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Jewish Journal

Dating 101: Lessons from Strangers

by Ilana Angel

March 13, 2014 | 9:48 am

Yesterday I went out for lunch with my girlfriend Sig. We have been friends for 16 years and there is history. We met when our boys were in kindergarten and I have loved her from the moment I saw her. She is funny and smart with an amazing work ethic and a killer ass. I mention her ass because she is proud of it and it deserves a shout out.

We went to Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks and if you live in LA it is worth a visit. The food is delicious, the staff is wonderful, and you will always sit next to someone interesting. The tables are very close together so you can’t help but say hello and get to know your neighbor. We sat next to a very attractive and sweet couple, Jaime and Curtis.

Jaime is an actress and Curtis is a musician. He tours with Dr. Dre and Eminem, and Jaime is waiting to hear about a TV pilot she just shot. They were sweet and super cute. They met at church and have a lovely couple's banter. Both of them are incredibly attractive, with killer bodies, and have a shared faith which brought them together.

We got to talking about love and when I spoke of my relationship it became clear I was worried about it. A relationship requires attention emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. They are not all always addressed at the same time, but they all need attention or resentment can come and the relationship will weaken.

Some people are good at relationships and some are not. It does not mean they are bad people, but possible they are actually great at relationships, perhaps just not with you. You can love someone who is not good for you, and you can settle for less of some things if you are given more of others. You cannot however spend your time worrying.

I am selective about who I spend time with. My time is limited, especially because I want to be with my son as much as possible before he goes to university. It took me a very long time to get over my last breakup. I am a smart woman but when you lose love you're certain you will never love again and question all that went wrong to place blame.

At the end of the day there is no blame to be placed. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and it is not about making it someone’s fault. It takes a long time for hearts to heal enough to know there is someone else out there. We panic, worry, stress, distrust, and have absolute conviction we will never love again. Love is the highs and lows of life.

I have known the man in my life for six months. He is smart, funny, charming, handsome, and the most frustrating man I have ever met. We have gotten to know each other well, understand how the other one rolls, and have a deep seeded respect for each other in terms of how we treat the world and the people in it. Sadly that is not enough.

I am an advanced communicator. I have no problem saying what I think or feel. I have always been able to talk about my emotions and feelings. Nobody in my life has to worry about what I want or need because I am able to tell them. I have shared my feelings with the man in my life and yet he is unsure what it is exactly that he wants.

I know he makes me laugh and is not afraid to call me out when I am wrong. He makes me think about things in a new way and see things from a different angle. He makes my heart flutter and when he kisses me he takes me breath away. He is tall, dark and handsome, in addition to being sexy as hell. He may however, just not be that into me.

How he makes me feel is determined by me, as is what I am willing to accept or do without. The truth is I feel like I have worked on this relationship by myself and so perhaps I needed to write this blog to see clearly. He is going to lose out on me which is a shame for him and his child, who I love very much. In the end you can't make him want this.

I have a complicated history when it comes to men. I trust few and give even fewer a chance, so when I meet someone I am able to let in, even a little bit, it is a big deal. This relationship was a surprise because it came when I was not necessarily ready. I was coming off of heartbreak and I let my insecurities come into play with the two of us.

I have made mistakes and transferred some of the hurt from past experiences on him and he didn’t deserve it. I caught myself quickly and apologized, which he accepted. We hit a couple of bumps along our path and always managed to get over them and move on. There is a maturity to our relationship that I value and respect. He is a lovely man.

When I spoke to Jaime at lunch yesterday she was kind and wise. At only 23 years old she was gentle and offered me profound kindness. She was not harsh or mean, but rather concerned. She told me a relationship will not work if there is constant worry and assured me that even though it is hard to move on, only then can good things come.

This lovely young woman spoke to me from the place in her heart that has been broken and it truly moved me. No matter how old you are, or how many times you have been in love, the hearts of women all break the exact same way.. In just a few moments she was able to not only see my worth, but reminded me to see it also.

Life is short and it is full of blessings. We cannot wait for other people to give us the life we want. We are obligated to do that for ourselves. My Rabbi says blessings fall all around us every day and it is up to us to catch them. I am good at seeing, catching, and counting my blessings. This man is a blessing. He fixed my broken heart and I am grateful.

I am at a place in my life where there is a lot happening. I have changes coming up with my work and my son is preparing to start the next stage of his life. I will celebrate it all with my family and friends, and God willing with a wonderful man. I know who I hope it is, but he needs to dive in or get out, and only he can make that choice.

I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, and inherently kind human being. I care about people and help those less fortunate than me as well as try to give a voice to both people and animals who don’t have one. I am here, available, and ready. Being on the same page is not necessary, but reading from the same book is mandatory.

I've been told by both friends and strangers to sit back and wait. It has been suggested I not share so much on my blog because it makes me weak. I appreciate the advice and I listen, but when it comes to love I will remain open because I believe it will happen with a man who sees it all and wants to be a part of it.

One can argue 6 months is not a long time, but I would counter that at this stage of life 6 months is enough to know if it is working. I turn 48 in a few weeks and I just know, even though I often ignore the signs. I don't expect someone to be like me, but I want them to appreciate who I am and let me know so I don't have to guess.

To my friend Sig, I am learning to see myself as you do and it is empowering. To Jaime, you touched me with your willingness to guide a stranger who needed a hand. To Curtis, you are a lucky man to be loved by this woman. To the Coach, jump in and grab me or let me go. There is no wrong choice, so just keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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