Last fall I took a trip of a lifetime with my mother. We did a mother-daughter trip to Paris and then headed over to London. When I was in college, I spent a semester abroad in London and fell in love with the culture, the people, the pomp and circumstance, and the beer (I returned with a bit of a beer gut). And London was one of my favorite spots overseas. But that was until I went to Paris last year. First of all, can we get a moment of silence for the European men? They are just so damn sexy and manly. They are romantic and they can dress their asses off. Paris quickly became my soul mate as I strolled the streets and breathed in the air, ate amazing food, drank delicious wine, shopped in expensive boutiques. My French even improved after a while. I know they had me when I said, “D’accord” without even thinking about it. I realized I must have been Parisian in another life. The moment I left, my spirit longed to return. Oh… Paris… How I miss thee!!!
Fast forward to present time, last week my girlfriend and I decided to switch things up. It was the NBA finals and we knew every man in LA was going to be at some sports bar catching the game. So we figured we might as well switch things up a bit and head over to Mad Bull’s Tavern in the valley. We knew it was going to be packed but we didn’t realize it was going to be an Oasis of men! It was great. What I discovered is men are in a different start of mind when they are in a sports bar watching a game. They are extremely laid back and relaxed. They are in their element. They get to enjoy two things they like beer and food. So their guards are down. As a woman walking into their environment the key is to adjust. Ladies, please don’t walk into a sports bar with a pair of heels on and a dress that’s called PRESSED! My girlfriend and I were able to get a table. I ordered a glass of wine (yes I had wine in a sports bar) and some wings and let the festivities begin. I decided to root for the Spurs. I could have given two shits about who won or lost the game but rooting for the team that most of the folks in the bar were rooting against made for some great conversation starters and an easy way to flirt.
Guy at Bar: You’re rooting for the wrong team! What’s up with that?
Me: I like to root for the under dogs. Besides I’m over Lebron and Chris Posh’s game has been off all season. (Mind you I had no fucking clue what I was talking about. The only reason I know anything about Chris ugly ass Posh is simply from reading the gossip blogs about his ongoing custody battle with his baby momma and the fact that his former video vixen wife is pregnant again… I’m a mess! But I did sound convincing)
Guy at Bar: I ain’t mad at you!
As the night went on there was a feeling of comradery among the bar patrons. Everyone was having a good time and there was a great energy. At one point during the game I notice a guy across the room giving me the eye. SO I gave him my mega million dollar smile (if you can’t flatter yourself, who else will) and he smiled back. Okay… I liked this scene. By the end of the evening he had made his way over to my table. The second “Pierre” opened his mouth I knew he was French! Oui! Oui! Oui! My inner diva did cartwheels.
Pierre: Did you enjoy the game?
Me: It was a good game.
Pierre: What’s your name?
Pierre: Monique. French name huh?
At that moment I wanted to send my mother a text message thanking her for naming me a French name. The sound of my name in a French accent was just right on time. But I first had to confirm he was indeed from France. No offense, but I’m not interested in dating Prince Akeem from coming to America! (don’t judge my ignorance)
Me: Where are you from?
Me: That’s what I figured. Paris is one of my favorite places.
So with that we continued our conversation about Paris and how I want to brush up on my French and we exchanged numbers. The next day “Pierre” asked me out on a date for that weekend. He picked a great location too. A new spot called The Village in Studio City. When it was time to order our drinks he ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. I could hear him say Sauvignon Blanc over and over again. “Pierre” was a 37 year old engineer. He was divorced and had no kids. He moved to LA from France 10 years ago. He talked about how when he first got to the states he hung out with mostly all French people but realized he needed to become fluent in English so he started hanging out with Americans. He was truly a genuinely nice guy. It was refreshing to be out with a man who was well traveled, smart, and knew all about my favorite city in the world. At one point the waiter came up to our table and asked him if he was from France. Ironically the waiter was French too and they started speaking in French. Now here’s the deal. I can appreciate when people speak in another language and have enough sense to translate for me. That way you don’t feel like a complete outsider. This was definitely a good first date in my book. It has been a while since I have went out with someone that I actually liked and who knew how to court a woman.
The next few days went by we spoke over the phone and we also texted. Our next date he invited me to this party at Sur Lounge. It’s called French Tuesdays. I had a work event to go to earlier that evening but I decided to live a little and meet him afterwards. When I got to Sur Lounge he was waiting outside for me. Like I said earlier, European men have a style to them that American men just haven’t mastered. He was wearing a beautifully tailored blazer and jeans. His face lit up when he saw me… I liked that! When we walked into Sur Lounge I was literally transformed into another world. There was lounge music playing and the place was packed. No one in there was speaking English. I literally felt like I had taken a flight to Paris. It was great. We ordered champagne. He introduced me to his friends. I attempted to speak a little bit of the French I knew and butchered it. But the great thing was he helped me out. I have lived in LA and never experienced this type of scene. It was glamorous, sexy, and very European. I really had a great time and it was unexpected.
Seriously I am really beginning to enjoy my singledom. This was truly an IHOP experience (International House of Possibilities). I’m learning to stop limiting myself. I’m not going to put so many damn parameters around this dating thing. I think what draws me to Parisians is they live life to the fullest. They drink their wine without worrying about if they are drinking too much, they eat their pastries without the concern for calories, and they show affection without thinking about what people think. Perhaps if I began to live my life like I am the inner Parisian woman that I see myself as I will learn how to let go and embrace these various possibilities. I have no idea what the future holds with me and “Pierre” and I am not thinking about it either. I am just going to live and enjoy myself as if I were in Paris. Laissez bon temps rollez! Au Reviour!
When you write a blog about dating it is the inevitable, people will want to give you unsolicited advice. I have learned to develop a thicker skin when it comes to the various advice I have been given. People fail to realize, I obviously know how to date. Hell! I once was married so I certainly know how to close the damn deal. I think people assume since I haven’t met “the one” just yet that I need “help.” In the last few months the “advice” I have been given varies and I usually have a comeback for all of these “nuggets” of “wisdom” (clearly I am in a Quote happy sarcastic mood as I write this):
~ You don’t need to tell any guy you are first dating about this blog. It will turn him off and you’ll be single forever.
Me: If he is that easily turned off and insecure then I don’t need to date him. You’d be surprised how many men I have met that want to get the female perspective on dating. Also, if they don’t give me anything to write about they won’t become a subject.
~ You need to be more open. Have you considered dating outside your race? You are so well traveled and classy a lot of black men will be intimidated by you.
Me: I will date who I am attracted to. All races have fools. I haven’t given up on black men and I never will. There are plenty of well traveled classy black men out there. Hell I just need to meet one!
~ You need to move. There are no good men in LA.
Me: So how do you explain all the single women in other cities? Granted LA is different breed but I love it here. If I meet someone and fall in love with them and they happen to live in another city then I will cross that bridge when I get to it. But I am certainly not going to leave a city I love and be doing the exact same thing in a city I don’t.
~ Don’t you think you’re a little picky?
Me: No. I’m bringing a lot to the table and so should the man I date.
~ Have you considered online dating? I know quite a lot of people who have been successful with dating online.
Me: I know a lot of people where online dating worked for them and they are happily married. I tried it for one week a few years ago and it’s just not for me.
I was finally reaching my breaking point of advice. The other thing that kills me:
~ Are you dating anyone?
Me: I’m dating everyone.
~ Have you met anyone special yet?
Me: Trust me, when I do, you’ll be the first to know.
Seriously, don’t they know if I had met someone special I would let them know? I’m not sure if my annoyance is because I haven’t met anyone special or if over the last few months I have been bombarded with the same damn question. The only time it is acceptable to ask a single person that questions is if it is followed up with:
Well I know a great guy who is single and would be perfect for you. Since you’re not seeing anyone can I give him your number?
I tried online dating a few years ago and I found it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have met plenty of people who are now happily married and met using online dating. So I am not hating on them and I know it is possible to meet a good man via online dating. But my experience wasn’t necessarily positive a few years back. First of all E Harmony makes you go through this long ass questionnaire. And then each day you are bombarded with profiles of various men none of which were my type by any stretch of the imagination. Then there was Match.com. This seemed like a total hook up site. First of all, I need for men who participate in online dating to get the memo:
Selfie pictures of yourself standing in front of your bathroom with no shirt make you look creepy and somewhat gay. Just sayin’
On top of that, I came across profiles of a few guys I know. And then I happened to get an email from a guy I know who saw my profile:
Now you know we should have gotten together a long time ago. What’s up? Let’s make it happen.
I have to be honest here. I was mortified. It’s one thing to be online dating and feel a sense of security that no one knows exactly who you are until you are ready. It’s another thing when someone you know sees you on the site. I felt desperate and exposed. Not to mention this was a guy who I was NOT nor would ever be physically attracted to… EVER! So now he thought he had a chance and knew I was pressed enough to do online dating. Just when I was already feeling doubtful about this whole online dating thing my friend who was recently divorced at the time told me she was on E Harmony and they matched her up with… her ex-husband!!!! Can you believe that shit? If the algorithms supposedly work for this online dating matching suggestions then how in the hell did they match her with her crazy ex-husband? That was enough to send me over the edge. I immediately shut down my accounts and vowed I would never ever do online dating again!
Fast forward 3 years later to present time. Recently I got set up on a blind online date. A friend of mine took it upon herself to use her match.com account and check out some guys that she thought fit my criteria and she sent them notes on my behalf. I had no idea she was doing this (refer to the post Picture Perfect http://confessionsofaserialdaterinla.com/2013/05/picture-perfect/) you know I got a picture of one of the guys. “Norman” was a motivational speaker and author. He lived up north in the San Francisco area. From his picture I could tell he was handsome and he was 6’5. I’m a sucker for a tall man with a nice body. But you can never tell when it’s a selfie picture. He ended up calling me and we had a great conversation. But there was something in my spirit that just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but as you now, I have made a conscious choice to listen to that intuition no matter what because that is a gift we have as women. You know how some men just seem a little overly eager? Well this guy was one of them.
Norman: You are beautiful.
Me: Thank you.
Norman: I asked God to bring me an angel and then I met you.
I took a deep breath and tried not to throw up in my mouth. Was the fool reading something out of a Corny Pick Up Lines book?
Me: Thank you.
Norman: You must have men tell you that all day every day.
Me: Ummm… well…
Norman: You are just so beautiful.
Okay… Got it… I am beautiful… on to the next subject. That’s what I wanted to say. He was about to make a left turn into the town of Creepyville. But instead I did a smooth transition into another topic.
Me: So what made you do online dating?
Norman: I am don’t really like to go out much. “Norman” is not a drinker so “Norman” doesn’t do clubs and I am so busy and focused on work that I figured I should give it a try besides there aren’t a lot of women like you here.
Did this fool really refer to himself in the 3rd person? You already know I do not like men who don’t drink. That isn’t a selling point f or me. And he was a loud talker. I suddenly envisioned him and I out having dinner at some exclusive restaurant and him telling a story so loud the entire restaurant patrons were looking at us. “Norman” and I continued the convo. He was 43, divorced, and he had a 10 year old son. He and his ex-wife had a very bitter divorce. “Norman” wanted to get remarried again eventually, but like most people who have gone through a divorce, he wanted to make sure he got it right the second time. “Norman” was planning to come out to LA a few weeks later. He happened to have some meetings in the area and he wanted to meet up. We spoke a few times over the phone and I noticed a few things. The whole entire “motivational speaker” thing was adding up. He also mentioned he was back in school getting another masters. The main reason I prefer dating men who are older is I assume they had their shit together. They should have finished all of their schooling and be working on building and maintaining their career. Things just weren’t adding up. I wasn’t about to meet up with some random stranger and show up missing. So I did what any smart woman would do. I sat on my couch, with a glass of wine and opened up my laptop. I typed in “Norman’s” name on Google images. After all, if he was such a big time motivational speaker and author I am sure his info would come up. As I waited for the images to download, I savored my wine. I also savored my space. That’s one of the advantages of living by yourself. You can do what you want, when you want to, uninterrupted and not have to explain shit. I saw the picture of the cover of his self published book. Okay that fact checked up. There were a few other images of him promoting his book. Then I clicked on the second page of images and there it was…. A fucking MUG SHOT!!!! I did a double take. I even pulled up the picture I had of “Norman” on my phone just to make sure it was him. And yup it was. Not only was it a mug shot, but it was a recent mug shot from last year. Okay now, before I went into judgmental bitch mode I decided to find out what he was arrested for. Was it a DUI? Was it a mistake? Upon further research it was domestic battery. Awwwww…. Hell no! You see now. It’s one thing to have made a mistake back in your 20’s. But this man was 40 fucking 3! And you know with my mouth I can’t be with a man who can’t control his temper or else you would see a mug shot of both of us! This is why I don’t do the online dating thing! But for me I need to be able to meet someone in person and feel out their energy.
Here’s the thing, when you are single you will get all kinds of advice. People will tell you what you’re doing wrong, why you’re still single, who you should consider dating. In other words you get all kinds of unsolicited advice. At times it is hard to tune out all the noise. But you have to get to a point in your singledom where you know who you are, you’re secure in your walk, and know what works for you. There are plenty of people who have met their soul mate online and are happy as can be and it worked for them. For me, I know it’s just not for me. It’s great to be in a place where you are secure in who you are and what you need and are looking for that you can walk the walk without the unsolicited advice and be okay. It’s a process to get here, but now that I am finally secure in my own shoes, it has made the entire dating thing bearable. So thanks so much for all the advice but… I got this!
This week has been a doozy! You know how you have one of those weeks where everything and everyone just pisses you off and you feel alone and lonely. This week was the epitome of it. I was in a bad place and didn’t know how to shake myself out of it. I knew it was bad when someone cut me off on the highway not only did I cuss them out, “You stupid bitch!” But I followed them! I was a lunatic on wheels. Luckily for them and me they were able to dodge me! I knew when I was feeling like this I had to take extra care of myself and literally go into hiding until I was able to shake it off. I went to my acupuncturist and each needle that was placed in emotional points I screamed in pain. She was like, “What is going on with you? You’re energy is off. I need you to come twice a week for a while so we can balance you out again.” So I retreated to my home and just allowed myself to be alone and let any emotion I was having come up and deal with the shit. I took much needed “me” time. Sometimes you’re taught to push down your emotions and not allowed to be in a bad place. People make you think that if you’re not happy all the time and in a good mood then something is wrong. Well damn it, sometimes its okay for a gal to have a moment, be down in the dumps and just stay there until you’re ready to come out of it. By Sunday, I was beginning to feel like myself again.
I realized my mood was triggered by some feelings about the ex (the constant foolery seemed to never come to an end), my current dating situations, or lack there of, and just the scary thought… “What if I NEVER meet Mr. Right? What if I end up alone forever?” I was beginning to emerge back to the land of the living so I took a nice Sunday stroll to the Farmers Market to pick up my flowers for the week. As I took my stroll it was 85 degrees in LA, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the flowers were extra vibrant. I made myself a great dinner, and I cracked open a nice bottle of wine and sat on my couch and got ready to watch some good Reality TV. There’s nothing like watching pure foolery to realize your life isn’t as bad as you thought it was. That’s when my cell phone rang. When I looked at the screen I saw it was “Malachi.” A part of me smiled because “Malachi” was a man who I really liked. The other part of me rolled my eyes in utter annoyance. I was just beginning to get back on track emotionally. I had two choices. I could a) answer the phone and be annoyed or b) ignore the call because “Malachi” had shown me who he was. Decisions… Decisions… Decisions… Let me catch you up to speed on the good Doctor “Malachi.”
I met “Malachi” a few months ago when I was home for Christmas vacation. He was a 41 year old Oncologist. He was recently divorced and had an 8 year old son and a thriving practice. Ironically we discovered we both went to the same college. When we met there was an instant connection. He was handsome as hell, smart, driven, funny, charming, and sexy. The man was the complete package. He called me the day after we met and asked me out for lunch the following day. When I walked into the restaurant and saw him sitting there I got nervous! Me. Nervous! Literally my stomach was doing butterflies. I had changed my outfit at least 3 times before I got there. This was a feeling that was new to me. I go out on dates all the time. But with this guy I was nervous in a good way. When he hugged me I could smell his cologne. Eww weee! My inner diva did cartwheels all throughout the restaurant. When the waiter came to take our order I decided to hold off on having a glass of wine. Instead I ordered a sparkling water. I wanted to be fully present for this date (another first for me). The conversation just flowed. When I got over my initial nervousness and allowed myself to enjoy the date it was effortless. We stayed in the restaurant for a good 3 hours. Then we went to the mall and finished up our Christmas shopping, then we went to a movie, and after the movie we sat in his car and just talked. Before I knew it, it was 2 in the morning. We literally had a 10 hour date. He drove me to my car and waited with me while it warmed up. I forgot how your windows freeze on the east coast in the winter. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was a great first date. We went out two more times while I was home for the holidays. And the last night he finally gave me a kiss. It was a good one too, passionate yet respectable. I was floating on air. Me and the fine ass Doctor. I thought he was different than any other guy I have been out with. It just felt right. When I got to LA we continued to talk on the phone. When we originally met he mentioned he was going to be in LA for a wedding the following month and I also knew I would be on the east coast for work quite a bit so it was a win-win situation. I waited for him to tell me the details of when he would be in LA. When two weeks passed and he didn’t mention it I asked him.
Me: When are you coming to LA for the wedding?
Malachi: I’m not sure if I am going to come. I sent them a gift. But I am going to try to make it out here soon. I have a few people out there I need to see.
Me: Okay. Well let me know.
Malachi: For sure. We’ll talk soon.
Record screeched to a halt. We’ll talk soon. What the fuck did that mean?! There were a few things wrong with this conversation. First of all, he should have been making plans to get his black ass out to LA immediately to see me. Also, what did he mean, “I have a few people out there I need to see.” What the fuck did that mean?! And the final knockout blow to my ego, “We’ll talk soon.” What the hell? I hung up perplexed, confused, and wondering if perhaps the connection I felt with him was one sided. It wouldn’t be the first time I was off. I decided to pull back and just go with the flow and see what happened. “Malachi” continued to call me. We continued to have great conversations.
He never did make his way out to LA for the wedding. I noticed a pattern developing with him. Whenever we would have deep conversation he wouldn’t call for a few days. Whenever I let go and connected with him he would pull back. I had no idea what the hell we were doing. So I stopped returning his calls for a while. And then he would start blowing up my phone. I had a business trip back east planned and we made plans to see each other. We met for dinner at a great Italian restaurant. I still had the butterflies when I saw him. He sat next to me during dinner and held my hand. I felt like we had established a good friendship up to this point. But I still had no idea what we were doing. So instead of playing the Guess What The Hell He Wants game I decided to have a grown folk conversation with him.
Me: I’m trying to figure out what we are doing here. I like you and I think you’re a cool guy. But I’m not sure what you’re looking for.
Malachi: I like you to. I think you’re cool and I want to get to know you more. You’re smart, beautiful, and you went to the best university on the planet.
Me: That’s good to know. I just need to know where you are coming from.
Malachi: I hear you. And I want to get to know you as well.
Me: If you want to b friends that’s fine, but I don’t kiss my friends.
Malachi: I don’t want us to just be friends.
What a relief. So after that date. I thought there was a clear understanding of where we were going and what he was looking for. And of course like clockwork he went MIA. To be honest I didn’t think it was another woman. I just think he had gone through such a crappy divorce that he had baggage. It was something I could certainly relate to. But it was getting ridiculous. To be honest, I was getting exhausted of the up down roller coaster ride with him. I hated holding back and having to play these games. So when we spoke again I was just very frank with him.
Me: Malachi, I feel like you have this wall up and I’m not exactly sure how to handle it.
Malachi: Am I that emotionally fucked up?
Me: I’m not saying you’re emotionally fucked up. But I do think you are holding back. I don’t even think you are doing it consciously. But whenever we connect you put a wall up. And I can only do this for so long before I am done and when I’m done I’m done.
Malachi: Maybe you’re right. But you gotta give me a chance. I’ll work on it. If you had a cousin who was mentally off and he didn’t know how to hold a fork would you stop talking to him or would you help him to learn how to pick up his fork.
“Malachi’s” sense of humor is what attracted me to him but at that moment I Wanted to take a fork and poke his eyes out. I was trying to works with the brotha. In the past I was so quick to run for the hills. But there was something about him that made me want to work with him.
Malachi: I’m just saying. I’ll work on it. I didn’t realize I was doing that. By the way, I’m coming out to LA soon.
Me: Good! Finally!
I hung up the phone and it felt like we had made progress. We started communicating regularly and I was feeling like we had turned a new leaf. Things were going really well until he pissed me off… again. I tell you I am exhausted even writing about this foolishness. It was a Friday night and I went to my neighborhood spot to have a cocktail and unwind after a long work week. I happened to be on the phone with “Malachi.”
Malachi: It’s loud all of a sudden where are you?
Me: One of my favorite neighborhood spots having a glass of wine.
Malachi: Well have fun. Take someone home with you!
Long awkward pause…
Me: I’m going to talk to you later.
With that I hung up the phone. I was done. What the fuck was he thinking? A few minutes later I get a text from “Malachi.”
I appreciate all of your support.
I ignored it. And then he sent me another text.
Go home alone! LOL!
I ignored it. The worse thing a woman can do outside of texting drunk is texting when a man has pissed you the fuck off. So I took a few hours and I sent him a text back.
You are a piece of work. Have a nice life.
I already knew what was going to happen. I knew he would call me the next day and feel me out and try to figure out if I was pissed or not. Of course I called my girlfriends and the consensus was that statement was bullshit. It’s like was purposefully trying to push me away. So the next day he called. I answered and was very dry. He knew I was pissed. Did this man say, “I’m sorry. I took the joke too far.” Nope he just talked like everything was okay. So finally I told him I was busy and I hung up. He called me two days later.
Malachi: Hey how are you?
Me: I have to be honest you really pissed me the fuck off the other day.
Malachi: I know I did and I apologize.
Me: I’m letting you know right now. You have cashed your last check. I already told you when I’ done. I’m done. I’m really trying to work with you but you’re making it hard.
Malachi: I knew I went too far. My bad.
I was exhausted from this relationship. And I use the term “relationship” loosely. And of course this all happened around the time when I was already in a shitty place to begin with. Here’s the thing. When a man is into you he’s into you. Here I was dealing with a man who was 3000 miles away and he couldn’t even act like he had an inkling of sense?! I began to get it. I was safe for “Malachi.” He could call me when he was bored and shoot the shit. I do believe there was a connection and who knows what would have happened if I lived on the east coast. But this was bullshit and I knew it. I am a 35 year old woman. I would be a fool to think that I can make an emotionally unavailable man change. When he’s ready and open to be in a relationship and open up perhaps if I am still available and single we could work. But at this point I recognized this was pure absolute unadulterated bullshit and I had to protect myself and my heart. I was just beginning to feel like me again. My acupuncturist put those needles in the right points and my energy was feeling normal again. My walk to the farmer’s market put me at peace. And I was serious when I said I would no longer date a man that was not what I needed. Emotional Availability was at the top of my A List. I had discussed with “Malachi” how I was feeling. I wasn’t in the mood to revisit it. To be honest, you can tell a man until you’re blue in the face what you need and what you desire. But if they aren’t willing or able to do it then you have to walk away. Or else, you will drive yourself over the edge with frustration because deep down inside you know you are not getting what you need. I was married to a man who didn’t give me what I needed and I thought eventually things would change. And it didn’t. And I was frustrated with myself for staying in a relationship and marriage with a man who didn’t, wouldn’t, and couldn’t give me what I needed. I believe “Malachi” was a test. And as I sat on my couch looking at my phone with his name on the screen this was the final part of the test. So what did I do? I hit ignore. Put the phone down and continued having my glass of wine. I knew I made the right decision when “Malachi” didn’t even leave message. You see, I know that when I meet “the one” things will feel right. I won’t question how a man feels about me, or feel like he isn’t honoring me. I will know it and he will show it. Just like my acupuncturist gave me the order to come to her twice a week for a while. I was giving myself a prescription. If shit didn’t feel right you must keep it moving. And I was planning on sticking with that order. I knew if I did I would eventually find my way to a healthy relationship.
©Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA, 2013-2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monique Kelley and Confessions of A Serial Dater In LA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Copying my posts and changing some of the words is still plagiarism.