But He’s Gay!

Have you ever had one of those nights when you ask yourself the following day, why did I do that?  

Not only did I have one of those, but so did my favorite bartender.

“He just didn’t seem like your type, Celebrity.”

No, he wasn’t my type.  But, not to worry, because the only thing I was found guilty of was talking to someone for too long at my favorite Irish pub.  I know it must be hard to watch the owner’s sister walk in and sit at your bar and not feel responsible for her. Therefore, I apologized for making my friend and bartender (The Belfast Bartender) worry about me that one night.

I confess, I was bored that night and of course there was beer.  Did I mention I was bored? It was just one of those evenings when I had nothing to do and I didn’t want to go home and sitting next to me was a young guy who was also alone.   It happens, because in an Irish pub, it’s customary to have a conversation with perfect strangers.

I know how to handle myself.  When the guy pressured me for my phone number, at least I’m smart enough to maybe accidentally on purpose given him the wrong phone number when I left.

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“I know. I was clearly a little bored that night.  I know you have my back and that’s why I like coming here. Moving forward, in case this ever happens again, I’m telling you right now that I’m giving you full permission to break up anything you think is out of character for me, okay?”

Which leads me to my next story….

*FAST FORWARD A FEW MONTHS*

“You look great tonight, Celebrity,” Belfast Bartender said as he walked around the bar to give me a hug.

I felt great.  I was happy to be out of the house and it was a perfect autumn night to slip into my favorite pair of jeans and break out my favorite tall boots. 

Plus!  I had JUST washed my hair.

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I ordered my beer from Belfast and stood at the end of the bar near the waitress station.  To my right, half way down the bar, I couldn’t help but notice a group of people.  I didn’t recognize any of them, but it was hard to see with the lights being turn down so low — you know, for ambiance.

(Who wants to be in a brightly lit bar?  Not me.)

“Oh, geez,” I said to the waitress. “We have a Stage 4 cling-on situation at three o’clock.  Do you know who that is staring at me?”  

“I’ve never seen him before. But he is definitely starting at you.  Good luck with that,” she said and walked away. 

The fact that I was there by myself, and my friends hadn’t showed up yet, made me feel just a teensy-weensy bit uncomfortable.  I reminded myself that as long as the Belfast Bartender was working, I knew he’d have my back.

There’s never anything one can do about someone staring at you, so I decided to have a seat at the bar.  Just as I started to walk towards the stool I had picked out, the man who was staring at me yelled over to me with a thick accent, “My God, baby.  Come over here.”

It was more like a pur than an accent.

But, whatever it was, it was sexy as hell.

So, I played out my response for a second.  

You know the, who me?

Oh, you meant me? 

As if I didn’t know…

With my best model walk, I slowly moved past the few people standing at the bar and walked toward the man.  

He greeted me with a huge smile and perfect teeth.

“Yes, baby…hello….where are you from?  My God you are gorgeous!”

I was gorgeous? 

He was gorgeous! 

But it was his sexy-ass accent that totally had me captivated.  And, even with my 3.5” high heeled boots on, he was still slightly taller than me.

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“You are too funny,” I smiled coyly at him. “Where are you from?”

With a twinkle in his eyes, his velvety voice purred, “I’m from Costa Rica, but I live in Florida now.”

We stood there smiling and admiring each other.  It was one of those rare instances where you meet someone and just like that you click. 

Call it chemistry, mutual admiration, or what you want, but it was definitely there.

“My God, baby.  Are you married?  Single?!  Whaaaat?” he said eyeing me up and down like a flamboyant artist who just unveiled his masterpiece. “I can’t believe someone like you lives here…”

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“Yes, yes, well thank you.  I grew up here,” I started to explain, which probably sounded more like an apology than a reason.  “But, I actually really do love living here.” 

“You don’t look like you are from here.”

“Thank you.  I used to live in New York City and Los Angeles.”

“Why would you leeeeeave, baby?”

But the real question was, what was he doing here in my small New England town?

I didn’t get too far contemplating a reason why this gorgeous man was in my small town. My thoughts were quickly interrupted by the short woman standing next to Mr. Costa Rica.

“Hello,” she said while extending her hand toward me, “I’m his realtor.  He and his husband are looking to buy property here.”

And there it was, the potential fun-factor had just been dialed down to a big, fat zero. 

….or so I thought.

Having a husband and being gay apparently wasn’t going to stop Mr. Costa Rica from flirting with me.  Instead, he laughed off his realtor’s announcement and continued to make my night by making me feel like the most gorgeous creature on Earth. 

“Yesssss, my husband is a doctor and we’re looking at investment property up here…..my God, you are gorgeous!”

Gay or not, one thing was for sure, he had an air and style that only came from living in a big city. 

“Celebrity….?” 

I turned to look at Belfast Bartender standing behind the bar. “Would you like another beer?  Everything okaaaay?

“Everything is great,” I said beaming back at him. “And, I’m great with the beer I have now, thank you.  I don’t think I should have another one.”

I turned my attention back to Mr. Costa Rica who was still admiring me.

And just like that, it happened. 

Our eyes locked.

I felt his strong hand slip around my waist.

He stepped in closer to me…

….then he looked down at my mouth…

….and looked back into my eyes…

….slowly, he tilted his head…

….and looked back down at my mouth….

….leaned in…

….just like in the movies…

….parted his lips and put his beautiful mouth on mine…

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….and it was fantastic!!!!!

In the middle of this slow make-out session (mind you) in the middle of my brother’s bar, I heard the slam of Belfast Bartender’s hands on the counter and my nickname yelled out loud, “Celebrity!”

“Hey!” the realtor shouted, as if trying to break up two dogs in heat.

Reluctantly, I pulled away from Mr. Costa Rica and with my head swirling with the surge of endorphins, I managed to say, “Oh my God that was fantastic.”

“But he’s gay!” the realtor shouted at me. “And he’s maaaaarried!”

She made me feel like a child being scolded, but I figured that as long as my brother was nowhere in sight, and not working, I didn’t really care.   As far as I was concerned, I was in the clear.

(Look, I’m not one to makeout with a stranger in a bar–that’s definitely not my style. However, not having had a proper makeout session with a man in months….possibly years, I figured the slight embarrassment that I had just caused myself, and possibly my brother, was well worth it.)

As we stood there smiling at each other and taking in the moment we just had, I could tell the realtor was about to do damage control. 

Because as fast as it started…

It was over. 

Looking pretty damn miffed, the realtor grabbed her client’s hand and quickly dragged him out of the bar. 

I was left standing there feeling speechless…

….and warm all over.

“Celebritaaaaay….”

Dazed, I looked over at Belfast Bartender who was leaning on the bar with both hands, slowly shaking his head in disapproval, as if to say, what am I going to do with you?

“I’m sorry!” I blurted.  “He just grabbed me and started making out with me.  How is this my fault?!” 

If Belfast Bartender knew anything about me…he knew that was code for: Please don’t tell my brother!

NEXT! 

~Carrie

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How to Handle a Break-up

I just started seeing a therapist.

There, I said it.

I think it’s been a long time and coming.  It’s not that I’ve been opposed to it, it’s like everything else that’s important to me (like writing, which I’m working on), I didn’t make it a priority.

The Universe, however, knows better and set things in place and in motion, which is probably why it felt like everything happened all at once.  Ultimately, this left me feeling like my hand was forced to actually call a therapist and make an appointment.

Normally, I would just called a girlfriend.  But I was feel like I was on overload and I didn’t want to do that to one of my girls.  No offense to them, I also just wanted a neutral party to explain why certain events were making me feel so bajiggity.

(In Carrie terms that means “anxious.”)

Let’s start off with the first guy who made me feel bajiggity.  He’s married to one of my girlfriends and they are my neighbor.  I know I’m a little naive sometimes and, therefore, I think that guys can actually…..Just. Be. My. Friend.

I love to hike and so did he. Several times he suggested that we should go hiking together. I knew going by myself wasn’t a good idea, so I took my friend’s husband up on his offer.

It was during the second time we went hiking that he confesses to me that he loves red heads and also mentioned a few times how great I looked in shorts.  I laughed it off like it was no big deal, because you know, he’s married, right?

The next time we go hiking, he tells me that we shouldn’t mention anything to his wife about hiking together.

That was the last time we went hiking.

Where I come from, I’m pretty sure that if you are saying or doing something that you wouldn’t want your spouse to know about, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.

But, that’s just me.

A week later, I see the Married Hiker at my favorite Irish Pub. I’m out for a pint because I’m in the midst of trying to get over my break-up with the Lumberjack, who I had been dating for the last 9 months.  Needless to say, I was a wee bit of an emotional wreck and just wanted to have a damn beer, or two and get my mind off of things.

But, no.

The Married Hiker is sitting at the bar with another guy.  He summons me over to come sit with him at the bar.  I go because he is after all my neighbor and I figured what can happen in a bar, right?

Well, if I wanted any consolation about being down in the dumps, it wasn’t going to come from the Married Hiker.  He saw my break-up as a good thing, like it was no big deal. However, when I care about someone, I have a hard time with breakups.

“Carrie, you are so lucky, you could have any guy here in this bar.  You should just go have some fun.  You’ll feel better if you do.”

I’m not sure what Married Hiker meant by that, because looking around the packed pub, there wasn’t anyone who I would even think about dating.  He had met the Lumberjack a few times and I knew he wasn’t a fan of his, but he was never a fan of anyone I dated–not even my last boyfriend, who I dated for a year and a half!

It was suspect.

Just when I had convinced myself that his comments were harmless and he was just talking to me like a guy would talk to a guy friend, he announces that he was leaving, and insisted that I should leave with him.

You know, for “safety” reasons.

“I can’t leave.  I’m waiting for one of my friends (Mr. Popular) to come here and meet me.  He’s just down the street and is on his way…”

“Carrie, the last time I checked, any guy who is already out drinking and is coming to meet you, only wants one thing.”

Wasn’t it just 10 minutes ago that he wanted me to just go fuck someone?

I felt confused, so I tried to clarify the situation. “Look, he’s my friend, we go out all the time.”

But he wasn’t having it. “No, Carrie, I don’t feel good about this….”

He doesn’t feel good about it?

It wasn’t his to feel!

And just like that I went from confused to pissed off.

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The fiery red head that takes no shit was now wide awake.

(It could have been the beer).

I leaned towards him and spat out, “Would you stop trying to live vicariously though me, please?!”

I wasn’t going anywhere with him and there was no way in hell that I would ever be alone with him again, either.  I knew what he was doing.  He was trying to manipulate me somehow and to convince me of something, I’m not sure of, but I knew it wasn’t good.

“This is ridiculous. Go home. I can do whatever the fuck I want.  This is getting weird.  You’re being weird and now you are making me feel uncomfortable!”

He wasn’t happy about it, but he left — just as Mr. Popular walked in with two friends.

And, by the looks of it, someone was half in the bag.

Mother fucker…here we go again…

Less than a week before, I had met Mr. Popular at Buffalo Billiards.  It didn’t dawn on me until after that day of beer and football that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to be meeting him for a beer anymore.

Why?

What I quickly discovered, was that when Mr. Popular drank too much, he would start putting his hands all over me, which makes Carrie *pointing at myself* feel very, very uncomfortable.

Especially because I have already had “the talk” with Mr. Popular that we are ONLY friends.

Sensing I was going from one bad situation with Married Hiker to another one, I watched Mr. Popular walk up to me all smiles and acting giddy.  Considering my Spidey sense were on high alert after telling off the Married Hiker, they were now sensing that Mr. Popular had an ulterior motive other than to just meet me for a beer.

Naturally, I was right.

First he slipped his hand around my waist.  Then, he introduces me to his friends, with his had still around my waist, as if we were dating or something…

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Next, Mr. Popular leans and puts his face in my neck.

“God, you smell sooooooo good…” he said pulling back with a drunk shit-eating grin on his face.

That pretty much was the end of my night.

I left shortly thereafter, officially feeling bajiggity.

The following day, I get hit up by another guy friend.  He also knew I was newly single and so was he.  He texts me that he felt lonely and invited me to come over to his house, so we could “watch TV” together.

fff

I politely decline.

Two days later, I’m downtown again, at the pub, trying to make up for the last time.  As I’m sitting at my favorite Irish pub talking to another friend who is sitting on my left about politics, this guy that I’ve known for about a year, leans in on my right and suggests that we go somewhere else together.

What?  In the middle of my conversation with my friend?

Again, I politely declined.

The following morning, he texts me:

DUDE:  I hope you had fun last night.

CARRIE:  I did.  Didn’t expect to stay out so late!

DUDE:  Glad you had fun. We could have left the bar early and had more fun 😉  Keep it in mind for next time.

CARRIE:  All I really want is to go out and enjoy a beer.  That’s all.  I just got out of nine months with living with someone…and I’m just trying to get my footing back with going out again.

DUDE:  Pause. I’m not trying to move in. I like going out and doing my own thing. You wanna do your own thing too. Thats cool.

CARRIE:  I didn’t imply that…but you were hitting on me pretty hard and I just want to be clear that I’m not into “hooking up” or the “hanging out” thing.

DUDE:  Well that’s good to know.  A wise woman once told me it’s ok to be free with your body. I was just expressing my desire for innocent adult fun.

Yes, I could have been that “wise woman” that told him that, but believe me, it was taken out of context.  If I wanted to get with him, it would have happened already.   Let me not forget to mention that I live in a small town and this guy was also very friendly with the Lumberjack.

Wasn’t there such a thing as Guy Code?  Or is that just a thing of the past, too?  Whatever the case may be, I reached out to my brother for some advice on how to just make guys understand that I just wanted to be friends.

CARRIE:  Is there any way to tell a guy that I’m not into them without them getting all fucking defensive?

NATHAN:  I would think the ‘straight-up-tell-it-to-his-face-and-be-honest’ method, is best. If he can’t handle it, then he is a boy.

CARRIE:  I would think that in this day-and-age, guys are fully aware of when you are into them and when you are not.  When they flirt with me and I don’t return the flirting, isn’t that enough?  I hate men who just are incessant and make me have to spell it out, because I’m always the bitch in the end.  I don’t want to be a bitch!

NATHAN:  There are more boys out there, than there are men.

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And there was more to this story…

If Married Hiker wasn’t leaving something on my front door, right after I told him I wanted my space, then he was texting me completely inappropriate creepy songs that just spelled out “stalker”.

That was basically the straw that broke the camel’s back.

As I sat on my therapist’s couch, I noted the two boxes of tissues on either side of me.  I wouldn’t be needing them, because I had already decided before my appointment that I had already cried enough.  I was just going to sit there, and explain why I felt I needed a therapist.  You know, like an adult.

“So, tell me what’s going on, Carrie.”

What’s going on?  What wasn’t going on?

“Okay, I’ll just start off with the most recent stuff that has been bothering me, and making me feel really anxious.   I’m at a low point right now.  I’m no longer seeing someone I was dating for the last 9 months.  He means a lot to me and it’s just a really messed up situation.  It’s a messed up relationship that I’m not ready to explain yet, but I’m trying to move forward.  It’s been really hard.”

She leaned forward and handed me a tissue box.

As the betrayal of tears started to roll down my cheeks uncontrollably, one by one, reluctantly, I took a tissue and dabbed my eyes.

“This is me not crying, okay?”

Why was it so hard for me to tell my story, without sounding like a blubbering idiot?

“I’m really trying to move forward and I realize these things take time.  I get that, and I’m okay with it.  But, on top of that, it seems like every guy out there that I’m friends with is trying to come at me and it feel like it’s all happening at once.  What I need is friends.  Just friends.”

“What do you mean by coming at you, Carrie?”

“I don’t mean it in the literal sense,” I said, “but for me that’s exactly how it feels.  And look, I realize that the best relationships maybe based on friendship first, but I can assure you, all these guys just want is just sex.  All they see is this pretty girl, but they don’t see me.  I want someone to who wants to get to know me,” I said, pointing at myself.

Me.

My therapist nodded her head in an understanding way and continued listening.

“There are no dates being planned.  I’m not being asked out.  Nobody is asking me how I’m doing.  They know who I was dating.  They know we just broke up.  Yet, I get this creepy sense that they are all just trying to give me the hard sell.  I get it.  They want to get me naked and in bed, but they don’t want to date me.  And, if I’m being honest with myself, that in and of itself just really hurts my feelings.

My therapist leaned back in her chair, nodded as if to agree with me, and summed up in simple terms what I had been feeling all along.

“I’m sure they can’t understand that you are feeling objectified here.”

He made me cry

“No,” I replied in my little girl voice. “They don’t, and just when I become single, it’s like all the guys can sense it.  Even the last guy I slept with, over three years ago, starts texting me again. All my male friends start hitting me up, and I know they all want the same thing.  I like having guy friends.  I like the male energy, but, seriously, is there something in the air men can tell when a woman is single again?”

My therapist nodded her head and smiled at my comment.

“You know,” I said helping myself to another tissue, “I’m just feeling like I’m on overload right now.  Nobody understands that having beauty is like a blessing and a curse all at the same time.  It’s really a double-edge sword, you know?  All people can see is what’s on the outside.  I’m so much more on the inside.  It just hurts.  On top of all that, I’m hurting right now over my break-up.  I really miss him and it just seems like nobody cares.  They’re not asking me how I’m doing, because they all have an agenda.   It’s not about me.  It’s about them.  I’m just tired of it.”

I will say this about going to a therapist, she made sense, and she did make me feel better about my situation.  She validated everything I was feeling. I guess that’s all everyone really wants, right?  To be seen, heard, and validated?

At the end of the session, she booked me for the following week. “Does eleven o’clock next week sound good, Carrie?”

“Yes, eleven o’clock is perfect.”

LESSON LEARNED:  Guys will be guys, I get that.  I also get that we all become, at some point, so needy, so vulnerable, so lonely, so everything, when we are at our most vulnerable that I know many of us have made convenient concessions.

Sex is not the answer, no matter how great we may think it is, it’s still not the answer.

Guys flirting with me is not the answer.

I want someone who will protect me when I’m at my most vulnerable, not take advantage of it.

Going through a hard time such as a break-up is difficult.  There is no easy solution.  I’ve realized now that sometimes you just have to ride it out–alone.

Lastly, to those guys who circle like a damn vulture, when I’m at my most vulnerable, can go take a hike.

Without me!

NEXT!

~Carrie

Top 5 Dating Deal Breakers

My Mamma always said that in every relationship it’s important to make concessions.  You have to be willing to accept some things you don’t necessarily agree with, because nobody is perfect.

Let’s face it, I’m picky, as my girlfriends like to point out, and frankly, I have every right to be picky.  I like what I like, and that’s that.

At the encouragement of said friends, I have loosened up my strict list of “I would never’s” because as I have learned, you should never say never.

Like ever.

Why?  Because if you have a rigid check list, like I once did, eventually, you’ll be eating your own damn words.

Hey, I like to believe that it’s the Universe playing a joke on me, when I say “I would never date a guy that _______” and then I end up dating said guy.

Luckily, I like to think I have a good sense of humor.

I have a good sense of humor

Here is the short list of some of the things my girlfriends have reminded me I have said in the past:

“Oh, I would never date a smoker.”

Check!

“Oh, I could never date someone who doesn’t drink.”  

I don’t know where my head was on that one…check!

“Oh, I would never date an older guy.” 

It was only 11 years, but it felt like 20…check-check!

“Oh, I would never date a younger guy.” 

Age is just a number, right?  Check…

Oh, I would never sleep with someone on the second date.” 

Don’t judge.  And, let’s face it, sometimes hormones can take over all rational thinking.

“Oh, I could never date someone who had two kids, and never married the mother.” 

Guilty, but I wasn’t happy about it.

However! Out of all the, I-would-never’s, which have been heavily discussed among my girlfriends (and of course, my mother), there are certain deal breakers, which we all agreed that nobody should ever make concessions for.

Like, everrrrrrrrrrr…..

These are not red flags.  These go way beyond the cautionary bell that goes off in your head.  These are the ones where your conscience should be screaming the following:

  • Pack up your shit and leave!
  • Hit the eject button!
  • Bang the gong!
  • Sound the alarm!
  • Run for your life!
  • Stop, drop, and roll right the eff on outta there!

Unfortunately, yours truly *pointing at herself* has experienced all of these except, thankfully,#1.

(Thank you baby, Jesus.)

For the record, I really wanted to name this blog post:

“I am Not Desperate Enough for You, Mo-Fo”

…but people like lists…so here they are…

 

#5  HE HAS A NAME FOR HIS PENIS

I once dated a guy who proudly shared with me that he nick-named his penis, Woody.  He actually talked to it.  It was weird.  I felt like I was dealing with a 5th grader, instead of a man who wanted to date me.  It was juvenile, and all I could think about was if he would be talking to “Woody” during sex?

Not cute.

Next!

#4  HE THINKS HIS NAME MIGHT BE LISTED ON A DON’T-DATE-THIS-GUY WEBSITE:

I once had dinner with a extremely good-looking guy, who was suspect for just being that good-looking, but I went on the date with him anyway. We were in the middle of swapping dating stories (a big no-no on a first date) and for the hell of it, I shared with him that I found a guy I was dating, on http://www.DontDateHimGirl.com.  Without hesitation, my date reached for his cell phone and Googled the website and said…and I quote…

“Hold on, I’m going to look it up, and see if my name is on there.”

Did he really think that I hadn’t done that already?  Silly boy.  Apparently, he was all looks, and no brains…but it sure was fun to watch his reaction.

#3  HE REACHES FOR YOUR BOOBS ON THE FIRST, SECOND OR THIRD DATE:

If any guys does this, he’s not a gentleman, and has no self-control.  Who needs to date someone with a grade-school mentality?  Not me.  And, not you.

He is a pig and who wants that?

I can assure you, most likely he also has a nickname for his penis.

Oink!

Oink!

(I apologize to all the pigs out there, you get such a bum deal here.)

#2  HIS DATING PROFILE SAYS HE WILL DATE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 – ?:

I’ve asked guys this very question: “Why does your profile say you’d date between the ages of 18-?  Aren’t you a little old to be dating an 18-year old?”

Time, and time again, the response is, “I don’t know how to change it. I’ve tried,” which, as we all know, is total bullshit.  (See #3)

Cruising teenagers, is a deal breaker.  The only thing a guy in his 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s would have with an 18-year old, is emotional maturity.

See ya!!!

The #1 spot is not something I have experienced personally.  I did, however, happen to two of my friends on separate occasions and different guys.  I thought it was a fluke that it happened to my friend in New York, but when it happened to my friend in California, this is probably something guys do, which girls are not aware.

Therefore, it take the #1 spot.

#1  IF YOU SLEEP OVER HIS HOUSE AND YOU DISCOVER A “PISS JAR” NEXT TO HIS BED 

As my NY friend, so eloquently described the moment she discovered her guy’s “piss jar” next to his bed:

stupid

 

“It’s the moment when you realize that the ‘I’m with stupid’ t-shirt is pointing at you.”

Apparently, this guy picked up this disgusting idea of using a mason jar as a late night “piss jar” from his elderly father.   Who does that?  If you can’t walk down to the bathroom in the middle of the night because you are that lazy, then you sure as hell don’t deserve a girlfriend.

Ladies, if this ever happens to you, this is when you tell the asshole to open up the window, so you can jump out.

Sheesh!

NEXT!

~Carrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Online Dating Tip – Don’t Play 100 Questions

Do you know anyone who loves going on job interviews?  Ya, neither do I.  But apparently, the 100-questions interview-routine is still alive and well in the world of dating.  If you are that person who insists on treating the dating process like a job interview, please keep reading.

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First and foremost, dating should be fun, from the beginning to the end!  People get nervous, I get that. I used to get very nervous before, during, and after a date.  I would even get nervous just talking to them on the phone.  My palms would sweat, my heart would race, and I would get dry mouth.  Ever have a conversation with someone when you had dry mouth?  It’s not cute, or fun. No wonder I hated that step in the dating process, I was so focused on trying not to sound like I had a speech problem, that I couldn’t even be myself during the conversation.

Crazy, right? So, how did I get over my nervous dating jitters?  It was a long process.  I had figure out what was making my nerves go into overdrive and I knew that until I realized what my problem was, I wasn’t going to be able to change.

It took a lot of introspection, but I did end up discovering that I was my own worst enemy.  Why was this so?  Because I allowed my own insecurities to swirl non-stop in my head.  “What happens if he doesn’t like me?” and “What happens if I say the wrong thing?”  became my two best friends.   I was a professional What If’er.  I was also exhausted and stressed out.  In the end, I realized that it wasn’t the dating that stressed me out, it was my own thoughts.

So, I decided to make a drastic change.

Oh, it was hard at first.  I had arguments with myself.   I swore a lot.  I even found myself mumbling things out-loud like a crazy person, but I was determined to rid that useless negativity out of my head.  Eventually, I took control over what I allowed into my thoughts, and just like a muscle, the more I used my self-control, the stronger I became at kicking anything negative, to the curb.

I also didn’t project, and ditched any expectations I might have had about my date.  Was it hard?  Hell, yes it was!  And during those times, I narrowed down my thoughts to the things that brought me joy, like deciding what I was going to wear on my date, and what yummy cocktail I was going to order.

Easy for me to say, right?  But it can be easy for you, too.  Think of dating as if you are going to a cocktail party.  Think about the fun you’ll have and the great outfit you’ll wear.  Who doesn’t like dressing up?  Never been to a cocktail party?  Then think of it like you are going to a friend’s BBQ.  There’s no reason to get nervous about that, right? Everyone has fun at a BBQ, because that’s why you are there.  To. Have. Fun.

It’s the same concept with dating.

When you focus on having fun, you ditch desperate measures, like using the 100-question routine.  People who bombard the other person with questions during the get-to-know-you process, do that because they think that keeping you on the defense is going to give them the upper hand.  Why do the need the upper hand?  Clearly, they have insecurity and they really have no business dating.

My gorgeous, best-friend Mary, recently met one of those 100-Question people.  They had met on Match.com and during the get-to-know-you process, he used the 100-question routine with her.  Here is our texting conversation on how that worked out for him:

CARRIE:  Enough about my crazy life, I’m being rude.  I didn’t even ask you how your phone conversation went with the guy from Match from Hell.

MARY:  Convo with him was okay.  He was Mr. 100 Questions.  He’s a teacher, so he wouldn’t let up.  Every time I just gave a casual answer, he wanted to dig deeper.  I even told him at one point, I thought he was being a little too inquisitive and he apologized, and said it’s the teacher in him.  Needless to say, the questions led to the truth of the matter. I kept it as a positive outlook, but…we will see if I hear from him again. It was just another talk that felt like an interview.

CARRIE:  If it felt like an interview, why didn’t you just tell him?  Jesus, was he reading off a checklist?  What is wrong with people?

MARY:   That’s totally how it felt.  His last question was, “If I choose to go out with you, will you be able to make time for me?”

CARRIE:  That guy needs me.   He needs me to slap him upside the head with some of my advice!

MARY:   Why are you still single?

Do you want a relationship?

Why don’t you have kids?

Would you still have kids?

Why haven’t you been dating?

What changed in your world that you haven’t been dating?

Why have your priorities changed?

Those were all the ones I was skirting around trying not to say “I was diagnosed with MS.”  Finally, I just said it.  I couldn’t take that game any longer.  He does need you! Haha!

CARRIE:  Oh, he did not!  Major no-no!

MARY:   Oh, yes he did. Even asked when last time I had sex.  That’s when I said I thought he was getting too personal.  They’re all stupid.  Haha.  Well, no, I don’t really mean that.  But wow, most really have no clue.

CARRIE:  I would have hung up on him. How is that even relevant to a first conversation???????

MARY:  Technically, it was our 2nd talk, but first one was super short because he caught me working and I couldn’t talk long.  Anyhoo.

CARRIE:  It should never come up. Ewwww….girl, I wouldn’t accept another call from him. Like, ever.

MARY:  Dammit, he is so hot in his pictures…maybe I should just use him for sex…

CARRIE:  That wouldn’t be good, either.  Can you imagine him in bed?  He would still be asking questions:

Do you like this?

How am I doing?

How long does it take you to have an orgasm?

How long have we been doing it?

Am I doing something wrong?

Yuck!!!  I just had a horrible visual in my head…  He won’t even be worth it.  Girl, he was rude.  I have guys here who are interested in me and who would never even think about swearing around me.  You need to find a man who will honor you, not play 100 questions to see if you are good enough for him.   He’s got it all backwards.   HMPH!

MARY:  That’s sweet.

CARRIE:  It’s all about what you will tolerate and command.  First, second, or third conversation with someone you don’t even know, shouldn’t feel like a damn interview.  He should have been trying to get you to like him, not the other way around.  Welp…now you know why he is single.    Next!

Trixie and the Long Distance Dude

Have you ever met someone, and just instantly clicked?  That’s exactly how I felt about Trixie when I met her.  Just like that, we clicked.   Okay, there might have been some alcohol involved, as we did meet one night at a trendy bar.  We were introduced by a mutual friend, who had wanted the both of us to meet for months.

I knew a little background on Trixie before we met.  First and foremost, she was single, and had been for a long time.  Of course, that piqued my interest and I knew that somewhere during our evening our evening together, I was going to find out why.

It just happened to be within five minutes of meeting.

“Why do you think you are still single?”

The suspense was killing me, because after spending five minutes with Trixie, I couldn’t understand why she didn’t have a boyfriend.  What was there not to love?

Trixie had a beautiful sparkle in her eyes (it might have been the alcohol), a gift of gab (also could have been the alcohol), and she was a very talented floral designer and had a good job (nothing to do with alcohol).  Plus, she was attractive and very easy-going.   Why she was single?  What guy didn’t want a fun woman with a good career?

I watched her gaze out into space, as she struggled to come up with an answer.  I knew it was a hard question and one that a lot of single women couldn’t answer, so I lobbed her an easier question.

“I realize that’s a difficult question.  So, let’s start with the last guy you dated.  What happened to him?”

Of course there was a guy.  There always is, and, in fact, he had been a friend of the family.

Sounded like a good start to me!

He grew up in the same area as she did.

They share the same roots.  Good-good!

 He was a little older.

Never a bad thing…

 They hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years.

It could be a good thing.  It could be a bad thing.

 “Go on,” I told her, feeling extremely curious as to where she was going with her story.

She had a crush on him as a teenager.  He was friends with her older brother, so she admired him for years, from far away.  Then eventually got reunited on Facebook.

Ah, good ol’ Facebook!

But he lived in Florida and she lived in Connecticut.

Uh, oh.  He was geographically undesirable, which meant the odds were going to be stacked against them from the get-go.

But, despite the distance, they spoke every day for several weeks, until he finally announced that he wanted to come to Connecticut…

EXCELLENT!

…so he could “take her out for coffee.”

Wait…

What????

Take her out for coffee???

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“Stop right there, Trixie.  That was your first clue.  Why was he willing to travel all that way from Florida, but only to take you out for coffee?  What the hell, chick?  Is that a new code-word or something?”

“I know, I know….”

“Listen Trixie, what he should have been saying is that he wanted to spend some quality time with you, or something to that effect.  Coffee?  Are you kidding me?!  I’m sorry, I interrupted you.  Go on.”

Hadn’t we all been there before?  The newness of a relationship sweeps in, and woosh!  There goes all of our common sense and sensibility, just like that.  So, who could blame her?  She was just like me, and you, and everyone else out there, single and struggling to find love.   Trixie obviously was getting caught up in the attention she was getting from this guy and wasn’t thinking with a clear head because she let him come to Connecticut.

She goes on to tell me that it had been years since a guy had struck her fancy, and even longer since she had sex.  In fact, she was so starved for affection that any tender touch would send her reeling.  Poor, poor Trixie.  She was just like the rest of us:  Overly sensitive and starved for affection.  It was so bad in her case, that she even put her hot yoga instructor on notice when she could no longer even handle having him adjust her yoga poses.  Even that was sending her hormones into overdrive.

Speaking of hot, our bartender came over with our second round of drinks and placed them on the bar.  With his velvety, Costa Rican voice, he asked if he could get us anything else.  For a split second I wondered if it would be worth pulling him into the conversation, and get his male perspective on our conversation, but it was a short-lived as Trixie continued along with her story right after she took a sip of her Martini.

“You’re not going to believe this, Carrie,” she said, gently putting her drink back on the bar.  “He said to me, ‘I thought we are both adults…’”

“He said what?!” I was clearly irritated with this guy already.

blinking

That line had really made its rounds in the dating world, because I distinctly remember, a few guys saying the same thing to me.  Was this the latest and greatest way to get laid these days?  “Hey man, use this line if a woman starts pulling away when you are making the moves on her.  Women can’t say no!”

So, here it is, the big red flag that should have stopped Trixie in her tracks and should have felt like a big slap upside her pretty, little head.  Instead of coffee/dinner/getting-to-know-one-another/let-me-invest-some-time-into-this-relationship, they had sex.   And you know what happens when you have sex without solidifying the relationship first?

GAME OVER!

And wouldn’t you know that dude flew back home to Florida and Trixie didn’t hear much from him after that.  Shocker, right?

From an outsider, I realize that it’s wicked easy to see all the warning signs.  But when your hormones are ruling, not only your head, but also your heart, nothing is going to stop you, unless you have super-human self-control.  Which, most of us don’t have.  At least, when it comes to sex.

“So, how did you guys leave it?  Did you hear from him again?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes.  We finally spoke and he told me he needed some time to think, and needed some space.”

And there it was, the “I need some space” because I’m full of shit line.

“So, I gave him space.  And, you know what else?  About two weeks later he changed his Facebook status from “Single” to “In a relationship.”

“Interesting.  I wonder if his new girlfriend knew that he had his dick in you just two weeks earlier.”

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“Dammit girl, I was just about to tell you that guys who say, ‘I need some space,’ usually have someone else already in the picture.   What a douche bag.”

I didn’t want her to feel like she was alone, so I quickly gave her the cliff notes on DC Dude.  “We had reconnected after a year or so.  Things were going well.  Plans were made that I would fly down to see him for a long weekend.  Only a few weeks before my scheduled visit, he went on a 10-day trip to Florida and didn’t even tell me about it.  The only reason I found out, is that he answered his phone while he was in Florida.  Not quite sure if there was another girl on his radar or not, but for those 10 days, I sure as hell wasn’t.  Shitty, right?”

MORAL OF THE STORY:  If there is one thing I know, it’s that when a guy anyone says they need their space, it’s never good.  You should consider the relationship over.  Finito. No explanation needed, because there are only two reasons why a guy would say they need space  and let me point out that only cowards use that line.  The cowards who do use that chicken-shit line, say it because they don’t have the balls to say, “I’m just not that into you and I don’t have the balls to tell you,” or “I’ve been seeing someone else and I still don’t have the balls to tell you.”

Again, keep your dignity intact.  Always take the high road and just gracefully bow out of the relationship.  Shut the door.  Delete their number.  Block them.  Whatever it is, save face and, for the love of God, don’t do anything you’ll regret later!  Just gracefully wish the other woman luck, because she is the one left in the dark…

 

choir

….and you, my dear, have seen the light!

~Carrie

 

Why Did He Break Up With Me?

I was in a dead sleep the other night when my friend Lulu called me at 11pm.  I’m a loyal friend, so I answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hey.  I need to talk to you.”

“Now?  Chick, I’m sleeping…”

“Yes, now.  Matt just broke up with me.”

Oh, God, here we go.  I’ve always known Lulu to read into things way too much and freak out.  She was never one to just chill – no, she sometimes acted very irrational and instead of thinking things through she would just react.   Very typical of someone who is insecure.   She had obviously had gotten herself worked up, so I didn’t have a choice but ask what happened.

“He broke up with me, Carrie.  He thinks we are getting too serious and he doesn’t want a relationship right now.”

I rolled over onto my back and let out a big sigh. ” Go on.”

Lulu went on and on about how wonderful her relationship with Matt had been and how she couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to be with her anymore.   She was seriously freaking out.   As her friend, I knew it was my duty to talk her off the ledge and calm her down.  From what I knew about their relationship, I knew this break-up would only be temporary.  I just had to convince her of this.

Matt was really into Lulu, but he was also going through a divorce, so the fact that he was freaking out didn’t surprise me.  Their relationship had been slow and steady.  There hadn’t been any “I love you’s” yet, but, a day didn’t go by that Matt didn’t call Lulu or text her five times during the day.

Following my own advice on how we have to watch what men do, rather than what they say, I called bullshit on their break up and reassured Lulu that everything was going to be all right and went back to sleep.

The following morning we started texting.

CARRIE:   I was in a dead sleep.  Sorry I wasn’t more awake when we spoke.  Give him time to miss you.  He’ll change his tune.

LULU:  I didn’t sleep well.  Can you call me when you can?

CARRIE:  I’m in the middle of painting my living room ceiling.

LULU:  Reality is kicking in.  Super Sad.  Can I come over and cry on your shoulder?  Please?

CARRIE:   Sure.

Twenty minutes later, Lulu was sitting at my kitchen table.  She looked worn out, so I gave her a bowl of my left-over American Chop Suey, figuring that she could use a little comfort food.   I sat down across the kitchen table from her and listened to her tell me how confused she was because she didn’t see the break-up coming.

“Lulu, he’s not breaking up with you.  He’s confused.  He’s going through a divorce.  That alone enough to make any person confused.  Look, you know, and I know, that this wife of his, is an evil twit.  And because all he has known is this evil person, who he has been married to for too long, he automatically is confusing your relationship with the Evil Twit.  Get it?”

“But why?  No, I don’t get it, Carrie.  We were going along just fine – everything was great and then he says he’s not where I am in this relationship.  I don’t know what he means by that, because we are always in constant contact.  I thought things were going great.”

From the time they had started dating, I knew all about Matt and how well he had been treating Lulu.  They had been dating for almost a year and their lives were now entwined.  She knew everything that was going on in his life, and he knew about hers.   I had no doubt that he was into her.    Who drives 20 minutes to spend a half an hour with someone and it’s not for a booty call?

“Look, he’s scared.  His crappy marriage is all he knows.  How long has he been married?”

“Fourteen years.”

“See?  No wonder he’s gun-shy. It’s really simple.  He likes you a lot – that’s obvious.  You are his first relationship right out of his marriage and this is scary for him, because he knows you guys are getting serious.  In his mind, ‘serious’ ultimately means something that will lead to marriage.  And ‘marriage’ means being unhappy.  And ‘unhappy’ means divorce.  And ‘divorce’ means losing everything he’s worked hard for.  Get it?   Plus the man didn’t do much dating before he met you, right?”

“Well, but…you know…no.  I don’t get it.  We were doing so well together. We’ve taken baby steps and its paid off…  I’m not looking to get married or move in…”

I cut her off and continued, because she was being defensive and trying to convince herself that she didn’t need him, which was a bunch of bull.  She was, after all, sitting at my kitchen table inhaling my left-over American Chop Suey crying about how her boyfriend just broke up with her.  Who was she trying to kid?

“Okay,” I said, trying to think up of a better way to explain my point, “let me put it to you in another way; some people train their dogs with a rolled-up newspaper, right?  Every time the dog craps on the floor or chews something, the dog owner rolls up a newspaper and then what happens?  *THWAP!*  The dog gets hit!

Bad dogNow, eventually the dog will understand that it is not supposed to chew up things and crap all over the floor, but I’m not talking about teaching a lesson here.  What I am talking about is association.  Whenever this dog, that has always been disciplined with a rolled-up newspaper, hears the newspaper shuffle, what does the dog do?”

Lulu didn’t answer me, so I continued, “It runs away because it thinks it’s going to get hit.  Even if the dog didn’t do anything wrong, it wouldn’t matter, because the dog associates the sound of the newspaper to being hit.   I believe this is what’s happened with Matt.  He only knows one thing; relationships are scary.  You have to keep in mind how much his last relationship caused him and that his only reference any relevant future relationship is now going to be his crappy loveless marriage.”

Finally she got it. “That’s it, isn’t it?  He’s scared.  He’s scared he’s going to have the same thing all over again.”

“Yup.  Exactly.”

To me, Matt’s anxiety and uncertainty was understandable because of  his circumstances.  A lot of men don’t know how to express themselves.  This is why it is important to give people their space, stay strong, and don’t assume anything until the smoke clears.  In this case, Lulu didn’t give Matt enough time and I reminded her again that actions speak louder than words.  Watch what people do, and not what they say.

So, what happened to Lulu and Matt?  He woke up the following day thinking, oh my God what did I do? Then he called Lulu.  That was nine months ago and they are still together.

Sometimes it’s good to just chill-out and wait.

WAIT!  NOT, FREAK OUT.  Because freaking out never looks cute on anyone.

NEXT!

~Carrie

Three Strikes? Honey You Are Not Even in the Ballpark

Should dating be treated like a game of baseball and follow the same “three strikes and you’re out” rule?  I ask this question because apparently there are some men out there who think they get three magical chances while dating someone.  For instance, my friend, Erin, and I were emailing each other the other day and she pointed out that there are men out there who are completely clueless when it comes to our feelings.   They can’t relate and they certainly don’t indicate they have any ability to have empathy for our tender feelings.   This conversation came from a guy she dated, who was so self-absorbed that he was clueless to the notion that if he screwed up, it’s over.  Like a lot of people, he thought that there was a learning curve in a relationship.

In the middle of our emailing, I decided to post this on my Facebook fan page:

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 She replied:

OMG that second chances pic you posted was exactly what I was thinking.

I dated a guy once who stood me up and later said “I guess that’s strike one, right?”  I said, “You haven’t earned three strikes…you’re out!”

I have no idea why guys think they get “strikes”.  It implies they have 3 get out of jail free cards with no expectation of penance and we’re supposed to just tolerate it.   How about get your shit together so you don’t need strikes, jackass.

I love Erin.  She always has a way with words.  And, just like Erin, there are no three-strikes in my world, either.   If you act like a jerk, that’s it, game over.

Do not pass Go.

Do not collect $200.

Do not call the tall, red head ever again.

If you are careless with my feelings, I’m done, because if someone can be that careless with my feelings during the honeymoon period, can you imagine what it would be like after the honeymoon is over?  Ya, I’m all set.

I want a man who will cherish me.  Someone who is so into me that they are fearless about being rejected.  Someone willing to step up to the plate and not give up.  Are there any guys out there who are passionate about finding love like I am?  Or is everyone so damaged from rotten relationships and horrible dating experiences that they aren’t willing to be authentic and vulnerable anymore?

Who in the world would sign up for this?  Dating is not fun.

Everyone is broken…

Next…