Happy to be working

I came in early this morning just so I can write.  I can’t even express how happy I am to be working and entirely overwhelmed at work!  Never thought I would hear those words from my mouth.

Despite the fact he shouldn’t be contacting me, I was still angry and hurt Bennett didn’t say Happy Mothers Day.   Yes, it was best he didn’t break contact, but hurt all the same.

Perhaps the anger will do me some good in letting go.  I am still obsessively thinking about it, more than I should, and it’s easier to be angry about assuming he’s going full on back to his marriage.  I don’t know, I am surmising, but it’s my expectation.

I noticed yesterday that he “liked” a public post of mine on facebook.  He always said he would find ways to let me know he’s thinking of me and I suppose that’s his way.  We are not friends on facebook, but this was a public post.  I noticed I felt a bit calmer – maybe he is as heartbroken as I am?  I’m trying not to let that one silly thing become more than it is.  He misses me, but the situation has not changed, fine, move on.

This is the longest we have gone with no contact – 10 days.  Previously he never made it this far.

I’m happy to be so distracted at work there is little time for the random thoughts of him to creep in, and when they do, I’m mostly angry.

The Reality of our Actions | Thank You Ferns

One thing I love about blogging is the ability for a perfect stranger to say something that resonates so deeply within me that I can’t stop thinking about it.

Ferns did it yesterday.

Her comment hit me in such a way that it unlocked something I wasn’t able to get to myself, something that I know can help me heal.

Why was it that comment and not a thousand before, I don’t know.  She’s a better writer than I am so maybe it’s the words themselves that just seem to speak to me.  Either way, I can’t thank you enough Ferns.  And, it isn’t the first time you’ve popped in a smacked me upside my head to get me thinking differently.

Here’s  the comment:

“It’s easy to talk about leaving someone. Especially when you are giddy with the kind of high emotion that you’ve forgotten you were capable of. But when the person you are talking about leaving is someone you still love and care for and respect (this vs someone with whom everything is irrevocably ugly-broken), there is a reality there that is going to smack you in the face when you pull the trigger.

Saying the words out loud to someone with whom you have a powerful history, a shared and not-terrible life, a genuine and deep affection, and watching their heart break is a reality that most do not imagine. And if this person you still love takes even one step towards you, you will grab at it because it is awful-terrible to break someone’s heart and then turn away when they beg to try and mend what is broken. People who have lost their way are never closer, more honest, more real than when they are about to lose something they have taken for granted and forgotten about. It brings the value of it into high relief.

So unless it’s screaming fights and dead emotions, people will always try to rekindle those embers because memory is deep and strong and saying ‘no, not interested in trying to fix this’ to a long term partner whose heart you’ve just broken is not something most people will do or *want* to do.

The people who leave their relationships are the ones who have tried and tried and tried, who have had endless conversations and fights about it, who have genuinely concluded that there is nothing left, who have reached the end of their tether. Bennett is at step one in this process. Whether their reboot works out or not has nothing to do with you, and as you’ve said previously, nor should it.

All that to say: You are enough. You are just choosing the wrong men. You should stop doing that (sorry, made myself laugh, but man, you had the chance to get out as soon as you realised he was married, you didn’t even like him that much back then, were ambivalent, so yeah, learn a lesson, woman!).

Ferns”

Does her comment make my situation or feeling of loss any different?  No, of course not.  I just made me see things differently.

I really hated my x by the time we broke,  I had so much pain, resentment and emotional distress.  I tried everything to fix it and couldn’t.  There was so much fighting (and still is today).  I loved him deeply for so many years and I couldn’t let go of that love for so many years and kept trying and trying until finally something snapped in half and was irrevocably broken.  Ferns words “ugly-broken” just resonated in a way I can’t actually explain.

That has never happened to Bennett.  They don’t fight.  They had a young romance that blossomed into a family and eventually fell flat as many relationships do, but it wasn’t because they disliked one another, they just didn’t care to try any harder or perhaps didn’t’ know how.  There is much responsibility on both sides.

Bennett has said this to me many times “I know it would be easier if I hates her or we fought, but we don’t.”  They just ignored one another as lovers.  He gave up on her when he thought she cheated on him (if she did or not is debatable) and he stopped investing emotionally.

He always said he was absolutely certain when he married her.  He believed he would be married to one person forever (like his parents, though his Dad died young).  He wanted to emulate the perfect family that he felt he was raised in, and he did a really good job of starting out that way.  They just couldn’t sustain his picture perfect image of the romance and emotional connection.  They never had it then, so when he met me and realized I could give it to him, I think he was so far disconnected from at that point that he began to build our future in his head.  He had sustained the romance and emotional part of their marriage, it was never her strong suit, and then he gave up trying and maybe she never knew how once he stopped.  I was the same as him in the way I invest emotionally.

When I met Bennett, he was crushed under the weight of his perceived failure and his mothers impending death.  He felt no one understood him (claims he tried many times to speak to his wife, but she is never tuned in to him – and I get the impression that she’s not horribly bright but an extremely kind and gentle soul).

I do believe it’s possible he is my twin flame or my soulmate because of very distinct similarities.  There are just not that many people in this world that you can be so completely aligned with emotionally.  Regardless of if he is meant to be in my life long term, what we had was unusual and special, a connection unlike any other I have ever had in my life.

But, I now see you can (maybe) live without that connection if you can have many other things that you hold dear…and I think Ferns hit the nail on the head when that reality struck, when the words came out of his mouth, he could not actually break her.  And why should he, when she was begging him to fix it.  He suddenly saw their whole life in front of him and I strongly believe, was pulled back by the notion he wants to have that perfect marriage and family, and wants it so desperately why wouldn’t he try to make it work again.  I understand all that in writing, in theory, but my heart is unable to accept that he would want to live without the ultimate connection.

I also think Ferns is right in saying that when the worst happens, you are at your most open, more real, more honest….I got the impression that he saw that within his wife and needed to do the same for himself – be real.  I know from our last conversation a week ago that they were trying to understand how they got to such a broken place.  If two people can talk through those high emotions without fighting, and be accountable for their actions, it would require focus.  I think he must be giving her that focus now, and he can’t distort it to me.  I can understand that, even if I don’t like it because he promised me that he was never going back to his marriage.

I realize I am rehashing most of what I have already said, but, writing through trauma has always helped me sort myself out and it keeps me from writing to him.

We have “broken-up” three times now.  Each time hurt.  But this time feels very different to me.  The other times we broke and I knew he was in pain from parting from me, I knew how deeply he loved me and how hard it was to be without me.  This time his focus is elsewhere and I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.  I try to remind myself that he does love me, but this was the best decision.  I question it though, constantly….I question how much he loves me and that’s a terrible thing to do to myself.

Thank you Ferns for giving me so much to think about, it means so much to me.

And, you are right and can laugh….I laugh at myself.  My attraction to Bennett still amazes me for many reasons, but I guess that’s the mystery of it all.

 

It’s Never Enough

The statement “it’s never enough” was something my x used constantly towards me.   I always felt that I was asking for too much, with anything and everything.

I know for certain that turned into me almost believing I was asking for too much, that somehow I wouldn’t’ deserve what I was asking for.  My parents did the same to me.  Madeline was always the one pushing the envelope.

I learned to settle.  Until I didn’t.  But, I settled for a long, long time and those feelings and perhaps those behaviors are awfully hard to overcome in a short time after years of brainwashing.

The feeling of “it’s never enough” has been churning in my brain this past week and every day it’s getting seemingly worse.

 

Of course I question why I “wasn’t enough” for Bennett to leave his marriage…although common sense would say it’s not about me, it’s about him.  I do hear those words and think them often, but haven’t gotten around to convincing myself that he is staying to hold onto something bigger than what we had over 11 months.    Logic dictates that I understand his thought process.  Emotion is cloudy, dark, angry and hurt by his thought process.

So, yes, I think it sucks to think that there is something in his life that’s bigger than the love we shared.

Bennett promised me too many things.  Promised me that it was never about his wife and marriage and only about his family, promised me that it would always be me and our day would come.  I really and truly think he believed those things when he said them and felt them.  But I really wonder how that changed in such a split second.  Was it the overwhelming, crashing sense that he was collapsing his entire world?  I think he panicked.

He truly feels failure.  When I met him we talked about this quite often.  He takes most of the blame for the failure of his marriage so I am not surprised he will also truly try to repair it even when he said he couldn’t ever see that happening.   His two greatest fears are fear of the unknown and fear of failure: divorce brings these forth in spades, doesn’t it?

I can actually rationalize many reasons why he will choose to stay, and knowing him as I do, they all make sense to expect for his ability to finally let go of me.

I’m simply throwing a pity party this morning and doing my best not to reach out to him.  Writing here works for me – I can write out all the things I think I need to say to him and say them to you instead.  Most of it’s rhetorical, I don’t actually need his answers (as if there was anything that would fulfill me anyway) to move forward.

But the never enough part is really bothering me.  I wish it wasn’t something I think every time I have a romantic failure in my life, but it is, I have been trained and raised to think that I am never enough for anyone, even when they tell me I am, because at the end of the day, they leave me.

The whole idea of breaking up sucks for anyone, but I don’t think everyone questions themselves the way I do.  I have a girlfriend going through it right now and we spend a lot of time texting each other so we don’t text the boys and she really never doubts herself in her breakups.  Her attitude is “they show me once in any way they don’t want me or I am no longer the priority and I’m like peace out!”  And she means it!  How does she do that?  I just spoke to her and she said “don’t let anyone hold power over you.”

It’s true.  I allowed Bennett to hold power over me and I still am.  The more I mourn and cry, I am allowing him to take a space he doesn’t deserve anymore.

I want to know how my friend does that.  I don’t think I could have done anything differently with Bennett to change where we are today, so I don’t have regret over making a mistake within the relationship as much as regret over feeling like I did lose the only person I could have ever considered a soul mate in my life.  I want to stop questioning myself about why I am not good enough to (or better than?) the choices he made.

Unfortunately for me, Bennett was pretty much a perfect partner in every way I dreamed of.  For years, I was told no one could ever be that lover, partner, friend or parent…but he is.    Maybe I just have to hold onto the fact I was lucky enough to meet a soulmate (if such a thing exists) and know that I will still live to love another day.

But right now, missing him just stinks.

 

Getting On With It

In a rare instance of strength towards a break up, I came home tonight and deleted all his text messages from my phone.  I read an article today that said the worst thing you can do is go backwards and read and reread things that are no longer valid.

So, I deleted him.

11 months of text messages.  Hidden away.  I can go back and read them with some effort, but I can’t access on the phone.

I also took down my little trinkets and cards I had kept up at work.  Tucked those away in a drawer.

I didn’t delete my photos, but if find myself looking at him with longing, well, they will go off to a safe place too.

Interestingly enough, when I did this over a year ago with Bobby I transferred everything to an email I can no longer recall with a password that is entirely gone from my mind.  So, that goes to show you how literally removing these little reminders from your life eventually fade from the foreground if you take an active part in making it happen.

I woke myself up from a dream about us the other night.   I dreamed we were talking it all through and somehow I was being convinced to wait yet again. I woke myself up angry and had to shake it off.  Clearly my subconscious is strongly connected to him.

I try not to let my wand wander too much but I find it nearly impossible not to think about it as soon as I have a free moment.   I know the mourning has set in because I could cry, I just don’t.

I’ve been asking myself a lot more soul-searching questions this time around.  My biggest internal debate is just my inability to understand “why” or “how” he can do what he’s doing.  I know I just need to move into acceptance and allow myself not to know everything, but I am not there yet.  Please, I would appreciate no cliché replies about moving on, I know what I need to do, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about it obsessively.

His last words to me were to tell me he will always love me, I will always be his one true love and no one will ever replace that.  He is sure of it.  I feel bad if he has to live that way and be married to someone else.

Ann and I discussed and I realize that he made me a lot of promises and led me to believe (willingly, I wasn’t oblivious to anything) that there was hope for a future for us.  He even spoke to her because he was terrified of losing me.  Yes, he is a jerk for doing this, but he was a jerk for cheating in the first place and I loved him despite his jerkiness.

And then he got cold feet.

So be it.  I am just writing to process as it’s the easiest outlet not to torment my friends with endless questions of doubt and continual sadness.  I am very, very lucky I have such an amazing role in my new job to consume me.  Without it, I would be lost.  My closest friend also broke it off with her long distance boyfriend after 18 months.  She is so good about “he showed me one sign of not wanting me and I’m out.”  And, she is, just like that. I wish I had some of that resilience and self-confidence.

I sit and wonder how he imploded so quickly.  I know I won’t have any answer that will satisfy me.  If he was speaking to me he would simply tell me he was confused and he still loves me, but he isn’t leaving his family.  There is nothing more, but I’m not yet ready to finish my own psychoanalysis of how he can live with these lies.

 

When You Have No One to be Frustrated with but Yourself

A quick post to get this off my chest.

I know how well I lied to myself because I feel the pain of heartbreak.  I felt it in January when I initially told Bennett it would end.  I felt it in early April again when I chose to let go…and thought I let go for real this time.  But I must not have…the few days between the “I spoke to her text” and the “I’m not ready to leave” text gave me too much hope.

I told myself to be patient, that I knew the first “I spoke to her text” was simply the tip of an iceberg that may never melt or even crack.  I knew it.

I knew it.

But, deep down, somehow, I also convinced myself to hope.

And now I feel the pain of that hope and I hate it.  I hate that I did this to myself.

Nothing has changed with Bennett in fact.  He says he still loves me the way he always loved me but he cannot leave his family and his marriage.  He currently has no intention of going back to an intimate relationship with his wife, but knows he cannot leave.

I don’t truly understand this.  I feel that if he loved me the way he says he does he would leave.  I spoke to Ann about this and she reminded me “it’s not about me.”  But, I’m not sure I really understand.

How can you love someone so deeply yet stay married to another?  Why make your life such a lie?

I’m not debating the fact I need to move forward, I am just attempting to rationalize something for myself and i seem to be stuck on this thought.

He feels he cannot make the decision to leave his family, he is sure of it now.  He has decided he cannot be selfish, that they are more important than anything he would do for himself, and that deciding to leave them for me was an ultimately selfish choice.

 

Lying to Yourself is Never Good

Bennett spoke to his wife.

Yep.  Caught me by surprise too.

Here’s what happened.  We had mostly stopped speaking and seeing one another and it was pretty hard on both of us.  His 22 year wedding anniversary was April 29 and I knew in my head that if that date came and went and he never had the talk with her that I would just be waiting forever for nothing.  I had set my mind to finally moving forward by early April.

I wasn’t doing terribly good or bad.  I had some days where it hurt if I missed him and other days that went by without much thought.  I decided I wasn’t ready to date, so I had stopped.  There was plenty to fill my time and I felt pretty good about life in general.

The short version is that he called me the morning of his anniversary crying.  I had never heard him so broken and it was upsetting.  We continued to talk or text throughout the day but my stance was clear, no more after today.  I was done.    I became more upset and he became more erratic causing an argument and me telling him I pretty much hate him (I know, childish, but there it is).  The text stop in the evening and I didn’t hear from him until the next evening.  The text read:

“I spoke to my wife, are you awake?”

I thought I would hear bells of joy but instead I was more curious than anything.  He explained their short conversation.  He started with their anniversary passing by with “no notice and no love, and he was gravely unhappy, didn’t she feel the same?”

Well, no she didn’t.  She felt this is how he wanted things.  He didn’t want romance, or sex or anything.  That his ED problems were because he wasn’t attracted to her therefore making her not want sex.  She was caught off guard and blindsided entirely.  They stopped the conversation because she was too upset.

Unfortunately, Bennett chose a horrible time to tell her because her mother (whom she has no good relationship with) is in town and staying with them for a week.  He admits he should have told her before but he was so panicked about losing me (it finally sunk in, I guess) that he seized the courage and ran with it.  They can’t really spend time together talking until after next Tuesday or so.

But, talk and text a little they have.  Enough to drive him into even more desperate confusion.  He expected her to say “yes, this isn’t a good marriage and you are right we should call it quits.”  But that’s not what she’s saying, she’s saying “how do we make this work?”  She’s showing feelings for him that she hasn’t shown in many, many years.  Her entire existence is being threatened and she’s not about to let it go without a fight.  he thought this was going to be much more black and white.

I can’t blame her.  This comes as no surprise to me.

The love each other, perhaps they have forgotten how much.  It’s a shame how that happens in marriage.  We grow stale when we don’t work at it.  They have never had good communication, this is only the second time in many years that he admitted to being unhappy.  The first time it happened she begged him to stay as well (and obviously he did).  They are both relatively passive, and neither wants disruption to this level so it’s most likely they try at it a few months, or years and it all slips back to where it is now.

Or not.

I don’t know.  No one has that crystal ball.

He isn’t running into her open arms, it’s not that, but he should explore how he feels about her and if there really is opportunity to save a 22 year marriage and make a new one, a healthy one out of the destruction it is.

When he began to cry on the phone last night, I knew he was crying because he needs to let go of me and he’s finally realized he can’t have his feet planted in both worlds.

He needs to determine where this marriage is going.  And if he stays, he needs to invest.  Bobby did it.  It seems I am very good at showing men what they should have in a good relationship – within their marriages.

He insists he is unsure she is actually capable of going it on her own and he feels responsible for that.  Part of me believes this because she was totally oblivious to their disconnect over the past 5-10 years, she admitted this to him.

If they connect emotionally, the sex will follow.  Regardless that he’s not currently attracted to her, for Bennett, most of that has to do with emotional connection more than physical connection.  If she can tap back into his heart/head, the rest will follow for him, even if it’s less sexual than he prefers, as long as he feels he is being loved and getting attention, I believe he will stay.

I know the feeling in my chest.  My heart has finally broken now.  I was lying to myself since the original break-up in January and hoping against hope that something might change.  This time I wasn’t blind to the things I was doing to myself, but did them all the same which was foolish.

Some healing had started, but not the real, true, deep mourning that needs to happen in order to move forward.  I guess it’s time for that now.

We said our goodbyes this morning.  I can’t be part of what’s about to happen in his life.  If they ultimately land on separation (which I doubt) then he can call me and tell me and we can go from there.

Otherwise, my only priority it to heal my heart and move forward.

The weather outside here reflects my current state of misery.  Cold and rainy. 😦

 

Dating and Sex

I have known Bennett for 9 months now, longer than I dated Bobby.  Somehow, time with Bennett creeps by while time with Bobby seemed to always be like the sands racing through the hourglass against time.  I never really feel that way about Bennett, perhaps because it’s me who has to leave Bennett and not the other way around.

I made the decision to date Bobby because I was desperate to find one steady sexual partner.  I hit the jackpot with him and found out just how much fun and crazy great sex could be.

I was so worried when it ended with Bobby that I went through a bunch a sex with men I could care less about, even ending up crying most of the time after the encounters, before I realized I really needed a break from the emotional roller coaster.   I remained pretty scared about not having consistent sex for quite some time – all the way through to last July.

I met Bennett last June, so he was in the picture by then and eventually, by end of August, became the only man I was having sex with.  Sex is fantastic with Bennett and I didn’t feel any drive to seek out others.

Now that things are mostly over with Bennett, I find myself wondering why I don’t feel the same drive I felt just a year ago.  I don’t think it’s necessary to chase sexual partners for casual sex and I am entirely uninterested in random encounters, or sex without the couple-ship.

I suppose it’s because Bennett filled my emotional cup to overflowing.  I was grateful to be loved by a man who could also fill all my sexual needs.  I never feel threatened by Bennett leaving me (of course I feel sad, but not threatened) so I’m sure that adds something to the equation as well.  Sex with Bennett was “just-right.”  It had all the components I needed.

I wonder if it’s holding me back from exploration.  But, on the other hand – have I done enough exploration?  Have I experienced enough sexual craziness not to want to do it again unless it’s with a more serious partner?

I think so.  I think I have surprised myself about how much I have matured about this point-of-view.

I don’t care about sex with others, though watching or performing could be fun.  I have no further desire to attempt a MFM threesome.  Curiosity, maybe, but no real desire.  I don’t care about more anal sex, sex swings, or crazy activities.

Meeting Bennett settled me sexually in a way I wasn’t before I was separated.  I needed these 3 years (and I truly can’t believe it’s been 3 years!!) to go a little crazy.    I am so glad I did.

I still love a little PDA and would always be up for a quickie somewhere I could get away with it…but I want it to be with someone who really adores me.  I want to experience more romantic sex now as well.  Making love with Bennett was as much (maybe more) of a turn on as any of the craziness I experienced with Bobby.

I’m certainly not sedate sexually, I still want sex very often and not to be bored, I just want it with a real partner now and I think that’s affecting my dating choices.  I am so clear why I would not go on useless second dates with men, or waste my time in text or conversation when it could be a reality.  I am clear that men who want to see you will find a way to see you and make time for you, they will make their desire crystal clear.

I have gained a significant amount of weight (my weight is like an elevator) and I think that affects some of my confidence.    I need to get back on track, but it’s definitely not holding me back.

Which leads me to the potential of having a new sexual partner in Dave.   The first time I had sex outside my marriage was kind of intense, not a lot of time for thinking.  But, I recall the next time being more planned out and being much more worried about what was happening.  I feel a little like this with Dave because we are moving relatively slowly for me.  I can see having sex with him, but I worry about him being the first after Bennett.  I feel a little more nervous than I do excited which is a massive change for me.  He does turn me on and I am intensely attracted to him so I am sure it won’t be an issue should it come to pass.    I’m more worried I will like him more after sex and get stuck in my own damn head the way I have done in the past.  I’ve done much better thus far in the dating game, but I know my pitfalls once I get into sexual relations.

I guess we shall see what comes to pass in the next few weeks.  I have no confidence in things changing with Bennett and I do miss him terribly, but the anger is creeping in now (which must be a good thing).  I have good days and bad days without him.

 

Date 4 | Results: Relative Fail

We met on Tinder or Bumble, can’t recall which and had a decent text exchange over the week.  He seemed kind and asked me out quickly.  His photos seemed “ok” but have learned I am a little more lenient on the looks these days.

He was very flexible about meeting me close to my home as he was visiting his parents not too far away.   I chose a spot and we agreed a time for Saturday night.

I have pretty much learned that I can tell from their first look if they like me or not.  I was pretty certain he didn’t like what he saw almost immediately, but he was good at working with it.  He ordered my drink, secured a seat at the bar and suggested we plan for dinner.  I assume, if he really disliked me, he wouldn’t have suggested dinner so I think we both figured it was a nice place and nice enough company.

He had eyebrows that were so dark and so ungroomed they distracted me.  I couldn’t even see what colors his eyes were because those eyebrows distracted me.  He was clearly raised in significant wealth, and wanted me to know it.

Conversation wasn’t easy or natural.  I had to think of things to say and ask a lot of questions.  Generally speaking, people get going when it’s about their school, family, or job….but he was not so easy.  I pulled enough out of him but I felt the strain in  doing so.  I also notice I tend to talk too much to fill those gaps and I don’t enjoy that either.

When he asked me if I “took my husband for all he was worth in the divorce” I think he saw the disgust cross my face.  He made another comment that in divorce “that’s usually what the woman does.”   He also made a derogatory comment about divorced families and dysfunction and I was pretty much entirely done with attempting polite conversation by that point.  I don’t think he even understood that my divorce my was my x coming after me for money, because clearly, inhis circles, the men make the wealth.

Still, dinner was yummy and I had my fill of prosecco, careful not to drink much.

I think the whole date was under 2 hours, including cocktails and dinner, and we had a chaste kiss on the lips and goodnight.

I sent a thank you text, as I always do, and he replied with a thank you back.

I don’t expect to hear from him, and that’s ok with me!

The date was failed from the moment we met, but at least we managed mostly civil conversation (albeit not interesting or very engaging) and dinner and drinks get and A+.

Date 3 | Update: A Second Date

I figured after the breadcrumb incident last week I would eventually hear from Dave at some point.  I knew he was starting a new job and had been very distracted, but I was growing weary of his last minute plans.

It took a week, but I heard from him early Saturday morning with a pleasant “Hello, How are you?” and a quick follow up to make plans for my next free days.

I was just about ready for the roundabout when I gave him my free times, but we surprisingly agreed to a brunch on Sunday morning.  The funny thing was, after we agreed on a day, the time became an issue and I felt the whole thing swirling again.  I put my foot down and said “I can do 11am, no earlier” and didn’t answer his two subsequent messages for the duration of the day.

When I woke in the morning, I sent a text that said, I can meet you at 11am, are we still on?  He answered immediately and said he moved his PT appt (he did not mention why he was pushing for any earlier brunch the night before) and had more time to spend with me.

Maybe he’s just a poor communicator?  I don’t even care that much.

I got up, got dressed and headed towards him on a perfectly divine Sunday morning.

He met me at a corner, jumped int he car, and showed me exactly where to park so the car was safe.  Then we had a short stroll to a lovely brunch.  Conversation is easy, not particularly enticing, but nice.  He is very easy on the eyes.

Is there a spark?  Not really, not without physical engagement.  When we kiss there are more than enough sparks, but I tend to like that excitement that comes from the intellectual chemistry.  He is a consummate gentleman which is very nice.

We had a lovely long walk after breakfast and he offered to show me his apartment before I left, and to use the bathroom and have some drinks.  He was in no way pressuring me and I felt comfortable.  We spent a little time fooling around on the couch and I can easily see having sex with him.  He knows what to do and I can tell how much I excite him.  He absolutely didn’t cross any lines but we had a pretty fantastic make-out session!

He isn’t open or closed in terms of sharing things.  He is neither aggressive or too gentle physically.  He just is.

I don’t necessarily feel very much.  I like him.  I like being with him, but there’s no pull for me.

It’s also 2 dates in 3 weeks or so.  We don’t speak much in between (phone not at all, text only).  I don’t feel like I know “who” he is and can’t really get a sense of him, which is strange as I am generally pretty good with reading people.

That’s it.  That’s all there is to tell.  A nice second date.  Maybe some more breadcrumbs later this week.

I have been feeling a little sad about Bennett this week, maybe it’s the change in weather, maybe it’s the length of time we haven’t spoken….but I am feeling the separation more keenly.   I didn’t think about Bennett while with Dave, but he’s on my mind now.  I suppose its normal, but makes me wonder how ready and open I really am for anything more serious than light dating at the moment.

Date 3 | Update: I Don’t Know Where This is Going

So it’s been about 3 weeks since date 1 with Dave.  All went well and text communication has been relatively regular.

But, when you can’t figure out how to see one another, and communication stays on a generic text level, I think I start to interpret or analyze things that may or may not even be there.

There were a few times he wanted to turn the talk to sex and I rebuffed.  He did finally get the hint.  We had a more robust conversation about desires in a relationship and that went well.  We really seem to be on the same page for what we want or need.

He never calls.  Nor do I.  I just don’t think it’s my move to make.

He has asked me several times to meet quickly. Late after work.  In the morning for coffee.  In the afternoon for a quick break.  All the most inconvenient of times.

I was clear 2 weeks ago with him what my custody and work schedule looked like and we couldn’t find the time to make it work, plus he was sick.  Over the weekend I was more forthcoming to say “I have such and such a day free and would love to make plans with you.”  When he finally replied to me the next day, he said he was busy both nights so I said that’s was fine and I would make other plans.

So I did.

Then he sent a message the next night to ask if I could see him on one of the nights I originally suggested.  I had already made plans I wasn’t about to break.

That same night he asked where I was (at my sons basketball game) and he said he would drive to me to “just have a kiss.”  I declined again.  The game was over late and I had my kids stuff to attend to before bed.

He comes in and out by text, never asks about my kids or my job and sticks with very generic and innocuous questions like “how is your day?”    When I try to ask him questions about his job, he generalizes and says “I will tell you more when we meet.”

Late last night he sent a text asking if I could meet after work, even though I mentioned I had the kids.  I said yes first thing this morning, with the caveat it could only be a cocktail before heading home.  I heard from him mid-day saying he didn’t know how he could work his schedule.  It’s after 5 pm now, I haven’t heard from him since 3:30 and as soon as I am done with this post, I’m shutting down and leaving.

It’s not a pressing thought, but some part of my brain is telling me I am the second choice (or third or fourth) to whatever harem he is trying to manage.

I am convinced I’ve become the new Madeline – I would have waited all night for this man to blow me off just a year ago.  I would have altered every one of my plans for a date.  Now my personal time is too precious.  While I like him very much (he’s great on paper and even better in person) I don’t have enough time or energy to waste on waiting on this man.

Perhaps I am being too stringent on the communication based on my time with Bennett.  Bennett was such an over-communicator (as am I) that I became used to his constant checking on me and the boys or the job etc.  I realize I have only had one date with Dave, but we have been texting for 3 weeks now.

I have still been on Tinder and Bumble but I am so choosy about who I am communicating with now that men are not rising to the top so easily – also because I raised my age limit.  Dave squeaked in a 44 as that’s the lowest I have it set to, and my high is at 54.  There have been a few fun conversations and a few that turned weird when I didn’t reply in whatever manner the man was expecting me to reply to him.   I also shut them down the moment the conversation switches to the “hey, sexy” tone.

As much as I like to believe I have come so far, I know my heart is still tied to Bennett.  I haven’t fully stopped communicating with him and we are going to a concert together on Sunday.   The tickets were from Christmas and couldn’t be resold.   I enjoy when I see him, but I feel myself slipping from his grasp.  He’s held on to me for too long like this and I don’t have any respect for either of us.  Bennett is still committed to speaking to his wife, so he says.

I am in an OK place, so much better than January and light years away from just a year ago.  I thank god for my family and friends and this wonderful job of mine.  Nothing like a huge challenge to keep you focused and on your game.