Tag Archives: relationships

Dreams *do* come true

Well.  What can I say.  I blog today as a completely different person than I was a year ago.  This blog has followed my dating life, and my regular life, through ups and downs and random thoughts.  It’s been my savior at times, times when I  needed to get demons out of me.  I’ve met some great blog friends on here, and, looking back through some of the worst blog posts, I don’t regret much of what I’ve written here.  But I’ve entered a new part of my life, and with these changes, I’m blogging less here and more elsewhere.

A year ago, I was single, finally getting over a horrible relationship and breach of trust, wondering if I would ever meet someone special, if I would ever be able to trust again.  A year ago I was unemployed, wondering if I would find a job, if I would ever get to do all the things I wanted to do but didn’t have the money to.  2010 was a very rough year for me, and I was glad that it was over, and hoping for a better year in 2011.

Then I met someone.  Someone special.  And I found that I was still capable of trust.  And I loved, and I was loved, and I was respected and cherished.  Nine months after meeting this man, I married him, and I still sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am to have him in my life.  He’s amazing, funny, caring, strong, loving, supportive, trustworthy, smart, chivalrous.  Everything you could possibly want in a man.  They do still exist.

Two months after getting married, my husband and I made a huge move, to Finland.  We’ve been here two weeks now, and it’s great.  A little cold, but not as cold as you might expect.  I am here on his work permit, which means I don’t have my own, so I can’t work.  My job, my husband tells me, is to write.

Imagine that.  My lifelong dream to not have to work and being able to write full time has come true.

Another lifelong dream – to travel.  And living in Europe, we intend to do exactly that.  France, Italy, Estonia, Sweden, St Petersburg, Prague, Krakow, London, Germany – they’re all on the agenda in the next two years.

To sum up:  I met my Prince Charming and am living my Happily Ever After.  It does happen.

I don’t know how often I’ll post on this blog now, but you never know when I might pop up.

Oh, and I met my Prince online, at OKCupid.  So, sometimes, online dating does work.

Well, I guess that’s one way to get health insurance

Married Couple
Image via Wikipedia

Within the next 90 days, I will be getting married and moving to Finland.  Me, stressed?  Why on earth would you think that?

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that Beau has an opportunity to move to Finland.  We discussed it at length, and we agreed that I would move with him.  After some investigating, we determined that in order for me to move with him, we had to have lived together for two years.  Or have a child together.  Or be married.

After another lengthy discussion, we made the decision to get married.  We both agree that we would have been at that point in the near future, but circumstances have sped up the timeline.

Let me tell you, planning a wedding in 40 days is not lacking any stress.

After a week of tossing and turning and literally losing sleep (on my part), we have a venue and a date.  After another week, I’m still searching for a dress, whereas he picked out a suit in five minutes and will have it hanging in his closet in five to seven days.  Still working on the caterer, the decorations, the cake, the flowers, and, oh yeah, the invites still haven’t gone out.  My mom has been an absolute lifesaver through all this, and is doing so much coordinating for me.  I don’t know what I would do without her – I’d probably be a heap on the floor somewhere.

Of course, through all this, I’m trying to empty my condo, find space for my stuff at his house, have a yard sale to get rid of the rest of my stuff, rent my condo out, get my passport renewed, get him to clean out some of his stuff, and get all doctors appointment set up between the wedding date (when I will have health insurance for the first time in over a year) and the move to Finland date (sometime in January).  I’ve been slammed at work, and all I can think is, “Don’t these people know I have a wedding to plan?!”

Stressed?  No, why do you ask?

Seriously though, people – I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY!  I can’t believe my luck in finding this wonderful man, and I can’t wait for the day I can call him my husband.

What’s different

I’ve always, always, needed my own time.  Space, Me Time, time not spent together.  Time and space to breathe, to be alone with my thoughts, to not have to work on The Relationship.  That’s one of things I enjoyed about my relationship with The Pilot – I had all the Me Time I needed, and I didn’t have to feel guilty about not spending time with him.  Even with family and close friends, there’s only so much time I can spend with them before needing to breathe.

But this relationship…it’s different.  We’re together all the time, and I enjoy it.  I don’t need space.  I can breathe just fine.  I have yet to need time apart.

I’m generally an introvert, unless I’m around my friends.  I’m quiet, go with the flow, reserved.  I’ve almost always dated men more outgoing than me – probably due mostly to the fact that two introverts have a hard time meeting each other, since neither are really putting themselves out there.  I’ve relied on these men to get me out of the house, do things, make me meet new people.

But this relationship…it’s different.  He’s more of an introvert than me.  I’m the one getting us out, getting us to do things, making him meet new people.  It’s been interesting.  And even though he’s an introvert, he’s totally into meeting new people and doing new things – I don’t want to make it sound like he’s anti-social, that’s not it at all.  I’ve come to realize the Space thing and the Social thing are connected.  Introverts need time to “recharge” after social encounters.  Before, I needed that recharging time, which is why I needed my space, but now, since our social time is planned more by me, I can plan it on my own social needs, and recharge when I need to – all without the pressure to still be “on.”  Interesting, huh?

I hate to say it too loud, because it feels like I’m rubbing it in or gloating or something.  I know if I had read what I’m about to write before him, I would roll my eyes and look for a trashbasket to hurl in.  But…

This guy is amazing.  He’s awesome.  He’s not perfect, there’s a couple of things he does that drive me crazy, but overall…yeah, he rocks.  He holds my car door – every single time.  He helps me on with my jacket.  He makes me laugh, and I make him laugh.  He does so much for me, from getting me a glass of water to building a cat box cabinet to taking me to a nice dinner out.  We don’t fight, because he’s more laid back than me and usually will do whatever I want (and by that I mean go to the restaurant I want to go to, see the movie I want to see, go hiking when I want to go hiking, etc – I don’t want to imply that he just blindly follows me around like a puppy dog, because that’s not it at all).

Ladies, he even follows me around the clothing store and holds the clothes I’m going to buy or try on.  I don’t ask – he just holds his hand out and expects to carry them.  (He will not, however, hold my purse – and I’m okay with that.)

It’s funny, sometimes, how things work.  You know, we grew up less than 30 miles away from each other, in Texas?  And we both moved around a bit and ended up here, 1000+ miles away from Texas, and then we met.  And now it looks like we’ll be moving 4500 miles away from here, this time with each other.


(Did you like how I didn’t mention how long it’s been since I blogged?  How I didn’t apologize for that?  Did you notice?)  🙂

Love is…

Know that cartoon?  Well, I’ve got a new, slightly oddball one.

Love is…changing your toilet paper brand to the same brand she uses, after she comments that yours pretty much sucks.  (Seriously?  Single Ply?)

Yep, actually happened.

Little bit in love myself.  But I have the good toilet paper.

Toilet paper

Image via Wikipedia



Time has been in serious short supply lately.  I am very happily sitting my butt down tonight for the first time in…a while.

Most of it, of course, is of my own making.  I’m spending all kinds of time with The New Beau (future blog post note).  I’ve been working out quite a bit (future blog post note).  I’ve had to work late one night a week with The Job.  Outside of Sleep, I’ve literally spent less than eight hours a week at home doing stuff.  My Tivo is near to bursting, I’ve forgotten what my couch feels like under my butt, and my cat is pissed.

Just another day in the life…

I’m tired.  But I’m happy.  Funny how that works, huh?

In the last week, I have learned how to use a pastry bag (by making these awesome brandy snaps) and sewn an eyemask:

In the last 36 hours I have finished my first pillow and made salted caramels:

I am currently looking forward to a trip to Charleston (sometime in the next two months) and a surfing lesson, and to  visit from the maternal unit.

And a possible move to Finland?

Doubtful, but not outside of the realm of possibility.

Because you really never know…

Life is fun, i’n’it?

The Bucket List

Everyone has one, whether it’s written down or not.  That list of things you want to do, before you’re 30, 40, 50, 60.  Before you die.  Visit Paris.  Go skinny dipping. Sing karaoke.  Be a contestant on The Price Is Right.  We are so focused on living a life worth living that I think sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve already done.

Personally, I want to do everything.  If I actually put everything I want to do on a list, I’d realize I couldn’t possibly do it all.  All the places I want to go, things I want to see and do – narrowing it down seems counter-intuitive to the entire idea.

Doesn’t mean I haven’t done it.

And some of it is kind of silly.

Take, for example, this item on my list:  Kiss under the fireworks.

Spectacular Kiss

Image by Lars Preben Sørsdahl via Flickr

At 35, I’ve never been kissed under fireworks.  I don’t know why it appeals to me so much, but it does.  Every time a holiday featuring fireworks comes around, I think about it.  I guess because I think of it as being so romantic.

Silly, right?

Last year, I went to see fireworks with Sly.  It was our 3rd date, and we had yet to kiss.  I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t interested in a relationship with him, but I thought this would be a chance to get my fireworks kiss.

But was it worth it?  Would that be selling out?  Would my Bucket List moment be memorable only because it shouldn’t be?  Like losing your virginity and wishing you could take it back?  In the end, the kiss didn’t happen.

Fast forward a year.  I’m with a wonderful man, who will grant damn near my every wish, including watching fireworks even though he couldn’t care less.  This weekend, with a fireworks show every night for four straight nights, we had our choice of shows.

Friday, we were both exhausted and decided to veg for the night.  Saturday we ran errands (mine) all day, got back to his place, and crashed.  Sunday we were on the boat all day, and we were beat.  All three nights we were asleep by 10pm.  Oh, yeah, we’re big partiers.

So Monday, we decided to go out to the Whitewater Center.  We did a flatwater kayak, then went to the car to get our clothes to change. The plan was, change, put our names in to eat, walk around a bit, eat, walk around a bit more, sit down have a beer, and watch fireworks.  But a storm was rolling in, so we decided to wait it out in the car prior to changing.

An hour and a half later, it was still raining, and we gave up and went home.

So once again, no kiss under fireworks.  And yes, I was disappointed.  And the truth is, I could have had it last night if I really pushed it.  He would have stayed, because I wanted to.  But at what point are you pushing too hard to make something that should happen naturally happen?

This man is amazing.  I don’t need kisses under fireworks.

But yes, I still want them.

What silly item is on your bucket list?

For Love or Money

You have a life decision to make.  Which is more important, your career or your boyfriend/girlfriend?  Do you choose love or money?  Which is right?  Which is wrong?  It’s not as black and white as that.

As I discussed before, I moved halfway across the country to Colorado with my ex.  We had been dating for about 6 months.  I was young (26) and in love, and knew long distance wasn’t for me.  I had nothing really holding me back, so I moved with him.  Was it a smart move?  While I do get a bit embarrassed about my actions (“I moved 1200 miles away for a boy!”), I also know that my life would not be the same if I hadn’t done it.  It was one of those true catalyst moments, a new beginning, a whole new world.  I don’t regret it.  But I swore I would never do it again.  I leaned on him too much, since he was the only person I knew.  That clingyness, while not the only reason we broke up, was certainly a part of it.  When we broke up, within months of the move, I was alone, in a strange land, and the only person I knew was no longer a person I could lean on.  It was not a pleasant feeling.

While dating The Pilot, he mentioned several times the possibility of him getting a job flying out of Dubai.  He had even asked me if I would go with him.  I thought about it a lot, what would happen if he decided to go through with it.  Would I move with him?  While I was completely enthralled (in that scared kind of way, like being on a big rollercoaster) with the possibility of living there, I knew I wouldn’t do it without a ring on my finger.  Dubai actually forbids couples living together who are not married, so that was a handy excuse when The Pilot and I discussed it.  I wasn’t demanding marriage, the country was, if he wanted me to go with him.

Somehow I’ve ended up in a similar situation.  New Beau spent 6 months in Europe last year for his job, and loved every minute of it.  He had told me there was a possibility of him going to the UK for a similar position, so when I got a text from him the other day wanting to talk about something important, I figured (hoped) that’s what it was (as opposed to a “We need to talk” talk).

Beau did get a job opportunity overseas, potentially leaving by the end of the year.  But it wasn’t to the UK, it was to Finland.  And it wasn’t a six month contract.

It will be for two to three years.

We both realize that this is a terribly long time to be apart.  And the timing is simply awful.  We’ve been seeing each other for three months.  That’s not all that long.  Certainly not long enough for him to be basing a major life decision on me.

Just to be clear – this is a HUGE deal for him, career-wise.  Huge.  I can’t even tell you how astronomically huge it is for him.  This position will basically allow him to write his own ticket for the rest of his career.  It’s a big deal.  I get it.  I understand how much he wants it.

And he’s hesitating.  Because of me.  Not a position I’m comfortable with.

There are other drawbacks he has to consider, of course.  Selling the house, his car.  Essentially giving up his dogs.  The fact that he’ll be living on the arctic circle, with long, cold-ass winters with no sun.  He doesn’t speak the language, and there’s not a whole lot of opportunity to learn.

But the pros outweigh the cons, in my opinion.  He wants it, too, I know he does.  The only reason he’s really considering saying no is me.  He would get past those other things.  I’m what’s holding him back.  And I’m not comfortable in that position.  Mostly because I don’t want him to regret his decision and blame me.

  • Scenario 1:  He takes the job.  We’re three months in now, we would have six more months together, then be apart for 2-3 years.  I don’t know about him, but I would be heartbroken.  Completely.  Like, I’m going to cry just thinking about it.  I will spend the next six months thinking about how much it’s going to hurt when he leaves.  And, let’s be frank – chances are, his leaving will be the end of the relationship.  We are not in our twenties.  I’m 35, he’s 38.  Two (maybe three) years is a long time at this age to be holding onto a relationship in its infancy.
  • Scenario 2:  He takes the job.  We break up now, just so we don’t get further attached.  I feel like this is a complete cop out, but a little hurt now is better than a lot of hurt later.  At least, some would argue that.  And, honestly, knowing how much it will hurt later…yeah, I’m one of those.  It’s cowardly, and I would hate myself for it, but I see the benefits.
  • Scenario 3:  He doesn’t take the job.  We break up in four months, and he spends the rest of his life cursing himself (and me) for not taking this opportunity.
  • Scenario 4:  He doesn’t take the job, and he and I live happily ever after here in the States.

Scenario 3 is the scariest for me.  Not that I foresee us breaking up, not that I want us to break up, just because that’s really the worst case, in my opinion.

As I told him, I can’t make the decision for him.  I’m not going to ask him to stay.  I’m not going to tell him to go.  I want him to stay, because I know his leaving will be the end of us.  I want him to go because I know this is a huge deal for him.  And I can’t say at this point which I want more.  And because of that, I will do what I always do, which is give.  If I had to choose, I would tell him to go.

As a friend mentioned, there is another option:  I move, too.

But I’m still very adamant about my “not without a ring” viewpoint.  Even more so, considering it’s a foreign country.  And, let’s face it, what are the odds of us getting to the marriage point in the next six months?  Not great.  Doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen.  Just means it’s not probable.  And none of this means I want to marry him at this point, or that he wants to marry me.  It’s simply too early to be thinking about it.

This is one of his catalyst moments.  Will he choose his career or his love life?

Lessons in Love and Life from Jonathan Franzen

“There is no such thing as a person whose real self you like every particle of. This is why a world of liking is ultimately a lie. But there is such a thing as a person whose real self you love every particle of.”

Once again, there I was on metafilter when I stumbled across something interesting.  Go figure.  This time, it was an excerpt from a commencement speech at Kenyon College (printed in the opinion page of the NYT) written by author Jonathan Franzen (Freedom) about technology and narcissism and love and life.

Franzen talks about the “liking” phenomenon sweeping the world, thanks to Facebook.  We all want to “like” things, and we want people to “like” us.  “If you dedicate your existence to being likable, however, and if you adopt whatever cool persona is necessary to make it happen, it suggests that you’ve despaired of being loved for who you really are.”


Image by -= Bruce Berrien =- via Flickr

We want to be loved for who we are, and yet we rarely show our true selves to people, especially at the beginning of a romantic relationship.  We try to be perfect, to be who the person wants us to be, or who we think the person wants us to be.  We don’t lose our temper when someone cuts us off on the road.  We cook gourmet dinners.  We obviously don’t burp or fart or poop, because we don’t do any of those things. We don’t get upset or have a bad day and eat a pint of ice cream to ease the pain.  We exercise regularly and have a clean house.

The simple fact of the matter is that trying to be perfectly likable is incompatible with loving relationships. Sooner or later, for example, you’re going to find yourself in a hideous, screaming fight, and you’ll hear coming out of your mouth things that you yourself don’t like at all, things that shatter your self-image as a fair, kind, cool, attractive, in-control, funny, likable person. Something realer than likability has come out in you, and suddenly you’re having an actual life.

Suddenly there’s a real choice to be made, not a fake consumer choice between a BlackBerry and an iPhone, but a question: Do I love this person? And, for the other person, does this person love me?

There is no such thing as a person whose real self you like every particle of. This is why a world of liking is ultimately a lie. But there is such a thing as a person whose real self you love every particle of. And this is why love is such an existential threat to the techno-consumerist order: it exposes the lie.

This is not to say that love is only about fighting. Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.

The big risk here, of course, is rejection. We can all handle being disliked now and then, because there’s such an infinitely big pool of potential likers. But to expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful. The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.

And yet pain hurts but it doesn’t kill. When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world. To go through a life painlessly is to have not lived.

Read the rest of the opinion piece here.

Listen to the whole commencement speech here.

You’re breaking me (and my scale)

I’m dating someone new.  Two months in, and it’s still that wonderful, fun, “I have a boyfriend!” mindset.  Everything is new, and you want to do stuff with this new person. You go out more than you did before.

Which means you spend more, eat more, exercise less, and have less time to do the necessary mundane things, like pay bills.

For me, especially now that I’m working again, I find I have absolutely no time to do things.  My kitchen and bathroom are a mess, I am running out of clean underwear because I can’t find time to do laundry, and I’m in danger of being late with my mortgage payment, because I haven’t had time to log online and pay it.  I also haven’t had time to blog, workout, or watch the Royal Wedding.

My new boyfriend has recently complained about putting on a few pounds, a combination of eating out more and having less time to exercise.  I’ve always encouraged him to get his workout in, but he recently asked me to help him eat less.  I told him that I’m naturally a nurturer, much like the mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  “Here, have the rest of mine, can I get you another cupcake, here just finish this off so there’s no leftovers.”  I’m doing my best to stop trying to feed him, though.

Another issue, which we’ve briefly touched on but not really discussed, is money.  Obviously, if you’re going out 2-3 nights a week, eating and drinking, the cost for two people (which he naturally is going to pick up most of the time) can get to be a little much.

All this is to say, dating can lead to financial loss, weight gain, and a drastic reduction of free time.

But sometimes it’s worth it.  🙂

(Note – I wrote this post longhand a week ago, but haven’t had the time to log in and post it!  I am safe from foreclosure, have done laundry, but still haven’t seen more than a glimpse of the Royal Wedding.)

Done with that

Getting over a person or relationship can be difficult. Turning emotions off and on is not the easiest thing for people, and I think that’s especially true for women. You love someone, and they’re now gone, and you’re still left with those feelings, wondering what happened, the victim of emotional phantom limb syndrome.

There was an episode of How I Met Your Mother in October that I very specifically saved and watched several times.  The episode focuses on things that are unfinished, including Robin’s issues with getting over her ex-boyfriend Don.  She hasn’t moved on from their relationship, hasn’t had closure, because “Don left so quickly that I never got the chance to have that final showdown.”

That’s very much how I felt about my last relationship.  I never got that final showdown, I never got that closure, and all those feelings and emotions were never really resolved. I kept feeling like if I could just talk to him one last time, get an explanation, that I would be able to move on.  No, of course not right away, but at least I could have some questions answered and stop thinking about them.   (For those who haven’t been reading my blog, I had a year and a half relationship with a man and he just vanished with no explanation.  I’m not going to link to those posts because I’m…well, done with that.)

Robin’s friends urge Robin to delete Don from her contacts, so she can’t call him again.  Definitely a good idea – I think we’ve all been guilty of a drunk dial or two.  (For the record, my way of dealing with this is to put an X in front of their name, so that when you’re drunk dialing and you go to the D’s for Don, he’s not there, and then you have to think about it for a second before remembering to go to X, and hopefully that moment of thought will help clear your head. Works for me pretty well.)

As Robin notes, and as I can attest to, it’s hard to delete that number.  It’s also hard to delete texts from that person, especially the ones where they say they love you, they miss you, they can’t wait to see you.  You hit delete, and the phone asks, “Are you sure?”  And you’re not sure.  “You’re not just deleting a number, you’re deleting a part of your life.  You know, all those memories, all those experiences, it’s like you’re admitting they’re gone forever.”

Robin deletes the contact from her phone, but she remembers the number.  “You can’t delete contacts from your brain.”  Robin says she will never have closure.  “One day Don and I are moving in together, and the next thing I know he’s on a plane to Chicago.  It just…ended.  And no matter how much I try to forget that it happened, it will have never not happened.  Don and I will always be a loose end.  We’ll always be…unfinished.”

But at the end of the episode, Robin once again calls Don, but she’s finally forgotten the phone number.  “Finished with that,” she says.  Because, eventually, you do get over things.  I know that.  I saved the episode specifically for that reminder, that eventually you do get over these things.

Although I spent pretty much all of last year dating, I knew I still wasn’t over things with my ex.  But around the end of the year, there was a very drastic change.  I went from not being over him to being about 90% over him.  It may have been a particular “mischievous” post I did in December.  It may have been my New Years Eve effigy – maybe throwing that thing and those thoughts in the fire really did work.  It may have been the end of a particularly crappy year and the new beginning the new year brought.  Or maybe it was just that enough time had passed.

If I was 90% over it on January 1st, I’d say I’ve gone up about a percentage point a month since.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be 100% over it, because of the breach of trust that was involved.  But it’s nice to be so close.

I just got a new phone.  I was going through my old phone, deleting things to clean it off, and I hesitated when I got to his contact information, his texts.  Was I ready to give it up?  For some reason, I was particularly attached to those texts he sent me just days before disappearing.  I always wondered how he could say he loved me and missed me and then two days later be gone, and not even care enough to give me the closure I begged for.  Was I sure I wanted to delete?

I wasn’t sure.

I turned the phone off without deleting.  I thought about it.  Why was I keeping it?  Why did I want that pain?  What good was it doing me?  Add to that, I’ve been seeing a great guy, and I can honestly say that I am (mostly) over my ex, and I am fully in this new relationship, with (surprisingly) very little bitterness carrying over.  I don’t worry that this guy will cheat on me.  I don’t worry that he’ll leave without saying goodbye.  I don’t worry that he will shatter my heart, even if he does break it.  And yes, there is a difference.

I had that sudden moment of clarity.  I turned the phone on.  And deleted all.  And when it was all deleted, I looked at the empty screen and smiled.

Done with that.