Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

The Checklist May 18, 2013

Filed under: Dating,frustration — datehazard @ 6:12 am
Tags: , ,

At the age of 39, I no longer have the luxury of chancing upon the “right guy” to have kids with, in his (or my) own time. I also don’t want to torture myself with the prospect, indefinitely longing for a child and constantly grieving, withdrawing, then re-launching into dating.

So I decided to approach the situation pragmatically. I created a checklist of “must haves” and dealbreakers. Each date now gets matched ruthlessly against the checklist, and ranked. No exceptions, no excuses, I wrote in my checklist. The only way to make sure I can find someone to have children with is to approach it as a numbers game, and refuse to compromise.

Here it is, in all of its relentless glory:

———-

What I want:

To find someone to have a kid with.

What that looks like:

  • Financially independent
  • Emotionally mature
  • Interested in having kids
  • Similar sense of humour
  • Totally taken with me (not just mildly interested/turned on).

Dealbreakers:

  • Doesn’t pay for meals
  • Doesn’t open doors
  • Constantly scanning for others
  • Constantly checking e-mail/texts
  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Physically unavailable
  • Annoying behaviour/mannerisms

Do not blind yourself to the dealbreakers. No excuses, no exceptions.

———-

It was working great on the obvious duds: those guys who weren’t ready to have kids yet. I was feeling safe, congratulating myself that it was getting me to move on more quickly and painlessly, protect myself from “falling” for anyone who was obviously not going to be good material to have kids with.

Except.

I just found the flaw in the system last night. My checklist doesn’t account for what happens when my date fulfills all of the conditions, and is for all accounts flawless. But my heart is a metronome when I’m around him.

Can a spark be created with time?

Advertisements
 

Random thoughts about adjustment May 16, 2009

It’s funny. When you’re looking so hard for something, sometimes you don’t know what to do when you get it.

Things are going well with the Camera Technician. In fact, they’re going really well. So well that it’s freaking us both out a little bit. So well that everything is flying along at a breakneck pace and we’re suspending decision-making and rationality and living in an alternate universe where utopia is possible, unicorns are sighted with common-enough frequency that sightings aren’t worth comment, and where love and romance rule the day.

It’s that heady time at the start of a relationship.

And it’s also that time for the hard light of reality to shine, just a little, onto this utopia.

I had made summer plans before meeting this guy, so that I would be out of the country. Meeting him put a wrench in my plans and made me reconsider my options. Was there some way I could remain in New York? Should I forego my summer plans? Can I work around them somehow to include this guy? What are my options?

I started to look around for other opportunities in New York, and he did too. And we both realised that what was available was pretty slim and rather bleak. New York is an expensive and hard place to make a living, especially if you’ve just arrived. It’s not the kind of place that allows you to simply plug into some setting and hit the ground running. Eventhough there are expectations and pressures to do exactly that. Which is also what adds to the toughness of living in this city.

Meanwhile, back in utopia, CT offered me the chance to stay in his apartment, over the summer, as an option.

At first glance, it seemed like a great idea — here was the problem of space answered, I would sublet my apartment as I’d intended to anyway, and we could spend the summer getting to know each other. What could be more perfect?

But slowly the cold light of reality has started to creep in. I have a lot of catching up to do professionally and need to do some uninterrupted research — which I was planning to do this summer. I also had some plans to include some fun activities. And an expectation of feeling a little more grounded by being in familiar surroundings, amongst friends.

All of this means I’m probably going to go ahead with my summer plans and be out of the country after all. Which doesn’t bode well, necessarily, for a burgeoning relationship. Most relationships are rather fragile at the beginning. Adding stressors and qualifiers from the start tends to break a relationship, or handicap the necessary gentle space.

Once again, the chaos of my life gets in the way of sustaining a meaningful relationship. It would be tragic if it weren’t so banal, and so common. I can see it now, the next blockbuster Hollywood film titled, “The Tragedy of Timing.”

Right.

 

With my luck, I should definitely not buy a lottery ticket April 23, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Drama,frustration — datehazard @ 11:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

… because with my recent luck (if this is any indication), I will definitely not win anything. In fact, if my most recent dating misadventures are an indication of my current (un)lucky status, I will most likely find out that the lottery is fake. And that I’d just participated in some kind of elaborate scam.

Like what happened last night.

I was out at one of my usual networking events, and bumped into one of my colleagues. We generally never hang out at work, so it was really great to see her. I had also brought one of my new friends along — my roommate’s friend, in fact — because he is thinking of getting into my field of work, and figured he might appreciate being given better access to some of the more business-related sides of what I do.

After he left to another event, my colleague “Stylish Beret” and I stayed behind, looking at some of the work, making a few connections, and preparing eventually to leave and get a drink on our own. We were having a great time chatting, and we walked to a bar nearby to continue our conversation in more convivial settings.

After about an hour of a stimulating and lovely discussion, a group of rowdy men and a few women decided to sit at the table next to us. They decided to invite themselves over, and, as usual, I started getting hit on by the alpha male in the group, while my friend attracted the eye of a kind-looking, jovial guy. The man who introduced himself to me was the President of the company, and the rest of the people there were his employees. He proceeded to tell me about his bisexual wife, and how they have an open relationship. His manner was one of bragging, essentially, but it shifted rapidly to one of fear when he, after a pause, asked me not to reveal this information to his fellow colleagues. It was clear that he’d had quite a bit to drink and was feeling entitled to the liberties he was taking, particularly to an attractive stranger.

I struck up a conversation with one of the women of the group, too, who decided she’d take it upon herself to set me up with someone in the group. She (ever so kindly) shouted jovially at me, “You’re going to pole tonight!!”

I’d never heard that expression before, and honestly, started laughing. It was just absurd. And a little of the usual human comedy/drama.

The rest of the evening was then spent with me talking to a guy who was trying all of his moves on me, while I gently teased him. It wasn’t that he wasn’t good looking, it was that he was trying too hard. And he was definitely approaching me as someone who might help him scratch an itch. Generally, this is not a recommended strategy for complimenting a woman. Guys, take note: spend the time to try to get to know someone, and treat the interaction with a light touch. Leave the hammer and mallet at home. Especially when you realise you’re talking to someone who is intelligent and strong-willed. Cheesy pick up lines are just going to give her so much fodder for comedy. At your expense.

After “Clumsy Conversationalist” eventually made his exit, it was then time for the third act of the evening.

As with all plays, the third act is generally the one with the most promise: the scene has been set, the characters established, and the situation is now ripe for exploit — either comedic, tragic, or a combination of both. In my case, I decided to treat the eventual outcome as a complete joke, and an opportunity for instilling a little fear. Call it vigilante justice if you will, call it delicious, call it whatever you want.

But I get ahead of myself.

As I’m preparing to leave, feeling not particularly inspired by the evening and missing my earlier conversation with my friend Stylish Beret (who is still deep in conversation with the same guy with the twinkling eyes and kind face), another of the party comes over and sits across from me. This is a man who is considerably older than I am, with gently sagging cheeks, but with a smile that lights up his whole face. It is really his smile which is spectacular: it rearranges his time-worn, serious eyes into dancing sapphires of boyish invitation. His gaze is steady and consistent — engaging, but soulful. There is something warm and inviting about this man, something deeply reassuring. He is generally directing his comments to the clumsy conversationalist sitting beside me (who is no longer trying to hit on me), but makes sure he catches my eye, too. Soon, though, we are left alone, and he turns to talk to me. The clumsy conversationalist had been trying to find his way out of the conversation, and out of the bar, and Sparkling Eyes had provided just that convenient interruption.

Sparkling Eyes turns to me, asks, “What is it that brings you to New York?” I look at him, and, based on the brief fragment of conversation he’d just had with the conversationalist, replied, “Work.” I felt compelled to ask, “And, by the way, are you a writer?”

A look of surprise registered on his face, and he said, “Well, actually, I used to write quite a lot. How– how did you– ?”

I replied, “Because I’m a writer, too. Something about the way you put your sentences together gave you away.”

I smiled at him.

I continued, “And, by the way, is Jack Kerouac one of your favourite authors?”

He looked wordlessly at me, even more surprised.

“How– Well, yes– I love Jack Kerouac– How did you know?”

I smiled again. “I don’t know. It was a hunch.” I continued, “I get the feeling that your approach to life is one of a journey — that the metaphor of the road trip and travel — is something that resonates with you.”

I continued, “And yet, you’re still searching. Why are you searching? What are you looking for?”

He looked, amazed, wordless at me. I heard the words tumble out of my mouth, and I was surprised, too. They didn’t feel like my own thoughts, or my own observations — they seemed to be more of verbal manifestations of instinct. And for once, these manifestations were coherent. And so they seemed magical.

At around this point, I expected him to change the subject; attempt to cover up, try to reach for some kind of privacy, however much he’d have to wrestle for it. I am not usually this straightforward or blunt with someone I’ve just met, but with this man, I was much more intrusive than I’d ever remembered being. Even when I’m my diplomatic straightforward self, it results in younger men generally straining to escape, change the subject, or do what they need to do to avoid being so open.

But not this man.

He just kept looking at me in wonder, mesmerized by my words, his curiosity and his attention entirely held.

And so we kept talking. He told me about himself without restraint or edit, calmly, unhurriedly. As he talked, he struggled to be clear, to be concise, and to be precise. His hands formed rounded shapes in the air as he tried to articulate his feelings of vulnerability. He looked, with furrowed brow, at me as he spoke, choosing his words carefully. And interspersed these moments of seriousness with that brilliant, transformational smile.

I found myself smiling in response to him, easily, unthinkingly, each time he smiled at me.

There was a naturalness to the conversation, and a depth that I found difficult to quantify, and even harder to identify. And even more strangely, that I had no desire, whatsoever, to do any of the aforementioned analytical things. Analysis operated on a different level last night, when it came to him. The world dissolved and we were left in a self-contained sphere. He reached out to hold my hands; his hands were surprisingly warm, and reassuringly rough. He pressed my fingers between his palms, smiling in wonderment at me during those frequent, happy silences.

We parted on a subway platform, he trying to insist on me coming home with him, or coming home with me. I reassured him, telling him not to worry, and not to try to be deterministic. Every time he asked, I smiled, and made no promises. He seemed to understand and he listened. Even at that late hour, even with the heady intoxication of our long, intimate conversation.

We kissed, and we laughed as we kissed. I don’t remember being so happy during a first kiss as I was then. I felt, somehow, that I knew him, on some kind of essential level, and that he did of me, too. I knew it wasn’t possible: I knew the feelings were really strong and were most likely based in the cold science of organic chemistry. And I went home, floating on a cloud.

And this morning, I wondered, smilingly, about this mysterious stranger with the sparkling eyes and the brilliant smile.

And found out that he’s married. With three kids.

And so, when he texted me asking to see me again, I replied simply, bluntly, “No, I don’t think so. Cowards and liars are so boring. Give my regards to your wife.”

He replied in kind, by text message. But I haven’t checked it yet. I’d imagine it’s some paltry attempt at an apology.

And so, life goes on, and dating continues its own twisted journey. And I’m left with yet another amusing, if bittersweet, experience.

 

Back at the start. Again. And again. April 18, 2009

Filed under: Dating,frustration,Loneliness — datehazard @ 1:15 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I honestly don’t know how many times I’m supposed to be back here. Once again, someone who seemed promising started to distance himself. Then finally reveal that his ex is coming to visit him soon, and that they “just” broke up. More than 6 months ago. And that he doesn’t think anything might happen.

Doesn’t think so? How about knows for sure? How about that?

I am sick and tired of the games and the drama. When will this end?

Why is it so goddamned difficult to find someone to date?

 

Fear and confusion March 24, 2009

Filed under: Dating,frustration,Loneliness,Singleness — datehazard @ 7:21 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Sometimes everything comes from all quarters, and it’s all unwanted.

I’m not sure what happened, but I’m in a dating lull at the moment. What seemed at one point promising with The Analyst evaporated, like so much ethanol on warm skin. He was supposed to come over to my neighbourhood last weekend, but he never showed up, and he didn’t reply to my text. I know it’s not because he’s suddenly dead or something catastrophic happened to him; I saw his log on details on the dating website where we’d met. I thought things had gone really well. I guess he got cold feet. Or perhaps my hunch that he’d just broken up with someone was right — and that the other person had come back in his life again. At the least, I thought he’d have given me some indication of a reason for the abrupt shift.

Meanwhile the only real option seems to be the insatiable Author, who is both too old for me and too voracious. It’s a combination I find tedious and terribly dull. He wants me to sleep with a woman, in his presence. It’s a male desire so typical and so banal that I don’t even find the challenge of finding a suitable woman or the novelty of an orgy worth pursuing.

Instead, I wish he would invite me to the events he tends to go to — professional award ceremonies which would kill lesser mortals, but which always make me incredibly fascinated. I told him I was always up for that type of event, but received no invitation, only a request for acclamation and praise. Like I said. Dull.

There’s another singles event I’ll be going to this Thursday. It’s organized by the same group and it’s a similar event to the one where I met The Charmer. I don’t have high hopes for this one. Expecting to meet someone with instant chemistry again is, I think, like asking to be struck by lightning twice.

And that’s another disappointment. The Charmer promised he’d call after his trip — a week has gone by, with no word from him. I don’t know why I even waited, I think this was his way of letting me down easy. I guess I was just hoping.

 

Dating Dhervish March 14, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Desire,frustration,Singleness — datehazard @ 10:57 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last night I went out on a first date with the Hedge Fund Trader. I almost called it off, I was feeling so tired from partying a little too hard two nights ago. I’d gone out with the Grad Student and his gay former roommate, and ended up stumbling home after a series of gay bars filled with cute, uninterested men, at about 4 in the morning. Yesterday was pretty much a write-off in terms of work.

The date with HFT went well. But I felt no spark.

I am seriously getting irritated with what exactly it is that results in that heart-fluttering reaction anyway. If someone can bottle this, I will pay them for it, for the chance to spray it on a Suitable Nice Person like HFT so that I can reciprocate his affections.

Because he was seriously digging me. I mean, he didn’t lose his head and say something ridiculous, or promise some kind of everlasting love and affection, but I definitely got the “I am interested in taking things to a more serious level with you, if things keep going the way they’ve gone tonight.”

He’s a nice guy; intelligent; funny; attentive but laid-back; not too bad to look at; and a great kisser. And not at all interesting to me.

Meanwhile, I am really looking forward to seeing The Analyst today: the guy who seems reticent, a little depressed, lonely, and probably more in need of hobbies and finding personal fulfillment than getting a girlfriend. But he’s exactly the kind of person I always go for. When men make me work, I chase them. When they chase me, I’m skeptical.

It would be great to have a rational, orderly relationship, but chaos, heartbreak and comedy are generally the order of the day.

And I’m STILL obsessing about The Charmer. We never met this week because he was too busy, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m leaving it up to him to get his stuff together and get in touch with me. Even as I’d like nothing better but to call him and see how he’s doing. Crumbs from this guy keeps me going for days. It’s humiliating, and embarrassing. And I’m doing it to myself.

 

Loneliness

Sometimes, I hate romantic movies. Or romantic scenes in movies. They bring up that aching, yearning sensation for intimacy, physical and emotional, which is generally present in most romantic relationships, even if the relationship’s going off the rails.

Yesterday afternoon I spoke with The Grad Student, who told me that he’d had a rough night, dreaming about his ex. He dreamt that he asked her why she just left, instead of telling him or talking to him. He’d awakened, angry and disappointed, and called me to talk about it. We went through the usual “why are you in this spot, what do you need to move on” stuff, but something he said made me think about the way that loneliness is so hard to delimit. It’s one of those things that just seeps up in quiet moments, a nagging lack.

Work is a good distraction, but no one can work all day, all the time. Friends are great, too, but the conversation ends, and echoes of that intimacy slowly fade into the emptiness.