Who Loves You, Comes After You

edited heart magnet

My heart. It’s healed now and happy, why mess with it?

It’s been more than five years since I got divorced.  People keep telling me I should start dating, but come on, what’s the rush?

I know my friends and family are telling me I’m not getting any younger. And I know they’re right, because any time I accidentally open the camera on my phone, and it’s on my face, I recoil in horror, as though I’ve just seen a bloody, dismembered limb.

But overall, I’m pretty happy. I come home and there’s no one questioning me or irritated with me, sitting on my couch, hogging the remote, eating, and leaving toenail clippings all over the place.  There’s no one making my life harder anymore, except me, and dammit, I’m happy. If it wasn’t for all those stupid Facebook photos of happily married couples on vacation or celebrating their upteenth wedding anniversary, I’d be perfectly content. But, something inside wonders what it might be like to be part of a happy, loving couple.

Even my salt and pepper collection is pairing off.

Even my salt and pepper collection is pairing off.

I think I’m just having a hard time getting up the nerve. What kind of lunatic goes through 22 years of not being valued by someone, followed by an ugly divorce, then says, “Hey, I think I’ll do that again!”

I learned tons from going through those nine circles of hell. I learned that when someone doesn’t value you, (and you can tell from the very first date) you shouldn’t date him because it’s never going to change. He’s not going to magically start to value you one day. He will never value you. Period.

I even went through all the psychological reasons why I didn’t feel I deserved to be valued and came up with lots of insight, which was great. Now I completely understand why I was such an idiot. I guess it’s progress.

I actually dipped my toe into the quasi dating pool, re-connecting with an old friend a while back. It was absolute heaven for two weeks. We were texting each other like crazed teenagers, walking around with silly smiles on our faces, and having phone conversations that lasted for hours, then he dropped off the face of the earth — just stopped communicating.

I was crushed because I really liked this guy. He was everything I ever wanted in a man: kind, smart, nice, hard-working and responsible, with an incredible sense of humor. He was one of the divorced walking wounded too, just like me, which made things so easy between us. He understood everything I was saying and I understood him.

But, c’est la vie. As my mother always said, “Who loves you, comes after you.” And he clearly didn’t love me because he didn’t. And, after the number of times I tried to connect with him, I’m surprised Verizon didn’t step in and cut me off for my own good. But I did stop because I do deserve to be valued and I know that now.

So, I’ve been putting off seeking someone out for a long time because my life isn’t where I want it to be, but there’s probably never going to be a good time. So, I did the unimaginable a couple of weeks ago. I opened up a Match.com account. And I’ve been looking around at the YMCA lately too. I do see men who I find attractive, but I’m utterly horrid at girl stuff like dating. I can paint a room, put in a sidewalk, and garden the entire yard, but ask me to flirt, and I freeze. I can’t do it. Truly, I suck at it.

I’ve seen how it’s done. My friend, who I’ll call Ginger, is unbelievably good at it. She doesn’t even realize she does it, she just naturally flirts with every man who walks by. She knows how to hold  eye contact for that pivotal extra few seconds. She’s always trying to coach me, but I’m hopeless. I think deep inside, I’m terrified they won’t look back, so it’s easier not to look. But I realize that, just like with anything in life, if you don’t take a chance, you get nothing. There’s another one of my mom’s sayings:  “Columbus Took a Chance.” Well, it was more like, “Columbus a took a chenze a,” but you get the picture.

So, just like I attempted no swearing for a good solid two weeks, I am going to try to actually look at men I find attractive this week and maybe even hold that gaze for those pivotal uncomfortable  seconds. (If this doesn’t kill me, nothing will).

I may even get up the nerve to post my photo on Match.com. I have a profile up but no photo, which is like trying to fish with your best wishes instead of a fishing pole and bait. I guess I just have to think of it as a game instead of being so serious about it. My heart is not so sure it wants to play games at my age, but I guess trying for a couple of weeks won’t kill me.

Wish me luck. If I don’t die of embarrassment, I’ll be back to let you know how my first week goes.

Oh God.

20 thoughts on “Who Loves You, Comes After You

  1. Well, good luck. And don’t get me started on the dating scene or lack there of. But hey, I won’t be a Debby Downer. Lots of luck and keep me posted.

  2. You go girl! Put it out into the universe exactly what you want and wait for it. Your mom was right, “they will come after you”. I’m a hopeless romantic….so I’ll certainly be following your journey.

  3. Oh, girlfriend: where do I begin? You are FABULOUS and BEAUTIFUL! PUT UP A PHOTO!!! Not putting one up, will make the droves of suitors think you are hiding your weight or your wonky left eye (get it?). “I can paint a room, put in a sidewalk, and garden the entire yard,” made me think of Peggy Lee. So, I want you to start singing “I’m a Woman” and channel the sexy Italian fireball that you are. I am so proud of you (and wish I felt as brave). I wish you the great love of your life. May he be everything you desire and deserve. XOX

    • Awww Linda, you’re making me all emotional too, or maybe I’m just a wuss. Thank you so much. None of us is perfect and if someone is willing to overlook my flaws, I’ll happily do the same. And you are fabulous, so it may be time for you too. I keep wondering who I’m missing every day I wait. But I have to have faith in the universe and know that the exact right person will come along when it’s the right time. Thanks for writing and being such a great friend.

  4. EXACTLY what Colleen said!! Frannie, just be yourself in the world and all good things will come to you. In the meantime, we will make our own fun 🙂
    You are pure gold, Fran Tunno. (And besides, whoever he is will have to get through me and Martin, your kids and your brothers first! No one is breaking your heart again!)

  5. Frannie, you are beautiful and fun and funny! Don’t try to flirt, just be yourself! If someone can’t find you that way, you don’t need him! You just need to knock down that invisible wall that you imagine is around you. The men are looking at you. Just Pay Attention! Luv ya, Cuz!

  6. All your readers in Blogland will be rooting for you … maybe even give you a few tips for success. You opened up your feelings and exposed them to over 1028 followers. Very brave. I think you will touch many others who can totally relate to what you’ve been through and why it’s so hard to put yourself out there again. Hey, you’re cute, funny, have good hair, loves to cook and feed the masses, dance … it should be a slam dunk!

  7. Wow now that’s wearing your heart on your sleeve! Funny thing…..those of us who know you are thinking “are you kidding me!” Any man would be so lucky to date you!!! Your CSC friends hold you dear to their hearts and wish you all the best Fran!

    • Awww, thanks Howie. Sorry, but I’ll never get used to calling you Karen. Those are wonderful words to read. I so appreciate you taking the time to write. And yeah, I do wear my heart on my sleeve, but at this point, what do I have to hide?

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