When Will I Find Someone I Can TRUST?—Marshall Delaware and Spicevicious Take on Love and Trust in the Time of COVID-19
With Super Special Guest Marshall Delaware
WILL I EVER FIND SOMEONE THAT I CAN BELIEVE IN BECAUSE IT’S KINDA SCARY OUT THERE, RIGHT NOW? MARSHALL DELAWARE PARTS THE CURTAIN AND PEERS INTO THE FUTURE FOR YOU AS HE DIVINES YOUR CHANCES OF SCORING SOMEONE WHO MAKES YOU FEEL SAFE AND SECURE.
You don’t need me to tell you that things have gotten fucking weird. A lifetime of seemingly consistent social patterns are being wrenched into unfamiliar new shapes. A virus is on the loose and the governments of the world are not exactly inspiring us to believe that they have things under control and that they know what they’re doing. Over the past several weeks divorce filings have increased significantly as married couples who are quarantined together are coming to grips with the notion that their “life partner” is not exactly what they want them to be in a time of crisis. It’s been said that we only really know somebody when things go south. Some rise to the occasion while many don’t. The problem is that we don’t always live in a state of crisis, unless the crisis is of a personal nature, as opposed to the one that has been foisted upon all of us like the situation that we’re immersed in at the moment.
In my last love article, we tackled the issue of finding a soulmate. I said that you would indeed come across just such a person in the spring but it was up to you to trust the situation and to embrace it. What we’re grappling with now is a bit different but the point remains the same. This person is only going to be as believable as your willingness to believe. And so, without any further ado, I’m going to lay out some cards and we’re going to take a look at what you can expect.
3 OF PENTACLES
10 OF PENTACLES (REVERSED)
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE (REVERSED)
Well this is pretty good for you. You are indeed going to meet up with someone who indeed makes you feel personally secure. What this means is that you’re going to find someone who is smart, and emotionally steady. Like everything though there is a catch but the catch in this instance isn’t as bad as the previous article. In the previous article I said you would come across someone who would light you up emotionally and that you would have a difficult time trusting this situation in terms of it working out for the long haul. I still stand by that spread but I can’t make your decisions for you. This spread though indicates that there will be someone else during the springtime that may not make you see fireworks but they’ll make you feel grounded in your guts. It isn’t as though this person is cruel or boring by any means. They’re just not what you would describe as charismatic. Maybe they’re not expert at the art of conversation, and perhaps they don’t share many of your personal interests, but you will find yourself trusting this person.
Don’t get freaked out about the Death card. Death just means positive changes. The other cards indicate that you’re going to encounter this fulfilling prospect in the midst of the pandemic as it plays itself out over the next few months.
Frankly from what I can see here you’re going to have a much easier time going along with this encounter than you will with the previous article that I laid before you. And perhaps that’s the point. Your priorities have been shifted for you by this pandemic. You no longer want what you wanted up until the new year began. Now you want something else, something that you deem to be credible as you grapple with the uncertainties of your existence.
That’s the manifestation that I want you to envision as you break out your paper, your can, and your lighter. Don’t visualize a certain “look” per se. Concentrate on this person’s character, their personality, the intangible elements that you feel yourself gravitating towards. Write down all of the traits that make you feel secure and address that manifestation to the deity of your choosing. Let that manifestation burn all of the way as the smoke becomes part of the ether. Then just go about your business as much as your personal situation allows you to. That person will seem to make their appearance in a matter of only a few days. You’ll be surprised just how easily you’ll make that discovery after you perform your fire magic.
Anyhoo, it’s pretty late here and it’s time for this tarot-mancer to pack up his cards and hit the rack. As always, this is Marshall Delaware on behalf of the always divine Spice Vicious telling you to do the best that you can to be the best that you can.
Spice Asks, “Hey Babe. Come Here Often?”
WARNING: Spicevicious has Resting Bitch Face when she gives love advice. Side effects of receiving RBF Love Advice (™) include, but are not limited to: sudden bouts of cringing, self-recognition, spontaneous laughter, the need to go all Hermit card for a couple weeks, regret a lot of shit, and feel pissy because there’s truth to it. As Gloria Steinem said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
In all seriousness, I’ve been there. Ask Marshall. I’ve told him about all the gaslighting, manipulation, sadness, tantrums, trust issues, abandonment issues, ghosting, non negotiable quirks, and attention-seeking bullshit that is my dating history. Marshy, my friend, I’m grateful to you for sticking with me anyway.
*ahem* Moment over…
Trust and belief are tricky things, but you know that. I agree with MD that trust begins with being able to trust yourself. It seems like we are inherently trusting, but then someone or something comes along and disrupts our ability to trust ourselves. After that, the paranoia ripples out to your ability to trust others.
Please see past the RBF and look at this as some straight talk from a Semi-Reformed Crazy Girl (™). I’ve done your fucking up for you like some psycho bitch Hunger Games tribute. There’s no sarcastic “you’re welcome” because these mistakes involved real people with real emotions, sprinkled with head games that leave me cringing in shame. Nobody should fucking thank me for that, but it did teach me there are three types of factors working against your ability to trust and find someone trustworthy:
- The External Environmental
- The Internalized External
- The Internal
External Environmental Factors Blocking You
There’s some good news and bad news with the external stuff blocking you. The good news is you’re not completely broken and nuts. There are actual circumstances that you don’t control at play here. The bad news is, these things limit your options. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how to work around or within your limitations.
So what are these external factors, blocking you from finding the one who magically unlocks your trust gates? I didn’t mean that to come out as smutty as it sounded. Aaaannnnyyyyhoo… If this trust gate thing rings true for you, pay attention because we’ll revisit this in The Internal section. The external factors are those things outside of you, that you can’t control at all. These things include:
- The current pandemic. We don’t even know what the second—and possibly third—waves of this crap will bring, much less what our lives will look like in teh next four months. Trusting a hot stranger may be a tall order when you can’t even trust your world. COVID-19 is showing a lot of us that there are bigger things to focus on than finding a plus one and/or getting laid, even though quarantine may be the best thing that could’ve happened to the porn industry. Seriously, something about catching a death bug and a toilet paper shortage is decidedly unsexy.
- Your access to a diverse dating pool. There are a few internal things at play here, but history shows us area gene pools were a lot more shallow before trains, planes, and automobiles. If you’re in a more closed-off or remote area, this could be a thing. It can be difficult AF to start fresh with someone or not judge them on their misdeeds if you already know their business.
- Work and other survival-related activities. People are busier and more stressed-out than ever. Lack of time and physical energy have a definite impact on mating and relationships, especially when it comes to the time you don’t spend together.
- Tinder and other sites that make one’s options more *ahem* accessible. Being able to swipe right after yet another argument with your boo thang is temptation at your fingertips. Depending on the argument and the other person’s emotional makeup, it may be easier to start a little something on the side than it is to actually come to a resolution like a fucking adult.
- Timing and bad luck. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work. No planetary alignment, divine intervention, complete personality makeover, or voodoo doll will make it happen. Sometimes the Universe doesn’t give two short and curlies about your vision board because it’s time for other things to happen.
- Your karmic path. If you believe in reincarnation, then you can only imagine how much karma you can accumulate over several lifetimes. Marshall Delaware and I touched on it in our first article about soulmates, so I won’t rehash. Here’s a quick example: Say you were a filthy, filthy libertine several lifetimes ago. You played with many heads, hearts, and nether regions and didn’t bother to think about the wreckage you left in your wake. Eventually your soul decides this just ain’t okay, so you work out a deal with the powers that be. This may mean your karma is to attract several people who were just like your old filthy libertine self. The point of this lesson is to experience what your prey went through and/or so your prey can come back and be the predator this time. That is a gross oversimplification, but this article needs to be digestible. If you want to learn more about how your karma may be messing with your love life, check out Dumb Little Man’s article on the subject or Hans Wilhelm’s video on karma.
- Their karmic path. Substitute every institute of you and your in the previous bullet point and put in them or their. You could very well be fated to meet a potential partner that will knock your socks off, but maybe they have a few tests and obstacles to get through first. There could be many potential sock-knocking partners for you. The one you meet may depend on how they resolve their karma.
- Pluto in retrograde. This sometime planet went retrograde in late April and will be fucking shit up through October 4th. Pluto retrograde brings growth in the form of forcing you to change. This means massive chaos, curve balls, and unexpected transitions. If you want to know exactly what this means for your sign, click here.
- Venus in retrograde. Can’t these damn planets fly right?! Venus is a planet of love, beauty, money, and creativity. Expect a crap ton of self-reflection and signs that you may need to do a few things differently before Venus goes direct June 25th. Conversely, experts say you shouldn’t make any drastic changes when Venus is in retrograde because you won’t have all the information or a good plan until it goes direct. You’ll just be dissatisfied. Yayy…? Anyway, click here to read more about what this means for your astrological sign. Or check out Stargirl the Practical Witch’s video:
So what does it all mean, Basil? It means you need to take a look at the factors you can’t control and examine how you might be using these things as a reason to paint yourself as the victim, paint the world as bad, or paint relationships as pointless. These are just things that happen. Chill.
Here’s a quick activity to help you get the external into perspective:
- Make a list of all of the external factors currently impacting your love life.
- List at least two ways each factor is affecting you right now.
- Rate the effect of each factor on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing “Most Distressing.”
- List at least two ways that you can work around each of these factors this week.
- List at least two ways that you can work within each of these factors this week.
Keep this list. You’ll need it.
Internalized External Factors That Might be Blocking You
Internalized external factors are things that you really can’t control, but have taken on as your problem. This is actually super common when you have had a difficult childhood and/or lived through a toxic, abusive, or otherwise traumatic relationship (article contains signs that you carry some unhealed trauma). If you suspect that this might be the case for you, please find your way to some trauma and grief counseling. This is not something you have to deal with alone.
Anyway, internalized external factors tend to center around others’ thoughts, feelings, opinions, and emotional baggage that you’ve absorbed like an empath sponge. Internalized external factors can also be things that belong on the External Factors list, but you made it mean something about you because you didn’t know what else to do at the time. Internalized external factors are also things that others can’t help, but you tend to judge them on (which isn’t always a bad thing). Here are some examples of internalized external factors:
- How others react to your appearance. What are some things others have told you about the way you look? Was it positive or negative? How did the feedback make you feel?
- How others react to your beliefs. What are some things others have told you about your beliefs? Have others changed their opinions of you based on your beliefs? How did you feel about this? Do you find yourself trying to hide your beliefs from others, or do you shout others down on Twitter? Maybe something in between?
- How you react to others’ beliefs. Are there any belief systems you find absolute deal-breakers? Have you ever changed your opinion of a person based on their beliefs? How do others’ beliefs change the way you feel about them?
- How you react to others’ appearances. Do you have a type? How likely are you to date someone who isn’t your type? What are some judgements you make about others based on their appearances?
- How others react to your life situation. Single parents, the unemployed, sex workers, and disabled people get this one a lot. Have you ever had someone refuse to date you or friend zone you based on something you can’t control? How did you feel about yourself after it happened? Sometimes parts of your circumstances are too rich for their blood. If this is something you can—and want to—change, then think about focusing on that before diving back into the dating pool. If these are things you can’t—or don’t want to—change, then find another pool.
- How you react to others’ life situations. Not everyone is cut out to date someone with kids. Maybe someone’s porn star past would give you pause. Or maybe your last five exes were unemployed and it contributed to the relationship toxicity. It doesn’t matter why these things are deal-breakers for you, but not obeying these boundaries may create relationships that make you feel uneasy.
- Others attempting to compete with you. This one is often a sign that you had a narcissistic parent or you had a lot of shitty friends, but never figured out how to change the pattern. Are you constantly posting challenges or demanding that others race, debate, or compete with you? Or maybe it’s time to change the way you interact with others so you change who you attract. If you’re good with this dynamic, then mazel tov. However, if this always results in potential partners treating you like a rival, rather than a companion… You know where I’m going.
- How others react to stress in their lives. Some people have a bad day and deal by going for a run. Still others veg out in front of a video game or the latest documentary. Others like to blame you for their feelings of anger and anxiety. Still others like to dispose of the bodies under their floorboards. Anyone who’s even remotely sensitive or empathic might start to think they maybe, possibly, most likely did something to set off their other half. If you live with enough of someone’s bad days, working around them can become part of your routine.
- How affectionate or communicative others are. Affection and verbal communication are two of the five love languages. If your particular love language requires a great deal of affection and conversations about feelings, it could be super uncomfortable for you to deal with someone who is more of a gift-giver or who expresses their regard for you by changing your tires. Or maybe you’ve had a ton of bad experiences with sweet-talkers or ghosters. Any of these things will mess with the way you see yourself and your relationship market value, which will undermine your ability to trust yourself or anyone who might be into you.
- How you feel about your bad habits and quirks. Be honest. You’re not an angel and you know it. But what are those habits and quirks that you go out of your way to hide? What about all those exes who complained about your love of couponing? Did you have one particular ex who couldn’t stand your habit of paying the bills late? Or does your house not pass your mom’s white glove test? Think of this sort of feedback as water. It either registers like a tsunami when you get it, or it might feel like the drip, drip, drip that eroded the Grand Canyon. Either way, how you feel about the feedback will influence how you feel about yourself.
- How you react to others’ bad habits and quirks. This goes back to your experiences with different types of people. Think about those habit that send you over the edge. Do people with dirty shoes make you think they don’t care about themselves? Maybe you judge people on their spending habits. Is dating a smoker a total deal-breaker for you? How about someone who peppers the conversation with f-bombs or meaningless corporate buzzwords? These might seem like minor grievances—and many times they are—but they’re often enough to plant a seed of doubt in your trust garden.
- How you view your childhood and life up till now. This one is less about what happened to you and more about how you feel about what happened to you. What’s more, reverberations from your childhood sneak up on you like a Thai chili in drunken noodles. You know those self-deprecating things you’re always saying? You know how you always call yourself a klutz, airhead, trainwreck, stereotypical emo kid, weird, unlovable, or prima donna? You probably weren’t the first person to call yourself these things. You merely went on a rent-to-own plan with someone else’s opinion of you. This ownership has a major impact on how you see yourself, how much drama you’re willing to tolerate in a relationship, what type of drama and dysfunction you’ll put up with, and what role you’re willing to play in a relationship. This isn’t about what you want or even what you need. You’re doing this for a sense of familiarity because people hate change. You’re doing this so you don’t hurt others’ feelings or challenge their view of you. You’re doing this because it’s easier than the devil you don’t know.
In case your evil, subconscious plan isn’t working for you, try this:
- Write down at least two examples from your own dating history for each Internalized External category. If you can think of more categories, list them and write at least two examples.
- For each example, write down the following subpoints:
- Who was the other person involved?
- What positive feedback did this other person give you?
- What is at least one thing that makes this positive feedback true?
- What is at least one thing that makes this positive feedback false?
- What negative feedback did this other person give you?
- What is at least one thing that makes this negative feedback true?
- What is at least one thing that makes this negative feedback false?
- What were some of your thoughts about this situation (i.e. “I’m a mess,” “I’m crazy,” “this isn’t fair,” et al)?
- When was the first time in your life that you thought that way about yourself? How was it different than the situation you listed? How was it the same?
- What were some of your feelings about this situation (e.g. betrayed, sad, angry, numb, apathetic, calm, etc.)?
- When was the first time in your life you remember feeling that way? How was it different than the situation you listed? How was it the same?
- After each subpoint in each example, rate how much this bothers you on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing “most irritating”.
- After each subpoint in each example, think about whether this has been a deal-breaker or created a lot of problems in a past relationship.
- For each main example:
- Write down at least one way that you wish your relationships were different.
- Write down at least three ways changing your approach to this obstacle is positive.
- Write down at least three ways changing your approach to this obstacle is negative or challenging.
- Write down one thing you can do this week to change at least one small thing about this.
- Write down at least one negative thing you say or think about yourself because of this. How does this affect your relationships?
- Write down at least one example of how your negative self-talk is not always true (i.e. an example of when things turned out differently or when you didn’t act like that).
You guessed it. Keep this list and remember this:
Internal Factors That May Be Blocking You
Internal factors are things that are uniquely yours, rather than based on others’ opinions of your behavior or circumstances. These are things that you can’t get rid of, but might be able to work around or work with. Here are some examples:
- Mental illness. Being depressed, anxious, or having racing thoughts all the time will color how you see the world, not to mention how you feel about yourself. Think about all of the types of people and situations you avoid because they are triggering. Think about what you may be avoiding because you feel others won’t want to deal with you because of your mental or emotional issues. Have you accepted less respect or love in relationships because you feel like damaged goods? This may skew how you feel about anyone who’d be into you.
- Physical or mental disabilities. Again, sometimes people think accepting they have a mental or physical disability means they have to accept less respect, love, and affection in their relationships. I respectfully have to disagree. Anyone you would want to be with should also respectfully disagree. However, do you trust anyone who would respectfully disagree?
- Your appearance. On the surface, this seems like a repetition of the appearance-related stuff in the Internalized External category. You need to go a little deeper on this one, however, because this relates to how you feel about the unchangeable parts of your appearance at a core level. Are you a tall person who constantly feels self-conscious about how much space you occupy? Or do you constantly try to bulk yourself up to make your presence known? Maybe you go out of your way to hide behind hoodies to be invisible. Believe it or not, this affects who you are willing to let into your life.
- Being an introvert or extravert. This directly affects how much attention you want and need, as well as how much space you need in relationships. It also affects how your relationships flow. Do you push yourself to be more extraverted to fit in? Or are you an extravert who constantly dates introverts? How does staying home when your current piece is out clubbing affect your relationships? It’s all about honoring what you need and if you haven’t been, then this will mess with your ability to trust yourself and others.
My advice may have a lot of RBF, but I think you guys are smart enough to pick up on a big theme here. For those of you that may have a headache or just don’t fucking feel like thinking that hard, all of the Internal points have to do with you knowing and honoring yourself just as you are. We all have our flaws, but there’s nothing so wrong with you that you deserve to be treated like shit. So stop treating yourself like shit. Oh, and stop treating others like shit because that’s sometimes a side effect of thinking you suck.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What are the things about you that you can’t change? How do you want others to respond to each of these things?
- What are at least two things about each thing that are completely out of your control?
- What are at least two things about each thing that you go out of your way to hide from others? How do you think this has affected your relationships?
- What are at least two things about each thing that you find yourself constantly apologizing for or explaining? How do you think this has affected your relationships?
- For each thing you can’t change, what are at least two things that you can control?
- What are at least two ways that you can treat yourself the way you want others to treat you this week?
Why yes, you should keep this list too.
So What Woo-Woo Thing Can You Do With All This Data?
Remember how I told you to keep your lists? You have a few options as to how to use them:
- Use what you have learned from doing these activities as part of Marshall Delaware’s fire magic activity.
- Take all of those things from those lists that you want to clear out of your life and use them in a clearing spell, such as this Metatron spell or my spell to Ma’at.
- Take all of those things from those lists that you want to use for your improvement—such as setting better boundaries or attracting more emotionally available people—and use them as part of my Freya spell.
- Or stay tuned for my forthcoming spell to Thoth. Just saying.
- Or email my buddy Marshall Delaware for a reading. You can hit him up at email@example.com
If you’re looking for an inspirational poem on finding your place in the world amongst a million ghosts, check out Joan Carol Bird’s latest. Hey, sharing is caring.
For those of you who can’t resist a little subtle virtue signalling, why not give to those sweet little animals in Australia? Funko Pop is releasing a limited edition figure to support the animals hurt in the Australian wildfires. Arm the Animals is also selling shirts to benefit the animals hurt in the fires. You can get those here.
If beanies or water bottles are more your style, check out the Piper Lou collection. Proceeds from select items benefit the Australian Red Cross. You can see for yourself right here. Or you can take the more direct route through GreaterGood.com
P.S. I managed to publish the first part of my first novel a few months ago!! I’m excited and want to share it with you. Check out Water Torture Part One: Have You Checked the Children? Here. Please read and review it. Thank you!!
Did you like my buddy Marshall Delaware, aka G. G. MacLeod? Check out our latest political feature. He’s coming back, FYI. If you want to read an awesome historical fiction novel, you can get your hands on his book here. It may take place in Ancient Rome, but Augusta couldn’t be any more timely if it tried. He actually dropped Part Two a while ago and most recently gifted the world with Part Three. I think you should go get it, Tiger!