UpDATE: Everyone, Meet Alex.

Sometimes life’s adventures really knock my socks off.

Travel with me back to November 4th, 2009.

(PS – This next part of the story is really personal, but I’m definitely way past it, so no worries.  Plus, it helps set the stage for the rest of it…)

My boyfriend of almost 3 years had just dropped me off at the airport.  I was en route to Las Vegas for a week to attend a business conference.  I had never been before and wasn’t all that interested in the location, but was looking forward to the conference.

He and I were on really rocky terms at that point, and I could feel the end of our relationship almost inevitable, but our last conversation before I left town was one that promised he’d go to therapy.

Unfortunately, he made choices with another female later that night that ultimately ended our relationship.

I found this all out just two days after I had arrived in Vegas.

Imagine finding out the WORST type of betrayal when you’re out of town.  Horrible! Helpless!

Naturally, I was devastated.

Beside myself.

Destroyed.

Crying, sobbing in the middle of the Palazzo hallway at 2am because I didn’t want to wake my roomie I was bunking with during the conference (as totally understanding and comforting as she was).  For hours and hours I bawled, trying to understand what I had just found out.

But, in my true figure-it-out fashion, and after ditching day 3 and 4 of the conference by staying in bed, I finally pulled myself together enough to get some fresh air down in the casino that next evening.  After all, I was staying in a suite at the Palazzo and it was my first time ever in Vegas.  Might as well make some good use of it.

I accompanied a girlfriend of mine from the conference at the roulette table.  I don’t gamble so I sat there watching, mildly entertained.

At one point, a tall white guy with a friendly face and confident demeanor came and sat down next to me.

He places three crispy one-hundred dollar bills down on the table and gets himself in the game.

He strikes up small talk with us as they all played.

His name is Alex.

And he’s winning.

And winning some more.

Aaaannnd some more!

Dang! Homey is lucky!  Or good.  Or both.

He’s actually really funny and charming and eventually offers to buy both of us a drink at the piano bar nearby.

We are now quite entertained by our new friend and so we leave Roulette and make our way to a table to continue more conversation.

Eventually, my girlfriend says it’s getting late and heads back to her room.

I’m left there with Alex and we stay awhile longer.  The chatting turns to flirting and then I gather what is obvious interest from him.

Due to my VERY recent devastation, I candidly pump the brakes.  I tell him I’m a total mess, my boyfriend had just cheated on me and he doesn’t want to have to deal with that.

Who would?! Talk about a rebound sitch!

But he doesn’t care.  He’s really interested.  And totally shocked and almost angry that any man would EVER consider doing me wrong like that! WTH?!

And/or totally wants to have a random hook up in Vegas.  Not that THAT’S ever happened with people in Sin City before. *sarcasm* (Either way, it’s too early to tell Mr. Alex’s intentions.)

I’m due to leave to go back to LA soon, and the week was coming to a close.  He asks me when I’m coming back to Vegas because he travels there for his business all the time.  Strangely enough I have tentative plans to be back that next week for another conference.  I still had to figure some things out, so I was on the fence.

He invites me up to his suite for drinks but I politely decline.  I had so much going on in my mind at that point and being the classy-ish lady that I am, I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay with a stranger, so yeah, no, thanks.

He’s cool with that and I get no extra pressure or begging.  A gentleman.

He walks me to the bank of gold elevators, pretty sure he kisses me, and then says, “I’d REALLY love to see you again next week.  Please consider it.”

Shortly thereafter, I was on a plane back to the City of Angels.

What a whirlwind trip.

My mind was reeling.

As much as I had felt someone had physically ripped my heart out of my chest, this angel type of a guy came along the last part of the trip and made me feel wanted, important, adored.

There was no denying we had a special connection, either.  During our chat we had found so many things we had in common, and already had WAY more similarities than my current  ex-boyfriend of mine.

I arrive home on Saturday AM, lug my suitcase into my room, and crash on my bed.

I’m exhausted.

Not much later, my phone rings.

It’s Alex.

He can’t stop thinking about me and wishes I had never left.

By then I had figured out I was definitely going to attend the other conference that next week and had already booked a flight back out on Monday.  I had no plans for the weekend but to rest.

He’s glad to find out I’ll be back soon, but not ok with waiting the 48 hours to see me.

“So change my ticket for me then,” I tell him, chuckling to myself on the phone.

No way is some guy I just met going to pay to change my flight info.  I had plans to be back shortly anyways!

“Send me your itinerary and I’ll do it,” he says.  “We can spend the weekend together.  You’ll have the best time.”

Oh SNAP.

This dude is serious!

Umm….I panic.

“Really?! But I literally just got off the plane from Vegas and you want me to come right back?”

Well, folks, I’m sure you can guess where this story goes.

I thought, “What the hell…” and grabbed my suitcase.

A few short hours later, I was flying back to Vegas.

The story continues…

UpDATE: The Architect

I learned so much this weekend.

First, I learned that as much as The Architect intrigues me, it’s not a match.

Without divulging too much detail about his personal life and continuous drama with the mother of his two children, I’ll say this much:

We all have baggage.  We just have to decide how much strength we have to carry a heavy (or lighter) load.  And when it comes to a very fresh, very new potential relationship, this includes you and how much of their baggage you choose to deal with alongside them.  Especially when you’re close enough to be trusted with and learn all of the craziness happening from a pretty early start.

There’s a LOT.

Long story short, the level of his “baby mama drama” is like an 11 on the 10-point scale.  And even though she’s this famous blonde Hollywood-type you’ve most likely seen on a TV show (a Dr. who talks about relationships of all things!), according to The Architect she’s bat-poop cray cray.  A fraud and total hypocrite who is somehow “obsessed” with Mr. Architect, as he says.  The stories he shares with me about her are like nothing I’ve heard and it makes me appreciate the people in my life who are SANE.

They’ve not been together for over 6 years but as a very active dad in his two daughter’s lives, it’s inevitable and almost unavoidable drama for him on a daily basis.

I learn more and more during our date this weekend:

After not seeing each other for a month or so, The Architect invites me out for brunch.

I was curious to see how he was doing (new developments for him on the work side of things) and we do have a special connection.

We spent a few hours in the warm, sunny SoCal city of Manhattan Beach.  After we ate at Ocean View Cafe, we walked down to the ocean.

He shared with me the latest gripes and groans about everything going on (his ex, his latest client who won’t pay his full rate, etc) and I found myself feeling sad.

Sad for him because it’s never any fun when one parent uses the kids to manipulate the other parent.  Sad for him because I know he loves his daughters and his ex puts so much unnecessary strain on those relationships, and after 16 years of it, he’s TIRED.  And finally, sad for him because the majority of what he talks about now is almost all negative.

I’m a glass-half full type of woman and maybe when I’m 56 I’ll be a Negative Nancy, too, but I certainly will do everything in my power to NOT be!

In addition, I can’t STAND people who are negative.  Or not just negative, but who only talk about the bad things in life.   He might speak about actual facts of a situation that he can’t do anything about, but there’s always light to find in a situation, too.

I much prefer to keep things positive, happy, light-hearted and fun.

Much of what he talks about is just repetitive, too, and I’m not a fan of a broken record.

I AM a fan, however, of acknowledging the bad stuff but then changing things up and to start focusing on the positives we see right in front of us.

Fast forward…

He knows I have plans later in the day (another date!…although I didn’t share that), so we head back. I drop him off.  We hug and he gives me a kiss goodbye.

It didn’t feel “final” or anything, but in my heart he’s definitely moved into The Friend Zone.

Which, of course, SUCKS because now instead of getting it for free, I’ll probably have to pay him to build me that dream house, in which I won’t be living in with him.  Sigh.

upDATE: My Final Diagnosis About “The Doc”

To be totally transparent and honest, I went back on my word to not see Mr. Amazing Unavailable again, and totally saw him. A few times, actually. (You can start judging me now…)

But I swear I have a good reason… Lol.

He’s not just some guy I was seeing.

Over the last 5 months, we’ve grown close. He’s become a good friend, a confidant, a sounding board, an advisor, a teacher – and I’ve been the same for him. Beyond our chemistry, there was so much SUBSTANCE there.

I learned his taste in music and his boss’s name, and what’s been bugging him at work. I learned he loves to keep things clean and organized and separates his v-neck tshirts from his regular tshirts. He learned I’m crazy about my baby and how lately I’m missing him while he’s at his dad’s and how I start to have bad dreams when he doesn’t respond to his mother’s texts and phonecalls.

One thing that sucks about being single is that you don’t have that guy there to always talk to. Your best friend, your partner. Someone who’s ready and willing to listen to you, and is there during… life.

So you turn to girlfriends or your sister or… a blog…to communicate your feelings and hash things out.

As much as I love the above alternatives, nothing replaces that heart to heart connection with a significant other.

And this is what I had with The Doc from Day 1.  We always agreed that it was just “easy” with us.  He would call me to talk and we’d be on the phone for hours.  We fit. We clicked. And as he always would say, “We’re on the same wavelength.”

So it was easy to respond to his text to see how I was doing when I was having a bad day recently and needed to talk/vent to a trusted person.

Turns out he wanted to see me (whatta shock, Mr. Cake and Eat It, Too) but when I confronted him on his intentions, he made it clear he truly wanted to console me and catch up.

And we did.

And I actually had a very clear understanding by then of where he was. I had come to terms with the fact he wasn’t ready to entertain the idea of being a “relationship guy.”

Ok, fine. I do love our friendship, too.

So I saw him a few times more and those instances drew us closer again. On all levels.

Cut to last week…

I invited him to have dinner. I wanted to talk to him and get clear on a few things I’ve been contemplating.

I happen to work in the industry of love, dating and relationships, and allllll dayyyy longgggg I consume, organize and communicate about these topics to the world at large.

The fact that I’m living through these topics in my personal life at the same time is a coincidence, and it can get a bit overwhelming. However, it’s also allowed me to really identify what I want in my life.

And here’s an update: As much as I want to find my partner, I don’t want to find my next ex-husband.

Been there, done that. If you want a full dose of pain in your future, marry the wrong guy, at the wrong time.

Too many people spend all their time planning for the wedding, and not nearly enough time planning for the marriage.

So with all of this chatter, both inside and outside my head, I’ve decided to chill out a bit. Really, there’s no rush. Why was I making it feel like there was?? Maybe I was getting caught up in all the hype of “finding love” and the urgent chase that comes with it as a single woman in her 30s.

No. That’s not me, and I’ve never followed the path of normalcy in life.

I’ve decided I needed to chill.

The date:

The Doc picks me up from work. He’s wearing a suit and just coming from a conference with other PhDs and smart folks in his industry. I die.

But I’m looking just as good in my lace dress and heels. He dies.

We really are a great looking couple.

We have an amazing dinner at one of the best sushi spots in Los Angeles, and I watch the sun set on the Pacific Ocean to my left as we talk and laugh. And smile and flirt. Why does it always have to be so romantic with us?! Gah!

(view from our table at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica, CA)

image

We had such a good time that I never found a good time or place in conversation to bring up the conversation where I wanted to propose the idea of slowing down a bit, acting a bit more casual with us yet hoping to see if he’s on the same page of wanting to just only see each other, and see how things go. Perhaps he’d be more open to this pace, too.

So he’s dropping me off and I finally get the courage to bring it up. I tell him I love what we have now and he agrees. After I tell him my new revelation of wanting to pace myself, I ask what his thoughts are about being exclusive. And then he comes straight outta left field and tells me he’s seeing someone else.

BAM.

There ya have it.

Shocked, I ask a few simple questions to try and understand just a bit more about this man’s choices and who this other woman might be. He reveals that she doesn’t connect with him nearly as well, and not nearly as deeply…on many different levels.

Well, duh! I could’ve predicted that. After meeting so many different people over the years, it’s a special thing when you find a rare connection. Ours is very obvious.

I’m hurt but not mad. He’s totally allowed to be seeing other people. Hell, I am, too… and after all, you’re all getting the inside scoop on my dating life, not him. 🙂

So we’re sitting in his car and I’m now feeling VERY different. Yet very wise.

I’m sad for him because knowing there’s someone else now, shows me he’s really not interested in building anything special with me, or with anyone else for that matter. I also realize that as amazing as a friend as he’s become, and as close as we’ve gotten since 5 months ago, I know what i need to do…

I tell him she’s his safer choice.

I tell him that whatever happened in his past that made him so adverse to wanting a relationship and thinking he’s not adequate enough to be a “relationship guy”, is the same thing that’s going to make me get out of his car and watch me walk away.

I tell him I don’t have the jackhammer required to bust through the concrete walls reinforced with steel beams around his heart, nor do I want to put in the time and effort.

He understands. And he acknowledges this would be the case.

I wish you could see his eyes. They are full of fear and apprehension that I’m seriously about to leave him, yet softened by this man’s genuine feelings of love and care towards me.

If internal contradiction had an expression through someone’s eyes, he’d be the poster child right now.

We talk some more and I’m actually holding up ok in the tear duct department. He sees I’m disappointed but I actually have an attitude of “it is what it is.”

I tell him I’m seeing other people, too, and in fact, there’s someone who works across the street from me who’s been trying to ask me out to dinner for the last two weeks. I also tell him I was practically proposed to by someone from my past who’s re-entered the picture.

He tells me he’s not shocked by this.  He repeats “how amazing” I am. And then he’s silent.

After a pause, I ask him what he’s thinking about. He says he’s processing what I just told him.

Good, I say.

More silence.

I tell him I have to get going. So with pretty much nothing left to say, he asks if he could at least give me a hug goodbye.

I shrug and agree and we get out of the car. He comes around to my side and then gives me the longest hug of my life.

It’s not a hug. It’s an embrace. He’s holding me tight, not wanting to let go. It’s a long, freaking hug.

I wasn’t sure at the time what that was all about, but looking back it felt like it was him silently wishing he could be that guy I need, yet apologizing with this hug that he couldn’t be.

Or, wouldn’t be.

Either way, it wasn’t gonna work for me.

The hug finally ended. We look at each other and I wipe a tear away.

I told him I wish I could say “See ya later….” but I don’t WANT to see him later.

I start to walk away and he tries to make light of the goodbye and makes a joke…

“What about “Til then!” Let’s use the corporate thing.”

I stop, turn around, look at him, and just shake my head “no.” I continue walking away.

No. Nope. Not gonna happen, although I appreciate the closure I had just received.

I think that’s really what I needed to finally close the chapter on “The Doc.”

Prescription = expired. No more refills.

Facebook Is a Snitch (upDATE: Mr. Can I Get A Vowel)

It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve turned into a Private Investigator and gone to social media to find somebody to stalk,… err, I mean, look at.

We all do it.

And with new dates popping up faster than the Orville Redenbacker popcorn machine at the movie theater, I’ve got to find extra info on these boyz STAT, yo!

Remember Mr. Can I Get A Vowel?

Well thank goodness he’s missing a vowel in how to spell his name cuz he was the ONLY guy on Facebook that came up in my search. How convenient!

He’s still texting me everyday, calling me “baby” (Btw, what is that with guys? I’m not your baby until we’re exclusive! Do you know how many people’s “baby” I am?? It’s getting watered down.  Ugh.), and he’s tried to see me again (I already had plans that night) .

Let’s see what this guy’s REAL story is…

His profile? Pretty barren and locked down. Most recent profile pic was from 2011, and it was one of the same ones from his dating profile.

I couldn’t see or learn anything else, really. I flipped through a few old pics in an album on the red carpet with his brother, the guy in the NBA. Meh. Whatevs. Nothing too shocking. No women in his pix, just a bunch of guy friends. He still looks good, though.

But THEN… I see it.

A picture on his timeline from 2011, a selfie of a woman he had tagged as “my friend.”

She’s a pretty Asian girl and right away I remember him saying on our first date that he has a crazy, Asian ex. Whatever that means.

So naturally I click through to her profile and lo and behold, her current default profile pic is both her AND Mr. Can I Get A Vowel all hugged up together.

Further, her cover photo is of him and her at a zoo.

Busted.

I dig deeper to find the dates these pics were taken. Turns out, it was awhile ago but she had just re-uploaded them a few weeks back. I can read a public comment thread and see her tell her aunt who commented on how cute they are together that she “loves him very much!”

Hmmm.

Either they just broke up recently and she’s not quite ready to let go of their 3+ year relationship, or they’re still together.

Either way, I ain’t the one!

Too messy. And as I told him, I’m looking for a more serious relationship. I couldn’t expect anyone to be ready to jump right back into one.

I ended up questioning him about it. He said he had already “explained” the situation me. (No, playa, you didn’t. I’m pretty sure I would have recalled that info.)

So I told him I ain’t the one, and he said he wishes me the best and that I deserve the best.

Yes. Yes, I do.

Vanna, out.

Next!