Dating Is a Dumpster Fire

Why do I bother?

Oh, right… because I need sex. It seems I’m one of the women whose sex drives get insanely high with menopause. That actually kind of sucks.

Unfortunately, as easy as sex seems to come by for women, even that is fraught with complications.

  • An overwhelming majority of men on dating sites are looking for a long-term relationship, and I think I’m on the aromantic spectrum.
  • Portland has an STD problem. Clackamas county in particular has a huge STD problem.
  • Men will not wear condoms.
  • Men will also rarely volunteer to get tested prior to having sex without condoms.
  • I get tested at least every two years– a 10-panel test– and this year I’m going to do it with 11 months between tests. Shit’s getting expensive. What if one day the HIV one or the HSV-2 one comes up positive? What then? I’ve been lucky so far, but luck always runs out sooner or later.
  • The men I attract are mostly much younger than I am, so they fall just outside the age range of the most prevalent STD spreaders (15-24, and I frequently get messages from men 26-30).
  • Premature ejaculation has become increasingly common.
  • As I get older and the men I date get older, erectile dysfunction has also become more common.
  • Every penis is smaller than the one before it.

Ok that last one isn’t their fault, but it’s so strange… do penises shrink as men get older, or are all the big dicks just taken?

A month ago I’d found the perfect FWB, but he flaked out. And yesterday I was actually stood up for sex by a guy who seemed way more interested in me than I was in him.

Nothing makes sense anymore. I feel like I was transported to some alternate universe in my sleep where men no longer only want sex and the Republican term “pro-life” is meaningless because guns have more rights than kids.

Wow Dating Is a Train Wreck

Holy mother of FSM, why is every man on OkCupid so motherfucking broken he can’t function past the second date?

Jesus H. Christ, guys, unpack your emotional baggage before you put yourselves out there.

After I posted here last week, that guy and I ended up getting together again. I met him in Hillsboro for some shopping, then we got Thai takeout and came back here and watched a movie and fooled around a bit.

The story with this guy is that on the first date I wasn’t attracted to him physically at first, but he also seemed to lack confidence and self-esteem and that was the biggest issue for me. I picked up on that pretty quickly. So I suggested to him that we be casual friends with benefits until he found what he was looking for, his “forever person.” I could maybe someday be someone’s “forever person,” but not in a way most men want because I won’t move in with anyone. He agreed and we set up a date for today (which isn’t happening). However, after a few days of thinking, I decided I enjoyed spending time with him beyond just the physical intimacy.

Then last Saturday night I texted him and said I wanted to see him. The next morning I posted here, after I’d had more time to think and slept on it. We met the second time, again spontaneously, and things went really well.

Tuesday night I texted him and told him that I liked him, and what I was trying to say was that I didn’t want to just be friends with benefits. I wanted to actually date and not have it be temporary.

The way he responded was really fucking bizarre. The first thing he did was accuse me of playing a game. Then he mentioned some sort of “plan” or “story” I’m writing. I think he got that from the fact that I told him I want to write a book, but the book I want to write is a memoir which will include everything from my childhood and past up until about 2019. It won’t even mention men that I wasn’t involved with long term, and there were only three. Nothing that’s gone on since then is noteworthy at all, and I’m certainly not looking for new material. WTF?

And this game he accused me of playing? Or plan? I have no idea, but from what he said, it seemed like I wasn’t allowed to change my mind at all and was somehow contractually bound to our original agreement of FWB.

In an attempt to show him that I was being sincere, I pointed him to my last post and asked him to read it. He did read it, then assumed he was “Mr. Eager” (I guess he didn’t connect the dots to that being someone else?) and accused me of being “in love” with him and stated that his feelings don’t progress that fast and he enjoyed the time we spent together.

Then he ghosted.

I tried to tell him I wasn’t in love with him and that it was way too soon for that. I tried to explain that my feelings don’t progress that fast either, and that’s why it took me so long to come around. I tried to explain that I’m not the type to play games or scheme or anything else nefarious.

One moment he thought I was playing games with him and he was nothing more than a pawn in my game of life or story or whatever the fuck, I don’t know. The next, he was assuming that I was madly in love with him.

The whole thing is so fucking weird, and at one point, I actually told him he owes me an apology because I’m a good person.

Nothing.      *crickets*

The last guy I was talking to kept coming up with excuses as to why he couldn’t meet after three weeks of texting, after he was the one who mentioned meeting– twice! Then when I asked if, should we decide to continue seeing each other, we’d only get together once a month, he ghosted.

I often hear guys tell me on dates that other women’s profiles are bitchy and go on about what they don’t want or who they don’t want the guy to be, and it’s off-putting to them. I agree that’s not a positive way to attract a mate, but I do understand why they do it. I’ve been tempted to do it myself because there is so much out there that I don’t want, and so little of what I do.

There was another one who messaged on OKC and asked if I’d be interested in meeting. I responded a couple of days later, “Sure, but this app is terrible, so text me” and gave him my number. It wasn’t until I’d disabled my profile a couple of weeks later that he finally texted. At that point I was no longer interested because he was obviously not willing to put in any effort.

Another thing I’ve noticed after being on the site for years, is that these guys never update their profiles. I have a list of matches who have been matches for over two years. They never message me. I go and look at their profiles when I get back on after a long hiatus, and their profiles and photos are still the same. It makes me wonder exactly how old those photos are. I’ve been cat-fished before; I once had a date with a guy whose photos must have all been at least 10 years old.

Dating is such a fucking disaster because most men will simply not put in any effort on their profiles or in their personal lives. There is so much emotional baggage there. Do the fucking work, guys. Rather than feeling insecure about who you are, become someone you can be proud of.

Do. The. Work.

I did the work… for years and years. Now I just intimidate men. One told me I was out of his league, which is bullshit.

I can’t win.

Time to Think

That’s what this holiday weekend is about for me this year.

You know what I never get tired of looking at? Pictures of galaxies and nebulae from the Hubble space telescope. I’m looking forward to seeing what the James Webb space telescope comes up with. I wonder how long that will take. I also never get tired of watching birds or hearing them sing.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, trying to figure out what my problem is with men. I’ve been single for almost 10 years now (it’ll be 10 years on September 25th). In that time I’ve had several FWBs, many one-night stands, countless first dates, a lot of second dates, and even 10 dates with one person over a period of two months. There was even one guy I tried for two years to work things out with, and that ultimately ended up a dumpster fire. I’m still convinced that the kiss of death was sex on the first date, but he had only been divorced for two months. I do tend to place the blame on myself because I’m the one who has been single for nearly a decade, so it must be me, right?

I think part of it is the fact that I’ve become accustomed to being single and even expect to be single for maybe the rest of my life. I’ve had to start my life over after failed relationships just enough times, I don’t want to go through that again. It’s mainly my condo, you know, I own this place and I’m leaving it to my son in my will. I’ll never sell it. I don’t want to end up moving and renting it out, either. Rentals generally become neglected and stuff starts breaking or getting destroyed. Also, what if it doesn’t work out, then I have to evict someone so I can move back in? Then have to get new paint, carpet, etc.? I don’t have time to be a landlord, and anyway, I work 1.5 miles away and my son is a 10-minute walk away. My current location couldn’t be more perfect.

As for moving someone in… that depends. I don’t have room for all of a guy’s things, his kids, pets, etc. It’s only 1,008 square feet and only two bedrooms. My bedroom is as full as it can get with my bed, bookcase, dresser, night stand, and home office. The guest room, well, that could change, I guess, but I really love it the way it is as a place to go and unplug. Then what if it doesn’t work out and he’s lost his place? People sign leases and renew every year with modest rent increases, and if they move out and get a new place, nowadays, it’s a significant increase. I don’t want that to happen, either. That’s not fair at all.

I’m so set in my ways after all this time, but I met someone who is making me think– a lot.

I’ve been on OkCupid for about five weeks. Actually, I disabled my profile a couple of days ago because it’s a terrible experience most of the time and when I find someone I want to explore compatibility with, I like to give them my undivided attention because that’s the respectful thing to do. When I first get on there, I’m hit with a barrage of messages like, “Hello gorgeous” from men in their 20s looking for sex with older women. Then I swipe right on several profiles, send an “intro,” and they don’t respond. After a while I start matching with several of them who had swiped right on me. Either they never message me, or I message them and they don’t respond; or they do, and the conversation goes nowhere. There’s the one who only wants to talk about the work we do that we have in common. Another wants to play 20 questions, but not engage in meaningful conversation. Another sends one-liners and doesn’t answer any questions I ask. Yet another does engage in meaningful conversation, but after three weeks of that, still has excuses not to meet in person. Then there’s the one who seems nice, sends thoughtful messages and engages in meaningful conversation, and wants to set up a date. There’s just one problem– he’s too eager.

Mr. Eager and I agreed to meet and I suggested “next weekend” which we agreed on because he said he was going to go hiking that weekend. I had plans as well, but he said, “We could do this weekend if you’re available.” The fact that he was so eager to see me so soon made me recoil a little bit, so I said, “I am busy with some spring cleaning projects this weekend.” I really did have pressure washing and a car wash planned, but I also needed time to mentally prepare for a date, especially with someone so “excited” to meet me.

Meanwhile, I came across a profile of a guy who had pictures of himself kayaking and hiking and although his profile didn’t say a lot, it said just enough about him to know that we probably had a lot in common. So I sent him a message and he responded. I was surprised he responded. I wrote back, and he responded again. It was an interesting enough conversation to keep me coming back, and I was intrigued. So when he sent me his phone number and said he was going to Silverton, I texted. I would have called, but I really was busy with pressure washing and cleaning the car and then getting myself cleaned up for about five hours. Then I thought… I’ve worked so hard and I’m so physically spent, yet invigorated by the nice weather, and I’d like a drink. Maybe a drink with someone would be nice. I was in the mood to socialize. So I called this guy and left a voicemail, and he called me back. By that time he’d already passed back through my area, and I was actually disappointed I wasn’t able to meet him. We talked on the phone for almost an hour and we had such a good talk, we decided to meet. So we planned on 1:00pm the next day.

The next morning he texted me pretty early and asked if I was an early riser or a night owl. We are both early risers. That stuck in my mind because something so simple as that can be so important in a relationship. He was up and around and bored, so asked if we could get together earlier. I agreed and he was here in town by 10:00am. We went for a walk in the park, had lunch, and came back to my place and talked for a while. We had a good time together and talked about a lot of things. There was just one thing– I wasn’t feeling that ‘spark’… those butterflies that I feel when I feel an instant attraction and romantic connection with someone right away. I was honest with him and told him so, and I felt so bad about that but I’m always honest with my feelings.

When we were sitting on my couch, we stopped talking and I asked him what was on his mind. He said, “snuggling.” So we snuggled and there was touching, then kissing, then a hand down my shorts. That was as far as it went, but it was all so good. Then he left. We’d spent seven hours together that flew by.

After he left I’d been doing some thinking and decided that maybe we could be friends with some benefits but just not to go all the way to sexual intercourse. He agreed that would be good for us. When he was here I told him I didn’t want to have sex with him because I knew my pattern– have sex with a guy I’m not immediately 100% excited about, feel guilty, then disappear. I had a feeling he really liked me, and I didn’t want to do that to him.

Then I started thinking about him a lot. I realized that this is a person I wanted to spontaneously meet in the middle of a busy day. This is a person I agreed to meet with less than 24 hours notice. This is a person I agreed to meet three hours sooner than we’d planned. This is a person I spent seven hours with, but it felt like two. This is a person I want to see more often than I thought I would. Those are all a big deal because I don’t often make time for other people and when I do, it’s very intentional. I’m so introverted and so comfortable with myself, I almost always prefer to spend time alone and I’m comfortable with going everywhere and doing everything alone. This is a person I’m compatible with in many ways, and we have a lot in common. This is a person who is looking for all the things I am, and I want all the things he is.

How do I not fuck it up?

I know the other reason I’ve been single for so long is my personality. I’m very particular about who I spend time with and have high standards. But when I do meet someone I really like, I am too open, honest, direct, and come on too strong. I text them incessantly and I become that which drives me away– the overly eager one. I don’t give them enough time or space and appear clingy and needy. It’s my biggest downfall. These are the ones who give me “butterflies,” which I’ve come to the realization is just anxiety. That leads directly to my fear of abandonment, and then I do that thing I do and drive them away.

Every time I do find someone I really like, I tell myself I’m not going to do that this time and I end up doing it anyway, and it always ends the same way– with them ghosting me. It’s my own damn fault. It’s not as if I don’t have my own life and enough to keep me busy; between my job, friends, family, this condo and my hobbies, I do. I’m just really good at managing my time and getting shit done, and I type/text really fast. I always have a lot on my mind and a lot to say, and I’m an open book. I need not to be. I need to leave some mystery and intrigue, and give guys time and space and understand that most of them don’t actually like texting. This guy… he’s OK with talking on the phone, and so am I. I really enjoy hearing his voice and having a real time conversation. He’s so amazing to talk to. Every time I talk to him, I get off the phone so happy to have been able to talk to him.

This one… he makes me feel happy and I don’t dread the “date” that always feels so forced and like a job interview. Being with him and talking with him feels so natural and good. Also, when we spent that day together and I wasn’t feeling that instant spark, I didn’t feel like I needed to impress him and I was completely 100% myself and spilled my guts about why I’ve been single for so long. I told him about a lot of things from my past… so many things I would never say on a first date where I felt the need to impress. I was my unabashed, casual self, and he’s still talking to me and still wants to see me again. I shouldn’t be surprised by that because I am awesome… I just never meet men who see me for who I really am and appreciate my authenticity and honesty. It’s not just exceedingly rare, it never happens.

I can’t fuck this one up.