Coffee & Naughty Thoughts

Author Linda Bolton - Writer, Blogger

Tag: romance (page 1 of 2)

Do You Need a Holiday “Plus One”?

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The holidays are coming and you’re single. Are you looking for a date for those Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties. Comment below and let me know if you’re looking for that “Plus One”.

I know it’s October (close enough) but have you started stressing about who you’ll take to the company Christmas party, Aunt Mary’s Pre-New Year’s family gathering or to the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve party downtown? What’s the cause of your stress?

I know, you’re over forty and your sister found the love of her life at thirty. Mom and Dad are wondering when you’ll settle down. Aunt Mary gives you a hard time at every family event because you can’t seem to find Mr (or Miss) Right. Your friends are all going to have significant others with them for New Year’s Eve. Who will you kiss at midnight?

You’re probably expecting me to make suggestions where you can find a great date. Sorry to disappoint you but I’m going to give you the opposite advice – Be Brave and Be Single. That’s right, go without your “Plus One” this year.

You’re probably thinking, “Wha?” That’s right, No Date! Surprise! Why, you ask? Because, in my experience, this is the worst time to try to find that someone special. The holidays are stressful enough and then you add trying to figure out if Joe Blow’s (or Jane) bad habits are tolerable. Rather than beginning to date someone you really shouldn’t be, go to the parties alone and hold your head up high. Think about it, you need a date for Aunt Mary’s family hoopla. You take this guy that, under less stressful circumstances, you wouldn’t normally date more than once, but you don’t want to hear Aunt Mary complaining that “You’re still single?” How much more embarrassing it to have a very public argument in front of family or Aunt Mary calling a week later to invite you two for dinner and you have to tell her you’ve broke up? You don’t think she’ll let that die quietly, do you?

What do you think? Are you going to be brave and go to your parties single? Or do you want to risk a public breakup before midnight on December 31st? Tell me what you’ve decided.

 

 

 

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How to have Success with Online Dating

me and curtis

 

I have quite a few friends dating in their 40’s and 50’s. I was just a year ago. Where do you go to meet people? Do you rely on your friends to introduce you to someone? Do  you try old flames on social networking sites? Or do you try online dating? Leave a comment below and tell me what you did.

I tried online dating. It was an experience. Was it all bad? No. I made a really good friend and we still chat and keep in touch. Did I think I’d find Mr Right there? For awhile…

I tried a number of sites – Match.com, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Farmers Only, eHarmony, and a few I don’t remember. They’re all about the same. Men looking for that special woman, men looking for a few hot dates, men looking but not sure what they’re looking for. I’m sure it’s the same for men – women looking…

As I’ve talked to friends, male and female, we’ve all learned a few things along the way as we’ve online dated. First, there is no magic or fireworks when you meet. I’m not sure if it’s because you fear meeting face to face (it is a kind of blind date no matter how much  chatting online and phone calls you’ve had) or if it’s the years of cynicism, maybe a bit of both. I’m not saying it can never happen, I’ve just found that most relationships, mature relationships, take time. Do either of you have children or grandchildren? How much time do you spend with them? Are you super independent and need alone time? Are you a bit needy and like to spend all your available time with your significant other? What kind of baggage are you bringing from your past relationships? All these things come into play when you start dating. It’s a lot to consider and talking about the most important aspects early on eliminates months of dating the wrong person.

Second, you need to decide beforehand, how many dates you’ll give the relationship before you give up. Not every meeting is meant to be. He may be great on the phone or via online chat, but in person he could be a dud. I had a few. My rule was three dates. First date was usually awkward and didn’t last more than a couple of hours. Second date is more like a real date. Dinner, coffee, dancing or a movie, a walk along the lake. This is where you talk more on a personal level, feel each other out. If it goes well, and phone calls are going well, the third date is usually the relaxing date. This is where some of the bad habits come out, for both of you. Maybe it’s dinner at your house or a barbecue at his buddy’s where you meet his friends. At the end of this date is where you go home and assess if you think it’s worth pursuing.

Third, what are you rules on sex. As mature adults, I don’t care whether the site is religious based or not, sex comes up. What are your rules or boundaries? You know it’s going to go there. If you’re both in your 40’s or he’s in his 50’s, you’re wondering if things work like they should. Let’s be honest, women in their 40’s and 50’s, especially single women, are wanting more sex, more than they did at 20. And we remember how the guys were like rabbits at 20, driving us nuts, but are they still interested at 50? Do they need a little blue pill (nothing wrong with that, by the way) or have they totally lost the drive (low T)? These are things you need to know. Is he a kinky stud or a dull dud? I’m not saying you should hop into bed with every guy you date (use protection from STDs if you do) but I’m also not saying you should believe everything they say either.

From experience I have found what a guy says about his sex drive is what it was at 20. He’s not lying, he still sees himself as that young guy. Besides, what are you saying? Everyday sex sounds fun until you live together and life waps you up side your face. We all get tired after a long work day. When you’re dating, you’re limited on the time you see each other. You bump like bunnies. But once you’re under the same roof, life happens. You see each other everyday. That burst of energy you used to get when you saw each other just isn’t that explosive on a day to day basis. Reality…It’s good to discuss what each others real expectations are.

So, now you might be thinking online dating sounds too scary or complicated, what other options do you have? Well, your friends may know someone, you may find an old flame on social networking in your area (I did) or you could try Meetups. Meetups are groups of people with a common hobby or interest that get together at various times during the month. You can bring a girlfriend and avoid meeting anyone or be brave and introduce yourself to the new crowd. They meet in various locations, you just have to find one that suits you. There’s also match makers. They learn about you and match you to someone else they represent. These can be vary costly and you still may not find Mr/Mrs Right.

It’s a crap shoot! Be in the right place at the right time and maybe you’ll meet the right one. The best part, it’s an adventure!

Have you online dated? Did you find Mr/Mrs Right? I’d love to hear your experiences! Share in the comment box below.

 

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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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Making Your Own Luck

luck

I don’t really believe in luck but I do believe we are given many paths to chose from.

One of my paths was something many women in their mid-forties experience, I got a divorce. After a twenty-five year marriage, I did what every middle aged adult does nowadays – looked to the internet. Yes, I tried dating sites. It was entertaining at first, flattering even. There were men of all shapes, sizes and ages that wanted to take me out.I realized something…I attract the same kind of guy I was married to, not what I was looking for. So what changed? Facebook. Oh, I’d been on there for a few years but I found an old boyfriend on there about eighteen months ago and twelve months ago we started dating again. He was unlike the other men, kind, caring, thoughtful, and my girlfriends and my family loved him. New Year’s weekend we were engaged.

Another path I chose was when I adopted my daughter fifteen years ago. She was eleven years old at the time so I missed the baby stage, the terrible twos and so on. Two and a half years ago something wonderful happen – my granddaughter was born. I know everyone thinks their grandchildren are special but mine truly is. Now, I get to make up for it. Every time I see her there is something fun and silly about her. Frozen, the movie, is her favorite and she sings “Let it go” and spins around the living room. Oh, and every photo has her picking her nose. Ladylike, she is not.

This most recent path is probably my best. I know, a new love and a baby are tops on most lists but once I tell my story it will be understandable why this is the best part.

Two years ago I started working with a friend when my previous position ended. When I first arrived at her company it was a pleasant enough and everyone was friendly. However, as time went by I discovered that my boss was an actual psychopath. He could be very nice but if he thought I made him look bad to his customers, by making an innocent mistake, he would blow a gasket, curse at me and fire me. Oh, he couldn’t really fire me, I actually worked for the owner, but it was still scary, especially after I heard he’d hit a guy at a baseball game and put him in a coma. There were a few other stories as well,  one was that he had a gun in his desk. Suffice it to say I’m not perfect, despite what I’d like to believe, and mistakes do happen, not on purpose, of course. It was a terrifying way to work.

Anyway, I had been job hunting sporadically when I found my new job. I have been so stressed that I’ve had a hard time focusing to write. When your phone dings at all hours of the day and night, including weekends, it’s hard to enjoy doing anything. But I’ve escaped the black hole that was sucking me in and have spread my wings. I have a position that will allow me to have the career I never had, working with people who are fairly normal.

My life is now on track with a wonderful love, a career that will allow me to feel creative when I’m home, and an adorable granddaughter to play with. Some may call it luck but I think I’ve had more control than that. Choose your paths wisely.

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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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Dating After 40

I have been asked a few times recently if I thought dating later in life was any different that in our teens/twenty-somethings? I asked a few friends and this is what I came up with.

Basically, even though we are older, dating is the same.  The major difference is baggage. The baggage each person brings to a new relationship.

Baggage, you ask? What about being more upfront with our intentions? What about honestly and less fear at stating true desires? Ok, I’ll give you that. Some are experiencing that, however, its our baggage that has brought us to that point. The totes, duffle bags and trunks from past relationships.

By baggage I mean the hurt feelings, guilt and poor self-image. The trunks full of Dickens’ ghosts from Christmas’ past.  I’ve seen new relationships start and end quickly due to misunderstandings brought on by a memory from a bad past. I’ve seen relationships stall due to a fear that they will go bad. I’ve seen some sabotaged a great friendship because of wrong expectations. That trunk that is dragged from relationship to relationship, only opened to add more to it, not clean it out.

How is a relationship to blossom if baggage is in the way? Let’s go back to honesty.  Sharing your baggage with close trusted friends is a start. Having them help you work through your fears.  Deciding from the start that a repeat of the past relationship isn’t an option.  Patience on the part of both parties is the only way a relationship can flourish.  I think we all agree that life is short and we shouldn’t let great people slip though our fingers.  How we can keep them close, despite our baggage, is the challenge.  Losing our fear of opening those trunks and letting the ghosts out is the greatest challenge but provides the greatest reward.

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Boundaries

    We all have them. Some to keep us in line. Some to keep others at arms length. What are yours for?

    Think about our boundaries. We teach them to our children.  “Don’t get up in people’s faces.” “Don’t touch your brother. Stay on your half of the couch.” “Only go on group dates.” “Don’t loan money to your family and close friends.”
  
    These are basic boundaries we learn as we grow up. Of course, as we experience life, and cross some of these boundaries, testing the water, we lose some of them.  What happens when life beats us down, smacks us around, and leaves us on the side of the road battered and bruised?

    We end up with walls, not boundaries. Walls that keep those around us at arms length.  Walls that keep us from making mistakes and choices we fear are wrong. Walls that keep in feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. Walls that keep out freedom to be who we are meant to be, to set us free.

   How can we get the walls to come down? Trust. In those closest to us. We all have warts that have grown over time. Those that love us, our dearest friends, have touched those warts and weren’t afraid. They can help us take the walls down, slowly, one brick at a time. No judgement, no ridicule, no pity.  Only tenderness, guidance and patience.

    What happens when the wall blocks love from entering in? Can we survive? Can life be truly all it can be without the love of others? Trust. It’s all we can do. And not let the world go by.

  

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Love Sparks

    Nothing like a well-built man in tights to spark your interest. For instance, take Captain America, mild mannered military man, small in stature and size, risks his life by stepping into a capsule that suddenly makes him taller and buff.  He puts on tights and mask and, whew, the fantasy starts.
  
    Imagine lying in bed, sound asleep, you feel the briefest touch.  Your eyes open to this statuesque man.  His costume shows every bump and bulge.  He flexes his muscles.  Your breath catches. Who is he? Why is he here?

    Ok, one for the guys.  Traffic is backed up on the freeway. Its 100 degrees in the shade. You can’t wait to get home. Cars are at a standstill. You look up ahead and a woman steps out of her car.  She’s leggy, brunette and busty.  She stands in the middle of the street, spins around and, poof, she’s gone from her business suite to a strapless one-piece.  Wonder Woman is headed your way. She stops by your sports car and taps on the window, her breasts at eye level.  What would she want with you? Why now?

    Fantasies.  We all have them. Whether they’re with a total stranger, a super hero, or your significant other, they all add spice to life.   In the movie “Four Christmases” Reese Witherspoon’s and Vince Vaughn’s characters roll play for added excitement.  They pretend they don’t know each other and meet in a bar. Fantasies.  Have you tried any? How do you add spice to life?

    Does it mean we feel less for our special someone if we fantasize they’re someone else for  the briefest of moments? Does it mean life is dull and mundane if the French maid’s outfit comes out before Halloween?  If a new outfit, quirky dialog, or jumping on the bed aren’t for you, turn the lights off and close your eyes. Who do you see? Let your mind wonder. Take a fantasy trip and live a little.

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When Is Mid-Life

    I’ve heard about the dreaded “Mid-Life” my whole life.  My parents talked about it like it was a disease.  I’ve had friends who have reached it. But the big question is, “When do I reach it, or have I”? 

    My parents and their friends, all almost forty years my senior, equated “Mid-Life” with menopause (his and hers).  Now that my friends and I have reached our forties, and beyond, we look for the dreaded “Mid-Life Crisis”.  I know those ten years plus my age still considered “Mid-Life” to be a woman’s menopausal years, but with men it was when they bought the red sports cars, divorced their wives and dated their secretaries and assistants twenty years their junior. I have begun to look at it as a turning point. 
    After watching many of my friends divorce in their mid to late forties, find new careers, and see their kids all grown, it gave me a new meaning to “Mid-Life”.  Not every “Mid-Life” moment is a crisis. My husband retired from the military at thirty-nine.  He started a new career with Homeland Security thanks to 911 – 09/11/01 was his original retirement ceremony and was rescheduled due to the terror that day. He found a new career, we moved and started over. I think that time in his life could be considered his “Mid-Life”.  Of course, five years later he dreamt of a motorcycle, tattoo, and helped his daughter buy a red sports car that ended up in our driveway.  He had a relapse….but no crisis, unless you want to count the car payment we added to our budget. 
    I have a friend that divorced her husband of over twenty years, has bought her own house and is going back to school for a new career.  The only crisis is that she was forced out of her old job but it has helped her take a leap of faith into a new career. 
    I have another friend that suffered in a difficult marriage for many years for the sake of her children. Once they were grown, she was able to free herself of the bondage she was in to find true, selfless love with the man she was meant to be with. 
    So why does “Mid-Life” have such a negative connotation? Maybe because many figure out they need to go down a path that their spouse doesn’t want to follow. For many that may mean a divorce. No one ever said life would always be the same or easy. 
   Have I stepped into “Mid-Life”? I think those that know me the best would say, by my definition, I have. I have lost some weight (not as much as I would like – yet), I’ve started a couple new careers (writing being one of them), and my outlook on life has changed. Is it causing difficulty in my daily routine?  Have the changes I’m making made an impact? Oh yeah.  Now what do I do? Not rock the boat or go where I am lead?  Lead and see who follows….
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Are You Speaking The Same Language

    Have you ever wondered why your “significant other” can’t read your mind? Send all the right signals and they still can’t seem to figure out what your saying? Are you speaking the same language? Love language, that is.
    In the book Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman,  is listed the five ways we love. Unfortunately, not all of us have the same language as our partners. This can cause hurt feelings and miscommunication in our relationships. Figure out your love language and see if your partner speaks it:
1-Words of Affirmation – you desire unsolicited compliments. This one is mine. I didn’t get much praise growing up and love to get a compliment.  I’m not always very good at accepting them but I love to hear them.  These can include anything from “dinner was great”, to “you look amazing today”.
2-Quality Time – this is receiving your partner’s undivided attention, whether its talking about your day or having dinner together.  No cell phones, no distractions.
3-Receiving Gifts – receiving an unexpected gift where thoughtfulness, love and effort were put into it.  Its not about dollar value.
4-Acts of Service – Surprise!  The dishes are done, or the kids have already been picked up. These are the “let me do that for you” moments.
5-Physical Touch – I know you’re expecting this to be sex – not exactly. Some people are very “touchy”, lots of hugs, pats, holding hands, thoughtful touches.  These are ways to show excitement, concern, care and love.
    OK, now think about those. Which is the most important to you? They are all great and we all like them but which one speaks to you the most? You can have more than one but usually one is dominant. I have already admitted Words of Affirmation is mine but so is Physical Touch.  I’m a patter. I touch folks when I talk to them. Now think about your loved one. What is their love language? They probably do examples of theirs to you. We tend to give examples of our love language to others, thinking they like it too. For instance, I have a friend who’s husband likes to receive gifts so he buys her things all the time. Her love language is physical touch and he rarely touches her (except for sex). So she tries to hold his hand and he’s not interested. See how this works?
    The goal would be to learn each others language so you can meet each others needs. So, your homework assignment, should you chose to accept, is to figure out yours and your partner’s love language.  See if you can speak each others language.
  

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