or when *connection* happens but also because I felt a little bad for the guy. Sheesh what a card he got dealt! He was a decent kisser but there was absolutely no spark so I excused myself and said goodnight. He texted me immediately and said he had a good time and asked when he could see me again. I told him I needed to check my calendar and would get back… but after a whole week of not thinking about him he followed up. Then I realized if he hadn’t crossed my mind at all for the whole week then clearly there is no chemistry. I feel like when you like someone you think about them all the time, especially in the beginning. Part of me thought about meeting up again since he’s a nice guy and all…. But then I realized it felt obligatory and maybe a little out of pity. I don’t see this developing and don’t think spending more time together would change that. It might just make the conversation more awkward in person. So I decided to be honest and endure the minor discomfort in the moment in order to spare myself the discomfort of spending more time with this person and then having to let him down. I responded to his inquiry by saying “I don’t know how to say this and don’t want to be hurtful but I need to be honest; I don’t feel a romantic connection with you.” I told him I was looking for something specific and didn’t think he was that. Then I asked if he felt the connection with me or if he just thinks I’m cute and fun so he’s going with it? He said his feelings weren’t hurt and appreciated the honesty. Then he acknowledged that he agreed, we aren’t what each other are looking for and he just thought we could have fun in the meantime. I told him that if I wasn’t so clear about what I wanted maybe I’d have “fun” with people but the problem with knowing what you want is that anything less is not enjoyable. We ended things as friends and wished each other luck on our separate journeys. 

The 3rd man I met up with was from a dating site called Luxy. I had a friend recommend it because it was for rich (or) sexy people and she thought I deserved to be in that box. It’s an interesting app because you have to pass criteria to be accepted. It’s a dating site where 45% of the users are millionaires who actually send in their tax documents to be verified. You have to put your best foot forward and add quality pictures. Which is nice to peruse through because I find a lot of normal dating apps have shitty pictures and people have no clue how to take a selfie. It’s also cool because you can look at the other women on the app and see your competition, for lack of a better term. One thing I notice is that women like to use a lot of filters and it’s really hard to tell what they would look like in real life or without makeup. I wonder; is this what men want?… A plastic doll or arm candy? It also only allows for a short description of who you are and what you’re looking for, along with surface things like height, career, income and location. You really don’t get a lot of substance swiping through profiles and it’s a little pretentious for me but again, I am putting my best foot forward so I’m giving it a shot. A lot of these men & women are rich and travel a lot which is cool but many of them live out of state or out of the country. I wonder what is the point in trying to connect with someone so far away? I do want to travel but I’m not that rich (yet)! I have chatted with a handful of local users but a lot of these rich men aren’t that attractive and I realize no amount of money will make me sleep with someone that I am not attracted to. I do want a man who is financially stable but I am not looking for a sugar daddy. Only looking for someone who can keep up with me and not weigh me down. After chatting online over the week I suggested we grab a bite or drink. We went to grab margaritas on the patio of a local mexican restaurant. We both walked up from opposite directions and waved from afar as our timing was perfect. He was dressed casually as he just came from work and I found him to be good looking but not pretentious. The conversation flowed very easily and we had a lot in common. He is my age so we are both elder millennials who remember what it was like without the internet. We also both worked in the financial industry and then got turned off by it. He has a couple properties around Colorado and left corporate America to be an entrepreneur and now owns his consulting firm. Then we started discussing the current affairs of the world as this is a very important topic for me. I feel like Covid split our country into two parts and I wanted to know what side of the aisle he fell on. I carefully mentioned that I haven’t practiced silks for the last year due to the mask mandates and not being able to do that. He said he didn’t work well with masks either and that he thought we should have never shut down the economy. Then we started speaking the same language. Once dinner was over he readily grabbed the bill and paid. Then he offered to drive me home since I walked. His car was nice and clean which matters to me for whatever reason. I feel like the type of car a man drives shows me whether he is financially sound and the cleanliness shows me if he is messy. We hugged in the car but neither of us went for a kiss and I thought that was nice. I really enjoyed our conversation and he is good looking but there isn’t an emotional bond yet so that seemed inappropriate. He also mentioned that he just got out of a year long relationship so he is newly single. I think it would be wise to take things slow. Once I was home I wondered if he thought I was attractive or if I was in the friend box. Then he texted me and said he was glad we met and said he was around over the weekend if I wanted to hang out. So we have another date on Sunday and I look forward to getting to know him more. 

I had a few drinks with my neighbor last night who I have been meaning to get to know. He is 27 years my senior & married so this is strictly platonic. He’s always really nice to my Airbnb guests and says hi to me every day so I decided that we needed to get to know each other. He comes from a rough childhood like me so we can relate to one another. He and his wife are also artists and enjoy poetry and literature.  I mentioned that I had a blog and he asked what it was about. I told him current events, love, life, relationships… Basically I write about my thoughts and feelings. That is how I processed things as a kid and built up a habit of writing in order to put the emotions I was feeling somewhere. Sometimes my brain gets so full of thoughts and if I don’t write them out, it will fester inside of me and clog up my vibration. I told him my current topic is adventures in dating and that it can be frustrating. For example, there is one guy I am chatting with online who seemed to be of substance and asked a lot of great questions. He said that I caught his attention and despite never meeting me, he thought about me daily. I thought that was sweet but also a little odd. I don’t like building expectations in my mind about someone and need to feel the energy exchange. He said he really wanted to meet me so we made plans. But then he asked me how many other dates I had this week and I said “Do you really want to know about my dating life?” He said yes, that’s how he can tell if I am open and vulnerable or just a serial dater. Against my better judgement I was honest and said that I normally don’t date and kind of hate it but this year I felt the urge to put myself out there so I made a goal to go on 21 dates in 2021. Then.. he…got…weird. He was a little passive aggressive and said that I sounded like a serial dater and to contact him when I was ready for something real. I clarified that I *am* looking for something real, however I am a goal driven person and I knew that this was going to be a ratio thing. I knew it would be frustrating and if I had one bad date it would deter me from wanting to try again, hence the reason behind setting a goal. I also said the only way to really know if you have a connection is by meeting in real life. Rarely do I have that connection with someone and typically we hug goodbye and go our separate ways. He asked if there was anyone I have connected with so far and I said yes there is one man I am seeing here & there. Then he got really offended and said he wouldn’t be ok with me seeing other people if we were sleeping together and I informed him that A) Just because I am dating does NOT mean I am going to sleep with them. And B) How do you know that I would even want to sleep with you? It was pretty presumptuous for him to think this and a red flag that he got possessive when we literally haven’t even met yet. I told him I wouldn’t know if we had chemistry until we met and then if we do, the foundation must be laid before I would stop all other dating. I think it’s wise to approach a new relationship slowly and also think it’s healthy to take my time to see what is out there so I am not settling for the first man I like. When I mentioned this to my neighbor, he too assumed I was sleeping with a bunch of dudes and after a few drinks I felt really annoyed by men. Why do they think that just because a single woman is exercising her freedom of choice and dating that she is a whore? My neighbor didn’t explicitly say this but he assumed that I was “sleeping with a bunch of losers” which made me feel really misunderstood and judged. One tequila later I told him the conversation was over and he left. Today I am just annoyed by men and frustrated with the process. I truly feel that there are good men out there, don’t get me wrong. I just think the majority of them in the dating scene are basic. They are driven by their liibto and rarely take the time to get clear on what they want in a partner. They don’t think far enough ahead to determine what they seek in a romantic relationship. They are not doing the work. While I’m looking for the needle in the haystack. The man who I choose will understand the importance of this work and have his own list of traits he needs in a mate. And as if by fate, I will meet most of those traits. Not all of them because no one is perfect but I better be damn close to perfect (for him)! I trust the Universe is conspiring for this.

Dating, Life, Uncategorized

Living with Trauma

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6IWnkeysmCm2qxcIpKGOb4?si=dJNprJR3Q7eTgqIxtwJcSg

Trigger Warning: For anyone who has been abused verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually please be advised. 

I have struggled with repressed trauma my whole life but hadn’t become conscious of it until a few years ago. Last year in particular it became very present because of the mask mandates which made me have negative reactions. It took me a long time to figure out why when I put on a mask I got anxiety, shortness of breath and a loss of motor skills. When I tried to express this to people a lot of times I was told that I am selfish and just making it up. “Just shut up and put on the mask” they’d say.. “For other peoples health & safety” they claim. There was no compassion for me so I struggled to express myself and understand the root of the problem. After sitting with this for months and realizing that I am not alone, it finally made sense. My mother was an alcoholic with what I can only describe as (undiagnosed) borderline personality disorder. She would never admit she has a problem so seeking a diagnosis or help was never an option. All I knew was that growing up was very confusing. She would be really fun and happy but after a few beers she would get angry, then cry, then yell and sometimes she’d get physically abusive. I never understood how she could flip her script on the drop of a dime. She would tell me things had happened that never happened or say I did something that I never did, which always left me questioning my reality. She believed herself so much that it made me wonder if *I* was crazy? I became hyper observant due to this because I wanted to know the difference between what was real and what was imaginary. One time in particular she had me pinned down and wouldn’t let me leave. While I was under her she called the police to “turn me in” and while on the phone with dispatch she screamed “OUCH SHE’S BITING ME, SHE’S BITING ME!”… In my head I thought what in the hell is she saying that for? I am literally pinned underneath her and can’t get away! When the police arrived they split us up in order to get each story. They asked me why I bit her and I said I didn’t. Then they informed me she had bite marks on her inner arm, close to her armpit. I was shocked to realize she went to the lengths of biting herself in order to try and send me to juvenile hall. I told the cops I didn’t do that, she bit herself and they should test the dental marks to prove it. But they must not have believed her because ultimately they left and I was not arrested.

My mother would lock me in my room about once every week and berate me for hours while I’d sit on the floor trying not to let her words seep into my subconscious. She would tell me how awful of a daughter and person I was. That no man would ever love me and I would always be alone. That I wouldn’t amount to anything. I knew that if I spoke up and responded to her verbal abuse or defended myself it would start the clock back over so I had to sit there and endure her venomous words until she tired herself out. I’m not sure where I went during these hour long episodes but I think part of me repressed the memories in order to survive. All I could do was breathe and imagine that I was somewhere else just to stay sane. This trauma has manifested in a couple ways and has affected my life & relationships. Whenever I feel trapped, whether it’s in a relationship or a confined space or at a job or when I’m unable to speak, I feel like I can’t breath. I get claustrophobic and need to get away. I need a level of freedom to feel safe. I can’t even look at pictures of people in caves because it gives me instant anxiety. With masks I can handle them for a short while because I have to in order to go into a grocery store but after 20 minutes I start to panic and can’t think straight. I will bump into things and lose my whereabouts. I think the shortness of breath is partly psychosomatic and it intensifies the longer I wear them. It also changes my personality as I become angry and upset at my surroundings. Fortunately I work for myself and rarely need to endure them but I have a lot of compassion for anyone who is forced to wear them for long periods of time. I haven’t spoken to my mother in over a decade now. Mainly because I needed to break the cycle and not allow my children to grow up in that toxic environment. It’s unfortunate but necessary for my health. 

My last relationship was about 5 years ago in which I met a man who I fell in love with very quickly. Within the span of one week I was seeing him almost daily and within a month he already asked me to move in with him and asked me to marry him several times. Every time I told him “no” but I did end up getting talked into moving in with him. My living situation wasn’t the best and he had a bigger house with a basement so he sold me on the idea of giving more space to my kids and providing them a better home life. My lease was up so it made sense.. We could split rent and that would save us both money. Against my better judgement I jumped into that relationship with no floaties and before I realized it I was drowning. This man was lots of fun and openly expressed his love for me but after about one month the “honeymoon” phase wore off and his true colors began to show. He was an ex-military Army Ranger diagnosed with 100% PTSD and a 10% traumatic brain injury. Adding alcohol alongside his diagnosis made him turn into an entirely different person. We would be having a great time and out of nowhere he would become verbally abusive. He was very jealous of my past life and he’d stalk my Facebook profile while I was at work then send me screenshots of pictures of me with men and ask who they were, if I slept with them and why I would leave these pictures up? He would later berate me for hours on end and tell me I was a dirty whore, a slut, a hooker and tell me that my life is an embarrassment. He’d tell me that it’s coming from a place of love and that it hurts him to know I slept with other people and that I’m still friends with them. He even got to the point of harassing my ex boyfriends online and making a very public scene by tagging me and a list of partners I previously had been with then threatening to murder them. It was an out of body experience in which case I found myself hovering over my body thinking how did I get here? How do I get out? I genuinely thought I would have to die in order to be free. He wouldn’t allow me to leave unless I calmed him down and told him everything he wanted to hear. Unless I committed more to him. I ended up deleting my Facebook and discontinuing a lot of friendships just to appease him. After all of that he just progressed and got worse over time to the point of breaking my possessions and even becoming physically abusive. All of this transpired in the span of 6 months in which case I couldn’t even see my kids because I was afraid of them witnessing an episode. It was summer time and my kids liked to stay at their dads where they are closer to neighborhood friends so they didn’t notice too much, however when I started going a week without seeing them they knew there was a major problem. I could only see them if I took them out and then dropped them back off. My co-parent was the rock for our family at that time and it took me months to finally admit what was happening to me. I will save the details of this story for another blog but let’s just say it was as if I chose a partner who reminded me of my mother. He was great, until he snapped. In my head I kept thinking he was going to kill me but I knew that I needed to keep my mouth shut & pretend to be in love with him while I found my escape route. I finally broke free when he took a trip to Burning Man and I didn’t have to speak to him for a few weeks. I got my own place and blocked him from every platform so he couldn’t pull me back in. My life was in shambles and I knew that I had major healing to do. He was my ultimate rock bottom. 

Fast forward to this week. I spent years figuring out what happened to me, both in my childhood and my last relationship, reading books, processing my emotions and learning how to love myself. This year I finally feel like I am ready to start dating again. I have been on 8 dates out of my goal of 21 in 2021. Most of them are lackluster and I am very picky so I usually know after the first date if there is potential. There was one man I have been casually seeing for a couple months but he hasn’t put much effort into texting or talking to me between dates. We hung out a couple weekends in a row followed by him only texting me late at night asking what I was doing and if I wanted to hang out. I was always busy or about to go to bed so it took a month for him to realize he had to ask me on a real date in order to see me. We went to dinner and drinks which he paid for followed by going to his house for a movie after. I told him I needed to be home by 10pm to work on music for my gig this weekend. After the movie ended he asked me if I wanted to continue the conversation in his room. I told him “no” and that I need to get home soon. He said he wanted to snuggle for a while first and again I told him “no”. When pressed, I further explained that I didn’t really like that he only texts me late at night and I am not interested in being his potential booty call. I said I was being intentional about dating and looking for something more than just physical. Then I mentioned that he wasn’t the only person I was seeing and I am not trying to be promiscuous. Then he said “Wow, you just want to sleep with a bunch of dudes”… and I responded “Umm… that’s not at all what I said, I said the exact opposite”. He then said “Well you don’t have to sleep with me, lets just go lay down for a bit”. For the 3rd time I said “No. I don’t want to put myself in a situation that could lead somewhere” and he said “Too bad that you’re just the kind of girl who can’t control herself”. I started shaking and instantly got up, grabbed my things and left telling him only that he triggered me and I had to go. I went to my car and started crying but not your standard cry, it was a full blown emotional meltdown including sobbing while hyperventilating. All the trauma from my mother and my ex who both verbally abused me and said awful things like what was just said to me, was right in my face again. It felt like I was back in my room being yelled at and told I wouldn’t amount to anything. I was reliving the abuse as if it was currently happening. After 10 minutes I accidentally honked the horn as my head fell into the steering wheel which snapped me back into reality so I drove home, still sobbing the whole way and struggling to breath. I got home and laid on the floor in the fetal position for another 20 minutes crying until I could finally catch the words to tell myself that I was safe now. I held myself and repeated out loud “You’re ok, you’re ok.. You’re home, you’re safe. You don’t ever have to go back there.. I’ll take care of you, you’re safe”. Even writing this brings the tears back to my eyes. 

I finally got up and tried to reach out to a friend. I just needed a warm & familiar voice to calm me down. It was late but my dear friend answered and she just held space for me while I cried and vented to her. She would take very intentional deep breaths which truly helped center me. When I woke up the next day I realized that I had my first panic attack and began to replay what happened in my mind. I realized that the trauma is still very real regardless of how much work I have done to move past it. It is something that I will have to live with my entire life and need to learn ways to cope. I also realized that what happened with my mother carried over to my choice of partner. There is a book I listened to after that relationship ended called ‘Getting the Love you Want’ that resonated with me. It talks about how we choose partners who remind us of our primary caregivers, both the good & the bad aspects. We do this unconsciously in order to fill the void of not getting the love we always wanted but never received. We think these people who remind us of our caregiver will fill the void. The only way to overcome this is by intentionally learning about our shadows and choosing something different. I came to understand that my traumatic relationship was the Universe offering me the idea of “love” from someone who might be able to fill that void. I also realized that this new man I was dating had many of the same attributes as the last and that the Universe will keep putting you in situations until you learn the lesson.


I am actually grateful that this happened and that I saw the pattern so quickly. I was able to get myself out of a bad situation the moment it happened and no longer need to fill some imaginary void with more toxic relationships. I have learned my lesson and I will never let someone treat me that way again. I have filled my own cup and don’t need a person to make me whole because I am my savior. People treat you how you treat yourself and you only get what you’re willing to put up with. Needless to say I will never speak to that man again and I don’t feel bad for leaving with no explanation. He tried to reach out but I have not responded and don’t plan to. The funniest part is that after I left he seemed so clueless that he actually sent me a text asking if I could Venmo him my portion of dinner. The dinner that he ordered and said was too much for him and wanted to share. I laughed out loud! I thought about sending him a bill for my awesome company as my time is valuable and he wasted it… Or sending him a dollar and telling him to buy himself a clue… but I figured that there is no point in speaking to deaf ears and this would make a really good blog post as it is.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have struggled or are struggling with an abusive relationship please feel free to reach out. I have been there. You are NOT alone. There are resources that can help.

❤ Malia

Dating, Life, Love

Adventures in Dating Pt. 2 ~ Getting Clear about what you Want

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I’m new to the dating scene. Typically I would live my life and if a person of interest crossed my path, I would “throw caution to the wind” so to speak. I would go with the flow, ride it out and see how the chips fell. After a handful of unsuccessful and short lived connections, alongside one traumatic relationship, I realized if I truly wanted to find someone of substance, how unrealistic of an approach that was. After my traumatic relationship a few years ago I listened to a Book called “Getting the Love you Want” which really resonated with me. It was written by Harville Henreix Ph.D. and he explores how our childhood plays a role in who we are drawn to in relationships. How we seem to be drawn to people that remind us of our primary caregivers and for those of us who didn’t have positive childhoods this can hinder our ability to select people that are good for us. We tend to seek out someone who reminds us of our parents because it both makes us feel comfort while simultaneously seeking the love we always wanted but never received. 

My mother was beautiful, wild & fun (yet) crazy and volatile. We used to sing and dance while playing dress up as she made me feel magical and told me I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to… Until things got dark for her and she would become verbally abusive and hurtful. My father was gentle, kind and the light of my life. He loved me dearly but left at the age of 8. As a result, I have been drawn to men who are either wildly fun (but often imbalanced) or avoidant/unavailable. I have a mix of codependency alongside abandonment issues. The “normal” ones always seemed so boring to me and I unknowingly craved excitement in order to fill the void of not getting the stable care that I needed as a child. The difference between me and most people however was that I recognized I had a blockage and my desire to overcome my circumstances was far greater than my need for immediate gratification. I have worked extremely hard to understand my traumas along with learning how to overcome them. At this point my self love teeters on the border of narcissism. I say that jokingly but my best friend makes fun of me for it. I think because I didn’t get the love I needed, I had to manufacture it myself and over time I learned how much of a badass biotch I am and how I can’t rely on any man (or person) to give me that love. It resides inside of me and I have to own it! The love I have for my avatar is so strong that now I am ready to share it and I seek a worthy receiver. 

I casually dated a male model a while back and learned that what they say about models might be true… super hot but there isn’t much going on upstairs… he was super sweet but after a few fun months I ended things with no explanation. He later confronted me to ask why I broke things off. He said that it felt like a business transaction and that maybe he wasn’t putting in as much so I cut him off as if he were a business decision. I realized that he was 100% correct and as insensitive as I may have been to his feelings, it wasn’t working for that very reason. I wasn’t willing to be the investor anymore. I wasn’t willing to put all my time & energy into someone or something that wasn’t bringing me a return on my investment. At this point, I am not willing to start something that doesn’t make sense long term. I am not willing to humor deal breakers in hopes the person will “change”. They never do. I am not interested in fixing anyone as I’ve tried that repeatedly only to be left feeling used and drained. No, no.. I am embracing my power and I realize ALL relationships are transactional, whether you recognize this or not. Some people want companionship at all costs and are willing to forfeit their dignity to avoid being alone. Some people want sex, some people want arm candy to make themselves look or feel better, some people want safety or security… NONE of these wants are wrong as every person deserves to be true to themselves and their needs. However being clear with yourself and those you date is imperative for a long lasting and balanced partnership. 

What I want is far deeper. I want true connection. A best friend and a lover. Someone who I can confide in and who will push me to my limits while catching me when I fall. I realize that I am a Queen and I need to own this, like mama taught me. I want my love to find me beautiful, fun & exciting (while) being able to handle my crazy, as we all have it. To be fair, I am pretty reasonable but trauma is trauma and I’ll be the first to admit on occasion it creeps up and I revert back to patterns that are hard to break. For example; if I think someone is going to leave me, I leave first to spare myself the uncertainty. I need my man to give me a minute to catch my breath, realize how ridiculous that is and then be my rock and pull me back in. Again, it’s rare and embarrassing when this happens but I need a strong man to hold space for me when I can’t hold space for myself. After all, as Marilyn so eloquently put it “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. 

Getting clear about what you want is a process but something worth embarking on. Here are a couple lists to start with that you can adjust over time as you grow to know and love yourself:

Write down ALL the things you desire in your partner. Start the sentence with “My partner *IS*… Avoid saying I want him/her to “be”. Don’t use future tense but rather write your list as if they are already here. Example; 

My Partner IS

~Kind to my kids (and all kids). He wants to get to know them and be their friend. 

My partner IS

~Thoughtful: Thinks deeply about things & contemplates life.

He IS

~Mindful: Present in his life and considers his impact on others.

~Well articulated: Knows how to speak, write, communicate and express himself.

~Emotionally intelligent: Listens to his heart, knows himself, what he wants and has empathy for others.

~Supportive: Encourages me to pursue my goals & pushes me to be my best self while being able to catch me when I fall. 

~Healthy: Cares about what he puts in & on his body. He likes to workout frequently, be fit and be active – he’ll even try the things I enjoy like yoga or acro yoga and even be silly with my hula hoop once and a while. *Whilst* not being too obsessed with always being healthy…just most of the time… everything in moderation including moderation.  

~Open Minded: We don’t always agree or see things the same but we allow each other the space to explore ideas and ask questions without feeling judged. 

~Fond of travel & exploring new places

~Financially stable: Has the means to do that ^ He has his own career that he enjoys that offers him a lifestyle that we can share weight equally without stress. 

~Attractive: He has good hygiene but knows how to be a man and not be afraid of pheromones. He has some sense of fashion and knows the difference between dressing up, down, business casual and costumery.. He is conscious of fashion but doesn’t really care what other people think of his appearance. 

~Unapologetically himself: He doesn’t let society, social norms or pressure change him. 

~Funny, fun loving and overall a great time to be around! He likes to let loose sometimes and be a free spirit. He loves to laugh and joke around, be silly and spontaneous. He makes trips to the grocery store worth writing home about ❤ 

~Well equipped – if you know what I’m sayin’…. But to be clear, my man has a very nice girthy penis. Not too long, not too short, but just right. 

~Sensual: He is great in bed, an amazing kisser and appreciates the power of touch and giving extra attention to my body.

~Affectionate: Not afraid of public displays of affection & showing me he loves my body.

~Loyal

~Honest

~Intelligent

~Spiritual

~In love with ME. Not his made up version of me, not the surface me, not just my body and not what I have to offer but he is genuinely and passionately in love with ALL of me. 

Next, write down what YOU have to offer. Don’t be shy! We all have our strengths and we need to own them! Here are some things I have to offer to the lucky man who catches my heart:

~I am optimistic and cheerful and have the ability to brighten a room and lift people’s spirits. 

~I have a great sense of humor and make people laugh with spontaneous jokes and just being silly or pointing out how silly we are as humans. I can break the ice easily and make people smile.  

~I am patient and kind. I am stoic in times of trouble. I am the voice of reason in difficult or emotional situations and can usually find middle ground or help bring calm & peace to the situation. 

~I am understanding and forgiving.

~I am a good cook & homemaker who enjoys taking care of the people I love.

~I can hold an intellectual conversation and discuss worldly & deep topics.

~I am creative and can transform anything into a work of art. 

~I am well articulated and can hold my own within a variety of dynamics.

~I am smart, hard working and capable of anything I put my mind to. 

~I am hawt with a cute butt and womanly curves, soft skin and nice hair that will make any man melt. 

~Also, I am charming 😉 

So what is it that YOU want and have to offer?

Dating, Life, Love

Adventures in Dating Part 1: Laying the Foundation

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I have been mostly single since my divorce in 2010, minus a couple short lived exceptions. I never wanted to introduce my children to a bunch of men when they were young and then have it not work out so I kept most of my (almost non existent) dating life separate from my family life. My last relationship was 4 years ago and it scared me away from trying again due to the volatility of that situation. After only 6 months of dating that man, I had to take a huge step back to evaluate what happened to me and why I attracted that type of person. I listened to several audiobooks about psychology, love and how our past traumas and childhood plays a big role in the type of person you are attracted to. I learned about attachment styles, the male brain (&) the female brain among many other personal development topics. I came to understand that relationship as my rock bottom and I knew that if I was going to find the right person worth committing to and ever put myself in another vulnerable situation then I needed to do the work and make sure I was prepared. After many years of growth and discovering who I really am at my core and what I want out of a partner, I finally feel the urge & confidence to seek him. This year I’ve felt compelled to cast my net as far & wide to see what fish are out there. The saying goes that “what you seek is seeking you” and I feel a tugging in my heart. I plan to go on many dates and assume I will need to kiss a lot of frogs to find my King. Yes, I said “King” and not “Prince” because I know that I am not a Princess and what I need is a strong man to meet me in my Queendom. 

I decided to put more effort into online dating and have built up 3 profiles on different dating sites to see which one works best for me and also because I know that in order to find my man I need to take steps towards him. Maybe I’ll meet him in real life but at least this is my signal to the Universe that I am open. I set up a profile on Meet Mindful as it seems to be more geared towards people who want to live mindfully, health conscious and spiritual lives. However I’ve not had much luck interacting with people on that platform. Possibly because these people are also trying to be present in their lives and thus don’t spend a lot of time in the virtual world. It’s also hard to tell whether we have the same views on important topics that could be deal breakers. The site allows you to program your match preferences for things like height, age, religion, diet, education and a few other categories however there is no way of telling whether you’d agree or disagree on fundamental issues.

I also set up an account on OK Cupid. The site allows you to answer many questions on a variety of topics like political views, current events, likes and dislikes along with allowing you to rate the importance of that topic. You are matched based on how many things you agree on and whether those things are more or less important to you in a relationship. I made sure to answer a LOT of questions to really be clear about who I am and what is important to me. You also have the ability to select criteria like age, heigh & location similar to Meet Mindful. To avoid wasting time reading a bunch of dead end profiles, I have worked out a process for scrubbing potential matches; First I will only humor men who are a 90% match or above. If they pass the initial “cute/hot/attractive” test based on their profile pictures, then I will go one step further and click on the match percentile link to review the things we *disagree* on to make sure there aren’t any firm deal breakers. One thing I often run into that is a deal breaker for me is someone who is sold on the mask/lockdown/vaccine approach to Covid. Not to diminish the pandemic but I am very clear that I want a person who values building their immune system & personal responsibility over pharmaceutical drugs and government mandates. I also shy away from men who don’t like children or animals because I don’t know how any reasonable person doesn’t like them! If I get the impression that they are immature or full time partiers that will also deter me. I have spent enough time in the party scene to know that is NOT the person I am looking for. Finally, I can’t handle the “Woke” culture so anyone who is overly liberal and convinced that America is a racist, awful country is not workable as I love my country and am honored to be here. I have come to realize that despite being socially liberal (classic liberal) I am fiscally conservative and I believe in God, Spirituality and the individual over the Government, tribalism and bureaucratic science. I am NOT a Communist nor Socialist but I do care about volunteering, sustainability and locally managed social programs that help our communities. I certainly don’t fall into any political box and I am seeking someone who is a bit more open to alternative ideas. 

The last dating site that I created a profile on is eHarmony. They seem to focus more attention on the compatibility levels between people and use psychology to get to the root of what builds a successful and long term relationship. They ask questions more aligned to how you are within a partnership, your love languages, personality traits, attachment & relationship styles. What I gather from this site is that it’s good for people who are seeking a long term & committed relationship or marriage and family building. The only downside is that you have to put a lot of skin in the game. In order to even see a potential matches profile & pictures you have to be a paid member and it’s rather expensive. For example, Meet Mindful was $50 for 3 months of membership. OK Cupid was $30 for the first month and $60 every month after (or you can do an annual subscription that has some savings). eHarmony is more based on the length of commitment as it requires a minimum of 6 months at $42 per month (or $250 for 6 months and $350 for a year). For now I decided to start with the cheaper short term commitment sites to see how I like them and will consider eHarmony later. 

OK Cupid seems to be working for me the most. I’ve only been on the site for 2 weeks but so far have made a handful of connections and have had 3 in person meet ups. The first man I met is a 96% match and we get along great! He is a lot of fun to be around and we seem to agree on so many things and the conversation flows very well. I wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him at first but mostly because he asked me to meet him at a local dive bar and the setting was not exactly my cup of tea. During dinner we got to know each other more and found a lot of commonalities so he became more attractive to me. We have hung out twice now and both times were a blast! He met my friends and fits in well with them which is important to me. The only possible Red Flag is that he’s slightly younger than me and I tend to be mature for my age. I am looking for a man who is very emotionally intelligent and is fully established in his life. This isn’t a deal breaker and so far I enjoy his company enough to see how things play out. He also lied on his profile about being a smoker and that has always been a hard “no” for me, although I have dated men who vape and smoke on occasion. It’s not something I will be able to tolerate long term as it makes me sick to be around. When I asked him why he lied he said because A) He is trying to quit and wants to be around good influences who don’t smoke and B) Most women won’t even give him the time of day if he admits this. I do understand addiction is hard and to be fair, I didn’t disclose the fact that I have children. Not to “hide” that part of myself but I also don’t know that I want to attract other parents with young children. I am not closed off to the idea and I actually adore children… It’s more that I have taken care of people my whole life and I am at a point where as my responsibilities with my kids lessen and they get older, I have a strong desire to travel and be free for a little while. I’m not exactly looking to build another family or raise more kids..However I’m not opposed and always saw myself having a girl, even if she wasn’t mine. I feel like this is something to reveal in person with some added context. I also don’t want any man to think I need a father figure as my kids already have a dad. I want my man to be kind to my kids and get to know them while not trying to be their father figure. 

My second date was with a guy who upon meeting clearly lied about his height… and not just a little, a whole 4 inches! We met in a park to play with his dog and he proceeded to tell me all the things wrong with him and said multiple times that he is boring and his life is basically all about his dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs but if the only thing you do everyday is walk your dog and then go home to your apartment I can tell you right now that I would suffocate in that dynamic. He also smelled potent like he wasn’t even trying to impress me and had gone on a hike with his dog earlier that day. There was zero attraction or chemistry so I kindly told him I was cold and he walked me to my car. Word to those meeting a date for the first time; maybe try to tell your date the interesting things about yourself first and not bore them(?). Also if there is no time to shower, try deodorant!

The 3rd date was interesting because I found myself thinking about the date I had the night before with the 1st guy and how much fun we’ve had the last 2 dates… I wondered if this 3rd guy would be as much of a bore as the 2nd and was almost dreading the meet up. Upon first sight all I thought (and said) was “Ohh, you’re handsome!”. He was dressed casual with a button up top and jeans but smelled nice and had a warm smile. He hugged me and I could feel he was very strong. He also came to pick me up and got out of the car to come to my door which I liked. He has a nice (and clean) car. He paid for my drinks without even allowing me to try and he was quite the gentleman. For the record chivalry is NOT dead! The conversation started slow at first but as we got more comfortable I realized he is very thoughtful and deep. He asks a lot of great questions and wants to know who I am at my core. We talked about our past relationships, careers, childhoods and more. I felt that he was much more mature than my younger date and has established his life & career to a point that I feel he could add balance & stability to my life. He basically hits everything on my list and the physical connection is equally as strong as the mental one, if not more so. The only possible Red Flag is whether he will understand my artist lifestyle as he is in functional medicine and seems to be very healthy. I like to be 95% on point with my goals, career and healthy lifestyle however every couple weeks or so I like to let loose, stay up late and party! I wonder if he will fit into that dynamic or if he’ll be the partner that stays home while I go out. He seems to be open to new things and asked me a lot about Burning Man along with letting me take him to a local college bar and gay bar just to try something new… So I feel good about it and truthfully have had a smile on my face since our date. At this time I know that I can’t settle too fast and need to continue to meet more people and let things develop naturally. I will say however that he is not shy to tell me how much he likes me and it’s refreshing to meet a man I can connect with on multiple levels, who is not afraid of expressing feelings and who is actually available. I’ve heard there are a few other dating sites worth looking into, which I will. I am in no hurry and nothing good ever came easy 😉 For now I am single and just enjoying my freedom!