I’m back!

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Oh my it feels good to be back among the living!

First, I want to say thank you to all those who responded to my questions in the previous post. I had hit a lonely rough spot there for a sec & hearing your stories revived my belief in the possibilities I had begun to doubt. With each of your experiences I gained a better perspective on what real life looks like when in a long term relationship, & you helped me understand what it takes. I love my community of readers, your support keeps me hopeful as I search for love ~ thank you for being open & having the willingness to share your stories!

You may have noticed I’ve been quiet for a bit (or maybe not), but I’m back & feeling chatty! So a lil catch up ~ I got a fun opportunity back in May to work on a zombie movie, which was a genre I had never done before & I jumped at the chance. The first thing I learned Zombies = Nights (& lots of them)! So with accepting this job I knew I’d be giving up dating (& it turns out socializing in general) for a couple of months, but I figured it’d be a great Summer gig, meeting new people & I could practice my flirting skills with a whole new crew in the meantime.

With the post-wrap glow, I can say shoot ended up being a pretty great experience. Sure, we had our challenging days, endless hours under the moon & moments of questioning our choices in life, but when it came down to it we were creating something fun & doing it with cool people! And luckily for me, the crew did include a bunch of handsome, interesting men for me to get to know & while most were married or had a girlfriend, it was fun being reminded there are great quality guys in L.A.

I also learned quite a bit about myself during this shoot, here’s just a few of my revelations

  • While I consider myself a “night” person, turns out I’m not a “wee hours in the a.m.” kind of gal, the smile fades & I get very quiet, but then the sunrises & I’m back!
  • All willpower I may have at the beginning of the day when visiting the craft services table goes out the window at 1a.m. – in the battle of carrot vs. chocolate, chocolate always wins, especially if in the form of a cookie. I became a total cookie monster!
  • When I get tired (usually hitting bout 3:30-4a), I wanna snuggle. I’d feel this real need to be close to somebody, something & hug. I’d find myself leaning in to the Prop guy (my set “boyfriend”) for human contact, or putting my arms around the metal C-stands when just about anything would do to snuggle with. Curling up in my chair with an extra hoodie soothed the urge at times & added warmth too…
  • It turns out I’m verrrrry territorial over my personal workspace & when it gets invaded with complete disregard I flip out! My set partner could only just laugh at me, repeatedly. It worries me a lil how I’ll react if/when I ever live with a man??!? I may need to start chillin out, but I like my space…oy!

Despite all the craziness that occurs on a shoot, when you get to see a cut of what you’ve been working so hard at, you can’t help but get excited & want to create more! Telling visual stories is so addicting…& like that, I’m sucked back in 🙂

In some semblance to maintain sanity & a sense of reality, I’d try & connect with friends over the weekends or do some activity to remind myself that sunshine & summer fun was in full swing all around me.  One night a few weeks ago, a friend had extra tickets to the Hollywood Bowl, with a girlfriend visiting in town who had never been,  we, of course, jumped on the opportunity to join.

I have probably mentioned this before & I will again ~ I looooove the Hollywood Bowl, it is my favorite L.A. summer activity! It was Opening Night, with 3 great acts, fireworks & not a Zombie in sight. I was full of excitement.  And then, there he was. Like a punch to the gut, the wind was knocked out of me. There sat my ex & his latest girlfriend having a romantic pre-show picnic.

I knew this was bound to happen at some point, but of all places. I didn’t need/want to see that in a place where I hold special memories with him, but what can you do…new Bowl season, new girlfriend to bring to it…thankfully they didn’t see me.  I managed to push him out of my mind & enjoy my friends for the evening…until I couldn’t anymore.  The evening’s final artist performed the song “For Good”, which he had sent to me post-breakup saying it reminded him of me & our time together. It meant a lot to me then & still does…and with that the tears began to fall uncontrollably. I tried to stop my brain, but I couldn’t help thinking if he was now saying that to the new woman by his side.  With some (a lot) of wine, fireworks & friends, I survived the evening. Thankful to have not crossed paths again, I am glad I got the 1st couple sighting out of the way & that I had the support of my girl’s with me.

And, now that I am back to living in daylight hours again, I’ve been feeling like its time to jump back on the dating bandwagon!

As I walked around the lake the other evening, a calmness came over me, with a soothing sense of readiness – it’s time to  put my profiles back up online & take an active role in finding my partner. While I’ve enjoyed the past few months following my interests, in the theory of ‘love your life & love will find you’, not one date has been on the calendar. Time for action! Let’s get the momentum ball rolling!

As this decision was being made in my head, the Universe was already one step of me & as I drove home from the lake two things occurred

  • I received a text from a guy saying “hi”  (well, hello’s back at ya)
  • I got a message from a friend asking if I’d be interested in a ‘fix-up’ with her eligible bachelor friend  (yes, please)

I will say I am continuously amazed by how a slight shift in energy & thoughts can create a ripple effect, even quite quickly at times.

So, I text back the mystery guy whose name was not ringing a bell, & I can tell once I opened his text, we had chatted previously back in Sept, but never met up…at least that I could recall. We texted a couple of polite rounds & he asks if I remember him? I go for honesty & point blank tell him no. To jog my memory he offers to send a pic, if I send him one first, which I figure means he doesn’t remember me either & was just trying random #’s in this phone, hoping for a bite.

I decide to play along in the pic game out of curiosity, so I scroll through my phone looking for a good selfie & send it on over. He snaps his pic & sends one back. Oooooh, I remember that face (thankfully), but that’s all I remember! We had narrowed it down to eHarmony, so I figured at this point if we jumped through all their hoops to getting to the exchanging numbers part, I must’ve liked something about him…then he asks for another pic! I joked 1 a night is my limit, yet he kept asking & snapped another of himself to show me just how easy it was.  Now mind you, the pic I sent was from a lil bit ago when I was having an ‘I feel pretty’ moment. I was currently sitting there with my hair pulled back, make-up off & glasses on (not feeling my prettiest we’ll just say) ~ there was no way in hell I’m snapping that image for a stranger.  His persistency paid off & there I was at 10:30pm digging around my closet for the top I had on in the original pic I sent & fixing my hair to recreate the same look…playing in to the fantasy that we ladies sit around looking ready for a photo op anytime…I can’t believe I fed the illusion & didn’t present the real me in the moment, but what can I say…modern dating is silly! I’m silly & I want a date dammit!

So to recap my ramblings, here’s the current standings:

  • Date with old eHarmony match set
  • Pending evening out with the friend fix-up
  • Online profiles going back up this week
  • Enjoying daytime sunshine & sleeping at night
  • Life is good

I’m feeling super grateful to have some time to take care of myself again & I’ve got a good feeling about these next few months…who knows what lies ahead but I’ll keep you in the loop

xo

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Life is just a bowl of cherries…

Fall in Love Fridays…

It’s Friday. It’s beautiful out. The birds are chirping. Why not fall in love?

While I’m busy out falling in love with myself these days, I thought I might entertain you with this short romantic comedy & it’s joys of online dating.

How they capture the clever, flirtatious early stage of the online courtship, the quick-wit ball being tossed back & forth is spot-on.

Enjoy!

I am not myself these days…

Do you ever feel out of sorts? I mean, for a long time? To the point where you can’t remember who or how you used to be, but something doesn’t quite feel like you’re being you anymore?

I have been angry lately, like snap back at you angry & that is soooooo not me. I’ve actually scared myself with some of my reactions lately. Yesterday I got so mad because the Sun was trying to come out, I was literally bitching out loud in the car & even forced a friend to listen to my rant, c’mon Carlie pull yourself together! But seriously the sun comes out every damn day here, sometimes you want a breather from the warm glow telling you ‘you should be happy, its gorgeous out’ (again!)…I enjoy variety & maybe that’s whats been missing. Being greeted by the cloudy morning, I was energized to go & be outside, enjoying the freshness of the gray moments. Maybe I felt part of that joy fading as the Sun tried to peak through sparking my anger, fists shaking at the sky ‘I’ll get you Sun’ (yes, I’m becoming a crazy lady)…

My anger has been bubbling up these past few days in various situations too. I’ve been very short with people, maybe some deserved my curt responses, but most have probably not ~ I’m sorry. I hear the words coming out of my mouth & it’s like I’m on a 5 second delay watching & hearing myself behave badly without any control! Who am I?! It is kind of liberating saying what I’m thinking & feeling versus putting on my sunny disposition, but usually my sunny disposition is actually me & not an act…lately it feels like an act because its how people expect me to be. Am I really a positive person? Maybe I’m beginning to embrace my inner ‘cranky old bitty’…oh god, I’m too young to be cranky already…

There’s a few areas in my life these days that are up in the air & I think, oh who am I kidding, I KNOW its freaking me out a bit, so I’m hoping this may be accounting for my anger phase. Unknowns, up-in-the-air’s, unstructured life is not my style & this process of learning how to roll with it has been a bit bumpy. At times it feels like I have a lil angel on one shoulder & a lil instigator devil on the other. One reassuring me of what lies ahead, while the other is spouting all these logistical things to freak me out. Argh! So I tune them out binging on House of Cards…not helpful 😉

I’m taking control in one area & trying a new game plan.

I’m always getting a ton of advice on my dating life. Mostly from paired off friends, who look at me with a mix of empathy & pity. Their favorite adage is ‘he’ll come when you least expect it’, or ‘it’ll happen when you’re not looking’.  Yes, this could be true, but I spent the better half of my 30’s just ‘going about life’ with lil to no success, so I decided to take action.  This dive all in, get a dating coach kind of action did bring me dates. It brought me many experiences, some good, some bad, some humorous. There’s been much education in these dating years, but it has also turned me a lil cynical at the moment. I have decided to stop taking an active pursuit in dating. I am going to listen to their advice & not ‘be looking’, but what will be different this time versus my 30’s is that I am taking an active role in living a life I love & enjoy. I haven’t been doing that lately & I certainly wasn’t doing that in my 30’s (even though I thought I kinda was).

Maybe its the ticking over into 40, maybe its the big space of unknowns I’m sitting in, but all I know is that I need to get back in touch with myself for the ultimate goal of loving myself & not finding a partner.  I have done & am familiar with what this work looks like, but when I’ve done it in the past I think I was focusing on the end goal of a partner to share my life with & not truly accepting myself as lovable while single. I get it now. I’m ready to explore.

All the walls have been pulled down today. Freedom is surrounding me! No more okCupid profile! I love my lattes, but no more Coffee Meets Bagels, The Tinder profile is down! Good-bye eHarmony! See ya later Speed Dating! God be with you Christian Mingle!

I am FREEEEEEE & it feels so good! Hmmm, I’m starting to feel less angry…phew, I think the old ‘me’ is on her way back!

xo

Sitting in the Uncomfortable

My Spring view

Oh my these past couple of weeks have been a lil tough…this growing & stretching phase of practicing vulnerability is NOT comfortable, at all!

I am grateful for this peaceful Sunday morning, as I sit here with my windows open, feeling the fresh Spring air, smelling the sweet scent of the blooms outside my apartment. I am comfortable here. I feel safe. I am alone and am starting to embrace it.

Lemme roll back the calendar to a couple of weeks ago to when a new match popped into my world. Still not sure if I wanted to dive back in to full swing dating mode, I responded anyways.  We seemed to have some shared interests, I liked his smile, and I guess, why not?, at this point…

It started off slow, a lil conversation via text each day. Not much, dipping a toe. With our interests piqued, we tried to set up a first date. Coordinating busy schedules  proved tough, but possibly by the end of the week.  Then one evening I got a late night text, he wanted to say hi & see how my day was, hoping it wasn’t too late…funny how the Universe sends what you need at the perfect time, as I was plopped on my couch feeling a bit lonely…conversation was exactly what I needed.

Ping ponging questions & answers, likes & dislikes, we chatted via text as the hours passed. He recorded the falling rain & sent me the audio ~ the best soundtrack to intimate conversations. Our questions began to delve deeper, really exploring what each of us longed for, tears streamed down my face as I typed my desires, sharing truthfully what I hoped for, I opened up & began to expose myself. I hadn’t been this vulnerable in a long, long time & I was scared, but it was also the first time I’ve felt safe & heard by a man in a very long time too. We chatted til 3am and could’ve easily kept on going but the reality of the approaching morning loomed and sleep was necessary. I dozed off to sleep with a smile on my face.

When I told a friend about the evening & our conversation, she point blank asked if at any point the thought occurred to pick up the phone & actually talk?! Nooooooo, which yes, sounds silly, I know, but I wouldn’t have shared this information so freely! And, while technically yes, he was still a stranger via text, I felt safer to be me with him in that format. I know I may have been hiding behind the screen but I WAS opening up again.

During the evening, he mentioned a few times about calling me the next day. I looked forward to hearing his voice, wondering what he sounded like. The day floated by with ease, the world seemed brighter, I felt like me again. Its been a while. A mid-day text to see how I was holding up brought a bigger smile to my face. And then that was it, no phone call, no voice message.

I felt so raw & deflated. I put my hopes out there only to be met with silence. I’m a big believer in words & actions matching and I can’t wrap my head around asking repeatedly to do something & not do it? The walls around my heart started coming back up. I could almost physically feel them. BUT I don’t want to hide behind them anymore. How can I stop my automatic response, my safety mechanisms? I kept hearing this lil voice “stay open, be vulnerable” & I just wanted to shout back “why?????! this does not feel good”…but I must try. I promise myself I will try my best to remain open to the process…

I couldn’t rally my heart for a Friday night date, even though work finished in time. I figured Saturday would be better, since he said he’d keep them both open for me. Saturday’s day plans timed out perfectly, leaving me free for a date night & I texted him excitedly, I was ready to dive in again. Oops, except that he had made plans…so much for keeping the night open, or my heart for that matter.  It took another week of reschedules & busy lives to finally meet up. At that point I didn’t know what to expect, or what I was even feeling anymore, I’m just showing up.

From the moment of entering the lounge & sitting down, the date just flowed. Conversation delved more into our beliefs & outlooks on life versus the standard interview questions. It was so lovely to look into his his kind eyes. Then I asked the question I really needed an answer to ~ how long have you been divorced? He paused. Well……   Only a few months separated & in the process.  My heart sank. I can’t do this again. A red flag began to be raised up the pole. He continued to share a little of the situation which I appreciated hearing, but I wanted to shift off this topic for now. Cue the loud bad 80’s hair cover band…we grabbed our martinis & ran for the peace of the patio. Outside we got cozy & enjoyed the rest of our evening. I was definitely looking forward to seeing him again.

The beauty of dating a couple of guys at once is the compare/contrast, it can get really clear what attracts you & repels you. The following night was movie night at the Canadian Librarian’s. I knew where this could lead & apparently I’m a glutton for punishment (i.e. boundary setting practice). Parking can be tricky in Hollywood & all the visitor spots were filled in his building, so he hopped in my car & we hit the lot across the street. Curious how late they were open, his question to the attendant was “can she get her car out in the morning?” Um, excuse me? That’s very presumptuous! I asked for 10p.  So knowing where he thought this was going, my guard was immediately up. We have built NO intimacy, we barely chat between dates, I’m sorry I’m not going there til I know you better. We share some similar interests & I always learn things when I’m with him, so I keep trying, hoping he’ll grow on me. We settled in for our classic movie & I’ll admit he has one damn comfy couch! And while it was a perfectly okay date, I realized he & I are just surface, fresh from the emotion-delving date the previous night, he didn’t stand a chance…

Fueled by ‘spring’-ing ahead & feeling excited about a man again, I was feeling playful, so when date #2 activity ideas came up, he was game for miniature golf – so fun! Naturally my competitive streak came out, playfully of course…thankfully he dished back all the ‘big game’ smack talk I was throwing his way! While I may have killed it on the greens, he showed me who was boss at Skeeball! That hurt!  All is fair in love & arcade play!

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For as much as I was looking forward to this date & seeing him again, the energy was different. I think it was me. I’m trying my best not to put my guard up, pull away or shut down but I can’t shake the past. I cannot be another divorcee’s training wheels.

I’m trying to quiet the voice that keeps telling me ”I’m not enough”, that he’ll leave me in the search to find a better, funnier, smarter, prettier woman. I know this voice is wrong but somedays she can be loud.

I’m wondering if I’m strong enough to do this again…

Vulnerable

The Year of DATING FEARLESSLY

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Hope your’s is off to a great start!!

Thought I’d share my horoscope for the year ahead, cuz it freakin rocks!
Even though I don’t put much stock in them, I enjoy reading mine every now & again, especially when they say gooooood things – thank you Refinery 29 😉
Illustrated by Emily Forgot


Pisces (February 19-March 20) You are in for one heckuva year, Pisces, so get ready. Romance, possible fertility, and even continued education is on your cards in 2014. Take this time to define your life and call your own shots, instead of letting others dictate your actions. The first half of the year will be exciting, but by July, things will have thankfully died down so you can settle and take it all in. The four eclipses this year will reshape your life in more ways than one from your mindset to the number of stamps on your passport.”

Woot woot!!




Ok, so last month I claimed 2014 as the year I was going to date fearlessly in my search for  love…
What does that mean?????
I’ll be honest my heart is racing a lil & my palms are sweaty as I type this.
When I had this brilliant plan, I hadn’t quite thought through the whole “facing my fears” part, hmmmmmm, on second thought…

Nope, no I’m gonna do it, I’m sticking to the plan!

Step 1 to dating fearlessly, one has to figure out what fear(s) are blocking her progress in the love dept.

For the first time ever in my 39 years , I’ve been actively casually dating, no one specific man has had all my attention & I’ve been enjoying it ~ I will say it is quite fun having such a busy social calendar.
Getting to know different personalities, trying on different like/dislikes, learning about a new restaurant or activity ~ all good!

Throughout my 20’s & most of my 30’s, the concept of dating was lost on me. 
Finding dates seemed impossible, online was hit or miss back then,
flirting? phffftt, what was that?
If I had a date, I was nervous & awkward.
2nd dates were not common.
So I’d just sit back & swoon over the men who weren’t interested, daydreaming of love…
This then lead to the long stretch of throwing myself into my career.

A few years into that & tired of being alone, I decided to make some changes and take a good long look at myself
~ my thoughts, my beliefs, my patterns ~
I was ready, I wanted to find love.
I got me a dating coach & got to work!
Yes, I was that clueless when it came to relationships & needed guidance.

My amazing coach, Marni*, after much work got me back out there dating 
& almost instantly a quality man showed up!
Magic I tell ya, when you’re in the right space!
I had never experienced the fun & the joy of dating until him. The excitement of getting to know someone, reveling in their stories & sharing your’s, the rush of connecting to another soul, letting down of your walls & revealing your true self.
It was the most wonderful feeling.
I finally knew love.

It was amazing how easy it could be ~ why had I struggled so much before?
Why am I struggling again?
Am I struggling now? 

Lately I’ve started going for runs, a slightly shocking activity for me, 
but I’m really enjoying it. I love the feeling of strength & possibility I get while out on my run.
Music pumping, the sun on my face, the freedom in the moment.
So yesterday while doing a lap it hit me, this moment of clarity!
I’m too afraid to let myself be vulnerable again!

vul·ner·a·ble: adj    capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt

I am struggling within myself to let my guard down.
While these dates & men are great, I’m not letting them in…or letting them see the real me.

AM I willing to expose myself & my heart again?
Could I handle the pain again?


I want to say yes! Yes, I’m willing to let go of my fear!
Yes, to being open to the possibility of falling in love again.
But will I let down the safe walls I’m hiding behind?

I’m scared.
(funnily enough I’m willing to be vulnerable here with you, on the page, but in life? Oh boy!)
But I’m willing to try.

So the new goal going forward on these dates ~ share myself!
Be vulnerable!
LET GO!


Keep ya posted after this next round of dates 😉
Wish me luck 
xo

*I wanted to give a shout out to Marni Battista & her program, Dating with Dignity – she’s changed my life & if you’re looking for love I couldn’t recommend her more! I’ve talked about our work together in posts on First Love at 37 if you want more in depth to the story. Thanks Marni!! xo

2013 ~ a Dating Year in Review

Ahhhhh, as promised the “Best of 2013”
Seems like everyone is compiling their lists of “Top 10 _________ of 2013”, so I figured why not give a shout out to all the fun this year of dating has brought!
I chose my order of ranking not by the men & our compatibility, but on the experience of our time together…some were a blip, some short & sweet, other’s I at least remember their name 😉
Here we go…

#10. Didn’t Have to Leave my Couch Guy ~
ok, I’ll admit I did get off the couch to do my happy dance when he stood me up! 
We met at speed dating, got the email “we’re a match”, the texting began, which led to the phone call to plan our date, or so I thought…it actually turned into an hour & 1/2 whine-fest about his life, saved by my “dying” battery we left it in his court to pick our restaurant & was never heard from again – YES!! Cracked open a bottle of wine & had the best date in with myself!

#9. The Napper ~
You gotta wonder when at some point in every conversation we had he talks about his naps – how often is this guy awake? I woke him up one too many times…

#8. The Sext-er ~
the 1st Tinder casualty, he had the amazing talent of turning every conversation sexual, even when I’d call him out on it, he’d slide right into sext-er mode.
We never even made it to voice-on-voice contact…

#7. Slouching Buddha ~
the name says it all

#6. Mr. Accent ~
ok, we all know I’m a sucker for an accent, especially a British one, throw in tall, wears glasses & is an artist, I was a goner…
if only we had found common interests to share, oh & I wasn’t bored out of my mind…cheerio

#5. The Nice Guy ~
what can I say, he was a very nice guy…just not “my” nice guy. Thank you for some lovely evenings! There’s a nice gal out there for you 🙂

#4. The Vanisher ~
probably the most enjoyable date of the year conversationally…never to return again

#3. The Cheshire Cat ~
a mixture of characters this gentleman was as he regaled me with tales of his directing feats, for movies of the week are  

 such creative faire. As he puffed on his electric cigarette, the red glow was all I could see…was he? Could he be? The hookah-smoking Caterpillar? Or, no wait! I recognize that floating grin, for its the Cheshire Cat in the dark corner of the hipster bar Wonderland…

#2. Mr. Fun ~
I like to refer to him as my “palate cleanser”.
He arrived after a series of blah dates & invigorated my dating spirit! Lots of laughs, 
a great kisser & quite the tequila connoisseur – ole!

Drum rollllllllll please…
& the #1 spot for best date experience 2013 goes toooooooo

#1. Mr. A.D.D. ~
what can I say? You never know whats gonna happen next! 
From impromptu drinks to elegant dining, racing through the city streets on the back of his bike to warm & cozy by the fire…fun & exciting, yet lacking focused connection, but hey I can focus in other areas…let’s get on the bike & go! Such a rush!

So there you have it ~ the top 10 men of 2013!

On the line-up for 2014 ~ warming up in the on deck circle…
Our conversations (email/text/phone) have been had, 
now its down to in person…batter up!

Here’s their stats ~
The Librarian ~ new in town, this Canadian librarian has blue eyes & book smarts…I could get lost in this combo.
The Restauranteur ~ genuine smile, witty & quite charming…only thing is – he sounds exactly like my gay boyfriend Marc on the phone…let’s hope in person he’s straight!
The 2nd Time Around Guy ~ a few years out of his divorce, 2 teenage kids, seems stable, had a great 1st date, makes me laugh…we’ll see 🙂

While it looks like I’ll have to wait another year to experience my 1st New Year’s Eve kiss,
I have a really great feeling about the year ahead!!
And sure, there may still be some frogs along the way, but the romantic in me believes love might just be around the corner…

Until then I wish you all a happy, healthy & wonderful 2014!!!
I leave you with one of my all-time favorite “feel good” movie scenes ~ enjoy!!!

Happy New Year!!!!!
xo,
Carlie

Love Me Tinder-ly

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!
Hope you’re all enjoying a wonderful holiday season!!
Heading back home to Colorado soon, with my fingers crossed for a white Christmas, and figured I’d share a lil update on the dating scene…
oh, I should do a “Best of 2013” list, hmmmm that could be fun! ~ stay tuned for that one 😉

So, where were we?
Ah, yes, I was having some self-discoveries & decided to step back from the fun fling guy…
Logical next step ~ Speed dating!
Packed up the car with water, snacks & lipstick in preparation for my journey to the Westside.
The evening’s event was being hosted by a few Meet-up groups & was taking place in an alehouse that sounded like a cool place to check out.
Also figured it was good to change up the locale, check out the Westside male offerings 😉

It was fun.
Met some cool ladies prior to it starting, which is always the case, (there’s a lot of great single gals out there, c’mon guys!) 
We chatted as the men started to arrive. All anxiously wondering if this is the night we may meet “him”…
Wellllll…
 It was a very diverse group, which is cool, there’s a type for everyone.
I, myself, met 15 men in LA I did not need to know further.
I totally enjoyed our “mini” dates, conversations were good, but I was having trouble getting past the basic starters.
I wasn’t going deep & hard-hitting with my questions. I wasn’t revealing much about myself either. 
And, yes that is challenging with the allotted 5 minutes.
I’ll admit I may not have been at my “A” game, but I was out there….

Funnily enough, during the evening I got a text from Mr Fun in the Meantime.
I hadn’t heard from him in a while.
I will say I had never reached out to say “I’m moving on”, kinda just figured that we were that casual to fade away…
Nope  ~ boot-ay text mid-speed dating!
Its always so interesting to me how they “sense” the interest shift away from them…no, wait, remember me, we should hang out again, or at least tonight…

Decision time
Answer OR ignore the text?

I went with Answer. If I’m going to date w/dignity, I gotta answer.
Played it cool, sussed out the situation, definitely was a boot-ay text.

Decision time
Have some fun, cuz none of these 15 guys panned out OR honor your desires for a real relationship?

I decided to respect what I had already learned & not to go down that path again that ultimately left me lonelier than before.
I told him he was a great guy, enjoyed hanging out but I’m looking for more than what he’s admittedly willing to give.
**a HUGE moment for me!! Speaking my needs, even if/when its scary** 
 He totally respected it, said I was awesome, enjoyed all our dates & wished me well.
It felt so genuine, that it caused me to pause…maybe? maybe he is a cool guy & I’m giving up too soon?
Thankfully it only took me 2 seconds to catch myself. He wasn’t saying he wants what I want, he wasn’t trying to convince me to give it a go, he was just being a great guy, validating our time together.
Done…next?

So I think I may have ranted previously about the latest dating app that everyone seems to be doing & how I couldn’t imagine doing it…
yeah well, I’m doing it & LOVING IT!

I think it was my Pilates instructor relating it to video poker that I began to see the FUN in it. I was being way too serious about it before & viewing it as just another vehicle for possible rejection seeing as its so visually based…
Screw that! Its a riot & seriously addicting!
Its like winning in Vegas when you click “yes” on a profile & you’re a match, a new screen pops up, your pics roll together & voila – a match! 
If only the sound of coins chinging happened, that’d be perfection – jackpot!

I’m currently taking the stance of sitting back & letting the men contact me first 
(which is texting via the site)
My rationale is that my “liking” of your profile shows my interest, step up to the plate, let’s see what you’ve got…
In the future I may reach out, but so far I’ve got too many conversations to keep track of… 

Being a week in to the game, I’ve already had some pretty fantastic dates!

Cocktails in a log cabin

Disco Christmas drinks & laughing the night away

To a 2nd date that had adventure written all over it that I couldn’t say no to, no matter how scary some parts sounded
(you’ll laugh at what scared me)
This guy is pretty intense, knows what he wants, direct questions, digs deep, is spontaneous, & fun ~ I kinda dug him.

For the 2nd date his plan was ~ Motorcycle ride…Hollywood Hills…cocktails, dinner…fireplace

Oh yeah, this sounded GREAT! Except the fireplace part scared the bejesus outta me!
Never been on a motorcycle before, did that scare me? Noooo!
Exhilarate me, yes! The nervous scariness of that is a rush in the moment.
And the fireplace can be that same exhilarating rush too, & even better WHEN its with the right guy…but c’mon this is date 2, let’s just have fun, keep getting to know each other…

The ride through the city & the hills was AMAZING!!! Cutting through the crisp air, flashing past the holiday lights, holding tight, leaning in to the curves, the rev of the engine, picking up speed, passing the cars & off in to the open – oh my god!
Yeah that’s a rush!

Dinner was a surprise, 
I had no clue what to expect since I don’t know his tastes well enough, or at all really.
Well, from racing through the streets of LA, we shifted to completely different gears and had the most delicious 5 course tasting & pairing dinner that was so exquisite I don’t even know how to describe it.
Oh I wish I had a menu to share, each course was a food I had never had before and was sooooo amazing!

Truly an adventure at every turn on this date!

Its crazy how fast 2013 has gone!
 It has been a whirlwind of emotions, of men, of self-discovery.
Its been a year I wouldn’t change for the world, all the good & the bad, through it I have gotten to this wonderful space where I truly love my life & everyone who’s in it!
I’ve learned so much from all these dates, more about myself, more about what I desire, what the ideal partnership looks like for me & most importantly how to be open to the process of falling in love again.
From the Asst director to the Architect, the 50year old, to the sweet young 30-something from Texas, and all those in between, you’ve touched my heart this year & I thank you!!

I am beyond excited for the new year ahead & am claiming 2014 as the Year Of Dating Fearlessly!!
And who knows, but its looking likely that I’ll experience my FIRST KISS at midnight this year!
xoxo
Have a safe & happy holidays!! Here’s Percy Faith with “We Need A Little Christmas”
Enjoy!!!