My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/holly-riordan/2016/06/my-world-would-be-so-different-if-you-were-still-alive/

I heard this song on the way home this morning. Stayed with R as he was sick. I hate being alone when sick. The words resonated with me. I think so many of us feel the same way. We want to admit love but we are scared of it. I am sure I have heard this song before but with music, it hits us differently at different stages of our lives.

I don’t know how to love him.
What to do, how to move him.
I’ve been changed, yes really changed.
In these past few days, when I’ve seen myself,

I seem like someone else.
I don’t know how to take this.
I don’t see why he moves me.
He’s a man. He’s just a man.

And I’ve had so many men before,
In very many ways,
He’s just one more.
Should I bring him down?

Should I scream and shout?
Should I speak of love,
Let my feelings out?
I never thought I’d come to this.

What’s it all about?
Don’t you think it’s rather funny,
I should be in this position.
I’m the one who’s always been

So calm, so cool, no lover’s fool,
Running every show.
He scares me so.
I never thought I’d come to this.

What’s it all about?
Yet, if he said he loved me,
I’d be lost. I’d be frightened.
I couldn’t cope, just couldn’t cope.

I’d turn my head. I’d back away.
I wouldn’t want to know.
He scares me so.
I want him so.

Read more: Andrew Lloyd Webber – I Don’t Know How To Love Him Lyrics | MetroLyrics

One of the most difficult thing I have found about dating is dating rebound men. I have had so many dates with men that I was their first date after their divorce or break up.  The first few guys I went out with all fit in this category. One was so not ready that he quickly ran. Another wanted to go too fast though he said he would never marry again. Ex-Bf and I became serious and were together for a while. I am still friends with all of them. One is alone and drinking way too much the other two are in pretty serious relationships now.

After going out with a few other guys that I was their rebound date, I have realized a few things. One is that I do NOT want to be the rebound girl again.  There are so many issues to deal with. I do not want to have to guide another man through the learning to date process and sex with a new woman again.  I do not want to be the first kiss for a man after twenty years again. They all act sixteen. Yes, I like sex now BUT that is not  what I want with most dates. I am more picky than that. Besides, I have found that “stage fright” is not unusual for them.  I remember how awkward it was to be a first time dater. First date, first kiss, first time being naked with someone besides my husband after 23 years. It is difficult for everyone but I no longer want to be the teacher. The last few first dates with rebound men have stopped at that. There was one real nice man that I got along with real well but I could tell that he wanted to move much faster than I wanted to. I have noticed that with most men that I have gone out with. Statistics actually show that men tend to remarry more quickly than women do. They either are so commitment-phobic that they just want to play the field or they want you to be their girlfriend in a week. The one I met and dated last fall was like that. Clingy after a couple of dates.

I am glad that I have reached a point of contentment without a man. I have hardly been dating (except for R) I have been off the dating sites for four months now. I haven’t met anyone new since Valentine’s Day and he was a rebounder. I am not going out with him again. He was way to handsy too fast. I am going to continue on the path I am on now and see where life takes me but for now, I really do not want to be the rebound girl again. He needs to be ready to date but not desperate to find love. He needs to have confidence in himself but not be cocky. He needs to be over his wife and not tell me how much he still loves her on our date. Yes, I had that happen. He needs to be looking for friendship and a companion that a relationship can build and grow over time.  He needs to be ready for ME.

You know this in this dating world we are all afraid of getting hurt again. We are all afraid of losing again. Occasionally,  we meet someone that catches our eye and we want to spend more time with them. How do we know when it’s worth taking the risk of exposing our heart to this person? Do we do it with our brains and logic? Do we look at the pros and the cons of the person? Will they be a good step parent? Will they like my dogs? Will my family like them? Will my kids like them? Will I like their family? Will their family like me? Do we just go with the emotions or a combination of both?

When I start having that person be the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of before I go to bed, I realize maybe they are worth the chance. When that person enters my thoughts several times during the day that’s a big sign that they are worth the chance. When I get excited when I see their car or think I see their car, it’s a pretty big sign that I’m crazy about that person. When this person accepts you 100% the way you are. Is that enough to make them worth the risk?  What if they tell you that they don’t feel the same way about you but their actions show otherwise? Should you stick around and see what happens? Should you wait? Should you give up? That is so hard to do when your day is better just by merely being in their presence.

But then the damn brain gets in the way it starts thinking about the logistics of the relationship if it were to go further. If you were to become a long term couple,  where would you live? What about finances? Holidays? Bills? All those couple things….When you start thinking of those things it makes it absolutely terrifying to try to go forward. How would it be to deal with all those things and then you don’t work out? You have to divide everything up again. You get hurt. Your kids, their kids get hurt. You miss their kids. Your kids miss them. YOU miss them. These are all  real fears and concerns. Should we let those fears and concerns let us keep that wall around our hearts to protect us? Are these the reasons we don’t give love a chance? Should we tear down the wall and take a chance? Love has no guarantees and no refunds. Probably more times than not, we get hurt when we try to love and trust so why do we keep trying?

We keep trying because that person makes our lives better. We keep trying because when we have a bad day, the only thing we want is to have that person be with you and hold you. We keep trying because this life can be so much better not alone. Life can be good alone but with a partner, a TRUE partner, is is even better. I am very happy in my life right now. I have a job that I love, great friends, an active social life, a wonderful family but, nights like tonight, I want a partner. I want someone to hold me and tell me things will be okay. I want someone to love me. I am so ready to give him a chance and he is not running so I guess there is a chance. I am ready.

I met the Banker almost a year ago. I don’t remember if I have mentioned him much or not. I had actually gone on a couple of dates with a bartender at a local restaurant and was visiting him at work and having the fabulous blood orange margaritas when the banker came in. He came in to get a gift certificate for a client and the three of us ended up talking for a few minutes.  The next  day I was working and this young-looking guy walks with me for a few blocks and asks if I was the one at the bar the night before. He said then that he would love to buy  me one of those margaritas someday. I was flattered and said that would be nice but thought he was super young. We didn’t exchange names but he obviously knew where I worked so he knew how to find me if he really did want to take me out. Months went by without seeing him again and then we ran into each other again. I asked him when he was going to buy me that drink. We set up a date for the next week. I knew NOTHING about him except his appearance. This was unusual as until then, most of my dates I had met through dating sites. We met at the restaurant where we met and I figured that as soon as he found out my age, it would be over. I figured he was in his early thirties. I was pleasantly surprised how the date went. First of all, he is in his forties and we actually had a lot in common. I really wanted to see him again. I should have known real quickly to step away from him. He would go weeks without contacting me but when I would see him, he would act very happy to see me. We actually went on a couple more dates but very spaced out in time. I knew he was dating another woman, too. No big deal to me. I was seeing other men. He wasn’t in a committment with anyone. Occasionally, I would mention to him that he obviously wasn’t interested as he would not contact me and then he would back pedal and tell me that he was but was a “mess”. I think I finally figured him out the other night. Last Monday, we had what I expect to be our last date. Once again, we had a good time. We have a lot to talk about. He is nice, good-looking, smart, and meets most of what is important to me in a man BUT he is definitely not ready for anything. He has been divorced a little less than I have been and has two younger kids. I know he is not married anymore and is not lying to me. I have been to his place and he has been to mine. He adopted kittens from me for his kids. The other woman he has been seeing is a teacher at his kid’s school and “is good with the kids”. I can tell that he is not that into her either but I think that maybe he is looking for a new mom for them. He actually mentioned to me recently basically that I was done with kids so would not want to take more on. There is some truth to that BUT that is not a deal breaker for me. I have dated a few men with kids. Yes, the freedom of dating a man without kids is great but I will date a man with kids. If I fall for a guy with kids and we end up together, the kid(s) are part of the package and I am sure I can love the kids if I love the dad. I told him after Monday night that I had a good time but would leave him alone.  He once again apologized for being a mess. I actually feel for the guy and the other gal. She is younger and will probably want kids of her own, which I know he doesn’t want. I mentioned that to him and he said he knew that was a possible issue but since she is so good with the kids that he feels that he should give them a chance. That is NOT a reason to date someone. I feel that he is making a mistake that in the long run will hurt all four of them. I am stepping back and going forward I am not waiting for him just like I am not waiting for R to figure things out. I am just glad that I haven’t gotten too attached to the banker. I wish him luck and future happiness.

It has been a crazy but fun week for me. This is my first night home in nine nights. It has been a good week but crazy.  I have had two nights with R that have been wonderful. I met another of his siblings last night. Once again, I felt instantly comfortable with him. We had a night of fun and my feelings for R are growing every time we are together.  I enjoy being with him and his family. I am quite scared of my feelings especially since he doesn’t seem to be able to reciprocate them. He treats me fabulously, he cares about me. I know that. I just don’t know if he will ever let himself love me. I did tell him last night, after one too many drinks, that I love him. I also asked him to please let me know if his feelings ever change. I sometimes wonder if the reason we do not go forward is his responsibilities and his fear. I have a hard time believing that I am not more to him than he admits or he wouldn’t keep introducing me to his family.

I have such mixed emotions on how to handle our relationship. There is a part of me that wants to run away to protect myself.  There is a part of me that so wants us to become a couple and give us a chance. I am not in a hurry for anything to go forward. No one can say we have rushed anything if we do ever end up together. We met fifteen months ago. He is the reason I actually finally quit seeing ex-bf. We had been FWB for a while and when I met R, I knew I had met someone special that deserved a chance to get into my heart.

We have quit seeing each other a few times but we always seem to find our way back together. I don’t believe in soulmates or that people can be meant to be together. Why can’t we stay away from each other? For me, well, I finally admit to myself that I have grown to love him but since the feelings are not reciprocated, I keep looking and hoping that either his feelings will change or that I find someone new to give a chance to, My life is good and I am content with our relationship being this way for now. Someday it will either come to an end romantically or we will go forward. This is an interesting journey. I wonder where is will end up.