So, how are things going, you ask?

  • I’m getting something like 10 emails per day from AFF. Mostly no one I am interested in. That, or once we exchange a couple emails, he asks me for a pussy picture or does something else just as gross, and I blow him off. Men . . . so stupid!
  • I updated my Match.com profile and turned it on. Then I panicked because I didn’t want any of my FWBs to see it and also because I didn’t know what I was thinking. There’s no way that I could have or maintain a healthy relationship at this time and I know I would be miserable trying. I turned it off an hour later.
  • I’m meeting someone from AFF tomorrow for lunch. And another guy for dinner on Saturday. I’m not especially excited about either. I will definitely do lunch tomorrow because it’s easy, but not sure about the dinner date. I might bail on that one.
  • My original FWB has been on vacation for a couple weeks and won’t be home for another week. I haven’t really missed him much. But he did email me from the other side of the world, which was nice of him.
  • Cutie was away for several days, came back, we got together, then he flew off on vacation and will be away for a week. I will miss him.
  • While suffering from insomnia and cruising Craigslist for entertainment, I emailed a guy who I thought was cute, smart, and interesting. He wanted a non-committed relationship because he knows he is emotionally unavailable, like me. My email to him was very brief with photos. I didn’t want to type a novel and not hear from him because he thought I was unattractive. His response was favorable and wanted to know more. I emailed him my Match profile that I’d just re-written. He emailed back a few days later to tell me that he thought I was wonderful, but I have my shit together and deserve someone else with their shit together, and currently he does not. Which made me laugh because, wow, I so don’t have my shit together.

Games people play

When I was younger, as in just five years ago, I used to play by “The Rules“. As I’ve gotten wiser, happier, and more confident I have stopped. I don’t pretend to be busy or not desperate — I am busy and I’m not desperate. I don’t refuse to call/email/text guys back because I want to make them sweat. If I can get back to them, I do. If I can’t, I still do, but later. Sometimes I get busy and sometimes don’t feel like typing/texting/calling and so it takes a little longer to get back to them. And, sometimes I’m totally in the mood to chat and I will. I don’t think my day is a failure when no one reaches out to me. The difference between having a full life and being happy with yourself and not having a full life and being unhappy with yourself is huge and it shows, and obviously, one attracts good men and the other does not. Faking it causes anxiety and you never know when to stop, so often your attempts at playing hard-to-get backfire. Just being yourself and doing what you want to do and what’s right in that moment feels pretty amazing. There is a certain sense of freedom in not worrying and wondering if X guy would be more into me if I just hadn’t texted him back so soon or if I had written an email a little differently.

My friends play a lot of games and it drives me up a friggin’ wall. We’ll be at lunch, and the guy du jour will text something like, “Hey, what’s up?” Wide-eyed, she’ll look at me and say, “OMG, what should I do? Text? No? Wait? Yes? What should I say?!?!” Obviously my answer is “Why are you texting HIM when I’M RIGHT HERE and we’re supposed to be having lunch and conversation?” Isn’t the point of “The Rules” to be too busy being fabulous and doing other amazing things to care about the guy? 

Of course my friends will look at me like I’m so funny (when I’m totally being serious — put the fucking phone away!) and then decide to “make him wait” so that he wonders what she’s doing and in turn will want to marry her right away. Unless the guy is Mr. Co-dependent, he’s going to get back to his wanking off, football game, napping, etc. and not even notice if you text him five minutes or five hours later. Meanwhile, my friend is sweating bullets. Ten agonizing minutes later, she texts back. It takes five minutes to text, delete, text, delete, ask me a million questions, text, delete, send. Then she watches her cell phone like her life depends on it. If he does not text back within five minutes she thinks it’s over because she waited too long to text him back or what she said wasn’t witty/cute/charming/funny/smart enough or she sounded bitchy. Then she’s sad, until he texts again and now things are all better. Rinse, repeat.

Sometimes the games become completely ridiculous. I have an insecure friend with an insecure boyfriend. She was wondering about his faithfulness so she told him that her ex-flame wants her back and basically, he’d better mind his Ps and Qs because she has other options if he doesn’t. If a guy said that to me, I’d tell him his other option just became his only option. If I was already insecure, I’d probably be sure to have other options, too. I also have friends who purposefully don’t email/text/call guys back or who stay out late (especially if she knows the guy might stop by or drive by to check on her – creepy!) just to make him wonder what she’s doing. And then she spends all night wondering what he’s thinking anyway and stressing out about it and then on her way home she drives by his house to see what he’s doing and if there is another car there. Wow . . . sounds exhausting, humiliating, and miserable!

The friends I have who do this are generally insecure and feel that they need to play games in order to attract and keep a partner. Plus, many of them, while great people, do not have a lot of hobbies or big goals in life. The game-playing distresses them quite a bit, but when they aren’t playing games, they come across as desperate and needy because in many cases they are. Either way, they are constantly questioning themselves and every move they make while trying to read into everything their partner says and does, too. When they date “normal” guys without major insecurities, it doesn’t last. The insecure men they date end up playing into the games and the relationship crashes and burns in a very tight timeframe, but always with lots of drama. And, when things go wrong or seem to be going wrong, there are the long talks and blah, blah, blah.

I’m not saying I’ve never fallen victim to this. I have. And, it’s a miserable way of life that I hope I never fall prey to again. I’m not sure that my game-playing has ever resulted in anything good, but during the times when my life has been full and I’ve been happy, good things have happened. I’m also aware that right now, I am not looking for a relationship and I am emotionally unavailable. So, it’s easy for me to be casual and have fun, to not worry or sweat the details. But, I’m also busy, I have priorities, and there are things outside of relationships that make me feel happy and fulfilled. I don’t depend on anyone else for anything. The men in my life are just the icing on the cake. And, for the first time in my life, I have great relationships and friendships with these men and they are a source of happiness in my life versus anxiety, and I think I am a source of happiness in theirs. Yes, they are getting “free sex” (another game people play and by the way, I’m getting free sex, too), but no one says they have to contact me and ask me about other things going on in my life, buy me thoughtful gifts, email me while on vacation in other countries, or hang out with me for several hours after sex to talk. And, trust me, these guys can (and do) get sex elsewhere. When there is anxiety, it’s when I’m feeling down or insecure for some reason, because old habits die hard.

So, my advice to my friends when they are obsessing over their boyfriends and dates is to get a life. Literally. When you are busy and you love yourself and have things going on in your life outside of boys and relationships, you are a happier, healthier, better person. When you are a happier, healthier, better person, you attract similar mates. And, when you’re both in a good place, your relationship can be that much better. My only regret is that it took me this long to figure it out.

Which is better?

I’ve had many relationships. I’ve had one-night stands, friends with benefits, short-term lovers, boyfriends that have lasted a month or two or maybe even three, tons of first dates followed by second and third dates, and so on and so forth. Serious boyfriends? I’ve had six.

  1. High school boyfriend (he was in college), lasted about two years, gave me promise ring
  2. Late teens/early 20s, lived together, engaged
  3. Early 20s, lived together, engaged
  4. Early to mid 20s, dated nearly five years, talked about marriage/future but were never technically engaged
  5. Late 20s, dated a few years, married
  6. Early 30s, lived together, engaged

That’s my serious boyfriend/fiance/husband history, in a nutshell.

When I see this, I think that my picker is broken. Or that maybe I’m broken. One of the many reasons I stayed with The Ex (#6) is because I was so embarrassed to be failing at yet another relationship. Typical me, can’t keep a relationship together/jumps from relationship to relationship/can’t settle down with just one, etc.  

I wish I would have done things different because had I not wasted so much time in these relationships, instead feeling them out and then being able to walk away once I knew they weren’t going to work instead of getting myself deeper into them, I could have been doing other things, meeting other people. I feel like with each relationship, I placed my life on hold.

Friends, on the other hand, complain they’ve never been married or engaged and when they date down or allow someone to treat them like shit and I tell them “you can do better!” they say “I want to give this one a shot, just in case”. And then they tell me “it’s easy for youto say because you’ve already had everything I want – a long-term boyfriend, a fiance, a live-in partner, a husband”.  

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. And, frankly, my perpetually single girlfriends haven’t done anything I haven’t done, seen things I haven’t seen, nor do they all have better jobs making more money. But, the one thing they do have that I don’t is a large group of close friends. Spending so much time in relationships, as well as moving around the country, does not allow one to find a great, stable group of gals. I have friends but not like single people, or at least very stable people (with one person for a very long time) do.

Though I wish I would never have even bothered with any of these men, I guess if I hadn’t I wouldn’t be the person I was today. Maybe I could have been an even better verious of myself though? No use in going there. But I do wonder, generally speaking, which is better? Having had lots of boyfriends/fiances/husbands or having, well, none really?

How many red flags do you need?

As I’ve mentioned before, my BFF is dating a douchebag. They’ve had lots of issues and problems in a short period of time and the guy is just one giant red flag. They had some issues in the first month that they seemed to be able to resolve recently, and with lots of drama. After that she felt better so I tried to let it go and basically, if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I didn’t say anything at all. I figured that if she was happy, I would try to be happy for her, or at least fake it for the sake of our friendship.

They had a pretty big falling out late last week (in which her insecurities due to the above-mentioned issues played a big part) which resulted in lots of drama over the weekend. We’re talking highschool shit, people. Yes, I felt bad for my BFF because I know she was hurt and disappointed, but overall it was a little ridiculous for two nearly 40 year olds who have known one another for just six weeks, and a rocky six weeks at that. And, on her end, the things he did were just extensions of the things he’d already been doing and the things he did in his last two relationships, so I’m not sure why she was so surprised. He showed her who he was, she just didn’t want to see it. But that’s me, I’m analytical. She is very emotional and I know she’s going through some tough stuff in general, and with those emotions, the facts are very cloudy. 

It took just a couple days for her to go from “broken” (her words, not mine) and crying her eyes out to giving him another chance while making excuses for him and blaming herself for the things he’d done. She went from “I don’t put up with shit – I’m outta there” to all the reasons why she should give him another chance and why I should support her. It was frustrating for me, to say the least, and we got into it a little. But, after I said what I had to say, I had to tell her to do what she feels is right and I will do my best to be there for her. Afterall, she went through some pretty frustrating times with me and The Ex. I cried wolf several times up until the very end. That being said, if she were invested, there were kids/families involved, they shared a home, etc., I would be more supportive and remind her that long-term relationships have rough patches, but six weeks in? Yeah, time to bail.

My point of this post was not to discuss her dilemma and my frustrations (even though writing it out felt really, really good), but to talk about red flags in dating. This guy has several plus some obvious co-dependency issues that may or may not be linked to one, or more, of them. I think that, at my age, some baggage is expected. There will always be one issue to get around such as: kids, exes, finances, past addictions, health problems, prior brushes with the law, and probably more that I can’t come up with at the moment. On top of that quantifiable baggage, there are the effects of such baggage, i.e., the emotional stuff caused by the baggage or vice versa. Not everyone can have a bad experience and filter everything away but the lessons learned and become a better person for it. In a perfect world? Yes. But realistically, I think it’s rare, especially when we’re talking multiple red flags, not just one or maybe two.

Where does one draw the line? At one red flag or two? Is it a case-by-case scenario? Or, the more red flags someone has, the more time you take to get to know someone to see how those things affect him, his life, your potential life together? Does it depend on the chemistry? For example, the more drawn you are to someone the more issues they are allowed? Or is that faulty logic because you’re allowing yourself to invest in someone, to fall for someone, that is probably really fucked up? Are you more aware of red flags in the internet dating world versus real life because of the getting to know a person aspect and if they are on the ‘net you can just decline anything further? Or, do you look at yourself, and your red flags first?

Should I? Or shouldn’t I?

I received a very nice email from a nice-looking man, who also seemed very decent. He was respectful in his introductory email, which is not always easy to come by when you’re on a sexually-based “dating” website such as AFF. He even seemed somewhat intelligent and to top it off, he was not a “butterface.”

I gave him my (super-secret) email address and told him that was the best way to reach me. So, he emailed me from his work email address. Again, nice, decent, classy, intelligent. Being a woman of the 21st Century and knowing for a fact that the nicest, most decent seeming guy can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I Googled some information in his signature.

And, I found his mugshot from 2010. Some trespassing stuff even though he’d been warned as well as some resisting arrest without violence. Probably something to do with drinking (he looked wasted in his mugshot) and some woman drama. Upon closer examination of his photographs, he looks like the type who would date a hot chick, but not hot as in sexy and smart. Hot as in strippers.

Who knows, maybe he used to have issues and has since cleaned things up? Then again, the arrest was in 2010, so he would be newly cleaned up, and that’s not a big enough buffer for me. But, being that I know what I know, I’m not going to give him the benefit of the doubt because I don’t know him and I don’t know anyone else who knows him. He’s not even local.

Do you Google your dates? If not, why? I Google everyone. It’s how I’ve found out that people were married, or lying about who they said they were (why lie if you are innocent? and seriously, it shows someone’s true character). Of course, if I’m working with someone for awhile or am friends with someone (or maybe have some mutual friends) I’m not likely to Google him. But a stranger from the internet where the chances of him lying about something are like, 95%, yeah, I’m gonna Google the fuck out of him!

V-day

Thanks to some severe PMS I’m a little more broken up about today — Valentines Day — than I think I normally would be. This is my first Valentines Day alone since I was about 19 years old. In fact, the last single Valentines Day I had, I remember fondly and my BFF and I still laugh about it to this day. And the irony? My broken heart was over The Ex, yes the same Ex I left last year.

We worked together at a restaurant and Valentines Day was, of course, a mad-house. We were young and broke. Part-time students, full-time jobs, no boys, car payments, rent, shitty apartments with even shittier roommates, living on top ramen and whatever food we could score at the restaurant. After work that night we went out to eat at a Mexican food place up the street. It was very late, probably 11pm or so. We sat at a booth, tired and moping over our lack of men on this special day. The waiter brought us each a red rose and a free dessert, which made us feel even worse. I can see myself slouching in the bench, picking at my food, lamenting over the fact that I was never going to get married or have a boyfriend!

In the end, we decided to high-tail it out of town, to the beach. We took her car, a station wagon, and filled it full of blankets and pillows. We both changed our clothes and took off toward the ocean. It was cold, but not rainy, with a clear sky. I remember seeing a herd of elk, well, their shiny eyes, anyway, on the side of the road.

When we arrived, we parked in a residential neighborhood and made ourselves comfortable (ha ha) in the back of the car and slept until daylight. We woke up when it got light out, found some bathrooms, then walked the coastline for hours. I have photos of that day taken with a disposible camera. I was in black leggings, a purple and black flannel shirt, and my hair was in a curly bob with styled bangs. We had little money between the two of us and used it to purchase gas, a loaf of bread, and chicken salad (or potato salad — we still argue over this one).

That Valentines Day ended up being one of my best memories and it didn’t involve a man or romance.

Last Valentines Day was my last one with The Ex. I did not get him anything because at that point I had decided that I hated his guts and was leaving. He bought me a couple things, but I dont remember what. It was miserable and awkward. I was at a point of resolve, I had decided what to do and I was excited for it. I was done. But, I didn’t yet have a plan and he didn’t think I’d really leave. We fought and he made me pay for not celebrating Valentines Day for the entire week afterward.

This Valentines Day will be different, I can’t deny that. My BFF has a boyfriend and as she was my only single friend, I will go it alone. I think it will just be a day. And yes, a reminder that I don’t have anyone in my life to call mine. But it is also a reminder of how good things can be when you’re single (my last single Valentines Day, my life this past almost year, etc.), how rough things can be when you’re not (last Valentines Day, and all of the Valentines Days I can’t remember), and how much things can change in the blink of an eye (self-explanatory).

I’m OK, happy, and healthy, as a single person. I’m not ready to give myself yet. And, I haven’t decided what I even want out of a relationship. So, this is a good place for me. But more and more, when I think about it, which I do occassionally, I think about what I need and want from a relationship. Someday. Just not right now.

Ummmm . . .

I don’t even know what to call this post.

Life has been good, maybe a little dull as of late, even though I’ve been busy. But that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned. If there is no mail in my box and my phone doesn’t beep or ring all day, I’m happy. Weird, I know. But sometimes it’s nice just to “be”.

AFF has been crazy as of late, but I haven’t met anyone new. Sometimes I get to talking with someone and realize I don’t want to meet them. There are men who contact me who are really good-looking and kinda douchebaggy. I think that maybe they are just fashionably aware and I should give them the benefit of the doubt? Afterall, they are super attractive. It always turns out the same in the end and I lose interest. There’s only so much we can talk about when they have nothing going on besides work (usually in an industry that takes no real intelligence, just good sales and people skills, and you can make lots of money – like real estate), going to the gym, tanning, happy hour/clubbing, shopping, watching television, getting some sort of cosmetic procedure, and girls. No passion in life, no wittiness, just a really good-looking but empty shell. Blech!

I did see Cutie last week for an amazing fuck session. He got a Viagra prescription that we’re using recreationally. It’s a lot of fun. I have to be honest with you, little blog, I’m not entirely comfortable with my relationships with Cutie and my original FWB as of late. We have sex and always have a great time talking afterward, but I hate that our relationships are only in the bedroom. Why not go to dinner, talk it out, then go fuck, talk a little more, then go? The insecure side of my thinks that maybe they don’t want to be seen in public with me. I know that’s slightly ridiculous, but sometimes it feels like it’s on the downlow for some reason or another when it doesn’t really have to be as we are all single adults. My past relationships like this usually involved a meal or something similar at least half the time, so this is different to me. I don’t think I need to address this with my original FWB as things are sort-of stuck in the mud with us. But I feel the need to bring it up with Cutie. I’m just not sure how without looking like a) I want a relationship, b) I’m insecure, or c) I’m creating drama. I do know that he’d want to know if I were feeling any misgivings and I do know that I need to be true to myself and do what feels right. I also know that I’m PMSing so I need to wait until that has passed before bringing anything up.