Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Back on the dating scene (again) March 10, 2009

Tonight I’m going out for date #2 with The Analyst (same guy I had the Best First Date Ever with). We’re going to meet at a public monument, then meander and figure out what we’d like to do. Basically take it easy and wander around. It sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening with someone.

I know this will sound like I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but I’m not sure whether The Analyst and I have all that much chemistry. When we spoke on the phone last night, he was really hesitant and quiet. It made me think about the fact that I thought he seemed pretty depressed when I first met him. I mean, he laughed at all my jokes, and he seemed to really appreciate my sense of humour, but it seemed to be because he was really in a sad space and needed cheer, rather than that he was really genuinely appreciative. There wasn’t the witty back-and-forth or the one-upmanship that one would expect from someone who was really following.

Then there’s another guy who I’m meeting up with on Friday: let’s call him Hedge Fund Trader. Yes, yet another finance guy. He is hilarious and sarcastic, and seems pretty high-energy. We’ve been texting back-and-forth, and the jokes keep flying. I haven’t yet met him, so I can’t tell for sure, but he also seems like he might be a bit self-centred and maybe a touch of an asshole. The kind who would do something to someone else and not apologize, because as far as he’s concerned, it was funny/amusing. And his opinion is all that matters in this situation. He reminds me a bit of my good friend the Computer Programmer, who would also never intentionally set out to hurt someone, but who also has that “I’ll do what I want, thank you,” attitude, at times. We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, the Charmer called. He called yesterday, and we had a brief conversation. He sounded guarded in his language and mannerisms, but said he’d like to meet up. He wasn’t sure about timing for this week, but wants me to text or call on Wednesday or Thursday in case he can meet up.

I spoke with my friend Kind Ninja (yes, she really is that fantastic), and I told her about how I’d reacted to The Charmer and everything that happened. She told me that she thinks I should just follow my heart and seize my desire with both hands. I said that I really just didn’t want to be heartbroken — that the problem I have with the Charmer is that my reason and logic are completely overtaken by a kind of senseless desire when it comes to him. And that I have no idea what to do with those emotions, let alone how to handle it if things go badly.

And then she said the sweetest thing to me that I have possibly ever heard: she said, “DH, listen to me. If things don’t go well and you’re heartbroken, I will come to you, and I will pick you up. Really.”

I am so lucky to have a friend like her in my life.

And today, I am feeling happy and confident, and optimistic.

 

Nothing stays the same for long February 23, 2009

…especially apparently in NYC.

I was taking a mental health day and staying away from dating scenarios, but it looks like they caught up to me anyway.

A few things happened:
1) I decided I no longer want to date The Charmer;
2) My roommate’s cute friend The Actor asked for my number;
3) The Grad Student’s friend The Musician wants to get in touch with me;
4) The Canadian Historian and I are playing phone tag; and
5) The Corporate Lawyer sounds like he wants to make things exclusive.

That is a lot of play for someone who is basically an averagely good-looking intelligent woman. And a lot of stuff happening on a day that’s supposed to be about not dating.

It’s also a lot for me to process. For now, I’m going to go to bed.

 

The date with the Charmer February 18, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Desire,seduction,Singleness — datehazard @ 10:51 am
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So, my “first date” happened with The Charmer last night.

The reasons why first date are in inverted commas are because the date consisted of me spending the night at his house. Hardly conventional. And something I’ve never done before. It started off innocently enough: we ordered pizza, ate in his swanky apartment on his polished granite countertop in his steel-and-birch kitchen, we joked around, me in my jeans and t-shirt, him in his sweats and ball cap. Drank some wine, had a cocktail, cuddled and watched t.v…. and you can fill in the rest.

It was OK. Not great, but OK.

Why not great? Because the guy seriously is neurotic. He self-confessed when I first met him, and I understood more of his neurosis when in his space. He is a clean freak, and is constantly adjusting, cleaning, organizing, Putting Things In Their Place. I washed a cup I’d used with soap and water and placed it to dry in the sink. He noticed it drying, upside-down, and washed it again, with soap and water, then put it in his dishwasher. Any time he used the kitchen or I did, he’d tidy up afterward, wiping down surfaces, rearranging items, making things just right. He’d wipe down the kitchen sink with a paper towel so there would be no water spots any time we used it.

It started to make me really nervous. I wasn’t sure what was allowable and what wasn’t. At one point I wasn’t sure whether it was OK for me to place my ice-filled cocktail glass on my coaster on the granite counter-top, and asked for permission. The Charmer responded with an “Of course! Mi casa es su casa” kind of “casual” response.

During sex, he wanted me to keep my underwear on, which I at first thought was kind of one of those, “I find this totally sexy because of its novelty” approaches, but then I started to realise that it’s a thing with him. This is how he likes it. It’s no surprise that his preferred position is one of the “four-legged variety,” so-to-speak: he prefers to be in control. At All Times.

None of this is terribly horrible, but it’s not really something that allows for someone to really relax, either. Being in his space seriously started to make me itchy after a while. While he took a shower, I did some yoga, repeating the sun salutation a few times, a few warrior 2 poses, and lots of slow breathing.

And I still like him. A lot. In fact, maybe even more so than before. I can’t explain it. It’s just one of those things.

I honestly don’t know whether to go on vacation with him this weekend (which he’d originally suggested); I want him to ask me, but I don’t know if he will. He’s going to call me this evening. I suspect that’s when he’ll let me know what he’s decided. I have a pretty good hunch he’s finding a way to let me down easy. Otherwise I’d imagine he’d have asked me already.

I didn’t bring it up at all. It was the elephant in the room all last night, and all this morning.

And now, to bury myself in work.

 

Possibly Probably making a mistake February 16, 2009

The Charmer called. We made plans to meet up tomorrow, at his swanky apartment profiled in a major international newspaper (he was also quoted in the same article). I have to give it to him, he is a smooth operator. This is how it went.

“Hey DH, how’s it going? How are you doing, sweetie?”

“I’m fine, TC, much better now that I’m hearing from you — I’d been waiting for your promised call this morning. How are you? How’s work going? I’m glad you managed to finally squeeze some time away.”

“Well, it’s really busy since the acquisition of the other company late last year. Then at the same time that deal was being negotiated, we decided to expand operations into another country. Then my Dad had a health problem, so I was at one point in the hospital, with my mom and dad arguing in the background while I was trying to talk to the lawyers to negotiate both deals. You can’t make this stuff up.” (laughs).

“Yikes. Is your Dad doing ok? What happened?”

“Oh he’s better now. He’d had a quadruple bypass and they found out that his arteries were really clogged, so he had a choice of having to do another quadruple bypass or having stents put in. So he opted for the stents, which is why he was in the hospital for some time.”

“I’m glad to hear he’s better.” Pause. “I’m wondering if I could talk to you about your text message about meeting up.”

“Yeah… (laughs). I figured you probably thought it was a weird message, and a strange way to have a first date. I can assure you that I don’t always arrange first dates like that, but because this week is so packed and I want to spend some time with you and figure out whether we can get along, I felt like I had to send a direct message like that. But I really don’t do stuff like that.” (Laughs).

“I figured it was something to that effect. I mean, I also checked the time of your text message, and figured from your subsequent one that you were probably a little drunk when you sent it, so you probably didn’t intend for it to have quite the bluntness that it did.”

“Yeah, well, no, it wasn’t just that I was drunk, it was because I wasn’t sure how to fit all of these things together. But yeah, I probably would have phrased it somewhere along the lines of, ‘you know, I don’t often do this, and I hope it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, but how do you feel about…'”

We both laughed. Ha ha ha.

“So, I figure we could meet up tomorrow, I’ll get my car service to pick you up and bring you here, and we can have a carpet picnic or whatever, maybe I’ll get a DVD and we can watch something.”

“Uh… Well, where do you live? I mean, I could easily take the train there. The trains run all night, right? How far away from the station are you?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I’ll give you my address, I’ll just arrange for the car service. It’s really no problem at all.”

“And by the way, I don’t want to have you think I would stay overnight and you’d have to drive me in to town the next morning. Let’s leave that possibility open and see what happens.”

“Oh, no, really, you’ll see, I’m a perfect gentleman. I have an extra bedroom and everything, so if you want to stay there, that’s perfectly fine with me; if not, whatever — there’s no pressure at all. Seriously, I want to make sure you’re comfortable.”

I hate to say it, but he’s smooth.

He continued, “But I would suggest you might want to pack an overnight bag; I mean, just in case you stay. It’s also more convenient so you can have your stuff with you if you need it.”

The guy is seriously amusing me.

What the hell. I’ll give it a go. There are lots of horrible worst-case scenarios, but I don’t think many of them will apply to this situation. And I am seriously entertained by this guy’s shenanigans!

 

Love explained February 15, 2009

Filed under: Desire — datehazard @ 6:15 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

… and de-romanticized. Basically it’s all chemicals, and all in your head.

If what the article says is true about breakups triggering symptoms of addiction withdrawal along the lines of cocaine addiction, then the process of outlining the emotional reaction to withdrawal should be very similar to that of a breakup: the negotiation, denial, intense missing, profound sadness, loneliness, etc. I wonder if anyone’s done a cross-study? It also seems like a possible oversimplification. And I tend to be skeptical of scientists who put out juicy reports such as these when they’re also the main consultant for an online dating site.

 

Unimpressed women and frustrated men February 14, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Desire,Drama,frustration — datehazard @ 11:59 pm
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Why is it that there are so many unhappy looking people on Valentine’s Day?

And I’m not just talking about people without roses.

On the way back home from spending the day with my newly single friend The Artist, I noticed a woman talking to a man with That tone of voice. It was a quiet, explaining tone, but it had an edge of annoyance. I looked in her direction, but her male partner’s arm was blocking her face. He was holding onto an overhead railing, and she was facing him, her back to the train door.

She was trying to explain the building blocks of DNA to her companion. In her proper accented English, she explained that the human body was made up of proteins, down to the amino acids that make up DNA. Her partner, either willingly or unwittingly, did not seem to be able to understand this basic fact. She tried several versions of an explanation. She tried to relate genetic coding to something he would understand. She chose binary code. I assume he must have been in an IT-related field because of her choice, but I found that hard to believe, given that he didn’t seem to exercise the kind of logic required in the field.

He also seemed entirely unwilling to meet her halfway. I couldn’t really hear what he was saying to her, but I got the sense that he also wasn’t really that interested in understanding what she was saying. I looked at his back and his grey hair, noticed the disparity in age between them, the unkempt and rumpled state of his coat. I saw her wavy brown hair, the edge of her clear glasses, her red coat mismatched with an orange scarf. And I started to get angry.

As she started again to try to explain the four bases in the nucleic acid of DNA (AGTC) he smiled patronizingly at her, stepped closer to her in mid-sentence, and leaned in to kiss her. She returned a peck and tried to finish her sentence. He cut her off, “I just don’t get it, I mean, the body is made up of proteins? These are proteins?” And started stroking her hair. She tried to continue, “Yes, I mean, it’s the most basic fact. It’s really basic –” and then gave up.

Occasionally I would see her reflected profile in the subway car’s shiny metal walls. As she was leaving, I got a good look at her reflected face. Her mouth had a firmness, and a suppressed frown. Her eyes flashed annoyance and she pursed her mouth, then sighed abruptly. Her eyes trailed to the floor and stayed there.

I wanted to run after her, tell her not to sleep with this idiot of a man. Tell her that he wasn’t even attractive, with his grey stubble, soft jowls and faintly stained and spotted crumpled coat. That she is not a misfit, hardly unattractive, with wonderful brown hair and a sparkling, sharp mind. And that she hardly needed to entertain, not even for a minute, this mess of a human being; someone clearly not at all interested in her as a person and only involved in satisfying his own lust.

But I didn’t. And so I sat, disturbed, and a little upset by what I’d just seen.

Corporate Lawyer wanted to meet up with me and was really disappointed when I said no — but I think what I’d seen gave me pause to sit and reflect on what I was doing in my dating sphere, too. I just needed to spend some time by myself this evening.

And The Charmer sent a rather rude text message propositioning me, asking me to stay with him on Tuesday night and he would drive me to work on Wednesday. I didn’t know what to say, which is exactly what I replied. I mean, you’d think it would be nice to be asked to dinner, not to be just asked to come over and service him… which is kinda how it read. How disappointing.

 

The Charmer February 13, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 5:27 pm
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So, last night was the big, weird, awkward, and eventually hilarious singles party. I started the evening with a guy in his 50s, who was pleasant enough, but really, a little too old for me; and ended the evening with a firecracker of a 40-year-old, henceforth known as The Charmer.

The Charmer was with his friend, The Entrepreneur. Both had been having some drama with women hitting on them in ways they felt to be aggressive, so when I first approached the Charmer, he wasn’t really interested in talking to me. Eventhough he’d been trying to catch my eye while I was otherwise occupied with the 50-year-old.

The Charmer works in a corporate job in senior management for a large multi-national clothing company. The funny thing is, it wasn’t as if I could tell he was an exec just by looking at him. What had attracted me at first were his glasses, then the cute way he started dancing a little to the music. I’d thought perhaps he was a nerd, or an academic type. I was thinking, “maybe advertising, maybe marketing.” I didn’t expect him to be such a corporate guy.

But when I walked up to him and introduced myself to him, all of that didn’t matter. What overwhelmed me and pushed me into a state of pure lust was the cologne he was wearing. At almost the same time that I noticed how he smelled, he noticed how I smelled, and asked what perfume I was wearing. I told him, and he expressed how attractive it was. I smiled because I had been thinking exactly the same thing about him, although I hadn’t said anything.

And then we started talking, and I found him absolutely, ridiculously charming. In an entirely abrasive, uncouth, clumsy fashion. For instance, he referred to his ethnic background using a racial slur, without batting an eye (delivered with a “matter of fact” unself-consciousness, in fact). He made off-colour jokes that I couldn’t but help burst out laughing to, and when he noticed my reaction, he warmed up and just kept them coming. He also had really kind, smiley eyes. Even if he had a kind of macho bravado about him. Utterly compelling. I was transfixed watching him and his friend in action. The two were feeding off each other’s energy, posturing, posing, engaging in one-upmanship against each other, and disclosing waaaay too much information.

In fact, they even got into sexual preferences and experiences in so much detail I had to call a time-out. Their descriptions of the combinations and permutations of gender and number left my mind reeling with vivid images of writhing, sweaty bodies, piled naked on top of, beside, behind, under, (between? What are some other prepositions…) each other. Way too much information for what’s not even a first date.

And then we said our goodbyes and The Charmer whisked me off home in his waiting car service. Along the way, vigorous groping and making out commenced, along with much passionate kissing. I wished the car had been equipped with a privacy screen. But then again, it’s probably best it wasn’t, or there might have been no modesty to boast of, on either of our parts, in the short 20 minutes it took to get to my house. And along the way, The Charmer asked me to seriously consider going on holiday with him next weekend.

And today he brought it up again and I started looking at flights. After calling a dear girl friend and dishing. We’re going to try to meet one last time before he has to fly out, to see whether it really is such a great idea.

And now I’m pretty exhausted, but I have a blind date with Indie Musician tonight. This has been a hilarious and amazing Valentine’s week for me, regardless of whatever else happens. I don’t think I have had as much fun on Valentine’s, ever. Another benefit of being single: having incredible experiences not possible to be experienced when in a monogamous relationship. And all along, I’d never known what I was missing: all the entertainment and comedic antics of singleness.

 

Unknown territory February 11, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Drama — datehazard @ 12:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

OK. It just occurred to me that I am opening myself up to dating more than one person at a time.

I hadn’t really thought it through until I started thinking about what my plans are this week. So, Corporate Lawyer is in the background somewhere (he’s going to a singles event on Valentine’s Day, but he “can cancel, if [I] want.” (What a lame response — of course I didn’t tell him to do it; he’s a grown man and can make his own decisions). So Saturday night is me by myself, which is perfectly fine with me.

Meanwhile, because I’d gotten the vibe from Corporate Lawyer that he’s dating around (often has his phone off in the evenings, texts me instead of calls me back, has mysterious other plans on other days in the weekend), I figured I’d open the field as well a few weeks ago. It was meant to be a simple “hey, let’s meet up at a gallery and see what happens.” But it turned into a “I can’t make it to the gallery, let’s meet up in person on Friday night” instead. So now I have a date on Friday night, with someone else. Let’s call him Indie Musician. So. No more me accusing Corporate Lawyer, or anyone else, of hypocrisy.

So now I have to figure out some strategies if this date with Indie Musician on Friday turns out well. He’s terribly cute in that dorky way that always gets my heart going, and I don’t want to start anything on a bad note, or have to hurt anyone’s feelings. Corporate Lawyer, meanwhile, wants to meet up on Sunday night; he’s taking me out to a performance.

I think “that talk” is coming up, real soon. Most likely this weekend when I meet up with Corporate Lawyer. It’s just too difficult for me to try to juggle two things at once (assuming there is a “thing” at all with Indie Musician). Even if it ends up in me being alone. Again.

You folks used to juggling out there, throw me a lifeline, would you?

 

Why do guys do that?

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Desire,Drama — datehazard @ 8:51 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I dated a guy briefly: let’s call him Non-Profit Guy. He seemed like a really nice guy, we got along great, and I started to develop a real crush on him. I’ll always remember the way he lit up when he first saw me: if he had a caption above his head, it would have read, “WOW!”

He also seemed to really care about ethics. So I didn’t expect him to be juggling two women at once. Especially not if the other woman was someone he’d been pursuing for a year.

Shortly after I met him, he went on a trip with his “friend”, who lived just down the street from him. He’d mentioned her name a few times before, and I was a bit curious to know what her relationship was to him. It was way too early to be having “that” kind of a conversation, though, and I figured he’d let me know if there was something for me to know.

When he came back from his trip, he wanted to meet up with me again, and we went out on another date. There was some fooling around, some kissing, nothing much (we were in public), but I sensed that the openness he had to me before he left was not there. When I suggested we hang out at his house after our plans fell through (we were going to see a show but arrived too late), he laughed nervously. The thing is that I’d already seen his apartment, so it wasn’t as if we were going there for the first time. The last time we were in his apartment, I’d had to put the brakes on, since it was only date #2, and I didn’t really want to jump into bed with a stranger. So his behaviour this time around made me wonder what happened.

We finally had a talk, and he fessed up: he’d known her for a year and been pursuing her romantically during that time. She finally said yes when they were on their trip, and they were going to try dating.

To be honest, I wasn’t surprised; but I was a bit surprised at how upset I was by the news. I really felt dumped. It made no sense: I really had just started to get to know the guy. We’d known each other for maybe a total of a month.

Worst of all, instead of expressing my disappointment, I counselled him as a friend. I told him that I was happy for him (BS: anyone who says that after you dump them is lying through their teeth, and clinging onto their last shred of dignity), I told him that I was taking myself out of the equation (I actually said, “far be it for me to stand in the way of someone’s desire.” ACK). And that I, as his friend, was suggesting that he concentrated on his relationship and cherish the fact (yes, those exact words) that this woman who he had been pursuing for a year finally said yes to him.

He bleated something ridiculous like, “Well, but it’s all so new, I’m really not sure what’s going on right now.” I pushed aside my revulsion and said, “well, that’s the wonderful thing at the beginning: it’s fragile, and exhilarating, and tenuous and scary as hell.” Meanwhile, a part of me wanted to say, “Why don’t you grow a pair? Oh, and get away from me.” Maybe I should have.

Because, after that grand generous speech I gave, I ended with “well, I wish you and your friend the best of luck, and I hope that we can still remain friends.” To me, that is the kiss of death: “friends” in this context means: If I happen to see you on the street, I won’t ignore you, but will say hello and introduce myself to whoever happens to be there, including your date/gf/mistress/whatever. I mean, come on, it’s not like we work together or have to ever see each other again.

And so I was surprised when he e-mailed me. He asked how I was doing, and I figured it was a guilt-inspired e-mail. He apologized for not being upfront about his friend, and I thanked him for his apology. I figured that was that.

Weeks go by. Then yesterday, he e-mails me to ask whether we can hang out “as friends.” And so I’m now at a loss for what he is possibly thinking. If I were his new gf, I’d be furious.

Why do guys do stupid shit like that?

PS: And by the way, I said cheerily, “sure!” as if we were “just friends.” Mainly because I have a perverse sense of humour, and mainly because I’ll probably put on the “I’m so great without you” front and be an idiot like that.

 

There’s no accounting for taste February 4, 2009

Filed under: Desire — datehazard @ 8:54 am
Tags: , ,

I was catching up on some daily news and clicked on the “Who We Are” section of the online political mag I was reading to see who was behind the organization. And came right up with a stranger’s face which made my heart beat noticeably faster.

It’s not that he’s a looker, muscular, tanned, or square jawed. In fact, he’s quite the opposite: pale, a narrow, unremarkable face, hair smooth and thin, carefully parted to one side: the epitome of a dork professional. And yet, what I saw was a shadow of a smile, eyes slightly squinting against the bright sunlight, and a slight pout of a mouth that looked incredibly mobile. Pointless fantasies of kissing this mouth flashed momentarily through my mind. I read a critical, introspective gaze in his shaded eyes, the off-center body posture as a charming, alluring reserve.

This is the kind of guy who makes my heart beat faster. And there really is no accounting for taste. Particularly mine, clearly. No wonder my friends make fun of me!