Friday, January 28, 2011

50 First Duds

A while ago I used to write about my dating experiences--usually the 50 first duds, um, dates & my impatience about meeting "the one."  Times have certainly changed since then & I am so happy to be with Xing Fu because I know how hard it is out there as a single 40-something mom trying to find a partner, friend, lover, non-cheater, hard-worker, etc., etc.  But I also say that one's conduct (woman) & personal outlook about finding that person, has an awful lot to do with the success.  I can say this because I've been there, done that.  I'm not trying to be the old, all-knowing sage of dating, but I think I do have some thoughts worth sharing on the topic after having the various experiences that I have had--anyone out there remember the Bull?  Yeah?  Well, that's where I'll start...

We broke up & it was ugly.  This was the epitome of a liar & a cheater--reference back to the fact that he had me in Baltimore & another woman in DC.  Yup, classic bad man behavior.  OK, so for a while I wrote on this blog how hurt I was & how horrible his behavior was, and it was to be sure. But how did I deal with it?  Yeah, I vented about it, I cried, called my BFFs, & started back on the dating websites (waaaay too early) but I did NOT, under ANY circumstances, stalk, harass or talk to the Bull ever again.  It so happened that the other woman & I had several conversations & emails back & forth, & ultimately I believe she forgave him (stoopid woman, but I understand) & they ended up together.  And that hurt.  A lot.  But as I said, I understand because it is very hard for a single mom in her 40s to find a decent guy.  Reference to the article from Slate that I posted in November..about the supply & demand of dating in your 40s But, and I'm being deliberately redundant, even after she & I talked, I NEVER, EVER, contacted the Bull.  I didn't look him up on facebook, I blocked his online dating profiles on Ok Cupid & other sites, & I didn't harass his DC chick.  I was "done, done"(to use the engineering vernacular), even as hurt as I was.  And I never gave up hope that he'd be out there--hence the positive outlook.  I read many books & articles (many of which I posted about here), & I got back out there.  But I also made a very deliberate decision about getting back out there.

Back on the dating sites--POF (Plenty Of Fish), Ok Cupid, Yahoo, Match, eHarmony--at one point I'm sure I had a profile on all of them & I went out on a lot of dates.  And sometimes the guys were cool--Amsterdam anyone?  And I did ignore Lori Gottlieb's advice--don't you do it!  Because ultimately she has a very good point (points).  But as I was out online, I was very specific about going about this "finding the one" in another & ultimately the most successful way.  I've written about it--do what you love.  Go out & get active--no passivity in "waiting for the one" to find you on POF.  I'm sure I read this advice somewhere in my travels but I certainly took it to heart.  I went sailing--a lot.  I got active & for that first summer I spent all of the after-race parties as a single person, but I made friends & I had a blast.  And I was NOT at home waiting.   And you know the rest of this fairytale story--I have met the most wonderful man who loves me for me (and sails--a lot).  I most definitely believe whole-heartedly that my conduct & attitude have everything to do with this success.  Karma, karma, karma.

So why am writing about all of this now?  I was inspired by a woman of my acquaintance who is struggling to let go & truthfully is not going about it very gracefully.  I believe she deserves better but she will never find it until she has a significant paradigm shift. I hate to say this but she will NEVER, EVER find someone worthy of her unless she stops harassing her ex & his new girlfriend (no matter how skanky she thinks the new one is), and adopts an attitude of gratitude.  No, I'm not trying to be cliched here, but it must be all cup half full & this litany of hate ain't winning her points in the Karmic Bank & Trust. There has been a ton of support thrown her way, very good that she has friends who care, but throughout the drama, there were some folk who told her over & over to get over the guy.  Let it go--quit giving the guy her power....and they are right.  At a certain point, about a month or two after my break-up with the Bull, I stopped referring to him so much & began writing more about my 50 first duds, and sailing...because I was out there doing what I loved & not perseverating on a loser.  So to this woman who deserves better, I beseech you to go out & live your life (don't worry about being happy with yourself--no one ever is, but make friends with yourself instead) & conduct yourself with grace--this bitterness makes you ugly & no guy wants that! 

"Would you stop feeling sorry for yourself? It's bad for your complexion!" --from Sixteen Candles.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Been a while since I wrote--Perhaps a bit of writer's block or just busy living & enjoying what life's bringing my way.  

Last night I went out to dinner with MAC--she's been seeing someone as well--about 6 months in. We meet for dinner a lot & of course we talk about what's going on.  And it was kinda cool last night when she said to me that even after a year it seems that Xing Fu & I are still keeping it fresh.  She remarked that we haven't settled into a pattern, that I always seem so happy about the two of us & I am to be sure.  It was great to hear these things--a mirror up.  I talked to her about the "I love you because..." & how that has been such an important addition to our "couple's repertoire".  Her response was that we're the couple that makes everyone gag--but that it was so nice to hear.  And even though we make y'all gag, it does have an impact on our ability to navigate the tougher waters...

Another important component of of keeping everything moving forward has been working on bringing our families closer.  It is a slow process to be sure but, an important one.  Up until relatively recently (and I just haven't felt comfortable about discussing it on this forum until now), we've had very separate halves--getting our kids used to the two of us together is important.  Been thinking about that a lot & it seems that everyone involved has been doing pretty well with it--getting to know one another, accepting the other person (and boy, do I hear about nightmares), & continuing the slow & steady way that we're approaching this extremely important part of our lives.  Maybe I'm over-reaching here but in my mind the kids wouldn't be so accepting if there were unstated issues or if there were some currents--I think they're sensing our happiness with one another--something that perhaps they haven't seen in their parents before.

I know, I know...GAG!!! 

"Get a room!"

"Can I have a fry?" 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Year One

"If this is what we’ve got, then what we’ve got is gold
We’re shining bright and I want you, I want you to know.."
--James Blunt, Stay the Night 

This weekend marked the first year that Xing Fu & I have been together.  We both realize that this is really just the beginning, but we acknowledge that it has been a great start & feel that we're doing this right--hopefully learning from our mistakes in past relationships & applying it to ours.  This weekend was not only a time of celebration, but also one of reflection.  We did talk about the past & what we do differently now--it's proven to be a very good strategy--and I'm continuously amazed at how compatible we are on so many levels--I said that last year too.

Busy one too--I can't believe how fast the year went--& the weekend.  Friday, in celebration, I finally opened one of the last bottles I brought back from California--a beautiful 2005 Pinot Noir from Acacia--made even better in that it was a limited release from the Beckstoffer vineyard in Carneros and cannot be obtained outside of California.  It was truly phenomenal--a match for our celebration. I cooked two dry-aged rib eye steaks from Ceriello's at Belvedere Square on the grill--a great match & another sentimental throw-back to last year's dinner that I made the first night we were together.  And then, in homage to the list of couples who play together, stay together, I challenged him to a Scrabble game & proceeded to beat the pants off him (too bad we didn't play strip Scrabble).  Laughing all the way.

Saturday brought us to an early wine tasting with the BFFs because of the Raven's game being held right in our usual prime time wine tasting--such a sad loss but it was less so as it was spent over at my BFF(J)'s house and spent amongst great friendsAgain, in celebration, I brought another beautiful Pinot Noir.  This time from Hartford Court--Hailey's Block vineyard--a 2007.  After the game Xing Fu took me out for a proper anniversary dinner--everything was great & so easy with him--and the conversation is always interesting.

And on Sunday, we added to the list--we took my son & his best friend bowling.  And I was surprised to find that Xing Fu is quite the bowler--his own ball & all--so he proceeded to beat the pants off of me.  He was so cute to watch when he knew he would get a strike--his body language just radiated--I just enjoyed watching him being happy to score well.  Another great start another great year for us.  In an email this morning:
"Another great weekend for us.  Way cool."  My response, "Way cool indeed."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moldy Oldie

Something in the wind has learned my name
And it's tellin' me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch
of the breeze
There's a pleasin' sense of happiness for me.

There is only one wish on my mind
When this day is through I hope
that I will find
That tomorrow will be just the same
for you and me
All I need will be mine if you are here.

--The Carpenters  

The above song lyrics were sent in an email from Xing Fu.  He told me that he was singing the song in his head just before we woke up on Monday morning.  Such an incredible feeling to have, knowing that I make him feel that way & that he wakes up singing.  Can't ask for better.   Often, we marvel at just how compatible we are--we both get into looking at lyrics to favorite songs and setting them as a soundtrack to our lives--I know I've written about that before but looking at all of those compatibilities, I'm just amazed--both of us are.  

On Saturday it will be our one year anniversary.  Xing Fu says he doesn't hold dates as important like I do, but for me dates are a big thang.  I remember last year & how I had a sense even before our relationship changed from friendship, that this was going to be something big.  There was an undercurrent that took my breath away & when our relationship did change, I think it knocked us both--wonderful & it gets better almost a year later.  

I sent him an email today--I had read something on MSN that couples who play together, stay together.  I copied most of the games listed in the article & how that benefits couples.  He added that I had suggested geocaching & that was something we've both enjoyed together.  Of course, we have a Scrabble challenge and we've yet to hold the tournament....He told me that he appreciates me because I'm always thinking about these kinds of things.  I like that he will read articles that I find in magazines like Cosmo or Redbook that I think will enhance our relationship & will take them seriously & be willing to try suggestions.  I hope that we continue to enhance each others' lives for many, many years to come.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

April is a Long Way Off

Been a nice weekend.  It wasn't one that I shared with Xing Fu but doesn't matter so much at this point--had plenty to do.  One biggy was meeting up with my crew down in Annapolis for the J-30 one-design awards luncheon.  As always, it was great to see everyone--I have found that I miss them quite a lot & am looking forward to April 16th--the first regatta of the season.  My calendar is already marked with the major races & my folks already know that this summer they will be taking my son down to North Carolina for camp as that same weekend is Screwpile.  As I drove into Annapolis, I looked out over the harbor & it was just a a wee bit depressing seeing very few sticks at AYC & the snowy frost rimming the water...sigh, April is a long way off.  

Also spent a nice bit of time with my BFFs--big wine tasting this weekend--major stock-up at one place & of course we finished out out our usual haunt, tasting some really nice cabs.  Actually went twice--BFF(J) made me go when all I wanted to do was get a coffee at Starbucks (the wine store is next door) and hustle down to Annapolis in time for the luncheon.  So I tried a few in a real rush & then at leisure after the luncheon when I came back.  This year there weren't so many sold out by the end of the day so we didn't miss much.  But as usual it was just great being with my friends--all of them this weekend--wish I didn't need to go back to work--I wanna sail!   But, the Ravens won--woohoo!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


 I seem to be coming across a lot of good articles about how relationships continue to be positive over the long term.  This time I saw an article in the New York Times.   Written regarding marriages, I find it still applies to LTRs.

It talks about "sustainable" love & how to attain that through improving yourself--but your partner is the one who helps "sculpt"  that growth.  According to the article by Tara Parker-Pope,    
"Research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship."  Does their partner encourage new experiences together?  Do they help the other person improve or do they have qualities the other lacks & help balance them out?  I've discussed this before more specific to my relationship--Xing Fu grounds me--he is a lot more practical than I am & helps pull me down to reality on occasion--not a bad thing.  I in turn, often help him to lighten up.  He also talks about how I come up with interesting & creative things to do together--all of these examples seem to be supported by the article.  Bodes well for the future.  

Sublime is the summertime warm and lazy
These are perfect days like heaven's about here
Unlike summer came and went your love is forever
I feel it and my heart knows that we share it together
Lyrics by George Harrison, Sung by Ben Bridwell
Your Love Is Forever 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"I Love You Because..."

Read an article in Redbook magazine recently that I think is a really good reminder of positive couples communication.  Often, after reading these self-help articles, I think to myself, "Yeah, that's kinda obvious."  But frankly, I think that we often lose sight of what appears to be obvious in print.  Anyhoo, the article is entitled: "When was the last time you & your guy ______?"  It lists many activities but the ones that stood out were the fill-in-the-blank answers of "held hands", "really made out",  "cooked a meal together", "danced", and "said I love you because".  All of these build communication in some way & re-ignite the connections that we may sometimes take for granted, but I really liked the last one as did Xing Fu.  In fact he reminded me of it tonight when we spoke and it has since inspired my first post of 2011.  We often say to our significant others (boyfriend, children, family members & friends) that we love them.  Usually it's that quick, "Love ya'".  While it is certainly nice to hear--a very specific reason is much, much better.  It builds the appreciation for that person that you are saying it to.  In the article it is specific to a significant other but why not say it to your kids, parents, etc.  We don't show our loving appreciation enough--and as the new year begins, it seems like a timely occasion to let those important people know. 

I liked the other fill-ins as well--what I like in particular is that many of the suggestions, Xing Fu & I do already.  I can only hope that in the new year we continue not to take one another for granted & continue to fully enjoy where our relationship grows.

Finally, I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve; mine was spent with some of my favorite people watching some damn fine fireworks from the Baltimore harbor.  All the best for 2011.