Summer and…romance!

June 3, 2014 · 29 comments

in Relationships

Post image for Summer and…romance!

I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve been settling into a new relationship. This is especially tricky for bloggers. After all, we’re wired to share — and overshare. It’s a tendency that could bewilder any blogger’s beau, haha! So taking a break seemed like the right thing to do.

But I’ve also hesitated to write about us for another reason: Blogging about my past relationships didn’t work out too well.

Given such an unfortunate history, I didn’t want to go down that path again. This time, I wanted to be sure of my feelings before blathering into the blogosphere.

Actually, in looking back, blogging about romance was never the problem. The core issue was that I was always in relationships that were shaky from the very beginning. Like my marriage, they went on too long because I didn’t trust my instincts. How bad can things get? Well, last year, during yet another dating dry spell, I re-read those old posts. Ugh, embarrassing.

It was as if I wrote about being happy to convince myself. To quote the famous bard William Shakespeare, “Lady, thou dost protest too much.” With the benefit of hindsight, I could see that every post screamed of denial. Quicker than you could say “creepy,” I deleted every post about specific relationships, which felt like a ritualistic cleansing. A fresh start.

Then, a few months ago, I met a great guy online. Chemistry lit up our initial email. We went through a couple long phone conversations. At last, the first date, which led to four dates in the first week. By Week #2, we knew we wanted to be together.

I’ve never experienced anything like this in my entire life. It felt so crazy that I grilled my shrink. He reassured me that our behavior was within the realm of “the norm” for romance. As for what this says about my earlier relationships, let’s not go there today, not when we can celebrate that it’s never too late to meet someone special, even if we’re about to turn 58.  :)

At the moment, he and his old dog are in the process of moving in with me, my daughter and our three cats. (Note: My daughter approves of both the man and his faithful hound.)

Over recent weeks, we’ve been in endless rounds of unpacking boxes and lugging furniture. There was the tag sale, the donations to a nearby church attic sale, giveaways to friends. We’re almost done with redecorating. Everything’s been rearranged, from pots and pans to closet shelves.

Now my significant other takes on the new role of blogger fodder. Since he likes his privacy, I doubt he’ll make more than the occasional cameo appearance. But my blogger DNA requires me to officially share the news that he’s in my life, that he’s taking care of me and telling me jokes that make me belly laugh. And, that there’s a new old dog in the house; he’ll never replace my beloved, departed Rosebud but he still makes me smile.

As for what’s next…

530tea setsigned

Let’s get back to firing away on multiple burners! This is a great time for you to subscribe to my blog because I’ve got tons of other stuff going on. Summer’s about to take off for me. How about you? xo

 

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Skye June 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Wow, Betty! There are so many things to talk about next! This post sounds like it could be the start of a whole other blog altogether. So much is going on. As always, I appreciate that even after your mini-absence you check in to let everyone know what you’ve been up to. Can we still see each other maybe sometime this summer if you can break away from the beau for a bit? :) I hope you are happy and healthy.

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 6:19 am

Skye, would love to catch up later this summer! Right now, I’m still up to my eyeballs in reorganization. As for starting another blog, this definitely feels like another chapter in my life, my blog…and even in the book I’m working on. Speaking of which, that’s my priority now. Gotta get some traction on that manuscript. That’s why I’m up early this morning. Great hearing from you. xo

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Boiling June 4, 2014 at 12:25 am

I am happy for you :)

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 6:22 am

Thank you, Ms. Boiling! The level of connection is new for me — for the bf too. Meeting him has completely changed my views of what’s possible in the romance department. :)

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Murielle June 4, 2014 at 9:14 am

Betty! You give me hope! What a wonderful story. My congratulations and best wishes to you. I look forward to reading what’s coming :)

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

Muriel, you would’ve loved our garage sale. Many of the shoppers were middle-aged, single women from the nabe. They all asked if I was moving. “Sort of,” I said. “It’s my new bf. We met online a few months ago and he’s moving in.” That’s when they wanted to know what website (Match.com) and how long (I’ve been dating since my marriage of nearly 18 years ended in 2000). Don’t give up on yourself or love, I told them. Just keep getting out there to practice, meet people and figure out what you want!

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Charlotte June 4, 2014 at 9:32 am

Great post Betty! Much happiness to your and your new guy! Post cute pooch pics! xoxo CL

p.s. I am Instagramming and Pinning myself into oblivion thanks to you!

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

Thanks, Charlotte! I really miss my Rosebud. She was such a sweet, old dog. It was quite nice that my bf was a package deal that included a new, old dog! And so happy to hear that you’re Intagramming and Pinning. Everyone, Charlotte has a new blog on beauty tips for the over-40 woman. Click on her name and check it out!

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Rita Lundgren June 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

Excited/happy for you!

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 9:57 am

Rita, thanks for taking the time to post a comment. Always nice to hear from you. This is the other thing bloggers live for: Feedback! xo

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Diane June 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

I am overjoyed for you! There is nothing — nothing! — like the high from a brand-new relationship. And now moving in — well, it’s pure excitement to be crafting a day-to-day life together. Bravo, Betty! xxoo

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

Diane, love your phrase: “crafting a day-to-day life together.” Such a novel experience. Thanks for giving me a way to define it! xo

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Toby June 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Congratulations Betty. I too am a believer in love at first sight. I knew I wanted to spend my life with my Mike the minute I set eyes on him, 18 years ago, and said as much to a dear friend who was there with me at the time (so I do have a witness!) In the ensuing 18 years there has never been a moment when I questioned that original feeling.
As for the challenge of combining two households, you have my sympathy. One of the things I liked about Mike after I got to know him, was that he owned no furniture and no china. What a lucky break! It made the move simplicity itself. Mike is your basic, East Village artist type, who thinks that if you have a mattress and a sauce pan, you are furnished – so it is quite like Che Guevera living with Martha Stewart – which is one of the reasons we never fight – we take different things seriously. For example, we never fight over table settings. I take them seriously but Mike would eat off a newspaper and be perfectly content. On the other hand, he takes his meticulously constructed model airplanes seriously so I don’t object to him hanging them all over the house (except from the dining room crystal chandelier – I did draw the line there) We have the Battle of Britain in the stairwell. LOL.
I was almost 50 when I met Mike and that too is an advantage. I brought experience with me and had learned a few things about how relationships work over the years. The airplanes are a good example. Back in my 20s and 30s, I would have had a real problem with them. “They don’t go with my carefully crafted decor!!!” However, I’ve long since learned my decor is of distinctly secondary importance to the happiness of the person I love. I’m sure your experience will likewise stand you in good stead and I wish you the best.

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Toby June 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

OOPS! correction – for “almost 50″ read almost 40 in my previous post. I hit the wrong key.

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Toby, what great details. Sigh. Nice. And yes, I relate. Che Guevera + Martha Stewart 4Ever. I get it. In our case, it’s not model airplanes and table settings but….haha! Let’s see how the boy feels about reading this post later. I better not say too much about him. At least, not yet.

But thanks so much for sharing your real life examples. Helps to see how this works. Being in my 50s definitely makes me more flexible. There was one point where I didn’t know how to arrange our combined pottery on a shelf and was getting really tired. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” he kept saying. That helped too. :)

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Erika Kenny June 4, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Big, huge, girly YAY! When I found that love with my husband (second husband, but second to none), it was the most urgent, thrilling, scary, entrancing, and natural yet surreal feeling, and still is. I’m so happy for you that you get to have that!

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Erika, love your description of your second husband! And I hear ya on all those words. Thank you for giving voice to the feelings and for celebrating with me!

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jaimie epstein June 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

so happy for you betty! please feel free to overshare so i can live vicariously through you! xo

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Jaimie, thanks so, so much. Thanks for sending me all your great vibes. xo

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Joel Friedlander June 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Well, congratulations, Betty! Great news, and I hope everything works out exactly the way you’d like. But don’t forget your book, can’t wait to see what you do with it.

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betty ming liu June 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Joel, I’m doing my best not to fall into the old trap of Piling On Expectations! And I am working with the book. Spent all day on it. This might take a while but these days, everything feels more natural and less like a struggle. :)

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Carrie June 4, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Betty,
Such great news! You deserve a wonderful man in your life! I look forward to what you think up next to blog about. My update: my first born has taken flight and the second one is finishing freshman year in high school. Both have turned out alright, if I do say so myself. In January, we adopted a second dog as a companion for Bella and it was the best thing we’ve done. They are a darling pair and get along amazingly well. I’m starting a new painting project that I’m excited about though it is too new to discuss. When I have a finished piece, I’ll show you. What about your paint brush??

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betty ming liu June 5, 2014 at 8:22 am

Carrie, how nice to hear from you. What great news you’re sharing! Congrats on the kids doing so well. And wonderful that Bella as a buddy. She is such a sweetie. Can’t wait to hear about your new painting project….do share soon.

As for me, my paint brushes are standing in their jar, waiting. They are very, very lonely. I miss them terribly and hope to pick them up, maybe later this summer. But there is a bright spot. I recently framed some of my old paintings and hung them next to the bed. Looking at them makes me really happy!

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GLin June 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I’m so glad you updated, Betty! Summer basically means a little more breather room for me but still primarily research-focused. I’m a graduate student, so summer just means fewer classes and more time in the lab. :P I am planning to go on more hikes though!

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betty ming liu June 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm

GLin, how nice of you to drop by and offer encouragement to us all. Hikes sound like a great idea. Something to really look forward to. Hope you also enjoy the quiet of doing research in the summer. Have a wonderful, wonderful summer!

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Cassandra June 6, 2014 at 1:38 am

I’m thrilled to hear that your relationship has blossomed and moved to the next step (living together). All you needed to do was move out of your safe zone and just as I predicted he was there somewhere in the shadows just waiting to happen to you. It’s great that you get an old dog along with the bargain. If he’s younger than you (your main squeeze) that’s good too so don’t worry because I have a friend who married a guy the second time who was 15 years younger and they are celebrating their 21st anniversary. I personally got married for the third time at age 50 (he was 48 and never married before) and we have been together for 20 years. We have cats and dogs together too! It would be nice to see a picture of the two of you together with his dog if that’s going to be the extent of your sharing (and maybe that’s best!). Good luck and let the love light shine on!

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betty ming liu June 6, 2014 at 11:23 am

Thanks for sharing your story, Cassandra! Twenty years together and still going strong…that’s a great accomplishment. While I don’t think age differences need to matter — I’ve been both the younger and older person in past relationships — Im getting something new here. We happen to be the same age, which is a new relationship experience for me. Another first! I would love to post a photo and share more. Let’s see how things evolve with us. Thanks for planting the thought and the continued encouragement. <3

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Amanda June 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Congratulations! This is a delightful read and I’m so happy for you and your family.

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betty ming liu June 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Thank you, Amanda!! We’re happy too. It’s nice. Taking a lesson from all the animals in the house, I feel like I’ve finally found my pack. :)

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