My focus in on relationships in all their dysfunctional glory. Romantic relationships, friendships, coworkerships, perfectstrangerships. Here's one of my recent columns.
I've recently started dating after divorcing my husband of 21 years, and it scares the hell out of me. When I was younger I wasn't good at it, and now the rules seem to have changed. I have no idea what I'm doing! I meet a guy I like and we flirt, but doing that well takes so much of my energy that I can'...t take it any further. I get tongue tied and blurt out stupid things and then go over and over the whole date in my mind for the rest of the week. If somehow a guy manages to stick around for a while, I become obsessed with everything he says and what he means by it and if I'm doing something to run him off. How can I navigate the dating world in my 40s? With kids! How can I keep from running my dates off?
Dear Neurotic Novice,
Oh fellow neurotic gal, I can't help with dating advice. I sucked at it too, and I've been married to the first guy who asked me for 14 years. I think I lucked out and found a laid-back enough guy to tolerate my brand of craziness. So, um--pick a guy who likes crazy women? That's all I got.
Just kidding! I do suggest that you remember that men are, in general, not as interested in (or aware of?) the meaning behind our words. Most guys are pretty clear about what they think and they say what they mean. (They are completely unlike us in that way!) They're just happy to have a clean, sweet smelling body next to them who doesn't recoil in horror if they admit they are sci-fi nerds. So relax. A guy who will run at the first sign of crazy wouldn't be able to handle a real woman anyway. We have hormones, yo.
And I advise you to have your neurotic dating blow-by-blow convos with a girlfriend rather than your date. Women are much more tolerant of that kind of stuff. It just feels like WORK to men.