Love in the Thin Air

Last weekend, I spent three perfect days in Telluride for a close friend’s wedding at Schmid Ranch near Mount Wilson. The golden aspens stretching up to the wild and unpredictable sky, snow covered mountains surrounding the valley the ranch was nestled into, a dozen of my beautiful friends in attendance all so excited for the bride, and my handsome date, a wonderful man I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life for four months now.

Continue reading →

Take a Penny, Take a Penny, Take a…

…at some point, you’re supposed to leave a penny, right? This principle applies to conversation as well. Conversation only works if you have at least two people answering and asking questions. Yet a surprising number of men on Bumble seem to be wholly unaware of this basic tenet of human interaction. About 25 percent of the time I message a new match, I get a one sentence reply that fails to demonstrate any interest in me and leaves me without anything worth following up on.

These range from depressing replies that tell me all I need to know about what a waste of time meeting this person in the real world would be… Continue reading →

Sanctuary 2.0: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

As of today, I have officially had a downtown Boulder address for six months. Once upon a time, I lived in a city of 12 million. Now I live in a town of 100,000. Sure, that’s ten times the size of the town I grew up in, but it is still very, very small. Unless you are a total hermit with no social or professional network at all, if you live here, expect to run into people you know. And behave yourself accordingly.

My era of “Oh hey, fancy seeing you here!” started in the worst possible way on March 25 when The Writer took me to a dinner party at his best friend’s house. As we were picking up dessert at a grocery store, a dark angel crossed our path: the ex-boyfriend of a close friend of mine. A man who is friends with my ex and whom no one likes. No one has ever liked him, even before he moved out of my friend’s house in the middle of the day without having the decency to tell her the years-long relationship was over. We jutted our chins out at each other by way of reluctant acknowledgement and continued on. His appearance was an omen of worse things to come. When we arrived at the hosts’ home, my date introduced me to his best friend first and then to his best friend’s girlfriend. And that’s when I went nearly brain dead, taking great effort to force my smile muscles to move into shape and sticking my arm out zombie-stiff to shake her hand. I was incapable of being genuine because my mind was frozen in a state of horror. The girlfriend was an intimacy coach who had held a group session that my ex and I had gone to together. A most uncomfortable four hours ensued. Continue reading →

The Real C Word

The real C word has eight letters, not four.

Children.

Children are the ultimate make or break point of any relationship. They aren’t something you can negotiate on. Or, at least, you really, really shouldn’t. Either you want them or you don’t, and giving in to a partner’s preference is asking for a lot of trouble.

I realize that in my dating age range (35-47 is my comfort zone), it’s difficult to find men who don’t have children and even more difficult to find mature, stable men who don’t have children. In most urban areas, it’s probably a little easier to find these unicorns but in Colorado cities, it’s probably a little harder because people who move here tend to be those attracted to the adventuresome life of rock climbing and backcountry skiing and spending an entire summer hiking peak-to-peak across the state. Those who remain unfettered by paternity tend to be afflicted by Peter Pan Syndrome, which I find most unattractive. So, when I started dating again, I had to ask myself if I could date someone with kids. Continue reading →

On the Laws of Attraction

I don’t waste time dating. I know within five seconds, at the most, whether I’m going to like the guy in a romantic way. If not, I stay long enough to be polite, get a good mental image of his personality, and hopefully learn about life experiences he has had that will never be part of my life or that I could never dream up, so I can perhaps include a fictionalized version of him in a short story someday. Everyone has some unique stories to share, and I take dating as an opportunity to draw those out and add to my creative idea catalog. Sorry guys, that’s the risk of dating a wannabe novelist. And then I end the date with an unequivocal statement about how I had a good time but, unfortunately, there’s nothing more between us. However, a little while back when I told a date that I wasn’t feeling a connection, his response was, “Well, I guess I date differently.”

I brushed this comment off because its sentiment seemed aligned with my impression of him as someone who had given up on life and was satisfied with mediocrity. I’ve never found value in going on a second date with someone I’m not immediately sexually attracted to. The few times I have, I knew as soon as I showed up for the second date that I was wasting both our time. But a few weeks after the date with this depressing fellow, I began to wonder if maybe he was on to something. Do I too quickly reject guys? Might I ultimately find a deep connection to one of them if I gave him more than two hours? Continue reading →

Missed Connection: Found and Relinquished

When I posted last week about things I had never done before, I deliberately omitted one experience because it deserves a post all its own. Here it is.

Around 11:30 AM on February 11th, I was standing in the 15th Street post office in Boulder. I was the seventh or eighth person in line, there was one cashier, and everyone in front of me had so many packages to send that you would have thought it was Christmas. Clearly I was going to be there for awhile, but I was too exhausted and distracted to care. I was ten days into a breakup from a horrible relationship and, while I was relieved to be out of it, I was still in that emotionally bewildered state that accompanies such drastic life changes. I hadn’t slept more than five hours or eaten more than the equivalent of three meals that entire week, I hadn’t showered that morning, or for several previous, and I was singularly focused on surviving the day. That very morning, after leaving the post office, I was going to pick up the keys for my new house and then go immediately to the UHaul place to pick up a truck and meet my friends at my ex’s place to grab all my belongings, which I had packed up the weekend before. Continue reading →

Sanctuary 2.0: I Never Thought I Would…

My recent 180 on Boulder has got me thinking about all the other things I’ve done in the last three months that I never thought I would. Being single gives me a lot more time to spend with the girls. In the core group I hang with, five of the six of us terminated our long term relationships between March 2016 and March 2017. And if you expand that core group to the friends of friends who join our outings on a semi-regular basis, 8 of those additional 12 women are single as well. Which means there are plenty of unencumbered ladies to get into trouble with on any given night. (As if anything any of us do can remotely be considered trouble-making. My penchant for cursing loudly when small children are present is probably the worst of it.) And since I’m not trying to balance relationships with friends with a relationship with a life partner anymore, I’m saying yes to more ridiculous things I would have passed on before. In no particular order, I present to you the following:

Pole Dancing

When we walked in the door for our 101 class, the advanced class was just finishing up. They looked like this. During my class, I looked like this. So, one class was enough for me, but, ever the sucker for making sure I get the most for my money, I had purchased a four pack of classes for $45 instead of paying $20 for a single class. What to do? I looked at the schedule for their other offerings and found Pound. Yes, it looks a little hokey from the videos, but it is SO much fun. You sweat a ton and work muscles you didn’t know you had, and the instructor, April Abbott, totally kicks ass. Someone find that woman a studio in Boulder! Continue reading →

OK, Cupid, But Not Quite Yet

Online dating isn’t for everyone, but it works for me. Words and how someone uses them play a big role in my life. Before I spend time in the real world meeting someone, I want to see how they communicate. I want to see that they are willing to put the energy into a well-written profile. I want to exchange quite a few messages with the person over several days or a week to see what they like to talk about and gauge how interesting they are. I rarely agree to meet someone unless they enthusiastically participate in this process. I’m not saying that makes the date more likely to be successful; I’ve had as much hit or miss as anyone else. It’s just my style.

Upon declaring myself a single person on February 2 this year, I thought all men were gross. The thought of even looking at or talking to a man sickened me. I couldn’t imagine ever getting close to one again. And then, suddenly, I changed my mind. Nothing in particular did it for me. It just happened. Well, almost. I opened a Bumble account and then closed it five minutes later. The next day, I opened a Tinder account and closed it five minutes later. A few days later, I built an OK Cupid profile and then immediately disabled it for a week. And then I reactivated it and actually started talking to people. And just like last time I was single, I realized it was fun. Everyone has a story to tell and I enjoy uncovering those stories and learning about lives that aren’t mine. And, let’s be honest, the attention and flirting helps the healing process. Continue reading →

Golf

My dad golfs. My little brother and sister go with him from time to time. Or at least they did until my brother fell sideways out of a golf cart. That’s about my only connection to the sport.

That and the time I spent waitressing at the Lancaster Country Club. Basically, the “club” is just a place to golf, although according to their website they have a pool now. But when I was there it was just golf. And really just men’s golf. Women could golf there but they didn’t very often. It was really a boys club. The guys who worked the bar got big tips and the ladies that worked the dining room floor got not a lot except sometimes a pat on the ass from some lecherous old man. No, we didn’t share tips. Yes, we still had to tip out the bar staff. It was all kind of lame. Continue reading →