It’s not about me.

A couple of months ago I’d connected with Bruce again. Probably because I’d texted to see how he was doing. He suggested we get together and then cancelled that day due to a change in his child schedule. It told me nothing had changed with him and there was no point in trying.

We exchanged no texts afterwards. But feeling magnanimous, I sent him a Merry Christmas and happy holidays text. He didn’t reply. Ever.

So in the last purge I sent him a goodbye text. I said I wasn’t sure why he didn’t reply, but I didn’t want to bother him and guessed he may be seeing someone else (it didn’t fit for me that he didn’t reply at all and realized perhaps he didn’t want to tell me).

I told him I had a dating story about us published in a local newspaper and would share it if he wanted to read it. It was the story of me mistakenly calling his wife. I said I wished him the best. Did I need to send it? Nope. But I did.

I then deleted him from my address book, my recents (sidebar: I found men in my recents I haven’t been in touch with for over four years. Recent, my ass!), and WhatsApp. It took a few tries to completely get him out of my phone. I didn’t want to have a weak moment again and reach out – I figured he’d made his lack of interest very clear.

I moved on.

At work yesterday I noticed a bunch of WhatsApp notifications. It didn’t say who they were from, because my phone didn’t know. I figured it was the group chat I have with my brother and others where it’s common for me to have 47 unread messages if they’ve been debating the merits of a certain restaurants saag paneer.

Later when I opened it I saw the following:

Hey Ann sorry
No you’re not bothering me
I would block you if that was the case
Just been dealing with a lot of shit …
I’ve been really …. I don’t know
Depressed I guess is the best way to put it
I mean just being brought to tears for …. no real reason… while at work
Laying in bed at home …
Try to put on a good face for the kids but …. it’s been tough
And …. I don’t know I became a recluse.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Ps it always make me feel horrible when we try to get together and something always comes up… like seriously
I hate that
You have been nothing short of wonderful
And I feel like shit and end up ignoring people because I have nothing positive going on so it’s easier to keep that to myself.
Hope you are well sweetie
And yes if you send me the link to your story …
I’d love to read it
Can’t imagine it’s too positive lol
Ps
That was the first ” booty call” I was ever offered
And yet couldn’t man up

It was Bruce.

I responded that it was nice to hear from him and I was sorry he was going through such a rough time. I knew from prior discussions he suffered from anxiety and depression, and I know how debilitating it can be from my relationship with Will.

He said he’d like to see me. He’s been the funny and sarcastic guy I liked so much. We have plans set for later this week and I’m not holding my breath. Even if we do see each other, I have no illusions it will be anything more than a one-time thing.

But at least it’s nice to know it wasn’t about me, at all.

Zane wants children

When he wants children, and I don’t.

Zane and I have seen each other several times since we met at the party a few weeks ago. He wanted to see me again as quickly as possible, so we snuck in a short drink date the next day before I got Liam for the week. I liked him as much one-on-one as in the party atmosphere.

He is soft-spoken and very articulate. While he says he’s an old man inside and is worldly, he’s clearly in his mid-thirties. He asked me for advice on my work success and I died a little inside: it’s not the kind of relationship dynamic I’m looking for.

He’s told me how beautiful he thinks I am and marvels at how captivated he is. But he has none of the creepy clinger vibe of John. He’s not in love with love. In contrast, he tells me he’s picky and I believe him.  Continue reading

How to pick up a man at a party

How to pick up a man at a party.

I titled this post “how to pick up a man” but it could easily have been “when a date bails, bring a wing-woman and unexpectedly meet a new guy.”

Todd was supposed to be my date for a holiday party. The hosts were parents at Liam’s school, and I disliked the thought of going alone. I wasn’t sure how many people I would know from the school. All of Liam’s friend’s parents are couples. The winter holidays are one of the few times I quite viscerally dislike being single. Or better said, that I viscerally feel my singleness.

Todd was in town and I knew he’d be a great date. Not primarily because he’s stunningly handsome and attentive… but because he is a gregarious people person and I knew he could navigate a party with ease.

But he’s only a great date when he shows up. Continue reading

sex talk texting

Talking about sex with the new guy I’m dating.

I don’t think I breathed until I saw Gregory’s reply: “Trust me, nothing shocks me.”

“Good”

“And so have I done those things”

“Phew”

“And that answer was fluff, testing the water”

Yes, of course it was. It was already nerve-wracking enough telling him something I rarely tell anyone. So I said “It’s a big risk to talk about this stuff. I have found men either can’t handle it because it’s intimidating, or they feel insecure about it. Or worse, I stop being a fully fleshed-out woman and become only about sex.” Continue reading

First date

When server errors threaten my first date.

I was admittedly a little concerned I hadn’t heard back from Gregory. I know some people tend to reduce their communication pace after a date is booked, but to not reply to a text at all? While I told myself everything was fine, the cynical I’ve-had-the-worst-luck part of me was stomping her mental foot deep down. I wasn’t sure if this Tinder date was going to happen.

But my burner app had been flaking out and I’d been receiving sorry-the-server-is-down notifications, so I suspected it was that. I didn’t want to text again on the burner app, since if it didn’t work the first time there was no guarantee it would work the second.

I went back to Tinder.

Continue reading

My bananas week.

If I’ve done this before, it was long ago enough I’ve forgotten.

This week I set out to meet (and maybe have sex with) as many men as possible, within the constraints of work and my need for sleep. I needed to remind myself that there are men out there who are interesting to me. And I decided to not do it half-way.

Sunday 

Jake told me Saturday he was no longer able to meet for our planned evening of conversation and sex, so I was keen to fill the spot.

I had a first date with the blue-eyed and hot-bodied plumber who misjudged the local traffic, showed up late, and then was too cold in his shorts and t-shirt to give me enough of a kiss goodbye. We talked a lot about dating and even sex – he seemed pretty cool. Continue reading

Thinking about Bruce.

Previous Post

It’s become clear Bruce isn’t ready for the practical realities of dating. He thought he was. He’d taken almost two years before he took the online dating plunge: he said he wasn’t ready before that. I believe him. At his core, I think he’s a good man.

He’s not a Jack, telling women he pursues what they want to hear. He’s no Tony, emotionally incapable of truly leaving his marriage.

He’s Bruce.

Continue reading

When attraction is timeless.

Claude rang the buzzer many flights down in our apartment building with no lift. He’s fit but it still took him a while to get up all of the stairs. He looked exactly as I expected. Yes, twenty years older, but the man I remembered. We greeted with kisses on each cheek and a lingering hug.

He said hello to Liam, who was distracted with his iPad. Claude and I went upstairs: he’d brought snacks and drinks. He was a good caregiver the few days and evenings we spent together. As independent as I am, I like a man who has the right balance of respecting me as an equal and knowing when I need water or proactively ordering me a glass of cava.  Continue reading

Claude.

He is #9 on my list. The only man who has had sex with me in three of my four decades – at 18, 24, and (spoiler alert!) 43. We missed my 30s due to marriage. My first and only serious foreign crush – one which went from desire to implementation after a few years of hoping.

We met in France the summer I was 15, on the cusp of 16. My father and step-mother had signed us all up for month-long language classes in a beautiful university town. We stayed in campus housing. In the classic style of my father, my class was supposed to be for age 18 and over, but he signed me up anyway. They never checked.  Continue reading

When kissing leads to a cancelled date

I had a sore throat on my first date with Bruce. I didn’t think much of it, or better said, I wasn’t going to think about what it could mean. I was still in denial. The day after I woke up feeling terrible and worked from home. I’m a big believer in not coming into the office with a contagion.

We kissed each other goodbye on the Wednesday. I was sick through Monday, when I saw him for our second date. He’d been away and I hadn’t mentioned not feeling well. I didn’t want to sound sickly to a guy I’d just started dating. It’s a sore point – my ex always gave me a hard time for staying home when I didn’t feel well. Continue reading