Tag Archives: OkCupid

In Which I Try to be LESS of a ‘Ho

Hello internet.. lately a week in my life feels like a year. I find that I just met someone last week, they fell out of my life this week, and the whole thing only took a week in total. This is why I hate trying to date. Although since I changed my dating site profile pictures, I am apparently quite the catch for 40-something year old cowboys with anger issues. (Alas, no cute ones yet- and the age is fine, as I’m 35.)

On Monday I had this conversation with my shrink:

“How are you?”

Me: “Hmmm…wfessffsd” (Seriously, all I managed to utter was some sort of noise.)

“Can I tell you something I’ve observed about you?”

I tried to nonchalantly take a sip of my coffee and wound up dumping it down my front. I nodded sloppily, while reaching for a fist-full of tissues.

“You come in here talking about despair and anxiety and profound depression, and yet you always seem cheerful and even perky.”

Her observation didn’t surprise me in the slightest. Actually, it surprised me that anyone would be different…

“I’ve only let two people in my entire life see my feelings,” I told her “and one is divorcing me” (have you also observed that I am prone to melodrama?)

***

A guy found my OKCupid profile and told me he too is a yogi (I will never, ever refer to myself as a yogi. Or a yogini. I’ve been doing yoga for 20 years and I’m not a damn yogi. I’m way too easily embarrassed for that), and asked where I practice. I told him, and he said that he’s been known to pop into Big Yoga as well. I looked at his profile too… he had made a fortune in his 20s, sold off his company, and now does nothing but do yoga, and quite possibly roll around in his money.

He asked if we could have a juice after class on Wednesday, and I said yes, except I’m too broke to buy a juice. I sort of (guiltily) knew he’d offer to buy me one when I mentioned that, but I really am that broke, and I don’t like to lie or demur or…   pass up a chance to complain.

As I was unfolding my mat, he approached me. His eyes moved slowly, slowly up my body. So appraising was his gaze that I involuntarily folded inward. I didn’t want him to see … me. But apparently I didn’t check out. After class he wouldn’t even turn his head towards mine as I tried to make conversation. He chugged his juice in one big gulp, and then told me he had to run. As I sat in my car by myself I thought… “Hm. Online dating is the stupidest. And that was just supposed to be a friendly conversation between… yogis. And now I get to sit in my car and wonder what he found so objectionable… was my hair a mess?”

My favorite thing is that a full 50% of the people who write to me try to do so in Google translated or sounded out Japanese “konnishiwa” “oh-hi-yo gosaimash!” I can’t imagine if I actually were Japanese. Speaking of, I do have a hot date tonight with a Japanese guy who just moved here for work. His English is perfect, unlike T’s, and I can’t tell what he thinks when I switch between English and Japanese.

But.

I have done the fadeaway with all but my trusty friends-with-benefits guy from the last post. B is such a sweetheart, and really hot. The rest were making my heart ache and my stress skyrocket.

Time for some matcha and houjicha.

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Say No to Drugs. Say No to Drugs

“I want to kick his ass. If I met him I’d be torn between the urge to hug him and start crying, or hitting him as hard as I could.”

My shrink seemed surprised: “Why do you want to hit him?”

“I am so angry that he’s managed to turn my last 3 weeks into a series of drug-like adrenaline highs and black, horrible lows.”

He writes and calls in unpredictable bursts. I never know when to expect it, and the tension is addictive. This article that K sent me shed a bit of light on the situation; I feel as though I have become absolutely enslaved to his whims, fully addicted. So I need to quit, but it’s honestly harder than quitting smoking in college was for me- and after only 3 weeks! It’s only 1:44 PM and I last wrote to him at around 9PM last night (with no reply, of course. 5 messages yesterday, 2 replies.

I will not write to him any more, until he agrees to meet me. Period. I am afraid this means I may never hear from him again. And I am as irritable and fixated as though I was trying not to dig a cigarette butt out of the trash can and smoke the filter. My entire psyche is screaming: “how long will it take him to notice?! how long will it take him to care?!” But I deleted everything from him off my phone. I’m serious this time. I don’t even know his number now.

When i last sent him a message saying that I was done, he called immediately after days of no reply. I think he likes me emotionally torn out here in the abstract. Or he doesn’t have his emotional shit together either, but doesn’t want to lose me entirely in the meantime. He was very, normally available until it was clear that he and i had serious chemistry. Then he freaked out, deleted his OKC account and commenced radio silence. (Caveat: he was widowed a couple of years ago, tragically, and this is the first time he’s started to try to date again.)

Either way, my mental health is so bad I am either actively mistreating or being mistreated by every romantic interest in my life right now.

Funnily, I have a friends-with-benefits situation right now that is nothing but easy. The guy is amazingly sweet, relaxing to be around, and so much like me. But with him I am the aloof and unavailable one. I am the abuser.

I worry I only want things I can’t have, people who rebuff me and make me feel small. To my therapist- that is why I want to hit him so hard. Because I really want to hit myself.

(More stories again soon, and less emo online dating inspired hand-wringing, I promise. Since I’m quitting this guy (1:55PM), I hope to stabilize soon.)

***

No contact. If you see me, ask me how long it’s been. Keep me honest. If I’ve weakened and “smoked a cigarette”, judge me as I deserve to be judged.

(This is how bad it is: My mind says “Maybe I can show him these posts some day and we can laugh…”)

The Week I Cried in Yoga Twice

… or “I need to get my shit together, seriously.”

I don’t think I’m cut out for much of anything right now. I don’t feel like I’m doing a particularly good job at… my life. I can’t concentrate on my work, as I’m either too depressed or too manic for self-discipline. I don’t think much of what I’m writing is any good. I feel like I only receive the uncompetitive grants and awards (which may be as much a function of my research topic than anything, but I’m not sure). I feel like I fail at online dating so far, and I still don’t know what to do about T who is back in Japan and still lurves my messy, broken self.

Sigh.

I spent this week on pins and needles waiting for the guy in my last post to contact me, and here it is Friday morning and I wasted Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday staring at my phone and hoping.

Nothing.

So my chest aches and I feel like the most useless, unlovable, messy person in the world right now. How did I scare this one off? Am I doomed to repel anyone mentally healthy because I can’t fool people well enough that I’m in a good head space right now? I thought I was doing a pretty good job of putting on a mask.

There’s this song that has sort of become the theme of the 40-day yoga boot camp that I’m doing.  I mean, I’d heard it before I joined the yoga challenge but it’s been played several times during classes. Wednesday, in a dark, shadowy room lit faintly yellow by street lamps from the outside, I felt acutely my desperation that this guy contact me. I repeated to myself the need to “let go” and “stop struggling”, but just as quickly as I felt myself relax, the turbulent anxiety filled up my lungs again. Lying on my back, I felt my eyes well up. “I am not okay”, I had to acknowledge. I wanted to plug this guy into the hole in my life, to use him to buffer myself against my own screaming anxiety and fear. But perhaps he sensed it, or perhaps someone else came along via OkCupid and he moved on. Either way, the waiting and the hoping has turned my week into a nightmare of pillow-punching and hand wringing and kitchen-swearing and…

and…

I just felt so stupid for how rarely I truly fall for someone like that, but for how completely it happens. The last time it happened, well… I am still not over that crush, and I think he’ll always have a part of my heart. (That was an impossible crush, and though he took my breath away every time I saw him, and still does, I can never tell him.) So, as foolish as it sounds, this week’s guy was probably #4 in my life who had this effect on me, and he has disappeared.

Lately I have had immense difficulty closing my eyes. During the twice-daily meditations, during yoga (particularly the end savasana), I stare blankly ahead at walls, ceiling beams, etc. It took me a while to notice that my eyes weren’t closed, so vacant and unseeing was this stare I’ve developed. Lately I’ve found my mind quietly whispering the chorus to the aforementioned song…. Hallelujah… Hallelujah as I stare.

The yoga instructor yesterday caught me in the twilight, lying on my back with my eyes wide open, tears trickling down my face. His eyes met mine as he stepped past. Perhaps he didn’t see.

Every time I feel different from most people lately, more special(er), smarter, etc. I am humbled. I am not better. I am not more gifted. I am a decent academic writer with some pedestrian problems and some really significant traumas. I’m taking this guy’s disappearance so hard because of how unlikely it was that I actually let someone in right now.

Just found myself listening to Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt, which is also devastating. It captures a bit of the burden I’m carrying around these days.

Channeling my Junior High

Okay.. so… I’m not the most patient person in the world. I’m trying. That yoga challenge I’m doing has me meditating twice a day for 30 minutes each time this week, and because my mind is all over the place lately this is extra challenging. Why is it all over the place? Boys. For the first time in 15 years, boys.

I’m a proud person, and I don’t like being made to feel like I need something from someone I don’t trust. Need-imbalance may actually be one of my least favorite sensations. Because of the yoga thing I am trying to sit with it, recognize how uncomfortable I am, and the kinds of thoughts it leads to, and then let it all go. But I rarely succeed in expunging the sensations. Actually, y’know what? Let me back up a bit and make this whole entry a little less vague.

So there’s a guy I really like. It started very slowly, with occasional messages on OkCupid, and me just having fun bantering with him (the way to my heart= a man who can not only take my teasing, but match me). I wasn’t paying much attention to him, honestly. He was just one of the many guys that I expected to cycle in and out of my new online dating life. A little fun, and that was it.

I’d say I was enjoying talking to him steadily more with each message, but I didn’t really feel invested until he called me on Thursday, Halloween.

He was supposed to be leaving for a 5 day trip out to one of the oil rigs (me, queen hippie talking to an oil company engineer?!), and he’d asked if he could call me. I said sure, why not. I didn’t expect that he’d call just as I was making my way from Houston’s outer limits to Austin, on my way to a conference. I also didn’t realize that the phone’s GPS would quit working entirely as soon as I took the phone call, thus forcing me to drive with no directions.

Anyway, his voice had an almost immediate affect on me. It wasn’t just the adorable British accent, but something familiar and unidentifiably comforting. I loved talking to him. I loved it so much that when I realized the GPS wasn’t working I pulled over to continue the conversation rather than getting off the phone with him. And typically, I loathe the phone.

We messaged back and forth after the call, but my trip became a bit of a nightmare (see previous post!) and I cut off the conversation. I had a few messages from him waiting by that evening but didn’t attend to them immediately. Friday he called, and I missed it while I was at a conference event. He also gave me his email address and told me he’d be shutting down OkCupid soon.

Okay.

(I’m trying to speed this along here).

I think he left for the rig on Saturday, and he’s been working the night shift there. I next heard from him on Sunday morning, and then Monday morning. Tuesday was nothing, and so far today there’s nothing. I sent him an SMS Monday, and a quick email Tuesday. This morning (Weds), I weakened and sent him another SMS. Nothing serious, just light.

But what I hate is that the lapses (Saturday, Tuesday) in his capacity to get in touch have me absolutely squirming. I don’t in the least blame him or think he needs to be using his sleep-time to try to contact some girl he has yet to meet in person. No, I’m not insane, I swear, or even particularly needy. But I am super bad at delaying gratification. And when I want something, I tend to take immediate and direct action to try to get it.

The result is that I am joined to my phone right now, staring at it and willing it to ring. I’m willing it to light up with an SMS from him. And our conversations have been so easy and fun that I feel weirdly smitten with this guy… I don’t know if it’s my natural response to having forced-limited contact or what.

This actually happened when I first met J, as well. He only had net access at work so he was incommunicado on weekends (this was pre cellphone). He also had a bustling social life, and seemed to end up at different Boston netgoth parties than did I. I pined (ha ha, pun because we all used the unix program “pine” for email back then. Er… yeah) for his messages. I oh-so-casually asked people at parties if he was planning on attending.

He and I had the same awesome flirty-banter early-on as well.

And this new guy even looks like J, so clearly I have a type and a pattern. It’s no wonder I am a bit smitten, actually.

I don’t think this dude is going to be back in Houston until tomorrow, but in the meantime I just poked at my phone again to see if I’d missed a message. It made me want to throw my phone out the window and scream “EFF THIS! I REFUSE TO THINK ABOUT HIM A MOMENT LONGER!”

I need to get some got dang work done. I need to focus, not get lost in daydreams about this stupid boy. I am terrified that I’ll let on how much I want to talk to him, and he’ll erroneously take it as a sign that I’m high-maintenance and get too fixated too early on in my contact with someone. Sigh.

I hoped writing this down would empty my brain a little bit, so I could go back to paper writing. We’ll see. Breathe, me, breathe. No more messages until he makes contact, as excruciating as that is.

3 Strange Encounters with Guys

It’s hard trying to be an adult for the first time at age 34. I’m slowly teaching myself to cook, learning how to live alone… basically doing for the first time many things that most people learn in their 20s, and that make them secure, stable people in their 30s. As you all know, one of those things is dating. My interactions with guys are therefore in flux. So, here are three recent situations:

1. T.
T has been clingy since we first started seeing each other. He described himself as 焼きもち, a jealous type. Unused to my weird sleeping habits (I don’t sleep well, so I tend to be in bed for many, many hours trying to feel rested), he told me my claims of having “just woken up” or “having gone to bed at 11 last night” were 怪しい (suspicious), when I finally got around to texting him in the mornings. If I’d been more secure, and more experienced with guys I’d have told him this was unacceptable and broken it off. But I didn’t.

One night I wrote him that I was exhausted and needed to turn in early, to sleep in my own bed where it was quiet. (Longer term readers of my blog will recall T’s epic snoring.) Well, he showed up at my place to see if I was really alone, fell asleep on my single bed, began snoring like a chain saw, and left me to curl up on the floor, sleepless. I vowed to break it off with him. But I didn’t.

He would freak out when I hung out with male friends and there was any kind of lapse in my texting, and just this Friday when I was out late and then conked out when I got home without texting, he became cranky, suspicious, and jealous.

None of this is good. If he and I were in the same country, we’d be having a talk and perhaps breaking up. But as it stands, in my current state o’ mental-health, I’m just ignoring the bad behavior and putting off dealing with it.

2. OkCupidWith my short hair and nerdy, vaguely dykey appearance, I imagine I’m not prone to receiving the same kinds of messages as most women. I tried using OkCupid for a bit in Tokyo, but it was almost all men who were in town on business and wanted to cheat on their wives. I still remember one OkCupid “date” that I didn’t realize was a date, wherein I said goodnight and began to walk home, while the guy stood behind me slack-jawed, clearly shocked. I only realized later after reevaluating our conversation that he assumed we were going to have a hookup that night. And he’d made it obvious. But I am that clueless about these things.

So, I’ve gotten some fun messages lately on OKC:

“Is it weird that I want a girl to pretend I’m Superman and weaken me with kryptonite and play a sexy seductive villain and lead me into a trap like use green glowsticks as the kryptonite rocks?”

Yes… yes that is weird. At least as an opener. And I’ve re-read some of my openers. I’m pretty weird too so, y’know, weird on.

And from a man who listed his age as 95:

Hi,
“Like you, I am looking for chemistry and companionship as well, very insightful and have a high emotional intelligence; good at conversation and yes, I am older. Someone who, she and I will complementary each other. I have MONEY!!!!! One will lift the other and be a joy to be around. Looking more than just the out side. my cell phone is xxxxxxx. Text me give the best time to call back. I would like to meet for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine ASAP.”

I won’t write– because I think it might be horrible– what popped into my head when I read that “ASAP” bit. His profile claimed that he is looking for a Hugh Hefner type of situation. I… yeah. My boobs are NOT fake enough for that.

3. The co-worker

So a girl goes to a bar, with her entire department. Everyone sits around and drinks merrily. The girl (oh whatever, switching back to first-person)… I am trying the delicious but $9 house cocktails, while most everyone else is pounding $2 can of PBRs. (Because even though we’re all broke graduate students, I’m a yuppie. I’m also still living on J’s income so, there’s that.)

Around 12, most everyone decides that they’re tired, including me, and we rise en masse to head out. But one of the guys, a fellow whose bipolar disorder* has trended to the manic lately, and who is clearly completely wired at the moment, begs a few of us to stay. I acquiesced even though I tend to hate staying out late. “One more weak drink and I can still be home early.” I thought. And really, I was lonely. And I didn’t want to go home to my empty house.

Well, one more weak drink turned into a couple, but I wasn’t really drunk or even buzzed. Still fit to drive, in other words. The cocktails were tiny, in addition to expensive. But of the three of us that were hanging around, two were clearly feeling their booze. As I sat on the porch in the sultry Houston night air, watching the lightning flicker behind the trees, I talked to one of these guys about the loss of my marriage and how hard I am struggling these days to just exist.

I remember confiding how difficult a time I am having with the idea of dating, letting down my guard, etc.

All of a sudden he was on me, kissing me in a big wet slobbery way. I was shocked. I felt violated. I was shocked.

Clearly he regretted it the moment he was done; he retreated into his hooded sweatshirt and began apologizing. I didn’t know what to say, so I said it was okay. I sat back. I blinked.

Do you sense a trend here?

Is this what happens to single girls?

As an academic, he should know better. We talk about power and privilege and gender dynamics for a living. He should know better, but we’re all a bit mentally deranged in academia, so he still could ambush me like that.

There is another apology from him in my Facebook inbox that I haven’t replied to yet. I don’t know what to say. The next day I was actively traumatized, because I was already traumatized before that happened and I NEED to feel safe these days.

Thank god my mom is coming to visit tomorrow.

*Not making light of. Completely serious and trying to be accurate.