Coffee & Naughty Thoughts

Author Linda Bolton - Writer, Blogger

Tag: contemporary romance (page 1 of 3)

Broken Heart

Broken Heart

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t


You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t


Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power


But you won’t, no you won’t
’Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

(Song by Bonnie Raitt)

I was skimming through Facebook when I ran across a post from a gal very dear to me. She was asking why someone you love doesn’t love you back. I commented that is happens at every age. And it always sucks.
How do we find ourselves falling for someone who isn’t falling for us? You would think in this age of computers, internet, knee replacements and organ transplants, we could find a way to only fall in love with the person who would love us back. Unfortunately, love and the laws of attraction don’t work that way.
Do you fall in love with people you’re attracted to? Sometimes. Appearance is the first thing we’re usually attracted to. Hair color, full head or lack there of, and style. Eyes. Smile. Teeth. Skin. Body type – thin, curvaceous, buff, meaty. We all have different tastes. This is where things sometimes go wrong. We may have in mind a look we’d like to be with, but we can be deceived. Always remember, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. It truly is what’s inside that matters. Once the inside is revealed, sometimes the outside isn’t quite as appealing.
My point here is, it’s inevitable. Our hearts are meant to get broken. It’s how we’re wired. I don’t like it but we can get a benefit from it. We can learn from our mistakes, figuring out what attracted us and what went wrong. The next time around we could be more cautious, be less shallow, before we jump in. Doesn’t mean our heart won’t get broken but doesn’t mean it will. And, unfortunately, only time heals. Sometimes it takes a lot of time.
Has your heart been broken? What did you do to heal?

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To Fall In Love

Does everyone want to be in love? What about marriage? Does everyone want to be married?

I look back to my dating days in my early twenties. Yes, love and marriage were very important to me, to all of my girlfriends. I remember how dating went (yes, it was a long time ago but I do still remember): we’d meet, go on a date or two or three, I wanted a relationship, he didn’t.  I have surveyed friends from back then and they remember it similarly.  Most of the guys were not that interested in having a monogamous relationship or ready to get married. 
Flip the calendar twenty-five to thirty years in the future. Same friends surveyed…men are more interested in a monogamous relationship and marriage than women around the same age. Why is that? Why the switch? I have a theory.
When men are twenty the world is their oyster: they are young, have all the vim and vigor (yes, I said vim and vigor) and they know they are studs. Women, on the other hand, are looking for safety and security for their future, marriage being the answer. But when women reach their mid-forties, they have careers, learned they can support themselves and live independently. Men, on the other hand, seem to begin to want the safety and security of not living alone in their later years. 
I’m not saying any of this is wrong, its just interesting and totally explains why young women marry older men and why cougar women date young men. Obviously, we have all known couples that married young and grew old together.  I don’t mean to imply this to “all” men or women, but I have noticed it quite a bit.  Look back at your younger dating years.  What do you remember? What about now? Are you single or have single friends? Are you looking for love?
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Baggage

One of the greatest challenges I have found in dating over forty is the baggage everyone carries with them. How does your baggage affect your life and choices?

You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t have any baggage” or “My baggage isn’t affecting my dating life”. Are you lying to yourself? Of course you are! We all have baggage. It directly reflects the choices we make in our relationships. Think about it…How many times do you compare someone to your past relationships? How many times does a response you make to a situation remind you of ‘old times’? Is your baggage holding you back? Is fear of repeating the past keeping you from going forward? How do we get out of this rut?

I know I have been asked many times what do I want…out of life, in a relationship, for my future. I always look back and compare it to my past. This is what I don’t want, this is what I’d like to have, etc. How particular am I? Do I honestly know what I want? Are my decisions based on my baggage?

I have a dear friend who loves telling allegories:

You’re standing on a river bank. The water is rushing past you. A bear is coming to eat you. You can’t swim, but there’s a floatie on the bank. Its not a new floatie. It has a few patches but looks sturdy. Which do you choose? The bear (fear of the future) or the raging river (life and a future) with a slightly used floatie (a friend) to assist you?

You may think the answer is obvious but if you have very heavy baggage from your past the choice may be difficult to make. Do you trust the floatie to get you through? Have you ever had a floatie you can depend on? Or do yo let the bear eat you to avoid a possibility of drowning? What if the floatie is exactly what you needed and the ride down the river ends up being fun? Which do you choose? The choice is yours.

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Can A Marriage Last Over Twenty Years?

Newlyweds are always so happy and in love. They’ll do anything for each other and love being around one another. What makes them change after twenty years of marriage?

You know what I mean…we’ve all have seen it. The couple that meets in high school or college, gets married and lives happily ever after…NOT! What happens? I see it all the time. I can’t tell you how many friends I have that have been married 20+ years, divorce, or cheat on one another. What causes this shift from “You’re the only one for me” to “I don’t find you attractive anymore” or “Can you hurry up and get this over with”?

I know down the road in our marriages we become grown-ups, with grown-up stress. We all know how difficult it is to take care of the kids, work 40+ hours a week, get the car fixed, buy a new air conditioner and still love to be around each other. But is that couple still in love? Can they find romance after the kids go to bed? When you’ve gained 30, 50 or more pounds will they still find you attractive? When the wrinkles and grey hair (or lack of hair) arrive, do they still kiss you?

I’ve talked to many friends in this situation.  When your spouse says they don’t find you attractive anymore because you’ve gained too much weight or lost your hair, what do you do? When you feel like you have nothing in common and rarely do anything together anymore, how do you change it? How do you get back what you had?

I do have one friend that had empty nest. She and her spouse struggled. They came to the realization that it was going to take a lot of work to keep their marriage together.  So, how committed are you? Do you truly love your spouse? Are you looking at them and thinking how you really want to make it another 20+ years? Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to find out if your spouse is as committed as you are.  What happens if they aren’t? That’s a bridge you may have to cross, but if you’re already unhappy, you’re already at the entrance. It can’t hurt to find out if your spouse feels the same as you do. If they do, work on it, with all your heart and soul, like you did when you dated years ago. If they don’t….      

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An Unromantic Romance Writer

I know, you’re asking,”WHAT?”

I’m really not a romantic. Never have been. But I love writing and reading romance. Maybe it’s my lack of romance that attracts me to it. The sweet love stories, the torrid, stormy romances, the historical highlander-invades-and-kidnaps tales – I love them! Don’t ask me to recite a gushy romantic comment. I don’t have any in my vocabulary. If they are said to me I have to hide the eye-rolling terse comment that tries to escape my thoughts. I know, its sad.

So, now you’re wondering, “How does she write romance then?” Well, I watch everyday life. I listen to other people.  I read a lot! Yes, my friends can vouch for me  – I steal their lines, their stories, their comments. I have many romantic friends who tell me their tales, in confidence of course, and, yes, I use their love, pain and mushy stories. No one is safe!

I can’t help it! They are my muse. Oh, I have the voice in my head that comes up with a bit of gooeyness every now and then, but my friends are my real motivation.  I enjoy reading and, especially, writing romance. The ideas flow but to add that special something – the perfect quote, a great setting, that special description of the perfect kiss – my friends are great contributors.

So, as you read my blogs and, hopefully someday, my books, you’ll know I had a ton of help in writing them.  Oh, I could never disclose who gave me that perfect line or that warm and fuzzy date.  That would be just wrong on so many levels. Also, that friend would stop sharing their feelings with me. Just enjoy the fact that you know the story is a collaboration of great friendships coming together to share their deepest secrets.

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Is There an Answer to Why?

I had a girlfriend tell me recently that she prays to God and asks him why certain things are happening to her and her family and she’s receives no answer.  All she wants to know is why?

I think the answer is trust. Trust in God and his wisdom to take care of us, despite a rough road.  I know this isn’t the typical romance blog I normally write but it is about romance, our romance with the Father. Do we love him and trust him enough through the hard times to stay with him during the good times? If we don’t, can we ever truly trust a human being? I mean, reality here, we know all humans are imperfect and we can all have good intentions, but we make mistakes.  Sometimes whoopers! God, on the other hand, is perfect, good and loving. He never promised if we followed him life would be a dream. On the contrary, he said it would be a hard, bumpy road, but worth the ride.

So, back to the question, why? Maybe the answer isn’t for us. Maybe how we handle the bumpy road will make us an example to someone else, helping them along by seeing our strength.  Maybe gaining strength through the adversity is what we are to learn. Maybe he just wants us to trust him and that’s it.

Are you putting your trust in the right place?

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A Time For Patience

Patience…Not something we enjoy having.  In our got-to-have-it-now society its definitely not encouraged.  I was even told on multiple occasion not to pray for it. Reason being, the way to gain patience is to practice patience.  Who wants to do that?

Whether its in looking for a job, looking for a new home or car, working on a relationship or raising children, patience has a roll. How do you handle patience?

Patience can be your friend or your foe.  Its so hard not to rush into things.  Impatience is so much more popular.  The struggle to wait on something, something that can be great, is difficult for most. Friends, family and colleagues will suggest you “do it now”, “hurry before you change your mind”, “you deserve it now”.  But do we really need anything at this very moment?  Aren’t some things better when you have to wait on them a bit? Don’t we learn to value relationships we have to cultivate? Don’t we appreciate something if we wait until we can really afford it?

When we have children we are constantly telling them they will have to wait.  Why aren’t we taking our own advice? Sometimes, once we’ve waited a bit, we decide the thing we thought we really wanted isn’t so important anymore – saving us the time and money we would have wasted otherwise.  And, sometimes, we find out having to wait on something or someone has made it more worthwhile.

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The Outsider

Were you ever the outsider in high school? You know, the one no one really noticed? Oh, you had friends, even close ones, but you never really fit in.

You know who I’m talking about, the gal who had the crush on the quarterback but could never tell him.  Instead she shared her History notes, let him cheat off her Spanish test and passed the notes he sent to the head cheerleader.  But she had the hugest crush. She knew he would never like her back but she still couldn’t help crushing.

Look around you.  These outsiders are still around. Crushing on people they know will never reciprocate their feelings. You know these people. Maybe you’re one, maybe you have someone around you, crushing on you. How do you treat them? Have you embraced them as a friend or do you abuse their over-eagerness to please you?

Why am I writing about these outsiders, you’re asking? To remind us they have feelings too. You may never date this person but acknowledge they are are important. If you think back they have probably been a better friend to you than whomever you are calling your best friend. Also, to remind us that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  I know it cliche, but very true.  Sometimes, when you take the time to really get to know them, you find there is more to them than meets the eye.

My favorite outsider reference is the movie “Princess Diaries”.  The story of a clumsy, plain girl – an outsider – who becomes a princess of a country.  Come to find out, she has on outsider following her – a cute boy – who she comes to realize is a great guy.  My only complaint it she has to be remodeled physically.  Too bad. Would have been a better story if they had accepted her as she was. The princess was still inside.

My point being, look around you. If you have an outsider crushing on you, realize there is more, so much more, to them.  If you’re an outsider, find someone to be your friend who’ll accept you for who you are.  We all have a prince/princess waiting to get out!

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Into the Darkness

There’s no light. No stars, no headlights, no glow from storefronts. Just darkness. Black, inky gloom swallowing up everything in its midst. No sound, no breeze. I walk along and not even my footsteps echo. I’m alone.

A small twinkle flashes in the distance. The air is thick, heavy.  My breathing is labored but I trudge on. Something grabs my arm. It pulls me back. The darkness engulfs me, weighs on me like lead. I panic, fighting for air, escape. I scream a silent scream. There’s no one to hear it. I struggle but the bonds only tighten. The small light twinkles teasingly at me. It taunts me.

My struggle becomes frantic. Fear of never escaping feels like a reality. The darkness presses in. The light winks at me. I’m exhausted and my struggles lessen. The grip of gloom loosens. I wiggle free of the bonds. Once again steps are made in the direction of the flash. Like sloshing through muddy water, thick with sludge, I drag on. Desperation forcing me to continue.

After all energy is spent, my last breath is used to touch the light. Warmth, brightness.  My feet are suddenly light. My breaths are even and full. A bird chirps, a dog barks.  I feel a breeze on my face. My spirit is lifted and my soul is light. A rainbow kisses the sky.

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Can a Realist Become a Romantic

If the knight in shining armor doesn’t exist, what does? Do the moonlit walks and candlelit dinners? Or are those just in the movies? Do men really whisper sweet nothings or is that just in books? Is there really sexual tension or do most couples jump into a physical relationship so quickly that there is no tension?

Think about how sexual relationships on television have changed. Remember the days when couples slept in separate beds? Those days are gone and so has our imagination.  Even during prime time scenes are very explicit.  So, how does that fit into our view of romance?

For realists, romance is dead.  We all have busy lives and are lucky to be able to sit down to have dinner, much less light candles and have a glass of wine.  A quickie is the norm. Romance is for the big screen and novels; a fantasy best left to the imagination.

For romantics, its alive and well.  The slightest touch or softest breath can stir up desire. A look or smile can cause the heart to skip a beat.  Intimacy starts with holding hands and a slight kiss.  Sexual tension is meant to build. Time and place are considered just as important as the act itself.

Which category do you fit in? Realist? Romantic? Is a romance novel or a movie an aphrodisiac? Is there time for romance in the 21st century? Can you be converted?

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