What happens when there’s no romance

There’s eye contact. Laughing. An attractive woman with a pretty smile. She touches his arm playfully. He compliments her style. This has all the makings of a great relationship forming. But what happens when there’s one thing, one critical thing, missing?

It might not be apparent on the first date, or even a 5th date, but have you ever been out with someone only to realize you don’t have romantic feelings for them? Whether you ever admit it to them or not, I imagine it’s happened to most of us at least once.

So let’s get personal, shall we? Earlier this year I spent time with someone in whom I was hoping to have interest. There was clearly an attempt on both of our parts to strike the match for a romantic spark. We went out a few times and saw each other quite a bit in “non-date” scenarios. All that to say, we were able to see each other’s personalities pretty well, and I was purposely trying to be a gentleman throughout the entire dating relationship. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m generally happy with how I behaved. Well… that makes one of us!

I’m not one to leave things hanging or to assume she can read my mind so once I knew I didn’t have feelings for her, I wanted to talk about it. Now, I’ll be he first to admit I’m not one who’s known for being tactful. I’ve got none! But I made a point to be kind, considerate, and to muster up at least an ounce of tact. It must not’ve worked. Somehow my approach for sharing my feelings was off-putting and she took the opportunity to let me know. Let’s just say I got a spirited response.

It was 17 pages. FRONT AND BACK!!


OK, it wasn’t as dramatic and the Ross and Rachel saga, nor was it more than 10 or 11 pages, but she was clearly upset and told me all about it. And just so you have all the facts, she also didn’t have romantic feelings for me! The verbal lashing seemed to be out of left field, and what I couldn’t figure out is who she thought she was talking to? And I don’t mean that in a puffed up kind of way. What I mean is that she derided pretty much my entire approach to our dating relationship, the same dating approach I was proud of! Surely she was thinking about some other fellow, right?

Way back in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think what really upset her is that I brought it up first. Maybe she wanted to be first to say there wasn’t interest. I honestly don’t know, and won’t ever know, because after I defended myself, and spent time considering her comments, I let it go. Any further communication would not have been helpful to either of us.

What helped me through this is remembering I can only marry one person. So every other person in the entire world is someone I didn’t marry. Makes sense, right? These other people… either I didn’t know them, didn’t date them, or didn’t have romantic feelings for them. That’s all the options. So this latest relationship is simply one of the ones that aren’t the one. I wish her the best…

As Queen says, “Another one bites the dust!”

-Out of the Wilderness

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Music your heart hears

I love music. Growing up, I’d listen to it as I fell asleep. Family road trips included a Sony Walkman, a portable cd player, a minidisc player, or whatever music player I had at the time. I’m obsessed with it because of how it makes me feel, or how the perfect song at the perfect time can change, well, change everything. It’s “Eye of the Tiger” in a Rocky movie. It’s the Chicago Bulls theme song. It’s Queen’s “Save Me” in an episode of New Girl. It’s “Voices That Care” during Desert Storm.

All that to say, I’ve heard a lot of music in my 36 years. Lots of good music. But not often does a song compel me to drop what I’m doing, to change my entire outlook, to cock my head to the side thinking, “Really?” With those kinds of songs, it’s more than my ears hearing it, my heart hears, too.

Today it happened again. I was cleaning the kitchen, or fixing lunch, looking at the ceiling? OK I don’t remember what I was doing but that’s sort of the point. The song swept me out of my little house and for a second there, I was at church. Take a listen but be warned, you may need to be baptized after!

-Out of the Wilderness

The Bachelor and Why I Won’t Be Trying Out For It

“Are you gonna take me home tonight?
Down beside that red firelight?
Are you gonna let it all hang out?”

catherine4On the couch watching the season finale of “The Bachelor: Sean Lowe,” I think to myself how glad I am that I never applied to be on the show (though admittedly, I’ve considered applying before). It’s not so much that the formula doesn’t work, because there are success stories. I just know generally how it would go because of my track record and the show’s. You see, all the failed relationships I’ve been in have only one thing in common… me! It’s the harsh truth. So even if I were to make it on “The Bachelor” or as a contestant on “The Bachelorette,” it would ultimately end in a break-up. From the last girl I dated in Florida to the Asian I didn’t speak to in Harrah’s Casino last weekend, no relationship has progressed as far as it could have. But hey, I’m cool with that because things are different than they were in Florida because of stuff like this. And the Harrah’s girl, well, her memory will just serve as fuel to the fire the next time I want to act but hesitate.

So back to “The Bachelor,” at this point in the finale, we don’t know if Sean proposes to Lindsay (who wants marriage more than she wants Sean) or Catherine (who wants Sean more than she wants marriage), but one thing’s for sure… fat-bottomed girls make the rockin’ world go round.

“The slate will soon be clean
I’ll erase the memories
To start again with somebody new
Was it all wasted, all that love?”
-Lindsay or Catherine??? (and Queen, legally)