Posted by Ilana Angel
I think it is both unnatural and invigorating to date in middle age. I am 47 years old and truly surprised to still be dating. I’m not a good dater. I am great in a relationship, but meeting new people, dating, and the time spent dating to see if there will be a relationship is hard for me. I am open and honest, a master communicator, and aware of what I want and what I am looking for. Even with this knowledge, it is difficult.
I was divorced in my 30’s and didn’t date because my son was not even a year old and my focus was on him. As he got older I dated and it was brutal. I am easily turned off, easily offended, easily spooked, and quick to know if I want to go on a second date. That happens rarely. As a single mother I can determine on a first date if a man is going to be worthy of meeting my child and so I can weed out the unsavory quite quickly. Thank God. There is no point in wasting my time or theirs. It is just dating, not rocket science.
My son has been the silent ruler of my dating life. When he was young I was so focused on being a mom that being a woman took a backseat. I was alone for a long time and when I got back into dating I was looking for both my son and myself. I think that is how it should be, but I probably missed out on some fun because I was approaching dating with an end goal of a relationship, rather than just enjoying the company of a man.
Not every man you date is going to be a boyfriend or husband. Some men can just be fun. I think when it comes to dating I have skipped over some of the fun. I am unsure whether I am dating as a mother or a woman and it is causing some confusion. My son is almost 18 and I want to be with a man he can respect and love. He will love who I love of course, but he is at an age where he has an opinion, will share it with me, and I trust him.
The problem is that I am so clear on what I think I want, I am not being fair to the vision that a man may have for himself. I have been dating a man with a child and my focus and approach has been all about what is best for me and my son, not necessarily what is best for him and his child. As parents we know what will work for our kids and the goal is to meet someone who respects those choices and find a way to meld theirs with ours.
It is hard to meet someone that I want to spend time with beyond one date, so when I do come across someone wonderful I guess I panic. There is self-sabotage of course, but that comes from a place of fear not a place of crazy. I think I need to approach my dating life with a broader perspective. I want to share my life with someone and a slight adjustment of how that looks could be beneficial to how I view men and the art of dating.
I had a tentative date on Friday night. It was not set in stone as we both have kids and things change. In the end he spent the evening with his daughter and I got upset. Not that he was with his child, but because I was not going to see him. I feel very bad about my reaction because it was not fair. I would cancel dinner with the President if my son wanted to hang out with me. He is everything and my number one priority.
I have always dated as a mother, and yet this time I reacted to my dating life as a woman. I was disappointed and got all pissy about something that was ridiculous. Cancel a date for a football game with your buddies and a little irritation is justified, but cancel a date because your child needs you and there is no discussion to be had. I know better and am rolling my eyes at myself for behaving like a selfish bitch, not a mother.
I am struggling with what I want as a woman, who I am as a mother, and what I want in a man. I want a man who wants to spend time with me. I also want a man who is going to put his children first because if we end up in a relationship, he will then put my child first also, and that it the man I want in my life. No matter how old my son gets, he is my baby and I want someone who gets the profound love and support I have for him.
They say that love means never having to say you are sorry, but I would argue that love requires you to say sorry a lot. To my date on Friday night, I love who you are as a father and I am sorry I behaved like a child when you were taking care of your child. Dating is hard, schedules are busy, and pressure comes from many places. I want you to know I understand, am aware of how new and foreign it all is, and I think you are lovely.
There are always obstacles when dating, with rules and boundaries that need to be learned. One can only hope that when you make a misstep you are able to talk about it, work it out, learn, forgive, laugh, and keep going. In the end I don’t really know what I am doing and so I do the best I can, extend my hand and hope someone will take it and guide me. Stumbling is easier when you are walking hand in hand, and keeping the faith.
12.5.13 at 3:16 pm | Heaven has received a blessing today.
12.3.13 at 3:05 pm | Every time I go into the kitchen I half expect to. . .
11.30.13 at 10:42 am | "The only correct actions are those that demand. . .
11.29.13 at 1:56 pm | My nest will never empty as my son will always be. . .
11.28.13 at 7:59 am | Think. Laugh. Cry.
11.26.13 at 7:06 am | God places love where we don't always see it.
11.30.13 at 10:42 am | "The only correct actions are those that demand. . . (530)
11.29.13 at 1:56 pm | My nest will never empty as my son will always be. . . (381)
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (311)
November 2, 2013 | 7:14 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have been crying for 24 hours. For a bunch of little reasons, and for no reason at all, I can’t stop crying. I pull myself together, and then without warning I start crying again. I’m not sobbing, or weeping, I am simply crying. Tears are falling from my eyes at lightning speed, with no end in sight. It is sad, but also quite funny. It feels like a release, but I am not sure what it is exactly that I am releasing. I guess I am just sad today.
Or perhaps more than sadness, it is frustration. I have a lot going on in my life at the moment, and it could be it is all catching up with me. My son is growing up so fast and at almost 18 years old I am panicked at him venturing out on his own. Not because I am worried he will not be okay, but I am worried I won’t be okay. He is everything and I worry about what I will do when he is not here for me to take care of him like I do.
I have begun dating someone new and as much as I want to learn from each experience and not take my past pain into the next relationship, I inevitably do. I sabotage myself because I think it will be easier to get out than risk being hurt. I find things wrong, talk myself into thinking those things will ruin everything, second guess myself, and it is a vicious circle. At the end of the day I am battling myself and I am exhausted.
I am an old soul and have gone through a lot in my life. I have raised a son on my own and look at him in wonderment. He is my greatest joy, and the single most important accomplishment of my life. I have experienced unimaginable pain losing my father, feel numbing sorrow being far from my family, and have demons that haunt me. I spend time alone to pray about these things, but today I found no comfort in prayer.
I am unclear what I am feeling, unsure why I am writing about it, and unable to get control of my crying. I suppose I take comfort in writing because I know someone out there will relate, understand, and share their story with me in a way that will help. It is odd that I take comfort from strangers, but at the same time I am grateful for the support and knowledge I get from those reading, and many of you have become my friends.
We all have skeletons in our closet, and demons that we fight, so I guess today mine have come out to play. I am feeling vulnerable, nervous, worried, anxious, and a bit lost. I am blessed to also feel hope every single day and my hope, although just a glimmer today, will guide me through the darkness. I must block out the bad, focus on the good, believe the call I am waiting for will come, stop crying, and remember to keep the faith.
October 28, 2013 | 2:20 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am 47 years old, single, open, uninhibited, aware, and sexual. I am also a mother, Jewish, neurotic, beginning a new relationship, not only in charge of my sexual self, but completely intimidated by that part of me. At a time when I should be swinging from the rafters, I wonder what God thinks of me if I embrace sex and all it has to offer.
Sex is complicated and in a city like Los Angeles, it is also creepy. Getting laid is not hard in this town. One can go on JDate and in about 24 hours the invitations will pour in. One can choose to be bold and go on Ashley Madison, where it only takes only about 5 minutes for offers to arrive. Sex is not hard to find, it is monogamy that is elusive.
I feel safe when I am in a relationship, and while I do not need a man in my life, I am happy when there is one. I enjoy the touch, companionship, and wisdom of a good man. I give everything I have to my relationships and all I ask in return is that I receive honesty, decency, and monogamy. Sex is wonderful, and being sexual is important, but I am at a point in my life where I am not willing to have sex without feelings, commitment, and monogamy. I’d love to have sex without a list of requirements, but in the end I can’t, so I applaud those who can and do.
In writing about sex, and hearing from women going through the same things, it occurred to me that we are seeking permission. Permission to be sexual and not worry about what anyone thinks, including God. If we are not married, and mothers, is it okay for us to have great sex? With whoever we want? As often as we want? From the chandelier if we want? We have a lot of questions, so I have invited some powerful and compelling voices to give us answers. When it comes to God and what the bible says about sex, who better to ask than Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom? This is a very cool Rabbi and I am looking forward to talking with him about sex and the role it plays in my being a mother and a Jew.
When it comes to sex and the ridiculous pressure we put on ourselves, there is no voice as important as Dr. Limor Blockman. Dr. Limor holds a PhD in Human Sexuality, a Master’s in Public Health & Community Medicine, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology & Behavioral Sciences. She is brave, bold, honest, and able to uncomplicate and demystify sex for us. I could write a book about how I think men think about sex and it would be one page long because I don’t think men think about sex in any profound way. That is why I am excited to have David Wygant join our panel. David is one of the most popular relationship experts in the world. Specializing in helping men and the male perspective, David’s voice matters.
It is going to be a n interesting discussion of faith, the presence of sex in our religious teachings, and how to connect the dots to be sexually satisfied while embracing a comfortable and satisfying sexual and religious life. Sex is a great thing and being a grown up should allow us to enjoy it without all the rules, most of which we make up ourselves. I am looking forward to talking about sex, always enjoy talking about faith, and am excited to discuss both in an open and safe forum with people who have the same questions, and those who will have some answers for us. I hope you will join me for a cocktail and fun night out. Sex matters, God is watching, and a good sex life requires us to keep the faith.
October 28, 2013 | 8:05 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love my older sister very much and felt the need to write about her today. I mention her often here, but do not think I have ever dedicated an entire blog to her. It is time. This weekend my sister was gracious and kind in a way that I would like to think I would also be. She went above and beyond what was required or expected, and in showing kindness to someone who did not deserve it, touched my heart.
My sister is 18 months older than me. We don’t look anything alike, but you would be hard pressed to tell us apart on the phone because we sound exactly the same. I have our father’s fair English complexion, and she is olive skinned like our Israeli mother. She is a little shorter than me, a littler thinner than me, and a whole lot wiser than me. She is truly a lovely girl and we speak several times a day.
We were very close growing up and shared many friends. Other than the time I caught her kissing my high school crush Gordon in the driveway of our house, we didn’t have any fights outside of regular sisterly stuff. She is brave and strong, although she would never use those words to describe herself. I wish she could see herself as I do because then she would know how really wonderful and beautiful she is.
When my father was dying she sat with him and wrote letters to me and our siblings for him so he could tell us how much he loved us. When I called every 20 minutes to see how he was, yelling at her to not let him die until I got home, she answered every call and told me he would wait. My father died the morning of my flight to Canada and she wove a story that eased my pain.
I love and respect my gentle and kind sister. She is a great mom, loving daughter, and dependable friend. She has two teenage children who are fun and smart. She is a talented hairdresser and insanely funny. She has a giving and forgiving heart and this weekend when someone who caused her unimaginable pain died, she provided dignity to an enemy.
My sister would never refer to her as an enemy, but I would. My loyalty is to my sister not only because she is family, but because she has earned it. Life can be complicated but in the end decency is required. The Coach reminded me not everyone deserves kindness, but everyone needs it, and those who are unkind need it the most. My sister provided true kindness and she will be rewarded in countless ways.
It has been a long time since I sat across from my sister. When I see her I will hug her, kiss her, and hold her close. I will think of my father holding her hand as he passed and as I hold the same hand I will feel him deep in my heart. Life is fragile and when given a chance to be decent we must do it because it is a blessing to provide comfort to someone who needs it. My sister is my hero and inspires me to keep the faith.
October 25, 2013 | 12:44 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I went to see the movie “Mondays with William” last night and I was deeply moved by it. If you have an opportunity to see it I would recommend that you do. It is the story of a homeless man in Los Angeles who lives his life with the amazing gifts of an artist, and also schizophrenia.
The movie follows art dealer Marcelle Danan as she meets painter William Laga and becomes invested in him as both an artist and a human being. Mr. Laga is a kind and gentle soul who is seemingly unaware of his illness. He is smart, funny, handsome, talented, and a little broken.
We are quick to throw away things that are broken, and this movie shows us that sometimes real beauty lies in things that are not perfect. Nothing is perfect in life so why do we judge so quickly? Marcelle met a man that was broken and made a conscious decision to see beauty.
The scenes with Mr. Lago’s mother made me cry. As a mother myself I struggled to understand the depth of her pain, but also heart retching to completely understand the depth of love she has for a son she no longer knows. I left feeling blessed to have my beautiful son.
You will leave the movie in awe of Willian Lago’s talent, and inspired by the generous heart of Ms. Danan. I was honored to meet them both at the event and without even thinking about it I hugged Marcelle when I met her. She makes me want to be a better person and I admire her.
William was lovely and I hope that he understands what his work and story have meant to those who know him, and what it will mean to all of us who are discovering him through this film. There is undeniable beauty in the broken and we can all see it if we look closely and keep the faith.
October 23, 2013 | 7:54 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have long thought my home is haunted. Fiddles the cat will go onto the balcony and just start talking. She will sit on a chair and appear to be having a conversation with someone in the other chair. She tilts her head during the silence as if she is listening, and will then respond. When she comes back in she will always look back over her shoulder as if to give a final glance goodbye. She has been doing this since the day she got here.
It used to freak me out but Fiddles is so calm when she is chatting to the ghost that I assume it is someone friendly who likes cats and is happy for the company. I really believe she talks to someone and it is sweet. Scary as hell if I allow myself to think about it with any seriousness, but still lovely they chat. It would now appear that our balcony guest has moved into the house.
On Monday at about 2:30 in the morning, I heard a drawer in my son’s dresser open and get slammed shut. It was so loud it caused me to sit up in bed. I immediately called out to my son thinking he must be awake. He responded by asking if I heard his drawer. I told him I did and asked what he was doing up. He said he was in bed sleeping and he woke up from the sound of the drawer slamming. We were both a little spooked.
The drawer closed again, my son ran to my room in one second, and we waited for it to happen again, which it did not. My almost grown son was suddenly my little boy again and he finally fell back asleep in my arms as we both tried to sleep with one eye open. We talked about it in the morning, deciding it must have been the cat because you know cats like to open and slam drawers with their paws just for fun in the middle of the night. Right?
Last night my phone rang at 1:00 am. Someone was looking for Brenda. I don’t know who Brenda is but I was pissed to get her call. I let them know it was a wrong number, but I was now up. I made a cup of tea and read Torah for a few minutes. I was finally able to fall back asleep after about an hour. Then at 2:30 my phone rang again from a blocked number, nobody was there, but now I was up. That is when things started to get weird.
There was banging under my bed as if someone was hanging a picture on the bottom of my box spring. Important to note that there is nothing under my bed. Not one single thing. I turned the light on and looked under the bed. Sidebar: Who does that? It was like in a horror movie when the stupid kids go into the woods and you are yelling at the screen for them to not go but they do. I looked, there was nothing, but I was scared.
I sat up in bed and then the banging started again. I was in my son’s room in under a second, he asked what the banging was, and again we snuggled up and fell asleep with one eye open. Just in time for Halloween, there appears to be something going on at my place. Not sure if it is Fiddle’s friend from the balcony, or if perhaps they invited a few new pals over, but I have not had a good night’s sleep for two days and it has left me tired.
I don’t even know if I believe in ghosts, but I am certainly more open to the possibility now. It will be interesting to see if anything happens tonight. By interesting of course I mean it is scary and not at all interesting. There is something going on in my home and perhaps an interrogation of the cat is in order. Fiddles knows what is happening and she needs to spill the beans. Did I just say my cat needed to tell me something? Dear Lord.
It is not bad enough my home is haunted, but now I am the crazy cat lady who is going to sit her cat down to get some answers? Oy vey. There is something quite comforting about having a spirit here because I figure they needed a place to go and my home was comfortable for them. On the other hand I don’t like it. Not one bit. I will be sleeping with one eye open again tonight, hoping for sleep, praying for silence, and keeping the faith.
October 22, 2013 | 7:26 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I am stressed out this week and am somewhat overwhelmed. Between college apps for my son, working on a book proposal, writing, watching way too much reality television, shooting a new reality show for BiteSize Networks, and dating someone new I really care about, it has all made me a little crazy. Not bad crazy, just unnecessary crazy.
When you date at this stage of life there are a lot of variables. Kids, work responsibilities, and just the daily complications life brings. I am dating the Coach and not afraid to say I adore him. He is really lovely and I feel very thankful to have found him. We are both parents, have different schedules with our kids, and each work a lot of hours.
The mature and practical side of me knows things are great and we are together when we can be, but the part of my heart that has a schoolgirl crush on a wonderful man wishes we could be together more. It is odd to be dating at this stage of life and I worry I am not handling it well as my desire to be honest is coming out more as crazy than my simply sharing.
I have not really written about Coach because I don’t want to blow it. He is special and I worry that I will write something to make him uncomfortable, so I don’t write about him, when the truth is I could write about him a lot. I’m only writing about him now because so many of you have written to ask me how it is going. It truly is so sweet that you care about us.
I have written about bad dates, good dates, winners, and losers. I have shared an important relationship here, and also cried to all of you when my heart was shattered. Today I feel like I am stumbling a little bit and know sharing it here will help get me back on track. I’m already feeling better than I did earlier and am reminded how all of you matter to me.
Coach makes me happy. He is calm, level headed, smart, funny, kind, decent, sexy as hell, and such a good kisser that on occasion this nice Jewish girl from the valley can see Jesus floating above me as we kiss, giving me a thumbs up. He is a calming influence on me because he is a grown up and there are no games. We are honest, open, and decent to each other.
I enjoy his company, am proud to be with him, and look forward to seeing where it goes. He is lovely and that you inquire about him makes me smile. I feel like the Coach and me, along with my readers and me, are invested in each other and it makes me proud that I am writing in a way that connects us. Not sure I could try another relationship without your support.
Last night the Coach called and I was a crazy person. I allowed my insecurity and girlish madness to affect what I heard and what I said. I texted a passive aggressive response to a kind gesture from him, and while I wrote it I knew I was being crazy, and simply could not stop myself. In the end it was ridiculous but his response shed light on who he is.
He wrote back right away even though he could not speak, so I could be calm and not panic about being crazy. He then called me, and not only explained himself, but allowed me to also explain myself. He let me cry, made me laugh, and was kind even though we both knew I was being a crazy person. It is a very fine line between being honest and being crazy.
It is a new relationship and also a friendship I value very much. I believe communication is the single most important thing to ensure a successful relationship and I always want to feel secure and safe enough to share my truth. However, when my desire for honesty crossed into crazy he embraced me with his words and it was lovely because he gets me.
I won’t write about Coach too much because I want to be selfish and keep him for me. Know he is wonderful and I am grateful to have been brave enough to try again. My bravery can be credited to those who come to read everyday. You may be just one try away from something great so keep trying. There are no guarantees of course, but trying is required.
Coach, thank you for being a mensch. You allowed me to talk it through and figure it out. To those of you who read, borrow the bravery I get from you to be brave yourselves. In the words of A.A. Milne, by way of my darling friend Danielle, "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Thank you for encouraging me to keep the faith.
October 20, 2013 | 4:36 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I went to a BBQ on Saturday that was unlike any BBQ I have ever been to. I ventured out of the valley, which I rarely do, and headed for the marina where I was in for an interesting afternoon. It was an eclectic group of people and I was fascinated. By fascinated of course I mean it was hard for me to not pull out a pen and paper to take notes.
When I arrived the concierge welcomed me with a smile. I felt quite fancy as I mentioned the group I was to meet and was quickly elevated to A List status. I’m just a girl from the valley, and this was a little out of my element. I headed to the pool to meet my new friends and it was as if I entered another world.
There were beautiful people in the pool, countless people walking around, and my group shouting out to all with familiarity, even though many were strangers. If you mix Spring Break with Melrose Place, throw in Breaking Bad and a visiting day at the United Nations, you get a picture of what it was like. I loved with the whole thing.
There was a celebrity chef, a television star, geniuses in the world of video gaming, literary giants, a mish mash of others, and little old me. Liquor was flowing, food was abundant, and I quickly learned that not only does everyone have a story, when it comes to love and relationships, everyone’s stories are the same. We are all looking for something.
Married, divorced, single, dating, gay or straight, people are all wounded when it comes to their relationships. I arrived thinking I would have nothing in common with these people, and in the end we were all connected by our search for love. Our view of love may be different, but the search is the same. People are lonely, broken, and jaded by love.
From going through a divorce and dating again, to dating the wrong kinds of people, to cheating on your partner, to hating going home because you can’t stand your partner, to swearing off love due to a broken heart, everyone at the BBQ had a story, and a golden nugget of information I needed in order to have a successful relationship.
I also happily gave my opinion about relationships to people I just met. I could say I was able to share due to a little push from my pal Jose Cuervo, but the truth is I didn’t drink anything. I was soaking it all in and interested in the opinions. Men have different views than women on these things, and my head was spinning from the information.
I think the most important thing to a successful relationship is communication. Couples fight when there is a miscommunication of needs, or when they don’t say what they are thinking, but get mad at their partners for not reading their minds. People want companionship, friendship, touch, support, and a witness to their lives. That takes communication.
I am an advanced communicator. Some men can handle it and some cannot. I am low maintenance in more ways than I am high maintenance. I am someone who is looking for a partner. I want to share my life, embrace and build a family, and have someone to turn to and be able to say, “Do you remember when we….?” I want a new history.
I am not good at dating. I am however, brilliant at relationships. I am independent enough to be able to embrace time on my own, and old fashioned enough to want to take care of my partner. I can work a 10 hour day, go home clean the house and make dinner, and still want to make out. The only thing I ask in return is respect, decency, and communication.
It is fun to discuss relationships with new people. You can ask ten people one question and get a hundred different answers depending on the day you ask them. To be in a group of handsome men is eye opening. It shines a light on not only how I am perceived by the opposite sex, but how I perceive myself. Turns out I am quite fabulous.
Everyone deserves to be loved, and the search for love would be easier if we stopped judging each other and realize everyone has their own view of what love is. We must allow everyone to feel they are worthy, but it is up to them to determine what, or who, they are worthy of. In the end if we feel unworthy, we will attract unworthy.
That said, who are we to determine what is unworthy? For me, a successful relationship is one where I never have to wonder what my partner thinks about me and us. If he loves me, I want to know it. If he is mad at me, let me know. If he wants to jump my bones, share your desire. If the way I jump his bones needs a tweak, teach me. Communicate.
I planned to go by the BBQ for an hour and spent the better part of the day with a fabulous group of people. They made me laugh, think, hope, and learn. I left with new friends, and a clear desire to not judge how love looks to other people. In the end love is like BBQ. it’s ready when it’s ready and best when not rushed. There is no need to hurry.
In sitting with this fabulous group of people and hearing their stories of dating in Los Angeles, I laughed, cringed, shook my head, and was reminded it is not easy, but it is possible. It requires patience, kindness, decency, and communication. For the lucky ones who are able to find a Coach, we are reminded anything is possible if we keep the faith.