Why You Don’t Make Future Plans

Things with Yogi were going well, if becoming a little predictable. After the kiss when I jumped off the deep end, we saw each other often, slipping into a comfortable routine where I got off work as he was going to work, so I got a little down time and then he’d come over after work to hang out (he literally only works for two hours a day, which I kind of thought would bug me, but it’s an awesome job and he’s good and successful at it and does make decent money – and no, he’s not a stripper).

He came to me, he made me laugh, he liked my cooking, he didn’t mind my crazy dog and we could just be. It was nice.

Sex came up once and I brushed it off as too soon, so respectfully he just asked me to tell him when I was ready. I wondered if we were too comfortable and decided we needed to enjoy each other on a real date again before we got busy, then decided that I was really busy on my own and if there was a man I was attracted to who was making it fairly easy for me to get a little loving, that was okay, but we might as well still do the date thing, so on Friday I told him to come over after work and take me to dinner.

Don’t call me a whore, don’t say I’m banging for dinner.  I didn’t need a fancy four-course meal, I just needed to go out. We actually ended up a sports bar watching his college’s basketball team’s season opener. It was nice to have him open my door in the rain (he really was raised right), place his hand on my back with an affectionate rub while we were watching the game and enjoy each other outside of the comfort bubble we were making at my house.

But, back to my house we went, make out we did and eventually I asked if he would wear a condom. (This IS a reasonable request, right?!)

He laughed.

But, said he’d try. WTF does that even mean?!

Four minutes later I realized WTF that even means.

Things got awkward. Not super awkward, he didn’t seem embarrassed or uncomfortable really, but he was definitely wondering how long he had to cuddle before leaving and right as I was about to call him on that, he said, “I’m going to go home now.”

When he left, I wasn’t sad, mad, upset, anything really, maybe just a little stumped.

I’ve had men tell me that basically they like to fuck on a first date to see if there’s sexual chemistry before wasting time or getting into anything “serious” which seems totally stupid, but indicative of what men deem a serious relationship v. what women deem a serious relationship. And now I kind of understand it. But, we had some steamy make out seshes and all systems were go before we attempted this so really, it just baffled me. I really liked him, but that was BAD and I just didn’t know that to do with it.

I sent him a text the next day to prove that things weren’t awkward. He responded and we went back and forth talking about our mornings. And I haven’t heard from him since 😦 Yes, it’s only three days and yes, it’s a two-way street, but I’m taking a stand on men who don’t treat me right and/or who display the classic signs of “he’s just not that into you.”

Anyway, I was really trying to take it one day at a time, but my brain jumps forward and I guess what I’m saying is that I still need to work on calming that down and take it for what it is to avoid this disappointment when those things don’t happen.

With that said, I’m off to a date with Yogi 2.0 (literally, they have the same name, talk about awkward) that I’m kinda excited about, but totally pretending I’m not.

The Face Grab Kiss

So, I’ve been on threeish dates with Yogi and while I still have some terrible online dating experiences to share and Mr. Grocery Store decided to pop back up (persistent like a game of whack-a-mole), I was thinking I just don’t have much to say because it’s smooth sailing. It’s fun and easy, I’m totally myself around him and I’m not going crazy trying to figure out how he feels.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time and relax and enjoy it, but then on date three, he kissed me and everything changed. Not everything changed like Mr. Grocery Store’s dead fish of a tongue sent any chance of our May-December fling down the drain, but like wow.

Yogi invited me over after work to let my dog run around in his yard and I can’t say no to exercising that little demon (as evidenced by his relentless pestering of Yogi’s old, patient, super calm dog and the fact that even after an hour of playing, the young one just started sprinting in figure eights around the wet yard). On the way over there, Amy Laurent the matchmaker popped in my head telling me to never accept same-day invites, but then Amy Laurent the reality star reminded me she’s done it before herself, so I didn’t feel too bad.

We hung out all night, a little close sitting and I knew he wasn’t letting me leave without a kiss. He came in with a very assertive and sexy face grab kiss.

Note: I wrote this after date three and since then we had date four (more kissing), BUT I think Amy would be proud of me for keeping myself, ahem, busy, at a Halloween party at a bar last night and keeping options open in this early stage.

Under the Belt

My Match subscription is up next week and I have definitely not used it to its full potential. I thought maybe I was just underwhelmed by the men on there – not attracted to them, not excited by their profiles and they seemed to be into endless emails that I struggled to keep going – but there’s been a shift and I don’t think it’s in the men.

Since I signed up, I’ve had pity parties, I’ve had girls nights, I’ve been out on a few dates, I’ve been kissed (in both good and bad ways), and I’ve seen Lucky in a professional context without turning it into a very personal, intimate context, so I think it’s time to get going again. I’m more emotionally ready to actively date now. It had to start somewhere and I had to get that first online date (of this “round”) under my belt.

There was one guy I was interested in, but I was NOT interested in touching base every Monday to talk about how my weekend WAS and every Thursday to talk about my plans for the NEXT weekend and it had literally been a month of that. Blah. So, I told him as much and he took the hint that wasn’t really a hint and asked for my number and actually called. I’m not great on the phone and I’d much rather use it to make plans, then chat it up over dinner or drinks, but we talked for an hour one night, then a half hour the next day, so that’s a good sign!

We talked about yoga – how he thought he should try it but was intimidated, so I asked him to join me for a sesh.  What has gotten into me? I don’t ask men out (but it IS on my Dating Bingo card, check!) and I don’t need a guy watching me do yoga the first time I meet him, but I was going and wanted to meet him and it just felt natural to invite him.

Yogi gets major points.  He agreed, he showed up, he did his first yoga class ever on a first date in the middle of an outdoor mall at a fairly busy time. Oh yeah, it was a lululemon class held in the courtyard in front of their store (I’m tempted to count it as an “outdoorsy” date, but I don’t think that’s what I truly had in mind for that square, so I’ll leave it open).

Our actual class…we just didn’t make the Facebook pic.

His willingness to try something new and potentially look stupid on a date was pretty attractive. Speaking of attractive…based on his pictures, I felt like it could go either way, but when he walked up to me, I mentally heard an immediate “yes,” another good sign!

After we made it through the class – with only a few giggles from both of us and the instructor telling him she loved him, but he could learn from me – we walked through the center (score one more point for Yogi…when I ended up walking on the street side, he gently guided me to the inside – guys still do that?!) and stopped at a Mexican restaurant for a beer and to watch the end of the ASU game. Overall, a fun, easy night and I will be seeing him again…this time he asked me out!

On My Own, Pretending He’s NOT Beside Me

I’ve had some great experiences in the past few weeks because I started saying yes. Not like that, dirty ones. I unfortunately spent the past year feeling very isolated and lonely and kinda boring because I was in a relationship in which I was the only one in that relationship and I didn’t go out and I didn’t really do things. Funny how a little time and distance can give you such perspective, although truth be told, I knew it in it, but wasn’t really to admit it or give up or who knows what else.

One of those experiences was dating a 51/52-year-old man and while, yeah, it was kinda fun, it wasn’t going anywhere and for me that’s my cue to exit. However, on our last date I got the full-court press to “be together” and “enjoy it for what it is” and “have fun” and “learn from each other what we’re meant to learn because obviously we were put into each other’s lives for a reason” all with “respect and care for each other” because we have “great chemistry.”

Translation, “I’m old and the fact that I’ve kept you somewhat interested for three dates has given me the idea that I might get lucky, so can I please, please have sex with your 28-year-old self?” No. “How ’bout now?” No.

I politely told him we’re better off as friends, he pushed still and asked what I was looking for, to which I kind of surprised myself by responding, “I’m looking for a big spark that leads to a relationship that leads to marriage and an exceptional life that includes babies.” I think my surprise was in that when he first asked I was like, “oh shit, I don’t know” and then I realize that yeah I do and it’s simple and shouldn’t be a lot to ask for and I might as well put it out there in the universe.

I think women get a bad rep as being wedding- and baby-crazy, but I didn’t say, “I want to get married next month and pregnant by the end of the year,” it’s just an optimal, long-term plan, but you have to start somewhere. Mr. GS’s flaw wasn’t that I didn’t think he’d want to get married or that I was afraid he couldn’t get it up to become a dad, it was just that there was a medium spark, bigger than I’ve had in a while, but it wasn’t IT. I don’t write men off for not being IT right away, but as soon as I know they’re NOT IT, I’m ready to move on, and yeah it happens quickly, as it should.

OMG, I might be crazy…does that even make sense? The difference between not IT and NOT IT?! I’m sure you’ve been there!

Anyway, after THIS convo was when he gave me that full court press and I just kinda kept thinking, but WHY? The relationship had outrun its usefulness. That might sound cold, but I don’t need to be with the first guy who comes along, I can wait and I like to be alone. Not any more or any less than I like to be with someone, but I don’t mind it. On my own, I get to do my weird single behaviors, I get to train, work when I want, hang out with my dog and say YES to life without checking with someone else first. Mr. GS and a lot of men I run into online seem to hate being alone, but that’s not my problem!

[Blogging breakthrough! While writing this, I realized I may be protecting myself from getting into the same situation I had with Lucky – emotional attachment to a relationship that’s not going anywhere – by jumping out quickly, but I don’t think I’d be afraid to jump IN if it was right.]

Sometimes I worry I’ve been single (or as good as single) for so long that I’ll be a disaster in a relationship, but for now I think it helps. I don’t miss it enough to go diving into the first thing that comes along to get back to it. I can say thanks, but no thanks to guys who try to get too familiar too fast and the relationship will progress naturally (which, for me is quasi-traditionally).

Are women better at being alone than men? Do you stick around to have fun in the moment in a relationship you know is not right for you?

Phoenix Dates!

Since I had made plans to see Mr. Grocery Store before I found out how old he was and got skeeved, I went out with him again last week – still fun, still a bad kisser, but this time, the punchline was, “and then I got carded.”  Yes, the waitress thought I was under 21 and said later that she thought it was a set up because he looks like a cop and apparently it seemed odd. I’ve decided he could pass for early 40s, that’s about where I thought he was when I met him, but he obviously did NOT get carded. Still unsure where this one’s headed.

In other news, I joined forces with some other Phoenix area single ladies to document our dating adventures on a new blog…check out the humor, horror and hope that is dating in your late 20s and early 30s at www.phoenixdates.wordpress.com.

Don’t worry, I only stroked his ego.

Last night was my date with Mr. Grocery Store. I will admit I had a little pre-date freak out thinking about it being my first date since the break up and longing for the comfort level of an old relationship and the person I so wished Lucky was… but he’s not, so I calmed down and took the first step toward really moving on.

Side note: I am unabashedly a TSwift fan again (I like the early “Tim McGraw” stage, but I couldn’t handle “Love Story” and jumped ship, but I just got back on) and just yesterday I heard her new “Begin Again” song and it felt fitting.

Anyway, so the date turned into a two+ phase date…four to be exact – check out my updated BINGO card :). His idea was to start with Mexican apps and margs, then sushi and sake, then froyo, then we heard live music and wandered into a mostly empty lounge for a listen and a nightcap. We went to a big center that had all of those things, so it was just a walking multi-phase date (I feel like the driving denotes more commitment). Every now and then, I really actually like a big, formal, go-ahead-and-try-to-woo-me type of date with men I’ve met organically somehow v. the job interview dates that usually come from online guys.

And it was nice, we didn’t run out of things to talk about and we didn’t end up talking too much about working out – something we both enjoy, but I hate to focus on during dates because I start to think the guy is one-dimensional and I have to assume he gets the same impression of me when that happens. We talked about things that would be great to do together and I had no concept of time during the evening – quite surprised we snuck into the yogurt shop right before I closed because it seemed like no time had gone by at all.

So, if the date had ended there, this post would end here and we’d all be happy and hopeful.  But, it doesn’t. I don’t really know what to say or even how to feel about the rest.

He walked me to my car (he had offered to pick me up, but I’m not cray cray) and we hugged, made plans for date #2 and then he kissed me. And it was nice, until he started to really kiss me.  To say his tongue was like a dead fish would be insulting to the sashimi I had in my mouth earlier in the evening.  It was much more exciting than that kiss.  I actually laughed a little and tried to push him away. Today he texted me that I have nice lips and then we talked on the phone and he said it was a great kiss and I just didn’t know what to do with that.

And if this story ended there, this post would end here and we’d all be a little disheartened, but we’d all think he did well enough for the whole rest of the evening to deserve a second chance. But it doesn’t.

I need to fill you in on some things I’ve left out of the story so far…he’s in great shape and from what he says, super active, but I could tell he was older. His hair is shaved short, you know how balding guys do it, and what’s there is pretty much all gray. During phase one, I decided he looked like Bruce Willis. An attractive man indeed, but Siri tells me Bruce Willis is 57.

All night, I caught myself saying things that made me feel like I was displaying my young age in an awkward way, but at some points I was maybe kinda trying to get him to ask me how old I am or tell me how old he is.  He didn’t. During the kiss, while I was laughing, I was also trying to figure out how it’s possible to be THAT old (age, still unknown) and such a bad kisser.

Anyway, I was curious, but not dying to know, I was more concerned with figuring out how I felt about the kiss bomb to be thinking about the age bomb that was about to go off. When we met at the store, I gave him my card, so he had my full name and I assumed he had done some online homework (who wouldn’t?) and this morning, I got a nice, little email from LinkedIn telling me that Mr. GS (+ his last name) had viewed my profile. Thank goodness for LI telling you who’s creeping on you, right? Of course, I jumped on Google and clicked on a YouTube video of a news story about him training to climb a big, snowy mountain…

At 1:02 in the video, the voiceover says, “48-year-old Mr. GS…”

Hold the fucking phone. It gets better. Did I mention the newscast was from 2009?! In 2009, I thought my 30-year-old boyfriend was robbing my 25-year-old cradle. What a difference three years makes.  And what a HUGE difference 23 years makes.

Thoughts I had today:

He is old enough to be my dad. (My parents were older when they had me, so he’s not actually my dad’s age, but he’s a heck of a lot closer to my dad’s age than mine.)

What if he has kids older than me? (We didn’t talk much about our pasts.)

I’ve never known a world without the keycards in hotels, but he has. (This was after one of those super weird stream of conscious thoughts, but that’s how old he is y’all.)

OMG OMG OMG, I kissed a man in his 50s.

Yes, age is just a number, but I’m not sure 51 is a number I want to deal with.

Well, it works for Bruce Willis. (She’s exactly 23 years younger too!)

And of course…at least he got a nice ego stroke out of going out with a hot 28-year-old.

So, there it is – the good, the bad and the old and decrepit. I’ve skeeved, but I don’t know if it’s a deal breaker, because it didn’t bother me until it was a real number and I do find him interesting and attractive. But dating just 10 years old hasn’t really worked out for me recently, and I’m trying to shoot for the 29-33 sweet spot. And 51 is a little off of that, you know? And while I don’t want to make assumptions, what a still-single man in his 50s and a hopeless romantic woman in her 20s are looking for are possibly worlds apart.

Is it a deal breaker? How would I even go about breaking the deal? It probably wouldn’t be shocking to him if it’s an issue for me, but it just seems petty and close-minded to judge him based on something other than who he is.

Stop the texting madness!

I changed my number over the summer, which is nice because now a good number of men from my past can’t passively, randomly text me when they’re feeling lonely – I do feel bad for whoever got my old number though (I’ve had three people contact me through Facebook, Twitter and WWF to tell me they attempted to reach me at that number and got a “I don’t know you, stop texting me” message…and those are just the ones I’ve heard from)!

However, now that I’m online dating again, I feel like I might recreate that problem all over again, so I’m trying to not give out my number too much because I don’t want to endlessly text men I don’t know – which is what a lot of them seem to want to do!

How do you stop this?! This is what I mean by lonely, not like his penis is lonely, but like when he needs someone to chat over text with or something.

I actually met a man organically over the weekend – I was going to do a separate post, but I’ll just spill –

I was just talking with some girlfriends earlier in the weekend (including a new reader…hi, new reader!) about how to meet men and I said that guys don’t talk to me in public, which is true, I’m just unapproachable..I blame the chronic bitch face, but on Sunday I was kind of on the prowl. Straight hair (left over from a party the night before), a low-cut top, short shorts and tall wedges to hang out at not one, but TWO Starbucks and then the grocery store?! Yeah…so maybe my vibe was more welcoming than it usually is. This guy at the grocery store – so cliché! – teased me a little about how long I took to pick packaged salad and then made another comment…he was clearly just trying to talk to me, but I checked his hand and saw a ring, so kinda just walked away, but then as I wandered around, I wondered if I had misjudged what hand it was on and was going to find him and go with “sorry, I thought your ring was on your left hand, you can continue to hit on me” but we ran into each other again in the cheese/beer aisle and he struck up a convo on his own and I verified the ring was on the right hand and we chatted it up –

and he seemed normal, confident…asked me out and I thought we could be done with it until our date where we could get to know each other better, but he got home and started texting me, which is okay so then I have HIS number, but I didn’t need to text all evening or know what he was putting on his pizza. So, seriously, how do you stop this? I don’t want to be rude or have these guys think I’m not interested…although if they are the kind of people who endlessly text random info to strangers, perhaps I’m not interested!

[Today, he texted me a hey what’s up, but I kept it short, then just a bit ago, I got a “just finished a work out, my legs are so tired.” Not only do I not care, but it requires no response, so that’s what he got.]

Why don’t these men know to quit when they’re ahead?! Texting is totally killing romance and the excitement of meeting and getting to know someone new. I’m over it, but REALLY, how do you stop this?!

Also…since my hair was straight when we met, do I have to keep up the farce or just expose myself as a curly girl and get it out of the way?!

Talk to my friends, talk to me.

I’ve been seeing friends more often lately – making a point to say YES to invitations and get out of my homebody, waiting-for-a-boy slump (except when I want to!)– but the boy kept coming up and I felt like a broken record.  Granted, I HAVE been a broken record about that piece of shit for the last year, but more so in the last few weeks and I’ve been amazed at the different reactions my tale of woe gets.
I guess because I’ve started my spiel with, “If I were listening to a friend tell me this story, I’d be able to be very black and white about it and tell her that she was crazy and not giving herself enough respect and blah, blah, blah…” I KNOW the right answer.  Oprah says when you know, better you do better, but for some reason the black hole of this relationship with Lucky has me knowing better but not doing better.

Their responses have been all over the place…

“Well there must be a reason that you’re hanging on.” Yeah, because I’m a massichistic idiot who is scared to start over so I’m going to just keep hitting my head against this wall for a bit longer.

“It’s all about timing.” No, it’s not. It’s about the right person. The right person makes even the wrongest time right.

“He’ll come around.” He absolutely will not.

HEL-LO! Have any of you read/seen He’s Just Not That Into You?! Stop lying to me and tell me to get a grip.
Fortunately, I did talk to a straight-shooting friend who told me she’s dated this guy many times over and she’s now in a very happy relationship so she had not problem telling me, “This isn’t the MJ I know and love. He’s not going to change. His words and actions don’t match up. There are much better things out there.”
THANK YOU, GIRLFRIEND.
Those words and, okay, let’s be honest…these too…have been in my head lately and I’m ready to be the real MJ again.

An East Coaster?

So, I think I got another bingo square. Think. I had lunch with a man from Virginia. I paid for my lunch and I would call him more of a Southerner than an East Coaster, but it’s been a long, hot, hard summer so I’m going to let me have my date with an East Coaster square. Gosh, thanks, me. You’re welcome, me…go ahead and take Friday off of work too, you deserve it.

I met this guy online a year and a half ago almost and through a series of random social media interactions, we started chatting again. He asked me how things went with the PoF guy, so THAT’s how long ago it was…the last PoF guy I was “breaking up” with others for was Non-Mush.  Anyway, he invited me to CrossFit (seriously those people are NUTS) and suggested we meet for lunch beforehand so we actually know each other – so not necessarily a romantic context, but I imagined it to be a no-pressure meeting that could have led to more if the following weren’t true:

If a man only smiles in pictures with his mouth closed, women need to take notice of this like men take notice of a woman who only posts pictures of herself from the chest up. She’s fat and he has bad teeth.

Besides the teeth thing I totally just filled in all the wrong blanks in pictures I saw of this guy. So much so that all I could think about during the meal was how I’ve never actually met someone who consistently photographs better than they look in person and I went back and looked at the pictures to make sure I was even thinking of the same guy. Again, I take blame because I filled in the blanks wrong AND I realize this makes me sound horribly superficial, but I’m not afraid to admit that looks are important and that guys aren’t the only ones who can stamp a big NO on someone in just a few minutes.

Talking about money in any context on a first date is awful. Bragging about how much something cost or how much you make or complaining about how much something cost or how little you make are equally awful. If he had been a MAYBE, the conversation would have made him a NO. 37 and cheap cheap cheap is not a good combination.

This is really the first time I’ve looked at the bingo card all summer, but I’m inspired. I know to meet men I have to get out and put out. A good, positive, available air that is, haha. Summer ends for me in October. I’ll see what kind of work I can get done!

Can men and women be friends?

I think yes, men and women can be friends, but I love this video from last year, which proves that while many women agree, most men are friends with women because, yes, they want to sleep with them.

Here’s a few flashing red lights I’ve run into in my male-female friendships recently.

Guy friends who will text and call you all day long, but when they are with their girlfriend, are suddenly quiet…yeah, he wants to sleep with you and is keeping you in back up position. (No, I don’t expect him to continue the texting, but being completely ignored = he’s hiding something from her. You.)

Guy friends who are ex-boyfriendsdon’t do it, and yeah, he wants to sleep with you (again).

Guy friends who have NEVER visited you, but upon hearing about your recent break up take a day off work to drive 5 hours to take you on a date…kinda obvious, but yeah, he wants to sleep with you, but on his long drive back home because you didn’t and won’t let him stay, he’s probably realizing you are JUST FRIENDS.

My grandmother is a little ridiculous and for some reason every time I see her she wants to know why I am not dating the best man from my sister’s wedding.  He’s tall and bald and kind of goofy looking like my grandfather, but I seriously don’t get why she feels we’re fated for each other, but I appreciate that she shares my theory that every man ever is obviously interested in me.

When she asked again the other day I told her that I like a man with confidence, who, when he likes what he sees, goes after it.  I’ve known Mr. BM for years, and again, assuming that he doesn’t think I’m too short with too much hair and too normal looking and kinda likes me, he’s never made a move.

I’m a (mostly) equal-opportunity dater and would have said yes and would have given it a shot, but hey, Grandma? There’s only so much “stand there and look pretty and try not to say anything too weird” I can do.

And, at this point, if he were to ask? Yeah, probably not.  He’s in the friend category. All those guy friends of mine who exhibit strange behavior that leads me to believe they want to sleep with me? Yeah, probably not.  At a certain point, A. you had your chance, so B. you’re firmly in the friend zone.

With all the ups and downs with Lucky – and let’s be honest I say this after every boyfriend because the back and forth is just what I do – I’m ready to write off any one who had a chance and didn’t see what a wonderful chance that was, whether it’s an ex or someone who’s just a friend who never expressed interest.

Mama wants some strange.