Big Words: Desperation, Communication, Attachment (part 1)

Morning my friends!

Many thanks to all of you who take time to give me insight and advice. I always love the feedback, I never construe it as negative and, in general, unless you are consistently poking at me, I don’t take any offense.

In particular, Jana’s comment from last week resonated with me and I had vacillated between replying directly to Jana’s comment and writing a post reply.

Obviously the post reply won.

First and foremost Jana, thank you. I always appreciate everyone (my whole tribe of faithfuls: KDaddy, Sassy, Morava, Gone, Nich, Maggie, Ann, NBrat) who takes their own time to thoughtfully comment on my blog. It means a lot to me.

So here goes – not everything is in direct response to Jana’s post, but it’s where the seeds were planted for this post.

Quite some time ago, someone on my blog identified anxious attachment syndrome. The first time I heard that on my blog I didn’t know what it was, so I did some research. There is no question I have anxious attachment. Much later, when I went to my therapist, it was one of the first things she identified and wanted me to work on getting back to my inner child so I could determine why and where the anxious attachment syndrome started. I didn’t want to do that work with her at the time. My focus with her then was all about healing, letting go of Tony, learning to be a better parent and building back my confidence. We didn’t ignore the fact that my inner child was crying for help, we did talk about root cause often, but I struggled – and still do – with therapy that makes you go back to childhood to view situations you can not change. Especially when it involves my dead Mother. I do not want to change my perception of my mother because I can no longer discuss any of it with my mother.

I know I am not willing and not ready to take this backwards view. I may never be.

My therapist and I spoke about that. Would I forever be damaged if I didn’t find the roots and forgive myself and the people around me for why I developed anxious attachment? Would I be able to forgive a depressed and anxious birth mother for being miserable her entire pregnancy and affecting my gestational period? Would I be able to forgive my father for loving my mother So obsessively he accepted the fact she wanted children or she would leave him, so he conceded but had no desire to actually raise a family? Would I forgive my mother for the fact that she gave up her life to deal with a depressed and mentally unstable and demanding mother as well as a hyperactive child (who in the 70s was undiagnosed and considered “bad”). Can I forgive them?

Yes. I have already forgiven all of them.

Do I want to think about and try to better understand how those forces built an anxious attachment in me that was created in childhood and then cultivated over 22 more adult years in marriage?

No. I don’t.

I know I have anxious attachment syndrome. But I also believe, as did my therapist, I don’t have to go back to move forward.

I do have to learn my triggers, understand the signals my body gives me and stop neglecting the small voice that says “you are not enough and you deserve less”. Or, more often, “you’ve done something wrong.”

I think, if nothing else has ever come across clearly on my blog – the one thing that has always cut through is my direct and transparent honest about myself.

With that said, this blog is an actual real time blog. I blog entirely top of mind and you all get to look first hand at my craziness, happiness, depression, anger, joy, elation, confusion and frustration. I put it ALL right here in the best words I can find to share with you. I don’t edit myself. I write what I think and how I feel.

Does it come across as desperate many times? Yes.

I am not exactly desperate anymore. I’m sure of this. Do my words sound that way? Sure, I can see that.

But you get a birds eye view of how my mind is churning through every available path and avenue. The choices I can make. The roads I should and definitely should not travel. You’ve seen where Trixie (and her friend Tricia) live. You watch me fold and unfold and refold the same towel a thousand times – fueled by my nervous anxiety.

I felt I needed to be clear about where I am today. I am in a better place than I’ve ever been in my life. My life has taken the best path since February 11th, 200 days ago. I am a drug addict, I have to count the days my head stays straight on my shoulders and I continue to make better choices for myself. I know this.

Right now, I do not believe any man is going to derail me. Do I get sad and frustrated and angry and write about it in the moment? Yes, I do. Because you help me suss out things I didn’t want to see when I wrote the post. Coming back to the comments is like revisiting the crime scene. I have to go through the action again (in my head) in order to reply to thoughtful comments. When I do especially “bad” things – I write about it because it’s the last way I have to hold myself accountable. It reminds me I wasn’t listening to my better senses.

I loved my therapist. I think she did an amazing job in the time we had. I was a big fucking nut to crack in under 4 months. She cut across and gave me tools to manage my family, Tony, getting back to work and developing new relationships. I wish I had more time with her but – as life is – I don’t have the time or money to see a therapist. In place of that, I’ve been educating myself and consuming self-help books by the handfuls, like MMs. It would be ideal to have the resources I needed to stay in therapy for a good long while. It’s just not going to happen right now in my life. I have time for one dedicated “activity” outside of work – my choice is fitness over mental health (assuming there was a therapist who worked in the evening or weekends). This is my choice in life. I’ve learned not to swallow a whale right now. Trying to fit any more in (structure) is going to be too stressful for me. Therapy shouldn’t be stressful. But trying to find the time and money right now would cause even more anxiety. I am fully comfortable with my choice.

There are two very divided schools of thought about how to manage anxious attachment. I always thought this to be be super interesting because the tactics are so opposite one another. And you all definitely reflected the two schools of thought in the comments!

One thought is figure out how to love yourself first.

But the other is – practice. Date as many people as you can and practice identifying and managing the anxious attachment.

Do I love myself? I’m trying. I’m absolutely in the best place I’ve ever been. I consciously work on positive self talk and creating good habits. I will probably always struggle with some form of “I’m wrong, I’m not good enough or please love me and don’t leave me” but I am working on my three worst fears that create my anxiety. Am I desperate? No. I’m not. I experience desperation and rejection within the dating scene, but I am not desperate. I can be alone. I have filled my life with healthy and happy people and habits.

So, along with the agreement of my therapist, we discussed allowing me to practice managing the anxiety through dating. If it became overwhelming I was to stop. And I did – for short periods – if it wasn’t serving me. And now, twice in 200 days I had two back to back events I wrote about that got my goat and I became frustrated. I experienced the anxious attachment in its full form and for the first time in my life I RECOGNIZED my behavior and subsequently controlled it.

That’s a win in my book.

Should it be controlled from the start? Yes! I hope to make that happen. But in the meantime, I’m super proud I had maybe 2 24 hour periods where I worked through it and acknowledged what I felt. I sat with it.

post script: somehow, half this post was cut off and lost. I will try and re-create the second half tomorrow so I can address what I’ve discovered about communication.

Small World

Today was a good day.

The kids and I had a family photo day at a beautiful location. They were not happy about it but we haven’t taken a serious photo in probably 10 years. We knew the photographer and the kids loved her style. She took some seriously fabulous shots. I was so thrilled.

The day was really perfect for an outdoor shoot in a large park. We found some beautiful old stone buildings and the scenery was really just beautiful. My kids hate stuff like this but they did it for me. I so rarely get them like this and I loved watching them interact with one another.

2 of the three agreed to a lovely dinner with me so I treated them to a special place. We were all dressed so nicely it was just wonderful to be out with my boys in a nice restaurant enjoying them. I wish all 3 came, but one can always be difficultly about eating out so I didn’t push him.

After dinner I met a friend at a local bar we’ve been to before. I was all done up for the photos so I felt pretty amazing. The scene was quiet as compared to other nights but we enjoyed talking to one another. The funny thing was, there was a couple next to us where the husband approached us when his wife went to the bathroom. He was simply being friendly and chatting to us. When his wife. Some back she joined us and we quickly hit it off.

The husband, Dave, was flirting around the bar finding other women to come join us and he found two more women similar age and the five of us started chatting and laughing. It was so much fun to meet strong, attractive women that just wanted to be friendly. One woman was exceptionally attractive and had been standing by herself for some time. We welcomed her into our fold quickly and she was so thankful and admitted she didn’t have many girl friends so came to the bar alone just to get out.

She’s very attractive and I can see other women being threatened by her. We started talking and one thing led to another and….she went to HS with Mike! 😂. She looked at me funny when I said I had gone out on dates with him and said – hang on – we are IG friends! She pulled up his IG and handed me the phone to look. Just him and his daughters – BUT – he was clearly very active that evening with IG stories. I hadn’t heard from him all day, so it just cemented the fact something changed for him as he’s had no issue previously sharing his escapades with his daughters.

This woman also showed me some interesting messages he sent her back around Easter. This would be right around/before he moved out. He clearly was trying to interact with her, but she thought it was weird as they were not friends and he was kind of being very friendly out of the blue “Hey! how was your Easter ? Did you have a good time with the kids? “.

She was concerned that he was still married and didn’t hear anything through the grapevine that he had separated. I told her our story and that I had been to his apartment. She wants to ask her friends who know his wife and see if she can find out any more info.

It was pretty hard for me not to shoot him a text with some sort of comment about ghosting me. I was drinking and we were having fun and this came out of left field. Sure, I was curious. I want to know more.

But I forced myself not to care so much about it.

Yea, the twinge was there. It sucked seeing a social media post of him with his daughter from an hour before when a few days ago he would have been sharing the moment with me as well.

I let it pass. I repeated my mantra for when I begin to get overwhelmed and want to act out. I too a deep breath. I continued to focus on these new women I met.

Then I forgot for some hours.

Until I got home. A bit buzzed. And it hit me again.

It was so hard not to write him. So hard. But I didn’t. There is no point. None. He knows what he’s doing. He’s not dumb. It’s intentional either to slow us down or to drop me. Either way, I have no control. No matter what I do, I’m not going to get control either. So I might as well stop obsessing.

I don’t doubt I will have a restless night of sleep. This will be on my mind.

But I won’t do anything about it.

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!!

How to go Slow?

I don’t know how to do this. I know this. You know this.

I also know it’s something I need to learn now. As in right now.

I have a potentially good thing right in front of me with Mike. I want it to stay that way without overwhelming it with intensity. Any good relationship I know, that lasts, doesn’t start in flames.

Is it already too late?

I question if I have ever had a normal relationship. Something I haven’t forced forward or have forced upon me – because of one or the others passions, jealousy or expectation. It’s sort of frightening as I think about it.

I just want normal. Like really normal. I’m not saying Mike has to be my forever or even long term. I just want a nice guy to date. something that looks like: He likes me, I like him, there is a level of trust and commitment (unsure what that means exactly but feels like it means I can expect him to always call the next day kind of thing and not have to worry he suddenly disappears overnight).

I guess the situation with John affected me more than I realize. Not John himself, he’s utterly irrelevant. The fact I met a man I could envision dating nicely and I allowed it to get carried away too fast.

So, what have I done any differently this time? I still had a too-long first date. We had passionate sex on dates 1 and 2. And….that’s it. Not saying it’s right or wrong but that’s a short list of potential errors for me. I’m normally over my head before date 1.

What’s more important is what I’m NOT doing this time. Communication is at his pace, which can be erratic. Ok, fine. I don’t love it but I am going with the positive self-talk and telling myself “he WILL check in.” I am not revealing every crack and crevice of myself such as my sexual history (we had a brief talk, nothing in depth, I kept it light). No talk of my surgeries or breakdown. No talk of my x or any affairs. Nothing REALLY important. Nothing HEAVY.

I read something about “Baggage Bonding” which means bonding over your previous issues with marriage or relationships.

On the other hand. We had sex. Multiple times. Unprotected sex. That needs a conversation. I know I’m not having sex with anyone else. I suppose I can simply say to him “wrap it up” if you plan to be having sex with others? He has repeatedly said he doesn’t want more than one woman. I don’t take that at face-value because I don’t KNOW him well enough. He may even mean it. But it’s too soon to expect he knows it’s what he wants with me.

I keep repeating to myself: Keep it light, Madeline. Let it develop naturally. Let it be healthy. Mike doesn’t need to satiate some deep hole within my soul, he is a lovely addition to a currently calm and balanced life. I’m doing my own soul work and I’ve been pretty successful in the past 6 months.

But how do you do this after you’ve had such hot sex the first two dates? How do you also get the simmer? Have I already jeopardized it?

I read some articles that all say “have a serious discussion” but this seems pushy to me. I don’t think I want a serious discussion, I just want to know if he wants more, or not. I don’t know how to ask.

And maybe all of it’s in my head and I’m already thinking too forward too fast.

I really just want to get it right for once.

Second Date Success

I’m so happy to say our second date (maybe sex-ond date is more appropriate) was great fun.

I arrived to his condo and he was waiting for me outside – he literally skipped over to me, he was so happy to see me – totally unexpected but he can make me laugh easily. The best way I can describe how I’ve felt with him is that he is just a nice, easy feeling and he’s so genuine that it places me at ease instantly.

He lives in a beautiful development just under a half hour drive from my home which was another newish experience for me – driving to his house. I think I drove to Tony2s house once and that’s the only time I can recall. The difference here was that dinner was half prepared on the stove, the wine was chilled, the salad was made and the table was set. He had asked me what I could eat before I arrived so he knew what he made was perfect. Meat sauce from scratch, a beautiful full salad and even some roasted broccoli. It was a perfectly casual and thoughtful meal. The night before he had sent me a photo of the wines he chose – both my favorites. He remembered from our first conversation. It warmed my heart because I now know when a man cares, he remembers. I still, even after 5 years since the end of my marriage, often think a man won’t behave that way and I’m still always surprised.

As soon as we walked in the house and he grabbed me for a more intense kiss, he backed up for a minute and said “this day couldn’t have gone any more slowly, I was counting down the hours to you.” Another unexpected but lovely surprise. He is a different man in text than in person, that’s for sure. I call him Mr. Dry in text.

He wanted me sitting next to him while he was preparing so he brought me over a stool, poured me a glass of wine and set me down. The table was set, the two candles he owned were lit and the glasses chilled. As I was watching him cook I came up behind him to hug him and I feel his immediate response. When I touch him and kiss him gently his body responds quickly. I knelt down on the kitchen floor to take his cock out to tease some. He loved it but pulled me up and I offered to turn around so he can take me from behind. So he did and as he got going he realized he was burning the pasta so when he leaned over to shut the pasta off he also came back, grabbed me, and pulled me into his bedroom. Once again I avoided removing my clothes as I was wearing a little high waisted denim skirt and a white T. Only the skirt needed to be pushed up as he mounted me. It felt so nice to have missionary sex and he’s a pretty amazing lover.

We had a short but fabulous session where we both ended breathless. I got a better chance to see his bachelor pad. It’s empty except for minimal necessities and photos of his girls and a bedroom for his youngest daughter. You can tell he’s not adjusted to this being his new home. I’m sure it’s difficult to be displaces and I’m lucky I’ve never had to experience that. I realize, in hindsight, I was so angry with my x that I really didn’t care about the disruption to his life and home. I didn’t give two shits because of his nastiness. I would probably have more sympathy for him if he cared more about making a home 5 years later for his children, but he doesn’t. He got selfish. Anyway, I digress.

Dinner was fun and Mike was such a great host. I noticed he was a little nervous and wanted me to like everything – he didn’t have to worry. We cleared the table, refilled our wine and sat down. Once again, he put on music and insisted we dance together. This happened multiple times during the night and I loved it. He would sing to me and kiss me and twirl me about a bit. It was so much fun and I couldn’t stop laughing. In between, I don’t really know how many times we had sex. He started Counting and eventually gave up. For a 48 year old man he has zero issue with erection, recovery or holding out….we have an amazing capacity to enjoy one another over and over. This time there was quite a bit of oral sex for me and one lovely huge orgasm while sitting on his face. He’s a very generous lover and also very attentive. Believe it or not, my skirt never came off again – somehow I made it through and entire evening with my belly covered. I didn’t feel any more or less sexy for having clothing on, but it eliminates any thought on my behalf of my wounds. Part of me wishes there was a way to keep it like this, but I do miss full access to my breasts – he got in there, but it’s not quite the same as being completely naked.

The night grew quite late and I needed to head home so he could get on the road super early to drop his daughters car in college several states away. He walked me to my car and it was hard to part. I didn’t realize until half way home I left my hot pink panties on his bed. When I arrived home there was a text with the photo of my panties hanging on his dresser.

He text the next morning while I was sleeping that he was on the road. We spoke on and off while he had his long drive. He’s a bit different in person – in person he’s entirely engaging but on phone I feel like I drive the conversation much more. I don’t love that but have realized I just need to get him on a subject to tell a story. I have to remind myself that it’s brand new, I’m still learning and that’s it’s NORMAL not to be engaged 24/7 and learn about someone’s life overnight.

He communicated when he arrived and he let me know what he was up to with his daughter. While I wish there was “more” communication I want to hold back and wait for him to reach out. His focus is his child this weekend, she’s getting settled in her apartment and he’s being the rock solid Dad. If and when I hear from him, and I expect he will check on on his own time just like he does during the week, that will be enough because I know he’s thinking of me.

I have to intentionally try and behave differently and let this grow on its own. I want to experience a normal dating flow (whatever that is). I want to let it be without any expectation. I like him, he likes me. I don’t need more than that at the moment despite what my brain insists on processing.

I want to go slow. I want to take it easy. Enjoy the moments. Enjoy what he’s giving me because it’s all good. It’s not too much and not too little.

Just breathe, Madeline. Just breathe.

A Second Date!

I did hear from Mike the next day, with an offer to come to his house in the later afternoon because he couldn’t get me out of his mind. I declined because I had to get my workout in and do my Sunday night thing before the week started.

I didn’t reach out, But he had by noon, and I was pleased to see the text I wasn’t really expecting. It was a nice change. Maybe it’s also because when he left, I didn’t have any negative gut check. I was going to be ok either way in any case and I already knew that. It’s a first for me in a very long time when I like someone as much as I liked him out of the gate.

He’s perfectly chatty in person, well-spoken, gregarious and funny. But very, very dry and direct in text. No subtext, insinuation or flirting. This could be another reason I’m not so immediately drawn in. The men I get engaged with tend to be very well engaged in text, I feel like it’s a real conversation. With Mike it’s a bit perfunctory.

And I think it’s ok.

Each night there’s been a goodnight and most mornings a good morning. Maybe an exchange of one text and then I hear from him around lunch every day, checking in. Very simply something like “hey” or “how is your day?” I will answer, ask him how he is and then I don’t hear much back if anything. I am not tied to the message on the phone or the alert chime, but I’m happy when I look down and there’s a message.

I moved from being uncertain about his continued interest to certain. I don’t have to do anything and I will hear from him to check in. Even when he is with his younger daughter or his friends.

He was clear about his plans for the week and weekend while we were together Saturday so I wasn’t really expecting anything from him this week but on Tuesday he asked me over for Thursday. To his apartment. To cook for me.

Knock me down with a feather! This is another first. I forget I never really had many “dating” relationships. Very few. He lives close, we both know we want to have sex again, and after tonight he is with his daughter at her college until Monday night. Of course I accepted. I was due to head to my cousins at the beach this evening but I can always go in the morning.

The strangest thing is, I’m not excited. I mean, a little, of course. But there are two specific reasons I think my little heart hasn’t beat out of my chest yet:

1. I am freaking nervous about having to discuss the wound. I have decided to be proactive by saying: I had major abdominal surgery last year and I’m very sensitive about some deep scarring. I keep a bandage over the worst part of it. I debated if I also include the massive weight loss and why my belly looks like it does and figured I can just write it off the horrible surgeries. What do you think?

2. Here’s the kicker fam, he’s separated and not divorced.

Ugh. A big old ugly ugh.

He is in his own apartment, she works and he works, they are dividing everything in half so there is (seemingly) very little to argue over, she is keeping the house free and clear. They are at the very beginning of mediation.

I’m pretty sure I’m so scarred from Tony that it’s the reason my heart and head won’t engage fully with Mike. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, I could like him so much more, he’s simply at the beginning of his journey and no one has a crystal ball. But history has taught us that most long marriages (he’s married 22 years, separated physically for 6 months) need space after the marriage ends. We need to learn about ourselves before we enter into another commitment.

We could go along happily for months and he could even get divorced in that period and there’s still little Chance his first out of marriage relationship could last. I know this.

Which sucks. Just sucks.

My friends think it’s fine to date him and keep him at arms length IF I can keep my feelings out of it. But, can I? Am I capable? My track record sucks.

I also don’t want to talk to him about it, which I normally want to do. Even when John rejected me I had a desire to “know” why? Just why? I wanted to talk about it. With Mike, I don’t want to take the chance I will hear words that I fall for like “who knows what will happen, I really like you” or “I only want to be with one person and I already know what I need.” Tony fed all of that to me and I believed past the point of belief. I don’t actually want to engage in any serious conversation with Mike. Or any silly and intensely flirty conversation that leads to actually liking him too much. None of this “do you miss me?” Or “did you dream of me?” Nonsense. I don’t want to fall for him so I can hit my head on the pavement some more.

So if I can keep him at arms length….can I remain detached enough to enjoy some company and dates and relax for a bit? Or am I doomed to run head first into another disaster?

This is, admittedly, the very first time I feel cautious. I have never felt a sense of (almost) fear of allowing myself to feel anything other than what I’m getting in the moment. I really don’t know. I just don’t know if I’m capable of it and built to have all or nothing.

For the moment, I will see him and enjoy the evening. I will bare my belly and may end up where I ended up with John (I have convinced myself that was the reason, it’s sunk in and stayed as self-blame). He may think it’s horrid and become turned off. Or not. If that’s the case, I will wait til he asks me out again. I feel like I have a better handle on Mike than I did on John.

We shall see.

Oh – and there it is – a text from him checking on my commute and my arrival time to him. And a little Maroon 5 clip. He can be a little cute I suppose.

I will keep you posted.

Something Happened on the way to that Date

I got aggro enough with the John situation that I opened up a bunch of dating apps and swiped for about 24 hours – relatively recklessly. Not really paying much attention to anything except if I thought they were attractive.

I supposed I started on Saturday evening when I knew things were going sideways and stopped on Sunday evening. Mostly out of frustration. I knew senseless swiping had no merit. It was just a reaction to the rejection.

I agree that too much talking before a date has been the kiss of death for me in (I think) every case (except Tony). After I got over the swiping frenzy and calmed the fuck down, I stayed off the apps a few days while normal life took over.

I went back to the apps midweek, maybe on the commute home, and couldn’t believe the multiple matches and text I have received in the short time I was off. I guess there were a few worthwhile swipes in there after all! I was a bit worried there were too many conversations to start, so I chose 4/5 to write back to so I could see if they led anywhere. I also noticed that John had removed me from his Bumble matches. It irked me but what else would I expect?

There were some really good choices of men and conversation started well with 3. One asked for my phone number quickly so we moved to text. This was fine because I was traveling to my sisters for several days to help with wedding things.

That’s how things started with Mike. Very small conversation, not overly engaged because I was distracted, and we both seem relatively interested. He was handsome and hit 8/10 of my top criteria. I will tell you the two he didn’t hit a bit later.

We had a phone conversation and he got me laughing almost immediately. He was chatty, educated and often poked a bit of fun at himself. He was a nice guy. We agreed to make a date when I returned home Saturday. I was a bit worried I would be rushed and then over-tired, but it would be fun to go out and laugh. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have any preconceived notions or expectations. We didn’t over communicate. Things felt balanced and at ease. He was definitely interested.

More importantly, something else was happening. The strangest feelings have been coming up since the date with John and I love it.

I feel like I’m ready to play again. It felt so good to flirt, make-out and have complete and uninhibited sex again. Good sex.

Damn, how I missed it

I definitely didn’t feel this immediately following him dumping me right quick, but this week it’s eeked back in and suddenly I just feel sexy.

Not like outward sexy looking – like sexy inside and I need to get it out. However, we know I’ve never been really good at casual sex so I don’t know how I’m going to go about getting back in the saddle again without my dance of rejection and depression.

I notice the feeling yesterday so when it came back today I paid a little more attention. I can feel my body craving touch and release. I have to get used to being naked and scarred. I felt awesome when I dressed for the date with John and now I was feeling it again getting ready for Mike.

It felt so good to at least feel sexy again.

I was looking forward to the date and had fun getting ready. He communicated he was a bit excited which I thought was cute.

I knew things were going my way when he arrived before me, secured a bar table and asked me what to order for my drink. This is exactly the type of date behavior I love. I saw him catch his breath as I walked towards him and was a little surprised that I caught him off guard – but he was, and he admitted later that he felt I was more beautiful in person. He wasn’t all googly eyed like Tony, or sexual like John, it was just a lovely kiss on the lips, hand slid to the small of my back and a hug that lasted maybe just a second too long. He had a great smile and bright eyes and no lack of topics to discuss.

We did get into ordering food quickly and he loved that I wanted to share (and you know how I love that!). We really asked a lot of menu questions, had a fabulous waiter and some great advice and decide on what to share. Our meal was perfect, the wine flowed and we chatted endlessly.

At one point when he stood for the bathroom, he came close and I asked him to kiss me. He was unsure about the PDA but I could tell he wanted to kiss so we had a short but lovely first kiss. The kiss on the way back lasted just a little longer. 😉

Soon the restaurant was empty, I was feeling pretty good and neither of us wanted the night to end. I don’t really recall all we spoke about, but it wasn’t heavy talk or history talk, it was just about life in general, a bit like old friends catching up. This was a nice feeling. But…Like talking too much before a date, this is something else I tend to do: let dates go on too long.

He was just so much fun and I guess I was feeling like he was a great way to get over the rejection from John. I wasn’t actually thinking about that at all, just in hindsight evaluating why I chose to invite him back to my home. So, yup, that’s what I did, brought him home to sit on the back deck with drinks – which is really one of my most favorite summer things to do.

We got settled on the deck and as I came out with the wine glasses he asked me what type of music I liked and started to play “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. Then he stood up and pretended he was singing it to me, extended his hand to offer me a dance, and we just danced and sang around my deck – an absolute first for me and so much fun!

All of this time I was drinking and I knew by now if I continued I was going to want to have sex. What caught me off guard was how baldy I wanted to have sex after being so worried with John. I didn’t feel that way with Mike, or I didn’t care. I don’t know which. I just know this had been a slow burn all evening. Something in my mind had clicked – I was going to have sex regardless of the outcome. My brain had already processed the risk of not hearing from him again and somehow pushed it off. I was more than willing to take the chance.

The sex was sooooo good. Way, way better than John because I felt like we were in perfect harmony and it never felt rushed or too heavy. It was just damn good sex. Like 5 or 6 times good sex. Once again I had a dress on so my dress Never even had to come off. I was able to mount him and ride him more than once, be taken from behind as well as lying on my back. The dress covered me. I have no idea if he saw or not. The alcohol pushed any inhibition to the back.

Sex and drinking. Drinking and sex. For hours on end. So much laughter. More singing and dancing. So much fun. Then we both realized he couldn’t drive home so I asked him to stay. My boys were in the house so this was delicate. It was 4:30am by this point and all their lights were off…:so we risked it.

I changed in the bathroom into a long T-shirt. I was pretty drunk by this point. More sex. The vibrator came out. His mouth was on my nipples…and not once did the thought of my belly cross my mind. I have no idea what he saw. My shirt had to be up, but the room was dark. I don’t know.

We slept a few hours and he crept out quietly before the boys woke. He had already said he wanted to see me again. He also repeated throughout the night “Best first date ever!” He left, I was hungover and happy, and fell back to sleep for a while.

When I woke a few hours later, with a very unhappy head, I wasn’t disappointed there was no text from him. I smiled, drink some water, took Advil and went to make coffee.

No sex hangover. No emotional hangover. I had a great night and I was fine with it.

Blue Star ⭐️ Days

When I was dating Tony, over the course of 2 years, my period was virtually always consistent. With the help of an app, I could see when I would ovulate and, usually within a day or so, when I would bleed. The most fertile days during a cycle where marked with blue stars. And the blue stars where never wrong. I ovulated right on time and would be madly horny on Blue Star Days. Tony and I loved Blue Star Days because they were like a guaranteed evening of fabulous sex.

I haven’t had to worry about blue star days in well over a year. Since the surgeries, my period is so irregular I can’t even use the app or attempt to guess when I might get a period. Doctors think there could be multiple reasons for this: it takes the body a year to recover from so much surgery, I’m in Peri-menopause, or I could have traumatized my body so much the periods never go back to a routine schedule. I lost it entirely for some months and then it’s come back gradually, but entirely inconsistent.

These last two months, I began to notice that I was feeling more frisky again. When I checked the app, those days fell pretty squarely into the marked blue star days, even though I was irregular (the app still predicts for you). It felt like my body was beginning to feel sexual again. I know for sure it wasn’t like this with August or Rob. My body worked fine during, but didn’t have the buildup that lasts over the course of the Blue Star Days. I was pretty excited to notice because anything that feels “normal” to me is a great feeling these days. I don’t look like the woman I was, people don’t recognize me and my close family and friends are horrified with the weight loss. So anything that makes me feel even remotely normal again helps my self-esteem even if it’s not something anyone else can see.

I learned from John that having fabulous uninhibited sex hasn’t changed, other than the fear to expose my belly. I’ve convinced myself that’s what his issue was but I will never know. I am so glad I deleted him.

I look at myself often in the mirror without clothes on and try to think what I could possibly do to offset the belly disaster. It’s not only the belly, I have excess skin that sorts of melts down my ass and breasts. Everything looks deflated. I started at 214 pounds and I’m just at 130 pounds and trying to hang on to every pound. All of this hasn’t changed how my mind and body work when sex kicks in – I almost go blank when I’m experiencing the pleasure.

And when I’m in the moment – all I care about is giving and receiving pleasure. I don’t want to worry about how my body is flapping in the wind.

I wish I knew a way to just ignore it. I want to be able to throw my clothes off into a heap and jump on a guys cock with no thought in mind except riding him. Now I’m weighted down by how my body looks to him while I’m up there. So many positions put my belly in a horribly exposed situation – even from behind a large pouch sort of hangs down and looks detached from the new muscles underneath it. It’s just horrid looking. Will a man accept the wild pleasure I derive from sex and enjoy himself or is he going to loose interest or get distracted?

Before I even finished this post, I put it to the test – entirely unintentionally.

Remember that crazy swiping session right after John? Well…it netted unexpected results.

Birthdays

Not mine, not yet.

Today is Tonys birthday and Saturday is Johns birthday. Both are Leo’s and both are turning 50. I wonder if there’s anything to that? I’m always curious about horoscopes and attraction.

I don’t go to his Facebook much anymore but I did today. He changed his photo. He doesn’t look so good. Maybe it’s my filter but he looks tired and not very happy. Maybe that’s what I want to believe?

Either way, other times I saw his photo I sort of jumped inside but I didn’t have that reaction today.

Not such an exciting story, but that’s my thought of the day!

Less Angry, More Thoughtful

After John I absolutely went into an angry swiping frenzy. Ended up speaking to too many men at once and got over it in about 24 hours. I know better.

What I learned over the weekend of angry swiping and needless chatting:

1. My match really needs to have been married with kids. I have yet to find one man who wasn’t that truly understands how important parenting is….unless they want their own family and then we are not a match anyway.

2. My match needs to be aligned socio-economically. I’ve spoken to a few teachers who have off the summer, earn lower-pay, and are generally less ambitious (not saying all, just the ones I’ve spoken to). I’ve been asked a couple times if the career and long hours made me happy. They just don’t understand corporate mechanics. I’m a 30 year corporate veteran, it’s partially what drove me to the success I achieved – there is never a good (or right) answer for “was it worth it.”

3. My match needs to have a desire for “more.” What’s more? I’m not exactly sure but I do know it means not complacent with what you have and where you are for the rest of your life. I’ve spoken to many who have their summer homes on a beach and that’s all they want to do with the rest of their lives – sit on a beach. That’s not for me. Ask me again when I’m 70.

4. On the other hand – My match can’t be hyper-active! I don’t ski, surf, hike, Climb mountains, SUP, scuba or CrossFit. I do exercise every day and have the energy and strength to do more active outdoor activities but I’m never going to be a go, go, go girl. Balance works best for me.

5. My match can’t be too obsessive about my “sexy, thin” body (a common comment pretty consistently now). When the clothes come off, the scars are real. I’m still not convinced it wasn’t what tipped John over the edge so quickly. The man needs to be committed to health and fitness, but not body obsessed. I have also noted that now that I have been with more fit men and am more fit myself, I am less tolerant of someone who doesn’t work out at all. I want to keep this practice so I need someone who is committed to it as well. My life has changed and fitness must remain an important part of my well-being.

6. The man needs to show interest and intellect pretty quickly. I perceive this as someone who knows how to balance a banter with serious questions and is interested in knowing about me and my life and how it matches with his own desires and interests. They will ask about my job, family and children unprompted. When the man is focused on my beauty and we don’t have anything in common, it always feels forced. I avoid the physical match like a plague now.

I’ve realized my long, long list of attributes pretty much shortens to these 6 things (excluding a physical attraction of some sort which always included height). If I can find these 6 things in the initial match and conversation, I will move on.

The other things I want like: kindness, emotional intelligence, travel, trust, honesty, respect and good sex all follow after meeting. I don’t try and dig for these things early in the conversation. If little hints don’t flow naturally, I become disengaged.

As I was thinking about this over the weekend, because I started up too many conversations, I realize that I am quickly drawn in by a natural conversationalist who is quite comfortable in their own skin. All the men I have liked, even a little, post Tony were very successful, ambitious men. I also realized all of them were serious athletes at some point in their lives – which creates that competitive edge I love so much. They were all extremely handsome -even if physically, all very different. And not necessarily handsome to everyone, but absolutely to me.

I have at least narrowed down the characteristics that I am initially attracted to. The ones who meet these criteria, but can’t or don’t back it up with humor and great conversation just fall off the radar.

So who did I speak to this weekend in my swipe craze?

1. Paul – I really liked so much about him, until he told me he was a recovering alcoholic. I actually thought about this for a while and considered if a person who had their own damage might somehow better understand mine…but then decided it wasn’t for me (I’ve been there already). Coupled with the fact that while he has lived apart from his wife for 3 years, he’s still married. We spoke and I sent a text as a follow up to disengage.

2. Eric – handsome and seemed positive until we moved to text. He is a teacher and more than once told me I had “a good life” and questioned if I was happy working the way I do. His text were so dry that it never got off the ground. He was also entirely inconsistent with his text and was boring.

3. Chris – haven’t written him off yet. Handsome (and big which I love!) and divorced several years with a daughter college age. We hit it off and moved to text. He would engage somewhat but never really got inquisitive. If he comes back for another round he will need to show he’s more interested. If not, that’s fine too.

4. Joe – just boring. Nice but boring.

5. Jeff – handsome and interesting but once we began talking and said he had 3 small children, I was out. No more ball games and carpools for me.

There were at least 3 others. All nameless in 24 hours.

I made my excuses to each of them and politely exited.

I am bummed about John and it’s eating me. I felt like “finally” someone! Yay me! And then, nope. Of course it leaves me questioning myself. And blaming myself. For 24 hours I almost let Trixie out to see the light but she never got far…I know my bad behavior (which is why I deleted John from every possible deceive systematically). I know I can not indulge my bad behaviors because it doesn’t really feel good. It’s a temporary fix.

There’s a part of me that is going full force with the negative self talk: it’s something about you they don’t like, you’re too pushy, you’re too relationship orientated, you’re scarred, you’re loud, you’re just it right and you’re not enough for me to want to stick around and get to know you better. I have not resolved this negative self talk and I don’t know how to – I do try, all the time, but inevitably when something like John happens, it comes out again in full force.

Being alone is wearing on me now, I admit. I just don’t think I’m built to be alone. But I am getting better at not wasting my time or anyone else’s with sheer nonsense. When I need the therapy I can’t afford I will write here, meditate, or listen to one of my self help books. I have plenty of down time to exercise and care for myself on weekends. I am focused on keeping myself as positive as possible, but this threw me for a loop – and the others I’ve dated didn’t have this affect on me.