Thursday, August 29, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I wanted to say something, but knew contacting him was useless. I managed a couple of days. Then I saw he was online, and couldn't take it anymore.
I sent a very polite text, saying since I never heard from him, seems to me he's not interested. Said he could have just been honest, but no hard feelings and I wished him well.
He replied by saying he "just got really busy over the weekend" but thanks and he wished me the same.
Now... There's no point in analyzing. I don't know the guy well enough to even guess if he's lying, let alone know for sure. In fact, he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.
I'm sure he did get busy Saturday night. He was probably busy Sunday, too. But he had time to jump on a dating site Monday morning...so would it have killed him to take a minute and text to tell me what happened?
I realize we only just met, and not every relationship starts off on the fast track. I'm perfectly happy if we can only see each other here and there, at least to start off. Hey, it's gotta start somewhere, right?
What I can't seem to grasp, or handle, is the thing where a guy says he'll text - and then just doesn't. If I tell you I'm going to be in touch, I will be in touch, even if it's just to say I can't get together.
[Side note: If I say I might get in touch, and then I don't, it's a sign I'm not interested. Which is what I figure when others do the same to me.]
At first, I felt like I wanted to kick myself. Like I had overstepped and drew an unfair conclusion. Perhaps I did...but the more I think about it, the less I think it matters.
All of our interactions were at my initiation. He did text, and he did say he wanted to get to know me, and see me again - but always after I contacted him. I don't want to feel as though I'm chasing him for communication - nor do I want to make anyone feel as though he's being chased.
The reality is, I prefer to date someone who is willing to place a little more priority on getting to know me.
If that's asking too much, I would at least like to find someone who has some manners, and calls when he says he'll call.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
A few weeks ago, I helped him with a favor that required a small road-trip. On the way back, he was on the phone with his nephew, who asked who had helped him. He answered, "My good friend," and for just a minute, I felt like I'd been stabbed through the heart.
At that point, I realized I really need to make a change. I've let this casual relationship go on for almost five
|Found it here|
We can't always control how we feel - only how we manage those feelings. For a while, I managed by convincing myself that I was OK with the casual thing. For a long while, I think I really was OK. I liked having someone to call, someone to hang out with, someone to have fun with. I had all the benefits, but none of the commitment or pressure that comes with a relationship.
So it occurred to me, that's what we really were all along - friends with benefits.
Realizing I was in imminent danger of breaking FWB Rule One (no feelings), I knew I needed to make a change. I avoided calling him until I knew I could have the conversation in a reasonable way, without being interrupted or having to rush.
A few days passed...then a week...and before I knew what was happening, it'd been two weeks since we even spoke. It occurred to me - I haven't heard from him, either.
I considered calling him this weekend. Then I realized that I would be calling him to tell him I need a break from seeing and talking to him - when we're clearly already on that break. Which reminded me a little of that cell phone plan commercial where the girl calls the guy to tell him she's not speaking to him.
I decided it's probably not necessary to preemptively break up with someone who is obviously not dating me. Doing so would appear to be a cry for attention (and mostly, that's exactly what it would be) and it would open up a can of worms I don't really want to handle.
The flip side is I feel a little guilty and a little immature, like I'm avoiding the "tough conversation." That also makes me feel a little hypocritical, being that I'm often complaining about people who date when they're not mature enough to have the difficult conversations.
I think (hope?) the difference here is that we were clearly never dating, and he has made his preference for not talking pretty obvious. If he called me, I'd be honest. But I don't think chasing him around with honesty he's not asking for is fair, or wise, or necessary.
I can't help but think about friendships I've had that, for one reason or another, faded away. There was no animosity and no argument, we simply grew apart and lost touch. Over the years, some of those friendships have resurfaced - either permanently, or for a short period of time. Others remain a treasured, but distant, memory.
It's kind of like the universe has sent these people to me, either when I needed them or they needed me - or we needed each other. Just because we come to a time when the need isn't there, doesn't mean the friendship is over. It's just on hold.
Perhaps that's what he's supposed to be... a relationship on hold until the timing is right again.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
|Generally speaking, having to chase|
someone is a bad sign in dating.
Those are extreme scenarios; those guys have elevated avoiding intimacy to an art form. Most people I know have far less-carefully constructed defenses to keep intimacy at bay.
For most parents, meeting their kids is when they're most vulnerable, and therefore that's probably the most intimate thing a parent can share. Most parents I know hold off on that introduction until they're really sure of the relationship. So, if you're getting an audience with Junior, you know you're in.
For many, it's a question of sharing your true feelings - what you really want, need, and what scares you about a relationship.
For me personally, it's letting someone into the rest of my life. I think of myself as a barrier between different parts of my life. Work doesn't touch home, family doesn't touch friends, etc. When I let them overlap, it's a sign I feel comfortable. So if I let a date meet my friends, see my house, or even see me at my not-quite-best, it's me letting down my defenses.
So what does this all mean? For starters, I guess it means you need to be aware of your own intimacy hang-ups. What's OK and what isn't, for you?
It also means you need to acknowledge that everyone is different. Just because a guy isn't affectionate doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have feelings - and just because a person invites you to her home doesn't mean she does, either.
So, what's a single gal (or guy) to do?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I met one of the guys weeks ago on Plenty of Fish. He's a nice enough guy, but seemed a little off. I wasn't able to read him, and he came across as a little arrogant. He was persistent, though, so we kept talking.
We made plans to see each other on a Friday night...but he wouldn't commit to a time or place because he had "tentative plans" with friends. I finally just said let's do it another time, not wanting to interfere with his time with friends - or be kept waiting.
A couple weeks later, he asked me to go out (again, on a Friday). I asked him to let me know what he had in mind, and I never heard from him. When I called him on that, he said he'd tried to get in touch with me. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and we went out the next night.
Turns out, this is his pattern. He makes tentative plans, then waits until the last minute to firm things up. I told him more than once that really doesn't work for me. I'm better when there's a plan.
So on our last date, I asked him again. He said he sees no reason to make plans because they usually fall through anyway - because something else comes up. I told him that comes across as him not wanting to commit to plans with me in case something better comes along.
To his credit (or not?), he did not deny that is the case.
Like I said, I don't need to be a top priority all of the time - just some of the time. Once in a while. Certainly, I don't think it's asking too much to make (and keep) plans with me several hours in advance. It's not like I've whipped out my 2014 planner or anything.
I admired his candor - he was willing to admit that he is selfish, and arrogant, and that - even if we actually had plans - I still wouldn't be top priority. He also admitted that he plays a little game, trying to see if a woman will go out of her way to see him, to make sure she really likes him.
I admired his candor - but you can probably imagine that was our last date.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
There's a difference (in my opinion, anyway) between:
"I'd like to meet for coffee Wednesday. I do have to take care of (whatever). Should be free between 5-7. May I call you?"***and:
"Wednesday? Sure. I'll text you when I'm free." (Then either not following through at all, or contacting me at 9 pm.)One feels like you genuinely want to make plans, you just need a little flexibility. Like you consider spending time with me to be some sort of priority. The other feels like you want to put me on reserve, but not quite commit. Like I'm an acceptable backup plan unless something better comes along.
I have no interest in being anyone's backup plan.
This works with some people. Maybe they really like you, so they're willing to wait around. Maybe they're really lonely, and just happy to have plans.
I'm not that audience. I don't mind being alone - and I also don't have a problem finding other plans. [Case in Point: Several weeks ago, a date canceled on me last minute. I'd given up two other dates, a party, and a (free) family dinner to make those plans with him. I filled the time, but how happy do you suppose I was?]
So don't treat me like I'm so desperate for a date that I'll put up with your nonsense. I respect you enough to make a plan; show me the same respect.
Don't expect me to sit around, waiting for you to decide nothing better came along. You can't put me on reserve. I'm not a library book for crying out loud.
Listen - I'm not asking anyone to rearrange his life for me. I'm not asking anyone to move mountains to spend time together.
I'm really just asking to get the same respect I give.
***While this is acceptable, an even better plan would be to just agree to meet me at 7:30, when you know you'll be free. If you're thinking, "But what if I'm free earlier? Then I'm just wasting my time," then you're part of the problem. Dating isn't just about what's convenient for you. I expect if you really want to see me, you'll make a plan, and then kill time if needed. If the roles were reversed, that's what I'd do.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
It's not a date if...
- You invite me to meet you at a deserted football field.
Found it here
- You invite me to meet you at work.
- You invite me to meet you anywhere that is potentially unsafe. This includes locations that are secluded, or otherwise attractive to serial killers.
- You spend the entire time on your phone.
- You invite me anywhere, and then ask me to pay and/or pick you up.
- You refuse to agree to a time and/or place until the last minute.
- You show up dirty and/or stinky.
- You invite me to drive to you - and then sit in my car.
- We've never met, barely talked, yet you invite me to your home.
Also - please don't misunderstand. While I appreciate someone paying for me, it's not expected, or even necessary. There are ways to have a perfectly nice, actual date, and spend very little (or no) money.
Also - yes, these have all happened to me.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
"It depends what time I'm done with practice."
"It depends what time I get on the road."
"It depends what my kids want to do."
"It depends if I get called into work."Listen - I do my best to be flexible and accommodating. Especially when it concerns kids - I know those situations can be delicate. Of course I understand that work, family, friends, etc. all need a place on your calendar.
The thing is...if you're dating, that needs a place, too.
I'm a planner. Not because I necessarily like it (I actually don't). I plan because I have to, in order to fit everything in.
You're probably thinking, "But you don't have kids." True - but I work full-time, I have four - yes, four - part-time jobs, and I volunteer an average of 3-5 hours a week. Plus I take care of a house, try to get to the gym, and occasionally I like to sleep. Fun isn't out of the question, but it won't happen if it's not on the calendar.
I have a life. Regardless of how I fill my time, it's wildly disrespectful of anyone to treat my time as if it's less valuable than theirs.
Before you say it, yes I realize men don't think like women. No, not all these men mean disrespect - some just aren't good at planning. I understand that - but I also know plenty of men who plan right down to the last second. So while it may not come naturally to all guys, it's certainly not a biological impossibility.
Besides, most of these guys can plan where they'll be every Sunday from September to January, but I'm supposed to believe they can't commit to a time and place for dinner this weekend? I call BS.
The bottom line is this: I want to feel like seeing me is important enough to be a priority sometimes. Not all the time. Not even necessarily most of the time. I just need to be a priority some of the time.
If you show me I'm not, will I see you again? It depends.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
[I should mention he started out looking to talk about sex, which I shut down right away. I was nice - just said that's not what I'm about, so maybe I'm not for him. "No, no, no..." he said. So we kept talking.]
So when he asked out, I suggested we meet for coffee or lunch. He said we could just meet and go for a walk. Around here, this time of year, that's actually a pretty standard date. So...
Him: It's been a while for me.
Me: Since you had a conversation in person?
Him: Sex wise
Me: Well I'm not meeting you for sex. If that's what you want, we shouldn't meet. Not looking to waste anyone's time.
Him: No, I'm not meeting for sex.
Several messages later....
Him: I'll be in your city all week (he coaches football). We're done at 8:30.
Me: It will be tough to find a place to go for a walk at that hour.
Him: You could just meet me at the field.
Me: [In my head - are you crazy?!] I wouldn't be comfortable with that. Sorry.
Him: There's people around. [Then, before I could respond to that...] We could meet at the coffee shop.
Me: Sure, that works.The day of our "date"...
Me: Are we still on for tonight?
Him: Yes, just need to see what time I get done.It's 10:08 pm as I write this....haven't heard from him. Perhaps he found someone willing to meet him at the football field?
There's someone for everyone.
Friday, August 9, 2013
**While we're on the subject - if you're not ready to be exclusive, simply not agreeing to exclusivity should solve the problem.
***If you are ready to be exclusive, don't just assume the other person is, too. Hint: Sex doesn't equal exclusive to everyone.
****If you say you'll call - call. If you might not be able (or want) to call - don't say you will. Yes, it really is that simple.
*****Don't assume that because I'm a woman, I'm in a hurry to assign you a label. You know what they say about people who assume.
******I don't care how jaded or cynical you are. If you like someone, and thought maybe you were "more than friends," hearing them refer to you as a "friend" stings, just a little.
|Found it here|
Thursday, August 8, 2013
The one thing I'm not crazy about is I find him very hard to read. I've gotten pretty good at figuring out a person's intentions, and whether or not he's being honest. But I can't tell with this guy.
So, rather than keep trying, I figured I'd just ask.
I told him I was curious about what he's really looking for. Is he open to a relationship? Or just looking to hook-up?
His first response was, "I'm not that shallow." Well, for the record, I don't think it's "shallow" to want to hook-up. I do think a person should be upfront about that intention. Word-choice aside, I took this to mean he's open to more.
He said he thinks people who say they don't want a relationship are "full of **it." That everyone is open - provided they find the right person. "Who in their right mind would walk away from someone who knocks their socks off? No one."
So of course he's open to a relationship. But is he looking for one? No. "It doesn't work that way." Love isn't something you find. It's something that happens.
Actually - I agreed with what he was saying, even if his word choice was a little rambling and wordy. (Side note: if you really want the truth, ask your question, and then shut up. Most people can't stand the silence and will struggle to fill the space.)
Then he said, "Until you start talking about marriage, you're really just still friends."
|Found it here|
What?! Does this guy really believe there's no relationship between friends and marriage?
I don't think so, though it took a while to find his point. "Labels like boyfriend and girlfriend are meaningless. You can be physical, and even exclusive, but until you're talking real commitment, you're just friends. And it takes a long time to get to know someone that well."
My take on that is this is a guy who was hurt. Maybe he made it to living with someone, or even got engaged, and had his heart broken. Now he doesn't trust labels, because it didn't mean the same to her as it did to him.
I get that. I look at relationships very differently than friends who have never been married, or who have only been married once. I don't believe in "forever." I believe people can intend forever - but I think too much is out of our control to know for sure.
Does that mean I wouldn't be exclusive? No. I'd love to find someone worth giving up all the others. I just haven't -yet.
It does mean I'm OK skipping the labels and rules. I agree with him - they don't mean much. The main problem being the meaning is different to everyone. Calling someone my boyfriend means something different to me than it does to anyone else - even him. We're better off skipping the labels and just setting our own boundaries, which we know we understand.
He had to get off the phone, and asked if we were OK. I said sure, but I'll admit, it took a couple days of mulling the conversation over before I finally felt like I understood what he was saying.
What's most funny is that I do agree with him. I don't believe in labels, or rushing, and I do think it takes a while to be sure of someone.
I think my words just sounded a little funny coming at me in his voice.
Either that, or he's completely full of... it.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
I keep meeting men who are unemployed, just out of a relationship, don't have a car, live at home, haven't dated in a while - or have several of those things going on at once.
I'm the first to admit - I can be a bit of a sob. But I'm not so shallow as to judge people harshly for going through rough times. We all have them, and we're all susceptible to a crash-and-burn at any time.
I do try to avoid dating guys in these situations - but I swear it's not because I'm snobby.
It's because the idea of dating someone whose life is in transition makes me nervous that he will transition right out of the relationship. With my luck, that would likely happen right about the time I started to trust things and get invested.
I understand no one can predict the future. Even the most stable guy could up and leave (trust me - no one gets this better than me).
I just feel like my life is pretty stable and consistent. My act is (mostly) together. I feel like a guy in a similar situation is the best fit for me.
People in transition need flexibility. They need someone who is understanding and willing to easily let go, when the time comes.
I can do that. I'm just not sure I want to. Finding casual dates is fine (and relatively easy).
What I'd like is to find someone who is doing more than just passing through.
Monday, August 5, 2013
So I avoid negative words and phrases. I talk about things I like, things I do, and what I want. I try to avoid saying I won't do something, or I talking about things I dislike, or any phrase that sounds like "don't message me if..."
Since I also try to put this same positive spin on life, it turns out this is a pretty fair representation of my personality. But every now and then, I don't feel positive. I'm human; I occasionally feel sad, or angry, or frustrated, or just plain tired and defeated.
I sometimes wish I could have a second profile, for those days. I imagine it would say something like this:
|Found it here|
I have a job that I don't really like, but it pays my bills. Well - most of them. I like to shop, and I work several freelance jobs on the side to try and pay off the extra. As a result, I have little free time - and I write a dating blog.
I don't really like to go to the gym, but it helps offset my junk-food preference. No, I don't like to hike, bike, or kayak, so please don't ask. I'd rather be at the mall.
Please don't message me if you're clingy, needy, controlling, or just out of a relationship. Please don't ask me to share anything - closet space, a remote, too much of my time, or my feelings.
You most likely won't have all the qualities I want, but if you have just a couple, I might keep you around while still dating other guys. Even you do happen to have all the qualities that I want, I'll likely still get bored - or scared - and eventually find a reason to cut you loose.
Despite all that, I think I'm an OK catch. I can take care of myself, have plenty of friends, love my hobbies, and am generally happy being single. I'm reasonably cute, and I have nice style and great shoes. I'm also pretty funny.
As a matter of fact - you should consider yourself lucky just to be added to the rotation. If it doesn't work out, at least you'll make good blog material.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
So when he reached out to me on Skout, it was with a wink. Those are very impersonal, and on this site, can even be done at random, so you don't even pick who you're winking at - the app picks for you.
I replied to him saying I assumed he didn't intend that message for me, since if he really wanted to get in touch with me, he could just call.
(In retrospect, I know I should have just ignored him. It felt weird doing that with someone I know, and also - I wanted to know what he was thinking.)
He insisted he had meant to reach out to me, and that he hadn't called because he lost my number. Honestly - that felt like a lie. I mean, I know phone numbers can be lost sometimes - but in the middle of a conversation? There are many ways to retrieve a phone number if you really want it, which he obviously didn't. I'm OK with the fact that he wasn't all that into me way back when...but I dislike feeling lied to.
But - I wasn't going to call the guy a liar (when I can't prove it) so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and gave him my phone number (because he asked). I truly thought he "winked" at me without recognizing me and once he realized who I was, he felt like he had to back-peddle. I figured he'd get the number, make the connection, and the whole thing would be over.
But it wasn't.
We traded voicemails for a few days, and finally connected by phone the other night. I told him how things had gone down (from my perspective). He said I sounded resentful. I said no, that was just how I saw things. I explained that the way he'd dismissed me and rushed me out made me feel disrespected, and like he wasn't all that interested. I also said I was willing to admit that maybe I was being overly sensitive - but that it seemed to me that if he was just being him, and my feelings still got hurt, then maybe my feelings and his personality are not a good fit.
I was trying to meet him halfway. I guess I expected that he would do the same. Even something as simple as an, "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings," would have been great. But - nothing.
Instead, he blamed me. He said I was "buggin'" to even be thinking that way, and that I was over-thinking. He said he had given me as much quality time as he could, and he actually believed that it was a big deal he'd spent as much time with me as he had.
To be clear, I didn't raise my voice, or swear, or call him names, or even say I thought he was lying. So, I thought it was unfair to say I was acting crazy, when really all I was doing was sharing how I felt.
It occurred to me that anyone who is genuinely interested in another person would meet her halfway. He wouldn't have just abandoned a conversation, or not made an effort to get back in touch. Like I said in the first post, there were other ways he could have reached out to me.
I think his actions back then, and his reaction on the phone, say all I need to know about this guy. He thought I was jumping to conclusions and being unfair.
I'm curious as to what you think?