Tag Archives: flirting

best girlfriend ever

I am the self-proclaimed Best. Girlfriend. Ever.

I mean that.

Here’s why:  My guy can give me his lovin’ on the weekends and focus on his work during the week. I’m not some needy girl who needs constant attention. I gots plenty to keep me busy. I’ve told him as much.

For those of you who’ve been following, I work full-time and parent nearly full-time. So it’s no joke that it’s tough to find time to connect during the week. But I daresay some guys would see this as a bonus.

Not yet sure whether my guy appreciates where I’m coming from on this one. Give him time. He’ll come around to seeing things from my perspective.

Best. Girlfriend. Ever.

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soft as nails

Here is a typical text exchange:

Him:  You’re so picky.

Me:  Did you seriously just call me picky?! …I’ll have you know that your woman is discerning, selective and has high standards.

Him:  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Me:  So you like that I’m picky…


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.


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).

getting to know you…

…getting to know all about you, getting to like you, getting to hope you like me… I love this song and the musical it’s from, The King and I. Dating is supposed to be about having fun and getting to know people — hopefully, eventually getting to know someone special.

So this may sound kind of weird:  I schedule the kind of dates with guys that are the most low-pressure, the least likely to have any sort of romantic element, that are…well…mundane. Frankly, I think that’s the best way to get to know someone, to see if they can make fun out of nothing, to see if running errands can be entertaining, to see how they navigate everyday life. I enjoy conversation, making fun with words and dialogue, and seeing how my date behaves toward clerks in stores and hospitality workers and strangers asking directions on the street.

I don’t think I did this “boring date” thing consciously at first…I mean, when you’re just getting back out there, you don’t give some guy you’ve never met your Saturday night anyway, right? But I’m starting to see other advantages to this preference.

Consider The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, for example:  put a girl on the island of Bora Bora and I can guarantee you she’ll fall in love with one of the attractive men around. The setting alone is enough to create a kind of euphoria, and then there are all these singles, who have nothing else to do but look lovely and woo… Everything is lovey-dovey until they’re off the island, off the show, and back in real life…where it all falls apart. These relationships — infatuations built on scenery and alcohol and candlelight and once-in-a-lifetime adventures — are destined to fail. So I’d like to have a slightly clearer view of reality before I let my heart get carried away.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the candlelight and romance and all, and I want those incredible adventures, too, in time. But I want it to unfold naturally, because it’s something we both want…not because of the scenery.


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.


am I over-analyzing all of this?

It was recently suggested to me (by an attractive man) that I might be over-analyzing all of this relationship stuff… I suppose that could be a fair supposition for a reader to make. Here, I’ll share part of my response…

“Indulge me as I share a story:

When I was pregnant with my daughter and began (around the 7th month) to feel the sheer panic that comes with the realization that this lovely little floaty bubble of bliss would, at some point burst, and then a head the size of a cantaloupe was going to come out of (and would likely tear to shreds) a much smaller hole / passageway…I went to the birthing classes and watched the reality birth stories on TLC. One thing I observed was that so many women would, in a moment of contraction agony, utter:  “I can’t do this.” And I remember thinking they were ridiculous! I mean, we’re women, our bodies are MADE for this! I had my doula, my (drug-free) natural birthing plan, my body had been in the best shape of my entire life when I got pregnant, and — even though I was occasionally visited by the sheer terror I mentioned earlier — I was confident that I would be champ at labor and birth.

Fast forward to several hours into labor, when the pain got ahead of me and I could no longer ride it like a wave, and I could no longer relax or rest between contractions…this is the thought that came into my head:  “I can’t do this.” And I thought it for a bit, meanwhile putting on my brave face and trying not to clamp my jaws together on the nearest arm and finally I, too, like those women on the shows, uttered those words, “I can’t do this.” Predictably, everyone around me jumped in with, “Yes you can!”s and other encouragement…but words or encouragement weren’t what I needed. What I needed was to speak my doubt aloud, release it of its power and move on…

I guess my blog is kind of like that. I don’t over-analyze everything…I think it, write it, release it and move on. Yes, there are areas of my life in which I’ve tried to be intentional…and then released those thoughts out into the universe. I’m probably more introspective and self-aware than many, likely more honest and bare…and that’s what I needed to do with this — I needed to explore being honest with myself, being completely vulnerable and to commit to writing all the time. (Frankly, I’ve had enough of this failed relationship introspection already — I’m ready to get out and live again!) Meanwhile, this space is also a great venue in which to cop a bit of a diva attitude that I rarely display in real life. So…if you’re going to read it, please try not to read too much into the very limited view it might offer…

While there are certain things that I’ve shared here that remain true — e.g. I do, at some point…maybe a few years in the future… want to be in a life-affirming, committed relationship — what I think I’m ready for has changed constantly since I began writing about it. One day, I think it would be peachy to find a lover who is willing to explore and share new heights of pleasure, and who might also be a confidante. Another day, I find I’m holding back my natural sensuality because I don’t want to lead with physical attraction, I want to find an emotional connection. And at another time, I think the most lovely thing in the world would be to enjoy a conversation, maybe hold hands, maybe smooch a little (okay, not gonna lie, a make-out session sounds spectacular!). I want adventure! Or a little candlelight and some romance! I’m making peace with all of the different aspects of myself and integrating my energy. I feel lighthearted and playful and whole in way that I can’t claim to have felt in years. It’s wonderful…I’m living in the present moment. And I feel amazing!

My entire adult life has been lived in shades of gray, sometimes with too few guard rails… After being pretty lost for a bit, grasping for anything that seemed solid, while being conscious about what I’m trying to create, I am wide open to allowing things to unfold, to “let go to the mystery”…in fact, I’d prefer to be surprised. At this moment, I have no pre-conceived notions about what my next relationship might be like or how long it will last…I can only suspect (given my parenting schedule), that it’s likely to unfold slowly. And that’s okay with me. I’m navigating moment to moment… Whatever I think I might want in the long run, the only way to move forward is to take small steps — meeting people, going out, having fun…”

Then I wrote that I have fun with him…and to please not mistake reading the blog for experiencing / knowing the woman who writes it.

What do you think of that, my kind readers?