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
Tags: , , ,

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.


Some amusement about The Charmer February 28, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 2:41 pm
Tags: , , , ,

No, there hasn’t been anything new to report. He never did get in touch with me, either to acknowledge that we are looking for different things; to try to win me back; or to shout at me in anger and accuse me of whatever first entered his mind.

It’s been almost a week since I’d sent that e-mail. He’s not going to call.

I’d like to say it’s not a big deal, but it is. Getting over what happened is much harder when the object of your affection disappears.

But today, while at lunch, I had an insight into his type’s possible way of thinking, and the way we were so obviously poorly matched from the get-go.

I decided to treat myself and went to lunch at a Dominican restaurant. While I was enjoying my delicious stewed pork with eggplant, a couple came in.

The man had salt-and-pepper hair, a trimmed short goatee, and was talking unceasingly on his cell phone. His wife/date had straight black hair that reached down to her perky round butt. She immediately chatted with the waitress, arranging for a table, getting them seated, asking for menus, making small talk and smiling, her head tilted to one side in a classic “I’m interested in you” gesture. All the while, she darted glances at her man, checking periodically to see where he was in his conversation, and taking pains to avoid interrupting or disturbing him in any way.

They sat down, her man wrapping up his conversation. She looked at her menu, occasionally glancing up to smile in encouragement at her partner.

I was at the next table, the proverbial fly on the wall. I pretended to be engrossed in my dulce de leche and cafe con leche, while I surreptitiously watched them both out of the corner of my eye.

He says goodbye, hangs up; she juts her chin out at him, her hair flowing forward to form thin cascading sheets in front of her shoulders. She raises her eyebrows in inquiry.

“Oh that was Ted. He wants me to get him some tires,” he says.

“Some tires!” She laughs.

“Yeah, I guess he thinks I can get them for him from my friend Nick.”

(Small tinkling laughs). “That’s funny! We should introduce him to Julia. Wouldn’t that be funny?”

He smiles at her, appreciating her joke, her laugh, her relaxed demeanour, good naturedness. She’s so adoring and so amenable. So understanding.

They order their dishes, she making light conversation while he juggles multiple thoughts in his head. She asks questions about whether he’s eaten some of the more unusual choices on the menu, in her broad Queens accent. She shares light-hearted tidbits with him, entertaining him with nothing too tiring, nothing too engaging.

Their food arrives, and she flips her hair around to one shoulder, tilting her head now to the right. Black strands slide and tumble in succession; one wave after another of silken hair fall, pointing like so many luxurious arrows into her lap.

She holds the fork in her right hand. Her wrist is bent at a right angle; index, thumb and forefinger form a bird-like shape around the shaft of the fork. She pierces her lettuce with her fork held absolutely perpendicular to her plate. It meets its target at 90 degrees each time.

She leans forward each time to eat; her mobile jaw is apparent when she opens wide to place another forkful in her open mouth. As she leans forward, her elbow rests on the table, so she is forced to crane her neck forward, flip her hair back yet again, and to lift her chin. She peers down at her food through hooded eyes.

And when her partner speaks to her, she looks at him too down the bridge of her nose, assuming an air of haughty arrogance. Her fork is poised to stab, dangled once again in a bird-like gesture while she stops chewing so she can hear her man talk.

The juxtaposition of her cold, arrogant stare, with her ever present quick smile and light-heartedness makes her all the more endearing, and seemingly strong.

Both know this is an act, but both are comfortable in their respective gender roles. I would not imagine a situation occurring where this woman would choose to pay for her partner’s meal; nor would he ever allow for her to insist on it. Both would be equally mortified and insulted by the possibility. This is just not done between a man and a woman who are intimate.

Somewhere along the way while I was watching the two of them, I became aware of how strange me and The Charmer would have been as a couple. Here is this curly-haired, sleep-deprived, intelligent, unyielding woman who has often been accused of being intense, driven and inflexible, and here is the same kind of man: always on his cell phone, always hustling, making deals, who just wants something intelligible and not particularly difficult.

Amazing that we were even attracted to each other enough to think something might work in the first place. And this is why people are best suited in complementary pairs, not in a bond where both parties are just as competitive and ambitious as the other.


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.


Hilarious February 21, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Comedy,Exes — datehazard @ 1:10 pm
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How to break up with your girlfriend in 64 easy steps.

Could apply to both sides of the equation!



The Dating Tutor

Sometimes, when you don’t know what you’re doing, you need to talk to someone who’s been there, done that.

Like one of these fictional ladies.

Been There, Done That

And that’s exactly what I did last night. I ended up having a 3.5 hour conversation with my friend The Toronto Journalist. We haven’t spoken in months, and I figured it was time to give him a call. Especially since he’s from New York and lived here for most of his life.

The hours flew by and I dished to him about my most recent adventures, and my current fixation with The Charmer. He, in turn, told me about his current dating woes and the problems he’s having with his long-term girlfriend, The Box. The Box works in the medical field, and she Does Not Like Many Things. She’s also apparently super-private.

When The Toronto Journalist told me he’d never even met The Box’s friends, in the 1.5 years that they’ve been together, I was shocked. The Box liked to tell my friend, by way of explanation, “I’m sorry, but I’m just a private person.” Uh… Ok?

She also does not like taking photographs, and until The Journalist maneuvered her into a compromising situation (friendly to normal photography), with her brother and her family members’ help, he did not have a single photo of her. When he’d try to explain to her that it was important to him to be able to see her face while at work, or just to have a memento of her while she wasn’t around, she would reply, “Well, you can always just see me in person.”

Trouble in paradise. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, he gave me the same advice I’d been giving myself: when it comes to The Charmer, the only way for me to be in this situation is to step back and see what he does next. If he’s really interested, he’ll let me know.

And he gave me an earful of information about men in New York City — the way most of them do indeed play the Seduction Game and string women along, and that most New York women understand this and also have their own game of manipulation. He did say, though, that when these men recognize or realise that they’re dealing with women who aren’t from the city, they usually drop their game and try to be real.

I wonder if it’s really that easy. I mean, if you always play a game, it becomes second nature. You don’t even know you’re still doing it.

Meanwhile I really do have to tell Corporate Lawyer that I am no longer dating just him. I know he’s dating around, and assumes I am too, but that doesn’t mean I have no responsibility to him.

And Non-Profit Guy and I are going to a play today. Purely as friends. In that “WTF??” way. I will keep you posted.


The Stand-by February 20, 2009

Filed under: Dating,Desire — datehazard @ 12:16 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Corporate Lawyer and I had dinner this evening, much to my surprise. It was a last-minute thing.

I’d had to go to a networking event after work, and met him after the event. During dinner, we’re having a good time, and I realised how much I’d missed talking to a sane person, after the last week spent obsessing over The Charmer. We talked about the Oscars, and he let slip that he has an old friend staying with him right now, a fellow lawyer. He’s dropped her name a few times and mentioned her casually in conversation enough for me to ask for clarification on their relationship.

I immediately felt guilty that I’d asked. I mean, it’s not like I have been completely truthful with him.

But it’s so weird. I get the feeling that he likes the freedom he has to date other people, but we both don’t really like the feeling that both of us are dating other people, and would prefer to make it exclusive. But neither of us is really prepared to be in that space right now.

He has a lot on his plate. Corporate Lawyer is applying for work and constantly sending out his resume. He’s worried about the downturn in the economy and, as a junior lawyer, expects to have the axe drop on his neck at any time. I can see the worry and concern in his face, and I like knowing that hanging out with me, even if we’re just casual partners, makes him feel good. I also like hanging around with him because we come from very similar places, even if our politics don’t agree. His spending habits are not exorbitant, there’s nothing flashy about him, and he’s a genuinely decent guy.

Basically, he’s the opposite of The Charmer.

And that’s why I find him so uninteresting. The Charmer expresses concern, by habit: asking me to text the minute I get home, so he knows I’m safe and sound. Texting me first thing in the morning, at 6:30 a.m., and doing this consistently each day until it’s a habit; then abruptly stopping the practice. It’s a classic behavioural psychology move: he makes a gambler out of the other person. No wonder he leaves me breathless with anticipation: a critical intellectual is transformed into a cell phone text-watching junkie.

I respect the Corporate Lawyer quite a lot. I think he has integrity and is able to make a good partner. But I also see that he doesn’t feel as though he’s in the right space to have any kind of serious relationship at the moment. And so I don’t press the issue, and I keep dating.

And really, it’s not so bad. For now.


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.