Posts Tagged ‘dating’
We know the fields of electrical charges able to push and pull similar materials, as magnetism. There are many kinds of magnetism, but the most familiar is the kind seen in common household magnets. Household magnets use ferro-magnetism, but another common type is feral (or animal) magnetism. Whether it be animal magnetism or some other force, some people seem to have a mysterious power to draw others to them.
A friend, who is a couples’ counselor, says no matter how dark or crowded a room, some people will attract each other. It sounds so romantic–the thought of two people being pulled together by some unseen force, but according to this expert on dysfunctional matches, this “pull” is more like the way magnets attract similar metals…as people seeking validation or excitement are drawn to each other. According to him, this is particularly true of certain personality types. They are the “players”, excitement seekers, love chasers, and narcissists. Read the rest of this entry »
A friend is one of the nicest things to have, and one of the best things to be. ~ Douglas Pagels
Valentine’s Day has come and gone again. Upon learning Valentine’s Day was being replaced in some school districts by “Friendship Day” and by adults with the alternative Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.) I was wondering if romance had finally become politically incorrect. Both sounded as desperately over-reaching as comforting a childless teacher by telling her she’s lucky to have lots of children, or complimenting a fat girl on her pretty face.
Out of context, these new traditions sounded like affirmative action for the forlorn. Lord knows, romance is often over-rated and under-practiced, but the doom of humanity seemed inevitable, if society was ready to raise frowning-eyebrows on this most basic life pursuit. As it turns out, instead of being antithetical to romantic relationships, these celebrations that might actually serve to promote them.
Most of us don’t need a therapist, as much as a friend to be silly with. ~Robert Brault
Friendship Day? I’m all for it. The ability to make and sustain friendships is integral to enjoying others. Without friendship, even the most exciting relationships often fail. Though most of us realize the importance of friendships, we don’t always take the time to develop them. Even though we want our significant other to be our best friend, we act as if friendships are spontaneous occurrences, which develop without being cultivated, but more romances are born out of friendships, than vice verse. If friendships seem easier than romantic relationships, perhaps it is because we approach them differently.
Friendships provide us a context for being comfortable with ourselves. Unlike dating, they are low-pressure. Our earliest playground bonds are built on commonalities, confidences, comaraderie, and companionship–the same things that make for satisfying adult relationships. The tendency to be lured by the external attractions of a potential romantic partner, make all too easy for one to romanticize someone they hardly know, or with whom they have little in common. Sadly, relationships based only on sizzle, usually fizzle. Read the rest of this entry »
Overheard in a used bookstore: “The trouble with these books is they’re so literary.”
The remark struck me as funny, but it probably shouldn’t have. Granted, I was in Bullhead City, AZ, but when it comes to books we don’t all like the same things. Some books are good enough almost anyone can enjoy them–as evidenced by the Harry Potter series, but there are many books that aren’t as easy to enjoy. I read lots of books, as a result, I end up reading some that aren’t very good.
When it comes to books, you are either a reader or you aren’t. Because I am a reader, I enjoy combing the shelves of places where used books are sold. I could save money by going to libraries, but that wouldn’t allow me enough time form the same relationships with books. To me, starting a book is a commitment to see it through to the end. Sort of like a marriage, though we begin with a preconceived notion of what’s to come, unless we stick with it, we have no idea how it will end. When a book starts poorly, I keep reading, in the hope it will get better, but as with relationships, some books are just more satisfying than others.
It is my assumption, that most of those who read de blog are probably “readers”, but since nobody has time to read everything, I read books looking for bits of not-to-be missed brilliance, with my readers in mind. (No need to thank me, but I’ve saved you tons of money and time you might have spent reading some awful books.)
Over the past several months, I’ve read dozens of books about men, women, and relationships. A few stand out. If I had a library, instead of using the Dewey Decimal System, I’d use a system like the one employed at a certain store, where I used to rent videos. One of their employees took it upon himself to personally share his opinions about the videos he had viewed. If he had scrawled on the vinyl case, “Clayton recommends”, customers could be reasonably sure the movie was worth watching.
My library would have “Should be Mandatory” sections. I’d chose some books for young people who know nothing of history & politics, and other books for those who believe they know everything of those subjects. I’d probably recommend some books on religion to those who have no faith, and some secular books to those who only read theology.
But who needs a library, when having a blog offers the same egotistic opportunity to tell others what they should read? So since summer vacation is the perfect time to pick up a good book, here’s de blog’s summer reading list. No matter what your current relationship status, there is something for everyone on this list. Not only that, but each book is chock-full of worthwhile for those seeking a new or improved relationship.
Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough – by Lori Gottlieb
This one tops my list because it’s incredibly well-researched and is actually fun to read. Bestselling author, Lori Gottlieb provides answers to why fabulously-eligible women sometimes have trouble finding their dream man. Lori shares her own experiences as she explores online dating services, tries her luck with a matchmakers, and seeks the help of a dating coach. It’s a fascinating look at ways women sabotage their chances with great guys. If you aren’t smarter after reading this book, you might as well just start talking to yourself and collecting stray cats.
He’s Just Not Your Type (and that’s a good thing): How to Find Love Where You Least Expect It by Andrea Syrtash
This book is a natural follow up to the one suggested above. The author suggests that if all your relationships end the same way, it might be because you keep dating the same type of guy. Ms. Syrtash encourages women to get out of their comfort zone, by dating the guys who aren’t their type. (It worked for me.)
The End of Sex, Erotic Love after the Sexual Revolution by George Burr Leonard
Don’t tell anyone, but I like sex. Can’t blame me, I was raised after sex, drugs & rock & roll replaced the mores of my parents’ generations with an openness that changed everything. Suddenly sex was plentiful, cheap & easy. Unfortunately, sometimes cheap lacks quality. When our society traded quality for quantity, it was at the cost of the three M’s–the magic, the mystique and meaning of sex. The author makes a great case for monogamy as a source of exciting challenge and adventure. I read this book every few years, because when it comes to sex, I’m a 3M kind of girl.
Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl – A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship by Sherry Argov
The title of this book may be off-putting, but it’s not as it sounds. While women may believe being submissive is a virtue, being too agreeable can subvert a relationship. This book isn’t really about being bitchy, as much as it’s about not being so desperately weak as to allow oneself to be walked on like a doormat. Women, being naturally accommodating, often put up with stuff they shouldn’t. Between the covers of this book is the lesson (or reminder) there is such a thing as being too nice. It’s all about getting respect, because a woman who is properly respected, needn’t be bitchy.
Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch, Ph.D.
I’ve read plenty of books about sex, intimacy & romance, but most of them give the same advice . . be open to new things, tell your partner what you like…ZZZzzzzzzzz….If you’re past that, you’ve probably already realized it’s possible to have great sex within the confines of a not-so-great relationship, or a great relationship that isn’t sexually satisfying. This book is for those who want to enjoy both a great relationship and great sex. If sex makes you uncomfortable, this may not be the book for you, then again, it might.
Being a Woman: Fulfilling Your Femininity and Finding Love by Dr. Toni Grant
There are way too many books out there suggesting female perfection will eliminate marital woes. When I came across this book, the photo of the author with her perfectly-styled hair had me fully prepared to be wading through another volume of tips women gave daughters in previous generations. Fortunately, the days of housewives who wore pearls to vacuum are over–if they every existed.
Being a wife or mother in a post-feminist society presents new challenges to the role of a woman. Dr. Grant acknowledges ways feminism has changed our roles, while also realizing women aren’t all the same. She offers suggestions for balancing every aspect of a woman’s multi-dimensional personality, while still being the kind of woman a man will adore.
Okay that’s my list. These savvy books are too good to be returned to the library or sold back to the used bookstore. If you find any of these titles of interest, it is my sincere hope you’ll enjoy them and learn useful things from them. Because I found the first book listed above to be particularly brilliant, I will be sharing my interview with author Lori Gottlieb soon. Lori has written for a host of publications including, Glamour, People, Mademoiselle, Atlantic Monthly, Redbook, Time, Self and Elle. (In other words, this babe has it going on!) In the meantime, I wholeheartedly recommend “Marry Him” to any woman who is frustrated by dating.
Reading fairy tales gave women the notion that once the handsome prince showed up, we’d all live happily every after, but life is rarely like a fairy tales. There are no fairy tales about princesses who spent their lives looking for their prince, nor are there charming stories of queens who were widowed or divorced.
Because of this, some women end up living lives on hold, while waiting for their prince; others find themselves starting over when their first prince reverts to frog or worse. No matter what we’ve been through, too many of us waste time looking for the person who will make us believe in happily ever after again.
There are women who prefer living alone, but most of us crave the company of someone, with whom we can share our joys and struggles. Sure, we have our girlfriends, but it’s in our nature to want to love and be loved. Even the most self-sufficient independent female can find herself wishing there was a man in her life, but finding the right man is often an exercise in serial frustrations.
With the world full of eligible men & women, it shouldn’t be so hard to find someone, but it often is. Woman sit at home lamenting their loneliness, as if they expect someone to come to the door with a glass slipper that fits only them. Finding that special person doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Even the prince with the glass slipper, went knocking door-to-door before he found his dream girl.
Modern society isn’t nearly as friendly as it once was, but you’re a big girl now. If you were taught not to talk to strangers, it’s time to switch it up. You won’t meet anybody new or interesting if you can’t talk to new people. Relationship experts tell us to go where the men are, but while there are plenty of men to be found at tractor pulls and strip clubs, if you’re looking for normal men, go to normal places. The places you frequent, are the best places to meet people with whom you are likely to have things in common.
Don’t limit yourself to meeting only those people who interest you, even dull guys can have interesting friends. Don’t approach every guy with the goal of making him your husband, in the same way dogs smell fear, men sense desperation. Lastly, don’t disqualify someone before you’ve taken the time to find out his story. Most people are largely more interesting than thefirst impression would lead you to believe.
Once you’ve found someone you’re interested in meeting, a smile is a subtle, but time-tested opener. After the smile, strike up a conversation. It isn’t necessary to be brilliant or interesting to strike up an interest-starting conversation, in fact, ordinary conversations are best for putting others at ease. Talk to strangers as if they are friends, and they will usually respond in kind.
Speaking of friends, even if the person you are interested in is drool-on-your-own-shoes gorgeous, approach them as you would anyone else. Don’t let someone’s career, status or appearance convince you they’re out of your league. The rich, beautiful, and powerful have the same inadequacies as everybody else, and they are just as susceptible to sincerity and charm as everyone else.
Likewise, be approachable, not intimidating. Men love attractive women, but those who are unapproachable snag the imagination, not the heart. There was a time when hard-to-get or waiting for men to make the first move were good tactics, but in the culture of feminism, being aloof can mean being alone. Most men won’t waste time on women who make them feel foolish, and even the bravest guys are frightened by scary women.
To get things started, almost anything can be an ice-breaker. A clerk at my grocer recently told me she was amazed at how often strangers end up exchanging phone numbers after casually chatting in the check-out line. Not a big surprise, as grocery items provide clues to the other person’s lifestyle and are easy conversations starters. For example:
Guy Buying TV dinners:
Bad Question: The old lady throw you out?
Good Question: How’s the Salisbury Steak?
Guy buying dog food:
Good Question: What kind of dog do you have?
Bad Question: Have you tried The Moist & Meaty Steak Dinner?
Guy buying a bag of limes:
Bad Question: Trouble with scurvy?
Good Question: Making margaritas?
Be playful, not serious. You ask if he’s making margaritas, he tells you he’s having friends in to watch THE game. Ask what team he likes, but if he likes a team you hate, there is no need to tell him he’s a sports cretin. (You can convince him of that after you’ve dated a few months.) The idea is to convey interest, not intensity. If he responds favorably, it’s game on.
If you succeed in engaging him, offer your first name. Once you’re on a first-name basis, keep the conversation open long enough to give him time to decide whether or not to ask for your number. If he doesn’t show any interest, move on. He may not be interested, may be taken, or if he’s too socially inept to figure out how to ask you out, he may not be your guy. The interaction is over and you’ve lost nothing.
If this seems insultingly simple, it is. There is simply no good reason an eligible person should be alone, unless they choose to be. Meeting people of either gender is as easy as making the effort and taking risks. Alas, meeting people is the easy part, finding the right person takes more effort. Nevertheless, ti’s a great place to start and with a little luck it’ll keep you from spending every Saturday night crying along with The Bachelorette. In the near future, I’ll be chatting with Marry Him, author Lori Gottlieb about how women inadvertently prevent themselves from finding great guys and offering tips for how to sustain relationships.
Except for the day when Larry Durbin and I shared a Charms Pop at the old Elks Theater, I had never exchanged spit with anyone. In fact, I had successfully managed to avoid being spit on, touching anything that had spit on it, and until that fateful day, all the spit in my mouth was entirely my own. Unknowing innocence, was erased when my first kiss caught me off-guard with a strange mix of delight & repulsion. Sweet Mother of Mouthwash, saliva had suddenly become esoteric and sublime.
Wistfully pondering the strange delight of the kiss, caused my mind to wander back through the kisses filed away in my memory. There were kisses I’d like to forget, kisses not worth remembering, and then there were those kisses which linger as sweetly on the heart, as they once did on the lips.
There is no kiss more memorable than that first awkward, blundering, kiss. The innocent joy of mouth meeting mouth, becomes hugely significant, as what will likely be one of the lesser kisses of our lifetime, becomes one of the greater memories. In that first unfamiliar experience, our senses are awakened to the first of many romantic pleasures.
I am reminded of a terminally-ill family member, who, as she considered the short time ahead, lamented how long it had been since she’d been “properly kissed”, but she was not referring to the proper kiss. She was not referring to that multi-purpose kiss which says, hello, goodbye, and thank you like the “aloha” of cordiality. For as any woman knows, being properly kissed, borders on the improper.
The kiss is intimacy’s most basic act, yet many fail to execute it well. A “kiss & tell” confession, is apt to state whether someone was a good or bad kisser, but who is the Simon Cowell of kissing? By what standards is this judged? This isn’t the kind of question that is answered by Wiki or Ask.com, and surely we wouldn’t all agree on what constitutes good technique. If you’re reading this, it is assumed you are past needing a tutorial on how to kiss, and also assumed you know kisses should be fresh and clean; but perhaps you have yet to realize the most important thing about a kiss is not the way it feels on the lips, but the way it leaves us feeling inside.
A kiss should be spontaneous. Not every kiss is executed with natural ease, but the best kisses are both expected and surprising. In the moments before a kiss, there is a certain pleasure in wondering if a kiss is coming. The unanswered question is usually answered with uncertainty, as one or both bring their faces closer. Sometimes words are spoken, permission is asked or desire stated, but the best kisses require no introduction.
Kisses should be given and received in a way that respects the other person. They should neither stifle, impair nor impose. Wet is good, but sloppy is not. Only after being kissed by large dogs or drooling babies, should one feel compelled to wash their face. The great kiss leaves us wanting more.
A kiss should be focused on the mouth, but not confined to it, employing caresses, as it explores the surrounding areas.
A perfect kiss is urgent but unhurried. It transcends time, causing us to forget about clocks in the moment, and leaving us to remember the moment, when it has passed.
When a man kisses a women he should be in command of her affection, but not attempting to control it. There should be no pretense in a kiss. Only a lesser individual will kiss without sincerity. Kisses should never exploit the affections of another.
The best kisses hint sweetly of what is to come, yet are sufficient by themselves. They are the intimacy of flesh on flesh, mouth-play, and sweet sensations suggestive of more.
A male friend offers his perspective on kissing. Though I have never kissed him, I would venture, he has kissed and been kissed often enough to speak authoritatively. Mae West said, “A man’s kiss is his signature.” Joel, who shares his thoughts here, seems to agree.
I remember the second girl I kissed. Surprisingly, I don’t remember the second kiss. I was more focused on sliding into second base. I was a breast man then, and I’m a breast man now–with regard to quality over quantity.
How silly I was then not to realize kissing is to be enjoyed, not just a pass-through.
I remember the third girl I kissed. Perhaps I owe to her what I know today. Remember looking with her at a photo of us kissing together and she captioned the photo “The River”. Apparently a river, OK, tributary, of saliva would flow from my mouth to her puckered lips. Thinking back to the third, fourth, fifth…to today..I feel I have perfected the kiss, yet am always open to learn more.
Kissing is an art, it tells a lot about someone, and connects you on a different level than prior.
The perfect kiss begins with eye contact, intense eye contact, looking deep into the other person, feeling their energy unite with yours. Looking down at the lips, then back up into their eyes. (No elevator eyes up and down their body, for you already know, or don’t need to know, about the body.)
Closer together the lips come, and I stop, she’s ready for the lips to meet, but I hold off, just for a moment. I take my hand and gently place it on the back of her neck. Slowly, (or sometimes opting for fast n hard, as that can be quite exhilarating!) drawing her closer to me, our lips touch…I pull back, lips apart, draw my hand into her hair and squeeze just enough to hear her moan. With her soft beautiful hair in my fingers I bring our lips together again, this time with more passion. I pull back ever so slightly, place my upper and lower lips around just her upper lip and gently, slowly bite down….and then…well, I can’t reveal everything, now can I?
I’ve been on dates where a bad kiss was all I needed to know I didn’t wish to continue. One’s kiss is personal, tells a lot about the person, and can make or break an encounter.
Joel’s friend Serena shares her perspective:
I used to think of kissing as a prelude to the better “stuff,” or a way to show the other person that everything is alright.
Recently, I’ve had a kissing epiphany with the luck of finding someone who has chemistry with my lips, and myself.
A friend once described a first kiss with her partner with the few words, “It was like time stopped.”
I couldn’t relate. I know what she means now. Haven’t you ever been doing something you enjoyed so much you couldn’t focus on anything but that? A powerful massage, your favorite song played live at a concert? Isn’t it like time is stopping during that moment? That’s what I feel more times than not when I’m kissing a certain someone.
What creates this? Maybe this:
Our eyes connect, and his magnetize to draw me into him uncontrollably. The force is stopped by two soft lips and I can feel his excitement in his motions as he pulls me closer. Sometimes the motion of the lips is fast, sometimes soft and gentle, sometimes playful but in each kiss a perfect connection of two bodies and lips touching and exploring–minds connecting. A kiss is a full body and soul experience.
Indeed, as Serena and Joel remind us the kiss is so more than lip service. It is hands, bodies, minds and souls in optimistic concert.
How long has it been since you’ve been properly kissed?
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
A woman walks into a bar. A good-looking guy throws a line at her, and asks if he can buy her a drink…she thinks he’s cute. A short time later, she’s giving him her phone number. Several months later the woman is asking, why it always takes so long to realize we’re with the wrong person.
I hope you weren’t waiting for a punch-line, because the only clever line in this story is whatever one he used to make her believe she’d found Mr. Right.
Her question is supposed to be rhetorical, but I can’t dismiss it. Why is that people fall in love, ride the big kahuna of emotions, only to eventually wake up disillusioned???
There can be many reasons, but one is the haphazard manner in which we date. We use less discretion looking for Mr. Right, than buying milk. There are lots of different kinds of milk in the store, fat milk, skinny milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk. Milk is milk, unless you have an aversion to milk from goats, milk from soybeans or milk full of hormones. When we go out for milk, we have a specific kind in mind.
It was love at first sight. I should have looked twice.
Love at first sight is the ultimate in romantic fantasy and foolishness. We screen eligible candidates with our eyes, only the attractive make the cut. If they look good enough, we give them a chance. We make small talk, realize they are friendly, clever, smart or witty, and agree to see them again. It makes no sense.
Imagine the bar scene where a woman walks up to a table of well-dressed men and begins asking them questions like:
How do you feel about divorced women with nearly grown children?
Why did your wife divorce you?
Are you reliable?
How long have you held your current job?
What do you believe in?
Do you have a history of infidelity?
Substance abuse or alcoholism?
Trouble getting along with others?
A police record?
Do you always tell the truth?
Can you provide a list of references?
As they answer the questions, one-by-one they are eliminated, leaving only those who meet our criteria. This would be a sensible approach to finding Mr. Right, but we’d never go for it, because eventually the only one left would be a less-attractive guy with a sincere smile. We’d figure it was a wrong result, and continue to look for an attractive person for whom we would instantly fall deeply.
Love at first sight isn’t unrealistic, it happens all the time. We meet someone, fall for them, and realize later, we fell for them before we had any idea who we’d fallen for. Only after we become involved in the less idyllic details of each others’ lives, are true character and personality revealed. By then we are often so emotionally-invested, we stick around to protect our investment.
Here’s the problem. We know what we want in a vague way and we want to believe it‘s there, even when we know better. Along the way, we overlook small clues and make allowances for things we really don’t like.
Consider my friend who had found a wonderful guy. He had everything. He was an attractive successful lawyer. He was a great catch, but she wasn’t happy. His preoccupation with his cases, often made him unavailable or short-tempered. Whenever he was grumpy, he’d use his work load as an excuse. It seemed like a reasonable explanation. She overlooked what she didn’t like, because she SO wanted him to be Mr. Right. It took more than two years for her to realize it wasn’t his case-load, it was his personality. She knew she wanted an attractive man, someone smart, someone with a good career, someone with whom she would have a stable future. Her very-eligible bachelor offered everything she wanted, except good company.
A pleasant personality should have been her first priority, but wanting “it” to work caused her to overlook the obvious. She had left a few important things off her shopping list. Having a detailed list may seem unromantic, but looking for a partner is certainly more important than buying groceries. You think you know exactly what you’re after, just as Beloved Soul Mate does when he goes to the grocery store for me. Experience has taught us both, he is more successful with a list that doesn’t allow for interpretation. Unless you see no difference between buttermilk and chocolate milk, you need a list that is specific.
Instead of general ideas, think about the specific traits and qualities that you need to make a long-term relationship a success. If you are looking to marry, then why would you waste time with someone who isn’t likely to propose. If you like to travel, why would you date someone who can’t afford to travel with you? If spending time with your family is important, you have to disqualify anyone who doesn’t genuinely like hanging out with the people you value. It may seem cold and calculating, but sitting down to make a list of things you want and need from your next relationship, could keep you from bringing home the wrong thing.
Those raised on Snow White and Cinderella believe marriage to be a “happily ever after”. Sadly, sometimes “forever and ever“ is short-lived. There are lots of fairy tales, but alas life isn’t one.
This is the tale of a friend of a friend–I know it sounds suspect, but it‘s true. Though I’ve never met her, I know her story well. Like a school play, recast and re-enacted season after season, I’ve heard this one before.
She was married–married a respectable long time. Everyone who knew her, believed she was happy. She wasn’t. Her marriage was stagnant and she was lonely. She might have stuck it out longer, had it not been for the other man. She wasn’t looking for someone else, but before long she had fallen in love with someone who was not her husband.
I’d tell you her name, but it’s immaterial–and unless you are living in one of the better zip codes of Utopia, you can probably insert a familiar proper noun into this, not so far-fetched, real-life Mad Lib.
It was never her intent to start something else, it just happened.
(Yeah, I know it’s cliché, but Hans Christian Anderson would assure you it is perfectly true.)
Her husband was too preoccupied to notice that she was unhappy and too preoccupied to notice when she became preoccupied. What followed was unintended. She fell in love. Fortunately, or unfortunately for her, he fell in love too.
The double lives they lead left them both conflicted. She eventually she left her husband. She didn’t leave to be with this other man, she left because she was unhappy. She left because her husband had failed to make her feel loved. Nevertheless, the other man gave her the motivation and courage to give her former king the goodbye-look.
Then they lived happily ever after.
Did she love him? Wholeheartedly.
Did he love her? Absolutely.
While both were still married, they had envisioned a fantasy life together. So what was the deal breaker that turned this fairy tale into an unpleasant fable? Was it just another case of “Why sell the cow , when you can get the magic beans for free?”
You might surmise that they moved in together and found out they were incompatible, or that perhaps the spoiled princes and princesses from the previous unions became a contentious issue, or maybe he lost interest when the object of his desire was suddenly available, like a knight, who once in possession of the holy grail, begins to seek a new conquest? None of these is true.
Did he suddenly discover that he loved his wife more than his lover? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Before I share my own conclusion, let me tell you how the story ends.
She started over financially, emotionally and was ready for her prince to take her to a castle somewhere–except for one itsy-bitsy little detail–he was still married.
When she had made the decision to leave her husband, they had planned to marry. She would be free, he would leave his wife–they would live happily ever after. A Grimm’s fairy tale in the making, except this one becomes grim in a most unfortunate way.
Grimm and his other tale-telling pals forgot a couple details–the ones usually spelled out in pre-nupts.
Her knight had stuff. There were the heirs to his kingdom to consider, there were castles and lands to be divided, and there was a royal legacy of past memories. He loved this woman and would have loved to have made her his wife, but in short, it was too complicated. He had too much to lose. His castle wasn’t perfect, but it was more attractive than renting a thatched-roof cottage in a village far away.
Being a believer in fairy tales, I am convinced he had at least as much fondness for his lady-in-waiting, as for his wife, but he wasn’t ready to sacrifice half his kingdom. Leaving her meant giving up half of all he’d spent his life building. Not only that, but the honorable part of him, filled him with a sense of duty to the woman who had been there when he’d been out conquering and building his kingdom.
As lonely as Rapunzel locked in a tower, she lays awake at night crying for this Jack of Hearts who jacked her heart and her well-being.
He still lives in his castle, perhaps at night he lays awake dreaming of the damsel he distressed.
She has nothing. He has everything he had before. She has become Sleepwalking Beauty, with her life on hold, while everything around her goes on as before.
I wish the story were unique, but I have been privy to the tales of more than one woman who lost her heart in this kind of joust.
Sometimes the story has a different ending. There are men who leave their lives for their lover–especially if the princess comes with a dowry better than the stuff they stand to lose–you know, jewels, riches, cattle, or a better castle. Men who promise to leave their wives often don’t, and the ones who do may not be as gallant.
Does everyone have a soul mate?
Is there only one?
Are there more than one? Are there many?
How can you know if you’ve really found yours?
Is it possible to miss yours?
Is it possible to get someone else’s?
Questions like this aren’t everyone’s cup of philosophical drivel, but inherent in the idea of the “soul mate” are all kinds of cosmic implications–which are intertwined with one’s beliefs. In my own values set; theology, family and sexuality are all very important, so the questions and answers overlap.
For those who believe that God knows all before it happens, there is no other reality than the one we ultimately end up living. However, according to Christian theology we are all self-governing creatures guided by our own self will–so if we choose the wrong person with whom to procreate, are the wrong children born?
If we choose the wrong person does God re-route us like some kind of Divine GPS–or are we on the wrong path forever after?
We make choices–including choosing a life partner. As our lives progress, we later have time to consider the choices we made, and the ones we didn’t make; causing us to consider what those choices might have meant.
How the interface between God the Omniscient and the rest of us hapless saps works is very mysterious–making the question of whether or not we have a predetermined life partner even more incomprehensible. Is this a “one-per-person” kind of deal? If so, then choosing the wrong life partner could mean you’ve doomed someone else to a life of misery with the wrong person.
Most of us dream of finding our true soul mate. Either vaguely and/or unconsciously we ask ourselves these questions. Having a single soul mate suggests that the cosmos wants us all to be happily monogamous. Women usually embrace monogamy a little easier than men. For many men, the thought of ONE woman forever and ever is hard to embrace–causing them to drag their feet whenever they get anywhere near the altar.
Theoretically, if you’ve found YOUR soul mate, a perfect marriage should be assured. Perfect marriage? What’s that? I’d sooner believe I’d meet the real Santa.
Easy marriages are more the exception than the rule, so when marriage challenges us, we may begin to wonder if we married the wrong person.. Hmmm. Is it possible you married your cousin’s soul mate or your neighbor’s?
This is the kind of stuff you don’t want to spend to much time thinking about–or pretty soon you‘ll be writing plots for the next version of the Twilight Zone. I know this because I’ve given this too much thought. As a result, I’ve come to some conclusions that are based on absolutely nothing of substance–which is one of the best parts of having a blog, people are actually willing to read the skewed stuff that falls out of my head.
That aside, here’s what I’ve concluded: It is unlikely that we each have only one soul mate. When we marry most of us are convinced there is one and that it happens to be the fancy-dressed person standing next to us. Perhaps some marry thinking “This person is so wrong for me”, but I wasn’t invited to that wedding.
If there is only one, that’s really tough. It’s a big world out there, and you could spend your entire life trying to sift through the chaff and/or chappies to find that person. God help you if your single perfect match happens to be living in Jabootie, or one of those God-forsaken little Texas towns.
I prefer to believe that the number of possible soul mates is related to one’s ability to love. Anytime you decide to commit to one person, there is a hell of a lot of failed humanity to embrace. If you are a person with a great capacity to love you may have many possible soul mates. A large, generous and gracious heart makes it much easier to connect intimately with another individual. However, loving someone is never enough–if it were, there would be far less sad songs on the radio.
Finding someone you can fall in love with is the easy part–the harder part is finding someone who can truly love you.
So with apologies to Carl Sagan, I think it’s doubtful that the number of soul mates is determined by the cosmos. I’m pretty sure it’s all about us.
The Clinton-era policy known as “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.” seemed to make sense–don’t ask if you don’t want to know the answer; don’t tell if you don’t want to live with the consequences. Unfortunately, Mr. Clinton didn’t always get things right in all his affairs.
Bill’s policy is probably more helpful to straight civilians, than it was to the men & women of our armed forces, because no matter how enlightened and empowered women become, they are still inclined to ask dangerous questions–landmine questions.
I’m not like everyone else, but there are a whole bunch of questions I’m not interested in asking or having answered. Below are a list of ten such questions.
1. Do you think she’s prettier than me?
Men like pretty women. Get over it. There will always be someone prettier. Get over it. I’ve long outgrown the “who’s the fairest of them all” game. Most women can identify pretty women as well as a man can. If there is a woman prettier than you, your life will not be enhanced by hearing it from the object of your desire.
2. Do I look fat?
If you look fat, knowing won’t help you face the world. Asking is dumb. You‘ll either get an answer you don’t like, or an answer you can’t trust. A smart man won’t tell you the truth, a dumb man won’t think fast enough to lie. Additionally, hearing the answer may cause you to console yourself with a quart of Haagen Daz. The following day, you will look fatter.
3. Do you like this dress?
With a few exceptions–most of whom are gay, men aren’t dress experts. If it shows enough skin, he’ll probably think it’s fabulous. He won’t be able to tell you what color it is, but he’ll convince you it’s stunning. If you really want to know if the dress is as cute as you thought, wear it somewhere there are cameras. Cameras offer unyielding and unbiased objectivity.
4. Did you love her?
Without knowing her, you can answer that for yourself. At some point he “loved” her enough to be involved with her. If she‘s history and you‘re current events, don’t cancel the future by dwelling on the past.
5. Did you sleep with her?
If you want to be riddled with doubt or insecurity, ask this question and press for details. That’s so yesterday. He’s with you now–it’s game on. Stop thinking about it, you need your head in the game.
6. Where do you see this going?
Initially, most men haven’t thought past the backseat or the bedroom. If you want to know where it’s going, wait & see.
7. Do you want to make love to me?
Puhleeeeez . . .is he gay? Is he celibate? If he’s not, this is a question you probably don’t need to ask.
8. Was it good for you?
97% of the time, the answer will be an unequivocal “yes“. If it’s not, there are other questions you need to be asking.
9. Do you love me?
If he knows he does, he’ll probably tell you. If he hasn’t told you, he may not be the guy for you.
10. Why do you want to hang out with the guys, instead of me?
Men like and need to hang out with their boys. One of many reasons? Guys don’t ask questions like those above.
Deb’s Note: Obviously, I’ve only addressed my short list of the “Don’t Ask” aspect. The “Don’t tell” part is up to the men. Smart men usually figure it out quickly.
This week I’m in the old hometown. It’s and idyllic town built around a beautiful town square with a stately courthouse and an old fashioned gazebo bandstand. Directly across from this, is a block of street nick-named Whiskey Row. Whenever I’m in town, I usually find my way to The Row–not so much for the whiskey, but for old times’ sake and lack of something better to do.
Last time I was there, I spent the evening with some women –friends of friends, new acquaintances to me. The person who introduced us, told them about de blog, so they were full of questions. When they learned the kinds of things I write about, they were anxious to suggest topics.
One of the women suggested I write about “this kind” of man or “that kind”. Are there more than one kind? Other then good ones and bad ones, I find them pretty much to be alike, but I listened. She pointed out a fellow in the nightclub and profiled him for me.
Apparently this handsome fellow has his way with women and refuses to settle down. She wanted to know why. Is it not obvious?!? He does it, because he can. This isn’t the kind of guy that’s good for a gal, so I can’t imagine why she cares. However, she’s not just bar-hopping, she’s man-shopping–along with almost every other single women there. Maybe tonight there’s a sale on floor models, because the place is packed with women who are sorting through talls, the shorts, the handsomes and the less-than-a-model models.
Like most women, I love shopping. I‘m damn-near expert at it. No matter what I’m looking for, I like to know what’s out there, before I make my selection. Dresses, shoes, cars or houses, I take my time to find exactly what I looking for. I’ve become a very efficient shopper, but I rarely settle. I did plenty of shopping around, before I put my money on marriage.
I’m a BIG believer in finding love at any age, so, I’m all for man-shopping. It might take some time to find the right one–but don’t get discouraged. If you’re looking for a lasting love, you might need more than an a few hours in a dimly-lit dance hall.
Not casting any judgments–I may have met Beloved Soul Mate in a bar. I don’t really remember, because it seemed I’d known him forever before he ever asked me out. However this isn’t about me–I‘m not shopping, but there are many women out looking for a new & better model.
Unfortunately, when it comes to man-shopping, bars are the WalMart. Not too many places offer such a cheap and readily available selection as bars–but just as the stuff at WalMart is different things than Nordstrom’s–the place you‘re shopping may not have what you want. When you’re shopping, you have to go where they have what your looking for.
The Check-out is a two part process, beginning with the part where we check them out and they check us out. It’s important to have a good idea what features are most important, because if you choose the wrong one, you’ll be standing with the others in the “Returns” line, in no time. To avoid this, know what you’re looking for, then figure out where you can find that kind. If you can figure that out, it’s as easy as meeting the right one. If you can meet people, you can make friends. If you can make friends, you’re on your way down the aisle. (Not that one, the check-out aisle. Don’t be hasty girls!) Ultimately, finding the “right” guy is finding someone with whom you can be friends.
The problem with the bar scenario is the hook-up usually precedes the friendship & the hook-up has a way of causing men to be less interested. It’s like that Groucho Marx line about not wanting to be a member of club that would have you as a member. Men want to sleep with women, but they have little patience for shopping, they grab and go–hoping they’ve got the right thing. However, upon having had an evening to sleep-on-it, so to speak, a man might experience buyer’s remorse. He’ll look wonder if he brought home a defective model and might even want to go back for one he likes more.
Sorta like that “Paper or Plastic” thing . . you have to figure out if you want the man in the sack or in the bag. When it comes to sex, they’ll beg for it. Like used car salesmen, they’ll say anything to make you believe that sleeping with ‘em will seal the deal, but I know from experience–it takes a man a very long time to lose interest in a woman he wants to sleep with. If only we could marry them and then never sleep with them, they’d be jumping through burning hoops to win us over, ‘course, that would take more resolve than this girl has.
How would you like to pay for this?
Take your time . . if you “charge it/him” you could end up paying dearly for a very long time. Like an end of season-sale, things can get rough, so be careful. For those who are in the market–I hope you find what you’re looking for!