Inexplicable

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The older we get and the more life we experience, we often become wiser in many ways.

I have found the exact opposite to be true when it comes to love. And maybe that’s because the more I’ve loved, the more I question everything about it. It’s such a huge emotion and unlike any other feeling in the world. All encompassing and rare in it’s truest form. So it makes complete sense that it mystifies even the smartest of people.

There was a time when I believed without any uncertainty that I was in love. And at some point in each long term relationship, I did believe it was love.

Now I find myself questioning my own feelings, even when it feels like it couldn’t be anything but love.

In my younger days, I was completely open- almost to a fault- when I poured my heart out to a man, without fear.

Then, after having my heart broken, I swore I would never be the first to say those words ever again. Hoping that he’d just know by the way I held his hand in the middle of the night when we’re tangled up in bed. Or by the way I look at him after a long, lingering kiss when it feels like nothing else in the world exists.

All it takes is one bad heart break to completely change a person. And so I became completely guarded and protective.

Until I met a man who made me feel like I could open up to someone again. I’m not sure exactly what made me do it, but one night, after too much wine, I said those three little, huge enormously frightening words.

It’s amazing how saying such a small sentence can hold so much meaning. How it can completely change everything.

And sadly, being hurt has made me become the girl who has a tendency to run away. Even when every fiber of my being is saying “You love him. Don’t run away.”

I’m not sure why I push men away. Maybe I’m afraid of getting hurt again. Or maybe I’m afraid of having my heart broken and it’s easier to end things on my own terms versus waiting for the bomb to drop. [OMG, THAT’S IT, ISN’T IT?]

Maybe the reason I push men away and question my own feelings is because they hold back. Men are even more afraid than women are when it comes to opening up. Many men fear commitment. So is it any wonder why women hold back, too? AND WHY IS LOVE SO FUCKING SCARY ANYWAY?

You can hold back as much as you like, but you can’t control your feelings and you can’t stop yourself from falling for someone. It’s like jumping off a cliff and halfway down, suddenly deciding you want to go back up again. There is no point of return when it comes to falling in love. You just have to let yourself fall and hope the other person catches you [or some romantic metaphor like that]. And you can’t control who you fall for or why it happens because love knows no reason or logic.

And you don’t have to understand it and it doesn’t have to make any sense. Because love is missing someone even before they’ve left. Love is listening to her talk – even when the conversation is about nothing at all. Love is wanting to know about his childhood, and how he became the man he is today. Love is lying in bed together and talking for hours, not caring if you get any sleep. Love is driving an hour out of your way to bring him cold medicine and ice cream when he’s sick. Even if it means being late for work. Love is wanting her to meet your mother and your friends because you can’t wait to show her off. Because you know everyone will fall in love with her, too.

Love is having that one person- who’s both your best friend and lover- that you can share everything with, knowing they won’t judge you. Because no matter what you say, you know they’ll love you anyway.

Love is scary and heart wrenching and hopeless and passionate and amazing and elusive and life altering and inexplicable in so many ways. And those who don’t understand that have never experienced that kind of love.

And just writing about love makes me crave all those wonderful feelings.  The electricity between two people who have that mental and physical connection that transforms sex into something deeper and more erotic and explosive. And at other times, the slow deliciousness of making love that only two people who are  genuinely connected can experience.  The way two lives become entwined by time and shared experiences and unspoken words.

Because that’s what love is: an intangible, inexplicable connection that ties two hearts and two lives together in such a way, it’s virtually impossible to break them apart. Even if it’s only for a short time. And isn’t that what everyone wants? Because love truly is the most amazing feeling in the world.

So maybe taking a chance and opening up to someone- no matter how scary it may be- and risking having your heart broken really is worth it– when you think of everything you can gain.

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The Age Factor

The first time I ever dated a considerably younger guy, I repeatedly asked myself “What in the hell are you doing?”

It’s not like I was new to dating younger guys. In fact my first boyfriend was younger than me, my ex-husband was 7 years younger and my most recent LTR was with a guy 12 years younger. It wasn’t exactly new to me. But then out of nowhere it seems, the 20 year olds started appearing. I’d been hit on by 20 year old guys before, but none of them were ever able to truly capture my interest. There’s nothing remotely appealing about “Heyy whats up babe?” or “How r u?”  If he can’t string a simple sentence together, you kind of already know the deal.

But then twitter happened and it opened up a whole new group of guys – of all ages – who were actually thoughtful and funny and intelligent. Then add tinder (no explanation needed there) and the flood gates opened.

That’s when I decided to rethink the whole age thing.

I started out with just simple conversations.  I’d often ask these younger guys why they were interested in older women? Their answers were always the same:  Girls their age demand too much. They get upset if you don’t text them 20x a day. They don’t give a guy his space. They need to know where you are every minute of the day. They’re too dramatic. She was only interested in money. She wanted a serious boyfriend. She wanted to get married.  She was insecure. She was extremely jealous. The list goes on. All huge turn offs to a guy of any age.

Which brought me to why they were drawn to older women: Older women are confident. We don’t need to know what you’re doing every second of the day. We don’t care about that girl who you were talking to at the bar. We’re too busy to text you every single day. We don’t care how much money you make. We are busy with our own lives and careers. We’re more open minded and experimental when it comes to sex. And we certainly are not looking to get married.

Maybe dating a 20 yr. old would be fun.  I decided why not.

One guy in particular made me change my mind. It all started with a few sweet words. Not only was he articulate but extremely intelligent. Two things I can’t resist (even though I tried). Instead of partying with his friends, he chose to spend time with me. He was emotionally mature and genuinely interesting- both extremely sexy- which made him irresistible.

One of my flaws is that I sometimes try to end things at the first sign of trouble. Even if the “trouble” doesn’t actually exist.  I’m like the Runaway Bride of dating. So after only a few months of amazing sex and great conversation, I told him I could never see him ever again.

WHO DOES THAT?

Me, apparently. Well, I used to. (But I’m getting better.) It’s easy to let your head overthink and complicate things, but sometimes you need to think with your heart, which is kind of the same as NOT thinking.

Then a friend told me “Just let the relationship run it’s natural course.” Words I sometimes forget but should definitely try to remember. It’s sometimes difficult to enjoy time with someone when you’re constantly thinking “This can’t last.”

Luckily, he wouldn’t let me end it, so we continued to see each other.

And each time I would start to overthink it, friends would weigh in with “Just have fun. Who cares how old he is?”

It’s our experiences and the people we meet and share time with who ultimately shape who we are and who we become. So I did my best not to overthink it and just enjoy it.

Here is what I discovered. Age really is just a number. Your brain doesn’t say “You cannot be attracted to this person because they’re not the *right* age.” It’s all about chemistry and connection. It’s probably true that a guy in his 20’s isn’t looking for a girlfriend and is more interested in just having sex.  But that’s often true about guys in their 30’s and 40’s, too. And it’s a common fact that women reach their sexual peak in their mid 30’s to 40’s. We think about, enjoy and want sex, too.

I had dismissed many guys simply because I thought they were too young.  But there’s a difference between someone’s age and  emotional maturity. And just because a guy is older doesn’t mean he’s emotionally mature either (I’ve been down that road before, too).

Age doesn’t determine chemistry. If you connect with someone who’s fun and interesting, why not just enjoy it?

It’s all about mutual respect and how you make each other feel. If he makes you feel sexy and beautiful, and he’s respectful and honest, where’s the harm in that?

It doesn’t mean it has to turn into anything serious. Having fun together does not always equal love. It’s not a promise for forever. (I admit that’s a beautiful and romantic notion, but it’s simply not realistic.) It’s just fun and enjoyable and one more life experience that makes you a more interesting person. I mean the world could END TOMORROW. Would you really say no to having fun and good sex if you thought you only had one more day to live? I THINK NOT.

Find a person who you connect with, who you feel comfortable with, who you respect and trust. That’s when the sex really becomes amazing. If those pieces are missing, then you’re probably just having mediocre sex.

And age has nothing to do with finding that connection. Connection has to do with chemistry. And you never know who will have chemistry with until you actually spend time with someone. You shouldn’t dismiss a person simply because of their age.

I don’t often meet guys who can capture my interest. So when I do, why would I dismiss him simply because of his age? It’s all about how he treats me, how he makes me feel and how we interact together. And if all those pieces click, then why not just take it for what it is and simply enjoy it?

 

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