Appreciation, Validation, and Tolerance

All relationships come down to appreciation, validation, and tolerance.

Variables of this have different words, but really this is all we do for each other in each of our relationships. We individually value the other persons effect on our existence that we validate their feelings, show them appreciation, and tolerate their differences.

This encompasses the scope of human interaction.

Like-minded people create change because they validate each others opinions and to show their appreciation for these opinions they work together. Often having to tolerate various life choice differences in the process.

A marriage is supposed to be a union of like-minded individuals for life. A joint venture as one existence. A conscious choice to live together for an indeterminant number of years (God willing) and do what is best for each other, your children, and your future. Sure there are some viceral aspects as well, but really you have to appreciate, validate and tolerate each other even after the chemical animal attraction ceases.

That’s what it is supposed to be anyway.

Life long.

Why do marriages have such short life spans?

I feel it is because we don’t verbally acknowledge our appreciation for the little things. We don’t say thank you. We don’t do big things that say, “I love you.”

People take their spouses for granted.

Friendships are often taken for granted as well. We simply assume that the other person will always be there, will always remain the same, when really it isn’t this way. Just as I change those around me change.

This appreciation also draws souls to each other.

Our souls see their familiars in other’s actions.

They meet and validate the thoughts one with another and develope a tolerance for excentricities. Like magnets drawn together because it’s possible to have honesty, openess, validation, and complete appreciation for one another.

Personally I am on a collision course with a path to tolerance. Deciding my tolerance level. Reevaluating what I can handle. What I should be willing to handle. My course will take me on the journey required for creating proper boundaries. I am always overstepping boundaries, oversharing, and there are some places where that amount of openess are not tolerable. Then again I also put up walls, I cut people off if I haven’t known them long and they challenge my trust. I don’t give second chances often if I don’t feel like the person is adding to my life.

Where are you? How are you showing your loved ones you appreciate them? Are you meeting their needs? Are you taking them for granted? Do you know your tolerance level and your boundaries? Do you know you?

Why?

Because before you can appreciate, validate, and tolerate another you must do that for yourself.

Advertisements

Topics coming soon

Ever have so much going on in your mind you don’t know where to start? Blogging is a fabulous way to get it out of your head and into the world, but so many of the anecdotes I have rolling around in my head need to be elaborated on and there is just not the time at the moment.

Here is a little list of topics that will be coming in the weeks ahead.

Feel free to weigh in on any of them and I will include them in my post!

~ Finding Love…this is such a hard thing to do. No one knows the rules any more. Are there rules? Are “The Rules” from Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider still the end all for practical decision making? Or at least…getting your feet wet. Are you allowed to speak to and get to know more than one man before going out on date? A friend of mine tells a tale that her mother dated three men at once and then agreed to one person’s proposal and then she stopped dating the other two. Can men even tolerate the thought these days? What is it that makes people go from relationship to relationship when really they don’t know anything about each other?

~ Child’s Play…making the most of the time you have with your kids. As a single parent working a daunting job I still want to make memories with my kids. I still want them to feel like I am present even when I am not. I want them to know I love them. I want them to have fun care free childhoods.

~ Turning a Blind Eye…I posted a photo (below) with a quote from John Berger today on Facebook and it certainly needs a longer explanation than I have been able to give in the comments. I believe in helping the poor as long as they are helping themselves. I don’t want a redistribution of wealth, I just think we shouldn’t ignore an epidemic. Sending money to disasters is all well and good, but look around your own town. How could you help there?

~ Computer Security…kind of a research project of mine. Coming soon are all manner of SOPA/ACTA/CISPA related votes and you need to be informed. Not to mention it’s a big election year, so what do you think the candidates believe when it comes to your rights to privacy, piracy, sharing of thoughts and ideas, intellectual property, and more in a world where nothing is done in the real world. The wealth of nations is transferred easily at the touch of a button and a kitten dunking a basketball in Milwaukee is news in Thailand.

As usual I type what I want about topics I find interesting. Things I want to know. Projects that need to be researched questions that need to be answered. Poems that need to be written and words that need to form sentences that form ideas which are made to be shared.

Image

Brief Observations

I guess I don’t ask enough questions of other people.

I don’t want to know too much about their situations, well because I remember what is was like to want no one to know what was going on with me and my life.

When someone seems – off – I just accept it as their eccentricity and work around their temperament. I make sure they have essentials, but don’t pry because I just don’t want the conflict in my life. I don’t care what you do with you as long as you don’t bring me into your mess.

After a decade of being neck-deep in a mess I put my big girl panties on and jumped ran out of this mess. Although at times I still feel like resolving it consumes all my energies.

I got burned – bad – but I’m recovering, so I’m cool.

Only I’m not.

Just when I think things are normal they revert to “Megan normal.” My problem is that I don’t know how to say no. Not the reason’s in the song “Can’t say no”

I simply have a soft spot for people in the mire.

I think everyone deserves a chance no matter where they come from. I think I have automatic faith in others, but once that is broken I kick myself.

“Why couldn’t I have seen this coming?”

“Why couldn’t I see the signs?”

This isn’t just with my ex-husband. This is with anyone.

To me this is how we should be. We should have faith in the rest of our species to do what they are supposed to do.

Only they don’t. Then we get mad. We shut ourselves down, and we build iron barriers between us and the rest of the world.

As a person who is codependant I have to work extraordinarily hard to maintain boundaries. I regularly forget they exist and I know that I need to consciously reconstruct them all the time. It’s like this constant thing I have to logically think through. I can do this. I can’t say that. I can see this needs to be done. I shouldn’t do this or that.

For most of the human population this is normal behavior, but for me it’s not.

It’s attachment issues. Totally acceptable if the attachment is to solid, stable individuals, but normally it’s to twisted, addicted, drama driven idiots. This includes friends.

I am a born listener and fixer. Try as I might I can’t fix everyone. When I was 17 years old I was driving in a car with my great uncle’s new wife and she just started pouring her heart out to me. I just stared straight ahead and listened. I didn’t know my uncle really well, in fact I hardly knew him at all. I had just met the woman going all stream of conscious on me that day.

When she was done it’s like she woke up. She apologized for telling me all the gory details, but she felt I could help her.

I couldn’t.

Honestly – I had never even been on a real date at age 17. I didn’t know the first thing to say. So I whispered a prayer and gave her a hug. I don’t know where she is now. Her marriage only lasted a short while after that, so maybe that was her answer to her problems.

That was the first time someone had ever done that, but it’s been repeated thousands of times, besides the friends that I grew up with – which in itself had gotten me into trouble. I was a bit of a gossip, until this one time a parent confronted me and I don’t think I have really gossiped again.

It’s one thing to hear a story – it’s entirely different to repeat it. I am still reminded of this when I hear something juicy and want to share, but then I remember how that felt so I don’t.

Can you tell I am trying to figure this whole codependant thing out still? I’m told it’s like alcohol or drug addiction. There is not a defined recovery pattern. There is only the day-to-day.

Each choice I make to spiral or to soar. Each relationship, real or imagined, a step to recovery.

I long for a relationship, a lasting, healthy relationship, but almost two years I still wonder if I will ever be able to let someone in. Well, maybe not let someone in, but let them in and not become everything.

This is a delicate balance that is foreign to me.

My delicate balance – Solid ground vs. a Free Fall

A poem: Cat and Mouse

I like to watch him play.

Deft hands floating across the board.

Grasping the pieces gently, but with command.

Knowing the next move without thinking.

Perhaps he is thinking. Deep in thought

And the movements are rote. 1, 2, 3, 4…

Maybe this is how he lives life, always one step ahead.

I think of his eyes looking at the board and then at how they see me.

How do you see me?

How do you know without a doubt in your mind that you want to know me?

I think of these things as I watch him play.

Side long glances in play and a quick knowing smile that I have yet to understand.

Why me?

Someone so charming and…nice?

IS nice the word?

Perhaps I am thinking worldly. Someone so worldly.

Out of all the women in this place and you choose me.

Why do you choose me?

What could I possibly have to offer beyond the chaos of the moment.

The chaos of who I am?

“I would leave everything for you right now…”

Leave…everything? What does that mean?

Why would you need to leave anything?

What would make you want to share everything?

Is that what you mean? Normalcy? Ease? Inviting the chaos in?

Dropping little thoughts out there and me having to defend the very idea of the seduction.

Is it defend?

Maybe what I am is the offense?

You are the cat and I am the mouse.

Every move a strategy…every action a crumb to the path of oneness.

Maybe it’s a path that will lead to loneliness.

More lonely than ever before.

More solemn than ever intended.

What is it about this dance that makes us want to take the first step?

What is it about this life that makes me want you in it?

What is it about this connection that makes me want to rip it apart and never look back?

I’ve been hurt…a lot…I only want to severe ties that bind me to anyone not related to me by blood.

You aren’t an old flame or a warm furnace of love long forgotten.

You’re new. You’re untried. You’re interesting, and interested,

But am I willing to take your hand and let you in?

Flirting is a Lost Art

I think the inability of recent generations to wait until the right moment is a disservice to oursleves. Flirting really doesn’t exist anymore. Say you see someone. You decide you want to meet this particular someone. You walk over and just start chatting. There’s no build up, there’s no considering them. You aren’t even trying to catch their eye to see if they are interested. I think it’s generally an antiseptic approach with base information.

Getting asked on a date by someone my own age generally goes like this…

“Hi, I’m Ted.”

“Hi Ted. I’m Meg.”

“Want to get a drink?”

“Sure”

“Why not Sky Bar tonight at 9.”

“Okay.”

“Okay, see you then.”

That is not a fun conversation! That is not playful! That’s nerves. That’s irritation. That’s like instant messaging…just spoken. It lacks anything that makes a girl even want to try.

I want to be flirted with. I think most people want to be flirted with. Make each other know you are seriously interested in them, then strike up a conversation for a minute. Women want to be wooed. Get to know something about us and let us learn something about you.

I know this is going to sound like the utmost in cheese…but I must say share.

I remember being 15 sitting at Chelsea’s Pub at Lakeline Mall in Austin, and turning bright red when my friend’s mom tried to teach us how to flirt. As we waited for our salads and fried cheese sticks my sister and my friend started giggling. My friend’s mom asked us what was going on and I told her that the other two had spotted a cute guy a few tables away.

She took that as an opportunity to critic our skills.

We had none.

She was apparently an expert in flirting…an old school expert. She sat in the middle of that restaurant smiling, winking, and waving. Capturing a guy’s attention…not a real guy mind you. She already had a man’s attention. Her husband’s and he wasn’t there!

She looked at the three of us and said…you have to learn to flirt.

My tom boy attitude was to throw my head back and laugh…like flirting would work! Bahahaha!

My sister giggled.

Our friend burst out laughing and then screamed, “Mom NOOOOO!”

She just gave us a knowing smile. She said you need to catch their glance. See if they notice. Give them a little smile and go back to whatever it is you’re doing. Look up again and see if you get eye contact…and so on and so forth until one of you waves.

Gotta give a guy an invitation in her scenario. Most these days guys don’t care if you have given them an invitation or not. You can glare at them at they think you are pretending you’re a kid punching the person you like because you want their attention. Truthfully I don’t think that punching someone is a sign of endearment outside of elementary school.

Old school flirting. Huh? Maybe she was right.

This is just not how it is done anymore…should it be done this way?

YES. Oh my goodness yes.

(Yet another window into my little life.)

I had never done the old school flirt tactics I learned on that spring day 16 years ago until yesterday. By no means did I even remember what my friends mom told us until he was walking away and I was left with the giggles.

Now, I am laughing at myself…because really…ugh!

I caught a guy staring at me through the window at Starbucks. I wondered if my hair was standing on end, anything obvious that would make someone stand there and stare, smiling like a goofy school boy.

Um…not that I could tell and I wasn’t going to scuttle off to check. A girl likes a little attention sometimes.

So, I continued to write my post on buying local. You may have noticed that it is dramatically shorter than anything else that I have written lately and that is because of this guy.

Let’s call him McSteamy. Why McSteamy? He looks like the character from Grey’s Anatomy. He is freaking hot.

I was so distracted I couldn’t concentrate on what I was trying to write…and I don’t even know his name.

As I settled in and began my post I had all kinds of wonderful things I wanted to say about freshness and cost effectiveness and taxes, and then I felt eyes boring into the side of my skull. I look up and this lovely man just smiles. Big, broad, goofy smile like I know him and he knows me and all my secrets.

I turn red, look back at my computer screen and try to not giggle.

As I sighed, I thanked God he was standing outside.

He just stands there peering through the window watching me try to type. And I do mean try…I kept writing a word here and there, but really this was impossible to do with someone I didn’t know staring at me. I gave up. I texted my friend Sim and she laughed at me. She knows I am more than a little self-conscious and while I am confident, I am still shaky on my looks.

Sim told me to give myself a little credit. So again I sigh, regroup and to type again.

Feeling eyes I look up, I smile this time…ever so subtly and go back to what I am doing.

Every time I look up from my “work” I see him just looking in watching me. This wildly handsome dude is checking me (in my gym clothes and tennis shoes) out. I had crazy hair…it was windy, but I really didn’t care (to that point.)

He came in and got another coffee. I looked the other way and continued to type. I opened Facebook and looked for a distraction…nothing. Facebook really isn’t as exciting as it was when I was working and there was nothing else to do. I think I can feel him staring at my back while he is getting his coffee and going back out to the crowd of men playing chess.

I didn’t look back. That would have been way too silly, even for me. He had a great voice though…deep and manly. I smile to myself and for the first time in nearly an hour I can get more written on my post.

In a not so subtle act of insanity…because what else could it be…he finally sits down to play chess with an old man. He sits so that when he’s not looking at his chess pieces he’s looking at me.

Ugh! What am I going to do!? I consider for a second packing up and going to my neighborhood Starbucks and trying again…but I couldn’t do that. I need a day like this every few hundred. A little confidence booster, you know?

He’s playing chess…concentrating on his move, talking the old man, drinking coffee and looking very nice and kind.

Yep, I’m the one staring now. He’s tall, over 6 foot and broad-shouldered. He looks strong and well-built. Looked so relaxed in a navy pull over, jeans, and loafers. (I’m a sucker for a guy NOT wearing athletic shoes.)
Strong jaw line with the “just enough” facial hair thing…like McSteamy, only dark…and his eyes are sort of piercing, brilliant blue.

After another few hours of the staring, smiling, googly eyes I finally got my post done. He finished his game of chess. He said bye to his friends and walked away. He looking over again just as I was looking up and waved…the silly finger wave. Gets in his truck and as slow as possible drives away staring at me.

I laughed…out loud. I got stares from everyone sitting near me.

I thought my lessons on flirting all those years ago.

Flirting is a lost art…but with men of a certain age…it’s alive and well.

Family Ties

Wasn’t Family Ties an awesome show in the 80’s? I don’t really remember it, but I remember how I felt at the end of each episode. No matter what happened during the first 20 minutes of the show the last 10 solved all the problems, and wrapped it up in a nice little bow. It was uplifting, fabulous, and the characters are eternal.

That’s not the family ties I mean though in my title. The family ties I am thinking about are the ones that exist between a woman and the family that was created when she married a man. When you marry, you marry the family. You do not marry one girl, you marry a clan of people all with one goal – make sure she is happy.

I know that part of why I kept returning to my husband, at the core, was that I love his family. I love that my self-confidence has been built by them. I love that no matter what was going on in their lives they took the time to see how I was, took the time to build me up, took the time to listen with non-judgemental ears. They would listen and tell me their experience, but then they would say, “But you do what you feel is right.”

If I didn’t do what they thought I should, that wasn’t a problem for them. They simply accepted it and we moved on. It was never brought up again. It was never beaten down in a spiteful fury. It simply was.

These people are my family now.

I know that I have my mother, my maternal grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins that have been constants in my life from my mother’s side. We are celebrating the Flores family’s 101st family reunion in a few weeks.

I know where I come from.

I also have my father’s family, my Italian-Irish cousins, a people that I better identify with as I have such pale skin, crazy dark curly hair and eyes that change with my mood. 

These are all my blood relations, but blood is not the only thing that creates family.

Your family is the people who love you, whom you love, who have made unwritten commitments to you.

As anyone knows my divorce is final next week. I am supposedly a single momma with nothing tying me down…save the boys and all. But after talking to the people I consider family…I have come to the conclusion that I am not sure how all of us are going to move on. They love me and support my decision in my divorce, but they still want weekends and holidays with me.

Yesterday was the funeral for my ex husband’s stepfather’s stepmother (try saying that three times fast). While I was with this family it became clear to me that I am just as much a part of their family and life as they are of mine. Today, another phone call this one from my ex husband’s biological fathers family about his paternal grandmother. She is having tests run to determine what type of cancer has formed in her liver. Tomorrow at 7 am.

This is a woman whose couch I have sat on every morning for better than half of the last 11 years. At minimum twice every month since March. Usually I can be found at her house any Saturday morning I am in town. It is my refuge. My place of solace, my home away from home. My permanent address for the last 11 years has been her address.

These are the ties that bind and hold me in limbo. For all my heart I love these people. These are wonderful, amazing individuals and families that have become so much a part of who I am that no matter how I feel about being married to Danny, they are still a part of me.

I was discussing this with a friend of mine; she and I agree that for anyone to accept me and my baggage will have to be a saint. They may not even exist.

How can a man accept this? All of these people that are tied to a former marriage? How can they understand that these people are part of me and part of the deal? These are now my people as much as my blood relations are and in some cases, I go to them first for advice, support, and cherish every moment we have spent together.

Part of me says that if they can’t accept this they are not for me. Then there is another part of me is scared that I will never find someone who does accept them.

What do you think? How is it possible for someone to accept all of this? How is it possible for them to understand the love and ties that bind me to a man that I have divorced? How have you all handled this situation?

 

“Bury that horse in the ground” – Shake it Out

This is my new theme song. Part of what I hope is a happier approach to life.

Have a listen. It’s an awesome song, Shake it Out, but Florence and the Machine.

What is this whole thing about burying the past after yesterday’s lamentation of being stuck there and not being able to move on? Well, it’s two things really.

First, no matter what you’re stuck on the world continues, day turns to night which turns to day, and the dates flick by on the calendar. Even if we feel like we are stuck, we really aren’t, everything around us continues all we have to do is join in.

Second, it’s not really attractive to constantly bring up the past. Something I have learned – it’s a no-no. If you are reconnecting with an old pal and letting them know how your life has been since you have seen them last, that’s one thing. Tell the story, get it out there, and leave it alone. Don’t let it hinder the progress of the friendship. Your trust, commitment, or relationship issues really aren’t their problem, cut them some slack.

If you would, indulge me by reading the lyrics you may better understand why this is my new theme song.

Florence And The Machine
Shake It Out lyrics

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

And our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues strong
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaahAnd it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woahAnd given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a final mess but it’s left me so empty
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Oh woah, oh woah…

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Looking for heaven, for the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

**http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/f/florence_and_the_machine/shake_it_out.html

It’s hard to live if you are constantly thinking about your past. Reflection is natural, but moving forward should be how you cope.

Get out there, have fun, do something with yourself. Find a hobby.

I know that some times this is hard to do. You may not be ready to find someone, but you can find something.

My ladies group and I are starting a charity, I am going to throw myself into that. Helping those who are in need is a great stress reliever. I’m not into dating. I am otherwise busy.

I also need to take a serious inventory of what I am going to be needing for me.

If you are here, where I am, I suggest figuring that out. Make your list and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. My friends keep telling me to do this, but I have lived the saying, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

When we constantly attach ourselves to the same type of people it is because we know those patterns, we know those behaviors, we are comfortable in our struggle because we don’t expect more. By diverting from that we can run into one of two things, people who exceed our expectations and people we should run from, far away as fast as our feet will carry us.

It’s that second type that make this a scary process. I dated someone who ended up being a complete psycho, so yeah….I ran back to the man I had filed for a divorce from and cancelled the filing. But as Flo says, “I’m going to bury that horse in the ground.”

I am hoping to meet someone who exceeds my expectations. That’s what we all need after all. Someone to cherish us, hold us, and make us feel like we are worth their efforts.

Here’s the trick for some people to learn…be worthy.

Can Men and Women be friends??? Read and Comment

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know if I should try to explain, but I do know that some things in life are worth looking like an idiot over.

Our kids are one. They make me look like an idiot regularly.

Love is another.

Here’s the deal. I really like someone, could possibly one day love, given the chance. This someone doesn’t seem to feel the same way. I know they don’t feel the same way. There is no hinting around stated facts. But my heart and head aren’t cooperating, so the blog gets to bear the brunt of my emotions.

So, I am trying to not get here…

Cause you see when someone says they like you, they like you enough to want to keep you around regardless of your detachment issues.

Side note: Amidst the turmoil of recent months there have been a few rays of sunshine, and the person I am referring to in the above is one of them.

My ability to shove my foot in my mouth repeatedly or act like a complete moron have pretty much set a precedent though.

Seriously, it’s been bad.

I feel like an utter fool typing this blog, because this was over about the time it got started, so yeah my inability to just let go is also at issue.

That may take some (ACTUAL) therapy to determine the cause there.

Anyway, since that time I have tried to treat said boy as a friend. Yeah, I wanted something that he didn’t, but I can compartmentalize. I realize that the words he said were consistent even if I wasn’t. I would still like to talk, email, get together as I do with the rest of the people who I know.

I feel like my efforts are for not. I wonder if my ability to restrain myself seems to reek of desperation. Or if the boy realizes that I can in fact take a deep breath and would very much like to be a good friend.

I guess I am naive this way.

I think it is possible for men and women to be friends. I think it is possible to have a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

Then again, I think lots of guys agree with Billy Crystal’s character in When Harry Met Sally

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: How do you know?
Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally Albright: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail ’em too.
Sally Albright: What if THEY don’t want to have sex with YOU?
Harry Burns: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally Albright: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
Harry Burns: I guess not.
Sally Albright: That’s too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.

All the above being said…what is it about “more than friends” relationships that make it impossible for some in that relationship to just go on to be friends?

Is it possible to be “one of the guys?”

So I am going to leave it to you fine people…what do you think?

And if you’re the boy…

Harry Burns: The fact that you’re not answering leads me to believe you’re either (a) not at home, (b) home but don’t want to talk to me, or (c) home, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy. If it’s either (a) or (c), please call me back.

**Quotes courtesy of When Harry Met Sally, by way of IMDb.

For the daters…the single parent

As I was sitting in the hospital at 4 am Saturday morning, after being awake for 22 hours it hit me.

Dating as a single mom sucks.

I had all kinds of wonderful weekend plans, but none of them were realized. Instead I spent the weekend (and the last two days) caring for my young one; neither of us sleeping much at all. There were several trips to the children’s hospital, the pharmacy, and the doctor. It has been a glorious battle, one that will continue for another week and disrupt another weekend of plans. But baby love is feeling much better and is smiling once again.

How does ANY of that tie into the subject of dating?

Here’s how…when you date a single parent these are the things you have to deal with.

You have to be able to cancel the plans. You have to be less spontaneous. You have to realize that when it comes to you and the date vs. the kids…the kids win every time.

You see it’s not that we (single parents) aren’t interested. It’s not that we don’t want to give you guys our undivided attention, but we have a responsibility to our family first.

As I said previously, if we even agree to a date with you it means we think you are worth the extra effort.

You should take it as a compliment…even if it doesn’t work out that we actually go anywhere.

There are some things that single, childless adults don’t understand. The biggest trial is the availability of time. There is none. If we are a single parent we are working full time and raising a family full time. Even if we are paying someone to help us with the raising of our family, our time is still consumed by the actions of what is going on in the day to day.

Many people are like me. We work to live and pay daycare. We don’t have the greatest work schedules…some…like mine…are royally messed up and free time is scarce, so we prefer to spend it with our children. That’s not a slight to the kid-less people, but a reality to us who have them.

So, this really leads me here.

When should you meet these little people that consume our energy, resources, and nearly every waking moment? Because we would like to spend time as a grown up, but we still need to raise our family.

To answer that question you must first be able to answer these questions…

1)       Where is the relationship going?

2)      Are you in fact “in a relationship?”

3)      Will this person still be a friend to your children even if you two decide to not continue in a life together?

4)      Criminal background check…anyone?

Okay, so the last one may be a bit extreme, but honestly, do you want a freed murderer hanging around with your children regardless of the circumstances of the “incident?”

Not so much.

I suppose to answer question ONE you need to know where you want the relationship to go first. Do you want a long term relationship or are you just looking for some action? In my humble opinion, you should figure this out before you even say yes to the date (I don’t always follow that advice). Not that you have to have a long term relationship with everyone you meet, but you should know WHAT you are preparing yourself for. Are you ready for the long haul or just a few weeks break from reality?

Let’s say you figure all the answers out to question ONE, so you are on to question TWO. How do you know you are in a relationship? I think it is juvenile to wait for the person to update their Facebook status. Generally I would say be direct and ask…but some people need more time to determine what they want and where they want to go. However in a relationship that simply started physical and you feel like you want more, you should lay it out there. Seriously, you never know what you will get if you don’t put all the cards out on the table and hope for whatever answer you are looking for.

If your date doesn’t agree, oh well, it’s not the end of the world. It won’t ruin your life. It won’t have much impact on your kids or your family. Going out on a few dates will help you determine the answers to questions one and two, and will get you further along the path to the rest.

Let things happen and live in the moment as much as you can. Don’t beat yourself up if the date or the person you are on the date with aren’t what you dreamed, but realize that God has a plan that will make it better. You never habe to go out with them again if you don’t want.

It’s just my opinion but when it comes to single parent dating and kids, keep your dates separate from your kids until you either know this is the one for you. It’s a matter of stability for the kids.

Do you want them to meet a new guy all the time if you are just going out on a date or two?

Nope. We need to give our kids guidance and be practical…at least as practical as we can be…I recently heard the story of a woman who met a guy and he moved in to her house the weekend they met (him and his kids) and now 10 years later have never been happier.

Love, passion, falling head over heels it makes us do all kinds of things.

We just have to be practical, but be ready when Cupid strikes.

For the Daters…I know you’re out there…

I’ve been exploring lately on my followers blogs and it seems a few of you guys are dating. While I am not quite there, I’ve been out a couple of times lately; so I thought I would share MY thoughts with you on how alllll this is supposed to work.

To add a little perspective, I thought I would share some things from a book a friend gave me as a gift called, What is He Thinking? by Rebecca St. James.

Who is Rebecca St. James? (According to the back of the book…)

Australian-born Rebecca St. James is a Grammy Award winning musician with record sales in the millions. She is also an in-demand speaker, bestselling author and actress. You can read more about Rebecca on her official website: www.rsj.com or on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RSJames

Now I better not get in trouble for copyright infringements or anything.

(Please Lord? Thank you!)

Anyway…back to the topic…dating.

Can I say right now that I don’t like it?

This whole trying on people and see how they fit routine. I am naturally picky and won’t even go out with someone unless I am really interested. There is too much work and expense involved…even if I am not the one paying for whatever we are doing. I still have to coordinate a sitter, depending on who I can find is upwards of $40 for one evening.

As I have stated in several posts….I am a poor girl! 

Even if I can get a family member to watch then there is the whole explanation of where I’m going, who’s going with me, when will I be back.

It’s exhausting!

I don’t know many people who willingly stand in front of the shooting gallery and try to dodge the bullets! Single moms and dads who want to have a few hours with another adult do it regularly.

Before we even get to that point we have to find SOMEONE to go out with! How do you do that?! Where do you do that?! Who is supposed to do the asking?! All questions for the ages…and maybe we can answer them (at least a little) here.

How? I don’t know, so I am going to refer to Rebecca’s book…for starters you make a good first impression. Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you are trying to be someone else eventually your true self will be revealed and then…”You got some espainen to do, Lucy!” (Sorry, you have to say that with the Ricky Ricardo accent.)

But what if you already know this person? Well…you must be doing something to get them interested in you to begin with…so just don’t change and get all nervous and self-conscience on them. It might turn them off. As an over-analytical-seemingly-crazy person I know! Try to not do that. It will not end well.

Where? I don’t know where.

That I leave to you to figure out. I guess it could be anywhere.

I know someone who met their first husband when he hit their car in a traffic accident. Another who met her husband when she was 15 after trying to set the guy up with her best friend.

We aren’t 15 anymore and I HOPE I don’t meet whomever I go out with in a traffic accident…no accidents PLEASE I can’t afford a new car.

If and when I decide its time to go about doing this I will have to figure the where out. At the moment everyone I see on a daily/weekly basis is happily married or at least committed enough in their relationships to see it through. I have PLENTY of examples of how to make it work…just in case I ever need them.

So who is supposed to ask for these dates? Hmmmm…this is a toughy. It really depends on the people you are asking out. Are they a “man’s man?” They don’t want to seemingly be emasculated even though that’s not what you are meaning to do. Are they beyond shy and don’t have the…uh…juevos…to do it themselves? Have you guys been friends so long than suddenly decide you want more out of what’s going on?!

Here is my theory…JUST ASK! (This is not the theory or advice given in Rebecca’s book.) However my thought is that if you have a strong enough personality and identity to ask a guy out and they can’t handle that then they aren’t the guy for you. If you are a guy who wants to ask the girl out ASK! The whole thing takes a matter of seconds, and either you will go out or you won’t.

In the end it really doesn’t matter who asks.

Guys – if you feel like less of a man because a woman approaches you, that’s your problem. Maybe you should reevaluate whatever it is that makes you feel that way

Girls – if you like a dude and really want to see where it will go ask. All they can say is no.

Everyone – Please – for the love of ALL that is holy – GIVE A DIRECT RESPONSE! If you get a text invitation, say yes or say no, but don’t leave them hanging. That is rude and uncalled for. If the person doing the asking is grown up enough to ask you to do something, then they are grown up enough to hear a no.

Wow – this is getting long…I think this is enough for today. Check back tomorrow as I continue with a part 2!

**Part 2 will include much more of the book than this does.