The “First Five” of Dating

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not dating expert. I’m still single three years post-divorce and in my 40s. But one thing I do have is experience. And that experience seems to help others a lot more than it helps me.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be talking about what I call the “First Five of Dating.” These are the First Five milestones of any dating relationship. We’ll cover each one individually and in depth, but we’ll go over each one here real quick.

The First Five of Dating are the:

  1. First Contact
  2. First Date
  3. First Kiss
  4. First Sex
  5. First Time Saying “I Love You

First Contact is the first time you reach out to your prospective date, whether in person or online. It sets the tone for everything else to come.

First Date is, obviously, when to set the first date, how to prepare and what to do and what not to do.

First Kiss, again, is obvious, but it’s still something we need to discuss.

First Sex is a bit more tricky than the previous three. We’ll talk about how long is appropriate to wait, how to read the signs, how to test the waters, and more. No tricks!

First Time Saying “I Love You is a much more delicate and patient step. It could take weeks, maybe months, but we’ll discuss when it’s appropriate and also how to read the signs so you don’t scare your date off.

While putting this together, I had debated – and even had it recommended – that I also include the “First Fight” in this list. But I want to keep this positive. Developing a strong relationship should be based on positives. Yes, there are going to be disagreements, there always are. But that doesn’t belong here. Maybe I’ll address the “First Fight” on it’s own another time.

So please stop back and follow the discussion. You can sign up for email updates by clicking the “Follow” box in the right column, or follow me on Twitter. Please send any questions you have about each discussion ahead of time and I will try to answer or address each one, if I can. And please make sure you join each discussion.

As always, thanks for reading, and I will see you all again soon.

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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

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.

It’s Fall, So Fall Back, Right?

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been so long since my last post, but I’ve kind of been taking a break from things a little bit. I hid the ol’ Match profile, took a step back to do some self-evaluations about where I’m going, what I’m doing, and what I really want out of things. I also did a little research and self-help reading to get my motivated and in the right frame of mind.

So I don’t really have any new, wonderful dating stories to share with you at this point. But some interesting developments have taken place recently, since my last post. Like I said  … Fall back, right?

Well, for some yet-to-be-defined reason, a few boomerangs have returned. No, don’t get your hopes up, Staci was not one of them. If you don’t find that funny, then you just don’t get me. Anyway … I’ve had a few conversations with Olive over the past few months, but I think I already told you that. Nothing serious, just casual conversations about random stuff and we occasionally see each other at 5Ks and stuff. Nothing physical has happened, nor have I even entertained the thought of trying to see if she would be a FWB.

Then Naomi contacted me, right before I shut down my Match profile. I’ll be honest, I knew she looked familiar and I knew we had talked, but I wasn’t sure we had actually dated. After talking with her for a little while, I remembered, yep, it was definitely Naomi. So, we ended up hanging out one night, and then it didn’t take long to remember why things didn’t work out. She goes from 0 to 100 in a flash. After just talking for a little while, it was like we were already in a relationship. And then after hanging out one time – seriously, just one time – she acted like we were boyfriend-girlfriend. I’m not into moving that fast, thank you very much. So once again, I had to put her behind me.

Then, the craziest thing happened. I heard from Abigail. Yes, Abigail, the first, the one who “started” this whole thing. She is also the only one I never got around to writing about. Here’s why …

Abigail was the first girl I dated after my divorce (nearly 3 years ago). My thought process heading back into the dating game was that since I had been out of the scene for 7+ years, it was going to be rough at first. I figured I’d have a handful of bad dates and awkward experiences before I really started to get into finding quality women. It was kind of like kicking the rust off, if you will. I never expected to find something substantial right away.

We dated for a couple of months. We really hit it off. The only negatives I could find about her were that she still lived with her parents while trying to get herself back on her feet after her divorce and she lived more than an hour away. Not major issues, but like I said, those were the only ones I could ever really find.

She was smart, funny, easy to talk to, strong willed, and very passionate about the motorcycle group she was a part of (she would travel to the state capitol to lobby for motorcyclist rights and such), as well as becoming a nurse.

I really started to develop feelings for her. And that was the problem. She was the first girl I dated and I wasn’t comfortable with feeling that way about someone so soon. I freaked out. I panicked. Whatever you want to call it. I don’t blame her for anything that happened (especially now) because the more I look back on things, she was just doing things the way she was supposed to. We were clearly in a relationship, a sexual relationship, as well as exclusive. And she wanted that commitment from me. I remember plain as day, the time we were talking on the phone during one of her trips to the capitol, and she asked me “When are you going to girlfriend this?” It seemed a little corny, but she had every right to want to know where we stood and where things were going.

And that’s pretty much when I shut it down. Again, I panicked. I freaked out. I got scared. Whatever you want to call it.

But things are different now. I’ve evolved. I’ve grown. I’m more comfortable (and confident) with my situation, who I am and what I’m doing.

I don’t know what is going to happen from here on out with Abigail. Clearly we’ve both thought about the other over the past 2-3 years, and maybe we’re trying to see if there really is anything there, I don’t know. The downside to things now, is that she completed nursing school and works at a hospital now. The problem isn’t so much her schedule, it is the fact that the hospital she works at is even farther away and she is considering moving there.

But I’m not letting that be a deciding factor. If things work, they work, if they don’t … well, they don’t. She knows and understood my time restrictions before and was OK with them, and they’re even less now than they were then. We’ll see how it goes.

And if this doesn’t work out, then it’s about time to kick off my Holiday Hiatus again. Those who have been around now that if I don’t have a girlfriend by the time Thanksgiving roles around and kicks off the Holiday Season, I shut down dating all the way until Valentine’s Day. I am NOT looking to add the complications of the Holiday routines to a new relationship. Too much hassle and awkwardness.

Stay tuned, and always, thanks for reading.

Wanda Update: Days later the “friends” speech, or should I say text

It had been more than a few days since Wanda and I survived the escape room and monsoon. I heard absolutely nothing from her. I didn’t pursue or push the issue. After the feeling I got after the date, I wasn’t surprised I didn’t hear anything.

Then – somewhat out of the blue – I got a lengthy text from her. I had figured she was just like most girls, once there is an extended period of silence and things seem to be on the rocks, she would just fade away and I’d never hear from her again.

To synopsize the text, she basically apologized for not saying anything to me for such a long time, saying how busy she was with all of her events over the weekend and such. She also said she thought about where “We” were over the weekend and decided she just wanted to be friends. She said she still wants to stay in touch and occasional hang out and do stuff together. Lastly she said she’d understand if I just wanted to walk away from it all.

I replied thanking her for at least saying something and not just ignoring me. I also said I wasn’t sure how the friends thing would work since she is so far away and there hasn’t been a lot of ground built between us to where ti would be a common occurrence for us to hang out. So I said I would just wait to hear from her on the subject.

I’m not really expecting any casual conversations, much less any opportunities for us to hang out and do stuff together “as friends.” But I wasn’t a jerk and shut it down all together, knowing full well nothing will likely come of it.

But don’t worry, I’ll definitely keep you updated if something actually does come of it. But please, I beg you, don’t hold your breath.

Wanda Update: We Escaped the Room but Not the Monsoon

I hate when I waste my best stuff on a dead end.

OK, to be fair, I had no idea it was (going to be) a dead end when I planned my second date with Wanda, nor did I think it was a dead end as it was all happening. This is my hindsight talking.

But Date 2 with Wanda started off swimmingly (sarcasm meter is beeping). The sitter was 10 minutes late, it was a 30-40 minute drive to begin with, then for some reason all the leisurely drivers were all on the road at the same time in my way cruising along at 65 in the FAST lane. Argh! Seriously??

Well, I got where we were meeting about 20 minutes later than planned, but still in plenty of time for our activity. Wanda was sitting on a bench, killing time on her phone. As I approached, I playfully said she looked like she was waiting for someone. She responded she was. So I asked if I could join her while she waited, and she said Yes. As I sat down next to her, I put my arm around her and kind of leaned in a bit (to gauge where she was at tonight). Nothing (1). She stood up and I followed her. I moved closer to see if a hug or anything was an option. Nope (2). So I asked if she was ready for this, she said Yes, so I extended my hand to hold hands as we walked. Again, Nothing (3).

We walked a few blocks to an old warehouse. A few times during the week, she had asked what we were doing, and I refused to tip my hand. I just told her where to meet me, and wanted to keep it a surprise. I booked us in one of the Breakout or Escape rooms, where you get locked in a room for an hour and have to solve the puzzles in order to find the code to get out. Neither one of us had done it before and it sounded really fun. It was also a diabolical plan to see how well we can work together, communicate, deal with a (moderately) stressful situation, and have fun at the same time. We were teamed up with a group of 6 other people who worked together.

It took us nearly the entire hour, but we managed to solve the riddles and get out before time expired. It was really fun.

While we were waiting to start, we had to sign waivers. While I was signing my waiver, the girl at the counter was asking Wanda if she’d ever done this before. She told her she hadn’t and that this was a surprise, etc. The girl behind the counter was gushing how cool and how sweet it all was. Then when Wanda went to the bathroom, the girl asked me a bunch more questions about our date night and thought it was cool. So when Wanda came back, she was gushing even more about our night. I don’t think I could’ve planned that better, even I would have paid the girl to say those things. It was definitely big bonus points in my favor (or at least should’ve been).

While we were waiting, and during other various points of the night, I tried getting close to her, even putting my arm around her in a half-hug at one point, but it all seemed to fail or not be reciprocated. (4-9) After we finished, I went to offer to hold her hand again as we walked to the restaurant. More Nothing (10). I didn’t say anything or act put-off by it. I just rolled with it.

The place at which we ate, was rather pricey, but we each ordered the chicken and quinoa and a glass of wine. We talked about all sorts or random things. So I tried to bring up some future events I had going on, like when my son was gone to gauge her interest of doing something then. Didn’t bite. (11) I noticed on her Facebook page that she had mentioned going to see something at the theater that I also wanted to see, so I brought that up. She’s going the weekend before me with her friends, and has her kids the weekend I have tickets. No “Oh, I wish I would’ve known, I would’ve loved to go with you.” or “maybe we’ll do something else while your son is gone.” Nothing. (12)

Then the monsoon hit. Ok it wasn’t a monsoon – we don’t live on the coast – but it sure looked, felt and sounded like one. Remember the whole “Duck” thing? And the radar looked ominous. THe hostess at the restaurant came around from table to table showing everyone – it looked BAD.

So, since Wanda had to drive and hour (plus) to get home, I suggested we should probably wrap things up early so she can get somewhere safe before it gets worse. She decided to stay in town with her friend (that I mentioned she routinely stays with) instead of going all the way home. In no way was I going to offer her coming to my place. That didn’t seem right.  So we called the night a little early – something I did not want to do, but felt it was the right thing. Also, as you can see, lots of warning signs were popping up, so it wasn’t like calling it early was going to kill any mood or chances.

Look, at the breakout room and as we were talking about other ideas I had had for the night, she was always making it work related. “Oh, we had talked about that at work, and I thought we should do that as a team exercise,” or “I really wanted to check that place out to see if we could hold an event there. How many people do you think it holds?” Stuff like that. Look, I don’t mind talking about work, but I want my date present there with me, in the moment. Not me planning her next work outings for her. It was like she was more focused on that than me. And then we were talking about the charity functions she has going on this weekend. Now this certain pair or group of guys always comes up in discussions about their plans. Going to baseball games, and one of the guys texting her “hey, what about me?” and stuff like that. Well, these same guys (I don’t know if they are friends, co-workers, married, single, nothing) came up in conversation last night. One of the guys set something up for them at the first charity event and said she “owed” him. So she was saying, “Fine, I’ll hold your drink for you when you go to the bathroom,” or “Fine, I’ll hold your hand if some girl tries to flirt with you.” SMH, WTF?? Why are you talking about holding some other guy’s hand when you won’t even hold mine? Got it, aye aye, message received, Captain! Moving on …

As we left I offered to get my car and pick her up at the door and drive her to her car. Like I said, it was a torrential downpour outside. She passed. She insisted on walking the block and a half to her car. So I walked her to her car. We got to her car and she put her stuff inside. She turned and gave me a very strong, lingering hug. I thought, “Ok, there was no first date kiss, so this is my last chance.” You never get the first kiss on date three, that’s like unheard of. But the moment the lingering hug lightened up, she spun and ducked in her car before I could even think about making a move. (what are we on, 13 now?) I mean I was intended to try at the beginning of the date, and now this. Stuck out.

She did the standard “I’ll let you know when I get there, and let me know when you get home,” thing. She texted me promptly when she got to her friend’s. She said she had a fun (complete with smiley face 🙂  ). I asked if she wanted to do it (go out) again, no response (14). And then I didn’t hear from her all night.

After contemplating where things are going with this, I finally texted her again this morning to say “good morning” and to see if she was home yet because I knew she had early appointments back home. She said she was back home, at work, and would call me later. I’m not sure I like the “tone” of that. Maybe she’s going to tell me she definitely wants to see me again and that she really is interested in me. But I’m not holding my breath for that. Remember, I’m trusting my gut again, and it isn’t telling me any good news right now.

Look, I like her, I really do. But together, there’s little chemistry. She’s not flirty (not even texting or on the phone), lord knows I’ve tried to pull it out of her. No takers. She’s not affectionate. I’ve tried that too. She’s also not very “talkative”. I don’t hear much from her. Especially compared to other girls who have been clearly interested in me. If she’s interested in me, she has a funny way of showing it.  But I’m guessing, and planning on, that she’s just not that into me. Which is totally fine. It’s not the end of the world.

It was a long distance long shot anyway. I gave it a shot. I’ll keep you updated. And as always, thanks for reading.

I never knew Labor Day was such an emotionally charged holiday 

Valentine’s Day. Obviously. Christmas and New Year’s. OK, I get it. I even understand birthdays and anniversaries, even though they aren’t really holidays. But when did Labor Day become some emotionally sentimental holiday?

I already told you about Staci’s (alleged) unintentional misdial that let to a small meaningless text conversation.

But then today, out of the blue, Olive texted me. I heard the telltale roar of Chewbacca (which, as you know, is assigned to any exes and past dates who might still be in my phone’s contacts) and quipped “That’s not good.” Not knowing exactly who it was, any signal from the Ex Line isn’t good.

It didn’t amount to more than 4-5 texts back and forth. She asked how my trip was (she’s still Facebook friends, so she saw I was out of town) and mentioned it was raining back home so they might not have the Labor Day parade she was going to. That was pretty much it. Nothing sentimental. Not a bunch of “How are you doing?” nonsense. That was it.

But still, the two most recent “relationships” managed to contact me both over the holiday weekend. Coincidence? Random universal luck? Stars aligning? Or is there some new Hallmark attachment to Labor Day weekend?

I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s not stirring up mixed emotions. I’m not tempted to reach out to them, or anything like that. So, if that was their sinister plan, it didn’t work.

Moving on to more current matters. Wanda and I spoke on the phone this morning. It’s the first time we’ve actually talked on the phone since I’ve been gone. We’ve texted quite a bit, but still not enough to keep my gut from having an uneasy feeling about things.

You should know by now my gut has a 99% success rate and it keeps reminding me over and over that I need to trust it more.

So, that coupled with my recent history of date cancellations, I verified things for Thursday were still on and I wanted to confirm where she was staying and what her timetable was going to be.

That’s when she informed me everything was on track … unless her son had to play on the JV football team Thursday. Then she wouldn’t be able to make it.  Therefore meaning it would be another week until I possibly saw her again.

So there it is, her escape hatch. I’ve got the babysitter locked on, but I’m not reserving our non-refundable date activity until I get a better confirmation about our plans. And if it’s sold out, then I’ll just find something else to do. Plus, she’s trimmed the window for the date down to 3 hours, no more than 4. Another short date.

But if she cancels again, that’s it. I’m not going to pursue it any further. Over the weekend, my sister-in-law gave me “He’s not that into you” to read. I finished it easily on Sunday afternoon. I didn’t find anything groundbreaking from it. And I definitely looked at it with the Sun Tzu approach. But it did reinforce many things I already knew – but handily forgot with Staci. And speaking of Staci, she’s the reason I am re-focusing on trusting my gut and reading the writing on the wall, istead of try to read between the lines.

And aside from spontaneously suggesting an earlier date last week, I’ve been putting all the effort into this so far. Scheduling two dates (that may never happen), calling her and texting her at an increasingly uncomfortably lopsided rate, and her initiating contact is almost nonexistent. I will concede one point, she does outnumber me in calls made, but very few of those are unsolicited.

Maybe she’s just not that talkative. Maybe she’s just that busy. And for those of you who’ve read the book – you know where I’m going with this … Maybe she’s just not that into me. I guess we’ll see (by) Thursday.

I hate being pessimistic. And you’re telling me to focus on someone. Well, I can focus on someone all I want, but I can’t make them focus on me. And maybe this is all for nothing and Thursday is glorious, and I’m just being an idiot.

Hope everyone had a good extended weekend. And as always, thanks for reading.