Category Archives: Dilema

Quality vs Quantity

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Quality vs Quantity

Quality vs Quantity

I am feeling compelled at this time to repeat some advice to people considering divorce:  STOP BLAMING THE OTHER PERSON AND WORK ON YOURSELF! This advice does not apply to you if you are in an abusive situation (and that includes mental, physical or emotional abuse) or  are in a relationship with an addict – in these cases you should get out as soon as possible for your sake and the sake of your children if you have any.  But you other people who fantasize that once you are single again you will have ample opportunity to find someone else who is better than your current significant other – unless you know something I don’t- are plain wrong.

There is quantity out there, I’ll grant you that, but little quality.

Case in point:  I know a perfectly lovely woman who claims she has never had any trouble meeting men to date.  She has often made me jealous at parties with her claims of an endless string of men coming into her life.  Then one fateful night she (after a couple of cocktails) decided to share the wealth and began scrolling through her contacts like a modern day matchmaker to find me a potential mate.  She showed me picture after picture of overweight, t-shirt clad guys with beers in their hands, gun racks and deer heads on the walls behind them complete with stories like “He’s never been married but has two really cute kids.” or “I think his ex is still living in the same house with him.” I was unmoved. I thanked her for trying an apologized for being difficult.  I am sure these are all great guys who would be perfect for the right woman.  They are average American Men and that is the majority of what is available. Call me a snob, bitch or whatever but I am looking for something else. I am searching for Excellence.

And excellence is RARE.

You (like me) will have to turn a lot of stones to find someone fabulous and that takes time.

During that time as a “single person looking” you will have to work on yourself – which is exactly what you needed to do to re-spark  your marriage in the first place so it only makes sense to simply do the work while you are married and enjoy the changes that take place rather than going through all that mess and then trying to find someone else.

-Plus if you stay off the market it means less competition for me 😉

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In Attendance: the first function where your ex brings his new love

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Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote in the film version of THE HELP

Jessica Chastain as Celia Foote in the film version of
THE HELP

I am about to experience one of the most challenging situations a single, divorced woman can face:

Attending the first event where the ex brings their new significant other.

When I fist got *H2’s email informing me that “Girlfriend” would be attending an event I would also be attending, (Yes, he delivered the information by email rather than in person or over the phone because that is the sort of person he is -which explains a lot.) I was astonished.  Firstly, because the last time we talked about Girlfriend they had broken up so I was broadsided by the mere mention of her presence in his life.  Although his relationship status is really none of my business, it does affect our daughter and how relationships are interpreted particularly if she will be associating with any significant others.  In other words, it is helpful for me to know what is going on so I can be the best support for out daughter I can be.  She may have questions that need answering and it is ideal to be prepared.

Secondly, this will be the first time Girlfriend and I have attended the same social function.

Following astonishment, I experienced anger, dismay, amusement and maybe, just maybe, a pinch of jealousy culminating in one giant, “Are you kidding me?” sort of reaction.  Naturally, I did some research to determine which of these feelings were normal in this situation and which were unique to me.  According to Cathy Meyer for About.com in an article titled, Tips to Help You Process Negative Emotions When Your Ex-Spouse Starts Dating, I learned that most of what I felt was normal. Jealousy and feelings of betrayal are described by Meyer as par for the course.  People with a long history of being together sort of get it stuck somewhere that this person belongs to them in a way.  Seeing them with someone else triggers those old perceptions which then need to be dealt with properly.  Dealing with them includes recognizing that the relationship you had cannot be duplicated because each couple is special because people bring different characteristics. Once you can remember what was special then you can remember why it didn’t work, focus on being your best self and living your life to its fullest potential.  Let it go.

I was able to process all of that fairly quickly (a matter of a few hours) then came the part that was a tad more challenging.  The event Girlfriend has chosen to attend is a charity function I am organizing for our daughter’s school (to clarify, the child of H2). H2, who lives in another city about 110 miles away is playing a key role in the production of this huge event and will be working long hours before, during and following the event.  Girlfriend will be coming from at least the same distance and a different city, I assume is expecting to spend time with H2.  H2 and I will be working many hours together in a manner in which we are accustomed which does not include Girlfriend.  We will be relating to each other in a way that might, on the surface, be threatening to Girlfriend who has let loose her insecurity of her status with H2 more than once in the form of verbal abuse towards me.

Personally, if I were going to be at a function with my date’s ex present for the first time, I would choose a different sort of occasion. Walking into a room full of strangers, far away from my support group, on the other woman’s turf when she is a focal point of attention and my date will be distracted by his job throughout the evening seems like the recipe for a rough emotional ride. Something smaller and more intimate representing more neutral turf would be a better choice in my opinion. Of course, if I were driving over 100 miles to visit with my sweetie after not seeing him for weeks I would want to know that we were spending the whole time together rather than a few short hours -but hey, that’s me.

Post astonishment and brief personal processing, my concern went to the quality of the event and H2’s commitment to supporting the school.  I responded to his email with my concern asking if he felt he could be focused and committed to the task at hand while Girlfriend, was chomping at the bit to spend time with him.  He failed to comment.

It then occurred to me (and here is where the amusement came in) that Girlfriend likes to drink (At least that is my impression after a string of FB messages she sent to me full of slanderous pot shots followed by a half- assed apology claiming she was drunk at the time which was then followed by another string of crazy rantings when I failed to immediately respond. I have since blocked her.) and H2 likes to spend money.  This is a charity event and the success of it hinges on people who like to spend money.  People are more likely to spend money when they are drunk so they are likely to be great contributors to the bottom line.

I emailed him again something to this effect:

Of course,Girlfriend is welcomed to come. Please make sure she has lots of cash for drinks and raffle tickets and access to your bidder number for the Silent and Live auctions.

I feel really good now.  Confident and easeful. I am moving on, making the best of my life by helping to make this fundraiser I am chairing a success, happy that he will be happy enjoying this event the way he likes without me bitching about how much he spent the next day because as long as he is paying support and his life insurance it is non of my business how he spends his money any longer.

Plus someone drinking under the kind of pressure that Girlfriend will be under at such a function may offer some priceless moments like the scene in The Help where Celia Foote gets trashed at the society event and barfs at a key moment.

I give myself permission to step back and enjoy the show without expectation or attachment.  It feels liberating.

Another hurdle overcome.

One more step in the direction of my own happiness.

 

 

*H2 = Ex-husband #2

 

Men to Avoid: Those in Favor of Legalizing Prostitution

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Below is the second definition of “dating” found on Urban Dictionary (for more click here):
dating
socially acceptable form of prostitution.example
I spent a $30 for a movie, before the first base. A $50 for lunch, for the second base, and a $70 on a romantic dinner before we cut to the chase.
If you have been following my blog you probably already know that I am enough of a prude to be offended by this definition although I have a wicked sense of humor so it also makes me laugh.  I will restrain myself from the obvious rant that men may shell out some dough for dates but women spend a lot of time and money preparing for those dates.  In fact, I recall that my Match.com date #2 felt that I owed him “something” for taking me out to dinner when in actuality taking into account that I had my hair colored ($85.00 – I know that is cheap but I have a secret stylist) and paid for a baby sitter ($50.00) I spent about the same amount preparing and facilitating the date as he did on dinner. (to read that story click here).
But really?  A man who pays for coffee or a meal for you and thinks that this entitles him to some nookie is a man to avoid.  He is a womanizer to the Nth degree.  He thinks of women as objects or playthings not people – items to be purchased.  Just get up and walk out on him (or better yet, you can secretly record the conversation and replay it later for your friend’s amusement).
Understanding how I feel, you can imagine the side-splitting, eardrum- busting laughter that ensued when my friend whom I shall refer to as, Polly Purebred, related a dating story concerning a man who took her out for lunch on a first date and proceeded to wax poetic for an hour-and-a-half on why prostitution should be legalized in the United States.
What sort of message do you suppose this man was attempting to convey?
At any rate…
Ms. Purebred emailed me recently with a conundrum.  How should she respond to this same man’s email inviting her on a second date?
She wrote something like this (I removed specifics to protect identities):

Hi – Mary – this is the guy I was telling you about who spent our first date lunch going on and on about why can’t prostitution be legal in the U.S. – he must have sensed I was talking about him because he emailed me.

I would love to come up with something pithy in reply but I’m tired and have run out of ideas for how to respond to a**holes – would love your input 🙂

The following is my suggested response:

Wow, AH! *
Great to hear from you!  
Before I agree to see you, I want you to know that I was truly inspired by our last conversation and have decided to start a small business.  If you would like to get together it will now cost you $200.00 per hour with a minimum of two hours.  If you are interested in any “extras” it is $50.00 per activity.  You must pay for the first two hours of my time up front. You can give me cash tucked inside a nice greeting card within the first 5 minutes of meeting at a mutually agreed upon place or I can take your credit card number over the phone.  Any charges for accommodations are on you.
 
I can’t thank you enough for the idea for my new small business!  It has changed my financial position dramatically.
 
I am currently taking appointments, I mean arranging for dates, for the first week of November (things have been crazy busy) so get back to me quickly if you are interested.
 
Looking forward to hearing from you.
 
Best,
PP

8{), M

*AH stands for a**hole.

PS: 8{) means “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” It is a symbol for Teddy Roosevelt as per “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”.

Spanish Holiday Part Seis: Boys of Summer Series

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At this moment it might be appropriate to go into all of the reasons why I should not become sexually involved with a 24 year old man.  I am almost 22 years older (Ricardo pointed out that his birthday is in August making him almost 25 this means that there is mere 21 year difference for the six months before my February Birthday- a rather ridiculous point considering.)  In Richmond this is just flat out unacceptable because it implies that my intentions are strictly lecherous and not marriage oriented which is a big “no-no” in Southern conservative society.  The last time I dated a 24 year old man I was 20.  The whole thing smacks of “taking advantage of someone so young”.  I am fearful of the lack of responsibility a young bon vivant might be capable of concerning sexual health. I use no birth control as my soon-to-be-ex husband (it is only a matter of weeks until the divorce is final) has had a vesectomy and it has not been a issue for over ten years. There is the fear of being taken advantage of- will he sleep with just anything?  I know he has already had several lovers in the month he has been in Spain and he has no intention of changing that pattern regardless of the level of my physical interaction with him.  Then there are the purely vain reasons: why would someone so young who could have any tight assed smooth skinned young hot thing want a woman who has had two children and the battle scars to show for it?  If I do decide to get naked with this man will he run away screaming in disgust from my stretch marks and less than perky breasts?  Lastly and most importantly, we have an established a sort of professional mentorship and a budding friendship and I don’t want to screw that up with any weird emotional issue crap because we lost our heads in Spain and had sex.  Remember, I have no idea where this man’s head is.

Now for the reasons why I should.  He is interested.   He is amazingly sensual.  Why should I allow myself to be limited by other people’s ideas of what is right or wrong.  I’m in Spain for god’s sake, where no one cares if a woman has a lover half her age.  We are both adults and if we mutually agree on what we are doing and the parameters what difference does it make?  Maybe I should just let Ricardo decide what he wants rather than patronize him.

Back at the hotel I hardly sleep. That kiss is played repeatedly in my mind filling me with questions making me toss and turn.  The industrial noise surrounding the hotel does not help.

Man-no-man

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I just thought I would post this to ignite a conversation.  I have to admit I am a bit skeptical of Suzy’s views here.  Particularly the implication that it is low self worth that makes a woman kid herself that she doesn’t need a man.  I thought it was low self worth that made women think she NEEDS a man.

This is her post:

Tired Of Convincing Yourself You Don’t Need A Man?

by SUZY

WECanDoIT  Tired Of Convincing Yourself You Dont Need A Man?

Sure You Can Do ‘IT’, But Do You Want To?

As a single woman over 40 and beyond there is a conversation that goes on in your mind that you may not even be aware of.

It’s the conversation that tries to convince you that you don’t really need a man in your life.

It can happen during those times you have been feeling lonely and depressed about not meeting a good man.

A romantic movie can trigger that feeling or hearing about a woman from your divorce support group who just got engaged to her ideal mate.

It can be triggered by that feeling of being overwhelmed from handling every problem on your own.

Everything from financial issues, health concerns, car issues, family issues to plumbing issues and the list goes on and on.

Life can be daunting at times even for the resilient type of people that seem to handle everything in stride.

You may be a divorced woman and single mom whose had to climb your way out of the rabbit hole since your divorce.

You’ve worked hard and long to learn what it takes to be a strong, independent woman who can handle everything on your own.

It’s very obvious to anyone that knows you…you don’t need a man in your life. In fact you wear it like a badge of honor.

Or you may be a divorced single woman whose self esteem is damaged to the point that you can’t quite believe that any decent man would be interested in you.

If you’re a single mom you think who would be interested in a woman over 40 with two teenage daughters.

That was what I thought after my divorce.

Or you may be in your 50′s or 60′s and figure you’re too old to attract a man other than a guy in his 80′s.

So you convince yourself that you don’t really need a man in your life.

You can muddle through on your own okay.

In either scenario you’re in denial.

If you’re a strong independent woman you don’t want to deal with all the underlying emotions that are the residue left after divorce or from childhood.

So you play out the role of the strong woman ‘I don’t need a man card’, and that does a very good job at keeping any decent men at bay.

On the other hand if you’re a woman whose self esteem is keeping you stuck… then to protect yourself from the disappointment and rejection… you convince yourself you don’t need a man in your life.

Using your low self worth as your armor you can easily keep yourself hidden from the good guys.

So why do I say you’re in denial?

Because underneath all the pain that divorce bestows on you is the desire to be with a trustworthy man that has your back and will love and cherish you through both the good and the bad times.

And yes men like that do exist, I’m sure you know some of them as husbands or sons of friends.

In order to fulfill your heart’s desire to meet your soul mate you need to stop believing all the myths that are floating around the single women over 40 and beyond crowd.

Myths like:  ‘All the good men are taken after 40′ or ‘Men your age only want to date younger women. ‘

Or what about the self talk you listen to in your head like: I’m too old, too fat, too tired, too busy, too ugly etc.

If you’re finally worn out from convincing yourself that you don’t need a man in your life and are ready to open up to what you really want… then start acting and speaking the truth.

Stop telling your story to yourself or others and start letting friends, family and co-workers know that you are ready and willing to meet quality men.

That’s the first baby step.

By doing this your denial will start open to the truth of what you really want and your ‘authentic self’ will show up in place of the ‘pretend self’ you’ve been showing up with.

Now you will start to see some subtle shifts and changes begin to emerge and you’re on your way freedom through honesty rather than denial.

Hugs,
Suzy Weiss

Dating Coach For Smart Women

My Rules Concerning Attached Men

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Yep, I am on my soap box again.  Last night’s incident has set me off and here is where my head is today…

Someone recently suggested that I was “making a play” for a man who was already in a relationship.  I found that comment to be hurtful and insulting.  It is my  belief that there are plenty of suitable un-attached men in the world to date without getting entangled in a drama involving another woman and life has certainly re-enforced that concept for me ten fold.

I think that behaving ethically is important not so much for anyone else but because I have to live with myself. By my definition, “making a play” implies initiating connection with someone with the intention of starting a romantic relationship. I have never “made a play” for an attached man in my life.  “Making a play” for someone already in a relationship  is like starting a war- a good outcome is impossible. I have heard stories of women being successful at this sort of thing, meaning they end up with the man in question. But do they really want to be with someone who so easily breaks commitments?

 When an attached person approaches someone outside of their attachment it is absurd to blame the third party. Last night’s incident is a prime example of what pisses me off.  At a party a married man came on to me.  Wedding ring off his finger.  No indication in his conversation that he was attached.  Paying me compliments.  Hinting at potential future meetings.  Just like any single man who was interested would do.  I listened and having been jaded by recent events, I was a bit guarded but mildly open to his attentions. He seemed nice enough as a “single” guy after all. At the END of the evening I asked him if he is married and he hesitates to answer.

Turns out that at several points throughout the evening his wife was within earshot of our conversation – at one point she was sitting about three feet away.  He didn’t bother to introduce me.  He told me how much he  enjoyed my company while she is right there!  I have no idea what was going on. Perhaps I read him all wrong?  Perhaps they enjoy this type of game and go home and have wild sex afterwards?  Not one person at that party bothered to clue me in.  But guess who will be gossiped about as being loose and inappropriate?  Not the man!  Guess who his wife will be pissed off with if she is not a party to this activity?  Maybe him but definitely me.

The dynamic of this situation is what irritates me.

Person A misrepresents themselves to person B. Person B acts on the information provided and Person B gets blamed for wrongdoing. IT IS SO UNFAIR!!!

Why do attached women get so angry at women who get involved with their liar mates?

And not just that…

There is, perhaps worse, the woman who encourages a “friendship” with her husband/boyfriend then gets angry when he makes an advance.

Here is an event in my life that has bothered me for years:

When I was in college, I worked as a hostess in a restaurant.  When I started working there one of the waitresses had just broken up with her boyfriend, a very handsome man who took my breath away upon our first meeting.  She approached me and gave me his telephone number suggesting I call him and ask him out. Despite the intense attraction, I threw his number in the trash and tried to avoid him as much as possible.  Weeks later I ran into him at a party where he made it a point to talk to me.  We stayed out together all night and  though we had a great time and his ex was already involved with someone else, I was uncomfortable with his recent break up status and intended on not seeing him again.  He was persistent in his pursuit, after a few weeks, I caved and his ex-girlfriend became furious with ME. Although her anger was, in my opinion, completely misdirected, it was still awful to think that I had a part in causing her pain. The extra drama around it all was also irritating.

I dated that man for the better part of a year and his ex went on to marry the guy she met post break up but to this day I am sure she would be happy to tell you what a bitch I am.

My standard response when  a(n) married/attached men proposition me I tell them plainly that I hear that they are unhappy  in their current situation and that makes me sad. Then I suggest they might  go see a therapist and work on themselves.

I mean really, Who wants to be in a relationship with a man who would put on such a drama (lie and sneak around) rather than take responsibility for his initial relationship and communicate his feelings, or do the work on himself to satisfy whatever need he has that he goes to such lengths?

As a single mom trying to make a living as a writer, I prefer to keep my life as simple and trouble free as possible.

What are your thoughts or experiences on/with relationship status and dating?

What to wear? Dancing date dilemma

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Tonight I will be having a first date with an interesting man who among other hobbies, likes to dance.  He is into West Coast Swing dancing, something I know very little about but I am a good dancer, enjoy ballroom dancing, am ecstatic to have the challenge of learning something new and potentially have someone to dance with.  Mr. Dancing With The Stars, has arranged for an hour long private dance lesson in a professional studio with a real dance instructor and dinner afterwards.  This guy gets major points in my book already because his first date choice is thoughtful, interesting, fun, challenging and interactive in a socially acceptable way. Much more creative and insightful than just meeting for dinner. He is also capitalizing on an activity that we both enjoy to start out with- I like that.

Of course, I am agonizing  over what to wear.  I want to look good but not suggestive and I am unsure if I should go with something simply dressy casual or a bit more dancey.  I have a great flowy mid- calf length knit (like thick t-shirt) material skirt from J. Crew that would be fun to twirl in but I am fearful it will look odd going out for dinner.  It is way too humid for leggings though they would offer ease of movement.

Shoes are a whole other issue. I am fairly short and like to wear heals often but because I am a little klutzy I usually buy shoes with rubbery soles to help prevent slipping on sidewalks and polished floors.  One needs smooth leather soled shoes for dancing.  I may need to bring shoes to dance in and another pair to wear for the remainder of the evening.  Is that silly? Should I just wear the shoes I plan to dance in and build an outfit around that?

AGGGHHH! It just seems like so many decisions to make on a Friday.

Lately, my daughter and I have been following Dancing With The Stars and my theory is if Melissa Gilbert (a contemporary and attendee at my 25th birthday party, the day lives in infamy because the Redskins were the first team to win the Superbowl after being behind in the first half -or was it scoreless?) has made it this far in the competition there is hope for me in competitive dancing.

Full First Date report coming in the next couple of days.