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Chasing The American Dream

July 24, 2006

CAPRICIOUS AND BLITHE

"Women are capricious and blithe, even if they give off the impression that they're more serious. We constantly evaluate and re-evaluate and re-re-evaluate and change our minds as often as we change underwear."

Alternate titles considered for this post were:

RISK/REWARD
DATING SLUMP
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
GIVE OR TAKE

I’ve been in a huge dating slump ever since CBG dumped me. And most recently, it has gotten worse. When I sit back and think about it, I come to realize that I’m not any closer to understanding women now then 2 ½ years ago when I became single once again. It seems when I’m never on the same wavelength. It’s like I’m coming and they’re going. I go left and they go right. I say tomato, they say tomahto.

Within the last oh, eight weeks or so, I’ve gone through the following new miserable experiences. We all know about Peach so let’s not rehash that. Post-Peach, I wrote about meeting some wonderful women online, having great conversations, sharing lots of interests, and then they disappear.

Then there was the whole model saga. This was a risk/reward situation in which I risked spending some money to fly her down with the possibility of something developing and her moving back to Miami. But again, I missed a signal somewhere because we were definitely not on the same wavelength. After spending far too much money on her, and getting very little appreciation from her, I found out she is just looking for a friend. Oh gee, isn’t that lovely?

Then came Argentina. We met online. She used to live here but now lives in Argentina, her homeland. She came to town and we went to dinner and had a great time. Poof. She disappeared.

Then I finally met someone local albeit online. She was seemingly perfect for me. Divorced with a young son. 29 years-old, very attractive, very sweet, and very genuine. Or so she appeared. We had an amazing chat which ended with her requesting me to send additional pictures of me and Andy in exchange for pictures of her and her son. Poof. She vanished. I sent her a follow-up email with no response. Two-weeks later, I finally saw her online and sent her an IM asking her what happened? She declined my message. Naturally, I sent her an email hoping for some sort of explanation, but of course, she ignored me.

Then came the latest fiasco. And let me say right here and now that I don’t necessarily blame any of these women. I really only have myself to blame for allowing these things to happen. OK. Lay on, McDuff. This latest woman I met a maybe a couple of weeks ago. She was from Phoenix so I said hello. We ended up having a nice chat. Once again, she seemed interested, but I never heard from her. Right before I came to Phoenix last week, I sent her an email telling her I was coming to town and asked her if she’d like to meet or chat. I never expected to hear from her. Well lo and behold; I had an email in my inbox when I arrived in Phoenix. And the latest adventure had begun.

She was single, 27, a Russian Jew, and very attractive by the looks of her picture. She had recently moved away from San Francisco and her family to pursue a real estate career. We had some nice conversations during the week usually when Andy was sleeping in the morning or late at night. I figured I wanted to meet her while I was there. The problem was that she had lots of family in town and I had no free time. So I had to make a risk/reward decision once again. Do I extend my stay in Phoenix just to meet a total stranger, perhaps meeting the woman of my dreams? Well, you me and yes, I made a last minute decision to extend my stay just to meet her. Here’s how THAT turned out.

We agreed to meet for dinner Wednesday night, the night I was supposed to leave for home. She trusted me enough to pick her up rather than meeting me somewhere. I felt really good about her. We really seemed to connect. I was really excited to see and meet her. But she called me around the time we were to meet and canceled. She said she couldn’t leave her family. Boy was I disappointed. I had bought her flowers, too. I don’t know why, but I respected and understand her decision. I knew how important her family was to her especially considering she had not seen them in a year or so. Her cousins were to leave Saturday afternoon at 3 so I made another ill-advised risk/reward decision. I volunteered to stay until Sunday just to meet her on Saturday night for a nice dinner and whatever else we decided to do from there. I figured once again that it was worth the risk and the cost to meet someone special. So we rescheduled for a Saturday night around 7 or 8.

Again, I greatly anticipated meeting her. We continued chatting and she seemed very excited and eager as was I. She even called me late Friday night around 1 a.m and told me to come out and meet her. Crazy me agreed but she reconsidered given the hour of the night and the fact that she was tired. Again, I understood that too. Then came the big day, Saturday.

I anticipated this nice long evening with her, a nice dinner where we could chat and get to know each other and figure out if there was something there. How nice would that be especially since I was/am considering moving back to Phoenix. Her Wednesday flowers weren’t looking so hot so I bought her new ones and made her a couple of CDs. Yeah, overkill but I wanted to make a good first impression and I really didn’t know when I’d ever see her again. She called around our appointed time, 7:30 or so. She said she had just woken up from a nap, tired from her family’s visit. She said it would take her two hours to get ready so she would call me later. The wind was beginning to leave my sails. She called around 9 and we talked. She said it was sort of late for dinner and that we could meet at a sports bar in an hour. What was I to say? If it had been a local thing, I probably would have told her, ‘thanks but no thanks,’ but hell, I’d stayed this long and I wanted to at least meet her after all this. At this juncture I had no wind left in my sails. I was really disappointed that our big night had been reduced to some lame meeting in a bar. But I went through with it.

She pulled up next to me in the parking lot and I got a quick glimpse of her. She resembled little from her picture. She had beautiful eyes and a nice face yes, but nothing like her picture. Plus, I’d guess that she had gained 50-75 pounds since the picture was taken. I cursed myself. We walked into this dive place and some annoying comedian was shouting vulgarities. We could hardly hear each other. We did have fun and had a nice conversation. There was chemistry there. We had a quick drink and decided to leave. Only we didn’t know where else to go given the late hour and I really didn’t know where else to go around there nor did she. So we agreed to meet late morning the next day so we could spend the day together before I left. We even spoke at 5:30 in the morning and confirmed it. 10:30 or 11. So I waited for her call.

She eventually called me at 11:20. She said she had to go to the gym with her dad who was also visiting her. Again, I understand her father made a special trip to see her. I didn’t expect to be chosen over her father anyway. So I waited again for her. We spoke after 2 and she asked me if 3 would be ok. I asked her if she could make it earlier, it would be better. So I waited. Then she called about going to Costco. Costco? That couldn't wait? I mean, I just figured after all I sacrificed for her, I might have priority over a Costco trip. But she made your choice and, like an idiot, I waited again. And I waited. And I heard nothing. No calls, no nothing. Perhaps if I was an asshole (and maybe I am), I would deserve this. But in my view, I did everything I could to stay here and try to get to know her. It cost me quite a bit to stay here and wait for her, yet she didn’t really appreciated my effort. This disturbing pattern of blowing me off totally disappointed me and hurt me. I just don't understand how someone could do that. She finally called me around 8 and I let it go to voicemail. She really didn’t’ explain why she hadn’t called and even told me she hoped we could continue whatever it was we were doing. I wrote her an email not to dissimilar to this post explaining my thoughts. And that was that.

And here I am really lost. I used to think I was a good judge of character. Now, I’m definitely doubting it. I also used to think that my risk/reward strategy was worth pain of disappointment. But this is getting old now. And it seems the more I give, the less I get. After Russia blew me off the first time, I had a chat with the scholarly
Olivia. I told her I didn’t get women. I said to her that women were always changing their minds on me, showing interest and then disappearing. One disaster after another. I told her I was truly lost. She then offered me her woman’s point of view, the result of which was the above quote that you read in the beginning of this post. How right she is. And how prophetic, too after all I went through these past two days. Mentally, I need a break from dating. I need to focus on writing my book. I need to find an ending chapter somehow. I have been hoping reality would help me finish it, but if I wait until my single situation gets resolved, the book may never get finished. But at least Olivia has given me the name for the next chapter I’m going to write. Yes indeed, Capricious and Blithe.

27 Comments:

  • I don't want to be rude, but this may sound rude. Why not try dating women that are in their 30's (or 40's) instead of their 20's? My dating habits at twenty-something vs thirty-something were drastically different.

    And my second rude comment - I think 2½ years is a short period of time to be dating. For me, it was SIX years between my last serious relationship and meeting my husband. And then another two years before getting married.

    Sorry, just my opinion.

    (And yes, I think the CD's and flowers are too much too soon, save it for someone who will appreciate it.)

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 3:14 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • I think in hindsight you realize you missed all the warning signals. So don't sweat it, get up, dust yourself off, and get back in the saddle.

    I can understand wanting a dating vacation. However, remember dating is akin to batting in baseball, except no one cares about your batting average. You just need one hit.

    Keep chasing that dream...

    By Anonymous buster, at 5:00 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • catstevens, I posted on your link and realized buster is your dog. My buster is my cat.

    By Anonymous buster, at 5:03 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • Oh Todd...I suppose this is where the addage "nice guys finish last" comes from, eh?

    But I don't believe that and I don't think you should either. I agree with CatStevens that you may want to try a slightly older woman - or at least one more emotionally mature? But really the advice I have to give is this:

    No one values that which comes too easily. Make yourself a little less available, perhaps, and these woman will be more likely to value that time you DO have to give them. It's kinda like high school, really. Pretend that you don;t REALLY like her and she'll wonder why not.

    UGH...the games! But unfortunately they are sometimes necessary purely for the protection of our hearts and our dignity! I know it'll work out for you eventually, though - You know the OTHER aggage..."Good things come to those who wait."

    Lets hope that one IS true!

    By Anonymous Hill, at 6:34 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • Good comments, all. Cat, Ms. NY who disappeared is 40. Peach is 40. Argentina is 41. Maybe I should throw out the 20s and 40s and try the 30s. Buster, my problem isn't missing the warning signs, it's ignoring them. Hill, I think you're right, I just hate playing games. And I hope you're right about the waiting.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:31 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • "My problem isn't missing the warning signs, it's ignoring them."

    I have a friend going through something similar. She desperately wants to be in a relationship and is smart enough to recognize red flags in men but, in the past, has chosen to delude herself and go forward anyway. She's changing, slowly, but it's a tough nut to crack. I'm not letting her get away with it anymore.

    Heed the red flags, Plant. It's to your credit that you're aware enough to see them but it means little if you actively ignore them.

    By Anonymous Lisa, at 11:31 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • Just linked to your blog from Stephanie Klein.I hope you are not offended by this suggestion but why don't you try dating more women who are in their late 30's or 40's. I think you would be happier and have more in common with these women.This game playing is for children.I am referring to the calling and not calling and lame excuses when they do call. Also, you make yourself less appealing when you talk about all of your bad dating experiences. I doubt you realize that. Good luck to you. And there are alot of attractive forty year old women out there with morals and class, unlike "Peach."

    By Anonymous Karen H, at 11:41 PM, July 24, 2006  

  • Lisa, I agree. I need to work on that quit when the red flags go up. Karen, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Did you see my comment above? 40s aren't working either right now. Yes, I'm sure I'm less appealing talking about all this. Even Peach mentioned this. But regardless, I need to clear my mind and write; it's what I do, appealing or not.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 12:39 AM, July 25, 2006  

  • Yes, I did see the comments but only after I posted. And when I advised that you hold back on discussing your dating history, I didn't mean to stop writing.Just don't discuss it right away with a new date. It really does make you less appealing and you need to come across as very confident. I wasn't attacking you, just putting in my two cents. I recently helped a male friend get through some really bad dating and now now he is dating a lady he is very happy with. Good luck to you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 AM, July 25, 2006  

  • I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing, it helps.

    By Anonymous Neska, at 7:26 AM, July 25, 2006  

  • Karen, I know you're not attacking me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Glad to know there are some dating successes out there, too. Neska, thanks for stopping by. Best of luck.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 8:33 AM, July 25, 2006  

  • I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I know your cyclical pattern with dating (as well as my own). You seem to get in so deep so fast and invest more into a woman than she deserves that early on. I once met a guy at a bar, had a great time dancing and hanging out together. We decided to go out the following weekend and at that date he went so far overboard, mentioning he'd mentioned me to his mom and all this stuff that indicated he was WAY TOO INVESTED without even knowing me. Scared me off. That was the end of that. You're a great guy and a great catch and you'll find the right woman. Slow down, breathe, relax. A first date shouldn't involve flowers, a gift, intentions or cost more than $20. We women really aren't that complicated. If you know yourself, know what you want and are confident we'll be impressed with that alone. The rest comes off as desperate and clingy.

    By Blogger Amy, at 9:32 AM, July 25, 2006  

  • Amy has some good suggestions, Plantation. I don't know if I could say it any better. And I'm not sure time off helps much. I tried that for a few years, and when I started dating again I realized I was still in the same pattern I'd been in when I quit dating.

    Breaking pattern sounds like a better step. Maybe start with coffee on a first date, lunch on a second?

    A very wise friend of mine also suggested a scientific plan. Write a detailed list of who you would be most compatible with, then evaluate each person you date based on that list after every date. Be objective. Never commit yourself to one person until after you've dated them for at least six weeks. And if it doesn't work out, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get right back to it. She swears you'll meet your "one" in 18 months.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 10:26 AM, July 25, 2006  

  • I like what Amy said, good advice. And when I commented on the age thing, I think I meant more emotional/maturity age than physical (kinda like what Hill said). I think the whole "I'll call you/not call" thing is bullshit. You shouldn't waste two minutes on behavior like that, which is why the flowers & CDs is not worth wasting on someone who can't even return a phone call.

    I know it's rough out there Todd, I understand, and I wish there was a magic formula, but all I can offer is my honest opinion and a shoulder to lean on.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 2:28 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • I had hoped when I stopped back in here after all this time I would find an engagement announcement or some sort of cute picture with you and the Mrs. to be...alas, I find neither. You sound well though, glad to hear your still in the game:)

    take care Florida !

    By Blogger Meg, at 3:11 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • Amy, what if you only had one chance to meet someone who lived 2500 miles away? Wouldn't that warrant a little something special? The flowers were $14 and the CDs were homemade so I made it under your budget ;-) I know you're right. I have to work on things. Elizabeth, that DOES sound so scientific and analytical. I have a tendency to overanalyze. You sure bout this? Can I try it out on you? ;-) Cat, thanks for the shoulder. Meg, so you're blogging? Good 4 you!

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:16 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • While I agree that you have encountered a goodly portion of capriciousful women of late, I cannot say that I've detected even a wisp of blitheoliciousness (in the sense of cheerfully casual). In fact, a couple of them strike me as sounding downright morose.

    By Anonymous Barbara E., at 10:05 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • Blitheolicious is the new bootylicious.

    By Blogger olivia, at 10:47 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • Great comment, B.E. Olivia, you're too much!

    By Blogger Plantation, at 11:05 PM, July 25, 2006  

  • I think that if I were 2500 miles from home and had some chance encounter where I met someone that I wanted to get to know better I would try to get to know that person better WITHOUT getting too invested. I would email. I would go back home and talk on the phone some. She gave only weak indications that she wanted to see you as much as you wanted to see her. If she knew you stalled your return to see HER, she should have made a reciprocated effort. She didn't. Go home. It's just too much WAY TOO SOON. And it doesn't matter if you give things that don't cost much, it's still an overwhelming gesture. Does that make sense. Elizabeth is right, coffee first, lunch maybe second date. No more than an hour or so to start. I think going in with the expectation that each and every woman you meet "might just be the one" is what is making you go so far so fast. Go in thinking "she's nice. I'll see where it goes." Just my two cents. Not really worth even that. I'd just like to see you happier about your place in life instead of continually waiting for life to happen when you meet the Mrs.

    By Blogger Amy, at 10:41 AM, July 26, 2006  

  • Damn! Amy hit the nail on the head, especially with that last sentence. Maybe I should start going to her for advice ;)

    Todd, I can't say everyone, but I think, for the most part, your blog readers genuinely care about you. There is some great advice here.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 1:58 PM, July 26, 2006  

  • Believe me, I know Cat. And thanks to everyone for the advice. I know y'all will find this hard to believe, but my goal in meeting someone for the first time is really just to try and have a good time and whatever happens, happens. Russia was an exception. I looked to the future and it was a mistake. OK, on to the next post ;-)

    By Blogger Plantation, at 8:48 PM, July 26, 2006  

  • Ever since webdate_dot_com, I didn't have any problems on dating...It's actually kind of fun metting cute men online..it only gets better when we meet personally!

    By Blogger Cassandra3383, at 3:09 AM, July 27, 2006  

  • Webdate.com? Oh boy, a new playground! Thanks Cass. Ok admit it, how many eyes just rolled?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 4:53 AM, July 27, 2006  

  • Amy, you say such great things. Are you planning on writing a book? Sounds like we could all use your advice! And yes, Todd, Janet's advice is pretty scientific. So it will probably come as no surprise that she's a scientist!

    Can't tell you if it works or not, yet, but so far, so good! It certainly makes it easier to decide how much to invest in someone. Not enough check marks on the list? BZZZZZ, on to the next date.

    Sounds cold, but since your Russian friend from Phoenix was colder, maybe Janet's on to something.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 10:46 AM, July 29, 2006  

  • Don't give up dating! It may be because you werent able to chose the right women to date. You just have to learn judging a person's character before you ask them out! You can start again by going to webdate.com and meeting new people there!

    By Blogger Bright Light District, at 9:18 AM, July 31, 2006  

  • Amy's said it all! Don't try so hard and you'll find it when it finds you...totally unexpected. Be comfortable and relaxed just living your life without a partner and it's then that you'll meet someone. You will meet someone!

    By Blogger Mother of Invention, at 7:11 PM, August 05, 2006  

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