Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Spring and singleness in a new city May 5, 2013

Filed under: Dating,Singleness — datehazard @ 11:03 am
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After a long hiatus during which I got married, then separated, I’m back to being single in a brand new city: Toronto.

I’ve made it a priority to focus on finding someone I could have a family with. My standards are higher, but the drama is the same: the same mix of unsure men; liars; emotionally or physically unavailable dudes; players. The difference in Toronto is that most people are forced to conform to the Canadian mould of “being nice.” It is an enforced space that makes it hard to distinguish the asshole from the genuine nice guy–an experience which I learned from the hard way recently after dating a seeming “nice guy” who turned out to be a lying jerk. Unlike in NYC, I couldn’t see this one coming at all, and am still shocked at how good he was at hiding his true nature.

Meanwhile, I’m starting to fall for Mercurial, who’s leaving for Russia in a week. And doesn’t know when he’ll be back.

 

What happens next? April 28, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Singleness — datehazard @ 5:00 pm
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It’s a beautiful, sunny, warm day. Spring has given way suddenly to the promise of a hot summer ahead (if the weather over the last few days is to be any indication).

Every year, I find men become much more interested in looking at and pursuing women with the change of the seasons. I’ve never been hit on in my neighbourhood in the months I’ve lived here, until last night, when two men sitting idly outside of a restaurant greeted me with that unmistakeably friendly but flirtatious “Hey Mami.”

I never know what to do when someone greets me like that. Is there a code for how to respond? What if I’d like to? I’m always generally shy but also suspicious of strangers (perhaps my mother trained me too well?) And does this approach work for men, anyway? What do they expect? That the woman would suddenly stop mid-stride, and coyly smile, head bowed, calves brushing each other coquettishly?

And what about men who are more obvious or rude? On the weekend as I was returning from a dinner party, a guy ran up to me and said, “I give compliments where they’re due, and you have all the right curves.” At first I had to ask him to repeat himself, because I didn’t hear him; then when I heard him, I thought he must have said “you have all the right curls” — as in, that he was complimenting me about my hair. I laughed anyway, because I thought it was really funny. Perhaps that wasn’t the kindest response. But I am not cruel, and I thanked him for his compliment, even as I laughed.

But I never did get the idea of obvious overtures. Or cat-calling, for that matter. Do they actually work?

Meanwhile, the Poet and I keep flirting, and I’m not really sure what’s going on. And I’m starting to date someone who I met, through, of all places, the “mysterious ‘e'” dating site aforementioned in the preceding post. I’ll call him IT Guy. He seems pretty besotted with me at the moment, which I’m a bit surprised about, but I am the first to admit general cluelessness when it comes to dating. I’ve also pretty much given up trying to figure out what’s going on around me since I am so clearly bad at it.

Still, I wonder what happens next? Am I supposed to confront the Poet? His ex-girlfriend is visiting in a month. He’s gone for the next 3 weekends on business trips. We couldn’t organize our schedules to even talk, let alone meet this week. And he asked me again whether I was worrying about his ex visiting. Which I thought was weird — so I replied, “No, I’m not worrying — why, am I supposed to worry?” Which he avoided.

Ugh. I need a manual on human relations, STAT!

 

What does the “e” stand for in “eharmony”? April 27, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Singleness — datehazard @ 11:00 am
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An idle thought: what does the “e” stand for in “eharmony”?

My poet friend and I were debating this crucial question the other day. I offered the general assumption: “electronic” (like, “electronic mail” for “e-mail”), and we both started laughing.

Seriously? Electronic Harmony??

How funny is that?

So we suggested other possibilities. I said, “Electrifying!” And he rebutted with “Epileptic!”

The conversation dissolved into laughter at that point. I ended with, “maybe elliptical?” — as in, being entirely tangential.

Let’s hope. It’s certainly better than “electronic” as a start for possible romance.

 

Longing April 9, 2009

Filed under: Loneliness,Singleness — datehazard @ 11:15 am
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Some melodies manage to bring out or sum up that echoing space of loneliness. The Cure’s “Plainsong” does it for me every time.

 

Strength in retreat April 8, 2009

The reason for the (comparative) long silence has been mainly because I’ve largely given up on dating as a strategy or a game. My general lack of being impressed with the interactions I’ve had lately has meant that I’ve taken to focussing on my work and on just living my life.

Until recently, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back in NYC past the summer, especially since there had been some shake-ups at work. I’d assumed that I hadn’t made the cut, since I’m so new here. As I’d prepared my résumé and sent out some tentative job applications, I became convinced that I’d have to leave. As it so often turns out in my life, the day I told my roommate that I’d no longer be here past June was the same day I received a contract renewal. So it looks like I’ll be back here through December 2009 at least.

That means that I have to ramp up my research work in general and have some commitments to fulfill. Which meant a shift in focus away from dating to thinking through my next career steps. Hence the quiet.

And to be honest, I’d needed a break from so much emotional upheaval as well. It was, frankly, getting tedious. And tiring.

At the moment, there is a poet I’ve been communicating with, but we’re seeing if we can be friends at the moment. We met at a party and hit it off, having one of the best conversations I’d had in a long time. We met again this week to go to a weekly arts-related event that I generally attend on my own. We didn’t have quite such the great time again, but I feel like I’m getting a better sense of him as a person, which is always a good thing. It’s too early to say right now whether there is any spark or any possibility of having this go beyond anything but a platonic friendship, but I’m really enjoying this kind of interaction.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to do internet dating, I think. There’s always that pressure: that proverbial elephant in the room, precariously cramped on a stool in the corner, trying to be unobtrusive. No matter how friendly one gets (and perhaps particularly when one DOES get along with one’s date), it always seems the dating question is at the fore. It’s never about just getting to know someone, slowly, organically. Because we happen to attend the same kinds of events and like the same kinds of things. Instead, we “happen” to meet because we “happen” to employ a search engine that “organically” selects each of us for the other, based on stated qualifications and needs and wants. That thrill of discovery; that spark of initial interest; that ember of romance that comes from meeting someone in the flesh and randomly finding out mutual interests and passions, isn’t included. And so dating becomes an interview process: a series of trials and eliminations.

 

Fear and confusion March 24, 2009

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

 

Playing games March 17, 2009

So, apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.

I had a most enlightening talk with a new friend (let’s call him The Author) this afternoon. He suggested that I stopped being so conscientious about the men I was pursuing and adopted the approach of a dog trainer.

Basically, if my “pet” was behaving, I would feed him treats and be nice to him; otherwise, I would train him to behave as I wished, and would punish him for being bad, and generally adopt an attitude of a lack of caring. He also advised strongly against pursuing the Analyst, saying that I needed to not pursue someone who was cold and distant (his translation for my, “he’s hard to read”). He also made a wide stereotypical statement about the Analyst, and said it was almost impossible for someone from his background to treat women with the respect that I was probably expecting and demanding.

Those words of advice played in my mind and lingered in my fears. But perhaps the most valuable thing he said was, “Don’t turn a farce into a melodrama. It’s just too much work.” How true. He also advised me to get laid.

I generally tend to heed men’s advice about other men, particularly if they’ve had some experience with the culture (which this man does have).

And so tonight I went out for St. Patrick’s Day to a local bar, got good and drunk and got someone’s phone number. But I didn’t follow the last part of my new friend’s advice.

Baby steps…

 

Dating Dhervish March 14, 2009

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

 

Goodbye, Corporate Lawyer March 11, 2009

Filed under: Adjusting,breakups,Dating,Singleness — datehazard @ 11:22 pm
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One of the things I’m starting to learn is how important friendships are to me.

I spent the evening hanging out with The Artist in her studio; we had a great time chatting about nothing in particular while she did some repetitive work on an installation.

I had originally intended to go to yet another networking event, but decided against it after I realised I’d rather spend time with my friend. Just random, plain, unstructured, lovely, friendship building time. I don’t remember the last time I allowed myself that luxury.

I realise there are a lot of things I’ve omitted or let decay while I was in a relationship with my previous boyfriend — so much so I didn’t even realise what I’d let go, and how one-dimensional I’d gotten. You can’t have this kind of time with a friend, when you’re in a committed relationship, really. There’s always something couple-related to do: some schedule to follow, some compromise to fulfill, somewhere to be.

Talking to The Artist made me realise that I needed to face the Corporate Lawyer and call it what it was. So, I met him for a late dinner (he’d just come off work), and told him that I’d prefer if we stayed friends, but that I really liked him and did mean friends. Not just sorta occasionally hanging out. And definitely not fading into the woodwork, or into the distance. Or whatever metaphor you’d like to pick to suit your mood.

He was worried about his job and really thinks he’s going to lose his position in his firm this Friday; or if not this Friday, then some other week. He looked dejected when I told him that generally most layoffs do occur on Fridays, not the middle of the week. He also told me about the argument he’d had with his sister and the annoyance he’d felt at his friend, a fellow corporate lawyer. He was going to say something really mean about her, but stopped himself, just as I intervened and tried to gently direct his attention elsewhere. I could see the stress and worry on his face. But I think that he’d be fine if he lost his job. He has good skills, works for one of the best law firms, and has done interesting work. It is definitely hard, though, and I felt guilty for giving him the “let’s be friends” speech given his current stress level.

But I certainly don’t think that giving him the speech would be better if I’d waited. There is really no good time to say “I’m sorry, I’d like to see other people.”

And now I’m off to bed. It’s been a long day.