Staci Update: I’m pretty freaking devastated right now

Today was the first time I thought about ending it with Staci.

OK, before I get started here, I’m just telling you I’m writing this in the wee hours of the morning when I have to get up and go into the office tomorrow, because I can’t freaking sleep.

I’m not proud of that. I’ve had doubts, concerns, and questions about what we’re actually doing here, but I have not thought about breaking up with her before – until today.

And before you all pile on me for not following my own dating protocol: If think you should end it, then end it. Don’t drag it out, I haven’t followed my normal dating protocols to this point with Staci. So why start now? And remember, I was in the military for more than 20 years where my daily life was governed by rules, regulations and protocols. I’m good with living my life that way. I’m not some hippie living his life a free willy nilly. So this is kind of difficult for me.

She hasn’t gone out the last two nights and was intent on catching up on her sleep. Last night went well but the night prior was a disaster as storms caused her animals to go all nuts and she was up at 4am calming them down and cleaning up “messes”. And of course last night, she texts me wanting me to come over and watch TV with her. Of course, her timing was horrible. Where were these offers weeks ago? Last night I had a back to school night and other things on my plate getting my son into the swing of going back to school this week. I said I was fine with us getting together (with my son in tow) but I know she’s not ready for that yet. And I understand that, so it’s not an issue.

And tonight we got together for another concert.

But today was just off. I can’t explain it. Other than to say I think a trend is developing. Things seem really great, like yesterday, with good conversations, flirting, the occasional “I miss you” and such. But today was OFF. And it all seemed to start last night after her conversation with her sister. This is a trend I’m not sure how to interpret. Whenever she has a long (heart-to-heart) with someone, whether it is her sister, roommate, a good friend, or whoever, she gets distant. Sometimes it lasts a few hours, sometimes a couple of days. But then things return to “normal.” I can speculate all day what I think it might be, but I have no real idea. And I’m not really about to ask.

Wait … I didn’t have to ask.

The concert was great. We were like a power couple out tonight. We had a great time, holding hands, kissing, holding each other … you know … the works. It was great. Until I dropped her off at her car.

Do you hear that? That faint whistling sound that’s getting louder and more high pitched? Ya, that’s the bomb about to drop.

After all that, she tells me her ex-boyfriend (remember the one she said broke her heart) contacted her and said he wants to get together and talk, and she isn’t sure what to do or what that means for us. Oh by the way, this came after about 15 minutes of making out in my car before I was going to let her go home.

I couldn’t believe it. I was incensed. What a sucker I am! What a fool I am!

I told her exactly what is happening. He’s an EX for a reason. He dumped her and broke her heart because he wanted something else. And it wasn’t her. Now, something went wrong, and he’s doing what douchebag guys do – he’s going back to the recent girlfriend as his fallback girl because he knows she’s still got feelings for him. And we ALL know how that is going to work out. Not well. I have NEVER seen a couple get back together and have it work out. On top of that, it usually only lasts a short time before falling apart again. I’ve been through it, I’ve seen it 100 times.

So I explained this to her. That if I was her friend, that is exactly what I’d tell her. Stay Away! And I’ve told dozens of friends that exact thing.

So I laid everything out on the table. What I felt about her. What I felt about us. The potential I saw in us. And more. Then I asked her if she thought there was still a chance for us after she talks with him. She said definitely Yes (with about a 50% confidence level).

This could not have come at a worse time. I needed to get my son and take him home because he starts school tomorrow, and it was midnight.

She held me and apologized profusely. I said I can’t believe I’m about to suggest this, because my normal protocol would have been to leave 15-20 minutes earlier. But since I haven’t followed protocol with her yet, why start now. Right? So I said, “fine, talk to him and see how you feel, then let me know.” Well, they aren’t supposed to talk until next week. And she insists she isn’t going to drink in order to keep her head about her, because we know he’s trying to pry her for rebound sex or whatever. I don’t fully believe that, and told her as much. I’m being 100% honest here.

And she said she was trying to be honest with me about this. Which I kind of scoffed at. She knew this was all going on and yet let the night unfold like it did. She knew this was all going on and let me fork out all the money to take her out and buy drinks all night. You can’t tell me that is being “honest.”

I’ll be honest with you all right now. I love her! And I don’t want to lose her. But I don’t have any say in the matter and I don’t think my chances are very good right now. I can’t see her walking away from him if he wants to get back together. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m hoping I’m wrong. And I told her I hope she doesn’t make a big mistake (leaving me for him), and she hoped she didn’t make a mistake either.

I’m crushed. And I’m sure this isn’t my most coherent post.

As we left, she said she would let me know when she got home. She should have been home almost an hour ago. Still no word.

I guess I’ll see what tomorrow holds. I’m not playing it like a normal day. No way. No how. I’ll see if she contacts me at all. And I’m pretty sure our plans with Max for Thursday are also cancelled. I can’t possibly see how I could go out with her like nothing is wrong with this hanging over my head.

Not unless she has some epiphany and calls it off with this ex of hers. Not likely going to happen, but a dreamer can dream.

I’ll let you know how it goes. And as always, thanks for reading.

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Staci Update: Touching all the bases, but still no home run

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I know I read that somewhere once. OK, saying it was the worst of times is likely an exaggeration, but you get the idea; the Love Rollercoaster (The Ohio Players and Red Hot Chilly Peppers) is in full swing.

OK, last we talked, I mentioned I needed to update you on meeting Staci’s brother and sister-in-law (SIL).

Last week, Staci and I decided to just have a quiet night together. We really hadn’t had one since the night we watched Guardians of the Galaxy together. We wanted a night without concerts, movies, bars, sporting events, large crowds, driving all over and spending a lot of money. Just a night to be together.

The plan was to pick up take-out from a local Italian place, bring it back and hang out. Once we started talking about it – while she was still in the bathroom getting ready – she mentioned it was her brother’s favorite place to get food from. So she texted him to see if they wanted anything since we were picking it up. One thing led to another, and before you know it, we were on our way over there to have dinner with her brother and SIL. FYI, they only live about 5-10 minutes from Staci’s house.

It didn’t bother me that this was interfering with our alone time, because it meant that meeting family was another positive step in the relationship. So I was all for it. To keep things brief – because I have a lot of other stuff to get to – it went really well. We made easy conversation, Staci even commented afterward how I was making them laugh (which was a big bonus in my favor), and she said they really seemed to like me. Score! Now I just have to meet her sister and father (who both live in our same town).

I mentioned going over to her house a few nights ago and then we were supposed to go to a baseball game Saturday night. Then “IT” happened again. She went out Thursday with Amy to a charity golf gala – staying out much later than she really reasonably should have (but I digress) – then Friday she went out to dinner with Amy and a few of her other girlfriends.

A while back we had this conversation about me being concerned and her at least letting me know when she got home safely. But “IT” happened again. I talked to her about 7:30pm. She was on her way to meet Amy and I told her my friend cancelled plans with me, and she was all bent out of shape that he would cancel at the last minute (to go hang out with his girlfriend). See the irony there?

She said she would call me when she was done. Let’s fast forward 18 hours. Yes, I8 hours. I had sent about a half dozen texts between 8pm-2am. Casual “what’s up?” texts, to something random on my mind, to eventually “what’s going on on?” and “Is everything OK?” So we had another one of THOSE nights. So, I decided to play the waiting game, a game of Chicken, if you will. Didn’t hear from her until after 1pm Saturday.

She still was planning on coming over. She wanted to help me start gutting my basement before I remodel it. She was admittedly hungover. She allegedly didn’t drive home, she was so drunk. So when I asked her how she got home, she said she took and cab and then had her sister drive her to go get her car. She asked me if I was still wanting her to come over. I answered with a question; “Do you want to come over?” Yes, I was being snarky. I wasn’t happy. I didn’t directly answer any questions, just basically said, “whatever you want to do.”

She came over, we didn’t clean my basement. I wasn’t in the mood. So we talked for a while instead. I explained to her how this happened another night before I had big plans for us (making dinner for her and her friends) and her excessive partying interfered. I had a fun day planned, all of which was blown out of the water because she got up so late, wasn’t ready to go anywhere, and we were running out of time before heading to the baseball game. We still had to go to her house for her to get ready before the game.

So I finally cut to the chase. I asked her if I was the only guy in the picture. A reasonable question given recent events and conversations. She quickly said yes and I didn’t get any feelings of suspicion or intentional deceit. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any. Then she said she was still “feeling us out.” I really don’t think that’s what she meant, because “feeling us out” means she has one foot out the door and isn’t sure about “Us.” I don’t get that feeling from her. I get that she wants to take things slow, but that’s not the same as feeling things out.

So things picked up after that conversation (they always do after our little heart-to-hearts). We went to lunch and continued talking. We started talking about planning our schedules and time to see each other (now that my son is back, he wasn’t then but is now). But the big “bomb” was still to come.

She mentioned that her and Amy were planning a trip to Mexico over the Christmas/New Year’s break. I was thinking to myself, Oh wonderful, this is her way of saying ‘don’t make any plans to see me over the biggest week of the year.’ I was wrong! That’s when she mentioned that her and Amy were talking about Jack (Amy’s boyfriend) and I coming down to join them for a few days in Mexico.

Whoa!! Hold the phone! You’re “feeling us out” but still talking about me going to Mexico with her in December? DECEMBER, that’s 5 months from now! I don’t think you’re “feeling me out” if you’re thinking that far ahead like that. But I’m not complaining, I’m IN!

We finally made it to the game and met up with Amy and Jack, who were also there. We hopped from bar to bar at the stadium, watching the games on the screens and occasionally watching the live action on the field. It was a sold out stadium so lots of people and good people watching. It was fun.

We even had an interesting conversation about having kids as we walked through the parking lot. She totally initiated it. Talking about whether we each wanted (more) kids, starting “the clock” over with a new kid, her age and trying to have a baby. I wasn’t really expecting that, especially not yet, but I went with it just the same and it didn’t freak me out or anything.

An interesting moment that Staci found particularly intriguing was after the game when we stopped by a local restaurant for a quick bite before heading home. I really didn’t eat anything, but Staci did. Amy and Jack were there, as well as another couple. I was ready to go home, not hang out, but anyway. Near the end, they were talking about Staci’s roommate’s upcoming wedding, and how they didn’t even know when it was and Staci was going to find out. Amy – who is very loud, boisterous, and a huge diva – was going on about the open bar and wedding cake and stuff and she looked right at me and said with attitude “Sorry, I’m going to be her Plus One!” My response and reaction was simple and to the point. I cocked my head to the side with a bit of raised eyebrow and just said, “No. No. I don’t think so. That’s definitely not happening.” Staci was impressed because guys usually don’t stand up to Amy very often, enough so that she mentioned as we were driving home. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Knowing Amy and her influence, I’ll probably get the short end of the stick, but don’t think I’ll just go down without a fight. WHO takes a girl friend to a wedding when you actually have a date, boyfriend or husband? Not anyone I know (yet).

After, we came back to my house. She left her car at my house after stopping by. She didn’t want to come inside, in order to avoid any possibility of sex (still). I’m still not exactly sure why she isn’t “ready” because every indication I have is that she IS ready (which you will see in a moment), except for mentally (or maybe emotionally) for some reason. But as has happened numerous times, a simple kissing session escalated into a hot and heavy makeout session.

I won’t go into extreme detail here, but we were in my garage, up against my car “going at it” for a very long while. Several times I asked if she’d rather go inside because it was still a rather humid night out. The garage was open, but I live at the end of a cul de sac and it was after midnight, so there was no vehicle traffic passing by. By the end, her top was basically off, she had her hands (yes both) down my my pants and I had my hand in her pants. And that lasted for a while. It’s not like she stopped immediately once I reached in her pants or exposed her breasts – like she would have before. But she did eventually stop before any actual type of sex (regular or oral) happened. And then we just hugged and caressed and kissed each other for a while longer before we finally said goodnight and she went home.

After she got home and was texting me while she was in bed, another significant milestone (if you want to call it that) happened. One our way back to my house, her phone kept blowing up with text messages. She was ignoring them, and I made a comment about it being Amy (since we just left her and Jack), but I had a suspicion it wasn’t Amy. Once home, she told me it was an ex texting her while he’s drunk and she told him to stop and said it was nothing to worry about.

Here’s why it’s significant (to me) and why I believe her. She didn’t have to tell me that. Even if it was 100% nothing, she didn’t have to tell me. She could’ve left it alone and assume I thought it was Amy and never mentioned it again. But she told me. She made sure I knew the truth, and the she handled it. Again, I can’t emphasize enough, she didn’t have to tell me. Ladies, do you tell your man every time some ex or an interested guy texts you randomly? I’m guessing not. I’m guessing you think it wouldn’t be worth the effort to bring it up and have to explain it. But she did. So instead of making a big deal about how inappropriate I think it is for him to be doing that, I just said “Thank you for telling me. I really appreciate it.” I want to foster this sort of thing, not give her reasons to hide it from me, because we all know people don’t need reasons to hide things from their partners.

She’s also forwarding me emails and messages from friends about things, so things are definitely opening up. Again, I really don’t think she’s applying “feeling us out” in the correct way. She wouldn’t be this open and upfront if she was.

OK. That’s enough for today, I think 2000 words is enough. Don’t you? We have another concert on our schedule for tomorrow and then getting together with friend’s son (Max) for karaoke Thursday. So be on the look out for more updates later on in the week.

And as always, thanks for reading!

NSA, FWB, NSFW, This is gonna be interesting (pt 1)

OK, just remember, you asked!

I told you earlier this week that we were taking this dating thing in a whole new different direction. Well, it doesn’t get much “different” than this. OK, I’m sure it could, but I like to keep things reasonable.

As I was debating how dating would change once my son returned home and school started, I kind of did a mental checklist of what my options were. I don’t have the standard every-other-weekend visitation schedule with my ex-wife, my son is with me about 90% of the time, I don’t have ready babysitting options (i.e. family or friends) nearby who could watch him, I have an unpredictable schedule of availability, and I don’t like mixing my children and dates too soon, especially not having them spend the night with my son here. That has made traditional dating pretty tough so far. My largest chunk of free time is during the weekdays when my son is at school because I have a few days free when I am not taking classes myself.

Kicking these things around, an ex of mine joked around that I should “whore (my)self out to the older housewives” in our area, which is rather affluent, as a way to meet my “needs”, make some money and please some local housewives. As interesting as that sounds, I don’t feel like going to jail – ever. So that’s out. Sorry to disappoint all of you that thought that was my big news.

Although my inner Deuce Bigelow was disappointed, it got me to thinking. Maybe there was something, more legal, I could do to address my “dating” needs that would fit my criteria. And let’s be honest, the chances of me meeting, dating and nurturing that special kind of woman on my schedule is about as likely as a teenager working at McDonalds affording the payments on a 2013 Chevy Corvette convertible.

So accepting that, yet not resigning myself to a life of solitude and abstinence, I thought, “where can you find older women, who have time during the day, that are just looking to have fun and not get serious?” Hello, Ashley Madison!

I’m not going to give a full-fledged review of Ashley Madison, yet. I can do that at another time. But it is a little expensive to get access to paid member services. It is pointless to really try any sort of “dating” site for free. So I did the minimum just to give it a try. And so far, in one week I’ve had as much, if not more, success than I did with eHarmony in 6 months.

A girl contacted me early on – OK, lots of girls contacted me initially, but this was the only real, legitimate girl – and we started talking. Things started off real well. She’s a stay-at-home mom that works as an in-home nurse during the week, which means she makes her own hours and schedule. She has an open relationship with her husband who has a regular girlfriend, plus others on the side, and she just wants somebody to have fun with. A FWB (friends with benefits) relationship where she can have fun, but isn’t looking for a man to replace her husband. It’s also a NSA (no, not THAT NSA, a no strings attached) arrangement, which means I would be open to explore other options with other women if the opportunities arise. Like I said earlier, knowing my luck, this is when that Real Special Lady will show herself. Go figure. So stay tuned for that mess.

So Krystal decided to meet me for coffee this afternoon. When we got together, she was cute dressed up in her scrubs, as she was in between seeing patients, and very nervous. It took a while to get her comfortable, normally I’m the shy, nervous one. We talked about her relationship with her husband, his girlfriends, how bored she is at home, and that she had already told him about me. That was a little awkward, but I took it in stride. She generally has a constant “boyfriend” on the side, just as her husband has his steady girlfriend.  So it’s not like this is anything new to them.

Things went really well. It was so much more fun without all the normal pressures you feel during a regular date. OK, that’s just coming from a guy’s perspective. I can only imagine what pressures girls deal with on first dates, so I can only guess. We also agreed to see each other again and go out tomorrow night.

Let’s just say things get a lot more weird and interesting from there. But we will include that when I update you all on that date later. I have to save something interesting to keep coming back for more.

Until then … Thank you for reading and stay tuned for all of the fun (or at least I hope it’s fun).

Has it come to this? A drastic shift in the gameplan

As I already stated, the dating game landscape is going to change this weekend with the return of my son from his Summer vacation. So I started game-planning how dating was going to work once the school year started.

Well, after much consideration and debate, along with the help of some additional advice, I have made a rather drastic change in my dating approach. Look for the upcoming post this weekend with the initial results. This new approach seems to fit my schedule, dating and personal needs much better than the traditional way.

HOWEVER, my bet is as soon as I venture down this road, the girl of my dreams will make her presence known. That’s just the way my luck works. Once I give up on something or commit to an alternate option, that’s when my first choice becomes available. My luck is horrible sometimes. But the good news is, if that does happen, I will have the option to change courses again back to the traditional track.

I guess we will find out shortly. Stay tuned, it should be interesting.

The Dilemma: Back to School means major changes

We are only a matter of days away from the beginning of new school year. A new school year means lots of changes for everyone. The kids have new grades, teachers and classes to adjust to, as well as get used to getting up in the morning to go to school again. Parents have to adjust to the school routine of getting the kids ready and making sure they get to school.

It also means a major change in my dating life.

Starting next week, my son will be home from his Summer visit to his mother’s and he will be going back to school. That means a monumental shift in my dating game. My availability goes from “any time” to “rarely”. You see, I don’t have a big support network of family and/or friends who can watch my son while I go out on dates or to just have grown-up time. And with his mother living 8+ hours away, I don’t have every other weekend available like most divorced parents. My son sees his mother on average about once per month, sometimes longer. Her visits are scheduled around his long breaks from school (anything 4+ days long).

This creates some major obstacles in the dating game.

No longer can I go out any night of the week, or spend the night somewhere. Having girls over or spend the night is also out. I want to make sure a woman has serious potential before I introduce her into my children’s daily life. So this seriously limits my window of opportunity to about one or two chances per month, maybe more depending on the month.

This has already been a serious obstacle with girls I dated before my son left for the Summer. Most girls say they understand and don’t have a problem with it. Many will even say they think there is something extremely attractive about a guy who has custody of his kids and devotes so much of himself to them. But the truth soon rears its ugly head.

If I am dating a girl and we cross that certain threshold, whether it’s a certain amount of time together or physical intimacy, I do not talk to, flirt with, or entertain other women in any way. I’m talking about potential female dates, not true female friends. I am not interested in looking around once I have established myself with someone, and regardless of how much I say it or even try to demonstrate it, that usually doesn’t seem to be enough. So far, only one woman has been willing to play the waiting game for me, and that was Abigail (you will read more about her later). Things ended with her not because of my limited availability, but because it was too early in my return to dating for me to be comfortable with the boyfriend/girlfriend labels and other intimate attachments. But she wanted them and I wasn’t willing to give them to her. But (again) we will cover that later.

I had a lot more hopes for what would happen this Summer once I was free to focus all of my free time on dating and women. But alas, the Summer is nearing an end and still do not have what most would consider a real girlfriend. Justine is on the verge of that status, but since we talked about the change in my schedule once school starts, things have a been a little different with her. So I am not sure what that exactly means yet. But she is also very leery about meeting and involving the children too soon, which is something we would have to consider doing to see each other as much as we would like to.

Like I said, I don’t have a large support network her to provide me with opportunities to go out. Sure, my son will occasional have a sleepover at a friend’s house, but those are usually determined within a 48-24 hour time frame. And I am not the most comfortable about hiring a strange babysitter to watch him just so I can go out. I get pangs of guilt and selfishness when I think about doing that.

What do you think? Are my expectations too high? Or should I make more efforts to be available?

Honestly, sometimes I really think I should just drop the whole dating game all together and spend my time and money on places like Adult FriendFinder, Ashley Madison, or even something like Eros and the strip clubs. That way, I’m spending my money on attachment-free fun and not having to hassle with the constraints the dating game places on me. Otherwise it takes months worth of work just to get my basic urges met, when I already know my relationship needs will most likely not be met due to the limitations of my schedule. And no, I’m not going out to the bars looking for random bar skanks to hook up with, because the quality is not as good and it’s usually a futile effort anyway. So let’s just stick with something a little more proven. My free time is rare, and I don’t want to frivolously waste it.

Let me know what you think. And thanks for listening.