The problem with getting to the next level.

why is this a problem

Why is this a problem?

I deliberately don’t have a scale on this picture because the point is relativity. What you see in the pic is the result of a few different things which for a couple of days last week got me almost three times the blog traffic I’ve ever received. It won’t last, and now my chart just looks like all those other days were shitty.

This post isn’t actually about my blog stats, but what it got me thinking about:

Once you have achieved something or experienced something fantastic, it’s difficult to not want to continue at that level. If you don’t, everything else afterwards can feel like a letdown.

If I like Lewis’s cock, can I be satisfied with someone smaller? If I got used to Johnny’s communication, should I really expect anything less? Will anyone else have the kind of chemistry that Tony and I shared?

I have high expectations of myself, and always want to be better. My job demands excellence. When it comes to dating, I know nobody is perfect. But how do I know what is a reasonable-yet-high expectation? At the office, we call them “stretch goals”. What are my dating stretch goals?

When I started to think about how I wanted to be treated, it was a good step forward. I never wrote the post on the characteristics of the man I want to be with – at least not that I can recall. But really, these are minimum specifications, not my ideal. I’m a pragmatist, after all.

When I meet someone like Lewis, who – on the surface – exceeds the minimum criteria in many ways, it’s very exciting. While I don’t think I’m a big deal at all, I know I’m intelligent, kind, funny, passionate, financially independent, successful at my job, happy, decent looking, fun, a good communicator, organized, and I love to have sex. You can pretty much take me anywhere and I can talk to anyone.

In other words, I’m a catch.

Now, I’m not everyone’s catch – you’ll notice I didn’t talk about the down sides of being passionate, which is an intensity that can sometimes be overwhelming. I didn’t mention I’m highly analytical which can drive people bananas. I like order more than chaos, so if you love just flying by the seat of your pants all the time, I’m not your gal. What makes me good at my job – planning big things – can be irritating if you love spontaneity. I like to be tidy and organized, and I will try to organize you. I’m like the border collie of organizers… I can’t help but try to herd you.

All that to say, I don’t have a mindset that I’m perfect and my mate has to be. But am I in a place where I can demand that they be perfect for me? What does that even look like? What are the things I’m willing to compromise on? I don’t want to settle, but I can see how its tempting.

But, then I will remember I now have six (6!) views on this blog from Greenland and perhaps know that those stretch goals are achievable.

Screenshot

This makes me happy. Sadly.

50 thoughts on “The problem with getting to the next level.

  1. Though perfection is found in the flaws we first need to understand our own, right?
    Aiming for something big is great but one cannot forget where one came from, how the tiny things made you just as happy before.
    I might say that we need to feel happy what we leave behind as that will always catch us, or a cushion for when we fall from great heights if we failed reaching it.

    Short put; Love the small, while aiming big.

  2. Greenland, yay. I know that you never had views from there and now you do. πŸ™‚ As for expectations, I have no advice. Everything in life worth having takes work and effort. In a relationship both parties must be willing to put that in.

  3. “Once you have achieved something or experienced something fantastic, it’s difficult to not want to continue at that level. If you don’t, everything else afterwards can feel like a letdown.”

    Nah, not really – it depends on how you look at things. I know I’ve achieved and/or experienced mind-blowing things… but this is the exception and not the rule so for me to want to keep reaching and striving for more of the same kinda doesn’t make a lot of sense, that and I know (because I did it at some point) that I can lose my sense of appreciation for anything less than that which last blew my mind.

    Unless I look at everything I do and achieve as something fantastic and given how short life truly is, this makes sense and more so since one can never tell when the next mind-blowing thing is going to come along. It’s not about resting upon one’s laurels and never being open to the prospect of fantastic things happening again; it’s about knowing that they can…but not holding out for them or limiting myself or, as I mentioned, losing my appreciation for things that may not be all that spectacular, oh, let’s say, passing on the five-inch dick so I can wait for the next twelve-plus one to come along or dissing the woman who’d be loving and loyal because I want the freak in the sheets or passing on the “plain Jane” woman because I wanna be with the next Miss Universe.

    If I were to let this happen – and, you’re right, it’s easy to do – then I’m setting myself up to fail and to be disappointed or, the worst thing, setting my standards so high that nobody (or nothing) can ever hope to reach them. Yes, I always want the very best for myself… but you don’t always know what that is until you experience it; anything else is just ideas or maybe even figments of my imagination or can even be summed up as wishful thinking – and then, like so many people I know, I get all caught up in that which I want, which won’t be close to that which I could have if I don’t screw up and set the bar too high.

    How high is too high? Well, I guess that when you’re sitting around wondering why the sparks ain’t flying in every aspect of your life, that should tell you something. If you spend more time looking toward a future that doesn’t exist yet, you miss those things that are happening in the present or, at worst, you discount them because they’re not exactly and precisely what you’re looking for or expect or think that you deserve.

    It’s not about settling for less in life or settling for less than what you want; it’s about what can be done, making the best of every situation because, sadly, tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Yes… excel and exceed… but cherish every moment and as many things as you can while you can; see the spectacular in as many things as you can and, seriously, if the ideals in your head aren’t matching what’s actually happening, then maybe one should stop dreaming and start living; be proactive with your life and not reactive or, if it ain’t happening, make it happen.

    I have no idea where the hell this came from – I think I got up too early or something…

    • If I’m at fault for anything, it’s being TOO pragmatic and not dreaming enough! Great things have happened to me, but I don’t go through life hoping for the huge cock, for example. Yes, absolutely, Tony’s and my chemistry is something that is hard to find, and that has been one thing that’s difficult to accept less than.

      The interesting thing for me is that in my professional life I don’t settle at all – but I have way more control over the outcome.

      In dating and relationships, I can’t make something happen. I can’t add more funds, or hire more people, or organize or strategize my way (my border collie thing) out of an issue.

      Gosh, if only it were that easy.

      What I get stuck on is which are the things that I can accept that aren’t ideal, and which are the things that are going to be really core to a positive relationship. I have a pretty good idea what these things are, but I’m not 100% yet.

  4. Sky’s the limit Ann. Just dont forget to look at at the little things in life, penis excluded in your case, they are usually the simple pleasures in life. Honestly though, I can’t focus on this post, what happened last night? Was there a date?

  5. I think in the end there is only one thing that counts. Some call it love, some devotion, some adoration, etc. You want someone who will be there with you through good times and bad, until the end, someone who you can share your true self with. Sound corny? You’ll know it when you see it.

    • Not corny at all. It’s so very true…. especially the “true self” part. That’s the thing I struggled with letting go of with Tony. We both saw each other at that level, and we liked what we saw. The rest was a challenge!!

  6. Keep your expectations high, my feeling is the universe will rise to meet them (as completely hippie as that may sound). People who want to have u in their lives will rise to meet them 😊

  7. I dated this guy who told me he never has expectations because when you do, that’s when you get hurt. He was wrong on so many levels, but mostly because how can one have ANY type of relationship without them? Having expectations makes it easier to weed out the good from the bad, the awesome from the dangerous. Having expectations means you don’t “settle” for just okay, but rather hold out for what you want and deserve.

    Side note: The sex was hot, but he tore my favorite pair of panties and he was a commitment-phobe still hung up on his ex-fiance.

  8. That Greenland sets a high standard. Really great and thoughtful post.

    I refer to my DH as the imperfect guy that is perfect for me, and I never feel as if I settled for less. That said, I made compromises on my concept of perfect guy/relationship and so did he. What makes this okay is that we both accepted that we each had to make compromises to make our relationship work. To me that seems like you know whether a relationship is sustainable and worth it – when you as individuals are giving up something in favor of the two of you as a couple.

    When you were working so diligently to make it work with Tony, I read about you making compromises and concessions to him and he say yes, I agree, and I will also do my part because I want this relationship to flourish … and then failing to follow through. Had Tony done more to meet you halfway, it seems likely you would still be happy and working at building upon your relationship foundation.

    I hate to sound so clinical about it, but you will choose when and what to compromise on based on what you receive from your partner in return. Every relationship is going to be different, and to me the risk is the idea that you had this level of satisfaction with Tony (as an example) and the next guy should at least provide that or more. Allowing a relationship to evolve and happen organically can be a huge challenge, though; we think about every possible scenario and want what we want to happen on our personal timelines.

  9. I had a massive bump early in my blogging life where I got ~700 views in one day. Needless to say every day has felt like I failure since then. πŸ™‚

    Still, I try to balance my neediness around blog views, likes, comments, etc. with the amazing-ness that is the fact that nearly 90,000 people have visited my little online world in 2.5 years. I’m still gobsmacked by that.

    (And yeah, Greenland was a big win for me last year, as was China, where I thought they restricted Internet and Google searches, etc.)

  10. You’re absolutely a catch! You and I are a lot alike, and I’ve learned over many, many years of failed relationships that a “fly by the seat of your pants” type of man is just not for me. It is exhausting waiting on their fickle plan making and trying to be the boarder collie of organization (loved that expression!) so as in older and wiser now, I’m realizing I need to look for more compatibility and more common ground. My vagina is obviously a bad decision maker and she can’t be trusted so I need to try to make better choices with the men I pursue.

  11. HA! I’m one of those dudes who found your blog, just recently – and, yeah, I’m probably not gonna stick around much longer. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, but, in general, I think that putting this much effort into documenting your sex life makes you come across as selfish and shallow. Of course, that’s not terribly different than most of the human race, so it makes sense that you’re getting a number of hits.

    Anyway, maybe you can send some my way, if you’ll allow me a shameless plug. My blog is at:

    [ANN’S NOTE: I REMOVED HIS LINK BECAUSE AFTER READING HIS BLOG AND SEEING WHAT HE WRITES ABOUT SOME FELLOW FEMALE BLOGGERS, I’M NOT GOING TO PROMOTE THIS BLOG ON MY PAGE. SORRY, ANGRY MAN]

    Be warned, though, that there is a lot of anger, swear words, and complaining about random things. One critic said that my blog is full of a bunch of childish rants. Check it out for yourself!

    • Well, Mark, I know you don’t know me all that well to suggest I’m selfish and shallow. I started this blog, and continue this blog, because writing is cathartic and helps me figure out my path forward. This is my online diary. I’m not just documenting my sex life but perhaps that’s all you’ve read.

      Perhaps you are projecting, however, since putting a first comment on my blog, criticizing me, saying you don’t care to stick around, but asking for a shameless plug? I think that says more about you than it does me.

      • Oh, yeah, I’m sure it does say quite a bit about me – I’m not projecting, though – and, yeah, I probably won’t stick around, but we’ll see. You’re right, also, about me not knowing you. Maybe you’re a really deep individual that just happens to have a blog that makes it look like you’re shallow by documenting your sex life to the degree you have. I can’t be the only one who has gotten that impression by glancing at your blog. Oh, well, I’m just saying what came to mind. You can take it for whatever you think it’s worth, if you think it’s worth anything at all. Thanks for allowing my comment even though it was critical of you and this blog.

        • My blog is about my relationships. Sex happens to be a part of that. Not sure how that reads as shallow but you are entitled to your opinion, even if it’s wrong. If anything, I’m criticized for analyzing too much.

  12. You used blog stats to pivot to relationships, I’m going to pivot back to blog stats.

    “Once you have achieved something or experienced something fantastic, it’s difficult to not want to continue at that level. If you don’t, everything else afterwards can feel like a letdown.”

    My preoccupation with blog stats, with the self-imposed pressure to keep coming up with ‘good’ blog content, is ultimately what led me to kill my blog.

    Not sure why I’m sharing that, other than to say I hope you don’t delete your blog any time soon, I enjoy it entirely too much!

    • Thanks my dear!! I would have liked to be able to read your blog.

      I have no intention of shuttering my blog. When I feel like writing no longer helps me process what I’m going through, and/or I have nothing new to say, that’s when I’ll consider closing it down.

      But I am very far from that point. Despite getting that comment (likely above) that said I’m obviously shallow and selfish to spend so much time talking about my sex life πŸ™‚

  13. You are describing how opiates and addiction work. Once you get that initial charge, that shot of dopamine, you want to feel that again and again. Casinos are built on that.

    “Stretch goals” is very corporate-speak. Right up there with the Goldilocks Economy.

    You have an admirable level of self-awareness. Some folks never get there.

    Re: your map/Greenland. Getting wrapped-up in a numbers game is a losing proposition. You’ll always want more, more, more but it’ll plateau at some point.

    What’s up with Mr. Fussypants up there? Jesus. Why the hostility? Mommy didn’t say she loves him enough?

    • I try to be self-aware, especially when I know I’m doing dumb stuff πŸ™‚

      Yup it’s total corporate speak. It’s a language I know quite well although I try to use it only in the right context.

      I’m chuffed about Greenland because a few of us over the last year have tried to get a view from there, with various methods. I’m fine with my numbers whatever they are (although if they plummeted I would for sure be disheartened), because what matters far more is the active support I get here when I need it πŸ™‚

      And Me Fussypants? Yeah who the fuck knows. I love the approach of “I don’t like you or respect your blog but can you send people my way?” – I hope that says more than any of his words about me.

      • I get so wrapped up in analytics. I want an audience. We all do. Admit it. (Some don’t. Some say they do it for the love of writing, to which I call bullshit.) When my numbers dip, I have a bad day. I wish it weren’t so. The first step is admitting the problem.

        • My numbers ebb and flow and I know the kinds of posts that get more dialogue than others.

          What matters to me more is the comments and engagement. So I would absolutely be upset if I wasn’t getting that at the same extent anymore. But views alone matters a lot less to me.

          I wouldn’t say I do this for the love of writing, it’s the love of the catharsis and processing this allows me to do. Comments and feedback are a part of that.

  14. When I read “stretch goals” I thought you were going to say your goal was to be stretched. Ha ha!
    IMHO goals can be destructive. Ride the wave, if you wipe out, swim back out and catch another. There is no perfect wave, by definition, just good ones and bad ones.

What do you think?