Category: new romance


Opening The Vault: Party Eighty Four

August 14th, 2011 — 9:03pm

When you’re having doubts about the potential of a relationship, how wide of a berth do you give it? At two months into dating British beau Riley, that question continued to linger for me. 

Smiling Through My Doubts: Riley took this picture of me during a weekend getaway (spring 2004)

Having turned thirty just before meeting Riley, I was feeling a heightened pressure to figure out what exactly our future would be together. Knowing he felt more for me than I did for him only complicated things. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of 2004…

April 2, 2004

Dear Diary,

Riley is away in Arizona this week. It feels like he’s been gone a lot longer — but I don’t know if that’s because I miss him or because I’m not as a crazy about him as he is about me. Either way, I’m no longer sure my obsessing about our future indicates a readiness for commitment.

I’m still in the process of reestablishing myself here in New York, and I firmly believe that I need to be complete within myself before I can fully commit to a long-term relationship. Still, I’m going to try and take everyone’s advice and just see where my chemistry with Riley takes us.

* * *
April 5th

Riley returned last night, and we had an amazing time. Being with him was so wonderful — until the subject of relationships came up.

Riley said our week apart confirmed the depth of his feelings. I, of course, spent much of the week brooding about my doubts. Riley asked me what I want for the future, mercifully offering to answer that question first.

“I’m ready to settle down and meet the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with,” he declared. “And I wouldn’t be with you unless I could see our relationship going somewhere.”

“I need to take things one step at a time,” I said, repeating what I’ve told him before. “And I can’t really think about a long-term commitment when my job situation and other areas of my life aren’t settled.”

So, in theory I suppose, I’ve been honest with Riley. Why then, do I keep feeling guilty? And for how long should I give this a chance? I know I said six months, but if I’m still uncertain at the three or four month mark, I should probably walk away.

* * *
A major milestone for me would make me reconsider my feelings for Riley — and put off dealing with the irrevocable divide we couldn’t get past.

| commitment issues, new romance, Opening The Vault

Opening The Vault: Part Eighty Two

May 21st, 2011 — 4:17pm

What happens when two people are experiencing the same relationship in a completely different way? Inner emotional turmoil, as I discovered when I dated Englishman Riley seven years ago.

Riley and I had met at a speed dating event. The chemistry between us coincided with a milestone birthday that left me wondering — am I doomed to keep making the same mistakes in my love life? I now Open The Vault and take you back to 2004…

New York, NY
February 26, 2004

Dear Diary,

I feel this bizarre combination of reticence and eagerness when it comes to romance. Like my perspective has shifted since turning 30. Everyone keeps telling me I have plenty of time to find Mr. Right, but what I feel more is that time is getting away from me.

Riley truly is in a class by himself. The fact that we’re moving slowly physically is reflection of what gentleman he is. He’s a man I wouldn’t hesitate to bring home to meet my family. The feeling’s clearly mutual — I’m meeting Radley’s mom this weekend. So much for taking things slowly!

* * *

March 2, 2004

The last few times I’ve been with Riley have been just wonderful. Saturday, he showed up with a pair of earrings for me, a gift marking four weeks of dating. He’s the first guy I’ve been with who’s considered one month a milestone!

But — you knew there had to be one, right? — I still don’t think he’s my soul mate. The spark is definitely there and I enjoy Riley’s company, but something is missing for me. Though a friend of mine says it’s as simple as me not having met Mr. Right, I can’t help wondering if maybe I’m just not as ready to settle down as I would like to think I am.

Last night, Riley said so many sweet things.

“What’s not to adore about you? Do you know how crazy about you I am?”

“Good,” I replied mysteriously, to which he asked if I had anything to reciprocate. “Of course I do,” I said. I do care about him. I’m just not in love with him.

So, how wide of a berth do I give our relationship? I feel that six months is reasonable, but is it right to stay when I doubt my feelings will change? I’ve had enough of being in relationships that I know aren’t going anywhere. I’m 30 now and want to be on even emotional ground with whomever I’m dating.

* * *
Despite my doubts, I plunged ahead with my relationship with Riley — not realizing that in the process would come a very difficult lesson about love.

| commitment issues, new romance, Opening The Vault, turning thirty

Opening The Vault: Part Eighty One

May 7th, 2011 — 1:46pm

When you’re in the throes of new romance, you can’t help asking yourself – could this person be the one? And does having doubts mean the answer is no, or just that you’re afraid to entertain the possibility?

Not long in to my romance with England-born Riley, I was grappling with this uncertainty. As Riley pushed to intensify our relationship, I found a big part of myself holding back. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February of 2004…

The night Riley and I went to see “Chicago” marked a major turning point in our relationship

February 16, 2004
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Riley and I spent our first night together after he treated me to dinner and “Chicago” the musical. As always, he was warm, witty and affectionate. That didn’t stop me from a painful reality rearing its ugly head – I don’t think Riley is my soulmate.

Up until last night, I felt open and optimistic about what we could share.  Until he revealed that he doesn’t believe in God. As he described his philosophy on religion – including objections to the God-centric culture of the US – I felt a wave of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. Though none of the men I’ve been involved with were particularly religious, they did have some level of spirituality. I know in my heart I could never be happy with a partner who is devoid of any faith.

Riley asked me if I was okay with his views, but I was evasive. What could I say? That his admission had sealed his fate as another man whose heart I’m destined to break?

I know Riley and I have only been out a handful of times, but it feels like we’ve been dating a lot longer – that’s how big the comfort zone is with us. Rationally, I know it’s way too soon for me to thinking of anything serious anyway with Riley. Everyone says I need to just relax, see what happens. But I’ve never been good at doing that, even less so now that I’m 30.

* * *
February 24, 2004

I spoke to Riley the other night about taking things slowly. He agreed, but then in the next breath said he wants me to meet his mother and asked me what sort of a future I see for us. I don’t know if he’s the one, so how can I give him false hope?

He got endearingly defensive when I brought up the topic of religion again.

“I’m not morally bankrupt, you know,” he said.

“I know that,” I reassured him, and indeed I do. In the month that we’ve been dating, he has been nothing but loving, kind, supportive  and gentlemanly.  I feel like I can talk to him about anything and everything.  I want so much to just enjoy Riley and let the future take care of itself…

* * *
I tried to put my fears on hold about what lay ahead for Riley and me, not realizing that much more than my anxiety would come between us.

| commitment issues, new romance, Opening The Vault

Opening The Vault: Part Eighty

April 23rd, 2011 — 1:31pm

Longtime readers of this blog know I’m a speed dating veteran. My affection for it began seven years ago, when I tried it here in NYC for the first time.

Much to my surprise, I connected with several bachelors, including a charming Brit. I now Open The Vault and take you back to February of 2004…

February 10, 2004
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

So I had mutual matches with seven of the guys I met at HurryDate. I’ve been out with four of them — including handsome Englishman Riley* (*not his real name).

Riley and I have been out three times in less than two weeks and he’s impressed and engaged me like I haven’t been in years. We talked non-stop for five hours on our first two dates. And balanced the conversation with plenty of kissing during our most recent encounter.

Riley is smart, funny, sweet and definitely someone I could envision having a relationship with. And that’s what scares me.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s British, but Riley reminds me of my ex David. He seems to have that same noble character and strength. The other night, he murmured–

“You already mean so much to me.”

Words that touched and terrified me at the same time. I simply cannot emotionally rush into a romance anymore.

* * *
February 14, 2004

Tea And Sympathy: Riley and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with lunch at this cozy eatery (Photo: Shanna Ravindra, newyork.grubstreet.com)

Couldn’t let this day end without saying what a perfect day I had with Riley. I came home from work today to find a dozen red roses, card and video greeting. Riley came over and we headed down to the Village to Tea and Sympathy, a charming little British eatery I’ve been wanting to try for years.

As usual, the conversation between us just flowed, and Riley made me laugh with his sparkling wit. Back here, we talked, canoodled and kissed.

Still, I worry that because I’m already doubting Riley is the one, then maybe he isn’t. A good friend of mine says that maybe I have a wall up, a fear of commitment. The funny thing is the subject of marriage and weddings came up today, and it felt very natural. I wasn’t thinking ‘oh this is not applicable here.’ Instead, I was more like, ‘Hmm.’

I’m not getting carried away. It’s only been a few weeks and Riley and I are just beginning to get to know each other. But I already know he’s going to be important in my life.

* * *
My prediction about Riley turned out to be true. What I never expected, though, was how our relationship would reinforce my biggest fear — and having to face it.

| HurryDate, new romance, Opening The Vault

Counting My Blessings

November 26th, 2009 — 7:12pm

When it comes to celebrating the holiday season, one of my favorite traditions is taking the time to reflect on what I have to be thankful for. This year, my gratitude attitude comes from a long list of blessings both old and new.

I’m thankful for dear friends who share in my triumphs and comfort during my trials – blessing me with their compassion and understanding, and reminding me time and again that there is no greater gift than true and abiding friendship.

I’m thankful for my family, most especially my beloved and very much missed parents, whose legacy of love and strength continues to inspire me in living life with the zest that was so much a part of who they were.

I’m thankful to be part of the blogosphere, a rich, vibrant community that has connected me with many fabulous, smart women whom I’m fortunate to call peers.

I’m thankful for new beginnings and the willingness of the human heart to take its umpteenth chance on romance when someone wonderful enters the picture.

Finally, I’m thankful for my beloved hometown, for the continuing excitement of living in the world’s greatest city – a joy articulated so perfectly by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in “Empire State of Mind:”

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York

New York, New York

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

| Alicia Keys, Empire State Of Mind, Jay-Z, new romance, reasons to be thankful, Thanksgiving

Counting My Blessings

November 26th, 2009 — 2:12pm

When it comes to celebrating the holiday season, one of my favorite traditions is taking the time to reflect on what I have to be thankful for. This year, my gratitude attitude comes from a long list of blessings both old and new.

I’m thankful for dear friends who share in my triumphs and comfort during my trials – blessing me with their compassion and understanding, and reminding me time and again that there is no greater gift than true and abiding friendship.

I’m thankful for my family, most especially my beloved and very much missed parents, whose legacy of love and strength continues to inspire me in living life with the zest that was so much a part of who they were.

I’m thankful to be part of the blogosphere, a rich, vibrant community that has connected me with many fabulous, smart women whom I’m fortunate to call peers.

I’m thankful for new beginnings and the willingness of the human heart to take its umpteenth chance on romance when someone wonderful enters the picture.

Finally, I’m thankful for my beloved hometown, for the continuing excitement of living in the world’s greatest city – a joy articulated so perfectly by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in “Empire State of Mind:”

In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothing you can’t do, now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York

New York, New York

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

| Alicia Keys, Empire State Of Mind, Jay-Z, new romance, reasons to be thankful, Thanksgiving

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