Archive for the online dating Category

Gun-shy

Posted in Dating, depression, online dating, Relationships, self-improvement with tags , on February 11, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

I find myself in a curious place.

I’m not in a lonely, sobbing little heap anymore. I still have plenty of times when I’m blue or lonely, but I no longer feel my life is a downward spiral of hopeless unhappiness. I have many days when I am joyful and have worked really hard the last few months to expand my circles and lift myself up out of depression. My life isn’t perfect, but it feels a hell of a lot better than it did a year ago. And…I’m very single. Don’t get me wrong, there is a person that I’ve dated very casually for the last couple of months. It’s not going anywhere and at one point, I thought it was completely over, then he popped back up.  I don’t love him, he doesn’t love me and we have a good time.

Still, I dream of something more with someone.

And for the first time in my life, I’m scared of attempting it.

I mean, there have been times when I’ve been hurt badly enough I’ve been afraid of “getting back out there”. Yet the fear of being alone was stronger, so I always plunged back into dating pretty quickly. This time, I feel mostly okay for the first time in quite awhile. It’s a lot better than not okay, which is where I was for many months. The pitfalls of dating seem perilous and leave me …reluctant. I find myself putting off getting back into the dating scene. I’m not hiding from it, but I’m making very little effort to embrace it.

Yet I also know there comes a point where fear can be paralyzing.

I’m left trying to assess what is a healthy balance of being okay on my own and what is making excuses to avoid something that, ultimately, I really want. A real relationship, with someone who’s emotionally healthy and mature enough to handle it. Someone to walk hand in hand with, share the triumphs and hardships of the day with, to curl around at night. Because while I have affection for the casual dating partner and enjoy his company most times we’re together, he doesn’t move me. There’s always a level of emptiness in the pit of my stomach when I drive home.

At what point does being afraid to date turn into a problem that’s just as serious as being afraid to not date?

Advertisements

It Lives!

Posted in Dating, online dating, Relationships, self-esteem, self-improvement with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Just in case you were wondering…I’m still alive.

I spent the latter part of December enjoying my children and family, doing holiday activities, watching Netflix and sleeping a lot. I’ve dubbed 2013 the holiday season of porn. On Christmas Eve, left alone without my children, I watched the film “Lovelace” about the movie “Deep Throat” and the actress who starred in it. On New Year’s Eve, left alone without my children, I watched “Don Jon”, a movie about a guy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is addicted to porn. I’m loving telling family and coworkers my holiday season had a porn theme, but only because my sense of humor is twisted like that.

I’ve also done a lot of introspective soul-searching, about what is great in my life and what needs to change. Of course, not all things are within our power to change. Sometimes only our perception of them is within our control. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to honestly assess what falls where.

A brief fling ended, amicably. It always had an expiration date and I was never in danger of falling in love with him, which felt like exactly what I needed at the time. When it ended, I felt a slight pang of ego, but not even a tiny bit of heartbreak. The fact that it ended right before the New Year felt symbolic, as I knew that in some ways I was hiding behind dating him. He was a nice distraction for a little while, but ultimately I knew I’d never want to stay with him and I was starting to realize I needed to end it, yet not wanting to give up the company. Still, sometimes you need to create an empty space before you can fill it up with what you really want.

And now I’m contemplating diving back into the dating process. I’m a mixture of hopeful and apprehensive. The last year did actually teach me a lot about myself. So, I’m planning to put myself out there again. I will be gentle with myself if it takes time; some things are simply not within my control. When and where I find love is one of those things. Sure, I can make choices that might increase or decrease my chances, but I can’t force love to show up on a schedule. And that’s okay.

And…I think it’s time for me to get serious about my book.

So, it’s a good start to 2014. I hope everyone else has been enjoying the beginning of the new year!

The Power of Intuition

Posted in Dating, intuition, love, online dating, Relationships, self-improvement with tags , , , , on November 24, 2013 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

I’ve always had a gift for reading people. Since I was young, I could size people up quickly. I could hear inflections in their voice, see quick glimpses of expression and observe subtle body language that seemed to elude a lot of other people. I could strongly sense if someone was friend or foe and a lot of things in-between.

There have, however, been two gaping holes in the power of my intuition throughout my life. One is the desire to have people be other than what they are and the belief that if I simply give someone enough of a chance, they can overcome the first impression that I receive from them. The second, hinging strongly upon the first, is my tendency to completely ignore my intuition when it comes to men that I’m interested in.

This was recently proven to me quite effectively in a benign sort of way. I met a man, an attractive man who ended up asking me out. He was very quiet throughout most of the social gathering and mainly stared at me. If I got a quick image at one point during our evening, as he sat placidly eating a large slice of cheesecake, of a brown-eyed cow chewing his cud, I chastised myself for my mean judgment and deemed him “reserved”. Yet…our subsequent three dates that followed would prove that “reserved” can also mean “quiet” or even “boring”. He would primarily sit, throughout the date, staring at me with nothing to say. I carried almost the entire conversation and he would speak only when prompted. At one point, when asked pointedly why he was staring at me without speaking, he volunteered: “You’re just so pretty to look at.” He gave enough interesting information on the first date that I determined there must be more beneath the surface, just waiting to come out if given enough time. Nope. After two more dates, it was more boring and awkward than ever. I quickly grew tired of being an ornament that he gazed at without speaking.

My most recent attempt at a relationship with J followed much the same path. Our email and phone conversations left me with an impression of someone who was slightly off, but after repeated attempts to woo me into a date, I acquiesced. Upon meeting him, my initial judgment was of someone who had a difficult time responding appropriately to social and emotional cues, seemed to nearly burn with  frenetic intensity and who had a significant amount of emotional damage. Yet…I told myself not to judge him by his childhood and his former addictions. Lust and a tender heart toward the little, abandoned boy he once was had me muting those voices in my head that said: “Run”. So I stayed, fell, and found out the hard way just how correct my intuition about him was.

I’ve had to admit that even D, as I approach the two year anniversary of the first time he emotionally gutted me, rubbed my intuition the wrong way upon our initial date. As he strutted toward me across the restaurant, finger pointed towards me in triumphant pleasure over a practical joke he played before he even met me face-to-face, my first thought was “Schmucky, insincere frat-boy turned yuppy with a strong streak of mean”. Instead of heeding that intuition, which I would receive tiny glimpses of again and again throughout our nearly 19 month arc, I let myself come to see his other good qualities and fell in love. If I’d simply walked away after that first date, I could have saved myself a lot of heartbreak and angst.

Yet therein lies my dilemma: No human being is ever only one thing. D did prove to be schmucky, insincere and to have a strong streak of meanness. He could also be unconventional, loving and tender. J was a person who had spent a lifetime running from his emotional damage and thus, couldn’t understand the emotional cues of others because of his addictions. Yet he was also intelligent, deep and exciting.

My glitch lies in always wanting to see the best qualities of another person. I’ve always believe that was the right thing to do, the loving thing to do. Yet I’ve wasted a lot of time and energy doing it. After all, the man who beats his wife so badly she ends up in the hospital didn’t win her, initially, with his abuse. He won her with his good qualities, with the best part of himself. In the end, though, if she’d listened to the voice that told her he seemed to fly off the handle easily or needed to control others a bit too much, perhaps she could have avoided that hospital trip altogether.

How would my life have been different if I’d listened to my intuition from the very first moment I met someone? Is being judgmental a bad thing or a good thing? Or does it depend on the individual doing the judging? I’ve always been able to sort out the surface from the interior pretty easily, so perhaps it’s easier to trust my gut. When do you temper a poor first impression with the ability to give people a second chance? These are some of the questions I’m having to ponder. According to my therapist, I need to be more judgmental. I’ve also realized my initial first impressions have always been right, I’ve simply ignored them. Yet… something about the concept of being judgmental troubles me.

Where is the boundary between acceptance and judgment?

Chemistry: A Bitch With A Twisted Sense of Humor

Posted in Dating, kissing, online dating, Relationships with tags , , on August 11, 2013 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

So, last night I had my second date with someone. We met at the movie theater, played Dance Dance Revolution and Ms. Pac Man (I really suck at DDR, by the way), then watched a scary movie (which allowed him to put his arms around me during the scary parts). Then he walked me to my car and kissed me goodnight…which turned into a 3o minute mini-make-out session (which caused a random person leaving the theater to call out “Get a room!”).

I feel like I’m 17 when I’m with him.

The problem is, I’m scared he might be a completely bad choice for me. He’s six years younger, has a troubled past that he’s working hard to overcome and may want babies at some point in the future.

What the hell am I thinking?

Well…that’s the problem. I’m afraid my vagina may be thinking for me.

What is it about sexual chemistry? Why do we feel it with some and not with others? Why can’t I feel it for a doctor with a boring past, a single well-behaved child and a vasectomy? Instead, this man who discusses Nietzsche and religion in one breath, then confesses the horror movie we’re watching will leave him terrified in the other (while giving me a sheepish, little boy grin), leaves me trembling with one kiss. Last night I drove home in a haze of pent-up sexual tension, smiling like an idiot the entire way. When he called today and left me a voicemail, I listened to it three times before telling myself to get a grip.

Out of the three men I’ve loved since my divorce, I’ve only felt this sort of sexual pull with one of them. I recently went to get a drink with the ex of which I speak and the tension was still there. Even with our completely screwed up, drama-filled history, it was still there. I was annoyed and somewhat amused.

Chemistry is a bitch with a wicked sense of humor.

So now I smile and blush like a school girl every time my newest suitor contacts me. I have flushed, hot, detailed fantasies of moving this teenage fantasy into a more adult reality. We’ve both agreed we won’t…for awhile. Yet part of me wonders if I’ll be able to make sensible, rational decisions until we do. The reckless, romantic side of me is reveling in this 17 year old feeling; The grown-up side of me is urging caution. Both sides tell me to let it play out and see what happens.

Damn you, Chemistry.

Match..Oh Match…How I Loathe Thee

Posted in Dating, online dating with tags , , , on June 27, 2013 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

My membership with Match.com is getting ready to lapse and THIS time, I’m going to let it. It will be hard, because Match seems much like a gambling addiction would: A constant state of anxious high, wondering if this will be the big payoff, when in reality you’re certain to wind up broke (emotionally) and wondering why you sold your soul for something that never pays off. I’ve come to truly despise online dating, yet don’t know how to meet people in my day-to-day life. The thought of going off-the-grid makes me fear being loveless forever and doomed to die alone, with cats finally eating my dead corpse (which isn’t found by humans for days).

The fact that I don’t own cats is only mildly reassuring.

I’ve hit a dating dry spell and for the last month, every single man I’ve messaged that seems mildly attractive and interesting has blown me off completely. This fills me with panic and makes me wonder if I’m a loathsome beast who can only attract men who think hunting and fishing is the bomb and who use “lol” at the end of every sentence. Then I wonder if my self-esteem meter, that seems to be plummeting into the negatives since D, is somehow sending off a vibe that repels men even across the great internet. My mother, seeker of all that is new age, insists I’m sending out negative vibrational waves that are keeping people away. It’s her only explanation for what seems to be a mystery. I’m smart. I’m pretty. I’m articulate and have a range of cool interests. So what is the problem?

Am I only messaging douchebags? It’s possible; I definitely have the penchant for being drawn to them.

I recently read an article that placed my city on a list of “worst cities to meet men”. It’s entirely possible that the single men who have a lot going for them feel they are the elite. I had one man, with whom I exchanged several emails, balk at the suggestion of grabbing a drink. I asked point-blank if he was disinterested, to which he offered a coy “no” followed by ambiguity. He then offered up that he was just scared of commitment. WHAT? My reply? “Dude, I asked you out for a drink, not for your hand in marriage. I don’t even know if I’m interested in you unless we meet, so chill out.” He replied back with a quick “lol” and a sheepish reply, but I’d already lost interest. If a man is too afraid to even meet up for a drink for fear of implying too much interest, what does that say? Frustrating. How about the man who adds me as a “favorite”, but can barely respond to emails? Maddening and confusing.

I had a really, really hot doctor (supposedly) that lives an hour and a half away message me and ask if I’d like to drive to his town for a date that evening. His pictures are of him in a power suit or with an unbuttoned shirt, tanned abs rippling, smiling at the camera in a pose he clearly found seductive. Obviously he thought himself hot enough that I’d drop what I was doing and drive to him. What guy messages a woman he’s interested in to ask her to drive an hour and a half?? One who clearly thinks his photos will get him laid with minimal effort expended.

I had another man message me and ask if I was seeing or messing around with anyone. Naively, I didn’t quite get his meaning until he elaborated about the Friends With Benefits relationship he just ended, assuring me he was fully single now and ready to date. Since when did it become acceptable for a prospective date that I’ve not even met to discuss casual sexual partners in opening emails? Talk about TMI…

Now I’m within days of my subscription expiring and suddenly, several interesting men come up out of NOWHERE. What the hell? Just as I’m about to give up for awhile and really work on healing and therapy, now I’m tempted back into possibilities. I have a date tomorrow night and another one lined up for next week, along with a couple of other men that I’ve not made plans with yet. Will they pan out? Who knows? Once again, the online dating wheel is spinning and I have no idea what it will land on…

Oh, Match. I hate you and your promise of possibility. I despise your window-shopping clients, who forget that there are human beings behind the profile pictures. I despise your marketing ploys, which are often just false advertising aimed at lonely people. I’m still not renewing. Perhaps one day I’ll decide to revisit you, to see if the small offering of single men in my city has expanded. In the meantime, I’ve joined some social groups that center around actually doing things I enjoy. So perhaps I’ll never end up joining you again.

Internet Stalkers

Posted in Dating, online dating, stalkers with tags , on May 7, 2013 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

While waiting for my Match.com profile to expire, I still continue to receive messages occasionally. Sometimes it will prompt me to browse and in so doing, I came across the profile of a man that I’ve noticed has viewed me several times in the past. So I sent him a short message to say hello; afterall, his profile was interesting and his pictures attractive.

To which I received absolutely zero reply. He did, however, view my profile 7 times over the course of the next week and a half. Finally, I sent him a second, semi-teasing email asking why he continued to view my profile and yet didn’t respond to my email. He’s viewed my profile 4 times since then (and I received confirmation he’s read the email), but still, no reply. I’ve encountered this sort of strange, online dating stalker before. I simply can’t understand it. He must have every single line of my profile memorized by now and something obviously keeps luring him back. Yet he can’t respond with even a brief reply? Weird, very weird.

I also received an email from a guy telling me how interesting my profile is and how much he’d like to get to know me. Awwww…sweet. Of course, he’s found me on every single internet dating site I’ve joined for the past THREE YEARS and sent the same message. To each one, I’ve sent the same polite, “no thank you” response. Seriously, he’s sent me like 15 messages on various sites over the past few years. At what point do you ask something along the lines of: “Dude, do you have short-term memory loss? It’s still me, the woman who has already said no like a dozen times.” It’s just creepy at this point and I don’t even bother responding anymore.

Online dating…where there’s always something or someone that makes it bizarre.

 

stalker 2

And…I’m Done

Posted in Dating, depression, online dating, self-esteem, self-improvement on April 9, 2013 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

The last couple of weeks…okay, the last couple of months, I’ve been a mess.  An incident about a week ago finally opened my eyes: I can’t keep going the way that I am. My ability to maintain even my carefully prized public mask is falling apart; there have been days that my demons and inner critic were whispering in my ear so loudly, I could hardly drown them out.

The last two years have been hell on my self-esteem and my psyche. The space between various stages of relationship with D left me only enough time to draw a breath before I was slapped down yet again. I made the poor decision to begin dating out of grief and fear, while convincing myself I was ready. Yet the incident that finally opened my eyes highlighted a truth I’d been feeling for weeks now: Not only am I not ready to be dating again, but I also don’t know how to pace things so I’m not exhausted or can maintain my own sense of self; the quest for a mate becomes all-consuming and begins to feel like the holy grail. Meanwhile, I’m still a mess and I’m not enjoying myself. How can I possibly attract into my life the person I desire, when I’m barely holding it together?

After the incident, I spent the day crying, then went on a date that I’d already scheduled. He managed to inform me over the course of two drinks that he’d practiced the “pull out” method of birth control for 5 years, he wasn’t “vanilla”, he liked spanking and he apologized with a naughty grin (twice) for staring at my “tits”.

Time to drop back and punt, so to speak. The thought of being alone is scary to me, but so is the thought of  either wasting a good portion of my life weeding through men like that OR having what happened during the last two years ever happen again. I can’t change anyone else or their actions, so I can’t control the future. Yet I can try to ensure that I’m strong enough that someone else won’t devastate me the way D did.

So…therapy and a lot of work on myself. Grief and anger, but trying to not get stuck there. Working toward a place where I feel complete on my own. The last few nights I haven’t had my children, I’ve spent working out and reading self-help books. Exercises to try and help me evaluate what my thought processes are and how to change them. Journaling. Crying…lots of crying.

So…I’m off the dating sites again. This month is my birthday, as well as the two year anniversary of my first date with D. He’s been in my life for the last two birthdays; it seems somewhat symbolic and right to take steps toward reclaiming and rebuilding my self-esteem and strength during this month.