Reappearing Ghost

Well one of my ghosts decided he did want to haunt me after all.

Since I didn’t engage him all weekend before our tentative date, I assumed he was a lost cause. But he showed up on Monday checking in on time and location and also remembering to ask how my weekend with my friend was.

Honestly, it all felt very genuine to me. He knew I had a friend here and he felt our plans were solid. I didn’t think twice and agreed to go and meet August. Still can’t get over what a cool name I think that is!

August is super tall! He is the first man to actually plan an outing for a first date and I was looking forward to exploring the part of the city he suggested. I had worked in the area some years ago and it’s undergoing a massive transformation as a cultural center of our city.

Driving in and parking was super easy and convenient which is a rarity. I had gotten my workouts in during the day, my hair looked good and the weather was mild. I had a new pair of jeans and leather jacket and feeling quite positive overall. Some excitement was creeping back in and the familiar feeling was very welcome. I was happy to be going out and looking forward to meeting him…not much more I could ask for. These days I never know when my depression is going to swoop in and decide I’m not in the mood for whatever I’ve planned and want me to stay on the couch instead. I was thankful my depression was no where in sight.

We agreed on a meeting spot and as I saw him approach, my heart leapt a little just because he is so tall, handsome and had a suit on! I was all “this guy is coming for me?!” kind of excited. Lol. Conversation flowed easily. We walked and talked. Saw some cool sights. Walked some more (20k steps that day! My highest yet!). Enjoyed the weather, city sights and each other. I didn’t feel pressure or disinterest. This was a very easy date.

Then he suggested we go to my all time favorite bar/restaurant/hotel (the bathtub room there is of Bobby fame – but many, many great nights happened at The Standard). I liked that he was in no rush. We sat at the bar and had cocktails. Then he suggested dinner. We were lucky to get a table, even though it was Tuesday. We shared a bottle of wine and some dinner. He noticed how little I ate and made the comment “that’s why you are so thin.” It’s too early to address more so I simply said I wasn’t a big eater. I have also learned to order an appetizer as my dinner so it’s less obvious how little I eat. Plus, if I drink and eat at the same time – it’s 3-4 ounces period – doesn’t matter if it’s liquid or solid. I need to go slow.

I am VERY happy to report I can now drink BUBBLES again! Yes! Life just isn’t the same without Prosecco! I had a Penny Drop cocktail, which is my second favorite (derivative of Moscow Mule) drink!

The only thing I noticed about August was he didn’t ask me many questions. I’m trying not to read too far into this on a first date, but he just doesn’t seem inquisitive (and normally that’s a trigger for me that he’s not interested ENOUGH). We spoke about what he learned from his last relationships and he admits that he didn’t pay enough attention to what his partners needs were. He also admits he has to improve his communication style. I’m going to take those comments of his at face value and see if I can work with his style.

I learned a lot about him because I did ask many, many questions. While he is at the right place in his life for me (older kids, divorced etc) I’m not sure ultimately how compatible we would be. I believe he comes from wealth and the country club scene which is quite foreign to me. Not sure it’s my scene. We shall see.

Another interesting thing, he told me how beautiful I was very quickly and often. He thought I was so much more attractive in person because I was so happy. Eventually he also told me I was quite sexy and I guess I laughed a little. He asked why, and I decided to tell the truth. When I was young (and when I would say sexy about myself) no one ever said sexy to me. I was always cute, pretty, and smart. Never beautiful, sexy or sassy. Now, it’s very common for a man to label me as sexy, even though I don’t feel I come across that way. But he’s not the first to say it radiates from me. This time, I really took that to heart because I haven’t felt it AT ALL in a year or so. Yes, I felt pretty sexy many times during the first 4 years post separation/divorce. But since the end of Tony and all my trauma, it’s not a feeling or attitude I’m familiar with anymore. I wonder what it is that men see and think is sexy? I really don’t know what it is because I still see pretty. I do see sassy come out. And now I see thin. But that’s it.

We had such a nice dinner and then another nice long stroll back to my car. Hand holding and kissing. All gentle, light and playful. Just right and just enough.

The night ended well, with a promise to meet again. He looked at me and said “you’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?” Out of the blue.

I don’t know, August. I don’t know anything anymore. One day at a time. My heart is still healing and my mind is still somewhat broken. Let’s take it slow.

What’s Up With the Phone, Guys?

It’s either some weird moon cycle or I have just had the silliest streak of weird luck. It’s not bad luck because I don’t care all that much, but three times in a week span is a weird streak of occurrences.

I may have written before that men age 50+ prefer phone calls to text. It sort of makes me nuts. I don’t want endless text to get to know someone, but I can vet pretty quickly over text if there is any compatibility before spending my time on the phone.

For me, phone conversation is much more personal and I want to focus on spending time with you and getting to know you. Until I feel some connection in text, I generally don’t like to jump straight to phone.

But this past week I lost that battle 3 times straight.

I seemed to have hit a pocket of men who were so stubborn about phone engagement that I just threw in the towel. Quickly. I didn’t give it any chance to breathe because I got frustrated so quickly.

Rob: I know for a fact we had matched before a long time ago. I didn’t recall what happened, but do recall it was because he ghosted me. We had a little back and forth text and then he called, out of the blue. I was busy working out and text him back when I was done. I suggested it was better to set a time to speak and was he adverse to text? He said he preferred phone. I called him early on Sunday morning, around 11am when I was out walking. He called back at 9:30 pm and I was in bed and not interested in answering. He sent a follow up text to say he “didn’t see” my missed call and text until now. I said that was curious and he got snarky with a comment “I’m not like other people who have their phone in their hands all day.” I call bull shit. We all have phones in our hands all day and we check them. There may be hours that go by, but usually not 10 in the middle of a normal weekend.

Haven’t heard from him again. Don’t care. I’m sure this is what happened the first time around. He told me he had a hard time dating – no wonder why.

*follow up 4 days later: guess what? he calls. No surprise there. We chat. He is really inflexible when he talks about his life. Everything is regimented. I work hard to get him to loosen up and I can tell he’s a good guy but I also get a distinct sense we are on different pages. We decide to meet and ultimately that goes sideways. Everything is a negotiation. I don’t want to negotiate. It’s a first date, choose a place by me and set a time. Don’t ask me to drive halfway for coffee. I end up texting him back and saying no thanks. I can be just as inflexible.

Ken: wasn’t sure about him when we matched but our conversational cadence was nice. He is very fair and blonde and not normally my physical type. Over the course of 3 days we text, we spoke on the phone twice and I felt it was time he asked me out, but there was no indication of doing so. I didn’t say anything, but by day 4 when he called again (always out of the blue, never letting me know when he was calling) and I was working out, he seemed to get frustrated that we hadn’t spoken on the phone for a day (we missed each other a few times the day before).

He had left a long-ish message about how he was suspicious about voice mail that was “boxed”‘rather than a personalized greeting. I don’t know him well enough to know if that was a joke, I assumed it was, but the intonation of his voice on the message didn’t sound like a joke, at all. However, I made a joke back that I was a drug dealer.

Haven’t heard from him now in several days despite sending a message to speak on phone 🤪

Personally, I think too much text and too much talk before you meet does create false expectations. When I find someone I like in phone conversation, I get my hopes up only to be *mostly* disappointed by the person IRL. If he had made a move to ask me out or indicate when he would like to see me, that would be different. But these were exploratory phone calls and I was interested in getting to know him too well before we met.

Greg: honestly this probably deserves its own blog post but it’s also probably funnier to me than anyone else. In any case, we text and he wanted to talk rather quickly so I agreed. He literally hit on a topic that made me want to jump through the phone and throttle him multiple times – I have NEVER had an experience like that before. He is in a parallel industry so he was trying to get me to understand the problems with the fashion industry (my area of expertise). And he kept at it, like a spike in the side of my head. Until I got hot and stubborn that he needed to stop insinuating I didn’t understand the woes of the industry. After we got off the call and I cooled down I made a little joke over his topic and suggested challenging an expert in her area on the first call is perhaps not a great dating tactic. We had some better banter and then he sent photos. That was it for me. No grown man should be making duck lips under any circumstances. And, I said so. He shot back that it was being silly and that’s the last I heard. Thank goodness because a man who makes duck lips in a photo and antogonaizes a woman on the first call is clearly not a nice dude.

So there you have it.

My extraordinarily opinionated view of how online dating should work. I have developed a lack of patience for rigidity even though you may say my behavior is rigid. What I have experienced is that men who are comfortable in their own skin and the sucky world of dating can banter, accept a text phase and ask a woman out pretty quickly. I don’t judge the men above because they have their own criteria based on their own experiences – and each of them wanted to spend time on the phone that I didn’t – so no harm, no foul. There seems to be a fine balance and we all have to walk a tightrope.

On to the next batch. Let’s see if I’m any more patient this week? 😂🤣