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!