Meat on His Bones

So, I’ve been holding out on you: nearly a year ago I blogged about my Valentine’s trip to Paris. I wrote about a man I met in the City of Light and made it seem as though we only had one dinner. The truth, however, is there is more to the story—there usually is. Well, that man later flew me to Paris two more times.

The reason I hadn’t blogged about my Parisian boyfriend was that I promised him he wouldn’t be just another blog or adventure. And please know that, to me, he certainly wasn’t.

However, some time has passed and with the weather heating up and me working on my summer body, I couldn’t help but think about my former love in Paris.

With his salt and pepper hair, my first impression of him was that he somewhat resembled George Clooney, except for the fact that Clooney doesn’t have piercing blue eyes and pouty lips, and of course, Clooney doesn’t have that smooth, sweet French accent I love so much either. When I told my date he looked like the American movie star, he said, “I am much better than George Clooney, no?” Truth be told, I have yet to meet a Frenchman who is lacking in confidence. But, it was true, he was better than George Clooney, at least in my eyes he was.

The French George Clooney and I had met on Valentine’s Day and enjoyed a romantic dinner and a night of dancing before I had to fly home to Los Angeles the next morning. The two of us were in constant communication literally the second after he dropped me off at my hotel that night.

In one of our early conversations, he expressed to me that he had gained a little weight and felt self-conscious and out of shape. Now, I hadn’t seen him without clothes that first night, but he looked pretty good to me. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about him. I realize that French men tend to be slimmer than their American counterparts. However, this man was not overweight by any means. Yet he told me he wanted to be the perfect man for me, so he started to shun alcohol and meticulously work out and watch his diet. Somehow, I seemed to have found the only man in Paris who didn’t eat carbs.

When he texted me one week later that he had already lost five kilos, I immediately went to Google to see how many pounds that translated to. Five kilos is around eleven pounds! That’s a lot for a man who stands at about six-foot tall. So I told him he didn’t need lose weight for me—he looked great the way he was. One month after our Valentine’s dinner, I returned to Paris. My French host was even more handsome than I had remembered. However, he seemed a little emaciated, at least for my taste. Before he starved himself to death on my behalf, I felt it was a good time to tell him that I actually prefer a man with a little meat on his bones.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I’ve dated all types. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the most important quality about a man, in my opinion, is the way he treats me. Of course, I’m not going to rule someone out for being too thin. I once dated a guy who was so skinny his hip bones would dig into me. And there was that guy who ate only nuts and berries—you can imagine how thin he was! However, my personal preference is a man who is a little on the luscious side. It feels more sensual to me to be with a man who has something I can grab onto. I suppose, as unfeminist as it sounds, there’s a certain sense of safety I feel in the arms of a man who is a bit more substantial.

Aside from the physical aspect, it’s much more fun to date a man with enjoys life and food over a man whose main focus is maintaining his six-pack abs. And, honestly, aren’t all appetites related? At least, in my experience, I find that statement to be true.

When I explained this to the French George Clooney, he said, “But you don’t want me to be FAT!” I told him that I didn’t mind if he was carrying a few extra pounds. He replied, “You can’t be with a fat man—it must be muscle.” At that moment, he decided to stop cutting weight and start bulking.

After that trip, he asked me to send him a picture of my perfect man. I kindly told him that he was my perfect man. He responded that if we were going to be together long-term like we planned, we couldn’t sugarcoat the truth. We had to tell each other exactly how we felt and exactly what we desired. He asked me to please send him a picture of a male model or actor who, in my opinion, had the perfect physique. I tried to explain to him that I’m not into celebrity culture and that he was more desirable to me than any famous person (well, maybe except for Angelina Jolie—but I didn’t want him to go trans or anything). He said, “Please do this for me. I need to see the kind of man you are attracted to. Just send me one picture.”

I honestly didn’t know whose picture to send him. I didn’t have any celebrity crushes–it’s not like I’m in Junior High anymore. However, my Parisian boyfriend kept pressing me for a picture of a man I’m attracted to. I’ll admit, this was probably a mistake, but shortly after my then boyfriend pressured me to find an image of a man who I felt was in great shape, The Rock showed up in my Instagram feed. Although I’m not a huge fan and not exactly sure when or why I started following him, there’s no denying, The Rock is in impeccable shape. Although I realize his body might not be all that realistic for the average guy to attain, when I came across his picture, I thought to myself, voilà, situation solved!

However, I didn’t dare ask my Parisian boyfriend to send me an image of a woman he wanted me to look like. To be honest, that would probably hurt my feelings. I do try to make the best of what I have, but it’s not as easy for me to change my body as it was for my friend in France. And I realize that no matter how hard I try, I will never look like Gigi Hadid. However, I did feel confident that my French boyfriend liked what he saw because time after time, he told me I was his “ideal.” And on our nightly Sykpe dates, his face would light up the second he saw me. Since his English was limited and my French virtually non-existent, our Skype sessions would consist of us staring into each other’s eyes with him repeatedly telling me, “I love you. You are so beautiful. I want to marry you.” I don’t think it gets any sweeter than that.

But, back to The Rock. After I sent the picture of Dwayne Johnson to the French George Clooney, he said “Oh my God! This is the type of man you want? I am going to have to eat more and lift more weights.” While doubling up on protein and increasing his strength training, he sent me a message saying he was “transforming” his body for me. I’m not going to lie–this was pretty flattering. I’ve never had a man “transform” his body for me. Granted, this transformation was totally unnecessary, but I did appreciate how much this man wanted to please me. Shortly after that conversation, he sent me a picture of himself shirtless with ginormous pecs. He was wearing a pair of jeans and holding his laptop in one hand while flexing his bulging bicep in the arm that was free. In this picture, he honestly looked like The Rock and George Clooney somehow had a blue-eyed French love child.

I showed the picture to my girlfriend who asked if I thought he had taken steroids for me. I don’t think that was the case, but it was remarkable how fast this guy could change his body–I’ve honestly never seen anything like it.

Sadly, that third trip to Paris would be the last time I would ever see the French George Clooney, and it wasn’t because of his intense training regime. Long-distance between Paris and Los Angeles not only isn’t very practical, but it is outrageously expensive. He put things best when he told me, “I focused on my dreams and neglected my responsibilities.” I had no idea, but because he was spending so much money on my plane tickets and wining and dining me, he hadn’t been able to afford to visit his two little boys in the South of France as often as he had been before I entered his life. Hearing this broke my heart, and we both knew we could no longer continue.

French Clooney and I didn’t keep in touch, so I have no idea what he looks like today or if he’s still trying to look like The Rock. While we were together, he would ask me things like was I sure I didn’t want a younger man, a richer man, a man without children. Although he always had a way of making me like the most dazzling girl on the planet, I understood how he felt. I’ve been in relationships where I wondered if my boyfriend would have loved me more if I were thinner or if my hair were darker or if I were Asian (that one would be especially hard to pull off). However, the best relationships were with the men who made me feel like I was the girl of their dreams exactly the way I was.

As for my friend in France, wherever he is, I hope he realizes that I appreciate how loved he made me feel those two months, his generosity, and the lengths he went to in order to be what he thought was the perfect man for me, but also that it wouldn’t hurt him to eat a croissant or two♥

Bag Lady or Baby Maker?

homeless-barbieA few months ago, I stopped telling people my age. To be honest, I’m perfectly fine with the number and actually feel happier than ever with where I am in life. I just accomplished a major goal of mine–I’m about to become a published author. And my dream has always been to travel—well, in the past year alone I’ve been to Paris three times and paid a trip to London as well. And I currently have the most amazing man in my life. So, the reason I stopped telling people my age? It’s other people’s reactions to the number that make me feel bad.

Back in June, when I was single, I was standing in front of my apartment building waiting for an Uber. A woman who looked maybe in her mid-fifties was walking by with a man about her same age. She stopped to give me a compliment, telling me that I looked “gorgeous” and asked if I was going on a date. I told her that I was meeting a girlfriend for a drink. Looking at me disapprovingly, she demanded to know how old I was. When I told her, she said she had thought I was much younger and that, at my age, I had no business going on a girls’ night (Umm…Isn’t that how you meet men?). She insisted I had to get on Match.com or EHarmony right away.

Then she proceeded to give me a fertility lecture, telling me how I immediately needed to find a man and start a family. I confessed that I didn’t know if I wanted children. She then asked, “Don’t you want a nice, big house and an SUV?” Just for the record, I’m cool with my cozy one-bedroom apartment and the last time I drove a man’s SUV, I dented the entire passenger side. Anyway, she insisted that I needed to have kids if I wanted to “bond” with a man. She then went on to tell me that I could date older but no one over fifty-five because his sperm would be too old. She said another option would be to go younger, adding that “younger men have strong sperm, but sometimes they aren’t ready.”

She was kind of amusing at first, but she began to make me a little uncomfortable. I tried to deflect the situation by asking if the man she was with was her husband. She sharply said, “No!” I never learned who was the man was standing behind her nodding in agreement with everything she was saying, but he did finally speak. He said the reason he was nodding was because this woman was right. He then gestured his hands up and down my body, saying, “You must reproduce this!”

 I felt like I was in the “Twilight Zone.” Who were these people? And why did they care so much about my fertility? Didn’t Halle Berry have a baby at 47? And isn’t Janet Jackson pregnant at 50? I got time!

Anyway, the woman continued her rant saying how I needed to be smart and find a man who made enough money to take care of me. For anyone who knows me, I’ve never been a girl looking for a rich husband or a man to take care of me—I’ve always followed the butterflies, not the pocketbook. This lady went on to say that women aren’t really capable of making the kind of money that men are able to. Then she said something that struck a nerve.

She said, “You don’t want to end up a bag lady.”

A bag lady?! Was this 2016? Aren’t there other options for women this day and age besides finding a husband or becoming a bag lady?

At that point, I decided to speak up for myself, telling her I was about to become a published author. She finally dropped the subject and began to ask me about my book. Luckily, the Uber drive showed up and rescued me. She had me take her number so we could continue this conversation later.

Obviously, I never called.

What I didn’t tell her was that there was no shortage of men who wanted to take me to dinner or how I would be meeting a handsome man in London the following weekend. I didn’t tell her about the time I had recently spent in Paris or about the men in my life who have wanted to marry me or that time I actually did get married. This woman just automatically pegged me as a girl who couldn’t find a man rather than a girl who set out to live a life of adventure and wasn’t going to settle for anything short of magical.

In a universe where there are no chance encounters, I began to wonder what could be the reason this woman was put in my path. The only thing that I could come up with was maybe she was simply put there to get me thinking, because on my own, as a single girl, I would never be thinking about marriage and children. The thing I do think about, however is finding true love. I’ve always felt that if I found the man I was meant to be with, the rest will fall into place. And I don’t worry so much about time. I believe in divine timing and feel if I’m meant to be a mother, God will make me one.

For this reason, when people ask me if I want children, I never know exactly how to answer. The answer is conditional. As a romantic, I believe that having a child would be a natural expression of love with the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with. The thing is that in recent years, while my love life has been quite exciting, it has been anything but stable. I know there are no guarantees in life, but I would want to feel secure that my family would stay together forever. That might sound a little naïve, but I do know it’s possible to have this type of security because I have felt this way in a relationship years ago, at a time I was not nearly ready to be anyone’s wife or mother.

Part of my hesitation is that I have so many guy friends and male clients–I’ve seen just about everything by now. I also have married men trying to pick me up in nightclubs or hitting me up on social media nearly every day. When a married man messages me asking to get together or telling me that I’m his secret crush or even to simply tell me he thinks I’m beautiful, I don’t find it flattering, I find it disheartening. I’m sure most of it is harmless flirting, but I surely wouldn’t want a husband who behaved like that. I’m a romantic who wants to believe that true love lasts forever. And I’m also an optimist, so while I do still believe that kind of love is out there, I see now how rare it is.

For a girl who prides herself on being unconventional, I have some pretty traditional views. You see, I’m not from Los Angeles. I’m from Chicago. People stay together in the Midwest. And I didn’t have the kind of father who was popping bottles in nightclubs (that’s actually a funny visual if you know my dad). I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the kind of marriage where I’m home breastfeeding while my husband is out partying. I ain’t about that life. You see, there’s a lot of talk about men giving up their single lives. But, women, especially women in major cities like Los Angeles, have exciting single lives too, sometimes even more so. I believe that when a woman has a baby, her maternal instincts naturally kick in and her family becomes everything. She will never be a free-spirit again. If I found myself in a situation where I was married to man who was still trolling for girls on the Internet, I know I would regret giving my heart, my body, my soul, and potentially a child to a man whose sense of loyalty doesn’t match my own when I could have easily been sipping champagne on a yacht in Monaco or doing the tango in Buenos Aires.

To be honest, though, even though this is genuinely how I feel—it is mostly fear talking. I do know that there are devoted husbands and fathers in this world, and yes, even in Los Angeles. Before I started working at a country club in Cheviot Hills, I didn’t realize that normal families existed in L.A. That just wasn’t my world. But, at the country club, I’ve met some really happy families (and even a wonderful husband for my best friend), which gives me hope the man for me is out there somewhere.

And if he’s not, then there’s a chance that woman on the street was right. Maybe I will end up a bag lady, but at least I’ll have great stories to tell♥

Passion, Devotion & My Parents

Passion & Devotion 2

I once heard that the greatest gift you can give your children is two parents who love each other. Growing up, I had the idea that love was passion and having sex on the kitchen countertops; so I began to develop a perverse fascination as to whether my parents were getting it on. My little brother would tell me, “Eeeew. Stop with that! You’re so weird!” But to me, it was really important to know that my parents were madly in love.

New Year’s Eve was one of my favorite holidays because it was the one night I would see my dad passionately kiss my mom. My parents aren’t big drinkers, but on this night, they would each have a glass of wine. My little brother and I would sip on sparkling grape juice as we watched the countdown on TV. And, at the stroke of midnight, my dad would give my mom an open-mouthed kiss, a French kiss, as I would cheer them on. Although my parents always pecked each other on the lips and told each other “I love you,” I remember wondering why my dad didn’t kiss my mom like every day was New Year’s Eve.

Another time, when I was home from college and Christmas shopping with my dad, I came across a beautiful red nightgown, much more risqué than anything my mom would pick out for herself. I immediately told my dad to buy the nightie for my mom. He very sternly said, “Amy, she doesn’t like when I buy her clothes.” I said, “Dad, just trust me. Get her the nightgown.” Surprisingly, he listened. And when my mom opened the gift, her face lit up. I’m not sure if she ever actually wore the nightie, but it did make her very happy and added a little spice around the Christmas tree.

As I grew up, I became less concerned about my parents’ sex life, but I did come to appreciate my dad’s constant devotion to my mother. For instance, my mom recently had to have knee replacement surgery. While everyone was advising her to stay in the hospital as long as her insurance would allow, my mom confessed to me that she really just wanted to go home as soon as she could because my father takes much better care of her than any nurse. On the day of her operation, I called my dad to see how she was doing. My dad assured me that everything went smoothly and said she was in the recovery room. He sounded a bit anxious as he told me, “I can’t see her for two hours.” I said, “Aaaaaw Dad. It sounds like you miss her.” As if that was a really dumb thing for me to say, he snapped back and said, “Of course I miss her!”

When I called the next day to check in, I asked my dad, “How is your patient?” He said, “She is not my patient. She is my wife.” I giggled and had him put mom on the phone. The next time I called, my mom couldn’t talk because my dad was about to wash her hair. When we finally caught up, she told me, “Your dad really took his marriage vows seriously.”

When I write about my dad, I usually write about how gruff he is or how hard he was on me for some of the choices I’ve made; I realize that I don’t give him enough credit for being a devoted husband and father. For such a tough guy, he really does have a gentle side, especially when it comes to my mom. She truly is his everything.

As for me, I’m still that girl who believes you can’t have love without passion, but what I’ve learned from my parents is that true love is devotion…and of course, sex on the kitchen countertops♥

ididgyouherfuturelogo

Why I Like My Boyfriends Far Away

Take Me to Paris

Photo Credit: @muradosmann

It’s not the reason you think…I’m always a loyal and faithful girlfriend, sometimes too loyal. So it’s not that I want to run around and date other men or party with my girlfriends all the time. But it’s true, I seem to be attracted to men who live far away. In fact, it’s almost as though the farther away a man lives, the more interested I am. And it’s not that I have intimacy issues or that I like impossible relationships; it’s more about wanting to live a life of adventure and being curious about life in other parts of the world, not to mention, having a thing for foreign men.

Believe it or not, this all stems back to high school. My first boyfriend seemed very American on the surface, but was actually born in Sweden. On top of being foreign, he was in the Navy. For me, the local high school boys just didn’t hold the same appeal. I was more interested in the guy who traveled the world, which coincidentally, was perfect because I technically wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend yet anyway. And there was something romantic about receiving all those handwritten love letters and gifts from every port.

One of the main reasons I like long-distance relationships is that I’ve always been very goal oriented. In high school, I focused on my grades and studied really hard to make sure I got into my dream school, Pepperdine University in Malibu. Now, as an adult, I teach Pilates six days a week and write on most nights. Of course, the end goal would be living in the same city as the man I love. However, for the way my life is right now, I like the idea of meeting up somewhere for a romantic rendezvous away from all the hustle and bustle, then focusing on my work while I’m home in L.A. Although I have to admit, I wasn’t very professionally productive in my last long-distance relationship because I spent so much time texting and Skyping–I did, however, always keep my clothes on for our video chats no matter how many times my then boyfriend told me that Skyping naked would lead to deeper intimacy in our relationship. Does that make me a prude?

A friend of mine recently warned me that long-distance relationships aren’t real life, but I disagree. There’s nothing like taking a trip with someone to know whether or not you are compatible with him or her. When you date someone in the same town, you are probably able to spend only a few hours together after you both finish work and before you fall asleep, possibly more time on the weekends, of course, but there’s always errands to be run and things to take care of before the work week starts again. I like how in long-distance relationships, a couple sets everything aside to just really get lost in each other. I know that I would much prefer a few days of sleeping in and rolling around in bed with no place to be over seeing someone several times a week but having to wake up and rush off to work in the morning. So, whether it’s three days, five days or seven days of togetherness, I feel I’ve become much closer, much faster to the men I’ve dated long distance.

Last summer I went on a few dates with a man who lived in Long Beach, which, when there’s no traffic, is only about an hour away from where I live in Beverly Hills. Of course, the gentlemanly thing to do would have been for him to come to me, and he did the first couple of times. However, he had a nice big house and a boat he wanted to show off, and I’m always up for a change in scene; so I agreed to drive out to Long Beach one night after work, not really factoring the rush-hour traffic. The drive took me three whole hours! As I sat in gridlock, I thought to myself, how could I possibly date this guy? To me, this drive was much worse than any long-distance relationship I had ever been in. I’d much rather fly somewhere and be with my boyfriend the entire weekend than to drive three hours just to have dinner with him. That’s the one contradiction to my theory that I like them farther away. Farther is definitely not better when it comes to dating locally. At least I can write on an airplane, but there’s no way I’d want to be stuck in traffic for that long on a regular basis.

I remember growing up, I told my mom that I was so bored because we always lived in the same house, and I went to the same school kindergarten through eighth grade. My mom had moved around a lot as a kid and was constantly starting new schools, so she wanted to provide the stability for us that she never had. While I appreciate that now, at the time I was craving new stimuli. As soon as I graduated high school, I moved to Los Angeles, and I’ve been here ever since.

While L.A. managed to hold my attention for quite a long time, recently I’ve been finding myself with a bit of wanderlust. So, a man who lives in, say, Monaco is going to be much more exciting to me than a guy who lives in Sherman Oaks. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I do appreciate all the lavish dinners men have treated me to in my lifetime. However, an L.A. guy is going to take me to all the same restaurants I’ve been to a hundred times, whereas, a man in another state—or, better yet, another country–is going to open me up to new places and experiences I wouldn’t normally have, and that’s extremely exciting to me. I’d take a hole in the wall in Italy over the trendiest restaurant in Los Angeles any day.

Recently, my mom sweetly suggested that maybe I should try to find a man who lives in America. Of course, I’m not ruling American men out. I mean, it’s possible I could fall in love with an American man tomorrow, maybe even a foreign man who lives in L.A.; or I could meet a man who likes to travel as much as I do, although L.A. guys usually invite me to Vegas or Cabo, two places which are very fun, but I’ve been to both numerous times. Lately, it’s Europe that’s been calling my name…and coincidentally, I love the old world manners and charm of European men.

Over the last couple years, I started to intuitively feel like maybe the man for me doesn’t live in Los Angeles. I do believe he’s out there, but maybe not in this city, on this continent, or even on this planet.

I might have to fly to the moon to find him. But strangely, I’m okay with that♥

 

“When they work, long distance relationships are the best sort of beautiful, I think. That a person could wait months, cross miles and oceans for a few spectacular moments with the person they love, that’s it, you know, that’s what we’re all searching for.”

~Beau Taplin

More Is More

Dolly Big Hair

You’re always going to be too much for someone–too fat, too thin, too glam, too plain, too old, too young, too quiet, too loud. Recently, the guy I dated in Texas repeatedly told me I was “too blonde.” He also wished that I was more of a jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap kind of a girl. I hardly consider myself underweight, but the Middle Eastern boyfriend I had a couple years back thought I should gain 5-10 pounds. He also suggested I cut my hair (as if!) and stop wearing makeup. Although I did wear less makeup when I would see him, I still wore as much makeup as I wanted to on my own time and definitely wasn’t about to mess with my hair or pack on the pounds.

Even my amazing long-term ex boyfriend had something he tried to change about me—he thought I dressed “too sexy.” Out of all the criticisms, his was actually valid. We had a bit of an age gap and would often have dinners with his TV writer friends. I already stood out since I was younger than everyone else—I didn’t need to draw any more attention to myself. Although I love my flirty dresses, I believe there is a time and place to cover up, and this was probably one of them.

My ex told me he was going to buy me the hottest jeans he had ever seen and scoured the city looking for a particular style of Levi’s. He eventually found them—at Mervyn’s in Glendale.

I humored him and tried on the jeans that he went to so much trouble to get me. While my ex remarked that my butt had never looked better, I felt he had bought me “mom jeans” and refused to wear them. I mean, it’s hard to believe that Mervyn’s would exclusively carry the hottest jeans in town.

My ex had more of a simple sense of style, and I’m admittedly a bit flashy. He would often tell me that I didn’t need to wear makeup and would always say, “Less is more, Amy.” I would joke, “Less is not more. MORE is MORE!”

One day, he looked at me and said, “You’re right. More is more.” And he never tried to change me again.

That being said, I do feel that if your boyfriend likes your makeup a certain way or a particular outfit, of course, it’s nice to make the man happy. However, the person whose opinion is most important is the person looking back in at you in the mirror. And once you feel good about what you see, you will attract someone who won’t want to change a single thing about you, someone who recognizes you’re perfect the way you are♥

Soulmates

soul-mates

“The soul mate. The one you feel vibrate when they are a thousand miles away. The one you hear whisper when they think about you. The one who lets you move freely but embraces your shadow from afar. That one. The one you feel like you have known for a million years.”~Sarah Voldeng

In conversation, a friend of mine recently asked me what a soulmate is. Without hesitation, I immediately referred him to this Rebelle Society article “Soulmates vs. Life Partners,” which explains the concept much more eloquently than I could have via text message.

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/10/21/soulmate-or-life-partner/

Soulmates are different than life-partners. People often settle down with a life-partner because of timing; perhaps they are ready to start a family or maybe they have a need for security or are simply looking for a companion. Most people do not want to be alone, and a practical person can’t wait around forever for something that seems like a fairy tale. This isn’t to disparage anyone; life-partnerships can still be extremely beautiful, loving and fulfilling relationships.

Sometimes as women, we go out with men who have similar interests and seem like they would be good potential boyfriends even if we are not feeling the electricity we desire. We secretly hope these guys grow on us and sometimes they do. Plenty of successful life-partner relationships have started out this way.

However, when you meet your soulmate, it will be a more intense connection than anything you’ve ever experienced, almost as though there is lightning running through your veins. You both will know that this is something so different and so special. There won’t be any question marks, for you nor for him. Men tell us such lovely things when they want to get close to us, but a soulmate will tell you things no other man could believably get away with, for instance, how he feels he’s known you in a past life (He does seem hauntingly familiar) or how his time with you is sacred. The two of you will just seem to speak the same language, and when he looks into your eyes, you will feel like you’ve come home.

Here’s the catch: while ideally your soulmate becomes your life-partner, that isn’t always the case. A soulmate is not always the person we should or could spend the rest of our lives with. So maybe you’re not destined to bake muffins and pay bills with your soulmate, but instead you’re simply meant to walk through fire together.

Soulmates come into your life and ignite a spark deep inside you, making you feel more radiant and alive. They almost always serve some sort of higher purpose, and even if they must fly away, they will have touched your life and left you feeling breathless. You will always be grateful for having lived and breathed in the same world as your soulmate.

This doesn’t mean soulmates are easily forgotten. Quite the contrary, in most cases, not a day will go by without thinking of your soulmate. And if you are lucky enough to see him again, it will be like no time has passed. While your soulmate is away, every love song, every poem reminds you of him, and even thousands of miles apart, your body tingles head to toe at the mere thought of him. He may even come to visit you in your dreams, wrapping his arms around you and whispering sweet nothings in your ear while you sleep. No matter how much time or distance between you and your soulmate, he will forever be in your heart.

Once you’ve experienced a soul connection, it’s hard to go to back to the conventional dating pool. The soulmate is a game changer! Knowing not every potential love interest is going to blow your mind the way a soulmate would, it’s important to keep an open mind, especially if it is a life-partner you’re seeking. For those of us who crave a soul connection, the good news is that even though they are few and far between, we can have more than one soulmate in our lifetime. So if you’ve experienced this cosmic connection before, it is quite possible you will experience it again. And if you’re really lucky, you just may find a soulmate and a life-partner in the same man♥

**Originally published on missamycakes.com**

Born Scandalous

Born Scandalous CollageWhen I think back to my younger years, growing up in Chicago with a strict Latino father, I always picture myself as a girl who lived a very sheltered life. I swear, I barely even left the house as a teenager, except to go to school or the gym. I think most people would have described me as a sweet girl, very studious, and quite shy. So it came as a surprise to my parents when, somewhere around my third year in college, they discovered I was actually pretty rebellious. But, to be completely honest, the signs were always there.

I’d like to believe that I was an angel in almost every respect, but I was advanced for my years and in a hurry to grow up. Because of this, boys my own age never really appealed to me. The feeling was mutual—the boys in my grammar school often teased me and to be honest, could be quite mean at times. Two boys from my class, whom I mistakenly thought were friends, followed me home from school one day and spit all over my hair. However, when I turned about twelve, I started to get a great deal of attention from grown men who would stop me on the street to tell me I was beautiful, even sometimes asking for my phone number. I believe this is why I always had a thing for older men. They seemed to see something in me that the boys my own age hadn’t and treated me exponentially better.

Technically, I wasn’t allowed to date until I was sixteen, but of course, being quite precocious, I found a way around that rule. Since I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, I really didn’t know many boys my own age. What I was meeting were men who, I realize now, were far too old for me.

For instance, I remember being about fourteen and going to Medieval Times with my family, where I not only fell for, but exchanged numbers with a handsome knight. I was completely devastated when my mother told me I was not allowed to date the thirty-five-year old knight in shining armor. I did, however, sneak in a few phone calls to him here and there when I could.

Around that time, there was another man in his thirties who befriended me at the gym. We would meet a couple times a week to lift weights together. He even took me on a few motorcycle rides in the woods—I know, scary, right? To be honest, I wasn’t interested in this guy romantically—always the matchmaker, I actually wanted to set him up with my big sister, who is seven years older than me. Nevertheless, it was really fun for a teenage girl to be around all that testosterone and an implicit sense of danger.

My sophomore year in high school, I had an important school project to work on, and the neighborhood library simply wasn’t going to cut it. So a few of my girlfriends from my suburban Catholic high school and I took the train to the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago. What we didn’t realize was that it was Columbus Day, and the library was closed for the holiday. As my girlfriends and I stood outside the doors disappointed, we were approached by a group of sailors who had thought the library looked like the building from the movie Ghostbusters. Realizing the building was closed, the sailors invited us to the nearby Sears Tower, which was the tallest skyscraper in the world at that time. With the library closed and nothing else to do that afternoon, the girls and I decided to go on an adventure.

I paired off with a twenty-year-old blonde sailor who was born in Sweden but raised in California. When he asked me how old I was, I told him seventeen, two years older than my actual age. We hit it off, and his friend was interested in one of my friends. So my girlfriend and I began taking the train to the city every weekend to hang with the sailors, telling our parents that we were going to the “library.”

We met up with the sailors on several occasions, going to movies, museums, and walking around and making out in the freezing Chicago cold until our sailors had to leave the city to go on tour. So, at fifteen and not allowed to date yet, here I was with a twenty-year old sailor boyfriend. I realize this could have been really dangerous for a young girl, but things fortunately turned out better than you would expect.

With my sailor out on tour, I was able to completely focus on school. We exchanged letters, and I received gifts from all over the world. My parents obviously noticed these letters and packages coming to the house, so I casually explained that I had a friend who was in the Navy, easing them into the situation. I’m sure my dad didn’t like that his baby girl had a sailor for a pen pal, but my mom probably convinced dad it was harmless because the sailor wasn’t actually around.

However, when the sailor was done with his tour, and I was now sixteen and old enough to date, I invited him to a school dance. Knowing mom and dad wouldn’t approve of his age, I told them my sailor friend was only eighteen. To my surprise, my parents liked the guy!

About a year into the relationship, the sailor asked me where I was going to college. Not comfortable with the lie I had told, I came clean, telling him that I was really only sixteen. He told me that if he had known how old I truly was, he would never have dated me—I was far too young—but it was too late because he already loved me.

I know it sounds kind of scandalous to be dating someone that much older in high school, but I actually think this was a blessing in disguise. I believe having this long-distance boyfriend throughout high school kept me on the straight and narrow and prevented me from dating high school boys who probably wouldn’t have appreciated me nor, quite frankly, been able to handle me.

The sailor and I stayed together for five whole years, with him moving out to Malibu my second year of college at Pepperdine. However, he simply did not get the same girl in Malibu that he had fallen for in Chicago. When we met, I had been a sweet and innocent high school student with her nose in a book. By the time he joined me in California, I had gotten a taste of freedom and was no longer that sheltered girl anymore. My first year in college, I’d been sneaking into nightclubs hang out with rockers and soap stars. When my boyfriend moved to L.A. my second year, I missed hanging out with friends I had made and longed for the more wild nights of freshman year.

The irony is that when I felt I had outgrown the relationship, my parents tried to encourage me to stay with my then boyfriend. Dating a former sailor, five years older, simply isn’t as exciting when your parents are trying to push him on you. In fact, I think when my parents got in the mix, it made me want to rebel even more: I had to find something more forbidden, more intriguing, and more dangerous…and, boy, did I find it!

**A preface to my upcoming book Love, Miracles & Mayhem in the City of Angels**