Tag Archives: infatuation

the dangers of infatuation

No doubt if you’ve been reading lately, you’re thinking, “Duh, lady; he’s just not that into you.” And it’s probably true.

I’m doing my best to keep my head on straight and just enjoy the blissful anticipation and agony associated with my not-particularly-secret crush. But the truth is, I’ve entertained so many fantasies that I’ve already decided I like him. And this is what’s dangerous about a situation like that…which is, in fact, infatuation:

Before he’s ever asked me out, before I’ve experienced whether he behaves like a man and treats me like a woman, before I’ve even experienced one-on-one time in a dating situation, my mind is made up that I like him. And that’s not always a good thing.

You see, we’ve done the colleague happy hour thing — and he’s lovely and genuine and always picks up the tab and surprises me a warm hug each time we’ve gone out — but that’s as a colleague at happy hour. I’ve felt a few people out:  he’s as well liked and respected as I suspected…in a professional context.

But the other day, I ran into him and he picked on me. Being smarter than my fifth-grade self, I thought, “this boy likes me.” Yet few adult women really want to receive affection in the form of being picked on. Teased yes; picked on no.

So, if we ever did go out, it would be interesting to see how he behaves toward me in that context. Would he be different or the same as he is every day? And the purpose of dating is for two people to explore whether they have a connection or like each other or their values and desires match. So when one of two have already decided…well, feelings can get hurt.

And that’s why I’m dialing my feelings back, enjoying whatever flirtation or interaction there is, smiling and being friendly, and just enjoying the exciting feeling of having a crush. If nothing more comes of it…well, the sense of anticipation and possibility still feels wonderful, and I may as well enjoy it!

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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.


are my feelings finally growing up?

There are things I don’t reveal here …and maybe shouldn’t ever reveal. Not every entry lends itself to complete and full-on truth. It’s not a journal I’m writing here; it’s a blog. And I want to shape each entry, to create form, something like a chapter. So I give about 95% and keep just a little sliver to myself, to enjoy, to revel in knowing a secret — my own secrets.

But here’s something I want to be straight about that I wasn’t really before. I was really attached to the idea of Chi-guy for a long time. And then I met more-like-it. In one 75-minute meeting, all of that attachment to a man in Chicago was snapped completely.

Don’t get me wrong, the love is still there. It’s a deep, true, generous and heartfelt concern for a truly wonderful human. But I’m detached about it now. I’m in a more mature place with it; I have a more objective perspective. Sometimes when Chi-guy and I talk now, we joke about the naughty things we’re going to do to one another when we see each other… but we make no plans to see each other. And if we did see each other, I’m fairly confident that we’re both going to live in the moment and do whatever feels right with acceptance, compassion, presence and love, whether that’s talking or touching or crying or laughing or gettin’ jiggy.

So the thought has crossed my mind more than once that more-like-it is someone who came into my life solely for the purposes of breaking the Chi-guy spell, proving there are more options, reminding me that really awesome guys live in this city and — this is my girlfriends’ summation — reminding me what type of man is “in my league.” Maybe that’s it, yet…

All this talk about more-like-it could easily lead one to believe that I’m hung up on him. But it’s not really like that. What I’ve felt all along is more like intrigue, a general interest in spending more time (which I’ve enjoyed) to see if I like him. I mean, I like him…yet I don’t know whether I like him. I’m not sure yet…I’m simply drawn in, curious. There’s been no instant infatuation, just an undercurrent of desire to see what might be around the next corner.

And, maybe because it doesn’t feel urgent or intense, my own feelings seem more mature. It’s not the kind of thing that Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently wrote in Committed, “puts me through the wood chipper.” Maybe that’s why I want to feel more of it, and why I’m open to noticing and experiencing that feeling, from whatever direction it may come.


how I became a text maniac

About 18 months ago…

As I boarded my flight home after my trip to Max’s region, I texted him a quick note: “Miss you already!”

I didn’t think much of the casual salutation — it was something I would have said to my children or a girlfriend — just a fun, breezy farewell. By the time I landed, there was a message on my data phone. It was from Max:

“You have no idea. We have a special relationship.”

Wha…? I reeled. Max had feelings for me. Here, in the palm of my hand, was actual confirmation that this gorgeous man reciprocated, in some form, the feelings I had for him. My heart was pounding; butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. I didn’t know what to think. I could barely resist the urge to board a flight back to Max. Of course in reality Max would be home with his wife and daughters…but he felt something for me!

There was so much I wanted to say. I tried to capture what I was feeling, and then edited and edited it down until it fit into the 160 characters of a single text message:

“I do have an idea…several, in fact. I will content myself with the quantum possibility that in some parallel universe we are free to explore them.”

Several hours later, Max texted back. “LOVE the way you put that. Talk soon.”