Archive for the ‘chronically single’ Category

Eleven Years Ago Yesterday, I Married my Best Friend.

So, what did we do for our anniversary? Sat across from each other in the living room with our dueling laptops to see who got their post written first! Then we celebrated with dinner and a movie.

I love writing, but it can take me the whole day to put one of these things together! Arrgghh! I need to speed up, or just retire and be a full-time writer. How does Kim do it?

But there was Steve across the room, tap-tap-tapping away. I had to get tapping too. Nothing like a little marital competition to get the juices flowing.

Steve is actually a really good writer. I did not know this about him before we were married. I’m an English teacher for goodness sake! He, on the other hand, actually writes. Sigh. He’s thoughtful about it, like he is about everything he does. He types with two fingers. I type with twelve.

I discovered his gift for words in the MIDDLE of our wedding. We each had written a portion of our vows, then read them to each other in the ceremony. I had been rushed with all the wedding preparations and had put off writing the vows (Procrastination is the name of one of my personal gremlins). Steve had given himself some time and space to hear his own heart in what he wanted to say. So when he read his vows to me during the ceremony, his words were so deep, intimate, personal, and straight out of his heart with tears in his eyes, I began to tremble. First because I was so moved by the huge pulsating heart that came with this man I was marrying. And second because I was next!

My vows felt flat and superficial compared to his. Not that we should be comparing or anything (but Comparison is the name of another personal gremlin). What I learned from my husband that day was, take the time to go deep, and marry a man with a giant heart!

So, here’s where I put in my shameless plug for my Break Through Into Love coaching group. This is an opportunity for single women over 30 to experience the benefits of working with a professional coach, while creating a small community who can support each other along the way.

In preparation, I’ve been reading the book Conscious Dating by David Steele. As I read, I’m beginning to get a clearer picture about why I made Steve wait five long years – and why it took me until I was 40 (FORTY) to get married.

We all get stuck at times in patterns that keep us from living the life we were created for. Sometimes, all it takes is a small shift in our perspective and new choices appear that we didn’t know we had.

Ah, if only…. We might be celebrating our fifteenth anniversary today!

I’m realizing that for most of my 20s and 30s I was unconsciously dating. Drifting into and out of whatever relationship presented itself. I longed oh so much to fall in love and to have someone sweep me off my feet. But I see now that I was for most of those two decades incapable of such a feat. Here’s why.

A. I had a false image of myself. I had constructed a fantasy out of who I thought the people I looked up to wanted me to be.
B. Because of A., I had no idea how to love another; I was too busy looking for someone who would help me fulfill my fantasy.
C. Because of B., I got into relationships with men I didn’t love. And of course, it never worked.
D. Because of C., I broke a lot of hearts: Genuine, honest men, who cared about me and were seriously looking for a life partner. Eventually, as they would get more serious, I would get more panicky until I would break it off.

Finally, after hitting the wall in a disastrous relationship, I stopped – swore off men, and began meeting informally with a coach, and my entire perspective on life began to shift. When I began to let go of the false image of myself, and lift my eyes outward, I began to see Steve, maybe for the first time. When I stopped focusing on who he isn’t, I began to see and appreciate who he is. The more I let go of my old perspective, the more deeply in love with him I fell. Within a year, we were engaged.

That’s why I’m such a believer in coaching and why I want to offer the opportunity to single women over 30 to gain clarity about this most important choice.

If you’re stuck in an unproductive pattern in your relationships, check in with your own heart. What view of yourself are you trying to hold on to? What might be possible if you were to release it? I’d love to hear your comments.

If you know a single woman over 30 who lives in Sonoma County and who is looking forward to life-long love, please let her know about the Break Through Into Love group coaching program beginning October 19. And let her know about my free Evening of Hope, happening this Wednesday, October 5, where she’ll get to experience new possibilities in her life and perspective.

Ha! My post got done first. 🙂

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Well, dear friends. It’s been more than a month since my last post. I so want to post more often – but my wee little break on Fridays! Glorious Fridays! – has been filled this summer with the project I mentioned in my July 10 post on The Great Birthday Massacre.

I’ve been cooking up a new coaching program for single women over 30 who would like to be married.

To see it, check out my new Break Through Into Love page.

I’m a big fan of strong, healthy relationships and marriages. I think they’re foundational to EVERYTHING else! Call me old fashioned – but I think that many of our nation’s current woes are directly or indirectly connected to a breakdown in relationships – starting with family.

I’m also a big fan of strong, healthy singleness. Strong, healthy singles are not half people waiting for their “better half”. They are whole and complete in themselves – capable of changing the world in ways married folks only dream about. Their singleness can be their greatest asset and gift. There are more opportunities than ever before for single people to do great things and have powerful fulfilling lives.

But if it’s time to transition from successful single to successful married, especially in today’s confusing and fragmented culture, the challenge can be overwhelming. Preparing yourself, finding your life partner, and setting your relationship up for success is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage, honesty, humility, and a really good sense of humor, not to mention patience and perseverance. If you’re over 30, you’ve probably already experienced some set backs in this arena which can be challenging to overcome. I know, I didn’t get married until I was 40.

That’s why I’ve been reading up, interviewing singles, doing some coaching, and tapping into my own experience and training to develop this program.

I’m very excited to launch my pilot Break Through Into Love coaching group on October 19.

This first group will be local – right here in Sonoma County – in my own living room.

After that – well – we’ll just see where it goes. I’d like to make this available to women outside this area as well.

If you’re single, and over 30, and a woman, and you think you’re ready to make the transition…. and you live in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, California …. (or if you know someone who fits these criteria) then check out my offering. It could change your life.

Contact me for more information and please tell your friends.

The Real Deal

A friend of mine recently got married. There are many things special about this marriage, but one of them is that she’s 50, and this is her first marriage.

How did it happen? What shifted? Well… from my seat in the bleachers, her perspective changed. She made a choice to break her pattern…. At least one part of it. She does have a tendency to fall fast and deep, which always makes me a bit queasy. But she did let go of a long-held belief.

You see, she’s in business, and always thought she should marry a business man – and they could be in business together. Yet every time she got into a relationship like that, it ended in disaster. I always said she should marry a plumber. What I meant by that was someone who has his own source of income, his own career, and is marrying her for love – period. Not a business partnership.

So it was kind of funny to find out that, in fact, he’s a plumbing foreman! And he pursued her through all her objections about how it couldn’t work…. He loves her for who she is.

The wedding was beautiful and so uniquely her. I cried of course. I’ve seen how when she loves, she loves completely. I’ve followed her through several agonizing heartbreaks.

And I’m happy to see she has been found. By someone who seems to really get her. Who is solid in who he is and is willing to support her being fully herself. I’m wishing her well and praying for the best.

It’s been a long and arduous journey, and a new one is just beginning.

So, my single friends who are longing for the real deal…. Don’t give up. There’s hope. I wonder if you would consider for a moment that love might be just around the corner and to find it, you just have to turn the corner. Shift your perspective a bit. Adjust your thinking.

Questioning our long-held beliefs can be scary. We’ve believed them for a reason. We can back them up with evidence. They may be tied to our religion or deepest convictions or to our experiences in childhood or beyond. Yet, we spin out of those things a conclusion that we’ve made up in our minds that may or may not be true and may not serve us. Questioning those conclusions is one of the healthiest and riskiest things we can do. But even more risky is to NOT question them. What do you stand to gain if you challenge your own beliefs? What do you stand to lose if you don’t?

If you’re brave, try this little exercise from Byron Katie of The Work.
Take a few minutes and center yourself. Then write down in one sentence what do you tell yourself is the reason you are still not married. It may not be the answer you give your mother or your well-meaning acquaintances. I mean the reason you tell yourself when no one else is around.

Now go to this link and follow the instructions.

The Work

Give yourself some time with this. You may want to give yourself a day or a week to consider the honest answer to these questions. Journal about your answers and talk to a friend.

I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you would like some support in going through this exercise, send me an email and we can set up a phone call.
And please feel free to share this with your friends.

Amelie…


Kim & I spent the morning yesterday at the Guglhupf Bakery and Café. We’re doing the café’s in the mornings so I can get on the internet to publish the blog. This one is our favorite. Fun little German bakery with lots of cool art, and free wi-fi… We’re back again this morning.

Yesterday, we drove to University Mall in Chapel Hill to meet up with Pam Owen, have lunch, and SHOP… I was expecting the standard mall with all the same old shops you see everywhere. They had a few of those, but most of these were local and really cool. Warmed my heart. Check out the geckos. Sometime, I’ll tell you about Steve and the Geckos. It was a bonus to see Pam again.

After we stocked up at the Wall of Chocolate at A Southern Season we headed home. Kim has a supply of her favorite movies. I had never seen Amelie, so we put it in.

If you haven’t seen Amélie, I think you should. It’s the ultimate feel good movie, and lo and behold, it’s French.

The movie got us talking about relationships. How sad it is when women think we might have found “the one”, only “the one” can’t seem to make up his mind…. Hmmm, do I want YOU or do I want something or someone else? THE ONE will not have any trouble making up his mind.

Darlin’, if he can’t decide, he’s definitely NOT the one.

One of my girlfriends has an expression for what she’s looking for: “The man who will walk across the crowded room for me.” She means the man who sees her, and no one else. Kim and I both had one when we were young. That first love, that we let get away – for really really stupid reasons.

I’m so grateful for Steve. I was the one who couldn’t make up my mind. HE on the other hand, bless his heart, loved me from the very beginning. I never worried about that. And I thank God every day for that.

He’s Just Not That Into You

Last week, Steve was at a conference in San Diego for about five days, so I got to experience living alone again.… It brought back old familiar feelings, an emotional cocktail made up of the pleasure of independence, mixed with confusion about what to do with myself, with a shaker of boredom, and a big shot of loneliness.

I ended up settling in by the fire (yes fire in May… it was pouring rain and freezing cold… but I digress), with our dog Wallace at my feet, and read an entire book. As I am exploring relationships in my coaching practice, someone had recommended the book He’s Just Not That Into You, by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, writers for the hit TV show Sex in the City. Now… I have to tell you, I’m no real fan of the show. I’ve watched it a few times, and sometimes it’s pretty funny…. Don’t tell anyone and call me old fashioned, but to my friends, I call it Sluts in the City. So, I was pretty skeptical when I picked up this book, but I thought… what the heck. Steve’s out of town, it’s raining, I’m bored, and my beloved dog is at my feet.

It’s pretty light weight compared to some of the other books I’m currently reading, like Undefended Love and Intimate Allies. But I did discover something refreshingly wonderful about this little book. It was written primarily by a man to an audience of single women basically telling them how NOT to settle for a man who’s “just not that into you”. It was like a splash of cold water on my face. Of course! We’re so quick to make excuses for men who don’t love us. What are we thinking, girlfriends??!! We are worth being loved, and it is just plain silly to waste our time on anything less. I laughed out loud during parts of the book, startling poor Wallace from his dreamy trance.

At the end of each chapter, there’s a checklist of the things you should have learned. Seems obvious, but how many of us have not really learned these yet?

  • An excuse is a polite rejection. Men are not afraid of “ruining the friendship.”
  • If you can find him, then he can find you. If he wants to find you, he will.
  • “Hey, let’s meet at so-and-so’s party/any bar/friend’s house” is not a date. Even if you live in New York.
  • Men don’t forget how much they like you. So put down the phone.
  • You are good enough to be asked out.
  • If he’s not calling you, it’s because you are not on his mind.
  • Don’t be with someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do.
  • There is no excuse for cheating. Let me say it again. There is no excuse for cheating. Now you say it. There is no excuse for cheating.
  • It doesn’t count unless he says it when he’s sober.
  • You deserve to be with someone who is nice to you all the time. (You have to be nice to them, too.)
  • Freaks should remain at the circus, not in your apartment.

I think the hardest part about this is the fact that we women so long to be loved, that we settle for what we think might possibly eventually perhaps turn out to maybe be something that looks kind of like love… i.e. I think he might like me….or at least he’s better than nothing. Another quote in the book is “Better than nothing is not good enough for you.”

What do you think?

Mr. Right?

When I was in my early twenties, I was in a relationship with a young man about my age. We were in the same church and were both active in the arts ministry. He was a musician, I was a dancer. He expressed an interest in me, I thought he was a really great guy, but a bit nerdy…  he didn’t fit my perception of the guy I was “supposed” to end up with. However, he was fabulous best-friend material. So we decided to become friends, and to prove the world wrong that a guy and a girl couldn’t be best friends without getting romantically involved.

He really did become my best friend. We became inseparable. Did everything together both alone and with our thriving group of friends. We threw parties together, cooked and sang together, laughed and cried together. What a great time we had. We would talk for hours on the phone, in the park, on the ferry boat, wherever.

But we would never touch beyond the safe little side-to-side hug… no holding hands, definitely no kissing, no “I love yous”…. Strictly platonic.

His mother wasn’t buying it. She always spoke to me with absolute truth. At the time, I didn’t really know what that was, and I was never quite sure how to take what she said.

She would challenge me to consider whether what I had with her son wasn’t actually the real deal after all… and whatever I had made up about who I was looking for was a silly myth.

I asked her once how does one know when they have found THE ONE. You know, that one, single, human being on the planet, who you are destined to somehow meet, fall in love with, marry, and raise a family with… fulfilling God’s perfect plan for your life. Happily ever after…..and all that.

She laughed at me.
I was hurt.
She said I needed a dose of reality.
I asked what she meant.
She said that we choose who we will love, and then we love them. The “magic” we feel in the beginning of the relationship eventually fades, and then we start loving. Love is a choice. We could pick anyone, and create a life with them, if we chose to love them. It’s a commitment.

I balked at her words. I pictured myself picking up some homeless guy off the street, choosing to “love” him, and somehow creating a happy life together. Her words seemed so sterile, cold, and un-fun. All about sacrifice and duty.

Sigh….. there was wisdom in her words, that I didn’t have ears to hear at the time. Had I listened…. Life would have been very very very very different for me.

But I had miles to go, hearts to break, hard lessons to learn, before I could hear what she was really saying to me.

What do you hear?

They ARE Out There….

Ah yes….

Continuing the theme of the banquet…

I met a young man yesterday who is handsome, employed, has faith in God, and is making changes in his career so that he can settle down, get married, and start a family. All he needs now is to meet the right woman.

Yes, my friends, they are out there.

Check out my Valentines gift to you. This could change your life.