Mr. “Likeminded”


Written by Author, Dear Thor

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One of my favorite couples casually mentions to me they want to introduce me to, “a guy they know.” I could tell they chose their words very carefully. Instead of calling it a “set up,” they referred to it as an, “informal meeting of like minds.” Ok, I thought, I’ll play along.

It was Saturday night, I was wearing my tight jeans and my high heels (just in case Mr. Likeminded ended up being cute). So off I go to meet my favorite couple at Mr. Likeminded’s house (who had graciously offered to cook us dinner).

Let me just preface by saying that I’ve written many posts in the past and held more then one dinner party captive speaking about my feelings about heterosexual men that own cats. Needless to say, even my dry cleaner is fairly clear about my position on this matter.

Fast forward to me walking into Mr. Likeminded’s house. I had barely cracked open the front door, when I felt Sara grab me and whisper in my ear, “before I tell you this, I need you to remain calm. Ok, so obviously this is a set up, but there’s something you need to know. He has 4 cats. And, they’re large. I’m so sorry.” The look on her face resembled one of a doctor delivering bad news to a dying pacient.

In this moment, I’m fairly certain I went out of body. In life, there are moments when you know you are being tested, clearly this was mine. How one reacts under pressure really separates the men from the boys. Ok, so could I keep it together? I polishing off a glass of wine, hoping it might dull the overwhelming smell of kitty litter throughout the house- it didn’t. “So what?” I thought, “keep it together,” I repeated to myself over and over again in my head. My eyes tried to avoid focusing on the life size scratching posts that were placed in every corner of the house.

Ok, I thought, the worst is behind me, crisis averted. No sooner had we sat down to dinner when one of the enormous cats jumped on top of the dinner table and began casually meandering through the prepared food. All 3 cats quickly followed suit. Unfazed, Mr. Likeminded didn’t skip a beat, petting them as he continued telling his story. I looked over at Sara, halfway chewing on a falafel as she tried not to notice that one of the cat’s had uniquely positioned itself so that it’s ass was only inches away from her mouth. I watched her trying to summon all of her courage, trying to pretend this wasn’t happening, and just focus on her food. In an attempt to rescue his wife, Ari said, “wow, do these cats usually jump up on the table during dinner?” Trying to casually give Mr. Likeminded the benefit of the doubt (on the off chance he had neglected to notice 4 cats meandering around his dinner table). But to no avail, Mr. L. said, “yeah, it’s so cute.” In an attempt to salvage something from this evening, I can still remember Ari looking over at me and saying, “I have a sneaking suspicion I will one day be reading about this on Dear Thor.”

Technically, this date happened 2 years ago. Probably one of the funniest parts of this story is that Sara, Ari and I have NEVER discussed this night since. As Ari had predicted, I would one day come to terms with that evening. But even he couldn’t have predicted it would be 2 long years before I would be able to talk it.

Like 3 survivors that experienced a trauma together, I’m hoping that finally being able to write about that evening will help me begin the healing process.

Finding out my broken heart wasn’t actually broken at all


Written by Author, Dear Thor

IMG_3056Maybe it’s as simple as making the choice not to feel heartbroken. Every time the pain sneaks up on me or I’m reminded of you, I’m going to actively choose not to indulge it. It just occurred to me that I have a choice. I didn’t get to choose what happened during our relationship or even how it ended.

But the only thing I have a choice about – is how I’m going to feel about it. I can’t control the past or the future. But this, this is in my control.

IMG_3062From this moment on, I choose to stop replaying it over and over again in my head in an attempt to assign blame, to pinpoint the exact moment it all fell apart. In the end, it’s irrelevant.

Tracking the where, when and why makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland looking down the rabbit hole only to realize there’s no end in sight. As effective as a caged hamster on a track wheel, running for it’s life never realizing it’s running in circles and never actually getting anywhere.

So, I’m choosing to let “us” go. Moving on with my life may be the best testament to what you and I shared. You made me love again, I now know how much love I have to give. Being able to love someone else may be the best proof of what we really had.

IMG_3065Like a doctor in the ER who jump starts a heart that is about to stop. You pulled me back from the abyss. Like a doctor who gives their patient a second chance to live, you gave me a second chance to love. But now, like any patient who’s spent enough time in the recovery unit at the hospital, there comes a point when it’s time to check out and get back to real life. I guess our relationship was a little like that for me. While it was healing, it always felt temporary in my mind. Even when things were great between us, every time I’d watch you walk out that door it would occur to me that there was always a very distinct possibility that this could be the last time I’d ever see you again. Living in purgatory was no way to live. It should show you how much I loved you that I was even willing to endure that. But now, it’s time to get back to real life.

IMG_3074After conducting a detailed autopsy of our failed relationship I’ve come to the conclusion that we weren’t a failure at all, quite the contrary, actually. And I am certain with all the fibers in my being that I will love again.

 

In fact, I’m pretty sure I will always feel grateful to the man who jump started my heart because without him how else would I have been able to get back on track?

 

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The Sara and Ari way


IMG_3071Written by Author, Dear Thor

When faced with making a decision you can either do it the right way, the wrong way or what I like to refer to as the third option the Sara and Ari way. Unconventional, raw, never stands on pretense, always filled with pure love, it’s like off-roading for the soul. From afar it may seem disjointed, but get a little closer you’ll see, not only do they pull it off, they knock it straight out of the park.

On any given day, when you ask Sara about Ari her eyes will squint a little, her face will begin to light up and she’ll grin as big as a Cheshire Cat.

All you have to do is look at the place they used to live, located in the seediest part of Venice Beach. Commonly referred to as Muskrat Lane (named that because instead of a street sign the only identifiable trait was a mural of a muskrat painted on a random street corner). Down by the beach amongst the homeless and transient set, you’d walk through this dangerous and chaotic atmosphere outside, but once inside you’d enter the loving cocoon of Sara and Ari. I remember hesitating when Sara moved in, “are you sure. I asked?” Their love not only withstood the elements but flourished under the circumstances. Muskrat Lane became a testament to their love. Regardless of the challenging conditions outside, their bond could endure the elements and stand the test of time.

IMG_3075Coincidentally, I was on the phone with Sara one random night having one of our marathon conversations pondering the meaning of life. It was in this conversation that we randomly decided that the NEXT day was going to be the BEST day of our lives. So the next day, when she called me from New York, to tell me that Ari had  surprised her in NY and proposed. I think the first words out of my mouth was, “G-d, you’re good!!!”

It really wasn’t about me!


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Written by Author, Dear Thor

My Aha moment happened when I realized that it really wasn’t ever about me.

About 11 months ago, we began dating fast and furious from the start, until suddenly and without warning he broke up with me. Broken hearted I tried to move on, but he refused to leave me alone. He spent 8 months of “just kinda” pursuing me. Basically the single worst nightmare for this former bad boy magnet. Harder to kick then cigarettes, and far more dangerous. Illusive texts, calls and dinners only heightened his intrigue. He mastered the ability of giving me “just enough” before I’d realized he was actually giving me nothing at all. It became so predictable I could set my clock to it. Sometimes my life felt like a bad re-run from an old 80’s sitcom playing on loop every night on TBS. “I can’t commit,” he’d say. “Great,” I’d respond, “now leave me alone and have a nice life.”

But he never would. I’d be uninterested and stand offish, he’d pursue me harder. I’d let down my guard, he’d run. But 4 weeks ago something changed. I was back from a trip when he suddenly pursued me like never before. Calling me multiple times thought out the day and taking me out almost every night. When I asked the reason for his sudden change he responded, “because I’m back now.”

Then those same dreaded words I’d secretly hoped I’d never hear again came out of his mouth, “things have been so amazing with us but I’m starting to have a fear of commitment…again.”

But then I asked a question I had never asked him before, “have you had this feeling with any of the other girls you’ve dated in the past 3 years?”

To which he answered, “yes, every single one.”

Suddenly, it all became so clear. His past record spoke for itself. Every time he felt himself getting closer to a woman, he’d flinch and tell himself, “she’s not the right girl.” Burned by his 1st marriage, he actively chose to avoid dealing with the pain. Years later, that choice would end up having a bigger impact on his life today then his marriage ever did.

lit bulbA lightbulb went off in my head it’s not me. It’s amazing how a single phrase had the power to set me free. Hearing the words, instantaneously discredited the story I’d been telling myself for the last 11 months. I’d justified his wishy-washy attitude thinking it was a reflection of me not being good enough. When in fact, it had nothing to do with me. Why hadn’t this option even crossed my mind before? This revelation stopped me dead in my tracks. After a zillion relationships, you’d think I’d have learned something. Well, clearly I hadn’t. What a rookie mistake I’d made. How could I have let a guy’s own issues chip away at my self-confidence? Ok, so if this wasn’t about me being good enough for him suddenly the question became is he good enough for me? And this question gave me a sinking feeling. I’ve always admired character, above all else, but his character always remained in question.

I’ve probably loved this man from the moment I met him but I find myself at a crossroads. If I was in my 20’s, I’d want to fix him, like I have with so many other ex boyfriends. But suddenly I’m left with the question, what about me? When does he show up for me?

While it’s lovely we share this special bond, but if his own issues prevent him from actually being able to see the real me, then what’s the point?

My friend, Shauna, said to me, “I have no doubt that if you walk away and let him go, there will be someone better for you because the Universe always gives us exactly what we need.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because why not?” she replied. I must admit she makes a pretty strong argument. Then she asked me if I could picture him as the father of my children. Ha! I can’t even picture him as my steady boyfriend, let alone the father of my children!

It occurs to me that the man he really is and the man who I thought he could be are actually two entirely different people. So, if the man I’m in love with doesn’t actually exist, then staying with him or breaking up with him, in reality, appear to be the same thing. In both scenarios, I’m alone. Either way, I’m not with the person I’m in love with. By walking away I’m not really loosing anything, at all. How can you lose something you never had to begin with? So it appears my options are the following: more of the same or let him go and find someone better. Worst case scenario, if I don’t find anyone better, I can just find another man (like him) and simply choose to fall in love with his potential instead of his reality.

The greatest benefit of having a wildly vivid imagination is that it’s entirely possible that every man I meet can be the “one.”Thus, making the likelihood of finding happiness with someone else, an absolute guarantee.

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My Kamikaze Mission (otherwise known as my last relationship)


Written by Author, Dear Thor

Take lawyer dude, Fred, who asked me the inevitable 3rd date question, “when was your last relationship?” I retell the sordid story of betrayal like a stoic war vet, who just feels lucky to have made it through in one piece. Midway through the story he blurted out, “wow. And you still went back to him even after__, sounds like you were on a real Kamikaze mission.” Suddenly, I realized how absurd this story must sound about the girl that runs towards (not away from) danger? Like a Kamikaze pilot, we both knew it was a suicide mission, but proceed anyway.

Growing up in California, I was taught from a young age what to do in the event of an earthquake. In school we practiced earthquake safety drills every couple of months. Have I done one too many earthquake drills that I’ve somehow adopted the “stop, drop, and take cover” protocol to past relationships as well?

 

The forgotten art form of full disclosure



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The age old question in online dating, “just how accurate should I be in my online dating profile?” Is there a grey zone?

If women tend to lie about their weight and men about their height, where do you draw the line about what is acceptable to lie about?

Recently, I was matched up with a friend’s ex on Jdate (in real life he’s a 46-years-old, divorced father with 3 kids). However, his online dating profile states he’s a 40-years-old with no kids. Boy, is his next date in for a shock….

When you first begin dating someone, isn’t full disclosure the best policy? Or is it? It hasn’t been for the last couple of guys that I’ve dated, who have all had highly complicated relationships with the truth. I dated Ari for a couple of months before finding out he was significantly older then his profile had stated.

When Jeremy said he was a “recovering” alcoholic what he meant to say was that he was “currently” an alcoholic.

Ty’s version of “newly promoted” was a polite way of saying “currently unemployed.”

Tom told me his kids live with him every “other” weekend. Every “other” weekend turned out to be code for they live with me “full time.”

You say Potato, I say Potato.

Keith told me he volunteered for “charity.” Keith’s version of “charity” turned out to be what other people refer to as “selling pot.”

Alan told me he had an “amicable” divorce. A more accurate description would have been, “I’m still bitter and I’ll spend our entire relationship telling you all about it.”

My best friend recently confessed to me that when she first met me – she didn’t like me. Her first impression was that I was fake because “no one could possibly have as much energy as I did.”

17 years of friendship later, she said, “it turns out I am exactly the person whom I first purported to be (apparently an extrovert with that much energy).” I told her that was one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

But the whole concept made me wonder about who else I could say that about?

I prayed to the universe for a different type of man. The type that would disclose everything from the onset.

But, you know what they say…be careful what you wish for…

Hello my name is the Author and I’m a commitment phobe….


Written By Author, Dear Thor
No, I’m not referring to the men I date.
I’m referring to an even more obscure and misunderstood sub-set of the dating population. I’m talking about a group (made up entirely of women). They are terrified of commitment, or rather, the fear of committing themselves to the wrong guy. I have a confession. I’m not only in this Club. I’m the President. I’ve been screaming foul from the sidelines of relationships for simply far too long now. I’m a serial monogamist, going from relationship to relationship. From the outside, it might appear that I’m ready for love, but I’m just dating different versions of the wrong men. Take my word for it, if you’re looking to date the wrong men, bad boys are only too quick to help. (High reward, low commitment). But dating a bad boy is a fast track to nowhere, which coincidentally, is also the perfect beard to mask this gal’s fear of commitment. When you hook up with a bad boy, rest assured, everyone’s too busy noticing the mysterious rebel thing to pay much attention to you. Oddly, you appear (by and large) pretty together in comparison to the company you keep.

My default dating setting has always been set to the wrong men. And bad boys come pre-packaged with a fast approaching expiration date. Like driving your car with the emergency brake permanently on. Putting myself out there always felt like I was a trapeze artist performing without a safety net. Dating bad boys ensured that I’d never again have to put myself out there. I could outsmart the game of love. But by dating bad boys I was only disqualifying myself from the game. Most of my friends would describe my type as “tall, dark, mysterious and very troubled.” If he looks like the type of guy who would have a problem getting through the TSA at the airport, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

I studied abroad in Florence during college. His name was Pete, he was mysterious, had a bad attitude and thought he was too cool for school. Naturally I was drawn to him. On the first day of the program, we started dating. Having heard about “my new major boyfriend” my bestie Jamie came to Italy to visit me. Jamie stood in front of the Duomo (the hang out spot for all the American students studying abroad). Looking for his friends, Jamie scanned the crowds of hundreds of students, before becoming splinter focused on one boy standing across the street. To our mutual friend, Jamie announced, “That’s Pete isn’t it? I’ve never seen a picture of him but I can just tell by the way he’s walking that this guy is the biggest d-bag. And knowing our girl as well as I do, I could spot her type from a mile away.” 

“Bingo,“our mutual friend responded.

That’s the thing about patterns, eventually you grow up and grow out of them. Dating bad boys is like re-reading the same book and hoping each time for a new ending. So, today, I’m reading a new book. And, I’ll let you know how this one ends.