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Archive for the ‘Dating Stories’ Category

It’s been a while since my last post and I haven’t really gone on many dates since.  I’m a bit burnt out and this next story was a big reason I took a break.

I haven’t had much success in online dating.  I’ve found that while profiles and emails may help you filter incompatibilities, you still can’t decipher how much of what the person is telling you is based on what they think you want to hear.

Once again, I meet a man I met through an online dating site for dinner.  My first mistake was that I should have stuck to my rule of coffee and can’t remember why I agreed to dinner.

Anyway, I arrive at a local Mexican restaurant and find my date sitting at the bar two-drinks into his evening.  We ask for a table and he orders another drink for himself and one for me as we start the “get-to-know-you” conversation.  Over the course of about two hours, he ordered at least four more drinks and things began to deteriorate more with each drink.

About an hour into the date, my date was drunk.  He began talking about his ex-wife and described her as psychopathic liar.  You
would think people would realize trashing an ex isn’t attractive.  I realize alcohol reduces inhibitions, but that is no excuse.

As he wrapped up his tirade about his ex-wife, he began to focus his attention back on me.  He said that we exchanged a few emails several months ago, but that our conversation fizzled.  I indicated that I didn’t recall us exchanging emails and apologized for my memory gap.  From here he told me how he was prepared to not like me, but was pleasantly surprised.

At this time, I am a bit stunned.  I should have excused myself at this time.  (My second mistake was staying as long as I did.)

Next thing I knew, he takes my hand in his hand, caresses it and tells me how he “gets me” and that “he so gets me it’s like he is inside me”!  I’m not a touchy-feely person – especially with someone I don’t know, so I am uncomfortable with him holding my hand and his comment was unsettling too.

I tell him I am not a touchy-feely person and pull my hand back as he progresses on to his next rant.  He then goes on to tell me how much he likes me and how he is surprised we are here having dinner together because “there are so many forces conspiring
against us and trying to keep us apart.”  I have no idea what these forces are and decide it is best not to ask.  (Again, I should have left at this point.)

He grabs my hand once again and this time he starts to kiss it as well.  He then tells me that he loves me and would throw his body on a grenade for me.  (What???!!!???  Remember, this is a first meeting.)  Once again, I pull my hand back and thank him for his courage to express his emotions, but that it takes me more time to care about a person.

He ignores what I have said and continues to tell me how he loves me and feels this deep connection.  At this point, I am feeling very anxious and don’t want to make him angry because he is not sober and potentially not sane.

I again thank him for his courage in expressing his emotions, start to stand up and tell him I need to head home.  He surprises me by asking if he can come with me and says that he never wants to be without me.  I tell him that he can’t come with me and that I am indeed heading home – that’s when I realize my car is parked behind the restaurant in a dark parking lot where I have to walk out and around the building.

I walk hurriedly, but with confidence back to my car – hoping the whole time that he isn’t following me.  (My third mistake was not bringing mace with me or asking the restaurant for an escort to my car.)  I make it to my car and book it out of the parking lot as quickly as I could!

The next day I send an email saying that I wasn’t comfortable with his level of drinking.  I also say that he scared me and that I couldn’t move forward or go back.  He tells me there was a good reason he was drinking that evening and then asks if we can still be friends.  (Hell no!!!!  I might end up dead or beat up.)

So, my dating sabbatical continues.  I don’t have the energy to invest in crazy dates.

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I agreed to meet another man I met through an online dating site.  In email he was charming, funny and complimentary. In person, he was more than surprising!

He wanted to meet at Daniel’s Broiler for dinner, but I suggested we meet for drinks instead.  A few minutes after I arrived and sat down at his table the hostess brought over a long-stemmed yellow rose in a vase.  I looked around to see if the hostesses were putting roses on all the tables and thought it was odd they’d place long-stem roses.  The only rose was the one on our table.  I thank him for the gesture and explained my initial confusion.

A few minutes later, he pulls out a travel brochure for the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival.  (He had asked me if I had any recent trips planned or if there was anywhere I wanted to go and I mentioned a hot air balloon festival in Walla Walla, WA.)  He presents the brochure to me and tells me this is the hot air balloon festival to go to if I were to go to one.  He then says that he would plan out our trip – arrive Thursday because the activities really start Friday during the day.  (Keep in mind that this is our first meeting and we’d only exchanged a handful of emails.)

I was a little put-back by the suggestion of a weekend getaway when we didn’t even know each other, but somewhat laughed it off.  Then he produced a second brochure; this time for a cruise to Greece!  (Again, this is our FIRST meeting!)  He flips a few pages into the brochure and points to the cruise he suggests we take and then starts to rattle off dates in late August; it’s now only early-May!

Next, he produces a business card for a travel agent he met with that afternoon to get information on the hot air balloon festival and Greek cruise.  It was all way too much for me.

He did confess that the travel agent asked how long we had known each other and that she laughed when he said this was our first meeting.  He also met with a business partner prior to my arrival and his business partner saw the travel brochures and asked about them.  When his business partner learned this was our first meeting he too laughed and strongly suggested
keeping the travel brochures for another date in the future.

It was all just too much to take in and process – especially when there was no romantic chemistry to begin with.  I think the over-zealous nature with the travel brochures would have killed any potential chemistry.

I thanked him for his consideration and invested effort, but said I couldn’t agree to either trip and reminded him that this was a first meeting.

Somehow the conversation transitioned to what I did for a living and he offered me a job running a company he wanted to spin off.  It all felt a little too needy, enthusiastic or obsessed.

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Ever felt strong emotions or a strong attachment to someone you probably shouldn’t?  I’m there.

I’m inexplicably drawn to a man who stirs up emotions I have never felt before.  It sounds wonderful until I say that he is not emotionally available.  I think sometimes he wants to be, but then other times I think it’s a game of cat and mouse that he likes to plays.

It’s the worst game of back and forth with poor communication mixed in.  Riding this ride is a natural wreck for me.  It triggers
feelings of not being good enough and wondering what I did wrong – only I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

I’m not sure how to get this guy out of my head, out of my heart and out of my system.  There’s always this small nagging pull.  It’s even worse when he randomly reaches out.  I can logically tell myself that his random texts asking how I am doing have no substance, but they are enough to cloudy my mind.

So it’s even more important for me to remind myself of my basic must-haves and that a loving relationship should be just that … loving.

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I still have a long way to go in terms of dating, but I am seeing progress and the application of lessons learned!!!

Remember Guy #4 from one of my earlier posts this month?  Yeah, well he is still a flake.

I don’t think a guy has to call, text or IM a girl every day.  In all honesty, while flattering, it’s a bit too much –but that’s a new and separate lessoned learned.  I do think that when you make this a pattern and suddenly become sporadic, the person is distracted or not interested.  Perhaps both.  That’s what has happened here.

Guy #4 randomly IM’d me and we began talking again.  He began IM’ing me every day along with sending texts and calling me.  Again, I was flattered at first and then I wondered what the urgency was.  I just broke up with my boyfriend so I didn’t want to jump into anything right away and wanted to take things slow.  Oddly, given all this “attention”, he never asked me to go out other than an initial invite to go to his place for dinner which he would cook.

I think dinner is an intimate gesture and at the time I didn’t feel comfortable with going to his place.  Dinner leads to drinking a glass of wine which leads to sitting on the couch talking which leads to kissing which leads to …

Anyway, although this guy continued to invest a lot of effort for us to connect online or with phone calls, that was it.  Then he started texting later and later.  This can seem innocent enough if you truly live different schedules, but I think there’s an element of lost respect and expectations when you begin texting someone after midnight asking what they are up to or if they awake.  This was warning flag #1.5.  (The .5 warning flag comes from the high-level of attention he was paying me initially.)

After a pretty intense and personal conversation, where he revealed a lot of past personal hurt, the tone of our texts changed and his calls were non-existent.  I decided it was better to call whatever this was between us off than end with one disliking the other.  After expressing my concerns, he expressed his continued interested in me and said we would connect during the next work day.  There was no IM, text or call.  Warning flag #2.5 … no need to go to #3.

In an earlier conversation I mentioned to him that flakiness is not something I accept and I think it just makes a person appear unreliable and immature.  He agreed and said he knew he can be flakey at times.  So while he is aware he can be flakey, he is either unaware or uses flakey behavior either to avoid awkward situations.  The reason isn’t really important.  The fact that I recognize his flakiness and am saying I deserve better is HUGE!!!!  I’m not into casual relationships or friends with benefits.  I don’t have a crazy biological clock or an urge to get married.  I simply want a real relationship without immature behaviors – mine or his.  I’m not going to compromise myself because I know what I am asking isn’t too much or hard – and I deserve it.

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I recently broke up with my boyfriend and all of a sudden several guys from the past have cropped up. It’s like this cosmic test to see how much I have grown or how lonely I am.

  • Guy #1: I met while on vacation. There was a definite attraction, but there were several red flags that cropped up. He’s very accomplished, but yet insecure; he’s intelligent and manipulative; he’s caring and attentive and then can turn and be purposely hurtful on an emotional level. He’s had some crazy personal experiences in the past few years which he says has changed his personality. I won’t don’t want to break his confidence and relay the details, but they are significant enough to where I have extra compassion for him.
  • Guy #2: I met online about a year ago and went out on an initial coffee date to meet and see if there was an interest to pursue anything further. There wasn’t. The guy was nice, but he had crazy ugly teeth and his thoughts about people and his job were far too different from mine. He worked for the government to collect back-taxes. He didn’t seem to have any compassion for the people he pursued for back-taxes. I’m sure he has run across some jerks in his career, but not everyone who owes back-taxes owe them intentionally or are jerks.
  • Guy #3: I also met online. He’s an attractive, good-hearted man with an amazing soul. There wasn’t a romantic connection when we met and we decided to be friends. Eventually our dinner invites faded and we stopped exchanging emails.
  • Guy #4: I met through work and went out on two dates about three years ago. It never progressed into anything – we didn’t even kiss. I was fresh out of my divorce and he was a bit flakey. I also learned of a nickname of his that led me to believe he was a man-whore. We didn’t end on bad terms … I started dating my lovely hippie, masseuse guy and he started dating another girl. Oddly, we worked less than about 50 feet from one another last year and rarely exchanged hellos. We simply had different lives.

With Guy #1 I have to be careful that I don’t fall back into a role I played with my family. It’s sometimes easier to put others in front of my needs. This is something I have to remind myself of and try to change when I realize I am doing it. I also have to remind myself that my boundaries are most likely more distorted or accepting of unhealthy behaviors than other people because that is what I grew up with.

He lives in Chicago, so I don’t really have to face the reality of dealing with him on a day-to-day basis or really consider a potential romantic relationship with him. (Although he has offered to fly out here or fly me to him.)

Guy #2 IM’d me a few weeks ago asking if I was interested in meeting for coffee. I was out doing something, but forgot to sign out of IM. By the time I got the IM it was several hours later so I never responded. There’s no reason for me to respond. I had told him after the first coffee date that I thought there were too many differences and not a romantic connection.

I don’t think Guy #3 reached out to me for romantic purposes, but it was out of the blue. We hadn’t communicated at all for at least 6 months or more. Then all of a sudden he sent me an email telling me about new things in his life and asking how I was doing. He since made a decision to quit his job and travel through Asia for a while. We have exchanged a few emails and IMs, but haven’t had any significant conversations.

Guy #4 always made me nervous. I’m not the giddy type, but for some reason around this man I get nervous and sometimes tongue-tied. He randomly reached out to me on IM and began flirting. I was confused about his intentions and how bold he was being, but agreed to meet for drinks to talk and ask questions. He said that he didn’t reach out to me randomly or out of the blue and that he has thought about it for a while. We talked about the events we experienced during the past three years. I told him I could offer friendship and see what might develop from there.

He has since invested a lot of energy to IM me and to call or text every day. He’s been very bold in his conversations, but there’s a large element of caution I have. I was honest and told him I am not interested in a casual sexual relationship or sex between friends. Although he said he wasn’t interested in just sex, sometimes his actions indicate otherwise. For example, yesterday we exchanged a few text messages and I told him to call me if he got bored. He texted after midnight to ask if I was asleep. He has also called late at night another evening and asked me to come over. (Keep in mind we have never kissed and since re-establishing contact we have only met in person one time.) This all adds up to a booty call in my head. Perhaps I am reading more into it, but I don’t think you invite a girl over late at night if you are interested in getting to know her outside of a carnal sense.

While I am not ready to jump into another relationship, it is comforting to have hope about a future relationship. I guess I just need to be patient and believe I will meet someone when the time is right.

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It Just May Be A Lunatic You’re Looking For

I started to see a therapist because of concern about how I was thinking about and approaching my relationship. How crazy is it that I think I am being crazy with a relationship in the early stages and go see a therapist to change my behavior and ways of thinking when I don’t even know what this relationship is.

The therapist is a great sounding board and brings a level of perspective that is very welcome at times and not so welcome at other times. In fact, if I were to assign scores to the sessions we have had, she has ruled against me more than she has ruled for me. She is the voice of reason telling me no to self-sabotage; not to cut-and-run; and to give this guy a break. (It’s not like I am a horror to this guy, but I can be a bit unforgiving with my thoughts at times.)

She’s the one who pointed out that most of my previous relationships, romantic and platonic, have been filled with chaos in many different ways, and this is the first normal, balanced and healthy relationships I have had. She’s warned me not to create chaos and not to high-tale it outta there.

Anyway, the other night I went out to karaoke with friends and someone sung Billy Joel’s song, You May Be Right, and the lyrics resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt:

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
It’s too late to fight
It’s too late to change me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just might be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

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Sometimes I wonder what’s the matter with me? I have a protective strategy where I disengage and push emotions deep inside until they are almost hidden everyone – me included. I’m concerned I have turned this into more of a daily behavior than an “in case of emergency” one.

For example, I thought I was falling in love with the man I am dating. Perhaps I did, but somewhere along the way I pulled back and I don’t know what I feel. I know what I am supposed to do and say if I love this person. I also know what this person expects of me. This allows me to continue on in a muted state without much visible difference in the way I act. I don’t think this is normal. Yes, everyone has their ups and downs and every relationship does too, but this is different. I feel like a scripted character.

Here’s where the problem becomes complicated. I don’t know if I am feeling this way because I am scared of committing or if I am not into the relationship anymore. It’s hard to know when you don’t trust your judgment.

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I had an odd experience this weekend I am still trying to process and understand but will admit to being bothered and concerned about it.

Let me start with my past … I’ve written about my divorce, but not one of the biggest reasons behind it. I discovered my husband at the time was having a long-term affair. The discovery was devastating and him blaming me cut deeply, but overall, the discovery was freeing. It was the catalyst I needed to decide the marriage was over.

It took me a long time to resolve my feelings of not being worthy enough and it takes a conscious effort to not judge other men by my ex-husband’s actions. Unfortunately, in limiting my emotional exposure over the past few years while attempting to date, I found myself involved with men where the above pattern was repeated. It was as if I surrounded myself with men who wouldn’t value me so I wouldn’t be as hurt when they didn’t because I expected it. I finally reached a point where I know I deserve more. There’s risk in believing and trusting in someone, but I don’t want to miss out on the wonderful experiences because I’m hindering my emotions.

The man I am now dating has a similar history with his ex-wife where she was involved in a long-term affair. He too has struggled with leaving his past behind him and had some deep wounds to heal. I thought those wounds were healed until this weekend.

My date got drunk, not intentionally, but he was definitely drunk and regressed into an insecure and scared place in his head. He asked an indelicate question during an intimate moment. Essentially, he asked if I would have the same feelings if I was intimate with someone else.

I was shocked, hurt, sympathetic and worried by his question and need to hear me validate my feelings for him. The next day I brought up his question and my concerns, and although he said he only has a small insecurity or fear I don’t know that I believe him.

I’m worried he needs me to emotionally invest in him – not want, but need. Needing someone to emotionally invest and reassure you of their intentions or their feelings for you isn’t healthy. Although he hasn’t expressed jealousy, I know I can’t be with someone who is jealous or doesn’t believe in my words or displays of affection.

This is a big red flag for me and I am trying to not over-react or disengage just yet. I haven’t processed it all and really don’t know what to think.

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First, let me explain what the “relationship thing” is. I am exclusively dating a wonderful man, Tim, and I love him, but I feel a bit caged and uncomfortable. I’m not sure if these are normal feelings or experiences and have tons of thoughts and “what ifs” running through my head.

Tim has casually brought up the topic of him dating with his two children to gauge their reaction. Surprisingly, the kids have been amazingly open, interested and supportive. In fact, last week they asked my name and a bunch of other questions including when we will all meet. This blew my mind. While Tim and I talked about me meeting his children as a future to-do, I’m not sure I am ready to meet his children. How do you know when the time is right?

I’m not sure I am ready to be in a committed relationship. I care very deeply for this man, but feel he cares more than I do. I know one of my coping mechanisms is to pull back or disengage and so this is one reason my emotions aren’t on par with his. What I can’t say is if this is the only reason.

I’m scared he sees me as someone I am not and am worried if I can live up to this ideal. I’m also worried about meeting his children and then us breaking up. I know it’s his responsibility to protect his children, but I don’t want to be the person to hurt them.
Is it typical for one person in a relationship to love the other more? Is this a bad thing regardless? Maybe it’s just a difference in defining emotions and love.

There’s also the finance worries. My ex wasn’t financially responsible and I know this is an issue for me. I was reminded about how irresponsible my ex was just a few weeks ago when a collection agency called me about his student loan. Anyways, financial responsibility is huge for me. I have a good job and make a good salary, and I don’t want to support someone financially because they can’t manage their money.

I think Tim is financially responsible, but am not sure. He only has one-month of emergency savings and this bothers me a lot! There are several reasons why this may be the case, but I don’t really know the details. I do know he bought a home recently and remodeled much of it. (This wasn’t just a cosmetic remodel and involved quite a bit of work.) He could very well consider his home his emergency fund or retirement plan although this is a risky assumption.

We’ve talked about finances a bit, but there’s obviously a lot more we need to talk about. How deeply do you dive into these topics and then when in a relationship? I honestly don’t know. I didn’t have these conversations with my ex (a good indication why he’s an ex) and don’t know what’s appropriate when.

These are just a few struggles. Trust me, there are more. My boundaries are definitely being tested.

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I’ve found myself exclusively dating a wonderful man, Tim. How wonderful is he? Well, for starters I haven’t given him an alias or nickname and I have introduced him to friends. Both of these are significant as I tend to use nicknames when talking about men I am dating and keep them compartmentalized in my life. Yes, a therapist would have a lot to say on both of these, but it is what it is or was what it was.

It’s been hard to write a new blog posting because I don’t know exactly how to process and talk about the relationship I find myself in. I don’t want to be the constantly “chipper and happy I’m dating someone cliché.” The thought makes me cringe.
I’m not one who gets swooped up in love and romance, but here I am swooped up.

I’ve had my moments of panic and I’ve had moments of disconnect. I’m testing personal boundaries and am scared, but I realize I have to take some chances, believe in my judgment and believe in Tim.

ARGHHHHH! There are so many thoughts swirling in my head and I don’t know how to write them out. I’ll try to sort some of them out and make a post in a few days.

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