I have a jeremy, and his name is jeffrey

I read this Modern Love essay months ago, and it continues to resonate:

“He’s the guy we never really dated and never really got over.”

“I think maybe you’re addicted to the memories, in love with a person you’ve idealized who probably isn’t real.”

My Jeremy’s name is Jeffrey. And, unlike the essay’s author, I am not in college and am, in fact, twice “college age” and I ought to know better. I do know better. Yet I can’t seem to help myself.

It’s baffling that an otherwise successful, intelligent adult woman who keeps my financial house in order, my parenting on point (I think, for the most part) and my professional life progressing, can’t seem to properly contextualize, process and move on from a relationship that never actually happened. I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s a little crazy. And yet, this is what I’m doing.

It’s as though to avoid dealing with some of the emotional processing, grieving and other emotional self work I must do to deal with my ex’s issues (and the real possibility he may leave my children fatherless in the not-too-distant future), my friend’s progressing cancer, my grandmother’s decline and a certain measure of dysfunction in the workplace, I’ve decided to create a mental loop wherein I’ve poured all my unfulfilled hopes and pain into longing for an imaginary relationship scenario that I know, intellectually, is not a real possibility.

Yet the heart wants…

setting my intentions for 2013

Briefly, and without going into too much detail, I’ve felt a bit of a shift in energy with the New Year and I’m thinking I’ll be looking for something a bit different;  in terms of relationships, in 2013, I plan to let love in.

I look forward to welcoming easy, relaxed romance into my life…the kind of relationship that starts Sundays slow, both of us curled up on the sofa in our pajamas, drinking coffee, listening to acoustic tunes, reading the paper or a good book. It’s the sort of relationship that feels good, comfortable, secure — and fits like a favorite pair of worn-in jeans.

There’s nothing urgent here…I just feel it coming. I trust the universe.

…and, for some crazy reason, I envision a trip to London in early December with this fella…and I’m okay with that!

the one before the one

For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the guy I almost married before my wasband. He lived in another country. He spoke halting and imperfect English. I spoke his language only slightly more fluently. Thus, we worked hard at communicating and we rarely took mutual understanding for granted. Yet the flow, the back-and-forth, the give-and-take of communication was always easy between us. It was the meaning and nuance to which we tended so carefully. We gently corrected one another, and neither of us took this personally or as criticism.

In fact, sometimes I think the reason our relationship worked so well when we were together was because we worked hard at communicating. In the end, distance, business and family obligations conspired against the plans we’d begun to discuss… but sometimes I wonder what if…?


happy VD!

This being a blog about relationships and failure, it’s only appropriate that I publish some snarky or cynical commentary about how much will be spent on cheap boxes of chocolates or the even less original gift of a dozen red roses.

But the truth is that I love Valentine’s Day! I love the whole idea of a day devoted to love, even if I wish we could all devote ourselves to be more loving every day. And I hope to one day find someone with similar romantic notions, who doesn’t balk at doing something special for this “Hallmark holiday.”

I suppose it goes without saying that I don’t have a Valentine this year. I’ll be making dinner for my children — and I picked up a few exquisite chocolate desserts as a special treat for the sweetest blessings in my life!

Here’s where I’m at with searching for a Valentine:  I’m starting to date. I plan to date more than one gentlemen at a time, I’m going to enjoy meeting lots of new people and I plan to take things very, very slowly.

I had a pretty good first date this weekend, in fact. By “good first date,” I mean we had coffee, a nice conversation and were both interested enough to have agreed to meet again, for lunch. We spent no more than an hour together and shook hands at the end. There was no instantaneous magic, no first-date kissing.

I’ve got a profile up on an online dating site (more on that later) and am sitting back and letting men contact me. I’m reading up on and learning more about dating — all those things that I never felt the need to do the first time around. It’s different now that I’m older, and I’d like to make more prudent decisions based on a more solid understanding of relationship dynamics.

There is a man I’m interested in. And by interested I mean that he’s my current high water mark among single men I’ve met…so far. (Should it be obvious that the high water mark is even higher if I count married male friends of mine? Should I accept that my standards are lower for single guys? Or is it normal, given that I haven’t observed these single guys in the role of husband and father which, were I able to observe this, might raise the bar?)

In any case, this single guy is smart, attractive, funny and has impeccable manners — and I feel incredibly feminine when I’m with him. This is not to say that he’s perfect. I like his humanity and candor, and I like that he’s trying to become a better human. I love feeling as though I could talk to him forever and not get bored, and I think he’ll make some lucky woman a wonderful companion one day. I’d like the opportunity to spend more time with him and explore the chemistry I feel when we’re together, but this is difficult as we live far apart. I sent him a casual, funny Valentine, yet I’ve no idea whether he thinks of me as anything more than a flirtatious friend.

Even so, I’m not waiting around for him to make a move…because with all this creating I’ve been doing, I know the universe may have someone even better in store for me. And even if I don’t expect any sort of Valentine today, a girl can always hope for next year!