When Is Enough Enough?
I’m growing weary of this emotional roller coaster called online dating. I often wonder if this whole journey has been a mistake. Not that I’m not meeting women—I am, but they turn out to be no more than cerebral one-night stands. I’ve gotten past the second date numerous times, but obviously, there have been no real connections; otherwise, I would not be writing this now. With the availability of all these women and my strikeout rate still at .000, I have to start looking at myself as the reason I’m alone.
I remember telling a female friend who found herself in similar crappy relationships with different guys that she was the one common denominator. I’m going to have to take some of my own medicine. I’ve been at this for a while now, like a couple of years. I think it’s kinda sad that I’m no better off than when I started. All those dates, all those women, and still nothing.
There was Candi, who was 10 years my junior, but a lot of fun. I can’t remember how we hooked up. It really wasn’t anything sexual that drew us together. Although Candi was a pretty girl, she was a gym rat who obsessed over basketball. In all of her profile pictures, she dressed in baggy sweats, hoodies, and the latest sneakers. If it weren’t for her clearly feminine facial features, you’d probably mistake her for a guy. But there’s no denying it; Candi ain’t no boy. This girl is smoking hot.
We enjoy each other’s company, yet whenever we talk or hang out, I end up counseling her. She gets kicked out of the house, and I talk her into smoothing things over with her mom until she can get her own place. She buys her first car, and I make sure she doesn’t get ripped off. The car breaks down, and I run to the rescue. All of these instances only reinforce my protective instincts and suppress my desire to pursue anything else.
As it turns out, Candi needs someone in her life, but it’s not a boyfriend. It gets to the point where every time I look at her, I see the kid sister I never had. I no longer see a sexy body and pretty face.
Yes, it’s frustrating to meet someone you like and not have things go the way you want, but in this case, I feel the best thing is just to be a friend.
Speaking of frustrating, here’s another encounter that leaves me asking the Lord WHY? Neena is an appealing woman whose profile I come across on one of the larger dating sites. Her profile reads:
Enjoys staying active and spending time with family
Los Angeles, California
seeking man 25-35
within 15 miles of Los Angeles
I love working out, dancing, and living life to the fullest.
A typical profile for most women on dating sites, right? Wait for it…
For our first date, I decide to take her to the City Walk. It’s an open-air entertainment venue with shops and eateries right next door to Universal Studios. I figure we can find something to get into here. And if all else fails, I can resort to doing something I’d rather not do on a first date—go to the movies.
Neena is perky and talkative. It takes a lot of pressure off me to have to pull conversation out of her and keep things loose and flowing. So, I’m good with that. You can tell she never really left her glory days as a school cheerleader.
Since neither of us is hungry at the moment, Neena suggests that we walk the Promenade and take in the sights.
Because it’s a Friday night, it seems like all of L.A. has converged onto the City Walk at the same time. That’s man code for “the place is crawling with chicks.”
Out of respect for my date and myself, I put the mental blinders on as best I can, but Neena is not helping.
“Wow, look at her shoes,” she points out. “That’s a pretty top, but she might want to wear a bra next time. Did you see what that girl had a tattoo of?” Neena’s neck is craning back and forth as she tries to take in everything in sight.
Now let me pause here to ask you a question: How do you know when a woman’s observation of another woman has gone from innocent admiration to something else?
Just then, I realize Neena’s saying something to me, something that requires an answer. “I’m sorry say that again. It’s noisy here.”
Neena speaks into my ear, “what do you think of being with two girls at once?”
WOW–IT’S OFFICIAL! I try to play dumb because I don’t know what else to say. “You mean to be in a relationship and have a girl on the side? No, I could never do that,” I say with a straight face.
“Well that’s good to know, but what I meant was, if two women were together and they wanted you to join them in bed, would you be game?” She looks at me as if my face has turned every color of the rainbow, which it probably has. And although it was chilly outside, I feel like I’m roasting on an open fire. “Um, never been asked that question before,” I say with a finger up, signifying that I need a moment to gather my thoughts. “That’s probably the fantasy of many guys out there, but I’m not one of them.”
“Well, what do you think about lesbians or bisexual women,” she says coyly. Again, with the awkward questions, I think to myself.
“Well, not that I’m judging,” I assure her, “but I find that I don’t see eye to eye with those of alternative lifestyles on many issues. However, they are people who need love just like everyone else.” Not knowing what will come next, I hold my breath.
Neena is quiet for a moment and then she speaks. “I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been a lesbian for a few years now and have just come out of a relationship with a woman that lasted just over a year. I’m going to a shrink, and she encouraged me to try something different to see if that can help pull me out of this funk I’m in. I know I probably should have been square with you from the start, but I wanted to kinda feel you out first.”
“That’s a lot to lay on a guy for the first date,” I say as I laugh nervously. “So I’m like a test subject to see if you want to go straight again?”
“That’s part of it,” she says, “but I would need a guy who’s pretty progressive with his sexuality. Cause you never know, I might want to have two partners—at the same time.”
Needless to say, my mind is blown right now. To get our attention on something other than sexual appetites and ménage à trois, I revert to the good old standby: “Let’s go see a movie!”
After the date, Neena and I agree that I’m not the guy to help her along her journey of sexual exploration, although I am flattered that I did get a nomination.
This whole incident reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where George’s ex, Susan, becomes a lesbian, and Kramer breaks up the same-sex relationship by converting her partner back to being heterosexual. I believe George said, “Amazing. I drive them to lesbianism; he brings ’em back.”
As contrasting as these stories are, they feel like a microcosm of my lifelong attempts at finding love. Now I ask you, how much should a person be willing to put up with to find what they’re looking for? When does persistence morph into foolishness?
For the battered wife or girlfriend who keeps saying to herself, “He’ll change,” it’s easy for us to say, “Leave NOW,” with 100 percent conviction. But what about those grey areas of our lives that we become numb to? Some things we just can’t see because of our blindness.