Just practice

I’m not much in the frame of mind for writing deep shareable content right now…my serious thoughts are probably better kept in my journal for the moment.  However, in the midst of chaos, there have been some funny little adventures.  Because I just NEED to write and share, I’ve opted to enhance your lives with one of those funny little adventures….

I’m a single Momma.  I date.  I have had a couple of serious relationships, lots of fun and here I am…still dating.  My life is amazingly beautiful and full…still I have a longing for something?  Someone?  I don’t know.  I mean, I really adore people.  Men are people.  I have great fondness for men…this is fairly new knowledge to me.  They smell good, they generally have deeper voices than I do, just like everyone else…they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The vast differences in men and women intrigue me.  (That’s not meant to be a controversial statement, it’s just my perception and truth).  Anyway.,…I try to be open on each date unless someone is just a total creep…because at the very least, I usually make a new friend. 💑

I tell you this just so that my attitude toward dating is a little more comprehensive.  There’s a whole book to be written on all that is inside of my heart and mind on these adventures; for now…I just want to share the tale of one recent date.  I have told a few people about this date and truly, no harm toward the guy.  He was super sweet.  Just an awkward evening.😯

First, I really wanted to click with this guy…alot.  He had the sexiest phone voice ever, deep and soothing and he always called me Darlin’.  Man!  That country drawl.  Our conversations went on for over a month, they were easy and playful.  He seemed intelligent, sane, safe and creative.  What was not to like?🤷‍♀️

He drove about two hours for our date, which I sincerely appreciated.  We had decided to meet at a local coffee shop, he was about 20 minutes late because he had gotten lost.  Totally understandable and he was in touch the whole time.  So…he comes in and stands at the door.  I see that he is much smaller in stature than his description, still quite attractive and nicely put together.  Somewhere along the line, I have veered away from smaller guys (I’m not being icky or rude, it might be that I choose someone opposite of my ex) but I reminded myself to stay open. Also, his in person voice was absolutely NOTHING like his phone voice.  That’s okay…was just one of several ‘surprises’. ☕️

I waved at him and he came over.  We shared a brief hug and sat at the table.  For about 10 minutes, we talked and not once would he look up and make eye contact.  He expressed  being extremely nervous.  His being nervous was making me nervous..I totally get that anxiety and desperately wanted to put him at ease.  None of my tricks were working. 🧚‍♀️

Thus…I put on my ‘therapist hat’ and asked him gently to tell me what he was feeling most nervous about.  He replied, “I’m just worried that I won’t meet your expections.”  Ugh.  I already had the feeling in my tummy that this wasn’t a good fit and at the same time, he was so gentle and sincere…and still not making any eye contact.  I finally just asked if he would please look at me.  I expected a shy look, and again, I totally get that shyness! 👀

Instead, I was super surprised!  He looked right into my eyes and told me they were beautiful.  I thanked him.  Before I could blink, he put his hands firmly on either side of my face, pulled me toward him, got close enough to touch noses, and then put my hair behind my ears, one side a time.  I was a bit taken aback by his sudden courage and unexpected ‘gesture’.  I am not sure what my expression was…I’m sure it said it all!  My poker face stinks. I asked him if there was something in my hair.  He said ‘no’, he just remembered that I liked my hair put behind my ears. 😯

I wasn’t really sure where that thought of his originated from and pondered it for days after.  The only thing I could figure out is at one point, we had discussed favorite scenes from movies.  I had mentioned that in “The Notebook”, I think there was a time Noah brushed hair out of Allie’s face when they were young and again when they were old.  I love this because it reminded me of loving gestures I observed between my mom and dad during the process of Dad’s Alzheimer’s. 🤗

Beautiful gesture in context.  🙄

This was not in context.  Nope.  Nuh uh.  Nada. 😳

Anyway…right back to the nervous no eye contact soon after.  Movie and dinner followed.  Not a good idea to go to a movie on this first date.  I spent lots of time maintaining invisible physical barriers and squirming because he would literally cover my eyes at any adult humor or cursing.🤦‍♀️

Dinner was nice’ish, with more eye contact and far more relaxed.  He was so open with his story and amazingly good hearted, I really believe this.  He also gagged a few times during dinner because of his weak stomach.  I don’t mean gag on food, I mean gag while he was telling me stories that still caused him distress.  Puke 🤮

Then…he was quite focused on discussing the upcoming kiss we would share at the end of the evening.  I, on the other hand, was focused on how to politely fend that gesture off.  💋 🛑

As we drove back to my car, I thought through how I was going to quickly hug him, say thank you, and move out!  I was distracted from my thoughts by his constant sudden slamming on of his breaks…the traffic made him nervous.  Again…I get it BUT by now I’m feeling like I just wanna go home, safely. ✋ 🏡

We stopped at my car and I probably moved as far away as I could without trying to be ugly.  I thanked him for dinner and told him that my own stomach was feeling unwell.  A quick hug ensued with one arm and I had my other hand on the door handle.  I did ask him to text when he was home safely. 🤗 🥴

“Hey Sarah, I’m home.  You don’t have to worry, your body language said it all.  I still think you are a fantastic lady.”  Seriously, so sweet.  I thanked him again, and breathed a sigh of relief.  Just good to be home.  Still, I feel like a piece of 💩. A💩 who is working hard at keeping a strong sense of humor about this whole journey!

A good reminder for self…just because someone is good does not mean they are good for me.  It’s all good practice, right?  In the meantime, most of the practice is fun and there are really good players on the field.  ⚾️ 🏈 🏀 🎾 🏌️‍♀️ ⚽️ 🏉

The adventure continues….❤️

 

 

 

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Today’s dating fun…

Lots of crack me up, are you for real messages and happenings lately in the on line dating world… The struggle is real!

I’m going to start saving them to share and to “remember when?” Lol!!

1). How would you like a firefighter?

2). (Another) I’m married and she doesn’t know I’m here, but…

3). He: “Who is Anaïs Nin?”

Me: “A French American writer that I really enjoy.”

He: “interesting”

Me: “how so?”

He: “because it is. I think we need no further contact.”

4) I was overwhelmed with a man’s depth of questioning and let him know kindly that I felt we might not be a good match and wished him the best. He asked if my use of the word “might” indicated a possible hope. I gently repeated myself and after a few more emails, I blocked him.

He got back online with a new profile name and asked if I’d reconsider. The best part…he took my profile name and combined it with his for a new name. I did tell him I found that a little disconcerting before I asked him to please refrain from reChing out to me again.

The worst part…I’m assuming he is well intentioned and maybe just socially awkward and actually considered meeting him.

Reminder: counseling shall be my profession and not my dating life.

5). I received this message from someone I likely won’t meet (far away) but his message was a great little God kiss that I really needed to hear.

Status Single

If I were to be interviewed tonight regarding my thoughts on dating, men and myself, I might be banned from opening my mouth again. Or maybe my words would reverberate a familiar tune to those walking a similar path.

There is a linguistic dance party in my brain and the words all seem to be dancing to a different tune.

I have been officially divorced for about a year and a half. I was legally separated for about a year and a half before that. To clarify, this was a first divorce after an 18 year first marriage (23 years together). I had never planned on a divorce and I am not sure what I think about another marriage. I do know that I never want another divorce. Ever.

The only reason I share this is to say that other than my ex-husband, I really had no experience dating. I had experience partying in college, but I am not of the opinion that this is the same as grown up dating. Furthermore, after an 18 year marriage, I came out knowing (mostly) how to be a wife…not how to date. Vast differences.

I find the quote in my picture quite funny. Although, in all honesty, I sleep on one side of the bed always. My side. It’s been “my side” for over half my life. I guess I’m still saving a spot for someone. I also stand under only one of my two shower heads when I shower, though I turn them both on. Again…Saving a spot. Oh the subtle ways we humans express the unspoken and maybe even unrealized is intriguing. Ironic.

I thought I wanted to date soon after our separation. My first ‘date’ was with a dear, dear long time friend. We had a lovely evening of wine, music and deep conversation. He kissed me…twice. The first time I cried. The second time I laughed uncontrollably. These were not the lips I had kissed for the last 23 years and I felt like a cheater. I have apologized to him a multitude of times.

If I remembered how to contact them, I would apologize to the men that took me out during that 3 or 4 month period of time. I would tell them that I was sorry for talking about nothing but my dissolved marriage and my children and to please not take it personal that I couldn’t wait to dash out the door after dinner. Oh…and that I appreciated them offering to walk me to my car but the thought of them trying to kiss me made me vomit in my mouth (but not to take it personal).

Obviously, I wasn’t ready to date. It just took a few dates to let that solidify.

Fast forward to post official divorce and I was in a different place. I was actually ready to explore the world of men (whom I found terrifying). Online dating was my means of exploration. I started, tentatively, soon after the papers were signed. It was not long before I went out for drinks with a really nice guy. One thing led to another and the date lasted until morning. I woke up, and I wanted him to leave. There was an obligatory kiss goodbye, a few nice little follow up texts and I’ve not spoken to him since. I think of him figuratively as the guy who broke the seal. Nothing less, nothing more.

Initially, overwhelmed with guilt, I immediately went to my best friend’s house and told her all about it. I can’t remember…I think I cried at her house that morning.

I had moved one step further away from my broken marriage and I knew it.

There was such a sense of freedom, even among the sadness. I had no regrets.

Soon after, I met the man with whom I would spend the next 9 months. I thought I loved him. I did love him. We experienced things together that I had never experienced. It was exhilarating, until it wasn’t. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a very wounded soul who would’ve destroyed me had I not gotten out when I did.

I’m thankful for my time with him…it grew me up immensely in a short amount of time. There is a broken piece inside of me that still misses him at times, but I know better than to ever delve back into that world.

I had one other relationship for about 3 months. This one was with a super special gentleman that I wronged in the end. I will always treasure those three months and hope that he finds the love of his life because he is incredibly deserving.

Lesson learned…there are titanic size differences in boys and men and age does not define manhood.

Intermittently, I have dated men that I have met online. There have been some fabulous friends made, many first dates, a few that I dated several weeks, a couple of disappearing acts and yes, one or two ickies.

I’ve listened to more Matthew Hussey and Single Smart podcasts than anyone ever should, really!

I have learned terms I never knew I’d need to know during this process.

I’ve been “breadcrumbed” And “benched”, maybe even “cushioned”. The trouble is, sometimes it takes me longer than I’d like to understand this is the case (games suck). I’ve “ghosted” (only once bc he freaked me out) and I’ve been ghosted. “Micro-cheating” feels macro and isn’t cool. “Love bombing” is real. “FWB” is fun’ish until it’s not. “Hi” is supposed to open the doors to a world of fascinating goodness but never feels sufficient.

Some people are able to convey a much broader range of emotions through emojis than they’d ever express in word and deed. For real. 😉🤔🙄😜😇😈💋🔥❤️ and I won’t even get started on the produce emojis!

Here’s a great little link if you’d rather read than experience the terms. (Or perhaps you’ll choose both. I got ya!😉) https://bestlifeonline.com/online-dating-terms-older-people-dont-know/

A bit of personal wisdom I’ve collected through my “research”…

  1. The dating culture online is fast moving and it’s not uncommon to get ‘real familiar’ with each other quickly. I think it’s something about the false safety of technology.
  2. Kissing is superfun and men are supercool. Seriously, I like them way more than I ever knew…not so terrifying after all. Also, a kiss can just be a kiss. It is not a covenant. Seriously.
  3. The range of wants is on a spectrum. Imagine one end is raw, uninhibited sex for a couple of hours and the other is deep, intimate connection for a lifetime. EVERYTHING FALLS IN BETWEEN . I must be clear about what I want in any given situation. Even better if the other party is clear you. I am learning all about what I want through an experiential training in my own life. Honestly, it’s often confusing and I don’t know what to do but feel it out and absorb the experience.
  4. Some can be intensely overwhelming the first few interactions…block them. As a matter of fact, block anyone who gives you any sense of the heebie jeebies, without regrets. No fixer uppers needed.
  5. Dating can be fun. It can also be exhausting and feel like being on a continual interview. Take a break when a break is needed and enjoy it fully when that’s what is needed.
  6. Dignity, honesty, respect, safety, boundaries, and a sense of humor…absolute necessities in my world.
  7. It’s lovely to be treated like a lady and it’s just as lovely to enjoy the company of a gentleman. I love my girlfriends but it’s simply not the same. Men smell good (hopefully), they feel good and they are just enjoyable to be around in a different way.
  8. I am a little bit old fashioned in some ways and a little bit ahead of my time in others. That’s okay. Just gotta be me.
  9. Someone does not have to be evil to not be good for me.
  10. I don’t have to be evil not to be good for someone else.

I told my best friend today, I would love to just date one person but I don’t really want a relationship yet. She asked exactly what I meant. I let her know that I wanted one someone to do fun things with; talk deeply with; someone to take me out; someone to kiss and snuggle and all the other stuff. She asked how this was not a relationship. Why? Simply because I said so.

I let another close friend know pretty much the same thing the other day. But I added that I wanted to be seen and appreciated for who I was; I wanted to see and appreciate the other person for who they are and I wanted to really love and cherish each other.

Currently, some part of me still goes toward and connects to those who likely won’t be my long term partner. I seem to unconsciously be drawn to the men that fit lots of my criteria but not the part that includes love and cherish in the intimate, forever sense. It’s tough…commitment is fleeting and vulnerability is rare.

In this arena; A grown up kid enjoying the playground and also knowing she yearns for her own “When Harry Met Sally” kind of everlasting love….that is me.

Until then…The journey is mine to embrace. Me learning to love myself fully is my assignment.

That’s a lot.❤️