Living a Happy Life…

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Happy Sunday to daters and non-daters.   As a single woman in my mid-forties struggling to live life on my terms, I finally am realizing a happy life means acceptance of others.  I shared last week I finally am off the Internet dating sites and dating a boy exclusively.   I am happy.   I am more relaxed.   I am not trying to make him be who I want him to be.

Today as I write I am getting ready to run the NYRR’s gay pride run.  It is all about acceptance.   People are who they are.  Most people are beautiful souls with imperfect lives.   This includes myself.   I truly never thought I’d be 44, unmarried, childless and a running fool!   But each day I live, I’m coming to a greater acceptance of me and who I am.   Perfectly imperfect!

I think as we live and grow older, we learn what is important in life.   Human connection is perhaps the most important simple pleasure we are all seeking.   I know I have learned this lesson over and over again in my work with older adults.   We are all on this earth to struggle through a journey while we live, learn, and love.  During our evolution we come to realize that nothing is perfect, but acceptance and love are free with so many around us ready to give.

I give this too.   In the act of giving love and acceptance, the happiness seems to come to me in abundance.   Either in the face of a friend, loved one or even a runner as we cross a finish line together.  I’m sorry if I sound “too sappy” or “pie eye in the sky”, but I truly believe I get back what I give out.   

So I’m moving forward in my life with a greater acceptance for a good, kind, loving boy.   And we are having fun, laughs and moments of joy.   Isn’t this what true happiness is all about?  Time will tell, but I know for today and everyday with a boy or without a boy, I’m choosing to be happy.   And boy does it does feel good!

Thank you for reading.

To date or not to date…

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…mid-life dating.  I just feel like saying that “it’s complicated” and leave it at that.  But since I have made the commitment to my readers to be truth telling along this journey I have decided to come clean with my struggle in deciding whether to date or not to date.

I met a very nice boy about 8 months ago.  He by no means is my “dream man” and he’s so nice that he’s fine with me saying this.  He knows it too.  But, with this being said, he’s very kind and patient and caring and happy to be with me.  He has a great sense of humor and a heart of gold.  And he’s cute.  Ironically in a very “boyish” way.  I have so much fun with him.  One of my favorite moments with him was us both singing at the top of our lungs to Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” driving in his red mustang.  Good stuff for sure.

The sad part of this story is that I have lead him to believe I wanted to be with him, but kept telling him not to get close to me because I am dating.  And I have been dating.  One time he asked me if I was on a date and I answered truthfully “yes”.  The effect of this was making him feel less than and insecure.  Certainly not nice on my part.  He has hung in there with me the whole time really accepting me just as I am.

The trouble with internet dating is that if I am always “shopping” no one gets a chance.  He forever sees me looking at my cell phone (I am a bit of an addict) and assumes I’m “man shopping”.  He finally let me “have it” recently expressing his upset at my behavior with him and I had to agree with him.  Dating when you are trying to have a relationship with someone simply does not work.

So here I am, 44 years old, not craving the baby and the husband as I was (38-42 was pure torture), thinking perhaps I should give this nice boy a chance and get the heck off the net for awhile.  Two of my closest friends are very happy with my thinking, and I know this means something.

Now readers, I’m not saying that my dating stories and advice giving is going to dwindle.  I promise you that I have enough material to last a lifetime.  The great news is he reads my blog and is a big supporter.  His family even reads me and on some level I’m pretty sure they are sick of me actively dating too.  Rumor is they like me, but sure they are liking me less and less if I keep dating.

The truth is that I need to like myself enough to give a good boy a chance.  He even likes my race medals and helped me install my medal rack.  A very “manly” task for sure.  The older I get, the more I am learning that no one is perfect.  But perhaps this boy is perfect for me at this phase in my life?  And if not, heck there will be lots of great lessons to share.

Thank you kind boy who possess many man qualities.  My favorite thing about you is that you are a terrific father with so much love for your children – Happy Father’s Day!  You are my teacher and I’m happy you let me “think out loud” with no repercussions.  Bless you.

My ego just may be bigger than the boy’s…

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I love myself

Happy Sunday.  I realized this weekend that I am single for a lot of reasons. But the #1 reason is that my ego seems to be bigger than most of the boys I meet and date.  Quite frankly, they don’t like this.  I really cannot blame them.

It is hard to spend time with a woman who has good self-esteem.  Boys tend to sometimes be macho and think pretty highly of themselves and humility is a tough task for them.  I think they are socialized to be this way.  Societal norms call for the boy to be the stronger sex and this is a lot of pressure when a boy feels he cannot keep up with a strong woman.

I notice when I talk about my life with boys I meet, if they are non-complimentary this is a sign that they feel threatened or insecure.  I recently attempted to show my marathon medals to someone I briefly dated and he had no reaction.  Not even a smile or a remark like “wow, Leslie, that is really great”.   What I have learned for myself is that I’d rather be single versus spending time with someone who cannot be happy for me. I often say to these boys that I am not a “showpiece”, but a real woman with strength, opinions, values and ideas that I think are pretty darn valuable.  Boys typically don’t like this and they quickly disappear.

I also have noticed that when I talk about my past (not in great detail and never on a first date), I explain that I have been with abusive boys who didn’t respect me.  A boy will immediately get defensive and say things like “you shouldn’t let your past judge how you treat me”.  I view this as a warning sign that I have met the wrong boy.  Defensiveness usually equates to guilt.  I use this as a sign that I have met yet another bad boy.  In my mind, a real man will embrace my past and my strength and will be impressed by how far I’ve come in my life.  My friends and family think I’m very cool for my evolution thus far.

Call me crazy, but I suspect when I meet my man, he will love my race medals.  He will adore my growth and want to know it all.  I said to this boy I was on a date with that quite simply I plan to say what I need to say.  If anyone tries to censor me I plan to “keep it moving”.  With that, he told me I am rude!  If having good self-esteem makes me rude then I’m happy to be rude!  And I was very happy to get him out of my car.

Thank you for reading.  Real man, where oh where are you?????

Dating means be yourself…

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Happy Sunday and happy blog day.  I’ve been giving a lot of dating advice to friends this week and I’m discovering I’m saying the same thing over and over again to people.  I’m advising others to simply be themselves.  I realize that dating and trying to impress a boy out of fear of being alone has caused me to be a person I truly am not happy being.  When I fake who I am I wind up with a boy and many headaches.  The older I get the more I realize the best person to present to a boy I want to date is me.

Internet dating makes it especially challenging to be yourself.  You are required to type a profile and place pictures to strangers in the world-wide web universe.  The temptation to present to the world a “perfect you” is great.  Trust me, I would love to type that I am 5 foot 5, 125 pounds with natural blonde hair, and that I have climbed Mount Everest.  I have learned in my internet dating that even with these “fiblets” to meet the man, the truth eventually comes out either when you meet or get to know each other, so it’s simply easier to tell the truth out of the gate.

As a result, I have a very honest profile.  And surprisingly, there are boys out there who pick it because they truly like who I am.  I put things like, “I’m looking for a long-term relationship and am not going to move too fast with anyone.  I believe kindness is a very attractive quality in another and I do not take kindly to big egos or people who are not kind to others.”  If you were to read my profile I really put the tough stuff out there to turn off potentially bad boys.  On many levels this seems to be a very effective screening process.

More importantly, the time to be honest and assert who you are as a person comes when you meet the boy for coffee.  I have had boys be very pushy about wanting to move fast and I set them straight over that latte.  These are the boys I typically never meet up with again for a second date and this makes me very happy as clearly they did not read my profile closely enough.

As I’m getting to know a boy beyond a first date, this is the time to watch, listen and learn.  Is he taking a genuine interest in me as a person?  When I tell him my honest likes and dislikes and preferences is he respecting me?  Does he get excited about the fact I am a strong, independent, intelligent woman who is a catch for any real man?  The sad part of the story is that there are many boys on the net who quite simply don’t respect me as a person.  They meet me and keep it moving quickly and I am totally at peace with this.  I think of the old expression and it gets me through:  “A boy’s rejection is God’s protection.”

I am not afraid to be single.  In fact, at this phase of my life I sometimes feel I’m more afraid to be in a relationship with a boy who may potentially bring my quality of life down.  A man will make my life easier.  Somewhere out there, I pray….

Thank you for reading and BE YOURSELF.  Please always remember you are your own best company always.  There is a man out there for me who will be happy to share in my best company.