solitary

Is finding online love better than no love at all?

I have been on my own for several years with my ups and downs. In real time I feel secure when meeting someone new. I can observe gestures and actions, listen to the texture of the voice and decide whether that someone might make a good match before deciding to step out. However, the rules vastly change when it comes to interacting online.

A close relation once recommended I get to know a lady a few years ago and so we began to correspond with each other. We chatted daily and eventually talked on Skype, but without the visual aid of a web camera. I did not own a computer at this time, so I relied upon a nearby internet cafe. This went on for a period of 3 or 4 months. We had developed a regular pattern of communication and all seemed a matter of course.

The day came when we finally met face to face as she picked me up at the airport and an unexpected dread filled my heart. Weeks of preparations and anticipation made the anticlimax more striking.  Until that moment, it never occurred to me we could possibly be mismatched. I blindly relied upon my close relative’s recommendation without question.  For someone who usually explores the terrain before advancing, this was not a great feeling.

Even though I already knew what I needed to be said, I stressed out for days pretending everything was fine. Days later, I worked up the nerve to sit down with her and confess my misgivings. The news devastated her as she felt we were the perfect match.  I felt sickened with remorse for having awakened her feelings. Alas, our dream vacation ended even before it started. It is most humiliating and disagreeable having to turn someone down after communicating at a distance for months.

The problem with online communication is you run the danger of fashioning a person after your own fancy, only to discover you lack the necessary chemistry or compatibility needed to advance further. What then?

Looking back, I believe online contact with stranger needs be treated as starting point while establishing strong limits. It is wise to keep the exchanges light, keeping the intervals of contact brief and spreading them out over a long period of time until you decide to meet face to face. Even though your intention may be to establish limits with someone in your head, what really determines the degree of attachment or involvement is the frequency and amount of time you as a couple interact together. You may call it a friendship or whatever you like, but the pacing is what determines the true emotional state.

Too much, too soon is a sure sign of codependency. It sends the message that the relationship is not only advancing too abruptly, but that the couple may have formed an additive attachment to each other. ~ vincenzo ©

“Sometimes we spend a lot of time trying harder in the wrong direction.” ~ Mary Delaney

Teaching art is full of rewards and challenges. I wholeheartedly enjoy concocting art projects and later being able to sit back and watch students engage…  On the other hand, my work also requires navigating in an overstimulating environment where a class can be derailed if I am not well grounded.

Students arrive to class in a festive mood and are prone to get out of control in an instant. They compete for attention, throwing out four or five requests simultaneously. These and other habits require me to reexamine my unexamined teaching approaches in order to reduce my emotional distress.

Being someone of heightened sensibility, I battle with hyper-sensitivity and overwhelm. I have neurotransmitters that make me especially vulnerable to emotionally intense environments. Prime symptoms are over-emotionalism, over-reaction and fatigue.  Try to imagine a doctor, a dentist or a lawyer coping with patients/clients without the aid of a waiting room to buffer the demands? As Phylameana lila Desy says,

“Being hypersensitive could be described as being allergic to life. For the highly sensitive person (HSP) a seemingly ordinary day can be overwhelming. Energies associated with touch, noise, scent, light, etc. are quickly and deeply absorbed by the HSP. As a result, the HSP may become mentally confused, emotionally upset, and/or physically uncomfortable. Hypersensitivity is also associated with a heightened sense of awareness and intuition.” 

Highly sensitive individuals often overemphasize their emotional expression as a way of compensating what often seems an invisible existence. They may swing from conflict avoidance to emotional dysregulation. This can have a debilitating effect upon their sense of self confidence.
~ vincenzo ©

We rely upon mirrors to see ourselves. Without them we cannot even see our face. Neither do we see our inner selves without a nurturing mirror.

I stumbled onto some old notes from a post that is no longer available so I don’t even know the author. I also don’t know how these notes got neglected as they mirror my personal struggles so minutely. The subject is about people that battle with a “fixing” addiction, so if you can relate to it please read on.
— —

Before I share the notes below I want to say I have a history to being overly responsible in my interactions. This hyper-vigilant sense of duty is the product of years of social conditioning. I call it the nice-guy default mode. Others instinctively sense this drive to feel needed and take advantage of it.

Important notes worth considering:

1. Individuals that develop this form of codependency run the risk of becoming caretakers with no one to give them healthy emotional support. They tend to get stuck into a “fixer” role permanently, never being able to enjoy healthy give-and-receive relationships with anyone.

2. Since they are the ones that do all the work in a relationship, once they stop the work, the relationship usually dies.

3. The saddest part is that they so successfully divert their attention, they rarely affect changes upon themselves and thus become emotionally stunted in their personal growth. This decreases their self-esteem as they forever lose themselves.

If anyone can identify the title and author of these thoughts please let me know so I can give him or her credit.

~ vincenzo ©