Hatred Cradles

I turn 35 later this year and for some reason the thought of doing so has seemed so especially dreadful lately. I feel like I’m at my peak right now in terms of beauty and vibrancy and youthfulness and for some reason, at the stroke of midnight on my 35th birthday, that all starts to automatically decline and I officially become less desirable.

In short, I guess I’m starting to feel my biological clock ticking ever so louder, and not really feeling like I have anything to show for it. There is a small part of me that still ideally would like to explore the idea of having a kid or 2 at some point in life, so I suppose what’s frightening is the fact that no matter how young I may look and feel, my reproductive system declines more every year that passes. And should the auspicious occasion ever arise where I find a suitable candidate to reproduce with, it may be significantly more difficult, or impossible, to do so. Even worse, the opportunities I’ve had so far to bring life into the world will come back to haunt me. Maybe it’ll be my just desserts.

But on the other hand, being completely devoid of romance at the moment doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.I’m starting to think love just may not be in the cards for me. I’m not bitter, I’m not unhappy, I’m not depressed really at the thought of that, I’m just starting to come to the realization that that just might be what my destiny is and maybe instead of fighting against it, I should learn to accept it and to concentrate on other things.

Life seems so much simpler and less stressful when there’s no guy for me to worry about. When I’m not anxiously awaiting texts or continuously ruminating over whether *he* likes me or doesn’t like me. Even if a tad more gray and boring as well…but what’s the alternative?

The mere thought that I am worthy to someone, that someone out there is thinking of me and striving to make me smile, is a great feeling. I’m like a cat basking in the rays of the sun, slowly swishing my tail back and forth. Content. Then his attention wanes, the sun disappears, and I’m cold and lonely again. It blows.

People frequently gush over their “better halves” and how love has made them better people or enhanced their lives and blah, blah, blah, but I’ve never been able to share that sentiment. Romance to date has never made me a better person. I’m unequivocally all the worse for it. I’m anxious and needy and moody and at my most insecure. I’m bratty and whiny and pathetic.

“Isn’t it funny. I’m enjoying my hatred so much more than I ever enjoyed love. Love is temperamental. Tiring. It makes demands. Love uses you. Changes its mind…But hatred, now. That’s something you can use. Sculpt. Wield. It’s hard or soft, however you need it. Love humiliates you, but hatred cradles you.”

Ingrid Magnussen in White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Now, I’m not necessarily in complete agreement with Ms. Magnussen because she was seriously emotionally disturbed, but I can see where she’s coming from. I’m not a strong proponent of “hate” but I get her point about love. Because the periods in my life like right now, when there’s no one out there on my mind, I feel at my best. I’m confident and strong and secure. I feel beautiful and confident and like a force to be reckoned with.I don’t “hate” anyone, but in having no one to obsess over, I have more time to obsess about myself. In a good way.

And to be productive. I’ve lost weight, done a lot of reading, and as of late, with all the free time on my hands due to a lackluster social life (not just dating-wise, but also in terms of general drinking, which I’ve kind of lost the taste for as well), I’ve signed up for kickboxing and to tutor elementary school children in reading. I have also booked several traveling ventures for the year, including a trip to Costa Rica in December that so far just consists of myself. And whether I end up going alone or not doesn’t really matter.

That’s not to say I’m not lonely, because I am. As a heterosexual woman, I do miss having a male or several orbiting my atmosphere. Which is why I cracked over a week ago and renewed my Bumble account. Yet became quickly annoyed with seeing the same guys I used to see before, swiping left on most of that ilk. And also got annoyed  with the time limit stipulations (24 hours to open a conversation with a guy upon matching; but then he has to answer back within 24 hours as well or the match deletes), which made everything seem forced and rushed. Plus I wasn’t really a fan of being the one to have to initiate conversation 100% of the time.

I also called them out on the fact that they censor “gratuitous” swimsuit shots from women, yet I’ve seen a myriad of bathroom mirror selfies of bare-chested men. I sent them feedback, complete with an evidentiary screenshot, and got a form response. Screw you, Bumble.

So back to Tinder. And the quality of potential suitors is not at all impressive. I’m swiping left like 90% of the time because I’m being really discerning in who I match with, and most of these guys are not IT at all. But it’s a start I guess. Not that I’m expecting any miracles.

On another note…I ran across Benji’s profile on Bumble, promptly left-swiping. Then what do ya know – he texts me for the first time in 5 weeks, his explanation being that he got a vibe from me that I didn’t want to be bothered. Which is kind of true, but I didn’t want to be mean. He asked me out again for next Saturday and I told him I couldn’t make it. He then asked about Friday and I never answered.


New Year, Old Me

Within days of the Adam debacle I ended up reaching out to a friend of mine, who happens to be a coworker of his, to do some venting. The friend – Clyde – accurately sensing my frustration, had asked if I wanted him to pass along anything to Adam, but I didn’t want to risk stirring the pot at that time so I said not to worry about it. I guess it just made me feel better to kind of vent to someone in Adam’s realm if I couldn’t talk things out with Adam directly. Clyde suggested that Adam would probably cool off within a few days and to wait until then to maybe email him and try to work things out.

A couple of weeks ago I took it a step further and used my work phone to text Adam (assuming that he still has my personal phone blocked). I was cryptic about who it was at first, but he eventually figured it out and although he then started being a bit of a dick in pretty much letting it be known he wasn’t interested in talking about anything, I still got to say my piece a bit.

I confessed to missing his conversation and lamenting the fact that we seemed to like each other at some point so I’m not sure where we went wrong. I left off with letting him know that I wouldn’t mind it so much if he reached back out after he gets more time to cool off from everything. When he didn’t acknowledge anything after that, I assumed he probably just blocked me again, but when I asked him to acknowledge, he did.  I’m not sure what the point was, other than I just honestly don’t understand how we seemed so promising and then got so derailed and I felt bad about the way things were left.

Last week I tried my luck with sending a couple of other witty texts that he never answered. I assumed he blocked me again. Don’t really care anymore at this point.

In terms of other romances, I actually had a date the Saturday before last that went pretty okay. It’s a guy I matched with on Bumble way back…around the same time as Adam. I think I even matched with him before Adam and we conversed intermittently but of course I got sidetracked with Adam eventually and he didn’t seem extremely enthusiastic about talking, so nothing ever stuck.

In the wake of me and Adam’s demise, perhaps in the spirit of just having something to do, I reverted back around to him – perhaps we shall call him Benji – and we decided  we wanted to meet up but neither of us was  immediately able to due to holiday activities. We finally got our opportunity the Saturday before last. And it was a decent time even if there were not any raging sparks flying. But I couldn’t tell if it was just me feeling jaded and maybe a little guarded at the moment and needing to think outside of the box so I decided not to immediately count him out though I wasn’t really feeling any excitement over seeing him again.

For all intents and purposes I still found him to be decent looking and conversational and we spent 3 hours together so I figured it might be worth another go. I waited until Monday and asked him straight up if he wanted to hang out again. He said he wanted to see me again so we decided to try again for the next (this past) Friday.

In the days after we made those tentative plans, I was invited to a get together from a good friend of mine, Bing, who recently got a promotion. I didn’t want to miss that, but I also didn’t want to cancel on Benji, so I decided to try to combine the two. Bing had already volunteered that it’d be okay to bring Benji when I told him I might have a date that night. But when I mentioned it to Benji, he said he’d rather it just be us. Fine.

Yet, come Friday evening, within 2 hours of our agreed-upon meeting time of 7 p.m., he informed me that he was running behind and wouldn’t be able to meet up until 8. That left me with dead time on my hands because I had hung around my office a little later than usual since we were going to originally be meeting in an area that was closer to work than to home. Since the delay was on him and I was already not super excited about the date to begin with, I told him I was going to just go ahead and meet up with my friends then and invited him to join if he wanted to, not really caring if he did so or not.

He ended up making it later on and I was cordial and tried to be engaging, but it suddenly struck me that this guy is just totally not my type. I don’t really find him that physically attractive, but then beyond that, in between our dates he really had not made any effort to converse through text. I pretty much never heard from him unless it was me initiating conversation with him. So there was no mental connection to even attempt to make up for lack of physical chemistry. Nice enough guy, but just a total no-go romantically.

Even still, I was polite in introducing him to all my friends, and since he’s actually a colleague of ours anyway, that worked for giving him another legitimate reason to be hanging around the group besides just being my date, which would’ve been especially weird for him given the fact that later in the night when my friends settled up to make their way to another bar, I decided to skip out so I could meet Scout at my house.

As I heard it, Benji ended up tagging along with them to the other bar and actually seeming to have a good time even though I essentially ditched him (I just old him I was tired – he didn’t seem to mind). But the next day, Bing and my roommate Sarah separately teased me about how much of my type he is not. And deep down, I knew that…I guess I was just trying to make a solid effort since going for “my type” seems to have gotten me absolutely no where.

Several weeks ago, like the day after Christmas or around then, I met up with a long time Facebook buddy of mine for dinner. He’s someone who has been orbiting my atmosphere for a while and here and there has been flirtatious, but not consistently. He brought me hangover McDonald’s food a while ago which was the first time I’d ever met him in person. Since then we have intermittently flirted through Facebook messages, but haven’t met up again in person.

For some reason a few weeks back I finally decided to give him my phone number and to move to the texting realm, and we ended up making that friendly date for dinner and drinks. And it just ended up being another case of me not feeling any real romantic chemistry on my end although he has made it clear on his end that he does and several of his texts since then have been annoying exclamations about how he can’t figure me out or how I make it hard for him to flirt with me.

I actually went last night and deleted my Tinder and Bumble accounts – just haven’t been in the mood. Nothing has struck my fancy for a while on either and I’m not really in the mood for dating overall at this point in time.

On the bright side, I have somehow managed to lose the 10 pounds I’ve been trying to lose for a couple of years now. I’m slimmer and trimmer and it’s noticeable so that’s pretty encouraging. I might just focus for the time being on reaching my fitness goals and feeling better about myself overall before delving into the horrid world of dating again.

Bumble Adventures

I’m not really sure how to feel about Bumble, but I’m leaning towards being pretty disenchanted with it overall. As my expectations of dating apps are definitely not high to begin with, that’s saying something.

I don’t know, I just feel like perhaps because it’s incumbent upon the female to initiate contact, the men on there are kind of entitled and lazy…that they somehow take that as meaning that the burden is on the woman to carry the conversation or something. It’s weird. Or maybe the fact that I don’t really care about putting meaningful effort into it is reflecting in my disposition somehow and I’m getting it thrown back at me. Whatevs. In any case, some of my most notable experiences so far…

Bachelor #1

I matched with this guy the Friday before last and it seemed very promising at first. He was cute and communicative and we spent a good portion of that evening talking. We even had a bit of a  “bonding” moment when he inadvertently made an awkward auto correct faux pas:


Poor thing. But it ended up being a good ice breaker and laugh for the both of us.

I ended up crashing hard after an electrifying evening of browsing Bumble, surfing the internet, and watching TV (I know – try and keep up!). The next morning I saw that he had written a message about how good it was to talk to me and that he’s hoping that we can do it again soon, complete with a totally unsolicited, but appreciated, phone number.

I texted him that afternoon while I was getting my toes done to say hi and open up the lines of communication, letting him know who it is, of course. Hours later…nothing. Hmm…maybe I typed the wrong number in? Nope, that  wasn’t it. Alrighty…umm…maybe he’s had a particularly busy day?

Well I wouldn’t know, since he never responded. A bit irritated, I followed up with a snarky remark – “Or not?” – through Bumble which he also neglected to respond to. As of yet he still hasn’t unmatched with me or anything, but he obviously has made no move to respond, so I have no idea what that was about.

Bachelor #2

This is not a newbie, but a guy I used to have a borderline obsession with crush on for the majority of my sophomore and junior years of college. He was a basketball player at my school who I pretty much thought could walk on water and would swoon over like a lovesick puppy, but he never seriously gave me the time of day. We had sex twice or maybe thrice over the time period spanning the tail end of my junior year and the summer leading up to my senior year, but it never turned into anything more than that. I got over him eventually and moved on with my life and hadn’t seen or spoken to him since my senior year of college.

He was there for 2 more years after me, but his promising basketball career never lived up to expectations and he pretty much faded into obscurity once he graduated. Over the years, when I was especially bored or just barreling down a general internet rabbit hole, I’ve stalked his Twitter account or Instagram and found him to appear happily married with children and playing overseas basketball at some points.

Good for him…no hard feelings. Though he treated me like crap in college and caused me quite a bit of emotional turmoil leading to many a cringe-worthy journal entry, I’ve never really been mad or bitter towards him or wished him any ill will. And as the years have passed and I have grown, my “type” has changed quite drastically, so it’s been a long while since he did it for me in that regard. So suffice it to say that my only interest in orbiting his social media universe was out of genuine curiosity and nostalgia, not out of any kind of romantic longing.

Unfortunately, in more recent years he has ended up in some very hot water of the criminal justice variety. I know that only because he’s still somewhat of a person “of note” in the vicinity due to his illustrious college basketball career and local roots, and so I caught a brief snippet about his exploits in the news a while back. And then it appears that he is no longer married, which I figured out from stumbling across him on Tinder way back and stalking him once again on social media to try and get the scoop. I think his criminal justice issues might’ve had something to do with that.

The first time I came across him on Tinder way back, I swiped left before I completely realized who it was. It suddenly occurred to me after the fact. Again, earlier this year when I reset my account, he came up once again, but then the app suddenly took that opportunity to freeze (go figure) and I had to force close it and reopen it. I thought his profile would pop right back up because, at least on my end, I had swiped neither left or right, but when I reopened it a different profile popped up and I never saw him again. Oh well.

But within days of my Bumble adventures commencing a couple of weeks ago, his profile came up and even though he’s no longer even remotely my type, I swiped right to see what he would do. To be honest, I didn’t think he would remember who I was. I look quite a bit different (for the better) than I did in college, and given that I never played that important of a role in his life and it’s now been over 12 years since he has seen me, I didn’t think he would recognize me. When I saw that we had matched, I honestly had initial intentions to kind of screw with him a bit. In more of a fun way, not necessarily on a mean tip…maybe just to carry on a conversation  as if we were strangers and then to let him in on my identity after a little bit.

But imagine my astonishment when I said hi and his response was “Lol look at you. How you been?” Wow…seriously?! When I expressed my surprise that he would even remember me, he replied, “Lol how could I forget?” Then I kind of felt bad because I assumed the worst and it turned out he remembered me after all.

We’ve made small talk since then and he’s expressed an interest in getting together to “catch up.” Funny how the tables turn. Now it’s him seeking my attention and me who is the reluctant one. Not really sure if I want to go there. While I think it might be neat to get together and chat, I don’t want him thinking I’m interested in rekindling anything with him because I’m definitely not.

Bachelor #3

I matched with Mr. Marine with some time around November 1. I thought he was cuter than most so I decided to put a little more effort into my opener, which is nothing groundbreaking, but seemed to play very well on Tinder in the event that I found a guy especially attractive enough to initiate contact: “Well aren’t you cute.” He reciprocated with a compliment and we enjoyed some generally productive conversation over ensuing days, even if it felt a bit stilted on his part. Like, sometimes, I just felt like there were breaks in the conversation where he should’ve made the effort to fill in, or to open up another line of discussion if he wanted it to continue, and he wouldn’t and so I’d have to make the effort to fill in the gaps. Even still, he generally remained responsive and seemed interested, so I stuck it out.

Yet I was annoyed when, alluding to the hint of my legs in one picture, he said he hoped they were “better in person” and then went on to, in so many words, ask for better pictures of them. I shot that down immediately, but I did offer up a picture of me from that weekend in Halloween costume (I made a very splendid Daenerys Targaryen, thankyouverymuch), which seemed to alleviate his need for more besides the 6 he can already clearly reference any time.

From there, conversation remained decent, if not exactly stellar. He looks like he’s attractive, he’s 6’2″ (yum!), and a career Marine, which all earned him points. The only downside is that he’s divorced with 2 children. Not really optimal for me, but not a deal breaker.

Yet I was further put off when I asked to see a picture of his children (since he brought them up several times, I was trying to act interested), I think Thursday night, and he replied “Maybe one day” because he “doesn’t just dole those out.” Um…okay. Not that serious, dude. While I do generally think that people shouldn’t advertise pictures of their children across dating profiles for anyone to see, I wasn’t sure what the big deal was about sending one to someone in particular. What the hell am I going to do with a picture of your kids?!

But I mean, I guess that’s his prerogative. It wasn’t really his refusal in itself that annoyed me, it was that he cajoled me into sending him a picture yet didn’t reciprocate when I asked. Just kind of further evidence of an already perceivable imbalance of effort that eroded a little more of my interest. And this is after he made remarks earlier in the day about wanting me to come join him at the beach and suggesting maybe a drink this week when he was back. I’m sure he could sense my displeasure in the simple “Ok” I responded with after that whole debacle because he never said anything else that night.

I gave it one last try Friday evening by initiating conversation. He asked what I up to and I told him I had just gotten my hair done. His immediate response: “Pics?” Mine: “One day.” His: “Touche.”

And that’s been that thus far. Guess we’re not getting that drink this week.

Bachelor #4…May be the Charm?

This past Sunday morning I woke up to find a “New Bee in my Hive” whom I was particularly excited about based firstly on looks and then on our shared profession. (I tend to be privy toward men that share the same profession as me, as that alone is strongly indicative of similar lifestyles, political philosophies, and general worldviews that bolster connection). But of course, a match means nothing in itself as there’s always the question of whether he will even respond and then be open to conversation from there and actually seem like a decent human being and all those nail-biter unknowns. But what do ya know? Success on all counts!

I reveled in a low-key Sunday of grocery shopping, cleaning, and general household chores in the morning followed by an afternoon of relaxation/laziness with beer, video games, and cheesy Amazon Prime movies during which we talked continuously throughout. By the early afternoon we had ascertained the several mutual friends/colleagues we have in common, he had freely revealed his last name so I could Facebook stalk him at my leisure, and he eventually offered up his phone number (unsolicited) so we could text. Which we did throughout the rest of the day and night until I fell asleep.

I woke up yesterday morning to messages regarding his own Facebook stalking of me (I had reciprocated with my identity as well) which culminated with an “…um…yeah…wow.” I asked for clarification on whether that was a good wow or a bad wow; he said that that it was a good wow and that I’m very photogenic (I’m not, I just curate my social media photos well).

As far as his page goes, his security was pretty tight so I could only see a handful of pictures and none of those were terribly recent or really reinforced whether or not he looked like those on his Bumble profile. He had remarked the day before, pursuant to his invitation for me to Facebook stalk him, that I could add him if I wanted, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there just yet. It’s kind of counter-intuitive, but I was already starting to like him and wasn’t ready for what I was sure would be the inevitable let down…like finding out he’s actually missing 3 teeth (there was no smile on any of his Bumble photos or any of his public Facebook photos so that had me a little worried), or seeing pictures with or interactions between he and a girl or two that seemed questionable.

Anyway…we continued texting throughout the day yesterday, with him generally keeping me abreast of his activities and laying on all the more charm. He writes well and communicates with effort-full thoughts and sentences; he is flirty, but maintained a gentlemanly demeanor and said nothing even remotely sleazy or sexual.

He made the suggestion that we meet up on Friday evening since that will be his only opportunity this week. I’m headed to the Dominican Republic early Saturday morning, and he knows that, so it’s clear that he feels, like I do, that it would be essential for us to meet in person before I leave. Otherwise, the promise that this is showing might fade away over next week when we will have limited contact.

Last night he announced that he was going to add me on Facebook, and he did, so I accepted. I got to browse through more of his photos, and crisis averted! He’s still cute. Not missing any teeth. No evidence of any girlfriends or any other current romantic interests. Feeling emboldened by that, I suggested he call me if he wasn’t busy. He did, and a 90-minute phone conversation ensued during which he talked of leaving the career he had before his current one because it wasn’t “intellectually stimulating” enough and correctly used words like “quintessential.” *Swoon* I bashfully admitted how I was particularly hoping to match with him and he in turn revealed that he was stoked when I messaged him.

After we hung up, he sent several texts about how he had completed his more in-depth Facebook analysis of my photos and I looked good in every single one. And he said he was looking forward to getting to know me.

He seems into it, so, we’ll see. Obviously, stay tuned for the inevitable train wreck.