Online Dating, Alcoholic Style

Last night I signed back up for OkCupid. I know, I know, every time I do this it only takes a few days for it to completely sap me of self-esteem! I’m trying to stay positive this time around… I think part of the reason I struggle with dating is because, historically, I’ve cared too much. I’m in a different place now, sober and kind of killing it at life. That said, it’s next to impossible to convey that through an online dating profile without sounding like an arrogant douche bag. So I don’t. I’m keeping my profile very minimal with just some pictures and basic info about what is going on in my life.

Do I mention that I’m sober? Heck to the no. My profile says that I never drink, smoke, or do drugs. When you read that on someone’s profile it either means they ALWAYS drink, smoke, and do drugs, or they are recovering addicts. Hopefully I come across as the latter to anyone who looks that far. It’s difficult though… a lot of the woman who pique my interest mention right away that their ideal weekend is drinking craft beer. Well, while I have no problem dating someone who drinks I’m sure that drinking by yourself while a guy you barely know stares dreamily into your eyes is not that exciting of a time.

OkCupid has changed a lot over the years. You have to display your real name now (well you don’t have to but they’ve done away with user names) and you can’t send anyone a message unless they “like” you back. Having known plenty of women who have been berated online by drunk guys at 2am, I support the new system. But if you’re like me and don’t have a Hollywood face it puts you at a disadvantage. Also not working in my favor is that I’m so afraid of coming across as one of those drunk douche bags that my flirting game is like talking to your brother about what is for dinner. Conversations rarely go anywhere romantic.

I’ve already gotten two emails stating that someone has liked my profile. They give you an array of about twelve people and say that your secret admirer is ONE of these ladies. Well there are eleven women who are virtually supermodels and one who looks like she hasn’t showered since 1985 so I’m going to take a wild shot in the dark on that one. Remaining positive though.

Always positive.

 

Masculinity, Initial Thoughts

I don’t ever promote other blogs here but there is one on which I read and comment on every post. Rinse Before Use is a relationship and lifestyle blog excellently written by two talented friends of mine. It’s witty and funny, covering everything from online dating to book and tv reviews. A lot of what I write and the fact that I continue to write is due to their website. If you have a moment, check out their site. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! If you like what you read, please vote for them in the Infinity Blog Awards.

I’m not really feeling it today, my friends! Normally when I wake up, I jump out of bed and already have an idea for my post making my fingertips itch. No such luck today! But I did challenge myself to write a post every day for thirty days and I am a man of my word! Usually… most of the time.

On Rinse Before Use, they’ve recently been talking about the state of masculinity in the world and that’s a topic I find intriguing, in large part because not only am I a man but I am the kind of man people are usually talking about when they say that masculinity is in decline. We have to be honest with ourselves about these things; it’s the only way one can change for the better.

Growing up with basically an absent father, I learned everything about human interaction from my mother. I can’t even begin to explain to you what my childhood was like. My therapist has helped me to see that, in a way, I was actually the father (which feels kind of gross but true) and had a big part in raising all of my siblings. It’s not a role I wanted so I didn’t do a very good job as evidenced by all of their drug and alcohol problems; I digress.

What my mother taught me, above all else, is that women hate me and I should fear them. She didn’t SAY that, of course. Children learn from what you do far more than from what you say and she was/is a terrifying woman. In my later years that terror turned more into annoyance as it became apparent that she couldn’t actually do anything to me but the instinct to fear her and (by proxy) all women is still there.

The strange thing about this is, as a nice guy (a term that doesn’t mean you’re actually a nice guy at all), I have tons of female friends. In fact, I have almost exclusively female friends. I’m not threatening to women. It’s obvious I’m never going to make a move or treat them poorly because I am just a little puppy waiting for them to toss me some table scraps! Looking back on my past, there are many gorgeous, intelligent women who I can see now wanted me to make a move but I was too weak to do anything. That hurts, deep in the gut. The worst kind of hurt is when nobody but yourself caused it.

All of that said… I am changing! Slowly but surely, my confidence is increasing. Physically, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life which means that, in my locale, I’m also in better shape than virtually every other man my age. That makes you feel good about yourself, let me tell you! Women pay a lot of attention to me now because they’re in miserable, failed marriages with men who let themselves go ten years ago. Of course, they’re still married so that isn’t doing much for my sex life but it’s a confidence boost.

The big boon to my confidence though is my lifestyle, without a doubt. I’m sober, after going through over ten years of struggle that is tougher than most people can even comprehend. I’ve stuck to a consistent exercise and diet regimen. I jokingly said when I first started working out (while I was still a drunk) that you only live once and I want a 6-pack before I die. It was just a ha-ha moment, but it’s actually becoming a reality! Why do we obsess over 6-pack abs so much anyway? Probably because they’re the hardest muscle to obtain; fat forms on the belly first.

I don’t know if this will last. Historically, it hasn’t. I try things for a few weeks and then I quit. But this has been over a month now and it’s certainly due to finally getting my medication straightened out. I can’t emphasize enough how much I believe people who are struggling should see a psychiatrist.

Anyway, look at that! Didn’t even feel like writing today. See you all tomorrow! (or in your comment sections)

Dating Sober

If you’ve been reading my ramblings long enough, you’re at least vaguely aware that I’ve been single for some time. I like to tell people it’s been about ten years, but that’s a little misleading. It’s been ten years since I’ve been in a serious, committed relationship but I’ve dated women here and there up until the time I decided to get sober.

Since my sobriety, dating has become incredibly difficult. Not only are there the women who predictably don’t want to talk to a self-confessed alcoholic, but a lot of the people I encounter in my day-to-day life are very active addicts themselves. Just in the last two months, I’ve almost gone out with a woman who accidentally let slip that she was a codependent meth-addict, a woman who drank to intoxication every night with her children in her care but didn’t think it was a big deal, and then just today I was inspired to write this post by another incident.

There’s this girl, let’s call her Annie, whom I’ve known for probably close to a decade. She used to work for me at the first restaurant I managed and we hung out a few times back then, had a little fun, and then I ended up moving to the west coast. I’ve always liked her and we have chatted here and there over the years. Fast forward to today, I get a friend request from her on Facebook and find out she’s living in the same town as I am!

Naturally, I was excited. Here was fairly lonely, single Brian finding out that one of the women he had been feverishly attracted to was a stone’s throw away and was showing interest in reconnecting again. We talked for a bit, flirted a little, and I have to say she still looks just as beautiful as she did ten years ago… plus a few more tattoos.

Then I started getting hit with the 1-2-3 knockout punches. First she tells me she’s on probation, then she was at a party last night and couldn’t call her testing facility because she was drunk. Finally, the home run was that she told me she wanted to hang out on her lunch break at her job but asked me if I could bring some pain killers if I had any.

Jesus. Effing. Christ.

She turned out to be pretty messed up, the more we talked. Very disheartening, of course, but I understand that her problems have nothing to do with me. While I could be depressed that I’d hooked yet another drug addict who likely wanted to use me for money (which I don’t have, don’t even worry about that), I’m grateful that I’m now mindful and present enough to not go and see her anyway… because the old me totally would have and it would have been a huge mistake.

Hopefully, she quits while she still has her looks. She likely won’t stay out of jail for long with the way she’s behaving and maybe that’s what she needs.

Humidity

I’m proud of this shot! The framing could be better and I wish I had a black or white tablecloth to put behind it, but I wanted the towel to match the color of the sweet potatoes. I got close and could probably edit it in Lightroom to be even closer, but I’m not that skilled yet.

I woke up early today, drenched in sweat and confused, as though I was nursing a fever. Someone turned off the air-conditioning in the middle of the night! My bedroom feels like a sauna and now I need to wash my sheets again…

Yesterday’s post was asking the question of how we can best build an engaged audience. Humorously, my milestone for most visitors was broken yesterday. The consensus is that we should be engaged readers ourselves, which comes quite naturally to me as I enjoy communicating with authors when I read something of theirs that I like.

I’m generally a positive and genuine guy, and I’ve been trying to make that come across in my WordPress activities of late. It’s no surprise then, given what we’ve learned about building a following, that lately, my number of visitors and followers has increased significantly (some of you are even repeat visitors and I truly appreciate that).

A small part of me feels apprehensive about this, though. My writing isn’t nearly at where I want it to be. As I said yesterday, I tend to just write in a stream-of-consciousness with very little editing, if any at all, and on diverse, seldom related topics. My goal the rest of this year is to start posting at least one essay a week which took me more than one sitting to compose.

For this, I need your help! I’m not quite sure what to write about. I have a few ideas but I want to know if any of you have questions about me or things I’ve written about in the past that you’d like me to elaborate on. I could write about sobriety all day, of course, but many people who visit my blog regularly aren’t alcoholics.

The timing of this isn’t accidental. I just finished my first creative writing class in college and my second class, on research and composition, begins today. Using the things you learn in school is the best way to retain them and since I’ve always enjoyed writing, I really want to retain what I learn in these classes.