Getting Clear About What You Want…What I Want

Okay, revisiting expectations for Mr. Right. 

Seems like I spent a lot of time doing this the last three years of my last marriage, but, things change, I’ve changed, and I guess I just need some time to take stock and revisit what I thought seemed so simple so many (4) years ago.

First off, I think it is a good idea to be very clear about what you want. 

When I think about how I want my home life to roll with kids, chores, schedules, behavior, conversation, routines, etc. I always have a very clear idea of what it is that I want it to look like when I’ve reached my goal.  I don’t think about what it looks like when I’m close.  I think about what it looks like when I’ve arrived.   So, for example, if my goal is that I should be able to go out to dinner with adult friends and come home to a clean, orderly home where young ones are in bed and old ones are doing their thing quietly and all messes are cleaned up and the house is not partially burned down, then this is what I envision as I seek to teach my children what my expectations are.  Keeping this vision in my head is what helps me guage whether or not I’ve attained what I originally sought.

Sadly, men are not children and the ones we are dating we cannot simply teach (at least not directly) the behaviors we desire.

So, we have to think about stuff a little bit differently. 

For example, we must be very clear…okay, drop the we, I must be very clear about what my idea of the ideal “Match” for me would be.

Sadly, after the thousands of hours of thinking about this and journaling and reflecting and dating and analyzing and tallying my point charts up and doing my pro’s and con’s lists, I’m no closer to nailing this one than I was when I started. 

Some tell me my expectations are unreasonable.

Others tell me, “Dont’ settle.  You deserve and are capable of choosing the very best for yourself.”  Whatever that means.

I don’t get it.  I know I screwed up big, twice in the past with marital mistakes.  I personally think this was due to letting other people navigate my course rather than me navigating it for myself, but I could be wrong.  I also think guilt, fear, shame and religious legalism played into my errors in a big way. 

So, now I am, once again, back to the drawing board, and for no other reason than to just make sure I’m still clear on exactly what it is I want.  I have no serious (some potential, but not really, probably, serious) contenders for my alliegiance for an exclusive relationship.  After my last little rendezvous with The Beau, I’m not so sure I’m going to jump right into an ‘exclusive’ dating relationship until I’ve revisited some of my priorities.  This is easier said than done.

Okay, so I’m going to make a stab at it.  I might not finish tonight but I’m just going to let it roll and see how far I get before I fall asleep at the keyboard.

First priority for meHe has to be “all that into me” AND I have to be “all that into him”.  This alone has been the dealbreaker for most relationships I’ve started, entertained, considered, met, whatever.  It usually doesn’t get much past this.  He’s either not that into me or he is and I’m not that into him. It has to be a mutual “into each other” thing. 

But how do you know when that happens?  Is this something you know immediately…or is it something you develop over time?  It’s a strange thing. 

Okay, look.  I’ve dated enough online to know that if you get to know someone in digital world, before you meet them in real face to face world, you can fall completely in love and ready to commit to forever with that person.  Then you meet them and you find you are not at all physically attracted to this wonderful person you met, conversed with and got to know digitally.  This is where digital world is problematic.  We can get to know the heart of someone really early on, and love it, but then later find out that the physical part of this person is simply not attractive to our physical part.  I know it sounds shallow but we are both physical and relational, emotional beings.  If we can’t connect physically…well…I don’t know.  Seems like a tough problem to resolve for me.

I know the physical aspect of relationship is important to me.  But I could no sooner tell you what I think that looks like than fly unassisted to the moon. I’m guessing my ideal type of guy is the quasi nerdy, professional, intellectual sort.  I don’t go for the Brad Pitt hotties.  I go for the bright, articulate, competent, I guess, nerds (but I don’t think of them that way).  But how do you describe any of that physically?

I know I like guys taller than me.  My issues, but, yeah, the guy has to be taller than me even when I’m wearing stilettos…or else…he has to be completely confident and lacking in small man’s disease if he is shorter than me.  Every woman wants to feel delicate and femine at some point, okay, maybe that’s just me, but being three feet taller than my guy and thinking of the idea of squashing him if I’m on top is not exactly a pretty thought…and I’m not a big woman…hopefully you get my drift here. 

There are some things that can work and there are some things that just won’t and in between there’s a huge playground of possibilities to explore.  How do you possibly nail down expectations on that one? 

If he’s into me AND I’m into him regardless of what we both look like I’m good.  However, I say that with the full expectation that he has to be attractive to me.

Priority Number 2:  He has to be attractive to me and I have to feel like I’m one sexy babe around him.  Not just sorta either.  I have to really want to, yeah, well, you know, make all his fantasies come true every night!  I couldn’t tell you what that looks like either.  I generally and pretty consistently fall for the tall, dark and handsome sort.  But that isn’t a hard and fast rule and they don’t always have to have brown eyes, but generally that’s been the trend for me.  However, a man with all the right personality and temperament and philosophical qualities housed in a blonde haired blue eyed body wouldn’t automatically be crossed off the list either.   On the flip side of this, if I get the feeling he just doesn’t get that turned on by my physical self, then it’s not going to be a go, because that will only inhibit me in the affection department.

Are you beginning to see how really difficult it can be to nail down one’s expectations for “The Perfect Match”?

Let’s talk about Priority Number 3: He has to have a sense of humor that isn’t constantly based on being funny at someone else’s expense. This one’s an easy one to determine.  If I’m falling out of my chair, tears streaming out of my eyes, and my guts hurt, yes, physically hurt, from the deep belly laughs this person emits from the depth of my tentative, frightened-to-express-myself little soul, then he’s definitely ont the short list for my undying affection.  If he’s droll, relies on canned humor exclusively and doesn’t get my quirky, weird sense of humor then we’ll probably both be unhappy together.

Okay, well, we got as far as my top three before I decided it was bedtime for me.  I’ve had an ultra long (though really wonderful) day and all the Valentine celebrating is taking its toll.  Plus, the weightlifting I did on my upper body yesterday is still giving me muscular reminders that it occurred. (Oh, yeah, I’m feeling the ball squats too!) 

Take your best shot.  What are the top three most important priorites for you in determining expectations for your “perfect match”?

Expectations, Schmecpectations

Alright, alright.  I give.  Expectations for the perfect match are important.  They are real.  We all have them and we all better be clear on what they are up front because they color our behavior toward our significant other in so many  ways.

I know I need to spend more time exploring this.

I also know I’ve already spent the last three years exploring this and, once again, the terrain is beginning to shift.  I need to revisit the topic.

But tonight, I’m a bit tired.  It is late and morning comes way too early on work days.  I need to get to bed.  But I will be back to fully address this topic in far more detail and intelletual capacity than I am currently able to provide.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Password Protected Posts

Okay, I put my first password protected post up and felt I should explain myself.  I may be using this feature a bit more frequently in the future for posts that I write that are truly for the purpose of me hashing out personal stuff with myself.  This might be stuff I would be tempted to bore my girlfriends to death with but shouldn’t for the sake of keeping them as my girlfriends,  so the protected post is like my own little dumping ground.  It’s not that I mind others reading it, but there are some I most definitely would not feel safe exposing everything to, so the password gives me the option to pick and choose who reads my innermost thoughts and struggles.  If my girlfriends choose to read it, then they may at their own risk, but definitely not their own peril.

More reasons I might password protect a post

  • It is about people I work with who could stumble across it and misunderstand.  Not good.
  • It is about my personal thoughts, questions, struggles, processing of events and experiences; the real raw stuff that I’m still working through and not finished with and I don’t want the world accusing me of being “needy, scary” or any number of things just because I’m struggling to sort through something and learn from it.  These type of posts will likely be very unfinished, disjointed, raw, random and conflicted and, well, the whole world just doesn’t need to see all that quagmire that I occasionally struggle with in the process of clarifying my own expectations of myself and my life and my relationships.
  • It is about someone I know and I can’t adequately alter the details enough to disguise the characters and story without doing damage to the heart of the experience, but I want to keep the story and still keep it anonymous.
  • I simply just don’t want everyone in the world reading it and in this case, I might not give out the password to anyone.

Why would I not give out the password to anyone?

Writing in this format helps me clarify my thoughts because I have a better sense of writing for purpose and audience (even if that audience is me) than I do in a paper journal or even a digital journal.  I also don’t have to worry about retrieving the material if my hard drive should crash.  In the end, the reason I started this blog, and the reason I continue it is for my purposes alone…not so much to pander to an audience…though at times…I do this too but not in the password protected posts. 

How do you get the password?

Leave a comment specifying which post(s) you want the password for and I’ll email it to you or if it is possible to email me from this site directly, do it and I’ll email you the password if I determine you are a fairly safe person for that particular post. 

Also, one password will not fit all the posts so just because you have the password for one post, doesn’t mean it will work for all posts.  (I don’t know if you can email me directly.  Can you?)

Houses or Playgrounds?

Short and to the point: The Beau is no longer “The Beau”.  (Surprise! Surprise!  Gasp!  Does that really surprise anyone? N0.  Didn’t think so.)

Don’t know how to quite explain all the details to myself, except to say that it was a mutual misunderstanding.  I can’t share really how things started declining from his perspective, only from mine, though he’s enlightened me through discussions over the last week.  And he makes some valid, very understandable points.  I only wish he’d shared where he was with all that a month ago when he began feeling that way.

Things with us started off really great.  Had they kept going really great, no doubt, I would not be writing this post.  Now mind you things weren’t going badly…they just kinda weren’t really going like they were before.  Sometime after the second weekend I went up to visit him I noticed a bit of a “pull back” from him.  It was slight and subtle but very, very perceptible to me.  Things like no longer reaching out to hold hands in the car when we went places, no (and I mean absolutely none, where before there had been plenty) physical affection other than a quick good-bye peck at the door as he left or I left.  Things like calling me really late at night after being on the phone with others (who were just friends, yes, but nonetheless female and not me).  Things like a reduction in the number of texts or other contacts in a day, making it feel a bit like he was just making the obligatory once a day phone call.  Things like simply not seeming as interested as he previously was.

Now, The Beau, is not, was not, a bad guy.  Something changed for him…or he saw something that gave him reason to pause.  Nothing at all wrong with that.  In fact, there is quite a bit about me that would give most people pause, not the least of which is 4 kids, a fixer house and a very tight budget and this blog.  I really have a problem with none of that.  It is totally understandable to me.  

We’d been dating about two months and he’s the one that mentioned not dating anyone else and taking off his profile from said dating sites.  I did not bring up this conversation…he did.   I guess I didn’t ask enough questions about what that meant for him.  I guess, maybe, that conversation was premature.  Maybe I misunderstood the seriousness of that kind of behavior.  To me that means, “I really want to focus on you.”  To him, well, I’m still not clear what he intended by even bringing up that conversation, but that’s okay too.  I don’t need to be clear on that.  It just didn’t appear to indicate a single purpose to him quite the same way it did to me or he thought better of it after he did it.  That’s alright too.  I just wish I’d understood all that before I stopped dating the four or five other very fine men, that I stopped seeing to date The Beau exclusively only to have The Beau get cold feet.  (j/k about the 5 guys, disappointed about the cold feet, but aware that it happens and am not losing sleep or wasting tears over it)

I guess the best analogy is this one:  “Are we building a house here or are we building a playground?”  My thinking is that the foundation for either of those endeavors is very different and you can’t exactly change projects midway, without some serious investment or strife or, at least some conversation.  Both of them serve their purpose and are wonderful projects.  Really, I don’t care which one it is, but if he wants the house and I’m thinking playground or vice versa things can and will get weird, misunderstandings happen, communication begins to miss and, well, feelings get hurt.  Further, if  both begin with the understanding that a house is to be built and the other changes what they are building without telling his partner, things can be really messed up and strange. None of that bothers me, it’s called relationship.  This is why human beings were given the gift of speech, so we could address these misunderstandings.  (P.S. I know the analogy is weak and flawed, but it worked for us and it helped us both understand each other better, so I’m going with it.)

I thought he wanted the house (no the house does not equal marriage, LTR or anything other than a mere exclusive dating relationship and the interested behavior to match…there are never ever any guarantees, I know this.  Yes, the playground does equal the non-exclusive, let’s just have fun and be friends casual dating kind of thing).  He probably did want the house for a couple of weeks there, maybe a month, but then had second thoughts and he backed off to the playground project, which is fine with me or maybe he found another house or playground he’d rather explore a bit more.  Only problem was, he didn’t tell me about it.  Well, yes, he did, just not with words.  That’s okay too. I was able to figure it out, pretty accurately without the words. Maybe I’m getting better at reading that nonverbal stuff more accurately. I don’t know. This time hearing the words only confirmed what I already knew several weeks ago was true. 

I guess I just don’t play the game well.  I’d rather have a guy just say “I’m not that into you” than to waste my time pretending he is in an effort to avoid hurting my feelings.  Cowardly as it is, even going silent is a bit more honest than continuing a game that one simply isn’t sure they want to play.  I won’t waste time (and it is a waste of time if  someone is not being completely honest and candid with the other person) spending time being with a person I really like who’s kinda sorta not sure he’s that into me. 

Now, true, it’s not like I’m the only consideration here.  I know that.  I come with a lot of  “baggage”.  I prefer to refer to it as responsibility, but face it, kids, fixer, finances, two ex’s—yuck, it’s just baggage to most people, no matter how neatly folded and tucked away it may be. (That reality does make me very sad sometimes, but I can’t fix any of that, so I just feel sad for a bit, then get up and forge ahead.  I mean really, what are my alternatives?)  He’s got lots to consider before making any serious commitments where I’m concerned, but I am not even remotely talking about that nor was I even remotely expecting it.  I just wondered how come he no longer wanted to hold my hand, be with me as much or he preferred talking to others instead of me.  I’m just talking about enjoying spending time together and it seemed to me that somewhere along the line, that changed for him. It seemed really, like he was no longer as interested in being with me and that I was not as attractive to him anymore.  It changed for me only because it changed for him.  My feelings for him and my attraction to him never dimmed or wavered.  I’m just not willing to be in a place where I feel less than desirable, like I don’t quite do it for him, or where I’m just not all that big of a deal to him. 

So, that’s where it stands.  My understanding has been cleared up about what his intention is and where he stands with me (the words now match the behavior)  and, to be very honest, I’m relieved.  No one enjoys feeling like the person they are with is just not all that excited anymore about being with them. 

So, Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

Valentine’s Day Babysitting Shortage

The closest I'll get to a Valentine this year
The closest I'll get to a Valentine this year

Well, let’s see.  How does a single 40-somethin’ woman talk about Valentine’s Day?  I guess I could say I will end up getting at least 33 Valentines.  Sadly, they will be from people far younger than I.  All of them adore me and think the world of me, and I can’t really ask for much more than that.  

However, in adult world, I will be sitting at home enjoying Valentines with a very special 8-year-old.  Yeah, I did get invites out.  More that one, that’d be plural.  Actually worked really hard to try to find babysitting for the 8-year-old, but after about the 5th attempt, I decided, I simply didn’t want to try anymore.  Now the person I am trying to get the babysitting arranged for will feel as though I am really not that into him and I will have to explain and if he understands that I just can’t feel good about leaving my sweet child with just any old stranger (I feel kinda weird leaving her anyway, stranger or no) then things will be fine.  If he doesn’t understand, then I guess another one bites the dust.  I’ve exhausted all my options and I just refuse to leave my child with someone she doesn’t know so I can go out and have dinner with a nice man and all his friends and their wives/girlfriends. 

This is where it all feels bad.  He’s not going to be able to go out with his friends and their significant others without being the odd man out.  I’m not going to be able to go and feel good since all five of the folks I usually call on to babysit are unavailable, including my own two older children.  On an adult level, in one way, probably one very minor and insignificant way, really, this just doesn’t feel good.  I hate letting people down like this. It’s not likely he’s going to be aware of how difficult it really is to get a babysitter on Valentine’s Day and will likely view it as a cop out on my part, which it won’t be, but it won’t matter. When no familiar babysitters are available, I feel so much like I’m abandoning my child. I’ve paid for a babysitter for her once over the last year.  I just don’t ever go out when my kids are with me. But…it is Valentine’s Day and, well….I should have known it was going to be the most difficult day of the year to arrange babsitting.  Even if someone didn’t have plans, for them to admit it would be a bit like them admitting they are a loser and have no life (j/k).

No matter how hard it will be to call tomorrow and say, “Hey, I’m sorry it just isn’t going to work out, blah, blah, blah”, nothing is worth my little girl’s security and happiness.  She’s absolutely my favorite Valentine.  I won’t mind for a minute spending time with her.  I only wish I’d remembered how difficult babysitters are to find on Valentine’s to begin with and said no before saying yes.

More From The Friendship Files: Another Near Death Experience

I missed half a day at work yesterday.  Not true.  I missed half a day in my classroom because I was pulled out for a regional training.  It was a Very Good Regional Training and I am so much the better teacher and employee now for it. I actually ended up working two and a half extra hours without compensation,  just for the privilege of saying I received this Very Good Regional Training. However, it would have to happen on the day that my assistant and friend, previously referred to as “ReGifting Friend” experienced another near death experience.  It was rather exciting, she actually did almost die and they called the paramedics and everything.  Tons of cool drama.  Sorry I missed it.  I experienced nothing quite so exciting or adrenaline boosting as that in my Very Good Regional Training. 

When I returned to work today, there was ReGifting Friend, cute and skinny as ever.  Her near death experience certainly didn’t add any stress pounds to her body.  She told me the story and, like most of her stories, it is definitely worth retelling here.

At lunch, it seems ReGifting Friend was eating her very healthy low cal (that’s why she’s skinny) salad with cherry tomatoes on it.  In one particular bit, seems a fiesty tomato got a bit excited and decided to jump down her throat. Well, being the obstinate tomato that it was, it lodged right there in her throat.  It wouldn’t move up, it wouldn’t move down. 

ReGifting Friend definitely exhibited all the signs of a choking individual, the most notable being she could not talk and she was turning blue.  Two others in the staff room with her tried the Heimlich maneuver on her.  They were not successful.  Well, as we all know the human body cannot function well for very long without air and ReGifting Friend had exceeded that point.  She was quite aware that if something didn’t happen in just seconds she would be blacking out and in serious trouble. 

In those few brief seconds before she passed out, ReGifting Friend remembers thinking, “Oh My God.  I’m going to die right here at the school my children attend the very week of my daughter’s birthday.”

Dying.

At a place your children have to revisit daily. 

During week for your family that is usually celebratory and not sad.

ReGifting Friend’s last thoughts before she went unconscious were not of her own well being or even fear of dying.  It was for her kids and how they would be impacted, not just temporarily but in weeks, days and years to come.  This is the friend I’ve come to call ReGifting Friend.  Like the Energizer Bunny she does keep giving and giving… and going and going.

The fiesty tomato was downed with one final thrust just below the sternum.  ReGifting Friend’s airways were clear and she was still, though only barely, conscious.  A few minutes later she was fine and laughing about the mishap but later weeping about the impact of what she thought may have been her final moments. 

She goes on to tell humorously of the 5 buff paramedics who walked in and would not leave until they checked her out completely.  (Yeah, uh huh.  I only wish I’d been there to see that! I do miss all the fun!)

Later that day, my youngest who had to go home with ReGifting Friend for the afternoon while I was at that Very Good Regional Training bounced up to her and said, “Hey!  Did you hear?  Somebody almost died at school today!  The paramedics were here.”  ReGifting Friend just laughed. 

More than 24 hours later when she told me the story, ReGifting Friend’s eyes welled up with tears again as she remembered those thoughts of dying before the tomato was dislodged.

And I ask you…what would you want your last thoughts in this life to be?

How Can A Woman Be Sure?

You know, much has been said about how men and women see the world differently, especially when it comes to dating.  I’m just wondering, since I am female, how I can know for sure that a man is really into me.  I mean, what specific things should I be able to rely on in terms of his behavior, attitudes, words, etc. that let me know he is into me or he is not sure he’s into me or he’s not into me?  Sometimes I think women read things differently than men intend.  I just want to know…how can I tell if he is really interested, or not so much?

Any thoughts?  Guys, please don’t hesitate to respond.  Your words here could be golden.

Demise of the Fairy Tale

Ahhh, infatuation, passion, romance…love!  The fairy tale everyone seeks…the nightmare many experience after the “I Do’s” are said.  The truth of the matter is the relationship before marriage is carefree, romantic and, yes, dreamier, than it often turns out when reality hits.  This is the shock many face when the fairy tale crumbles and deteriorates:

Vodpod videos no longer available. Okay, so life and romance don’t always crack up to be what we hope or expect when we enter in.  However, this is not to say that things can’t be very, very good in spite of the garbage that life can throw at us and that we heap upon ourselves with our own insecurities, weaknesses, and stuff.

I think, if two people can be realistic enough about how life can really zap the romance and passion out of a relationship and if they can remain focused on the good things while still working to improve the less than ideal things, then maybe, maybe they will weather the storms of life and the natural progression of romance from something passionately fiery to something deeper, more settled and completely secure for both people.  That is, if something completely secure can occur.  I think many mistake the transition from fiery passion to a settled deeper love as a loss of love rather than a transition to something better, deeper, finer than what the first relationship could contain.

I know I’m looking for that first passionate relationship that is fiery, exciting and fun, but I’m also long past the days of believing that a good stable long term relationship will stay this passionate, exciting way forever.  I believe it evolves into something deeper, richer, more fullfilling and wonderful than any romantic passion could do alone.  Yet, it is not without romance and passion.  It is just that the nature of the romance and passion have changed.  The relationship beocmes deeper, richer and far, far more meaningful that the first romantic involvement was.  It is the glance across the table at dinner when my kids are squabbling and he squelches the riff raff effectively without excalating the tension.  It is the brief touch at the counter as the dishes are being cleaned up, indicating “I’ll be there for you later.  Meet me at 10 in our room.”  It is collapsing in bed after a grueling and discouraging day, too exhausted to move and finding the energy to say physically, “I love you, no matter how tired I am.” It his him returning the favor in ways that are meaningful me that might be tests of sheer endurance for him.  It is simply knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are good for him and he is so very good for you and that together the two of you are better than either of you ever were apart. It is knowing that he has your back and you have his…no matter what. 

The fairy tale doesn’t exactly look the same after 5, 10, 15, 20 years of marriage.

I think it is even better than most can even imagine. 

The deal is, it just doesn’t happen by accident. 

more about “Hulu – Saturday Night Live: Aladdin“, posted with vodpod

It Appears I’m The One Going Silent This Time…Sorta

A short post tonight.  I’m tired.   I still have a ton to do before tomorrow, when I can hop in the car and travel 90 minutes north for my mini-vacation of sorts with The Beau.  We have plans to relax (I’ll probably collapse) Friday evening.  Knowing him, he’ll cook for me, I’ll eat, we’ll talk till wee hours of the morning (yeah, right). 

Saturday morning, he’s cleaning his garage, I’m going to grade papers.

Saturday afternoon it is a wine pairing session at our winery.  That will be fun.  I will actually be able to talk intelligently about something I know nothing about afterward.  Okay…I am becoming such the wine snob.  Not!  However, it is true.  I now know the difference between a $15 bottle of wine and a $6 bottle of wine.  And the $30 bottle?  Oh my! 

Then Saturday evening I do believe we have a concert he’s lined up.  I really like not having to be the one to come up with ideas for stuff all the time.  I dated one guy recently and he couldn’t make a decision if his life depended upon it.  I’m a pretty decisive person most of the time, but that one wore me out.  I was actually glad he went silent.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be dating someone who is somewhat imaginative, creative and, yes, takes the initiative, oh, wait, and he communicates too.  Wow.  What a concept. 

I’m going to be behind on laundry when I get back, but…it will be worth it. 

Okay, I have to go.  I’m tired.  I have a big day tomorrow.  I probably won’t post much this weekend…for obvious reasons.  Ha!Ha!  It appears I’ll be the one going silent this time.  Okay, but I warned you in advance and it isn’t indefinitely.  So don’t be too unhappy.  I will be back with stories to tell. 

Sorry for the rambling, disjointed post, but I’m about ready to fall off this chair.  I’m going to be surprised if I reread this and there are less than a dozen typos.  I’m really that exhausted.

Sanity, Syndromes, Phenomenons…Conclusions

I’ve gone on and on, ad nauseum, about what I call “The Going Silent” phenomenon.  Just as a refresher, I do not consider it going silent when you’ve emailed a couple of times, maybe met once, or had a phone call or two and then silence.  I call that phenomenon, The Never Getting The Thing Off The Ground Phenomenon.  The Going Silent Phenomenon is the thing that occurs after a relationship is airborn and some emotional intimacy, probably even some physical intimacy has developed and suddenly one or the other of the two people draw way, way back or they disappear altogether.  I still believe and will always believe that The Going Silent Phenomenon is simply cowardice.  Somebody got in too far and couldn’t get out courageously or without looking like a complete shit,  so they just disappeared. 

 There is a less severe form of this same phenomenon in existence though.  It’s called the You’re-The-Best-Thing-I’ve-Got-Going-Right-Now-But-If- Something-Better-Comes-Along-I’m-Outta-Here Syndrome .  Another equally disconcerting malaise is the “I’m Just Not Sure How I Feel About You” quandary.  In each unappealing dating situation one partner is more vested than the other and is unable to see clearly the writing on the wall of the relational dynamics.  I’ve been there.  I know deep down when I’m dealing with just such a situation.  I’ve never been inaccurate when I suspected one of these situations existed.  I just didn’t always like being honest with myself about it.  Now, I know that both these situations occur with men and women, but since I’m female I want to address this situation from the perspective of the female being more vested than the male or when the guy goes silent or keeps her at arm’s distance. Again, I recognize it happens both ways, but for the ease of me sorting things out for me, I am going to address it from my particular point of view.

Here are some conclusions that I’ve arrived at after recent  life events, dating experiences and being the victim (and, yes, sometimes the perpetrator)  of several of these Phenomenons and Syndromes.

Conclusion 1:  I do ultimately hope to be part of a rewarding, enriching, fulfilling and vital intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex in spite of my quickly advancing years on this earth.  (Okay, the aging thing was said tongue in cheek).

Conclusion 2: If this does not happen for me, I will, feel like I’ve missed out on one of life’s greatest joys and adventures.

Conclusion 3:  If this does not happen for me, I will still have a great, fulfilling, rewarding and exciting life because I will still have many of the adventures I hope to have and meet many of the people I still haven’t met yet that I will ultimately come to know and love as dear friends, colleagues, children-in-law, and grandchildren. 

Conclusion 4:  I’m not going to waste time in situations when I know they are not moving  me closer to my relational goals.  In other words, I’m no longer willing to just pass time in an okay relationship when I know it isn’t going to be the relationship.  I didn’t really do this before, but I’m writing it here to remind myself to stay on that track and never veer from it.

Conclusion 5:  He’s just absolutely got to be crazy about me and I need to know it.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time or energy on the “I’m Not Sure” thing or the “Stay Out Here At Arm’s Distance” thing.

Conclusion 6: Going Silent or Cutting The Engines when the relational jet is airborne is a non-negotiable dealbreaker for me.

Conclusion 7:  I can’t even believe I have to say this,  but I’ve modified my stance on “They’re okay to date if the divorce is filed but not yet final”.  I’ve concluded, after more hard knocks and disappointments in this area than I care to admit, that I won’t date anyone who doesn’t have a signed judgement.  It’s just the emotional equivalent of treading water incessantly.  Too exhausting for me and I have nothing left over for the people in my life who really are available and who do desire my companionship and friendship and love.

So, what brought all that on?  Well, nothing really.  Things are pretty up for me now and life is busy, hectic, demanding like it usually is.  Things are really looking better and better for me here in post-divorce world.  I know I’m not going under and while life isn’t perfect, it continues to improve daily for me.  I’m happy and content.  Sometimes I feel down and blue and miserable and tired, but that doesn’t mean life still isn’t very, very good.  It’s just that I’ve been kind of rolling this stuff over and over in my mind for the last year and thought I’d put it out there more as a means of clarifying my own position to myself.  (Things tend to get muddy and murky in the heat of the battle otherwise.)

There are times, though, when some distantly related thought comes blistering into your conscious because of some benign comment or statement someone makes and instantaneously the unrelated connects you to something else and something else again and the entire thing (whatever that “thing” is) crystallizes for you.  That happened to me today.  Nothing big or earth shattering or anything.  It was just a funny little comment, meant mostly tongue-in-cheek probably, but it had that crystallizing effect on me.  The comment was made on my other blog in response to my post Time To Buck Up.  Sanityinthenorthwest was actually the inspiration for that post and his comment became the crystallizing force for this post. 

So, here’s what  Sanity sanely said:

I will stick by my comment that men will jump through many hoops just to get hugs and kisses at the end of the day. I am sticking by it because I see men jumping through hoops every day just to get some hottie to adore them. If the guys you are hanging around aren’t doing that for you, toss them to the curb.

That’s the third time in the last month a man has given me that advice.  Something in my gut resonates with his statements about men jumping through hoops.  In looking back at my own conclusions and convictions, I have to admit, on this one, I think Sanity is spot on. 

And that brings me to Conclusion 8:  I am going to follow Sanity’s advice.