Saturday, January 28, 2006

Chemical Inreactions

Week 2 of the 90-day-plan, for those of you following along, explores much more about the type of person you're attracted to. There are lots of questions to help you figure it out.I love to explore personalities and analyze relationships and why people act as they do. I've done all those different online quizzes that explore what type you are and what type you're looking for. Often they have those on the online dating sites. I think one labelled me as a "Romantic Realist" which sounds very accurate.

Maybe one of the reasons I have such difficulty finding a perfect mate is because there are so many contradictions to my personality. I'm relatively independent, yet still quite old-fashioned. I'd really like a strong, protector that values tradition...likes to spoil me with attention, open doors, buys me flowers. But...I can be assertive and strong myself, so don't really fit in the "damsel in distress" role. I guess I want the romance of the protector, but I want to be respected as an equal partner as well. Most of the men that are interested in me are very liberal. I'm in between liberal and conservative, so I don't fit either mold. I value equality, but I love the romance of being spoiled like a princess. I love the tradition of religion and finding faith through God. But although I'd like someone that honors God and faith, I would not be comfortable with someone that was very religious. I want someone that can make me laugh...don't we all? But I prefer introverts...perhaps because the life of the party usually has a flock of followers. I value men that are family men, great fathers and husbands...but, of course, most of them are married. Some are single by circumstances out of their control, but like me, they may be so busy or focused on their kids, that a new relationship takes a back seat.

All this is very interesting. We can do these exercises all day long. Unfortunately, knowing the exact type of person we want does not make him/her any easier to find. And, of course, there is the most illusive characteristic of all: chemistry. My chemicals just are not reacting these days. I'm afraid their expiration date has past. Or perhaps the explosion from the last chemical reaction has rendered my chemicals defective.

FB is back in my life and messing with my chemicals. He's there, but not really. He shows me attention and my heart melts. Then he gets scared because he knows he can never give me what I So back to Week 1 exercise...why I'm glad my last relationship ended: Repeat a million times: he doesn't love me. Unfortunately, the more unattainable something is, the more I seem to want it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Margarita Magic

Yahoo! Another goal fulfilled! My Margarita Fiesta was quite the success. For many people this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but despite my desire to be more "laid back", I'm quite the opposite. I am what one might call "high strung". I tend to get extremely nervous about things like hostessing parties. I don't know why I feel so personally responsible for people having fun at a party I hostess...after all, it's really kinda out of my control. I worry about stupid things like how clean my house is or how old and tacky my furniture is, whether or not people will like the music or the food, whether the people will mix, whether they'll have places to sit, whether they'll find parking spots, and the list goes on and on.

When I went through the list of all my worries my mother assured me: "If they're your friends, they won't care about any of that stuff" and I ask: "But what if they're not my friends?" 'cause as it turns out, I didn't know about half the people at the party. I put out an open invitation to Parents Without Partners and many of the people that came to my party were new to the group and didn't even know me. This, of course, added to my unreasonable case of hostess jitters.

Then, of course, there was the "drunken" brawl worries. I'm all for that wonderful sense of euphoria one gets from alcohol, but a margarita party can quickly turn into a frat-boy Animal House party and I didn't feel at all prepared to handle that. I absolutely didn't want anyone to drink and drive, but I wasn't really too crazy about the potential of hosting a 50-person slumber party.

As it turns out, my friends (including those that I'd never met), made everything easy for me. They brought tons of food, made marvelous margaritas, told me I was a wonderful hostess, drank just enough to think the party was great fun, but not so much that they barfed all over my house (something I'm afraid that I was once guilty of) and if they DID have too much to drink they made sure they had a designated driver.

My Fisher Friends and my PWP friends and my friends that are neither Fisher or PWP all got along well and didn't even tease me at my insistence on name-tags and mingling with people they didn't know. So, once again, I stepped out of my comfort zone and found out that giving a big party was nothing to be scared of after all. It turned out to be great fun.

FB (that stands for Former Boyfriend) was there and he was my party hero. He's been a good friend lately. He's called me a lot since the New Year, including 4 times when I was running the marathon. Normally, he wouldn't even want to come to a party at all, let alone one that was filled with people that he didn't know. I invited him, but never expected him to come. But he came early with his blender and he was so sweet, staying quietly in the background, but seeking out and socializing with people that were by themselves. I asked him if he would stay until everyone else was gone and he agreed, albeit reluctantly, cleaning up and making sure I wasn't left alone with any "party strays". As independent as I try to be, I wanted him with me, and he didn't let me down. So between the margaritas and my gratefulness at his temporary-boyfriend-like-behavior I asked him to stay even later and be my FwB-Friend with Benefits.

Of course, I know this is not on the 90-day-plan to find Mr.Right. As much as I know that FB will be whatever acronym I want FB to stand for, he just can't be a regular BF (Boyfriend). When we were together he tried to be a good boyfriend and I think sometimes he really wants to try again, but it just isn't natural for him. I think he's just too scared of the commitment. At this point, maybe I am too. And in my quest to be more laid-back, for once maybe rather than worrying about it and overanalyzing it, I'll just enjoy the fact that I had a wonderful party and even better after party.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Meeting Mr. Right

We are 19 days into the New Year and I am doing quite nicely with my goals. For January, I have 4 big goals: Run a marathon in < 4.5 hours (check!), Clean the basement (half-check!), Write and submit a magazine article (half-check!) and Have a Margarita Party (will be checked off this weekend).

But there is one goal, I just can't quite get a handle on....falling in love. This has been a point of confusion for me since my divorce. I have gone from feeling desperate to marry again to feeling sure that I NEVER want to be married again. Clearly, I don't know what I want when it comes to remarriage. But, I do know that I'd like to be in love (but, PLEASE, let it be reciprocated!)

Now, when I have a goal, what works best for me is if someone gives me a day-by-day plan of what exactly I need to do. So, when I saw this eBook: "Meet the Right Person in 90 Days" free on, I figured I had to give it a try. I would follow the step-by-step advice and in 90 days, voila!, I'll have met my dream-man.

I can give all of you readers the inside scoop on the exercises and you can follow along with me. Are you game? If so, POST A COMMENT! You don't have to post every time, but just give me a little positive reinforcement here.

Month one is all about self-awareness. Easy stuff! Especially for me...a person who has spent the past two years over-analyzing everything about my relationships and myself. There are 3 exercises for Week 1:

1) For each person you've dated list:
- How long it lasted
- Why it ended
- Should it have ended sooner or lasted longer
- One word that sums up the relationship

2) Fill out the end of the following sentences:
- My biggest strength in a relationship is.....
- My biggest weakness in a relationship is....
- I should listen to my instincts when....
- The one thing I won't compromise in a relationship is....
- I surprised myself by learning that I like....
- I surprised myself by learning that I dislike....

3) Make two lists:
- "Why I'm Glad My Last Relationship Ended"
- "What I Want From My Next Partner"

Basically, the idea is to learn from your past relationships. Since I really haven't had that many past relationships, I was able to do these exercises fairly quickly. The biggest thing I learned is that I usuallly end romantic relationships before they even begin. I'm either too picky or too scared to get involved because I think it won't last. The three serious relationships I had in my life, though, were incredible, and giving them up was very hard. In fact, I never seem to be able to give them up totally, which may be part of what's holding me back from falling in love again.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

There Comes A Time In Your Life

I'm sick with a nasty cold so rather than try to write something witty myself, I'm going to copy something that got passed to me. I don't know who the original author is, but I think it is quite inspiring:

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all you r fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ~ ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella.

And you realize in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you're not perfect, that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are, and that's okay.(They're entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche.

You begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love. Romantic love and the familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship.

You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you wouldha ve them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. And that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes-bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state ~ the ego. You learn negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with Spirit by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Single But Not Alone

I had to write once more about the marathon because, after all, there aren't many days when one has a day like today. I'll spare you the details of my incredible pacing accuracy, though I did come in at 4:29:34, less than 30 seconds under my 4:30 goal. My game-like mind likes to play "Time is Right"...a variation of "Price is Right" where I try and come in as close as possible to my time goal without going over. I did pretty damn good to come within 30 seconds in a marathon.

The day was indescribable. Although it was cold, it wasn't windy. And I'm from Colorado. I can live with a cold run. Easier than a humid run, right? Running through the magic of the Disney Theme Parks was...well...magical. It is Disney, after all. Rather than a gun, it was fireworks that signaled the race start and all along the way there were characters, bands, and cheering spectators, all engergizing beyond belief. Who can think about aching legs when there are fans to impress?

But my real success was my VRB (Virtual Running Buddy) program. Since none of my friends or family could come with me to Orlando, I recruited several friends and family to call me throughout the race. It was awesome! My list of VRBs included my kids, relatives, my coach, recent friends, very old friends, and many friends in between. Headset in place, I had no problem getting calls every 10-15 minutes and my VRBs did everything from sing to me, cheer for me, read me quotes and poetry and even give me a Cosmopoliton Survey on what type of women in which men are most interested. Expert that I am, I scored well. Best of all, I was able to briefly share this incredible day with people I love. I think that's what's been hardest about being single...not having someone to share life's joys with.

But today I wasn't alone. I had thousands of runners all around me, enjoying this challenge by my side. I had thousands of friendly strangers on the sidelines, shouting "Go Yvette" (thanks to my handy nametag! They even pronounced my name right, without my giving into the temptation of providing a pronunciation guide) cheering and giving me high-fives. I had Ethan's spirit, the 2-year-old son of my teammate as well as Hunter's who is in remission. I had Mickey, Minnie, and a whole crew of other Disney characters, Nan, my roommate, Ashley and Erin and countless other Team in Training staff. I had my wonderful, unique and personal cheerleaders, my crew of VRBs. I may have come to Orlando alone, but today I felt less alone than I ever felt when I was married. Maybe the key to not being alone is to let people in your life. I don't think I did enough of that when I was married. I'm learning that being single isn't about being alone. Being single may have helped me learn to be less lonely than I've ever been in my life.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Do you get the jitters when you're cold? Is it another word for shivers? Or is it only a word to describe being nervous? Well, I'm both cold and nervous, so I'm going to proclaim that I have the double-jitters and am, in fact, here jittering in my Orlando hotel room.

It's the day before the big Marathon and I'm trying not to stress that, apparently, this is the coldest weekend they've had here in about 30 years. Today my roommate got up at the ungodly hour of 1:40am ET (11:40pm MT to our unadjusted bodies) to prepare for the half-marathon she's walking. The buses leave between 3-4am and we have been warned multiple times that we are NOT to wait, but to catch the early buses. The actual race does not begin until 6am. Nothing like waiting around for 3 hours in record cold to even START running. And although 1:40 was clearly earlier than necessary to rise, my roommate was restless and nervous as she went through her morning rituals, trying to prepare for the race for which we've been training for the last 18 weeks. I'll be doing the same thing tonight...or is it tomorrow? 1:40am doesn't quite seem late enough to qualify as "tomorrow."

Besides my lack of sleep and worries about the frigid air...oh yes, and then there are the worries about looking ridiculously dorky, and having to go #2 while running... but that's just TMI (too much information) even for a blog, I'm having the time of my life. The comraderie between the other runners...oh, I mean, ahem, "athletes", as I suck in my tummy and look very amazing. We smile at each other with nervous excitement as we strut around the hotel in our running gear.

Yesterday was the Pasta Party, where we got a heros reception from Team in Training, getting tons of recognition for our fund-raising efforts. Victims and parents of victims of leukemia and lymphoma were there to thank us. Seeing the children with their little bald heads and their beautiful smiles brought tears to our eyes. How could I be so selfish to worry about fund-raising when these kids go through so much? It was very inspirational and I thought, again, how lucky I am to have three healthy children. I remembered why I had vowed to do this every 5 years. So, nevermind that during the training I said "Never again".

I try to keep this blog on "Single Again" topics and I realize I'm diverging to running rather than dating, love, or relationships. However, I've read over and over that the key to finding love is to first love yourself. Do what makes you happy. Get in touch with who you are. I don't exactly love running. In fact, a lot of times, I don't even like it. But I love this feeling of doing something exciting and challenging and helping out a good cause. For the past 4+ months I've been getting farther and farther away from my pitiful "Nobody loves me" sob story and realizing that life is about more than having a romantic partner in your life.

They say, you'll find that romantic relationship by doing the thing you love. I haven't found any romantic prospects in the running community. But I've met lots of people and made new friends. I've gained tremendous respect for all those that donated. I've enjoyed the company of my coach and teammates. I've made friends with those that are here in Orlando with me, including my 59-year-old-roommate, Nan, out there walking in the cold right now! A lot of people have touched my heart through this experience...the other runners, the survivors, teammate who lost her 2-year-old in July to Leukemia, the contributors, my friends and supporters. I may not have found romance, but I have found a lot of love.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Dorky Runners...Warm But Not Cool!

Here I am in Orlando, holed up in the hotel room with my laptop. It's cold! In fact, I just watched the weather channel and hear that Orlando is having a cold front with freezing temperatures expected Saturday night/Sunday morning, the night I will be up at 3am heading out to the Disney Marathon. While back in Denver, the weather channel informs me, they are looking at cozy 70 degree weather for the weekend! Unfair! I should at least be escaping Colorado cold if not enjoying Florida warmth!

This is going to present a problem with my marathon attire. I have brought my "throw-away sweats" and a trash bag...both recommended as items that would help keep me warm, but could be disposed of during the race when things warm up. And then there's the water-bottle-carrier-turned-cell-phone-carrier that will be strapped around my middle. If I'm wearing that over a trash bag, I'm sure it will rival past Halloween costumes for "most ridiculous look" award. I'm not exactly photogenic in the best of circumstances, and my "running look" is not flattering. Add to that, dorky clothes, and I can kiss that Runner's World cover shot goodbye. It also will completely ruin any notion of flirting with the cute guys along the way, trying to find a date for the Victory Party. Do I want to look cool at the risk of being cold? Well, I suppose I'll decide on Sunday morning.

Outside of my worries of warmth, I'm having the time of my life. 18 weeks of training are over...minus the 20 minute run I must go out and do as soon as I get this posted...and now all I have to do is run for 26.2 miles! In my newfound quest to be outgoing, I've met other runners with Team in Training and we are all excited and nervous. This afternoon is the Pasta Party over at Epcot and a chance to pig out, always a fun part of running.

OK, off for the last training run, in Orlando, but still with sweats.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Is Love a Choice?

I once had a long debate with my mother about whether or not someone can choose to love. I was talking about the non-romantic sort...that between friends or family. I believe that you can love anyone you decide you're going to love. You see the good in them, you believe in them, you support them, you listen to them, and you are there for them when they need you. Sure, there are a lot of people that we choose not to love, because most of us probably only give our love unconditionally to our children. For almost everyone else, we have to feel that the love is reciprocated. If it's not, then we just worry that we're becoming a pest or we're being used. We can have a range of negative emotions with unreciprocated love: anger, hurt, insecurity, embarrassment, rejection. Should we feel this way for loving someone just because they don't love us back?

So, let's move on to romantic love. Is it the same? Can you choose to love someone? I read that there are three C's to romantic love: Chemistry, Compatibility, and Commitment. The chemistry (the attraction) and compatibility (what you have in common) are probably things you can't control. But, I believe we have the power to choose to commit and that it is a major component of love. Both people have to commit or they won't find love. That commitment piece of love is what I'm talking about when I talk about loving friends and's what I described in the first paragraph. But all those emotions involved when it's unreciprocated are magnified to the degree that many people don't want to take the risk.

Twenty-two years ago I was dating a man that I didn't love. I liked the attention he gave me and there were things about him I liked, but I repeatedly told him that I didn't want a serious relationship. Our courtship was very on-again, off-again. But during one of the on-again periods, I ended up pregnant. We decided to get married and it was at that point that I decided I needed to commit to this man. For the first time, I felt fully in love, but it was a choice that I mentally made. I went from a dating relationship full of turmoil to a marriage full of love because of a conscious change on my part to be committed.

I had a 19-year marriage and during that time I didn't question my love for my husband. We had our ups and downs as husbands and wives do, but he was my husband and regardless of changes with the chemistry and compatibility pieces of love, the commitment, especially because of the kids, was enough for me to feel secure in what I thought was mutual love. In the end, he lacked the commitment piece and so we're divorced...but that's another story.

What's my point? If you're dating someone that you feel you have chemistry and compatibility but there seems to be a lack of commitment, why not just "fake it 'til you make it"? Suggest to your partner that you both try giving your full commitment to one another, even if only temporarily to test it out. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the freedom of loving someone fully without that fear of rejection..with the knowledge that they were going to give it back to you?

I decided to try this little experiment When I was dating FB it was he that had that lack of commitment. I was never free to fully "love" him because I knew it would scare him and he'd feel pressure to reciprocate or worry about hurting me. Last year we went away for Valentine's weekend. I told him that I knew he didn't want to "have a serious relationship" yada, yada, yada, but I wanted a weekend full of romance and I wanted us to "act in love." For one weekend I wanted him to give up the commitment-phobia. I give him a lot of credit. He bought me roses and did all the classicly romantic things. He tried to give me what he thought I wanted. But, I guess underneath I knew that it was an act and that it would only last the weekend. FB was not really choosing to commit, but pretending at my request. I used to rationalize that he wouldn't have done that much if he didn't feel some love for me. Why wasn't it OK for me to keep loving someone just because he didn't love me "as much"?

But now, I have experienced being on the "other side." When someone offers their love and affection to me, I worry when I don't feel the same way. I don't want them to feel the same hurt and rejection that I've felt. If I were to "choose to commit" rather than naturally wanting to commit, I'd feel like I was being dishonest, leading them to believe I have deeper feelings than I really do.

On the other hand, maybe many of us are subconsciously (or even consciously) choosing NOT to commit. Maybe we want to wait until the chemistry and compatibility factors are off the charts and THEN decide to commit. If I hadn't gotten pregnant, I probably never would have gotten married and I would have missed out on love, a 19-year marriage, and my 3 children.

When it comes to romantic love, I don't know what's right...choosing to love or hoping it happens naturally. As for friends and family, I firmly believe we have the power to choose to love and should take every opportunity to do so. So on this first day of 2006 I'm going to resolve to love more often and more freely. Happy New Year! I love you, blog readers! :-)