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 ūüôā ¬†). 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.

This is Why I Hate Online Dating, or At Least One of the Big Reasons

There are lots of things to hate about online dating, and only a few things to like. As I always say, it’s a necessary evil – at least for me. And this right here is one of them.

When you’re talking to more than one person and you’ve only got a limited amount of time to make dates, who do you pick and how do you prioritize?

Here’s my situation: As you all know, I’ve gone out with Wanda and have another date set for Thursday. But I’m still talking to a couple of girls that I’ve been communicating with since before I went out with Wanda. Since I don’t want to assign names to them yet, I’ll just call them Potential 1 (P1) and Potential 2 (P2). I would drop P1 and P2 in a heartbeat if I knew things with Wanda were solid. But we’ve only been out once, and recent history has me leery about abandoning other possibilities because you never know what’s going to happen.

Like I said, I have a date scheduled for Thursday with Wanda, but both P1 and P2 have been pressuring me about wanting to do something this next weekend. I am available this weekend. I already tried to book it with something with Wanda, but she has two charity fundraisers this coming weekend. That’s why we’re going out Thursday. I have been skirting the issue trying to avoid committing either way.

Look, I don’t want to date anyone else but Wanda. Period. The signs are all good …

But again, you never know …

I hate the thought of having to go back on Match and start all over again. So let’s break down options I have, and I’m interested to see what you think.

Wanda

You’ve read about the first date. But since then, we did have a hiccup with having to cancel the original date. However, unlike recent incidents (Violet), she immediately rescheduled and has been completely normal with me ever since. She sends me random pictures just about every day of what she’s doing or something interesting. She sent me a picture of her riding her lawn mower wearing a baseball hat, in her bikini top, all while wearing big blue hearing protection. The hearing protection was not flattering, but it was still cute. She was also out shopping for dresses for her fundraisers (that I mentioned) and was sending me pictures of dresses she was trying on. We talk on the phone pretty much every day. She has this cute – kind of high-pitched – voice that is so sweet to hear. She’s even engaging on my Facebook page, like posts and pictures and even commenting.

From the beginning, I have known she is very much like me, in that she doesn’t like talking with a lot of people at the same time and definitely doesn’t like dating more than one at a time. She likes to focus on one at a time, too. And I don’t get the feeling she’s got other options going on along with me.

Now, my interpretation is that if she wasn’t really interested in me, she wouldn’t share the pictures and other things we talk about. If she was just lukewarm on me and us, I’d hear from her just enough to keep things going until the next date (Thursday). But we are also flirty and have lots of good conversations.

Again, I’d be more than happy to shut everything down to focus on her. And I don’t want to make a date with P1 or P2 for the weekend if things go really well with Wanda Thursday night. But I also don’t want to miss an opportunity with either one of them if something goes wrong with Wanda by or on Thursday night. Because then it would be really too late to make plans with either P1 or P2. Thus my dilemma.

Prospect 1

P1 lives just as far away as Wanda, but not in the same town. So, again I’d be compromising my stance on the long distance thing. She’s very much a country girl with blonde hair, green eyes and two kids (a teen girl and boy about the same age as my son). She’s very much into nature, exercising, and sports. She is also the one who seems to be the most interested in me between her and P2. She’s a dental assistant who happens to work in the same town as Wanda, and is always active with something with her kids, her friends or work.

She seems very sweet and genuine. She’s about 5’7″ and very much in shape. Not like Wanda, but her body looks very good in every picture I’ve seen. Now to be bluntly honest, she’s cute but still a little plain compared to what I’m used to. But at this point, that doesn’t seem to be any sort of detractor. If it wasn’t for Wanda, I’d have already set up some time to meet with her. She’s very interesting, and she is the most attentive out of all three options.

She, too, sends me frequent pictures of her and what she’s doing. She’s very respectful of what I have going on and is not demanding of my time. I don’t have any negatives to speak of with her.

Prospect 2

P2 is the most aggressive of the three options. She’s very flirty and playful and likes staying up late on the phone flirting and getting into deep discussions. She is very much into sports as well, and is also active and exercises frequently. She even does fun 5Ks like I do. However, physically, she isn’t the normal type of woman I look for. She’s much more curvy, but still in shape. She’s very cute and looks exactly like Blair from “The Facts of Life”. Again, it is no way a detractor when it comes to how I feel about her or the potential I think she has.

She’s an accountant with 3 kids and is working late on accounts or always shuttling kids from one activity to another. But she clearly likes me and definitely makes time to talk to me. She, too, has been very vocal and eager about finding a time to meet. From talking with her, it sounds like chemistry between the two of us would be rather easy. I would have her listed above P1 on the list as far as my top priority after Wanda, if it wasn’t for a little hiccup we had the other night.

We were talking late, per usual, and she was asking questions about what I was looking for in my woman. I was honest about what I expect and what i’m looking for. She took a few things I said about things I wouldn’t compromise on as being “still angry” about things that happened in past relationships. I said I was in no way angry, just explaining why I have the rules and expectations I have. I don’t want to get burned or taken advantage of again. But she still kept going with that. I finally said she was clearly reading something into what I was saying that wasn’t there. Since then, she has clearly backed off from me. We still talk everyday, but she isn’t nearly as flirty and isn’t sending me pictures daily, like she used to. She says it is because she is very tired, which may very well be the case, but I’m waiting for things to return to normal and still haven’t seen it. So we shall see.

Look, I like the potential I see in both P1 and P2. And I would hate to dismiss both of them, only to find myself back on Match full time next weekend because things didn’t work out with Wanda and I didn’t have any plans.

I don’t like stringing people along. I don’t like having other options still available if Wanda is actually focused on me. I know how I feel when I’m on the other side of that coin. Remember my thoughts on the Talia situation. ¬†But I also know things are still early with Wanda and anything could happen in the next few days or by next weekend.

Do I set up something for Saturday with P1 or P2 and cancel if things go well with Wanda Thursday? Do I hold off until Friday to analyze things with Wanda and try to set up something last minute with either P1 or P2? Or do I set up something with P1 or P2 Saturday and keep it regardless of what happens with Wanda Thursday? Or what other suggestions do you have?

So what are your thoughts? Please leave your comments and even questions below, and lets dialogue about what you think I should do. I’m interested to hear your perspectives, especially from the lady readers out there.

Wanda: Former Fitness Model bends the dating rules in her favor

I wasn’t supposed to go out with Wanda until tomorrow night. She was coming into town for work and to catch a baseball and since she lives more than an hour away, so she’d stay with her good friend that she stays with on her frequent visits here. We really wanted to get together to meet before I went out of town for Labor Day weekend.

But today, she had the day off from work because she’s been traveling for nearly a week straight. She was telling me all of the stuff that she had to do today, including mowing and bailing her acreage. I was working from home today and playfully said I was available if she needed a playful distraction. I totally meant for her to call or text me. She immediately took it an ran with it as an excuse for us to see each other today. She prefaced it with saying she’d only be casual, with her hair in a pony tail and probably little to no makeup.

So we decided to meet this afternoon in the college town located midway between us, at a popular soda shop that sells just about every imaginable type and brand of soda (including international brands). Before I get into the date itself, how about a little background …

Wanda contacted me on Match with a fairly long, detailed message “selling” herself on why I should check her out and give her a chance, very similar to what Uma did. The main concern was her distance away from me. She lives more than an hour away, and my preferences are set to keep things rather local, because on top of my rigorous schedule with my son, having a partner living that far away only complicates the matter further. But she explained that she travels into town frequently for her job, is considering moving here, and has the flexibility with having two older kids (18 and 16) along with an 8 year old (like my son) who spends lots of time with his dad.

She also mentioned the fact that my Age parameters are set to 45 years old – and she’s 46. I’m sure that was much more of a joke, whereas the distance issue was an actual concern.

She travels frequently as an event planner/coordinator for a major bank setting up their corporate events across the country. And, yes – as I mentioned, she used to be a competitive fitness model. Something I did not learn until we added each other as Facebook friends. I don’t usually do that with dates until much later. But she mentioned it, and I ran with it. I wouldn’t have if I didn’t see a lot of potential in this one. Even more than Violet, Talia and possibly even Staci.

I know what you’re all thinking … he says that about all of them; “they have potential.” Well, they don’t make it this far if they don’t have potential. I don’t go on dates with them if I think they don’t have real potential. You don’t see the numerous women I have to go through and talk with before I find one to actually go out on a date with. As recent as this weekend, there were seven (7) girls on my radar that I was talking to off Match (texting or calling) – including Uma and Violet. Now, I’m down to only three (including Wanda), and I may not actually set dates with the other two, especially if things go well with Wanda.

She’s 5’9″ (about the perfect height for me), has a gorgeous smile and captivating brown-hazel eyes, and is just overall very beautiful. Quite possibly the most attractive woman I’ve dated, so far since I’ve been doing this site (but Talia is close, just a bit too short).

Back to the date … I showed up slightly before her and began checking out the place. Before long, she walked in and there was no mistaking it was her. It helps that she’s been sending me pictures just about every day (including today). We immediately hugged and made small talk as we checked out the store together. There was lots of brushing against each other and her standing in my personal space. There was also lots of laughter. After checking out the thousands of different soda brands, we finally settled on four very unique ones (including a chocolate covered maple smoked bacon soda) that we decided to sample together.

After purchasing our sodas (yes, of course I paid) we headed down the street to a local park where we sat next to each other on a bench in the shade. I grabbed my bottle opener out of my car, just in case they all weren’t twist tops. One by one we sampled them. I’d open them and hand them to her to drink first.  Then we would share the bottles, discussing the flavors, checking out the calories and ingredients. Though all the sodas were twist tops, and I didn’t need my bottle opener, they all weren’t easy to open. I even (unknowingly) cut my hand open. Neither of us noticed until I noticed blood on my shorts. It made for good conversation, and possibly a unique memory. Nothing like bleeding on a first date.

While sitting on the bench, she turned her body sideways on the bench to face me, and even put her leg behind (obviously touching me). When it seemed like she was actually rubbing her leg and foot against me, I put my hand on her leg to gauge her reaction. It didn’t phase her. No flinching, no pulling away, not even after nearly an hour like that. She also smiled a lot, not really at anything I said, but right at me while she was leaning in toward me. Almost like she was moving in for a kiss, but I can’t say for sure. I wasn’t about to try and be wrong. That will come tomorrow night.

The time for us to go came way too quickly. We both had to head home to pick up our kids from school. I walked her to her car and we talked about our plans for tomorrow night. Then we hugged – a lingering embrace, not just a quick hug – and she commented on how I smelled (and how she liked it).

We texted a bit back and forth tonight but nothing excessive. She still seems excited about seeing each other tomorrow night, even though it is going to be late (after 9 pm) and not very long (only 2 hours or so).

So we shall see how tomorrow goes. Check back for more updates, and as always … thanks for reading!

Update:  Since posting, her friend has an unscheduled medical procedure tomorrow (Thursday) morning, Wanda isn’t coming to town tonight, she’s coming in in the morning. So our follow-up date has been moved to next Thursday. Still being positive

Uma: Very intriguing vice principal, again making exceptions to the rules

Before my (supposed) date with Violet this Saturday, I met up with Uma.

I originally had Uma scheduled for Saturday night, but a work engagement came up that she didn’t feel she could miss, so we met prior to (both) her function and my (scheduled) date with Violet at Chili’s for a quick drink and appetizers – it was centrally located to both of us.

Uma is a local high school vice principal. She’s in her mid-40s, slightly above average height (not tall), blonde with a very nice body. Even in her baseball-sleeve length t-shirt, shorts and her hair pulled back in a pony tail, she still looked very attractive.

Now before you go bashing her dress code for our “first date”, keep in mind she just came from a function at her school where she was supervising a bicycle safety event being given to young kids. So she was dressed appropriately for that. We had discussed the attire beforehand, and I had no issues with her attire. So, to make her feel better, I was in shorts, t-shirt and a ball cap – dressing down for the occasion. But I still looked pretty good, though.

What makes Uma interesting is that, once again – as with Staci, I’m bending my normal rules to see how this goes. Yes, I hear the collective groan and the cries of “didn’t you learn anything from the last time?” But in fairness to Uma, I can’t blame her for Staci’s issues. However, she is never married, has no kids, and didn’t have a picture on her profile. All three of those things are pretty much instant disqualifiers for me. So why is she different?

She contacted me on Match with a very long, detailed explanation of why she was interested in me and why she thought we should get together and see how it goes (you’ll see this theme again shortly). She acknowledged not being married and not having kids because she was focused on her teaching career for so many years that she didn’t find time for those things. Now, she wants something more substantial. And as far as the picture goes (or lack thereof), she acknowledged that too. Because she’s in the position she’s in, she doesn’t want the possibility of people recognizing her online and having that interfere with her work. She had many pictures, and was more than willing to share them once we started talking. And yes, she looked like her pictures.

Before our date, we chatted and talked several times during the week, but definitely not as frequently as most other women I meet on Match. She definitely seemed more old school and independent, not needing to be attached to her phone and texting all the time. It was kind of refreshing. And for as little as talked, she always still seemed very interested in getting together and meeting. Emphasizing that she was going to make sure we got together before I left for the weekend and it was another two weeks before we could possibly see each other.

She happened to beat me to the restaurant, which never happens. I’m always early. But not this time. I was still early, according to when we said we’d meet, but she was there first. She had ordered appetizers and some drinks. I sat down across from her and we just started chatting away. We were there for a little over an hour, and it seriously flew by. We had great conversation but didn’t really get into anything overly personal. It was good, not awkward at all. I really think we hit it off.

Then when it came time to leave, she tried to pay. I halted that immediately because, well, it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. The guy always pays (at least for the like the first 100 dates or so). And I follow the code; opening doors, car doors, paying the check, not walking in front of her, walking between her and the street, stuff like that. Finally, I won the “battle” and she was very appreciative of the gesture, even commenting on it several times later.

I walked her to her car and we hugged as we talked about making plans for after I got back from my trip.

Things seem good. We’ve talked a couple of times since then. Everything still seems to be on track. But we’ll see. Based on recent history, I can’t count on anything (it seems) until it actually happens.

I’ll definitely keep you posted, and stay tuned later this week as something is brewing for Wednesday. And as always, thanks for reading!

Dating Profiles: Up, down, on, off, what do you do?

So, you’re dating someone, it’s early on still – no serious commitment level. Maybe you haven’t even had sex yet.

But once you started dating, you had the conversation about your dating profiles. They¬†tell you that they¬†took hers down or hid it because they¬†wanted to focus on getting to know you. So you do the same thing, maybe because you have no problem doing it and think it’s the right thing, maybe you don’t have anything else going on in the dating world so you have nothing to lose for the moment, or maybe you just do it out of respect for them¬†doing it.

So now you both have your profiles hidden.

But after a while, it comes out that your date has been talking to another person and has another date coming up.

That in itself is not the issue, nor something to get all whacked out and crazy about. The issue is what do you do with your profile?

The premise of turning off or hiding your profile was to “focus on getting to know” each other, their¬†words not yours. But they have other people on the line and other dates scheduled.

So what do you do? Do you keep the profile hidden, because you had the conversation and said you would hide it. Or do you open it back up, because they whole “focus” thing isn’t applicable anymore (you didn’t void it, they did), you don’t know if you’re wasting your time with this person now, plus they are talking with other people – so why can’t you? OR do you have another conversation about the status of your profiles, even though they still have theirs hidden but are talking with other people, to gauge their response and get their opinion.

Now, in that last option, I would expect the “fair” answer to be a dominant response. They are going to probably tell you that “it’s fair for you to open up your profile again because they are talking with other people.” Now, they might actually be OK with that, or – if they like you – they’re probably just trying to say the right thing even though they don’t want you to be “back on the market.”

But, honestly, if it was me and I broached the subject, I would ask the question and say I don’t want to hear the “fair” answer, I want to hear their honest answer. Their true gut feeling answer. It’s kind of test, if you will. If they honestly tell you they think it’s ok to do it, that’s not a good sign. But if they tell you they would prefer if you didn’t open it back up, then that would generally be seen as a sign that they are actually interested in you and in pursuing something with you.

Again, I understand people start dating multiple people at a time, it’s totally normal. That’s not the issue. Once you’ve had the “profiles” conversation, and they are still talking to someone they met at about the same time they me you, what do you do?

Let me hear what you’ve got to say on this.

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!

Staci: Hoping making exceptions to the rules pays off

Over time, I have established a pretty standard list of criteria/rules to follow when meeting people online. Some things are your standard dating rules, while others are based on my personal experiences or preferences.

Some of those are ones like: no sex on a first date, she can’t be taller than me, I won’t date a woman my age who has not been married before and/or doesn’t have kids, I won’t even entertain talking to a woman who is only “separated”, and a few more.

But with Staci, I saw enough potential with her that I went against my normal practice and made a few exceptions hoping that it would pay off. We shall see.

First, a little about Staci. She’s a tall (5’11”), very skinny, blonde, who is a little older than me (45), and she works as an investment broker. She’s been divorced for about 4 years and doesn’t have any children, though she did have a stepson who visited while she was married.

Our email and text conversations were very fulfilling, fun and even flirty. Some nights we’d be up until midnight chatting away. She would text some during the day, would text when she got home in the evening, and when she would go out with her friends to happy hour or something, she wouldeven text me once she got home. It seemed pretty obvious that she was interested in me more than just a simple curiosity or feeler that I get from some of the other dates I’ve met online. This seemed to be mainly why I was willing to skip some of the normal rules I follow when dating women online.

Now let me break this down by explaining some of the exceptions I made to my normal rules. The first was the rule about Not Going to Movies on the First Date. But that is what she wanted to do. She wanted to see Entourage badly, and I really couldn’t say no to her. I was hesitant about seeing a movie on the first date, and she knew that, because I mentioned it would limit our time to be able to talk and get to know each other. Something told me she knew that, and it wasn’t going to be a problem and maybe she wanted to be “alone in the dark” together. Since we were going to one of the newer, fancier theaters that has the super nice recliners and bar inside the theater, we decided to meet at the theater bar about 90 minutes before the movie.

We had a couple of drinks at the bar, talked about many things, including my previous marriages, my kids, her previous marriage, and even sports since we both like baseball and the Stanley Cups Finals and UFC were on the TVs at the bar. We laughed and even flirted a little. She looked incredible. There wasn’t any question about whether I was physically attracted to her.

Once we got into the theater, we took our reserved seats. They were large leather recliners paired together with a raisable center arm to convert into love seat, if you chose to. We ordered some snacks to eat during the movie. During the show, there was definitely a physical tension between us, like we were like magnets too close to each other. So midway through the movie, I made a move. I had debated it for a while, so I just placed my hand on her leg, palm up, looking to hold her hand. She quickly grabbed my hand. Not only did she hold my hand, but she would occasionally stroke one of my fingers with hers, and eventually grasped my hand with both hands. This is clearly not a sign of someone who was just going along with my move in order to avert an awkward moment, she was clearly ok and accepting of it.

After the movie, she wanted to linger there in the seats for a while, talking for a bit longer while still holding hands. It started to get a little awkward, only because we were the only ones in the theater and the theater staff was¬†cleaning around us. So we headed out to the parking lot. We were parked on opposite ends of the lot, so I walked with her to her car. On the way, she grabbed my arm and we walked arm-in-arm for a while, and then we held hands all the way to her car. There we lingered for a while talking. Finally, I just grabbed her and pulled her in for a kiss. Again, there was no sign of awkwardness or resistance. We paused a few times, only to resume again. She even wrapped both of her arms around my neck, drawing me closer. The kissing itself, may not have been the best I’ve ever had, but I chalk that up to the awkwardness of the first kiss.

We said our goodbyes and talked about when we would see each other again. It wouldn’t be the next weekend, because was going out of town for the weekend with her girlfriends. We even talked for a while after we each got home. Everything seemed to go very well. It was seemingly one of the best connections I’ve had in a while.

Now to the second rule I looked past in order to give Staci a chance, and this is the one I’m more concerned about.

As I said earlier, she’s in her mid-forties without kids. Why, exactly, I don’t know. I didn’t ask (yet). But she is always going out with friends, either to happy hour, sporting events, concerts, or whatever else is going on. Since I started talking to her, she’s been home all night, on average, about 1 or 2 times per week. There’s nothing completely wrong with that, she can do whatever she chooses, it is just a matter of compatibility with my schedule. The first time she wanted to hang out was a random weeknight and I had to say ‘no’ because I had my son and no options for someone to watch him on such late notice.

And that is why I have the rule about Not Dating Women Who Don’t Have Children. They don’t fully understand the issues parents empathize with each other. They usually don’t understand the difficulties with having to plan dates, instead of being able to up and go out on a whim. From personal experience, I’ve had many instances where childless women get jealous, impatient, and frustrated having to work around a single father’s schedule. Especially one as sporadic as mine.

We haven’t talked about it yet, but I can see it has the potential to be an issue. And then there’s the issue of the following night.

The next day, things seemed different. Almost like they do when you have a one-night stand – and one of you regrets it the next day. But based on her actions, there was no sign of any hesitation, so I am not sure what it could be exactly. Except for one thing.

She mentioned she was going to a concert that night, and was very vague about her plans that day and evening. We talked much, much, less than normal, but she did still ask about my son’s baseball game. However, unlike other nights out, I didn’t hear from her during the evening or after. I sent a couple quick messages, saying I hope she had fun, etc. I also sent a quick “good morning” text the next morning. Only got a quick “Thank you” response and nothing more after that. So my guess is she was on another date.

Not that it bothers me, I totally get it, I do the same thing – at least the overlapping multiple first dates until you establish a connection with someone. Then I cut off things with the others, or it fizzles out on its own.

And I’ll be completely honest, to me, if I’m overlapping dates, I try to keep things as “normal” with each one as I can – if I am interested in keeping each option open. But if I’m not, I will cut it off and not drag it out knowing it is not going to work. I would just ask the same from them. At least “act normal” until you make up your mind. Because now, I’m more likely to keep my eyes open looking for other options, which could make for very awkward times if she ever decided to actually see where this goes.

But don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated. Keep checking back for updates. And as always, thanks for reading!

p.s. Oh by the way, even though she really hasn’t been talking with me lately, she’s been checking out my Match profile every day or even several times a day. So, there’s that.

UPDATES

Second date success, but something’s jamming my radar.

Making Strides But The Big Test Could Be Right Around the Corner

She said Yes to the weekend getaway

Weekend road trip was great, despite no sex

Dinner at her place, I’m meeting her best friend

Dinner, meeting her best friend not what I was expecting

Staci, Amy wanted me to go out with their friend tonight – alone

Hot and Heavy but not quite a Homerun yet

Mountain out of Molehill and She cancelled again

A Great Day, A Shot to the Heart, then Sexting

Touching all the bases, but still no home run

I’m pretty freaking devastated right now

She meets him on Tuesday and small test may be coming

The Writing is on the Wall but still playing the waiting game

Tuesday (and Staci) are gone with the wind