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« on: November 07, 2018, 07:04:16 AM »

Well, she flies 12,000 miles away tomorrow. I am astonished at how bereft I am. I know I've been asked to question my narrative yet nothing about what I felt and saw and heard with 'boots on the ground' changes that. I am fairly certain she is in as much pain. Two months ago she was telling me how sad she would be to leave me and that was before... everything in between.

I'll say I think my narratives have been pretty dead on, it is my occasional over-reaction that has not. Because I think it isn't that I get narratives wrong, it is that I get other people's behavior/recations to them wrong. How I expect them to react or behave.  So maybe my narrative of 'what is' is good but my narrative of 'what should be' is not.

The part of my narrative-assessment that was good was that I rejected the notion that we just had a summer fling and allowing her to fly away with just memories. I rejected not making a 'Grand Gesture' as in this case it seemed called for; we were not on a dysfunctional relationship, she does not have PD, and she clearly feels as deeply as I do but there are some issues known and unknown I needed to address. My GG (letter and simple flowers) resulted in a meeting, finally, where she brought a translator who explained those issues which I addressed, most importantly the introduction to and dinner with my mother. Which was a quite moving and special evening which reconnected us and renewed her desire to continue by having me come live with her for awhile in Chengdu.

Where my  Narrative-of-what-should be went wrong: I know that XL deeply desires a future and was as deeply moved by the dinner with my mother as I was. I know how much she loves my speaking to her in Chinese, I know how much she loves me to say her name in Chinese, I know much she likes to hear that I will miss her. So in my mind saying "I'll miss you so much" in Chinese under the falling leaves on 5th Avenue would logically move her to tears. It did not. Because she is not me.

That didn't take into account all of the other deep issues at play; her obvious difficulty in expressing romantic feelings directly (she had been married for 20-30 years and I was her first serious and intimate relationship), her lack of experience in dealing with 'goodbye' in a romantic relationship (same reasons), the fact we had just come back together after a good deal of distance where she had many questions about me and us that had just been answered, some issues unknown to me regarding business associates landing in JFK who were associated to her ex-husband, and the fact she could not invite me to her going away party which clearly I was going to ask her about and the very fact it was our last dinner together for likely months as the reality of our being 1/2 a world apart was now imminent.

All that beautiful energy is now sullied by the confusion and pain from that last dinner together.

I apologized for my actions as she did for hers. But I deeply wish she had not invited me to dinner and just left on that beautiful high not from my mother's dinner.

One very positive note is the deep connection she made with my mother. I cannot even count how many times she told me with tears in her eyes how happy that night made her; that I introduced her to my mother and that my mother was, in her words, such a perfect and beautiful lady. I believe she came under a lot of pressure from friends to make sure I was the real deal (one reason her translator was her best friend's son) and finding my mother to have those same qualities seems to have moved her deeply. I shall not forget her following me into my kitchen at that dinner and touching my heart and saying "You come to me in Chengdu?" and my touching hers and saying "I will come to you in Chengdu".

In any event she was clearly moved, since besides the multiple "I am so happy", she replied to a text my mother asked me to send thanking her for some gifts and for being at the dinner with over a 1/2 dozen texts of thanks and love. She also said in the last one something to the effect of "your son and I will work out our problems don't worry".

I've said as part of my narrative and am sticking to it ;) : while being a very warm and demonstrative person, especially for a Chinese one, she has little experience or comfort expressing romantic feelings. For example though she has never said so directly, at every event I've been to with her friends, multiple people will all tell me through and for her how great I am to her, how well I treat her, how I do everythng for her and make her so happy, what a great gentleman I am, and how no one has ever treated her like this before. And how much she loves and trusts my eyes. This is usually while she has either a hand on my leg or arm or is just looking at me with love in her eyes. Often she'll 'soften' the moment by grabbing my arm and saying 'and also he has such nice muscles'. But clearly she has asked them to say something to me.

So I find her replies to my mother not only illuminating but something of a clue as to a door to open to her to communicate with me. For instance I wrote her two beautiful love letters which, while they got me my meeting and reconnection, she did not reply emotionally to. To my mother's short thank you she replied how moved she was by the letter and how they made her cry and sent 1/2 dozen texts that showed she understood the text and subtext of the thank you very well and they both meant a lot to her.

She said 1/2 dozen times how much she loved my mother and signed off with Love XL. This is a woman she met for 3 hours and these texts are all on my phone. She kept texting for about 4 hours with the same thoughts: Love, wanting to return to her/us, her deep appreciation of us, etc.  It is perhaps a bit of a reach but given she has not said I love you or Love XL to me or how much my letters brought tears to her eyes (they HAD to have) I beleive she was saying things to my mother she could not to me (well, in fact as I type this I remember that when we used to make love she'd cry out "I love you I love you I love you!" so there is that :| )

My mother had started out saying "I know you and my son are having difficult conversations but I wanted to interject to say thank you" and concuded with "I have a selfish reason for hoping you work things out with my son-I wish to see you again". So this girl concluded her last text 'to my mother' and on my phone "I think I will deal with the problems between us together with your son!". From my experience of her English she means 'don't worry you son and I will work it out".

All a long way of saying that my plan in my nice Bon Voyage letter to her is to share my mother's email address and phone #. I know that will mean a lot to her since the connection clearly does and she has no way of reaching her (except through me) and it might give her a 'soft' way to communicate with or learn about me without having to go through me.
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 09:56:37 AM »

At the risk of sounding like a broken record.  Take a breath. perhaps write her this before she leaves.

我认识你很高兴。 一路顺风。
Wo ren shi ni hen gao xing.  Yi Lu shun feng.

I am happy to know you / it was nice to meet you.  Bon Voyage.

In a previous post you wrote something about her be demonstrative for a Chinese person.  You are mixing Japanese and Chinese culture.  The Chinese are, by my observation, quite demonstrative.  Demure is not their thing -speaking in broad strokes. 

I have been in business meetings where people will be shouting and pounding the table.  By and large, once again in my experience, they have terrible poker faces.  It was iconoclastic for me when I first arrived. 

I had a producer literally shouting at me over tea during a contract dispute.  He finally yelled that he had never read my contract...  I quietly finished my tea and suggested we meet after he had a look at the contract he signed.  The yelling was to cover his embarrassment.  I told him not to worry and I knew he had been busy. (I was furious with him -but did not wish to escalate into all out conflict and ultimatums aka... You pay or I will take my toys and go home)

Here is my point:  We ultimately became friends because I 'Gave him a way down'.  It is critical to always allow everyone, particularly in China, a way to save face in any interaction.

" ...leave opening for a surrounded enemy army, never pressure a desperate enemy army."

--Sun Zi

I am going to ask you to do something herculean -stop ruminating.  Stop dissecting.  Stop worrying.  There is literally nothing healthy to do other than wait and see what happens. 

If you think the idea of this potential relationship makes you happy the only constructive thing you could do right now is begin learning Chinese...  and see what happens.

If you do begin learning Mandarin you will wish I had instead suggested 'Begin training for the Iron Man'.  It is an incredible language, but not easy.  I miss having a reason to truly learn it -but one has to have a damn good reason.

I understand the angst, confusion and pain -but try to let it go. 

I feel it is appropriate at this juncture to quote Buddha...

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Wicker Man
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 10:38:30 AM »

At the risk of sounding like a broken record.  Take a breath. perhaps write her this before she leaves.

我认识你很高兴。 一路顺风。
Wo ren shi ni hen gao xing.  Yi Lu shun feng.
Thanks WM. But, um, well, too late :| I did have to address something I did that I am quite sure has put some distance/concern there and I just don't think we left things in a nice bon voyage state. We DID the night before. I didn't cover what we both did but we both got hurt summary each of us had a 'why???!!' moment.

I do get your point but ulitmately I need to communicate or be in relationships the way that works for me too. Sitting and waiting and hoping and being poker-faced and not demonstrative or passionate is just not me. If it IS her and she can't handle it there is not much for me anyway.

I did do face-saving with my Grand Gesture (as hard as it was) and said I was simply leaving a door for her to walk though if and when she wanted. She walked through it.

We both imploded due to the pressure of the last meeting and I  can either a) do nothing except Bon Voyage and hope the bad taste doesn't ruin both of our desires to try to bridge 12000 miles and the worst language barrier imaginable or b) make a gesture that is more in keeping with my own persona that attempts to at least give her some food for thought.

B) is much more me as I'll kick myself forever if nothing happens from doing nothing. I'd rather kick myself forever for nothing happening from doing something and being me.

Meanwhile, yes, I'm looking for some decent sources to start to spend at least an hour a day. I know I won't be proficient but I'll be better in 3-4 months from now if I do go there and even better in 6-8 months when she returns.

I've run this whole scenario past a few of my single friends that know me well (straight shooters all, they've called me on bad behavior and on bad choices) and all seem to agree this woman fell head over heels and is in great turmoil over leaving and the other barriers.

I'll bow to your knowledge on the demonstrativeness of the Chinese for sure. I am still saying that she has issues with being demonstrative/romantic having had none of that for 2+ decades.

Now comes The Great Wait. I'll go back to work, learn the hardest language in the world and see what happens.

Thanks for all the great insights on the situation and the culture btw. I'm trying to adopt as much of it as I can that fits with who I am at the same time. I don't want to become a different person to be with a person or in a culture though. Just maybe a better and broader one.
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 10:07:50 PM »

Funny, went to my local for a glass of wine and dinner. Super cute mid-late-30s woman, ER Doctor, smart, funny, ambitious, quick, sexy. She started talking to me, we vibed for an hour. Two lessons were a) still a lot of great women available to me if XL doesn't work out AND b) the real amazing thing is I realized as having the convo I NEVER did this with her, not even close. Not for 5 minutes. Yet 3 months into being with her I've still not found anything like it. Yin and Yang lesson?
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 11:37:33 AM »

Two updates:

1) The Kid texted that he spoke to her and that her issue (as thought) is that even though she has never met anyone who treats her like this or cares for her like this she is not a teenager and can't make decisions based on passion and feelings. Serious issues like language, culture, distance. She needs time and space. I find it interesting that the quotes are "no one ever cared for her so much" and "she never met such a nice and good person before" but nothing about her feelings.

2) She texted from the airport. "Give your mother a kiss for me and tell her I love her". That is 4  "I love you"s to my mother in 3 days, a woman she knows for 3 hours. She simply won't give me a bone. Not an I love you not an I miss you not a thing she used to. Yes I get 1) above. I too have concerns on the same things but have not withheld these from her while asking her to keep her heart open to me.

I'm not angry (even though it sounds like it above) but I'm not keeping my heart open here. Going back to my Wine Bar and seeing if the very cute and smart doctor girl is there and asking her out and continuing the great conversation and maybe more.

I don't owe anything more here. I've been in a box for 44 days now. I'd guess she will 'come to the conclusion' this doesn't make sense but so nice knowing you but even if she comes to the opposite conclusion it is likely I'll have moved on.

For me there are more issues than language/culture/distance. There is some element of self-involvement I don't like. Even her shock after dinner 'why ? ? ?' amazes me because if she really didn't notice her coolness, her lack of affection, her leaving 1/2 through our last meal to go handle business that can't be explained by any of the above.  Her 5 weeks of 'nothing is wrong' 'there is no problem between us' 'you have nothing to worry about' after blowing off the entire month she wanted to spent together is not, IMHO, emotionally honest. That isn't language or culture or distance.

She ignored all the parts of my replies to 'why ? ? ?' that she did not want to deal with with her 'My English is no good' yet to my mother's thank you note she picked up all the text and subtext and wrote that "I am so moved by your words to me" and "your letter made me cry", words I never got from the letters she apparently didn't understand. That is selective, not contextual language issues.

I think if I magically learned Mandarin and moved to Chengdu I'd end up in a relationship that woudl devolve quickly because these are not promising traits.

I'm not writing this off per se but I don't really have any communications to add. I might do the letters and see what happens and even learn some Mandarin and see what happens. But I am wide open to options here and at least part of my heart is closed or walled off to her and this.
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 06:52:36 PM »

Creeping me out more and more. The boarding plane text is "Tell your mother I love her" (she spent 3 hours with my mother) and her deplaning text 15 hours later (like the moment) "I dont want to make you sad. Thank you. XL"

Going to my Wine Bar to find the ER Doctor. She seems so far to a) speak English and b) doesn't seem to speak out of both sides of her mouth.
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 12:05:27 AM »

I had some cultural issues with my Mexican immigrant ex,  but nothing like this.  However,  one of her cousins married a girl  from Taiwan.  He is a super nice guy, but of average intelligence or slightly below. She came to the USA for grad school,  he never went to college or tech school and had no career.  She hardly spoke English.  Yet they got married and had a kid last year.  He moved there and he was given a job in her father's factory.  So she came from money while he is a first generation American from a working class family.  

You never know how  these things go,  and living in the silicon valley,  I see a lot of Chinese ladies with Caucasian guys.  And there are crucial differences between Taiwan,  China and Hong Kong Chinese also.  A lot of Asian women are attracted to the more liberal mindset of western men (and vice versa).

You probably already know that family,  especially parents, are revered in Asian cultures far more than even western Old World cultures which are Patriarchic (like Mexico... and Matriatchic), not to mention New World Western cultures.  

If it's creeping you out,  however... it sounds like you are evaluating whether it's worth it to continue, and it sounds like you're frustrated by now to decide no.  
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 06:37:22 AM »

 It isn't the cultural stuff that is creeping me out. It is the fundamental character and humanity and behavior of the woman that is creeping me out.

I was kept on a shelf for 6 weeks while the woman told me 'nothing is wrong' and 'you have nothing to worry about' and 'everything is fine between us' not to mention the endless 'you come to me in Chengdu'. Yet she'd already decided to not pursue the relationship. Yet she did everything she could to keep the hook in my mouth while doing everything she could to avoid spending a minute alone with me. I made excuses all month; she is not seeing other men, she is not playing with my heart. She is the amazing XL W and she is scared of what we have and scared to get closer because her heart will break if we do. I said this was her fear all along.  Yet she did not mind keeping MY heart open and MY hopes open and MY love open the entire time. Because when she said to him "if we get to the point where we can't live without each other the pain will be too great when I leave" she only meant if SHE does. Not a thought about me.

The Shen Yun dinner 1/2 through October where her friends made me and us center-stage, told me (again) how amazing I am to her, how happy I make her, how there is nothing wrong with us she is just so busy, how she went to church to pray for me and how she didn't sleep or eat for two days. And again repeated the invitation to go be with her in her home in Chengdu.

Meeting the mother of the man who has just sent you a love letter? Making it seems as if meeting her is the critical need you have to decide whether to continue and then meeting her and making it seem as if it is the most joyous and important event in your life? Cornering me in the kitchen to tell me practically in tears how happy she is because she met my mother and because she loves my mother and then 'You come to me in Chengdu?'. That moment was one of the most beautiful in my life and it was PLEASE READ. And she knew it.

To get the "explanation" from him literally the moment she was taking off, when I hadn't had a word to that effect for the 6 weeks she kept putting me off while telling me we were fine and she wanted me in Chengdu? To have her final text to be before she took off be 'tell your mother I love her'. Not "I love YOU". Not a reciprocal "I will miss you so much 1sttimer". Not a WORD about me. "Tell your mother I love her". She knew my mother for 3 hours. I'm pretty sure my mother didn't make her happier than she'd ever been, I'm pretty sure my mother didn't make love to her.

And on landing what is clearly a goodbye text? "I dont want to make you sad! Thank you! XL W"

We need 'time and space'? What were the last 6 weeks?

Like an IDIOT I felt bad about deleting her from weChat when she deserved it for week and it broke my HEART to see her 'why ? ? ?'.  More than any other thing about our interaction I should have seen that as the truest indication of herself;  she is so self-involved she truly could not fathom how inviting me to a going away dinner, ignoring every affection, calling for a check and an Uber with the food 1/2 finished and running outside and saying 'Ok see you next year' could be seen as hurtful or bad behavior. She said to me later "I saw you were sad but did not know why [<!!!!]. I couldn't ask because I don't have enough english due to our language barrier'. PLEASE READ #1 If you can say that you can text 'Why did you leave? What did I do???' #2 he weChat text the next am, as she showed me (when she wanted to show me HER hurt at the 'sorry please sene a friend request') was 'Thank you for a great time in NY' which meant she knew I was hurt but ignored it all night and the next day until she was ready to send her goodbye.

That is what creeps me out. That is not 'Chinese' Culture. That is not culture.  That is self-absorbed hurtful behavior from a woman who has never had to take anyone else's feelings to account. Yeah I get she never met a nice man in her life yeah I get she has never been cared for so much. What about ME?
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 07:07:27 AM »

Hi 1stTimer:
If you trust yourself, then you will be aok fine, imo.  I read your entire thread and you have laid it all out for us, and for yourself, and you know what is right in your mind and heart and what is not right in your mind and your heart about all of this.  So, if you trust yourself and your assessment of what you are dealing with and have been dealing with, then you can rely on yourself to take care of you and your needs....and get them met by someone who wants to meet them and doesnt struggle to say so.
That is what I am getting from all that you shared.  I honestly didnt see anything wrong with your assessments....I felt they were spot on.....and I liked that you concluded that regardless of the cultural stuff, this is about who someone is and who someone is not.
I say trust yourself and your assessments....and agree wholeheartedly....what about you????   !!!!
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 09:35:07 AM »

 Thank you LoveOnTheRocks. I trust nothing now including my assessments. I trusted my heart for the 6 weeks she kept me at arms length when I would have moved on from any other woman I've ever known because my "assessment" was she is an extraordinary lady who would not be betraying me or playing with my heart.

I trusted the truth of what happened in the kitchen.

So I really have no assessment I just have a reaction.

I can ping-pong on this all day.

If I had to "assess" using both my head and my heart, I'd guess what she said to her friend is true and what she felt and said in the kitchen is true. If that kitchen was not a true moment in my life than nothing ever has been.

It does not change the fact that she let me believe all was well, that she can say the things to my mother she cannot say to me. It does not change the fact that coming to meet my mother was the height of cruelty if she knew she was flying away in 5 days most likely for good and did not want me to follow.

I have no assessment and no answer. I have a scathing letter I believe she deserves and I know would devastate her for a long time. I destroyed it because any assessment I have aside, there is really only ONE thing I know; I love her.
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 09:59:36 PM »

Interesting how it all works out. Went to Wine Bar (where we met), packed, a seat opened up for dinner, then the one near me, the moment it did the Doctor Girl walked in and voila! sat right near me.  3 hour conversation without missing a beat. Date tomorrow night. Apparantly oh oh oh oh oh little China girl though I was going to wait for her to decide with her space and her time. I'd say 45 days is long enough and oh, I don't count the the day she met my mother and invited me to be with her any more than she does. Next up; smart very pretty very cool very successful very nice Americna girl I can have a bunch of conversations with in a row...
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2018, 11:28:28 AM »

Apologies to all on the reference above. I was simply trying to refer to XL as 'the Chinese girl' since clearly I'm angry at her and did not want to even reference her name. The Bowie line jumped in my head. Not mean to be racist (in fact any more than his song was meant to be). If anyone took it that way I apologize.
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2018, 01:36:55 PM »

Hey 1st Timer:  You know, sensitivities can get overboard.....I think you were being smug because she hurt your feelings.....and that's a form of venting....so, no big deal with the slang reference....it was blowing off.

Im WAY more interested to hear how things are going with the American girl doc?  Its been a few days, so you've had some time to process...what say you?  ;-) Being cool (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2018, 01:58:07 PM »

Thank you LoveOnTheRocks. Man everytime I read a reply from you I get that song stuck in my head for a day Smiling (click to insert in post)

I wasn't even sure who you meant at first by The American Girl Smiling (click to insert in post) We had a nice time, I think no love connection. Great converstion, super smart, I could be friends with her.  But sort of brought into focus even more the crazy connection going on 3 months now with a girl I have not had one full real conversation with. I just was reviewing some of our first date "textversations" since my weChat history is gone (some jerk deleted them) and it is crazy.  And for some reason then the way we'd talk is I'd text from my phone and show her and she'd then text from her wechat and show me. So all I have is my 1/2 the conversation. And STILL. And even now still. Not sure if there is another chapter or not but I have ever experienced anything like this.

Thank you for asking though.
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2018, 02:07:42 PM »

Im WAY more interested to hear how things are going with the American girl doc?  Its been a few days, so you've had some time to process...what say you?  ;-) Being cool (click to insert in post)
Hey LotR hope all is well. Just updating you since you asked; texted Doctor Girl yesterday from the Wine Bar since it snowed and she showed up for a drink. Yet another super easy flowing 2 hour conversation. Pretty sure not a love connection but another very cool lady.
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