2 Dates 2 Days 2 Duds

I can definitely feel a bit of woe-is-me at the moment. I just want to date someone for chrissakes and I swear there are literally no available, worthwhile men at the moment. My friends are experiencing the same frustrations so I know it’s not just me.

When I’m frustrated like this I don’t make good choices.

I’m sure it was a bit of aggravation around Marshall’s communication that led me to deciding to meet John for a date. We had been chatting back and forth by text for about a week – very randomly and nothing intense, and had already set up a date, when I realized I hadn’t spoken to him on the phone. We agreed to a quick chat the night before our planned.

His initial text cadence was healthy and engaged and not over the top. But when I got on the phone with him, it felt like another person entirely. I chalked it up to nerves at first, but the conversation never improved. We went from seemingly having things in common to a relatively glaringly obvious mismatch. I knew from the phone conversation I shouldn’t have planned to meet him. I was actually annoyed with his phone conversation for reasons I can’t quite articulate – but that was the feeling I was left with which certainly isn’t a good sign.

And, I was already unsure about his looks. I try to be democratic in my dating choices, I really do, but I clearly have a formula for my physical preferences that is deep seated and hard for me to overcome. Tony overcame them, that’s for sure. But no one before or since has been able to jump that hurdle in my head.

We met the next night and, while he was exactly the physical let down I expected, the night started off well-enough. Until 10 minutes later when we didn’t have much to talk about. I have dozens of funny stories and good experiences to share and I do so easily, but only when I feel like the conversation merits that kind of engagement. He didn’t ask questions, he seemed oblivious to how to engage me (or any woman) and came off kind of dumb (maybe dopey is a better word because I know he’s smart and well educated with a good job). He couldn’t explain his job to me. He talked about his kids as if they were gods (this makes me nuts when parents are so in love with their kids that they are seemingly perfect) so finally I asked why he got divorced.

His reply “I have no idea.” Ok, that’s a first. No idea why you got divorced? After 3/4 years? Then he said she “cheated” on him. That would be “cheating” while they were separated under one roof and she already said she wanted a divorce. He really couldn’t pinpoint the demise of the marriage. I found it baffling. But then a light clicked on, he’s oblivious. He doesn’t see anything really except through some weird rose color glasses. Just gets through life one day to the next with no particular path or ambition. Everyone should be happy and there should be no conflict with anything. Once I realized just how oblivious he was, I asked if he had been dating. He then explained two relationships where he dated a woman for several months and then they just ghosted him. Had no clue why. Wow. Repeat behavior and he still can’t figure himself out.

We had been drinking – he drank more than me believe it or not – so the night passed with my inquisition ūüėā into his life because I was fascinated. Same behaviors with family and friends. Relationships dissolved and he had no clue why. Just went along with life.

We kissed goodnight and it was horrible. He asked me out again and I nodded but couldn’t bring myself to say much, even though I knew we were not going out again. The next day he text politely and said a entirely ridiculous thing about fashion – looking back I didn’t respond very kindly (I was direct and to the point which can come across aggressive or mean in a text, I get it) and then I haven’t heard from him since. That’s fine. He wouldn’t understand why anyway! ūüėā

The next day I had matched with Jon and he gave me his number quickly because he was at soccer with his son. We had a quick back and forth exchange and then he sent me a video of a program he hosted. He looked super handsome, had an amazing voice, and was obviously really, really smart. Maybe an hour of back and forth text and he asked me out for that evening. I figured why not, lasts nights date was a bust and maybe this handsome guy would make up for it. At least he didn’t seem oblivious to the world.

Welp, I was wrong. Jon was equally as oblivious to the world as the first John. I couldn’t even believe I found two in a 24 hour span.

He was handsome and well dressed when he arrived. We started conversation pretty easily and found unusual topics for a first date (sustainable environments and criminal negligence). We made it through the first drink unscathed, until something dawned on me about his job. I asked him more detailed questions and uncovered that he had been a city cop for 20 years until retirement, and only more recently had become a professor (the video he sent me). Without any doubt, he was suppressing the city cop in him – I know it’s biased, but no joke, they are all seemingly cut from the same mold. He was putting on a little performance for me with his professor side because he felt I was an intelligent business woman. Was this super obvious – no, but the cues we’re there and I started picking up on them one by one.

Then I noticed other similarities to the first John. I asked this Jon about his marriage and he also stated he had NO CLUE why his wife wanted a divorce. By the time she told him she physically served him with papers. He spent a good twenty minutes talking about how this all went down and how he thought about it while I ordered my second glass of wine. Listening to him speak was like watching paint dry.

What happened to the interesting man he stared out to be?

He couldn’t hold up the performance. He is as dull as the day is long. He has no idea just how dull he is. Another oblivious man. I can’t believe I found two back to back.

This was the first date in a long time that I actually HAD to drink just to get though. I tried multiple times to end conversation and leave and he wasn’t picking up in any cues.

By the time we did leave I was pretty buzzed but not enough to ask him back to my place. Didn’t even matter because he invited himself – which I said a flat out NO! to. He wouldn’t stop talking to me by the car so I finally leaned in for a kiss goodnight and holy hell was it awful. His tongue was like an iron rod jammed into my mouth with zero flexibility or motion. It was the strangest kiss I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t stop kissing him fast enough to get away from the poker tongue! ūüėā

I told my close girlfriend the next morning what happened and sent her the video he had shared with me. Turns out her sister had gone out with him the week before and felt exactly the same! When he text that morning he mentioned he would like to be waking me up in his “special way” and I quickly wrote I didn’t think we were a match.

With both men I recognize my lack of sticking to my “list” of requirements – at least my initial ones (that have never been wrong). I need to remind myself that, when we have the first phone call, if he’s not easily funny and I’m not laughing then he’s not going to be any better in person. Also, if the conversation isn’t organic (meaning you don’t have to pull out info, questions come from both sides easily, you are reciprocally engaged) then that also won’t be any better in person. Without fail, those two rules of mine have NEVER been wrong. The dates suck when the men don’t engage and are not funny. The dates are great when they do. This is exactly how Tony got around my physical attributes – he had me laughing so hard and was so engaged that I knew I had to meet him, and he kept it coming.

Just to add some insult to injury, a third man I was speaking to via text only also told me he had NO IDEA why his wife wanted a divorce. I went back and looked more closely at his photos, and while he was super handsome, he also looked intimidatingly serious. I dove into his background a bit more and found out he was also in law enforcement for many years. It felt like deja vu! I politely and quickly told him we were not a match.

I know I’m cycling too fast and need a break, but while I’m out of work dating is a great time filler and distraction. I just wish there was one decent guy out there for me.

Goodbye Marshall

This post is going to take more time to write than its worth.

But, the thought of Marshall woke me in the middle of the night and I had to have a stern taking to myself.

I didn’t answer Marshall’s phone call Thursday. Nor did he leave a message. Didn’t hear a word from him at all. And it was bugging me – figure that one out – I don’t care about him at all, had no desire for anything more or less from him, but it bugged me he just ghosted me like that.

So I text him Tuesday and a quick recap of the text went something like this:

M: Hi Marshall

Him: Hi Madeline

M: How are you?

Him: I’m well. Working and making bulletproof meatloaf. How are you?

M: Bulletproof meatloaf? What needs to be bulletproof about a meatloaf? Or do you mean you leave out the bread (that just makes it a big meatball! ūüėā)

M: My friend was here all weekend and we went to 13th hour haunted house and had so much fun screaming and running!! The actors loved us!! ūüėāūüôÉ

Him: Yes essentially a healthy meatball. Glad you had fun.

M: Is something wrong? You didn’t exactly open up conversation in that last text and I haven’t heard from you in a while.

Him: Tried calling you Thursday, didn’t hear back.

M: You left a message?

Him: No

M: I missed that but don’t know why you wouldn’t call or text again.

And that’s it. No reply. Nothing.

So why does it bother me? It shouldn’t because I already knew I didn’t care. In our last conversation prior to this I was sort of getting sick of trying to understand his perspective on lifestyle coaching and getting zero engagement.

For instance, he wants to coach people on the importance of sleep. Since I had done quite a bit of research for myself earlier this year, I felt I could discuss this topic with him and open dialogue. He started with “I get a solid 8 hours of deep sleep every evening as tracked by my special watch.” I asked if that was possible because in my research NO humans need or get more than 2-3 hours of deep sleep per evening because you need more REM sleep. He flat out disagreed, told me his research and his watch supported it and basically shut down my information. In frustration I went back to do more research and came up with the exact same info after digging further. He told me I wasn’t looking into the right resources. When I asked him which resources he only indicated research from his coaches. He is like talking to a wall. So as much as I wanted to learn more, his inability to flex (which he claims is his greatest strength) was astounding.

I’m convinced this is a man who isn’t capable of deep relationship. He doesn’t have ANY. He has just started a relationship with his 17 year old daughter in the past year. When I ask who his friends are and who he confides in and speaks to, he can only refer to his coaching buddies.

I guess I’m am entirely confused about what self-actualization is because it feels to me like self-absorption.

Anyway, this post is about me, not Marshall.

Why did the idea of him not replying to me wake me up? I hate when people say one thing and behave differently so this normally eats at me – but I didn’t like him enough to let it disturb my sleep. So that’s when the stern talking to cane into play. I told my brain to shut down, I do not care about Marshall, I do not care that he is the only man in my life at present, he wasn’t going to fill any real voids for me and I wasn’t going to allow my brain to throw a wrench in that I “needed” to hold on to the little I had with him.

Nope. Not holding on, brain, so let it the fuck go. There will be better for me. Period.

Once I properly chastised myself I fell immediately into a sound sleep, woke up and deleted Marshall.

I am still surprised that, even though I have come so far that my brain wants to go back to its bad habits. I don’t need a man like Marshall in my life JUST to have a man in my life, they are a dime a dozen. I want the right man and he was nothing more than a placeholder. Placeholders shouldn’t wake me at night or even require thought.

Like I said, that took longer to write than it was worth. But it’s good for me to continue to remind myself I am worthy. Marshall, on his best day, didn’t deserve me.

Thank you, next.

Tonight’s date is with John. I already know this isn’t going to go well after we had our first phone conversation last night. I’m sitting here typing this berating myself for being a coward not to cancel the date after I spoke to him.

The Candy Man

Since Marshall wasn’t really right for me, I have been peeking in and out of the dating apps. ¬†I connected with a man who, on paper, seemed like a pretty good match. ¬†Handsome, tall, well-educated, good job, looking for a LTR.

Jim is a nice man with plenty to say. ¬†Easy to connect with on text and looking forward to a phone call. ¬†We chatted by text a couple days and then had one call before he was off to China for a week for work. ¬†He was super easy to talk to and had an interesting background, but there were two things I couldn’t quite put my finger on. ¬†One was the nasal pitch in his voice seemed to come and go depending on how excited he was when he was talking. ¬†I know this probably sounds rude, but I’m not saying it to him so here goes – when he got excited about something and started laughing and speaking, his voice rose in pitch and became almost whiney and was a real turn off. ¬†He also found himself quite funny and I couldn’t even follow his stories enough to get the punch line to laugh, I kept thinking I was missing something! ¬†The second thing was how he spoke about himself in passing and that he referred to himself as bad, goofy, and some others that I can’t recall – but words I wouldn’t really want to use to describe a man (or even myself) . ¬†He was also very focused on physique and more than once said how handsome, youthful and fit he was. ¬†Don’t bang your own drum, dude, ¬†Its so not attractive.

I guess that was more than 2 things I noticed were not quite right.

He kept in touch via text while in China, which was nice, ¬†A daily short check in, nothing much. ¬†We had another phone conversation when he returned from his business trip to set up a date. ¬†The seance phone call cemented the feelings I had gotten in the first, he wasn’t right for me.

I already knew before the date I wasn’t going to like him enough, but I wanted to be hopeful. ¬†He was super nice.

But, on the second phone call he also explained he was married twice. ¬†2 older daughters on this coast and 2 younger daughters on the other coast. ¬†I know life takes some pretty strange turns, but an absent parent to 2 small girls, one who is autistic, strikes me the wrong way. ¬†I’ve really gotten judgey lately.

I arrived to the bar, my standard first date bar, and he had secured a seat for us.  The waiter came quickly to offer drinks and we started chatting.  He was handsome, but (keeping with the judgey theme here) not my kind of man.  Since I had committed to the date, I was going to be pleasant and hope for the best.

Jim is easy to talk to, there’s plenty on his mind. ¬†He asked me so many questions that I spent some time story telling. ¬†He has ADD so he often had me repeat and backtrack. ¬†He commented after a while that I wasn’t asking him any questions (see, in my mind, that means the person isn’t really all that interested in you when they are not asking questions – I don’t ask because I don’t need to find out more because I’m not that interested….I think everyone does this) ¬†I did ask him some more questions about his children and he tried to tell me several stories that he started with “this is a funny story” but honestly, it wasn’t. ¬†He just wasn’t funny and his storytelling ability wasn’t all that strong.

Then he teased me about a few things. ¬†Teasing is ok, even funny sometimes. ¬†But when it’s done over and over, repeating the same tease, it becomes unfunny pretty damn fast.

On my profiles I indicated I am 47 when I am actually 52. ¬†I do this for search purposes and every profile also clearly states my correct age within the profile. ¬†Its common dating app behavior. ¬†Since he missed the fact that I was 52 in the profile and had to go back to check, he quickly made a joke (in one of our phone calls) about my lying on the dating sites to get younger men. ¬†I did try to explain why I did it, but he didn’t want to hear it – he thought it was hysterical that I lied. ¬†And that became his “go-to” joke of the evening. ¬†I believe he probably commented on age about 10 times before I finally told him I didn’t find it funny. ¬†It didn’t bother me, I wasn’t upset, it just wasn’t funny. ¬†At one point when he did it again and I rolled my eyes, he jumped up to come over to hug me and say he was sorry if his teasing upset me. ¬†I explained to hime, again, I wasn’t upset, I am not worried about my age, I simply just didn’t find the humor in it, yet he kept joking ad nauseam. He didn’t see my point of view and insisted I was really upset that he was teasing me. ¬†I really just wanted to get out of there at this point.

Jim works for a large candy distributor and had brought me a massive bag filled with goodies from his work, he was really kind, but he was (exactly as he had described) goofy. ¬†Goofy is not a trait I like. ¬†You can be goofy with your kids, you can be goofy with your mates, but when you are on a date – please don’t be goofy. ¬†I don’t think he can help it, he is actually a goofy kind of guy in a doh-doh-doh kind of way.

The date went fine, we shared some food. ¬†He did another (what he thought was kind) thing and let me order an app he knew Ioved but he wouldn’t eat, and didn’t say so. ¬†When the food came, of course I only ate half and the rest went to waste. ¬†It wasn’t until a bit later whenI realized it was being wasted that I asked him if he didn’t like Tuna Tartare and he admitted he didn’t but was trying to be polite. ¬†I only thought it was wasteful – had he told me he didn’t eat it, I would have eaten the entire app myself and only tasted the others, allowing him more food for the choices he liked. ¬†Or, just not shared. Either would have been fine had he spoken up. ¬†It wasn’t a bad thing, I just thought it was a bit strange not to speak up.

He mentioned multiple times how his new apartment really needed a woman touch.  He complimented me much too much, particularly on my shape (muscles and slimness).  He was a bit googly-eyed over me, which would be welcome when I like someone! :\  He talked to much about his own age (57) and how youthful and fit he was.  Honestly, he did look younger than his age, but not as young as he thought Рhe did not look like a man in his 40s.

Jim really didn’t do anything wrong, he was just too goofy for me overall and his whiney voice grated on me by the end of the evening. ¬†I had to drive him round to his car parked in a further lot so we kissed goodnight….it was not a good kiss, so it further cemented the “definitely not for me in my head.

I thanked him in person and by text later that evening. ¬†He text 2 days later that he was thinking of me, or at least I think thats what the text was because he used an acronym I never say “TAU” (thinking about you?). ¬†I didn’t reply as I was out with my friend, but I also still haven’t replied. ¬†I should be kind and not ghost because I know how it sucks. ¬†If he writes again, I will be honest, but if he doesn’t, I will let it go.

I feel like dating is becoming more of a drag than not lately.

 

More Marshall

Marshall did come back after our first date and subsequent first date sex.

I know that I am enjoying time with Marshall because there is no one else and I find him harmless. ¬†And, I mean harmless to ME. ¬†Marshall just isn’t the kind of guy I can fall for.

I believe I mentioned in the first post that he didn’t ask very many, if any, questions. ¬†He feels like he is exactly where he is supposed to be in life and things that are meant to ¬†be will manifest themselves, he doesn’t need to pursue them as long as he stays on the path he is on. ¬†He doesn’t feel as though his life is missing anything, including a partner.

He can be equal parts interesting and frustrating to speak to. ¬†Interesting because he’s got so much training in his coaching fields and I am curious about that. ¬†But he is actually unable to share much because he will often say his meetings and courses just manifest themselves into something special thats hard to describe. ¬†He can’t actually explain what they talk about, what they accomplish during courses, and how it gets applied. ¬†If ¬†I were ask him to give me some pointers or direction, he tells me that coaches are good listeners and not there to offer advice. ¬†When we speak about something that he “knows about” there is no debate or discussion because he has already done his research and made up his mind about (whatever the topic is) and doesn’t see the point in debate as he knows he is correct. ¬† ¬†I find it nearly impossible to have an actual engaging conversation with him, or perhaps better described as a reciprocal conversation, because he doesn’t actually interact in that way – now I am finding HIM hard to describe! lol.

Marshalls communication cadence is a killer for me in any relationship that I am interested in pursuing further. ¬†He will write and call at random, say random things, and then not appear again until a day later. ¬†When I questioned him about this, and also explained that it was difficult style for me because I am a words of affirmation person, he reinforced it was “my issue” because that was his style. ¬†He isn’t tied to his phone and doesn’t let that guide him during a day. ¬†He texts if he is thinking of me, but it doesn’t mean he needs to engage in further conversation with me. ¬†He calls when he wants to hear my voice, but doesn’t leave a message asking to call back, or even send a follow up text to say he called.

I tried to flirt with him a little by text and ask if he liked it.  He replied of course he liked it and it was very welcome.  But after a few sexy text with no engagement, I stopped.  Non-reciprocated flirting is not fun.

He stopped by my home twice for a quick visit and some general making out and we discussed where we would have sex. ¬†My boys are almost always home and my house would take some planning. ¬†He said he had no issue having sex at his home, with his older daughter upstairs. ¬†We planned the next date out, with an unspoken arrangement to go back to his home afterwards. ¬†One night he was over we got a bit hot and heavy and I was pleasantly surprise he was able to make me cum, quite hard, with his fingers alone. ¬†I don’t recall the last time a man did that. ¬†I was left breathless.

So, I had pretty squarely put Marshall into the “right now” camp and was content with my decision. ¬†Decent enough sex, fun enough dates, and a nice enough man until another comes along thats more engaging than he is.

The next date was fun, I stick to two glasses of wine which is enough for me to loosen up but not be drunk. ¬†During the date I told him I had quite a bit of surgery and was conscious of the scars on my belly during sex. ¬†He acknowledged it, but didn’t say anything. ¬†I’ve already realized Marshall is never going to “give me” what I need – the words, but I am still struck by his lack of engagement on whats clearly an important topic to me. ¬†Other than the first date, he has never commented on my looks, what he likes about me, what he likes from me, or what he finds engaging between us. ¬†That’s because, for him, everything is as it should be and it doesn’t need discussion. ¬†This is starting to irk me, but I am trying to understand his perspective and ways because I am curious (enough) about him.

When we went back to his house, my brain went into judgement mode, which is a bit unusual. ¬†The house is so tiny, but ill kept. ¬†Crammed with furniture that doesn’t belong in a small home, poorly organized. ¬†It didn’t feel clean to me because there are gadgets everywhere – air purifiers, water purifiers, a little indoor garden etc. ¬†He has a dog which is allowed everywhere in the home, and I personally don’t like this. ¬†Even Mike’s apartment, which he had only lived in for a few months, felt clean, organized and well kept. ¬†This house felt like a shell with lots of stuff crammed inside. ¬†This wasn’t a great feeling for me.

The sex that night was good, not great. ¬†Sort of like the first time. ¬†He tried to make me cum, but my body wasn’t having any of it. ¬†I really didn’t know what he liked and didn’t like other than his cock staying hard. ¬†His body odor disturbs me a bit. ¬†Because he is all-natural everything and wants to eliminate all toxins where he can, he doesn’t use deodorant with aluminum. ¬†But when he sweats, the deodorant he is using just isn’t doing the job and I am super sensitive to smell. ¬†He is also fully ketogenic – so he sort of tastes mildly like broccoli.

The night wasn’t bad, but since we walked in his home, I was off….my brain was whirring in too many directions.

A day or two later I happened to be at a grocery store near his home and he happened to text. ¬†He asked me to stop by, so I did. ¬†we took the dog for a walk and chatted about random nonsense. ¬† He always holds my and which is sweet, and stopped for multiple kisses. ¬†I wonder if he thinks showing the attention is enough? ¬†I don’t even know.

Thats was last Monday. ¬†I didn’t hear from him on Tuesday or Wednesday, nor did I text. ¬†Thursday night he finally called me, but I didn’t answer because I was going out on another date. ¬†He didn’t leave a message. ¬†I’m writing this post on Sunday night and I still haven’t heard from him.

I’ve thought about him, and I’ve thought about texting him to say hello. ¬†Some little things with me have happened that I know he would be interested to chat about. ¬†But, I feel like “why”…why should I bother to reach out to him when he doesn’t seem to even try to communicate in a way that works better for me. ¬†In a very passive way he has made it clear this is how he does things, and he doesn’t see the need to change.

He said one very telling thing to me the last time we were together – that he has only ever been in love once with the first girl he dated. ¬†He’s never had his heart broken by a woman and he loved his wife, but wasn’t necessary in-love with his wife. ¬†He just thought getting married was the thing to do then. ¬† ¬†He hasn’t even felt the beginning stages of love in the past 20 years. ¬†Don’t you think that’s a bit odd? ¬†Don’t we all get those butterflies at some point when we meet someone great?

I think he only gets that feeling with his life coaching things, he talks about his coaches and his practice like a lover and gets a glow on his face and a far away look in his eyes. ¬†Maybe he doesn’t actually know how to love a partner because he’s so self-absorbed. ¬†Someone said in the comments that addicts tend to become addicted to something else once they stopped drinking and I can see how addicted he is to getting to his next level of self. ¬†He talks about the theory of aging backwards and living well not your hundreds – when he asked if I am interested in that I clearly stated “No.” ¬†I mean it, I don’t want to outlive my children, family and friends even if I am in the best health in the world. ¬†I am also just fine with a little bit of negative ions, aluminum in my deodorant and carbs. ¬†I now he doesn’t think his life is hard work, but it is for anyone around him – he just doesn’t care.

I have said to him I think it would be quite difficult for anyone to be in relationship with him unless they were in a similar space of growth. ¬†He disagreed with me, because he sees me as open-minded and in a hyper-growth stage of life. ¬†I don’t think he even sees himself anymore, he’s chasing some sort of feeling, some place of perfect self-actualization. ¬†I read that people who are seeking this state, or have attained it, tend to prefer to be detached, like their privacy, and are independent of their social environment as they are so hyper-focused on self-growth. ¬†I don’t even think I want to be with a person like that – I want them to be focused on me AT THE SAME TIME they are working on making themselves a better human!

I admit I am interested and curious about all of this self-actualization and the coaching, but being around Marshall oftentimes just feels weird, like we are not sharing the experience but we are both in the same place at the same time having the experience together – does that even make sense?

Anyway, I find it curious he hasn’t called me or text me in a while, so that may or may not be the end of Marshall.

 

 

Big Sister

I’m struggling being a big sister to an adult woman. Since I was adopted, and raised apart from my half sister, our relationship is non-traditional. We are closer than ever as she approaches her wedding day in 2 months, but this closeness also brings frustration learning about one another.

We have the built in family connection. She’s my sister and I adore her. I prioritize her in my life. I realized after my breakdown last year how much she adores me back and I was taking her love for me for granted. I have tried to be much closer to her this past year. My timing may suck since she’s about to be married, but you work with what you have.

The wedding, of course, is anxiety fueled and she’s an emotional creature – maybe even more so than I am. We are quite similar in our ability to be so direct it often comes out unkind and we’ve definitely been having our share of crossed wires.

Lately I just feel like ALL the wires are crossing and we can’t have any communication without a misunderstanding.

I have to admit sometimes I find it all too much. I am still struggling to find myself and I know the people around me are frustrated that I am still depressed so I’ve mostly stopped talking about it with them. I call if I feel I hit a bottom and need support, but otherwise I’m back to remaining silent about my own feelings. In particular, I don’t want to cloud my sisters special time. I already have terrible shame that I chose to go to Mexico for the surgery the day she got engaged. Even though the subsequent terrors were not of my doing, they impacted her in a significant way as she tried to support me…during what should have been the happiest time in her life. I will never forgive myself for that and the shame and guilt I feel is overpowering.

But every time I try to do what I believe would please get, I seem to get it wrong. Maybe it’s because I don’t actually know her well enough. Maybe it’s because I see her through a different lens. Maybe I’m trying too hard. Maybe I just don’t know how to have an adult female relationship that’s as close as ours is. I don’t know.

I do know it’s bumpy and I want to fix it, but that can’t come until we can have a serious conversation/ maybe early next year. I just don’t want to add any anxiety. But, I fear it’s all I seem to be doing lately.

Planning her bachelorette has been horrible. What I wanted to be a classy and fun weekend isn’t the experience her friends, or her, were expecting. They would have been happy with a pizza and beer weekend – and getting a bit sloppy drunk. I shouldn’t have taken the responsibility on my shoulders when I don’t know her friends well enough. I should have asked more questions and spent less money. But I planned what I believed she would love, and it turns out it’s all too much. For her, for them, for me. I’m just over it all.

Without getting into the entire story, I just wanted the long weekend to pass with her being happy and no one else complaining. I wanted it over before it even started. I am too old to be doing this for the first time. What started out as excitement and anticipation has turned into a bit of dread.

I also found it highly unusual that every friend of hers was invited with a plus one and I wasn’t, when I asked to bring one before the invites were sent. ¬†I replied with a +1 even though I didn’t actually have someone to bring. ¬†Her mother doesn’t think I should have the distraction because I will be “working.” ¬†Working until the party, then mostly alone as the ones I love are in the spotlight and its not “my” family exactly. ¬† I do want to bring a date, but I don’t have someone who can easily fit in, so I am going to let them know, but I don’t actually liked being told I shouldn’t have a date. ¬†They seem to be worried I would be distracted with a date – who wouldn’t show up until the party in any case. ¬†I am already going to be distracted with 3 teen boys trying to get dressed in Tuxedos when I am not there to help them.

I just want her happy and I seem to be failing at giving her this happiness. Now I just feel like I will also fail her the day of her wedding as the Maid of Honor. It’s overwhelming me and making me want to pull away and get away from being in such a close relationship. It makes me realize I’m not very good at relationships like this, and makes me think it’s why I attract men who aren’t ready for relationships. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I don’t think I put negative energy into the universe but lately I feel so judged.

Judged that I went to Mexico. Judged that I’m now too skinny. Judged that I like fancy things. Judged that I speak my mind and it doesn’t always come out so nicely. Just always judged and found lacking. I don’t know when I’ve felt this defeated (consciously felt at least) for such a long stretch of time.

The only single place I feel at ease, confident and comfortable is within my Peloton community.

Granted, much of that community is social media and not “real” relationship, and maybe that’s why I feel safe. I do have real life Peloton friends as well and I feel like their entire approach to life is just different than what I’ve experienced ever before. It’s a community of support. A community of accountability. There are challenges we all get to meet together. We work together towards a common goal. It makes me want to help others who are just starting out with changes in their lifestyle.

Some days I seriously consider becoming some type of coach. I think I have a lot to offer if I could find the right niche. (I believe even Morava picked up n this in a comment!)

And, if the saying is true that you attract what you put out there, then it’s super interesting the man I’m currently seeing is in all sorts of transcendence. Maybe a bit too much for me, but I’m sure I could have a lot to learn from him.

I’m unsure how to manage my sister. I’m turning inward which is also making her upset because I’m withdrawn but I don’t know what else to do.

I read a few of her text and her Mom’s text to a friend of mine and she felt the same way -that somehow I was being penalized, or perhaps “managed” is a better word. ¬†“we’ve got to make sure Maddy doesn’t jump off the deep end again” or “we don’t want any drama at the wedding.” ¬†I may be wrong, but my instincts with these types of things are not usually off.

The wedding is now 3.5 weeks away and what was very exciting for me to be a part of feels like a drag now. ¬†I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, yet I feel like something is wrong at every turn. ¬†I am truly happy for her and I am touched to the core she asked me to be the MOH, but I am starting to feel like I was put in this position so I can be managed, rather than because I was her first choice. ¬†It just sucks, feeling this way before the wedding when it should be such an exciting time for both of us.

Another Chapter Finishes

I learned last week that my contract will end in my current role. I wasn’t surprised, but I was hopeful.

I suspect they did try to bring me in, but I’m overqualified and they are laying off, not hiring. I believe I made a decent impression and showed them what I can bring to the table what they do not have within the team.

In any case, my last day is next week

That also means the money dries up. I don’t want to panic, but I’m pretty anxiety ridden about not having an income. I can manage for a month or two, but beyond that I have to start to withdraw from my long term savings which makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I’m sick of running as fast I can in life and I feel like there’s no rest. It always feels like an uphill battle. I didn’t think I would burn out the way I did last year but it’s had such a profound affect on me that I can no longer think and behave the same. I don’t want to work like that anymore, I want to live and breathe. But. Money.

Same as anyone else.

I’ve been looking for a job for a solid 6 months and there has been absolutely nothing out there. Even lower levels or different industries. I can’t even get an interview. My friends who lost their jobs in ’16 along with me are in the same boat, but they are all married and have 2 incomes. I know they feel pressure but it’s a different kind.

My x has stepped up a bit more than usual. I think I’ve learned a lesson on how to interact with him so that it doesn’t cause me massive anxiety. He will push me to a breaking point and I just can’t waiver with my initial decisions. I notice when I stay the course, and really refuse to budge that he backs down and makes his own decisions, which have actually included contributing to some finances for the kids.

I’m very worried and stressed. Add a relatively newish relationship with my adult sister and my nerves are not doing well. I find myself wanting to retreat from everyone again and hide. I’m beginning to think I’m really just not a social creature. I don’t think this is a new feeling for me, I just don’t think I’ve identified it before and tuned into it. I’ve always said I don’t really like people, but more and more lately, I don’t really like anyone. My frustration with people rises quickly and maybe it’s because of my anxiety, but maybe it’s because I just don’t like social interaction. I don’t really know but I think it’s something I need to pay better attention to.

Speaking of which, I have my sisters bachelorette party Which I worked really hard to plan and now feel like I’ve been penalized for over-planning. I wanted to surprise her and make is super special and it seems she would have been happier being stupid drunk for 2 days with no planning.

Lately, I feel like I can’t catch a break.

Yesterday

I’ve been thinking of Tony on repeat for the past 48 hours.

My son and I watched a movie called “Yesterday” based on Beatles music. The movie is super cute and well worth the watch. I hadn’t heard of it before and it’s about a worldwide blip which erases The Beatles from existence (along with cigarettes and Coke among other things!). A young man takes all their songs and reintroduces them to the world, having to recall all the lyrics and music makes the movie so much fun along the way and it’s entirely singable. Very quirky and unexpected.

All I could think of was “I knew a person who could have been the lead in that movie”. Tony has been in my mind since I’ve seen it. He would take such joy in this movie and it’s silly and sweet journey. I couldn’t help but think of him all during the movie (besides the fact he sang many of these songs over out time together) and in the following hours.

Plus, my son and I have been listening to the Beatles on repeat for 2 days as well.

It’s sort of killing me inside.

So what can I do about that? When something resonates so strongly it becomes a physical thing again. I know what joy he would get watching this movie. I would love to share it with him.

Nothing. I can do nothing.

What did I do?

I posted on IG, and now I know he’s watching. I posted that the movie was fabulous, you should go watch it and “I used to know someone who could be the lead in this movie because he knew every song by heart.” I posted what I was thinking and feeling.

Is it poking the bear again? Maybe. I am not trying to solicit contact. That was the best way I could get this overwhelming feeling out into the universe without reaching out to him directly.

So there’s that. ūüôĄ

The First Surprise

Ever since A week ago Sunday I’ve been pretty mellow. Whatever was eating at me, which probably included some PMS, has passed. I am overall less anxious.

I am bummed about Mike. Yep, I still think about it. Is it obsessing? I dunno. Maybe. I am starting to believe it’s just the way I process stuff. Maybe I can’t change that, maybe I can. I still really don’t know. I only know I can control the behavior. I made a last attempt, despite my better senses, and invited him to a party this Saturday. He replied immediately, said he was interested, and then said he had to see what his kiddo was doing. It took him 4/5 days to get back and decline. I suppose at least he’s polite? Ugh.

I also suppose that’s the equivalent of sticking a needle in my eye for a man I’ve only gone out with twice. I shouldn’t have done it. He’s past his expiration and I need to stop.

But it does eat at me. I just wish I knew why with these guys. What is it that I can’t seem to make it past the start? I don’t think it’s sex, I just don’t agree that’s the deal breaker for seeing someone or not again. I believe he met someone else around the same time as me and she’s a better choice for him. Or whatever. Who cares. I need to stop thinking about it.

Tom continues to check in mostly daily. A good morning almost every single morning and then a random evening check in. I will reply like I reply to any friend. But the minute I sense he wants to get sexy I just stop. Sure, I would love to go out with him and give him a sexual spin per se, but I’m not interested in the phone sex with him. He can’t seem to find time to see me and I never ask. If he says something like “I wish I could kiss you right now” I usually say “me too!” And it drops.

At one point over the past weekend, when I was drinking, he sent a text to ask if I was having fun. I replied that I was drunk by that point. He replied with “nice” and then sent a video of his daughter taking a riding lesson. I was seriously like WTF? I write back “Very nice. But if I’m telling you I’m drunk, the last thing on my mind is watching a video of your daughter.” I truly didn’t think he would write again after that little dig. But he did and laughed it off.

That’s the end of the better selection of men the last month. I am bored, frustrated and tired of looking for Mr. Right.

I was scrolling again but matches are non-existent these days. I was surprised to see my first match, an oldie but goodie: Rob.

I reached out to say hello and ask how his kids were. He replied and said “we should get a drink!” So I called his bluff and said “let’s go as friends!” He agreed. A few days later I asked when he wanted to get the drink? I was surprised he made a plan!

We met a week ago Thursday at a local bar and had a fun time. Since I didn’t have any investment in him this time around, I was able to keep the conversation humming along. If I had still felt like he had potential, I may have been frustrated he didn’t ask a lot of questions. He remembered more than I thought. When we left we have an amazing makeout session in the Parking lot. I could feel how excited he was. He felt different than last year, much more confident.

We parted amicably and I sent a follow up text later: how about we are FWB, it could be fun. He replied with an absolute yessssss and 10 exclamation points. Said a few more positive things out thinking it could be a great things and I said goodnight. He said he will ask me out again. That was a week ago. It hasn’t crossed my mind. But it was a nice surprise.

I think I can do it now, FWB. But only with certain men that have no long term potential for me.

I’m still frustrated about Mike and bummed no one can just be honest about what happens.

I know all of this sounds like I’m only focused on dating but it’s not even close. It’s just that I need to write about dating as it’s the most frustrating thing that I can’t handle alone.

The Second Surprise

Doesn’t matter to me that I haven’t heard from Rob. If he were to reach out I would see him again. If not, no harm or foul, it was a fun date and a great kiss.

He wasn’t the only x to resurface. This one may make older readers more nervous, but wayyyyyy back in 2014 the first man I blogged about was named R. His actual name is Dan since I’ve given up on code names I can never recall. ūüėā

Dan text me for my birthday, which was an absolute surprise, and asked me for drinks. I did the same thing I did with Rob, I called his bluff.

I wrote to him early this week to say I was available Thursday or Friday and I was genuinely surprised he made plans with me! He’s so flakey. I haven’t seen him in at least 2 years. But we have text and he knows I’ve been sick. And, again to my surprise, he was concerned about me – I had just found forgotten he kept in touch when I was sick – until his text came up again and I scrolled back.

I may find an old post and give you at least one of the crazy R stories because I would say he absolutely had the first exposure to Trixie. I don’t even know why he still stays in touch with me. But he does. And I’ve always liked him. I’m just OVER him now. He’s as toxic as Trixie. But he’s fun, oh so fun.

So Dan comes over on Friday afternoon to my home. The day is beautiful and we sit on the back deck. I’m an amazing hostess so I have beer for him and a great cheese plate ready to go. We enjoyed several hours together, and, unlike typical Dan, he was pretty forthcoming with his life. He’s in the midst of a horrifying and ugly divorce ( a lot of that is of his own creation) and he’s still sleeping around with women he doesn’t want to be attached to.

Dan was the first to show me how much fun a date should be. We would laugh for hours. And then fuck for just as long. We had so much fun. He became so inconsistent and I went into full Trixie anxiety mode. He admitted to me this week that he just isn’t a good communicator. He doesn’t care enough. I believe him. I also think when he finds someone he really likes, he will be able to invest. Dan is on his second divorce and has 4 kids, his plate is full and he needs to figure out his life. He doesn’t have anyone he shares with, and he needs it. But until he realizes it, he will stay stuck in the same patterns. I was glad to hear he’s back in therapy.

When he was ready to go, I walked him to his car. We had a nice big hug and I could see lust in his eyes. But Dan loves to BE chased, and (thanks to him) I realize I’m the one who wants to be chawed, not to do the chasing. I do know how he loves it though, so it felt a little like a power imbalance when I knowingly turned away. I really didn’t care. I met him as a friend and I was happy he was there, I didn’t care if there was any more than that.

Cue my surprise. He turned to leave, as did I, and before I knew it…he was pulling me back to him. Our kids was nothing short of fabulous. When I’m excited I have a kiss and sound that brings lost men to their knees, guaranteed. It’s never failed. It didn’t fail with Dan either. He pulled back and couldn’t speak. As he pressed against for more, his cock was so swollen it had to be uncomfortable. I just enjoyed the moment. He’s like the OG. I was enjoying every moment.

He asked why I didn’t do this in the backyard earlier. (I know him well enough now, I don’t have a serious consideration for that question). I replied with “yea, I can’t believe I didn’t because we could be fucking by now” and that put him over the edge. He could barely leave me (he really had to get his young child).

We both left with smiles on our faces. No promises of more. No discussion of anything. I’ve learned over a period of 5 years, Dan will come back when Dan is ready. It took me some time t accept it for what it is, but it’s all good. I like Dan. As a person and sexually.

The result of my ambivalence (I think that’s the best word for it) was Dan texting me multiple times over the weekend – telling me how badly he wanted me. Of course it didn’t start that way, the first text may have been something like ” you missed your chance” to which I would have said ” what a shame since I’m so horny. Will have to find a substitute for the evening”. ūüėā.

I’ve gotten more one line text from him than I expected. I don’t always reply. He’s thinking of me. It may last another day or two or maybe longer. But there is no promise of anything with Dan just like there isn’t with Rob.

I don’t care. He always comes back, as a friend…which is much more valuable to me. If we fuck along the way, great. If not, fine.

Oh, one more interesting point. I’m not so sure what to do about this. Dan asked about my wounds and how I was doing. We talked openly about my fear over showing a man. I showed him the lingerie photo and he thought it was fine for maybe one time, but said he would question what’s up after more than once. Then he said “just show me and I will be honest”. I thought about it, for a long minute. The girth, which I shared with him as well, is that I’m scared to hear him (or anyone) say “yea, that’s tough looking”. Once in a while, the softer side of Dan shows itself and he told me stories about dating two women who had reconstructive breast surgery and how he felt about it. He was honest and open. Was it strange? Yup. Didn’t it stop him? Nope. Did he go back for more? Yes. Because it didn’t really matter to him. Thats exactly the answer I want to hear, but Dan also liked me and fucked me when I was heavy, yes open minded about sizes and shapes with women. He’s not hugely discriminatory as long as he’s attracted. I thought about showing him but I chickened out.

When we were parting, and before the kiss, he ran his hands up my dress before I could stop him, and stopped on my belly and felt the wound. He didn’t say a word and I didn’t ask.

Part of me wishes I could trust Dan enough to be honest, but I know Dan and he’s more screwed up than me. I don’t invest any trust in Dan any longer. I can tell when he’s sincere for the most part, but I’m not sure I could tell regarding sex.

Anyway, the afternoon was fun and I just thought it very funny that he’s the one with me on his mind instead of the other way round. Clearly (over a period of 5 years!) I’ve been able to put him into a safe place I can control. There’s no attachment any longer and I’m happy when he comes as much as when he goes.

Crap Travels Downward

The day passed as most do at my new role, uneventfully.

But not in my head. In my head my world seems to be be suffocating me. My body is anxious and disturbed.

On Mikes advice, I try to speak to the x. I knew this wasn’t the right advice for me but I want to try anything at this point to feel better.

What a waste of an hour. This man doesn’t even know his own child. I can’t deal with his stupidity. Even worse, he says he can’t take care of all 3 kids because he doesn’t have the room, he’s busy renovating his mothers basement and he has a life. This lit me right up. I’ve had those kids for 2+ years full time. I need a break and you better fucking figure it out for a few weeks. His answer: no, let them stay “home”. I was livid.

My answer to him was “not my problem you live in a 2 bedroom apartment for 5 years and don’t have space, that’s been your decision, for now you need to parent all 3 of your children together”.

I know I shouldn’t be. This is a man who only cares about himself, his mother and his own satisfaction. A mother who needs a break from a full time adult child has no choice but to care for her child or they are on the street because their father basically rejects his parental responsibility.

His answer: they are 20. Well, two of them will be twenty in a week, but our youngest is 16. Either way, we are responsible for them until they are out of college. He doesn’t see it that way. Nor does he care. He’s got a girlfriend and he’s got a sleepover on Thursday so my son has no where to sleep.

Their Dad is ok telling them to get lost that he has plans.

I am not ok with that. I am not that parent. He knows this so I am left with full time care of 3 kids while the father lives his life and I have a nervous breakdown.

I am so angry. I’m so angry that I made myself sick today. I had to call the therapist for an emergency appt on the phone – that’s how worried about myself I was. I could feel the gently wrapped threads unraveling at a very fast pace.

I took another hour to speak with her. She was genuinely concerned and worried, but had little to offer at the beginning than “you are in a very difficult, nearly impossible, situation”. Yes! I know that! But I’m calling you for answers and strategies!

Eventually we got there. I got a script together for my next steps. It’s not what I expected but it makes sense to me.

I really couldn’t function properly the rest of the day.

The sexting with Mike had me feeling regretful for some unknown reason and the behavior I had with my kids was just leaving me unsettled.

I did tell my group what’s going on with me. Closest friend took me out for drinks and listened. She’s single and in her 40s not much she can add in the way of parenting. But she was there for me when I needed her. Another friend thinks the boys deserve strong consequences (read punishment). When I asked her what she would do differently she couldn’t come up with anything different but insisted she would be tougher than me. This friend is the antithesis of me – never wants to be in another relationship as long as she lives, including parenting her children or being obligated as an adult child to her mother or sisters. She does it better than anyone I know but literally hates it. Again, she was there for me.

I hate that I feel like I need a male partner to support me. Is it because I didn’t get any male parenting while I was a child and haven’t ever seen my x parenting our children? I think there may be something in there. I need male validation and partnership because this has always been a void in my life.

That evening I made another mistake texting Mike while I was at the bar 2 solid glasses of wine in and starting the third on an empty stomach. It started funny and silly but then I made a comment that maybe he could be less distant and just more like the guy I met.

The response: you are really off base. I’ve been nothing but nice to you. We’ve been out twice. I’m sorry you had a bad day and a shitty x

Nothing like being put in your place.

I reread my text and I don’t know how he went from A to Z but he did. I apologized that he misinterpreted my request for him to just be flirty while I was having a bad night.

No mixed signals in his text, eh? When you remind someone you’ve only “been out twice” it’s pretty clear that’s all it was and all it will be. I knew that. Of course I did. I was the idiot who crossed a line because I should never have text him today AT ALL.

He would have come back when he was ready for more sex and not before. But my anxiety got the better of me. I was needy and went to the wrong person for comfort. I knew he wouldn’t or couldn’t give me what I needed but, yet, I still went.

After all – no one, not one person, could help me today. I wanted to go numb. I wanted to sit in a corner and rock and cry. That might have been better than trying to be strong. Maybe I should have taken the time to let it all out. I know that only I can help myself. If I had taken the time to walk through today’s scenarios calmly in my head I would never have made the call to the x or to Mike. I can only help myself. I know this and continue to fight it.

Now I am on a bus home, sitting next to a man who (if he bumps into me once more) I might punch. Dreading the fact that I need to have a conversation with two of my kids when I get home. It can’t wait.

The other kid is with his Dad but I don’t know what he will do Thursday and Friday if his dad kicks him out.

Is getting upset over the x and some dumb text to Mike the end of the world? No. However – I’m always concerned about losing control now. It was the same for a long while with the exercise, I was so afraid to miss even one day I exercised myself into oblivion. It was very, very hard to adjust to less exercise and not crucify myself when I missed a day for good reason. This little derailment is the same. I lost some control, I knew it what happening, I took mostly the right steps to correct it and I will get myself back on track (I think).

I’m obsessing at the moment and I think that’s pretty standard process for me. My mind has to flip everything over and beat it blue before I let go. I get into my head and spin myself into an endless loop that I have quite a bit of trouble breaking. I analyze over and over to see if different actions would have different results. It’s like replaying a horrible highlight reel.

I read an article that helped with post conflict redirection through mantra, and while this helps, I need to find one while I’m in the conflict (or on the brink of making poor decision or exhibit bad behavior)

I know I cannot Define myself by what happened. It’s a bump in the road and I will inch forward and recover. I’m writing as the outlet to help stop the rumination.

I need to reinforce to myself that I am valuable. I am worthy. I am god enough, strong enough, and smart enough. I need to establish a mantra I can repeat when feeling dating or kid anxiety. Mantras cut through the noise in my head and create peace and space. I’ve learned this from almost daily meditation but I need a short and sweet one I can put in my pocket and put on repeat.

I’m just struggling with this pit in my stomach I can’t seem to move past. Then I worry the pit is there for a reason I haven’t acknowledge and that scares me. My intuition is so sensitive and not often wrong. I’m not trying to ignore it I just don’t know what it’s telling me right now.

At the moment I am trying to repeat:

Whatever is meant to be, will be.

There is a time and place for everything.

This too shall pass.

I am still healing, learning and growing.

Everything happens for a reason, even if don’t understand that reason today.

The only thing under my control is me. Deep breaths. Chin up. One foot in front of the other.