During this process, I have tried to learn and grow. Sometimes I kick ass at this and find myself thinking, “damn Breezy you are one insightful bitch”. Other times, I suck and end up sitting in my bed, watching Netflix, crying into my bowl of Cheetos, thinking, “this was all my fault “.
It is hard to tell where the reflection may take me. And so, in effort to decrease the likelihood of the second scenario occurring, my therapist recommended that I read the book “Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends” by Bruce Fisher and Robert Albert (available on Amazon). She told me that she finds this book to be a useful tool for divorcees as it helps people come to terms with the ending of their relationship, as well evaluating if they are ready to be in a serious relationship again.
While, I have only gotten about a chapter and a half into the book, I can definitely see why my therapist recommends it. It not only discusses the grief process of divorce, but it also has these insightful questions at the end of each chapter. These questions are wonderful as they help to direct my self-exploration process in a positive direction (i.e. insightful bitch direction) vs. the self-deprecating direction (i.e. Netflix and crying into a bowl of Cheetos).
As I wade through this self-discovery process, I know that my end goal is to be a healthy person for both myself and for my future “Mr”. However, the thought of starting a new relationship is something that seems very surreal and scary for a number of reasons.
- What if I get into a relationship with someone like C and repeat this whole process?
- If I get serious with someone else then it means that C and I are really over. Even though I know our life is done, I still sometimes hold out hope that C will show up and tell me that I was the best thing that ever happened to him. In this crazy fantasy he is healthy and wants to be with me and can give me everything I ever wanted. What can I say, I have always loved a good fairy tale.
- How do I know that I am not just getting into a relationship because I am scared of being alone.
- What is the appropriate balance of releasing my crazy/baggage to someone new? Like I don’t think I need to release all the info on the first date, yet I don’t want to get three months in and find out that the person thinks I am insane because I have to sing to my dogs at all times or sometimes cry at the site of re-fried beans.
- I don’t want to go #2 at someone else’s house nor do I want to do it at my house with a guy sitting on my couch watching TV waiting for me. I was with C for so long that we just knew each others’ “schedules”. Honestly, the shit you have to think about when you start dating (Dad – that pun was for you).
- Finally, how do I know that the person I end up dating is not going to eff me over the way that C did. Never in a million years did I think C would leave me. Again, I knew our relationship wasn’t exactly healthy, but I never thought he would leave. I was naive enough to believe that he loved me more than he could ever love anyone else.
It is with all these fears (plus many more) along with me self-exploratory journey that I decided a few months ago that it was time for me to get back into the dating world.
Warning: If my big brother is reading this – STOP AND CLOSE THE WINDOW NOW. Dad, I have always shared more than you may want to know, so why stop here.
I know the above is a long intro just to get into the crazy dating stories, but I needed to provide some sort of intellectual insight and background before I got to the “juice”. Also, I have given a lot of thought on how best to explain my dating experiences, as I don’t want to expose too much and write a full book (they say the best writers leave you wanting more). With this, I have determined to highlight some of the more memorable encounters. So, let’s get started…
Side Note: It is important to know that I am not looking for anything serious at this point in my life. Rather, my current dating life is focused on serving a few of my essential needs. With that disclosure, I do see more than one person at a time and do not have tolerance for people that think it is okay to “slut shame” me for doing so. I had this happen with one guy in particular. He and I had a very long conversation regarding the discrepancy in society views when it comes to men, women and sexuality. I should also mention that he was seeing other people and thought that it was totally acceptable for him to do so, just not for me. For anyone that agrees with his viewpoint, I would be more than happy to discuss over drinks. I love a spirited conversation about society viewpoints and gender norms.
So far in my dating life I have discovered:
- Things have changed since the last time I dated, which was 2004. Facebook started my senior year of college and I was dating C when that happened! Now everything is an app and by the time you meet someone in person you more than likely know everything about them. One, because you are a good “private investigator” and two, because you have been texting for a long time. To say the least, I am very happy to have my 25 year old roommate (aka Roomie) to help me with modern dating.
- Guys are kind of dumb and many of them seriously do think that if they send a picture of their penis that you will get in your car and go there because “I MUST HAVE IT”! I have never received a picture of a penis and thought, “I am going to drop everything I am doing (including my pants) and go see that”.
- I don’t like to call guys by their real name, unless I can foresee myself going out with them for an extended period. For me, everyone starts with a nickname, most of which are related to a profession or memorable incident.
- When I do like someone in “real life”, like outside of an app, it is really hard to tell them. How do I show someone I am interested in them without swiping right?
- Tinder is so freaking weird, it is the most shallow yet incredibly addictive thing I have ever encountered. It is like dating for the lazy. You really don’t have to do anything other than swipe left if you don’t like someone or swipe right if you are interested. If both of you swipe right then you match and you can talk through the app.
I will be honest and tell you that I have not explored all dating apps and at this point have only been on Tinder. Additionally, I admit that I hardly ever open a guy’s Tinder profile. I quickly found that all profiles said the same thing, “I love tacos, craft beer, the outdoors and Colorado. My mom thinks I am great, so you should too”. Instead of reading the same thing over and over again, I look at two things, their job and their pictures. I am a total job snob and will swipe left so dang fast if the dude says his job is “CEO of Me”. I will swipe right for the following jobs – finance, doctor, lawyer, real estate or education. To me it doesn’t matter if homie is hot, if he doesn’t have his shit together that is a deal breaker. I mean I married the first time for love and look where it got me, so why not try the earning potential route this time.
Other things that get me to swipe right:
- Having a dog;
- Being a foodie;
- Having pictures of them with their nieces and/or nephews;
- A picture that shows that they have a sense of humor.
Things that make me swipe left:
- Pictures with another woman;
- Someone that only has pictures of their body only and not of their face;
- Someone dressed in camouflage in every picture;
- Only having pictures of them drinking.
At times I will throw these standards out the window, especially if I am playing Tinder with my girlfriends (yes at times it is a game). Playing Tinder means that the goal is to see who can get the most absurd thing. Once the goal is achieved then the person is blocked. I know this sounds kind of mean, but trust me these guys are not looking for long-term love.
To date the best one I ever got was from a guy that Roomie matched me with, she will sometimes take my phone and Tinder for me. You could tell this guy was trouble from the beginning based on his profile. My parents are reading this so I can’t disclose what he said his interests were or what his pictures were of, but let’s just say neither involved my swipe right criteria. He did not send me any inappropriate pictures, but rather….
Dude (a couple mins later): Sends me a drop pin to Best Western in Parker, CO.
Me: Are you asking me to meet you at the Best Western in Parker?
Dude: Yeah, are you on your way?
Me: No, I think I am going to stay at my own house tonight and not at a Best Western.
From there he was blocked and made fun of by all my friends. The real question though, what if the drop pin would have been to the Four Seasons. My friends and I have discussed this a few times and, to be honest, I may have gone and met him. I know this is shallow and I am cool with it – I am not perfect. Also, I know what you are all probably saying, “what if he was a killer”? Well, I do ask everyone that I match with if they are a serial killer because I assume it is like a cop and they have to tell me if I ask. Makes sense right? If this question freaks the guy out then he is a serial killer or he will never understand my sense of humor and it will never work.
A few have made it past this initial conversation and these include: MMA, Fireman and the the Bald-Ginger.
MMA was the first person I met on Tinder. His draw was that he appeared to have his shit together. He supposedly was an MMA fighter (something that I seriously do love watching), worked at a hospital, had a nice car and had nice abs. To this day, I have no clue what the hell to think about this guy. I would often tell him “you are a very intriguing person” since I didn’t know what else to say.
- He didn’t live alone like he originally told me when we started talking. Rather he had a roommate. This roommate was a girl and I was not allowed to go over to his house when she was home. I would always tease him that she was his girlfriend as they ate dinner and breakfast together and she was in charge of decorating their entire apartment including his room. They did have separate rooms, which was his go-to reason on why they weren’t dating. He did tell me that he thought she was in love with him, but he wasn’t going to deal with it since he liked that she took care of him.
- Our first date occurred at 9 a.m. on a Sunday in my car. This is when I found out that he had a roommate and I wasn’t allowed to go into his house and he didn’t want to go to Starbucks either (yes I know weird). We had coffee and talked, so it was kind of normal other than the fact that it was occurring in my car.
- During our first date, which was about an hour, he told me a variety of things. First, he had been in two or three foster homes as his parents abandoned him and his twin brother as babies. All foster homes he was in were abusive. Due to this, he and his brother ran away and lived in their car. During this homeless period (at least I believe it was at the same time), his high-school sweetheart killed herself while playing Russian Roulette at a party. She was drunk and he was not there to stop her, so he does not like to drink due to this incident. His twin brother was also a drug addict for awhile. In addition to helping his brother get clean, he also helped to change the financial aid situation for homeless people trying to attend college. How did he do this, well he was trying to secure funding for college and started talking to a girl that was getting her master’s at the time. She was very interested in his life story and wrote her thesis on him. Upon doing so, the school (or the government not sure who or what) looked at the situation and determined that something had to change. He is writing a book about this and his life story.
- Even though he told me all of this right away and I wasn’t sure what was true or not true, I decided heck I should still see him. This lasted for about 2 months. During that time I learned a lot of other crazy things about him. Like he was a self-taught keyboard player, he really likes working out and he has a YouTube channel so he can post videos of himself doing handstands.
The relationship (if you can call it that) did teach me some lessons, since it was the first one I was “in” since C. First, I was not ready to be in a relationship. I would often feel like I was cheating on C when I would go up to see MMA. Second, I didn’t really care what MMA thought about me so I could be incredibly blunt with him. This has helped to pave the way for others that I see as I can tactfully have the relationship conversation early and boundaries/definitions are then defined. Finally, and most importantly, it is really hard to keep a straight face when someone tells you that they are self-taught on the piano and then brings out a 1990’s keyboard and plays the theme song to “Jurassic Park”. Yes, this really did happen and my response was “hmmm…. that was intriguing”.
Next is the Fireman. There isn’t much to say about the Fireman other than he was featured in the “hot firefighter calendar”. Disclaimer, he isn’t in this year’s calendar, but you should go check out the 2017 calendar and purchase one as proceeds go to a good cause. I still see Fireman on occasion and there isn’t much substance to our relationship. I will fully admit that I like to hang out with Fireman for a couple of main reasons. The first one, well, I don’t feel like I should disclose… remember a good writer leaves you wanting more. The second one, I secretly would love for C to see me out with the Fireman. This is what you may call revenge dating. C doesn’t need to know that Fireman and my conversations revolve around his calorie intake for the day or his workout plan and that I get daily updates on my Apple Watch regrading his workouts (how the hell do I turn this off and how the hell did I connect with him, I have no freaking clue). Rather, all C needs to know is that I look pretty damn good sitting next to an oiled up Fireman.
As with MMA, I have also learned some lessons from Fireman. The most important one is to always leave the way you came in. No this not a Fireman safety tip. Rather, it is related to the fact that one evening/early morning at 2 a.m. I found myself locked in his apartment’s garage. I thought I could leave through the backdoor of his apartment building and get to my car, but little did I know that the garage did not go to the street. Instead, it was a secure garage and the door that shut behind me required a key to get back into the building. When Fireman didn’t answer his phone (he was sleeping and I called him like ten times), I decided that I had to rely on my own smarts and I MacGyvered myself to freedom. Let’s just say this included a rolling chair and a ladder.
Now on to one of the more interesting gents I have met… The Bald Ginger. I feel like the name really says it all. In all his pictures he had a hat on and I thought maybe this was a sign. However, I double guessed myself as he had longer hair that extended below his hat. This gave the false impression that maybe he just wore a hat because he didn’t want to comb his hair. He and I talked for about a month before meeting in person. We had things in common like our sense of humor, our love of dogs and our movie taste. I really liked talking to him and thus dropped my guard down and agreed to meet him at his house for drinks before we went to dinner. Many of you may be screaming at your computer “DON’T GO IN THERE” like this is a horror movie, I wish I would of had you all there in real life.
When I arrived, he seemed like a nice enough guy. Yet, it was hard to contain my shock when I saw that he didn’t really look like his pictures. I decided not to be shallow and go in as you can’t judge a book by its cover. When I went into his house I was greeted by a untrained crazy dog. One of my pet peeves is when people let their dogs do whatever they want. I mean yes my dogs run my house, but they listen to me when I tell them to back off or go to their place. Again, I didn’t want to ruin our date just because of my own issues, so I proceed to go further down the rabbit hole.
He bought me a lovely bottle of wine which he opened and poured in front of me (I was in a sorority, I learned very early that you watch when a guy pours your drink and never drink out of anyone else’s cup). We sat outside while having a drink and talked. During this drink, his dog proceeded to bark at me to throw her ball which I did with no issue, well with no issue for the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I think the Bald Ginger could tell I was getting a little annoyed with the game.
Following this game of fetch, the Bald Ginger decided he didn’t want to go to dinner and rather wanted to stay at his house and watch a movie. But before we watched the movie, he wanted to sit on the couch, talk and listen to music. Now, as I have disclosed in previous posts, I love music and I tend to like all types. However, he wanted to listen to his favorite band…PHISH. I HATE PHISH!!! This then triggered a conversation regarding why he would like such a band and such music. I don’t think he liked my insightful take. I mean really all their songs sound the same and last 20 minutes. After enough of my offensive talk regarding his fav band, he then asked me what kind of music I liked. By this point I was well aware that there would not be a second date, so I played him some Brittany Spears. I wanted to see how “turned off” I could make him so the date would just end. However, instead of ending the date he suggested we turn off music and watch a movie.
While watching this movie he attempted to touch me multiple times to which I told him that I didn’t like to be touched during movies because I couldn’t focus on the story line. Oh yeah the movie we were watching was the Labyrinth, you know the 1980’s Bowie classic, which I have seen many times. I don’t think he bought my excuse as I had no issue focusing on the movie with his dog barking at me to throw her ball for 2 hours, which I did because it also kept my hands occupied. Following the movie, I quickly got up and said the one thing I knew he wouldn’t question “I need to go let my dogs out”. With that statement, I was out the door.
This may have been one of the most awkward dates of my life and taught me the valuable lesson of never go to a guy’s house on the first date, no matter how much you have talked beforehand or feel comfortable with him. Always, always, always meet somewhere else so you don’t have to listen to Phish or have a dog barking at you for 3 hours.
So, while dating may seem fun, I can promise you that it isn’t all that great! I mean yes I have met some wonderful guys in addition to the crazy and I have learned a lot about what I want and don’t want. I also can tell you that these three incidents aren’t the worst of the dating stories…I have one that tops them all. Let’s just say it was a blind date and it deserves its own post regarding who should and should not set you up. As I have said above, I need to leave you wanting more…