Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Shine

October 2010

"Well....I've been feeling a little confused...."

I really felt as though I'd been punched in the stomach. I truly had not seen this coming, because until a week earlier, everything had seemed fine. We hadn't had a fight, as far as I knew there wasn't anyone else - nothing had changed. So why was Big telling me that he was confused, because he didn't feel a "spark?" 

That night, it was all I could do to not throw up on my own steering wheel. So, I went home - and stayed in bed for two days. Finally, I got the courage to talk to Big and see if I could at least get some understanding. 

He explained that he wasn't sure how he felt, other than to say that his life was better with me in it, that I treated him better than anyone ever had, and that he loved spending time with me. [If you're confused at this point, please note that I'm omitting some of Big's own personal details. They're his story, not mine. Also note that if I told you everything - you'd be even more confused.] We talked about "us" twice more after that conversation. Via text, mind you. I have not seen Big in person since that night. 

During the first conversation, Big told me that in hindsight, all he'd ever felt was friendship. That he'd only let it become romantic because he knew it was what I wanted. During our second conversation, Big informed me that he doesn't find me physically attractive; and it's as simple as that. 

Everything else was fine; perfect, in fact. I'm smart enough; I'm funny enough; I'm kind, and independent; He loved spending time with me. I'm the right age, successful, I want the same things and am prepared to give him all that he wanted. 

I'm just not pretty enough.  

And just like that, I let him take my shine away.

[And yeah, even after all this time, typing that made me cry. I guess some scars don't every really heal.]

Monday, November 29, 2010


September 2010

Big was acting strange. But, every time I thought I should say something, he'd go back to normal. He even introduced me to a friend from work, and was very open about the fact that we were dating. He was affectionate with me in front of his friend, and everything seemed good. 

Late in the month, he had a business trip. While away, he posted a personal blog about being uncertain of some feelings. He didn't come out and say what or whose feelings he was talking about, but I'll admit, it made me pause. When he returned from his trip, I wasn't sure how to bring it up, or even when I would see him. 

But Big did surprise me. The day he got back, he asked me to have dinner with him. We had such a nice time. We talked and laughed over dinner, and when I dropped him off at his apartment, he gave me the longest, sweetest hug and kiss goodnight. 

I didn't see him for a few days. That was a little unusual. What was even more unusual was, when we did have plans, he stood me up. I don't think it was intentional, but he met a friend (a woman) after work because she needed someone to talk to. I knew her as well, and knew she was having some problems, so I let it go. 

A couple other little things happened. Finally, we spent a nice Saturday together. We went to lunch, did some shopping, went for a drive, had dinner and then went to a concert. When I dropped Big off at his apartment that night, I said to him, "Is everything okay? You've been acting different the last week or so." 

"Well....I've been feeling a little confused...."

Friday, November 26, 2010

If It's Not Broken....

I came across this video the other day: Interviews with guys about, well, guys. Specifically, why they break up with women who seem like a keeper. In other words, a woman in whom they seem interested, things are going well, and then - BAM! They end things. 

The video actually raised more questions for me than it answered. So, I'm hoping you, dear reader, can help me sort through some of them. Especially the guys - please and thank you.

The top reasons discussed in the video are:
  • Timing is off
  • He's not done playing the field
  • He's really in like - not love
  • He has commitment issues
The timing thing actually makes sense to me. If you meet someone and they are about to move 600 miles away - that's just bad timing. There's not a lot you can do to control that, and I don't think that's really a guy thing. Sometimes, things happen during a relationship, and you do have to make a choice whether you're committed enough to work through the obstacle, or if the relationship isn't that important. 

The "playing the field" and "in like, not love" sort of seem the same to me. Either he doesn't feel a connection, or he does, but isn't sure she's the one. 

Now, here's my question. The connection - isn't that something that you either feel, or you don't, right away? How would you get to a "breaking up" situation? If there's no connection, or physical attraction, within the first couple of dates, isn't the conversation more like, "I'm not interested, take care," rather than, "We need to end this." 

Same thing applies to the whole playing-the-field issue. If you're not sure that this is the person you want to be with - or worse yet, that you want to be with just one person - why are you letting things get exclusive? Maybe it's me, but that just makes no sense. 

I've read that "commitment issues" are just a myth; an excuse to avoid a woman who they know isn't the one. Is that true? Or can men (and women, for that matter) find what they want, only to get scared of having it - which of course, presents the risk of losing it? 

It seems to me that's something that could scare people. It almost sounds scary to me - and I love a good commitment! 

So what do you think? 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I have awesome friends.  

I have friends who I've known for 30 years, and cousins who are like sisters to me. One of my best friends is someone who I've only known a few years; and I have some great friends who I've just met.

Every one of them has helped me through this breakup in some way. Some of them may not even know the difference they've made. None of them owe me anything - they're there for me simply because they are my friends. 

"Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's about who came and never left your side." I don't know who said that - but it says an awful lot, don't you think?

Friends come in all shapes and sizes.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Family Affair

August 2010

Big casually mentioned that he'd be going to a family birthday party out of town one Saturday. He did not invite me along, and I did not ask why. I figured there could be a million reasons why a person would not invite someone to a family party. Particularly a birthday, where he would know that I would feel obligated to bring a gift. 

Without prompting from me, Big explained to me that I wasn't invited because there would be some members of his extended family at the party with whom it wasn't easy to get along. He felt, and I quote, that "when you meet my family, you should do so on my mother's turf."  

I'll admit; I caved at this point. I really, really believed that Big saw us in a relationship. We were together all the time. I felt like Big must enjoy that time together as much as I did, because more often than not, he was the one making plans. That had not changed. In fact, when Big expressed concern that he was neglecting some of his projects and friendships, I suggested we could spend less time together. I left it up to him entirely, and he continued to spend most of his time with me.  

So, I felt confident enough to invite Big to a family event. Big had met my father, and a couple of family members we'd run into when we were out and about. But this was different. My entire family would be at this party. It was a big deal to me. Anyone who shared in this day needed to be someone who was going to be around. If that wasn't the case with Big, I would have been fine going solo.

Big went out of his way to dress-to-impress, to dance with me at the party, to meet all of my family and make a good impression. I remember thinking I'd made the right choice. It certainly seemed like he wanted to be around...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Answer Key

July 2010

My birthday month. My day was sandwiched in between a weekend trip Big had planned with his friends and me leaving for a week-long vacation with my friend and her family. It would be the first significant period of time that Big and I would spend apart. I was interested to see how we would handle that, and I was a little worried that Big might forget my birthday. 

Can you guess what happened? Not only did Big not forget my birthday - he celebrated with me for two days, and he bought me a present on his trip. So there I was - out of sight, but not out of mind.

My vacation plans changed, and I came home a few days early. I'd texted Big that I was on my way, but it was late by the time I pulled into my driveway. It wasn't worth the risk that I would wake him just to announce my safe arrival. As I grabbed my bags to go inside, there was Big. He was texting, well after midnight on a Wednesday, just to be sure I got home safe. Again, I felt like I was on his mind.

He messaged me the next morning. We chatted, and made plans for the weekend. He had something going on with friends Saturday afternoon. I woke up and hung around while he got ready, planning to head home when he left his apartment. 

Big thought I might prefer not to have to rush. He thought maybe I'd like to shower and relax before heading out. So, he was offering to let me stay at his place without him there. As if that wasn't enough to knock me off the sofa, he offered me a key to his apartment, so that I could lock the door behind me when I left.

I didn't take the key. Instead, I left when he did. As happy as his offer made me, I didn't want to press my luck, or put any pressure on our relationship that it wasn't ready to handle. I didn't make a big deal of that to him, I just let it go.

I considered this some pretty big personal growth on my part. I was so invested in him, and in us, that I was happy to wait before taking the next step.

It seemed like Big was happy to take that step with me when we were ready....

Monday, November 22, 2010

On the Move

June 2010

Roller blading? Ugh - I can't roller blade. I wonder if he'll just go on his own...

...Was what I was thinking. In reality though, when Big asked me to make the financial (and physical) investment of joining him in his favorite summer past-time, I couldn't say no. I mean, he could have just gone on his own - but he was choosing to spend time with me. When he suggested I learn how so that we could still spend that time together, it seemed like the natural thing to do. I mean - he did sit through the Sex and the City movie for me.

The thing was, my joints are shot. Injuries and surgeries as a kid have left me with problems that make that type of exercise tough on me. As a result, I couldn't just buy whatever equipment, I needed some specialized stuff to keep safe, and make this work. It ended up being more of a financial investment than I wanted to (or really should) make - but that's part of a relationship, right? 

I asked a couple of people, and they all agreed that it was very cool that Big was looking to share his hobbies. It was also a personal growth opportunity for me. Big had already inspired me to try some new things - I was listening to new music, I was joining new groups. I'd even gone on a hike with my girlfriend, which was something I never would have previously tried. 

I wasn't sure why, but Big really inspired me to fear less and try more. I was using the words "I can't" far less since meeting him. Now, here he was, presenting me with another chance not only to grow and try more - but to share something with him. 

It was part of a relationship. I was starting to feel ready, and it was starting to feel right....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Super Shiny

Here's my official ruling - boys have cooties. I have determined that, dating or not, I need to find my own happiness. I found this article the other day on Your Tango's twitter feed. It's amazing - seriously, stuff we should all learn in high school. There should be a class. I need this way more than I've ever needed trigonometry. 

"Wanting someone who doesn't want you back is a reflection of your own lack of self-love." Right? Because, as the article points out, when you love someone, you want them to be happy, even if their happiness doesn't include you. Besides - if you love yourself, then you know you deserve to be loved in return. So why would you want someone who doesn't love you? Genius.

"The dull ache and longing is more predictable and safe than the risk of finding something true." So we avoid letting go because that would mean we have to move on, and risk not find something? Yeah, I can see that. It's hard to move on; even harder to do so knowing that you'll have to do it alone. Who will I wake up with on Saturdays? Who will I kiss on New Year's? Who is going to give me a Valentine's Day card? But - until we let go... we won't ever find the person who will do all those things. So we're just hurting ourselves.

"Surround yourself with people and experiences who lift you up. Make a commitment to yourself to take care of you." Brilliant. Last weekend, I saw some things online about Big that really upset me (more on that in other posts). That same night, I was supposed to go out and meet a new bunch of friends - people I knew through twitter and blogs, but whom I had not met in person. I almost didn't go. I was crying and upset and, frankly, scared.

Then it occurred to me - why? Who put him in charge of my happy? No way. It's my happy, darn it - and I want it back!! So I went. You know what? I had an awesome time! Same thing the following day...and then later in the week, I did some great things. Not in terms of men, or dating - but in terms of me. My happiness.

My shine.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Big Step

May 2010

"So, we'll stop on our way back and drop this stuff off at my parents," Big said to me one Saturday morning.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I assessed the situation. I had fully expected that he would need to stop there this weekend - something about birthday presents and fixing something at their house. What I assumed was that he would suggest he and I get breakfast, then go our separate ways. His parents don't live close by, so going there was an all day event. 

Instead, what he suggested was that he and I drive out their way, which is a nice drive, and do some shopping and have lunch. On the way back, we would stop at their house. Which is a perfectly reasonable plan.

Except... I'd never met his parents before, and he was dropping this on me out of nowhere. 

I thought fast. After all these months, I'd learned that Big wasn't exactly quick to open up with his feelings. I didn't really want to go - I hadn't been planning it and I certainly wasn't prepared to dress for it. But did I really want to risk saying no, and putting that rejection out there for something that should be a fairly big deal? 

I decided that no, I did not. So, I nodded, and went into the bathroom to get ready. While quickly texting my circle of friends and getting their input. Again, it was unanimous - this was a big step. 

All of these steps were now prompting questions from those closest to me. Were we official? Had we talked about where the relationship was going? I would panic a little when people insisted on referring to Big as my "boyfriend." I wasn't in a hurry to "discuss" where things were going. I mean - we were both happy, and things were progressing, and he was doing all of this at his own pace, which was fine with me. 

So what was there to discuss, really? It was all good...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baggage Check

Last spring, I met this guy. Well, no - that's not actually true. I knew this guy because he was a former client of mine through work. But last spring, we discovered that we had mutual friends. Those mutual friends were a couple, and they decided they were going to try and fix me and Mr. New Guy up on a date. Except, at that point, I was dating Big and wasn't interested. I told them so, and the conversation ended.

Fast forward to just after the end of things with Big, and this guy appears out of nowhere. Seriously - do men have radar? Or some underground network that alerts them to these sorts of changes? After he presses me about how I'm doing, I (stupidly) admit that I'm going through a breakup. 

His response. "Well, it's his loss." While I appreciate the sentiment - at that moment, that was not how I felt. I also didn't appreciate when he started telling me how stupid Big must be - because now, of course, all I can think of are all the reasons why Big isn't stupid, and how it's not his loss. {sigh} I really didn't need that. 

New Guy said he'd like to take me out, and I politely declined, saying I wasn't ready. He said we could just hang out as friends, to which I responded by saying that I preferred to spend time alone because I wasn't good company to anyone. 

He pressed. He texted, IMed. He emailed. Way too much pressure. Plus - there was the baggage:
  • He is a former, and prospective, client. I'm iffy about mixing my business and personal lives. 
  • After the aforementioned mutual friends split earlier in the year, he briefly dated my good friend. I've always felt like dating a friend's ex is a no-no. Even under these circumstances.
  • He has some addiction issues - specifically alcohol and gambling
  • He has two ex wives and four children. 
I'm certainly not perfect - but I did spend a lot of time working on my "issues" so that when I started dating, I wasn't making my problems someone else's problems. I sort of think we owe that to ourselves, and to each other, you know? It was one reason why I didn't want to date New Guy too soon - I was afraid I'd be using him to rebound, and that seemed unfair. 

We all have baggage - I know that. But this feels like more than just baggage; more like a whole cargo jet! So, what to do about New Guy? 

Thoughts, readers? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blow Me Away

April 2010

You remember those signs were were talking about? Well, he was about to send a big (pun intended) one my way.

Since we were spending so much time together, especially on the weekends, I was often spending one (or sometimes more) nights a week at Big's apartment. Normally, not an issue - but if it meant driving all over the area to get changed and get ready for the day, it could put a cramp in whatever plans we had. 

One Sunday, we were hanging out, and Big teased me about the baseball cap I was wearing. Normally not my style, unless I'm going to the gym or the beach - or I have no way of doing my hair. I laughed, "Well this is what you get when I can't go home." 

"Why can't you fix your hair here?" Big wanted to know. Such a guy.

Obviously, not having the proper products and accessories was the issue. If I knew ahead of time I was spending the night, then fine - but if not, then I was out of luck. 

So what did he do? Went out, bought all of the stuff I would need and then made a place for it in his bathroom. 

Talk about stunned? You really could have knocked me over with a feather. Talk about happy? I was ecstatic! I texted my three best friends (including one guy) for confirmation. The unanimous vote was that Big was stating, without stating, that he wanted a relationship. 

At this point, we were spending so much time together that neither of us could have had time to really date anyone else. I was comfortable, happy and very content with where things were. I wasn't about to push anything - this whole "just let it happen" strategy seemed to be working. We were both happy and relaxed. 

As far as I was concerned, things were going along nicely...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Adventure

March 2010

Know what Big did? He introduced me to twitter. No - not Girl's Got Shine. I had another twitter name (all me, all the time) that I used to make a lot of friends. Some of you might even know what name I used, and therefore have figured who this shiny, classy gal is that's doing all this talking. If you have, and especially if you also know who Big is, thank you, thank you - THANK YOU - for keeping me masked.

Know what twitter did? It introduced me to blogging. [Which, according to my logic means that this whole Blog is Big's fault. If he ever does figure it out, he better not complain. Right? Right.] I started a fun little blog that has a fun little following. My mask prevents me from linking you there, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

So, I was finding new ways to make friends; some on my own - and some, I was sharing with Big. We were having online, public conversations. He would initiate them all the time - even making plans to go to the movies, eat out, etc. Totally public - and easily viewed by the growing number of "tweeps" that we shared. All because of him.

I've read that a guy won't "show you off" unless he's into you. That same source says that a guy calling, making plans and being unable "to keep his hands off of you" are also signs that he's into you.

I believed his signs. I figured, we were spending more time together, and when we did, we were both always laughing and having fun. More and more he was going out of his way to include me in his "adventures" - even when adventure didn't amount to anything more than a movie and a walk. I believed that he wouldn't do that unless he wanted me around.

For me, everything with Big was an adventure, because I was constantly learning about him. Then, I realized I was also learning about myself. For a long time, I believed that I had no sense of humor and that I was not fun at all. I'd been told as much by an ex. If you hear something enough, it becomes your truth.  

Big appreciated my humor and personality. I was finding new outlets and friends that fit my style. I was finally learning who I really am. What's more, I was starting to like her...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Logging Off

So, I'm in the middle of this breakup. I'm heartbroken; but not dead. I go from really sad to really angry to really over it. Sometimes all in one hour. (sigh)

In one of my angry moments, I feverishly started updating my online dating profiles. You know, add some details, update photos - and get myself out there.

For those who don't know, dating sites are driven by activity. Users with the most recent login are moved up to the front of the line (so to speak). So, if you've been logged in recently, yours is the profile that's "matched" to other users, it shows up first in search strings, etc. 

If you're active on a site, this is normally what you want - yourself, front and center. But if you logged in as part of an I'm-so-over-you, you-don't-deserve me kind of moment - sometimes the added activity can create chaos. Or confusion. Or headaches. 

Or excellent blog reads.  

The first email I got was from a guy who was 22. Now, I'm a 30-something, but I don't really look my age. So, I chalked that up to just a mistake; maybe he sent the message based on my picture and nothing else. But then there was another...and then another. At this point, I double-checked my profile, thinking I'd accidentally shaved a few years off my age; nope. So what gives? 

Finally, I hear from a guy who seems almost normal. We exchange a couple of emails - and in his last message he sends me a couple of links to getting pregnant after 35 - how to conceive, carry a child to term healthy, etc. Yes, you read that correctly - he sent that after we had exchanged a few emails

It occurred to me that logging off these sites was probably the best idea at this point. You know, for my own sanity - and the general safety of the male population. Clearly, meeting people is just not going to happen right now. Which is probably for the best. Things really do need to happen in their own time. 

But no worries....there's plenty more stories where these came from.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finding Happiness

February 2010

It was time to celebrate Big's birthday. I texted him a week ahead of time and told him I wanted to take him to dinner and a movie the following weekend. It wouldn't be for his exact birthday, but I was trying to not be presumptious.

Then, the weirdest thing happened. On his actual big day, I texted to say happy birthday, and he responded and actually made plans with me. For his birthday. Wow. I thought that was a pretty big deal.

We still weren't seeing each other all the time, but when we did spend time together, it was mostly him that would initiate our dates - and he was doing that more often. I still wasn't totally sold that he wanted to be exclusive or that he really had feelings for me. I had decided to end things with everyone else, mostly because I wanted to see where this was going. Also, this relationship was teaching me what I really wanted - and those others weren't going anywhere. Plus - I needed more time to myself. 

Towards the end of the month, something very cool happened. We were at the mall, waiting for a movie, and we ran into a friend and her husband. They came over and I introduced them to Big. This was the first time he was really meeting anyone to whom I was close.

The next day, I got a text from my friend's sister (we're all close). Apparently, my friend had called to tell her about seeing me at the mall, and about meeting Big. She commented that I "looked happier than she'd ever seen me."

That comment stayed with me. Was that possible? I was married for a long time, and this person had known me all those years. The truth is, I was happily married at one point, but by the end, things had changed. I remember worrying that I would never find happiness again. Maybe I finally was?   

I, of course, attributed this to Big. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I was finally finding my happiness...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just Enough

January 2010

After my cowardly email, we really didn't see each other for a while. I'll confess - things picked up with another guy. I was seeing him a lot, and not really seeing Big at all. But towards the end of the month, Big and I finally made plans. 

He was all nice and sweet. He seemed happy to see me. I let the "where do we stand" conversation go; remember, I was just letting things happen. We really weren't seeing a whole lot of each other. Big was protective of his time, and I had other things going on.

The thing was - every time I met another guy, I found myself comparing him to Big. Big was better looking, Big was smarter...Big made me smile, Big didn't try too hard. It was becoming more and more clear to me what I wanted; and with whom I wanted to be. 

I firmly believe that everyone in our life is here with a purpose. Maybe to teach us a lesson, or help us through a difficult time. Some people are meant to be in our life forever. 

I was starting to think that maybe Big was in my life to help me figure out exactly what I wanted in a relationship. He seemed to want me around, and to like me - but it also felt like he was holding back. It never occurred to me that he was here to be in my life permanently; I figured I'd learn my lesson, and then he'd move on. 

It's hard to balance letting your guard down to learn a lesson, while still keeping it up just enough to prevent the heartache....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Helpful Advice

I've gotten a lot of advice on how to survive this break up. I've been through a divorce - but that's a different kind of break up altogether. There's more than just the emotional change; you have legal and financial worries, your family dynamic is shifting, etc. 

This most recent break up is different. Our lives were not intertwined; we didn't share money, a home or property. We just don't see each other anymore. Still - I love the guy. We had fun together and I miss him terribly.  

One thing I've learned is to never discount the advice of friends. Even if someone hasn't been through your exact situation, she might be able to offer helpful advice or insight. As silly as they might seem, self-help books can be useful, too. There are also a ton of internet sites that offer advice, and communities where you can find  people who relate to your situation.

I found some really helpful sites and blogs that I thought I'd share here. 

Some of them a pretty current; others haven't been updated in a while. But broken hearts are as old as time, aren't they? Something that someone went through last year might help you now. 

The point is, we all hurt. We all suffer loss. All of us deal with change in a different way, but it's stressful for everyone. Never be afraid to ask for help, or to tell someone you're upset. If someone asks how you're doing, and you're sad - tell them. Be honest. 

You never know where you might find a new friend. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Can We Talk?

December 2009....

I wanted to know where we stood, but I was afraid to bring it up in person. So, I went with the twentieth century, full-blown coward approach: I sent an email. 

I basically just told him that I really liked him, that it seemed like we were good together and I was wondering where we stood. Big's response? His feelings, while there, weren't where mine were. We agreed we'd keep seeing each other, and just see where it went. 

I figured Big and I would just continue to see each other casually. You know - "let things happen," as my friend Matt would say. I figured this was a good lesson for me. I was always planning everything, and trying to control how and when it all happened.

Although my friends thought I was crazy, I wanted to keep seeing him. I liked him a lot; I enjoyed the time we spent together, and I didn't want to give that up. So, advice from friends be damned - I decided to stick with the just let it happen idea, and see where it went. Worst case scenario, I thought, maybe I'd learn a little about myself and what I was really looking for in a relationship. 

Maybe I would finally learn that everything doesn't need an agenda...

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Break from the Breakup

So, you've probably guessed that I created this blog primarily to get over a break up. Because - well, because break ups suck. 

From time to time, though, I'm going to take a break from the breakup. Partly because I don't want to bore you, dear reader. Partly because it's not all about me. Mostly because life is full of other stuff and who wants to be so wrapped up in heartache that we miss anything? 

Based on my name, most of my followers are girls gals strong women. But I picked up a guy follower the other day (go me!). So, in your honor, @Chasetophers, I'm posing the following question, and am hoping for a guy's perspective (as well as the gal's; sorry, but no - I'm not asking about BBQ):

How do you define a lie? 

Is it just what a person says? Or is it also how she behaves? If someone acts like they're your friend, then talks behind your back - is their friendship a lie? Or is that just human nature? 

What about in relationships? If a person (guy or girl) pushes a relationship, acts affectionate and caring - and then turns around and changes their mind - was that a lie? Would your answer change if you knew the person admitted that he/she was "forcing" their feelings? 

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, both in the context of my own life and the lives of several of my friends. I'm basically upfront with others; I say what I mean and I mean what I say. No one ever has to guess where they stand with me. 

But not everyone is like that. Some people are just more guarded and careful. So is that just part of your personality? Or is putting on a pretense the same thing as lying? What if it misleads another person into saying or doing things she might not have otherwise?  

Is it wrong to form expectations based on the way someone acts? Is it only a lie if they actually say something - regardless of what they do?  

What do you think? 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shields Down

November 2009...

So we kept seeing each other. We went to the movies, dinner, and shopping. We went to a couple of cheap concerts, and hung out on Halloween. I was really enjoying myself - although, I will confess, I was still dating other people. We never talked about being exclusive, and I wasn't sure it was what he (or I) wanted.

Still, if I wanted to go out, it was usually him I would ask. If he asked me to go out, I almost always said yes. I just wanted a sign of how he really felt. 

Around Thanksgiving, we spent a day together, just hanging out; movies, lunch, etc. I found out that he spent that whole day with me, walking the malls and through parking lots - all on an injured foot. So, he suffered that whole day just to spend time with me?

I remember thinking - wow, this guy must really be sincere. Why would anyone put himself through that just to spend time with someone, unless he really did have feelings?

I'd been burned before by someone rushing the relationship - and then deciding it wasn't what he really wanted. But it had been almost two months with Big - and things were still going well. I wanted to believe that he was as honest as he claimed to be, and that he had his act together. The guy he was showing me would never put on a pretense. Plus, he had no reason, right? If he didn't like me, he would just tell me so, and we could both move on.   

If I didn't take a risk, I might lose my chance. What good was protecting my heart, if I never opened it up to anyone? I decided to let my guard down....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Online Meeting

October 2009...

I had just about given up on men. I'd dated this one guy for about a month; and then we were "friends" for another few months. All the while, he was into someone else and just using me to the pass the time. In his defense, he never led me on. But I let my heart get way too involved, so when he started dating her and it was really over between us - I was crushed.

Following that guy was a series of terrible first dates, and a few online chat sessions that were so bad they never even turned into dates. Seriously - I could write a book.

One night, I was completely bored and lonely. So, I sat there on a dating website and sent message after message to guys that looked interesting. My criteria was strict; must have a nice photo; must have a well-written profile with some humor and some intelligence - and in the name of all that is good, no grammar or spelling errors. 

I got several responses. One of the guys who wrote me back was Big. [I love Sex and the City] We had excellent email correspondence for a couple of days, and we decided to meet for dinner one night after work. It went so well, that we met again that Saturday. He texted me the very next day and asked me to go for a drive with him, to do some outlet shopping. My best friend told me, "You should marry him. Any guy that offers to take you shopping on a date is obviously made for you." 

So we did. Then he asked me to go out that week; then the following weekend. All him, mind you. I was all about going slowly, because in my previous relationship, the guy jumped in with both feet and then pulled away. I was gun-shy and didn't want to let that happen again. 

But this guy really seemed to like me, and I had a lot of fun spending time with him, too....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

A couple of years ago, I got divorced. I'd been married for ten years - and then suddenly, I wasn't.

It was a tough transition, but I made it through. About a year later, I met a wonderful man. We laughed, smiled, kissed, talked and generally had fun together. We wanted the same things, and we were good to, and for, each other. 

Or so I thought.

A year later, I learned that not everything is as it seems. I lost him; and I made the mistake of letting him take my shine as he left.

I'm taking it back.