Part of finding your own quiet requires that you own what you want, what you don’t necessarily want, and when you want it.
As a woman who hasn’t ever aspired to be married, it’s sometimes hard to bridge the gap between the lifestyle of my mother and my own lifestyle. I don’t want her lifestyle and she definitely doesn’t want mine – that’s not an issue. But talking is sometimes an issue unless we preface every thought and statement with something akin to “this is based on my view of my world and doesn’t have anything to do with your view or your world.”
After many years of being the one who wasn’t married in rooms full of marriage conversations, I am finally becoming relevant. As friends and colleagues move on to second lives, second careers and post-marriage love, I finally know about issues that they’re interested in.
While I may not be the authority on forever, I do know a bit about changing it up, trying new things, and trying out people for the purpose of making them a part of your life.
I have a special treat for you on Mother’s Day – a guest post from my friend and Renaissance woman Donna A. Lewis. Donna has way more experience with men than I do and I thought she would be a great resource for all of us dating re-entrants!
Donna lives in Washington, DC where she dabbles obsessively in law, writing and art. She is the creator of Reply All comic strip and Reply All Lite cartoon, both of which are syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.
I have the perfect lunch for us while we sit back and read Donna’s post. Let’s enjoy spaghetti al pomodoro (http://tinyurl.com/m9d37f9), Audrey Hepburn’s favorite recipe, recreated by food blogger Tori Avey.
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Donna A. Lewis
For five or so decades, my mother has been talking to me about men. She considers herself an expert on men because she’s been married to one man for a really long time. In fact, she’s been married to that one man for as long as I’ve known her.
It’s hard for me to explain to my mother in a respectful, discreet way that what she actually knows is a lot about one man.
“Yeah, mom, you know about men. You know about one man named Joe.”
For the record, Joe isn’t my father’s real name. I changed the name to protect my father’s identity.
“Yeah, mom, you know a lot about ‘Joe’…. but I know somewhere between a little and a lot about hundreds of men.”
See? I told you. There’s not really an easy way to respectfully and discreetly say that the reason you know a lot about men is because you have actually known a lot of men.
But I do. I do know my fair share about men.
Now maybe I don’t personally know a lot about hundreds of men, but I do know about a large enough number of men to provide a scientific sampling upon which we can base supportable conclusions.
And maybe I don’t know a lot about staying with one man forever, but nobody I know really has that as their top priority these days anyway since forever is different from the forever we grew up with.
What I do know about is how to meet men. And I know how to have a really good time with them. And I know how to get rid of them.
Now THAT, my friends, is valuable information for the modern woman.
To be honest, I didn’t realize how valuable that information was until so many of my married friends became unmarried. All of a sudden, I had some information they needed and didn’t have.
But before I tell you my 50 all-time favorite ways to leave lovers, let me tell you how to actually get a lover. Or two. Or ten.
Want a lover.
Sounds simple and kind of obvious, but do you really want a lover or do you just think you should want a lover? And if you actually want a lover, are you sure you want a lover now? Are you lover-ready, emotionally and otherwise?
The gist of this tip is really ‘don’t look for a lover before you’re ready for a lover.’ If you look for a lover too soon or at the seriously wrong time, all you’ll do is cripple your self-esteem with rejection resulting from bad timing.
Don’t go there until you’re ready to be there.
Look good. Feel good. Be intentional about being in the best condition to attract a lover. You don’t need to be a perfect hourglass size zero with double D boobs, high slit skirts and perpetually tanned skin. And hopefully you’re not, since that’s…well…you know.
But you need to generally look like you want to be attractive to those you wish to attract.
If you’re not sure whether you look like you want a lover, ask one of your most honest friends. An honest friend will tell you whether you look like you’re thinking about loving a lover or thinking about eating double stuffed pizza while learning to make your own curtains.
Go where the men are.
If you want to go where the men are, join a few local meetup (or other) free social groups and look at the male to female ratio before attending. If the group boasts one man for every twenty women, then you won’t be going home with a lover.
And don’t spend too much time hanging out where the men aren’t. Most men are generally not painting pottery or attending Pilates. They’re not usually at Sunday brunch or the shopping mall.
And if you’re thinking it’s a shame that your interests don’t include men, then prepare for a lot of time spent without men. Or find a few new interests.
Go where there are more men than women.
Go to a local dive bar that has televisions playing sports. Ask the men silly questions about sports and let them talk. Go to a local Comic Con, gaming outlet, car show or gun show. Hang out at Home Depot in the area where they sell wood. Ask the men at Home Depot silly questions about wood – the kind of wood they sell at Home Depot.
If you hang around places where men tend to be, the odds of meeting a man increase significantly and naturally.
Consider everything practice.
Remember when you were in the sixth grade and you had to present a book report to the class? Remember how well you did at home with your mom watching you and cheering you on? Remember how you then got to school and felt like throwing up when you realized you forgot what the notes on your index cards meant?
The same thing happens when you’re looking for a man to love you. You feel great when you’re safely at home being all cute and funny online with men who want to chat. Then you leave the safety of your house and remember that you have cellulite, a crooked tooth, and a top on top of your muffin.
When you leave your house, instead of thinking in terms of success or failure, think of everything you do as practice. Go on practice dates or practice trips to Home Depot. Ask practice men your practice questions. Don’t consider any activity the ‘real thing’ and you’ll be more relaxed. More importantly, you’ll be better prepared to accept whatever happens. …since it’s just practice.
Have fun no matter what.
Enjoy whatever you’re doing. Laugh at whatever is happening, even if the joke is on you. If you can have fun no matter what, more things will be more fun.
And people who have fun attract people who like having fun.
Talk to people.
Remember that people are shy, including men. And remember that other people are waiting for you to make a move, create an opening or give a sign.
So just say hi. And be really friendly. And make a stupid joke about something simple that makes them laugh and realize you’re one of those people who are easy to talk to.
And then be easy to talk to.
Leave the unsexy topics at home.
Talking about your ex, your divorce, your custody problems, your toe fungus, that weird bump that might be cancer but might just be a bump….none of these are part of foreplay.
And talking is foreplay if you talk about the stuff that turns people on.
If you’re not sure what turns people on, talk about delicious food, your favorite music or hot cars. Don’t talk about food issues, music you hate or the car problems you can’t afford to fix. Stick with the stuff that makes people feel good. When the listener feels good, the listener is more likely to like you.
Touch others appropriately.
If you’ve been talking to someone for more than five minutes and it’s going well, try an appropriate, light, gentle touch on their forearm or shoulder. Start making contact.
Practice by touching their sleeve or watch or ring and saying you like it and asking where they got it. Combine flattery with a gentle touch and you’re closer to getting a lover than you were before.
Be proud of rejection.
Rejection means you tried. Rejection means you’re out there. Rejection means you’re human and that you’re interacting with humans.
If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not out there enough.
There’s ten tips to get you started!
And please, let me know how it goes! I need material for my future posts!