Posts from the ‘dating’ category

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Life lessons can hit you head on, blind side you, or whack you from behind and leave you face down trying to figure out what the crap just happened. It’s funny how these things creep up on you…kinda like granny panties (Side note: switch to a thong if this happens to you…less material up there makes wedgies obsolete!)

Next week, I’m looking forward to celebrating my 44th birthday. Who am I kidding, no I’m not. I am looking forward to celebrating it in Las Vegas with my husband, but I digress.

As I look back at my 43 years so far, I’ve had my share of life lessons I’ve learned. Some I took like a spoonful of sugar. Others are still a bitter pill I try to swallow with a smile on my face.

After trudging through all these lessons and “aha moments” in my life, I’ve paved the path for others. I’ve been there, done that! The following are a number of things I know to be true. Hopeful a few of these will help you along your journey!

1. When you grow up with a parent who indirectly (or directly) criticizes you about your hair, choice in boys, choice in friends, choice to dance and says “ there’s no way I’m gonna let you go out there and shake your ass” you MUST look within yourself for your value. They don’t want to compliment you or congratulate you because then they (they being a narcissist) won’t be the center of attention. And once they see (in their mind, that is) you passing them in talent, looks or intelligence, they will begin to “hitch their wagon” to you. That extra pressure is like cement shoes. Remind yourself it is not your job to make that personality happy in their life (The life they complain about often to you). It’s your job to build a life for YOU. The one you want. Not the one your mother wants you to have.

2. There’s a phrase that Forest Gump repeats, one that his mother taught him: “Stupid is as stupid does.” The same is true about negativity. Negative is as negative does. I was married to a man who called his sister fat and lazy and expressed his disgust for her, got pissed that the neighbor copied us by painting her water meter to the point that he wouldn’t talk to her, ended a friendship with a couple we often went out with because the husband didn’t tip, and despised a teammate of my son’s because his mother was a bitch. I was raised by a woman like this who had the same mud-colored glasses on. And the more I was around these two, the more deep in the mud I became. My ex and I became so annoyed at that neighbor that we actually moved a few months later. Yes, moved! And yes, the mother of the boy was completely abrasive and spoiled and wanted her kid at short-stop and batting forth and put high demands on the coaches, but that didn’t give my ex a right to tell me he loved it every time that boy struck out. I had to remind this man that the kid up to bat was an 11 year old boy. When you are around this person, you get sucked in to their false reality. You end up griping on the phone together. You go to family dinners and are itching to spread the “how dare theys” and “can you believes.” The energy is heavy and dirty and toxic and it swallows you. Your mud-colored glasses make you critical and constantly looking for everyone’s faults. You must recognize when you think this way and break free from the pull of this type of personality. EVERYONE is good enough. EVERYONE tries their best every day. EVERYONE deserves love. And until a person shows you otherwise, you should be gracious, giving and open. Stop right now and ask yourself Am I with a person like this?

3. Leaving the people with the personalities I’ve mentioned above, whether through a divorce or by setting boundaries, is never an easy thing when you’ve spent considerable time with these people. I’ve seen that lots of people move in and out the narcissist’s life. But those of us that have stayed with/tolerated/enabled these types of people have a hard time truly leaving. Sense the signs early. These people will make you feel guilty for having your own goals. They poo-poo your ideas or shoot your dreams down, always pointing out how they’re absurd. It will take everything you have to pull away. They will toss and tangle you in their games and you must keep walking.

4. Once you finally get away from a narcissist, you will not be yourself for awhile. It’s a strange, crazy phenomenon to be mourning the “old” you and at the same time trying on so many “new” yous. It’s freeing and scary and crazy and sometimes, it’s stupid. You might lie down at night and hate yourself for some of these moments. There are things I felt and did and tried that I glance back on and think Yeah…that wasn’t so smart! But those things are part of my journey. And each is a thread in the pieces that make me, me. I mean, really, I didn’t date much as a teen so taking off for a weekend to St. George with a man I only spoke to twice on the phone isn’t the “old” Lori (or all that smart for that matter). But the “new” Lori said yes and met a great friend and we shared lots of divorce drama stories. Be careful with yourself. And be forgiving.

5. When a beautiful 21 year old guy grabs you and pulls you into the bathroom to sneak a kiss before you return to your table, let the moment happen. At 41, to learn that lesson, well that was a spoonful of sweet, sweet sugar.

6. When someone tells you they love you, and you think they’ll love you forever, there’s a chance they don’t even know what love is. Or their too proud to show it. Or they just never loved you in the first place. And that’s ok.

7. Your kids will heal after the dust of divorce settles…on their own time. And they’ll never be the same. This is a bitter pill for me. At least for now. I’m crushed to see their pain still resurface. I’m shattered their paths were altered forever. I pray every night they each find their true selves and grow and love. Still working on this one.

8. Learning to trust again takes time. And it also takes a leap of faith. People will take advantage of your big heart. People will lie to you. People will look at you with pity in their eyes or judge you for your “unfortunate situation.” Don’t harden your shell. Don’t stoop to their level. Don’t give up on the joys of life and experiencing and growing. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

9. The person you left will continue to throw rocks at you. They will file court orders, they will judge your parenting, they will spread lies about you and spit venom at you at every chance they can. And the sun will rise again tomorrow. And it will be another wonderful day you can celebrate being free.

10. Invest in people who invest in you. So many people surround me and support me and care for me and love me and my life is full. No one makes me feel guilty. No one puts me down. They don’t criticize me. They are there for me. Genuinely and sincerely.

11. When someone new tells you they love you, and you think they’ll love you forever, there’s a chance they just might.

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I’m not quiet and shy. You won’t find me sitting in the corner at a party watching all of the action from the sidelines. It’s not in my nature. I’m a strong, athletic woman who at 5 foot10 inches tall can walk into a room and intimidate people. Ask one of my best friends about her first impressions of me and she’ll tell you about seeing me in the hallway of our kids’ school and thinking Look at her all tall and blonde. She’s got it goin on!

At that time in my life, I was just entering the world of frazzled single momhood and drifting like a lost ship at sea in the dark just trying to find solid ground to land on. My life had been tossed up in the air like a bowl of confetti. It was sprinkled everywhere for everyone to see and falling all around me at a fast rate. I hardly felt “put together” but I was on a journey to find myself again and the glow must have shown on my face.

After being with someone for nearly 20 years who didn’t seem to appreciate the “true” me, I had turned into a quiet, unsure human being. I’ve spent lots of time doubting myself, my looks, my worth. I lived in that zip code for waaaaaaay too long! Near the end of that relationship I began my metamorphosis into the strong, happy person I am now and I’m not apologizing one bit for my strength and confidence. (Damn, that sounds cocky and outright snobbish–but it’s not meant that way at all!)

It wasn’t a very long road back to confidence and true-happiness, because starting my new life was like freeing my soul to live its true purpose. Most important to note: I got to this place on my own. I didn’t jump into one relationship after another to fix myself. A man didn’t help me feel beautiful. Money didn’t make me feel successful. It all started within myself.

Yes, there were (and are) days filled with self-doubt. But not many. I catch myself when I’m putting myself down in my head. Those crappy self-talks you have in your head about how dumb or crazy a mistake you made was or how your stomach isn’t as flat as it used to be? Those aren’t allowed! So stop that right now. Think of all the wonderful things you are and how far you’ve come.

Today, I am one week away from turning 44. I’ve raised 4 kids, sacrificed a lot for a marriage that failed, paid lawyers fees, moved my kids, embraced the opportunity to grow, and moved on with my life. I am more loving, confident, sexual, outgoing, fulfilled, happy and positive than I ever have been in my entire life. And people notice.

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There’s a certain energy that surrounds you when you enjoy the person you’ve become. You will walk taller. You smile more. Your owning it and feeling like the sexiest woman on the planet will have people feeling drawn to you and you will soon be booking long weekends in bed with your spouse or significant other. If people can’t embrace that or want you to change because their insecure or can’t handle your confidence, don’t change who you are for them. You will only end up unhappy and broken. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!

I challenge you today to quiet that critical voice in your head. Practice smiling. A lot. Laugh. Flirt even. Hell, take your clothes off and stand naked in front of the mirror and name, out loud, 10 beautiful things about your body. You can do this! Stop comparing yourself to an image in your head and get your sexy on! Up your energy and own who you are. There is no one else out there like you so show people the best you. You’ll be happier, and they’ll be happy you showed them who the best you really is!

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Here you are, healed, strong, and feeling ready for what life has to bring to you post-divorce. What a long road it’s been! You’ve spent some time in the dating pool, some days were more of a struggle than others, and now, after kissing multiple frogs, (perhaps a few toads, even) you’ve finally found your Mr. or Mrs. Right. The two of you are head-over-heels in love, ready to get married, join your families together, and say your I dos. Well, as a girl who’s marched along that road before, let me be the first to tell you, don’t ever be married again!

From the day my husband, Brandon, and I began dating seriously, I would explain to him that I didn’t want to be the “wife” or a “mother” to a husband ever again. “I want to be the sexy girlfriend!” I’d exclaim. What that means is that I want Brandon and I to put as much effort into our relationship, every day, as we did in the early-days of our dating. Back then we both had four kids (each!), full-time jobs, jam-packed schedules, and we bent over backwards to see each other. Each of us came into this partnership as individual people with confidence, strengths and responsibilities, and we want each of us to keep those areas intact throughout our marriage.

When you’re first dating, you’re wrapped up in blankets of love, lust, and there are butterflies in your stomach. You send sweet texts: I miss you baby! xoxo. At the grocery store, you stop in your tracks when you see his favorite snack food, and you pick it up for the Giants game on Sunday, because what’s a good football game without his favorite snacks? You shave your legs and rub on scented lotion after your shower because you want to feel beautiful when he sees you. He brings you flowers just because he wants to see your face light up when he walks in the door with something–just because. But then, after months and months of being married, the texts are fewer and fewer and you become just another family member to one another.

We humans have this terrible habit of getting “comfortable” once the rings are placed on our fingers. In first marriages, after saying “I do,” mortgages and kids come along, and couples tend to start living a parallel existence together. That’s definitely what my first marriage looked like in the later years. The same is true in second marriages; those mortgages and kids are usually still there, you end up discussing Jimmy’s practice schedule or Jane’s doctors appointments, and you leave little time for any real conversation. Add to that issues with ex wives or husbands, child support responsibilities, and various schedules for various family members, and it’s a wonder if you have money to go out or lie down in bed at the same time!

If a wedding ceremony is something the two of you want, great! Get married! But do your best to avoid “being married” to your partner. Instead, keep dating him or her, every day.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid “being married” and keep your relationship on the top of your list:

  1. Keep laughing! Near the end of my first marriage, I swear I hadn’t seen my first husband laugh in 5 years. He became so serious! I should have known there were bigger problems on the horizon. In my relationship with Brandon, he and I giggle over the stupidest things, constantly. With or without the kids involved. When I notice we are beginning to take life too seriously, and we aren’t snickering at something stupid, that’s when I know we need more “us” time on our schedule.
  2. Keep your grooming habits the same as when you first got together. Men, you didn’t look like Sasquatch’s relative when you lovingly kissed us goodnight at the doorstep on our third date (well, perhaps some of you did, because your women are into the disheveled, bearded look, but not me). And ladies, Alec Baldwin’s character may have been into a woman “going native” in the movie It’s Complicated, but it’s highly-unlinkely your man will appreciate the “forest” (men, this goes for you too–if you manscaped before, keep that shit up!).
  3. Dress to impress, still. Yoga pants are for working out…period. And sweats? Well, they’re for days when you’ve got the flu and can’t make it out of bed. Otherwise, they stay in the closet.
  4. Let the small things go. You didn’t snap his head off when he didn’t change the toilet paper roll when you were first together. And he overlooked your 50 bottles of lotion, scented lotion, deodorant, gel, mouuse, hairspray etc. you’d leave on the bathroom counter when you left for work, so don’t bicker about it now. Keep the respect levels high–always!
  5. Keep the affection coming. (Pun definitely intended here!) Keep up the heat! Sex should be a priority, but more than that, keep up the touchy-feeling things you did when you were first together: hold hands while you’re in the car, give him a hug and a kiss when he gets home from work, kiss her neck when she’s cooking dinner. When the sweet, contagious touches go away in a marriage, you may as well move into separate homes next door to each other and Skype about the kids and schedules at that point.

There’s this strange spin-doctoring and creative marketing that goes on out there, that we all buy into, that makes us think that marriage will solve all of our problems. Being married isn’t an answer to anything–the work still needs to take place. In life, we want someone to show love to and someone who shows us love. We want to know we’re special. We want to know that the person we’re with is proud they spend their nights with us. The best way to do that is to not be married at all. Be dating. Be in love. Be giving love. Always.

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Sometimes I wonder: What would my life look like had I not followed the “right thing” and instead, looked within and chosen things for myself? What if I would have paid close attention to the red flags along the way during my courtship and marriage rather than view and disregard them–as if only gazing quickly at them from a window in a speeding car. What if I would have pursued photography and art in high school as I had dreamed of? Then continued that passion in college? What if I would have realized, at 22, the possessiveness and control was real in my soon-to-be-husband and had stood strong after I tried to break up with him and moved on, alone?

What if I would have shut out my mother’s critiques of the things I expressed I liked or her judgements of my artistic father? I wouldn’t have been so scared to choose for myself. I wouldn’t have thought art was a waste of time and pursuing photography would have been something I did, like my father.

All of these “what ifs” are here because I was afraid of disappointing. My father didn’t graduate from college, and photography was his major, so of course I saw photography as a dead-end career. He and his mother painted and my mother critiqued both of them, and I certainly didn’t want to be critiqued. So, I did the “right thing” from childhood on. Got good grades. Skipped a grade. Graduated. Got a job and put myself through night school trying to earn a business management degree. All because it was the “right thing to do.” Never was I authentically happy. I was good at it, but not happy.

The problem with doing the “right thing” for so long is that as you grow older, and stronger, you reach a point where you don’t even know what it is you would choose. You’re so used to doing the things your husband likes and eating at the places he chooses and decorating the house the way he prefers that once you’re on your own you get lost in the forest of no identity.

After my divorce, I became close friends with a sweet, divorced art teacher at the school I worked for. We bonded quickly over divorce talks, photography, and had great outings together and with our girls. We were both evolving together and breathing in our newly court-ordered freedom.

I’ll never forget the day she first walked into my large, stuffy home where I had lived the last 8 years of my marriage and declared, “This place looks nothing like you–it’s so not what I imagined your house to look like!” I chuckled and said, “That’s because it’s him.”

I know that being married to a narcissist has a way of washing away your identity. Your life becomes all about them. That’s why I cut myself slack as I try to determine who I really am. I’ve come a long way. But there are dips and bumps in the road of self-discovery. I struggle with this a lot. It’s a lesson I guess I keep re-learning, because I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet.

Now, I know, had I not lived the life I had, I wouldn’t have my four amazing children. I’m so thankful for them. Being a mother is my greatest fulfillment in life and my path has taught me many, many things.

But sometimes, I can’t help but dream about the Lori that could have been.

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A genuine fear I had after I divorced my husband of 17 years was being sure to NOT pick the same type of man again. You know how they always say, “Oh, she has a type!” or “He’s always picks the crazy ones.” I didn’t want those scenarios to be me! After all of the shit I dealt with during my first marriage, the last thing I wanted was someone who was ego-centered, negative or possessive and jealous.

This man, my man, is nothing like that.

I was still seeing my counselor occasionally when Brandon and I first started dating. I expressed my fears of choosing the same type of man–I was kind of afraid my “picker” was broken. I remember specifically stating to my therapist, “It’s not like there’s a book on guaranteeing second marriages.” She quickly replied, “Actually, Lori, there is proof that marriages that are real and vulnerable–the kind of vulnerable where you can show someone your darkest sides or deepest fears, work. And from what you’ve told me, you’ve already shared that side of you with Brandon.”

She was right.

Through all of the growing I had done on my own after my divorce, I had learned to be open and vulnerable with Brandon. Because he made me feel safe. He made me want to be a better person, and if I had to break down and cry and tell him how scared I was before I could be a better person, I would do it.

Brandon wouldn’t try to fix me. He still doesn’t. But he listens.

He looks at life as an experience–not a contest.

He has a relationship with his parents–this is important.

He has a relationship with his children–this is more important.

He wants to protect me and care for me. I’ve never had someone be that person for me.

He doesn’t expect anything from me.

He looks at my children as if they’re his own and he feels their pain and their happiness.

He supports my goals, my dreams, and is proud of who I am.

He is nothing like my ex.

 


If you’ve been in a relationship with a manipulator, it’s very common to choose the same type of person again. Very. So if you’ve been there, how do you help yourself and how do you recognize if you’re falling for the same routine?

  1. Stay connected to family and friends. Manipulators like to get you away from loved ones and friends. If they have you all to themselves, your self-image is tied directly to them. You begin to feel happy when you do for them and sad when they tell you you’ve missed the mark–then you over-do to try to make it up. If you have a support system, you have other people who will help you to see that everything isn’t always your fault.
  2. ALWAYS work on your self-esteem. When you feel good about yourself, you’re less-likely to fall for their tactics. You’re also less likely to blame yourself or let the manipulator “label” you or put you down. A manipulator will try to get you to give up the things you love or that make you feel good. Again, they’ve got you right where they want you if you aren’t happy.
  3. Recognize when you feel shame or anxiety. When you are in a relationship, you shouldn’t feel shamed or anxious around your partner. If you feel “not good enough” or your partner is always angry or explosive around you, your response is to try harder to do better or to keep the waters calm. This is how they get you to do what they want.

Are you in a manipulative relationship?

Take this quiz from lifeesteem.org

Answer the following questions with a True or False.

  1. I sometimes feel confused about what my partner really wants.
  2. I feel that my partner frequently takes advantage of my giving nature.
  3. Even when I do something that pleases my partner, the positive feelings never last long.
  4. With my partner I feel that it’s hard just to be myself or do what I really want.
  5. Around my partner, I feel taken for granted.
  6. I seem to work harder on this relationship than my partner does.
  7. My partner has a very strong impact on what I think and feel.
  8. I sometimes feel that I am trapped in my relationship and there is no way out.
  9. I don’t feel as good about myself in my relationship as I once did.
  10. I feel that I need my partner more than my partner needs me.
  11. No matter how much I have done, I feel that it’s not good enough for my partner.
  12. I feel that my partner does not understand who I really am.

There are twelve questions in this quiz. If you answered more than half of them with True, you might want to consider exploring whether you are in a manipulative relationship.

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There are days where I simply want to scream out and curse the world for pain, divorce, and issues that remain in people after they go through heartbreak. There are so many of us dealing with this.

Everyone has issues they’re dealing with. Everyone’s suffered pain. And through divorce, those things collide and erupt and scars and injuries remain. Do they remain forever?

My first marriage was so serious by the mid-point and continued that way up until the end. We were all “business”: keeping things under control and ensuring all the balls stayed in the air. There wasn’t much time for fun, or giggles, or sex or playing. We passed by each other in the kitchen and it was like we were strangers at a restaurant. We had gotten really good at working together. We had gotten really bad at playing together.

As I rediscovered myself after the divorce, I learned how to not be so damn serious all the time. To have more fun. To be a goofball and let my hair down. Holy cow, did it feel good. My kids saw their mom acting like life was a a drug you breathed in. I did cartwheels on the lawn, and I sang out loud. (They were embarrassed, this I know. But I don’t care.)

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As I was first dating my now husband, we laughed a lot. It felt so great to connect with someone like that again. There are a few times when he was thrown into an asthmatic fit from busting up about something stupid. (Nope, I’m not over exaggerating. I’m just glad he didn’t wet his pants at the time, he was laughing that hard.) I loved seeing him laugh with me.

Now that Brandon and I are married, I sometimes feel that “business” mentality creeps into our lives. When he doesn’t want to be playful with me I’m hurt by it…almost angry. I feel like I’m immediately rushed back to 5 years ago where I felt imprisoned by the anger in our house. The feeling of being invisible, ignored, unloved comes back like it was yesterday. Then I go to this insecure place that I rarely see anymore. But it’s there. It’s the place I lived in often with my ex.

I can’t stand that I can feel invisible in an instant still. I hate that I let someone treat me like I didn’t matter. And I hate even more that the feeling still comes through in my new marriage. I don’t want it to be there, but sometimes it is.

I know my husband has issues of his own from his relationships in the past. And some of those carry forward into our relationship as well. That’s the funny thing about remarriage: it’s like there’s three of you, always–you, your spouse, and the past. The part I struggle with is accepting the fact that it’s always there. Aren’t there times when you wish you could wipe the scribbling that is your past away, just like you clean off a whiteboard?

I guess that’s why divorce rates are higher in subsequent marriages–the PTSD from surviving the battle (or World War III for some of you) can be extreme. The important thing is that you and your spouse communicate about the issues.

So instead of yelling to the world, I’ll continue to speak to Brandon about my past. We both need to unpack our past carefully. I’m learning to ask for time from him. I explain to him that I’m discovering how to enjoy marriage for the first time in a long time and it’s important to me. I admit I do worry sometimes he sees me as needy or as a sex-addict (ha!), but the root of it all comes from the need to be SEEN. I’m not going to be the invisible woman again.

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After bobbing around in the dating pool for some time (and for the most part, feeling like I was drowning or getting the life  sucked out of me), I learned a few things along the way. Most of the men out there just didn’t make the man-I-think-I-could-see-myself-with-cut. (Most didn’t even make the first-cut!)

There were men who expected their woman to dress like a playboy pinup daily so they can show her off. Ummm, thanks, no buh-bye! And men who liked pretending they weren’t fathers who only wanted to go play and spend money. Let me see…you say you can’t afford to pay your child support all the time, yet you want to take me to Las Vegas for the weekend? PASS! But once in a blue-moon (or maybe it’s only during the full-moon) you may come across a man who is worth your time. SCORE! Here are a few reasons to consider moving that man from the friend-zone to the end-zone:

1. He doesn’t expect perfection from you.

Let’s face it, most of us heading into a remarriage have baggage–kids, debt, exes, etc. It’s not easy to sweep all of those lumpy things under the dining room rug and pretend they aren’t part of the equation. (You can pretend they aren’t there, but what kind of a beginning is that, really?) If you’ve had a bad day because of an argument with an ex, or your teen isn’t listening to you and you’re frustrated, and your man listens intently as you sob and have liquid dripping from your eyes and nose, he’s a keeper.

2. He takes pride in your kids and in their activities.

I’ll never forget the moment I realized Brandon cared about my kids just as much as he cared about me. It was during my son’s football tournament in Nevada last year. Brandon was pacing up and down the sideline cheering for all of the boys on the team, and he was more stressed about the outcome than I was. That wonderful man was right there worrying about him when he held his arm after a hard hit, and he was by my side to celebrate the victory. Pride beamed from his face: all for my boy and the team. It was a weekend to remember!

3. He reminds you that you are amazing.

I did not want was hesitant to get married again! I won’t lie! I had “control” of my little life (finally!) when he and I began dating.  So the few times I had cold feet and broke things off with Brandon, he gave me space and told me he understood my concerns. However, he also told me to stop comparing my old life to my new life and often reminded me that I I could achieve whatever I wanted as long as I stopped being scared of making a mistake. That was refreshing to know he had my back. I don’t think I ever felt that in my last marriage.

4. He laughs at your kids’ quirks and poor manners.

The fact that Brandon giggled when one of my daughters passed gas as he threw her up-and-over his shoulder for the first time told me he could hang with my kids and enjoy their obnoxiousness I’ve grown to love. (And the fact that he still giggles when my girls “let one slip” to this day tells me I made a good choice!)

5. He takes the time to get to know you as a person.

You, the woman, not only as the mother you are (sure that’s part of you, but it doesn’t make up all of you). I see so many men looking for a “good mom for their kids” and they don’t really ponder if they marry this lady, she’ll be shackled to him for the next 30-40 years. When Brandon was getting to know me, he was surprised to learn that I worked for a scrapbook magazine and liked creating and crafting and taking photos. He’s happy I have things I enjoy, and he supports me in those things.

Remarriage isn’t easy. It’s not like throwing out old shoes and buying a new pair that fit just as well if not better. There are still sacrifices to be made. And some days I wonder if I was crazy to try this again. But ya know what? I’m living my life. Living! There are  memories being made. The love grows. Each day our new family is together, we create moments we’ll chuckle about around the Thanksgiving table in years to come. We laugh, we fight, we tease. It’s called living.

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Yep, I did it. I got one!

I think it would be funny to wear a shirt like this around town or to a local singles volleyball night (ahhh, memories of my early-single days). Being single and over 40 and landing yourself a great guy who really is husband-material is a HUGE accomplishment, if I do say so myself! (Perhaps you men feel the same way and think that all of us crazy women are just the kind of psycho you’d like to avoid!) My husband is kind, loving, funny, sexy, a great father, a hard worker, dedicated, honest, and one hell of a ball player! All the great things that make up a good match for me. I’m thankful we found each other in the sea of divorcees!

Now, I didn’t date a ton, but I did give dating the good ol’ college try. As I told Brandon when we were first going out, “There were many first dates and only a handful that made it to date two or three.” What is it about people who are single and over-forty, anyways? My girlfriends and I would always ponder this and say, “We’re a great catch (not as a collective group, but on our own)! Why is it that there aren’t any men out there that are worth being with?” In my few years of dating, I’ve seen my share of cra cra. Really.

Let me illustrate.

Let’s start with the “semi-pro” football player I met online who told me he was on some league here in Utah that I’d never even heard of (Yeah…semi-pro. In Utah. Uh huh.) He said he was a bag thrower (luggage handler) for an airline in his “spare time.” It was his “real job.” We chatted by email, then over the phone. One day, he insisted he’d love to meet and I explained to him I was headed to a park to play football with my kids. He seemed harmless enough, so I told him to stop by. My kids had met a ton of my friends whom I played volleyball and softball with, so I figured it was no big deal. He arrived at the park and we said hello and chit-chatted for a moment. He told me I was more beautiful in person than in the photos on my online profile. I thanked him and soon we started throwing the football.

The entire time he’d make comments like:

“See, even ugly guys are funny.” or “Just because I look funny doesn’t mean I’m not a good catch, right?!” And then he’d laugh at his own jokes. It was not a comfy situation for me. The self-loathing became apparent (and annoying)! We quickly wrapped up our game of catch and I told him, “Thanks for coming by.”

Later that day he texted me and said:

WELL, WHAT DO U THINK?

ABOUT WHAT?

ABOUT ME. ARE YOU ATTRACTED TO ME?

WELL, OBVIOUSLY YOU’RE ATTRACTIVE OR I NEVER WOULD HAVE MET YOU IN PERSON

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SO DO YOU THINK THIS COULD WORK OUT?

(note that we’d only spent 1 hour throwing the football around with children at the park…not exactly a lot of time to create a great foundation for an everlasting relationship) I’m a firm believer in being honest and truthful, so I tried to tell him politely that it was a “no” for me.

IF YOU’RE ASKING ME IF THERE’S A SPARK THERE, I’D HAVE TO SAY NO.

HOW COME? IT’S CAUSE OF THE WAY I LOOK, ISN’T IT!

NO, NOT AT ALL. I JUST DON’T SEE THIS GOING ANY FURTHER

WHY NOT? JUST TELL ME.

I WANNA KNOW. JUST TELL ME SO I KNOW.

WELL, TO BE HONEST, YOU WERE PUTTING YOURSELF DOWN ALL DAY WHICH MADE ME UNCOMFORTABLE. YOU DON’T SEEM LIKE YOU’RE THAT CONFIDENT

OH, SO THIS IS MY FAULT?!

Okay, now I was trying not to get pissed. Really, I just wanted him to leave me alone and I wanted to go to sleep. In order to end the conversation quickly, I took the blame…

NO, IT’S REALLY MY FAULT. I’M KINDA PICKY AND JUST NOT ATTRACTED TO PEOPLE WHO AREN’T CONFIDENT

YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT IT’S YOUR FAULT! I’M A GREAT CATCH! YOU’RE THROWING THE BEST THING THAT EVER CAME YOUR WAY!

YOU’RE SO DAMN PICKY! YOU’RE THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEMS! NO WONDER YOUR EX HUSBAND CHEATED ON YOU!

That was when I politely replied and told him that his comment was rude and uncalled for and to please never contact me again. The next day I opened my match.com email and saw a note from him saying: AND YOU’RE NOT THAT BEAUTIFUL EITHER!

Two months later, that man tried to friend me on Facebook.

Um. Hello. Crazy much?

Note: That, my dear online daters, is why you DON’T have dates pick you up at your home. Can you imagine if he’d had known where I lived? Seriously, no wonder he’s been single for 27 years and hasn’t ever been married!

Stay tuned to find out why I recommend you ALWAYS ask online potential-dates for their last name before meeting them. Seriously people, I can’t make these stories up!

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