I Don’t Even Understand How Dating Works Anymore….

I know it’s been some time since I’ve written, but honestly there wasn’t much to report.

Adjusting to work and the commute has frankly sucked. I’m between a rock and hard spot to sort of “interview” during this freelance period and show them what I can do so they may consider hiring me. Conversely, I don’t want to give away my best ideas and skills for free since they are not paying me near what I’m worth. I also find myself not wanting to work 60-70 hour weeks being paid less than what I’m worth, even if the pay is fair enough for the current role I’m performing. It’s really a catch 22 at the moment. I work remote Friday’s which I know they don’t love but it’s saving my sanity.

I also realize after all I’ve been through that I no longer have the killer instinct. I know it may come back, but for now I know I still need more rest than normal. I must take care of myself.

Finding a workout balance has been tough at best. I leave at 7am and I’m home at 730/8pm. I’m starving and need to eat which means I don’t start working out til post 8/830. I need to be sleeping by 10 to function. It’s a killer and I’m trying to figure it all out. When I missed my first day in 160 days, I panicked for a moment and then told myself this: I missed the workout because I was having so much fun with my friends. My priority that Sunday was my emotional well being. I truly didn’t feel as bad as I thought (which honestly is the bigger worry, I don’t want any excuses to slip in and take over again). Then, just a few days later, the same thing happened: I randomly missed a workout.

My workouts are simply Peloton related. It could be a quick 5 minute stretch, yoga, meditation or something active. My commitment to myself was to make it part of my life every day. When I make it a priority I always figure out how to make it happen. I can’t figure out how to get the quantity (in time and effort) I prefer but I may have to adjust my lens on what’s feasible when I’m working and commuting.

When I missed the second day, I realized it just past midnight. I missed it because I was on the phone with a man I had matched with and we had some crazy connection. He was traveling in India, so it was his morning to my night. John is the reason for the post, actually.

I matched with John on Bumble. He wasn’t exactly my physical type but he met enough criteria. He was out of my distance range so it was a surprise he came up as a match. On Bumble the woman initiates the conversation and he replied quickly. We both had a lot going on and agreed to exchange phone numbers more quickly than usual. We both happened to be going into the city with friends for the evening. Surprisingly, we kept in touch. We both found each other interesting enough to communicate while with friends. It wasn’t a lot, but it was sweet. And we were both drunk. No sexting. Just funny text.

He was leaving for India the next day. I was still in the city with my friends for another evening. We text chat back and forth most of the day and then he called me when he arrived to the airport. We spoke for over an hour through airport security and dropped calls. We just kept going. He was fun, interesting, intelligent and I enjoyed speaking to him.

I didn’t get the butterflies I’ve gotten so often in the past when a man begins to check my boxes. This didn’t feel like that. I just liked him. He wasn’t overt, it was a really genuinely easy conversation from one topic to another. We had everything in common – and I mean everything. There was nothing we didn’t see eye to eye on and that was truly the strangest part. We weren’t excitable with one another, no one was giddy or coming on to the other – it was just easy. He asked a lot of questions that showed me he was interested. He answered any question I had as well as offered up his own stories.

Off he went to the plane and the communication didn’t stop! He had WiFi and text throughout the flight while he was awake. He text me through his 25 hour journey to India. He was so communicative that I became more interested and engaged after a few days of his attention – no one had communicated like this with me since Tony. He wasn’t as flattering as Tony was (because Tony was in immediate limerence) but he was eager and interested. I started to drop my guard. Within the week I began to expect his text because he was so consistent.

While John traveled for the week, I was having a killer week at work. But somehow, we communicated consistently. No good mornings every day kind of thing, but I knew he was texting me pretty soon after he woke up and looking for me to chat while we had some crossover time. He was consistently responsive. After 4/5 days of text, the conversation had taken on an incredulous tone for both of us – we still hadn’t found one thing, not one thing, that we disagreed on. I finally threw out dance music and he admitted he didn’t like it! But seriously, that was it. Really and truly – every thing else was aligned: family, religion, politics, jobs, travel, clothing, shopping, food, music, exercise, activity, favorite places, friends etc etc etc. it felt like Tony without the limerence. It was more than clear he was attracted, but it never got over the top until the last day before he returned home.

We had avoided all sex talk and it eventually made it around to some teasing. In an effort not to tease him directly but to still share my crazy sexuality, I sent an old blog story I had written. Surprisingly (again, it was common at this point) he wrote me back a sexy story! Bobby and I used to do this and I loved it, but never thought it would happen again! And here it was, happening without any pressure. He just wrote! I had crossed over into shock as did he. We both started to say “how can you be real?” Multiple times.

The sexy talk continued, I admit I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to stop but I didn’t. It wasn’t too crazy but it was a tease. He loved it. I loved it. We made plans to meet Sunday. In between it all we had normal conversation. Some he initiated and some I initiated. I began to get a little excited because I hadn’t met a man like this since Tony. He was arriving home on Friday and then driving up to see his son Saturday. He would come to me Sunday after he saw his son on the way home from his trip.

But, at some point he began to tell me there was just no way he could wait til Sunday to meet me. He wanted to meet me now! I felt like everything was entirely genuine about our connection. I wanted to meet him as much as he wanted to meet me. I had no concern we wouldn’t be attracted. We already wanted to sleep together. He was willing to get off the plane from India and drive the hour to meet me.

That didn’t feel right or fair to me. 24 hours of travel would kill me. I agreed to see him and offered to drive to him. I spoke to my girlfriend about this and she agreed and told me to throw an overnight bag in just in case.

Now I began to worry. The chemistry was off the charts, I knew it would be in person, and if it really did work between us – I was going to have to explain my scars before getting undressed. Because I was getting queasy of this, I finally decided I just wouldn’t get undressed on the first date – even if I did stay overnight with him – that I wouldn’t have sex with him. I should have known myself better, but I kept telling myself I could hold out.

So while I was debating internally – I sent him this text at the same exact time he was typing a text with the exact same thought:

Exchanges like this happened pretty frequently – we were just in the same wavelength.

I included some snippets of conversation – just to show you how equally engaged he was be the end of the week:

I was convinced by his repetition of his interest in me and his consistency in his language.

So, I totally agreed to drive to him on Friday night and wear a sexy pair of heels (part of the discussion above). I was really excited and hadn’t felt the butterflies in so long that I actually wasn’t even sure what I was feeling.

My emotions were saying “hell,yes, real potential here!” And my brain was saying “how good is he at convincing a woman to sleep with him? And if he repeats the body type during the conversation more than once, will he be able to manage my wounds? I don’t think so, he’s going to get grossed out by my naked self”

And those are the thoughts that kept me awake Thursday night. Would I disappoint him? I was so confused.

He’s Definitely Not for Me

For anyone that assumes I’m overly conservative, I hope this post reflects differently.

I am not prejudice. I do believe all people should be allowed to love whomever they want and and exhibit their identity in any way that makes them feel comfortable. Humans are humans regardless of sexual orientation, religion or skin color. To think of a human being, in my humble opinion, any other way, differently means you are biased.

Is it ok to be biased? I don’t think so and my values guide me here. This post is specifically about a conversation around sexual identity that pushed me over the edge with Rob2. Some of you have commented that you couldn’t be with people of differing political opinions and this probably falls into that camp. However, it was much less about his opinion than his inability to see he was prejudiced.

If you choose to be prejudice – I say own that fucker. Don’t hide your values. Speak your truth. No one needs to agree with you and the people that don’t agree also don’t have to interact with you if they choose not to. Don’t pretend you are not homophonic when you are. Back-pedaling on your values is bullshit in my opinion. I lived with a man for 22 years who did that and now claims he’s the most open minded person on the planet, while still cracking racial, ethnic or religious jokes. I call bullshit.

Ok, anyway, back to Rob2.

After our date we kept in touch and he called on Saturday morning from the beach. He asked what I was doing for the weekend. So, I told him “blah, blah, more blah and then going to a large Pride event.” His reaction was instantaneous and definitely surprising “Wait! Are you gay?” A pause. “or bisexual?” Another long pause. “I mean I think I have a right to ask that.”

Why did those questions bug me? Because he immediately assumes going to a Pride event was sexually related. How sad you don’t know anything.

First off buddy, no you have no right to ask that because we’ve been on two dates. Secondly, what a douchebag! Because I choose to participate in a Pride event you immediate correlate that to me being gay? If I go to a black Pride March or to an Autism event – am I black or autistic? Does it matter?You stupid ass.

I am an Ally. The rest isn’t any of your business. He didn’t even know what an Ally was.

I was literally about to tell him that I didn’t think it was working out right before this question, but my fire was lit and I was going to see it through.

Now he had to prove his point so he moved on to a poor analogy. He started with “I used to be homophobic and biased but Ive learned I HAD to accept it”. His language was getting worse by the minute. I paused an politely said “you are still those things if you feel you HAVE to accept it, as if accepting it is your right.” He was inflamed by this response and I got a 20 minute long speech that I didn’t understand what he was saying and “of course all people need to learn to accept change” while he focused on his argument being over the word ACCEPT.

My debate wasn’t over the word accept. My debate was his reaction and then his actual wording of “HAVE TO ACCEPT”. You don’t have to do anything if you own up to your values. And if you think you “HAVE” to accept another humans choice of sexuality or sexual identity then you are, simply put, homophobic.

He used an example of a postman delivering mail on one side of the street for 20 years and a different postman on the other side. His postman gets fired and the other postman now needs to deliver on his side of the street and service is not the same. But he HAS TO ACCEPT this change. My only reply to this inane analogy was “that’s not about a human life”.

So he compared it to our country in the 50s when white people HAD TO ACCEPT black people. Ummmmm wtf dude.

The entire idea of inequality due to sexual orientation or race is wrong from the beginning – and YOU, dude, don’t need to ACCEPT anyone and can go on your merry fucking way. No one is oppressing you. His final clincher was comparing his need to accept others and the impact that acceptance had on his life to being oppressed himself.

I was done. He was arguing the ridiculous and he was forcing the argument on me when I said multiple times “let’s drop this.”

So let’s drop what the argument was about. I can tolerate a difference of opinion. But here’s what I couldn’t tolerate:

1. He asked me if I was gay straighten up – and stated he had a right to ask.

2. He argued til he was out of breath.

3. He told me I shut him down and wasn’t Listening to his defense.

4. He backpedaled and changed the argument to the word “accept” which wasn’t where the disagreement started – but he was so busy defending himself he didn’t hear me clearly state it was in his wording.

I don’t actually know if I’m expressing this quite the way it happened because he was so blind and I was tuning him out mostly. He was debating with himself.

And then, of course (as he’s done this multiple times with sexual innuendo) he says “I’m sorry if you think I’m being difficult, I really don’t care, I’m just arguing the other side of the point because I love a good debate”

The Pride Parade was fabulous. The happiness, positivity and joyful vibes made everyone feel good. You couldn’t help but be happy in these throngs of strangers hugging one another and enjoying the scene. I’m so glad I went and participated. Watching our world change for the better is amazing and it’s incredible how far we’ve come, yet still sad how far we have to go for basic human rights.

This dude didn’t understand that’s what Pride is all about, love is love and everyone deserves their god given right to express their sexuality however and with whomever they want.

I didn’t expect to hear from him again because I think he got the hint I was disgusted with him.

I blocked and deleted him. See ya’

He’s Nice, but not for Me.

I met a nice guy last week, his name is Rob. Since I’ve had one Rob already I guess this one is Rob2. We matched on Bumble and started and easy conversation. He was engaging and attentive.

Rob had many of the qualities I am immediately drawn to. Good looking enough for me, tall, decent shape, well traveled, older child, divorced and one long relationship behind him. He seemed to have a good perspective on relationships and a good group of friends. So we moved to the phone call easily enough.

When we matched he was in a town close to me, but as I discovered, he lives about 2,5 hours from me. He said he doesn’t mind as he’s had no luck finding anyone closer and his best friend lives in the town where we matched. He was more than willing to travel to me as long as I was willing, in the future, to stay at his place occasionally. I could consider that.

Initially, the only “red flag” I noticed at the start was that he was retired law-enforcement and owned a landscaping business. So far, this type of background has never worked out for me. I’m not judging a person by their career, it’s more about the stereotypical person that chooses a career in law enforcement, especially in a large city. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t fit the stereotype. I generally stay away from engaging a man with a career in law enforcement. But, Rob felt like he broke the mold a little bit and I was interested in meeting him. So, we planned a date where he would drive all the way to me, then stay overnight at his friends so he didn’t have to worry about the long drive back.

Rob is a consummate gentleman. Holds doors opens, pulls out the chair, makes sure the woman is settled and attended to. My drink was waiting for me when I arrived. You know how I love all this things so I notice them quite quickly. We were able to hit off an easy conversation and chose to order some food. I even got the bonus where he cut my food and fed me a few forkfuls. I know it’s silly but I love this kind of attention.

He leaned in to kiss me at the bar and I willingly accepted his kiss. Pretty much a perfect kiss and I don’t mind PDA. There were several more kisses throughout the night and eventually his hands found their way to the back of my head and into my hair. There really is nothing better than when a man pulls you in for a kiss with their hands tangled in your hair and pulls your head towards theirs!

Rob was batting a thousand.

We left the bar hand in hand and went to my car. He pressed against me for some deeper, more intimate kissing. I felt his approval quite firmly against my leg. Then he picked me up and held me against the car. I forget how light I am now and how this is possible so I am startled when it happens. My head goes right to “omg they are going to groan when they try and lift me” and that I must weigh a ton. For a strong and tall man, my weight and body type are not difficult to lift. We stayed there several minutes before he leaned back to let me drop, stepped back away from me and very obviously stuck his hand down his pants to adjust himself. And, as if I didn’t notice, commented on it.

Ok, I don’t know why, but this pulled me right out of the moment. It seemed so crass all the sudden. I know men need to adjust themselves but I guess it was so indelicate that it bothered me? I don’t know. Then it made me think: has this happened before? Well, yes, of course men have adjusted themselves when they are hot and bothered around me but perhaps not so obviously. He also stated the obvious which made it even more obvious! I don’t know, this clicked a weird switch inside me.

We kissed goodnight and parted with the promise of a second date. He threw a comment over his shoulder that I now forget, but whatever it was, it made my hair stand on end. I recall it was less so the comment than how it was delivered. It made me think “there’s more to his pleasant facade than meets the eye.”

The next morning the requisite “good morning” text came through and we chatted on and off via text during the day. We had established, during our date, things we both liked in a relationship and he was clear to say sexual banter was important.

I had a flashback. I distinctly recall a time when all I wanted was sexual banter. That it was an important attribute to starting communication. Oh, how we live and learn! I still occasionally hear from my favorite banter-boy, Randy. A then young 31 to my 46, was hands down all time best at text banter. We had some of the most clever and fun conversations I’ve ever had in my life. When he pops back up now I go a round or two with him just to keep the clever banter juices flowing then ignore or block him for months and months. He ALWAYS comes back. Anyway, while it was a hallmark of my early dating days, banter now is easy and carefree and doesn’t carry as much sexual innuendo and pressure. Every comment is not interpreted into a sexual situation. I don’t even like that as much anymore. I want to be able to have a conversation that isn’t interrupted by a consistent barrage of sexual innuendo (oh hello M, did you grow up much?!). But Rob, well he loves to do this. Many conversations start out with some comment to some reference turning sexual. When I ignore it and he repeats the joke he also then apologizes when he doesn’t get the requisite reactions and says “I hope you know I’m only teasing.” Yes, I know, but I don’t care for it much. Why? Well I assume there are two reasons: I’m not fully attracted to him and I know, could be wrong but my guess is, if I start he will NEVER stop. Every initial conversation starts this way. He does stop after this type of interaction but sometimes gives it a second or third try. I mostly ignore it unless I can make it cute.

him: “I’m hopping in the shower”

Me: “I just got out”

him: “So we are both naked! I would be behind you right now…”

Me: “Handing me the soap?”

Post the first date, this becomes another reddish flag.

We decide on a second date and, again, he offers to come down to me which is generous considering it’s after work for me and therefore probably won’t be a long date.

I figured I could wear a pretty dress and some hot new stilettos I bought. I sent the photo of the shoes (he had expressed an interest in sexy shoes and pedicures) and asked if that was acceptable. He replied with a “hot” and “I better put on a nicer shirt!”

Once again, everything is perfect upon my arrival. He dressed accordingly and looked good. Cold beverage awaits, he stands to greet me and takes my bag and sweater, pulls out the chair and the first appetizer arrives within 5 minutes.. (My favorite food at this particular restaurant, which I had mentioned to him on the last date.). He’s paying attention. The conversation revolves around my new job as it’s parameters are not identified and he’s trying his best to understand and offer advice. I appreciate this, but there are several times where he tries to over-identify a pattern and it doesn’t really correlate to what I’m saying. I wish I could better explain, but it’s as if he’s trying to understand in order to offer me the best suggestion on how I can fix it or approach it – but not in a kind way – in a way that made me feel like I wasn’t looking at my own role properly. It was the bulk of our conversation that evening. I tried, multiple times, to turn the conversation more inward and personal. I asked questions about his family, his childhood memories, his fatherhood in the early years, his travel but all these questions were met with bland, boring answers that had to really be thought about. When I said “tell me one of your funny childhood stories” he couldn’t think of one, then he told one that wasn’t at all funny. Even he didn’t laugh. (His childhood was fine by the way, no trauma so that’s not it). When I asked his favorite things about raising his daughter, he couldn’t come up with anything. Typically a person with an older child will immediately say “I miss my baby” or something like that. It was as though he didn’t have any depth in his life or any depth of expression. He struck me, in that moment, as someone who is totally in their present – I’m not saying this is wrong, just different from what I’ve experienced.

I started to realize I was bored and not laughing. And not one comment about how I looked or the shoes. Maybe not the most important thing, but strange after the shoes had been a topic of conversation.

We left the restaurant after bumping into a friend of mine for a quick chat. My friend immediately commented how fabulous I looked, which then made me think “why didn’t Rob?” It’s a second date, there should still be compliments that are not revolving around sex. He asked if I could take a walk, if the shoes would be ok (oh so he did notice!) and I said yes. We walked to a nearby park and went to a covered veranda and started kissing heavily. While there was nothing wrong with the kisses, I wasn’t excited. He was and was becoming more adventurous with his hands. I had to stop him at my underwear as I had just gotten my period. I cracked a funny joke and he pulled back, made a big show of adjusting himself and said “yup, that was a mood killer”. When I didn’t react the way I suppose he wanted me to – he apologized and said he was just joking. He also talked at length about how he wouldn’t pressure me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I assured him it wasn’t pressure that I simply was inconvenienced. But he kept going. He talks in a meandering pattern that I tune out and I caught myself doing this more than once on Thai date.

By this point I had started to feel apathy towards him. I wasn’t really interested. It was time to go home and I just wanted to go to bed. We parted with a nice kiss and went out separate ways.

I’ve been thinking about the date since.

While I haven’t pointed out any massive alarm bells, something in me is saying “he’s not for you” and I can’t seem to get past that little voice in my head. By three weeks in and two dates I should be more excited than I am, especially when the selection of men is so poor! I also promised myself I wasn’t going to settle out of loneliness and I think that’s part of what’s driving me.

I had resolved to speak to him Saturday and politely exit.

But that’s not how it happened….


The Woes of Internet Dating

I’ve been dating on line for going on 5 years. Yikes. I realize I’ve become “one of them.” The people you see online forever and wonder why they are still there. Maybe you should stay away from these people because they are clearly not relationship material? Yup, I bet that’s what some men think of me.

But I’m not here to talk about me. I’m here to entertain myself with some juicy repetitive and hysterical internet dating behaviors.

Some of these behaviors are just a mystery to me.

The idea of internet dating is to put your best foot forward and sell yourself in a few photos and perhaps a short bio. This would leave an intelligent person to believe that photos should be recent, clear and single person head shots.

Nope.

You get alllll kinds of awful first photos. Photos of old photos already framed (dudes we can see the reflection, we know). Photos so grainy it tells us either you are hiding something or you don’t know how to take a photo (hello 2019). Group photos where we don’t know which one is you but there is that one really good looking guy (turns out, it’s never you). Photos of your kids. This one really, really disturbs me. I understand your a family man, but I’m not dating the kids. I actually don’t even think it’s acceptable to put young children/teens on any dating site, never mind photos of just the kids without you. Just weird. But, I think my all time favorite photos are the college photos, or perhaps your all time favorite photo of yourself from 20-30 years ago.

Why?

Just why?

I don’t care how good looking you are 20 years ago when I’m dating you today. I want to see a clear photo of you TODAY.

Some examples:

Next up, filters. Ok, everyone uses them today to tweak a photo and I bet women are even more notorious for it then men. But, generally speaking, when a man does it he has no idea how to use the filter and virtually eliminates all signs of aging and makes himself look like a portrait.

Case in point:

The angry man. They actually don’t belong in online dating anymore. They’ve had enough and probably need a break because writing out your obvious displeasure with previous dates makes everyone else NOT want to date you.

And it’s not that we haven’t all been through some bad dates, but the point is: best foot forward. Who will you attract by being negative first?

Grammar and spelling. Yes. It’s a big deal. Use it.

I also always believe that the ones who write “no drama” are clearly the ones who attract the most drama.

You know how I feel about a man taking care of a bill on the first date. I am not an equal opportunity dater, and I never will be, period. But this guy advertises his displeasure. He also doesn’t really want to leave his house – so cheap and boring?

This is just funny but it happens – check your photos boys – you never know what’s in the background. Lots of men don’t crop out the old girlfriends hands etc. This ones for giggles:

If you do decide to write to someone, maybe try not to lead with sex? This is one of the creepier notes I’ve gotten and it’s even creepier because it’s so serious:

Politics. I bet I can write an entire post and there will be some that ONLY read this part. I’m moderate leaning towards conservative. But because I live in a metro city I’m surrounded by very, very loud and outspoken liberals. Which pretty much means that anything I think or feel is wrong. Period. It’s reverse discrimination here. I don’t think it belongs in a dating profile – it’s fine if you say liberal, conservative, middle-of-the-road, But there is no need to start with all the angry Trump terms. It’s a turn off. Even to the liberal women I know. It’s rampant here because it’s become so divisive. These particular ones speak to Trump directly which is different than the ones that state “no conservatives” (couldn’t find any of those today). It’s making the conservatives now write “no socialists”. Just ugh. My point is, leave the politics to a discussion.

Now, my all time favorite thing to see in a post is: I don’t live in my mother’s basement. For those of you who know, my x is moving in with his mother (into the same time) shortly. While I understand his reasons, it disgusts me and just reminds me how glad I am to be away from him. He has learned to justify his lack of drive in every way possible, but this takes the cake. What kind of example are you setting for your children?

To prove my point (to myself), I started collecting profiles that stated something about living at home – it’s clearly a “thing” as I’ve collected dozens. Men don’t respect other men who live in their Moms basement, no matter what the reason. My guess is other women don’t respect it either if the men feel so compelled to write it in a profile.

Honestly, this is just more entertainment than anything else. I don’t contact or interact with these men because, in my opinion, something is off if they feel the need to do/say these things. I feel like they have a chip on their shoulder.

My first impression needs to be: are you attractive to me? Are you taller than me? Is there something in your profile I can identify with? Basic matching criteria. If I’m dating you and you want to show me your college photos and tell a story, that’s great. If we speak and you want to tell me your an invested father, and talk about your kids, that’s great.

But guys, please, let’s stop trying to fool everyone.

There are plenty of good profiles that don’t have to be pages long, just enough to spark interest:

This is How a Big Girl Takes Getting Dumped

Maybe I have put on my big girl panties or maybe I knew they weren’t the right fit, either way I had two “break-ups” within the week.

I met a nice guy, Tom, had a great fun date and he was a super amazing kisser, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was not jiving for me. Since I’ve learned that when a man is interested he will pursue, I held back and waited. He would engage and then not follow up. I didn’t put much stock into it because there was something off about his whole story and he wasn’t communicative enough for me.

I went down to the beach to visit my cousins and we were going to a fun bar with a great band that night a week after that first date and we had been texting back and forth. He made a comment I was having fun while he was bored, so I invited him. It was a long drive for a short night and my cousin offered for him to stay. We had a lot of fun singing and dancing at the bar but I was already mostly drunk by the time he arrived. My cousins liked him and he fit in well. When we went back to the house I invited him to my room and then (I didn’t know this until the next morning) I stripped down, asked him to go down on me (he declined) got my jammies on and crawled into bed. He wrapped me in his arms and we fell asleep. He was a great cuddler. I vaguely remember stroking his cock.  One thing I can say in hindsight: I should’ve been embarrassed, I wasn’t.  And, although I was drunk, my wounds didn’t even cross my mind, so there’s that!

He had to leave early for work the next morning so we had a good laugh about my behavior the night before and he insisted he was taking it slow and being a gentleman. I’m telling you, it’s not that I didn’t believe him, but it still wasn’t settling right with me.

He was very communicative the next few days then disappeared again. This time I sent a text to ask if he was disinterested just to let me know. He came back with a call and text to ensure he was absolutely interested just trying to get his life settled (again parts of his story were not lining up for me).

Two days later he called and sent a text that he was “out” and had been lying to me about his situation with his x-girlfriend. That he was still drawn to her even though they had broken up and he had seen her that week.

When he started to tell me more than I wanted to know about his situation with her I cut him off with a polite, “thanks, you’re a great guy, it’s too bad, take care.” Deleted his text messages and didn’t look back.

Was I bummed? Yes. He met a bunch of my criteria, especially because he was funny. I knew I sensed a rat all along though, so my instincts are right on. Thank you, next.

A few days after that I received a text from August – quite a long text – apologizing for his lack of consistent communication and letting me know he settled into his new apartment and was surprised to find that he was having a great social life locally, and although I was a fabulous person, I just lived too far away and he didn’t want to deal with that. I sent a text back that said “Good luck” and deleted him as well.

I’m not happy about either of these two because it feels like I just can’t seem to find a match and that causes me to miss Tony. Then I find myself overthinking about Tony and it’s really hard to pull myself out of those negative thoughts. I literally have to keep repeating to myself that I will find the one for me in my time. These men were not the ones and I already knew that but it did stink to hear it twice in one week!

It also creates a little flurry of dating site activity and then I get frustrated by the lack of worthwhile choices. Is every man 5’8″ or living in the city and doesn’t want a woman outside the city? I don’t live on mars and I work in your city, why not give it a shot?  Then there are a bunch of men who refuse to talk before meeting and I have learned my lesson the hard way with this -I won’t do it anymore.  I am really trying to be flexible lately, but flexible within guidelines that feel comfortable to me and where I don’t waste my time meeting someone I haven’t made any connection with (this is very true of men over 55 for some reason).

The feeling of rejection is minor, I expected both August and Tom not to work long run, but wouldn’t have minded some dating.

In any case….next. 🙂

Dating

As the months have passed sitting in my own space (9 months now!) I have had some of my most self-aware moments. I’m not claiming sudden enlightenment, but I do have a new sense of self and can feel my strength and belief in myself coming back to life. I admit, this was a long time coming and it feels great.

As I’ve said before, there was no great epiphany, no secret sauce, no magic pill. I just did it. One step, one day, one molecule at a time. I practiced, failed, tried again and kept going. I paid attention to details I had let pass me by before. Small life details I didn’t have time to notice. I learned to take a deeper breath and hold it before exhaling. As this started to happen, as I took better care of my mind and body – I finally started to heal.

I am much more tentative than I have ever been in my life, I carry some fear around now. I am terrified of losing the tenuous grip I have on my new found sense of self. I am terrified of failing again. Believe it or not, I am hesitant to fall in love again. Maybe a little fear is good and will calm me down and perhaps make me a bit more kind and patient (two things that are not exactly strengths for me). Maybe I can label the fear as learning to be humble and demonstrating gratitude. I think this is something I need to work on.

As I’m sitting here thinking about where I am in my journey and where I’m heading, it occurred to me that dating has fallen off my priority list. It was never a “need to do,” but it’s always been “want to do.” Now it’s “I don’t actually care at the moment if I do or don’t, it will happen in its own time.”

I think I put it out into the universe after that last bad date. I was chastising myself for choosing to go out with someone who had red flags because it just showed me I was more interested in the going out part than the person themselves. I have plenty to keep me busy that I don’t have to waste dates. So a few weeks or about a month has passed where I didn’t engage in any relevant way on the dating sites. Sure, I looked and swiped right a couple times, but never really found what I was looking for. It became background chatter.

I still want a partner and I still believe I will be even better to myself if I have partner – I am certain I am made to be in relationship rather than on my own.

The difference is now I feel a sense of calm that my future partner will come to me when it’s meant to be. Knowing that is frustrating because I wish it was sooner rather than later, but I do believe once I’m healed I will be putting out the right vibes to attract the right partner.

I know what I want, I had it with Tony. I know I can’t recreate that, but I can certainly look for some of his hallmark characteristics. He definitely was a bit of magic sauce, the way he loved me and made me feel about myself. I may never get over the lingering heartbreak and sadness of losing him, but I can put it firmly behind me and look forward to what’s right for me. I now know I can do this.

I’ve met a couple men over the past months that ignited a little spark in me one way or the other. Rather than get depressed that those men didn’t work out, I’m taking the lessons and bringing them forward. I know natural banter is really important, as are decent social/dating skills. I know they have to really be into me and demonstrate it. I know they need to be tall (enough) and handsome (enough) to rev my engine. When these gears click, I slide easily into the next gear without thought. I can feel the difference between a natural and easy conversational cadence and one that requires me to make too much effort to sustain over time. I know I need the man to have children because parenting is supremely important to me. I know he needs to be invested in his job. I can find out all these things pretty quickly – and when they are missing, I don’t try and go looking for them anymore. I simply exit and move to the next, or as I’ve done more recently, just take a little break for a bit.

I had neglected to realize how important physical activity was to many men but I’ve rectified that in my own life and now even look for someone that is more active.

I still have my long, long list of requirements but I’m trying not to use it as my shopping list and instead stick to the above initial cues. If we can have a date where I feel good about our banter and intellectual and physical connection, then I’m all good. It’s been slow going, but I’m now ok with that.

I Almost Punched Him in the Face

I haven’t had a date go completely sideways in a while!  The last dating debacle I had was here. When I dodged a dating bullet.

Gosh, that was all the way back in January….I have gotten better at identifying the weirdos!  Or, at least going out with them- though he was a closet weirdo.

In any case, I had a date with Ed in May.  In hindsight, I admit the chemistry was missing before the date and I shouldn’t have gone.  We had spoken on the phone a couple times and he had some great attributes, but not being married before, no longer than a 5 year relationship, and no kids rang the fire alarm for me.  I just didn’t listen to it.

He had a decent career, though he was also currently out of work.  He had siblings and he took care of his mother and grandmother in their later years.  We had common interests, among them  travel and entertainment.  I thought I should give it a try since my boys are older now and my relationship will be about me with little involvement from my children.  That line of thinking is off, I realize, because my relationships will always have an impact on my children as they watch him care for me and interact with him.

We met at my favorite local restaurant and he had secured a small table by the bar.  You know me well enough to know that I think a man should ask if I want a drink relatively quickly, to me this is dating 101.  He never asked, despite my hints.  He started off with awkward conversation.  Ok, maybe he was nervous, but I didn’t think so, I just think he had zero dating savvy.

I finally got up after 15 minutes (at least) to get my own drink.  He still wasn’t phased.

We started talking about our job searches – and we had covered this quite a bit on the phone.  He claims he spends all day every single day working on his job search, and I challenged him that its not a full time job looking for a job, there’s just only so much networking you can do in a day, weeks or a month.  Perhaps he thought I was knocking his approach as he threw some zingers at me like “you get out of it what you put into it.” which certainly felt like he was telling me I was out of work too long (he doesn’t know the back-story, I don’t share my medical history so soon).  He questioned me like a college professor giving me a quiz on how many people I speak to, what I talk to them about, and how I reach out to companies.  I shared some articles I had read about the best way to approach reaching out to your 1st/2nd/3rd level contacts and how that had worked for me…but he was instant I wasn’t digging deep enough or hard enough.

I started to get a bit put-off.

And then, he threw the biggest bomb at me…..

As we were now heavily debating the approach of how to do a job search, he threw in “well, of course you can sit at home and take your time when you are getting a nice sum from alimony and child support.”

OMG.

Speechless.

I should have thrown my drink in his face and left.  I could barely contain my composure.  But I sat calmly, I know my entire face flushed with anger, and I asked “is that what you think? That I have an income?”

His answer was “don’t all divorced women take their x for all they are worth?  You probably have a good income from him.”

By this time between his opinion on my job search and his utter stupid comment on my divorce I shot back “Now its clear to me why you haven’t had a long relationship or been married.”

His answer “I also haven’t been divorced.”

And I said “No, you haven’t, but I put in 22 great years and have a family to show for it as well as a successful career.  My type of  networking landed me no less than 3 good interviews this month, while yours has done you no favors.  And, for the record, I was the breadwinner in my family and I support my children and home 100% on my own, all without a law degree from Harvard.”

I shouldn’t have qualified anything.  I should have gotten up and left.  But he kept talking, and not even an apology just a comment “well, thats not most divorced women.” and kept going!  I tried to extricate myself and just couldn’t.    This man just kept trying to explain himself and his relationships and how his life netted out (why he never got married or had kids etc).  He was on the defensive but I didn’t care at that point.  And he didn’t care that I didn’t care, I wish I had it in me to be completely rude and exit.

I swallowed the rest of my drink and stood and he asked me to wait while he paid the bill, when he saw I was clearly walking out one way or the other.  He tried to kiss me goodnight and I turned my head.  He asked me out again and I smiled and got in my car.

I didn’t hear from him for several weeks until this week, when he wrote prompting to open conversation.  He literally wrote a text as if nothing had happened at the meeting, telling me he was thinking of me as his gym had installed some Pelotons.    He really didn’t get it.

I get angry even typing this story – but going on that date was my own fault and I knew before I went there was something a bit off about him.   He delivered that zinger so frankly that I know he had no social skills.  Probably didn’t do justice to his lack of social skills because I’ve mostly forgotten about the date from 3 weeks ago.

Well, best of luck to him.

Thank you, next.

 

 

 

 

Peloton Homecoming Weekend

I committed myself to 90/100 days of exercise and well-being and other than a few sickness blips along the way, have stuck to it entirely. The greatest motivation of all is my Peloton community and I can’t be more thankful to be a part of such a supportive group.

Peloton is about 6 years old and they host something called a Home Rider Invasion once a year. The Homecoming consistents of talks, community events, a sample sale and studio exercise with your favorite instructor. There is definitely an atmosphere of hero-worship with the instructors and everyone wants and opportunity to meet them and ride with them.

I admit, for the first time in my life, to geeking out full fan girl on the weekend. Why not? 3k other riders did! I got a hotel for 2 nights, I participated in all the events, and I rode my heart out and made new friends along the way. I had so much fun. I had invested in a new lifestyle and this felt like coming home to my tribe of peeps.

I wish I could bottle the feeling, but it took me several days to actually recover from the weekend events. I fade very fast now which still concerns me. Doctor appts to follow in the next couple weeks.

I had committed to attending alone, but at the last moment a Peloton friend wanted to come in Friday and don’t have a room so I offered to share mine. I didn’t regret making a new friend and she was super easy to get along with. A bit of a chatty Kathy but I realized I could just walk away from that when I needed. She made my life super easy because she was organized and got us to our locations on time. Friday night was a happy hour and we had a few hundred attendees from the Facebook group I participate in. Some people are very good at this kind of socialization. I have always struggled with it. I wish I was better. I can do a little but can’t sustain. I’m sure there were many more people I would have liked to interact with but I sort of turn inwards thinking I’m bothering people or they are not so interested in me. The night was fun in any case. My roommate was super active in the room but she over ruled any conversation I would have and I eventually grew tired of trying to socialize with her. She’s just a different type of person than I am. She seems to demand attention and desperately wants to share and be part of the group. I’m ok hanging back and enjoying everyone’s enjoyment!

The next day we attended some Peloton events and then there was an afternoon rush. I had a studio ride, a hair appt then a race to get ready to get to a HH. August was due to meet me at the hotel. The studio ride was amazing with some of my Pelo-peeps! The energy was fabulous and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought possible. Meeting people I had interacted with virtually was really fun! I struggled to make my hair appt and back to the hotel fast enough and finally bagged the scheduled HH (I regretted that in hindsight because it was a great HH and even smaller than Friday so better for networking).

I had a fabulous brightly colored silk jumpsuit to wear that set off my hair and newly formed arm muscles (they are getting there!) but just wanted to slow down for a minute getting ready. August waited in the bar for me as I got ready. A few friends stayed behind and we all met to have a drink. August is a striking figure and personable so the girls migrated to him easily. He really made our night easy as he held bags and took photos, always made sure we had drinks and was generally along for the ride. Honestly, I didn’t pay very much attention to him as I was so caught up in the atmosphere around us. I didn’t have any indication that August minded or was uncomfortable and I did watch him early on for signs of this.

We made our way to the massive evening event (think a small concert) and danced the night away. Everyone had so much fun. August couldn’t get over how people responded to me – and I suppose I don’t see what he sees – he felt that I energized everyone around me and people migrated to me. It’s funny that I don’t feel that at all, I don’t like to impose on people and I’m very forgetful about details so I’m cautious about meeting too many people and gathering too much information I know I won’t retain. I wish I could capitalize on this energy and connection August saw oozing from me – I wish I knew how to lead or group strangers in a way that was meaningful. I can do with a very small groups (an I did have small group with me all evening) but I’m no good at doing it multiple times. It does have me thinking that if other people see this compelling leadership ability in me (outside of work) then I should also consider how to put it to further use.

August was a fun and easy partner for the evening. I honestly have no idea if he responds to me, or I to him, but there isn’t much of a connection between us for one reason or another. I feel as though he’s impressed with me, thinks I’m beautiful and intelligent, but has zero clue how to act on it. He doesn’t do anything, absolutely nothing, that makes me feel like he’s all that interested in me or wants me. Which makes him easy to ignore and, perhaps, creates the loop. He needs a lot of direction and I find that frustrating as it’s a throwback to my marriage. But, on this very busy and engaging evening, he didn’t matter.

I also did not think about Tony even once. Someone asked me later if I saw him at the event and I truthfully replied that I had forgotten to look. 10 points for me. Trixie was nowhere to be seen.

After the cocktail party a group of us made our way back to the hotel for food, drinking and dancing. As we dropped things in the room, August made a comment about sex (don’t recall exactly what it was) and I dropped my jumpsuit, leaned over the bed and said “ok!” And he looked at me and laughed and said no woman had ever dropped their clothes so fast for him! We had a perfunctory quickie from behind, no kissing, no touching, nothing but penetration and his orgasm. Got dressed and joined the group. I had already had too much to drink at this point and it didn’t phase me. In hindsight though, he didn’t so much as touch me or show any interest in more than he got.

Our night was spent dancing and laughing before we made it to the room around 2am. August ran and got tacos for the whole group before we departed – there is nothing better than drunk taco! Lol. Then we made our way back to the room because we were due to be back at the event by 10am. August and I chatted while he climbed into bed and packed up and cleaned up. He eventually fell asleep before I crawled in. I was a little surprised he gave me a hug and we fell asleep. I know we didn’t touch the entire night, again. If it sounds dull, it was. It was fine.

We woke the next morning and he was kind enough to go in search of coffee and a valet cart for me. We checked out and made our way to the event. I could tell he wasn’t super enthused we missed food, but he managed on some protein bars. We did some of the morning events and made our way to a hotel nearby for a disaster of a brunch (no service and causing me to be late to my next event so I was full of complaints – they comped our meal). We had fun walking around and chatting and participating. He was such a good sport about taking photos and patiently watching me be an active fan girl. No hand holding. No hugging. No kissing. I do touch my partners, so my hand is generally on his shoulder or arm when I begin speaking to him. Normally a man will react to this by engaging me in a more physical way, pull me closer, hug me, kiss me, put an arm around me. Not August.

It had been pouring rain all morning and we caught a break so took a nice walk through the city. I enjoyed our time together but realize I can’t get a read on him exactly. Some small things send up some cues for me – like I can’t tell if he’s actually cheap or frugal. He’s observant and kind with some things and entirely neglectful of others. And I really don’t think he has a clue how to behave like a boyfriend. I don’t get the feeling his neglect is intentional. I could be wrong but I don’t know. However, if I make any move towards him that’s affectionate his face lights up but he doesn’t exactly respond in kind. I am no longer the kind of person that will go out of my way for a man if they don’t know how to manage their outward affections. I did it for 22 years and it didn’t work. This is where Tony ruled the romance kingdom – I always felt like his beloved. I adored that feeling and it made me feel like a queen and gave me a lot of power. I know I need that. August doesn’t have a clue how to do that. And as ageist as this sounds, I do think it’s a by-product of his generation and his upbringing. Again, I could be wrong but I think I’ve dated enough now to make these generalizations.

We made our way back to the hotel and gathered our things, loaded my car and parted with a kiss on the cheek. I really enjoyed my weekend, was happy to have August there, but he wasn’t the reason I enjoyed the weekend. Had he not been there I would have been fine and wondered if I should have tried it alone. I bet my luck would have been bad – I would have seen Tony and ruined a perfectly good weekend! 😂

I made some everlasting friendships and August committed to working out after meeting so many average people who dedicate their time and energy to this brand. He was surprise they weren’t all athlete types and so many were just “average Americans.” He was an Olympian (sorry, I was schooled that he IS an Olympian- once and Olympian always an Olympian!). This is why I love this community: anyone can excel. All you need to do is show up and do your best and they’ve got your back!

I know Peloton gave me my life back. ❤️

So Many Men….So Much Time!

I’m going to take KDaddys advice (from several posts ago!) and try very hard to start focusing on what’s in front of me (a new relationship) instead of obsessing over Tony.

So, I started to think about dating this time around.

I recall when I started my first blog in early 2014, when I was entering my separation stage and starting to go on first dates, that I never really logged my first dates. I was better a talking the sex romp stories. But that’s where my head was at the time!

I wish I counted or captured all the dates before I deleted that blog. I hadn’t slept with many men before marriage, but I made up for all of in the two years before I met Tony!

Now that I’m in a very different phase of life, I decided I should keep a list of my first dates – I feel like I go on so many of them. I probably have double or triple the amount of phone and text conversations before a date is even made. Now I entirely understand why divorced people say dating is such hard work. Knowing what you want and sticking to your choices is tough. But anything else is a waste of time.

Here’s a quick recap of the first dates I’ve been on since I opened up the apps last November.

1. Rob (6’4″) – November/December

2. Brian – January

3. Joe – January

4. Jack – January

5. Matthew – January/February

6. Anthony – February

7. Greg – February

8. Jack2 – February

9. Craig – March

10. Duke – April

11. August – April

Here we are just about to face the first week of May and, as I look at my list above, I don’t think it’s too bad. Some days it feels like more than it is – first dates over and over can get exhausting – but I had a flurry of activity after the New Year and have slowed down to a more reasonable 2 dates a month. Maybe slow and steady wins the race or maybe I’m just over the same thing time after time. Either way, I plan to keep track go forward since I didn’t do that in my first blog!

I think I’m doing better overall with my choices. I don’t feel in any rush to jump into dates just to keep busy – and I have a hella lot of time to fill! I try to reflect on my dates each time and see what I can take forward.  I think I am better at evaluating what is worth my time and energy and where I want to invest.

I absolutely feel differently about dating this time around. It doesn’t feel as frivolous as before which probably has some good and not-so-good aspects to it. I think I’ve matured as far as dating goes and become a little bit more open-minded.

Part of the fun goes away when you stop being frivolous and start focusing on real relationship material.  It’s probably also what turns some guys off to me as well, but if a man can’t say “I am also looking to have a relationship” and instead says “I wills hat happens” it only indicates to me he really isn’t thinking about long term.

I do know I don’t want to be alone, and perhaps, during this more quiet time in my life, I will be better able to evaluate the must-haves from my long list of relationship requirements.

Strange Days

I am beginning to wonder if thinking of Tony is cyclical. Maybe hormonal related? Or maybe it’s the empath in me. Whatever it is, I am sure it’s some kind of strange intuition because I’m not sure I can believe things are just this random.

I believe Tony is most likely still employed at Peloton. I bought the bike last summer to feel closer to him. Stupidest reasoning ever, but there’s the truth of it. I can’t even make sense of it. I barely rode in the beginning and he didn’t ride at all – he just worked at the corporate HQ.

When I had my last break of texting his wife in early February, I also made the decision that if I didn’t absorb myself into something else that I was going to slip right back into a massive depression. The bike is very expensive and it was sitting there. It was an easy choice that was healthy for me.

And then, in typical Madeline fashion, I became obsessed. This is a good obsession and keeps me focused and healthy. I feel fantastic after so many months of a sedentary and disabled life.

I didn’t think about Tony when I chose to invest my energy in the Peloton, somehow he became less the reason for the bike. I joined several groups for support and quickly joined the Peloton cult. I check in with members every day, ride in a group, and have made friends that I will be meeting in person this weekend. The community is so supportive its insane. I chose to buy into it. (I acknowledge I need to write a post about self-talk….a whole bunch of thoughts have been bubbling up lately).

With that said, there was one ride an instructor called Tony’s name in a shout-out. I can guess this instructor and Tony have become friends. It sucked for a day or so and started me thinking about Tony’s participation in Peloton (because he wasn’t a rider when I bought the bike).

Late last week, Tony has been in the forefront of my thoughts again – which never bodes well. I want to speak to him so badly and have to argue with myself consistently. There is no good outcome from reaching out to him. There is no reason to reach out to him.

Of course it never stops there with me.

Once I started to think of him more consistently again, the thought occurred to me he may be participating in the same Peloton event that I am attending this weekend. Then nausea started to set in. If I were to see him, and possibly with his wife, and certain he would ignore me – it would probably debilitate me and ruin my entire Peloton community weekend.

Then yesterday, I was in the city and was “this close” to taking a class at the studio when I decided to head home instead. Thank goodness my feet took me home because, I took that class on demand later in my day and who was at the front of class: Tony. Same instructor, Tony’s kind of music, and he was seated right at the front of class where you can see him on video most of the class. Of course the instructor also shouted him out and spoke to him.

I didn’t feel sick this time. Instead I worked up my best time ever and sweat mounds of sweat getting through that ride cursing the bastard for sitting there in his life. Knowing he’s back into his perfect life and marriage and just feeling angry. The anger fueled me and I got a personal best record for the ride. I wasn’t done. I went down to my treadmill for another hour-and-a-half and did some walk + run classes to continue my sweat.

If I had bumped into him at the studio, it would not have gone well. His last words to me were “my last impression of you is an asshole. Congratulations”. He means it too. I crossed the line with his wife and his wife told his kids – his worst nightmare come true to look bad in their eyes. I know him well enough to know he doesn’t forgive, certainly not a threat to his family. I am the one who hurt his family and he will always think of me that way. I am sad about it, but that’s my own doing.

This is why I think it’s some strange intuition in me. I started thinking of him and suddenly he actually manifests.

I don’t think he will be at the event this weekend, but as a sort of protection, August is going with me to the Saturday evening cocktail party and concert. It was a last minute decision when I heard from August again and I hope I don’t regret it. He’s about to be thrown into a pool of Peloton crazies and I don’t care. As long as he’s on my arm if Tony should be there.