All posts filed under: dating

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’ve 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 …

Attachment Theory

Originally posted on Back in Stilettos Again:
More self-discovery talk ahead, this time with a psychology angle….. A few weeks ago, fellow blogger Bone & Silver highly recommended a book called Attached about adult attachment science. I finally purchased the book and received it in the mail on Wednesday. For various reasons, Piano Guy and I had to?reschedule Wednesday?night’s date. Suddenly without plans, I took it as an opportunity to read a large chunk of the book I’d just received in the mail. I’ve read some of it most days since then and am almost finished with it. Holy shit. Talk about enlightening! This was a revelation: You are only needy when your needs aren’t being fulfilled Why didn’t I realize this on my own?! It makes complete sense. Whenever I’ve felt needy, I’ve berated myself for my needs and have tried to minimize them. You all may remember my post last December about Hayden’s perceived slight shift in behavior where I spiraled into hysteria as a result. I even admitted that I was “most…

Episode 7: Press ‘Pause’

Before we go any further, are you up to date? Did you read Episode 6? Or do you need to start at Episode 1? Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin. The ‘Like at First Sight’ date meeting: tick. The two hour Japanese lunch across the road that neither of us wanted to end: tick. The wandering around groovy film art exhibition, wondering if/when/who/how the first kiss: tick. The vintage clothes shopping (but each of us too shy to actually try stuff on): tick. The second-hand grimy bookshop browsing down a hardly-used art deco mall, wondering if/when/who/how the first kiss: tick. Press ‘Pause’. Now one of my readers asked me why I didn’t write ‘Love at First Sight’ in the last post Episode 6 HERE? Because it’s a cliché? Because I’m a sensible grown up 50 year old woman? Because it seems too soon? Because it can’t possibly be true? I’d say I’m a fairly loving, affectionate person; my son ‘almost17’ and I use the farewell phrase “Love you” most days for example, and at night before …

Episode 6: The first sighting

As some of you know, our first actual date was in Melbourne, just before Xmas, after 11 weeks of writing and drawing. That’s a lot of energy we’d both invested. We’d chatted, smiled, laughed, expressed, disagreed, argued, apologized, made up, dreamed, revealed, asked and answered, even gotten teary, all by email, text, and a couple of postal things. No phone calls. No Skype. We’d each had multiple profile pics up though, and had actually texted a few pics back and forth (‘me with cat/me with dog’) so both knew the other was basically physically attractive (yeah, neither of us is completely crazy that foolish that brave enough to blind date!) The day of our meeting dawned fine, not too hot (I admit I’d sacrificed a couple of virgin goats to the weather goddesses to ensure it wasn’t a 40 degree day). I had a favourite and comfortable outfit to wear (very important). We’d been in the same city for a couple of days before our 12 noon appointment under the main Flinders St train station …

Cracking shells

Online dating is fun. Staying single is also awesome. Being in relationship (for me) has usually ended up being too hard. One of my fellow online daters and Followers over at BackInStilettosAgain commented on my last post Episode 5 HERE that she didn’t know if she’d ever actually experienced true intimacy, or even knew what it was. That got me thinking… She was married for 12 years, with 2 children; I have one beautiful son ‘Almost17’, and have lived with 6 different partners since I was 19. Yet she and I both feel like we still haven’t experienced true intimacy- how can this be?? Intimacy is defined by various webpages as: “… The experience of emotional closeness. It occurs when two people are able to be open with one another, and reveal their true feelings, thoughts, fears and desires. This can only occur when both people are able to genuinely trust one another, and feel able to take the risk of being vulnerable.” [MensLine Australia] And: “… About being emotionally close to your partner, about being able …

Episode 5: Like an oldtime military overcoat

Our first date lasted two days. The 2nd one, four. The 3rd was five nights long, and so was the 4th, from which I’ve just returned. Mmmmmmmm. They kinda have to go for a long time, when we live so far apart… Nothing about this courtship and romance has been ‘as usual’. We began emailing Oct 4th, and didn’t actually meet in the flesh for 78 days. 11 weeks. That’s a looooonnnnnnggggggg time, especially in this age of instant gratification, with extreme technological resources. So how many times did we Skype/Facetime/Whats App video before our first date? None. Zero. Nil. Why? Because one of us really didn’t want to, despite occasional hints or suggestions from the other interested party, or the incredulity of workmates and friends. Let me give you a clue: it wasn’t me. I’m usually pretty forward in my romances; a combination of genuine Feminist confidence (I want to be FREE to do whatever I want, whenever I want), plus bravado to cover up my ubiquitous Crabby cautiousness or nerves. But this Melbourne …