When I went through my divorce, I thought, among other things, (like with my alimony, really? people live on that?) that's it -- I'm done. And by done, I meant I will never laugh again, I will never love again, I will certainly never have sex again. I prepared myself to settle into middle age, debated getting a maroon velour Lazy-Boy recliner and a TV tray. Wait! Some recliners have built in cup holders? Well, things are looking up!
That lasted about six months, while I watched every Real Housewives episode from every city, (Still love you Countess LuAnn!) gained about five pounds from Top Chef marathons and actually went through my ex's whole collection of expensive Italian wines. I'm not afraid to admit: I missed having a man in my life damn it! So, I bought myself a pair of skinny jeans, a red shawl from Anthropologie (during the brief shawl resurgence before we all realized we looked like that weird librarian in junior high), a pair of Steve Madden wedges and off I went. I dived into that crazy, weird, please don't be a serial killer, world of online dating.
Man, I had some doozies. And, I met some very nice men, too. Some actually were single! But I had fun. I flirted. I dated. I felt pretty. And then I got lucky. Very lucky. I met a wonderful man. We have been together for almost six years now. We are not married, may never be, but we are committed, we are soul mates, we have a cat together, so... I mean I'm not going anywhere.
There is a huge, growing population of us middle-aged folks entering into and living in second relationships. I have found it to be much different than my first marriage. The two big stressers children and finances are no longer factors. You each have your children, who most likely are on their way to being grown adults. You each have your own finances, however measly they may be, but they're yours and you are in charge of your own financial future.
This time you focus on the love, the companionship and the intimacy of being with another person. It's lovely.
Yet, in my six years of being in this wonderful relationship I have found there are still certain things one can say that do not go over well -- they didn't in the first marriage, and they still are not working. So here are my top five things not to say in your new, happy, so glad I found you, relationship.
1. Is THAT what you're wearing? Now, I'm not sure what you mean by that, but you can see we are walking out the door, I have my purse over my shoulder, and I am not naked. So YES, this is what I'm wearing.
2. Hey, do you want to join a gym with me? I don't know...would you like to join a scrap booking club with me? What are you trying to say?
3. Seriously? You just ate! Um...have you not heard of dessert? Take it from me, if your significant other climbs into bed with a bowl of fruit, cereal or ice cream after dinner, leave it alone. No comments necessary.
4. Are you going to leave that there? What? Oh no. I'm just placing it there FOR NOW. You know, until one day the feeling comes over me and I walk over to it, pick it up, and decide to move it to another place that you'll like even better.
5. Isn't today garbage day? Now typically, this will be in the morning as you are lying there spooning. And take it from me it's a mood killer. Because I take it to mean, "Hey, can you get your big lazy butt out there and drag the can to the curb? Can you? Or, do I have to do EVERYTHING?" So, yeah...not good.
Anyway, I think if you watch out for these pitfalls, you have a good chance at a happy second, long lasting relationship. Plus you will save a whole lot of money on recliners, especially the ones with the cup holders. They are apparently pretty proud of those things.