The In-Betweens

I guess it’s been around 3 weeks since I matched with Mike in my swiping frenzy.

Before meeting Mike, my friend gave me a stern talking to about taking a long break from the apps. My short break was too short according to her.

I listened for the moment and deleted 3 of the 4 apps, including the one I met Mike on. I was still in conversation with the other two men on Hinge so I left it open. Plus, Mike seems to be hanging in – I don’t really know for sure.

I thought about what my friend said and took it to heart. I’m really busy and don’t actually have a lot of time to date. Vetting the strangers is tiresome, but well worth the effort because my choices have been good. I don’t want to expend the time because it’s so frustrating but I want the outcome. We know there is no output without input.

Much like a diet or exercise.

So, of course, I realize I am only going to get what I put into it. I have been consciously trying to put positive vibes out into the universe.

I’m just tired. I want a guy I can text chatter with during the day. That I can have a phone conversation with once in a while (not an every night thing). That I can rely on to contact me each day, and not wonder when or if it’s ok if I make first contact today or tmrw and how long should I wait in between text? The dating rules suck but they work.

I feel a little queasy because I haven’t heard from Mike in a day. He was communicative enough while he helped his daughter moving and especially when he got stuck in an airport for 24 hours. But during all that he never said he wanted to see me again. I spoke to him once on the phone and he was perfectly fine and normal, so it must be his overall text style not to write much because he’s chatty in person.

Will I be upset if I don’t hear from him? Sure, of course. Just like John. But it won’t kill me and I actually have a bit better feeling there are guys out there for me – my person is somewhere! I just wish it was easier.

Does he like me enough to continue or not? And why does he have all the power? At least in my head. Why do I still feel like inferior goods?

There is something I haven’t identified because MANY men have done the same thing with me – the excitement, how cool I am, how strong, smart, beautiful etc. I have virtually always impressed in the beginning – but do I give off some weird crazy eyes or something? Do I have a vibe that says “stay away from this nutjob?” I don’t compliment people when I don’t mean it and the compliments I receive are entirely CONSISTENT. So they can’t all be faking or lying – there’s truth in there. They all are quickly attracted but after a second thought they back off.

I don’t even know if I am making sense I’m babbling so much. It’s just been bugging me all day because I haven’t heard him. Ultimately I recalled he had a big day at work yesterday and I ended up texting him later in the day to see how it went. He answered promptly with no fanfare. I frankly asked if he would like to go out again and he said yes.

I suppose I shouldn’t have. I’m so transparent. I just want to know.

I may never be good at dating. My brain just works in an organized, methodical approach. Black and white. Yes and no. I always need an “answer” and have trouble with grey (in life, not at work though). Interestingly enough, Mike is also a Virgo. I made a joke about his methodical approach for things and he agreed with me. But then I also teased about him quietly judging and being critical about everyone and everything and he looked at me with surprise (like “you caught me!” Surprise) and have a big laugh. If he’s anything like me as a Virgo – he’s absolutely judgey (quietly).

Anyway, let’s see what happens with Mike and if I can settle into his cadence or follow his lead for the time being. If the other app, Hinge, nets anything – well then, great. If not, it is what it is for now.

Sorry for the ramble but that’s what the blog is here for! Happy Friday!!

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.

5 thoughts on “The In-Betweens”

  1. While I certainly understand and empathize with the feeling of loneliness and the desire to be in a loving, committed relationship with someone, it concerns me that you seem almost obsessed and desperate for it. As if only being loved and desired by a man makes you worthy or validated. And that is just not true.

    It seems like you and Mike like each other and perhaps this relationship might go somewhere — but again, it concerns me that you’ve fallen into the same pattern of picking a married man, someone who is ultimately, at this moment, not able to give you the commitment that you say you desire. I think that pattern deserves some looking into – there is a reason it keeps happening. Perhaps, deep, deep inside, you do not feel as if you are worthy or deserving of happiness or a healthy relationship. Perhaps the drama and uncertainty appeals to some secret part of you and a “normal” relationship would just be too boring for you. There is something — because it keeps happening.

    Regardless, I agree with your friend. I think you need to take a long break from dating sites and dating in general. You need to get into a relationship with yourself, my friend. This need to have a man and the associated excitement in your life leads you to do things that are ultimately self-destructive, unhealthy, and that cause you pain (both physically and mentally). It’s like a drug for you — and drug addicts typically use because they are trying to mask or dull pain or trauma that they find too overwhelming to face and work through. I know your current job is temporary – but if it offers benefits and if you are in a better place financially, I urge you to go back to counseling. Perhaps with a different therapist, as the one you were seeing didn’t seem to be helping you make much progress in this area (from what you have mentioned and the situations you have related).

    Like anyone in recovery, I would suggest that you avoid triggers. Stay off dating websites, stay out of bars, don’t drink to excess, spend time with friends — maybe even some new friends (I found Meetup a great place to meet people who enjoyed the same hobbies I liked and a great place to find new hobbies). Since you enjoy your Peloton bike, you might like joining a biking group on short or long rides — I love hiking and I find that getting outside and into nature is the best form of therapy for me! Who knows, you might meet a nice guy who enjoys the same things as you and you can start your relationship as friends — which is, I would venture to say, how most “normal” relationships start – talking, finding out more about each other, sharing interests, and then moving onto more – not by meeting someone online and hopping into the sack on the first date (not that I’m judging, I’ve done it a time or two myself — but it’s never led to a committed, long term relationship).

    I hope you’re not offended by my observations and suggestions. I recognize an earlier version of myself in you and I was so incredibly unhappy at that time. It took me a lot of work, the willingness to be very uncomfortable and outside my comfort zone, and the patience to keep plugging away at it when I slipped back into old, unhealthy behaviors (I still do from time to time). I just came to the realization that the way I was doing things wasn’t working for me — it wasn’t getting me what I said I really wanted. I decided that I needed to learn to really be comfortable with the idea that I might NOT find “the one” and be happy on my own — finding ways to find happiness and fulfillment with my friends, hobbies, and even solo travel (which was scary — but now I find wonderful! I get to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, without having to worry about someone else’s wants or feelings — it’s great!) If I do find a guy in the future and get that loving, committed relationship — that is going to be terrific (because I’m so much healthier now and in a better place). But if I don’t, I’m still going to have a great, happy, exciting life – because I’ve made peace with my demons and the voices inside that told me I “wasn’t enough” (like my parents and ex’s did for years and years — and I believed them – but I don’t listen to that shit anymore).

    I wish the same for you.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I see an anxious attachment pattern here. I know because mine rears its ugly head like this occasionally too. Read the book called Attached if you haven’t already!

    One solution to counteract the anxiety is to date multiple people. It works well for me ☺️

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I was going to say, not only is there nothing wrong with directly asking someone if they want to have another date with you, it’s also sexy and assertive and clear and mature. You side-step any mental reindeer games you might have otherwise launched to gauge his interest, and he doesn’t have to play guessing games with you. I think that this is great. It comes off as far less needy to be direct than to hedge, even if it feels way more vulnerable to ask for the specific thing. You take care of your own feelings and insecurities, rather than make him do that for you. Great job!

    Liked by 2 people

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