Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Searching for a Muse

I am an intense person with a million things running through my mind at all times.  This is my 255th post since I started blogging February 23rd of this year and I run out of ideas sometimes. Shocked? Me too! I mean, yes there are posts that brew and mature for a few days before I hammer them out.  I post from my phone.  I've started posts on napkins in restaurants when I take myself out and show myself a good time. It's a thing. A lot of ideas come from the people around me. I'm kinda between muses right now. There's a cost to the life I get to live.  I want to be picky and that means there is more chaff than wheat on any dating Sunday. I milked that first crush in February for all he was worth.  There's nothing left.  The second one . . . he brought out a compassion in me that still wants to protect him.  It feels unfair to pick him apart for you when I know it made him uncomfortable.  I write about conversations with friends, but a muse is more about the romantic feels that run through me.  It's about the excitement and wonder that make me feel like I'm a 12 year old.

In boredom, I signed up for a dating site again last night. No, I don't think I'll find my soul mate hiding behind a keyboard.  It's just a numbers game.  In person, because I'm an open person with a friendly smile, I meet people.  I might have 3 to 4 men introduce themselves to me on a weekly basis, and I might actually exchange contact info with one or two a week.  Or none, if I'm in a mood.  But when online, those numbers jump.  The last time I was online was only a week.  The time before that was about two months.  As of right now, I have 72 likes and have had 18 email conversations since signing up less than 12 hours ago.  It's just about the numbers and last night I was avoiding housework.

It's also a matter of what types of men will approach me and that is a subtraction equation.  I'm thinking of a conversation at the Mondrian with a man that told me the farthest distance for a man to travel is the one to lean in to kiss a woman. He told me it doesn't take much to discourage a man. I've been thinking of that.  There are so many men that reach out to me, but I tend to give them a hard pass.  I suppose if your net is wide, you have no real fear of rejection.  Someone will eventually want to jump into your nets.  These are the creepy ones that end up getting blocked. The special ones have been the ones that started as a conversation and not as an approach.  Online dating builds in a barrier to hide behind.  There's safety to be a jerk and there are many of them.  I get to weed through that! Yes!  It reminds me what to avoid in a way that I can see special when it lands at my feet and looks at me intently.

I'm not looking for a planned relationship online or anywhere else.  I feel it's about making a connection that you are willing to contribute to.  It means things develop organically and with mutual contributions toward the same goal.  I can't go in and say what I want because if I'm going into anything, it's with the goal of finding that path together.

Online dating is about the fun of flirting and there's a bit of shade because I let my snark demon run wild.

Him: Do you like to dance?

Me: Not at all. I'm a total wall flower. (Because I saw his pictures and I'm really not interested but I keep the conversation going because I can. Yes.  I love dancing.  Just not with you.)

Him: Do you want more kids?

Me: Nope. (The reality is for the right person, I might consider it. The reality is I'm not talking to the right person.)

Him: You're so beautiful.

Me: I know right !? . .  I mean, thank you.  (But wait, you didn't mention how smart I am! --> And then there's silent pouting.)

Being online is also to remind myself of the bad.

Of course, my first night back would include another picture of a penis.  It was a surprisingly large endowment.  Like, if I were to keep a picture to send in response to the unsolicited many that come from online dating, his would've been it. He said he was tired of starting relationships with women that were later afraid of his package.  I believe him but he tried to set the hook before I was committed to the bait he was dangling.

There was a boy.  We chatted.  I even said I'd be willing to meet him this week.  I also said it would be in a public place and I'm taking it super slow.  He kept insisting he is open to me staying the night and I should bring a change of clothes for the morning.  It's not my speed and he didn't hear the direct and suggested ways I tried to tell him.

I can say, "you're beautiful, but beauty isn't enough."

I can think, "sure, I'd love to see where you keep the bodies."

I was even blatantly honest.  "I have had no problem handing out the great "O" in the past. It seems to be a gift that doesn't even require much effort on my part.  Receiving it is another story all together and a very sad one.  If I'm going to go there with anyone, I want to know that he's so amazing, I wouldn't be let down if my gift isn't returned."

He kept trying to circle the conversation back to my spending the night when I never committed to going to his house. That was when it was clear he really wasn't looking past my smile and the direction I was intentionally walking our conversation in and that's how he lost his first date.  Sucks for him because I love taking myself out and I'm always guaranteed a good time.

Being online is about my reality check.

I hear that I'm gorgeous and a goddess.  I hear they want to spend time with me and get to know me.  A short while in when they think I've heard what I needed to hear, their true intent comes in.  I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago that went like this:

Me: Boys are always nicer when they want my attention and affection.  They don't turn into douche bags until I get bored or my intensity scares them.

Him: Boys are nicer when they want female attention in general and it's not when you get bored it's when they get comfortable.

Me: Profound observation.  I accept it.  It's truth.

There's always a really hot military man stationed somewhere looking for love.  He wants earth shattering romance so when he's discharged, he can move wherever he finds her and start a life based on communication established through emails.  He's fit and dutiful.  He's amazing.  I'm not looking for a pen pal, even if they are really great at starting a blazing romance with their words.  Yes, it's hot.  But it's also a hard pass.  I thank them for their service and admit that the idea of him moving to be close to me is too much pressure.  . . Even if he is my age . . . Even if I am the most beautiful woman he's seen while travelling the world in service.  I grew up with my Dad's PTSD, thank you US Army, and I refuse to learn to navigate that if it's a choice.

Reality check: I may be able to finally see a future with a person that can get past the first date, but he has to be beautiful.  He has to be amazing.  And I need to see him in person because that's where my intuition can sniff him out. I live from the gut.

Being online is about stretching for me.

I've always been into men my age or slightly older.  I'm at an age where I'm too old for the men my age.  They're in their midlife crisis and I don't look like a bad decision waiting to happen.  Or he just isn't beautiful to me. I'm shallow, but you know this. I'm intense and not afraid to call you out when you're living in your fear.  I won't call a man names unless he's trying to hurt me and I'm losing my cool.  Okay, I've only called one person out like that and there's history there with enough knowledge to know what buttons he could push and not the wisdom to keep from doing it. Only a few men in my life have brought out my softer side and it's always curiosity for me until I've swallowed his bait so deeply that when he yanks on his rod to set the hook, he's pulled my guts up through my mouth.  It's not pretty but it's great fun to blog about.

When I'm not the fish being baited I'm more on the prowl and I imagine being a playful kitty.  My cat that claws me also has moments when she is a straight up murderer.  Small lizards, birds and rodents are never safe around her. Her kills look like play time until she eviscerates her kill and devours them completely.  Then she innocently licks her paws clean. Would you trust a cat? Would you trust me as a cat?

The actual stretch for me is in dating younger men.  I married a man a little younger than me.  My last crush was a few years younger than me and it was a stretch.  When you aren't really contemporaries, the shared pop culture references can seem like a huge gap.  I'm determined to teach my boys pager code for when they hit that age and they need to connect with a cougar. (So very kidding.)

I'm online to get comfortable with being a cougar.  Seriously.  Younger men can be beautiful and passionate about life.  They're likely to really try to impress me with the verbiage in their texts.  They assume I'm much more high maintenance than I am.  It's cute when I don't feel like I'm being rapey.  I love the look of younger men, but I start doing the mental math.  How old was he when I first started having sex? How old was he when I had my first child? How do I not feel creeped out or afraid of the day I might one day meet his friends, family, and gah! His mother!!!

Last night the youngest man was 25.  In May, I was shocked by an 18 year old that wanted to play show and tell with me.  Last week I got a kiss on the cheek from a younger man.  A beautiful man.  I didn't lean away, but I didn't lean in either and I should have.  Last week I couldn't but I choose this stretch because I refuse to keep living in regret.

I handle what I need to.  I put my boys first.  I'm no longer afraid of goodbye because I'm not leaving me. I'm a single mom.  We're made of powerful stuff.

At the same time I'm really great at mothering until it's a bit smothering.  Especially for the guys I like.  They're all beautiful but they tend to be unaware of their amazing, a little bit geeky and insecure.  I kinda like building that up. The ones that are confident and beautiful are fun to look at but I never want to keep them. What does that say about me?

I'm online dating again.  I assure you, it'll only be for a few days because I'm sure I'll meet someone that catches and keeps my attention in person soon enough and he'll remind me that I don't really need the abuse landing in my phone because boys don't like it when you turn them down. Some even have full blown temper tantrums because that will totally change my mind about not being interested. This new person will walk into my life and shift my perspective and I'll see his amazing. He'll be beautiful and even hypnotized by my intensity as well as unafraid of my words.  I won't say he'll have the ability to handle me. That implies a wild nature when I'm only a woman open to meeting the right man.

Online Pick Up Artistry

Transition and Waiting