L.A. Affairs: How she plans to manifest Mr. Right -- and get off the dating merry-go-round for good
Many singles meet their dates on the Internet. I prefer to meet men on the sidewalk. Parking lots, bleachers, In-N-Outs or comedy clubs work too. Maybe I’ve read too much metaphysics or watched too much OWN, but I believe that I can manifest the right mate by becoming completely clear about the person I am meant to be and the man who should become my mate.
So, one and a half years after separating from my husband of 17 years and the father of my two kids, I made a list of the qualities I desired in a man — passionate about his work, volunteer in the community, a father or stepfather, athletic, funny, does not use drugs or drink excessively, and does not smoke.
A month later, I found myself in an Orange County high school parking lot cleaning out my car as I waited for my son’s baseball game to begin. Toting a plastic bag full of empty water bottles, snack wrappers, apple cores and crumpled homework, I asked a man hosting an earthquake preparedness event where I could find a trash can. By the first pitch of the game, he had my phone number.
Mark met every qualification on my list. A divorced dad, he was close to his twentysomething daughter, he loved his job, he was an integral part of his community and the school district for which he worked, he had played high school sports, and he was passionate about his health.
On our fourth date, lunch, he told me an anecdote about a family member that would have enraged most people I know. Mark simply shrugged his shoulders with acceptance and asked me how my daughter’s friend liked the fake fish tank he had given her. Mark and I had gone to a New Year’s Eve party that included a white elephant exchange. When my 10-year-old daughter’s friend had coveted the gift my daughter had ended up with, he had tracked down another one and bought it for her.
I returned to my office thinking, what a classy gentleman. I found Mark attractive, and I badly wanted to make him my boyfriend, but there was no spark.
Five months after meeting Mark, I met “Randy” in a different parking lot. He had the body of a skier and the voice of a rock star. His 6-foot-tall body was lithe and his hazel eyes sparkled. My list went out the window. We fell into conversation, and he impressed me with his knowledge of music education. For a month, we spoke on the phone several nights a week. I wasn’t sure if we were simply becoming friends until he sent me this text, “I must confess that since the first time we met, I have had a strange attraction for you that I am almost afraid to pursue. I said almost.”
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Three months after our parking lot meeting, we had a midnight date. I have never had a better time.
Still, we were not a perfect fit, and after a few months, Randy moved 80 miles away — another time zone in Southern California traffic. I wouldn’t hear from him for days at a time. Instead of changing my status on Facebook to single, I simply let the universe know that I was available.
On a rare night out to see a friend perform stand-up at Bogey’s in Redondo Beach, I fell into conversation with Ian, a fellow former New Yorker. He walked me to my car, and I couldn’t say no to an invitation to walk on the Hermosa Beach Strand and have dinner at the Spot.
In the three weeks before I had a Saturday evening free, I came to enjoy chatting with Ian; it took the sting out of my stop-and-go commute on the 405. A former teacher, Ian asked me lots of questions about my novel and other creative pursuits. His positivity made me realize how critical of me Randy had been, and how easily pheromones tricked me into overlooking his negativity.
One day I had an epiphany — the chemistry I felt with Randy might always be off the charts, but so might his unpredictable behavior. My body said more, but I forced myself to step back and evaluate. Since beginning our affair, my writing had stalled, I was more irritable and absent-minded, and I had stopped performing stand-up.
I debated whether I could get past Ian’s being 14 years my junior. He eventually moved away.
Meanwhile, I headed back to New York at the end of 2014 for a Christmas vacation, with tentative plans to meet a high school friend. I had always found David attractive, kind, dryly humorous and slightly silly. I knew he wasn’t married but had no idea whether he had a girlfriend.
We hiked the grounds of the Rockefeller estate, catching up. By the time he kissed me, it felt exciting and familiar at the same time. “I’m glad we got that out of the way,” he quipped.
Our relationship did not make it through the summer. It was such a positive experience, though, that as far as the universe is concerned I can only say, “Thank you. Almost perfect.”
Sometime stand-up comic Sasha Kildare’s first novel, “Dream Walking,” was recently published. She blogs about health and lifestyles at sashakildare.wordpress.com.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We pay $300 a column.
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