Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Filled with hope May 14, 2013

Filed under: breakups,Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 10:35 pm
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It’s 10:40 p.m., and I’m sitting in my living room, the muted sounds of a slow keyboard melody filtering through my ceiling. My neighbours are upstairs, crafting a quiet, repetitive tune.

It’s the perfect accompaniement to my pensive state. I just got off the phone after talking to Sparkling Eyes. I’d forgotten all about him until I ran across my post from 2009. And I was immediately transported to the magic of that evening; the way my breathing slowed when we spoke; the way that rare, deeply intimate space had been created that evening.

And then the discovery of his marriage and kids. And the devastation I felt, even as I’d lied in my blog entry, brushing off the blow as “just one of those things.” After that evening, I’d had words with Sparkling Eyes, accusing him of lying to me, and of being duplicitous. And he insisted he had not; that he and his wife were newly divorced, or separated–I can’t recall the specifics now–but the damage had been done, and I’d said too many unkind words.

Months later, when dating who would become my (now) ex-husband, I received a text, out of the blue, from Sparkling Eyes, saying that if I’d ever change my mind, to get in touch with him, and how sorry he was that things went sideways. It was phrased as though I’d spoken with him just the day before. And when I told him to move on with his life, he was confused; which resulted ultimately in a phone call clarification; he told me he’d sent that text six months prior, after our last phone call. Somehow it had gotten stuck in a queue and I’d only received it long after I’d given up hope, and moved on, ultimately marrying someone that I should never have married.

But one does what one does, and I moved on.

Revisiting my writing, I felt all the high and low of that evening as though it had just happened. And Sparkling Eyes’ full name came to me in a moment of quiet.

And so I contacted him at the last e-mail address I had for him, with the full expectation that my message would bounce back, stamped “unknown recipient”. And I’d breathe a sigh of relief, telling myself, “I guess it was not meant to be.”

Except that didn’t happen. And we ended up talking. And it ended up being amazing, as though those four years when we last spoke was just the day before. Towards the end of our conversation, there was a moment where we were silent; we remained quietly on the phone for a moment, smiling in wonder at each other.

And I just spoke with him again, and despite an awful family difficulty he’s having to deal with–or maybe because of it?–I feel deeply connected to this man in a way I have never felt connected to any stranger before.

I can’t explain it. And I want to linger in this wonder, and revel at its shimmer.

 

Possibilities March 16, 2009

I spent the night at the Analyst’s apartment on Saturday. He lives all the way out in Brooklyn; it took almost two hours on the weekend trains to get to him. That was not fun.

I like his neighbourhood, though. It’s a quiet, family-oriented one, and it’s close to the sea. It was lovely to stand at a pier near his apartment, watch the waves and feel the strong cold breeze from the ocean. That alone made up for the 2 hour epic journey to get there.

I really like him. He makes me laugh. I make him laugh, too. I’m constantly making fun of him — which is an easy thing to do. He’s quite naive in some ways; he assumes that I don’t know very much (like when I deliberately horribly mangled the pronunciation of “rendezvous” to be “Ren-des-vohs”), and I play along, drawing out the “Please educate me” experience to its absurd extreme, until he notices that I’m smiling, or he has a “wait, this can’t possibly be true” skepticism. And then I start laughing, and he laughs too.

I suppose it isn’t the kindest way to joke with someone; I’d always be a little guarded around someone who I knew was going to make fun of me, or find an opportunity to joke at my expense. I have told him on a few occasions that he should tell me if he ever gets tired of me being silly in this way, and he laughs and says, “no, it’s fine.” I have a feeling he means it. I spoke with my friend Kind Ninja and she remarked that he probably appreciates being around intelligent people who can challenge him.

After we walked around the neighbourhood, ate at a local restaurant and had a drink at his neighbourhood bar, we went back to his apartment. His apartment is cluttered and messy, with books in various spots, and the strange sight of two shedding feather pillows on his living room floor. He explained that he left them there from when friends would come over and he needed extra seating. It seemed an odd explanation, but I didn’t pry.

I would go into some of the details of our intimacy, but a sense of privacy and tenderness prevents me from disclosing too much. I will say that he enjoys playing as much as I do, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He seems to understand as well as I, how provocation quickens the pulse, and heightens desire. He pinned my arms behind my back at one point when I was getting the better of him in a tickling match, and I found myself suddenly not struggling and not laughing. Instead, my body reached for his, and we kissed with hungry mouths.

He has a lovely, long body, smooth, soft skin, and hair in all the warm places: over his heart, his groin, a soft covering over his firm rounded bottom. I’ve never been a fan of hairless men. And frankly, I think shaving is overrated, and waxing as something that should be reserved for practices of torture.

The night ended in a tangle of limbs and blankets. We slipped from exhaustion into a broken sleep. I kept waking up to get water, go to the bathroom, or to simply lie, disoriented, checking the time and gazing crookedly at his poorly hung blue curtains. I would wonder where I was, recall, listen to his surprisingly rapid breaths, and drift off into a fitful slumber.

The night before, we had talked about the sea, and the waves. I told him about the time I lived in a little house by the sea, how the fierce wind would scare me when I first moved there, and how I would hear pine cones drop on my roof at night. And how these initial anxieties eventually became sources of wordless joy, reminding me simultaneously of both qualities of my frail existence.

I don’t think I’d ever felt more alive. And I had almost forgotten the experience. As the years went by and I moved away, it had become buried under all of the pragmatic toughness and hardness one needs to deal with the hustle and bustle of big city living. That little house by the sea seemed almost to exist in another lifetime. It was good to be reminded of it.

He’d listened with shining eyes and a faint smile of understanding while I talked; he also loves the sea. He told me about growing up amongst olive trees and harvesting ripe olives by hand. He talked about the back-breaking labour involved, but I could see his nostalgia in his eyes. He seemed far away, existing for a moment in the bright sun, the aroma of ripening olives rising around him.

Something about this man makes me both so incredibly happy, and so grounded at the same time. I am able to breathe deeply and slowly in his presence, and my worries evaporate.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Surprise. He replied. March 3, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 1:24 pm
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Well, I didn’t think it would happen, but The Charmer replied!

He sent me a text:

“DH! So glad to hear from you!!! I thought you wrote me off like a bad debt! Would love 2 CU. Am travelling to X office, will call/text when arrive.”

My instinct is to resist seduction, but my gut tells me that I tend to be too rational and need to start acting more on desire. That “I am so scared I can barely breathe” emotion is something that I need to acknowledge and allow. I just wish those feelings weren’t so unruly and so fear-inducing. My work world is orderly and productive, mainly because I work very hard to make sure it stays that way. Shame that emotions don’t follow the same patterns.

 

I did it. I called The Charmer.

Filed under: breakups,Comedy,Dating,Desire,Drama,Singleness — datehazard @ 12:25 pm
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Before you accuse me of foolishness (“Why would you call someone who never replied to you?? Can’t you take a hint?”), let me tell you why I did it.

I was speaking to my dear friend The Philosopher yesterday, by instant messenger. She’s on a research trip in another country, but we’ve probably spoken more now when she’s been away than when we lived in the same city. It’s just one of those things.

In any case. The phone call to the Charmer.

I called because The Philosopher asked me probing questions about why I wasn’t calling him, and why I was ascribing all of these negative assumptions to The Charmer’s behaviour. She made me think about whether I was being over-deterministic and possibly mis-characterizing his behaviour. She reminded me that he did express interest in me, after all.

I hated that needling sense that there may be some truth to what she was saying. I hated that sense of anxiety that the conversation was provoking in me, the way it was making me feel that I still hadn’t quite fully moved on; that I was basically stuck somewhere between Step 1 and Step 2, where I was blaming him without reservation, using him not to examine my own position, and thus also not acting at all. Damn that friend.

So, after much thinking, worrying and wondering to myself about whether it was a good idea to call The Charmer or not, I decided to do it.

I was amazed at how anxious I was when picking up the phone. My hands were cold; my mouth was dry, my bowels were turning over. I noticed my hands shaking with anxiety, my heart racing uncontrollably. It was disturbing to me that I would be so strongly affected. I was brought all the way back to a series of events over the past summer where I had to lie submerged in the water, upside-down, still seated in my capsized kayak, patiently and breathlessly awaiting rescue from another kayakker. The experience terrified me to no end initially; I am not the strongest swimmer, and had almost drowned as a child. But I learned over the summer to control my thoughts, and to visualize my visceral terror as having its own process, but not dominating, my active mind. My one standby of controlling my breath was useless to me in this situation: I could only parcel out my depleting store of oxygen, watching bubbles float from my lungs and break the surface; all the while controlling the steady awareness that I was slowly, deliberately suffocating.

And so I had to turn inward to stores of strength I never knew I had.

This is why I take risks: one never knows one’s boundaries until one pushes at them. And maybe even breaks them. And in the latter case, those are the moments that reveal whether repair or recovery are possible: another invaluable learning experience.

So I concentrated on my breath, dialed the phone, waited for the connection, let the call ring, let it go eventually to voice mail, hear The Charmer’s recorded voice, and leave a calm message. All the while panicking, adrenaline rushing through my veins.

Once again, I don’t think he’ll call back. That’s just not his style. But I’m really glad I called.

 

Walking away from The Charmer February 23, 2009

So, I wrote an e-mail to The Charmer this morning, saying that I was walking away.

It came out of my realisation last night that we are just looking for two different things. He wants someone who can be as morally free as him, and who can let him indulge in whatever sexual pecadilloes he chooses, and it was making me sad. I cried as I fell asleep last night, in the realisation that I couldn’t be with this man in the way I’d like. It was a mixture of exhaustion, self-pity, self-loathing and acceptance.

I told him that, strange as it may sound, he was one of the few people in my life I’ve ever met who I was immediately and strongly attracted to; the kind of person who I just cannot get enough of. It’s been many years since I’ve felt this way; in fact, other than when I was a teenager, I don’t remember the last time I felt like this.

If nothing else, that sense that my heart has awakened, and reminded me of how strongly it can feel, is an amazing thing. I’ve spent the last year in a haze, unfocussed and numb. I never thought I could feel this strongly again.

And now it’s over.

And life goes on.