About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Born again virgin

Here's the thing:  I suck at dating.  It's a new world for me.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  In most areas of my life, I'm very confident.  Give me a novel to write or promote, I won't blink an eye.  Give me a man who's interested, I turn into a complete idiot.

I met a guy recently who's compelling in every way.  He's not my "usual" type--in other words, he's not a player, liar or selfish asshole.  I'm not used to this; therefore, I'm acting like a selfish bitch to counteract his absolute niceness.

What the hell is wrong with me?! 

I don't know if it's because I'm afraid of getting close to someone--although that's a real possibility.  We're just dating--it's fun, he's fun, we're as "new" as can be, zero expectations, no strings, no complications.  Just. Dating.  Being with him is easy. I feel comfortable around him but...I push him away.  He kissed me the other night...I cried...because I liked it.  I liked it a lot.

What the hell is wrong with me?!

I'll say it again...I suck at dating.  I challenge him.  I put up my shield.  I poke.  I get defensive.  It's not cool at all.  I'm really bad at this.  I say things I shouldn't.  Boundaries?  What are those?

But here's the thing:  I really am afraid.  That's at the root of it all.  Afraid of being vulnerable, of letting my guard down, of being happy, of not being "mom" 24/7, of having fun, of "getting a life of my own", of allowing someone to see my darkness beneath the light...

Even before Sean died, I had to be tough and independent.  He was a mess that year before he died, whether I like remembering that part or not.  I shielded myself even then.  After he died, I had to defend my choices, listen to endless criticism and judgments, experience more losses and protect myself from allowing negativity to destroy me.  I hardened.

My professional confidence grew while my personal confidence cracked.  Now that my novel is doing well and my writing career is on an upward trajectory, I do want a personal life that's fun and intimate.  What kind of romance writer would I be if I denied myself romance?

In many ways, I feel like a teenager entering the dating scene for the first time only with more challenges.  I'm not a size 2 like I was at 16.  I'm a widow, which makes me "scary" to some people. I have kids, a mortgage, emotional baggage (despite how well-adjusted I claim to be), home repairs, bills, stretch marks, cellulite, wrinkles and a serious nature courtesy of LIFE.  (Sexy package, huh?)  Where once I used to strut my stuff, I now hide it behind baggy shirts, an aloof edge and excuses.  See?  Even admitting all of that is uncool.

I am definitely no longer cool.

What I am is a woman with a massive crush on a man.  Now if only I could shut up long enough to not get in my own way.  Hmm...maybe there needs to be more kissing and less talking...what a concept.  Perhaps I'll forward him this post...accidentally, of course.


  1. I loved this post--you're honest in all the right ways. Baggage is hard to leave at the door--don't beat yourself up over it but, yes, do more kissing... they tend to care less about baggage while kissing.

  2. Thanks, Wendy. I try. I didn't think it would be this hard to start this part of my life over. I mean--I'm thumbs up when it comes to men and love being a part of a couple. The "widow thing" rears its head when I least expect it to, which I suppose is part of the process. This guy is a good one, though, so I need to keep it light and get it right. HEY...I just made a slogan! Ha. I see him again this weekend...I'll work on kissing more.

  3. Amber, there is nothing wrong with being scared. It is scary and exciting starting this phase in your life again. You deserve this, girl! Yes by all means do more kissing! If he cared about all the baggage, he wouldn't still be hanging around for all that kissing now would he?

    I went through the same thing when I met Liam. I tried to push him away and damn if he didn't keep coming back for more of my smartass self! He loves that part of me, and he helped me break through the walls I put up, little by little. It could happen for you too...one kiss at a time!


  4. Advice Amber, when you meet someone, don’t mention much about your past. Be mysterious, relax and enjoy yourself.

    Not many men (in real life) want to get that serious on the first date, or during the first week or month of courting. Eventually, when a certain comfort level develops, you can ease into talking about what happened with your husband.

    It seems to me (and understandably so), that before things get going, you want to get that topic off your chest. However, I urge you to wait awhile. When a guy starts to like you, he will want to know more, and he will begin to ask questions.

    I almost sense that you want to talk about what happened with your husband, so that you know right away whether to waste your time on someone or not. That is also understandable. But why risk sabotaging a potentially good thing? Would you know how to deal with a guy on the first date who, before you started to have intellectual fun, said, “My wife died and ever since then I-” Etc.?” Themes like that, in my opinion, are too dramatic for an initial encounter.

    On the other hand, if a month later, the guy still doesn’t want to hear about your past, he’s probably a player, move on.

    1. Actually, I never bring Sean up or how he died. Ever. With anyone. But when I'm asked, I tell. I don't lie or play games. This post was more about how I feel odd dating again because, for the first time SINCE being married, I'm really enjoying myself with someone new. Almost guilty, in a way...at least at first. I'm now getting used to it...slowly.

      But, no, I know better than to blurt out "my husband died" when I meet someone. There are people I know through my kids activities--even work activities--who have no idea that I'm a widow, let alone the how of it all. :-) Thanks, John. Love hearing from you as always.

  5. Well, you shouldn't feel guilty, Amber. You are far too young to live the rest of your life alone. You might be around for fifty more years.

    I was just saying not to bring up your husband, because I know most guys 40 and under would run from that on a first date. Not once they got to know you, in the begining they would.

    I'm not trying to scare you. I think you have a lot to offer. Good luck. Enjoy yourself and if it takes dating ten people to get it right, so be it.

    Remember, we are all put on this earth to find happiness. Never stop searching.