Archive for dating

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”.

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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!

 

Melancholy Mermaid

Posted in anxiety, depression, parenting after divorce, Relationships, self-esteem, self-improvement with tags , , , on April 4, 2014 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Seven years ago, I took what would prove to be a momentous trip. In the middle of a deep depression, the collapse of my marriage and the unrelenting arguments between my husband and myself, I knew I had to get a breather. Feeling like I had failed at everything in my life and not really wanting to live, I made plans to head to the beach, alone. This meant leaving my husband and my very young children, driving cross country, and being alone for the longest period of time in my entire life.  I’d only ever spent the night away on my own once before. To leave everyone behind for 10 whole days while I tried to recover from a nervous breakdown and decide what the hell I needed to do to pick up the broken pieces of my life was terrifying. I drove straight through without stopping, arrived at my beachfront condo, then celebrated my 33rd birthday alone the next night.

The ocean has always called to me and if I spend too long away from it, I start to feel edgy. My soul feels soothed in a very profound way when I hear the waves and feel the sand between my toes. In some ways, the solitude was exactly what I needed to heal. In other ways, it was extremely dangerous for me to be by myself. I didn’t feel enthusiasm for life. I thought of my marriage and I felt profound sorrow and hopelessness. My husband didn’t love me and I was pretty certain he hadn’t loved me in quite a long time, despite the fact that he was “making the best of it”. I’d made horrible choices that haunted me, but that I couldn’t escape from. I felt like I’d failed as a parent and wondered if my children would be better off without me. I’d never felt so alone and I’d never been so close to the brink of saying “fuck it” and giving up completely.

After an aborted suicide by drowning that is almost comical when narrated, I realized I didn’t really want to live but wasn’t sure I wanted to die.  Probably the less said about the trip, the better. I survived it, my husband and children joined me after 10 days. After pleading and begging my husband to stay with us for the remainder of the time, he refused and left to go back home, an abandonment which would set the tone for the future. When I returned home, scarred from my experiences and feeling fragile, I knew I needed safety first and that didn’t involve hours and hours of verbal sparring. So I asked for a trial separation, just to give us a space between interactions to retreat to…which turned into a permanent separation.

I’ve been to the beach location since then, but always in the company of other family members. When I decided to return this year, I was excited at the thought of a week away and the thought of being near the ocean. I hadn’t counted on the nearly crippling anxiety that would begin to plague me as I got closer to the trip. Memories, incredibly painful memories, began to surface and I struggled with the thought of going. I had fleeting moments where I wondered if it was a good idea, then I thought I was being ridiculous and tried to just take a deep breath. I wasn’t the same person and my life wasn’t the same.

Driving toward my destination, as my children were engrossed in their own activities to pass the time, my mind returned over and over to the past. I found tears streaming down my face and my anxiety returning. What was I thinking? I should have picked a different location. I shouldn’t have even attempted to come to this place again without support, distractions, a way to distance myself from everything that had happened 7 years earlier.

Yet as we drew closer, at the first sight of the water, I felt something in my chest ease. The excitement of my children and the scent of the ocean water buoyed my spirits. As our days have passed here, I’ve been mostly fine. A few stray moments here and there were I’ve had a hard time not getting bogged down by the memories, but I’ve mainly felt happy and relaxed. I feel like I’ve reclaimed this place I’ve been coming to since I was a child. The bad memories aren’t banished, but they haven’t completely ruined the experience for me. This has been a wonderful time with my children.

I have felt some sorrow thinking of what it could be like if seven years ago, my husband hadn’t chosen to leave when I’d asked him to stay with us, be a family with us for the rest of the week. I can’t help but muse about what would have happened if he’d taken me by the hand and said, “I love you and I want our family and I’m willing to be here while we figure it out.” He didn’t and it’s hard to know what effect that would have had. Given our current relationship, I certainly can’t even picture a life with him now, nor do I want one. Still, that’s the thing about choices: Each one means a different path in the road and a different possible outcome.

I’ve spent a lifetime believing that if I feel a moment of sadness it invalidates all the joy and it’s impossible for those two emotions to live side-by-side. For me, that’s simply not true. I feel intense joy that I’m here in this moment with my children. I feel wonderful that I can hear the ocean when I walk on the beach at night, that the stars shine so brightly overhead. I love lazing around with them and doing whatever we want, whether its going for night time swims or playing Guitar Hero in an arcade.

At the same time, I feel sadness it’s just me that’s here with them. I feel lonely. If I allow myself to slip out of the present moment, I feel regrets about the past and worry for the future. I feel a desire to not go back to my “real” life, which has seemed to involve a lot of stress. I intensely want a partner at some moments and feel unhappy I haven’ met someone I want around long term. Then at other moments I wonder if I really want to give up my freedom. I can recognize that being here alone with my children creates some loneliness. I can also realize a partner might not want to play Guitar Hero in an arcade, go for night time swims and then drink hot chocolate, or do any of the other things we think are great. I realize a relationship would mean conforming to another person’s agenda and desires. Right now, neither being completely alone or being in a marriage or partnership, with all that entails, sounds quite right. Still, I’d like to try starting things off with someone wonderful and see where it goes!

So…sadness and joy. Perhaps living betwixt them is the work I’m learning to do. Mindfulness. Being present. The recognition that feelings are just feelings and come and go.

For tonight, I’ll stand outside and look at the waves and listen to that rhythm that calls to my soul. I’ll check on my sleeping children one last time before I go to bed. Then I’ll wake and see what the day brings us. I’m sure for at least one more day, it will bring us sun, sand, water, giggles, some sibling fights and seafood. I’m going to try to not worry about what tomorrow brings. I’ll face that tomorrow.

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. 🙂

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?

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!