Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Sitting with difficult emotions May 16, 2009

Filed under: Exes,Loneliness — datehazard @ 11:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m travelling right now, and am sitting in a space that I used to share with my ex-boyfriend. It’s his apartment, and he isn’t here. He’s staying at his current girlfriend’s apartment.

I like the space, but the vacuum of his absence demarcates how this is no longer my home. It’s a place-in-waiting, even as my cats are here and the furniture and surroundings, mine.

The discomfort is niggling, insistent, rather than pronounced or tangible in some way. It’s a low grade hum: just loud enough to be unsettling.

I’m looking forward to be going back — although not to “home,” which for the time being does not exist.

 

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?

 

Longing April 9, 2009

Filed under: Loneliness,Singleness — datehazard @ 11:15 am
Tags: , , ,

Some melodies manage to bring out or sum up that echoing space of loneliness. The Cure’s “Plainsong” does it for me every time.

 

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.

 

Loneliness March 14, 2009

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.

 

Something had to give March 6, 2009

Filed under: Loneliness,Singleness — datehazard @ 6:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

My overly ambitiously planned week has just fallen apart. My body refused to cooperate: I am now officially sick.

It’s nothing that serious. And to be honest, I’m feeling relieved. It was way too much for my body to handle, and I was overdue for a break.

I managed to network yesterday, fill in all of my obligations and put in my not unusual 16 hour day, including some fun stuff for myself, like a chance to eat at a restaurant I’d been wanting to check out for some time. I also bought myself a little present in honour of birthday week: an unlimited week-long transit pass to give me an excuse to get out and gleefully sight-see to my heart’s content. I live in New York City, for goodness’ sakes. It’s about time I travelled its length and breadth, explored every nook and cranny, adventured as much as I care to.

I’m also relieved, because it means that my plans to accommodate Corporate Lawyer and have him stay over for the first time in my apartment have thankfully fallen through. Having him stay here brings the relationship to a whole new level that I’m just not comfortable with.

So instead, I returned home, took a shower, slipped into my pjs, and am listening to some music I absolutely adore and don’t often get a chance to listen to.

Later, I might pour myself a glass of red wine that I also rarely get a chance to sip, slip in a movie or click through a selection on Netflix, continue writing a short story I’ve been neglecting for the last few weeks, and savour the dull steady current of aloneness that late nights and early mornings bring into focus.

And if I really get bored, I might even call some friends.

 

Studies in dating February 28, 2009

Last night I was out with The Artist, The Grad Student and another friend, having a few drinks in Brooklyn. We were enjoying some cheap drink specials and having some great conversation. And then I thought I’d have a little fun.

I noticed a good-looking man at the bar, dressed in a grey knit vest, white shirt and a tie. He was chatting up a woman who had short, black, curly hair. She didn’t seem that interested in him, but she wasn’t brushing him off. The flirting vibes the man was putting out were unmistakable. He leaned in to talk to her, moving in so close that the woman would be able to feel his breath on her ear. His body posture was possessive: his arms practically encircled her at some points while he gesticulated in his conversation. He did everything to be physically close to her. But he didn’t touch her.

He noticed me looking at him. I didn’t look away. I was a little tipsy at this point and was wondering how he might react if someone else were to flirt with him. So I smiled a little, and kept looking at him.

Mid-conversation, he stumbled, noticed me looking at him, looked away, kept talking, and then darted glances at me to see whether I was still looking.

Game on!

Eventually he excused himself and walked towards the door, right by my table. I tracked his progress, watching his gait, observing his choice of shoes, his long fingers and veined hands, the careful manicure. He studiously looked straight ahead, until he reached the door; at which point he turned, ever so briefly, to look at me. It was too brief of a moment to reciprocate my acknowledgement, but I smiled to myself at the nervousness he displayed. Clearly he was enjoying the attention.

Then he was outside, and I could see him through the bar’s picture window. He struck up a conversation with another man outside, and smoked a cigarette. He talked enthusiastically, his angular face animated, his eyes darting about and his hands gesturing, dancing in the cool night air. He turned to look at the window, and I looked away. I wasn’t sure if he could see me, but this time I didn’t want him to notice me.

He eventually left with the woman he’d been talking to; as they left, he placed an arm lightly at her back. She was completely oblivious to what had been happening; her back had been towards me the entire evening, and she seemed preoccupied with some other matter. At no point did she seem that interested in the man. She was relaxed, calm, almost lazy in her movements. Her clothing choice was of a casual Bohemian chic which belied its probably overpriced cost. One can always tell a woman’s clothing budget by the choice of her bag. She may dress like a bum, but if she sports an expensive bag, it’s most likely that her seemingly careless appearance is the result of the opposite kind of commitment. It probably took hours for her to decide on just the right amount of visual insouciance.

He didn’t look at me as he left, but he didn’t have to. As he walked closer to my table at the door, his gait stiffened remarkably, his look became unwavering in his linear path. His jaw set. And then he turned his head, ever so slightly, his eyes darting in my direction, as he held the door open for his new date. I smiled to myself after he left. He was awfully cute.

My party left shortly after. The Grad Student and the Artist and my other friend headed in one direction, I, in another. The Grad Student and the Artist live on separate subway lines, but tonight they were going the same way, determined to spend the night together.

I walked cheerily on my own, thinking of finding a bar and striking up some conversation with a handsome stranger, unencumbered by my friends. As is usually the case for me, my initial bravery wavered, then evaporated altogether as I passed a dive bar, a rowdy college crowd, and then the perfect dark, jazzy bar. By this point, the streets were starting to fill with people coming up from Manhattan, or Queens, or New Jersey. Girls dressed in long, tight t-shirts and lycra leggings talked loudly, “OMG” peppering their excited speech. Young boys stood on street corners, baggy pants around their thighs, gesturing jaggedly and smiling broadly, teasing each other, posturing. Checking out the girls in t-shirts going by. The night was taking on a carnivalesque atmosphere from the number of people emerging seemingly straight from the earth. Loud, happy, anxious people poured out of subterranean subway exits.

I was one of the few to enter, instead of exit, the subway. The platform was practically empty save for a few subdued people who looked like they were headed to house parties, or home after a day’s work.

And as I stood there on the platform, observing the dirt and grime caked into the mosaic “B” of the subway stop, the flourescent light seemed suddenly harsh, and the air had a sudden overwhelming density. My nostrils were assailed by the smells of a combination of human sweat, the damp night air, ozone, and that unmistakeable New York subway perfume of machine and human grease, vomit, dust, and stale bodily fluids.

I was lonely. And acutely aware of my singleness. The light and the smells around me seemed to accuse, outlining my solitary state, unrelenting. I hugged my coat around me tight, feeling its short wool fibres with my fingertips. My red cashmere scarf caressed my neck and cheek. I shifted my weight anxiously from left to right. Now I was standing, now pacing. Now leaning on a studded vertical iron pillar, now standing straight.

The train finally arrived, much to my relief. I managed to find a seat and blended in, anonymous with the crowd.

I started to doze off, comforted by the car’s rocking motion, its steady onward progress.

On one of the occasions when I blinked awake, I noticed a young woman sitting across the way with her profile to me. She was obviously talking to her boyfriend, who was blocked from my view by a standing passenger. Her face twisted in pain, a mix of anger, hurt and disbelief flitting across her face. She looked at her boyfriend repeatedly, her body lurching towards his, then withdrawing in pain, only to reach to him again. She would alternate between cajoling and pleading with him as she leaned toward him, to pulling back abruptly, sulkily. And then she would dip briefly into depression, her face contorting in pain with the effort of trying not to cry.

I was wide awake now, watching her.

Eventually a seat opened up next to her, and she patted it immediately, inviting her soon-to-be-ex to sit next to her.

I saw a young man with a spotless white baseball cap and baby blue shoelaces get up slowly, reluctantly strut towards her, and sit down.

His hands did the talking for him.

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“This is just the way it is.”

“I can’t do anything about this.”

A shoulder shrug. He looked toward her, but missed her face entirely, addressing the space above her head. He turned away rapidly.

His arm was placed awkwardly over her shoulder. Unlike the previous man’s possessive stance, his was one of obligation. I don’t want to touch you, but it would make it worse for me to act on that impulse. So I will try to comfort you as best as I can.

She leaned in heavily toward him, her whole weight bearing down on the side of her boyfriend. She placed her head on his shoulder, her long curls spilling over into his lap. Her face contorted, emotions now travelling more rapidly across the stormy landscape. Anger was quickly replaced by a wheedling, puppy dog face. She was trying to guilt him into staying. Her hands gripped and strangled a black plastic bag in her lap. I worried that she would throw up into it. She looked nauseous.

He became alarmed. His dangling arm now sported nervously caressing fingers. He stroked her cheek, touching with a minimum of pressure, hurried in his motions. I saw the anxiety in his face as he pushed her head onto his shoulder. She leaned over awkwardly, pressing her full weight into him. She seemed determined to bury herself into him.

As he continued to touch her nervously with the tips of his fingers, spider-like, she doggedly set herself to finding comfort in his presence. Her face became more serene; her weight, more natural.

But even she knew this was false comfort.

And she would break out of her daydream with renewed hurt. Her grip on her black plastic bag grew ever more violent.

And then the doors of the car opened, and they left. He, walking ahead and taking her hand; she, trailing behind, sulking.

Sleep overcame me after they left, and I awakened with a start at the stop before mine. Then I stumbled home, and tumbled into bed.