You Will Always Be My Valentine

as I walk the mourning streets alone
holding the hand that isn’t there
her memory calls to me

my love teacher

smile!
life is a precious gift
delight in the wonder of each new day
embrace the sun’s warm touch
dance with moon shadows
drown yourself in the pleasures of flowers
play with children
laugh with babies

love

love

simply love

maria y steve in sand copy.jpg

you will always be my valentine

 

tio stib

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Love Dumb, Life Stupid

she waves and this gorgeous chick
is heading straight for me

I check my tie
pull up my fly
then gasp
aghast
as she walks by

yes, smiles are nice
but love they’re not
bartender, please
another shot

tio stib
2017

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Control Freaking

I live a funny fantasy
that I control how life will be
if only I pay constant mind
to details of my daily grind

I keep a list
of things to do
and push myself
to follow through
for if one thing
does not get done
I can’t pretend
I’m having fun

I do all this
to sideline stress
it seldom works
I must confess
and people?
they’re such a mess

for often, every day it seems
I find others don’t support my dreams
they ask that I give up my list
I fume
I pout,
I’m really pissed

so I sit and ponder here
do I give up this list so dear
what is it I really fear

if I stop controlling life
will this result in constant strife
if I slow to let love in
will pain clutch my heart again

the truth, of course
is sadly clear
this game that I hold so dear
simply masks
what I most fear
that love will hurt
if it gets near

tio stib, 2015, 2017

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Back to Love Basics 5, Me First, Igor meets Himself

“She was everything he’d ever dreamed of, beyond all his fantasies, a woman who left him both mesmerized and drooling.

But, he’d been here before.

Sonja. Helibeth. Anna. Leticia , and countless others. They’d all taken his breath away and left his heart fluttering.

“Good God,” he prayed to the unseen force he didn’t quite believe in, “please let this be different. Give me the courage…”

And that was where it ended.

Again.

Once more, courage failed to answer his call.”

“The courage to what?” interrupted my young nephew, overwhelmed with curiosity.

I paused to study the impatient face beside me.

Then I answered, “Igor was afraid to be himself. He thought that the only way someone, especially a beautiful someone, could love him was if he made himself to be whatever they wanted him to be, and that always ended in disaster.”

“Sounds like Igor had a self-confidence problem,” said the boy whose wisdom went far beyond his years. “So what happened with this babe?”

“Max saved him.”

“Max?”

“Max was a mutt, a dog of no particular breed but very particular character,” I answered, thinking that my nephew and Max had a lot in common.

The boy waited, knowing there was more.

I continued, “Slouched in the apartment’s only chair,a barely padded relic that had known many previous backsides, Igor nursed a cheap beer and pondered his situation. Max lay on the apartment’s only throw rug, another well worn relic, his head resting on outstretched forelegs, sad brown eyes watching the beer can waving in the air.

The can paused and Igor stared up at the ceiling, about to say something to the great power he didn’t quite believe in. Then, remembering the futility of previous prayers, Igor gulped more beer and looked down at Max.

“Max, help me out here,” pleaded Igor, “tell me what to do!”

Suddenly brought to life by inner need to contribute, Max sprang into Igor’s lap and slobbered wet tongue kisses all over the lover wannabe’s face.

“Max! Max buddy!” gasped Igor, pushing his over zealous friend back to the floor. Then, Igor smiled, and looked up at the ceiling again.

“Thank you,” he said softly to the unseen.

I stopped and looked at my nephew.

“Is that it?” he said. “Is there some moral or adult thing I’m supposed to get out of this?”

“What do you think?”

“I think Igor is better off with his dog than with fantasy lovers who don’t accept him for who he is.”

Jeez, I thought, this kid really is smart. Why hadn’t I been able to grasp such things at his age? For that matter, why couldn’t I grasp such things when I was forty or even fifty?

“Sounds right to me,” I replied.

“Tio, does this story have something to do with you,” he asked innocently.

Ouch!

Tio Stib Signature

Looking for more Love and Relationship Help? Get “Remedies for Reluctant Romantics, 100 Ways to Win the Love Game” FREE when you sign up for my newsletter. Subscribe with the widget on the right side of my blog.

You might also enjoy: Back to Love Basics 2, Give the Love You Want; Back to Love Basics 4, Friends First

Back to Love Basics 4, Friends First

There are the naive few who believe that the way to climb Mt. Everest is to simply by an airline ticket to Nepal, some equipment, and set off to climb the world’s tallest peak, in spite of the fact that they can’t climb the stairs to their bedroom without pausing to catch their breath.

In early years, I was one of the naive minds who took the same approach to building loving relationships.

Consider my first attempt at landing a date-

After years of angst and hours in front of the mirror practicing my technique while trying to cover up uncontrollable acne, I finally got up the nerve to ask Julie out. Seriously hot, Julie had sat in front of me in homeroom for more than two years without me ever saying more than a shy “hello.”

She was standing in front of her locker when I came up beside her.

Julie turned and looked at me.

There was an awkward silence.

She smiled, “Can I help you?”

Stammer. Stutter. Blurt, “Will you go out with me!”

Her smile grew bigger. Either she thought this was a joke or she decided to humor my sweaty neediness.

“Sure,” she said calmly,and added, “what are we going to do?” as she turned to put her books in the locker.

There was a clatter as I feinted against the nearby lockers. An affirmative response had not been anticipated.

Startled by her suitor’s sudden swoon, Julie turned and asked, “are you okay?”

Obviously not, as my many practice scenes in front of the mirror had not included any happy endings.

Another nervous pause.

Longer pause.

Finally, an inspiration popped to mind.

My mouth opened, “and I spoke, “the fish are running. Let’s go to the hatchery and watch them strip eggs.”

There was a loud crash as Julie’s books fell to the floor, followed by resounding echoes of hysterical laughter.

“Are you for real?” she questioned, unable to contain her mirth as I scurried to pick up her books, which I handed to her and then vanished into social reclusion.

Okay. That didn’t turn out as hoped for. It took many months of counseling sessions with my dog, Homer, and many more sessions in front of the mirror, not to mention many more tubes of acne cream, before I finally came up with a date pitch that worked.

I think the winning line was, “Wanna go midnight bowling?”

Although the exact words fail me, I do remember the ensuing experience, painfully etched into the failed relationship files in my mind.

It started out well enough. We walked into the bowling alley, I paid for shoes and drinks, and we claimed our lane. Tina, or maybe it was Shawna, I’ve a tendency to erase negative memories as soon as possible, seemed quite comfortable with the game. I carefully studied her form, and then her bowling technique, noticing she’d already thrown six strikes to my similar number of gutter balls. At this point, she also threw a gutter ball, perhaps a touch of pity coming over her when she looked at the score.

Tina returned to her seat and began to sip her drink. I picked up my ball and turned to face my pins.

Suddenly, bolstered by caffeinated Coke courage, I spun around, bowling ball gripped tightly in both hands, and blurted out, “will you marry me?”

Tina continued to sip her Coke, staring at me, a blank expression in her eyes.

I anxiously repeated my request, “Will you marry me?”

This time there was a response. She dropped the Coke. It fell to the floor and exploded all over my yellow and pink bowling shoes. I dropped the bowling ball as I stared down at the brown liquid chaos. I watched the large black ball fall in slow motion towards my unsuspecting toes.

“Owwww!!!” Again, the exact word escapes me as have most painful relationship memories.

As I danced in agony, the ball rolled into the gutter. another scoreless night as Tina’s bright red hair exited the premises.

Okay. That didn’t work so well either.

Neither did numerous subsequent efforts. Keep in mind that the emotional turmoil that resulted from these failures took months to recover from, and many more counseling sessions with Homer, who is not only much cheaper than a psychologist, he also gives free face licks when he sees me lying despondent on the couch.

Yes, admittedly I’m a slow learner, especially when it concerns social matters. However, to my credit, eventually I did figure out something important.

It is much better to have great friends than to have occasional great sex. Good friends I look forward to seeing again and again. I can’t say as much for some sex partners, although I’m sure those partners couldn’t say much good about me.

I adopted a new dating and relationship strategy. Friends first. I decided that the intimacy I really wanted, that feeling of closeness and security was only possible by building friendship, a process that takes time and commitment. Friendship is not a one night stand. Yes, the bliss of sexual pleasure is alluring, but is often a momentary illusion, a glimpse of something grander. But that something is only possible with dedication to building a mutually rewarding relationship.

May I suggest that if you’re intent on climbing the Mt. Everest of Love, start with “Friends First.”

I don’t expect anyone, especially those youthful in years and filled with love fantasies and raging hormones, to pay much attention to my advice. Each of us must find our own way in life,but I hope you take the time to seriously consider the true value of friendship.

If there is someone special you’d like to be involved with, start with friendship first. If this works and the two of you become respectful, trusting, and supportive of each other, new doorways will open.

Friends first, because if you can’t be friends, why bother?.

Tio Stib Signature

Looking for more Love and Relationship Help? Get “Remedies for Reluctant Romantics, 100 Ways to Win the Love Game” FREE when you sign up for my newsletter. Subscribe with the widget on the right side of my blog.

You might also enjoy: Starting Over Again, Back to Love Basics; Back to Love Basics 3, Give the Love You Want

Back to Love Basics 3, Leap for Love!

Yes, it’s February 29, an extra day because it’s a Leap Year, So do something special today.
Leap for Love!

bc_FRONT_1.15.08

Love is not likely to find you if you’re not looking and leaping for it.
Leap for Love in 2016!

Tio Stib Signature

You might also enjoy: Starting Over Again, Back to Love Basics, Back to Love Basics 2, Give the Love You Want