Roller-coaster of Love

Let me say how much I enjoy reading all of your comments from both of yesterday's posts (Tweedlecrazy and Tweedlecrazier). Pretty much all of them resonate with some part of me, all the way from "He's a liar!" to "See, you shouldn't have sent that crazy email!" to "Maybe you should discuss this with him." I think you are all the innumerable voices that live in my head and torment/comfort me.

Here's the real deal. After Wednesday/Thursday cuddlefest/sleepover with Dr. Nutrition, I felt pretty overwhelmed with the lovie dovies and fell into my usual pattern of clinging. When I'm feeling a beautiful boy I tend to want to minimize space and time apart, and just spend countless days laying around in one another's arms. See how this is a little problematic on about a billion levels? Especially for people who want to have, you know, lives? I am a sucker for romance (or maybe it's just lust) and just can't seem to contain myself. I had the same issue with SCL where I set up a pattern of being the one to initiate our time together, and then I got resentful when he wouldn't take the initiative. Nice little trap I set up for myself there.

In truth I didn't give Dr. Nutrition much of a chance to initiate communication because I was too busy doing it. So, really how frustrated could I get that he hadn't texted or called when I wasn't giving him the space to? So, on Sunday I decided to just lay off. And when he didn't call on Sunday or by Monday evening, I got a little more antsy and called him--and proceeded to get royally pissed when I didn't hear back on what I felt was a reasonable timeline. At that point I had already constructed a narrative in my head of exactly what happened, all of which was about my own insecurities and imperfections. This, my boss informed me today after I spilled my guts, is a form of narcissism.

Shut the front door! I'm a narcissist? A girl who writes a blog all about herself is a narcissist? I guess in my mind a narcissist is an arrogant, proud person but in a broader sense, she's right. When something goes wrong, I assume it's all about me. And this was no exception.

The tipping point for me really was the unreturned phone call because I had been so direct--I haven't heard from you, what's going on. So I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was a deliberate blow-off (it fit into my constructed narrative of him not liking me quite nicely) and then lashed out via email. So, when he did return my call (a response to my phone call, not my crazy-ass email), I felt like a total schmuck, not because I was pissed about him not returning my call earlier (justified) but that I had assumed that he would not return it period because he was an asshole. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

His reason for not returning my call might be sorta lame--"my phone died and I didn't get your message until now, I was helping my grandma move into an assisted living facility"--but it's not as bad as I what I was thinking--that he had totally changed his mind about me. It's never as bad as I think it's going to be, and it's never nearly as much about me as I'd like to think. Was he flaky not to be in touch? Yes. Was it a screw-up? Yes. Was it a deal-breaker for the potential that we have in dating? No.

Luckily, I'm about to head out of town for the next two and a half weeks, giving time for me to regain my composure and perspective. It'll prevent me from diving into anything too quickly with Dr. Nutrition or anyone for that matter. And hopefully I'll come back a relatively sane, if not totally exhausted, woman.

Update: I AM THE BIGGEST IDIOT ALIVE!

You all were right. I'll admit it. I let the crazy girl get to me and hit send.

Only minutes later, while on the phone with Comment Bouncer nonetheless, Dr. Nutrition beeps in. I'm expecting he's going to tell me that he's sorry, that he feels bad.

Oh no. He didn't even get the email. He had been away at his parents and his phone had died. He was calling me from the road on his way home.

ACK I AM THE BIGGEST IDIOT!

But, the good news is he's like, "Don't even worry about it. I understand why you felt that way. I'm sure you were wondering why I hadn't called" And he promised to delete my psycho-ish email before reading it. His only request? That I not mention the whole thing ever again.

Self-sabatoge--you almost won! And dearest readers, you all were right.

Too Good to Be True

It makes me sad to write this post because it means my romance with Dr. Nutrition is over. I hesitantly wrote that I was a bit concerned that he hadn't contacted me since our date on Wednesday, and sadly nothing has changed.

After pole-dancing class (yes, pole-dancing--and it was hard as hell!) with my friend M, we went to have a beer. She is a dating expert, if such a thing exists, and I told her the whole story. Her response was simply, "What the fuck?!" She said, "You have a right to know what's going on. His communication pattern has changed, and he's not keeping you in the loop. You're half of the equation and you have a right to know what's going on." She also added that she doesn't have time to play the waiting game and would rather cut to the chase.

On my way home, I jokingly texted him that I was fairly certain I didn't have a career in pole-dancing ahead of me and asked if he had time to chat. No response. About an hour later, I decided to give him a call. No response. I left him a message, "Haven't heard from you in a few days and was wondering if we could chat before I leave town." No response. No response. No response. No phone call. No text. No email this morning. No Facebook chat. Nada.

I went into my therapy session with C on the brink of tears, and as soon as the door was shut, I started crying. I have so much else going on with this 3-week cross-country trip with a woman from Kenya, but all I can think about is how I just got duped by a guy I mistook for one of the good ones. You all were fooled too, right? What, with the ballroom lessons, the telling his mom about me, the "You're a beautiful person," the date after date routine? WTF?! I repeat, WTF?!


There were no red flags. No signs that he was wavering. Nothing to make me think he was just going to start being a dick and blowing me off. At least with SCL there were warning signs, even if I didn't want to admit it. I. Just. Don't. GET. IT.


Yes, I could excuse him. I could say that he's changing jobs or his phone broke or that he was just busy. But those are excuses, none of which I'm buying. I'm pissed off that he has yet to muster up the decency to say, "Hey, I changed my mind." For a guy who claims to be fearless, he seems like quite the coward right now. A coward I'd love to punch in the face!

So, what to do now? When it has been a full 24 hours, I will send him a final email, ending with "If I don't hear from you, I assume you don't want to see me anymore." Because I'm done with his hot-then-cold of the Katy Perry variety bullshit.

And I also priority shipped a copy of Self-Esteem because clearly I'm going to need some building up again after this disappointment.

The Waiting Game

I have nothing new to report regarding  Dr. Nutrition other than that I am a crazy person. Leave it to me to have a good time with a guy and then spend countless hours trying to figure out a reason why he can't possibly like me as much as he let on.

The thing is, I really like him. A few weeks ago I wasn't sure, but the combination of time spent talking on the phone plus a really great date this week, I find myself falling pretty hard. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself and enjoy where we are, but my natural inclination is to cling.

Tara Brach talks a lot about clinging--how when we feel pleasure, we immediately want more of it and finagle ways to hang on to what is inevitably fleeting. This could be anything--the taste of ice cream (and so we get seconds); the relaxation of a vacation (and so we plot where we'll go next); or the beginnings of a new relationship (and so we want to push it along into the next stage).

And so that's what I've been doing. I've been anticipating what will happen next, and it hasn't helped that Dr. Nutrition and I really haven't had much contact since Thursday morning. So of course I assume the worst: he's changed his mind; he doesn't really like me; he's not thinking of me. And so on and so on. My head is currently a pretty miserable place to reside.

Dr. Nutrition is a busy guy and before this week there had been plenty of days when we didn't talk at all. It's just that now I am thinking about him more, so the waiting feels longer and more torturous. I'm just focusing on chilling out and not jumping to the absolute worst conclusion.

Thank you for indulging my neurosis.

Keeps Getting Better

Yesterday marked date five with Dr. Nutrition, and it was by far the best date yet. With the late-night phone calls and flirtatious text messages, we were both more than ready to see each other in person. He'd set up this date a few weeks ago. On the third Wednesday of the month, the Bell Wine Shop in Dupont has a "Grand Tasting"--for $5, you can try 40 different wines. Granted it's nothing more than a sip of each one, but let me tell you forty sips add up. And once again, I found myself somewhat accidentally hammered. This has been happening to me quite a lot lately.

I had to smile when one of the other wine tasters referred to Dr. Nutrition as "my boyfriend." I didn't bother to correct them.

After some dinner to soak up the copious amounts of alcohol in our system, we had the awkward, "Where do we go now?" conversation. Since we were already on the red line, I said "Canada" made more sense than my place, and off we went. I got the sense that he was a little embarrassed about the lack of furniture in his room, and since last time he'd acquired a table and a dresser. Still no bed frame, but an improvement for sure.

Before things got too steamy, I wanted to talk with him about sex, as awkward as it felt. Here's my deal: as much as I hate to admit it, I am a stereotypical woman who can't have sex without feeling intensely bonded to the other person. Hell, even some hot, heavy-duty making out can make me start hearing wedding bells. No, I am not kidding. Yes, I am that emotional. But I know how I'm wired and I own it.

So, I said to him. "I really like you, and I don't want to risk messing things up by sleeping together too soon. It doesn't mean I don't want to; it's just that sex makes me feel really attached, and I don't think we're at that point yet." He said, "I completely agree." I  couldn't detect any insincerity in his voice--perhaps slight disappointment, but I'm fairly certain that he was being honest when he said he was on the same page. With that out of the way, I let my worries go and enjoyed myself. He declared the bed as a "worry-free" zone, so I really had no choice but to relax and enjoy being close to him.

At 1:30 he asked if I wanted him to drive me home. "Not really, " I said. He invited me to stay, and I spent the whole night with one of his arms under my head and the other wrapped around me. I can't say either of us slept very well, but I didn't care.

We woke up to sunshine and lawnmowers and mockingbirds, and continued to cuddle. I said, "Don't you need to get to work?" He said, "I think I'm going to work from home this morning. In fact, I think I'm already working right now." I laughed, "Oh yeah, how do you figure that?" He said, "I'm working on doing outreach to faith-based organizations." I cracked up and kissed him again, "Oh yeah, I think we've got a great partnership in the works."

Happy day.

Back in Session: Week Nine of Therapy

When I went to my last therapy session at the end of May, things were looking a lot different than they do now, to say the least. I wasn't happy. I was still in the old apartment. SCL and I were still together and fighting over the couch. She was uber preggers.Yesterday I hardly recognized her without the belly! 

With only 50 minutes to fill her in on the last three and a half months, I gave her the Reader's Digest version: I moved out; SCL broke up with me; I cried; I went on vacation; I decided to start dating; I had a beach fling; I got a crush on Dr. Nutrition. It kind of makes my head spin just thinking about it. But, with all of this going on, what was really interesting is that I wasn't too fixated on dealing with the, "Is dating a good idea?" question but rather with the insecurities I am feeling now that I've found someone I'm interested in. 

So, as cliche as it sounds, C and I are going to be talking about....wait for it...SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES! Especially around body image and food. AWESOME. Cannot wait to delve into all my bullshit about that. But, C is super supportive, and if there's anyone I feel comfortable admitting I've got issues with, it's her. Oh yeah, and all of you in the blogging world, too.

In the meantime, Dr. Nutrition and I spent another night on the phone last night after he finished reffing his soccer games. He said, "For two people who hate to talk on the phone, we sure have been doing a lot of it." A good sign, right? Tonight for our fifth date we are going wine tasting, which I'm super excited about. Oh, and if I can gush for just a moment, he, knowing how much I love ballroom dance, actually bought a package of dance lessons, so he can learn the basics and we can dance together. I like this one. 

Teenage Dream

That's how I feel right now--like I've regressed about 12 years and have a teenage crush. And, it is fantastic! With Mr. Navy out of the picture (we've since talked as friends, and I am feeling less dumb), my attention has turned to Dr. Nutrition.

Call me foolish or a hopeless romantic, but I have a good feeling about this one. I'm finding that I don't have a whole lot of desire to go on many first dates right now. (The one I had scheduled with Mr. Sayid-lookalike cancelled at the last minute, and I am debating whether or not to reschedule. The real reason I wanted to go out with him was the aforementioned resemblance to my favorite Lost Iraqi survivor.) I guess I burned out pretty fast with the 4 dates/week.

For the last two nights, Dr. Nutrition and I have stayed up way past my bedtime talking on the phone. The thing is, I don't even like talking on the phone. I'd rather have a Harry Potter owl or something. Say what you want about how brilliant cell phones are, but I swear to God, it's impossible to get a clear connection and there were moments when I literally had to ask him to repeat something five times. I felt like a grandma and questioned whether or not I should have my hearing tested.

But, despite the constant "Huh? What?" on my end, it has been fantastic getting to know him more. I think it's a good sign that we can talk for 3 hours and not run out of things to talk about. Sure, we are just getting to know each other, but there have been some dates when I haven't had an hour's worth of shared interests to go on. But, with Dr. Nutrition the conversation just flows effortlessly and even makes me forget momentarily how much I fucking hate talking on the phone. We have a date tomorrow night (wine tasting, my favorite!) and I can't wait to see him in person.

This is all so exciting and incredibly terrifying at the same time. Part of me wants to say, "Hold on, lady. You need to take it slowly." But the other part of me says, "Quit over-thinking every little thing and just go for it!" He's giving me the green light. He even told me that he's shown my picture to his mom. I feel like this is not the run-of-the-mill, "I'd like to get into your pants"  line. Again, trying not to over-think things.

Last week in the middle of thinking about SCL, Mr. Navy, and Dr. Nutrition, I thought, "Where the hell is my damn therapist? Surely she's off of maternity leave by now!" We have an appointment today. Really looking forward to spilling my guts and filling her in on what's been going on since the end of May. She's in for an earful.

Go with Your Gut...Or You'll Kick Yourself Later

Some of you have asked "Whatever happened to Mr. Navy?" Here's what happened.

We made plans to meet Thursday night, and then he had to reschedule for last night because of a work-related conflict. Not wanting to sound too available (even though part of me would have wanted to plans with the President for a date with him), I said, "Let me check. I have plans later that night" (with Date Me, DC!, by the way). Eventually I put him out of what I had hoped was waiting misery and agreed to meet him at 6:30.

I got super dressed up and even went so far as to exfoliate my feet for a good 10 minutes in the shower. Details, people. Details. We showed up at exactly the same time and sat outside. Never having had Ethiopian food and not wanting to look foolish on my date, I had interrogated some friends earlier on how to do it. The biggest piece of advice was not to eat too much of the bread because that shit is filling. What I really needed, however, was how not to act like a jackass on a date.

As soon as we sat down, it felt a little...weird. We had stuff to talk about, but the conversation didn't flow like I'd hoped. We didn't really address what had happened in Dewey I began to think, "Ok, I think we're moving into the friend zone." And I kind of just went with that. He asked me about my dates, I told him a little bit about Dr. Nutrition. I also told him about seeing SCL this week. He'd apparently had a similar encounter last week with the girl who broke his heart earlier this year. Once we got into the relationship/dating conversation zone, things relaxed a lot. It was really helpful to have a guy's perspective on the dating stuff.

He walked me to the super secret speakeasy where I was meeting Katie and company. We hugged it out and I thought, "Ok, no more predicament. Dr. Nutrition is the one I'm really interested in. How convenient to only like one guy!" I proceeded to have a fucking awesome time with Katie and her friends, and ended up not getting home until 3.

This morning, however,  I was surprised to get a Gchat from Mr. Navy, asking how the evening went. And then of course I went straight into over-analyzing self. I'd sent our mutual friend (who interestingly is in Dubai at the moment) a note last night saying that we'd gone out but that I was pretty sure what had happened in Dewey wasn't translating into our normal lives here in DC. She asked me, "So,w hat happened?" I told her I'd told him about the dates with other guys. Then she questioned why I'd done that. And then I thought, "Oh shit, did I fuck something up? Why did I do that? Why did I move things into the friend zone?"

Oh, that's right. Maybe because I knew in my gut that's where we belonged. But my self-doubting ass couldn't let the idea go that I'd done something to actively fuck this up. So, I immediately backtracked with Mr. Navy--saying I felt dumb for telling him about the dates, etc when I was on a date with him. Again, the gut spilling is out of control!

And you know what he said? He said he just wanted to be friends. WHY THE FUCK DID I NOT GO WITH MY GUT? I could have avoided all of these current feelings of embarrassment and humiliation had I just listened to my gut.

I'm going to hide now.

Insecurities

I was planning to write a post about Mr. Executive Chef, a guy who seems to think I am God's gift to men even though we've never met. He is constantly contacting me, and even friended me on Facebook! Can you say "overkill"?

But, what I've really been processing is the night I had with Dr. Nutrition. I hadn't intended for things to take such a serious turn in our conversation, but it was as if as soon as I opened up, I couldn't stop myself from just vomiting my feelings all over the place. I put myself in a really vulnerable state with someone I hardly know, which is not atypical for me (apparently I cannot learn) but a little foolish nonetheless. At least I think it is.

What I disliked the most was my own insecurity in the situation--feeling anxious, unsettled, uncomfortable, awkward, and unable to look him in the eyes for more than a few seconds without laughing or averting my gaze. And I've been trying to figure out why.

For so long I felt insecure about my relationship with SCL. I felt like I wasn't quite enough for him, and I always worried that there'd be some part of me he'd uncover that would ultimately do him in. Living in this constant state of fear clearly has had an effect on me and I sense that I'm still living those feelings out and struggling to let them go. But, it means that I'm almost expecting Dr. Nutrition to do the same. Maybe not now, but surely at some point he'll realize I'm not the person he claims to see when he looks into my eyes. .

The fastest way for me to feel insecure is to think about Dr. Nutrition's passion for healthy living. He's super fit, runs marathons, refs soccer games, does triathlons, works on wellness, does yoga regularly, can do a handstand. Me? I like to hit the gym 4-5 days a week for an hour or so, reading magazines and watching TV as I do it. I hate running. I rarely lift weights. Yoga is my idea of torture. And I really, really like eating candy. At least in this area he's the superstar, and I feel pretty fucking average. I wonder if he really wants to be with someone like me who thinks luluelemon is a rip off and would rather drink margaritas than get a runner's high (which I swear to God does not exist).

And therein lies the problem. Self-sabotage. Why am I trying to convince myself that this guy doesn't like me when clearly he does? He wouldn't have asked me out 5 times in three weeks if he didn't. Everything he says and does indicates that he doesn't just think I'm ok, but really he thinks I'm fantastic. So, why the hell am I so preoccupied with figuring out what he probably doesn't like or what eventually he'll discover that he doesn't like? Is a way to prepare myself for some future blow to the ego? Why do I think I'm not good enough for him?

I wish I could just inject myself with some genuine confidence and self-esteem before these dates.

If I could say something to Dr. Nutrition right now, it would be this: I'm not quite where I want to be right now, but I know that I get there eventually. If I try to push myself into anything, I know I'll freak out and run away. So, the best thing is to keep taking this one day (and date) at a time. Will you be patient with me as I work through this stuff?

I honestly think his response would be, "Absolutely."

Take It Slow

Last week Dr. Nutrition invited me to dinner in Bethesda/"Canada"/his neighborhood for our fourth date. In true Dr. Nutrition form, he was late and I was on time. But once he got there, my annoyance dissipated....because it was replaced by horror at the (I kid you not) crushed velvet shirt he had on. Let me just say this guy is VERY comfortable in his sexual identity. And, he can also handle me poking fun at him, too. 

We walked around Bethesda, which is actually very beautiful and feels like a grown-up Arlington. He took me to his favorite store--Lululemon--where he literally knows every employee. One particularly chipper chick said, "We're going on a run to Guapo's in Tenleytown! Want to come with us?" Girlfriend, does it look like I'm dressed for a fucking run? And if you think I'm going to drop $250 for some of your overpriced sports bras and shorts, you are delusional. 

Eventually we ended up at a Thai restaurant, and this time, the waitress only had to come by three times before we were ready to order (this is significantly fewer times than our previous dates because we'd get to talking and never look at the menu). I ordered my usual glass of wine, but he stuck with water because, of course, he's doing a triathlon this weekend. I'm trying to figure out how I feel about dating someone who is in WAY better shape than I am. But, as usual, we had great conversation. He's seriously cute and we never run out of things to talk about. 

After dinner he took me to his place and showed me his "toys"--a Razor scooter, a hula hoop, a unicycle. I'm telling you, this guy is unlike any I've ever met. I love that he's playful and really doesn't give a fuck what other people think. He warned me that his bedroom had no furniture. And he wasn't kidding. He literally had a mattress on the floor, and that was it! It was perhaps the saddest thing I have ever seen. He lives up in the attic, and blames the narrowness of the staircase for his lack of decoration. To that I say, "Get your ass to IKEA because this shit is grim." 

Let me just add that making out on a mattress on the floor feels a little too dorm room to me. Especially when the guy puts Norah Jones on. All I could think about was my college boyfriend, which is not exactly the mindset I was hoping for. And I was feeling a little conflicted about the time I'd had with SCL the day before. 

"I should get going, " I said. It was getting late, and I had a long Metro ride back to Arlington. "Would you stay longer if I drove you home?" he asked. I agreed, and we continued to make out. Then the panic set back in, "Oh God, does he think I'm ready to sleep with him?" Because I wasn't. Not even a little. That's just not my style. I get too freaking attached, and I'm just not ready to feel that way about someone. 

He drove me home, and I invited him in to meet my roommates while I quickly cleaned up my room. I had not exactly planned on having a visitor, seeing as how we started the evening in Canada. But one of the things I really like about Dr. Nutrition is that I feel like I could introduce him to any of my friends or family, and they'd love him. He's so good at relating to other people. In the five minutes it took for me to throw the dirty clothes and papers into the closet, he was already chatting it up with my roommate G. 

I showed him my room. "See, this is what a grown-up room looks like!" Needless to say, it is way better to make out in a real bed and not a mattress on the floor. 

It was around midnight that I felt the compulsion to bare my soul. I may not jump in sexually with a new person, but for whatever reason, I have a hard time holding back when it comes to spilling my guts. I'm a processor, and  I just had all of these conflicting feelings about the situation--liking him, thinking about SCL, wondering what Dr. Nutrition was thinking. While  I spared him the details of the break-up, I alluded to the fact that heartache wasn't in my too distant past, and it has me feeling a little afraid. I can't stand the idea of getting hurt again. I don't think I could take it. Basically, I had a bunch of internal shit distracting me from the present situation, and it left me feeling vulnerable and embarrassed. 

But here's the good part of the story: it didn't seem to shake him at all. He didn't bolt. He just listened attentively and held me close. Dr. Nutrition is truly an exceptional person, from what I've seen so far. I've never met someone who seems so settled and comfortable in his own skin that I honestly think short of a murder confession there's really nothing I could say that would freak him out. It's a strange but good feeling to be the one who doesn't have it together completely. "I wish my feelings were more simple," I said. "What are you feeling?" he asked. "I feel happy to be with you right now, and that's all I want to feel right now. Does it bother you that I'm still healing?" "No," he said. "We've all been there." 

He told me, "I think you are a beautiful person." I laughed, "But you don't even know me!" He responded, "I have pretty good intuition about people. Plus, your eyes tell me everything--that you are caring, loyal, passionate, warm, outgoing..." 

Happy sigh. I like this one. 

Looking back on the night, I wish things hadn't gotten so serious, but that's just where I was at the moment. And knowing it didn't freak him out (at least from what I could tell) makes me even more interested in getting to know him. Next week we'll lighten the mood with a wine tasting and hopefully a night of karaoke. I need to show him (and me) my fun side again. 

Gonna Get Over You

Anyone else obsessed with Sara Bareilles' new album Kaleidoscope Heart? I've been listening to it non-stop after my first encounter with SCL since the second break-up.

That's right. I saw SCL. On purpose.

My mom's birthday is coming up, and she always wants me to burn her CDs of my favorite music. I love it because it's inexpensive for me and I get to share what I'm listening to. Back in December SCL and I had purchased about 500 CD/DVD sleeves, and while I very well could have gone out and purchased my own, I thought, "Wait a sec, I bought those with him, so surely I can have a few."  This morning I shot him a quick email about it, offering to pick them up whenever. About five minutes later he responded that he could drop them in the mailbox--or that he'd be there until 3 if I wanted to come over.

Shit, did he just invite me over? I think he did. I was already getting ready to go to the gym, so I figured I'd swing by there on the way. I debated putting on make-up, trying to cute-i-fy my old gym clothes, and then I thought, "Nope, going on with life as usual." I biked over and knocked on the door.

As soon as I saw him, my eyes filled with tears. I grabbed the CD sleeves and then turned around, ready to book it. "How are you?" he asked. "I'm really good, " I said, not all that convincingly. I managed to temporarily hold off on the waterworks. Then we started chatting. He told me about his classes, how he was finally going to the dentist thanks to livingsocial, and that he was *gasp* taking a motorcycle class. I guess not having the use of my car has him pretty desperate. But, it made me crack up. He's about the last person I could picture riding a motorcycle. His dad is planning a second knee replacement, his aunt and uncle (whom I love) celebrated their 30th anniversary, his mom is in the dark about the motorcycle class.

I told him about Dewey and my dating. I cried a lot, and he hugged me. The thing is, he is such a good guy, even if he's not the right guy for me. I told him how much he'd hurt me. I told him how much it sucked to have him block Facebook content from me--and he explained, "Well, I knew there'd be a lot of pictures of me from the wedding, and I didn't want them to show up in your newsfeed." (See post on said pictures.) And the "not wanting a future with me"? He said, "I know it sounded like I was rejecting you and I can't make you feel better about it, but it was me saying that I just wasn't sure what I want for my life yet." He said he didn't understand what had happened to him, but he had gotten to the point that he knew being in a serious, committed relationship with anyone is not something he's capable of right now.

He said he's been on a few dates--for practice, mostly. This made me laugh, mostly because I feel similarly. I think I'm more open to the possibility of a long-term relationship than he is. I asked about the obsession--he hasn't seen her and when they did talk once, he said she has basically lost her mind. I'm relieved to know he's not barking up that tree, not that it's any of my business.

We talked about our friends' wedding that he attended and I didn't--he let me know that he had, in fact, signed both of our names to the gift. Another good guy move. I told him how far behind I'd gotten in True Blood without his DVR--and I cried again. I felt so dumb, but it was one of those things that we shared. I admitted to him that looking back, I hadn't been happy in the relationship and that I knew in the long-run, I would've gotten tired of feeling insecure about it. And that I felt like I'd let myself become a boring person in the name of "becoming an adult."

I told him about the fuckburglar, our friends who are moving in together, getting kicked out of Dewey. We laughed. I said fuck a lot. I cried. I told him I hope he appreciates me one day, even if he can't now. He brushed my hair back and said, "I already do appreciate parts of you that I didn't before--how hard you worked and how you care about the world and the people in it." I told him when he's ready for his next relationship, I hope he can talk to her more. He saw his therapist in August. He might go back.

I needed to get out of there, not that I wanted to. He didn't invite me to his room to play the piano for me--though he told me he's still playing. He said if I ever needed help with something to call him, even though it's weird. He held me as I cried. I asked if he was glad I came over. "Yes, it's good to know that we can talk." I asked, "Do you think we'll ever be able to be friends?" He nodded. "Do you?" I said, "I don't know. I've never tried to be friends with someone who has seen me naked." He laughed.

"But, it makes me cry to see you." He wiped the tears from my cheeks and said, "Maybe one day it won't."

Maybe.

Life (after SCL) Goes On

After Dr. Scientist (not to be confused with Dr. Nutrition) canceled our Saturday night date due to a cold, I found myself dateless for the weekend--and I was so relieved. It's given me a chance to do some much needed catching up with friends and catching up on sleep. I spent 9/11 doing a service project and resting. I feel rejuvenated and ready for another week of this dating stuff, not to mention, you know, the actual work I do. I'm in the middle of planning a three-week trip in October. (Anyone want to guest post? Shoot me an email)


Currently I have no dates to report on, but I wanted to answer a question that commenter extraordinaire Felisha asked on Thursday's post. She asks:
Do you even think of SCL anymore? 
It's been just over seven weeks since we parted for good, and I can honestly say that I have experienced a tremendous amount of healing so far. I think a number of factors have contributed to this. First, this wasn't the first time I'd been through this with him, and I was not in the same place that I was in April. Second, I let myself feel exactly what I felt whenever I felt it. One of the beautiful things about working from home is you can cry in the middle of the day and no one knows. For about three weeks, I cried and sobbed and wrote pitiful things in my journal, and I tried not to hate on myself for being so emotional.That was a wonderful gift, even though it sucked going through it. The truth is, there are only so many tears a person can cry, and I cried them all.

Third, I got the hell out of DC for a week. While I was gone, my mom told me with tough love that I needed to get myself out there again. At first that pissed me off, but she was right. I needed to pull myself out of the hole of misery (once I'd spent adequate time there) and start enjoying life again. I started working out hard, getting to know my roommates, writing articles for work, going out with friends, singing lots of karaoke, and drinking many beers. And, then I started telling my friends I wanted to be set up. I started responding to men online that I thought sounded fun and I started going out on dates. Fortunately I've been spared the online dating horror stories thus far. The worst I've gotten was Mr. Religion Teacher, who was not weird; just too serious.

The result of all of this is a complete shift in the way I think about my relationship with SCL and how I really felt. I went back and read every single journal (not blog) entry from the year we lived together, and I read how unhappy, unsettled, disappointed, undesirable, and unfulfilled I felt about 95% of the time because I never felt secure in the relationship. With good reason, it turns out. He was still obsessed with another girl and I found out that he'd also made out with a girl just a few weeks after we got back together this spring. A real charmer, that one.

So, do I think about SCL? Yes. There's part of me that misses him a little. I wonder how he's doing at school mostly. I hope that he's getting himself out there again and having some fun. I sometimes wish I could call him to ask if I can borrow our cheese grater (it's an amazing cheese grater.) But, I don't cry about it anymore. I don't wish that things had turned out differently. In fact, I almost feel grateful that he didn't give me the option of staying with him because I would never be having these experiences I'm having now. I feel thankful for the fun that we did have, but I realize it would never have worked long-term because I was not myself when I was with him. The relationship was comfortable, safe, secure, but not fulfilling. And it was stifling me. I had an idea that if we got engaged, I'd finally feel secure in the relationship. Now I see how fucked up that is.

I'm still healing, learning, and figuring out how to move forward. I have no idea if I'm doing it "right" but I know that I feel better each and every day.

Double Crush=Double Fun+Double Trouble

If you saw the second update on yesterday's post, my texting Mr. Navy ended up working quite nicely, even if I attributed it to momentary insanity. About two hours after I sent my last text (in which I not-so-subtly said it'd be fun to see each other again...and then immediately wished I hadn't sent it),  he texted back, "Let's shoot for next week. How's Thursday?" *happy dance*

Just as soon as I'd begun celebrating my flirting victory, I realized that I had to get showered and ready for my third date with Dr. Nutrition. We had plans to have dinner at 6 in Foggy Bottom, giving us plenty of time to get over to the Kennedy Center to pick up our free tickets. Or so I thought. At about 5:45 I got a text from Dr. Nutrition that once again he's running late, but he promises to be there by 6:10. Knowing that he lives way out in Bethesda aka "Canada," I knew he was bullshitting me.

As per usual, I arrived exactly on time and began tweeting furiously about how he was late for the third time in a row. The combination of annoyance and wishing I'd rather be with Mr. Navy put me in a slight funk until 6:20 when Dr. Nutrition showed up looking gorgeous and absolutely apologetic. As it turns out, he'd gotten some bad news at work and needed some time to process it before heading out to our date. I totally can understand that--and honestly had it been me, I would have considered cancelling. Or been in a funk the whole time. He was neither. Props to him.

Because we were late to sit down and we have a habit of talking rather than perusing the menu, we ended up not getting our check until close to 7:45. Shit, we were going to be late to the Kennedy Center! Now, had we been smart, we would've jumped in a cab, but we figured it wasn't that far and we could book it. Such a bad idea. I got distracted in his story-telling about a friend of a friend who had been at Dewey and got arrested for breaking and entering someone's house--and having sex on their couch! Dr. Nutrition said, "She's not just a burglar. She's a fuckburglar!" Hilarious.

It was around that time that we realized we were walking down the wrong fucking street. By the time we backtracked, found the Kennedy Center, found the super secret place where our free tickets were, and made our way to the theater, it was 8:30. In the elevator up to the terrace level, he looked so sad and apologetic that I decided to make the move this time and gave him a kiss. (The kissing this time around was much better than last time.) I said, "No worries, everything is fine." He was a lot more relaxed after that.

As it turned out, we hadn't missed too much, and it ended up being a fun night despite the two rounds of tardiness. And, we are beginning to get more comfortable with each other. Despite my thinking I'm totally infatuated with Mr. Navy (which I am at least to a point), the truth is that I am really feeling Dr. Nutrition, too. I've never been in this position of liking two guys at the same time, and I'm wondering how long it can last. But, seeing as how it's not a problem right now, I won't think about it too much.

We have our fourth date planned for Tuesday. This time I'm heading to "Canada." Wish me luck.

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.

Dudes, this dating stuff is tiring. I realize how ridiculous it is when I'm talking to my friends and they can never keep any of the guys' names straight. In fact, I may resort to using their blog nicknames in real life as well. It's much easier, especially since some of their names sound similar. Or at least they aren't distinct enough to stick in anyone else's brain (including mine.)

Dating is a steep learning curve. It only took a few first dates to get the hang of it, and now I feel like I've got it down. I'm a little too overly-confident before some of my dates, and at the last second I have to quickly scan the emails/online dating profiles we've exchanged so I can A) remember their first name B) get their cell numbers C) have something to talk about when we get there.

Mr. Religion Teacher and I had been talking for a few weeks, and we finally met up yesterday--at a MeetUp no less. We had a drink together beforehand, but I ended up being really thankful for the group setting of the MeetUp. First, let me say that Mr. Religion Teacher was HOT. Buff, beautiful face...except he NEVER smiled. NOT ONCE! Forget about laughing, he never cracked even a slight smile the entire time. I tried to keep it light-hearted, and he wasn't taking the bait.

Boo. Why are people so serious? It was really bad when we were walking back to the Metro and he commented on how the facilitator of the MeetUp group should have implemented a "quiet sign" to get the groups to shut up. Like, remember in Girl Scouts or first grade or something when the teacher would put up his/her hand and all of the students followed? Yes, Mr. Religion Teacher was suggesting this for grown-ups. What. A. Killjoy.

Needless to say, I was thankful my wait for the Yellow line was only two minutes. I was ready to high tail it out of there. He, however, seemed to think the date had gone well. So, who knows...maybe he'd lighten up on a second date? If he calls, I might go out with him again.

Update on Mr. Navy: I broke down and texted him this afternoon. In Italian. And we are currently flirting via text. All I want to say is, "ASK ME OUT ALREADY!" Too strong?

Second Update on Mr. Navy: He just asked me out, and I am doing the happy dance!

It's Just a Little Crush.

I am insanely smitten with Mr. Navy. Oh, it's so bad. See, this is why I do not get drunk and kiss beautiful boys because when I do, it's like I just hand them my heart in a damn zip-lock bag! Gah. I'm not used to being this girl. I felt bad bugging my friend L about him, but she's my only line to his thoughts. She said, "Don't worry. He likes you. Give him until the end of the week to contact you."

And if he doesn't, then what? Ok, just breathe. We are not even close to that point yet.

Despite my desire to stay home and pore over pictures from this weekend, I had a date to get to--Mr. Litigation. We met up at Teaism, one of my favorite DC places, in Penn Quarter just by the Verizon Center. I kept seeing people in bizarro outfits and was like, "WTF is going on?" Then I realized: Gaga concert! For a split second I had high hopes that Mr. Litigation had actually purchased us tickets for the concert. Damn, that would've been hot. Might have blown Mr. Navy out of the water.

Even without Gaga, we had a really wonderful time. He was easy to talk to, funny, and easy-going. He's the oldest of six, and I loved hearing how close his family is. He did at one point mention that his sister was involved with Campus Crusade and I got a bit concerned until he mentioned doing a lot of meditation. We ended up talking for an hour about Buddhism and meditation. He even told me how to sit more comfortably--roll up a yoga mat and sit on top of it. It forces you to have a straight back--I will have to try it.

He was a really nice guy and a great distraction from Mr. Navy, though he was not really my type physically. But it's really good for me to keep meeting new people and not focus so much on this one guy. Even though he is beautiful. And smart. And sweet. And a fantastic kisser.

Oh, I am such a goner with this one.

P.S. My friend Z from the weekend texted me to say, "You and Mr. Navy are totally getting married. My few friends who are married I've been there when they met." I know it's ridiculous, but this makes me feel all giddy!

I Do Not Hook Up.

I go slow.


Usually. Unless I'm at Dewey Beach and there's beautiful Mr. Navy just standing there looking beautiful and wanting to buy me beers and kiss me on the dance floor. I mean, what else are you going to do in this situation?

See, I am not "Dewey Beach Girl." I never went to Panama City or Cancun for spring break. I don't wake up and keep drinking to alleviate the hangover I have from the night before. I don't run around in my bathing suit drinking Bud Lights at noon on a Sunday. I do not stay up until 5 AM and wake up the next morning to find that my entire group is being evicted from our condo for numerous noise violations. I am not that girl.

Usually. Unless I'm at Dewey Beach and it's Labor Day weekend and I've quit caring about who I'm "supposed to be."

When I told my friend L that I wanted to go to Dewey, he was shocked. He told me I was his BBF--Best Behaved-Friend. (Needless to say, after this weekend I don't think I deserve that one anymore.) But I'm trying new things, putting myself out there and letting myself cut loose a little. So, I said, "Sign me up!"

L's girlfriend had let on that she wanted to introduce me to her friend Mr. Navy who apparently is one of her favorite people of all time, so much so that she refuses to set him up with any of her friends because none of them is good enough for him. Until now. Yessssssss.

Mr. Navy--he is tall, dark, and gorgeous. So naturally, we immediately hit it off and it only took a few mixed drinks and some great cover band music on Friday to start off the weekend lip-locked on the dance floor. I had felt some sparks earlier in the week with Dr. Nutrition, but that got blown out of the water by Mr. Navy. I'm sure the vodka helped.

The next day I felt incredibly hungover from the drinking and the kissing, and I wasn't sure how I felt about the situation. This is how I am--overly analytical about whatever feelings I'm having about a guy. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve to have fun like that, and then I feel bad when I do. And I'm not even Catholic! So what's up with this semi-guilt I feel over a harmless make-out session with Mr. Navy?

I spent Saturday recovering, getting my ass kicked in the ocean (the waves were insane!), and watching college football with Mr. Navy. I decided that I'd learned my lesson the night before and stuck with beer rather than mixed drinks, and still had a great time. We kissed more. He fell asleep next to me without coming on too strong. I was getting used to having a cute boy around.

On Sunday, we got kicked out of our place (long story....but I still feel kind of badass to have been kicked out of a place in a fucking beach town where craziness is the name of the game) and decided to spend the day--where else--at the bar. More drinking, more dancing, more kissing. Once the sun went down, we ended up on the beach, stripped down to our bathing suits and got ready to jump into the water...until we felt how fucking freezing it was. So, we spent some time on the sand...

And yep, that's where the storytelling ends for that night. :-)

This morning Mr. Navy drove me back to DC, showed me his place, and kissed me before I headed back to my place. I think I floated all the way home.

Looking over the pictures from the weekend, I look so happy, so relaxed, just having a good time. I never expected to meet someone who is not only fun, but also seems to have his act together and is understanding. And, I confess I am a little smitten. I know, I know--it's Dewey Beach. It was alcohol-induced. It is not usually the kind of thing that goes anywhere. But, I'm hoping this might be an exception. From what I've seen and everything my friend L has told me, he is an awesome, solid guy--and that he was really into me, too.

In the meantime, I've got four dates this week. But, part of me thinks my thoughts might wander back to Mr. Navy....

From the Beach

Hope you all are having a marvelous Labor Day weekend! Once I survived the crazy drive to the beach (much of it the very same route SCL and I took to get to his parents' house in the middle of nowhere), I've been having a blast with my new friends. So far it's been a lot of drinkin', dancin', kissin' a really cute boy (whom I shall call Mr. Navy), and gettin' my ass kicked by the monstrous waves that are the only remnants of the "hurricane" that passed by yesterday.

I have to get back to the bar, but enjoy my guest post over at After I Do. Many thanks to Krysten for inviting me and let's all wish her luck as she moves into her new house!

How Can I Keep from Swooning?

Happy (almost) Labor Day weekend, everyone! I'm giving Earl the finger and heading to Delaware (who knew they have beaches?) with friends. Probably will be drinking and carousing too much to blog, but you never know. Hope you all have fun things planned!

Before I go, I had to share my morning moment of swoon. Dr. Nutrition and I made plans for dinner on Thursday this coming week (a night that I had already sort of promised to another date and then had to back out of...oops). I was already excited about that, but then this morning I get an email from him saying, "Hey, remember when I mentioned that my neighbor ushers at the Kennedy Center? She offered me tickets for a performance this Thursday, so instead of meeting just for dinner, how about dinner and a show?"

*SWOON*

This guy is good. What kind of crazy connection is this! Not only does his neighbor get free tickets, but she is willing to give them away to this guy. Wow. I am impressed.

Missed Connections

No, I'm not talking about the creepy Craiglist kind. I'm talking about those of you who read the blog, comment, and then I forget to follow your blog (if you have one). If I haven't commented on your blog yet, can you comment on this post and put in a link? I'd love to read what you're doing. For serious.

And, I'm also on Twitter and trying to get more followers (and more awesome people to follow.) So, if you tweet, please follow me at twitter.com/dancingthruDC and I promise to follow you back and attempt to be witty in 140-characters.

Preparing for a weekend at the beach, despite the hurricane heading this way. Hell, I grew up on a damn island, so I know all about this hurricane shit. BRING IT ON, YOU BASTARD! It will not interfere with my eating, drinking, and other merriment.

Enjoying the Awkwardness...Er, Newness

There's no getting around the initial awkwardness of a first date with a person you've never met before. No matter how much "e-chemistry" you might think you have with an online match, it may or may not be there when you meet in person. Yesterday I had a date with Mr. Civics Teacher, who had made me laugh like a maniac on e-mail and even on the phone. But in person, there was really nothing there. Thankfully we were able to cut it short, using my truly sore throat as an excuse to head home before it got dark.

All of this sitting in awkwardness (and with Dr. Nutrition at least, feeling some butterflies and giddiness, too) has got me thinking a lot about the comfort I had with SCL. Sometimes I think I want him back--but what I really want is familiarity. With familiarity, there's less vulnerability, less fear, and less unknown. There is less risk involved. I think in my mini-freak-out on Monday, that's what was going on. I didn't know this man next to me. What is lurking under his positive exterior? What secrets is he keeping? What will the process of getting to know him be like?

The truth is yes, SCL and I did have familiarity. We did know one another. But, oh yeah, I was miserable. And that familiarity had nothing to do with him in particular. It had to do with the time we'd spent together, memories we made, life lived over time. I can and will have that again with someone else.

When I let myself feel what I'm feeling, I realize that despite the unknown, I want to keep doing this--keep meeting new people, have some so-so dates, have some potentially awesome ones, but regardless, I want to keep putting myself out there. It is risky and scary, but I also have already met some great people--and Dr. Nutrition and I are scheduling our third date! I'm glad I don't have the option of staying in that miserable familiarity. I'm glad that I've found the strength to put myself out there, to give myself another chance to connect with another person.

A little awkwardness never killed anyone, right?