Hinge

Well that didn’t last long.  I was feeling certain urges, and since I’d heard talk of it I figured I’d try Hinge.  I’m only a few days in and so far I’m not a fan.  As the tagline says, there’s no swiping here.   You fill in your stats, post a half-dozen pictures, and choose three questions to answer.  The questions are things like: “Worst fad I ever participated in,” “A fact people are surprised to learn about me,” “My ideal first date is” or “I’ll fall for you if” etc.  When someone likes your picture or answer, you can then message with them.

Unfortunately there’s no About Me and most people’s answers are generic and uninspiring.  So while I  come across many I find attractive, ultimately I have nothing to say to them.  I need more to work with than basic pictures and “I like to have fun and laugh.”  I’m also seeing many of the same faces from Bumble.  Some of them I’ve even seen since I started online dating, which was several years ago.  At least I’m not the only unlucky one out there.

But if you dig long enough you find a couple of prospects.  I ended up with six, and I met one tonight.

#61

She lived only a few miles away so I picked out a wine bar at a nice halfway point.  I had a seat at the corner of the bar and thumbed through the drink menu while I waited.  She walked in a few minutes after I arrived and she looked just like her pictures.  Nice.  After we got our drinks I led her to a table in the back where it was a little quieter and more private.

We talked for an hour and a half, but despite asking about her family, her job, her life goals, her gym routine, and whatever else I could think of… I can count on one hand the number of times she asked me anything at all about myself.  I even left a number of gaps in the conversation to give her an opportunity to do so.  Instead I had to keep volunteering information.  I realized this about halfway through, after which it started to annoy me.

Finally at 10 I announced that we should get going because they were closing (which they were).  We walked outside and she lingered there.  I wondered for a wild second whether she wanted me to kiss her, but I doubted that.  I hadn’t gotten any sense at all that she was interested in me.  So I just gave her a hug, said nice to meet you, and trotted off.  I said nothing about meeting again.  And that was that.

So.  Online dating.  Same shit, different day.  I still have five other prospects, but there’s only one other serious contender and that conversation is rather one-sided too.  No reason to expect things to be any different in person.  It’s just really hard to find someone I click with and where the banter is fire.  Like I said in a previous post, it’s 1 out of 100 matches. I’ll give Hinge another week, by which point I’ll likely delete that too.

In other news, if you haven’t seen my previous post I’m doing an Ask Me Anything.  If there’s anything you ever wondered about me, head over there and drop me line.  I may collect all the questions and answers into a future post.  And if you want to participate, please comment on that post instead of this one.  That way it’s easier for me to keep track of all the Q&As.

 

 

 

 

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Too good to be true

Womp womp.  My three month vacation is over and I’m finally back to work.  No complaints, though.  As much as I enjoy my time off, I also miss stacking that paper.  I’ve got my eye on some more big-ticket items this year, and funds were getting light after a kitchen makeover, a new car and other purchases at the end of last year.

In other news, I’ve deleted Bumble yet again.  Let’s see how long this lasts.

There was one last girl in the queue and after a couple of failed attempts we finally set up a date a few weeks ago.  However, she developed cold feet the day of.  Sigh.  What is it this time?  Well, she felt bad I was traveling all the way to meet her.  Okay, why?  Well, she felt more pressure if I was traveling all that way just to meet her, and maybe we should meet when I was already in the area.  I still didn’t understand why she felt pressure, but I agreed to wait and talk on the phone in the meantime.

A few days of phone tag commenced, and when I finally caught her we chatted for a minute and a half before she said she had to go and could she call me back in a little bit?  Sure, I said.  And I never heard from her again.  Either it was something I said, she didn’t like the sound of my voice, or by that point she was as over things as I was. It’s hard enough trying to date someone who’s busy busy busy all the time, but to add travel time on top of that?  Not gonna work.

I feel so much better having jettisoned online dating apps again.  It’s such a roller coaster and I needed the break for my mental health.  And then something happened to perk me up and pique my interest.  Long story short, I’d made up a joke Instagram, and a girl with a similarly-themed Instagram found my account.  She lived locally.  What’s more, we were both in marching bands AND played the same instrument.  No way.

Then I found her regular IG.  Similar tastes in geekdom, music, and wacky sense of humor?  I couldn’t believe my luck.  Was this really happening?  A couple weekends ago our bands were in the same parade and lined up on the same street as well.   She came running over to me.  “Are you Tommy?” she asked excitedly.  Indeed I was.  We chatted for a couple of minutes before we had to rejoin our respective groups.  She was cute – even better looking than her pictures.

A few days later I saw a music performance at the local theater.  A lot of people from my and other marching bands were there, and I wondered if she was there too.  Turns out she was!  Afterwards I was in the lobby with a group of friends, and suddenly she popped up in front of us.  She said hello to everyone.  And then… she introduced us to her boyfriend Chuck.  Seriously??  Ugh.  I knew it was too good to be true.  I was surprised because she posted a lot on social media, yet there wasn’t a single picture or mention of this dude.

So that takes care of that.  Single with no prospects for the foreseeable future.  I’ll be ringing in the big 3-5 this year.   Recently I overheard someone say, “if you’re 35 and still single, you’re probably a loser.”  Well I don’t agree with that. I don’t think I’m a loser – even if I did have better luck in high school.  Somehow I had more girlfriends when I was thin, bespectacled, pimpled, socially hapless and poorly-dressed, as opposed to today when I have so much going for me.  A bit funny, isn’t it?

Deep down I still would really like to find someone.  But it’s a want, not a need.  And as I’ve said before – my life is amazing in every other aspect, so if being alone is the trade-off I’ll happily take it.

We’ll see what happens, though.

The Last Girlfriend (Part 2)

Continuing from my last post, this is the story of my (so far) one and only long-term relationship.  This happened when I was 17-18.  

***

When I got to Patti’s house I stopped on the sidewalk outside. The light was on in the living room and I knew she was on the computer as always. Her mother’s car was gone from the driveway; she was working late again. I paced outside for a bit, screwing up my courage and rehearsing what I would say. When I was ready, I ran up to the front door and knocked. As soon as I did I forgot all my lines. She opened the door, surprised to see me there at such a late hour and with a trace of concern on her face.

“Hey – what’s up?”

“Uh…can we talk?” As soon as I said that a flicker passed over her face. She must have known what was coming.

She came out and we sat on the front steps, since I wasn’t allowed inside when her mother wasn’t home. In a few minutes it won’t be an issue anymore, I thought.  The night air was crisp and cold since it was only the middle of March. After a few awkwardly silent moments, I cleared my throat.

“I don’t think this is going to work out,” I said.  She looked down at the ground and nodded. I knew she was thinking along the same lines, and mostly for the same reasons, even though she didn’t say anything.  I was going to miss that – the fact that our minds were so much on the same plane that we usually knew what the other was thinking.

But while we were so alike, we were also very different. And we were on different paths in life. We were going away to school in different states. And even if I had a strong enough desire to continue the relationship, I couldn’t have. Some people can have long-distance relationships. I can’t. I need that person here in my life, not hundreds of miles away, only to be seen for a few weeks during the year, without physical contact for long periods of time in between.

Not that there was much physical contact to begin with.  We were both virgins and progress was frustratingly incremental.  It was two months before she stopped freaking if I put my hand on her neck while we made out.  The first time I did that she pulled away and curled into a ball and started shaking.  Um, what?  I poked her and asked what was wrong.  “Usually when a guy does that, it means he wants something more.”

She finally confessed that she was making out with her ex boyfriend once and he touched her breast.  I waited, but apparently that was the whole story.  It took her a while to recover.

Three months in she was okay with ass grabbing.  Four months in – and this was a big day for me – she finally allowed me to touch her breasts.  Through her shirt.  It was a few weeks after I’d turned 18.

After eight months of dating she graduated to groping me in return – but only through my pants.  She dabbled with slipping her fingertips under the waistband of my jeans but wouldn’t go further than that.  Her reason?  “Well, if you came while I was touching you and it got on my hands, and then I touched myself down there and there was liquid seeping out of me, there’s a very small chance I could get pregnant.”

After a whole year of dating she felt comfortable enough to put her hand all the way down inside my pants – sometimes even pulling my penis out to squeeze it or run her fingers along it.  Only for brief moments, though.  Every time we fooled around she’d get me all hot and bothered, and then she’d pull away and we’d have to stop because she was afraid of going too far.

Whenever Patti was at my house I’d have to coax her over the threshold like a nervous stray cat.  She was scared that my neighbors would see her going inside and tell my dad who would in turn tell her mom.  *eye roll*  This wasn’t 1955.  This was 2002.  Not only did we not talk to our neighbors, we avoided eye contact if we went to the mailbox at the same time.  They didn’t give a fuck if I had a girl over.

Her fears weren’t without merit, though.  One day Dad came home early and nearly caught us fooling around.  We took shelter in a closet until the coast was clear. Dad had ladled out enough Catholic guilt over the years and I didn’t need any more helpings.  And Patti was a nervous wreck when we were at her house.  Every 30-60 seconds she’d race to the window in a panic thinking her mother’s car was pulling into the driveway.

However, one day we started getting really hot and heavy.  Shirts came off.  Her bra came off.  Then she took me by the hand and led me downstairs to the bed in the basement.  Holy shit, after a year and a half this was finally it!  We lay down on the bed and continued making out, but after a minute I saw the familiar look in her eyes.  She was getting spooked again.  Sigh.  So I suggested she gave me a hand job.  Or a blow job.

Soon I began wishing I hadn’t.  She didn’t seem to have any clue what she was doing. She moved my dick around like it was a joystick (I know… it is).  She rubbed it between her hands like a Boy Scout trying to start a fire with a stick.  She blew on it.  No, she didn’t blow me.  I mean she literally blew air at it.  Then she squeezed it so tightly that the head turned purple and I was waiting for it to explode and confetti fly everywhere.

This went on for about ten or fifteen minutes. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore.

“All right, stop.”

She let go of me.  Phew.  “What’s wrong?”

“That’s not how you jerk a guy off,” I said, trying to hide my exasperation.

“Show me, then,” she said, sitting back on her heels and folding her hands in her lap.

So I did. I sat up on the bed, jerking off in front of her with my tighty-whiteys around my knees.  And she just sat there looking at me.  The whole time I just kept thinking to myself:  this sucks… this really sucks… I could be doing this at home…

“Okay,” she interrupted. “Let me do it now.”  And she took my dick in her hands and started over.

Five minutes later she was still at it. “Nothing’s happening,” I said pointedly.

“Well, it’s getting really hot…” she observed. Yeah, because it’s getting really pissed off, I thought.  I wrapped her hands around my dick with my hands and moved them up and down to give her the idea.  She still wasn’t quite getting it, and it definitely wasn’t doing anything for me.  Finally I’d had enough.  I pulled my clothes back on and said I had to go.  Then I went home and finished myself off.

I thought about what to do next.  Over time the spark had faded between us and it felt like we were just going through the motions.  Our late night chats were rare and conversation was dwindling.  All we had left was fooling around, but it was proving to be frustrating and unsatisfying.  So three days after President Bush started dropping bombs on Iraq, I walked back over to Patti’s house and dropped a bomb on her too.

She took it well at first, and then broke down in tears.  And that was that.  She moved on to date (and have sex with) other guys. Then she later dropped a bomb of her own:

She was gay.

Except… she still liked guys.

So she was a gay man trapped in a girl’s body.  She eventually moved to Canada, had all her equipment changed over, and began her new life as Paddy, aka The Boy Formerly Known as Patti.  And that’s the last I ever saw or heard of her.

After I dumped her, I started feeling ashamed of myself.  Did I really break up with her because I couldn’t get sex from her?  What a horrible thing to do.  I remembered how I always had to initiate fooling around or making out.  Nearly every single time.  While she would reciprocate and get into it, she almost never made the first move.  I started feeling like a monster as I reflected upon that fact.

For a couple of years I felt like I didn’t deserve to be with another girl, lest I treat her like a piece of meat too.  I spent half of my 20s looking for someone, and the other half not looking and not caring if I ever did.  But I didn’t go on another date for at least ten years.  I was year into this blog when I finally dated again.  30 was looming uncomfortably large on the horizon.  I didn’t want to be a 30-year-old virgin, but 31 proved to be the magic number.  Perhaps blogging is what helped me succeed.

Anyway, now you have the whole story.

 

 

 

 

The Last Girlfriend (Part 1)

I thought I’d take a break from regular programming to give you a blast from the past. I don’t think I ever really delved into the story of my one and only long-term relationship (so far).  It was in high school and lasted nearly a year and a half.

Patti was my first real girlfriend.  I’d dated a girl before her, but she turned out to be a nutcase so that enterprise only lasted seven weeks (click here to read that story).  That experience nearly put me off girls altogether – so much so that Patti spent months trying and failing to get my attention.  I was hopelessly oblivious, and it didn’t help that I was very conservative at the time and turned off by her liberal views.

Eventually we had occasion to talk about other things and found that we were very much alike.  We even kept a notebook that we passed back and forth to document all the ways in which we were frighteningly similar.  After a couple months of friendship, I took the plunge and asked her to the homecoming dance.  She said yes and we were a pair of grinning idiots from that point on.   Everything went perfectly.  We danced.  We slow danced.  I walked her home.  She took my hand in hers.  I wanted to kiss her under the streetlight in front of her house, but chickened out.

We went to our school’s pancake breakfast the next morning, followed by the big game after that.  We had such a good time.  This time I took her hand on the way home, but I was still too scared to go in for the kiss.  Finally she got tired of waiting for me to make a move and went for it herself.  I was so shocked I forgot to close my eyes.  It was awkward but all kinds of wonderful, and just enough to break the ice.  It gave me the courage to go for the second kiss a half-hour later.

I floated home after that. Things went swimmingly over the next few weeks.  I walked her home each day after school, sat and talked for a bit, and kissed before parting ways.  With Mom’s help, I took her out for dinner and a movie.  Then I cooked up the greatest date yet.  And there we were on a cold November night, hand in hand on a blanket next to the old war memorial.  We gazed upon the heavens and the best meteor shower we’d ever seen in our lives.  Fireball after fireball erupted into sight as we oohed and ahhed.  We were at the  highest point of the island and had a fantastic view for miles around.

This time I got Dad to chaperone.  He was a couple hundred feet away, sitting in his car with the engine running.   He spent the next two hours listening to the radio to stave off boredom while Patti and I had the time of our lives.  I would have preferred being alone with her, but we were teenagers and had to deal with hovering parents.  Dad was parked facing us to make sure there was no hanky-panky.  I was too self-conscious to put my arms around her with him watching.

We finally called it a night (morning) as the shooting stars faded into the approaching sunrise.  Dad had dozed off by that point so we knocked on the window to wake him up.  The three of us went to the diner for breakfast.  Then he drove us back to her house.  He was gracious enough to head down the block a little ways to turn the car around, giving me a little time and a modicum of privacy to kiss her goodbye.  I wrapped my arms around her waist as she smiled at me.

“You know, I’m going to marry you someday,” she stood on her tiptoes and whispered into my ear.  I grinned in reply and gave her another kiss before Dad reappeared at the curb.

We drove in silence for a couple of minutes before he started the inquisition:  “So, uh, what religion is Patti?  Is she Catholic?”

“No,” I said.

“Well, what is she then?”

“She isn’t anything.  She doesn’t have religion,” I answered.  We drove in silence for another minute while Dad chewed his cud.

“You know, if you two ever get married then you have to raise the kids as Catholic,” he said.  I gaped at him.  It was almost as if he knew what she had said to me.

“Yeah, I know,” I replied.  Dad brightened up.

“Good!  I’m glad to see you’re thinking about these things.”

No, I’m NOT thinking about these things.  I’m fucking seventeen, Dad.  I only said “I know” simply to show that I knew what the Church taught.  I didn’t mean to infer that that’s what I intended to do.  And why the hell was he even bringing it up?

“Because when your sister got married, I had a talk with her and her husband,” Dad continued, pronouncing the last word with venom.  “And they agreed to raise their daughter as Catholic.  And now your sister is divorced, so I guess being Catholic and obeying the commandments doesn’t matter to some people,” he ranted.  Oh boy.  I had to listen to a treatise on the faith during the rest of the ride home.  Not only did his marriage fail and his family walk out, but now his daughter’s marriage failed as well.  Dad took that as yet another personal failing and a further step down the road to his eternal damnation.

Unfortunately for Dad, there was another commandment I was interested in violating.  It happened whenever I looked at Patti.  I was incredibly lucky to have her.  There were a lot of guys trying to get with her, but for some reason she wanted me and she didn’t give up until she got me.  We were the talk of the school when we started going out.  Guys and girls alike came up to me asking, “Is it true?  Are you and Patti really going out?”  They were agog when I answered in the affirmative.  Patti proudly wore my jacket around school, silencing any remaining doubters.

A few weeks after the meteor shower she invited me to the Christmas party at her karate school.  There was good music, good food, and of course good company.  Shortly after we arrived they turned the studio lights off and the black lights on.  Patti and I settled into a darkened corner.  I sat behind her and wrapped my arms around her and pulled her into me.  I brushed her hair aside and gently breathed on her neck while I ran my fingers along her stomach.  The effect was immediate.  She tilted back to give me greater access and I gave her a neck a few experimental nibbles.  Her breathing grew heavier and I could feel her pulse pounding in her wrist as she placed one of her hands over mine.

After the party we took advantage of the backseat of her mom’s car to continue our foreplay.  We sat side by side and I grabbed her hand and pulled it towards me so I could lightly trace my fingertips up and down her forearm.  She did the same to me and by the time we arrived at her house we were all breathless and flustered.  Her mom parked in the driveway and went into the house first, leaving the two of us outside to say good night.  Privacy – thank you!

“You have no idea how much I want to jump you right now,” she grinned up at me.

“That’s good,” I said.  Then I pushed her up against the garage door – out of view of the front windows of her house – and French kissed her.  She eagerly returned the favor and we made out for several minutes.  I ran my hand down her back and grabbed a handful of her nice round ass before we broke apart.  She gave me a mischievous smile before she reached behind me and squeezed my ass in return.  After two months that was the most physical we’d been yet.  Then she gave me one last peck before turning around and darting up the walkway and into the house, nearly tripping over her own feet as she did so.

I walked home.  No Dad around to spoil the mood this time.

I wanted her.  And I was going to get her.

 

(to be continued)

Girl #60

My latest go-round with Bumble is winding down, but I met another match over the weekend.  I ignored the rules and red flags with this one.  Not to mention her pictures were all from the head/shoulders up, which is almost always a warning sign.  We added each other on Instagram and her pictures on there were the same.  In fact there are quite a few girls from Bumble that I’ve stopped talking to but are still lurking on my Instagram.  I’m paying them no mind because I’m also a whore for followers.

#60
Anyway, I met this one at a bar not too far from where she lived.  As soon she walked in she confirmed my suspicions.  I looked at her and was like… no.  Just no physical attraction.  She was nice enough, but nice is not enough.  And while our online chats were fire, in person our conversational styles and personalities clashed.  Not to mention it was hard to talk in a noisy bar.  “No bars” is another rule of mine, but it was a handy meeting spot plus I knew the band that was playing there. 

We stuck it out for an hour before parting ways.  Short and painless.  Afterwards I couldn’t help but wonder if I had gotten a glimpse at how dates view me when I walk through the door.  Some of them have certainly looked disappointed from the get-go.  In any event I’m trying my best to make myself fuckable.  I’ve been hitting the gym and the kitchen big time during my vacation and am very pleased with my progress.  Still have a ways to go yet…

In the meantime I’m thinking it’s time for another break from Bumble.  I also just realized that Valentine’s Day is upon us.  I don’t remember whether this is a good or bad time to be online dating.  All I do remember is that I haven’t had a Valentine since 2003.  Wow, has it really been that long?  Damn.  But we’ll see what happens.  I also have some stories to share that predate this blog, so look for those soon.

Six years of blogging

Happy six year anniversary to my blog!  I can’t believe it’s been that long, and I’ve certainly come a long way.  I seemed to have caught the tail end of the craze though, because it’s a lot harder to find dating blogs on here nowadays.  It’s a shame that many of the ones I started with are no longer around.  One by one my favorite bloggers fell by the wayside as they found significant others, or at least better things to do with their time.

I’ve considered shuttering this blog too.   The month after I lost my virginity, my views went down by half and have continued their decline.  At my peak I received 3,000 to 4,000 views a month and an inquiry from a Washington Post reporter.  A slow day would garner 100 views, a new post would bring 200+.  Now a new post won’t even crack 100, even though I have more followers than ever.  I guess my journey is not as interesting ever since the climax.  However, I do enjoy writing and interacting with my fellow WordPressers, so I’m sticking around.

Bumble is sticking around too.  I’m on the verge of deleting it for the 20th time, though.  I don’t know why I keep trying, but until I have more luck meeting people the old-fashioned way it’s better than nothing.  I received a shit ton of matches from my recent trips into the city, but I’ve been eliminating them left and right:  Minimal and mediocre conversation?  Shitty availability?  Using the app to promote their Instagram or music and bartending gigs?  Undercover single mothers?  Goodbye.

Then I had another one of those 1 in 100 conversations.  Finally someone else that matched me in goofiness and witty banter, whom I really seemed to click with.  And then it all went to shit.  Everything was fine until she added me on Instagram and I scrolled through her old posts.   All I did was swipe with my finger for a minute or two to get to the end and remarked, “I see you were into fitness coaching back in the day?”

“Whoa, you went through my old posts??” she said.  Uh, yeah.  So what?  Who doesn’t do that when they add someone?  It really weirded her out though.  I didn’t even like or comment on any posts, I simply asked a question.  What’s more, she had sent me a pic of her messy kitchen (due to party prep), and I had zoomed in on the background and pointed out that we had the same bottle of dish liquid with the duck on it.  That didn’t sit right with her either – that I was looking in the background of her photos.

Add to that me playing the piano and not eating seafood, and it was too many red flags for her.  And just like that I was back to square one.  Just as well – if that’s her bar for weirdness then we were in for a rough ride.  But it amazes me sometimes – I hear so many women airing laundry lists of serious grievances about their men, yet for some reason they hang in there.  Meanwhile, I’m put through the meat grinder for the silliest, nitpickiest little shit.  I’d list more examples but there are too many.

In some ways I feel like I’m still in the same spot as when I started this blog.  Yes, I’ve finally swiped the V-card.  However I’m still yearning to put at least one long-term adult relationship under my belt.   And I’m going be 35 this year.  Once again I wonder why it hasn’t happened yet and why it’s so frustratingly hard for me.  And I feel like I have a lot to offer the right person.

I have a job, a car, my own place.  I can cook and would love to do so for someone.  I’m cultivating hobbies and a social life.  I communicate and respond in a timely fashion.  I’m honest and open about my feelings.  I do my best to get to know the other person.  I’d be a supportive partner.  I’m not argumentative but I’m no pushover either.  When it comes to the bedroom not only do I have good stamina but I’m eager to please, ready to learn, and open to trying new things.  I know how to have a good time and plan fun activities.  I like to think I’m funny.  I even think I’m fairly good looking.

Of course there’s always room for self-improvement and I’m always looking for ways to do so.  But I feel like there’s more working in my favor than against.  I just don’t seem to have that elusive “it” factor yet.  I don’t know.  In the meantime I’m going to do my best to meet people and keep putting my best foot forward.  We’ll see what happens.