Checking that List Twice…

So I haven’t had any dates since my date with Aaron*. To be honest though, my regular life has been fairly active so I haven’t missed it.

I have a quote in my room that is my focus for the month of August….

This happened to be perfect for this month. My tribe has needed lots of love and I have been grateful for the focus to be there and not dating. It has been perfect timing for this mantra!

Plus, I am finding myself fall back into bad habits. Chasing after a guy. Again a super nice guy, really good looking, beyond smart and in this case very direct man.

But a man that doesn’t follow the most important rule…

the rule for a foundation of all other rules…

should have been RULE #1…

#17. Must want to date me / then eventually marry me

Truly just a minor detail in the grand scheme of things but seems like a pretty important quality for a future husband to have. 😉

I have a history of finding a guy that I’m interested in and then chasing and hoping. I know it sounds desperate and maybe it is. I just don’t play the dating game very well. I don’t play hard to get, I’m impatient, and I go after what I want. In life and in dating. It isn’t an issue with guys that want to date me. It’s just exciting when the feeling of attraction is mutual. When a guy isn’t interested and I am (which is rare) it can definitely be annoying and not attractive to that guy. The exact opposite desired effect…ugh.

So back to building my list… that is something I’m good at…

Do we Start with Matching BFF Bracelets?

#18. Be a Best Friend

Now I know what my avid readers will say “Craig and you were not best friends?!”

My reply to that “Well he was best friends with my ex… give me this stretch it’s a good lesson!”

I would love to put why having a friendship within my future relationship will be important but I found a Facebook post that said very close to what I would have wrote, here it is…

An Officer and a Gentleman

#19. Tells Good Stories

Now this guideline in correlation with this blog may seem questionable. However, I loved hearing this guy’s police stories in the conversations before our date. Let’s call this time “Before Rigamortis Storytelling Time” (BRST).

On a more lively note (get it?), life has some highs and some lows. Most days though are a combination of either or just the middles. If a guy can find the fun moments in an otherwise “boring” day then we can do the same in our life together.

Where do you See Yourself in 9 Months?

#20. Wants a Family

Next month is my 36th birthday. To be honest I always thought I would have another baby. My life goal was many babies.

I had a second pregnancy when my kid was about 5. This pregnancy ended early in a molar pregnancy. It was a long road agreeing to get pregnant and I knew in my gut this was going to be the only attempt during our marriage. I felt like a failure.

The months afterward were isolating and filled with online group chats with other grieving mamas. They were also filled with weekly blood work and 18 month waiting period for getting pregnant. I knew my time would be longer… if at all.

No one I knew at the time had been through this loss. Because of this, very loving and well intentioned people said things that were hurtful and further isolating.

“How far along were you? (10 weeks) Oh whew lucky for you it wasn’t too long!”

“Oh yeah, I had a friend that had a miscarriage she had a baby right away! You have hope.”

“So was it a baby or not? I mean it’s not like an actual baby. That helps right?”

This is something that I learned is not uncommon.

My hope was gone…

So when I fully accepted that the divorce was happening (about 5 minutes before the dissolution) I had a glimmer of hope for a baby and the future family I would have. I was 32. Now I am facing my 36th birthday… 4 years away from my 40th.

I have researched and found the reoccurrence of molar pregnancies increases after a mama hits 35 and if she has a history of one. Both scary statistics. Plus other chances of birth issues increase with age. Also, both of my pregnancies had BRUTAL morning sickness. ER visits and a night in the hospital for dehydration.

So to be honest I’m not sure if my future will include another baby or not. I’ve stopped focusing on the how I will have a family, instead just focused on the word family. I want a man that wants a family no matter what that looks like. I know we will figure that out together.

Right now though I have a beautiful family of a happy Mama, smart daughter and 3 crazy dogs! This present family means the world to me!


Making a List…

No new dates yet but I am talking to a few guys. Plus I’m not giving up on Aaron* just yet! We had an unexpected encounter after our first date. I ran into him at a bar and in good intentions I paraded him around to all my improv friends.I kept saying “Look how hot he is!”

He was really easy going, funny, and played along. He even introduced himself as “Aaron” yes his fake name from the blog… of course I laughed. Also it was a huge plus that he read my blog! Seriously thoughtful!

The truth is the more I know about him the more I’ll give it a moment to pan out. I lead with the looks but I’m finding out that is just the icing.

I realized I owe some more of the traits I’m looking for in a guy! It has been a while and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about these so far.

Again, I always make the disclaimer this is not an absolute list or a Must Have but just a fun guide. If someone hits the biggies and the chemistry is right… I’m in.

To make it interesting I’m going to use some of my previous blogs as inspiration:

How the Hell Did I Get Here?

11. Be a Good Friend

There are a hundred things that I could say I appreciate about my first husband (only husband to be clear I just hope for another someday). We were married for almost 12 years and that was an active choice. But one of the things I admire most about him is his ability to keep friends. He has a lot of friends and showed me the old cliche to have a good friend you need to be a good friend. He always put in effort and took time to help when needed. He went out of his way countless times to help.

When a man can keep friends it shows that he understands longstanding effort. Plus when you have good friends you will never have to move by yourself.

Ever Wonder What A Mushroom From Mario Sounds Like?

Okay the obvious one from this one is…

12. Has a Good Voice

This is definitely a plus. It doesn’t have to be anything special just not really high. However, something I liked about Josh* was..

13. Likes to Go to Zoos / Museums

Josh would talk about how he really enjoyed going to family places. I sometimes get more excited than any children I am with when I travel to these. I ask to go the zoo or museums for my Mothers Day or Birthday! I love getting to pick the places we hit up first and sharing learning moments with my family!

When I was in third grade my dad gave me a camera for our zoo field trip. I remember walking to school that morning in my multi colored windbreaker and my fanny pack. My fanny pack was filled with money I couldn’t lose and my special camera. I pretty much skipped that morning and my fanny pack hit against my belt! It was going to be a good day!

I was so proud to give my dad back his camera and wait for the pictures to develop. This was long before 24 hour turn around.

My dad got so mad when we got them back. The pictures were full of rhino butts (my fave animal at the time) and a boy I had a crush on. It was an entire waste of film.

The below picture is one I took on Friday, much better than the rhino butts. 😂

So Where Exactly Are We Going?

14. Loves to Sing

This of course was the blog I could have gotten murdered…but just a reminder I didn’t. I’m still here!

On one of my first phone conversations with Dave* we played a Name that Tune Disney version. Again, I’m not looking for a man that loves Disney. But that night we had a great time!

I would love to have a car singing duet or even better a karaoke partner! We don’t need to be able to sing some Whitney song but a person that will just have fun while carrying a tune would be amazing. Who knows Ice Ice Baby?!

Maybe as a bonus someone that also doesn’t lead me down a darkened road to my death could be number 15? Yep that’s 15!

15. Doesn’t Make Me Fear For My Life

I’m Sorry… What? Part 1

16. Is Thoughtful in What He Writes

The first few messages can really make or break a conversation or a future of conversations. A message where a man can ask a decent question, make me laugh, or reply to my message with a thoughtful answer and follow up question is perfect. I feel that sometimes basic communication is rare in online dating.

I don’t want or need a summary of every point of my profile. I actually find long paragraphs to be intimidating. I must then write back on every point. I end up putting the answer off until I “have time”. I then apologize for being so delayed in my reply.

I should know something about who a guy is and/or what he’s looking for within a few messages. Something worth keeping the conversation going. If I don’t then maybe I need to keep searching.

Off to a Great Start…

This morning I woke up at 5 AM! Yes 5 AM! Instead of the usual wake up from a bad dream, thoughts of work, or other random dream about how I’ll save the world using just a boomerang … I woke up because I was excited! Yes, excited!

I went on my first date back last night.

Aaron* and I matched on Bumble. What I appreciated the most about him was that he asked me out on a date early on. He didn’t do the usual two weeks of texting and then asking out. Plus, I hadn’t put much in my Bumble profile so I knew that we were both going in blind. One of the things I appreciated about our few conversations was that he used Legit multiple times… that’s one of my favorite words.

I suggested a local bar that had great food, killer drinks, and arcade games. I’m not sure that you can get better than that. It felt good to finally be free of any previous relationships. I dressed up for the date in excitement and in my opinion looked pretty good!

I got there about 20 minutes early because I overestimated the time it would take to get ready. I arrive and it’s actually really busy for a Monday night. I sit at the bar and this guy starts talking to me. He loves hot foods so we talk a lot about different hot peppers he grows. He shows me photos of his garden.

Aaron texts me that is also at the bar but in a different part. I laugh because the place is small and we both missed each other. I tell Aaron where I am. The guy I’ve been talking to asks about my message because I laughed and smiled big.

I tell the him I’m there to meet a date and he says “Well it would be weird then if I asked you for your number.” I said “uh yes” and laughed awkwardly. It was the first time I can remember that I got asked for my number.

It was then that I see Aaron for the first time. Let me tell you all he was so freaking hot. Like his pictures did not do him justice at all. He was taller, more built and just… ahhh. I immediately was glad that I had put in effort into looking nice. I normally do, but I was really pumped for the date back so really tried.

Aaron sat in between the guy that asked for my number and I. I was so grateful because I wanted the focus on Aaron because one he was hot and smelled good but also to end the awkwardness.

The bar guy leaves and wishes us luck! He was kind , just in comparison was not even close. Aaron and I chatted for about an hour. In this short time I found out he hit like a ton of things on my checklist. It was so cool because I hadn’t even put anything in my account for him to tailor his answers. It was just natural and I tried to keep my surprise in.

I seriously couldn’t believe it. Every single answer just fit.

After our conversation, we played arcade games. His gaming skills were much better but my trash talking skills came in first. While we played I think I laughed most of the time. He had a very similar sense of humor as I did. It was a mix between going to hell and dad jokes. He was able to hit me with both. He laughed at my dumb voices and he even sang long to the songs on the jukebox.

One of my favorite moments was when we were playing an arcade game where each person takes turns. This was one of his jam games so he was very skilled. I, on the other hand, was horrible. I played for 30 seconds and him several minutes each turn.

So I said a couple of times “This is exactly like when I used to play Super Mario Brothers with my cousin. I was really good at playing and my cousin would die really quickly. This is payback for that.”

He finally said with a smirk, “I hope that it isn’t exactly like the time with your cousin.”

I laughed and said in a matter of fact tone “well my cousin was also super hot.”

At the end of the night we both cashed out and he walked me to my car. We gave each other a quick hug and went our separate ways. I drove home on cloud 9.

I didn’t wait for him to text. I have never been one for waiting. We texted a few times tonight as well. It turned out that while he had fun (duh) I didn’t match some of the things he was looking for. He was honest and direct which I appreciated. Again another thing on the checklist.

Am I disappointed?! Hell yes! But, I think maybe the purpose of having such a great date and guy out of the gate is to show me the possibility. A feeling I know is worth waking up at 5 AM for! 😘

The Aftermath…

So I said in a recent Facebook live video that I wouldn’t talk about Jack again. Turns out though, I should probably let everyone know exactly what happened after the blog.

After writing the last chapter, I did an Instagram poll where I asked if I should send my blog (The Last Chapter) to Jack…

The results were overwhelmingly NO!

However, once I received two yeses I sent it over anyways. The poll was up for two hours. I sent over the blog in five minutes. I have no self-control…. I promise I normally do listen to my friends!

So I sent over the blog and wasn’t expecting a reply back. However, after about 10 seconds I got a reply back from Jack. It was a sad face emoji and noooo written out really dramatically. He even said don’t close the book. I was trying to move on so I once again reiterated what I wanted to figure things out.

He of course, in usual Jack fashion, did not reply back to this. He did message me the next day though. It was just a normal text and didn’t address what I asked. I still liked talking to him so I continued to reply. We followed this for a couple more days. Then on Thursday night, we texted with each other until almost 2 in the morning. We talked about how work and life was. I heard nothing from him on Friday.

Then came Saturday, when everything ended..

I was so excited to go to the local Celtic festival. I normally don’t go to these kind of things and after asking a few my friends to go with me I ended up going alone. I was actually excited to go. I have dreams of someday taking a vacation by myself. So I thought a festival 10 minutes away from home was definitely a good start.

I got dressed up because I wanted to have the most confidence I could muster. I was looking cute and I was ready to go!

I arrived at the festival and got a few beer tickets. I definitely wasn’t expecting to do this alone and completely sober. Plus isn’t it an Irish tradition have a beer in hand?! I was so surprised by how many people were there! At least a couple thousand I’m sure! It went on through many streets and there were tents set up playing music in several different areas. It was definitely very different than hanging out inside my house. Plus after a few hot guy smiles I was feeling good!

Then as I’m walking through one of the streets, I see him…. Jack. Not only him. But the girl that he dated immediately after me. I thought they had broke up and my heart sank. I’m still not sure that he saw me. I walked quickly by and he had this weird smile on his face. It could’ve just been his face, he had gas or that he saw me. It was uncomfortable to say the least.

I walked quickly by. I did not say a word. I texted him “don’t ever text me again” I was hurt and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the friends / dating game again.

I headed to a tent that was playing fun Irish music and tried to clear my thoughts. I wasn’t sure how I felt but I let myself get lost in the music for a few songs. I held my beer up high, danced and sang along until the music stopped.

I cannot believe I’d seen him… I hadn’t seen him since the run in at Target before Christmas. I still couldn’t shake the sad feeling so I headed to a quiet spot away from the people to say a little prayer. After a few minutes watching the sunset I headed back to the festival and determined I was going to have fun!

I walked back into the festival. Although I was still sad I was determined to have a good time! I couldn’t let a little run in ruin my independent woman moment! I walked around for about an hour. Then I see him again. This time he was walking by himself and we directly crossed paths. 5,000 people and I see him twice… I needed to say something.

I keep walking for moment, pet a really cute dog (because why wouldn’t I?! he was really cute) and turned around. I headed over to the area where he was walking and see him. This time, however, she is with him. I knew I had to take my chance. I knew I had to say something to him. So I took a deep breath. Then I said hi!

He introduced me and Christa* to one another. I said hello very friendly and I think I even said nice to meet you. To be honest this entire conversation is a blur. So I may get things wrong. But I know the basic chain of events.

He then asks me, “Jill, are you still working out of Columbus?” This moment is when I go from sad to livid. He was going to pretend that we hadn’t just talked about this very thing on Thursday. He was trying to make it seem to Christa that I was just someone from his past. That he hadn’t spoke to me in a while. Maybe I was. But he knew and all of you knew I wanted to be part of his future.

So instead of playing along. I said “Oh come on Jack! We just talked about this on Thursday. I told you I work there a couple times a week.”

Then he asked me if I was there with my sister or friends. I don’t know why, but at this moment I lied. I told him that I was there with friends and they were down the way. I immediately felt embarrassed that I was there by myself while he was there with his new/ old girlfriend.

things continue to be very awkward. At one point I even tell him that I’m going to block him from any way he can contact me. Then I turned to Christa and said “The reason things feel so awkward right now is because he was talking to you when he was dating me.”

Her eyes got big and I turned around and walked away. It was the truth.

While I don’t think he was dating her I’m pretty confident he was keeping her close enough for a back up. She had sent him a 😘 text one time while we were at dinner. He said it was a 😢 but I had eyes that can see. I never asked him to show it to me then… I didn’t have much of a backbone.

I walked away and immediately called one of my friends. I couldn’t believe I had done that! I am not the kind of woman to cause drama or even to confront someone when the only person impacted is myself. Not so public. Not so personal. Definitely not to Jack.

I was so proud of myself! I had learned the one lesson I needed to learn with him. One that I knew was outstanding. That was to stand up for myself about the grey. The not so black and white situations. I had thought about that one minute at dinner A LOT! Why hadn’t I asked to see the phone? I knew why… I didn’t want to seem crazy and I didn’t want him to walk away. This time I was a little bit crazy and I did the walking. I also didn’t care what he thought about me in that moment.

In retrospect, I realized I may have jumped to some conclusions in this situation. I have no idea if they were there dating or friends. He probably even felt awkward and that may have been the reason for the work question. I don’t know and it didn’t matter. I wasn’t even sure my purpose in saying hi. I just knew I had to.

However, I don’t regret it. The reason why is because it gave me the strength to actually move on. I know I’ve said it before. I know people are tired of hearing me say it. But it was like that one moment in the court room with my ex-husband when I knew I was done.

I did unblock him from both calling and texting. This is not because I want to hear from him in a romantic way. But he will always be someone that I care about and I will always be willing to help him out if he ever needs it. In that way he is just like the men I’ve loved and moved on from before.

I re-logged in to the dating sites this past week and already have a few promising hopefuls! I even have a date planned tomorrow! This time I am really excited and know that my guy is out there. I’m so freaking pumped! 😘