Politics

Never before have I seen so many dating profiles giving space to politics: “no Trump supporters,” “proud Republican,” “pro-choice feminist,” etc.  Screening potential matches this way may seem silly to some.  But with one’s politics comes a set of values.  What you believe speaks to the kind of person you are.  And with everything going on in America these days, I’ve been examining my own preferences and dealbreakers.

When it comes to dating I’ve never been especially picky.  Attractive, child-free, with the right personality and sense of humor… those were the main criteria.  I grew up very conservative and never thought I’d date a liberal, yet my high school girlfriend was just that.  Things were great as long as we avoided that third rail, but I wasn’t averse to dating on the opposite side of the aisle anymore.

My politics underwent a sea change over the next decade and I emerged on the left, eventually settling slightly left-of-center.  I think of myself as an independent though.  I chalk my evolution up to disillusionment as well as my open-mindedness.  I try to avoid confrontation and be a good listener.  I ask questions more than I argue, and probe others’ opinions rather than push my own.  However… when it comes to certain things, I simply can’t agree to disagree anymore.

Trump immediately comes to mind.  Never mind his policies – it’s the blatant hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness of his supporters that I find the most galling.  People on the right are making excuses for Trump that they would never make for a Democrat. Furthermore, facts don’t matter to a lot of them either. Why would I want to be with anyone like that?  Indeed I’ve unmatched several women on dating apps after discovering they were ardent Trumpers.

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What’s more, he also gives voice and cover to some of the worst elements of society.  Of course, not all Trump supporters are racist and xenophobic bigots.  But racist and xenophobic bigots are Trump supporters – such as my dad.  He’s always been a strong conservative but he’s embraced Trump with a gusto I’ve rarely seen.  Of course he would – with his remarks about women and minorities, they’re like two peas in a pod.

Then there are feminists. Now, there are feminists like JBlondie (a blogger friend)  and others that I’m totally down with, who are capable of calm discussion and can actually take a joke.  Then there are feminists who go batshit if you use the wrong word or phrase.  I’m all for equal rights, but conversations shouldn’t feel like navigating a minefield.  Not for nothing, but if it’s a micro-aggression, shouldn’t it just make you micro-angry?

I remember one girl on OkCupid getting on my case for saying “gender-biased” or “gender-specific” things and flipping out when I used the term “friend zone.”  She also groused at me for not answering enough feminist-related match questions.  Then she wanted to do weird things like paint my fingernails.  Um, no thanks.  And before you ask, she was a real person.

Then there was another feminist, who was all into “Womyn’s Rights.”   We got on well enough, but when I was trying to plan our first date she shot down every suggestion I made.  When I asked her for a suggestion, she told me that I was the man so I had to come up with something.  I could have pointed out the irony of that, but chose to bow out instead.

Then I was friends with an uber-feminist.  In between Facebook posts of her hairy legs and armpits and “I hate men” memes, she wrote something to the effect that men should embrace feminism because it equals better sex.  I was privy to a related New York Times article (Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?), so I linked to it thinking it was interesting food for thought and relevant to the discussion.

However I came back to find angry, essay-length comments from her.  Not only was she incredulous and outraged over everything in the article, but she accused me of taking time out to search for this article specifically to contradict her. Never mind the fact that I’d had it bookmarked on my computer for two years.  She also accused me of “furthering the oppression of women.”

Wow.  Nothing like confusing your friends for your enemies.  Needless to say we don’t talk much anymore.  Meanwhile I shared that article with JBlondie, and not only did she not get angry but said she could even relate to it.  That just drives home the point that when people are too far right or left they become rigid, unreasonable, and insufferable.

That’s really what I’m trying to avoid, and I’m certainly making more of an effort to do so nowadays.  But those are two groups of people I’m wary of. I’d rather not engage with Trump supporters, and I approach self-proclaimed feminists with trepidation.  Oh, and then there are vegans.  I don’t mind the passive ones – rather it’s the ones who won’t shut up about it.  Not to mention our lifestyles would clash horribly.

What are your dealbreakers and preferences when it comes to dating and politics?

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Downtown

So, my next post was supposed to be about politics and dating, and indeed I have several pages of rambling notes I’ve been agonizing over. I’ll get to that post eventually, but I have to write about something else first.

I met someone new.  Here’s how it happened:

It all begins with Winery Girl.  We still talk on occasion even though she’s had a boyfriend for the past two years.  Funnily enough, she actually took his virginity.  He had to wait six months to have sex with her though because – as she put it – she’s not a whore.  Uh… okay.  I wasn’t sure what to say to that.

She’s not too crazy about her boyfriend.  He’s basically a seat-filler because she can’t stand the thought of being single again.  She’s also been using the BFF function on Bumble to find new female friends.  She’s having a hard time of it, since all she sees are girls with nose rings and that’s a huge turn-off. I know that because she’s been griping to me and sending screenshots.

Winery Girl dared me to go back on Bumble to see how many nose ring girls I could find.  Ok, why the hell not?  I thought it might be funny.  And since I was treating the whole thing as a joke, I put in next to no effort.  I only posted one (albeit unique) picture and put one sentence in my profile.  Within a couple of hours I had nearly 40 matches from my careless swiping.  I hid my profile before things got crazier.

I spent the new few days culling the herd.   I decided that if I was going to entertain anyone on the app, then they’d better stand out.  A good portion expired without a message.  Many messaged with nothing more than “hi” or “hey” or “what’s up” so I deleted those.  Several messaged me and I responded, only to hear nothing further.  I deleted them as well.  The remainder matched me in goofiness and witty banter, and Jane was the finalist (no nose ring, btw).

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We got on so well that I asked her out, despite my original intention not to ask anyone out.  (Yeah yeah, I know…. so much for swearing off online dating.)  Our first date was a few days later at a wine and cheese place, and we were as fun and flirty in person as in text.  However she had a few more extra pounds than were evident in her photos.  Hmm… well, okay.  Not enough to be a deal breaker.

It was light and easy and comfortable with her.  I could relax and be myself.  Still missing that spark from meeting the old-fashioned way, but still better than most other online dates.  We spent a good chunk of our first date planning future dates, and we were at the place until closing.  I walked her back to her car, which happened to be a few spaces from mine.  We stood there talking until the well ran dry and then there was a slightly awkward silence.  “I don’t know what happens now,” Jane giggled nervously.

I did.  I wrapped her in my arms and kissed her. I didn’t hesitate or wonder if I could or should, I just went for it.  I wasn’t even nervous.  Big change from when I was going on dates three years ago.  She really got into it, too.  Almost immediately she was frenching me and running her fingers through my hair, and almost immediately I was super hard.

Our second date was that Saturday.  Jane needed help stringing Christmas lights on her tree so I gallantly offered my services.  She proclaimed that there would be no sex until at least Date 5 or 6.  No problem, I assured her.  However, I remembered Rebecca wanting to wait, yet we fucked on Date 2 when we couldn’t control ourselves any longer.  So with that in mind I came packing a box of condoms.  Just in case.

When I got to Jane’s place I couldn’t help notice the lavish furnishings.  She seemed a bit materialistic, which she confirmed by telling me how much she liked to shop.  She also told me she liked being spoiled.  Fortunately I’d brought a bottle of wine along, but I frowned to myself.   I wasn’t going to overthink things, but I couldn’t help imagine our lifestyles clashing down the road.  No matter.  I decided to not worry about the future and just enjoy the present.

I also couldn’t help but wonder whether Jane wanted kids…?  It never came up in conversation, and she was already 38.  In fact she was a year younger than Rebecca was.  Hmm.  39, 38… for some reason older women seem to be the only ones I’ve been having any real success with.  Interesting.  I do seem to connect better with those a few years older.  And I do find them appealing in a way.  That is, as long as they’re child-free.

We ate take-out and then I helped her put the lights on the tree.  Unfortunately, while the boxes were labeled the same, the two strings of lights didn’t match.  Dammit.  We sat on the couch gazing upon her half-and-half tree.  Then we snuggled together to watch the rest of The Santa Clause on TV.  That didn’t last long.  I’d been there for over an hour, and I was running out of self-control.

I reached over, cupped her chin in my hand, and tilted her face up to meet mine.  A heavy make-out session ensued.  God, it felt so good to do that again.  First time in a year and a half.  Before long I was sprawled on top of her.  After a while of grabbing at the hem she finally pulled my shirt over my head.  Yes!  This was happening!  Once it was off I asked whether she wanted to move things to the bedroom.  At the very least it would be more comfortable than the couch.

“We’re not having sex, but we can do other stuff,” she said.  I assumed “other stuff” meant oral.  Who’s the lucky boy? I thought to myself.  I’d never gotten a BJ to completion before, so it sounded like it might be a good night!  We resumed making out with some ferocity, and eventually my hands made their way to her chest.  I hesitated a bit, wondering whether she’d let me cup her breasts through her shirt.  She did.  Yes!  Her shirt came off shortly afterwards, followed by her bra.

I’ve fantasized about it many times, but actually removing a girl’s shirt and bra is truly a magical experience.  I don’t think it’ll ever lose its luster.  I relished the skin-to-skin contact, spending eons with my mouth on her neck and tits.  I started inching my way down, sucking and kissing and licking and nibbling as I went.  As I approached her belly button, I wondered how much further I could go.  No girl had ever let me go down on her before.

One time with Rebecca, I’d barely started on her when she pulled the blankets around her and proclaimed she was cold.  I guess that meant we were done?  After that, anytime my face ventured too far south she’d stop me and tell me she wanted me inside her.  Wasn’t going to argue with that.  Plus, I figured that like a lot of women she was self-conscious about how she looked or smelled or tasted down there, although she looked tantalizingly perfect.

After a period of time Rebecca told me she wanted me to go down on her, and I said I’d be happy to oblige.  I sent her descriptive texts about how I wanted to put my head between her legs.  Unfortunately that was also around the time she started getting weird and told me she was feeling overwhelmed and needed space.  Whether my texts contributed to that, I don’t know, but in any case I approached Jane’s nether regions with caution.

I hooked my fingers in the hem of her pants and pulled them down. Her panties came with them, and she assisted me in pushing them off.  Then I started to tease her.  I worked my mouth along her inner thighs, first one leg and then the other as her breathing intensified.  I kept teasing her until finally I was face-to-vagina.  My mouth hovered over her lips as I waited for the red light, but she didn’t seem like she was going to stop me.  She was naked and waiting.

So I took the plunge.  I went all-out, working my tongue in and out and all around.  I kept that up for a while, occasionally coming up for air and another mini-makeout session before going downtown again.  This time I stuck my tongue in even deeper, sucking on her clit while working my fingers inside her, trying to remember everything I’d ever seen or read.  Her moans and cries grew louder and louder and I smiled at her reactions.

Suddenly I felt a wave of heat as her body shuddered, and she wrapped her legs around my head and nearly yanked my hair out as she came.  Wow.  That was intense.  I made her cum two more times like that before I stopped.  I’d been at it for at least a half-hour and I needed a break.  My mouth was parched.  She held me tight to her chest and I enjoyed being suffocated by her 36Ds (I’d peeked at the label when I took her bra off).

“You’re bad,” she said.  “You’re not as innocent as you look.”

I gave her an evil grin.  “Definitely not,” I said.

“I didn’t think we were going to do all that…”

“I didn’t so either,” I said, laughing a little.

“What’s so funny?”

“Can I tell you a secret?” I asked, then immediately debated whether I should.  Ah, why the fuck not.  I wanted to see her reaction.

“Sure!”

“You’re actually the first person I’ve gone down on…”

There was a pause.  “What do you mean??”

I told her I meant just that.  She actually sat up and made me look her in the face as I said it again, because she wanted to make sure I wasn’t lying.  Then she goggled at me.

“But… like… how did you know how to do all that?” she sputtered, astonished.  “YouTube?”

“Google,” I grinned.  “Was it really that good?”

“Yeah,” she said, sinking back into the couch again.  “I’m still trying to catch my breath.”

“Well, I’m sure there’s room for improvement.”

“Well, you can practice as much as you want on me,” she said with a kiss.  And then I revealed a little more of my history to her, which further shocked her.  She couldn’t believe that not only was she the first I’d given head to, but only the second I’d been intimate with.  “So I’m your first vagina…” she said dreamily.

However, I was getting the sense that she wasn’t going to reciprocate, and I was right.  Dammit.  While disappointed, I didn’t whine or complain or make her do anything she didn’t want to.  Instead I was just glad I’d had my first opportunity to give oral and I did my best to make it count.  And I quite liked it.  I wanted to do it again.  And I would have gone down on her again had my tongue not felt like sandpaper at that point.

By then we were halfway through The Santa Clause 2 (a sequel which did NOT need to be made).  We cuddled on the couch for a while before moving to the bedroom, but only to sleep.  I’d already figured on staying the night, especially since it was snowing and the roads were treacherous.  She put on her PJs and I stripped to my boxers.  It didn’t take long before we were fooling around again.  We were spooning when she told me I could hold onto her breasts.  No problem!

Her shirt came off once more and I went to town, especially after she told me she likes her nipples pinched and sucked, which I was more than happy to do.  Then I sat against the headboard and told her to lean back against me.  That way I had a great view and easy access to her tits, and I fondled them to my heart’s content. Finally I ended up lying on top, grinding myself against her.  She bucked her hips against me in return, and went harder and faster until she came one last time.

Jane assumed I came too after I rolled off her, and was astonished to hear I hadn’t. Yeah… dry humping doesn’t do it for me.  And her hands never ventured past my waist, true to her word that she wasn’t going to touch me.  Which was a shame, because I had the biggest erection ever and would have loved to have shown it off.  But getting so worked up for so long was a mistake.  I went into the bathroom to whack off, but it was too late.  Wham.  Blue balls.  Jesus that shit is painful.

But I had to relieve myself or else I was going to be wired all night. After that I was able to sleep, and as I drifted off I mused how surreal it was.  If somebody had told me two weeks earlier that I’d be in a new girl’s bed, I’d have said that was crazy.  Yet there I was, and her bed was comfortable as shit.  I didn’t stay for breakfast as I had to get going, but we made plans to meet again during the week.

The following Tuesday we had a bonafide movie night.  And I take movie nights very seriously.  I actually watch the movie, and I even have my own popcorn machine.  She was surprised, but even more so at my choice of movie: Bad Santa.  Not only is that one of my annual holiday flicks, but I chose it specifically to test her sense of humor.  That is critical to me, and I was having doubts.

Well, she did not find it funny.  While I was roaring with laughter, she was going “awww!” every time the kid was onscreen.  When it was over I wiped tears from my eyes and relayed the tale of when I saw it in the theater with my mom and brother, and how people kept turning to stare at us wondering why we were laughing.  “Yeah, I was wondering the same thing,” she said.  Um, because it’s a comedy?  Yup, as I’d suspected we were definitely a mismatch.

After that we had a quiet time snuggling and chatting.  No fooling around, no groping, no making out… I wasn’t getting all worked up again for nothing.  If she wanted to wait to get physical, then we were going to wait.  Until then I was content with running my fingers through her hair, massaging her head and neck and shoulders… all the while marveling at how amazing it was simply to touch another human being.

Eventually we called it a night and I took her home.

We had a fourth date lined up – a Paint Nite – but there was more goddamn snow and it wrecked our plans.  She said she was feeling sick anyway, so that put the kibosh on the next few days too.  During that period I noticed our communication dropping off.  I was holding up my end but she was getting quieter.  Sigh.  My gut told me what was coming.  I’ve been down this road a million times.  So I waited.  Finally the word came down the pike:

“I’m sorry for the late response I have been running non-stop and can’t seem to catch up! I am an idiot for taking up a second job- I have to be at work at 6 am. This is just such a busy time of year etc.. plus holiday, plus my trip, I’m not sure if this is really a great time for me to start a relationship. It’s not fair to you. You are a really nice, sweet, kind of guy and you deserve a girl that has time to give you. And unfortunately I can’t be that girl. I realized all of this today as I finally have a chance to catch my breath and think…”

My suspicions were correct.  And it sounded like a polite way of saying, “I’m just not that into you after all.”  Which would have been fine, because I was starting to feel that way about her.  But I gave her a chance and it was fun while it lasted.  So I told her “no worries” and that I understood.  Thus concludes my latest dating experience.   So while 2017 won’t go out with a bang, at least I got to eat pussy for half an hour and play with tits for another hour.  It was a good thing I went down on her when I had the chance, because who knows when I’ll get another one.

I’m still convinced that Bad Santa was the beginning of the end for her. 

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Unexpected

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I lied.  Apparently I’d only disabled my Bumble profile, not deleted it.  I should have known that, given that the icon was still on the screen.  Derp.  But imagine my surprise when I was notified recently of a new match and message.  I must have swiped for her before I disabled things.  I liked what I saw, and I liked our conversation even better.  When an opportunity arose, I asked her out.  We met tonight.

I went into this date feeling good and without expectations.  I was neither pessimistic nor optimistic, and I didn’t breathe a word to anyone lest I jinx it.  I’ve been especially happy and confident lately, in the best shape of my life, and killing it at work.  There were the usual flutters of nervousness as I approached her, but they dissipated quickly.  We had the same nerdy and geeky interests, and conversation flowed easily and with plenty of laughter.  Unfortunately the place I’d chosen was hosting a “Wine Down Wednesday Karaoke Night” and it was noisy as fuck.

As we neared the end of our meal I suggested going somewhere quieter.  Most girls I’ve dated would take that opportunity to call it a night, but she didn’t.  She was game.  Another good sign.  We walked down the road to an ice cream place for dessert, and she treated me since I’d paid for dinner.  Bonus points.  Meanwhile I was admiring her from head to toe.  She looked good in her pictures, but even better in person.  Damn.  We strolled around town with our treats, eventually grabbing a bench to people watch and continue our conversation.  We swapped adventure stories, compared travel plans and talked about family.  It was relaxed and comfortable and felt right.

After two hours she called it a night.  She lived at home with the parents and grandmother, and since the parents were out she was worried about her grandmother being home alone late at night.  Hmm.  Okay.  I couldn’t stay out much longer myself – tomorrow is hell day at work and I need all the sleep I can get.  We bade each other goodbye and I gave her a hug, just as I’d greeted her.  We each expressed what a good time we had and a desire to go out again.  I promised to get in touch soon.

I’d wanted to go for the kiss, but the moment didn’t feel quite right and I didn’t see how I could do it without it being awkward.  That should have been a sign right there, and I had a funny feeling all the way home.  And I was nearly back home when the texts starting coming in.  Ping.  Ping Ping Ping.  I sighed and wondered what the story was going to be this time.  Finally I got a chance to read what she’d sent me, and I was right:

“Hey. Thanks again for a really nice evening. I want to be honest with you, because I think you’re a great guy… I don’t think seeing you again would be the best thing for me. See, my boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago, and I thought I was ready to start dating again. But as I walked back to my car I kind of just broke down and started crying. I miss him, even though I don’t want to, and I’m realizing now I’m not emotionally ready to see other people. I feel so bad, because I genuinely had a nice time with you – and I don’t want you to think I’m making this up, because I’m not. I’m more of a mess than I thought I’d be. My feelings for him haven’t gone, and I’m just really sad. I’ve deleted my Bumble account because until I get my shit together, I can’t be dating anyone. I’m so so sorry. You are really sweet, please stay positive about this dating crap we have to go through. Thank you again for dinner. It was fun talking with you.”

Christ.  Another long-winded way of saying “you’re a nice guy but you just don’t do it for me?”  Then again, maybe that really is the truth.  She did mention that I was her first Bumble date.  So who knows.  All I know is that I didn’t even bother responding.  I’m deleting her texts and number and moving onto the next girl… whenever and whoever that may be.  Disappointing, but that’s the way it goes.

Independence

While my neighbors were busy blowing shit up and lighting things on fire, I thought it would be a good opportunity to sit and reflect on things.  It’s been a year since my breakup and I’m single and loving it (for the most part).   My current status doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon, and prospects are nil since I jettisoned online dating.  (Good riddance).

A fellow blogger is preparing an anthology on handling breakups and recently asked for my thoughts on the subject.  I’ve been rejected countless times, but I’m 4-0 when it comes to dumping vs. being dumped…although it was a close call with Rebecca.  I ended up blocking her on Facebook.  I’ve tried being friends with exes in the past, but it never seems to work.  I don’t think I’ll bother trying in the future.  Cutting off all contact seems to be way forward, otherwise it’s hard to move on.

I was supposed to go on my first Meetup in months this past weekend, now that work has calmed down and I have free time again.  I’ve been absolutely killing it at work this year.  The past two months were my biggest months ever, financially.  I’m on track to make 10-15K more than I did last year, and my goal is to earn a similar increase next year as well.  I’ve certainly worked long and hard enough for this and my efforts are finally paying off.

However, the Meetup – a group hike on the beach – was canceled due to questionable weather and nesting piping plovers.  Better luck next time.  There are plenty of other upcoming Meetups and I’ve already signed up for goat yoga (which is the latest craze).  I’m not really into yoga, but who doesn’t love baby goats?  Besides, it looks like a lot of fun.

In the meantime I continue to work on myself and do my own thing.  I’ve made progress on some of the items listed in my last post.  I booked my trip to California in September.  I bought a new car.  I donated four bags of clothes and picked up some new ones.  My new bed is on the way.  Half my living room is full of stuff for a garage sale.  I completed a couple more landscaping projects around the house. I’m even looking ahead to October and planning a Halloween party.

And while I’ve been slacking on the blog front (namely Descent Into Dadness), my journal is still going strong.  There are some sizable gaps here and there, but I try to write in it every day and it’s been going strong for 25 years.  That’s right, it goes all the way back to 1992.  I’m still in the process of transcribing all my handwritten entries into one big Microsoft Word file.  At last count I have over 1.5 million words – the equivalent of two Bibles.

It’s a real trip going back and reading old entries.  One of my favorite things to do is read entries from the same day last year, then five and even ten years ago.  It’s interesting to see what’s changed.  One thing I have noticed is a greater maturity of expression than I had two or three years ago.  I give more thought to what I say now and how others may perceive it.  And while I’m still a raging horndog, I don’t converse about sex and dating as much as I used to.  I cringe reading some of my old online conversations.

Anyway, that’s about it for now.  I’m busy doing my own thing these days (as if I know anything else).  I’m excited for the summer and all the possibilities it holds.

Stay tuned.

Feelings

I’ve kept a positive, upbeat outlook over the course of this blog, but I was in the doldrums a while ago.  Just a little bit.  It’s passed now.  Part of it was standard winter blues, but another part was my perpetual singleness.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy with myself and my life.  I don’t need “my other half” or someone to complete me. But I want more.  I want someone to share the good things in life with.  Food.  Drink.  Laughter.  Music.  Travel.  Sex.  Just to name a few.

For a short while – nearly two glorious months – I got a taste of what that was like.  I had sex (some of it).  I lost my virginity.  I finally felt like I was in the know, part of the club, part of the world, “normal.”  I stopped feeling those pangs when I saw couples.  I did things that come so easily to most people:  hugging, kissing, cuddling, massaging, holding hands, or just sitting on beach watching the sunset – things other people take for granted.  Until I slept with Rebecca a few times, I had no idea just how warm another human body could be.

Now it’s been ten months.  I couldn’t help but peek at her Facebook and I saw she’s been with the same guy for the past eight months.  Oh really.  So what happened to all that jazz about not wanting to date or be exclusive?  How come she didn’t push him away and sabotage things like she did with me?

Well, let that be a lesson to me.  And I’m leaving her in the past where she belongs.  I’m doing my best to not to dwell on negative thoughts and remain forward-looking.  Therefore I’ve been filling up my time with hobbies and activities to keep my mind on other things.

I’ve been hitting the gym hardcore for the past three months.  It’s a great outlet for my pent up sexual energy and frustrations.  I continue to set personal records in deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.  I’ve stacked three, four, or even five 45lb plates on the weight sled and pushed it back and forth across the floor until my legs gave out and my arms shook.  My buddy and I tried a class last weekend that nearly wiped us out.  But my body is responding and I’m tipping the scales at 187 pounds – a number I dreamed about for years.

The gym is not my only arena of success these days.  I’ve been out there marketing myself and I gained ten new clients, so this should be my best year financially.  I had a great parade season and a triumphant return to solo performing.  I’m practicing several instruments a week and I sound better than ever. (I find playing music as cathartic as going to the gym.) My passport arrived and I’m planning some more travel.  And I’m giving my life a complete overhaul – new car, clothes, furniture, appliances – everything.

#41
Throughout all of this I’ve had Bumble running in the background.  The last app standing.  There was that one awkward date a couple months ago, and since then I canceled on two more because I’d decided I’d rather go to the gym instead.  I just used the always popular, vague line of “something came up.”  I felt a bit shitty doing it, but deep down I felt those dates would have ended up like all the others, so why bother?

But there was one final Bumble date.  I tried to keep the online chatter light and flirty and save all the getting-to-know-you questions for in-person.  As Matthew Hussey says, “if you’re using texting to ask, ‘How many brothers and sisters do you have?’… you’re doing it wrong.”  So I gave that a shot, but it didn’t matter.  Once again I met a girl who checked out of the conversation after five minutes and I was the only one left making an effort.

I’d talk, I’d ask questions, she’d respond… and I’d wait.  Nothing.  Nothing asked about myself in return.  Scratch that – she asked literally two questions, almost as afterthoughts:  what was my job, and did I live alone?  When I realized she kept glancing at her phone on top of her purse on the chair next to her, I bade her farewell.  I know a lost cause when I see one.  And thus concludes my online dating efforts.  Permanently.

After so many years, I’ve come to conclusion that it’s a supreme waste of time.  There’s always the anecdotal success story, but I could never get it to work for me.  It never felt right – always forced and awkward and unnatural.  Personal experience and informal polling of friends and fellow bloggers tells me that meeting people in real life is the way to go.  Not to mention that I had more success with Rebecca than all the girls I met online put together.

Now that spring is finally here I’m compiling a bucket list, which includes several upcoming Meetups.  I’m trying to get to that same sweet spot I was in last year, where I found the perfect balance of doing my own thing and not worrying about finding someone.  Then BAM, it literally happened when I least expected it.  In the meantime I feel I’ve grown content with the status quo again.

I also continue to work on myself.  It’s almost comical… I’ve had thirty years to work on myself – how much more time do I need?  There’s always room for improvement, I guess, like with my conversation skills.  That’s partly why I’ve been filling up my calendar with things to do – gives me shit to talk about.  I’m doing my best to be more social and to fight reverting back to my natural introverted state.

So I guess that’s all I have to say for the time being.  I’ve had this blog post drafted for weeks and weeks and I kept revisiting and revising as my thoughts and feelings ebbed and flowed.  Now I’m finally ready to publish, and we’ll see what happens next in life.

Stay tuned.

Ghost

I was stood up again tonight.  I’d have to go back and look at my date counter to make sure, but this is the fourth or fifth time it’s happened.  Those were all OKC girls; this one was from Tinder.  We’d been trying to set up a date for a couple of weeks, but things kept getting in the way.  Once Thanksgiving was over we were finally able to schedule something.

I confirmed with her the day of to make sure that we were still on.  She said yes, definitely, and that she was excitedly looking forward to it.  Cool beans.  However, we were supposed to meet at 5:30 and I was alone.  Fifteen minutes later and there was still no sign or sound from her.  She didn’t respond to my texted inquiries, and after 20 minutes I shrugged and made myself comfortable inside.

The best part was that I had zero fucks to give.  In the past I pulled my hair out in frustration whenever girls pulled this nonsense.  Now I couldn’t care less.  It just rolls right off my back.  Better yet, I got to cross another item off my to-do list tonight.  Our first date was to be at a burger joint.  We had a mutual love of burgers (not a vegan chick – yes!) and I selected a place I’d always wanted to go to.  That ensured I’d have a good time either way.

And I had a good time indeed chowing down on a double burger.  Between that and the soda and fries it ran me 16 bucks, but it was pretty filling.  The only downside was that it was greasy as hell, soaking right through the bun.  That explained why they had not napkins but paper towel dispensers at the tables.  Don’t know if I’ll be going back there.

I crossed another item off my list over the weekend.  My family and I went into the city to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  I’d never seen it before, and it was spectacular indeed.  Wow.  I kinda want to go see it again now.  And I definitely want to go back into the city.  There’s a lot of cool stuff there I want to check out.  You know you’re from Long Island when you live in the shadow of the greatest city in the world and hardly ever visit.

So now I’m making another list of shit to do, just in NYC.  Skating in Central Park (or Bryant Park, since I saw they have a rink there too), Carnegie Deli before they close for good, see the tree in Rockefeller Center, see Grand Central Station, maybe even see the Tonight Show…and a few others I can’t think of at the moment.  But let’s see how many I can accomplish before the year’s end.  And there’s something else I may be going into the city for in a couple of weeks, which involves another blogger.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

Icebreaker

So… I went on my first date in five months.

In my last post I was indiscriminately swiping right on Bumble (and then Tinder) just to see who I matched with.  Then I starting swiping just for girls I was actually interested in.  This time I engaged them in conversation – or tried to.  Talking to most of them was like talking to the wall.  One word/one sentence answers, and nothing asked about myself in return.  I deleted each one and moved onto the next.

I finally managed to get something of a rapport going with this one girl, and we set up a game of chess for a first date.  All right, something different.  However, I had a funny feeling so I started the countdown.  Right on cue, she canceled the day before saying she forgot she was supposed to help her sister move.  I just said “no problem, let me know when is good for you.”  I didn’t expect to hear back (since I never do) and I was right.  And I don’t even care anymore when they flake out.  Losing my virginity has enhanced my IDGAF abilities.

#38
Then I chatted up another girl.  We went on yet another goddamn coffee date.  I’d sworn those off, but this time I thought it was a good idea to start small before investing in something more involved.    Good call.  Things got off to a slow start and ended up feeling forced and awkward.  It seemed like we were both just prodding the conversation along, and after an hour she called it a night.  She was actually yawning prior to that.  Either she was really tired or I was really boring, or both.

Outside I gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek and said it was nice to meet her.  Then we said good night and parted ways. I said nothing about getting together again, nor did I follow up with her afterwards.  I already knew what I would hear – the usual “oh I had a nice time and you’re a funny/interesting guy but I just don’t feel any sort of connection etc etc.”  So that was that.  But it was nice to get back in the game, even if I’m feeling a bit rusty.  I’m not really putting effort into online dating anymore, nor am I taking it very seriously.

Some of you have asked me “what are you looking for?” and I’d always struggled to answer that question.  How was I supposed to know when I had so little experience to draw upon?  And I’d always thought it unfair for some girls to reject me when they’d barely gotten to know me.  But now I get it.  The way things felt and flowed with Rebecca is my new benchmark going forward.  So if I do go on another online date, it won’t be unless I’m really feeling things.

Otherwise I’m busy doing my own thing and getting out in the real world.  I recently spent an hour on Meetup joining a slew of new groups and I went on my second outing last weekend.  It was another hike and we had over 20 people, but the vast majority were in their 40s and 50s. There were a couple of girls around my age in attendance, but one of them showed up with her boyfriend and another guy had already swooped in on the other by the time I arrived.

I watched with the tiniest tinge of jealousy as they exchanged phone numbers afterwards.  Not because I was attracted to her, but it was just the very idea.  I’ve always marveled at how dating and relating comes so easy to some people.  Some can date a different person every week, or every night of the week if they wanted, and they have no shortage of options.  They go from one to relationship to the next as easy as breathing.  How do they do it?  And how can I get there?   Not that I want to go through a revolving door of girls, but how do I achieve that same ease of attraction?  It’s something I’m still figuring out as I go along.

Some of you are frustrated virgins as I once was, trying to figure out your own way forward.  The best thing for you to do right now is to just work on yourself.  That can be as simple as picking up a new hobby or cultivating an existing one.  Good skills give you social currency.  Girls like confidence… except maybe you don’t feel confident.  But if you can find confidence simply in doing something well – whatever it may be – then that’s just as beneficial.  It’s why I devote so much time to my music and dancing and other pursuits.  At the very least, your hobbies will give you shit to talk about, especially if you find someone who shares your passions.  So if you don’t know where to start, that’s a good place.

A good analogy for me is this: say you want to develop your abs…  Now, you can spend an inordinate amount of time concentrating on your midsection, doing hundreds of crunches trying to spot reduce your belly fat.  Or you can work your whole body, targeting the major muscle groups with compound exercises.  If you do that and concentrate on your diet, then your abs will almost take care of themselves.  So if you’re struggling on dates or to even get dates, take a step back and date yourself for a while.  It’s an indirect way of achieving the same end.

Apart from my renewed Meetup activities I’ve also started volunteering at the animal sanctuary, the one my old friend is at.  We started super early at 7:30 AM.  On Sunday.  Ugh.  Kill me.  But we were the first two there and I was glad for the chance to talk to her alone as we fed and watered the alpacas and turkeys.  Then our conversation was interrupted by a father/daughter duo who showed up to volunteer as well, and will be joining us every weekend.  Of course.  Not that it really matters, because I’m pretty sure she’s still with the boyfriend.  And even if she’s not, she’s militantly vegan and our lifestyles would clash horribly.  But I’m there to spend time with the animals more than anything else.

Later that same day Vegan Girl posted some animal pics to my Facebook, and as always my friend Don was right there commenting on her post and asking her questions.  Every time a girl leaves me a comment, or vice versa, he sees it in his news feed and he jumps right in with his two cents, stepping all over my dick in the process.  It’s annoying as shit.  I’m afraid the time has come to block him, especially now that he’s mining my friend list for more girls to add. He already has a thousand as it is.

In a way, I almost have to give him credit – even if he did hit on my sister Mary (who’s ten years older and looked at him as if he were a bug).  He leaves absolutely no stone unturned, but I guess he has to when he’s the weirdest and most socially awkward person ever.  I stopped dining out with him because last time he was staring creepily at random girls and blowing straw wrappers at them.  He actually thought he was being flirty.  *facepalm*  (Another bit of advice for you virgins: don’t be like Don.)  Yet somehow he finally managed to lose his virginity too.  And get this – he did it a full two years before I did.  How in the fuck.  I’m still trying to process that.

So that’s the round up.  I’ve also made up a list of things to do and places to see, which has now grown to two pages.  So far I’ve crossed off a good number of items.  Most of it is just fun silly shit, but I consider them accomplishments nonetheless.  I’ll detail them all when I do my end of year post.