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

Harsh Awareness: I Wouldn’t Date Me – What Am I Looking for After Divorce?

There is no time to slay the dragon, the dragon is your friend

“There is no time to slay the dragon. The dragon is your friend.” – Reshad Feild.

An amazing sequence of events over the last few days has triggered a new moment of self-awareness.

PART 1: I went on an OK Cupid first date with a woman on Monday evening. And after three hours of engaging conversation she gave me the, “I’ll call you, okay?” She was fantastic. My first real online-dating HOME RUN. Not too amazingly beautiful or self-consumed: she was just self-aware enough, and funny, and already in my tribe/constellation of work. In other words, she fit on my MAP.

Dark hair. Fit. Very witty. Creative passion. Conversationally flexible and diverse. And strong, agressive, confident. In fact, she was so confident, at the end, she said something like, “So, I’m getting the idea that you’d like to go out again?” I agreed. “Okay, well let me catch my breath.”

Uh oh.

PART 2: My own self-evaluation gave me only one answer. (Again, this is my projection, I have not heard a peep from the sweetheart behind OKC door number 1.)

I’m fat.

The only issue I could even imagine that would come between our connection on Monday night was my midriff. It’s not easy to admit that. Or this. I don’t think I would date me.

It’s not that I’m looking for miss perfect body. In fact, when I have run across her in my past, she was so self-absorbed as to not have much time for anything else. And it’s not that I’m afraid of a little softness. Actually there were times when the ex-y was way to gaunt, in my opinion. She was much more beautiful to me when she was less hard. So it’s not that I’m looking for some IDEAL, playmate (puleeze) or porn star image of a woman. That’s not it at all. But…

But, I’m sure I have tolerances in my taste. And there is some measure of fitness, or out-of-fitness, that simply turns off my “desire” gene off. And here’s the kicker: looking at myself, I think I’ve fallen outside of my own desirable range of fitness. I wouldn’t date me.

It’s the ONLY thing I can put my finger on, about why this date with massive energy and touch points didn’t end up with plans for a next gathering. There are some other possibilities. She did mention that simply turning on her OKC profile she got about 10 immediate propositions. Mine being one of those. So maybe she wants to check out the rest of the field before going on date number 2 with any of us, or me, more specifically.

But the lesson for me was: I am outside of my own tolerance for fitness. And that’s something I’ve known for a while, but something that I did not have such a clear handle on. Which leads to the next awareness.

PART 3: I have been stepping up my fitness routine again. And part of that is walking. And one of my favorite walking locations is our local trail that curves around a small section of the Colorado River. It is amazingly inspirational to see all the people, all the different bodies and styles in motion. And I wonder about the runners. (I have been a runner before.) And their fitness levels. But of course there are runners of all shapes and sizes and levels of experience too.

What I’ve wondered about for a long time is what motivates runners to run. The high? Fitness? Aspirations towards the perfect body? And this time, the day after meeting my “match,” I had an idea.

Maybe everyone on the trail was running AWAY from something. For me that would be: 1. getting fat(er); 2. aging and health; 3. heart fitness. OR perhaps they were running TOWARDS something instead: 1. an ideal body; 2. a competition they are preparing for; OR BINGO 3. someone they want to be with.

So I had been running away from things, but until I met my “match” not running towards anything. I’ve been too busy trying to reconstruct my stability, get my financial house in order (still a ways out on that one), and make progress on my creative projects. I have not really put much attention towards dating or finding that next relationship.

I had also not met anyone who inspired just that.

PART 4: The dragon I am wrestling with today is my own. I’m a bit sad that my first “match” is probably giving in to first impressions and moving on. If I have learned anything, when they say, “I’ll call you,” and they don’t, there is no amount of persuasion or offering that will have an affect. If they say that, they are done. (Maybe I’m projecting. We’ll see.)

But I am not sad about her. And I’m not really walking towards HER, but the idea of HER. I have already let her go.

It is the ME I am comfortable with that I am walking towards.

I made an observation in therapy yesterday as I was talking about this, “Maybe people in that class of fitness like to be with others of the same class. Today I’m just a bit out of the class I want to be with.” I am happy with my fat self, and I am actually pretty happy over all. But I am looking to get back to the dating class where I am most likely to find a match.

I don’t want the uber-fit yoga-runner babe. She thinks about little else. I want someone who’s comfortable with whatever they are. And in order for them to be attracted to me (IMHO) I need to be in the same relative class, the same relative level of fitness.

Now that is something I can walk towards with a bit more vigor. Because walking away from the other stuff was okay, but it didn’t have much charge to it. I can see my “match” now. Fully clothed, sitting at a table drinking coffee and smiling. She’s funny. She’s smart. She has many things in her own life sorted out.

And SHE DIGS EVERY SINGLE PART OF ME. And of course, when that happens, the response won’t be, “I’ll call you.” In my movie it will be more like, “What are doing this weekend?”

That is the dragon I am dealing with today. And I’m happy to befriend him and see how we can both get what we want.


The Off Parent

(The story continues: Met My Match: My Online Dating Near Miss Responds)

Reference: Steps to Freedom – Reshad Feild

< back to On Dating Again index


9 Responses

  1. il128

    I’m sorry. Stop dating. Just stop it.

    I don’t date. I pick women up at the store, at coffee shops, at pizza places… I do not date. I have women (yes, plural) who call me weekly, some women more often, wanting to know when they can see me again. I’m not hot or even good looking. I am however confident and I treat women accordingly. If you act like you want them, they won’t want you.

    For the love of God, get off those stupid Internet dating sites. The women who use those sites, women of average attractiveness, get mountains of messages from men every day.

    Those Internet dating sites leave a moderately attractive woman inundated with date invitations. Invitations, they don’t really deserve. Please, stop using those sites.

    You don’t need a thinner belly. You need confidence.

    June 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

    • thewriter

      Ah, welcome back. “il”

      You’re missing my point. And seem to have some misogynistic vision of your own.

      1. Women are not to be HAD.
      2. My awareness was about my own fitness level and my desire for someone who is fit themselves.
      3. “Women (yes, plural) who call me weekly” seems to be YOUR problem not mine.

      I’m looking for a very refined person. I have high standards and acquired tastes. I’m not looking for “women to call me weekly.” That idea passed for me back in college. (Perhaps we are at different points in our lives.)

      I want ONE WOMAN. And I don’t really “work” the online dating thing very hard, occasionally I have had an AH HA moment as a result of meeting a woman who I would have otherwise never met.

      Glad to have your comments. But I think we’re after different goals in our dating and relating lives.

      June 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

  2. il128


    I’m mid-late 40’s. Our goals are different. I hope you’ll allow our conversation to continue. I hope we both will find it helpful.

    What you call misogyny in regard to my attitude, I don’t agree, I love women don’t hate them at all.

    You seem to keep blaming yourself when things don’t go well. Then you attempt to fix whatever it is you think is wrong with you.

    Not that being more fit is wrong. It just isn’t the right answer to your dating woes, in my humble opinion. Hold on, it’s going to be a while before I share again what I think will fix “y”our problem.

    Rhetorically: Why attack yourself and demand that yourself meet some physical standard? Do you plan on maintaining this physical standard? For how long? Have you ever done this before? Why didn’t you maintain it then?

    I’m sorry you misunderstand where I am coming from at times. When I talk about women and that I have some who call me, it’s more about the fact that I have choices because of the way women want to be treated and how you vs. I are treating them.

    It really is about how you see yourself and how you treat women accordingly that determines success with women. Whether long term or short term relationships are your goal, it doesn’t matter. Your self confidence is everything.

    Like it or not most women don’t find most men attractive. Let me find the link. Here it is: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/

    Lose all the weight you want, that’s a good thing but remember what attracts women is attitude. Most men don’t meet women’s ideals of attractiveness. If you are losing weight do it for you and you alone, weight loss probably won’t help you get second dates.

    I might be misunderstanding you but I get the feeling that you think if you are fit it’s OK to expect your partner to be fit as well?

    Just saying, fitness can be a shared activity but I want you to know that your logic of “If I do, she will too” won’t work.

    The main reason why, is that for you to be in “fit” condition to a woman’s eyes would require you to dedicate hours upon hours to the gym and become ripped like a Hollywood actor. Women’s standards of attractiveness are just that high.

    I hope you do find that special person you are looking for but at our age it’s not likely you will find a woman like that who is single.

    I don’t rule out women because they are married or involved. Sounds bad doesn’t it? Well, someone got my wife while we were married, I believe the same happened to you.

    I wish us the best. I hope you find that special someone. Keep writing. Be well.

    June 8, 2012 at 7:53 am

    • thewriter

      Very engaging dialogue we have entered here.

      Thank you for the OK Cupid link. I think that explains a lot about the online dating environment. I’ve added it as a resource on my Reading LIbrary page. Great information. And you make some accurate points about women’s perception of male attractiveness.

      I am not about to grace the cover of GQ. Maybe when I was a swimmer in high school. But since then I’ve kept a bit of a love handle look. The same love handles I was born with, btw.

      And of course I’ve been through periods of feeling fit and feeling fat. I look back at some of the pictures, from college (for example), and I know that I was feeling fat, and yet the picture shows me to be very acceptibly within my expected FIT range. Again this is MY perception, and what I perceive as fit, or fit enough.

      From the OK Cupid post I can see how, perhaps fueled by the same over-hyped, over-photoshoped media that we all consume, women see the hollywood hot boys as the gold standard for attractiveness. You are correct in projecting that I will not attain nor maintain washboard abs. EVER! Again I was close, at 15, in high school, swimming competitively and practicing TWICE A DAY.

      Again, that ain’t gonna happen.

      So what I AM aware of, and what I am trying to now come to terms with is not my attractiveness to women, although that is how the post started, but my attractiveness to myself. I am slightly uncomfortable with the fit of my summer shorts. (The same one’s I’ve worn for about six summers now.)

      The woman from the post, merely reminded me, that I am aiming a bit higher in my quest for who I am looking to be with. She was not stunning, she was simply a nice looking and fit woman. And you are also correct, it was her attitude I fell for. Her smile and eyes were dreamy, but her brain and her present career and passion were what sparked my, “Wow, this is what I want,” interest.

      And I don’t know if my tire is what ultimately diverted her off the “together” path I hoped for. She did respond last night. (More on that in a later post.) She didn’t mention attractiveness. Of course she didn’t.

      So rather than sit in self-flagellation mode, I am doing something about how I feel about me. About how my shorts fit at this moment.

      And in the same way, I don’t actively pursue a woman with 20 extra pounds, I am not pursuing the Penthouse Pet either. I find that most of the women in that category are either “kept” and don’t have to work, or “work” in the business of keeping their bodies that tight. (aka: entertainers) Neither of those “attitudes” interest me.

      I appreciate the feedback and continued dialogue.

      June 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

      • il128

        The weekend approaches and I probably won’t have time to respond to your latest blog.

        I’m glad to hear you are getting fit for you.

        I want to share. I’ve dropped 45 pounds and have 10 pounds to go. At 6’2″ I’ll be at 195 pounds then. I haven’t been this fit and trim (205) since college. But, I do it for me.

        I’ve stopped as much process foods as possible and not go over board. Lots of green in my diet, very little meat and I loath the processed foods now. I’ve been a little hungry but not bad.

        Stick to your guns. Please, consider introducing yourself to women when you are out and about doing things. Especially if you are doing something of interest to yourself.

        Next [post will respond to your new blog. In the mean time, be true to yourself. Be well.

        PS. Never mention a commentator in your blog, it’s bad form for some reason. Just saying. Peace in solitude. Confidence in self.

        June 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

        • thewriter

          Did I mention a commentor?

          June 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

          • il128

            Yes. Spelling and me…

            June 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

          • il128

            Opps. No you did not. Mention a commentator.

            June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

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