Caught in the Snapchat

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These days technology and dating seem to go hand in hand more often than not. You can meet someone online and even if you don’t, you power on your desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc and the temptation is immediately there: communicate, research or (let’s face it) cyber stalk the latest person (or people) to catch your interest. It’s very rare for there to be more in person communication, at least at the beginning of a new relationship, because of how easy it has become to contact someone without actually having to speak with them. It’s definitely made it simpler to connect with new people but have you ever thought of what other implications technology has on dating especially in its early stages? With the click of a button, or several buttons depending on how many avenues you have been communicating with someone, you can make it impossible for them to get in touch with you any further. GhostingThere’s even a word for it. You can literally prevent them from being able to reach you, you don’t even have to ignore them, screen your calls, or selectively answer texts ~you can actually block them from having any say in whether or not they cross your mind. You can find out where someone is or what they’re doing depending on what they’re posting. “Oh you were too sick to come to my friend’s engagement party with me, that’s funny because Billy tagged you out at the bar . ..”. You can get a glimpse into your crush’s interests, friends, daily life. Or if you’re me, you can get way more than you bargained for.

Which brings me to our summer buddy, Lyle. Lyle was tall, hot, fun and 26. He seemed like such a nice change of pace, he wasn’t looking for anything serious and I was okay with that. I was wanting to date for the fun of dating, where you just enjoy the space you’re in and aren’t caught up or worried about expectations. Being 26, Lyle was much more into communicating via technology so I begrudgingly started paying more attention to my snapchat, an app that I had had for over a year with a whopping score of about 39 because I never ever used it. And I have to admit, that it was fun. In normal everyday texting it would be a little weird if someone sent you a heading-to-work-selfie or a quick snapshot of their day (or I guess at least for 31 at the time year old me, it would have seemed over the top). But via this avenue, it was the norm.  So I tuned in when he sent me selfies during his morning commute or videos of him singing along to the radio during the ride or pics of his scenic route view (I live less than 5 from work and while you can’t beat the convenience, its not the prettiest of drives). He was funny, and young and didn’t seem weighed down by the responsibilities that hit us the older we get. So I’d be in bed ready to get a solid 8+ to be up for work the next day and would take a peek at snapchat to watch videos of him goofing around with friends, or photos of something he found funny or to watch him in a late night video sitting on his deck drinking a beer, listening to rap and getting high while this old timer was turning in after an evening of gym, cooking, laundry, dishes and tv.

We were having fun; we were dating and texting and snapping and sleeping together. I didn’t have any delusions that it was turning in to too much more than that but I did start noticing that a girl who had been showing up here and there in his snap stories seemed to be in them more and more. I had assumed they were friends and figured even if he was dating her a bit, it wasn’t a big deal. I was going on dates with other guys too and wasn’t expecting anything different from him. That’s how dating works, until you decide to be exclusive with someone, you get to go out with other people if you want to. One night about a week after we had last been together, I watched a video on snapchat of them sitting together with friends and things looked complicated like maybe she was a little drunk and maybe they were cuddling but I couldn’t tell. I personally feel that if you are dating multiple people, it’s your responsibility to handle it respectfully and in my opinion, letting one girl you’re dating watch you be in any way intimate with another girl you’re dating isn’t the best way you could’ve gone about things. But I wasn’t sure what I saw and I wasn’t sure he owed me an explanation and I wasn’t sure I wanted one. I also just wasn’t really sure how I wanted to proceed with him after that (you might be noticing a pattern but I’m just not sure).

I heard from Lyle a few days later, it was his birthday and he was hoping we could hang out. I was tempted to say yes and was feeling bad about the idea of leaving him to fly solo on his own birthday but the invite was more ‘hey, come over’ and less let’s go find some spontaneous birthday fun and I wasn’t sure where I stood in terms of being his only netflix and chill partner. I toyed with the idea and texted him most of the night but opted for staying in until I could get a better grasp on the situation. The next few days were more or less the same story – I got a text each night asking if I was around and a few snaps showing me what I was missing out on but I had a busy couple of days and it was giving me the time I needed to keep him at arm’s length while I debated whether or not I wanted to broach the subject of his possible other cuddle buddy.

As my busy weekend was winding down, I decided to take a peek into snapchat to have a look-sy at my friends’ snap stories from the past few days. Lyle had one posted as well so I clicked on it and low and behold there was a video of him goofing off with the mystery girl. In bed. Together. (I’m pretty sure together went without saying but . .) So there was my answer. They were definitely involved. Never in my life would I have thought that even with as invasive as technology can be, that I would watch the guy I was sleeping with lay in bed with another girl, on my phone. Sooo as you can probably imagine, that was the end of my fling with good ol’ Lyle. I decided that since he posted that knowing that I very well might see it, there was no point in addressing it with him period. We clearly had two very different sets of values and ideas of how we treat other people. I got rid of his texts, erased his number from my phone, and deleted him as a friend on snapchat.

Fast forward a month or so, three unanswered texts and a naked snap later (him to me obv ~~I didn’t realize that my settings allowed for anyone to be able to send me things and view my stories and for those of you wondering, I DO NOT send naked snaps), I finally though I had shaken Lyle Lyle Crocodile but no such luck. I had taken a photo of the bubble bath I was going to take one Friday night after a particularly long week at work when I got a snap message (you can send messages through the app) of a crying face and a text that he wished he had gotten an invite (p.s. points for originality going the taking a bath together route vs the typical hey let’s get a drink or watch a movie come on or just weird? I can’t decide.) Up until this point, even as I reminded myself that it was for the best that I had found out what was going on and was able to extricate myself from the love triangle I had never signed up to be a part of, every once in a while I would feel like the one who wasn’t picked or more often the one he didn’t care if they found out but it hit me that they had been dating for a while now and this poor other girl probably thought that they were exclusive all the while he had been dating, sleeping with, then trying to sleep with me. It really put things in perspective for me that the only thing I would’ve been picked for was to be two-timed. Let her be the girl that he fails to, in the words of poet Lady Leshurr, “hold [you]down like a snapchat” (you guys know when I say I’m quoting a poet, I usually mean I’m quoting a rapper, right?)

I still hear from Lyle from time to time. I still don’t engage, I just don’t see myself feeling any better off for expressing my feelings on the matter. But hey, on the plus side, my snapchat score’s gone up to 1,187. So there’s always that. Add me at meganroísín1227 if you want to see cat snaps and secret selfies (since my blog’s semi-anonymous).

photo cred: Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_juliatim’>juliatim / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

The Case of the Nice Guy and his Douche (Errr I Mean Drunk) Dialing

photo-6Many a single girl has sat around with her girlfriends, adult-bev in hand or met them for a mid (read:late) morning brunch (again probably with adult-bev in hand) categorizing guys into two groups: the nice guys and the douchebags. I have been that girl; hell, I am that girl (and not just because I LOVE brunch). Both labels usually leave either the interested party or her friends rationalizing why the others need to give the guy a chance. The friends are rooting for the good guy, “But he’s SUCH a nice guy!”. Like you should just lock and load and show up at his place with all your stuff because it’s clear that if you decide to commit, your prefab relationship is ready and waiting for you and all you have to do is say yes to Mr. Dependable (that may be an exaggeration, don’t test it out and sub-lease your place ladies, it was just a little stretch  for argument’s sake). You on the other hand (you being me, you, and all of those friends at some point when they were in your shoes), are trying to list the good qualities that Mr. No Good for You has that you feel they’re overlooking. Because, we all want that guy to prove us wrong and turn out to be Mr. Diamond in the Rough, or Mr. Rough  Around the Edges, right?  I have done it all, I have given the nice guy a chance, I have ignored friends’ warnings about the ones that weren’t right for me and I once even tamed the bad guy. That’s right ladies, I have been the myth; I was once the girl that made the bad boy change his ways (that doesn’t mean I would do it again and it doesn’t mean you should try it either, but that is a different story for a different day). All I’m saying is, I’ve had my share of both.

Cut to the twenty four year old. Last year, one of the first guys I dated after deciding to give this whole DATING  thing a try, was the stereotypical Nice Guy. I found myself responding to his messages because I had just been hurt by someone that I really liked and wanted to get my mind off of that. When 24 asked me out, I thought it wasn’t the greatest of ideas – I mean I was 29 but . . . I decided I should say yes since we had been talking for a while. As it turns out, our date didn’t feel like the obligation that I thought it would, I actually had a good time. We started seeing each other and I couldn’t believe how different it was to date a NICE GUY, I mean we even went six whole dates before having sex (that’s right, we’ve talked about him a little before in Sex ~ Worth the Wait? a.k.a. Maybe I Do Wanna Be A Tease). Things seemed like they were about to get serious; he was definitely a bit of a serial monogamist  which was apparent but I was willing to go along for the ride. He tried to make sure that we got to see each other everyday, which seemed to be important to him in a relationship; he even used to joke that he felt it was his responsibility to make that happen as if it were up to me, we would have a once a week relationship (not true, but maybe a happy medium wouldn’t have hurt). We both were headed into a period where our schedules were about to get a bit crazy, he was taking a course and I was about to move and it wasn’t going to allow us to spend every waking-not working-second together and I could tell that for him it was causing a bit of a strain. He told me he was stressed thinking about the new responsibilities he was about to take on with the program he had just joined and wasn’t sure how he was going to juggle the class, manage to get good grades and spend time with me. I wasn’t sure if it bothered him because he wanted to make seeing me a priority or whether he was wanting to call it a day but I realized that with my impending move and the craziness of the upcoming summer, I wasn’t sure I wanted to put that much work into something this new and was okay with letting things fizzle between us. We ended things amicably (because that’s what you do with nice guys) and went our separate ways.

I heard from 24 now and then during the summer,  usually I would hear from him when I had been drinking (I’m assuming that he was too). He would text that he was heading out to a bar that he knows I go to and was hoping to run into me or that he missed me and we should get together or that it had been awhile since we’d spoken and should catch up soon. Each time I was tempted to say yes or go see him but something always made me reconsider and decide to keep my distance. I wasn’t upset or angry, I didn’t harbor any ill will but it just seemed like 24’s and my song had played out and I wasn’t feeling like pressing rewind.

Fast forward to six or seven months later (last cassette reference I promise). 24 was dating someone and aside from one time when he posted on facebook about a party he was throwing then drunkenly started following me on instagram later that night and liked every selfie I had ever posted, I hadn’t heard from him since he started seeing her . I was with friends, staying up way too late, having too much fun when I noticed a missed call had come in at 2:00am from good ol’ 24 . . . One of my nearest and dearest (I was gonna call her my ride or die, but I just couldn’t bring myself to)   had always thought he was great and that I shouldn’t have let him go, so when my phone rang again she picked up. I don’t think the call went as either had planned, since he planned to talk to me and instead reached her and she planned to have a heart to heart and instead he told her to go to bed and put me on the phone (probably not the smartest idea to be shitty to the one person who was rooting for you, but oh well). I had no intention of having a middle of the night, alcohol induced conversation with him so I passed on picking up. When I wouldn’t come to the phone, 24 hung up and proceeded to text (again, not sure of the line of thinking since you already know my friend is the one in possession of my phone . . .). He said that he and his girlfriend had broken up and it was mutual and we had always had fun together so maybe  I should head over to his place, he’d wait up. Well, that sent my gal pal right over the edge. She had always gone on and on about what a nice guy he was and how I threw in the towel too soon with him so his trying to line up a late night rendezvous made her see red. She responded that first of all I am not a booty call nor a rebound (direct quote, she said she wrote nor instead of or to sound like me), 24 told her that that was not what he meant . . . but if I wasn’t coming over he was going to sleep. “You’ll be fine on your own” a.k.a. conversation over asshole.

The next day I got a text from him apologizing for the drunk dial. Before I could respond, I got another text from a number I didn’t know that said “It’s ok hun”. He sent a group text to apologize!!!!! So not only had he drunk dialed enough people to warrant a group text but he didn’t realized that each person could see everyone else’s response. I was still with my friend from the night before and when I showed her, we both died laughing. She almost took my phone again and responded to the group that things were okay with her too but we decided to give him a break and not blow up his spot in front of the other female mystery texter.

That’s the thing about the Nice Guys , our friends root for them and they sometimes seem like such a change from the other guys we’re used to but I bet each nice guy has a story about the girl they were less than nice too. There was probably a time when another group of girls sat around chatting and your nice guy was in their douchebag category. Just the way that guy that dicked you over and your friends and you all roll your eyes when his name comes up and talk about how you can’t believe you ever saw anything in him or can’t believe the amount of time you spent crying over him ~yeah, him. You know who I mean. He’s some girl’s boyfriend now and makes her feel like the luckiest girl in the world (I mean, there may be some exceptions to this theory – Charles Manson, etc, etc). Everyone has some story from their past about how they treated someone else worse than they should’ve, it’s just the way it is. He might be your dreamboat, your perfect match, your amazing catch but at some point he was probably someone else’s douche drunk dialing and group texting trying to track down a bed buddy. Let’s hope those girls all had their best friends nearby to set him straight.

What Are We Dating For? (Because He Thinks He’s A Freak In The Sheets When They’re All Just A Freak With The Tweets) AKA #NoThanksPerv

photo-8 OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Tinder, eHarmony, Match.com: sites filled with people who are searching for love, romancefriendship, sex, sex? A connection. The type of connection DEFINITELY may vary but everyone there has the same basic purpose, they are searching for something that they can only be found in another person.

Now, just because everyone on these sites is looking for something and has a need (or want) that only another person can provide doesn’t mean that it’s the same thing you’re looking for or that realizing that they’re not will be any easier. But, sometimes it is. ~Cue the douchebag message~. That’s right ladies, Mr. Thinks He’s a Freak in the Sheets when He’s Really Just a Freak with the Tweets has his sights set on you and thinks he is filling your inbox with proof that he is going to rock your world (or schedule a blow job sesh or even get you to agree to give him a golden shower ~ but don’t worry, he’s pretty positive that it will be as magical for you as it already is for him just by thinking about it). He’ll be quicker to compliment you on your anatomy than your profile or even your eyes or smile. He may throw in a little small talk before he offers you a massage (because rando massage offers are innocuous and not at all creepy, right?) but more than likely he will just cut to the chase and ask you some incredibly personal question about what you will and won’t agree to in sexual situations or describe his manhood to you. In detail. But don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, sexy, because he copied and pasted the message to 17 other girls in the past half hour. Mr. Freak is hoping that there is power in numbers and that statistics will be on his side while he message bombs you and every other female within a 50 mile radius.
Believe me, I know all about it. Like the rest of you out there dabbling in online dating, I have received my share. I’ve been offered countless massages from guys in the very first encounter, been told penis size, asked if I give good head, been invited into threesomes and those are just the run of the mill -don’t even surprise me anymore- messages.  Then there’s the cut to the chase “Submissive?” without even a hello prior to it, the twenty-one year old that told me he was rich and would like to use me sexually in exchange for gifts and nice dinners, the foot fetish-er (yeah, I know, not a real word) who would kill to lick my feet; Sorry pal, this isn’t Sex and the City and I’m not Charlotte about to get a new pair of shoes out of the bargain. And of course, my favorite (and probably yours too because it seems to be a common theme): the guy that just jerked off to my pictures and wants to make sure I know about it, because that right there is true flattery. And two of those examples are just from this past week. Amiright Ladies?

So what I want to know some days, when single girls using dating sites seem to be fodder for perverts and creeps, is what are we dating for? I  know I’m not the first girl to find myself needing an OkCupid-PlentyofFish-Tinder hiatus from time to time especially after being inundated with rude, lewd and downright gross messages but something always makes me sign back in. I guess I end up deciding that I can laugh and block my way through all the messages from all the Mr. Freaks out there and keep myself open to the possibility that Mr. Right (or Mr. Fun or Mr. Charming or even Mr. Right Place Right Time) might be around the corner. I don’t know about you but I think I’m going to just keep saying #NoThanksPerv to all the sleazebuckets out there and continue to search for something more, for a connection.

 

Single and Looking for Love(seat)

A friend of mine recently became a home owner and was ready to decorate his new house. He went out to purchase a living room set and went to several stores. The first day he saw a set that he thought he loved, it was the right size, he liked the fabric and thought that he had found the set that he wanted. He was about to buy it but something just didn’t feel right and so he decided to pass. A few days later, my friend went out shopping again. He found another living room set that he liked even more than the first one but just couldn’t bring himself to commit. He felt like he just needed to keep looking. Finally, he walked into a furniture store, saw a living room set and said “That’s the one”. He bought it on the spot. He just knew.

When he told me this story, he said that buying furniture is a lot like finding a relationship. There are people you meet that you think could be right for you but something just feels off. When you meet the one ones you are meant to be with (because let’s face it, we definitely invest our hearts and time with a few of ‘the ones’ before we end up with ‘the one’), whatever unexplainable element the runners up didn’t possess becomes so clear when you find someone who is right for you.

Recently I went out with a guy that I met on an online dating site. For our first date, he asked me to meet up with him for coffee but our schedules for weekend days just kept clashing so we decided to meet up for dinner instead. It was a nice first date, we got along well and didn’t struggle for things to talk about. We ended up sitting and talking well past when the bill had been paid. We hugged goodbye at the end and agreed that we should do it again sometime. I didn’t have butterflies and wasn’t tongue tied at the sight of him but he seemed like a good guy so when he asked me to go out with him again, I decided a second date couldn’t hurt.

We continued to see each other and I realized that he was a great guy; he was cute, extremely nice and seemed like he really liked me. Let’s call him Clark — you know, like Kent or Gable; good guys are always named Clark. We started spending a lot of time together and things were going well but I just couldn’t tell if we had chemistry. I talked with a lot of my friends and they made me realize that being so early on, it was okay to not be sure about him or us. I decided to keep seeing him and try to get to know him better. One thing to know about me, is I stayed in a relationship that wasn’t right for me for so long that it has become a bit of a sticking point with me and I sometimes worry that I will repeat that pattern instead of putting my own happiness first. So I tend to over think issues like these. I was concerned that I was putting too much pressure on myself to make a decision about him too soon. Clark began to make it clear to me that he really did like me and wanted things between us to progress. Even though I had decided that it was okay that I wasn’t there yet, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I wasn’t matching his feelings.

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, Sex-Worth the Wait? AKA Maybe I Do Wanna Be A Tease, I have never been very good at taking my time physically with someone I’m interested in but with Clark it was different. We didn’t even kiss until our 6th date and after that we fooled around and (the I is in bold print on purpose!) stopped things before they went too far. I was pretty proud of myself for not moving too fast. However, after we finally had sex, I found that that was all I seemed to be interested in. When he would ask to spend time with me, I would hope that he would settle for coming over to my place for takeout, a movie and just spending the night in (and ending the night IN my bed). My friends would ask me to tell them more about him and I just didn’t have much to say (if you know me well, you know that me not having a lot to talk about is a huge red flag). I threw a birthday party for one of my closest friends and everyone wanted to know if he was coming but I hadn’t invited him because I just didn’t have any interest in them meeting him. He couldn’t wait for me to meet his friends, he asked me five different times to go out with them and I came up with an excuse each time for why I couldn’t go (now I know that that sounds bad because it is, but in my defense, a few of those times were way to soon to meet them in my opinion — especially when he asked me to go out with them two days after our first date).

Clark really was such a great guy that I really, really wanted to like him. There were no games with him, I knew exactly where he stood and how he felt about me. Dating him was how dating should be. Almost. I just wasn’t excited about him. There was never a time that I couldn’t wait to hear from him, there was nothing else I was dying to get to know about Clark, nothing I was looking to experience with him.  He wasn’t for me. Even though I hated the idea of letting a good guy go, I just didn’t like him as much as I should.

It was time to let Clark know that I couldn’t keep seeing him. Now, the other thing you probably remember about me from Break Ups: Fake It Til You Make It? (Or Pretend To Be Eaten By A Bear?) is that I HATE breaking up with people. It makes me super anxious at the idea of hurting someone and I usually find a way to take the easy way out in order to spare the other person’s feelings. Well, I believe that we should be constantly learning and growing and trying to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. And, I’m 30, it’s time to just be honest and find the right combination of being truthful while being kind. I told Clark that I think he is awesome but I just felt like there is something missing between us and it wouldn’t be fair to him or to myself to continue things when I feel like that. Clark actually thanked me for being upfront about my feelings. Look at that, maybe there is some personal growth going on!

I have to say, that I think my friend was on to something with his furniture analogy. Clark was the living room set that I was afraid to pass up on because he was dependable, and great quality and a great price but just wasn’t what I had my heart set on. I had to decide to keep looking because I want to be wowed. I want to just know.

Ready to be rut-less

We all have our routines: we get up in the morning at the same time each day after hitting the snooze button the same number of times even though we told ourselves we were giving up the snooze button habit, run out the door without a minute to spare (unless you’re more of a morning person than I am then maybe you don’t do that), drive the exact same route, walk into the office and probably say the same greeting to our coworkers. Our week is mapped out with events, meetings, commitments, work outs, even TV shows. “Yeah lets grab dinner this week, when were you thinking? Ooohhh Tuesday . . .  Tuesday I spin. Are you free any other night this week? No, I could do Friday as long we end the night on the early side because I have a pilates class  Saturday morning and then I’m catching up on errands and housework. Sunday? I mean I usually grocery shop Sunday evenings, cook lunch and dinner for the week and then watch Downton Abbey but I’m sure I could rearrange some of that stuff . . . Sunday it is”. Have you ever had a conversation like that one? Where you make someone that you DO want to spend time with think that you would rather watch paint dry or have a pap smear instead of grabbing dinner with them because you’re worried about veering from your weekly routine? Songwriter Christine Lavin once said, “There’s a very fine line between a groove and a rut” and boy was she right. As a single girl, I try to remind myself that almost anything on my to-do list can be done a day or even a week late without any major consequence. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t vacuum or clean my car or take the time to stuff the comforter back in the duvet cover properly (which is a giant pain in the ass by the way, struggling with that one as we speak type). It’s important to leave room for fun, to shake things up and prioritize living a life that I enjoy over living a life in a spotless house and being current in all my favorite TV shows.  For the most part, I think I have a pretty good balance. But I do have to admit that this winter, I have found myself being a bit more of a homebody than I would like. Don’t get me wrong, a little wintertime hibernating now and then is never a bad thing. We all need to camp out on our couch for awhile with a glass of wine and a chick flick but I have been doing that mayyybbbeee a little too much lately (substitute chick flick with trashy reality shows and it might be considered wayyy too much). So I’ll admit it, I’m in a winter rut and for that matter a dating rut.

I have not gone on any dates lately, and I keep telling myself that it’s because there isn’t anyone that I’m interested in going out with but really I think it’s my mindset. I’m not interested in meeting anyone who contacts me because I’m not giving them the chance to get me to be interested in them. These days I have a hard time getting excited about any guy until I meet them which wouldn’t be so bad except I don’t really care to meet them because I’m not excited. Catch 22, huh? I talk to a guy long enough to hope to become interested, maybe even give them my number then when they ask me out, come up with some excuse as to why I can’t go ( and I mean with a life planned out with tedious activities for the week, it’s not that hard to convince yourself that you really are too busy right now to go on a date). I start responding to them less frequently and eventually they lose interest and I stop hearing from them. Yup, my rut’s turning me into a DB (that’s douchebag for those of you who don’t weirdly abbreviate words like I do).

I read an article recently about the negative effect that technology has had on dating and while I think that technology has made more of a positive impact on dating overall, there were definitely some valid points. Being behind a computer screen or smartphone has increased the safety people find in the anonymity of it all. You wouldn’t approach someone out in public by saying “Sup” and winking at them without anything intelligent or thoughtful to say to them (well, most people wouldn’t) but online, “Sup ;)” is totally not an uncommon message to receive. You wouldn’t try to play 20 questions with someone because the conversation wasn’t flowing and then still try to ask them out if you were face to face but again, online, it’s a definite possibility. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m any better. Just because your smile hasn’t given me butterflies because I’ve only seen a photo and not gotten the opportunity to experience it first hand, that doesn’t give me the right to treat these guys in a manner that I would find insulting if it was directed at me. Wasting someone else’s time isn’t okay and it’s about time that I cut the shit. Another example that the article gives is that we are all sure that there is someone or something better just around the corner and it makes it hard for us to want to commit to a date because we don’t want to be unavailable if a more desirable invitation comes along. I have definitely been guilty of that one in the past, I don’t want to book myself with Mystery Date A when I might get asked out by someone that I am more attracted to or think I might be more compatible with and have to turn him down.

So how am I going to turn this around? How am I going to pull myself out of this rut? Good question. “Sometimes the fountain runs shallow.  Sometimes the pen is short on ink.  Sometimes we just need a kick in the head.  No matter the reason for your temporary slump, you know you have to get out of it if you are ever going to get anywhere” – Terrence Williams. The answer is NOT that I am going to give everyone a chance and go out with every guy that asks. I once tried that as a way to get over someone I really liked but who just wasn’t interested in me and let me tell you, it is a terrible idea. There’s nothing quite like being on a date and realizing that your new resolution has prevented you from screening the guy sitting across from you to make sure that he’s not a creep. And he is. And now you’re stuck spending the evening with him. What I will do is make more of an effort to get to know the person contacting me, try harder to put a personality to the messages and pics and if I really don’t think there is any kind of connection then I will explain that even if it does make for uncomfortable conversation. The ones that I do see a possibility of having chemistry with, I will actually agree to go out with – novel concept, right?

I’m going to get out of my rut and back into my groove. I’m going to stop letting routines dictate my life – will I still spin on Tuesdays? Sure. But if I’d rather grab dinner with friends once in a while, that’s okay too. I’ll remember to enjoy myself, duvet cover-less or not. I’ll stop substituting responsible for fun and instead be a better mix of the two. I’ll start giving people more of an opportunity to catch my eye and spark my interest.  It’s time for my pen to stop being short on ink.

Open Condom Style (The Return of Alan Shore)

ImageIt was my senior year of college and Alan Shore was in town for a visit (if you don’t remember Alan Shore, check out my 4th blog post The Out of Towner). Now this wasn’t the first time I had seen Mr. Shore since the year we met, he had come up the year in between as well with a girl he was dating who clearly knew about me and clearly wasn’t a fan ~ I only spent one night hanging out with them and one night was definitely enough since most of my time was also spent pretending I didn’t notice that she was verbally  ‘throwing bows’ at me all evening. A year later he came back on his own, things hadn’t worked out between them and he was single. I was single as well (I told you that it was a very off and on relationship with my ex, especially at the beginning), but hadn’t wanted to talk about it so I decided not to tell anyone.

Alan Shore was staying at our mutual friends’ house and they invited everyone over to come see him and hang out the night that he got there. It was a fun night and when I got home he instant messaged me to tell me it was nice to see me. He started telling me about breaking up with his girlfriend and how he wanted to find a relationship like the one I was in. I ended up telling him that I wasn’t in a relationship at that time but that I was hoping that it was just a break and that I wasn’t ready to tell many people yet. A. Shore told me he would keep it to himself which I was really glad to hear because it wasn’t a subject I wanted to talk about just yet.

As the week went on, Alan started to let me know he was still interested in me. He didn’t do anything crazy, just things like if a bunch of us went out for drinks and I sat down at a table and someone else put their jacket down to sit across from me, he would walk over and make a point of moving the coat out of his way so that he could sit across from me instead. One night, after a party we were all at, he asked one of my friends that he was staying with to make up a reason for why he needed to come and crash at my apartment with my roommate and I. Nothing happened but spending time with him was definitely helping me take my mind off of my recent break up and it was a fun change from the norm.

As I’ve said before, I was never quite sure what my feelings were for Alan Shore but he was a good guy and was fun to be around. The fact that he liked me was also a bit of a draw and I started to think that maybe I did want something to happen between us but just wasn’t positive. I decided to tell my roommate Jess everything, I told her about the break up and that I was enjoying the attention from our visitor. There was a big party to celebrate the start of Spring Break coming up in a few days and it was being held at the house he was staying in. Jess offered to spend the night there so that Alan could come home with me if I wanted. I told her that I wasn’t sure, I didn’t know if I was ready for anything to happen with anyone else since I wasn’t over my ex and that I was concerned that if something were to happen that night that Alan might get the wrong idea and think that there was something more going on between us than what actually was. Jess ended up talking to him about it ~ he had actually asked her a few times that week what she thought his chances were with me and thinking that I was dating someone else she had told him zero each time. She told him that she knew now that I was single and that she thought that 0% chance she had wagered might be a bit off, she did tell him that she was concerned that even if anything started to happen between us I may not be ready and might stop it. He told her that he didn’t have any expectations and was hoping we could spend a night together even if nothing all that physical ended up happening.

I had a great time at the party both with Alan Shore and with my friends. As the party was winding down and people were heading out, I did decide that I wasn’t quite ready to say goodnight to A. Shore and he ended up coming home with me. I was relieved to know that there were no expectations and that he already had a clue that I might not want to take things very far but what actually happened was not what I had expected. Alan and I ended up at my apartment, finally alone, and I felt like not only was I ready but I wanted to sleep with him. Just as we were about to, he put on a condom and . . . . . . CHANGED HIS MIND. We spent the rest of the night laying there cuddling while he alternated between going on about what a disappointment this must be for me and then telling me that he couldn’t sleep with me knowing that he really cared about me and to me, he was just another dude. Now don’t get me wrong, he had no obligation to have sex with me and it wasn’t like some double standard where he wasn’t going to put any pressure on me if I didn’t want to but I was going to give him a hard time (pun intended) when he didn’t want to. What bothered me the most was the assumptions that he always seemed to be making about me. Despite the build up in his head about us and how much he thought he cared about me, he didn’t actually know that much about me and definitely didn’t know anything about my sex life. If we had ended up having sex, he would have been the second person that I had ever slept with. He wouldn’t have been ‘just another dude’ because he would have been one of only two dudes.

Since he didn’t live in Boston and I knew for a fact that he had spent the last of the cash he had on him paying for the cab ride to my place, it wasn’t like I could try to call it a night and send him on his way. So he stayed the rest of the night and the next day we made our way back over to our friends’ house because I was meeting up with most of them to head out of town for Spring Break. It was a pretty surreal morning after. Most of our friends knew that Alan really liked me and assumed that we had had sex so my guy friends were literally all high fiving him as we walked in while I’m trailing behind him fuming because instead of sex, I had pretty much been lectured all night and he was getting congratulated for it. I said goodbye to Alan and hit the road with my friends. I still see him now and then but nothing ever happened between us again. He told my roommate a while after that, that he hoped we would see each other  in about ten years or so at a friend’s wedding and end up getting together. It hasn’t quite been ten years yet, it’s only been eight but I just don’t see that happening; I think Alan Shore and I are better off friends and the condom shouldn’t even come out of the wrapper again (because we won’t have sex not because we just won’t use a condom).

Crazy Girl Syndrome: Overanalyzing the Outcome of a Date That Never Came

12498009_sI think that we can all agree that dating can be a bit nerve wracking, right? Worrying that they won’t like you or you won’t like them or that you’ll have absolutely nothing to talk about. I think everyone walks into a first date reminding themselves that it’s only for a few hours and praying that those hours don’t feel like years. I have had a few of those dates; the ones that seem like they go on forever and you’re just not sure if you’re going to make it out with your sanity intact (or at least with as much sanity as you started the night off with). I have sat thru what has felt like an eternity of trying to make small talk with someone that I have nothing in common with. I’ve hung in there knowing that we both can’t wait to head out the door and never lay eyes on each other again. Or worse – I have suffered through the evening, hardly able to wait for it to end but have known that the other person thinks things are going really well between us and I’m going to have to explain that I don’t think we should have a second meeting.  The beauty of online dating, especially when it comes to bad first dates, is that you never have to see the person again if you don’t want to. It definitely takes a lot of the edge off knowing that you’re not out anything but a few hours of your time if you don’t enjoy yourself or your company for the night.

That’s the kind of dating I was used to – dating in a vacuum. They always say ‘nothing ventured nothing gained’ and while that is true in this regard as well, I was enjoying the comfort of the line of thinking of ‘you’re not any worse off than where you started’. I liked knowing that there was no major repercussion for not wanting to go on a second date, if I wasn’t into it then that was that: one bad night with hopefully some good writing material. It made it easier to psych myself up for the dates that I just had a feeling weren’t going to be great, you know, the ones where there is absolutely no reason not to go but you just aren’t excited about it. I’ve always found that if you’ve invested time in getting to know someone via email, text, phone, etc that you should go out with them because you never know what you’re in store for until you meet them. I have gone out with guys where I thought I was just doing it because it was the right thing to do after chatting with them for so long and a few times I have been very pleasantly surprised that I really liked them. I’ve also had times where I expected to absolutely hit it off with someone and just didn’t really connect in person. I talked on the phone for hours a night with a guy once and thought that we had a ton in common (we even went to the same small Catholic school growing up but were a few years apart so didn’t know each other) but just didn’t have any chemistry when I finally met him.

One morning a few months ago, I was checking my online dating accounts before I left for work and clicked on a new message that I had received. It was from a guy who said that he had worked as an RN at a small doctor’s office in the town I lived in and that it hadn’t been a good fit for him so he only stayed for a short period of time. He wrote that he might be mistaken but he thinks we worked together. I hadn’t really been paying much attention when I had opened his message but I realized he was right, we had worked together for a few months about a year or so before then. His message went on to say that he worked on a surgical trauma floor at a Boston hospital and it was a much better fit for him and that leaving my office had been the first of many big life changes for him because he had also gotten divorced since then and wanted to know if I would like to go out sometime.

The message from the RN intrigued me, but it was in with the intrigue and out with the safety of the ‘nothing to lose’ mentality. Being asked out by him felt completely different than any of the other times I was asked out — I knew him, he knew me, not well but still this wasn’t anonymous. My brain went into overthinking mode (yes, I know that over thinking is two words but you know what I’m talking about ladies: overthinking mode is totally a thing; it’s a female brain function). I mean I knew he had been married while we worked together but had he been attracted to me then? Was I attracted to him? I hadn’t ever even thought about him that way, he had just been a coworker.

From the way I was acting, you would’ve thought that it was a marriage proposal not a dinner invite. I started weighing the pros and cons and worrying about the ‘what ifs’. I even told a large portion of my coworkers because if we ended up dating I didn’t want them to think that anything had been going on between us while he worked there and was married (yes, I put THAT much thought into it). I collected the opinion of almost anyone I encountered. It was like I was so far past overthinking mode that I couldn’t come back from it. With all the thinking I was doing, you know what the one thing I wasn’t doing? Giving the RN an answer, he even asked me if I was ducking him. One of my coworkers pointed out that while I was concerned about the lack of anonymity, I wasn’t considering the plus side of it: I knew he was who he said he was, he wasn’t a mass murderer,  and I knew that he was a good guy. So I said yes. He wanted to go out that weekend, which was only a day or two away but my M.O. (and don’t ask me why, I know it’s silly yet I do it every time) is to say no to the first night a guy wants to go out. Instead, I suggested that we go out a week later than that. The RN told me he didn’t want to wait that long to get  together and wanted to go out during the week for dinner; I admit I found it a bit exciting that he didn’t want to wait to see me but due to our work schedules, we were going to have to wait until the next weekend.

I had another date scheduled for that Friday and agreed to go out to dinner with him on Saturday. I’ve always felt a bit weird about the idea of a dating double header but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I went out on Friday and may have ended up spending the night with Date # 1. The next morning, I just didn’t know what to do about the RN. When I got home, I looked at my phone and found a text message from him confirming plans for the night. I didn’t know if I should go out with him after having sex with someone else the night before (er, and maybe that morning too). Now while I don’t think you should sleep with every man you see, I also don’t think you should beat yourself up for having sex too soon or too often, etc but morning sex with Date # 1 and dinner a few hours later with Date # 2 just felt a little too close for comfort for me. My friends reminded me that I was single and could date and sleep with whomever I wanted and didn’t owe it to anyone to have been celibate for any period of time prior to going out with them so I decided not to cancel. One of my good friends was in town and I met up with her that afternoon for some shopping and girl talk and just as I was heading home to get ready, I got a text from the RN. He said that he completely forgot that he had made plans with a friend of his and was double booked for the night. He asked if it would be okay with me if his friend came out with us and said that the friend was a lot of fun and he was sure that he would leave early so that we could hang out one on one. As much as I was dying to go on a first date with a guy and his bro, I decided that this was a perfect opportunity for me to back out of the evening since I had my misgivings already. I told him to go out with his friend and we would reschedule.

After that, we talked here and there but neither one of us mentioned picking a new night to go out. Eventually we stopped chatting and a few weeks later I realized that he had de-activated his dating profile. Every once in a while my friends and I will talk about him and why he was going to bring a third wheel out to dinner or what we think he’s up to and why he took his profile down. We take guesses about whether or not he was too nervous to start dating again or if he met someone else or if he and his ex-wife decided to work things out or if he and his friend had a really great night the time we were supposed to go out and he just isn’t looking to meet a girl anymore (the last option’s probably a bit off base but . . . ). Mostly I think about how ridiculous I was. I think about how neurotic I became about a date that would’ve been no different than any other that I’ve been on. I worried about a scenario that ended up being just that: a scenario. I spent countless hours overanalyzing the outcome of a date that never came. Lesson learned (I think).