He/She Said That?
Archived posts from this Category
Archived posts from this Category
My Mom’s friend’s heads are spinning. They are used to seeing their friends pop up in the obituaries but not the Church Wedding Banns. Mom is getting married at 78, one year and 13 days after my Dad died. They were married over 50 years, and Mom’s fiancee was also married 50 years. He lost his wife a month before Mom lost dad.
It’s bringing up a lot of emotion. Mom and her fiancee are coming up for Thanksgiving – I’ll have chance to get to know him better. I find myself getting more agitated as the days draw nearer.
Since I am renting out my spare bedrooms I’m not sure where I can put them. They aren’t sleeping together (that’s why they are getting married – so they can) and I don’t have that many extra rooms. Looks like I might be on the couch.
So much has happened in the last year, my heaad is spinning too.
This is weird and wonderful and the same time. My Mom is getting married in December, just one year after my Dad, and her husband of 52 years, died. I guess I should be glad that she is reading love letters and emails instead the obituary column but it’s still a little strange. Mom, an iron lady who raised 7 children born within 9 years, was a farmer’s wife and a strict mother, has turned into a giddy love-sick teenager. It’s a facet of her I have never witnessed. She makes me feel old.
I’m dating too, after my divorce, but I’m a lot more cautious. She feels time passing, and wants to grab the time she has left. She says that her years with Dad and raising us were her life’s meal – solid and fulfilling, but this romance is her dessert – the sweet end, the reward.
The part that’s a little embarrassing is when she talk about her desire – how she can’t wait to get married so she can have a “full relationship” with Geert. They are both so old they can’t drive at night, so when they visit late, they have to sleep at each others houses. Mom says she can’t wait to sleep in his room instead of the guest room. In fact, this is the reason they are getting married – so they can have sex. (They are both good Catholics, and there is no point throwing that away this late in the game.)
I tell this story to all my friends in their 50′s who wonder if they are “too old” to date. I know my Mom was not out looking, but love found her, and now she’s not old at all – she’s a young girl agian. It is weird and wonderful.
A friend of mine, Chris Posti, is publishing a book, Marriage On and Off the Rocks. This book contains 24 true stories of men and women who have gone through difficult times in their marriage – some have been able to keep their marriages together and others have not.
I was interviewed for the book and was pleased to find that my story made the cut – under a fictitious name of course (you won’t find BlueEyes1962 in the book!)
Chris says, “It is my hope is that these true stories will serve as a mirror, showing the reader what he or she needs to do to have a successful marriage or a successful life after a divorce, whether or not they decide to remarry.”
My story is an old and familiar one, which is probably why it is included. I married the wrong man for the wrong reason, then tried desperately to make it work for 20 years, even while it floundered on the rocks. Freedom came when I finally abandoned ship. I am now dating a wonderful man, but I doubt I would have looked at him twice 25 years ago. Then, I wanted someone who would “save” me and take care of me – now I know the only person who can do that it me.
Because I am freed from needing a protector/provider/alpha male I can have an equal relationship with a real man. It’s so wonderful – I have never had this before. When I was younger I was looking at utility (Will he be a good Dad? Will I be able to stay home and raise me own kids? Will he keep me safe?) and never thought of the price I might have to pay for these things. Now I don’t want anything from a man except to really know him and love him, and be known and loved back.
Chris takes real stories such as mine, presents them in our own words, and asks questions to make you think. I encourage you to check out Chris’s book (for sale Aug 10) and her blog: http://www.marriageonandofftherocks.com/
PS. May I make another plug for a dear friend of Chris’? Bernice Boyden, through her company, Success Matters Coaching & Consulting, coaches people through transitions in their lives – job changes and personal changes, including divorce. Her business is young, and the website is still under construction, but you can find it at http://www.successmatterscc.com
About a month ago I got an email from a good friend with the subject line “Karen sent you photos on Tagged ”
I clicked and got: “Karen W**** sent you photos on Tagged. Want to see the Photos?” and two big buttons “Yes” and “No.” Then it added “Please respond or Karen might think you said no. ”
I didn’t want Karen to think I said no, so I clicked yes.
This took me to the Tagged site, where I had to fill out sceeen after screen before I could see the photos. I got as far as uploading a photo, and then realized I was being sucked into something I didn’t want to do, and I quit.
Soon my in-box was filling up with messages from “Tagged”:
Jay R sent you a message…
Henry Z winked at you…
Chris F clicked YES on you….
John S added you as friend….
Bruce R commented on your photos….
I ignored them, but decided to check one out today. I read the message first (one long paragraph – I broke it up into sections for your benefit and deleted whole sections):
how are you? my name is john. i live south of pittsburgh in a town call canonsburg.i came back last year from iraq. my unit got deploy in jan.21,05 till june 21,06. i am retired now as of nov 19,2006 22 years from the military. i work for coca cola.there i work alot of hours but i could make some kind of arrangement to met with the right on.
i read your profile. you sound like a very beautiful lady and a beautiful lady like yourself deserves a beautiful poem.Just as a wave is lifted by the shore, Then breaks across the slowly rising sand, So as I watch you weep my feelings pour Across the wash of what I understand. I wish I could just take you in my arms And all your pain could melt into my chest, And all the violence of passing storms Could pass through me and finally come to rest. No words can set things right or presence lend A miracle to light your darkened way, But there is solace in a loving friend And comfort in what I don’t have to say. Whatever circumstance you cannot bear, Just turn to me, and you will find me there.
well i hope you like it. it goes with a beautiful lady. i hope i hear from you. at least let me know something not just delete me. i am a very nice guy once you get to know me. here is my e-mail address,home phone number and cell cokeman***@hotmail,com,724-745-**** and 724-766-****
Well – with an intro like that I HAD to read his profile.
Here is John S’s “About Me, which I read while blasted with very sappy love songs from the website (My daughter MADE me turn my sound off after a few minutes):
I like to treat a lady like a woman, best friend and lover not a queen. I want to be wanted and loved as I long to want & love the one and only woman in my life. I want to be in a relationship where if one is weak the other supports and we both become a force of one.
I want the lady who gets ready for bed at night, takes a shower and instead of wearing something feminine, sneaks into one of my dress shirts with just one button – buttoned. I want the lady that throws that button away in the morning (since it will most definitely fly off sometime that night) and not sew it back on like a good little lady..
I want the smell of my cologne and have that be the last thing she smell as I leave the house not the hour old coffee. I want to wake her up in the morning, have coffee on the deck,her curled up in my lap, and watch the sun come up.
I want her to greet me when i come home after a long day wearing something feminine I did not wear to bed, and greet me with a hug and kiss.
I emailed this to my boyfriend Luris (match.com Sept 2008) and he wrote back:
My favorite line: “I want her to greet me when I come home after a long day wearing something feminine I did not wear to bed, and greet me with a hug and kiss.”
I want that too, sweety. When i come home after a long day wearing something feminine I didn’t wear to bed… wait… when I come home I want YOU to wear something feminine I didn’t wear to bed… no wait… I want YOU to be wearing something feminine that YOU didn’t… no… I’m so confused. Let me put on my bra and panties and think this out properly.
I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to check out the rest of p John’s site. After viewing his 239 friends (http://www.tagged.com/friends.html?uid=5379831889#filterpg=All_0)- I came upon this appeal in size 18, deep red font, all caps. (The bold I added myself):
PYSICAL ATTRACTION WHAT IS IT? IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A PERSON THATS GOING TO TREAT YOU RIGHT. THATS GOOD. BUT IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR PERSON THATS LOOKS ARE INPORTANT AND DON’T SPEND TIME WITH YOU THAT WRONG. SPEND THE TIME WITH THE PERSON AND DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THERE ISN’T NO GOOD MEN BECUSE THERE ARE LOTS OF US OUT THERE. LIKE US FOR WHO WE ARE NOT FOR WHAT WE LOOK LIKE OR WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU. SPEND TIME WITH US BECAUSE WE KNOW HOW TO TREAT A WOMAN
LOOKING FOR A BEAUTIFUL AND SEXY WOMAN THATS WANTS TO BE TREATED LIKE A REAL WOMAN PLEASE APPLY
“The man with the clear head is the man who … looks life in the face, realizes that everything in it is problematic, and feels himself lost. As this is the simple truth – that to live is to feel oneself lost – he who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look round for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. … He who does not really feel himself lost, is lost without remission; that is to say, he never finds himself, never comes up against his own reality.”~ Ortega y Gasset
I read “Revolt of the Masses” by Ortega y Gasset as a freshman in college, over 25 years ago, but I always remembered his analogy of the “shipwrecked man.” The last 2 years, since my divorce after 20 years of marriage, I’ve really identified with it.
I had been secure in a comfortable, if unhappy, marriage and Mt. Lebanon suburban life. I thought I had the answers, and if I followed the rules, things would turn out okay. When they did not, and I found myself bobbing in the open water, looking for something to cling to for support, and I was willing to try anything.
It’s been a interesting ride. I’ve read Martha Beck, Eckhart Tolle, Joan Borysenko and Henri Nouwen, and many more. I did the Landmark Forum, the Advanced Course, and am taking Landmark’s “Sex and Intimacy” seminar. I did a coaching series with a holistic nutritionist, started monthly massages, and tried yoga. I am seeing both a psychotherapist and a “healer.”
I’m not sure where it’s all going to lead, but I am hoping I’ll gain a little self-awareness. I was able to “keep it together” for a long time, but only because I had crammed myself in a tight little box. Now that my mind is starting to open, I am also starting to see my own culpability – I’m not and have not always been the good, honest, loving person I thought I was. I see I am capable of horrible meanness, cowardly behavior, and spinelessness.
Frankly, it’s been a shock. Yesterday, in my therapist’s office I took a hard look at myself and cried, “What kind of person would do such a thing?” He said my guilt was good. If I was evil, I would be justifying and rationalizing my behavior. Feeling bad was a clue that I was also good.
I’m hoping he’s right.
I had lunch with a good friend I met through Match.com today, and we talked about long-term dating goals. He said he was “looking for someone who would make him stop looking,” which I thought was rather clever. Brian is in his mid 50′s and has been divorced for over 10 years but none of his previous relationships through online dating have been really serious. I asked him why not.
“Online dating is like a huge buffet,” he said. “It’s hard not to be continually thinking that something better might be out there. So you don’t invest as heavily in who you are seeing because you know there are always other options.”
I think this is an issue. The old way, when you met people through “natural means” – your social set, the neighborhood hang-outs, friends who knew someone else single, etc. – you might meet an eligible prospect a few times a year.
But now, with online dating, suddenly it seems every available person in Pittsburgh (and Western PA, Northern West Virginia, and Ohio) is online. It’s easy to feel like you are comparison shopping. No one is perfect, but you can date and compare 5-10 likely candidates at the same time. As you cycle through relationships, it might give you less incentive to make your current relationship work.
NetDatingPro referred to this in this post about Online Dating Addictions
PS. As far as how many people I might really meet outside the internet, I can only guess. I met my ex-husband when I still in college in San Francisco, and the city was teaming with young singles of all stripes. But as a Mt. Lebanon mom in my mid-40′s with teenage children, I have no idea how I would meet single men if were not for the internet. They aren’t hanging out with the neighborhood ladies as we get together for our weekly cocktails at 5:00 PM on Fridays, they aren’t sitting in the bleachers with me at my kids’ track meets (my ex usually is), and they aren’t trolling in the produce section of the South Hills Market District grocery store. So where the heck do I find single guys (outside of the internet) if I don’t want to spend the rest of my life celibate?
For fun, I decided to do the free “chemistry predictor” on plenty of fish. According to the site, they measure the five key ingredients that can determine whether or not two people have the “right” chemistry. The dimensions are:
Self-Confidence, or the degree to which a person feels comfortable with him or herself. People that are high in self-confidence tend to be assertive and competent in both their private and public relationships. People that are low in self-confidence tend to be reticent and somewhat anxious.
Family Orientation, or the degree to which a person supports and values the family. People that are family oriented tend to want or already have children, are very close to their immediate relatives, and prefer cooking at home to eating at a restaurant. People that are not family oriented tend to be individualistic, unconventional, and very much enjoy attending parties and social functions.
Self-Control, or the extent to which a person exerts control over various aspects of life. People that are high in self-control tend have strong emotional reactions to things and try to regulate those feelings by micromanaging and attending to specific details. People that are low in self-control are usually relaxed, even-tempered, and lenient.
Openness, or the extent to which a person is open to and dependent upon others. People that are high in openness tend to like a wide range of things (e.g., food, music, movies, etc.), in part because they are concerned with pleasing other people. In contrast, people low in openness are very independent and opinionated; they know what they like and aren’t apt to change their opinion.
Easygoingness, or a person’s work ethic and degree of mental flexibility. People that are high in easygoingness are very relaxed, broadminded, and unaffected by change. In contrast, people low in easygoingness tend be hardworking, firm, and sometimes inflexible.
I wondered how accurate this test is, so I tried and I found it revealing, and quite accurate for me. This is not all flattering! Here are the results:
As someone with high self-confidence, you feel quite comfortable interacting with other people. Indeed, you find the company of others very stimulating and enjoy meeting new people. Your relaxed demeanor in groups makes people around you comfortable too. Perhaps because you feel comfortable talking about yourself, others tend to enjoy being around you and perceive you as socially competent.
The confidence that helps you feel comfortable talking to people also spills into your own personal beliefs about yourself. Although you have several strengths, it’s likely that you also acknowledge and accept your weaknesses. But unlike some people, you take full responsibility for your actions—you rarely regret things you’ve done in the past and are not embarrassed easily.
As someone low in family orientation, you’re not sure whether raising children and developing a family is what you want out of life. If you already have children, you enjoy spending time with them, but may feel somewhat constrained by the stress of being a parent and wish to “cut-loose” more often than you may be able to.
It’s not necessarily that you are opposed to the idea of having a family, it’s just that you’re not convinced that the domestic lifestyle is for you. This sentiment is illustrated by the fact that you don’t particularly enjoy doing things around the house—like cooking and entertaining guests. Instead, you tend to prefer eating out at restaurants and going to clubs and parties. Your voracious appetite for excitement might make staying at home on a weekend night unappealing.
Being low in self-control can be both good and bad. Occasionally people may be compelled to follow their intuitions and give in to their temptations, and your degree of self-control makes this likely to happen more often than not.
As someone who exerts little control over your actions, you may find that you commit social blunders that might offend other people and get yourself in trouble. Nonetheless, you still experience many short-lived pleasures and are never thought of as boring.
As someone moderate in openness, you have an appreciation for art and nature, but are also down to earth and realistic. On the one hand, it’s likely that you are fond of music and art, and on the other hand, enjoy and appreciate things that have a clear point and some sort of practical utility.
Additionally, you have a certain degree of awareness of your own emotions; that is, you tend to notice when you’re feeling a particular way and take those feelings into account when making decisions.
Your openness probably makes it easy for you to respect and appreciate people that are different from you. However, you may become frustrated with people that are too unconventional or traditional. Therefore, you may be happiest in serious relationships with people that share both your open-mindedness and realistic nature.
Easygoingness refers to one’s ability to relax. Based on your score, you are high in easygoingness and appear to “take things as they come” and enjoy having a good time.
Because you are more relaxed than most people, you’re probably attracted to most people. However, your free-spirited nature might make being in a relationship with a person that is more rigid than you difficult because you might perceive the person as being too uptight and controlling.
It’s an interesting personality test and I don’t think many people who know me well would argue with the results.
I got a call last night from a woman friend I met on match.com. I used the site to email 50+ woman 40 years and older asking for online daitng stories, and Debbie’s the only one who emailed back. Needless to say, I am very appreciative of her friendship – she may be one in a million, but I have statistical proof that she’s at least 1 in 50. Debbie wanted to go out for a drink at RPM’s (1020 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA) to sit outside and have some free wings, and wondered if I could join her.
My daughter graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School last night, so I couldn’t go – I couldn’t even return Debbie’s phone call in the madness before graduation. I’m in the process of getting my house painted, and this was the day they were doing my daughter’s bathroom – we couldn’t find any of her make up and things were a little nuts. Not as bad as the year before when my older son graduated and I couldn’t find my only set of car keys (they were in the kitchen sink under a pile of dishes) but not really calm.
I called her back today but we’re playing telphone tag. I do know what the issue is, bcause she emailed me:
A Lesson Learned by Debbie (and I need to take my own advice)
If you’ve been in a romantic relationship for a year or more, and your guy agrees to be sexually exclusive yet continues to keep his dating profile active, it means that he does not have both feet in the relationship and is keeping his options open.
And, he is more than likely (or at least wanting to) dip his wick elsewhere. He may be stringing you along for the great sex. Unlike the female brain and heart, some men separate emotions from sexual gratification.
What ever the case may be, all of the above aren’t the hallmarks of a relationship that can progress!
And never let somebody, man or woman, tell you that black is white when you know the score. Always have boundaries and acknowledge when they have been crossed and put yourself first instead of someone who does not care enough about you.
Be good to yourself. Remember who you are. Get the key back and move on.
Don’t beat yourself up for having worn those “I’m in love” blinders. Love can and does make us, male and female, blind. (Cliches are fixtures of speech for good reason.)
There are plenty of good, emotionally available men out there in the dating world. Eventually you will meet one with enough savvy to recognize you as a gem shinning brightly upon that pile of recently broken rocks. The one who did not see you as a flower amidst weeds needs new glasses.
Here’s to finding a match deserving of our love!
A friend wrote:
Since the pgh internet dating site is your blog, I was wondering if you might start a thread on whether online dating is addictive. I truly think I may have a problem – do we need to start Online Daters Anonymous?
My friends are convinced I do. Seriously, I don’t know if other people are using it like I am as a bandaid for wounded self esteem. Maybe it’d be interesting to find out.
I think it can be addictive – there is always the promise of something better out there, and the thrill and excitement of meeting new people. Fantasies can be so much better than reality. My apologies to Ben Franklin but two in the bush can seem to be better than one in the hand – or at least more exciting. (Guys – get your minds out of the gutter on that quote)
NOTE (June 10, 2008):
Seems I was wrong about Ben Franklin – the phrase predates him by many years.
This is from http://www.answers.com/topic/bird-in-the-hand:
It is better to accept or be content with what one has than to try to get more and risk losing everything. Cf. 13th-cent. L. plus valet in manibus avis unica quam dupla silvis, one bird in the hands is worth more than two in the woods. Parodied by the American actress Mae West (1892-1980) in the 1934 movie Belle of the Nineties: ‘A man in the house is worth two in the street.’
It is more sekyr [certain] a byrd in your fest, Than to haue three in the sky a-boue.
[c 1450 J. Capgrave Life of St. Katharine (EETS) ii. iii.]
Betyr ys a byrd in the hond than tweye in the wode.
[c 1470 Harley MS 3362 f.4]
You haue spoken reasonably, but yet as they say, One Birde in the hande, is worth two in the bush.
[1581 N. Woodes Conflict of Conscience iv. i.]
That Proverb, A Bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush, is of more Authority with them, then are all?testimonies of the good of the world to come.
[1678 Bunyan Pilgrim's Progress i. 42]
I went out with friend last night – a man who has been married almost as many years as I was, and is still married, but has strayed more than a few times.
Ben’s wife is not very physical at all, and he has strong physical needs – but he had a family and is especially committed to his 4 sons. He feels he is making the best of his situation – keeping his family intact but doing what is necessary to fulfill his needs.
His affairs remind me of my dating experiences. In both cases it’s so much easier than being married – there is no stress of managing the household, the kids, both your jobs, and balancing the workload between you, no tension as you negotiate money, power, in-laws, and chores, and no baggage from the 20 years of hurts and disappointments you’ve both accumulated. (My ex refused to acknowledge Mother’s Day when I had three kids 3 and under. I would agree to something and then change my mind and it drove him crazy)
When I told Ben the story of my friend Liz who fought with her boyfriend because he did not approve of her choice of beers and this eventually lead to their break-up, Ben laughed. “You will always find something to fight over,” he said, “If it’s not something important like whether you should spend the $5,000 on a family vacation or put it into Sammy’s college fund, it will be about something trivial like beer. But couples will always fight. It’s human nature.”
Two people will never agree on everything, so the cause of the fight is not as important as how it is resolved. One thing is certain – the disagreements when dating are gong to be a lot smaller than the ones you will have if you live together or get married.
It is exactly for this reason that many people my age (mid 40′s and above who can’t or don’t want to have any more children) are leery of living together or marriage. Why put that strain on a relationship when there is no clear benefit? We are financially independent, have our own homes, jobs, kids leaving the nest, etc. Why complicate things?
Jason, a friend from Match.com, has been married and divorced 4 times, so he knows a thing or two about it, and his advice is to avoid moving in as long as possible:
“You know how great is is to go on vacation with someone – you have no cares, no worries, just a wonderful time and great vacation sex. Dating can be like that- and if so you want to keep it like that as long as possible.”
“But a relationship is a bit like a shark – it dies if it’s not moving, and it seems like you can’t just keep it in “dating” mode even if you try – before you know it she’s moved in and you’re fighting about who takes out the trash. And then it’s on it’s way to being over.”
I did meet a man who has been dating the same woman for over 30 years – they have never lived together and they are still in love. I am going to try to get him to give me his insights, and I’ll keep you posted.