Cleaning Up

Since we spent some time in The Chem Lab, I realized I needed to do some clean-up.

I know that initial chemistry is not the be-all end-all of making good dating decisions. But compatibility is important. When I looked at a couple of men on deck, men I was going to invest another date into, I knew deep down we didn’t have the compatibility OR the chemistry to continue.

I also wasn’t really giving a fuck about any of these men on deck, so what’s the point?

I don’t think I mentioned Joe.  He was appealing and kind and we made a date.  Joe was lovely on our first date. I was immediately not physically attracted to him but allowed that to pass. What hit me more strongly was his deep desire for a long-term relationship where he would do everything to please a woman, and the woman would reciprocate. Sounds like me, right? That’s what I thought to until he started to talk about his past relationships and all that he invested into them. There was a very obvious undercurrent that everything he did was a waste of his time. Years long relationships where the woman never showed any real interest in him until he “had enough of being taken advantage of.” I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was a good guy, maybe a bit boring, but a complete pushover. I honestly felt a little bad when I text him a day or so after our date to let him know I wasn’t interested.  I just couldn’t find any connection with Joe.

Matthew was a different story. I have been convincing myself that Matthew had all the key qualities I was looking for except for Chemistry and I was willing to see if that changed with more time together. I was so focused on chemistry that I ignored compatibility. Once I had the realization that most things Matthew spoke about were not interesting to me or didn’t seem to ring true (like when I asked about the end of his marriage), I knew we would have a hard time keeping the conversation flowing. He also, more than once, glossed over my current health and job situation, boiling it down to “being temporary” without diving into any specifics. I was getting a strong feeling he was creating a picture around me that wasn’t really founded on Madeline, but his interpretation of what Madeline and Matthew could look like. He was excited about “Madeline on paper” (my new favorite term) more than actual damaged Madeline. My final cue was telling him about my surgery. There was ZERO curiosity or empathy, and only “that’s all in the past and those things don’t bother me.” It hasn’t sat well with me since he said it. I was also getting the sense of a mean streak. No one specific thing but my gut was pretty solid. I told Matthew I wasn’t feeling we were compatible and said goodbye.  I felt relief which was  sure sign I was pushing forward something I wasn’t engaged in.

This left Anthony – who, at one point suggested I call him Tony and I almost died on the spot! No thanks, I just love the name Anthony! For the first time, Anthony is in my industry so there is zero lack of discussion. He has older children. He is an entrepreneur. Well traveled. Handsome and secure. I like him, not bowled over, but definitely very interested in meeting him. So we have a date set and I’m looking forward to it.

The only other man on my radar had been the Magic Man but I haven’t heard a word from him since Monday morning when he replied to my “safe travels” text. It’s a shame someone so interesting slips away so easily, but that’s his choice.

I’m leaving the apps down again for the week to take a break. They were off all last week to get through these connections. I feel busy enough again and less distracted at the moment so I think a short break is good for my head.  I’m noodling over what finally feels like the end of Tony’s tenured hold on me.  More posts on that to follow.

In The Chem Lab – Part 1

On the subject of Chemistry…

As I’ve been noodling over chemistry from my last post and really trying to understand what I loved too much about what Tony gave to me…a funny thing happened.

I found it.

This time, maybe because I was in such an aware state of mind, I had a more literal sensation of how and why it was happening and I learned something.

Before jumping to the end of the story where I tell you about the magic man I just met, we have to start at the beginning.

Forgive me for a long post or two as I analyze what’s going on. I know things can’t be concluded by what I’ve just experienced but it was truly enlightening for me to have such a primal awareness of what creates the elusive chemistry for me.

My bff was over on Friday, as we do each week now for a weekly brain dump. We had been talking about Matthew (see yesterday’s post) and she asked “how hard is it to find a good guy?” I’m trying to encourage her to think about dating (she’s not ready although 4 years a widow) so I share Bumble with her to better explain how internet dating works.

I don’t think it’s about finding a good guy – that’s almost too simple of a way to think of it. I think Matthew is a good guy. Rob was a good guy. They are just not my guys. People who don’t use the dating apps don’t realize what type of time investment we make to find a decent match. It’s not the simple act of swiping right and connecting with a good guy. Then you have to invest a little time in sussing out what you both want and who you are. Could be in the app, over text or phone – but the action to even determine if you found a good guy is a bit like a job, you need to work to figure it out. Sometimes it’s easy you realize they are wrong (no matter how cute!) quickly. Sometimes it’s less obvious, like Matthew and Rob. Either way, you make a lot of connections with who you have to assume has good intent and start there.

And all that is AFTER you swipe right! Lol.

I wanted to show her how it starts and what I look for. So we looked at the app together and I made some quick judgement calls: lives too far away, not educated, physically not my type, socio-economically not my type, not tall enough etc. I have my particular go-to’s for making a right swipe. So I made mostly left swipes and one right swipe. Matched instantly. Show her how to go back, better review my choice and decide if I would write a quick message.

In this case, he looked like a great choice from his photos and short profile blurb so I sent a very quick message, sure to include a question so he has reason to reply, and send it off.

She gave up hope at that point because she thought it was too much work. It is work. And sometimes frustrating work. But when you invest in anything it’s supposed to give results. Dating sometimes doesn’t give good results because it’s more like gambling in my opinion. You win some you lose more! Dating fortitude should have its own definition in the dictionary. There should be dating support groups. Realistic dating coaches (not the ones they advertise to find your Harvard grad billionaire)

Until you find ONE hopeful. And your faith in humanity is restored.

I’ve been happy with my dating since December. Rob and Matthew and even psycho Brian all taught me something I can take forward and refine. They helped me immensely by realizing parts of the Tony Magic can be recreated. The trick with Tony Magic is the whole package phenomenon (minus his being married, of course). I have taken time to analyze past relationships before, but not while in depression and physical recovery. My mind is pretty much a blank slate at the moment and it’s making my prior poor relationship choices become more obvious. I’m less willing to be hurt so badly again – which means I must stop myself before I get too deep. There is no alternative for me, it’s how I’m built. I need to invest in my own self-awareness sooner and listen to my gut. I suppose, in other words, with so little on my mind, I am paying better attention to making good dating choices.