Archive for December, 2012

How Not to Date An Abuser

Got to catch up with some dear friends this weekend, and while chatting about my dating adventures, my one friend discussed the warning signs of an abuser and mentioned a good article about the subject by Steven Stosny, Ph.D.  You can read the full article here: Are You Dating An Abuser?

Here are the 9 early warning signs: (each one is explained more completely in the article).

  1. Blamer
  2. Resenter
  3. Entitlement
  4. Superiority
  5. Pettiness
  6. Sarcasm
  7. Deceit (intentional or unintentional)
  8. Minor Jealousy
  9. Rusher

An interesting point that they make is that you just need to trust yourself and your instincts.  But also, if you seem to keep dating the same kinds of guys – you may need to re-examine what you are looking for that appeals to you.

I know I personally was in a verbally abusive marriage for 9 years.  Part of my problem was that I was too proud to admit that my marriage was less than perfect – so I would try extra hard to “keep up appearances.”  Now, I’m the opposite – openly vocal.  But it’s still good to remind ourselves of the signs – just in case we lull ourselves in to sense of acceptance on unacceptable behavior.

U R Sew Purtee

Is it just me? Does being hit on by someone who can’t type complete sentences appeal to anyone else?

I can understand if we were both 18 – but at my age, I expect my counterparts to think, and type, in mostly complete sentences.

Yes, yes I really do.

Read Deleted

When you send someone a message via an online dating website , you often have the option to go in to your sent messages and see if something has been read yet. 

Today, I saw the 2 harshest words I’d ever seen in the sent folder:  Read Deleted.

My brain went something like this:  Read deleted? I just sent you the message 2 hours ago. . . don’t you want to think about it for a minute – go back and read my profile and see if you might be interested? No?  You didn’t even view me!  You just read it and deleted it.  Why you filthy rotten . . .

In reality?  Whatever.  He could be seeing someone, he could have a rule about blondes, it could be one of a million things.  But just for one second . . . I felt a whole new level of rejection.

Moving on.

When someone messages you on a dating site after 11 PM at night – they are generally up to no good. And last night, someone I had initially contacted back a few weeks ago finally messaged me back. 

We chatted back and forth – and things had more of a naughty tone, which seems to be pretty standard.  Once someone gets to the naughty so quickly, I tend to write them off in my book. They obviously are just looking for the easy thrill – and we can all indulge sometimes.  But I’m not going to give you too much information about me at that point, because I recognize that you are not really looking for a relationship.

So we had a rather frank discussion about sex: turn ons, turn offs, things that weren’t open to discussion.  When it was noted that I was not open to random sex with strangers, I was told that I needed to learn to be more spontaneous, and that he was going to help me with that.

Umm, no.

There was a time when being told that I need to be more spontaneous would intimidate me and bully me in to thinking there was something wrong with me, that I needed to prove that I was adventurous.  Fortunately, I don’t need to prove myself to random strangers any more.

I laughed politely at his comment – told him I needed to go – and then shut my netbook and rolled over and fell fast asleep.  Spontaneously.

Focusing on What You Have

Christmas Eve was spent with friends and Christmas Night was spent with friends.  There was lots of good food, laughter and love all around. 

There was that one moment when I realized that for the first time in 5 years, I would be waking up alone on Christmas Morning.  But I pushed it out of my mind, because I wouldn’t want to be in bed with someone who didn’t want to be with me.  Also, there are many of my friends who have been waking up alone for 5 Christmases or more and they are surviving.

So now I’m going to redouble my efforts to just not focus on the past – but focus on what I have.   And what I have is a darn good life.  The rest will come, when it’s ready and I’m ready.  But for now – it’s all good.

Dreaming of Liverwurst

In my favorite holiday movie, White Christmas, there’s a little improv between Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby about how what you eat before you go to sleep can affect your dreams.   If you eat one thing, you’ll dream of a blonde; another a brunette.  If you eat liverwurst?  Well, you’ll dream of liverwurst.

I had a few friends over on Thursday to watch this classic with me. But a search for the DVD made me realize that my ex-boyfriend must still have it.  A quick text confirmed it, and I had not choice but to drive over there to pick it up – or buy a new one. 

He was very cordial about it – and it gave me a chance to give him back some more of his stuff that I had found. He met me at my car – it was obvious from the car parked in his second spot that she must be there. The rain gave us an excuse to keep the conversation brief, but pleasant.

It was the 2nd of 4 ex-boyfriend moments last week.  The first came on Tuesday when I was told that he had posted on Facebook about having surgery and sent him an email to make sure he was all right.  The second was the DVD on Wednesday.  The third was Friday when I needed my network password to add my new phone to the WiFi list.  And the 4th was in the wee hours at a dance club, when 2 friends mentioned running in to him and the new girl while out to eat.

Overall?  3 out of 4 of the experiences were positive interactions.  The dinner thing was a slight twinge, even though my friend did say that the new girl was a downgrade from me.  But the important thing is that I was able to hold several friendly conversations with him and didn’t find myself getting angry, bitter, or weepy afterwards.

Dating overall has been less than exciting.  I have several conversations going with people, but nothing is making me giggle or shout with glee.  At the dance club, there were a few men who seemed interested in hooking up – although none of them appealed to me. The thought of having actual sex with someone still concerns me – playing is one thing, having breeder sex is another.  Making love is something I’ve only really done with one person -and although it had been several months since he and I had done that, it’s a First After I’m just not ready for yet. 

My roommate got his first deck of Tarot Cards.  He did a 3 card reading for me (my unspoken question was about finding someone who wanted to actually marry me and live together) and the reading said that a new love was coming very soon.  We shall see.

In the meantime, I’m thinking that I don’t need to dream of cool blondes or scatback brunettes.  A dose of realistic liverwurst is working just fine for me. 


I Don’t Mean To Judge

Seen on a dating website:

My self-summary:  I am currently dealing with a bad back and leg pain with nerve damage and I am hoping to meet some new ppl here.

What I’m doing with my life: I am currently waiting on my lawyer to work a settlement so I can go back to school and improve my life I am wanting to do something with my life.

The gentleman who penned this saw me viewing his profile and immediately messaged me, wanting to get to know each other better.

I don’t mean to judge – but if these are the only 2 things you have on your profile (there are like 6-8 areas to fill out) this just tells me you are a little more passive and in need than I am prepared to deal with at this time.

Is that mean?  I guess it’s mean.  But to me it tells me what your doctor is doing and what your lawyer doing – but not what you are doing or your back up plan if these things don’t change.  And that worries me.


Kiss and Tell

One of the challenges of online dating is knowing when to share things and when to wait.  For example, when do you tell someone that you are talking to more than one person?  It should be a given – we are all looking and no one should have all their eggs in one basket.  But until you actually say it, there’s always that fantasy that you might be the only one.

I’d been talking to someone for several weeks – we’d even skyped (used webcam/mic to talk) quite a lot.  He lives in Columbia, SC (about 2 hours from here).  Neither one of us really had any intention of moving to be closer to the other. We both knew it wasn’t a relationship set in the stars. I found him extremely fun to type and text with, and enjoyed our late night pillow talk (not the same as cybering – I mean just regular chatting with some heavy flirting thrown in.)

We had made plans to get together.  The first time I had to cancel.  The second time he did.  The third time was to be this upcoming weekend.  Last night he admitted that he’d been on several dates with someone and it was going really well and that he didn’t think we should get together after all because he didn’t want to wreck this good thing he had going on.

Truth be told, I was extremely happy that he had found someone local. I was just surprised that he hadn’t told me before.  Then again, I didn’t really tell him in great detail about my friend who keeps visiting and spending the night.

I don’t know what the answer is – but I still find it interesting.

Coming Out

When I first announced that I was getting divorced, the majority of my family and friends were surprised because I had always taken care not to let the ugly side of our marriage show.

At that point, I vowed that moving forward I would always be upfront and honest with no secrets.  My motto has been, “Don’t ask me a question you don’t really want me to answer.”

For the most part, I’m a pretty open person these days.  I’ve probably been accused of overshare more than once.  And yet, here I sit, writing and erasing this post over and over again.

Because today, something happened to me and I really just wasn’t prepared. A friend outed me.

Being outed to friends is not as bad as being outed to strangers.  But it can still be a shock to the system.  I could have probably brushed off the information that was shared, but instead I ended up stating it rather forcefully and probably a bit more harshly than I needed to do.

The truth is – although I’m not ashamed, I do tend to be private about some areas of my life until I know people better. This includes the fact that I’m a bisexual and that I have a kinkier side. Past boyfriends have helped me explore that side, but now that I’m single again there are certain parts of my bisexual side that I haven’t been able to explore as comfortably before.

I just don’t want that part of my life to be the thing that people focus on.  Yes, I have a non-traditional view of sex and other things.  It’s an interesting psychological study, it’s a fascinating feature to some, repulsive to others.  I’m not alone – I know this.  But I’m the same person I was before people knew this.

Also, this side of my life is not just private for me – it’s private for the others who are in it with me.  And in my effort to be honest and forthright about who I am, I still have to be respectful for who they are.  I can only tell my story – I don’t have permission to tell theirs.

So here I am, out as I will probably ever be.  But nothing about that has changed.  I’m still Joey – girl geek, lover of men, and single 40-something.  Thanks for reading.

Midnight Messages

I’ve been on a few dates now, and I’ve had to tell a few people that I just wasn’t interested in moving forward. 

Last Monday, I noticed 2 blocked calls coming to my cell and chose not to answer them on principal.  On Tuesday, I went to bed early, but woke up to a series of missed blocked calls – 11:00 PM, 11:20 PM, 12:44 AM.  And a voicemail.

“Joey, hi, this is [Adam Morgan’s] wife calling you? And I just wanted to let you know that he is HIV positive so that you don’t get HIV.  Just FYI.  If he’s calling you to mess around with you, he messes around with a lot of women.  He’s had a lot of affairs.  He has a lot of escorts that he deals with. He messes around all of the time.  Just FYI. This is his wife [Rhonda Morgan] calling you.  He’s HIV positive.  Goodbye.”

Getting a message like this in the middle of the night can be very unsettling.  Although I realize that this woman had no way of knowing where I lived, I still felt as if my life had been invaded.  I lay in bed, listening to the message a second time. 

I hadn’t dated [Adam Morgan].  I certainly hadn’t messed around with him.  He was actually a candidate I had presented to a client for a job.  I had given him my cell number so he could follow up after his interview and tell me how it went. 

I wondered about the woman who would leave a message like that.  To be someone’s wife (if she actually was who she claimed to be) and to feel compelled to leave that kind of message.  Her voice was not shaky or wavery.  There were no tears or anger in her voice – just hardness.  As if it was a message she had left several times before.

It reminded me of a call I had received back almost 20 years ago.  The woman identified herself as [Neil’s] girlfriend.  Neil was a co-worker.  He and I worked in different states and had never met in person. We had developed a heavy flirtation, and had exchanged a few funny cards in the mail. I had no idea he was living with someone.

His girlfriend had found the cards in his gym bag, and my phone number in his wallet.  When she called me and identified herself, I immediately apologized and told her that I had no idea that she existed.  I would have never flirted with him had I known.

She, like Rhonda Morgan, told me that this was something he had done several times before.  I asked her why she was still with him.  I suggested she dump his cheating behind.  She thought I was just saying that so I could have him for myself.  It became obvious that she wasn’t going to listen to me, I was the other woman. I apologized again and hung up the phone.

More than once, I’ve found out that the one I was with wanted to be with someone else.  Even though it would hurt me to know it, I would rather have someone tell me this and break up with me, than to cheat on me.  My last boyfriend told me this, and I accepted it.  I didn’t like it.  But I accepted it.

Only once did I ever contact the “other woman.” I sent an email to let her know that I existed.  I told her that if she chose to continue to email my husband, she would be knowingly breaking up a marriage.  I told my husband what I did, thinking the shame would stop him.  It didn’t.  It’s demeaning to stay in that kind of relationship.  It’s mentally debilitating and degrading to your worth as a human being.  But that inferior attitude is something many of us allow to occur.

I no longer believe in staying together and staying miserable.  No religious invocation can convince me that this is the way. I will no longer leave midnight messages.  I will simply walk away.