Posts Tagged ‘Dating Stories’

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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Ever have the experience where you’re dating someone and are enjoying it only to hit a plateau and wonder what the hell you are doing and why? I typically hit this point three weeks into a relationship … typically. I’m dating someone who lives a few hours from me and I think the distance between us, and the limited time spent together, delayed the blah.

For those who don’t know or understand what the blah is, it is a pivotal phase where I figure out if the effort invested in dating someone is worth it. I will do pro and con comparisons and even look for issues and characteristics I don’t like. (Sometimes the thought process is much less logical.) It’s almost as though I am looking for a reason to not like the person.

The blah doesn’t last long as the relationship fizzles or I decide to suck it up and continue in the relationship. Continuing in the relationship doesn’t mean I resolve to become highly involved with the other person or enter a committed relationship. Instead, it’s knowing what my needs/wants are and recognizing there’ good and bad associated with dating anyone.

This leads me to another question I struggle with … when are you settling versus recognizing when a behavior, characteristic or whatever isn’t as important as you thought it was?

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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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And the “Tim Story” continues …

Tim and I have been talking for hours every night as well as emailing and texting during the day. Although it doesn’t feel like the crazy honeymoon phase most relationships have, I’m sure there is some element there.
We made plans for him to come up to visit the weekend of 2/5 and seemed eons away. It’s less than two weeks and easily manageable, but the desire to spent time with him is/was significant. Instead, we decided to “meet in the middle” with each of us driving half the distance between Portland and Seattle. (I will admit I got the crappier end of traffic both coming and going, but can’t extend my complaining beyond this one sentence!)

I felt a bit of nerves as I walked up to the restaurant where we were meeting. My nerves were quickly eased by his huge welcoming hug and equally big smile. Dinner was prolonged by our conversation and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was surprised by our level of disclosure, once again, and with the vulnerability Tim expressed. Although divorced about the same time, he was concerned I would question his readiness for a relationship given he hasn’t dated as much as I have. My counter argument is he didn’t have as many personal issues to work out or a blog to incentivize the effort of dating.

The restaurant was part of a local hotel and we decided to get a room and stay the night. We were both tired, not looking forward to the 90+ minute drive back and didn’t want the evening to end. The hotel was similar to an old western inn or even some European hotels where the bathrooms are communal. Neither of us expected shared bath rooms. Also unexpected where the random quotes written on the walls of our room. One quote was accompanied by a painted portrait of a 70-year-old woman. She stared down at the bed and reminded us of a scolding grandmother or even disapproving nun.

We had agreed not to have sex until we both could get tested. Neither of us has a risky background, but it’s definitely the safe thing to do. It really wasn’t an awkward conversation; and if you can’t talk about sex you shouldn’t have sex.

The night was extremely intimate with a lot of kissing, holding, laughs, random conversations and deeper conversations. Much of the evening was punctuated by noisy trains passing by and random animal noises from people outside the building. (We didn’t look outside the window to see who was actually making the animal noises or why.) Finally, around 3 a.m. we fell into fragmented sleep – thanks to the trains. We had to wake up around 5:30 to get ready and begin our treks to work. Needless to say I am exhausted, but it was worth it.

I have no idea what this is turning into and am okay with that. There’s no agenda or timeline. I’m simply enjoying the experience.

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I recently wrote about meeting Tim, the friend of a good friend, and needed to process conversations and emotions. What better way to do that than writing them all down and publishing them for anyone to read?
Although Tim and I just met, there is strong interest and attraction that makes me nervous and excited all at the same time. In fact, I’ve had a few revelations.

I know I put up emotional walls at times to prevent myself from getting hurt or minimize how deeply I get hurt. I also realize the thought of a true relationship with deeply connected emotions scares the hell out of me. Tim’s also a nice guy. (The last two actually meld together.)

Everyone has heard how women like bad boys. With me, right now, it’s being scared of becoming deeply attached. I have a mixed family history and realize those closest to you can hurt you the deepest. It’s hard to erase the memory of those wounds or the instinctual protection mechanism of pulling back or creating distance. With “bad boys” you often know the limitations of the relationship and I guess in some ways you minimize your hopes so you aren’t disappointed. (Twisted logic.)

There’s high probability of developing feelings for Tim because he is nice, he tries and he has a great sense of humor. He’s aware, considerate, disclosing and complimentary. He’s also honest and willing to talk about difficult topics. I’ve known him for less than a week and it’s already the most mature relationship I have had with a man.

I think I really like this guy. I still don’t trust my judgment and wonder how I could like someone so quickly. We don’t live close to one another, about 2-3 hours depending on mode of transportation, and this presents unique challenges and benefits. It would provide distance and personal space and force us to focus on good communication, but wouldn’t be able to see each other whenever we wanted.

I know I have to take a chance if I want to experience the wonderful possibilities. Logically, I know none of this will kill me – investing in a relationship or the heart-break if it doesn’t work out. Oddly enough, I’m not scared and am more bewildered about why I am not.

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I went out of town this weekend to visit a friend and ended up meeting some of his friends and having an insanely fun time. I struck up a sense of camaraderie with one friend in particular, Tim. We share a lot of similar life experiences as well as life philosophies. I can’t just identify one thing that impressed me most although he is the most aware, considerate and mature man I have met in a long time. Man, not guy.

The first night we met turned into a long night of jokes, sarcasm, stories, bar hopping and even living room hopping toward the end of the night. Tim and I were the last two of the bunch awake and talked late into the morning. Our conversation became pretty deep as we asked about the other’s divorce and other personal questions. There was a significant awkward moment and I pretty much disconnected afterward. I’m pretty good at disconnecting – pretending something doesn’t matter or doesn’t hurt. This is where Tim really stepped up.

Although he pressed me with questions I still didn’t understand his original intent. To be honest, I thought he was a “man whore” as referenced in a joke earlier in the night. I knew we would see each other the following evening and had decided to act as though nothing had transpired between us. It wasn’t until the next evening I learned I misjudged both him and his intent.

The next evening, my friend had another obligation and suggested Tim and I hang out until he could reconnect with us. I was thinking of ways to pass up this option until my friend relayed a direct invite from Tim. I’m not 100% sure why I agreed to spend time with Tim, but I did. It was a great decision!
My friend dropped me off at Tim’s house and within minutes of arriving, Tim brought up our awkward moment. I immediately wanted to run and avoid the whole conversation. The door was only slightly to my left and though I would look like a raving lunatic running was a tempting thought. As Tim continued with his clarification, I remained stunned; frozen, actually. The description given to my expression was “deer in headlights”. I think it is an accurate description. (Actually, an armadillo might be more accurate because I just wanted to pretend to be invisible or dead.)

Tim was so sincere and considerate in his talk. After my panic subsided it was heart-warming and even comforting. This is the moment where I realized how greatly I misunderstood his intention and even him as a person. Thankfully, he was mature enough to address this head-on otherwise we may not have continued talking. We ended up spending the next hour or so inquiring about one another and sharing life stories. There was an ease and naturalness to our conversation combined with lots of laughs.

We talked a bit that evening while our mutual friend was passed out on the couch, but were both a bit cautious not to push things too far too soon. It was bittersweet saying goodbye although I knew we would see each other for breakfast. Our breakfast goodbye was our last for the weekend.

I characterized our meeting to another friend as the most honest and self-revealing I have experienced. It’s scary in many ways as it creates vulnerabilities I am not 100% comfortable with, but I see the strength it can provide to a budding relationship.

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Dating is full of passive aggressive behaviors. I’ll admit to allowing communication to dwindle rather than say I am not interested in a person. I’ve also noticed I tend to be less interested in a person if I email them rather than try to set up time to meet. Again, I don’t always come out and say I am not feeling an attraction or interest.

With the above in mind I began thinking about my recent “good date guy”. It might not have been a mutual good date.

At the end of our date I said I really enjoyed myself, but didn’t feel like I expressed a desire to go out again. He said he greatly enjoyed my company and conversation. (Hmmm … ok, not exactly a response that knocked my socks off.)

A few days later there was a similar exchange in email and he asked about my upcoming schedule. Unfortunately, our schedules didn’t align. He had friends coming into town and then was traveling the next week. I was booked the current week and then heading out of town the weekend he returned. He then emailed “perhaps we can see a movie or do something after that if you are game? In the meantime drop me a line here and there and let me know how your week is going.”

My approach is to take everything in stride. If there is genuine interest we will invest effort into seeing each other again. I am uncertain of his actual interest level, but I can’t change what others are attracted to.

For now I will just appreciate having had a nice and fun date with a sane man.

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Dating is most definitely an interesting adventure. In my case it often feels like a tornado – Tornado Dating!

Up to this point I haven’t had many second dates and in the instances where I have dates, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have. I don’t always trust my judgment or instincts and the below post highlights this lack of trust.

I’ve been emailing with an online match for several months. We had plans early on to meet, but for some reason postponed. Then our emails became sporadic until around Christmas. We then began discussing plans to meet. I wasn’t excited about meeting and even came close to rescheduling or canceling. I’m glad I didn’t.

For the first time in a very long time I am intrigued an truly interested in a man both physically and mentally.

We met for dinner and discover a wait of almost an hour before a table would be available. Our conversation was easy, fun and interesting, and our wait passed quickly. We talked about our various travel adventures, embarrassing moments and even work.

Ahhh … As I am writing this I can tell I am recalling the date with the enthusiasm of a school-girl crush. I’m ignoring his voice and my first thought it wasn’t deep enough. What I recall instead is the wonderful personality, energy and smile this man has.

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I’ve made no secret of my awkwardness in dating. There are times I have no idea how to respond; especially when it comes to the goodnight kiss – or even the mid-date kiss!

New Year’s Eve was a fun but mellow night. I went out on a group event and ended up talking with an older man for most of the evening – we were seated next to one another during dinner and just fell into conversation. The rest of the evening, the guy seemed to follow me around. He was a nice guy, but not really my type physically or even personality-wise.

Anyways, he tried to kiss me at midnight and I instead turned it into a peck and a hug. He was definitely going in for an open-mouth kiss and it was awkward for a bit. At the end of the evening he again tried for a kiss. I was more caught by surprise this time and ended up giving him two pecks … After the first peck he was still right there in my face’ I didn’t know what to do and so the second peck resulted.

I almost feel the double-peck is misleading and conveys a sense of interest even when there is none. Obviously, the peck isn’t as misleading as a full open-mouth kiss. I just didn’t know what to do – he was literally right in my face and not pulling back. (Kudos for his confidence, but respect my personal space.)

Even when I can tell my date is going to go in for a kiss I can react awkwardly. Other times I don’t and can smoothly turn and offer “the cheek”. I think this is partly because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Maybe I should practice the hair tousle or top-of-the-head pat.

I’m curious how others react and respond to the goodnight kiss and other attempts before the end of the evening.

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