Tag Archives: dating

When You “Just Know”

29 Sep

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My last post included the tidbit that I’m in love with Tony.  I spoke the words out loud just shy of two weeks after meeting him.  That would have felt fast to me before.  This time I could barely hold out that long.  There was no doubt in my mind when I said it, either.  I was, and am, certain.

It’s hard to explain how I can be so sure so fast, especially to people who have known me for a while. I’ve fallen in love before, or at least felt romantic love for someone, but it was a gradual process – not like “falling” at all. I now know what that phrase means for the first time.

If you had asked me six months ago if it was possible to truly be in love after two weeks, I probably would have laughed, or at least said it wasn’t likely. I always thought that love had to develop slowly over time. I wasn’t shy about sharing that belief, either. Anything else, in my mind, was just lust. Or delusion. Or infatuation.

I told my sister, more than once if I recall correctly, that she couldn’t possibly be “in love” yet. I made fun of Taylor Swift and her new “love” every 5 seconds. I still believe that real love is rare, not something you can find with every stray guy who crosses your path. I have also discovered that love is powerful, though. It can grab you in an instant, overpower you, and bury itself deep.

I understand a lot of things now that I didn’t before. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché that you “just know” when you find the person you’re supposed to be with.  That “knowing” feeling is something I never believed in, either. How could you know something like that? There’s no way to predict the future. I thought that maybe, as time passed, it was possible to make an educated guess about whether a relationship could work out long-term. But I had never experienced certainty, “knowing,” or an overwhelming feeling that another person was “it.” I denied that existed because I couldn’t fathom it.

All of those beliefs have been blown out of the water. It is possible to feel love – real, deep, consuming, mature, developed love – in a relatively short amount of time. There is an accelerated process that hardens and cures love, like a kiln, and the heat between two people can set it in motion. The “knowing” is a quiet certainty that you don’t want to let the other person out of your life. It’s being sure that you’ve found something exceptional and right that must be held tight.

I’ve got that with Tony. Even in the hours before met him, there was an easiness to our jokes that was exciting. I was hit by the thought that this could be very special as I was sitting across from him the first time.  In the days that followed, even before I saw him again, I found myself opening up and sharing all sorts of things. There was electricity in the air on our second date. Every touch was charged, while feeling familiar at the same time.  It wasn’t just that I was comfortable with him.  It was something more.  Something deeper. I had the sense that there was no need to pretend or put up a front about anything with him.

Almost since the moment he held me in his arms, he has felt like home. Every new thing I discovered about him has clicked into place – like he was made for me and vice versa.  We just fit. He accepts who I am now, and I accept and love him just the way he is. At the same time, he challenges me to be better with his mere presence in my life. Like the song below, this new love feels like something I’ve known forever, and I’m sure he will keep surprising me. That’s how I know.

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One Month Has Flown By

25 Sep

Sunday marked four weeks since I first met Tony.  Today it is “officially” a month since our first date on August 25th.  What an amazing month it has been!  Since our first and second date, which I recounted in detail, every day has been filled with something wonderful.  Discovering him is the best journey I’ve ever been on. I can’t even begin to describe all of the dates we’ve had since.  I will do my best to hit a few highlights, though.

One of the most spectacular dates happened on a Saturday.  It started in the morning/ early afternoon.  We went out shopping together to pick up ingredients for his family’s gumbo recipe.   Even grocery shopping with him was a treat – it was comfortable yet oddly thrilling.  We went back to his place, where he put on music and we literally danced around the kitchen drinking wine and cooking together for 4 hours (or so).   We talked and laughed, and I wasn’t bored for a single second.  I sang along to the music I knew, and discovered new artists and songs, which always happens with Tony.  Cooking with him was such a pleasure, and it was a very relaxed, fun atmosphere.   Life should always have a soundtrack of phenomenal music and laughter layered over delicious smells and sweet kisses.

I had shared this blog by that point, and had always been up-front about my marriage, even on my dating profile.  I was concerned about being able to trust again, and I wasn’t sure that I could open myself up to being vulnerable with someone.  It was nearly effortless with him, though.  There’s something – really everything – about him that fits me in a way I’ve never felt before.  That evening  I remember having my arms around his neck as we danced, looking into those beautiful eyes, and telling him that I was scared.  He asked why.  I told him because I was falling in love with him, and it scared me just how much he could break my heart.  He kissed me, smiled, and told me that he won’t break my heart.  There was a sincerity in his voice that brought tears to my eyes.  I believed him then, I believe him now, and I think it’s something I will always believe.

That night I drank too much (two bottles of wine for two people, plus a beer, and some scotch was more than I could handle).  I got sick, which wasn’t very becoming.  However, he was so sweet and tender with me that it was almost worth it.  He took care of me, and held me, and made me feel better.  When I had gone to sleep, and he thought I couldn’t hear, he whispered “I love you.”  Snoring or not, that registered, and I responded in kind.   I told him the next day that a woman always hears those words.  I also made sure to repeat them in a completely sober state, the following morning and every day since.  I am more sure of my feelings for him than I’ve been about nearly anything in my life, but that’s another post.

Since that magical night, we’ve had many others.  We went see a band that does bluegrass covers of 80’s hits.  That was a blast.  The band was entertaining to watch, the music was fun, and there was good food and bourbon.  I also got to meet his sister, who is beautiful and sweet.  At one point in our conversation she said something about their dad, then looked at me and said, “You’ll see.”  I know that she’s right, but hearing it from her made me feel warm, happy and accepted.  Tony has briefly met my sister, too, and tomorrow he will get to meet my Mom and step-dad.  I know that my Dad and step-mom have been virtually dying to meet him, so that will likely happen soon as well.  I’ve been surprised that my Dad hasn’t just come by one day when Tony’s truck was out front since he is my neighbor.

We’ve gone to a field day of the past event where we watched lawn mower pulls and saw a wood chopper powered by a horse on a treadmill. We’ve been out to dinner numerous times, cooked together quite a bit since the gumbo experience, gone for ice cream, been to a local brewery, and more. We have been spending as much time together as possible, and it’s been wonderful.

I am absolutely riding the high of this new relationship.  I am always one to overthink and over-analyze. This time I’m savoring each moment. I don’t have to worry. I’m very excited about what’s yet to come, but I’m making sure to enjoy the journey.

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Self-Esteem Problems Surface

24 Sep

I admittedly have self-esteem issues.  They have been more of a problem in the past, but tonight I was reminded that they’re still there, just under the surface.  I had dinner with my Mom and stepdad.  It was partly just a fun visit and partly for a school assignment.  My stepdad is an exceptionally clever, accomplished man who is mentoring me for my leadership class.  We meet every week to discuss topics for my class, which I then turn into a paper and submit.  This was one of those meetings.

While I was there, we also planned a time for Tony to meet them both this week.  My Mom has been pretty good about not asking a ridiculous amount of questions so far, although I have told her a bit.  Tonight she asked more.  Mostly it was basic stuff like how often we see each other now, what I like the most about him, and a general checklist of things Moms find important (how does he treat me, is he responsible and kind, does he have kids or drug problems or major issues, etc.).  My stepdad chimed in to tell her to stop prying when she started her normal 20 questions routine (who’s house do we go to the most, who usually initiates communication, does he have pets, how does Buddy like him, blah, blah, blah… you get the picture).

It was a nice conversation.  We were smiling, and I’m sure I was a little giddy.  Never one to turn down an opportunity to gush, I told her how intelligent and funny and sweet and all-around amazing he is.  I bragged about him.  She did a little summary of the things I told her about how incredible he is.  Then she asked what he likes about me.  It wasn’t a mean question.  She was genuinely interested, and I’m sure she was probably looking for me to list some things that he has said are attractive about me.  She didn’t say it like, “What could someone that great possibly see in you?”

That’s what it felt like, though.   That’s how my distorted brain heard it.  My horrible self-esteem was yelling in my head, “What do you really bring to the table compared to all of that amazingness?”  I managed not to burst into tears or yell “I don’t know” and bury my face in my hands.  Instead, I smiled, cocked my head to the side, and confidently said “Everything.”  They laughed.  I did, too.  I tried to believe my own bravado.  It stuck with me, though.  I couldn’t shake it.  The voice in my head was really stumped.  At a loss.  Perplexed.  What the hell does someone that fantastic like about me?  In the moment, I honestly couldn’t have given another answer.

I left my Mom’s house still shaken up inside, though I tried not to show it.  I delivered Tony cold and flu medicine (which he said I was silly for going out of my way to bring him).  He’s been feeling feverish and sick all day, and I’m pretty sure I gave him that lovely illness.  He also went out of his way to come see me on his lunch a few weeks ago when I was out sick to make me feel better.   This evening we had a much needed snuggle on the couch.   Then I headed home to submit a paper and write up my mentorship meeting for school.

On my drive, an answer to the question my Mom asked, other than sheer panic and blankness, finally began to form in my mind.  I think he really appreciates my sense of humor and honesty.  My genuineness, flaws and all, is probably endearing.  I know that we are compatible intellectually, sexually, and with our belief system.  He has said that he thinks I’m beautiful.  I have a pretty good job, I’m furthering my education, I can sing and play instruments, I’m open and fun, I try to be self-aware and positive, and I’m a giving and compassionate person.  I’m independent and self-sufficient while also wanting to share my life and happiness with someone special.  I guess that I’m probably a bit of a catch.

I need to take my advice from last post, and believe in my worth.  Tonight proved that as far as I’ve come, I’ve still got more ground to cover to overcome my insecurities.  The fact that I’ve abstained from listing a host of my shortcomings to “balance out” the positive traits above is a baby step.  The next step might be to not let those negative perceptions distort my view of myself so much that it takes nearly two hours to think of a single good thing that someone would like about me.

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We Attract Who We Think We’re Worth

20 Sep

I read a blog post yesterday that said, when it comes to dating, we attract who we think we are worth.  That’s definitely true.  As I read, I was nodding along.  The title is Who You Date Is a Function of Your Self-Esteem.  Absolutely correct.

I likely would have said that Tony was “out of my league” ten years, five years, one year, or even six months ago.  He’s intelligent, handsome, sweet, attentive, successful, amazing in bed, responsible, wonderfully quirky, hilarious, gentlemanly, quick-witted, and more.  He has a way with words, he’s in touch with himself and his emotions, and he’s genuine.  He is the true definition of “the total package.”  He’s got everything a girl could ever dream of and then some.  Seriously.

The old version of me would have been intimidated by that.  I probably wouldn’t have given the five star “nudge” because I would have been positive that he couldn’t possibly be into me.   I would have been shocked and maybe even skeptical when/if I got a message from him.  I certainly wouldn’t have had the confidence to engage and interact with him the way that I did.

That’s not to say that my personality or taste have changed lately.  I’ve always been the person I am, for the most part.  Certainly, I have grown over the years, especially emotionally.  However, my sense of humor, natural intelligence, honesty, caring nature, talents, and even body haven’t changed that much in the last decade.  I’m pretty much the same me I’ve always been, with added maturity, insight, and confidence.

I have also always been attracted to the qualities that Tony possesses.  Who wouldn’t be?  I just never thought I would get someone like that.  Or that I deserved to.

Reading that, even after coming to the realization on my own, is painful.  I knew great people existed with all of the qualities I admired and desired.  I simply thought none of them would ever want me.  I was sure that I would have to make concessions when it came to a partner.

woman-low-self-esteemSo certain, in fact, that I didn’t even let myself desire someone who had it all.  A man like that might catch my eye for a second, then I’d mentally move right by.  If he happened to be married or with a girlfriend, I would compare myself to that woman and confirm in my head all the ways I fell short: I wasn’t as pretty, thin, interesting, social, charming, graceful, etc.

If a man like that appeared to be single, or I heard he was through the grapevine somehow, I convinced myself there was no possibility that he could ever be attracted to someone like me.  It was often a self-fulfilling prophesy.  If we did get a chance to interact, my reserved, insecure communication and failure to show any interest would ensure I wasn’t noticed or he was discouraged from making a move.

Even if a “total package” man engaged me in a way that could be construed as flirting, I was positive that he was just being nice to pass the time until someone better, more interesting, or more attractive came along.  A man like that rarely pursues someone with no self-confidence, especially someone who doesn’t seem interested.  So my behavior reinforced my beliefs.

As I matured and became more comfortable with myself, I did let my personality out to play more. I learned to be a pretend extrovert and engage with a variety of people. I was always far more confident and comfortable with people who were “less than” in some way, though. I would rather be a big fish in a little pond than feel like a small one in a big pond. The same concept applied to my relationships… I was drawn to “projects.”  Those were the type of people that I felt confident being myself around.

That’s not what I really needed, though.  Not that I ever sat down to consider what that was.  I was more concerned about being everything my partner needed.  I rarely stopped to ask myself what I was getting or if I was fulfilled.  After all, if you’ve already decided that you’ll have to settle, it’s not surprising or even that disappointing when you do.  I told myself that things were good enough, or as good as I could expect. I thought that I was happy enough, or even if I wasn’t that I could get there if I just worked a little harder at fixing things.

When I finally realized that it WASN’T good enough, I WASN’T happy, I DIDN’T have to settle, and I SHOULD think about my needs, it was a revolutionary shift in perspective.  It changed the way I carried myself.  It changed the way I interacted with people. It changed the way I thought about dating and men.

During my Librarian Bob phase, I went out with eight men, if I recall correctly. Two got to date #2. None got past that point.  I went on dates with a loser, an asshole, and a liar.  I went on a date with a fireman who posed for a smoking hot calendar picture, which I saved to drool over even after I declined a second date (for several reasons).  I went on dates with men who were nice enough, seemed to have a lot going for them, and were into me.  Any of those men might have been someone I ended up in a relationship with before, when my self-esteem was virtually non-existent.  My realization left me asking if any of them were what I wanted.  The answer was no.

Those “no’s” helped me define what a “yes” would look like.  I actually sat down and contemplated my needs.   I also began to realize the things that I had to bring to the table.  The eight men I went on dates with were a small portion of the number of interested candidates.  While that was surprising at first, I began to step back and look at myself through other people’s eyes.  I was selling myself short and limiting my own happiness.

I’m not doing that anymore, and happiness is fantastic.  So is attracting the kind of person who is really worthy of me.

Best Second Date Ever

18 Sep

As promised, I am finally getting around to sharing about my wonderful second date with Tony.

Tony arranged to come pick me up because it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. I thought that touch was perfect for a second date, especially given that we had interacted enough since the first date for me to feel comfortable and safe with him. Tony planned for us to have dinner at a new restaurant in a part of the city known for cute, trendy shops and great independent restaurants. It is also quite crowded on Friday nights, and parking is notoriously difficult to find.

As I mentioned in my last post, we texted back and forth beforehand, and joked about who was more excited about the date. At one point in the day he texted me this: “I bought a smaller car so I can park you closer to the restaurant. It should be delivered today.” I knew he was giddy, too, but that warranted an incredulous “What?” His reply made me literally laugh out loud: “Well, ok. It’s for one of my salesmen. But I am going to hang on to it for a day so I don’t have to park my truck. :P”

man-opening-door-for-lady-tmProblems with the car ended up delaying delivery, so he had to bring his Ford F-150 Raptor. I told him that I have no complaints because I love big trucks. I did offer to let him drive my car, since a Chevy Cruze would be significantly more likely to fit in the little street parking spaces. He said that wouldn’t work because he wanted to pull up to the walk and open the car door for me. In fact, he said that’s something he does whether it is date 1 or 100. As self-sufficient as I am, that is refreshing, sweet, and makes me feel very womanly in a wonderful way.

Tony arrived at my house promptly at 7 pm, to the minute, which was incredibly impressive. True to his word, he opened the truck door, and helped me up. Our conversation on the way to the restaurant was easy and full of laughter. When we reached our destination, his fear of the area being too crowded to find parking was realized. After meandering up and down through several side streets in an ever-widening radius, we accepted that parking anywhere remotely close to the restaurant was not likely. He suggested a nearby place where we could park across the street in a lot. I had been there once before, and enjoyed it, so we changed locations.

It was a good choice. We didn’t have far to walk, but we did cross Broad Street, a fairly busy multi-lane road. When he reached down and took my hand, my heart jumped. I still get butterflies in my stomach recalling that moment. That simple gesture was electrifying. When he opened the restaurant door and put his hand on the small of my back to usher me in ahead of him, I think I stopped breathing. Nothing existed except the nerve endings under his fingertips.

He gave his name to the hostess at the front, which for some reason made my heart leap again (probably at the prospect of being called for dinner using his last name- there is something so delicious about that). She said it would be a few minutes for a table, so we found seats at the end of the bar. He pulled the chair out for me, never missing an opportunity to be a gentleman.

We sat at the bar, our arms barely brushing. He looked at me with those amazing blue eyes, and ran his fingers gently down my arm to rest his hand in mine. That moment may be my favorite among all of the phenomenal ones the evening had in store. It held so much intensity, tenderness, tension, and intimacy that it sent chills through my entire body. We lingered there, our eyes locked, both of us sporting huge grins, until the bartender broke our reverie.

Tony glanced at the beer list, and asked a question about what was on tap. He’s a beer connoisseur, while I know absolutely nothing. He ordered a beer for me to try, which was more on the light side, and something heartier and darker for himself. Our conversation continued, and drifted from topic to topic effortlessly, including family, work, hobbies, and more. He was engaging and funny, and found the perfect little ways to touch my arm when he leaned in to talk.

Once we moved to a table, things kept the same easiness. We had reserved a few interesting topics from our texting for dinner conversation. I found myself rambling on, and telling all sorts of stories. We shared and talked like we had known each other for ages, even while discovering each other. I never stopped laughing or being surprised by his wit.

After dinner, we held hands walking out of the restaurant and back to his truck. He drove me home, and I played him a song on the piano and a song on the guitar, just like I had promised. He had been wanting to hear me sing, and I had been wanting to knock his socks off. We both got our wish.

He stayed the night. There wasn’t much sleeping. An hour’s worth, maybe.

The next morning, when our bodies registered something other than our desire for one another, Tony took me to breakfast. At the restaurant, he opened the door for me and the woman behind me. She seemed surprised that he didn’t just do the standard “toss the door open a little bit more for the person behind you” move. As she walked in behind me, she told me that he’s a keeper. There’s no way she could have known we were still technically on our second date. I could already tell she was right, though.

Breakfast was great. So was getting back to my house and laying in bed together. We talked all day, and I was never bored. Again, we laughed and connected and exchanged stories. He showed me pictures, we shared messages from other people on the dating sites, and he kept surprising me with his intellect, honesty, humor, and amazing personality. When we got hungry again, we shared a shower and he took me to lunch. Then back home and back to snuggling and exploring each other – not just physically, though that certainly was part of it.

Quite a phenomenal part of it, in fact. Mind blowing doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’ve never experienced anything that amazing. I’ve had marathon sessions with one other partner, but nothing like that. In the fifteen or so hours we spent in bed together, I had countless orgasms. Literally. There is absolutely no way I could have kept track. He achieved an incredibly impressive eleven. My entire body was like jelly, and I was left with lots of laundry to do.

Approximately 26 hours after it began, our second date ended when Tony went home Saturday night. Around 10 pm he texted to say:

“That was the best second date I’ve ever had. I didn’t feel like I would ever get sick of lying there with you.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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Prelude to a Second Date

12 Sep

You will have to excuse the sappiness of my next few posts, and maybe my entire blog from this point forward.  I’ve been told that happiness is rather boring to read about.  In that case, prepare to be very bored.

Lately, I’ve been keeping you updated on my foray back into the dating world.  After my first first date in a while (which you can read about here), I half-heartedly perused messages from other men on OkCupid.  They paled in comparison to the interactions with my date, who I will refer to as Tony (inspiration drawn from Iron Man) moving forward.

(Side note:  I agonized over what to call him on this blog.  Being a master over-thinker and an emphatically uncreative person, this was difficult.  I contemplated it unenthusiastically for days, which is one reason for the delay in my posts.  Finally, I put in a concerted effort and landed on that nickname for a variety of reasons that I find quite clever, but which may be painfully obvious.)

Tony and I continued talking and texting, quite frequently.  His wit and eloquence and humor left my head swimming in a delightful way.  I was a bit awe-struck.  Dazzled.  Fascinated.  Those words don’t seem quite right, but I can’t think of any more suitable.  He is quite possibly the smartest person I’d ever had the pleasure of talking to in such depth.  He kept me on my toes, and with a permanent smile on my face.

The most striking and surprising thing of all, though, was his honesty.  Truthfulness has been at the very top of my list of must-have’s for a long time.  Those that have followed my journey thus far know that honesty is something I value almost above anything else.  He went about showing me how much integrity he has from the beginning – not because I asked, but just because that’s who he is.  Our interactions were peppered with little nuggets of truth that I knew he didn’t have to give me, but that he did.  I discovered that we share a very similar set of values about dating, exclusivity, and chivalry that I had begun to think no longer existed in my generation.

Case in point:  He had three future dates already lined up, and he had gone on a few before he met me.  He joined the dating sites to meet a variety of people, and see if anything popped.  He was looking for a relationship, but not to just fall into one with the first person who came along.  He was very up-front about the other dates, but also about the fact that he really liked me.  The way he handled himself was extremely mature, and it was so refreshing that I didn’t have to wonder where I stood with him.

One date was scheduled for Monday evening, and another for Tuesday.  He texted me after each one.  In fact, I saved a text message that he sent me Tuesday night after his last date.  It said: “My feeling is that both last night and tonight, I found myself thinking I would rather have you sitting across from me.”  Getting that message made my stomach jump.  It wasn’t just a line.  His sincerity was palpable.

So was his level of transparency.  Both of those dates invited him back to her house.  One was very specific that she wanted to sleep with him.  He turned them down.  Mostly it was because he will not have a one night stand or sleep with anyone unless he’s exclusive.   It was also partly because he didn’t want to do anything that could negatively affect his chances with me.  Even before our second date, he was open and respectful.  I told him it was astonishing.  He showed me more regard and consideration after one date than my husband did in our entire relationship.

I also had a date scheduled, tentatively.  A man had gotten in touch who lived in Arlington and worked in Washington, D.C.  He seemed smart, he was nice, and he wasn’t bad-looking.  He proposed that we meet about half-way, in Fredericksburg, on Friday night.  I agreed, before I had any plans for a second date with Tony. This guy, who I called Politician Steve, was light on details and follow through. He didn’t pick a place or set a time.

As things progressed with Tony, we began discussing when we would have our second date. I had a previous engagement Wednesday and Thursday. He had another date pre-planned for Saturday. It was looking like it would be a week, and another Sunday night before we could see each other again. Even that was iffy because of family events and the Monday holiday.

Then, almost simultaneously, we made a choice to choose each other. I told him that I would like our second date to be on Friday – that I wasn’t worried about Politician Steve. He cancelled his date for Saturday. He said it wasn’t fair to her because he would be thinking of me the entire time, the way he was with the other two. He felt it was better to cancel than go with the thought that he would just “get through” so how could proceed with me.

The days leading up to that Friday night were tantalizing and filled with fascinating conversations. He told me that getting to know me was like the best class he’s ever taken. It was a sentiment I shared. I had never been more excited for a second date in my entire life.

Apparently my excitement level couldn’t compare to his, though. On Thursday night I told him that I could hardly wait for our date. He said that he believed me, but that he didn’t think I knew what real excitement was. One of the last messages I received from him that evening was, “There’s no way anyone else could be as excited for a second date as I am.”

The date wouldn’t be a disappointment for either of us.

Time, Time, Time

10 Sep

This last week has reminded me that I’m only human.  My days are packed with a demanding full-time job, a demanding full-time masters program, a new boyfriend, and playing and singing with a new band.  My workload has been steadily increasing because I’m out on the road more often, which crams more tasks into my office days.  My new class  requires a weekly mentorship meeting on top of two papers (one individual and one team), a test, daily posting, and 5-6 chapters of reading every week.  The band should be fun and exciting, which it is, but I feel a bit in over my head because they have me playing the keyboard, which I don’t do very well.   I’ve been appallingly slow at writing blog entries and keeping up with everyone in here blogland.

All in all, I feel like I’m barely sleeping while simultaneously seeming to get nothing done.  Certainly, I am not performing up to my normal standards.  At that pace, something was bound to give soon.

It seems like that something has been my health and a little bit of sanity.  I managed to lock myself out of both my house and my car (while it was running, no less) in just a week’s time.  I have a sinus infection, and I woke up this morning  with my left eye literally swollen shut.  After a second visit to the doctor in as many days, I still don’t know exactly what the problem is.  She isn’t sure if it is an allergic reaction or if the sinus infection got into my eye.  I’m on two antihistamines, an oral antibiotic, an antibacterial eye drop every 3 hours, plus cold compresses on my eye regularly.   It’s annoying and slightly uncomfortable, but at least it isn’t exceedingly painful.

Lest you think this is some sort of bitch session (which it does seem to be getting dangerously close to), there are plenty of positives in my life.  Things seem to be going amazingly well on the boyfriend front.  I now owe you an account of the best second date ever, and the most fun and interesting date thereafter (I’ve stopped counting them).  I’m sure my happiness is seeping from every pore in a sickeningly sweet way.  I’m certainly smiling constantly, listening to sappy love songs, singing (more than usual), and spending what little down time I do have with him.  I’m enjoying the giddiness rather than trying to control it.

Another great piece of news that I got today is that my divorce papers are officially being processed.  I got confirmation from my lawyer and the courthouse that they received the new original signed copy last week.  It was filed with the court Friday afternoon.  It is now scanned electronically into their system, which is back to running the way it should.  That means there will be no “got lost in a pile” issues.  The REAL 2-4 week wait is all I should have to be concerned with at this point.  They may even push it through the system a little faster because of the previous issues.  *Fingers crossed!*

That’s about all that I have time for now!  🙂  However, I will leave you with a fun song about time, love, and life.  I apologize for the weird video that goes along with it, but for some reason this particular Sugarland song is difficult to find on YouTube.

Online Dating: Take Two

6 Sep

I left you all hanging after my last post.  I had intentions of coming back and telling a few stories from my excursion into online dating in February and March.  I kept that close to the vest since the divorce process wasn’t officially started yet.  It’s not that I worried about it affecting anything, legally.  I just wanted to keep things civil, and hopefully get the divorce rolling with as little friction as possible.  Knowing he was still reading my blog, it seemed prudent to keep certain things to myself, or only share with close friends.  After the court system royally screwed me by losing the paperwork, my ability to keep even my virtual life on hold has completely dissipated.

When I decided to get back on the dating scene two weeks ago, I thought it would be a good opportunity to recap my old experiences while making new ones.  I envisioned writing witty, fun posts about the antics that come with online dating:  the barrage of messages, awkward first dates, men who look different than their pictures or can’t carry conversations, figuring out how to avoid an unwanted kiss, getting blindsided by an unsolicited penis picture…  You know, the standard stuff.  I was going to share how there were so many men interested last time around that I had to create a system to jog my memory about which one was contacting me using their occupation or other identifier – like Librarian Bob.    The posts were going to be comical and engaging and put an interesting new spin on my blog.

It turns out that I should have written about that stuff when it was happening to me.  Before I knew it, the Librarian Bob phase was over.

Last time I filled you in on the fact that I reactivated my dating profile late on a Saturday night after going out with a group of friends.  On Sunday morning I had the cutest, funniest, most well-written message from a very handsome guy.   Although I had over 100 messages when I woke up, my eye went straight to his.  I will admit that he had already caught my attention the night before.   His profile made me laugh and think, his pictures managed to be quirky and endearing while remaining extremely attractive, and his answers to the questions, especially his explanations, were intelligent and intriguing.  Beyond that, he also happened to be a 97% match according to the computer algorithm that OkCupid uses.  I had been hoping he would reach out, especially after I gave him the 5-star rating “nudge” Bennie recommended (a 4-star rating would have worked, too, but this guy was definite 5-star material).

He didn’t disappoint.  He remained captivating as we messaged back and forth.  He kept me on my toes, and left me laughing with his easy jokes and quick wit.  I felt slightly off-balance, in an especially good way.  He asked if I would meet him for dinner one night soon, and I didn’t hesitate for even a split second.  We compared schedules, and realized quickly that we were both rather booked.  We were either looking at later in the week or that very same night.  I told him I would get back to him.  I was on the last week of a demanding business law class.  My procrastinator tendencies were back in full force, so I had a final exam to take and two group legal briefs to edit.   After a string of setbacks that left me contemplating throwing my computer against a wall, I told him that I needed a break.

He picked a restaurant, which was so close to my house that I could have walked.  That prompted a scintillating exchange that could have been creepy in someone else’s hands, but instead was hilarious, cute, and charming.  He told me that I could come in my sweatpants without taking a shower if I wanted to – he didn’t care.  He said his attraction to someone is more dependent on how he connects intellectually (plus, he’d seen pictures and could tell I’m not a troll).  I did shower, but I didn’t get fancy.  I took him at his word, and wore yoga pants (our generation’s version of sweat pants, which I must say are quite a bit more flattering), a funny t-shirt, and Crocs.  He seemed surprised, and fairly impressed that I was true to my word.  I did apply a small amount of makeup and put a little clip in my hair, but I was casual – from my attire to my glasses to my attitude.

Dinner went very well.  We had great conversations with delicious little pauses where neither of us spoke, without the traditionally awkward feel of a first date.  There was tension, but not the nervous kind.  I was taken by his eyes and his smile and his obvious intelligence.  The restaurant basically kicked us out by making a show of turning off the “Open” sign in the window.  He held the door and walked me to my car, which happened to be parked just one spot over from his (it wasn’t a large parking lot).  I started my car, put my purse and leftovers in the passenger side of my vehicle, and went to take a look at his impressive truck (he was showing off his fancy keypad).  We stood there talking well past the 10 minute cut-off for my automatic start.  Our conversation is a blur of topics, laughter, and the mind numbing high of connecting with someone stimulating.

He is very stimulating.  On every level imaginable.  There was absolutely no hiding that I wanted a first kiss.  He knew it, not too far into our meal, when my eyes gave away my obvious attraction to him.  He knew, and he made me wait a bit, which was even more appealing.  We stood there, in an empty parking lot, talking past midnight.  When the kiss finally did come, it was electrifying.  Worth the wait.  And there was more than one, of course.  😉  When we finally broke apart, I made my way the 500 feet or so home (only a slight exaggeration).  I learned later that he was so disoriented that he drove the wrong way for 15 minutes.

I want to tell you more, but I’m running late for dinner, so the rest will have to wait.  I will add this…  My online dating profile is already disabled.  I’m very excited to see where this goes.  He is amazing.  He’s almost too good to be true, honestly.  Except that I’m pretty sure he’s the genuine article – an honest, sweet, incredibly intelligent, sexy, hilarious, sophisticated man who’s just as attracted to me as I am to him.  Boy, am I glad that I reactivated my profile when I did!

One Woman’s Online Dating Experience

27 Aug

My friends, including fellow blogger Bennie, have inspired me to try online dating again.   My experiences likely are far different from his, as the two of us recently discussed.  While I have come across many excellent dating blogs, I think my experiences may make for some interesting posts.

I went out with friends on Saturday evening.  It was just a fun girl’s night at a beach bar with a live band.  We discussed many things, dating included.  All three of them are currently dabbling in online dating.  I tried it for a month or so back in February/March, and found it overwhelming.  I wasn’t quite ready to be dating, honestly, and it required more of a time commitment than I was expecting.

Over dinner we had shared pretty amusing stories from the online dating scene.  Some were horrendous, but they had a few positive things to say.  At some point in the night, when we were moving from the first establishment to another due to the strong wind off of the ocean, I reactivated my OkCupid account.  The conversations from the evening sparked something in me, and I realized that I’m in a much different place now than I was even a few months back.

OkCupid was my favorite dating website when I was experimenting with them earlier this year.  Why?  Well, I personally like it for the neat matching algorithm and the nearly endless supply of random questions available.  I can get a pretty good idea of someone’s personality, beliefs, strengths and weaknesses by simply comparing answers and gauging the content and consistency of the responses.  I will admit that answering those questions can become a bit addicting.  I have answered more than 700.  See?  That tells people who look at my profile a great deal about me already – some good and some bad.

OkCupid also allows me to rate people on the site, take personality tests (including the MBTI!), bookmark people, and of course send messages.  Here is where my experience as a woman diverges from a man’s experience.  I reactivated my account Saturday evening.  By Sunday evening I had received somewhere around 183 messages.  Four times that amount or more had viewed my profile.  I stopped even keeping track after that point.  Each time you login it shows you the number of people who have viewed your profile since the last time you were online.  My numbers are consistently in the 90 to 100+ range, even after just a few hours of being away.  I know part of that is the “new profile syndrome,” as people flood over to check out the fresh meat.

The first time around I felt compelled to answer most messages (minus the clearly douchey ones).  No wonder I was overwhelmed.  As my therapist said, it’s good for the ego.  But boy can it be time consuming.  This time around, I’m being much more selective in who I choose to respond to.

I have felt guilty a time or two for not answering someone with a well-crafted or thought-out initial contact who I didn’t feel attraction toward.  However, I have rationalized that I am saving us time, effort, energy, and further hurt feelings by not leading anyone on.  The initial messages often include lists of questions, which I don’t want to spend time answering when I know that it’s not going to work for me.  Initially, I thought that was shallow.  After several unsuccessful dates with men I had already figured out I wasn’t compatible with (the first time around), I realized it’s just a sound policy not to try to force things.  This has given me a chance to face my people-pleaser nature head-on and practice saying “No,” even just to myself.

I intended to write more, and maybe share a particularly good experience that I just had, but I’m far too tired to at the moment.  Work has been especially hectic, brutal, and time consuming lately.  Too many meetings and all-day ride alongs and customer meet and greets leave this introvert spent.  Although I enjoy being busy, the level of social interaction and stress has left me wanting to just crawl in bed and do nothing as soon as I get home.  I haven’t been doing that, but I may as well be for as much use as I am when and as much as I get accomplished.  Especially after last week, which was the last week of my business law class and included a final exam and writing two papers.

I also have one other piece of news that probably deserves it’s own post.  I’m feeling entirely too lazy to do that, though.  So here it is:  The courthouse lost my divorce papers.  You heard that correctly.  Lost them.  So now we have to start again from the point where Chris signs the divorce decree because they need an original copy.  Lovely, isn’t it?  I just had to laugh because that is my life…

The Top 10 Things I Want in a Man

30 Mar

The other day I was talking to a friend who is going through a tough time.  Like me, he is a people-pleaser.  In our conversation he said that he doesn’t even know what he wants in a partner.  He is so used to thinking about someone else’s needs that he never thought about his own.  I can relate.

As we were talking I realized that I haven’t taken my own advice.  I never thought about my top needs and the things I want from a partner.  Outside of my one therapy session and this post a few months ago, I haven’t put the kind of thought into it that I should. Is it any wonder then that I wasn’t getting my top needs met?  One reason is that I hadn’t even identified them.

So this week I took the time to write down the top 10 things I am looking for in a partner.  The 10 things I need in a man are:

  1. Intelligent – Not necessarily measured by degrees but by being able to hold an interesting, stimulating conversation.
  2. Sense of humor – It is important to have someone who can make me laugh, who understands my sarcasm, and makes my days brighter.
  3. Honest/ Truthful – This really should be #1.  Someone without this quality who has everything else still isn’t someone who I could have an enduring relationship with.
  4. Stable & Responsible – These are basically the same thing to me, although I know there is some difference.  I need someone who values the same things and is responsible and established.  I do not want to “rescue” someone else.  I am not interested in anyone who is living with his parents, doesn’t have a job, or is in terrible debt due to bad choices.
  5. Sexually open – My sexuality is very important.  I need someone affectionate who can be free and open with me. I also am a “once a day” woman ideally, and need a man who can keep up.
  6. Unselfish – I don’t want someone who is selfless to the point of not meeting their own needs (like I have been sometimes), but I do need someone willing to give as much as I do.  I want to be with someone who puts me first, who thinks about my happiness, and who doesn’t take advantage of my giving nature.
  7. A take charge/ aggressive type – I have a strong personality.  I need someone stronger.  I will not be content for long with someone who is passive, and neither will they.  I need a man who is a man, and will make me feel like a woman.
  8. Emotionally Aware & Open – There is a concept called emotional intelligence, which is “the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.”  After living with someone who only faked emotions and lied about them, I need to be with a man who is able to understand and access his emotions.
  9. Goals/ Ambition – I don’t really care what the goals are, but I do need someone who is self-motivated and knows what he wants.
  10. Someone who challenges/ pushes me – I know myself, which means I know that I have a tendency to pour myself into other people, procrastinate, and not do everything I should.  I need someone who will encourage me and challenge me mentally, emotionally, and with life in general.

I think it’s a good list.  I also think that it’s very do-able.  My husband didn’t have any of the things on my list except maybe a sense of humor – limited and juvenile as it was.  That’s what you get when you don’t know what you’re looking for – someone who isn’t right for you.  Next time around I’m going to be more aware of my needs.  What would make your top 10 that I didn’t include?

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Mischief in the Neighborhood

30 Mar

Today when I wandered out to check my mail I discovered that my mailbox had been vandalized.  The metal flag was bent and wrapped around inside the mailbox itself.  The door was almost broken off, the metal warped.  I bent it back to the proper place, looked into my empty mailbox, and went back inside.  The mailbox next to mine looked okay, so I thought maybe mine had been targeted by some kids.  I didn’t feel like dealing with it, so I just went inside and carried on about my day – giving my dog a haircut, taking a shower, doing some laundry.

A few hours later my sister and her boyfriend came by.  She told me something was being sent here.  That jogged my memory about the mailbox, so I let her know.  Of course, she told me that I should call the police.  I hadn’t seen anything, and the only thing I knew was that it happened sometime between 6 or 7 pm last night and 1 pm today when I checked my mailbox.  What specific time frame – NOT!

Fifteen minutes later my sister called and said that I wasn’t the only one.  My Dad’s mailbox had been vandalized and so had his next-door neighbor’s.  She said that several mailboxes all the way down our side of the street were damaged.  Apparently one of the men at the end of the street was able to video his gas being siphoned out of his car around 1:30 am.  The police had been out earlier in that morning and taken a few statements.  The neighbor suggested calling to be added to the police report so that when the perpetrators were apprehended they could be charged correctly.

My sister of course wanted to dial 911.  I told her that we really shouldn’t waste their time with that, so I found the non-emergency number.  I called and about 15 minutes later or so an officer showed up.  Oh my gosh…  Officer Hotness!  He took some details down, told us he would add it to the report that was taken this morning, and headed out.  I have to say, though, I wouldn’t mind him patrolling around here more often.

That wasn’t the last time I saw him today, either.  I could make up something and say that he came back here just to talk to me, but that would be a lie.  I just saw him five minutes ago when he came back to take some pictures.  He got to meet Buddy, who would definitely not make a good guard dog.  We were outside talking to my step-mom, and he didn’t even bark.  Maybe he could tell he was one of the good guys, though.  We laughed and talked a little, then I bid him a goodnight and headed back inside.  There is absolutely no chance anything will develop, but it was nice to talk to such a cutie.

I think this little encounter was a good reminder that there is a lot out there for me.  It also leads very well into the next post I have been working on about what I’m looking for in my next relationship.  Handsome didn’t make the list, but I think a mutual attraction is a given.

In A Bad Mood

24 Nov

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Today I’m feeling bitchy. Royally bitchy. I don’t have any one particular reason to be, except maybe “that time of the month.” It’s so cliche, though, and generally I’m not like that. For the most part I don’t get wild emotional swings or any of that other bullshit. So that probably means it’s something more.

So what? First of all, I talked to a sweet, beautiful (seriously, model stunning) woman this morning at S-Anon whose husband has been lying and cheating on her with strippers and prostitutes. He seems like a good, normal guy. He is smart, successful, handsome, a doctor even!  She is gorgeous, skinny, blonde, and a super Mom.  From the outside looking in they have everything and then some. But she is crushed and demoralized and angry and confused and hopeless because of what he is putting her through.

This morning as I sat and talked to her, watched her cry and gave her a big hug, an intense anger welled up inside me.  I understand that sex addiction doesn’t depend on the partner, but for someone to cheat on HER?!  It made me feel like there is no hope that anybody is safe.  It made me wonder how I can ever expect to have a faithful partner.

I realize the pessimistic, self-defeating nature of that thought.  I do know that I am worthwhile and special.  I intellectually understand that there are plenty of people out there who would love to have a woman like me in their lives.  I just don’t know how to accept that deep inside my soul.

On top of that, I went shopping after the meeting and had to lug a 50 pound bag of dog food inside.  In heels (because I had to look cute).  Then I tried to make lunch and do dishes only to find that my sink is clogged up.  I have a drain snake that my grandma gave me that I then taught myself how to use.  Twenty or so minutes later I had unclogged the sink but was covered elbow deep in water and who knows what else.

I could have called my Dad to help with any of it.  He lives just next door and would have been more than happy to assist me.  I can’t keep relying on other people to do the things that are my responsibility.  I relied on my husband to do stuff like that, and look where that left me.  Five years later I have a house full of unfinished projects he said he would handle and a heart full of anger.

Or maybe I’m going about things all wrong.  Maybe I should have called my Dad.  Maybe I should start getting used to relying on someone who is actually reliable.  I can’t decide if this is my time to be strong and capable and independent or my time to be weak and fragile and vulnerable.  Frankly, neither option sounds great, but they both sound wonderful.  I think I need to find the right mix of them both.

I know that probably makes absolutely no sense.  Let me see if I can explain.  On one hand I am realizing that I put far too much stock in other people – what they think, what they do, what they don’t do, how they treat me.  I give my power away too easily.  I have only been single about 60 or so days total since I was 15.  That’s crazy, right?  I’m like that girl in How I Met Your Mother that Ted has an old lady watch to see when she breaks up with her current long-term boyfriend.  I don’t stay on the market long.

Maybe that should make me feel good about myself because people are obviously attracted to me.  It proves that I’m a dedicated partner who puts her all into things.  However, it also means that I’m not sure who I am outside of a relationship.  Additionally, I don’t have such a great batting average when it comes to choosing partners.  Both long-term relationships I have had were with people with addictions of some kind and a pretty shitty family history (abuse, drugs, bad parenting, you name it).  I’m definitely a rescuer, and it hasn’t worked out very well for me.  So maybe its time for me to do things on my own.

On the other hand, isolating myself and dealing with things “on my own” also hasn’t worked out so well, either.  I went through years of being cheated on and lied to without a support network because I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems.  I thought I could handle it.  I didn’t want to show weakness.  That led to more pain and heartache.  The time I wasted trying to be self-sufficient only hurt me.

Since the bad start I had to this day I have watched some Grey’s Anatomy, snuggled up on the couch with my dogs, and had 2 glasses of wine.  I’m feeling much happier, and I know there is a lot waiting for me in the future.  I just have to take a deep breath, be patient, and take things one day at a time.  The Christmas picture above is a reminder that the holiday I love is just around the corner and there is still music in my soul.

What Made Me Pick Him? What Do I Want Now?

18 Nov

I had a therapy appointment yesterday, and my counselor asked me a great question.  He asked me to rewind 5 years and tell him what attracted me to my husband in the first place.  I thought about it a little, and the initial attraction was that he could handle my dry, sarcastic, insult-ladened sense of humor and give it right back to me.  That’s still an attractive quality in a mate.  Not everyone gets me, and even fewer people can handle me. I’m complicated and intimidating and different from a lot of people.   At least that’s what I’ve been told.

Beyond that initial spark, though, he seemed family-focused and caring.  That made me think he was worth getting to know.  He came from a big family, I come from a big family, and he said the things I wanted to hear.  I discovered several lies he told me back then (not even counting the crazy sexual stuff), including the fact that he hardly visited with his family even though they all live close by.  He also told me that he was a construction foreman.  I discovered not too long later that he was not even close to that – he had just started with the company and wasn’t even hired on full-time yet because he was employed through a temp agency.  Yet somehow I made excuses for him or accepted his – it was hard to keep in touch now that his parents had passed because they were the glue, he was trying to make a good first impression, etc., etc.

I also overlooked a lot of things because I had empathy for his situation.  He was about a year out of a tough relationship and had just gotten a new job after a period of depression that left him homeless and without a vehicle or most of his belongings.  I, too, was recently out of a long-term relationship that ended badly.  Although I still had my house and vehicles and a good job and was getting excellent grades in school on top of all that, I could understand how easy it could be to lose it.  I could imagine saying fuck it, and spiraling down emotionally so much that the rest fell apart.

Empathy is a good trait of mine, but I now see that my other traits led me to want to rescue.  I thought I could help.  I liked him and related to his situation.  And there were other positive qualities he had that I thought out-weighed something as shallow as monetary concerns.  I still don’t necessarily care how much my partner earns, but they need to have passion and drive and ambition.  I have to admit that the prospect of not having all the pressure on me is very appealing, though.  Five years ago my need to be needed was fulfilled by his situation, and I got a rush from knowing how much he was attracted to me and admired me.  It made me feel worthwhile.  Back then what I was looking for in a relationship was validation.

My therapist then asked me what I was looking for in a relationship today.  The very top of my list is honesty and stability, two things my husband doesn’t have at all right now. I think a big thing that changed is I now know I am worthwhile. My validation comes from inside. Without that intense need to be needed I can focus on what I need.

At the very tippy top of my needs is truthfulness. Honesty is vital to a relationship.  It literally cannot function if honesty isn’t present – like gas is necessary for you car.  I guess in theory you could push your car around in neutral with no gasoline, but it would be a lot of hard work that would get you nowhere fast.  That’s what I feel like my marriage has been lately. He’s been sitting in the car with his feet up while I’ve been trying to push and steer at the same time. I’m so over that.

What I need in a relationship is openness, vulnerability, and the complete truth, even if it’s hard to take.  Honesty is the only way to make an informed decision, and I’m only interested in someone with integrity.  Stability is important to me now because I have lived with the ground constantly shifting under my feet for years.  I want a man who knows himself, and is comfortable and confident with who he is.  I don’t need someone with a lot of money, but I do need someone with direction and follow-through and goals.  I need someone who brings as much to the table as I do, including emotional awareness and maturity.

I don’t want to make sacrifices on the important stuff anymore. I realize that no one is perfect, and I know enough now to run the other way if someone claims to be. However, I can’t be the only one working, digging, and trying to be the best me. I want someone who can push me, not someone who lags behind. I want someone who pursues me, not someone I have to beg for the minimum effort. I want someone who wants only me, who will be faithful, not someone who is actively looking for the next sexual high or who would stop putting forth effort in his relationship. I also want someone whose entire existence doesn’t depend on me. I want someone with interests and intelligence and something special to offer me. I deserve it because I’m worthwhile.
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Congratulations! You’re an Ass!

17 Nov

I’ve been reading the book Should I Stay or Should I Go? that our marriage counselor used for the basis of out controlled separation.  My two airplane rides gave me a chance to really dig in and get more insight.  One thing the author suggests is that if one person is interested in seeing what else is out there, the controlled separation time should be used for that.  The guideline is that if one person wants to date other people and the other doesn’t, the person who does want to date should get that option.

At first I was confused and negative about that idea, but this week really opened my eyes.  I honestly didn’t think there was anything out there that could be better until I met great, quality people with character who I connected with.  Suddenly, I could understand the value of dating other people.  This is a time to figure out if this marriage is what’s best for me, after all.  How can I know that without opening my eyes to other possibilities?

I told Mr. Mess yesterday that I would like to date other people while we are separated.  I told him that I want to make connections and try out new things.  He isn’t taking it well.  In fact, he is showing me exactly what kind of person he really is, and it’s not pretty.

His immature, manipulative reaction is to start texting my family – my Dad and my Mom and probably others as well.  He refused to listen to what I actually have to say and started accusing me of going after one of his friends (who is very sweet, has been great to connect with, but who I am not involved with in any way whatsoever other than friendship). He started playing games and sending nasty texts and acting like a 5 year-old. I know he is angry and hurt. He has a right to be. It just shows me that he can’t think about anyone else for even one second.

Here is just a sampling of our exchanges:

Him: “So why dont you say you want a divorce because i dont want to date anyone and your wanting to tells me you are looking to move on”

Divorce does seem like that is where things are headed, but I told him, “I have always been looking to move on. I’m just done waiting for you to join me, step up, be an adult & give me what I deserve. So I’m going to make my own happiness – whatever it may be & where ever it may lead me.”

His response was a passive-aggressive jab – “Wow i see you have heeded doctor [MC]’s advice and not use text messages for this type of conversation.”

He has a point. I agreed to that.  I can own my shit.  Rather than address my valid concerns, though, he just brushed them off and made it all about him.

My response: “Sorry about that. I didn’t want to not be honest about my feelings. You also havent taken any initiative to coordinate face to face contact. After over a month of separation, I didnt want to wait any longer to tell you.”

His response: A string of childish texts naming his friends or people I know that he is convinced I now want to start “screwing.”

Me: “No. Sorry you are hurting.”

Him: “Right i can tell you are… lets see you get back to town and tell me you want to start sleeping around no [beautifulmess] im not hurting im seeing everything clearly now.” Then more crap about going to see someone and give them his blessing to sleep with me.

Me: “I dont know why you dont believe me but I dont lie to you & I have no plans to date ____.”

Him: “Yeah i know [beautifulmess] you just keep things from me until you feel it is to your advantage to tell me.”

Me: “I dont know what I’ve kept from you. If you havent seen me begging for years for a committed, honest relationship with someone who appreciates me then its not because I have been hiding anything.”

“This week just made me realize how free & happy I can be & how much life has to offer.”

“I really do hope you are seeing things clearly. I know you are angry. It is not my intention to cause that.”

Him: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Me: “Look I know you are mad but its been over a month now that we’ve been separated & nothing has changed. You’ve barely made any effort & I am realizing I can’t pause my life waiting for you to step up. Maybe if you read my blog you would understand.”

Whatever. There has been more and more and more crap that I could go into, but I’m getting tired of it all. With his last move texting my family that I won’t give him the time to get better because I can’t wait for him and other poor me crap, I have just had it. I’ve been trying and trying and trying for the last year and a half years since all hell broke loose in March of 2011 and I drew my line in the sand – get help, get better, or get out. I’ve done nothing BUT wait. Now I have to keep moving forward.

I truly am sorry that he is so hurt and angry about it all.  As much as he doesn’t believe me, I hope he does get better.  That hope is now just based on the fact that I care about him, not on my fantasy that he can be what I need.  I’m sorry he’s miserable.  I simply refuse to be any more.

Our First Post-Separation Date (With Each Other)

25 Oct

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We had our first “date” since the separation, and it was a disaster.  I have to start by saying that I looked hot. Seriously. I have battled with poor self-esteem, and even I knew I was smoking.  He didn’t say a word.  Nothing.

He ordered water and refused to eat.  He didn’t start an argument, he wasn’t sulky, and he didn’t act angry, but he also wasn’t engaging or interesting.  I think he tried to make small talk. He asked what I had been doing, told me he was doing “nothing” and shared that he has been writing and working his book.  He did say he wants me to read some of what he has written because he can’t process and articulate correctly in person.

I think he was unsure what to talk about.  Mostly we just chatted.  He asked about my work, then briefly listened.  He bitched about his work extensively.  He complained about the apartment he is renting – how it feels like a jail, how he has to lay on the bed to watch TV, how he wishes he knew earlier that his brother was out of town so he could be staying at his place, etc.  He said more than once how tired he is and how he falls asleep at 8 most nights.  He talked about HBO and two new female co-workers.

Overall I got too much of a “poor me” vibe and not enough “man of action.” Of course no STD or psychological testing was mentioned.  He was full of excuses about looking for a new job even though this one is apparently awful and pays shit (basically his assessment).  He did say he feels he is accomplishing something with his therapy to uncover his reasons for lying.  That was encouraging.  I shared some of my little personal growth moments from the last week.

Finally, near the end of our time together, after I returned from the bathroom and caught two guys checking me out, I mentioned something about his lack of notice/caring/whatever of me. I did it in a very I-know-I’m-hot-so-I-don’t-even-care-that-you-don’t kind of way, with an evil smirk on my face. He said he was just thinking how good I look, but he didn’t want me to think he was being disingenuous or trying to weasel his way back in with me. He said he was completely overthinking things.

The whole lackluster event ended at 8:30, only an hour and a half after it started, without us touching each other once. He didn’t try to hold my hand, hug me, or even really get close at all. He never ate. I paid my bill. He didn’t even walk me to my car.  If this was a first date I would not be going on a second one.

However, I know that this WASN’T a first date.  We have a lot of baggage trying to tag along.  I need to cut myself and him a little slack.  Hopefully they will get better.  For now, it’s a start.  I know my expectations were too high. It has only been 2 weeks since our separation. Change is gradual and takes time. That’s why we planned to separate for 3 months.  I have to realize things are messy and complicated right now. I need to let go of my fairy-tale, romantic-movie fantasies. I can’t change him or this night, so I have to work on changing me.  I will use this as an opportunity to make myself stronger and healthier.

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