My 12-Hour Tinder “Boyfriend”

June 19th, 2015

I once read an article about a woman who had a boyfriend for a weekend. She met him, he came back to her place in NYC. They had sex, watched TV, played games, went for strolls and dined at the sorts of places that we don’t really have here because we’re not New York City. Then, after the weekend, he finally returned home and they never spoke again.

It was interesting enough that I remembered it. It makes little sense to me that you can enjoy the company of a person that much and not make an effort to keep in touch, even if the chemistry of the weekend was a one-time-only deal.

But as a single, divorced person, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact the dating is, in fact, fucking weird. One of you can feel chemistry where the other doesn’t. You can get along beautiful but still something will prevent one of you from wanting to date the other. The two of you can be great on paper but just don’t have a spark in person, or you could both admittedly like each other but not know how to make the move – and the right time will pass.

It was so difficult for me to understand, when I was younger, how timing really does matter. It seems just bullshit if you believe in the one or true love or what-have-you. If you love a person, you just make it work. It’s just that easy. Except it never is that easy and timing does matter.

Case in point.

I am on Tinder, sort of. It’s the sort of resigned and detached relationship one has with online dating and hooking up when all most of one’s first dates have been terrible, nothing has panned out save for a few friendships — one with the hot nerd — and meeting people in person isn’t actually any less stressful because of one’s anxiety.

So my relationship with Tinder has been, sign on, swipe a few people. Figure no one will like me or want to deal with an urban-ish chick living in central Wisconsin without a car, leave the app and forget about it. Repeat every 1 – 2 weeks. Except this time. This time, I signed on at a different time. My options were different, and I came across a guy who I found attractive enough and who piqued my interests with his words. I liked him.

And he liked me back!

And he sent a message almost immediately. So we chatted on and off all day. There was a lot of laughter, some flirting and general fun as we discussed video games, ponies and other things. It was lighthearted, but I stayed up later than usual to talk to him.

I finally fell asleep and woke up to a message, which I replied to, making fun of him in a friendly manner. I fell back asleep, excited to see his reply in the morning.

But it didn’t come. Not only was there no reply, but he has either blocked me or deleted his account because I can’t even see him in my list. Which makes me sad. And flabbergasted. There was fun and chemistry. We talked all day. Then you up and disappear? What gives.

I’ve experienced this a few times, and this is the second time this year. I’ll find someone who’s not only good on paper but to whom I am attracted. We’ll chat and have fun. He disappears.

But there seemed to be so much undeniable chemistry with this guy, and that is quite rare for me. There was so much chemistry that my mind couldn’t help but race ahead to future possibilities. Which makes it stings all the more.

Now, I know I was getting ahead of myself, but even if that weren’t the case, the “What gives?” still stands. Perhaps he didn’t feel chemistry like I did. Maybe I said something that rubbed him the wrong way or perhaps he decided against this Tinder thing all together (he did say he’s shy). Maybe someone better came along. He might have wanted me to initiate a meeting more quickly than I did. It is a hookup app, after all. I guess I’ll never know.

But even though it’s confusing and a bit hurtful, it gives me hope that it’s not entirely impossible for me to meet someone who makes the old heart pitter-patter again.

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All The Things You’ve Given Me

March 22nd, 2015

In 2015, I am in the middle of a heartbreak. I know it will not last forever. I know that it may not be my greatest to date. And it may not be the greatest I’ll ever experience. That knowledge offers solace in its own way.

But now is not the time for solace. Now is the time to be grateful and to achieve that, I have been musing over all the things that the bartender has given me throughout our long and tumultuous triste. And I can think of no better way to do this than by saying “thank you.”

Thank you for surprising me. I am no psychic. I cannot see the future, and sometimes I assume that my inability to do so means that nothing good will ever happen. You proved me wrong. You proved that good times and amazing memories and even love, the type of loves that pushes you to the ground and knocks the breath out of you and leaves your vision in swirls, can come from unexpected places when you least expect it. It gives me hope that the future truly is better than I can imagine and that something good might just be around the corner.

And you are just the latest in a parade of people, flirtationships, partners, almost lovers and more, who have give me perhaps more than I deserve.

To the first one after my divorce — so many years after my divorce. Thank you for being comfortable, for being a kind person with whom to experience such a terrifying experience anew. You gave me the confidence and the assurance that it wasn’t so terrifying to be with someone else. You made me feel desirable.

Thank you you for liking me as much as you did. I needed that. I am sorry that I couldn’t provide the same for you in return. I hope you will have fond memories anyway.

Where would I be without the hot geek, the guy who felt like he would be my one who got away for years? Despite the fact that I know this is no longer the case, I wouldn’t be even a fraction of who I am without his accidental assistance.

Thank you, then, to him who taught me I am a nice person. I had never dared consider that about myself before him. Thank you for flirting and laughter and cuddles and the best kisses of my adult life. Thank you for allowing me to (re)discover my geekery. Thanks for being humble despite being such a treat for my eyes to feast upon.

I hope the woman you found does all of this for you and more!

To my ex-husband, the person who deserves thanks in various and confusing ways. I know I will miss things that could be added to this list, but four years is a long time to remember all those little things.

Thank you for the inside jokes, your adorable silliness and for being the first person with whom I could express my sexual side without hiding it. Thank you for, literally, showing me the world. The time away from my home town and my family made me appreciate them all the more when it was finally time to return to them.

Thank you for making me believe in the institution of marriage, for the first time in my life, if only for a little while. Thank you for bringing a sense of calm and serenity to my life and for being the first person to hold me together, physically and emotionally.

I am forever in your debt, not only for sharing a life, money and a home, but for the pets we would adopt together. Thank you for allowing me to keep them. During out time together, I was finally able to feel like I wasn’t facing this world alone. I felt like I was part of a team, and that other people understood the same struggles we were going through.

And, finally, thank you for leaving me. I am not sure when, or if, I ever would have had the courage to leave our marriage. I loved you so much, but you were slowly killing me. Although I still disagree with your reasons and ultimately think that our marriage could have worked had we better worked together, the sudden change in the direction my life went in is the single greatest motivation I’ve ever had to be happy. And I needed that.

It was through our separation and divorce that I finally found a counselor who clicked and a counseling style that I still rely on to this day. It was through those trials and many, many errors that I would build the foundation of the adult that I am today — well-adjusted, compassionate, caring, helpful, three-dimensional, sex positive and more.  While I cannot say for sure that it wouldn’t have happened anyway given time, thank you for pushing it to happen more quickly. I am glad to have the worst behind me.

Thank you for showing me that I needed to believe in myself so that I could avoid the same mistakes we made with future partners. I hope you’ve learned anything at all from us. Without you, I am not sure I would be able to feel grateful to anyone who came after you.

Thank you.

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Judging His Cover

February 15th, 2015

He was plain. There was nothing special about him. He was lanky with too much gut from years of drinking. His hair was thinning prematurely, and he tried to hide it by wearing it long or, more frequently, wearing hats.

He was tall enough to look awkward. All of his t-shirts looked two sizes too large. If we’re being honest, they were. It’s hard to clothe that frame.

He wore glasses ill-suited to his face shape. Without anti-glare, looking at him was like looking into some sort of abyss. It was empty and soulless.

Whenever he gained weight, his face ballooned out like a chipmunk foraging for its very survival. He tried to hide this by growing a beard. To a certain extent, it worked, but he let it become unruly. At this point, his childlike nose poked out from between the whiskers, and he just looked silly.

That’s all he was: silly.

And yet with all this silliness, his mediocrity and his inability to style himself in a manner that indicated any thought at all, he was confident. He was cool. He was fun. He was the laid back type of person whom you always want to be around because he makes everything look so damned easy.

So despite his awkwardness, his overly-worn hats and glasses that made it impossible to tell whether his eyes were green or blue anyway, I fell in love with him. In spite of myself, I found my mind drifting to him whenever it wanted, whether or not I wanted it to at all.

And despite all of his own insecurities, he carried himself with enough confidence that he was magnetic, his charisma always pulling me closer to him when his arms weren’t physically wrapping around me and bending me to his will. He twisted and pulled and I melted against him, this plain, not-special, awkward boy who was trying too hard to be a man.

What was it about him? It wasn’t visible. It was chemical, running through his veins and jolting across neural pathways. It was gustatory, sliding across my tongue and sticking in my mouth with a sweetness that was only as bitter as I imagined. It was tangible, electric, breath-quickening and pulse-quickening.

What it was that drew me to him, kept me at his side and begging for me, left me looking after him when he’d already walked away, was an eddy of forces so subtle and quick that I was already gasping for breath by the time that I realized what had happened. And by then, his animal magnetism had already replaced oxygen as my primary source of survival.

That is the power of the main who looks plain from the outside but feels like a storm once he’s inside you. Flowery descriptions seem so far from apropos when it comes to the boy who slouches and drinks too much and isn’t sure of his own self worth.

But when I think of the awkward boy with all his flaws, even through the filter of my broken heart, I cannot help but see a little beauty.

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Things That Ensure I’ll Ignore Your Online Dating Profile

January 19th, 2015

Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Maybe I should understand how hard it is to write a dating profile. After all, I’ve redone mine multiples times. It might help for me to give people a chance even if there’s no immediate spark. It is the Internet, after all. I might find some diamonds in the rough. Or something.

But I don’t. Maybe I can’t. I go running when people post photos full of fish. And I certainly don’t respond to messages that do any of the following:

  • Consist only of a compliment of how I am a “beautiful woman.”
  • Use pet names.
  • Imply that I need someone to take care of me in any way
  • Enforce gender roles in an ignorant way (see above) or conflict with my feminist ideals
  • Aren’t accompanied by at least one photo
  • Come from someone who spends more time working out than sleeping every day
  • Are copied and pasted
  • Contain a single word, especially if it’s spelled incorrectly
  • Use too many emoticons

I feel like I’m getting dangerously close to Seinfeld territory here, but I’m also not obsessed with the idea of finding or being with someone, either. I’m pretty awesome riding solo, and someone would have to be pretty fantastic to make me reconsider.

And the thing is? someone who I have amazing chemistry with will make me forget all these silly rules.

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Heartbreak is Hell on the Sex Drive

December 2nd, 2014

Whenever one of my sexual relationships ends, I go through an awkward stage of adjustment. When I am sexually active with one person, I tend to include them in my fantasies when when I’m by myself. My masturbation sessions focus around that one person, a real live person. I recall things we’ve done or conversation we’ve had, and I think about the things we have yet to do.Obviously, this became the case with the bartender.

Now that we’re no longer having sex, I’ve rarely masturbated. I don’t want to fantasize about him because it will segue into those heartbroken thoughts, and I’m not sure what do to. I’m not good with vague erotic thoughts. I need something more specific to consider. Without that something — or someone — specific, I become too focused on the mechanics, which is a terrible way to orgasm.

I get off most easily when I distracted myself from what a hand or toy is doing and focus on what’s going on in my head. It’s when I’m really swept up that I seem to have the best orgasms, and this is complete with all sorts of sounds and movements that are well beyond my control or controlled in such a way to add to the moment.

I’m working on getting over this, however. In multiple ways. As time passes, I’ll be less upset and heartbroken. In the meantime, I shouldn’t have to suffer without release, should I? To this end, I’ve been focusing on ideas outside of myself: erotica anthologies, plenty of visits to Tumblr, random flirting with strangers and the occasional visit to sites like SpicyWebcams.

It’ll take time, of course. Sometimes auto-drive kicks in and I find myself thinking about the bartender or even moaning his name. When I realize this, I am momentarily confused. Do I go with it because it feels good or catch myself and stop, which will usually take me out of the moment?

I was discussing this with Juliettia because it’s something of an identity crisis, for me to not be sexual in any way. It’s bad enough that I can’t have sex with the person I love, but it’s worse that it’s affecting my desire to masturbate. I feel as though I’ve lost part of who I am, and that only adds to the sea of emotions in which I’m struggling to stay afloat. It’s good to have a place where I can express that, too. Obviously sex is one of the more important aspects of my life and relationships.

Things are looking up, however, thanks in part to two items I have to review: the Ora 2 and The Big Book of Submission! After nearly two weeks without an orgasm, I quickly caught up with some multiple-orgasm sessions.

I’m not entirely sure if other people have experienced this, and I know I don’t always feel this way. But when I am losing someone I want, I also lose part of myself.

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Love, Yourself

November 19th, 2014

They say you have to love yourself before others can love you. Or maybe they say you need to love yourself first, before you can love another. And no doubt that a love shared between people who love and respect themselves with be a truer and more respectful love, but they don’t tell you how people will love you anyway. And you’ll love others, too. It will be messier because you’re so far from self-actualization, but this won’t make it any less powerful.

And you won’t be able to let people truly love you as long as you don’t believe you’re deserving of it. Sometimes, they’ll walk away. But some people, people like myself, with love you all the harder because of it, because of the potential we see in you, the light of hope in your eyes.

People will get hurt. It’s inevitable. Even people who know they’re hoping against hope in a reality that just can’t cater to them. Even when no one wants to get hurt. Even when, at the end of the day, there could be love between people. People get hurts.

I guess that’s life. I suppose it’s easier to sing along with that lesson as an Alanis song than to learn it yourself, especially when it takes so many times for that lesson to really sink it. i’m not entirely sure why that is. Perhaps it’s just hard to be a realistic when you have the heart of an optimist. Maybe I am doomed to always see the best in people even if, in reality, they’re more likely to hut me than to be their best.

How many more times do I ignore warning signs, I wonder, before I turn off this path?

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Two Steps Back

August 6th, 2014

I find it difficult to be the person I want to be when it comes to love. While I can be a good worker, friend, sister, daughter, advice giver and supporter, the person I am when it comes to love is less than. Less than what? Less than the person I want to be, I guess.

When I was with my ex-husband, reason and logic went out the window as we ushered in screaming, choking, door slamming, running out of the house, throwing our rings at each other as we threatened divorce fights. It got better, it did. Had we stayed together, I am sure we would have eventually gotten to a healthy place. I really do believe that. But in the middle of things, the intensity of the emotion I felt overtook the reasonable part of me.

I like to think that I’ve progressed since my divorce. Even my interactions with my friends are better. I feel less frustrated, stuck, drowning and angry as a whole. That certainly contributes or will contribute to a healthier relationship.

But I guess there is still progress to be made when it comes to not letting my feelings take me over. I don’t want to be one of those people who becomes wholly consumed by whatever relationship or feelings they’re currently experiencing. And yet I do. I hate it, but I do it.

It’s so easy to think about the person you want. And it’s okay when you know they’re thinking of you, when you talk frequently. But I find myself feeling utterly dejected when I develop feelings for someone and they don’t return them, or we can’t speak. I know how much love works like a drug. It’s an addiction — albeit, a lesser one. I realize that speaking to the bartender is akin to a hit, that it gives me a high. And a lack of communication sends me spiraling downward similarly to anyone who isn’t able to get their next hit.

I hate it. I see what’s happening. I know I should do better, but nothing I try to do or think rationally seems to combat it.

Right now? It’s kind of unbearable. I haven’t seen the bartender in 2 months. It’s the longest we’ve gone this year. While things were sweet and awesome, he’s become distant. Logically, he’s busy and flighty. Paranoid-ly, he’s avoiding me or somehow hates me. And not talking to him makes it more difficult not to see him.

Bleh.

I hate talking about this. I hate how I sound whiny. I hate how it’s the same thing every freakin’ time. I know people don’t want to hear about it and, worst of all, I recognize that this misery is because I won’t walk away. So I fully feel as though I have no right to feel any of these things.

But perhaps what is scarier is that this situation — as awkward and painful as it may sometimes be — has reawakened in me the desire to be something other than single the rest of my life. That desire is so strong that it scares me sometimes, and it feels like it directly competes with how I need to think to be happy. Because at the end of the day, there is no guarantee of love or relationships, and I cannot survive simply by convincing myself that those things are somehow achievable. This cannot be my only tenet of faith.

But boy does my heart want it to be.

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