(We don't know where we'll end up ... but we're all starting at single.)

Friday, October 27, 2017

The RN: Afraid of Sex ... Wait ... What!?

Hold on, what did I just say? It must have been a long week, I'm clearly not thinking straight.

Let me back up a little bit and start over. Last time I talked about being scared to date. I started digging into that a bit more. First thing off the bat? I don't like having to tell people no, especially if I have to get blunt about it. This is hard for me. Probably because I don't have well defined boundaries ... makes note to self - work on defining boundaries better ... at all. Still that's not the core of the issue. We've all seen that when push comes to shove, I'll shove your ass right out of my life.

And, truthfully, I've spent months if not years working on saying no when I don't want to do things. I feel like that's not the whole story. I decided to dig deeper - I found my shovel and kept digging. I find it harder to draw boundaries and say no in dating situations then in other situations. Hm, that's something to consider ... what's different about dating?

There must be something else down here. Photo Credit

Well, sex is different about dating. Maybe I'm afraid of sex ... nope, that's not it. (Seriously, have you even read this blog?) Sorry, must recover from the laughing. Okay, it's not the sex. On the other hand, I'm still very reluctant to enter into a relationship where sex is on the table ... am I afraid of my own sexuality? Nope, that doesn't fit either. I am completely comfortable with my own sexuality. I know what I like and what I don't like. I'm not afraid to experiment a little (or a lot) if I'm comfortable with my partner.

Where does that leave me? I'm not afraid of myself; it's the uncomfortable interactions with other people ... ah ha, there it is: I'm afraid of uncomfortable with other people's reactions to my sexuality. Very frequently when I get into a dating situation, the guy I'm involved with gets ... clingy and annoying and is WAY more into me than I am into him. I touched on this earlier this year. I also came to this conclusion right before my therapy session the other week. Guess what we talked about nearly the whole time?

Photo Credit

So where does that leave me? I'm not sure; like, really, I have no idea. But I feel like it's better to have finally started to get to the root of the problem. Although, now that I'm starting to look around down here, I might need some Roundup.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The RN: Getting to the Core of the Issue

It's still September, right? Oops ...

I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I haven't wanted to date lately. Besides just me inevitably talking to jerks. After a bit of thought, I've come to the conclusion that I'm burying my head in the sand. Somewhat ironically, I realized this while reading about personal finance (my latest nerd hobby). I was reading and came across a line about how no matter how much you try to avoid your finances, it doesn't change how much money you owe or how much you have saved. My reaction was, "Of course, not! Hiding doesn't change reality."

And I then realized, that's what I have been doing, hiding. I've been hiding from dating because I don't want to deal with the reality of it. Upon realizing this, I am now forced to acknowledge I have still have boundary issues. I have totally been working on my boundaries, trying make myself healthier, but I realize I still have some work to do.

I was talking with my therapist last week (yep, still in therapy), and she was asking me about dating and such. She asked, "what do you want? We've talked a lot about what you don't want, but what do you want?" And that, ladies and gentlemen, is starting to scratch the surface of the real problem. I have no idea what I want. I have no idea what a healthy relationship looks like or feels like. I have no idea how to set my boundaries.

No wonder I have boundary issues. Photo Credit

Now, some of my frustration is starting to make sense to me. If you don't know where you want the line to be, you don't know where the line is currently, and you don't know what the line looks like, it's really hard to ensure others don't cross the line. But, sticking my head in the sand by avoiding dating isn't going to help me find and define my line. Still not sure this is enough to get me back out there just yet, but it's enough to get me started thinking about it again. The same person who told me I didn't have to offer friendship also told me the best thing to do for myself was to get out there and practice dating and practice telling people no. She's not wrong, but I'm not looking forward to this part ... at all.

Dang, I was rather enjoying this view. Photo Credit

Well, they say admitting you have a problem is the first step. Step 1: ✓ Now, I'm going to have to figure out why I've been hiding so I can start working on those issues. No need to worry if my therapist will lose me as client any time soon.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The RN: 3, 2, 1, No Contact

First, if you got the title reference, congrats on being as nerdy and as old as I am. Not sorry if the theme song is now bouncing around your head. Especially since it's better than what I have bouncing around in mine: I can't seem to get last month's topic out of my head. It took me a while to realize exactly why I was so upset by the question. I know I think it's rude and disrespectful and whole host of other awful things, but why am I so mad about it, even over month later? In case you need a reminder (or worse didn't read last month's post) here's the offending question again, "If someone gives you a hard left, should you try to contact them to explain?"

I eventually realized it was not only because I think it's disrespectful to the person who gave you the hard left, but also because it's supremely self-centered. First, if I've given you a no contact rule, it wasn't without at least a couple of hard conversations about our interactions/your behavior and why it made my uncomfortable. So it shouldn't be coming out of left field. Second, for all the times I've had people do this to me (Car Guy, PJ Guy, I'm sure there's more) not once has it been about me. It's always been about them.

PJ Guy wants who knows what from me, but I'm not giving it to him.  (Side note: I blocked him on email this month, because, yeah, I really don't want all the those lists and ridiculously long, terrible birthday e-cards he keeps sending.) Car Guy, well, we all know he wants to fuck me in his car, regardless of whether I want to or not. And while I have no way to know if Tuesday Night Guy (TNG) asked the question, the motives behind the question are pretty clearly right along the lines of PJ Guy and Car Guy.

So, let's assume for the sake of argument TNG did ask the question and it was in reference to me telling him to hit the highway. My main question in response is then, "What do you think you will accomplish by explaining?" What is the goal of trying to have this conversation? My assumption, since I don't know for sure, is somehow this explanation is supposed to change my mind about not talking to him. But as far as I'm concerned if I give you the oust, you've used up your chances; nothing you can say at this point will change my mind. If you were serious about modifying your behavior, you would have done it after one of the many conversations we had were I said I was unhappy with our interactions.

Seriously! Photo Credit

The assumption yet another conversation where you apologize and promise to "do better" and tell me you "didn't mean it that way" is not going to cut it. We've already had at least three of these conversations and your behavior is still making me uncomfortable. All I'm getting from your desire to explain it to me is this: you think your wants are more important than mine and I should change my mind and give you another chance. Nice try buckaroo, but that's a no-go for me. You see, I've been working on my boundaries and learning to keep them even when they make someone else unhappy, so I'm not going to let you stomp all over them. Either by not treating me with the respect I have asked for or by letting you think you can explain away not respecting me. Because this really isn't about me, it's about you. I'm not the one who can't stop the behaviors which are making others uncomfortable; I'm not the one who's upset by the lack of contact between us; I'm not the one who has a list of excuses explanations to try to make it better.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Rn: Getting a Hard Left

The other week I was at a discussion group put on by the same group which hosts my Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity (RSTNA) ... What? I'm not dating I need to fill my time somehow. Besides leaving the house is good for you, especially if you interact with people while you're out there.

At the end of the session the moderator takes questions out of a hat, his way of making them anonymous. It's a pretty good discussion group and I usually go every month. The topics vary greatly and the only real rule/consensus is keep things you hear within the group and don't assume because someone said it in discussion you are allowed to talk about it openly. So, here I am maybe about to break that rule. Except, no names or faces, so I think I'm okay.

The last hat question of the night really pissed me off. Turns out it actually pissed a lot of people off, both at the discussion and and in general from what I heard through the grapevine. The moderator did a great job of addressing the question, but even he seemed pissed this was a question. So, what was the question? Well forgive a bit of paraphrasing as it's been a little while, but ... "If someone gives you a hard left, should you try to contact them to explain?" Now, I'm not a tinder user, I believe I said somewhere in this blog, that I'm probably never going to do online dating again. So it took me a minute to understand that "getting a hard left" meant you have been asked to cease contact.

This is pretty much "NO!"

Now, the moderator did a great job and said something to this effect, "I'm going to go out on a limb here, because almost nothing we talk about here has an actual definitive answer, but this one does. I'm going to say, 'no, you should not violate their consent and try to contact them against their wishes.'" It took me a minute to really get understand and get mad. But, really WTF!?! Someone told you not to talk to them anymore! You are not going to change their mind by pleading your case. In fact, if "they" are me, you are going to make it worse for yourself.

I know, I've ranted about this very thing before. Rather than ranting again, I'll just say: this is so disrespectful. While I was a bit disappointed someone felt the need to ask this question, I was very encouraged by everyone (except, I assume, whoever asked it) in the room very definitively agreeing this was essentially a consent violation and therefore very bad behavior. It's nice to know you're not the only one feeling that way.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The RN: The Dreaded Friend Zone

I hate the friend zone. I hate not being taken seriously when I say I don't want to date you. If you've been any attention at all - sometimes I wonder if I'm even paying attention, seeing how long I let these things drag on - you probably realize Tuesday Night Guy (TNGuy) was itching to get himself cut off. Well, sir, mission accomplished.

You finally found my breaking point.
Photo Credit

Let's review where we were a few weeks ago, before he pushed me too far. First, I had instituted a no touching rule. No hand shakes, no hugs, no touching. Seems pretty clear to me. Second, I had also reiterated, frequently, I was offering friendship and nothing more. So, no candlelit dinners, no mushy stuff, no treating me with disrespect. Third, for goodness sake, dude, get out of my personal space ... oops, I'm jumping forward.

The following events took place in early May 2017 ...

Near the beginning of May the Regularly Schedule Tuesday Night Activity (RSTNA) had a temporary change of venue. For the past year or so, RSTNA has been located about 3 blocks from my current work location. I can rush and make it from my desk to the conference room at the hotel in about 8 minutes. It's been awesome, so clearly they are moving it back downtown next month. Since TNGuy knows I'm close to work at the regular location, he offered me a ride to the temporary location. I didn't really want a ride from him because anytime I give him an inch he tries to take a mile. But, I was a little strapped for cash at the time and didn't want to spring for the round trip Uber fare. I thought, "how bad could one ride for about 20 min each way be?" Turns out really bad. Well the ride there wasn't so bad. The ride home was worse, but really it was the next day that did me in for trying to maintain any sort of relationship at all with TNGuy.

So in the car on the way there, I got a business phone call. I'd been playing phone tag all day with this guy so I answered the phone. So, of course, TNGuy overhears a bunch of stuff and starts the inquisition about what's happening and am I moving, blah, blah, blah. No dude, I have a side business on top of my regular job and it required some attention. Long story short, he found out I was driving about 3 hours each way to deal with some details of my side business on that Friday. Note, based on what he overheard and our conversation about it afterwards, there was no way it wasn't clear this was a business trip and not a personal trip. It was probably also pretty clear it wasn't related to my regular job. So the car ride there wasn't that bad. I didn't really need the inquisition, but overall it wasn't too hard to avoid answering any specifics.

At the actual RSTNA he followed me around the entire time leading up the discussion, and involved himself in all the conversations I was having. He then choose to sit in the chair directly next to mine during the discussion. I don’t understand how he possibility could not realize he is too big to fit well into the chairs used. I barely fit in those chairs and he's quite a bit bigger than I am. He spent the entire night bumping his thigh against mine. Like a damn metronome. I assume he thought he get away with it being “accidental,” but there’s no way I believe he didn’t know he was going to do it the second he chose sit in the chair directly next to mine. I was very uncomfortable with his behavior.

Non-consensual touching on a rhythm, my favorite.

At one point, he got up and did something out in the lobby, and then came back in and started asking me questions about what was happening, interrupting my ability to listen to what was going on. I find his habit of talking over presenters very annoying and intrusive and I have told him in the past when someone is speaking to the group it is not a good time for him to try to have conversation with me. Later, while there was a bit of a discussion going on about attending different types of events, he interrupted me when I was speaking to the group by whispering my ear he would go with me to any event. As if that would make it any better. After the discussion, I was talking to someone else so clearly he involved himself in my conversation and he overheard me telling her I hadn’t had dinner yet. Great more info he didn't need, which lead directly to ...

As soon as we get in the car, he asked me if I wanted to go to dinner. No, I have food at home and don’t want to go to dinner. Also, didn't I ask you like 1000 times to stop hitting on me? Then he spent the entire car ride back to my place ostensibly talking about a suggestion I had brought up in the discussion. It came across as him bragging about having been part of an 18-35 year-old activity group and telling me he thought I should go to their events even though I’m not part of the target demographic. Blah, blah, blah, I am not that desperate. I'm 38 not 8, I don't need my hand held at all times. Next he volunteered to be the person I could talk to about anything. Jesus! Fucking! Christ! Get off my back, we're barely friends! But to be polite and in order to dissuade him of it being a good idea, I indicated maybe I didn’t want to talk a guy about some of the stuff. And it went on and on in circles with him trying to get me to allow him to “be there” for me and me dodging and saying wasn’t the right solution for me. Ugh, just typing this is giving me a headache from the knight in shining armor he clearly wanted to be.

Irony: Save me from men who think I need recusing.

So at this point, I’m pretty fed up and starting to tally all the things I feel violate the terms he had agreed to for us being friends. 1) Physical contact, 2) Asking me to dinner in a date-like manner, 3) not trying to solve problems in my life which aren’t really problems, 4) see 3, 5) see 3, etc. And then, then, he texts me on Wednesday and invites himself on my business trip on Friday. WTF!?!? I can’t even begin to express how absolutely inappropriate, disrespectful, and intrusive I found this. I am off the deep-end irate, livid, and mad. I mean, come on! Who invites themselves on someone else's business trip?!? How rude can you get? It only took my like 5 times of saying no before he finally heard me say, “No, you can't come!”

I took a few days to calm down before addressing the issue, don’t text mad, and he fucking tries to sit in the chair directly next to mine at the next RSTNA! I asked him, as politely as I could, to sit down a chair, and he starts get the hurt puppy dog face like what did I do wrong? Why can’t I sit so close I have to touch you? I lost it a little bit, and turned to him and said as quietly as I could manage, “I can’t do this tonight. I just can’t deal with this right now.” He said he didn’t have to sit there and was clearly waiting for me to say “it’s okay, please sit here.” When I didn’t say anything and just turned away and wouldn’t look at him, he eventually got up and moved to another row. Thankfully. It's like he almost understood he was being an overbearing ass.

Don't drive angry. Don't text mad.

I took another day to calm down so didn’t cuss him out when I sent him the message, but on Thursday I sent him a text firmly inviting him to stop all contact with me. Two days later, on Saturday, I started telling people I had cut him off completely and I had no interest in speaking with him or being around him. Later that night, he was at second event and he did seem like he was going to try to talk me (FUCK! Go Away!), but fortunately a few friends helped me keep a buffer between us. So far, he has not texted me and I haven’t noticed him trying to specifically talk to me at any events since. But, let's be honest, I am skeptical he will continue to keep his distance given both his ability to “not understand” what I have asked and my history with people ignoring what I want so they can continue to “be in my life.”

All of the cursing, all of it. I am so tired of this pattern in my life. I had a chance last week to ask advice from a new person about this type of situation. And she said pretty much the same thing my therapist, my sister, my mom (hi, mom!), and all of my friends have said, "You're too nice. Stop giving people chances." As much as I love all my friends and family, sometimes hearing from a complete stranger is still the most helpful. I think I may have actually heard it this time. Maybe it was something about the way she said or how fast she said it or the look on her face when she said it; I don't know, but even though I have been parroting the words, I don't think I really understood them before (hello pot, yes, this is kettle). But I felt like a light went off when she said after the first date with TNGuy went awry, there was no reason to offer to be friends with him. It literally blew my mind, I had not even considered not offering a friendship.

How was I missing this before?
Photo Credit

Literally whenever I disappoint guys people, I offer the closest thing to what I think they want which I'm okay giving. Want to fuck? I don't, but what about friends? You want to be friends? I don't, but how about we get together when the group does? I'm just now seeing while I was trying to soften the rejection, I was softening it so much they didn't hear it. Regardless of how clear my words where, it seems me still caring about their emotions is enough for my actions to speak louder. Part of me is ecstatic about realizing this; the rest of me is horrified to realize what I consider being a descent human being is considered an opening for this type of behavior. All of me is trying to figure how to stop doing this without feeling like I'm a rude bitch.

I need to spend some contemplating: Is rude to put your emotional well being before other people's emotions? Society tells me it is. On the other hand I have had the following sticky note on my monitor at work for close to 3 years, "Me not continuing to be hurt by his actions is more important than his feelings." People really have been telling me this forever ... maybe it's time I start listening.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The RN: Imbalances of Life

Tuesday Night Guy (TNG) reminded of something I swear I knew already, but apparently needed to learn again. Every relationship, no matter the context, is imbalanced. Someone is always more "in" than the other person. For instance, it should be pretty clear TNG was way more in than I was ... am. Mothers are way more in than teenagers, usually. Little kids adore their parents and follow them everywhere, like the bathroom; I assure you these kids are more in than their parents in those moments. We all have that friend, the one who starts ignoring you the second he starts dating a new girlfriend. Only to reemerge months later, wondering where you've been. Imbalances.

Both TNG and Car Guy where far more invested spending time with me, than I was interested in spending time with either of them. Truthfully, I think that's been true of just about every guy I've seen since The Ex and I broke up. If you look back at some of the old blogs, you'll see the signs. I'm starting to wonder if the whole "I'm too nice to guys" thing isn't born out of guilt for being so much less in. Maybe it's because I want to be in, but I'm not. This is probably why I stopped dating the last time around. Maybe it's even why I feel like taking a break again. It's exhausting, at least for me, to deal with people wanting so much more from me than I'm willing to give.

I made need a heavier white rock. Photo Credit

Now, at this point I feel like I sound selfish, and probably I am. But, I'm also exhausted from the pressure of dealing with people who want things I can't or won't give them. I feel like I've spent a fair amount of time and energy giving to people who only took and didn't give back. Now, you may be asking yourself, do I ever want more than someone else can give me? Of course. Sometimes I'm having a bad day/week/month and I call my sister, and then her kid hurts himself and she hangs up to help her kid (love you, sis). That's absolutely what she should do. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when it happens though.

Sounds like it's time to work on my balancing act.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The RN: The Silent Treatment?

Where were we? Oh, yes, Tuesday Night Guy wasn't talking to me. I know he was trying to be my friend, but he was, in a word, failing. He was constantly saying things which made me uncomfortable. The last straw was this text conversation we had after the Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity at the end of February. I got the first text about 2.5 seconds after I walked in the door. Ugh, I just fucking talked to you in person; I don't want to spend all night texting with you. Just stop! Gah!

FYI, this in not helping anything.

I didn't respond further for several days. I took a few days to calm down from the anger this incited, and then wrote another "The RN is NOT happy" text. I was respectful and not blaming, but VERY firm about him sending me this kind of crap. I called him out for not respecting my boundaries and said him not being able to help himself is not an excuse to violate my boundaries. I told him this stuff isn't sweet, it's pushy and reeks of him demanding I response to his sexual interest. I told him no touching of any kind; even friendly physical contact was no longer allowed. He got pouty and said I was painting him with a broad brush from the "other jerks" in my life and said I must hate him. I told him that's not what I said. And then he stopped talking to me for 25 days and didn't show up at any of the Tuesday night stuff.

I wasn't mad he stopped talking me. I felt a little guilty, mostly because I wasn't trying to cause an issue and it seemed like he was missing things because of what I said. It took me a bit, but I got over feeling guilty - I didn't ask him to avoid places where I was or to not come to events. Part of me was actually relieved not to be under the pressure of trying to figure out if he was taking something I said the wrong way.

Then last Tuesday he came to the Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity. I was a little nervous about how things were going to go, but they went just fine. Until he asked if he talk to me afterwards, then I got really nervous. I put on my big girl panties and said sure. We walked over to a local chain bar and sat down. It was one of the most difficult conversations I've had in a while. The gist of it was, he conceded I was right and he apologized for making me uncomfortable. Of course, he asked to hold my hand while he was apologizing. Great, he's already not listening to what I asked. I said, no, he couldn't hold my hand.

We went back and forth over a bunch of details and then I basically said, "If you wouldn't say it to your friend's wife, then don't say it to me." If you're about to say something to me and you wouldn't feel comfortable saying the same to your friend's wife, then it's not appropriate to say to me. First, this is how I think of a lot of things, pick a category and then find an exemplar in the category everybody understands. Use as a reference to the category. Second, I really hate that telling men to respect a woman as if she belongs to a man they respect works so much better than saying be respectful. But it does, every fucking time.

He texted the next day saying he enjoyed the conversation. Ugh, stop asking for validation. But it was only one text and at least it wasn't the same night. Then Monday at 9am he texts, "Hope you had a great weekend.......and your week gets off to a great start today." Great. Now he's starting to sound like Pajama Guy. I sent him a link to an article I'd run across about Extroverted Inverts indicating he should see #9: Sometimes you're bad at messaging. Then he responds with, "I know.  I understand you more than you might realize 😊  I was just thinking of you this morning on the ride in and thought I'd say hi 😊" I just about lost it, but ... don't text angry.

Stop fucking texting me all the time! Photo Credit.

I wanted to to refer him back to the article for more bullet points. Our communication issues are summed pretty well by several of the bullet from the article: I love being alone (#5), I find friendships needing maintenance exhausting (#8), sometimes I'm bad at messaging (#9), and I don't like compliments (#10). While all of those are true and I'm sure they impact the interactions between us, I think #8 is maybe the most important:
The ideal friend for an extroverted introvert is one that isn't demanding.

Friendships that require work, like the kind that need constant attention and communication otherwise that friend gets needy, don't usually last long.

Extroverted introverts are happier seeing each of their friends sporadically, and if months (or even years) go by between hang-outs, it's no big deal... you'll have more to catch up on anyway.
The people I find the most important in my life I talk to less than this guy wants to talk to me. And that, I think, is the real problem. I feel like he's trying to force me into more social contact with him than I want to have. Like asking me out to dinner this Tuesday morning. Good lord, back off! Just because we fixed things up a bit doesn't mean I'm ready to jump back into spending that much time together. I'm pretty sure I didn't want to spend that much time together before we got into ... our spat.

Case in point, the Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity is canceled on 25 April due to scheduling conflicts; TNG asked me this week, "Is it too early to get on the calendar for the 25th?" Ugh, it's not that it's too early, it's that I don't want to spend time with you. I'm barely okay with talking to you again and you're texting too much and now you want to go something just the two of us? Absolutely not.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The RN: More Car Guy

I swear at the beginning of the month I think I have all the time in world to get another post done, and then I inevitably end up frantically writing the next post the last 3 days of the month. Okay, Car Guy. I really need to work on not giving people too much benefit of the doubt. This guy turned into a terrible headache. Maybe I'm too subtle when telling guys people to back off. But I get REALLY PISSED when people ignore what I say about my boundaries.

As you can probably guess, I decided to give this guy a chance. We had some pretty good conversations over text, so I thought maybe he was just throwing out some weirdness on the first date. (Hint, he wasn't, I should have totally not given him a chance.) The first thing I noticed after we met in person was our communication changed. We used to have entire conversations over text and I was fine with that. After meeting in person, he switched to using texts to see if I was near my phone and then would call me. I don't like this. If we are in the middle of a text conversation, there's no need to call me. Unless it's a complicated topic and it's hard to keep up on text, then I'm fine it. (Or if your my sister and you just need to talk.)

Know your audience. Photo credit.

Then he started calling me if I didn't answer texts right away. This is not okay. There are two main possibilities here, 1) I'm not near my phone or it's off/out of battery, or 2) I didn't answer the text on purpose because I'm busy/don't want to talk right now. Okay, or 3) I'm driving and can't text, but maybe could take a call, but this is a special case and I don't spend that much time in my car. This feels pushy to me.

Speaking of pushy, during a phone call he decides we need to have another date. Does it count as a date when you just get together for a few minutes and then he tries to fuck you in his car? Yes, again ... still. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. So, after getting a vague idea of when I might be available he announces to me that he's coming over to my place and we're fucking for hours. Excuse me? First, I did NOT invite him to my house. Second, I had just gotten a rescue dog a few weeks earlier, and had no idea how she would handle having a new person in the house. Especially one who thinks he's going to control me and fuck me, and probably wants to lock her out of the bedroom for "hours". (Public Service Announcement: this is a terrible thing to do to a new dog, the more you know.🌠) Third, I did not agree to any fucking. Fourth, fucking for "hours" is not fun, it's painful. Fifth, I don't want to spend hours with anyone on a Sunday night, that's my "me" time to get ready for the work week.

By now you all know I'm working on keeping my boundaries. Well after the disaster the date with Tuesday Night Guy turned into, I have a new rule: people don't get to come to my house. Friends? Sure. My sister and her family? Absolutely. Random dude I had been on one date with? Nope, not going to happen. I was a little shaky about it, admittedly; it is a new boundary. And he was super confident and sure in his ... ahem ... request. But, I'm going to pat myself on the back, because I said no. Well, okay, I said, "Maybe not at my place." To which he responded, "Don't you trust me?" Um, no, not really. I just met you. And you wanted to fuck in a car. And I live alone now. So, no, actually I don't trust you to come over to my house at all. Which isn't exactly what I said. I told him, "This is not about trust; it's about my safety, no one gets to come over." Which is true, as far he's concerned.

After getting that all worked out we agreed to meet for drinks near my place. I picked a place which was easily walkable from my house, but no too close because safety. After another conversation not long enough to really be a date, he insists on driving me home. Um, what? I already went over how I feel about being forced to "let him be a gentleman". I got really mad about this. DO NOT force me to accept your gentlemanly gesture.

Car Guy: I'll give you a ride home.
Me: No, thanks, I'm only about a 10 min walk from here.
Car Guy: No, really, I'll give you a ride home.
Me: I don't really need a ride.
Car Guy: You're putting me in a position here.
Me: Uh, okay, but this is unnecessary.

Notice, he did not, in fact, even bother to ASK me. I'm putting him in a position?!?! To what, be an asshole? I walked here all by myself. Truthfully, I ended up walking my dog passed the very bar we were in later that night, so safety really wasn't an issue. News flash, I'm an adult and can take care of myself. It's NOT your responsibility to take care of me. You don't get to control my actions. Ugh. So as it turns out this whole thing about driving me home wasn't about my safety or being a gentleman. It was about him trying to get me to ... you guessed it ... fuck him in his car. I was over that before he tried it the first time. GAH!

I walk my dog almost every day. Photo Credit

Somehow after all that, I still let him talk me into drinks again the following Sunday. Which also happened to be the Sunday before Thanksgiving. He asked me what I was going to do over the holiday and said I was spending it at my sister's house. It's family holiday; in my book, you spend it with family. Well, except that time the DLS and I spent it on the beach in the Caribbean, that's okay too.

Now, I'm going to lay this all out, so it's clear why I got upset at what happened over Thanksgiving. First, if you have been following along for any amount of time, you know I have an issue with men people (friends, coworkers, dates, etc.) trying to control my behavior. Second, as I mentioned in the last blog I very specifically said on our first date I didn't like to be checked in on all the time. Third, I already think this guys is being way too pushy. Fourth, I told him I was spending Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. All this leads to me expecting to spend a long holiday weekend with my sister without being bothered every 10 minutes.

What happens instead? Car Guy. Every 10 minutes. Well, okay, not quite, but still. I got like 27 texts, four phone calls, three voicemails, and two emails. (No, those aren't the real numbers; no, I'm going to go count them.) Not over the course of the whole weekend mind you, this was on Thursday and Friday. When the first text came in Saturday, I sent my break-up text. Which I started writing Saturday morning at 5am when I couldn't sleep through the stress of him constantly trying to get in touch with me. Each attempt to get in touch with me got more panicked and more insistent I respond. The last email said something along the lines of, "Please, I just need to hear from you to know you're okay." No, you don't.

First, I am a 38-year-old woman who has lived her entire life, except the last few weeks, without you even knowing I existed. It's totally realistic to assume I continue to function normally without telling you I'm functioning normally. I did not lose the ability to not die or injure myself just because you haven't hear me say "I'm okay" in the last hour. Second, I told you, repeatedly, I do NOT want to be checked in on. I know there are some people who think this is sweet; I am not one of them. (Did I say that in another blog already? I feel like I have ...) Third, you are interrupting my time with my family. We are not family; we've been on a few dates. This is far too soon into a relationship for you to be this allegedly concerned about my well being. Fourth, by doing this after I specifically asked you not do it, you have just shown me you don't respect my wishes, or me. My response was along the lines of:
Just wow. I thought I was clear I was spending this weekend with my sister. To me spending a holiday with family doesn't include checking my phone; it means spending time with the family I came to visit. I am completely freaked out by the number of messages and phone calls. I do not owe anyone a response to requests for my time or attention. I thought I was clear on how I felt about checking in all the time. I enjoyed the time we spent together, but this isn't working for me. This is over. This is not negotiable. Do not try to contact me again.
So, of course, he responds right away with excuses as why he did it. I have sympathy for what he was going through. He had apparently just had some kind of surgery and was on Oxycontin. That sucks. Doesn't give you a reasons to harass me. You know what's not listed on the common sides effect of Oxycontin? Confusion; disrespecting people's wishes; ignoring people's boundaries; texting consistent, yet "requested you didn't sent this type of texts" texts; random phone use; or a whole host of other things he did. I actually expected the immediate reply. And, if you're going to reply, this is the time. It's not a new conversation and you have a certain expectation to have a chance to explain. Doesn't mean I'm changing my mind though.

What I do mind is the waiting a little while and texting/emailing/messaging me to see if I'm "ready to accept your explanation." I'm not; it's not a good enough explanation for me to change my mind. If I didn't change my mind when you sent the first set of texts explaining what happened, I'm not likely to change it now. I didn't change my mind Saturday when he sent his explanation. I didn't change my mind in December when he texted again. I didn't change my mind over Christmas, when he yet again intruded on family time. By early January, I blocked him on my phone. I kept getting upset when he would say the same tired bullshit over and over again and expect me to think he was worth talking to this time.

Then he sent me a message over social media, on the site we met, in mid January. I got really pissed off. He was pleading to be allowed back in my life. "I unequivocally am "begging" you to let me back into your sphere of potential friendship. I really like your company and would not break your rules for code of conduct." The. Fuck. You. Won't. I already gave you my rule: "This is over. This is not negotiable. Do not try to contact me again." You are clearly fucking ignoring it. So I blocked him on there too. I just want to yell at him, "Get over it! I said NO!"

Now we're caught up to mid Jan. Next month's episode: why I stop talking to Tuesday Night Guy. Or rather, why he stopped talking to me, you know, I after I demanded he respect my boundaries.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The RN: Can We Please be Reasonable?

January's dating blog ... started in early December, so only about a month behind on real info...

We left off with me about to go on a first date. It went both better and worse than Tuesday Night Guy (TNG). Better in that Car Guy (this will make sense later) got all the way to date number three; worse in that he's been totally cut off. Yes, that means I still see TNG every Tuesday. Yes, things are still a bit awkward, but I honestly think he's trying to make it not awkward.

Okay, Car Guy. Our first date started off well, but got a bit weird near the end. In retrospect, I can see some red flags indicators things weren't going to go well. Qualifier: we had been talking online and texting for a while before we met in person. First, all of about 5 minutes into the date he asks me if I like him. I was a little taken a back, I mean I did just meet him in person. I stumbled around a bit and was like I just sat down. Hindsight, he was asking if I thought he was hot. Anyone who has been following along knows I don't judge quickly on looks. I judge slowly on how you treat me. This was also the hint (and, yep, I totally missed it at the time) about how insecure he turned out to be.

He didn't have this name tag. It would've helped though. Photo Credit

I'm not trying to judge him for being insecure, but when it ends up leaking all over me; I don't like it. I know we all have issues and insecurities, but there's a difference between having insecurities and being insecure. I have insecurities; for example, I have always thought I have ugly knees. I am not insecure; for example, I don't give a rat's ass if a guy I met 5 minutes ago thinks I'm fuckable likeable. Does this mean I don't care about the date? No. If I didn't care I wouldn't have gone on the date. It does mean if the date doesn't go well, I'm fine, we just didn't work out.

We settled into slightly awkward conversation; it was a first date after all. Things went mostly fine. The next thing I notice, of course in retrospect — I really am out of practice — was his response when I said I wasn't looking for a long-term, serious relationship since I was just getting back into dating. This is true, I'm not looking to marry the next guy I go on a date with. Is there a remote chance the next I meet and go out with will become my husband? Sure, but there's also a chance I'll randomly find a winning lottery ticket laying on the ground too. I'm not searching for a husband; I'm just starting to date again and I want a chance to get out there a little bit. (Irony, getting out there makes me want to stop dating because jerks.)

So, his response to me saying I wasn't ready for a long-term, serious relationship was, "Oh, just a physical relationship, then?" At the time I was like, "Uh, sure." I mean I guess that's what I meant by what I said. Wait. That's not what I said at all. And there's the red flag. What kind of 45 year-old man thinks then next step down from a long-term, serious relationship is hooking up? Car Guy, that's who. (Can you guess yet why I'm calling him Car Guy?) Now I realize my response was probably complicit in the next little fun adventure I'll tell you about, but truthfully I was whole unprepared for a question like that. I mean does no one date causally any more? Like just go out and do stuff together and get to know each other? Without it being a "waste" of time since we're not hooking up or on the path to marriage with 2.6 kids?

There has to be an option between these 2 ...

After a bit more awkward conversation, he says it's late and needs to get heading home. A few things 1) I drove almost an hour through rush hour traffic to bufu suburbia to meet him. 2) I left work almost 2 hours early to make it at what he apparently considered a reasonable time. 3) We had barely been there for an hour. 4) It was not even 7:30pm when he said it was late. I mean, come on. Is there something in the water in suburbia? (Hey sis, I'm thinking you agree 7:30 is late for a Wednesday night?) I hadn't even had dinner yet.

That's when he hits me with, the real reason he wanted to leave, "So, do you want to fuck in my car?" Excuse me?!?!? No, I do NOT want to fuck in your car. I swear this is the stupidest thing these boys (if they were men, they wouldn't be asking about having sex in a car) have asked while I've been dating. Do I look like a 16-year-old? No? How about a college kid with dorm room and a roommate? No? What? I look like a fucking adult who, in fact, owns her own bed? Then stop asking me to fuck you in a car. Jesus Fucking Christ!

Since I'm rarely as forward (or angry) out loud as I am in my head, while I declined to fuck him in his car, we still went back to his car and made out a bit. Note: there are far fewer lights in giant suburbia parking lots than there are in urban parking garages, so there's that at least. But cars are cramped and small when trying to take clothes off, and there's usually people walking by. I'm not 20 anymore I don't really enjoy "the challenge" of getting undressed and redressed in a parked car. And while I'm not super worried about getting caught, I also don't want a public indecency ticket I have to report to security at work.

Fine. (Yes, that's the angry fine and something really is wrong.) Whatever. Then we hit the red flags I actually did notice that night. Okay, first one, I didn't see it was related to the whole insecurity thing at the time, but I still didn't like it and it didn't sit right with me. He "made" me promise to see him him again. UGH! No! Stop this! Even if I say what you want to hear, I am in no way going to take this promise seriously. You have coerced me into saying it in the first place. The conversation went something like this:

Car Guy: Did you have a good time tonight?
Me: Yeah, thanks.
Car Guy: Are you going to see me again?
Me: Sure.
Car Guy: Promise?
Me: Uh, yeah, I guess.

Nothing about this exchange made me happy. If you are genuinely interested if I had a good time, then by all means ask me. If you are looking for an ego validation or for me to validate your self worth, that is not my responsibility, especially not on a first date. This type of manipulation is terrible, for both of us. For me, because now I'm uncomfortable and I don't know if I should trust you when you are clearly trying to guilt me into seeing you again. And for you, because you shouldn't trust something I say after you have goaded me into saying it.

Next came the obligatory, "let me walk you to your car." Apparently this is the gentlemanly thing to do, but, good lord, I am a fully functioning adult member of society. My car was almost directly across the aisle from his; I can actually walk like 25 feet without an escort. Maybe it's since I was raised out West and this isn't as common out there. The Ex never did this to for me, maybe that's because he's a jerk. But I find this so annoying most of the time. You want to be a gentleman? That's fine with me, offer to walk to my car. Two things though, 1) don't argue with me if I decline, and 2) announcing you are gentleman and then forcing me to do something is not okay. Any time you announce you are being a gentleman as a reason for your actions, you are, in fact, not being gentlemanly, but I digress.

I'm not even kidding we were parked that close. Photo Credit

Where was I? Oh, yes, then he walked me to my car. I didn't technically decline, but I was like, "It's right there, you could just watch me walk over there." He walked me to my car and started sucking on my face kissing me again. What is this? You want to kiss me goodbye? Fine ... mostly. But do NOT try to restart a make out session while we're standing outside. Especially, if we've just made out and we've mutually decided it's time to leave and I'm trying to get in my car. This makes me feel like you want to show people you own me. Which I am totally not okay with.

I finally get my tongue back and get in my car. I should probably mention before I go on, I stated very clearly during this date I was independent and didn't need to be taken care of. This specifically includes ensuring I got home okay all the time. I get it, it's the whole little sister thing. There is something about me, or my behavior, which makes people think of me as their little sister who needs to be watched after. Let me tell you how tiring this is. I decide to take an Uber home at 11pm because I'm tired? Everybody wants a text saying I made it. The Window Shopper wants to walk home 5 miles at 4am? Well, that's just her being her; no need to worry.

Even though I was now going reverse commute direction and it was late enough for most of the traffic to have cleared out, it took me a while to get home. And before I was even close to home Car Guy had called me to see if I had made it home safely. Needless to say I was not amused. Also, now I'm driving and talking (hands-free) on my phone on the freeway. Yeah, that's a great way to make sure I get home safe. Then he claimed it was a joke ... ha ha, not funny. At the time I had no reason not to believe him, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Even after he asked me to call or text him when I made it home.

Now I'm done hindsight ranting about the first date. This got really long, so I'm thinking the second and third date stories need to be in the next blog. Which, I'm starting now, so it should be out later this month. Fingers crossed ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The RN: Happy New Year!

Photo Credit

I seem to having trouble actually publishing any blogs these last few months. I have started at least 4 separate blogs, but I can't seem to finish them. So, my New Year's Resolution is to publish at least one blog entry a month this year. About actual dating topics (mostly). January's is already started ...