Stories that Define Me: why the connection matters.

*This is the fourth in my mini-series on stories of my past that define me. I’ll write these periodically, as the ideas flow. Enjoy.*

I’ve been emailing and chatting with a few friends that are going through the dating rollercoaster and all that goes along with it (the second guessing, overthinking, false starts, anxieties and oh yeah, the good stuff too…warm fuzzies, dating isn’t *that* bad…at least, not all of the time. It’s a means to an end!) and this topic sprang to mind as I continue my ‘stories that define me’ series.

And as I read some of my old dating posts from my old blog (and wow, were there many, and some hysterically funny ones too. Perhaps I was a wittier writer with such readily available fodder, huh?! If anyone wants to read them, email me and I’ll send you some links!), some of those memories came flooding back. Some of them were good…the rare good eggs in the bunch that I dated before meeting M, and some notsogood, the many, MANY false starts, one date wonders and the like, but what I remember striking me most, was the connection, and why it matters so much.

And when I say connection, I mean, the emotional connection that makes the physical mean something. Beyond the instant gratification and the exploration of someone new, the connection to that person is truly what makes or breaks it. For me, anyway. It was something I never truly realized until I had my first ‘experience’ after my divorce (how would I ever have even noticed that, being with someone for a decade and prior to that, the only time I was intimate with a man, it was within the confines of a relationship, nothing casual). Sure, it was exciting and in a way, made me feel alive again, but on the other hand, it just felt so…empty.

(as I write this, I hope I don’t come across as having many physical encounters with the men I dated before M. I can count them on less than a hand, let’s say that)

And only once I met M did I realize how much the connection  matters, and how much more emotional and gratifying an experience the physical connection becomes.

So why am I writing this? Because I think one of the things that really cemented it for me, when I knew M was ‘it’ for me, was that physical-to-emotional connection that we had. From the get-go. From the slight touch to the back (which I still absolutely love) walking out of a restaurant, to a hug, to a glance, to a smile. It all ties together. It was there. We shared it, believed it, and cultivated it. From day one.

Unlike anything else I’d experienced, there was no force-fit. There was no compromising on what I envisioned him to be and what he was. There was no settling on any of my dealbreakers and dealmakers. (and my list was truly feasible, not far-fetched!) So no matter how long you’re single, if you’re ‘single long enough’ after your divorce or breakup (whatever the heck that means…it’s truly different for each and every one of us! There’s no rulebook or guideline), when you know…you just do. 

It’s why the connection matters.


29 thoughts on “Stories that Define Me: why the connection matters.

  1. You’re so right on this. When CB and I talked on the phone the first time, I instantly felt it. I just knew. So even though I don’t “kiss on the first date,” I knew I was going to break my rule for him. It seemed unnatural to not show that affection…our connection was too deep. I feel happy to have found that…for it to be more than a physical thing. I’ve had that and it’s so confusing and not fun. I’m glad M meets all those needs to deserve to have met. That’s great.

  2. This is beautifully written, sis. It really *is* so incredible when “that” connection is there. It makes everything just fit, just right, like a puzzle piece almost. As cheesy as that sounds, but when the connection is there, everything just feels so much larger than life (whoa, that is SUCH a TWSS moment, woops!!)

    Anyway, SO glad you have this with M!! I love it!

  3. You are absolutely right. Whenever someone dating asks me.. I just say “Do you think you would continue to date them if you were long distance?” If they say no… obviously it’s more physical than anything else.

    That’s how I knew with my husband. It’s not just anyone I would be in a long distance relationship with. He was my best friend before I even hung out with him.

  4. Totally. It’s funny that you mentioned a hand on the back, because that was the very first gesture that made me realize that Josh might turn into more than a friend.

    I’m watching a good friend whose divorce is almost final enter the dating waters again, and I am SO glad that I’m not in her boat right now.

    1. The hand gesture did it for me (okay, that sounds dirty too – the hand gesture – lol) on our first date as we walked out of the restaurant, M put his hand on my back. Melted instantly. I am glad not to be dating anymore, but am glad I went through it!

  5. I’d just finished going on date #4 where I like the guy, but things feel so uneasy I can’t even imagine holding hands, let alone doing more. That alone has to be a sign, right? Thank you for reminding me that tangible and unquestionable comfort can exist, I needed to remember that.

  6. You’re absolutely right. After my abusive relationship with R in college, I did a lot of dating (and like you…less than a hand). When I met Herrick, the emptiness was gone. It was fun of course, but it wasn’t until Herrick came around that I realized just what a connection does for a relationship. It cements it. It gives it a solid, stable foundation. It gives meaning to everything…even the little things.

    ps…I am a terrible friend. I am catching up and promise to stay that way.

    1. It totally means everything. I am so glad you found that in H after a rocky bad relationship. And shut your mouth, you are never ever ever a bad friend, take it back 😉 Catch up (or not!) whenever you can! XOXO

  7. Your stories always give me goosebumps…in a good way. I am oh so happy for what you have with M. I totally agree with you when you know, you know. That’s exactly how it was for me too. It just feels.. different.

  8. Awh this is really cute. I think people try to force that connection sometimes and you just can’t. It becomes so easy after you meet the right person. But it is a good laugh to look back on some of the past:)

    1. Great point about forced connections. It becomes awkward when people feel as though they have to connect, rather than have it happen organically. Hope there are more throwback posts, Jo!

      1. I thought you would totally get this too, given you have been in the dating throughs for a bit, yourself. Awkward connections are no fun.

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