It Takes as Long as it Takes


How long does it take before you realize that you need to change something in your life that hasn’t been working for you? You can see it causes you pain, that you aren’t happy, that he/she isn’t going to change and yet after months and sometimes years, you’re still doing the same thing, choosing the same kind of person to date, or swimming in a pool of hope that he/she will change now that you’re back together. 


A few weeks ago I met a man online. You know the drill…cute, tall, owned a sailboat, charming and witty. Now, in all fairness, I am sure there are men out there who are all these things, and healthy enough to have a nice relationship. “I just haven’t met him yet”, Michael Buble sings. That Sunday afternoon, I went to meet the guy I hoped would be all that, and not a member of the tribe of the self-absorbed. We don’t know much from a profile or emails or beautiful writing…it’s all in the pudding of meeting them and even then, until a crisis occurs or the pink cloud disappears over time, we really can’t know.


He hadn’t given me much information except he’d be there doing some work for the Board and asking me to “just text me.” So, I did…and nothing. After 15 minutes, I sent another, “I’m here.” About 10 minutes later he appeared…no apology for my waiting, and he turned and started up the stairs to the bar with nary a word except, “this way.” Two glasses of Chardonnay and an amazing view of the estuary later, all I could hear was HIS voice. On rare occasions, you could hear mine trying unsuccessfully to say something. And, it was so beautiful there and his sailboat was going to be fun! He got up, talked to other people and would return at will and continue “Did I tell you about me?”


After about two hours of this, I was still enchanted by the romance of it all. Really???  Yep. It felt familiar. I understood this kind of man, and worse, this kind of treatment. My escape was to imagine the fun we’d have later.  Speaking of later…it was time to head home, so he walked me out the door and gave me a kiss followed by, “I’d love to see you again.” Of course, I said,’I’d really like that.” Really??? Yep. And I meant it.


Driving off and making it alive onto the freeway, I was high from Mr. Charming, my imagination of what would happen on the next date was like a runaway train into Fantasyland. And then, it hit me like a load of bricks. Out of nowhere, it seemed, I said right out loud, “NO!!!! You aren’t going to see him again! Not him or anyone like him ever again!” And a door closed. A door that had allowed men unfettered access to my sweet heart who didn’t deserve me. My heart swelled up on that drive home and it wasn’t congestive failure. It was the self-love that I’d been compromising, not because I’m not smart, or aware, or that I’m totally screwed up. My heart knew for the first time that I was worth loving and being loved by a man worthy of me.


The next part isn’t a straight line either…making changes when you know what’s good for you. Mr. Nice Man may not come complete with fireworks and massage oil. He may come in a truck, or bring you a cup of tea and look quite ordinary. You may feel the warmth and safety he brings when he says, “Let’s take our time and get to know each other.” You need to practice being ready to receive, talking about what you love and  imagine what it feels like to meet someone who cares about you and wants to make you happy. It sounds great and it is, but how long will it take before you’re there?? Be loving and patient, compassionate and kind to your sweet self because for all of us it takes as long as it takes to learn a new way of loving.


Are you tired of watching sunsets alone, and of meeting the same kind of person over and over again? If you think you’re ready to do whatever it takes to find the next love of your life, I can show you how to begin again.

Call me at 510-817-422 or email me at for

A Complimentary Session

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair




  1. Pam Schaeffer on July 10, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Exceptionally good advice, offered in a meaningful and constructive way. Thank you!

    • admin on July 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      We all need to know that we aren’t flawed and a mess when we spend a long time finally realizing anything that we then know is good or not good for us. It’s deeply seated in there way before our sweet consciousness knows why. Thanks for taking a look at the blog!

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