The Pilot

This guy flew in out of nowhere. I swiped right after a few drinks at a local bar. He immediately messaged me.

Fast forward to the next day. He asks me out for dinner. I was already debating between taking a weekend off from dating to spend some quality time with my couch (which, I can imagine, has forgotten what I feel like) and the 3 other guys that had asked me out for that same dinner. 

Ah, what the hell. He tells me that he wants to take me some place nice. At this point, I just want to wear my jeans and Chucks. We’ll call it PTSD from the great New Orleans shoe disaster.  I derail that by asking him what his thoughts are on pizza. I suggest a local pizzeria and Viola! We have a date.

I get there a little early, let the host know I want the table in the corner, and order a glass of wine. I chat with the waitress and tell her I’m on a first date. We exchange dating stories and online dating disasters before she offers up a code word in case I need saving.  

He walks in, sees me, and smiles. We hit it off immediately. We talk and laugh over fried mozarella and pizza. We end up being the last two in the place before we realize they’ve closed. Afterwards, we walk around downtown as I give him a brief history of the city and the recent revitalization of the downtown area. From there, we head for some ice cream as we continue our conversation.

We end the date by quoting movies and showing each other our guns (part of an earlier conversation when he suggested we keep walking and I had to inform him that we were getting close to that part of town). He walks me back to my car. He asks me to let him know when I got home okay. He texts me to let me know again how much of a great time he had. 

It was refreshing to have such a good date. Unfortunately, this guy will be returning to Officer’s school so who knows if and when this will happen again. Even so, I enjoyed an evening full of great food, great company, and great conversation. 

The Fire Breathing Kitten

Sometimes you can just tell that it’s not going to go anywhere. Then again, sometimes you’re okay with that.

He looked like he was going to be FUN. I messaged first. We exchanged some sarcasm and I put him on the back burner without much thought. He later shared that this made him even more interested in me. He asks for my number and we start texting.

I could tell pretty soon that this guy didn’t know what he wanted. When he responded that it had been “one year and one month” since his divorce, I knew it was something he still hadn’t fully gotten over. I also picked up on some covert mommy issues. Sometimes my clinical insight is a curse.

He was a little too quick to call me pet names and tell me how much he liked me. Of course, my natural reaction is to bring a healthy dose of realism to the convo because his imagination is obviously working overtime. When he finds out that I pretty much live down the road, his imagination started a long term relationship with me. He got way too excited, telling me that I’m close enough that he could come kill a spider for me, that he could “swing by if we hadn’t seen each other that day,” and offered to help me with the various around the house projects I am working on.

One night, after a bottle and a half of wine, my innocence went out the window. This guy is itching to send me a DP. He’s obviously pretty proud of it. I tell him to wait, but that doesn’t stop us from exchanging some pretty racy messages, which continued through the next day and then he asked me out. I tell him I can’t. He tells me his dad is coming to visit that weekend so he won’t be available until Sunday. I respond and tell him that the only day that would even remotely work for me was Friday night after a  gala that I was attending. Suddenly, Friday opened up for him.

He texts me all day Friday, telling me how excited he is to be able to take me out. I tell him I’d let him know what the definitive plan would be later in the evening. If he only knew that I had no intention of us ever going out…

He texts me and asks me how the evening is going. I let him know that I’ve had quite a few drinks. He gets concerned that I won’t want to spend time with him. I assure him this is not the case. I let him know when I am headed home and he tells me that he is getting ready. When I get close to home I tell him that I don’t feel like going out and invite him over instead. I pass out on the couch and wake up to my phone ringing because this guy’s GPS ended him short of my house.

The doorbell rings. I make my way in 5 inch stilettos to greet him. He’s cute. I see his chest tattoo peeking through his buttoned down shirt and I know what’s going down. We sit on the couch and start talking. I let him know that I’m not in the mood for talking. He asks for a tour of my house so I show him my bedroom and we stay there.

I try to make him feel a little less used by giving him a back massage and letting him talk about God knows what as I give the impression that I’m listening when in actuality all of my energy is focused on trying to stay awake. I walk him to the door and say goodnight.

This was so far from something I would’ve normally done, but it was also exhilarating and in my opinion, much deserved. In the end, we both got what we wanted without all the mess.

The Interrogator

So when I get a guy’s number, I add a colon and a brief description. Sometimes the descriptions change. This one started off as, “:The Undercover Hottie.”

41, retired federal agent, and current investigator for a government agency. Our text conversations were great. Within a few days I found myself ending a 4 hour phone conversation with my cheeks hurting from laughing so hard (mostly at myself). He tells me he wants to take me out to dinner in New Orleans. Shit. I’m going to have to put on heels for this one.

I’m super nervous because he is every bit of handsome as I thought he would be. His eyes made this girl swoon.  He did a great job of engaging in conversation and easing any anxiety I had. It was quite a drive so there was plenty of “getting to know you” talk. I soon picked up on a pattern as he kept directing his conversation to my job. At first, I thought he was trying to find some middle ground by relating some of my cases to his past investigations. I didn’t mind so I went with it.

Dinner was amazing. Mistake #1: Have you ever worn heels in New Orleans? I got stuck in the cobblestone. When I say stuck, I mean I was about 96% sure I would be pulling a Cinderella.

He drops me off, there was a slight pause. Uhhh….I ask him if he wants to come in to continue our conversation. “No, I’m not coming in.” In a very matter of fact way. Okay. I shrug it off. He tells me how much he enjoyed the evening.

This one left me a bit confused as I felt the evening went pretty well. We text each other goodnight. He ghosted after he sends the next day’s “Good morning” message.

As I reflect on this, I realize this guy was more intrigued by what I do rather than me. A part of me tried to rationalize this as him trying to use my clinical judgement to gain better insight into some of his investigations. I can’t really call this one a date though. It was more like eating tacos during a 6 hour interrogation.

Not in the business of collecting cats.

“If you could put into a word, our relationship, what would it be? Been thinking about you all morning and cannot escape it, no matter what or how hard I try…No word I can think of holds that meaning.”

He texts me after another long night of talking on the phone. My heart drops. It’s that roller coaster feeling: being excited and scared shitless all at the same time all while desperately searching to discern which one is the prevailing emotion; being both open and vulnerable. We’ll call this guy Texas, with whom I engaged in a digital relationship after a lonely Christmas Eve, a bottle of wine, and a rare right swipe on Tinder. The same man who was on my doorstep two weeks later after driving 536 miles to meet me. Ironically, our fire burned out on February 14th. Still, those words haunt me, much like the feelings that accompanied them.

Who am I? I’m just a thirty-something professional therapist and single mother who apparently has made ‘being single’ a lifestyle. To clarify, not in the fun way you’re picturing in your head right now. Then again I’m also not in the business of collecting cats. I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. Where I frequently engage in long cuddle sessions with my couch as I binge watch Netflix on the weekends. I’m fresh on the market, after a long hiatus from dating while I dedicated my life to my career and raising my child. Somewhere along the way, I decided it’d be a good idea to get back out there and an even better idea to do so on Tinder, and eventually Match. Side Note: Should I be overly concerned that both are analogous with fire?

Indulge me in my crash and burn adventures in digital dating and as I counsel myself through this process. What’s the goal? What are my long term objectives as I explore this new chapter in my life? At this point, success will be measured by the frequency in which I buy batteries in bulk and the arthritis flare-ups that inevitably come with swiping left until Tinder forces me to call it a night.

What happens next? Let’s find out.