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Bender's Journal: Part 2
#1
I'M BACK - PART 2 OF BENDER'S JOURNAL

**See Part 1 here - https://www.alonelylife.com/showthread.php?tid=29964**

Short version for those who haven't read part 1: When I was a very shy and frustrated 21 year old, I made a decision to turn my dating and social life around. And I wrote about the whole process in the thread above. About two years into that journal I found my first long term girlfriend.

................................................................................................................................................................

After almost 3 years in a relationship, I am single once again. Although that relationship ended in a pretty horrible breakup, I'm super grateful for the experience I had over those 3 years.

For the most part, it was definitely one of the happiest times of my life. We had some incredible experiences together. And I probably never would have even met that girl if I hadn't started this journal.

Starting the journal turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. That thread has had almost 30,000 views on it (which is totally insane to me that so many people bothered to read my journal!!) 

Just knowing that so many people were reading my posts each time I wrote something inspired me to commit to what I was doing. There's also something very powerful about getting your thoughts out of your head and into writing.

Now that I'm single again, I thought it would be a good time to start part two of my journal. 

A lot has changed since I got into that relationship...

I no longer have the desire to be going out to bars and nightclubs every weekend to mass approach girls. It did used to be fun going to those places but now I'm a few years older that environment just doesn't appeal to me so much anymore. 

I started my own business in the last 8 months which is my number one focus in my life at the moment. And I'm really enjoying what I'm doing with that. But it is time consuming which means I don't have nearly as much time to dedicate to the dating part of my life as I used to. 

After my relationship I now have a much clearer idea of what I want in a partner. I think this is incredibly important for all guys (and women too) to develop a clear picture of what they want in a partner. 

I've grown a lot in the last three years. I'm certainly a far more confident and well rounded person than before my relationship. But there's still a lot room for more growth. 

So I'd expect Part 2 of this journal to be quite different than part 1.

I may not be posting updates as consistently as I used to. And I'm expecting my posts to be more focused on reflection and introspection rather than just telling stories of my nights out.

Honestly, I don't know where this journal will lead to from here. I know I do want to find love again because I did find being in a relationship more fulfilling that going out and meeting different ladies every week.

But being so fresh out of a relationship, I don't know when I'm going to be ready for that. And I have no idea when or where I'll find that again.

For now, I'm just focused on meeting new people and being the best person I can be.

BREAKUP UNTIL NOW

The breakup really did suck. 

It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life and it hit me much harder than I expected. Straight after the breakup I felt okay but after about 10 days (and some other shit in between) it really sunk in and got to me. For about three or four days I hit one of the lowest points of my life,

That was a few weeks ago now. My perspective on what happened has evolved since then and I have learned a lot from it. I'll probably write another post reflecting on my thoughts and feelings about the breakup a bit later.

Overall I've been feeling more positive in the last week or two. It obviously still hurts and does get to me at times though.

I've been trying to spend more time with friends (who I didn't catch up with as much as I should have during the relationship).

And I've also started dancing lessons. Despite being a terrible dancer! But it looks like a good way to meet some nice new people.

I went out to bars on two occasions soon after the breakup with one of my friends I used to go out with. But I had very little motivation to speak to women. It just didn't feel right in the state I was in.

I've started using Tinder a little but haven't been very active on there yet. It was more so a way to take my mind off the breakup than anything else. And it did help with that. I had a date with a girl from there just over a week ago which went fairly well. It was a good reminder that there are other nice females out there who I can connect with.

Fortunately my business has been going well recently which has helped keep me sane post breakup.

LAST NIGHT

My friend invited me to a big street party in the city. That type of environment appeals to me much more than bars and nightclubs now so I was keen to go along.

For the first time since the breakup I was actually excited about going out to meet some new women again.

My friend who had already been there for a while before I arrived introduced me to a few girls he'd already met.

I had a drink to relax a bit and then we went and talked to a few other groups of girls. I was a bit awkward to start with but started feeling more comfortable.

He approached a two girls and I came in with him. I hit it off particularly well with both of these girls because we had a few things in common to talk about. 

I ended up spending over an hour with these two girls while my friend went off to talk to other people. We got a few drinks together and walked around to explore the street party, Thought I did pretty well considering I haven't done this for 3 years.

Ended up adding both of them on Facebook. It was great just to be able to talk to some nice girls again and be able to hold the interaction as long as I did.

Having a night out like that made me feel a lot better about the future. I met a bunch of new people and really enjoyed it. 

I could sit here and dwell on all the negatives from the past few months (and there has been plenty of those!) but trying to focus on the positive.

And I'm looking forward to writing this journal again!
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#2
PAST WEEK

Last Saturday night I went along to a pub crawl run by the dance studio I've been doing salsa lessons at. It was fun but I should've made more effort to talk to some of the people I didn't know. Really stayed within my comfort zone by hanging around the people I knew.

Later in the night I caught up with the same guy from the night before. We approached two ladies at a table outside. Talked to them for a while and convinced them to come to a rooftop bar with us. 

We sat with them in a booth at the bar, I talked to one of them and my friend talked to the other. I was mostly there to help my friend out so he could talk to his girl one on one. 

But the one I spoke to was nice and we probably talked for almost an hour. She was probably at least 5 years older than me which doesn't appeal to me so much. My friend got the other one's number, I didn't bother to try. Still good to get that proof that I can hold a longer interaction like that, which is something I've always doubted myself over.

PEOPLE WHO TALK AIMLESSLY 

I had several business calls during the week to discuss potential partnerships. I'm continually feeling more comfortable with these type of calls now. They used to freak me out.

With these calls, I've come to a realisation recently...

A lot of the people I speak to in business have this ability to just keep talking and talking. That's something I've always struggled to do. The words just don't come to my head during a conversation like they do for some other people. 

And it's something I've always been very conscious of and has probably made me feel inferior in some ways.

There's always been this subconscious idea in my head that if these other people can talk non-stop, why can't I do it? Is there something wrong with me? Are people not going to take me seriously?

But now I'm starting to see that ability to talk endlessly isn't something I should strive for. There's no reason I should feel in any way inferior to the people who can do that.

Because honestly, when you think about it...that's an annoying, selfish behaviour anyway. 90% of the time, these people who ramble on without stopping are just talking about boring, repetitive shit that could be covered in 1/10th of the time. 

Firstly, that's disrespectful of the other person's time. Do they think that the person on the other end of the conversation has nothing better to do with their time? Time is one thing you can never get back.

And it's almost always all about them. The people who do this rarely stop to ask you questions and get to know you.

So not only is that a behaviour that I have no reason to envy, no reason to feel bad about not being able to do myself. It's something I should actively avoid. And when other people do it, that should be seen not as something worthy of admiration. Instead it should be seen as a red flag.

That got me thinking, what other people or behaviours or personality traits do I envy and wish I had myself for reasons that are unjustified? 

There's probably a lot. And I'm sure just about everyone else is the same. You feel jealous, you feel like your self worth is somehow diminished because you don't possess these same traits and behaviours that other people do.

How crazy is that? To allow your own self worth be diminished, to feel inferior and jealous...all because you don't have a certain behaviour that other people do. Especially when that behaviour isn't even a positive trait.

Another example of this for me is towards people who are funny/humorous. I've always felt envious about people who are always able to make other laugh easily. I've never seen myself as a particularly funny person and that has always made me feel less worthy.

While there's nothing wrong with being funny, why should that be something I envy? Why should I let that make me feel any less worthy?

Humour is subjective anyway...what's funny to one person will be rude or annoying to other people. It's just one component of personality, it's not everything. 

Of course there are certain traits and behaviours which are very positive and worthy of admiration. But don't waste your time envying the people who do possess them.

So there's a couple of lessons to take from this...

#1. Don't be the jackass who rambles mindlessly about yourself to people who probably don't care
#2. Be careful not to look at behaviours in other people and let them make you feel inadequate - if you examine these behaviours further, you might find they aren't even worthy of your envy 

HAVING SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Just yesterday, I booked a one week trip to one of my favourite cities at the end of November. Mostly going for business purposes, to hopefully get new clients. But also to have some time to myself and to make the most of being a single man again.

The last few months have been pretty horrible so it's nice to have something like this to look forward to. Instantly I feel better. Even if you don't have any upcoming getaways, try to find something that you can look forward to!
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#3
Hey bender, so sorry to hear about your recent break up. Stay strong, but you seem to be holding it together well.

Where will you be heading to in November for that 1 week trip? Sounds like you're planning on maximising your time there already. (:
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#4
Back at square one.
I'm actually David Blane.
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#5
(10-21-2018, 06:40 PM)ladyforsaken Wrote: Hey bender, so sorry to hear about your recent break up. Stay strong, but you seem to be holding it together well.

Where will you be heading to in November for that 1 week trip? Sounds like you're planning on maximising your time there already. (:

Thanks LFF :Smile Hope you've been well.

Going to Melbourne, Australia for the trip. Yes, definitely hoping to maximise my time there!
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#6
PAST WEEK

Got a new client in my business. Felt like I was being nowhere near as productive as I could be during the week though. 

I went out last night with the same guy as mentioned in my last few reports. We talked to several girls. Nothing crazy to report. My friend was talking to one girl while I stood back. The girl's friends came over and I said hello to them then just stood there and said nothing. Need to grasp opportunities like that.

GRATITUDE

I often used to tell my ex not to take things for granted during our relationship. I could see it in her and in so many other people.

They have so many things in their lives to be grateful for. But they take them for granted until they're gone. 

Instead of truly appreciating the people and possessions they do have, they focus on what they don't have.

Now I realize that I'm guilty of this myself.

There is so much in my life I could be grateful for. Things that other people would love to have.

I live in probably one of the best countries in the world. I have loving, caring parents who have done lots for me. In the past four years, I've traveled all over the world. I'm young and healthy. I drive a fairly nice car, I run my own business.

Those are all things I should be incredibly grateful for and I am. But so often I have taken these things for granted.

There was a lot I took for granted in my relationship. I had a very attractive girlfriend who was also like a best friend, I felt comfortable to say or do anything around her.

That's something that many people wish they could have that. But it took a breakup for me to realize what I had. I wish I had recognized that I was lucky to have that earlier.

That being said, I now realize there were a lot of bad things about her that I brushed aside during the relationship. I actually made a list of all her negative traits after our breakup - turned out to be a pretty long list. But there were also a lot of good things that I took for granted.

Soon after my breakup, I became a lot more grateful for my parents. They were incredibly supportive during what was one of the lowest points in my life and I was extremely grateful for that. 

But even in the weeks that have passed since the breakup, I can see that gratitude for my parents fading. I am grateful for them but I also recognize that I often take them for granted. I don't like that I'm doing that.

Since the breakup, I have found it difficult not to take the things I have for granted. My mind has been so focused on what I lost and what I don't have.

Compared to the average person, I think I'm still more grateful for what I have. But I know that there's a lot I'm taking for granted. I think just the fact that I have the self awareness to recognize this is a good thing.

But I wonder what it takes for someone to be truly grateful for what they have. What separates the people who are genuinely grateful for everything they have from the people who take everything for granted?

Is gratitude something that can be developed? Why is it so difficult to truly practice gratitude?

I'm not sure what the answers to these questions are...
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#7
SINGLES PARTY

I went to a singles party last night and was probably the youngest person there by at least five years. Bit uncomfortable. 

Had one conversation early on that really tanked a few minutes in. Looking back on it now, I think that was more her fault than mine. Some people are just poor conversationalists. Have to accept that instead of blaming myself for every interaction that tanks.

Had a good chat with a Colombian woman and ended up getting her number. She said she thought a lot of Australian people have serious mental problems. Haha I had to agree with her.

THOUGHTS ON DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS

Since my relationship ended, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what went wrong in that relationship, what I learned from it and what I want in future relationships.

The end of my relationship made me question my own behaviours a lot. I've lied awake at night wondering if I was the bad person in the relationship and whether the blame all lied on me.

The way my ex acted after the relationship made me think that perhaps I was just a terrible boyfriend who got what he deserved.

There probably were some things I could have done better in the relationship. I could have been there for her more when she was upset about things. I could have spent more time doing things that she wanted to do.

But after a lot of reflection, I think I can honestly have a clear conscience following the relationship.

I know I never did anything to intentionally hurt her, I never lied to her, cheated on her, abused her, took advantage of her...

I tried to be a positive influence on her life. I encouraged her to take a positive outlook on life. I helped her adopt better eating habits, motivated her to be physically active, I tried to help her become more open minded about certain things.

Even though she seized every opportunity to criticize me and complain about me to her friends and family, I always resisted the urge to do the same to her.

I never wanted my friends and family to think badly of her...even if she did do bad things.

But it was like she wanted other people to think badly of me and I could never understand that. Why would you want anyone to think badly of the person you love?

I hated to see her upset. Soon after our breakup, I could see she was in a bad place and I felt terrible about it. She was sending me messages saying she hated her life and didn't even want to live anymore.

Even after she went and spent the night with another guy less than 2 weeks after our breakup and lied to me about it, I could see she was still in a bad place and was genuinely concerned about her.

I sent her a message saying even if we weren't together she could talk to me anytime and I wanted her to be okay.

As hard as the breakup has been, I now can look back at it and at least feel comfortable with my own actions. 

If I were in her position, I don't think I could feel the same way. I doubt she has the empathy and maturity to see most of her faults and the pain she caused me right now. But one day she will probably realise the way she acted was unacceptable. And she will have to live with that regret for the rest of her life.

I don't want to ever look back on any relationship in my life and regret the way I treated the other person. 

That goes for romantic relationships, business and family relationships...

If someone acts poorly and it damages my relationship with them, then that's on them. But I can at least live comfortably knowing that I did the right thing by them.

Even if someone does treat you poorly, I don't think that's an excuse to do the same to them. But if they repeatedly act poorly towards you, I think that's a reason to distance yourself from them or completely remove them from your life.

At least you can walk away knowing you tried and you did the right thing by them.

If you treat other people poorly, I think you're hurting yourself just as much as you're hurting them.

You might be able to justify your actions at first. Make excuses for treating people badly.

But I think even the most narcissistic people know deep down that they're doing the wrong thing when they treat others poorly.

And that's eventually going to affect your own self image. How can you feel good about yourself if you know that you repeatedly do the wrong thing by others in your life?

People are always going to try to screw you over, take advantage of you, treat you badly. It amazes me how many self centered pricks there are who seem to have a complete lack of empathy.

I think the best thing you can do is drop them from your life and let them go. Don't give them the opportunity to screw you over. 

In the long run, they're going to hurt themselves more than anyone.
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#8
SATURDAY NIGHT

My friend was going to meet a girl from tinder at a bar in town. She was with two friends, so I went with him hoping at least one of the friends would be single.

Unfortunately they weren't. But that didn't stop me from having a good time. I felt extremely comfortable talking to the three of them and felt like I was able to show the best side of my personality.

One of the girls was really cute and seemed like the type I'd click with. Shame she had a boyfriend.

After we left them, I took the momentum from that interaction into a few other interactions during the night. 

Compared to before my relationship, I feel like I'm being myself a lot more in interactions now. I remember going out to bars and nightclubs in the past and pretending to be something I really wasn't. 

I'd see guys who I thought were getting good reactions from women and almost try to imitate their style. I don't think I even knew what my style was for a long time.

WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR?

The idea of hooking up with random girls is far less motivating to me now than it once was.

For me, being in a relationship and having a strong connection with just one person is much more fulfilling.

As much as I do enjoy sex, it doesn't drive me like it does for many guys. I can live without it and I realise now that in the past when I was actively chasing it, that was probably more so for the validation than anything else.

I would love to find one amazing girl to share my life with.

But I'm not in a rush. If it takes five years to find this one amazing girl then so be it. I'd rather that than to find a girl straight away who's not right for me.

After being in a long term relationship, I now have a much clearer picture of the type of girl I want....

-someone emotionally stable... seems to be quite difficult to find in this country

-someone with a great smile... from my experience a girl's smile is an incredibly accurate predictor of what type of girl she is. I'm yet to meet a girl with a great smile who turned out to be a terrible person. If I see a girl on Tinder who isn't smiling in any of her photos, I'll swipe left every time.

-someone curious who wants to learn and try new things... I remember being on a tour while in Europe and there was a girl on the tour who asked the tour guide a few questions. It wasn't so much the questions she asked but the way she sounded so genuinely curious and wanting to learn that really grabbed my attention.....and she had a great smile too! 

-someone with substance... it was always difficult to have more intelligent and meaningful conversations with my ex. We could fool around and have fun together but she did lack substance. This is something I hope to find in my next partner.

-someone who can be fun and playful... one of the things I loved about my ex was that we could fool around like kids together without judgement. 

-someone feminine... a lot of Australian women tend to be very masculine in the way they talk. I want to feel like I'm talking to a girl, not one of my guy friends.

-someone more introverted than extroverted... I'm definitely an introvert myself and find I almost always connect better with other introverts. 

-someone who dresses well... when I first met her, my ex would dress like an attention seeking 16 year old girl. Later on in our relationship she started wearing some amazing dresses and more age appropriate clothing. It made such a big difference

-someone who takes care of her health... she doesn't necessarily need to go to the gym 7 days a week and drink kale juice but ideally she would eat well and be somewhat physically active

This is probably a 1 in 100 type of girl....maybe closer to 1 in 500. 

That means if I'm going to have any chance of finding this person, I need to be meeting a lot of girls. The chance of meeting a 1 in 500 girl are pretty slim if you're only meeting one or two new people a week. But if you're meeting 1000+ people every year then it's a lot more realistic. 

Somehow I need to create a lifestyle where I'm meeting a lot more people as part of my day to day life. Online dating does help to increase volume but I need to be meeting more people in real life.

I also need to be smarter about the places I'm searching. I'm seeing very few girls on Tinder who really appeal to me and not to many when I'm going out either.
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#9
Something that has challenged me for my entire life is being able to think on the spot and properly express myself verbally.

I've always had trouble finding the right words to use and I often run out of things to say very quickly. It probably comes across as if I'm very shy but it's more so I just don't know what to say.

And that's made things difficult for me when I was at school, in jobs, in business, in dating....

People have suggested going to improv classes and that would probably be a good idea. But it's hard to fit in with my schedule at the moment.

So I thought about how I could practice improv at home by myself. Something I've started doing in the last week is picking random topics out of a hat and speaking about that topic for one minute. I've been recording myself doing this.

After less than a week of doing this I can already see myself improving with it. But the biggest realisation that has come from it is how poorly I project my voice.

Even with topics that I'm interested in, I sound extremely uncertain and I speak with a complete lack of conviction.

It's not only because I'm talking about things on the spot with no time to prepare. I tried recording myself reading a paragraph from a book and still sounded the same. Not quite as bad though.

I have been aware of this before after hearing myself talk in videos or recordings. But I've never thought enough of it to do much about it.

One of the worst things I do is using what's called a 'seeking rapport tonality' This is where you end your sentence with a higher note. But it comes across very needy and lacking confidence.

I wonder how many girls I've turned off in the past by talking this way. How many business deals I might have lost....

It's something I desperately need to work on. If I do work on it, I have no doubt it will positively impact all areas of my life.

If anyone knows of any good resources for vocal projection and tonality, please let me know. I've already been watching some youtube videos about the topic.
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#10
In Melbourne at the moment for a business trip. Which hasn't been as productive as I was hoping so far. Just got here two days ago.

On the first night, I went out to some markets and got dinner. Sat at a table with two Irish girls and got talking to them. I got some more food with them and walked around the markets. Probably spent about 45 minutes with them. I exchanged numbers with one of them but stupidly didn't properly save the number into my phone....She has my number but doubt she'll initiate contact first.

I was a good interaction in the sense that I stayed in there and got a number in the end. But I really need to be more bold in these interactions. Same problem as I always used to have before my relationship, I'd play not to lose instead of playing to win.

Yesterday, when I was walking through the city I spotted a real cutie walking towards me. Looked like she was with a friend. I looked her in the eyes and smiled. Got a great smile back. I probably should've stopped and talked to her, but nonetheless, it was a good moment. Just little things like that often make me happier than actually getting a girl's number.

I've been using online dating apps quite a bit over here to try to set something up. After a lot of swiping and messaging, I've got quite a few matches and girls I've been messaging.

One girl said, she'd come over to my apartment tomorrow or Sunday night and cook with me so that's cool. Another one who is keen to catch up but lives pretty far out of the city, so that could be difficult. And then there's a few others that might turn into something.

Just had another girl who said she'd message me when she finishes work tonight. Sounds a bit doubtful though so I'm not counting on it.

There's a British girl who I matched with on Tinder yesterday who looks very cute and she actually messaged me first, which is pretty uncommon for a girl to do on Tinder so that's a good sign. I've suggested a date but haven't got anything set yet. I think I probably could've got straight to the point a little faster with her since she messaged me first. Fingers crossed we can still organise something before I leave.

Several girls I've spoken to have lost interest when I said I don't live here, which is a little frustrating.

What's also frustrating is Melbourne weather. It would be great to get outside and try talking to some girls around here but it keeps raining. I'm trapped in my apartment right now. Oh well...the weekend is looking a little better.

Also starting to question whether I have the discipline to work for myself. Thought I would be able to get more work done over here without the usual distractions I have at home but I seem to be getting even less done. Maybe it would help if I turned of online dating notifications on my phone hahah...
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