Courtney E. Webb – except from the book.

Love Is:

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Meeting Mr. Right – The Five best places – good and bad

Meeting Mr. Right through friends: This can be a very good thing, often. It can also be….not so great. How many times have friends with really good intentions who insist on their need to set you up with a friend. And, to accommodate your friend(s) and to keep everyone happy, you go along with the date(s) and have a smile frozen on your face the entire time. Then, try to explain to the well intentioned friends, how do you say, “He’s just not the one.” It seems like no matter what you say, it’s the wrong thing. He’s their friend, right?

What’s the answer?

Maybe, the answer is just a few words beforehand with your friend(s) that you agree to go. However, if things don’t click you will let them know and please, maybe, no hurt feelings? At least, aim for that.

Meeting Mr. Right at Work: This is often a great place to meet the right guy. Why? It’s a neutral backdrop, you are both usually on somewhat the same footing. You can have a sense of security that the individual has been vetted, to an extent. That is not an iron clad guarantee that everyone you worked with is a poster child for mental wellness and health.

Dating the boss: Wow! Hot potato, this one.

Do real occasions of love occur between the boss and the worker? Yes, it can happen. It can also be a case of infatuation, also hero worship, seeing the man at his best, in his best clothes, shoes, haircut, teeth brushed, with the professional face on. The same can be said for you; the best clothes, hair done, makeup on, best shoes, etc. When you feel the love bubbles coming up, take a moment to image the same man, just getting out of bed; sleep in his eyes, bad breath, rumpled clothes, unruly hair and maybe grumpy. Just hold that mental image for a moment to have a brief reality check.

Is he married?

Many men don’t wear wedding rings for whatever reason. Most women wear wedding rings in the US, although in some other countries, even women don’t wear wedding rings. Also, many men are really good at hiding the fact that they are married. Examples: no wedding ring, no pictures of her or them on the desk. Also, no conversation or comments about her or them. And, this can be particularly the case when they are speaking to a single woman.

So, now what? Probably if there are really feelings there, I would suggest putting on the brakes before doing anything (sleeping together) and work at getting either transfered to some other unit or maybe another job. And if there is really something there, you will be having more conversations with this individual. You both need to decide how to resolve these (work/marriage) issues before things blow up and you (and he) end up as the center of the cafeteria gossip.

Lastly, many companies, institutions have written guidelines about these situations. The end point being that one or two people could end up losing their jobs over this stuff. So, walk with care.

Meeting Mr. Right in Social Settings:

Meeting at church:

I go church every week. I frequently go on Saturday evenings because that lets me either sleep in on Sunday or to get out and go hiking before it gets hot.

Almost every week I see a threesome sitting ahead of me. Because I am an observer of people, I quickly figure out that this is a mom and dad couple and their adult daughter. The daughter is the one I find the most interesting.

This young woman is in her twenties, somewhere, and resembles the mother very much. The mom and the daughter get up at the end of every service and do the collections together. Very commendable. Then the young lady sits down again with her parents and they all leave together.

Now, question. What chance does this young lady have to ever meet anyone when she is so glued to her parents? What is that about? Try none.

If you are in your teens, it is perfectly understandable to sit with your parents. Maybe even on holidays like Christmas, High Holy Days, etc. But the rest of the time? Chart your own path – different church, different times, so on.

Going to church is often not enough. Get involved. Do go to coffee, do go to dinners and mixers. Do go on retreats and conferences. Engage in activities that allow you to do more than just say “Hello” and “Goodbye.” What else are you doing with your time? Watching the next Netflix series?

Bars and Restaurants that serve alcohol:

Okay, drinking. Well, it is true that not every person who drinks in a bar is an alcoholic. There are people who actually go to bars to have fun and socialize. And, it is also not true that every marriage that had its start in a bar is doomed to failure. However; many people in bars and particularly, who are in bars on a regular basis, are alcoholic. Bars are their home away from home, maybe even their true home. If you find yourself out with the girls on a Friday night after work, looking to relax and unwind, it’s okay. But….is it every Friday night? Saturday night, Thursday night, Sunday night? Now, this is what we start to call a pattern. For you.

If you suspect there may be a problem, get out a calendar and chart, for a month, all the days you seem to gravitate to bars and restaurants where you and your friends drink. If it is a really regular pattern, you are starting to swim in deep waters and the water will only get deeper.

Break up the pattern and find other things to do. If your friends only want to go ‘hang out’ at bars, maybe you need to find some new friends. When I was working in South Korea, I would go out on Friday night with a group of teachers. We would end up in any one of local of bars. Even though I don’t drink, I would wake up on Saturday morning with a headache and feel for the rest of the day like I was swimming underwater. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it was all the cigarette smoke or just getting home at 2am. Whatever, I just didn’t like how I felt the next day.

When I started to resist going out to bars Friday after Friday, my betsy teacher friend dropped me. What was that all about? Well, clearly, it wasn’t about me. I ended up hanging with another group of friends who were also non-drinkers and who wanted to go out, eat somewhere and chat. In the end, I wound up having a much better time. And, no hang over!!!!

Lastly, if you feel like you just cannot resist the lure of the bright night-lights and the call of the drink, you may want to think about how big a piece of your life all this is taking. It might be time to talk to someone about it. And by someone, I don’t mean your mom or your girlfriend. They will just pat you on the arm and tell you not to worry. I mean someone who deals with addiction issues and there are lots of people and institutions like that in the phone book.

Dancing

Social dancing of all kinds is a really great way to meet new people. Generally, dance lessons at many places are group lessons and can be had for as little as $8 a lesson. You will need a pair of dance shoes (smooth soles) and a good attitude. You will be dancing with any number of instructors and ‘students’ who have been dancing for many years, and yes, they will be a lot better than you. Don’t be discouraged, hang tough, keep coming back and you will improve.

Dance is an excellent way to meet new men/women. Again, it is a ‘neutral’ setting (not yours and not his) and gives people a bit of social distance to decide if they have any real interest or not.

Gyms:

Gyms can be a great place to lift weights, take a swim, a sauna or take an aerobic dance class. They can also be good places to meet people. However, don’t go there just because you need a date. Gyms can get expensive and you don’t want to invest a bunch of money into something you are not really interested in. Find a sport or activity (swimming, tennis, racquetball, Zumba) that you like to do and pursue that. You are more likely to find like-minded people who share a common interest with you.

Online dating:

Well….. It’s okay but not my favorite. Why? Have I done online dating? Yes, I have. And, don’t believe the rumors that Prince Harry met Meghan online, they were introduced through friends.

I have done online dating, and what have I learned? For starters, about 40% of men online are married and are looking to ‘fool around.’ Many men online are looking for quick, cheap (no strings attached) sex. There are men online who are not who and what they say they are. I have met any number of men who post photos of themselves that were taken twenty or thirty years previously. Then, you meet the man and say “Is this even the same person?” Online sites are notorious for spawning online money scams. I ‘met’ such an individual, tall, good looking, French, engineer, hum….interesting. It was all interesting until he asked me for $500 to help bail out his daughter who was stranded someone without funds.

And, if you think it is only women getting scammed, news reports are filled with scam stories involving men and women. One of my best male friends talked about going on dates and not being able to recognize the woman he eventually met in person.

You would almost be better off with your Dungeons and Dragons nerdy Thursday group.

Other:

There are always other ways to meet people and make friends. John Lennon met Yoko Ono at an art gallery showing. You can met people in the grocery stores, at concerts, in the mall, in galleries, walking your dog, etc. One of the best ways to meet people that ensures a bit of light conversation are volunteer opportunities.

Last Thanksgiving, I volunteered to work at the Salvation Army dinner for two days. There were tons of guys working those shifts. Many were married, but not all of them. And, you are there together working for a common cause, the common good and it all feels right. It can also be a lot of fun!

PART TWO – GETTING CLOSER

He asks you to go to Singapore. Or, Palm Beach, or Palm Desert or the beach or the desert or to coffee.

The point is, he is asking you if you want to do something, in the future, with him. In an abundance of caution, many men will structure ‘dates’ as group activities with other people. This can be church, choir, coffee groups, and movies, whatever. It’s okay. It takes off some of the pressure of ‘too much togetherness, too soon.’ After all, what do the two of you have to talk about….yet? Group hikes and walks are wonderful ways to get to know other people. The atmosphere is relaxed, you’re outside, and the sun is on your face. A wonderful way for you and your ‘date’ to let your guard down and to be yourself.

There are numerous dating sites online that are good and have pretty good advice. On YouTube, I like Matthew Hussey Dating Advice, which is good listening for young women. For older women, I like Engage at Any Age – Jaki Sabourin. YouTube can be a good source for men too, getting back in the game. Think of it like putting oil in the engine.

Matthew Hussey is sincere, has been doing this for a while and is a very straight shooter. For older women, who face different challenges with men, it is a good site to review to realize other people are having similar problems and to not get completely discouraged and give up hopes of ever dating again.

Back to he asks if you will be on the hike (board game, choir meeting, church service, etc.) next Sunday. You say yes and go.

Then what? Is this a DATE or a date? It is a date (small letters). This is a getting to know you date which is way different from a we-have-been-dating-six-months-and-it’s Valentine’s Day date.

This is a getting-to-know-you date. Let’s not overwhelm everyone with expectations and demands. If you go on the hike and get along, as has been referenced in several YouTube dating sites, don’t turn it into: let’s have coffee, let’s go to dinner, come over to my place, boom!

Don’t do it. Allow the date and your partner, to process thinking and feelings about you. Also, likewise, allow yourself some time to process your feelings. Are you interested? A little, some, a lot? None? Again, let’s stop thinking desperation, I have to grab the first person I can get! If we think in desperation terms, everything is black or white, the end result will be a sure reflection of that thinking. Desperate!

So, if the ‘date’ is coffee, you can say yes and casually ask some other people to go along. The presence of others softens the occasion so it doesn’t run the risk of becoming Too Important!!!! If that doesn’t feel right, just be clear in your own mind that this is a date only. Don’t expect a marriae proposal!

You ask

You ask him to go to a group breakfast, lunch (not dinner – too formal), a group hike, walk, volunteer event. You are there in your natural element, you are with friends, and you are relaxed. The very best setting to be in. You are your best self. This is the perfect backdrop for conversation. It’s not too formal, not too dressed up and not too ‘special’. Unlikely that your parents or other relatives will be there looking over your shoulder and asking pointed questions like “Who is that guy?” Which then leads to more awkward questions and answers like “Just a guy,” “A friend.” At which point, someone (your mother) begins to roll her eyes and sigh. Jeese, who needs that pressure?

As a matter of fact, while we are on that point, keep most of your dates away from your parents (family) unless you want your mother to run out and start buying all the latest issues of Wedding magazine. Give everyone, including yourself, a break.

MOVING APART

Is there such thing as love at first sight? Well, maybe. Personally, I think it is more like attraction at first sight and that can certainly happen. Love…hum.

People need to process.

I compare this to making coffee in a drip pot. You put in to ground beans, you pour in the cold water and then…you wait and let it drip. After waiting the appropriate amount of time, viola! You have coffee.

This really applys to many men. Compare this process of making coffee to the brains of a lot of men. You pour the information in, you let it sink in and then….they process and you….wait.

How can I miss you if you never go away? To quote that old song. How can your potential partner either miss you, think about you, consider the relationship, make decisions about the relationship if you never leave them alone to think? Again, don’t overwhelm the person. Allow time for them to process feelings, about you, about themselves.

It may mean that after two (little) dates the man may decide – not interested. It may be after knowing you in the hiking group, the choir, the church group, the class, the whatever. This person may like you but not enough. Not enough to take the thing to the next level, to continue seeing you, to make it more serious.

Wow! That hurts doesn’t it? It’s called rejection and that is why it is so difficult for guys at a dance to ask a girl to dance (unless they have been drinking). They are terrified of rejection.

However; let us think about this rejection thing. Does it hurt? Yes. Were we interested, yes? What has it really done to us other than make us feel badly (for a while) and get our feelings hurt (some?) If the ultimate goal is long term relationship, engagement, marriage…do we really want to throw ourselves (physically) into a relation where, ultimately, we get dumped? Is that not harder on us, more socially embarrassing, more difficult on family and friends who were thinking, ‘Maybe she found someone this time?’ Does it not really take less of a toll on our emotions and physic?

There are all kinds of movies and books that catalogue the lover who can’t take no for an answer (Fatal Attraction – Mike Douglas). Books and movies on the subject are too numerous to count. Don’t be one of those very sad people. Learn to take and accept reject as just part of the dating game. Also remember, that probably more than once you have dished it out too. So, adopt a philosophy about it, such as, Not Meant to Be or your own version. We don’t always see the total global plan and something better just might be around the corner.

THE BOOTIE CALL

And I’d really like to see you tonight – England Dan and John Ford Coley

Look it up girls, it’s on YouTube. It’s a very famous and very romantic song about having a relationship with no ties and no real future, but, he would really like to see her tonight. Of course.

Is it a booty call? If you are asking yourself that question, it probably is. Now, if you are really in the need of a bootie call, you know the person, you have taken proper precautions (you know what they are, you learned this in junior high,) then enjoy the time together. You might feel really good and energized for days after.

However; girls, do not engage in endless romantic fantasies about this and what it means. Do not start shopping for rings and white dress fabric. This is the time to confide in your best friend. Ask questions. “Do you think this is just a physical thing?” Your best friend (not your mother) is probably the one who will be straight with you. She is the one who is mostly likely to say “Yes, sweetheart, that is exactly what this is.” Ouch. Once again, slightly hurt feelings.

Let’s go back to the idea of, is the PM (potental mate) really interested? Ask yourself: does he talk about the future, does that future include you, you and him together, does he make plans that include you? Are you meeting his friends, his co-workers, his family? Do you only see him at night, at his convenience and mostly, at your place? Do you ever go out to eat, go to the movies, walk in the park, etc., normal things that normal people do? Do these get togethers almost always exclusively revolve around sex and perhaps, a fair amount of alcohol?

Okay, then. Put on a few Band-Aids. You have had some fun. Don’t confuse this ‘relationship’ for a real relationship. Also, don’t waste a lot of time with this guy. Be prepared to move on at a moment’s notice. You are after all looking for Mr. Right and not Mr. Right now. If he keeps calling you, ignore the calls. He will get the message. After all, he wants what he wants and if not you, then….

If he is particularly persistent, you might have to change your phone. Sigh. Ah, me. Keeps life interesting.

Who Do You Call – Ghost Busters!

Suppose for a moment that you have a nice extended family; mom, dad, sister, brother, friends, so on. Usually speaking, if something weird happens ( you get the flu, Covid, run out of gas, have a foot in a cast and so on) you can call on one of these people for gasoline, water, juice and so on, as needed. Great, right?

Let’s imagine another scenario. Mom and Dad are on vacation, your brother has moved out of state and your sister and her new husband went on the cruise with Mom and Dad. Your friends are all busy, busy working. You run out of gas, break your toe, lose your house key – who do you call?

Someone who will help you out, willingly, no strings attached, without resentment and with no real expectations of payback (sexual or otherwise.) Do you have such a person in your life? I have found, more times than one, the people or person I could call was a gay friend, not a straight friend. I have had a number of gay friends in my life, both male and female. They have been uniformly the most giving and caring people I have met. When I really need a friend, and I really hate to ask for this thing (whatever it is), my gay friends step up when I would never, ever think of asking a straight guy the same thing.

Unfortunately, straight guys seem to mix up almost everything with sex. The slightest effort at conversation at the gym is translated into some kind of pick up line. It had gotten to be so bad for me, I rarely speak to men anymore unless they speak to me first. I have been dancing at social mixers when my partner (of five minutes) is at pains to explain to me how married he is. I do believe the next time a man does that I promise to say “Oh good, well then, you should certainly be dancing with her,” and just walk off the floor. Men confuse niceness with sexual aggressiveness all the time. Can’t tell if is fear on their part or wishful thinking.

Anyway, when you run out of gas, and need a lift, you don’t want to feel like you have to ‘pay’ for your mistake later down the line. Now, maybe you do have a friend you can call (of either sex) who is willing to help you out. Good and cherish that friendship because there aren’t many like that out there.

THE ALPA MALE – SPORTS

Let’s face it, what woman doesn’t crave a big, strong man-virile and husky? It harkens back to the cave hunter days when men used to hunt down dinner and drag it home.

Of course, these days we mostly don’t live on the veldt and big game hunting is sort of passing out of style…still. In modern day’s terms, how does the modern man recapture those he-man hunting days? Sports!

Any of you that spent time recently watching the Super Bowl would have to admit, I believe, that the rough and tumble of the playing field today is just about a brutal as any historic caveman would have wanted. Now, for the sidelines, us.

Tune into ESPN any day of the week (while you’re at the gym on the treadmill) and you will have a chance to enjoy a mind numbing array of programs, announcers, presenters, athletes, father of athletes, coaches, team members and so on. And on and on. Who can keep up with all the names and numbers? The entire field of sports, sports figures, their satistics and lives are daunting. Is this is what is required to be the good girl friend?

No. No more would most guys expect you to go hunting in a duck blind or ice fishing in a hut. They love that stuff! Let them have it and enjoy, don’t be jealous, you would hate it! However, if you ever expected your boyfriend to go with you to a chick flick (The Proposal, The Notebook, Jungle Cruise, all Disney movies,) you need to give the Devil his due.

Important Dates: Super Bowl Sunday. Usually in February. This is the High Holy Days of sports. To miss (or dismiss) this day is almost sacrilege. Mark it on your calendar, make it an event. Someone almost always hosts a party; go, take a dish, invite your girlfriends. Make it an event and even you might learn a little about football and be able to carry a one minute conversation about the game.

Kentucky Derby Day (May) – big with horse fans. Again, host a party, women wear hats, serve mint julips. Have fun and while the men are screaming at the horses you can casually fan yourself and sip iced tea.

Opening day for baseball. (Summer) Do you have to go to every game? No. But opening day is big. Get tickets for a local team, maybe college. The pro-games are priced for, well, pros. Again, make it an event, invite friends, he invites his friends. Maybe one of your girlfriends will meet someone nice. Win-win. Check it off your list.

Football/soccer – opening day (fall). Again, every game? Not hardly, but how about at least one; he will love you for it. Go before it gets too freezing cold. Men love that stuff. Once you have done your duty, you can snuggle, guilt free at home with a good romance novel and paint your nails!

Sports for you – in the interest of keeping the weight down and the healthy flush to your cheeks, you too should have at least one sport. Something you like, not something you hate because then you won’t do it. Explore and experiment, what do you like? Walking, power walking, hiking, swimming, biking, bowling? Try your hand and see what you gravitate too. If you try to ‘stick’ to something you really hate, (example) 10 speed racing, to meet men, you will get discouraged and give up. If you meet ‘him’ at one of these events, he will become disappointed that you don’t want to do this event anymore. Give both of you a break, keep to what is real for you.

Continued on in the book. cew

Read more of Courtney’s writing in:
https://sites.google.com/view/webbywritercom/page-5?authuser=0
Also: Amazon/Kindle