Dating, Life, Love

The Men I’ve Loved Pt 3 ~ Polyamory

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After my divorce I dated a few men but not seriously. Most of them only lasted a couple weeks to a couple months and in retrospect I dated a handful of scrubs. I was a mother of two in my mid 20’s and didn’t know who I was, what I wanted or what I was worth. I struggled with self love after being pegged as the awful woman who broke up my own family. I struggled with time management having to co-parent part time and work full time. I struggled to stay afloat with my mid level bank job and paying bills on my own. I found solace in the new friendships that I was creating and I was trying to learn who I wanted to spend my time with. I had a couple female best friends to help me find my path. One was our nanny when my youngest was a baby and I had to go back to work. I got to keep her in the divorce. She ended up somewhat moving in with me, or rather spending all her time at my house because she didn’t want to live with her mother. She would be there when I left for work and then when I came home. We would hang out & have cocktails after work and dance to Britney Baby! She was close to my kids and it was nice to have companionship during my transition. Another one of my girls was an amazing vocalist, guitarist and cook who lived with me for about 6 months. Finally, my life long best friend who has always been my biggest moral support. 

Burning Man is a huge music & art festival in the Nevada desert that happens each year at the end of Summer. During the off season the city of Black Rock is desolate but for that one week it transforms into the 3rd largest city in Nevada. Roughly 70-80k people attend this event and they must collectively construct it from scratch. There are thousands of art structures, sound camps and other camps that offer attractions like yoga, naked yoga, healing, showers, food, workshops and so much more. Anything you want to do can be found in their Who, What, When, Where Guide (WWWW).  Each participant has to bring everything they need to survive for the week in the desert. People come from all over the world and it truly is one of the most incredible experiences on earth. My lifelong best friend started inviting me to “Burner” events that happened throughout the year in our local community. Within months I began hosting my own potlucks in the community and ended up building a theme camp my very first year at Burning Man in 2011. Soon after I was hosting my own parties and later was nominated to be on the Board for Denver Decompression 2012 which is the annual post Burning Man event that brings the community together after the dust settles. One of my fellow board members was a man who was in a sound crew by the name of Whomp Truck. This man would later become the subject of this story line. 

Whomp Truck was a mobile sound crew that would pop up in hidden places all over Denver and host Renegade parties. I had been to a couple of their events and thought they were super cool so being able to work with one of them on this event was a dream come true. After throwing that successful event I was approached by their founder who asked me to join the crew. I started going to their weekly meetings and was the only woman there. It was primarily a crew of male DJ’s & tech guys but they said they wanted someone who could help organize the crew and my background in finance & management was ideal. It took me about 3 months to feel comfortable in the group at which point I jumped right in and started contributing much of my free time & energy to the success of the crew. I asked to welcome in a couple of my Burning Man camp members who I thought were assets and we merged forces. I started welcoming more women into the group and we were nicknamed “Whompettes”. A lot of these women were girlfriends of the DJ’s who never got involved before but if there is one thing I do well, it’s bring people together and organize skill sets. We grew from 6-8 to about 20 members within my first year, all of which had something amazing to bring to the table. We were rocking hard and riding high for a couple years hosting community events, warehouse parties and sound camps at our regional burn. We even started planning our own festival which was going to require a lot of start-up capital and a lot of hard work but we were inspired to do this. We worked hard and played harder. Unfortunately when you are so close to people on such an intimate level, there can be cross over in the relationship sector. There were people who would break up and then couple up with another person in the group. There were people who casually slept together and since we were all young & beautiful we occasionally had fun with each other. Nothing was super serious and we were just enjoying the ride. 

There was always one guy in the group who I was interested in more seriously, however. He was the first man I worked with during Denver Decompression and he was the one I saw as someone I could actually date. We hooked up a few times over the years but he was never serious about me, or anyone for that matter. He wasn’t in an emotional place for a relationship so we just remained friends with occasional benefits. After about 3 years of working together & occasional hook ups, I flat out told him I cared about him and we were young so I wouldn’t mind if he saw other people but I wanted something more. At that time a lot of our friends were exploring polyamory and I was curious about it. Monogamy didn’t work for my husband and I wondered if it was reasonable for people to only be with one person for life. Unfortunately when I confessed this, he freaked out a bit and told me he didn’t have those feelings for me and never would. He broke my heart that day and despite having to work with him I cut my friendship off with him. I hardly would look at him during our meetings and wouldn’t hug him when I left. It took 3 months of the “cold shoulder” for him to pull me aside and tell me he was sorry, he was wrong and he just got nervous. This man had just spent the last year struggling with Cancer, going through chemo and having to come to terms with the possibility of dying at such a young age. He was in recovery but he feared that he wouldn’t be around long enough to start a relationship with me. He then said that he did want something more serious and was ready to do this with me. This all seemed too good to be true and I was cautious so I suggested we start slow and maybe try polyamory. I knew him closely for years and I knew that he loved the ladies so I didn’t want to expect too much from him, other than honesty and companionship. We then embarked on an open relationship and the one agreement we had established was that we would always communicate and never lie to each other. 

Things were light & fun in the beginning. We were spending more time together and getting to know each other more intimately. I didn’t date any other guys because I hadn’t met anyone that I was interested in but he went on a couple dates with other girls, none of which he slept with but he was always honest with me about where he was. Then one day he sat me down and said we needed to talk. He said he met a girl that he really liked and wanted to pursue her. I said alright, this is what we agreed on and I wasn’t going to stop him. I said I wanted to meet her so we could all be friends and be on the same page. Once we established that we were all on board and willing to try polyamory, and once everyone cleared STD testing, we moved forward. The day after he slept with her he came to me and said he didn’t know if he wanted to do this.. He claimed the sex was bad and that he wanted to just be with me. I told him absolutely not. He doesn’t get to sleep with a woman and then just dump her. As tempting as it was to just claim him as my own, I wouldn’t allow this. He had said this was what he wanted so he needed to give it more time in my opinion. In retrospect I regret saying that as what followed was a very difficult time in my life, however I also know after years of processing this that I am grateful how things ended up.

Within just a few weeks she was making demands that I felt were unreasonable. She said that since she still lived at home with her parents and I had my own house, that his bed should be their intimate space while my bed should be his & my intimate space. I had major problems with this considering that I had known him for years and she just met him, she was not about to kick me out of his bed now. But I caved and I let it happen and that was my first mistake. From there, things just got worse… She confessed that she was Bi-polar 2 and for this reason she needed more attention than me. We tried to agree on how to divide up our time together but she would pull him away during our designated time together whenever she had a “breakdown” and needed him. She started making agreements with him behind closed doors that didn’t involve me and he began directly breaking agreements that we had already made. He would tell me one thing and then go back to her and change his feelings. Then come back to me with her various demands. I felt like this woman was controlling my life and I hated every second of it. He told me he loved me and then a week later told her he loved her. As much as I wanted him to honor his feelings, this made his confession of love for me feel shallow and seem like it was too little, too late. He bought us both jewelry for Christmas which she proudly broadcasted on social media and this made his gift to me seem generic. She and I tried to spend time together but it was difficult as we both seemed to want to be the alpha. I tried bringing literature into things and suggested we all read a book on Polyamory together. We never made it through the book and things just got more difficult.

Earlier that year I had uprooted my career in the financial industry to pursue my passion in event production. I only worked odd jobs & bartending for 9 months while I tried to find the perfect job which caused me to go into quite a bit of debt. I had finally gotten firm footing when my landlord notified me that after living in my house for 4 years I would need to move as he was selling. I had a short time to find a new place and the housing market in Denver had skyrocketed so finding another 3 bedroom house for $1000 per month was highly unlikely. When I told my boyfriend he said we should find a house together. I asked him how she would feel about this and he said it’s his decision and would talk to her. Then came back to me a week later and said we all needed to discuss this and she had some concerns. Suddenly I found myself promising that she could also move in with us and that we were all going to look for a place together. Since his lease wasn’t up for a couple months we decided I would temporarily move my things into storage at our warehouse where we kept all our sound equipment. Then I would live in a friend’s attic while my kids would stay with my co-parent until his lease was up. I put my whole life on pause for this man. 

At that time he & I were also neck deep in planning our first festival together for Whomp Truck. We were spending most of our time together working on the project and the other half of our time trying to make things work with her. I felt like it was all work and no play. When the festival was shut down by law enforcement, which is an entirely different story for another day, all shit hit the fan. We lost $30,000 of the money we had saved up for this event because we still had to pay out all our artists and were unable to get back deposits for infrastructure, porto potties, ice and the like. There was a lot of tension leading up to this event and I had expressed to the group how risky it was to proceed, but to no avail, we pushed forward despite the many hang ups and we lost everything, including our reputation. The group was heartbroken and people started to blame each other. Later that month my boyfriend, my metamour (my lover’s other lover in poly terms) and another couple from the crew went on a planned vacation to Shambala, a festival in Canada. I was left back home to pick up the pieces of the failed festival and also try and find a place for us to live. When he came back 2 weeks later everything was different. When he left he told me that I was his “Primary” which was something that was a huge point of contention between all of us as we read the book together. Supposedly, there is a primary relationship and a secondary relationship in the poly realm and he could never decide which one of us was his primary. I always hated the terms but this was something she said was a concern of hers if he & I both moved in together, she would default to the secondary. I could understand that as I never liked the idea of being “second” either so I never asked him to pick me, despite the fact we were both board members in our crew and making real life & business decisions together, I never wanted to make her feel lesser. He was my primary and that’s all I knew. When he came back however he sat me down and said that she was now his primary. He said things have developed between them so quickly and that our relationship was tumultuous. He said that I would still be his girlfriend but that this needed to be established. I felt utterly betrayed by him. After years of friendship and working together, he treated me in ways that I would never allow him to treat another woman and I couldn’t help but feel like she was manipulating him to make these decisions. I knew that minute that there was no way I would accept this and no way that I would move in together under these terms. I felt like he led me down a path, made promises and then abandoned me when I needed him the most. It took me one week to finally come to terms with the fact that I had to not only break up with him but also I had to break up with my sound crew. I had invested so much of my money, time & energy into others with nothing to show for it. Things were falling apart on all aspects and I needed to extract myself so I could figure out MY life & needs for once. I was living in an attic waiting on a man who would only disappoint me and the crew was fragmenting. I helped the crew settle their expenses but made it clear that I would no longer be a part of things. I left my career, lost my love & the person who was supposed to be my best friend, my tribe, my home and the creative project that I was passionate about all in one year. I was left broken and homeless.

It took me years to fully process how much this experience hurt me. I have not spoken to this ex-boyfriend since I left the crew. He ended up marrying the other woman and I believe they are still together. It’s hard for me to say I am “happy for them” but I will say that I am extremely happy for myself having gotten out of that situation. In retrospect I wanted to be with him so much that I sacrificed my needs. I learned so much from going through that and trying to see if polyamory worked for me. I can now say with confidence that I am wired monogamous. Energy is sacred and I like to share mine with one person and the energy exchange must be equal. I also can not allow any woman (or man) to control my life. I think all relationships require compromise but I’ve found that it’s hard enough to negotiate terms with one partner, let alone many. I also know that when I have sex with someone I become bonded to them and don’t need to look further. I want to feel safe in a relationship and not have to wonder if they are looking elsewhere. I don’t judge anyone who chooses polyamory and I understand from what I learned that some people are wired that way and there is nothing wrong with it. Many species have multiple partners and a healthy sex life should be a personal journey. It took hands on experience for me to know what I was looking for romantically and this was a part of my journey.

Love, Uncategorized

The Men I’ve Loved ~ Part 2 ~ First comes Love, Then comes Baby…

When I was 16 years old I got a job at Casa Bonita, the largest restaurant in the world (on land). Tourists came from all different parts of the nation to visit this place to see it’s 30 foot indoor waterfall, divers, entertainment, caves, magic shows, arcades and sopapillas. The food is less than desirable but the environment makes up the difference. My neighbor worked there and referred me so I filled out an application and was told to stay in the office wait room for the manager. Shortly after, a man came in with more energy than I could keep up with and asked me a few questions then hired me on the spot. They serve hundreds to thousands of people every day and especially during their peak season so they are always looking for staff leading into the summer. I had no idea that the man who just hired me would end up becoming my future husband and the father of my children. I started as a specialty staff member who took orders, carried trays and sold tokens then quickly moved into a specialty supervisor position. Probably on account of my awesome sales-lady-ship and being able to make record token sales. I was not eligible to serve or become a manager due to being under 18 but I didn’t mind. I loved the fast paced environment and the staff who were all friends with each other and hung out after work and on weekends. I remember the first time I was invited to hang out with my boss and his friends. A bunch of us went to a park at night to hang out.  While driving in the car some of the girls were gossiping and I learned that many of them had a crush on our boss but one girl in particular just started dating him seriously. He was 20 years old when we met and I was 16 so it wasn’t abnormal for him to be hanging out with all of the staff as we were all generally in the same age group. We became friends both inside and out of work and were strictly platonic. I casually dated some of his friends but nothing serious and he continued to date the other girl who moved in with him. About a year and a half after working with him and building a friendship he did something that I never expected. He pulled me into one of the back offices and while we were alone he grabbed my hand placing it on his heart which was beating very quickly and said “This is what you do to me”. I was confused… and intrigued… and don’t even know what I said. I knew very well he was in a relationship and I don’t recall even having a crush on him at the time but I loved and respected him. Nothing happened that day and he left me just thinking about his words. He asked me to take a drive to the mountains with him the next week and that was the day we began our secret love affair. I am not proud of this fact and as you will learn in the upcoming paragraphs, it is never wise to trust someone who is willing to cheat on another person to be with you. 

All shame aside, I fell deeply in love with this man to the point of being selfishly shortsighted. The thing that made me fall in love with him was the love letters he would write me describing how he felt about me and how he missed me all the time. I would write him letters of the same magnitude describing my deep adoration and love for him, wishing that we could be together. This was back in the day when computers were not commonplace so we communicated by hand on paper. His letters were lengthy, poetic and so romantic that they even made my friends melt when reading them years later. I suppose it makes sense this was the thing that made me fall in love with him since literature and writing is so important to me and one of my top love languages is words of affirmation. I still have those letters to this day. 

He would wake up early once a week to drive his girlfriend to school then come pick me up so we could spend the morning together. The most ignorant part about this situation was that this woman also worked with us so our secret was blatantly under everyone’s noses. One day about six months into things, he pulled me aside and told me he had to break things off with me. He informed me that he had kept one of my letters and left it in his pocket and his girlfriend found it while doing laundry. It was only a matter of time before everyone was gossiping about our affair and we were fully exposed. Within a couple days upper management pulled me aside and fired me with no explanation, but I knew that the reason was that there was too much drama in the workplace and I was the easiest one to cut loose. I called him right away and told him they had just fired me which was a surprise to him. He met me outside and we sat in his car while he held me as I cried. After parting ways he stopped calling me and I fell into a depression. I moved back in with my mother who didn’t ask me to pay rent while I couldn’t find the motivation to seek other work. I played video games and smoked weed all day and night until I could pass out. I cried more times than I can count and still I tried reaching out to him every so often to see how he was doing. That time was a big blur to me but I remember showing up to his house one day crying and his girlfriend answered the door. Surprisingly she actually let me see him and I just cried and told him I missed him…. But he turned me away. I don’t know what I expected from him at the time, I just needed to see him and tell him I loved him still. In retrospect it’s quite embarrassing to reflect on how desperate I was but I absolutely adored this man and if there is one thing I’ve learned about myself it’s that I am passionate and when I want something my will and determination won’t allow me to easily give up. About 6 months later I heard that he and his girlfriend broke up. A couple months after that I called him to check in and he asked if he could see me. It wasn’t long before we were spending every night together and he pronounced me his new girlfriend. I remember when he introduced me as his girlfriend at a party and I was both shocked and elated since he didn’t talk to me about this, he just announced it. I told him if he ever cheated on me that I need him to be honest because I never want to go through that again. I told him I loved him unconditionally and we were young so if we make mistakes we can work through it but we should never deceive each other. 

I am not proud of any of this but these are the facts and it’s important that I be candid when I explain our love story because I have spent decades protecting him and realizing that it only hurts me and that I need to release this from my conscience in order to heal and grow. So… here it goes…. I was not on birth control and we were not being safe during our entire love affair and the start of our relationship. I wish that I could say I was smarter but sadly I didn’t grow up in a good home and honestly I was so ignorant when it came to sex. I didn’t have a mother to set a good example for me nor a father to discipline me or guard me from boys. What I learned about sex came from TV, movies and gossiping with friends. There was also Sex Ed in the 7th grade but we only spent about 2 days going over the reproductive system and then all of us kids embarrassingly went home not having any desire to talk to our parents about what we learned. Needless to say, I got pregnant unexpectedly when I was 19 years old. I was sitting in my bathroom when the test turned positive and I started crying. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant but I also wasn’t doing much to prevent it. I allowed myself 5 minutes to break down and then I looked in the mirror and told myself “This is your life now”. I knew I didn’t have the heart to have an abortion and I knew this baby was my baby. The night I decided to tell him that I was pregnant we were driving home from a friend’s house and at the same time we both said we had to tell each other something. I decided to let him go first and he informed me that he accidentally slept with one of our friends. He said he remembered me telling him to always be honest and that I wouldn’t be mad as long as he was honest… True to my word I didn’t get mad. Then he said, “What did you have to tell me?” I said, “I’m pregnant.” 

He wanted to go to planned parenthood and get a real test to prove the diagnosis. When the verdict was up and the facts were beyond a reasonable doubt, we went to sit in his car in the parking lot and he told me that I had to get an abortion. I told him I would not do that. My mother told me once that she aborted what would have been my only full blood little brother or sister and she thought about it every day… that idea haunted me and I wasn’t willing to kill my baby and have that regret hanging over me. He slammed his fists on the steering wheel and yelled, saying this wasn’t going to work and I couldn’t trap him. He told me I had to abort the baby because he wouldn’t stick around to help. So I told him fine. I would do it on my own. He could be in the baby’s life if he wanted to but I wasn’t trying to “trap” him. This was my body, my choice and I was strong enough to do this alone. And so, we broke up. 

I cried less during that break up because I knew that I had more important things to think about. I was focused on the new life I was going to create with my baby. Growing up without a father I knew that I wanted to allow this man to be in my child’s life as much as he wanted. I would never keep my child from their father because the pain of not having a dad was too much to bear and it would be his choice to abandon this child, not mine. Three months later I invited him to the ultrasound for the first trimester. He decided he would join so I went to pick him up and when I walked into his room he was sleeping next to another girl. I decided to wait outside for him to come out. During the ultrasound the doctor asked a series of questions and then lifted my shirt to put the goo on my belly and used the ice cold device to find the baby. Forgive my lack of proper terms, I am not a doctor. As we waited to hear the heartbeat I anxiously looked at his face from across the room. The moment we heard the beating there was an instant change in his eyes. Something clicked and suddenly it became real. After the appointment he took me to Brueggers Bagel shop and asked me to marry him. It was not romantic but rather, he said; “My parents would be really disappointed in me if I got a girl pregnant and didn’t marry her. Also, I have insurance and you don’t”. I asked if I would get a ring and he said yes… so I thought about it for a minute. That wasn’t exactly how I envisioned being proposed to… and I wasn’t exactly intending on getting married at that age… but I did love him and thought I could marry him some day… So I said “ok”. A couple months later we were wed in my mothers backyard. I didn’t plan a thing and the “friend” he “accidentally” slept with took the lead and organized all the moving parts. She didn’t ask me what I wanted but planned a Hawaiian themed outdoor event with a pig roast and flowing booze. I was the only one who was sober that day and I got a hand-me-down gold wedding band from his mother. 

Then we settled into married life. I moved in with him, we had our first born and we named him after his father. Only 4 months after giving birth I was ready to go back to work.  I never saw myself as a stay at home mother. I wanted my own money and had been working since I was 12 years old so having a man support me was a foreign concept to me. I worked at a couple restaurants and bars until I decided I wanted to get a real job with benefits and try and build a career so I began working at a bank. He always said he wanted a big family and lots of kids but I told him not until we were more stable and he quit smoking cigarettes. Once our son was 3 years old and he quit smoking (in front of me anyway) I decided that it was then or never as I didn’t want to have kids so far apart that they wouldn’t have things in common and I remembered that I loved growing up with a sister. Our second child was far more intentional. I knew right away it would be another boy and already had his name picked out. He was born with colic and since I had 12 weeks leave from work I woke up 3-4 times a night to take care of him. He cried several times throughout the day & night for the first 6 months. When I went back to work full time, I was the only one who woke up with our son at night. I was so exhausted during this time but I never knew how to ask for help. I felt responsible for juggling motherhood, full time work, dinner, cleaning, laundry and even ironing my husband’s clothes every day before he went to work. I was an excellent wife, mother and employee but after work, feeding the kids and putting them to sleep I found myself alone sitting on the couch, watching ‘Desperate Housewives’ and drinking wine. My husband still worked at the restaurant so he wouldn’t get home until late at night and worked over the weekends, but I had to work Monday through Friday early in the mornings so I would be in bed by the time he was home. The only family time we had together was 2 nights during the week and Sunday mornings before he went to work. We didn’t plan date nights and we didn’t have much money to do fun things outside of the home. Somewhere along the line I realized I was not happy. Maybe it was due to the lack of attention I was getting from him. Maybe it was the lack of help and utter exhaustion. Partly there was a friend at work that I had a crush on but I never cheated on my husband. This guy just gave me a spark that I hadn’t felt in years and it got me wondering if I would ever feel that again from my husband. Maybe it’s because we got married too young and grew apart. We rarely fought but maybe that was a part of the problem. I was too passive and didn’t know how to ask for what I wanted. I didn’t even know what I wanted or who I was. Maybe it was my fault for not speaking up sooner, but then again, he never asked. We both just settled. 

I wrote him a Dear John letter and slept on it for a week. Every time I would reread it, it would solidify my feelings, or lack thereof. I knew that I had to come clean. I knew that I needed to break free. I was suffocating and something in my heart was tugging at me and I didn’t want to live that life anymore. I needed to learn who I was in this world. I knew there was more to life, more to me! Our newest born was only 8 months old and I had just told my husband I was leaving him and there was nothing he could do to change my mind. He told me that I just had postpartum depression and it would go away. That only made me feel misunderstood, judged and like he was downplaying my feelings and making me out to be “unstable”. He told me that he didn’t care what I did as long as I didn’t leave him. To me, that felt desperate as I saw him clinging on to a relationship that was so far dead that he would even allow me to sleep with other men. He asked if there was another man and I said no, I never cheated on him, but then later confessed that yes, there was a man at work I had interest in although I didn’t pursue him. He then told me that he had feelings for another woman at work a year prior and they talked about having an affair and he almost pursued her but later the feelings went away and that my feelings for this other guy would go away too… That confession only made me more certain that I didn’t want to be with him anymore. He told me he would keep the house and I said fine, take whatever you want. He yelled and threatened to take my kids away and that was the only time in my life that I lost my temper and actually hit him, although it was only on the arm in an act of desperation to get him to let go of my son who he was holding in the other arm, trying to actively walk away with. I ended up moving out a few months later against his will and against the wishes of his parents, family and friends. They all told me I was a horrible person and said I was making a huge mistake breaking up the family. They all sided with him and I realized that none of our friends were my friends, they were loyal to him and I was just the estranged wife. 

It took almost a year for the divorce to be processed and eventually he stopped fighting it. He did get a lawyer which was a huge waste of money in my opinion because I was completely amicable and had no desire to argue. The only thing I cared about was equal custody and decision making power for the children. I let him keep the house, his car, the dishes, the entertainment center, the Christmas decorations and basically everything else material in the home. I kept the bedroom furniture and my car only because they were financed in my name and I was actively paying for them. We didn’t have any savings or investments but because I made more money than him (on paper) I was told that I had to pay him child support. I didn’t care about any of this. I knew it was going to be challenging to be a single mother and pay rent all on my own. I knew what I was getting into but I needed to do it. I couldn’t breathe in the dynamic anymore and had to take flight. We tried to work it out once or twice after the divorce but it always ended the same. I would go to him at some weak point and he would pull me back in, later for me to discover that he was pursuing other women. Then I would remember how unhappy I was and how this is our pattern. He would always deny his infidelity, but there were signs throughout our relationship that I lied to myself about. There was even a time after our first born when I got a call from my Doctor after an annual pap smear saying that I had chlamydia. Knowing I was faithful, I was bewildered and asked him if he had an affair. He said no and I let it go, knowing all along that he was lying. The real icing on the cake came several years after our divorce when I was driving in the car with my children and my son asked me “You heard about Xander right?” I said, “No, who is Xander?” My son informed me that they had a brother and I thought oh my, he got another woman pregnant and he has another baby…. So I asked how old he was and my oldest said “6 months younger than me”. Turns out the woman who organized my wedding was sleeping with my husband behind my back and got pregnant. I always wondered where she went because she stopped coming around shortly after the wedding. She ended up marrying another guy and having 3 additional kids but when they got a divorce and the man was told he’d have to pay child support he said he would only pay for 3 of them but not Xander because Xander wasn’t his. That is when my husband’s name came up. As horrified as I was to be told this story by my children, I felt relief more than anything. FINALLY, I got the truth. I felt validated for leaving him and was just grateful that I wasn’t still married when this information came out. I looked at my oldest son and just said “You know what that means, right?” and he bowed his head as if he were ashamed and said “Yes”. I never spoke to my kids about this afterwards because I never wanted to be like my mother and bad mouth their father. I wanted them to have their own relationship independent from what our marriage was like. My youngest never remembered us being married and used to ask me why. I could never find the right answer and just said things don’t always work out. He would tell me he wished we were together and I would say, “I know honey. I am sorry but we are not.” It didn’t matter why we weren’t together because they were still our kids who we loved no matter what. I don’t want my kids to think poorly of their father but I won’t deny that I was glad when they found out the truth on their own. 

It took a couple years after our divorce to get on good enough terms and to actually be able to talk as friends. We used to spend the occasional holiday together when the boys were young and we didn’t want to be separated from them, however that became unnecessary as they got older. We see each other at school events and always put the boys first and our feelings second. We have been separated for 13 years now and the boys are almost fully grown.  I consider him a life long friend and will always wish the best for him but looking at the people we’ve become and how we communicate, it’s very clear that we weren’t compatible for the long term. I didn’t know who I was when we met and I conformed to his whims when we were married. It took me a while to wake up and realize I didn’t know who I was but knew that I wasn’t being myself in that relationship. I know we were meant to be together so that our beautiful boys could be incarnated and that is the best thing that could come from our union. He taught me a lot about relationships and I’ve learned that I have to speak up about what bothers me, what I want and need from a partner and what I am willing to put up with. I do not regret having children and getting married so young because it made me grow up quickly. Being responsible for other people gave me the motivation to pursue a better career and strive for bigger goals. It was hard but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Fortunately we are usually on the same page about decisions, although our parenting styles are very different. He is their buddy who lets them do whatever they want and they have fun, while I am a bit more structured and have certain rules and expectations but usually can afford to buy them what is needed, not just what they want. It all works out and our boys are truly spectacular! We have one of the best co-parenting relationships of anyone we know and many people admire our situation. We are flexible with scheduling when we need to be. We are always in communication and on the same team so our kids know they can’t get away with something at one house that won’t also carry to the other. Our mutual connections still ask me why I divorced him, “He seems like such a good guy and dad”, they say… Only a few people knew the intimate details (until now) and I never felt like it was appropriate to explain. I would just say that he is a good guy and a good dad… but not so much the best partner.

Life, Love, Uncategorized

The Men I’ve Loved – Pt 1 – Daddy

Listen on Spotify:–Pt–1–Daddy-e14mmit

I can count the men I have loved in my lifetime on one hand. There have been men who have passed through my life that I have dated or teetered on the side of dating but never truly crossed over. Men who were my friends (with benefits) and men who I saw potential in but they could never commit or timing wasn’t right so we never took flight. I don’t count those men, even though I may have felt some form of love for them, I didn’t give them my heart. I have also felt puppy love in my younger years and in retrospect they were just boys and I was just a girl with a crush. What I am talking about here is passionate love. The kind where you think about them every day, where you make changes to your life to include them and where you are completely vulnerable. This type of love forever changes you. It sculpts you into the person you choose to become. I say the word “choose” intentionally because this type of love can make or break your spirit but you get to make the decision which way to go. I believe that people come into your life at a certain time to teach you something and heartbreak can tear a person down or it can be used as building blocks to create the future you desire. I will be the first to admit that after heartbreak I will allow myself to fall apart. At least for a moment in order to process the pain. I have never been one to quickly jump back on the horse, or into the proverbial sea. I know a lot of people who bounce from one relationship to the next and that has never been me. I know people who use distractions to avoid processing the pain. My one weakness has been to use alcohol to numb the pain but oftentimes that just makes the tears flow faster. This can be good or bad depending on how long I let it go on but I also feel like every man has a certain amount of tears I am willing to give him and once I run out, it’s time to pick myself up and grow. At which point I make a deal with myself that no man will ever have the power to destroy me and I choose to become something greater. Every broken heart has resulted in me bettering myself in some profound way. Therefore I am grateful for the experience and I use it as fuel to achieve my next big goal. I know the energy needs to be put somewhere so it might as well be productive. At the end of every relationship after a few weeks (or months) of reflection and solitude I will have a huge spike in my self growth. Followed by an average of 3-5 years before I get into another relationship. I like to think this is because my true partner is also working on himself and we both need to grow into ourselves before we are ready for each other. 

The first man I ever loved was my father. He was a kind and gentle soul. Him and my mother met when they were in their early 20’s through one of those mail in dating programs. He was in the National Guard and my mother was a single parent with my sister being about 2 years old. I haven’t spoken a great deal with either of them about their love story as they are not together anymore and my mother never had nice things to say about my father so getting her perspective would have been difficult to bear. When I was on a short road trip with my dad a few years back I took time to ask him a few questions about her and he told me that she was the first woman he ever fell in love with. I asked him what made him fall in love and he just said he remembers the moment he saw her he thought she was so beautiful and it was all history from there. My mother was indeed a beautiful woman and did a bit of modeling in her day. She was also a lot of fun to be around…until she was not. My mother had a drinking problem but more than the drinking she was emotionally unstable and the drinking brought out the worst. This blog isn’t about her however so I’ll save those details for another time. 

My father loved my mother and dealt with her as long as he could. They were together for the first 5 years of my life and he even adopted my big sister. I don’t know a lot of the details and honestly don’t remember a lot from that period of my life… other than a food fight between them and a repressed memory that just came up a couple years ago where my father had kicked in a window and had to get stitches on his inner thigh. I wonder often if I repressed memories to protect my psyche. I have very few memories of being a young child and most of them revolve around the horses my mother and grandmother owned because I loved them dearly. I also remember glimpses of being in foster care and group homes during their divorce. I am not sure why my sister and I had to be in foster care at all during that time but I can imagine the state determined that neither of them were fit to care for us while they went through the motions. Between the age of 5-7 years old I went to about 12 different schools and bounced between homes. I remember never having a chance to make any friends and the one time I did make a friend they seemed to pull me from that school the next day and move me somewhere else. For this reason I tend to be very quiet in new settings where I don’t know anyone, which is not like me. I am usually the life of the party and have a great social presence when I am comfortable but when I am the “new girl” I tend to observe everyone and everything and won’t speak up until I know my place in a room. The worst part was when they separated me from my sister and we went to different homes. I felt truly alone and had no one to protect me. I had to learn how to protect myself but mostly I just kept to myself and avoided the other kids. My father ended up getting custody of both my sister and me after their divorce proceedings. I am not sure why the courts decided this considering the system typically favors the mothers and since my sister wasn’t even his biological daughter.. But I assume there was a reason and knowing my mothers instability it could have been a number of things. We lived with my father and his new girlfriend for about 6 months and I loved that time with him. He worked a lot but I was happy to be back home with my sister and family. He would take us to do fun things like fishing, boating, riding go carts around his shop and going to arcades. One day we were supposed to visit my mother but my dad was asleep and wouldn’t wake up to take us. So my sister, being older than me, decided we would take the bus to see my mother. My sister was 11 and I was 8 and somehow she was able to navigate us safely on public transport to my mothers apartment. When we arrived my father called to ask her if she knew where we were and my mother blatantly lied in front of me and said she didn’t know and criticized him for losing us. She made a whole scene about it to punish him. I thought in my little brain how hurtful that was and for the first time I saw how vindictive my mother was. We never went back to live with my father after that. I am sure my father tried to stay in our lives at some capacity but my mother wouldn’t allow it. I didn’t see my father again for years and I remember thinking of him every single day. I still remember the pain I felt wondering if I would ever see him again. Then one day I was playing outside and I saw a man walking up the middle of the street who looked like my uncle. I was confused but as he got closer I realized it was my dad and I ran as fast as I could, jumping into his arms. All the pain was gone and I had my father back! My mother welcomed him inside for a cup of coffee and as my sister and I were catching up with him my mother excused herself. A short while later the police arrived at the door and arrested my father. I know my dad got into trouble and must have had some warrants but that was a low blow from my mother. To have my father arrested in front of me knowing how much I missed him was horrendous. She never seemed to care about how her vendetta against him impacted us. I cried a lot that day and then didn’t see my father again for another several years. 

When I was 19 and newly pregnant I was living back at my mothers home. I had ran away from her when things got really bad and lived in a group home from age 16-17 then moved in with my aunt from 17-18 but once I was over the age of 18 I tried once again to mend the relationship with my mother so I moved back in with her on the terms that I was now an adult and she could no longer control me. One day she yelled down to the basement for me to come upstairs, my father was on TV, she said. Sure enough there was my dad on the news being busted for a meth lab. My mother had a smile on her face as if to say “See I told you that your dad was a bad guy”… but I was smiling because now I knew where he was and how to reconnect with him. I went to visit him in jail right away and told him that he was having a grandchild. I wrote him letters for the 4 years that he was in jail. I didn’t care what he did, I just wanted my dad in my life.

My dad had a rough go at life. He is the second oldest of 6 total siblings. When he was only 19 he joined the military and while on duty he got a phone call that his father shot and killed his mother. My dad hopped on the first plane home and by the time he landed he got word that his father then killed himself. I can only imagine what that trauma does to a person. After my mother he fell into drugs and got himself into trouble. He was married to a woman who was also involved in the meth lab and when they both got out of jail, they stayed clean and moved to Alaska together. I think sometimes it takes rock bottom for people to get their lives back on track. A few years ago she killed herself and he found her body in the house that they built together. My dad doesn’t talk about this stuff much, probably because it’s hard, but I know he is a strong man to have been through so much and still be kind and positive about life. My father now has a good job painting boats, a new wife and is a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. He has settled down and stays out of trouble. The only thing he ever does now is drink the occasional beer. It’s ironic that after all the efforts my mother put into keeping me away from my father, I have a stronger bond with him today than with her. He may have not been good for her but he as always kind to me. He was a good man. He wasn’t abusive … He just wasn’t there. On the flip side, my mother was both emotionally, physically and mentally abusive. I haven’t spoken to her in 12 years and plan to keep it that way.

My father is not old but as a life long painter he has been exposed to a lot of chemicals and is beyond his life expectancy for his profession. I want to spend as much time with him as possible while I have the opportunity. I took my kiddos to visit my dad in Alaska last year and we had a blast fishing like old times, seeing the glaciers and spending family time on the beach! We are going on a road trip next month to see my sister and her kids. Growing up without my father has made some lasting impacts on my life and relationships. I still struggle with abandonment issues. I love deeply and when I feel like someone is leaving me it brings me back to that helpless little girl who felt alone and unprotected in foster care. It’s hard to trust men to protect and care for me. I often feel like I have to take care of myself because no one else will. I have recognized my areas for growth however and have been making strides to reprogram my brain, like allowing a man to treat me to dinner, open my door or letting go of my need to be in control. I’m learning to be vulnerable and accept gestures of love, while not feeling obligated to give anything in exchange. It’s taken a lot of books on childhood trauma to overcome my circumstances but I am grateful for how I was raised as it has ultimately made me a stronger woman.

Dating, Love

The 4 Pillars of a Quality Relationship

Listen on Spotify:

What are the most important things to look for when selecting a potential partner? I have done a lot of reading on relationships and although I am no expert, I do think that I have learned a lot from experts and understand a bit of psychology. I am currently single and taking an intellectual approach to selecting the right person while also trying to remember that love is never supposed to be a business transaction. Relationships are transactional as there is always a give & take but they also need to be approached with emotion and tenderness. We all want to find someone who can meet us where we are at and where the energy exchange is equal. In the past I have given too much to men and have been taken advantage of or treated poorly. Now I am wise enough to know that how a man treats you in the beginning is how he will always treat you and there is no purpose trying to make something work with anyone who doesn’t meet your basic needs. Through trial and error, and a great deal of self reflection, I have found the most important pillars to building a solid relationship are: 

Compatibility, Chemistry, Connection & Communication 

To be compatible with someone means you are in similar places in life, want similar things and are going the same direction. This to me is the first barrier to get past and if this doesn’t line up there really is no point in moving forward. It takes time to really grasp whether your long term vision aligns with someone. However there are a few basic things to look for to determine whether their life is similar to yours. Do they work days, weekends or nights and does that align with your schedule? What do they do for fun and how do they spend their free time? Do they drink, smoke or have certain habits that don’t align with you? Do they have a job that can afford them the same luxuries that are important to you? Compatibility is more about day to day life habits rather than your favorite movie, band or ice cream flavor. That is all surface stuff and you have to get a little deeper.

Chemistry is all about how you feel when you are with someone. Do you feel like you are being yourself or putting up a front? Does the conversation flow easily or does it feel forced? Can you be alone together without distractions and still enjoy each other’s company? Are you agreeable and do things to appease them at the expense of yourself or are you able to speak up about your wants and needs? Does it feel good when they touch you, kiss you and are near you? For me, I need to have a spark with someone when they touch me. It has to feel natural and exhilarating. I have also noticed the way a man smells is important to me. I want him to smell good and have good hygiene, however I also want to know and love his natural pheromones. Too much cologne is not attractive to me and if they have bad breath or body odor then they’re not getting anywhere near me sexually. I actually broke up with a very nice man in the past because I didn’t like the way he smelled. I don’t feel bad about this because in the animal kingdom where they don’t use body sprays and perfumes the way they determine a mate is based on smell. This is how you know if you are a genetic match. People who overuse perfumes to cover their natural smell are often misleading their potential mates. 

Connection is the HARDEST thing to find in a potential partner. I have only felt it twice. I felt a spark with all of the men I seriously dated but in retrospect the connection was never real. It was either puppy love, infatuation, admiration or lust. When things got hard they ran away or I shut down. I’ve never been able to get over the 8 month marker and still stay with a man because as the honeymoon phase ended and reality came into play I discovered things that didn’t fully match up between us. The only person in my life that I made a lasting connection with was my ex-husband. We were friends for over a year before we got together so there was already a level of love and respect for him. However once we came together we were bonded. It was rocky in the beginning and we even broke up for a while, then broke up again, but I always knew in my heart that we were meant to be together. I knew that we had that rare connection and that is something you can not make or break. It just *IS*. No matter how much time or space is between you there is always a familiarity when you come back together as if there was never distance. It sometimes happens in friendships too. My best friend of 23 years is a shining example of what I mean by “connection”. We have known each other for so long but sometimes we come together and sometimes we drift apart. We have always been linked spiritually and I consider her my star sister. We met in middle school and became instant best friends. We hung out every day and over the summers. Then in high school we had a mutual friend who put a wedge between us and we didn’t talk and actively disliked each other for about a year. Then one day we just re-connected and became instant best friends again. We couldn’t even remember what exactly happened to make us stop talking(?) Since then we’ve gone through different phases of life but somehow the Universe just kept crossing our paths. She got pregnant within 6 months of me so our kids have known each other their whole lives. Her parents love me so they’ve always invited me to their family celebrations. Since I didn’t have a solid family life growing up they became my family. The craziest part of our alignment is that her older sister met my uncle on a dating website and now they are now married… so we actually ARE family, by law. As for my co-parent, I still have a connection with him because it can never be destroyed but it has transformed into something different. We still have a great deal of respect for each other. We say I love you but not romantically. He has just always been there for me and we both know you can never stop loving someone when it’s unconditional. I believe in my heart that we were meant to find each other at a young age to help us grow up and become adults. We both had Jehovah’s Witnesses as parents and we both dropped out of high school to work. We were forced to grow up fast and we needed each other at that time of our lives. Our children were also meant to be brought into this world and that is the best thing to come from our union. Just because we grew apart does not mean that we still aren’t friends who care about each other. I didn’t know myself when we were married and it took me a long time to learn who I was and what I wanted in a partner. Now that I know what I want I understand that “connection” is the pillar that is the most important in partner selection, while also being the most difficult to find. 

While connection is the most rare, communication is key to maintaining the connection because there can and will be breakdowns that need to be navigated through to insure the relationship stays intact. The best relationships and friendships need to be fostered and nurtured and laying a foundation is important. I like to communicate with my partner almost daily to check in and let them know I am thinking of them. I appreciate when the exchange is equal so that I am not the only one initiating conversation and to know they are thinking of me. I don’t need to text all day long, rather I like to have an ongoing dialogue. I like to stay close to the people I care about and usually like to see someone I am dating once a week. However my life is busy and assuming they will have life obligations, time doesn’t always permit a weekly visit. In which case I think an occasional phone call to hear their voice is important to stay connected.  I have never tried a long distance relationship and wonder how that works but I feel once you have laid the foundation and know your place in a relationship then I’m more interested in quality time than quantity. When in a partnership time should flow freely and we should just ride the wave. I need a level of freedom to feel comfortable and want a person who also values their freedom and independence. I also need someone who is emotionally intelligent and can verbalize their feelings. It’s sometimes easier for me to write out my feelings to organize my thoughts and the person I am meant to be with will know how to accept my deep, raw and unfiltered emotions without getting scared or offended by them. I need a safe space to express myself and be accepted at my most vulnerable. I also need my man to be willing to work through our disagreements and understand that disagreements are normal but disrespect is not. 

Conclusion… I have not found all 4 pillars in one person but I’m hopeful. Even when I was married we were missing the communication aspect and a lot of that was due to being so young. It takes time to learn how to express yourself and hear other people. It takes courage to be honest & vulnerable. Many times people avoid tough conversations out of fear that they won’t be accepted or that they’ll lose their love. Many people settle for comfort because they don’t want to be alone. Unfortunately when you settle, you are dismissing the possibility of finding the *right* partner, for you. I’m not looking for perfection but I have settled before not understanding what builds a solid relationship and this time I know what I’m looking for and I will keep myself open until he finds me.

Dating, Love

Adventures in Dating Pt.4 – FRUSTRATION

Listen on Spotify:–FRUSTRATION-e12kagl

Well I am about over this whole “dating” thing. However I made a goal and I am going to stick to it. My goal was 21 dates in 2021 and let me tell you, they have mostly been lackluster! I have met one person I have a connection with and that needs more time to develop. In the last couple weeks I went on 3 more in person dates.. One was a young guy who I seemed to communicate well with online, however when we met I didn’t feel anything. He was nice, decent looking and easy to talk to but with all the pleasantries we exchanged over a glass of kombucha we never found that connection. Sure we both like nature and camping but those things are so basic in Colorado. I decided to ask him where he sees himself in 5 years just to learn if there is any compatibility. He said he didn’t know and hadn’t thought about it so I pried a little more… “What is one thing you want to do before you die that will leave you feeling fulfilled?” He said he wanted a family and to have kids. I asked how many and he said 2-3 which made me realize we are definitely not compatible. I am a 37 year old mother and my kiddos are teenagers now. While I am still young enough to have another (and this is something I have considered quite a bit lately) I also know that I want a little time to travel & experience more before I sign that contract again. I need time to meet my person and for us to decide together what we want in life before making any decisions. Part of me has always wanted a girl and I’ve known her name since I was young. I even had a dream about her recently. Her name is Elizabeth but I would call her “Libby” for short. I don’t want to fully close that door, however I don’t see myself having more than one, if at all. It really comes down to the partner I choose and what serves our purpose. Part of me has also considered adoption since there are so many parentless children in this world. At any rate I don’t disclose that I have children online because this is more of an “in person” conversation. I am not exactly trying to attract men who have young children because that would mean it’s unlikely we are in the same place. I want someone who is a little more free and wants to explore the world with me. Oftentimes that is hard to do with young children, though not impossible. I am also not trying to deter men and a lot of times men think that if you are a single mother that you are looking for a man to take the father role, which is the farthest from what I want. My children have a father and no man will ever take his place. My boys are old enough to be their friend, not their responsibility. 

The other man I met up with was 11 years older than me which is not a deal breaker however we didn’t have a lot in common. He asked me to “Sunday on Santa Fe” which is right up my cultural alley and in my physical neighborhood. We perused the art & antique shops followed by grabbing sushi. He seemed a little nervous but polite. Not exactly my flavor of man but sometimes personality makes someone more attractive. Once we had some sake we both opened up a little more and talked about our past relationships and how we got to where we are today. His story was tragic as his wife of 20 years got caught cheating with his neighbor who was also his best friend just a year prior. Within one week his wife moved in with this man, who was also married and who also divorced his wife after getting caught. Their children were old enough to witness all of that and his wife was unapologetic. Now he is still friends with the neighbor’s wife while his ex is off playing house with the other man and the kids. When someone shares something that raw with you there is almost an instant bond. I had a lot of empathy for him and can definitely relate to being cheated on and left for another. When that happened to me I took a few years to reflect before dating again. I usually need time to grow and learn before I get back on the horse. I can’t imagine this being an easy transition after being married for 20 years and personally think people need time to heal…however not everyone is like me. We had the time and nowhere to be so we went to play games at the arcade 1Up in Denver and had a couple more drinks. It was a fun day but one big turn off was that he didn’t offer to buy me lunch or drinks so I spent a lot of money! Something about chivalry is attractive to me. I never expect a man to pay my way however I enjoy when they offer. For one thing I find that it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. I even teach my boys this when we go out for ice cream. Always ask a girl what she wants while you’re in line and then order for her. It shows confidence and care. Then pay for it. It shows chivalry. I want to know if you think my time is worth your investment. After games, he drove me home and went for a kiss. Although I was not really attracted to him I allowed it. Mostly in the name of “research” and trying to learn how or when *connection* happens but also because I felt a little bad for the guy. Sheesh what a card he got dealt! He was a decent kisser but there was absolutely no spark so I excused myself and said goodnight. He texted me immediately and said he had a good time and asked when he could see me again. I told him I needed to check my calendar and would get back… but after a whole week of not thinking about him he followed up. Then I realized if he hadn’t crossed my mind at all for the whole week then clearly there is no chemistry. I feel like when you like someone you think about them all the time, especially in the beginning. Part of me thought about meeting up again since he’s a nice guy and all…. But then I realized it felt obligatory and maybe a little out of pity. I don’t see this developing and don’t think spending more time together would change that. It might just make the conversation more awkward in person. So I decided to be honest and endure the minor discomfort in the moment in order to spare myself the discomfort of spending more time with this person and then having to let him down. I responded to his inquiry by saying “I don’t know how to say this and don’t want to be hurtful but I need to be honest; I don’t feel a romantic connection with you.” I told him I was looking for something specific and didn’t think he was that. Then I asked if he felt the connection with me or if he just thinks I’m cute and fun so he’s going with it? He said his feelings weren’t hurt and appreciated the honesty. Then he acknowledged that he agreed, we aren’t what each other are looking for and he just thought we could have fun in the meantime. I told him that if I wasn’t so clear about what I wanted maybe I’d have “fun” with people but the problem with knowing what you want is that anything less is not enjoyable. We ended things as friends and wished each other luck on our separate journeys. 

The 3rd man I met up with was from a dating site called Luxy. I had a friend recommend it because it was for rich (or) sexy people and she thought I deserved to be in that box. It’s an interesting app because you have to pass criteria to be accepted. It’s a dating site where 45% of the users are millionaires who actually send in their tax documents to be verified. You have to put your best foot forward and add quality pictures. Which is nice to peruse through because I find a lot of normal dating apps have shitty pictures and people have no clue how to take a selfie. It’s also cool because you can look at the other women on the app and see your competition, for lack of a better term. One thing I notice is that women like to use a lot of filters and it’s really hard to tell what they would look like in real life or without makeup. I wonder; is this what men want?… A plastic doll or arm candy? It also only allows for a short description of who you are and what you’re looking for, along with surface things like height, career, income and location. You really don’t get a lot of substance swiping through profiles and it’s a little pretentious for me but again, I am putting my best foot forward so I’m giving it a shot. A lot of these men & women are rich and travel a lot which is cool but many of them live out of state or out of the country. I wonder what is the point in trying to connect with someone so far away? I do want to travel but I’m not that rich (yet)! I have chatted with a handful of local users but a lot of these rich men aren’t that attractive and I realize no amount of money will make me sleep with someone that I am not attracted to. I do want a man who is financially stable but I am not looking for a sugar daddy. Only looking for someone who can keep up with me and not weigh me down. After chatting online over the week I suggested we grab a bite or drink. We went to grab margaritas on the patio of a local mexican restaurant. We both walked up from opposite directions and waved from afar as our timing was perfect. He was dressed casually as he just came from work and I found him to be good looking but not pretentious. The conversation flowed very easily and we had a lot in common. He is my age so we are both elder millennials who remember what it was like without the internet. We also both worked in the financial industry and then got turned off by it. He has a couple properties around Colorado and left corporate America to be an entrepreneur and now owns his consulting firm. Then we started discussing the current affairs of the world as this is a very important topic for me. I feel like Covid split our country into two parts and I wanted to know what side of the aisle he fell on. I carefully mentioned that I haven’t practiced silks for the last year due to the mask mandates and not being able to do that. He said he didn’t work well with masks either and that he thought we should have never shut down the economy. Then we started speaking the same language. Once dinner was over he readily grabbed the bill and paid. Then he offered to drive me home since I walked. His car was nice and clean which matters to me for whatever reason. I feel like the type of car a man drives shows me whether he is financially sound and the cleanliness shows me if he is messy. We hugged in the car but neither of us went for a kiss and I thought that was nice. I really enjoyed our conversation and he is good looking but there isn’t an emotional bond yet so that seemed inappropriate. He also mentioned that he just got out of a year long relationship so he is newly single. I think it would be wise to take things slow. Once I was home I wondered if he thought I was attractive or if I was in the friend box. Then he texted me and said he was glad we met and said he was around over the weekend if I wanted to hang out. So we have another date on Sunday and I look forward to getting to know him more. 

I had a few drinks with my neighbor last night who I have been meaning to get to know. He is 27 years my senior & married so this is strictly platonic. He’s always really nice to my Airbnb guests and says hi to me every day so I decided that we needed to get to know each other. He comes from a rough childhood like me so we can relate to one another. He and his wife are also artists and enjoy poetry and literature.  I mentioned that I had a blog and he asked what it was about. I told him current events, love, life, relationships… Basically I write about my thoughts and feelings. That is how I processed things as a kid and built up a habit of writing in order to put the emotions I was feeling somewhere. Sometimes my brain gets so full of thoughts and if I don’t write them out, it will fester inside of me and clog up my vibration. I told him my current topic is adventures in dating and that it can be frustrating. For example, there is one guy I am chatting with online who seemed to be of substance and asked a lot of great questions. He said that I caught his attention and despite never meeting me, he thought about me daily. I thought that was sweet but also a little odd. I don’t like building expectations in my mind about someone and need to feel the energy exchange. He said he really wanted to meet me so we made plans. But then he asked me how many other dates I had this week and I said “Do you really want to know about my dating life?” He said yes, that’s how he can tell if I am open and vulnerable or just a serial dater. Against my better judgement I was honest and said that I normally don’t date and kind of hate it but this year I felt the urge to put myself out there so I made a goal to go on 21 dates in 2021. Then.. he…got…weird. He was a little passive aggressive and said that I sounded like a serial dater and to contact him when I was ready for something real. I clarified that I *am* looking for something real, however I am a goal driven person and I knew that this was going to be a ratio thing. I knew it would be frustrating and if I had one bad date it would deter me from wanting to try again, hence the reason behind setting a goal. I also said the only way to really know if you have a connection is by meeting in real life. Rarely do I have that connection with someone and typically we hug goodbye and go our separate ways. He asked if there was anyone I have connected with so far and I said yes there is one man I am seeing here & there. Then he got really offended and said he wouldn’t be ok with me seeing other people if we were sleeping together and I informed him that A) Just because I am dating does NOT mean I am going to sleep with them. And B) How do you know that I would even want to sleep with you? It was pretty presumptuous for him to think this and a red flag that he got possessive when we literally haven’t even met yet. I told him I wouldn’t know if we had chemistry until we met and then if we do, the foundation must be laid before I would stop all other dating. I think it’s wise to approach a new relationship slowly and also think it’s healthy to take my time to see what is out there so I am not settling for the first man I like. When I mentioned this to my neighbor, he too assumed I was sleeping with a bunch of dudes and after a few drinks I felt really annoyed by men. Why do they think that just because a single woman is exercising her freedom of choice and dating that she is a whore? My neighbor didn’t explicitly say this but he assumed that I was “sleeping with a bunch of losers” which made me feel really misunderstood and judged. One tequila later I told him the conversation was over and he left. Today I am just annoyed by men and frustrated with the process. I truly feel that there are good men out there, don’t get me wrong. I just think the majority of them in the dating scene are basic. They are driven by their liibto and rarely take the time to get clear on what they want in a partner. They don’t think far enough ahead to determine what they seek in a romantic relationship. They are not doing the work. While I’m looking for the needle in the haystack. The man who I choose will understand the importance of this work and have his own list of traits he needs in a mate. And as if by fate, I will meet most of those traits. Not all of them because no one is perfect but I better be damn close to perfect (for him)! I trust the Universe is conspiring for this.