Sunday, August 25, 2013

We Come Together Cuz Opposites Attract

Jason isn't a cartoon,
just so you know.
Since 1990, Paula Abdul has been saying that opposites attract, but that’s never really been the case for me. Well, until now.

Jason, the tattooed 27-year-old who works at a restaurant and loves heavy metal, has reeled me in, the 33-year-old Corporate America employee with a Master's degree who has seen five Kelly Clarkson concerts. We have pretty literally nothing in common except for extreme honesty, and so far, that seems to be enough. He is unlike anyone I hang out with now or have dated in the past, but it’s fun and feels right, so I’m determined to not overthink things.

When we went out last week, he said that he wanted to take me into Manhattan. I insisted that it wasn’t necessary – in part it just seemed really early for that kind of a date, and frankly, I know he doesn’t make much money and I sure don’t have spare cash lying around as we get ready to pay closing costs, movers, and so on. But, he got bar and restaurant suggestions from the owner of the restaurant where he works, and Jason was just so excited to put together this night for me that I couldn’t say no. I am so glad I didn’t!

It was a beautiful summer night in Manhattan (not the usually disgusting humidity of August). The evening was full of surprises:
  1.  Jason’s apartment was nice. I went to his apartment to pick him up and I admit that I was kind of expecting him to have a messy, bland, boy apartment. Not only was his place pretty neat and clean, but it had character, from artwork on the walls to framed photos of his grandparents on his bookshelf.
  2. I was able to hold hands and not freak out. It’s interesting that, contrary to what I would’ve expected, I haven’t had much trouble with kissing and fooling around with guys since my marriage ended. However, hand holding, snuggling, and sleeping together have all made me freak out at some point. Max and I weren’t sexual for years, but we did still snuggle, so those gestures with other guys made me flash back to Max. As Jason and I strolled through Midtown Manhattan, Jason didn’t think anything of it to grab my hand or put his arm around me. Shockingly, I didn’t swat him away or wriggle out from his grip. In fact, I actually liked it. (Just last week, when David held my hand, I wanted to RUN AWAY. [Yesterday I told David that I enjoyed getting to know him, but thanks but no thanks blah blah.])
  3. I told Jason why I got divorced. I didn’t think I’d be willing to go there considering that I’ve only known Jason for two weeks. It’s not like I can just say, “the asshole cheated on me.” It’s a rather unusual story for a 33-year-old, not to mention baffling to the more typical man. But I also felt Jason needed to know so he could understand why I am sad that my days living with Max are numbered – and so Jason wouldn’t have to worry about anything getting revived with Max. When we were at an incredible outdoor bar on the East River, I spilled my guts. As he sipped a margarita Jason was very gracious about listening the story. When I was done, he told me that he was really sorry for what I’ve gone through and that he gets turned on just kissing me so I would never have to worry about history repeating itself! Well played, sir.
  4. He danced with me. We were sitting outside on the water, chatting about whatever. I was midsentence, and he just grabbed my hand and started slow dancing with me. I wish I could remember the song. (By the way, Max NEVER danced. I called him Brandon Walsh because of it. Yes, that's yet another Beverly Hills 90210 reference.)
  5. We went back to his place. After our romantic, picturesque evening in NYC, there was one more mandatory stop: his apartment. And, yup, we had sex. That makes the sex count twice in two months! You guys, that is like TONS of sex to me. (I think I had sex with Max twice the entire time I was married.) I wasn’t expecting sex, but hell if I could resist. Furthermore, I slept over, Jason held me all night, and I didn’t freak out! No waking up wishing I could sneak out without him knowing.
The view from dinner. God, I love New York City.
What a fun, affectionate, sexy evening I had, and with someone that I had tweeted #IShouldCancelThisDate before we met! In the wise words of Paula Abdul, "Things in common / Just ain't a one / But when we get together / We have nothin' but fun."

SIDE STORY: When was comfortably lying in Jason’s arms, I knew I had to cancel my drink plans with Tim (the guy who took me to dinner last week) for Saturday night. It wasn’t sitting right with me to have a romantic date night followed by some hot sex with Jason, and then go on a date with someone else 24 hours later. But how cool is this... I called up Tim and told him the truth – that I’d been talking to another guy and in the last day or so things had taken a turn so I didn’t feel it was right to go out with him and mislead him plus I didn’t want to be shady with the other guy. However, I thought he was a great guy and I happen to have a wonderful single girlfriend (Jen) and could I give him her number? He said yes. They did some texting tonight and they’re having a beer tomorrow!

Anyway, then I spent today packing with Max. As we divided up serving platter and cookbooks, I might’ve cried a few times. Not crazy tears, just “I can’t believe we have to do this shit” tears. It’s finally coming to an end.

After your divorce, did you date people who weren’t your “type”? How did that work out for you?

Monday, August 19, 2013

4 Dates, 2 Non-Dates, and 1 Condo Offer: Could My Shit Be Changing?

Isn’t it weird how life can be “Same Old Shit, Different Day” (to quote The Shawshank Redemption, one of the best movies of all time) and then boom, the Same Old Shit changes? In my case, the shit that's changed is dating (cool!) and housing (YES!!!!!), both since last Sunday’s post. Are you ready for this?


Last Sunday night, I went on a legit date with David. I got a manicure and wore a short dress and heels. He picked the restaurant (Italian, a little romantic) and then we went for a drive for ice cream and took a walk. As you may remember, my concern about David was that I couldn’t picture myself making out with him in parking lot. Well, when we drove me back to my car, he asked if he could kiss me. I HATE THAT. Gentlemen, you should just know if you can or not. So, after I had to say, yes he could kiss me, we smooched a bit. It was fine; he scored points for intensity but he lost them for technique. Weird lip situation.

On Monday night, I had plans for a non-date with Jason, another OKCupid guy. He is a tatted up 27-year-old who manages a restaurant and makes less than half my salary – in other words, not “my type” but I’m determined to go out with just about anybody just for the hell of it. Over the weekend before I met him he was totally blowing up my phone (I think that is how these 20-somethings are). Oh, and he called me “hon” over text. Yuck. I was on the verge of canceling our non-date, but figured I had nothing better to do on a Monday night so I went. I met him at a bar, and we started with generic non-date chatter over beers. We ended up playing Photo Hunt and then pool (meaning I missed every shot while he sunk them all). Well, somehow our non-date lasted almost three hours! I texted Jen while he was in the bathroom: "He's kind of adorable. This is fun. WTF."

Please, do tell me more about me!
As the week progressed, I had both guys texting me. Come Friday, I had a dinner date planned with Jason. Then David asked if I had time to meet him for happy hour after work. So, yup, I met David for a glass of wine. Over the 90 minutes I spent with him (and his repeated leaps to kiss me), it became very clear: I’m just not into this dude. Letting him know is on my To Do list this week.

I left David and 4 minutes later I had dinner with Jason at the restaurant he manages. We then went out for some beers. While I was enjoying myself, I couldn't help but laugh to myself about how odd we looked together. There I was in my dressy tank top from Cache and patent heels and Coach purse. There he was fresh the tattoo parlor (not exaggerating) wearing a vodka t-shirt and his hair in a weird ponytail thing. But we had so much fun! He’s sweet and so affectionate, not to mention super open about wanting to get to know me better. And telling me that I’m beautiful. Remember how I couldn’t imagine making out with David in a parking lot? Totally could – and did – with Jason.

By the way, I did tell both David and Jason that I’m enjoying being single for the first time in eight years, and that any dating I might do must go slowly. I said straight out to Jason to cool it with the texting because he was going to scare me off. (He is “working on it.” And doing a good job with it, I might add.)

I thought I should deactivate my online dating profile for a few weeks, but my mom and Ali thought that was a terrible idea and I should strike while the iron is hot. So, since I was indeed on a roll, I met Tim, also from OKCupid, for a coffee non-date on Saturday. He’s 29, good job, definitely smart, and a good writer. Oh and he has really nice forearms. I kind of wanted to lick them. We had a perfectly nice coffee encounter and he followed up that night to invite me to dinner. I said sure, so he’s taking me out tomorrow.

To wrap up the week, Jason and I met Sunday for a beer, then a movie, followed dinner. You guys, why am I so drawn to him?! He is not the hottest guy I've ever gone out with. He wore the same shirt on Sunday that he wore when I met him on Monday. I’m not sure if he has a college degree (yes, I’m a snob about that). But man, there is just something about him. He openly expresses how he feels. He has a really warm and engaging smile. He isn’t shy about hugging and kissing me. It should be freaking me out… but it’s not (yet). As if to seal the deal, when we said goodbye, he kissed me in my car and holy shit. Like HOLY SHIT. He is such a good kisser. He totally blew my mind. We were those disgusting people sucking face in my car for a long time! Don’t tell, but I am kind of excited to see him again. I think he could be a really great Mr. Right Now.

From Sunday to Sunday, here was my dating tally:
  • two dates with David
  • a non-date and two dates with Jason
  • a non-date with Tim
I haven’t had a week like that since… ever. I also kissed two different guys in one night. I haven’t done that since Halloween 2001. I was so pleasantly surprised that these three men were polite and gentlemanly, ranging from texting me things like, “Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” and “Had a great time tonight” to holding doors for me to complimenting me in a very genuine way (and not following up with an attempt to get in my pants).

And you know what is awesome for me? How turned on both David and Jason were, and even admitted to it and laughed about it after kissing me. I can’t remember the last time Max kissed me and became aroused naturally. It might have been 2009. Sadly, I’m not kidding. I forgot that kissing can have that effect on a man.


I’m so scared to write this but… after six months on the market, my condo is in the process of selling! We had a CASH offer Tuesday night, it was accepted Wednesday morning. Thursday was the inspection and appraiser visit. We’re now just waiting for the signed contract. It’s all moving! So, on Saturday, I went apartment hunting and I found the perfect apartment for me. My application was accepted and my lease starts on September 1. I can’t believe it!

But… this also means I’ve had tears in my eyes almost once a day ever since. I am so, so, SO excited to live alone in my very own apartment and really complete the divorce process and move on with my life. But I’m also so sad about saying the final goodbye with Max. Dividing our belongings. “You take the waffle iron and I’ll take the mini chopper.” Max has been in such denial that this would really happen that he’s been walking around in a dazed, stressed fog. He has been firmly hiding under the guest room bed while I have been working on sorting through my new life for a year now. I’m sad, but I will be fine. (My friends are already planning my “welcome back” party!) I am terribly worried that Max will turn in to a recluse, and I’m not entirely exaggerating. I know it’s not my problem anymore, but I will always love and worry about him.

So how is that for a crazy, life changing couple of days? More dates in one week than I have had in my life, lots of smooching, a condo offer, an apartment lease, and of course, some tears. It just goes to show that after a lot of the same old shit, your life can totally change.

What was the moment when your life took a positive turn after your divorce?

See also: 5 Reasons to Date Multiple Men at Once.
Super Sunday Sync

Sunday, August 11, 2013

5 Secrets to Living With My Ex-Husband and Not Killing Him

Everyone from my parents to my followers on Twitter is shocked that Max and I are still living together – peacefully – and not killing each other. Just last week we cooked eggplant parmesan together. Tasty.

(Let's get this out of the way: I do not hate my ex-husband and he does not hate me. The reason for the demise of our relationship was the complete absence of physical intimacy [which also impeded full emotional intimacy]. It is a very sad reason for a marriage to end: that Max’s demons were more powerful than his love for me. That says an awful lot.)

Anyway, if I hated my ex, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate still living with him as we wait for our condo to sell. We’ve been divorced since February, and if we had been renting instead of owning, I would’ve moved out in October 2012. So really, it’s been a long ass time living with someone I don’t love In That Way anymore.

Here is how I survive living under the same roof with my ex-husband:
  1. I don’t treat him like a husband. Obviously this includes the sweet stuff like snuggling, sharing a bed, saying “I love you,” and bringing him a black and white cookie from a bakery for no reason. But this also includes the mundane (and sometimes crappy) stuff, like arguing about how to load the dishwasher, compromising on what to have for dinner, and reminding him to send his mother a birthday card. It’s been extremely hard for me to readjust, but I don’t do any of these things anymore.

  2. ...but I also don’t treat him like an ex-husband. I try to look at him as a roommate [granted, a roommate with whom I happen to have an involved and complicated past as well as a shared mortgage]. I remember why I liked him before I loved him. Max is smart. He’s got a quick wit. He can be silly and really funny. Before we fell in love and moved in and went to therapy and all that relationship stuff got in the way, I sure liked him a lot. Now that we’re not in a relationship but still having to see each other most days, I’ve worked on adjusting my perspective on Max so that I see him as a person, not my ex-husband who broke my heart.

  3. I don’t ask where he’s been. Max doesn’t do anything. He’s home on the couch about 85% of the time, reading and watching The History Channel. On the other hand, I’m all over the place. I mostly go out with friends but sometimes I’m out with guys and attempting to date. (In fact, I'm finishing up this blog post early this week because I have a date tonight.) To keep him from asking me questions about my whereabouts, I am very careful to not ask where he’s been or who he’s seen. What we don't say won't hurt each other, and that is best for peaceful cohabitation.

  4. I don’t use the D word. This might sound weird but we never say “divorce” in front of each other. I’ve said “not married” or “people in our situation,” but never the D word. I know he can’t handle it.

  5. I don’t joke around about our imminent departure. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way.

    This week, I discovered a glass bottle in the kitchen trashcan. Max knows this drives me bonkers. As the resident tree hugger, this totally appalled me. I fished out the recyclable, I playfully yelled at Max to quit killing the earth and turning me into a garbage lady. He teased back that I was a nag. Then, I apparently crossed the line and said, “Well look the bright side! Soon enough you won’t have to live with me anymore and you can throw all the glass in the trash you want!”

    No sooner did I say it did I realize I'd crossed a line. He looked terribly hurt and retorted, “Thanks dick.” (Yes, he actually called me a dick!)

    He retreated to the guest room (AKA his room) and slammed the door. The next morning, I knocked on his door. When he answered, I said, “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings last night.” I gave him a hug as a peace offering. With his chin resting on my head, he said quietly, “Look, I know eventually we’re not going to live together, but I don’t like thinking about it so I don’t like talking about it.” Wow, ouch. But, OK, another lesson learned on how to keep the peace with my ex-husband/roommate.
So these are the secrets to how I’ve survived all these months. Hopefully I won’t need these tricks much longer, because we are planning a drastic price drop for our condo this week; the new price should finally do the trick to unload this damn condo so we can both move on with our lives – whether Max likes it or not.

Did you have to live with an ex after the relationship was over? How did you cope?

See also: Divorced But Still Living TogetherHow to Hire a Real Estate Agent in Divorce.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Divorced White Female Seeks Dating Practice From Single Male With Pulse

I was looking through my closet and I realized something tragic: I have some really cute date clothes and NO DATES. This is not OK, you guys. There was one thing for me to do: I signed up for OKCupid, a free online dating site because I’m cheap and not committed to finding a relationship. I snooped the site back in June to see what was out there.

(OK, wait, I kind of lied just then. I actually created an OKCupid profile a month ago. I got about five messages in the first hour, freaked out, and deactivated it. So really I just reactivated my account.)

Signing up for OKCupid so I can wear cute clothes

I figure the timing is perfect for me to try online dating because I don’t care what happens. I’m not looking for a father for my unborn children or husband or boyfriend. I’m not even looking for a second date! My goals with online dating are:
  1. I want to practice meeting new guys. I’m a really honest and kind of blunt person, which is cool when you already like me, but it might be a bit much when you first meet me. So, yeah, I could use practice talking to dudes. Pretty much anyone. Murderers, bigots, and zombies are not invited.
  2. I want to wear cute outfits for men who might actually appreciate them, unlike a certain ex-husband of mine.
That’s it. I’ve set the bar nice and low for myself!

Attempting conversation via OKCupid

I’ve been OKCupid for two weeks. I get a fair amount of messages, but a lot of them aren’t super local. If I were looking for a boyfriend I would be open to meeting someone a little farther from where I live, but I’m not. I want EASY. Basically I don’t want to have to do any work that sounds annoying, which definitely means travel. Filling out my profile met my maximum work exertion at this stage of the dating game.

I am kind of shocked at how lazy/gross people are. Do something to spark up some conversation or indicate what about my profile piqued your interest. Here are some examples of flops I didn’t reply to:
  • hello.
  • Hi. How are you doing today? Just a simple note to spark a conversation. I hope you send a note after checking me out. 
  • How are you doing?
  • Hi. I think you are super sexy. And I would love to be your friend.
Or, my personal favorite came from a shirtless 26 year old:
you have a great smile and gorgeous eyes! I'm in your town visiting friends! Let's text or kik message if you're up for some flirting ;) 

Here's the guy:

Classy screen name, buddy! Yes, the profile picture was hot. Yes, I was tempted for a quarter of a second to reply. Then I realized I wasn't in the mood to contract an STD, so I ignored him.

I have contacted just a few men, and I have really tried to get some conversation going by picking something out of his profile and asking a question. Here is what I’ve written:
  • Congrats on your first book getting published! What is it about?
  • Hi there! I admit it: the fact that you're a good cook intrigues me! I also totally appreciate wanting to surround yourself with positive, upbeat people.
    How has the weekend been treating you? Do anything fun?
  • I must agree, the EZ Pass is pretty awesome. I have family in NJ and DC, and I praise the EZ Pass everytime I make the drive!
    I have an important question for you. Which Back to the Future flick is your favorite? Has it stayed consistent over the last 20 (!!!) years?
Feel free to tell me if I’ve been grossly offensive or boring with these messages, because my success rate on getting responses has been ZERO. It's fine though; you never know what might be a turnoff for the other person. Maybe it’s that I'm 5'5" or that I go to Kelly Clarkson concerts or that I have a master’s degree. I admit it, I've discovered my own silly turnoffs as I peruse profiles, such as guys who abuse or neglect punctuation, never drink, play golf or tennis (or worse -- both!), or are 5’7” or shorter. Fine, fine, call me superficial. But aren’t we all?

But there have been two guys who initiated nice, normal conversation, asked me to meet, and I said yes. EASY. So let’s get to the good stuff: dates! Or as I call the first meetings, non-dates!

Non-dating and non-caring

My first non-date was with Scott. He is 10 years older than me, divorced with three kids. (Not ideal, but again, I’m just practicing so who cares.) We met for a beer and chatted continuously for an hour and a half. It was a perfectly pleasant experience and we have not spoken since.

My second non-date was with David. He is my age, never married, no kids. We met for a beer and had good conversation for – you guessed it – an hour and a half. We sat by the water on a gorgeous night and chatted about everything from religion to soy milk. And he's Jewish! I've never gone out with anyone Jewish and I have always wanted to. He was nervous and chivalrous and just a bit dorky and very sweet.

We hung out again today. We got overpriced coffees and took a walk (he just moved to the area so he wanted me to show him around). It was a sweet Sunday afternoon date. We hugged when we parted ways, and then he asked if he could take me to dinner and I said yes.  [He just texted me to thank me for hanging out today. Awww.]

He’s doing everything right. My two reservations are that I can’t quite picture making out with him (it probably doesn't surprise you that sexual chemistry is hugely important to me now) and that he seems more boyfriend caliber than just a living human for me to practice conversation on and make out with. So, stay tuned.

And yes, David knows I’m divorced and still live with Max! Good sport, right?

Of course I’ll share how my real date with David goes, if that actually happens. I already know the outfit I’m going to wear!

Have you tried online dating since your divorce or breakup? Did it help you revive your dating skills?
elleroy was here