E for Erection
So here we have another true story. E for Erection, as felt when he walks by you and brushes himself against you. Do you know the correct urban dictionary term for this? I don’t. (Frottage, maybe?)
You want the rest of the story? A married man at, believe it or not, small group Bible study with mostly nice church people, liked to brush up against me around the refreshments. There was normally plenty of room and he really didn’t need to be that close to me. It was kind of a compliment that he liked me and wanted to share that with me, except for the fact that it’s really not, since nothing good would come from proceeding further. And it never proceeded further.
If this kind of thing ever happens to you, tread carefully. It is wise to befriend the ladies of the group and not get too close to the men. In my situation, it was difficult as I was single and jobhunting. The women of the group were stay-at-home Moms who did not have to worry about paying the bills. Their husbands were the breadwinners and were knowledgeable and comfortable discussing resumes, networking and interviewing.
F for First date
So now and then, I find a single, divorced or widowed man with whom to have a date, as in F for First date. First dates get progressively harder as you get older – both to set a date and to move beyond that first date. When I was in high school and college, I was surrounded by people of similar age and backgrounds. As an adult in the real world, it’s quite tricky to find someone of compatible age, income level, history, and religious and political beliefs. And you still have to find each other attractive enough to be willing to spend any time together.
G for Ghosts
A significant issue is the emotional baggage of previous relationships. Good or bad, these ghosts affect the relationship. That’s G for Ghosts. A couple years ago, I dated a man who treasured every relationship he had. I very quickly learned about the mother of his two children, with whom he shared financial responsibilities. And because they shared parenting of their children, who were in grade school, they were very present in each other’s lives. What took me by surprise was another woman who left her mark in his heart. Even though they had broken up, and it was her idea, he had planned to marry her, had bought her a ring, and if she texted him at any time, day or night, he dropped everything to attend to her communications. I thought it was weird. He said he still loved her and would always respond. That, among other things, was a deal breaker for me.
H for Husband
I don’t have a husband. That’s how I have all of this pent-up craziness to share.
One surprise of the 21st century is being rejoined in singleness by a couple of my friends. They are both “straight spouses” of men who decided, after marrying and raising children, to divorce their wives and pursue homosexual relationships. Sadly, despite being good women and probably awesome wives who simply lack a certain organ, these women also lack husbands and have rejoined the dating pool.
A handful of friends, in their late 30s or early 40s, have experienced marital troubles and are in various stages (separation, counseling, newly filed divorce) of ending their marriages. While the dating pool can be sparse, one positive aspect is that many stinkers are currently married and not in the dating pool. From what I have heard about some marriages, the potential ex-husbands are men I would rather not date.
I for Instinct
I watched a lot of Lifetime television network movies as a teenager and young adult, so I have seen my share of women in peril movies. I still remember The Tracy Thurman Story, with Nancy McKeon in the title role, where Tracy met a man, engaged in sexual relations three hours after they met (as I recall, they met at a bar), they fell in love, got married, and had a family. However, her man was not only charming but also an abuser, so the majority of the movie was about Tracy coming to her senses, making a plan, and leaving her abusive spouse, at the same time rescuing her children from the same fate. Many Lifetime network movies had similar plots, and a couple major movies did as well – Enough with Jennifer Lopez and Sleeping with the Enemy with Julia Roberts. My takeaways from these movies were: 1) don’t sleep with someone right away; and 2) be careful since there’s evidently a lot of charming abusers out there.
For a while, I worried I would need a complete background check and maybe even a private investigator tailing a potential suitor. I have noticed though that I have good instincts when it comes to discerning sleazoids and also guessing which marriages among friends and family will end in divorce. Thanks to the 50% divorce rate, the odds have been in my favor of calling them correctly – but if I had made bets, I would be much better off now. One good friend, who is actually very intelligent, married two men she didn’t take a lot of time to get to know. I called the first one correctly, but I was out of the loop for the second marriage and hoped for the best. The second one also did not last. You’ve probably caught on to this one: I is for Instinct.