On Dating and Unicorns

posted by LaDona Harvey - 

Dating as a 51 year old divorcee has been a little more confounding than I thought it would be. I am not complaining, let's get that out of the way. I am having a ball. And I am learning so much. I am simultaneously overjoyed, and extraordinarily frustrated by the process. 

I am quite fond of men, though I admit I find you to be confusing creatures who vacillate between wanting to connect...and wanting to connect...then run for your lives. Date and Ditch. 

A lot of men today seem to be looking for what I like to call....a unicorn. A physical relationship, without the hassle of an emotional connection. And I understand the appeal, in theory. Even though I have real doubts that that particular unicorn exists. 

Biology sure doesn't favor you in this scenario. We have all heard of "friends with benefits," and while I am sure someone will tell me that it has worked swimmingly for them, I am calling bull. 

When we touch one another, things start happening...and not just the obvious stuff. There are these things called hormones...and once things culminate, so to speak, the pituitary gland responds by RELEASING THE KRAKEN!

By Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc; Denys de Montfort, Pierre; Roissy, Felix de.; Sonnini, C. S. - http://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/6261008252, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42738980

The KRAKEN! is a hormone called oxytocin, and it is the monster substance that turns normal people into Cling-ons. 

Oxytocin hits your "love" centers like Thor's Mjolnir...and I mean it hammers you...there is no escape.  Women, I suspect, are far more susceptible than men...but you get it too, buddy...so don't be surprised when you start thinking more often about what that "unicorn," is up to, today. 

It's one of the things that facilitates connections between us...and you can no more stop it than you can override your natural impulse to breathe. Look, we are driven toward each other, all the way down to our DNA. 

Oxytocin and other interesting biological chemicals aside, I have learned to like to connect to people emotionally. I think developing feelings for others keeps us soft and human. It gives us empathy. it creates warmth and comfort in our lives. Intimacy makes us better people. To others, and to ourselves.

Empty, meaningless encounters hold very little appeal.  I enjoy forging deeper relationships...and I  am not even talking about potential partners, I am talking about new friends. It is out of my comfort zone, so I figure I need to do more of it. 

I have been stumbling around a bit in this "dating," thing...to be sure. I am finding my feet and, yes, fouling things up on a regular basis. But they are honest mistakes, as I learn to navigate the male mind, and my own. Right now, I am all over the road. I have no idea what I want...in all honesty I think we are all a little bit (or a lot) of a hot mess.  

But what a glorious and joyful hot mess. Enjoy, if you are out there running amok like me, but keep an eye out for Thor. That hammer comes out of nowhere, and it hurts.  

LaDona Harvey

LaDona Harvey

La Dona Harvey is co-host of San Diego's Morning News on News Radio KOGO AM 600. Read more

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