Monday, March 18, 2013

So, I'm trying to date again...

This is the third year in a row that I started dating in February.  Kind of weird.

The first year I gave up after a month.  I met two guys and quit soon after because I realized my heart wasn't in it.  I'd only been separated from my wife for six weeks and wasn't emotionally ready to move on from her.

The second year I dated for about ten weeks.  That went better.  I had nine first dates and met Dean, a guy my same age who also had three kids.  Unfortunately, he wasn't ready for a relationship and after four months we broke up.  It took me about six weeks to get over him and by then the holidays were starting.

So far this year I've been dating for a month.  What's odd is that I've only had one date, yet there are more guys who say they're interested in me than ever.  A lot of the problem is me; dating just isn't fun.  I find myself frequently making excuses not to contact anyone for days or weeks at a time.  I use excuses like, "I'll be busy next weekend so I should wait a week to contact anyone."  Or, "I don't want to juggle multiple guys.  I need to wait until I know what's going on with X before I contact anyone else."  I don't know why I'm not more motivated.

Dating this year has been an experience - and not a particularly good one.

As I said, I got off to a solid start; posting a new profile is always good for attention (fresh meat!)  Within the first few days I had three dates set-up with guys who I was attracted to and who said they were attracted to me.  In my experience having that mutual-attraction thing online is not very common.  I was pretty psyched.

My first date was with a guy I probably wouldn't have contacted on my own, however, he was reasonably attractive and his profile was decent so we set-up a date. At his suggestion we met for dinner.  I thought that was a nice change from the usual coffee date.

We happened to arrive at the restaurant at exactly the same time and in the three seconds that it took to say hello and shake hands, I decided that we had no future together.  Is that harsh?  Well, it's human nature. We all makes quick judgments when we meet someone new.  But that phenomenon aside, I had good reasons for not being attracted to him.  First, he was significantly older than his profile stated.  That was a double turn-off, once because he was a lot less attractive than his picture suggested, and second, because he lied.  The third reason I was turned off was because it looked like he was wearing eye liner.  I could be wrong about that, but even if I am, the way he carried himself was much more feminine than I expected. I try to be open-minded about the whole masculine/feminine thing, but with so many of my expectations dashed within the first few seconds, I couldn't help but be disappointed.

After saying hello we quickly settled into a relaxed, interesting conversation, so that was good. But then he annoyed me by making a big deal about his fake age.  It was bad enough that he lied before meeting me, but to keep drawing attention to that lie?  Lame.

Soon after that he irritated me again by ordering too much food for us.  Thankfully, once the ordering was done, the conversation flowed easily as we discussed a number of interesting topics.  What I'll always remember was that he was about 55 years old, but the longest relationship of his life had only lasted four and a half years.  And worse, that relationship was with a married man.  His longest full-time relationship lasted three years.  Depressing.

The other thing I'll always remember about this date was how, late in the meal, he informed me that he was unemployed and money was a big worry.  Really?  Is that why he wanted to meet for dinner instead of coffee?  So I could pay for a meal?  He never explicitly asked me to pay, but clearly that's what he expected; he didn't even bother to politely protest when I offered to do so.

All of this negative stuff may make it sound like it was a horrible date but it wasn't.  More than anything it was sad; sad that a man of his age had spent so much of his life alone, that he was so broke that he had to trick me into paying for a meal, and that he felt so compelled to lie about his age.  Needless to say, I won't be seeing him again.

Date number two was scheduled for a Saturday, at 1pm.  This was the date I was most excited about.  I really liked the guy's profile and I thought we had the potential to be a good match.  Unfortunately, at about 8am that morning he emailed and said, with profuse apologies, that a work meeting had been scheduled at the last minute and he couldn't meet.  He also said - and this is an exact quote - "Would you be able to switch our coffee to tomorrow? I'm really sorry about having to ask. I know it makes me look like a complete flake and/or that I'm not really interested -- both of which aren't true. Feel free to call if that's easier. My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX."

"No problem," I told him and I offered a couple of alternative times for the next day.  Although he gave me his cell number, I didn't want to call while he was working, so we emailed back and forth twice more that day but couldn't make anything work.  Late the next day I sent another message suggesting some days and times for the following week.  Well guess what?  I haven't heard from him since and it's been two weeks.

Date number three should have been a slam-dunk.  The guy responded to my first email very quickly but the second reply was much slower.  In an attempt to rekindle his interest, I told him that we work on the same small street in the suburbs, less than a half mile apart.  He immediately responded to that information and said, "We definitely have to think about meeting for a drink then."  THINK about meeting?  Whatever.  At that point I wrote him off.

Then, about two weeks later, I walked into the local grocery store and there he was.  Because I assumed he wasn't interested, I deliberately avoided making eye contact with him.  If he didn't want to talk to me then the last thing I wanted was an awkward conversation in the middle of the grocery store I use every day.  Well, wouldn't you know it, but the instant he sees me, he walks right up and says, "I know you!  You look exactly like your picture!"  We chatted for a few minutes, long enough for him to tell me how dating wasn't going well for him.  "It's so frustrating," he said, "Every time I meet someone and have a good conversation, I never hear from them again."  This guy was also more flamboyant than I would have preferred, however he was very friendly and easy to talk to.  He's someone I could imagine being friends with.  When our conversation came to a natural lull, I suggested that we should set-up a time to talk more in-depth.  He then immediately suggested a hike for the upcoming Saturday, and I said, "Great," and we finalized the time and location.  As we parted he said, "I'm going to email you tonight to confirm those details.  See you on Saturday!"  That was at about 6:30pm.  Did he email that night?  No.  And, in fact, he hasn't emailed since.  On the Thursday before the scheduled hike I emailed him, just to confirm that we were still going to meet.  He never replied.

Gay dating stories like these are hardly shocking.  If anything, they're the norm, not just for me but for many other formerly married men.  Because I know there are a lot of flakes out there, I really shouldn't be surprised by this behavior, and I'm not.  What I find so amazing is how these guys repeatedly lie about everything, even when they don't need to.  It's as if they go out of their way to make complete asses out of themselves.

Can someone explain to me why I want to date men again??


  1. I've dated a little bit only to discover it's too soon for me. (separated for three years, my divorce is final in a couple of weeks.)

    Your stories don't give me much hope for the future. But at least we get some fun stories to blog about!

    1. You don't need any "hope" from me. You're doing much better without even trying.

  2. Uhm, your dating stories sound like the ones I've had for decades, and I'm not married nor have I ever been.

    Dating sucks for the most part. The stories I hear from the straight community aren't much better.

    1. The thing about having been married (or having been in a lengthy committed relationship) is that it's second nature to believe whatever a potential partner tells you. Trustworthiness is a given. Follow-through is a given. I think it takes time and experience to get used to the fact that those qualities cannot be taken for granted when you're dating.

      I have no idea when it's like to date women at this age. It's my hope that they're more reliable than men, but maybe, as you say, they're not.

  3. because you are gay and gay men date men not women? :P unless if you want to start dating women to see if you have any future with on of them

    1. I've thought about dating women. The thing is, I already have to psych myself up to date men. Getting motivated to date women would be even more difficult.

      Also, thanks to the experience with my wife, I have no confidence that I'd ever appeal to (or be fully accepted by) a woman.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I was just thinking about starting dating again, but maybe I'll put it off until next year.

    The first situation you describe would really piss me off. Did he take home all the extra food in doggie bags? Hopefully there was enough to feed himself until the next date. Actually, he has a pretty ingenious way to keep from going hungry.

    I always do coffee for the first date. Rarely will I do dinner. Too risky. Potentially two hours stuck with someone I might not like? With coffee the risk is limited to 20 minutes and $4.

    Also, I am big on a pre-meeting phone call. I set up a special phone number that I am comfortable giving out, and it has very effective blocking features if I want no further contact. I found that the phone interview is pretty effective, and I've been able to rule some guys out. Additionally, it makes the face to face go smoother if I'm really interested.

    1. Your dating experience may vary. You can't use me as an excuse not to try.

      I won't be having any first-date dinners again. I don't mind meeting for coffee.

      I'd rather meet face-to-face than talk over the phone. If I had a crazy schedule, and time was at a premium, then a phone interview would be a good option.

  5. I dunno. Maybe you're only gay in the sense that you could fall for a fantasy of a man -- a completely non-flamboyant, non-flaky, masculine, attractive, truthful guy your age (or younger) who will not ever lie to you. Men who are too feminine and/or unreliable seem to hold no attraction for you, just as they are not attractive to me, either.

    For whatever reason, either the straight-acting, genuine, good-looking, reliable man of your dreams doesn't exist, or he doesn't frequent the sources that you are using for date material. If it's the former, maybe you should reconsider the concept of a relationship with a women.

    1. I think you're on to something there, Mike.

      Of course, what do I know? The last guy I tried to date called me up on the morning we were supposed to have brunch together and asked if we could reschedule for the following day. His excuse? "I woke up in a pool of blood."

    2. Mike - I've had good relationships with men before, although I didn't really "fall" for any of them, at least during the time I was with them. I liked my last bf quite a bit - and even more after we broke up.

      Dating is a numbers game. There are a lot of men out there and I haven't met very many of them. As long as I keep trying, eventually I'll meet someone.

      Thanks in part to my failed marriage, I have no confidence when it comes to women. Although I have thought about dating them, I doubt I'll ever do it. I'd feel like a first grader trying to ask the Homecoming Queen out.

      Anonymous - A pool of blood? That's the only part of the story you're going to tell?!!! You're such a tease.

    3. That's as much as I am willing to post on the Internet.

      I *can* say that the guy before that one stood me up and claimed that he had to get a sonogram (at five in the afternoon). My surmise is that he was pregnant.

  6. You like cock & balls and, having sampled the finer things in life, you want more. Tomorrow, you will wake up and wish that you were with the man who makes your world spin. You will try again because you don't have a choice. You have to try again. He does exist and even if he isn't conventionally pretty, he is honest and kind and intelligent enough to give you the belly laugh. When you make love it will not be like a porn movie, it will be like Thanksgiving. He will not be perfect but he will good enough and eventually, you will say to yourself, "There's no one better."

    You will grow old, lumpy and weak together. You will look at other men but tell him about your lust--and laugh about it. You will look a him and think to yourself, 'Gosh, he looks old or fat. His hair, what he has of it, is white." You will know that while you look at him thinking this that he is the most wonderful person in the entire world.

    You don't have any choice. You have to get up and risk the pain, the foolishness and the disappointment because you know in your heart that he exists.

    I'm going to end this diatribe and all further diatribes with, "You need therapy," so you will know who I am.

    You are too proud in the worst way and I am thankful for your admission of vulnerability. Don't stop believing.

    You need therapy.

    1. I'm more into cock and balls than vagina, but that's not saying much. I don't think about genitalia that often. The primary reason I'm attracted to men is because I crave emotional intimacy with them.

      That aside, you're right. I have to keep trying because I do believe I can find someone. That is why I endure the pain, foolishness and disappointment of chasing them.

      One of these days you'll have to explain to me why I need therapy. Apparently I am too proud (in the worst way) to understand what you mean.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  7. Thanks for sharing this. New reader here.

    1. Welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. I was just browsing the internet and came across your site. I wanted to just pass along a couple of thoughts. For me, the process of finding dates through online sites or things like that just ends up in very awkward or miss-matched pairings. I have found much better results by getting involved in gay oriented groups that reflect my interests (i.e. gay walking clubs, gay potluck groups, gay discussion groups, gay volunteering, etc). Then, after getting to know people that share similar interests, the people who I naturally click with become apparent. Even if you don't click romantically with anyone in those groups, you will make some good friends and you may meet one of their mutual friends who is a match. But I approach the online dating thing with a lot of caveats and try to make a first meeting more about a possible friendship than putting romantic or sexual pressure into the meeting. Then if some spark exists, great, but if not, then just having a chance to get together with someone and chat is a nice enough way to spend an evening.

    1. I'd prefer to meet someone off-line and I've tried a few activities with that in mind. My big roadblock is that I'm a single parent. I can't be out multiple nights a week. I need to pick one activity and stick with it. So far, the activity I've most enjoyed is my local married/formerly married men's support group. I've definitely made some friends there. Who knows if I'll ever meet a guy I'd want to date. Anything is possible. That said, I agree that your suggestion is a very good one.

      I don't know if the tone in this post makes it clear or not, but I don't take first dates very seriously. More than anything, I'm amused by the lies and games these guys played. When I agree to go out someone I'm happy to spend the time meeting someone new. Whatever might happen after that first meeting is gravy.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your great suggestions.

  9. it looks like you are on the right track.

  10. I'm odd and unusual but I think you should make it a discipline or even practice to let the other guy suggest getting together again etc. We control people want to manage everything, dontcha know? Don't suggest anything, ever for a couple of dates and see what happens.