Tentative Maturity

My brain knows (most times) what’s right and when my brain isn’t paying attention my gut generally steps in. I don’t always listen but I have been making a very concerted effort since my breakdown to try my best. I show up for myself most days.

That probably sounds like I did something dumb. I actually didn’t. I’m just feeling a bit (well, maybe a lot more than a bit) melancholy. Dropped my first born off to college, I don’t have a partner and I’m still out of work. The sense of loss or failure is looming large and I’m working really hard to keep myself together.

I met a man online named Peter. He came to my home for drinks – it’s so hard to go out anywhere and I don’t really want to keep inviting men here, but there’s no option for a casual drink anymore. My back deck suits just fine but I hate that the kids know I have company. Going to a park feels really awkward to me and I won’t go to someone else’s home. I think I vet them well enough before they come here but I suppose one never knows.

Peter was a nice guy but I struggled with the laughter again. He looked like his photos but didn’t, hard to explain. He wasn’t unattractive but I found him less appealing in person. I am somewhat critical about how people dress because of my industry, but it’s no dealbreaker. He was just dressed too young for his age. He talked too much about himself and his business. He asked a question and before I could form a complete sentence was interjecting whatever he wanted to tell me about himself. He literally pulled his cock out of his pants as a joke that just wasn’t funny. I didn’t look. I looked him right in the eye and told him he was dumb. He felt chastised but that wasn’t my goal – what is it about me that makes EVERY man lead with sex? What vibe am I giving off and how the he’ll do I stop? The date wasn’t a complete loss, but I wasn’t really feeling great about it.

I should have cut it off immediately after the first date but I know I didn’t because I’m lonely and thought to myself I should give him a second chance. He was good about communicating every day but I began to get frustrated with the same questions. I think he must have asked me if I liked salmon no less than 6 times (I don’t). It felt like a boring Groundhog Day in most every conversation. He is a part time basketball coach so at one point during the last conversation I asked him if he liked basketball. 😂🙄. I was entertaining myself again – I knew it was time to just call it a day. We were due to have our second date this week and he was going to make me dinner (you can guess what he wanted to make).

I really am not sure if this guy was a space cadet or really disinterested. I don’t know, nor do I care. But he didn’t pay attention and he certainly didn’t ask much about me beyond “how are you” or “what are you doing” type of questions. I know this is how you gauge a mans intent. They always show you who they are at some point early on. When I sent the text today to politely decline dinner and moving forward, he replied that he was caught off guard. Probably because he was too focused on his attraction to me and not paying any attention to our actual interaction. Or maybe he just wanted to sleep with me. Doesn’t matter.

I still had a little trouble writing that text to let go in favor of having some company, any company. I knew I should have written it last week but getting my kid ready for college drop off consumed my time and thoughts. I still feel loss today. I suppose the loss is ambiguous- I am not mourning the loss of Peter – just the loss of my child to his adult life and the hope of relationship once again. The general loss of my life as it was pre 2018.

I still can’t help myself to think of each new match as future potential. I don’t know if this helps or harms the dates. I don’t believe I come across as needy, unhappy or depressed but I’m starting to feel the weight of frustration. My x has now been in a relationship for 2 years and the kids have dinner with them once in a while. I suppose this bothers me as well on some level and I think whenever a long term partner gets into another relationship there is some adjustment period. I did have a good laugh this weekend when my son told me that his grandmother no longer thinks of me as the devil and says she preferred me. More like the devil you know with my x-MIL.

The man I started to see before Covid, Scott, lives in the same state as my sons college. We have established a tentative friendship. I know he would like more, he knows I know, but he is willing to be friends.

Then there’s Mike. Why? He never fails to make my heart flutter and I don’t think he’s truly contrived, but I sort of don’t get why he does what he does. On the nights we spent together (a year ago now) one song seemed to be on repeat and he would sing it to me. It was one of the things I found so endearing. He must have been home alone and the video came on and he sent me a clip and said “every time I hear this I think of you”. Why? Why? Why can’t he just date me? Dumbass me responds with “lets have drinks on the deck”. No response. Of course. Delete yet again.

Tony is back stalking my IG. Any attempt at blocking him results in follows from made up names. It does cause “some” kind of feeling but the closest I can identify is sadness. I have no desire to reach out. If he wants to stalk, or if it’s his wife, then so be it. I’m really done now. I know it took 2 years and nearly killing myself but I can say that I am no longer in love with Tony.

I do feel I am making good choices – part of that is the choices are sincerely limited – there are not any good matches coming up for any of my friends. Part of that is the realization that I would rather be alone than with someone I am not ultimately compatible with.

But depression is seeping in much faster than I feel I can control. And this worries me….will I be able to manage the depression without becoming reckless again?

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.

12 thoughts on “Tentative Maturity”

  1. To be depressed does not mean you will be reckless. Let’s get that out of the way. Depression is an illness, recklessness is a choice. I think you are doing great – your mind is clearer and you see your own self-worth without a guy’s validation. You are much stronger – kudos!

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  2. Here’s the funny part: Everyone you meet and interact with is a potential – has the potential – to be more than just someone to hang out with or to just have sex with. The bad part? Trying to figure out who could be “The One” and a task made even more difficult because you – and like so many others – tend to allow past experiences interfere with current events and that’s actually pretty normal for a lot of people… until or unless they get to that part when they realize that by letting the bad shit from their past experiences run things, they’re stuck being alone when they really don’t want to be.

    It’s normal for us to say to ourselves, “This is the type of person I want and need to be with” and then define that person in our head – and tossing in elements of prior experiences – and then sticking to them and, honestly, giving credence to the definition of insanity: Doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It’s a cycle of behavior that’s very hard to break but some of us learn to break it because, for our continued well-being, it HAS TO BE BROKEN and even if it feels fucked up to have to break it.

    Truth: Some guys will just want to fuck you – just the way shit really is and for some guys, it’s all that really matters to them and, yeah, some of us can be pretty stupid and even childish about it; I’d never pull my dick out like that one guy did and then call it a joke – that’s just moronic and idiotic. If I meet and go out with a new woman and she asks me if I’m thinking about getting her into bed, I’m not gonna lie and say that it’s not on my mind – because it is… but I’m one of those guys who knows and understands that there’s more to her than just someone to have sex with and that if I’m giving her the impression that it’s all I’m interested in – and whether that’s true or not – eh, women don’t have a sense of humor about that – and even if she knows she wants to get laid and I’m the guy who’s gonna get lucky… as long as I prove to her that I have my head screwed on correctly.

    As you’ve learned, this can be an obsession and a very bad one; not because of what you want for yourself but how you tend to go about it and you know that I know how you go about it… and what I’ve said about it and that I’ve even told you that I wouldn’t date you because of the way you go about things or, if I dated you once and you laid all of this on me, it would be the last time because it’s kinda toxic… not to me so much but to yourself and the good thing is that you know this and are trying to move away from it. You still want and need that special someone by your side and probably more now than ever before, all things considered but it remains true that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It is, in fact, a kind of growing up and maturity and one that can strongly suggest that it’s okay to not keep embodying the definition of insanity when the reality is telling you that it ain’t working for you.

    So everyone is that potential someone… and everyone is and can be someone you can just slake your lust upon because you need to and that ongoing maturity tells you that holding even that to a very high standard isn’t going to get you laid or isn’t going to make it feel as good as it’s supposed to be. Or someone you can just have fun being with and without sex being a consideration – but not being alone is a great consideration. Just because we grow up doesn’t mean we stop growing up and maturing even more… and it’s a lesson you’re learning these days and the very important lesson of making any of this easier on yourself rather than to keep making it harder. Not every guy you meet will turn out to be The One… but there’s no rule that says you can’t have all the fun you can trying to find out if he is or can be, is there? And, as I told a guy who was looking for another guy to be The One in his life, if you’re unwilling to, ah, interview potential candidates for the job of holding and caring for your heart – and you’re making it hard to even do that – you’re not accomplishing anything except making yourself more miserable than you should be. That Mr. or Ms. Right just is not going to magically appear; the illusion of chemistry that almost everyone has just isn’t going to happen immediately or when you want it to; sometimes, you have to develop it but many people ain’t feeling that because it’s something they have to work at and keep working at until it shows up or utterly fails to do so.

    And, yes, I still read what you write and ask myself, “Would I date Madeline if there was a chance to?” Hmm… maybe I would as long as I could be sure she wasn’t going to go all “old school Madeline” on me and holding me to a standard that I know that I’m not even close to meeting… but I do have the potential of being something to her and reminding her that it’s okay for her to live and just be a woman – and whatever that means to her. But Madeline still has… ghosts that she’s still trying to banish so as long as she’s trying to bury those ghosts and keep them buried. It’s just one of those things that if I – and someone who is pretty open-minded – would think twice about dating you, that should keep telling you that something ain’t right – and I’m the guy who will keep reminding of you that.

    Because I really do care and want you to be happy.

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    1. You’re so sweet and I ALWAYS appreciate your feedback.

      Scott has caught on to the fact that I have buried demons and has said outright he will wait til I reveal them myself. Because initially didn’t really think he was someone I would continue with, he also knows my standards/qualifications and that definitely affects him. I can’t change that now with anything I say but I hope my behavior makes him feel comfortable that I’m not sitting in constant judgement of him.

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      1. The one quality I think a woman looks for in a man isn’t how good he looks or how much money he has or if he can fuck her brains out: It’s whether or not he’s gonna still be with her when she goes into Queen Bitch of the Universe mode and he’s still in love with her and still can’t imagine a life without her.

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      2. I have to go back and read your long comment as I like to digest them first but I am happy with him – as he is – I do not want to change him. I’m not sure if I can say “but”’after that without it negating the first part FB the sentence but, there are qualities I don’t like so if he should chose to stay with me, those qualities need to adjust (as would my snobby side). When different worlds collide there is going to adjustment, we don’t move to another country and expect everyone to speak our language, we learn their ways and their language so we can fit it – that’s how I see this working (right now)

        I met him in February, we reconnected in July, and I committed to giving it a try in September. So while I’ve known him almost 9 months it’s still really only just two months of relationship in my opinion – way to early to tell what’s going to happen

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      3. Hmm… any qualities you have that he’s not gonna like and is gonna ask to be adjusted? If so, are you gonna change or adjust them? Think about this particular one after you just said that you do not want to change him.

        Boy meets girl and now it’s trying to figure out how they can fit together with the least amount of drama or standing on their right to be the way they are, that they don’t have to change if they don’t want to, and if you can’t accept and deal with me as I am, well, don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass on the way out.

        You want to avoid this. It’s okay to speak to something you don’t like or disagree with but whether they change or not shouldn’t be a condition to stay by your side – that kinda sounds like an ultimatum of sorts, dontcha think? Well within your rights but if whatever he has to adjust changes him in a way he might not be comfortable with, then what? The nerve of him being the way he is!

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      4. Ha! Yes, if I had a quality he found offensive and felt it was something he couldn’t deal with, I would be open to discussing and even changing behavior. That’s why I would expect the same. It’s not an ultimatum for either partner, but it is a decision if the partner can live with the quality/behavior or not.

        I have a lot of qualities I can already see being influenced by him – and he has mentioned more than once (in a silly manner because that’s his way) “come over to the dark side”. He acknowledges we have some pretty significant differences in the way we view things and handle things. Sometimes we see eye to eye and other times we don’t. We are finding our way.

        Much of what I wrote here is in my head. Much less comes out of my mouth. I still am amazed with myself – I have never really been able to shut my mouth and withhold judgement – but, with him, it mostly happens. I find myself more accepting of him than anyone else I’ve ever met and I don’t really know why. To me, it’s fascinating sort of sitting back watching myself adjust and be fine with it.

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