Slow burn continued

During the past 6 months I feel like I have really been putting into practice my “dating in the now” philosophy. Is it a philosophy or a mindset??

The steps I have taken have been;

1) focus on the behaviour of the person, not the words. We are really good at selling our best selves but it’s the follow through that is often lacking. Car guy told me when we first met how he wants to get back into skiing (I love skiing) but once we were dating he had zero time, and really zero interest. Which bring me to #2

2) Actually doing things that I want to do. No more focusing just on what the guy likes to do and then planning all our dates around that! I want to do my activities too! And this needs to actually more lip service. You like mountain biking as much as I do (or so you say to get me to agree to meet up), well guess what we are going to actually do on a date! Probably before we get to the sex! So many guys I have dated have stopped having interest in doing things that I wanted to do once they got what they were after. That’s all the dates seemed to centre around. Date me before you bed me is my new mantra!

3) Date in the NOW. I am not looking to start a family with someone, so their long term potential does not matter as much as it once did. I don’t know how long life is going to go on for so do I need to be assessing someone based on their long term viability? For me, no. Do I want a guy who is going to skip out on date 8, no, that would suck, but I’m not going to stress about the what if’s anymore.

4) which also means that I am not going to stress about how a guy looks “on paper”. By this I mean, does he make enough, is he in a profession that matches mine or my expectations (blue collar vs white collar). At one point those things mattered to me a lot. Especially when I was looking to build a life with someone and have kids etc. I did not want to make more money than the person I was dating. I dated one guy once who made less than I did (20 years ago) and I didn’t like it. Now, since I am dating in the now, how much he makes doesn’t matter. I am living on my own, paying my own way, and as long as his financial limitations do not impact dates and adventures we can have then so be it!

And this brings me to the Funny Guy.

On paper, he would be a definite no-go. Dude is separated as of a year and a half ago but not divorced. He moved into his parents to save for his own place a year ago and still lives there. The company he worked for, for 20 years, laid everyone off two months ago and he is without a full time job.

Jesus, I’m laughing as I type this because I truly adore him, but on paper he is a nightmare. Normally I would run for the hills. But rather than base my decision on all of these things, I instead decided to slow the f#ck down.

He had a job when we had our first at that time it was just the living with the parents that kinda sucked. BUT he was so incredibly funny and down to earth and COMFORTABLE on our first date, that I knew I needed to see him again.

What is happening to me??

In my dating history I have found that I have a tendency to jump in hot and heavy. And once I like a guy, the more attached I get to him if I am under the impression that he likes me. If I see red flags I ignore them because, heck, he likes me! In my mind I start to envision a life with this person, things we could do together and events we could attend, places we will travel. I have an entire relationship with them in my mind by one month in. And then I am attached. I feel like it’s similar, for me, to the affair fog. If the guy breaks up with me while I am deep in this fog, this relationship building in my mind, I tend to feel over attached and devastated at the loss of the person. I believe this is what happened with the Fireman when we first dated. I was over the top attached to him after not really knowing him at all.

If the relationship lasts to about 4-5 months I have noticed the fog starts lifting and I am able to actually see the person based on their behaviour and actions and not what I have built them to be in my mind. I am able to see where my wishes and reality don’t match up. This is the time where I am the one to end the relationship if things are not as I would like them to be, if we truly are not compatible. In the case of FunTimesCheaterPantsAl, (FTCPA), he was super good at making his actions and my wishes align, so it was 6 months before I could see him for who he was. I do still miss the fun times and adventures though!

In the past 8 months I have felt in a really weird place.

I decided after my official separation that this year was going to be a year of doing things that bring me joy. Not things I thought I should be doing, or things that others think I should be doing, but things that really make me happy. Building memories with my kids is one of those things, so I have been taking them on more adventures. I’m trying to not over spend but I’m also not letting the idea of debt hold me back (still not in debt so things are okay!).

I’m also trying to look at my relationships for if they are bringing me Right Now. Im tired of meeting men who are great at telling me who they are but suck at showing me. Men who say they are adventurous and like to get out and do things but then turn out to be too busy to actually do those things. I have no time for that in my new joy experiencing life!

With this shift in thinking I am also not looking at dating and men in terms of long term. I have zero desire to get married again. I feel it’s really pointless. I would love the honeymoon but one does not need to marry to celebrate being together with a lovely vacation!

I also have no desire to be a step parent or have someone else parent my kids. I don’t want to live with another man until my kids are grown and out of the home. My ideal mate would have his own place, we would spend our childfree time and together and some family time with our kids together occasionally. If we continue to enjoy each other’s company when our kids are grown then we re-evaluate, determine what would bring us the most joy at that point. Perhaps it’s buying a home together or buying an RV and travelling our beautiful country! Who knows! All that I know at this point is that I LOVE my home, parenting my kids on my own and doing things that I enjoy!

This is a far cry different from how I dated before. I would invest myself in finding out what made my partner happy and then tried to achieve that for them. Even with FTCPA, I enjoyed our adventures and the places we travelled, but really it was all about things he wanted to do and experience…I was just someone willing to go along. This time around I am in the drivers seat. But as much as I enjoy it, it’s also extremely unsettling. Now I just have to figure out why.

The slow burn

After the debacle with the drunk fireman, I decided to stay off the dating apps for a few months. I was moving into my new home and had a lot to do, so it didn’t bother me to be single and not dating in that time. I welcomed the peace.

When I did go back online I was not in love with the process. I matched with many, chatted with some and eventually accepted dates with a few. I am not wired to date multiple people at once anymore. I highly recommend it for most people…best to not put your eggs in one basket too early, but I’m enjoying my alone time more these days and don’t want to have to try to figure out how to schedule time for multiple people.

I met two noteworthy gentlemen in the last 6 months. I swiped right on both of them in the same day and both initiated conversation. The Car Guy asked me out first and I let the Funny Guy know a few days later that I had been out with someone and was focusing on just one person at a time these days and wished him well. He was super awesome about it and wished me luck with my dating. Two months later found me back online as although Car Guy was hot and heavy initially, he eventually had to admit he “didn’t know what he was looking for” (ie: really just wanted a friend with benefits and not real dates). So I wished him well (I don’t want to be just a late night FWB…I like going out on dates!!).

I thought of Funny Guy and wondered if he had any luck the previous two months, however I thought it would be rude of me to reach out as I didn’t want him to feel like Plan B. Realistically if he had not been so slow to ask me out it would have been him I accepted the first date from.

So I did not reach out and instead went back on the apps. In the second day on I came across Funny Guys profile and swiped right…we matched immediately. I sent the first message this time as I was eager to talk to him. When he responded he did so by text and said that he had kept my number as he hoped I would return. We talked briefly about the dates he had been on (I asked, I was curious). He quickly asked me out and noted the error of not doing this sooner the first time.

Our first date was dinner and a movie, which normally I do not do for a first meeting. Our time together was lovely, filled with laughter as he truly is hilarious. Little did I know that I was about to enter a weird phase of my dating experience and he would play a part.