Tag Archives: online dating

mad, now sad

I’ve shared that I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of six to eight weeks feeling sheer, murderous rage… No, I didn’t hurt anybody, and I’ve moved on: Now I’m sad. Not depressed…but genuinely, deeply sad.

I credit all this to my ex who passed (or committed suicide, one sip at a time, depending on how you look at it) six months ago and the relationship that blossomed and disappeared all within two months of that…and then my workload doubled, my child got a concussion and my last remaining grandparent died, yada yada yada. This is life; I get it… but could the shit storm of it end for a few months, please?! All I’m asking is for a brief reprieve of ease, abundance, and good times — or a lotto win — to heal, to get beyond thinking about Lee every. single. day. Biggest mindfuck of my life! And biggest heartbreak.

As grateful as I am for a rich and rewarding life, my feelings are swaying me harder than they have ever before. I am able to get up and exercise, coach and manage others, move forward in life, behave as though everything is normal…and yet I ache. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt this much…or allowed myself to. And it sucks! Is every breakup worse than the one before?

The ridiculous thing is, I’ve been — off and on, when I’m feeling most emotionally healthy and balanced — meeting new people. I’m of two minds about this:  One is in no way am I emotionally in a place where I should be looking to start a relationship. Two is that no other cure beats getting back on that horse. Ugh. What strangeness it is to feel so broken and, at a macro level, so incredibly ready to find my life mate!

As my therapist would say, “hold the tension.”

Here’s the deal (in case the universe is listening — please tell me you saw the Bill Nye / Amy Schumer video about the universe!):  I’ve made my peace with being a single woman — I’ve learned to love single life, to live independently, to enjoy rich relationships with my children and girlfriends…and I. AM. SO. DONE. I want partnership. I’ve wanted partnership. I’ve stopped looking in the wrong places. I’ve stopped getting distracted by the latest bright, shiny object. I’ve found the balance between too many filters and not enough. I’m ready.

And I’m premenstrual. And, you’ll be glad to know, I’m starting grief counseling (along with my children) in two weeks.

Advertisements

an awkward answer

The more time that’s passed since I last saw Lee, the more the anger has dissipated. I’ve been meditating more again, trying to connect to the unified field and focusing on opening my heart to genuinely welcome my true mate.

Interestingly, when I closed my eyes and imagined him (this elusive life mate) walking toward me, taking my hands and standing face to face, it was often Lee’s face that appeared in my mind. One day recently, I was listening to an audio program about how to spot a conscious man (because “conscious” manifests differently in men than it does in women), when my son walked in the room. He listened for a moment to the ways the interviewee described a conscious male and said, “Lee.”

So my heart has been softening, fond memories resurfacing and, every so often, I’ve imagined what it would be like to see Lee again.

Today that happened.

Let me pause and share that my imagined reunions included a warm exchange of greetings followed by a long embrace. Have you ever watched a daytime drama? You know, where people greet each other with a dramatic and meaningful:

How are you?

And then they really listen for an answer. That’s how I imagined it would be, I guess…that we’d recognize that we cared for one another, that we shared fond memories, that we once meant something to one another.

That is not remotely how our meeting went.

My son and I were on a popular local walking path when I saw someone who looked vaguely familiar walking toward us along the path. As the distance decreased, it looked a lot like Lee. My heart skipped a beat as I realized it was Lee walking with a colleague I’d recognized from pictures. I’m sure my jaw dropped and I was ready to share a moment as he nodded, said “hello” and kept walking…

I turned my head and body around as he walked by, lowering my sunglasses and looking at him quizzically. Sensing that our now awkward interaction was not yet over, he turned and asked, “Doing well?”

“Yes,” I stupidly answered, though it was clearly a lie — at least in that moment, “You?”

“Doing well,” he answered, his body still facing the opposite way, willing him to get the hell out of there as quickly as humanly possible. Meanwhile, his confused colleague and I clearly were not going to be introduced.

We turned and kept walking, the distance between us growing, no longer possible to bridge.

Just a few days ago, as I dipped a toe back into the dating scene, I wondered whether Lee ever thought of me… I guess there was a part of my heart holding out hope that he might come back, thinking that he might be my unicorn.

Now I know for certain he’s not.

It’s only after an encounter like this that I wish I would have had the presence to be truly genuine, to answer transparently:

“No, actually; you broke my heart.”

The only minor satisfaction I get is knowing he had to explain the awkwardness to his colleague afterward… and noting that, like me, he hadn’t managed to drop any of his winter weight.

Beyoncé, where are you with that Lemonade when I need you?!


meeting more men

As I wrote about a couple of months ago in “licking my wounds,” I began online dating…again…and got a fair amount of attention right away. In person, I only ended up meeting two guys:

One, incredibly tall and broad-shouldered, took me to lunch at a fun neighborhood spot. We had a congenial conversation. There was camaraderie, but no sparks.

The other was slightly more interesting in the way it unfolded:  We were chatting online when I complained about a UX (that’s “user experience,” in case you were wondering) issue I was having while trying to buy concert tickets online. He told me to give him my digits, and he would try to help. By the next morning, he had texted me that he had “the goods,” and I would have to meet him. I told him I was busy, and I’d be out of town over the Thanksgiving weekend, so he’d have to wait. He asked where I was going, and it just so happened we’d be in the same city. So we met Thanksgiving night, snow falling softly, band playing loudly, practically yelling everything we had to share across a table and having a quite enjoyable time.

I don’t give first meetings much credence, and I made no predictions about either of these fellows. Both continued to text me throughout the holiday weekend, and I saw both of them again…the first met me at an Italian restaurant; the second, again, was a more interesting experience:

He Ubered me to his place and asked me in for a drink. I told him it was unusual for me to accept such an invitation, as a smart woman is safety conscious, but I agreed, given that he has a certain public status. We shared a glass of champers, then drove to the restaurant for sushi. I introduced him to Onikoroshi sake, seaweed salad and agedashi tofu. We stopped for a drink on the way home and he took my hand in his; he told me he wasn’t ready for anything serious, though he knew that’s what I was looking for, but that he would get there.

What’s a girl to make of that?


licking my wounds

Brad’s sudden disappearance hurt both my heart and my ego. Let’s be honest: nothing sounds more hang dog and pathetic than to have been left by someone who, in all honesty, wasn’t quite in my league anyway. I don’t say so to be a pig…I was really ready to test drive “us” in a relationship. But he clearly was not equal to me emotionally, in communication skills or maturity, as demonstrated by his actions. (Jeez, that sounds self-righteous as shit, don’t it?!) And, as much as I liked the way I felt when I was with him, eventually we were going to run out of interesting conversation — he simply wasn’t all that intellectual. I find few characteristics less impressive than a person who doesn’t read.

So I got back on the horse. Right away. And I’ve had two first dates with two different gentlemen, and I have second dates scheduled with each. Both of these guys get yellow flags:  one for being divorced just two months; the other for having had a second, momentary marriage and divorce, then moving in with a girlfriend not too long afterward. I’m concerned he moves too fast and maybe isn’t measured in his thinking / planning. The first guy I connect with better, but I’m not interested in being a rebound, and I’m not sure he’s interested in marrying me, putting my kids through college, etc. Yes, that’s getting ahead of myself…but I’m going to be direct about what I ultimately want.

Oh, wait…this is supposed to be fun!

And I intend to have fun. Forever. With the right co-conspirator.

How else have I been dealing? I’ve been going out with friends, continuing to check out new restaurants, bars and haunts. I have petty moments of wanting to send photos of my outings to Brad, who loved my charming neighborhood, tap rooms and chef-driven restaurants…and I fantasize about including a certain gesture in each image. But that would be childish and desperate, and I won’t give him the satisfaction.

A few of my girlfriends have asked me if I’m absolutely, positively sure he wasn’t in some sort of horrific accident. And I confess:  every so often I do imagine him coming out of a coma, calling my name from his hospital bed. But I wouldn’t go back, because I can now see his lack of emotional connection for what it is.

Any anyway, the .001% chance of that having happened, well…

My final few heartbreak recovery tactics are these:

  • Reminding myself that I am whole and healed, and that I don’t need to be exactly perfect or ideal to deserve a relationship that’s ideal for me — just as I don’t expect another person to be perfect.
  • Knowing that, deep down, my chances of success in a relationship with Brad were slim, and believing that there is a much better something awaiting just around the corner.
  • Lots and lots of Beyonce and dancing.

swiping left and right

I’ve been at this swiping thing for three or four weeks now, so let’s suss out a few more lessons / observations on seeking life-long love on Tinder…

First, here’s my approach — and don’t hesitate to tell me if you think I’m wrong on this one:  Swiping is my “first move.” In other words, if I’ve swiped right, that’s my move. I’m probably not going to send the first message, too. Why? Because I want the guy who likes what he sees and reads to reach out and make his move. And, yes, I’m definitely discerning the content of the message. A simple “hi” doesn’t score many points.

Here’s where things go from there:

  • Some guys just keep the conversation going on too long before making a move. I don’t want a pen pal; I just want enough back and forth to know we have common interests and the guy can carry on an intelligent conversation. Then ask me out already! Isn’t the entire idea to meet?
  • I’m cutting guys loose quickly. There are a couple I’ve simply un-matched on the app because I didn’t feel like conversing any longer. Some I’ve simply said, “I don’t feel our communication styles are meshing.” And one guy who was messaging and texting me, then somehow found me on Facebook and sent a friend request (denied! stalkerish!), and then got really sarcastic bordering on belligerent, so I’ve blocked him from contacting me on my phone as well.
  • I’ve seen one guy — I’ll call him Brad — three times. Wasn’t exactly excited about our first meeting…until we were laughing together at the end and he kissed me. A little forward, I’ll admit, but I like a bold man. And as skeptical as I’ve been about certain things, he has proven himself intelligent, capable, funny, and so much more. He doesn’t seem to have been broken by his divorce; he has a rich, full life. Like Mr. Meltsmyheart, he constantly surprises me in the depth and breadth of our conversations and his pursuits. And he has not yet said or done a single thing that raises a red flag for me, aside from physically having his foot firmly on the accelerator — and I can put the brakes on that. From the get go, he was in it to win it! We have the ever-elusive chemistry in spades. When I’m with him, I feel really ready for a relationship in a way that’s difficult to articulate and something I don’t recall feeling for a long time…”ease,” I guess. We can be quiet or we can talk. We’re still getting to know each other, sure, but it’s comfortable and there’s no friction. And then he was told he’d be out of a job at the end of the month — surprise! — and he’s not in hot pursuit mode anymore. I like him enough to be a little scared about what the timing of this means… And yet he has great perspective about it and invited me to go skydiving with him to celebrate a good three-year run at that gig. Good thing I’m dating other guys to keep from investing too much before its time and to keep my wits about me!
  • The other guy I’ve seen three times — call him Mark — is a good conversationalist with good taste. We have more than a little bit in common and I enjoy his company. And when he kissed me goodnight on our last date, I couldn’t help but wish he were Brad. Uh-oh. The chemistry is just not the same. And, in comparison (and I know comparisons are so not fair!), he does seem like his divorce broke him and he’s still picking up the pieces. I want a man fully realized — a homeowner with some semblance of his life in tact, not a guy still living in a shabby apartment. I don’t feel broken and, as I’ve said so many times, I’m only looking for an equal.
  • The guys I think I’m going to like are often not the ones I like the most and, based on text messages before or after first or second dates, the front runner is always changing. I wanted to like Chet, the successful sales guy with a home in an appealing suburb, more than I do. And I haven’t even met Adam, but his text messages make me think I’ll really like him.

In other words, I’m still feeling it all out…trying to be aware of how I’m feeling in the moment when I spend time with someone, take it all one day at a time, dig into the nominal drama I’m creating in my head and deal with it. So far, it’s mostly happy hunting.


call me tinderella

I’ve been on Tinder for a few weeks and have made several observations and absorbed a number of lessons in this short time.

First, and most importantly, perspective:  It’s amazing how quickly the pining and constant thoughts about Mr. Meltsmyheart have faded with the attention and prospect of attention from other men. And I’ve simply decided I’m not going to worry about it. If I enjoy myself with someone, I’ll see him again. So there are a couple of guys that I’ll see again, if they ask, and there are some others that I may meet. Simple.

Second — and this is a significant revelation — men find me attractive! I’ve written about some of what’s being going on in my life for the past several months, and it’s been stressful, and one of the hardest things that I didn’t even realize until recently was feeling completely, totally invisible. None of my friends set me up on dates, no one seemed to flirt with me, I’m not sure I caught a single second glance…for months! And now I’m finding that there are real, actual men out there who find me desirable. Whee-ha…bring it!

Third, men are every bit as bat-shit crazy and lie as often as women, and this is clearly evident in their profiles. And there are more of them who are “laid-back” and use “sarcastic” as a selling point than you would ever guess! One of the common themes I saw within Tinder’s tiny space for copy on each profile was a simple line suggesting “if you don’t look like your profile picture, you’re buying me drinks until you do.” So clearly some men are predisposed to think that women are not being honest, yet I’ve encountered a few who clearly are older than their profiles report.

Fourth, what’s with the pictures?! I’ve seen so many out-of-focus, bad angle and plainly unflattering images that I’m dumbstruck. Do you not get that this is a site where you’re basically selling yourself on looks? Best foot forward and all that! Here are some of the other ridiculous images I’ve seen:

  • Those whose first photo is of their children! (No, I do not share photos of my children on a dating site. Nor do I advise it.) Simply write that you have x children with general age information in your profile.
  • The obligatory midwestern fishing or hunting photos. I’ve said it before (in my best caveman voice):  “Me bringum home food!”
  • Who are all those women?! Why are you posing with women and then using those in your dating profile? Help me understand this…I am so curious to understand what sort of sense this makes!
  • Cartoon characters. What in heaven’s name does an image of Daffy Duck have to do with you or — more importantly — me being attracted to you?! Am I supposed to make some sort of sense of that?
  • Or photos of tigers — or art images of tigers! No context. Are you trying to tell me that’s your spirit animal? Or do you actually make those arty images? Because if there’s one thing I’m never going to proudly exclaim to my friends or family, it’s, “Look at what Jack does! Isn’t it brilliant?!” Cringe.
  • Omigod the number of motorcycles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, boats… I like toys, too. They’re just not all in my photos.
  • Photos in gym mirrors. There is no subtle way of holding your mobile phone for a selfie in a fitness center mirror.
  • No photo at all. And no words. Really? Does that work for you?

At any rate, while I first found this swiping left or right on the basis of a photo or a few and what amounts to a short paragraph shallow, if anything, I’ve learned to consider the subtext of the photos. If your first one has a picture of you holding a shot glass, I probably swiped left. If you have broad, yang facial features, I probably swiped right. But still I find that I am remarkably inconsistent in this. And sometimes I just swipe wrong because fat fingers and app confusion…oh well.

Finally, there’s the feigned outrage…illustrated by this brief exchange I had with one fella:

Him:  Hi

Me:  Hi

Him, hours later:  That’s all you have to say?

Me:  Apparently it was at 2:09pm, while I was at work.

Him:  Good answer.

Him:  I’m a really great catch.

Him:  unmatches me.

So is it my job to lead and carry the conversation? Or is it reasonable to say “hi” back to someone who said “hi” to me? Am I missing something as basic as that? Apparently this particular man took offense that I didn’t gush about how excited I was that he’d deigned to say hello to me, and he was offended enough to storm off in a huff…which is okay by me, frankly, because I don’t do well with those whose anger is simmering right there beneath the surface, just waiting for an opportunity to claim “disrespect!”

I try to be a positive person, and I very much work at assuming positive intent. Certainly I hope others will approach me similarly, because I ain’t got time for a petulant man-child’s drama.

Weird.

Meanwhile, for now anyway, Imma keep on swiping!


complete and utter indifference

I am spending my free time dating:  a plethora of first, second and third dates. And I couldn’t feel more indifferent about  meeting the gentlemen I’m meeting…which is good, because then I always end up having an unexpectedly good time. Even when I don’t feel that something that propels me forward.

I suppose I’m approaching dating as a man does, looking forward with a mixture of indifference, anticipation, excitement or dread, depending on the moment. And none of these anticipatory feelings has any bearing on the outcome of the meeting.

The current crop has been fascinating in their approaches to dating. For awhile, several were texting or messaging, and none getting around to asking me out. I finally had to pleasantly suggest that I’m not looking for a pen / text pal, which meant that several asked me for a date all on the same weekend:

  • One wanted to talk on the phone twice before we ever met. I’ve learned he has a nice voice, seems even-tempered, has maintained a stable career. In question:  his sexual prowess / skill.
  • One had incredibly nerdy photos posted on the dating site I use and ended up being smoking hot — with geeky glasses — in person. He pushed for a second date right away, and then brushed me off. I suspect I was one of two finalists for the role and the other girl probably wears glasses all the time and not just when reading. He seemed to put some stock in not just being a bit smart and geeky, but also looking the part.
  • Another is slightly younger, less educated, more anti-establishment. After a fun first date, he walked me to my car in the rain and asked me if I wanted to make out. How could I resist?
  • I’m finding one a bit argumentative…which could be a problem…
  • And another who can’t seem to figure out how to ask me on a date. It’s ridiculous. And not going to work.

All that said, this “circular dating,” as Rori Raye calls it, is helping me keep my sanity, my feelings in check and my expectations low.

So I gear up for another weekend of dates, filtering and determining who makes it through to the next round…and who knows? Maybe I’ll end up liking one of these guys.