So... one of my blog readers asked me where I'm finding men worth dating. In the spirit of transparency and authenticity... I'll share my journey thus far.
When Brian moved out, knowing there had been no REAL relationship there many years (remember, not even as much as a hug or kiss in YEARS), a friend pushed me to sign up for some online dating services. I played around with a few, even paid for a 1 months subscription to a few. But finally settled on two main sites. Plenty of Fish and OKCupid. Both are free, have a lot of people on them, and have fun, easy interfaces for learning about people and messaging them.
I sent messages back and forth with a few guys. Started talking fairly regularly with R1, a cute Navy doctor in Oak Harbor (who looked quite a lot like the singer, Daughtry!) We messaged, we texted, we talked on the phone. He wanted to drive up here and take me out for sushi (I'd never tried it). But in the meantime, I had also started talking to R2. He was incredibly good looking, fun, intelligent, kind, a tad flirty (which I enjoyed after not having that... pretty much ever.) He and I had decided to meet for a walk on the upcoming Sunday, and we continued to text. I met a couple of friends for coffee and he texted that he wished we could meet sooner. When my friends saw his picture, they encouraged me to leave them and go meet him. Ha ha.
Well, R1 got jealous when he heard I was meeting another guy, and stopped talking to me for a while. We catch up via text about once a month or so, even now... but still have never met.
R2 and I met in a public place that evening, walked and talked for an hour or more (outside, around a shopping center), then went to a nearby picnic table to sit and talk some more. Conversation was flowing, we were having a good time (despite my being incredibly nervous... I hadn't dated in a decade and a half!) He kissed me, which was wonderful... then the advances got a little more direct than I had anticipated. Ah, what I would learn about men in the next year! I turned down the offer to go back to his place, we got together one more time after that, then he heard I was meeting someone else (P) for a beer, and used that incident (my not focusing on dating just him) to say he wanted to just be friends, despite that there had been no conversation about exclusivity. Looking back, I realized that was just a convenient out... he'd been on the dating site (as many men are), looking for someone to hook-up with. As he got to know me, he realized he couldn't take advantage of me that way. He and I continute to have a good, mutually-supportive friendship. Despite that first aggressive impression... he's a great guy and I'm thankful he's in my life.
I'd started talking to K, also. He lived many hours away, which made the possibility of a relationship incredibly unlikely. But we have become friends, still text and talk on the phone to encourage each other (because dating and navigating all this kinda... sucks.) And once when he had a doctor's appointment in Seattle, I was able to meet up with him and his girlfriend at the time, have coffee and hang out for a few hours.
So I mentioned having a beer with P... we met up just intending to be friends. We both had 4 kids, very similar ages, and it seemed we could be good friends, and maybe support each other through the journey of beind divorced parents. We had a nice time talking over a beer at a local brewery. He was a little blunt and abrupt, and I actually found that refreshing and amusing. As we were leaving, he gave me a hug and let me know I was a good looking woman, and he'd totally up for Friends with Benefits. Yikes! (He and I still catch up now and then, via text. He offers me advice on divorce and referred me to his lawyer to get some questions cleared up, and while I don't take ALL of his advice, I do appreciate his opinion.)
Like I said... I was learning a lot about men... mostly that my ex was REALLY abnormal, and the old cliche "men only think about one thing" was seeming to be more true than I'd wanted to believe.
To be continued...