Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

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…

 

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
Tags: , , , , ,

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.

 

Nasty news February 21, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Drama,Exes — datehazard @ 2:15 pm
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Well, I just had a rather unexpected update from my friend The Artist about what exactly happened on the night she got really drunk and ended up at The Grad Student’s house.

Apparently it wasn’t just that she’d gotten drunk, but that she and the Grad Student had kissed. He’d been putting the moves on her, and he’d also said to my friend, “What shall we tell DH? Don’t tell her something happened. Maybe we can just tell her that you stayed over because you were really drunk?”

And just yesterday, The Grad Student was telling me how he thought I was beautiful and incredibly desirable. Which I’d laughed off and dismissed as so much loneliness. We’d spent the entire day talking about his problems, and I’d been sympathetic about his breakup, trying to encourage him to keep moving on.

And now, once again, I feel used. Once upon a time The Grad Student and I had a thing — a long time ago when I was on the rebound from my ex and had just moved to NYC. We’d managed to work through it, but there had always been that tension, which I generally ignored or pushed aside. After our attempt to date, I realised that he wasn’t the right person for me, and I told him that. And kept dating other people.

And now I am stuck in this awkward situation where I had to promise The Artist that I wouldn’t reveal the fact that they’d kissed. And I can’t act on my anger and ask The Grad Student to explain his actions, and why it was at all important to hide this information from me. And I can’t warn The Artist about this guy, who is clearly playing the both of us, because she would think it’s so much jealousy on my part. And I feel personally responsible for making sure she doesn’t get hurt. Especially when she’s in this particular state. And I’m the one who introduced them to each other.

Men are pigs. Seriously. And clearly I am ridiculously naive.

 

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.

 

Rough Morning February 19, 2009

Filed under: breakups,Dating,Drama,Loneliness — datehazard @ 7:28 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I feel used.

I had a dream in which I was saying, matter-of-factly,
“That’s right. You have to put the facts together as they are. You can’t read them any other way.”

And then I woke up in a panic, thinking, “What if this was all some kind of a game with this guy? What if The Charmer’s one of those pick-up/seduction artists and he had some kind of a sick bet or something?”

I don’t think The Charmer had ever seriously intended to include me in his vacation plans. And so I initially panicked, thinking of the absolute worst-case scenario.

Then I realised that the worst-case actually didn’t make sense. If it really were a game, he would have told me so at the end, or indicated in some way how he won. I didn’t get that from him at all yesterday. He sounded apologetic and a little guilty.

I don’t think any PUA is THAT good of a liar.

Plus I know where he works, where he lives, and all of his contact information. And one of his friends.

But still, that feeling is really unnerving.

It’s confirmation of the need to really know someone before taking risks like these. Otherwise the results may be just too unpalatable.

No matter what, I think I have to refuse to see this from the eyes of a victim. I was an active agent who decided to forego control, and I panic when I do that. Instead of taking that approach, I need to accurately and carefully assess the fact that I have good instincts; I acted, knowing the risks of feeling hurt (my ego being bruised, not so much any kind of physical damage), and that I wanted to do so anyway, because the entertainment value won out.

But if The Charmer had been playing a game and I’d been going along, without seeing his game plan, would I have any right to be self-righteous?

Is this the nature of a hustle? That the wounded party feels too embarrassed to act, because they’ve acted on an impulse they feel to be unaltruistic, like greed or lust? When hustlers swindle people, their victims are often too embarrassed to complain, or file any kind of charges, recognizing that they were victims of their own avarice.

The thought is unnerving and unsettling.