The Distractions

So, I started writing a new book. I think the title is going to be called The Distractions. I don't know if it is going to be a second memoir or if I will market it as fiction.

Lord knows my life seems entertaining enough to be a novel at times.

What does the title mean? Well, it is based on how I have learned to approach dating. After the amount of ignoring and rejection I have been on the receiving end of, I started employing the technique of using one guy to distract from another.

Don't shake your head at me or roll your eyes. I know this technique sucks.

This is NOT an ideal situation.

First of all, there is my One True Tinder Love (OTTL) who I may or may not have started seeing again. Who knows? The fact is, I have seen him. Various times. Miraculously.

But, are we seeing each other?

I don't know.

He couldn't be more ambiguous and ambivalent toward me. I feel like maybe I should give him a new nickname: The Night King (as in, as cold as a White Walker).

The other day I asked him if he wanted to do something on Friday. His response?

Um, WTF does that mean? It is missing some critical punctuation. 

Is it,

"Yeah. Maybe not Friday." 

Or is it, 

"Yeah maybe. Not Friday."

So typical.

Normally this would cue an anxiety spiral, but I am now so used to it, I barely batted an eye.

As I told him recently: 

Now, you might think, "Well, if he can't even respond to you with a clear answer, forget him." 


Well, sadly, this is no different from the level of clarity and commitment I experience from EVERYONE, including my best friends.

At least half of the times I ask people to do something they ignore me. I basically have to harass people into hanging out with me. 

So, does that mean I should make an EXCEPTION for him and NOT keep asking him like I keep asking everyone else?

Should I treat him differently if he isn't treating me differently than anyone else treats me?

How am I supposed to know what my standards are supposed to be when I am constantly forced to choose between lowering them or becoming a recluse?

And then there is number 62.

He keeps reappearing yet also continuously rejects me and sporadically ignores me. However, every time we hang out, we have such a nice time together. I just don't get why he doesn't want to be with me. Plus, he is a huge fan of my blog. How can he read my blog and NOT love me?? It makes no sense! 

Why is it that the people we like don't like us back?!  And the ones we don't like are the ones who want us?

So, #62 distracts me from my OTTL and then to distract myself from him, I try out new people. 

I went on a date with a 25 year old the other week. It was a blast. He was charming and handsome and fun. Like me, he is also from Maine.

He cracked me up when he told me, "Sometimes I wake up at 10 and make myself a peanut butter and fluff sandwich. Did you know they don't sell fluff here? I have my mom ship it to me."

Ahhh... gotta love 25 year olds. 

I guess I can at least take solace in the fact that while guys in their 30's ignore me, guys in their twenties still want to go out with me.

But, I am just so exhausted from swiping and talking to strangers and disappointment and, between my OTTL and #62, I can't really think about anyone else.

And, since both of them ignored me all weekend... what did I do? 

I distracted myself doing something I haven't done in a really, really long time.

I bingewatched TV all weekend long.

Sex and the City to be exact. I rationalized it by calling it "research." 

As I told #62 recently, I wish I didn't need to keep having distractions and could just have one main attraction. 

But, at this point...

I think that main attraction is going to just be...


Well, me and Carrie and Samantha and Charlotte and Miranda.

How do you cope with dating in the 21st century? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. What’s with “I think that main attraction is going to just be …me”? I hope you don’t think you’re settling? There is no “just.” You are smart, funny, kind and sensitive, and wonderful company. A shame to waste all that on self-centered and rude man-children (of any age) that treat you as less than you deserve, as a back-up plan. Sadly, neither a blog post, no matter how erudite, nor anything else for that matter, will cause them to suddenly wake up and realize, “oh, she’s amazing, I need to treat her the way she deserves!”

    As for the title of your next book, might I suggest “Redefining Dating Insanity” (as in “the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting a different result.”)

    Oh, while I’m at it, I’m going to call “bullshit” on “the level of clarity and commitment I experience from EVERYONE” and “I basically have to harass people into hanging out with me.” Reduced standards or life as a recluse huh? Methinks my lady hath set up a false dichotomy. ;-)

    1. Well, for your first paragraph Larry, I thank you. You are very sweet and kind and absolutely correct! :)

      Still like my title better.

      Well, maybe there is one potential exception.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I havent given up, but I've throttled back. Online dating was good for me. I'm introverted and have never been good at bars or chatting people up. Online gave me (still does) a way over the initial shyness. But for the last year or so, getting women to respond has become increasingly difficult. Am I less attractive? Maybe. Am I less charming? Of course not. So, what is it? Perhaps online fatigue. Thoughts?

      The thing I need to do now is get over some inertia and start joining more meetups, volunteering, etc., to meet people IRL, because I've hit doldrums in cyberspace...when you cant even get any Bumble matches after 6 weeks, something's wrong.

    2. I think online fatigue is definitely real. I myself am SICK of it. I can barely bring myself to swipe anymore. I am tired of looking at bad photos and I am tired of being ignored and ignoring people because I am too busy to respond to everyone.

      I agree, and so does my mom. Try to meet people IRL. Let me know how it goes. I'll be too busy watching SATC.

  3. I find your lack of fortune in dating baffling. You could quite possibly be one of the most intriguing individuals I’ve come across.

  4. Just reading thru some of your posts. What exactly are you looking for? People that want you will make time for you (including "friends"). Why chase somebody that doesn't want you? With all the wit and whatnot you seem to possess, where is your self respect? You become their option, a side dish. Is that what you want to be? If so, keep carrying on. Otherwise, here's a good educational video for you:

    1. A lot of people want to know what I am looking for and seem to get frustrated with me for not having a specific goal or finding a boyfriend already or whatever. What am I looking for? Just to enjoy myself! Happy moments! Ideally, a spark with someone, but that is not necessarily my mission. My mission is to enjoy my life, have cool experiences, connect with people, tell stories and be inspired by other people's stories. As far as chasing people? Well, I would literally sit at home alone every single day if I wasn't the one organizing get togethers and meet ups with my friends. So hmmmm... should I hold everyone to the standards I hold myself to and just be a hermit? Sounds pretty lonely even though yeah, the choice sucks. As far as the video you suggested - stop what exactly? Poor 21st century human interaction? I don't think I am in the position to stop that but I am doing the best I can with my blog platform.

    2. You seem to have a good handle on what you want to get from other people (to enjoy yourself, for you to tell stories, for you to connect, for you to be inspired), but what do you give to them? What do you offer a potential partner or your current friends?

    3. Hi Vixie. The answer to your question is quite simple: I offer what I seek.

      For my thoughts on friendship, have you seen one of my earliest posts?

    4. Or maybe better put - I seek what I offer. Yeah, that makes more sense.

    5. Well I think you've just hit upon the real reason why you aren't finding a romantic/committed relationship. Men who want a committed relationship aren't looking for what you have to offer. They already have friends who tell stories, who inspire them, with whom they connect, with whom they have cool experiences. You have to offer something no one else in his life can offer. You describe being and looking for a buddy, a close friend. If being a friend is the best you have to offer a man, a friend-with-benefits is the best you will receive from him.


    6. Vixie, I can’t tell if you are being extremely judgmental and condescending or if you are honestly trying to be helpful. Either way, I think you misunderstood me - I am seeking what I have to offer and it is a lot longer list than what you mentioned above. Specifically, I want someone who is my counterpart! I would rather be single than settle. I hear all the time, “You are so amazing, how can you be single?” Yeah, exactly. Um, not to sound conceited but find me someone as amazing as I am and maybe I won’t want to be single anymore.

    7. I am trying to be helpful. I have no idea why this blog and comment thread appeared in my in-box, but it did. In terms of what you have to offer, I only know what you listed. Again, that you are looking for "someone to be [your] counterpart" is fair enough for yourself but isn't about what you have to give. No man is looking for his female twin. If you figure out what you have to give, something your "counterpart" actually *wants* in a relationship that he can only get from *you* and no one else, something he cannot live without, you will find someone. I say this because some anonymous internet person said the same to me several years ago, and I have been in an amazing relationship as a result for a few years now. (And trust me, that took some serious soul searching.)

      Signing off now, I will no longer respond, as I am not trying to overtake your blog. Best of luck. And yes I sincerely mean that.

    8. Hi Vixie. Thank you for clarifying that you were trying to be helpful and for your well wishes. I do not mind you responding as much as you want, especially since you clarified that you have good intentions. Sometimes it is hard to tell people's tones! I am really happy for you that you found an amazing relationship. As far as what I have to offer, I didn't actually list those out for you - I just responded to your list. What I have to offer? Kindness, patience, trust, loyalty, trustworthiness, straightforwardness, physical attention, affection, openness, love, a good sense of humor, support, acceptance, no drama, fun, attractiveness, manners, good cooking, generosity... hmmm, that is all I can think of at the moment. Sounds like a catch to me. :)

    9. Oh, wait... let's not forget... charm!

    10. Could it be, like somebody said in a different post, that you're focusing on the wrong market (demographic) where you want to barter these goods? Guys in their mid-late 20s- early 30s would mostly consider a person your age as a temp fun type of arrangement (speaking as that demographic). Most men want to procreate at some point in their lives. Sure, they can tell you they never want kids, blah, blah, but at the end of the day - that's their biological function. Sure, medicine had come a long way, but you can't beat a fertile mid-20s female in that aspect. Look at your competition, that's it, really.
      And to be completely blunt, when looking at somebody in their 40s who has never been married (I assume), people will wonder "What is wrong with this person?" Women do the same thing, so it's not a gender issue. That's the unfortunate side of the coin for people that don't want to conform to the societal expectations (marriage, kids, white picket fences, etc). This then becomes your cross to carry. We all have to live with the decisions we make. I'm sure you can find many positives in this experience, tho.

    11. Hi vic ad. I am not sure if you are talking about never being married toward me personally and are not aware that I am divorced? Being divorced is precisely the reason that I am so picky. I have been there, done that as they say, so I have no need to check that off on my list of life milestones I am still looking to accomplish. As far as your advice to not focus on older men, WHY do all my readers think that my mission is BOYFRIEND? WHY why why why can it not be to just have fun and meet people and enjoy nice moments??? WHY does my mission have to be RELATIONSHIP? I have already accepted that the chance of me finding someone I will spark with is REALLY LOW so why can't I just find people whose company I enjoy for an evening or a walk? I am not even talking about sex, just G rated fun. Newsflash: my mission is no longer boyfriend; it is bestseller.

      Regarding the question of me focusing on the wrong market, as if I don't already KNOW that (and by the way, I do actually go out with a wide range of ages), would you tell a gay man that maybe he should start considering dating women because maybe it will be easier to find a relationship? No, because you know that he can't change what he is attracted to because attraction is not a CHOICE.

    12. My assumption was incorrect (re:being married before), I admit that.

      "WHY do all my readers think that my mission is BOYFRIEND? WHY why why why can it not be to just have fun and meet people and enjoy nice moments??? WHY does my mission have to be RELATIONSHIP? "

      I don't think "all" of your readers do, but that's precisely why you still have the comments section enabled, so you can interact with your readers and dissipate any confusion. Relationship, in a conventional meaning of this word, may not be what you're looking for, but any human interaction can be considered a "relationship", just of a different hierarchy/level. It's really up to an individual to shape his/her relationships, if one wants to be an authentic person and not follow the conventional "wisdom." I have no beef with whatever meaning you want to use for that which you're seeking. I don't want to get salty, but there is really no need to use all caps to get your point across either ;)

      "...would you tell a gay man that maybe he should start considering dating women because maybe it will be easier to find a relationship? No, because you know that he can't change what he is attracted to because attraction is not a CHOICE."

      I don't believe your analogy is quite fitting in this case. For instance, a gay man would most likely never have sex with a female, if he's done it before and didn't like it. A straight woman that's attracted to young(er) men, however, will have sex with an older man every once in a while, unless there is no older man on this planet that she will ever be attracted to (odds are not in her favor, imho). Since you like to keep spreadsheets, all I was alluding to was your having better odds at finding a "relationship" with somebody that's closer to your age group (statistically speaking).

    13. vic ad, your tone has improved. Thank you, I appreciate it. My all caps are just frustration with various comments I get, not just on here and not just from you.


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