It was late and I decided to close up my screen of romantic desires and rest my weary eyes and not-so nimble fingers. Time to catch up on all those things I set aside: dishes, laundry the typical daily routines that needed attention.
Those chores were interrupted. A frantic phone call; much like the call I received a few years earlier from my girlfriend Beth. At that time she was in crisis mode, her husband was leaving her for another woman and wanted my help. They resolved that temporary glitch in their disrupted family life and they survived. That was 6 years ago. I was happy about that.
Today it would be her husband of 40 years, Jeff. He wanted “out” again and here was good ole Annie to the rescue. I answered: He wanted to talk…
Opening this door of conversation was like opening the wounds from my past. I once again had to relive those exhausting grief filled moments of the loss I felt when my husband took off.
With apprehension I invited him over to talk. I knew all too well that I would have to choose between 2 friends that meant so much to me. How could I become allies with one and not the other? It felt as though I was playing with fire and I didn’t have an extinguisher to douse the flames.
He arrived, gave me a big hug and began to weep: “I don’t know how long I can stay in a loveless marriage? he cried in desperation “I feel as though I’m in limbo, a constant death, no resolution or finality to our problems. Help Annie, what am I in for?”
I was presently at peace with where I was in my life and I wasn’t about to tell Jeff to leave his wife; that was not for me to decide. I could only listen to his concerns and offer a sympathetic ear and impart some of my own personal experiences.
After an emotionally tiring 3 hours Jeff thanked me and said: ” All I want is to feel alive again. Just to have a few loving, romantic moments with someone who can return those feelings. You are a good friend Annie.” He pulled me close to his body, embraced me and attempted a kiss. Not “just a kiss” But a KISS….
To find out what happens be sure to look for my soon to be released book “The New Dance Card” Looking For Love Online”
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Ann’s first book “The Dance Card” Looking For Love After Divorce is available at Amazon. com, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, kindle. This is where it all began!! Romantic, tittilating humorous tales of looking for love.
The next audition for my New Dance Card: A 52 year old Aerospace engineer, recently divorced with 2 kids. I was seeing a pattern: the age and stage of life seems to be a turning point. Is it the desire for something new? Or could it be the desire for two individuals who had lost connection along the way, or was it a mutual conclusion that they were not the “right fit” from the start? I thought it was the latter.
If we approached relationships as if we were shopping for a good pair of shoes, maybe we would all be more successful. The size, the fit, the look, the ease of slipping into every day and most importantly the ability to withstand the elements over years of wear- all crucial elements in the formula for comfort, sustainability, love and compatibility.
His profile read: I’m retired, married too young to my high school sweetheart for 29 years. Recently divorced. Was amicable. I do volunteering for the Humane Society, I clean cages, the the animals as fosters…sponsor at least 12 at a no kill shelter. It breaks my heart seeing all these abandoned animals. I better move on as I’m starting to tear up as I write this.
Iv’e done little dating as I seem to attract younger women and have no interest in someone half my age. The world of dating is scary even for a guy. Yes women are just as deceitful as men tend to be. I hate the fact that some date as if it were a sport. I’m not looking for friends with benefits or bed “buddies.”
While I commended this man for remaining friends with his ex, and his endearing profile and love for animals, I wasn’t quite sure we would be a fit. I know that after a long term marriage ends we hold on to old feelings for awhile and he was just divorced. I remember where my heart was after only a few short months of being solo. I need to try on a few more shoes!
The Twist is a provocative dance inspired by rock and roll music in the 1950s, with origins traced back to West Africa with its pelvic thrust movements and shuffling of the feet. Today most remember the twist as a simple dance catapulted to fame by Chubby Checker in the 1960s when he performed on The Dick Clark show American Bandstand.
I read his lengthy profile and decided to say “Hello” through the online dating site.
His personal response was even more elaborate: It included being humble and trustworthy and romantic and God fearing. He detested liars. He stated that the reason so many men and women don’t have success in relationships is because we are all concerned about our own personal gain instead of examining what we each have to offer in a relationship. He went on and on about growing together emotionally, spiritually and physically and so forth. Blah Blah Blah… “Yah, don’t we all know this?”
He was persistent in having me give him my email address so that we could further our communication offline. He claimed he was an engineer and in Nigeria working. BUT his writing was inconsistent in the English language. I figured he was a foreigner. What was he doing in Nigeria? I was a bit apprehensive.
My curiosity took hold and I did respond… via the site but his profile disappeared. The dating site posted a message saying the username “HEARTTOLOVE” did not exist.
No problem, I thought, I hadn’t invested any time in him. Maybe he found someone else who would fit into his dream world– in Nigeria.
Shortly thereafter, I received a direct message from another member on the dating site. She wrote” Be aware that ‘Hearttolove’is the name of a Nigerian scammer targeting women. He scammed me out of thousands of dollars. He calls himself ‘Twister.’This man is charming, sexy and good looking but the pictures are also stolen identity. Please do not send money.”
I greatly appreciated this woman from the dating site. She was playing the role I had played with Mr. Hustle. Her mission was to make other women aware that not everyone is looking for “true love.”
Many times I have been asked” How can you put yourself out there and not know what your’e getting into? My answer is always the same:
“Until you have walked in my dancing shoes, you’ll never know the task of finding someone to fill your loveless life. Hopefully you never will. So my uninformed friend stay content with your life and who you chose to be with in this life. If someday you find yourself in a similar situation…come to me and say “Ah! I understand.”
On to the next profile…
For more information and to follow Ann Reichardt be sure to read her first book ” The Dance Card” Looking For Love After Divorce. available on Amazon. com. Barnes& Noble, Apple itunes and Kindle.
Her follow up book “The New Dance Card” Looking For Love Online continues her journey in searching for that right partner in love and life.
“Life Is A Dance”
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My very first enlistment on my second “dance card’ is Mr. Foxtrot. He is slow and smooth, reminiscent of my most endearing dancer Mr. Waltz. It is often referred to as the Rolls Royce of the standard dances: beautiful, romantic conjuring up images of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire gliding with ease across the stage.
It had been several days since I first connected with him. but I knew waiting was part of the drill.. I was not disappointed, just realistic in knowing that delayed gratification was the pattern of online dating.
Then in came the message: Hello you must be Annie,the little orphaned girl looking for that perfect family to take you into their hearts. I would love to be your Daddy Warbucks.
I was now ready to release the past and move forward I need to formulate a clever pitch, a perfect introduction to this witty guy.
“It’s a Hard Knock Life” and I have kicked those hard days. I wanted to abandon those ragamuffin clothes for refined attire and move to the big city. That sun will certainly be coming out tomorrow-with you.”
“Annie, bet your bottom dollar. Tomorrow and the next day and the next You are fun! Are you ready for an adventure?”
“More than ready but if your’e envisioning a feisty curly haired red head you are going to be greatly disappointed.”
” I know exactly what you look like from your profile picture. Don’t change a thing.” ‘You’re Annie?’ Sam (Tom Hanks) says at the top of the Empire State building in Sleepless in Seattle. I would love to be Sam Reed and you Annie Baldwin, a chance meeting at the top would be romantic. Can you hear the song playing now? Jimmy Durante singing ‘As Time Goes By'”
I thought “How sweet” But I also remembered my last dancer Mr. Waltz and how I got caught up in all of his romantic rhetoric. I was cautious now.
The next long email came in from Mr. Foxtrot. That foxy guy chasing me into a world of romantic screen plays, with soundtracks to stir the emotions. This time he wrote, “Annie, you are ShopGirl(Kathleen Kelly) and I am NY152(Joe Fox), in “You’ve Got Mail” She prefers the laptop I prefer you. Imagine the two of us meeting at that garden of eden at the end of our journey, our electronic journey. When we “fall in love” again, it will be forever. I’m your Mr. Joe Foxtrot.
At this point I was getting a little apprehensive about this guy. I saw him as the fox and the chase was his thrill. All the silly dialogue clouded my sense of reality.He became that bachelor behind the proverbial screen and I was eyeing that this match game needed to end. Trot away Mr. Foxtrot. Trot away
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The dating game, that competition for the many lovesick individuals challenged to reach that ultimate goal: love, companionship,friendship,, intimacy and possible marriage. This new effort would be exhausting. Would it be a 5K or a complete marathon requiring a great deal of endurance. How would I separate myself from the masses that had joined me?
That popular weekly half-hour show from the 1970’s was the precursor to all that followed in the dating world. Separated by a screen from 3 unknown bachelors or bachelorettes armed with a few titillating questions not particularly pertinent to each person. The men or women would finally be revealed from behind that curtain one by one. The rejected suitors would kiss the contestant and be on their way. The chosen one would be the last to be revealed and the reactions were always “priceless” Most often disappointed.
Not much has changed… we are still separated by a screen. Now we have the ability to eliminate without the commitment of connecting.
author of “The Dance Card” Looking For Love After Divorce
Returning to this crazy new age of dating, I thought I would be an expert after all those years of muddling through that one dating site. The progression should be smooth and effortless, I thought to myself. I soon learned that the online dating scene had taken a grand leap. The popularity of dating in cyberspace the number of possible sites to choose from was staggering. There were sites to entice individuals based on color, religious affiliation, culture, hobbies and age. Narrowing down the playing field would make this much easier. I no longer had to sit at my computer desk. All that information was in the palm of my hand…my cell phone. I could have at the instant notifications of men who wanted to connect.
I soon discovered the numbers of lonely hearts out there came in all ages. I felt sorry for the young people today having to look for love in this noncommittal and detached way.The days of longing for a young suitor to carry you away, lifting you across that alter of love, romance and marriage were gone. These kinds of expectations are not in the cards for many career- driven college graduates. That drive for power and financial acumen, sacrificing having a family during those fertile years and then with regret finding out too late that her proverbial biological clock stopped.
I felt fortunate that I had already had my chance, my family, my history. There was no need to hurry things up for those reasons. My expectations were different.
That messages were coming in now…The men that perused the dating site and found my profile interesting. Off to begin my reading for the day…
Tomorrow: The WINKS
Ann Reichardt is a relationship guide for those who have challenges in finding love after loss. Having personal experience in looking for love after her long term marriage ended. The many lessons she learned along the way can help others experiencing similar challenges
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