Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dates #120 and #121

Date #120: High School Guy. In the bizarro world of Facebook, it seems that anyone who ever crossed my path from the age of 5 through 35 is now a FB "friend". One of these is HS Guy -- we weren't at all close then, but were in overlapping circles.

A bit of convo via FB, and he quickly turns on the flattery: "how can you be single -- you seem like such a smart, amazing woman!". Met for dinner -- I quickly learn that he's a hyper-picky eater. While I'm (generally) a healthy eater, I like to let my hair down every so often when I eat out -- everything in moderation, right? Not HS Guy. No pork, nothing fried, no mushrooms ("because it's a fungus"), no cheese (??!). Yowza. I'm a foodie, and like to date guys with a healthy appreciation for food.

At the same time, this healthy lifestyle seems to have led to one hot bod on HS Guy (as evidenced by a shirtless pic on FB). On that first date, some smooching ensued.

Second date, some healthy sushi. I'm thinking, this isn't so bad...? More of our differences emerge. He voted for McCain (!). He's a fan of Fox News. Alas, I don't think I can even have a fun, casual fling with someone who has such a different outlook than I have. The second date was the last.

Date #121: Mr C -- C for "Coincidence". We met on J-Date, and quickly learned that we had many little things in common: he lives around the corner from me. We both lived in Country A and Country B, at different times. We work in the same field. His sister's best friend worked with my company in the past.

And yet -- all that is fine and good, but if there's no in-person spark? Doesn't mean much. Nice, smart guy, but wasn't exactly exuding positivity -- after the date, I found myself wondering if he even smiled once. I'd consider giving him another shot -- we've e-mailed since the date, but he hasn't responded to my last note, asking if he'd like to catch a movie. No big whoop.

New Guy remains in the picture, but just as a friend. I invited him to a dinner party where he met many of my friends for the first time - they adored him. I must admit, I'm still attracted to him -- but right now, we'll have to remain just friends.

** I need to amend that: chances are, we may NEVER be more than friends, and I have to accept that. As a friend pointed out: if he doesn't think I'm wonderful enough for a relationship now, how would that change, say, six months down the road?

Another friend might argue that it's all about timing, and well, timing changes. When I was immediately out of my last serious relationship a few years ago, the most wonderful guy in the world could have come along, but I wouldn't have been receptive because I just needed to be single at the time.

Anyway -- mentally, it's just easier for me to adopt the mindset that New Guy and I are just better off as friends. Period.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On / off with Camper ... part 3

My confession for Camper: I had kissed another guy shortly before our first breakup talk.

New Guy.

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New Guy and I had stayed in touch (as friends), but hadn't seen each other in some time. As I wrote here, he had wanted to take me out for a belated birthday drink some time ago, and I canceled because I felt like it was too soon for us to be "just friends" -- and I didn't feel that it was fair to Camper for me to have a drink with a recent ex (especially one for whom I still had lingering feelings).

Once I began to feel that things with Camper were truly on the outs, I suggested to New Guy that we reschedule that drink. I didn't (consciously) go into it with the intention of being intimate -- but after a few hours of great conversation and laughter over dinner, we gradually started sitting closer and closer and got a bit flirtier, until we were kissing.

We were in touch the next day: while we'd both had a lovely time, we valued our growing friendship, and didn't want this lapse in judgment to impede upon that. He stressed that he's still not ready for a relationship at this time, but wants our friendship to continue to flourish. There's something about this guy -- he's a truly special person, and having him in my life, even just on a platonic basis, means a lot to me.

I felt terrible about having cheated on Camper, but also realized that was a sign of my growing dissatisfaction in the relationship -- and was probably the catalyst for the first breakup talk later that week. (incidentally, New Guy was not aware that I was in a supposedly exclusive relationship the night we kissed. I confessed to him the next day, and he felt terrible).

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So -- I told Camper that I had kissed someone else (without going into any of the details as outlined above). I simply said it was someone I used to date, but may still have lingering feelings for. I think I was hoping that he'd get mad at me, and he'd want to break up for good -- instead, he thanked me for my honesty, and felt that he finally had an explanation of "so THAT'S when things started to go wrong".

Sigh. Somehow, I still didn't have it in me to rip off the Band-Aid for good. When someone is THAT crazy about you, it's hard to walk away.

Finally, a few days later, I had a very eye-opening session with my shrink. Much like writing it out here, when all the evidence is laid out in front of you, it seems so simple: the bad outweighs the good. You're not happy in this relationship, and it's not going to get any better. It was as simple as my shrink asking, "do you see a future here?". When the answer was no, I felt like the most fair and kind thing I could do was break up with Camper.

We had a long talk that night -- anger at first, then sadness, then tears on both sides. Finally ripped off the Band-Aid. This time, when Camper asked if we could still keep our weekend plans, I had the hindsight to realize that it wasn't a good idea. If we have a chance of being friends down the road, we need some REAL time and distance apart this time.

I'm still a bit sad -- it never feels good to hurt someone. At the same time, I've had this feeling of optimism and lightness and clarity -- it's (still) a New Year, and a new beginning.

Absolutely not in a hurry to find a new boyfriend just yet. Looking forward to some single / casual dating time. On that note... info to follow on High School Guy...

On / off with Camper ... part 2

Just after the drunken dialing incident, I went out of town on business. Before I left, I told Camper that it might be good for us to have a bit of distance -- and asked him to follow my lead regarding communication. I needed to be pretty focused on work on this trip, and wouldn't have much time to dwell on "us".

I was pleasantly surprised that he actually followed my lead -- the whole week, we didn't talk on the phone once, and only had a few innocuous e-mails; talk about the weather, that sort of thing. I know -- not exactly a good sign, when you're happy to NOT be talking to your boyfriend!

We got together the night after my return, and started arguing almost immediately. He'd wanted to go to the place where we'd had our first date, and had celebrated our one-month anniversary, in an effort to "recapture the magic". I shot that down -- it felt heavy-handed to me. We went somewhere else for a bite.

A confession: the reason I didn't really blog while I was dating Camper was because, almost from the beginning, I felt like he wasn't really right for me. However, he WAS (is) cute, and adored me from the start, and it was somewhat refreshing to have Instant Boyfriend after so much dating disappointment.

But as the weeks went on, I felt our differences more and more. I was torn: even my therapist said, "you might not find another guy who is this crazy about you". And yet -- there was something (quite a few somethings) missing. A certain sophistication. Intellectual curiosity. If this makes me sound bitchy and elitist, so be it. I know what I want, and am unwilling to settle (at least, not for very long).

During that dinner, I had a confession for Camper -- coming up...

On again, off again... part 1.

Oh my... so much to tell you! Hope you have a fabulous glass of wine in hand (or, if you're reading from work, a cup of coffee).

Remember last time, I wrote that the breakup with Camper was easy-peasy? Well -- we'd already had brunch plans for later that week, and he asked if we could still get together. I thought sure, why not. Over brunch, he put his heart on the table and said he realized he didn't want us to break up, and could we give it another shot?

I told him I still had my doubts about us -- and we *could* try again, but we should just take it day by day, and not have expectations. I had a business trip coming up, and thought the time apart would do us good.

That night, we each had plans with separate friends. I had just gotten home when he called me about 12:30 am -- I wasn't in the mood to talk, so I hit "ignore" on the phone. He immediately called right back -- thinking something could be seriously wrong, this time I picked up.

On the other end was a very drunk Camper, blathering on about how he was nearly arrested (?!) -- I eventually pulled it out of him that he'd had so much to drink that he'd "forgotten" to pay for his taxi home. The driver then called the police, who tracked him down at home and walked him back to the taxi to pay his fare.

Dealing with an incoherent drunk person is never fun -- I told Camper to try to get some sleep, and we'd talk the next day. After hanging up, he called me back, telling me he loved me, to please not forget about him, and so on. Again -- I told him he should just go to bed, and we'd talk the next day. Hung up. He called back. Repeat, for OVER A FRICKING HOUR. Same thing, "baby, I lurve you...". etc. Oy... fricking painful. If I didn't pick up the phone, he'd slur his messages into my answering machine.

Somehow I finally convinced him to go to bed. When we talked the next day, he apologized profusely for his behavior -- he even looked at the call records on his cell phone: he'd called me about 12 times. I was still pissed -- if we were going to give this relationship another shot, this was NOT an auspicious beginning, him acting like a drunken frat boy / stalker. He felt that I was being too hard on him -- after all, he'd never done anything like this, so why couldn't I just let it go?

To be continued...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy '09!

I'm back!

And officially broken up with Camper, as of this week. And it's OK -- I'm feeling a little melancholy, but it's for the best.

As I mentioned, things moved very quickly with us from the start. It was so refreshing, after quite a long time of dating uncertainty, to have a guy so clearly crazy about me. (in between the times that I worried that it was too much, too soon with him)

As the weeks progressed, I began to notice little things that bothered me. Nothing that made him a bad person -- but as I got to know him better, I just realized more and more that we weren't really a match. And yet - he was (and remains) such a lovely, sweet guy that I really, truly wanted to make it work.

However -- without realizing it at first, I found myself exhibiting classic passive-aggressive behavior. I'd start little spats, probably in an effort to get him mad at me. And I began liking myself less and less in the process.

We finally had "the talk", and he said he appreciated my honesty. I think we'll be able to be friends down the road. While I feel a sense of relief, I'm a little sad at the same time.

This situation reminded me of a job interview I had years ago, when I was just starting my career. I wasn't particularly enthused about the company I was interviewing for -- and the interviewer sensed it. She said to me, "I don't think you want a job with X company... you just want a job.". I was rendered speechless, because she was absolutely right.

I think that was the case with Camper at first -- I was just so excited to have a "boyfriend", that at first it didn't matter that he might not be the right candidate. We had a great story behind us (reunited after 20-something years!), and I envisioned someone telling that story while giving a toast at our wedding. But in the end, that just wasn't enough.

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Good story that made me laugh -- a friend had a second (or was it a third?) date with a guy tonight. She was feeling a bit lukewarm about the guy, but was excited to meet his new puppy.

I got this text from her after the date: Um. Unexpected sex with [date]. The dogs get me every single friggin time!

For all you guys who think Barry White and dim lighting is the way to woo your lady... try a canine companion!