Dating

As the months have passed sitting in my own space (9 months now!) I have had some of my most self-aware moments. I’m not claiming sudden enlightenment, but I do have a new sense of self and can feel my strength and belief in myself coming back to life. I admit, this was a long time coming and it feels great.

As I’ve said before, there was no great epiphany, no secret sauce, no magic pill. I just did it. One step, one day, one molecule at a time. I practiced, failed, tried again and kept going. I paid attention to details I had let pass me by before. Small life details I didn’t have time to notice. I learned to take a deeper breath and hold it before exhaling. As this started to happen, as I took better care of my mind and body – I finally started to heal.

I am much more tentative than I have ever been in my life, I carry some fear around now. I am terrified of losing the tenuous grip I have on my new found sense of self. I am terrified of failing again. Believe it or not, I am hesitant to fall in love again. Maybe a little fear is good and will calm me down and perhaps make me a bit more kind and patient (two things that are not exactly strengths for me). Maybe I can label the fear as learning to be humble and demonstrating gratitude. I think this is something I need to work on.

As I’m sitting here thinking about where I am in my journey and where I’m heading, it occurred to me that dating has fallen off my priority list. It was never a “need to do,” but it’s always been “want to do.” Now it’s “I don’t actually care at the moment if I do or don’t, it will happen in its own time.”

I think I put it out into the universe after that last bad date. I was chastising myself for choosing to go out with someone who had red flags because it just showed me I was more interested in the going out part than the person themselves. I have plenty to keep me busy that I don’t have to waste dates. So a few weeks or about a month has passed where I didn’t engage in any relevant way on the dating sites. Sure, I looked and swiped right a couple times, but never really found what I was looking for. It became background chatter.

I still want a partner and I still believe I will be even better to myself if I have partner – I am certain I am made to be in relationship rather than on my own.

The difference is now I feel a sense of calm that my future partner will come to me when it’s meant to be. Knowing that is frustrating because I wish it was sooner rather than later, but I do believe once I’m healed I will be putting out the right vibes to attract the right partner.

I know what I want, I had it with Tony. I know I can’t recreate that, but I can certainly look for some of his hallmark characteristics. He definitely was a bit of magic sauce, the way he loved me and made me feel about myself. I may never get over the lingering heartbreak and sadness of losing him, but I can put it firmly behind me and look forward to what’s right for me. I now know I can do this.

I’ve met a couple men over the past months that ignited a little spark in me one way or the other. Rather than get depressed that those men didn’t work out, I’m taking the lessons and bringing them forward. I know natural banter is really important, as are decent social/dating skills. I know they have to really be into me and demonstrate it. I know they need to be tall (enough) and handsome (enough) to rev my engine. When these gears click, I slide easily into the next gear without thought. I can feel the difference between a natural and easy conversational cadence and one that requires me to make too much effort to sustain over time. I know I need the man to have children because parenting is supremely important to me. I know he needs to be invested in his job. I can find out all these things pretty quickly – and when they are missing, I don’t try and go looking for them anymore. I simply exit and move to the next, or as I’ve done more recently, just take a little break for a bit.

I had neglected to realize how important physical activity was to many men but I’ve rectified that in my own life and now even look for someone that is more active.

I still have my long, long list of requirements but I’m trying not to use it as my shopping list and instead stick to the above initial cues. If we can have a date where I feel good about our banter and intellectual and physical connection, then I’m all good. It’s been slow going, but I’m now ok with that.

So Many Men….So Much Time!

I’m going to take KDaddys advice (from several posts ago!) and try very hard to start focusing on what’s in front of me (a new relationship) instead of obsessing over Tony.

So, I started to think about dating this time around.

I recall when I started my first blog in early 2014, when I was entering my separation stage and starting to go on first dates, that I never really logged my first dates. I was better a talking the sex romp stories. But that’s where my head was at the time!

I wish I counted or captured all the dates before I deleted that blog. I hadn’t slept with many men before marriage, but I made up for all of in the two years before I met Tony!

Now that I’m in a very different phase of life, I decided I should keep a list of my first dates – I feel like I go on so many of them. I probably have double or triple the amount of phone and text conversations before a date is even made. Now I entirely understand why divorced people say dating is such hard work. Knowing what you want and sticking to your choices is tough. But anything else is a waste of time.

Here’s a quick recap of the first dates I’ve been on since I opened up the apps last November.

1. Rob (6’4″) – November/December

2. Brian – January

3. Joe – January

4. Jack – January

5. Matthew – January/February

6. Anthony – February

7. Greg – February

8. Jack2 – February

9. Craig – March

10. Duke – April

11. August – April

Here we are just about to face the first week of May and, as I look at my list above, I don’t think it’s too bad. Some days it feels like more than it is – first dates over and over can get exhausting – but I had a flurry of activity after the New Year and have slowed down to a more reasonable 2 dates a month. Maybe slow and steady wins the race or maybe I’m just over the same thing time after time. Either way, I plan to keep track go forward since I didn’t do that in my first blog!

I think I’m doing better overall with my choices. I don’t feel in any rush to jump into dates just to keep busy – and I have a hella lot of time to fill! I try to reflect on my dates each time and see what I can take forward.  I think I am better at evaluating what is worth my time and energy and where I want to invest.

I absolutely feel differently about dating this time around. It doesn’t feel as frivolous as before which probably has some good and not-so-good aspects to it. I think I’ve matured as far as dating goes and become a little bit more open-minded.

Part of the fun goes away when you stop being frivolous and start focusing on real relationship material.  It’s probably also what turns some guys off to me as well, but if a man can’t say “I am also looking to have a relationship” and instead says “I wills hat happens” it only indicates to me he really isn’t thinking about long term.

I do know I don’t want to be alone, and perhaps, during this more quiet time in my life, I will be better able to evaluate the must-haves from my long list of relationship requirements.

Something Went Wrong

August kept in touch and by Thursday of the week before Easter, he asked me what my Easter plans were. I didn’t have any as my children were with their Dad.

To my surprise, August asked me to Easter brunch at his very posh country club. Then he asked if I would like to come up overnight as well.

Hmmmm…the reasons I had NOT to go were relatively innocuous: I didn’t know if I wanted to undress and explain, and did I really want to sleep with him already? Lastly, was it too soon for an overnight. All my lady friends were split on this decision. I actually did want to go, but had to run those scenarios and how they could potentially play out. I was turned on by him, I was interested, and I would like to go.

So, I said yes and he seemed thrilled. I started to get excited myself. Not crazy like Trixie excitement, but enough to have a little energy coursing through me and the feeling was very welcome after one year of relative flatness.

Then it occurred to me at some point the date was exactly one year since I had sex with Tony and ended that relationship finally. I haven’t seen Tony in one year. I worried that thought would impact my emotional investment. All I could do was wait and see. Of course my first overnight date would be some weird Tony-versary.

I would need to drive over and hour to reach the country club, but I didn’t mind. He also had to take a train from the city for close to 45 minutes. He plans to eventually move back to the area where he had raised his family which is why he belonged to the club. I don’t know much about country clubs but this was relatively exclusive.

Finding something to wear was funny as I only wear black, and have a very, very limited wardrobe because I am so small now. I happened to order a lilac dress that I was about to return, and made the decision it was a better choice to potentially look like an Easter Egg than stand out like a sore thumb. My lady network was split on the dress. I don’t wear pastels. All I can say is thank goodness I did because I fit in perfectly! Whew!

I had a pre-planned hair appt before departing for the date. My hair looked fabulous and I, truly, felt great. I had enough clothes for an army as he mentioned working out, taking walks, dining out and then, of course, Easter Brunch. I was going to be equipped for anything! I selected my favorite black dress and easy heels (what a joy since he’s 6’6″!) and my make-up turned out perfect. I was sincerely excited for the first time since my cousins Football party in November. The feeling was very welcome.

The drive up to the club was stunning as well as the club and grounds themselves. Talk about old money – this was a Vanderbilt Mansion and I had visions of grandeur (I am such a sucker for any type of history). I was in awe. I stuck out a bit with my black dress, heels and makeup but I didn’t care – I knew he was appreciative. When he showed me to our room he pulled me close and I felt exactly just how appreciative he was in our embrace and kiss. I also felt my own passion rise and got a little flush. I think that getting excited only got me more excited!

The setting was perfect. I can’t say enough about how beautiful the mansion and grounds were, I adore old mansions and this one was so well-cared for and in its original condition. Every detail was stunning. I was happy and comfortable, he is a perfect gentleman and I was ready.

We had a fine evening, ultimately deciding to stay in at the club grill room. The food was amazing, and he commented on my lack of appetite again. I told him not to complain because he got all my leftover food – he didn’t seem to mind. We shared well.

He is very much the politician and, in a way, there isn’t a better way to describe him. He speaks to everyone. He has a presence and a demeanor that commands respect. He’s handsome, tall and well-dressed and clearly intelligent. I don’t find any lack of conversation with him, but I also don’t find him to be very inquisitive. I tend to tell my stories openly, but he doesn’t ask much along the way (he does listen, just doesn’t ask for much exaggeration). Since this was our second date, it did cross my mind how much we would have in common so I asked about his social life.

I was a bit surprised to find he didn’t really have an established social life, or activities that he was really interested in. It seemed his primary drivers were work, kids, and politics. He is definitely in a state of flux – had spent the past two years in a lot of change and was looking for his end game. He was looking to establish a community circle again, which is why he was back at this club and looking for residence in the area.

I’m sure it’s unsettling to be in such flux at age 57.

He made a comment I didn’t agree with, but simply listened to: men of an age (he’s 57) don’t have the social circles that woman do. Men tend to rely on their partner at that age.

I did not find that true of Tony. Perhaps Rob was like that, in hindsight.

Our night continued well. We ate. We talked. We toured the house a little – oh my goodness, the house! I was in heaven walking through the gilded age mansion. Then made our way to the room. I wasn’t certain (before the date) how I would feel, but I had no question at the moment. I wanted to have sex with him. His kissing turned me on and he was clearly interested.

The only thing left was for me to explain my wounds. As we lie on the bed, I told him I had quite a bit of abdominal surgery last year and the scars were pretty bad. He basically said things like that didn’t bother him. With that, I undressed in relative darkness and figured what the fuck. I felt sexy. And, if I felt sexy, that would come across.

I could tell how turned on he was. Everything felt great. He did all the right things, though maybe a bit too fast, but once he went down on me I didn’t think much of anything. He was skilled and I was blissful. He asked me what he could do to please me and I asked him to use his fingers which he did perfectly to my delight.

Then, what seemed like very few minutes later, he seemed to either get bored or tired. I was close to coming, but I still had a bit to go and I’m rarely ever easy. I didn’t say anything because not long after that, he pulled off his pants and entered me – leaving me unfinished.

So a couple things happened here: I was a bit taken aback that he didn’t finish. I was surprised he didn’t ask about a condom. And I was a little surprised how fast he was moving.

But in the midst of it, what’s the point? The first time always has the potential to be awkward. He slid in, and he’s quite well endowed so I was thrilled, and he got excited very fast. He had to basically stop. I know this can be tough for a man with a new partner, and I assured him I didn’t mind (I don’t) because it’s only the first time (right?) and he could come as quickly as he liked. So he did, with great flourish.

We chatted and flirted and had sex twice more that evening. He didn’t, not once, make any attempt to pleasure me in any way other than sex. I was much closer to my normal, uninhibited self and made sure my partner was pleased multiple ways. He seemed to enjoy it all. He told me he would fall immediately asleep after his last orgasm and he did.

I was wound up and, since I didn’t have a vibrator with me, ended up eating MMS, chips and pretzels! He said I fell asleep in the chair, but I don’t recall so maybe I did.

When I woke, in bed, I knew we hadn’t touched all evening. I’m not opposed to no snuggling sometimes, but for a first time I was bummed there wasn’t any. He offered me coffee and made a perfect cup to bring to me. We got dressed and took a lovely walk. He’s not overtly affectionate, but he would hold my hand on and off and maybe give me a chaste kiss. He was inconsistent with this – I don’t know if that was in response to me or not. I was beginning to get a feeling he was used to being cared for more than being the care giver.

We had a lovely walk. He asked my opinion on many things, particularly where he would live, and said my input was important. I didn’t agree with his choice of location based on a new apartment building and cost because (from what he shared with me) he needed community and friends and to establish a social pattern – and the location he was showing me wasn’t going to give him any more than a new roof over his head and he wouldn’t step foot out of the apartment. It wasn’t the right location for him to establish himself, IMHO, but he seemed focused on the fine line between cost/location/commute/new building. When I said my opinion didn’t matter he said it absolutely did and really made him think about what was important to him. This conversation felt very relationshippy to me, and I wouldn’t want to weigh in on such big things so early. I was more surprised he was so interested in what I thought.

We also spoke about his 2 relationships post divorce as well as his marriage. He admitted he never really paid enough attention to his partners needs, and how they needed to be loved, but was a very good provider. I asked him if he thought he learned how to do this now and he said he still thought he had a lot to learn and perhaps wasn’t the best communicator. He off handedly admitted he wasn’t really paying enough attention to his partners needs as he was often focused on other things (job, kids, politics etc).

He also told me his first girlfriend post divorce was a 26 year old athlete. I expressed some shocked laughter and asked what they could possibly have in common. I don’t think he loved my response when he replied with “we were both athletes and understood one another.” I let it rest. He admitted the age difference became strange with 20+ year old children.

Went back to the room to get ready and he offered to go the locker rooms so I could have all the space to myself. He asked how much time I needed. He was very considerate of me.

We made a nice looking couple and I met many of his club friends. He introduced me to everyone. We took photos together. He liked to offer to take photos of me. The brunch was massive and I slowly ate my way through everything I wanted. I felt like a child who leaves food on their plate after they taste everything. My stomach was revolting a bit at the amount I was eating. I even had dessert. It’s amazing, no matter how badly I want to eat, I just can’t. I love my tool in this sense because portion control was always my biggest nemesis. If I eat too much I hiccup. Any more than that and it hurts. I have zero desire for the pain (many VSG patients work through the pain in order to eat the food – I would rather break the addiction and avoid the pain, thank you).

As far as I could tell, brunch went well. I made a comment that we didn’t have morning sex and he said he would rectify that with me upstairs. He claimed he hadn’t wanted me to feel pressured (he never came near the bed in the morning at all, not even for a kiss). Once we got there, it was more of the same from the night before. Almost immediate penetration and a quick ejaculation. I lie on his chest contemplating. Not much I could say or do about it. I just figured this needs to be rectified as we go forward. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t exciting or fulfilling.

I did make a comment to him at brunch that I couldn’t tell exactly how interested he was as he wasn’t very inquisitive. He said I tell him quite a bit about myself so he didn’t feel there was a lot more to dive into. Later, he repeated (in a sort of defeated way) that everything was going well “except that” he wasn’t very inquisitive and that he was distracted with important things in his life. That last statement sounded a little barbed I suppose.

We rose soon after, packed and exited. I was feeling a bit disconnected after the afternoon sex. I was driving him to the train station when we came onto the subject (again) of community and what he does in his free time. He indicated his life revolves around his time with his partner and doing the small things on the weekends with his partner. I asked him about travel and he said he had enough of that in his early years and just liked to spend time with his partner. I suddenly felt unease between us. I think it had been brewing, but now I felt it more clearly.

I got a very chaste kiss goodbye and no indication of seeing him again.

I wrote a thank you text when I stopped for coffee on the way home and we had a small chat about a development he saw across the street from the station. He walked over to it and loved it and said I was right about a community that would suit him.

I got the feeling I was being blown off, wasn’t exactly sure why, so I took a risk and asked him if he would like to continue seeing one another.

His response was strange:

Right now I am wiped out and want to sleep… patience me Lioness… sleep tight. 😘

I didn’t reply after that but did say Good Morning on Monday and that I woke with a cold.

I’m not sure what happened to be honest. I don’t know if my contemplations somehow oozed out and turned him off in some way? I wasn’t sold on him, especially after the sex, but I would have gone out with him and given it more time. After all, Tony had a rough start with sex.

I was really happy about the weekend. I was positive and focused. I consciously tried (maybe I failed) to stay open minded and hopeful and true to myself. I smiled and looked beautiful. I felt sexy and certainly he responded to it. But something I did turned him off – I felt the switch on Sunday and absolutely through his lack of engagement in the text.

It’s not the end of the world but it’s frustrating. Yes, my mind goes right to “what did I do wrong?” If I wanted to have another date – what did I do to lose that opportunity? Maybe I don’t fit into the country club scene. Maybe the idea that I don’t want to be in a closed off relationship dependent on my partner was obvious to him (as that’s what he wants it seems). Maybe I said something off hand he didn’t like. I don’t know and that eats at me.

As of writing this I haven’t heard from him but he read my good morning text.

My one friend said “move on, you had a great weekend” and that’s true.

Ah, well.

I would have liked to say at least the sex was good, but the best I can say about the sex was his endowment! No, I take that back. The best I can say is that I felt sexy – my body and mind functioned just as they should and it was great to be back in the game. That’s what I need to take away from this rather than the rejection.

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! 🤣😂

Girl Code 3

I figured I should wrap up this story.

I admit I didn’t tell him as quickly as I should have – that I wasn’t going to interact with him. I admit there was that part of me that liked the attention and chase etc.

But at some point Saturday he sent another “can’t wait for kissing and cocktails” and I had to be clear.

I wrote back that I would be telling my friend the truth, I wasn’t comfortable and this didn’t feel right to me and was sorry I didn’t have the chance to meet him.

I didn’t text my friend until a day later. I knew there was going to be a little drama, and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to deal with it. I did tell my friend and we spoke about it. She was quite upset by how much he had shared with me about himself, and how it had taken her so long to know some of those things and they were in relationship.

I didn’t mention the BDSM stuff because that’s my private business. If I told her what he shared I would also be revealing that side of me. Very few of my off blog friends know any of the depth of my sexuality. I also think it’s the reason he communicated as much as he did, because he knows how a D/s relationship works and I feel he was working that avenue with me even though he said he wasn’t.

She was primarily upset he glossed over her and still asked me out knowing we were friends. Should I have lied more? I tried to give her as much as I know I would want. She’s similar to be albeit less crazy, but obsesses the same way I do.

She was also very bothered that I saw him for who he was in our first conversations (before I knew who he was). To me, he was clearly a narcissist. I barely got a word in over 2 hours of conversation. She was upset that she didn’t see it and spent the night studying up on narcissism.

I wrote to him to say I spoke to my friend and wouldn’t be contacting him again, good luck. I also told my friend I wrote that message. Some time in the middle of the night he text back saying he was curious how our conversion went and if things were ok between us. I sent the message to my friend and then blocked him.

She didn’t want me to block him, but I said I didn’t want to be in the middle of curating replies to him just to get a reaction. If he’s a true narcissist – which I certainly believe he is – he’s already bothered that I don’t see him in a good light and he would continue to pursue intermittently in hopes of interaction.

I’m good at shit like that but trying my hardest to stop creating more bad karma for myself.

He’s blocked. I’m done. Thank you, next.

Girl Code

So my dating hiatus was up, I turned back on the apps and met someone cool pretty quickly.

We hit it off on the app, moved to text and the banter was flying. We agreed to a chat the next day.

He called me on the phone and we were off to the races. The conversation never slowed and my heart was racing….but this was primarily because he was SO high energy. Honestly, I started to think after the first hour of conversation I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him!

First of all, he was just about perfect on paper…but as he described himself and his life I can easily see how women would swoon over him.

He was a Dom in a previous period in his life. Before he even told me that, I knew. All the cues and signals were there. If you’re looking to be a sub, you would be thrilled with this guy. In my opinion, he knew his stuff. Thanks to the WordPress Community, I have read and learned enough about D/s relationships to understand what he was saying on a deeper level. He was clearly aware this type of history could scare a woman away so was careful in his wording, but I saw it for what it was.

A sort of strange thing happened – I felt myself disengaging from the conversation – I had been very interested in him, but knew I no longer sought a D/s relationship (had my experiences with that, took what I needed and moved on!). I didn’t feel he was trying to convince me, or even think that’s what he was looking for, but I need to be clear I wasn’t interested in the whole dynamic (he was explaining himself too much) so I interjected “I’m not the sub for you” with a short explanation….thinking , ok that’s the end of this guy….and actually got back a laugh!

That caught me off guard. But what caught me even more was his subsequent description of what I was really looking for in a dominant man. He hit my own description of myself on the head. I really wondered if he read my blog?! He totally gets what I needed from a relationship based on motherhood/work/previous relationships and I was floored. That was a first. Even Tony never understood what I meant by “dominant” even though he acted that way in relationship. “Take charge” could be more apropos but I have always used dominant because, somewhere in there, I like some of the kink that comes with D/s sexual play.

Once I said that the conversation took off (totally unexpected, thought I killed it for sure). At this point I looked at my phone because my ear pods died and realized we had been on the phone 1.5 hours. These long phone conversations are an investment on my part – I’ve done a few of them now and I love learning about people and it makes me eager for the date – but none have come to fruition. The thought occurred to me I may need to change this.

He kept talking. He’s a VERY high-powered and well-known executive. He’s super wealthy. Highly intelligent. Does the TED talks circuit. I was truly impressed with this man. Like, I want to meet you just to listen to you because I can probably learn soooo much from you.

But could I date you?

Interspersed with my thinking I’m not good enough to keep up with this guy, the jokes and laughter kept coming, interesting topics kept arising and we continued to speak. I did want to meet him but felt like I was never going to get over “I’m not good enough” coupled with “I can’t keep up”. He didn’t seem to think that – he kept telling me he liked our conversation and couldn’t believe how quickly time passed and how engaged he was. I felt, honestly, graced by the comment. “You like me? You really, really like me?”

Wow. Talk about inner turmoil.

And then, a funny thing happened on the way to planning the date, I mentioned a local friend. I described her as living close, similar age, two kids and divorced and owns her own business. He asked if it was a specific business in a specific town. Then he asked if I knew my friend by name.

Oh shit.

You’re THAT GUY.

You’re the guy this friend of mine has been desperately in love with for years. NOW I KNOW WHY. knowing this friend as I do, knowing her M.O. and personality, OMG, no wonder she’s held out for YOU – you were the cherry on top of her life and there was no way she was letting you slip away (for some of all the wrong reasons).

I felt the dawn of realization start in my brain like a physical sensation as all those thoughts raced through in millisecond succession. Then it went down my throat and landed in my stomach like a bad burritos needing to work its way back up and out.

But I liked you so much.

The phone had gone silent for what seemed like a minute as all this processed.

I blurted out loud “YOU’RE THAT GUY” (Actually his name, but not adding that in this post)

He didn’t even know what to say and that’s something considering the rapid pace at which he had been speaking.

We went through a couple of “wows” and talked about it a bit. He explained from his end, and his explanation matched what she told me, albeit through a different filter, and a filter that made much more sense to me knowing how she responds to situations. I’m not sure if ever perceived himself at being her “prize” but he wasn’t ready to build a life with her which is what she so desperately wanted from him.

To be continued….

In The Chem Lab – Part 3

One day of amazing connection and fabulous conversation and I’m left floating on a cloud.

Until I’m not.

Two days post our conversations brought Radio Silence from the Magic Man.  Nothing all weekend.  I know he’s flying out to Chicago early am so I sent one small text and left it at that.

I watched myself again, trying to analyze what I was feeling and why.  I feel disappointed and sad, confused, but since its much too early to care, just left empty.  I haven’t lost the bit of self-realization I gained, but two days after, I don’t find any more motivation than I had the day of the call….in other words, I am still sitting on the couch doing a bunch of nothing, except (at least) capturing whats going on in my head.

There was no intentional attachment but I clearly become more hopeful than appropriate from one day of conversation with a man I never met. Is this because it’s so special/infrequent/desired? Does the chemistry between us affect the attachment part of my brain?

I wonder what it is. I’m really trying to understand myself here.

About a month ago, I connected with Tom and had a similar initial experience. We had a fantastic, long phone conversation and I found him appealing and interesting on many levels. Then I shuttered the explicit sex talk.  However, Tom, like Matthew, never got me laughing and he never moved from chatting to asking me out. Humor wise he was less dry than Matthew, definitely more manly, but I don’t recall the gut connection I got so quickly with the new Magic Man. It was a day or two of good, sincere connection with Tom and then random text here and there until I finally wished him good luck after a month of not even asking to see me.  Part of me think I will hear from him again, randomly, in the future.  If I don’t, its fine.  If I do I will ask him what his intentions are.  I’m not afraid of some strangers opinion of my needs and why I ask about their intentions, too many of them lie.  At least, I’m not afraid to say what I think any longer.

Both Tom and Magic Man are older than 55, which is a bit out of my normal age range (since dating, I have preferred slightly younger men).  Both highly successful, wealthy career men.  Could this just be a different type of nonsense I’m experiencing?  Are they more wise to the ways of some women that they invest quickly hoping for an early payoff?

Let’s think about what I’ve learned:

  • Length of initial conversation is irrelevant
  • Good physical looks start an attraction but it’s not what makes my heart skip a beat in conversation, that’s all in my head
  • Tone of voice, cadence and delivery of conversation matter greatly to me. I am quickly turned off by lack of intelligent conversational skills which draw out my own ability to banter.
  • When I am confident and sassy, my “rules” relax (for instance when is it ok to start speaking about sex and when does it make me uncomfortable?).

Have I somehow conditioned myself to expect the behavior of a married man  – is that kind of attention different to a single man, or is the communication cadence going to be different?  The only feedback from single friends is I invest in someone too early, but not that I shouldn’t expect good communication behavior.  Magic Man seems to have to same cadence I do, which is perhaps what makes the butterflies take flight.

This leads me to another thought – did the communication style remind me of Tony?  Well, yes, but only in hindsight.

Today I didn’t necessarily come away with lessons as much as questions. One day of conversation isn’t enough to evaluate or analyze more than I already have. I think my point in writing these 3 posts was to recognize that chemistry will happen and no list of requirements will determine if it’s there or not. The list serves as a platform – initially men need to meet some of my criteria to move forward or I find them unappealing almost immediately. Once the criteria is met, chemistry has to happen on its own, there’s nothing I can do to create it.

In The Chem Lab – Part 2

Friday afternoon the air outside was bitter cold and I found myself reflecting on an earlier conversation with my bff. I was comfortable and bundled in blankets and the thought that Matthew wasn’t right for me continued to nag at me. I didn’t want to make a rash decision to end what hadn’t even started, nor did I want to continue something that I was already feeling leery over.

I started to think about why Matthew seemed right to on paper but was falling short in person. I pulled up my relationship requirements list and took a stab at it. He hits many of the criteria, which isn’t an easy thing to do. But there was an undercurrent of something that just wasn’t right. The magic wasn’t there.

I dismissed thoughts of Matthew for a while in favor of going back to the dating apps. I had the intention of deleting and taking a break as I had a few men in the pipeline that had started conversations recently and I had enough. I deleted Match, OKC and POF. Then I got to Bumble and noticed the one man I swiped right on earlier that day had sent a fabulous reply. I engaged despite the fact he would make a 4th man I was chatting with when 3 is generally my limit. I often break rules faster than I make them.

The man quickly asked for my number. Now, I have a bit of an issue with men around my age – they LOVE the phone. I neglected to truly understand this because I was dating a married man. Tony called quite often but also spent a considerable amount of time on text – why? because he was in a situation where it wasn’t wise to be calling me but he wanted to stay connected. I loved how much we were connected. I am definitely over the top when it comes to communication, which isn’t for everyone. But older men seem to want to get the 1st phone conversation out-of-the-way quickly and I want to vet them a bit in text. But I gave my number and requested he text first.

Soon after, he text and we started a rapid fire conversation.

I had an a-ha moment and started to pay close attention to my cues (which is hard to do in the thick of a getting to know you conversation)

*Chemistry Lesson #1: easy banter is organic, it doesn’t come from longer or more conversation, it’s instantaneous. I can’t create it.

We text effortlessly and quickly back and forth about family, life and vacation. Easy, peasy. I was laughing to myself when the phone rang in my hand because I knew it was a matter of time before he called.

Over an hour and a half of conversation flew by. Laughter on both sides was obvious and immediate.

*Chemistry Lesson #2: I just learned that no matter how good my punch line in a story is, if the right person isn’t engaged, I don’t even want to laugh at my own jokes. We laughed with one another, repetitively.

*Chemistry Lesson #3: when I’m laughing, I’m relaxed and happy and tell my best stories. I don’t have to think about creating conversation. Topics are endless and interesting.

The first call ended with a promise to call again soon.

*Chemistry Lesson #4: I couldn’t stop thinking about him after the call, but then he text to tell me he couldn’t stop thinking of me and my heart skipped a beat.

He called back that evening and we spoke another two hours. Do you know we even spoke politics, race, marriage, relationship, child-rearing and divorce. The cadence was easy and I wasn’t fearful of what to say or how I said it. I literally felt my blood rushing through my veins and felt like the woman I was when I met Tony: confident, sexy, sassy and self-aware.

*Chemistry Lesson #5: my confidence is nearly unbreakable when I feel secure. (Self-reflection: how do I do that all the time, and on my own?)

I had something like an out-of-body experience during this conversation as I watched myself morph from this depressed, sad, pathetic woman into all that I was. I felt my energy change. I felt desire rise. It made me feel like I wanted to do something again.

I felt excited.

Please don’t interpret this as me wanting to get married to this man tomorrow. I’m simply having my own epiphany. This feeling has only come twice before in the past at least 9 months: once when I went with Rob to my family party and once when I saw my latest resume after multiple iterations and self-doubt (future post). So 3 times since Thanksgiving I truly felt myself again. This incidence forced me to realize its starting to happen more often (which is good), albeit very slowly. It also caused me to take notice of the physical cues I’m giving and receiving so I can be more intentional and mindful of what makes me feel strong, happy, confident and capable.

It made me desire to feel good again.

I know it’s not up to this man to make me feel good, but I am taking what’s in front of me at the moment and running with it.

The conversations uncovered a mass of similarities and likes between us. He joked and asked me to marry him and by the end of the conversation he said he was already in love once I said “fuck” without thinking twice about it. We didn’t address anything sexual or even hint at it through all the conversation until the very end….when he asked if I would dream about him. The teasing was gentle and silly and only made me want more.

*Chemistry Lesson #6: there must be other cues I am ignoring when other men say things very similar and I don’t like it or my guard goes up.

We said goodnight.

I waited for the good morning text that didn’t come. I sent one around 10:45 and we started another round of banter, but the morning took off on a purely sexual twist and quickly led to a phone call. However, my son entered the room and he heard me say good morning to him and automatically changed the subject (I was thankful for that). We spoke for about a half hour. He had to jump off phone to make his plans for the day, we text a little bit more and went our separate ways.

But, just before he stopped texting he sent a cock shot.

It stopped me in my tracks! One because it was beautiful and two because I wasn’t expecting it.

Unfortunately, I knew I had to set down my rules, as I had done with Tom.  I did it a bit differently since there was chemistry, I told him he shocked me into speechlessness, but we couldn’t do this before we met.  Now,  I haven’t heard from him all day, and even though I know he’s with family its sort of a downer but I’m optimistic.

Let’s see what the days ahead bring or not. Of course I would be sad if it came to nothing but I had a lightening bolt of a moment: it will happen again. I will feel the magic again, or at the very least, parts of the magic again. And it’s been so long, so very long since I’ve had hope of any kind that I cherished this interaction with this man. I want to be in this moment for a while so I wrote about it and shared it with you. I want to find myself again and for a very brief time speaking to him, I saw her. Her light was strong and bright and blazing.

It’s been too long dull and it startled me that she showed up out of nowhere like that. Now I know she’s still in there and I had almost started to believe she was lost to me entirely. My heart has been playing cruel tricks on my mind because it’s battered, bleeding and broken. But maybe that’s finally starting to heal.

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.

What Makes Chemistry?

Ya, I know no one really has the answer to that. It’s different for all of us. It’s been on my mind quite a bit lately.

I met Matthew about 2 weeks ago, everything looked great on paper. Conversation on the phone was good and then we met for a drink and dinner. He was what I expected. We had a lovely time. Matthew is kind, handsome, generous, single, a good father and has a great job. But something was lacking. He said a few times his friends found him so funny but I didn’t get that from him. He was also the type of parent that was judgmental (my sweet boy doesn’t do THAT!). That irks me a bit. And there is something effeminate about him which I can’t quite put my finger on.

Today, as I was telling my best friend,she noticed I was making faces when I spoke about him. She concluded I wasn’t into him enough and should end it. I even felt the same writing this post. He’s not for me, but he would be good for me. What I’ve done so far hasn’t worked so I am consciously trying something different.

However, I’m not getting over whatever is lacking in chemistry to actually experience the good stuff.

Matt has already asked me out for valentines (I declined as I already have plans with my bff). He’s brought me flowers. He texts and calls every day. He is consistent and kind. He wants a full, communicative relationship. He never crosses any lines sexually but asks just enough that it’s appropriate. He loves to hold my hand, pay attention and kiss me. He is a good listener. He’s a fabulous kisser.

Like I said, pretty much everything I have been looking for, especially in the attention department.

But…I’ve been up nights with Tony on my mind since I’ve met Matthew. Something in my subconscious is working overtime. What is it? Is the red flag there and buried? Am I trying to get to a grain of truth I’m not seeing?

I vowed to give him another shot – a date outside of a restaurant/bar and spending more quality time together. I am attracted to him. He would be kind and considerate of my medical history, depression and scars.

I don’t have any butterflies with Matthew, but I didn’t have them immediately with Rob either. It wasn’t until I brought Rob to my family party that I got excited about him, but that was more about finally feeling human again and loving how he just “fit in” so easily. Rob wasn’t where I needed a man to be intellectually….he wasn’t a dumb guy, but when I say intellectually here’s what I mean –

Taken from an article on Bustle:

“Intellectual compatibility is when both people are mentally stimulated by the same conversations,” relationship coach and expert, Jenna Ponaman, CPC, tells Bustle. This doesn’t necessarily mean you both need to have the same IQ level. It simply means that you both have the capacity to indulge in deep conversations that become mutually interesting for the two of you. 

According to Ponaman, this is important to have because it will shed a light on how compatible you are in other areas of your relationship. “For example one person may be sexually compatible with their partner, but if they don’t find them interesting on a more intellectual level, the ability to make this a thriving lasting serious relationship is slim,” she says. In other words, it’s really hard to make a relationship last if you and your partner have nothing to talk about.”

I didn’t have enough to talk about with Rob that engaged us both enough to continue. Sure he was SUPER handsome, kind, generous and HOT, but we were not on the same page.

As I wrote that – and after the conversation with my friend today – I realize I have to tell Matthew it’s a no go. I thought we were intellectually compatible but I realize when he’s talking I get bored super quick. And I’m not laughing.

Oh I hate this part but the less time I waste the better. And to coin Ferns phrase, it’s good when I give no fucks. I make better decisions.

Blog posts where I answer my own questions are the best!