Let’s call him Lightning (Match #3). The date (#1 with him) was a week ago. A lot of ups and downs, swings and wondering what got into me, what got into him, and where are we now, if anywhere.
Summary: Started with a friendly hug, I kept up just fine on the trail, talked all the way, enjoyed the views, shared some wild berries, found a quiet nook in the trees by the lake for our picnic, then, leaning in against the chill, the chemistry heated up, and we both fell hard. The walk down was more like a float, and we decided to find a park, hung out all day, startled and pleased, nervous and wondering, heart, mind, body battling for pre-eminence, but also trying to let things flow. It was coming onto dusk, we parted and drove our separate ways. But there was no plan for next time.
Three days of texting, emailing, skirting nearer the idea of meeting again, but I sensed caution. What happened next was difficult–amazingly, given the fact that we only had one date, and I’m not yet ready to write about it much. Tenderness and disappointment, an acknowledgement of the perhaps insurmountable problems of schedules and geography.
So that was that–scuttled after what seemed a amazing start. Letting my emotions, spurred on by a neediness I acknowledge for touch, get ahead of reality.
Yet this an excellent opportunity to reflect on what’s going on with me, says my brain–with my life as it is and can become, and what is a more balanced way to approach this dating thing. Not that one should do everything to avoid ups and downs, but balance, Toes, balance, and protecting one’s heart (and as things develop, that of the otehr). And what I want to make of my new stage of life with or without a true love, or if it takes ten years.I want a great partnership. So, whether I achieve that or not in the exclusive sense (building other friendships and community always being an important part of life), I have the privilege of becoming as great a person as I can. Like that saying someone shared, if you want to create more interesting writing, live a more interesting life.
In the week between setting up this date and living it, I’d thrown myself into pursuing some goals around biking and other fitness pursuits that had given me a new appreciation for my beautiful town, the blessing of my health and relative fitness, what I can achieve and how it feeds my spirit and improves my mood. How much of this new drive was fueled by the desire to see if I could be active at the level probably necessary to fit into another person’s world? Yeah, I was under the influence. But it was a great influence and is leading to explorations that were good in themselves.
Which new goals am I going to pursue for my own joy and meaning in life and not for any other reason? And which of my present favorite life elements will I continue to include and build on, while letting go of some as of a receding lifestyle? For example, I am not a live-in-a-condo and feed only on wildness outside my door kind of person. I am grounded in my home, its garden, my local neighborhood. Whether I move or not, I’ll want fruit trees, sunshine, vegetables and flowers just outside my door. Whether or not that would be an enthusiasm of my sweetheart, it should at least be appreciated and valued, and I’ll want a hand at times. Neither do I want to be a habitual world traveler, especially in the way that’s wearing down the natural wonders of the world and leaving people still unable to know intimately and lovingly care for their own places on Earth.
This is the true love part–as I am launched out into the new challenges I’m setting for myself, mainly in fitness but also in what I want to learn (more songs on guitar, revisiting drawing, even making podcasts and videos (Date #2 influence), places I want to encounter, things I want to give, I am falling deeper in love with my own life. I am finding new strength, new confidence, new levels of physical health and fitness. It’s even conceivable that I might say the same to someone wonderful as he wrote to me–that my life is so full of things I enjoy, I’m not sure it’s fair to you to expect the level of adjustment it would require for the different interests we have.
It was the sweetest of all possible dumpings. I was remarkably composed, I told my girlfriend in a text. I had even anticipated this, by reading between the lines of our later post-date texts, however sweet and full of warm innuendo. I even grieved beforehand; sensing the signals and pause in communication, I took a melancholy bike ride to a place I could look out to sea after sunset the a few hours before the goodbye email came though. When it did, I reluctantly, apparently, and officially accepted it, and stored the sadness to release in smaller doses over the coming days. I said, if you ever slow down, and as I speed up, perhaps one day we can meet in the middle. But I expected nothing.
The next day, I unhid my dating profile, yes, and feeling mostly okay, but unsettled, sad, and, I realized, still basically in denial. I was calling out, visualizing a reversal, doing powerful magic that had seemingly made that first date flow as it had. With one part of my mind I was hoping to alter the universe and priorities of Match #3 through some kind of quantum connection.
Meanwhile, I thought of Match #2, whom I’ll call Magnet. No, I would not contact him right away in rebound. Not fair to him. Still, there was little history of any kind, so it wouldn’t really be a rebound. I wanted to know Magnet on his own merits better. So I looked up his website, and his goofy YouTube channel, the news story about the lawsuit against the city which had allowed erosion to topple several houses in his neighborhood and was threatening others. They featured his joyful and hopeful approach toward life, his craftsmanship, his creativity, his humor, and his friendships. The style of humor was the kind I absolutely love. The website showed him as an eighteen-years younger man, and I felt a little more connected with his life story. Nice looking, but what made him very attractive to me, in a surprising new turn, was his interesting approach to life–a balance among technical, creative, and community priorities, a not-a slave to corporate America attitude, a child-like good cheer and friendliness. I would have liked him a lot back then too, and whatever happens I will always like him a lot. Everyone I know would like him, including my kids and the rest of my family. Of course my kids are not yet part of this mom dating story except minimally–they get this, but prefer to stay apart, as no one could ever replace their dad and they have a hard time with the idea that he could be replaced as a partner of mine. A key reason to move slowly, and find ways to incorporate honoring my late love into our year.
So I contacted him–we set up a second date–a day at a jazz festival, longer time commitment. I am feeling hopeful, cautioned, a little more balanced. Still a risk for touch-needs, I guess, but as one fellow put it in his profile, “a kiss is not a contract.” I feel ill at easy with this juggling, but it helps me not to fixate, as my friend reminded me. I continue to search online, communicate with fellows who show interest, some with a polite no thank you currently following up on some leads, others with some suggestions of possibilities in future. Plenty of fish and all. A temporary but necessary semi-detachment, which my more experienced friend and confidant says is wise, and I think at this stage is the best approach for all parties. A creative and dynamic balancing act.
Then came the surprise, and the day before Date #2 with Magnet: and even more reason to be cautious, self controlled and balanced in my thoughts, as well as communicate openly with all concerned: Lightning emailed in the middle of last night to invite me out for a drink on his way through town on the coming Monday. Knees a little stronger this time, but here I go again, hanging out with Magnet while distracted by thoughts of Lightning. And wondering what he meant by this…