Should I look for love?

betty ming liu Relationships 29 Comments

I always love puttering around my cozy house in stormy weather. With today’s rain and thunder pounding outside, I was totally content to cook, vacuum and do laundry. But as I sit here now at a clean desk with my little dog at my feet while Barbra Streisand wails about love on the boom box, I’m feeling…

Um, is it okay to admit that I’m getting a bit lonely?

Many people tell me that my life is both their fantasy — and nightmare. Sure, my post-divorce freedom as a creative, self-supporting single mom is delicious. As I mentioned in a recent post, going solo is happening to a lot of us, and is even perceived as an upscale trend.

Then again, there’s the other side. Does anyone really want to be alone? To be honest, I actually enjoyed marriage (at least on our good days). There are things I miss sharing: a bed, soul-baring conversation, private jokes, being called “hon.” I especially miss those throwaway moments when I get to say things like, “Babe, I’m going downstairs. Want anything from the kitchen?”

Unfortunately, I also think it’s too late for me to find true love. To be honest, Rosebud takes care of many of my companionship needs. We’re inseparable! There’s a reason people love their dogs. And I live by the words of my first shrink, who taught me the importance of living with romance every day of my life, no matter what. 

And yet — as an incurable romantic, I am wired for hope. Here are some random thoughts on that point….

*My shrink is working with me on “intimacy issues.” The latest revelation is that I define “relationship” as being with a guy in an unfulfilling way spelled f-a-i-l-u-r-e. If this sounds familiar, maybe it’s because I just recently realized that as a journalist, I hated covering hard news because it was my catch-all phrase for stories I didn’t feel I was good at. Well, if I can resolve a longstanding professional struggle, maybe I can rethink my approach to romance too.

*A friend of mine who is a feng shui master says that I should plant red flowers in the two big stone planters that I have sitting in each of the front corners of my deck. He said that these plants would put out a rock-solid romantic energy that might bring some nice guy into my life. Right now those huge pots are brimming with weeds. I don’t know…should I do something about this?

*All my buddies are bugging me to date. Bleh. In the dozen years since my divorce, all I’ve had are relationships that went absolutely nowhere. Maybe I wasn’t ready to ask for what I really wanted. Was that the problem?

*In closing, I just have to say that Barbra Streisand’s “Love is the Answer” CD makes me ache. The songs are beautiful, direct, tender and strong. Just like me. Ha.

Your thoughts? I lot of questions from me today.   :)


Comments 29

  1. Betty,
    I am sitting here in my wonderful messy house reading your musings of the day. I wish I could impart some sort of wisdom or at least some answers.There are some things I know.
    One thing I know is that it is never too later “to find true love”. My sister is planning to have a wedding in her 7500 square foot home for her friends mother who is in her 80’s. She is retired and single for a longtime. Then she found her elementary school sweetheart was in a similar circumstance. But I guess that may be a case of love finding her. I am not too sure but that may be how it works. Love finds us when we are ready for it.
    Today I spent a good part of my day doing yard work, unfortunately it WASN’T MY YARD! It was my friend Juliette’s. Juliet is a young widow who lives near by with her daughter. Her daughter was spouse to be having a party after school so I spend most the day helping her get the yard ready. After resting awhile I bought a pizza, a five gallon cooler, spring water and ice. When I brought it all home I found out the part is next week! Meanwhile my truck has the whole dash all apart. I got up early to put a new ignition switch in and got sidetracked into finally cleaning the mess in the wiring left by the original owners burglar alarm (which may be the real reason it wont stay running) I started the day playing with my welder welding some scraps together, my little art project. But now I am out of gas (literally… I ran out of Acetylene)
    My house is in need of some Feng shui too. A little about my place.I live in a 102 year old house which, when I got was absolutely perfect. The inside is the best of Victorian and modern. Each room has it’s own “theme”. There is also a LCD TV every room with a video target which allows me to control three remote controlled Sony carousels and audio/video distribution system. (up to 800 movies and 350 cd’s). Chanel 16 is CCD surveillance System. All thin in only 1100 square feet! Outside I am shielded from the street by a dozen trees. I have six different kinds or roses, and all kinds of plants including fruit.
    Trouble is I haven’t lived in my house really for a few years and everything is growing wild! The hot tub, one sprinkler circuit and now the fence on the east are broken! that ought to scare the women away! Why did I ever buy this place with such a tiny garage! (I have two Jeeps, a motor cycle and may soon possesses my 300ZX)

    My question is can any woman really be interested in me? The kids love my place though. A few years ago i got into 1/6 scale models (barbie/Original GI joe size). It is sort of cool but takes up your whole house in no time, especially when you build a 6 story copy of The Maidens Tower (
    It is “not Good for man to be alone”, That is the first thing that we learn in both Judaism and Christianity. Adam and Eve were married by God before the fall of man. The story of Genesis is actually a love story. Adam chose to stay with Eve even though it would mean being mortal and loosing paradise. The lesson here is that it is better to toil thorough life than to be alone. We also learn that marriage is something God Planned from the beginning of time for mans happiness.
    I think until you are ready to look a love as being something that you are not completely in control of it comes when you are ready for it. Don’t you?

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    Brian, you’re right. I do NOT want to look for love. I want it to find me. As you know, I do daily affirmations ( ). Recently, I changed one of them to read: “True love will find me.” I say that every morning now, but don’t believe it — yet. Maybe this just takes time along with, as you say, letting go. :)

    Your house sounds charming. Working on it bit by bit will get it into shape. I’ve been there. When dealing with everything becomes overwhelming, I always go back to me favorite inspirational saying about doing things bird by bird.

    It’s supposed to rain all week so I will have lots of time to wallow in my Barbra Streisand CD.

  3. Never too late to find love. My dad, a widower at 73, recently went to Germany to see an ex-girlfriend whose husband died a few years ago. Fifty years ago, my father dated her a few months, when he served as a military policeman before the Vietnam War. This past March, they spent a week together and fell in love– she’s already booked two upcoming five-week trips to stay with him in New York.
    She told him that she’s been waiting for him for 50 years.

  4. revised: Never too late to find love. My dad, a widower at 73, recently went to Germany to see an ex-girlfriend whose husband died a few years ago. They’d dated fifty years ago, when he was drafted and served as a military policeman before the Vietnam War. They spent a week together this past March and fell in love– she’s already booked plane tickets to stay with him for the summer and from Thanksgiving to January.
    She told him that she’s been waiting for him for 50 years.

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      Oh, how incredibly romantic! Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. You have inspired me to think in terms of a longer timeline. After all, my own mom only found true love once she entered a nursing home. She was in her mid-80s. His name was Larry. Until he became bedridden near the end of his life, they would sit side-by-side in the TV room, holding hands. Their romance lasted about six months because he died. But when I went to see her afterwards, we had our only true, woman-to-woman talk. I told her at least she had loved and been loved until death-do-us-part. How many of us can say that?

      That does it. I’m not going to look. I just need to live my life. Whoever he is, he needs to make the effort to find me. Meantime, it’s me and Rosebud enjoying each other’s company in our sweet house.

  5. first off, you are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too young to give up hope — cause that would mean i’d have to give up hope as well! second of all, my lama & my beloved yoga teacher, sharon gannon, always counsel to give to others what you want. so if you want a relationship, help others connect, celebrate their relationships, & the best way is to serve lonely people, like the elderly — give other partnerless people companionship, & that too will come to you! … i know you’ll find someone — he just needs to be amazing enough to recognize all your amazingness (guys can be kinda slow)! xo

  6. I guess the bigger question is what does love look like to you? I definitely think that as a good looking, independent woman who is socially plugged in you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet folks. The only question is when it does come knocking, will you open the door? And, will it be o.k. if it looks different than what you had imagined? Happy journeying!

  7. Betty,
    Why wallow in your Barbra Streisand CD? I am sure you got something else right? Find something you can sing along with that make you happy.How broad is you taste in Music? Find something that inspires you, something you can sing. Or go play in the rain!

  8. Brian, I loved reading your feedback. How many Brian out there who care about women? We need many. I have few girlfriend closed up on dating. I saw “70 year old virgin finally ready for love” ad. She wants tall,dark millionaire. Feedback from people were,”Millionaire can get 18 year old!, cheery got rotten!
    Betty, you should keep your door open and listen to rapper instead. There is no love song.

  9. Betty,
    As much as I try to enjoy each day alone or with girlfriends, I miss the man in my life who I can share the many things that I simply can’t share with gfs. I miss the hugs, the emotional support and the conversations about the kids, mothers, travel, etc. I’ve been on the websites but it’s been discouraging bc much of what is on there is not current, e.g. age, physical conditions, or philosophy. Forget the bar scene, the gyms are ‘too quick’ a place to relax and possibly meet someone, so what else is there. I did sign up to attend a social event in WhitePlains so wish me luck. It will probably have a few men, if any! Seeking advice from Hastings….

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      And you all might get a kick out of this. My friend Carol just sent me the link to a Meetup. Do you know that website? Type in a word that interests you — soccer, wine, painting — and up will pop a list of groups meeting on that topic. Anyways, here’s the link to the Chinese Speed Dating meetup. Funny.

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    Karen M, that’s always the way, isn’t it? Don’t look, be happy. It’s a good motto. Thanks!

    Jaimie, I like the idea of giving what I want to get. Although, I’m quite bad at matchmaking. But I want you to have hope!

    Christina, you have asked the money question. In terms of addressing my “intimacy issues,” I’m squirming at the idea of handling someone else’s baggage. (Of course, that’s because I’m perfect. Haha.) Part of me wants to invest in a dead bolt and keep the door shut.

    Brian, don’t you talk bad about Barbra! I know the words to plenty of her songs!

    Akiyo, meet Brian. Brian, meet Akiyo. Maybe you’re a match. And the idea of a 70-year-old virgin, hmmm. Btw, I am very fond of hip hop and it has some good love songs that aren’t totally misogynistic. :)

    Oh, Ethel. I wish you lots of luck at your next social. Meeting people live seems the way to go. Did you read the recent news that is starting to sponsor live singles events? There’s a limit to what the web can offer.

    I’m kinda done with the online dating right now. It was great to have it there all these years; there was no other way to meet guys. But once I turned 50, the websites were rough. Maybe I need to try one of the senior citizen sites (where is that dead bolt???!). Here’s what happened on my last round with My students always found this post hilarious.

  11. Betty — the nice thing about being in an adult relationship, is that YOU don’t have to handle someone else’s baggage, you just have to ACCEPT it, and then let them handle it. Learning this (and relearning it all the time) has brought me a lot of peace, and let me worry about my own heavy lifting! God speed.

  12. Christina hit the nail on the head when she asked if you would open the door when love comes knocking. We must be open to the possibilities because they are essentially infinite. If we have a preconcieved idea of what our lover should be, we simply set ourselves up for failure. Of course there are always certain basics – honesty, kindness and a reasonable degree of physical attraction – that sort of thing. But beyond that, love can take so many forms. No one is ever too old to find love – and I say that as a man on his third husband. The first two passed away – one of liver failure and the second of AIDS (I mentione the specifics lest you think I’m some sort of black widow – LOL) and I didn’t meet Mike, my wonderful partner of the past 16 years until well into middle age. Two more apparently difeerent people than Mike & Me you would be hard pressed to find. Mike is an unreconstructed East Village type artist who thinks if you have a mattress and a sauce pan, you’re furnished. I, one the other hand, have a housefull of antiques and fret over window treantment and place settings. It’s like Che Guivera living with Martha Stewart (whom I worship, BTW – the woman is a goddess!) But below the superficial level, Mike & I share so much – the same sense of humor, the same love of Warner Bros. cartoons etc. – and whenever I say “Mike, there’s this kid that needs some help and maybe we should bring him into the family” he NEVER says “we can’t afford that” or “someone else to disturb my peace.” He says “sure, does he like comic books?” Mike is the greatest happiness of my life and, as I said – he didn’t happen until I was well past my so-called prime (actually, I think I’m in that part of life now and that it continues to be prime as long as on the upside of the daisys!)

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    You all are so encouraging. And your openness is SIMPLY TERRIFYING. I don’t know if I can do it. Clearly, there is a reason I’m not with anyone right now…

    Christina, I hear you on accepting someone’s baggage. But that means you have to like them! I have yet to be involved with a man who I can really like and accept longterm. That is what I would define as love. And to be fair, I’m not sure any of the guys I dated in the past decade liked me that much either. Then again, you get back what you give, sometimes.

    Charlotte, I love my cats too!

    Toby, reading what you’ve written about your life with Mike makes me melt. Now THAT is the kind of love I could go for. Thank you for letting me see what’s possible. :)

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