Santa delivers

Joey Garcia

I’ve prayed for years to meet a long-term partner and trust that it will happen in God’s time. But recently, when a friend and I took a picture with Santa (even though we’re both over 50!), I said I wanted a boy toy for Christmas. I think I said it because I haven’t had a date or anything in forever. The next night I met a guy 20 years younger. He asked me out so I told him my age (I look younger and wanted to be honest). He didn’t care and we had a blast. But if I ask God for a great guy and get nothing, then ask Santa for a boy toy and he delivers, what gives?

Temptation? It could be a test to determine whether you are faithful enough to wait for what you say you want. After all, divine time, or kairos, as the ancient Greeks called it, is beyond the measure of calendars and clocks, whether biological, emotional or mechanized. Another possibility is that in some delicious cosmic joke, your two requests swirled into one plea that was fulfilled as easily as a child’s Christmas wish. The only way to know is to wait. You met a man, that’s exciting. Now use the gift you developed all these years—patience—to establish a friendship. As you do, keep that song of hope alive in your heart but engage your intellect so you can let go if he is not a match.

One other thing: You told him your age because you wanted a compliment, not because you wanted to be honest. How do I know? He didn’t ask your age. He probably doesn’t care and neither should you. After age 35, age is rarely a controversy, emotionally, mentally or spiritually for couples. There can be physical issues, of course, when the older partner’s body slows down and health concerns tend to arise. But it’s far too soon for that thought to be in your repertoire.

When my boyfriend and I started talking, there was a spark. Two years later, we know each other well and even talking on the phone is hard. He is respectful and loving, but once things started to fade, I began flirting back when boys flirted with me. I never told them about my boyfriend. I thought it was OK because he never told anyone about me. I feel like I’m messing up because I lead boys on. My girlfriends say I should break up with my boyfriend or drop the others. When I flirt, I get butterflies. But last night I stressed out trying to juggle four boys on the phone. My boyfriend told me that if we break up we would never be friends. He’s not friends with any ex. What should I do?

Learn the difference between love and infatuation. Many relationships begin with flirting and fun, butterflies and the pleasure of being the center of someone’s attention. As you invest emotionally in each other, infatuation falls away, replaced by the steady, gentle rhythm of love. If you miss the emotional roller coaster of infatuation, you have an addiction to attention and drama. And that’s why you cheat on your boyfriend. Yes, cheat. You are being secretive (a sign of a betrayer) by not telling admirers that you are in an exclusive relationship. Of course, your boyfriend cheats, too. So, I agree with your girlfriends: Ditch your emotional dishonesty and make a decision. As far as friendship with an ex, if you are an attention addict, it’s better to be friendly (wave hello from across the street) than to attempt real friendship. That’s because your need for attention will always motivate you to cross boundaries that should not be violated.

Meditation of the week
You are surrounded by people who love you deeply. Believe it and give thanks. Who would you be if you lived every moment of your life that way?

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