All posts filed under: dating

Long distance relationships: stretching the thread

Have you ever gone out with someone from across the state? Or what about in a different country altogether? My love and I are spending 6 weeks apart. That’s 42 sleeps. Which includes one of us travelling 17,000 kms away, to France and the UK. It doesn’t seem like much really, in the overall timetable of a Life… Except it also feels like FOREVER. Perhaps you live with someone already? Then imagine not seeing, smelling, touching, hearing nor tasting them for 6 weeks. Not good huh? Similar to missing your children too I guess; I always miss my tall, smelly, hairy, smartypants son like crazy, even though I know I have to ‘be cool’, letting him spread his wings and fly. But I don’t want to be like that with a special new lover. I want to dive in then wallow, spending days in heavy-lidded bliss. Spending hours talking, revealing, learning, wondering, sharing. To proclaim difference, and delight in the similar. To explore cafes, cuisines, cuddles and values. To get shamelessly high on endorphins, oxytocin, …

What was my 51st birthday present, you’re wondering?

I waited 3 weeks, carrying it with me from Australia to France, under instructions not to open it. So at last the moment came, at 1am on birthday morning in my cute orange tent under the walnut trees (which was absolutely my birthday good and proper in Oz)! It was a 2nd hand book. A kid’s book. A classic, nostalgia-filled, heart-warming kid’s book, which sat on every single bookcase in Australia (and America? Did you have one?). Except… H ripped out all the pages. So I got the cover: And then I got the inside cover, where clumsy young fingers would proudly print their names: Then as you can see from the chickens, it all went a bit rogue and unpredictable! And that’s because dearest H is the most amazing collage/graphic artist, and spent hours making me a unique record and interpretation of our dating journey, from the first cheeky email in October, to the meeting under the Flinders St clocks in Melbourne just before Xmas, and so on and so on and so on. …

‘We can’t let you keep the hamster. It’s too dangerous.’

And with that, Lulu my best friend was taken away forever. Prised from my soft 6-year old hands, holding tightly to her special travel cage. I got one last glimpse of her ginger coat and black eyes before the security door slammed shut, and the full force of my tears and rage flooded me. Mum protested. ‘This is ridiculous! A hamster can’t have Rabies; she’s never even left the house, except for today.’ Met by an official silence, I wailed harder and louder, realizing it was the only power I had. Fellow ferry passengers tutted or shook their heads, while I screamed at the men in uniforms that I hated them AND their stupid country. So that was the beginning of my long-held, ongoing animosity towards England, small men in authority, and rules that can’t be bent or broken. I also think it was the birth of my Separation Anxiety. I said the first of many goodbyes to my beloved Dad that day, in ferry terminals, railway stations, and especially airports, as Mum and he …

Blissed lissed. Or blist list.

Gratitude means feeling like the luckiest woman in the world, and humbly saying thank you for: Airport greetings Slow-cooked dinner as soon as we walk in the door Warm, clean, safe home to sleep in Noisy, cheery tropical bird dawn chorus Tangerine sorbet skies behind palm trees out of the bedroom window Talking; listening; looking; holding. Resting. Remembering why we’re doing this. Beach walks Farmer’s Market fresh organic food, and bumping into friends A Swing Dance lesson on the sand Painting a teenager’s bedroom walls white as a surprise for when he comes back from his Dad’s Tasty snacks and peppermint tea Talking; listening; looking; holding. Resting. Remembering why. Quiet times: you do your thing, I’ll do mine Cat cuddles. Cat meows. Cat cuteness. And my favourite? Siestas in the soft winter sun    

Comparison between 1st long distance romance visit prep, & 3rd [Don’t read this one, ‘H’ my love]

1st: Car cleaned inside and out 3rd: It’s fine. 1st: Lawns mowed, & edges snipped by professionals 3rd: It’s fine. I’ll do it if I have time 1st: All floors vacuumed and mopped (I only mop once every 3 months to be honest) 3rd: Hope I have time to vacuum 1st: Bathroom shower scrubbed with serious anti-mould stuff 3rd: It’s fine 1st: $170 worth of specialty groceries/organic juices/mineral water bottled at glacier source by albino virgins in single-use-only cotton gloves 3rd: So what’s wrong with tap water anyway? 1st: Gourmet meals planned & prepared, including several desserts 3rd: Shit, I hope I’ve got time to chuck a pot of soup on… maybe ‘H’ can cook… 1st: Haircut/facial/toenails painted 3rd: Aren’t I just loved for my quirky mind & honest, funny blog posts? I won’t go on; I know you get the idea. But it’s only 3 more sleeps now!

Update on Episode 9: the sign still applies (phew)

[EPISODE 9 HERE. Worth reading first]. Arguments suck! We all know that. Yet still they explode from seemingly nowhere. One minute everything is cute, cosy, safe and understanding; the next, it feels like the floor has dropped out of your world, and either one or both of you is willing to fight, flight or freeze your way to a land of Disconnection and possibly Sulks. It happens so fast, and furiously. Even for snails. Snails? What the hell do I mean? Well, my Love H is a Snail: slow, steady, sensitive to loud sounds and being startled, quick to retract into the shell, cautious to emerge. I’m more like a Crab: fast, sideways, big claw, unpredictable, fond of dark caves, difficult to prise out. Hard shell, sweet-bellied soft. But no matter your style, no matter your inner totem creature, you gotta T-A-L-K. Whether it’s immediately, or after 24 hours, someone’s gotta make the first move… *sound of crickets for a day and a night* Then H texted. But I’d already written a heartfelt email, I …

Episode 9 Online dating: How I had a tantrum, but found a kitten

This starts with scones for morning tea. An innocent trigger, exploding into a phone fight across 1600kms, as two feisty, stubborn women clash values. “You want space to process? Have the entire state of Victoria then! I am NOT going to text first” rants my inner Grumpy Avoidant dwarf in silence. Arms folded. Hackles up. Snarling. Feel sick though, down in the pit of my stomach. I know this isn’t right or healthy. Ring my dear friend R; launch myself into the story of the fight, feeling myself getting crosser, yet sadder. ‘Why don’t you have a tantrum about this, and see what lies beneath?’ she says. ‘You know, dance round the living room, thrash a pillow, see what you find?’ OK, I can do that. And I know the perfect song: Fatboy Slim ‘What the Fuck’  So I’m 50, and flailing arms, legs, head, like a toddler. I’m shaking out my brain, belly, butt, and bile. I fall to my knees, and pummel the couch. I’m spoilt, selfish, silly, and acting out all of …

Episode 8: Best thirty bucks I ever spent

Last night I went out for dinner with 9 creative and vibrant women aged 40-50. There was much talk of art, young children, partners, teenagers, social media, Feminism, sex, hair colour, food, fitness etc; I hope you can picture it. I arrived late, and ended up sitting at one head of the table, between two women I didn’t know, P & S. Slowly our conversations delved deeper, like cats burrowing under the quilt in winter. Do you reveal yourself easily, like P, red-stained teeth, bolstered by her 3rd glass of wine? Or with deliberate care like a tightrope walker, which S actually used to be in her 20s? I’m probably a mix of the two (always without the wine though), and as we chatted about kids and dads, relationships and dating, I said something about ‘…my current tomboy girlfriend in Melbourne’. I noticed the split second of surprise and/or understanding flash across their faces, then we continued talking. P admitted she was currently dating 2 men at once. ‘Go girl!’ I said. S agreed; no …

The 3 Dwarves of Attachment: Grumpy, Stressy, & Happy (AKA Avoidant, Anxious, & Secure)

Ever wondered why some dates lead you to sex, romance, or even love, while others leave you cold? Have you dumped someone as soon as it got too intimate or demanding? Or endlessly analysed online messages, and started ‘deep & meaningful’ conversations, seeking reassurance? Alternatively, perhaps you’ve been happily committed to your ‘best friend’ for 20+ years, and have no idea what I’m talking about? Attachment Theory suggests that our experience of being parented deeply informs our neural pathways, which are committed to repeating familiar patterns- a genetic programming designed to keep us ‘safe’, close to the tribe, and able to navigate back to the cave easily. As I’ve said HERE before, after reading ‘Attached’, I know I’ve been happily Avoidant, and now at the ripe old age of 50, am trying to change that. This dog WILL learn new tricks! As I reflect on friends, past lovers and partners, of any gender, I use my body wisdom to remind me what dynamic we were in together: Holding me at arm’s length (as I did …

“Conflict is essential for emotional growth & development…”

I’m in a new relationship, and loving it. The ‘honeymoon phase’ of those first 3-6 months is in full swing, and utterly delicious. We all get addicted to that sweet rush of heady bliss, when neither of you can do any wrong, and the future rolls out rosy and calm before you… Until the first fight. Until that first shock of cold water on your love fire, sending the perfect daydream up in clouds of stinky steam. Ugh. We all hate it. We all dread it. We are all loathe to see the ‘other side’ of our Beloved: the one where they criticize or reject us; perhaps sulk or avoid; complain loudly or even yell about our suddenly-glaring faults. Ugh. I’m currently doing a 6-week course in Attachment patterns, common triggered behaviours, and security strategies for healthy relationship outcomes. One of the first things our teacher Anne said was this: ‘Conflict is essential for emotional growth and development; it’s how we manage it that matters.’ I felt like I let out my held breath. I …