THE DANCE CARD…..SLOW DANCE

My Dance Card was beginning to fill. Practice was my mantra; the more often I danced and the more partners I danced with the greater the likelihood of success. To find that perfect dancer that may lead to a partnership on and off the dance floor became both an enlightening yet disappointing adventure in looking for love in the last third of my life. The question remained, which dance would best suit my style and abilities?

Number 2 on my dance card would be the SLOW dance ..Mr. Slow presented himself as a normal, kind and caring man in his mid fifties divorced for 20 years and looking for the love of his life.

His profile read.

“I like to enjoy life to the fullest. I would describe myself as honest and trustworthy. I think the best of people and look for the best in all situations. I have found that it is not what you do but who you do things with. I am always happiest when I can do things for others. An ACKED of kindness takes a short time but leaves a long impression.”

Hm. “An Acked” of kindness.  As I read this grammatically incorrect sentence I began to scrutinize this new dancer as possibly not being educated. But then I thought, maybe I shouldn’t critique every word written. The sentiments were thoughtful, even wonderful.Perhaps that error in spelling was simply a function of spell check on the computer. I decided to proceed. Oh and yes his height did meet my prerequisites.

Mr Slow was really the first man to capture my interest after 30 years of being in a monogamous relationship.What a thrill!

All of a sudden to be free to move in the unimaginable direction of potential love. It was scary, awesome, and yet quite confusing to say the least.

The difference with dating today for an older woman is the maturity and wisdom from experience. So I thought. It should be less complicated, but I soon discovered that the game is the same, the outcome similar and the unrealistic ideal expectations only cloud what is reality.

When I was supposed to be logically assessing a new partner and all the intricacies that go along with inviting someone into my life. I unknowingly reverted back to that kind of infatuation I felt as a  teenage girl. I was blinded by the extreme high of the drug of excitement.

Mr Slow dance began slowly. We both believed that ours was the perfect match early on. I would now remove my profile from that dating site and begin the Slow dance.

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THE DANCE CARD …MR. CONTEMPORARY

My DANCE CARD was empty and ready for its first appointment.

The very first profile I viewed on line in this new world of dating was a charming appearing man in his mid fifties and clearly well educated with a way of words.   Ah!!!!!  but his height was listed as 5ft 8.  Very curious I thought to myself that I would notice that first. Maybe I was being a bit too particular in my selection process.

Reflecting on that observation, I was brought back to my days as an overweight middle school child. towering over all the young boys. Throughout those years, perhaps that issue  gave me insecurities that have persisted my entire adult life.

Despite this potential deal breaker I read on only because he was adorable.  It read….

“I know that others will read this but this is only for you, the one person who will make my life complete. My true love.

This is what makes me love you the way I do.

You are happy and enjoy living in your skin. You appreciate the blessings in life and look forward to challenges and adventures. however small they may be. You are kind in sprit, yet strong in your convictions. You have a pretty smile that comes from your heart and makes your eyes sparkle.

You are a student of the world and enjoy different cultures and embraces diversity which makes the world an amazing place

You take good care of yourself and look good in a little black dress but are just as pretty in your favorite jeans and t shirt.

You love kids, dogs, football ( well maybe?), romantic dinners, quiet walks, hot days at the beach and cold martinis.

Music is a big part of what we enjoy and we love to dance together. The feeling of the music, the two of us holding each other close just for that moment. We are best friends. We are one.”

WOW !!!!!What a wonderful read. Thought provoking and romantic. Who doesn’t want this??

I would respond. But I needed to assign him a dance…He was my Mr Contemporary

The Contemporary dance is modern, fluid with energy and passion. Improvisation is a cornerstone to this dance form which is different from classical dances in terms of style and moves. It is its own form of expression. Contemporary dancers give aspiring dancers the opportunity to seek the joy of dancing. It’s a dance for beginners, offering partners a chance to get to know one another from a new perspective.

My response was short but acknowledging that I liked his profile.

He in turn wrote back with pleasantries. He says…

“You have so many wonderful things in your profile. I love what you wrote and I read every word more than once. I cannot tell you how much I felt connected to you as I read your profile. I must admit that as I got to the end my heart sank when you stated that you were not searching for a long term relationship or commitment.  MAYBE WE ARE NOT A GOOD MATCH”

I did not hear from Mr Contemporary after this. At least for awhile,

Now I had to rethink all that I put in my profile. Perhaps this will scare potential men away from wanting to  meet? But honestly I was just separated and not completely divorced and really not looking for anyone to fill the shoes of that person I had been with for so many years. At least not for the moment.

So this is how it all began……My first encounter into this vastly confusing world of internet dating.

My dance card would await the next dancer to be placed as number 2 on my list.Who would that be??

THE DANCE CARD ………THE AUDITION

Opening up my virtual DANCE CARD would be the beginning of my eight year adventure looking for love after divorce.

The computer and technology have replaced those dance cards from when I had met my husband. That was 30 years ago.

I would open up a studio for all would be dancers to be considered on my new dance card of love.

Choosing to give my suitors alter egos was not intentional at first. Like dance, they came in many different forms and they telegraphed their moves according to the definition of specific dances.

Dance is a vibrant and extremely expressive form of art comprising both aesthetic and social components. Any and all forms of dance have the power to bind people on an emotional level, in romance or in friendship.

The art of dating is like a beautiful form of dance, providing social and intimate interactions between two people. The rhythm of the music allows for individual interpretation and for two people to improvise dance steps as they start dating. Some who take those first steps successfully complete their dance, and some falter, stumbling over their own feet.

With such popularity as “DANCING WITH THE STARS” and “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE” the increased knowledge about dance has given rise to men and women wanting to set foot onto a ballroom floor.

Every dance, as every person has a unique identity. Each dancer and dance is beautiful and appealing in its own way.

The selected ones to be auditioned for my “DANCE CARD” were all wonderful yet some of the moves were never in line with what my idea was as a permanent dance partner.

The card of love is eager to place my very first enlistment.

He will be referred to as “Mr. Contemporary”. This is an artistic dance with a high level of difficulty with its own form of expression through improvisation.

THE DANCE OF DATING ONLINE……..PROFILES OF COURAGE

Profiles….The all important dossier of ones life.

To begin that all important manuscript you have to think hard about yourself and analyze all those assets that you feel make you an interesting an inviting person.   A synopsis of background, interests, education, heritage, political and or religious affiliation as well as physical attributes.

This was a difficult task. I never talked about myself . What contributions did I make to create some significance in this world? I was a mother, caretaker, nurse, educator, chauffeur, dance mom, cook, maid, psychologist, What did I have to offer?

All those years of being looked at as “someones wife” I had lost my own identity  Just a mere cast member in the ensemble of a family, standing obediently in the wings, supporting and nurturing the whole production. Not center stage, no applause, no standing ovation.

It was NOW time to “dance like no one is watching” With courage I decided to give up my understudy role and become the lead on the a new stage.

My profile read…

I am youthful, spirited, romantic and caring with a sensitive and introspective heart and soul. I am a lover of nature and life.

I am liberal, open minded with a spirit for new adventures. I am athletic, quiet and reserved. Adoring, not self absorbed, but confident in myself and in my abilities.

My hopes and dreams center around a sound value system, one that honors my family.

I am a parent, daughter, sister, Aunt and friend. I generally care about others and look for the goodness that we all possess. I will always embrace the needy and treat them with respect. I never take things for granted and I try to live each day as if it were my last.

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there. I am hopeful that this will happen for everyone and not just for me

I am looking for someone who will appreciate me for me and all that I have to offer. My ideal match must respect my independence but also nurture a friendship that requires the give and take that is so important in a loving and balanced relationship.

I am not searching for a long term commitment right now but I am willing to see what life has in store for me, so I will leave the door open to let the sunshine in.

Done!!!!! Now I was available for the picking..exposed

ONLINE DATING LET THE DANCES BEGIN

AH!!!   The internet. We have reached new levels where no man has gone before. I seem to remember that phrase from a long forgotten television show.  No one ever thought it possible to be communicating through air waves prompted from a little virtual screen atop one’s desk in the privacy of their safe homes.

But here we are the masses joined together looking for connections on so many levels. Friends, family, work, networking for business , life and now for love.

“LET THE DANCES BEGIN”  As I am pondering the quest to meet someone new to incorporate into my life, I first had to muddle through the process of signing up on a dating site. Words cannot express the shock I felt when perusing the various cyberspace possibilities.

All of this seemed overwhelming and I decided to dive deep into this murky pool with the intention of just seeing who may be out there. Before signing up on any site one is able to peruse the particular individuals  that may have already enlisted themselves as potential matches. I eagerly learned the process of this new game and listed my criteria. Strangely enough I specified men in their 50’s educated, athletic and tall. Those were my prerequisites. The demographics would be within a 500 mile radius of my appointed address. This was all a mystery to me but I had no other options now that I was thrown into this world of being single.

Dating for me felt especially strange after being in a monogamous  relationship for 30 years. No longer the ideal of The “Leave it To Beaver” Ward and June Cleaver lovingly attending to one another through good times and hard times. The commitment was there and the many marriages from that era were for the most part long lasting. Not so much  today, as I soon discovered.

I was all set to click that mouse to visually glance at a prospective future partner in my life. VOILA!! One finger movement on that mouse and out poured hundreds of lovelorn men and women. All waiting for that one person to peer into a portion of their lives and “like” what they see.

One of my first online  suitors described the online dating experiences as being in a store window, naked, exposed to all potential shoppers for goods they may want to purchase. Not every item is desirable, in fact very few of the items on our grocery list are desirable at all. As we are older and supposedly wiser, we become more selective with whom we may want to choose. We won’t settle for anything that is not perfect.

Another online gent equated dating online to being in a used car lot and choosing the one that would catch someone’s eye, the sleek look of the exterior as well as the fit while sliding into the front seat. Would the ride be perfect if there were bumps along the rocky road of discovery? Would this car be able to handle the remaining years together like a racing team riding the road of life?

Now my interest was peaked. I would actually sign up on a popular site and begin the dialogue with the other 50 million who took that plunge into the deep end. It was time to get my feet wet. Fill out a profile , expose myself to all those men looking for love. To be scrutinized, idolized and possibly criticized. I was ready……..My adventures begin.

COURAGE….Curiosity

Courageous now that my Dance of Grief seemed to be over

Curious about this outside world of coupledom.

I ventured out as a single middle aged women

Meeting a perspective partner in todays world of technology was quite different from the days of flirting across that gymnasium floor at a local recreation center where school or community dances were held.

I remember holding that cardboard “Dance Card” with names of dances accompanied by the gents, one was to dance with.

Looking over the names 1 through 10 there would always be that one partner that created those butterflies in anticipation of being swung across that highly polished wood floor

Were those same youthful feelings of excitement at all possible again?

My newly made Dance Card would be a lesson in choosing the right dancer for a long term partner. Instead of dance cards I was now faced with “Profiles”

The Dance of Cyberspace..finding love online

“Let the Dances Begin”