When the Past Calls….

voicemail

We all have ex’s whether they are spouses or dating ex’s and even in this big world, it’s likely that one’s path with cross again with an ex, especially with the explosion of social media and texting, where you can still be in touch but not really speak.  Well my past came knocking several times last week and I think it was because of Valentine’s Day and because most of the men I dated since my divorce are still single and looking.

I dated several people during the 4 years from the time my divorce was final until I became ill.  I was dating someone for 2 years when I was diagnosed and I tried to keep the relationship together for a while but it just was to hard to do.  There were  2 others that made it past the 3 date point but not to the year anniversary.  I am in touch with these 3 men, all with different levels of contact, as they  live very close to me now.  Funny how often they ask me, “So are you well enough to date yet?” as if I would date them if I was.  I realize that I get attention from these men, when they are in between relationships or when their relationships start turning sour.  They think of me as a backup, but I am not their backup.

On Friday, I had 2 offers for Valentine’s Day.  One was last minute as his current dating partner ditched him and the other was a little more thought out, but I don’t commit to plans well in advance, as I don’t know how I will feel on any particular day and I’m tired of dealing with the disappointment from the person when I do have to cancel at the last minute.  People take it personally and don’t see it as me trying to manage my illness.

It’s funny that while I was dating these men, I was always worried that they would meet someone else as I believed they were real “catches”.  I did the online dating thing and met them on a dating site, which makes meeting multiple people at the same time very easy.  Nowadays I realize that they weren’t such catches as they all are still not in serious monogamous relationships and I know so much more about them than I did when I was dating them.

These men  have shown me in different ways that they couldn’t have dealt with a partner becoming ill as they all are too immature.  One of them stated that he won’t date any runners as she could have bad knees down the line.   Another won’t date anyone with children that aren’t away at college because he will get too little attention.  Do these me sound grown up to you?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have dated them  if I knew then what I know now about them.  Their mental states are not what I initially thought and even one of them I’ve come to find out has had several breakdowns.  Another one I think has anger issues and the third should be on lithium as I believe he has bipolar tendencies.  How come I didn’t realize these things while I was in the midst of a relationship with them?  Is it that I was seeing them with “rose colored” glasses or that I really didn’t know them well enough to see who they truly are.  I had thought that you knew a partner well enough when you were with them for 3 months, but maybe that’s when we were younger.  Dating in your 50s is more complicated than dating in your 20s or 30s.  We all have so much more stuff that we carry around and so many more experiences that shape us and made us who we currently are.

So while at times I do wonder “what if” with these men, I know there will never be a future with any of them, even when I do feel well enough to reenter the dating scene.  While I do enjoy an occasional phone call or an occasional lunch date, the possibility of a romantic hookup is non existent.

The 3 “A”s

attentionaffectionappreciation

This morning while eating my breakfast I was listening to one of the morning news shows and Deepak Chopra came on and I started listening more intently.  Before I started on my spiritual journey and began doing daily affirmations and being more aware of the good things I still have in my life, I wouldn’t have glanced up at this man as I didn’t really believe that you could change your world by changing your thoughts.  This morning however, I was very interested in hearing what he had to say.

The anchors asked him about his thoughts on Valentine’s day and he basically said you should show people Attention, Affection and Appreciation every day of the year and not just on one day of the year.   These three things apply not only to a partner but also to family members and friends.

Attention

Attention means deep listening, being totally present. It means we’re not in a hurry to give advice, interrupt or react.

Appreciation

Appreciation means that we notice the other person’s strengths and let them know we notice them and are grateful for them.

Affection

Affection is deep caring and knowing that we are there for the other person.

So this year, let’s skip the Valentine’s day celebration and begin showing love, attention, appreciation and affection to those that mean the most to us every single day of the year (and that also include’s ourselves).