Into The Woods

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And yet another great date last night! It was my third 1st date 3 nights in a row.

Name: Tennessee

Met on: Tinder

31 years old, product account manager, never married, no kids

I arrived at Mikeller Bar a little before 6. Tennessee arrived right on time. He was cute! We gave each other a hug hello then made our way to the already-crowded bar. Our plan was to get a beer then head downstairs to get a table for dinner. He paid for our beers (kolsch for me, pils for him) and we spent a few minutes chatting before heading downstairs. He’s friendly and engaging.

I asked him how he found himself with an extra ticket today, on the day of the show. He said, “My date cancelled.” I asked him if it was a first date. Yes, it was. He quickly said, “But it works out even better this way because I wanted to go with you.” Aww. I asked what his date’s excuse was and he said, “She was vague and gave an excuse like she was still getting over her ex-boyfriend and not ready to date.” I made a comment about how she probably should have thought about that before joining Tinder… and, anyhow, it was just a date, not a marriage proposal. Geez, people never cease to amaze me! But her loss is my gain. Haha.

We got a seat at a “family style” table downstairs and decided to split 3 dishes: a chicken quesadilla, mac & cheese w/ bacon, and a hot dog topped with pulled pork & fried onion strings. The food was amazing. We ordered more drinks.

He paid for everything. What a gentleman! I insisted on buying drinks for the rest of the evening.

It was loud in the downstairs dining room and we had trouble hearing each other. After we finished eating, we went back upstairs to get one last drink before heading to the theater. It was easier to hear each other – I didn’t have to continually ask him to repeat himself nor did I feel like I was yelling. What a relief.

We had nice, easy conversation over the course of the evening. I learned about his childhood, his family, how he’s enjoyed living in San Francisco for the past 3 years, and that he holds 2 annual passes to the theater so he can get guaranteed seats for every production. He saw Rent a couple weeks ago and will be seeing Hamilton next month.

I really enjoyed Into the Woods. It was the first Broadway production I’d seen since Les Miserables in the late 1980s. Yes, that long ago!

During intermission, we discussed which characters were our favorites.

After the show, he suggested checking out his favorite gin bar, Whitechapel. We walked with our arms around each other. As we were waiting for a light to turn green, he turned to kiss me. We had a mini-makeout session there on the street corner.

Once at Whitechapel, we each ordered a fancy gin cocktail and talked some more. We soon realized it was 12:30 am. No wonder I was so tired! Tennessee stood with me on the street corner while I waited for my Uber to arrive. He lived nearby and was going to walk home.

He gave me a goodnight kiss when my ride arrived. I was exhausted so it was especially annoying to have an overly talkative driver who also drove slowly. I didn’t get home until 1 am.

I sent Tennessee an email this morning thanking him for inviting me to the theater and told him about my harrowing ride home last night. He responded with, “I was going to text you this morning but have been stuck working. I had a great time and am looking forward to seeing you when you return from Mexico.” Aww.

And so concluded my week of dating. I had three awesome 1st dates and am looking forward to learning more about each guy.

I’m off to Mexico early tomorrow. I’ll post again post-vacation… hopefully relaxed and sporting tanned skin.

 

Why I Briefly Considered An Open Marriage

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Mars and I began marriage counseling in fall of 2010. Our marriage was sexless and lacking any sort of affection whatsoever. I was invisible and ignored. Mars didn’t notice when I wore a new outfit, got a hair cut, or lost weight. He never touched me, not even on the arm in passing. When we started therapy, it had been nearly 2 years since we’d had sex. Coincidentally, as I entered my late 30s, my sex drive increased dramatically. I became obsessed with the idea of having sex or, hell, even any type of physical touch.

I was miserable.

3 months into counseling and nothing had changed. Mars rebuffed my advances and efforts at foreplay. I was out of my mind with desire. The last straw came one day while running errands at Target. Every guy I saw, whether attractive or not, was suddenly fodder for a sexual fantasy. I had to talk myself out of propositioning one and inviting him to get frisky in the “family restroom”.

What the hell was wrong with me?!

In this crazed state of desperation, I approached Mars and told him about my raging libido. I told him if he didn’t give it up soon, I was going to pursue it elsewhere. I admitted that I didn’t know how the logistics of that would work, i.e. who, when, and where??

A few days later, he initiated foreplay and we broke our 2 year 4 month dry spell. It was glorious. When I asked him why he changed his mind, he said “I didn’t want you to look outside the marriage.”

The period of sexual activity was short-lived. I’d regularly have to put some pressure on him to “put out” but I felt terribly guilty about it. Why didn’t my husband want to have sex with me? It was clear he was only doing it out of fear and obligation.

My self-esteem suffered. I wanted to be desired.

Toward the end of my marriage with Mars, we started discussions about opening our marriage. In hindsight, I believe it was a desperate last-chance effort to save our marriage, or at least extend it while our children were still young.

I remember calling Mars from work to tell him we needed to come to a decision about what to do with our marriage. It shocked the hell out of me when he said that we should consider an open marriage. He told me that he’d done a Google search and found a therapist in Berkeley that counsels couples in open marriages.

I didn’t know how I felt about an open marriage, but I told him to make an appointment with the therapist so we could explore the issue further.

It’s not a surprise that he didn’t make the appointment. I felt like I was the only one putting any effort into the marriage (which he confirmed on the night we separated). However, more importantly, I realized that an open marriage wouldn’t solve our issues… and it wouldn’t provide me with what I ultimately wanted: a loving monogamous relationship. I wanted to be in love.

The partner I wanted and dreamed about wouldn’t be okay with me being married. He wouldn’t be okay with only being a peripheral part of my life. He wouldn’t be okay with me having a whole life separate from him.

My ideal partner would insist on being my only squeeze. He’d want to build a future with me.

I told Mars that an open marriage wouldn’t work for me. So we trudged along a few more weeks until the implosion, i.e. when he announced that he wanted to discontinue 4 years of marriage counseling because he doubted it was working. When asked what he wanted to do instead, he looked bewildered. He didn’t want to do anything. He then admitted that he hadn’t been trying to improve our marriage because he didn’t think it could be fixed.

I wanted more for myself.

I wanted more for our kids. I didn’t want my kids to think that the state of our marriage was acceptable. Our marriage wasn’t a good model for them. I wanted them to see us in a loving, affectionate, respectful relationship without grudges and bickering.

It was clear that a relationship like that wasn’t going to happen with their father. I’d have to find it with someone else.

Wednesday Night Date

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Another great date last night! Yes, I am on a roll. Haha

Name: Piano Guy

Met on: Tinder

30 years old, tech recruiter, never married, no kids

I didn’t realize he was so young until just before leaving to meet him at our neighborhood Irish sports bar. Oops.

Yes, he lives in my neighborhood. I love that.

I had a little difficulty parking and was a few minutes late. He’d already secured a spot at the bar and ordered himself a beer when I arrived. He was cute! Big brown eyes, straight white teeth, and a nice smile.

He likes hiking, taking road trips, and just started piano lessons. And I was surprised to learn that we like the same obscure authors!

He wasn’t asking many questions about me, which I was a little annoyed by… until I realized it was because I was asking too many questions about him. Once I stopped dominating the flow of the conversation, he started asking questions about me.

We held hands as he walked me to my car. I offered to give him a lift home (3 blocks – haha!) and he obliged. We made out in the car for a bit before he hopped out.

He was a disappointed to hear that we won’t be able to have a 2nd date for another 2 weeks. He asked me to send photos from Mexico in the meantime, “preferably in a bikini.” I assured him I’d try to get some non-selfie bikini shots for his viewing pleasure.

When I got home and parked, I noticed he’d sent a text telling me to drive safely. Aww. We had some flirty text conversation before calling it a night.

I have another date tonight! This guy is knocking my socks off already. He’s adorable, 31, and from Tennessee. We’re going to see the Broadway play Into the Woods! He suddenly had an extra ticket this morning and invited me after expressing his displeasure last night that he wouldn’t be able to see me until after I return from Mexico. He said, “You’re going to be speaking fluent Spanish by the time we meet!” and “Our first date will be needle hunting in the Tenderloin, followed by a meth tasting.” I appreciate his quirky sense of humor.

I’m excited about this one. We’re meeting for dinner before heading to the theater. I’ll update tomorrow!

It’s Getting Hot In Here

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My date last night was incredible.

Name: Luke

Met on: Tinder

38 years old, animation professor, recently separated, 1 young kid

We agreed to meet inside at the bar at Social Brewery at 8:30 pm. He arrived a little early and texted me to tell me that since there were no seats available at the bar, he secured a table near the door. I had just finished parking when I got his text and appreciated the communication.

When he saw me come in the door, he stood up and we embraced in a hug. He was gorgeous. He reminded me of a cross between Luke Wilson and George Clooney.

Luke1

Luke Wilson

 

He had already ordered a beer. He apologized for not ordering one for me but obviously didn’t know what I liked. I thought that was sweet and thoughtful to mention.

We had incredible conversation for the next 4+ hours.We knew virtually nothing about each other prior to meeting. I didn’t even know his age – apparently, that’s something you can hide when you pay for Tinder Plus.

He was very philosophical and insightful, occasionally getting really passionate about a topic… then would apologize for ranting. I told him with a laugh that it was clear he was a professor. We talked about why our marriages ended, our childhoods, our families, and our current thoughts on relationships.

We are looking for the same thing. When I told him he looked familiar (i.e. Luke Wilson), he said, “that’s something someone says when they recognize a soul mate.” We talked about whether or not we believe in soul mates, karma, fate, religion, a higher power.

We also talked about our intuition involved in assessing online dating profiles. He had an excellent point: He said that all we’re really doing when swiping left & right is evaluating personal taste. The photos someone chooses of themselves says volumes about who they are… which is why I get turned off by shirtless photos, overly curated photos, and poor quality photos. He said, “In online dating, a photo isn’t worth a thousand words. It’s worth a million.” I agree.

Suddenly, we realized we were the last patrons left and the brewery was closing. Neither of us were ready for the date to end, but it was 1 am and I had to be up early for work. He didn’t – he had just closed out winter quarter. Lucky him.

We agreed to go to a nearby bar (coincidentally, the same bar where I’ll be meeting tonight’s date) and walked with our arms around each other to the next block. As we approached the bar, it was raucous and loud – karaoke night. As we contemplated where we should go instead, he kissed me. He was an awesome kisser and I could tell he would be a passionate lover. We stood there in the rain making out for a good 10 minutes.

I told him I’d love to spend more time with him but that I needed to call it a night. He understood. I even went so far as to tell him if I hadn’t only gotten 4.5 hours of sleep the prior two nights in a row, I’d even invite him back to my place. We made plans to see each other on my first kid-free night after returning from Mexico… in exactly 2 weeks. Womp womp. But I’m glad we have a 2nd date set.

He walked me to my car. We kissed and nuzzled some more while we waited for his Uber. We kissed one last time as he ducked into the car. I smiled all the way home.

I’m excited to get to know him better.

Hayden texted last night asking when he could see us next, saying that he’d like to give my daughter another chance to win at Clue. I told him not until a week from Friday due to being in Mexico. He said that sounds great, that he was thinking of excuses to come see me.

He baffles me.

Matt 2 texted me yesterday when he got into town, as expected. We’ve had some superficial back & forth but I’m going to break the news to him today that I don’t see him in a romantic way before he asks me out again.

Surprisingly, Matt 1 sent me a strange text yesterday.  He said, “Hey, I had a great time the other night. I like you very much, hoping the feeling is mutual.” Um, he lives in Portland! Even if I were interested, how would that even work?!

Arch sent me a text telling me he had a nice time on our date and that he’d like to see me again. He also asked for the contact info for my divorce financial advisor, which I have since happily provided.

A strange dude has been texting me lately. He claims we were chatting on OK Cupid over a year ago. I must have given him my phone number but honestly can’t recall ever talking with anyone named Rob, and I told him I was deep in a relationship with Tex during the time he claimed we last talked. I call bullshit. I asked him to send a pic and he had some stupid iPhone story about how he can only send pics if I have an iPhone as well. I don’t. He told me he could send them via email but I said no way. He keeps asking if he can buy me a drink. Finally I said, “I honestly don’t recall ever talking with anyone named Rob. Help jog my memory: What did we talk about, how old are you, what do you do, what do you remember about me, etc.” Silence. Jesus. It’s possible I really have forgotten but he hasn’t given me anything to go on. And I think it’s creepy and bizarre that he’d contact me out of the blue over a year later. His first text was “How are you?” rather than an explanation of who he was and why it had been so long since we’d last had contact. WTF. Am I out of line or isn’t that the polite and reasonable thing to do? It’s presumptuous for him to even think I still had his contact info.

I have another 1st date tonight. He is responsive with texts, sweet, and friendly. Dark hair, dark eyes, and a smile that lights up his face. Win/win already.

Deliciously Sore

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Hayden came over last night to play Clue with my daughter. However, she was taking longer than anticipated to finish a book report so they didn’t get to play Clue, after all. Instead, Hayden and I sipped chardonnay he’d brought over, talked, hugged, and kissed. He was uncharacteristically frisky… putting his hands down my pants and touching my breasts.

We retreated to the bedroom at one point only to be disturbed by my daughter knocking on the door. Repeatedly. This wasn’t going to work, after all.

I told Hayden we’d have to resume once she was in bed.

I unlocked the computer for my daughter and got her started on her report once again. Hayden emerged from my bedroom completely dressed and announced that he was going to go home, he was suddenly really tired. That was a surprise.

As he was putting something in his bag, I noticed a pack of cigarettes inside. What?! I told him, “I didn’t know you smoked.” I’d never smelled or tasted it on him. He said he hides the smell and taste on purpose. He said he doesn’t normally smoke but that he goes through short stints of 2-3 months where he smokes to help calm him down and ease his anxiety. He said he’s been smoking for the past 2 months. Hmm, probably right around the time we broke up….

I asked how much and how often. He said 3 cigarettes at night to help him fall asleep.

I thanked him for coming over, that it was great seeing him, and that I was sorry he didn’t get to play Clue. He remarked with a smile, “Oh,  yeah, it had nothing to do with wanting to see you….”

Then he got emotional and said, “I’m not good at talking about my emotions.” I questioned him about this statement but he wouldn’t really explain, and went on to say things like, “I really like spending time with you and your kids” and “I adore you”.

My heart melted. Of course the feeling is mutual.

I told him he could lie down and take a nap in my bedroom or watch a show but that I needed to be with my kids, feed them dinner, oversee baths & teeth brushing, etc. until they were in bed. He agreed to join me on the couch. We couldn’t decide on a show to watch so we mostly talked.

Eventually, the kids were in bed and Hayden and I could finally retreat to the bedroom for some serious passion. Hayden was more eager to please than ever. We had intercourse for the next 2 hours in every position multiple times. He was very vocal, saying “you feel so fucking good” and “I love being inside you.”

At one point, when I told him that I love his cock, he responded, “It loves you.” I wasn’t sure what he said (you can imagine) so I asked him to repeat. I knew I couldn’t be so presumptuous. Yep, his cock loves me… not Hayden. I’m so glad I didn’t tell him I loved him back! I mean, I do love him and I’m not afraid to tell him, but it would be grossly inappropriate to tell him so during sex.

He also gave me oral sex twice in one night (a record for him!) and made me cum several times by stimulating my G spot with his finger. I gave him several blow jobs. And he even fucked my breasts.

I loved that Hayden was insatiable last night. He climaxed 3 times.

We laid snuggled into each other afterward, kissing each other tenderly.

He left around 12:30. He was originally planning to stay the night, with my permission, but since he had today off, he decided he wanted to sleep in without having to worry about leaving my place early when we left for school and work. Fair enough. He told me he’d see me soon, whatever that means. I didn’t tell him I was leaving for Mexico on Saturday.

I woke up early from feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. I immediately knew it’s because I’m developing bruises all over my upper arms and shoulders from where Hayden leaned on me/pinned me down last night. I’m in a lot of pain. Plus, I’m worried I’ll look like I’m a victim of physical abuse when I leave for Mexico. I’ll obviously be wearing bikinis and tank tops while there. What will I tell my kids??

My vagina is extremely sore as well but that’s to be expected.

I have immense feelings for Hayden. I love him. He’s adorable, sweet, charming, and considerate. But he sucked at being my boyfriend. I need someone who is more transparent, someone who is eager to share his life with me. I need more stability, someone who won’t unexpectedly break up with me out of the blue.

If we were to ever get back together, I don’t think I’d feel secure.

I love that we can have a sweet and emotionally charged sexual relationship without expectations. The pressure is off. It’s the best of both worlds.

This phenomenon explains why my relationship with Mars improved dramatically after we separated. I was no longer relying on him to fulfill all my needs. The pressure was off.

Of course, I would love to find someone who can fulfill my most important needs. It shouldn’t theoretically be that difficult, as I’m not high-maintenance nor hard to please. The search continues….

On that note, I have a date lined up for every kid-free night this week. I’m excited to meet these guys. Tinder has been fruitful.

I’ve decided that I’m going to have to tell Matt 2 that I’m just not feeling it with him. He returns from a family reunion tomorrow. I know he’ll reach out when he gets back. I dread breaking the news but I’m simply going to tell him that I’ve been thinking about him and have realized that, while I’ve enjoyed both dates, I am not feeling a spark or love connection.