Ditch Mr. Options

Last night was movie night.  At my house, my kids and I have recently discoverd On Demand movies.  This is where you choose the movie you want to watch, pay a fee and watch the movie.  It is certainly cheaper than buying the movie, more convenient than running down to the local video rental store and renting it and since I’ve lost the last movie I rented from Netflix, it’s what we are doing now to provide the programming for our movie night.

Last night’s pick was dictated by the 18-year-old and me since we were the only ones watching.  She chose “He’s Just Not That Into You”.  It was a cute movie and showcased a number of dating disasters which we’ve all probably encountered or created regardless of our place in the life cycle. One of the overriding themes of the movie,however, was the tendency that women have to overlook the obvious and hope for the best in a relationship.  I call this tendency the tendency to make excuses for men’s bad behavior.

If a guy doesn’t call he’s not interested.  If he doesn’t want to have sex with you he’s not interested.  If he doesn’t want to be with you he’s not interested.  These were some of the main points of the movie.  I happen to agree with them.  But many of us women, make excuses or create fantasies about how he could still be into us and be unable to call, not be interested in us physically, and not want to spend time with us.  He’s busy, he’s tired, he’s got a lot of stuff to do at work. 

I used to make these very same excuses for the people I dated.  I no longer do this. 

If he says he’ll call and he doesn’t I waste no more time thinking about it.  I have all the information I need.

If we’ve been dating for a while and things are still platonic, that’s great, but he’s not in the candidate pool for next romantic partner where I’m concerned and I don’t spend a lot of time wishing or wondering when he’ll make the move to take the relationship to the next level. He won’t.  I won’t let him.  He’s not interested. I get it.

If  he says he’s into me but continually makes time with the guys or work more important than spending time with me, I no longer spend much time or energy on this.  He’s not into me.  If he is, he’s not enough into me.  I’m not wasting any time wondering why or wishing things were different or making excuses for him. He’s not into me, that doesn’t work for me.  Next!

These are relatively easy ones to figure out though.  The tough ones are the ones where every thing seems good on the surface: he calls, you spend regular time together, he’s indicating sexual interest. It seems like a relationship.  But something doesn’t quite sit right.  Maybe it’s the fact that he said he’d call at noon and he ends up not calling till 4 or 5.  Maybe it’s that he said he’d see you in a few hours and six hours later you still haven’t heard from him.  He does the minimum expected relationally to keep you from calling it quits but he doesn’t quite demonstrate the kind of caring, considerate interest that we all know a guy would demonstrate if he were into a gal. These are the tough ones to figure out when you’re caught up in one.

It is hard to leave a relationship that isn’t working.  We don’t ever do it unless we have to because we all love the companionship and we hate the Friday and Saturday nights alone or with strangers.  We are wired for that intimacy and connection that a good love interest can provide.  However, when it goes sour it is painful and like getting a shot or going to the dentist we fight it. 

I have a friend who is currently going through this situation. She’s been dating the guy for a year and a half.  Here are the facts as I know them:

  • They’ve been dating for a year and a half.
  • He was scheduled to move in over a month ago, to date, he still hasn’t moved his stuff over nor are they any closer to joining households than they were a month and a half ago.
  • He routinely says he’ll be over in a couple of hours, four, five, six hours later and he is still AWOL, and hasn’t called.
  • He chooses time with the guys over time with her consistently.
  • He leans on her financially and bails on his part of the financial obligations.
  • He says all the right stuff, but doesn’t do enough of the right things.
  • To my knowledge, other than moving in together, which doesn’t seem to be happening there has been no further discussion about moving the relationship to the next level, a conversation my friend would really like to have.

This is the guy I call Mr. Options.  In my opinion, this guy is stringing my friend along, getting what he wants out of her but holding out in case something better comes along.  It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out exactly what I think of this behavior on the part of the guy.  I also bet you can guess exactly what my advice would be to my friend.

Yep.  You guessed it.  She ought to ditch him and move on. 

But she won’t, because she’s still in the denial stage and making excuse after excuse for him and accepting his paltry statements which are unsubstantiated by his behavior as adequate proof of his interest.  He’s not interested enough.  Raise your standards, girlfriend.  You’re so worth so much more than that.

Bad Behavior

Recently a friend shared with me how her boyfriend of nearly 8 months ditched her for a period time on their last date without saying anything to her.  It seems they were out with a crowd of people and he simply disappeared for a while with another one of the guys from the group.  My friend was not really left alone.  She was with other people she knew, but she was in a different city about 30 minutes away from her place  and dependent upon her boyfriend for a ride home.  He was not even in the same location with her for over an hour of the time they were out on their date.  When they met back up again, my friend, smart cookie that she is, ended the date and insisted that her boyfriend take her home.  He was surprised that she had had enough for the evening and was calling it a night a good two hours before the time they originally planned the date would end.

Surprised?   He was surprised that she was not going to put up with his bad behavior as if what he’d done was perfectly acceptable.

Another friend, recently met a man and went out with him for a first date.  He showed up dressed in an old tee shirt and a baseball cap. While on the date,  this man did not offer to buy her drinks but allowed her to buy his and did not say thank-you.  She never went out with him again.

Surprised?  Are you surprised that she was not going to put up with his bad behavior?

A third friend went out with a man who was attractive, intelligent, and paid without flinching for the drinks on their first meeting.  He went overboard to express his interest in her and to ask for a second date.  He told her he’d call her in two days.  He kept his word.  When he called he suggested they do something the next Saturday, she agreed.  He told her he’d call later that week to firm something up.  He called at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.  She saw the call ring in on her phone, recognized the number and let it go to voicemail.  She continued on with the plans she’d made for herself that evening after not having heard from him by midweek. What were those plans?  A home pedicure and a quiet evening in…alone.  When I spoke to her later about her thinking she said this, “I have better things to do that to waste time on someone who demonstrates such bad behavior.”   I asked her what she’d do if he called again?  She said, “He won’t, but if he does, it won’t matter.  He had his chance and he already blew it.” 

Surprised?  Was my friend playing games in the way she dealt with the man’s bad behavior?  Was she too harsh?

Bad behavior.  It happens.  Men behave badly toward women and women behave badly toward men.  It is not my intent here to point out or villify one sex over the other, but for the puposes of this article, I am speaking mostly of men and their bad behavior with women.  I do recognize however, that the relational road is a two way street and both sides get mistreated. 

We  put up with the bad behavior because we are so afraid of losing the relationship. This is something I have been guilty of more often than not in the past.  A guy says he’ll call, then doesn’t.  A guy calls at the last minute for a date that evening.  Worse, he pulls the typical 11:00 p.m. bootie call. (Now, that I’ve never put up with not even in my college days when it was normal for a date to start at 11:00!) A guy takes a woman out to a party then ignores her the entire evening.  A guy spends his time looking over every female that walks by while out on a date with you, his girlfriend, of a year.  A guy says he loves you and wants to get married, two years later a date is still not set and he is waffling.  The guy says he wants to move in.  The scheduled date for moving in comes and goes and he and all his things are still not in the same residence with you and yours.  Bad behavior.  We put up with it because the alternative in most cases is kicking the guy to the curb.  We don’t kick the guy to the curb because that means so many unpleasant things.

It could mean loss of the relationship.  If it does, then there go the dreams, the hopes the imaginary future you’d built in your head about all the possibilities you two could have had/done together.  It means you now do not get to check the “in a relationship” box on MySpace or Facebook.  If the relationship tubes, it means pain and loss and grief and anger.  It may mean some lonely nights in front of the t.v. with a box of Kleenex.  It could mean some self recrimination as you wonder, “Why on earth did I waste so much time hoping he cared about me the way I cared about him when it was so evident he did not?”  It could mean a complete change in living accommodations and lifestyle and standard of living.  It could mean so many things that are seemingly worse than just tolerating the bad behavior. 

But tolerating the bad behavior is damaging to us.  By tolerating bad behavior from anyone, we devalue ourselves and risk losing or crippling our confidence and our self-esteem.  No one needs to tolerate bad behavior on the part of a significant other.  We also don’t need to respond to the bad behavior with similarly bad behavior. 

Bad behavior happens.  So, what to do when it does? 

Well, to answer this question, one must first be very clear about what they want from relationship and what they will not tolerate.  Once one is clear about these things, the rest is fairly easy.  Simply do not tolerate the unacceptable behavior.  No need to get mad.  No need to get upset. No need to waste any time wondering if he’ll change or call or apologize.  Just don’t tolerate it. No explanation is needed. 

I hate to sound so callous, but seriously?  If he’s treating you that badly before you’re in a “committed relationship”, what will he treat you like after?  It generally doesn’t improve. Further, why waste any more time in relationship that is mediocre, unsatisfactory, disappointing or just not working?  Life is too short and there are plenty of decent men out there ready, willing and able to treat a woman they care about with dignity, respect and integrity.

So, how would I have done each of those scenarios if I were taking my “No Tolerance” approach? 

In the case of  the first friend whose boyfriend took off for an hour without saying anything to her, I wouldn’t have waited out the hour to find out that he was gone for over an hour.  I’d have either asked a friend to take me home or called a cab the minute I found out he was nowhere around.  I would not go out with him again.  If he called and offered some lame-ass excuse for his behavior (which is the only kind he could offer in such a circumstance) I would politely listen.  I would not offer an explanation for my behavior other than possibly to say, “There’s just not much about that entire episode that interested me that much.”  No need to discuss.  End of call.  I would screen any further calls.  No tears, no drama, no need.  I’m worth being treated better than that.  At minimum, I’m worth an explanation and the opportunity to say I want to go home if the plans have changed.  Further, I would not have done that to him. 

In the case of  my friend who’s date showed up for the first date dressed carelessly and who behaved carelessly, I would have ended the date within an hour.  Fortunately for her, they arrived in separate vehicles and she was free to leave when she wanted without having to depend upon him for a ride.  (I’m a big advocate of doing this if the date is a first date with someone you don’t know very well or if it is someone you are meeting from online.)  I would not go out with this person again and I would screen all calls as well. If it doesn’t matter to you how a man dresses or presents himself publicly and if you don’t mind being his bankroll then this behavior might not bother you.  It goes back to being very clear about what you want and what you don’t want.  The direction I am steering my life, has no room for someone who cannot move fluidly from a nice formal occasion to a tee-shirt and jeans and back again as needed depending upon the occasion.  Knowing this about myself, helps me eliminate the would be contenders for my affection that aren’t a good fit, no matter how nice they seem to be.  And, no, there’s not much about being someone else’s bankroll that interests me all that much. That’s what I do for my children, not for my lover.  I’m not opposed to bringing what I can to the financial table, but he needs to be willing to contribute too.

In the case of the third friend whose date didn’t call until the night of the date, I’d have done exactly what she did and I have on several occasions.   I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:  when a man is crazy about a woman, he doesn’t let her phone grow cold.  He doesn’t wait until the last minute to call.  He doesn’t give her his number and hope she’ll call him.  Again, I know what I want and what I will not tolerate.  I want a guy who is crazy about me and a guy who doesn’t call simply is not.  He’s not shy, he’s not busy, he’s not unable to call, he’s simply not interested.  That doesn’t work for me. 

It’s just bad behavior and I have already used up all my bad behavior moments in this life.  They’ve all been spent on past relationships, enduring very bad behavior when I should have been moving on and enjoying my life.  Instead, I allowed myself to experience a great deal of misery and pain which I could have avoided by recognizing the bad behavior from the start instead of overlooking, ignoring or excusing it. I only have time and energy left in my life to spend on giving the best of me (which is my time and energy) to those who are really truly going to appreciate it.

“The Last Hose Supplier You’ll Ever Need” Responds to My Inquiries

Well, take a look at this!  I’ve received a response from that Online Hose Supplier that I mentioned a post or two back.  To see the earlier correspondences you will have to just scroll through the earlier posts.  I’m too tired and lazy to link them, sorry.  Here’s what that overseas supplier responded with:

Once again I thank you for your inquiry about the range of hoses that may suit your somewhat unique requirements.

Unfortunately I am unable to provide you with pictures of the hose and fittings I referred to in my last correspondance but I can assure you it is unlike any of the previously used hoses you’ve described. I don’t mean to be critical but I think that ,in the past, you have chosen lesser quality and much less reliable equipment than your quite specific requirements deserve.

As a sign of good faith, and to sate your curiosity, I have taken the liberty of arranging for a free 2 week trial of a second hand sample of the product and its associated attachements. Once I have received Customs clearance I will endeavour to ship these to your home address.

As the items mentioned are not new I trust you will handle all items with care.

Please do not hesitate to contact the writer should you require anything further.

He is, it seems, being honest and straightforward about the condition of the hose.  At least he admits the hose is not new.  That’s okay, since new hoses are incompatible with my pump.  My pump is an older model, still in excellent condition, requires little mechanical maintenace, and performs better than many of the newer models, however, the newer hoses just don’t seem to have the staying power my pump requires.  THS is also willing to provide a two week free trial.  He must be confident of his product or his salesmanship, or maybe both.

This brings up a few questions though.  Like, how free is free?  What is the small print?  Better yet, is there anything written in invisible ink I should be aware of?  What I’m most curious about is the “associated attachments”.  Sounds like there might be more to the bargain than a mere hose.

Grocery Store Get Togethers

Grocery cartFunny things happen in grocery stores.  One time I was checking out and bagging my groceries. Right behind me was a guy that had contacted me on that Online Dating Site that I am on-again-off-again about. He contacted me, didn’t interest me, I responded politely, but not encouragingly. Plus, he kept asking me, “Having any luck on here?”  Seriously?  That’s not his business.  So, it was weird to meet him in the grocery store.  He recognized me, mentioned our brief correspondence and well, I got out of the store fast that trip.

This last week, I had another interesting encounter in the grocery store.  I ran into a friend I knew while I was married to Ex #2.  In fact, we were kind of in a disastrous marriage support group thing together.  She happens to work in this store, but since she works days and I usually shop late afternoons or early evenings we never see each other. During the time that I knew her, she was just starting this relationship that, well, didn’t look that promising to me.  I mean, it seemed the guy ran hot and cold on her.  It also seemed he left her with the lion’s share of doing the work of “relating”.  I remember thinking that I hoped it worked out for her, since she was really into this guy, but also thinking that I was very skeptical that it would.

My friend, didn’t recognize me at first.  Seriously.  She had to do that double take thing, then the triple take.  “Wow!” she exclaimed, “You look great!  How are you?!” ( I love it when that happens and it is happening a lot lately! LOL!)  We did the girl hug thing that women do when they meet and haven’t seen each other for a long time.  We spent a few minutes getting caught up.  In fact, she ended up going through the checkout line with me.  I told her that Ex #2 and I were divorced.  She told me she thought that was a great decision, obviously, since I look so good now (her words).  I asked her about the relationship she was starting way back when we were hanging out in that disastrous marriage group thing. Sure enough, three years later, she’s telling me how he proposed, then got cold feet and backed out.  She finally ended it with him.  I mean, seriously, she hung out with that hot and cold behavior for three whole years? 

Women, why do we do this????

I found myself wanting to tell her, “Girlfriend, you made a great choice!  He never was that into you!”  Instead, I kept my mouth shut, encouraged her and listened and wondered why we women are so willing to “put up with” and “make excuses for” men who really just aren’t into us. 

Men don’t lie.  They tell us exactly what they think, in one way or another. If they don’t call, it isn’t because they are busy or “couldn’t”.  It is because they don’t want to.  We just aren’t important enough for them to carve out a few minutes to connect.  A guy that really wants to be with a woman, doesn’t let her phone grow cold.

In the same way, when a guy runs hot and then cold, he’s not really committed or all that interested.  Most guys know instantly if they want to pursue relationship with a particular woman or not.  They are all hot about her, no cold, it’s just that simple.  He wants to call her, be with her, do stuff for her and give her things, even if those things are only small tokens of care and even if he’s working within a budget.  And, hear me, peeps.  It isn’t the gift at all here that is important, it is the behavior.

I was talking with another friend last night, and we were discussing relationship and single life and guys and she said, “I think being alone sucks and I hate dating, but it is a whole lot better than being in a bad relationship with the wrong person.”

I’d have to say I agree. 

Seriously. There are lots of really nice, handsome, terrific men out there. Contrary to popular belief.  If he’s not crazy about you (and you are worth being completely crazy about!) then don’t waste another minute or amount of emotional energy.  Okay, I give you permission to have 15 minutes of disappointment, but that’s all.  Face it, if he’s not calling, wants to be with the guys more than you, seems to have a whole lot of other priorities higher on the list than you then, well, he’s not crazy about you and you deserve better. Be a realist. Face the facts.  Move on. 

You’ll be glad you did.  I hate to say it, but he probably will be too.

The Stupidest Email I’ve Ever Received…Recently Anyway

Okay, I’ve recieved stupider and funnier ones than this one.  Like the convict who dared accuse me of stalking him just because of a stupid Facebook comment I made where I repeated verbatim something he told me.  Yeah, I’ll have to tell you about that sometime.  Tonight’s email was so much more benign…almost boring…but ridiculous in the unfounded assumptions the author made about me and my interest level toward him.  I mean, since I never really responded to his digital advances, I guess I couldn’t exactly be labled “interested” let alone a stalker.  I just don’t get it sometimes.  I just don’t get how guys think sometimes.

Online dating is such a freaking joke.

I’ve dabbled in this venue on and off for the last year, mostly off with a month or two on when I get bored and have nothing better to do…which…seriously…is not often.  This equates to me being on an online dating site, maybe, three times for a month each, in the last year and a half.

About a six months ago a fairly attractive man contacted me and we began communicating.  Okay he emailed me, I responded, we got to the first phone call, after that he went silent. 

BFD.  His loss I figured.  I was spinning about 10 online plates at the time so what did I care.  He easily slipped from my mind.

About a month and a half ago after being “offline” for about 5 months (yes, one month online can easily net me the next six months in dates, get over it!) I went back online again. 

The same go silent BFD dude contacted me again.

Hesitantly, meaning I waited about a week before responding, I responded.

He emailed me once.

I waited, he emailed me back.

I emailed him and you guessed it…he went silent again.  Never to hear from him again until tonight.  (Seriously, I missed no sleep over this.  I’ve really so changed my perspective on the go silent thing.  It is now actually a favor.  He goes silent.  I know all I need to know, I move on.  Over and out.  Next!)

That was nearly two months ago.  I haven’t contacted him.  I haven’t spent any time thinking about him.  Seriously?  I’ve been having way too much fun in my little corner of the world to wonder why the heck he doesn’t have the good sense to follow up on a good thing when he stumbles across it and…stumble he has.  His loss.  My response?  Next!  (Well, not even that…he didn’t even make it to the plate!)

Tonight, after two months of silence and no follow up from me I get the following email:

“Cat, just wanted you to know I met some one and am off the radar.”

Hahahahahaha!  The freaking arrogance of it all. 

*she rolls eyes and clicks delete while thinking, “Dodged an arrogant self-absorbed bullet there!”

Off the radar?!?  Dude, you never even created a blip on the radar, so yeah, I guess you’re right,  you are off the radar! 

I mean, really, I have to laugh, if I was stalking him, I’d understand, but this is a guy who initiated contact with me every time, spoke on the  phone with me once, and I never really made any big effort to respond or encourage him.  I mean, I just don’t get it.

Ah, well, chalk it up to comic relief.  I was, at least, able to squeeze a lame blog post out of it.

Life Rocks! Don’t Give Up!

My day so rocked!  I mean I kicked it from beginning to end instead of it kicking me.  Me, kicking it, has become the norm lately instead of the sad state of affairs I was in last summer with no money, no transportation and, well, post-divorce realities staring me down like a mugger in a back alley at night. 

So all excited as I was, I spent 40 minutes writing this great post, at the end of which I realized no one was going to care about but me, so I drafted it instead of publishing it.  I hate when that happens!

Now I’ve used up most of my writing time for the evening on a post I can’t even go back and see that no one commented on, and, well, I hate when that happens too!

I also have so much to say and write about because, seriously?, right now, life is so on  for me that it is exciting and, well, almost as much fun as those days in my early 20’s when everything was colored with hope and possibility. 

Three months ago, I would never have believed (though I would have still hoped) that I could actually ever experience that optimism I experienced as a 20-something adult.  You know, the experience of waking up every day thinking it was an adventure, that the possibilities were endless and that you had your whole life ahead of you.  Do you remember those days?  The hope?  The optimism?  The confidence? 

Those days have returned to my life and I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back in the game again. 

And, look, if you’re out there thinking life’s passed you by or your winnings have been gambled and lost, think a-freaking-gen!  Life turns on a dime.  It might not look good now, but if you give up now it sure isn’t going to look any better than it does right now!  Keep putting one stupid, boring , unproductive, worthless (or seemingly so) foot in front of the other and guess what?  One day, that tunnel somehow seems a little brighter.  Then, a bit later on, you actually can discern a light at the end of said tunnel.  At that point, things get easier, you can see the light getting brighter and brighter and then suddenly everything for you begins to just go crazy in your favor.

The reality of life is this.  We are all going to have our rainy days.  Some of those days will accumulate into the longest freaking winter of our lives.  We’ll want to die, give up, cave in, drink or self-medicate.  We’ll feel like losers and that we screwed up and there is no hope.

But …

there is always hope.  There is always tomorrow.  There is always another chance to try again or to continue doing what we know we have to do to get out of the pit we dug for ourselves…or maybe…that someone else dug for us.

Today is not the day to give up. 

Today is the day to press on and keep going because there are better days ahead. 

Hang in there.  You’ll make it!

Life rocks!

(If it doesn’t now, give it a while, it will soon!)

The Online “Meet” Market

japanesemapleLast weekend, I made arrangements to meet a guy from online for the first time for breakfast.  Not usually my preference, since weekend mornings are usually sacred time for me.  It’s the time of the week where I get up and move at whatever pace I feel like which is unhurried, unrushed, unpressured, slow and relaxed.  This is important to me, since the rest of my week is usually packed so full with deadlines, activities, demands and noise.

Saturday, I woke early and was on the road for a three hour drive to an  All Tribes Pow Wow.  I attended with a friend who is very good looking, very intelligent, well educated, okay beyond well educated,  funny and basically almost perfect and who is someone I will never date.  He is a very good friend and like a brother to me.  Dating him would be like, well, ewww!  But I could attend a Pow Wow with him and did. I can also travel with him, and have, with no concern for my safety or well-being.  Boundaries are firmly in place and were clearly discussed. In many ways, I think a good romantic relationship has to have these elements of a good friendship in order to be successful.  When we get together, we talk like schoolgirls.  He, about who he’s dating, me about who I’m dating (I was pretty quiet this time, well, okay, maybe not so much) so it is no wonder that after leaving early in the morning to drive up to the Pow Wow, it was sunset and I’d not started on my way home.  By the time I did arrive home I was just not in any way willing to get up and rush out to meet someone I’d had two conversations with on the phone.   I cancelled, with the plan to resechedule if he wanted to.  I left it in his court not really caring one way or another if he persisted or not.  Well he persisted.  *Places a check in the “Good for him” category.*

That reschedule occured this afternoon.  It was the most agonizing ordeal I’ve experienced since the first time I met someone from online.  I really hate it when I have to carry the conversation.  I am plenty capable of it, but I am not comfortable doing it.  I’d rather listen to others share their story.  But, this person had no story.  He’d never been married.  He didn’t travel, didn’t do much, except take walks with his dog. Of course, he put on his profile he was trim and fit…but he wasn’t…not entirely.  And, of course, he’s looking for the firm little body, but yet he didn’t exactly sport the male version of that.   I totally don’t mind guys going for the firm little body…don’t get me wrong…I get how men are wired…but what’s good for the gander is just as good for the goose.  Don’t expect what you’re unable to provide yourself. That’s all I’m saying.  Anyway, it all makes ya wonder. 

And, here’s another thing.  I hate going for walks on the first meet up.  Here’s why.  You can’t size up the other person too well because you are too busy walking and watching where you are going.  So much of me taking a person in is sizing up how they move.  How they roll.  What their demeanor is like.  The eyes, the smile , all this is important.  This is difficult to observe on a walk especially when your are as uncoordinated as I am and must concentrate carefully on putting one foot in front of the other on level ground.  You also can’t really talk face to face to them.  So, while I think a walk is an ideal thing to do the second or third time around, it isn’t my pick for a first date. That being said, I got enough information in the first three seconds to know this was not someone I was going to spend much more time with.  So the walk really was a non-issue.

The online meet market is just not that fun any more.  It’s still every bit as busy…just more exhausting than anything…these days.  I can see myself folding this hand for good pretty soon.

His Heart Rate Was Dangerously High

800px-howler_monkeyI suppose it is about time to tell the story of Monkey Sex Man.  I met him the very evening my divorce decree was signed by the judge a year and a half ago.  I’d just signed up on one of those online dating sites that I was investigating out of curiosity.  He contacted me initially and I checked out his profile.  He listed his ideal first date as, “wild rampant monkey sex then we order out for Chinese and get to know each other”.  I thought this was humorous so I agreed to meet him for drinks at a local little pub.  What I didn’t know was that he wasn’t kidding about his ideal first date.  I quickly learned this was a relationship best kept at a very safe distance. We ended up talking over the phone a few times, but each time we did, he made these broad generalizations about people and types of people as he saw them.  These sweeping generalizations were seemingly based on very limited data.  For example, he dated one woman from the same town I live in and now his opinion about women from my town is that they are all shallow, stupid, inconsiderate and materialistic. That’s just one of many such examples of the way Monkey Sex Man approached and categorized life.  After about three or four phone conversations, with the last one ending last year about Valentine’s Day with him being so upset with the fact that I just wasn’t going to go out with him when he called me up with very little notice, he hung up on me and then blocked me from contacting him.  I didn’t hear from him for a year. 

About a month ago or so, I put up my profile at an online dating site.  I added some of my more recent pictures.  Two days later, I was contacted by Monkey Sex Man.  He commented positively on my pictures saying I looked soft, feminine and sexy.  I kept waiting for the caustic insult that usually followed statements like this (sarcastic humor he called it).  There was nothing negative.  I thanked him and that was it.  He responded with some conversation.  I responded back but not in an encouraging way.  Somehow, we ended up meeting at a fairly popular place on a weeknight for cocktails. Well, it really wasn’t somehow.  I was going to be over in his area anyway.  I had 45 minutes to burn between appointments (do not read dates!) and I didn’t feel like going into a pub by myself.  Besides, I was curious and needed a blog post. We talked, I stayed an hour and left. 

He called me the following Sunday as he was barbecuing and invited me to come over for barbecue.  My how some people just don’t change.  He knows I’m driving the Titanic here with my single motherdom of  dependent children and everyone knows the Titanic just doesn’t turn on a dime.  Besides, knowing what he was about, I wasn’t going anywhere near his house.  I politely declined and I thought that’d be the end of it.

He called me again last Saturday.  There was a big parade in my town and he was in town for it.  So, he stops in at a bar, uses their phone, calls me up to tell me he’s in town and was wondering if I was out at the parade.  I wasn’t.  He called later from the grocery store said he was sorry he missed me.  Later that evening he called me up again an that time we ended up talking. 

He told me how the stress of the parade, and how stupidly designed the on and off ramps in the community were. Everything about that experience was awful and he tried to go into it with an open mind. Then he told me that while he was at the parade he stopped at one of the free blood pressure check stations they had and the nurse told him his blood pressure was “dangerously high”.  Ya think?!!!!  He was seriously orbiting out of the galaxy just telling me about it. 

Somehow, we got onto the topic of game playing and whether women should call men.  He asked me if I was one of those who always expected the guy to make the first move.  Loaded question and I was so not going to go into my whole “When A Man Is Really Into A Woman” philosophy.  I answered his question with a “that depends upon the context” sort of answer.  This sent his heart rate and his emotional state right around the twist.

“I can’t believe this,” he fumed. (Seriously, why should he be fuming?  I mean, that’s even more drama than I could muster on a good day.) “I’ve got to go.  My heart rate is dangerously high!”  And he hung up. 

And that’s pretty much all there is to the Monkey Sex Man story.

The Junkie In Me Returns…Sort Of?

internet20dating1In the past I likened myself to an online dating junkie.  While this was certainly true in the days immediately preceeding the final divorce judgement and for about 6 to 9 months after, I must say my tendency to “need” to be online and meeting up with people has definitely waned.  In fact, early last summer, I took my profiles down only to put them up again right before school started.  (WTF is up with that????)

I’ve mentioned before what an impulsive mistake that was.  I’m actually still corresponding with people from that little episode that, believe it or not, I have yet to meet.  I may never meet them.  I don’t really care…if I did, I would have met them by now.

But then last night I did a really silly, stupid, actually, thing.  I signed up and even paid money (that’s the stupidest part) for a one month membership on a site I have not been on before.  Now, granted, it wasn’t much money at all.  It really only equated to about two bottles of cheap wine, probably the amount I could finagle out of  just meeting half the people who have already crammed my inbox full of emails insisting they are crazy about me and can’t get me out of their minds after seeing my few lame, poorly lit, and face shot only photos. Well, that is, if I was at all the finagling type. Yeah, sure.  We’ll go with that.

So, this bizarre behavior on my part certainly deserves some closer attention.  Now, it isn’t bizarre to want to sign up on an online site, especially, if you, like me, don’t encounter a single dateable soul in your day to day interactions.  Unfortunately, day to day stretches into week to week and then month to month until one wakes up and realizes they’ve spent a great deal more Friday and Saturday nights home alone than they really ever intended or wanted to spend in solitary confinement.online_dating

[So, I must digress and define dateable.  Dateable for me in a nutshell is a.) male, b.) intelligent enough to hold his own in a conversation and c.) emotionally, financially and legally available.  Okay, a bit about the financially available part.  Financially available in my mind doesn’t mean “without obligations”, but if the guy is still part owner in some very big real estate deals that could end him up being taken by the short hairs by an ex, then I’m not really into that drama much. Enough about dateable and available.]

So, going online in and of itself, is not bizarre, though it is incredibly crazy making and painful.  I don’t understand why people do it.  I do not understand why I just recently did this. Especially since I have so much else I want and need to do besides date a bunch of people one time only to find out that they, like my last year and a half of dating episodes are somehow just not that into me or are completely unavailable somehow.  I’d rather have electric shock treatments than endure any more of that.

And yet….

it’s the “and yet” that always gets ya…

And yet, there are a couple of things here at war within me.  First, I do believe Winston Churchill’s statement.  I posted it last December, I’m posting it again:

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

 

~~ Sir Winston Churchill

 

There have been a number of failures in the last couple of years.  Now, failure, of course, is a relative term and I don’t want to get into the fact that there have been many positive outcomes to those failures.  Like, I am  no longer and still not in a disastrous marriage or a relationship where the guy really just isn’t that into me. This is definitely positive and I have no regrets.  But if I define failure as the lack of a quality relationship with a significant other then, I have to say there have been some failures to move toward this goal  in the recent past.  False starts is probably a more accurate term but we’ll go with Winston’s failure…just for fun. Anyway, Churchill’s statement is sound for work, school and romance.  One’s enthusiasm must never wane if one is to ultimately be successful.  I get that.  So, that’s one element:  remaining positive and keeping one’s enthusiasm when it seems that with each passing day the odds get lower and lower that there will be any viable candidate to date. (And, if you lived where I live, you’d consider my attitude one of complete optimism rather than borderline disgust and despair.)   After all, as I’ve said before, I’d like to spend some life with the dude, I don’t exactly want to meet him in the retirement center.  (Okay, all you literalists, take that last statement with a grain of salt and chill.  It was a slight exaggeration to make a point.)

 

This idea that it is important to “keep myself open” to whatever might occur…is at war with the part of me that really doesn’t want to take the risks.  (Okay, yes, I’m being a tad bit vulnerable and honest there so chill about that too.  It DOES NOT MEAN I am needy or insecure.  It simply means I am trying (albeit feebly, I think) to be emotionally honest. 

 

online dating the impossible dilemmaSo, my dilemma:  intellectually I know I should remain social, keep doing things I like and enjoy and keep active and meeting people.  The reality is, the things I enjoy right now, are completely centered around my home, my children, and improving me, my financial situation, my fitness, my living situation.  It’s a bit self focused I think. I’m wondering if it might be a bit of a defense mechanism and a retreatist approach.   I’m trying to figure out if it is an unhealthy self focus or a taking care of me right now focus.  Here’s the even stranger part to all this, anyone, and I do mean anyone who meets me receives me as a warm and fun person.  You would think me the introvert to look at me…though…introvert…I do tend to be…especially lately.

 

 

So about signing up for the online thing…it again happened out of curiosity, I think.  But feel free to share your thoughts.  After all, it was a site I hadn’t ever participated in (and I’ve explored a few).  I think it is also the concern I have that if I don’t make opportunities to connect with others and stay social, I will completely retreat from the world and like Rapunzel in her tall tower become completely isolated.  Truly, I could do this.  I can be alone for endless amounts of time and not even have it bother me.  I’m not sure that this tendency, if allowed to go unchecked is entirely healthy either.  That introvert thing again.  But then, I’m really not that into it at all so why do I even bother?  Is really curiosity.  What do you think?  Take a whack at it all you who know just enough about the workings of the human psyche to be dangerous. 

Sigh. I better wrap this up and go count up my statistics and find out how many men out there are really brave enough to actually make a contact with a message rather than the canned, “I liked your profile!” flirt message.  *rolls eyes and heads for bed instead*

 

 

 

 

 

Romance Is A Game Best Played On A Level Playing Field-Lessons Learned

Curtains rise, lights up full center stage spotlight on The Wild Mind who is dressed in tight  jeans, flattering trendy top, pumps with stilletto heels, hair perfectly coifed and make up on.  Cue happy music playing softly in the background.  The Wild Mind addresses the audience.

I am really grateful that now there is complete closure not just with The Beau, but the I.J. (Yes, we had a “conversation” also in the last two weeks.  I haven’t written about it because it was a little sad and I’ve been too busy writing and doing other things). 

beerhandsmallDating is a different world now in Post-40 World than it was in Post-20 World.  Okay, if it is still the same world it was back then, then I’ve been dealt a new hand and the cards suck in this one.  Furthermore, when I was younger, I had more time to regroup the losses both emotionally and financially, I am not so young and not so cavalier about the consequences of poor choices.

I now know that one’s choice of a marital or romantic partner can affect your life forever, even long after they leave the scene. datinggumswap

It’s a high stakes game and I’m betting all or nothing on the best possibility for relationship, not just something that’s good enough or nice enough because I’m tired of being alone.

I am emotionally free from wondering if , maybe, when, how, what if anything will happen with The Beau or anyone else that is not knocking down my door or heating up my phone to connect with me.  I just know it won’t happen for me with someone who is merely lukewarm.

Even if it doesn’t work out with the Old Flame and The Beau, what’s he going to do? Come back and knock on my door and say, “Hey, you’re the lucky first runner up. Old Flame couldn’t fullfil her pageant responsibilities. Want to give it a go?”

Thanks, but that’s not exactly how I see my fairy tale playing out. I don’t know how exactly how I do see it playing out, but I’m fairly certain that scenario is not on the list.

So, to take The Beau’s and many of my readers’ and friends’ advice and especially my sister’s (she’ll so love this!)  I’m going to use this last episode with The Beau as  more than just an experience to do some creative writing.  I’m going to use it as an experience to reflect and further clarify for myself where I’m at and how I’m doing.  Let’s see if I can do it in 10 points or less.  Here we go.

The Points (not in any particular order):

  1. One’s choice of marital or romantic partner can affect the quality of the rest of your life.  This is true on a minor scale with those you date.  Choose wisely.
  2. The Wild Mind’s Love Philosophy still holds:  When a man is into a woman there is no doubt: he knows, she knows and there is no obstacle too great to overcome in order to make it happen.  He’ll find any way he can to get into her life, heart and, yes, pants.  This includes picking up the phone and calling her or driving distances to see her.  He won’t mind.  He’ll actually want to do it.
  3. Some people out there in Dating World are completely unavailable but they masquerade as completely available.  Do not believe this until proven. 
  4. Emotional availability is proven by scaling tall obstacles or great distances unasked and without hesitation or groaning.  It is also demonstrated a million other very creative ways all of which, every man knows capably how to execute, but won’t, unless you are the one he wants to be available for. If he’s not willing to prove availability in these ways, he’s just not that into you.
  5. Pay attention and trust your gut.  Read point Number 2 and if you experience doubts then he’s just not that into being into you. 😀 Move on now.  Don’t waste any more time.
  6. Men play just as many games as women.  Don’t deny it.  Some of these games are: “I Want Sex, But I’m Not Available For Any Serious Relationship, I’d Just Like To Make You Think I Am”, “I’m Bored With Nothing Better To Do, Come (yes, pun intended) Entertain Me”, “I’ll Play With You Till Something Better Comes Along” “I’m Completely Unavailable But Can’t Admit It”,and the final version, “Let’s Pretend” where he wants to pretend he’s really available so he can get sex or he’ll pretend he’s really into you even convincing himself he might be in hopes you will give him sex. The “Let’s Pretend” game is also played by those men who are hoping to get their mind off their own pain/loss/whatever for a while or by men who are married and won’t leave but can’t stay either.
  7. Women, do not go near these games!  If you do, you do so at your own peril.  Do not play the If…Maybe…What If?…Game. If you find out you are involved somehow in one of these games, get out yesterday. Don’t look back.  You deserve better.  You will also feel better.  Take charge of your health, get out now!pirates_of_the_caribbean_015 
  8. Being alone is still better than being in a relationship that is just okay or where you wonder all the time if he’s really all that into you.  Stop the wonder.  He’s not.  Move on. (I so need to remember this one myself!)
  9. My Prince Charming (or Adventurous Pirate) is out there and some day, if and when we meet, I will be ready and willing for the raping/pillaging and plundering to ensue.  (Okay…or for him to sweep me up on his magnificent steed time and time again until we are exhausted, then we’ll ride happily into the future together.) 😀
  10. Painting ceilings without a sprayer sucks.  Don’t ever do it. Next time, I’m buying beer and pizza and putting an ad on Craigslist that reads, “Free beer and pizza in exchange for painting help!” It’ll be a lot more fun.

Lights out. Curtain falls.

The End, Yes, Finally, The End!!!!