Sunday, September 16, 2012

What is a man? and why would I want one?

Posted Retrospectively

Today August 29th 2012, approaching my 47th birthday I have crossed some sort of a divide and found myself in this alarming territory in which I can't see the point of being married to or being in a serious relationship with a man.

This is probably just nature's way, as at 41 I woke up and realised that I knew for sure I couldn't manage another baby. Suddenly though, men have become optional. Why? have I lost my mojo? quite possibly. But only 3 months ago I was nursing a terrible crush, so there's every possibility it will come back again... to HAUNT me.

Let's get something straight. I don't dislike men. They can be solid, dependable influences. Good looking lust worthy (but not generally after 45). They can make good decisive collegues. I've heard some are very good fathers.

Suddenly I feel about women over 45 who date men of their own age or greater somewhat how I feel about abortion. I think we all should have the right to choice, but it is not for me.

So dating has become for me something akin to having something ou love ripped out through your lady garden. This isn't a man hating diatribe, its the conclusion of a personal journey that has left me to conclude that many men are good, but they are not good for me, and here is one reason (as of 9/17/12 I've forgotten the others - as a result of this one!!)

Dating is Making me dumb. lt's not So Much the dating itself as the need to block out the appalling abuse, disrespect, personal loss, degradation and futility associated with it. My brain, it would seem, deems it necessary to block these out along with many good or important things that are happening concurrently. Thus I become chronically forgetful, distracted, unfocussed, numb and dumb.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nascent love, dead in the cradle

Oh school dad, I'm not sure if I should even give you a name. Sometimes it's better with these babies not to christen them, just give them a private burial, and noone will know they existed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hope without expectation?

 Given how flat and even sad I am feeling today I can only assume that my carefree hope and mindfulness was laced with some form of expectation. School dad came round to dinner, and it all went quite well, but we are fundamentally different. I got a bit tipsy and gushed about all sorts of crap then woke up feeling somewhere deep inside that I might have made a fool of myself, and this mattered.
Hope not expectation

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Living in hope

At the moment I am feeling very relaxed and happy. This is due to four things

(1) Work is very quiet (so, less frantic rushing around acheiving nothing)
(2) I have managed very tentatively, and with some pain, to run again and as a result of this, and some dieting I have lost 8lbs
(3) I have joined a choir
(4) I am living in hope with respect to school dad

You've heard the old cliche it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Well, in my current untrusting place I also feel it is better to live in hope of a happy relationship emerging than to rush into things and have those hopes dashed. So it is almost like the crushes I would have at school, admiring a guy from afar for a term or more, having happy fantasies about it, but never actually acting on them and somehow getting succour from this. Thoughts of running away to be near my family have moved on to the backburner for the time being, and I am relishing the here and now with some positivity.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dating Self Sabotage

On Friday I got randomly invited out to lunch by a single dad from Connors class (after a school event). On Saturday I dipped my toe back in the dating pond when I attended an organised cocktail party.

Now I am nursing a terrible crush on the single dad whilst fielding contacts from two men at the cocktail party, one of whom I really could never date (although he shows all signs of being a nice bloke) and the other one I mildly fancy but have so far ignored two of his calls in a cowardly way.

I think I am my own worst enemy. Two men with deliberate intentions on the dating front and one who was "just being friendly" and I prefer the "just being friendly" guy.

I spent almost a year juggling parenthood around Hamish on one occasion (I am ashamed to say) paying a babysitter $100, driving 50 mins each way just to cook him dinner and have him fall asleep after sex.  I'm not going down that path again. I don't even want to pay one baby sitter to even start out on that road. I know it is unfair to the cocktail guys but I am now judging them on past experience, I am just simply unavailable.

Single dad on the other hand I could definitely have lunch with again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Dear Hamish

Dear Hamish

It's three months since you terminated me, and still I seem to need closure. With much therapy and subconscious homework I have come to an uneasy acceptance of the situation. I have also surmised (rightly or wrongly) that one of the most likely explanations for your behaviour* is that you met someone else. So in summary, if you have met someone else. I accept it nobly. If you are rotting in a garret, consuming yourself in self-loathing, could you please let me know that you are OK.


*by behaviour I mean dating me, introducing me to your family and friends, buying me flowers, gifts, sleeping with me, and then suddenly after 9 months having a prick of conscience (pun fully intended) and realising I am no more than a fuck-buddy to you and really, nice as it all is, you should not be wasting my time, all washed down with a dose of "I'm in a strange place right now, I don't know how I feel, I need to find myself/some joy/inner peace" and hinting at depression.

P.S I fully expect no reply to this message and thus I conclude the following as my closure. You told me all I needed to know in the debriefing. (1) that you are just not that into me (2) that hard as it seems you were in fact doing the gentlemanly thing by telling me so (3) if you had met someone else, the story you gave me about being lost, finding life hard, needing to get your head together was aimed at protecting me.

What was less gentlemanly was acting like a partner for all those months. True, I probably would've run a mile if you had tried to negotiate FB status in which case I would not have had the fun that I did, nor the albeit artificial high of feeling that I was falling in love with you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

the things I carried

Following on from my last post, I realise there are actually two things I've been carrying about (assumptions that I have held onto) that are no use to me any more - like furry lipsticks in my handbag (or at least two things that need dealing with)..and they are kind of analogous to each other

 (1) The notion that I could marry again should I want to

(2) The notion that I could return to my country of origin (COO)

Time just ran out on me, when I was busy living day-to-day. I established that this marriage option gave me [a chance at]

a) affirmation of my attractiveness
b) being a matched pair (companionship)
c) assurance for the future.

By analogy the option to go home gave me [a chance at]

a) genuine tangible family life (initially assumed to be provided by my dear husband and any children of that bond)
b) a sense of belonging
c) practical support from relatives in a blood-is-thicker-than-water type of sense (again thought to be supplied via marriage)

Oh my goodness, those two little sublists appear to have covered just about every basic human need apart from food and shelter. Further I deduce from the dependance of a) and c) on marriage that leaving your COO as a couple puts even more emphasis/weight on the marriage bond.
I think Simon knew this it was a quite deliberate running away from his family and setting me apart from mine to improve his power over me. But that's also another story
By contrast to the option of marriage, which is reduced statistically by age, the option to return to my COO is not quite so final. I can obviously go back on holiday (but there again I can take a holiday into marriage with a short no-strings dalliance), I have not been deported from COO. Also I am only held here by parenting responsibilities. My parenting responsibilities will take me through almost to retirement. So what is left that is worth carrying? Obviously food, shelter, gainful employment, friends, health, parenting, writing, art, music and quite a few other generic non-personal things. Is this a life worth living?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Marriage - counting the loss

Marriage is a leap of faith but also a calculated risk. I don't think I was smart enough to get the big picture when I was in my early 20s. Life is too short to procrastinate over this one. You do kind of have to plump for someone, but you do have to be savvy and then quite prepared to stick at it.

I revisited the protect provide post this weekend, having heard a radio program about a piece of research claiming lads mags comments and rapists statements are indistinguishable. I was startled to hear the researchers refer to comments such as "A woman is sweet and needs protecting" as benevolent sexism. Gosh possibly when I was 20 I would have seen it that way, but I have lately become distinctly post-feminist - imagine someone wanting to either protect or provide for me! I don't think I'd know what to do with that. I am left with this legacy though, that my life plan started out with this dogged independence. Anyway there is no changing that.

When I split from Simon I must admit to a feeling that it would be possible to find a new husband, should I want to. I was 39 and still attractive. six years later it is dawning on me that this may no longer be an option. Except if I am able to make extreme compromise. To be with someone a lot less attractive than my ex husband and likely no nicer to be around. Apart from the question of why would I do that? there is a harder question that requires an unflinching answer. What have I lost in this option to be married?

Well in my case it was neither protection nor provision, nor financial security or status, nor even emotional support. (I have gained my freedom from an irrational leader who was also a selfish ineffectual fop).

By and large when I put myself back in my shoes in the heyday of my marriage, the feeling is not more, or less, isolated than I feel now, but about the same. I was overlooked, diminished, controlled and exploited and very, very lonely in my marriage.

The trouble is I am still subject to some of this from my ex-husband via connor - but that's another story

I think what I have lost is

(1) Some form of affirmation - of my attractiveness as a woman, of my ability to attract (and keep) a mate. Probably more critical as you get older,

(2) The facility of functioning as a matched pair- accepting dinner dates, reciprocating with other couples. Lovely non-threatening family parties and dinners.

(3) I have lost some sort (however false) of assurance about the future - that this person promised to, and will be, there for me if things go wrong.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Toy Boy Speed Dating

This is a little out of place, but it is something  wrote a couple of weeks ago hoping to be a guest blogger on  The Plankton

Why don't you just date younger men?

It is often put to me that what we older women need is.. younger men. The two major arguments are the carnal and the demographic.

As a colleague recently asserted across the table from several single planktons. "Women over 35 are their sexual peak, and well, lets face it, men of that age will basically fuck anything"

Whilst you choke on your chai latte, I will move onto the demographic factors. Here in Australia the Man Drought is an entrenched concept. Thanks to Bernard Salt we have the hot deflation index (HDI). Briefly, women under 34 and men over 40 have such a glut of available members of the opposite sex that they get an inflated idea of their own attractiveness. To quote;

"This oversupply of single women relative to single men, especially from the 40s onwards must have an impact on men's self perception. All that attention from women would go to their head. Where others might see a paunchy, balding middle-aged man, he sees a modern day Don Juan who is quite irresistitble to women"

I venture to add a third argument, from a personal perspective. Many of we middle aged people have not addressed our issues of self-love appropriately. Hence out there, in the dwindling bachelor market, (along with those who find themselves irresistible), are a fair number who can't commit, who are looking for others to make up what is lacking in their lives and are continually disappointed, or who using sex as a form of drug - to relieve stress boredom and self esteem issues.

So here, in a nutshell is my argument. If my ernest attempts at forming a mutually respectful pair bond with a man of my own age are going to result in basically being used as an upaid hooker, or having my investment of love thrown back in my face. I eschew the paunchy bald egotist for something younger, firmer, easier on the eye... what's the worst that can happen?

Then last week an invitation to "Toy Boy Speed dating" dropped into my inbox. I hastily crammed those lustful thoughts right back in the pandora's box where they belong reasoning that $89 (60 Quid) was way to much for such a hiding to nothing. Yet insistently, a day before the event, a half price offer came through, and my resistence and buckled in the face of mounting curiosity.

So it was that I found, paraded before me, twelve eager, good looking young men. The event certainly had a frissant borne from the spirit of experimentation. Both [sets of] parties were out to size up the market.

The clumsy chat up lines were sweet, often complimenting me on my physical attributes "you have a nice smile" or "your accent is such a turn-on". I've forgotten, but is this how we got chatted up in our 20s? no need for them to feign professional interest a woman's career, or big themselves up with oblique reference to their house/boat/bike/car/expense account?, nobody dredged up sordid details of their last horrific relationship...

But even by the time I put the keys in the door of my single girl oasis/cocoon I was acknowledging what was really going on. In putting myself forward for such an event, I was offering sex. There wasn't, and never would be any chance of a meaningful relationship there.

Within 24 hours, all the men I ticked had got back to me, asking me out for a drink. Including one whom I seriously fancy. Only one of them honest enough to say he was testing the waters and would be dating many women at once.

And suddenly, I had cold feet. I can't trust myself to treat it with the playful abandon it deserves. Part of my experience as a sexual being is a need to truly love desire and admire the person I am sleeping with. I need to respect their, and my own, human dignity.

For now at least, I think I have to accept toy boy dating as an end in itself. I paid my 30 quid and was openly chatted up and lusted after by twenty and thirty somethings for an hour or so. One walked me to the bus stop, and planted the sweetest, softest kiss on my cheek. And in that moment, I was walking on air.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Missed call (2)

I'm glad to say I can definitively classify the missed call. Its a (5). A day or two later Hamish sent me one of those Junk Mail circular kind of emails. In a day or so I responded asking if he had "Butt Dialled" me to which he replied that he had been ringing to find out how I am.

So he is trying to be my friend. I have to say this is an entirely new situation for me. I am more used to the "ignore her and she'll go away" approach from exs. Actually in truth I don't like the gray area.  I suppose whilst genuine respectful friendship would be a beautiful thing. I can see it is more likely to be a case of being held on a string and giving into sex with him if he presses the right buttons. I would really rather nothing at all.

If he rings again maybe I'll tell him what he wants to hear (reassurance and an ego boost):-

Things are pretty good, I'm keeping busy at work. I've booked a couple of holidays. Can't say I don't think about you, I still love you, but part of this is that   I want what's best for you. I really hope you find it.

Or should I tell him the truth:-

I'm pretty much existing from day to day. My life is very boring and I only booked the holidays so I have something to look forward to. I think about you every day, trying to fathom why the hell you would terminate our relationship. I miss you very badly. I haven't been able to sleep in my own bed since you left. I can't understand how I have arrived at this particular point in life. I'm at sea. If this had happened to me in my 20s it would've taken me apart
 I have just found one more (slightly contradictory) thing I wrote in relation to break ups and aging (my personal experience)

I fall in love easily, but have found since I turned 40, that  I fall out of love rather easily too. Fickle. Not a good predictor of relationship success maybe? Or else a wordly conviction that I will not be " used" and there is no point flogging a dead horse.  I had a further slightly unnerving thought this week -perhaps it is just my failing memory. Nothing is so intense these days as i simply can't remember the detail.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Three Challenges

You've heard the stories right? of people who come back from adversity? Like the man born with no limbs who climbs mountains and has a lucrative career giving inspirational talks on the lecture circuit. Well, if they can do it, why can't I? Come on cheering squad..!! there is NOTHING we can not do if we put our minds, hearts and souls to it..

…and so it is that I find myself with three independent challenges

(1) Osteoarthritis
(2) Effective parenting
(3) My career

I used to be a record breaking masters athlete - not so long ago. I loved the rush. I had no issue with training hard. No pain no gain. Well I tell you now the worst pain I ever felt in finishing up a middle distance race, is nothing compared to the pain I get just walking up stairs or lying in bed often theses days. I am only 45. Yet a little voice still says to me, with the right training, physio, pilates, drugs, surgery I could overcome this. I could be back on the track doing what I love. The bloody gruelling uphill struggle that this presents is daunting, but no doubt if I put my mind to it, I could make a comeback. It would be worth it because I would be energetic and enthusiastic again.

I have a difficult child. He is manipulative, negative and angry most of the time due to his severe dyslexia. Many parents would quit  work and devote their time to getting the best out of him. He needs a lot of help and attention. I have slipped into a fairly servile role to him. I know he is getting the upper hand and this is no good for the teenage years. Often it is motivated by just wanting to give him a rest from his life of failure, just wanting to have some FUN together. However I know this behaviour situation could be turned around with the right discipline, routine, intervention, remedial help. I know it can be done but it could be one person's life work to make this change manifest. But I am only one person, and as you see I have conflicting imperatives.

Before Kids, I was a very ambitious person and moderately successful person(not an unfamiliar story). I think many women adjust their ambition, even accept, as society does, the virtue in devoting your life to home and family when the kids come along...except I married a man who couldn't support me and then rendered me into a single parent, so by necessity I had to KEEP GOING. Sadly in my career I am stagnating. I can't seem to make the reward system work for me. My child takes so much energy away that I can't acheive what I need to, let alone what I want to. This adds to stress.What I want to know is ..

Where is the lynch pin in all this?

Time obviously appears in a couple of spaces. But time also needs to be used effectively. Its no use having all the time in the world if you squander it away worrying, blogging or blogging about worrying.

 I could find ways of getting myself more time (apart from paying someone)

  • Pay someone very little...
  • A favour for a favour
  • Sleep less

Whilst we're on the subject of time, How the hell does one find time for a husband/boyfriend/lover? I barely have time to sort out my tupperware/knicker drawer, sugar soap those stains off the walls or trim the hedges. (I guess perhaps society or nature intended that the man would assist in all this home upkeep stuff, or even assist with the child shock horror) but I can't expect this of a new man.

"A man is not a plan"

Seemingly I can't expect this of Simon either (that's a topic for another post).

What if health is the lynchpin? Get strong, feel good about yourself. Or maybe just get medicated to feel good about yourself. There is a definite link here. Being in pain is tiring, being tired affects work and parenting.

I have long thought that my career was the lynchpin. If I can sort that out. I will raise my self esteem, make more money, be able to look after myself in my retirement, see connor through school earn more money so I can see more of my beloved family (which is another issue in here probably under health - mental health and well being)

Or maybe parenting is the lynchpin. If I get him to behave better, I will have more energy to devote to other things. He will take responsibility for his learning. (Even as I write I can see there are no guarantees here). I could put in a huge effort and he could still behave badly meanwhile I would've lost other things. I honestly am not sure if I am the right person for this particular job ('course you are you're the parent you dingbat) yes, but this requires specialised help. If I lose patience we take two steps back.

Imagine I took one challenge away, which would it be?

(a) Give up work for health and parenting?
(b) Give up parenting for health and work?
(c) Give up health for parenting and work?

I am currenting opting for (c) (a) is a popular model where a functional co-parent exists, and (b) is probably what I would like to do (ha ha!!)  - outsource parenting so I can keep fit and apply myself at work - no wait? this is what Dads do!!!

If I were to think outside the box and (a) actually give up work for a while. The families immediate well being is at stake - how to pay the mortgage? what'd I do? sell? get tenants in?
Maybe a snatch of each - take long service leave, go on painkillers and/or anti depressants and get a lodger/nanny.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Missed Call

Last night, whilst I was kid-wrangling, I got a missed call from Hamish.  In the free (brain space) moments I have had today I have come up with this list in ascending order of desirability

(7) He wants something from me: Can I fix his computer? he's in the area, can he come round for sex? Do I know someone who can give him a quote on...?
(6) The Butt Dial he accidently called me from his pants
(5) He wants to play at friendship - can he come over and fix my shelves, hedges, bathroom tiles....
(4) He realised he was too hasty in terminating me, and want to see me again
(3) He really wants to see me again and has a specific date and time in mind (not a bedroom date)
(2) He's seen a doctor, sorted out his shit, and realises he wants me back in his life
(1) He realises he loves me.

I guess if he loves me he'll call again, right?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Forty-Five (45)

 I suppose if you read this blog from start to finish you would find my love life runs in cycles, and currently I am in a trough. A giving-up sort of a trough.

If you imagined dating as you would investment, then dating after 45 for a divorced woman is a very poor strategy. A much banded statistic is that only 3% of  divorced women over 45 will re-marry (apparently I can soften this a little because it means  in any one year). However, if a woman does acheive this feat 60% of second marriages fail.

As a divorced mother of school aged children..

hiring a babysitter,
squandering precious time with these children,
introducing instability into the lives of these precious children,
following loss leaders such as the emotionally unavailable, sex addicts, free loaders and otherwise emotionally, morally or actually bankrupt.... the hope that you will form a meaningful (married) bond, is akin to putting your life savings into an offshore pyramid scheme. Why would you? wouldn't you read the warning signs?

Forty five is a watershed for women in many ways. I think it is pretty much the mean age where men lose interest in you in a primordial fertility based sense. We all know women who have happily re-partnered after 45 and we probably know women who have given birth in that age range as well, but they are rare.

I suppose I might assert that by the time you get to this age there is still a stock of ova in your ovaries/men in your social ambit... but of this stock only a few are viable.

Alternatively I might assert that the  reasons for this low remarriage rate is not the tragic croning of the women in question, or the lack of men, but the fact that in many cases marriage suits men better than women. Just as women frequently don't want babies over 45 many of them don't want men either. (I won't insult your intelligence by spelling out the enslavement and drudgery that bad marriage can involve)

but I do suspect that men like marriage more than women do.
 Turning to myself for a moment, the last 6 years have been tumultous and traumatic for me with a divorce, repartnering, separation from new partner and two financial settlements.

But, Knowing the facts above, I think I was entirely correct to put energetic efforts into re-partnering at 39 because at that stage there was still a chance of forming a family with someone. Now I believe that time has passed.

I think my "money" is best invested in ensuring stability and happy childhood memories for my child and intellectual and spiritual growth, physical health and emotional stability for myself.   Luckily for me being born in an age where women are afforded equal rights to men I also believe that I have the resources and am capable of this.

I'm a crone at 45, I'll still be a crone at 60 when Connor is off my hands. What's the rush to go out and repartner really? I am an attractive and amusing woman, I'm sure I'll get laid in those 15 years should I wish to.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some thoughts about Internet Dating

In response to the interest generated at "The Plankton" on Internet Dating

I first tried Internet dating just before my 40th birthday. I recall being grateful as I set up my profile that I was under 40 as that was the cut off for most of the men I was interested in. In fact many men of my age were citing 35 as the upper limit.

I don't have bad things to say about Internet dating, but I haven't met a soul mate that way either. Only about 3/10 went beyond the first date

The men I met were broadly divided along these lines

(1) Focussed on sex/bit-a-fun and at some level why not? many of them have come out of long sex-starved marriages, some others are bachelors who have veered into the sex-addiction spectrum and can't commit,

(2) Great on paper with looks, interest in things cultural/sport, intelligent but actually chronically depressed, needy, usually unemployed or in patchy employment. Having come out of a crazy co-dependent relationship with a depressed person I myself was not strong enough to take this on,

(3) So rich and set up that they are afraid you will come and fleece them.

Men in the same boat might classify women as

(1) Crazy - vindictive about their ex-husbands, Overly happy and bubbly to cover their nerves (ie you never see the real them) mis representing themselves - old photos, glamour photos, talking themselves up...

(2) Desparate: focussed on dubious get-rich-quick schemes to pull them out of post-divorce poverty or worst looking for a meal ticket

(3) Not interested in sex.

My husband and the three men I have been in relationships with since divorce were all, my age or younger, I didn't meet any of them internet dating. Realistically at 46 I think my internet dating market is 55 upwards. In the real world however I may still meet someone who could've played in the same sandpit.

When I think of the effort it would take to present myself appropriately for this market - nails, eyelashes, bikini wax, take up extreme sport/cooking/triathlon to be more interesting, I tend to think the time and effort would be better spent on improving myself for my own purposes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Closed II

Rather than commenting on my own posts. I will give this one its own special post. I'm sorry there will be a couple of post-Hamish post-Mortems. This is what I wanted to say with the wisdom of Dr Jordan

many middle-aged singles are still trying to settle how they experience themselves on the inside while not allowing those unsettled feelings to interfere or complicate their love relationships. Quite frankly, the most defensive way of doing this is to keep oneself alone and seemingly free of confusion. For some middle-aged singles, these unsettled feelings get concealed behind a very busy work or social calendar. The deeper problem, however, is being unprepared to handle the psychological issues that will most likely arise if the plunge into love is taken. So the individual remains “closed” to love, no matter how involved he seems with dating and social activities.

I realise this closed theory is only one of a number (ie yes he may simply have found someone else) Anyhoooo... nice fellow as he was letting something like this drag on as long as it did. Being totally locked down while somebody tries to love you is a type of toxic behaviour, and has ended with all the hurt ( he possibly suffered through previous lovers or FOO) being transferred to me.  I am in total agreement with Rachel Wilkersons Rule #15.

Love that which lets you love it

Addendum 09/02/2012 The ire is starting to bubble up. However much "it's not me its you" he served it with and the pleasant departure (with a huge act of service) does little to detract from the core truth here. He didn't say "I don't fancy you, don't want you etc" on the contrary, he demonstrated that he really still does fancy me. The part he wanted to reject was my love, care, life situation and personality. That stinks.

Addendum 09/02/2012 That took 10 months out of my life. There was a huge investment in babysitters and time away from my child. As projects go, building up a relationship with a boyfriend is a risky one. All lost in one evening. I would've built more social/emotional capital helping out at an old folks home and be no worse off financially. This definitely points to an argument for taking my love elsewhere - if only I could embrace celibacy properly.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


I started this post earlier in an attempt to understand and heal that little emotional bruise I am carrying...

I am trying to put myself in the shoes of Hamish and imagine how it would be to date a man for 10 months, sleep with him, and act like his partner at social occaisions whilst all the time knowing I could never commit to him, or possibly have a rising fear I could never commit to him.

I have done this once, for about a month, with an intenet date (although we only once appeared as partners and that was excruciating for me, I certainly wouldn't have sought him out for this purpose). The man in question was, whilst being attractive, extraordinarily needy, out of work, depressed and had mummy issues
and was a bit of a dud in bed. I can't remember exactly what I said when I tried to end it gently, but I think it was "I am not ready for a serious relationship" which meant I am not, and will never be, ready for a serious relationship with you"

It's hard to think of myself in this lame-duck role.

I certainly didn't say (to the internet guy) as Hamish did to me "you are a sexy fantastic person, you have done nothing wrong, there is nothing about you that offends me, you are smart. I really fancy you in fact I would like to take you to bed now, I'm not ending it just pausing it...blah blah"

I guess its just another example of how men are different. Sex is really so very very important that someone could be quite wrong for a man, but if she comes up with the goods in the bedroom, he will keep her on.
However, the statement that I have heard from Hamish, and other men that

" are really very simple they just want a pretty girl on their arm, who will look after them and have lots of sex with them"
Is an oversimplification because I know for a fact I covered those bases

Then after reading The Plankton I came across a link by a commentator that seemed to explain a lot about middle aged dating in general, and Hamish in particular.

Basically Dr Jordan explains quite kindly that some of us actually shut off to love as a defensive strategy. I don't think this is me. I have another dysfunctional strategy which is to fall in love easily and then shave a little bit off my meagre self esteem when it doesn't work out.

Watch this space but I think I really will try to have a bit of genuine Single time now. My true belief is that this is well-nigh impossible with a demanding 8-year-old in tow, but I'll try. In addition not a helluva lot of time has been freed up by Hamish's absence. I was thinking wryly as I walked to work. Friday 8-midnight, Alternate Sundays and maybe Weds 8-midnight at a pinch. Will quite likely use the Sundays working and the weeknights sleeping!!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

[Guessing] Game Over

Yep after a long agonising evening of smalltalk Hamish finally plucked up courage to tell me he wants to put "us" (not even our relationship) on pause. Luckily there was quite a long chat and opportunity for me to get the things out I needed to say.

(1) That I have come to love him over these months
(2) That I won't be waiting around on a string until the pause button in unpaused
(3) To ask if my child got in the way (which apparently it didn't)
(4) To ask was part of the problem that  I am probably too old for us to have children together (apparently it isn't)

I was bemused though, he still apparently had every desire to take me to bed. I also pointed out I didn't want to be an FB as it "wouldn't be good for my self esteem" none the less I wouldn't have minded carrying on as we were, and I have lost a putative partner.  All the feelings of loss, abandonment, reduced self worth, fears for the future, that were there when my college boyfriend called it off, I realise, are still there - they are just muted, or suffocated, and, although I didn't know it then, I had more options in those days. Still having pretty skin and working ovaries. And I can't be properly single due to having Connor in tow. It is a very stifling feeling. That's for sure. I was never more than a bit of fun. Really.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Driving For a Relationship, Lost in Transmission

I came back from my long holiday overseas to a glorious loving reunion (not). Luckily for me Connor is with his grandparents for a week, so I am completely free to get over the jet lag, catch up on work and spend time with my gorgeous partner Hamish.

Let's not sell Hamish short, whilst I was away he had my car repaired and put new tires on. With suitable prompting he picked me up from the airport and we spent the weekend together with lots of bedroom moments. Nice.

So on Monday I set off to work and my own apartment. But I am beset with this growing feeling that

Something is missing

... and we both know what that is don't we? LOVE is missing.

In the early days of our courtship I had high hopes.  I did and still do have feelings of incredible closeness and affection for this man. I am prepared to have my best shot at loving and supporting him through whatever life throws at him, and I accept him for who he is. Unfortunately evidence is suggesting that this is not reciprocated. So lets unpack that.

What evidence do you have, exactly?

The phone calls have dropped off:

From when we kissed goodbye on Monday morning to Thursday I haven't heard a bean. I am so disappointed in this particular instance because for once I am completely child free!!! for a week!!!! why would he not want to take advantage of that??

He never says he loves me
...and the one time I said it to him he responded with "so you should"(!).

He has become a bit of a bottomless pit with respect to my acts of service. 
I can make dinner, give him a back rub, drive him to and from parties, fix his computer the more I offer the more he takes...

He doesn't seem to want to go out with me. 
When I mention films/plays/dance he never has any interest. On the other hand when a partner is called for at weddings, birthday parties, bah miztvahs I am called in to be it, which is nice and I do enjoy that. He will eat out with me. It is all very visceral... sex and food. Together we attend to the needs of our bodies...

Why don't you call him
Well basically as things evolve I feel I am doing enough of the running as it is. Since my return he has not stayed at my apartment, if I want to see him I have to drive the 20 miles to his place. I already flatter him by telling him how great he is, rustling up meals for him, admiring his work, and he does none of this for me.  He occaisionally gives the indication that I am a bit of a ditz (yeah ditz Ph.D). He doesn't seem to respect my different intelligence and life experience.

Perhaps he just can't talk about his feelings? 
Must admit I can't respond to this one, but it seems unlikely. If someone mattered to you, you would find a way of telling them (other than shagging them senseless, wouldn't you?). The only thing I can say is that the acts of service/practical love have given me hope.
For noting, by the way, he is able to declare love and admiration to his dog. 

Why don't you just ask him how he feels and what he wants out of a relationship

I did ask him and this is what he said "Sex and companionship". It's disarmingly simple.

It's all starting to sound rather a lot like "She drives for a relationship, he's lost in transmission" except I believe, in his case he does know what he's doing... occaisionally he tells me (I'm not nice, I'm bad) or when I said I couldn't tell what he was thinking he said (I'm a man of mystery - yeah flatter yourself why don't you - I think you are a poor communicator Hamish)  Worst case scenario, it could be one of those cases of freeze your girlfriend out by treating her with indifference. He also called me "Soft and Sweet" too nice for you own good the other day. This is so entirely at odds with my self image (which I will save for another post)

On the upside I am almost certain his is monogamous. He may be fantasising or casually sniffing around for an alternative, but for the time being I'm it. He's told me so. He also let me log into and see everything on his computer which is not the act of a man who is hiding something. He is quite open with me.

I've dated some men with some interesting communication styles/foibles, but this one is new to me

So all up I still can't cobble together enough clear evidence to dump him, although my feelings of frustration are mounting to the point that I think the costs will outweigh the benefits in about 2 months. Any suggestions for somehow bringing it to a head - maybe I should propose... it's a leap year.... be careful what you wish for Fiona...