Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “early stages of divorce

My Casual Sex Experience – First Lesson

OFF-hotdate

Following on my Casual Sex post, there is a little more unpacking required to understand what casual sex is and isn’t, to me. Here are a few of MY assumptions about casual sex:

IS:

  • Spontaneous
  • Present moment – not imagining the future plans
  • Fresh, new, dangerous (in your mind)
  • Two willing and lust-filled partners
  • All about enjoyment of both partners

IS NOT:

  • Relationship material (not necessarily)
  • Full of conditions or restrictions
  • Building a connection with the partner
  • Assuming you are sleeping over even if it’s late
  • Making Mexican breakfasts in the morning
  • Waking up together
  • Love making

Again, I am not trying to write the rules of casual sex, I am merely trying to orient myself to the ingredients in my experience (very limited) that make up sex without strings. (NSA – no strings attached)

In my most recent fling I was amazed at my ability to remain surface with this woman in distress. She was in the very early stages of divorce, still in a bit of euphoria at being released. And I knew the emotional reality was inescapable. You can’t walk away from the plane crash while the plane is still in the air. And nobody gets out unscathed. Still she was electric with her passion and rocket body, as she teased and touched my arm in response to my flirtatious banter.

And I really enjoyed her. Her condo, her dog, snuggling on her couch and watching OITNB. We had a wonderful thing going on. But one romantic dinner and few more encounters later and the OITNB season 2 finale, we were done. She simply asked if I would be mad if she wanted to go upstairs and sleep alone.

Done.

I suspect the dating site is more of an escape, as I had been, from the crushing work of separating from someone you’ve been married to most of your adult life.

I waved goodbye to all of her cool condo newness, to her sweet dog who was beginning to get attached to the sound of my non-threatening male voice. I grabbed the Ben and Jerry’s I’d brought over and headed for the door. She didn’t even walk me out, as she had done every time before. She was hurting. Something in her exit strategy was not going to plan. And she would rather not have someone else around while she felt things. I understood. And in some ways I appreciated the casual nature of our moment together. I was not responsible to fix or assist her in getting through her emotional collapse.

In some ways I was prepared to be there for her, but I knew my connection was more about the fantastic breasts with the perfect tan lines. I was not signing on for processing old relationships, dealing with the money of divorce, or being her emotional punching, snuggling, pushing, pulling, partner. Nope, I walked out of the door, slightly sad, and slightly relieved.

I have thought about her over the last week. And I have sent her a few uplifting texts that did not suggest getting together, even if that was my intent. And since we’re still connected on Match.com I see that she is still active. (Online in the last 3 hours.) So perhaps it was just me. Maybe this was her way of exiting the fling that no longer met her needs. Or if there was closeness developing between me and her dog, perhaps she didn’t like how that was feeling.

Here, alone again, I can reset and rebalance before moving back onto the playing field.

I suspect the dating site is more of an escape, as I had been, from the crushing work of separating from someone you’ve been married to most of your adult life. She didn’t know how to date, or what dating meant. I think she was pretty clear that we weren’t dating.

She made a joke about something her husband said. “You’d better hookup with someone who can afford you,” he told her. “Because I don’t what them touching my money.”

It was sad. “Of course,” I said, “It’s not his money any more, once you’re divorced.” But the sadness was the fact that they weren’t divorced yet. And her still-husband was just starting to lawyer up. He was asking her, according to her, if this is really what she wanted.

It’s kind of like me, asking her, “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Her ex was trying to prevent a costly divorce. And I was hoping to see her costly breasts again.

Is that callous? I’m sorry. I found it sort of funny. Not at her expense, I could not anticipate what she was about to go through. Nor could I take responsibility for any of the pain and chaos that was about to hit her secure little world of working-by-choice two days a week, as a way to establish something more interesting in her life than her crossfit workouts, and children who were off and living on their own.

I am not apologizing for our relationship. It was fast, furious, and full of fun. And in the end she gave me the exit sign and said thank you. And I suppose that’s the beauty of keeping the attachment as surface as possible. My desire is about her body and the pleasure I derived from being with her. But even cuddling in bed after sex was a struggle for her. I think it was such a foreign activity that she wanted to turn the TV on immediately. And being a bit of a non-TV person that was my clue to leave.

But she needed cuddling when I last saw her. And she wasn’t willing to let me even close to whatever was hurting her inside. We watched the grand climax of season 2 and she asked me to leave and take my goodies with me. I patted the wonderful little dog beside me and kissed her gently on the top of her head.

“Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I am your friend.”

I’m not looking for “almost” in a relationship. Maybe in some FWB or casual sex way I am, but that is only marginally interesting to me.

And I meant it. Perhaps more than casual sex I am defining FWB (friends with benefits) for myself. I’m pretty sure I’ll never see her crossfit body or her cuddly dog again. And while that carries a hint of sadness for me, since I have no other prospects in my field of vision, it also provides a moment of relief and pause.

Here, alone again, I can reset and rebalance before moving back onto the playing field.

And I’ve had two “hello dates” since then that both seemed to lean towards potential. And one of them, I’m certain by her responses over the following two days, would’ve loved a relationship of some sort. But I’m not looking for “almost” in a relationship. Maybe in some FWB or casual sex way I am, but that is only marginally interesting to me.

If there’s no long-term potential, I’m not all that interested. There I said it again.

I guess this time I’m believing it even more. But there might be room for that tangential fling when the moment arises again. And I might go for it. But, at the moment, I’m not so into that idea. Perhaps my touch-needs were well met with my crossfit maven.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

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image: hot dates calendar FHM 2008, brett jordan, creative commons usage


Blended Family Mating Call; Or How Do You Find a Sane Single Mom?

trying to date a single momI’m in this dating thing to win. Part-time of course, the other 38% of my time I’m a single dad.

I didn’t really start this blog with the intention of turning it into a romance, dating, and love poem blog. Things have kind of evolved that way. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it does capture the whole of me, the OFF parent, both when I’m “off” (without kids) and when I’m “on” (single-dad). But it’s not really an opening line, “I write a fairly successful divorce blog.” Um, no. I don’t think I tell them that for a long time.

But it’s one of the things I do. I write to get this transition down on paper. Some forensics: what the fk happened to the relationship I thought was going to be my respite and resting place forever? And some aspirational: love poetry trying to give voice to the romantic in my soul that is still stretching towards ecstasy. The lover in me that refuses to give up one item on my wish list just to get rid of loneliness. Nope. I’ll wait.

There was an immediate chemistry between us, as the party progressed we kept finding ourselves paired up and chatting. She was married. But she was also a bit flirty, a bit open, and very sexy.

I’ll seek. I’ll sing. I’ll write poems. And I’ll improve my roll, as it were, with the dates I do go on. But most of all, I’ll stay true to the things I am learning about my true desire and my true nature. And EVEN WHEN THINGS FEEL GREAT, as they did with “almost mythical” GF #1, I won’t stop until the final equation, the final circuit is complete.

I demand a stellar partner. And I will remain alone until we find each other.

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, the process of dating, re-dating, re-framing my OKCupid profile, continues. And while I took most of the summer off to work on myself, to ramp my musical performance engine back up, and to give my dating ambition a rest… I’m hungry.

Two years ago: Enter single mom of two young kids. Much younger than mine. Am I ready to be in a relationship with someone who has a three-year-old? (Um, wait… I’m getting ahead of myself.)

This single mom was not single when we met at a friend’s birthday party. There was an immediate chemistry between us, as the party progressed we kept finding ourselves paired up and chatting. She was married. But she was also a bit flirty, a bit open, and very sexy. I kept my intentions pure and when the evening ended I made the, “we should connect on Facebook” play. And she eventually came around to it after a few asks. Again… She was married.

Two months ago: A random LIKE on one of her Facebook pictures elicited a “Hey, what are you doing?” And in a matter of days I learn she’s divorced, and might like to grab a cup of coffee or drink sometime.

BINGO! The light goes on in my head. Sexy. CHECK. Chemistry. CHECK. Intelligent and engaging conversation. CHECK. And now she’s not married any more. And then this happens, over and over and over:

“Hey, how’s it going?”

Me, “Great. How’s your afternoon going?”

“Crazy busy.”

Me, “How about  a cup of coffee later?”

“Can’t, sitter just called in sick.”

Over and over and over.

I understand a couple of things from this ongoing (we still have not met face-to-face in the two months we’ve been pinging back and forth on Facebook) reconnect and lack of connection.

  1. Early stages of divorce are filled with all kinds of crazy emotions, crazy scheduling nightmares, asshole ex-parents, and all the other stuff that goes along with resetting and formulating every detail of your parenting life.
  2. Full-time working mom’s have a lot of responsibility. And their children come first.
  3. This particular mom might not have it all together yet.
  4. For some reason, even after two years, we are still drawn to each other.

Now, I’m also concerned about my own reactions to this woman’s advances and CONTINUAL disappointing outcomes.

  1. I’m still engaged even after she’s left me waiting for the text or call that would coordinate our “walk” or “glass of wine” or “going out after work.” Why am I still even listening to her?
  2. She shows up as a bit of a party girl on FB. (Maybe everyone does.) And she’s trying to reestablish her “liveliness” and “fun” via pictures.
  3. I’m SO flexible and accommodating that I’m going to get trampled by her lack of follow-through or any consideration of what she’s agreed to.

Here’s the most recent example, from last weekend.

Saturday morning, 10:30 am: She asks, “Hey what are you doing today?”

“About to go for a walk. What great weather. How about you?”

“Dropping off some tickets to a friend.”

I get it, single mom’s are busy. Newly divorced people have got their schedules and priorities on their kids. AND I’m a sucker for a pretty lady and will cuckold myself repeatedly if I think it might be fun.

We chat for a bit and she calls on the phone. It is great to hear her voice again. We fall into a familiar cadence, just like we did at the party. It’s a little bit exhilarating. She’s going to call me back in about 30 minutes and we’re going to meet for a walk around the lake.

She doesn’t call. I’m ready to walk and I pause to wait for her call.

Not wanting to be the aggressor, or be too pushy, I give her an hour and a half before I text her phone.

“Did you get roped in?”

“You know me so well,” comes her quick reply. Then nothing again for hours. I refrain from begging.

By late afternoon I finally text her again. “What’s up?”

“Spent too much time with my friend, and ran some errands, what’s up with you?”

Maybe I misinterpreted her initial text and our phone call that included plans. Maybe I should point it out and be done with her. But I don’t. I let it roll on by.

A few hours later she asks if I’m going to watch the football game. I engage without enthusiasm. I’m heading to a friend’s house for a game night. She closes with, “I’m having a some friends over here, we’re watching the game. A little girl time.”

Done. I’m done.

We exchange a few texts the next day and again I pawn myself and ask for coffee.

“Can’t. Taking kids to park.”

I get it, single mom’s are busy. Newly divorced people have got their schedules and priorities on their kids. AND I’m a sucker for a pretty lady and will cuckold myself repeatedly if I think it might be fun.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh on myself, I’m not overly obsessed with this woman. She’s still showing up like a pretty butterfly. But I’m not sure what she’s after. Maybe I’m a “potential” that’s nice for her to have in her pocket. And maybe she’s the same for me.

For now, we do the dance, I’ll continue to answer any openings with an offer and perhaps in another two months we’ll meet up. But I’m not counting on it. She’s like a siren, calling me to shore. I’m not sure she’s really a resting place for my weary and romantic head, but it beats having no muses for amusement.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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