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.

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:

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.

The Ghosts

I met two men on line that I was very attracted to, and had that little flutter of “oh I hope they write and like me too!”

Both turned into ghosts. Multiple times.

August met all the immediate criteria and we hit it off quickly on dating app text. We exchanged numbers and text a bit more for a day or two then he disappeared for over a week. I didn’t think twice because, unfortunately, ghosting is so damn normal these days. After a period of time he popped back up with a good explanation and photos of his kids and asked me out immediately. I let the first ghosting pass, we all get caught up in our lives. We made some fun plans for this week and agreed to speak on phone. He initiated both the date and the suggestion of a phone conversation. Now, he’s ghosted me again! As much as I would like to see him tomorrow, the lack of communication (since Friday) is an issue. If he can’t even text a hello over a series of days and expects me to come into the city tomorrow for a day date, will that be any different after the date? Is it worth the time, effort and cost to take myself all the way into the city to meet a man I will probably like only for him to keep ghosting me like this?

What do you think?

My friends are split decision on August.

Then there is Dave. Dave actually appeared on the scene in 2017 when Tony and I had our first break. Tony couldn’t work up the courage to speak to his wife and I was frustrated so I chose to start dating again. I liked Dave immediately. He hit most of my criteria except for never married and no kids. We had 3 dates, all fun and laughter and he was an amazing kisser. If we had met again, no doubt I would have slept with him. He was a huge turn on for me – and, later, a real sore spot for Tony. After our 3rd date, which went very well, Dave ghosted me. It was disappointing and unexpected but it happened. Eventually I got back with Tony and Dave slipped from my mind. Until now, when he started to appear on every one of my dating apps as a match. He eventually reached out to me to chat and then asked me out. He thought the “dating gods” were trying to tell us something. I really want to go out with Dave…but he’s is as inconsistent with communication as he was the first time and I still get a feeling he’s not all that interested. He doesn’t strike me as the pursuer, I always got the feeling he wants to be pursued. Yes, he asked me out, but it feels half-hearted to me, as though he recalls our chemistry (which he’s mentioned a few times) and figures we can fool around while he looks for his next relationship. He also asked me to come to him – which I did on our last date in 2017 – and couldn’t recall where I lived and wasn’t keen on coming to me. I think he wants what he can get (a for now fling) and isn’t really interested in me.

I think I need to just stop with Dave.

Both August and Dave are the type of man (on the surface) I would like to be dating. But I don’t think I’m getting the reciprocation I need and have a funny feeling I never will.

Do I just stop now with both and call it a day?

What do you think about these ghosts?