Monthly Archives: October 2011

what a wife wants

I hear my guy throw “I’m a bachelor” often in response to the way he takes care of himself — e.g. lots of take-out food, cigars, etc. I wouldn’t say there’s any issue with these behaviors, but the “I’m a bachelor” default could become a worrisome habit if we were to enter a more serious stage of our relationship. I often find myself wanting to coach or prep him for what a wife wants, whether that woman is me or some another lucky lady. But it’s hard to balance my commitment to not making a project of him with keeping up habits of excellent communication. I’d rather see what he has to offer than try to train him to be something I want…a husband who…

Plans for an abundant future, both financially and physically:

  • Takes care of home and property.
  • Saves for retirement.
  • Eats right, exercises, has healthy habits.
  • Releases what is no longer needed.

Pitches in around the house:

  • Can prepare a healthy meal for the family.
  • Can make a bed, do laundry, fold clothes, etc.
  • Can clean or, in lieu of cleaning, votes for hiring a housekeeper.

Keeps his own friends and interests:

  • We all need time alone and other healthy relationships.

Has good habits / manners:

  • Puts the toilet seat down.
  • Picks up after himself.
  • Keeps his stuff organized.

Is loving:

  • Prioritizes to make time to stay connected.
  • Plans the occasional surprise.
  • Learns my love language(s).

Knows:

  • That where there are children involved, your time is not your own, and you must simply surrender to the present needs of the family.
  • How to fix a thing or two around the house, and when to call in the experts, instead.

live and in person

As I may have mentioned, it’s not always easy to find time to date between working full-time and parenting nearly full-time… I’ve been lucky to have three free weekends in a row. Frankly, after a run like that, it’s almost more difficult to go back to the usual schedule of rarely seeing one another.

Thanks to a networking event and sitter situation, I was able to connect with my guy for a short time earlier this evening.

“You smell nice,” I told him as we hugged in the street.

“I am nice,” he replied.

Yep. ‘Nuff said.


validate me

I had a little chat with my guy this weekend about my flirting habit and need for validation. I don’t think I am crossing any boundaries or acting inappropriately based on current stage of our relationship, but something I said clearly made my guy think twice.

I’m flirtatious and playful, and I’m that way with both girlfriends and guy friends… That’s not likely to change, and it’s not something I’d want to change about myself. Still, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that amusing email exchange with Chi-guy — particularly not at the moment I brought it up. But it was funny! And I’m transparent like that. I don’t think anything of it — i.e. this sort of back-and-forth communication is not leading to any sort of activity. (As my readers know, Chi-guy didn’t make any moves when given the chance.) So it was no big deal to me.

My guy is more Southern, more traditional, more proper. His boundaries are clearly in a different place than mine and, frankly, that gives me great comfort. Still, I am capable of exclusivity — and I don’t think a harmless flirtation, via email no less, should bring my character into question.

But then, while at work today, I noticed my need for validation… In fact, I thought about shooting a note to the guy (formerly in the next cubicle) who used to give me attention. I realized, “Wow, I do have a heightened need for validation and attention right now.” So I got another cup of tea and went back to work.

Perhaps this need for validation is a result of where I am in my life – divorced, dating again, working hard to restore my feelings of attractiveness and self-confidence. Perhaps it’s a recent habit. Or perhaps I’ve been like this for years.

So I’m glad we had that chat. Because, while I have much firmer boundaries than I’ve had in the past and my sense of what’s appropriate is more in line with the cultural norms of surrounding adults, it’s good for me to be reminded to mind my behaviors. Not everyone is so generous in their perceptions of flirty women.

Still, this discussion about flirting with other men and my need for validation brings up a question:  Am I really ready for exclusivity? Can I allow this to progress naturally and, should things become more serious, reign in a flirtatiousness that seems so natural to me?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:  I like to flirt because it makes others feel as good as it makes me feel. When I’m at my best, I charm and put anyone at ease — a good skill to have. So I’ll be a flirt, more consciously, in its higher form…and I’ll learn to validate myself when I need that.


a different tune

It’s interesting how completely different the messages I’m getting from my current beau are from the ones I received from my ex.

I hear:  “You’re a really good communicator” and “You’ve got to tell me what you want, Lady!”

This sort of feedback is so completely refreshing after a few years of tension, silence and walking on eggshells! So…is it me who’s different? Or is it that these men are so completely different? Or is it that we create each other in relationships?


spiritual soul mates

I'm a bonehead

Just because...I'm a bonehead

I’ve often heard tell that the spiritual definition of one’s soul mate is the person who will illuminate (i.e. bring to the surface) the stuff one needs to work on most urgently.

If that’s the case, I could likely be described as my beau‘s soul mate. I seem to be a catalyst for all sorts of things he needs to work on, which might help explain the photo. It seems I am regularly busting his ass about something — in a gentle and loving way, of course!

One has to wonder, with all that soul mate juice going on — all the passion and intensity and feelings of closeness and emotional resonance — is there really room to find something long-term and sustainable and true? I think the answer lies in taking time and communicating. We’re both pretty responsive when the other calls us on our “stuff,” and we’re both pretty accountable for cleaning it up. But will there come a point when this willingness runs out?

I suppose there’s no way of really knowing whether this might become something enduring, or whether I’m preparing him for someone else (in which case she damned well better be grateful!)…so, rather than get ahead of myself or dwell on the unknowns, I’ve decided to enjoy it for what it is right now.


handling hiccups

There are three things I adore about the guy I’m seeing:

  • He’s constantly affectionate and loving. He’s usually touching me or telling me how wonderful I am or both at the same time.
  • He’s remarkably adult. He brings up and wants to talk about everything, from difficult topics to trivia. He doesn’t shy away from controversial conversations.
  • We laugh together a lot!

Yet we are not immune to relationship hiccups. As two people get to know one another, there are always going to be moments when feelings are hurt or boundaries challenged.

We had our first such issue several days ago:  I cried; he cried. Later he apologized via voicemail (I didn’t answer his calls) and text.

I texted back:  “I hope you know a good florist.”

Sure enough, I arrived home to fresh flowers within 48 hours.

A few days later, we’d talked it over, snuggled a bit, made up and were ready to laugh about things. I teased, “It all goes downhill from here, you know. A couple of years down the road, it’s ‘I hope you know a good jeweler.'”

“Damn! And then a few years after that, I suppose it’s ‘I hope you know a good Audi dealer,'” he played along.

“I like the way you think!” I said. And we giggled together.

There will undoubtedly be more difficult discussions and challenging times ahead, but the way we handled this hiccup gives me hope that we can navigate even the bigger ones.


I’m clean

Not long ago, I wrote about getting tested for STDs.

I met with a nurse at my clinic, asked a few questions about the screening, undressed from the waist down and draped myself in paper. Here’s what I learned:

  • I would be screened for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea using a cervical culture, and for Syphilis and HIV via blood draw.
  • I would not be screened for HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus, or HSV, the Herpes virus. A blood test to screen for antibodies would not be particularly helpful, since many people have been exposed to these viruses and might have the antibodies indicating a healthy immune response. Unless I’d had an abnormal Pap test or was experiencing symptoms (I was not — and have not ever), it would be difficult to tell if I actually had either disease.
  • My beau, who’d had a bout with HPV awhile back, was not likely to be infectious. According to the CDC, “In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years.” The nurse confirmed that we likely did not need to worry.

I was reassured after the chat with the nurse, and eager to share what I’d learned with my guy. I’d have to wait five to ten business days for results.

Last week, I received the all clear from my clinic. And I’ll leave what happened next to your imagination!