Trinity: She said Yes, then said Goodbye*

Hello everyone,

I know it has been quite a while since you last heard from me. I’ve been rather busy; still trying to find a job, recovering from hand surgery, and spending a lot of quality time with an amazing woman, Trinity, whom I asked to share my life with.

I haven’t been posting about her because I felt like I might jinx things if I share them here online. But I guess that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue now. I’ll try to keep this as short as I can and update your more on her and our time together later.

Things with Trinity, as I’ll call her for numerous reasons, were going great up until about a week ago. I asked her to marry me in July and we were planning a wedding for early Spring next year. We had our wedding and reception venues reserved, and were going to book our hotel guest room contract. We had sent out the “Save the Date” notices to our friends and family. I was on cloud nine with her.

Then a week ago Thursday (10 days ago) she called me before going to bed (as she did every night) after her regular Thursday night dinner with her best friend. Out of the blue, she told me she was feeling very stressed about all of the wedding plans, to include our finances because of my lack of a job currently and her lack of income from a rental property she hasn’t had filled for months, along with other personal concerns. She said she felt rushed a little and wanted to postpone the wedding date for a while until we had things established a little better. I was totally supportive and had even told her that I had considered that us getting married next Summer right after school restarted would probably be a much better time to get married.

You see, she wanted to incorporate all of our children in the ceremony and my son gets back from visiting his mother for the summer in mid August right before school stats.

Everything had been OK since then, but she was still acting a little weird. And I was still adjusting to the news. You can’t expect her to drop news like that on me without it bothering me a little bit. Though I was supportive and understanding, the fact that the change was bothering me didn’t set well with her. And then my normal joking, flirty ways – that she originally fell madly in love with – began to annoy her. It seemed I couldn’t say much of anything substantial (especially something related to my feelings) without her getting upset or irritated.

Then Friday (2 days ago) we met for lunch and discussed things further. I started feeling much better after our talk, because she was reassuring me that she still loved me, I still made her happy, and her goal of marrying me and spending our lives together has not changed. We spent the rest of the day texting like normal. Then after her kids went to bed, she called me and dropped the bomb on me.

None of it really makes sense. Yes, we had bumps in the road just like everybody else. Yes, she likes to shut down when she gets stressed and isn’t the best communicator. But none of the issues were remotely close to “relationship killers”, hell, not even the sum total of the issues were enough to terminate a serious relationship like this.

This issues definitely seemed to be the stress of combining our households and her maintaining her free time, and a few smaller issues which we had dealt with early on that seemed to linger. But again, nothing that couldn’t be resolved or worked out.

I tried reassuring her that the wedding plans were not the priority – that her happiness was – but she insisted I was just saying that, but wouldn’t give me the chance to prove it. And several of her “issues” were easily explained away or remedied, but she made sure to say that it wasn’t going to change her mind. She finally ended it by saying she was going to return the ring to me. I reiterated that it didn’t have to be this way and we deserved more of a shot than this.

Since Friday, I have not heard from her (as I’ve mentioned). I’ve desperately wanted to hear her voice or just tell her the usual nonsensical things that transpired in my day. I’ve had to fight from texting her good morning or calling her before bed every day.

Everyone I’ve talked to says I just need to give her some time and space. If I try to reach out too soon, it will just make things worse and push her farther away. I definitely don’t want that. I hope they’re right. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

How much time? How long do I have to wait before I can reach out to her?

She still hasn’t removed me or my family and friends from her Facebook. If you knew her, you would know how serious keeping her Facebook private is to her. She only has about 35 friends and family on Facebook. She’s been on Facebook numerous times since Friday night, so if she was going to do that I figure she would’ve done it by now. I can’t help but hold onto that as a small glimmer of hope that she isn’t fully committed to terminating our relationship.

And though everyone is telling me that I will hear from her and she might come back, because they all saw how great we were together and can’t imagine someone throwing it away so hastily. I sure hope they’re right, but I’m not getting my hopes up and am doubtful I will hear from her anytime soon. That’s why I have the asterisk (*) in the headline.

I’ll definitely keep you all updated on things as they transpire – if anything does happen. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions you want me to address about in my next posts, or if you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to drop me a line. I’m especially curious to know if any of you have taken “a break” like this and how long it lasted.

And as always, thank you all for reading!

Bella: We have all the time in the world

Following our great breakfast date, Bella spent the day working at the salon.

Now here’s the dilemma I have when she’s at work, she’s very busy with all of her regulars who will wait up to an hour just to have her cut their hair. She has almost no time to take a break or even eat lunch most days. And she asks me to send her text messages regularly because she likes to see messages from me while at work, but she rarely, if ever, has time to respond. The problem is that it is difficult to come up with stuff to say throughout the day when she doesn’t respond. It’s like coming up with one-liner after one-liner all day.

I want it to be clever and witty, and I just don’t want to say “I’m thinking about you”, or something lame like that, all day. It’s kind of stressful. But I do my best.

So Friday after she got home from work, I went to her place for a relaxing night of watching movies. She had to get up early to be at work Saturday morning for an 11-hour day at work.

I showed up while she was still getting ready after showering. She left the front door unlocked for me. So I let myself in and began setting up the movie and drinks that I brought for us. Shortly, she joined me downstairs in the kitchen while she made her dinner. We embraced and kissed for nearly the entire time her food was cooking.

Bella is clearly more demonstrative about her interest and affections for me than Ariel ever was. Which, in hindsight, reflects what I should have been reading during my time with Ariel. Bella shows her interest much  more, in how she is with me in person as well as when we’re away. Bella is already starting to use “pet names” like “babe” and “baby”, and actually compliments me. Ariel never complimented me – except once to tell me I smelled good – or ever used any sort of “pet name” or term of endearment.

We spent the evening with her wrapped in my arms, drinking cocktails and watching “The Best of Me” (yes, the same Nicholas Sparks movie Ariel wanted to see) – it was totally Bella’s choice. Of course, there was kissing – lots of kissing. But knowing she had to get up so early for such a long day, along with the fact that I was going to see her again Saturday night, I/we didn’t push the issue even though the sexual tension was very high.

I left a little after midnight as she was heading off to bed.

Saturday, however didn’t go as originally planned. She spent most of the day keeping me updated on the situation with her youngest son’s father. He hadn’t picked up his son all weekend (which starts on Thursday for him) from the father’s parents where her son was currently staying. So she had to pick him up from her ex-in-laws after she got off work.

Our plans weren’t cancelled but seriously altered. I had purchased her a simple rose bouquet for Valentine’s Day – which neither one of us really celebrates. But I definitely wanted to express my appreciation for her. So I just went over to her house for about an hour to give her the flowers and spend a little time with her.

She was already in her pajamas sitting on the couch eating dinner when I arrived. Her son  was already asleep. She was very grateful for her flowers. And we spent the short time I was there snuggling on the couch again, of course kissing again. She snuggled in very close and I stroked her hair, and she actually fell asleep on me twice. So we called the night short so she could go to bed.

The best part was when I was preparing to go and we started kissing again and she jumped up and wrapped her legs around my waist as she passionately and intently kissed me. The urge to carry her upstairs like that and take her to bed was difficult to fight. But that would have to wait for another night.

As we walked to the door, she apologized for having to cut the night short, hoped that I wouldn’t be mad at her for altering our plans, and offered to come stop by in between her split-shift at work Monday since I live rather close to her salon. I told her I understood, that these things happen and there was no way I could be mad at her for something like that.

That’s when she said, “Plus, we’ve got all the time in the world to see each other.” That simple comment meant so much, as she clearly meant she plans to see a lot of me and doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

Sunday I drove through bad weather to get my son (nearly a 10-hour day) while she worked nearly the same amount of time and then had to go get her boys. We didn’t talk much during the day, as I was driving in bad weather and she was working. So I asked her to call me once the boys went to bed. The last I heard from her was she was snuggling in bed with the boys watching cartoons. She never did get around to calling. She fell asleep watching cartoons with them.

Then, this morning, she informed me that her oldest son woke up with an ear ache and her youngest had a bad cough. So her mom took her oldest boy to the doctor where he got antibiotics for his ear. She never officially cancelled our time together, but I was pretty clear we weren’t going to see each other today. She decided not to work her afternoon shift so she could get the boys, after going to the gym, and take them home. I held out hope that she might decide to just swing by for a minute to say Hi. But it didn’t happen.

She hung out at her mom’s for a few hours before going home. On her way home, she said she missed me (for the first time). And SHE said it first. Once, again, that simple comment lifted all of the dark clouds that had been building during the day.

As of now, we don’t have any plans for seeing each other this week or weekend – yet. She has Tuesdays off but has her kids all day, so I’m almost certain she will stop by before work Wednesday and will see her Friday night. She has her oldest son Saturday night after work.

But I will definitely keep you all informed what happens next. And please, follow me on Twitter for more live updates, comments and posts. To get post updates, please click the “Follow” button to the right. Or post your comments and questions below.

And as always, thank you for reading!

Ariel: Another relationship supernova

Last I updated you all, Ariel wasn’t feeling well on Super Bowl Sunday. Well, she officially cancelled because she just never got around to feeling well enough and didn’t want me to see her running back and forth to the bathroom all night.

Since then, things have been on a steady, consistent decline. Hearing less and less from her each day. Ultimately leading to this morning, when she said she’s spent a lot of time thinking this week and is going to call me tonight (Thursday) so we can talk.

That’s never good.

We had talked on the phone on Monday. She shut down her Facebook and Match accounts. She said she wanted to unplug and disconnect. She assured me it wasn’t to disconnect or distance herself from me. But over the week, it was clear she was drifting away from me. She would never ask about me, never follow-up about things I told her about, and her answers got shorter and shorter. Finally yesterday, I had only received five texts from her all day. Five. That’s it. All day.

She said the reason was so she could focus on painting this mural she had been wanting to work on. She had apparently found her inspiration and wanted to focus on working on that. I totally understood that and was fully supportive.

She’s a great painter. Everything I’ve seen her paint is just beautiful. So of course I wanted to encourage her and be supportive in any way I could. Even if that meant giving her a little space and understand when I don’t hear from her as much. She sent me a picture updating her progress, and it was looking great. I made every effort to not bother her when I knew she was working on it and never questioned, commented or complained about the lack of communication between us. But I would send occasional text every few hours just asking how things were going and how she was doing.

However, one major piece of the conversation – that she tried to downplay – seems to be at the root of all of this. She mentioned her ex-boyfriend reached out to her and she was removing him from her life because. It was a long distance relationship and he treated her terribly. Sounds eerily similar to Staci and her ex-boyfriend drama. But I tried not to let it bother me too much, and gave her the benefit of the doubt.

I just don’t see how things got her from Friday. Nothing (negative) happened between us. No disagreements. No conflict. No drama. Nothing.

She waited until late in the evening to call so she could have the excuse that she needed to go to bed to serve as her backstop.

Basically, it was all about the ex-boyfriend. She needs to take time to figure out what is going on with him and doesn’t think it would be fair to lead me on and drag things out while she figured things out. So our plans for Saturday are cancelled and I don’t know if I will ever hear from her again.

And don’t think – for a second – I was just accepting about all of this and let her off the hook easy. I got my points across. Like, after all she told me about him and how her friends and family don’t like this guy, why would she go back to him; she knew my profile said not to contact me if you’re not over your ex, because I didn’t want to go through this again like I did with Staci; and how I don’t understand how things could go from so very good to over so quickly. None of it makes any sense. But it is what it is and there’s nothing I can do about it.

She insists that she isn’t trying to get back together with him, just wants to figure things out and needs time to do that. She also says that once things get ironed out, assuming she doesn’t get back together with him, that she would reach out to me to possibly see about getting back together. I’m definitely not holding my breath. As you’ll soon see.

So, I guess it’s time to close another chapter and open a new one.

Please stay tuned. I’ve got a pretty good story brewing for you all that I’ll post after this weekend.

And as always, thanks for reading!

First Five: First Contact

** As I began formulating these, I wondered from which angle I should approach them; speaking to men, women or both; online, in person or both. So I guess I’ll try to tackle it from both perspectives as best I can. Considering most of my readers are female and my experiences are generally online, that will probably be the focus most of the time. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know. **

First Contact is that initial communication you use to reach out and elicit a response from someone you are interested in meeting.

It used to be that opening line (a.k.a. pick-up line) you would use to try to strike up a conversation with someone at a bar, dance club, laundromat, grocery store or wherever you met potential partners.

You’d see someone who physically got your attention, fueling that desire to want to meet them. Experienced pick-up artists would always have a good opening line that would spark a woman’s interest, while so many others would use some cheesy pick-up line, comment on her eyes or smile, only just say “Hi” hoping she would just open up to him, or heaven forbid some would even be crude or just mean (thinking any type of conversation would lead to an opportunity to build rapport with her.

Not much has changed in the online world.

So many of the same mistakes are being made by guys on Match, eHarmony, PlentyofFish, Tinder, Zoosk, FarmersOnly, you name it. I have lots of women (whether exes, past dates, or just friends) sharing their experiences with me, and guys don’t seem to have changed much. Some think that a simple “Hi” will open the gates to Heaven, while others fall back to the standard comments about eyes or smiles, some still try cheesy lines like “Did it hurt falling from Heaven?”, or worse yet, are perverted, crash or vulgar.

And I have to compete with these idiots on a daily basis! No wonder it is so hard to break through with a woman when she’s bombarded with these kinds of guys every time she opens up her dating site.

Look, let’s be honest here, there are a lot more men online looking for women than the other way around. Dating sites all “report” the ratio is anywhere from 60/40 to 50/50. But once you remove the fake, spam, and illegitimate profiles, the true statistics report that women are outnumbered anywhere from 10-1 to 100-1 depending on the site and metrics (age range, population size, etc).

And yes, dating sites intentionally publish fake female sites in order to even out the numbers to keep the men around. Otherwise the men would see how truly imbalanced it is and just not even bother wasting their money. Hence the fake and spam profiles which pollute the dating pool. It’s something women really don’t have to deal with.

OK, let’s get back on track.

Here are a few DO’s and DON’T’s when reaching out to the potential Mrs. Joe Singleguy.

DON’T:

  • Just say “Hi” or “Hey”. The ladies don’t like that and won’t respond to it. Trust me.
  • Comment on her smile or eyes in the first message. And please, I beg you, don’t use a line like “I like big butts and I cannot lie,” or even worse “Wow! I would love to motorboat those.” These are all verified comments made to women I know. So …
  • Use a cheesy pick-up line like “Someone had better call the cops because you just stole my heart.”
  • Try to infer her real name from her profile name. Even if you think you know it, don’t try. Women find that annoying. Let her tell you on her terms.
  • Comment on her kids if they are in her pictures. Do you want to advertise that you have a Blue Dot over your house? Now, she shouldn’t really have pictures of her kids on there anyway, but stay away from commenting on them just yet.

Now for a few things to actually DO:

  • Actually read her profile! I can’t stress how important this is. You’d be surprised how many guys just peruse the pictures and have no idea what’s in her profile. It’s a dating site not Playboy.
  • Pick something from her profile that really intrigued you and comment or ask her about that.
  • Take it a step further and pick something from near the end of her profile to comment or ask about to show you actually read her profile completely.
  • Be witty (if you can, I understand some guys think they’re funny but really aren’t). Try to work something about her profile into a witty comment that will make her chuckle. Believe it or else, women really do want a guy to make them laugh. That is the biggest hook for most women, and thank goodness I’m funny.
  • Keep it short! Don’t write a book the first time. Pick out one or two things (max) to comment on. You’re just trying to open the door here to get your foot in the door with her, not fit your moving truck with all your baggage in it. Maybe you’ll get that far if you’re lucky. But not this time.
  • Try to avoid saying “If you like my profile maybe we can talk sometime.” Grow some balls, show some confidence and say “I look forward to hearing from you soon.” What do you have to lose? Nothing. This is ground Zero. If you think you’re embarrassing yourself with her, who cares. Better than showing her you’re a sniveling weakling begging for her attention. Act like you deserve her attention.

Following these steps won’t guarantee she’ll respond but it definitely will increase your chances and set you apart from all of the “other guys” out there.

And if all goes well and she does respond, then start peeling back the onion of your life. Take it easy and follow her lead.  Don’t ask too many deeply personal questions right away. Don’t ask for her kids’ names and stuff like that. She’ll share that stuff when she’s ready.

And whatever you do, don’t – and I repeat DO NOT – send her inappropriate pictures of your “junk”, and definitely DO NOT ask her to send you inappropriate pictures of her. Don’t be a classless douche.

There is so much more to cover between here and getting to the First Date. But we can’t cover that all here. But if you have questions, feel free to ask. I’m more than happy to help.

In the next installment, I’ll talk about the First Date. I’ll briefly discuss getting the First Date, but mainly focus on the DO’s and DON’Ts of what to do on the first date (if you really are interested in a relationship).

So please check back for more, or you can click the “Follow” button on the right to subscribe to the blog, or follow me on Twitter to get all of the latest updates and more.

And as always, Thank You for reading!

 

Introducing Ariel

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

But things are hopefully starting to pick up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time …

Next Post: Ariel: I Made Her BFF Cry

It’s Fall, So Fall Back, Right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned, and always, thanks for reading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wanda Update: We Escaped the Room but Not the Monsoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I never knew Labor Day was such an emotionally charged holiday 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.