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Q: Dear Laurie,
I am a forty-two year-old woman who has just met the man of her dreams--only he lives three hours away. It started off e-mailing and he came down this weekend and WOW--instant DEEP chemistry for the both of us.
This distance thing can get very negative and the phone conversations can revolve around missing each other. What can I do for fun, laughter--lots of laughter to get us thru the week or two we can't see each other. He even mentioned my humor snagged him but I need major help for this one. Any book or internet sites for recommendations?
A: Dear forty-two year-old woman who has just met the man of her dreams:
I am happy for you, seriously, "Yay!" You've met someone who floats your boat instantly and DEEPly. Not an easy feat. And via the internet no less. And he's not a freak. WOW. I knew a woman, who shall remain nameless, who waited till she was forty-three to get married for the first time--a very sweet, somewhat naÔve, not-the-sharpest-spoon-in-the-drawer type woman and the guy she married was/is a SLIME ball loser. No need to wait forty-three years for that--you can meet and marry one of those anytime, day or night. Operators are standing by.
42, in my humble opinion you do not need a joke book to keep this relationship afloat telephonically. No, ma'am, you don't. What you do need is to relax. Remember: desperation reeks like bad perfume (remember Charley?) and I can smell yours all the way through the internet via the LoveLogic e-mail portal. Let me explain.
You're forty-two. You've just met a guy you dig. The chances of these two things occurring simultaneously has forced you to re-think the existence of God. Your friends and co-workers enjoy your company again and your mother is shopping for her mother-of-the-bride dress. Or maybe not. But my point is: life is good. Having a man you're jazzed about livens things up. Forces you to dust off feelings you haven't had for a while--feelings you're afraid you might have to, just as quickly, put back into storage. The second best advice I have for you right now is: to relax. And the best advice is this:
Remember who you are. Remember all the great wonderful qualities you have built up on your own over the years. Your genuine you-ness is what attracted this guy to you in the first place and it's what will keep him attracted to you in the long run; not you TRYING to be you. You sound a little scared, a bit freaked out right now. Sure, you could read twenty-six self-help books or write in to an online column for random advice :) but that would be the outside world telling you what to do. Right now, you need to reacquaint yourself with you. Get some of your confidence back. Plant your feet on the ground. Go inside. Get quiet with your bad self. Remember how cool you are. Calm down.
Enough of the new-age, some-of-my-best-friends-are dalai-lamas speech? Some practical tactical advice for 42: Cool it. Resist the urge to whine on the phone. Whining is dull. Whining is boring. Whining gets you fed and your diapers changed for about the first three years of your life and then it's one of those evolutionary traits that's supposed to disappear like a monkey tail or (with the exception of special times) like walking on all fours.
Think of three positive things you can talk about before you get on the phone with swoon-man. And then talk about those things. If you feel yourself about to tell him you miss him pinch your earlobe, literally bite your tongue, squeeze your butt cheeks together-I don't care; anything to distract yourself. Just don't go down the miss-you road. You know where it leads. Be sincere and real but don't de-rail by taking highway off-ramps that lead to Negative-ville. Until you all can see each other in the flesh again get on the happy toll-road of phone life and drive, drive, drive.
The Short Answer: All relationships weather weird crap in the beginning. You two have your own unique set o' weirdo circumstances due to the long-distance. New couples either think the weirdness if worth wading through and hang in or they don't, but trying to buck the system with a quick-fix self-help book/internet site ain't going to do the trick. If your mate wanted to date a book/internet site he would (and his phone bills would be cheaper). So you're feeling funky--hold on till the real you returns. Have a sÈance to bring her back if she stays away too long. And, whatever you do, don't TRY to be funny. Please don't try to be funny. Please, pleeease don't try to be funny. Trying to be funny is like a woman trying to have an orgasm--it never happens.
Lovingly and Logically yours, Laurie