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Posts Tagged ‘dating & alcohol’

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’m trying to take stock of the dating lessons I have learned over the last year. I can honestly say I am not the same person I was 12 months ago. I have had a lot of positive personal growth and still have more to do. (Personal growth should never stop in my opinion.)

Consistency is a big lesson I have learned. For me consistency builds trust. When behavior and availability is consistent, I trust more and can open up more. Inconsistent behavior and availability makes me think a person is flakey and can’t be depended upon. I don’t go into jealous girlfriend mode and wonder about cheating or who the guy I am dating with is spending his time, but I do wonder about his interest and sincerity.

Not all consistency is good either. There were two guys who would always text late at night. With one it made sense because he worked evenings, but with the other it didn’t make much sense. Instead, I began to wonder about his actual motives and finally decided it was more physical than emotional. (I don’t think I am ready to get married tomorrow, but I know I am not interested in a purely sexual relationship.)

Making excuses is something I don’t always realize I am doing when I am doing it. My awareness is improving, but it remains a challenge. I tend to make excuses for the person I am dating. This ranges from instances when my feelings get hurt to when they are not responsive. My self-appreciation is increasing and I am starting to realize I deserve to be treated with consideration, respect and eventually love.

Passion isn’t an indicator of love or genuine interest. Again, there’s a difference between physical attraction and compatibility and an emotional connection. Just think of how many hook-ups are alcohol induced! These are mostly physical connections with no real depth to them.

I don’t think strong passion is something that is always present in a relationship. Attraction and passion ebbs with high and low periods. That’s where other elements kick-in that make you want to invest the effort to keep the relationship going. This is when it takes both people investing effort to keep the relationship going and alive.

A big lesson learned is that actions should match words. I’m included in this bucket too. If I review my past, there are definite times when I just went with the flow of a relationship because it was easier than breaking up or because I felt guilty. Wrong move! You can’t force emotions.

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I have been dating a wonderful man for a few months now and will admit things have progressed quickly. As with almost everything, time provides prospective and this is no different. I still don’t know where I am right to be concerned or even annoyed and where I am being a bit too inflexible and impatient.

On paper this man sounds wonderful, and he is. I just don’t know that he is wonderful long-term for me. I’ve had a few “transition” relationships since my divorce and am starting to think this may be one too – just on a higher level.

With my past “transition” relationships I was unwilling to become emotionally invested and kept myself at a distance. It wasn’t that these were only physical relationships, but there was just a limit to how much I could allow myself to feel and become attached. I knew there wasn’t a future in these relationships and I was okay with that because I didn’t want a future from these relationships.

The man I am dating now, and the relationship I am in, is different. I do care about this man and I thought there was a potential future, but am not sure. Let me clarify, I don’t have a need to get married or be in a deep and committed relationship. This is just the first time I have let myself and met someone worthy of thinking of a potential long-term relationship.

As I get to know this man more, I grow more confused about when to compromise. For example, I can’t expect everything to be my way although I am used to living on my own. One of my must-haves in a partner is financial responsibility, but I have realized people define financial responsibility in many ways. I’m not sure I am financially compatible with this man as our thoughts on savings in almost opposite. Coming from a marriage where my spouse was financially irresponsible and a mother who is a shopping addict, I’m not willing to bend much on my definition of financial responsibility.

I also come from a family full of various chemical addictions and hid the addictions of my ex-spouse. I don’t want to return to that way of life and have concerns this man may drink more than I am comfortable with.

Many people reading this blog would probably say any concerns in either area, finances or addiction, are reasons enough to end the relationship. I’m unsure. Am I overly sensitive or simply clear on my boundaries? I honestly don’t know. So, when is good, good enough? When is good a means to settling and giving up?

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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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I’m behind on blog posts and dating stories, and apologize for the delay in posting this first meeting story. I still laugh when I recall the encounter; hope you do too.

I met an online match in-person for and early happy hour on New Year’s Eve. I can’t complain his online profile contained old pictures, but pictures can’t predict if you will or won’t have a physical attraction. In this instance, I didn’t.

Anyway, he arrived a few minutes before I did and was already more than halfway through his first beer by the time I sat down. I had plans to go out later in the evening to celebrate New Year’s Eve and didn’t feel like drinking. I ordered water and a soda instead. Not very “sophisticated,” but as you will learn sophistication wasn’t needed.

I can’t recall what we talked about, do clearly remember how he would spit while talking and a facial twitch. (Luckily, I dodge the spit and the twitch wasn’t contagious.) I was barely present mentally as he ordered beer #2, #3 and #4. (Let me clarify I wasn’t out with a 20-or 30-something guy. This man was in his late 40s and had a “professional” career.)

I sat thinking of how to gracefully exit, but my verbal abilities and backbone were very weak this particular day. After an hour I finally spoke up and said I needed to leave and get ready for my evening plans.

There was no doubt as I left this was not a good match. I was sure within 15 minutes of meeting. In fact, there were so many red flags it was like a bat cave going off in my head.

The next day I received an email from this guy thanking me for my time but saying we weren’t a good match because I couldn’t keep up with his drinking. What???? Really???? Here I was thinking his level of drinking might be a sign of alcoholism; but no, it’s me.

To “Happy Hour Guy” … thank you for taking the initiative. Thank you for being so comfortable with your addiction you didn’t hide or temper your drinking. Good luck with your search and your liver.

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I used to think it wasn’t fair to judge anyone based upon some of their friends, but I have learned someone’s friends are a reflection of the person. There may be a wild friend or two, or even one you strongly dislike, but the overall pattern of friends is important.

I went out on a date Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, with the intention of meeting several of my date’s friends and his sister. I was a bit intimidated by the prospect of meeting his friends and family given we have only gone on a few dates. There was also reservation because I feel there is more of a friendship between us rather than a romantic connection.

The night started out okay and I met his sister and a few extended friends. As the evening progressed more of his friends arrived and many became drunk. This was the turning point for the evening.

One of his close friends was exceptionally drunk and obnoxious. He wandered through the bar area of the restaurant starting conversations with strangers that soon turned into arguments. As the restaurant closed down and the bar activity picked up, the situation continued downhill. I’ll refer to him as “drunken guy”.

There were several women, not part of our group, who were also drunk and for some reason this night the drunks were drawn to one another. At some point, drunken guy begins arguing with some random woman who ends up joining our booth. I’ll refer to her as “drunken girl 1”. As soon as drunken girl 1 sits down she begins berating a few of the people we were with. I don’t know what she said, but all of a sudden another girl in our party who wasn’t drinking, I’ll refer to her as fighting girl, jumps up in the booth and starts yelling at drunken girl 1. The two girls began yelling back and forth threatening to fight the other. Drunken girl 1 is then escorted out by restaurant/bar staff. I thought that was the end until the other girl follows her out.

I was stunned. This is behavior you see in high school and maybe college, but not by people in their late 20s and 30s.

Drunken guy then brings over drunken girl 2. I don’t know how old she was, but easily in her early 20s. She was so drunk she was falling sideways out of the booth. Again, I don’t know what words were exchanged, but fighting girl was back up again shouting about “kicking ass” combined with a slew of other derogatory references.

Throughout this time, drunken guy is hitting on me and another friend of my date begins rubbing my thigh while I am sitting in the booth next to him. I distance myself from both of them. All this time my date is invisible and I have no idea where he is. In fact, it didn’t feel like a date at all.

The night was chaotic … perhaps psychotic. I left with my mind whirling and wondering if the night’s events really happened. It was all surreal.

I did realize I don’t want to invite or allow this drama into my life. I also realize I don’t want to invest my emotion in someone who is okay with this level of drama in his life. We are a reflection of those we surround ourselves with.

So now I have to have “the talk” and express my non-desire to pursue a relationship with my date from this night. I don’t think I even want to pursue a friendship because I don’t want to get sucked into the negativity and immaturity.

Just another Tornado Date to add to my list!

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