Simple Satisfaction

I was recently asked what do I get out of writing my blog, sharing something so personal with countless people who don’t know me and with the many people who do. Before I started my blog- in fact many years ago, I remember telling my mother that I wanted to write a book about all the funny dating experiences I’ve had. I recall my mom laughing and expressing her support, telling me to “Go for it!” But I never did.

The thought, however, always stayed with me. As my sister, my closest cousins, and I would share our unbelievable stories about some of the men we dated and what transpired on our dates, we’d laugh and laugh and we always exclaimed something in the vein of “We should totally write a book about this stuff!” But we never did.

And then, in recent years, upon learning that so many people have started their own blogs just writing about the things that interested them, I came upon the idea (with encouragement from my sister) to start a blog of my very own. And I did!!!

And what a journey it has been! What do I get out of writing my blog? I’ve learned so much about myself within the past few years. It’s scary thinking about your flaws and the steps needed to take to fix them. But my blog has forced me to think introspectively and face issues that I don’t think I would have otherwise allowed myself to face. I did it! I’m doing it! And I will continue to do it!

What do I get out of putting myself out there like that? Being so vulnerable? I’ve been criticized for some of the choices I’ve made or for just admitting some of the things I think, feel and believe. But I’ve also had people– friends, acquaintances and strangers– congratulating me on my bravery in expressing my truth. I’m always humbled by that because I don’t really consider myself brave. I invite strangers into my personal life in the form of a blog. I do it because I love to write and expressing myself is therapeutic. The reason is quite selfish- I don’t see the bravery in that.

But I am sharing my story and the people reading it are finding something in it that resonates with them. Otherwise, they would not continue to follow my blog.

So what do I get out of writing this blog? I feel appreciation for the people who take the time to read my words. I feel fulfilled in knowing that I’m entertaining someone with my stories. I’m helping a woman make an important decision in her life; someone is finding comfort in my words. I do it for the women out there still searching for love. This is for the women who’ve been scarred by love but have not been defeated. It’s for the women out there who silently cry for the children that never blessed their wombs. I want to believe that at least one person reading my story will think: Yes! That’s how I feel too! They don’t have to feel that they are alone in this. I tell my story to inspire others. As long as the words keep coming to me, I will be writing. And as long as I am writing, I will be posting. And as long as I am posting, I know for sure, someone will be reading.

What do I get out of writing my blog? Pure and simple satisfaction.

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The Marriage-Minded Man

Upon learning that I had a blog about my dating experiences, a male colleague of mine (let’s call him Corey) expressed interest in reading it so I gave him my business card and told him I was curious about his thoughts on it. Usually when I tell people about my blog they either read one or two posts or they don’t read it at all and never speak of it again. I believed Corey when he told me he’d read it but I certainly didn’t expect this colleague of mine to read all 98 of my posts in a two-hour period! Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen. I told him about it on Thursday and on Friday he was ready to discuss them all with me!

I thought to myself that either Corey must have found it extremely interesting or he was interested in me. Well, after discussing some of my posts with him, I began to understand that it was something entirely different.

Based on what I’ve seen, Corey seems to be somewhat of a rarity. He’s a thirty-something year old man who wants to–and is looking to– settle down and start a family. In fact, it seems as though everything he does is a deliberate action in preparation for his future family. Example? The man has refused to fall in line with the rest of our assimilating culture when it comes to buying a smart phone. His reason? Why spend so much on a smart phone now when he can use that money to save for a family?

It is my belief that Corey read my blog not for entertainment but as research. I’m a single woman who had declared to the world (okay, maybe declared it to my few readers) my wish to be married and have children. To him, I was a resource.

He questioned me about my online dating experiences. He wanted to know what kind of guy I’d give a chance to out of a myriad of men who approach me on a dating site. He wanted to know what kind of guys I wouldn’t give a chance to and why. He asked me questions about the profile picture. He asked me what traits I like seeing in someone’s profile and what would I want a man to know about me.

When I asked Corey why ask me all these questions, he responded that he wanted to know how a girl would think about her dating prospects because he’s about to start dating again. Instinctively, I said, “But I’m just one girl!” What I failed to see was that to him, I was more than just one girl. Sure he understood that my experience is very unique to me, but I was a girl who was looking for a relationship just like he was. So to him, whatever I had to say was valuable in his search for the woman he wanted to marry.

I’ve never met a man who was so focused on marriage as Corey seems to be. In fact, it has been my belief that the thought of marriage scares young men away. I thought that all a young single man wanted to do was date and have fun and should that girl come upon him that he knew was great wife-material, that’s when he would start to think seriously about settling down. But I never met someone who was actually on a hunt for a wife; someone who has plans for his financial future with his woman before he even meets her.

Yet there he was, in the flesh- an actual, existing, marriage-minded young man!

For all you hopeful gals out there, younger than me or not, the fact that one man like that is out there means that there are more. We just have to be patient, keep searching, and continue to believe that one day, our paths will cross with these marriage-minded men. And when they do, it may not be a fairytale ending, but it will definitely be the beginning of something new. And that’s always a good thing.

 

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Moving in the Right Direction

There was a time when I just could not genuinely be happy for someone who had what I wanted. Once, when I learned of a coworker’s engagement, I cried because I had wanted to be in a significant relationship that lead to marriage. When a friend of mine got married, I cried at her wedding because marriage was something I had long wanted but I had felt so unlucky in love. I could go on and on but you can already see the pattern here. I didn’t intend to focus only on myself on these occasions or make it all about me. It was just that I focused on the lack I felt and it overpowered any joy I could have for the people who weren’t lacking.

Fast forward to October 2016 when I first met the Puerto Rican. About the same time I started seeing him, a colleague of mine also started a relationship with a man. Her relationship was a long distance one, for he lived in India and they had never physically met. As I recounted with her the challenges of the Puerto Rican living in Pennsylvania and being a single father, she’d tell me about her conversations with her beau via Skype. While I talked about seeing my Puerto Rican only once a week, she talked about her guy making arrangements to meet her parents who currently live in India as well. While I recounted how I didn’t want to rock the boat with the Puerto Rican by saying or doing the wrong things, she told me how her beau wore his heart on his sleeve, transparently making his feelings known to her, a woman he had never met in the flesh.

Obviously culture and expectations play very important roles in each of our relationships but it was clear very early on (at least it seemed that way to me) that hers was the healthier relationship.

Our schedules changed and my colleague and I were no longer in the same department but we did share a classroom so we saw each other quite frequently. About a month ago, she had asked me how my Puerto Rican was and I told her- with no feelings of negativity or sadness- that we were no longer seeing each other. Her response was the respectful, apologetic kind. I didn’t want to ask her about her guy because I don’t think I was ready to learn if her relationship turned out to be a success while mine had failed.

About a week after that, when my class ended and she was about to begin hers, I took the opportunity to ask her about her guy.

“Oh!” she said, “We’re getting married!”

I jumped up and down in joy as if I was celebrating my own engagement. I was utterly excited for her and my child-like behavior at her news filled me with hope for myself. In spite of everything I’d gone through, I was able to genuinely be happy for someone else! That was HUGE for me!

I don’t know when my perspective changed exactly and perhaps it doesn’t even matter. All I know is that I was moving in the right direction if I was happy for someone who had what I wanted. I love acknowledging my small successes.

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My Revelation

If you spend any time with me you will learn very quickly that it’s very hard for me to make decisions. Whether it is the choice of ice cream, a meal, or what outfit to Grey dresswear, my indecisiveness becomes comical to the patient person or very annoying to the impatient. You can imagine that this indecisiveness does spill in to the very important decisions in my life– like my decision to get married and have the twins I always thought I wanted.

Those of you who follow my blog already know that back in March of this year, I decided to follow a 12 step program that would lead me to my husband. And the reason I had decided to do this was because I just knew that I wanted to get pregnant and have twins very soon. Never wanting to have children outside of wedlock, I’ve always envisioned having a traditional family unit. However, with each step I took with the program, whenever it involved including others into my husband search, I dramatically stalled. It was always as if I was waiting for the perfect moment of inspiration to actually perform the step I was up to. Example, you ask? Step 6: Promoting myself and my brand by sending letters (emails) to everyone I knew. The purpose was to tell them what a wonderful catch I am and to ask them if they knew anyone they could set me up with. The thought of it terrified me: putting myself out there like that? No way! What would they say? (who cares!) What if they thought I was a loser? (so what?!)

So every day, I sat myself down in front of the computer, trying to force myself to look into who to send these emails to. I was forcing myself to do something I didn’t want to do under the guise of stepping outside of my comfort zone. What I was not doing was looking at the underlying reasons why I did not want to do what I was forcing myself to do. I mean, if I took finding a husband seriously, would I really hesitate in completing the steps required? When I finally looked at the underlying reasons, I realized something new about myself.

I started to question my wants. Do I really want a husband? Or is it that I just want a lover? Do I even want children anymore? Am I emotionally ready to care for children and put them first? All of these questions and more were going on in my mind. All of these questions left me with answers of yes, no, and maybe. My thoughts and ideas, my wants– they were all over the place. And then I realized, suddenly, that I was doing the same thing with these ideas and thoughts that I’ve been doing all of my life. I was being indecisive.

Makes you happyDiscussing these concerns with my sister, I told her that I just don’t know what I want anymore. I have always wanted to be married and have a family but at this age, it doesn’t even matter if I get married anymore. I could easily start dating someone, get pregnant and if I never get married, I think I will really be emotionally OK. I don’t need the engagement ring and the bachelorette party. I don’t need the wedding dress. I don’t even think I need to say the words I do in front of dozens of people just to prove that I am finally successful in a relationship. My sister made me realize that all I want to be is happy, in whatever form that may come in. If I am with the man that I love from head to toe and I know– I am certain— of his love for me, then that’s enough. I don’t need him to bend down on one knee. I don’t need those papers that say husband-and-wife.

I realize that all I want to be is happy. And what an important revelation! I would’ve never come to this had I not started reading the book Find a Husband After 35. That book has put me on a journey I did not even realize I was going to go on. I thought my journey was going to be about finding my husband. But my journey in the last few months has been really forcing me to dig deep into my head, dig deep into my thoughts and really come up with this beautiful idea that happiness is all I ever wanted. And if that happiness leads to marriage and a family, I’ll take it! If it leads to children and no man in the picture, I’ll take that too! If happiness comes in the form of a series of lovers who enhance my experience of life, I will accept it. That’s all any of us really want. I don’t know if in 5 months I will again change my mind. Perhaps in 5 years I may be wishing to be married. I just don’t know. All I know is that right now, I just really want to be happy. Of this I am certain.

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The Twins Festival and Dating

13872735_10208405879039017_5101840766776167996_nLast weekend, my sister and I embarked on our yearly pilgrimage to Twinsburg, Ohio, where the largest amount of twins and multiples gather to celebrate the genetic anomaly that is us. This was our twelfth year and I have to say that for us, it never gets old.
I found out about the Twins Days twin festival 12 years ago as I was doing research for a proposed book that never amounted to anything. I wanted to publish a book about the unique experience of being a twin. When I told my sister about the festival, she thought it sounded corny. I was more curious than she was and I don’t remember if I begged her to go but I know that she agreed to go with me under the condition that I book the flight, make the hotel reservation, and register for the festival. I was excited!
When we arrived, to say that we were overwhelmed with the amount of twins we saw gathered in one place is truly an understatement! There were so many of them! It was like a freak show! Ah, but what a wonderful freak show it turned out to be. The feelings of warmth and acceptance quickly enveloped us as each set of twins we met hugged us when they learned it was our first twins event. We were no longer virgins of Twins Days!
Being fraternal twins with differences in every single feature of our faces, we were surprisingly mistaken for being identical by twins who were SO identical that they could have been the same person! All twins wore the same exact clothing and everything from nail polish to ankle bracelets were the same for each twin. We were not prepared for that. We had the same color clothing but in different styles and apparently, that wasn’t enough. We were not there to celebrate our own individual identities. No, that weekend was to celebrate how much we were like our twin. My sister and I walked away from that experience vowing that the following year, we’d be prepared with the same clothing, jewelry and hairstyle- down to the very last detail. And we were- and we have been since!

Twins and Singlehood

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Through the questions these 49 year old twins asked us, we could tell they were looking for twin mates. We felt like we were being interviewed!

Many people have asked me if I’ve ever met a potential significant other during the festival weekend. The answer is a resounding YES! There are just SO many good-looking twin men that we’ve come across. Some of them had absolutely no interest in us. Some of them flirted with us but that’s as far as it went. We met a set of twins, I believe during our second year, where one of them was interested in us (we didn’t know which one of us he liked) while his twin brother found a few sets of other twins he’d rather hang out with. The poor guys were in conflict all weekend. There was one twin my sister met up with outside of the festival months later but nothing ever happened with that. There was one twin who expressed an interest in me and we started to communicate but as luck would have it, he lives in Canada and is at least 12 years my junior. There was another twin who would come to New York for business and he’d contact me to hang out. I always had a great time with him. He’s such a great looking guy and he was a lot of fun but he was engaged to be married at the time so nothing ever happened with that.

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These guys I think were in their early 30s. They were so much fun!

It must be emphasized that the purpose of the twins festival is NOT to date other twins. It just so happens (like with any gathering of a large amount of people) that there are twins who form long lasting friendships and romantic relationships that lead into marriage. (Mind you, there are twins who get downright naughty but some have found love too.) Going to the twins festival each year has never been about hooking up for us. It’s always been about connecting with people with whom we share something very special: our twinship.

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We immediately clicked with these 30-something year old twins from the Netherlands.

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These boys were easily in their early 20s but they were so adorable!

My sister and I look half our age yet we speak with a clarity that comes with age and education. So we seem to attract boys as young as 14 to men in their 60s. (Yes, one year, when we were 29 years old, a boy approached us on the festival grounds asking if he and his twin could talk to us. To find out our ages he said, “We’re 14 so…” He trailed off, expecting us to finish his sentence with the admission of our age. We politely told him we were way too old for them and we parted ways.) But I feel that the 40 something year old twins that we do meet are already married and have children. So that leaves the 30-somethings- who seem to be the partying kind and not really interested in long-tem relationships yet. Mind you, this is just an assumption, of course!
This year, we talked to a lot of male twins our age who finally learned that we were not in our 30s. (For some reason, a lot of people asked us how old we are this year– more so than in other years.)

Who knows what will happen. All we know is that every time we go to the twins festival, it just gets better and better. There are the twins we make sure we have dinner with each year, others we usually sing karaoke with. There are twins we always flirt with and take pictures with. It’s an amazing experience. I gotta tell you, I’d prefer to marry a twin because he’d understand the bond my sister and I share better than a singleton (someone who does not have a twin). But whether he’s a twin or not, I just want to find someone wonderful.

Read more! Read my 12.05.15 post: “Can Being a Twin Affect Romantic Relationships?”

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