Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

All the While You Were in Front of Me I Never Realized

My week shaped up a little better and ended with a nice long weekend with my favorites: Mr. X and my doggies.

It amazes me that I wrote a dating blog for so many years. Where did I find the energy? In the spirit of finding the right formula for weeding the weeds and finding the good ones, I subjected myself to all sorts of challenges: Going on as many first dates as possible but no seconds. Giving everyone a second chance. Not ruling someone out on a prescribed list of qualities I want. Ruling them out for having qualities I didn’t want. Thinking of all the approaches, all the iterations, all the advice, all the drama, it tires me. Especially when I can tell anyone who asks, that from where I sit…

All the cliches about finding love are true.

1) Be Yourself
I knew Mr. X for four years before we ever took a step in the romantic direction. Hindsight being 20/20, I often wish I could take back some of the stories I told him about my escapades with other men. But, I know that it’s the stories and their content which shaped me into who I am, and who I am is a person who he wants to be with, so did I really make a mistake in being myself?

My parents routinely tortured my brothers and I to “go to church.” There’s no way that my ideal man is at church on a Sunday morning. He’s either sleeping, or he’s working out, but I know he is not at church. And if I met him at church, you know what he would say to me once I tricked him into believing hangovers were a better way to spend Sunday mornings? “My mother wonders why don’t we go to church anymore.” Yeah. That’s a problem. Because MY mother taught me that church was a place to poach a husband. And my dad taught me that it’s a place to get free coffee. It would be a bad idea to pick someone up there, because they would always think I was religious in some way.

2) You don’t “find” love. It finds you – when you are least expecting it
Sure, there are some of you out there who put a profile up on Match or JDate and found the love of your life. You were looking and you found it. This applies to most of my friends, as a matter of fact, who are currently in love. Consider yourself really really lucky. I met my first love in a chat room. In 1997. So I’m not unconvinced it can happen, but as with everything, online life has become much more complicated. Everyone’s got their own agenda and you really have to wonder how people are successful at all in finding each other. Chalk it up to timing.

After the end of a trainwreck of a relationship, one of my best friends said, “Why don’t you take a break from dating for 6 months? I don’t want to hear anything about anyone for 6 months, can you do that?” Sure. I agreed. Hell, that was easy, I was off the hook. I was trading in my heels and lip gloss for flip flops and hoodies. That was a challenge I was more than happy to accept. I had my answer ready to anyone who asked, “I’m just not dating right now.” So easy! Why didn’t I think of that before?

One month later, I heard from an old friend who heard a rumor about me. A juicy rumor of which Mr. X and I were the subjects. I texted him to ask if he too heard this rumor. We hadn’t spoken in a while. He hadn’t heard the rumor. But the texting opened the door. It would have been easy to clarify the source of this rumor and close the door. But the door stayed open. I don’t know why, but it did. I didn’t slam it. Neither did he. And when the conversation turned from “Why do people think this” to “Maybe people think this for a reason” to “So is there something here we need to explore?” then there was a lot more that needed to be discussed.

3) Fall in love with your best friend
I already mentioned that I knew Mr. X for four years before we ever discussed “us” in any romantic context. But it isn’t just about knowing someone, it’s about knowing them. Hot Neighbor asked me how Mr. X and I were able to shift into a passionate place after being in the “friend zone” for so long. I don’t know how we could not have done this, by the time we ripped each other’s clothes off it seemed so normal.

Dating just somehow lends itself to people being either too guarded or too open. I tended toward the former in my years of dating, but I definitely heard there were plenty of the latter. {“I can’t wait to have kids” is not an acceptable statement on a first date. Or a second. Or a third. Yes, really!}

I knew things about Mr. X before he recognized them and admitted them to himself. He knows things about me that I haven’t said out loud to anyone, ever. When I point something out that he hasn’t admitted yet he says, “Get out of my head!” When he does the same to me I say, “Damn you!” We learned those things about each other long before anyone was trying to make a “good impression.”

I love when he swims around in my head and I rather love doing the backstroke inside his.

Patsy doesn’t know this but G-man told me a similar story at their rehearsal dinner. He said Patsy was the girl he just wanted to talk to about everything all the time. She was his best friend. He was hers. Now they is hitched, having babies for welfare dollars and living in Texas dagnabbit. Sorry. I went a little far with that. They are not on welfare, but they are not averse to eating at Babe’s Chicken House.

4) You “just know.”
You do. You have to be really good at listening to your instincts, but you should “just know.” (Unless you’re that person who “just knows” with everyone who trots along.)

If you wonder, then it isn’t right.

If you think, “If only he would…” it isn’t right.

If you say, “I love her, but…” then it isn’t right.

If you say, “This person makes my heart sing. They make me feel alive, better, and happier. Life without them would suck. When I see them, when they put their arms around me, when I kiss them, I feel like everything is just going to be all right,” then you know.


The thing is, you can listen to other people’s best advice on how to find the person you are supposed to be with. You can listen to all the tips, tricks, strategies. You can get set up on dates. You can set yourself up on dates. But you know what? All the stuff that make the cliches are founded in truth. For really good reasons.

Which cliches did I miss?


  1. JohnnyDC


  2. Talking Budgie

    The “you just know” thing astounds me. My mother always said that to me, and until I met The Boy, I thought she was lying. I always thought it was trite bullshit because she could never tell me how I would “just know”.

    But it’s true. Now I do “just know”, and now I’m yet another of those who know yet can’t explain to anyone else how I quite know. But I’m glad I do. If that makes any sense!

  3. Patsy

    Awww!!! You’re making me tear up over here! I can’t wait till my awesome husband wakes up and I can give him a huge hug and tell him how much I love him. Thank you for telling me that.

    I’m so glad you’ve found the one! Sometimes it takes you a little longer to find him, but when you do it makes everything worthwhile. Now bring him to Plano so that I can meet him and we can get our grub on at Babes!!

  4. E

    The cliche where you mention my name, followed by “stupid shiksa, poaching her man off JDate.”

    There are a few things in this post that made me laugh uncontrollably; expect an email.

  5. Stoic

    What a fantastic post! Can’t claim to know a whole lot about what you wrote about but it all makes a lot of sense. I can’t wait until I do know all about what you’re talking about, no matter how long it takes.

  6. Not So Little Woman

    Happy to return to your blog and see such a great post.

    I think you nailed them all. The only other clichés I know are for failed love. You know, the whole “if you love someone, let them go, if they come back they are yours, if they don’t, they never were”, which obviously doesn’t apply to you and don’t even know if it’s 100% true.

  7. JohnnyDC

    BTW, it can’t be real love unless you are stalking his ex. Possibly with a wig, knife, trenchcoat. NASA diaper optional.

  8. Uncle Keith

    Ah, stalking and diapers…good times, good times.

  9. Drunken Chud

    it’s funny, i thought i was in love at least a couple times in my life. one i can denounce to puppy love, the other, i think i just wanted to be in love that i convinced myself. the thing is, neither of those cross my mind as much as a couple other girls that i never truly realized how much i cared for them till they moved, or i moved. they pop into my head at least 5 times a day. one i haven’t seen in 7 years, the other i saw last friday, but she’s moving to texas in a month. life is wierd. so i guess the one your missing is, “you don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone.”

  10. Ibid

    This person makes my heart sing. They make me feel alive, better, and happier. Life without them would suck. …”

    The problem I keep encountering is that I’m supposed to inspire these feelings by the end of the first date if I ever expect to get a second.

  11. freckledk

    Good advice, all of it. Especially considering that there’s actually proof within your pudding.

    I’m going to print out a copy and tape it to my fridge….and my nightstand…and my cubicle wall….maybe even my car.

  12. barbara

    Congratulations! I think you’ve actually found THE ONE. It’s been a long time now with nothing but LOVE!

  13. michelle

    Aw! Look at you being all happy and optimistic about love! We are far from the days of “crackwhore,” etc. So glad to see you so happy. Mr. X must be one cool-ass guy.

  14. E

    I adore you and Mr. X together, and separately. Even if neither of you like to eat fancy food like I do.

  15. I-66

    I’m with you up to the falling in love with your best friend thing. I’ve been there, done that, and I probably won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

    That said, I’m exceedingly happy for you, even if I do miss the dating adventures a little.

  16. wildbillthePirate

    You missed:

    “Love means never having to say that you’re in violation of a Restraining Order.” -you heard it here first.

  17. E

    Wild Bill kills me. I’m in hysterics over here.

  18. sixesandsevens

    Yup I fell in love with Mr. X on our first date too. Even if it was a long night of pig nosed teenagers and goober pie.

    You kids make me feel optimitic which is a very uncomfortable position for a woman like me (and few positions are uncomfortable for me 😉 ).

    E- a hardened ball of olive oil does not fancy food make.

  19. erin*carly

    nice post! i’m going through the same right now . . . we met about six years ago, somewhere along the line became best friends, and all of a sudden in January, we crossed that line and are now engaged. crazy stuff, huh!

    [found you on DCblogs]

  20. Ashburnite

    It’s amazing how true all of those cliches are. Especially the one about love finding you. Very true. Congrats, btw.

    Love you!

    oh, and I’m back!! 🙂

  21. Shannon

    A lot of cliches are true…but the friend-to-romance thing is tricky. If it doesn’t work out, it’s messy, because once you cross over there’s no going back. I lost a friend of 16+ years that way, in a spectacularly messy fashion. Full story takes about an hour and a pitcher of beer to explain.

    My least favorite cliche is, “If it was meant to be, it will be.” I don’t think it’s possible to be passive about love – “it will be” only works if YOU work at it.

  22. What Liz Said

    You’re so right on all counts. My fiance… I have known him since I was 19. He’s my best friend. He and I reconnected and ended up romantically involved months after I had sworn off men following a heartwrenching break up. And the first time I saw him again last year… I almost threw up. I knew he was it.

  23. E

    I just realized this post’s title is from an Enrique Iglesias song. Barf.

  24. sixesandsevens

    Ok E, then my Enrique collection is going on the ipod just in time for our trip to The Shore. You must love the Enrique. You are both “E”s anyway…it’s fate.

  25. Velvet

    While I’m content to sit here and watch you two fight this out, the truth is that it is NOT Enrique. It’s Marc Anthony.

  26. E

    Same sucky-ass pseudo latin music crap. Although it’s not nearly as bad as that country shit that’s playing on your computer when I come home from work to your house. No wonder the doggies were fighting–they hate the “I’ll love you till mah pickup truck don’t run no more” music!

  27. I-66

    Velvet thinks my tractor’s sexy.

  28. Shannon

    Velvet, Kick Me Through the Goalposts of Life!

  29. wildbill

    If I told you you have a Beautiful Body, would you Hold it against Me?

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