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They say the moment you give up, completely throw in the towel is when it happens. My friends used to tell me — I would never find a someone so long as I was actively seeking them. I found that statement ironic, as several of them found their someones on various internet dating sites. So apparently not seeking a someone wasn’t a key element in their equation to ‘coupledom’.

But their advice didn’t matter. I was over it. The whole dating business. I was horrible at it. I was too brutally honest to play games and had lived too many lives to think any of it was worth learning. The ‘chase and retreat’, ‘catch me if you can’, ‘men love bitches’, ‘no sex until date #3’, etc… was just too much like work. It seemed that once I found one I liked and openly admitted I liked him— he ran like a scared rabbit.

I embraced my inner scary chick and decided men were whimps. I am, after all, an Archer. And my horoscope compatibility with every other single sign out there usually boils down to this one sentence: Try to be nicer to them.

I retreated, happily, to a state of Sabbatical Calm. I meditated. I did yoga. I ate better. I focused on my work and my relationships with my friends and I realized how happy I truly was without all the chaos of trying to find Mr. Right, or even Mr. Right Now. I gave all the attention and energy I would normally have poured into a relationship into my own being. And I healed.

At first I could feel the small wounds closing. But soon enough, even the deep ones began to feel less tender. Old triggers were not so automatic. Responses to my life were not on auto pilot any more. I held my life lightly. I chose joy and peace whenever I could. I laid down the shields and felt the relief of living without their weight.

I stopped wearing the protective amulet I had purchased. This was serious stuff. I became a more open soul. Could I do this? Be vulnerable? Holy cow! Maybe. My friends noted the change in my ‘vibe’. It was subtle because I still held my boundaries — firmly. But I held them without anger, I just held them.

I let go of things, so many things, that needed to go. People — who I had kept up one sided relationships with for years. I cleaned out closets. I let go of habits that no longer served me.

And I made room for all the good stuff The Universe cared to send my way.

Then one day — I looked up and standing right there — in my life the whole time was a man. He had been watching the whole process. Respectfully. With admiration.

He is not like the others have been. He returns texts. He opens doors for me. He brings me flowers and ice cream. He rubs my feet. He touches base, but knows I need down time to regroup. He writes me poems. He makes and keeps dates. He wants to share his interests with me (UNC sports), and is looking forward to sharing my interests (Hurricanes hockey). He is a grown up. Not a boy in a man suit who plays silly games.

This feels different. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like dating. It feels like I’m going out with a friend. I’m hanging out with a person who sees me, and likes me just as I am. There is no pretense. I can relax and say what I want, be honest, be Real Ann. There are no land mines here.

Its early days. And we are taking things slowly. He’s already broken my previously set relationship record of thirty two days. But since we didn’t meet on the internet, I’m not sure that counts. We have dates scheduled on the calendar for the next couple months, because basketball and hockey season start. And that is a comfortable commitment to both of us.

Is this what it feels like? When a Real Relationship comes your way? Stay tuned…

Self discovery in progress, stay tuned

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