The Ephemeral Flame

Cold cash
Cold comfort
Calm
Comfortable
Content

Dark days
Devoid desire
Dull
De-stressed
Detached

And then one day she reappeared
And there was warmth and light and love
It was as he remembered
And thought would never be again

Too hot
Ouch!
And as suddenly as she appeared
She was gone

Scorched
Saddened
Secluded
Serene
Safe

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Nobody Says It Better

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Who has been in a relationship that you knew was wrong? And your friends knew it was wrong. But you kept going back, because it was so….right.

I started thinking about such past relationships while driving to work, as I was listening to my Carly Simon playlist, and the song “Jesse” came on. Very poignant lyrics to that song.

I have only a few of my own words to contribute to this post, because nobody says it better than Carly Simon. Just a little editing and rearranging Carly’s lyrics. The “he”s could be “she”s, depending on who is telling the story.

Annie, keep reminding me
That he cut out my heart like a paper doll
Sally, tell me once again
How he set me up just to see me fall

Jesse, quick come here
I won’t tell a soul
My friends will all say “She’s gone again”
But how can anyone know what you are to me?
That I’m in heaven again because you’ve come back to me!

My friends….they think I’ve sunk so low
LA LA LA, LA LA!
LA LA LA, LA LA!
LA LA LA, LA LA!!

Jesse, I will put on cologne
And sit by the phone for you
And sit by the phone for you
And sit by the phone for you

Oh mother, say a prayer for me.

Songwriters: Mike Jr Mainieri / Carly Simon
Published By Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

I Just Need Someone To Love

I’m trying something new for my dating site blurb. Instead of saying that I like to eat vegetarian food and sushi, and that I enjoy yoga, hiking, long walks, and board games, I thought I’d try something different. So here it is. I’ll probably change it back tomorrow.

I get by with a little help from my friends
I get high with a little help from my friends [1]

While this is true, and I am extremely grateful for my friends, I want something more.

I want somebody to love
I just need someone to love [1]

I see a lot of profiles that say something like this:

I am happy with my life, and I don’t need a romantic relationship. But, it would be a nice addition.

They say that a romantic relationship would be “dessert” or “icing on the cake” or “the cherry on top”. I don’t feel that way. For me, a romantic relationship, or what I’d prefer to call a primary relationship, is not dessert; it’s the main course. I want a partner who also wants a main course, who won’t think of me as dessert. I want to be the priority in her life, as she will be in mine. Friends, relatives, kids, they all have (or will have) their own families to keep them busy, who are their priorities. My partner is the person who will stand by my side through the remainder of my life, the person who will be there for me whenever I need her, the person who will always be available when I need to talk, the person who will pick me up if I fall. She will be my soft place to land. And I will be all these things for her.

Even though it’s likely been torn out and trampled on many times, as has mine, the partner I am looking for will be brave enough to wear her heart out on her sleeve, as I will with mine. She knows that it’s a big risk, but the potential payoff is what will make life worthwhile.

When we find each other, we will both want to say this:

You’re just too good to be true
I can’t take my eyes off you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off you [2]


[1] Lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
[2] Lyrics by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Car

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[Reposting my first blog post, from January 23, 2016.]

I was divorced in August 2005. Since then I’ve been (almost) relentlessly trying to find my life partner. I say almost, because there have been multiple times when I said “I’m done!” but usually that only lasts a few days, and in the worst case, a few months.

People have told me that I’m too particular. Lately I’ve been using OKCupid, which gives a percentage match with each profile, based on questions we’ve both answered. I’ve found that even if someone is a 99% match, and we’ve answered 4000 questions in common, there is always something that is a dealbreaker. I look at the “unacceptable answers,” and usually it only takes a few seconds until I find a disqualifying answer. Maybe she doesn’t date Jews. Maybe she sleeps with her pet on the bed. Maybe she won’t date someone who needs alone time. Maybe she’s a racist. Maybe spelling mistakes and bad grammar *don’t* annoy her (the horror!). This search is time consuming, often depressing, and frustrating.

I thought about my friend, Paula, who recently bought a new car. She decided what car she wanted, what features she needed, called a car broker, and voila, a few days later, a shiny new car that was exactly what she wanted appeared in her driveway! And this made me think: Why can’t searching for a partner be as easy as shopping for a car? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Then I realized, if buying a car were like selecting a partner, I would be carless. Now, I have a car, and I really like it. It’s a 2006 Toyota RAV4 V-6. It has almost all the features I want. It has lots of space inside, it’s reliable, it has good acceleration, it’s compact and easy to drive and park, it looks nice, and it gets decent gas mileage. It’s a good car.

Now, here’s why I would be carless. There could be a better car. I haven’t found it yet, but here’s what it would be like.

First, it would have all the features I like in the RAV4. But, the RAV4 isn’t perfect; it lets in a lot of road noise on the freeway, and makes it hard to hear the radio. The Lexus RX is awesomely quiet. But, it’s too expensive. I can’t afford it. Unacceptable. Block that profile.

The RAV4 also only gets decent gas mileage. What would be awesome would be an electric car. Doesn’t use gas at all. The Nissan Leaf is electric. Nice car, but it only has a range of about 100 miles. Unacceptable. Hide that profile.

The Tesla is an electric car, and it has a range of 300 miles. Awesome! But, it’s even more expensive than the Lexus. Unacceptable. This is frustrating. I’m done! Shut down my dating profile.

The only way I could have a car is if I wait until “they” come out with a car that has all the features of the RAV4, is as quiet as the Lexus, runs on electricity, has a range of over 300 miles, and is in my price range. I’ll just wait until I find “the one.”

But, I have to drive, so I have my car. And it’s served me well. I fill it up, try to drive in a style that conserves gas, and turn up the radio a little louder when I’m on the freeway. As it’s aged, it’s developed some rattles and squeaks. I don’t mind. They add a bit of charm. Maybe they make me like it more. I’ve grown attached to it. I might even say I love my car.

Evolution of a Relationship (In the words of Lennon and McCartney)

I wrote this a while ago, before I had a blog. Sharing with you all now. All words copyright of Lennon/McCartney.

Evolution of a Relationship
In the words of Lennon and McCartney

Meeting
And please, say to me 
You’ll let me hold your hand

Contact
And when I touch you I feel happy inside

Infatuation
Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you

Love, Phase I
I can’t explain, the feeling’s plain to me, say can’t you see?
I love you

Love Phase II
She says *she* loves *you*!
And you know you should be glad!

Love Phase III
Love is all you need

Love Phase IV
Woman I will try to express
My inner feelings and thankfulness
I love you
Now and forever

Resentment
I don’t wanna sound complaining
But you know there’s always rain in my heart
I do all the pleasing with you
It’s so hard to reason with you
Why do you make me blue?

Sadness
Though tonight she’s made me sad
I still love her
If I find her I’ll be glad
I still love her

Codependence
My life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Quarreling
You say yes, I say no
You say stop, I say go
You say high, I say low
You say why, I say I don’t know

Communication breakdown
When I call you up
Your line’s engaged
I can’t get through
My hands are tied
We have lost the time
That was so hard to find
And I will lose my mind
If you won’t see me

The end is near
Here I stand head in hand
Turn my face to the wall
If she’s gone I can’t go on
Feeling two-foot small

The end
And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

Carrying on
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on till tomorrow
Let it be

Exhausted

Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve exhausted all possible matches on all of the major dating sites. This is no small feat. I’ve worked hard at it.

The first time I signed up for a dating site was in December 2005. JDate. Soon after, the other sites followed. Match. eHarmony. OKCupid. Recently the photo swipe sites became popular, so I added accounts with them. Tinder. JSwipe. Hinge. Bumble.

I’m been on a quest to narrow down my search. Each site has a way of excluding a profile from future searches. On JDate and eHarmony, it’s the Block. On Match, it’s the Remove. On OKCupid, it’s the Hide. And on Tinder, JSwipe, Hinge and Bumble, it’s the Swipe Left.

How many profiles have I blocked/removed/hidden/swiped left? I don’t know. I’ve lost count. I can tell you this. On eHarmony, they used to tell me how many profiles I closed. (Back in those days, eHarmony had the Close, before they changed it to the Block.) The last time this feature was active, I had closed 5000+ profiles. They stopped sharing this information about five years ago, which was about halfway through my eHarmony tenure. You can do the math.

Match doesn’t tell me how many profiles I’ve removed. What it does tell me is how many other members have looked at my profile. As of today, my profile has been viewed 5728 times. For some reason, this gives me pride. I’m not sure why. It means 5728 women looked at my profile and either they rejected me or I rejected them. Or more likely, both.

The place where Match tells me how many women viewed my profile has a little button that I can push to reset it to zero. It looks like this.

Match-Viewed

I don’t know why this button is there, other than to taunt people like me who like to push buttons. If you’re wondering how I resisted the temptation to push this button after ten years, wonder no more. I’ve pushed it. I confess. I have no self-control! I think there were about 500 views of my profile when I pushed the button. (Random thought: It’s a good thing my finger isn’t on the nuclear button.)

Anyway, see what I meant when I said it’s no small feat? It’s become a hobby of mine. I get a feeling of accomplishment each time I block/remove/hide/swipe left a profile. I feel I’m that much closer to finding my soulmate.

Each site has its own way of telling me I have no more matches.

JDate shouts at me: “No Profiles Found!”

Several of the sites make suggestions for me to broaden my search.

Tinder suggests that I look in another location: “There’s no one new around you. Use Passport to choose a new location.” I wonder where I should look. I’ve heard that women outnumber men in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. I can look there. Not sure it will help me find someone within my 25 mile radius.

Hinge has two suggestions: “That’s it for now. Invite more friends or try expanding your age range so we can go find you more matches.” I understand the part about expanding my age range. But inviting more friends? Do they think I’ll suddenly realize that one of my friends is my soulmate after she joins Hinge, and we are matched up?

Bumble also suggests that I invite some friends: “Looks like you’re out of people. Check back soon or invite some friends!”

Match tries to help, but doesn’t have a specific suggestion: “Find someone unexpected. Expand your search to meet new people.”

Similarly, JSwipe and OKCupid have nonspecific suggestions.

JSwipe: “We cannot find users near you. Check your match filters to broaden search.”

OKCupid: “Try fewer options. The best searches are often less restrictive. Give it another shot!”

eHarmony’s message is a little different: “Love’s within reach! Our matching system is hard at work — please check back soon.”

BRB.

OK, I’m back. I had to “check back soon”. Only one of the sites had new matches, and it was Match. There are two new matches! Must be two new women who just joined as I was writing this blog post. For both of these women, I don’t satisfy their requirements, listed under “Who She’s Looking For”. For one, I’m too old and too short. She wants someone over 5’10”. That seems to be the magic height, 5’10”. I’m too short for the other one too. She wants someone who is over 5’9”. (I’m 5’8”.) That’s close enough that I might give her a chance, but she also specifically asks for someone who enjoys participating in sports. Remove, remove. Back to a clean slate. Something in me likes it when there is a clean slate.

One last thing. I know what you’re thinking. How can I say I’ve tried all the major sites, when I haven’t mentioned Plenty of Fish? I do have an account on POF. But it doesn’t have a way to block/remove/hide a profile. What fun is that?