How is Fly Fishing Like Love?




A few years ago I was trolling on Match and met a man that seemed coffee-worthy, not to mention he wrote so beautifully, I couldn’t wait to meet another writer. Arriving early at the art museum, I found the ladies room, making  sure every hair was in place and that I didn’t have raccoon eyes. As I opened the door a tall, slim silver fox stood there by the elevator. Believe it or not, he actually looked like his photo. “Hi”, he said with the most gorgeous Southern drawl mixed with some California sophistication and I was off and running.


Some weeks spent in the pink cloud condos passed quickly and smoothly. As is always true when we tumble head over heels for someone, that wall of oxytocin keeps everything but perfection from reaching new lovers. Thank God for that and as I always say, enjoy the ride!


The details are not important to the story, but one day I had a rare but very real meltdown. Something very old in me was triggered by him and my poor body was flooded in fear. That’s when it happened. Not usually a man comfortable with emotions or touch, he took me in his arms and held me, and then said my magic words. “I will never leave you.” 


My life was not spent in Who-ville and in fact, I moved 17 times before I graduated high school. My daddy, for whom I was a princess, committed suicide when I was at the tender age of 12. I quite literally thought I would die from heartbreak. And, I didn’t but it took many decades to heal and to trust that when someone I love leaves for any reason, I won’t die. 


Mr. Southern Charm and I didn’t last long but I had fallen deeply in love with him. Deeper than I had ever allowed myself to go, no longer my usual one- foot- on- the- other- side- of –the- threshold. So, with my heart and soul heavily invested, I was devastated. Months later I wondered if I would ever be able to love again. 


I not only survived that loss, but have managed to navigate through new relationships, sadness when they didn’t work then get right back up,  bringing my new best self to the next one. And, here’s what I learned from the Southern Man that changed my life. I learned that my biggest “hurt place” is  loss and ensuing feelings of abandonment…of course it is. And, that no matter how much I heal over a lifetime, I will always long to hear a man I care deeply about say, “I will never leave you.” That’s like an award-winning lure for me. It will get me every time.


Being aware of what your lures are creates not only an opportunity to be compassionate with yourself and your injured places, but it will show you what hooks you to the wrong person over and over again. 


What are the lures that keep hooking you? What will you do to take care of yourself as you look for someone wonderful, healthy and ready for love?


Me?…Well, my skin will always be soft and thin in the area of abandonment. Even when I meet Mr. Right, I will remind myself, at some point that we all leave someone we love behind when our sweet lives are done. And, when I am fortunate enough to find love again, I’ll enjoy the ride!


Do you want to kiss more than your dog and are you ready to do whatever it takes to find someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life? 
Email me at and let’s schedule a complimentary session to talk about just how I can help you find them!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer, Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair






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