Category: dating

Reality Check

Yeah, I watched Sex in the City.  Not first run, ’cause I don’t have cable, but in reruns.    One of the episodes that made an impression on me is when Carrie was hired to teach a Learning Annex class on where to meet men.  Hundreds of women show up, and of course she has nothing new or insightful to tell them.  I can relate to the women in that audience in a way that I never could to the 4 characters on the show.  They represented the real single women of Manhattan. They didn’t have thousands of dollars to spend on designer clothes and shoes and bags and they didn’t get invited to trendy night club openings.  But they were there, trying, willing to try anything, even willing to shell out a few bucks and humiliate themselves by showing up at a Learning Annex class because they were tired of being single.  They didn’t see single-ness as a great adventure, to be chronicled in a weekly column or blogged about.  They were lonely.

I’ve been pretty lucky as far as single women in New York go.  I’m not freakishly shy (unless I have to walk into a party alone – that one still gets me every time) and I don’t have any weird hang-ups about online dating and so I date a lot. Less than I used to, sure, because I’ve passed the deadly age of 35 and I refuse to lie about my age and well, for a lot of guys I’ve passed my expiration date.  But still, a lot. There are literally thousands of straight, smart, attractive single guys in New York.  Of course, most of them either just want to get laid or can’t figure out what they want but are perfectly happy to jerk you around until they figure it out.  I put the odds of meeting one of the few good ones, one of the ones worth trying to build a life with at somewhere around 1 in 50.  A girl’s got to kiss a lot of frogs.
I’ve already kissed more than my fair share and then some.

I Was Warned Redux

For our second date he asked me out to dinner, in his neighborhood, a long subway ride away from my apartment and an exorbitently expensive nighttime cab ride home. It seemed pretty clear to me that he was thinking I’d spend the night at his place.

I accepted his invitation but I promised myself and made a big show of saying to my friends that there was no way in hell that I was going back to his place after dinner. And then, of course, I did go back to his place after dinner. And I spent the night. And, yeah, the sex was amazing.

That’s probably why I put up with him for so long and why he bothered to pretend that he wanted more than to just get laid. There’s something to be said for knowing that no matter what, your sex life rocks. Then again, I eventually ended it. Great sex is good, but it’s not everything.

Dating in the Slow Lane

So last night was my third date with necking guy. For those of you who are just reading this blog for the first time, here’s the quick info on necking guy – good first date: fun, smart, interesting, cute (in a white bread kind of way that I don’t usually go for, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons), a little touchy and a quick kiss but all pretty innocent and sweet. Maybe too sweet. I kind of expected him to say, “Aw, shucks”.

Things heated up on our second date, but only slightly. We went out to dinner and had a nice conversation. He grabbed my hand and held it and played with it during dinner – sweet but again, almost too sweet. After dinner we went for a walk (we were a short walk from his apt, btw) and ended up at a local playground, swinging on a swingset. He pushed me on a swing for a good five minutes and then we ended up necking like a couple of kids, in the park with nowhere to go for privacy.

So last night was our third date. I had to be in my neighborhood until 8:30, prior obligations, and so I suggested we meet for a late dinner somewhere near my apt. We had a lovely dinner at a place of his choosing( I suggested he choose a place and that caused quite a mini drama of indecision on his part) and after dessert I suggested we go for a walk. I aimed us towards my apartment.

When we reached my building I stopped for a few minutes to see how he would react. He stood there, like a fool, a good two feet from me. So I had no choice, it was up to me. I asked him if he’d like to come up for a few minutes. I almost didn’t, since he wasn’t even making an effort (and I like my guys to be the ones to do that stuff) but I did.

We went upstairs and within a few minutes we were on my sofa kissing – very, very slowly. I’ll spare you most of the details, but here’s the summary. An hour and fifteen minutes later we were still on the sofa. Still kissing. Most of our clothes were still on (my shirt was gone but as I decided to dress kind of slutty, it was only a little, lacy tank top anyway). I was determined to let things proceed at his speed, as frustrating and bewildering as that was for me. An hour and fifteen minutes of making out on the sofa with most of our clothes on – that was his speed.

At that point it was 12:15 and I was tired. Just plain tired. So I told him it was time for me to ask him to leave. And he actually protested. Meekly, but he protested. A feeble, “are you sure you want me to go?” Jeez, he’d been there for over an hour already and we were still in the slow lane. When was he planning on making a move? I’d worn my slutty, I-want-to-get-laid tank top and then invited him up to my apartment and he was too clueless or slow or, lord knows what, to close the deal. Really, I don’t think it’s me. I wasn’t being unclear. I was sending out all the right signals.

Whatever the issue was, miscommunication or different expectations, I don’t think I’m cut out for dating in the slow lane. The guy’s sweet, sure. But all of his sweetness is getting on my last nerve.

Hierarchy

Writing in response to my Circling Back Around entry a few days back, cjwss suggested that I come up with some kind of hierarchy of categories, as right now I am assessing every guy I go out with as an applicant for future life partner status.

So first, some clarification from me.  I absolutely am looking at each date as a potential life partner.  I do not want to waste another night/week/month/year of my life with a guy who might be perfectly nice, might be great in bed, might be funny (add in whatever other positive attributes you like) but in the end is not ever going to turn into a real bf or significant LTR.  I AM OLD.  I REPEAT, I AM OLD.  And I’m tired of sleeping alone.  I know, from experience that I am happier when I have a partner.  I am looking for someone to be a partner for a long haul, maybe not the long haul (not too sure I believe in the whole happily ever after thing) but a good long time.
I am not desperate.  My biological clock isn’t driving me nuts.  I do not waste countless hours wishing I had a guy and dreaming about my perfect man and imagining my fantasy wedding.  I know that according to the media that I am supposed to be and do all of those things, but that’s not me.  Not even a little.  I just know what I want, what’s going to make me happiest at this point in my life and I’m willing to put in a little effort towards finding it.  I know most people believe that you can’t look for love, and that might very well be true, but I’m certainly not going to find it sitting alone in my apartment with a good book (which is probably what I’d be doing most of those nights if I wasn’t dating).
I have gone through long stretches of time where my head was in other things (usually work) and I was perfectly happy to have the not-serious bf who I knew was never going to turn into anything.  And as I have written about before, I have had, and still have fuckbuddies for when I am in between relationships.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve always had that hierarchy.  It’s existed in my life for as long as I can remember.  There are the 1s (fuckbuddies) who are good for sex and short conversation and would never get to spend the night, not in a million years.  There are the 2s (guys I’ve dated knowing full well it was never going to turn into anything) who might be fun for dinner, movies or parties, in addition to sex, and heck they can stay the night if they don’t snore too much. Then there are the 3s.  The 1s and the 2s are easy to find, especially in NYC.  Not so with the 3s. The 3s are the guys you take home to your family, who help you fix your broken furniture, who keep you warm on cold nights.
I don’t care how many dates I have to go on to find one, that’s what I want, one of those elusive 3s.  I’ve had my fill of the others for now.  Maybe I’ll change my mind sometime in the future if my current search continues to go poorly.  Who knows?  But for now I’m sticking to my guns.  3 or nothing at all.

Crappy Update

Early this morning I received an email from my fuckbuddy.  The thing he’s working on now is going to run until midnight tonight instead of 7ish as he had originally thought.  I’m not mad. Disappointed but not mad.  This is not the first time this has happened with him and I know better than to count on him keeping plans unless they’re made a couple of hours before we’re planning to get together.  We’ll try for another time soon.

So I’m using the time to take some advice given to me by a friendly blogger.  I’ve been aware of tags for awhile but that’s just one more thing I didn’t fully understand.  But I just read something that said that Blogger labels will ping as Technorati tags so I went back and tagged my last 20 posts.  The next time I have time to kill (like at work tomorrow) I’ll go back and hit the rest of them.
So sorry, no steamy tales of tonight’s tryst. You weren’t going to get them anyway.

Much TMI for My Real World Friends – You’ve Been Warned

It was 18 years ago, but I still remember the conversation vividly because of some pretty big life stuff that happened in the weeks that followed. I was 20 yrs old, hanging out with one of my friends in her apartment, talking about the new guy in my life. She asked me his last name. I told her I didn’t know it, and what’s more, it seemed like an odd question to me. “Last name, why would I care about a guy’s last name?” She got rather huffy with me and said, “Look, ___, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be sleeping with some guy if you don’t even know his last name.” I laughed at her and said something about there not being much sleep involved.

In the years since then, I’ve had sex with several more men whose last names I never learned. I don’t actually know how many. OK, that’s a lie. I could figure it out if I really wanted to, but I don’t want to.

I’ve also, and judge me however you want for this, had sex with a couple of people whose first names I never bothered with.

I’ve had and continue to have fuck-buddies who are little more than casual encounters with whom I exchange occasional emails about whether or not they’re free to come over and play.

God this is embarrassing.

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, it brings me to this. Over the last few days there has been an interesting exchange of ideas between this blog and over at Hammertime . Earlier, after Hammer and I exchanged some comments on each other’s blogs (oh wait – I just checked and he didn’t post my comments – whatever), he sent me an email. He took the conversation off blog. He thought I was annoyed and didn’t, in his words, want to hijack my blog. Anyway, this is what he wrote to me:

“I totally get that as humans we have this desire to be unique and not be grouped in with others, but I think that you are vastly underestimating the evolutionary basis for attraction.Men have evolved to be attracted to child bearing characteristics so that their offspring are more likely to survive childbirth. This is why men are so visual.

Women have evolved to be attracted to guys who will be able to protect and provide for their young. This is why alpha male and leadership characteristics are so attractive to women. This is why celebrity status and power are so attractive to women. One of the biggest fears for survival of a woman’s genes is that the man will impregnate her and then leave her to care for the baby on her own. This is why women want to have some kind of emotional connection with men before they sleep with them. It’s why women typically get a little anxiety right before sex with a new guy despite having been imaging it for days.

We have not had contraception until very recently in our evolutionary history, which is why our genetic makeup need only lead us to desire sex and not necessarily unprotected sex.”

Honestly, I laughed when I read this. I know he is an earnest young man. And I know he really believes this stuff. I am not trying to denigrate his beliefs or make him look foolish. As I have tried to point out, more than once, there is a world of difference between our levels of experience – both relationship/sexual and life experience. But as he is so insistent I will address his comments directly.

I have absolutely no need for an emotional connection with a man before sex. ABSOLUTELY. NO. NEED. I don’t even need to know his name. Sex Chat is fun. It’s recreation. It can also be more than that, but doesn’t need to be.

I do not get a little anxiety right before sex with a new guy. Unless of course you count worrying that he might suck (‘cause yeah, a lot of you guys are horrible lays – you watch too much damn porn) and be a waste of my time.

I do not think I am an atypical woman. I think there are lots of different types of women in the world. My old friend, the one who lectured me about knowing a guy’s last name, she’d fit a lot of his stereotypes. But I don’t know too many others who would.

Life is really, really short. It’s scary how short it is. I have no time for generalizations and other random silliness. I realize there are people who take great comfort in that sort of thing, trying to sort and categorize and predict. I guess it would be comforting to believe that you actually know how people will act before you meet them and get to know them. As I said when I first introduced myself to folks out here, I don’t pretend to know a damn thing. I’m just figuring it out day by day, as I go along. And I guess I feel strong enough, and confident enough in who I am as a person nowadays to live with that uncertainty.

Waking Up With Someone

I can’t imagine living somewhere that didn’t have seasons. I love it when the leaves change colors. I love the cool spring nights. I love the snow. I even love the sticky New York summers, when I need to hang out by the river to stay cool.

But I do hate how cold the mornings are in the winter. These last couple of weeks have been the first really cold weeks. Each day, I pull my covers around myself tightly as my alarm goes off in the morning and think, “damn, I hate waking up alone”. ‘Cause you see, someone lying next to me, cuddling, would keep me warm. That’s not the only thing that someone would be good for, mind you, but with the mornings as cold as they are, that’s what I’m thinking about first.

Let me be crystal clear here, I am super picky about who is allowed to spend the night in my bed. Fuck buddies don’t get to spend the night. Not even if I’ve known them for years (which happens to he the case for one of them). Not casual flings either. Not even potential bfs. The only guys I spend the night with are bonafide boyfriends. That means I have already decided that this is someone I care a lot about. He’s no longer auditioning for a role in my life. He’s earned it.

I wasn’t always so much of a hardass about this. I’ve taken the walk of shame more than a couple of times (The walk of shame, for those of you who’ve never heard the phrase is when you spend the night with someone you weren’t planning to, maybe because you just picked them up. You spend the night at their place w/o any of your stuff and wake up w/o toothbrush, hairbrush or any grooming products and have to go home in last nights clothes looking like something the cat spit up.) And I’ve let guys I didn’t know too well spend the night at my place. Then it hit me a few years ago. Fucking is about fun, but sleeping with someone , and waking up with them was actually about intimacy and that why couldn’t I just be clear about having one w/o the other. Have my cake and eat it too. So I have sex when I want to with whom I want to (not just any random person, you know anyone I felt attracted to and wanted to meet and fuck for whatever reason – I don’t consider that random as I’m kind of picky) but only SLEEP with my boyfriends.

It’s nearing a year since my last LTR imploded. That’s a really long time to be sleeping alone. I’ve gone longer, sure. But still, it’s a really long time. It feels like a really long time. And the fact that it’s so freaking cold right now and I wake up every morning wishing for that body next to me, it’s not helping things.

MEN, Men, men

So many men, it really is a wonder I keep track of them all.  You’d think that with this many guys buzzing about I’d be getting laid, but no.  They come, they go. None of them stick around long enough for that.

So the TALL man followed up his next day text with an email.  He was trying so hard.  I waited until the next day (not because I was having second thoughts but because I’m a wimp about these things) and then sent him a, “you’re great but not for me” email.
Bachelor #2 seems to have drifted off.  We exchanged some more emails but it was all rather lackluster.  As he still hasn’t asked about another date I’m assuming he’s out of the picture.
The guy I had coffee with on Saturday contacted me today to ask if I’d like to get together again. I replied yes. We had a good time. Hmm, he’s going to need a nickname.  He’s one of those very NYC guys (his parents live right here in Manhattan) who did a bunch of random things for a living before falling into the production end of the entertainment industry.  It’s NYC.  It happens to a lot of folks.  I guess I’ll call him the Freelancer, as that is one of the things he likes best about his job (it seems).
Meanwhile, the guy who sent that really cheeky message to my personals account has come back into play.  He sent me a message the other day saying he’d been waiting to hear back from me, anxiously.  The stupid online personals service (nerve.com – they really suck sometimes) dropped my message.  We’ve been exchanging emails for the last day or so and it’s been very flirty and fun.  He hasn’t asked me out yet, but I expect that to happen soon. I expect I’ll say yes unless he does or says something bizarre.
There’s another new guy in the hopper.  Someone who contacted me online last week.  I can’t tell if he’s very serious or just very clumsy and uncomfortable with with whole online dating thing.  We’re going to meet for a drink this week. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh, and Cheryl is going to set me up with that friend/ex of hers who lives in NY.  That’s right readers, you have the opportunity to have an influence on my dating life.  Feel free to suggest your very own set-ups.  Clearly, I’m not shy.
Really – that’s a lot of guys for a girl who hasn’t gotten laid in ages.

I REALLY Hate the Phone Thing

I know I’ve mentioned this before, more than once, but I need to vent. I REALLY hate the phone thing.

I do not like to talk with guys I’ve never met on the phone. I realize that this is a normal part of the screening process for a lot of online daters. They exchange messages, sexchat, or maybe even wink first, and then they progress to IMs and then talk on the phone once or twice all before deciding to meet. And I understand the reasoning behind it. I do.

But I don’t like it. I don’t like to talk on the phone with the people I know. I like to see people, to read the expressions on their faces, to have actual physical contact.

And so if that means I waste a few extra nights or dollars meeting people I might have screened out if I’d spoken to them first, then so be it. I can live with that.

I just spoke with someone I’ve been wanting to meet for a while. I mentioned him in my last post. We first exchanged messages in September. And then I had some family stuff take me out of town for a while. And then he had some family stuff take him out of town for an even longer while. And now it’s the end of November and both of our lives have calmed down and we’re both available. And he called. And it was incredibly awkward. Not because he was awkward, but because the situation is just bizarre – making polite adultchat with a stranger who you’ve previously expressed an interest in maybe dating.

Well, I think it’s bizarre.

But, anyway, we’re meeting on Wednesday. Mr. Potential better pull his head out of his ass or I won’t have any time left this week for him.

ps Check out Tom Waits on my Song of the Day

Something Else I Need to Learn

I hate nosy people. HATE them. I hate it when people butt their noses into my business. I hate it when family members invite themselves into my personal life and ask me about things that I feel they have no right to know. I hate it when co-workers ask me about my family and upbringing, as if that were a topic that was on the table.

I no longer consider myself a private person. That went out the door when I launched this blog (Though I still struggle pretty regularly with my self-imposed boundaries – what is and isn’t off limits – some days it’s hard to tell). But I do like to be in control of the information I dispense about my life and I don’t like it when people come poking around asking for things.

That’s just my nature. A part of who I am.

This carries over to the way I interact with the people in my life. I do not like to poke and pry into other people’s lives. I am completely comfortable with waiting to learn information about someone over time.

This has been a major issue in some of my relationships. It drives one of my friends crazy. When I am dating someone new, and let’s say I mention he is divorced, she’ll immediately ask, “How long was he married? Why did they split up? How long ago was the divorce?” And in many cases I won’t know the answers. It’s not for lack of curiosity. I want to know. But I am waiting for him to tell me because I don’t want to pry.

It seems ridiculous even as I’m typing it, but it’s true. I leave the amount and quality of info I have about a person completely up to them. This frequently leaves me with an information deficit and well, see my last post where I have links to some of the less pleasant effects.

I know this is something I need to change about myself, a skill I need to learn. I’d like to start immediately.

Mr. Potential is divorced. I know this because he said so on his online profile but also because he has mentioned his ex a few times. Not so much as to make me feel it’s an issue, but a few times. I have never once used it as an excuse to ask about their marriage. I know I wouldn’t be comfortable saying, “what happened, why didn’t it work” or something super-intrusive like that. But I would like to know how long they were together, how long ago they split and if he’s been in any major relationships since then. I think that info would be helpful to me. I just have to get over myself and ask.

In person, of course. The next time we see each other. Whenever that it. That’s a whole other issue.

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