When I Don’t Care Enough – Part 2

So, back to how I present on a date….I matched with a nice man and we text back and forth.  Turns out he doesn’t live here and comes for business at least once a month for a week.  He would be leaving in 2 days.  That left only one available night to meet if we wanted to see if we were a match.

The night I had scheduled for my Peloton classes. I am proud to say the thought NEVER crossed my mind to cancel my classes for the date. Two years ago, I would have turned my world upside down for a date. No more. They happen when they happen now.

I’m not for or against a long-distance relationship.  Its not my first choice, but I haven’t eliminated the options.  If the man was that good of a match, I could consider it – I am not tied to my location beyond the next 2 years when my youngest will graduate HS.  Even if there wasn’t a man involved, I do not see staying where I am forever. In any case, my thought process is so different now because I can meet a man for a date to have a nice date, have sex, and go home just as easily as I can potentially meet the man of my dreams. Now that I understand I need to just take each date one moment at a time, it’s much easier for me to disconnect my desire to have a partner from the desire just to go out and have a good time.

So, Dan2 and I matched and had been texting on the app.  We agreed to meet after my last class as he was in the city at a client dinner.  However, post my 2nd class, his diner ended early and he was getting tired.  Just before my 3rd class, he text that he didn’t think he could hold out til 10:30pm.  I sent a last text that said “I’m shutting down my phone as I enter class, I hope you change your mind, but I won’t see it until class is over.”

My 3rd class was with a new instructor who engaged with me quite a bit – she told me after class that the previous instructor text her and told her I was coming and I was cool.  🙂  Feels good to be a little on the inside so I soaked this up a bit before I remembered to check my phone for Dan2’s message.

He would wait for me.

Uh oh – I better get moving!

I was in full 80s Madonna costume – I had enough hairspray in my hair to ignite a Chernobyl size explosion.  It was crunchy and scary – how I did that in the 80s is beyond me.  Light a match and I would go straight up in flames!  I had on a lot of black eyeliner and a lot of heavy waterproof makeup (it had to make it through a shit ton of sweaty workouts!)  I had to shower without washing my face (I wasn’t going to potentially smell!) and leave my hair the way it was.  I only had leggings and a Peloton sweatshirt to wear with my trainers.  This is what I mean about not caring how I presented myself.

Basically, I take the chance he rejects me because of my appearance OR I have an opportunity to meet a man that I could enjoy the night with. I chose to believe we could have a good time.

Maybe I thought he wouldn’t meet me?  I certainly hadn’t given it thought before I left my home or I would have packed a change of clothes at least.

I was on such a high that I didn’t care what he thought.  He seemed to begrudgingly agree to one drink before he headed out to sleep before early morning meetings.

Ok, then, that’s good enough.

The confidence I felt from the evening exercise classes was making me feel like Wonder Woman. I could tell I would impress with my personality when I met Dan. I could feel the energy zipping through me and I aware of the feedback I get when I behave this way. It’s so interesting to me that I have this ability but can’t seem to call it up on command when I need it. It would be a super useful tool to have and would help immensely with all my body image issues.

I think you can guess, the night didn’t end with one drink.  I’ve gotten to the point where I know almost immediately when a date is going to go all night, or end quickly, but, actually, I didn’t get my spider-sense upon meeting him.  He was super tall, lean and “sort-of” handsome (honestly, I still can’t determine if I think he is or not).

Regardless of any of that – he was interesting  Really interesting.  The conversations just flowed and flowed and flowed and before we knew it we had each put a bottle of wine behind us as well as several appetizers and it was 1am. I truly enjoyed our dialogue and it was less traditional than many first dates – we just explored a lot of cool topics and he is super smart.

Here’s the surprising part, for me at least….not one kiss or touch the entire almost 4 hours together.  Not even an inkling of sexual chemistry. But there was an absolute connection. The energy had worked in my favor.

Very strange for me, indeed.

We went back to his hotel and the first kiss commenced.  I have no feeling about it one way or the other, it was a good kiss.  When he asked me up, I agreed, but still not feeling the typical craziness (or even drunkness) I generally have at this point.

Of course we had sex.  I didn’t come up to his room expecting any different.  But, the sex was different, for me at least.  I didn’t go out of my way to please him, or even explore him.  Just before undressing I stated simply that I had quite a bit of surgery and had a lot of scars on my belly that made me uncomfortable.  I then proceeded to strip down and out of my clothes entirely- a complete FIRST!  Go me!

Somewhere, deep deep deep in my head, I put the statement out to the universe and chose to let go. If I didn’t stay in my head full of worry about my appearance I would never enjoy the sex. I love sex. So I let go. When I took my top off and threw it to the floor, my inhibition went with it. He would have full view of the wounds and all the loose flesh.

He didn’t hesitate. Or I didn’t notice. Either way, forward we went.

His body was amazing for a man his age. Every ripple and muscle was accentuated. I have never been with a man as rock solid as this and now I understood the appeal. It was a beautiful thing to behold and enjoy. He made me cum very easily, and twice, which is also unusual for me. When he came up to have sex with me, and started to penetrate, I realized I had zero idea what his cock was like.

Holy fuck.

He was huge. My eyes rolled back into my head with pleasure. He was long and thick and knew exactly how to wield his instrument. I could tell he was holding back so not to cause any pain for me. He was big and we couldn’t go full throttle because of it but whatever we did was pretty fucking awesome.

Sex was fabulous and he asked me to stay the night but I just didn’t want to. I lie in his arms for some time before he walked me down to get my car.

The next day he called from the airport telling me he had tried to move his flight out to the next day but had been unable to do so. He also looked at his calendar and proposed several dates he could see me – not in my city, but where he could bring me to the city he was working in. He had clearly put some thought into how he could see me every other week. My old reaction to this would have been major excitement. Unwarranted excitement. This time I took it with a groan of salt and just discussed, rationally, what might work in the coming weeks.

He ended up suggestion to come back to my city in 2 weeks if he could.

As it turned out, he couldn’t make it back to me and his communication skills are sorely lacking. We had spoken about his style / my style before he left and agreed it could be a bigger block than anything else. He is single minded and focused on what’s he focused on when he’s focused on it. I usually hear something from him each day or two, but a text conversation generally ends abruptly with no follow up. We have nice phone conversations at random. Bottom line, he is unable to form any relationships based on his style and he admits to it. He can’t balance his life.

I’m glad I realized this and it doesn’t phase me. When I hear from him, I hear from him. When I don’t, well that’s fine too. We had a fun night, good sex, some amazing orgasms and I’m sure we will remain friendly for when he returns to my city. I don’t think he’s the right match for me in any case because of his typical communication style – it would drive me mad if the person I was seeing had freestyle communication skills.

Next.

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 😂 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! 😂

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! 😂

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! 😂)

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!! 😂🙃

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 – he 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.

 

 

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. 🙄

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.

Relief

I can’t even begin to tell you the immense relief I felt when I woke up this Sunday morning.

The anxiety, the trepidation, the overwhelming sadness I have been struggling with for 2weeks seems to have lifted. I literally feel lighter.

I didn’t understand what was happening to my mind and body the past couple weeks. I was really afraid I was internalizing the dating rejections worse than I was allowing myself to believe since that’s a typical trigger for me.

But it wasn’t. Everything I wrote about lightbulbs and a better understanding of myself is true. The gears have shifted.

Then, I thought, how could the one incident with my boys send me flying over an edge and free falling to the point I felt crazy, hyper and needed an emergency call to the therapist.

It didn’t occur to me until I woke this morning, happy and peaceful. I lie in bed trying to understand what felt different. I was sleeping in my sisters home after a big birthday bash for her the evening before and I was definitely nursing a little hangover. I had this feeling of emptiness and joy, literal lightness.

I started to think about a few things since my brain seemed to be less foggy and muddled. I felt something within my grasp but couldn’t quite articulate it. It wasn’t until I had a almost 3 hour drive home that my mind cleared the way for me.

It was exactly 1 year ago on September 7th I had my elective surgery. I had come through, what I thought was, the most debilitating period of my life and was in a long, painful spiral downwards. The surgery was meant to give me a reset, to take back one thing in my life that I could control. Of course, we all know that’s not how it worked out for me. My emotional breakdown turned almost fatal.

I know, very well, I buried Mexico. I don’t think about it. I don’t want to think about it. I buried it in a chest somewhere deep never to be opened again by anyone. Ever. I mean it. I don’t want to discuss it or go back to it. It’s such a dark period for me that I just know I will never want to revisit it and experience the pain again. I have always been good at pushing things away and I can keep this one buried deep.

So what’s left when you don’t address the pain? Shame, embarrassment, guilt, sadness and a whole bevy of other assorted negative feelings.

The biggest and most painful of those is shame. Shame for what I did to myself. Shame for what I put the ones I loved through. Awful, terrible, gut-wrenching shame. It’s one of the few feelings I don’t often experience. I never felt shameful about my affairs I don’t think I’ve done much in my life to be ashamed of. I believe the past two weeks my mind is trying to dig up / relive / let-go of something from that time a year ago. Because it’s so suppressed it manifested as physical warning signs.

It didn’t dawn on me until I woke up from from trepidation and anxiety that I had been harboring so much shame within, but I know now that’s the feeling I’ve been struggling with. Shame is such an ugly word and it feeds the inner voice that says “I’m not worthy and I’m not loved”. I had just finished listening to a Brene Brown book where she spoke about shame – she says – in order to cut shame off at the knees you need to talk about it.

When that little nugget of advice came back to me I knew that was exactly what was about to happen. Somehow my body knew before my mind (it always does I just never quite understand it). I felt so loved and cherished and adored being around my sister and her family and friends (and my birth father) that shame had no room to keep corroding my every thought.

To make sure I kept shame at bay I also spoke to my sister and her mother. I explained that I had been feeling shame for the past year and that what I did cast such a shadow over the happiest time of her life (she got engaged the day I had surgery). I was so disgusted by feelings of shame that it was making me weak and ill all over again. They both reinforced how much I was loved, forgiven, and an important part of the family. That I wasn’t bad, I had just done something wrong.

My body was telling me it was time to move from shame to guilt. Guilt is ok. I did a bad thing. But I am not a bad person.

I cannot change what happened, but I can make reparations and take a new path. A path to a stronger, better me. A better parent, sister, friend.

I’ve been taking all those steps and doing so quite consciously. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and even more proud that I just squashed some shame like a bug.

I’m still relieved, even 2 days later. No more panic and anxiety.

I knew something big was coming.

Unlocking myself hasn’t been easy, but I’m getting there. Reducing shame to guilt is a big step forward. I kept thinking something was going to happen TO me, but instead, something happened because of me.

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.

Lightbulb Moment – Mike

Oh, Michael.

I like you.

But, you are inconsistent at best. You’re great when we are together but I can’t be left wondering what’s going on in between.

You’re a nice guy. I believe you want to see me again, but you haven’t continued as you started and that’s always been an issue for me. An issue I couldn’t manage in the past.

But I think I’m ready to tackle someone like you now.

Maybe.

You check all my boxes x2. You are so fucking hot I can’t stand it. You have that freaking cute and silly factor that so many just don’t. Your Daddy style is off the charts. You’ve got it allllll in my book. We laugh and laugh and laugh and I’m so happy when I’m with you.

And, I know, you love it when I’m around you. You can’t fake it.

But…now I see you don’t really ask me a whole lot of questions. Nothing important. My life, my emotions, they don’t resonate for you. One thing I learned from Tony was that he cared about me deeply. He knew everything about me and he paid a lot of attention. He was my friend. If you were ever going to work, you would need to show me some of that, and you haven’t in this past month.

I equate that to disinterest.

That used to mean I would have to try to pull it from you. Thinking I could actually get it! 🙄. I now understand I shouldn’t bother. If you like me enough, you will come back again and again. I had to sine this light into my own dark corner of needy and anxious attachment and realize you are, more than likely, not ready to give me what I need. I knew that the moment I heard you were only separated, yet I tried to quiet the voice and shut the lights so I can ignore the truth.

Sorry, can’t do it to myself anymore.

Maybe you stick around for great sex, if some of the things you said are true, like you don’t like multiple partners and prefer just one.

Maybe you never give the emotional connection I crave.

I don’t need to force it. I realize how precious the laughter between us is now. It’s good enough to leave it be what it is. Maybe something. Maybe nothing.

Chances lean toward nothing, so with that, I’ve squarely put you into the “whatever will be will be” category and my job is to keep you there. I would love to see if there’s anything there. If there’s not, then there’s not and I am going to be ok with that.

KDaddys comments have literally been like he’s in my mind this week regarding you and how I want to approach this with you.

If you ask me out again, great but when/if you don’t, based on some mysteriously made-up timeline my anxiety comes up with, it ISN’T the end of the world. I can’t let my anxiety decide to let this relationship go off the rails before it’s even out of the station.

I cannot be an architect and build an imaginary relationship with you.

I cannot be a detective and uncover clues about where you are, who you are with and why you are not with me.

I cannot create a problem just to insist on a solution.

I cannot. I am going to find an additional mantra for my meditation because you get to close to unlocking anxiety’s door and I need to keep that shit on lock down.

This isn’t easy for me because, well, you check too god damn many boxes, without even realizing. I wish we could just have a conversation to clarify “what are we doing here?” I wish you could be honest.

I wish, take a deep breath and then, I reframe and remind myself “does it really matter?”

Just yesterday you told me you bought me a bottle of my favorite wine – which surprised me. You’re thinking of me? Don’t you buy a girls favorite wine when you plan to see her again?

My friend said don’t read into it, maybe you’re even lying. But I’m not built to be quite so cynical. I would like to think you saw it, thought of me, and figured I would be with you again, at some point. That’s good enough for me and I don’t think I’m reading too much into it.

You’re a test for me, Michael. A test I hope I don’t fail because it means I get hurt fooling myself.

So here’s to you being a better man than some of the others and being honest with yourself as well as me.

Let’s enjoy each other.

Let me learn what casual dating with no expectations feels like.

Cause laughter and sex with you is something I just want more of.

The trick is to remember I don’t need it.