Skip to content

Inspiring Love in Film: Better Options Than Bridget Jones

November 14, 2012

This week’s guest post was written by Laura Reed, a journalist and cinema connoisseur who works in independent web-magazines and collaborates as a consultant in the making of a few movie scripts. She is also a passionate social network user, present mostly on Twitter and Badoo.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

Inspiring Love in Film: Better Options Than Bridget Jones

We may not like to admit it, but there is a mini-Bridget lurking within all of us. She’s waiting, unlit fag in hand, to spread chaos at the most inopportune moment. She just needs the right catalyst: like those times at parties where a veil of silence falls across the group and, just as you clear your voice to fill it with a witty and insightful contribution, she claps on the social blinkers and the gap between your own expectation of yourself and stubborn reality suddenly becomes a yawning chasm. Everyone looks at you as if you’re an idiot and you spill chardonnay dow215px-BridgetJonesDiaryMoviePostern your dress.

When it comes to love and life, however, I’m sure that we all at least hope that the Jones archetype doesn’t apply to us. Even as Bridget seemingly manages to hook Mr Right at the end of the first film, from the very start of The Edge of Reason (2004), it is clear that hers and Darcy’s is an ill-fitting relationship; plagued by obsession and stiffness compounded by Bridget’s indomitable lack of grace.

So what else does the cinematic world have to offer up to those of us still waiting to link arms with The One under a petal-strewn glen and stroll off into the sunset planning babies? Well, there’s quite a bit of tragedy. Titanic (1997), a classic story of love vs. the class system, turns out to be more than doomed when Arctic sea ice gangs up against the lovers to sink their blossoming romance. The benchmark for star-crossed lovers overcoming social divides was probably set by Love Story (1970), where Oliver Barrett IV’s dedication to working class Jennifer Cavilleri results in the golden-tap flowing from his Harvard-graduate father’s estate being cut off. After failing to conceive, it becomes apparent that Jennifer is terminally ill and, after months of financial hardship and multiplying hospital bills, Oliver is reconciled with his family at Jennifer’s death-bed with the immortal (and, perhaps, misguided) line: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Do our relationship archetypes have to involve either Disney fairy-tales, Bridget-style flops or the death of either party? Why is it that The English Patients of film win the Oscars? Actually, romantic cinema has been quite good at appealing to the modern zeitgeist and communicating the trials and tribulations of the everyday relationship.

Films like when Harry Met Sally (1989) and Sliding Doors (1998) offer visions of relationships that any one of us could recognise mirrored in our own experiences. But what I find really inspiring in cinema is the recurring theme of “second chances.” When you think about it, this is the best message a film can ever convey to us. After all, life may be amazing for Jake and Rachel or whoever in the end, but I don’t live Rachel’s life – and I don’t have a Jake. It’s great when a film says to us, “Hey, x or y may have happened to you but you know what? If you keep going and move on through this, there can be something up ahead that will make it all worth it.”

In The Notebook (2004) we listen as grey-haired narrators yarn the tales of their life’s love in a beautiful life-affirming story of a couple only temporarily eclipsed by World War II. But second chances aren’t always about pulling through hardships with your partner. Sometimes our partner is the hardship and our second chance is, simply, someone else. One of my favorites in this category has to be Lost In Translation (2003), a story of an unlikely love blossoming between disillusioned actor Bob and frustrated twenty something Charlotte in the claustrophobic confines of a Tokyo culture-shock. Despite the age gap, this is also a story about second chances. Bob’s failing marriage, Charlotte’s dissatisfaction with a partner who has changed too much and the solace that they find within each other’s companionship in an alien megacity subtly mirrors the lives of many of us who find themselves surrounded by people but still managing to feel alone.

My absolute number one second chance story though is Wong KarWai’s pretty, neon-candy English-language debut: My Blueberry Nights (2007). In the aftermath of a painful breakup, Elizabeth finds sanctuary eating blueberry pie every day in Manchester émigré Jeremy’s café in Manhattan. The whispers of something between them are cut short by Elizabeth’s cross-country drifting, supported by a series of waitressing jobs as she chases a dream to mend a broken heart. Her intermittent postcards to Jeremy, however, conceal her location and place of work and he tirelessly calls up restaurants in the area in an effort to find her, later writing herculean amounts of postcards to any and every restaurant in desperation. After working through her own emotional turmoil via encounters with various lost-souls, Elizabeth returns to Manhattan to a reserved seat in Jeremy’s café – and the realisation of his reciprocated feelings.

So what have I learnt? Well, an inspiring love story can definitely be made by overcoming adversity, but it can also be made by submitting to it. What really inspires me though are the films where love flowers from the mundane, transforming all our frustrations and insecurities and assuring us that we are never too old for a second chance. Or a third.

What are your experiences of second chances? Have you and your partner ever faced something which seemed insurmountable only to come out shining the other side? Or did your experience with a flop somehow flip into the best days of your life? What’s your favourite movie about love?

 

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.


The Sweetest Revenge

November 1, 2012

First of all, yes, I’m still alive. The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy. I’ve been working my butt off (interestingly, my pants aren’t any looser); I went to San Francisco for work/excessive eating (explains the pants); I closed on and moved into the new house; and I’ve had some other major life changes. Things are going fantastic, but I just can’t seem to catch my breath and find time for Simply Solo.

me sunday brunch

Aditi

However, the other night I was reading some blog emails, when I came across a guest post submitted by Aditi Lalbahadur. I loved the post so much that it forced me to make some time for the blog. (I promise I’m doing my best to get back in the swing of things soon!)

Aditi is an Indian-born South African researcher who is trying to save the world, one research report at a time. She loves chocolate pinotage, chatting with friends and dreams of being a writer when she grows up. I hope you enjoy her post today and show her some love in the comments.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

 

The Sweetest Revenge

Sunday 9 a.m. marked the exact one-year anniversary of my discovering that my ex was a lying cheating bastard. I found an email on his laptop while searching for humane ways to kill a mouse (a mouse had taken refuge in the house and had been outsmarting our traps for weeks).

It turned out that while I was in Scotland that year completing an MA, my then fiancé of two years (we lived together for seven), decided to shack up with his colleague IN OUR HOUSE (I have yet to figure out if she had anything to do with the mouse)! She’d moved out just in time for me to move back in, but they managed to keep their affair a secret for another two months while I was home. The ensuing events were all very dramatic. Let’s just say that it put my newly acquired MA in Peace and Conflict Studies to the test! Eventually though, I moved out. And the next day she moved in (pleased as punch, no doubt, with herself that she ‘won’).

Since then I have gone through the soul-crushing, simply exhausting journey of picking up the pieces of … pretty much everything. First, it was myself. Physically. From off my best friend’s kitchen floor (eventually she hauled me up). Then, my hopes, my dreams, my heart. Through the disbelief, the grief and anger, all I have wanted for him was sweet, sweet revenge.

I used to day dream all the time that he would come back to me, shriveled and soaking wet (because he would be caught in a freak thunderstorm, obviously) cold, shivering and miserable on a bitterly cold winter’s day. It would crush his heart when I opened the door to my apartment looking gorgeous and slim and barely dressed (because it would be warm in my apartment!) with a hunka-hunka sweet (and topless) man doing something very manly in the background.

And then, at some unknown point, with me barely even noticing, the revenge dreams stopped. I started to realise that my pain and grief were my own. And that actually, while I was grieving for my lost life. I was also grieving for my lost self – the person I’d thought I always wanted to be. The person I could have been.

I began to realise that I had a lot of my own stuff that I needed to deal with. How did I make such a bad judgment call with him? Who was I without him? What do I work towards now? What did I want for my career? … DID I want a career? What was the meaning of life???

Wading through that stuff has been exhausting! It still reduces me to a helpless freak-ball of tears. Without fail, once a month, you will find me lying naked in my bed with crazy-hair, howling like an orphaned child. Because seriously, discovering the purpose of life is HARD!! And while I haven’t figured it out just yet, I have made awesome discoveries about me – the habits I don’t like, the aspects I want to keep and the person I want to become.

I’ve learnt that I’m ok to be alone, as long as I’m happy. I’ve realised that I want to live a full life – to be the best person that I can be; to travel the world; to enjoy exciting new experiences; to meet incredible people; to cherish every moment and learn what I can from these. I want a lot of things for myself, and I’m finally discovering how to get them ALL ON MY OWN!

I’m starting to see my power, my strength, my courage – my perfect imperfection. I can see that the one thing I have absolute control over is me. I see that I will be happy – because it’s my choice. I am not a victim to life. I am responsible for it. And I am responsible for me.

It’s starting to give me great pride to think that I have faced my worst fear, and to realise that I came out of it just fine! It’s not peaches and roses, but I’ve come a very long way from off that cold cement floor nine months ago. From all this, I have grown, I have changed, I have become a wiser, smarter, stronger, more caring and compassionate, I have stronger bonds with the people in my life. And suddenly the world is a space of infinite possibilities …

… And then last night it hit me. The sweetest revenge would be for my ex to never face a life-changing experience. The sweetest revenge would be for him to never be forced to look at himself; to confront his demons and have the opportunity to overcome them.

The sweetest of sweet revenge would be for him to stay just the same.

 

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

How to Bag the Perfect Guy for You

October 10, 2012

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is by Twoo.com, a social discovery platform that puts people in touch, fast. According to ComScore data, the site has more than 8.8 million monthly unique visitors, while being only just over one year old. Twoo is available online, on mobile and tablet devices and as a location based Android or iPhone application.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

How to Bag the Perfect Guy for You

Meeting a new man, be it online or in real life, can be a bit like being given a lovely, gift-wrapped present. At first, you’re not sure what this unfamiliar, though excitingly shaped, new item is. Your mind whizzes with possibilities as you remove layer after layer of shiny paper from the package (steady on ladies!). You get all excited about the glorious future that’s about to unfold with this thrilling new something in your life and then… oh… it’s a two-year subscription to Industrial Engineering Weekly magazine.

The point is that meeting someone new is a lucky dip and you can never be sure what you’re going to get… or can you? While we can’t claim that clairvoyance falls under the otherwise fulsome list of our skills at Twoo.com and therefore we can’t guarantee that the man you’re chatting with is Mr Marriage-and-Babies, we do have access to information about what guys are looking for and what kind of characteristics in a woman attract what kind of guy.

We’ve been doing some research, quite a lot really, so much so we’ve written an entire whitepaper about our findings. In this post we are looking specifically at what the data around age showed us; which bracket to go for to bag the man of your dreams.

tabel1twoo

 

graph2twoo

We looked at data asking guys to list their perfect partner’s best body part and, guys, you did pretty well. Smile and eyes were top trumps for all age groups, which suggests that those guys who appear to be talking to your chest might actually be shy as opposed to pervy, but from here on out things vary quite wildly.

If you’re looking for a man who will love you for your fierce intelligence rather than your booty, then you should look to the upper end of the age bracket. 14% of men aged 20-24 listed “ass” as their perfect partner’s best body part and 8% said “brains,” compared with guys from the 50-59 age bracket, 1% of whom wanted you for your behind and 15% for your brains. Interestingly, “chest” scored quite low consistently, apart from the 40-44 year old age bracket where it shot up to 10%, which perhaps can be identified as prime mid-life crisis territory. One thing you ladies might want to consider is that guys couldn’t give a monkey’s butt about your hair; this characteristic never struggled above 2% in any age group, so put down that curling iron and do something useful.

If your focus is marriage, then you should be looking for a man around about the age of 30. 37% of 20-24 year olds said they were “too young to think about it,” but they change their tune when they hit the 30-34 age bracket with 43% of them saying it’s an important commitment. If you’re dating an older guy, then you may find that that ship has sailed – 36% of men aged 50-59 don’t think marriage is relevant for them any longer. You may have thought that younger guys would be less interested in marriage than their more traditional elder counterparts, but the opposite is true, so you might want to pick a younger model if you’re after more than just a quick roll in the hay.

Well girls, one thing’s good to know, at least we can all stop worrying about our hair, huh? I don’t think so. Perhaps the most important stat was that on marriage, if you want him to put a ring on it, you better get in there before he hits 50, the good news is that gives you plenty of time.

What do you think on the findings? Do you agree? Does it resemble your own online dating experiences? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share with others.

Twoo has 8.8 million monthly active users that are based all over the world: the site is live in over 200 countries, and is available in over 35 languages. The areas of study for these findings: United Kingdom, France, United States, Belgium, Australia and Germany, among Twoo’s busiest countries. Twoo’s data is based both on profile information and behaviour. Profile information is filled in by the user when they join the website, to give other users a clear idea of their personality and lifestyle. Our behavioural data is focused around what makes a particular user, or groups of users, popular on the network. You can see the full whitepaper here.

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

How to Deal When YOU Cancel Your Wedding

October 3, 2012

I’m excited about this week’s Simply Solo Spotlight, considering this topic is (for obvious reasons) close to my heart. After reading and commenting on today’s post, please visit Stacy Austin’s blog, Stacy Laughs, and follow her on Twitter at @stacylaughs.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

How to Deal When YOU Cancel Your Wedding

Once upon a time, I had the perfect boyfriend, we lived in the perfect condo, and we were planning the perfect wedding together. Except, it was only perfect on the outside. For a long time, I knew our relationship had problems that couldn’t be fixed and we shouldn’t get married, but I labeled those feelings as “cold feet” and pushed them aside. It was hard to imagine living any other life other than the one we built together. In my scenario, we grew up in the same hometown and went to the same university together, so we had grown up together and our entire lives were intertwined.

Then came a night when I couldn’t sleep. It was a month before our wedding and I knew that going through with it would ultimately be a mistake. It took all the strength in me to start that conversation with my fiancé. Fortunately, he understood, and he agreed. We both felt like getting married wasn’t the right decision.

Unfortunately, he did not want to cancel the wedding. He fought me tooth and nail. He was embarrassed. “What will other people think?” he asked me. He was scared about our future. “Do you still want to be with me? What are we going to do about the mortgage?”

The questions were endless and overwhelming. For the first time in a long time, the future was unknown. I cried. A lot. I felt terrible about the situation, and the worst thing is that it was my fault. I felt like the stress and anxiety were real entities that were physically crushing my chest. Through the process, afterwards, and to this day, I had feelings that I was an evil person who was hurting everyone by not going through with a wedding that I felt in my heart was wrong. It could easily replace one of the higher circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno!

While Catherine has done an excellent job of providing guidelines of what to do after a canceled wedding, I thought I would provide a special spin for those souls out their in their own special hell of being the one who caused the breakup.

Take charge of the situation

Yes, immediately start canceling that wedding. You will need to multi-task as your significant other is probably reeling from the news. If you ask them for help, definitely follow-up on their completed tasks. Since I felt I was forcing the news on him, I did the brunt of the work. No time to fight about petty things; just get things done.

When unmarried couples break up, there are little laws to protect them and their belongings. Try to be as amicable as possible. Think about what is important to you in the split.

Grieve and heal

After the dust has settled, you are going to feel really, really sad. Yes, being broken up with is extremely painful, and it’s not a contest, but being the first one to say out loud “this relationship isn’t working” opens up a whole new world of heartache and guilt that nothing seems to cure. You will miss him and your old life. Most of all, you will miss the person you used to be. You might look at old photos of you in your old life, and be unsure what to do with those feelings.

I recommend seeking counseling and building a good network of friends and family to reach out to. You will have a lot of conflicting feelings, and may want to go back, but like my mom constantly reminded me, “You can never go back to exactly how things were.” She’s right. You’ll never be able to go back to how things were, and you two will never be the same people again. Also, it didn’t feel right to you for a reason. Are you prepared to try to make it work with all the new baggage you’ve created?

Be prepared for the anger

Even the best ex is going to be angry with you after you break up with them. His anger I could handle, because I vaguely understood it. Sure, I was confused, because why would he want to be with me if he agreed that it also didn’t feel right? Regardless, being broken up with sucks, so yes, I understand he was angry with me. His anger included serving me with legal papers to remove my ownership of his items and immediately removing all traces of my existence in our condo. And it was painful when he asked me to move out from the home we built together, but he was more financially secure to handle the expenses, so I did as I was asked with little resistance.

wet leaves on the ground, rain-soaked leavesKnow who else is going to be angry? Your ex’s family. Going to my ex’s parents’ house to tell them the news was the most difficult drive of my life. We both sat, parked in the car, in the driveway for what felt like hours. I remember my heart beating so hard (as if it were going to burst from my chest) while my fiancé kept asking me not to do this to him, to us. I felt like my world was in slow motion as I opened the car door and walked to the front door.

His parents perpetually have the television on, and I remember the wedding episode of The Office playing as I tried to have the difficult conversation with them. His dad shook his head while his mom had a mean rebuttal for every reason I gave for canceling the wedding.

“I feel like we’re rushing into this,” I said.

“Rushing? Really? You’ve only been dating for six years,” she spat at me.

I felt like I deserved it. Again, I felt like it was my fault. I started this whole thing. I took my licks and I got out of that house. I knew I would never have to see them again.

Know who else is going to be angry? Your ex’s friends. As a reminder, my ex and I grew up together. We grew up with our circle of friends from the playground to the work force. Since it was assumed (and later known) that canceling the wedding was my doing, I lost some friends. It hurt. A lot. I noticed I wasn’t being invited to annual events, and one by one, I saw I was being unfriended on social media websites. My immediate reaction was to fly into a rage and ask “Why?” Then, I realized that if they weren’t going to be there for me in my greatest time of need, they weren’t good people and not worth my time or deserving of the label as my friend.

Know who else is going to be angry? You. You are going to be so angry with yourself. You will think you made the wrong decision. You will worry that you will never find anyone again or that your life is ruined. It’s easier said than done, but nip those negative feelings in the bud. Life is too short to be angry or unhappy. Take care of yourself. After a long-term relationship, you will need time to find and take care of this new person you’ve become.

Move on

When you are ready to date again, you are going to have all sorts of new baggage and trust issues. But dating is so exciting! Be excited about every new moment and sensation. I am confident that if I could live through this experience and become a stronger, happier person, that anyone can. Good luck. You can do it!

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

One Hospital

September 27, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, my sister Natasha had her baby. Suddenly, the very same sister who brought me to my first party and taught me to sing crazy loud in the car was a mother. The other day, my father and I watched her load little Zachary into the car seat in amazement. Even after almost two months, it’s still a little weird to see her as a mom. We looked at each other and agreed: she is doing such a great job. We’re so proud of her.

My father was in the military, so we traveled a lot growing up. This made it hard to stay close with our extended family. We had aunts, uncles and cousins, but they were often more on the periphery of our family, generally living several states (at times even countries) away. Of our extended family, we had the closest relationships with my Uncle Michael and my aunt and uncle from my stepdad’s side. But we had a strong core family consisting of my two sisters and me, my mom and my stepdad, and my dad and my stepmom.

It never really bothered me that we weren’t a close large family. I didn’t bemoan the fact that we didn’t have big family reunions, and while many of my friends had a half-dozen cousins living nearby, I never wished I had the same. That just wasn’t us.

As I spent the day in the hospital waiting room, watching an inordinate amount of cast-off Olympics (i.e. the boring Olympic events they stick in the middle of the day when no one is watching), I realized that I want things to be different. I want to be close with my nephews. I want to be the cool aunt they can call if they get drunk at a party and need a ride home. I want to give my nephews regular high fives. I want to give them advice on how to buy a new car and how to treat a woman. I want my nephews to hug me warmly when they see me. I want my future children to be close with their cousins. I never knew I wanted all these things, but suddenly I do. I want to build a big extended family.

There’s so much you can learn in one hospital.

Holding a newborn

My first picture with Zachary

holding newborn baby in hospital

The next day – still trying to figure out how to hold him without my arm falling asleep

This Side Up baby onesie

Wouldn’t life be better if everything had such clear instructions?

newborn duck outfit

Here’s a duck outfit I bought him. Photo courtesy of Baby Bella Photography

newborn duck outfit

This side is even cuter! Photo courtesy of Baby Bella Photography

newborn in a duck outfit

See, I’m acting like an aunt already, sharing a unecessary number of pictures of my nephew from different angles … Photo courtesy of Baby Bella Photography

Baby holding mother's finger

Okay … I’ll stop … for now … Photo courtesy of Baby Bella Photography

Thursday, August 23, I found myself in the same hospital. Only this time there was no joy to the occasion. There was no inquiring about dilation levels or when the doctor would administer the epidural. There was no waiting for 17 hours (literally) to see the baby.

There was fear. And wondering what we would do without him. We had that panicky feeling inside of us – that feeling that makes you tell yourself repeatedly that everything is going to be OK, but you don’t really know why it’s going to be OK, but you feel like it must be, because you simply can’t handle it if it’s not. It being not OK simply isn’t an option.

I got the call at work. They were taking him to the hospital. He wasn’t feeling right and he fell asleep when he went to the doctor’s office. But I shouldn’t worry and they’d call me when they had more information.

I continued to work. I emailed. I finished projects. My company had hired an ice cream truck to visit the building, and we all got free ice cream.

While I ate an ice cream cone with these little colored sprinkles, I talked with coworkers about my house search. We discussed which neighborhood I may live in. I keep checking my phone, slightly concerned, but not really scared. Everything was OK – it always has been.

While I tried to eat the ice cream quickly before it melted all over my hands, my stepfather was having a stroke.

Jesus.

In the beginning, we didn’t know it was a stroke. We just knew something was wrong. The fear in my mother’s voice on the next phone call snapped me to attention. I sent an email to my teams and packed up to go to the hospital. Then, I found out they were planning to move him to another hospital, one with a neurology unit.

Minutes later, we found out they were transporting him to the hospital via helicopter.

I headed straight to the hospital. And by straight, I mean I accidentally got off on the wrong exit, onto a $2.75 toll road, so I had to pay the toll, turn around and get back on the road going the opposite direction, then pay the toll again. I also had the same lady both times I drove through the toll, who said, “That’s a pretty expensive mistake.”

Yes, that’s what I need right now Ms. Toll Booth Collector. Thanks for that.

When I finally made it to the hospital, I heard this noise overhead. Police officers began to close off the road next to the hospital, stopping all cars from passing.

It was a helicopter. I knew immediately it was him.

I pulled into the closest parking lot, searching frantically for a parking space. This woman stopped ahead of me, blocking my way from parking. I held the horn down, startling her.

“Get the hell out of the way, that’s my dad!” I yelled out of my window. In hindsight, I should have expected her to be just as rude to me as I was to her, but instead she immediately pulled over and let me through. Maybe she could tell that I meant business.

helicopter at a hospital

I knew it was him and for some reason I felt compelled to take a picture.

I parked and watched as the helicopter landed. Either this was him and I was a concerned family member, or this was a stranger and I was a crazy lady. I texted my mom and found she was still driving to the hospital.

They began to pull a hospital gurney from the back of the helicopter. From the feet up, my stepfather emerged.

I walked/jogged alongside the doctors as they took him into the hospital. For a man who had just suffered a brain injury, he sure was talkative. He told the doctors how he had just been here a few weeks earlier, when his grandson was born.

One hospital.

Then we waited. The doctor came in and told me all sorts of things that I wasn’t ready to hear. And by “wasn’t ready to hear,” I mean literally wasn’t ready. I should have had a notebook or a recorder or something, because she spoke to me about his condition for three minutes straight, then asked me if I had any questions, and I didn’t even know what to say.

Of course, the moment she walked away, I had about 15 different questions to ask. But she was already gone.

My mother finally arrived, and I relayed the information the best I could. He had a bleed in his brain. They were doing a CT scan to see how bad it was. He needed to be monitored while they worked to get the bleeding to stop. His blood pressure was excessively high and they had to get it down immediately. He may get worse before he gets better, because the brain swells when it’s been injured, and on a young person, there isn’t much room for the brain to swell. Which means we could expect slow movements, numbness, difficultly speaking, etc. But we won’t know the extent of it – or how permanent the damage would be – until they could complete the CT scan and give the swelling time to come down.

Here’s why I could never be a doctor: I repeated all that information the doctor told me to my mother, and as I watched her face fall and tears well up in her eyes, I wished I hadn’t said a single word. If the doctor’s bedside manner was somewhat bad, well mine was terrible. I immediately regretted my wording and that I wasn’t more delicate.

What followed were hours of fear. Questions on top of questions. Some answers, but not enough. Worry. Hope. Some laughter, because my family always finds a way to laugh. Chef left work early to be with my family. The hug he gave me when he got off the elevator was the kind of hug you need when you are scared out of your mind. It’s the kind of hug that lets you know you aren’t alone.

Then there was the regret. Regret that when the phone call came through, I didn’t react more immediately. Regret that I said something hurtful that I didn’t really mean some time ago. Premature regret, regret that I may lose someone I love dearly, and they never saw me get married, have kids, do something really significant.

It’s premature regret because sometimes everything is OK. Your father had a stroke but he’s going to be OK. There may be minor lasting effects, but somehow, he was lucky. We all were. And now you have the chance to say you are sorry for what you said. You can give him the hug you should have given him. You can continue to plan for him to be at your wedding. He can be a grandfather to his new grandson.

Sometimes scary things happen to wake us the hell up. Start eating better. Take better care of ourselves. Love the hell out of the people in our lives. Pay attention (remember the swans?).

There’s so much you can learn in one hospital.

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

Simply Solo Spotlight: Tips for Dating Your Ex’s Best Friend

September 25, 2012

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is brought to us by Paul, a writer from babysittingjobs.com, a great resource for all things related to babysitting. Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging and researching childcare. Since kids really aren’t the focus area of Simply Solo, Paul has offered his advice on how to go about dating your ex’s best friend.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

Tips for Dating Your Ex’s Best Friend

It may not be the kosher thing to do post break up, but sometimes you can’t help but falling for someone you least expected. Your ex-boyfriend’s best friend. These things happen; it’s more common than most think. It’s a sticky situation and if not handled properly, it could leave you with two exes, instead of one. Here are some tips to help you date the forbidden best friend:

Notify: OK, so you don’t think your ex even deserves the right to know that you are now dating his best friend and frankly, he probably doesn’t deserve to know. However, our mothers taught us better and we should just take the mature, high road that we all hate. To save yourself from any further and unnecessary ex-boyfriend drama, have your boyfriend (ex’s best friend) sit his best friend down to let him know. Trust me, your ex would rather hear it from his bro than from his ex-lady friend.

Don’t gloat: The first thought for your ex and anyone who knows you and your ex is that you are dating his best friend to get back at him. If that’s the case, shame on you. But if you have fallen for him legitimately, that’s great! Just don’t gloat. Remember to be mature about it.

Okay, so you probably will never have THIS kind of relationship. But don’t break up bros. It’ll come back to haunt you. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Jones)

Don’t make him choose: Never make a man choose between his bro and you. Bro code is stronger than you think, plus messing up a friendship can really come back to haunt you. Your boyfriend probably is having a hard time as it is dealing with the feeling that he took his best friend’s girl. Be supportive and allow them to be friends.

Stay out of it: Whether they will remain friends depends on the break up and the level of friendship that your boyfriend and your ex have. In some cases, it won’t faze them, and other cases, they’ll say “peace out” faster than you can say “jealous much?” Let the boys handle it and stay out of their friendship.

Stay private: Your ex and your ex’s friends don’t need to know all the little deets about your new relationship with the best friend. The less they know, the less they will think differently about you, ask questions or tsk tsk in your general direction.

Don’t compare: It may be hard to not naturally allow your mind wander down the comparative road. Make a conscious effort to keep your ex and your boyfriend separate. Just because they are best friends doesn’t mean they are the same or that one did something better than the other. You are starting fresh – keep it that way.

Don’t be ashamed of who you have fallen for and remember that you are grown adults who can make decisions that benefit yourselves. Your happiness matters as much as your ex’s, so do what is best for you and your new boyfriend. There will be challenges, but the long road will be worth it. Good luck and happy dating!

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

Simply Solo Spotlight: You’ve Got The Love I Need to See Me Through

September 18, 2012

This week’s guest post is written by Alicia Franklin with the Break Up Study. Alicia is currently completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Australian National University. As part of her program, she’s doing research on break ups and how they affect us psychologically. I hope you enjoy the post and will consider helping Alicia with her research.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

You’ve Got The Love I Need to See Me Through

After trying to process the reality that “it’s over,” that old familiar question pops into your mind “WHY?” Why did he leave? Why doesn’t he want me back? Why does this always happen to me? These questions can send us into a tailspin as we survey the landscape of our lives with a faultfinding searchlight. We run the spotlight over the usual suspects: perhaps it was his fault, or bad timing, or his family, or work got in the way…

But all too often the search ends when we turn the harsh light on ourselves. Our inner-critic rises and claims that this could have all ended differently, if only YOU weren’t so “_______” (fill in the blank with hurtful self-judgment). We turn ourselves inside out with such recriminations as “It was my fault – I wasn’t attractive enough, good enough, interesting enough, funny enough, smart enough.” We innocently embark on the search for answers with good intentions, hoping that we will find peace of mind or a sense of closure. In reality, we often end up feeling faulty, broken or inadequate. Not exactly the place from which to launch your “new and improved, single me.”

At a time when we most need comfort and compassion, we seem to turn upon ourselves – picking at all of our real or imagined faults. Unfortunately, this type of thinking can lead to feelings of regret and longing that make it even more difficult to let go and move on.

So how can we make a shift – so that we are our greatest support, rather than our harshest critic? It is worth asking, what would you do for your closest friend at a time of loss? Perhaps you would sensitively tend to her needs, listen with patience and understanding to her story, or be loving and supportive in her darker hours. Perhaps when she sobs, “I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough,” you would remind her that she is enough, exactly as she is.

What if we could offer the hand of friendship inwards? What if we could be an unwavering, loving presence in our own lives? How different would it be to tune into your own needs, listen and tend to yourself with patience and understanding, and even remind yourself once in a while that “You are enough, exactly as you are”?

This may sound a little strange at first, even a little fluffy. But science has started to provide support for these ideas. Recent research from the University of Arizona indicates that self-compassion assists us in our emotional recovery after a relationship breakdown. Further research from the University of Texas has found that practicing self-compassion increases our levels of happiness and optimism, and reduces our chances of developing anxiety and depression.

So perhaps Florence Welch was onto something when she sang, “You’ve got the love I need to see me through.” And perhaps it is worth asking – what is one thing I can do today to be kind to myself?

Whilst this is a good starting point, much more research in this area is needed. One in three of us experience the pain of a break up each year, yet very little is known about how people cope with the end of a relationship.

The Australian National University is currently running ‘THE BREAK-UP STUDY’ to start answering these important questions. We are hoping to gather information about your experiences, reactions and attempts to cope with the end of a relationship. Results of this study will enable us to better understand and assist people who struggle with relationship break ups in the future.

If you have experienced a break up within the last year and would like to help, please take the time to fill out an anonymous online survey before November 2012, by visiting:

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE SURVEY

Do you have any ideas for how we can be kinder and more loving towards ourselves? What acts of self-compassion have helped to mend your heart?

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

Timeline of Change

September 12, 2012

10:30 p.m. Friday

It’s Friday night and I’m waiting for my realtor to send me the paperwork to sign to make an offer on the house I love.

When the hell did I become such an adult? A year and a half ago, I was going through my quarter life crisis and making lists about signs you are an adult. When I read those old posts, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.

The past few months, I’ve been looking at townhouses and condos with a realtor. You see, I wasn’t supposed to buy anything for another month or so. Because I am, um, currently under a lease at my apartment. But let’s not let that get in the way of the house I love.

The moment I stepped foot into this house, my stress levels went into overdrive. I loved the house. Everything about it. But it was a little (okay, a little more than a little) outside where I wanted to be on price, so I spent more than a week agonizing. I wondered if I should wait another year to get a house. Save more money. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about the house. And how much I wanted to build my life there.

I budgeted. Then I looked for savings. Then I budgeted some more. I finally decided I could afford it, but I would definitely have to make a few sacrifices.

Now I’m making an offer.

At some point today, I transitioned from agonizing over the decision to getting excited. Really, super excited.

Earlier tonight, I went out with my friend Megan and we walked through several art galleries and shops. I started to mentally decorate the house I haven’t even bought yet. The color scheme, the paintings I want to put on the walls, the type of hand soap I’ll have in the guest bathroom. I nearly lost it when we stumbled across someone selling terrariums. I’ve been obsessed with the concept of owning a terrarium since I saw these in Oprah magazine. I began thinking about what kind of terrarium I was going to buy for my house.

We ate from the food carts – delicious lettuce wraps and blue crab stuffed wontons from Thai Cabin – and I thought, “I’m going to make wontons in my new house!” Okay, I didn’t really think that. I never cook. But I wanted an excuse to share these yummy pictures.

lettuce wraps, thai wraps, thai food

Delicious lettuce wraps from Thai Cabin

fried wontons

Here they are making the fried wontons. Megan took this awesome picture on her phone.

Here’s a picture of me when we stopped to have a drink. I’m so happy and so nervous.

The point is, I’m so excited. I’m buying a house! An amazing, beautiful, perfect house!

11:20 p.m. Friday

My realtor just told me that there is an open house scheduled for Sunday.

Any open house. In my house. AKA strangers walking through my house, messing up the brand new carpet and touching all the doorknobs.

Strangers possibly putting in offers, better offers, and buying my house.

For the record: I don’t think I could ever be a real estate mogul. This is just too damn stressful.

So I’m just here with my thoughts. I decided to write to get my mind off of it.

God, I haven’t written in so long. I have so many things I want to write about. You should see the list of blog topics I have on my phone. I’ve started calling it the “list of things I’ll never blog about because I never blog anymore.” I’ve been so busy with other things going on. I’ve been enjoying my summer. OK, I’m also super lazy.

Maybe I’ll write more once I have an office. The house has three bedrooms, and one of them is going to make the perfect office. Yeah, that’s when the blog will pick up. I can’t hardly wait.

10 a.m. Saturday

We have submitted our offer. I wonder how long it will take for them to get back with me?

I have a busy day ahead of me. I’m getting my hair dyed and cut. (I know, SHOCKING, I’m not a natural blonde.) I figure I could be homeowner at any time and I’ll need to be more careful with my money. Therefore, I should buy everything I need now.

Smart, I know.

While I’m getting my hair done, I tell my hairdresser about the different houses I’ve found. And by hairdresser, I mean a woman who mostly does men’s hair. Because she works in a barber shop. Gabe’s Barber Shop, to be specific. (This is the same hairdresser who set me up on a blind date when I was newly single.) People always think it’s funny when I tell them that I get my hair done at a barber shop, but I love my hairdresser and I would follow her anywhere. And sometimes a barber shop can provide good scenery. If you are looking, that is.

While she painstakingly applies a bleach-like product to my hair, I tell her about Murder House, the house that I sort of liked for like a minute. I found Murder House one night while scrolling through the house listings online. Everything in the house was white. The walls. The countertops. The cabinets. White, white, white. Chef and I are in the middle of a Breaking Bad super marathon, so I have illegal activity on the mind. I told my realtor I thought the previous owners had murdered someone and painted everything white to cover the evidence.

Clearly, that’s my future home.

But really, it wasn’t such a bad place. The upstairs layout was awesome and everything was workable. It had an amazing walk-in closet and a nice yard and deck. It had pretty hardwood floors and a big kitchen. But the downstairs living space was awful. There were two very small living rooms in which neither could fit a couch and a TV. And there was nothing you could do about the layout. It was just going to be like that forever.

Then there was Chinese Food House, named because it was on Magnolia Lane, and my realtor and I kept accidentally typing Mongolia on text, which made me crave Chinese food. Hard to follow, I know. That place had a nice kitchen and downstairs floor plan, but it backed up to a somewhat busy road and the upstairs bathrooms needed some serious work.

Neither of these houses were quite right. And neither of them had a pool, which I had decided was a must-have after laying by this all summer.

My amazing apartment complex pool

Pretty amazing, right?

3:30 p.m. Saturday

I’m blonder than I started the day. And I’ve lost about three inches of hair.

They haven’t responded to my offer yet. It feels like it’s been days. I bug my realtor and he promises an answer soon. I take a nap to make time go by faster.

6 p.m. Saturday

I wake up from my nap and think about how I totally wasted the afternoon. I should have gone to the pool instead. Especially considering I won’t have a pool for much longer. You see, my dream house isn’t my dream house after all. It doesn’t have a pool. Everywhere that had a pool was either way out of my price range, or they had homeowner association fees from $250-$400 a month. I want a pool, but I don’t want a pool that much. And I don’t want to give this house up – this house with everything I want – simply because there’s no pool. Luckily, the house is right by Pony Pasture, a place where Richmonders go to swim and lay out on the rocks of the James River. I could bike to Pony Pasture. If I owned a bike. But first things first. I have to get the house.

Finally a counter offer. We begin negotiating. Which feels sort of surreal because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I follow my realtor’s lead. It’s also kind of fun. I may just get my house today.

7 p.m. Saturday

I need a drink. I enlist Dawn and Dakari to go to Don Pepe (one of only two restaurants in walking distance of my apartment). I drink strawberry daiquiris and eat lots of chips.

Calories don’t count because I’m pre-celebrating. You only buy your first house once.

A sad part of the evening is when I find out my grandfather from my step-dad’s side has died. It’s been a long time coming, but I still feel bad for my step-dad and his family. I’ll miss Bummer (that’s what we called him). I really think he’d be proud of me tonight, though.

I bug Chef while he’s at work. I tell him how anxious I am to get an answer. I can’t wait for him to get off, so we can celebrate together.

9:30 p.m. Saturday

It’s strange to me how far I’ve come. A few years ago, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to live. Then I spent so much time traveling and really missed being near my family. I felt like I missed a lot of my sister’s pregnancy. I realized how much I love having family and friends nearby.

I started working with a really great client and developed a new excitement about my work. I was doing new things, learning a lot and working with wonderful people.

I began to hang out with friends in the city more and learned to parallel park. I started to like the city. I started to have  favorite restaurants and shops. And now I’m putting a bid on a house with a Richmond address. The house is not in the downtown area, but just south of the city. Which gives me the suburb feeling I like, and I’ll be much closer to work and fun.

Best yet, I won’t have to see that look on people’s faces when I tell them I live in Chester.

For the record, I still love the hell out of Chester. I plan to come back often. When I sneak into my old apartment complex’s pool, that is.

10 p.m. Saturday

I’ve now thought all day about how much I love the house. From its hardwood floors to the sweet bathrooms to the renovated kitchen, I love so much about it. I can’t wait to park in the garage in the winter and grill out in the summer. I can’t wait for the first time I “give someone the tour.” I love how soft the carpet feels on my toes. Yes, I’ve already walked around barefoot, even before I put in an offer.

We head home from Don Pepe, full and a little tipsy.

My phone rings. I got the house.

While I’m calling about everyone I know, Dawn brings down some champagne.

I couldn’t be more excited.

drinking champagne, celebrating

Celebrating after I found out I got the place.

townhouse

Here’s my beautiful townhouse! I wanted a townhouse so I wouldn’t have to worry about yardwork or outside upkeep. Isn’t she cute? (Most pictures borrowed from the listing website)

Kitchen, stainless steel appliances

Here’s the kitchen.

Another view of the kitchen. I love the fridge!

I love the hardwood floors. On the left side of the picture, you’ll see my shoes, because I was walking around barefoot (even though I didn’t own the place).

Here’s the dining room. The house is staged (this isn’t my furniture).

chandelier

I love the ceiling in the dining room and the chandelier.

Here’s the living room area.

There’s a half bathroom downstairs.

Here’s the master bedroom. It’s so big!

double vanity bathroom

Here’s the master bathroom. I’m super excited about the double vanity.

soaking tub

I knew I had to have this place when I saw the awesome soaking tub in the master bathroom.

Here’s one of the two extra bedrooms. One will be a guest room and the other will be an office.

Here’s the full guest bathroom upstairs.

Here’s part of the view from my patio. It was so important to me that I could see some green in my backyard and this is just great.

I have so many other things to tell you about the past month, but I really wanted to share this news first. Buying this house is a huge milestone for me. It’s taken me so long to get here, and I’m incredibly excited about my future. Thanks for letting me share this time with you all.

PS: If you are looking to buy a house yourself and you live in the Richmond area, my realtor was fantastic. We had a lot of fun and he has been really helpful throughout the process. His name is Mike Hogan. Here’s his website and here’s his Twitter account.

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

Simply Solo Spotlight: How to Deal with the Post-Breakup Blues

September 4, 2012

Hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight comes to us from Grace Pamer, author of www.RomanceNeverDies.com, a blog which gives insights into the art of writing love letters and putting together winning marriage proposal ideas. If you like today’s guest post, please check out the article Grace wrote for us a few months ago asking the age-old question: Once A Cheat, Always A Cheat?

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

How to Deal with the Post-Breakup Blues

Breaking up is, indeed, hard to do. This shouldn’t be surprising to most, yet some of the advice out there for handling breakups can make things even worse for someone going through the trauma of a breakup. Suggestions of how to get an ex back, revenge tactics and pushing people to get back out into the dating world too soon are the exact opposite of what someone should be doing after a relationship ends.

The end of a relationship is a loss – just like death. Time is necessary to adjust to this new single life, after identifying oneself as a couple for so long. These following suggestions will help individuals deal with the post breakup blues in a healthy, not hurtful fashion.

Take Time To Grieve

sad woman looking down

Being sad doesn’t make you a failure. It’s all part of the process. Photo courtesy of Alex Guerrero

Grief is a process and a breakup is a loss. No matter how volatile or amicable the breakup, the individuals need time to heal and adapt – even those who initiated the relationship ending.

The misinformation out there that one should immediately get back in the dating pool is as inappropriate as telling a widow to start dating a few weeks after a funeral. One can’t escape grieving – it catches up with them eventually. So taking time to heal is the most important step after a breakup.

Let Go Of Anger

Even if a man or woman was tremendously hurt or shocked by the relationship’s ending, holding on to the anger or looking for revenge is going to stand in the way of healing. Energy needs to be focused inward, not outward, to truly recover from the loss.

With the exception of abusive relationships, there is some good to come from all romantic partnerships. Life is like a school and relationships are a part of the learning. Reflecting on how one grew as a person because of the union helps those recovering from the loss feel healthy and empowered, not like a victim. Instead of wasting energy focusing on what was lost (a negative), pay attention to what you gained from the relationship (a positive).

Accept It Has Ended

It is tremendously damaging to self-esteem to fixate on the partner who left, hoping he or she will come back. Even if there is a chance for reconciliation in the future, it likely won’t happen if you have ceased living your own life while obsessing over your ex.

To properly handle the post breakup blues, one must live in the moment and let go, so that he or she can begin living again. The future is exactly that, the future – all we have is the here and now.

Getting To Know Ourselves Again

Though the pain of a breakup is difficult, seeing it as an opportunity to get to know oneself again is a tremendously positive thing. Sometimes in relationships, the line between couple and individual becomes blurred. Breaking up can provide time to grow as an individual once more.

Some of the healthiest recoveries from breakups occur when people begin to follow their passions once more and/or reconnect with friends they didn’t see frequently when in a committed relationship. Changing routines can do wonders, like getting up mornings to exercise, volunteering a few evenings or engaging in new outdoor hobbies with friends. All of these things help us get to know ourselves again.

The key in dealing with the post breakup blues is taking out the negative and replacing it with the positive. Certainly, time must be put aside to accept and grieve the loss. However, doing so in a positive way by cherishing the good that came from the relationship, accepting it has ended and letting go of anger will hasten the healing process – propelling those with broken hearts to get to know themselves again, learning to enjoy life once more.

What advice do you have for people trying to get over the post-breakup blues? What is the worst advice you’ve ever heard for people going through breakups?

 

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

Simply Solo Spotlight: Not Letting Fear Ruin Relationships

August 28, 2012

Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is brought to us by Kelsey, editor in chief for http://www.findananny.net/. Kelsey loves to write articles that provide ideas and support for parents and nannies. She is a professional writer and loves to write about a variety of topics, which brings her to Simply Solo!

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

Not Letting Fear Ruin Relationships

You know, there is a lot of fear in the world. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of people or dogs or even fear of going outside. Fear motivates us, protects us, hurts us, and drives us crazy. In relationships, fear can be a killer. Now, there is a big difference between healthy caution and unhealthy fear. Healthy caution says not to get in the car with a guy you just met. Unhealthy fear says that every time he doesn’t text back, he is dead on the side of the road somewhere or with another woman.

caution signs, yellow cones, slippery when wet

Are you being too cautious when it comes to your relationships? Photo courtesy of modomatic

Unhealthy fear can literally strangle a relationship. No one can survive when their partner has to know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing all the time. This insecurity is driven by fear of them leaving you, I know, but the fear is what will eventually drive them to leave you, no matter how much they want to love you.

Fear of your partner leaving is not the only kind of fear there is in relationships. Often, there is a fear of sharing your heart with another person. This fear is prevalent in both sexes and in all relationships, be they friendships, romantic relationships, or even familial relationships. Sharing is a crucial aspect of a strong and loving relationship, but often fear can hold us back from becoming as close as we would like.

“You can only be loved to the extent that you are known.” – Pete Wilson

This quote is very true. If you are holding something back from your relationship partner, then you are afraid. Of what, that is up to you. But the point is, as long as you do not share it, you will not be fully known and therefore not fully loved. It is not their fault. You will just have this little voice in your head that whispers when they tell you they love you that “If they only knew ________, they wouldn’t love me anymore, or as much.”

In my own life, I have struggled with communicating. You see, I was never the kind of person that had many relationships. I had one good friend at a time and my family. That was about it. When I entered the dating world, I found it terrifying to share my thoughts and feelings with strangers. I mean, would I sound stupid or frivolous to them? Would they use what I told them against me? Would they make fun of me? So, I never shared. Oh, I talked enough and listened well, but nothing ever went beyond the surface.

After a series of shallow and short-lived relationships, I gave up. I figured I was just un-dateable. I figured I was just the kind of person who would take on the world alone. And I did, for quite a few years. Eventually, I was unsatisfied and lonely. My friendships were as shallow as my romantic relationships and my siblings were getting lives of their own now. Taking a deep breath, I took my first hesitant steps into the world of online dating.

For some reason, I found expressing my feelings and thoughts via email so much easier than in person. I made a few friends and even went on a few dates, but never really felt that connection. I was practicing my communication, however, and every day I overcame the fear of sounding stupid. After all, it wasn’t like these were “real people.” It was more like a story.

Then one fateful day, I went on a date with a person that I had found amusing online. Shockingly, the attraction was immediate. Oh dear, this had just become real. I’d expressed myself through email and so had he, so our conversation quickly dipped into the serious. My immediate reaction was to slam on the brakes. This was a stranger, someone I hardly knew. Did I really feel safe sharing anything with him? He did not let me get away with it, however. With atypical intensity, he ferreted out my deepest thoughts and reactions, asking questions that I actually cared about. He paid attention to my passions and I found myself gesturing wildly as I described something I had experienced.

As the date wound to a close, my fear kicked back in and I realized what I had done. How had I let my guard down so far and so fast? I slammed down the proverbial curtain and eyed him with trepidation.

Now what? Would he disappear on me? Had I scared him off? Was I too weird and strange for him to handle? He had gotten a glimpse of the real me behind the polite mask I wore almost constantly. Now would he reward that with rejection?

You see, being rejected because of you are is much more painful than being rejected when you haven’t shown anything of your true self. In that case, the rejection is personal. They saw you and did not like what they saw.

I held my breath and waited for the brush off. Instead, he stared at me with unnatural intensity.

“I really like you. How would you feel about a second date?” he asked.

“S-sure,” I stuttered, shocked from my self-flagellation.

“Tomorrow too soon?” he asked with an embarrassed grin.

Take that, fear!

 

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.