Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Dating’

Just When You Thought It Was Safe…

Yesterday Greg performed a funeral service for someone we had known for several years – who had recently lost her husband to cancer.  While at the service, one of the senior ladies came up to him and told him she was getting married again.  “I finally landed him” she said of another man who was recently widowed.  Well this gave us a good laugh and proves once and for all that anyone can get married – at any age – love seems to have limits or requirements – and let’s face it – most people don’t want to be alone.  They would rather marry again  – anyone rather than be alone.  So this sparked a very colorful and fun conversation and got us really thinking about what it would be like if something happened to one of us and we found ourselves single again.

It came up because we were marveling at how people can go back after being married to the same person for so many years – and start over and date.  Now mind you we have been married for 30 years this September and neither of us have been on one of those ‘dates’ in more than 30 years  – Oh we date now – sweet little outings that are more about connecting and romance then they are about getting to know each other like on a first or second date – but we haven’t ‘dated’ in years – in fact I’m not sure we ever did.  I’m not sure I would know how.  We went from being friends into a relationship pretty fast back in college and sort of skipped over that part.  I would have to say that my last actual ‘date’ was with some creepy guy at college who asked me to the spring banquet.  I didn’t think he was creepy until that evening – but none-the-less  it is my memory of that evening – and the last real ‘date’ I was ever on.

I think ‘dating’ is highly over rated – not for the faint-hearted – and certainly something I would probably avoid altogether if I was back in a situation that left me alone and single.  Let’s face it – there are some pretty scary people out there.  I know.  I’ve had some of these people as friends over the years.  I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if married to one of them.  And let’s face it – someone can appear a certain way as a friend and then be completely different in real life – the daily grind, living, paying bills, through sickness and financial reversal.  And getting to be comfortable again with someone else – hard to do.  I mean – can you imagine it?  I can’t.

And so there we were – having one of those moments trying to take it all in – imagining what would happen if something should happen to one of us – and force the other one back in the ‘dating pool’ – just when you thought it was safe to be single. I teased him and told him he would have all sorts of women coming out of the wood work to get a shot at him – I’m sure they would come, it’s hard to find a decent hardworking man who is good-looking, kind generous and so on  – he’s a find for sure – and a minority in the sea of so many single women. He’s so great that several years ago I had someone even picked out for him to replace me upon my ultimate demise – a wonderful single gal from our church who was recently widowed with a small son.  And then she ruined everything and up and got married!!  Can you believe that?  We’ve had many laughs over it – in fact I even told this woman about it – and she was flattered – she got married to someone else – but still flattered 🙂  Man – can’t anyone wait anymore?  Sigh.  I have found NO ONE since her.

But I do applaud all those friends in our lives that have chosen to be single. It is not for everyone – and I think it takes real courage to remain so.  But there’s no one I admire more than the person who finds themselves single again due to a death of a spouse or a bad divorce.  Being ‘out there’ again is scary.  It takes real-time to grieve and grieve properly and fully before being ready to try again.  But we have known some of these wonderful people who have actually found love a second time around – and no one deserves it more than they do.  It should give all of us hope that God is really a God of reconciliation, love, forgiveness and second chances.  I love that about Him.  These wonderful friends somehow pulled themselves up  – went through all the ‘first dates’ and scary things that all single people have to do – and still they were able to work through all those emotions and find someone wonderful 🙂  Is there more than one special person for everyone?  You bet!

But as for me – I’m way too picky.  Greg has spoiled me for anyone else.  And No – he hasn’t picked out any guy for me upon his ultimate demise.  Men don’t do that – being territorial and all of that.  And he thinks no one could take care of me in the fashion in which I am used to – so it would be a moot point.  So I’m afraid it would be up to me in that case.  I’m sure I would be lonely but would also enjoy being single and not be anxious to be on that train again and be ‘out there’.  I have a few girlfriends who feel the same way – being in another relationship is simply not an option for them right now.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of how people actually change – just when you think you know everything about them.  Those that did not give it enough time – and they find themselves in a relationship with someone who turned out to be abusive or controlling – changing personality just when they thought they knew them.  That’s not for me.  I would have to know someone as a friend for a long while – to feel that I knew him through all the different seasons of life.  I don’t think I would ever ‘date’.  Nope it’s not for me.

For those of you that have found that special love a second time around – after being ‘out there’ – I want you to know that I respect you and I’m so happy for you.  That takes such great courage to find another relationship that works and that makes you so happy.  You are true heroes.

And for those of you that haven’t – just remember you could always ‘date’ again – just when you thought it was safe being single… 😉

God Bless

My Love List

There is an excellent book called “The Love List” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott that has a list of wonderful things for marriages.  In it they have things that couple should do once a day – once a week – once a month and once a year.  I thought I would take this list and add a few of my own personal favortes to it.  Enjoy!

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

E.E. Cummings

Once a day:

1. Find something that makes both of you laugh.  Humor has become the foundation of our  marriage – even in the rough patches.  Humor can relieve the tension – and even take the focus off of the negative and prevent us from being too self absorbed and selfish.  Those that are the healthiest laugh often and can even laugh at themselves.

2. Take time to touch.  Even if it is just a caress on the arm or hand – and kiss on the cheek  – it is still some physical contact that says much.  I am a “huggy” person – so physical touch is never hard for me.  If you don’t tend to be too physical – it may be just what your partner wants and needs – just a little squeeze for reassurance can mean so much.  Learn to be a FLIRT!!  It does wonders, that’s all I can say!

3.  Say something nice.  We can live off a good compliment for days – sometimes even weeks!  A kind word of encouragement is so endearing – especially from one you love.  This will boost their self esteem level and help them to be more positive and productive.  Our words are so powerful.

The development of a really good marriage is not a natural process.  It is an achievement.

David and Vera Mace

Once a week:

1. Have a date night.  More often than once a week if you can manage it.  It isn’t always possible at different seasons of your life – especially with young children, as that can get expensive – but budget for it – it is time and money well spent!  We are in a season of our lives where we have been dating much more often than once a week and it has changed and rejuvinated our marriage.

2. Plan to do active things together.  Maybe you both could take up golf or join a gym together.  Greg and I love to play golf – we played it before we had any children and we began to get back to playing it a couple of years ago – we need to do it more often!  It’s fun to play together!  Maybe just getting out for an after dinner stroll – or driving to a scenic place and doing some hiking and have lunch together.  All good stuff.

Spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.

Willard F. Harley Jr.

Once a month:

1. Plan your schedules together.  Find out what is happening during what days – what times are going to work for “dates” and when you’re going to be especially busy.  We do this now – sometimes even doing this on a weekly basis so we know how to plan – the schedule gets trickier when you are both self employed!

2. Take inventory of the previous month.  What worked?  What didn’t?  Talk about it – and make a conscious effort to spend more time to put the priority of you marriage at the top of the list.  Greg and I have literally spent hundreds of hours talking over the last year to make our marriage better.

3. Stay connected during the week physically and emotionally.  Be in tune to the other ones needs.  Greg has learned that I need emotional connection.  I need it all the time.  It has not been easy for him to stay alert and in tune – but he decided that it was worth it – and he says it’s been like going back to school and getting his degree in understanding me.  What a high compliment to me!  That he thought I was worth it.  That he would relearn some things that he had not been doing all through our marriage – that led to some misunderstanding and problems.  It was hard work – but he was determined!  Physical connection has been a bonus because of the hard emotional work.  We’ve become like a couple of teenagers – and I wouldn’t trade that away for anything in the world!  So worth it.  Talk A LOT!!!   Get really honest and authentic.  Do it.  It’s worth it – not always easy – but worth it.

Thrills come at the beginning and do not last…Let the thrill go and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills.

C.S. Lewis

Once a year:

Have a real vacation get away.  We try to do “mini” trips throughout the year – but once a year you should really go somewhere new and have a real “change”.  Plan for it in advance – put it on the calendar and then DO IT.  We like to go on cruises – we plan about a year and a half out – book it – put a deposit on it and then save for it throughout the year and a half.  We have been all over the place because we have not only talked about it – but we’ve been ON PURPOSE about going.  If you never plan for it – you will never do it.  This is our special “alone” time – just the two of us and it is not easy for us to share those times with others.

2. Don’t be afraid of change.  Change is the constant in this world and we must embrace it.  If we settle just for the “same old, same old” – that is what kind of marriage you will have.  You must stay current and be willing to listen more and talk less – truly make the necessary adjustments for our partner.  If we truly love and want to be loved back – you must resist the tempatation to take them for granted and think, “they already know how I feel”.  As time goes by it is even more important to do things for your partner to let them know that they are first priority.  If you do not do this – it can be like “death” to a marriage.  Ask your partner what you can do to be “better”.  And then really listen.  Make the decision that they are worth it to you.  Woman need emotional connection and a smart man will fill that need for her.  Men need physical love and admiration.  A smart woman will fill that need.  No one wants to be accused of not doing the best thing for the one they love.  Marriage problems begin because people stop doing these things.  They don’t pay attention anymore.  Don’t be that person.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

Simone Signoret

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s week as you embrace a “Love List” of your very own.

God Bless

Practicing “Safe Dating”

My husband – always the funny guy – coined the phrase above.

I was with my friend the other day for lunch – recently widowed and still pretty young – the subject almost always turns to the “dating” again thing.  She of course is less than anxious to “go there” again – and I mean – who could blame her.  No one wants to date again – if they don’t have to.  In fact – some of us that have been married since we were children don’t even remember much about dating – let alone trying to do that again.  It’s a spine chilling – horrendous thought indeed – enough to give you nightmares and make you want to back out of the human race entirely.

And yet…having many single friends – guys and gals – I will have to say that sometimes love the “second time around” is most successful – particularly if they “happen” to meet the right person through a blind date set up by a good friend who knows both people involved – or by a “safe” online dating service.  And by “safe”  – I’m referring to those services that screen very carefully – get lots of information – have limited contact until certain requirements are met etc.  My friends Teri and Craig met on and didn’t even talk on the phone for a few months – it was pretty strict.  That site insists that you talk for awhile via email – getting to know each other first – what you believe – your background etc.  and there are many questions that you both must answer first before you are ever “matched” with someone.  When these two finally exchanged pictures and had that first “date” in the mall – they knew quite a bit about each other already – so it was not too awkward.  But anytime you meet someone in person for the first time – it’s going to be a bit awkward – you just can’t help that.  But for them – it worked out and they are happily in their 2nd relationship – after having a bummer of a first.

Sometimes this is not the case – and I’m aware of this.  Statistics show that the divorce rate is even higher for 2nd marriages than for first ones – so it is not always a good thing to end one marriage for another.  I understand there are extenuating circumstances for ending a first marriage – abuse – infidelity etc. –  but usually people say in 2nd marriages – “if I had just worked harder on my first marriage – maybe it would not have ended”.

But like I said – I have many friends in my circle who have found themselves single again – for whatever reason.  And dating is a very scary thing to them.  I can imagine how they feel.  I would not want to do that “dating” thing again either.  Did I EVER date?  I always had a boyfriend during my teen years – but I’m not sure that classifies as a “date”.

What is a date?  I’ve seen my daughter go on one – when she was first dating her husband.  He would come to our house in his car – pick her up at the door after saying hello to us – then he would open the car door for her – and then they would go to a movie and to dinner – maybe the mall to walk around or to Seattle.  He took her to Ocean Shores once for the day – he was always thinking of romantic things that they could do together.  That is a date.  Doesn’t sound so scary, right?  But somehow it is.  If you don’t know that person – what their expectations are – it can be really scary.  Women worry about how they look – someone watching them eat – conversation during a meal – wondering about the physical expectations etc.  I’m not sure what men worry about – because I’m not a man – but I’m sure it’s similar.  Especially if a man is not used to dating that much.  I’m sure it’s – “will she like me – think I’m attractive – want something more than just friendship?”  I’m sure both sexes think much about the “more than friendship” thing.  How can you help it – especially if you are of a certain age – and you’re not kids anymore.

I have decided that nothing is going to happen to Greg – and that I will go first and HE can do the dating thing again – not me.  Even though he is older than me and the odds are in MY favor for outliving him by – oh let’s see – about 10 years.  What’s in a number, right?  He kids me and says that he will outlive me!  Yeah right.

Greg says we all just need to practice “SAFE DATING” – dating with no funny queazy feeling in your stomach – where everything is peaceful – no hidden agenda – no expectations that are unreasonable.  Safe dating where you both feel comfortable – you put each other at ease – conversation just flows and there is tons of laughter.  Where the other person is made to feel like the only person in the world – and the other person is the priority to your day – not the job – not the kids – not other people.  If every married couple would “safe date” there would be fewer divorces and relationship problems.

Lately I’m feeling so cherished and appreciated – Greg’s making up for much lost time in our own relationship and he’s taking it very seriously.  There’s NO WAY he’s going to let some other man appreciate me and meet my emotional needs – when he wants to be the ONLY one who does that – thank you very much.  If every man would take this attitude about the woman in their lives – it would be a much happier, healthier world.

Would I want to date someone else?  Wow.  No.  But if I found myself in that situation some day – my expectations would be pretty high – not sure if anyone could measure up – but like you – I would probably not want to do life all alone.  So I would practice “safe dating” – and would hope the other person would too!

Have an awesome day – practice some “safe dating” with your spouse or with a friend today.

God Bless

How To Date Your Husband…

You know how it is.  You are married a while.  You get comfortable.  You even start to take each other a little bit – sometimes a lot – for granted.  You forget the “little things” that used to be very attractive about your mate.  It’s a stretch sometimes to remember the “good old days” of courtship, the fun days of dating and flirting.  Every marriage has the possibility of growing stale – and even losing emotional connection.  This can be very damaging – because it happens so slowly over time – you don’t even realize it’s happening.  No marriage is “safe” from outside influences and “boredom” from inside.  If you think to yourself, “it would never happen to me”.  Think again.  I’m here to tell you that not only can it happen – it does happen and it may affect you and your marriage at some point in your life – if you’re human – and if you interact with people.

Need a recharge to your marriage?  Are things just not very exciting anymore?  Do you look for excitement from other sources?   Have you taken your spouse for granted?  Have you forgotten why you fell in love with them in the first place?

I have an antidote for this.  Start dating your spouse again.  I know it sounds silly.  You say, “we already live together – why should we date?”  I used to say that too.  Oh Greg and I would occasionally go out on a weekend – and go to lunch together during the week – but it was simply having a meal together – not much “deep” conversation.  Just work or kids was the topic of what we talked about.

Dating.  It means getting to know each other all over again.  Going back to the beginning of why you connected in the first place.  All the “little things” and “little inside jokes” between the two of you – coming back into play.  The flirting and playing and being like teenagers again.  Dating does not have to be wasted on the teenagers and early adults.  No.  You should be having fun!  Decide that you’re  going to have fun!!  Laughing and enjoying each others company.  No expectations – just all the fun coming back into play.

We can become WAY too serious in this life.  And I’m not playing down stresses in our lives – we have all have them.  We’ve had a really tough stressful year – and yet – we have chosen to “date” again – and it’s really been sweet and fun and wonderful.  It’s like discovering something new – that has been there all along – just hidden.

We go places together now like we first used to when we first discovered each other 30 years ago.  Greg has been more attentive and caring than I think he ever has in all of our 28 years of marriage – and we have talked more in the last 8 months than in all the years we’ve been married too!!  That’s AMAZING!!

I would say – that you both have to really want to change and adapt throughout the different seasons of life and your marriage.  Don’t take anything for granted.  Make “dating” a priority.  Don’t let anything else – or anyone else get in the way of that.  And when you have this emotional connection – then the physical connection will be really wonderful too.

If you’re a married guy reading this – I suggest that you “date” your wife again.  You want some “spice” in your marriage?  Surprise her by being attentive to her – by wanting to emotionally connect with her.  Treat her like the most prized possession in the world!  Take her with you places – enjoy being with her – hang on her every word.  Listen to her heart.  Meet her emotional need to be loved and cared for – no matter what.  Tell her she comes first – not your job or anything else.  Ask her advice on things.  Take her advice and encouragement to heart.  Believe me – if her emotional needs are being met – you will have a very happy wife – and a happy wife – is a loving wife – and your love life will improve so much – it will blow you away 🙂

If you are a wife reading this – Meet his needs.  Period.  I wrote a blog many months ago called “Men are Simple” and have had many comments and emails sent on this subject.  Basically what I said in that is nothing new.  Men are simple with simple needs.  Admire them – they need to be the “Hero” in your life.  Feed them.  Especially something homemade from you – Men love to eat – be prepared for this at all times!  Physical Love – we all know what that is.  Fill that need.  When a Man’s basic needs are met – they are much more receptive to meeting yours.  I promise.  You want a happy Man?  Be the “fantasy” women of his dreams.  Sounds simple?  It is.  Why do we not do it?  Because life happens – stress and paying the bills.  We become way too serious – lose our sense of humor – have children and are tired taking care of the house.  But I promise you can turn it around!  Try laughing at his jokes more – encourage him to talk more about his job – ask him questions and let him talk.  Take an active interest in his life.  Men love women who do this.  Be more interested in him than you are in anything else – and I promise you will have results.  First it will surprise him – but then he will be so flattered by it – and by the attention – that he will be putty in your hands 🙂

What are you waiting for???  Start dating your spouse today!!!

God Bless

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