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.

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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 →

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 →

Raining (and Evaporating) Men

I’m back out there for dating round two. In case you missed it, here’s the recap of round one. I took a little time to clear my head, my heart, my emotions, my everything. I got back into my old routines and habits, the solo activities that I love doing and that are important to me, and I picked up some new ones. And then I started browsing around the dating sites again in quite a different mindset, much more my normal, independent self. I haven’t found anyone to write home about yet, only to write about here briefly and then forget, but I believe that’s as it should be.

The Energy-Efficient Homes Consultant: I caught this one in the wild (that is, not online). I have never been so 50/50 about a person after a first date. Literally for every point that attracted me to him, there was a counterpoint of equal weight that repelled me. I couldn’t figure him out. We went out on a Sunday and I agreed to go on a second date with him the following weekend, but over the course of the week, I changed my mind. I kept going over the good and the bad, and it ultimately came down to one nebulous bad point – a gut feeling. There wasn’t anything I can point to that he said or did, but I had a feeling that something was off. I have to listen to my gut. If there’s one thing I learned from the terrible relationship I recently left, it’s listen to that feeling and do what my brain tells me I need to, no matter how much I might be attracted to someone. Had I learned that lesson well when I was 32, I never would have gone out with my ex-partner past date number three and would have saved myself years of frustration. So, from now on I’m listening, and I cancelled the second date with this guy.

The Communications Account Manager: BORING. Continue reading →

Sanctuary 2.0: Princess to Pioneer

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Once upon a time, I lived in a land far, far away. A land of fairy tales populated by peasants and kings, bears and wolves, composers and poets. A land filled with beautiful things: lacquer boxes with miniature paintings, Orenburg shawls, intricate samovars, khokhloma kitchenwarematryoshkas, faberge eggs, and gzhel. In this magical land, I had a magical romance. Or maybe it wasn’t so magical but only felt like it was because I was in my early twenties and still believed love was the most important force in the world and still believed in its power to strike down all adversity and sorrow. But then I became too old for fairy tales and my Russian prince and I and our 12 gzhel statues moved to America where we were commoners with common lives and common problems that love could not vanquish. And then we didn’t have love anymore and so we parted ways. The gzhel cow, the gzhel pig, and all their fragile blue and white friends were relegated to a storage bin, packed away with the other memories of a life gone by, or perhaps a life that never was, to be pulled out and examined once or twice a year when nostalgia for the emotional intensity and naivete of young adulthood grew unbearable. But as time marched on, those ancient images and emotions were no longer strong enough to push through the haze of present day concerns, and the value in toting physical representations of memories from place to place was lost. It was then that the gzhel barnyard animals met their tragic end in a dumpster in a grimy alley in Denver, Colorado, far from their snowy origins. Except one. A rooster. The rooster refused to be tossed aside. He scratched and clung on, crowing for attention, urging my former self to allow one piece of who she was to remain, no matter how far down in the bin he had to be and no matter how much other detritus hid his existence. Just don’t let go. There’s more to come.

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Oh My Darling (Amity Gaige)

But even as a child, she knew what this* meant – that it would only become more difficult to locate what you had lost, for the galaxy was yet breaking apart, and the stars, in their brilliant independence, were burning for no one.

 

*this = the idea that the initial explosion that created the universe was still happening, and space ever-inflationary

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 →