Finite Amount of Spark

I’m over it… I’ve had it… I’m done… with online dating, for the 47,455 time; or at least it seems like it.

I have a very cyclical pattern of behavior when it comes to online dating, or app dating, or whatever you want to call it. It starts out of boredom, or the thought that I really could be single forever. If I don’t do something soon, I will forget how to actually interact with men I don’t work with or are related to.  I, inevitably re-load Tinder on my phone, dust off my match.com profile, and after a couple hours, or a day or two, I have dates.

I have lots of dates… I am overwhelmed by matches, messages, and texts. I make plans and I go out with these potentials. I go out to coffee shops, and bars, wherever. I go out every night of the week. I double book myself on dates, I go on two or more dates a day… and I have the same date about 20 times.

Oh, I’m going out with different men, lots of them, but it basically is the same date ad nauseam. Am I wasting my time on these ho hum dates? Is it worth the time and energy, not to mention make-up, going out every night of the week when the result is the same?
I’m not even disappointed anymore when I don’t exactly hit it off with Tinder Joe, because I don’t expect anything different. It’s usually a decent date, with normal get to know you conversation, two drinks, and I’mhome before the 11 o’clock news is on. Nothing awful, just not anything spectacular either. Would I go out with them again? Sure. Would I be bummed if I never heard back from them? Nope!

Wouldn’t I be happier if I stayed in and watched Netflix, or studied for the class I’ve just added to my schedule, or worked out? Wouldn’t I find more joy in spending time with my friends and my family? So, I stopdating. I delete Tinder, I don’t log on to Match, and I just stop. I go about my life, as always, and then it happens… I get nagging feeling I’m destined to be a single woman forever, and I should get myself out there.

The cycle is infinite.

The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over, expecting a different result. I realize this dating pattern is definitely insane, and I really would like to get off this nightmare of a merry-go-round. I just am unsure of how to.
I don’t meet dashing strangers in the grocery store. I’ve exhausted the bank of single suitors my friends and their spouses have. My day-to-day routine doesn’t lead to meeting new people, let alone eligible bachelors, often. I’m stumped.

They always say you meet your person when you stop looking, and quite frankly, I think this is a stupid thing to say. I’m not the kind of girl who waits for something to happen to me. I’m the kind of girl who, if I want something, I make it happen. I go out and get it. Why would this be any different?

What is a girl to do? I think at this juncture, I’m tired of the online dating churn. I need a break, and for how long, I’m not sure yet. It’s not as though I’m miserable, my life is pretty fantastic. I am so fortunate to have the life I have. I wouldn’t trade it with anyone, because while I may not have a beau, I have a hell of a lot of people who love me, and I wouldn’t give any of those relationships up.

I’ve been single for so long… the longest I’ve ever been single in my adult life, and I think for some reason, this is what is giving me pause.
It’s been so long since I felt excited about anyone. It’s been ages since I felt a connection. This makes me scared I’ll never feel that again. It has been so long since I met someone and felt a spark. I’m starting to feel I’ve used up all my matches for flames that burnt out too quickly. Maybe you only get a finite amount of sparks. I don’t know?

XOXO,

Piper 💋

The List

At 15 years old I can remember laying in my bedroom, with it’s purple walls and N’Sync posters, with my best friend. We each had a pad of paper and glitter gel pens. We were busy making our lists;

“Things I Want In A Husband”

-must be tall
-must make good money
-must love his mom
-never married
-must be a virgin
-cannot have children already
-must be funny
-my dad must like him
-plays sports
-doesn’t smoke or do drugs
-must smell good

I mean, this list went on and on and on. There were volumes and drafts to this list. It truly deserved a table of contents! Obviously, I was young and inexperienced. I truly thought I’d fine someone who checked all the boxes and that he’d make me happy. Fast forward 15 years.

I have no list. Of course I still have preferences, everyone does. I’d still pick tall over short and rich over poor. But what are my major deal breakers, what are the hard limits? It seems like they are fewer and farther between these days. If I wouldn’t date someone with children or who had been married I might never go on a date again.

I feel like so much depends on the depth of the relationship. If you are just causally seeing one another, while dating others, can you really say that he can’t recreationally use party drugs? If you’re not getting married do you really care if he has children if they don’t effect your life?

Maybe it’s that I’m more open minded than the 15 year old version of myself sitting in her bedroom in middle America. Maybe I’m more traveled, more exposed and less judgemental. Or maybe I’m just more desperate. As you get older it seems like the pickins get slimmer. At this age it feels like you can no longer be as picky because time is ticking! Am I really going to turn down a great guy who’s company I enjoy just because he 5’9 and not 6’2? Nope. Nowadays I care more about his relationship with his baby momma more than that he has one. Everyone’s has hard limits and I guess I’m finding that my are truly situational and they’re almost all negotiable with the right person.

You Never Know Who You Might Sit Next To At The Bar

It’s a jungle out there…. The online dating world. Tinder, Match.com, Bumble, the list goes on and on. I’ve had a run on about every dating site/app out there; always hoping the next will be better than the last. Inevitably I end up back on Tinder, because might as well have some entertainment while you’re at it. 

Last Saturday I had the joy of sitting down next to a guy I “ghosted” a couple months ago. (Can you ghost someone you’ve never met IRL? I’m not sure?) I matched with him on Bumble, chatted with him and ended up giving him my phone number. He was a clingy texter. He blew me up, there was no concern about a double text, he would text me six times in a row. He would text me morning, noon, and night. It was overwhelming and suffocating and CREEPY, since I didn’t even know the man. So, naturally, I just slowly stopped responding to his texts. I faded on him.  

I know I’m going to get some flack on this one, I know it’s not “proper” etiquette to just stop talking to someone. I don’t care though, I don’t feel a sense of obligation to politely decline every message. I don’t know these people, and half of the messages are crafted emails sent to every girl. I’ve done the whole, “thank you, I’m just not interested”, and ended up having a discussion about why I should give someone a shot; I’ve been called a stuck up b*tch, or worse. It’s just too much and it’s a gamble on what reaction you’re going to get. 

 Sometimes you don’t really mean to stop talking to someone, but you just kind of lose them. You start talking to someone else, go on a couple dates, and the next thing you know, you haven’t responded to their texts in a week. It’s the accidental fade. It happens when you’re a multiple dater, I like to keep my options open. I like see what’s out there until I meet someone I really like. I don’t see the harm in it. It’s called DATING. 

However, I digress… Back to the man on Saturday night.

I went to a bar that is off my regular flight path with one of my girlfriends.  There were two seats next to two guys open at the bar so we sat down. The guy I sat next to was good looking guy in his early 40s. I could feel him intently studying me as I chatted with my friend and the bartender. A good 45 minutes passes, and the guy next to me finally says, “you don’t recognize me, do you?”

Ahhhhh… Perhaps six of the worst words strung together. Of course I don’t recognize you. If I recognized you I would have said hello. Let’s really be honest, if I had recognized you, I would have sat my ass down elsewhere. 

“I’m sorry, I don’t. I don’t think we’ve met.” I lamely say, because what else is there? 

He proceeds to detail how I just stopped talking to him, and I started to put together who he was. I didn’t recognize him because he is much more attractive in person, (I want to put together a class on choosing photos for dating apps). I apologized for not responding to him, and he was cool about it. We chatted with my friends and had fun for a little while. 

He tells me he’s meeting a girl there, and just like that, she magically appears. She looks slightly miffed, and hey sister, I get it. I try to extract myself from conversation with him and return to my friends. He wasn’t having it. He continued to try to talk to me, and get me to leave with him and his date to go to a different bar. Like no way. Are you crazy?! 

They left, and he proceeds to text me and tell me he should have stayed with me, and how it was fate I sat down next to him. He has been texting me all week, the most recent text I got from him, that I haven’t replied back to, is asking if I miss him. I remember now why I stopped talking to him. That is a question that makes me uncomfortable regardless of who’s asking it, but especially when it’s someone I don’t know well! I don’t know how to answer it, because in fact, I do not miss him, I just feel bad saying that. 

He’s a nice guy. I’m glad I actually got to meet him in real life. I also don’t have plans to meet him again. My instincts on this one were right, he’s not creepy, but our styles don’t really match up. This experience has taught me to maybe be a little more forgiving in my dating style, and perhaps to be a bit more thoughtful on how I handle communicating lack of interest on my end… You never know who you could sit down next to at the bar! 

XOXO, 

Piper 💋

Have You Seen My Sex Drive? 

In early January I was honest with blog readers about a fresh break up I was in the mist of. It was unexpected and painful and knocked me on my ass for a bit. I’ve dealt with all the normal emotions and have shared my tips and tricks for dealing with heartache. All in all, I’ve been doing much better. In recent days I’ve started to feel like the old Layla. I’m working out again, I’m back to cooking and meeting girlfriends for cocktails. I’ve even gotten back on the horse as far as dating goes, and of course I’m back on Tinder… and life comes full circle. 

Dating post break up can be a challenge. To say I’ve swiped left way more than I’ve swipe right is an understatement. Prior to a recent first date my texts to Piper ranged from “he’s cute, and it’s a free dinner right?” to “I’m cancelling and watching Dateline with ice cream in my bed” to the final “I bought a new shirt, I got my hair blown out and I’m going”. And I did go and it went super well. Sometimes you just have to get back out there. But, this whole dating thing has brought up a situation that is very new for me; 

My vagina has gone into a hibernation mode. My sex drive has gone missing. I mean, like someone should put out an Amber Alert. Put it on a milk carton or something. 

Sex hasn’t even been on my radar. Like, I’m supposed to be sexy and feel sexy and that’s fun? Red lipstick and thong panties have been replaced by Chapstick and cotton underwear. This is totally new territory for me. In the past I’ve been a huge believer of the rebound. More than once I’ve used sex as a coping mechanism and distraction. I mean, I engaged in a longer term FWB situation in which I referred to him “sexual sorbet”. He acted as a palate cleanser. We had a blast and it helped me rebuild a majorly damaged ego. We both knew what was going on and eventually it ran its course. 

So, why is this time so different? Why am I struggling to connect with this part of my inner woman? I think it comes down to exposure. I’m at a point in life where being exposed to someone new is sort of exhausting and a little terrifying. Figuring out what works, what each other likes. Having the awesome safe sex convo, seeing each other naked for the first time. Ugh. It should be fun but it sounds like a task at the moment. 

I know that this too shall pass. The right combo of vodka crans, the smell of good cologne and a good make out and I’ll be back to feeling like a sexual being again. It’s just taking a little longer than I expected and that’s okay. In the mean time, if you need me I’ll be at Sephora shopping for my perfect shade of red lipstick. And maybe I’ll schedule a wax. 

Different Pages

“We’re just not on the same page.”

We’ve all heard this, we’ve all probably said it a time or two. I always thought it was a bullshit, vague answer, basically meaning you’re just not interested in someone and it’s a “nice” way to say it. 

Once upon a time, I was young, dumb and carefree (aka drunk).  Finding someone on the same page was easy.  “OMG, you breathe oxygen, I breathe oxygen!  Not to mention, you’re in my Econ class!  We have so much in common! Let’s party!” Easy right? I took that ease for granted. 

Dating in your early thirties is exponentionally more difficult. People have varying work schedules. Some people have children, which adds a whole different level of complexity on its own. Most of us have some baggage we drag around with us, collecting more as we go along. It’s rough. It’s challenging and oh God is it complicated. 

I’m a single, never been married, childless 32 year old woman. I have a career, I have a loving family, and I have the best damn friends anyone could ask for. I have some emotional scars from life, but all things considered, I think I’m packing light in the baggage department. Finding someone on the same level as I am is almost impossible. 

I’ve been pretty open with my dating pool; optimistic in the fact you never know who you could end up with. I’ve been willing to date men with children, older men, divorced men, you name it.  All this dating has opened my eyes to the fact I’m struggling to really connect with someone. 

In all honesty, part of it is I’m not down to deal with what comes along with these men.  I don’t want to date someone fresh out of a relationship because there are a lot of unsettled emotions. I know because that’s been me a million times. I don’t want to be a rebound. I took a bit of a dating time-out to settle the emotional turmoil I was going through. I’ve worked through a lot of my issues, so the idea of going through it on the other side isn’t enticing. 

Men with children are tricky.  I don’t mind dating someone with children in theory. What I do mind is when someone wants to introduce them into my life from the very beginning. I need to know if we click ourselves before you bring your family into it. I’m not looking to become an instant stepmom. I’m a product of a divorce and I had a relationship where my ex had a child and the breakup was much harder on me.  I had to break up with both of them and it was heart wrenching. I don’t want to go through that again if  I can help it. 

Men who got married in their early twenties and are now getting divorced are a breed of their own. They want to go out on week nights, party at night clubs, take shots on a Saturday afternoon.  I did that. I did that for YEARS. Now, I want to go to a night club like I want herpes. I don’t. I want to go to a nice dinner. Maybe grab a couple cocktails. See a movie. Go wine tasting. Those are the things I’m about. I have an 8 AM yoga class Sunday morning, and I want to hit up Trader Joe’s before the after church crowd buys up all the kale. I  don’t want to be chugging Pedialyte and inhaling Taco Bell to beat a hangover. I don’t want to be slamming shots of tequila and having twenty-one year olds sweating all over me in some sticky night club until 3 AM. I understand wanting to experience those things, I really do. I had a blast when I was 20-25.  I danced on tables, kissed girls, and drank enough vodka to last a life time. Knock yourself out love, I’ll be at home reading. 

Namaste.

XOXO, 

Piper 💋