Monday, April 28, 2014

Why Do I Want to Make Out With Some Guys But Not Others? The Mystery of Chemistry!

Why are we drawn to some people and not to others? Why do we instantly feel comfortable with someone we’ve just met or never comfortable with someone we have known for decades? Why are we clamoring to get close to one person and perpetually backing up from another?

Chemistry sure is a curious thing. 

Let’s take a look at the chemistry with three guys I flirted with in the past week.

Yes, please.

Zach, the 22-year-old.
Yes, you read that right. He didn’t disappear after my drunk girls' night out a few weeks ago. He was very direct about wanting to see me again, meaning come to my apartment and fool around. Well, I have no other prospects on the horizon, so why not indulge in an emotion-free hook up? He walked into my apartment, and with hardly a hello the making out commenced. Shit, he was so sexy. How does a guy born in 1992 have those kind of moves?! (But I stuck to my annoying No Sex Until We're Dating rule.) Post-orgasms, we were so impressed with ourselves that we actually high-fived. He literally was in my apartment for 35 minutes. What little I saw of his [irrelevant in this situation] personality, he seemed fine, but damn for that physical chemistry.

Chris, who I met through Tinder [yes, I'm trying Tinder!]. I met him for a non-date on Friday. He was smart, polite, nicely dressed, and gainfully employed with a passion for music. Oh and he had an accent for God’s sake! Sounds pretty much perfect, right? We had a very nice time together, and I could feel his interest in me and I just… didn’t. I had no desire to kiss him. I started off flirty, and I could feel myself turning off my (attempt at) charm. He texted me when he got home saying he enjoyed meeting me. I said thank you again for the drinks. He responded saying he’d like to get together again if I were up for it. I didn’t answer, and my fingers are crossed that I don’t hear from him again. I don’t want to tell him I don’t feel the chemistry, because what a bummer!

The 26-year-old who is now 27, so I guess he should have a name: Sean. I ran into him after my non-date, and he’s been booty texting me. He’s still deleted from my phone, but he’s so tempting. There’s a playful sexuality that is exciting with him, even though he's not the best hookup I've had post-divorce.

This sums up Jason and me perfectly!

But the most fascinating person when it comes to chemistry is Jason. No, I’m not talking to him (much to the relief of my friends, particularly Nora and Ali), but when it comes to pure physical chemistry Jason is the winner. But why?! He’s OK looking, but nothing great. Hell, I don’t particularly like him. But OMG, the attraction between us is wild. It truly baffles me. I could see Aaron or Todd, both excellent hookups and both have better looks, personalities, and jobs, but I don’t think I’d have any desire for them anymore. Whereas with Jason, I don’t think I can be near him without wanting to at least kiss him, if not have Incredible Sex. I don’t need porn because I can just think about him!

So now if I could just find a guy who:

  • is as smart and put-together as Chris
  • with the sex appeal of Zach 
  • with the playfulness of Sean 
  • with the insane orgasm delivery of Jason
. . . I’ll have my perfect man! I'm trying out Tinder and I reactivated my OKCupid profile, though I'm still hoping to find my next guy through real life. I'll keep you posted on my search!

Have you had these chemistry mysteries? Any fun or disappointing experiments?
Our Three Peas

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Silence Makes Me Scream

The silence was driving me crazy. Where had John gone?!

Yesterday, 13 days since I’d last seen him and 10 days since his odd text, I contacted him through Facebook.

After the first time you didn't want to date me, you clearly felt that you owed me an explanation and an apology. While I appreciated that, I didn't really feel that you had to explain yourself.

While our time recently reconnecting was brief, your sudden and unexpected disappearance has been confusing and hurtful. I find it ironic - and disappointing - that this time, when some sort of explanation would've been the appropriate thing to offer, I haven't heard a word from you.

As the saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. So, I take some responsibility and ask that if you're considering getting in touch with me again, please don't.

John wrote back promptly. The long and short of it was that his job did in fact unexpectedly become unstable. He has only told his family as he started looking for jobs in the New York City area… and California?! He was going to contact me when he returned from the West Coast, if I believed that.

I absolutely believe him. (But he still blew his chances with me.) My response:

Of course I believe you. That is a lot to be handling, and I completely understand needing space and time to think. I just wish you had said something days ago. I would have been cool to reconnect when you were ready. Your last cryptic text followed by almost two weeks of silence left me confused and thinking the worst. I hope your job situation stabilizes and that any changes that might happen will be for the better.

Then, finally he wrote:
I understand and apologize for leaving you confused like that. All I can say is that I hope all is well with you, and whether my next message comes from CA or here I will let you know even if you decide to not receive it (which I'll understand).

I got my apology. Good. I told John I accepted and appreciated the apology. But more importantly, I had broken the silence.

Then I deleted his number from my phone – again.

The moral of this story – and men, please listen up:

You don’t have to say much to keep a woman happy.
Silence makes us very unhappy. Just tell us something.

All John had to do was send off a text or two along the lines of “Dealing with a lot at work. Sorry to be out of touch, but will give you a call soon.” Then at least I would have known he was alive and I was even remotely on his radar.

Maybe if John had been in touch once or twice, and then called me, say, tomorrow, we could have had a chance. Maybe we could have stayed on track then actually started dating. Instead, his mysterious retreat and silence left me questioning my own actions, which I needn’t have done.

It's possible I overreacted to the silence, but I know now why it bothered me so much.

Silence slowly destroyed my marriage. Max and I often sat in suffocating clouds of pain and secrets and rejection, but both of us too scared and conflict avoidant to speak up. When I did try to ask him about anything about his lack of desire for sexual contact (or anything else he deemed too private), he would shut down. Answers short. No eye contact. In that silence, I was left questioning and doubting everything about both of us.

In fact, one time I became so frustrated and enraged by Max's silence that I literally screamed, complete with punching my mattress and collapsing into a heap of exhausted, desperate tears.

Silence is a terrible place to live and I cannot go back there again.

These last two weeks taught me that I cannot deal with mysterious silence in the midst of uncertainty. Silence leads to resentment all around. I need to be with a man who can speak up and tell me what he needs, even if it’s that he needs space.

Does silence make you freak out as much as it freaks me out? What dealbreaker has emerged as a result of your breakup?

See also: Silence: A Relationship Killer.

Epic Mommy Adventures

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Got Optimistic About A Guy. Now I Feel Stupid.

I feel like this, but I don't look as cute.
It’s not often that I feel embarrassed, and I’m embarrassed now. In fact, I almost didn’t write this blog entry and I even considered deleting last week’s entry (that must be against some blogging law).

But, I share everything with you, my beloved readers, from my finest characteristics to my sometimes questionable taste in sexual partners. Hell, you even know that I stopped grooming so I'd find me a boyfriend. I've never held back before, why start now?

So, on with the story about John, the guy about whom I wrote lovely things last week.

Last Tuesday, I’d had a terrible day and was feeling kind of sorry for myself. I was going to head to my usual Spinning class, but John and I were texting anyway so… I boldly asked if he would like to meet for happy hour. He said yes. My mood brightened immediately. We spent almost three hours together, talking about everything from work to dating to 80s movies. He told me where he wanted to take me to dinner after my trip to Viriginia (I was going to visit my brother and run the George Washington Parkway Classic). I insisted on paying the bill since I invited him out. He was surprised and appreciative. Again, it was great being with him.

In the parking lot, we said goodbye, and then we start kissing. Then the kissing got more intense. Then he had me leaning against my car. Hands were wandering (but not TOO wandering). This went on for probably 15 minutes. You guys, it was HOT. And I was so excited because this is the guy who was concerned about being “too square” for me – this was not square at all!

I drove home smiling. I had intelligent, quality conversation with a cute guy and then got just a bit inappropriately touchy feely in the parking lot. YES. This is what I want in a boyfriend!

Wednesday comes and I don’t hear anything. I texted him after book club to show him the dessert I made (he has a big sweet tooth). Half an hour later he responded saying “nice!”

Then, the feeling kicked in… you know, that feeling.

On Friday, I texted him to say hello from my Washington DC-bound bus. He took awhile to reply. So, I went for it:
Me: I hate to do this over text but is everything ok?
Him: Had a rough end of work week, it’s a long story but have to figure some things out, driving to my parents’ now to talk things thru
Me: I’m sorry to hear that. I hope everyone is ok. If you want to talk, give me a call – I owe you after all the listening you did on Tuesday!
Today is Tuesday, a week since I last saw John. I still have not heard from him and I certainly can’t contact him now. When he didn’t even wish me good luck for my race (running is how we reconnected), I was like, SHIT. I’m so confused! And damn, my ego hurts something fierce.

Did our parking lot makeout session ignite a Madonna-whore complex? Did something really happen to him last week or was he just blowing me off? Did the lack of chase turn him away? He is turning into a ghost?!

My feelings are hurt and that sucks. I truly didn’t expect this blow off to happen -- again!! -- and furthermore I'm totally irritated that it bothers me this much. I thought John contacting me was a sign that we might finally get our chance to date. I feel stupid that I was so hopeful, and after only two dates. I feel embarrassed by my premature optimism and his completely mysterious rejection. He knows (knew?) me enough to know how much this kind of treatment would bother me. And he is doing it anyway.

(To make matters worse, I am finding myself wanting to go back to unemotional, just for the hookup arrangements. I totally know why – it’s my desire to protect my heart while chasing a Batteries Not Required orgasm. I haven’t given in to those urges… yet.)

See Why Silence Makes Me Scream to find out why he disappeared.

When was the last time the dating rug was pulled out from under you?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

GUEST POST: 8 Reasons to Work with Your Spouse During Divorce

If you've read my blog before, you know that I had about as amicable of a divorce as possible. I'm grateful that my ex-husband and I were able to make such a sad, difficult time a little less awful by doing our best to work together.

So, I am excited to share tips that might help you and your spouse cooperate. This week's post comes to you from Dr. Matthew B. Candelaria (PhD, U of Kansas 2006), a freelance writer who has written for lawyers in more than two dozen states on a wide range of topics, including personal injury, investment fraud, copyright, divorce, child custody, and other types of family law.

Divorce can be one of the most hurtful, traumatic events in your life, but it doesn’t have to be. Whatever the reasons that brought you together with your spouse, and whatever the reasons you’re coming apart, your divorce c an actually be a healing process. You have the power to make it happen, you just have to choose to do it. 

Here are eight reasons why you should try to work with your spouse during divorce:

1. It Speeds Up the Process.

Even if it’s ultimately a healing process, divorce is going to come with some pain. That pain gets worse the longer the divorce process stretches out. And the longer the process takes, the more risk there is that one of you will say or do something hurtful—possibly without even meaning to—that can break your fragile truce and cause things to spiral out of control.

Either spouse has the power to slow down the divorce process. Working together will help the process resolve faster so you both can get on with your lives.

2. You’ll Be Happier.

Happiness is a choice. When you take steps to work together with your spouse, you’re making the choice that you want to be happier. It isn’t as easy as that, but once you make the commitment, you will be able to do a lot more to actively achieve your happiness, such as letting go of baggage.

3. You’ll Have Less Baggage.

During your marriage, you acquired a great deal of emotional baggage that you have to unpack during and after the divorce. For some of this baggage, the person best equipped to help you unpack it is your spouse. For example, they will be able to tell you why they did what they did and put many of your fears and insecurities to rest.

After the divorce, you may not be in a position to talk frankly with your ex, so working with them during the divorce may be your last, best hope for getting answers to questions that may otherwise plague you for the rest of your life.

4. It Protects Your Finances.

Divorce has the possibility of destroying your finances. There are many ways that your spouse can hurt you financially. You can also hurt yourself, and sometimes trying to hurt your partner can backfire. The best way to ensure that you both come out of your divorce with reasonable financial health is to be honest and cooperative.

5. It’s Better for the Kids.

Your kids love you both, and seeing you two hurting each other hurts them. Kids caught in the middle of an ugly divorce suffer significant emotional harm. Chances are, even if you try to shield them from the hurtful behind-the-scenes fighting, you won’t succeed. They’ll be affected more than you know.

And working with your spouse makes the practical aspects of child care easier, too. If you have an amicable relationship coming out of the divorce, then the two of you will be more likely to be able to make friendly concessions when the strictness of the court-ordered custody arrangement might make things difficult.

6. It Reduces the Risk of Violence.

A stressful divorce can lead to violence. If either partner is being hurt or threatened by an unfair divorce proceeding, they may feel their options are limited and may think violence is their best chance of getting what they want. Working with your partner helps them feel safe and honored and gives them another way to express themselves without violence.

7. It’s Not Worth It.

The truth of the matter is that everything you do to hurt your spouse during divorce hurts you, too. It might even hurt you more. Divorce isn’t a time to be focused on the past, it’s time to be looking toward the future. You have a whole new life out there waiting for you—there’s no sense in ruining it in petty squabbles over the old one.

8. You Owe It to Your Spouse.

When you got married, you made a commitment to your spouse. Until your marriage is officially over, that commitment remains. Working with your spouse on the divorce is your last act of honor during marriage. In doing it, you honor not just them, but also yourself, and the love that once bound you.

Show that you still believe in love and prepares you for the new love to come.

What are your tips to work with your spouse through your divorce?

Monday, April 7, 2014

When Unicorns Are Real -- Sometimes Nice Guys Actually Come Back

Kat loves dating when weird shit happens!
Sometimes unicorns roam the earth, pigs fly, and I can watch the final scene of Gone With The Wind without crying.

Relatedly, sometimes a really nice guy you had hoped to date but prematurely dumped you realizes that he made a mistake and tries for another chance...


John, Part I

John was the smart, sweet guy I dated briefly in January. We were off to a great start, and then he abruptly changed his mind. The reasons he gave me at the time were that I’m allergic to dogs and that he might be “too square” for me. He left me confused and disappointed. I thought I saw boyfriend potential with him. Oh well, I told myself, no need to dwell on this.

John, Part II

A few weeks later, just as things were starting to pick up with Aaron, John contacted me. I couldn’t believe it. He said that he felt that he owed me an apology. He explained that in his previous relationship, there were signs that things wouldn’t work, but in hindsight he realized that he ignored the signs. He didn’t want to do that in his next relationship, which was why he backed off so fast. And, here’s the killer… one of the reasons he ran off in the first place was because he misunderstood something I had said, and he thought I don’t want children! Um, SO not true, and I sadly informed him of that. (But I get it, not being on the same page about wanting kids would be a dealbreaker.)

I thought it over and felt I wouldn’t be able to get past his willingness to quit the moment John had doubts. Plus I was just starting to date Aaron. So, I told John thank you, but I admired his guts for contacting me, but no. We concluded the conversation maturely and nicely.

A few weeks ago, I deleted John’s number from my phone. Nice guy, but I thought our moment had passed.

John, Part III

Yesterday morning, exactly two months after our last communication, I got a text from an unknown number:
"Hey! How did the NYC Half go?"

I knew it had to be John (and I was impressed that he remembered!). So we texted about our recent races, and then we said maybe we could meet up sometime at one of the local running store’s community runs. The conversation concluded when I went off to yoga.

Well, I thought, that was nice of him to remember me. Maybe we'll actually see each other at one of those runs, but probably not.

A few hours later, my phone chirped again. John wanted to see if, in addition to connecting at a run, would I want to have a drink and catch up sometime?

I paused. Was this a good idea? I mean, this guy did dump me. But then again, this was his second time contacting me. Apparently this guy really regrets letting me go too soon. What a compliment! So, why not say yes to an offer for a drink that might not even happen?

I replied, “Sure, sounds good.”

He wrote back immediately asking when I was free. Wait, so this was actually going to happen?!

Five hours later, we were face to face for the first time in almost three months.

Over the next three hours and a bottle of pinot noir at a charming wine bar, we chatted and laughed as if not a day had passed. It felt really good to be with him.

Now I admit that I didn’t feel the electricity that I felt with Jason or Aaron. (Maybe it's because John doesn't have tattoos!) I don’t know how to explain it, but John feels so genuine, like I won’t need to question anything he says to me, good or bad. In the dating world, this is not a common feeling.

Out on the street, along came a unicorn in the form of John's voice: “I have thought about everything you said in February. If you’re open to it, I’d really like another chance. Clean slate. Or you can put me on probation or something! But this was fun and I’d like to see you again.”

When does this ever happen? A nice guy admits he made a mistake and asks not once but TWICE for another chance?

I’m not one to let a unicorn get away.

“A clean slate sounds great,” I said, smiling. “No need for probation! We can just see what happens.”

And then he kissed me. A real kiss, and not the kind that people in their 30s do on a street corner.

“Wow, I really missed that,” he said, grinning.

I walked home with a big stupid smile on my face.

Unfortunately I’m really busy the next two weeks so I won’t get to hang out with John for awhile, but he already texted me today, saying not to worry about my crazy schedule because he’ll be here when I get back and we'll set up a nice date. Awww.

Have you ever had a good catch see the error of his or her ways and come back to you? 
Epic Mommy Adventures