When It Comes To Love: Break The Rules


“It is not night when I do see your face.” – William Shakespeare

There are no other words, in my mind, that have ever been strung together to produce such simple beauty.There is nothing more delicate than the romantic essence captured during Elizabethan times.

When I think of the term old fashioned I think of my parent’s generation. The times when men held doors open for women, brought corsages for their dates, and didn’t have sex before marirage. Men would court women. Double dates would lead to single dates. They’d ask you to go steady. You’d wear their ring on your third finger of your left hand. Maybe you’d wear his letterman jacket.

When I think of the Elizabethan period it seems like a mere fable, as if I’d be better off reading Sleeping Beauty. It is just as tangible in my mind. Truth be told, Shakespeare’s works were far more idealistic than actual courting rituals of that time.

The essence of life and love that Shakespeare conveyed has been lost over the centuries. Fairy tales appear to be just that. Do I know couples who are madly in love? Of course I do. However, society has changed greatly as it must over time. I suppose it must adapt. Rules have been made where there should be none.

We have The Notebook, The English Patient. There are still tales of romance based on our concept of modern love. If I ever rattle on about Fabio, I will implore you to read no further.

In additon to those, we have books about How to make a man fall in love with you, how to find your soulmate, how to be irresistible…10 tips to have him eating out of your hand….how to get him to leave his girlfriend….the rules? Whatever.

How to find the man of your dreams and keep him forever- by Bill Shakespeare. Can you imagine?

When did it all get so complicated? When did it all become so manufactured? These are matters of the heart…there aren’t always answers. Falling in love is not supposed to make sense.  I understand that humans are looking for that connection, for their other half. They want the one person who understands them, who acts without question, who is driven by the mere thought of them.We are in love with love. I do not beleive there is a manual.

“Here’s what love is: a smoke made out of lovers’ sighs. When the smoke clears, love is a fire burning in your lover’s eyes. If you frustrate love, you get an ocean made out of lovers’ tears. What else is love? It’s a wise form of madness. It’s a sweet lozenge that you choke on.”- Romeo and Juliet

Truth is, there is no guide at all when it comes to love. I’d rather wish people would practice how to be patient, how to not worry so much, how to let go and trust. Love appears when it appears. I’m tired of our modern day society and it’s need to tell women how they should act in order to ‘capture’ a man. No woman needs a hostage. Everyone is worthy of love.

How to act on date one: Steps one through six. How can you possibly be yourself? How can you let love in when your mind is filled with a list of do’s and dont’s. That isn’t romance. That’s boot camp. It exhausts me. Mind your feelings….don’t call him to say goodnight. He might think you like him…..you need to play the game. I swear these “rules” women would have me stoned in town square, but I find “rules to online dating” comical.  It’s not about the game, because love is not a game.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. – Sonnet 116

Perhaps I’m just a dreamer. At least the little girl inside me is.  She is also scared (and scarred) yet  believes in knights, white horses and that the right kiss can wake you after being asleep for lifetimes. Then, she turned into a teenager and drank away her fears until the liquor cabinet and her heart were both dry.

So how, you ask, can I still believe in love and romance? Because that little girl will not allow me to forget. Because love is brilliant. It allows us to paint the sky without paper.

Love is not a manipulation. It shouldn’t be something that is pushed or rushed. Believe in it. Believe in crazy, wild, unpredictable love. Breathe in trust. Believe in romance. Be who you are and let love find you.

“Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”—- Shakespeare, twelfth night

On Becoming a Grown Up

I spent seven years feeling nostalgic on the day of my wedding anniversary. I’d keep busy, trying not to remember all the good times, or the bad. He proposed on Thanksgiving, that day was usually a drag as well. This year, I forgot both days….until my best friend called me and reminded me that it had passed. See? Things change, and they pass. No matter what. I surprised myself this year, and although we have no ill feelings towards one another, I am grateful that I forgot.

What changed this year? Simple. Forgivness. I forgave him quite some time ago, but recently, I forgave myself. I forgave myself for thinking I wasn’t good enough. I forgave myself for being imperfect.

There is always going to be a grieving period after a break up, whether you wanted out or they did. Of course it depends on the depth, the amount of time, if there was trauma, no trauma….everything is relevant and every individual mourns differently. My point is that perhaps if I had known then what I know now, there may have been less suffering. I got through it. We always get through it. Sometimes the grieving process seems impossible. We can’t trust if we have anger inside of us. We can’t open up if we analyze everything. We can’t be in anything if we aren’t open to give and receive.



The thing is, I’ve lived through every break up that I’ve ever had. Sometimes I may end it, he may end it but I will live though it. Most will be amicable. Every one of them, save one, will still be in your life. One will always be family. Some will remain close friends. Some will confuse you and you may never understand why he cried when he ended it. Some of them will be difficult to get over. Some of them will be difficult to remember. Two of them will wonder why they never married you. One will have your name forever tattooed on his wrist. Ok, so maybe that one was a bit off for getting the tattoo 15 years after you broke up……

What if we were to let go of those dirty “rules” the shoulds and should nots…what if we could shut off our minds and just be in the moment? what if we let go of the past? what if everything we went through did in fact change us, for better or for worse (hopefully for the best) gave us strength, taught us our lessons, and then we were able to let it go?

Be who you are. I’m still imperfect. Have your faults. Have awkward moments. Have a bad hair day. Say what’s on your mind without question. Be vulnerable. Remove the fear. Most of all move forward. Always move forward.



to my lover.

tumblr_lj246hD0Lp1qbsy78o1_500This is my armor, that I will lay gently beside us as we wrap ourselves in egyptian cotton and keep each other warm.

This is my heart that wonders if it can be brave enough to come out and play with you. I have put it back together with duct tape and honey. It seems to be beating steadily. I promise to check it on a regular basis.

These are my lips that miss your touch; your hands that graze against my cheek like the first time an artist’s brush kisses the canvas.

This is my smile….the one that has been hidden away in the bottom drawer of my antique dresser. I’m not sure how you found it under all my crumpled t-shirts.

This is my ego that I am surrending to, just for tonight…..just long enough to type these words. I am tempted to surrender tomorrow as well.

These are the stars that I lay beneath in the cold for no other reason than I know that you are under them too.

Thank you for your arms that wrap around me your affections when indentations shadowed in type are not enough. Shamefully, I crave that more often than I will tell you. I fear that your touch will remain part of my dreams……my tainted rem sleep.

Thank you for kissing me in places that do not know shadows or light…the places where band-aids won’t stick. Thank you for seeing my body as beautiful and something to be cherished. Thank you for allowing me to know yours.

Thank you for your humour that envelops me…and your moves…your beautifully maniacal crazy moves.

You are as bold as I am brazen.

Thank you for your words that show me that there is still good out there, and for the ones that make me blush even when it makes my cheeks hurt. Thank you for making the silence comfortable.

Thank you for your patience and for your kindness that entices me and forbears my unease.

And although I have no void that needs to be filled with lawfully adoring stares, I am grateful for you.

When it comes to love: the first time

Ah dating. It’s trial and error and it also involves all kinds of “firsts”.

The first (and I can’t even believe I am typing this but here it goes…) facebook message/text/phone call. You “chat”. If you’re interested perhaps there is some mild flirting involved…chat some more…usually leading up to the next first on the list.

The first date.  If it’s a blind date you may need a back up plan….a diversion…a friend with an “emergency”. Sometimes it’s necessary. I had one blind date. We ended up in a relationship.  I was fortunate to have a successful one, as were my parents. My parents met on a blind date and they have been together for 54 years…It can go either way.

We all know that the first date can be an utter nightmare. You see two or more women talking early morning in a coffee shop and one looks completely haggard? She’s a mess. Her left eye is twitching. She did not just get back from war. It was a bad first date. Trust me. I know the look.

I try never to have expectations of date number one, although I always secretly hope he opens my door. It slays me every time. First dates can be a whirlwind; the new attraction can leave you with a glimmer of something more….possible potential….perhaps a random butterfly. I could go on… but a great first date? It speaks for itself.

I prefer it when a first date goes well. Let’s be honest….you should….unless you finally had to go out with the guy from *insert religious building here* that your mother has been nagging you about since last June. The guy who hasn’t been on a date for three years unless his own mother has set him up on it. The things you do to appease your mother….

The infamous first kiss. It can knock you off balance if it’s good. If it’s great it can wreck your world and move others ….or it can be a kiss that makes you want to end the date early so you can either call your friends for emotional support or your dermatologist after your face has been ripped off.

The first time you laugh so hard with him that you actually cry….or snort. Don’t judge me. It’s happened. Fortunately, there has been no maniacal laughter or snort during a first kiss.

The first time his actions match his words. If this seems like it comes from a bad past experience, you’re right. It does. It still means the world to me. Why? Because this is when he starts to show that his word means something. His actions are the barometer for the sincerity behind those words. This first can mean more than the rest….even the kiss.

That first “moment.”…the one where you think you may be having a feeling. I love this ‘first’ because you just never know when or why it happens. It could be something romantic he says. He could have said something stupid or done some ridiculous dance move. Maybe he looked up at dinner and had food on his face or it was breakfast and you heard him slurp his coffee. Maybe it was when you heard him snore— you never know what people find endearing. There’s just no telling when that moment will be.

The first time you think….wow….he may actually be a good guy. This thought needs to occur more frequently with age, by the way. Sorry….true though.

The first time that he looks into your eyes and really sees you….this one is my very favorite.For me, there is nothing that compares to really seeing someone for the first time. It is the beginning of intimacy. A time where the layers can start to fade away because there is a developing sense of openness and honesty.

The first time you realize that neither of you mind being ridiculous in public….That being said, I must try on stupid hats of any kind (they usually come home with me).. Fine. Maybe it isn’t as romantic as the rest of the firsts on my list…but it sure is rad…and usually photo worthy.

The first time you are apart….when you feel your hands actually long for a close in distance. Always makes me wonder about that absence makes the heart growing fonder thing. Did someone across the world from another person say that one time because they were secretly cheating? Was he involved in some secret underground poker tournament and had to appease her so he didn’t have to call for 36 hours? Did a dad say it to his inconsolable daughter? I’m going to have to google that shit. Truth. Sue me.

The first time he says he wants you to be his……this also could be a rather lovely moment…or sheer disaster if you aren’t on the same page.  But if you are? It’s a knee shaker. Please don’t tell me it sounds primitive. Ok. I know it does….but I’m a romantic.

Now that there have been all those moments…those crazy, nerve wracking and beautiful ‘firsts’….the signs of trust and honesty, passion and longing, compatibility and laughter. That is the first time I can finally say…”You. I want you”.

when it comes to love….


everything you’ve wanted to know…..

have you heard?

my column full of sass can be found at— http://www.elephantjournal.com/author/ronna-holtz/. check it. love it.



Comtemplating profound moments….longing for more than perfect seconds…Completion or lack there of  is more confusing than i had dreamed.  Eyes filled with something I cant explain (do I have a place in them?). Reflections that make me feel like I can take over the entire world, or at least my small meaningless corner of it.  Flirting with disaster?

Time. Past (to present) has become my enemy. Wishing to erase countless moments of sad as easily as I extinguished my last cigarette…..the feeling of being so physically empty you feel like you’re being eaten from the inside out.

If you could see my reflection through the broken shards could I be more than a night? Could I be a constant? Will I remain the consistent 24? Will I hear those words recanted? The words I refuse to utter for fear of a backhanded hall pass and a designer straight jacket.

My mind plays the night on repeat, like a needle in a beautifully worn groove. My body has changed —as it must when you feel so deeply for the first time….blood coarsing through my veins because you…well. because of you. Because of your eyes that see me…your words that move me…your laughter that warms me. Because of your touch that fills me as our bodies entertwine…

I never could have imagined time passing so slowly. I never could have imagined you.Image


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