Daily Inspirations

What DO We Want in Love Now?


Recently I met a man online who was new to the scene. Bright, articulate and very clear about what he wasn’t looking for in a woman and his next relationship. Reading it, I thought, “I like how clear he is. He’s honest and confident and really a bright man…an amazing writer and he can spell!” I could almost feel the chemicals being released in my body and it felt wonderful, that sweet sensation letting me know I wasn’t dead yet.


At the same moment those hormones were taking off their pajamas, a light came on not only because I couldn’t sleep, but because I was about to sleepwalk right back into a familiar place…a black hole that I’d fallen into many times before. I felt a smile come across my face and like a recovering alcoholic, I knew this time I would take a different street even though there was a lot of comfort in that hole.


I’m addicted to the mysterious man who is a bit of an unknown quantity. He’s “almost there” or “exploring” love and relationships, and always, very “conscious”. He says he wants love in his life, he’s happy with his life, likes living alone but wants to find someone special to spend time with and share some things in his life sometimes. You get the picture, but do you get the attraction? It’s a bit like Ernest Hemingway with a dash of Richard Gere. Illusive, handsome, bright, creative, romantic and ever so charming. I’ve had some amazing food with these men. Fine wines, beautiful settings in gorgeous locations, romantic sails and even spent some wonderful holidays right out of a movie set. What more could a woman ask for? 


I’ve grown over the years, perhaps, grown up. Still drawn to those men who sort of want a relationship. I now know that although the honeymoon will be amazing, what will follow for me at least,  is the emptiness, confusion, struggle and drama that belongs in that Hemingway novel but not in my precious life. Now, I know to walk around that hole, take another street. That other street is less familiar and requires more from me than blithely following those delicious hormones down the road. Now, I must choose what is right for me and that requires knowing what that truly IS. It means facing my fear that he might not be out there, or at least within 50 miles of me. And the temptation to settle can return again and again when that fear appears.


Isn’t being a grown up a wonderful thing? It may be hard work at times, but the rewards are so amazing. When I find the man I truly want and deserve, I’ll happily walk over those spent fireworks that lay on the ground,  holding the hand of someone who wants what I want. The journey begins with knowing what that is.


Do you know yourself, who you are NOW, and what you really want in your next amazing relationship? Begin there because when you know who you are and what you want, you can know them when you see them. 

I’m here to hold your hand, keep you motivated and teach you how to trust yourself…and see dating as an adventure!
Let’s meet each other and get you on the road to finding love again. For a complimentary 30-minute session, give me a call at 510-817-4242 or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love to set up a time to talk.


Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair


Big Red Chair

Love at the Farmers’ Market??


It was as if someone turned the spigot on that morning. Love was flowing through me, rusty pipes and all.

I never cease to be amazed…

Saturday morning I made my way down to Batavia’s Farmer’s Market. My first time. And though I’d heard it was a great little market, my expectations weren’t a match for the experience that awaited. Already booths were abundant with organic fruits and veggies, flowers bunched and wrapped in that brown crinkly paper, tied with yellow grosgrain ribbon…the kind your Grandmother used to hold your hair back out of your eyes.


Local honey and stories about bright green and yellow patty pan squash, no longer yellow, but swirls of bright yellow and the deepest forest greens I’ve ever witnessed on a vegetable. Seems the bees were cross-pollinating now (something many of us single folks sometimes have on our minds!). Beets, sweet and the color of strawberries came with a promise that if I tried them and wasn’t happy, the farmer would give me a refund.


Happy chickens that actually walked around all day, cows that didn’t go into the barn ’til sunset. Just like the Midwestern folks I’ve met, seems the food must be happy too. Of course, being a virgin market attendee, I overbought…maybe to have an excuse to invite my son and grandson over for Sunday brunch?


Done now, lugging the bags toward the top of River St., I glanced over to see the most beautiful handmade bread and pastries ever!  Well, the exception is my best friend, Charlotte’s breads whose Grandmother, Ida created and lovingly passed on to her. There they were! So I had to stop, right? Knowing I’d be eating enough gluten to inflame the joints of every soul I knew didn’t deter me one bit. Salivating, I watched him pull the loaf of walnut raisin rye, two almond scones, and a half dozen English muffins. Anxious, diving into my wallet, I saw the sign…“Cash only, please”. I could feel the disappointment flooding over me as I stood with my useless debit card. Then, that sweet guy’s voice stopped the spiral of despair. “Don’t worry about it. Really. Just enjoy it. Next time you come to the Market, pay me then.” I began the offers…“I can find an ATM. Let me just take a croissant. Keep my driver’s license. How about I give you my first-born?” He handed me the bag, smiled and repeated, “Just enjoy it.” 


I walked away feeling a bit teary with joy. There’s no shortage of love even in these days that can feel as if we are living in the darkness of an empty cellar at times. It’s so easy to lose sight of the love all around when we are busy, not feeling well or watching the national news…or when we’re alone, in a new town, out of a relationship with someone we thought was our forever love.


Just for today, take time to be loving to those you meet, recalling all the people in your life who love you to the moon and back. If all else fails, go to the movies and see the documentary about Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. It’s worth the money and a couple of hours of your life and a box of Kleenex to be reminded of what they say in another of my favorite films, “Love Actually”…“Love really is…all around”. 


If you’d like some help in finding that love of your life, why not call me and see how that can happen?


Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love

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Big Red Chair




Forget Jerry Maguire!


She drove 25 miles to meet me for lunch, and somehow though that’s what we do here in the Midwest, it still made me feel treasured. Not a friend yet, we’d only met once when I was still unpacking my things and the snow still sneaked up on us some mornings. It was a Meet-Up group, six women walking on a sunny day telling our stories as only women do when they hike.


I’ll admit complete ignorance really. About this area of the country that I’ve only seen out the windows of airplanes as I crisscrossed from California to Maine and back. Being a lifetime coastal dweller, looking down I’d try to imagine what it must be like to live down there in that flat land only bordered by each other in wide open spaces that go on forever.

I think of the Dust Bowl, of Steinbeck and those election years when whoever lived there seemed to pick our next President.


I didn’t remember much about Gayle except how sweet she was and her beautiful shiny face that looked as if it had never seen makeup. Blue eyes given by the Swedes, they smiled at me when she came through the door. Seems she’d not been to my little town “in years”. Well before this Thai restaurant was on the River.


Right away she wanted to continue the conversation we’d had on the hiking trail. Fascinated by my work with people who are looking for love, she’d told me about her daughter, who at age 30 had given up. About being a widow for nine years, her husband a hard working man who was an alcoholic. It hadn’t really occurred to her that she might want to love again until that morning we met.


The Pad Thai came and I had to pace myself. All I wanted to do was savor it and stop myself from choking from shoveling it down. Gayle was still on her Spring Rolls.


“At first, I was so lonely and I wanted someone really badly but not any more…well, not like that, anyway”, she said. “I’m happy with my life. My kids are near me, I do things I love to do and I’m pretty happy most days with life.” Then she said something that really hit home…”I used to feel as if I had to have someone or I wouldn’t be happy. You know, it was kind of desperate feeling. Now, I feel like I’m OK being alone, but that having a companion would just add to my happiness.” I knew exactly what she meant and that it is a crossroads for many of us who have loved and lost someone, whether by death, divorce or wisdom that it wasn’t the right person for us. That growth from living the movie line, “You complete me.” to the sweetness of saying to someone new that we’re coming to love, “I’m happy you’re in my life. It’s so much more fun to do this with someone.”


This transition from needing someone to make us whole to wanting someone to add to our pretty darned OK life is not a straight line, nor is it easy at times. It takes time and a path that is unique for all of us. Some of us will need another go-round to find that place of serenity. That’s OK.


If you’re feeling like life is pretty darned good, that you’re happy most days and yet, feel that big space in your bed would sure be better with someone there, it might be time to gently move towards that. But remember, much like finding a job, you gotta be clear about what and who you’re looking for to make life richer and more fun. Today, just start opening to the possibility and I can help you find the way to love!


Your First  30-minute Session is On Me

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love  and let’s set it up!


Donna Bailey, MS

Coaching, Speaking, Writing and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair




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