Signing Off….

So, we’re at the halfway point of this experiment now, and I… am kind of just done?

I may come back in a while, if my current thing falls apart, but I’ve met a guy, and it’s… sort of amazing and wonderful right now. He breaks pretty much all of my rules for this experiment, and I’m sort of okay with that.

Per my rules, I’m not going to talk about him (except yes: I already did, in one of the many ways he breaks my rules).

But the reality right now is… I don’t want to take time away from him to spend looking for more bad dates. I don’t want to keep casting around for possibilities. I want to share lunches with him, and attend parties with him and his friends (another personal rule violation!). I want to cuddle in his living room and make snarky jokes about movies with him.

I was over at his place last night, in the two and a half hour Wednesday stretch between work ending and my ex bringing the kids back home to me, and I just never wanted to leave. Everything about it felt right, and good, and wonderful. Why on earth would I give up any time I can settle in and enjoy that to try to make awkward smalltalk over wine?

It’s early days still — we’ve only been involved in this Thing for just over two weeks. Both of us are doing that thing where we talk about the holidays or spring breaks or the summer and have to self-edit — well, of course we can’t make plans. We can’t expect… but we both want to. I just kind of want to crawl into him and curl up to hibernate for the winter, warm and affectionate and contented.

So this may be my last post for a bit. It’s been a fun ride, and thank you all for coming along!

Joshua Postmortem – Part 2

Continued from

Joshua works in the city, an hour from where I work. Getting together for lunches or a quick drink was not on the table. After work, any get-together was going to involve a few hours of driving. Since the weekend after we met I had the kids the whole weekend, we made plans for two weeks out: Friday evening, I’d drive up after work, and I didn’t have to be home at all, so I could stay as late as I wanted.

That two week period was a lot of fun for me. In a flash, I’d remember the feeling of his mouth on my neck, the way it felt when he tangled his hand in my hair. I’d be at work, and all of a sudden, it would be like I could feel his fingers on my thigh, and I’d need to stop and catch my breath. I was drifting in and out of an arousal state at snippets of memory, and I milked it for all it was worth.

If I was walking, and a memory hit, I’d close my eyes and just live in that memory. I’d let it move from memory to imagination, and let the sensation go. I’d see how long I could sustain the rush.

Joshua and I were trading a lot of text messages, and we got fairly explicit about hopes and tastes and expectations. I brought up some of the erotic imaginings I was having, and he was on-board. We would tease each other, planting suggestions, playing with words and images.

I went out shopping. I bought fancy underwear. I bought a nice shirt. We made plans to meet at his place, go out for dinner, and then stay in for a while.

The second week was even better than the first. I was listening to the archives of the Sex Nerd Sandra podcast, and she had a guest on one episode who was talking about anticipation: the ice cream, he explained, always tastes best on the drive to the ice cream store. Well, I was driving to the ice cream store, and that was the greatest ice cream in the world.

On Friday, I sat in traffic for ninety minutes, then we went to a little restaurant inside a movie theater, which was awesome and fun and funny. It was good food and a fun conversation, with everything ramped up by the fact that we knew we had no plans after it other than learning each other a bit more.

I am not going to go into detail about the evening, other than to say it was fun. By the end of the night, we were contentedly snuggling on his couch watching John Oliver. At around midnight, I left to head home.

That was a little over two weeks ago now, and was the last time I saw him.

I really like Joshua. I do. I want to do things like meet him for lunch, see him after work for a quick drink and some conversation before I head home. But the reality is that he lives and works a functional hour and a half from me any time except weekends, and I simply don’t have enough weekends that I can get away to let us build anything real.

So last weekend, he was sick and had to cancel, which was fine and understandable. But this weekend, I have things going on, so I can’t see him. We were 5 weeks into this… whatever it is, and we’d managed to meet up for 2 of the 5 weekends. He has a busy work schedule, I have a busy life with the kids, and the distance is larger than it feels on a map. We were never going to grow anything real like that, and the thrill of anticipation was already shifting to a grinding sort of, “Okay, well, I guess I’m going to have to wrestle with the Friday traffic again: this blows” attitude.

None of these were good signs, and so I reached out to him. I felt a little bad about doing it by text message, but with the exception of one phone call and our three dates, that’s the only way we’d ever communicated.

“So, I’ve been kind of wrestling with this for a few days, but I think it’s probably best if we just let this thing go with us. I like you, and I’ve had fun, but the logistics of getting together are becoming more stressful than I’m really up for dealing with right now. “

He replied, a few hours later, with: “Okay… I get it. I’m sorry. I like you and had fun, too…”

I genuinely do wish him all the best. He’s a good guy, and deserves a great woman who can find him a better place in her life than I could.

Joshua Portmortem – Part 1

So, I called things over with Joshua today.

This kind of hurts, in a way that’s hard for me, but I’m fairly confident that it’s the right call.

This is going to be a long story, with an in-detail postmortem. I’ll split it into a few posts.

Joshua and I met on OKCupid. His profile made me laugh, and I sent him a message. We traded talk about books, roleplaying, the online dating experience. We had a fun, teasing banter that I really liked. I asked if he wanted to meet up, and we made a bowling-and-pool date for that Friday.

Friday was a blast. I had to drive into the city to get to our planned destination, which meant a normally 30-minute drive was more like an hour and a half (Friday evening traffic). Once I got there, though, it was great. We were vibing on little physical touches. I liked the way it felt to have his hand on my arm, my arm on his. We joked about our total ineptitude at bowling. He didn’t object when I paid.

We moved on from bowling to pool. The pool was even more fun, because he was actually good at pool, and I was not bad at it. I liked that he never let me win – he beat me every round and bowling and every game of pool.

It was while we were playing pool that he kissed me for the first time. I was not at all sure how I felt about this. I liked that he wanted to kiss me. I was feeling hesitant and nervous, though. I didn’t know what to do. He brought tongue into it very quickly, and I was feeling pushed faster than I really wanted to go. It was also very obvious in the kiss that he was a smoker, which I am really not, and am kind of turned off by.

He read my hesitancy and backed off, and I managed a fairly weak smile. We went back to pool. I made a point to do a few rounds of physical touch – backing into him until the back of my shoulder was against his chest, patting him on the arm as I wished him good luck after setting up a bad shot.

We tried another kiss in a little while. It went a bit better. I initiated this one, and he didn’t go as deep. I was still much more thinking about the experience than I was living it, and was awkward and uncertain. When I pulled back, he just smiled down into my eyes for a moment, like he was absolutely charmed in spite of my ineptitude. That was nice.

I asked if we wanted to play another game of pool (we were up to five or six by then) or to call it a night. He suggested we call the pool but find something else. I was up for that. He asked if it was too early to suggest heading back to his place; I said “Yes,” and he said, “Okay!” then suggested a local bar. We drove over separately. We talked there about a lot of things – our jobs, our romantic histories, books, movies, religion. We talked for a long time, and at around midnight, I regretfully said I needed to leave – I had to be up early the next morning. We paid our tab and left.

In the parking lot, we kissed again. And we went deep. And this time, I wasn’t having any problems at all with awkwardness. This time, I kind of wanted to fall into him and set up camp. I tried to catch my breath; I struggled with it. We definitely wanted to see each other again. I went home.

We traded a few text messages the next day, around my adventures in moving. That Saturday was the day of the Big Ball. I spent the day moving furniture into storage, and then got dressed up and went to the ball. The next day was Sunday, and I went to church, then messaged Joshua. “Hi,” I said. “What are you up to today?” Not a lot, was his answer. “Do you want to see me?” I asked. Absolutely.

We went to the zoo. It was fun. We had a cool playful vibe, talking about the animals there. He was amazing at spotting them, so I got to see a lot more of them than I usually catch on my own or with the kids. He interacted with a few kids in a way that seemed like he was cutely saying, “Hey, I’m good with kids! You have kids! This can work!”

We didn’t really want to leave after the zoo, so we carpooled over to a nearby hiking spot, and wandered in the woods for an hour or so. We talked childhoods in the woods; we made out on a rock. I had to stop him because I was seriously worried we were going to forget we were out in public and wind up getting arrested for indecent exposure.

After the hike, we went to a local bar, shared some appetizers, and had some drinks. We talked more. I liked talking with him. He was a bit of a dork, but so am I, and we vibed well together. He made me laugh, and I liked laughing.

We drove back to my car together, and made out some more. It was… really, really intense. Incredibly intense. He managed to hit all of the buttons I most love, and I desperately, desperately wanted more. I had to get home by 5 in order to meet the kids when their dad returned them, but I wanted to stay there forever.

“Drive safely,” he told me, with a little bit of a gleam in his eyes.

I laughed, out of breath. “After that?”

“Yes,” he said. “Be safe.”

And I drove home.