I Don’t Even Understand How Dating Works Anymore….

I know it’s been some time since I’ve written, but honestly there wasn’t much to report.

Adjusting to work and the commute has frankly sucked. I’m between a rock and hard spot to sort of “interview” during this freelance period and show them what I can do so they may consider hiring me. Conversely, I don’t want to give away my best ideas and skills for free since they are not paying me near what I’m worth. I also find myself not wanting to work 60-70 hour weeks being paid less than what I’m worth, even if the pay is fair enough for the current role I’m performing. It’s really a catch 22 at the moment. I work remote Friday’s which I know they don’t love but it’s saving my sanity.

I also realize after all I’ve been through that I no longer have the killer instinct. I know it may come back, but for now I know I still need more rest than normal. I must take care of myself.

Finding a workout balance has been tough at best. I leave at 7am and I’m home at 730/8pm. I’m starving and need to eat which means I don’t start working out til post 8/830. I need to be sleeping by 10 to function. It’s a killer and I’m trying to figure it all out. When I missed my first day in 160 days, I panicked for a moment and then told myself this: I missed the workout because I was having so much fun with my friends. My priority that Sunday was my emotional well being. I truly didn’t feel as bad as I thought (which honestly is the bigger worry, I don’t want any excuses to slip in and take over again). Then, just a few days later, the same thing happened: I randomly missed a workout.

My workouts are simply Peloton related. It could be a quick 5 minute stretch, yoga, meditation or something active. My commitment to myself was to make it part of my life every day. When I make it a priority I always figure out how to make it happen. I can’t figure out how to get the quantity (in time and effort) I prefer but I may have to adjust my lens on what’s feasible when I’m working and commuting.

When I missed the second day, I realized it just past midnight. I missed it because I was on the phone with a man I had matched with and we had some crazy connection. He was traveling in India, so it was his morning to my night. John is the reason for the post, actually.

I matched with John on Bumble. He wasn’t exactly my physical type but he met enough criteria. He was out of my distance range so it was a surprise he came up as a match. On Bumble the woman initiates the conversation and he replied quickly. We both had a lot going on and agreed to exchange phone numbers more quickly than usual. We both happened to be going into the city with friends for the evening. Surprisingly, we kept in touch. We both found each other interesting enough to communicate while with friends. It wasn’t a lot, but it was sweet. And we were both drunk. No sexting. Just funny text.

He was leaving for India the next day. I was still in the city with my friends for another evening. We text chat back and forth most of the day and then he called me when he arrived to the airport. We spoke for over an hour through airport security and dropped calls. We just kept going. He was fun, interesting, intelligent and I enjoyed speaking to him.

I didn’t get the butterflies I’ve gotten so often in the past when a man begins to check my boxes. This didn’t feel like that. I just liked him. He wasn’t overt, it was a really genuinely easy conversation from one topic to another. We had everything in common – and I mean everything. There was nothing we didn’t see eye to eye on and that was truly the strangest part. We weren’t excitable with one another, no one was giddy or coming on to the other – it was just easy. He asked a lot of questions that showed me he was interested. He answered any question I had as well as offered up his own stories.

Off he went to the plane and the communication didn’t stop! He had WiFi and text throughout the flight while he was awake. He text me through his 25 hour journey to India. He was so communicative that I became more interested and engaged after a few days of his attention – no one had communicated like this with me since Tony. He wasn’t as flattering as Tony was (because Tony was in immediate limerence) but he was eager and interested. I started to drop my guard. Within the week I began to expect his text because he was so consistent.

While John traveled for the week, I was having a killer week at work. But somehow, we communicated consistently. No good mornings every day kind of thing, but I knew he was texting me pretty soon after he woke up and looking for me to chat while we had some crossover time. He was consistently responsive. After 4/5 days of text, the conversation had taken on an incredulous tone for both of us – we still hadn’t found one thing, not one thing, that we disagreed on. I finally threw out dance music and he admitted he didn’t like it! But seriously, that was it. Really and truly – every thing else was aligned: family, religion, politics, jobs, travel, clothing, shopping, food, music, exercise, activity, favorite places, friends etc etc etc. it felt like Tony without the limerence. It was more than clear he was attracted, but it never got over the top until the last day before he returned home.

We had avoided all sex talk and it eventually made it around to some teasing. In an effort not to tease him directly but to still share my crazy sexuality, I sent an old blog story I had written. Surprisingly (again, it was common at this point) he wrote me back a sexy story! Bobby and I used to do this and I loved it, but never thought it would happen again! And here it was, happening without any pressure. He just wrote! I had crossed over into shock as did he. We both started to say “how can you be real?” Multiple times.

The sexy talk continued, I admit I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to stop but I didn’t. It wasn’t too crazy but it was a tease. He loved it. I loved it. We made plans to meet Sunday. In between it all we had normal conversation. Some he initiated and some I initiated. I began to get a little excited because I hadn’t met a man like this since Tony. He was arriving home on Friday and then driving up to see his son Saturday. He would come to me Sunday after he saw his son on the way home from his trip.

But, at some point he began to tell me there was just no way he could wait til Sunday to meet me. He wanted to meet me now! I felt like everything was entirely genuine about our connection. I wanted to meet him as much as he wanted to meet me. I had no concern we wouldn’t be attracted. We already wanted to sleep together. He was willing to get off the plane from India and drive the hour to meet me.

That didn’t feel right or fair to me. 24 hours of travel would kill me. I agreed to see him and offered to drive to him. I spoke to my girlfriend about this and she agreed and told me to throw an overnight bag in just in case.

Now I began to worry. The chemistry was off the charts, I knew it would be in person, and if it really did work between us – I was going to have to explain my scars before getting undressed. Because I was getting queasy of this, I finally decided I just wouldn’t get undressed on the first date – even if I did stay overnight with him – that I wouldn’t have sex with him. I should have known myself better, but I kept telling myself I could hold out.

So while I was debating internally – I sent him this text at the same exact time he was typing a text with the exact same thought:

Exchanges like this happened pretty frequently – we were just in the same wavelength.

I included some snippets of conversation – just to show you how equally engaged he was be the end of the week:

I was convinced by his repetition of his interest in me and his consistency in his language.

So, I totally agreed to drive to him on Friday night and wear a sexy pair of heels (part of the discussion above). I was really excited and hadn’t felt the butterflies in so long that I actually wasn’t even sure what I was feeling.

My emotions were saying “hell,yes, real potential here!” And my brain was saying “how good is he at convincing a woman to sleep with him? And if he repeats the body type during the conversation more than once, will he be able to manage my wounds? I don’t think so, he’s going to get grossed out by my naked self”

And those are the thoughts that kept me awake Thursday night. Would I disappoint him? I was so confused.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

17 thoughts on “I Don’t Even Understand How Dating Works Anymore….”

  1. I’m hoping for a good second part! I don’t need Pie in the Sky, Knight in White Shining Armor Stuff… just hoping that the high expectations that may have been established by your wonderful exchanges here were met in a specific way… by a real guy who is genuinely interested in you, not in deliberately snowballing you with what he thinks you want to hear….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly what I was hopeful for. Not some crazy romantic or sexual impact immediately but just a nice genuine start that had a little heat behind it. He really was perfect on paper and the phone.

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      1. Well… it is a few things:

        First is I remain steadfastly convinced that any man who brings up sex before meeting someone – or sexts at all, no matter how “mild” – is either not interested in meeting in person, or will ghost after you have sex with them. The exception to this is meeting someone on a site like Adult Friend Finder or FetLife, or anywhere that talking about sex and preferences is often a condition before one meets.

        Second is his phrasing like you “deserve to be treated well” or the equivalent. Despite the great conversations and apparent alignment, the reality is he hasn’t met you. Any time I’ve seen this kind of comment from a man (either from my experience or seeing it with others) it signals to me that this is someone more interested in the online flirtation than a relationship. It means they are into the idea of someone more than that actual someone. We want to believe its about us, and the great connect we’ve established, but its not. IMHO there’s a big difference between “wow, we seem really compatible – can’t wait to meet!” and what you were getting from him.

        Third is the willingness to engage by phone, text, and the relatively constant contact before your first date. Generally speaking, what I’ve seen with those who are genuinely interested in dating and who are mature about it, are reluctant to go so far in engaging before meeting someone. If there is a real reason you can’t meet within a week or so (and this was a flag for me too, but seemed like there was an honest reason) then while you may have some light texting or a phone call, you keep it pretty minimal. Because those of us who really want a relationship and have been through online dating know that anything more can be foolish. You can meet in person and have no chemistry, they can go on a second date with someone else and suddenly disappear, you discover they are only interested in the online / phone engagement. Etc etc.

        So those are the things that stood out for me, based on what you wrote in this post. It breaks my “rules” 😉

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      2. To clarify the third part of my comment: I am a huge believer in a phone call before you meet. What the flag is for me is the near-constant phone calls, texts, and the like. If I’d seen you set a date after the initial texts and call, then keep up some light contact beforehand, then it wouldn’t be a flag.

        Oh also, the other thing was his desire to see you right after he landed. If his trip was real, then that’s just bananas. Not that you aren’t worth it, but it seems like his priorities aren’t in the right place. Also a red flag for me.

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      3. His trip was definitely real, I’m certain. We spoke before he got on the plane and intended to “keep in touch” while he traveled for 5 days. It escalated to what you see. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t jet lagged – I would have been dead. He was also fine the next morning. I should have left it to Sunday. But what other priority would he have when he got home – other than sleep?

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      4. I wrote him a text at one point that I had broken all my rules as well. I acknowledged it as I went along. I clearly have more faith in men that isn’t deserved – I should have followed my rules because it ended actually as I expected.

        He did say, in the beginning, wow we seem compatible and you are perfect for me – I can’t find anything wrong with you etc. the difference was (for me) it felt like an honest connection. He’s just way better at the game than anyone I’ve ever met.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I get squeamish about all of this. The log bombers tend to never have more below the surface… they check all the boxes and then aren’t actually looking for a person, they are auditioning you to be a little doll on parade.

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