A Dating Life

I talk about relationships a lot, but I rarely talk about my own current dating life, except in generalities. My post about being thirsty, the one that admonished women not to try to turn that temporary lover — the greasy burger — into a boyfriend?  It was mostly directed at myself.  Of course I failed to take my own advice.  The results weren’t miserable, but it ultimately didn’t work.  Intellectually, I knew it wouldn’t.  Emotionally, I was lonely and he met a need.  Until he didn’t.

It’s hard to talk about my current dating life, in part, because I feel ridiculous admitting, as a divorced woman with two kids, that I am just learning how to date.  I never dated in the past.  I had sex partners and boyfriends.  I would hook up with someone in school, or at work — usually, in the beginning, for sex and giggles.  (Gasp!  Yes.  At work.  Stop acting like you’ve never done it.)   Or I would go out with the girls and meet some guy.  If I was really feeling him, I was probably taking him home.  My girlfriends knew this.  Cock-blocking became their speciality, to the point that they now make really lousy wingwomen.

A lot of those hook-ups turned into relationships of a sort, but they were never fulfilling or satisfying.  Call it a double standard if you will, but a lot of men can’t go from a one-night stand to a relationship.  In my experience, no matter how much I otherwise filled the “good girlfriend” role, the guy often couldn’t forget that I was ass up, face down four hours after he met me.  And he never let me forget it, either. 

Still, for me, chemistry is critical.  If I’m not at least thinking about having sex with you shortly after I meet you, we’re never going to work as a couple. 

Trying to navigate the dating waters again after being out of the game for over a decade is tough.  It’s not the competition — I find that I can still hold my own out there — it’s what goes on inside my own head.  What are the rules?  Do I have to follow the rules?  Is there still a 3-date rule?  Do I have to wait three dates if I’m feeling this guy now? 

On the reverse side, if I feel no chemistry with a man on date 1, shouldn’t I cut it off then?  Or should I go out with him again to see if it gets better?

Having kids has definitely forced me to modify my behavior.  If I didn’t have kids, I probably would have snapped back into my pre-divorce mode of turning (or trying to turn) sex partners into boyfriends.  But the kids are like the roommates from hell, who never leave.  I’ve tried the sneak-him-in-after-midnight, sneak-him-out-before-sunrise routine, and it’s nerve-wracking.  Don’t make too much noise, don’t wake the kids – ugh! 

And the last thing I want is for my daughter or son to wake up to find some random stranger standing in the kitchen in his underwear, drinking orange juice out the carton, or cursing the fact that I have nothing in my fridge to make into a sandwich.

I won’t even allow my brain to fathom the notion of a random stranger giving my teenage daughter so much as a single sideways glance.  No sir.  No men around the kids unless I know he’s someone I want and expect to be around.  Having kids has made the random stranger encounter decidedly less appealing.

There are some aspects of the modern dating game that, I have to admit, I just don’t get.  Dear men of the universe: what is up with texting pictures of yourself to women and asking women to text pictures of themselves to you?  One guy texted me five pictures of himself within the first 12 hours after meeting me.  What part of the game is that?  I didn’t ask for that.  I just met you.  I know what you look like.  You, shirtless, isn’t all that different from you in a shirt.  Please stop.  Boy bye.

I haven’t gotten the dreaded penis picture yet.  I really don’t want pictures of it.  If I want to see, it, I want to see it.  Not a picture of it.  And what — do dudes now have a standard portfolio of penis pics on their phones, ready to send to every new woman they meet?  Do you take them from different angles?  Do you adjust the lighting in your bathroom mirror to display your penis in its best possible light?  I can’t. 

Practically every guy I’ve met has asked me to text him pictures of  myself.  This might be acceptable in the context of a long-distance relationship — or in the context of a relationship, period — but send you pictures of myself when I just met you?  Why? 

“You know what I look like,” I usually say. 

“Oh, you’re one of those,” was one guy’s response.

“One of those?  Oh, there’s a category for that now?  Women who do not text pictures of themselves?  Yes, I guess I would fall into that category, then,” I said.

He had no comeback for that.

So please allow me to make a brief public service announcement:

Dear men of the universe: I do not text pictures of myself to people I just met.  It’s a personal quirk.  Please stop asking. 

I also haven’t wanted to blog about specific people or dates, because it seems unfair.  These men didn’t sign up to be characters on my blog just by meeting me.  Even the appellations I use with my friends when I talk about these men are less than flattering: Happy Meal, Cute Dumb Guy, Corny Ass.  Hopefully, if any of them read my blog, they won’t know which appellation applies to them.

I may blog a bit more about dating, but I think I’ll still refrain from being too specific.  At least, until one of these guys morphs into an actual boyfriend.  Then he’s fair game.

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7 Responses to “A Dating Life”

  1. Tweets that mention A Dating Life « Carolyn A. Edgar -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by starfishncoffee, Kay Renee, The Opportunity, Rachel , She Ponderings and others. She Ponderings said: RT @LoveMySkip: Love it. RT @carolynedgar: Latest post: A Dating Life: http://wp.me/psOZx-ee […]

  2. @wizardofoz321 Says:

    The game is the same for everyone. Geez. Makes me wanna stay away even further despite wishing to have someone from time to time.

    It’s a jungle out there.

  3. @wizardofoz321 Says:

    Not sure if my comment was saved. If not, let me know please; will re-post.

  4. Shah Says:

    So, I was wondering about that “text me a picture” request too. And wondering why a dude I don’t know would feel the need to send me a pic of him (thankfully it was with him fully clothed, but weird just the same). Note: I have been out of the game even longer than you so sometimes I am totally clueless … I do cut off no chemistry or dudes who show signs of crazy after the first date or before if I can spot it that early …

  5. Saida M Latigue Says:

    I SO TOTALLY FEEL YOU…

    My children are Middle School age — daughter 11, son 14.
    Sure, when they were little I did just what you did — stealth , covert operations & then back to Mommy mode without any little people being the wiser. Now, I don’t bring anyone around them unless I feel like they are worth it & can handle the scrutiny of a pre-teen & a teen. Perhaps too, I’ve been less apprehensive about dating lately because I know soon, my kids will be dating soon themselves.

    Great post. ❤

  6. Ronica Webb Says:

    I love that you have a sense of humor in spite of the angst of dating with children. I am blogging to keep girls from making my mistake pre-marraige but i love that you can be open and honest about your experiences.

  7. Karen Durant Says:

    This should be required reading for all moms getting back in the dating game!

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