The Keeper of the Shoe


I recently met a man who brought with him a story about a woman who had recently left him. The narrative wasn’t simple and he was left standing in a big puddle of WTF!!?? His version of the story was one of many sweet months of fun and companionship. She had just stuck her neck out from under a shell in which she had been living since her husband passed five years earlier. I can only imagine how this world of dating looked after a long marriage that ended when cancer took her only love. And, now meeting this man who was solid, sweet and no doubt a loving new partner, she must have let love in again while still gripping that photo by her bed to hold on to those memories as well.


One day this sweet man was rushed to the hospital with pneucoccal pneumonia….you know the one that can kill you, the one that our doctors tell us “natural medicine new-agers” we REALLY need to get vaccinated for? Before this bacteria took him to the hospital, he was a healthy man, skiing the powder in Utah at 71 and still racing cars. And, after that three days in the hospital, he was back!


She came to visit him in the hospital, brought him food and stayed in touch, but the touch felt to this man as if it was now cool and distant. He must have felt the chill before she arrived to tell him it was over. Not only was it over, but she told him she didn’t ever want to see him again, not to call or contact her and left. Thus, standing in the WTF?! began, as did the constant questions…”What did I do?” being chief among them. No way to know. Only she had that answer and all contact was now gone.


In desperation, he went to her house to try and get some resolution, just an answer that he could understand. Was it too much to ask? The only thing he learned on that visit was that this 60 year old woman was now dating a 31 year old man. She had found a new love…was that the reason? It didn’t give him a moment of solace. and when I met him, it was the first thing he told me. He still had to know what he did and how bad it must have been for her to walk away, never to talk again? Can you imagine total rejection from out of the blue and no way to resolve it (that he knew how to do)?


So, he meets a new woman three months after this devastating experience and now, will watch her every move, every innuendo, timing of her return calls. She is the Keeper of the Other Shoe. And, where can that lead either of them?

Most of us who live and love long enough will get hurt in love. Sometimes it’s our choice of partners, death, divorce, old patterns that lead us to choose those who can’t love anyone and though it’s not personal, our hearts get broken.

After heartbreak, we need time to heal. Only we know how long that is. Don’t listen to otwho want to tell you what your timetable should be. Take the time. Ask for help from friends, clergy or a professional, but know that you must heal your broken heart so that when that next opportunity to love appears in all its splendor, you can grab it and cherish whatever happens. You won’t have a sore neck or a guarded heart while waiting for that shoe to drop.

Take your time…

If your heart is broken from losing someone you loved, it will mend. I would love to show you how to get from pain to joy again.

Text or call me at 510-87-4242 and let’s talk about it.

Teleconferencing now to keep us all safe and sound.

How Deeply Do We Go?

man with armor


It’s Friday night and you’re at your favorite music venue. It’s intermission and standing beside you is a really attractive man. You want to approach him, but just when you’ve given up, he turns and asks you how you liked the music. And it begins. One thing leads to another as you meander in your conversation, discovering each other’s likes, dislikes, political views and if intermission is long enough, whether you have a problem with his downing 3 martinis.


Down the block from that club the glare of the computer screen housing hundreds of faces stares back. You see a look, great eyes, a Golden Retriever romping with him on the beach and the lead in, “Say something about his photo!”. You know his height, the color of his eyes, astrological sign and that he is a “social drinker” (whatever that means). Hitting that button to reply, you strike it rich. He responds with an invitation to meet for coffee. Plans are made…


You sit in that local coffee shop where people in your neck of the woods always seem to end up when they meet on a dating site. In he walks, looking pretty much like the photo and you’re off! What do you say after the barista calls your name to pick up your iced mocha?


Where do you jump in and how deeply do you go when you first meet someone? The balance is ever so delicate and will often determine whether or not you make plans for that second date.


Picture the layers of our skin. You remember…the dermis, epidermis and the hypodermis and I think it might help. The top “layer” is toughest and protective, the second dermis produces sweat, and the hypodermis is the nuts and bolts, connective and ever-strong constant layer. That’s rather how we are as human beings. When we meet, we have our protective layer in full operation. We sweat because it’s scary and what we really want to do is dive into the deepest layer to ask questions like this:

Are you a crazy person?”

“Am I going to get hurt?”

“What’s wrong with you that you are still single?”


What’s the alternative? “What’s your dog’s name?”, ” How about those Giants?” You can see the dilemma when you meet someone online with only one reason for being there…to find someone. How do you find out more about them in as “natural” a way as is possible? Find something you liked about their profile and ask them to tell you more. Perhaps it’s that they graduated with a degree in law and are now writing poetry. Maybe you love Italy too. Begin where you are, being mindful of assumptions about their past history, wading in beyond the weather forecast but well before asking them to tell you about their divorce. You have to get past the dermis and it’s main function…to protect from pain and injury… before you can really know him. But, if there is an attraction, you’ll have the time and timing to “go deep”.  So, take it easy and enjoy the ride.


Are you tired of being alone? Want to find a special someone to share this amazing chapter of your life? Scared or don’t know where to begin? I can show you the way.

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at donna@donnasbigredchair.love

We’ll set up a time for a Complimentary Session to find out what it takes to find love…again

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair






I Dance, You Dance…Are We Compatible?


Of course we want to be in relationship with someone who likes the same kinds of things we do…to a point. When it crosses the line and you look like you might be kissing your doppelganger, things might get a little boring after a bit. 


I’m online as often as I can screw up my courage to hit the website button to see what surprises await me. 12 Daily Matches come to my inbox every day and I’m always glad those guys don’t hear or see my bug eyes when I look at the photos and say (really to Match computers), “Are you f–king kidding me!?”. They definitely aren’t matching by photos, or they wouldn’t send those shirtless men taking selfies in the bathroom mirror at 7AM. Can you imagine!


I’m a big supporter of online dating because we aren’t getting any younger waiting for Mr. Natural to show up in the Whole Foods wearing a name badge declaring, “I’m single…tell me how to cook spaghetti squash!”. Face it. That’s only going to happen in the next romantic comedy you see.


There are many many problems associated with online dating, including the algorithm that matches us by Interests and calls it compatibility. When we scroll down beyond “5’2”, Yes. Children and they live at home, and asking someone 72 if they want more children”…we see things that person likes to do. Dancing, Music, Traveling to Zimbabwe, Meditating 8 hours a day, Motocross, Exercising 7 days a week…


We often assume that if we too share those hobbies or interests we’d be happy with them. And, most of us would be happy, but after the romance of the pink cloud fades, and we’re back to being honest…”I am terrified of heights.” “I get diarrhea every time I travel to Mexico, so I’m not traveling any more.” “I really don’t like walking that much, except to the mailbox”, that’s when we realize that compatible doesn’t mean that at all. 


When we are compatible, it’s based on the mutual desire to be together, making every effort including a lot of compromises over time, putting the relationship ahead of ourselves often, and always going to “I want to be with this person” when the shift hits the fan and we need to get through the rough patches. Compatibility is not a light-weight issue. It’s the meat of the relationship’s possibility, what makes it sacred and special to both involved. And, it’s based on shared values.


Feelings change. Values like integrity, feeling safe, the ability to navigate with a partner to solve disagreements, healthy communication, don’t change.  You may like to dance too, and travel with Imodium, and that’s what you both may want to do with your time in this period of your life. That’s all good!  But, that won’t mean you’re compatible. You can’t know from a profile, or from the initial dating and romance phase. Time and only time will show you the truth about each other and then the decision can be made to really commit to this flawed and wonderful person that you take “as is”…or not.  


So, get online. Find someone you think you might like to meet given what that profile gives you. Then, if there’s a spark, go out again and again until you have a flat tire or the car doesn’t start. That’s when you’ll begin to see the real “stuff” love takes. It’s the entrance into the next phase of exploration. You’ll see things show up that will either make a relationship happy and compatible or, sometimes, discover that it takes more than love. That’s when the courage to see and accept the truth will be most challenging because we want it to be enough.


Take your time, but begin now and see where the road takes you. It’s so worth the slogging.

Found this blog on Facebook? Like it, then go to www.donnasbigredchair.love /BLOG and sign up to receive my new weekly blog in you inbox!


Do you want love in your life? Are you sometimes confused about head and heart, and don’t trust yourself to choose the “right” person next time? Are you curious about how to find that special someone who is compatible and wants many of the same things in a loving relationship that you do? Do you clearly know what YOU want?

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me for a Complimentary Session! 

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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