Tag Archives: attraction

that happy

If you had told me a year ago that I would soon fall for a short, bald, portly man who felt like sunshine, I would have called you crazy. But fall I did… for a man I refer to here as Lee.

Even before we’d met, I sketched out a vision of what I wanted, in terms of lifestyle and a mate:

  • Regular travel — especially opportunities to adventure, ski or escape the cold midwestern winters.
  • Good food. A prospective mate must love sushi. And wine. And my cooking.
  • Some toys… I’d love a boat, enjoy biking, paddle boarding and more.
  • Experiences with someone who enjoys live music, theater, cooking and says “yes” to fun of all kinds.
  • A partner whose income as, at minimum, equal to mine. (I’ve had to support a man before. I did not enjoy it.)
  • And, looking ahead, I want his children to be at least as old as mine… because when mine are off to college, the heavens open up, the hallelujah chorus plays and even more travel and fun can begin for us as my / our children are off chasing their own dreams!

I never imagined I’d find all these things, even if in a package I didn’t expect — or, at first, appreciate. But he was persistent, kind, generous and thoughtful, not to mention intelligent and a ton of fun! He said yes to me, up until it was a no.

And, now, if you asked me what I want in life, I’d simply refer back to the time Lee and I spent together and say, “I want to feel that happy.” I honestly can’t imagine feeling more happy, content and fulfilled. Lee dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s; we seemed like a near perfect fit.

If it sounds like I’m crediting a man for all my happiness, that’s simply not true. I am a happy person because I’ve shaped my life and psyche to cultivate and nurture my own happiness. But there’s something to be said for finding someone with whom to share it all…

I’ve had to work extremely hard to get past the hurt, grief, anger and disappointment of the loss of said relationship. I’m finally moving on, meeting new men and allowing myself to have fun on dates.

So far, there have been no Lees…but I’ll know I’ve met someone special when I feel that happy.


back to reality

Lee and I woke up early on our final morning and went out for a brisk walk / run while it was still dark.

Okay, actually, it happened more like this:  I woke up around 5 a.m. not touching him and missing our “sporking.” So I rolled over, slapped his ass and ground my rear into his groin, assuming the small spoon position. It took him only moments to respond and roll on top of me. I had him put a pillow under my hips for a more advantageous angle and, my oh my!, what an effect it had! I’m sure we woke the guests in the neighboring room.

And then we got up and went out while it will still dark… We had breakfast, packed, checked out and shopped for a bit in the downtown area. While walking by one of those paradise real estate storefronts, we gazed at the range of properties for sale. That’s when Lee brought it up:

“One inadvertent ‘I love you,’ and you’re eyeing $8 million properties!”

We laughed together as I told him the $8 million one was a bit gauche and, pointing, that this $5.7 million one was more my style.

Driving to the airport was bittersweet. I missed my children and longed to see them, but I didn’t want our time together to end. I felt a bit like I was on a reality show — of course we were bound to fall in love — it’s paradise!

We snuggled and dozed on our flights, nuzzling and kissing one another, holding hands, aware in every moment that our time together in this feeling was waning and we would go back to our separate realities:  It was New Year’s Eve — he had plans to meet friends out while I was going to a family-friendly house party.

Each time I recalled Lee’s premature “I love you,” I burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter. I still chuckle when I think about it.

We shared a cab back to my place and, as he carried my bag up the stairs to my front porch,  my realities came rushing back — overflowing boxes from my ex’s place littered the porch and inside my modest little house. Lee, in contrast, would go back to his sparsely-furnished and tidy executive apartment.

What was to come of this?


paradise, part deux

In our early hours together on this adventure, we both brought up names of all the folks we knew near our destination, presumably to have the “out” of other companions or folks we might need to see (in case things didn’t go well). And, truth be told, it seemed like it would be entirely unnecessary for us to spend time with anyone else…at first.

But given the shit storm that had just enveloped my entire life, Lee was kind, attentive, generous and — it must be said — far too “nice” in a far too boring sort of way. I was certain I’d recalled a bit of snark in his personality, yet it was somehow absent in his all-too-accommodating demeanor. So I began pressing for him to arrange a dinner with one of these many people whose names he’d dropped in our first hours together…

And I’m so glad I did. On our second day together, we arranged dinner with one of Lee’s business associates and his family. From the second the two were together, zingers flew back and forth, and I was immediately relieved and delighted to learn the snarky, smart-alecky guy I thought I’d met was, in fact, fully present still. That dinner “broke the ice” for us in ways we might not have been able to do alone together — and, I might add, seemed to enhance our physical connection.

By our third day together, it was clear we’d settled into a routine:  get up early and run the 2.5 miles of beach in front of the resort, sit down for coffee and breakfast, then go lounge by the beach. Lee made a habit of tipping well, so staff at the small resort were happy to accommodate any of our modest requests.

We sat at the bar at the end of one of these first days, drinking beer-garitas and watching the sunset, and I remember saying to him:  “I have no idea what might happen after this… but, in this moment, I am incredibly grateful.”

Every day was sunny and warm — we had paddle boarded, run, explored, sunbathed, swum in the ocean… Our days were long and lazy, and our evenings were filled with dinner conversation that was intellectually and emotionally stimulating. I felt weirdly as though I was in one of those reality television shows set in paradise, an experience tailored to induce couples like us to fall in love…

(To be continued.)


meeting more men

As I wrote about a couple of months ago in “licking my wounds,” I began online dating…again…and got a fair amount of attention right away. In person, I only ended up meeting two guys:

One, incredibly tall and broad-shouldered, took me to lunch at a fun neighborhood spot. We had a congenial conversation. There was camaraderie, but no sparks.

The other was slightly more interesting in the way it unfolded:  We were chatting online when I complained about a UX (that’s “user experience,” in case you were wondering) issue I was having while trying to buy concert tickets online. He told me to give him my digits, and he would try to help. By the next morning, he had texted me that he had “the goods,” and I would have to meet him. I told him I was busy, and I’d be out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend, so he’d have to wait. He asked where I was going, and it just so happened we’d be in the same city. So we met Thanksgiving night, snow falling softly, band playing loudly, practically yelling everything we had to share across a table and having a quite enjoyable time.

I don’t give first meetings much credence, and I made no predictions about either of these fellows. Both continued to text me throughout the holiday weekend, and I saw both of them again…the first met me at an Italian restaurant; the second, again, was a more interesting experience:

He Ubered me to his place and asked me in for a drink. I told him it was unusual for me to accept such an invitation, as a smart woman is safety conscious, but I agreed, given that he has a certain public status. We shared a glass of champers, then drove to the restaurant for sushi. I introduced him to Onikoroshi sake, seaweed salad and agedashi tofu. We stopped for a drink on the way home and he took my hand in his; he told me he wasn’t ready for anything serious, though he knew that’s what I was looking for, but that he would get there.

What’s a girl to make of that?


back to the beginning?

Several weeks ago, I would have told you that the gentleman I’ve called Brad and I were on our way to a relationship. And now I’m not so sure…

The two of us, as I’ve said, have potential:

  • Such amazing chemistry.
  • We have fun together.
  • We think highly of each other and each other’s characters.
  • The stars and numbers suggest a certain compatibility, if you give such things credence.

Let’s recap:  The couple of weeks after our first meeting, Brad was in full-on seduction mode. Then he learned he would soon be out of work. But we kept communicating and seduction turned to courtship, which was even better! Something has always felt just a little different with Brad…and I guess I want to believe that’s a good sign, rather than him just being a novelty. A little more than two weeks ago, he took me on an all-day outing to celebrate my birthday. We held hands, talked, laughed, kissed and ended the day back at his home, where he gave me a hot oil massage…yes, with a happy ending.

It was our eighth date in as many weeks. And he still has not asked me for exclusivity, to be his girlfriend, introduced me to friends or any such thing. Thus, we have not gone all the way. For the record, I was ready to say yes to exclusivity as of our fourth date.

So this, to me, is weird. I am confused. And if I were to hazard a guess about what’s going on, here are some of the possibilities:

  1. He’s just not that into me. When we are together, I can tell you with certainty that this is not true; he is very into me. But I feel a certain amount “out of sight, out of mind” when we’re apart. He is not pressing for my time, trying to crowd out the others, or asking me to be his girlfriend. And this is exactly what I’d say to any girlfriend who described a similar situation, which is why I listed it first. Which leads me to…
  2. He’s on a different timeline. It’s possible that he just has a much slower pace than I have patience for. In fact, he told me he’s had a year-long relationship since his divorce — and that his girlfriend OF A YEAR never met his children. Don’t get me wrong — I think it’s great that he’s cautious, that he takes his time… but this is getting ridiculous. Our next live, in-person conversation will make clear that this does not work for me. I’m interested in a relationship. He is not the prize; a great relationship is the prize. And he can bow out if that’s not what he wants.
  3. He’s on “pause” until he finds his next gig. I’ve never thought twice about dating this man though he is, technically at this moment, jobless. He’s the sort of fellow with ambition and thrust, and whose phone has been ringing consistently since the first moment he found out his company was closing the division he led. He has said the sorts of things that suggest he believes he needs to be earning at a certain level to be worthy of me. If that’s the concern he has; I’m cool with it. Maybe he just needs to do the new job thing first, before taking a relationship to the next level. Meanwhile, he’s continued to treat me when we go out, even though I’d be just as happy talking a walk or gazing at stars.

Candidly, I’ve been feeling these things for awhile, but I’ve been letting it go while Mercury was retrograde. Now that it’s gone direct, though, it’s time to make my desires known and gain some clarity.

Whatever it is, I’m going to be cool. I’m not going to be devastated if we decide we want different things. I’m going to continue to meet and go out with men. It’s the relationship I want, remember, so I’ll keep meeting people until I meet the guy who wants that with me. Maybe it’s Brad, maybe it’s someone else. But, as I swipe and find an entirely new batch of matches, I kind of feel like I’m back at the beginning…


mirror mirror

Any Harry Potter fans out there? My children and I love the series, the characters, the theme parks, the movies… you get the idea. So last night, to celebrate JK Rowling’s birthday, we watched the first movie together.

In it, Harry discovers a mirror in which he can see the parents who died when he was an infant. They are standing behind him, smiling, his mother with a hand on his shoulder. Like a phantom pain, you can see how he nearly feels it and how badly he wants to feel it. Eventually, the headmaster and great wizard Dumbledore approaches Harry to gently send him away with these words:

“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts… this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible.”

And this struck me deeply, as that’s exactly what I’ve been doing on and off for the past 27 months with Jeffrey, Mr. Meltsmyheart (though certainly more off than on, because I’m not that crazy!):  I allowed myself to be transfixed by a fantasy, perhaps not quite driven mad, but certainly showing occasional signs of cray-cray. And that’s simply not the norm for a healthy, well-adjusted me. (Not that I’m always healthy or well-adjusted, but I’d like to think I am spend more time than not within those guardrails.)

Perhaps this article on break-ups sheds some light on what’s going on with the brain and why this has been an off-again, on-again obsessive theme for me. And, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, there has been enough other unpleasant emotional stuff going on in my life that it’s no wonder I prefer the addictive feeling of longing and heartache to the raw and wrenching work of simply dealing with everything else.

To be fair, I have done both:

  • My will, trust and other legal documents have been updated. I’ve shored up my risk portfolio. And I’ve started talking to my family about my wishes in the unlikely event of my untimely demise.
  • This evening I will say goodbye to Tom, the friend I mentioned earlier, who finally succumbed to his battle with brain cancer. I managed to stop in and visit him every few weeks over the past several months, and it feels good to me to have provided him some company and friendship.
  • I have spent time in the sun and working out, doing my damnedest to turn the corner on a general malaise that has been hard to shake but that I cannot, in good conscience, quite call depression. And I finally feel I’ve largely shaken it.
  • Oprah and Deepak sent me an invitation I couldn’t refuse, and I’ve spent 21 days enjoying their guided meditations on gratitude using their free app. I love to do the Chopra Center 21-day meditation challenges when I can, and I found this one genuinely spoke to me.
  • I have taken action on the dating front, as well, and am now swiping left and right, often feeling disturbingly superficial about it all. There are many lessons to be learned from this activity, some of which I’m sure you’ll hear about soon. Why Tinder? A close friend met her fiancé with it, and sheer volume…another geeky friend encouraged me with, “so much of it is just a numbers game” — meaning, meet a lot of people and you’re bound to find one who’s a match eventually. (Of course he is also fond of bringing up a phrase from the used car industry:  “There’s a butt for every seat.” I am genuinely repulsed by this analogy.)

My Mirror of Erised (“desire” in reverse, for those of who hadn’t figured that out) is safely stored away and all those fantasies…well, the top of that head of dark hair I’ve so often imagined between my thighs could be anybody, right!?


confidence shaken (not stirred)

When I re-read my post from yesterday and think of all the bullshit I’ve done to create an imaginary boyfriend in my head — and yes, among friends, I even refer to him as my IBF — I think this is exactly the sort of crap I’d expect from a younger version of myself. But not professional, healthy, adult, mother-of-two me.

And then I wonder why did I allow this to become such a big deal and why has this guy taken on such mythological proportions in my head?

Here’s why:  I was so utterly convinced — and still am — that we had something so incredibly worth exploring together that it never dawned on me that we wouldn’t. He’s worth it. I’m worth it. We had / have a chemistry and a closeness and enough in common to make us worth it, whatever other obstacles there may have been. We also have genuine differences; any two people do. And somewhere along the line, based on what he had gotten to know about me, I think he decided they were too big or too important to ignore. But he was very private in many ways, so I don’t know what those things are or how far apart we are, and I never had an opportunity to be part of that discussion or decision, so it has always felt unresolved.

It shouldn’t matter anyway, because the only way a relationship can be successful (in my experience) is if a man pursues it…which he started to, and then didn’t. Game over. Move on.

That experience has shaken my confidence more than probably any other relationship encounter I’ve had in the past five years.

There’s a solution for it, though; one I have some faith will work. I’ve got to start dating again. However unready I feel I am, I have to put myself out there and begin again.


can a modern woman love an old-fashioned man?

Here I shall reveal my latest idiocy:  I had happy hour with the guy…yeah, the one I can’t get over. Something inside me thinks:  it’s been a long time, I won’t still feel it, we’ll just catch up like old friends and then part ways. I keep thinking I will find a way to bless what I’ve learned and move on. And, even though I suspect it was just two colleagues keeping in touch to him, I have spent the last two days and will spend the next many more wishing and hoping that something inside him, something about the way he perceived me, would shift and that he would be compelled to call and ask to see me again.

Simultaneously, I wish something inside me would change and allow me to get on with my life and attract a relationship with someone who can love and appreciate me without ever waffling about it.

In other words, the happy hour was just one among an unabridged dictionary’s worth of missteps with Mr. Meltsmyheart.

I wish I could recall how it came up but, at one point, he complained to me that chivalry is dead and an old-fashioned guy like him didn’t stand a chance with women today, particularly liberated ones.

Okay…first:  WHAT?! Why the heck did he think I was (am) so head-over-heels interested in him? It was all that commanding, masculine energy that turned me to mush inside! It was my intuition telling me that, after a long day of putting on my man pants, going to work, making a million decisions and having to be in charge or everything under the sun, with a man like him I could relax into my femininity and enjoy it. It was knowing that he could treat a woman with respect. It was sensing that, if we ever became physically involved, he would treat those moments of intimate discovery with a certain amount of reverence. It was believing that he might have the maturity and relationship skills to cherish me. It was feeling a growing sweetness within myself whenever we were together.

I fell for him because of those feelings. And because of his kindness, warmth, wit, intellect, decency, calm, commitment, hard work and so much more. For all the right reasons, for once. And I still revel in all of those senses and feelings when he’s near! The way I feel in his presence always leaves me wanting for more. And probably that’s why I was so heartbroken that it never went anywhere.

Did I say all that? No. But I did tell him how far off he was, and just how much a woman like me desires more than anything to find a chivalrous man, with manners and decency — a man stronger than me, who can stand up to me and for me, a man worthy of leading our family. I offered up an example:  the Southern gentlemen I’d dated a few years back, who opened doors, arranged dates and knew how to properly behave. Ah, it was dreamy!

He was shocked, completely taken aback. “You just blew my mind,” he confessed.

I don’t recall exactly where our chat went from there, as we soon had to part to pick up our evening parenting duties. We hugged our goodbyes and, later, when I thanked him for a nice time, I teased that I liked poking holes in his theory of me, too.

…I just wish it were mind blowing enough to keep him coming back for more!


my last failed relationship

Do you ever get yourself into something and then, somewhere along the way, you realize it’s a bad deal, but you’re in it and you forget for awhile how to get out?

That pretty much sums up my last relationship. Even looking back at how it began, there was nothing that really suggested it could last. Our early dates didn’t generate warm and fuzzy feelings inside me. And yet, somehow, I got sucked in. And, before I knew it, I found myself feeling as though I was four years into an unhappy marriage — to which I’d never committed in the first place.

For the record, we dated for approximately ten months.

He was positive at first and could be surprisingly sweet. But we disagreed about political viewpoints that made me think he was a closet misogynist. And life was throwing a few sucker punches his way. He became negative; he used language that painted himself as a victim ever so subtly; he complained about being broke and his health problems; he sucked me into his drama.

And it’s so easy to see now because TWICE since we’ve broken up, he’s done something so crazy I can barely recount it:

  1. Right around the new year, he called to ask if we could get coffee and talk. He said he needed a friend. I agreed to meet him. He told me about the woman who’d broken his heart. (This was all of two months after we’d broken up, mind you.) And then, before I understood what was happening, he was telling me how much he missed us and that we were steady and stable and I wasn’t crazy and couldn’t we just go back to where we were? To me, where we were was a realization that, no matter the circumstances, I was never going to want to move in with, much less marry him. To him, where we were must have looked different.
  2. Three months later, he called and said he needed a friend and would I meet him for a drink? I swore that this time, if he asked me to reunite, I would never answer his call or agree to meet him again. This time, he told me about the women he’d dated in the past few months — those who’d broke his heart, those whose hearts he’d broken — and his engagement. Yes, engagement. But he’d called it off. He’d asked her to marry him on Tuesday, then asked for the ring back on Friday. You see, women are all crazy and bipolar and couldn’t we just start over where we left off? Yep; he did it again! And I’m quite sure it’s never dawned on him how that might feel to me.

Anyway, maybe that sort of explains why I haven’t written much lately and why I haven’t been dating lately. You see, when you attract someone who ends up hitching a ride on the crazy train, you have to take a moment to look in the mirror and wonder what’s going on with your own energy for you to attract a situation like that. And I’ll be honest, the emotional ground beneath my feet still feels a little shaky. I can’t really put my finger on why…but it does. So I’m not going to look for someone else who, at this moment in my life, is only likely to add drama. I’m going to take care of myself for awhile. And, if it so happens that someone comes along when I’m taking care of me, I’ll be okay with that.


wish you weren’t here

I never imagined my recent…wait, can we even really call four weeks ago recent? I guess…recent dalliance with the magnum would be more than it was. I think I was more disappointed that, for all his supposed years of wanting, his desire to woo me seemed to have fizzled out. But the real kiss of death was something that came out of his mouth… (actually, there were a lot of deal breakers that came out of his mouth)… but there was only one that made me wish none of this had ever happened:

He brought up a mutual acquaintance, one he knew I’d liked, and suggested that the two of us must have slept together… And then the name of this man brought up his visage and the memories and the same feelings flooded back as viscerally as if the scab had been ripped off to expose an open wound. He was all I could think about, even as I still think he’s a fool! And I still think he’s a far better man than the one I was lying next to at that very moment and, suddenly, I couldn’t wait to get the hell away from there and never come back.

Thing is, this mythologized man is someone I wrote about a couple of years back:  I wrote about how he had an uncanny knack of bypassing all my defenses, making me feel soft and sweet inside, coaxing out the very best in me and enabling me to relinquish control — and all we’d ever done is talk, hug and kiss. We’re creeping up on two years since that kiss and, despite fights and hurtful words and disparate values, I still feel that way. He still occasionally visits me in my dreams.

I texted him a few days later to see if he wanted to grab a beer before the holiday break ended, and he said he was flattered, but seeing someone, and that he’d bought his children a dog for Christmas. Four weeks have passed. My heart still aches.

I’ve since deleted our text history and his contact information. It’s a move meant to cut the cord for my own emotional health and self preservation. And my heart still aches to feel that feeling that, in more than a decade, I’ve only felt when with him. And, perhaps even worse, I wonder what is wrong with me that I can’t move on?