Archive for November, 2013

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

He contacted me again.

We’ve been broken up for a year, and yet he still is part of my thoughts. Some thoughts are kind, some . . . well, not so much. Sometimes I want to hate him, but what does that solve?

Today wasn’t one of those days. No, today he messaged me to say he found a few more things of mine as he was packing up his house to sell it. I waited for the usual adrenalin surge of anxiety– a normally crashing wave that retreats quickly but leaves me feeling the effects for hours after.

This time? Nothing. A mild curiosity of what other things may have been found. A little bit of a desire to text back and say, “wow, all these changes you said you would never make – and you made them all in a year.” But that would serve no beneficial purpose, and I’m better than that (or at least will continue to pretend to be until it’s true – “fake it till you make it” style.)

When I first realized that I wasn’t all aghast, I mused that it could be because I have someone who makes me happy right now. I’ve actually been very fortunate – each time he has contacted me, I’ve had, for however briefly, a potential romantic someone in my life. But I think it’s more than that.

I love the title of Sarah McLachlan’s album “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.” I just love that phrase. Fumbling towards Ecstasy.

I fumble for the bathroom every morning. Contacts stuck to my eyeballs, toes trying to avoid stubbing themselves on random shoes and clothes on the floor, fingers trying to find the light switch, hoping to make my destination before it’s too late. Fumbling, stumbling, eyes half-opened, trying not to fall. Unsure, trying to get there, lacking confidence or knowledge of the perfect path.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell. I’m a great fumbler. But to fumble towards ecstasy – well, that means that you are moving towards a positive. And although you might have to deal with some dirty laundry along the way, you are moving forward, trending in the right direction. Willing to reach out and feel it, knowing you might touch something you don’t want to in order to find something you do.

I don’t know what exactly I’ve found yet. But the closer I get, the warmer the sun feels, the sweeter the birds’ song in my ear. It could just be a rest area on the journey – but some rest areas have the best scenic views, don’t they?

A lot of my friends have been posting things they are thankful for this month. Well, this is one of mine. I’m thankful that today, I’m fumbling forward with good things ahead.

Dear Joey:

When do you think is the best time to give a potential boyfriend bad news?

Say you have to tell him you’re bipolar, or that you have an STD, that you’re on parole, or that you’ve have gender reassignment surgery. (Or something!)

Do you tell him before he gets to know you so that if he rejects you it doesn’t hurt as much and you didn’t waste as much time?

Or do you wait until you guys know each other better and then he may like you more and be less likely to reject you based on only a single piece of information?

I mean, for 2 of those scenarios, obviously you need to tell them before you have sex, but in general, is there a point at which it’s either too soon and not soon enough?

Potential Girlfriend

Dear Potential:

Great question!

Before I get in to what my thoughts are (your miles may vary) – I want to first point out that you have two different sets of information detailed here: things you’ve done, and things you are.

Things you’ve done that may be affecting you now are potentially bad news that may reflect negatively against you. In your examples, I would put the parole part right up there. The STD might fall there as well, depending on how you contracted it.

Things you are would definitely include being bipolar and being transgender. For the record, I would not count either of these as “bad news” – just facts. You are who you are are.

But I understand this is Earth, not Utopia, and people may react differently to you once they know these things. So instead of “bad news” – I think we need to discuss these as potential dealbreakers.

That being said, I wish there was a mathematical formula I could give on when the right time is to talk about stuff that could be troublesome, but there currently just isn’t. (I’m sure someone is trying to work on the algorithm, but for now we are just going to have to muddle through this.)

The Golden Rule of “do unto others” comes to mind. When would you want someone to tell you?

I tend to like the 3 date rule as a general baseline. Typically, the third date is symbolic for when you get more intimate with someone. The first date you are nervous and just trying to see if you get along. The second date you are checking out if this potential chemistry is a fluke, or if the lack of chemistry was due to nerves. By the third date, you are starting to see that this is going somewhere, but instead of just making this a physical mile-marker, make it a true intimacy moment and talk about who you are beyond liking baseball and thinking Kirk is better than Picard (or vice versa).

Things like the STD has a medical impact on your potential partner – you need to discuss it before sex, like you said. And if you are pre-op Transgender, that might be a bit of a surprise if you don’t discuss it before the clothes come off.

Any medical condition: being bipolar, having cancer, being allergic to bees – these are things you need to discuss if you are going to be in position where people around you may have to react. If you are going to spend the night or the weekend with someone, they need to understand that you have medication that you have to take, that you have appointments you have to go to, that you have an epi pen in purse.

But in reality, timing is something you have to figure out for yourself. What impact will revealing these things about you have on your ability to date? Is not telling someone going to prevent you from being yourself on a date because you are afraid of rejection? Then go ahead and get it out of the way – it may seem “too soon” to other people, but you are not other people – and you have to do what’s best for you. If someone will run after hearing that, it gets it out of the way.

As for other bad stuff in your past, like having gone through bankruptcy, or being a former nun or drug addict – I say, take that as it affects the relationship. This might not need to come up by the third date, but it definitely needs to be addressed before the 90 day rule – especially if the relationship has gone past casual dating to something potentially long term.

Again, just think about when you would want someone to tell you those things and use your best judgment. And remember that who you are is never bad news –it just might not be the right fit for someone unworthy of you.

Wishing you love and happiness –

–Joey

Do you agree with me? Give your opinion in the comments section. Have a question? Send it to Joey@JoeyWrites.com

It’s one of those thing I struggle with every time. Getting the first date situation, well . . . situated.

You chat along with someone, maybe transition to phone (or not) and then (yay!) decide to meet.

And then comes the choices: when, where, what to wear, etc.

I’m an equal opportunity dater – and I also hope that I’m an equal opportunity date planner. When I ask someone on a date, I usually have an activity pre-planned (get your minds out of the gutter ). So for me, I might call up and say – “Hey, I’ve got 2 tickets to this show on Friday – would you like to go with me?” or “I was thinking of going to this festival on Friday – would you like to meet there for coffee?”

But a lot of times with online dating, this doesn’t always happen.

More often it will be something like [this is not an actual, word for word conversation]:

HE: I think you are cool enough to actually meet in person. What do you think?

Me: That sounds great.

HE: Okay, so umm, uh, we should do that.

Me: We should.

HE: So what do you want to do?

Me: I’m flexible, what did you have in mind?

HE: I don’t know – what do you think?

Now, I appreciate that dating is just as nerve-wracking for guys as girls. And even in our age of equal opportunity dating, whenever you are the one doing the asking, it’s a little scary. But I just wish that we didn’t always have to dance to this song.

Because now I have to do some mind-reading tricks, and I let my membership to the psychic network expire. If I pick a place close to me, am I being selfish? If I pick a place close to you, am I starting a pattern of making things too easy? If I pick a place out of your price range, will you think me a gold digger? If I pick a place with a dollar menu, will you always think of me as your cheap date option? If I take too much control of where we go and what we do, am I emasculating you? If I offer to pay, am I emasculating you? If I don’t offer to pay and you are forced to admit you can’t afford this place, am I emasculating you? If you let me pay, are we starting a sugar momma thing? Because I am sugar-free for being the dough-re-mi donator, my friend.

If I don’t pick a place and just say, “whatever you want” am I going to send you in the same swirl of internal monologue? Am I going to frustrate you by being indecisive?

When I’m actually with someone I know well, I’ll respond back to the “where do you want to eat?” question by asking for 2-3 options. This lets them pick places they like that are in their price range and travel distance (those ankle bracelets have radiuses, y’know). But when it’s a first date, this can feel like a psychological test.

For example: We could meet at Starbucks, Golden Corral, or Texas Roadhouse.

If I pick Starbucks, that will be the cheapest option if he’s paying. But it could also signal that I don’t want to have to commit to too much time.

If I pick Golden Corral, it’s a meal. On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of mega-buffets because of my food allergies – when I try to explain that, it could make me sound like someone who is high-maintenance, potentially hypochondriac, and maybe snobby of Middle America’s ability to keep the spoon for the cornbread stuffing out of the mashed potatoes.

If I pick Texas Roadhouse, I would be very happy (love Texas Roadhouse) but then I might be at the top of his budget – because I’m a girl who likes a ribeye with mushrooms and onions and if I’m at a steakhouse, I want steak. Good steak. And I’m happy to pay for my own. But if I offer to pay, maybe I’m implying something, emasculating my date, or y’know, setting precedents. But I really like steak.

So, we do the dance, we hem and haw, and eventually we stumble to a solution that I hope passes the muster without providing a Rorshach.

Of course, I can make it work whatever happens. And reality is that this is really a first-world problem. But I have a date tonight and this is one of those things I think about as we plan the when, what, and the where.

Carpet Creeper

On Friday, I received the following message from a guy who had no profile, just a picture of a square of gridded carpet. He was listed as my age and nearby. I present the following conversation to you without running dialogue or any editing (although the lack of punctuation makes me twitch) so you can experience this in the same way I did.

He: Hey how are you doing Sweetie? You are very pretty

You are very pretty

Me: Thank you. You are very waffle-like.

He: Thank you I will send you a pic

Me: That would be nice

He: Can I email it to you

Me: [special email for online dating inserted here]

He: Give me a few minutes and I will send u one Sweetie

U into stocky guys

Me: Yes

He: Ok cool

I am 5’10 290 short brown hair hazel eyes goatee

Me: Cool. No pic?

He: I am sending it.

Me: Ok. So I notice your profile says “available” not single. Are you married?

He: I am going through a separation

Me: Gotcha.

He: U still interested

Me: Do you still live together?

He: Currently we do not sleep together she is moving out after thabksgiving

U still interested

Me: I prefer to wait until you live apart.

He: Ok

What about friends with benefits for now

Me: Wouldn’t we have to be friends first?

He: That is what I am saying us be friends now and add benefits part til she gone

Me: Add benefits until she’s gone? Or after?

He: Til she is gone then we start a dating relationship.

Me: Wouldn’t that be a little backwards?

He: Not really

Me: So why did your current relationship end?

He: She does care about sex period and do not get along

Me: That’s too bad. How long were you together?

He: 10 years do u like sex

Me: I do like sex.

He: Good so do I

I love giving oral.

Me: Nice. So you are really just looking for sex, not a relationship then.

He: Yes I want both how about u

Me: I’m looking for a relationship

He: Would u concider on a first date

Me: Consider what?

He: Sex on a first date

Me: With the right person, maybe. But I would need to feel a connection first.

He: That is cool you like to receive oral

Me: If it is done right.

He: I know how to do it

Me: Still no pic

He: I will resend it

Me: Thanks

[I never received a pic. Big surprise.]

My Lucy, My Love

This exciting and totally plausible connection was made today:

Hi honey! My name is Lucy. I’m a business lady.
Unfortunately I spend most of my time working and have absolutely no time for my private life.
My collegues at a coffee brake gave me the site where I can find a person with whom I can date without any obligations.
I found your profile in Facebook and I consider you very attractive.
I just need a nice guy to spend a few hot weekends with.
Any offers are welcomed and money is not an object.

This seems legit, right?

What a Difference a Year Makes

It’s been a year sine I started posting here. What a difference a year makes. A year full of First Afters and struggles and joys and tears and then some.

I am not sure what I thought would happen. I think I hoped my Prince Charming would come bounding across Sharon Amity and rescue me. Alas, not so, fair maiden. I’ve had a couple of misfires, lost a little money and dignity, but I’ve grown too. I’ve definitely come out of this year with some amazingly awesome friendships I would never have had if it wasn’t for the breakup.

I’m reminded again of what I really want – not just a lover, not a sugar daddy, but a true best friend.

“Women say that a lot,”
Rocker said the other night. “What do women mean, a best friend?”

His question made me pause. I’d never had a guy ask me that. But it’s true, I hear a lot of my girl friends say that. It never occurred to me that guys might not get what that means.

“I guess,” I started, “well, I guess, it means that I want someone that I can connect with on multiple levels. I want someone that wants to experience life with me, that knows why certain things are funny to me, who gets to know me well enough that we can shorthand the back stories and go straight to the heart of the matter. Someone that not just wants to share my bed, but that wants to share my day.”

Rocker nodded, but I wasn’t sure if I had really cleared it up that much.

It reminded me a little of another November day in my life, the day that I picked up my husband from the airport and drove him to a restaurant to tell him I wanted a divorce. (I had the tilapia with wild rice and mango salsa, it’s weird the details you remember).

“I don’t understand what’s wrong with our marriage,” Grumpy stated. “I think it’s great just the way it is.”

Of course he did. He was unemployed, collecting severance while dividing his time with sitting on the couch watching football and porn, or going to the gym to flirt with married women and take them for coffee. I was working a temp job, trying to work as. Many hours as I could and then coming home to unpack more boxes and being asked, “what’s for dinner?” While listening to him y’all at the cats and the piles of paper that somehow didn’t organize themselves.

We are glorified roommates,” I tried to explain, “we aren’t friends, we are not lovers, we are two people living in the same house and occasionally doing things together. I want more than that. I want someone I want to be with, that wants to be with me.”

He sat there, staring at me. He didn’t get it. I still don’t think he does. (His older sister suggested later that maybe I needed medication. If I need drugs to stay married to you? Houston, we have a problem.)

But I know that love like that can exist. I’ve known couples that have had it and I want it too. And even though it means that my knight on the white horse might be gray-haired and slightly battle-worn, that’s okay. I’ll venture along with my band of awesome friends, or when needed, by myself, until the right one finds me or I find him.

Until then, Happy Anniversary!