Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

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.

 

Beginnings May 8, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 3:33 pm
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Well, it looks like I’ve started to date someone. He’s a camera technician who’s worked on a number of mainstream and arthouse movies. And I met him on e-Harmony, of all places. Perhaps it was elliptical harmony after all?

At this point, I’m not sure what’s happening between us; it’s all pretty new and barely a week old. So far what I can tell you is that we seem to be getting along really well. We have a lot of commonality in terms of our interests, and I find him quite compelling.

Which is a little odd, considering that my attention was completely on other people (The Poet, and the IT Guy). And that there are quite a few red flags that I have already encountered. When I met him, I was immediately put off by the fact that he is larger than he appeared in his photographs. Unlike that adage of the camera putting on pounds, this was quite the opposite. For a moment, I hesitated, considering turning around and pretending that I never saw him. But then he stood up and turned to face me. I smiled and stepped forward to shake his hand.

Date #2 included dinner, and, over dinner, a revelation that he was considering being a partner in a porno production. Yes. You read that right. That immediately made me think, “dealbreaker, of course.” I listened with a mix of curiosity and resignation, heard him tell me with embarrassment that this is not the kind of thing he generally does, and thought about what it might be like if I were in his position. I thought to myself, “well, at least he’s honest and forthcoming,” and appreciated the conversation for what it was. He told me more of the details of the production, and to be honest, it doesn’t sound as though it will proceed. There are too many roadblocks, not the least of which is the fact that the other principals seem more interested in living double lives, or carrying out some kind of fantasy, than in actually following through on a solid business plan. If this is his idea of getting rich quick (which seemed like his approach), I think he’s in for a few surprises. But he’s also no dummy. He pointed out these very issues and I could see that he was wrestling with the project on more than a few fronts, including the societal dilemma being in this kind of a position poses.

I’m not quite sure what compelled me to go on another date with him. It was entirely my suggestion that we go to Coney Island, and it was entirely a spur-of-the-moment decision. If it hadn’t been sunny that day; if I hadn’t been bored; if he hadn’t happened to pick up his phone; if he didn’t feel necessarily inclined, we would not have met. And we would not have embarked on this strange and curious relationship.

It’s uncharted territory for me. Once again.

And I’m still not sure how this will turn out. But I’m oddly not really worried. At this point I can take it or leave it. I know it won’t always be like this, but I also know that expecting disaster around every turn hasn’t helped me in the past: that approach has neither averted disaster, nor guaranteed happiness. Nor has the approach of embracing randomness and chance guaranteed or approximated any measure of reliable success, for that matter. But at least the latter approach has allowed for a more intriguing life: one that allows for possibilities and meaningful interactions.

Even if it might all blow up in the end.

 

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.

 

A recurring anxiety March 12, 2009

Filed under: Not about dating — datehazard @ 8:33 am
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Something strange happens when the room is quiet around me and I’m content with my thoughts. It doesn’t happen every time — only occasionally.

I’ll be sitting quietly, thinking about something, or nothing in particular, and I’ll have a vivid memory of a loud explosion, and a sensation of hitting my head, hard, against pavement. It makes my heart race and my mouth have that distinct metallic taste of fear. It’ll take a few moments to return to calmness. Nothing around me has changed, and that sensation of ringing in my ears and a violent jarring slowly fades away.

I know it’s my body remembering a concussion I sustained last summer, while riding my bike. I’d taken my new bike out for a test ride: nothing substantial, it was to be a ride just in front of the house. It was one of those few times I’d decided not to wear a helmet, since I was simply going to ride my bike once up and once down my street. It was late, I’d just returned from a long trip, and I was planning to ride the bike the next day on a circuit. So I thought I might as well try it out before riding it in the morning. Well, as accidents are wont to do, I ended up being thrown off rather violently from my bike, and landed on the road, knocking my head as I fell down. I was out for a few seconds, and awoke to the blurry image of my (then) boyfriend and a neighbour kneeling over me, asking me something. I couldn’t hear them for the loud ringing in my ears.

All I remembered of that moment leading up to the concussion was of an “oh, shit” silence, just when I knew I no longer had control of my bike and was going to fall (an almost peaceful emptiness, really). Then there was a LOUD explosion, a blinding flash of light, so bright I couldn’t see, followed by a deafening ringing. Then blackness. And then a gradual emergence from blackness, to a hazy, blurry state, but with the ringing intact. It took a few minutes for the noise to quieten so I could actually hear that my ex-boyfriend and my neighbour were asking me if I knew where I was, who I was, and was I ok?

I know there’s something about body memory, but I’d prefer mine to be chosen from a catalogue of incredibly lovely sensations, thank you very much, rather than this moment.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The Goodbye February 19, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Dating,Desire,Drama — datehazard @ 2:09 pm
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How do you say goodbye to someone who seemed like they were going to be much, much more than a fling?

You don’t.

You wish them well.

And that’s just what I had to do with The Charmer. He hadn’t returned my phone call or my text message, and so I finally sent him an e-mail. I explained that I didn’t know why he was having this response, but that I’d hoped it wasn’t because I’d annoyed him in some way. And that I hoped he would have a good trip and managed to have some downtime.

I also wrote that I didn’t want to date him when he returned; that I thought it would be better if he wanted to get to know me, and to know me on my own terms, because I have a lot more information on him than he does on me. He really doesn’t know me at all. Which explained his hesitation and surprise at my behaviour on a few occasions, including in bed. I think my availability surprised him. His anxious questions about whether I was dating anyone else seemed from a place of formless fear: the kind of fear that isn’t based on anything except itself.

So I left the door open.

But I don’t think he’ll be coming back.

This one’s in the “fling” category, folks. Much to my disappointment.

[Edit: He texted me back after I’d e-mailed saying that he’d been crazy busy, but that everything was ok and he’d call me after he arrived at his holiday destination tomorrow. It doesn’t really change anything, though. I didn’t text back and I’m happy to move on with my life. We’ll see what happens when he gets back.]