Tag Archives: crushes

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!


love triangle

I have a thing for a man at the office. It’s odd, really:  He’s not the tallest nor darkest nor handsomest man around, yet my insides turn to mush when I run into him in an elevator or hallway; I blush and prattle on nervously when he chats me up; I thrill at the sound of his voice…

And I’ve no indication he feels anything for me.

Another guy at the office does have a thing for me. His feelings are, perhaps, every bit as strong and real and enduring as mine for the other. And I don’t feel the same way.

Isn’t that just the way of things? We don’t want what is offered to us but, rather, what is unattainable or impossible. (Note to self:  stop believing this nonsense and perhaps it will go away!)

Far too many daisies have been plucked apart, petal by petal, in my imagination; far too much mental energy consumed with musings and fantasies. This confounding desire has driven me to distraction. It must come to a stop.

Were it only so easily done as said! If only all the mental math and magic I’ve invested had a payout at the end! Yet things are always sweeter and better when they come as a surprise, so I shall let go, step back and trust that higher powers have my best interests at heart.

You have my oath:

I shall stop trying to influence the outcome. I shall be a vessel of feminine energy. I shall stop envisioning him lustfully impaling me atop a credenza…

On second thought, that is a rather racy and enticing vision; it would be masochistic not to allow myself that much.


the Chicago trip Chi-guy wrap

Having mentioned my Chicago family vacation and seeing Chi-guy, I feel somewhat obligated to provide a bit of a summary. And it’s been a few days since my last post…

First, let me divulge that I know my feelings for Chi-guy have been deeper and stronger than they’ve ever had reason to be. I have such love for this man, this flawed fellow human — it’s almost as though we’ve gone through some terrifying, exhilarating experience together (i.e. parallel divorces) that’s bonded us…except I’m not sure whether he feels that bond, at least not in the same way. At any rate, he is just a regular man. Amazing in some ways — witty, playful, so smart, sexy, handsome — and flawed in others:  overindulgent as a father, cynical, and sometimes his humor veers toward mean funny (as I once described as douchebag humor in this post about him).

Let me also say that I’m done chasing men and have learned to let go of expectations. I had no thoughts that anything romantic or physical might happen — particularly since I was traveling with children (one of whom refuses to go to sleep in new / strange places without me). Still, there was a twinkling of hopeful “what if?” in the back of my mind…

Here’s what didn’t happen:

  • Romantic interludes or overtures:  he did not seek me out after our children had fallen asleep to wrap his arms around me and make-out (fun though that might have been)…but we did get to spend a little quality time chatting on his deck. And we didn’t enact this shower fantasy of mine.
  • Falling more deeply into infatuation:  I love this man. I don’t even know why, really. But it’s the sort of agape feeling of wanting the best for another and letting go. I have no pangs of yearning or wantonness for him (that I think I probably did several months ago).

So what happened?

  • We drove to his place and he dropped us at our downtown hotel, since the parking is free and convenient in his neighborhood.
  • He gave us a couple of museum family passes to enjoy some of the grand attractions in the city.
  • He picked us back up a couple of days later and took us for dinner, and then we had a sleepover play date (involving that horrid creation, the inflatable air bed) with him and his daughter.
  • He was ever the well-mannered, charming, generous man I’ve come to know, while still maintaining his boundaries.
  • His omitting the presence in his life of a girlfriend to me and a play date with me to her got him into a bit of hot water (with her, not me).

feeling giddy

I’m on vacation. I brought the children to Chicago to see some sights…and you know who’s in this town:  Chi-guy! I’ve already seen him (and, sadly, he’s feeling sick)… But, oh, what a gentleman! What manners!

My children are with me, and tomorrow we have a play date planned with him and his daughter, so I have no illusions of any “adult” fun. It’s just that the energy of this city excites me — and something about Chi-guy’s dreamy energy gives me a delightfully giddy, girlie feeling!

 


I got my back

So that same chap who suggested I’m over-analyzing all of this, well, he said something…I should say emailed (and, heavens! I do much prefer to actually talk in my relationships — phones are okay, but nothing beats the face to face!) that has me thinking. I haven’t been obsessing over him or anything he’s said, mind you; I was merely meditating last night as I was drifting off and had one of those flashes of clarity that made me go “hmmm.”

First, let me reiterate that I don’t normally share my blogging habit with men to whom I’m attracted. This one, more-like-it (in case you hadn’t guessed), just seemed open enough, strong enough, in the sort of field where he gets the whole creative process thing. It sort of slipped out, I guess. I was hopeful that he wouldn’t take it very seriously…after all, I don’t.

So we’d been flirting a bit and he’d offered to give me a massage sometime…never followed through…and so, in his email, he mentioned that he’s really tempted, but hesitant because he thinks I might interpret that as… And here’s where I have this incredible clarity around the situation:

  • His role is to do as he chooses, push whatever boundaries he wants and, one would hope, to be authentic and honest and communicative in the moment.
  • My role is to mind my own feelings and boundaries, be as authentic in the moment as I can be and, after that, however I interpret his actions is my business. How we react or respond to others has less to do with them and more to do with us. And, thank goodness, I’m at a point in my life where I want to have dialogue (rather than the last word), where I want to build bridges and understanding.

You may recall that I’ve been through the whole marriage counseling thing — and with a counselor who had an excellent reputation. Still, after going through sessions, being called out on my bad behavior and watching as my ex was called on little or none of his…I actually ended up going to individual counseling to deal with the marriage counseling. It would go like this:  We’d have an acrimonious couples’ counseling session in the evening. The next day, at noon, I’d talk with our counselor on the phone to try to re-interpret or process what had happened the night before. (This was great — I got all kinds of juicy information during these talks — but nothing that helped us with our marriage, only stuff that confirmed why it was unlikely to ever really work.) And then I’d go see my own counselor to work on myself and try to get over what felt like an emotional hangover from the couples’ counseling.

My point in recounting this is that I have professional advice as a basis from which to say it… The single biggest take-away I got from my counselor was this:  I am responsible for my happiness. I am not responsible for my partner’s happiness. In fact, she went so far as to say, “It’s your job to make him do the right thing.” And I asked, “Even if he resents me for it?” She replied, “How he reacts is not your responsibility. Let him feel resentful. At least in the end he will have done the right thing.”

This may seem obvious to any emotionally healthy adult but, at the time, I was so in the weeds of my unhealthy relationship that it was a revelation. A huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t have to try to “make” this man (who was depressed and perpetually unable to be happy) happy. I moved forward, worked on myself, took care of the home and children as best I could, and began implementing those boundaries I’ve written about. I’m not saying I did this all “right” or anything, just that I got the concept.

So, while I can appreciate a man who respects me enough not to want to mislead me, the concern might be a little misplaced. Just ’cause some attractive man is rubbin’ on me doesn’t mean I’m going to let the situation venture into something that feels uncomfortable to me. It’s not his responsibility to worry about how I might interpret or react…because, finally, I’ve learned enough to say with conviction:  I’m a big girl…I got my back.


morality, ethics and self-worth

I had a lovely little IM exchange with a gent I know the other day…this is the man who has a crush on me, but is married. Apparently, “the fam” left him alone in town while they took a little summer vacation. Meanwhile, my family is also away. And I think he was trying to feel me out or make a play to see if I might venture into forbidden territory with him…

We chatted (all while accomplishing scads of other tasks, I’m sure, being it was during the work day and all!) about morality, ethics and the very slight nuance of meaning that distinguishes them (please feel free to consult your unabridged dictionary here, as I shall not pursue a deep dive into this portion of the discussion).

Having had some experience with decidedly immoral behaviors in my past, I am not one to judge too harshly others’ behavior or situations. However, I do have a pretty firm view of what I believe to be right and wrong based on my own experience (as much as any moral code). That said, I’m friends with many married guys with whom I share chemistry or attraction, and we still continue to behave as friends — i.e. go out for lunch or drinks, or chat on the phone once in a while, etc. So this fellow and I flirted around with the idea of catching up for a drink…with me thinking this would be a great time to get really clear with him about what I think is in bounds and what is clearly out-of-bounds as it relates to me, the divorcee, and him, the married dude.

Based on the flavor of his text messages, however, it was becoming clear that he was thinking catching up for a drink would be a great time to cross one or more of those lines I’d drawn, or was planning to draw, in the sand. And so I told him we could have a drink if he could behave…to which he respectfully declined, offering me instead (once more) the opportunity for all of the pleasure with none of the commitment.

“That always sounds so good to a man,” I replied. And there are ways in which I can see why they’d think this would also sound good to a woman…particularly given all the research suggesting women get the short end of the stick in marriage. (Egad, I do always talk in clichés!)  Yet I wonder if his wife knows that she’s in an open marriage?

Our conversation concluded with him asking me whether my stance was a moral or ethical decision. My reply? Neither. Even if it’s only about pleasure, even if I’m not at this moment seeking commitment, I still have no desire to engage in any sort of relationship-like arrangement with a fellow I can’t call when I want to, who can’t jet off with me to New York for the weekend or who can’t/won’t introduce me to his friends. It goes right back to the issue of availability. It just doesn’t interest me…no matter how horny I am. That’s why I’ve got Doc Johnson, after all…

My position has nothing to do with morals or ethics…it has to do with what I wrote about a couple of weeks ago:  keeping my eyes on the prize — and about self-worth. I now simply value myself too much to become entangled in something that leaves me emotionally empty and bereft, a situation that puts me at risk for no emotional up side. And it feels good to own it and to value myself enough to stand firm…no matter how tempting the thought might be…because I can get my pleasure without commitment elsewhere, should I decide to.


because I think you should know what you’re getting in to

I love the story in Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed in which she talks about making a list of her greatest faults for her beloved, to ensure he knows what he’s getting in to. And so, below, I think I’ll give it a crack…because…

In the case that you were the one, I’d want you to know some things about me. I mean, I’m far from perfect. And I think you should have a clear idea of what you’re getting in to before we talk commitment:

  • I like a lot of attention. A lot! And when I don’t get it, I have been known to become sulky and surly and childish and petulant. And I behave like a brat. And the best thing you can do at this point is hold me in your arms and tell me (and the little girl inside) that you love me and don’t mean to neglect me and ask for forgiveness.
  • I am impatient. I want it done yesterday…or several months ago. When I want something, I’m not particularly good at waiting for it. So if I ask you for something, it means I’ve been thinking about it and analyzing this desire inside and finally determining that I really do want it and, by this time, I’ve wanted it for quite some time and the likelihood of my having any patience is slim. Act decisively!
  • I’m vain. If you don’t tell me that I’m beautiful or that I look nice or that you like my figure every so often, I’m going to feel hurt.
  • I am opinionated and vocal. I will state my opinions as fact, as though they are the very word of God. And you will not want to touch that statement with a ten foot pole, you will want the conversation to be over, to let me have the last word. And the truth is that, the more strongly I state an opinion, the more desirable your challenge is. I want you to ask me to open my mind, to see another perspective…I want intellectual discussion and banter — it’s a huge turn on. This is not to say that I enjoy fighting or to create tension…I’m just looking for a man who can “stand up to me” intellectually, is willing to call my smart chick bluff and can read the playfulness through the serious tone. Our life together would be so incredibly dull if you simply agreed with me all the time!
  • Yes, there is a “tone.” I don’t mean to nag or scold; yet, when I’m feeling misunderstood, I slow my speech and enunciate extremely clearly and this is most often interpreted as a cold or harsh tone that means something which does not at all match my intention…which is only to be heard and understood.
  • I can be inappropriate. The filter between my brain and mouth is either malfunctioning or non-existent. And I’m okay with that, because I like blurting out what everyone’s thinking, but no one has the gonads to say aloud.
  • I can curse a blue streak. I am genuinely kind and loving to the humans in my life and around me, unless you are the a$$h*le who can’t step on the gas as I race to pick my children up by 6pm. When tired, irritated or stressed, the string of expletives that can come out of my mouth would shock a longshoreman. The subjects of my rated R rants are typically inanimate objects (misplaced/hiding theatre tickets for the show that begins in 30 minutes, for example) or traffic (let’s be frank, I’m talking about other drivers here…slow and/or bad drivers — and aren’t they really the same thing, after all?). And sometimes these expletives make appearances in front of little ears, and my children know better than to use that sort of language anyway and they make me put money in a piggy bank for it, which they think will one day pay for a fabulous vacation. We should all be so lucky!
  • I’ve been known to judge a book by its cover…or, rather, a man by his looks. In my defense, I shall once again blame the stars and offer that, as a Libra, I am drawn to beauty. I wish that I could simply look into a man’s heart and feel love for the way he treats me. Those things are incredibly important, but he also has to earn a decent living and be attractive to me. And spend quality time with me and touch a lot and give gifts…
  • I hate dishonesty! I think it is perhaps one of the very worst shortcomings a human can have. And because I feel so strongly, I am positively sure there must be some mirror effect at play and that there is an element of dishonesty in me. It sucks to even have to consider or confess it. And then I would swear that, if it’s true, I would only ever be dishonest to protect another…which is probably also bullshit.
I’m sure I could go on, but I’m already exhausted!
Who could put up with a woman like this? Actually, I see a lot of men every day who are putting up with much worse…and that gives me hope. Still, I continue to try to evolve. I truly do desire only to love and do good in the world…but I’m hoping I can do that and retain a little bit of my edgy wit!