Playing the Game… Or Not

It was a roller coaster of a week last week with Mark, with mostly highs, then yesterday almost ending in disaster, saved at the last minute by simple honesty and communication. All thanks to me talking to my sponsor. I’d spent all week trying to figure Mark out, at one point mistaking him for some master of the dark underworld and seedy subculture of some sex cult, because that’s how my crazy imagination works. I was like, Who IS this weird and scary guy? What planet is this guy from? …Take me to your people. Because that’s scary as hell and you’re freaking me out but… sign me up!

Let me explain.

But I sensed Mark was uncomfortable on our second date, or perhaps trying to impress me somehow. He was slightly different than before, when he’d seemed like just a nice, regular guy who happens to be really cute. Something was just off. He talked about his dates from Match, which were some funny stories, but also strange. How was it that so many women were so forward, unprovoked, one of them going so far as to suggest that their first date be the two of them go to Victoria’s Secret together first then go back to her place for sex. He was telling me about how weird it was and that was not his thing, but a part of me found it unbelievable. Who does that? And why? What kind of boundaries had been established between the two of them prior to that? Had he said or done something suggestive? And why was he telling me this now? When I added it all up, I noticed that most of the dates had sex in common, in that the women had advanced themselves to him too early into dating and it had been a turn-off for him. Was he bragging? Trying to gauge my reaction to see if that’s something I would be into? Was he laying down the law to let me know he’s the boss and if I want that I have to let him lead? Or was he just trying to impress me somehow to let me know plenty of women had been attracted to him?

That is where crazy alcoholic thinking goes when you’ve been focused on lust all week, on my goal of doing what I do best which is capture the guy’s attention in a subtle way through sex. That is the sad, deep, raw, painful truth. The message I wanted to send in a subconscious way was basically the same message I’ve sent to every man whose attention I wanted to get, which is this: Sex with me is so mind-blowing you’ll fall in love with me and never leave.

So there you have it, my dear readers, my deep-rooted fear of abandonment rearing its ugly head by me capitalizing on my perceived assets instead of relying on just being me: a funny, smart, and fun woman (who will probably be amazing in bed with the right guy… just sayin).

Mark also did not make a lot of eye contact with me on the second date. He looked around the restaurant, which I found disconcerting, but I decided to look right at him with adoration anyway because I found him endearing. At the time I suspected he was telling me all of this because he was trying to impress me, and though it did not impress me, the fact that he was doing it just to impress me impressed me. But by the end of the date I’d put several pieces together of what he’d said in which he’d tripped himself up by saying he’d been on Match off and on for years, had been on many dates, and had even said he’d dated women of many different races, and then he was like, Oh I shouldn’t say that, that’s not what I meant. He just did not seem that experienced for all the bullshit that I perceived him to be feeding me. He’s 43 and never been married so he must be a commitment-phobe, right? But I decided that I did not care.

Out of politeness I’d offered to pay half the bill, he’d said no, and I was like are you sure, and then he was like, okay, then he was like, would that be tacky? I was like, I don’t know, and he was like, Yeah that would be tacky. At the time I thought he wasn’t that experienced, maybe I’d made him nervous somehow, maybe he didn’t make a lot of money—he had mentioned that he didn’t make a lot. But guys will do that, which I always take to mean they’re letting me now they won’t be my sugar daddy to which I say fine Mister I ain’t looking for no sugar daddy because I’m a badass so don’t be trying to tell me how broke you are. Which is a lie because I would love for some guy to spend all his money on me, though I absolutely am independent and have always been, almost to a fault.

At the end of the date he walked me halfway to my car, asking first if I was okay with that, because some women didn’t want guys to know their license plates or their cars for safety reasons, but I was okay with it, he seemed trustworthy to me, and maybe that was unwise of me, but that’s what happened. And then he didn’t even hug me or shake my hand, which seemed strange for someone who just spent three hours talking to me, but I thought, Oh this is all part of his game.

On the date I’d asked him what it was he was looking for, and said that I’m looking for a long-term relationship. He didn’t answer right away but at the end of the date he said he realized he hadn’t answered that question, and that his answer was that he too is looking for something long term, honesty, and communication. Something in me just didn’t completely buy it, because I think that’s what I’d just said, and he’s just trying to get into my pants by saying cliché answers that he thinks I want to hear. Because those aren’t things you just end a date with and be on your way, but rather, to me, something you start a date with, then elaborate on what you mean by honesty and communication and what “long term” looks like for you. Note to self: This is what I’ll bring up tonight—ask him what these things mean for him.

Soon after our second date things progressed quickly via text conversation about the chemistry between us, and he is eager to seal the deal, as am I, and for a few days we were both willing to throw everything to the wind and just jump into bed together. From what I gather, he doesn’t have faith that a relationship can develop from such mad chemistry but he’s a red-blooded male and will take what he can when he can because it’s not often that he finds this kind of chemistry. My interpretation was that he’s a player playing the game and he does this all the time to dozens of women he meets online and he has no intention of being in a relationship whatsoever. What doesn’t make sense is why he wouldn’t just go on a free site, a hookup site like OKCupid or Tinder rather than Match, which is where I thought all the serious people who wants actual relationships go? Maybe he was just a predator who wanted to deceive women who’d be with him long term so that he could have safe, monogamous with someone without the worry of finding someone else for some time.

So I asked him point blank what would he do if I were to suggest an FWB situation? And he was like, It’s on, I am totally down for that. And I asked why he’d agreed with me about taking things slowly if all he wanted was an FWB in the first place? So then I decided if that’s all he wanted I wouldn’t waste my time trying to get to know him better and instead I’d focus on what our ground rules would be and how I would best protect my heart. Because that [FWB situation] clearly had worked out so well with Jay last time only two months ago when I cried for four days afterwards, as my sponsor reminded me later.

Pretty soon after this agreement Mark proved himself to be too smooth in my mind, too practiced at the art of seduction, because four days later he was sexting me (with words, not dick pics, to be clear—that would not be cool), using all the right words about all the right things he would do to me, and I was like, Who IS this guy? He no longer seemed like an inexperienced dater but someone who planned on using me all along, who wasn’t snide enough to be smooth at the dating part of the manipulation game but had the sex part down pat. So I spent the next five days after that trying to figure out his game. I’d decided he must be an expert Dom prominent in the BDSM community and he was reeling me in to be his newbie Slave, and as soon as my newness wore off, he’d be on to the next unsuspecting victim. You may be asking yourself how the hell did I arrive at that bizarre assumption, and I’ll tell you. He’s into role playing (not S&M or pain, to be clear) and started giving me some 50 Shades vibes and I was like, Oh no he ain’t. I’ve read all three books, though only skipping to the dirty parts in book 2 and then only reading the first part of book 3, because the writer tries to make out like this is love and that’s bullshit. It’s an updated erotic version of Pretty Woman which is an updated erotic version of Cinderella and it’s all lies, ladies. So don’t be trying to tell me this is love and you want me forever, because he was starting to talk about how he wanted to do this often and for a long time with me, and that confused me. Was he asking me to be his girlfriend or his FWB?

(Oh and the other reason I thought this was because I know someone who this actually happened to, and she became heavily involved in the BDSM subculture, started drinking again, moved into a shared house with other Submissives, and told me all about this bizarre subculture that frankly freaked me the eff out. So I was like, Maybe that’s who Mark is, and I was like, Are you a Dom? And he was like, Huh? I was like, Um nevermind just kidding.)

Here’s what finally came of our conversation: he wants a relationship but if he can’t have one then he’ll take great sex, and he can see that the chemistry with me is strong, which doesn’t happen often, and in his experience never led to a real relationship. In other words, like many of us, we gave up after the initial honeymoon period. (And I know that his parents divorced when he was three years old, just like mine. When you grow up your whole life without any good role models for commitment, it’s hard to have faith that it can happen, and maybe harder to make a goal that you work towards.) My experience has been that as soon as I get what I want, I want to leave the relationship. I’m a good codependent and adult child in that way. I’m not proud of it, and I want to change it, but that’s my experience.

I talked to my sponsor about it finally, telling her I was in an FWB situation but it was fine because I’m a liberated woman and I do what I want. She asked me to be honest with myself, and that if that’s what I want, then fine, go with it and be honest with him about that. She also reminded me how it worked out when I tried that with Jay.

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And then at some point she pointed out my bravado. This is the interesting part to me. She suggested that there’s this part of me that feels like I’m not good enough for someone to want me for more than sex, but there’s also this bravado part of me that boasts about what a badass I am and hey dude you cannot hurt me I can play that game too and hey everybody I’m dating a guy who is SIX FOOT SIX which is totally objectifying someone who’s a person who I have to admit I just like. Am I in love? No, I can’t say that. I don’t know him well enough yet.

He got upset with me yesterday after I admitted I do like him, and he was like, I thought that we agreed to be FWBs? I texted back that I needed to understand what our definition of FWB was, because it seemed we were both saying the same thing all along yet using different words. And I worried about it for hours while in class, feeling PTSD-like symptoms of obsessive fear and anxiety, residual feelings from how Steven used to get upset with me for misunderstanding or miscommunicating something and then holding it against me for the rest of our relationship, using everything he could to hurt me. I’m not saying Mark did that, but just that those are the feelings I had. And I wanted to run. Fast. I was ready to say goodbye to this and dating if we could not come to an agreement. I was disappointed but this was already too intense and overwhelming.

I was prepared for him to be a total asshole on the phone but he was completely understanding and we realized we are on the same page. We’ve removed the FWB label from this situation and have agreed to delay the sex and just become friends for now, to see where this goes. If we have sex now it will just confuse the issue and blur the lines. What will feel like love will be lust. I really do want a friend who can also be my lover. I can’t say that we won’t end up having sex anyway and breaking up anyway because I’m under no illusion that an LTR will guarantee forever. Nothing, not even marriage, guarantees forever. He has flaws that are cute to me now but may become annoying later, but he’s likeable and real and I trust him and have fun with him.

Oh and let’s be real. If it turns out we can’t have a relationship, it will be hard for me not to do the FWB thing anyway because I’m a 41-year-old woman and my hormones are like that of a teenage boy, and even though I know I can get hurt regardless, I feel like I can’t say no. We shall see.

So that’s where I am with that today. I feel so much safer and more comfortable now that today I’m relying on God to help me navigate this rather than read articles on the art of seduction and trying to manipulate the situation into working out in my favor. What you do is you get real with yourself and then make that known to others, and if it works out then great. If not then it wasn’t meant to be. For the record, I don’t think it’s shameful to be FWBs, though I’d rather not do it because no matter how well I lie to myself I’m probably going to get hurt. At the same time, sometimes instincts take over.

PS: The reason Mark didn’t make eye contact with me on our second date is because the few times we locked eyes he felt mad chemistry and it made him feel uncomfortable because it’s so rare especially to happen so soon. And I believe this explanation because he brought this up on the phone yesterday.

Here’s something from my new hero, Lady Gaga, whose documentary I just watched on Netflix. The messages from these songs fall more into line with my feelings two days ago but I can relate to her songs, because she has a lot of passion and vulnerability at the same time. I could go on but that’s for another day.

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Like Donkey Kong

Remember my post from yesterday? OMG, that was such a long time ago, my friends. How do I write this. I try to keep this blog fairly family-friendly–ish… I mean, in a dysfunctional, f-bomb, keeping-it-real family-friendly way, so I want to keep this all G-rated, or at least PG-13.

Let me just tell you this: It is ON.

Ladies. Gentlemen. Everyone else. I think you know what I mean.

Let me just lay it down for you like this: Ella got her groove back.

Here’s how it went down. Mark got all upset with me because I’d forgotten to mention a couple of previous partners when discussing our sexual history–the details or numbers of which, btw, are none of his business, but which I’d brought up partly because my ex Steven had made a big deal out of promiscuity and shaming women who’d had multiple partners, and I want to be upfront with any guy in the future that I’m not a virgin yet I’m also not on Tinder hooking up with random dudes all the time. I’m a human being and a grown-ass woman with needs just like you, Mister, and I will not be shamed for having made some drunken, embarrassing mistakes in the past, nor will I be shamed for having a friend with benefits after my divorce (or at any time, for that matter).

When Mark got upset, that told me one of two things. Either dude likes me and feels jealous, or he’s a germophobe and a shamer-blamer like Steven. I felt pretty sure it was the former, but just in case it was the latter, I decided good riddance because I don’t need that in my life. We’re not in high school anymore and I don’t need some grown man in his 40s acting like I’m a bad girl because I had a one-night-stand. I decided that if Mark was going to make a big deal out of this and not talk to me, I would move on, because no way will I be ignored or judged like that.

When I was in high school I dated a boy who was crazy about me. I was not that crazy about him but thought he was fun and funny so I dated him. Same kind of situation with my first husband, except I thought he was stable and not really that fun or funny. In both cases I had them wrapped around my finger because I really did not care if they stayed or left. It was manipulative and controlling on my part, and not fair to them. But let me tell you: they loved it. They just kept coming back for more. Steven did the same to me, and it hurt so badly to be on the other side. It’s such a cruel way to treat someone.

So I felt like I was reverting to my old self when I decided not to contact Mark again after he got upset, because I had apologized (profusely and earnestly, btw), and I sensed he was holding a grudge. It felt like Steven all over again, a situation in which I’d made a mistake, and he got his feelings hurt, and I’d spend the next day or week or however long with a knot in my stomach unable to sleep or eat because I’d “ruined the whole relationship” by saying the “wrong thing.”

When I came into AA I learned that the way I’d treated men with mind games like that was not cool, not a spiritual way of living, that it’s best to be honest and upfront, genuine, and don’t withhold your love. Somewhere along the way for me that got blurred with not setting proper boundaries. It’s one thing to say or do something in order to try to manipulate someone into doing what you want, and it’s another to say this is not okay to treat me like this, and I have no problem walking away if this is how it’s going to be. I’d apologized and now the ball was in his court. If he didn’t accept my apology for this minor detail that I wasn’t even required to offer him anyway, which I’d offered of my own volition, well then I’ll be on my way, sir.

And I did have a problem walking away, because the chemistry is beyond galactic, and we haven’t even kissed yet. But I meditated, prayed, went to the gym, texted with friends, colored my hair, repeated the third step prayer in my head throughout the day, and basically did everything I could to distract myself and try to think of everything but him (or studying, which is what I should’ve spent the whole day doing yesterday). Finally I went back on Match and started emailing and “liking” other guys at the advice of my guy friend Spencer, who is a bad influence. I was like, I feel like I should not do that, Spencer. I should be doing something else, like I dunno reading the Bible or something. To get on Match is just trading one drug for another, and what I really should do is just cancel my subscription and focus on school, friends, myself. God. And I only went on Match for about half an hour because, tbh, it was boring me to be on there.

My therapist had actually suggested something similar before, and another friend also texted me that the best way to get over a guy is to get under another. I’d like to go on the record for saying I think—or thought?—this was all terrible advice, and it seemed to me it’s just avoiding the real issue, which is that I’ve got to get right with me, to be okay with me, and not look to external things or people to make me feel better about myself.

But I have to admit.

It worked.

It didn’t completely keep my mind off the situation, and it did get boring after a few, but it helped me to remember that there are so many other fish in the sea who I can have chemistry with, and I barely know this guy. He is not the last man on earth. Okay so maybe he is six foot six and I try not to think of how big his hands are. But this is just lust. Infatuation. And like I said before, big hands are not a requirement. But it felt good to know I had lots of likes, winks, and emails from other men just as or more interested in me. Don’t give your power away, my guy friend had told me. Make him wait. Do not grovel. Amen to that, brother.

Spencer made a bet with me that he’d contact me again though I felt sure he was gone forever like how I always felt with Steven, and my abandonment issues were in high gear. I braced myself, decided who needs him anyway, though I did start to let go a little bit. These guys are interchangeable, my CODA sponsor had told me before, and I’d thought, Wow, that’s a jaded view. But what I think she means is that there’s no such thing as The One, the fairy tale romance, knight-in-shining-armor who does everything you want all the time, not anymore than there’s any person who does what you want all the time. If there was only One then what happens when dude dies or if he leaves you?

Sure enough, Mark texted me around 3pm. It may have helped that I’d already told him the day before, when we were talking about dealbreakers, that I will not be with someone who ignores me, that if I don’t hear from the guy for a day or so without any explanation I assume he’s no longer interested and I will not go after him. He’d basically said yes ma’am to that, so I figured time and his actions would reveal the truth.

And sure enough.

He came back.

He says he’s interested in me, hopes this will develop into something more, plans to keep me warm this winter, etc. Oh you will, Mister.

But at the same time, we’ll see about that. Because this girl is not hanging around waiting for someone to decide when and if they want me or not, ie, that today you hope this will develop into something more but tomorrow you have no time or space for me, nor will I be hanging out with someone just to have someone around.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

Some Real Personal Shit… or, A Player’s Gonna Play

Where do I even begin.

A lot has happened since my date with Mark. We had a second date. Dude is HOT. The chemistry is intense. Not what I expected this soon into online dating.

But something just didn’t add up, in my mind. Details of what he’d said to me all pointed to him being a player in my book. It seemed to me that he was handing me a bunch of bullshit he thought I wanted to hear—and I did want to hear it, but only if it was true. Mostly I want to hear the truth, so I pulled it out of him: What is it you’re looking for? After many conversations and roundabout ways of figuring out what I think he’s after, I then ask: If I were to say that I wanted an FWB would you be interested?

Indeed, he says.

Of course. That’s all he wanted from the start, I decided. He’s never been married, doesn’t want to commit, so what arrangement could be more perfect for him?

Here’s the problem. I think he likes me. At first I thought he was playing me, and I was like, Nuh uh, mister, a player can’t be played. Snap! So I decided not to be completely honest since I’d decided no way was he being honest with me so why should I be with him?

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The problem with me not being honest is that I’m bad at it. I got caught in the lie and tried to play it off but it hit a nerve with him and now he’s not sure he can trust me.

So I came across this Buzzfeed article and realized I’ve already messed up by imposing the FWB label on this attraction we have to one another. Because if this is the definition of a friend with benefits, that’s not what I want, entirely. I want an actual friend who I talk to on a regular basis, but who has their own life while I have my own life and friends and time apart. I don’t want the pressure of making them my top priority. I don’t want them to feed me some bullshit about how they love me but can’t commit while I wait for them to change their mind.

So then I came across this Psychology Today article which makes more sense for me, and which I hope to share with Mark if he’s still interested. He says he is, but I may have destroyed my chances by breaking his trust, because I told him I’d had fewer partners than I did over the last 14 years. I didn’t completely do it on purpose—I’d hastily come up with a number mentally and subtracted a couple of he-didn’t-counts and decided that was good enough. It seemed to me that my number is small even with the two I forgot. Basically I’m a serial relationship person. I’m 41 years old, y’all. I was in two long term commitments for five and a half years each, with a few in between and after. Is that a lot?

My ex-boyfriend never knew how many. He’d told me his number which was low, and he’d made many comments about “slutty women,” so I gave him the impression I hadn’t been with many guys, knowing I was promiscuous in high school and college, and knowing he’d have judged me for that. Please keep in mind that I was also drunk back then and often blacked out (and depressed and lonely and effed up) and that I slept with people I wouldn’t have slept with otherwise. Not justifying it, but I’m not proud of my past.

I certainly did not have to tell Mark my number, and wish I had not. It was just that he’d seemed overly concerned with the possibility of me having an STD. Who did he take me for? Was it because he’s out there sleeping with dozens of women all the time? Sure seems like it takes one to know one. (Turns out he had a scare years ago.)

It’s possible I have turned into a femme fatale, or maybe it’s just that I’ve always been a jaded person who assumes the only thing the guy wants is sex, and no way will I allow myself to be used in that way without getting mine. If it’s clear to me from the start that he doesn’t want a commitment or that he’s not who I want him to be, but there’s mad chemistry, well then let’s get it on. But don’t expect me to be committed to you or to be 100% honest with you.

It could just be that he’s a nice guy who wants a relationship but is afraid to commit because he’s afraid to get hurt. I’ve reverted to my old way of treating this whole thing like a power play for me to gain control over him and the relationship to keep myself from getting hurt. I chose a different route with Steven because I loved him and I wanted to take a more spiritual approach to life, and I got my heart ripped out. I’d picked a man who could not commit, and after meeting Mark, I suspected he too is someone afraid to commit.

Look at who’s calling the kettle black. Besides Steven, when have I committed? My sponsor tells me you attract what you are. Be who you want to meet and that’s who you’ll attract. She told me, the trouble is that you don’t know what you want. You got that right, sister. I want to have my cake and eat it too, just like the guys I meet, and then get annoyed with them for being that way.

What’s the secret to a lasting relationship? Different houses, time apart, I’ve heard it said many times. Somewhere in there you’ve got to have trust. Relationships look different today than they did 20+ years ago. Not everyone gets married, or even lives together. Some people have open relationships, others have secret affairs. Is anyone faithful the whole time, if that whole time is a lifetime?

The infidelity topic came up the other day when I was on my second date with Mark, so it got me to thinking about my first husband. Maybe Ryan would fess up now if he’d really been unfaithful. We text each other on occasion, so I sent him a text and point blank asked. It’s complicated, he replies. It’s a yes or no question, I text back. I finally pull it out of him that he’d fooled around with one woman and then there was another woman, but both times were when we were “broken up.” Um, we never broke up. Not until the end, anyway. He agreed and admitted he’d justified it that way.

Wow.

I’ve been the bad guy all these years, and he had done just the same thing. Before I had done my irredeemable deed.

I knew it.

This is why beating yourself up is pointless. No one is perfect. We can both blame it all on me for why my ex-boyfriend, Steven, and I broke up, but guess what? It can’t be just one person’s fault. I was faithful to Steven the whole time, and totally committed in spite of the fact that he didn’t want to commit to me. In the past, if I suspected the guy was losing interest or cheating on me, I revenge-cheated in advance. Keep in mind that I was also drinking and not living any kind of spiritual life whatsoever.

Now I am living a spiritual life, or trying to, but it’s hard, and I defaulted to my old manipulative ways of dealing with this new guy. I am hoping we can gain trust in each other and have the conversation in which we decide to just remove any labels and see where this thing goes. In my heart of hearts I confess that I don’t see more than a physical attraction on both ends; time will tell if there becomes a deeper, more emotional connection. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, to have just the physical attraction. I am probably overthinking this whole thing.

So there you have it, folks. Some deeply personal shit from me. God help me to deal with this in the right way, and to learn from it.

Be honest, y’all! And I will try to practice what I preach. Progress, not perfection. One day at a time. And all those other cliches.

Peace and love,

TCH

Being Real… Which Sometimes Means Being Gross

So the basketball-player-size guy I wrote about last time, Mark, asked me on a second date, which we’re going on this weekend. He’s the one I felt chemistry with on the first date, but I want to be careful because I realize that chemistry could be just infatuation, and I’d also gone on another date with another guy the day before, who I didn’t feel instant chemistry with, but who I feel like I have a lot in common with, and who seems interesting. So we need to go on one or two more dates to see if any chemistry sparks up… though I must admit I’ve been thinking about Mark non-stop since our date.

Here’s what I like about him: he seems like the kind of guy who everyone likes, who everyone feels comfortable around, who doesn’t throw around judgments about everyone all the time. He seems like the kind of guy you could make fart jokes with and it be funny and okay. Not that I’m one for scatological humor, but think about it. One day it’s probably going to happen. And then what are you going to do? My ex and I didn’t acknowledge our bodily functions whatsoever. I’d prefer that every man in the world believe I’ve never had any digestive functions in any way, or if I did, that my shit don’t stink. But let’s be real here.

I can’t believe I’m writing about poo. This is what happens when you get old. I always swore I’d never be like my grandmother when I got old, talking about bowel movements. Yet here I am, writing a blog about it. But this is also what happens when you study nutrition, or become a nutritionist. I’ve heard more about people’s poo than I’ve ever cared for, and I’m not even practicing yet. That’s just from working in the supplements department of an organic grocery store. You wouldn’t believe how many constipated people there are out there. Let me tell you: there’s a LOT. Hell, you might be one of them.

What I’m trying to say here is, Mark seems like the kind of guy who, if you accidentally passed gas, he’d just laugh and tease you. Or if you fell down in your six-inch platforms that you bought so you wouldn’t be 14 inches shorter than him, he’d laugh at you. He’d help you up, but he’d tease you. Which might make him sound like he’s real mature, I know, but what I mean is, he seems very real. And familiar. Which I like. I’d much rather someone just laugh, with me, than both of us stare red-faced into the distance pretending like we’re both robots.

Seriously, I don’t know what’s gotten into me. It could be the conversation that popped up out of nowhere when I was out with my friends a couple of weeks ago, in which Spencer confessed an old drinking story in which he accidentally had diarrhea that got all over his white pants while he was in the bathroom peeing the morning after a night of drunken sex with a one-night-stand he’d met when he’d lived back in LA. It was a story he told us in painstaking detail, that had us all in uproarious laughter, of how he tried to hide it but of course could not, followed by another story of explosive diarrhea he’d had on a hangover morning at a baseball game in some horseshoe stadium where there were only two bathrooms on each end of the horseshoe, in the stall of which there was no toilet paper, which he didn’t realize until after he’d emptied the contents of his guts into the toilet.

For some reason this struck us, possibly because it’s not a conversation I’ve ever had before—certainly not with any guys. It’s that unspoken topic of what happens when you’re a riproaring alcoholic, deep in the throes of your disease, when the most embarrassing of human bodily functions happens, in public no doubt. Anyone who’s an alcoholic knows what it’s like to wake up with a hangover that makes you wish you had never woken up, when your head feels like it’s been beaten with a hammer, and your belly’s on fire, but you have to go to work anyway. Most days I downed gallons of Gatorade, Pedialyte, and Alka Seltzer, and prayed for the best, and if it was really bad, I stayed in bed and begged my ex-husband to take me to detox, which he refused to do.

I don’t miss those days one bit.

The way we alcoholics look at it is you have to laugh at all the mishaps, the embarrassing moments of when your (my) stomach would not stop gurgling throughout the entire meeting with your boss, who’s finally like, Are you okay? and you pretend like you didn’t just guzzle down two bottles of wine the night before, just like the night before that, and so many before that you can’t remember the last night you did not drink, and you have no idea that you reek of alcohol every day you go into work. Like when I went into work on a Tuesday and casually mentioned to my co-worker friend that I had a massive hangover, to which she looked puzzled. That was when I realized not everyone got drunk every night after work like I did, and that some things are better left unsaid.

My intention was not for this to be about diarrhea or alcoholism, but to write about what’s been on my mind, which is Mark. Before I went on the date my friends asked me what my safe word was, and I told them not to worry, I’d just tell him I had explosive diarrhea if the date wasn’t going well. Spencer argued that “explosive diarrhea” was redundant, that diarrhea by its very nature is already explosive. Mike maintained that one must include “explosive” for emphasis. Kathy, Freyja, and I just laughed so loud we must’ve had everyone else in the bar (yes, we went to a bar/restaurant) wondering what we’d had to drink. Just water. We were just high on life. That’s one of those phrases I used to hate, before I understood what it meant, and that it’s really possible.

That’s why I love hanging out with my friends so much. They make me belly-laugh.

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(The above image was taken from Pinterest via the Positivity Note Facebook page.)

And that’s what I’m looking for in a partner. I figure if a guy can seem like the kind of guy you can make poop jokes with—well, that’s a real friend. Rather, if he’s the kind of guy you can be vulnerable with, who you can feel comfortable with, then that’s the guy for me. I don’t know if that’s really this particular guy or not, but I do know there’s chemistry, and that’s one thing that no amount or decree of motorcycles, boats, PhDs, or job titles can compete with. I don’t care how sophisticated-yet-outdoorsy the guy is—though that helps, don’t get me wrong—but nothing can compete with the connection you feel from another human being that you just cannot manufacture or explain.

I did not expect this after less than a year of being split up from what’s-his-face. What was his name?

Just kidding.

Of course I would not forget Steven, the guy who I once thought was the king of the multiverse, who awakened my heart then shattered it.

But I will tell you: this helps. It helps to know there are not just other fish, but some good-looking, hot-ass fish, bad-ass yet friendly and sexy uh-huh fish. Six foot six tall, big man fish. Light-hearted yet real fish.

Light-hearted yet real. Now there’s a goal. To feel light and love, to not be so heavy and serious all the time, yet to be genuine, authentic. I don’t know if that’s really how he is, but I know that’s how I want to be, and who I want to surround myself with.

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(The above image came from Pinterest via this page.)

Peace, love, light, namaste, all that hippie shit…Love you guys!

TCH

What the World Needs Now

It feels wrong to write about anything other than the tragic news of Las Vegas yesterday, or the dire conditions in Puerto Rico, so I feel I should at least mention it before I go into my post about dating. If you’re like me and feel helpless, look up ways to help and just pick the charity of your choice. Since I don’t live in the Las Vegas area, I cannot donate blood, so I donated to their local Red Cross. But there are all kinds of disaster relief organizations you can contribute to.

I don’t know if Puerto Rico is getting the money and supplies that are being sent, from what I’ve heard, but I donated anyway, and signing petitions and letters to Congress because it’s better than doing nothing. People are dying. And suffering. And animals are too.

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On a completely different note, both of my dates went well. I did not expect that at all. I expected to go on dozens of dates with guys who I had no chemistry with and to meet someone in six months to a year after going out on countless first dates. Not that that won’t still happen, but it’s just odd for both dates to feel promising. I’m not really ready for this! I just went on this site to help me get over Steven 100%, and not to feel so rejected by Jay (who I didn’t care about anyway and who I saw the other night and it was such not a big deal–it’s just that I hate rejection lol), and because my therapist suggested it. I’ve been having too much fun with my friends and my independence to want to ever go back to the codependent, isolated relationship Steven and I had. It would be great to have a relationship with someone and have my independence but I don’t know what that looks like, because I’ve always made the guy my top priority.

How can someone like two guys? And there’s a possible third one who I’ve been emailing but we haven’t went on a date yet. (I’ve already decided he’s probably a no-go, because one of the first emails he sent me he asked me if I was being sarcastic about some well-meaning, benign comment I’d made. That kind of paranoid insecurity scares me, but I do want to keep an open mind.)

Maybe I’m just in love with everyone. I do feel strong love for a lot of people in general. Maybe that’s what happens when you start learning to love yourself? It’s so refreshing not to feel indifferent to or annoyed by most people, but instead to love people for who they are, warts and all. Not that I walk around feeling like this all the time—it’s a practice that’s become easier and easier, and I do have a lot of days in which it takes no effort at all.

My friends all want to know, who do I like better? So far there’s more chemistry with Mark, the extra tall guy, though I have more in common, and feel like there’s more relationship potential with Lawson. Mark’s just a friendly guy who seems like someone who everyone likes. He’s fun, positive, warm. He’s close to his family-of-origin, and he comes across as someone who’s protective, who looks out for his friends and family, which I love. He’s never been married which is a possible red flag since he’s 42, but I try not to judge. It could be my insecurity talking, but he seems like he could be the kind of guy who’s a player but no one knows it because he’s just super nice. He seems like the kind of guy who makes you feel special because he genuinely feels that way about you, but he also feels that way about everyone else in the world. He works for some government organization doing something with plants which he loves and has done for many years, but says he doesn’t make much money but it’s worth it to him because he loves it. I commend him for that, and don’t believe he doesn’t make much money, though I believe he thinks he doesn’t make much. It doesn’t matter to me if he doesn’t make a high salary because I’d rather date a guy who loved his job and made an average salary than someone who hated their job and made high salary. (I’m not interested in taking care of a guy who makes a low salary though. Let’s be real here.)

Lawson on the other hand is so sophisticated I had to wonder if he’s really gay, because no straight guy is that amazing (no offense to my straight guy friends). He’s also tall (but only 6’1 and not basketball-player-tall like Mark), and he’s thoughtful, musically talented (he plays guitar), loves his dog (better than hating your dog, right? lol), loves the outdoors, drives a Harley (okay so apparently I have a thing for bikers, so sue me), and he’s an attorney. He’s really good-looking, more so than Mark, but I didn’t feel strong chemistry. I’m not giving up though because I read an article that says to give it at least a few dates to see if there’s chemistry.

A new friend of mine—who I don’t know that well, so consider the source, because she just married a guy she met less than a year ago on eHarmony, which to me is nuts—but she told me that when there’s immediate chemistry, like that feeling that this is my soul mate, like how I felt with Steven, [she’d said] that feeling might be a red flag that high drama is about to ensue. It’s been bothering me for some time because this is the opposite of what we’re told in this [American] culture, that you meet someone who you just know right away is your soul mate. So I did my research, ie, I referred to Google, and found this article about chemistry. It’s not exactly Psychology Today but good enough for me.

My therapist said something that struck me the other day. We were talking about all the different factors that go into play when dating and whether or not it works with someone, and she said it’s like a crap shoot, that so many different reasons go into it, and she casually threw out a few reasons, one of them being if you’re horny. LOL! But I just realized how incredibly true that is. And it made me wonder if that’s why there wasn’t chemistry with Lawson, but there was with Mark. Because Sunday I was not feeling frisky, though yesterday… let’s just say Ella got her groove back. Ella’s me, but not really, because that’s a pseudonym, but you get the point.

Now that the hormones are in high gear, I feel a sense of urgency to rush into something with one of these guys. Which I realize is unwise. My friend Kathy suggested I do one of two things: 1) Have sex and have fun, or 2) Wait it out and be friends first.

I really, really want to follow option #1. I’m human, y’all!

But I’m going to try and just be friends for now. Kathy was like, Yeah it’s really hard to do that option because you have to come up with conversation and activities and shit. Gah! So exhausting. But that once you run out of things to say to each other then you find out if you really like the guy or not. Seemed like wise advice to me.

Hugs and prayers to all the victims and loved ones of the victims of all the recent hurricane devastation and the mass tragedy in Las Vegas. And rest in peace, Tom Petty.

Love,

TCH

Getting Over Him

Something wonderful happened last night, and today I can see that it was meant to happen and not just some coincidence. It may not even seem that major, but for me it is.

My original plan had been to go to a meditation with Spencer, and I’d been looking forward to it. But Spencer cancelled because he had to work late, so I decided to stay in and study. I got home, started studying, then realized I have no speaker for Sunday night. Sunday nights I’m the “speaker-getter” for an AA meeting I attend, which means I find someone in AA to speak on their experience in Alcoholics Anonymous. Usually I try to find speakers far in advance so I don’t have to worry about not having someone. In order to get a speaker I have to go to meetings and find someone who I think has a positive message, but I don’t go to AA meetings every night. Wednesdays I have meditation, Thursday I have open mic spoken word night, Friday I have CODA, Saturday this week I have work, and that leaves Sunday. I’d already texted several people, none of whom could do it. I didn’t want to go to the meeting because I needed to study, and I knew Jay would be there, and I didn’t want him to think I was trying to see him, and I didn’t want to see Yvonne.

I decided to swallow my pride and go anyway, so I asked my friend Kevin to take me for support.

We get there, and a few people are standing outside, so we stop and talk, and sure enough, here comes Jay, and I’m certain he’s surprised to see me standing out there since I only go to that meeting every blue moon. But I see him and I just smile and say hello. He heads straight over for his motorcycle buddy who just noise-polluted his way into the parking lot, and I realize something. I don’t even feel nervous, or care at all. It was so friggin easy! I don’t give a damn that he’s not paying attention to me because I have my own friends, and I’m doing my own thing, and I have a right to be there as much as anyone else. His motorcycle buddy who normally says hi didn’t say anything to me, maybe by chance, and his other buddy who’d asked me out a couple of weeks ago didn’t say anything to me either, maybe by chance, or maybe because I’d turned him down. Either way, who cares?

After the meeting Kayley, one of our mutual friends who’s known Jay longer than she’s known me, talks to me and apologizes for not replying to my earlier text. I’d guessed that she was avoiding me because her loyalties lie with Jay and Yvonne, and had decided it didn’t matter. I just told her that was fine I was sure she was busy with school and work, which she was, and she agreed to speak for me at a later time. She looked at me and said the same thing that Jay’s buddy had told me last week: “How are you doing? You look good.”

Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I’m not sure how to interpret that. I feel like that’s the kind of thing you say to someone who you know has been through a hard time. Likely they knew Jay decided to go back to Yvonne. They already knew I’d had a tough year because everyone in AA knows that. I’ve made no secret about that.

Or maybe they just think I look good. I try to take it that way, instead of the paranoid way.

Jay then came up to us in an awkward way like he wanted to talk to us but not really so he just kind of came near, and I smiled and said, “Hello Jay, good to see you,” and he smiled and said hi and then kind of crab-walked away while Kayley and I continued talking in our conversation that had nothing to do with him. After a bit her body language told me she wanted to get away so I let her go but not without saying, “Hey I’ll let you get to doing your thing,” and she was like, “It’s just too loud and crowded in here; I want to go outside,” so I didn’t follow her because I assumed she was trying to get away from me. Maybe she was just trying to get away from the crowd and it had nothing to do with me, so I pretended that’s what I thought it was, and like I have plenty of other people to talk to anyway, which I did. Most of the time, maybe all the time, it’s best not to take things personally, and just to be polite, because it often turns out there was no reason to take it personally anyway. And if I had taken it personally, it’s not even my problem or issue to worry about. I had a right to be there, and if people don’t want to be my friend because I had a fling with Jay after he and Yvonne broke up, that’s their problem, and I didn’t need to be their friend anyway.

My point is, it was all so easy. I didn’t feel nervous, I didn’t feel upset, I did not feel rejected. If anything, I felt pretty darn good. This may sound incredibly arrogant, but I even kind of had this feeling towards Jay: Aren’t you sorry you didn’t decide to take your chances with me? It’s arrogant because it doesn’t factor in the crucial seven-year relationship he had with Yvonne, the history they’ve shared, the foundation they’ve built. Of course I would love to have that with someone, and thought I was building that with Steven.

Which brings me to the bigger, underlying issue: getting over Steven.

He came across my list of matches on Match.com, or maybe it was the “What If” page—I can’t remember. It was a page in which you can read the person’s summary without clicking on their page, because no way in hell would I click on his profile. And his summary was all about how he’s on a quest for true, lasting love, and something about how if one or both people are in spiritual or emotional disrepair then it can’t last. He used lofty language that my friends said came across as arrogant, and as someone who has to be right all the time. And his user name is steven_phd (not his real name, but you get the gist).

A quick aside about that. I’d noticed someone else who’d emailed me as ER_Doc and had thought, You know, I really don’t care if you’re a doctor. If that’s all you have to bring to the table, and you have to put that in your user name to try and attract someone, you’re using the wrong method, and you’ll be attracting the wrong kind of person. It’s like how I thought Jay was so great just because he had a boat and a motorcycle. Those external things don’t make a relationship.

Steven’s profile description is a loftier version of what mine says. I like to think mine comes from the heart (that’s always my goal in writing, anyway) whereas his sounds like an academic essay a psychologist wrote. One of my friends said he sounds like a narcissist, but I think everyone gets that label these days, and he’s really just bipolar and probably in a manic phase right now. But he did have “phd” in his email address too. I fell for that. I remember he’d told me he wasn’t arrogant, and I didn’t really believe him, but I went along with it, because self-confidence is attractive. But he didn’t have self-confidence. He had what many or all of us have at some point (or forever) in AA, which is this: he’s an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.

When I first read his description, I thought, I sure hope he’s talking about himself there, being in a state of spiritual and emotional disrepair, because my MOM had just fucking DIED, you selfish bastard. I don’t care if it was four months previously—that’s not much time. She was my MOTHER. The one who gave birth to me, who nurtured me, who was my biggest cheerleader, who loved me unconditionally. Can someone tell me who loves you more than your mom? Sadly, I get the feeling he didn’t get that from his mother.

The other thought I had was this: if he expects someone to never be in any state of emotional or spiritual disrepair, then he’ll always be disappointed. If a couple can’t stay together during hard times, they’re not meant to be together. Commitment is about sticking with someone through thick and thin, and growing together during those times. He and I had our time together, and now it’s over. He could not handle my grief, could not stick with me throughout the duration, and he couldn’t deal with my weirdness over my stepbrother. A friend of mine said, There’s no way he broke up with you only because of that. But that is the reason. He felt like I’d accused him of being a child molester, and that was it for him. There was no recovering from that; that was unforgivable to him—and I’d like to add one more time here that I did not accuse him of that, nor have I ever thought he had done that or would do that. And I told him so. Multiple times. There had to be more to it than that, my friend said. And there was: he couldn’t deal with my grief or my issues, and he had to have known somewhere deep down that I wouldn’t stay with him if he continued to shut me out every time he got upset with me. Because I’d finally put my foot down over Thanksgiving and broke up with him after he spent more than a week ignoring me. After a year and a half of allowing him to ignore me every few months I was finally done–almost. Because I took him back at the first hint of reconciliation, and then on New Year’s my higher power did for me what I could not do for myself, and we split for good.

After ruminating over it for a few days, I realized what bullshit his profile is, and how odd that I fell for that person. I thought, How is what we had NOT what he’s describing there in his profile? How was he unable to see that I was willing to commit, to do anything for him? And I thought, if he can’t see that, then he doesn’t deserve my time.

Finally I’m seeing more and more how when life doesn’t go my way, it’s not because there’s a punishing God who wants to see me unhappy. It’s because something better is in store for me. I don’t deserve to be treated that way. I’m worth more than that. I have so much more to offer today than I did in early sobriety, and certainly more than when I was drinking. And I’ll be damned if I just give that away to someone who takes it for granted, or worse, treats it like it was nothing, like it was just not good enough, which is exactly what he did. I could never be perfect enough for him. Welp, hopefully he will find someone one day who is as perfect as he acts like he is. Good luck to him finding that. Because that is why he can’t commit. I’m human, and I make mistakes, and my quest is to find someone who can see that, and love me in spite of it, or maybe, in some cases because of it.

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I realize at some point it would be wise for me to exercise forgiveness and compassion, and I realize too that he’s mentally ill and can’t help the way he is. But today’s not that day, and I’ve got to be real with myself, and with y’all. This is a process, and I’m working towards that. In the meantime I’m already starting to see how Jay has helped me get over Steven, even though Jay didn’t stick with me, because it wouldn’t have worked anyway. There’s someone better in store for me. Oh and I have a date with the extra tall guy next Monday, and a date with another guy who seems really sweet (and good-looking) on Sunday. I’ll keep y’all posted!

Love and peace,

TCH

Online Dating, Baby Goats, and Just Being Yourself

During each painful setback comes a more beautiful opportunity for growth. The combination of self-care actions I’m taking are working, and I feel so… enlightened and at peace.

This past week I’ve been meditating each morning, and have worked up to eight minutes at a time (can’t quite make 10…it’s progress though, y’all!). I’ve been reading Sharon Salzberg’s book, Real Love which is incredibly helpful, and I highly recommend it.

This online dating thing has been a fascinating learning experience for me about myself. Maybe the best part about it is that I’m in no hurry, and I don’t feel desperate or eager to jump into a relationship with anyone–though I ain’t gone lie, ladies (and gentlemen, and everyone else). I do get excited when I meet someone who seems interesting. The most recent guy is 6’6. Good. Lord. That’s more than a FOOT taller than I am! I immediately connected with him after he mentioned that his dad died suddenly five years ago. My SOUL mate! Another orphan like me! He gets it! He’s part of the club! The club no one wants to be in but everyone joins at some point if you live long enough.

Just kidding, btw. I don’t really think he’s my soul mate just because he’s also a partial orphan, but it was nice to connect with someone on a deeper level and have a more human interaction, as much as can be done via email. The other guy I’ve been talking to texts me each day but never really says anything of substance, so I don’t know yet if he’s bad at texting or if he’s just super boring. I do know that I’m in love with his dog though. I would talk to this guy on the phone but I ain’t got time for that, folks. This girl right here is incredibly busy with school, work, AA, and my friends. More on all of that in a bit. And it’s not that I don’t want to talk to anyone, but I figure I already paid for this service and I assume it will take a long time to find someone–if I find anyone at all from there. The beauty of it is that I get to decide. And I get to learn from it.

So I want to tell you how I’ve been able to watch my mind throughout this process so far. So the orphan dude—we’ll call him Goliath—sent me an email and mentioned his dad in it, and instantly my mind was off Jay and onto this new guy. I thought of how nice it was that someone was connecting with me. Jay’s dad died years ago too but he didn’t talk to me much about it (or anything else), and that’s just not the kind of guy I want. So it’s already like, Good riddance. I really do not need or want that in my life. My goal is to be more emotionally open—I’ve already lived most of my life the other way and I don’t want to go back there.

What bothered me was how quickly I shifted from obsessing over Jay to obsessing over Goliath when I know damn well that love can only be found within me. Thursday I talked to my therapist about it, and she told me something that I finally believe, and feel so grateful to have heard from her, which is this. She said, “You’re very normal.” I was like, “Are you sure, or are you just saying that because that’s what they tell you in therapy school to tell your clients?” She said, “I promise you.” She said, “The only thing about you is that you worry too much about being crazy. You’re no more crazy than the next neurotic person.”

Hallelujah! I’m no more crazy than the next crazy person! See? We’re all nuts in our own way, but at the same time we’re not unique in our craziness. If that makes sense.

It’s dawning on me that she tells me this every time I talk to her, in different words. Usually it’s something like this, “You’re fine,” or “That’s a normal reaction,” or “Of course you felt that way, anyone would.” It’s always so reassuring.

The other day I had an epiphany. Really it was something I already knew but failed to give credit to, and it came to me when I was meditating. The meditation was to recall an experience in which I’d said or done something that left me feeling guilty or ashamed, and of course I thought of the words I’d said to Steven that caused him to drive me home in the middle of New Year’s night to get all my stuff out of his apartment and out of his life forever. For months I’ve been beating myself up for saying that to him. Why would I say such a foolish, unwise thing? Why imply or insinuate that there’s something sinister behind his love for his daughter, when I know that’s not true, and I know I don’t believe that about him. I had that unhelpful feeling of What’s wrong with me? So the meditation exercise is to recall a situation in which I felt regretful for, and to then to mentally say the words I’d say to a friend:

You did what you knew to do at the time. You were at a difficult time in your life. You were devastated by your mother’s loss and you felt isolated and afraid. You didn’t get that kind of love from your father so of course you felt jealous. You felt ignored during that time so of course you felt jealous.

And here’s the biggest one of all.

Of course you had that thought because you have that fear about everyone.

These are all things I knew about myself, but somehow they hit harder yesterday. Because here’s the thing: throughout my life I have often find myself wondering if there was some kind of seedy underworld that was really going on that I just don’t know about yet but which everyone’s participating in. Over the past several years I’ve gotten much better about it, and thought I was over it completely, but from what I hear in CODA, it never goes away completely. It makes so much sense. If you grow up in a chaotic household in which things happen that aren’t supposed to happen and your trust gets broken at an early age, you might grow up suspicious too. What I knew was that I loved my stepbrother deeply, but he was not a good guy. Or maybe he was, and he just didn’t take good actions. But no one had told me that. I found out by eavesdropping on my sister and my mom. So it was confusing.

In Real Love, Salzberg writes about “reframing the story.” She grew up in a broken home and felt victimized for years. But here’s the thing: we do not have to live in that story. If you believe that you create your own reality, which I do, you get to decide what your story is, or how you look at your story, rather. That doesn’t mean bad shit didn’t happen, but it doesn’t mean I had no love or happiness, because in fact, I had lots of love and happy times with my mom, my sisters, and even my stepbrothers who were both very sick. One of them committed suicide when he was 28, and the other—my favorite—is a fugitive today, if Google is correct. It doesn’t matter, because that’s in the past.

Today I have two wonderful sisters and a niece and nephew, and I have my dad, my stepdad. My brother-in-law. And let’s don’t forget all of their sweet pets.

The point is, we got through it. And we can choose what to focus on from our past. Some of my favorite memories are of the times I’ve had with my sisters. And they make me laugh so hard. And now my sister’s kids and my brother-in-law makes me laugh. When I went to see the eclipse with my dad and his wife, I was able to appreciate him for who he is. He too is a quirky, endearing guy who was so delighted to see this once in a lifetime event. He was out there with his maps, examining his solar glasses, surveying the area, making sure we were in just the right spot. It made me want to hug him. And other people just came up to him and talked to him, as they often do. People just like him. He doesn’t put forth any pretenses. He’s just himself, and I think that’s what everyone really wants from each other.

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The above image was taken from this blog.

This morning I have a date with a guy I met from Match, and I hate to say it, but I don’t even want to go anymore. I’ve kind of already decided I should’ve marked him off when I found out he had a grown daughter who lives in the house with him. But at the same time I want to keep an open mind. My sister suggested maybe I find a guy who doesn’t have kids, which I took offense to at first, but I think she’s right. I want a partner, and not to feel like I’m second or third in someone’s life.

The good news is that it’s at a place I’ve been wanting to go, a nature center where there are butterflies and orchids. My therapist said one of her friends went on Match and found that if she just made plans to go for a walk with the guy, she wasn’t wasting her time if it didn’t work out because she was going for a walk anyway. She needed to get her exercise, and she wanted someone who’d go on walks with her. So if the guy wasn’t interested, then that was it. I’m thinking that’s a darn good idea.

I do have a loose “no-kids” rule but I think it’s unrealistic to expect it since most people eventually have kids. At the same time, less people (Americans anyway) have kids these days than, say when my parents were young.

The key to online dating is not to get hung up on any one guy. It’s been a few days since I wrote about the extra tall guy and he hasn’t responded to my latest email, in which I asked him how important it was that his partner attend sporting events with him. Because that’s just not my thing. I love the outdoors, but I am not one to freak out over football games, or games of any kind. Maybe he was hoping for someone to go to games with, and that’s not me. And you know what? That’s fine with me. I’d rather find someone who wants to go hiking and biking.

Already I feel the same about Jay. Mostly I was interested in the fact that he had a boat and motorcycle, and we could have fun together. But after a conversation with a friend about how old that would get after a while, and the drawbacks to it, I got real with myself and realized I don’t care that much about that stuff. Because nothing is as important as connecting with someone on a deeper level, to just have fun no matter what external things are around to entertain us. The last time I was on the boat with Jay I got motion sick because of all the sharp turns, and the boat smells like gasoline because it’s in need of repair. And the last time I went tubing they didn’t have the tubes with the bottoms in them, meaning you had to float with just your ass in the water. And I’m not a big fan of getting my private parts in river water, folks. Nor do I like getting my head underwater with water getting all in my eyes and ears and nose. I’ll do just about anything once, but let’s be real here.

1homey

(I’m dating myself with the above meme that I found from this site; my younger readers may not have any idea what that’s in reference to? Oh man, I’m getting old.)

And at the time I felt sad about my ex and jealous of Jay and Yvonne because they had what I’d wanted (or so I imagined), which was a deeper love and commitment to each other, and I left that for what? For Jay? I didn’t have to tell Steven I was dating other guys, and I didn’t have to date Jay.

(For anyone new to this blog, Steven asked me over for dinner several months after we broke up, and I said sure but I’m dating other guys, and he said pah, nevermind.)

Really I did it because I had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t work out with Steven regardless, and I took a gamble at something I knew wouldn’t work either, just to confirm what I already knew, which is this: there are so many other fish in the sea. Never was I under any illusion that Jay was The One. But of course I felt rejected when he decided to go back to his ex. But you know what? That’s okay. Good for them. Something else is in store for me. It would never have worked with Jay anyway. Just like it won’t work with me and someone who wants me to go to football games with them. Ain’t gonna happen.

Today I’m more excited about my plans after the date which is to visit a petting farm with one of my friends where they have goats, cows, sheep, and lots of other farm animals who I want to hug and hold, if they’ll let me. They let me hold a baby goat last year! It was such a joyful, precious moment. I’m not sure if any baby goats will be there since it’s fall because I still don’t know a lot about goats but I do know the babies are typically born in spring.

My dream still is to get my own tiny house on a piece of land just on the outskirts of town with my own goats and chickens. In my mind I picture it looking like this (and technically these are sheep but just pretend they’re goats):

0sheep

Though in reality it might look closer to this:

0goats-roof

Ah well. One day.

One day.

Until then I can be happy right where I am today.

Peace, namaste, and all that love stuff,

TCH