94. October 2013: I'm Not Ready

We ate at this crazy fun Indian restaurant on our third date

I have a secret. I like a boy. 

We met on Tinder one week before I left for my 7-week trip. The night date 89 cancelled.

We had an amazing first date and three others during that week. Seeing anyone besides myself in the mirror four times in a week is rare.

I let him sleep over. Inviting anyone to sleep over after sex is even rarer.

He is like no one I've ever dated. I am not like myself with him. I am better. 

You want to know more. I want to tell you more but not now. For now I need to keep this to myself. 

I cannot wait to get back to NY. 

88. Summer 2013: Fernando, The Boy From Another Place

How did you meet? My first Tinder date 

 

Name: Fernando (aka - the Chilean)

 

 

Height: 5'10"

 

Age: 32

 

Occupation:  marketing exec
 

Good quotes from dates

 

You seemed really conservation and quiet at first. 

 

I have to escort you home. I'm Chilean it's what we do.

I feel like I've known you for a really long time.

 

You've met me at a really strange time in my life.


Why is he still single? I don't know. He's scared?

 

Did he pay for the date?  Yes. He would never let me pay for dinner or cabs. 

 

Did he contact you after the date? For three months, yes
 

How many dates did you go on? A lot. 6 maybe.

 

Would you recommend to a friend? No. See 'why he's still single'


Comments:

I won't lie, by the time our third date happened, I thought that my dating/blogging days were over. I imagined drafting this post as my last because Fernando and I were in a serious relationship. Maybe I would add a photo of us to prove that he and I were real. We would be happy, and this dating project would be over at a nice even number of 88.

Instead this is a post that resembles a few others about a man that I met, that I opened up to after a few dates, that I slept with, and that I never heard from again. Writing that sentence makes me feel both sad and angry that this is still a pattern that exists in dating and that I still fall for it. 

I do believe that Fernando did like me, as equally as he liked living in the moment. And deep down I sensed something more complicated at work. However he never talked honestly about his feelings, so I can't say what was really going on. I don't think he even knew. 

He didn't kiss me until our third date. He's shy, he said. Which I thought was funny because he was so aggressive in other ways. Some days he texted things like: I want to see you. I'd say, sure when? Ready to make a plan. Now, he'd answer. Despite my reservations I'd give in because it felt exciting. He spent more money on cabs from the upper west side to my place in Brooklyn than I've spent in the ten years I've lived here. 

We went to concerts and movies and he was comfortable meeting my best friend and me meeting his from Chile. I felt like were slowly on the way to being a couple. He liked me, he said numerous times. I like you back, I said. 

 

We met in June and saw each other mostly during July. By August, he was traveling all over the world for work, and I went to Europe and he was traveling again by the time I got back. Our relationship went from texting marathons filled with jokes, childhood photos, and many, many emoticons to once a week small-talky messages like "Have a good trip!" or "How are you?"  The whole transition made my stomach turn.

Fernando was intense and I fell for it. He's Latin, after all. He seemed kind and generous, always bringing me little gifts and escorting me home. But these kind of qualities do not necessarily lead to any kind of relationship, I've learned. 

What does make a healthy relationship, even a budding one is regular communication. I felt him pulling away even via text messages as I expressed in this post. His behavior changed and I wondered how I, yet again, fell for a man who was disappearing.  

 

It's taken a while to gather my thoughts to write this because I think I had a sliver of hope that when he got back from work travel he'd say hello, and how sorry he was for disappearing. A few days ago during a run I realized this hope is gone. He was afraid of something and I'll never know what. 

I don't really care. 

A real relationship is not created from a sliver of hope that maybe, possibly he'll text me a smiley-face emoticon after a month of no communication. I'm a 35 year old mostly sane, smart, funny, woman who knows herself and knows what she wants and it isn't that. 

I needed to close this door in my head so I texted him an honest, kind message recently. I said I didn't know what happened between us, but his actions hurt my feelings. That I liked the time we spent together. He did not respond.

Luckily this is not the end. There is no photo of me smiling at the top of the post with my Latin lover. But I'm smiling as I write this. This is the beginning of me taking care of myself. Making better decisions and not wasting time wondering what could of been. I don't regret falling for him. I thank him for helping me to be more open.  

Gracias, Fernando.

 

75. Jun - Aug 2012: Craig, It's Not You. It's Me.

Dried roses: Longer lasting than my relationships

How did you meet? offline through Improv

Name: Craig

Height: 5'10"

Age: 34

Occupation: teacher

Good quotes from date(s):

"You're like the Bachelorette, and I'm competing to get a rose."

"Do you let certain people preview posts before they're published?"

Why is he still single? Looking for the right girl.

Did he pay for the date?  He paid for everything on the first date. The other dates we split or alternated who paid.

Did he contact you after the date? Yes. He's a phone call guy!

How many dates did you go on? 6 or 7

Would you recommend to a friend? Absolutely

Comments:

Craig knew from the beginning that I had a dating blog and if he asked me out he'd be written about. He asked me out anyway. We had several casual dates over the summer - bars, dinners, bowling, movies. Dating him was comfortable and easy because we had some of the same friends and already knew a little about each other.

One hot, humid 100 degree night Craig told me he "like" liked me and that he could he see having a relationship with me. It was everything I wanted to hear from a kind, funny, genuine guy, who is a good communicator and who brought me flowers (Two of them preserved in the pic above). 

I freaked out. I was confused about him, about what I was looking for, about everything. I needed space and time to think and I told him so. He listened with an open mind and without judgement.

The problem was not him. It was me, except it wasn't a problem it was a fact. I did not have the same feelings for him that he had for me, but I really wanted to. I had an inkling that we didn't have a physical connection after our first kiss, but I didn't fully understand this until later. Turns out wanting something badly enough doesn't make it true.

I blame myself. I kept seeing him in hopes that chemistry would miraculously appear. I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking it too: After 75 dates I should know better.

Dating is an experiment with no scientific equations and measurements (even though online dating sites say otherwise) that guarantee the same result every time. There are many variables of which we have no control. This a hard concept to accept for logical, analytical people like me.

The only dating truth I know is this: I cannot create chemistry, it is there or it is not. The only thing I do have control over is to recognize this sooner rather than later. A lesson that I re-learn each time I go on a date.