So there’s this guy…

There’s a new guy. He’s a big f’ing deal, too. 

So we met in a haphazard way. I was enjoying a late dinner and marg with a friend. Sitting in a bar booth at On the Border, and minding my own business. We were set to close the place, or get really close. This was our first opportunity to catch up in a minute, and we had a lot to cover. 

As the bar patrons thinned out, I heard this loud voice booming over all the left over conversations, blenders, and televisions. He was playing commentator to some sporting event, out talking his friends, and standing up at the bar. 

WTH?!

I told my friend a couple times how annoyed I was. He was too loud. He was too hype. He was too intoxicated. Someone should take his drunk ass home. And if he chauffeured himself, let me get home before you hit the road. Geez. 

When we got up to leave, we had to walk right past him. I put my head down, and decided to breeze past. I’d already had enough. 

But, one of his friend was a guy I was friendly with. I felt compelled to speak. Just a quick half hug and the highlights on life since we’d seen each other last. 

I made the mistake of commenting about his “drunk friend.” As an aware citizen trying to ensure this man wasn’t going to be out and about on the roadways. Something like, “you’re friend is drunk af.” I whispered it during our half hug. It went directly into his ear. I was trying to keep my concern secret. 

He announces, “he’s not drunk.” 

“What?!” I said in disbelief. 

“Nah.” 

“You sure?”

And, we called too much attention to ourselves. Now the topic of “we’re talking about you not to you,” was turned around staring directly at me. 

“She thinks you’re drunk.” The guy says. Who is she? You probably don’t even remember my name. So, you shouldn’t be outing me. Damn. Really?

“I’m not drunk. I haven’t even had one drink.”

“Oh…” I had more to say, but I was choking down the foot in my mouth. I mustered up something charming. Laughed the whole thing off. Engaged them both a little more. And, then got the hell away before I said anything else I’d have to apologize for. Apologizing isn’t my favorite. 

Spring forward…I guess I was just charming enough. 

The next time we saw each other, we were having date night dinner at Olive Garden. Then we saw each other every day for over a week. Then we cooked dinner together at his house. Then we watched excessive amounts of TV. Then we had more Olive Garden, talked about going to Cuba, he learned how I liked my coffee, and he even met my son. 

We even had a spat. The honeymoon is over. We’re living real shit. Some days it feels like it would be easier to cut and run, but I don’t want to miss the journey. I don’t want this to end. 

Funny thing, I’d just realized I was done with relationships. I wasn’t ready. The thought was too much. I just wanted to build me. I just wanted to figure out my life. I need to carve the path to success for me and my kid. 

I was good on my own. That’s the way it was

And, I told the people closest to me, I’m not interested in a relationship. I’m just gonna date and have fun until I meet the guy that makes me not want to date anyone else. 

Something about opening his pantry and seeing a stock of my favorite Powerades, the ones he hates, and a little jar holding all my Splenda packets, that makes me wonder if I’ve met the guy that makes me not want to date anyone else. 

Side note: Those are just a few of the things he does. I’m writing this while eating the lunch he packed me. He’s a good guy. 

I haven’t been spontaneous since 2004. 

I am not spontaneous. Seriously, I’m not. I don’t absolutely hate surprises or spontaneity. They just don’t really fit in my life, and haven’t since 2004. Because I found out I was pregnant in January of 2005, and it’s been downhill since. 

I’m a mom, a daughter, a sister, all while having a full-time job, a business, this blog, and social and community responsibilities. I am busy. I feel like I say that all the time. 

I am juggling a lot of balls. As many as many others, I know. But, I’m just talking about me. 

So if we make plans, there’s a lot I have to do behind the scenes of that “yes”. I have to make sure my son is taken care of. I have to coordinate with someone else’s schedule, ask them nicely, and hope they say yes with no strings attached. I have to make sure he has everything he needs for that timeframe and any other timeframe it may impact. (If it’s a school night, did he get his homework done, have dinner, get his bath, brush his teeth, take his medicine, feed his fish, put everything away, get his schoolwork and backpack ready for the next day, pick out his clothes, pack his lunch, get his snack, say prayers, and get to bed at a reasonable hour. It’s not the responsibility of the person who agreed to help me to do ALL of that. He’s my son.) 

Can I leave after he goes to bed? When you’ve showcased yourself as single to your child his entire life, leaving him to spend a few hours “with some stranger” can be difficult to process…right before bedtime. 

I need to coordinate my work schedule. For me to have a late dinner and movie with you, I need to ensure I’m not going to be the closer at my retail job and miss any time with my son that evening. I need to go home and wrangle stuff, get things for both of us done, and ensure that I’m ready to see you. Plus I want to go ahead and have my shower, to keep from disrupting the house when I make it in. And because work attire and date attire are different, I have to put a lot of work into looking like I put in little effort. 

If I have to leave town for you or with you, I need to do all that times 1000.  Is my son staying with one of my parents or going to his dad’s for the weekend? Is my work schedule covered? Have I made any commitments to my friends, family, or social contacts that need to be changed? Is there anything I’m forgetting? Wait…who’s going to feed the fish?

There’s no room for spontaneity in this phase of my life. 

There’s also no room for missed plans or shitty excuses. If we make plans, and I do all of those things, you flaking in the 11th hour is unacceptable. It’s also inexcusable unless you’ve had some emergency situation or work thing that couldn’t be altered. 

And, it’s disrespectful. Because if my only responsibility in life was to sit still and wait for your attention, that’s funny to even type, it’s only courteous to follow through with what you have agreed too. It’s basic. It’s one of the things we were taught in grade school, at church, and at home. Honor your commitments. Respect other people’s time. Be a man or woman of your word. Integrity. Respect. Grown folks shit! 

Because, we are grown people. We know how to interact and engage with one another. We know how to do what’s right. Especially…ESPECIALLY, when you want to date me, sleep with me, and possibly give me your last name some day. 

And if you happen to screw this up, human nature and shit happens, apologize. Just apologize. Sincerely, apologize. Tell me the minute you know, try to lessen the impact, fix what you can, and apologize. Acknowledge the gazillion things I had to do to make myself available to you, the other people who were involved, and my hurt feelings. Own that you just messed up. Stand up like a grown up and accept responsibility, and NEVER let it happen again. 

I know emergency situations arise. I know, and this is separate from that. If you have an emergency or work thing out of left field, I get it. And if I get upset, I’m unreasonable. I would owe the apology. But only for the unforeseen, not the oops I forgot. 

I hope this provides some clarity to the man I went left on, the man I should have gone left on, and anyone else who’s immature shit isn’t recent enough to recognize.

Instructions on dating. 

I’ve been seeing someone, but we hit some rocky patches this summer. We dialed it way back, and now we’re dating each other. Trying to fix what’s broken. And, I’m dating  a healthy handful of other people too. This is good for me. Commitment and love don’t really work in this phase of my life. I need to see and be seen for a while. 

I went on the driest date of all. Mini date, coffee and conversation. Nice first step. Let’s break the ice. Let’s try something. Cool. 

Not cool. 

When you invite someone for coffee and conversation, you should be prepared to pay for the coffee and participate in conversation. IJS. 

1. Be prepared to pay, if you invited me. 

Because, I expect the person who asked to pay. 

I have my own funds, because I see everyone didn’t learn that. But, it says a lot about a man who A. didn’t meet me online and already knows what he’s getting himself into, B. isn’t broke AF, and C. has some manners. In his defense he offered to pay, but he used the phrase, “do you want me to get that?” Really?! I responded, “nah bro, I got it.” I literally said “bro” or more like “brah” in an attempt to show him this date just died. Then I pulled out my frequent coffee card and started this madness.

2. Conversation!!! 

Why don’t you, grown man, know how to have a conversation? Why don’t grown people know how to carry on a conversation? Why is this hard? It’s a tennis match. I say something, and then you say something. Nope. Silence. 

Then I took out my phone, checked Instagram, sent a text, and faked an emergency situation I had to leave for. Snatched up my coffee and my bag, and I was out. He was still asking questions in the back ground. This was super dry! You asking questions about where I was going, what I just said, and to please hit you up later was more than you’d mustered in the 5-10 minutes we’d been sitting there. 

It was only 5-10 minutes? Geez, it felt longer…much longer. 

3. What do you want? The reason why I’m still playing the field is because the boys on the field aren’t sure what they are playing for. 

Huh? What do you want, sir? 

The first guy, had me. I was his. We were trying the committed thing. He was hinting at loving me. I was feeling all the feelings. We were good. Until he started letting his actions and his words do drastically different things. Then when he was questioned, he was too tough to just apologize and put things back on track. He was too hard to be vunerable. So I left. I packed up my emotions and fled the scene. And, he realized that wasn’t the outcome he wanted. He realized he wanted me. He wanted this. He wanted to live the life we were in route too. 

Because you always want what you can’t have…human nature. 

I’m not ready to take him back the way we were before. I can’t keep investing with no return. Nope. Not me. Not again. So, I’m playing the field. I know exactly what I want, but I’m not giving it away for compliments and dinners. Work for me. 

Sorry I went to the movies with your boyfriend, ma’am. 

Aren’t I too old to be questioned about whether or not I’m out with someone’s boyfriend?

Am I not? We’re still playing these games well into our 30s?

I was sure I’d grown out of this phase. 

Obviously not. 

Blaise and I agreed to go see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Wanted to have a double movie day last week when we saw Doctor Strange, but some ridiculousness at Chili’s halted those plans. So we were trying again. 

Last time I mentioned it to my friend, just friend because I’m not rushing anything, and he wanted to see Doctor Strange, too. He went with us, tagged along. He and Blaise had all the superhero conversations after the movie. I checked my email and Instagram feed. It worked. I didn’t have to fake understanding anything to be outed afterwards by Blaise. He had a pal who understood all the superhero stuff and was equally impressed by the technology.

We decided to go see the second movie this week. Made plans last week, and invited him again. Nothing romantic. Nothing heavy. It’s a movie. 

We met at the theater. Stood in line. I paid for mine and B’s tickets before he offered. We got to the theater and sat where I could put my feet on the railing. We watched the movie with little chatter, held hands a couple times, and that was it. 

So after the movie, we said our goodbyes. It was casual no need for the long walk out, hand holding, and awkward stares. Goodbye consisted of a quick hug and a half wave. He had errands to run, and so did I. Nothing more.

We left the building separately. Blaise needed to tie his shoe, and I was digging my keys and phone out of my oversized bag. Blaise and I talked all the way to the car. He likes to go over the movie again. He’s really animated, and I typically just focus on him. I didn’t notice the car slowly pull into our lane. I didn’t immediately see that it stopped directly behind him in his parking space. Thank God we didn’t ride together. Someone jumped out and approached his car. It was too tight for me to pull out of my space, so I watched from my rearview mirror hoping they would wrap it up quickly. It was a woman. She seemed to be upset and proceeded to question him. Announced he was her boyfriend. Backed up enough to let him leave, and followed him out of the parking lot. Thank God we didn’t walk out together. Who knows what she was capable of and how long she had been there. 

He played defense almost immediately. He text me and called her a stalker. Claimed she was crazy. Swore that he had broken things off months ago. Ummm…okay. I hear you. That’s what you’re supposed to say, though. 

It wasn’t really a date. It was friendly. It was casual. Two separate cars. A movie outing. My son was with me. We were seeing a movie my kid had picked. This guy, her boyfriend, was on our outing. He was tagging along. 

And, now there’s another guy that I have to tell Blaise has died. 

Side note: I hate when I let my guard down enough to introduce someone to my son, and they turn out to be a jerk. 

I don’t like anyone. 

I don’t think I genuinely like the new guy. I don’t think that my feelings match his. I’m not ready. I’m not really into this. I said I wanted more than I actually want. Don’t be mad. 

I’m totally disappointed in the old guy. He hurt me for sport. 

I’m ready for commitment, but I’m not great at it. 

Obviously. 

When I try, I get shit on. When I don’t try, I shit on someone else. 

It’s a no win situation. 

I slept on this post. Tried to figure out how to own all the emotion that goes with it. 

Here goes, and it’s the best I’ve got. 

Nothing hurts me worse than trying and failing. It’s devastating. Especially in relationships. Especially. In. Relationships. 

I’m typically so absent from my feelings. I’m rational and logical. I don’t lead with emotion. It’s not my thing. I’ve built emotional walls all around me like a fortress…none come in and none go out. It’s defensive, and it usually works. But sometimes, I slip up. And, I try. And, I love someone. And when I love someone, I’m all in. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for that person. And, I’m forgiving. And, I’m understanding. I try incredibly hard to make things work. I want the best for them. I want to be the best to them. Their happiness is important to me. 

I try not to sacrifice myself for them, but I typically do. I bend for them. I work towards our success. I work towards our future. 

I love them the best way I know how. 

So when that’s manipulated, disregarded, or trashed, it’s hard. 

It probably took me a lot to get there in the first place. It probably required a lot of prayer and soul searching for me to love them. I probably had to make sacrifices. I probably second guessed that love. I probably did a million behind the scenes things to get myself to a point that I could express that love. 

And, it didn’t work. 

And, I don’t know what to do. Because, I wouldn’t have driven all this way to be disappointed. 

I don’t know if I can do it again. The silence is peaceful and alone isn’t always lonely. 

I don’t want to like anyone that’s not guaranteed. 

Little hiccups and chest high walls

Had a little hiccup with the new guy. Yes, already. And, usually it would be just enough for me to go running in the opposite direction. I still have on my running shoes, but I haven’t taken off yet. 

New guy and I made plans. We’d made plans a few times, but something always got in the way. So finally we nailed down a time and date. We committed to it. No matter what, come hell or high water.

And when the time came, he was MIA. I had a lot going on in that moment. It was okay for me to extend my prior plans. I didn’t miss a beat in my own entertainment, but I did have a thousand different emotions around him not following through.

Was it me? Did he notice all the flaws I’m constantly picking at and decide I wasn’t worth the effort? Did he see my bad outweighs my good? Did he find out I’m still dealing with some misplaced emotional shit with the ex? Was he just pretending to like me in the first place? Did he go back to his ex? Had I read too much into what was going on?

I don’t know. But, I took it incredibly personal. There’s was no other way to take it.

He didn’t even seem to notice. He shrugged off my mention of it. Never apologized. Never owned it. Never gave an explanation. Until…I point-blank asked. It was polite, but aggressive. I needed an answer.

Turns out it was circumstance, bad signal, and avoiding the issues. He’s was out with his family. Mothers Day weekend, I’m sure everyone was in town. They were at the lake, doing whatever people do at the lake. He had no service. He lost track of time. All things I believe legimitely happened. But when you regained track of time and your signal returned, you should have made things right with me and our plans. Avoiding an argument? Blah. Blah. Blah. An argument is more likely to have been created by you avoiding me and the issue for the last 2 days. 

I’ve already done this. I’m not doing it again. I’ve already put myself through all of this. I’ve already felt all these feelings. Never again. I can’t spend the next, any span of time, feeling these feelings again. 

We talked. He apologized. I listened. I didn’t overreact. I didn’t under react. I picked my battles and this wasn’t one. It’s too early. It’s too new. I can’t handle the conflict. I’d rather stick with the ex and feel those feelings than start fresh. At least, I know it’s him and not me. At least, I know there’s a layer of love under the bullshit. 

So, we’re going back to the starting line. Starting over like nothing ever happened before. I’m gonna try to be open, but my wall is already up chest high. 

I’m in my 30s. Really in them.

It’s my birthday, a couple days past. Yep. I’m another year older. Hello 34. Do me right.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other night. Thanks Kels. And, we were talking about dating in our 30s. It’s different. It’s definitely different…for us.

Our priorities have changed. We bend, but we don’t break. We make sacrifices and honor our loved ones. We do the hard stuff now. The game changed.

I was a different person in my 20s. I was very self serving. I was focused on me. I thought I knew what I wanted, had trouble figuring out how to get it, but I thought I knew. I didn’t.

I had some unattainable dreams and goals. Thought the world was going to make a place for me. No more. I’m figuring it out, but I’ve stopped the dreaming and started the work.

You can’t date me haphazardly. You can’t just see what comes. You need to be intentional and honest. You need to do the work.

Let’s cut to the chase. I’m dating to marry. I’m dating for a family and longevity. I want to know where this is ultimately going. I’m not laying it all on the table at the first meeting, but it’s the route I’m going. What are your intentions? What’s your plan, pal?

In my 20s, I would fake a lot interest for feelings sake. I laughed at dumb jokes, and pretended to be interested in things I could care less about. Not anymore. You must earn my interest. Let’s discuss real topics, debate a little, and even agree to disagree.

I’ve said this all before, I’m sure, but I haven’t done well about living it. But in my 30s, I’d rather be upset and disappointed for a few days than live in it with anyone for a lifetime.

There’s no more wishes and big plans. I am who I am. I’m not selling who I hope to be one day. There aren’t any conversations about what I plan to be when I grow up or who I want to be. I am her. I’m fine tuning her, but my personality and views are pretty well established.

I’m demanding. I’m demanding you to say what you need to say and do what you need to do 100% of the time. I am practicing that, even when it seems impossible. You need to do the same.

Show up. Speak your mind. And know, that tomorrow is not promised. I’m not promised. In my 30s, I’m not leaving my choices up to hopefulness. Do the work.

Someone needed to hear this. I hope you figure it out. But if you don’t, I hope you are comfortable in the bed you made.