He was a friend, admirer, and protector. Never a lover. He was like the older brother I never had.
A decade-plus older with way more work experience, he was one of the first colleagues to help me understand how good of a leader I actually am. He was crusty and opinionated but looked up to me. As an independent contractor he could work with anyone, and he chose to work for me. I was humbled by his praise.
I was blessed by his presence in my life.
During one of the projects we worked together on he took a pastry course. We all looked forward to Wednesday mornings when the treats would arrive. Never fully satisfied with his work, he rebuffed our compliments, said through stuffed mouths. He always showed up on time to my parties. He was single the whole time I knew him and at first I assumed he was gay. Turned out after his last long-term relationship he’d tired of trying, and spent his time doting on his nieces and nephews. But he always had relationship advice for me.
He was the one who called me the day after my party, where HWSNBN lost his shit, to make sure I was okay. He made me promise to end it and offered to do anything I needed to keep me safe.
At my party, HWSNBN had told him to “fuck off” after he made a nice comment about my legs. Blind with jealousy, HWSNBN couldn’t see the friendship and teasing behind the comment. And his anger at my friend helped cement his demise. No asshole was going to come between me and the people I choose to surround myself with.
The last time I saw him he sat in one of my comfy chairs, joked about my cast, then quietly disclosed his recent absence from my life was due to depression, not a physical illness as I’d feared. He was starting to realize it was okay to share, but knew his pride and stubborn nature got in the way.
We promised to see each other soon.
That was February.
And now I mourn the loss. His death was sudden and unexpected, and a reminder to try to live every day as if it was not only my last day, but my friends and family’s as well.
My Dad asked me how long it takes for me to know someone isn’t right for me, how long to assess relationship compatibility? A pretty good question, frankly.
I talked about how I know within minutes how good the intellectual chemistry is with someone. On the positive extreme there was Tony and now Jack. We have that elusive quick-witted and humorous banter. On the other extreme are men with whom the conversation is forced or dull. I can make a conversation happen with anyone, but I don’t want to have to do all the work.
It’s similar with physical chemistry. The very good and very bad are sussed out during the first kiss. I also know whether any first-time sex awkwardness is due to needing to learn each other, versus terrible physical chemistry. Continue reading →
Confirmation bias: The tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.
In other words, once we believe something to be true, we ignore evidence that contradicts said belief and focus on the evidence that does.
This can work in your favor if people think you’re good at your job, or you’re smart, or any other positive attribute. But there are downsides. Once someone has doubts about you, it is incredibly difficult for you to overcome them.
After a weekend with our respective children, Jack and I had a date. It’s a blossoming early relationship.
Midway through the day, we connected to finalize plans. He told me he was sorry but he wasn’t going to see me as early as expected: he had to go to the hospital to visit his parent. It was going to be 9 pm before he would arrive.
I was disappointed but obviously understood a critically ill parent took precedence, especially given he hadn’t been able to visit for a few days due to his move. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to go for a late bite to eat, have a drink, and go back to my place. Deal. Continue reading →
The conversations with Jack are starting to meld together. It’s the problem when living my life outpaces my ability to write about it. I’m going to try to get caught up with this post with our dating status.
We had the kind of fourth date made necessary by single parentdom: a late night visit. It was a three-act play similar to the third date: a drink on my couch with lots of conversation, moving to my bedroom for some good sex, and then talking far too late into the wee hours of the morning.
This time, instead of waiting for me to suggest it, he asked to take me upstairs. I liked it. Continue reading →
After kissing him goodbye at my front door at the end of our epic first dinner date, I floated up the stairs and texted him to say thank you for the amazing night. I also gave him my real mobile number so we could get off the sluggish burner app.
He replied with a simple “good night, text you there tomorrow”.
The next morning, the other man I’d agreed to meet from POF cancelled our date. He too is moving houses and he said while he wasn’t normally this flighty, he really needed more time to deal with the house and his children. It was fine by me, I was exhausted.
As promised, Jack texted. He asked how I slept then remembered I was supposed to be at brunch (I didn’t tell him who with) and I replied that it was blissfully cancelled and asked him how he was doing. He didn’t reply. Continue reading →
It didn’t take long after sitting on my couch before we started kissing again. We’d had almost four hours of talking and there was no need for any more.
Luxuriating in a kiss is truly one of life’s great pleasures. There’s a time and place for moving quickly, but this wasn’t one of them. Jack and I had amazing kissing chemistry. I’m a responsive lover: I will often match someone’s pace and style, which is likely why I’m told I’m an great kisser. In this case, we were already well matched.
Jack was slow to take things further. This was not a five-minutes-of-kissing-then-shove-a-hand-down-my-pants experience. He took his time to explore.
[Part 3 of our date is coming, but I wasn’t in the right head space yesterday to write it – Jack and I have had a slight communication hiccup (I’m sure that’s all it is) – and I knew it would affect my accurate depiction of the rest of our night together. So here’s a post I’d scheduled originally for tomorrow.]
It’s the difference between “sure, this is okay” and “FUCK YES”. I haven’t felt this way about someone in a long time. I did about Kyle, but his unresponsiveness killed it. He was a “fuck yes” for me, but I wasn’t for him. (And if you haven’t read the Mark Manson article on it, check it out here). Online dating sometimes serves up a great potential match.
When the intellectual and physical chemistry is truly there, all others fall away. And if they don’t, that person isn’t doing it for you.
I hid my POF profile on Sunday. I told the two men I was having conversations with that I was going offline because I’d met someone I wanted to focus on, but if I came back I would reach out. They both replied they appreciated the message and wished me luck. Continue reading →
We drove to the restaurant, talking about driving styles, swearing with our children in the car, and again it was just easy and seamless. The kind of conversation of people who have known each other forever…or who just “click”.
We parked near the restaurant. I didn’t wait for him to come open my door – it didn’t even occur to me. Unlike Fox, I was not scolded. Fox would get super irritated when I’d dare open my own door. I enjoy a gentleman but his rigidity was unattractive.
As Jack and I walked, I noted his shoulder seemed lower than mine, and I wondered whether I was actually taller than he. It didn’t matter – of course I’d like someone taller but it is not a deal breaker. Continue reading →
I’m going to preface this post by saying I know 100% that there is no way to know if something is going to work out, after two dates. I know this right to my core. I can quickly assess intellectual and physical chemistry, but the emotional / behavioral can kill a relationship.
I’ve sacrificed some intellectual and physical chemistry for the sake of strong emotional chemistry, and ultimately that doesn’t work. I’ve found incredible intellectual and physical, just to later experience an emotional mismatch.
But Jack has the potential for all three. I’m over the moon at the moment and am determined to enjoy it. Continue reading →