This looks familiar, have I been down this road before?

So, it’s been two weeks of dating Mona (closer to four weeks if you add all the time talking leading up to the first date). Things have been really good. Seen each other a few times, talk/chat dozens of times every day, all that good stuff.

I was supposed to have lunch with her today before I went out of town for the weekend with my son and brother, as well as some other friends, for our annual boys’ football weekend. The reasoning behind it was that I didn’t want two weeks to pass between seeing each other. She has her girls this weekend and has family plans as well. So I figured a little quick get together would be good.

But for some unknown reason, all morning I had this gut instinct that she was going to cancel. I have no idea why, but I did. I didn’t say anything to hear about it or doing anything to alter my normal Friday plan. I dropped my son off at school, read books to his class this morning, and then came home to clean up the house before getting ready to go to lunch.

She was wrapping up the training seminar at her work today that was introducing new products to their line. She said she would be done about noon, so I planned accordingly. About 11 a.m. I started getting ready.

That gut feeling was still lingering. Then about 11:30 a.m., I get this:

Mona: Hi… u r going to be mad at me. ūüė¶

Me: Why?

Mona: But I will make it up to u if u aren’t mad.!
Mona: I won’t make lunch
Mona: But it’s for a good reason!

I told her I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t mad either. I understood and it was fine. Though I didn’t really understand because I still don’t know what the “good reason” was. But anyway … then she said.

Mona: I will make it up to u by going on even more dates with u!!

Playfully I asked for that in a binding contract and asked if those “more dates” are dates she wouldn’t have normally gone on with me. It seems doing saying you will do something you were going to do anyway isn’t really doing anything to “make it up” to someone. Just sayin’.

So after some more back-and-forth, I asked when she wanted to get together again, hoping she would say something like “come over to watch football on Sunday” or ‘how about lunch Monday.” Instead she said “maybe we can shoot for next weekend sometime.”

Duh! I’d already mentioned on our last date that my ex was going to be in town that weekend for his baseball games and she would have him the whole weekend, so I would be free to do whatever she wanted. So again, that’s not anything new, different, or extra.

I know it is different, and it truly does feel different, but there is that part of my psyche that is trying to link this to what happened with Ellen. And to be completely honest, I can’t remember a time ever getting cancelled on ended up well. So maybe I’m lumping all of that baggage on Mona unfairly. But let’s face it, I really don’t want to wait another week to see if she is actually going to follow through with it or not.

I have every indication to think that she will, but there is a part of me that is beginning to question that.

How do you feel when you’ve been cancelled on by someone you’ve been seeing for a little while? Not a first date or someone you are clearly exclusive with, but someone you are just starting out with.

Honestly, I’m a little weirded out. And ladies, here’s how you can tell if you’re guy is interested in just you or has other options out there. If you cancel on him and he doesn’t seem to care, that is generally a pretty good sign he has other girls on stand-by waiting to fill your spot. But if you cancel and he gets upset or seems genuinely wounded, that probably means you’re it on his list and you just torched his plans for the day, evening or whatever.

So why is this bothering me so much?

I’m pretty sure it’s that old self-defense thing kicking in. There is/was a lot of potential with her, more than I can say I’ve had with any others (except maybe Abigail, but I already said that before), and to be frank, I don’t want to have to go back out there and give it another try with someone else again for a while. I’m getting wore out by this dating thing.

And sometimes I am just a pessimist at heart. I have always had a bad knack of being a pessimist when things get questionable, that way, when things work out, they look so much better, or when they fail, then I was kind of expecting it and it doesn’t hurt so bad.

So help me out here. Is there any reason for concern or am I just being overly pessimistic right now? Let me know what you think. And, as always, thanks for reading.

The Dating Code: ladies you can initiate contact too

Ok, this is where my whiny/needy side comes out. Deal with it. Us guys have soft sides too, ya know.

I know the game. I know the protocol. I know the rules. I am a firm believer in the code of chivalry.

But that doesn’t mean I like it. Sometimes, I really hate it.

I know it is the man’s job to woo the woman and take the lead. But here is a realistic fact that doesn’t get much attention, men like a little “wooing” too.

I know most of the dating advice sites (and dating mythology) say women shouldn’t initiate contact. I get that, but only at the beginning. Once you’ve established that you talk every day – dozens of times a day – it shouldn’t be the man’s job to initiate contact every time, whether it is talk, text or email.

Girls like to know the guy is interested and want to talk to them, that is the basis for the “rule” of the guy initiating the contact. Girls want to be wooed, pursued, chased, courted, whatever you want to call it. I get it.

But after a while, guys like to get a little attention too, believe it or not. You ladies have no idea how much return on just a little investment of an occasional text out of the blue saying “good morning” or “I was just thinking about you and wanted to say Hi”.

After a certain point, guys start to question whether you’re really interested or just being polite by responding when they text you first. It may just be a festering question at first, but the longer it persists, the more questioning and self-doubt creeps in. Remember my issue with Ellen?

Before I go any further, let me explain that I am not complaining about taking too long to respond or anything like that. I know everyone is busy with their own lives and cannot be held to a timetable. I am busy and can’t always respond quickly, and I don’t expect any different from the girls I date and talk to.

If I haven’t explained this about myself yet, I guess now would be a good time. I tend to be a very “romantic” type of guy. I enjoy doing little special things, like flowers, surprise visits, picking up something you’ve had your eye on for a while at the store, and all sorts of other little surprises to let my girl know I care about her. And the more affection I get from my girl, the more I want to exponentially reciprocate that. But when I don’t feel appreciated, loved, or whatever, I don’t feel like doing those special things.

I will say good morning every morning and goodnight every night – no matter where I am or what I am doing. I try not to expect anything in return.

But those times when my girl beats me to the punch in the morning with a “good morning,” or sends me a text in the middle of her busy day just to say “I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you” mean more than any gift or grand gesture could. Just knowing confidently that she is interested makes things so much easier.

Ladies, it may go against your nature (then again it may not), but doing something small like that for your man may make all the difference in your relationship. Forget about sex, this is much more powerful than that.

Guys may try to act like they are made of steel and super tough, but really, all guys want to know they are appreciated, adored, respected and loved, just like women do.

So try it sometime, ladies. And see what happens.

The Justine Conspiracy: Logic says no one is that crazy but my gut says otherwise

Recently, I told you all about Justine, the yoga instructor from New York that had so much potential but flipped out over my profile not being hidden and threatened to basically spy on me online. Well there is potentially another whole new layer to this story. But I need your help in keeping my head straight.

I’m going to try to keep this as succinct as possible. I swear!

If you remember, it was about 1 a.m. the night/morning things began  to unravel with Justine because she went on to her Match account (which she had hidden) and noticed mine was still active (but not accessed in about a week) and proceeded to flip out on me. The argument/breakup lasted through most of the weekend. You can catch up on it all here.

Well, a part I left out of the original story was that just a matter of minutes (10-15 minutes) before I got the first salvo from Justine about everything, I received a notification that I had received a Match Wink from a new girl – so I don’t screw up my naming process, I can’t officially name her yet, so I’ll just call her Winky for now. I didn’t check it out, first because it was after midnight and I was almost asleep, and also because I had no intention of checking it out yet because things were very good with Justine and it was just a wink, it didn’t really mean anything.

But after things started getting crazy with Justine, I really started to get leery about that wink from Winky, and I really wondered if it was a trick to see (perpetrated by Justine) to see if I would check it out, even though I said I wouldn’t check my account. For the record, I didn’t look at it until a week after I broke things off with Justine. My thought was either she made the account to spy on me (and probably other guys) or she was using a friend’s account because I had helped her make an account on Match for another one of her friends.

I didn’t think much of it after things ended with Justine, but I couldn’t get the thought of it being a trick out of my head. So I started paying attention to both profiles. Both profiles are favorited on my account so I can easily see them together on the same screen. YES, I am admitting right here and now I was doing a little online dating stalking (a little). I wasn’t actually clicking on their profiles or messaging them or anything.

But one trend became very apparent. When one would be away for 3 or 5 days, the other would be gone for 3 or 5 days (always the same). When one was online, the other had just been active “within 1 hour” or came online shortly. This didn’t just happen once or twice, but numerous times. I’m talking over a period of about 2+ weeks now for sure, and a total of almost a month now.

The thing is, I had exchanged an email or two with Winky early on. Nothing deep or anything, and then she faded out and I did not hear from her again. But a little over a week ago, I heard from her again and she went straight into serious flirting and asking to get together sometime. I responded that it would be good to get together, but kept paying serious attention to the two profiles. And again, they seem to be online at about the same time. And when one was away for 3 days this past week, the other one was gone for 3 days and they both checked their profiles within about an hour of each other the other day.

I just got a message from Winky wanting to get together Wednesday afternoon for lunch. She has a very specific window that we can meet in this certain area of town so she can get to her appointments easily. I cannot accurately remember Justine’s yoga schedule but I do know she had classes in that same part of time with classes often bracketing lunch in this same way.

Aside from the obvious question of “What do you guys think?”, my main question I pose to you all is, “How do I find out for sure before showing up and getting duped into some trick, if it is all a setup?”

If it is all just a major coincidence, Winky seems like someone I would definitely like to date and see what happens. So I never want to blow it with someone with potential, so I don’t want to do something to blow it with her before even meeting her.

Maybe it’s just me, but my gut keeps telling me something just isn’t right here. And my gut is not wrong very often.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend.

The Experiment continues, we go swinging for the fences (pt. 2)

OK, just remember you all asked for the sequel to my last post. I really hope I can do this story justice.

I left off after we decided to get together this weekend for some fun, dancing, drinking, and other such shenanigans. Then this story took off like my typical driver shot off the tee at the golf course. I thought I crushed it and it looked pretty – straight, strong and true – then at the apex of its flight, you see the turn signal blinking right before it takes a sharp left hand turn into the rough or the water. Something that looked so promising ends up totally different from I expected. So with that…

I told you Krystal’s husband knew about me and was OK with me, because he has his girls on the side. They’re very open about things like that. So open about it, they are members of the local swingers club.

We were kicking around ideas about what we were going to do Saturday night; everything from a movie to going dancing and all sorts of options in between. But she couldn’t decide.

In the meantime, she’s telling me how she’s been talking to this guy who wants to swing with her and her husband (of course his wife is included in the deal). She doesn’t like this guy, doesn’t want to be with him, and he’s trying to convince them to go to the swingers club Saturday. She’s getting mad because apparently this guy is rather dominant over his wife (and rather abusive as well) and she’s really not digging how he’s talking to her or his wife. So she is totally set against going to the club with them this weekend, or anytime.

Finally, it’s Saturday afternoon and we still haven’t decided on what to do. She is planning on meeting me at my house about 7 p.m. and we’ll figure something out from there. Right at 7 p.m. I get the phone call, “How would you like to go with us to the swingers club?”

My first reaction is to freak out a bit. Not because it’s a swingers club, because I’ve been to a couple in my day – not what you think, it’s a whole different story, if you really want to know, I’ll tell you offline – but because it’s our first real date, I haven’t personally met her husband yet and even though she says he’s cool with me, I’m going to show up at the swingers club and all that entails and expect everything to be cool? Not so sure. But I play it cool and say I’d meet them there.

She sends me the instructions on how to get there. And trust me when I say this place is a nondescript old warehouse out on the edge of town practically in the middle of nowhere. It’s at the end of a long dirt road that winds through the trees with no lights until you round the corner and see the yellow lights of the parking lot. I seriously was waiting to hear dueling banjos playing on the wind.

Krystal said it was a t-shirt and jeans type of place. I was a little more dressed up than that because the other similar clubs I’ve been to were more fancy types of places – suit or sport coat. When I got there, she was right. Jeans everywhere, and coolers. I had not idea this was a BYOB establishment. OK, my expectations were being shattered left and right.

I met them at the front door. It was Krystal and her husband Ken, and Ken’s co-worker Aaron and his wife Jennifer. This was Aaron and Jennifer’s first time at a club like this. Ken is a bit taller than me and a little bigger. He’s an amateur MMA fighter when he’s not working construction. Aaron is kind of¬† an average looking Joe – not fat, but not fit either, but his wife Jennifer was hot – way hotter than you would expect to be with him.

I hit it off with everybody right away. I’m just easy like that. Ken was really cool about it all and showed us around the club. We took a booth right off the dance floor, and then he showed us the lounges and the private rooms (do I need to explain what these are for?). So we sat down in the main room at our booth and broke out the drinks. I stuck to the rum & cokes, the other guys had beer, the girls started off with grapefruit & vodka (oh my, talk about gross), but they soon switched to the rum & cokes.

Let me paint a picture for you. It is corset night. Most of the women are wearing some sort of corset or bustier. The average age in this room is easily 40 if not higher. It is definitely an older crowd, most of them in their 50s to 60s. Some women were classy about their attire, while others sported the more risqu√© “convertible corset” which let the boobs hang out exposed to the world. Others were wearing nearly nothing, and what was there was hanging on for dear life with fishing line, tape or magic. While the guys were in jeans, and regular shirts, nothing fancy or dressy. I might have been the best dressed guy there.

We had a great time. Ken and I were talking like two guys hanging out at a football game together. Aaron was included too, but he was a little distracted worrying about the other guys “vulturing” his wife. His wife was hot, did I mention that? She was clearly in the top 5% of women there. Then again she was only 28, quite possibly the youngest one there.

Most of the night, Ken was the 5th wheel. Krystal was all over me, which became easier to handle as the night went on, and Aaron and Jennifer were hanging onto each other for dear life. Finally Ken’s girl showed up. This isn’t his normal, regular girlfriend. This is another girl he’s been hanging around with recently. Krystal is not a big fan of hers – because she’s cute with a small body and she sees her as competition. It was apparent. So much so, that Krystal hooked him up with the wife I mentioned earlier who was married to the real dominating guy (but he didn’t show up at the club that night). And when I say hooked up, yes I mean they went to one of the rooms and got it on. This girl was NOT attractive at all. By my standards, maybe a 4. I won’t get into details, but I would never hook up with her.

So Krystal thinks things are good, girl # 2 (Sarah) is apparently out of the picture, or so she thought. The night is winding down, the girls have been dancing together, and us guys were just sitting around talking about girls (other ones that were there, too) and drinking and having a merry old time. A little while later, we’re all sitting in the booth, and Krystal slides a condom into my pocket and says for me to follow her.

We make our way to a back room and she puts me down on the couch before shutting and locking the door. Things progress pretty quickly – as you can imagine they have to with other people waiting. But you really don’t want to get completely naked in a place like that because you have no idea what went on in that room right before you. Things were going real good – I mean real good. But then she heard some people talking loudly outside the door and we both heard someone mention Krystal’s name and saying something about hurrying it up. So we decided to wrap things up at that point, but by no means were either of us “finished” but we had been in there a while.

Once we got dressed and opened the door, there standing right in the doorway was Ken and Sarah (girl #2). Let’s just say that didn’t go over very well with Krystal. I tried to defuse the situation, with a light “you two kids have fun” comment. We went back to our booth and waited for a while. We danced and talked. But then she pulled Jennifer aside and they talked for a while, then she finally decided to go stop Ken and Sarah in the room. But they were done by the time she got back there. Cutting to the end, it was a source of contention between them (Ken and Krystal) for the rest of the night that he still ended up hooking up with Sarah. I spent most of the night hanging out with Aaron and Jennifer, even coaxing Jennifer out the dance floor a few times. You thought I was going to say I coaxed her into a back room, didn’t you? I thought about it. Ha!

Overall, the night ended well. Ken was still real cool with me, we all went our separate ways, and the next day I talked to her like everything was cool. She still wants to see me more. Can you blame her? I’m irresistible. And Ken is still cool with me. Apparently I get brought up in conversations at home and he asks when I’m hanging out them next. That part is still real hard for me to get used to. I’ve been the “other guy” before, but the main guy never knew about me, and sometimes I didn’t even know about him. This is way different.

There is so much more I could tell here, but this is already my longest post by far. If you want to know more, just ask me, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know (except real life names and places). And as my luck would have it, no sooner do I go out with her, and my Match and other profiles started blowing up on Sunday. Go figure. It’s just my luck.

Stay tuned for more. 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.