Archive for the Dating Category

My Super Power: Introspection To The Point of Insanity

Posted in anxiety, Dating, dealing with ex's, intuition, Relationships on December 7, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

So, due to a triggering event, I have now replayed my last relationship in glorious Technicolor several times. I’ve gone through rage and pain and a semi-acceptance and back again. I met up with an old flame turned friend and he commented, “That relationship really fucked you up, didn’t it? ”

Yes. Yes, it did.

My brother and his wife recently purchased a new mattress to help their back pain. They decided to go with “extra-firm”. After a night of sleeping on what amounted to concrete with  thin padding over it, my brother exclaimed: “Buying that mattress made me question all of my decision making skills.”

My last relationship amounts to a really bad mattress purchase.I now question all of my decisions and wonder if I’m capable of making a good choice romantically. My faith in my intuition feels pretty fragile and risky.

I’m dating someone. He’s smart and funny and perceptive. He likes me a lot and I enjoy spending time with him. I’m also completely terrified. I’m petrified of hurting him or being hurt, so I know at times I come off as reserved and distant. I’m trying to honor my need to go slowly with realization that part of this is just fear from my past, but it’s challenging.

When I realize I’m overthinking whether or not I’m overthinking, then I start to go just a bit crazy. We’ve been dating a grand total of 6 weeks. That’s no time at all, so surely I don’t need to make some big decision. Right?

Meanwhile, the specter of my last relationship haunts me and I’m terrified of becoming D. I have no plan of stringing someone along for months just because it’s comfy and I don’t want to be alone, but there is still a tiny voice in my head chanting “Figure this out quickly so you don’t hurt him!”

Sometimes my introspection drives me a little bit bonkers.

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Holding Out For My Fuck Yes

Posted in Dating, Relationships, single moms with tags , , , on September 22, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

I recently read an article that stripped away a lot of bullshit from my views of dating and relationships. Basically, all choices boil down to either a “fuck yes” or a “fuck no”. Whether it’s a casual sex relationship or a committed partner, do you feel that you can say an enthusiastic “fuck yes” to whatever decision you’re making? If not, then it should be a “fuck no”.

It’s so simple and so clear. It also means most of my relationships have been rationalized to death and should have been “fuck no’s” long before they ended.

For years I’ve struggled so much with being alone that I kept trying to talk myself into the relationship. I employed some of the following:

“No one’s perfect.”

“Life isn’t a fairytale.”

“I’m not looking for Prince Charming.”

“I’m not going to get everything I’m looking for.”

While all of those statements are true, they were also used to deal with the fact that there were serious things going on with the men I dated, deal breakers in our relationship that I was tolerating because I so desperately wanted to be loved and wanted. With several of the men I’ve been involved with, I could have said “Fuck yes” to them, warts and all, if only their behavior toward me had been different. Because it wasn’t, I should have said “Fuck no”.

I’ve most recently been dating someone I met at a Meet-up. Quiet, smart, funny, attractive: I ended up doing something I never do and asking him out after we met. He readily said yes and we went out several times. There were red flags for me: In his 40’s with no serious relationship under his belt and no kids, a very bachelor lifestyle, a possible relocation in his future and the hint of a possible addiction that heavily influences his life choices. Still…I liked him. A lot. Then further red flags developed: A jealousy issue which caused him to behave badly, some fatalistic apathy when confronted with my reaction, conflicting sentiments regarding what he actually wants from dating me and a strong confrontational/argumentative streak after a few drinks. Our last date left things verbally unresolved and with me driving away feeling conflicted. On the one hand, he’s smart and funny and cute and has the capability to be vulnerable with me about what he’s feeling. On the other…all the aforementioned red flags.

Then I read the article and I realized I was seriously over-complicating this. There’s nothing to meditate on and nothing to work through. This relationship is a “fuck no” and I don’t need to waste any more time thinking about it. If I have to talk myself into it, it’s not right.

The more I think about it, my life is pretty good on my own. I’d really enjoy having someone I could enjoy a relationship with, but at this point, it’s going to have to be a “fuck yes” for me to be enthusiastic about it. I’m not shutting down and I’m still open to meeting someone, because I DON’T need perfection or Prince Charming. I’m just not willing to give up what I have for something that is less.

I’m going to keep holding out for my “Fuck yes”.

Ambivalent Daters

Posted in Dating, Relationships with tags , , on July 1, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Lately I’ve been running into something which, while not new, still confuses the hell out of me every time it happens.

Men who say they want to date, but don’t really want to date. Men who make a big deal out of being interested, only to let the ball drop before the game even begins. Men who go to the trouble to seek out the opposite sex, but then can’t be troubled to put forth any effort.

Ambivalent daters are a part of dating culture I fail to understand.

Case in point #1:

A guy who circled “yes” to me during a speed dating event and took every opportunity to talk to me outside of our allotted six minutes. When I actually contact him because we chose each other, I get an email stating that yes, we should “hang out”. He elaborates that if I don’t live too far out, perhaps he can even put forth the effort to drive to where I live. Be still my heart! Upon finding out my location, he puts forth the possibility that we can just get some alcohol to bring to my house and he can crash there.

Uhm…what?

I squash the idea immediately, receiving a cocky response afterwards of “Do you actually think you can resist my charm?”

Yes. I do. When I pointedly ask him if he’s looking for anything more than a hook-up, his reply goes something like this:

“No, I’m a player who has an over-inflated sense of ego, despite the fact that I attended an event entitled “Speed Dating” not “Speed Hook-up”. I’ll try to look like I’m not a douchebag man-child by telling you I just don’t want to rush into a relationship (although I certainly want to rush into your pants), but what I’m really hoping is that I can sleep with you with minimal effort and then I’ll probably never call you again.”

I might be paraphrasing.

Case in point #2:

There was a guy who was at both speed dating events I attended. He marked “yes” to me both times. The first time we talked about getting together and then he flaked out. This time he tells me he’s busy, but could probably get together the next weekend. Today I received an email from him saying he’s “maybe” available on a specific evening. So far, despite his initial interest, I’m not exactly feeling like he’s excited about getting together. Which leaves me feeling less than enthused as well.

Case in point #3:

Sexy owner of a restaurant flirted and made a distinct point of making sure to get my number. I gave it and commented, “I hope you’ll use it.” He said, “Oh, I definitely will.” Considering that was a week ago and I’ve not heard from him, I’m wondering what exactly he’s using it for. Lottery numbers? Why bother to seek me out and get my number at all?

It’s hard enough to make dating and relationships work when everyone is being honest about their intentions. When there are people who don’t know what they want or can’t be clear about their motivations, the waters get murky as a swamp. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It’s such a simple phrase, but one that seems exceedingly hard for some people to carry out.

Ambivalent daters: Make up your mind!

 

To Those Who Let Me Go: A Post of Gratitude

Posted in Dating, intuition, love, objectifying women, Parenting, parenting after divorce, Relationships, self-esteem, self-improvement, single moms with tags , , , on May 29, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Last night, as I was putting my youngest child to bed, she looked at me and said: “Mommy, I know why you haven’t found the right person yet. It’s because every man who has met you so far knows down deep he isn’t worthy of you, so he has to let you go. When you meet someone whose mind is open, who’s worthy of you, then it will be the right person and he won’t let you go. All those other guys were just saving you pain because they knew they weren’t worthy of your love.”

Sometimes my children humble me and I feel like the child listening to their wisdom.

After my last dating run-in, these were words I badly needed to hear and imprint upon my mind and heart. My former boss, with whom I am still good friends, recently said that he planned to give a memo to my new boss letting them know their highest priority needed to be building up my confidence…in all areas of my life. My first tendency, in almost everything, is to doubt myself. What did I do wrong? What could I have done to change things?

My last date did several things that were unacceptable. Despite having let him know I didn’t plan to sleep with him that night, he was super aggressive and at one point said, “Are you going to make me beg to fuck you?” When he stood from the couch and pulled me up with him, I gently and playfully said, “Sit back down.” To which he responded with barely concealed irritation: “Don’t tell me to sit. I’m not a dog.” Finally, trying to defuse what was becoming a tense situation while he attempted to move our physical relationship to the next level (despite my having said “No” several times), I informed him I was on my period and that it definitely wouldn’t be happening that night. He very seriously asked, “Well, haven’t you ever had sex on your period?”

As I documented in my last blog, I agreed to a third date (more on that later), which he then canceled within days, abruptly ,and with what would have been no explanation if I hadn’t asked outright. The man who had gone on and on about how intelligent, interesting, deep, funny, beautiful and sexy I was, abruptly lost interest after I wouldn’t sleep with him. Especially when he implied he’d found someone else who would by stating “I’ve gone on a date with someone else and I think I want to pursue that before you and I go further.” Complete and total 180, within 2 days.

First of all: I’m sad that I agreed to a third date. I’m sad that I’ve grown in so many ways, but have not yet grown into a woman who feels powerful enough to recognize when disrespect, rather than desire and devotion, is what’s being offered. I feel sad that the thought of being wanted, even by someone I’m not certain I want, still makes me feel like I am “more” than being alone. I once again have to look into my own personal mirror and realize that passiveness and desire to avoid confrontation is a problem that’s led to some heartbreaking situations; it’s still present, despite my efforts to rise up, speak my truths and stand my ground. I’ll fight for what I believe is right. I’ll fight for the sake of others. Apparently, fighting for myself is something I still need to master. I know that eventually my intuition and courage would have risen and I’d have listened to them enough to have not tolerated the situation indefinitely, but my first response is still one that honors the other person more than me. That absolutely has to change. It breaks my heart that my first internal question, after the boorish behavior of my date, was to wonder why he didn’t want me. My go-to feeling is one of shame and lack of worth, which creates a cycle in which I’m always grasping at someone else who can make me feel worthy, which means I’m then willing to accept things that SHOULD be unacceptable.

Second, my beautiful, precious child who loves me so much, has helped to inspire me toward a deeper awareness of all these thought patterns. This man didn’t cancel our date because I’m not enough; he canceled because he’s not. He’s not enough to inspire my trust or love and he’s not man enough to build my admiration. Instead of feeling like I’m unworthy, I need to feel grateful that he released me at a time when I didn’t see myself (or him) with enough clarity to make a decision that was in my best interest. I need to feel empowered to fight for myself, to love myself and to hold out for someone who really sees me. Not just someone who wants to “fuck” me, whether I am ready for that step or not, and who’ll leave for the first woman who doesn’t tell him no. I need to stay strong and realize that I am complete and worthy on my own.

So today, I’m trying to feel a sense of gratitude for all those men who released me from their lives, even when I didn’t understand why. Perhaps it is that on some level, they realized they couldn’t be the man I needed them to be, rather than it being an expression of my lack of worth. I’m going to try to have gratitude that in those moments when I felt lonely and weak and couldn’t reach clarity, something moved them to let me go. Because one day there will be a man who really sees me. He’ll see I’m often serious and introspective, but that I’m easily pulled into silly fun and I’m quick to laugh. He’ll recognize that my tranquility and ability to intellectualize situations masks strong and powerful emotions and he’ll think my passion is sexy. He’ll know that one of my greatest gifts and weaknesses is my ability give completely and deeply, but he won’t take advantage of it by always putting his own needs above mine. He’ll appreciate my sensuality, without feeling entitled to my sexuality unless I’m ready to share it. He won’t be perfect, because I’m certainly not. But he’ll be perfect for me.

I’m lonely, but I will work on believing in and trusting myself and not settling. I will choose to believe my daughter who holds my face in her hands and says, “Mommy, I don’t know why you’re not married again. It seems like every man in the world would be in love with you. You’re the most beautiful, wonderful, loving person I know and I love you so much.”

With someone like that on my side, how can I possibly lose hope?

In memory of a victorious, beautiful spirit: “To those who have given up on love: I say, “Trust life a little bit.” ~ Maya Angelous

The Walking Dead, Cutting Ties and Another Man’s Baby

Posted in Dating with tags , , , on March 20, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Soooo…the last month…well, I’ll be glad to see April and pray it’s better than March.

For any fans of the Walking Dead, I will admit that I hated the latest episode. It reminded me of all the reasons I stopped watching, left me sobbing and hating myself for continuing this emotional self-sabotage of television viewing. Really? Having the older sister kill the younger sister? Then having Carol shoot the kid because she’s bat-shit crazy and a danger to all people she encounters? I’m kind of hating this show right now. The only silver lining is that it prompted a fountain of tears that were hovering on the brink tonight, just needing that final push. I wept and it felt at least marginally cleansing, even if the knot in my heart is still not completely gone from a COMPLETELY FICTIONAL TELEVISON SHOW!

In other news, I decided to go through my Facebook friends list and cut ties. Out went the ambiguous guy who flirted for months, turned out to have a girlfriend, yet still sends me texts at 1 a.m. randomly as a “friend”. Out went the fling who turned out to be incapable of being honest and grown-up, but still wanted to be “friends” on Facebook (but wasn’t capable of actually being a friend in real life).  The guy who insisted on posting intense political rants every other day…yup, I didn’t want to hear it anymore. I’m ready to start paring down the emotional baggage. I have enough of it in my life that seems impossible to get rid of; I don’t need it on social media.

Finally, taking a page of voyeurism from “they who must not be named”, I looked up a distant ex after they viewed my profile on LinkedIn. I knew they’d gotten married in the last couple of years. What I just found out is that they have an adorable new red-headed daughter. Now, it’s ridiculous of me to feel sad about this, but it left me with a great big ‘ole lump of sadness in my heart. I knew in my heart of hearts this wasn’t a relationship that would last because of the situation. He was my first love after my divorce and his career planned to take him out of state, while my divorce decree left me right smack where I was. But…I loved him. A lot. There’s a part of me that when I saw the beautiful pictures of his new baby, stomped my emotional feet and thought: “That should be MY baby.” Again…ridiculous. I don’t even know if I’d have wanted more kids. I think it’s more nostalgia for him, longing to love the father of my children and the misrepresentation that can exist on Facebook. Maybe his life is picture-perfect and maybe it’s not. Who knows? I only know that things weren’t right between us or he wouldn’t have left and all the nostalgia in the world won’t change that.

My children and I leave for the beach in slightly over a week. A week of no obligations, the sound of the ocean (which has always been the call of my soul) and hopefully, some sunshine. I very much need the reprieve from daily life and the stresses of the past couple of months.

Oh…and I have a date tomorrow night. I have very little expectations, but at the least it will be drinks and adult conversation!

 

 

The Zombie Apocolypse & FWB

Posted in casual encounters, Dating, Relationships with tags , , , , on February 21, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

At 5 a.m. Sunday morning, my bedroom ceiling collapsed.

Obviously, I’m still alive;  I managed to vacate the room 30 minutes before it happened. It was traumatic and I’m now coping with the nightmare of insurance and contractors. After sleeping with my children the first night, I decided to try winging it back in my room, now that the ceiling was all done falling.

Have you ever tried sleeping in a room with a gaping hole in the ceiling? Granted, the second floor is above me and the floorboards are still intact. But…there’s a big black hole, with tufts of moldy (a water leak caused the collapse) insulation poking out and occasionally drifting down onto the bed. Lying there, with the damp, moldy smell filling the room, I simply couldn’t relax. There was, of course, the fact that I had escaped being smashed by part of this ceiling very recently. On another mental track were the fears that began to rapidly surface. What if spiders fall onto my bed and crawl on me? Wait…what if I had mice, or even rats in the ceiling? Can snakes live in insulation? I once had raccoons that infested my attic–they even found a dead one in the insulation when they cleaned it out! What if there are dead raccoons? Or live raccoons?

To add fuel to the fire of a vivid imagination, I had spent three days watching back-to-back episodes of “The Walking Dead” on Netflix.  Now, I know, I know…zombies aren’t real. Yet the combination of the recent viewings, the feeling of being a squatter in a derelict house because of the gaping hole, the damp and moldy smell I was breathing in, well it all added up to a terrible night of no sleep. After that night, I decided to sleep in my children’s bedroom again.

In other news, the casual dating relationship I had re-entered is now over. I’m not sure he realizes it’s over, but I made the decision after he blew me off when we had tentative plans. When he asked to go out with me again and resume where we left off, after a break where he wanted to pursue someone else exclusively, I had a lot of reservations. Most of me thought it was probably healthiest and best that it had ended, after all, he wasn’t what I truly wanted and in some ways I felt I was short-changing myself. When his exclusive romance didn’t work out, he asked to see me again. I did so, after a long and honest discussion about what I didn’t want: To be a fuck buddy who is only called for sex. We both understood and were fine with being casual in terms of uncommitted, because there is full recognition that we don’t want to be long-term partners. I very clearly stated: “I don’t want to be the person that is hidden away from the rest of your life, that you only call up for sex when you feel like it.” He was insistent that he had no intention of treating me that way. We proceeded to have a great evening together, even going to hang out with some of his friends. Since then, I’ve heard from him, unprompted, once for a one-line text. We made tentative plans at my initiation and he said we’d “work out” which night we were going to go out. I never heard from him. I finally texted to say “Are you ok?” He replied that he’d been super busy. That was it.

It upset me and I had to carefully assess why. In past attempts at trying this, it’s been with people I had committed relationships with that didn’t work out. Bad idea to try to turn a committed relationship into a casual relationship. But that’s not what this is. I’m not in love with him and can’t imagine falling in love with him. He was someone to have drinks and dinner with, and provide the opportunity to be touched by someone other than my children while my heart healed. So it’s not hurt and it’s not jealousy. My negative feelings come from the realization that he wasn’t honest, that he does only ever call me for sex. It upsets me to make tentative plans with someone and have them blow me off, then offer no explanation as to why. It would have been a courtesy for him to say “I don’t think I’m going to be able to get together this week” or if it’s something bigger then to just give me the reason why. There are differences between a casual relationship and an apathetic, disrespectful one. I’m afraid this one has crossed to the wrong side too often for me to justify ever going out with him again. I’m not mad, I’m just not willing to tolerate someone treating me that way. What’s the point? So, when he contacts me, I’ll just let him know it’s not working for me anymore and wish him the best.

I keep thinking about trying to date again, but I just feel a strange reluctance. Spring is coming, so maybe at some point I’ll feel more motivated. For now, having an entire bedroom ceiling sounds really great. 🙂

I Am My Own Valentine (And It’s Pretty Frickin’ Awesome)

Posted in Dating, depression, love, self-esteem, self-improvement, Valentine's Day with tags , , , , on February 14, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Valentine’s Day.

The day in which couples feel pressured to prove their love with chocolate, flowers, lingerie and any number of trinkets and material goods. The holiday that makes singles cringe in shame that they have failed to secure someone who will buy them a Hallmark card and a box of truffles.

I’ve always thought Valentine’s Day was kind of sweet and kind of ridiculous. Traditionally, I get my children cards, chocolates and a stuffed animal and they give me small, homemade gifts. I’ve received Valentines from two people in my entire life, one being my ex-husband and one was a man I dated for 10 weeks who ended up stalking me for 4 months after I ended things. With everyone else…either we opted to not celebrate it, the timing was off, or we broke up before the holiday arrived. The last two years I was, each time, recovering from deep heartbreak (which is what happens when you’re stupid enough to get back together with someone repeatedly, after they’ve shown they can’t be trusted with your heart). And…I was sad. I let myself feel rejected and unloved and unworthy. I cried and moped and sunk further into the depression I was in.

This year, I decided to fully embrace the day and all that it is supposed to represent. I’m done with feeling like I’ve somehow failed or am inferior to those who’ve managed to stay coupled, just because I haven’t met someone who really rocks my world for longer than a few months or a year. I’m through with thinking the relationships that didn’t work out, the men who had too much baggage to love,  or those who didn’t love me enough to even treat me with respect and courtesy are about my failings as a human being. I’m far from perfect, but I am a shining, beautiful, worthy woman. I believe one day I will meet a kind, strong man who will be brave enough to love, healthy enough to be with me, who will be thrilled to have me by his side. If somehow that man and I never cross paths, I will STILL be that shining, beautiful worthy woman.

So today I haven’t shied away from love or talk of love. Why should I? Love is a beautiful experience and I’ve had it, lost it and look forward to finding it again. I booked myself a massage and enjoyed the sensuous pleasure of having someone touch me with warm, strong hands. I bought a drink at a coffee shop and browsed row upon row of books. I bought flowers; bright, happy flowers in shades of spring and sun and some beautiful, lacy underwear and perfume in my favorite fragrance. I’ve got a bath bomb that will release essential oils and flower petals into my hot bath later, during which I will enjoy a new novel and a glass of red wine. Afterwards I will get out, smelling and feeling delicious, and make a chocolate soufflé for one and settle in for a romantic comedy. I’ve got a playlist of love songs in the background. I may cry at some point, because the rich surfeit of my emotions sometimes spills over into tears. And that’s okay too. Crying is healthy and cleansing and sometimes is about feelings things very strongly, rather than just about feeling sad.

I am my own Valentine and while I love loving someone else, there’s something pretty awesome about loving myself.