2018-2019 Dating Year in Review

Time flies when you’re having fun!  Or not.  I don’t know how much fun I actually had as compared to my earlier dating experiences.  Sure, there were some, but these past 18 months were absolutely more about self-actualization as it relates to dating.  How dull for my readers.  Where – oh – where did all the ridiculousness of M go?

Meh, I aged out.  Need to be less ridiculous and more mature in the hopes of actually finding a partner worthy of the woman I know I can be.

Still, boring.

A slow start did eventually pick up and I’ve absolutely arrived at a point of control.

It took almost 9 full months from when I started in late 2018 to find my mojo and begin to truly understand how casual sex, dating and relationships work for normal humans.

Not sure I’m normal, or ever will be, but there sure was a lot of progress this year!

First 10 Men in review from November 18 –  April 19:

1. Rob (6’4″)– November/December

2. Brian– January

3. Joe– January

4. Jack– January

5. Matthew– January/February

6. Anthony– February

7. Greg– February

8. Jack2– February

9.Craig– March

10. Duke– April

Not much wasted time or effort in there, but at least one crazy!  I learned a few lessons along the way.

The next batch finally broke through a dry year without sex, and really had me focusing on what was going to feel good to me:

11. August– April/May

12.  Ed – May

13. Tom – June

14. Dick Adjuster (Rob2) – July

Then, suddenly, not only had the dry spell been broken, but my libido came back along with a healthy dose of common sense on how to begin to manage my anxious attachment:

15. John – July

16. Mike – August

17. Tom – August

18. Charles – August

19. Rob(repeat) – September

20. Dan (repeat) – September

21. Marshall– September/October

22. Jim– October

23. John2 – October

24. Jon– October

25. Dan2 – October/November/December

26. Chris – November

27. Tom2 – December (never even wrote about this date!)

And so ended my year.

In hindsight, the only actual regret I have is Mike.  I do still think about him.  He hit all the buttons.  I recently saw him again on Tinder, but if he’s available he’s not interested in me since he never reached out again – he’s one of those I wish would come back.  BUT, I also know its probably no good for me should he come back because I already like him too much and he didn’t maintain any consistency.   I still can’t help but think what did I do wrong here?

What do I see when I look at this recap post?  Almost 30 dates and nothing is the first thing that comes to mind.  Too many wasted dates is the second thing that comes to mind.

But, when I allow the negative self-talk to quiet, I see lessons and growth.  A whole lot of growth.  Maybe its the growth I need to find my Mr. Right.  Maybe I haven’t been as ready as I think I am.  I still struggle to refine/reduce my requirements and I still tend to be very attracted to the same “formula” in a man.  What if that doesn’t change?

I suppose I will be waiting a very, very long time.

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.

9 thoughts on “2018-2019 Dating Year in Review”

  1. Changing your formula is often easier said than done; once you get the criteria set in your head, you just keep tending to view all men that way and trying to look at any other man might not feel right to you. So, at best, it’s a work in progress and I will note that while you might think making such a change is too much like work, I’ll also remind you that the old formulae didn’t work all that well for you.

    One of the things that we, as men, find horribly difficult to do is to be the man a woman wants – and her view of that. It’s not that some of us can’t do it but for many, it puts us in a pattern of behavior that, sometimes, our personalities and the way we go about our lives just isn’t going to support for very long. I’ve told women, “I can only be who I am and if that’s not good enough, well, I’m not gonna apologize for being me.”

    Logic suggests that if you’ve been playing in a very small field, expanding the field kinda makes sense so you can have more room to assess, “interview,” and other important stuff. But it seems to me that a lot of women tend to think more about what they want more than what they need – these two things are not mutually inclusive. Women get pissy about settling for less than what they want, you know, like it’s a crime of such proportions that it’ll make the FBI Most Wanted List.

    Settling for the man you can be with seems to be a very bad thing. But you know I’ve said to you that when you set the bar too high, you make it almost impossible for anyone to reach it… and even more impossible for them to hold onto the bar for an extended period of time. And you’ve proven that you’re smart enough to understand that and, yup, you’ve been working at giving yourself more, um, applicants to interview. They might wind up being Mr. Right Now – another very bad thing – but you’ve been learning that this guy has some… benefits you can partake of while continuing on the hunt for Mr. Right.

    Thirty dates. I’m impressed! At the least, you just wanna have a good time with a guy even if sex isn’t in the offing; it gets you out of the house, can take your mind temporarily off your day-to-day stresses and, damned skippy – you can get laid and just because you need to be laid. Hell, I’d never really complain about that but the one quality in a Mr. Right, I think, is asking yourself a question: Could you see yourself waking up to him five years from now? Ten years? Another question: What qualities does he have that can be integrated into your life or, it’s not what he can do for you but what the two of you can do together? And again, what are the minimum requirements for a guy to be a Mr. Right? You don’t forego the max requirements because, as my mom used to tell me, you always leave room for yourself to make mistakes.

    And when you do make a “mistake,” eh, it’s not the end of the world. Now, Mike: What did you do wrong? Probably nothing but I’d wonder if you unconsciously “pushed” him a bit too much given that you took an immediate liking to him? Ya might want to think about that for a moment. Okay… he hit all of your buttons and probably checked a lot of boxes… but did he really? You say he lacked consistency and I hate to be the one to tell you but, um, we – men – aren’t all that consistent and no matter how much we try to be.

    You want him – or your Mr. Right – to be a particular way and then stay that way… and people don’t work like that; just because a guy can push all of the right buttons and check a lot of boxes really doesn’t mean he’s Mr. Right – perhaps just a really good Mr. Right Now. But, I say to you, no fretting. No “hardcore” second-guessing yourself. Keep working on modifying your formula and, hell, yeah, keep “interviewing” potential candidates. Let’s see… there’s the guy you can just hang out with, then there’s the guy who can get you in bed and knock your horny backside into the next zip code; then there’s the guy who, by his very mannerisms, is just comfortable to be around. What you – and, perhaps, a lot of women hope and want is that guy who can be all of those things and, again, be doggedly consistent come hell or high water.

    Does that, perhaps, sound like an unreasonable expectation? While I don’t know all that much about women, I do know guys and I wouldn’t dare speak for all men but, um, I know I can be consistently inconsistent because my thoughts and feelings are always changing. I’ve sat and thought about what I can do to meet her expectations and other criteria and the problem with that is most women aren’t all that willing to compromise in this area: I want what I want and the exact way I want it, no exceptions, no excuses, and failure will not be tolerated. Hence, my position of I can only be who I am and if that’s not good enough, wow… that sucks but I learned never to try to be someone – or something – that I’m not or can’t be.

    From where I sit, that “I want what I want” mindset will pretty much guarantee that you will find yourself all by yourself. Maybe a serious relationship gets off on the right foot… but I think if a woman maintains that kind of mindset, homey will eventually begin to drift away because you’re asking him to do something that is beyond his ability to do… and keep doing in any way that resembles being consistent. Yeah, I know this… because I’ve had women do this to me. Again, this is what I can do and I understand my limitations better than anyone. This is what you want – whew, that’s… oh, my, wow… okay, I can do some of that stuff, and some of it might be a reach but, okay, I’ll give it a try but please keep in mind that I’m probably gonna fail more than I succeed and, of course, wow, honey, I don’t have a clue how I’m gonna do some of this stuff you’re asking me to consistently do.

    My question would be, “Um, Madeline, what things can we work with together? Can we make a… change in the dynamic and kinda step away from “I’m gonna do this (and only this) and you gotta do all this stuff I need you to do…” and come up with with something that, for one, is uniquely ours and it’s about making it a thing about, of, and for what we, as two different individuals, can do together?”

    Too many relationships are about what “I” want, what are you gonna do for me, and not so much about “us” – what can we do together and despite any hard-set requirements. So, yeah, sometimes, if ya can’t get the guy you want to be with, you try to find some happiness with the guy you can be with… because he just might be able to become the guy you want to be with.

    It’s a major shift in mindset and it’s not easy to accomplish but like anything involving any kind of relationship, it has to constantly be worked on, adjusted, modified – you get the picture. And you keep running that play until you get it right… and try to have fun working toward getting it right. You’ve actually been doing pretty good so keep up the good work, okay?

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    1. You always give me so much to think about! I am definitely trying to reevaluate what my roadblocks are from trying different personalities / looks. For some reason there are definitely a few that are in there for good (height is one of them no matter how often I try a slighter man). I realize my expectations are high and need to be adjusted and it’s about finding out what I can actually settle for that doesn’t make it feel like settling (as in accepting less than I deserve)

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      1. At the end of the day, I want you to have a man you can call all your own and to keep for as long as humanly possible. I want you to be the woman you need to be whether you just wanna have a good time on a date or working toward something a bit more lasting and meaningful. Guys have to change their “MO” all of the time, constantly adjusting between the woman they want to be with… and the woman they can be with and many of us have learned to do this because if there’s one constant about women that we know about, it’s that they want what they want and the exact way they want it, which can be both a good and very bad thing and, more often than not, we can’t even get the woman we could be with. The mistake we all make is sticking with something that, over time, proves to be unworkable; it’s one thing to get it into your head that you want this, like that, and because you’re worth whatever effort is called for toward this goal but, as I’ve mentioned to you before, when you set the bar so high that no one can reach it – or, if they can, they can’t hold on for very long – well, that’s a problem and more so when you really don’t like waking up to an empty bed most mornings. Common sense and logic both suggests that if you’ve been doing things a certain way and it’s not working the way you think it should, change some stuff so that it can stand a better chance of working.

        The thing is most people see the sense in this… but just won’t do it because in their minds, this is what they want, the way they want it, and no substitutes are really allowed but, I think, without really considering that people don’t really work like that because you’re asking – even demanding – that someone be something they can’t be or doesn’t want to be. We consistently think about what we want… but not what we can do; we have expectations of those we want to be with us without really thinking at a more simpler level – what can the two of us get together and make happen? Even I learned that there’s the way you look at things and then there’s the way I look at things… but what we should do is come up with a joint way of looking at things that allows us to interact but doesn’t make us feel like we’re settling for less than what we want.

        It’s not just compromise… it’s being creative and not everyone has the ability to create that middle ground upon which we both can stand upon without that sense of losing out or whatever.

        But to do this, one has to change the way they go about such things, change the way they think about them – what is the least acceptable thing and how not to set the bar too high for anyone to reach, let along try to maintain some semblance of consistency.

        What you deserve is to be happy and the question I like to ask is, “What price are you willing to put on your happiness?” The reality is we tend to put too high a price on it and there’s more stuff that we won’t do for love or money than there are things we can and/or are willing to do in the pursuit of happiness because we believe that to do less than this diminishes us and decreases our value… except, there’s your idea of what you’re worth and then there’s the other person’s idea of what this is or might be. Which, of course, why I think that taking a “what can the two of us do together?” approach makes sense.

        But it’s still easier said than done. It’s a lot of work, whether you just need to get laid or you want more than that and if one isn’t willing to put in the amount of work that’s necessary to get that which they want and need, well, isn’t that a problem?

        I think it is. So many women are alone and unhappy in their loneliness when they don’t have to be; they stick with a formula or methodology that, more often than not, proves to be unworkable and I question this behavior in both men and women big time.

        I know what you want (for the most part) but my question to you is, simply, what are you capable of doing? Methinks it’s a hell of a lot more than what you’re doing now… and I know that you know this – but ya still gotta change some stuff and be unafraid and undaunted to do what you can, to work with what you can get and instead of relying on someone to make and keep you happy, take the full responsibility for your own happiness and, yeah, even if all you wanna do is get laid while continuing the search for the Mr. Right who can, hopefully, work with you and not so much “for you,” if you understand what I’m saying. Failure isn’t an option but that’s bullshit – if you don’t fail, you never, ever, learn how not to fail and failure isn’t the god-awful mistake we all take it to be because if I’ve learned nothing else in my life, it’s that everything is a learning experience whether it’s good, “bad,” or indifferent.

        What are you willing to do to get what you want? That’s the biggest question you have to find the answer to – then going about doing what you gotta do to get what you want up to and including the way you look and go about this.

        You are allowed to live your life, Madeline and by any means necessary. An LTR isn’t the endgame – it’s just part of the journey and it’s not so much what you do but how you go about doing it that, ultimately, makes you a happy camper… or a miserable one.

        Which do you prefer to be? I’d very much like for you to be a happy camper, if it’s all the same to you.

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