I met 19 via Tinder. We had a few Facebook friends in common, as Tinder will point out, one of whom was my ex. She seemed familiar, but know I hadn’t met her. And then I figured it out – it was her. Her professional reputation proceeded her, and I admired her work. I had a celeb crush. I was a little starstruck. So, I kind of know who she is, and she knows my ex. Was this too close? Would it be weird? Awkward? My curiosity got the best of me – I swiped right. A match.
We soon started exchanging messages. Are you who I think you are? Yes, small town. No, it’s not weird, when can you meet, she says. And off we went.
We met for a drink, and hit it off. She was attractive, smart, and quick, dressed casually in jeans and a sleeveless top. And I was soon beyond my celeb crush and relaxed and into her. Super funny, honest, and into me. We set up time for a next date. Unfortunately the next available time coincided with a show I had. (I keep my music stuff pretty close. I let friends know that I’m playing, but in no way do I use as leverage to entice women. Yeah, I’m probably the only guy that doesn’t. I’m not trying to impress by being in bands. For me it’s art and what I need to do. If people are into it, great. If not, that’s cool too. I’m happy either way. But I don’t need you to ‘come to my show’ and see me play.) She was cool with it. It’ll be fun.
We met before heading to the venue for a queso and margarita. It was a warm and breezy spring evening. She walked up, wearing heels and the tightest dress that clearly said, game on. We chatted and laughed – conversation was easy and natural and we had a lot to talk about – and then we were off to the venue. I introduced her to bandmates and their wives, and other friends that were there. This was one of the first times that I had been on a date in ‘public’ with friends, particularly this group of friends whom I had also hung out with when I was married. Everyone was very cool of course, and curious about the new girl.
We hung out for a drink and it was soon time for me to play. A super short set, and then we wanted to move on. She excused herself to go to the bathroom, and that’s when I saw 15. She was there with her new boyfriend. I went up and somewhat brazenly said hello, and introduced myself to the boyfriend. 15 was surprised to see me – they were there to see another friend play – and I took a bit of satisfaction from this. I was totally comfortable with how we had left things. I saw my date walking over and said my goodbyes and intercepted before she got to where we were – no reason to create another ‘moment’ – and we left.
We went to another bar nearby and grabbed a drink. A band was playing, and it was loud. I think we danced. But mostly talked (loudly) and checked out the scene, and each other. We both thought it a good idea to head to another place and we did. Dark, quiet, we sat and grabbed more drinks, by this point a bit tipsy. We made out. It was really good. Sparks flying, we made our way to her place.
By this time is was just past midnight, and the wind had picked up. We were in for some weather. Were we ever.
She showed me around her place. We drank a bit of wine, and then the storm hit. The rain was pounding, the wind was howling, and soon, so were we. Lightning lit up the room, flashes of white, she glowed and was lit up, dramatic punctuations of light and sound. It was passionate, and hot. We were two people, confident in their abilities, confident in what they want, on level terms, and enjoying each other and the moment.
At some point during that night, she asked me if I was still in love with my ex. I said that I wasn’t in love with her, but that I loved her, as she was the mother of my children, and I cared for her well being. Truthfully, at that time, one year after the separation, there were some lingering confused feelings of love. Now, as I write this, two and half years since that night, I know the answer would be a resounding, and truthful, no. I care about what happens to my ex, but I have way less feelings of responsibility towards her. She has a boyfriend and is happy, and so needs less of my care – less of me. I have no desire to be with her. I’m so ready for the next love of my life.
The storm was moving on, and the sun was rising, it was dawn. We didn’t sleep. I had to make a move to go to work. We reluctantly said our good-byes, and off I went. It was a long day, but I was buoyed and buzzing. We texted a bit that day – confirming that it was epic fun – we should see each other again.
We spoke not long after, and she said I was still in love with my ex. I protested that was not the case, but she held me to what I had said. Looking back, as I said before, there were some lingering feelings for the ex – but not for her as much as for what we used to have. The feelings that you go through as part of a divorce, or any break up, are akin to mourning – I was mourning the loss of something that I loved. A few days later, we did meet up. She was out with friends, as was I. She was not convinced that I wasn’t ready, and said as much, and we didn’t see each other again.
Later that year I sent her a letter. A lot of time had passed. I thought I would rather have this person in my life than not – friends would be awesome. She sent me a letter back. We texted a bit. She was traveling. We arranged to meet, the following month. By that time I had become involved with someone else, but that’s another story.