A Second Date!

I did hear from Mike the next day, with an offer to come to his house in the later afternoon because he couldn’t get me out of his mind. I declined because I had to get my workout in and do my Sunday night thing before the week started.

I didn’t reach out, But he had by noon, and I was pleased to see the text I wasn’t really expecting. It was a nice change. Maybe it’s also because when he left, I didn’t have any negative gut check. I was going to be ok either way in any case and I already knew that. It’s a first for me in a very long time when I like someone as much as I liked him out of the gate.

He’s perfectly chatty in person, well-spoken, gregarious and funny. But very, very dry and direct in text. No subtext, insinuation or flirting. This could be another reason I’m not so immediately drawn in. The men I get engaged with tend to be very well engaged in text, I feel like it’s a real conversation. With Mike it’s a bit perfunctory.

And I think it’s ok.

Each night there’s been a goodnight and most mornings a good morning. Maybe an exchange of one text and then I hear from him around lunch every day, checking in. Very simply something like “hey” or “how is your day?” I will answer, ask him how he is and then I don’t hear much back if anything. I am not tied to the message on the phone or the alert chime, but I’m happy when I look down and there’s a message.

I moved from being uncertain about his continued interest to certain. I don’t have to do anything and I will hear from him to check in. Even when he is with his younger daughter or his friends.

He was clear about his plans for the week and weekend while we were together Saturday so I wasn’t really expecting anything from him this week but on Tuesday he asked me over for Thursday. To his apartment. To cook for me.

Knock me down with a feather! This is another first. I forget I never really had many “dating” relationships. Very few. He lives close, we both know we want to have sex again, and after tonight he is with his daughter at her college until Monday night. Of course I accepted. I was due to head to my cousins at the beach this evening but I can always go in the morning.

The strangest thing is, I’m not excited. I mean, a little, of course. But there are two specific reasons I think my little heart hasn’t beat out of my chest yet:

1. I am freaking nervous about having to discuss the wound. I have decided to be proactive by saying: I had major abdominal surgery last year and I’m very sensitive about some deep scarring. I keep a bandage over the worst part of it. I debated if I also include the massive weight loss and why my belly looks like it does and figured I can just write it off the horrible surgeries. What do you think?

2. Here’s the kicker fam, he’s separated and not divorced.

Ugh. A big old ugly ugh.

He is in his own apartment, she works and he works, they are dividing everything in half so there is (seemingly) very little to argue over, she is keeping the house free and clear. They are at the very beginning of mediation.

I’m pretty sure I’m so scarred from Tony that it’s the reason my heart and head won’t engage fully with Mike. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, I could like him so much more, he’s simply at the beginning of his journey and no one has a crystal ball. But history has taught us that most long marriages (he’s married 22 years, separated physically for 6 months) need space after the marriage ends. We need to learn about ourselves before we enter into another commitment.

We could go along happily for months and he could even get divorced in that period and there’s still little Chance his first out of marriage relationship could last. I know this.

Which sucks. Just sucks.

My friends think it’s fine to date him and keep him at arms length IF I can keep my feelings out of it. But, can I? Am I capable? My track record sucks.

I also don’t want to talk to him about it, which I normally want to do. Even when John rejected me I had a desire to “know” why? Just why? I wanted to talk about it. With Mike, I don’t want to take the chance I will hear words that I fall for like “who knows what will happen, I really like you” or “I only want to be with one person and I already know what I need.” Tony fed all of that to me and I believed past the point of belief. I don’t actually want to engage in any serious conversation with Mike. Or any silly and intensely flirty conversation that leads to actually liking him too much. None of this “do you miss me?” Or “did you dream of me?” Nonsense. I don’t want to fall for him so I can hit my head on the pavement some more.

So if I can keep him at arms length….can I remain detached enough to enjoy some company and dates and relax for a bit? Or am I doomed to run head first into another disaster?

This is, admittedly, the very first time I feel cautious. I have never felt a sense of (almost) fear of allowing myself to feel anything other than what I’m getting in the moment. I really don’t know. I just don’t know if I’m capable of it and built to have all or nothing.

For the moment, I will see him and enjoy the evening. I will bare my belly and may end up where I ended up with John (I have convinced myself that was the reason, it’s sunk in and stayed as self-blame). He may think it’s horrid and become turned off. Or not. If that’s the case, I will wait til he asks me out again. I feel like I have a better handle on Mike than I did on John.

We shall see.

Oh – and there it is – a text from him checking on my commute and my arrival time to him. And a little Maroon 5 clip. He can be a little cute I suppose.

I will keep you posted.

Something Happened on the way to that Date

I got aggro enough with the John situation that I opened up a bunch of dating apps and swiped for about 24 hours – relatively recklessly. Not really paying much attention to anything except if I thought they were attractive.

I supposed I started on Saturday evening when I knew things were going sideways and stopped on Sunday evening. Mostly out of frustration. I knew senseless swiping had no merit. It was just a reaction to the rejection.

I agree that too much talking before a date has been the kiss of death for me in (I think) every case (except Tony). After I got over the swiping frenzy and calmed the fuck down, I stayed off the apps a few days while normal life took over.

I went back to the apps midweek, maybe on the commute home, and couldn’t believe the multiple matches and text I have received in the short time I was off. I guess there were a few worthwhile swipes in there after all! I was a bit worried there were too many conversations to start, so I chose 4/5 to write back to so I could see if they led anywhere. I also noticed that John had removed me from his Bumble matches. It irked me but what else would I expect?

There were some really good choices of men and conversation started well with 3. One asked for my phone number quickly so we moved to text. This was fine because I was traveling to my sisters for several days to help with wedding things.

That’s how things started with Mike. Very small conversation, not overly engaged because I was distracted, and we both seem relatively interested. He was handsome and hit 8/10 of my top criteria. I will tell you the two he didn’t hit a bit later.

We had a phone conversation and he got me laughing almost immediately. He was chatty, educated and often poked a bit of fun at himself. He was a nice guy. We agreed to make a date when I returned home Saturday. I was a bit worried I would be rushed and then over-tired, but it would be fun to go out and laugh. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have any preconceived notions or expectations. We didn’t over communicate. Things felt balanced and at ease. He was definitely interested.

More importantly, something else was happening. The strangest feelings have been coming up since the date with John and I love it.

I feel like I’m ready to play again. It felt so good to flirt, make-out and have complete and uninhibited sex again. Good sex.

Damn, how I missed it

I definitely didn’t feel this immediately following him dumping me right quick, but this week it’s eeked back in and suddenly I just feel sexy.

Not like outward sexy looking – like sexy inside and I need to get it out. However, we know I’ve never been really good at casual sex so I don’t know how I’m going to go about getting back in the saddle again without my dance of rejection and depression.

I notice the feeling yesterday so when it came back today I paid a little more attention. I can feel my body craving touch and release. I have to get used to being naked and scarred. I felt awesome when I dressed for the date with John and now I was feeling it again getting ready for Mike.

It felt so good to at least feel sexy again.

I was looking forward to the date and had fun getting ready. He communicated he was a bit excited which I thought was cute.

I knew things were going my way when he arrived before me, secured a bar table and asked me what to order for my drink. This is exactly the type of date behavior I love. I saw him catch his breath as I walked towards him and was a little surprised that I caught him off guard – but he was, and he admitted later that he felt I was more beautiful in person. He wasn’t all googly eyed like Tony, or sexual like John, it was just a lovely kiss on the lips, hand slid to the small of my back and a hug that lasted maybe just a second too long. He had a great smile and bright eyes and no lack of topics to discuss.

We did get into ordering food quickly and he loved that I wanted to share (and you know how I love that!). We really asked a lot of menu questions, had a fabulous waiter and some great advice and decide on what to share. Our meal was perfect, the wine flowed and we chatted endlessly.

At one point when he stood for the bathroom, he came close and I asked him to kiss me. He was unsure about the PDA but I could tell he wanted to kiss so we had a short but lovely first kiss. The kiss on the way back lasted just a little longer. 😉

Soon the restaurant was empty, I was feeling pretty good and neither of us wanted the night to end. I don’t really recall all we spoke about, but it wasn’t heavy talk or history talk, it was just about life in general, a bit like old friends catching up. This was a nice feeling. But…Like talking too much before a date, this is something else I tend to do: let dates go on too long.

He was just so much fun and I guess I was feeling like he was a great way to get over the rejection from John. I wasn’t actually thinking about that at all, just in hindsight evaluating why I chose to invite him back to my home. So, yup, that’s what I did, brought him home to sit on the back deck with drinks – which is really one of my most favorite summer things to do.

We got settled on the deck and as I came out with the wine glasses he asked me what type of music I liked and started to play “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. Then he stood up and pretended he was singing it to me, extended his hand to offer me a dance, and we just danced and sang around my deck – an absolute first for me and so much fun!

All of this time I was drinking and I knew by now if I continued I was going to want to have sex. What caught me off guard was how baldy I wanted to have sex after being so worried with John. I didn’t feel that way with Mike, or I didn’t care. I don’t know which. I just know this had been a slow burn all evening. Something in my mind had clicked – I was going to have sex regardless of the outcome. My brain had already processed the risk of not hearing from him again and somehow pushed it off. I was more than willing to take the chance.

The sex was sooooo good. Way, way better than John because I felt like we were in perfect harmony and it never felt rushed or too heavy. It was just damn good sex. Like 5 or 6 times good sex. Once again I had a dress on so my dress Never even had to come off. I was able to mount him and ride him more than once, be taken from behind as well as lying on my back. The dress covered me. I have no idea if he saw or not. The alcohol pushed any inhibition to the back.

Sex and drinking. Drinking and sex. For hours on end. So much laughter. More singing and dancing. So much fun. Then we both realized he couldn’t drive home so I asked him to stay. My boys were in the house so this was delicate. It was 4:30am by this point and all their lights were off…:so we risked it.

I changed in the bathroom into a long T-shirt. I was pretty drunk by this point. More sex. The vibrator came out. His mouth was on my nipples…and not once did the thought of my belly cross my mind. I have no idea what he saw. My shirt had to be up, but the room was dark. I don’t know.

We slept a few hours and he crept out quietly before the boys woke. He had already said he wanted to see me again. He also repeated throughout the night “Best first date ever!” He left, I was hungover and happy, and fell back to sleep for a while.

When I woke a few hours later, with a very unhappy head, I wasn’t disappointed there was no text from him. I smiled, drink some water, took Advil and went to make coffee.

No sex hangover. No emotional hangover. I had a great night and I was fine with it.

I Realized I’m Just Super Frustrated

It took a day for my head to clear, but I realize I am just plain old angry and frustrated because of John.

Not at John.

There’s a huge difference there from my past behavior.

He was perfect on paper, we had a super fun night and it’s the best sex I’ve had since Tony. So what he wasn’t ready for more, he was just a jerk for not saying so sooner because he got caught up with the fun. I’m over it. It’s too bad and move on because there is nothing to dwell on.

But dwell I did. I wanted to figure out why was I obsessing. It occured to me that it wasn’t about him at all – it was about the idea of finally finding a good man for a relationship. My brain placed him squarely in the “absolute potential mate” bucket. The previous guys have been “let me test this out to see if he can be a potential mate, so far so good”. That’s what went wrong – I made a decision long before a decision was warranted.

Why? Because I know I want a partner now. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of being with married men. I haven’t had the experience post divorce of having a boyfriend. I realized I never had to do that walk of shame – I always knew where I stood the next morning when I was with a man. I want someone to talk to, someone I can confide in that loves me and wants to be there to support me. Friends are fine, but they are not a partner.

I want to feel the way Tony made me feel about myself with someone who is free to do what he pleases when he pleases. Overnights, weekends, road trips, family affairs and just watching a movie together. I just want a boyfriend already and it makes me nuts that I can’t find one. (Although let me say – even at this level of frustration I won’t date someone short, period).

This situation with John just brought my level of frustration to the top. I realized it when I was swiping like mad in the dating sites today – hoping “he” would pop up. My perfect man. Any man, that I found attractive, really. I felt the desperation. I caught myself. I got into a project at work that distracted me. Then I thought about why I was going through this cycle.

I’m glad my brain is more clear than it used to be and I known my meds are doing their job with reducing my emotional outbursts as well as clearing the cobwebs. When I thought about John, really thought it through, it didn’t matter anymore. Sex was really good, but not anything I would write home about. I enjoyed the actual date more than the sex – he was just fun to be around. I just wanted that feeling of being desired, feeling good about myself, and laughing out loud with a man – to continue. I was angry that it ended. But that has zero to do with John.

I did something yesterday that I’ve never done. I deleted him from every possible form of contact so I wouldn’t have that phone number handy for text or calls. He’s not blocked, but I doubt I ever hear from him again and that’s ok. I’m glad I removed any opportunity to reach out to him in the future.

I had a headache all afternoon from my frustration. So I plan to get home, relax and have a glass of wine. I have fallen into the pattern that Thursday is my off night for working out. I will meditate before bed, but that’s about it for Thursday. I’m going to sit on my deck and have my wine and maybe some Advil until it’s bedtime.

I may even swipe a little more slowly and keep making good choices.

Walk of Shame

I heard from John every minute he had WiFi in the air and as soon as he landed. He landed at 3pm after a 25 hour flight and we were due to meet at 7pm. I was feeling more nervous than anything because I wasn’t certain about him. I mean, there was nothing that rang alarm bells for me but it was the absence of red flags that caught me.

I kept thinking “could someone be so practiced at the chase that they would engage that way?” Generally speaking, after years of practice, I can tell when they are after sex. It’s always obvious. Nothing about John seemed obvious to me.

I got ready. I looked hot, probably the best hot date outfit I’ve ever worn! The good thing about it was that no one but me could get it off. Normally I wouldn’t wear panties either, but I knew I needed to practice a bit of moderation if there was any hope of a second date.

I arrived first and he was soon behind. The strange thing, for me, was that I wanted to kiss him immediately! I wanted to touch him and make sure he was real and there in front of me. He looked just like his photos, and he has a boyish charm. He is very educated, well spoken and an amazing conversationalist. We quickly agreed to eat at the bar rather than a table and he soon pulled me in for a delicious kiss. We shared our dinner, though he may have done that for me rather than what he prefers. I don’t eat much so I think once he realized that he was less concerned about sharing. Our conversation was exactly as it had been on the phone – easy, casual, engaging and charged with attraction. Mid-way through the date he couldn’t take his hands from me. His erection was obvious after each deep kiss. We both like PDA so this went well and nothing was uncomfortable.

The only thing I noticed, and believe me I was looking for what I kept thinking I missed, was he wasn’t overly engaged in my stories to hear then through the to end. He often had a comment or a similar situation to offer up. Even my adoption story – which is completely unique – had a John story to counter it. Seriously, there were no other missteps or obvious red flags.

And, by the way, I caught him adjusting himself as he turned and tried to do it discreetly. Proof that the Dick Adjustor date was just a used douche in disguise.

Anyway, dinner was lovely and he asked to take me to ice cream. The line was long and he was debating if he wanted to wait. In the meantime we found a dark corner and made out like crazy. It wasn’t frenzied on my behalf, I think more so on his, but it was lovely. I hadn’t kissed with this level of passion in a long time. It felt so good to be ignited again. His hands roamed under my dress and he moaned with appreciation. I suggested we get the ice cream and he agreed he needed a distraction to calm down.

The ice cream was fine, he even shared his (mine was just ok) and we had a little stroll. He then offered me a drink at the bar we were standing in front of or to go back to his apartment. I chose the apartment. I knew it was too late to drive home and I had two or three glasses of wine earlier. I really believed we could make the night without sex.

He had a nice, almost brand new apartment that was definitely a bachelor pad. He lives two hours away from his family and friends and had moved out of his marital house and to this location for a new job just about a year ago. You could tell he only hung his hat here and this wasn’t home. He took the new job for the title and I believe he has every intention to moving back to his home-town after a few years. There was a great outdoor patio that we could enjoy and he poured us some wine.

The talking and kissing continued and the wine flowed. The kissing turned into my panties coming down and his mouth on me, which in turn led to me unzipping his pants. I started to give him a blow job and then, ultimately, sat on his cock. The position was so good, and I’ve become so strong, that I was able to climax which surprised me! John is the smallest of any man I’ve ever been with. I wasn’t sure how this would go over for me. I feel bad for saying it, but he was smaller than what I considered average. He seemed to make up for lack of size with his motions. He was an excellent lover. The sex was fabulous. He picked me up and turned me around and took me from behind. His low, guttural sounds were so sexy.

I had managed to have sex with my clothes on. I thought I escaped the worst of it. But when he went back in more wine and came back out to me, he said “you know sex is supposed to be fully reciprocal and that’s how I like it – I want you to be pleased in every way, so why won’t you get undressed for me?” I said I was uncomfortable. Then he said “I saw the bandage so why don’t you just tell me?”

Cue the tears. Not loud messy ones but great big alligator tears just escaped and rolled down my face. Truly, I don’t recall what happened or what I said in enough detail. I know I said I was embarrassed of my scars from surgery (he had open heart surgery and pointed at his scar, which is a straight line and totally skin colored, not nearly the same as a hole in your belly). I believe I also said I thought if we didn’t have sex right away then it would give me a little time to adjust and I wouldn’t be worried it was because of the wounds that I wouldn’t see him again. He shook his head at this and said “did you really think I wouldn’t call again or see you on Sunday?” I don’t recall the rest. I had drank too much and was too upset. It wasn’t a long conversation and I ultimately popped up and offered him a solution “I will put on a big T-shirt”.

I went into the bathroom and came out in my long nightshirt. No panties. He liked this better but it still didn’t give his mouth access to my breasts. I was really stressed about my belly and breasts. My breasts have lost all their shape and just hang there like empty, deflated balloons and the scars are deep and still ugly and create two pouches of flesh on either side of them. I couldn’t get over this. Yes, I had been naked 3 times before with men, and drunk each time, but I didn’t care what those men thought since I didn’t see long term potential the same way I saw with John. I was really scared that a man who does CrossFit and mentions how important a thin and sexy body is to him, would find fault in my belly. It is ugly, I have to admit. And if I was in top facing him, I would be so far out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t ready for that on date one.

But he was. We had sex two more times that evening with my T-shirt on. I’m sure it rose but I had a skin colored big bandage on to cover the worst of it. He never did get to my breasts because I stopped him a few times.

We slept nicely together l, he held me a long time and we separated when it was too hot. I always felt him touching me and he was a great morning lover, all cuddles and then great sexy to follow. I did get on top of him and was surprised I came with a bit of effort, but he said he loved it and would come for me while I was in top – which he said is rare for him.

Now for the awkward part. I had to text my friend to ask how to do the walk of shame properly! I had never actually done it and didn’t even realize it! There was very little sex where I didn’t know what the morning would bring because I was generally with the man for more time. This was clearly a “get your stuff and get out moment”. Until he asked if I wanted coffee, which I accepted.

I sat to drink my coffee while he puttered around cleaning up. It was fascinating. I had never seen a man do this before either! Well, Tony did, but it was at my house. I started to feel like I really needed to get out of there so I changed, brushed my teeth and left. He asked me to let him know when I got home. Something felt off but I can’t quite describe it.

Dating

As the months have passed sitting in my own space (9 months now!) I have had some of my most self-aware moments. I’m not claiming sudden enlightenment, but I do have a new sense of self and can feel my strength and belief in myself coming back to life. I admit, this was a long time coming and it feels great.

As I’ve said before, there was no great epiphany, no secret sauce, no magic pill. I just did it. One step, one day, one molecule at a time. I practiced, failed, tried again and kept going. I paid attention to details I had let pass me by before. Small life details I didn’t have time to notice. I learned to take a deeper breath and hold it before exhaling. As this started to happen, as I took better care of my mind and body – I finally started to heal.

I am much more tentative than I have ever been in my life, I carry some fear around now. I am terrified of losing the tenuous grip I have on my new found sense of self. I am terrified of failing again. Believe it or not, I am hesitant to fall in love again. Maybe a little fear is good and will calm me down and perhaps make me a bit more kind and patient (two things that are not exactly strengths for me). Maybe I can label the fear as learning to be humble and demonstrating gratitude. I think this is something I need to work on.

As I’m sitting here thinking about where I am in my journey and where I’m heading, it occurred to me that dating has fallen off my priority list. It was never a “need to do,” but it’s always been “want to do.” Now it’s “I don’t actually care at the moment if I do or don’t, it will happen in its own time.”

I think I put it out into the universe after that last bad date. I was chastising myself for choosing to go out with someone who had red flags because it just showed me I was more interested in the going out part than the person themselves. I have plenty to keep me busy that I don’t have to waste dates. So a few weeks or about a month has passed where I didn’t engage in any relevant way on the dating sites. Sure, I looked and swiped right a couple times, but never really found what I was looking for. It became background chatter.

I still want a partner and I still believe I will be even better to myself if I have partner – I am certain I am made to be in relationship rather than on my own.

The difference is now I feel a sense of calm that my future partner will come to me when it’s meant to be. Knowing that is frustrating because I wish it was sooner rather than later, but I do believe once I’m healed I will be putting out the right vibes to attract the right partner.

I know what I want, I had it with Tony. I know I can’t recreate that, but I can certainly look for some of his hallmark characteristics. He definitely was a bit of magic sauce, the way he loved me and made me feel about myself. I may never get over the lingering heartbreak and sadness of losing him, but I can put it firmly behind me and look forward to what’s right for me. I now know I can do this.

I’ve met a couple men over the past months that ignited a little spark in me one way or the other. Rather than get depressed that those men didn’t work out, I’m taking the lessons and bringing them forward. I know natural banter is really important, as are decent social/dating skills. I know they have to really be into me and demonstrate it. I know they need to be tall (enough) and handsome (enough) to rev my engine. When these gears click, I slide easily into the next gear without thought. I can feel the difference between a natural and easy conversational cadence and one that requires me to make too much effort to sustain over time. I know I need the man to have children because parenting is supremely important to me. I know he needs to be invested in his job. I can find out all these things pretty quickly – and when they are missing, I don’t try and go looking for them anymore. I simply exit and move to the next, or as I’ve done more recently, just take a little break for a bit.

I had neglected to realize how important physical activity was to many men but I’ve rectified that in my own life and now even look for someone that is more active.

I still have my long, long list of requirements but I’m trying not to use it as my shopping list and instead stick to the above initial cues. If we can have a date where I feel good about our banter and intellectual and physical connection, then I’m all good. It’s been slow going, but I’m now ok with that.

Relationship Requirements – Refresh

*Note my original list was published in 2016 (I even included original comments) and I adjusted it today with some comments as I have been mulling over “Tony’s Magic”

I spent a lot of time compiling a list of all the “requirements” I had for the perfect mate.

Needless to say, my list was long. I realize this list is ridiculously long, but I truly can’t find an edit option.

1. A man who can think for himself
2. Strong shoulders (not in the physical sense though this is my favorite physical attribute)
3. Trust
4. Honesty
5. Respect
6. Calm communicator/great listener/sound advice giver (challenges me)
7. Not a complainer
8. Handsome and tall, generally I don’t like bald
9. Sexy and sexual
10. Intelligent and well-educated
11. Above 44 and under 55
12. Interested in me, responsive, caring
13. Witty sense of humour, can elicit belly laughs from me including in bed; gentle teasing and banter in both directions
14. Dominant
15. Gracious
16. Emotional generosity
17. Kind
18. Solid career/ambition/white-collar/makes money

19. Wants to spend his money, doesn’t worry about it all the time – definitely NOT cheap
20. Has traveled and has a desire to see the world, even better if they are more well-traveled than me.

21.  Puts me on a pedestal and is the wind beneath my wings – I know he loves and adores me

In addition to my own criteria, there is an article out there called “18 qualities every alpha female needs in a boyfriend” and you can see √ where most of these cross over to my list above:

  1. He someone you can tease and can tease you
  2. He challenges you
  3. He doesn’t get jealous
  4. He isn’t waiting on you but has his own plans
  5. He doesn’t air your dirty laundry
  6. He knows how to deal with your bad moods
  7. When he apologizes he really means it
  8. He’s moving at the same speed as you
  9. He doesn’t belittle you but he doesn’t put you on a pedestal either (don’t agree with the way this is worded, I want someone to hold up my pedestal!)
  10. He is someone who teaches but never lectures
  11. He makes you laugh
  12. He will call you out when you need to be called out
  13. He wants to be the wind beneath your wings (I call this holding my pedal steady)
  14. He isn’t the life of the party but is always there is you need to be carried home (don’t agree with this, I like the life of a party)
  15. His opinions aren’t irrational they are backed up
  16. He has dreams as big as yours (this isn’t hard as I don’t really have specific dreams)
  17. He knows when to drop it and when to address it
  18. He is a great listener but also expects to be heard

So when I looked at these two long lists again, I didn’t find anything that needed to be removed that was originally part of what I deemed important in a relationship, but I did adjust a few very minutely.  I could add more after Tony, but the goal isn’t to recreate Tony.

I think I have to add ONE I can’t seem to get right:

Must be single

So, why do I now say “Tonys Magic?”  Because, other than not being married, that bastard managed to hit every one of those things plus others I didn’t even know I cared so deeply about (like his ability to be such a good father that I learned from him and trusted in his parenting skills).

The hard truth is – I am deathly afraid I can never have that magic again.

What I need to reconcile is – maybe I DON’T ever – maybe he was THE ONE.  That sucks, but perhaps its the truth.  Either way, if its true or not, I can’t have him, he doesn’t want me and I must move on.  Period.