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? 😂🤣

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.