Dating in the Time of Covid pt 2

We are all caught up with my dates pre Covid and during quarantine, so what changed? We are not exactly out of our state quarantine, we have many restrictions in place, but luckily I live in one of the few states that is currently marked safe. We may have been the worst at one point, but now we have all kids of travel restrictions – we want to keep people out!

My time in the hospital was pretty hard. I wasn’t able to eat or drink and I was mostly in a lot of pain and on heavy narcotics. No visitors were allowed so my company consisted of the nurse and doctor visits (many who often stayed to chat). It leaves a lot of time in one’s own head.

My conversations with the doctors and nurses change my opinion about how I was living in fear around Covid. I do not dispute how dangerous the virus is and can be, but I have chosen to try to begin living more carefully. For me, that included dating again. When I started speaking / texting men on the apps, I was surprised how many had been dating all during quarantine. Some safely, and many not so safely! Ultimately, I had to decide who I was going to trust to date. I think I have made good decisions so far, but absolutely was caught out by a narcissist. He gets his own post.

I have matched with some men who still don’t want to text or speak, they want to meet immediately. I didn’t want to do this before Covid, but this is absolutely out of the question now. Besides meeting someone I am potentially incompatible with and wasting my time, there is an actual safety issue, even if we are in public and socially distant. I just don’t want to take the risk, it’s not worth it to me. Still, I have had more than one man come after me for not taking risks, not being spontaneous, and one even went as far to say I was controlling because I had to have things my way by establishing compatibility first. I’m just surprised how many men outright want to meet after one text, not establishing any form of compatibility and then get angry when I ask to chat some more, despite stating I’m not interested in being a pen pal either. It’s a hard no for me if they are even willing to do that.

I did manage to have a few safe dates. A quick recap:

First Date: Isn’t this terrible – I can’t even recall his name. He was a nice guy, our text was super easy. We had a quick phone call that went well and he had an underlying sense of humor. The first red flag: he hadn’t dated in some time or even have much dating experience. We had a bunch of things in common so it was worth meeting. We met at an outdoor restaurant in the daytime. I was instantly not attracted upon meeting him. His photos we’re taken at very good angles, and he was one of the rare few that looked worse in person. The conversation was too serious, with little to no laughter and I was simply disinterested. We enjoyed a glass of wine and a short walk around the block, but I was home within 2 hours. I was happy to be out in the sunshine feeling somewhat normal outside my home, even if everyone was socially distant and masked. For a first outing, it was fine. I let him know by text the next morning that I didn’t think we were a good match. He didn’t respond and deleted me from Bumble immediately. I understand. Getting that text sucks, but I hate when someone doesn’t have the courtesy to be stand up human and do the same for me, and many just don’t.

Darren: Another easy match by text and he lived in my town which was a first. We spoke by phone and hit it off. I should have seen the disparity in styles when we were trying to find a local place to meet and he was unhappy with every choice I made without saying why. He kept going back to the same two places which I was clear I didn’t want to go because they were on very busy streets and in our town, which I just wasn’t comfortable with because my kids friends would most likely be working at these two places. I finally invited him over to my back deck. The first date went well enough, I wasn’t super attracted to him but he was appealing enough and I felt he could grow on me. We chatted easily but I did notice there was no laughter unless I was making a joke or telling a funny story (I am going to write a post about this – humor is no simple thing). We had a nice kiss goodnight and agreed to meet again. The second date came just couple days later and he made a fabulous proposition to bring lobster and shrimp to the my deck for dinner. Everything started off quite the same, easy conversation, shared smiles. But the evening turned at some point when he needled me about a few topics and I grew more heated than I should have. It wasn’t as if he actually disagreed with my opinion as much as he wanted to continue to force an opposite opinion. I knew by the end of the evening neither of us much liked the other. I wrote in the morning to thank him for the date and he replied to me with a polite “I don’t think we are a match” text. We wished each other well.

Lew: there were many red flags with Lew. Too many. He was a widower of about 10 years with no long term relationships within that time. He worked from home. He kept talking about sex even after I asked him not to. Then it became innuendo which was more irritating. He did apologize each time and said he would try and do better. When I asked about his friends he said they were all married and rarely if ever went out with just the boys. When I asked about his activities or travel the answer was always the same: I don’t but I would if I had the right partner. This was a man who had convinced himself that his life hadn’t moved forward due to his lack of finding the right woman – and that woman needed to have a high sex drive. I didn’t learn all of this before I met him – he happened to live on the way up to my sisters so we met for a quick drink. He was better looking in person and nicely dressed. The date was stale. We didn’t laugh. Conversation was too serious. I was glad it was a hard stop at an hour since I had to get on the road. He was anxious to see me again because I checked whatever boxes he had particularly the physical appearance, attraction and intellect ones. It was too obvious he was placing too high a value on the physical chemistry – and I understood. I used to do the same thing and work hard to try and get over that even now. Later that evening I sent the text to decline meeting again and he didn’t answer and deleted me from Bumble immediately.

Rich: now here was promise. Finally. Rich gets his own post because there’s a whole story here. I still haven’t figured out what happened and I’m highly unlikely to ever know why but he ghosted me after a month of speaking and two dates.

Matt: oh what a cutie Matt is. I really adore him. Problem is he lives 600 miles away in Michigan! We met on line just after Rich and I met online so we’ve been speaking for about a month via text now. We are quite similar and attracted in photos and text. He loves the flirt. He also loves to send a cock shot. He doesn’t even try to call which irks me and then I remind myself there is zero point in attempting to move this relationship beyond what it is: a light flirtatious text boyfriend. This does take willpower on my part not to push for me (despite knowing it’s fruitless, I still get irked, I’m working on this). If he was genuine he would call and not make excuses for it. I no longer discount the possibility of a long distance relationship, but that needs to work on both sides. He gets the hall pass for sexting because it’s light, fun and harmless. I never send dirty photos and he never asks. We talk about his life mostly, he doesn’t ask a whole lot of questions. He says good morning every day and good night every night and checks in throughout the day. He’s lonely, I’m lonely and that’s pretty much it. I’m sure it ends when one or the other of us meet someone to date.

That’s it. We are all caught up til today. Many men are much more willing to travel for relationship than before (unless they live in the city, that hasn’t changed – they are too locked into city life). I have to be cautious about how far my matches are because I don’t know what I want in terms of distance but I don’t rule it out. I suppose a couple things happened during quarantine – people are working from home for the most part everyone has more flexibility and single people realized just how lonely they are without relationship. I’ve been surprised at how common this theme is – many men didn’t have their children with them or have adult children and hadn’t seen them for some time. They also lost their gyms. If they didn’t live in a home they suddenly found themselves very bored and alone and struggling to keep their time filled. I wonder how long this will last?

Shallow Thoughts Could Derail Something Good

I’m a tiny bit worried about this week.

I met a Peloton guy on line. We were flirting in a shared Peloton group and it moved to text, then to phone. Holy cow do I like this guy. Uh oh. I know my triggers.

Jerry hit every single button, twice over. I probably can’t even list all the things I like about him without meeting him. We’ve spoken for hours on the phone and by text – which I already know isn’t good before meeting and I can’t help myself.

He’s all he good things I’m looking for. Let’s start with his voice. It hits me the way my x-husbands used to back when I married him, or Tony’s or Bobby’s….I have always had a thing for the right voice. He’s got a slight accent which I adore. He’s very tall. He has two older children. He’s single. He has a great job. He motivated to have a relationship and is ready emotionally. He is fitness minded. He has a good foundation and support system of family and friends. His communication is like mine.

We behaved like teenagers. We began speaking on Saturday evening and we spoke on the phone for 8 hours. Even I have never done that before (could also be because I fall in love with married men??!!) We didn’t get off the phone until 7am, right through the time change! I lost a whole night, slept for 3 hours before I got started that Sunday, and I still felt like I was walking on a cloud thinking of him.

We are very aligned on so many important things, including understanding each others love languages. I could write a long list but the bottom line is he is exactly everything I’ve been looking for. Believe me, there is a red flag and a big one, but I’m not going to write about it now because its the kind of red flag I’m just going to have to see for myself with time.

It feels so right.

Except.

Except I’m unsure I will be attracted to him and thats disappointing to me. The physical pull is so important for me when I meet someone – its the one thing I have not been able to surpass, except with Tony. I keep thinking its possible this could happen with Jerry, and maybe I’m overthinking it, but I’m literally trying not to get too attached to how much I like everything abut him so I’m not disappointed when I meet him.

I’ve seen his photos. There is something appealing about him, but mostly I’m not particularly attracted. There are some bad photos of him that make me very unattracted, so who knows how he appears in person. My closest (and most judgmental) friend said “he’s not ugly M.” No he’s not ugly.

I’m going to have a very selfish and immature moment here, because this should be my safe space and I’m always honest here. I’m a very attractive woman for my age. Now I am also very fit and active. I bring a lot to the table and I (now) know my worth. Why is it I can’t get a guy of equal physical qualities? I want an attractive guy. I want the type of guy that my friends would compliment with a “he’s cute.” I don’t want to be the girl on someones arm and people comment the guy has a girl better looking than he is. This really bothers me. I realize this is entirely superficial, but it has stopped me from moving forward with a “nice guy” multiple times.

When dating Tony, I recall him looking down at me during sex with this completely euphoric expression, like, “I can’t believe I get to do this with you,” and I understand that “dating down” in terms of attractiveness can be a confidence boost in its own right. On the other hand, while I’m drawn to more attractive people, I’m just intimidated by the idea of dating someone hotter than me. So I don’t want to date someone too hot, just someone as equally attractive as I am, I don’t want to date down.

I am very open to meeting Jerry and trying to quiet this superficial side of my mind. I can see being his friend and confidant, and I love this. Our connection is strong emotionally, now I just have to conquer the physical part. I look at photos of Tony today and I don’t find him any more or less physically appealing than when I first saw his photo, but I am drawn to him, despite the fact he’s not super attractive. My hope is that this somehow happens with Jerry and we can explore the connection that we have.

Personally, the person I had the most deep, chemical attraction wasn’t conventionally handsome. The attraction felt almost indefinable, relying on everything from his looks and style to his mind and profession, to the smell of his skin and the sound of his voice. Deep attraction is, of course, a multisensory experience. But, as un-shallow as I have congratulated myself for being with Tony, I will admit that its mostly someone’s looks which overwhelm any need for a deeper compatibility at the start.

In the meantime, we have agreed to meet as friends with zero expectations. He is coming here to my city so he can go into the studio with me to run with my favorite instructors before the old studio closes and the new one opens. Jerry doesn’t live in my area, it would be a long distance relationship which I am very open to. He will come in Wednesday evening and depart Friday after class. We spoke about it and it is easiest for me to stay with him if I take the early morning classes – so he got a hotel room with two queen beds. I will meet him Wednesday afternoon and then have dinner plans with a friend and will come back to the hotel. We will run together with my other friends on both Thursday and Friday. We have brunch plans with mutual friends both days, and we will spend time together alone on Thursday afternoon and evening.

I am comfortable spending the time with him as a friend should the physical connection not be there. We’ve spoken about it and its clear there are no expectations.

Of course I know this is all risky, but we are both willing to give this a shot. The connection is unusual – when I met South Dakota, it was an instant physical connection, but ultimately we didn’t have anything in common and as the night went by, I could see him becoming less appealing. I wanted to pursue it further, but that didn’t happen so who knows. This type of emotional connection hasn’t happened since Mike and John and thats almost a year ago at this point. Clearly, there is no obvious reason for when and why I am physically or emotionally attracted to someone. I wasn’t particularly physically attracted to Dan and we ended up with some great dates, a mini vacation and some fabulous sex. I am struggling with this one and overthinking it for sure.

For once, I want my heart, brain and twat to fucking agree.

He’s A Nice Guy (Pt 2)

Thursday rolls around and Scott made arrangements at a hotel close to my home and said he would be here around 5pm. He was done with his local work early and ended up arriving around 2pm and I was nowhere near ready. I had that moment of panic that he would perceive me as disinterested but then got a grip and, instead of dropping everything I needed to do for myself, which included my workout, I didn’t and just let him know I would be ready after 5pm as planned. He wasn’t phased at all and told me to take my time, that my workout was important.

I also knew I didn’t have to go overboard with getting dressed for him, and I could just clean up nicely and we would be fine. I have seen a change in how I handle preparing for dates and don’t find myself really going over the top to impress anymore like I once did. In one way this is a relief, but in another sort of sad that I don’t get excited like that anymore. I suppose my sexy outfits and shoes will eventually be for one man who is going to really appreciate the effort I’ve gone to look good.

We met in the lobby and went to his room, once again with no pressure to have sex. We both admitted to being hungry so decided we should wait before getting messy. We also decided we would just eat in the hotel restaurant (which is quite nice, actually). Another pleasant and easy evening ensued. Conversation flows easily, but I still can’t put my finger on what I don’t like about Scott – but there is SOMETHING. Not enough to stop me in my tracks, but it’s there. Its making me a little nuts to ty and figure it out and, perhaps, inhibiting some of my more natural behavior.

Divorced for several years, two older children in college, a steady government job, a home and car. He’s stable and emotionally available. One longer relationship with a married woman so he understands what I went through pretty intimately which was unusual. We like a lot of the same things, we think along the same lines in how we approach things and there is no tension between us at all. We laugh together, but he’s not exactly funny -we just find humor in similar things and I am funny so he laughs at me.

But, for me, there is no excitement. I do miss that.

When we went back to the room we had another fun evening and we did a lot of talking to get to know one another. He makes it clear he is interested in me. He said I don’t know how to take a compliment (is that true? maybe. I am also uncomfortable with a lot of compliments coming from someone when I don’t know how I feel about them). I stayed over and needed to leave early to go for a workout, which again, he encouraged and was impressed that I was committed to my Peloton.

I would like to say he is a consistent communicator, but I haven’t gotten his pattern down yet. He prefers text to talk, which is unusual for a man. He asks a lot of non-text-appropriate questions (like “why are you single”) that shouldn’t be answered in text and require face to face or at least a phone conversation, which I say clearly I won’t engage in text and then he agrees (almost like it’s a test of what I will and won’t answer? I don’t know).

And then, the most confusing part to me – all the words are right. So many remind me of Tony. I have been dying to hear some of this and now its falling flat. But, why? Because its not Tony or because Scott isn’t the “one” they should be coming from? Or am I just smarter and know to keep things at a slower pace? I have this distinct feeling they are disingenuine, but then I think “how could that be” when its so new and its so consistent?

Here’s a snippet of his text to me:

I haven’t stopped thinking about your eyes. Your smile. Your laugh. Your beautiful body. I can’t wait to see you.

(sends a photo of dog on his lap and I reply “that looks comfy”) I’d prefer to have this absolutely stunning and breathtaking women I just met in that spot.

I know I want to hold her. Caress her gorgeous neck. Run my fingers over that sexy collarbone. Kiss her sensual lips. See the pure radiance of her smile. Be in her presence. Being around her makes your mind go blank.

I’m keeping a list of all your favorites (and he names them all…)

I may have spent a minute or ten telling my daughter about this super awesome lady I just met. Told her I would like to figure out how to snag her….yep, I said it. I will own it.

I’m going to need to work at Lowe’s part time (to buy me the things that bring me joy because his government job is low income)

You showed up and I was speechless….you look just like your photos but so much better in person and with such an amazing personality to match. I think you are the most amazing person.

So I should be thrilled, right? I’ve been waiting for this, right? Then why not? He’s so sweet, he’s so nice. Why don’t I want this nice guy? Why aren’t I more excited?

For sure one of my blocks is his income. It feels way to close to my marriage where the disparity will ultimately create issues. But, I don’t know this man and that’s putting a lot of my history onto him or a future with him which is unfair, but I think that’s a solid roadblock for me. I have a sense of luxury that I don’t want to give up -even being unemployed I don’t think I can make such a significant change in income and actually end up being happy (or grateful) about it. I think I’m already spoiled to some extent (which I’ve done to myself). If I am being practical the bottom line is that his current salary cannot afford the lifestyle I am used to and will keep me working until the end of my life. I don’t want that, I already know that. Is that an unfair thought, sure. But it’s the truth. My expectation was that somehow and somewhere someone would be taking care of me, not the other way around. Disparity in income and lack of ambition are some of the reasons I got divorced, this feels close to that – but I also shouldn’t assume just because he chose to stay in a government role that he’s not ambitious, should I?

He may also have a false sense of confidence. This is a total shot in the dark – his confidence could be real, I don’t know, but my instinct is that he’s a bit full of bravado. He doesn’t particularly beat his chest or something so obvious, but there are small indicators of how he thinks he’s “cool” and I tend to think people who really are, don’t need to speak about it. I don’t think I’ve hear him say anything self-deprecating…and this is usually my signal that the man is self-aware and has a sense of humility.

So, I’m at a loss. I don’t think I should cut him loose, but I can’t draw him closer either. Eventually things will work their way out I think and I will figure out whats at the bottom of it.

My friends are beginning to question my decisions with men. Most think I should settle for a nice man willing to care for me. A man who I would be a prize for. Yea, I get the idea, but I need my own prize and “nice” doesn’t do it. That aggression that goes with ambition is attractive to me, and those men are not a dime a dozen but have women who are. They also match and go off the market really quickly. Is it wrong to expect a man of similar caliber? If I find an unattractive man, but he has every other quality I’m looking for – why am I still dissatisfied? (This is what my friends keep saying to me – I’m shooting too high and have to drop the looks piece). So far, I have been unable to cross this hurdle – the physical attraction is a strong pull for me that I can’t seem to surpass.

I have taken a look at my requirements again, and they remain the same and I do realize that my formula may be broken, but despite trying to go our of my comfort zone, I can’t seem to be attracted to a man who doesn’t hit all of these:

  1. Handsome / Attractive to me (which includes height and weight)
  2. Ambition
  3. Physically fit (this is actually much less of an issue anymore, most divorced men are)
  4. Funny and fun
  5. Financially well off – likes a little bit of bougie and doesn’t get upset with mine
  6. White collar
  7. Father
  8. Divorced (or separated living apart of some time)
  9. Great communicator; understand words of affirmation as a love language
  10. Good sexual chemistry

How many of these are total deal breakers and not just desires? So far, it seems without 8/10 it becomes a deal breaker. The list used to be like 22 things, so this is a major improvement! But, even here, my friends think I should be focused on a nice man, and let some of the other things go (all their “nice men” are well off, intelligent and kind – and not good looking).

I’m at a loss lately and I feel like a spoiled brat, but I haven’t figured out what I can give up or even that I should give any of it up. Dan and Tony hit 9/10. Bobby to 8/10. Only Mike hit 10/10 and he wasn’t interested enough in me for unknown reasons. I still daydream about Mike and wonder why not me? I suppose he’s my unicorn.

If I’m not attracted to someone, how do you overcome this if they meet a bunch of other great criteria? Even the dating service I went to debated this with me – saying most women wanted a nice man and were not so worried about a mans looks. I don’t know how you have enough chemistry with someone you are not attracted to -to then go on and have decent sex? If Im not attracted enough to want to kiss them, how does the rest follow?

Ugh.

He’s A Nice Guy (Pt 1)

I was thrilled to have an exploratory interview last week and when I’m not feeling like I will jinx myself, I will write a post about it. It was sort of like talking to adults again for the first time in months! I felt my brain turn on, the adrenal rush my best skills coming out to play.

The interview was early afternoon and I had time to kill between the interview and meeting a friend for dinner. I had been talking to a match for a day or so on Bumble and had mentioned the break. He offered coffee post the interview and I accepted.

Right away there was a good connection. Scott was very responsive in text and conversation flowed easily. I was looking forward to meeting him, and attempting not to focus on his looks. His photos were cute, but not especially my type. I’m trying here.

Meeting him in person was pretty much aligned with what I had thought about the photos, good-looking but just not my type. The bigger disappointment was height as he indicated 6′ and if he was even 5’11” thats being generous. I HATE when guys lie about height. It is such a turn off to me. I was determined not to let the height thing get in the way of getting to know him. But, this shit sticks with you.

We had a nice date and sent a couple hours together before I needed to meet my friend. I thought he was kind, funny, interesting and fun to be with. There was an undercurrent of something I didn’t like and I still haven’t figured out what it was exactly. There were NO obvious red flags which was refreshing. When we left the bar we were at, he walked me to the restaurant to meet my friend. He pulled me in for a nice kiss and we were totally in sync. It didn’t send chills down my spine but it was a good kiss. Ever since Douchebag Jim I realize the importance of a good kiss even more acutely. Jim’s crappy kisses that one date really stuck with me more so than some others. He held my hand on the way to restaurant. I was comfortable.

While I was with my friend he sent a few follow up text to say he was thinking of me and couldn’t wait to see me again. At that moment my friend was telling me how jet-lagged she was and she wanted to cut the evening short. When I told Scott, he asked if I would come to see him (same city, different borough) and my (silly but sassy) answer was “I don’t cross bridges!” He immediately offered to come get me for our second date.

Before he arrived he had done some research on bars in the area and had a fe options. We walked hand and hand to check them out and decided together they didn’t have the right atmosphere for one reason or the other. We landed up finding a New Orleans style bar that was ideal, and it turns out we were out on Fat Tuesday, so the bar had a New Orleans style Second Line band (think mini- marching band!) We settled next to one another into a bench seat facing into the bar. The manager was friendly and kept giving us free Hurricane shots (after 1 I was done and he drank the rest). The music was fabulous and I found myself just sort of falling back into his embrace as we watched them play. We both had massive grins plastered to our faces, between the kisses and the music the night was really nothing short of great fun. It will be a night to remember because of the easy spontaneity.

Of course, now that the night is late and we have been drinking, he is asking me to come back with and I agree. He is very clear there is zero expectation of me, just that he doesn’t want the night to end. As we know, this is the prescribed line at this point in the evening, and I expected it. Unusually, I believed him. There was nothing in his behavior to suggest he would push me.

And he didn’t. Not once. Nothing inappropriate. He made sure I had water on my side of the bed. He wrapped his arms around me gently. Yes, we made out (a lot) and yes we were mostly undressed. He asked if his hands could wander. He asked if I felt comfortable. He didn’t cross any lines I wasn’t allowing him to cross. And then, I wanted sex, so that happened. Again and again until we fell asleep. Sex was good and he knows how to use what he’s got. He is intent on providing pleasure and looking for my cues. We fell asleep entangled and woke up and did it all over again. We were both very comfortable with the other and he was in no rush for me to leave.

The most notable thing to happen during ht evening was a surprise I still haven’t quite processed. As we were fooling around, but before sex, I mentioned my surgeries and scars. Without missing a beat, he lifted my shirt to look at my belly! I was so startled I didn’t know what to think. Before I had a chance to process (anger was the first immediate thought) he said “who cares, you’re gorgeous, your body is gorgeous and everything about you is beautiful.” And, I believe, he meant it because it was so matter-of-fact. But still, I was so caught off guard and just didn’t know what to make of his bold move. We moved into sex after that so I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t remark on it again until the morning when I said I couldn’t believe he did it. He told me I was nuts to even let it cross my mind and said he wanted to hear the story when I was ready to tell it. The reaction of the men I have had sex with is exactly what Dan told me months ago, no one would care. It’s me, I care, it bothers me. The trick is trying to get over not letting it distract me and Scott removed the distraction immediately.

We walked to coffee together and he saw me to my car. Before I left he was making plans for our next date. He works between two major cities and his home is in the other city, but he stays in one place for a few weeks at a time. I didn’t ask when he would be back again, but I know he is here all the time. He offered to get a hotel close to my home so he could see me the next evening (as his company is paying for a hotel anyway) and I agreed. I suppose that would make it date 3.

The thing is, I don’t know how I feel. I don’t have a good reason not to be into him other than, perhaps, his looks. He isn’t unattractive, he just doesn’t “do it” for me, at least not yet. He’s a nice guy, so whats my issue?

He is interested, I like him, so I agree to the Thursday date. If he could go to the trouble to work from my area and make sure he saw me before he left the city, it was a good sign.

Is Sobriety a DealBreaker?

I’m just going to say, before you read this post, I really struggled getting these thoughts out of my head and onto the page. This post may not actually make a lot of sense, but its on my mind and I did my best to articulate what I’ve been thinking.

During this most recent dating spree, I am finding more sober men than ever before. I have been so curious about this! It certainly wasn’t this obvious even a year ago, and suddenly it seems like 6 out of 10 men are sober.

At first I thought its because of the health craze sweeping our world. Everyone wants to have some form of healthy identity and the two most identifiable life choices are plant-based diets and the health benefits of no alcohol. However, for me at least, health as a life choice hasn’t been the defining reason the man has become sober. The men I have met are all recovering addicts. Maybe they have taken that to the next level and also become super health conscious as well, but the primary reason for sobriety has been addiction recovery.

Out of curiosity, I have done some reading of late around addiction recovery. Part of it was driven by the fact that I continue to encounter men in recovery and should learn more about it, part of it was wondering if all men in recovery have a sort of “strange quirkiness” I can’t quite put my finger on, and part of it is because a friend of mine spoke about people she is close to in recovery in an entirely different way than I had experienced.

My experience, while limited, has never been positive. Any man I know in recovery has some weird quirk to them (and these are all different, but all equally off-putting). One man was so self-absorbed in his sober journey he was unable to create normal relationships around him. Another spoke about the program on rotation, and related everything back to the program. Another seems to have replaced his alcohol addiction with an exercise addiction. Yet another wasn’t actually recovered at all and had to keep going back to the program. What is quirky about any of these men? Nothing I can put in writing, but there was “something” unidentifiable that was evident in each of them.

I suppose I could relate on some level, their addiction journey to my trauma. Has my trauma defined my life? Drew a line through it definitively at one point and changed me forever? Yes. Yes it has. Is recovery something like that? I think so. So, I do believe I have a slight understanding how something can alter the course of your life forever and create a new path forward, one you must stay on for a multitude of reasons – there’s no going back. And then, how that life altering experience generates an entirely different outlook on life.

So, based on the above, if I can somewhat relate to a transformative journey, why do I feel something so very different with a recovering alcoholic? Is it simply a reflection of how I feel? I like to drink and catch a buzz and shit does get funnier with me when I do- am I passing judgment on them that it can’t possibly be as fun for them? (In truth, it never feels as fun with them). Drinking and socializing around drinking is a real thing. So, ok, if I were to date you there may be less of that – I think I could live with that since I’m getting older anyway and its not a bad lifestyle choice to reduce alcohol consumption.

But thats hardly it. It just starts there. And the rest I can’t even put into writing. I simply cannot explain the weirdness I have met with the sober men.

I went on date Saturday night with a man named Tim. There’s not much to write about the date itself, but he is the reason for this post as he is sober. 10 years recovering. For the first time, I met someone who was recovering that was actually funny! Maybe not belly laugh funny right away, but he had a good sense of humor and kept thing light and interesting. That was nice change. We were not a match for a few different reasons, but I was unsure (in his case) how much of that was down to sobriety. Tim was sort of attractive, tall, well-employed, interested and interesting. Started off pretty good. He asked a lot of questions. We were aligned on how trauma can help make you realize how good it feels to help others through their own personal traumas and most times is even good therapy for yourself. He looked pretty haggard as many do when they come out of years of alcoholism, but that wasn’t really bothering me as much as I just noticed it. His body language was off, he had a hard time determining what to do with his hands and body – and later said it was because I was so physically distracting. He was polite. Not a whole lot wrong on the surface, but my red flags were that he was going through his second divorce and had a strange living situation with the soon-to-be-x. Both his wives cheated on him and he didn’t really know why. He was very direct and transparent about anything we spoke about, and often got lost in his story before he realize the might have gone to far for a first date. Some of these things could have been pushed to the side and perhaps explored further in a second date, but I couldn’t get past a feeling of discomfort with his for no apparent reason. He had a weirdness to him I could’t identify.

He asked me out again at the end of the date and I said I would like to think it over. And I did think abut it, almost thinking I should go on a second date to explore what was off-putting a bit further. Ultimately, I wrote to him this morning to say I just didn’t think we were the right match and he wrote a great reply back:

Hi M: Thanks for your candor and kindness. I too agree with your assessment, though I will confess that part f my distractedness (you’re a great body language reader) was imagining us in an intimate situation. You’re stunningly attractive. Stay Well.

Normally I don’t reply to a follow-up text but in this case I did and we have agreed to stay in touch and he subsequently offered help with my job search as he is a sales coach. He is kind and generous but there were things about him I couldn’t put my finger on and I decided to listen to my gut for once.

Ultimately, Tim is the reason I began to debate with myself if sobriety is an actual deal breaker for me or no? I don’t have the answer to that except I wouldn’t eliminate someone based on sobriety as I had done in the past.

A close friend debated this angle with me for some time as her close experience with sobriety is that people who go through the program become much more selfless and are concerned more about the care of others than they are for themselves. A man who worked the program successfully would be a kind, caring and attentive partner. This friend also knew Tim though work channels and thought he was a really nice guy.

Which brought up a whole host of other questions from her as well as other friends: why can’t a nice man be enough for me?

Well, that’s the question of the century now isn’t it?

Just as a side note: in my reading I came across this article n the NYT. I thought its funny how people equate the drinking to being fun and the activities offered at some bars that might give you the high of a buzz without the alcohol. While all of this sounds fun, it totally misses the point of MY reflection on sobriety. Of course I can do all these things without alcohol and have a shit ton of fun, and really hope anyone I am with can do the same without alcohol. It feels like two totally separate things to me – going out to socialize with alcohol and sometimes what that brings, and going out to socialize if you didn’t have alcohol. I don’t feel the need to replace the buzz of alcohol with high intensity activities at a bar when I am out – I would happily participate because they are fun activities and I would get a rush from the fun. For me it simply goes back to “are you fun or not?” If you are, you can get a high from fun without drugs and alcohol, but it doesn’t mean you don’t ALSO (perhaps) want the high from substances.

I read the article and fund it interesting.

Are All The Single Men Named John?

I had yet another date with a John. This will count as John #5!

Short post because there is not much to share.

We met on line, he seemed to have all my basic criteria, though I questioned his size. I really don’t like slight men. Too skinny is a turn off for me no matter how muscular they may be. Again, trying to get out of my comfort zone here.

I knew right away there was little laughter to be found. He was interesting, but boring.

My friends tell me I’m just expecting too much, so I persevere.

He is an anesthesiologist from the city, but lives close to my home. Older children, 57 years old, supposedly 6′, and likes yoga. Very smart and well-educated. That already sounds boring, right? Good family and friend base.

We met locally for drinks and he stood to say hello so thats when I knew he wasn’t 6′ as I was wearing flat boots. He looked really cute in his photos but the angles of the photos did a really good job of hiding his balding. I’m not opposed to men losing their hair, but when you try to hold on to it for dear life and are well past the point it looks good, just shave it all for goodness sakes. It was weird looking. He also had on glasses (none in the photos) so it took a minute to see his handsome face behind the heavy set glasses. He wasn’t overall bad looking, just mousey looking. He already looked dull. And maybe the smallest hands I’ve seen yet. He sort of reminded me of a librarian.

I sat and he didn’t ask if I wanted a drink, so I flagged the bartender on my own. He then also ordered a glass of wine for himself. Some of my friends say this is down to nervousness, but I say its just someone who isn’t really interested or paying attention. Conversation was stilted and it came to light he’s only been separated out of the house for like 3 months and I was one of his few dates. I didn’t drink much but felt like I did because I was babbling. Couldn’t seem to get the conversation flowing in any way. Neither of us was interested in the other and it was pretty apparent an hour in. There was zero chemistry.

We had our drinks, walked outside and said goodnight, no kiss or hug and no promise of speaking later.

I did get a text from him about 3 days later saying “we are not a match” (I use the same words!) to which I replied with appreciation and we wished each other the best of luck. See! How hard is it for adult to act like adults?

All Kinds of Attraction

*Somehow the original was deleted and I’m too tired to go back and write the entire thing….so this was left in my drafts but I can’t find the original anymore. This date would have been the first in the non-drinker series and happened about a month ago*

So my first “non-drinker” date was John (John3). There are actually a bunch of things about John that would lead me to knock him off my list, but I didn’t in the hopes to expand my dating preferences.

This hasn’t workred before but I am truly attempting to be tmore open minded to what the Universe sends my way.

John is 6’, bald and interesting looking. He wanted to move off the app and into text quickly. Through text I found he had 5 children ages 7-17, is not yet divorced but has been separated for 6 months and living apart, was a naval officer and is a practicing LDS. He’s moved around quite a bit and all his children were born in different states or countries. His wife asked for the divorce but he claims he wanted to work it out and she was unwilling. He lives quite close. He has a very interesting job in cyber security and it seems quite stable and lucrative. There was no crazy reason not to meet though there were a few flags in there I was aware of.

Setting up the date took a few left turns. When we were due to meet he cancelled at the last moment but quickly asked to reschedule. Specifically for a day and time I had already told him I was unavailable. The thought crossed my mind that he wasn’t paying attention. He asked for a coffee date on a Sunday, another day and time I told him I wasn’t available. I was sensing a theme. He seemed eager to meet me.

Turns out, my Sunday plans cancelled and I let him know I could meet. Again, setting the time felt like deja vu because I had already given a window of availability. He suggested lunch and we meet at a local bar/restaurant of my choosing. I knew he was working around his kids and making the time for me, but it didn’t feel right for some reason. I ignored these few things. I ignored them because I wasn’t overly interested in him, more curious.

I arrived first and ordered a glass of wine. When he arrived there I noticed a few things (again, I didn’t place a lot of value on these things individually). He slumped forward onto the bar, arms folded. Poor posture is a real turn off. He grabbed my hand and rubbed it quite quickly. This turned into a hand in my leg. He couldn’t carry the conversation unless I presented the topic. He stared at me (uncomfortably so). And then, I felt it.

Attraction.

Slight, not glaring. I was attracted to him physically. Once I recognized the feeling I started looking for signs. What was it? His eyes, lips, mouth, nose, voice? What? Unidentifiable. Smallish hands made me think small cock. Not the best dressed. Still leaned over the bar. Hasn’t asked me to eat lunch yet. Hasn’t asked me one relevant question. But, it was there. Animal attraction.

So here’s something I’ve learned about myself. My sexuality comes off like a fucking homing beacon. I don’t know why or how but it happens almost every single time. And once my brain senses the chemical attraction I must be like a skunk that sprays its scent and it’s unmistakable. This is awesome when I’m super attracted to someone. Not so awesome when they are less appealing because it reels them in faster than I’m ready. I can tell the difference between someone who is truly interested in me AND sexually attracted to me now and John was giving off sex only vibes despite his few words to the contrary.

Two things happens that could have led to different paths.

The first was when I asked about the breakdown of his marriage. He really played this off as a sexless marriage. He made some speech about sexless being that they only had sex a couple times a month! Wow. He doesn’t even know the meaning of sexless marriage. When I asked him if he ever cheated because of a “sexless marriage” his answer was vague at best. He had a 2 year “emotional affair,” according to him. As it turns out that affair “crossed the line” multiple times – but to limit wasn’t really anymore than an emotional affair. He found may ways to explain off what he had done. He also didn’t seem to want to end his marriage while she did and he blamed that other inability to work through their issues in therapy.

Gee, I wonder why? You think she saw a cheater when he didn’t even admit to cheating? He reminded me of my x in that respect. I was disgusted by this, but not enough to end the date.

The second thing was he wanted to talk about sex and his prowess. This is a sure-fire way to know a man is only interested in sex, they literally can’t help themselves. I also know, as it seems to have been proven, most men who need to talk about it are actually not the best in bed. It’s more bravado and self-affirmation than skill. To have fun with this, I made a point of telling him that men who spoke abut this only wanted one thing, and it put them into a pretty crass class unto themselves. He acted all surpised and put off and made an attempt to not speak about it. But, he couldn’t’ help himself (as a side note, later when we were texting, he suggested multiple times I wanted to “see it” and I had to continue to decline photos).

The long and short of it is, he left and we made plans for a second date. I did not have a good vibe about him but was really curious to see what had so attracted me to him when he really wasn’t even my physical type.

We text for the next several days between dates. He was traveling and insisted he wanted to meet me on his way home. I gave him multiple opportunities to cancel due to travel, but he continually declined. Ultimately, his flight was so delayed that I ended up at the bar we selected as it was closing. I made suggestions for alternatives and he was weirdly stubborn about trying anything outside of a small radius of his apartment. We finally landed on something. But, by the time we did I was angry with him for being so difficult and making me wait due to poor communication (I understand travel causes delays, but he wasn’t clear on his status).

I arrived to the bar first again, and when he did arrive, bag in hand, he immediately kissed me hard. He couldn’t contain the lust in his eyes, body movements etc. He wanted me to pretty much guzzle down my drink and get out of there. I should have left but I was still curious but what sex with him was going to be like since I was so attracted, and that attraction was strangely and stubbornly hanging on. I don’t know why – I didn’t really like him as a person by this point.

In the end, I ended up in his bed. He was pretty lousy. He also had no cock to write home about for all his talk of 9 inches (and, no lie, he quoted his size). I’m such a size queen thats probably what got me into his bed! He asked me how many times I came and I was pretty quick to say “none because you didn’t really spend any time trying.” He then said he was just so tired. But, the fact he even thought I came was fascinating.

Talk about a delusional man. It was evident in the way he spoke about his marriage, his sexual prowess and the fact he actually thought he was a decent guy.

He fell sound asleep after sex and I waited until his breathing steadied before I dressed and slipped out. He text about 30 minutes later that he couldn’t wait to see me again.

Delusional.

I text back the next day to let him know that was never happening again! Nicely, of course. No one likes to be on the driving end of a crap message.

Was it another wasted date or wasted sex? Maybe. I didn’t enjoy myself and its the second time I had sex where, once I started, I was sorry I let it get so far.

(The Douchebag date happened AFTER this date, so I know I have shown slight progress in not having sex I don’t want. I am clearly still pretty screwed up with allowing myself into these situations to begin with)

Freakishly Far Out of My Comfort Zone

I can’t even believe I am about to type out this story, and it does made me giddy happy in hindsight.

I had a Peloton class on Valentines Day, then plans for brunch with the girls to follow. A normal Friday for me.

As we were waiting for our class to start, the previous class lets out. People hang around waiting to get photos with the instructors and a handsome, very tall man just happened to be standing in front of me. My friend and I noticed him at the same time because he looked like he may have just died in the class because his face was so red! My friend made a funny comment and we began chatting.

Every single hair in my body stood at attention. I was immediately attracted to this man. His appearance, his smile, his voice, the way his eyes lit up when we engaged him. Bang. Hard and fast immediate attraction.

Wow.

I don’t know when that’s happened to me last. My x husband in 1991 maybe? Sure, it happens on a date when I have seen a photo, spoken to the person and then I’m excited to meet them – and it only gets better in person. But this was in the wild – entirely unfamiliar to me. At first I didn’t even know what I was feeling, I just knew I wanted to talk to this guy, even after my friend walked away. Slowly I realized he was feeling the same. But why wasn’t he asking for my name? I got distracted when he stepped away for his photo and our class was called in. That was that.

Until after the class, when we were at brunch, and my friend asked what happened. She saw the sparks flying. I was sad to admit nothing happened and bummed he didn’t ask for my name. I had looked for a ring and he was wearing none, so it registered he was potentially single, but it all happened so quickly and when they call you into class, you have to go.

We tried to figure out a way we could determine who he was. Our Peloton community for the tread isn’t that big yet and it might not be that hard to determine who he was. The ladies gave me some suggestions, but I wasn’t seeing how I could contact him through Peloton other than following him on the leaderboard. I knew he was from out of town in any case and was leaving early the next morning to visit his son in college.

As it turned out, one friend left something back at the studio and we needed to return to retrieve it. As she looked for her item, I logged in to the studio class at the studio (so you can see who was in the class IN the studio) to see if I could identify him. I’m sure privacy issues apply, but if you don’t want to be found, your screen name shouldn’t be as obvious as your real name! His leaderboard name was his real name and location, so I knew, by location (his was unusual) that it was him. I followed him immediately. I had to assume he would know it was me by my photo.

My friends, and the studio team, were super stoked – finding a Peloton man in the wild was exciting! But, we had no idea if he was single or not. As we headed home, one friend did some google searching for me and he came right up. All his story checked out, but it appeared he was married. As soon as I got home I found him on Facebook and was able to see his profile because we shared a common Peloton group. Bingo. I could now contact him.

As I was sitting there stalking, I saw he followed me back on the leaderboard. Talk about a little rush of adrenaline! It opened the way for what I did next.

I stepped way, way, way out of my comfort zone and took a chance. All the while wondering how I would feel if a man stalked me like this. I literally couldn’t help myself. I needed to know who this man was.

I sent him a FB message. I was blunt and straightforward. “Hi John. ok ,sorry if this is stalkerish….we met this morning at the tread studio….you just made me laugh so I looked up your LB name and then FB popped right up from the Peloton page. Not sure if you are single or married, I noticed you didn’t have a ring on, so don’t want to over step…Madeline”

His reply, within minutes: So good. Text me (phone #)

So, I did.

Here were the first few text:

M: Hey it’s M. I am a complete Pelo-stalker!

J: You don’t even know what I was thinking this AM. I was completely attracted to you.

M: Was? Over it already?!

J: Still do. OMG. I was trying to look for a ring but couldn’t figure it out. Where are you now?

M: I’m home. So, no wife or girlfriend then?

J: No. I can’t believe you left. Why didn’t you take a picture with me?

M: I don’t live in Idaho. You didn’t even ask my name.

J: I felt so awkward with your friend there. Where are you from?

M: I can’t believe I just Pelo-stalked you. I have crossed the crazy line.

J: I love it. I think its great. What are you doing tonight?

So, as you can guess, we made a date for the evening. He chose the place and it was perfect. He text me the rest of the afternoon, entirely engaged. Kept asking me where I was if I didn’t respond quickly enough and showing a lot of excitement to meet me. He expressed that he was dying to meet me and he was beyond attracted. It was endearing and not crass. I was singing and dancing when I was getting ready. I hadn’t been this excited for a date in a long while.

He gave me his full name and LinkedIN (not knowing we had already done all the ground work!) We chatted back and forth while I got ready to go back into the city to meet him.

I had to break a dinner date with a local girlfriend. I see her all the time and the plans were loose, but I haven’t heard back from her since I text her so I suppose she is mad at me. I had to follow this through. The energy I felt with him was incredible for such an instant.

He had a business meeting at 4pm and asked me to arrive by 4;45pm. I was a bit early at 4:50pm and I could see he was still in discussions. It was awkward, but I walked over to tap him on the shoulder and he asked if I could give him a few minutes. It was an unfortunate start that took off some of the shine, and I don’t know who felt worse about it – him or I. I waited at the bar and ordered myself a wine. He came to get me perhaps 10-15 minutes later and apologized and gave me a huge bear hug. Akwardness gone.

We spent about 4 hours sitting in one place talking. We laughed easily, we talked about many things, and we were both engaged. However, I didn’t feel the same intense pull from him that I felt in the studio. I felt the same, just didn’t feel it in return. He wasn’t doing or saying anything contrary, its just what I felt. I learned a lot about him that would make him less than an ideal match for me, the biggest difference being that he lives in South Dakota! He is basically a highly educated, well-bred, well-spoken, affluent redneck! He spoke about his cattle like one would speak about a lover and I hate animals. He spoke abut the flat, starkness of the land and the peace of sitting looking over his working farm and I like cities and hustle and bustle. He wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and I wear Louboutins and all black urban clothing. He is diabetic and doesn’t drink while you all know how I love my wine. He is separated and not yet divorced but they live apart for 1.5 years. Are these red flags or are this just differences? In the past, these would all be red flags for me.

He lives too far away. South Dakota doesn’t even qualify as a place I want to visit, where is South Dakota?!

Cowboy hats in the city? Yes, its sexy. Once. (but, OMG he was HOT in his hat and it brought me all the way back to Bobby wearing his cowboy hat!)

Animals? Oh hell no. I’m scared to death of all of them.

Hunting? A double hell no to dead animals.

Diabetic? I don’t know if I can handle the limitations.

Being at peace with the land? Boring. Bring me the city lights.

Chewing Tobacco? Now I understand why your teeth are brown (and I, unfortunately, blurted that one out)

Yes, I’m sill confused. I’m still drawn to him and its not a sexual thing. I just want to be close to him and know more about him. (KDaddy – you see, I’m trying broad new horizons here!)

Time rolls by and he mentioned he needs to leave to walk his neighbors dog. What? Wait. Your neighbors dog in SD? Nope, he has an apartment in the city.

Ahhh, maybe not such a redneck after all. I go through this with him to find he’s here abut every 2 weeks for work. Sometimes longer. His family is local (as is the x), his son is in VA in college, and the daughter in SD in college. His son will be working in the city come this summer, so he intends to be here quite often. He is absolutely a redneck at heart, there is no doubt of it. But, he has a very broad high level role that takes him traveling all over the nation and world. This is the most interesting dichotomy I have come across in a man. Im fascinated while wondering what the hell is drawing me to this man!

He tells me he doesn’t want the date to end and it caught me by surprise. I genuinely didn’t know. That is rare. I can usually pick up quickly if a man is attracted to me (beyond physically). I was caught off guard and told him so – he seemed surprised that I didn’t know how attracted he was because he hadn’t stopped staring at me all night.

Honestly, I was baffled. He never made above to touch me. Yes, he was looking at me all night, but staring? I didn’t feel that way. He never, not even once, crossed any lines beyond friendly. I really just felt like we had a super lovely time but no indication he was interested in seeing me again post the date until the moment he asked me not to leave him.

He hesitated and finally asked if I could come back to his apartment, then paused, and admitted he knew that was wrong but he didn’t know what else to do and he really had to walk this dog. The neighbor had started texting him more frequently in the past hour as he hadn’t replied to her with a photo of the dog. I suggested we just find a bar close to his apartment and park me there, he could walk the dog and come back to me. So thats what we did.

When we got in the uber I was very surprised how he leaned over to pull me in for a deep kiss. Oh my. Such a good kiss. And such a surprise.

We drop him at his apartment and then I head to the next bar. And here’s where I made an error in judgement. I drank too much. I was done at the first bar, three glasses off wine over the course of 4 hours was plenty. I didn’t need another glass, but because I had to sit and wait for him, I ordered another. Then when he arrived, yet another. The last one tipped me over to uninhibited. I became sexual.

We were joking about something and I picked up on innuendo and said “blah blah you can’t jerk-off like that” and he nearly died of shock. He asked me if I literally just said “jerk-off” in everyday conversation. I took it a step further and asked what other words I shouldn’t be using in everyday conversation and eventually we got around to something like “Fuck me harder, John.” I thought he was going to die on the spot and I couldn’t stop laughing. The error in judgement wasn’t that I didn’t get us both hysterical laughing, or that he thought I was crass….wasn’t that at all….but he had been so respectful all night and something inside of me needed more validation than the words at the first bar that he was absolutely attracted. It wasn’t enough for my ego that he didn’t want the night to end. I had to push it in a direction I knew I was more in control of the outcome. I am so angry I allowed this to happen, and didn’t really understand until hindsight why I let it go that way.

Now the poor man was turned on. I don’t think he knew how to handle me. I know he was fascinated and in that moment he reminded me of Tony. When we kissed goodnight, I could feel just how turned on he was.

But then, something. Something else unwelcome. I felt like I made a mistake as I got into the car. I don’t know what or why but its just the feeling I got.

I text him when I was in my own car on the way home, to thank him. I got back a few one word answers until I finally said “did something go sideways at the end? Did I say something to freak you out?”

I was pretty sure he fell asleep at that point so I didn’t see the reply until I woke the next morning. “Sorry, fell asleep. All good”

I waited til about midday to reply when I hadn’t heard more from him. Asking him if landed safely as he was traveling to his sons college. No reply. All day.

Now I’m sure I’ve done something wrong. I sent another text later in the evening. I’m so angry at myself for being unable to let things go. I am unsure how I even feel abut this man so why am I pursuing?

Why? Because I had to know why he went from texts all day Friday, words that indicated he was interested in more, and then – nothing all day Saturday.

He did reply to my second text, briefly. And the next change went like this:

J: Sorry. Just got done with the game now. Just a crazy day. Heading to dinner now.

M: ok. Your’e sure? If something did change, you just need to ell me what’s up.

J: Just a long day getting here with delays etc. Heading to eat now.

M: ok, maybe we can chat later if you’re up to it.

J: yes! Sounds good.

(later)

J: Still out catching up with my son.

M: Thanks for letting me know. I’m headed to bed myself. Text me tmrw?

J: Yes. So tired. I’m up past 9:30pm two nights in a row!

(the next morning)

J: Morning. Headed to services then bowling then airport, busy day!!!

M: Good morning! Enjoy church and bowling. Text me when you’re settled in airport.

The best I can infer is that he is interested and got the message he had fallen down in communication with me. I had my little foot stomp I suppose and I’m over it. If he continues to communicate, great. If not, I’m still glad I pursued the energy and had a date with him – we did have fun. I didn’t sleep with him, or even go to his apartment. At least some boundaries stayed intact for once!

This is going to be difficult if it move forward, thats clear. But, I am hoping gives me the opportunity to meet him again when he is back a week from now. The communication would need to sustain in the meantime, of course, so let’s see how it goes.

Also, a little more FB stalking in my anger phase leads me to believe there is quite a bit more to his separation story than he shared. He had a LOT of very positive posts about his wife right until 1.5 years ago, so I wonder how it all fell apart. Yes, he gave me a version of the story for a first date, but I’m curious to know why she wanted a divorce when he was clearly in love with her (according to FB posts and you always know how true those are! lol)

More to come? We shall see.

Douchebag Jim

I’m giving away the ending with the title.  Oh well.

I think I could write a series on this one event, honestly  This one threw me for a loop.  But, I also still haven’t learned to write in an edited fashion and tend to write out every detail, so I’m going to try something different with this post.

This is a GREAT reminder that I should ALWAYS trust my instincts.  I could have done worse, BUT, I still didn’t listen to the little voice inside that told me he wasn’t for me. Before I was sick, I didn’t see so many of the red flags that I pick up so quickly now.  Now, I see them and tell myself “maybe I should give this person a chance.”

Wrong.

I’m doing that because I’m lonely and it leads to nothing.  I am trying to fight this deep seated loneliness (of course compounded by the fact I have no job and that makes me feel worthless) and I do better some days than others.  I am losing my tolerance for these complete assholes lately, and there are so very many of them in the dating world.  Which is also why I think I’ve given the sort-of-too-boring (for me) men a chance more recently – though that hasn’t worked well for me either.

I met Jim (Jim2) just about a week ago on Bumble.  We matched, we text on the app a bit and exchanged numbers.  We spoke quickly on the phone to arrange an unusually fast date.  He lives in the city but was coming to a town close to me for a business meeting and would I consider meeting him for a very quick lunch?  I agreed and found a place for us to eat and would need to drop him at his appointment post lunch.

Jim checked all the boxes, on paper, all but one  – he wasn’t specifically appealing to me because he was a redhead, but I wasn’t going to eliminate him because of it.  When I met him, I was attracted and that was all that mattered.  He was 6’1″, lawyer turned investment banker, 57 years old, moved to the city 6 months ago, 2 older boys in college, ex wife of 10 years lives in another state, charming, very educated, gregarious and ambitious.  Not exactly funny, but we did laugh together.  This was off to a very good start.

Now here’s where I am going to try something different with my writing so I’m not literally mapping out every minute of my dates.  Bear with me if the style is awkward, I’m trying….

Our lunch went well and we hit it off.  He asked me for the next date before he left which was so refreshing. He kept in touch by text, but nothing over the top.  I ignored the little cues I was picking up in favor of the fact he wanted to meet again quickly and I enjoyed my time with him.

So, what were those cues:

  • The kiss was off.  Not bad, just slightly off.
  • He spoke immediately how he wanted a travel companion for upcoming travel.
  • He referenced often how compatible we were too quickly.
  • He mentioned I had great, sexy legs when I was wearing an outfit that you actually could never tell what my legs looked like (with sneakers no less!)

The next day, during text, he told me he had to go to Denver for business and wanted to convince me to come for 2 days to go skiing.  I didn’t jump at the chance, but I did ask my entire tribe of family and friends and everyone thought I should go, assuming our next date went well.  However, I had a lot of scheduling conflicts I would have to move around (an unusually busy week for me) and I didn’t have any ski clothes that would fit, so I had to ask a lot of people to see who might have something I could borrow. We spoke about it on the phone a bit more and my mind began its machinations to move mountains to join him for a coupe days skiing, assuming our second date went well.  The bottom line, if I were to agree to go it wouldn’t be super easy to get it all together, but I could do it.  Skiing was super appealing to me.

The second date was easy too coordinate and came together well.  He chose a wine bar conveniently to where I was in the city (thoughtful on both counts) and had already chosen the second bar we could try.

When he walked in, there was no tingle.  For whatever the reason, I wasn’t excited to be with him.  It wasn’t intentional, but it was an internal let-down for me.  In any case, the night was young and we got to chatting.

Things that went right:

  • We both liked wine and he was happy to choose the wine and made a great selection
  • He is easy to talk to  and seemingly transparent
  • He spoke often about his family and friends
  • He spoke highly of his children and didn’t speak negatively about his x
  • He was full of compliments for me
  • He was publicly affectionate

Things that caused pause and then full-out raised the red flags:

  • He was overtly publicly affectionate, all he wanted to do was kiss.  The kissing went from pretty good to ok, to not good at all by end of evening.
  • He talked so much about his life he neglected to ask about mine
  • He was planning all our future trips together
  • He began talking about sex, despite the fact I prefaced (after his first comment) it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about.
  • He “just had” to tell me how big he was.
  • He kept saying “when you meet so and so”

So, I have to evaluate….if I liked him more would the red flags have been ignored?  I have ignored them in the past for sure.  I would have jumped at the inference in his words – talking about the future together.  But not this time.  Something was off from the first date and it just went more off in the second.

BUT I STAYED.  This is where I question myself.  I can’t seem to just walk away and end a date.  Perhaps in the back of my mind I was thinking that if I was going to spend two days with him skiing that I really needed to be sure, really sure.  At least, thats what I’m telling myself in hindsight.

As we wrapped up our time in the second bar, he explained to me that he had gotten a hotel room because his son and friends had camped out in his 1 bedroom apartment.  This was just weird.  I knew this meant he expected me to stay with him and he had made a predetermination that that it would happen before we even went on  the date.  It bothered me yet I did nothing about it.  We went back, had some street pizza and then I ultimately caved to going to his room.  I knew I had drank too much and didn’t want to pay for the uber.  I convinced myself that he would hold true to his words and not try to convince me to have sex with him.  I made myself quite clear with words, but the action of going to his room is all he understood, right?

The night did not go well and my behavior wasn’t so great.  We crawled into bed and I left on my top and panties and he left on his trunks.  We cuddled and he kept trying and trying to move it forward despite the many times I removed his hands.  Eventually, we fell asleep and then, at some point,  he forcibly woke me mid-night to try again.  This angered me because I wasn’t sound asleep but made zero indication that I was willing to wake up.  I had to physically roll away at this point.  Morning came and we once again cuddled , but then he took my hand to his cock to “show me” what I did to him.  I pulled away and got out of bed.  Time to go.  I had had enough.

Before I got dressed, though, I made an apology.  I had gotten my period and was entirely uncomfortable being in bed with him (partially true – though the greater truth was that he made me uncomfortable).  I also had horrid night sweats and leg cramps that evening.  I was just terribly uncomfortable all around and I did push him away multiple times, and not gently.  I apologized because it wasn’t nice and would leave anyone wondering what they did wrong.   I believe I expected him to then fess up to being overly aggressive with the sex but he didn’t.  He just said he was glad I stayed because I had too much to drink the night before and that I should have shared the details with him earlier.

He came to get coffee with me and get me on my way.  I asked him if he wanted to look at flights while we were getting coffee and got brushed off -I knew in that moment he was done with me, despite what I thought or felt.  Asking bar the flights was intentional, I had started to sense the change from the moment I pulled my hand off his cock.  However, he text me later than day to say he had a good evening and hoped to see me again which caught me off guard.

I waffled.

How much of the evening went sideways because of how I felt, and how much went sideways because he was really a douchebag?

Well, the answer became clear by the next morning.

I replied to his text within the hour and never went back to check until the next day when I realized I never heard from him again.  The text wasn’t in imessage blue but was green.  I  knew I had been blocked.  So I sent it again and it went to green immediately.  I called his number for verification and it went straight to voicemail.  He had sent a text to ask to see me again and then promptly blocked me!

Here’s the thing – it was all so wrong and I had the gut feeling the entire evening.  I was proud I finally didn’t have sex when I didn’t want to and I felt better about myself the next morning.  I should have been more honest and told him immediately that it wasn’t working for me, but I waffled.  I waffled because I am so fucking lonely and its distorting my ability to make better choices.

The night we spent in bed was horrible.  Worse than the night I spent with my sympathy sex guy Chris  .  At least Chris didn’t push me the way Jim had.  During the evening with John, I really got to a point where I didn’t want to be touched or kissed by him at all – YET, I questioned MY OWN BEHAVIOR the next day.

I was pretty angry to realized he was such a douchebag to block me without having the courage just to say “no thanks.”  I don’t understand a 57 year old man being such a complete coward.   Of course, it made me feel like shit and begin questioning myself all over again.  In hindsight, despite his words to the contrary, he was only out for the sex.

Me being me, I sent a burner text the next day telling him what a coward he was.  No point in doing so, but it made me feel better to have the last word.  It was a polite text, mostly.  Then I blocked and deleted his number – not that I would expect a reply – but to be sure I never had any need to communicate with him again.

There was just so much nuance to this date that I didn’t capture in an effort to make the post shorter, but thats mostly it.

What have I learned?

Trust my judgment, I am not usually wrong.  Stop feeling guilty for no reason and stop being coerced because I’m lonely.

 

 

 

Getaway

I haven’t been writing because the truth is there’s just nothing going on. And when I mean going on – not that I don’t keep busy – but my brain feels empty. I feel a bit like I’m disappearing if that can be a thing.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself for all the same reasons prior to the holiday. I ended up so very sick before Christmas that I almost cancelled. The apathy was so strong and layering in a nasty sinus infection made me just lose interest. I was surprised at myself, but that’s where I landed. The apathy created a hole I couldn’t fill. I was feeling like no one really cared what I did or how the holidays went. It didn’t feel important. When I’m not feeling loved I just want to disappear into myself and be left alone – which simply makes it worse, I know that, but that’s what happens.

I ultimately had to convince myself that I would regret not doing all the normal Christmasy things so I found the energy to be present and do the things. I feel sad that the woman who took such joy in these things wasn’t around. A little death, if you will, for the old me. I was there but not in spirit. I’m don’t even think anyone noticed and just assumed I was sick.

Without a doubt I know I need attention. I’m not getting it. Not from my kids. Not from my friends. No partner. No job. A total lack of attention coming my way. It just compounds how crappy I feel. I stay as connected as possible to my Peloton groups because I do get a certain amount of attention there. I’m developing new relationships that start virtually but which I can continue IRL. It doesn’t replace my true long term friendships but it does create a sense of belonging for me. There’s a part of me that is saying “this is a false sense of belonging, you can’t belong to society virtually”. There’s another part of me that says “who the fuck cares, it makes you feel good where you have nothing and no one else”. I don’t know which side of my brain is even right at the point so I do what feels good. It’s a bit like blogging I suppose. Here’s my life in writing and some people interact with me creating connection.

Anyway, not even the reason I started this post. I think you will be proud of me regarding dating. I know I have finally gained a little control over myself. Maybe without all the stressors and pressures of real life I can more clearly see the shit my subconscious has done to me with dating and I’m able to put Trixie on complete lockdown. Not having a feeling of desperation is a relief frankly.

I shut down the dating apps right after Halloween and maybe before Thanksgiving. Somewhere in that period after the last date I had sympathy sex. It wasn’t easy because I needed my ego to be stroked over the holidays and wasn’t able to have that from a partner, even if they were temporary or incompatible partners. In any case, I succeeded in staying off until last week.

I had met Dan around Halloween and we’ve been on a few dates. He doesn’t live here so I’m at his mercy for travel. We already agreed there was nothing more or less to our interactions than enjoying one another. His lack of communication still aggravates me but I generally get over it as quickly as it comes. He shows zero interest until he can meet me and then makes plans. When I’m with him he’s totally focused. We have a fun time. The sex is really good. His cock is literally perfection. There is no depth to our connection.

I caved against my better judgement and asked him what he was doing for NYE hoping he would ask me to join him so I didn’t have to be alone. He originally thought it was a good idea and then decided he would be home (or rather available) with his (older) children. However, he did tell me he was traveling just after the new year and asked me to join him on a short vacation before his work event. I agreed.

So here I sit in the sun by the pool after a weekend of sex with him. He is here for a week and I chose to arrive early Saturday and leave Tuesday. That seemed like enough time to spend with a stranger I wasn’t interested in cultivating a further relationship with.

It’s definitely not easy for me to interact at arms length. I want the romance and silly engagement a love interest brings. But I KNOW that’s not what this is or what it ever will be so I keep reminding myself not to attempt to solicit it from him. I am certainly operating in a strange space. There’s no hand holding, cuddling and giggling. There’s a little of it, of course, but it’s not the constant engagement you get when someone really likes you. There’s a huge part of me that keeps thinking “why don’t you like me MORE?!” That’s the part that wants to see what I can do to engage him more. My common sense has prevailed and I haven’t done any needy moves at all. Not once. That’s why I think you would be proud of me. No tricks. No ulterior motives. I give back what I’m getting. We engage nicely, we laugh together, have really good conversation and we like to drink together. It leaves me wanting more but I think what stops me is I simply know I don’t want more from HIM. It’s a little hard at moments to not be sad I can’t have a normal dating relationship, then I remind myself that he likes me enough to have invited me to spend time in a beautiful resort, all paid for by him, and there’s nothing wrong with where I am right now. This is ok. My person will come.

I can be mostly at ease with him and just talk about whatever I want. I don’t have to worry about how I’m perceived in terms of keeping the relationship. In that respect it’s a bit easier because I’m not always thinking around the corner. I’m just enjoying the time. On the other hand, I can’t be the person I am in relationship that I really like – I like that girl who fawns over her partner and has love in her eyes. I like that connection, the attention and appreciation. I can’t even leave my eyes open during sex, looking into his eyes is just weird. Feels wrong. So I keep them shut, which also feels wrong but it’s the only way I can immerse myself into the feeling of simple sex and eliminate the “need” for heart felt connection. And the sex is really, really good so I am enjoying it immensely.

The whole thing is weird. Not as in wrong, just a new, strange experience. I feel like there “should be” more and I feel like I want more, but my brain is actively overriding my emotion and shutting that shit down to keep it where it should be. It’s an extended booty call.

Learning how to accept comments for face value and not look for more isn’t easy for me. Accepting there is nothing more coming is a new feeling and not a comfortable place for me. However, just like exercise, I now understand I’m going to grow because of the discomfort and that it’s ok to live in an uncomfortable space for a while.

We get on well. He’s really, really good in bed and has the most amazing body for a 52 year old man. He’s not bothered by my scars or loose skin and has clearly told me they don’t matter to him at all. He’s super smart so I enjoy our conversation. I’m not particularly attracted to him so there’s this part of me that wonders how I am managing that disconnect so subconsciously.

So here I am, sitting in the sun even though it’s a little chilly, writing this post and drinking my coffee. About to get motivated to get a workout in at some point today. Not thinking much which seems to be the only way I get through these days of late. Like I said, I feel like I’m slowly just disappearing.