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

Posts tagged “dating stories

The Taste of Tail Feathers Again – The Online Dating Breakdown

Oh online dating, I hate you.

I’m not sure if I have an accurate picture of myself or my desired match. I mean, most times I think I have a pretty good handle on it. And then someone comes along and resets the markers and my own understanding has to be reevaluated. But I am learning, I think. Let’s recount a recent “Oh yeah” for me that seemingly has become a near miss.

First me. Let’s see. I think I’ve set out my parameters pretty well. And the fact that she connected with me through my other 100% positive parenting blog, and through my post on what a single dad wants in his next relationship, well, let’s just say my best foot was forward on the mechanics of dating. (But I still have really had only one post-divorce experience, so far, so I realize I don’t have all that much actual information.)

And after she requested a “friend” on Facebook, citing mutual friends (25) and at least something that she must’ve seen in my public profile, we jumped into a fun banter. So she wrote a nice, “Hey we should be friends since we’re…” And it was a wonderful jolt to wake up on Dia de Los Muertos with a very attractive princess (Halloween costume) saying she’d read my single-dad post and wanted to be friends.

Of course, I accepted the friend request. And then the romantic madness ensued. (Mostly driven by me, but that’s okay, writing is what I do.)

Letting the banter run wild we chatted on FB over the course of the entire day. And things, on my end, could not have gone better. The more we chatted the more we seemed to have things in common. A quick wit and quick qwerty-fingers. It was a thrill. Like a first date. Almost. From her side, she said very encouraging things. And at one point asked, “Even if we hate each other once we meet, can we still be friends on Facebook, I would hate to lose this banter.”

She got it. But… She was also getting it. Somewhere along this path, I was letting my heart get involved. Even knowing the romance was pure fantasy, what a thrill to find a mutual attraction of the minds that seemed to expand and continue over the course of an entire day. And even after negotiating a Saturday afternoon meetup, I was hungry for her. Uh oh.

But I have learned a bit about this before. So I did my thing. I read. Wrote. And social media-ed. And since I had my kids that night, I didn’t have too much time to dig into her profile before taking my kids to breakfast in the morning and delivering them to their mom’s house and it was off to the “coffee date,” meet up, first face-to-face encounter. I kept my calm about me. Sat by the front of the cool coffee shop and waited.

Now, here’s where I’m going to reveal some of my vulnerabilities. She came in and said “Hi.” We did a simple hug. And she was going to order something to drink. In that first few moments, watching her at the counter ordering coffee, I observed myself taking her all in. Jeans and comfy shoes, very nice lines, well within my happy zone. I was struck by how easily I qualified her by her appearance. I liked the look of her right away.

And when she came to the table, and we chatted for two hours, I was no less intrigued and fascinated. Again I was trying to observe my reactions in a more objective way. She had amazing eyes of blue, something I noticed immediately in her photographs. And a wicked smile, that I kept sort of staring at, imagining, going there. (Oops.) And her shirt and the shape of her neck as it entered the simple thermal shirt. Yep, my brain said, she’s in.

And while I was trying to show my most charming side, I’m not sure I was getting the pickup or resonance I was hoping for. I am still not sure, but I could almost feel her first scan when I stood up to greet her. Again, I’m making this up, but I felt like she took me in from running shoes to shorts, to black t-shirt and then to my smile, all in the course of 30 seconds. And maybe that was all it took, maybe she was/is playing demure. But here’s what happened next…

We headed out to the cars, saying goodbye and such. And rather than the “what’s next” vibe, I got, “Well, I’d like to hear your song, sometime.”

It wasn’t the BINGO I was hoping for. And I am certain I was aglow. In reviewing my own behavior and expectations, I was at the top of my form. Maybe my form didn’t meet her expectations or projections from our Facebook romance. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

All systems go, all hearts and minds engaged, and you meet and nothing. (groan)

But, playing it cool, I wanted to make sure I was not over-thinking. I didn’t really have a roadmap for what it would look like if she were 100% aflame as well. But that’s what I was hoping for. I don’t think that’s what happened.

A couple of hours later I pinged her on Facebook just checking in.

“Just let me know, and do you want to get together tomorrow sometime?”

Her response took 3 hours and it was kind of obtuse. As if she didn’t understand what I was saying. A very different voice from the engaging romantic she had cooked up in my mind during our first 24-hours as FB friends. Okay, no worries, perhaps she’s being conservative. Perhaps she doesn’t know what to expect either.

I switched gears in my response the next day. “So do you get your son today or tomorrow?”

And this response was even more off. “Tomorrow, but I’m going to rest today.”

And this time, for the sake of clarity and brevity I went direct. “So… That’s kinda “meh”. Am I getting that right?”

She seemed to misunderstand. “Meh?”

“I was trying to get a read on if you were interested in getting together again. Perhaps I’m being dense. I enjoyed your company yesterday and would like to see you again if desire and time allows. No hurry.”

And here’s where the mystery begins and ends. “I would definitely really love to be friends and then see what goes from there.”

And I dropped the thread with an affirmation of this sentiment. But that’s not what I was looking for. The responses had become hours in return. When we were flirting the responses were fast and flighty. So…

I think the message was clear. At some very early moment in our meeting, I did not meet some parameter of hers. All that built up energy and romantic charge didn’t offset or live up to whatever she had hoped I would look like.

I went to the well on this one and asked GF #1 about it.

“So, in this current situation… I simply wait it out, right? Any signal from me would be over-reaching? Seems to weird not to say “hello” today, but I think she needs to feel like she’s in control. She initially reached out to me. If she was “meh” then she won’t. If she was “maybe” then she will. But I think I have responded to her favorable statement, and now I drop the line and let her run until she realizes she’s missing me in the same way she was missing someone before I ever showed up. Is that right? Would you feel pressured if your spark followed up too quickly?”

GF #1 said that her gut-read was cautious rather than “friend zone” but she liked the idea of letting her line run.

So that’s where I am. I’ll invite her to coffee today.

What I learned.

  1. I am a powerful romantic and do enjoy the flight of romance that can happen via online connections.
  2. I have pretty distinct evaluation criteria that can only be decided in-person.
  3. Too much pre-roll romance wastes a lot of energy if there’s not a match.
  4. My disappointment at feeling the match and not having it reciprocated, is still hard.
  5. Less fantasy, less striving, more walking and playing music.
  6. Move along.

Update: After finishing a nice long walk I had a few additional observations on my most recent fishing expedition. I got some jazz from the connection, generated two poems from it, and got to feel my heart get all big again. Nice. I also got a bit of a hangover when the resonance did not match what I was hoping for. And now… I’m waiting for her FB response? Um, no. That’s the miss. While I did offer coffee today, my guess is her response will be lukewarm. And unless I press the date, it probably won’t happen. Sad, but true. A waste of energy? Not really. A new learning? In theory, but we’ll see the next time a princess shows up at my door. Moving forward, onward, and upward. You’ve got to turn over a lot of rocks to find the diamond, I guess. And of the three YES-vibes, I got upon meeting a first date, this was the furthest I’d gone down the projection path, with all the mutual banter between us. Perhaps I should’ve focused more on my work that day, or the song that was trying to be born. Either way, I’m not unhappy with the results, just disappointed at yet one more grab and miss. But at least the promise of a YES is still out there.

A poem upon getting her hello on FB: arriving at any time (I shared this one with her,” a poem is a poem, you know.”)
A poem upon sensing the miss or possible caution: let’s pretend nothing sparked (I did not share this one, directly)


The Off Parent

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image: a random capture off the web

The Woman Who Slept With Pitbulls

She wasn’t the first woman I’d made love to, but she was the first woman who seemed to have potential. She appeared to have her act together, and I loved her petite body. (See the beginning of the story here: Racing Into Love & Right Through the Exit)

This woman had a thing for her two pit bulls. Things at my house, seemed fairly normal, the one dog and the cat were well-behaved. At her house, the dogs ran the show. And these were some muscular dogs.

I liked them. I learned more about pitbulls in the first few hours at her house than I’d ever known about pitbulls. But it was a bit weird when they took over the bed. Sure, I like it when my little terrier cuddles up beside me in the bed, but these dogs were her sleeping companions. And there was barely enough room to squeeze in with them. And if push came to shove, it was also clear who would be injured first.

The dogs were the first sign that things might not be right in my new little love fantasy. The next sign was when we disagreed about something and she flipped right out. I think the topic was TV or reading, is one better than the other. (See she had an unabashedly heavy addiction for reality television. I even added a blurb about “if you’re really into tv” to my online dating profile after this experience.) She expressed it this way, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I was trying to say that reading was more engaging, might lead to more creative inspiration for the reader. She was simply furious. I’m not sure if she was mad that I was disagreeing with her, or if it was about her tv addiction, or maybe that her dogs really started liking me. At one point, as this first argument progressed she went upstairs in a huff. (Fury might be a better word for it.) And the male dog didn’t follow her. He stayed on the couch with his head on my lap. At one point she came down and got him.

Um… Red flag #1.

She proceeded to ratchet the argument up over the next hour or so, even though I was still trying to figure out what we were arguing about. And eventually, I left. We were planning on spending the weekend together, maybe that’s what was freaking her out, and this was a way to make sure that didn’t happen. After the anger that followed me out the door, we both needed some cooling off time. This was… say… weekend number two, mind you, pretty dang early in courtship to start blasting the other person.

We took a few days. Texted and emailed. And when Friday came around again, we made plans to have dinner. I was hopeful that the storm had passed. The email repairs, while mostly on my part, seemed to have settled things back into a cordial connection.

As dinner progressed things seemed to be a little tense, but workable. I was really interested in “relating” again after dinner. We were close to my house and perhaps…

She was talking about her grad school program and how much it was costing her trying to finish her degree. And then she said something that surprised me. “Yeah, those fucking research assistants and their grants.” I guess she was taking out a loan to get through school.

I paused. “Um, can I ask you a question?”

See already looked mad.

“So are you really angry that those people got grants. Or are you playing a sour grapes joke on me?” I thought she might have been making an odd joke. The tone of her statement was so exaggerated.

She froze and glared. I knew at that second, she had not been joking.

“I’m sorry. Did I just piss you off?”

She glared.

“I was thinking you were making a joke.”

“Do I look like I’m joking?”

Red flag #2. And we’re done.

She got into her car without really saying good-bye and unfriended me on Facebook about 15 minutes later. She also hid her profile from me on OK Cupid. Wow.

Beware the grad student who sleeps with pit bulls.


The Off Parent

image via creative commons use – pampered pitbull

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