Read Part 1: A Year of Being Single-ish and Dating Bipolar – https://aprilhunterblog.com/2014/10/23/my-match-com-experiment-a-year-of-being-singleish-dating-bipolar/
The smell of coffee is consistent. I wake up, feed the cat, plug in the percolator and return to the bathroom wash my face and brush my teeth. The strong, Columbian aroma wafts through the small house, reminding me that the day could very well be fresh and beautiful. That’s what I can count on each day.
It’s funny what stands out when you lose everyone around you. My mother and grandmother died within six months of each other. My father died in a plane crash. My husband and I separated and he took Cosmo the Corgi. I did still have Bella and Fat Kitty.
This is the longest time I’ve spent alone by choice. The bed is all mine. Food has to be thrown out now and then because it goes bad with no one else here to eat it. There is no chance of the hot water running out in the shower. No one finishes the last of the ice cream without replacing it. The temperature is set to what I prefer.
And, there is silence. Lots of silence.
There is also my phone, to which I seem to have grown addicted. It’s as if it’s my lifeline and my only contact with the outside world. I loathe this.
I’ve learned things while on this monk-like sabbatical: how to do things for myself, my own company is pretty good, the $3.99 that it costs to upgrade to Pandora One is worth every penny, electronics are causing a form of ADHD for me, I should probably unplug more often, I don’t have to be in a full-time relationship, and I’m ok with that. With the availablity of foot massagers, riding mowers, power tools and vibrators, women can chose want over need when it comes to having a man in their lives.
However, my cooking has been heavily downgraded. Cooking for one sucks ass. I get by on bacon, eggs, Evos organic frozen meals and protein drinks. Plus, wanting a man is a completely different thing than needing.
I decided to date and put a profile on Match.com after a marital separation and a six-month break from seeing anyone. Read part one here: https://aprilhunterblog.com/2014/10/23/my-match-com-experiment-a-year-of-being-singleish-dating-bipolar/
I’ve had relationships with mostly Virgo’s during my lifetime. I’m a Libra and as much as I’d love to think astrology is nonsense, there are far too many coincidences to completely dismiss it. I’ve been told that one of my worst matches is a Virgo. Historically, I’d have to agree. Two of my best matches are Gemini’s and Leo’s, and Match.com kept sending me Gemini’s and Leo’s.
When I broached the subject (after much hesitation) of going on a date with someone else to my husband (Virgo), he was not happy. We were separated (for our second time) and I’d bought a house alone. My psychologist suggested I learn to be alone before I even considered dating, so I took her advice. Jordan and I were still close and I was supposed to be thinking things over, but in truth, as much as I loved him as a person, I wasn’t in love with him. There was no pull to get back under the same roof again, I felt we were irreparably broken and he knew that.
“You’re going to ruin everything if you start dating other people!” He said. “What happens later? If something comes of it? We won’t even be allowed to be friends! No man is going to put up with that!”
Me: “When have you ever known me to have a man tell me what I can do or who I can or can’t be friends with? You never managed.”
I work from home as a writer, editor and webmaster when I’m not on the road. Other than the gym and the grocery store, I don’t get out much. Meeting people my age is nearly impossible due to living in an older community and working in a younger profession.
After Jesus & Babies, I’d decided that it would be smarter to play the proverbial field and date several people at once while keeping them all at a distance. If I were a man, I’d have been labeled, “emotionally unavailable”. Half the time I’d force myself out on a date whether I’d felt like it or not just to get out of the house.
I was unsure about sex with potential dates. I’d been married for nearly nine years. How exactly did dating work these days? I was a solid decade past the game-playing years. I’d decided to play it by ear.
“I have a lot of boyfriends; I want you to write that. Every country I visit, I have a different boyfriend. And I kiss them all.”
— Anna Kournikova
Date #2 was the Mexican guy who didn’t look a thing like his profile picture…so much so that I walked right past him in the restaurant. He was a lovely man, but the owner of “sommer teeth”. Sommer here and sommer there. That’s a deal-breaker for me. Additionally, he was about 35 pounds past the “athletic and toned” body type he claimed. He seemed like an amazing person but as someone who keeps herself up, I just could not see that working. Yeah, I’m shallow. I’ll own it.
A woman appeared in my daily dating matches and ‘she’ ended up being a he in very convincing drag. I briefly wondered if I should be dating women instead. After all, look at some of the facts: Women are all a little crazy. You fall for how a person is, not their gender. And, head is head, no matter who is giving. But I love being treated like a lady, having the doors held, and I love men. I sighed. Maybe I needed to rethink that statement. Perhaps I should be having meaningless sex with women.
“The only thing we have in common is that we’re both wrong for each other.” –Nick Nolte, Cannery Row
After date #2, there were the Ryans. I went on dates with three guys I rotated for drinks, lunches and coffees – all named Ryan. I had them in my phone according to their profession. Lawyer Ryan, Doctor Ryan, App Genius Ryan.
I saw App Genius Ryan (Gemini) for a while. He was rather spot on with his photo-to-real life ratio. This was a good thing, considering his picture was strikingly handsome…even if he did resemble a Ken Doll. When we first met at a place that had the NCAA tournament on their big screens, he said, “Let me sit with my back to the TV, so I can talk with you and not watch the game.” Two points for that one. His father had been a famous newscaster, so he’d grown up in the entertainment business. He created apps for corporations like Panera and Home Depot and worked from the gated mansion he called home. Ryan was a single dad with two kids, black Irish with dark hair, blue eyes, a pale complexion and ridiculously positive. He seemed overly positive to the point where it was quite strange or like he was hiding the fact that he could be the aforementioned ax murderer. I like upbeat people, but uber positive can be annoying. It got boring, fast. My sarcasm and jokes didn’t just go over his head; they hit a 90-degree angle going over. He would send me puppy memes. PUPPY MEMES.
I’d caved and told him I was bipolar about 5-6 weeks into our dating. He didn’t say anything at first, and then he looked at me and said, “Thanks for sharing!” in a chirpy voice. I almost blurted out, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Instead of his normal texting morning, noon and night, I didn’t hear from him for several days, and then he texted like nothing had been said. That was my cue to shut off.
Up until that point, Mr. ThanksForSharing was spontaneous and fun, treated me extremely well (opened car doors, pulled out chairs, took me to great places, wanted me to text when I’d gotten home to make sure I
was okay, called when he said he would) and I’d avoided any real conversation because I didn’t want anything other than fun. I’d gone without it for so long, fun suited me just fine. I was shocked at how little I cared or thought about him, however. He was the first guy I’d had any physical relations with and I think I chose him because I felt he would be safe, he was sweet and he was very, very pretty. He supposedly had a dog. I never saw it or any evidence of a dog. Maybe he killed and ate it.
Dating Bonus: I discovered Osho at this time and a couple of kick ass restaurants.
“My philosophy of dating is to just fart right away.”— Jenny McCarthy
No-Profile-Photo-Spanish/Jewish-Lawyer-Ryan (Leo) from New York stuck around until he didn’t. He’d been a prosecutor in the area with many upset families sitting behind him as he put their loved ones away, so he’d elected to keep himself off the Internet and had no profile photo at all. He was nearly 40 and “never been married”. He sent me a very interesting email, so I broke the no-photo/never been married rule.
I figured as long as he didn’t have leprosy, I’d see the date through since he was one of the few who got my dry, sarcastic humor and gave it back just as hard. He did not have leprosy. He was nearly four years younger than I, but looked four years older and worn out. He was the least pretty of the men I’d dated and this was the one who would become a boyfriend for a little bit because of his personality. (The word “boyfriend” was his idea. The first time he referred to me as his girlfriend, I went into panic mode for about 5 days, thinking, “How in the fuck did I get here? We were just meeting for drinks in St. Pete. I am not ready for a boyfriend…”)
Ryan was razor sharp and a former wrestling fan. He was able to put the little that I’d told him about myself together and figure out who I was. On date two he nonchalantly mentioned he’d “seen me on the internet” and added, “Personally, I thought the pictures were hot.” I stared at him like he had two heads. (I was not used to this attitude. Quite the opposite, actually.) “No, really. They are. If someone I worked with saw them, I’d be like, yep, that’s her…hot, right?” He’d also read some of my bipolar blogs and was aware of my condition. He told me his mother was bipolar and his grandmother had committed suicide. Instead of running far, far away, he asked to see me again. This was after verifying I was medicated.
He was sarcastically hilarious and a brutally honest gentleman. “I really like you. You’re like a dude in a pretty girl’s body. It’s like…perfect.” Despite currently being a corporate attorney, he had a ton of ink, including a full sleeve tattoo hidden under his suit and tie and a sizeable Black Flag tat on his forearm – plus a fetish for horror and indie movies, and he had as many books as I did, or more. He had no kids and absolutely didn’t want them, which suited me just fine, but I got the impression that he went through life very independently and wasn’t a caretaker. I wasn’t sure that could work. I’m independent as well, but there are times when I need a lot of attention. It’s a lot to handle and not having a nurturing personality or being willing to deal with it or adapt would not work. He was also somewhat delusional about being “athletic and toned” but he asked me to help him out, so he cleaned up his diet, hit the gym and changed pretty fast in 2 months.
I never knew what was up with him. He would go AWOL (“People just wear me out…”), yet would make a real effort to see me or say goodnight. Additionally, he had an irrational fear of anything real in life at times. “I don’t want to know if a girl farts or bleeds or…no. I don’t want to see any evidence of any of that. It all needs to be spotless.” Yet he was insistent upon dating an athletic female who spends part of her day sweating. For someone near 40, periods freaked him out as if he were a teenager.
Because of his irrational pussy-phobia, I became completely paranoid and sex was always “unfinished” on my end.
Dating bonus: He was a former Marine captain and taught me to load magazines, shoot and lock a .40 caliber Beretta, and then barked at me while timing how fast I could do it. “C’mon! Lets go! I thought you were a bad ass?” Secondary bonus: I also learned to paddle-board.
He later admitted to being more and more agoraphobic and dealing with issues that included depression, yet he didn’t want to take medication or go to therapy. He also had serious abandonment issues. There’s only so much you can do for someone who isn’t willing to help themself.
We parted ways in what must be the most chivalrous ‘dumping’ I had ever received. “You deserve better and this is all I have. I thought I was ok. That’s why I was on Match. I thought if anyone could do this for me, you could… and I like you, a lot. I really do. I just can’t do it.” Despite the abundance of flaming red flags, I’d stuck around like an idiot because I myself have mental issues and understand being abandoned.
In hindsight, I was an idiot, but he was a decent person and funny as hell. At least he understood that “thanks for sharing” is always meant as sarcasm.
Don’t date lawyers. They’re not happy people. Also, don’t date someone nearly 40 who has never been married. There are problems if a man makes it to that age and not one single person in the entire world wanted to marry him.
My friend was pissed. “What a douche bag! He should have told you how bad his issues were from the start!”
Fair point. I certainly try to do that.
Two people with mental issues don’t mix well. Chances are this can happen, with 25% of the USA having a mental disorder, and he was date #4.
I was also seeing someone else on the side the entire time because I wasn’t ready for the whole boyfriend gimmick. Ryan lived over an hour away in Sarasota and was AWOL just enough not to notice. Or care.
I have a bit of a commitment issue/phobia and abandonment issues myself. I love the idea of stability and a partner in crime. I hate the idea of boredom, monotony and sex getting mundane, especially the latter. It’s taken me until just last year to finally commit to buying a house. I could always pack up and leave when I rented and it wasn’t my issue if something broke at 11 pm on Friday night. I am not sure if this is just the way I am or if it’s from being raised by my father, having so many male friends and being one of the very few females in a male business. I may have turned into “a dude in a pretty girl’s body”. Now if only I could have an orgasm every single time I had sex and pee outside while standing up.
My friends tell me it’s not me, it’s just that I’m not with the right person, so that’s what makes me want to bolt. My therapist confirms this.
“I want someone who gets me. I feel like I deserve that.” – Rae Dawn Chong in Jeff Who Lives At Home
Bodybuilder Dr. Ryan didn’t make it past meeting for coffee. He was a nice person with a super impressive physique, but he was not for me. He worked specifically with…….wait for it……..schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. During the course of our cappuccinos, he casually mentioned how many people he’d Baker Acted (involuntarily committed). I said nothing, but I was uncomfortable. He went in for the kiss after and I deftly ducked it. Plus, despite what I look like, I generally don’t date bodybuilders. I have respect for their hard work and discipline, but it’s not my thing. I prefer smaller, leaner and fit/toned. He kept asking me out again afterwards and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him how fucked up I thought his comments were until a while later. The lesson in there: Be careful how you say things. You never know who to whom you’re talking or what they might have. He was a nice guy and better suited as a friend.
“It’s not who you want to spend Friday night with. It’s who you want to spend all day Saturday with.” Woody Harrelson, Friends With Benefits
I joke. I’m not that forgetful.
Being part Scotch/Irish, I’ve always loved the name Ryan. My first dates name wasn’t far off: Brian. It’s enough to make you appreciate…Joe. It became a huge rib with my friends. “So, how are the Ryans?” Ha fucking ha.
(Fun fact: The name translates to “little king” in both Gaelic and English.)
“Most people are together just so they are not alone. Some people want magic. I think you are one of these people.” –Broken English
Date #6: Then there was TOM! Whoot! Broke the Ryan Cycle. Tom (Gemini) worked for the NSA. Yeah. I dated the enemy. He pulled up to the restaurant in a sleek BMW, had a handsome face, and was exceptionally fit (an Orange Theory addict, which is kind of like CrossFit) with a way of thinking outside of the box.
He was dark a Cuban stunner and single father who was sweet and smart with some interesting stories – the ones he could tell me. (Our government can truly be fucked up.)
Him: “Are you free on Thursday?”
Me: “I think so.”
Him: “Not anymore.” (Guys, take note. This is the way you should talk to a woman.)
He warned that my husband could easily track me with my phone or purse if he got upset. “Trust me, it’s easy. I see it all the time.” Hmmmm. I believed him. This wasn’t the guy to piss off, and if I’ve learned anything in life, I’m not good at not pissing people off.
He treated me very well, had me meet all his crazy friends who were as loud as I am…and he adored his mother. His ex had had a mental health issue, so he was well versed in the variations. When I told him I was bipolar, his response was a long pause and then: “I would never have guessed that if you hadn’t told me. You seem so stable. Bipolar is a chemical imbalance, right? There are medications for that.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. There truly aren’t many people who understand this, or just how physically BP affects you. It’s not just mental. I told him I’m more stable than probably 90% of the world thanks to the meds. Tom was as warm as No-Profile–Photo Ryan was reserved. He was gorgeous, smart and sweet. He was a caretaker and problem solver. He had money, was attentive, listened, paid attention to me and took me to some great places in Tampa Bay.
I got a daily gentle reminder from him: “I definitely want to steal more of your time.”
Me: “Persistent, aren’t you?”
Him: “Well, considering the target…”
And yet…I couldn’t get into him. One day, I was looking through my joke collection to send him something fun (because I probably had nothing to say) and realized they were all too sarcastic or edgy. We didn’t share the same humor. He’d raved about his favorite film and I rented it just so we’d have something-anything-to talk about. I found it mildly interesting at best and overly drawn out. Part of the reason I’d kept seeing Tom was because of Ryan. I was afraid of jumping in too fast and this allowed me to keep emotional distance from both. It was half-hearted at best and oddly enough, I never looked forward to seeing him – it always felt like an obligation. Tom and I never got past meeting at the halfway point for dinner or drinks. It’s the longest I ever dated someone without getting past second base.
Dating bonus: My Spanish got better. La practica es buena. He was also one helluva kisser.
I cut him loose when it got more serious with Lawyer Ryan and half regretted it about a week later when it all no longer was. Tom didn’t seem to take it well. My house is probably bugged now. I’m typing this very quietly.
He also took a lot of selfies. I kind of hate that. And he sometimes worked out twice a day. I don’t even do that. Overkill.
My therapist’s verdict on Ryan/Tom/Ryan thing: “This is good. You’re making better, smarter choices in men.”
“Huh? I am?”
“Yes. You’re learning.”
“In a relationship there’s always one who kisses and one who is kissed.” – Parting Glances
There was a brief long distance non-thing with a man who was looking for a slave. In my newly formed “Fuck it, I’ll just enjoy life and say yes to things I don’t normally say yes to” state of mind, I went with it. As someone with an active imagination and an appreciation for being submissive, I learned things. For example, who knew there were vibrating nipple clips available out there? (Non-dating bonus: I *may* own some now.) Nothing physical happened with that, but the conversations were interesting – to say the least. They’ll make for fantastic writing material in the future.
I took a month and a half off from dating to reevaluate. Loosely translated: No one even remotely interesting came along.
Let the learning experiences and dating bonuses keep coming!
TO BE CONTINUED…Part 3: Prince, or Ax Murderer? https://aprilhunterblog.com/2014/11/15/my-match-com-experiment-prince-or-ax-murderer-dating-bipolar-part-3/
Read Part 1: A Year of Being Single-ish and Dating Bipolar – https://aprilhunterblog.com/2014/10/23/my-match-com-experiment-a-year-of-being-singleish-dating-bipolar/
COPYRIGHT APRIL HUNTER. NO PART OF THIS WRITING/BLOG MAY BE COPIED OR USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.
Ps. To everyone I dated who reads this blog – which I think is nearly all of you – you know my policy on being honest on here, so please realize I’m doing only that and there are no personal jabs.