Because sometimes things just attract…
A person or thing that has a powerful attraction.
I attended a funeral for a friend's mother today; I was with mutual friends showing our support during our buddy's time of need.
During the ceremony, I had time to rest my eyes—completely falling asleep like the asshole that I am—and then, in between the quick restive naps, I had time to think. My friend's mom had seventy-six years on this planet to do her thing. During this period she raised a pair of kids, herded three grandchildren and a whole lot more.
Just a few days before this funeral, I heard the news that my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and it doesn't sound good. We're still waiting for the word to see what his treatment options are if it's operable or not. He's eighty-six years old, and he's done a lot with those years. Seven-six, eighty-six years. It's not a lot of time.
I couldn't help but think what I've done with my time—what I'll do with the time I have remaining.
It's been a difficult few weeks for me. I've felt very lonely and a good deal sorry for myself. I've been getting out there dating and seeing people, and nothing's landed.
What am I looking for? An honest to goodness connection. That's what I keep telling myself.
My friend, Summer, and I were having a talk about our recent dates. As it turns out, we both experienced similar outcomes. Summer met a guy at a concert of all places. The gentleman approached Summer and her girlfriend and struck up a conversation. Before leaving their company, he made sure to grab Summer's number as her friend made her way for the girl's room.
The following week they had a date. As Summer was recalling the date, I could tell how much fun she had. She couldn't help but gush about the date, about how charming this guy was and how conversation seemed to flow so smoothly. “I didn't know dates could be like this,” Summer exclaimed as her eyes went wide and her smile expanded cheek-to-cheek. Then they ended up kissing to cap the date and tie it off with a nice little bow. It was a sweet story. Then Summer told me that he never called her back. She didn't understand why—after all, everything went so well she thought.
I was struck by her story because a similar thing happened with me. I met a date off Bumble. We matched on a Sunday afternoon and made plans to go on a date later that night. We met at a cozy bar in Highland Park, Little Cave. My date showed up, and she was lovely. I bought us our first round of drinks, and we took a table on the patio, with the soothing sounds of the bar's house band cooing in the background.
Our date and I got into our conversation quickly. We identified as nerds quickly. She let on that she was president of a local Star Trek fan club—she and, it turns out, were both fans of Next Generation. We even had the same favorite TNG episode: Yesterday's Enterprise. There was NO way this date was going to suck. We chatted for a while longer before deciding to end things for the evening. I was feeling the warm fuzzies for this gal. I had kissed her before she got into her car. Although, she did pull away from the kiss quickly, which was a flag.
The following day I shot over a final text to find out what the deal was. My date was merciful and laid it down. It just wasn't a fit.
What the hell!? Summer and I couldn't catch a break if we fell out of a tree and broke our arms. Lame.
So what are a couple of single folks to do?
In cases like these, it's easy to look inward first. What's wrong with me? What did I do wrong?
It's easy because, for me, I'm the known quantity. I know what's what and I can manage that, I can critique that with a fair amount of certainty. But seriously, what the fuck?
The hits kept coming. I went on another date with a gal I met off Bumble. We had a fantastic date, good conversation, better flirting and it ended with a kiss…But I just wasn't interested. I'm still unraveling that. Why wasn't I interested?
In this case, I was in the opposite role from my previous date. Was it just because I wanted to be the person doing the rejecting? I thought about this a lot afterward. I didn't bother letting my date know I wasn't interested after she sent me a text telling me she had a nice time and wanted to see me again. I'm such a dick!
Like I said, I'm still peeling back the layers here. It wouldn't be the first time I've been on a date with someone I had chemistry with but didn't want to see again.
I think it's my insecurity that was biting me in the ass here, though. My date asked me if I owned or rented my house at one point during our date and asked if I had been married. I answered that I rented a small apartment and I was never married. I read a lot from her facial expressions, probably too much. In some ways, I think I'm doing it all wrong. I'm forty now, and I'm a small business owner, I don't make a lot of money. I often question the wisdom in doing what I do, and I think that sometimes carries over into my dating life.
I'm forty now, and I'm a small business owner, I don't make a lot of money. I often question the wisdom in doing what I do, and I think that sometimes carries over into my dating life. Perhaps, in this case, I rejected my date before she could reject me.
The lesson here, folks, is that if your awesome date doesn't get back to you it doesn't have anything to do with you; it's not about you. Unless you're cunty then it's almost certainly about you.
I have a friend who I am fairly certain has feelings for me. She gets weird and squeamish toward the end of our respective hangouts. The other day she wanted to come over “to talk,” it was almost eleven at night, as an old man I needed sleep, so I declined. The following day we met for dinner—she didn't do much talking, not at first at least. Finally, she let on about a few things that were bothering her, but nothing about me. Now, I know this makes me sound like a self-centered shit bag (only in part because I actually am a self-centered shit bag) but I was annoyed she didn't bring it up. It's this long slow build, and it's going to suck.
Why would this suck and for whom? Well, I don't have romantic feelings for this friend. If she were to tell me how she felt, I wouldn't reciprocate those feelings. Shitty, right? Would that destroy the friendship? Probably not, but things would be different.
I sympathize though. Assuming that I'm correct, that my friend has feelings for me, then it sucks. To have feelings that you're certain will go unrequited is never fun. I've been there, I've done that, I have the fuzzy dice and matching t-shirt. For me, I decided long ago that If I did have feelings that I'd just tell the person and let them “deal with it” and then they can decide if they still want to be friends; pursue something, or just go the other way. In my alleged wiser years, I see the flaw in doing that. I think it's still important to let someone know how you feel, but it definitely requires thinking things through. The situation can't be treated haphazardly, like throwing a stick of dynamite into a crowd to see what happens… Actually, that's a really shitty analogy. Put another way, think about what you do before you do it. Always, especially when it concerns matters of the heart.
After our last night out, I got home and immediately got a ping on FB messenger from a mutual friend specifically asking why I wasn't dating this gal. I didn't answer him. But I knew where his question came from. It wasn't the first time someone did that.
I've mulled it over: Do I bring her feelings up? Or do I just let her do the work? I've opted to leave things be and let her do that heavy lifting.
When it comes to feelings, it's hard to tell people what's going on because you might get hurt. But that's the deal. At least if you get shot down, you can move on.
I have yet another friend, Jane, who also lives far way, but at least in the same state. There's a mutual attraction there. We have fun together, and we have good conversations. She seems to be okay with my situation of meager means and living.
We have visited one another, and there's electricity there. Some things are a little awkward in the intimacy department, though. And while that's not a huge deal, it does underscore a couple of other points of difference between us.
She's a religious person whereas I am not; she wants kids soon, and I don't want them, that ship has sailed for me. And that immediately puts the brakes on developing any relationship. I mean, that's one of the biggies. Kids, religion, politics are all subjects that torpedo a relationship. I've seen people build a life together if their politics are different, though very rarely. A little less rare are those folks of different religious associations building a life together.
That said, this is a non-starter. The kids thing is obviously something I do not want. I'm sure of that. I may be seeing Jane soon. When I do, this is a discussion we'll have to have.
I can't keep seeing her and I don't think it's responsible to keep the friendship going and that's a hard thing to do but I think it's probably the right thing. We'll see.
I was out with three friends yesterday, all female, when I realized Goddammit, why do I have so many goddamned female friends!??? I don't have a problem with this per se. However, it's a thing I may want to balance out. Why? Simply for the sake of having balance, which I think is a good thing.
Relationships came up, which brought up dating and eventually centered around my dating life. I recited the above situations. Mary, who has set me up with a couple of her friends, insisted I try going out with the last girlfriend she set me up with. That date was okay, but there was no chemistry between us; her name is Jenny. Jenny and I just didn't have a stimulating conversation; it was like white bread with nothing on it, I explained to the table over glasses of wine.
All I want is someone who I connect with and who I can be myself around, I said. I know it when I feel it. And that's a hard thing to find, a soulmate. I do think they exist and they make you feel that thing. And if you don't feel it you have a choice. You can stick it out, or you can leave, which is what I believe happened in my last relationship.
Sometimes you meet people for a reason; sometimes you meet them for a season. That relationship was for a season.
I've been watching season two of Master of None on Netflix and I recommend you do so, too. I don't want to put any spoilers out there, but Dev's relationship with his friend, Francesca, hits me in the gut. Hard. I've been there, too. Wanting what you can't have—forbidden love, as Dev's friend, Arnie, gushes. Dev has a connection, he feels it, she feels it. I think that's a thing we all want to feel; it sounds so simple yet it's not.
The show is pretty damn awesome, I think and part of it because there is a lot there I can relate to where it concerns matters of the heart. I haven't finished season two yet, but I imagine I'll finish my binge later tonight.
Attraction happens rather simply and it can fade quickly, or linger like an unwanted house guest. I wonder if my question for a “connection” for “chemistry” is misguided. I've been looking all this time and I find it and there's something amiss every time, it seems. Perhaps I should settle for “good enough.”
I'm clearly only thinking about how these things affect only ME. That's kinda what this whole article is about. HOW I FEEL ABOUT how all this shit affects me and not how I'm affecting the people in this whole storm of shit. Most of these situations are things I can do something about, It's not apparent what I should do and maybe that makes me dense (it probably does, I'm dense like a cinderblock).
I'm going to take my time and try to think these things through and take the time I have (turns out I won't live to be 215 years of age after all). In each of these cases, I'd like to reach out to each person and just say what's on my mind:
Hey you, I fucking know you have feelings for me but it's not the cards, I don't feel the same way. Feel better? Sorry!!!! You'll deal with it, promise!!!!
Or Oh, hey, look, I think you're pretty great but I don't want kids and you do. So why the fuck do we keep hanging on to this weird fucking thing??? We need to STOP this shit completely. NO, I'M SORRY. WE CAN'T JUST BE FRIENDS BECAUSE I'M JUST NOT ADULT ENOUGH!!!
Or, Hey, I fucking have these complicated feelings for you and logically I know it's coming from the wrong place but emotionally I can't put this shit to bed yet and I'm fucking sorry. Now you know, YOU fucking deal with it because I don't want to anymore.
Or I just don't fucking get dating anymore. It doesn't make sense and I hate it all. Fucking die motherfucker die…Until the next time I start dating of course.
This, cyber friends, is the anatomy of a pity party and the full lack of taking responsibility for any of these things. It turns out being human is hard and I'm human as fuuuuuuuck.
For the time being, I'm going to wallow in my sorrows and try my best to sort this shit out. Wish me luck!