Dating

Dating in the City

I live in a really big city – about 10 million including the suburbs. I live in one of the city neighbourhoods about 30 minutes by transit to the downtown core – driving would take you about 15 minutes. I meet a lot of people, I have since the time I decided to stop being shy. I love to hear peoples stories, to find out what make them tick, to help lift them up and just share a moment of common interest. Add alcohol to the mix and I’m everyone’s best friend. So it’s not really hard for me to meet people, and not hard for me to meet men in particular. It’s as easy as a sincere compliment and question and then it’s on.

A couple of weeks ago I met a guy at a wine bar I was at with a friend, and ended up giving him my email address. He had said something about wine tastings and I love the way wine tastes so I was all in! Turns out alcohol was a pretty strong driver on that one, so our meet up later that week was a one time thing.

Later that weekend I had a meet-up with a guy I met on one of the two online site I’m on. He seemed sweet online. I knew he was short, but was really surprised that he seemed surprised that at 5’4″ I was taller than him. Listen I’m not height-ist. I have dated several gentlemen who were shorter than average. But I’m always stunned when shorter guys question my height in relation to theirs – like the guy a couple of weeks ago that asked it I was wearing 4 inch heels (nope – maybe 1 1/2 to 2 inches). His being surprised at his own height was not the deal breaker, it was the fact that we met for an hour and he talked about himself for 50 minutes. Like monologue talking. YAWN….

Later that day I met up with another guy. There were no sparks so it was going to be a short date anyway. And then I found out that he works at the same very large company I work at. So NOOOOO. HELL NO. Because did I mention that The Cyclist also worked at the same company? And so did his former-ex-now-current-girlfriend-who-he-was-cheating-on-me-with? The woman I met at an event before I knew he was cheating on me with her, and then ran into her again last week?? So nope. No way Jose. Not going to happen. No more dating guys who work at my work.

I’m lined up for 2 more dates this weekend. And 3 volunteer events in the coming 6 weeks to open myself up to more people.

I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Thursday is the “new” Friday.

In my city the weekend starts on Thursday after work. People go out in droves and hit the bars around the downtown core and financial district like money grows on trees. This past Thursday was supposed to be “a” drink with my coworkers at the bar across the road from our office. Turns out we were all slammed last week and the drink was cancelled. So I found myself without plans. Luckily my BFF texted me “my date bailed, and I’ve got a babysitter, want to meet for a drink?” Why yes PrettyChick – I would LOVE to! So off we went to a fancy hotel lobby bar and had a few drinks.

I’ve kinda got a thing for ginger beer (which isn’t beer at all but more like a more sophisticated, spicier ginger ale with a bite) so when the oh-so-adroable-and-tattooed bartender suggested this drink I said “YES!”. Which was fine until they started going down really fast! Also chatting at the bar with my BFF and the adorable bartender was a great way to pass the night away!

We moved on to located #2 – a bit of a dud, so we quickly moved to spot #3.

3 bars. Met 3 men (only one got the digits – and he’s already asked me out – I might be on fire right now – the right mix of jaded and not quite ready to get into a relationship). Home by 9pm.

Friday was a tad rough but I made it through with the help of copious amounts of caffeine, a delicious sausage and egg breakfast sandwich and more caffeine!

five years later…

images

I gave up making much of an effort on dating years ago.  It was a personal choice for numerous personal reasons in which I will probably touch on story by story as this blog progresses, but for the purposes of this story, the most prevalent reason is self-preservation, and we can leave it at that.

Now, let’s rewind my life back five years…

I was still in the part of my life where the only thing that was constant was change.   I had moved for my third time within three years, switched jobs, and then switched jobs again. And again. (I was doing contract work, so it wasn’t so much job hopping as projects were beginning and ending.)  I was finally in the last apartment I would ever live in before I bought my house and I had finally gotten hired at the job I was planning on keeping for the long haul in the position that was my college goal, so life was kind of working out for me for a minute.  I was settled into my new city pretty well, I had a steady job, life was not a drama-filled circus, so I convinced myself I was ready to try dating.  Again. Seriously this time.

I’m going to be honest with you all–because we’re all friends here and that’s how I am with my friends.  Dating is a self-fulfilling prophecy for me.  I’m pessimistic about it most of the time which is why I don’t really do it.  It’s not fun for me.  Maybe I’m just not as thick skinned as other women, or maybe I’m just not as much of a fighter as other women, but whatever it is that gives people the drive to continuously pursue finding love, I don’t have it for myself.  I have it for other people though…when they want love, I want love for them too.  And when they find it, my heart soars through the atmosphere leaving trails of rainbow sparkles behind… and when they are denied of it, my heart deflates for them, sulking in a downtrodden lopsided heap, wiping away tears of unfairness.

That being said, no matter how hardened and walled off I have become about finding love for myself, I see it in everyone else everywhere and that gives me hope.  It does work out sometimes.  When it does, I’m telling you what–it is powerful and amazing and beautiful.

And I miss it.

Which is where I was when I tried dating again five years ago.  I meticulously typed out my profile and searched through my cutest digital pics and made adorable little flirty jokes and absorbed the writings and texts of some pretty quality guys.  At least four out of six of them that I was interested in meeting even turned out to be quality guys.  Here was the quick and dirty run down:

One I stopped speaking to immediately after we had a text fight about something ridiculous–I don’t even remember what it was, but I do remember it was really dumb and I knew he was too immature for me before we even met. The other five I met.

One of them I had a lunch date with and I really liked a lot, but he didn’t act like he was very interested in me even though he was super nice and pretty dang cute too.  He was one of those guys who would text you every five days or so and just when you thought he had disappeared, a text would come from out of the blue from him.  I think he had other stuff going on.  So I just abandoned the situation.

One I went out to “dinner” with, although he forbid me to order food, he insisted I drank, he proclaimed he had wolfed down some Chef Boyardee before he met me at the restaurant, and then slammed his fist down and proclaimed that his wife run off on him and the kids with his best friend and that he didn’t have his kids full time because he couldn’t handle them, so his parents did.  Okay sweetie–you don’t need to be dating, you need a therapist.

One I met was at a park where we walked and talked and he was nice, but just not my type at all.   Another I met for Mexican.  He had substance.  He was super nice.  We got along great.  He was cute and kind. His kids were grown and he held two jobs–one was a business he was still growing. If he ever called me again, I would date him, but he left it in my court.   I didn’t get back to him.

One was a teacher, and he was also sweet and cute and kind.  He had a son who was a little younger than my son.  My daughter liked him.  He was attentive, but not overly so.  He made an effort.  He wanted to see me.  I liked him.  So we dated a little more seriously for about a month or two.  Maybe a little less.  I started to lose interest for a few reasons, none of which I will write about, but I ended up breaking things off–indirectly and we just ended up drifting apart on our own. We were not meant to be. I hope he found someone nice.  I don’t have any regrets.  Breaking things off was not a mistake.

Also right around the time that I decided I was going to start dating was when my son’s father started to interject himself into our lives where he had previously been welcome, but had never taken advantage of the opportunity.  Weird.  Random.  What the…?

I soon found out the only reason he decided to re-evaluate his fatherly role was because his current girlfriend wanted a baby and he did not want to “start over and have another baby”.  I don’t remember his words exactly, but he told me he told her something similar to, “I don’t want a baby, but since you want a kid, I have a kid we could raise…”  I remember his words trailing off as if he had just realized the incredibly stupid words he had just uttered to me. Which for some crazy reason he thought in his head that I’d be totally on board with, but then all the sudden, it dawned on him, that I would not be.  He also explained that he wanted to get full custody of my son and take him away to Australia.

I believe my exact words were “Over my dead body.”

With that, all of my energy focused from dating to defending the stable life I had established for myself and my kids.  That was the last time I seriously dated anyone.   My son’s father gave up quickly and went away for awhile. He briefly reappeared after he and his girlfriend had some kind of spat, and then eventually he disappeared forever.  I’m 99% sure he and his girlfriend are married now, which means I am 99% free of every having to talk to him ever again.  Ours was a very passionate, but extremely toxic relationship, and getting over him was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  I never want to let myself get that attached to someone so unworthy of me ever again.

Which catches us up to present day.  I own my own house now.  I’ve been at that job I had just started for almost six years.  My kids live in a stable and happy environment and we have a good relationship with each other.  I still don’t actively date, but I think about it.  A few weeks ago I had been thinking about it a lot, so I decided to do something only semi-crazy, and I re-contacted the guy that I had met for Mexican food.

No, I’m not kidding.  I know, it sounds certifiable, but I randomly texted a dude I went out with once five years ago to say hi.  What?  No really, what?

Here’s “what”: I remembered him fondly.  I remembered that I really wanted to get to know him better and I felt I was unfair to him and that he just kind of fell by the wayside when the other guy came along and that I always felt like I had let him drift away.  I always wondered what happened to him and that is not like me.  I couldn’t shake the “What if” and the “Maybes” of the situation.

So maybe it was a little crazy, but I still had his number in my phone.  Sometimes life gives you all the signs you should do something–then it’s up to you–take action or don’t.    I know it’s ridiculous, but I followed my instincts.  I felt compelled.

“Hi B, this is a completely random out of the blue text, but I just wanted to see if you remembered me.  This is The Social Chick and we once went to a little Mexican restaurant…”

He texted me back right away.

“Hi Social Chick.  I do believe I do.  How are you?”

I’m great.

Exhale.

I’m great.

Dating in the City

I got back on the horse. Well… I got back on POF and OKCupid… kinda the same thing.

Clearly I’m a glutton for punishment.

Today I met Coffee Date #1 (he doesn’t get a name because truthfully it’s not going anywhere). We met a mall halfway between our houses. He was adorable, really cute, great arms (I have a weakness for good arms!) and was kind, polite, curious. But there was no spark, and not enough interest on my side to see if there could be one. But here’s the issue I had with today, and with other coffee dates in the past… he told me he liked me, he listed off a few of the things he liked about me (in a weird sort of here’s all the things you check off my list kinda way) and then asked if I’d like to see him again! OMG I was so on the spot. I had known fairly early on that we weren’t a good fit, but now I’m totally on the spot! So I said “ummm suuuuuuure” when I really wanted to say “oh! Thank you, but no.”

I feel like that’s not something you should ask someone on a coffee date… that’s something you leave for afterwards in the “thank you text” it’s either “thanks – that was fun, would love to do again” – or “thanks, best of luck in your search”!

What do you think? How do I handle this the next time?

 

Also: he texted me afterwards and said “I think it’s cool that you are in a quire.” …pause… then read it out loud.

 

Dear Cyclist

Dear Cyclist,

Since we never got the chance to speak about what happened between us, I’m using this letter as a chance to get the closure I deserve.

I liked you, like really liked you. We had a lot of fun together, I enjoyed spending (some)time with you. But I know now that we weren’t good for each other. For my part I know why I wasn’t good for you:

I’m really, really independent – I need my space. I tried explaining this to you at one point, that I needed the mental and physical space away from you so that I could come to you freely, and not feel pressured by your need for me. I’m hugely empathic and when you love bombed me, I felt the need to reciprocate. Which was massively stressful for me. I couldn’t be me when I was so worried about making sure you were ok. Part of this is on me, I should have set clearer boundaries. But part of this is on you for not listening when I was specific in what I needed you from you.

I understand that the sex changed. If you had listened you would understand better why it changed. I was ok when it was occasionally all about you. I was getting what I needed with your attention and affection. Soon though that became tiresome when it was all about you. ALL. THE. TIME. You’re 46 years old. FFS I’m in my sexual peak. When I have to remind you that I have needs as well, and it’s a chore for you for you to help meet them, then I’m going to be less inclined to your advances. Yes you told me you had a high sex drive. So do I. You ignored mine. Completely. Talking to you didn’t help.

Baby talk and pouting is never sexy. NEVER. EVER. SEXY. I told you this. You ignored me.

So in the end I know we weren’t right for each other. I’m sure I did things that you didn’t like either. I’ll never know though because you didn’t think I deserved a conversation about breaking up.

Best of luck to you cyclist.

xox

Lola

“You seem so much happier…”

the beachthe beachYesterday I was chatting with my co-worker, a woman in her 60’s who is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and she said “you know I don’t mean to interfere, but since you and the cyclist*  broke up you’ve been less stressed, less exhausted and you seem so much happier.”

And she’s not wrong.

Sunday morning I came to the same realization. I liked the cyclist, he was good looking, fun to hang out with, generous and kind. But truth be told he was so high maintenance. He was here all. the. time. When he wasn’t here he was texting, or calling, or I was doing things for when he was here, or so that I wouldn’t have to do them when he was here. Even when he came over and I would say “I have stuff to do, I’m happy you’re here, but you’ll have to entertain yourself” and he would still end up all over me… talking when I was trying to work, or asking for something… it was like taking care of a needy toddler, except he was a 46 year old man. And then there was the fact that he had the WORST bathroom habits of anyone I had ever met, worse then my 15yo son. And he was always asking me what was wrong. If I got out of bed in the middle of the night “what’s wrong”. If I got a water while watching tv “what’s wrong”. If I did anything he didn’t think I should be doing at that particular time “what’s wrong”. FFS NOTHING IS WRONG. I’M THIRSTY. I HAVE TO PEE. I NEED TO DO LAUNDRY. None of these things was a reflection on him, but he seemed to take it personally if I didn’t devote 100% of my attention to him.

So yes he ghosted. Yes that was a shitty thing to do. But it might have been the best thing he could have done for me. I don’t hate him. I just wish he had been man enough to have a conversation with me. The toddler thing makes a little more sense now.

I know now that one of the qualities I’ve enjoyed so much in past relationships is men who can entertain themselves, and give me the space to take care of the stuff I need to do, like going pee, and breathing. And when those things are done, I can focus on him.

FYI I happen to be going on a 12 hour wine tour this weekend, that he was supposed to be my date for. His ex-girlfriend is going as well. This. should. be. interesting.

 

 

* name changed to protect the innocent

the beach

How soon is too soon?

If you’ve broken up with someone, when is too soon to go back to dating again?

Say it was a three month relationship with real feelings (at least on your side)… a week, two weeks? Say it was a 5 year relationship where you lived with someone? A few months, six months?

At this point I’m only 2 days for-sure out of a relationship (I’m not sure the 4 days before the text count…). My heart isn’t in the mode to date honestly, to be honest (OMG I am so puny!) but there’s something that makes you feel a little better after being rejected when you get that little red notice that tells you someone online thinks you’re hot. Well the notice makes you feel better, clicking and seeing it’s not someone you would ever consider going out with makes you question why the hell you put your profile back up again.

After my last major relationship ended (5 years) I wasn’t ready to date for months – three to be exact. Actually that’s not true, I wasn’t ready for much longer then 3 months – but I was horribly lonely and wanted more than anything to feel attractive. So spot on the three month mark an opportunity to feel attractive popped up and I took it. It felt amazing. He was amazing. But it wasn’t long term, it wasn’t what I wanted, so after a few interactions we parted ways. The the truth is that I wasn’t ready, I knew it, he knew it and that was ok for both of us.

So now what?

I know I’m not ready…

I loved him.

 

He told me he loved me, and then ghosted…

I had been seeing him for about 3 months. Everything seemed to be going well. I invited him to a very small, intimate wedding for my cousin and her new groom. My family had flown in from Ireland and the states. I was so excited to show off my new boyfriend and have him meet my family. The night before the wedding, as we lay in bed, he told me how honoured he was that I chose him to be my date, that he was so honoured to be coming to such a small family focused event with me. As I curled up to sleep and he spooned me from behind, he whispered “I love you”. I turned to him and told him that I loved him too.

I was stunned when less then 4 days later he ghosted me. Completely disappeared – no texts, no calls, no explanation.

He texted me this morning… “I’m sorry — it’s over…”

I have no idea what happened.