Second Chances

February 21, 2012 at 7:32 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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It’s a question on every woman’s mind on Valentine’s Day in the 9-5 world.  Who’s man is going to make their woman feel really special by sending flowers to her office for all her female colleagues to see?  It’s always somebody.  So when a friend of mine was the lucky gal this year in her office, everyone was surprised, including my friend.  My friend never really spoke about dating anyone.  She spoke often about her ex-husband, but never any recent love interests, so I had to prod her for more information, and the story she told me is a true testament to second chances.

The man behind the flowers turns out to be an old friend who she knew when she and her ex-husband-to-be first started dating, back when she was in her mid-twenties.  Both men had an interest in her and probably didn’t like each other partially because of that.  The man she ended up with was the one who stuck his head out more, the one who had the guts to approach her, the bolder one.  A classic case of “nice guys finish last” syndrome.

But the marriage quickly deteriorated.  Now a single, attractive woman barely in her forties, perhaps she thought that was all that was meant for her.  Perhaps she thought that her life would be complete with the love of her family, friends and cats and the fulfillment of a meaningful job.  I can’t say what she thought.  But I think there is a light in all of us that deep down shines with hope for a second chance when at first you don’t succeed.

I don’t know how they reunited, but they did, and now the nice guy is coming out with guns blazing.  It’s such a spectacular display of wooing the sound of “aww” would make you think a gaggle of girls were surrounding a newborn baby.  It’s the romance and the excitement of the possibilities.  It’s the effort a man takes to impress you, to make you smile.

Who knows what will come of her second chance, but let it be a lesson to all of us.  It’s not over until its over.  Life is full of curve balls. You make the best decisions you can in the moment.  Don’t regret these decisions. If they weren’t meant to be, you may very well get a second chance to try again.

Impossible Standards

January 12, 2012 at 7:31 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 1 Comment
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In recent weeks, I have taken real serious notice of the fact that I hang out with a ton of single people.  Like, way more than I do couples (side note: if you are a couple and looking to party it up with another couple, hit me up).  It’s not that I have totally changed who I hang out with.  I have a number of friends who are newly, or semi-newly single is the real contribution to this situation.  So I’ve had the opportunity to watch my friends go through the dating scene and as they sift through options, and come out with turn ons, turn offs, non-negotiables, and some seemingly strange reasons to not give someone a second chance.

I’ll provide two examples from the past few weeks.  After attending a live music event, I met a friend’s date.  She was a nice girl and since I am usually the only girl with the guys, I welcomed conversation with her, and she seemed to really click with my friend.  The venue was set up as standing room only, so we were standing there for a long time.  Being a petite woman, I wore some heels that are usually comfortable, but not for standing hours on end.  The girl saw how uncomfortable I was and went running around the venue trying to find me a bar stool.  I took this incident as her trying to be friends with her date’s friends, because why would you take a date out with your friends if you didn’t want that to happen?  He took that as, “It’s only our 2nd or 3rd date, and she failed the test.”  Apparently, she should have stuck by his side all night.

Another example.  I’ll call this one the anti-type.  After some talking and a date or two with a guy whose upbringing was privileged, my friend, who had a much rougher upbringing, decided that they were too different — that it would never work.  She really seemed to like him at first. They enjoyed some good conversation, but somehow this was a deal-breaker.

Two situations that for many, many people would not be reasons to not give someone a second chance.

And I get it, in some ways.  If you are just dating without looking for anything serious, then any old excuse would work — he looks terrible in green, she laughs funny, he lives too far away.  If you are seriously looking for a partner and have been in the dating game for a while, you may feel as though you don’t want to waste your time — that you’ve been down this road before and you know what the signs are of things you disagree with.

So nobody gets a second chance.

The President of my company has always pushed the message “always assume the best intentions” in relation to our fellow employees, as well as partners we may work with.  This, I believe is an important mantra to include in one’s daily life.  First impressions are not always truth tellers.  And you may think you know yourself and your type, but unless you give it a fair shot, you will never know if something completely different than what has never worked is actually the key to putting a permanent end to the dating game once and for all.

I just worry that my friends may be creating impossible standards to live up to, because they are sick of the BS, sick of putting in the time it takes to get to know someone, sick of things not working out and having to do it all over again.

It is true that relationships take work — so does dating.  And they have a lot in common.  You gotta give and take.  You have to compromise and go outside of your comfort zone.  I am a firm believer that every person you have an interaction with, small or large, can have an impact on your life.  So I hope my single friends will think twice before they decide not to call back that girl for a 3rd date.

The Osmond Effect

May 17, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be inspired by an Osmond story, but the news of Marie remarrying her first husband has got me wondering why it is that we live in a world where half of marriages fail?

I’m a romantic at heart, and while I know many couples say this, I’m still going to say it.  I only plan to get married once.  I don’t plan on getting divorced.  But as I watch more and more of the people I grew up with getting hitched, I know that down the road the statistics will likely sadly remain true.

Because people give up on marriage way too quickly.  At least, that’s what I think.  I think it’s true that you can make the mistake of getting married too soon or too young, but I feel like most marriages end because they are just too hard.  Relationships are hard! They take a lot of work and understanding, compromise and compassion.  No one should ever have to go 26 years and realize that they were right all along.  Their first love, who they left a lifetime ago, really was “the one”.

Life can get in the way and cloud your vision, and sometimes it may be hard to bring yourself back to the place where everything was roses, but you have to put up a fair fight.

When I was in middle school, my best friend (at the time) and I came up with ten rules for dating.  I don’t remember them all offhand (if I ever find the pocket size printouts we made for our wallets, I will totally post them), but the one that I do remember may be one of the most important.  Here goes: When considering getting back together with an ex, think about why he’s an ex.

Smart teenager huh?  Of course this was referring to silly 2 week “relationships,” in which the guy was likely a jerk, maybe didn’t even talk to you, and wanted to get back to you in his annual rotation.  But it rings true to me in different ways today.  But it’s a question that should be asked before you break up a marriage or any relationship.  Why do you really want this to be over?  Is it really not working, or are you just giving up because it’s too hard?

And sometimes the answer is that it isn’t working, but if you were so confident at one point to go through the process of getting married to this person, there has to be a strong reason why, after all that, that it’s not working?

I hope to live long enough to see the sanctity of marriage returned to its former stature.  And perhaps opening marriage up to all couples in love will make couples who traditionally have had the right to get married think twice about giving up on love.

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