Finding Him

Last year, I wrote a post describing my perfect man. Since then, I’d have to say I’ve added a few more items to the wish list.

For instance, he’d have no problem telling people he’s involved with me. He’d be honest and not give me cause to question things he says. And he’d actually keep his word, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

Ironically, one year and one day after writing that post, I think I’ve actually met him. Rico, whom I met at a Halloween party last month, has exceeded any expecations I’ve allowed myself to have of late. We’ve talked every day {multiple times a day} since meeting a little over a month ago. I’ve gone down to see him once, and he’s coming up this weekend for his second visit. We’ve already made plans to spend New Year’s Eve together, and we seem to grow closer every day.

His kisses curl my toes and I smile every time his name appears on my phone. His deep voice is enticing, and it feels just right when I rest my head against his chest. He’s funny and sweet and so much like my carefully thought-out description from a year ago that it’s almost like I conjured him out of my blog and into existence. He’s kind of the anti-Michael, and such a refreshing change from what I’ve tolerated for the last year and a half. And from what he’s said about his last couple of relationships, I’m a much-welcome change from what he’s tolerated as well. My friend Ace apparently had it right with this one. We get along so well and laugh all the time. Rico is the perfect combination of sexy, sweet, sensitive, and silly. He very willingly posts pictures of us together on Facebook, has told his close friends and family members about me {and I’ve met some of them}, and keeps his word. I genuinely trust him, which doesn’t come easily for me. We fit.

I know the relationship is ridiculously new, but he has already made me happier than I’ve been in quite a while where romance is concerned. I think we’re off to a very promising start!

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A Long Time Coming

As I mentioned in my last post, recently I finally ended things with Michael for good. I tried to end it two or three times before, but he always managed to keep me on the hook. The problem was, I had so many reservations about him and our relationship that I knew there was just no way it would ever work out.

First, there was the distance. He lives several states away and I truly couldn’t see any way he’d ever relocate up here. His kids, his job, his church, and his various activites were all there. My daughter is in the middle of high school, so there’s no way I was going to force her to move to another state right now. Plus my family and her dad are all here. That would be unbelievably selfish on my part to do that to her. I’m not one for ultimatums and wasn’t about to demand that he relocate. And I think, to be honest, I didn’t really want him to relocate.

Second, and most signficicant, was the dishonesty, which went on for most of our 16-month relationship. I put up with lies from my ex-husband for far too long, and I sure wasn’t about to put up with it again. First, he was dishonest about talking to other girls on Facebook {I knew for a fact that he had, on at least a few occasions}. Then he was dishonest about the Christmas gifts that supposedly got lost at the airport and arrived a month or more after Christmas.

He was supposed to come up for my birthday in July, but suddenly said he had to work. I don’t know of anyone who is able to cancel an airline reservation with such short notice and get any money back, but he claimed to do both. He said he had a gift and a card for my birthday, but even after he knew he wasn’t coming, he never put anything in the mail for me. I would have been happy with just a card, but nothing ever showed up. I was not in a great mood for most of my birthday because of it. I brought up the gifts he supposedly bought several times, but he never put anything in the mail. He claimed that the gift was still in his suitcase and that he’d bring it on his next visit. He did end up coming to visit over Labor Day weekend, and even though I knew it sounded petty and childish, I asked about the gift. He said he ended up bringing a different suitcase and forgot the gift. In my heart, I knew he was bullshitting me. I knew it was all lies.

On the last day of his visit, we stopped at the grocery store for a few things. When I was at the checkout, he said he wanted some pop and walked back to get it. I checked out and waited for him. As he approached the checkout, I saw that he had one or two greeting cards in his hand {I swear it looked like a yellow envelope and a hot pink one}. I didn’t say anything about it because he had bought cards once or twice for me before and left them in my room when he left. But after he left, I never saw any cards. I asked him about it, and he said he had hidden it {suddenly now it’s just one card?} and wanted me to find it. I looked EVERYWHERE for that friggin card… nothing. I asked him about it again, and he said that if I didn’t find it soon, he’d tell me where it was. I had this feeling there was no card in my house and told him as much. He insisted that there was one. After another week or so, I asked him to please just tell me where it was because it was driving me crazy. And he said he couldn’t remember where he had left it. My heart sank.

There was also the issue of him never going public about our relationship. He had a million reasons why he felt justified in keeping it private {or secret}, but it just felt to me like he wasn’t willing to publicly give up his bachelor card. At one point, he actually changed his Facebook status to “In a Relationship,” but he never specifically said it was with me.

This guy, this asshole, who claimed to be so in love with me and wanted to marry me, was doing nothing but stringing me along, feeding me lie after lie after lie, and I was overlooking it. I would hear myself telling these things to my friends and realized how outlandish it all sounded. I knew that if any of my friends told me the same things about guys they were seeing, I’d be thinking they were being played. So why was I putting up with it myself? No more.

I could feel myself becoming more and more distant, and I knew this just wasn’t going to work out. I think the final straw was when he went through some serious personal drama. His kids were removed from his ex-wife and put in foster care because his daughter had a {single, not plural} bruise from an argument with her brother. Michael was forced to move into a larger place, take a psych eval, and have supervised visits, even though he wasn’t even present when the incident occurred. It just all sounded extremely fishy to me. I wondered if there had been previous incidents because removing the kids to foster care over one bruise seemed so extreme.

He told me that on one occasion when he and his ex-wife were meeting with a counselor about getting the kids back, she wouldn’t shut up and kept running her mouth. He kicked her under the table to get her to be quiet. On another occasion, he was the one getting all fired up, and she tapped his hand to calm him down. That sure didn’t sound like the behavior of a divorced couple. Red flags were popping up all over. He said one day that he had called her to tell her off because he blamed her for all that was going on. I asked what her response was and he said she looked like she had been slapped. Looked. I asked if he had seen her in person since he said that, and he said that it was just a figure of speech, that he meant she had sounded that way. How do you sound like you look like you just got slapped??? The following day, he said he actually went over to her house to tell her off again.  I suspected that he was only saying that to cover his tracks about the previous conversation that had supposedly happened on the phone. I had heard enough. I flat out told him I didn’t believe him and raised all kinds of questions I had about the whole ordeal. He swore he wasn’t involved with her and that he really was divorced but I wasn’t buying it. Things were definitely coming to a head.

I finally ended things once and for all, telling him not to call me because I had nothing left to say. He has tried to call and text a few times, professing his love and saying he misses me. I haven’t responded. He even went so far as to say he had posted a few things intended for me on his Facebook page. Really? I dump you and unfriend you and NOW you want to post stuff for me?? Too little too late. It’s done. It needed to be done months ago, but I finally saw him for what he was — a slippery snake whom I could NEVER trust. Good riddance.

 

A Halloween to Remember

It’s been quite some time since I wrote anything, partly because things were very up and down with Michael {yes, I was still in a long-distance relationship with him}. But things have been kind of coming to a head for a while, and Halloween weekend was one for the books. I’ll have to write a whole separate post on the official {no, really} end of that affair. But for now, I have to tell the tale of the Halloween party.

Stacy and I go to it every year, and it’s always a good time. Usually, I have a hard time picking a costume, but this time I decided to go as sexy Freddy Krueger. Odd, I know. But I really liked the costume, complete with hat and claw hand. The party started out like any other, drinking a little, catching up with friends, etc. A guy dressed as a clown wandered over and started talking to us. He was very sweet and could actually hold a conversation {a rarity at many of these gatherings}. We talked to him off and on, and also walked around mingling with other people. Stacy noticed that one guy {who’s not even worth nicknaming} kept following us around. He’s given her trouble at parties before, following her and even grabbing her boob once {after which she kicked him square in the grapes, which he seemed to like}. Anyway, after he very obviously shadowed us for a half hour or so, I walked over to him and pointed at him with my Freddy claw and told him to leave Stacy alone. He played dumb, but I told him again to leave her alone, waving my claw hand for emphasis. I walked back over to Stacy, who found it quite hilarious that I was suddenly a badass when I was dressed like Freddy Krueger. Wouldn’t you know, within minutes of me telling him off, I think he left the party entirely, never to appear again for the rest of the night! I didn’t know I could be so intimidating with a plastic claw hand and some hard cider in my belly.

I'm a bit curvier than the girl in this pic, but you get the idea.

I’m a bit curvier than the girl in this pic, but you get the idea.

A little while later, I noticed a very good-looking guy in a cowboy hat. I didn’t remember ever seeing him before, and then I saw him talking to my friend Ace. I casually walked over and Ace introduced me to his friend Rico. As soon as I heard the name, I remembered a conversation from months before where I had asked Ace, if he was going to pick a guy for me, what kind of guy would he pick, and he had said that if his friend Rico was single, he’d be perfect for me. Hmmmm… I continued on my way, and a little while later Ace said he questioned whether Rico was still attached because he had only mentioned his kids, not his girlfriend. I asked him to find out if this gorgeous guy was single, and as it turns out, indeed he was {happy dance}. I asked him to put in a good word for me. Shortly after, who comes walking over but Rico, looking right at me and smiling. He asked if I wanted to go for a walk so we could talk. My feet were killing me from my high-heeled boots, so we ended up sitting on a couch in the lobby near the door to the party. We talked for a little while and he seemed like a really cool, down-to-earth guy. This was promising! He asked for my number, and I got his, and he left soon after, saying maybe we could talk the next day. I was on cloud 9!

I went back into the party and hung out talking to the clown {whose name turned out to be Jonah} for a while. A girl dressed like a devil wandered over and asked if I’d been to many of these parties. I said yes, I come every year. She said this was her first time, so we all chatted for a few minutes. She was telling us how she and her boyfriend had gone to a couple of other clubs before coming to this party, and she pointed him out across the room. She said he thought I was cute, and wanted to know if I was interested in joining them. Ummmmm….no! I politely declined, saying that really wasn’t my thing. She was very embarrassed and walked away. That was a new one!

I actually got a lot of compliments on that costume. Some people thought I had made it myself. One very drunk girl came over to me at one point saying she had been looking for me because she wanted to show her friend that “Freddy got a booty!!!” {She yelled that across the bar. Too funny.}

Anyway, fast forward to the following morning. I texted Rico to let him know we were getting on the road to head home, and asked if I could call him later that day. He replied back and said definitely. Later that afternoon, when I finally got home, unpacked, and cleaned up, I called him. We talked for an hour, and he said he was glad I called instead of texting because it seems like all people want to do these days is text. Later that evening, we talked for another hour. I was really digging him, and could see why Ace had thought we’d hit it off. The next morning, I texted just to say good morning, and we ended up talking and texting every day. As it turns out, my daughter was to be with her dad that following weekend, so Rico and I made plans to meet. I was really excited to see him, and he planned a whole day of things for us to do on that Saturday. No guy had ever done that for me before!

I drove down and spent an awesome weekend with him, getting to know each other, talking, laughing… It was amazing. We went apple picking, to a wine tasting, and out to dinner, plus splashed around in the hot tub and pool. He introduced me {as his girl — swoon} to his brother, his cousin, his sister, and his mom, and he even posted pics on Facebook of the various things we did. After one week, he was putting me out there, calling me his girl…a very welcome change from Michael and his self-declared privacy issues, who refused to do the same after nearly a year and a half! We talk every day, multiple times a day. This weekend he’s coming up to spend the weekend with me, and I can’t wait. Needless to say, I’m all smiles these days. Stay tuned…

Cuffing Season?

Looking back at my last few posts, I guess I’m overdue for a progress report. I’m still talking to Michael, and after some very intense conversations, I feel like we’re in a better place. I feel like he’s understanding my insecurities in general and I’m understanding his. He has since unhidden his friends list, which helped. It wasn’t so much that I had this burning need to see who he’s friends with. I just really have a hard time with secretive people, and me wanting him to unblock his friends list was more a matter of principle. If he was really serious about wanting a future with me he’d unblock it, and he did {I didn’t put it quite that way. I’m NOT one for ultimatums}.

We still talk every day and he’s talking about coming to visit again in the next month or so. I’d say things are going better. I think we both have emotional baggage we’re dealing with. When we first started talking, he said he was suspicious of my motives because he couldn’t figure out why a woman as attractive as me {his words} would be interested in him. We’re working through some things and I’m hopeful.

With that said, I’m suddenly finding myself getting attention from every direction and it’s so foreign to me. I’ve never been the girl with the guys chasing her, but now I’m hearing about this guy or that guy who’s interested in me. Huh. As far as I can tell, I’m still the same person. I don’t know what’s changed that’s got guys noticing me.

First, there’s Joe, who I had kind of a FWB relationship for a while. He’s probably the best cuddler I’ve ever known. He’s about 6’5 and his hands are as big as my feet {which are not little or dainty}. Joe makes me feel small and safe in his arms. Romantically there wasn’t much there, though. We fooled around a few times, but sexually I wasn’t really into him. For one thing, he referred to his package as his “li’l wee-wee” several times. I finally told him to stop it. I told him that’s not sexy. He’s not small {more like average} but I don’t know any woman who would be turned on by a guy calling his dick a wee-wee. Anyway, I haven’t seen Joe in maybe a year or so, but lately he keeps poking me on Facebook and texting me from time to time. Maybe he’s lonely, I don’t know.

Then there’s Finch, who messages me every other week or so, saying he dropped the ball and hopes I’m single soon {I had told him I’m talking to someone} so he can have another chance. I suppose I might be flattered if I didn’t know that he messages me after each failed attempt at a relationship with someone else. I see him posting on Facebook regularly, looking for women and referring to himself as a handsome chocolate teddy bear, just in time for winter cuddling. I don’t know if he thinks I don’t see those posts or what. I told him I can’t offer him anything more than friendship but he still persists.

Next there’s Freddy, who I talked to for a while and had a couple of meh dates with. He also knows I’ve been talking to someone but messages me every few weeks, I guess to remind me that he’s still there. There was no chemistry at all when we went out, and he had a weird habit of staring at my elbow while he was talking to me. At least, I think that’s what he was looking at.

Another one is Calvin, whom I met a year ago at my friend Keisha’s house on Thanksgiving. He’s a friend of her uncle’s who happened to be there. They were all playing Pokeno, which I had never played, so he was coaching me. Nothing at all happened with him, other than playing cards and laughing a lot, right along with everyone else. Well yesterday, when I was at her house on Thanksgiving, Keisha’s uncle told me Calvin was down in Louisiana with a bad attitude. I asked why, and he said, “Because he knows you’re here and he’s not.” I was really surprised. A whole year had passed since I had seen Calvin, and like I said, our interaction was nowhere near romantic in nature. But Keisha’s uncle said Calvin sure remembered me, and was not happy that he wasn’t able to make it home {he’s a truck driver}.

And finally, there’s Nate. If anyone is a temptation, it’s him. We became friends on Facebook within the last couple of months or so. He’s seriously good looking and we’ve had a few good chat conversations online {some flirtatious, some not}. He lives much closer than Michael does and told me he’s recently single and would love to meet me. Of course, REBOUND was the first word that popped into my mind when he said that, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a tiny bit interested in meeting him face to face. I was good and told him I’m talking to someone, but damn. He definitely caught my attention. That’s all I have to say about that one {for now, anyway}.

I suppose this all might come off sounding conceited or vain. But on the contrary, I don’t get it. I’m actually perplexed by it. I’m not overly flirtatious. I don’t wear clothes that show all my business. I don’t hop in the sack with every guy who smiles at me. I’m friendly…I pay attention when people speak to me…I’m generally kindhearted and I love to laugh. Maybe it’s just that Christmas is coming and people get sentimental when they don’t have a special someone. Maybe they’re just looking for someone to fool around with. Who knows? But I’m definitely not used to the attention, and I’m humbled by it for sure.

On this day after Thanksgiving, I’m grateful that I’m in a place emotionally and mentally where I can be selective about who I spend time with. I’m ok with spending an evening on my own and don’t feel the need to constantly find some random guy to validate me or to stroke my ego {or to stroke my…*ahem* never mind}. I’m grateful to have a good head on my shoulders and friends I can count on. The past few years have been quite a ride, but I see myself evolving, and I gotta say, I kinda like who I’m becoming.

A Matter of Trust

“I’ve seen love come, I’ve seen it shot down, I’ve seen it die in vain.”
~Jon Bon Jovi

I’ve heard many times before that you shouldn’t punish one person for the mistakes of another. But when you’ve been jerked around so many times, when you’ve fallen victim to sweet-talking players so many times, when you realize how few people you can genuinely count on, it’s hard not to be a little jaded. I try not to assume the worst with people, but it’s so hard not to when I see certain patterns emerge.

How do you put the past behind you and open your heart? How do you tell the difference between trusting your gut and just being cynical or paranoid? I don’t want to go through life with my guard up but it’s so hard to let myself be vulnerable.

For the past few months, I’ve been talking to a guy who has many qualities I’m looking for, but I have a few misgivings. In the beginning, Michael called me at least four times a day. We texted and talked a lot and sent short video messages to each other. But lately, our conversations have dwindled down to once or twice a day. I get that days at work can get busy, but still. He also has his friends list in Facebook hidden. When I noticed it and asked him about it, he claimed that he had dated a girl who started sending angry messages to various people on his friends list after they split up, so he hid it from everyone. That just seems shady to me, like he has something to hide. For all I know, he’s adding new girls on there daily. I’d never know. Also, he had his phone locked when he was with me. I’ve done that before myself with different people, so it’s not an automatic dealbreaker, but it still raised another red flag. I also happen to know that on at least two occasions, he claimed to be exhausted and said he was going to bed, when he was still up chatting with at least one female on Facebook. Oh, and he lives in another state, which doesn’t help my insecurities.

When we first started talking, I made some comment about how he could have all kinds of women after him and I’d never know. He said that with as much as we were talking on the phone etc, how could he have real time to devote to anyone else? At the time, I bought it. But now that we’re talking significantly less, I can’t help but wonder. Now I’m the one getting scraps of his attention. Someone else could easily be getting those four phone calls a day and I’d never know. When I’ve brought up various insecurities or concerns, it’s almost like he’s shaming me. He’ll say things like, “Here I was thinking how much I love your laugh and how happy you make me, and there you are assuming the worst about me.” I don’t like that.

One night he texted me right after work claiming that he forgot he had church that night and would call me later. Close to midnight, he texted saying he was just getting home. I don’t know of any church that has functions til nearly midnight on a weeknight. I didn’t say anything, but I wasn’t buying it. I really like{d} this guy and was starting to think there could actually be a future with him. Now I feel myself kind of withdrawing. I don’t want to get hurt or be made a fool of. He talks about long-term plans with me, things he wants etc. He talks about meeting my family and wanting to get married. But instead of being excited about that, I’m sitting here with my guard up. I’m left wondering how many nights he claimed that he couldn’t keep his eyes open and got off the phone with me just so he could talk to someone else.

My ex-husband was {and is} one of the most dishonest people I’ve ever known. If I wouldn’t put up with his BS, why would I put up with it from someone I’m not even married to, let alone dating? I’m not about to introduce anyone to my family if I think he’s just using me or playing games.

How do you trust someone? How do you open yourself up? Is there anyone out there I can really trust? I don’t want to give up hope that I’ll find a guy who thinks I’m enough. A guy who just sees ME, rather than looking over my shoulder to see if there’s anyone else out there who might be more interesting.

I haven’t quite written Michael off yet, but he’s definitely on thin ice for now. I guess time will tell how genuine he really is. I just keep thinking, please please please don’t let me regret the time I’ve spent getting to know him {and turning down other offers because I thought this was really going somewhere}.