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.

Advertisements

Beginnings

True to my word, I’ve been taking a break and focusing on other things for the time being.  First up was the local traditional music orchestra.  They meet once a month to rehearse.  I didn’t get in touch with the contact person until after the February practice.   I couldn’t make March because it conflicted with my St. Patrick’s Day commitments.  Then April was canceled.  And then I couldn’t make May because it was the same day as my nephew’s First Communion.  Now I can’t make June because I’ll be out of town visiting my brother that weekend.  Always something.  But I’ll make it there eventually.  In the meantime I’ve obtained the book of music and I’ve been familiarizing mysef with the tunes.  I’m also planning on hitting the open mic circuit again over the summer.

Next up was the gym.  I’d been considering joining one for some time.  While my job and my dancing keep me in relatively good shape and I’ve been doing some workouts at home, I wanted to get serious with it and one of my friends volunteered to be my gym buddy.  It took us a couple of weeks before we finally got started, but we’re now going three times a week and both of us already feel a huge difference in our lives.  He says it’s even helped him drastically cut down on his smoking and drinking.  I’ve also noticed a nice change in my body.  Turns out I respond well to serious weightlifting.

Work is in full swing now and I’m busy prospecting to expand my customer base.  I dumped my far-flung (and most annoying) customers this year, and not only am I working to replace them but to add more on top of that.  So far I’ve picked up two new ones.  Good stuff.  I still have more leisure time than I had planned on so I’ve been using it to go on hikes and explore parks and preserves that have been on my to-do list for a long time.

In the middle of all of this I actually landed another first date.  I had left my OKC profile up just in case, and sure enough some girl came across it and sent me a message.  She found me interesting and I was intrigued by her as well.  If she wanted to meet me then I wasn’t going to turn her down.  However I met her for brunch and found I just wasn’t that into her.  I didn’t feel we had much in common after all.  When she asked me afterwards if I wanted to go somewhere else, I said I had to meet up with a friend who was visiting from out of town (which I did).  We made tentative plans for the next weekend, but I never followed up and neither did she.

And there’s another reason why I didn’t get back to her…

Because without planning on it, without expecting it, without trying to…

I met someone.

First dates:  36
Second dates:  4
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  9
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 3

Resurrection

Spring has arrived and it’s dating season once more.  I’m searching on OKC again and my inexhaustible supply of matches continues to astound me.  I can only imagine how many more I’d have if I lived in the city as opposed to the suburbs.

I felt like hot shit when I triple-booked Tuesday.  That’s right, I had three dates lined up.  Then one by one they all canceled.  This one had to drive her sister someplace, this one was with her mom at the hospital, this one had a quiz to study for… Two of them made noises about rescheduling, but the ball’s in their court.  I told them to let me know when is good for them and I left it at that.  In the meantime I’m moving on with my search.

I did score two dates over the weekend, though:

#31
This one I reeled in via one of my let’s-see-if-this-gets-a-response messages.  She wrote back and before long we exchanged numbers and started texting.  The conversation got better and better until we agreed that we had to meet.  A date was set for Saturday night at a crepe place.  We were just as excited about meeting as we were at the prospect of food.

I was positive that we would hit it off and I had a really good feeling about things, but she telegraphed her disinterest the second she walked into the door.  I hadn’t even stood up or said one word yet.  I gave her a hug which she weakly reciprocated, and we took a seat after ordering our food.

Things were just totally off.  I did my best to engage with her, but despite our shared dance background (we’d even attended the same school) I just couldn’t get a conversation going.  I went from topic to topic.  Nothing.  Of course, it would have helped if she had participated.  She gave me one-sentence answers and then silence, punctuated by glances at her phone or around the shop.  She didn’t ask me a single question about myself, even when I volunteered information. Talking to the wall would have been more productive.

No sooner had I taken my last bite did she start pulling on her coat.  “Well, you’re putting on your jacket so I guess that means you’re ready to leave,” I said dryly.  We’d only been there for 40 minutes.

“Yeah,” she said.  “I’m sorry, I’m just not feeling this.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know,” she grimaced at me.  “There’s just something about you I can’t put my finger on.”  She paused.  “You’re kinda nerdy, I guess.  Too straight-edge for me.  And the way you’re dressed…”  This coming from the girl wearing a basic sweater and jeans and next to no makeup.  Meanwhile I thought I looked pretty good.  I wore the same jeans and flannel I wore when I met Emma, and she said I looked good.

“What’s wrong with the way I’m dressed?” Well, she didn’t like that I was wearing sneakers, going so far as to put her head under the table to look at them.  What the fuck.  This was the problem?  Was I supposed to put on dress shoes to eat crepes?   Now I was getting really annoyed, and I was right on her heels to leave.  When we were outside I just said goodbye and that was it.  So… yeah.  That was pretty disappointing.  And I just couldn’t get over the disconnect between the girl I talked to online and the one I met in person.

#32
This one was actually on Easter.  I’ll call her California Girl.  She’s only in NY for a year for her graduate program and she’s going back to California in August.  She’s more of an outdoorsy type so I suggested a walk through the nature preserve.  When she arrived I took Gratuitous Rex’s advice to dispense with the hugging and just grasp her hand and kiss her on the cheek instead.  However she seemed totally caught off guard and I got her on the ear instead of her cheek.  Woo.  Awkward.

I turned her attention to the ducks clustered nearby, but they weren’t interested in the lettuce I brought.  Damn.  Awkward on two fronts now.  So I gave up on my web-footed friends and led her through the park instead.  Once we got past that rough beginning things went a little more smoothly.  And what a difference from the previous night. CG actually knew how to participate in a conversation.  Quite refreshing.

We toured the preserve, discussing the differences between NY and CA, swapping online dating stories, talking about our jobs, and then we found a giant orb in the middle of a field.  Upon closer inspection we found a slit in the side and an inscription:  “Cartas al Cielo.” Letters to the Sky.  A celestial mailbox for delivering messages to the heavens. We each wrote something and put it inside.  I’d say that was a pretty cool find.

IMG_3867

We were there for almost two hours before calling it a day.  She wants to explore as much of NY as she can while she’s here and she said she was open to another outdoor adventure with me.  However I got the impression that I was completely friend zoned.  She showed zero interest in anything beyond that, so if we do get together again that’s all it’ll be.  It just sucks because I found her really attractive and easy to talk to.  Even though I was nervous and tongue tied some of the time… just can’t seem to get past that no matter how many dates I go on.

 

First dates:  32
Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  10
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 2

Bumble

I just went on my first Tinder date.  She was a 29yo kickboxing instructor and aspiring teacher, and pretty cute.   I’ve been on Tinder for a week and I have 30 matches so far.  Half of them haven’t responded to my messages.  Conversations with the other half didn’t go anywhere but I did make some headway with The Kickboxer.  I even experimented by dropping in a few flirty/suggestive remarks, which seemed to go over well.  Then I saw an opening when she said she moved here from out of town, “but it’s a long story.”

“I’d like to hear it,” I said.  “How about over drinks?”

She accepted.  Game on.  We spent two hours sitting and talking over food and beer.  Eventually I ended up in the usual rut of work/school/family/travel/online dating stories… and then I simply didn’t know what else to talk about.  I didn’t think she was really feeling me either, so I called it a night before things got awkward.  When we parted ways I didn’t say anything about getting together again.  I simply told her I had a good time and enjoyed meeting her, and that was that.

Another girl down.

JBlondie told me that this is a bad time of year to be dating and that summer is the season.  I tend to agree since that’s when I’ve had the most success.  I’ve been experimenting on OkCupid with different pictures and profile tweaks. When the blizzard hit a few weeks ago, I took advantage of everyone being online and sent out a blizzard of messages.  I got a pretty good number of responses.  Most of them fizzled out, although I was casting a wide net so I expected to throw some fish back. Over the past few weeks at least a dozen girls even deleted their profiles in the middle of our conversations, one of whom I was in the middle of setting up a date with.

It’s been frustrating and my OKC profile is languishing.  I decided it was time to try something different, so I’ve gotten with the times and I’m on Tinder now.  I’m also on another app called Bumble (also a good word to describe how my dating attempts feel at times).  Bumble is basically a Sadie Hawkins version of Tinder.  When you match with a girl she has 24 hours to message you, otherwise the match expires and then it’s gone forever.  So far I’ve lost over 20 Bumble matches.

Between that and the non-responses on Tinder, I have to wonder why these girls swiped right for me in the first place.  Sometimes I wonder if being on these apps isn’t just an ego boost for some of them, or a matter of self-promotion since they all use their profiles to advertise their Instagrams.  Who knows.  I’m not really a fan of these apps because I find it much harder to start a conversation when all I have to work with is pictures.  At least on OKC there are profiles to read and match questions to compare.

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of online dating – period.  After 7+ years of on-and-off attempts, I’m starting to think that it just isn’t going to be my path to success.  I’d still rather meet someone the old-fashioned way, but right now I don’t have a better place to meet single girls in these numbers.   However I am making continued efforts to meet people organically.  I’ve been trying new activities and I’ve already made a new friend or two. I should have a better chance of meeting someone by expanding my social circle.

Recently I’ve started confiding in my existing friends about my dating struggles.  I’ve never discussed it with any of them before.  They don’t know I’m a virgin, although I’m sure some of them suspect it.  But I figured it might be a good idea to spread the word that I’m single and looking.  Unfortunately, it appears I waited too long to ask around.  My friends told me that the girls they know are either in a relationship, engaged, married, lesbian, crazy… or I’m simply not their type.   Meanwhile one of my friends jumps around like Daffy Duck, shouts obscenities and nonsense, and sends people defecation videos.  And today I got his “Save the Date” wedding announcement in the mail.

I dunno.  Not sure what I’m doing wrong over here…

First dates:  29
Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  5
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 1
Sexual experiences:  0.6

31

I’m now the 31-year-old virgin and I still haven’t caught a break.  But I’ve finally landed another date.  Only took me a little over two months.  I’m sure the holidays are partly to blame, but it’s been exceptionally difficult to get a date lately.  I’ve been hitting OkCupid hard over the past few weeks, but conversation after conversation flatlines.  That seems to be my main problem.   I don’t seem to be saying the right things to hold anyone’s interest or taking the conversation in the right directions.  Instead I seem to fall into a boring rut of discussing work/school/family and all that bullshit and then things stagnate.

I’ve gotten more responses and first messages and dates than other virgin guys my age could dream of, but I still have nothing to show for it. It frustrates me to think that there are guys literally half my age getting laid.  How are they doing it?  How are they pulling it off?  They’re just dumb fucking teenagers, what kind of game could they possibly have?  Well… more than I have, apparently.

But I managed to work some magic with Art Girl.  She’s 28 and does art therapy with patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries.  We exchanged a few messages, moved to texting, and then we set a date at a crepe place.  I got there a few minutes before she did and mentally patted myself on the back for my choice of venue.  It was very cozy and comfortable.

When she walked in shortly afterwards I stood up to greet her.  I cringed inwardly a bit as I shook her hand, wondering if I should have given her a hug instead.  But I just moved right on and led her to the counter.  It was our first time there so we took a few minutes deciding what to get.  I told her to get whatever she wanted because it was on me.

“Aw, that’s nice of you,” she said.  I wrinkled my nose at that.  Usually when a girl says you’re “nice,” that’s not a good sign.  So I made a joke out of it.

“Yeah, I’m a nice guy… sometimes.”  She laughed.

We finally placed our order and sat down.  I was curious about what her job entailed, but after a couple of minutes it was clear she wasn’t interested in discussing it in detail.  She confessed that after getting 400 messages asking “What’s art therapy?” the topic was beginning to wear on her.  Understandable, but I joked that she’s drawing so much interest because she’s the only one on the site who isn’t a teacher, nurse, or social worker.  From there we started talking about online dating and comparing our experiences – the sites we’ve tried, the messages we’ve received, the dates we’ve been on… I learned that she’s been on the site for two months and I’m only the third guy she’s gone on a date with.

I also learned that she doesn’t like or want kids either, so we were able to bond over that as well.  By that point we were finished with our crepes and smoothies, so I asked her if she was up for a game of Jenga.  There was an array of board games in the shop and that one was simple and fun enough.  She accepted the challenge and we played three games before she called it a night.  Already?  We’d only been there for an hour.

“Yeah, I gotta get home and check on my dog,” she said.

I laughed.  “That’s usually not a good sign…”

She laughed too.  “I’m sorry, I’m just really attached to my dog and I haven’t been home all day.  I was having dinner with my parents earlier.”  We spent a few minutes talking about her dog and then she stood up to leave.  I followed suit, with a sinking feeling that this evening did not go as well as I thought or hoped.

We walked outside.  Out on the sidewalk I said, “So do you still want to check out the museum this weekend?”  She turned to face me.  I had the sense that if I hadn’t said anything she would have continued on towards her car unabated.

“Potentially,” she said.  Potentially.  Yeah, I’ve heard that before.  “I have to check my book and see what I’m doing, I’m so scatterbrained I can’t remember what’s going on that weekend.”

“Okay,” I said.  Meanwhile that had been my original proposal.  Her schedule didn’t work out this past weekend, but she had told me she was definitely free this coming weekend. So I suggested the crepe place in the meantime.  And now she was saying she didn’t know.

“You said you were free either day…?” she asked.  I answered in the affirmative and she said she’d let me know, and I said I’d talk to her soon.  Then we hugged and parted ways.  So maybe there will be a second date, but it doesn’t exactly sound promising.  I left with a depressing feeling that I may have squandered another prime opportunity.  And she was so hot, too.  It’s been less than 24 hours since our date – any advice as to what I should say when I contact her?

***

In other news, I reached out to a girl who “fell ill” at the last minute and wanted to take a rain check. Just as I did with the others who pulled the same stunt, I wished her well and told her to let me know when she was up for our date. Two weeks went by and I dropped her a line to see how she was doing and ask about rescheduling.  No response, just as expected.  At least four other girls deleted their profiles in the middle of our conversations.  I was texting another girl but I couldn’t pin her down on a date despite coming up with a plan and a time, so I just gave up.  And there’s one I’m talking to right now and we’re in the midst of setting up a date for this weekend.  So we’ll see.

***

And finally, be sure to check out my other blog, Descent Into Dadness.  I’m off to a good start and I’m already closing in on my first 1,000 views.  It’s the story of my crazy Dad and his antics.  You can learn about my larger universe and maybe even gain some insight to my struggle against virginity.
https://descentintodadness.wordpress.com/


First dates:  26

Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  5
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 1
Sexual experiences:  0.6

Surveying

As you can see, I’m on a posting spree.  In fact, my output may increase even more.  My dad stories have always been a hit, so I’ve been considering devoting a second blog to that subject.  Then readers can follow my dating travails on this blog and learn about my larger universe on the other.  Would this interest any of you?

***

Things have been quiet on the dating front.  I’ve run out of things to say to Melody, and she never initiates any conversation with me.  So I think I’ve lost interest in her.  Even if I wanted to see her again, she says she doesn’t have any time.  So I guess that’s that.  Meanwhile I haven’t heard from The Babysitter since our walk in the park and she hasn’t responded to my second date proposal.  I guess that’s that too.  There were a couple of others I was trying to set dates with, but got nowhere.

The first one looked like Denise Richards and she gave me her number by the second message.  I didn’t even have to ask for it, so I considered that a good sign.  I texted her immediately and suggested going out Friday night.  I waited.  And waited.  She finally got back to me a few days later:

“Sorry for the late reply!  This weekend I have my best friends wedding, how does next week work for you?  I’m free usually after 6 on weekdays”

Okay, that sounded encouraging.  So I suggested Monday at 7.  And then I waited again. A whole week went by without hearing from her.  Ridiculous.  Finally I texted her:  “Hey!  I got back to you with a date and time and didn’t hear anything…?”

“Hey!  I’m so sorry, I’ve had 2 weddings in 2 weeks and have been struggling with my schedule.”  Right. And you couldn’t have said so?  So I told her to let me know when was good for her, and she said Friday at 6:30.  Then she didn’t respond when I contacted her Friday to confirm.  A couple of days later I texted the following:

“Well I didn’t hear anything from you again.  I take it you’re not interested then…”

“No, I am so sorry. I’ve been MIA, life has been very hectic (and then I got sick).  I have to go to my parents house tonight and help out because of illness in the family too.  I feel like such a flake and it’s not my thing I promise.  Rain check?”

Umm… nope.  I think I’m all rained out over here.

I’ll call the second girl Dog Girl.  She was very attached to her three dogs and referred to them as her kids.  That was a warning right there.  But she actually messaged me first with a “Hi handsome…” so naturally I thought she was worth a look.  I gave her my number after a few days of messages and she texted me, and I asked her out on a date.  That was where we ran into a spot of bother.  She was distressed that I wasn’t going to take her on a fancy date.  So you won’t go on a date unless I spoil you and treat you like a pampered princess?  Fuck off.

I didn’t actually say that, but that’s what went through my head.  Instead I just said that I thought that was too much for a first date.  She relented and agreed to meet for drinks, but I already knew that this wasn’t going to work if that’s her mindset.  Nonetheless I proposed the following night around 9 or 9:30, and she said she would have to check her schedule and let me know.  Yeah, okay.  Unsurprisingly I did not hear back from her.

And that was all she wrote.

With that I was left no choice but to go back on OKC and start prospecting again.  I’m meticulously combing through every single profile in my match results.  If I can’t find anything to start a conversation with, I hide the profile and move onto the next one.  It’s a real bummer, though, that the girls whose profiles really speak to me are precisely the ones that don’t respond to my messages.  Dammit.  So I don’t have anyone else in the pipeline right now. My current profile has yet to achieve the level of “success” as my last profile, but I’m still working out the kinks.

Meanwhile I’ve resumed dancing at long last.  We were left dance-less after Teacher skipped town on us back in the spring, but the other girls found a new place and I finally joined them there last week.  Saw Dancer Chick, Married Girl, and one new face.  New Face seemed rather interested in me, unless I’m imagining things again.  She asked what town I was from, how long I’d been dancing for, and was very excited when I told her about the other dance group I was with (before Director died).  All this before I’d even finished tying my shoes.  She looks super young though.  Although we’re all in the adult class, so she’s fair game.  In any case I certainly can’t wait to talk to her some more this week.  She has my attention.

Babysitting

Fresh off another first date.  We met at one of the local ponds, and the plan was to feed the ducks but I didn’t have time to get any food.  Instead we just walked among the waterfowl at the water’s edge.  It was an unseasonably warm day, but unfortunately the clouds and wind moved in by the time we got together.  The conversation was awkward at first, but after a few minutes we settled into a nice flow.  I wasn’t sure about her when I first saw her, but the more we talked the more attractive I found her.

We were only there for an hour as I had to get to band practice and she had to get back to her babysitting gig.  Her regular job is as a teacher.  Shocker.  A teacher on OKC.  Gee, I’ve never come across one of those before.  Seriously, that’s like the #1 profession of OkCupiders, followed by nurse, social/disabled worker, and vet.  And everybody rides horses.  What’s with all the horseback riders?

Anyway.

I really liked her and told her I wanted to get together again, and she agreed.  I’ve texted her since then with a second date idea, but as of this writing there’s been no response.  Bummer.  But we’ll see.

In the meantime I’m still making chit-chat with Melody.  I’m still not sure what to make of the whole “friends first” thing.  The way I look at it, if there’s mutual attraction/interest, then why can’t we skip the whole “friends” phase?  And friends for how long?  How long am I going to have to hover around until she can decide how she feels about me?  And then how exactly are you supposed to go from being friends to being more than friends?  I don’t know, the whole thing just sounds like a one-way ticket to being friendzoned.  Some of you have already commented about this on my last post, but I’m not sold on the idea.  Further thoughts, anyone?

First dates:  25
Second dates:  3
Third dates:  2
Cancellations:  3
Stood up:  2
First kisses: 1
Sexual experiences:  0.6