Linda Saxy

Author (A.K.A. Linda Bolton)

Tag: friendship

Baggage

One of the greatest challenges I have found in dating over forty is the baggage everyone carries with them. How does your baggage affect your life and choices?

You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t have any baggage” or “My baggage isn’t affecting my dating life”. Are you lying to yourself? Of course you are! We all have baggage. It directly reflects the choices we make in our relationships. Think about it…How many times do you compare someone to your past relationships? How many times does a response you make to a situation remind you of ‘old times’? Is your baggage holding you back? Is fear of repeating the past keeping you from going forward? How do we get out of this rut?

I know I have been asked many times what do I want…out of life, in a relationship, for my future. I always look back and compare it to my past. This is what I don’t want, this is what I’d like to have, etc. How particular am I? Do I honestly know what I want? Are my decisions based on my baggage?

I have a dear friend who loves telling allegories:

You’re standing on a river bank. The water is rushing past you. A bear is coming to eat you. You can’t swim, but there’s a floatie on the bank. Its not a new floatie. It has a few patches but looks sturdy. Which do you choose? The bear (fear of the future) or the raging river (life and a future) with a slightly used floatie (a friend) to assist you?

You may think the answer is obvious but if you have very heavy baggage from your past the choice may be difficult to make. Do you trust the floatie to get you through? Have you ever had a floatie you can depend on? Or do yo let the bear eat you to avoid a possibility of drowning? What if the floatie is exactly what you needed and the ride down the river ends up being fun? Which do you choose? The choice is yours.

An Unromantic Romance Writer

I know, you’re asking,”WHAT?”

I’m really not a romantic. Never have been. But I love writing and reading romance. Maybe it’s my lack of romance that attracts me to it. The sweet love stories, the torrid, stormy romances, the historical highlander-invades-and-kidnaps tales – I love them! Don’t ask me to recite a gushy romantic comment. I don’t have any in my vocabulary. If they are said to me I have to hide the eye-rolling terse comment that tries to escape my thoughts. I know, its sad.

So, now you’re wondering, “How does she write romance then?” Well, I watch everyday life. I listen to other people.  I read a lot! Yes, my friends can vouch for me  – I steal their lines, their stories, their comments. I have many romantic friends who tell me their tales, in confidence of course, and, yes, I use their love, pain and mushy stories. No one is safe!

I can’t help it! They are my muse. Oh, I have the voice in my head that comes up with a bit of gooeyness every now and then, but my friends are my real motivation.  I enjoy reading and, especially, writing romance. The ideas flow but to add that special something – the perfect quote, a great setting, that special description of the perfect kiss – my friends are great contributors.

So, as you read my blogs and, hopefully someday, my books, you’ll know I had a ton of help in writing them.  Oh, I could never disclose who gave me that perfect line or that warm and fuzzy date.  That would be just wrong on so many levels. Also, that friend would stop sharing their feelings with me. Just enjoy the fact that you know the story is a collaboration of great friendships coming together to share their deepest secrets.

Do Friends Make Better Lovers

Do friends make better lovers? Do they make better long-term partners?

Most couples become couples first, friends second.  Is it better the other way around? I’ve been told by many, yes. But doesn’t that screw up Dating 101? You know, you meet at a party, eyes link from across the room, you’re drawn to each other, you go have coffee, talk into the night, and BAM, your dating! If you’re friends first, how does that change things?

If you’re friends, from school, neighbors, work and then you start to date, is it because you were always attracted to each other? Or is it because you know each other’s flaws already, know what irks one another, what each one likes, that a relationship can bloom?

Have you ever had a roommate? Was the roommate your best friend? Did you stay roommates for long? I know I’ve had very close friends as roommates and, generally, we couldn’t stay roommates in order to preserve our relationship.  Does that hold true if your the opposite sex? Can a man and a woman be best friends and roommates and not have a relationship? Aren’t we made to be drawn to one another? If you have a best friend that is of the opposite sex are you destined to become more? Is it the nature of the beast?

I’m not saying men and women can’t be friends and not be sexually drawn to one another.  I’m talking best friends. Women know what I’m saying. When we have best friends we do a lot of things together, tell our deepest, darkest secrets, reveal ourselves. Once you’ve done that with a man have you gone too far? Have you pushed your relationship to the next level? Can men process information like that and not see a deeper attraction than just buddies? Can a woman? If you take the next step does it give you a deeper relationship than starting out as a dating couple to begin with?

For example, lets go back to the Dating 101 scenario.  You’re strangers, having coffee, talking about superficial basics of first contact. Next step is the first date.  Then the second, and so on. At what point are you comfortable enough to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets? Will you ever share your lifelong dreams and goals? Oh, you’ll share some but do you share all, without the fear of rejection? Is it easier to share those deepest thoughts with your friend than your lover? Sure it is.

So in saying that, the question is, how do you know if your friend should become more to you? As a friend they accept you, warts and all, usually from the beginning. In Dating 101, you’re much pickier; sometimes dumping someone for a flaw you should have accepted, would have as a friend, to find out they would have been a great catch later on but you blew it.

The only thing I can say is enjoy your friendship.  Don’t push it along.  Let nature take its course. Not every relationship is meant to take the next step.  Sometimes friendship is wonderful just the way it is and sometimes its better when its more.

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