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.

Advertisements

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.

Closing the chapter on Olive

The train that I saw coming a few months ago has finally arrived at the station … and departed. Olive and I broke up.

It was nothing spectacular; no fireworks, no screaming and/or crying, no cheating, nothing noteworthy like that. It just died a slow death.

Not wanting to break up on or right before Mother’s Day or during her work trip, I waited until she got back. We hardly talked during her work trip and hardly spoke once she returned. When she finally called, we both knew things were just not compatible anymore. She started off by asking “Are we still dating?” and my response was “It doesn’t feel like it.”

We discussed how I was feeling about her pulling away and not showing me that she was back into the relationship – and it had been more than three months since things were any sort of “normal” between us. That is also the time when we had the conversation about me being strict and whether that would affect our long-term relationship and she blew up on a tangent.

A month later we went out with her co-workers, and it just never fault right. We really weren’t acting like a couple. She came over that night and argued about things and she stayed the night (without any sex or intimacy). The month leading up to that, I made it a point to let her know that I was still interested and wanted to be with her and spend time with her so there would be no doubt about where I stood.  See the post updating this in more detail here.

Things only got worse from there. When I brought that up, she stated that she was waiting for me to make a move. I restated that it was she that pulled away, and I was waiting for a sign (ANY SIGN) showing that things were back on the mend. But nothing. There were no spikes in the relationship after that point. Our conversations became very basic and friendly. We had morphed into just friends.  There were no more “I love you”s, no more “I miss you”s, nothing.

We both confessed that we had been contemplating this move for a few weeks and just couldn’t get around to actually pulling the plug.

We left it open to still eventually be friends, when she is feeling up to it (if ever). That is not how I normally deal with breakups. Normally, I just cut the anchor loose and never intend to have any further contact with it. Usually when breakups lead to “friendships” someone retains some sort of residual feelings and only maintain the relationship as a potential opportunity to get back together.

It actually went well – as breakups go. We actually civilly talked it through. But we will see how things evolve over the next few days.

And No – there isn’t another girl. At least not yet. But I will be dusting off and updating my Match profile, so there might be something on the horizon.

So stay tuned for any upcoming dating updates. And as always, thank you for reading!

Ex-wife thinks she should be able to stay at my house

I’m not sure how many times I’ve mentioned this before, if at all – memories are all melding together, but this has been an issue I’ve been dealing with for quite a while.

My ex-wife seems to think I should let her stay here at my house when she comes into town to visit our son.

I used to let her at the beginning, after we first got divorced. It seemed to be easier for our son. I wasn’t seeing anyone seriously at the time, so I didn’t think much about it. But about the time Olive came along, it all changed.

It wasn’t just because of Olive, though that did play a big factor in it. A while before that, I was almost positive that she was going through my room looking through stuff. What she was looking to find, I have no clue. I don’t have any buried treasure, I don’t have any juicy secrets that I’m hiding, there isn’t any trace of a woman spending a lot of time here, and even if I did have a porn stash I have no idea why she’d be interested in finding that.

So the next time she was set to stay here, I set up a bit of a trap. I locked my bedroom door and set things up in odd ways around important areas I suspected she would rummage through. Then, I took pictures of it all to compare when I got home from work. I didn’t want to let her stay at my house alone, but I didn’t have a lot of choice and wasn’t going to be rude and say they had to leave while I was gone. When I got home, it was clear (even without the photographic evidence) that she had been rummaging through my stuff. When I confronted her about it, she said she only did it on purpose to get me riled up. She claims to not have really gone through anything, just messed stuff up to make it look like it.

Ya, right. Whatever.

Shortly after that, I said it wasn’t a good idea for her to stay here anymore. And after doing some more research, it was probably a better idea for her not to be here. It might confuse our son or give him false hope that we might someday get back together.

Now, she is coming into town this week for Mother’s Day weekend and to see our son’s first baseball game of the year. When asked about where they will be staying, she is very non-committal about whether she it staying at her dad’s house or her friend’s house. I know she would rather stay here, and she seems to be hinting around at wanting to stay here.

Honestly, I have been contemplating it. I’m not sure why. I am 100% certain nothing inappropriate will happen while she is here. I’m not tempted by that thought at all, whatsoever. I have not mentioned any of this to her.

What do you guys think?

Thanks for reading and I will see you again soon!

The Ex-husband makes things extremely difficult

I know dealing with Ex-anythings in a relationship can be difficult. But this is just freaking ridiculous.

I already discussed the stepmother (his wife) a bit in my last post, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to be a part of this situation with them involved.

From day one, it has been a struggle. Early on, it was not my place to get involved, but now that we are almost a year-and-a-half into this, my position on keeping my mouth shut has changed.

Olive’s ex-husband is very controlling, manipulative and emotionally abusive to her. On top of that, his new wife (the stepmonster, as I will refer to her henceforth) piles on and will actually lead the abusive attacks most of the time.

The one minor silver lining in her (the stepmonster) defense, is that she is the only parent in that household. The ex-husband is a deadbeat. He “claims” to only make $8/hr (when he actually has a lucrative consulting business) in order to pay the minimum amount of child support possible. Since he works from home and does not maintain proper business accounting, Olive has no real way to prove he is cheating the child support system. Yet, they live a very lavish lifestyle. She actually stays involved in Olive’s son’s health and school issues – almost too much – in the place of her husband, who really could care less. Plus, they routinely find ways to cancel or cut short their visitation times in order to do personal things. I could go on and on with stories, but I hope you get the point.

One other note about the ex-husband and the stepmonster: he was cheating on Olive, having an affair with the stepmonster and married her in Las Vegas less than a week after the divorce was official.

Moving on … Over the years (long before I came along), the established order of things was set. The ex-husband does something, Olive complains, the ex-husband and stepmonster gang up on Olive until she gives in and is left sitting in a pool of tears. Olive is not a very strong person when it comes to standing up for herself, nor is she well-skilled at debate or verbal confrontations. She is very unsure of herself, always second-guessing, and assuming the worst. She was this way before them, and all of the arguments don’t help.

So the routine is simple, berate Olive until she just gives in. This fosters an attitude of them thinking they can get away with whatever they want. Whether it is nickel and diming Olive over prescriptions, medical costs, school supplies and clothes. The owe her hundreds of dollars in costs they said they would (or are supposed to) reimburse her for. But they never do. She continues to pay for these things because she thinks they will try to use that as ammunition against her for not taking care of her child. Yet when she confronts them about the money, they just berate and bully her. She is afraid to take them to court for the money, afraid her ex-husband will try to take custody away from her. I have seen enough out of him to know (1) he really doesn’t want custody because it would interfere with their social and personal lives and (2) it would take an average lawyer 5 minutes to prove how unfit he is as a parent. Plus, during their divorce, the stepmonster actually took care of all the details and paperwork for him. He’s way too lazy to be able to do what it takes to fight for custody.

I’ve tried to be supportive. But I can only stand by and watch so much. I’ve tried giving advice, recommendations, tactics, etc. But that just backfires with her getting mad at me because, according to her, I’m just trying to get her put in a position to get bullied again. So she does nothing … except cry, bitch and complain.

My personal opinion is if you aren’t willing to do something about it, then accept it and stop complaining about it. And I find it very hard to stand by while continues to be a punching bag. But when I say something, it only makes things worse.

Like I mentioned in my last post, how would it be if we were married or living together? There is no way I’m sitting there watching that like a spectator ringside at a UFC fight. I’m stepping in. I’m putting an end to it.

I need a strong woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, who can take care of herself. And the aggravation with this constant issue is almost to the point of boiling over.

Now, she is to the point of sharing very little of what is going on with her and them because she knows how I feel about it. We’ve had numerous discussions about it. So that only adds to the continuing gap of things between us and the further distancing of our relationship.

I would really hate for the ex-husband to be a reason why this doesn’t work out, but it is really beginning to look that way. It’s a good thing I don’t see him very often, because I swear the next time I see him, it will be all I can do to not punch him in his fat face.

Enough ranting for one day.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you all again back here soon!

A whole lotta nothing … for 2 months now

Hello, I know it’s been quite a while since I last posted. But there has been a lot going on – with me – from graduating college to job hunting, finally getting a job and then getting into the swing of things at the new job. But things in the “personal life” department haven’t been so good.

I know my last post was a little pessimistic, but things have not improved since then. We haven’t broken up yet, but things definitely haven’t got any better. And it all really started unraveling in February, when my son was away at his mom’s for nearly a full week.

Here’s the 4-1-1:

Olive was over regularly during that week, but not as often as she usually was when my son would be out of town. Not a big deal, life happens. But the last night, we were in bed talking about things and she made a comment that really stuck with me.

Her son does not like going to spend his weekend’s at his dad’s. His dad is pretty worthless as a dad and not very involved, so the step-mother feels she has to overcompensate for his lack of parenting skills. So obviously her son does not like the step-mother.

So she was talking about the recent round of incidents and how her son hates going there, and said that he doesn’t like the step-mother “because she it too strict.” And that really got me to thinking.

I didn’t say anything right away. But it ate at me for a couple of days. I mean, I’ve been “accused” of being a strict parent many times. I believe kids should be respectful, do what they’re told, and I believe in instilling some discipline, structure and responsibility in their lives. I don’t hit my kids, I’ve never had to. I just have to look at them sideways and they know things are about to get serious quickly. So I really don’t have problems with disrespect, attitudes, etc. I’m not saying I never have to deal with it, but it’s not very often. My boys are very well behaved, and I’m very thankful they’re so polite.

Finally, one night while we were on the phone, I brought it up. Because numerous times – I think I’ve shared this with you – she has thrown things in my face saying whatever was going on meant we didn’t have a future together or something along those lines. She has been very much about wanting to get married again, and I’m not as sure about that as she is. Nothing about her, just my opinion. But it’s almost like a hobby of hers to find things to use against me like I’m not serious enough her or finding reasons why we won’t ever be together every day.

And all I did was ask a very simple question about me and how her son feels about his step-mother: “If he doesn’t like her because she is too strict, have you thought about how that might affect us? I’m strict and know it, and am not ashamed about it. So what happens if we were married or living together? I’m not the type of person to let things slide when something happens in my house. Me ex-wife knows all about that.”

Instead of just thinking about, saying “no, I haven’t thought about that before,” or discussing it, she went immediately off the deep end. Literally, almost immediately. It went to a whole new level, with her accusing me of not liking her son, and saying I think she’s a bad parent, and on and on and on.

Without giving a play by play, let’s just say things got heated and it didn’t go well. No names were called or anything like that, but tempers were flared. However, one key item did happen. I mention this because it has been mentioned numerous times.

After nearly 2 hours on the phone, my blood pressure was rising with all of the accusations, compounded by the fact that every time I tried to say something, she would cut me off or talk over me. I offered several warnings about not talking over me so I could talk. After one such calmly stated warning, I started to explain something and she immediately began talking over me again. I lost it. I said “Shut the f— up! If you don’t want to let me talk, I’m done with this and hanging up!”

After that, things settled down and we talked for a while longer.

Since then, I have seen her about 5 times. FIVE! That was in mid February. We’re almost to May. We still talk about every day, and it’s very friendly and civil. But all of the “lovey dovey” stuff is gone. All of the “babes” and “I love yous” are gone.

While my son was at his mom’s over Spring Break last month, I went out with her to the bar after work one night to attend a function with her workmates. It just didn’t feel right. It was definitely odd and off. Since we drove separately, and nothing had been discussed, I asked if she was coming over. She begrudgingly said yes, even though she had packed bags in preparation to come over.

At my house, we spent most of the night arguing with the sequel to the original conversation we had in February. I was ready for it to be done at that point. And I told her exactly that. Once things calmed down, she ended up spending the night. But nothing happened. Nothing even remotely romantic or sexual happened.

That might be a first for me.

I have seen her once maybe twice since then. And I’m not really sure why I’m staying in this. Every time something ever remotely comes up, and we get to possibly arguing again, she likes to say “I don’t want to talk about it. because you’re just gonna tell me to ‘shut the f— up’ again.” She brings that up regularly.

I’m so frustrated with this. I’m getting nothing out it. Nothing emotionally, nothing sexually, nothing in the form of companionship. Nothing. And I’m not really bothered by it. Life goes on. I don’t stress about it. But I do wonder why I am continuing to go through the motions like this. It’s something I swore I wasn’t going to do again. I mean, I really do care about her, but no matter how much I try to talk to her about it or clarify things, it doesn’t help. She has been holding on to this grudge for 2 months now. And I’m ready to move on, one way or another, right now. EIther this gets better soon, or I’m cutting it loose.

I wish I had better news for you all, but I don’t. But maybe I’ll have more time to update you guys on what is going on in my life better than I have been recently.

As always, thank you for reading!

The End might be near, contemplating pulling the plug

Olive and I have been together over a year now. But things have been really odd over the last month or so.

Because of her work schedule, she wasn’t able to travel with me for Christmas with my family and I was gone over week. We had a good stretch of days (and nights) together in between Christmas and New Year’s. But then illness struck.

My son returned home from his mother’s with the flu, so we kept our distance to ensure she or her son didn’t get sick. But once that cleared up, her son had strep throat, keeping us apart a bit longer. Things looked to clear up and she was supposed to travel with me to go spend the extended MLK weekend at my parents’ while I visited my oldest son.

Well, days before our trip, her son came down with a bad stomach virus which altered his plans to spend his normal weekend with his father, thus interfering with Olive’s ability to go with us for the weekend.

I tell you all of that boring background information to show that we’ve been missing a lot of time we would normally spend together over the past month or so. She was finally able to come over on Wednesday night, per usual, and I had been mentioning it all week that I was looking forward to seeing her Wednesday because it had been over two weeks since I last saw her.

But all week, she didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm. And then when she got to my house Wednesday, I was being more affectionate than usual because I hadn’t seen her in over 2 weeks. But she didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm and seemed almost bored or annoyed to be there.

On top of that, her attitude over the last couple of weeks has also been that of annoyance and disinterest. That worries me.

She has explained to me several times that when she is in a relationship and doesn’t feel things are progressing the way she thinks it should, she starts to pull away. I’m concerned that might be the case here.

The final straw was her reaction to me seeing the American Sniper movie today. I saw it this afternoon while my son was in school. She has expressed interest in seeing and every time I tried to find a way for us to see it together, she poo-poo’s it and says “you might as well just go see it without me, since we’ll never find a way to see it together. I’ll just have to see it when it comes out on RedBox or something.” There were possible options available, but she didn’t really ever want to hear them.

When I told her I was at the movie, she said she didn’t want to talk about it because “it was another reminder of another thing we can’t do together.”

We have had discussions numerous times about not being able to do things together because of her schedule with her ex, and his knack for bailing on his weekends, on top of my schedule with my ex. So there are few windows of opportunity for us to do things alone without involving sitters and such.

The Rub is; when we do have time together and i offer to do stuff, she says “we don’t always have to do something.” Even after I explain that she complains about not having chances to do stuff together.

And you women wonder why men have the opinion of women: “Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.”

So I think it’s time to have a heart-to-heart about this. I’m tired of getting the “bad boyfriend” vibe from her all the time. And if she’s starting to have those feelings of wanting out, then it’s time to just pull the plug and move on. I’m not staying in a relationship just to be in a relationship. Especially when the sex is this infrequent.

What do you think? And again, thanks for reading!