Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dating Series 6 of 6: Meeting Others

Read Part 1: Here

Read Part 2: Here

Read Part 3: Here

Read Part 4: Here
Read Part 5: Here
These "interest" were so in and out of my life, that they don’t really have full stories of their own. But I still think some of the smaller encounter let us learn things and also help us to know we are still trying to move along, instead of staying stagnant.

The next two females I asked out I met at church a few years later. At the time I was no longer a part-time youth minister but instead was now working in retail and at a library, anywhere from 40-55 hours a week.

The first one was spunky but I found her extremely cute and attractive. She had a great sense of humor; however, when I tried to pursue her, she kept declining my request to hang out with lame excuses and asking me why we couldn’t just meet when our church class got together. Do I have to spell it out for you? I didn’t know her well enough to know if I really wanted to ask her out at the time. Looking back, I should have just asked her out.

Yes, my fear of rejection was all out now, making me play the hang-out game. But everything I read online told me to be suave, not let on that I was into her, and that if she liked me she would respond to be around me and if she didn’t than feelings we not, in fact, mutual. I friended her and defriended her pretty quickly on FB. Once I tried to pursue her, she was gone. So I left it at that. Goodbye spunky-cute person.

Oh how nice, someone left me a note...

The second one was also at church. I guess she had a boyfriend, but she never talked about him and I only ever saw him once, like months before I asked to hang out with her. I wasn’t really even sure if I liked her in that way, but I wanted to get to know her to find out. She did agree to hangout with me, but she refused it be anywhere near dinner-time. I guess dinner equals date, which in her eyes this was not (thanks Yoda! ha!).

Ask or Ask Not... There is No Try.

I tried to ask her out one more time and she made up some excuse, which I found out because when I asked her for a later date, she declined again and told me she didn’t like me that way. I respected the honesty and wasn’t really crushed at the rejection since I wasn’t sure if I even really liked her. I just thought it was so odd how females (at least from my experience thus far) will go so far to try to protect a guy from feeling hurt (or rather, Truth Alert: feeling bad themselves for hurting a guy by telling the truth).

So, after that I decided I was going to try online dating. I tried one site where only old ladies messaged me, which was pretty creepy. I even saw one old friend of a friend on that site, which I ignored because I wasn’t attracted to her (and that would be awkward). I then tried EHarmony. I signed on during one of their free weekends, which stunk because they don’t even let you see pictures. I ended up meeting one female who was nice, we became Facebook friends, but nothing more happened.

It's Perfect: You Want Love, I want to Money.

I pretty much hated EHarmony, because I refused to pay that much money for something that wasn’t even a guarantee. Just one month by itself cost $40. Don’t they know I am single and don’t have money? So I looked around online and signed up for OkCupid. I have probably messaged like over 100 females, some near and some far. I think I have maybe got like 8-10 responses, some of them I friended on FB and some of them just replied to tell me they were not interested. One female told me were too different and she was NOT attracted to me. I like direct, but maybe there is such a thing as "a little too direct."

Since I have moved and started a new job, I finally messaged other females on OkCupid. I got two responses, one rejection and one hi, who hasn’t replied again. I don’t really put too much stake in online dating. I really would prefer to meet someone in person, but especially with Christian females, it seems like they are pretty particular about relationships, who they go out with, and even being good friends with them usually seems to be off limits.

Honestly, I miss college and grad school. Other than church, it seems like online is my only way to meet females in my age range. Still, despite my past, I still have hope. I still think there is someone out there for me, not who completes me but who would fit with me, who I could share my life with and share her life as well.

While a lot of this may sound like a slight rage against females and women. It is not. I am sure the other side has just as many stories about their confusing and complicated relationship with men as well. The truth is it hurts, being single makes things hard, makes life confusing, confusing from a lack of something and the remembrance of all the rejections.

I think clinging onto hope is important.

Without hope I think we only fall into despair.

Have you tried online dating? What has been your experience?
What lessens have you learned from your past dating experiences?
Has your past with dating help or hinder you going forward?

~ Single Me

Images: (1) 2 (3) 4 5 6

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dating Series 5 of 6: Meeting Sandi

Read Part 1: Here

Read Part 2: Here

Read Part 3: Here

Read Part 4: Here

Dating Series 5 of 6: Meeting Sandi
Note: Names have been changed.

I really liked Sandi a lot, though sometimes her humor and taste in movies confused me. But let’s start at the beginning…

Things with Chloe happened my junior year of college, for the next few years I didn’t really have anyone I wanted to date. I also think this was when I started to be more worried about rejection. Even though the second one didn’t hurt as much as the first, I felt like putting me out there would end up having similar results.

Instead, I put my energy into doing well in college and keeping in shape. I really loved playing racquetball. I was also involved in lots of groups on campus... And I have to admit, with only one year left of college, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue a relationship.

So, I waited a few years, keeping my eyes open but trying to protect myself. That is when I met Sandi. I was really taken with her from the beginning. I still remember the first time I saw her. I was in graduate school at the time, entering my second year. We both met in the winter at a mutual friend’s house who had invited her to meet some of us, since she had just started her first year at grad school. I tried to play it cool but from the moment I saw her, I wanted to get to know her. There was something about that brown-haired woman with that cute nose that drew me in... So I began my quest.

Fencing Anyone?

In the beginning it was little things, I would stop and talk to her in the hallway. I friend-ed her on Facebook, then found out she was rarely even on Facebook. Of course, right? I tried to sit near her in class or chapel. I liked being around her and we became friends. Looking back now, I think asking her out then would have been a better plan. However, I let my fear of rejection lead me, so I kept the friend thing going instead of being honest about my feelings.

Honesty can be hard.

At some point I got up the nerves to ask her for her phone number on Facebook. When she replied with her digits I was ecstatic. I literally jumped up and down while playing the song I Got Your Number by Petra. I am such a dork. That same day I got a FB friend invite from Jessy, you know, that first confusing relationship. I added her as a friend but didn’t really care to talk to her at the time. I was too excited about new possibilities to worry about the past.

Summer changed everything.

I was at the point where we had hung out, talked on the phone, sat next to one another in class, and I walked her to her car. Sounds like we are going out, right?

I was such a fool.

One night we were hanging out at her apartment, since I lived in the dorms, watching Secret Window and Bruce Almighty. We chatted a few hours after the movies and while I was walking out I turned. I couldn’t hide it anymore; I felt too much to let it go anymore. I told her I liked her and wondered if she would like to go out on a date with me.
One of the Best Movies You've Never Seen...

She was surprised, which kind of made me surprised and confused. We had been spending so much time together, what had she expected? Do your normally act this way with friends or boyfriends?

She told me maybe, that she would get back to me.

The next day she told me yes, but it came with stipulations, which should have been a clue to me this wasn’t going to end well. I was too in the zone to figure it all out then though, but looking back it was already there.

We went out on our first date. I bought her flowers, she straitened her hair, and we went to go have Chinese food (her favorite) and saw The Incredible Hulk.

I Still Cannot Decide which is better: HULK with Jeniffer Connolly or Liv Tyler

At this point my feelings were all out. I was so excited she said yes and this was happening. However, one date doesn’t make a relationship and I knew I had to ask her out again... and that started the rub, the eventual decline of everything that had culminated.

After out first date, I shortly after asked her for a second date. She said she wanted to take things slow, to get to know me more before we had a second date. I agreed and we had about a month just hanging out with one another as friends before I started to get a little on-edge. I had been down this road before and I didn’t want to be strung along again, always near but not near.

I finally asked her what she felt for me and she said she needed time. Time. Always time, the neglect of answers, the not knowing, it all drove me nuts. I was trying to start a new semester at seminary and couldn’t process all these feelings and thoughts.

It was too confusing and I didn’t like being confused. I didn’t like all the questions flowing through my brain: Is she attracted to me? Is she stringing me along? Is she trying to spare my feelings? Will our friendship be broken? What will this mean for our circle of friends? Has she even actually told any of her friends we went on a date and have been hanging out or has this all been some big secret?

When you are a thinker, you cannot stop those questions. They WILL keep you up at night, causing you lack of sleep. She used classes as an excuse to keep blowing my question off until later, until later. Well, she finally "broke up" with me after about a month. I was crushed. I was at work in the library, checking my e-mail and Facebook when I saw her message. I started crying in the middle of work. Thankfully, no one else was around and I was able to keep myself together enough to finish my shift.

I cried that night.
I had to force myself to eat for two days.

Then I tried to figure out how to be friends with her, because she had, like all the others, said she wanted to still be friends. But what did that mean? Hadn’t all the others said that and then nothing ever came to fruition? I was so confused. She knew some of my past and how I did NOT want to be told the friend line unless it was true.

In her case, I think she wanted it to be true, but she didn’t know how to go about it either. I think it made her feel awkward to be around me. If she had told me that, it would have helped but she full-on ignored me unless we were hanging out in a group.

After a few months I knew we were not going to be together, but I also knew we were not going to be friends. I do think she tried, though I don’t feel she tried as hard as I did... and I think part me still hoped if she saw how great I was as a friend, that she might reconsider me as relationship-material.

I was wrong.
She stopped talking to me completely.
I asked for my movies back, which took two months for me to get.
Then our last connection and tie to one another was gone.

I had gone through the end of this relationship/friendship my last semester in seminary. Tried to save the friendship but finally let it go the winter/spring after graduation, as I was jobless and had a lot of time on my hands. I also moved in the same apartment complex as her after graduation (It was cheap.. what can I say). She actually lived only a few doors away from me, but the door was shut.

I deleted her from my phone...
... and then from my Facebook.

The Way is Shut...
None Shall Pass!

A few times I saw her through mutual friends, but those mutual friends moved away and so she began to fade into my past and from my memory. I think she moved a few times after that. I am still not really sure why she rejected me. We never had that conversation. So, I am still not sure whether she rejected me because she didn’t find me attractive or because she didn’t want to be that open and vulnerable to someone else at that time. One doesn't always get the luxury of answers to such questions.

Have you ever been in a relationship that ended with no reasons or goodbyes?
Why do you think it is so difficult to be friends after the failure of a relationship?
Do you think it is really ever possible to "just be friends"?

~ Single Me