Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: relationships (page 1 of 6)

A gift of the present

It’s Sunday night and I wanted to write a little more of my story, but John just left and I’m feeling lazy.

I was in Oregon last week and got back just in time to see John on Monday night before catching the train back home Tuesday morning.  He worked all week away from home, and got back Thursday night late.

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A Love Story

Right after John asked me to be his girlfriend, he wrote this column for the newspaper. It is still one of my favorites. (You might want to grab a tissue for this one).

A Love Story

My Mom and Dad were married for a very long time.

And it can happen – when a man has been married for a long time – that he becomes a bit low-key in the ways he shows his wife how special she is to him. After enough years of marriage we guys can misplace our flare for the dramatic, and we can underwhelm when just the opposite is called for.

Upon the approach of my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary I think that might have been where Dad was headed. Not that that would have been an unforgivable thing, just the opposite really. Mom would have been happy with whatever he did – but then she’s like that. She was happy to be married to the man she loved – if he remembered an important date, well, that was icing on the cake.  Continue reading

Will you be my girlfriend?

What does that mean, girlfriend?

On March 21, 2012 John asked me to be his “girlfriend”. I had no idea what that even meant to him.

I’ve used the term “girlfriend” casually and never thought of what it meant to anyone else. To John it was a big deal. It was a step towards “forever” and his experience with forever wasn’t a good one.

I’d met John eight months earlier, and I can say that the best thing that ever happened to us…for us… was the fact that we became friends first. Once the pressure of the possibility of a romantic relationship was taken off the table, we both relaxed and stopped acting like peacocks looking for a mate.

There was no need to try to impress the other in hopes of “pick me”.   Continue reading

You can’t have spring without going through winter- part 2

I walked back into the bar and up to John. We looked at each other and then held each other, crying. It was all so sad.

We talked as John walked me to my car. I told him I thought what he did was “shitty”. He didn’t like that word at all. It was odd, he just didn’t want me leaving thinking HE was a shitty person.

We said goodbye to each other and I headed home. That night I cried.

I cried for the loss of “us”. After all of the relationships I’d been in, and through each failed attempt, I’d learned more about myself and who I wanted in my life. I could see us fitting together.

But apparently John couldn’t. 

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You can’t have spring without going through winter

I’ve clearly been dragging my feet about sharing this next part of my (our) story. But here goes…

It was February 2012 when I had the unfortunate incident with my co-worker at the winery. It was also that incident that got me to pick up the phone and call John.

I knew I wanted to tell him and get his support and I’ll admit, even a hug. Which is exactly what I got.

Over the next three weeks we talked almost every day. We played tennis and hiked and went to coffee and dinners together. Just like we used to.

He was still busy driving back and forth to the valley to get his house ready for the new tenant. But most days we were doing something together.   Continue reading

The wrong place…

After John’s flat-out, in my face, “NO, I don’t ever see us in a relationship” statement, I was a bit numb. I had to come to grips with the fact that not only did I had a bad picker, but my instincts were off.

You know what having a bad picker means right?

Yep, that was me, the president of the “can’t pick the right guy club”. And my instincts couldn’t have been more skewed if I was looking at the world upside down.

Most of all, I was mad.   Continue reading

When it’s time to call it off

I want to share more of my story, and know most everyone who is close to me already knows all of this. But I also know there are way more people who don’t.

So I’m going to continue sharing.

I left off in January of 2012, with John deciding he still wanted to date around, and me wondering what the hell just happened.

Over the next month our relationship became more and more strained. I knew John was dating other women and I had no idea if he would ever let go of that pattern of casual dating and see what we had.

He was messaging me daily and we still did a lot of things together. But it wasn’t the same.

We planned to meet up for coffee on Valentine’s Day, but the day before while chatting on the phone I asked a question that was on my mind most days.

I asked, “Do you see us getting into a relationship?” He simply said, “No”. So then I asked, “Do you EVER see us getting into a relationship?” His response sank me. “No, Loretta, I don’t ever see us getting into a relationship.” Continue reading

I am not…

This last weekend I helped coordinate a big event in Redondo Beach. It’s called FierceCon. The founder of The Forever Fierce Revolution, Catherine Grace O’Connell wanted to create an event to bring together women from her community.

From all over the world.

I wanted to write about my experience there, but when Linda Williams shared her experience with the group, I was moved beyond measure. I believe her words speak the truths of many of us there. Continue reading

The evolution of Motherhood

I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.

We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.

The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.

I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.  Continue reading

How to Mom

We learn how to be women from our moms, or at least a mother figure.

So we watch them closely and subconsciously put each act or word into columns of either, “This is good advice to live by and pass on,” or “No way do I believe this and I am so not going to do this to my kids.”

There are probably a lot of other columns too, but those two stand out the most for me.

I learned how to be a woman by watching my mom. Which is probably why I’m not a girly girl. She didn’t wear makeup or dress in pretty clothes. And she lived in “practical shoes” and flip-flops.

I think she made most of her dresses. You’ll recall I said she only wore dresses, even as a farm-woman, right? I have to wonder if her mom wore dresses too. But I can’t recall much about my grandmother.

My mom learned how to be a woman from her mother too. It’s passed down from one generation to the next with varying degrees of changes for each of us.  Continue reading

Filling in the blanks

Do you ever wonder what it was like for your parents when they were kids? I don’t think about my dad’s youth as much as I do my mom’s. That’s probably because she was the rule-maker of our home.

And the enforcer too.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think about or care what made her the way she was, I was more concerned with ducking her flip-flop as she tried to swat me with it for not doing what I was told.

But as an adult, I have to wonder what it was like for her growing up in that little farmhouse in Michigan with four brothers and three sisters.

She was born in the spring of 1924, unless you go by what her headstone reads. Not sure how that happened, but it’s off by a year. She was the second child of eight, in a home that would soon be crowded.  Continue reading

What was he thinking?

Last week’s posts, sharing our story about how we went from friends to more than friends, got a lot of comments like “What was he thinking!?”

We thought we would share a video that may help shed some light on just what goes on inside some men’s heads when getting into a relationship. Especially those who have been hurt in previous relationships.

Check out this week’s Love Over 50 video:  Continue reading

The loop-de-loop

We got back from our four days of working on John’s home on a Sunday night in January 2012. I didn’t see John the next day, but we got together on Tuesday for coffee and to go over the applications for tenants.

We were sitting side by side at the Starbucks we’d first met at and John had applications spread out on the table. His phone was there too.

Within just a few minutes his phone lite up with a text message. From Toni. 

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Hopping on the roller coaster

Driving home from our road trip, I was content and happy. I had a wonderful time with my kids and new granddaughter. And it felt like John and I were closer, even though we hadn’t seen each other in two months.

On our way back, I was looking at a text John had sent me and I said out loud, “I think I’m falling for him.” My son said, “Yeah, I noticed.”

I could see the man he was before his divorce. The one who was devoted to his little family and their life together. I could also see the profound hurt that kept him from “going there” again.

So I wasn’t surprised when he texted me and asked what day I would be home. Or that he asked to come over and play tennis with me the very next day.   Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

John wrote this post while I was away for the holidays. He was messaging me daily and we both agreed  online dating was getting old.

Column 26 – Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

(I used this column to say “focus on where you’re at”.
I also used it to disparage the dating sites a little. They can be frustrating, and I wanted to tell people if the sites are annoying then the best thing to do is leave them alone for a minute.
About the time I wrote this one, I texted Loretta to get her thoughts on the sites. She said they didn’t feel ‘organic’ to her, and that she was done with them.
I said I agreed and was going to take a break from them myself – saying it would probably be months before I got back online).

Something I’ve come to know about myself is I can be stubborn at times.

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The Dance – If you want him to move towards you – Step back

Let’s see….where did I leave off?

Oh yeah, with John running off. Can you believe after months of a friendship and then just one night together he ran?

I actually could. Predicted it even.

The good news: I knew John well enough at that point and suspected it would take a lot of patience if we were ever going to be anything more than friends.

The bad news: I was irritated by his behavior just the same. There was no reason to not meet for coffee or join me in a tennis game or go hiking. Something! But, nope, he wouldn’t meet up with me.

So I got busy with my own life. 

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If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?

After John and I had our one and only romantic evening, he was still texting me and sending me his columns, but all of a sudden he didn’t have time to meet for coffee or play tennis or get together at all.

So I got busy with my own life and plans and let John figure out his own issues.

Column 22 – If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?

(One of the things Loretta and I had in common was our love of family – we sort of lived for our kids. Continue reading

Book Excerpt – November 2011 – When Sparks Fly

This is a book excerpt from November 2011. John and I had known each other for about five months at this point. Though we had started out as friends, we were now both single, and sparks were flying.

November 2011

One evening in November sitting together on Loretta’s deck, which overlooks a tree studded hillside, the conversation turned to personal matters. She told me of her life – and of how big a role her kids played in it. My stories paralleled hers as I told her how I wanted my life to look, and how important my kids were to me.

We’d been having these conversations for a while now – at least since September – and I think we were both getting the same sense from them. The one that tells you that, hey, there’s got to be a reason why this person always feels so comfortable to be around.

John was desperately trying to keep me at an arms distance, especially when it came to his heart.

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Love Over 50 – Friends First

Last week we started our new YouTube vlog, Love Over 50. We had a lot of fun with just a quick 3-minute intro about us. And, in the spirit of keeping it short, here is this week’s video:

Thank you for watching and also for your questions. We enjoyed receiving questions and feedback about us, and also the process of finding love in midlife.

Feel free to ask away, we aren’t shy.

Until next week…

When “Just Friends” changes into something more

For those who have been following along on my blog you know when John and I first met, through online dating, we became “just friends”. We both started dating other people, but because of his columns that I was editing, we talked almost daily.

He would come over and sit on my deck and we’d talk for hours about our lives. We played tennis and met for coffee several times a week. We shared our stories with each other and helped each other through difficult breakups.

Just Friends

My favorite times together where when we sat on that deck and John talked about his childhood, his family and growing up. He had some of the funniest stories to share, and they found their way into his columns.

His readers loved it as much as I did. 

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