Friday, December 31, 2010

Shiny New Year

Here's to you, 2010!!

All in all, 2010 was not a bad year for me. Sure, the whole Big thing was sad - but a lot of good came from that bad. I've been lucky enough to see it, even through the occasional tear.

I'm not 100% over it - but I know one thing for sure: I will find my shine. So, bring it 2011. I'm ready.

Wishing all of my friends a shiny 2011!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where I am happy

It probably seems like all I talk about is dating. Which is true....technically. I created this blog to talk about one particular person. Then I realized, it was pretty convenient to keep my dating life safely mostly sort of hidden over here, instead of baring it for the world under my real name.

With that in mind...I'm listing some dating-related resolutions for 2011. Why the explanation? I don't want you to think that all my resolutions are dating related...I have a life, ya know. ;)

  • I'm done looking for love; I'm going to let it find me.
  • If love finds me, I won't resist it; but I'm not going to let it quiet me, either.
  • In the words of a very smart, very special friend who knows me better than anyone:
I'm going to follow my heart, and go where I am happy - not where I think I might, or should be, happy.

Your turn. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Playing games

"Why are you seeing that other guy?" That was the question a good friend asked me on Thursday night. The night after Mr. 28-Year-Old gave me a very thoughtful Christmas gift. It was nothing fancy - but it was absolutely perfect, showed a lot of thought and was just absolutely sweet.

The "other guy" to whom my friend was referring is a guy I met online about a month ago. We've been on three dates. On paper, he's exactly the guy I'm looking for: early 40's, educated and smart, very successful, good with money, interesting, gets along with his family, etc.

He's a gamer (so that will be his nick-name) - meaning things like Dungeons & Dragons, Magic, Battletech, etc. are his thing. Totally fine with me. (I can actually visualize some of you shaking your heads as you read that!) Here's my thing: Any hobby is better than no hobby. A person who is interested in something is usually more interesting to spend time with. They have something to talk and get excited about. Something to share.

When we first started chatting, he told me that his gaming had been a problem with other women he'd dated. They'd complained it was an "immature" hobby for a guy his age. I could see that, but, as I told him, it really wasn't a problem for me.

But I'll tell you what was...

It's slightly more than a hobby. It's all he does. Which means that when it comes to making plans/dates, he's at a loss. He has nothing to suggest because he doesn't do anything other than play games - and since I don't play (and have no plans to start) that's not something he can suggest. What's more, he's new to the area, so when we make plans, he always leans on me, saying, "Well I don't know the area." It feels like a cop out; I'm his date, not his cruise director. New or not, I don't expect to have to do all the work. That's tiring - and alarmingly like spending time with family.

His gaming also means that I'm flying solo for for certain date-nights. For example - every other weekend, he goes out of town to visit his mom and spend time with gaming friends. I was matter-of-factly informed that he has a standing engagement for New Year's Eve, playing a game with a group of friends.

Is it rude of me to be upset about that? Maybe. It's also possible that I'm looking for excuses. As right as this guy may seem, it's discouraging when I'm given a list of dates he is not (and never would be) available.

I also found that, while he is always nice to me, he's not always nice to others. For example - waiters. He complained to me about the service in both restaurants where we've eaten -  and was passive-aggressively rude to our waiter, but didn't say anything constructive. In my opinion, there really wasn't anything to complain about anyway.

My friend suggested that it might be time to cut this guy off (three dates, no improvement). Maybe I should focus on Mr. 28-year-old, who seems like a genuinely nice guy, and who is always making me smile. I'm told it's pretty obvious that I like this guy - a lot.
So, I'm back to thinking about Gamer. When I break things off, he's going to think that my problem is the gaming. Do I just let him think that, and be done with it? Or do I explain?

It makes me think of the line in the movie Social Network, when Erica Albright breaks up with Mark Zuckerberg. She says to him, "You'll go through life thinking girl's don't like you because you're a nerd. I want you to know that won't be true. It will be because you're an asshole."

Maybe I should just send him that video clip?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jewelry under my tree

Have you experienced this phenomena involving lovey-dovey couples showing off their happy selves at holiday time? If it's after Christmas, it usually also involves the woman showing off a stunning piece of jewelry.

I thought hosting a Christmas dinner would exclude me from this disaster, so there I was on Saturday - cooking and cleaning like a happy little home-maker. I took a break around noon, and signed into facebook, and....


There it was. "Best husband, best Christmas ever!" was the first status, accompanied by a picture of a 5 kt diamond tennis bracelet. A little further down, "Well, this is unexpected..." with a picture of a black-diamond ring. Sigh. I guess even my laptop isn't safe.

Now, don't get me wrong - it's not the jewelry. I have all the jewelry I want, including a diamond tennis bracelet. It's that feeling you get when you open a gift like that on Christmas morning. A feeling of complete and total love and appreciation. To someone - you are the most important person. That feeling can't be beat.

I sighed, shook my head and closed my laptop. I finished cooking and cleaning just in time. My family arrived, we had a nice meal - and then we opened gifts. I noticed a couple of looks between my cousin and her husband. You know those glances - where he's saying, "No, not again" and she's saying "You be quiet - be happy and like it?" I remember those "conversations" - and the private conversations that followed later.

Suddenly, it was okay that there was no jewelry under my tree.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Seems Sad

I told you Big sent me an email to tell me he found the blog. But I never did tell you what he said, did I? Curious?

To his credit, he didn't seem angry. In fact, all he said was that, having read the blog, it seems to him we had different perspectives of our relationship. He said, again, that he's sorry for hurting me and for having been inconsistent. He was polite and friendly.

Still, I gotta be honest; when I first read the email - I was mad as hell pissed off a bit upset. This is probably the third time Big has apologized. The thing is - I think he's apologizing for breaking up with me. Which is silly. No one should apologize for how they feel - it's like apologizing for the truth, which makes no sense.

Big doesn't seem to understand what he did that hurt me. It wasn't the break-up - it was leading me on; setting me up, knowing the whole time that this thing between us really wasn't going anywhere. Maybe he didn't intend to hurt me - but he also didn't intend to look out for my feelings. I feel like I was a good friend to him, and I deserved better than having my feelings ignored for his convenience.

He intimated that he told me I wasn't pretty in order to just end things, and not have to discuss it further. If so - does that mean that also wasn't the truth? If that's the case, then Big has yet to be honest with me - about anything. Which I find ironic, given that he believes himself to be a very honest, forthright person.

After reading the email a couple hundred of times, I started to wonder if maybe Big really had (or has) no idea how much I cared for, or loved him. Maybe he thought I was just being "that girl" because I tried to talk to him after he felt we had closure. I'm not sure.

It seems sad to me for Big to be unaware of how much he really meant to me. I hope that he eventually figures that out; even if it happens through reading this blog. The truth is - he had a huge impact on my life. I appreciated that while it was happening, and I think I appreciate even more now. I hope he knows that; and I also hope he knows that he deserves someone who appreciates him that way.

For Big to not realize that, would be the saddest thing of all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's a major award!!

May the soft glow of electric sex warm your hearts this holiday season!

Merry Everything and Happy Always! 

Girl's Got Shine

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Holiday for the Rest of Us

Yup, it's Festivus! Time to get out your pole and prepare for your feats of strength. My favorite part of this holiday is, of course, the airing of grievances.

The thing is, airing grievances is like the Christmas spirit of goodwill, caring and compassion. We shouldn't need a special day set aside; it's something we should observe all year long.

In that spirit, instead of using today's post to air my grievances, I'm going to show you a few places where I go everyday to do just that. It's about sharing, so I'm sharing my favorites with you. You're welcome.

I just found this site, which is all about bad dates, the online world, and how to make the best of a bad situation. It's written from both perspectives, and is full of awesome. Check out Dating a Lemon.

We've all been in relationships that didn't work. It takes a lot to share your story. She freaking rocks - Simply Stella Sage.

Sometimes, she writes about love. Sometimes she writes about food. Sometimes she writes about the interwebz. Whatever she's writing about, it's done with humor, smarts and buckets of goodness. Dri:1 Humanity:0 For The Win!!

Dating in your 30's is tough. These ladies do it with class and style, and share their ups and downs with all of us. I bet you'll love Sassy Singleton and My Devina as much as I do.

They write what the rest of us are thinking. The Super Blogettes will rock your world.

Dating isn't everything. Sometimes you need a photo break, some perspective - and knit hats never hurt anyone. Check out my friend Cute~Ella for all things wonderful.

If perspective and knit hats don't do it for you...he's got it. I promise. Detention with derryX has something for everyone.

Style and class? Look no further than Ms. Amanda Talar's blog. She's class and style wrapped up in cool and told with smarts and humor.

Just cause I like it, check out This is Not the Life I Ordered.... Most of us don't figure everything out the first time around.

Blogs are about community. They're about sharing and interacting. Like it or not, not everyone agrees - but hey, that'd be boring anyway, right? For a great community, check out On The Edge by Kristi Gustafson. I'm there everyday , although I (technically) don't comment.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's the point?

A couple of months ago I met this guy (we'll call him Curly) online. We had some pretty steady email conversations going for a while - then, nothing. I started focusing elsewhere, and just assumed he'd done the same.

Fast forward two months. Last week, I get an email from him that says, " Sorry I've been out of touch. Guess I was working too much." For two months? I happen to know he's been online - the website is designed to show you who is online, and who isn't. I also know that during that time, he created a profile at a different dating site, where he had also been online.

My immediate reaction was that it was a lie; that he'd met someone and had been working on that relationship, which failed, and he was using me as a backup. To be sure I wasn't being too cynical, I asked my tweeps what they thought. I got several responses (thank you to Cassie, Cute~Ella, Kriskaten and Grumble) all in agreement that my instincts were probably right.

Oddly enough, something similar happened to me last year (pre-Big). I'd been chatting with this guy for a while - then, he disappeared. I assumed he met someone, and got on with life. Fast forward to last month, and I stumbled on his profile, so I sent him an email. He replied saying he'd missed me, that he didn't know what he'd been thinking or why he'd lost touch with me, and he asked if I'd like to get to know him again. He even remembered where he "owed" me a dinner.

So, I emailed him my personal contact info. And I haven't heard from him since.

Of course someone more interesting can always come along. It's one of the pitfalls of online dating - it's so easy to meet bunches of people and it often happens all at the same time. Naturally, a person only has so much time, and you have to make choices; we've all done it.

But to blow someone off and then try to use a lame-o lie excuse to get back in? Wrong.

The enthusiastic "I've missed you so much" also boggles my mind. If you don't feel that way, couldn't you just say so? Or ignore the email? Why the pretense?

What's the point?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And Then...

[The best scene from an awesome movie.] 

You laughed, didn't you? You're welcome.

So, now that Big knows, I've been asked if I will keep writing this blog. At first, I thought - no way. It would be mean, and a little unfair. Then I thought - wait. Big knows about the blog, and he knows he's Big - but (most of) you don't know who he is. You're here to read about me and my perspective; hopefully you laugh a little (or a lot) and maybe you even learn something.

I started this blog to learn about myself. I truly believe that it takes two to make any relationship - and two to break it. If things didn't work, there have to be some things about myself that I need to improve. I also wanted to mend my broken heart by focusing on what I gained from my relationship with Big, instead of dwelling on what I had lost.

The whole "If I'd done this, would he have stayed?" or "If I'd been prettier/thinner/taller/smarter/dumber he'd still be here," is a trap. That's never true; you can't control how someone else feels. You can control how you react; you can improve your perspective; you can learn to see the good in your life.

That's an excellent message. It's something we all have to learn (usually the hard way) and that we all need a reminder of every now and then.

So I will keep writing the blog. It doesn't matter who I am (or who Big is). At the end of the day, we're just a guy and a girl who fell in love liked each other who loved and lost. It's something everyone everyone's been through.

It's definitely worth sharing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Secret's Out

I got an email from Big. Seems he found Girl's Got Shine. In the immortal words of my friend, "Oh fuuuck!"

After I picked myself up off the floor of the mall (I read his email on my phone), I decided - given this new turn of events - now would be an excellent time to point out a couple of things out about this blog.

I'm not ashamed of my feelings, I'm painfully aware of my flaws, and (aside from adjusting - not changing - some revealing details) I've been 100% honest in this blog. I'm not anonymous to protect myself. It's strictly out of respect for Big.

The point of this blog isn't to bad-mouth Big (or anyone else). I tell the truth, as I know it, in an effort to sort through my feelings, help me see more than just my side of things, and (hopefully) get some insight from people who I trust and respect. Whatever conclusions people draw about Big, me, or anyone else are their own.

I have learned that breakups happen because perspectives change. In a successful relationship, people are on the same page; when they disagree, they constructively share their point of view, and either come to an agreement, or agree to disagree. Hopefully, the disagreement isn't big enough to end the relationship.

When it is, a side effect is that you relinquish the right to share your perspective, and to learn that of the other person. You don't have to agree on why something happened, or who was right and who was wrong. The decision to end things (whether it's mutual or not) is an agreement that you aren't going to agree on what caused the end. You've agreed to disagree.

I'm sure when Big read the posts, he recognized the facts (the whats, whens and wheres). I'm also sure his perspective on those same events was much different than mine. He probably thought he was being a nice guy by making me comfortable in his apartment; being polite, a good friend. Maybe he didn't think it meant anything to suggest I join him when he stopped at his parents' house. Maybe he didn't realize that I never wanted to roller blade with him; that I only invested the time, money and risk because he asked, and I assumed that meant it was what he wanted.

The truth is, I'm really not sure what Big thinks. He's told me, but he's never been consistent. First he liked me; then he wasn't sure. Then he wanted to spend time with me - but not a lot. Then he wanted more time; then he wanted me comfortable in his life (and offered the keys and hair products to prove it). Then he preferred time to himself. He acted as though he found me attractive - then said he never did. He said he liked spending time with me; then he moved right on to the next person within a week, like he never even knew me.

I think maybe Big was never sure what he wanted. There's nothing wrong with that; part of life is figuring that out. The problem is - I did know. I figured out what I wanted before I dated Big, and before I let anything come of what was between us.

I guess we were on different pages from the very beginning.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Small World

It's ironic that things like twitter, facebook and blogs make our world bigger, and at the same time, show us how small it really is. 

In my "real world" life got weird a couple weeks ago on facebook, when I discovered a long-forgotten connection with a "new" friend. 

In my dating world (aka The Big World) I recently found out a couple of things about Mr. 28-Year-Old.

I suspected he lived near Big. I was disappointed to find out they actually live in the same complex. I was mortified to find out they actually live in the same building. Crap.

I (obviously) knew that Mr. 28-Year-Old also knows Big (through twitter). What I didn't know was that the whole reason I met Mr. 28-Year-Old was because Big suggested he follow me. Oy.

How's that for a small world? And you thought your life was awkward.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Changes, Lessons and Trends

It's funny how different love and dating is today, compared to even just five years ago. My friends are amazed that pretty much every date I've had since my divorce has been with a guy I met through a dating website. Now that I've met someone on twitter - they really don't know what to think.

But it seems like I'm not the only one. According to this article, which I found from the Your Tango twitter feed, mobile dating (accessing sites through smart phones) and meeting through social networks like twitter and facebook will take off in popularity in 2011.

Interestingly enough, the article also says that many singles will abandon online dating in favor of match-makers - and couples will introduce social media bans and/or limits into their relationships. *shudders*

Some other trends the article predicts?

Smarter sexting (thanks Brett Favre)
A return to traditional gender roles (oh, dear)
"Deal Breakers" will become a thing of the past

Personally, I have already abandoned my "deal breakers" in favor of a more open-mind. Not because I'm settling, or care more about financial stability as the article suggests. I've grown up a bit in the last twelve months, and it turns out - my deal breakers weren't really all that good.

I'm all for smarter sexting (or, none at all, if that's the smartest route - which is often the case). Traditional gender roles, though? If you know me in real life, I think it's safe to assume this will not be one of my trends in 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Work it out

As angry as I was with Big, I couldn't help but make note of all the good that was coming out of this breakup. Personally, I'd already started to notice the relationships and connections I was building.

Unexpectedly, some professional changes started to occur as well. I started spending time with a family member who is also a small business owner. I basically created a new job for myself, blogging and helping her with her website. To further this goal, I started looking into classes and free groups to joint where I could network and get advice on how to help her - and learn for myself.

It turns out - this whole breakup thing might be the change I'd been looking for. I'm...less than enthusiastic about my day job. But writing and blogging is something I love to do. I'm working with an independent publisher on an idea for a book, and I've started blogging elsewhere with some earning potential.

With all these positive changes, I've had less and less time to think about the hurt - or how much I missBig. For the first time in a long time (maybe ever) I've been totally focused on myself, and what I want out of my life.

Maybe everything really does happen for a reason.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not Gonna Lie

I really was trying to focus on the good - new friends, renewed connections, and some other new opportunities (more on that later) were all positives, that started happening as a result of my breakup. As time went on, it was easier and easier to focus on those things, and slowly push out the negative. But I won't lie. I am only human, I do have feelings. Sometimes, they were really hurt. 

Other times - I was plain pissed off.

Who did he think he was, anyway? If what Big had said was true, then he was lying to me the whole time we were together. Not flat out telling me lies, no, but pretending to have feelings that he really didn't have. His pretense led me to make certain choices, and do things I never would have done had I known the truth. 

He set me up for heartbreak. He knew the whole time that I would probably fall in love, and then get hurt. He could have prevented that. He said he was my friend, and that I treated him well. Yet, he repaid me by letting me walk into the fire, knowing the pain it would cause me. What kind of  friend is that? 

People kept saying to me that maybe Big wasn't telling the truth. They questioned if a guy could realistically fake feelings, or attraction, to a woman for a year. Maybe he really was afraid to commit, so he rationalized his feelings by saying he really didn't have any? 

I suppose that was a possibility. However, that would mean that he pretended to be a guy with his act together; who knew what he wanted, and wasn't afraid to go after it. It also meant that he was a guy who let his fear stand in the way of something good, and who let it hurt both of us in the end.

So what did that leave me with? Big was either a liar or a coward. Which guy would you rather be with? 

Monday, December 13, 2010


I started to think about why the whole "Big" thing had happened? Surely, I wasn't meant to be sad and lonely, and surely I wasn't being punished with the heartbreak. I like to think that everything happens for a reason - and I really wanted to know, what was the reason for all of this?

I started wondering if maybe I was meant to learn a lesson. It occurred to me that, since things had picked up with Big, I had let some things in my own life go. My finances were (are) atrocious, my work was slipping and I wasn't really making any changes. I was behind in my own "stuff" - my house, my gardening, my writing; all of it was suffering. To a certain degree, so were some of my friendships.

I'm not making excuses. I was in love, and if we had been able to work things out, I know I would have found a way to incorporate my life with Big with the rest of my life. But maybe it wouldn't hurt to look at this change as a wake-up call; to refocus my energy. Maybe it was time that I learned that love would find me when the time was right, and it was more important for me to pay attention to myself, and what I wanted.

It was killing me to not understand what had happened. I did (and still often do) wonder how things could have seemed so right, and still gone so terribly wrong. It was making me question everything - most of all, myself and my ability to recognize a good thing when I saw it.

The toughest thing was getting over the fact that I wasn't "pretty enough." Men would ask me out, and friends would say, "See - he thinks you're pretty." I would respond with, "Yeah, and at one time, Big said he did, too." I just couldn't get past that.

Admittedly, I rely a lot on the opinions of others for validation, especially when it comes to my own beauty. Maybe all of this was happening so that I would learn to find my own beauty, without relying on anyone else.

Friday, December 10, 2010


This will be my third Christmas in a row that I am completely single. Fourth, if you count the one where I was married, yet completely miserable.

In some ways, being single for the holidays is a little sad. I'll most likely be at more than one holiday party where I'll be surrounded by happy, affectionate couples, and the woman will be flaunting a beautiful gift from her SO. {sigh} I confess: Sometimes, I miss that, even just a little.

But there are some things I won't miss. Like, deciding whose family/friend party to attend; coordinating exit strategies; or awkward looks and comments if you're stuck at a party after having an argument.

Maybe there are some things about single-hood that I need to embrace. The relationship we have with ourselves is pretty important; it's a good idea to make sure to work on that every now and then, too. Not to mention - think how much more I'll appreciate the person I'm with, if I know what it feels like to be without.

I'm going to do my best to embrace being single. But don't get me wrong. I'm still looking for love; for my butterflies. For all the inconveniences and frustration that can go along with a relationship, at the end of the day, I'd still like to have someone to kiss under the mistletoe.

I just want to be sure it's the right someone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friends Make Your World

My friends all told me that the only way to really get over someone is to find the next person. A guy I already knew asked me out right away (again - seriously, do men have radar or something?). I wasn't particularly interested in him - and also, it felt wrong to use someone to get over my heartbreak. I felt used by Big, to be honest - like he'd kept me around until something better came along. I didn't want to do the same to anyone else.

So, I kept to myself. I cried an awful lot. Being told I wasn't pretty enough was a huge hit to my already-wavering self-esteem. I spent time with my friends, and I dove into writing. I was writing anywhere I could - emails, text messages to friends, even a (different) anonymous blog.

The one place I was avoiding was twitter. Which, to be honest, really bummed me out. My twitter family is a great bunch of people with whom I like "spending time," especially during my workday. But I'd catch little messages and innuendos, and it really hurt my feelings. Especially since a lot of what I saw suggested that she really didn't like Big all that much. That just plain made me angry - to think that someone who had what I wanted, and didn't know enough to appreciate what she had.

After a little time passed, I started to notice something. There were friends that I had, even through twitter and blogs, with whom I was able to connect elsewhere. Email, facebook - even real life. It was amazing to find all these new people in my life, who made feel wanted and like I mattered.

Then something else amazing happened...I reconnected with my mom. She's been amazing, reading my emails and responding every day, even though I know she's busy. She's listened, and offered advice and comfort in exactly the way that I needed it most. 

I started to realize that my life was very full, and I had so much to be happy about. My friends had shown me that there were wonderful things that would be coming my way. The sadness I felt over Big started to pale in comparison...

"Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world." William James

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Online dating is just like anything else - it has its ups and its downs. It's really just something a single person does in today's dating world. It's another option. If you're looking for love (or even just a little like every now and again), why would you rule anything out? 

Meeting people online can feel a little...forced. I've found that when I meet guys, they often jump right in to "relationship mode." I met a guy a couple of weeks ago who seemed really cool. We went on one date, and I really enjoyed myself, so I agreed to a second. On that date, he whined when I said I was going away for the weekend (to see family) and actually wanted to come along with me

That wasn't the first time something like that has happened. Do I just attract that kind of desperate, lonely guy? Maybe (I certainly wouldn't rule it out). I also think the online meeting might be a factor. 

When you meet online, you both know (or think you know, anyway) upfront that the other person is looking for a relationship. I think a lot of people assume that the fact that you met online means you can just skip all the courting steps that a couple would go through if they met, say, at work. First get to know each other...then become friends....then date....then a relationship.

The thing is - that's all part of building a relationship. Relationships should always be organic - they should always be allowed to develop at their own rate. A profile can't replace the important connections that you build while getting to know someone and becoming their friend.

So take it slow. Let it happen; there's no reason to force anything, if it's meant to be, it will work out on its own. Don't wish away the courtship or the romance. You know, that feeling in your stomach? The butterflies.

We all want our butterflies! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This One's on Me

Do you remember when I told you about the friend that Big met after work, right before the stuff hit the fan? Remember I said I knew her, too? I did. Do, actually. Remember I mentioned twitter? You guessed it. We're all friends tweeps.

I actually found out about the whole thing by accident. "She" tweeted a link to her blog. The post title had nothing to do with dating or relationships, so I opened the link, never expecting to read what I did. I was at work - and very nearly got sick, again. I started crying so much, I had to leave work early.

I never would have expected this. She's very different from me - and, I thought, from Big, too. This made even less sense than anything else so far.

My friends, of course, all had great theories. She's a very pretty woman - so maybe Big was just impressed that a woman like that was showing interest in him. Maybe it had been going on for a while, and he'd finally gotten the nerve up to say something. 

But I've been down this road before. The truth is, if a relationship is strong, a third person can't break it apart. Sure, they can cause problems - fights, even. But in the end, a third person is really just a symptom of a larger problem. 

The truth is - if Big had ever been really into me and invested in our relationship, there's nothing anyone could have done to break us apart. 

So the break was really on him, and on us....and on me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reality Check

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I had done wrong where Big was concerned. None of it made any sense. We had chemistry; we laughed together; we communicated well and had great conversations. We had fun together. He had wanted to spend time with me - pushed for it, even. 

I probably could have understood him changing his mind. But wrapping my mind around the idea that he'd been pretending the whole time? I couldn't do it. Not only did it seem impossible that a person could (or would) pretend that well for that long, but Big is an honest guy. He'd never put on a pretense, or misrepresent himself. He didn't have it in him. 

My friends rallied around me. From people I've known my whole life to friends who I had just met - even people  who I've only met through twitter or blogs - were right there to help me. Of course, people say the darndest things when they're not sure what to say, don't they? 

"Maybe he's confused; he just needs some time, and he'll come around." 

"It's his loss." 

"He probably has commitment issues." 

I was stubborn. It wanted to know; to understand what had happened. I wasn't willing to just accept that it was his issue, and I should move on. This was right, damn it, and I wanted it fixed. 

While my friends supportive words meant a lot (and still do; even more, now) what I really needed was a reality check. And I was about to get one...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Number Game

If you follow me on twitter, you know I often tweet about dating - mishaps, questions and, yes, occasionally even one that goes well. A couple of weeks ago, I put a question out there to my tweeps: What do you think about women dating younger guys?

I have always considered myself very non-traditional when it comes to all things, including relationships. But for some reason, I've always had this hang up about dating guys younger than me. I used to think it was because I was only attracted to older guys, so it didn't come up. Now I'm wondering if my hang up might be influencing my choices, and closing me off from other possibilities? It's that whole chicken vs egg argument. {sigh}

The whole thing started because I met this guy. He's sweet, funny, cute and smart. All good things, right? But he's eight years younger than me - so I immediately put him in the do-not-date list. Then we started talking more and more, and I started thinking...does he really belong there? If it wasn't for his age (or mine) - would I feel differently?

The general consensus among my tweeps (and assorted other friends) is that age is just a number. That if both people are interested in each other, want the same things, etc. - it should not affect the success of the relationship. It was also pointed out to me (by more than one person) that a man's maturity level has zero to do with his age. Which is true - Big is several years older than me, as was my ex-husband. They both made some very bone-headed, immature, silly choices that one would have thought they'd outgrown.

So, I started thinking - maybe age really is just a number. If I met a guy who was smart, cute, sweet and funny and didn't know his age, I'd be interested. Why should the number on his driver's license change that? 

Of course, I don't know yet if Mr. 28-Year-Old is interested in little ol' me (pun intended). But the fact that I'm willing to find out is a pretty big step in this game.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Get a Life...

....No - Seriously.

I left those online profiles out there, figuring they could do the talking for me for a while. I've met a few guys that, on paper (or monitor), look great. But when I chat in person, it's a whole other story.

I've met two guys who are in similar situations. One already holds a masters degree, but is pursuing a second masters that will certify him to teach. He goes to school full-time and works an overnight stocking job to pay his bills. The other is pursing a masters full time and does not work at all; he lives off student loans.

You would think men who are in school would have something to talk about, right? They're learning everyday! Wrong. A typical conversation (text, phone or IM):

How are you? I'm well! You?

Okay. How was your day? It was good. I did [this, this and this] and now I'm doing [this]. What did you do? 

Nothing. Let's talk more about you....

Men, please listen: Women do not always want to talk about themselves. Yes, we want you to listen when we do want to talk. Sometimes, we want your input; other times, we just want to vent. Yes, we expect you to know the difference. 

But that's usually after a relationship has been established. I'm in the middle of trying to get to know these men - and they have nothing to say. One actually said to me, "I wish I had something more to say." Great - so say something - anything!! 

I'm not the most exciting person in the world, believe me. I'm a basically normal 30-something; I have a job, hobbies, family and friends. I have a house. I have two cats. I have a car. 

I have a life, and that's what I talk about. I expect the same from guys. It doesn't have to be exciting or glamorous. It just has to be real. It should be whoever they are. 

That is, after all, what I'm trying to learn about.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Now What?

I was completely heartbroken. I cried - all the time. Everything reminded me of Big. I even had to change my route to work, because he lives so close to my office that my regular route reminded me of driving to his house. 

I felt foolish and stupid for being that upset. I was constantly talking to my friends, and I really do think I was driving them nuts, but they listened (Thank You)

I think the hardest part was that I just didn't understand. I didn't get how Big could have behaved like he felt one way - and now he was saying he never had. What's more - he made it out to be my fault. We'd only been romantic because that was what I had wanted; he'd only done those things because he was trying to please me.

Could this have been all my fault? Had I pressured him, or pushed things? I thought long and hard, because if I had, I felt terrible. I would never want to force a relationship on anyone. But, I truly couldn't come up with anything I had done that pushed the relationship. Sure, I'd invested - I'd even introduced him to my family. But that was a reaction - to him. 

I was pretty sure I'd let him take the lead on everything. That should have worked, right? This wasn't a classic case of "girl traps guy." The whole relationship was in his hands - and now he was saying that he'd never wanted it; that he'd made the whole thing up because he'd wanted to want it. And he did - but not with me. 

None of it made any sense. What had I done wrong?