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.

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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.

Is it wrong to ask for Christmas ideas?

This time last year, I was entering my dating moratorium for the Holidays. If I’m single, my vow is to not start a new relationship between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. It makes for awkward moments. Like what do you do on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, do you spend it together or will someone get upset if you don’t spend it together? Do you get them a Christmas gift? Is it OK not to get them a Christmas gift? What on earth do you get them for Christmas? And the same goes for my most dreaded holiday – Valentine’s Day.

But since it has been a year since Olive and I first started talking, and almost a year that we’ve been officially dating, I’m in a similar yet completely different predicament.

I’ve been trying to tell you women readers, and any women I talk to about dating, that men are really simple and not that hard to figure out. We like to keep things simple. Problems need solutions. Emotions only cloud things up. Regular sex and attention will keep a man happy and faithful. Simple stuff like that.

So when it comes time for Christmas, men are very simple. If you need an idea for a Christmas gift for someone, ask them. So that’s what I did. I asked Olive for some ideas for Christmas. She gave me this puzzled look, like I asked her her weight or if it was ‘that time of the month.’

She said she shouldn’t have to tell me what she would like, that I should “know” what she would like. That’s all fine and good, and under normal circumstances, that’s how I would operate. But I already tried that. I went over all the possibilities in my head and struck out. Nothing seemed to fit or work. So, Plan B is to just ask. In my opinion, I would much rather get a good gift, with some help, than guess and get it totally wrong. But, that might just be me.

Then she asked me to name some of her favorite things, and I nailed them. She’s a health and fitness nut, she’s addicted to Netflix, and she loves horses. She agreed that I pretty much hit the top 3. But there’s nothing in my price range this year that would work in the health & fitness department this year (and I’m not getting her a gift card to the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC). She’s already got the Netflix thing covered (obviously) and she doesn’t want anything horse related because she tries to avoid being associated as a cowgirl. So … I just had to ask.

It wasn’t until she talked to her coworkers that she finally came around to the idea. The guys at her work echoed what I had already said. They ask their wives and girlfriends because it’s better to ask and get it right then not ask and get it wrong. She she finally acquiesced and gave me some ideas.

By some, I mean two. Way to keep the element of surprise alive. It was pretty much the same scent products from either The Body Shop or Bath & Body Works. Real original. I really like gifts to be something special and meaningful. Maybe it will really mean something to her and she will love using it every day. Or maybe I shouldn’t have asked.

What are your thoughts? Not just on asking for ideas, but giving gifts in a rather new relationship.

‘Til next time … Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Olive Update: So much for being on a break

So much for being on a break, huh?

I can’t believe it has been more than a month since my last post on Christmas Eve. I apologize for that, but things have been 50 shades of busy and crazy. The Spring semester of college has started (only one more semester left after this), I’ve started looking for a job to get me through the Summer, my son and I are getting ready for baseball season, and things with Olive have been going very well.

I guess that’s what I should probably update you all on, since that’s pretty much the only reason you read this.

This update won’t be as much of a date night play-by-play as the others, but more of a encapsulated overview. And I’ll try to make it short and sweet since a lot has happened since my last post.

Olive and I met literally on New Year’s Day, after more than a month of emailing and talking. The Holidays really got in the way of us finding time to meet. My Match subscription ended at the end of December, and as I stated previously, I was done dating for a while and was going to take a break.

Maybe I should have quit and given up sooner, because once I did, Olive entered the picture and totally blew me away. She had to in order for me to forego my Holiday Hiatus.

She’s a sweet, blonde, country girl with a rock-hard body because she is crazy into fitness and works out every day. She may look small but she’s all muscle which makes her surprisingly heavier than you’d expect. She has a son about the same age as my little guy, and they get along famously. Yes, at this point, we’ve met each others’ kids and they’ve met each other.

Things started off real slow and easy, due in part to scheduling issues, but once we started seeing each other, it became more and more regular and with greater frequency. At this point, she’s over every Wednesday when her son is spending time with his father, and pretty much all weekend whether she has her son or not.

Things were going so well with her, I was more cautious trying not to mess things up. It took several visits together before we actually kissed and then much longer before we actually slept together. Then again, my schedule with my son probably played a big part in that because I don’t have a lot of free nights with him around and we’re not having “adult sleepovers” with him in the house.

For the first time since starting this dating journey, I’m actually willing to call someone my girlfriend and start to make plans for things more than just a week or two out. Like my son is very excited to go to her parent’s farm where all of her horses are, which we are putting on hold until the weather gets better. Freezing temps and snow don’t make horseback riding very enjoyable. We’ve also signed up for some running road races together. So, that’s a good sign she’s willing to do that and I’m not freaking out about it.

And yes, we have plans for next weekend, but NOT on Valentine’s Day – per se. We might be together, but not making any plans or going out. Go figure, the one holiday I was most trying to avoid with a new girlfriend, and here I am, caught in the trap.

This weekend I’ll post the update about the conversation with my ex-wife when I told her about Olive. Just reinforces why I’m glad I’m not with her anymore.

I hope you’re all staying warm and not buried in too much snow.

Til later!

Christmas Eve ramblings and updates

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Since I’m sitting at my parent’s house (totally bored) alone with my sons are with their mothers this year, I figured I’d catch you all up on how things are going.

I told you I pretty much put dating on hold over the Holidays, so … of course, what happens? Yep, multiple interests come seeking me out. Never fails.

I seriously contemplate just forgetting about actively dating because when I ignore the “dating game” prospects just come to me (somehow).

I’ve had two serious prospects over the last week or so. Both contacted me on Match and I’ve been talking with both since. Naomi, is a petite, 40-something CPA, mother of 3; and Olive is my age, a classic country girl with a son about the same age as my youngest son.

Things with Naomi were a little too aggressive and moved a bit too fast. We’d been taking for about a week when I took my son to his mom’s. She was very aggressive in saying how much she was thinking about me and talking about plans and stuff already. This is all before we’ve even met yet. So on my way back from dropping my son off, she called and we talked almost the entire 4-hour trip back. Then she basically invited herself over to meet me at my house when I got home (about 1 a.m.).

We both had to work the next day, but I figured “what the hell, why not?” She met me near my house and followed me home. Honestly, once we got to my place, I figured we’d chat for a while and she’d go home. I was wrong. I grabbed us both some water in the kitchen when she came in and grabbed me and started making out with me. She dragged me to the couch for some more making out, then suggested we go upstairs to the bedroom.

Ok. This was moving a bot way too fast for something that would have any chance of being a serious relationship. But I’m a guy, it’s not like I’m gonna really say NO and stop things. My chances at this are too far and few between.

After a vigorous round of bedroom aerobics, she stayed and cuddled til we both fell asleep. She stayed until about 5 a.m., when she got up to leave and get ready for work. All the next day she texted and called repeatedly. Over the next few days, the conversations trailed because she was becoming too clingy and we hadn’t even really gone a date yet. I was getting highly annoyed, and just couldn’t take it much more. So I told her I wasn’t sure things were working out, maybe we should slow it down a bit and see what happens. It’s been a few days and I haven’t heard from her since.

I haven’t met Olive yet, in person, but we talk every day. She’s very sweet and we have so much in common and our little boys seem almost identical. So far, if there’s a problem of any kind, it’s that our schedules have been seriously conflicting so we haven’t been able it meet yet. It’s not a serious issue since we’ve only been trying for about a week to find a time. But she had her son when I was free and now that he’s visiting his father’s, I’m visiting my family out of town.

But as I’ve been writing this, Olive has been texting me the whole time because she’s bored bad wants me to keep her company.

I am a little paranoid about dragging this out about another week or so, because the last time this happened, coincidentally over the Christmas break, the girl I was into moved on (back to her ex-husband) before I really even had a chance.

But I guess, as they say, “things happen for a reason.” Maybe this one will work out better than that one.

I’m going to sign off for now. “It’s A Wonderful Life” and a 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” are on.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all, and thanks again for reading.