Introducing Bella (my stylist, first offline date)

Many sayings could apply here. Sometimes you have to go off the grid. OR Sometimes you have to get back to the basics. No matter what it is, it’s ironic.

I say it’s ironic, because after all the money I’ve spent online dating, it seems meeting someone the old-fashioned way (flirting and talking with someone in public) works just as well, if not better than online.

So let’s start at the beginning. Bella is my hair stylist, my exclusive stylist. She’s also the only one my son let’s cut his hair. I can’t tell you how long it has been, definitely more than a year now, maybe close to two years.

We’ve always had good rapport and find it real easy to talk to each other. My son always walks out of the salon saying “You guys are hysterical together.” He even suggested several times that her and I date.

But there’s a problem, OK, maybe two problems. First, I have a strict policy about trying to pick up waitresses, bartenders (i.e. Zoey), Hooters girls, strippers, or any woman who makes her money interacting with men for tips – especially at her workplace. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated all of the above at one time or another, but I’ve never picked them up at their work. I’ve met them outside of work and found out they were a bartender or waitress. Well, except for strippers, I met them at the club. So sue me.

The second issue is I’m 42 and she’s 25 (birthday in June). I’m 16.5 years older than she is and she’s barely 7 years older than my older son.

But she’s funny, smart, in shape, and absolutely beautiful. And we connect so well. She also has two little boys (4 and 14 months) and is divorced.

However, back in the Summer I decided to step up my conversations with her. I made them more flirty, playful, with several comments that – even though were fairly innocent – had plenty of built-in innuendo for someone who’s looking for sexually charged comments. And that’s precisely when I also noticed her demeanor changed toward me.

Without going into too much detail (yes, this is the abridged version), we made a bet on the World Series in November. When we made the bet, she asked what she would get if she won, I said “Anything you want.” And I confirmed that several times with her during the conversation. All of this took place while she was cutting my hair. Then, when I went to pay, I asked her what I would get if I won the bet, she replied with the same thing, “Anything you want.”

It was on! I knew right there what my “prize” was going to be. I was going to have her go on a date with me.

I won the bet. We had seen each other a few times at the salon after the bet and had talked about settling it, but I was too reluctant to tell her what I wanted, for fear she would reject it. I tried getting her to tell me what she would have picked if she had won, and she wouldn’t tell me.

Then came my birthday, last month. I was in getting my haircut on my birthday, as was my son. But we were on a time crunch. Remember, that was also the night of my first date with Ariel. And Bella always has a long wait-list of guys waiting just to have her cut their hair. So I just took the first girl who was available. When I sat down in Andrea’s chair, Bella was cleaning her station and started making comments like I was cheating on her and such. I retorted with comments like clearly I wasn’t a priority in her life, etc. She saw my son there and grabbed his ticket and began cutting his hair.

We talked back and forth across the salon the entire time. Andrea and the two other stylists were getting a kick out the banter back and forth. We went into the back to wash my hair, and Bella and my son soon followed. We continued the conversations )and flirting).

When I was done getting my hair washed, Andrea noticed my tattoos on my arm which I had recently had done. She was admiring them, so I was pulling up my sleeve to show all the work that goes up my arm and onto my chest. After that, we went back to finish up in the salon. Shortly after, my son took his seat back in Bella’s chair.

He tells me that she got his shirt wet. I asked how. He said she was distracted looking at my tattoos when I was showing them to Andrea and wasn’t paying attention and got water all over the front of his shirt. So across the salon, I said (loud enough for all to hear), “Oh, so you were checking me out, huh?” She turned 50 shades of red and had to turn away to hide her face she was blushing and so embarrassed.

Right then I knew I had her. So after we were all done, I was at the counter paying Andrea for both haircuts. When we were finished, Bella already had a new client in her chair. I walked back into the salon and from across the room said, “I’m not done with you yet,” and we walked out.

About a week later, I got a weird Facebook friend request. I didn’t recognize the name or the small picture on my phone, and we had no friends in common. So I didn’t open it right away. Later that night I finally got around to opening it. Then it hit me! It was her! Bella from the salon.

She stalked me – it was so sweet. She went into her work system and pulled out my full name and looked me up on Facebook. (Now I know she debated for days whether to send me something or not.) We chatted on Messenger for a few days before exchanging numbers. We’ve talked everyday since, and I mean we’ve talked a lot.

And yes, this was all overlapping my time with Ariel. But I wasn’t sure Bella was really serious about me, or us for that matter. But then last week, with Ariel pulling away and something clearly being wrong, and Bella obviously showing showing interest in me, I started to play along with the conversation as it escalated.

It was just talking and I was fully reserving my time for Ariel, if that is what worked out. Well, coincidentally or ironically or however you want to put it, Bella said she wanted to see me this weekend yesterday Рjust ask Ariel was preparing to have the break-up talk with me. So we made plans. She wanted to see me for breakfast Friday, Friday night as well as Saturday night. I committed to Friday plans, holding back on Saturday until I heard from Ariel.  Obviously, I committed to Saturday once things with Ariel fell through.

We had breakfast late this morning in between her time at the gym and before she had to go to work. It was really fun, friendly and flirty. She was nervous the whole place was listening to our conversations about the bet, guys flirting with her at work, and other such nonsense. We also discussed plans for the evening. She gets off work late and has to work all day Saturday, so she wants to just chill and watch a movie at her place.

I walked her to her car and we lingered chatting for a few minutes. A nearby was getting ready to pull out of the lot. As soon as it did, I pulled her close me and we embraced at first, holding each other tighter and tighter. I released a little, allowing her to pull back just enough to make room to kiss her. It wasn’t your typical first date kiss. She even grabbed my face as we kissed for a couple of minutes, even though it seemed so much longer.

So things definitely look promising, and I will – of course – update you on the rest of our weekend together.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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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!

Want to ensure your new relationship fails? Post your new undying love online.

I know it has been way too long since we last talked, but life has been crazy. Finished up my semester at school, now only have one left before graduating in December, been struggling trying to find a job so I can pay the bills over the Summer but the job market sucks, been coaching my son’s baseball team this Spring/Summer, and of course things with Olive have been going well (still) – we’ve been officially together almost 6 months now.

I’m no sociologist. I’m no psychologist. My theory has not been scientifically studied (yet). But I feel I had to put my recent thoughts down for you all (or ya’ll, if you’re from the South) because one of my pet peeves reared its ugly head once again, seriously affecting a friend of mine (and someone you’ve already met).

If I’ve said it at 100 times already, at LEAST 100 times, and I know I’ll say it at least 100 times more:

NEVER POST YOUR NEW “UNDYING” LOVE ONLINE!

I hate when I’m on Twitter or Facebook and see my friends gushing about their new “soulmate” they’ve only been seeing a few days or weeks. It is almost exclusively a woman thing, but it did recently bite a male friend of mine in the butt recently.

They rant and rave, and post gooey sweet musings about love, and destiny, and soulmates, and blah blah blah. Ick!! I get especially uncomfortable when they start invoking “God” into their postings like the divine creator chose this person for them – the one they’ve been waiting for all of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the “honeymoon” feeling, and I have similar thoughts and wonder to myself “Could this be the one?” But that is where I differ from them. I keep it TO MYSELF. I don’t go evangelizing it everyone and anyone who will listen (or in this case read it). I am rational about it, because I have seen this script 100 times (at least), and I just keep things inside and limit my information to the public.

It’s kind of like those people who don’t tell anyone about their pregnancies until after the first trimester, just in case something would go wrong early on. I’ve been down that road, and it’s not fun.

Maybe you believe in jinxes, maybe you don’t. But this is one time I won’t risk the jinx. I have yet to see someone professing their love on Facebook and Twitter very early on in the relationship ever work. It has a FAIL rate of 100%. Of course most dating relationships end and don’t last long, but these ones always seem to have a glorious Hindenburg-type of demise.

The reason this came up, was this just happened to a female friend of mine this week. You may remember Ellen. We’ve stayed in touch and remained acquaintances/friends with most of our contact on Facebook, especially since I’ve been dating Olive.

She went on a trip to Colorado with her son, and her new boyfriend was supposed to join them there. It was a calamity of issues from the beginning. The road trip was a little too interesting for her liking, she spent her first two days there extremely sick, her car died so they (her and her son) had to walk everywhere until it got fixed, and on an on. She is very religious so every post has some sort of god-directed focus. Then the other day she posted a serious rant about what a horrible person this guy was because he ended up not going out there and pretty much left them stranded out there in Colorado and she had to try to find another way home because her car is too jacked to make it home.

I don’t know all the details behind it, but it apparently escalated to the point where HE was threatening to file a police report on her for harassment (and actually did) and more. Then of course she thanked god for pointing out what a tool and loser he was now, before it got too much farther down the road.

That is why I hate mentioning of “God” in these types of posts. Because when it implodes in epic fashion, god always gets the blame for things horribly going wrong. I’m a huge god or churchy person, but I hate when people lay their fortunes and failures solely on his shoulders like they had no responsibility in any of it.

I know relationships end every day, some even in glorious and spectacular fashion, but it is practically guaranteed that if you gush about your new love online (Facebook or Twitter) – blogs are OK, but notice I don’t gush too much just in case – it is guaranteed to fail in short and glorious fashion.

Then I have to hear all the posts about what a douche or bitch the other person was and it just gets hard to watch. However, sometimes, when both sides decide to trash each other with comments on each other’s pages, it can get real interesting real fast. Kind of like sitting on the porch of a double-wide watching the neighbors air their business in the middle of the trailer park. That’s reality TV at its best.

So, please, whatever you do, when you’re dating that new someone, feel free to share bits and pieces. But PLEASE don’t go on and on about how this person (you just met a month ago) is the love of your life, the god-sent answer to all of your prayers, and your soulmate. Save it for when you’re inviting me to your wedding a year or two down the road.

Take care and hopefully I talk to you all sooner, rather than later.