Introducing Ariel

To say that 2016 has started off poorly, is a grand understatement. January has been pretty much the worst month I can remember in a very long time. Not only the way it started with Zoey, but also many personal issues which you’re not interested in hearing here.

But things are hopefully starting to pick up.

I had been following through with my vow to not get back on Match until February, in order to avoid the Valentine’s Day new-relationship awkwardness. But last weekend I was updating my profile for when I decided to get back into the swing of the online dating game. You’d think I was new to this, because I didn’t realize that editing my profile made it “live” after months of having it hidden. I didn’t realize it until the flood of winks and notifications came in. Most of them completely bogus – thank you Match.

But there were a few “live ones” on there. So I decided to just give it a shot since my profile was public and ladies were checking it out.

That’s where Ariel came in. Her profile was very much what I was looking for. She’s tall enough (my perfect girl is about 5’8″-5’9″ because I’m 6’2″), active enough (she likes to run 5/10Ks and works out almost everyday), likes my kind of music, and even commented on looking good in a ballcap and formal dress. I once had a line almost exactly like that about wanting someone who looks good both in a ballcap and LBD.

So I messaged her. After about two days, we both decided to take the conversation off Match. I originally set up a date for us to get together this weekend (Saturday). But a friend of mine offered to watch my son on my birthday (Thursday) if I wanted to go out and do something for my birthday. So I asked Ariel if she was free and wanted to go out Thursday. She accepted.

A little about Ariel. She has one child, an 18 year old son who is a freshman in college, just like my oldest. She is only six months younger than me and works in the financial department of a very cool non-profit. And has the biggest, most intoxicating smile.

Ariel was mentioned numerous times that she felt very special that I chose to spend my birthday with her, and make that our first date. We met at the restaurant, and she arrived with a gift. I was very surprised she brought me a gift. It wasn’t much, just a gourmet cupcake and a very sweet card. The conversation was great and there was a lot of laughing. Always a good sign.

I walked her to her car, and as you regular readers know, I’m not the best at judging the “first kiss” and often back out instead of face the possible rejection. But tonight was not one of those nights. It seemed very natural and easy. It was just a quick kiss, but there was nothing uncomfortable about it.

As we parted, I reminded her that we were still on for Saturday and she wasn’t getting out of it. She completely agreed.

Friday, we texted a bit in the morning. She told me she was informed that she was just officially offered a job at the non-profit she used to for prior to her current job. She was really looking forward to this opportunity. The weather had been in the 60’s recently and we were discussing how nice it was. So I suggested – half joking – that she skip out on the afternoon at work and we go celebrate the new of her new job. I fully expected her to decline my offer because of work. But she didn’t. She jumped at the invitation.

So, I picked her up at her office and we went to a nearby bar for drinks and appetizers. Again, the conversation was great. No awkward silences or moments, and there was even more laughter. She’s totally tuned into my sense of humor and I don’t have to explain my jokes to her. It is so nice.

As I returned from a bathroom break, I noticed a lounge area with couches and loveseats. When I got back to the table, I mentioned the couches and she said she totally forgot about them and that next time we’ll have to hit the couch area instead. I drove her back to her office, and in the car we kissed goodbye again. This time was a little more intense than the first time.

But before she got out of the car, she commented that Saturday night she promised to be more affectionate. I totally understood because we were saying goodbye in the parking lot of her work. I had not said anything or acted in any adverse way because the thought of something “more” in that situation had never crossed my mind. So I really took that comment as a very good sign.

Saturday night went just as well, if not better. Though I was more nervous Saturday than I was for either of the first two dates, combined. We went to a japanese steakhouse and had wine in the waiting area talking about karaoke because she admitted she was a closet karaoke singer. Then during dinner, we were having a great time “people watching.” There was a younger couple sitting across the hibachi from us who looked like they were having a miserable time. By the end of dinner, we had decided to ask them to join for the rest of the night to get their real story and maybe cheer them up. However, they vanished as soon as the check was paid and we never had the chance.

We went to a nearby big country bar after dinner for drinks. We were talking, laughing, dancing, singing, kissing, holding hands and each other, and lots more “people watching”.

It was probably the best date I’ve been on in a very long time. She parked right next to me in the parking garage because she pulled into the garage right behind me. Normally I would have picked her up, but she lives about 30 minutes North of downtown and I live about 30 minutes South of downtown, so we just met downtown. We walked back hand in hand and when we got to her car, the goodnight kiss was much more intense and lingered for quite a while. Unfortunately, I had to return home to relieve the babysitter even though every ounce of my body wanted to stay there with her all night.

Today, we talked a little this morning and she spends Sundays going to church and spending time with her family (sisters and parents). She was making Mardi Gras King Cakes with her sister. I asked how that was going and jokingly said she needed to make one for me. Again, she enthusiastically agreed to have one for me “the next time she sees me”.

So everything seems to be starting off well. But I am much more cautious this time around, for better or worse. I am trying not to get my hopes up too high, given the way recent dating experiences have gone. Though many of my friends are telling me to not worry about it so much. One big change I’ve made is dialing back the texting. I’ve heard more than one source cite too much texting as being a key problem to developing relationships. So I am trying to make sure I space things out and not send every text that comes to mind. Hopefully it all equates to a better result.

Again, thank you for reading. And if you have any further questions or comments, please let me know.

Until next time …

Next Post: Ariel: I Made Her BFF Cry

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New 2016, Zoey, 2015 Wrap-up and more updates

Hello everyone.

Sorry it’s been so long since my last update. It was in October or something, right?

Well, things have been just crazy, in both my personal and dating life. So, in December, I shut down my Match profile and haven’t been on looking since. I needed to step away from the whole thing for a while. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, if I don’t have a girlfriend over the Holidays, then I stop dating until after Valentine’s Day.

But now to the updates …

Last I mentioned, I was looking into seeing Abigail again. Things seemed to be going very well, and I really opened myself up to try to make things work, since it was kind of my fault things ended up they way they did the first time. After a few weeks, she kind of disappeared on me. She said she had a lot going on, things were crazy at work and home and her father was even in the hospital. But everything just stopped. No explanation. No reason. And when I would hear from her, her explanations were cryptic and never explained anything, no matter how many questions I asked. So I finally sent her a message telling her that I was trying to be there for her but just ended up feeling like I was bother her, and that I was stepping away until I heard more from her. To date, I haven’t heard anything. So I guess that chapter is closed (again).

And I finally heard from Staci (everyone’s favorite question and topic) this weekend out of the blue. No, we’re not looking at getting back together or anything. She sent me a message explaining what happened with her ex-boyfriend. And I was right. That’s all that really matters (lol). They barely made it a month before they split again. I’m not one to say “I told you so,” but I told you so. lol

Then there was Zoey. Yes, you may have noticed I skipped a few names, but honestly I went on a number of dates since Wanda and really don’t feel like recapping them, so since Violet was the final girl of 2015 and makes for an easier transition (which I will explain later), I’m sticking with it. Deal with it.

Zoey and I met on Match shortly after Abigail and I ended. Things were hot and heavy for the first few weeks. We clicked and things were falling into place so well. Almost too well.

I had finally met her kids (a young daughter and son in high school) and we were waiting for my son to get back from a visit with his mom before I introduced him to her and her kids. I was out of town for  a few days before I picked him up. During that time, there was lots of conversation about how she missed me, couldn’t wait to see me, and such. I was gone for her birthday so I had flowers sent to her work, and she was telling me I was the best boyfriend, etc.

Then things seemed to change overnight. Literally, overnight. The night of her birthday, to be more precise. I don’t know what happened because I wasn’t there. All I know is she called me on her way home from work and we talked for nearly an hour. Then she said she had to go to have cake with her kids (at about 7 p.m.). Then about 9:30 p.m. she called again, heading home from the bar just down the street from her house. And she was tanked. I didn’t ask who she was with, probably because I didn’t want to know.

I returned home the next day and went over to her house. The whole time I was there, she hardly got close to me at any time, and hardly acted like she even wanted  me to be there. I brushed it off to the hangover she was dealing with following her birthday evening excursion. Then the next evening I went over to her house again, and it was more of the same. She didn’t seem interested in the fact that I was there. We had been apart for more than a week, and then when we were together, she didn’t seem interested at all. Then in a matter of days, things completely unraveled. I saw a whole new side to her that I had never seen before. And she started distancing herself from me more and more.

I remembered a conversation we had early on in the relationship about her mom grilling her about us and commenting how she was amazed she hadn’t “pulled a Zoey” by now. Which according her mom, means she finds some small stupid reason to push guys away and shut them out, then break up with them. She vowed to not do that with me, and said if I ever caught her doing that, to call her out on her so she would stop. Yet, when I did, she didn’t stop and it even drove her further away. And a matter of days later, we were done. Just like that. A complete 180-degree turn on a dime. And when I tried to find out what was going on, she wouldn’t explain and insisted we weren’t breaking up. And she finally took the immature route of ignoring me hoping I would just go away until I finally threw up my hands and send “I get the message, we’re done.”

That’s when I decided to take a break for a while. So my plan is to stay offline and out of the dating game until the beginning of February. It gives me time to regroup, re-evaluate my dating priorities, and take a break to ensure I don’t just rush into something. Plus, it keeps me from meeting someone requiring me to figure out a Valentine’s Day plan for a girl I just started dating.

So, I’m rewriting my profile and re-evaluating my search criteria, because whatever I have been doing hasn’t really been working. And I will officially start dating in 2016 on February 1.

I will also reset the naming process (beginning with A, again). I also plan to change how I talk about and relay dating experiences with all of you. If you have suggestions for what you would like to know about each date, or how you would like me to structure it, please comment below with your ideas. I want to tailor it to what you are more interested in reading.

I hope this catches all of you up on how things are going. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Until then,  thank you all for reading.