Regina burst into the bar at Bluestone and within minutes she and Warren exchanged real names, chatted about financial futures and vegetarianism, and figured out they had several mutual friends. Warren had even dated a girl who looked just like Regina. I was relieved. Conversation wasn't going to be a problem for my newly introduced divorced pals.
Regina was excited because she'd made a lot of discoveries about herself that day. "I finally met my health insurance deductible," she said, "so my therapy sessions are free for the rest of year! I'm cramming them in like crazy. My therapist and I are on an archaeological dig."
Although Regina vows never (ever!) to marry again, she'd like to have a man around. But since her divorce five years ago, she hasn't figured out how to make a relationship work. As she told Warren, "I love men, I'm just not good with them. I'm in the special needs program of dating - you have a PhD." Warren laughed.
So, Regina is seeing her therapist twice a week and some things are beginning to click. Like why she dated so many inappropriate men - guys who were too young, or married, or from out of town.
"When you're unhealthy, you find people at your own unhealthy level," she said.
Warren said gently. "You deserve much better than those guys," he said.
Regina also discovered why she has problems connecting with men. Her therapist says she's too honest for her own good. Men don't understand how open she is and assume she's playing games. I have to agree that Regina is off the richter scale in terms of honesty, but that's the way she sees the world.
"Why am I stuck with this flippin' curse?" she wailed.
Warren could relate. "I'm always completely honest too," he said. "The problem is, women refuse to believe me. Or, they try to change me."
"No one can ever change anyone," snapped Regina.
Because of the work she's done on her issues, Regina is ready to let a man into her life. And recently, through Match.com, she found the perfect guy. Just like Regina, "Sam" was interested in nature and conservation. They connected on topics like Illinois birds of prey, worms, mulch - even trailer hitches. And one night, after a series of suggestive texts, they slept together.
"We had awesome sex," said Regina. "I was like a hitter in a bad slump and he broke me out of it. He made me feel like a relationship was possible again."
But the next time she contacted him to get together, he stood her up.
Did the guy think it was just a booty call? I asked Warren, who shrugged and nodded.
"I broke The Rules." Regina said sadly. "Men are the ones that are supposed to do the chasing."
What are you looking for? I asked Regina. What kind of relationship do you want?
"I just want someone to spend time with on the three nights a week I'm not with my kids so I'm not alone. Someone enjoyable, to have sex with, on my terms," she replied.
And what did Warren want?
"I want someone smart and funny who thinks the sun rises and sets in me and makes me feel that way about her too. Someone who makes me laugh, to goof around with, who reads books and newspapers and knows what's going on in the world." Warren chuckled. "I have a list."
Neither Regina or Warren seem to be asking for too much, but it's hard to find the right person. Hopefully, the woman I'll write about next time can help. She's a professional matchmaker. Check back later this week for her advice on what makes two people click and how to make a good impression on a first date.