Lucky Enough

I’ve been writing this blog now for over a year. It’s been about my journey through online dating and relationships in the latter part of my fifties.
I’ve chronicled my dating adventures covering the humorous to the painful and what I’ve hopefully learned along the way. It truly has been one of the most profound and ultimately beneficial experiences of my life. I had come to realize, about four years ago–rather to my surprise–that having a deep and meaningful and HEALTHY relationship was one of the things I really wanted most. I wanted to finally get it right and experience having someone solidly in my corner, loving, affectionate, responsible, funny and knowable (or as knowable as one human can be to another.)

I had spent a good part of my life getting relationships from close to right to really close to awful. I very often couldn’t figure out what I was doing that contributed to the awful or just not right parts and was determined to figure it out once and for all. I also had spent way too much time trying to figure out why HE did what he did, why HE thought what he thought and how I could magically make it all better. I apparently was under the false impression I had superpower abilities and could change another’s thoughts and behavior.

I had learned from a very early age that somehow I had been given the responsibility of making everyone in the universe happier and healthier–I guess the Caped Crusader role came with my family’s territory. I think this is not an uncommon role for children to be given–so early that we don’t even see it as anything but integral to who we are and how we are to be in the world. It can take a lifetime to realize that the ability to make someone happy for the rest of their life is MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and we’ll always be doomed to failure. If they haven’t discovered a way to find contentment, peace and SOME happiness on a regular basis by the time they hit their fifties–trust me–you aren’t going to miraculously change that scenario.

I don’t mean that all of us will be in a state of bliss all the time. We often are in challenging situations, upsetting circumstances and just generally dealing with all that life can throw at us. But in the midst of all of this, working towards balance, loving acceptance of your own and another’s human weaknesses AND feeling gratitude for what is good in your life is hugely important. More studies are being done all the time to try to quantify what makes people happy: is it money–and how much money–health, family, friends, job, parenthood–what does it take for us to feel pretty good about ourselves and our life?

Turns out our relationships with others; lovers, family, friends and even co-workers play a huge role, feeling a part of a larger community and feeling like we are contributing in some meaningful way, factor in as well.
One of the other findings is that people over 60 generally rate themselves happier than people under 60—apparently many of us have learned to lighten up and go easier on ourselves and others–which are yet more ways people find peace and occasionally happiness. Feeling LUCKY ENOUGH: gratitude for WHAT WE HAVE, not what we don’t have is BIG.

My next (and possibly last) post will be about how I found what I was looking for–and how it just keeps getting better and better…

About Love and Romance

Creepy, scary guy was a good reminder that I had let down my guard and gotten too complacent about having effective exit strategies in place when first meeting someone new. I’ve covered various ideas as have many others–the main thing is to learn them and USE them each and every time. Fortunately, after only one nasty email, C.S.G. disappeared from my life–but in checking recently–he hasn’t disappeared from online dating–so girls, keep alert and if anyone tells you he really likes living in a RV in the woods instead of a house or apartment–step away from the computer…

My next adventure was with a man who had one of the most extensive and effusive lines of total and utter b.s. I’d ever heard. Perhaps I needed to have one last dating experience with someone who expressed undying love for me within 2 weeks of meeting me—to really bring the whole dating experience full circle. It had started out that way, my first online romance–such a heady, confirming appreciation of ME–not something I had experienced in a very long time and it felt so GOOD. This should be conjuring up an image of the cracked hard baked desert floor–and then the spring rain coming with flowers blooming magically all around–that’s what it felt like…

Of course, it ended badly–he really was a little crazy as it turns out–but a much needed learning experience for me. I thankfully had become somewhat more wary of ‘instant romance’ or “instamacy’ as my friend puts it, which was a very good thing. As time went by and multiple dating adventures, I became more aware of why I had needed this and that I STILL was very susceptible to this kind of faux-romance. However, KNOWING this and actually REACTING with wisdom and commonsense was still something I apparently needed to work on….

So along came Lars who after a few dates was sure that I was “the love of his life” and all that was good in the universe. He wanted to know everything about me (heady stuff), take me wonderful places and show me how important I was to him–and all of this in about 2 weeks. You think I would have had the sense to remember my first mad-romantic-to-the-max guy–but no, you’d be wrong. At least not as quickly as I should have. I think I needed to have one last whirl on the stupid-go-round, get thoroughly dizzy and nauseated before finally letting this romantic illusion GO.

Trying to understand the difference (and even if there was one) between ROMANCE and LOVE has occupied a good part of my reflections and I believe I’m not alone in this past-time… We are inundated with ROMANCE in our culture, not just the hearts and flowers fluff but the story lines of “bad boy, after finally being dumped by girlfriend, learns how much he needs and loves her, repents and is perfect forever after” or the Heathcliff type: depressed, moody, major anger management issues, finds love and turns into the happy teddy bear–but is still smoldering hot…. REALLY??? Is that how it works in real life?? I’d welcome anyone writing in to let me know of this happening to them–no Urban Legends please.

More about my growing understanding of what LOVE and ROMANCE means to me….

Enter Scary Creepy Guy

Well I guess it had to happen sooner or later–at least that’s something most of us assume when trying online dating. The fact that over a year and a half had passed without one scary, creepy guy showing up I think is somewhat reassuring but perhaps I was getting a little too complacent…. His photo looked interesting as did his profile, he was just a few years older, had grown children and was long time divorced, thereby meeting a number of my parameters. He lived further away than I liked but I thought it was still worth meeting him to determine if the distance might shrink if my interest grew.

We agreed to meet at one of those chain restaurants you only find by the interstate, where pie is their main claim to fame. I set it up for mid-afternoon to avoid dealing with a meal and traffic, also thinking daylight was always a good thing. When he appeared, I almost didn’t recognize him; he was at least ten years older than his picture—and they had been HARD years—was missing way too many of his teeth (actually even one would have been a deal killer) and his overall appearance gave you the impression that hard times had come to visit and WAY overstayed their welcome…

A good part of my initial negative reaction was due to his obvious dishonesty when he put together his profile, this was a first for me, although I understand not necessarily unusual. How people don’t go through the rather obvious thought process of:
A. When someone responds online to someone you are obviously NOT–maybe 10 years ago but that doesn’t count— don’t you think they’d notice the discrepancy when you show up?
B. And do you really think this is something you’ll be able to overcome with your charm–AND that lying about who you are is a good way to begin a new relationship???

I suppose that if it were the highly unlikely scenario where you think you’ve contacted Clark Kent and you get Superman, you might make allowances but instead you don’t even get Clark Kent-you get his aging grandfather with bad breath….

This isn’t just a guy thing. I did hear from a number of men that they had responded online to a photo and profile of what they thought was a woman in their age range only to have someone much older show up. I’m guessing that the 80′s style haircut and huge shoulder pads didn’t give them pause–I can’t help but think that women’s photos might indicate more obviously the decade it was taken in–but men probably aren’t paying that close attention…

So back to scary, creepy guy. I knew within seconds that this was never going to work–I never wanted to go out with him, but even so, was not able to extricate myself for over two long, excruciating hours. From the first minute, scary, creepy guy started a monologue that only required my occasional nods and grunts to continue–he covered his first ex-wife (no surprise-she didn’t appreciate or understand him), his last 5 girlfriends (who all, you guessed it, neither appreciated or understood him) and the fact that he decided it would be cool to live in a trailer in the woods rather than in a boring old house.

Here I was, without an exit strategy and worried about being rude and hurting his feelings. I did consider the “excuse yourself to go to the restroom and then make a break for your car” ruse but decided that was too weird–why I was worrying about being rude or weird in hindsight is interesting to contemplate…. I’ll discuss it in my next post-any similar experiences out there? Please feel free to comment.

Could You Hum a Few Bars??

Footloose and fancy free again; it truly is getting easier to recognize when to end a fledgling relationship.  And because it’s relatively early in the process, there’s less emotional distress for both parties.  Since my history in past relationships had almost always been to hold on well past any sane person, this is definitely a positive, healthy and emotionally wiser course of action.  I do think one of the biggest and most damaging aspects of post-breakup anguish has to do with us beating ourselves up over our poor choices and that we relinquished our personal power and perhaps integrity to try to keep the relationship afloat.

We generally don’t start out thinking: I’ll do anything it takes to keep him/her with me,  it’s usually a slow insidious combination of fear, erosion of a sense of personal worth and possibly a sense of security (real or imagined.)  This song sums it up, even if it’s at its most extreme form:  Norah Jones: \”Love Me\” .  So many of our songs are about our willingness to do anything to get our loved one back, regardless of what has happened or how badly we’ve been hurt.

"Soundtrack For Our Lives?"

The classic Sam Cooke’s  \”Bring It On Home To Me\” is a great example of this sentiment we have glamorized for a long time.   If we really take the time to think about the lyrics in many of these songs–we’ll find they’re kind of creepy in a masochistic loser kind of way.  Ray Charle’s Ray Charle\’s \”I Can\’t Stop Loving You\” you learn that “he’s made up his mind” to obsess about a lost love, refuse to love again and generally be miserable for the rest of his life rather than move on a find a new love.   I could list song after song with these themes of loss and the inability (or refusal) to move on with life and embrace new opportunities for a genuinely happy and healthy relationship.

I was still more emotionally connected to Dave, the widower I had decided to ‘let go’ a few months earlier and was still thinking there might be some chance of that relationship being resurrected—but while we talked and emailed occasionally, it became clear that IT wasn’t going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. After talking to quite a few women over the years, I have found that too many of us feel we wasted too much time in relationships that were never going to be what we wanted. We stayed for lots of reasons—but those years we’ll never get back—and as we get older, we come to appreciate that time IS NOT on our side, contrary to our past perceptions. The Rolling Stones, Time Is On My Side

I waited a few weeks to go back online-he waited about a nano second so I would guess he also wasn’t devastated by the experience–the band aid method really does work–pulling it off in one fast fell swoop rather than drawing it out slowly and painfully…
Had some interesting email and phone conversations with some new gentlemen-some I emailed, others that emailed me, and met the one and only truly creepy, scary guy. And discovered I was definitely not prepared to handle the situation as well as I would have hoped….

BFF or Not…

I have been getting several comments by people who feel I was in fact unfair and perhaps overreacting in breaking up with Chet. Everyone is entitled to their opinion (but since this is my blog…) and there are many different ways to have a relationship BUT the kind of relationship I CHOOSE to have is where we each can respect and accept the other’s feelings. It doesn’t mean you’ll always agree or even understand why they feel the way they do–but if they’re not a crazy person (worried about space aliens landing in their backyard kind of thing) you’ll each do what you can to support the other through difficult times. And I don’t mean by giving lectures and having it ALL ABOUT YOU when your loved one is in distress.

It’s also perfectly normal to screw up occasionally and make a wrong decision or do something inconsiderate, it happens all the time. But I’m realizing as I go through the world of dating, that finding someone who is undefended enough to realize IF they’ve been insensitive or made a poor choice but then owns up to it (sometime in this decade)—that’s a rare person indeed. There seems to be a default button that takes people to the strategy of “The Best Defense is a Good Offense” which combined with the ALL ABOUT ME mentality makes it very difficult to get to a place where you can really talk about what’s going on and resolve your problems.

By our fifth, six or seventh decade, we should have developed some good relationship strategies that hopefully don’t involve coercion, playing the victim, angry unwillingness to discuss the issues or threats. There’s many more relationship de-railers but you all know what I’m talking about. If BOTH people’s PARAMOUNT interest and desire is to keep the RELATIONSHIP healthy and mutually viable, then they recognize they need to COMMUNICATE, LISTEN and SUPPORT one another. That doesn’t mean you always have to say yes (staying up all night with her while her kitty might be breathing his last) but you do need to be willing to talk about why you’re choosing not to. And, if this is an unusual request for help and support-not a constant and demanding position from the other, you might want to suck it up and do it–even if you don’t want to….

I’ve been blessed with a number of very close women friends who have been with me through many difficult times-loving, supportive; cheering me on when I needed it and booting me in the proverbial rear end when I needed that as well. It’s taken me a lifetime to realize that the most enduring basis for a primary relationship is real friendship. Yes, you want the romantic, buzzy, fizzy chemistry too, but if you don’t deep down really like and respect each other, it won’t work.

The most beautiful thing in the world is to help a loved one without reservation, expectation of reward or strings attached–just because you love them, want what’s best for them and know that if the shoe was ever on the other foot–they’d be doing the exact same thing for you. AND another beautiful thing is that by the time you’re in this stage of life, you truly can CHOOSE what kind of relationship you want–you just need to figure out what that is first!

In Honor of Elmo

Several weeks passed and I was over on the peninsula on a very cold and rainy Saturday night in April. I still wasn’t sure we had enough going on between us but wasn’t ready to give up yet. We had gone in his car to a movie, almost 30 minutes south of his house–out in the boonies apparently good movies are hard to find. I saw I had a message as we were leaving the theater, my dear friend who was taking care of my elderly cat had called very concerned about his making it through the night. I hadn’t realized how seriously ill Elmo was and knowing she was not in any way an alarmist, I knew I had to get home. Elmo is hands down, the best kitty in the world, a fluffy orange and white pudgy, mellow creature who loves everyone, just not other cats.

So it’s this very cold and rainy night, I’m a half hour from Chet’s house which then means turning around and driving another 45 minutes back to the ferry, waiting until the next one shows up and then a thirty minute ride home–it was going to be a very, very long night… I was crying a good part of the way back to his house-Elmo had been with me for over fourteen years and I was dreading losing him. What I’m getting from Chet is a lecture on how pets die and we can’t let ourselves get upset. While I found this less than helpful, a part of me realized I needed to be explicit about what I wanted and needed–never an easy thing for me–but something I was determined to do. This was a big part of my ongoing self improvement course in HOW TO BE IN A HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIP–SAY WHAT THE HELL I WANTED….

As you might have guessed, this is an actual quote from a former boyfriend, apparently my passive aggressive–you need to be able to read my mind—approach was driving him crazy–totally understandable. As I am a very verbal person and not shy about giving my opinion it isn’t a surprise that people assume you’re being clear about what you want. This isn’t always the case–I think there’s almost a mathematical formula that the MORE I need something, the LESS I’m able to articulate it. But I was having to accept that while women might be a smidgen better at mind reading than men–no one really excels at it…

So we’re pulling into his driveway, I’m still crying, I turn to him and ask if he’d come back to my house so I wouldn’t have to be alone if Elmo was dying. After almost a minute of silence (I am not exaggerating) he looked me in the eyes and just said “no.” He didn’t say anything further, no explanation or excuse, just the stone cold ‘no.’ I left the car and went inside to get my stuff and passed him standing at the front door. I told him that his saying no was a BIG deal and I didn’t think there was any coming back from this. He remained silent as I got in my car and drove away.

I received a number of text messages from him over the course of the next few weeks–he never had the guts to actually call me and have a conversation. The texts started out regaling me about how unfair I was being, how cruel that I was breaking up with him for so small a reason and then moved into the–can we work this out–without ever taking responsibility for his choice. I realized that I knew at least ten friends who would have come over at midnight to be with me while my beloved kitty was dying. Without complaint and without me having to defend my sadness and need. And he never did ask about Elmo.

He made this one of the easiest breakups EVER.

Walking the Walk….

As Chet and I continue to spend time together, it’s always somewhat of a production because of the ferry ride and forty-five minute drive but I’m giving it my best shot. I think he is too and I’m learning more about him—which is good—but part of this learning about one another is finding out things you might not be too crazy about knowing. I learn over the course of a few weeks that he’s been married multiple times–I mean MULTIPLE times and several seemed to lasted only about five minutes. If that had been one of those quickie marriages at 18 it would be a little easier to understand–but at 50 something??

I am interested in getting married again–at some point in the distant future–in part because it’s important to me to finally GET IT RIGHT after having gotten it pretty wrong. But I also know that people who don’t take the time to figure out not only WHAT WENT WRONG but the PART THEY PLAYED IN IT do tend to repeat the past-and not in a good way. Some major self reflection; owning up to your poor choices, poor behavior and whatever else might have gone into the mixture is absolutely essential–not fun–but essential…

Another really important factor for me is emotional generosity and emotional intimacy, someone who can open up and reveal their AUTHENTIC SELF (which I talked about in my last post.) Seeing Chet was beginning to feel like emotional hide and seek but since his career had been spent in the mental health field–he played the game quite well and knew how to ‘talk the talk’—his ‘walking the walk’ was the problem. But since I’m very susceptible to a good talker, always would listen to their words instead of my heart–I stayed in and just kept thinking time would bring us closer.

You know the feeling when you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone and they just tune out–they’re a thousand miles away and not coming back any time soon?
Or if you use a hot/cold metaphor–each time you get into the shower–you don’t know if the water’s going to be hot, cold or luke warm–not a great way to live. With Chet, it never was freezing cold water, it was more a lukewarm, not very refreshing kind of metaphorical shower. Since we were traveling a fair distance, a truly happy smile and big hug at the end of it would have felt really good. Instead it felt like we had gone from a new relationship to a couple who had been married for 40 years and were kind of bored with each other, in a nano second.

So I’m finding myself on the proverbial ‘horns of a dilemma’: he’s a nice enough guy, he’s intelligent, well educated, similar political and world views and has decent manners and habits. I’ve mentioned this before–maybe women ‘do’ this more than men–maybe not–but we somehow have difficulty giving ourselves permission to end a relationship just cuz it’s not right for us. If there’s not some rather large scale ongoing bad behavior-cheating, lying, abuse, we often have a hard time just ending it. And sometimes we hold on well past any sane reason to remain–why is that?

Connectivity=Electricity?

I just listened to a terrific “Ted” video by Brene Brown who has a doctorate in Social Work and has been studying how humans connect-and how they don’t. For years I’ve cringed when I heard the pop psycho babble about loving yourself as The Most Important Love: case in point –the 90′s Whitney Houston song “The Greatest Love” which is touting the “greatest love” is for yourself–could we be more self-involved?? Running in tandem with that message is the other more historically accepted idea of getting outside yourself and giving to others as a way to find happiness and fulfillment.

So which is it? Self love or loving others? Well, according to Dr. Brown’s research, humans need CONNECTION with others for their own health; mental, emotional and even physical health. She studied thousands of people to zero in on who’s happy and who’s not, who describes their life as fulfilling and meaningful–and those who don’t. And it turns out that people who have a number of close connections to others, whether they are spouses, children, friends, family or co-workers feel the most satisfaction with their lives. Another study shows people who have a minimum of 7 hours a day of social interaction with others also do best–I’m guessing though that’s somewhat dependent on the type of social interaction….

Okay, so CONNECTION is essential, what are the key ingredients necessary to make healthy CONNECTIONs happen? Here’s what Dr. Brown discovered: that the absolute first step, the essential starting place is—feeling worthy of love, respect and belonging.
If you don’t feel worthy (and I imagine for many of us, some days are better than others…) you can’t take the next step which is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You need to feel WORTHY and okay about your AUTHENTIC SELF to allow yourself to open up to others. Exposing that soft under belly we all have and trust that the other human will respond in a positive way requires faith in ourselves. Or, if they don’t treat us kindly, we feel pretty certain we’ll survive and thrive soon enough. So VULNERABILITY and KNOWING AND ACCEPTING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF is necessary to connect in a healthy and meaningful way with others.

Being courageous in putting yourself ‘out there’ in the world–and especially in the world of on-line dating is more possible if you truly believe you are worthy of love–just the way you are. I think there are many people who very much want to be in a relationship but are terrified of getting hurt (often this is after at least one relationship gone wrong). Then there are others who want to connect and have an emotionally intimate relationship with another but just can’t seem to make it happen–even perhaps after years of being on numerous dating websites and meeting countless people–trust me, they’re out there….

Dating and finding love can feel more perilous as you get older. We may not think we have the resiliency of youth, we rarely have escaped unscathed from painful and emotionally devastating relationships and our feelings of worthiness may have been battered and bruised more than once. I’ve met men along the way who truly do want to be in a relationship but there’s something blocking that from happening. Obviously there were numerous times where they just simply weren’t interested in being in a relationship with me—but other times when they said they did-and I think they meant it–but somehow were unable to make it happen. These were the times I felt something fundamental was missing between us–maybe it was that ability to be vulnerable and show me their authentic self? And perhaps, part of the electricity we can feel with another is sparked when we feel like our authentic self has been seen and found worthy?
Hhhmmmmmmm…..Back to Chet in my next post….

Onward But Not Online…….

Still feeling a little battered and bruised but determined to move on, I made plans to meet Chet the following week. We had enjoyed emailing back and forth and shared a background in social services and were on the same page politically. Which in the spring of 2008 with the presidential campaign heating up and opinions flying fast and furious, that was no small thing. He was doing a small remodeling job and needed to come to Seattle to look for supplies so we met for a ‘date’ at the Seattle Design Center. Since we had already had our preliminary coffee date 3 months earlier this seemed a intelligent plan–and it worked out well.

I do think when starting to see someone, its often a good idea to plan activities during the daytime and with some sort of goal or plan. It keeps the conversation from grinding to a complete halt and it gives you both an idea of how the other functions in the world: is he polite and friendly with waiters, is he calm and relaxed or hyper and easily frustrated, road rage issues, penny counter or comfortable with a give and take arrangement? I don’t particularly care if my door is opened, my chair pulled out or helped on with my coat but I do like some thoughtful attention from a man. This might be any of the above or just a sensitivity to my interests and feelings.

Chet was the man I mentioned in a previous post who after our first long date over breakfast, only walked with me as far as his car and let me walk the remaining block or two further on my own. Now you must understand, this was not a dangerous neighborhood, it was the middle of the day and I was completely safe on my own—but as this is all a very subjective experience–it left me a little less than thrilled. Unfair? Very possibly but I do advocate that we all-men and women alike-stay attuned to how we FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES at all stages in the dating and relationship progression. Of course you’re also thinking about how you FEEL ABOUT THEM as well but since none of us can actually read another’s mind, learning how to read our own becomes critically important.

So if you’re not feeling very special or important, that’s very likely a good indicator that all is not right in this equation. If you are feeling like you’re doing 90% of the heavy lifting conversation-wise or that he’s sitting there looking bored and disengaged–this is not the time to start tap dancing to get his attention–its the time to tap dance right out of his life. Conversely, if you’re PHONING IT IN and not really present with him–better start examining what’s going on in your head. I’m not saying that we never drift or not BE IN THE MOMENT but if it’s happening early on and often—definite RED FLAG.

I can’t say that I was doing 90% of the heavy lifting, that day or in the coming days but there was an undercurrent running through our relationship that made me feel disconnected from him, not warm and fuzzy. This might in part have been because my preceding relationship had been special and definitely ‘sparkey’ but in hindsight I now know it was also intrinsic to us. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and particularly helpful when writing a blog because you can come across so wise and all knowing—but once again, in the middle of this-all I knew was that I was perhaps trying too hard to make it work–but didn’t feel like I could throw in the towel too soon. Big mistake–boy, they just keep coming, don’t they…

Bad Tennis Anyone?

So its the New Year—2008—Dave has basically become someone I hardly recognize and that truly awful sense that something important is breaking and I have now way to fix it is settling in. His phone calls and emails slow to a trickle and he mostly sounds sad and irritated when I do hear from him. When he’s less remote and more able to talk, he let’s me know that while he didn’t see ‘IT’ coming and he feels truly awful to have caused me pain, he knows IT’s not going away anytime soon. Sometimes he asks me to be patient with him but mostly he seems so burdened with sorrow and exhausted from this long, long battle, he withdraws and disconnects.

The month of January goes by slowly and unhappily without seeing each other. Towards the latter part of the month we make plans to meet at an exhibit in Seattle. I’m looking forward to seeing him after more than a month apart and wait for him to descend from the ferry with a nervous but happy anticipation.

I wish I could tell you differently but our first afternoon together seemed to stretch on forever–and not in a good way. I felt like I was out with my insurance agent or a second cousin who’s mother had forced him to look me up while he was in town on business. We were stiff and uncomfortable; where our conversation had flowed effortlessly in the past, it now lurched from topic to topic with a sort of desperate need to fill the silence. What had once sparkled and fizzed had become flat and tinny….

Dave did try to let me know that he was very sorry for his behavior and I believed him; I knew none of this was purposeful or mean spirited but it was definitely very real. He would give me some hope that maybe in the future he would be able to be part of a healthy relationship but he was honest enough to let me know he had no idea IF OR WHEN that might happen. So the ball was definitely in my court–do I stick around and hope that he’d get more RELATIONSHIP CAPABLE in the not so distant future–or do I give up the fight and move on?

It did feel a little like a nightmare tennis game-with the lopsided and deflated ball bouncing erratically back and forth. Was the ball in his court or mine? Was it dead in the middle stuck in the net or wobbling into the next court? If I left was I a cold hearted bitch to leave him in the lurch or making a good decision to take care of myself by letting go and moving on? So many questions and no obvious answers.

I do think that had this have happened a few years earlier, before I had started online dating, I would have decided to hunker down and hope for the best. In many ways that would have been a decision based on fear: fear that no one else would come along and I would be alone. However the past year and a half of dating online had shown me that there ARE good men out there and basing a decision on fear wasn’t a good way to go. It took me another month of cogitating on my decision and learning how to let go–but I did. Life was too short to hold on to something so tenuous and uncertain.

Rather than go back online immediately, I emailed the other “peninsula” gentleman I had met at the same I had met Dave–and discovered he was still ‘available’ and interested in getting together. Life goes on….

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