Touchpoint and Casual Sex

Last summer, this article popped up in my Twitter feed “I Talked To 1,400 Strangers About The Intimate Details Of Their Sex Lives. Here’s What I Learned”(I am a sucker for “I did xyz and here is what I learned” articles.)

I liked what Jared had to say and thought his Touchpoint events sounded really cool…and also really scary. In case you were too lazy to click the links or read the article:

Touchpoint is a town hall where real people
share stories from their love and sex lives.

I found this idea fascinating. I don’t have many friends who are having sex on a regular basis and/or want to talk about it.  And its not always comfortable to talk about sex with your friends, but we should talk about it!  Sex happens.  Most of us are doing it or want to do it.  And whether we do or we don’t (and how it goes if we do) has a big impact on how we feel physically and emotionally.

When I found out that these events are held in NYC every month, I added this to my “New Things in 2017” bucket list but it didn’t happen in 2017. Yeah, I think we SHOULD all talk about sex, but the idea of doing it is intimidating.  I don’t enjoy saying ANYTHING to a room full of strangers and talking about sex in a room full of strangers would definitely be a first. I was also pretty sure I would be the oldest person there.  Its hard to find group events (when I am not trying desperately to avoid them) where I don’t feel a lot older (or sometimes a lot younger) than everyone else. I am like Goldilocks in the Big City.

IMG_9433After stalking Touchpoint on Instagram for six months, I saw that “casual sex” was on the agenda for March which definitely piqued my interest. As a single woman dating in NYC in the 2010’s, its hard to avoid the topic of casual sex. In the age of dating apps, there is a perception that people can very easily “hook up” on-demand and that they do it, and like it (and that many prefer it to relationships). This is not my experience or the the experience of any single women I know, but it is the experience of many men who have come in to my life through dating apps. I was very curious to hear more perspectives on this topic.  I was also missing doing new things (since I slowed down my pace this year) and my schedule was free!

 

So, last Tuesday I showed up at The Assemblage in Nomad ready to learn more (and possibly talk) about casual sex.

I have to start with The Assemblage itself.

The Assemblage is a “coworking and coliving space that aims to nurture community and ignite consciousness and collaboration.”

I can tell you that the space is beautiful. Every person I saw there was beautiful (and probably 20 or 30 something). And it smelled amazing (like really awesome incense that is not too overpowering.) WeWork is cool, but The Assemblage is cooler.

I can also confirm the the director of vibes (as mentioned in the article) kicks ass at her/his job. The room where Touchpoint met had candles and pillows and feathers and an overall great vibe.  It was a good mix of genders and races and most of them were very attractive.

IMG_9451As we entered the room, we were asked to take off our shoes and handed a card with four questions about casual sex to help frame the discussion.  This card is part of a full deck that people can soon buy to encourage conversations among themselves on the topic of sex. I have to say that Jared is a great marketer and business man.  He got 100 people to pay $30-$40 each to sit in a room for 2 hours (30 minutes of that time just waiting) and listen to less than 10 people tell stories about their sex lives.  And now he is going to monetize his concept with cards.  Nice work.

We did have to wait a very long time on our comfy pillows before things got started. I said hello to the women sitting on either side of me who had both been to Touchpoint events before and found them “very inspiring”. (That was the only talking I did all evening).

Things kicked off with some very cool drumming and African chanting followed by a beautiful rendition of Adele’s “To Feel My Love”.  Off to a great start.

Then Jared opened it up, gave the backstory of Touchpoint (read the article if you want to know) and outlined the four rules of the evening that are also four rules of great sex (which was funny and also true). I can’t remember exactly what they were but they were something like this.

  1. Its not all about you
  2. Everyone should be allowed to finish
  3. Something about listening?
  4. What is said at Touchpoint stays at Touchpoint (I am pretty sure this was #4)

Although there is a rule about things staying at Touchpoint, this event was also recorded for the first ever Touchpoint podcast!  I will summarize for you without revealing anyone’s identity (not that I know who any of these people are) and you can also listen to the WHOLE thing on iTunes as soon as the podcast is released here.

There were a few people selected ahead of time to tell their stories so we started with those.  We heard from a woman who had casual sex with a younger man at a college alumni weekend a year after a traumatic breakup.  Then an agender man told us about his casual sex experience with a hot cop he went to high school with and ran in to on the streets of Newark. Finally, the very nice bi-sexual woman sitting next to me (surprise!) told her story about how she and her awesome, hot boyfriend (that she met on Tinder) had a threesome with a stripper in Florida (her idea). It was a long story but a good one!

After each person spoke, Jared asked them if he had permission to ask them questions (a little dramatic but intended to drill home the importance of consent). Then he asked them a couple of questions and we moved on.  The questions were not very deep, but there was a time constraint.  There were 100 people there and I am sure he wanted to give as many people as possible time to speak.

We heard from a few more people who had mostly great casual sex experiences. A couple of people (men, actually) talked about exploring casual sex after assault or to help improve body image, but in general the theme was that casual sex was empowering and fun.  The very last person to speak was a woman who said that she always has emotional expectations when she has sex with someone and she found it very hard to believe that she was the only one who felt this way.  Jared responded by saying “I say this with love…” and then went on to tell her she should “listen” and not assume that everyone’s experience was the same as hers.  To me, it felt like she was being scolded.

I get it. He is selling a safe space where people can feel free to talk about whatever their experiences are and not feel judged. So if you say your sex was fun, it was fun.  But what if your experience is that you don’t want to go to sex parties, or pick up strippers (or cops) and that casual sex leaves you feeling empty?  That perspective was not shared at all and this was the perfect opportunity to go there.  He didn’t take it. I might be projecting my own thoughts on to that exchange, so I look forward to listening to it back on the podcast and re-assessing, but it left me with a bad feeling.

In the end, I did not come away with great insights on how people feel about casual sex overall but I heard some interesting stories.  As much as I dread events where you have to “turn to the person next to you” and say anything, this event could go deeper if it there was some of that “turn to the person next to you.”  I am sure everyone in that room had something to say and 90% of them were not comfortable speaking up or needed more time to work their way up to it.  We were encouraged to stay and continue the conversation amongst ourselves but it was 10pm by then and I was tired (because I am kind of old). So maybe its on me for not mingling.

I did get confirmation that the generation after me DOES go to sex parties and have threesomes way more than people my age did back in the day.  We definitely had “casual sex” in the 80s and 90s (I think we called it “one nighters”) but I remember it being pretty traditional stuff.

So what would I have said if I had the microphone at Touchpoint?

Casual sex is a part of my life because most of the men I am attracted to can only have this kind of sex.  Some of that is on me, and some of that is on them. (Sex and attraction is complicated.) When I have the choice between casual sex or no sex, I sometimes choose casual sex.  It is not my first choice but sometimes that is all that is on the menu. Some casual sex is more casual than other casual sex.  The more connection that I have with someone, the better the sex is, always.  I can’t say that casual sex has ever served me in a meaningful way.  It is usually fun, but I know it also distracts me from looking for a deeper connection, which is ultimately what I would prefer if it were on the menu (and would also lead to better sex..for me).  To date I have not attended any sex parties or had any threesomes but I do not judge (sorry if you read this far and were hoping that was where this would go). I am not sure how fun those would be for me, but who knows what the future holds for Goldilocks in the Big City!

I have an analogy that casual sex is like eating a cookie. Some cookies taste better than others.  Sometimes the anticipation of eating the cookie is better than the actual cookie itself.  When you are eating the cookie, it might be super delicious but then its over and what do you have to show for it?  The sugar and flour cause inflammation (that mysterious condition that is killing us all) AND then you have to put in extra time at the gym to keep looking good so you have have another cookie!!!  Because after you have one cookie, you always want another one.  And so the cycle continues. I should really be eating more kale.

And that is what I would have shared if I actually had the nerve to raise my hand at Touchpoint. I wonder what Jared would have asked me?

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What a Weird Fall…

It’s been forever, again, I know. Because I had a really weird fall/early winter. Before we start 2015, here is a quick summary of all of the weird stuff that happened that I never told you about! Then we can start anew…

When I last updated you, I was also having a really weird month. From there, I got my balance back (briefly). All of the weird bugs and bug bites went away. I started a daily yoga routine before work (was super proud of that) and dived back in to the online dating pool.

New  Yorker CoverI went on a couple of dates with the Tiny Jazz Musician. He was actually a very cool guy and we had a good first date and he did all of the post date follow up perfectly. But on the second date, some key personality differences were revealed, and I realized that I was not attracted to him at all. At some point during our second date, he showed me a New Yorker he had with him and pointed out that his friend said he looked like the guy on the cover (in the middle with the glasses). Bad move.  From that moment forward, all I could picture when I looked at him was this guy (who also looks like the guy on this cover, and like the Tiny Jazz Musican..but bigger.) I couldn’t recover! No third date.

Right about that time, I got called to jury duty. I ended up getting selected for a fascinating trial that lasted eight days. You can read a bit about this art forgery trial here. As a follow up, we decided the art was fake and that crazy artist Nussberg had to pay equally crazy gallery owner Tatintsian 5 dollars. (Apparently nominal damages is like 5 dollars.) What I learned from this trial experience was (1) real life court is nothing like TV. The technology in court does not work right, lawyers trip over their words, and there are tons of rules that slow everything down. (2) we are trusting very important decisions to regular people based on only what lawyers decide to share with you (or are competent enough to uncover or explain correctly). This is a bad system. (By “regular people” I mean that most are not super smart. My jury was unusually intelligent, I assume by choice, because the trial was SO complex.)  (3) this entire process would be so much more efficient (for jurors) if they recorded the whole thing before we got there and edited it down to exactly the pieces we were supposed to see and hear and play them back for us. First, it would save us tons of time and allow us to know how much time it will take. Even more importantly, we are constantly hearing things we are supposed to ignore, which we don’t, because we are human. I realize lawyers use this as a strategy but it is bullshit and just compounds the reasons why this is such a bad system. After binge listening to Serial this past week.  My theories about our jury/trial system were reconfirmed. Listen to it. It’s pretty cool….

I also learned a lot about abstract art and specifically about Kazimir Malevich (one of his pieces shown above) and the avant-garde, suprematist art movement in Russia. It was like an eight day art class. Pretty cool!

There was a bit more dating. All dating is weird. There was the Music Writer who I had an OK date with but he pushed too hard at the end of the date which ended up being really weird and was a huge turn off. No second date. Then there were a few guys I chatted with on Hinge or Tinder who I never ended up meeting. The Private Chef, Burning Man Guy, and this guy (who was the most promising of the three, but also disappeared mid conversation. Very common.)  There is one guy who is still lingering, The Jazz Musician with the Beautiful Face. We can call him JMBF for short. I will have to cut him off pretty soon (or he will just disappear), but he has been entertaining for the holidays. JMBF is hot and smart and kind of interesting when I can get him to actually speak, but he just does not do relationships. Also, very common in my dating world.

bhut pepperAnd then, just today, I spent 24 hours chatting with Hot Sauce guy on Tinder (he owns a hot sauce/hot pepper company in Brooklyn. I have illegally included his logo to the right.) Some of his comments/questions were a little weird but I was trying to keep an open mind. He wanted to Facebook me to “see more pictures” which I reluctantly agreed to figuring I could just de-friend him if he ended up confirming my weird suspicions. Then, when he offered to send me more pictures and I said, “Lets just meet in person and see if we click. Want to have a drink when you are back in town?” He responded by de-matching me on Tinder (or taking down his Tinder profile completely. I can’t tell which.) SO WEIRD. What is even weirder is that we are still Facebook friends but he has sent no follow up messages to explain the disappearance from Tinder after 24 hours of chatting.  SO WEIRD. I will be clearly be de-friending him.  SO WEIRD.

So dating is going really well (sarcasm). But I rock on…

Before Thanksgiving, I got a cold, that turned in to a sinus infection, that turned in to a double ear infection! So, I spent a lot of late fall/early winter sick. That was a huge drag. I am FINALLY better, finished traveling and celebrating the holidays, and am now regrouping before 2015 comes (in 6 hours). I am chilling out, watching TV (finally binge watching the Wire just released in HD on HBO), and catching up on tons of stuff on my to do list (who doesn’t have a vacation to do list!)

Now that we are all caught up, I hope to have some more deep thoughts and/or funny stories for you in 2015. Happy New Year!!!

Meet Market: Part Two

Last week, I left you all in suspense about my blind date with Thomas. Well, here’s how it went.

A few hours before the date, I got an email telling me where to go, the first name of my date and a few facts about him. The Post picks the location and picks up the tab (sweet!). The email told me that I would be meeting THOMAS (he put it in all caps, I assume so I would not forget it) and that he had a beard and he was a very interesting guy who made his own wine, composed music and had lived in Prague for four years. I had told Jozen I liked interesting, smart guys with beards. Clearly, he had put some thought in to this.

Coincidentally, also a few hours before the date, I started not feeling so great. I had all of a sudden come down with a stomach bug and a low grade fever. I don’t usually get nervous for first dates but I had been under a lot of stress at work, and had been going non-stop for weeks. I was exhausted. I have no idea whether it was stress or a bug of some kind, but  net-net, I was not feeling well at all going in to this date. But I couldn’t cancel!  Jozen, my matchmaker, had a column deadline to meet! So I went…

THOMAS was about 10 minutes late. I spent that 10 minutes praying he would not show up and wondering how the heck I was going to get through this. When he did show up, my first impression was that he seemed like a nice, laid back guy. There wasn’t an initial attraction but he wasn’t unattractive. We started by deciding what to order (a challenge since I did not think I could eat or drink anything.) I was trying really hard to just play through it, but I was pretty much in a fog the entire date. I could not focus.  He told me stories that I vaguely remember. I tried to think of questions to ask but I remember going blank a lot. He talked about his work which was really interesting but while he was talking I was thinking “this would be even more interesting if I did not want to go home and crawl in to my bed right now.”  I remember talking a lot about how much I work and how I have no idea what my passion is. Fun stuff! Let’s just say, I was not my best self on this date.

About half way in to the date, a photographer showed up to take pictures for part two of the article. She asked us to pose with various expressions: both enjoying the date, both hating the date, one of us miserable with the other one happy, and vice versa. This was a hilarious exercise. The entire situation was so funny that I really looked like I was having fun in those pics. I really wasn’t.

After we got the check the uncomfortable part came where we had to figure out what the other person was thinking. I finally decided to tell him him that I was not feeling well and that I had been out of it the entire date. I figured I was SUCH a bad date, he should know why. He replied “You get better?” I was very surprised by that. He wanted to exchange information and go out again but I uncomfortably said no and apologized. My gut told me that there wouldn’t have been a spark, regardless of how I was feeling. If we had clicked, I would have been able to pull off a better version of myself.

After the date, Jozen asks each person so send him a brief write up with details so he can write about the date. I was dying to know what THOMAS said about the date. Well, now I know! The article is out and you can read it here before you go on (This Week’s Couple: Sick Leave).

Apparently, I made the exact impression that I thought I did. I was REALLY not a good date that night. (I do get better!  Really! I do!) I have to assume that he was willing to go out again because he found me attractive which was overriding his gut impression that we were not clicking. Attraction does tend to make you overlook things. It is interesting what Jozen chose to include in the write up. My guess is that THOMAS’ “not even a platonic interest” was not because I don’t like oysters and would not try his fish tacos. If that was the issue, then we really are not a match. (For the record, normally, I would have tried his fish tacos. Fish tacos are the last thing you want when you feel ill.)

There is no way for me to know exactly what THOMAS was feeling (he did know this would be in the paper after all) but if he was really relieved that he did not have to go out with me again, then I know I made the right call and I clearly don’t have to feel bad about not going out with him again. This was a semi interesting experience and Jozen is not a bad match maker. The situation ended up being really odd, but it was a cool thing to try. Definitely an adventure.

Meet Market: Part One

So I had an awesome second date with the Recovering Musician and then he left town for three weeks to vacation in Asia. I hope to see him again, but if anything can happen on a second date, REALLY anything can happen in a month.  In the mean time, another opportunity presented itself to me, and when opportunity knocks…

A while back (in the middle of my July dating frenzy), I got an email from OK Cupid asking if I was interesting in being part of the Meet Market column in the NY Post. I have no idea why they picked me (maybe it was my new awesome profile!), but I figured, “Why Not?” I really didn’t think anything would actually come of it, but things progressed and I actually ended up going on a date. Now you get a behind the scenes look at how the NY Post Meet Market works. Something, I am sure you were dying to know (since most likely not one of you has ever seen this column.)

Once I opted in, I got a very nice email from Jozen, who writes the column, providing clear instructions on next steps (I love clear instructions on next steps!) These next steps involved going in to the NY Post office to get my picture taken and completing a VERY long questionnaire about who I am and what I am looking for. I happened to have some time the next day to head to midtown for a photo shoot so I got the ball rolling.

I met with Jozen for about 15 minutes pre-shoot and he explained the process. The article runs in two parts over two weeks. Part one, lists a candidate and three potential matches for the candidate.  Part two runs the following week and gives a play by play of how the date went with the person the candidate ended up going out with. What really happens (here is the inside scoop!) is that Jozen decides to set two people up and sends them on a date before he even publishes part one of the article. He then throws two other candidates in to the mix and lets people weigh in on who they THINK the candidate should go out with. I guess this is really the only way to make sure you can get a part two out of a bunch of flakey, busy, New York daters. He told me I could be the candidate or one of the matches. It would all depend on “what he has in his files.” Basically, my fate was in the hands of my new matchmaker, Jozen.

MeetMarket-OkCupid-PhilThe photo shoot was quick and painless. It is hard to look comfortable in such a weird situation. I was not born to be a super model. I completed the questionnaire that weekend, sent it off, and promptly forgot about the whole thing.

About two weeks later I got an email from Jozen saying he had someone to set me up with. Two days later, I was on a date with Thomas, a 37 year old adventurous introvert.  I knew absolutely nothing about Thomas until about 2 hours before the date when I was given a few tid bits including his name and where to go to meet him. This was the blindest date I have ever been on.

Now YOU know that I went on the date already, but the rest of the word doesn’t know. What the world does know, is that Thomas will go on a date with one of the three women listed here.  (The online version doesn’t explain very well that Thomas will go out with one of these women, but the print version does. The Post is too big to fit on my old school home scanner, but an example print version is shown to the left. This is what OK Cupid sent me as an example.)

I will leave you in suspense on how the date went.  I am actually VERY curious to hear Thomas’s side of the story. The summary will look something like this. For my 2 blog fans who are not members of my family or my closest friends, I will also leave you in suspense on which of these three women I am. My devoted fans (if I actually have any) might be able to figure it out. Until next week…

Summer Dating

After a long hiatus from dating, I somehow managed to date three different guys in the past month. I sort of fell back in to it one night when I decided to pop in to Tinder while I was hanging out with my TiVo.

Tinder led me to a really bad date with a guy who wrote an interesting book on the scientific reasons why people believe in God. This guy (The Author) warned me that he was only looking for “erotic fun” and I warned him that “casual sex” was not really my thing, but he somehow convinced me to meet him. Let’s just say that our one hour together did not end well. He was very pushy. I was not interested. He got very annoyed. The only good thing about that experience was that it inspired me to read a very interesting book about science and God.

Often, a bad date sends me back in to dating hibernation but two things inspired me to keep going:

  1. My therapist has been subtly asking me whether I thought I might be lonely when I was 60 and it would be harder to find people to date. (ok, not so subtly)
  2. When I had been complaining to a friend that you have to go on SO many bad dates to get to a good date, he reminded me that it is the same on the other side. That guy that I would eventually go on a good date with was suffering through a lot of bad dates, too. And if one of us gave up, we would never meet. Good point!

So the morning after my really bad date, buckled up and got back out there.  I had been checking out this one guy for a while but wanted to add some more kick to my profile before I wrote to him and hadn’t had time. (You may recall that my friends had helped me with my profile long ago but I was never really happy with it.) That morning, I finally came up with something that really felt like me.

With my super cool new profile up, I wrote to they guy I had my eye on (The Recovering Musician) and a back-up guy (The Filmmaker) who had been checking me out and seemed interesting. They both wrote me back and I miraculously ended up having good first dates with both of them. (I just read a whole book about a possible scientific explanation for why people believe in miracles. For the record, I don’t think this was really a miracle, but it was surprising!)

The Filmmaker wrote me back first and was available first so I went out with him first. The first date was good, but the second date was bad.  There was attraction and he was smart and interesting, but he was all about him.  He told really LONG stories about himself. LOTS of them. He was attracted to me, but not that interested in getting to know me. Huge turn off. He also had an odd sense of humor. I tried to tell myself that was no big deal, but can you really spend a lot of time with someone makes jokes that you don’t find funny, at all? Thankfully, I never heard from him after our second date. (This really did feel like a miracle.)

Then I (finally) met The Recovering Musician. It actually felt like I was meeting a famous person because I had my eye on him for so long. (As is turns out, he used to actually be a sort of semi famous singer/songwriter. He’s on Itunes. And he’s not bad.) I had originally thought of him as the Hipster but he does not think of himself as a Hipster and perhaps it is unfair of me to think everyone who lives in Williamsburg and rides a Citibike to work is a Hipster (ironic smiley face here.) I could actually call him the Meditator but that does not really roll off the tongue. We did have a very nice first date and it was actually a CONVERSATION (meaning two people exchange ideas and take turns talking and listening.)  I like conversations.  There is attraction. His sense of humor is aligned with mine, and we seem to have some core stuff in common.  Our second date is on the calendar and I look forward to it, but anything can happen on the second date. (Because I date so much now, I know these things.)

While I was getting a pedicure last week, I read an article about dating in one of those ridiculous women’s magazines that I read when I get pedicures.  The premise was that people are not really dating. They are hooking up and hanging out and watching Netflix together (because the young kids don’t actually have cable, they stream everything..crazy) but not dating.  She specifically said that getting to know people is a cool way to learn about the world outside of your own. So true. After having met an author, a filmmaker, and a recovering musician/mediator this past month, as painful as some of those moments were, it was cool to learn about them and what they do and what they think. And I survived the awkward moments and lived to tell about them.

Let the summer dating continue…

The Artist

The Artist is no more. Well he is, still, somewhere drinking and smoking organic cigarettes somewhere in Brooklyn, but the Artist and I are no more. We never made it to that fourth date. Since he and I are no more, and he will never read this blog, I can debrief you while I drink wine and eat ice cream (the wild and crazy Friday night of a recovering TVaholic in NYC!)

I walked away from my first date with The Artist, confused. I was pretty sure that he had a narcissistic personality disorder, but I still found myself drawn to him. This really confused me.

Why did I suspect that he had a narcissistic personality disorder? Well, he talked for at least 1 1/2 hours of our two hour date. He was smart and interesting, but I spent most of the time thinking “this guy is really cute, but he will not stop talking.” Near the end of the date, I asked him what his Meyers-Briggs type was (I am obsessed with Meyers-Briggs). He told me his (INTJ) and then asked me what mine was (I was shocked because that was perhaps the 3rd question he asked me in 1 1/2 hours) and when I told him (ISFJ) his only response was “My initials are right in the middle. How can I get that Meyers-Briggs type?” No joke.

I can’t explain the chemistry, but we had it. Perhaps I am only attracted to messed up, kind of vulnerable guys, with beards. (Did I mention he had a beard?) When I meet a narcissist, my thought is always, what happened to this poor guy to make him this way? I am too empathetic to be dating.

The chemistry, the beard, and me thinking maybe he was just nervous, got us to date #2. Date #2 was really fun. We went on an art crawl to some openings in Chelsea with some of his friends. We drank, we looked at art, and had a great time. He was sweet and attentive, in many ways. Lots of kissing. At dinner after the art crawl, he talked again for 75% of the time.  I did learn a lot about what happened to the poor guy that made him that way. I think I know everything about the Artist, actually. Everything. His childhood was privileged, but sad and lonely.

I agreed to date #3, but I decided I was definitely going to raise this issue about him doing all of the talking. We met at a dive bar where he spends most of his time (not alone in his studio BTW) playing pool and eating the free pizza that you get with every drink. (This is how artists survive.) After the initial 30 minutes of him talking about this frustrating thing that happened to him that day I said, “I am not going to ask you any more questions. You don’t know anything about me.” He said “That’s true.” I said, “You have to ask me questions because I am not good at talking about myself.” He asked me what my favorite color was. Then he asked me what my favorite sexual position was. Then he asked me what country I wanted to visit. It quickly became apparent that this guy had no idea how to connect with another human being. I got frustrated and said “That’s what you want to know about me? You aren’t very good at asking questions are you?” Horrible thing to say. I feel horrible about it. He then said “Well you have been alive for 44 years, what do you want me to know about you?” I gave up and changed the subject back to him.

A person who can only open up to someone who shows interest (me) can not date a person who does not know how to show interest (him). I wanted to believe that he HAD interest and just didn’t know how to show it, but who knows. I always see the best in people, even when it is not there.

I somehow found myself still agreeing to date #4. I don’t even know how it happened. But we never got that far.

At the time he was supposed to be at my house for date #4, he texted me to say that  he got sucked in to playing pool at the dive bar and did I still want him to come over AFTER finished up his game (really?)  I was pissed and told him not to come over. He called me and tried to smooth things over (he was drunk) and promised he would make it up to me when he returned from his trip (that he was leaving for the next day) but first, could he just tell me a little bit about how hard his day was? O..M…G. Of course, I listened, because that is what I do.

I never heard from him again after that night.

I wish him well. He is a good guy who is not good with people (which he did tell me on our first date). And I really like his work (which you can see yourself in this post. Those are some of his sculptures.)

The dating continues….

The Dating Continues…

The Dating GameI hate to leave things hanging so now that it is almost the end of September, I should tell you how my August dating challenge ended up. The goal was to go on  one date a week and I managed to almost do that (if going out with the same guy in two different weeks counts and I say it does) before things with the Sommolier came to an end in late August. Technically, I was one week short but I did go out with one more guy (“the artist”) in early September. As a recovering perfectionist, I say this counts as success.

I won’t say too much about “the artist” at this point except that he is a very interesting (and cute) guy who has managed to get to a fourth date, which does not happen often.

Earlier this week, I reflected back on my dating life and realized that I have been on dates with more guys in 2013 than in the 5 years before 2013. And there were no long term relationships in those 5 years, just not a lot of dates.

So when people ask me why such a fabulous and attractive (and clearly modest) woman is still single at my age, I can definitely say that one big reason is because I didn’t really date.

I may have mentioned (repeatedly) that I don’t like dating. Going out with 8 different guys in 2013 has not been all fun and games. Mostly, it is a huge pain in the ass. Finding a night that works, picking a place, making conversation, figuring out how to end the date, deciding whether or not you want to have another date, getting your feelings hurt, hurting other people’s feelings. Fun, fun, fun.

I’m not sure if it’s getting easier the more I do it, or it’s just as hard, but I keep doing it anyway. In the past, one annoying online date would send me back in to hibernation for months or years, and I have stayed in more than one bad relationship just because I didn’t want to deal with finding someone else.

This year, I have managed to just keep getting back out there. I am no longer avoiding it, I am pushing through it. I has been a pain in the ass, but I have also met some interesting people, had some stimulating conversations, learned more about myself, shared some intimate moments, received some hilarious text messages, and opened myself up more.  The yin and the yang. You can’t have the good without the bad, right?

The dating will continue. The challenges of the first date are not the same as the challenges of the fourth date. The stakes get bigger, things get more complicated, more feelings are involved, things get more confusing. I do look forward to the day when the benefits outweigh all of this hard emotional work (and logistical scheduling!) But I also realize that the emotional hard work is never really done, not if you want to live a rich, full life with human connection, which I do (with some TV mixed in, of course!)