The importance of communication

As an opening statement one of the guys have been chatting to, told me he was looking for: honesty, understanding, loyalty, love and trust to be there for the good times and the bad.  I thought this sounded like a good aspiration and very promising.

After a brief chat we swapped some photos and he said he wanted me to be his woman.  After which he started calling me ‘Sweetheart’, ‘baby’ and ‘my love’.  At which point I’m starting to think this is a bit too much too soon.  He is currently in the UK on business.  The following day he asked me to come and cook for him.  The fact that I had already cooked and eaten did not deter him so I made a joke about the travel distance.  At the same time hoping that his requirement for someone to who makes sure that he’s eaten and gets home safe does not mean a docile wife to cook and clean.

Then on Monday morning he tells me he is planning to go shopping.  He thinks it will be nice if he shops for me.  So he wants my shoe size, size and type of clothes I like and the size of my finger.  Ok now I’m seriously freaked out.  I’ve known the guy two days.  So I told him that was very kind but it was too much too soon.  To which he wrote:

“Are you going to send me wat I asked for or not. Can you please answer me I hate ignorance”

 He ignored my question about ignorance and simply asked again if I would send the information.  So I went with a more blunt:

“No. I hardly know you.  I can’t accept such a generous gift”

I haven’t heard from him again.  He did not even read the last message.  It still has two grey ticks.  So I guess he really did just want a docile wife to cook and clean.  If he really cared about my feelings and my happiness he would have made the effort to find out what I really wanted and how I was feeling about his offer.

This is a contrast to Accountant guy.  We have now had three dates.  I have enjoyed all of them but I still don’t feel like there is a strong connection.  Interestingly it seems he has similar feelings.  He messaged to ask where I thought things were going and if it was still the case that we could see other people.  I ended up explaining to him that I was still trying to get over a previous guy.  Also the fact that two guys had let me down badly probably meant that I was holding back.  I explained that the last guy had ghosted me and I finally got round to deleting his number last week.

It is an interesting because he created a situation where we could discuss the more important stuff in an open and honest way.  Which is of course exactly what is needed to develop a healthy and lasting relationship.  We have agreed to take things slow and it is understood that either of us might meet someone else.  I feel much more relaxed about the relationship and seeing him again because we have a better idea of where the other stands.  I was just starting to worry about the situation and if I needed to say something before things got messy.  Now I can relax and have fun with him.  I really don’t want to commit to one person at the moment.  He has not yet proposed another date but I’m hoping he will soon.

An interesting contrast with how guys can go about building a relationship.  DON’T freak me out by trying to go to fast and buy me with fancy gifts. DO take the time to say how you are feeling.

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Getting to coffee

Meeting for coffee makes a good first date.  It gives you a chance to start getting to know the other person without giving up too much time.  Getting to this point is a sign that things might go somewhere.  But how do decide who to meet for coffee?

 

With Tinder it starts with the decision to swipe left or right.  Seriously guys if the only thing on your profile is a picture of the sea how can I possibly get a sense of who you are, swipe left.  Similarly pictures representing your interests, such as a Manchester United football shirt, or text that has some meaning to you might give me a better idea of who you are, but I want to see a nice photo of you.  Oh and you lying in bed does not make a good photo.  Text like “Warning, sex with this person may cause explosive multiple organisms” might give me and my friends a good laugh but I’m still swiping left.  At least with information like wanting no strings attached fun, I can make a more informed decision.  That is still a swipe left.  I am amazed how many guys admit being married or in a complicated relationship.  Wtf are you doing on Tinder?  Never mind, swipe left.  Thus no chance of a conversation even starting.

Badoo allows people to contact anyone straight away.  Seriously guys, you need to say more than “hi” if you want to get my attention.  Saying “hi” multiple times is just going to irritate me.  I even had one guy asking me “Don’t you greet?”.  I was feeling grumpy so I told him he had to try harder than that.  I get bored if you start with are you single?  I deliberately made this clear in my profile.  This is usually followed by do you have kids and where are you from.  Some might even ask about my job.  This seems to be enough information for lots of guys to ask me to meet them for coffee.  So far all they have really learnt is that I am available for dating on a dating app.  I should add that in many cases these are guys with very little information in their profiles.

A warning sign that things are not going well is when I ask what you do in your spare time.  It generally means I am getting bored and trying to find something more interesting to discuss.  Yet so many will respond with things like “nothing”  or “I go to movies and things with my friends when they ask me to”.  Another classic is when I ask them to tell me more about themselves and the response is that I can ask them anything.  Another turn-off is when I mention going to for coffee and someone asks something like ‘when will it be my turn?’.

Call me old-fashioned but I think that as a guy, if you want to ask a lady out for coffee, with a view to dating then you should be aiming to impress.  You need to give me a reason to dress up and give up some of my time to spend with you.  If the conversation flows nicely, you are making me laugh and smile or at the very least I feel like you are making an effort to impress, then I will make more of an effort to meet you for coffee.

 

Dating hit and miss

Dating will always be a bit hit and miss.  Sometimes things go according to plan and sometimes they don’t.  This weekend I had dates planned with both guys I mentioned in “A little bit of magic”.

On Saturday I had arranged to meet one of the guys for coffee.  This is the guy I had been chatting to for a while and was starting to wonder if he was ever going to ask me out.  He does something to do with planning so I’ll call him Planner guy.  I also had to take my Mom shopping and then I had some work to do.  I did more work than I expected and then started to realise it was getting rather late for coffee.  I had heard nothing from Planner guy since the morning when there was a quick greeting suggesting he was excited about meeting up later.  Eventually I sent him a coffee emoticon with a question mark.  There was a quick message about his Mom visiting and I think he was taking her home.  After another hour of silence I decided to accept another invite for dinner and had a lovely evening with a friend.  Shortly after I arrived home Planner guy messaged me.  I told him I had been out for dinner.  That I had to make another plan after he bailed on our coffee date.  Turns out that while I was waiting for him to sort out the details, he was waiting for me to say something.  So much for all the dating advice that says you should wait for the guy to make the arrangements.  We couldn’t rearrange for Sunday because I had another date but I decided to just tell him I was out with friends.

On Sunday I met with the guy who was quicker to ask me out.  He’s an accountant so I’ll call him Accountant guy.  This was our second date.  We met for dinner on the Tuesday after work.  On Saturday we went brandy and chocolate pairing, had some coffee and talked.  He stutters which can make the conversation challenging at times but that is not enough to put me off.  He has a lot going for him.  He has a decent job, with ambitions to start his own business, he has his own place (you would be surprised how many guys are living with parents or a roommate).  He doesn’t have kids which means finding time to get together is much easier.  He has recently decided to lose weight and has found a programme which seems to work for him and he has recently taken up open water swimming so he is getting fit and healthy.  He asked me out at a sensible point in our conversation and had been good at checking in to confirm details of our plans.  He seems to like me a lot.

The problem is that I’m not sure I like him anywhere as much.  If had to describe him I would have to go with a very bland “nice”.  Unlike the previous guy where I would go with things like exciting, exhilarating and frustrating.  I think that I first need to come to terms with the fact that he ghosted me.

So for now the plan is to take things slow with Accountant guy.  Try to rearrange the coffee date with Planner guy.  Continue working the dating websites to see what other possibilities there are.

A symbolic gesture

In the case of Guy 0 my return to South Africa marked a clear end to any hope that we might be able to repair things.  So it was at this point that I deleted the message history and all the photos he sent me.  This gesture was a symbolic acknowledgement that things were over and it was time to move on.

I have heard nothing from Import-export guy for over 4 weeks and I’m and I think the time to delete the message history and pictures is approaching fast.  Saturday is the day I have in mind.  While he was offline I could allow for some sort of mess up but he has been back online for the last week.  I can’t understand why a month after he convinced me not to end things, he has gone completely silent.  Maybe with a bit of time he decided that something I said was too much drama or pressure.  Maybe he is offended I left no messages while he was offline.  Maybe he has just lost track of how much time has passed.  Perhaps he has realised he just does not have time for a girlfriend.

I am tempted to message him, before deleting the chat history, but what would I say.  I could go with something simple like:

“Wtf is going on?”

Or maybe I should actually go for the message I considered leaving while he was away:

“You selfish, fucking bastard.  Why couldn’t you be honest and accept you don’t have the time to make this work.  Why couldn’t you just let me say goodbye and let me move on with my life?  It would have hurt but it would have been a lot kinder.”

Except I’m that I’m not feeling so angry right now and this message no longer feels right.  Perhaps a reminder of the good times:

“You selfish bastard.  Why couldn’t you be honest and accept you don’t have the time to make this work.  It’s a pity because Durban was such fun.”

What about a humorous twist:

“You selfish bastard.  Why couldn’t you be honest and accept you don’t have the time to make this work.  I could have had an extra month on Tinder”

Of course if all I really want is his attention, then a food emoticon is enough.  The real question is what would be the point? If he was really interested I would have heard from him by now.  It is the uncertainty and the not knowing that I hate the most.  Especially when you consider that the most recent messages were cheerful, fun and flirty.  Nothing to suggest he was losing interest. Would engaging him in a conversation get me the answers I need?  Would it end up being a painful unpleasant acknowledgement of what I already know?  Would we end up back in a situation where he is stringing me along?  Would he even bother to respond?

Perhaps I should delete his contact details?  Will he know if I have?  I like the simplicity of a message saying I have left our conversation to officially finish things.  I also like the idea of leaving an angry message then leaving the chat.  I realised today that I’m not yet ready to recognise things are over by deleting my messages.  I’m still considering if it is better for me to provoke that painful and unpleasant conversation.  I had a very unpleasant task today and two dates over the weekend that I’m looking forward to.  I think I will focus on the dates and see what next week brings.

 

Six Month Anniversary

It is six months since I started this blog and a lot has happened in that time.  I signed up for online dating and then started this blog as a way to get over Guy 0.  I signed up for the online dating partly because I knew he disapproved of online and started the blogging as a way to share the funny stories of the crazy people I met.  While there have been funny stories the blog became a useful way to work through the situation with Import-export guy.  Given that I’m in the process of moving on from him it is another reason a review is timely.

These days I have been feeling really positive and starting to focus on the future and what I want from life.  In a funny kind of way I think both these guys helped with that.  Looking back I think after my Dad died I went into survival mode.  Focused on helping Mom, then finishing my studies, then settling back in South Africa.  Guy 0 came along at just as I was starting to think about the future and what I wanted from life.  So I benefited from this relationship because it got me back in the dating game and he did provide great support during a time when my sister was driving me mental due to building work.

Import-export guy came along just after I returned to South Africa from a holiday in the UK.  After being away for a while it is always difficult to get back into the routine of work.  Plus I had the additional challenges of worrying about the removal of my wisdom tooth and trying to get over Guy 0.  Talking to Import-Export guy brightened up each day and gave me hope.  We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting to know him.  So this relationship was good for me because it helped me get through a difficult time then start to figure out what I actually wanted from this round of dating and what I need to do to get it.

All the experts say that you are not supposed to start dating, especially internet dating when your confidence is low.  So there is a certain irony in the fact that I have used internet dating to restore mine.  Perhaps that is more down to this blog providing a means to work through my feelings.  I used to scribble these things on paper but it is not the same as a blog.  For me at least there is a process to organising my thoughts into a post that others can follow.  I need to consider how much I am willing to share.  Particularly with more recent posts, knowing these posts will go public has made me focus on the positive aspects of each situation.  I was surprised at the time how much using  the “Open letter” post (https://romanticadventuresblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/an-open-letter-to-the-ex/) to vent my anger helped me to feel better.  This blog also helped me to organise my thoughts and decide on a plan of action such as my “next adventure” post (https://romanticadventuresblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/preparing-for-the-next-adventure/).  Hopefully you found some of my posts interesting and amusing such as my “Daddy Hunt” post (https://romanticadventuresblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/daddyhunt/).

I like my blog.  I like being able to look back and see how much things have changed for me this year.  I like being reminded of some of the funnier things that happened and the interesting people I have met along the way.  I’m excited because tonight I have a date.  The more I get to know this guy the more I like him.  I plan to take things slow.  There is another guy I also like and some other interesting possibilities.  Life is looking good.

A little bit of magic

Last night I finally joined Elite Singles.  It seems to have had a magic effect.

I noticed this morning that my last message to Import-export guy now has two blue ticks.  Now I am confident nothing bad has happened.  I’m sure if it was a relative accessing his phone they would have messaged me by now.  While the fact that he hasn’t messaged me is a useful reminder of how low I am on his list of priorities.  Surprising how much closure I can get from two blue ticks.

The really magic part is that three guys asked me out.  Two within an hour of me joining Elite Singles, hence the magic, as none of them are from Elite Singles.  The first one messaged me just after 10 pm wanting to know if I was available that evening.  I pointed out that it was rather late and I was going to bed soon.  I suggested we meet earlier on another day.  He was not interested.  Gee I wonder what he was after.

I have been chatting for a while to the second guy who asked me out.  It had reached a point where I was starting to wonder if he would ever ask me out and if it was time to end the conversation.  But I enjoyed chatting to him and it was not causing me any problems.  So when he finally asked I was glad i did not do anything too hasty.

I only started chatting to the third guy a few days ago.  He seemed very excited when we first matched.  Then a few days later he messaged to say he had been on a date with this girl and he wanted to give her a chance.  I thanked him for letting me know and pointed out that realistically I had assumed he was chatting to and might even date a few women.  I said he was welcome to contact me at a later date.  He messaged a few days later because the other lady had gone quiet.  On reflection he decided I made a good point that at the early stages it was quite reasonable to chat with more than one person.

We haven’t confirmed the details for either date yet but things are moving in the right direction.  It is unlikely that either of these is “the one” but it will be interesting to get out and meet some new people.

Poor Fella, caught in the crossfire

This poor guy tried to start a conversation with me at completely the wrong time this morning.  It started well but then he started trying to be a bit flirty and naughty.  Actually it was the same sort of light-hearted banter that attracted me to Import-export guy in the first place.  I get bored of: Where are you from? What do you do? Are you single?  Do you have kids?.  So I said I suggested we chat later and he made the mistake of asking if I was in a bad mood.  So I explained I was going through some relationship crap which I had hoped to resolve today so that I could move on with my life.  I suggested I should go because otherwise I would end up having a rant.  But he was very sympathetic so I explained that I was worried that something bad might have happened to a guy I like.

He caught me just at the point where I was starting to stress because I had not heard from Import-export guy.  There is still a single tick next to my last message so he might not even have turned on the phone for nearly three weeks.  So I was going through a phase of what if something bad really has happened?

At some point the poor fella asked if I really thought something bad had happened.  So I said that no it is much more likely that he has taken the kids on holiday and not bothered to tell me.  The problem with today his that the kids are back at school.  So surely if this was the reason he would have checked his phone by now.  About this point I figured I had scared him off and went to get some hot chocolate.  Surprisingly he reappeared a bit later and we had a nice chat.

The biggest challenge with Import-export guy’s disappearing act is the not knowing.  I was starting to feel a little guilty that I had not done more to check if he is OK.  Honestly though, it would not make a huge difference.  It’s not like I would go and visit him in hospital unless he asked me to.  And well for anything worse it would just mean I do not think so harshly of him.  After all I made the decision that I could and should see other people before he disappeared.  I tried to do a search for him or any news on the internet.  In short there is nothing but it is an absence that proves nothing.  It is a sad reflection of our relationship that I don’t even know the name of his company.  Certainly there is no sign of any company doing the sort of work he told me about.  To find out more I would need to pick up the phone and do a whole lot more work.  I’m not sure there is much point.

In the absence of any information I need to make up my own story.  Using ghosting to explain his silence does not work for me.  I think in a conventional Ghosting situation he would continue to use his phone, Badoo and WhatsApp.  He might even have got as far as reading my message just not replied.  One possibility is that he is married.  His profile says divorced but he could have lied or remarried.  I have always been aware that this would explain a lot.  So I have decided that the reason for his silence is that his wife found out he was chasing other women and confiscated his phone.  The added bonus that the idea of a grown man having his phone confiscated makes me smile.  Just a pity that the other poor fella doesn’t want anything serious because I kinda like him.