Author Topic: Winter Stuff  (Read 601 times)

Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2019, 01:23:56 PM »
Thanks, guys.
I need to settle down and get myself back into the present.

VERRRRY challenging not to fantasize yet I know it's the enemy!
(Seeing him again Saturday.)

Sigh,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2019, 03:54:44 PM »
I'm glad you made a happy connection, Hops! 

Really....
::nodding::....so glad: )
 
About the Professor's interest in marriage.... you met him on a dating site where you presumably listed your interest in marriage?
  You guys should have some idea what the other is interested in, IMO?

If not, I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask him what his goals, for relationship, are.

It doesn't have to be weird, or spooky.

It can be a casual query...
IS he interested in being married again?  The Professor likely has a very clear idea, in that big brain of his, IMO.

Listen to his reply...  make little non judgemental noises without bringing up your POV.  Just let him explain, and listen real close to what he says.

Believe him when he's done speaking.   

Don't feel obligated to discuss it further at that time.  Whatever he says, you can take time, think about what it means to you, and bring it up another time when you're ready.   

Honestly, everyone on a dating site should SAY what they're interested in, and what kind of person they're seeking to SHARE that experience with, IMO.  There's an expectation people are choosing people with similar goals, and interests, right?  That's how I remember it going. 

You're worthy of having goals, stating them, and expecting they be honored.  Don't feel you aren't, bc you are, Hops.

lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2019, 11:39:05 AM »
Thanks, Lighter. I really agree with you.
However, because of my experiences dating men in their 70s, I decided not to put that preference top-level on my profile. I've observed that many older men are frankly paranoid about gold diggers, and if they read I'm interested in marriage before meeting me, a lot will run for that reason. So I put serious long-term relationship or some such. My intention with all is to clarify within the first or second date that I do wish to remarry. We'll still have a nice conversation and enjoyable evening. So far, nobody has run away for that reason (I've usually been the first to extricate).

I will find a way to be clear with Professor about this on Date #2. Date #1 was a little dizzying because his comfort zone is VERY gregarious and nonstop literary references (it took more than an hour, at least, to get him off that and onto telling me about his life--which he did but was clearly not where he dwells).

I like the way you put it...asking him what his goals are. I'm not sure he'd think of that word, and it's apt. He did tell me, "I'm looking for friendship, companionship, and empathy" (big emphasis on the last). And in email said, "I'm so happy there is enough mutual empathy for us to continue getting to know each other." He does sound genuinely excited about me. Empathy may just be his high-falutin way of talking about agape, or attraction, or whatever. It's a nice list I endorse completely, but it lacks the terms one might associate with someone hunting permanance, such as commitment or partnership or marriage.

I'm going to do my very best to be upfront, calm and take care of myself. I am already pretty excited about him and it's critical that I not overlook missing pieces that are important to me to find out about. What I SENSE from him is a big capacity for love. But nice as that is, it's not (yet) the words I will rely on in order to figure out how much I should invest in a relationship with him.

Your advice to inquire and listen while remaining in observation and information-gathering mode is exactly spot on.

Reining in fantasy is an ongoing job for me, when I like somebody this much. So perhaps I should cancel the moving van?  :lol: The one thing that would be hardest, and that sobers me, is how I'd feel if I let myself fall in love, and then within two years he's sold his house, packed the moving van, and taken off for California and his sons/grandkids/adjunct post. He has a plan and it's that. And since he mentioned it on our first date it's important that I take it seriously.

Whewwwwwwwwwww. That could be a grand adventure or misery.

xxoo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2019, 07:58:16 PM »
Hey Hops, life has a way of interfering with plans. If he's not retiring two months from now - realize that what he wants might change. Maybe you'll be the cause of some of that; maybe not.

Hol is spending a LOT of time with new sweetie over the past couple months. One day last week, he said he had a lot to do, so was begging off coming over here. She had a bit of panic and insecurity over it... and I had to talk her back to reality. She's coming out of the day to day routine of having someone living with her and IN a relationship. They're still in the getting to know each other phase - and enjoying each other and spending time together, with no strings attached right now.

That makes it safe for both of them. As long as she remembers Steve isn't Matt. LOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2019, 01:28:35 PM »
Holy guacamole, Hops.

I tried to write this out, long hand, and it just boils down, for me, to the Professor's use of words.   Both of you understand what the word empathy means? 

Empathy vs. Sympathy. Empathy is the ability to experience the feelings of another person. It goes beyond sympathy, which is caring and understanding for the suffering of others. Both words are used similarly and often interchangeably (incorrectly so) but differ subtly in their emotional meaning.


The Professor chose the word EMPATHY with care.  He topped it off by emphasizing it..... and I think he knew you'd respond well to it, which you have.  His entire message was positive, and hard to find fault with, right? 

Hm..... he's looking for a companion with the ability to experience his feelings..... to the point of caring and understanding his suffering, and also his apparent interest in the literary arts.  I say this,  bc I didn't get that he was extending mutual empathy during that first date, as priority, if at all.  You were there, I wasn't.  Maybe he did.

I admit I'm judging him more harshly, regarding word choice, than you are.  I don't think he's confused "empathy" with "agape, and attraction."  I think he chose his words carefully, aimed them at you, specifically, and that it's likely HIS truth. 

Whether it goes both ways, I don't know, but I agree he's not choosing words that in any way point to his seeking "marriage."

Companionship, and friendship are words that mean NOT MARRIAGE, IME. 

On the upswing, I think it's good that he's not coming right out and claiming interest in marriage just to get your ears to the table, or you in the sack, whatever it is he's seeking with you, and I think he absolutely is interested in spending time with you.   I'm just not sure if he's interested in spending time being heard and seen by you, to the exclusion of all other relationship. 

I'm glad he's an interesting chap.  I'm glad his eagerly seeking your company feels good, and gives you confidence about what you have to offer, bc it's A LOT, IME.  You're a beacon of happy light, and companionship, Hops.  Don't shine it on unworthy or otherwise unsuited suitors.   

If you do, it'll be more lessons about what you want.  Nothing more or less.  Not good or bad.  Just information. 

Listen to what this man says, bc I think he's choosing his words with overt care.  Maybe ask him what his definition of empathy is.... in an IM, or something? 

Have fun on date#2: )

It's not time to worry about his plans for the future.  You're still trying to figure out if they include a companion/friend at this point.  First things first.

::nod::.

And have FUN!

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2019, 04:43:27 PM »
Thank you, Lighter. I appreciate this a lot.

Do you think he might also be intentionally avoiding "marriage" because it's under a year since he lost his wife?

Well, I think guessing is no good. I will need to be calm and comfortable and ask. But ask soon, else it becomes a thing avoided until it's too late for disappointment.

Hope not, but we'll see! Off to see him in an hour, if I don't have too much wine I'll report back tonight. Otherwise tomorrow.

xxoo really appreciate this close listening,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2019, 06:41:15 PM »
You're right, Hops.... guessing is a waste of time.

The Professor is who he is.  He's capable and willing to engage in monogamous connection, or he's not.

He's willing to be honest about it, or he's not.

Listen to what he does, and have fun.

There's no mistakes in this.  Only lessons, and information: )

Neutral observer mode. 

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2019, 10:03:32 PM »
Had a wonderful time at dinner.
Same pattern: He talked 3/4 of the time and struggled to listen. BUT. He's a great raconteur and once I gave myself over to enjoying him, I really did enjoy his stories.

I didn't ask The Question. But he repeated his focus on moving, and I doubt it'll change.

After I was briefly talking about my pooch he said, I want to get a dog after I retire. Sounded like a separate life.

So I really just enjoyed, ate well, drank good wine, laughed and listened. I did get a few stories in, and for some reason the vibes between us are happy. He asked if I'd come to a dinner party he's planning to host in March. I get the feeling he's delighted to have a female companion do that with him. So who knows, maybe in his own mind he IS rehearsing me as a SO.

I have no idea. I guess it'll take more time to find out his sense of what this relationship is about. And at some point, I'll just figure out the right time to tell him what I'm looking for. Meanwhile, it's fun. But it'd probably be a good idea to stay right smack in the present.

I just couldn't figure out how to interrupt the flow to indicate to him that I'm not only looking for a dinner companion.

Hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2019, 04:11:22 AM »
Well, maybe this will be a happy dinner party connection for you, Hops.

After that, who knows?

 Romance, or friendship, or someone to visit in California for a week, bc you get along THAT well?

The only thing you know for sure is that he's a good story teller, and might throw a great gathering (where you meet other interesting people you connect with.) 

His purpose could be amuse bouche, or something more. 

At least he's fun.

The journey continues.

Lighter


Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2019, 03:53:45 PM »
Thank you, Lighter. A lot.

You are inserting a lot of sanity and self-control where I lack it.

I truly appreciate your feet-on-the-ground, mindful of gravity, don't-operate-from-fear approach.

Much thanks!
Hops

PS--Next date Saturday. I may throw him a curve ball. (Meaning, bring up the personal curiosity, about his goals for himself in relationship. No lathered up anxiety, but bring it up sooner than later. I don't want to be entertainment only. I have a sense it could be more, but stakes are pretty big.)
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2019, 10:26:59 PM »
Hops, do yourself a favor and lower that bar. You REALLY don't know him. You know his stories somewhat now. He is going to be a more complex person than you're drawing him in your plans.

Give him the benefit of doubt too. But still - ask him your question. You're required, due to your needs and situation. Start the conversation. One evening might not be enough to answer the question completely - especially if he lost his spouse in the last few years. IMO, guys have a longer process working through that loss (generally) than women do. Somehow we anticipate this. Even when we're still not ready as it happens.

You just seem to be really over-thinking these encounters. Not exactly enjoying yourself or their company; too much analysis and evaluation about whether or not this guy'll be your prince charming. (Sorry; that's kinda straight up and overly forward.) Like a job interview. Try seeing him as a person... and for a moment, just BE with him. Forget the intellectual side of things. For a moment. Just BE.

How does that feel?
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2019, 11:01:30 PM »
Thanks, Amber.
Not too forward at all.

Kind of the dash of cold water in the face that I NEEDED.

I appreciate this and am going to try to chill out.
Been driving myself nuts with anxious projections
and you're right, it's waaaaaaaaaay too soon.

Much gratitude,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2019, 10:14:11 AM »
I'm definitely projecting something I see in myself, too Hops.

It's why I don't think the online dating thing is going to work for me. I quickly rule out the majority of "matches" for one reason or another - either they have no profile built; or it's boilerplate suggested by the site; or - well the reasons are numerous. The biggest gripe I have is sites that post astrological signs... LOL. I have a distinct (and wholly unfair) predjudice based on previous guys I know, in certain signs. It's silly and juvenile on my part; and I still can't seem to get past it.

I still "window shop", and taking Hol's advice I do reach out to all who peak my curiosity or interest. But no replies. Makes me wonder if they're even real people - or just "filler" profiles created by the site to further analyze my preferences - conscious and unconscious. I suspect that's the case.

It wouldn't be hard at all for these sites to encourage online engagement in conversation, getting to know you discussions that still provide safety, anonymity, and low-risk initial impressions. But it DOES then require some responsibility on the individual to take part in that. The "messaging" is a paywall feature on most sites... and even jumping through that hoop, there's no guarantee that the guy ponied up his subscription dollars to be able to message back - or simply isn't interested in you.

That is a negative experience for me and discouraging to even frequenting the site to look at pics. I'd rather go to the animal shelter and pick out a dog... even though I currently have a 75 lb one in my lap... LOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2019, 09:14:44 PM »
Ya, just relax, pull back, and ask your questions without making it a whole thing.  Maybe he'll give you more info than you want. 

Maybe.

In any case, put on music from a time you loved, pick out clothes that make you feel good, look at the restaurant menu ahead, and enjoy every sip of wine..... everything about it.

I hope there's a fireplace at the restaurant. 

I like places with fires. 

Ones with chess boards please me very much too.

Lighter


Hopalong

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Re: Winter Stuff
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2019, 12:37:50 PM »
Hi y'all,
A lot of the anxiety has tapered off, and I'm relieved. I was starting to panic. The reason it's better is that at least now I think I understand WHY.

An insight rose up while I was sitting with my T this week. I realized that the reason I've been so anxious since meeting him is that after so many losses, my entire family capped by losing my only child...I have come to associate real love with heartbreak. It's a risk for anyone, of course. But those bells are going off now. The good part is I now understand that swirl, where it comes from. The challenge will be to accept there is fear, and be vulnerable anyway. Find the balance between protecting my heart and walling it off. Tough one. I didn't realize how risky it feels, yet I would like to brave the risk.

His moving plans factor doesn't help. It could be a red herring, though. I get very deeply attached to place and community, I always have. But that's because mountains and friends have never broken my heart. They're just family. Saying since 1999, I don't know about the rest, but I know my roots are HERE, I am HOME, being here and being from here are parts of my identity I can draw strength from.

As a poet and hence outsider, after a deeply lonely childhood, I've craved belonging all my life. I found myself able to create it by identifying so deeply with place. That said, folks do go bi-coastal, right? So we'll see what happens.

I feel better and am looking forward to two dinners with him this week! Invited him over for wine before dinner tomorrow night, and he is ready to meet pooch. She'll suss him out.

Hugs
Hops
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 12:39:30 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."