Reasons Why I’m Not Sorry to Celebrate The Road of Romance Not Taken

Woman Faces A Fork in the Road

Src: lawandborder.com

In the three years that the Warrior Poet and I have been together, there has only been one major pothole in the road of our romance that was disastrous enough to potentially split our bond forever. In hindsight, this heart-wrenching rift only lasted approximately a month. Yet there was tremendous risk that bullish stubbornness—after the shock and hurt of rash words and actions—would have kept us from ever finding our way back to each other. Another path, another person, had appeared on the horizon in the interim and could have been pursued further. If I had, we wouldn’t be entering this next, exciting chapter in our relationship—in my life—that we are now: A new leg of the journey that brings us to a whole new level of abundant lifestyle, focus and commitment to each other. Thus, there are so many reasons why I’m not sorry to celebrate the road of romance not taken.

I watched that other path, that other person, recently enter a riveting, new chapter in a relationship he eventually found after I called things off and chose to give WP an honest, second chance. If I were a decade younger with fewer relationships behind my belt, if there were no WP, perhaps I would have leaped into dating Path Not Taken. Maybe I would have been blind to the red flags of emotional immaturity and insecurity, instead focusing on the fun and playfulness of being two kids hanging around. However, time and experience have made me wiser.

I’d already dated the playmate, confusing an affectionate buddy for a long-term, loving companion. I’d endlessly tread the waters of dating a Peter Pan afraid of making real commitments and “growing up.” I learned the hard way that nothing I would say or do would change transform him from a boy into a man. I’d been the light and guide for the lost bull in a china shop, looking for someone to show him the way back to himself. I was left emotionally (and financially) depleted and feeling lost myself after all that giving with little in return.

Why would I deliberately choose to go through all that again with Path Not Taken when the door re-opened to the emotionally open man whose own life experiences led him along the same path I was on as well? This was the man who loved with both passion and tenderness that I returned in full-force, and who was playmate, best friend, cheerleader, dream-builder and lifelong companion all rolled up into one.

When I shared the recent news of Path Not Taken with my mother the other day, she said, “I’m so glad you made the right choice.”

A Dancing Couple

src: blog.findable.in

I too am overjoyed that I followed my heart to a path that left no room for what-ifs or regrets. I feel extremely grateful that I made the best decision for me (and WP), which in turn allowed Path Not Taken to also have the opportunity to find and fully grab hold of someone with whom he was eager to build a life.

The Path Not Taken and his lady share a passion for travel, fitness, style, cars, coffee and desserts. Like him, she is extremely playful and childlike; in photos, she constantly sticks her tongue out or crosses her eyes. She seems to be the perfectly playful partner to inspire him to take the big leaps in life. I find myself both extremely happy and excited for him and the adventures ahead as they move across the country to live in an area I know he’ll really love. Whatever lies on the path ahead for him and his lady, he too must be celebrating the road of romance he found instead.

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How to Deal With Your Partner’s Ex Who is Still Hanging On

HowToDealWithYourPartnersExWhoIsStillHangingOnFrom the beginning, my boyfriend and I have been very open and honest with one other about our past relationships. He knows about many of the issues that led to the breakups with my biggest exes, and I know his perspective on what some of the biggest factors were that ended his last four-year relationship. He knew that I casually kept in touch with a couple of my exes, considering a couple actual friends, and I found out that occasionally he and his ex had text exchanges. It became apparent that she hadn’t moved on from him, though it’s now been almost two years since they officially broke up. Yet it never really concerned me because she’s never made a presence in my actual life…but that’s about to change. So now I’m left wondering how to deal with your partner’s ex who is still hanging on.

Read more here: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/06/how-to-deal-with-your-partners-ex-who-is-still-hanging-on/

On Singles Warehouse

When You Reunite After a Breakup, How Do You Celebrate an Anniversary?

WhenYouReuniteAfterABreakupHowDoYouCelebrateAnAnniversaryThe beginning of May is momentous in the story of the Warrior Poet and I. Last year, on April 28, we exchanged our first emails, full of promise and heady excitement. We had our first date on Sunday, May 6, just four days after my first round of chemo—risky move on my part, right? We sat for more than six hours deep in fascinating conversation about anything and everything, hating to part, and that trend continues to this day. That date and the vast majority of the last year are definitely worthy of great celebration.

Yet the timing has certainly brought up an important question: How do you celebrate an anniversary after a breakup?

Check out Singles Warehouse for my latest post questioning:

Does Time Apart Negate An Anniversary?

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/05/when-you-reunite-after-a-breakup-how-do-you-celebrate-an-anniversary/

With a Conflicted Heart, Can You Date Multiple People at Once

two_men_one_womanSome of you remember my theory about old flames being one of many things that comes into your life in threes. Most of you probably also know firsthand that you appear most attractive to others when basking in the glow and confidence of blossoming love or a budding romance. At some point or another, old loves wanting to reunite are bound to cross your path just when you are perky with excitement about the potential of a new romantic interest. Is it a simple and easy decision to keep moving forward with someone new? Or with a conflicted heart, can you date multiple people at once?

Read more in my post for Singles Warehouse: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/can-you-date-multiple-people-at-once-by-soloat30/

Given a Second Chance at Love, When is it Worth the Risk?

second-chanceI know I’m not really fooling anyone. At my core, behind certain walls erected to better protect me, underneath the heartbreaks and bruises, I am an incurable romantic. I believe in the trans-formative power of love; both to the receiver and the giver. And yes, I suppose there is a part of me that still believes that true love is worth fighting and waiting for, that it reigns supreme in the end. Yet I recently was put in the position to question myself: Given a second chance at love, when is it worth the risk?

Read more about how I fouled up the first time, what I think about do-overs in life, and whether I think second chances are really worth the risk over at Singles Warehouse: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/given-a-second-chance-at-love-when-is-it-worth-the-riski/

What if Your Ex Had Been Your Best Friend—Can You Still Be Friendly

BeingFriendsWithEx-300x219Once the anger and frustration after the break-up dimmed, I was starting to actually feel good again. I was getting my groove back, dating again. One guy I had been on several dates with was starting to spark with potential. I was feeling happy and regaining confidence. So when the ex began showing signs of mildly reaching out in friendship again, I was up for it. In this one case, I thought I knew the answer to that age-old question: What if your ex was your best friend, can you still be friendly?

Find out what I have to say about the topic on Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/what-if-your-ex-was-your-best-friend-can-you-still-be-friendly-by-soloat30/

Post-Breakup: My Personal Formula For Moving Forward

breakupTo say I was completely unprepared for my recent breakup is an understatement. After 10 months together, just a couple months before we were planning to move into a new place, I was blindsided by something I felt, and still think, is a preposterous reason to end a relationship with someone who is your soulmate, someone you claim to love with all your being.

Impervious to my pleas to talk about resolving the issues, ignoring my apologies about something for which I wasn’t entirely sure what I was to blame, my sobs and shock turned to frustration and yes, a bit of anger. One of his own very good friends said he was foolish for letting something so trivial end something so powerful that he seemed to have been searching for all his life. If our relationship—something he had always described as so strong, special and sacred—wasn’t worth fighting for, then clearly it didn’t carry as much weight, or have as strong legs, as I thought it did.

After I spent time mourning, I decided that fighting the inevitable was pointless. I still knew who I was. I still knew what was important to me and what I wanted, both in a mate and from a relationship. If anything, the breakup emphasized how important certain things about communication and relating to your partner were to me that had been a little off-center with us.

So, to the surprise of family and friends who thought I was moving too quickly, I decided to re-activate my OkCupid account. To be completely honest, I first signed on to see if there was still hope—I was another year older, life had struck another blow, and I wasn’t even sure I would see anyone on there who would interest me enough to get to know.

I was surprised to realize I still attracted not only older men but significantly younger men too, divorced men with kids and men my age who have never been married, corporate businessmen and world-traveling teachers. I also realized that there were still so many interesting men out there to learn about and potentially meet, though I wasn’t in a rush to do the latter.

With the knowledge that there still were formalities of the break up to deal with—things to return to each other, letters of closure finally received and occasional pangs of “did this really actually happen?”—I knew I had to make some promises to myself. I wasn’t going to go just out with an ex who still has hope that we’ll eventually get back together seven years and a kid (his) later. Nor have a fling with a former FWB. And I wasn’t going to jump into a relationship with the first guy who I felt a great connection with, no matter how strong.

FootprintsThat’s where the 7×3 formula came along. They are relatively arbitrary numbers, 3 and 7, but I’ve called them my lucky numbers all my life. So here’s the deal: I have to go on dates with at least seven different guys before I make a final choice to pursue a relationship with any single one. Any contenders must be dated at least three times. No hanky-panky is allowed; kissing is welcome to assess chemistry.

So this week I agreed to a date with one of the fellows who has been writing me. He’s intelligent, socially conscious, thinks ahead, seems kind and has strong and influential women in his family. He’s a father of two young children, has lived all over the U.S., and he’s experienced some pretty cool things over his lifetime. I always looked forward to his emails, and while his looks didn’t make me swoon, I decided the personality attracted me enough to meet him.

In the meantime, another guy dramatically came on the scene. We rapidly exchanged long emails about our travels, teaching and our similar mindset about life and relationships at this point in time. He very quickly asked for my number, expressing desire to meet each other sooner than later. The day before date #1 with the other guy, Mr. Wanderlust asked if I wanted to go to a coffee house for a snack at the last minute. Going with the whim of the moment, I agreed.

Despite his admitted nerves, the date was non-stop conversation. We looked at travel photos and talked about whatever came to mind while we had dessert and tea, followed by a light dinner of wraps. He also really made me laugh—not from the absurdity or ridiculousness of what he said, but because he was sincerely funny. It was exciting to be around his energy and his enthusiasm for life—it didn’t hurt that he was very open about his interest in me, enough to ask for another date before this one ended.

Next day was the date with Mr. Left Wing (he’s the son of a radical feminist and is a proponent of radical social change). The night started off oddly as he attempted to psychoanalyze me, and I took his extreme mellow demeanor as a blasé attitude toward life in general. But soon our masks were off, and we were engaged in deep conversation about life-changing experiences. He revealed quite a bit more than I did, whereas with Mr. Wanderlust, I felt there was a much more even exchange. Yet I enjoyed our time together and was surprised by a goodnight kiss.

I’ve decided the new formula is perfect in instances where you meet several interesting people who you want more time to get to know, while also having several comparison points to keep things in perspective. I have a feeling eventually I might not want to go through all those first dates, but I think it will be healthy for me. And if I decide I’m just overwhelmed all-around and need more time to try to make some kind of sense of my last relationship, I always have the choice to just stop everything and go back into my dark bedroom and mull over things—or better yet forget about men entirely for a while, and just enjoy my friends, my family and my career. I’ll keep you updated.

How Do You Move Forward When Your Soulmate Walks Away?

Walking Away From Everything by vampire_zombie

Walking Away From Everything by vampire_zombie

I’ve always felt that through every significant life experience, even—especially—through my mistakes and failures, there are countless lessons to be learned and shared. Love, dating and relationship experiences are no different. For what is life about if not for building awe-inspiring connections, for finding endless opportunities to learn more about yourself and develop an appreciation and love for the people who cross your path in life—yourself included?

Yet I’m finding it hard to share my most important love experience and lesson with you all, and that is: How Do You Move Forward When Your Soulmate Walks Away?

Read more about how I feel about soulmates and what it feels like to have to let the one you thought was the ultimate soulmate go here on Singles Warehouse.

A Broken Heart Just in Time For A Day of Lovers

Src: love.catchsmile.com

Src: love.catchsmile.com

No matter what obstacles we may have had between us, we always had our strength in communication. We could clear up misunderstandings by tracing where miscommunication had deteriorated the true message, eventually getting to the root of clear intent. A stop in the flow was only a temporary pause, until we could once again get the opportunity to openly express our feelings back and forth directly.

This silence is killing me. You claim it is to digest things, but I don’t know what there is to digest. You behaved in a way I felt was thoughtless. I voiced my discontent. You saw why I was upset and apologized. We also eventually voiced how we stood at different stages regarding the next chapter in our relationship. I had moved onto the next topic of discussion but you were still sending jabs at me as payback from the other topic. I didn’t recognize you then.

There were flickers of recognition when you backtracked and apologized. Yet when I attempted to further make peace, the stranger returned, metaphorically spitting back in my face, still unable to let go. Then I met stony silence.

You know I don’t do well with being shut out. That’s what started this all in the first place. I get that you are independent. I get that sometimes you need your space. Yet you also have to understand that when I am waiting for you, the respectful thing to do is let me now what’s going on and where you are. The loving thing to do is not to ignore me when you return. If you really want to be part of a couple, you don’t digest what’s going on by ignoring me for several days and expect that’s working through a problem.

You say you’re not angry, so this isn’t a cooling down period. What more do you have to digest? That I can get justifiably upset, and you don’t like that? You don’t think that’s what couples sometimes do? For 10 months of a relationship, having this occur once like this is really not so life ending. Yet you think that that’s reason to just throw your hands up and shut the door in my face?

After behaving like you’ve been so passionately in love with me up until just days ago, I don’t know how you so can quickly shut off the light. It makes me feel like none of this was real. It was all just fantasy. You wanted to want to be in a relationship. You wanted be in love. You wanted to be loved. Yet when it came down it, if it got hard, you were ready to disengage. It was doomed to fail anyway, isn’t that how your mind works?

We were “supposed” to be moving in together in a couple of months, and now I’ll be alone on my Valentine’s Day. Not that the actual day means anything, but your silence speaks volumes. I guess our relationship doesn’t mean enough to you to fight for and work through when the going gets a little hairy. As much as it hurts me, as much as I thought we stood the chance better than anyone, I guess I was wrong. I know I deserve better than that.