Regrouping

This internet dating thing certainly . . . blows. I can’t get past a first date to save my life and can’t even find someone decent enough to text/email me afterward to tell me they aren’t interested. That leaves me wondering if they think I was not interested in them? Or are they simply not interested in me? Probably the latter so I always just let it go, but in the back of my mind I do wonder. I wonder because I’ve been accused of not seeming interested as I can come across as indifferent. That being said, I know that if a man is interested in seeing you again he will let you know.

I’m not the thinnest person out there. I’m not the prettiest. I’m not the youngest. Online dating is catalog-like and the next page will always reveal someone “better”. Unfortunately, the pages are endless. I guess the same goes for the available men but I don’t think women are wired the same way. I’m not anyway. For an average woman like me it seems like it will always be a futile lesson. How many times have I wondered why he looked me over but is now going out with a woman with three young kids and an impossible ex, a woman with mental problems, a woman working for minimum wage at the age of 40, a woman who is bankrupt, or a woman who is a bitch? Because he is more physically attracted to her than he is to me. I can be all kinds of wonderful, but it doesn’t matter because there will always be someone better on the outside.

I never in a million years thought that I would end up single. I’ve never been single! This is the longest stretch since I started having boyfriends in high school. I guess over the past 13 months I’ve had two FWBs (Cutie and Original FWB) and I did date someone briefly (Runner). And, for the most part I did take myself out of the dating pool. I haven’t been at it for long, I know, but it’s still a disappointment. I also feel like it’s taking away from the rest of my life. The investment has not yielded any returns except a loss of productivity, some weight gain (5 lbs!), and a bad attitude.

If I were to analyze myself, I would say that my issue lies in the fear of the unknown and the lack of control one has when it comes to relationships with others. I can pour myself into exercise and work and I will see positive results. I can pour myself into dating and be disappointed every time. I feel like once I declare that I’m ready for a relationship, and once I put in 100%, one should happen with ease. I’m not used to this lack of success because I can put my mind into anything and obtain it. But, I realize dating doesn’t work that way which makes it frustrating and a tough pill for me to swallow.

I think the answer is for me to take my focus off dating for awhile and focus on what I can control. At the moment, I don’t know if that means being passive or hiding my profiles, but I will figure it out in the coming days. When I think back or read past blogs, I am at my happiest when I am single. Right now I need to focus on that and maybe it means that I’m still not ready to date?

Diet: Fewer dates means fewer restuarants and more time to focus on preparing and cooking good meals. I have 20 lbs I’d like to lose and diet is 80% of the weight loss.

Exercise: When I was married to my workout and running schedules men became annoyed with me and my lack of flexibility and claimed I did not have time for dating. I start my early morning workouts next week and I’m back to my regular running schedule as of yesterday. This means a strict bedtime and lack of availability. More working out also means a happier me. Hopefully it will lift me out of this funk I’m in. [Sidenote: It fucking pisses me off that man expects me to rock an amazing body yet is annoyed or pissed when I have to call it a night at 9pm because I have to get up early for a workout or I’m not available because I have a scheduled run. I just have to say FUCK YOU!]

Work: I’ve been focusing so much on men — thinking about them, texting them, emailing them, working on my profile, reading online dating coach websites, writing about dates in my blog — that I haven’t been focused at work. My work is not suffering (yet) but my productivity is and that makes me feel shitty.

Other Things: Do I want to stay in this city? My career? I’m not sure. I am starting to look around at other opportunities in other cities. I started last week and have three interviews lined up. All three would provide a career and financial upgrade. Two of them are in another city not too far away. One is something local that I’ve been working on for nearly five months that I hope will come to fruition.

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Merry Christmas Eve

Five years ago today I re-met The Ex and decided to go on a journey with him.  A journey that lasted more than four miserable, self-loathing, disgusting, hateful years. 

I won’t lie.  That re-meet in the parking lot of a grocery store near my parent’s place in my hometown?  It was amazing, blood-pumping, so intense I could have cried, beautiful, romantic, and everything any girl would have dreamed of.  I knew that night, at that moment, that we were meant to be and it was fate, all of it was.

But then, a couple months later, before we moved in together, I got up to get some water and as I was walking by the counter, his phone buzzed, I looked over at it out of habit, and there was a vagina looking back at me.  It was his ex and she was ready to fuck.  Could she come over?

That was the night I learned that women routinely send nude photos and sex invitations just because, and they are not encouraged to do so, and they mean absolutely nothing, it happens ALL. THE. TIME. Didn’t I know that?  Oh, and I’m just paranoid and crazy.  I wouldn’t believe that shit, so I got pissed.  Then, his grandfather passed away and suddenly I was “doing this to him” when I should be comforting him, and by the way, I should stop acting crazy and obviously I don’t love him.

I talked myself into believing that I was being paranoid and he was just so awesome that women threw themselves at him, and wasn’t I lucky to have him?, and I gave my 30-day notice at my apartment and starting packing my stuff to move in with him.  Not surprisingly, there would be more vaginas (unsolicited, of course), more “I miss you” texts (again, totally unsolicited) and more discussions about my mental state aka, feeling that the vagina texts might be a little more telling than he was admitting to.

Our first year anniversary Christmas Eve was sad and I cried like a baby at how wonderful it had been and how I thought it would be, to how it was currently.  On the second anniversary, I did the same thing, but maybe not as much.  On the third anniversary I felt melancholy.  And on the fourth, I was numb and angry. 

This year, I’m starting my Christmas Eve with a group run because I need to celebrate where I am in my fitness and health vs. where I was while I was with him.  Then, I’m going to take my dog to the dog park because I can, and when I do, I won’t be accused of doing something I’m not doing.  Afterall, what is more innocent than taking your dog to play with his dog friends?  After the dog park and a little bit of grocery shopping, I’m going to have my BFF over and we’re going to eat, laugh, watch a movie, laugh, and then laugh some more. 

No crying for me this year.  No vaginas (well, exept for mine).  No pity-parties.  Just me and my happiness.

We need to catch up

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I’ve been feeling a little blah.  I hadn’t been running.  Work’s been busy.  It was the weather.  However, the sun came out and put a spring back in my step, so I’m happy to say that I’m feeling pretty good.  Oh, and I have lots of stuff to tell you!

First, I got back out on the road last week and today had a magnificent run.  I finally tackled this mother-fucking hill that I’ve been walking over the past six months.  I haven’t done much running since October, but I’ve been doing my strength work, my physical therapy and my home exercises for strengthening the muscles you’re supposed to use while running.  It’s working.  I felt great and when I topped that hill, I threw my hands in the air, just like when you cross the finishing line in a race.  It made my day!  Plus, I’m losing weight again.  Yay!

Second, things have gotten weird with my FWB.  We’ve been talking more, communicating more, getting together more.  We only get together for sex, we spend a few hours together and only 30 minutes is dedicated to kissing or fucking  Anyway, things have been different.  He was going to be on my side of town so offered to meet.  Well, he kinda stood me up, but really it was this big misunderstanding because at first I said I didn’t think I could.  It was all texted and people didn’t get texts.  Long story . . .  I was irritated, though not irate, and he was apologetic.  I probably would have needed a couple days to cool off, but since it wasn’t like him, it wasn’t that big of a deal. 

However, later that day I received flowers at my office with a sweet card.  My first thought was . . . ugh.  I really like my FWB and he is the type of guy I would date.  But I’m not in that place right now.  And I don’t think he is either.  I waited a few hours to call and thank him, mostly because I was super busy and I wanted to call, not text, and there were people around at the office.  I didn’t want to have a conversation about the flowers, so I decided not to, and figured if something needed to be said he would say it.  And, after we talked, I decided he was just being sweet and that he wasn’t in love with me.  So, it wasn’t weird afterall.  But, it also still was surprising.

He ended up coming over late last night after a work-related function and for the first time since we started seeing each other, he stayed the night.  I haven’t stayed the night at his place either.  I was OK with it, because it was on a weekend.  I cannot sleep with someone next to me, and have Ambien left over from when I was in a relationship, since I needed it in order to get sleep about 75% of the time.  He slept, I didn’t, and then we had sex this morning and he laid in bed with me for a couple hours afterward. 

Things have changed, but I’ve decided to just be myself, go with the flow and just enjoy it.  I’m not going to over-think it or worry about it.  If he’s into me, he’ll let me know, and then we’ll have our talk, but until then, this is really nice. It feels natural and comfortable.  We’ve been doing this for over six months, so I suppose it should be.  If I were to have a relationship, it would be like this.  We don’t fight, we talk, we listen, it’s just nice.  But then again, if it were a relationship, there would be relationship stress and it would probably not be this easy.

And, life goes on

I answered an ad in Craigslist for a FWB the other day and met him over the weekend.  I learned two lessons:

  1. Don’t forget to talk on the phone first to determine whether or not they understand the English language and to find out if they are an asshole.
  2. Ask for a photo where they are smiling and you can see their teeth.

Lessons learned . . . and we’ll leave it at that.

Ironically my FWB and I have seen each other three times over the past month.  Three times!  That’s a record.

I’m so tired of the online dating thing.  I’m just not sure it’s for me.  At least not right now.  One can only take so much disappointment, right?  I kind-of like the old fashioned way of getting to know someone over time and determining whether or not you like them versus deciding in an hour if there is chemistry.  It’s unnatural.

In fact, I threw one of my “temper tantrums” yesterday.  I was looking at all the emails in my OK Cupid account from men who persued then disappeared, men who I hadn’t yet met and who I wasn’t all that excited about, and men I’d met and then (crickets).  Spending all that time emailing, texting and otherwise communicating, then spending an hour or more in person sizing each other up, then . . . nothing.  It just seems disrespectful.  At the very least, we should all receive feedback.  So, I decided t put that thought in motion and email every single person.  My emails went something like this:

  • It was nice chatting with you online.  I’m not really interested in dating right now.  Take care.
  • It was nice meeting you two weeks ago.  I wanted to thank you for the coffee and let you know that I’m not intersted in persuing anything further, and suspect you feel the same.  Have a nice holiday.
  • I hope this finds you well.  I enjoyed spending time with you last month.  I probably would have gone out with you had you asked.  Closure is a good thing.  Take care.

Might I seem crazy, bitter, angry, annoyed?  Don’t care.  I had to get it off my chest.  I did not receive any notable replies.  And with that, my OK Cupid account is now closed as well.

I just don’t need it right now.  Instead, I need to focus on my job and the job search (I’m being head-hunted right now so might as well go with it).  If I get a new job, I will move as I will not commute.  I’m considering moving back to Seattle if the right job were to come along.

I need to focus on my fitness goals.  It’s all coming along, slowly but surely.  I have a half marathon in six months and several other races in 2012 to prepare for.  I’d rather be amazing and single than walk to the finish with my boyfriend.

I need to focus on my best friend who is having one hell of a hard time right now with her family.

I need to focus on what’s going to happen with The Ex come December when he’s supposed to get our house of my name.  We don’t communicate, so who knows what’s going on there.  His girlfriend who may or may not live in my house is a financial mess so she can’t help him and I don’t know if he can do it on his own.

And, finally, I need to focus on just getting through the dark, wet, dreary, depressing Oregon weather.

So where does this leave me with dating?  I’m taking a break from it is all.  I will be back, maybe in the Spring.  Maybe sooner.  I’ve been feeling a little anxious about the future.  I can’t imagine being single at 70.  But I guess I have a long way to go, no sense in worrying about it now.  Right?

Flake

I had a date last night and I didn’t go.  I ran, then was up super early and oh so tired.  I struggled all day long at work.  I just couldn’t go on another run (and I’m not going to stop running to meet men, that only makes you fat and I speak from experience!), then shower and get ready again.  He was cool about it, but said that he wishes he knew me better so I could just go to his place and chill with a movie in the DVD.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was hinting around that he’d like me to come over to his place and suck his dick watch a movie.  Uh, no thanks.

Instead of going out, I was home before 5:30.  I went for a short run with my dog, took a hot bath with a magazine, ate a delicious dinner of butternut ravioli and roasted brussels sprouts, watched some Dexter on DVD while sitting on the floor cuddling with my dog, then went to bed at 8:30.  Nothing wrong with that.

So many men . . . so little time

Between work, working out, friends, family, my dog, getting ready to take off on vacation for a few weeks, and just living, I have been dating.

First, I want to say that I’m finally seeing some results from my workouts and I’m going from “a few extra lbs” to “about average”.  Well, at least I think I am.  OK, let’s not get into this again.  Anyway, I’m very happy and excited and more important, I feel great!

I had a date with that guy again.  I need to pick a name . . .  We met for dinner on Friday.  He offered to drive clear over to my side of town to pick me up and then again to drop me off.  Very sweet.  I declined because being that I’m not sure about him, I didn’t want to deal with the awkward end of date “Can I come in?” question and I didn’t want him to go through too much trouble when I wasn’t sure how I felt.  I was already having heartburn about the end of the date kiss.

We met at an unpretentious downtown restaurant, had some wine and dinner, and talked until we were kicked out of the place.  As I sat across from him, I would go between thinking he’s attractive and liking him, to just thinking of him as friend material.  There was definitely friend chemistry, but I’m not sure about boyfriend chemistry.

When our evening ended, he drove me to my car (he was parked close, I was not).  I was really nervous about the kiss because I was, at this point, thinking friend only.  He went for it and I allowed myself to kiss him back.  Not bad.  He pulled me closer and was more affectionate than I expected.  And, I guess the only thing that kind-of turned me off was that he was making noise as we kissed.  You know, like, “mmmm”.  Weird.  I was surprised when I felt some tingling during our kiss, but then again, I’m such a horn-dog I would probably feel the same if I made out with a telephone pole.  The next day I received an email with a dinner invite.  This time, he wants to cook for me at his place.  I don’t know, but it sounds like he’s planning on getting in my pants.  I have yet to commit to a date on this one.

I had been chatting with another guy who I thought I’d really like.  Well, we met last night and yeah . . . not happening.  On my way home, I made a booty call and hooked-up with my FWB.  We had an amazing time, unlike our last meet-up.  And, this time I didn’t stick around to chat for long, so he didn’t irritate me or make me reconsider spending time with him.

It’s hard to be fat when you’re online dating

I’m fat.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m kinda fat. I’m not obese. Technically speaking, I’m smaller than average.  But, average these days is generally no better than fat because most of us (in the US) are on that cusp.  I’m also short and pear-shaped so I look dumpy. While I’m often dressed in heels and any type of bottoms that make me look longer and leaner, it’s just not practical everyday wear, especially in a town where people buy the bulk of their clothes at REI or Lucy. So, I can’t pull it off every day, or more importantly (for the sake of this blog), for every date.

I’m in a weird place and I’m never sure where I belong as far as body descriptions go. I’m really an average/athletic woman in a chubby woman’s body. I’m slowly but surely losing the extra weight and toning up after my four-year hiatus from any type of exercise. All I did for those four miserable years with the Ex was work (a lot), try to get some sleep (never did), take care of his kids and stress out (on a daily basis, if not more).  Top that with cooking (and eating) several large meals each week, and here I am.  Despite the extra weight, I’m no lazy slug and I don’t sit around eating gallons of ice cream and bags of chips in front of the television. I live the lifestyle of a thinner person – my fat just hasn’t gotten with the program and scrammed yet. I gained 25 lbs and I have 15 left to lose. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re short and pear-shaped, it can be quite a bit, plus it comes off really slow and I lost all of my muscle tone.

This makes online dating difficult.

Am I supposed to base my body type on what I think it is, what I think most men will think, what my doctor tells me or by media standards?  If a guy sees that I’m not ‘slender’ or ‘athletic and toned’ in my description, it’s highly likely that he will not read my profile to see that I’m active and working really hard to get back in shape, and that I’m really not a ‘BBW’ in denial.  I’m attracted to men who live a similar lifestyle to mine, so they are in good or decent shape. I’m not talking gym-rats or Abercrombie models, just regular guys who are healthy, athletic and active. I would be OK with a man who has ‘a few extra lbs’ but those guys are generally at least 30 lbs overweight (in my experience) or, if they are working on it (and truly just a few extra lbs over) they date thinner women because women in general are not as particular about body style. Basically, that leaves me with fat guys and active men who like chubby girls (ha!).

So, what am I then?

After thinking about it way too much, I decided to describe my body type as ‘curvy’.  I felt that it was an OK way to communicate that I have some meat on my bones in a feminine way.  That would be ‘curvy’, right?  Maybe, but not so much and it depends on who you ask.  Upon further research, I have found that ‘curvy’ really means slender with a big ass and large boobs.  I’ve got the ass part down . . . but I think I need a new body description.

My options via Match are:

  • Slender: This is not me, and probably never will be.  This, to me, is skinny.  It could even be skinny-fat.
  • Big and Beautiful: When I hear BBW, I think of fairly large women who spend a lot of time and money on clothes, hair and make-up.  Like an overweight beauty queen.  Not me.
  • Curvy: We covered this one.
  • About Average:  Like ‘a little big pregnant’?  WTF?  Also, average is a size 14 and most men call that fat.
  • Athletic and Toned: I think this one is self-explanatory.  And, it’s not me either.
  • Full-figured: Wouldn’t this also be ‘curvy’?  What’s the difference? You have a figure, and it’s full.
  • Heavyset:  What’s the difference between this and ‘full-figured’ or ‘curvy’?  Does it mean you’re overweight, but without womanly curves?  Is this the biggest of the bunch?
  • A few extra lbs: I am wondering if this might be me?  But, a few is 3 . . . so perhaps not quite accurate either?
  • Stocky: Hmmm . . . does this mean a manly build?

Why bring this up now, three months into my online dating adventure? 

When I was first dating, after my recent break-up, and was heavier, I didn’t really care what anyone thought or whether or not I was successful. I hadn’t put any effort into my body over the past four years, so why should it bother me if someone regarded me as too heavy?  Plus, I just wanted to get out.  I was transitioning from a full-time family to just me and didn’t have a lot going on.  It gave me something to do, something to focus on besides the shit-storm which was my life at the time.  There was a part of me that felt confident.  I’d just started working out again, which felt good, and I’d left my Ex which made me feel great in many ways, too.  Ironically, I had more success in this stage of dating.

Now that I’m working out and losing weight, it bothers me quite a bit to have someone judge me based on my body.  I’m getting up at 4:30AM three days per week to work out.  In addition to that, I have a long run every Saturday morning at 8AM with my running group.  And, don’t forget my 20 – 30 minute evening runs at least four nights per week, too.  No booze and I’m counting calories.  So, yeah, I’m kinda sensitive about my weight right now because I’m working my ass off (literally!).  I feel good, but I am not where I once was, so unlike someone losing weight and getting into shape for the first time, I know I have a ways to go before I’m going to be happy with myself, and my confidence won’t kick in again until I fit into the size 4/6 clothes gathering dust in my closet.

It’s like this . . .  If you slap together a peanut butter sandwich for someone and they don’t like it, it’s no biggie.  But, if you slave over a hot stove all fucking day long, and this person turns their nose up at it, you’re going to be pissed and highly offended.  Am I right?

So, where does this leave me?

My gut says to put myself in a category that is worst-case scenario.  That way, if someone meets me they could say, “I wouldn’t consider you ‘a few lbs extra’, you look ‘about average’ to me”.  But then, there is the issue of never being asked out by the type of man I’d like to spend some time with.  It’s a double-edged sword, and perhaps this is where contacting men instead of waiting for them to contact me would be a smart move.

Online dating is hard.

In conclusion, online dating is just plain hard, especially if you’re imperfect, unphotogenic or human.