2nd place

Second place.

Last place.

Number two.

Loser.

Not good enough.

The Ex and I have a long history. We dated when I was in my very early 20s. He chose someone else over me and married her. When she left him after a few years and two babies, he sought me out. He claimed to have chosen her for the wrong reasons when he should have chosen me for the right reasons. She was hot and they had passion — the kind that leaves holes in the walls. I was the stable one, decent looking but not hot, smart, had my wits about me, parents would like me, would make a good mother and wife, etc. 

Alas, it did not work and we both went our seperate ways. However, I carried this with of me for a long time and when we reconnected many years later, I still felt the sting of rejection. Yes, I was the great role-model for his children, his parents did love me, I was stable, had a good job, could be counted on, trustworthy, etc. But that was never good enough. The Ex really wanted me to lose weight, get a boob job, dress like a stripper, and act like a porn star. I was always being pressured. I was never good enough. He wanted something else. He wanted that passion, the hot girl, yet all rolled up into someone good, kind, decent, and perfect. So, while I was home paying bills, keeping house, tending to his children, working my ass off, and being the best fiance/girlfriend I could be under the circumstances, even when that meant not taking care of me, he was out getting his hotness from others. Yes, I realize that he is immature and has his priorities completely screwed up. But, this is the norm amongst men, I am finding.

I’m the girl that looks good on paper, that is fine to date and it’s not like I embarrass anyone when we go out, who is stable and easy to be with, can hold her own, who is a parent’s dream come true, who is a decent person, and on and on and on. But I rarely elicit that passion, chemistry, and desire that men want. So, that leaves me always in second place. I’m the woman that men like to talk to, they come crying back to when things don’t work out with the hot woman, the one they want to try to make something work with because it makes sense, the one who strokes their ego, the one who they think of when they are lonely, and the one they largely ignore. Until they need me or realize that I am the rational decision, I am out in the cold while they hunt for instant chemistry.

It’s so frustrating.

My Original FWB is coming back to town and has been in touch. Trying to plan a date or something, I can’t really tell. Part of me says to give it a go and part of me says that if he was truly interested in me he would have done something about it before. His excuse was timing. I feel like, once again, I’m the one he doesn’t really have feelings for but I “make sense” so he should at least try. Do I take him at face value? Or do I walk away and not go there?

I know life isn’t always perfect. I know that I have taken time to really like someone. I know that I can take time to like. But once, just once, I’d like to be the first place prize to someone.

P.S. Speaking of 2nd place, I still don’t know about the job. I believe, in my gut, that the offer went to the other person and they aren’t telling me until they accept and if they decline I will receive the second offer disguised as the only offer.

Advertisements

The mysteries of the universe

First, the word on the job is “Monday” which means that this is going to be the longest weekend ever. Both good and bad, I suppose. Based on the feeling I got from the recruiter when I called him today, I think the offer went to the other person and they are waiting to see if he or she accepts before letting me know what’s going on. There were two of us and I know I wasn’t disliked but if he or she was a better candidate, that’s all that really matters. Oh well . . . I guess that makes things easier.

Second, I’m feeling really down in the dumps these days. I’ve lost my appetite, I’m sleeping a lot, I’m feeling blah. I am lonely and feeling alone in life. I even, for about two minutes, had some regret over dumping The Ex because I miss having someone to hug, hold, and touch whenever I wanted. Someone to sleep next to, to spend the holidays with, to talk to in the middle of the day, to make plans with, and to feel loved by.

Everything now is a game and a joke. What’s important doesn’t really seem important. I look at the thing I’ve got going on with Cutie and I have to wonder why he doesn’t see it as a great relationship? We laugh, we talk, we trust, we respect, we make each other smile and feel great, not just sexually. And, it’s not that I am dying for him to love me, but why can’t he see that that’s what’s important? Why can’t anyone see that? I feel like the only person in the world who does.

I guess I felt like after I lost weight and found myself again, the men would be clamoring for me. It is not the case. I don’t think I’m everyone’s cup of tea, I don’t think I’m all that, but I do think that women my age and in my situation are few and far between. I don’t know what’s so wrong with me. Perhaps I’m fatter than I think. Or I’m ugly and I just don’t know it. I guess the only thing I can do is lose more weight and see if that works. I feel like I’m going to be alone forever and while I know I can do it, have a good life, and probably have plenty of excitement from time-to-time, while all of my married and attached friends look at my life with envy, I miss having someone who cares, loves me, and who makes me a priority in his life. I have the feeling that I will never have that again. And the frustrating thing is, I don’t know why. Right now, I feel like I’m nothing.

The only men online who have put any real effort into meeting me have been really fat or really old. And, when I say I need to lose weight, we’re talking about maybe 20 lbs. These guys are in the 40+ extra lbs range. And by really old we’re talking 50+. Both of these men lied about their age on their profiles and then buried in the narrative claim that they “messed up their birthdate and can’t change it”. Right.

I guess I need to accept the facts and move on. Accept that I’m for some reason unloveable. Accept that I’m ugly, I guess. Accept that even though I can outrun most men, I’m still fat. Accept that I’m really not a good catch, afterall. Accept that no one really, truly cares (except my mom and my dog). Such a pity party, but it is the truth. Why lie, right? Why tell myself something that’s untrue just to make myself feel better. The fact is, it’s just me and that’s how I have to live my life. It’s sad and something I never expected, not in a million years.

Overwhelmed while underwhelmed

This is going to be one long roller-coaster of a post, so you might want to consider turning back. If you decide to climb aboard, bring your barf-bag.

I’ve never really, truly been able to commit. When the going gets tough I make changes. When I get bored I make changes. When I think the grass is greener on the other side I make changes. As a teen, if I decided I hated my high school I moved in with another parent (as in my mom or dad — they divorced when I was young) so I could have a fresh start. If I had a long stretch of difficulty at my job I found a new one. If my boyfriend and I hit a rough patch I left. Even when I was married I decided early on it wasn’t going to work plus I didn’t like where we were living so I left him and moved away to start a new life. I have lived in five states since 1998 and changed jobs every two to three years. Same goes for boyfriends.

When I moved in with The Ex, back to my hometown, I decided I would make every effort to finally put down some roots. I wanted to find a job in which I would stay for many years, if not for the rest of my career. I wanted to make life-long friends. I wanted to be a part of a community. I wanted to go to the same grocery store and be known by name. I wanted to recognize people on my commute. I wanted to make friends with my neighbors. I wanted a plan. I was 32 and ready to have the life like my parents, living in the same house for decades, having the same close friends forever, being a real part of lots of other peoples’ histories. You know, real stability. I feel like I’ve been weaving in and out of people’s lives all these years without making many real connections. I’m always gone too soon.

After living with The Ex just a few months I felt like it wasn’t working and I was not happy. I couldn’t trust my own instincts though, because how many times had I felt this way and jumped ship? Relationships are hard. He also has kids, so that was a big change. I was living in a new community that I did not like, which was difficult. I stayed and what happened was that I lost myself. I did not make many friends because if I left the house I was accused of cheating on him and didn’t want to deal with it. I did not do anything I enjoyed since all of my time and finances were wrapped up in our house and his kids. The economy tanked and I did not stick with one job but moved around when I could find something with better pay.

Four years later I was finally ready to admit that it wasn’t just me and my lack of ability to commit, it really was the relationship with The Ex that was not working out. So, I moved out and to a community I like, I found myself, I started doing things I enjoyed, I started to make new friends and foster my old relationships, my job situation was better . . . things were really good.

A year after I left The Ex, I’ve become restless again. Things were going great and then I lost my mojo. I stopped losing weight and became bored with my exercise routine. May/June were tough for me, as you all know. Runner and I ended up not working out and while I was not heartbroken, I will admit that the situation whetted my appetite for a relationship. I fell for Cutie, was rejected, and then he dumped me via text. My Original FWB decided he did like me, but he liked someone else better and said he’d come back for me if things didn’t work out with her (ouch!) and now it looks like that’s not going to happen and while I’m OK with it, it still burns a little. My good friend decided he was in love with me and that friendship was torn apart. The online dating situation really beat me up and shook my confidence. My best friend took a new job and now works weekends. My job stability is shaky at best and office morale is very low. I wish I lived in the city but I don’t want to deal with a commute.

When I decided one day that I wanted to move up north and then started handing out my resume, I just wanted out of here, to start something new somewhere else. I was frustrated with the lack of work in the area and have been feeling stress with my current situation. I didn’t feel like I had anything or anyone here. I didn’t feel wanted or needed. I was bored with my home city and the little it has to offer, especially when you don’t have anyone to do those things with. No boyfriend, most of my friends are parents with husbands or have been here forever so they have big groups of friends of their own, my best friend and I can no longer spend time together, my FWBs had moved on, and I felt that I was better appreciated in a larger city as far as dating and men go, as that has always been the case before. I miss living in a city filled with intellects and transplants who are open to new frienships.

I didn’t expect things to happen so fast. I didn’t expect the call-backs and the quick turnaround time for interviews or all of the interest in little old me. It was quite the whirlwind experience. And then, while I’m there I heard from both my Original FWB and Cutie. When I returned from my interviews up north my local friends started contacting me about upcoming plans and would I play on a team or go to a race or hang out soon? I also had a work party where I realized how much I really like a lot of my coworkers. At the party there were a lot of people who worked at my company before the recession and I envied their long-term friendships and realized that my relationships with co-workers were starting to become that, too. And then my first weekend back was filled with friends, family, and Cutie. My week is also full and my summer is filling up as well.

Despite everything, which really does seem to be looking up for me, I’ve been feeling some depression over the past few months. I’m not sure why. My life is not bad, I’m healthy, I’m obviously respected professionally, and I’m doing what I set out to do five years ago and putting down some roots. Has this simply been a rough spot? Is this really not the place for me? Am I falling victim to my own past bad habits? Or am I creating these issues myself?

I have not been able to concentrate much at work and my habits are turning around again. I’m staying up late and sleeping in. I’m tired. I’m not exercising. I’m either not eating well or I’m not eating at all. When I’m depressed I eat but when I’m stressed I don’t. I’ve been feeling a little of both as of late. I miss my BFF and our weekends together. I still haven’t found a way to replace that. Because I’ve stopped exercising, some of my goals will not be met and that is depressing as well.

I guess I’m anxious because I find out about the position up north at the end of the week. I know I should not put the cart before the horse, but I can’t not think about it. If it doesn’t work out, I have another idea up my sleeve and that would mean staying local. If I do decide to stay local, I think I will move downtown and get into the city with the other young, single, urban people so I don’t feel so closed off from it all anymore. That might mean commuting for now, but it might also be the change I need.

So, I got dumped

And yeah, it hurts. Pretty bad, I might add.

I was having a late dinner with a girlfriend when I mentioned to her that I hadn’t heard from Cutie in about a week, which is rare for us as we usually talk several times a day, minus a day here and there. I knew he was out of town for work, but since he’s always state-side it’s never that much of an issue. But, I felt our connection weaken a little after I told him I had feelings for him, so I thought maybe there was an awkwardness that needed to be given some time, so I didn’t reach out to him.

Immediately after mentioning it to her, I heard my phone vibrate and the three-part text came in. He’s met someone and agreed to monogamy with her. The relationship is very new. A few weeks ago we were talking and I asked him what he’d do if he fell in love and the woman asked him to be exclusive with her. He said that if she would not accept non-monogamy, it meant they had different values, it wouldn’t work out, and they would not be compatible. I guess he’s really, really in love. Of course, I did not mention this contradiction, just wished him my very best — and meant it — and hoped that we could maintain a friendship.

It’s not about feeling like I lost a romantic connection or was rejected. It’s more about having a special relationship and having to let it go even though nothing bad happened between us. And it’s about grieving my loss. It’s about one of the best relationships of my life being based on sex and now that cord has been cut because he’s in a relationship. I wish we never had sex. I wish we were just good friends who met at work so we could go to lunch and he could tell me all about the new girl and I could ask for relationship advice or something. I wish this was just about something good happening in his life and me being happy for him.

Cutie was special because he was warm and honest. He was not afraid to say what had to be said. He’s the most authentic human being I’ve ever met. He was imperfect and he was humble, but he was perfect to me. Being around him made me want to be more like him. I think I’ve said it before, but friends are for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I am not religious and I don’t believe in fate, but something drew me to Cutie, and him to me, and my relationship with him has been like therapy. It was perfect timing. I learned that it’s OK to be honest with yourself and with others even if it feels weird; you can show hurt and pain and all of your humanness even though it’s uncomfortable; you don’t have to play games with people and that never gets you anywhere anyway; you can be nice and warm without being weak; you don’t always have to be tough and the people who care won’t be turned off if you show your vulnerable side; and even people who are broken deserve a chance.

As soon as I read his texts I lost my appetite and sulked in the restaurant while my friend tried to cheer me up. I wanted to cry, but that would have been embarrassing. So, I waited until I was on my way home and belted out some sad tunes while I cried it out in my car. It felt pretty good. When I got home I tossed and turned, and finally fell asleep only to be woken by Cutie’s texts this morning about how of course we can stay friends, etc. He’s a guy in a new relationship so the chances of truly being friends are slim, but I’ll do what I can to keep in touch. If the relationship doesn’t work out, I’ll be there for him, but I think our days of being FWBs are over. I couldn’t deal with this again, and frankly, I’m figuring out that it’s not wise to get overly-involved with men who are emotionally unavailable or who want sex but not the rest of the relationship. It just causes pain in the end.

If that wasn’t heartache enough, a guy I met from Match yesterday afternoon sent me a text this morning to tell me he wasn’t intersted. That hurt a little bit. No word from Runner. And, finally, my Original FWB is sniffing around as of late. He’s being weird and cryptic and I have a feeling he just wants sex. I’ve agreed to meet him for dinner, as we are friends, but there will be no sex and if he can’t just be my friend and not try to get in my pants, then we won’t be friends anymore, either.

In a year, this is the first time I’ve truly been alone. I felt a little panicky about it last night. I suddenly felt really lonely and a little scared. When I left The Ex last May we had an understanding that it might not be the end, and then I met my Original FWB within a month of leaving The Ex, and during that time I ended things for good with The Ex. My Original FWB and I were hot and heavy for awhile and then I was also big into online dating for a bit. I met Cutie in December and things have been hot with him since then. I “broke-up” with my Original FWB in February and in March I met Runner, but I also still had Cutie to keep me company. Runner and I are clearly over and now Cutie is gone. That leaves me completely alone.

Dating is weird when you just don’t care

The weird thing about being content as a single person — financial security, being healthy, feeling attractive, having friends, having hobbies — is that you’re not in a hurry for a relationship and it’s more scary than it is desired. Sometimes I feel relief when a date falls through, when I don’t have any emails in my OKCupid inbox, when communication with a potential suitor dries up. Reading through all of the websites about how dating is supposed to be it seems like this is how a person should react to dating. All . . . whatevs, who cares, there’s plenty of fish in the sea, I love me! On the other hand, it makes me a little sad to be feeling so indifferent about another human being.

I swore this time around I would not be blinded by love. That insane chemistry you feel for someone right away? That’s bullshit. It’s lust. It’s pretty much toxic. Those are never the people you should end up with. A relationship should be built upon similar values, someone’s character, how you feel when you’re with them (always good and like yourself), how they treat you and others, etc. You should not rely on butterflies or hormones. Granted, you should feel love and horny and all that, but these intense feelings for a stranger are for breeding purposes, not for relationships. It makes me insane when people seek this “chemistry”. God damn rom-coms!

I digress . . .

I’m not sure what the point of this post was. I start writing about what I’m looking for and then I think about how I’m not ready for a relationship at all. Unless, of course, that relationship involves my health insurance and man (or woman) with a PhD after their name. I’m so afraid of losing myself and of creating another deep, dark cavern in my life. I’m pretty happy with the way things are, I’m happy with myself, but . . .

I do miss the feeling of being loved. Of being thought about. Of being wanted, as a whole human being, not just the dirty bits. While I’m liking the lack of commitment right now with Runner and the very casual nature of our relationship, I’d give anything to get a text, email or phone call that simply says, “I’m thinking of you.” That would really make my day.

Speaking of Runner, we did not get together this weekend. First it was Sunday night (tentatively) but then it was a no-go. He offered Sunday lunch time and afternoon, but I lied and said I had other plans already. I was thinking we’d have sex as it would be our fifth date. There was somehing about first-time sex in the middle of the day that made me uncomfortable. There’s the awkwardness of me having to leave versus staying the night (not sure I’d stay). And, I guess that after sex it’s time for the “talk” about what you’re doing as far as keeping it casual, being committed, etc. and I’m not ready for the talk, so yeah, I could’ve seen him on Sunday but I panicked and saw it as a way out.

Also, I started having dreams about The Ex again. Mostly, they are about his cheating and me missing his family. I know I’m not over the loss yet.

I wish I could just snap my fingers and make things happen

The worst part about dating, especially internet dating, is the first meeting. If you have been following my blog for long, you’ll know that I have had two second dates. That’s in “real dating.” The sex dating (Adult Friend Finder and Craigslist) has netted me three second dates, with two ending in sex and with two long-term FWBs. How many first dates/meets have I been on? A lot.

I have done a couple of things to help me through the pain and suffering of the first meeting. For me, it’s about wasting my time. I don’t like to do that. I know dating is a numbers game, but fuck that, I have things to do! There are just two evenings per week (Monday through Friday) that I don’t have plans. If I need to work late during the week I always try to do it on those two nights. If I end up not having to work late, those are the two nights I am free to socialize. However, socializing must take place immediately after work and must be close to my home. On the weekends I am usually busy or not feeling like doing my hair and make-up. I’m around people all week and sometimes I just want a day to veg and be by myself. Plus, I have shit to do like clean and shop for groceries. I try to avoid weekends in this early dating phase.

So far, all of my first dates/meets have been fine with these “rules” of mine. Of course, I don’t approach them as rules, I just make suggestions and as all men want some pussy, they will usually bow to the power of the “V” and everyone has been more than happy to oblige. As far as I can tell women have never received brownie points for making things easier for a man anyway. The secret is not in being a bitch, it’s about being persuasive.

In order to keep my mind off of Cutie, I have delved back into the dating pool. Kinda. I’m still not ready to have a relationship. I’m still not prepared for love or committment. But, I think it’s time to put myself out there. Sometimes I want a man to want to spend time with me without my legs in the air. It would be nice to not have to cancel seeing someone because I’ve got my period. Admittedly, this is what I’ve asked for and in most ways it fits with my lifestyle and the place I’m at in my life right now. So, I can’t really complain.

I am planning to meet a three men from AFF over the next week and one from OKCupid. They are all coming to me during my down time, so while if they don’t work out it will still be a waste of time, at least it’s not as much of a waste of time. It makes it sting just a little bit less after spending an hour or more with someone I couldn’t care less if I ever saw again. I’m not overly excited about any of them. I am a tad bit nervous about the OKCupid guy though because when I go on dates like this I feel like I’m being interviewed. It’s not all about whether or not someone want to fuck me (they always do – shocking, I know!) it’s about whether or not they are attracted to me and like me as a person. That kind of rejection is hard to take.

I’m at a place where I’m really beginning to love myself. I like what I see when I look in the mirror. I like who I am and who I’m becoming. I feel like I have a good handle on my wants and needs. I am realizing what I want in life and in a partner, someday. My career is taking off. Things are falling into place for me. I feel good. I know I’m a good catch. But, I’m still fragile. It takes time to pick up all the pieces and glue them together and then you have to wait for the glue to dry. My life with the Ex, letting myself go, becoming a person I did not want to be, is still a part of me and I have doubts and fears about becoming that person again. I don’t want some bad dates or rejection to destroy what I’ve been building over the past year. And I don’t want a relationship to drag me back to who I was.

Truth? I’m scared.

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?