Words & Banter

Right Person? Wrong Time?

Photo by chatiyanon on iStock

It seems the pandemic has resulted in people “recycling” relationships from their past, and I have already admitted to doing that and then being “ghosted” (the relationship was doomed the first go-round and trying to resurrect it reminded me of why). Although on the surface it may seem rude, there are a few “legitimate” reasons for ghosting, some less obvious than others.

Looking back to decades of dating, a handful of engagements, and two failed marriages, I realized none of them started as friendships. I will also admit that very few started with sparks of passion (I know those fizzle out), but all were analyzed in terms of compatibility. Too bad I was not aware of research indicating the majority of romantic relationships begin as long-term friendships.

This story began as an impromptu business meeting when I asked to speak to the manager of a food franchise I frequented, thinking there might be an opportunity to create a joint marketing opportunity with Red & Black. There was no way to know the attractive man sitting toward the back of the store, who I noticed when I first walked in, would be the district manager.


Although we seemed to connect in terms of business and marketing, and exchanged contact information, nothing came of it. Yet I would occasionally think of him. Several years later, Red and I were invited to speak at the 2011 Texas Conference for Women, and when we ran into him in the exhibition hall, I explained how we mentioned his company in our presentations.

Starting then, and over the years, we would occasionally find small ways to work together. But, we could go months without any contact, and then would meet for drinks and talk business and life. For hours. Red would ask why I did not pursue more, and I would always have an answer … or maybe it was an excuse. At first, I did not want to mix business and pleasure. Later, I wondered if it was mutual but did not want to risk the friendship hoping for more.

This past fall, as we all started to venture back out post-pandemic, I invited him to my high-rise for drinks, which Red pointed out was a significant step as I never invited anyone to my home. (In the past decade, only one other non-platonic man had seen my place.) The feelings seemed mutual, as was the apprehension about risking the friendship. As we talked for hours, I realized that he knew me better than almost anyone.

And, we had our first kiss. And, a second date, where I admitted, much to his surprise, that although I was a planner, I was going to try and let this relationship (he called it “being an item”) evolve organically. It was a new approach for me as I always look 20 years down the road and work backward.

Life then interrupted. Abruptly. And, repeatedly. First, my mother passed. Then, he had to deal with multiple life events that happened one right after another. At first, we texted on a regular basis. And then, there was nothing.

It was as if we had fallen back into our old habit of getting busy and putting the other person on the back burner. Not out of our lives, but recognizing something else needed our immediate attention. And, although he was in my thoughts, I decided to let him deal with things in his own way, with just the occasional text to let him know I was here if he needed me. Because,

We will always be friends, but if you rearrange the letters of the word “item,” you get the word “time” … and if we ever are to truly become an “item”, the time must be right.
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock

Are you taking the Dry January challenge and not having any alcohol for the month? Or, maybe you plan to drink less (but not nothing), which makes it Damp January. Or, maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. (If so, there’s still time to start!)

Well, nothing much has changed from our approach to Dry January last year, except the one who had started drinking more last year is continuing the trend …



red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK , started Dry January , where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.

Wishing you Happy 2024 – with new beginnings and much more!