Friendship first….

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Happy Sunday. I am happy to report I had the most amazing time at my 25th HS reunion last night. Yes, I went alone. And YES! It was great. It is so nice to connect with folks who are so kind and willing to share their honest stories with me. I discovered so much about people I assumed were “perfect” in High School. Thank you SHS class of 89 for “keeping it real” and for a night of laughter and love. My advice to you if you are single, or if you are married – go to your reunions! A real boost for your self-esteem – truly!

As promised, today I want to speak on advice my amazing father gave me. When you are attempting to form a relationship with someone, be sure you become “friends first”. I realize what a challenge this is in the world of internet dating. The expectation is “fast and furious”. I recently had a boy who is about 10 years older than me, ask me during a first phone conversation if “you wear your hair back all the time” and to “send him some sexy pictures”. I was immediately turned off and disgusted. How could a complete stranger whom I was speaking with for the first time be so inappropriate? Especially an older boy? Shouldn’t he know better? Heck, he has a daughter in college! Shame on him.

But with every rough encounter I have my Oprah style “ah ha” moment. The reason I get so turned off by the fast-moving culture of internet dating is that I want a man who wants to be my friend. I want my man to start off a first conversation by asking something as simple as “how are you today Leslie?” and then be really interested in my answer. I want my man to take an interest in my interests. I certainly don’t expect my man to be a runner (some think I do), but I do expect him to think its “cool” that I run marathons. My nephews think its “cool” – and they are on their way to becoming fine young men.

Boys have no interest in friendship. Boys are on the internet to attempt to get their needs met from girls (and you know what I mean, I’m sure 😉 In fact, I have been told there are plenty of girls on the net doing this too.

For those of you dating for friendship first, put it out there. Be firm. A real man and/or a real woman will totally get this and treat you like the queen or king that you are. BELIEVE! I DO!!!

Thanks for reading. If there are any men (or women) reading this and want to be a “guest” blogger – please reach out to me. Tired of hearing myself today. Stayed out too late with the SHS class of 89! WHAT FUN!!!!!!!

Family counts when you are single…

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Greetings from Illinois and Wisconsin and a terrific family vacation! I have been spending quality time this past week with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins. We have dined in a Chicago German pub, set sail on a gorgeous lake, seen eagles flying, and thanks to my cousin’s POWERCHICK wife, even flipped over a wave runner. Simply pure joy!

Spending time with family has allowed me to reflect on the fact that my family has been a tremendous sustaining life force for me as a single woman in middle age. Why? They accept and love me just as I am.

I don’t have a husband. I don’t have children. I have had terrible luck in love I attribute to my boy addiction. I watch my male cousins in action with their wives and girlfriends and they are TRULY MEN! It is wonderful for me to be accepted by my family exactly as I am. They go out of their way to include me in all their family adventures, no questions asked.

The only draw back spending time with family is that today I had to cut my long run short to get on the boat with the whole clan. (They even came to pick me up on the side of the road). And while some days I want to run forever, today I was so happy to jump in that car and be with the people who really count! CHEERS TO MY FAMILY! This one is for you!!!!

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R E S P E C T……

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Happy Sunday. I have learned that demanding respect for myself in my dating life is critical. Of course, the best way to learn is the hard way. Sometimes I think this is so important to me, I may be single forever. I have learned that if I compromise on this, my life could definitely be taken down a dark road I no longer wish to travel.

You can tell pretty quickly whether you are being respected on a date. Does he take interest in you? Does he treat you like the queen you are? Does he go out of his way for you? Does he make you feel important and safe? Some basic, yet deep questions. The need to have the boy/man and to not be alone is powerful. This can cloud your decision-making. So keep a “keen” eye.

One quick story. I was in a relationship for quite some time in which I was sacrificing a lot. Long drives, going out of my way for his child, going out of my way for him. After a long period of time with him, I discovered that when I met his only living next of kin (as his parents had died) she had NEVER HEARD ABOUT ME. She had never even heard my name. She was quite upset when she met me as she realized I had been a significant part of her brother’s life. When I confronted him later in a dignified and private manner, he lashed out at me that “he is private and he did nothing wrong”. Needless to say, this is a no brainer for me: NO R E S P E C T for the woman he should have cherished – ME!!!!

It was a very tough break up for me as I had gotten very emotionally attached to him and his child, but I did it no less. I explained to him that I would prefer to be alone than to feel I am not respected. He never seemed to understand me or my needs, so I let him go.

I still crave that “life partner”, but I realize so many of us are. No matter what our lot in life, we deserve R E S P E C T. And if we don’t have it in our lives, my advice: find people who are happy to give it to us and spend time with them. YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF.

Thank you for reading.

A boy who had no emotions…

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Happy Sunday. As promised, I am writing about a “juicy dating story” this week. I need to keep you reading! This is a harder one to write about. I find in my dating life, it is so much easier to share about the boys I don’t like. Sharing about the boys I like who make me feel rejected is very painful for me. I suspect there are many out there who have this experience when dating, so important to talk about it.

He was a brilliant boy. He had a top-notch job, highly educated, my kind of attractive, and very nice. In fact, I met him on the net, but in a small world “Leslie style” coincidence (there are no coincidences FYI) a professional I have worked with for years and respect very much had worked with this boy many years ago. She went “on and on” about how nice he was and how lucky I was to have met him. Needless to say, since he had been taking me on dates regularly, I was excited and thought I had met my man.

While I enjoyed his company, the time spent with him NEVER went past just that. Spending time with him – going to movies, going out to eat, all the typical “dating stuff”. He even went to a wedding with me on Valentine’s Day giving me long stem roses which was very sweet. There was only one major problem with this boy. Every time he left, my gutt was screaming “something is wrong”! Basically, he NEVER had anything to say to me on any kind of emotional level.

I was NEVER told I was nice, attractive, kind, good, or anything a woman wants to hear to make her think she is in an emotionally safe relationship with a man. He would travel for work and never contact me when he was away. In fact, on one of his trips, he came home with bruises on his face. When I asked him what happened, he responded he had been in a car accident! That had been a whole week prior! He never bothered to call me to tell me. He waited until I saw bruises on his face and I asked. I knew this wasn’t any kind of relationship for me.

When I gained enough courage to break up with him, he was so very kind. He said, “well, Leslie, if you ever in my neighborhood, give me a call”. It was the nicest, most polite break up I have ever engaged in. And COMPLETELY NEGLECTFUL OF ME AS AN EMOTIONAL BEING.

I often think boys like this have major issues, but I have learned it is NOT MY JOB to analyze them or save them. Been there and done that. The good news is, I have learned my own strength in being able to walk away no worse for the wear. Dating is about being good to me and knowing when my needs are not being met. Once again, I must say “the race isn’t always to the swift, but to those who keep on running” – author unknown (on a poster I kept hung in my room when I was growing up as a child – NO COINCIDENCES!)

Thank you for reading.

Loneliness…

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free-heart-clip-art.010In my quest for “my man” and my journey as an internet dater, I feel compelled to tackle this sensitive subject. Much has been said about loneliness. Billy Joel sang, “they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness, but its better than drinking alone”. Self help programs advise to watch out for these four difficult feelings: anger, hunger, tired and lonely. Internet dating and the desire to meet “the one” is truly driven by this powerful emotion.

Being a single woman, in my middle 40’s and not having a husband or children, my desire to not be alone is GREAT! I have filled my life with friends, running, food, concerts (Dave Matthews), church, classes, even scuba diving! You name it, I will try it. I am probably the most active person on the planet and I realize it’s because it is hard for me to be alone with me. But necessary. I have learned that to become a “more evolved” individual you must face yourself.

I have made a conscious decision to slow myself down and write. The act of writing leads me to reflect on my journey and share my truth with those of us “in the same boat”. Hoping my journey will help others. One of the things I realize is that even though I am not married and have no children, many people I know who have the spouse and the children, STILL FEEL LONELY. It is a universal human emotion that does not strike only single people.

Prayer and meditation provide much comfort in battling this uncomfortable emotion. I have learned that God is in charge and doesn’t want any of us to feel lonely for too long. Hence, God puts positive people, places and things into our lives to show us we are NEVER alone. If I reflect upon my life and the “tough stuff” I have faced, God always sends me positive angels to be sure I am taken care of.

The bottom line of my message is this: If you feel lonely, relax and breathe into your loneliness and embrace it as a sign that something great is coming. Keep your eyes open for angels and invitations to meet new people and to say “yes” to new adventures to combat loneliness. As great as I anticipate “my man” to be, he can never replace the divine love looking out for me and taking care of me. Life has shown me I am never alone.

Thanks again for reading. Promise next week to give a “juicy dating story”.