As a child, I really thought that much of my adult life would be dedicated to dodging quicksand, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes…all of the things.
Quicksand was a major concern. Like, where was it? How would I spot it? What if I got stuck in it?
I’ve always been a worrier.
Well, instead of quicksand, what I really should have been looking out for (what we all should have been looking out for) all that time was Dicksand.
Yes, you read that right. Dicksand is the real, prevalent problem here.
And nobody ever warned me about it.
What is Dicksand You Might Ask?
First of all, I cannot take credit for coining the term “Dicksand.”
Circa 2016, I had gotten to a point in my life where I knew what it was. I figured out that I kept falling into it, and I figured out how to pull myself out once and for all. BUT I didn’t have a name for it yet…
Not until I watched the movie “How To Be Single.” Rebel Wilson’s character is the one who spoke this term into existence.
As soon as she said it, I was like “AH HA!!!! That’s it!” Whatever brilliant writer came up with that…major props to you. GENIUS.
I mean PURE GENIUS.
I also highly recommend that movie along with “Isn’t It Romantic?” (Another Rebel Wilson film.) I am obsessed with these two movies.
If you know me, you know that I am 100% a book person. I DO NOT get obsessed with movies, but “How To Be Single,” “Isn’t It Romantic,” and “Crazy, Stupid Love” are the three movies that I will watch over and over and over again.
Ok, fine…Pretty Woman too. And Sweet Home Alabama. But that’s it! I swear!
So what exactly is dicksand?
Much like the regular kind of quicksand, you don’t always see it coming. It can be sneaky. You might not realize that it’s there until you’re in it. Once you are aware of its existence though, you’ll start to catch yourself. You’ll know when you’re in it, and pretty soon you’ll be able to spot it before you get stuck. I’ve even got a strategy for how you can avoid it completely.
Imagine that you’re back in elementary school for a minute, and you’re drawing pictures. (I used to paint flowers everyday in kindergarten lol.)
Everyone draws a picture of the life they imagine for themselves. Their best life. The life they want to live. The dreams they want to see come to fruition.
Then you look over and you realize that your crush drew a completely different picture. It’s not what you wanted, but it COULD be…
- Crinkle up your drawing, grab a new blank sheet of paper, and draw a picture to match.
- Scribble over top of your picture and make major changes so that your picture will fit with theirs.
- Worst case scenario, you never even drew a picture in the first place. You just waited to see what your crush drew and then you drew the same thing.
“Hey look! We’re TWINNING!” (How many times did you say that in elementary school? Haha. How many times do you still say it in your adult life?)
Dicksand: Changing/masking who you are, your life plan, and/or your dreams so that you vibe with someone else. Molding yourself to fit into someone else’s life. (Kind of like how liquid takes the shape of whatever container it’s in.)
Looks Like: Walking on eggshells, not speaking up, going with the flow (even when it doesn’t feel right), always being agreeable, letting someone push or trample on your boundaries, not having boundaries, being afraid to say no, choosing a job or a location based on someone else’s wants, staying long after it’s time to walk away, etc.
Don’t be a liquid. Be a solid. Be solid in who you are, what you like, and what you want out of life.
Find someone who vibes at the same frequency as you. Don’t change your frequency to match someone else’s.
Let Your Freak Flag Fly
The problem is that most people try to hide their freak flags. So then we end up finding a partner with a fake freak flag who matches our own fake freak flag, but come to find out (long after marriage, kids, etc.) that the flags aren’t a match.
I feel like the fundamental problem here is really that we’re all going about finding partners WRONG. More on that later.
In my younger years, I didn’t spend much time thinking about what the future looked like (beyond getting into college and getting “a good job.” I thought I would find a nice man to marry in college. Settle down. Have kids. Etc.
That’s what my parents did, and that sounded good to me. I wasn’t really aware of (what I like to call) The Checklist yet.
The Checklist is that path for your life that society thinks you should take. I wasn’t questioning it at that point (like I think that most people don’t question it).
I was a prime candidate for getting caught up in dicksand.
I was in a serious relationship in college. My first serious relationship (which made the dicksand even worse).
His plan was to move to a city after college…preferably New York City. This is something I never wanted or considered before, but I could do that, right? If I become a teacher, then I’m free to move wherever I want! (That’s what you think anyway.) That way I could fit nicely into his plan.
It makes me sick to even admit that out loud.
(If you don’t plan out the life you want, then you’re going to fall into someone else’s plan that wasn’t created for you.)
Someone else (that I dated briefly)…his plan was to buy a home in a rural part of town in the next few years. He just “loves the space and loves being away from all the hustle and bustle.” This location was somewhere that I would NEVER want to live, but I found myself picturing it saying, “Well, that sounds kind of nice. I think I could be happy there. I could make that work.”
Sorry, but FUCK NO.
When I got out of that “relationship” if you could even call it that, I was starting to realize the pattern of what I was doing. Whew. I was glad that I didn’t compromise myself for that.
Another guy I went on a few dates with asked me if I liked 50 Shades of Grey. He thought it was stupid. I read all of the books and enjoyed them, but I hesitated to say that. A part of me just wanted to agree with him and move on because (gasp) what if he didn’t like me?!?!
He saw my hesitation and called me out on it. He was like, “It’s ok to disagree with me you know.”
Thank you for that because that’s when it REALLY hit home. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That was the point where I realized that I had to step back,re- evaluate the path I was on, and make some major changes.
I’m stubborn and I often learn things the hard way. What can I say?
I know we’ve all been there, though.
First of all, that’s super boring…to just constantly agree with someone.
Second of all, that’s no way to live your one wild and precious life…compromising on (or not even figuring out in the first place) what it is you want the most.
I know that relationships are about compromise, but you shouldn’t have to compromise WHO YOU ARE in order to fit into someone’s life.
Don’t throw your picture away. Don’t scribble the important parts out. Don’t copy down his picture. Sure, you could make a few MINOR tweaks, but stop tearing down the picture you have for your life so that you can fit into someone else’s!
So that’s the dicksand.
I’m sure there is an equivalent for guys who do the same for a girl they like, but I’m not sure what to call it yet. I am open to suggestions! Anything I can come up with just sounds too vulgar.
Why does Dicksand ensnare so many unsuspecting women?
There are many reasons…
Some or all of these may apply to you.
Following “The Checklist” and dating just because you think it’s what you need to be doing. (Dating apps perpetuate this in a big way.) You got the degree, you got the job, so next on the list is husband. I think this one is a big reason why so many marriages fail too. You found a person just because you were trying to complete the checklist and not because it’s someone who is actually going to be a good partner for you. You focused so much on the dating and the finding someone and the wedding that you didn’t take the time to figure out what you love and what you want. You didn’t pursue your hobbies or interests. You didn’t build anything. So what happens when the kids leave and you aren’t distracted anymore? You’ve gone through the checklist, and now what? More on this idea later.
Not having a clear picture for your life. (Your picture is allowed to change! Just be sure that if/when you decide to change it, you are basing it off of what YOU truly want and not off of someone else’s wants).
Not taking the time to be single. Take time to be SINGLE PEOPLE. Give yourself space to figure out who you are, what you like, and what you want without the influence of someone else. Give yourself time to figure it out and time to pursue it. Your relationship status does not define you (although sometimes it feels like single people get pooped on). Being in a relationship doesn’t create happiness. You create your own happiness. Don’t put that on another person. A relationship can ADD to your happiness, but it’s not that person’s job to make you happy. It drives me nuts when people say, “I’m just looking for my other half!” or “You complete me.” You need to be a whole person all on your own if you’re going to attract the right partner. The words that we choose perpetuate these ideas about love and relationships. We need to be more intentional about how we speak.
Not setting clear boundaries (and sticking to them). Practice saying no. I think it’s really important to observe how someone reacts when you create a boundary and hold firm to it. If they react negatively, then that’s a sign you don’t want this person in your life anyway. You NEED a partner who will respect your boundaries. I’m not saying that you should “test” your partner with arbitrary boundaries, but you should have boundaries when it comes to the important things. If someone walks away from you because you said no or because you held firm to your boundary, then let them. Celebrate. You just dodged a bullet. Be bossy. You should be the boss of your own life for Pete’s sake!
Having your self-worth wrapped up in male attention. YOU ARE ENOUGH just the way you are. How much money you make, grades in school, job title, relationship status…none of that defines your self-worth. You don’t need that attention to validate your worth. I want you to know that you are enough. You are worthy. Right now. Just as you are. Just for being. You’re enough. If this is something you’re struggling with, then I want you to pick up a copy of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
Lack of self-love. Self-love isn’t “TREAT YO SELF” like many people think it is. It is loving yourself enough to do the hard things…like walk away, speak your truth, set a boundary…and accepting it if another person can’t respect that. There ARE plenty of fish in the sea. I know it might not feel like it (especially if you’re trying to move on from your first love), but there really truly are. What is meant for you will not pass you by. Remember that. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You are not for everyone. It’s ok (and it’s actually a good thing) if you repel people because you’ll be repelling the people that are WRONG for you when you are true to yourself, and you open up space to attract the right crowd. Shift your mindset from, “Am I good enough for him?” to “Is he good enough for me?” I don’t even like using the phrase “good enough” in there. How about, instead of, “Am I a good partner for him?” you ask yourself, “Is he a good partner for me?”
Fear of Failure. I think this is a big one for a lot of people. You don’t want to walk away from something because then you will have to admit that you failed…that you weren’t good enough. What will people think? So you stay longer than you should and you compromise more of yourself than you should for the sake of making it work.
How To Pull Yourself Out of The Dicksand Trap
Here is what I did:
Step 1: Realize that you have a pattern of getting caught in dicksand.
Step 2: Take a step back from dating. Why are you dating right now? Are you bored? Does it just seem like the thing to do? The logical next step? Does it feel right to you? Are other people telling you that you need to be dating? Are you operating on autopilot and following “The Checklist” because that’s what you are supposed to do? If you’re on dating apps, delete them. You won’t be using them again.
Step 3: Focus on YOU. I know that seems counter-intuitive. (“How do I find a partner if I’m only focusing on myself!?!?!” I will explain soon.) Are you actively creating a life you love or are you just sitting back letting life happen to you? Every one has a dream, a goal, a vision. What is yours? Are you pursuing it?
I started traveling…A LOT. I also started my blog, which was something I had been wanting to do for a good 10 years. I made my health a top priority and removed my breast implants as well.
To really get the full picture on how I turned things around, check out this post.
My Philosophy On How To Find Someone
I’m not actively searching (like on dating apps). I am always open to meeting new people and having new experiences where ever I go. I’m into personal development and stepping outside my comfort zone.
Instead of spending my free time swiping and dating, I read, I write, I travel, I dance…I do the things that set my soul on fire. I learn about SEO, and marketing, and building websites. I focus on building my empire. I feel confident that the right person will cross my path as I’m out there in the world pursuing my dreams because he’s the type of person who is also out there in the world pursuing his dreams. He’s building his empire too. We’ll meet out there in the arena doing what we love and then we’ll build our dreams together. He’s going to challenge me and push me, and I’ll challenge him right back.
I don’t think you have to search for the right person at all. This is why dating apps are inherently flawed. I think you attract the right person to you when you are true to yourself and taking action on your dreams.
You have to BE the kind of person that you want to attract.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe I’ll end up as the old cat lady who lived in a shoe.
But I don’t think so.
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