Category Archives: Chi-guy

what goes unsaid

As I’ve mentioned, my ex boyfriend and I have been a bit chatty lately, occasionally meeting for coffee and such. It’s certainly pleasant to reconnect, but there’s more:  hearing his voice, spending time with him — it does send my imagination to spinning.

Probably he senses this:  after all, he’s a smart man. And so he goes on, telling me of his happy new relationship — the milestones, the shared experiences, how crazy she is for him…

The one thing he’s failed to express is how crazy he is for her.

Do you reckon that’s to spare my feelings? Or for some other reason…?


another door closes

Not that it was open, or anything…but I’ve recently learned that Chi-guy got remarried. How did I come upon this fascinating tidbit, you might ask? Facebook, of course.

It’s funny when someone who was once in your life (remembered fondly, probably because we were never more than flirtatious friends) moves on in very real way. I can’t deny feeling a twinge of emotion — not because it didn’t happen for us, though perhaps because it’s happened now for one of us. And that one wasn’t me.

I wish them well, blah, blah, blah… Truly, I hope that he’s learned to be a better man in this relationship than I observed him being when I last visited him. And her, too:  there was a distinct moment that struck me as very “I will not be ignored, Dan!” (picture Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction). Perhaps I am being unfair. And perhaps that long ago visit was exactly the catalyst they needed to get over a relationship hump and move forward.

…for that, newlyweds, you’re welcome!

Just kidding.


online again

So…I went back to online dating. Back, that is, to the freebie, noncommittal site where I’m suspicious about whether I’m wasting my time. The online approach is a needle-in-a-haystack gambit anyway, but I met a few interesting folks last time around, so why not give it a shot?

At least that’s what I was thinking when I clicked “reinstate”…and, despite the fact that several men have contacted me and I have contacted, um, none, I can barely gear up to reply. I’m just not that interested…(or is it that I’m completely self-absorbed?).

Perhaps I’ll give it a couple more weeks of dabbling…yet I’m inclined to think that my life is good:  my cup is always overflowing, I’m having a wonderful time with my children and my own interests, and I’m grateful for what I’ve got going on right now as a single, fabulous mama!

 


the Chicago trip Chi-guy wrap

Having mentioned my Chicago family vacation and seeing Chi-guy, I feel somewhat obligated to provide a bit of a summary. And it’s been a few days since my last post…

First, let me divulge that I know my feelings for Chi-guy have been deeper and stronger than they’ve ever had reason to be. I have such love for this man, this flawed fellow human — it’s almost as though we’ve gone through some terrifying, exhilarating experience together (i.e. parallel divorces) that’s bonded us…except I’m not sure whether he feels that bond, at least not in the same way. At any rate, he is just a regular man. Amazing in some ways — witty, playful, so smart, sexy, handsome — and flawed in others:  overindulgent as a father, cynical, and sometimes his humor veers toward mean funny (as I once described as douchebag humor in this post about him).

Let me also say that I’m done chasing men and have learned to let go of expectations. I had no thoughts that anything romantic or physical might happen — particularly since I was traveling with children (one of whom refuses to go to sleep in new / strange places without me). Still, there was a twinkling of hopeful “what if?” in the back of my mind…

Here’s what didn’t happen:

  • Romantic interludes or overtures:  he did not seek me out after our children had fallen asleep to wrap his arms around me and make-out (fun though that might have been)…but we did get to spend a little quality time chatting on his deck. And we didn’t enact this shower fantasy of mine.
  • Falling more deeply into infatuation:  I love this man. I don’t even know why, really. But it’s the sort of agape feeling of wanting the best for another and letting go. I have no pangs of yearning or wantonness for him (that I think I probably did several months ago).

So what happened?

  • We drove to his place and he dropped us at our downtown hotel, since the parking is free and convenient in his neighborhood.
  • He gave us a couple of museum family passes to enjoy some of the grand attractions in the city.
  • He picked us back up a couple of days later and took us for dinner, and then we had a sleepover play date (involving that horrid creation, the inflatable air bed) with him and his daughter.
  • He was ever the well-mannered, charming, generous man I’ve come to know, while still maintaining his boundaries.
  • His omitting the presence in his life of a girlfriend to me and a play date with me to her got him into a bit of hot water (with her, not me).

feeling giddy

I’m on vacation. I brought the children to Chicago to see some sights…and you know who’s in this town:  Chi-guy! I’ve already seen him (and, sadly, he’s feeling sick)… But, oh, what a gentleman! What manners!

My children are with me, and tomorrow we have a play date planned with him and his daughter, so I have no illusions of any “adult” fun. It’s just that the energy of this city excites me — and something about Chi-guy’s dreamy energy gives me a delightfully giddy, girlie feeling!

 


are my feelings finally growing up?

There are things I don’t reveal here …and maybe shouldn’t ever reveal. Not every entry lends itself to complete and full-on truth. It’s not a journal I’m writing here; it’s a blog. And I want to shape each entry, to create form, something like a chapter. So I give about 95% and keep just a little sliver to myself, to enjoy, to revel in knowing a secret — my own secrets.

But here’s something I want to be straight about that I wasn’t really before. I was really attached to the idea of Chi-guy for a long time. And then I met more-like-it. In one 75-minute meeting, all of that attachment to a man in Chicago was snapped completely.

Don’t get me wrong, the love is still there. It’s a deep, true, generous and heartfelt concern for a truly wonderful human. But I’m detached about it now. I’m in a more mature place with it; I have a more objective perspective. Sometimes when Chi-guy and I talk now, we joke about the naughty things we’re going to do to one another when we see each other… but we make no plans to see each other. And if we did see each other, I’m fairly confident that we’re both going to live in the moment and do whatever feels right with acceptance, compassion, presence and love, whether that’s talking or touching or crying or laughing or gettin’ jiggy.

So the thought has crossed my mind more than once that more-like-it is someone who came into my life solely for the purposes of breaking the Chi-guy spell, proving there are more options, reminding me that really awesome guys live in this city and — this is my girlfriends’ summation — reminding me what type of man is “in my league.” Maybe that’s it, yet…

All this talk about more-like-it could easily lead one to believe that I’m hung up on him. But it’s not really like that. What I’ve felt all along is more like intrigue, a general interest in spending more time (which I’ve enjoyed) to see if I like him. I mean, I like him…yet I don’t know whether I like him. I’m not sure yet…I’m simply drawn in, curious. There’s been no instant infatuation, just an undercurrent of desire to see what might be around the next corner.

And, maybe because it doesn’t feel urgent or intense, my own feelings seem more mature. It’s not the kind of thing that Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently wrote in Committed, “puts me through the wood chipper.” Maybe that’s why I want to feel more of it, and why I’m open to noticing and experiencing that feeling, from whatever direction it may come.


have I mentioned what my mother thinks?

My mother has just popped in for a visit… I’m not sure whether I’ve explicitly mentioned this or not:  my mother thinks Chi-guy rocks. Why?

Because I told her what happened in Chicago last Labor Day Weekend. I told her that I’d been flirting with a guy I’ve long known, that I was pretty sure we were going to sleep together and that, although I’d made my interest known, he patted me on the knee, told me he liked me and bid me goodnight…potentially the single most humiliating experience of my life.

Her response: “So you finally met a decent man!”

To which I might ask, “what kind of mother-f$#%ing c@#%-sucker would let a girl believe he was good to go and then turn her down?”

Even having seen a photo of “The Hammer” (yes, I’ve actually showed my mother), she thinks he must be pretty great. (Of course, anyone who’s seen the hammer thinks he’s pretty great!)

But let’s take a step back and analyze this train of thought:  it would appear that my mother, who has never once met or spoken with Chi-guy, thinks he is fabulous based only on his refusal to sleep with me. Because of some weird “he liked me” whatever thing that was going on with him. Which struck me as very high school at the time.

So let’s consider the fact that most of the men in the world have not slept with me. And this fact is not due entirely to refusals, but also my own good sense. In fact, while Chi-guy might tease me about being easy, this is not entirely the case. True, I’ve been probably too honest with him about my post-divorce escapades… yet I am, in fact, very selective.

There are an awful lot of men I haven’t slept with. To be sure, I haven’t slept with most men. I haven’t even slept with most single men within in a given desirable age range and aesthetic within a five-mile radius. Does this make them all fabulous potential mates? According to my mother’s reasoning, one might think so…or perhaps it might only if they turned me down.

Chi-guy laughs at all this talk. He has suggested that I should certainly consider allowing someone else to make choices for me, given the poor judgment I’ve exhibited in the past. (But good Lord, so has my mother! And, let us remember, Chi-guy’s marriage also ended in divorce.) Were I to delve into the topic of arranged marriage, it could take several posts. So, for now, let’s just say that I will happily accept the consequences of my own choices…I think.


what changes once it’s final?

Today…

As usual, I checked in with Facebook in the morning before I left for work. Status updates from Chi-guy tend to be few and far between, so I noted with interest his comment about the cold, rainy day being an appropriate backdrop for the kind of day he had planned. I wondered if this was it…

Divorce is something I’ll never really find a way to rejoice. Even if it’s absolutely the right thing and the best thing for all parties, there is no way for me to view it wholly as a win-win. It’s a moody or melancholy occasion at best. And so I made a mental note to call and check in this evening. (Again, “super friend” mode…)

As it happened, we texted back and forth a few times throughout the day, and he confided his newly (legally) single status to me late in the afternoon. Does this change anything? Not really. We still live in different cities, find each other attractive and flirt. But nothing’s really different, right?

He acknowledged that it’s been an emotional day. He was comforted by having his daughter with him for the evening and overnight. And he generally seemed in good spirits having had, as he pointed out, “some time to get used to the idea.”

So maybe it’s his candor and openness, or his sense of humor — we seem to laugh a great deal together — but those are things we’ve shared for months. It seems they’ve always been there. Perhaps it’s that he’s genuinely available now in a way that he wasn’t before.

Whatever the case, I’m telling you one thing for certain:  this man has never been so sexy!


how is life better now?

About seven months ago…

Chi-guy and I were in my hotel room, on the bed, fully clothed. He said, “I just don’t understand what about her life could be better now… without me.”

I was a good six months ahead of Chi-guy’s divorce timeline. And I’d had time to process my feelings and make decisions before asking my ex to move out. (One of my girlfriends, a therapist, has often told me, “Grief does not give credit for time served.” Some days I’m pretty sure she’s right.)

I thought about Chi-guy’s question for a long time, and here’s what I think based on my experience of being a single mother and homeowner:  Life is certainly not easier or necessarily better now that I’m single parenting in addition to all the other responsibilities and obligations I’ve been managing, for the most part, alone. I can’t just call and say I’ll be home late because I’m going to join some colleagues for happy hour. I can’t just stay late at the office because I need to put in some extra time at work. It’s much more difficult to make plans. I basically have every other weekend “off.” I drop my children off at the bus stop, and pick them up from child care after work, losing 30 – 60 minutes of work productivity per day in the process. I’ve got to cook a balanced meal every night. I have to shovel snow, mow the lawn, take out garbage and sort recycling.

But the exhaustion I feel in trying to meet these constant, everyday demands is offset by no longer managing the emotional drain of living in an unfulfilling relationship. I was lonelier in my marriage than I am single. Living with someone who would not (or could not) demonstrate love or commitment (at least not in a way that met my minimum requirements) provided constant reinforcement for every insecurity I’ve ever had. While this forced me to grow and heal in many ways, it would have been more life affirming to have chosen a more supportive partner.

And when I realized that, even if I did all the counseling and emotional work I need to fix myself, my spouse still wasn’t going to change anything about himself, I gave myself permission to admit failure.


spring status update

I think I thought I knew what I was looking for. I think I thought I was ready to meet someone special. But the more I put myself out there, the more I realize how cautious and self-protective I am, and it seems that all this dating business is a lot of work.

I mean, there have been some guys with whom it doesn’t seem like work at all — in fact, those are the ones I’ve mostly written about here. Chi-guy and more-like-it come to mind. I think I could talk to either for an eternity without getting bored or having to manufacture the next topic of conversation. And yet neither really put the moves on, either…and a guy’s got to express a little bit of romantic interest for this to work.

Other guys I’ve met have been much more eager to touch me, kiss me, do the more “dating-like” things with me, but they haven’t been as easy conversationalists. And, when one is considering the importance of long-term companionship, the ease with which conversation flows matters.

Still other men have proven to be incredible flakes. One instant messaged me to ask if we could meet that very evening, and then removed his profile completely only moments later. In fact, a few have removed profiles in the midst of a dialogue, which I find somewhat strange. (Though I may be about to do that very thing myself…)

The healthiest and most satisfying relationships I’ve had have begun as friendships. But I’ve seen a great deal of dating advice that cautions against hoping that a friendship will ever lead to more. Furthermore, it seems a little off to put oneself out there on a dating site and then suggest that one is interested in developing new friendships. That sounds a little too disingenuous — like friends with benefits. Which is not what I’m looking for. (Though I could go for a little sporting action while keeping a watchful eye for Mr. Right.)

When I step back and look at the bigger picture, it feels very funny to me to acknowledge that my most significant post-marriage relationships have been with Max and then Chi-guy. I actually talked about Max with Chi-guy, who asked me “So what exactly happened between you and Max?” “Nothing,” I answered, “we developed a beautiful flirtatious friendship that helped me find myself again.”

And there are those who ask what happened with Chi-guy. The same answer is true…nothing happened. We’ve developed a beautiful flirtatious friendship…

But a girl can always hope!