Monday, February 27, 2017

Mixed messages

Let's talk about mixed messages...

The past couple of weeks I've been drawing a blank on what to write about.  So I did what I always do when I get a mild case of writers' block.  I talked to some friends of mine.  I was talking with one of them and we got on the topic of mixed messages and how/why do men send them?

Her situation is typical.  Sad, but true.  Really sad...especially at our age.  But it really seems like the older men get, the more immature they can become. Her story is that she met a man and in the beginning, he really pursued her and paid lots of attention to her.  She held out for several weeks because she just wasn't so sure about him.  But he was different, she says.  He was different from the other men that she had dated in the past.  He was mature and was a devoted father to his child.  He had a good professional job and had a very bright future ahead of him.  On paper, he was a definite catch.  Her apprehension was that...well she didn't really have any apprehensions.  For the first time ever, she didn't have any apprehensions about a man.  (I kind of found that hard to believe, but hey, i'll go with it)

So after months of spending time together (in a public place), he finally "got up the courage" (his words, not hers) to tell her how he really felt about her.  And still, she didn't rush into anything.  She said that she wanted to take it slow with him because she knew in her heart that he could be someone very special to her at some point in the future.  Now I know my friend well, and I'll be the first person to tell you this isn't like her.  In 25+ years that I've known her, I've never known her to be digging a man like that.

So she had met a good man that she actually liked.  And after a few weeks, she finally told him that she had feelings for him too.  Now here's where things get tricky.  After she shared her feelings with him, it only took about 2-3 weeks for him to stop giving her any attention, stop asking her out, and to stop attempting to spend any time with him at either of their homes.  Of course I asked her if she slept with him?  She told me that she hadn't slept with him, let alone even kissed him.  So then I asked what did she do to him? lol  She laughed and told me that she didn't do anything to him that would make him just up and change his intentions so quickly.  And since I've known her for so long, I'm inclined to believe her.

After our conversation, I started thinking about her situation and wondered what would make a man just flip flop like that? Why do some men (a lot of them) pursue women and then when the woman finally reciprocates feelings back, the man suddenly gets cold feet?  I call it the "Road Runner Effect".  I have a name for it because, obviously I've been in this same situation before.  The Road Runner Effect is when a man or woman is being vigorously pursued by another man or woman and when that person decides to reciprocate mutual feelings, the pursuer bails suddenly.  I call this the Road Runner Effect because Wyle E. Coyote spent years chasing down the Road Runner on the Looney Tunes cartoons.   Legend has it that he actually did catch the Road Runner, but let him go because he didn't know what do with him. I don't know how true this is because I've never seen that episode, so we'll call it an  urban myth, just like Carrie Bradshaw's mary jane Manolo Blahnik shoes. But I remember the time that happened to me (lol) In my mind, I had every reason under the sun to NOT deal with this man in any way.  But after some prodding from my friends, because they felt that I always chose the wrong man, I accepted the challenge and said to myself "Ok I'll try this".  Big mistake! All that I can say about this situation is that I'm glad that I wasn't emotionally invested in this man in any form or fashion.  And I'm glad that I saw his true colors BEFORE I was emotionally or physically invested in that man. And unfortunately, I've been on the other side of this situation. I didn't really pursue the man, so to speak.  But I was interested in him for a long time and when I finally did have the opportunity to date him, I was completely uninterested in him. He didn't do anything wrong.  He just didn't have that spark to keep my interest.  

And although, I've been on both sides, I still can't fathom why men go so hard at women, then fall flat for no particular reason.  I can recall that I didn't go hard at this man.  He actually approached me first, but he knew that I had some interest in him.  Even still, I and countless other women on this planet will probably never know what makes a man send mixed messages like this?  I wish I had the exact answer, but we all know that when dealing with humans, nothing is ever black and white.  There's always a gray area where far too many people my age care to reside.  But at what point does a person move from that gray area and into the black and white?  Because I've been on both sides of this baffling relationship fence, I can honestly say that the only time a person can move out of the gray area is when they've finally grown up and is ready for a real relationship with future intentions.  

...I'm out of the gray area now.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

5 Dates Challenge Update

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post and asked everyone to take the 5 Dates Challenge.  This is where you (a woman) challenged yourself to step out of your comfort zone and go on 5 dates in 2 months.  This challenge was an effort to help women do something different while dating.  They were told to ask the man out first, or go out with a man who's different from the other men they went out with.  The challenge was basically a way for women to stop doing what they normally do while dating because, obviously, it's not working for them.

A few women did communicate their experiences with the challenge to me. One told me that she had a very difficult time even finding one date.  Another told me that she went on a couple of dates with a man and after the 2nd date, all he wanted to do was talk about sex.  And he neglected to mention that he had a pregnant girlfriend or EX girlfriend as he says. One said that she wanted to try dating white men, but was afraid.  And another told me that she was just afraid to come out of comfort zone for fear of rejection. I told her that the purpose of my date challenge was to eliminate the comfort zone and to push yourself in the chaotic world of dating in your 40's.

So let's talk about my dates.  I went on 5 dates and they were interesting to say the least.  My first date was with a guy that i dated a few years ago. Yes, I know that the whole point of this challenge was to challenge your comfort zone as far as dating and thinking outside the box.  But I really hadn't gone a date with a man in a few months, so I needed a warm up date lol. We met at Cheesecake Factory on the Southside and the whole time we were there, it was just like old times.  Us trying to figure out which one of us was the reason why the relationship never came into fruition.  On paper, he's a great guy.  Smart, funny, educated, owns his own business, and a good father.  But somehow we just couldn't get it together.  We just always seem to bump heads on petty stuff.  Which is why I call him Petty Wap and he calls me Petty LaBelle LOL I actually went on 2 dates with him.  I guess I couldn't get enough of his petty O_o

My second date was a blind date.  A good friend of mine and her husband thought that the two of us should meet. He's tall, hard working, raised his daughter as a single dad, and has the most beautiful hazel eyes. So back to the Cheesecake Factory on the Southside I went. Now let me say that a blind date is totally out of my comfort zone, but I had seen a pic of him and talked to him on the phone a couple times before we actually met, so it wasn't completely a blind date.  But nevertheless, I'll classify it as a blind date.  When I got there, I was a few minutes early so I did what any other person would do...start texting people lol.  He finally showed up (on time) with flowers in hand for me.  MAJOR cool points he got for that because I love flowers.  So the date was typical for people who don't know each other. We talked about our kids, our jobs, our friend, our likes and dislikes.  The date was going really well and then I remembered that it was going to take me about an hour to get home and Empire was coming on that night lol. All good though because I had already set my DVR to record the show.  Then he offered for me to go back to his place to watch Empire. His place was about 25 minutes in the opposite direction from where I live.  I politely declined, because I could see where this was heading, and told him that I needed to get back home to my child.  He walked me back to my car and insisted that we see each other again. So for a couple weeks after that, we talked and texted daily.  Then one day there was no contact.  No biggie in my book.  The next day no contact,..and one day turns into 2 days, then 3 days, and so on.  I had forgot about him until someone asked me about my blind date.  ...I guess he didn't make THAT much of an impression on me after all :-/

My third date was with another ex acquaintance from college.  He contacted me out of the clear blue. He must have been reading my posts on FB at the time.  It had been about 20+ years since I'd seen him so it was good to just catch up.  He was in the area on business so we decided to the Southside Flats smh.  I'm noticing a pattern here LOL. We did the usual, dinner and a night club and hung out with some ex NFL player friends of his. We walked around a little and even saw a fight in the middle of the street lol  Typical Saturday night happenings in the Southside section in case you didn't know.  So back to the date... being with him was kind of like being in college again.  Just having fun and reminiscing on how things were when we were in college.  And as the conversation progressed, I asked him when did he get divorced (because I knew that he had been married). He told me that he was still married. And that's when he hit me with the typical "married man who wants to cheat on his wife" response, "It's complicated and I'm with her because of our child" O_o   I went home and never took a call from him again and never responded to any of his text messages again.

And for the life of me, I can not remember my 4th date.  I'm looking through my calendar right now and I didn't even write that date down.  If I remember where I went and who I went with, I'll update this.  SMH He didn't make any kind of impression on me where I could even remember his name and where I went with him...that's sad.

My fifth and final date was with a man that I've known for a while but never had much contact with.  He actually asked me out after seeing one of my posts about the 5 date challenge, but it was probably about a month or so before we could actually get together.  So we went on a belated birthday dinner to one of my favorite restaurants and no, it wasn't Cheesecake Factory.  This guy was right away different from the others.  For one, I didn't have to meet him anywhere.  He picked me up at my door and drove me to where we were going. Again, there was good conversation, but he actually asked me questions about me, not just general, typical questions.  And as the conversation progressed, I quickly realized how intelligent this man was.  So, to know him, I would have never thought that he was that intelligent, funny, and most importantly, mature. He's a couple years younger than me, so maturity was a concern of mine,  But since this was a challenge to do something differently as far as dating, I was open to going out with a younger man.  He definitely kept my attention, so much that I still keep in contact with him.  And have gone out with him a couple more times since our first date and we keep in contact daily. So why not just kick it with him on a regular? This situation is interesting because 1. he doesn't live in the area, and 2. there's a situation at the moment that could prevent us from moving forward with each other. (To be discussed in a later post)

All in all, I can seriously say that I'm satisfied with my 5 Dates Challenge results.  I did what the challenge was intended to do.  It encouraged me to think outside the dating box and try things that I never would have done conventionally.  I enjoyed my 5 dates because every one of those men were totally different from the other and each made a [somewhat] different impression on me.  I realized that some men don't change and want to have their cake and eat it too. I learned that a man who's about 50 years old and divorced still has a one track mind when it comes to spending time with a woman.  I also learned that people notice you when you don't even realize that they were in your company.  One of my dates reminded me of what I was wearing when I saw him at a party about a year ago.  Cool points for that one.

So after 5 dates, 4 of them fell flat and 1 was somewhat successful.  That's a 20% success rate lol  But if I had to do it this challenge again, I definitely would!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Why it sucks to be single

Ok so we all know that it sucks to be single for most people.  It sucks being single for, i would say, the obvious reasons.  Those reasons include, but aren't limited to, companionship, friendship, and intimacy.
Since I've been single for my entire life, I have first hand knowledge as to why it really is a pain in the behind to be a single woman.  Here are some of my reasons...let's call them #alternativefacts.

Your cousins and sisters are always your wedding dates.

It's bad enough that I go to weddings of my former students and players, but even worse that I don't have anyone to bring as my date.  I typically go to weddings and social events with my cousins and sisters, so I'm not usually the odd person out who's sitting in the corner by herself.  But what's even worse is that when the bride and groom comes around to each table to greet their guests, they always say to me "Hang in there, you'll find someone soon".  Yeah, i'm old enough to be your mother so who the heck do you think you're giving advice to?? I have to LOL at this at I'm writing it.

You call your best friend to help find out what's wrong with your car and you end up having to get a whole new car...

So I've known for a some time now that my car had a slight issue, but I was ok with handling it like i was for the time being.  But I just couldn't leave well enough alone the other day.  So i called my best friend and asked him if he could find out why the antifreeze was leaking out of my car? After a day of going back and forth about what was wrong with my car and supposedly fixing it, my car now has a full tank of antifreeze, but no heat.  And of course, he denies that he's the cause of my car not having any heat.  I mean why would I think that he's the reason that my car has no heat since he was the one who "fixed" it? Needless to say, I'm car shopping as we speak.

You can't rely on people when they say that they'll come fix something for you...

This one can include a plethora of things, but for the sake of this post, let's say it's getting people to come fix stuff in your house.  Home ownership is considered to be a part of the American dream.  And being a single woman who owns a home, is a wonderful thing, but not so fun at the same time.  For example, when something breaks, who's there to help you fix it? About 5 years ago, I bought a new fridge.  The kind with the water and ice that comes out of it.  I bought that fridge just so that i COULD get water and ice from it.  Someone near and dear to me said that they would hook up the water kit for me.  That was FIVE years ago.  FIVE years.  You see where I'm going with this? Another time, i had asked someone if they could hang my new TV on the all in the living room for me?  This was about a year or so ago.  Needless to say, my TV is still sitting on the factory stand that comes with it. But my best friend redeemed himself and hooked up the water to my fridge and I am now the proud owner of a fridge that has ice and water coming out of it lol

You always have to find someone to help you in a bind...

You can't be single and have an emergency just pop up.  It's hard to find someone to help out in short notice, like when you need a ride to the rental car place because your best friend jacked your car up.  Or even just trying to find a car to use for a couple days, because your best friend jacked your car up. Just messed it all up.  SMMFH

Being single isn't all that bad, but let's keep it real for a minute.  Being single sucks royally.  Even if you're not married, but have a significant other, your life isn't as bad as being a truly single woman.  At least you have someone there to help you with things. To give their input on decisions that have to be made and just be able to take to the lead on certain things that come up in life.  It's mentally exhausting to be a single person and a single parent.  Every decision depends on you and to be honest, sometimes I don't feel like making a decision about stuff.  Sometimes i just want to sit back and let someone else make the decision.  That would be a lot of stress off me.  But in the meantime, all I can do is continue to date my cousins and sisters, hope that someone will come fix the pipe in the shower in the main bathroom in my house, and ride around in a car with no heat O_o   

Sunday, January 8, 2017

How come we can't ask questions?...

Being single in your 40's is difficult.  But dating in your 40's is way worse.  I wouldn't wish this on my worse enemy. We've already talked about the different types on men out there.  Here's a few questions that should be asked on the first or second date, but women might be afraid to ask a man.
1. Are you single? This question is a no-brainer, I know.  But you'd be surprised at how many women assume that when a man shows interest in her or even asks her out, that he's single.  Because why on Earth would a man who's in a relationship ask another woman out on a date? Insert the eye rolling emoji here.  Right.  Ok so, back to the question.  Asking if a man is single is your right and if any man gets upset with you asking him this question, must have something they're hiding.  These 3 words can change your life in either a positive way or a negative way.  Worst case scenario is if you don't ask a man this question, you'll find out later that he's either in a relationship, or worse...married. 

2. What are your views on marriage? This question right here will send a man running for the hills.  When single men hear the word marriage before they actually bring it up in a conversation, they take off like a flight at Pittsburgh International Airport.  But this is an important conversation topic to have.  How many women have dated a man for a significant period of time and then find out, after you get all caught up in feelings, that marriage isn't something he's looking for?  I was watching an episode of Being Mary Jane and she was dating a man who, as she found out later, that wasn't interested in marriage or children. Although they never had the conversation until AFTER she was emotionally invested in this man, his intentions were never to marry her, but to conform her beliefs on marriage and children.  Insert eye rolling emoji here again. At the end of the day, all a single woman wants to know is if she's wasting her time by dating a man who has no intentions on marrying her.  And here's some advice ladies...if a man tells you that he doesn't want to get married, believe him.  Stop thinking that you're going to change his mind, because you won't. 

3. Why are you single? Now asking a man this question is a bit hypocritical, but it's another question that needs to be asked.  It's hypocritical because, I don't know about you all, but I'm tired of people asking me why I'm single (not dating seriously) or why I never got married. And here I am, wanting to know why a man in his 40's isn't married.  Now I can't speak for everyone, but from my personal experience, a man in his 40's is single for a reason. And that reason is far different from the reasons why a woman in her 40's is single. But I'll leave this [statement] here for another time. 

I'm sure there are a lot more questions that should be asked, but after talking with some friends, we determined that these few questions are the most important to ask while dating in your 40's.  Some questions that we came up with were How old is your youngest child? How's the relationship with your ex wife or the mother of your children? How long was your last relationship? etc., etc.  All of these questions have a reason to be asked, but again, I'll save this for another time ;-)