Lier

I learned an important lesson in on-line dating today: Honesty is the best policy. I got a message Saturday morning from a guy who described himself as a “sweet guy looking for a good woman”. He was very direct:

“You’re very beautiful, would you be up for a coffee?”

I appreciated his no-bullshit approach and I liked the looks of his profile so I told him sure, I’d meet him for a coffee, when would work for him?

“How about 6pm?”

Tonight? seriously? This guy was on a mission. His eagerness was a red flag for me but, I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I told him I had plans (I did) but maybe Wednesday after work. He agreed.

After that, a few more red flags popped up. First off, he told me I had to meet him where he lived (1.5 hours away) instead of meeting me half way because he “hadn’t gotten his jeep fixed yet”. Secondly, after he requested to see more pictures of me and I returned the request (he only had one picture on his profile) he told me, sorry, he only had that one. Who in 2013 only has one picture of themselves? Then finally he asked me how I felt about holding hands on the first date. That pretty much put an end to any possible relationship I could have with this guy. I couldn’t meet him on Wednesday. This is where I went wrong. Instead of being honest with the guy about why I couldn’t meet him, I straight up lied. With the purest intentions of saving his feelings, I told him that I was “getting back together with my ex”. This was at about 10pm last night. By the time I woke up this morning I had a response: 

“Then why are you still on here looking for a date?”

Was I being called out? I intended to block him after I broke off our coffee date to prevent this exact scenario but I wanted to make sure he got the message first. I told him that I hadn’t gotten around to taking my profile down yet, good luck, and take care. BLOCK. That takes care of that. Right?

Apparently not, because by 10am, I have a message sent to me on a DIFFERENT dating site (I have profiles on 2 different sites) that reads:

lier

 There he was. That one existing photo staring at me, calling me a “lier”. I was a liar of course, but that didn’t ease the panic that this loonie toon who likes to hold hands managed to track me down on a second dating site for the sole purpose of calling me out.

 I thought that since his feelings were at stake, sparing this guy the truth would be the nice thing to do. Going forward I will definitely be more upfront. The results definitely couldn’t be worse than this….

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Ding! Ding! Round 2

I have decided to take some steps to become more proactive when it comes to my personal life. On Friday, I opened up an on-line dating profile. I have always been very leery of on-line dating because I have very little experience with actual dating. For most of my life, I bounced from relationship to relationship without really “dating” around.

I did open a profile once about a year and a half after I left my last serious boyfriend. I had just moved and I didn’t know anyone in town and I thought it would be a good way to get my feet wet with the whole dating thing. Within a week of having my profile up on Match.com I had met someone. He was smart and witty, he had a good job, and, as far as I could tell from his picture, he was drop dead gorgeous. Why hadn’t I started this on-line dating sooner?? It was so easy! After a bunch of flirtatious messages back and forth I thought, screw this, I want to meet. Why postpone this great love affair any longer? We made plans to meet for a drink at a local pub. I arrived early, sat near the back, watched and waited. After about ten minutes, he walked in the bar. He was stunning. Tall, broad shoulders, dark hair, great eyes… He sat down at the bar. I got up and walked over to meet my husband-to-be. I tapped him on the shoulder,

“Hi, nice to meet you!”  

“Nice to meet you, I’m Stephen!” — in the highest, squeakiest, voice you’ve ever heard. It sounded like he had just inhaled a helium balloon. Seriously.

We sat for two drinks and he was a nice guy but I couldn’t get past the balloon voice. I went home that night and disabled my profile, maybe on-line dating just wasn’t for me. But I’m going to give it another shot. To be honest, I just don’t know a better way to meet people, and besides, I’m going to need material for my blog. In the year I was seeing TD&H, 14 out of 23 blog posts were written about him, that’s 60%!  

 

Letting Go

Attachment (noun)

at·tach·ment  [uh-tach-muhnt]

An affectional tie that one person or animal forms between himself and another specific one – a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time. Attachment is not just a connection between two people; it is a bond that involves a desire for regular contact with that person and the experience of distress during separation from that person.

 

Saturday was my 31st birthday. I had some meetings back at the winery on Friday so I decided why not spend the weekend in wine country, visit friends, and spend some time with Tall, Dark, & Handsome? Coincidentally, my birthday also marks TD&H and I’s one year “anniversary”. We had a phenomenal weekend, however, as I made the long drive back to the city on Sunday, an oh-so-familiar overwhelming sadness settled in. I missed him and I needed to know he missed me too, but, in the year I have been dating him, TD&H has been able to utter those simple words only one time out loud and I knew that this particular Sunday would not be any different than the 51 other Sundays he couldn’t bring himself to say it.

Now, here I am. Back at home in my little apartment in the city; just me and the Overwhelming Sadness. I think now might be a good time to take an honest look at my personal life. I have spent the past year of my life in a quasi-relationship with an emotionally stunted, practically unemployed, boy toy who can’t spell. I rationalized it in the beginning because I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be promoted and move back to the city. This was a summer fling. However, summer turned to fall, fall turned to winter, winter turned to spring, and I got my promotion. Why is it then that I’m still so completely involved in this relationship that has never had any real lasting potential from beginning? Why am I still hanging on to this? Maybe it’s because I get some sort of sick satisfaction that my relationship with TD&H has lasted so long and been so successful despite the fact he is a perpetual bachelor, supposedly incapable of both love and commitment? Do I get a kick out of being the exception to his rule? Maybe. Maybe I like how being with him has forced me to mature emotionally. I like that I no longer need to hear the words over and over to be able to feel truly loved. Maybe it’s that too. But mostly, I think I’m holding on to TD&H because I fell victim to the most common result of human interaction: Attachment. Luckily, I’m intelligent enough to understand that these feelings in no way indicate some great love that will never be equated. It’s not that I don’t love TD&H, but it’s a quasi-love and I am looking for more than that. It physically hurts to write these words but I think it’s time to move on from TD&H. I am grateful for him and the role he played in my life but I’m ready for a relationship that he’s not capable of giving me. Furthermore, it’s not my job to try and disprove his warped ideas about love and relationships, I’ve done my best to show him what a healthy relationship feels like and I no longer want to be responsible for his emotional growth.  For my 32nd birthday, I want 52 “I miss you’s”.

I Fold

I just officially called it off with The Gambler and I feel like shit about it. I’ve only seen him twice since we reconnected (we met for drinks a second time but I didn’t write about it, I don’t know why, maybe I felt stupid for doing something I publicly stated I wouldn’t do) but it weighs heavier than that because this officially closes a chapter that has always been left open in my life for the past 10 years. No matter what happened in my love life, there was always The Gambler was always a possible backup plan.

How do you tell an otherwise great guy that you care about that you can’t see him anymore because he’s essentially a loser at life? Well, if you’re me, you take the wussy way out and lie. I tried to blame my decision on our obviously conflicting schedules (he works weekends, I have weekends off). I used today as an example. He called wanting to take me to dinner at 8pm. It’s Sunday, I go to bed at 10pm on Sundays. How is this ever going to work? He saw through this excuse and called me out immediately:

“I agree conflicting schedules is a valid concern, but don’t you think it’s a little premature to make that call? Why do I feel there is more to this than schedules?”

I put on my poker face: “I would rather call it too early than too late… I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, you’ve gotta do what you think is best.”

I could hear defeat in his voice. It was the same defeat I heard when he confided in me about losing the poker money and having to go back to bartending. He saw right through my bullshit excuse. He knew exactly what my reasons were. I feel like an asshole.

Sheets

It’s funny how the things that annoy you about a person turn out to be the things you miss when they are gone. The first thing TD&H used to do when he got into bed was kick the top sheet down. Kick it down as far as it would go. TD&H hated top sheets, he didn’t even own one. Now, here I am, all tucked in, neatly under my sheets, alone… I miss him.

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run…

Ok… I haven’t written in a very long time. The reason being is that I have been very busy with some major life changes. I accepted a promotion and moved back to the city! I had a lot of ambivalence facing this move. I knew that this was the right choice both professionally and personally. Professionally, the job is exactly the next step I’ve been hoping for. Personally, as much as I grew to love my resort town life, I had friends I really cared about and a “boyfriend” whom I adored. But deep down, I knew it was futile. It was too small of a town to really thrive and the long-term potential of my relationship with TD&H was tentative. As much as I care about him and he seems to care about me, it’s hard to deny that the boy is emotionally stunted. It’s been almost 2 months now since I left and I feel really good about things. It wouldn’t be exactly accurate to say things are “over” between TD&H and I. We still talk from time to time and he came down and spent a week here with me. I miss him but it’s not preventing me from moving on. I feel I’m open to dating someone new, should that someone come my way. Honestly, I don’t think things with TD&H will truly be over until there is someone new. That’s the thing about him… He’ll never be able to be everything I need him to be but, at the same time, he’ll always be there when I need him. It’s comforting.

So now, here I am, a swinging bachelorette in the big city. It’s funny, it seemed the moment I updated my “current city” on Facebook, I got a rush of messages from guys I have known over the years. Mostly guys I had flirtatious relationships with that never got off the ground. As people get older and meeting people gets harder, I find people are often searching their pasts to see who might be worth a do-over. One of these searchers was a guy I dated for several hot & heavy months one summer a decade ago. My connection with this guy was deep but cut short because I moved away for school. He contacted me on Facebook and asked me to have a drink with him, I thought, why not?

The nice thing about a “do-over” is that the chemistry is already established. I could tell from our short phone conversation that he was still as witty and charming as ever. Would the attraction still be there? His profile picture looks much the same as I remember him, but I hadn’t seen this guy in like 10 years… I do remember, a few years ago, seeing him on TSN on the “World Series of Poker” he was winning, which didn’t surprise me, he had always been a pretty serious poker player. What did surprise me, however, was that he appeared to be losing his hair a little… well, I guess it happens to the best of us. Anyhow, I agreed to have a drink with him.

The date went really well. We chatted like old friends and flirted like past lovers. Everything was still there it seemed (except his hairline). When he kissed me at the end of the night I felt weak… I forgot how good he was at that. Everything was perfect except for one glaring problem: his life is in the exact same place now as it was 10 years go when I left for school. When we first met, he was working on his degree while bartending at the restaurant that I served at. Since that time, he graduated university and pursued career as a professional poker player. Remember that day I saw him playing on TSN? He didn’t win the World Series that year but he did come in 3rd, taking home a healthy 30,000.00 prize. After this he proceeded to quit his job as a bartender and pursue a full-time job gambling. He learned the hard way, however, that gambling is not necessary the most lucrative career and, over the next few years, dwindled his winnings down to….nothing. 30k, gone, just like that. So now, he’s back slinging highballs at the local pub, “re-evaluating” what he’s going to do now. “Let’s do this again really soon.” The Gambler said to me after he kissed me.

Would we be doing it again?? My first thought was no. I would like, at some point, to get married and have a family, or, at the very least, find a partner to spend my life with. I have spent the last 10 years of my life dating men that are inappropriate for this role. It’s not that I’m incapable of making smarter choices, it’s just that I wasn’t really thinking long-term until this point in my life. The Gambler is a fantastic guy, whom I have an undeniable connection with, however, I am having a really hard looking past the way he has lived his life. I feel terribly guilty even saying that out loud because it makes me feel judgmental. I know that how remorseful he is about the decisions he’s made and I feel bad for him in that respect but still, I have to think about my life. It’s hard because I know how difficult it is to meet good people who you connect with these days, and I do genuinely still have feeling for this person, but there are a lot of red flags in the air for me right now.

Those Three Little Words

TD&H has trouble saying three little words. Even though it’s clear he feels this way, he can’t seem to bring himself to actually say it. No, not those three little words (although he can’t say that either), TD&H can not bring himself to utter: “I miss you”. I guess that isn’t completely accurate. When he’s black out drunk, he can say all sorts of three little words, however, in the sober light of day, he just can’t say it. He will say, “I miss your bed” or some other inanimate object pertaining to me, or “I missed this”, past tense. But he will never say “I miss you”. I find this amusing and will often tell him I miss him just to watch him squirm. He usually responds with “Oh, don’t miss me, I’ll be home soon”. However, something must be stirring inside TD&H, Grinch style, because he called me yesterday from the road to ask me to have dinner with him:

Me: “I thought you were staying another week?”

TD&H: “I changed my mind, I’m on my way home now.”

Me: “Why did you change your mind?”

TD&H: “Just because…”

Me: “Just because why?”

TD&H: “Because…. Um…. I guess I just…. miss you.”

Me: “Because why? Sorry, I didn’t catch that.” ***This I needed to hear a second time.***

TD&H: “I said, because I miss you.”

That wasn’t so hard was it? Poor guy, I wonder what happened in his life to make him so broken…

The Other Woman

TD&H has another woman in his life. He has been away in the mountains all week so I’ve barley spoken to him. I miss him. I saw a picture of them together on Facebook. There he was, standing next to her in the snow, arm around her, looking happier than I’ve ever seen him before.  She’s about my height but much thinner, practically naked. He informed me last night that he would probably be staying in the mountains another week to spend more time with her. Another week! I’m totally bummed….

I never thought I could be this jealous of a snowboard.

Oh, Please Don’t

Good news. I just received word that the event that The Manager was going to come help me with has been canceled. Remember? The Manager who propositioned me for sex the week before his wedding? Yeah him. Anyhow, I’m elated that I don’t have to work with him. Douche.

On a complementary separate note, I saw my old man crush last night :). I instantly revert back to being a 12 year-old girl again every time I see him. I blush, I stumble on my words, I grin uncontrollably. It’s so embarrassing. I’m not sure what it is. I think it’s because I usually feel I have complete control over guys my own age. Old Man Crush, however, is older, wiser, been married, divorced, has 3 kids, and overall less susceptible to my charms. I was setting up my stuff for our meeting when he walked in last night:

OMC: “How’s the most beautiful sales rep in the whole wide world?”

***Blushing perfused. What’s my name again? Omg.. say something!***

Me: “Hi!”

*** Hi?? That’s all you’ve got? Pathetic.***

OMC: “Have you lost weight?”

Me: “Um.. maybe, I think, I don’t know.”

OMC: “Oh, please don’t.”

***Omg. Swooning, swooning, swooning…. Can’t speak. Forgot English. ***

He must think I’m a complete loon. Sigh… I promised him I’d send him some stuff but I think I’ll take in there myself. You know, just to make sure it arrives safely ;).

I Guess It Does…

What a mind-fuck the last 48 hours have been. The night before last, I came home after my girl date and went right to bed. Around 12:30am I got a phone call from a very drunk TD&H.

Me: “Hello?”

TD&H: “The pizza place is closed.”

Me: “I know babe, it only stays open late on the weekends.”

TD&H: “Oh….”

Me: “Is that why you woke me up? To inquire about the pizza place’s hours?”

TD&H: “I miss you.”

Me: “Well get over here then.”

Drinking tends to turn TD&H into a ultra mushy sap. I’ve seen him hammered a million times but rarely do I have the advantage of being sober myself to witness it. He arrives to my apartment with 3 Chicken McNuggets in one hand and a BBQ dipping sauce in the other. “I brought you these!” He exclaims proudly. How thoughtful. Then he immediately launches into this speech about how beautiful I am, and how amazing I am, and how he can’t understand what I see in a bum like him. I wipe the BBQ sauce off his face and get him into bed. At this point, TD&H is somewhere between barley conscious and passed out cold, however, just as he drifts off, I distinctly hear him say the words: I. Love. You. Now, I understand that drunken L-Bombs don’t mean anything but, for a guy who claims he’s never told a woman other than his mother, “I love you”, I found it pretty strange. Anyhow, I passed it off as the sweet ramblings of a drunk man but perhaps it set the stage for the next evening’s drama.

Last night, TD&H and I went on a double date with some friends of his we often hang out with. Copious amounts of wine was consumed. My memory of what took place once we got home is fuzzy at best but I do remember TD&H giving me that same rap from the other night about how he’s worried he’s going to hurt me. What the fuck? Last night it’s “I love you” and tonight it’s “I don’t want to hurt you.” At this point, I’m pretty sick and tired of the whole thing. The next thing I remember is starting to cry (UGH…. I SO wish I hadn’t started to cry) and telling him that I’m over this whole stupid relationship or whatever we are calling it these days. He says, please don’t say that, let’s discuss this in the morning when we’re sober. Fine. So this morning we wake up and have a sober discussion. He explains to me that he doesn’t want to break up, but he does worry that I eventually (like all the girls before me) will fall in love and become beat down if he is not able to reciprocate. I ask him:

“Why are you so hung up on this love thing?”

He says, “Isn’t that the point of being in a relationship?”

“Does you care about me at all?”

“Yes, I care for you very much, more than I’ve ever cared for anyone.”

“Then that’s enough. The point of being in a relationship is not to tell someone “I love you” and have them say it back. The point is feel loved; to care about each other, respect each other, and make each other happy. And I do feel all those things. My last boyfriend probably loved me more than anyone else in the world and told me so every single day, but he was a complete douche bag of a boyfriend. You, on  the other hand, are incredibly kind, sweet, and generous. You treat me like a goddess and you are just plain easy to be with. I would take those qualities over “I love you” any day. I don’t need you to love me (in fact, I would prefer it!). I like things between us just the way they are. The point of being in a relationship is to be happier with that person that you would be without them.”

“I’m much happier with you than I would be without you.”

“Me too.”

“I guess that means we’re “in a relationship” then, doesn’t it?”

***Go ahead Michelle, get your “I TOLD YOU SO” ready***

“I guess it does.”