I’ve regressed a little bit.

I own my good behavior. It’s easy to write about the shit I do that I’m proud off. There’s lots of it, usually. Harder is admitting when I do shit that I know it counterproductive or just dumb. 
I’ve done some dumb shit, and I own it too.

I know I’ve learned more from my mistakes than my accomplishments. This is true in work as well as my personal life. When I think back to the guys who really fucked me up over the last few years, those are the lessons that helped me get better at dating and survive what can feel like a constant onslaught of rejection and bullshit. 

I meant what I said recently about rejection. I don’t end up thinking that I’m not good enough somehow. But it doesn’t mean it flows like water off a ducks back. I take this shit personally.

Everyone says “it’s not personal, Ann”. But fuck that – it’s the definition of personal! My ex husband used to tell me “every choice to do something is a choice to not do something else”. While there are exceptions to this rule, it definitely applies to dating. If I stop texting you it’s because I’m choosing to spend my time on other things. That’s a personal assessment of who you are and how I feel about our compatibility. It doesn’t mean I think you’re a bad person necessarily, but I have made a judgment about whether I want to spend my time on YOU.

It’s easier to let go of someone’s rejection of me when I’ve got a pipeline of guys. When one person stops texting but others are, I move on faster. But my approach to dating for over a year has meant I’m engaging with very few men at a time. Being picky is great in some ways. I don’t spend as much time on dating sites. It doesn’t take up a lot of my time. Not being proactive pays off in that those who reach out do so because they are interested and usually the timing is right. The men I’ve actually ended up going on dates with have been decent matches. The chemistry was off with a few, but intellectually and emotionally things were good.

In other words, I haven’t wasted a lot of time.

I’ve also been the one doing the rejecting, for quite a while. I broke up with Tony twice. I broke up with Fox. I broke up with HWSNBN. I decided to see Tony but it’s been on my terms. 

And then Kyle came along. 

I know I’ve been quiet since he bailed. I’ve honestly felt the same way I did way back when the Cook rejected me… After he made me dinner and I fucked him and he full on ghosted me, and I sent a torrent of angry and bitter text messages into the ether of his phone. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about why these guys bring this out in me. I know I’m not a crazy drama queen. When I think about what bothers me so much, it’s not that I don’t understand things happen, we find other people, we get busy, etc. I know that chemistry is just one of those things and just like job hunting, if I’m not “fuck yes” for someone there is no point trying to convince them otherwise. 

But I have a very strong sense of justice and fair play. Being disrespected drives me bananas. Bad communicators and liars make me apoplectic. I’m diplomatic to a fault. I believe people I don’t know deserve my respect and I make a concerted effort always to treat people right. It’s just how I roll.

So as much as I know I can’t hold everyone to my standards, I simply HATE to be on the receiving end. I find myself wanting someone to just admit they are fucking with me, or don’t give a shit. It’s as if somehow, someone admitting they were a jerk makes it better for me. It’s not so much about changing the outcome, but just trying to get people to be self-aware.

I don’t know why this matters to me so much, but it does. 

I also try to see the best in people. I love to understand what makes people tick (including me) so I’m the first to justify behavior when I understand the motivation. Tony lies because he doesn’t want to hurt me? Oh, okay then! It’s been a challenge over the last few years for me to focus on the behavior and how it makes me feel. I forgive easily. I believe people can change. 

I’m not sure this is a bad thing, but it definitely means I get myself into situations where other people would simply say “fuck you” and walk away. 

With Kyle, I did respond to his text. I had talked to my Mom about it – she coached me to not go on the attack, and I understand why. I chose to take the high ground. I told him I was sorry he got delayed and I would have appreciated a heads up. I also said perhaps we could find another time.

I know many of you will cringe at the latter. I know the strong woman response is silence, or a good “fuck you”. Part of me feels weak because I didn’t do it. But part of me feels good that I didn’t put more vitriol into the world. Part of me feels sometimes maybe there’s more to things. Obviously. It gets me in trouble, and sometimes it brings me great joy. 

And the regression I referred to earlier? I’m the one acting like a zombie now. I reached out to a few men from my past. Nobody significant… A couple who had kept in touch for a while and I was the one that dropped it. Nothing dramatic, and for no reason other than someone else took precedence. 

I was loathe to get back onto online dating again… I just want some men to hang out with this summer and going back to those I know felt much easier than putting myself back out there with unknown entities. But this weekend I decided to open my OK Cupid profile again. It’s been okay so far, I’m not doing anything proactive and it’s quiet as usual. 

I have filled each night next week. After several weeks of lots of nights alone I want some socialization. I could potentially fuck four different men next week. I know it may ultimately feel empty and could be unsatisfying. I’ve been down this road before, I know where it’s going. But I will always keep my eye out for those detours, those little roads I haven’t been down before that perhaps will be the most fulfilling yet. 

Be prepared for some eye rolling and yelling at your screen as I fill you in with who I’m seeing next week. But please know, I’m not doing it blind. This isn’t my first rodeo.

(And I wrote this on my iPad sitting on a patio alone. No links, no spellcheck, no pic. All to come later.)

Third time’s a…total bail – WTF?!

As I wrote yesterday, I find it very challenging to accept that extended periods of silence (as defined by me) do not equate to disinterest.

It goes against almost every other experience I’ve had with men so far, and it’s diametrically opposed to how I operate. I’m an open and enthusiastic communicator. I think nothing of telling a man I’m excited to see him, when I am. If I like you, you’ll know it.

I don’t play it cool very well. But here’s the problem – on the receiving end, how can the man know the difference between appropriate enthusiasm after a second date, and a woman who has gotten far ahead of herself on the relationship path?

I guess I am the type of person who doesn’t hold back. I reserve the right to change my mind as I learn more about a person. With the man I went away on the weekend trip with in February, until that point I had matched some of his enthusiasm for me – then reached my limit and had to retreat. 

Maybe it’s not the best risk-based approach. I put myself out there and then have to retreat. It also means if someone is deliberately tempering their behavior because it’s only a second or third date, I tend to project what that behaviour would mean if it was me.

If I don’t respond to your text for 12 hours, there’s a reason. If I don’t tell you I’m excited to see you tomorrow, it’s because I’m not.

I’ve maintained for a long time that ascribing motivation to someone else’s behaviour is fraught with danger. But it’s so much harder to not actually do it.

Kyle responded to me around lunch time that he was still in meetings (a three hour flight away) and would let me know once he knew what flight he’d be on. He said definitely he if got back in time, he would see me. He said he hoped I was having a good day.

Pretending I hadn’t leapt at my phone when I saw the text was from him, I played it cool and managed to wait an entire hour before responding back that it sounded fine and anything after 9pm worked for me.

He responded a half an hour later saying he would text me when he landed.

::

I discovered rather by accident that Bumble live updates your location, rather precisely. I had gone to Kyle’s profile to show a curious friend. It showed the city he was travelling to that day.

Several hours later, when I’d heard nothing but it was after the time his plane would have landed, now I was curious. Bumble showed he was at our airport.

No text. While I knew he was unlikely to literally text me the moment he landed, enough time passed that the knot in my stomach grew. I checked Bumble again. He was home.

I focussed on my son and told myself I would hear from Kyle shortly. There was nothing to indicate he wasn’t interested.

Hours later when he still hadn’t texted, I was steaming mad and very confused. I texted my girlfriends for moral support. 

What the actual fuck.

By 10pm I knew I’d been stood up. I would have to go back to my posts, but I think it was a first. Several men have disappeared on me but I can’t recall being in this situation before. A part of my brain told me perhaps he just fell asleep – I knew he’d been busy all week and likely tired. Another part told me that was bullshit. And while I sat on my balcony enjoying the beautiful weather, drinking soda water, simultaneously angry and hurt and sad, Tony called.

Oh, Tony. He was the perfect salve for my injury.

At 6am the next morning, I succumbed to my baser instincts and sent Kyle a brief text, knowing it was futile: “no explanation?”

Three hours later he responded: “I didn’t get home till 1030pm as everything was delayed”

That was it. No sorry, nothing. Worse yet, it was a lie. 

I don’t like having meals alone

This past weekend, I went away – alone. I had an extra day off and no plans. My friends were all busy. Even if I wanted to use Tony as a crutch, he was away for work. And since Kyle hardly texts let alone declare his love for me on our second date (cough, cough), we aren’t remotely close to the “go away together” stage yet.

Given all the drama I’ve experienced in the last couple of months plus the work stress I’m under, I really wanted to get away.

I booked a train trip. Two nights at a hotel with a king bed and crisp white sheets. A dinner each night with one of my closest friends and her family. A day at a spa – the kind with steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs, cold water springs, fireplaces, and hammocks. A 90 minute massage with Jonathan. A facial the next day.

Bliss.

Kind of.

It was nice to get caught up with my girlfriend and to see her husband and children. I enjoyed the 10 hours of train travel with time to listen to tons of music and write blog posts. The spa day was incredible and I felt amazing afterwards.

It was nice to be lost in my own thoughts for a day. No electronics are allowed at the spa. I just sat, swam, snoozed, and sweated.

I didn’t think about work, which was fantastic.

I thought about Tony a lot. I thought about Kyle even more. I wasn’t even trying but they consumed my thoughts. Damn them. 

I don’t like eating alone. I remember when I booked my first solo vacation two years ago, it was the dinners alone I dreaded the most. I survived. This time the dinners were fine but I would have loved to wake up with someone (not just anyone) next to me in that king bed, and to have breakfast in bed before and after slow weekend sex.

Sigh.

I feel better than I did when I left. I haven’t seen Kyle – Sunday night and Monday didn’t work. And just like the last two times, I haven’t heard from him yet about tonight. I sent him a text this morning to confirm. I have to keep telling myself over and over that this just seems to be his conversation style – if a date and time are confirmed there’s no other need for communication.

It makes me anxious and I don’t like it. I’m telling myself all is well and he’s still keen on me despite making an update to his Bumble profile. 

I’m going to keep telling myself that.

When I see him (see what I did there!?), I may ask him what kind of communication he prefers between dates. I don’t want to pressure him (it’s only date #3, after all), but I also need to find a way to put my mind at ease. 

a great second date with Kyle

Are we having a moment? My second date with Kyle

Previous Post

“Ann, are you telling me you and I both have dark blue cars with tan interiors?”

We hold each other’s gaze from across the table.

“Kyle, are we having a moment?”

Ann, indeed I think we are. Give me a second to recover. Wow.”

We burst out laughing. Continue reading

yes, i want a boyfriend

Yes I want a boyfriend, but I don’t need one

In a text conversation with one of my girlfriends recently, I made a comment along the lines of wanting to have someone in my life because it’s simply better that way.

Doesn’t seem like a big revelation, but it did help me understand my nuances and how I can be okay on my own while also hoping to find someone.

Here’s the thing. I see a lot of people who want someone in their life because their self-esteem and security is tied to having a partner. They need external validation. Faraway Lover was like this – he mourned the loss of his marriage and quickly found a replacement. Despite needing reassurances from lots of women, ultimately he needed one person who was always going to be there for him. Continue reading

our first dinner date

Kyle the tall man texts

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With the feedback I’d gotten from my friends, I was trying my hardest to not assume ‘s Kyle’s lack of confirmation 24 hours in advance meant anything. We had confirmed a date and a time, just not a place. I was fairly certain he was interested in meeting and he didn’t strike me as the type to just bail.

Maybe.

I was mildly irritated because it was helpful to be able to plan in the morning what the hell I was doing after work. But I realized the way to deal with it was to just go about my arrangements, knowing it wasn’t a big deal, and based on what I knew we weren’t likely to meet downtown where I worked anyway. So either way, I was going home after my personal training session. Continue reading

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He’s so tall it takes a while for his texts to come through

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Thank goodness for my friends who help keep me sane when I temporarily lose my shit a little bit.

In not hearing back from the Tall Man, after some fairly steady communication, I found myself oscillating between believing it was completely fine and believing he obviously wasn’t into me.

Reasons it was fine:

  • He is busy with work
  • He had his kid all weekend
  • We had a date set so there was no need to keep texting

Continue reading

The texting dilemma

My experiences recently seem to have a similar theme – what amount of communication do I expect and how these expectations can get me into trouble.

I’ve had on and off blog conversations about this as I’ve explored various opinions and insights. There are a huge variation of opinions, but most tend to agree on the following:

  • Constant texting before you’ve met each other is a red flag. Meaning, every day, without much pause, throughout the day and night. Many of us don’t like this even later in a relationship (myself included).
  • Someone who challenges why you aren’t responding quickly enough is also not a good sign early on (and I don’t mean – “hey haven’t heard from you for three days, everything okay?”)

Continue reading

a good date, then uncertainty

A tall attempt to counteract my cynicism

I decided to try Bumble again in the midst of relative silence from Ian. Perhaps I judged the app too harshly last time. And I just wanted a distraction. I fully admitted to myself I wanted to seek out someone who captured my fancy and who was worthy of my attention.

My second experience was pretty much the same as the first. Although as if they heard my feedback, they adjusted the app so a man now has to also respond (the first time) within 24 hours. Ghosting is eliminated in the first exchange at least.

So after a couple of texts with a few men, the conversations dwindled. Nothing worth writing about. Continue reading

the distance was too much for Ian

Mr Ambivalent shows some emotion and explains his actions 

Previous Post

I remained confused about Ian’s general ambivalence. He’d sent me a Happy Mother’s Day text but then not much else. The Tuesday morning afterwards I texted “Good morning – you’ve been rather quiet.”

No response.

Later that night, laying on the floor all angry and hurt about Tony, I enjoyed a (brief) moment of levity when not 5 minutes before he showed up, Ian called. I didn’t answer the phone.

Later that night I saw he’d texted “hi” at 10:30 then later, “you have time to chat?”. The next morning when I woke up I texted that I would call him later that day. No “oh sorry I missed you”. Wasn’t feeling it, so didn’t say it. Continue reading