Going Against the Rules in the Game of Love

So it's that time of year when two things are thrown in your face - Valentine's (or Galentine's ...or the single chicks) Day and Black History Month. Both come with lots of commercialism and possibly feelings of guilt for being alone or hearing about the tribulations of people who now identify as ADOS (or American Descendants of Slaves). While I'll always be proud of my heritage, being single during this time of the year has been a chronic situation for most of my adult life.

You Can't Always Remain Friends (and that's OK)

But...after years of doing an unfortunate tug of war with my ex-fiance, I broke the ties knowing that someone of my demographic (BW, Gen-X, disabled, college-educated entrepreneur) would have a hella hard time finding a long-term relationship again. If ever.

I learned the hard way that you can't force karma. Personally, I wish I could buy it at Nordy Rack or my local dispensary but it's not that easy. So for that dude who felt like stomping on my heart several times through manipulation and lies, I'm good now AND getting better. That's the way it should be for all of us in this life.

Never Be Gay for Pay (or companionship, if you're feelings aren't genuine)

At the same time, I wasn't going to sacrifice my sanity trying to force my way into lesbian life. While I have no problem with the LGBTQ community, following the trend of having a dirty pair of panties to wash didn't appeal to me. There's no crime in busting a low five when things get a little lonely horny.

We would all be so much better if we didn't use people for our personal satisfaction. Sometimes, it does seem like everyone we run across (especially in the big city) has an agenda. I plan to publish a do's and don'ts article for avoiding this altogether.

Taking a Chance on the Right One

While my wild imagination would often place me at an eclectic wedding reception with my equally quirky middle-aged groom dancing the night away, I knew as time passed this wouldn't happen. Too many God-awful statistics, an excessive number of males who believe womanizing is a way of life, and too little time on my part even though I've been in remission for nearly two years now.

So how am I celebrating this year? Well, I decided to step completely out of my comfort zone. If you're in a relationship drought, I'd advise anyone to do the same. As we get older, we never know when performance anxiety may take over and pills (especially the blue ones) might defeat the purpose.

That Weird Feeling about Numbers

As of today, my main obstacle in getting my BS degree is math. Even during my junior college days, my mind traveled to very vivid images of trauma. This led to many sleepless nights and guilt over being too trusting as a latchkey kid. Although I'm pretty frugal, being overdrawn or owning minimal possessions is a sensitive spot for me.

So, in following some advice an old friend gave me, focus on assets and not liabilities. The greedy son-of-a-bitch that always accuses you of cheating, needs money often, or has zero respect for your space shouldn't be forced into your future plans. Even if they have that one talent of making your toes curl, there should always be a Plan B called a replacement. And if that replacement can be bought at Spencer's so be it.

Anyway, I've never dated anyone more than a couple of years older or younger than me. The one exception was a really nice and well-meaning guy from K-Town that remembered Jimi Hendrix. I just hated to travel across town to see him and be the sole source of transportation (this was pre-rideshare).

Ok, so here it is. I met "Charles" last year in my building. At first, I was far from attracted because of the stuff he told me about his past. Then I met his mother and learned of another side. As time passed, I found myself noting small things like him asking my mother how I was. When he stepped up to ask me out, I was wondering how much to share.

Taking a Chance on Love

For weeks, I wrested with discussing manageable cancer, my dating history, and the biggie...age. I'm 15 years his senior and wondered how this would work beyond a few dates. One day, I decided to do the "nice" rundown, which was a college grad, rebuilding my business but considering regular work at the moment, and my zodiac sign. 

When he didn't run, I thought this might be a phase on his part. However, in the getting-to-know-you stage, there were a couple of communication bumps and I was forced to reveal my dirty secret. Unlike my ex, he listened and said he would be there for me until the end. I nearly broke down on the phone.

And weeks later, he's lived up to his word. While things haven't been 100% perfect, I'm very happy with my choice to go with someone who's almost my complete opposite. Our common ground is how much living we've both done but found maintaining peace of mind is the ultimate goal in life. Yup, sounds corny but I did get the person who has their own lane and doesn't mind calling me out on my shit without being degrading. It's a lot right now but so far, I have no regrets.