Being married to yourself

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine concerning his new adventures with being single. After experiencing the heartbreak of going through a divorce, my friend decided it was time to get back into the dating scene and perhaps meet another special lady who will be a better fit for him. I asked him how things were going with his online singles site and he gave me a very fascinating response; “You know Mark, I was assuming that this site consisted of all single people, but instead, many of the ladies are married.” Huh? How can that be? Why would a singles site have a bunch of married people? I know it happens on occasion that some disgruntled still married individual will use a dating site to find an escape to an unhappy marriage, but is it really true there are that many? “Well Mark, so many are married to themselves” Oh I get it! And he hit it right on the head. Sometimes you have to wonder how serious some of these members are about meeting that someone special. A heavy challenge that people who sign up for these sites face is weeding out those who are basically married to themselves.

Normally if a person is said to be married, they have a union with a member of the opposite sex. There is some crazy new thing called sologamy which is indeed being married to yourself, but for the time being, lets talk about why some people are actually married to themselves without really being aware of it.

I have experienced the dating scene myself and I know exactly what my friend is talking about. When I meet someone for the first time, I wonder in my mind about how serious they are to really get to know me. One of my last dates was a prime example. Her lifestyle seemed to be perfect. She had a good job, lots of good friends and hobbies, and her schedule was always filled with fun. She appeared to really be married to her life. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but exactly where do I fit in if we happened to develop a relationship. Would that perfect lifestyle which she seems adore but affected by having me suddenly be a part of it?

I have to admit that how my life would be affected came up as well. I must confess that I am somewhat married to myself and my life as well. Would I have enough free time to go golfing on the weekends or spend time at the lake during the summers if we became a couple. What would she think about my lifestyle and what would I have to give up? I love my freedom as single, but somehow, I keep thinking in the back of my head that freedom will suddenly disappear if I get involved in a relationship.

Most people who join dating sites are aware of these or how attached or once again married to themselves and their lives. Going from being single to in a relationship can be a rather huge adjustment. Maybe you just want to chill on a Saturday after a long work week. Instead, you are forced to travel many miles to see her family who are people who you find rather annoying. Or maybe you will be forced to missed that important ball game because your partner wants to go see her niece in some play at the theater.

Most relationship experts would probably agree with 100 percent. In order to have a fulfilling and satisfying relationship with someone, you must first get a divorce. And that would be from yourself. Sometimes I wonder how many single people on those many dating sites are actually willing to get that divorce and get married the proper way as a union with someone else. The longer you are single, the harder that divorce from yourself might be. But in the long run, it might be well worth it.


Life’s biggest mistakes

Many young people will be graduating this month or next month from college and high school and the common theme that I hear at these commencement ceremonies are words of advice for the future. For example, many speakers talk about following your dreams, don’t let anyone tell you that you care not capable of something and so forth. These words of advice are great, but if I had to give some young person some words of advice, one of the first things that I would mention is something that does not seem related, but plays a huge role in your future. That is picking your friends especially who you will eventually settle down with and get married. It is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and one that many people make huge mistakes in doing so.

When a young person graduates, settling into a good career is not necessarily a top priority. Many want to settle down and get married and have a family. They see their friends getting married and want the same thing. I know women who seem to be obsessed with having children right away after finishing school. They want more than anything to fall in love, get married and have children. There is nothing wrong with that except why rush into things? Especially with the wrong person.

That good-looking guy who you have been dating may appear to be the man of your dreams, Never mind the fact that he is a borderline alcoholic. That will change when he gets married. Sadly, it probably will not and Mr. Prince Charming may be your biggest mistake ever who affects you for the rest of your life. He is a thorn in your side that will never go away. You will have a lifetime of hate and bitterness towards him. Many young adults are blinded by who people really are and fail to understand the consequences of carrying out a relationship with them.

I know many want to have children right way after they finish school, but do you really want to be tied down with that awesome responsible? I have seen many women have limited career opportunities because they wanted to have children instead.  In addition, having children with the wrong person can lead to so many hassles and custody fights. It not only affects you but your children as well. Life is way too short to go through that crap. I would strongly urge people to wait and determine if that person is totally right before you have children together. Sometimes, that may mean waiting until you are about 30 years old.

Looking back at my life, some of my biggest mistakes have been with members of the opposite sex. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when I was dating so and so. I often wonder what would have happened if I married one of my exes. What would life be like? Chances are it would be a living hell with a few of them. Back then, I was terrible young and naive about things in life.

I don’t want this post to sound too much like a lecture and I certainly feel most people are smart enough to make their own personal decisions about who they will get involved with. Unfortunately, many young people are influenced by what their friends are doing. Others are downright lonely in life and having a partner seems like a great cure for those ills. When you look back at your life some 30 years later, you may wish that you had the foresight to break up with that charming guy who you knew was not totally right for you. Something was not right. If you are a young adult, just remember that there are plenty of fish in the pond to go fishing in search of that special person. You cannot afford to make that kind of mistake and ruin the rest of your life with bitterness and unhappiness.

What goes around often comes around in dating/relationships

Several years ago, singer Justin Timberlake came out with a song called “What goes around, comes around”.  The lyrics of this great song hold so true in dating and relationships. When you mistreat someone in a relationship and it ends badly, it often comes back to haunt you. Believe me, it has happened to me.

Relationships are indeed extremely scary to get involved in. You meet someone and you basically go by your gut instincts whether to continue with the relationship to possible marrying him or her, or you break things off. Often relationships end badly with one of the persons getting hurt. Perhaps you found the person of your dreams was cheating on you online and it is time to call it quits. You have this uncontrollable anger built up inside that is just ready to explode! You cannot accept the fact that someone you thought loved you, cheated on you and now has a new lover. It is not fair! My advice to anyone who is going through something like this is just be patient. That ex of yours will probably cheat on his or her new lover as well. Or maybe even better, they will cheat on your ex!

Funny, but it always seems to end up that way. People who feel the need to cheat and play games are often not the type to settle down with anyone. It is time for you to move on and find someone who is actually loyal to you and believe me, there are many out there. Life is way too short to harbor resentment towards someone. And do not and I mean, do not rule out the possibility that your ex may just come creeping back into the picture. It happens many times and when it does, you have a great chance to make them feel like dirt!

Shortly after I finished college, I was dating this gal who I adored and did everything possible to please her. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, but I made sure I treated the best I could. One night, we went bowling with some friends and she ended up meeting some guy at the bar. I was jealous of course, but I have a policy of not interfering with my dates or woman’s social interactions. I had to leave early due to the fact that I had to work the next morning. She called me later that day and wanted to break up. Just like that, I was dumped unceremoniously. She explained that she wanted to date this guy and how he was so much better than I was. It was definitely the lowest point in my entire dating life. I felt like crap to say the least!

A few months later, I got a phone call from her one night. She told me that this guy was being mean and a total jerk to her. I actually gave her some advice to talk things out with her and perhaps they could patch things up. In the process, I did my best to disguise the glee that I felt! They eventually broke up and low and behold, guess who she wanted to date again? It was me! I told her that I was deeply hurt by what she did and it would take a lot of time to recover. She could not understand why I did not automatically want her back. I even mentioned that I had met other women and that made her extremely jealous. To this day, we remain good friends.

If you treat your partner very well and they run off with someone else, chances are they will eventually come running back to you. It always seems to happen that way. Karma does exist in love and relationships. Those who cheat eventually get their just due. And too be fair, I have also not been honest with some women myself and it seems that for every time I have not been honest with someone, a women turns around and has not been honest or truthful to me. Funny how that works! What goes around definitely comes around when you get hurt or hurt someone in a relationship. And maybe that is the way it should be!

A simple but effective Valentine’s Day message

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several weeks, you might be aware that this coming Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. There have been countless commercials and ads for gift ideas such as chocolate covered strawberries, flowers, jewelry or dinner at your sweetheart’s favorite restaurant. The main theme that I seem to hear is about showing your partner how much you care. These things are certainly helpful in showing him or her on how much you really care, but I would add another thing that really shows how much you are passionate about the relationship. Write a simple love letter. That letter might get a bigger response from any expensive jewelry that you may buy.

Several years ago, I was in a relationship with a young woman from a different state. Valentine’s Day fell in the middle of the work week so I could not travel to see her. Instead, I sent her flowers and a nice note attached to it from the florist. She in turn sent me this really nice card with a 3 page handwritten note inside. It was one of the best and nicest love letters that I have ever received from a woman. She went into great detail about how much I really meant to her and how lucky she was to have me in her life. I nearly melted when I read this letter. There were many tears in my eyes after I finished the letter. I would have given her the biggest hug in the world had she been next to me. I was overcome with emotion as I finished reading it. It was the best Valentine’s Day card ever!

Since then, we are no longer seeing each other and I have lost contact with her. I don’t know if I will ever see her again. But one thing is for certain, I will never forget the feeling I had when I opened that card and read her lengthy letter. Sometimes the simplest things can go a long ways in showing your partner how much you really appreciate them. I know hand writing a letter seems really old-fashioned but it really worked on me. When I hear words such as “I am the luckiest woman in the world to have met you” that is enough for me. I don’t need any fancy gifts. I just want a woman to say to me how special I am to her. That is what Valentine’s Day is all about. Chocolate candies are nice, but a meaningful love letter is even better!


The perfect woman

If you walk down the some busy street and ask any guy what the perfect woman would consist of, you might get many different answers. I am willing to bet that many gentlemen would probably include looks as part of their answer. She should look like this or that famous celebrity, drop dead great looks and a killer body. Us guys are very visual and we tend to look at the outward features of a woman first. I have to include myself in that category, and yes, it is a very shallow way of looking at the opposite sex. But there are many of things that I look for besides the outward features. These traits last in most cases for a lifetime. Great looks do not last forever. I think most guys will agree with me on several of the traits that I am about to mention. Interestingly, I have left out one thing that many guys mention and that is intelligence. Yes, it is important but there are a few things that I believe are slightly more important.

1) Full of compliments. Guys, does your woman make you feel very special? Like she is dating the best guy in the world? When a woman compliments me on how I look or act, it means the world to me. When she tells me that she is very lucky to be dating someone like me, my inner self is given a serious boost of joy and happiness.

2) Happiness. There is nothing worse than dating someone who is unhappy all of the time. It tends to rub off on you and you become unhappy. A woman who is happy and positive is a delight to be around and spend time with even if she is not the best looking gal in the world.

3) Good listening and conversational skills. Part of being in a meaningful and happy relationship is being able to hold good and honest conversations about anything. That includes listening to what your partner has to say. I have dated some women in the past who talked a mile a minute and that is a serious turnoff with me. Including the other person in the conversation is extremely important and a great trait to have.

4) A great sense of humor. Much like number 2, women who have a great sense of humor are extremely enjoyable to be around. Laughing a lot can really break the tensions of life and a partner who is very humorous is just the right thing to have.

5) Very affectionate. Women who are not shy about giving out deep moments of affection to their man are very desirable in my eyes. It could be just as simple as giving out a big hug when I come home from work or a nice kiss after I clean the house when she is busy doing other things. Couples often complain that their sex lives are drying up and part of the reason starts with a lack of affection towards each other.

6) Confidence. A woman who is very confident is very appealing because she tends to like herself and in turn will benefit you. Insecure women are extremely dangerous in a relationship for many reasons, but mainly for the simple fact that those who do not like themselves will not want to be in any sort of relationship.

7) Independence. An extremely clingy woman is a real turnoff for me. I have a life and I expect my woman to have one as well. Just because I don’t call of text for 4 hours doesn’t mean that I am not thinking about her! Many guys just simply need our space at times.

You can probably include this list for what the perfect guy as well. I would take women with these characteristics any day over some hot babe who is constantly depressed and insecure with many emotional problems. Sometimes the perfect book has more to it than just the cover and that holds true with women as well.

Finding love at an older age, a remarkable story

Being single for some folks is a painful situation. Everyone dreams of true love and finding that perfect soul mate to spend the rest of their lives with. When that soul mate is suddenly taken away and one becomes single again, that pain is only compounded. Especially at an older age. You begin to wonder if that is it, my one and only hope for true romance. I will grow old and have to spend the rest of my live alone. Well it doesn’t have to be and my own mother ‘s story is a perfect example of finding love at any age.

About 13 years ago, my mother suddenly became a widow one night. It was a devastating and very sad time for our family. My father really meant a lot to us and we still really miss him. My mom was a few years away from retiring and they had big plans for retirement. Suddenly, it was all taken away. My mom was alone and single.

A few years after my father’s death, my mom retired and moved to a town to be closer to her grandchildren. She also bought this huge house which has given our family so many great memories during many family gatherings. I knew deep down that she had this desire to meet some gentlemen but she seemed to be pretty content with her role as a grandmother.

My mother was deeply involved in her church and volunteered on numerous occasions. It was on one of those occasions that she met someone who would turn out to be someone very special. She was volunteering to help at a Sunday afternoon worship service for nursing home patients when she met a younger man who was the pastor of the said service.

During a family gathering last Christmas, my mother summoned everyone together for a big announcement. She announced that she was dating this wonderful man. That announcement took me and the rest of our family by surprise.

A few months ago, they announced plans for a wedding and next weekend, they will become husband and wife.  My mother who is in her early 70’s will be getting married for the second time! It just goes to show you that true love can find you just when you least expect it. It is very fitting that a couple of individuals who have a compassion for volunteering and helping others would meet and eventually get married. Yes, you can find love at an older age and without the use of an online dating site! Getting out and helping out other people can lead you to perhaps something more than you expect!

Connecting with your ex again

One of the great things about social media sites such as Facebook is the ability to reconnect with many people from your past. It could be an old grade school buddy that you have not seen in 30 years. Or it could be some gal/guy who you dated in high school and have many fond memories of. Yes, just when you think that old girlfriend/boyfriend of yours has vanished out of your life, they reappear and it can be a rather pleasant or not so pleasant surprise that you have to deal with. Suppose you were dumped by that person in the past and ended up being very hurt. You still have strong feelings for that person, but you moved on and just recently, you found a new flame. Your new flame is nowhere near as special as that old lover of yours. What if that old special person wants to get together just as friends and have dinner or a drink after work? How do you handle a situation like that?

During the last few months, a couple of old girlfriends of mine contacted me via Facebook. One of them was a very recent girlfriend of mine from just a few years ago. Our relationship ended on rather bad terms and we had not talked since we broke up. Suddenly one night, I got an instant message from her on Facebook messenger. I nearly fell out of my chair! We chatted for a while and have continued to chat every so often since then. She initially talked about wanting to apologize for treating me poorly and how she has really grown up in the last few years. My respect for her completely changed after those conversations. I no longer have those bitter memories of our past. As much as I hated the way our relationship ended, I just wanted to talk to her sometime. That moment came very unexpectedly and who knows what might happen to us in the future. She lives many miles from me now but I just feel of sense of relief that we are on good terms again.

The other gal that I mentioned was from several years ago and our initial conversation was very similar. It was about patching things up. She is now married with children. I know many people feel this way, but isn’t it weird sometimes to think that you actually dated and had strong feelings for a person back then, but not anymore? I enjoyed chatting with my old flame but deep down, I was thinking to myself, “Why did I even fall for her?” It is just a classic example on how things change as you get older. I did not feel an ounce of jealously in the fact that she is married. I think a lot of folks can relate to what I am saying. Those old flames were hot back then but not so much now. Maybe your old ex has put on a lot of weight or lost a lot of hair and only look a fraction of what they used to. Or maybe they have really changed inside for the worst. You find out that they are getting treated for some mental illness or something of that nature. The thought comes to your mind that breaking up with them was actually a huge blessing in disguise in your life.

I think you always have to have an open mind when connecting again with some special person of the past. If the feelings are still strong after being apart for several years, maybe that is a sign that you guys are meant for each other. Remember too that people do change especially through their 20’s. Many times it is for the better. Both of you are now more mature and maybe things will work out this time around. Perhaps both of you have moved on and are married to other people. I don’t think it is totally wrong to become friends and chat or text occasionally although that is a delicate situation in itself. Far too many marriages have been ruined due to the so the called “ex factor” Suddenly those old feelings towards your end start to surface again and that usually leads to disaster.

Unfortunately for many people, it is far from easy to become friends with your ex. Those breakups and broken hearts can never be mended even after many years. Many folks want to get some kind of revenge on their ex and make their lives a living hell. Some try hard to break up their exes marriage or relationship due to extreme jealously. Others use Facebook and other social media sites as ways to stalk their exes.

Whenever I meet an old girlfriend from my past, I try to be as pleasant as possible no matter what has happened in the past. A warm hug or a pleasant online message can go a long way in healing a possible deep wound of the past. And who knows, maybe it is time to reignite that flame again. If not, you just might have a good friend of the opposite sex for the rest of your life.