Reappearing Ghost

Well one of my ghosts decided he did want to haunt me after all.

Since I didn’t engage him all weekend before our tentative date, I assumed he was a lost cause. But he showed up on Monday checking in on time and location and also remembering to ask how my weekend with my friend was.

Honestly, it all felt very genuine to me. He knew I had a friend here and he felt our plans were solid. I didn’t think twice and agreed to go and meet August. Still can’t get over what a cool name I think that is!

August is super tall! He is the first man to actually plan an outing for a first date and I was looking forward to exploring the part of the city he suggested. I had worked in the area some years ago and it’s undergoing a massive transformation as a cultural center of our city.

Driving in and parking was super easy and convenient which is a rarity. I had gotten my workouts in during the day, my hair looked good and the weather was mild. I had a new pair of jeans and leather jacket and feeling quite positive overall. Some excitement was creeping back in and the familiar feeling was very welcome. I was happy to be going out and looking forward to meeting him…not much more I could ask for. These days I never know when my depression is going to swoop in and decide I’m not in the mood for whatever I’ve planned and want me to stay on the couch instead. I was thankful my depression was no where in sight.

We agreed on a meeting spot and as I saw him approach, my heart leapt a little just because he is so tall, handsome and had a suit on! I was all “this guy is coming for me?!” kind of excited. Lol. Conversation flowed easily. We walked and talked. Saw some cool sights. Walked some more (20k steps that day! My highest yet!). Enjoyed the weather, city sights and each other. I didn’t feel pressure or disinterest. This was a very easy date.

Then he suggested we go to my all time favorite bar/restaurant/hotel (the bathtub room there is of Bobby fame – but many, many great nights happened at The Standard). I liked that he was in no rush. We sat at the bar and had cocktails. Then he suggested dinner. We were lucky to get a table, even though it was Tuesday. We shared a bottle of wine and some dinner. He noticed how little I ate and made the comment “that’s why you are so thin.” It’s too early to address more so I simply said I wasn’t a big eater. I have also learned to order an appetizer as my dinner so it’s less obvious how little I eat. Plus, if I drink and eat at the same time – it’s 3-4 ounces period – doesn’t matter if it’s liquid or solid. I need to go slow.

I am VERY happy to report I can now drink BUBBLES again! Yes! Life just isn’t the same without Prosecco! I had a Penny Drop cocktail, which is my second favorite (derivative of Moscow Mule) drink!

The only thing I noticed about August was he didn’t ask me many questions. I’m trying not to read too far into this on a first date, but he just doesn’t seem inquisitive (and normally that’s a trigger for me that he’s not interested ENOUGH). We spoke about what he learned from his last relationships and he admits that he didn’t pay enough attention to what his partners needs were. He also admits he has to improve his communication style. I’m going to take those comments of his at face value and see if I can work with his style.

I learned a lot about him because I did ask many, many questions. While he is at the right place in his life for me (older kids, divorced etc) I’m not sure ultimately how compatible we would be. I believe he comes from wealth and the country club scene which is quite foreign to me. Not sure it’s my scene. We shall see.

Another interesting thing, he told me how beautiful I was very quickly and often. He thought I was so much more attractive in person because I was so happy. Eventually he also told me I was quite sexy and I guess I laughed a little. He asked why, and I decided to tell the truth. When I was young (and when I would say sexy about myself) no one ever said sexy to me. I was always cute, pretty, and smart. Never beautiful, sexy or sassy. Now, it’s very common for a man to label me as sexy, even though I don’t feel I come across that way. But he’s not the first to say it radiates from me. This time, I really took that to heart because I haven’t felt it AT ALL in a year or so. Yes, I felt pretty sexy many times during the first 4 years post separation/divorce. But since the end of Tony and all my trauma, it’s not a feeling or attitude I’m familiar with anymore. I wonder what it is that men see and think is sexy? I really don’t know what it is because I still see pretty. I do see sassy come out. And now I see thin. But that’s it.

We had such a nice dinner and then another nice long stroll back to my car. Hand holding and kissing. All gentle, light and playful. Just right and just enough.

The night ended well, with a promise to meet again. He looked at me and said “you’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?” Out of the blue.

I don’t know, August. I don’t know anything anymore. One day at a time. My heart is still healing and my mind is still somewhat broken. Let’s take it slow.

This is Why I Stopped Being Sexy

This isn’t exactly the reason I stopped being sexy (refer to my Scared post), but this got my goat.

I went on a date with a man named Duke. He was an Irish/Italian immigrant, not my traditional “look” but handsome nonetheless and spirited. I met him in the city.

Duke had a great sense of a story and told some good ones. He had a very interesting and different life and I was engaged, though not entirely attracted.

I suppose at some point Duke said I was a pleasant surprise from our text conversation where I appeared disinterested …. that definitely struck a chord with me as I’ve been feeling it lately (see my most recent pity party post).

When Duke made the comment, it turned over in my mind a bit and I debated internally if I wanted to change that perception, or not, with him. He was going to be super easy to flirt with and I could tell he had an engaging sexual style. I could imagine kissing him.

But even as I debated in my head, I couldn’t get the sassy, sexy, fun girl up out of my gut to be present in that bar with him. She would not come out. I had no desire to force it, it didn’t feel right. I tried one of my good stories, and while it came out ok and got its requisite laugh, it didn’t even feel genuine to me. I didn’t share it because I wanted him to know more about me, I shared it because I had a story I knew was good. That’s it. Nothing more.

No wonder I come across as disinterested. I’m disinterested and disengaged from MYSELF .

When it was time to leave, we walked out together, had a lovely kiss goodbye and he asked me out again. He also asked me to flirt with him. I agreed to both. I agreed because I wanted to and it would be fun, it was less so about actual chemistry.

He followed up that night as well as the next day and I tried to keep it light with a promise of a little shower or bra shot as I was getting ready for my evening the next night.

When the time came for my shower, I snapped the promised photo and sent it over, with a small explanation I had not shared a photo like this in over a year so he was “lucky 🍀” I was afraid of his reaction and wanted to provide some (lame) context of why I may appear disinterested when I’m really afraid and that’s what came out instead. I wasn’t ready to be emotionally open with him.

It wasn’t my best as my body is so thin now and nothing appears full anymore – but it is what it is and someone is going to need to love it the way it is now.

His answer:

“Oh dear. Pot of gold :)”

My reply: ”

“You think?”

His reply:

“Shenanigans ahoy”

And that was it since Saturday night.

It bothered me, of course, for a minute. The first god dam sexy photo I take and the guy disappears overnight. He got what he asked for, was obviously disappointed, and ghosted me.  But then, you know what, I didn’t care enough.  I sent him a not so kind message back by Monday, then blocked and deleted him.  I hate when someone pretends to “not be the typical man” and then turns out to be exactly that.

This is exactly what I am afraid of each and every time and why I’ve been holding back with sexy talk and sexy shots. I’m deathly afraid of more rejection. And it happened!  However, I also know you can’t start a relationship holding on to all this fear and expecting some new man to suddenly be everything I thought Tony was.  I want to be safe with someone, and I made a bad choice with Duke, but at least it reminded me why I don’t need to do those things for anyone anymore…..until I really want to and  until I am truly turned on by the person I am sharing it with.

Disinterested

Had a fun date with Duke about two weeks ago. Day drinking in the city is a favorite activity and he chose a great, low-key bar. Traditional, perfect, quiet and most importantly unpretentious.

I met Duke on Bumble. He is a handsome Irish/Italian guy, a bit out of my traditional “type” range but still quite handsome. A bit slim for me – I have always been attracted to fuller men, manly men.  In my opinion, very European – he showed up dressed nicely in his scarf and cap, and vest.

While not exactly initially appealing, his personality grew on me the way Tony’s did – I was thankful to see this happen again as it means (somewhere deep inside) my requirements are adjusting to what’s below face value. That’s good, right?

We sat at a local city bar, both of us had evening dinner plans, and passed 3 hours or more chatting and laughing. He’s super interesting, uncommon I would say, and had great stories. Plus, the Irish brogue was hot!

During the conversation, each one of us asked the other if we matched our photos, profile and expectations. He said he was very pleasantly surprised by me because I was prettier in person, had a genuine smile and was definitely interesting. He mentioned that he found my responses to him to be disinterested – he didn’t feel I was really engaged in meeting him.

He’s not wrong. My guard is up all the time now in these initial conversations. One wrong move and *boom* I’m over you. I’m sick and tired of the probing sexual questions from men and he hinted at that a tiny bit on the phone so I probably shut down. I supposed that can come off as disinterested. I do feel more disconnected than ever from the dating world – the round robin of matching, texting, speaking and meeting is a lot of work over and over and over again.

I was glad he said it. It made me write this post about being scared. It caused me to pause and think on my behavior. He may have caught disinterest but, in hindsight, I realize it’s much more about my fear of moving forward and being vulnerable. I am keeping everyone at a distance I can manage because I still feel the pain of Tony too keenly and because I will need to share my story, if I am being honest, when we get undressed.

I am definitely in a very weird place in my life: entirely uncomfortable with myself….so how can I be comfortable with someone else?

In any case, the date ended and we left the bar and stepped to the side to kiss. A perfectly good kiss that encouraged more but didn’t get heavy. I wasn’t exactly excited but had the feeling I wanted to explore more. He asked me out again and we decided to take it to text to make our next date.

I left feeling like the date was a success….until his text started later that day into the next.

The Ghosts

I met two men on line that I was very attracted to, and had that little flutter of “oh I hope they write and like me too!”

Both turned into ghosts. Multiple times.

August met all the immediate criteria and we hit it off quickly on dating app text. We exchanged numbers and text a bit more for a day or two then he disappeared for over a week. I didn’t think twice because, unfortunately, ghosting is so damn normal these days. After a period of time he popped back up with a good explanation and photos of his kids and asked me out immediately. I let the first ghosting pass, we all get caught up in our lives. We made some fun plans for this week and agreed to speak on phone. He initiated both the date and the suggestion of a phone conversation. Now, he’s ghosted me again! As much as I would like to see him tomorrow, the lack of communication (since Friday) is an issue. If he can’t even text a hello over a series of days and expects me to come into the city tomorrow for a day date, will that be any different after the date? Is it worth the time, effort and cost to take myself all the way into the city to meet a man I will probably like only for him to keep ghosting me like this?

What do you think?

My friends are split decision on August.

Then there is Dave. Dave actually appeared on the scene in 2017 when Tony and I had our first break. Tony couldn’t work up the courage to speak to his wife and I was frustrated so I chose to start dating again. I liked Dave immediately. He hit most of my criteria except for never married and no kids. We had 3 dates, all fun and laughter and he was an amazing kisser. If we had met again, no doubt I would have slept with him. He was a huge turn on for me – and, later, a real sore spot for Tony. After our 3rd date, which went very well, Dave ghosted me. It was disappointing and unexpected but it happened. Eventually I got back with Tony and Dave slipped from my mind. Until now, when he started to appear on every one of my dating apps as a match. He eventually reached out to me to chat and then asked me out. He thought the “dating gods” were trying to tell us something. I really want to go out with Dave…but he’s is as inconsistent with communication as he was the first time and I still get a feeling he’s not all that interested. He doesn’t strike me as the pursuer, I always got the feeling he wants to be pursued. Yes, he asked me out, but it feels half-hearted to me, as though he recalls our chemistry (which he’s mentioned a few times) and figures we can fool around while he looks for his next relationship. He also asked me to come to him – which I did on our last date in 2017 – and couldn’t recall where I lived and wasn’t keen on coming to me. I think he wants what he can get (a for now fling) and isn’t really interested in me.

I think I need to just stop with Dave.

Both August and Dave are the type of man (on the surface) I would like to be dating. But I don’t think I’m getting the reciprocation I need and have a funny feeling I never will.

Do I just stop now with both and call it a day?

What do you think about these ghosts?

Over Before it Started

Don’t talk politics. It’s a key tenet of dating.

But when someone asks, I am honest.

I have republican values for the most part. But I live in reality and have just as many democratic values as well.

What I don’t do well with are extremes, especially liberal extremes which are rampant where I live. So much so, you can’t have a conservative thought without being penalized. That’s like a reverse discrimination.

But, lately, what I find with the state of our country is that if I do much as say I’m conservative the assumption follows that I am Trump supporter. That’s unfair and incorrect. Secondly, my opinion is a valid as the next persons opinion. Because that’s what it is – my personal opinion. I don’t actually get involved with many political discussions as I don’t know enough to hold a strong argument. And here, on the east coast in a major city, I am penalized for NOT being entirely liberal. Which is fascinating to me when that is simply another form of discrimination – don’t they see that?

I was chatting with a man for 2 days via text, getting along very well and he brought up something tax related that I agreed with. Then he mentioned something Republican and I said I understood because I was fiscally Republican.

Here’s how that went down:

And that my friends was the end of that.

The speed at which Erik from Bumble determine my worth as a dating partner because I don’t believe in free health care for all was fascinating to me.

He is right, if he is so immovable and inflexible in his opinions, we are not compatible.

What’s Up With the Phone, Guys?

It’s either some weird moon cycle or I have just had the silliest streak of weird luck. It’s not bad luck because I don’t care all that much, but three times in a week span is a weird streak of occurrences.

I may have written before that men age 50+ prefer phone calls to text. It sort of makes me nuts. I don’t want endless text to get to know someone, but I can vet pretty quickly over text if there is any compatibility before spending my time on the phone.

For me, phone conversation is much more personal and I want to focus on spending time with you and getting to know you. Until I feel some connection in text, I generally don’t like to jump straight to phone.

But this past week I lost that battle 3 times straight.

I seemed to have hit a pocket of men who were so stubborn about phone engagement that I just threw in the towel. Quickly. I didn’t give it any chance to breathe because I got frustrated so quickly.

Rob: I know for a fact we had matched before a long time ago. I didn’t recall what happened, but do recall it was because he ghosted me. We had a little back and forth text and then he called, out of the blue. I was busy working out and text him back when I was done. I suggested it was better to set a time to speak and was he adverse to text? He said he preferred phone. I called him early on Sunday morning, around 11am when I was out walking. He called back at 9:30 pm and I was in bed and not interested in answering. He sent a follow up text to say he “didn’t see” my missed call and text until now. I said that was curious and he got snarky with a comment “I’m not like other people who have their phone in their hands all day.” I call bull shit. We all have phones in our hands all day and we check them. There may be hours that go by, but usually not 10 in the middle of a normal weekend.

Haven’t heard from him again. Don’t care. I’m sure this is what happened the first time around. He told me he had a hard time dating – no wonder why.

*follow up 4 days later: guess what? he calls. No surprise there. We chat. He is really inflexible when he talks about his life. Everything is regimented. I work hard to get him to loosen up and I can tell he’s a good guy but I also get a distinct sense we are on different pages. We decide to meet and ultimately that goes sideways. Everything is a negotiation. I don’t want to negotiate. It’s a first date, choose a place by me and set a time. Don’t ask me to drive halfway for coffee. I end up texting him back and saying no thanks. I can be just as inflexible.

Ken: wasn’t sure about him when we matched but our conversational cadence was nice. He is very fair and blonde and not normally my physical type. Over the course of 3 days we text, we spoke on the phone twice and I felt it was time he asked me out, but there was no indication of doing so. I didn’t say anything, but by day 4 when he called again (always out of the blue, never letting me know when he was calling) and I was working out, he seemed to get frustrated that we hadn’t spoken on the phone for a day (we missed each other a few times the day before).

He had left a long-ish message about how he was suspicious about voice mail that was “boxed”‘rather than a personalized greeting. I don’t know him well enough to know if that was a joke, I assumed it was, but the intonation of his voice on the message didn’t sound like a joke, at all. However, I made a joke back that I was a drug dealer.

Haven’t heard from him now in several days despite sending a message to speak on phone 🤪

Personally, I think too much text and too much talk before you meet does create false expectations. When I find someone I like in phone conversation, I get my hopes up only to be *mostly* disappointed by the person IRL. If he had made a move to ask me out or indicate when he would like to see me, that would be different. But these were exploratory phone calls and I was interested in getting to know him too well before we met.

Greg: honestly this probably deserves its own blog post but it’s also probably funnier to me than anyone else. In any case, we text and he wanted to talk rather quickly so I agreed. He literally hit on a topic that made me want to jump through the phone and throttle him multiple times – I have NEVER had an experience like that before. He is in a parallel industry so he was trying to get me to understand the problems with the fashion industry (my area of expertise). And he kept at it, like a spike in the side of my head. Until I got hot and stubborn that he needed to stop insinuating I didn’t understand the woes of the industry. After we got off the call and I cooled down I made a little joke over his topic and suggested challenging an expert in her area on the first call is perhaps not a great dating tactic. We had some better banter and then he sent photos. That was it for me. No grown man should be making duck lips under any circumstances. And, I said so. He shot back that it was being silly and that’s the last I heard. Thank goodness because a man who makes duck lips in a photo and antogonaizes a woman on the first call is clearly not a nice dude.

So there you have it.

My extraordinarily opinionated view of how online dating should work. I have developed a lack of patience for rigidity even though you may say my behavior is rigid. What I have experienced is that men who are comfortable in their own skin and the sucky world of dating can banter, accept a text phase and ask a woman out pretty quickly. I don’t judge the men above because they have their own criteria based on their own experiences – and each of them wanted to spend time on the phone that I didn’t – so no harm, no foul. There seems to be a fine balance and we all have to walk a tightrope.

On to the next batch. Let’s see if I’m any more patient this week? 😂🤣

Crazy Talk

I’m writing this to get it out of my head. I haven’t told anyone but the blog about looking at Tony’s photo and obsessing, but I haven’t been sleeping well and generally feeling a funk.

I know it has to be from that darn photo. Nothing else has changed.

I’ve now spent almost a week dwelling on the fact that he’s back in his marriage full time, he lied to me in November to say “nothing had changed between them” because I recall that bonding/hysterical sex is a real thing after finding out about an affair. So chances are he’s in a better marriage now than he was before.

It makes me want to vomit that I am obsessing and he’s getting on with his wonderful life and wife.

I want control now, of my thoughts, my ability to STOP caring about this man that nearly took life from me because I allowed it. I want to STOP worrying about someone who could care less for me.

I have to STOP thinking of how great I might have fantasized it could be because it was never anything but fantasy. We had a time, a season and now it passed.

I’m still thinking a lobotomy is my best option.

Another Questionable First Date

Craig and I connected on OKC and had an easy back and forth. It was light and simple.

We spoke on the phone and had a lovely conversation.

Why wasn’t anything getting me excited?

He was handsome, tall, built, successful, divorced and older kids. Seemingly emotionally available.

He chose the place we would meet and arrived before I did and secured a good seat at the bar. I found him quickly and assessed he looked better in person. He’s also super physically fit for 55, six pack abs and all! He claimed 6′ and I had worn 4″ heels, and I felt taller but he wasn’t short, just maybe not 6′.

A few things went wrong quickly on the date, but not so bad that the date went sideways, just enough that I couldn’t get traction with getting to know him and get a feel for his personality.

Problem 1: the bartender never approached me when I sat down and nor did Craig seem concerned if I had a drink. After a solid 15 minutes I tried to get a bartenders attention. I finally said something to him and about 25 minutes into the date he realized he should be getting a drink for me. Not a great way to start – makes me generally assess how he cares for others.

Problem 2: the bar was cute but the acoustics were so horrible I could not hear him unless I bent my head forward and out my ear to his mouth. Obviously on a first date this is tough. He’s got my hair in his mouth and I can’t see his facial expressions as he’s talking. It only got worse when the band came on. Again, great little band, the acoustics in the bar just stunk.

Problem 3: why hasn’t he asked me any real personal questions? Nothing about kids, x, job, or friends. Didn’t mention any thing about his family, friends or work either. I did prompt but the answers were always ….best described as canned. I couldn’t get a handle on him at all.

Problem 4: we ate a basket of pita chips before he said “I should have asked you if you wanted something to eat?” Yes, that would have been nice but I just carb loaded beyond my normal no-carb rule! Again, makes me wonder how he cares for others.

Problem 5: religious and ethnic jokes. Now, a joke well told is a joke well told. But when you don’t exactly know the recipient, perhaps you lay off on particularly derogatory ones? He told multiple religious jokes, and ethnic joke and at least 2 political jokes. I didn’t laugh. I actually didn’t get the punch line in any. I wondered why he kept trying.

So the date went bobbing along, never really gaining any traction in my opinion. We walked out together. I had to suggest he walk me to me car. And then he didn’t know what to do so he kissed me on the cheeks. I turned my lips up to him and I got a peck on the lips as he turned away. Over my shoulder I watched him realize his own faux pas but kept getting into my car. He text as soon as he arrived in his car: I should have kissed you goodbye.

Yup. At least see if there is a potential rescue in this date.

He keeps referring to himself as a wolf and uses the 🐺 emoji in text. When you don’t know someone that comes across quite strong, in my opinion. He does not strike me as a wolf in person in any respect but I suppose it’s how he sees himself?

He tried one or two more jokes by text and I asked him if “he liked religious jokes?” He didn’t try again. Since the date all he texts about is kissing me. Nothing about getting to know me.

He is divorced almost 5 years, same as me. When I first asked if he dated he said no, but at the bar I questioned this again and he said not seriously. Again, I just wasn’t clear with his replies and he seemed to shy away from personal info.

Craig is traveling for business now for a couple days and I said I would see him when he returns. As I’m writing this post, I’m wondering why I would bother.

I feel a general lack of interest for him and he’s not especially engaging.

Dating is so much fun. Really helps one get out of a major depression! 🤣😂

How Do I STOP This Ridiculous Obsession?

Writing because the only reason I can think for feeling such apathy today is because of that damn wedding ring photo?

Right? It must be.

I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get off the couch. I have slept poorly two nights in a row. The only positive is I can’t reach out to him to start an argument or any trouble. Both he and his wife are deleted from my phone.

Why, why, why! Do I obsess like this after all this time. It’s going to be 1 year in April since I’ve seen the man. 2 years in April since I’ve know he would stay married. I am angry with myself. I want to change and every time I think I make progress I manage to bang right into a brick wall. Head first.

I do feel sick with grief in an odd way. Not crying, but entirely apathetic.

What can I do? How does this stop?

I have seriously thought of going to get hypnotized (does that work?) or a lobotomy. I cannot seem to pull myself from this gutter.

Obsessing

I found myself obsessing about Tony’s photo of him and his daughter and the fact he was wearing his wedding ring.

I was driving into the city to meet a friend for brunch and couldn’t get the image or thought out of my head. It kept spinning round and round.

And then my heart started to ache and I wanted to cry. Truthfully, for all the tears I’ve cried over Tony, I thought they were done. I had felt when I spoke to him in November that I had cried my last tears over him.

But this felt different somehow. This was physically painful again, all the way from my belly and a big gasping sound. I thought for sure I would be sobbing…..

I didn’t.

I just lingered in the feeling, willing myself not to cry and ruin my makeup and my day. I took big gulping breaths and tried to calm down but somehow the vision of the ring on the hand was twisting my insides.

I couldn’t feel anger or anything else. Just intense grief. I convinced myself that if I didn’t cry right now that I would wait and have a good cry once I got home later. I pulled the pain in deep, breathed in and gathered myself and paid attention to my driving. I had obsessed long enough to be close to arrival.

I forgot all about it while with my friend. I am too embarrassed to even mention to her what was in my mind. I felt a lingering sadness but not the same pain.

I’m writing this post to account for the feeling, and the passing of the feeling and wondering what will come next. The feeling was so painful. I don’t want to delve into that place of deep sadness and grief again. I didn’t like being caught by that feeling today.

I don’t really understand why the photo effected me that way.