Swipe Left, Left, Left, Right

The dating thing is really frustrating.

But, luckily, my head is in a different place this time around.  I don’t know for sure when I grew up (or grew out of things) but I know I have changed.

Meeting Bobby gave me the freedom of exploration and the exhilaration of doing something new and wild.  It was fun while it lasted and I have no regrets for anything I experienced.

Meeting Bennett proved to me I am ready to settle down.  That last crazy date was the nail in the coffin I needed.  I had fun for a few minutes and then I wanted to escape.

Gone are the desires for a sex club, a threesome or any other sort of non-traditional sexual play.  I want one fabulous partner with whom I can have fun with as well as just cozy up next to on the couch and veg if needed.  I am not totally certain I am saying “No, never again” but I am feeling the pull of my age and the need to just put it behind me.  It’s not because I feel old, it just feels like something I have now grown out of.

I also learned, through numerous conversations on line and on the phone, a better reason why the blue collar men don’t work for me – they don’t think I have enough time to devote to them with 3 children and a career.  Several men have now commented that they have a lot of free time on their hands and want their partners to have the same amount of time available.  That won’t happen for me for some time, if ever.  I feel like I have plenty of time since divorce, but that’s comparing life of a full-time mother of 3 small children to the 70% custodial parent of 3 teenage children who have become mobile.  I guess on the outside it appears like more than it is to someone who doesn’t really understand the ages or custody arrangements.

I have also discovered, while I don’t immediately vet a childless man, that it’s the same type of thought process regarding time.  They have a lot of time on their hands and only worry about themselves as compared to a parent who feels like they are continually on call and available to their children.  One man even said “I don’t care about your kids right now as I get to know you, this is about you and I.”  While that statement is true, it also felt unrealistic to me in a sense.  My kids are part of me, I like to talk about them, and I am always thinking of them.  They pop in and out of conversations.  Am I supposed to exclude that while I speak to you?  One guy actually rolled his eyes when I told a funny kid story.  To me it was comparable to him talking about the 50th marathon he ran, I suppose.  In any case, it seems like it’s much harder to find a middle ground that includes me as a woman and me as a momma.  I don’t intentionally separate those things, it happens based on circumstance, but I don’t know if I could consciously eliminate speaking about my kids while getting to know someone.

Either way, I am speaking to enough people pre-date to know that my decisions are more sound than they have been in the past.  I set my criteria based on what my gut has taught me that I often ignored early on.  I used to rush into dates just to keep busy but since I am still a bit depressed, it’s easier to take things more slowly and think about if the man has real long term relationship potential.

There have been a few men that I have connected with and was even a little excited about, but for their own reasons unbeknownst to me, they have disappeared.  Everyone is playing the same games in the big city and people are a dime a dozen.  It certainly takes patience and fortitude to get through the dating scene.

I have even been asked at least 3 times to hop on a plane: Florida, Dubai and London.  Believe me, I was tempted each time, but there was no hesitation to say “let’s meet at home for coffee or a drink,” first.  One man even got mad at me for not wanting to try and stating that my previous failures are clouding my future judgement.  Yes, he’s right there’s a whole lot of failure helping me to make better decisions, clearly!  Maybe one of these days I will even get it right.

At the moment, there are two men on deck.  They can come and go as quickly as I write this post.  I also know we are running into dating slow season, which is also ok.

I would love to be able to really find a dating partner that I can enjoy the holiday season with, but if I don’t, I’ve lived through it before and will live through it again.

 

Date 10: When It All Goes South

I was super excited about Tommy.

That should have been the red flag from the start: dating requires you to proceed with caution, and if I get giddy, chances are it means “Danger, Will Robinson!”

Tommy looked like a great match and had a lovely profile.  I wrote first, which I normally don’t do, but he replied immediately.  Conversation started easily enough and then stalled for a few days.  But, he came back.  I never asked why and we just started up again.

He asked me out quickly and we had fun making plans together.  He knew some of the best little hideaways in the city and had some great suggestions.

I was excited because we had the fun, easy banter that sort of goes sexual, but never turns dirty, just enough to make you a tiny bit tingly.  Plus, he said he was excited, which is, in itself, so much fun to hear.

He arrived to the bar before I did and I was a little disappointed with his looks.  Hard to explain, but he looks like his photos and then not.  He was 6′ tall, but appeared smaller.  He was rock solid and cut, a beautiful physique.  Super smart and savvy too.  He was born and bred in this city so most natives tend to have a bit different world view than the rest of us, again, can’t really explain unless you live here and experience it.  He was from a particular area I tend to avoid matching with because of its heavy accent, but he didn’t have it (always found that weird too because some people have that accent so strongly it’s annoying to listen to and others from the same city don’t).

The thing about city boys is attitude, and many of them have it, it’s just the way it is in this city.  When I was young it really attracted me to them, the bad boys.  As I have grown older, some of the qualities make me want to run and hide.  Of course, everyone is different and it takes time to know someone….but my experience has been very consistent.   Stereo-types exist for a reason.  I use some of them for my dating criteria as I mentioned in a previous post, but I try not to allow them to fog my view upon meeting a person.

Sadly, once again, the stereo-type was right.

We had fun at the first bar, but he kept pushing me to tell him what I thought about him because he knew height was important to me.  I guess I didn’t respond with enough confidence and he got around to insisting he was taller then me even in my heels.  Then he made us both stand up in the small bar, go back to back, and loudly asked the room to determine who was taller.

I was.

He still insisted it wasn’t possible unless my heels were 5″ and not 4″

The next few cocktails went down to fast.  I knew this was time to stop, but I was almost weirdly curious about when we were going to hit a wall.   I can’t even recall all the red flags that came up in his conversation.  I know one of them was that he had no male friends and only female friends.  Another was his anger over losing his friends on 9/11 and wanting to kill and entire nationality and how he overcame that in the form of tripping on E at a U2 concert (Thank goodness for Bono’s wide words?!)  Another was how he kept telling me how sexy I was, how much more beautiful in person I was and how he hand’t had sex in a very long time.

We finally kissed.  He was a perfect kissing partner, and I also knew the chances of that were quite high.  His hand went right to the back of my head and he laced his fingers through my hair as he pulled me hard forward.  I honestly couldn’t stop kissing him.  He was luscious and his back, arms and shoulders rippled with every move.

I could feel the alcohol coursing through my veins.  I don’t often drink cocktails and they work on me much more quickly than my oft selected Prosecco.

We chose to leave the first bar and head to another where his friend was a bartender.  Before that, though, I stopped in the bathroom.  It was a single bathroom so I entered and locked door and did my business.  When I opened the door to exit, Tommy was right there and pushed me back in.  “Don’t you want to see what you’re getting?” he said as he started to unzip his pants.  I pushed him away and said “No, thanks, that’s just gross” and left.

I should have left him then.  My mistake.

We hopped in a taxi and made our way to the second bar.  We made out like mad in the back seat and I eventually realized he had unzipped his pants and was masturbating.

There wasn’t much to masturbate, so if I wasn’t convinced before, this size queen had her ultimate decision handed to her (yes, pun intended!)

This is my own fault.  I was hungry, I wanted to eat and I was a bit tipsy.

The second bar was even more cool than the first.  We met his girl friend the bartender and ordered another drink.  He left me his credit card and walked away to the bathroom.  He was gone a while before I looked over my shoulder and realized he had met someone (I don’t think he knew them) and stopped to speak to them.

Then he came back and said he was going outside for a cigarette! WTF?  Smoking is a deal-breaker.

I ordered food on my own and sat a the bar.

Then I text Bennett.  Things just get worse from here on out.

Bored, alone and drunk on a first date, we got into a heated text exchange.  Tommy came back from the cigarette and continued to speak to this couple.  He leaned over to say it was a really important business contact .

For a half hour.

I ate and text Bennett some more.  I also continued to drink.

He brought the couple over to me who said I was lucky to have such a wonderful “boyfriend” (he had previously introduced me as his girlfriend) and they wished us the best of luck, and could tell how much he adored me (again, WTF?)

His bartender friend mentioned to him there was another business associate she wanted him to meet, and he left me again.

I finished eating and stopped texting Bennett.

Finally, Tommy came back and I made mention that it wasn’t, perhaps, cool that he left me twice for so ling.  His answer was “I was doing a big deal, this could be good for US!”

Ok, official creep factor has kicked in.  US?!!

Then my phone started ringing over and over and over.  It was Bennett – worried or angry I hadn’t replied.  Tommy sees this and goes utterly ballistic that I have an x who is a psycho stalker and he wasn’t getting involved with that type of drama.

I got my coat, put it and and told him I was leaving, all while he was literally throwing a fit about my phone ringing while I was on a date.

I couldn’t escape fast enough.

While in the car home, my phone started to chime with text, one after the other.  His text read “Calling a girl 50 times in a row (he called 3) is not cool while on a date.  That dude is cray cray.  Wouldn’t you freak out if I had a girl call me that many times in a row? I don’t judge you.  It’s not your fault your so goddamn sexy.”

Block.  Delete.  Move on.

 

 

 

 

Date 9: Fun Night with a Great Man

Jamie and I hit it off quickly on line and moved to text.  He was British, worked in banking, 5’11” and well traveled and pleasant to look at.

Very fit and healthy, into yoga, but loved his wine, we had easy banter and conversation.  He asked me out quite quickly and I agreed.

We set our date and time.

Some point during the weekend before our date he was asking m some questions and seemed to love my answers.  I knew this because his language was becoming sweeter and more complimentary and he started sending little emojis.  We really had a lovely conversation, it never turned sexual and he was in relatively constant contact.

The night for the date was coming and I could tell he was a bit more excited than me, but, I was still looking forward to it.  He asked me to choose anyplace I wanted for dinner and we agreed to a traditional steakhouse, which is always fun in a big city.

I knew the moment I saw him that I wasn’t physically attracted to him.  He just wasn’t my type.  But he had a sweet mannerism to him and an easy smile and I knew our conversation would be fine.

Dinner lasted about 4 hours, we laughed and joked and he eventually leaned in for a kiss, which was quite nice.  My hand was on his shoulder and it was rock hard.  He was a little more blown away by the kiss than I was, but I could see he was smitten.

We finished dinner and decided to stay and drink, it turned into quite a late evening with some more kissing towards the end.  But, I just didn’t feel it.

We parted saying we would make plans.

He texted goodnight and again good morning and asked if he could see me on the weekend.  He told me I drove him wild.

I had been thinking about why I didn’t feel any more attraction to Jamie – I couldn’t come up with any concrete reason.  I thought about agreeing to seeing him the weekend and see how that went, but I also sort of knew how I felt about him wouldn’t change.  There was no chemistry for me, but it was obvious chemistry for him.

U ultimately decided I would man-up and tell him the truth, I just didn’t feel the same, and didn’t want to lead him further forward.  I realized that he reminded me so much of the situation with Finnian….I sort of liked him, could see laughing and having fun with him, but no real outcome to the relationship.

We parted via text on a friendly note and I moved on to the next.

 

Strong Starter

Ann has written a couple of posts lately that reminded me of something I have been meaning to write.

In the world of on-line dating, I have become much more professional.   You definitely have to attack the on-line dating like you would any other job interview: patience, research and know what it is you are looking for.

So, I’m a much stronger starter today than I was when I started in May 2014.  Back then, despite every good humans advice, I answered any text from any man that even remotely paid attention to me.

Now, I am much more quick to delete and move on the minute, the absolute minute, I get a whiff of red-flaginess!

According to blog land here, I have too many requirements to ever meet a real man, but they do come through.  Slowly, they show up.  Sometimes I match with them, and sometimes, I don’t.

Here are some key learnings, as random sounding as this may be:

  • If they have taken a photo of a photo, it’s probably on their moms bookshelf, was produced with a camera and film, and surely doesn’t look like them today.
  • If their kids are ugly, well…the Dad usually follows suit, or he couldn’t get a good-looking enough women was he was young.
  • If they work with their hands, I swipe left. That includes artists.
  • Under 5’10”
  • Terrible hanging on to no-hair, hair – shave it dude!
  • Policemen, Fireman, Construction workers, and usually no Teachers as well
  • Names that sound too ethnic to my liking
  • If they LOVE cats
  • If all they list as an activity is gym and eating out
  • Under 45 and over 55
  • If they never traveled, or consider travel to the Caribbean as wordly
  • If they have more bathroom selfies than real life selfies
  • If they are “showing” off their muscles , especially in bathroom selfies
  • If they live in certain towns or cities in my area, it’s a no-go zone
  • Bad teeth
  • Too thin, too fat, too fit (skinny really is the worst for me)

And my list goes on for ages….I won’t swipe right on someone with the same name as my x but Bobby and Bennett don’t matter as far as names go.

Gosh, there are a whole host of silly, innocuous stuff that makes me swipe left or not answer an email or text.

Generally, I only look for divorced males with children, though I have spoken to men who attract my attention for another reason – as long as they have had long term relationships.

If anyone starts with “Hey!” “Babe!” “Honey!” Or “sexy!” I block, delete and swipe left.  Those men want sex.  I am with Ann, I agree you can start a relationship with sex but haven’t found that Unicorn as yet so for now, I eliminate.

As soon as they start with sexy talk, or relationship talk (my dear, sweetheart, us) and it FEELS off, I just say goodbye, block and delete.

I have found, for me, blocking and deleting eliminates all temptation to hear their excuse.  And I do honestly believe they are excuses because any man who is interested, well, they make it clear and communicate regularly.

Now I know not everyone likes text as frequently as I do, so I don’t let my preference cause me to misreads the signs.  Some men do just enough to stay interesting until we meet and I now know that’s perfectly fine.

If I give my phone # to get off an app, and they don’t communicate, then I know they are a ruse.

If I am a tiny bit shaky, I give my burner number.  I haven’t moved off the burner because my gut was right the couple of times I gave that number.

If they ask if I am free, I will say when I am free.  I do not solicit plans with anyone.

I like then a man takes the initiative to make plans and set where to meet, but if a man asks me to choose, I will.

I still rarely write first, but will once in a while if a profile strikes me the right way.

You can laugh all you like about my random criteria, but my formula works for me.  If these things are off for me, I have never had a successful first date.

I know men do the same because I have been on the receiving end of their disappearing acts.  I have one full length photo on my profile so you can see my shape in all it’s glory. It’s a nice photo of me and totally accurate, plus I am laughing.  I have men say to me “You look so fit!” which I have come to realize is their equivalent to the female version of “You look so tall!  How tall are you?”

I don’t lie, I am not fit or thin, I am curvy and not on the small side.  I know men like it or not.  I also have come to realize in my city, mos of the men in the 40+ age range are super-fit and work out, very athletic.  Not all, but absolutely most.  And they want fit girls.  If their profile specifies fit, I don’t bother – they are not going to like me no matter what I do.

We all have our proclivities and perhaps mine make finding a date a bit difficult, but my choices have been better.

At least it’s a start to dipping my toes back in the water….

It’s All About Control, Isn’t It?

I’ve been crying and reading, reading and crying.

Writing a little too.

What if it is all about control for me? What if my x was right about me all along? It’s certainly a comment I have heard my entire life. I’m controlling. I like to be in control. I’m demanding.

Thinking I am less powerful than the. Men in my life, have I sought to control them to ultimately get what I wanted…and then failed in any case because you can’t control another?

Have the men in my life always betrayed me? Can I trust men? Have I allowed these men to be more powerful than me?

Right now I am putting out terrible energy. Desperation and negativity. I would like to take control of myself, at least, but these emotions seems uncontrollable to me.

I allowed myself to trust Bennett. I believed in Bennett and his lies until he no longer believed his own lies. When he loved me I didn’t spend my days in worry, doubt and despair – though there was too much of that and too often. Why can’t I realize there should be NONE of that. Why am I accepting of inconsistency in y relationships?

I allowed myself to be humiliated with begging and pleading when he made his decision. Maybe I thought it was just another “break up” like every other discussion before it.  I must have convinced myself this was simply another argument because I didn’t see that final break happen – they all felt the same to me since the first one.

 

Word Vomit

Well, I said I was back to writing since I’m not speaking to anyone about it.

Why is it that all I want to do is talk about it? I haven’t had any need to truly talk about him all summer even though I knew things weren’t so great. I know I am obsessive but I’m driving even myself nuts.

I think I can trace it back to when he ultimately said “his heart was no longer in it” around mid September. I had felt a pretty distinct change in his behavior and he was weary of the double life.

What makes me mad is my own inability to see what was coming before it came.

I try to save unsaveable things. What if I had had better behaviors earlier, would I have saved us both this agony? Same with my marriage and Bobby….I see that I am so impulsive that I don’t have patience to wait through things to really gain an understanding of the path I should take.

In my work I can see ahead and make predictions based on experience. I can see things coming. Generally, I am more cautious at work and known to say “no” too fast, but with very good backup. I also can weigh risk factors around when to go all in and make a sharp change in direction. I still worry, even at work, if I am doing the right thing, but I have facts that back up my decisions. I don’t make emotional decisions. I can’t do this in my life, I don’t have the patience I have at work to see the facts and make a non-emotional decision.

Once my heart is involved I’m sunk.

So, if I were to be more patient and look at facts, would I get better outcomes? (I don’t mean staying with Bennett, but it could be an alternative outcome). If I wasn’t scared and divorced my crappy x sooner? If I didn’t play on Bobby’s feelings for me and ended it when he wanted to and not pulled into his rehabilitation. If I wanted Bennett in my life, should I have let go when he was still firmly in love to see where the path took him?

I wonder if this is about winning. My x used to say I was so competitive that it drove everything I did, including the need to have children. Do I need to “win” Bennett?

My x used to also insist I have an abandonment issue because I was adopted. This is something I explored deeply in therapy and both the therapist and I feel this is inappropriate because of my adoption. I have close ties with my birth father and sister and feel like they are my family. I was adopted on day 1 and loved my parents and upbringing. So we didn’t think it was the adoption. But it could be that my father, while a great provider, really wasn’t/isn’t a good father. He’s not bad, but he wasn’t participant in my upbringing other than discipline or finances. My mother was the hub of our family.

I know this post rambles in many different things as I search my Brain for some balance. I know there are no answers, no closure, sometimes things just happen as they do.

I know I have to walk through this fire I created and I hate it.

Woke Up In A Cold Sweat

I didn’t go to work yesterday. I didn’t eat or drink. I lie in one position all day in bed. Sometimes I was awake and sometimes I was asleep.

I cried mostly.

I know I can live without Bennett. While my actions or behaviors seem foolish to many, somewhere deep within me there is a person way to guilty to give up on life. And a good life at that. I would never leave my children

The rest, however, seems less important.

I put everything I had into believing in Bennett and his false-truth. No one had ever cared for me like that. He was everything I dreamed of from a young age, manifested in my middle age. I felt immense relief in meeting him, that I could have that idealized partner for me. I felt validated that dreams do come true. I didn’t realize it until now how much I actually sold my soul over to his lies and my utter hope in our union. Foolish, yes. But there it is.

16 months. The last 5 were horrible. It should have ended in May.

I have started to do some reading.  The thing is that I “know” all this stuff, I just don’t put it into action, ever.

I glanced by an article about meeting someone who filled some childhood dream (this is exactly what happened to me) and now I can’t go back and find the term or the article.  I’m so mad, I read it when I was sleepy and it seemed very interesting. The basic philosophy was that we all have ideals or successes we try and reach in various areas of our life. My girlfriend said I loved Bennett because I saw in him husband/father combined, which my x wasn’t. She is on to something there. I wish I could find the damn article.

I’ve been dwelling on the things I know I need to address, but seem to go in circles with:

  • Contact with him brings a weird form of temporary relief, but it ends up in shame.  I don’t understand why I want to feel shame.
  • I am trying to understand how he feels and change how he feels – I need to stop caring what he is doing and why.  Why do I care so much?
  • I have to work past the voice in my head that tells me I need him.  It’s not my best voice.  Its sad and pathetic and desperate.
  • My anxieties and insecurities don’t necessarily reflect what’s really going on or what he’s thinking or feeling.
  • Recognize that this comes from someplace in me. It’s not just that this guy is a jerk. I found him and accepted him, even though there were signs that it was bad. I have to look at my own history.
  • I had an unrealistically high perceived value and perceived probability of this relationship.

There’s some profound way in which I don’t feel loved here, but it’s very hard to be able to say, “You just don’t give me what I need. Or appreciate me. Or know me.” Or, “It doesn’t feel good for me to be with you.” It takes a long time to accept that how one feels about that is legitimate, and that the implication is that I don’t belong with him. I just can’t seem to accept this as a fact where he already has.

All the months and times I was ready and he wasn’t I was the fool to stick around. Now that he’s got his balls back and doesn’t feel the same he’s ready to go and it’s me who can’t accept the inevitable.

The confusion around being mad at myself, mad at him and feeling lost and pathetic is draining me. Work helps. It’s the only thing that does. But, truth be told, it’s hard to focus. My head is a mess.

This is the only place I turn to let it out. I’ve stopped talking about it to anyone. There is no point. I’m broken. I haven’t learned how to detach from bad situations. I don’t manage adversity well. And as much as I sound like a sore loser, it makes me crazy he lays his head on his pillow in his comfy marital bed with his wife oblivious to any of this.

I was so proud of myself over the course of the past 6.5 years, I had moved through some of the most challenging times of my entire life and was making a way for myself. I thought I could manage his grief because I did it with Bobby, but that was pretty stupid, wasn’t it? No one is better at deluding me than myself.

I fell to sleep with all of this on my mind, I had taken some light sleeping aids but my mind was too tormented. I woke around 4am in a sheer ice cold sweat. I was genuinely scared. I can recall feeling that when my mom died and I would wake up and suddenly remember she was gone, gone for good. It was that exact same sensation. I don’t recall feeling that with Bobby and this scared me wide awake and with a feeling of dread and anxiety.

He’s gone, gone for good. I have to accept that as surely as I have to accept death and taxes.

I considered, for a hot minute, to up my anxiety meds but I can’t afford the dullness they bring to me. I need to be on all the time at work. It’s just too important to lose the edge I have gained. I wish there was a magic pill. The forget Bennett pill.

Hypnosis, maybe?

Lobotomy, more likely.

Today is a Sad Day

It’s pouring rain here. It’s a good day to be sad, I suppose.

I was diagnosed with Iron Deficient Anemia not long after my blood clot episode late 2015. For a while, I went through the ups and downs of my body depleting the iron and then getting iron infusions to replace it and feeling great on the weeks that followed.

I was getting sick of the cycle so I asked my doctor if we can test more often to do a pre-emptive strike. I can totally tell when I begin to drop iron and would prefer to get the infusion when I start to feel tired instead of when I am drop dead exhausted.

For me the exhaustion also leads to uncontrollable emotional states. Not a good place to be. If I’ve learned anything in my first 50 years it’s that I must be very careful dropping into depressive states because they are dangerous not only to me but those around me. I’ve been too close to being some story you read in the paper about a woman who is “temporarily insane” due to PMS or some such. For those of you without any kind of depression or anxiety issues, this sounds crazy – why can’t these people control themselves? The fact is, when it gets that bad I lose not only control but inhibition. I don’t forget the social rules or mores, I can just ignore them. Just like that. And I’ve also learned I don’t have a lot of guilt – I don’t relate the the wives of the men I’ve had affairs with. I don’t feel empathy or remorse. I’ve been called sociopathic by some of the “scorned wives” early on in my blog, but I’m not. I would need to lack remorse when I’m in control of my emotions as well as when they are out of control. Fortunately, I have a lot of empathy and remorse when my head is screwed on properly.

Oh boy am I struggling right now.

Before I started to travel in September I asked my doctor for an infusion. Things were tough at work, the relationship with Bennett was in full failure stage and I was drained. I can’t quite equate this level of exhaustion to anything in my life except my bout with Mono. I had Mono as an adult around 2006 or so. With the Mono I was so exhausted I couldn’t leave the bed and there weren’t any emotional influences. It was just physically impossible to move and it came on relatively suddenly after a case of pneumonia. This is a slow drain, with no warning the end is coming.

This time however, my blood showed something different. Maybe I have pernicious anemia which can be fatal but easily treatable. The difference is that with the iron deficient anemia I should balance out after menopause but the pernicious anemia would require lifelong treatment. It could be something as simple as a B12 shot to something much more severe. Luckily my subsequent tests showed iron deficiency and no sign of pernicious. Oh lucky me, exhaustion and transfusions to the rescue. Anyway, it’s still better than pernicious anemia so off to the chemo lab I go for my first infusion on Friday. The next happens this coming Friday. I feel like crap at the beginning but about 2 weeks later I feel great again.

All this and my menstrual cycle has started to change (my body was like “Hello, 50!!). I was as regular as a could be with my menses these past several years and now it’s all crazy. Hot flashes come and go, at least they are not regular yet. My libido is decreasing. At least I think so, I’m not sure since I just haven’t wanted sex in a while.

So add in the depression of a break up, the stress of a crazy job, international travel, anemia and peri-menopause and I think we have an equation for a nuclear bomb.

I can’t help but dwell on the fact I ruined my relationship with Bennett. Had I just let go in May when he chose to stay married, I would have walked away from a man in love with me. But I couldn’t. I can’t seem to leave anyone who remotely loves me. I am clearly toxic in some respect that I can’t have a man I love stay in love with me. Maggie is right, I’m still reeling from the 22 years I put into marriage desperately wanting him to love me. Then Bobby, who I don’t blame for falling in love because he ended it when he did, but he factors in my ability to “be enough”. And now, Bennett.

Before I wrote about confusion because he was so clearly in love with me. Now I’m baffled that he’s out of love with me. I don’t even know what happened to go from one extreme to another (rephrase that: I do know what happened, but why do I feel like love should overcome all and he doesn’t?) I’m confused and hurt by all the words he sold me about “forever in love” and “never feeling this way” if that was his truth where do those feelings go? It’s just so utterly heartbreaking to me to have him stop loving me because it’s too hard.

The fact is that he’s smarter than me in the end. I run straight towards adversity and he runs away to safety.

I also realize I come from years of bad marriage and I learned that fighting comes and goes but the person I’m fighting with doesn’t. Bennett comes from no fighting at all. He says I am the only person in his life to have such a knack for upsetting him. No one else has this effect. In my estimation I assumed this was passion. I realize I am wrong. My behaviors from marriage haven’t changed enough to have someone as calm as Bennett in my life.

I’m struggling to do the right thing. Not allow myself to retreat into illness or depression. To stand up for what’s good and right for me. But when you believe, you really believe, you lost the one thing that was what you’ve waited your whole life for…it’s so hard and it’s so sad.

I know I will find someone again. Of course I can date and love again. That’s not the point. I know I have to get through this horrible, awful pain alone. I’m mad that I didn’t do it when I had his love to fall back on. I should have let go with good grace but clearly I don’t have grace or self-worth.

I need to figure out how to be happy with what I have. I have such a good life. I repeat it to myself every night. I have even a better life than many. Yet I still believe the only thing that will ultimately make me complete is a partner. No matter how many times I go over it, how many people I speak to, how many therapists I see – I still believe I need a partner to be complete.

Anyone know hypnosis? Because hitting me over the head with a bat has never worked either.

Date 8: I Know What I Like

One thing I know about myself (as worded by my youngest): I like what I like, yo! (Said in his best rap voice !)

Yes. I like what I like.

And I know it.

Generally speaking, advice to “try” something different rarely works.

Bennett was an exception. He wasn’t my typical appeal looks wise and I still fell head over heels.  From that, I learned I should at least try when I feel some connection.

So, I did.

Shaun was really handsome and, frankly, reminded me of Bennett in so many ways it was hard to pass up. We started speaking and the cadence was easy and flirty immediately. He had all the qualities I was looking for.

All, but one.

About three days or so of text and FaceTime I realized I hadn’t asked him how tall he was.  It had never crossed my mind because the connection was so fast and easy.

But since he was already asking me out, I needed to be prepared.

He is 5’6″

To my 5’8″

Sigh.

I really liked him. I liked his voice.  I liked his personality.  He was funny and he was totally in to me.  He was cute and a little sexy.  At the same time, he reminded me so much of Bennett that it made me sad.   He even played the guitar.

He was a great communicator.

I was honest with him, that I didn’t think I could surpass the height issue, but I would be more than willing to meet him as a friend and see how it went, with no expectation.

I arrived to the bar just before he did and ordered a drink while I sat and waited.  He came around behind me and as I caught my first sight of him (since I was up on a barstool) all I could think was “Holy cow, he’s so little.”

He’s not little.  He’s a bit stocky and has amazingly well sculpted arms and shoulders.  He’s just short.  Nice looking.  Had he been at my height or just taller, I may have reconsidered, but once that initial thought went through my head there was no turning back from the severe disappointment.

His sparkling personality could not overcome the lack of attraction.

I thought about it, hard.  I looked at him closely, studying bits of him as he ate or spoke.  Wondered if I could dismiss the height. The deciding factor was when we stood to leave, I was in my sneakers and I felt that I towered over him, and I hated it.

I don’t like short men.  That’s just it.  No more or less.   Shaun was lovely but there would never be any attraction.  I couldn’t even bring myself to kiss him properly though I knew he would like that.

We had a perfectly lovely evening.  I hope he finds a nice girl, but its’ not me.

I thought,perhaps, when I did finally make a connection like that – I might realize there is light ahead and feel less grief over Bennett, but it only served to raise the pain closer to the surface.  The best thing Icould have done for myself was delete him from my phones so I can’t act thoughtlessly.  At least there’s that.

I Feel Cheated

Every time I think I might be ready to move on from Bennet, I don’t.

I am pretty sure I understand the triggers. Tough days at work. The kids making me nuts. Random every day stuff. I loved sharing these things with him because he really got me. And he gave amazing feedback.

It does make me realize, while I have many friends, I might not have the right ones. My friends who are my age are mostly stay at home moms so they don’t get the job aspect. My friends at work are mostly younger than me so don’t have the same pressures of role responsibility and a mature family or a perspective on divorce.  I have one divorced friend my age in a similarity situation, but for some reason – I think because she is so self-centered – she never really has words of wisdom that resound with me.

It’s been over 3 week now that I have seen or spoken to him.  I’m in agony.  Every 5 minutes my phone is in my hand wanting to write to him.  Painfully, I remind myself why I am NOT going to write to him.  He doesn’t want me.  If he did, I would hear from him.  I know it is as simple as that.  At least, that’s what I believe.

I crushed our relationship by allowing it to continue this summer.  I did it because I kept thinking I could manage to be a part time lover, to continue the affair because I was miserable without him.  I made us both miserable within the relationship though.

I couldn’t be second, I need to be first.  I kept telling myself what I was getting was enough, but my mouth kept going before my brain caught up.  I complained and nagged.  I cried.  My emotional self took hold and surpassed the logic of choosing to be with him.  While I logically know I should not be anyone’s side piece, I had also made a decision to stay in that relationship.  Then trying to morph him back to the actions of the first 9 months just added a weight that was impossible.  He didn’t feel the same because he had made a firm decision to remain married.  His life just wasn’t bad enough to turn upside down and whatever we had wasn’t good enough to make him want to do it.

I can write it all out and I still can’t actually understand.

I feel cheated.  I feel like I finally met “the one” The one who got me, who loved me exactly as I needed to be loved and gave me the world. Then he made me promises I desperately wanted to hear.  And took every one of them away.  I feel so lost and so abandoned.

I know this relationship is as much my mistake as his, but he gets to go back to a life he is reconciled to living while I feel like I’ve lost the one thing I finally found.  I am convinced I won’t ever have it again.  Some things are just once a lifetime, and I believe he was that once a lifetime love and that makes me so angry that he took it away.

I can argue all sides of this equation and, yet, I still end up alone and without him.  There’s no solution but to move on.

I just miss him.

No one in my life ever gave me what he gave me, said to me what he said to me, or made me feel the way he did.

I had been waiting 48 years for him, finally found him, yet he was never free to give himself to me the way he did.

and I’m the one left in agony.