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 risqué “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.

Beatrice: Cute Southern drawl, but wasn’t what I ordered (Rewind)

Background: Beatrice was one of my first real communications on eHarmony. There had been Smiles (eHarmony’s version of the Wink) exchanged with other members and I had managed to make it through some levels of the 5-step gauntlet eHarmony uses before you get to actually emailing each other. But Beatrice was the first (I think) that managed to make it through the gauntlet and we actually started exchanging emails. From there we followed the script of exchanging numbers, texting and then started talking on the phone.

We found lots of things to talk about and the connection developing (via email, text and phone calls) was getting better with each passing day. And once we started talking on the phone, that’s all I wanted to do because she had the sexiest Southern drawl that I just ate up.

She was also absolutely adorable (from what I saw from her pictures). Cute as a button would have been a term I would’ve used. She had amazing blue eyes, full lips and the most gorgeous head of naturally curly bright blonde hair. She was a professional chef who worked from home quite a bit, which was interesting. We were always talking about food and cooking. Things were definitely looking up!

We tried for a few days to get together for a date before finally settling for an evening date on a night when I just got back into town from a work trip.

The Date: We decided to do the classic dinner and movie thing, except this time we were going to one of the theaters which serves food at the movies. Since she was coming from another town just to the South of me, and would pass right by my house on the way to the theater anyway, we decided she would just stop at my house and park her car and we would drive together. But on the way she texted me, with what seemed like an innocent enough message, but should have been something I really needed to take to heart. She texted me that she “felt bloated, and like a whale.”

That all became too clear when she showed up at my door. She was clearly at least, at LEAST, 25 pounds heavier than any of the pictures in her profile. Sorry, but that’s not bloated. “Bloated” does not affect your legs, face or arms. As I’ve stated before, one thing I really can’t stand is when people “lie” by posting inaccurate pictures of themselves on their profiles. After the date, I looked back at her profile and there was nothing to even remotely indicate she was heavy. Nothing! 

But, given how good our connection and conversations had been to this point, I was willing to overlook her size because she was still rather cute – but not what was I was expecting. I hadn’t totally shut down the date mentally yet. I was going to give it a chance.

On the way to the theater, and when we first arrived at the theater, the conversation was good and we were both laughing and having a good time. We even had a good chuckle when I pointed out to her that one picture she had posted on her profile showed a little bit of areola around her nipple. She didn’t believe me, so I had to show her. It was pretty funny. We got to the theater early enough that we decided to eat dinner out in the bar area outside the theaters. But that’s where things really turned south.

For some unknown reason, she kept giving our server a hard time. She would make rude comments if the server didn’t answer her questions as she was expecting, or if she thought she was taking too long, or for any number of reasons. I finally got to the point where I asked if she was OK and what that was all about. She tried to explain that she thought the service was bad, but there was nothing worth commenting on, as far as I was concerned. I thought everything was just fine.

That is what stuck under my skin for the rest of the night – how rude she was to people. She made a few other comments to other people that I thought were very unjustified, unnecessary and rude.

During the movie, we didn’t cuddle or hold hands or anything like I had originally hoped. And after the movie we had some basic conversation about the movie on the way back to my place. Once back to my place, we talked for a few minutes and even exchanged a goodnight kiss. The bittersweet part, was that the kiss was actually pretty good, but I was just too turned off at that point to let it be any sort of deciding factor as to whether I wanted to pursue anything with her.

Post date: We continued to talk for a few days after that, but I just couldn’t get the rudeness out of my head, on top of the fact that I was still a bit irked that she misled me about her photos. She knew she was doing it, otherwise why would she make the “bloated” comment right before I was to see her for the first time in person. So we never did get to a second date. But I learned a harsh reality about online dating – some people are dishonest on their profiles because they don’t think people might be interested in them otherwise. I can’t say whether or not I would’ve gone out with her if she would have posted honest pictures of herself, but being dishonest about it doesn’t make me the bad person because she was a little heavier than she let on.

In part because of this date, and a few others (including Daphne), I have come up with a little online dating theory; find the worst picture someone has posted on their profile, and that will most likely be the best representation of what they look like in person. I work with Photoshop every day at work, so I can tell when pictures are touched up, and I’ve seen a whole bunch of altered pictures on dating sites. It’s kind of disheartening.

Grade: C

Side bar: This was the only date I managed to get from eHarmony in the six months I was a paying member. I had maybe a handful of serious conversations, a couple dozen solid interactions. I am not counting every smile I received, only the ones that were reciprocated. So I wasn’t that impressed with it, especially considering the price versus Match, which is probably still my favorite and Chemistry.

Daphne: Ruh roh, Raggy! Get the Mystery Machine (Rewind)

Background: Daphne contact me via Match and after checking out her profile, I figured it couldn’t hurt to talk to her and see what happened. We seemed to have a lot of common interests and the email conversations went very well. But I would have to admit the clincher was her height. She was 5’11” and I’m a sucker for tall women. She was fairly attractive, but her height intrigued me enough to allow me to let something like that not influence me as much.

She was a huge baseball fan, which is always bonus points for me, and a hockey fan. We would chat and text through baseball games and the hockey playoffs talking about the games, as well as other miscellaneous things. The connection was good, but not overwhelming like some others have been. She was a nurse and worked out with a personal trainer three times a week. So, maybe my expectations were a little high. We decided to get to drinks one night at a local bar in our area.

The Date: I got to the bar about 5-10 minutes before she did and grabbed a table with a clear view of the front door, so I could see her when she came in and she would be able to find me easily. We were playfully texting as she was pulling in, and I said I had to confess that I wasn’t a tall guy, that I was actually short and balding. She didn’t buy it.

But my jaw dropped when she entered the bar. I recognized her face, barely, but she was not what her pictures led me to believe. I understood she was not a petite girl, especially since she was almost 6-feet tall. That was OK with me. But the girl who walked in was twice the size of any picture she had posted on her profile. She noticed me almost as soon as I noticed her. If she wouldn’t have, I might have considered sneaking out. I have never run out on a date before, but I really thought about it this time.

I had already ordered drinks, and they arrived just as she arrived at the table. We exchanged hellos, but no hugs or anything. I don’t know if she ever caught the look on my face when I first noticed her, and I really hope she didn’t. Apparently the thought of wondering how to deal with the situation made me rather nervous.

When I get nervous on a bad date, I talk and talk and talk. Maybe it is because I am hoping something bad comes out of my mouth that turns her off, maybe it is because I was to try to rush through all of the possible topics as fast as I can in the hope that the date might end sooner, or maybe I just would rather dominate the conversation and hope nothing meaningful is exchanged.  We, or I should say I, talked about all sorts of random things and did a lot of people-watching and commenting on other people in the bar.

Her size never came up. I wanted to ask about her seeing a trainer three times a week because I wasn’t exactly sure what they accomplished, other than making her bigger. And overall I felt rather deceived. She looked nothing like her pictures, they were likely a few years old. And when that happens, I automatically feel a level of distrust because I feel like I have been lied to and manipulated just for a date.

When it finally came time for me to leave, because I had to go pick up my son, we exchanged a friendly hug goodbye after I walked her to her car. There was no kiss or any other physical contact. I am not sure if she sensed my lack of a connection with her, but I am pretty sure she figured out things didn’t go well.

Post date: After the date, I never heard from her again, nor did I try to contact her either. There was no connection, and I am usually more lenient about physical appearances, but this was just way too far outside my comfort zone.  I know it may sound shallow and superficial, but we all know there must be a physical attraction and connection as well as the other connections. Plus, like I said, it really felt a bit dishonest that she represented herself with pictures that were obviously older, and stated she was tall and athletic and toned. I have a hard time getting over initial deceptions like that.

Grade: D

Justine: The Yoga instructor with a New York state of mind

Background: Justine had a very sarcastic and sassy profile on Match that really caught my attention and made me laugh. We followed the normal Match email-to-text progression, but followed that up with numerous phone conversations. The phone conversations proved to enhance the connection exponentially as we got to know each other.

Oddly enough, part of our initial conversations included talking about issues we were having with other online dating members and our bad experiences. We discussed what ended up being the end of my courtship of Georgia, as well as her issues with guys who had adopted rather inappropriate or immature approaches to asking for a first date. One guy kept whining that he was certain she was going to cancel their date plans, and his insecurity led to a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. While another asked her if she was naked (via text) while she was getting ready for their date – which led to her promptly canceling the date. All winners, and apparently weenies, too. But enough about them.

It took a little while longer for us to actually set up an actual date. We both had conflicting dates and schedules, plus she had her children and needed to wait until their next visitation with her ex-husband. The night she was supposed to go out with the naked-comment-guy, but cancelled, I had a follow-up date with Irene. The advantage was that it bought us a few extra days of chatting and talking, which led to a very deep connection that I had not experienced with online dating in a long time.

She is self-employed as a yoga/fitness instructor. She’s about 5’8″ with a very fit body, almost like a bodybuilder’s, and a New Yorker complete with attitude, accent and Mets sticker in the rear window of her SUV.

Things were getting so good that we just had to make time to see each other. The following weekend, we both cleared our respective dance floors (I had pending plans with Irene, she had a few more options – typical).

The Date: We both decided we wanted as much time as possible on this first date. So we decided to do lunch together and then hit an amusement park. I know it sounds like an unconventional first-date, but we both like amusement parks – and the faster and crazier the rides, the better.

However, our lunch date turned out to be more of a late lunch date. We had been up talking until the wee hours of the morning for the last few days, and we were both rather worn out and tired. Her more than me. We’re not as young as we used to be. Since we were both dragging, I told her to just let me know when she was ready and we would meet. Finally we decided to meet about 2 p.m. at a trendy burger joint (not fast food). It was in her part of town and about a 30-minute drive for me. I arrived on time and when I texted her that I was there, she let me know she still wasn’t ready. Our nerves were frazzled as it was, and her running behind started to create a bit of doubt about her commitment to the date. Especially after witnessing her ability to cancel dates at the last minute with little provocation. So, I was very calm about her running behind. She was very apologetic and repeatedly mentioned how nervous she was about meeting me.

About 30 minutes later she showed up. When we finally met, she literally jumped into my arms. I guess that was a good sign.

At lunch we split a specialty burger because neither one of us wanted to be too full before we went riding amusement park rides. The conversation went very well and she was very conversational with everyone around us. She’s definitely a social butterfly. After eating we headed to the park.

She had a season pass to the amusement park and takes her kids there often. While I was purchasing my own pass into, she proceeded to buy us both VIP passes that gave us front-of-the-line access to all the rides. Yes, it was rather expensive, so I didn’t have time to intercede and offer to pay for them (as any gentleman should on a first date). I think she already figured that out and that is why she did it that way. However, I made sure I paid for all of the snacks we had while at the park.

We made sure we made the most of the VIP passes and hit all the major rides, and even hit some of our favorites several times. With each passing moment, we got more and more comfortable. We started holding hands and getting real close to each other while waiting for rides. She even put a very playful smooch on me while waiting in line for her favorite ride. (Later on she would confess she wished she wouldn’t have done that because she wanted the first kiss to be my idea and something a little more romantic.) We decided to call it a day as evening started to set in and she began to get tired.

On the way out of the park, we both said we were hungry. We decided to stop for Chinese food on the way back to her house because she wanted to relax and watch a movie together. After getting back to her house, we ate and settled in to watch the movie. I had no idea she was a fan of baseball movies ((bonus points)), so we watched “42” the new movie about Jackie Robinson.

As the movie started, I moved in for a real kiss attempt and it was a success. So much so that we were distracted several times during the movie to make out. I don’t think she objected too much considering she initiated as much as I did. Nothing else happened and I was home before midnight. So all-in-all, it was a success.

Post date: Since then we have continued to bond and talk. She invited me over again to hang out before she went to work and it appears we are both settling in for what might actually become a relationship. But we will see. These things have blown up in my face before. ((Remember Georgia?))

Grade: A

Ellen: Beautiful blonde, but maybe a bit of baggage (Rewind)

Background: She contacted me on Match with an email sounding like she was interested in me but that because of my job and her job, there might be a conflict of interest to where she wouldn’t be able to date me. I responded back clarifying the issues and it actually started a line of communication that opened us up to a potential date. There were lots of things she wanted us to do together; karaoke, go to the gun range, go horseback riding together, etc. So we decided on meeting for lunch one afternoon while she was traveling about town for her job. She was a financial consultant who worked from home, so her car was basically her office.

The only potential red flag to this point was the stalker behavior of her ex-fiance. While we were emailing, texting and talking, there were several instances where he would stalk her at Wal-Mart, or mess with her animals while she was away from the house. She has a ranch with horses and other farm animals. Yes, she’s quite country. The kind of girl who likes pickup trucks over regular cars. I tried not to let that all get in the way because everyone has issues, a little drama, and things they can’t control in their life.

The Date: We met for lunch on a Wednesday at a popular italian restaurant chain. There was a car accident two blocks from the restaurant, so my normal practice of being the first one there was thwarted. So when I arrived she was sitting in the lobby finishing up some work while she waited. She was absolutely beautiful. Natural curly blonde hair, fit but not muscular, about 5’10” in heels wearing a short, sleeveless dress. She big round eyes and large, teeth-bearing smile. Very attractive.

Since she was clearly attractive and looked even better than her profile pictures, I was definitely interested and went for the introductory hug. I don’t shake hands with a girl on a date, that just seems so cold and impersonal. She did not display any hesitation or recoil during the hug and actually seemed to reciprocate. She had an excellent ice breaker that really seemed to ease any nerves that were lingering. After the hug, the fist thing she said was “Wow, you’re short!” Considering I am well over 6-feet tall, that surely wasn’t the case. I feigned being wounded by the comment to play along, and it definitely got us both laughing.

The conversation went well during the meal, with plenty of laughs and no awkward moments. We covered the basics, sharing a bit about our pasts and kids, and such. Her husband was killed in a car accident before her 7-year-old son was born, and later she got engaged to another guy and they bought a house together. Things fell apart and she kicked him out, keeping the ranch house. But the ranch is a bit much for a single mom to manage alone, so she has lots of random help stopping by to assist. This wouldn’t be any sort of issue, except apparently it’s nothing but locals offering to help to get into her house and ask for dates. She claimed it really bugged her sometimes, but I got the sense she really liked all the attention.

We had a hard end-time for the date because she had to leave to make appointments with other clients. As we walked out, she commented on how good I smelled (which is normally a pretty good sign). I walked her to her car and we exchanged another hug goodbye. I didn’t attempt a kiss because I really liked this girl and was a bit nervous about messing it up with a possibly unwanted advance on the first date. We also made (tentative) plans for another date on Saturday, and she was going to find a babysitter for her son. She left for her appointments and everything seemed to be going well. I even got a nice text only minutes after she left.

Post date: Our conversations remained the same the rest of the week. No sign of any changes or anything. The only thing was that neither one of us mentioned the date on Saturday. I did not want to seem like I was pressing the issue, and was letting her handle it. However, on Friday, when I had not heard anything regarding plans for Saturday, I asked about them. That is when she just casually said she wasn’t able to find a babysitter.

The problem with that is I would have hoped for a little courtesy informing me of this at some point instead of waiting to the last-minute. Sure I could have brought up our Saturday plans earlier in the week, but something tells me that wouldn’t have made a difference. And when I asked about rescheduling, she was very non-committal about setting up another time. I started to get the distinct impression that she just made the date to avoid confrontation and had every intention to cancel. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m not.

We talked daily, like usual, for another few days before the conversation started to tail off. Then it was reduced to her returning simple replies to my texts. She would not initiate conversations and her responses were very short, direct responses and she never would ask me questions or get into full-fledged conversations. So I decided to stop communicating altogether to see her response. I’ve heard from her very very rarely. And it’s just a very vanilla “how are you doing?” type of thing that lasts about 4-6 texts before it’s over.

However, if a second chance ever presented itself, I’d definitely take it. She was a very sweet, smart, grounded and beautiful girl. How could I pass that up?

Grade: B+

UPDATE: Georgia, Fiona, Irene and introducing Justine

What a busy week. We’ve all heard the saying “when it rains it pours.” It’s no different in dating. Dating has its droughts, but it also has its floods. This is one of those times when there is almost too much going on at one time to keep it all straight, and enjoy it. We’re looking in the face of five first dates in the last couple of weeks, not to mention follow-up dates with several of them. So let’s get to the updates.

GEORGIA: She had lots of potential. We started talking like a couple and had a great time together. I was just on the verge of turning off all of the other candidates because it looked like things were going to get exclusive. But after a great night out, which ended with her proposing watching a movie at her house, things changed. We cuddled on the couch watching the movie, with intermittent kissing sessions, until about 2am. There was no sex, and I didn’t broach the subject. She had some recent issues with men forcing themselves on her, so I was taking it real slow with her. I texted her when I got home and her response was that she was looking forward to spending a lot more time together.

Then things flipped 180 degrees. I hardly heard from her the next day and she ignored most of my messages. I wrote it off that she was busy spending time with her kids, but I was starting to get nervous. Then on Monday, the same thing, she ignored most of my messages and I hardly heard from her and when I would ask it everything was OK she would say everything was fine and I had nothing to worry about.

You can never fully trust that, because women will tell you everything is perfectly fine and you have nothing to worry about right up until the moment when they drop the big bomb on you.

I tried calling that night and she said she wasn’t able to talk because she had a lot of work to do that night, but that everything was OK. Then the next day, I decided to stop texting until she texted me first. Then oddly enough, I got advice – from a woman you will meet later (Justine) – saying I should just text her to say HI and see what’s up. So I did. That’s when the bomb dropped. She said she wanted to be honest and let me know she really wasn’t ready to be dating again yet, and that she felt sorry for leading me on. Sometimes, I really hate being right. My gut was telling me the whole time that she was getting scared. I just responded that I was sorry to hear that. So … moving on …

FIONA: Then the craziest thing happened. I heard from Fiona again. It had been a couple of weeks since I last heard from her when she told me she was going to focus on her new relationship with this cop she met. So out of the blue I get a message asking how I was doing. I said fine, but I was a little confused because I didn’t think I was going to hear from her again. She had the nerve to ask me “Why?” Why?? Because you said so, that’s why.

We talked briefly about her being happier than she has been in a long time with this guy and she wanted to still be friends. I was OK with it, though it sounded kind of odd because we had a good time together but didn’t thing we were that close otherwise she probably would have been focusing on me and not seeing other guys. And I already replayed the entire conversation to make sure I didn’t miss any hints that she was looking to see if I was still interested in her. Well, considering the fact I flat out asked her if she was still seeing this guy (perfect opportunity to say “no” and see my reaction), she responded that she was and was very happy. So if it was a gauge to try to get me back, it wasn’t a very good one. But then, just as fast as she came back into the scene, she was gone again and I haven’t heard from her since. Go figure.

IRENE: I’ve seen Irene a couple more times and things are trending to possibility of making a bonafide relationship. She even invited me over and made me dinner. The chemistry is good all around. We’ve even talked about going out again this weekend.

But the problem is Justine. We’ve been talking for a while now and have a crazy cool connection. Texting all day, talking all night – sometimes for up to 3 hours until 2am. There is definitely chemistry there. So we’ve been trying to find time to get together for a real date and want to spend time together this weekend.

The problem comes with what to do with Irene. You never truly really knows what is going to happen with two people who have great chemistry emailing and texting that meet for the first time. Many times there is no physical chemistry and it falls flat. So in the event that happens, I want to keep options open with Irene.

Thanks for reading and expect to see the post from time with Justine sometime by the end of the weekend. Thanks for reading.

Hermione: Not quite dressed to kill

Background: Met and talked on Match for a while. She said she was ending her profile soon and gave me her email address, where we did most of our communicating. The preliminary communication was not overly insightful. The initial connection was minimal, but there was one there, otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to a date. Though, to be honest, she offered up any time over the weekend to go on a date, but I was really hoping for the chance to go on another date with Georgia again. That came the next day, and is a story for another time. I also had the potential for two other date options. We agreed to meet on a Friday night.

The Date: The plan was for dinner and just see where it went from there. I had an original plan of driving a to an area that had lots of trendy restaurants with some fun themes. But when I arrived at her house, it was clear I shouldn’t expect much from the evening.

She came out in a black t-shirt, poor fitting jean shorts, running shoes and her hair in a scraggly pony tail. I, however, was dressed in slacks and a button-up shirt. Needless to say it wasn’t the best first impression. She was an older lady by close to 10 years so I figured more effort and class out of her.

So with the chemistry already running dangerously low, I altered the dinner plans to a major chain restaurant that was closer by. The conversation was good. And she was a very attractive woman, both for her age and what she was wearing. She still is a competitive track athlete so her body is in incredible shape.

After dinner, we decided to walk around a local park and talk. She talked quite a bit about her ex’s (ex-husband, and recent ex-boyfriend who she said was very close to the love of her life) and we also shared many common stories dealing with our ex’s feelings on us dating post-divorce. We ran into one of her former students (yes, she is a high school teacher also) who is now in his 20s, which brought up the subject of one of her other students. This student had contacted her on Facebook and wanted to meet up with her because he was in town visiting on the next day after our date (Saturday). She was trying to talk herself out of the notion that he was trying to hookup with his former teacher. But the more she went into the story, it was really hard for me to dismiss his intentions as being anything but a college kid’s fantasy to hookup with one of his hot former teachers.

There was also very little physical contact and really not flirtation from her. When we stopped at times, I would make contact with her to gauge her reaction. Nothing promising. So once it got dark we headed back to her place. We lingered in the car for a while talking. She didn’t seem eager to rush right out of the car. But eventually it came time for her to leave, and we exchanged a short kiss goodnight. As she left, neither of us promised future contact or false hopes of another date. But no one said we wouldn’t either, but it was most likely understood.

Post date: I have not yet heard from her since the date, nor have I really had the inclination to attempt to contact her either. Nor do I expect to hear from her in the future either.

Grade: C+