To think about

To think about

The name of the blog

"It was never just an affair" needs to be in quotations, because it was something my ex-husband said to me early on in the break-up. I guess he thought it might make me feel better to know it wasn't just a fling per say, it was real love? It didn't make me feel better. Him ending the affair and being willing to work on the marriage would have made me feel better.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Agony and the Ecstasy

The other day I had my first, first date, in 12 years, ten months and two weeks. And I had a great time. And now I want more. He woke my libido up, washed the blues away, and I suffered from a low grade sexual frustration for about 36 hours. Hence, the ecstasy part of getting back into a dating and/or sexually active single life. I got a taste or a tease of what could be coming, and Lordy do I want it, bad. The Offspring say it best in I Want You Bad: "I want you all tattooed, I want you bad, … complicated, x-rated, … want you to be, bad bad bad …. really really bad". Even though I have been technically single for over seven months now, I don't think anyone comes out of a 12 year relationship that had a rotten ending and feels like they are ready to jump back on the horse. I went through my grieving process, and in the last couple of weeks I have felt stronger and more ready to share time with someone new. It was like a switched flipped in me a few weeks back. 

So let's say I've been ready to date for two weeks. My girlfriend D had told me months ago that when I was ready, it would be exciting to get back to meeting new people, having that first kiss, and learning the differences each new person would bring out in me. And she was right! And when I expressed to another girlfriend some time ago that it was scary to think about having another relationship, she reminded me that when I got to that place, I wouldn't be scared; it would exciting and I would know the person by then. And I think J was right too! Thank goodness I have surrounded myself with wise women. When I gave my girlfriend B the play by play of the date, cheeks flushed and giggling like a school girl, B said she was jealous; that she loved the anticipation of waiting for the next phone call. 

I, however, am not particularly enjoying the anticipation so far, hence the agony. Anyone who knows me knows damn well that patience is not my personal virtue, and it is a trait I have worked very hard during the last year and a half to develop and nurture. It takes mindfulness for me to calm myself and accept everything will happen in its time. And today I was reflecting that my coffee date was probably the first "real" date I have been on since my early twenties. It is the first time in a very long time that I have gone out socially and spent time with someone I don't know. It is the first time in my life, at the age of 42 minus 13 days, that I have not just become almost instantly entangled with a man. In all four of my previous relationships, I knew the men I ended up involved with. They were either friends, a very good friend, or we had a mutual friend that was setting us up so it felt like we knew each other after months of her going back and forth between us. And in all four of those relationships, we crossed the line into boyfriend/girlfriend overnight and were pretty much inseparable thereafter. I don't know what it is like to go on a date, go home and wonder how that person perceived your time together, and then wait to see if the phone call will come for another date. My girlfriend D calls this adult dating. 

My date was with Sean, who I wrote about recently as having the not so great phone call with. He did not call the next day as promised, but then called the following day. And that conversation went very well. I got my friend J to answer the phone, she donning a hillbilly twang of her own volition, and when she passed the phone to me I told him he might have been trying to sell me some carpet cleaning and that one can never be too careful. He thought that was funny so we were off to a much better start. We talked for about 20 minutes and it went well, ending up with us setting a date for a late morning coffee three days later. 

God was I nervous the morning of the date. Point for him that he chose Starbucks and didn't try to meet at Tim Hortons. Before I even had my fancy coffee in my hand he said "You are nothing like your profile." I said, "Oh, do tell? Wait, never mind, I don't want to know." He brought up his observation several more times throughout our hour and a half together. He said I looked better in person than I do in my pictures, and when I said I thought my photos were quite an accurate representation, he said "it is all in the eye of the beholder." He also said that my profile comes across as reserved, conservative, and straight laced. Note to self to go and spruce up the profile. Conversation was easy and flowed well, although he asked a lot of very direct questions. I felt a bit like I was being interviewed, with some stories from both of us in between. And he was very direct, and flirtatious, to the point that I felt uncomfortable at times. When my ex-husband flirted with me or made sexual innuendoes, I usually laughed. With Sean it was nervous laughter. Sean was extremely witty and sassy, which I love! He said that he really enjoyed that I could give it right back to him. We had a very awkward moment when we were talking about relationships and he was hitting a sore point, and wouldn't drop it when I said it was a sore point, so I gave him the Coles notes version of why my ex and I are no longer together. He said, "Wow, I have never even heard the word polyamory. That was worth the price of the coffee alone." Bless him for not reacting and moving on, another point for him. He had to go to work that afternoon, but invited me to join him for a quick lunch. While we were waiting in line for lunch we were talking about Vegas, and I told him I was going in a few weeks for my birthday. And then he slapped my ass! He said it was my birthday slap. I can't imagine the look on my face, because he instantly said something like "I am just testing you." And I think I said, "I am just grateful to be touched." In hindsight, I wish I had the balls to bend over and say slap me harder and pull my hair. 

I spilt food on myself twice while eating lunch. I did give him fair warning that I probably would, and he was very gracious and comforting about my inability to eat like someone who is over the age of three. I tried to joke about it and hoped I wasn't blushing too much. He walked me to my car, which was parked next to his truck. And then the magic happened. Confined in that small space between the two vehicles facing each other, I felt the chemistry and it made me giddy. I wanted to swoon, but was too self-conscious and nervous to actually let on what chemical reaction was happening in my body. We were talking about my volunteer work, and that I wanted to go to Africa to do a build for my volunteer organization when he said "I want to go to Africa too." And then he said, "I feel the need to do this" and grabbed my hips and pulled me in close to him. I couldn't bear being within inches of his face, so I gave him a hug, and then stepped back and pushed him away. I am open to feedback on my dating behaviour. He asked if that was a message and I said no. We then talked about when we could see each other again and he said his week was busy. I tried to invite him to a volunteer activity I am attending this weekend, but he has his young twins and it is not a child friendly event. So we said our goodbyes, hugged again, and he said he would call to set up our next date.

When I met D later that day to give her the play by play, she laughed and said this guy has your number. And boy does he. God help me I am attracted to bad boys. I know they don't make good husbands, but I don't want a husband. Moreover, my husband was a good guy and still fucked me over. This could be wild; if he calls. Or I call him. I want to text him and be witty and flirtatious. The new patient me is waiting for him to make the first move though. And I hope he does call. I really did enjoy my time with him and would like to spend more time getting to know him. In fact, he doesn't know it yet, but I have a date planned for us in about ten days, so it would really be unfortunate if I have to find someone else to go with, because he is perfect for my devious plan. 

When Sean and I talked about internet dating and the challenges I have faced, he said it is a plastic environment full of plastic people, and maybe only five percent are authentic. So, will he fall in that five percent of authentic people? I do. Amy Webb has a hilarious TED talk called: How I Hacked Online Dating which you can find at: Being dissatisfied with her dating life and asking herself "what's wrong with me?", Miss Webb took matters into her own hands and challenged the algorithms used by the dating websites as Internet dating is now the second most popular way people meet each other. And the results and matches you receive are predicated on an algorithm; unfortunately, we users are not often brutally honest about ourselves, and the websites typically collect superficial data. So while the algorithm may be just fine, when you cut and paste from your resume as Miss Webb did, and "monetization" shows up in your fun activities column, along with writing javascript, there is not much the database can do for you. From this talk I learned that the quantitative data available suggests it is normal for there to be 23 hours, on average, between communication on dating websites, much like the normal courtship rules of real life. I also learned that smart people, who I consider myself to be, write too much. We write, on average, between three to five thousand words describing ourselves, while the popular people write a mere 97. And those 97 words contain non-specific language, which would bode well to Miss Webbs family members point that she was being "too picky". One of Miss Webbs first dates from an internet dating site stiffed her with a $1315 bill at a high end restaurant, her entire months rent, so I guess I don't need to feel too bad about my awkward first date.  And another interesting and useful point from her research ladies: men who drink Scotch are the most likely to reference kinky sex almost immediately. 

The day after my date I found three new emails in my inbox which is another first for me! I can't help but think the Universe is providing for me, or I have finally got my vibrations fixed or something mystical. One email was irrelevant, one an ongoing conversation that is likely going nowhere fast, and one new response from someone I had emailed. He is cute and smart, I am really impressed with what he has done with his career, on the surface we have a few commonalties, and I am very interested in him too. Oh my, this is virgin territory for me. I definitely feel my feminine power increasing, the way you feel a flu coming on, and the hunter in me is waking up and feels like tackling some big game. With a little more work, my self-esteem will soon be back to its full strength and I will shaking my ass as I walk, smiling, and confident in the knowledge that I am a force to be reckoned with. I can't wait for that day! In the meantime, I will enjoy the journey and the learning experience of what it is to date in this day and age, at my age. And I will enjoy being single and living alone so that I can blast the Black Eyed Peas and twerk around my small apartment in my pyjamas at 11 pm or loudly screech out the lyrics to an Offspring song.

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