Fifth Date With Shelly (will she stay)

Shelly emerged out of my bedroom no longer donned with the purple knit cap and sweatshirt but was wearing red jeans with a beige and maroon print sweater. “I’m ready!” she announced while slipping into her brown leather boots. 

I informed her that I had changed our dinner from the Russian restaurant to one that had similar sounding food because I couldn’t get reservations at the Russian place.   

I told her it was my treat and just to have fun. She agreed and we entered my garage to my awaiting Beamer. 

I punched in the restaurant name, and my iPhone map app rendered several route options. I selected the path with the fastest time. 

We were off…

You would think that a new couple that have been on a three hour coffee date, a nine hour wine and seafood date, and a five hour dinner date all within the last three consecutive weekends wouldn’t have much left to talk about. 

 Well it turned out we still had plenty in the reserves. The map app indicated we would arrive at the restaurant in little more than half an hour and we talked the whole way. 

Now throughout our openly honest discussions I mentioned to Shelly several times while touring my house as well as during the explanations of each of my boys’ mothers, I would completely understand if she decided to bolt.

 As we neared the restaurant which was about 20 minutes into the ride, Shelly switched gears and became the navigator. Also about this time, the story of my boys registered with Shelly. 

 Shelly gave the next set of directions, “Looks like we need to make a sharp left and go back in the direction we just came from.” As the traffic light signaled it was safe to make my turn, I took the turn. Shelly gave the next direction to turn right. Without a pause, she voiced the earlier information as if it a lightbulb just illuminated the corners of her mind, “Now wait a minute! You’ve been married three times!”

 I turned to her and inquired shockingly, “You just got that? That info was an hour ago!” We both started laughing not of the fact but of the delayed response. I confirmed, “Yes, I have!” But then I reiterated, “If it’s any consolation, I’ve only had three women in my lifetime and I married each of them.” She responded, “I remembered you saying that but it didn’t click until now.” We both laughed again at her delayed response. 

I emphasized again, “I fully understand it if you want to say this is it.” She responded, “I’ll have to think about it…”

#singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #speeddating #fifthdate #datingshelly

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Fifth Date With Shelly (assumptions corrected)

Towards the end of my house tour, Shelly and my conversations moved to my kids as there were several pictures of my boys and my nieces and nephews throughout my house, which I used as part of my decor. 

 We were standing near one of the pictures of my boys when they were still young. I had explained we went on a road trip seeking out snow one year. Keep in my I lived in southern Texas at the time the picture was taken and snowfall in that part of the lone star state occurred few and far between. 

Now that the subject of my boys came up, I took the opportunity to correct her assumptions that both of my boys were mothered by my recent wife. 

 I shared the fact that the mother of my oldest was my high school sweetheart. But that at the young age of 28, I became a widower and a single dad due to the hands of ovarian cancer. 

I went on to explain the mother of my second son and the circumstances where she left six months after he was born. I was intimately transparent of the details about my shared custody with my second son’s mother and that in reality it was actually more me taking care of my younger boy as his mother wasn’t ready for family responsibilities that went with raising children. Shelly later commented on how she loved hearing about me raising my kids. 

 I then explained how my most recent wife accepted my two boys and was s great mother figure to them. I also shared how she walked away from our marriage three years ago for no apparent reason other than she wanted to be single again. 

I left it all in the table for Shelly to see. I told her I wanted to be open and for her to see the whole picture. After all, if you start a relationship with openness and honesty upfront, it saves a lot of having to explain later on. But hey that’s just me and my conscience. 

Without prompting, Shelly shared her intimate story of how her marriage ended.  

It was a great night of getting close and about sharing who we were and how we arrived to where we were in our separate lives but how we somehow became joined by some force. 

I glanced at the clock on the wall and mentioned it was nearing 7pm. Shelly said, “I’ll go freshen up.” 

While she freshened up in my bathroom, I called the restaurant to move out our reservations to 8:30pm…

#singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #speeddating #fifthdate #datingshelly

Fifth Date With Shelly (touring the old gay guy’s house)

Shelly arrived at my house closer to 6pm. She had been in an indoor/outdoor workshop for teachers and was dressed like she’s been out hiking in the woods. Purple wool knit cap, all weather lined jacket, faded blue jeans, and fur-lined waterproof boots. 

Based on our prior conversations, she knew I kept a clean and tidy house.  

As she took off her outerwear and boots, I asked, “Would you like some wine?” To which she replied while smiling, “Well Yes.” I opened a new bottle of Bordeaux and poured us each a glass as we shared how hectic our week were. 

After discussing our week’s events, I began the tour of my house. Based on Jackie’s suggestion, I prefaced the tour with, “I just moved in four months ago and still need to decorate my walls as they’re a bit bare.”  

This wasn’t just a line as I truly moved in October of last year. This was a great opening statement as it invited Shelly’s suggestions of what art pieces could be used. 

We were already standing in the combination living dining room space so we walked over to the wine cabinet area. She saw my box of wine corks and commented, “So you haven’t started your cork project?” I had mentioned my cork frame project in prior conversations.  

Actually I had pulled the box out of hiding before she arrived to show my house was not all put together. I replied, “Not yet.” And I proceeded to explain the concept of the cork project. 

We then moved to the master suite which I preempted by repeating the fact that I moved in a few months prior. Shelly agreed that my master bedroom walls were bare and needed sprucing up with something decorative. 

Shelly noticed my excessively large bed to which I informed that I combined my old queen and twin bed sets to create my one of a kind bed. We both laughed.  

I also explained the concept of how I was going to build the raised bed frame and the matching headboard using a combination of metal and reclaimed wood. Shelly was impressed. 

I ushered her into the on suite. She commented on the neatly folded and hung clothing in my walk in closet. 

Next section of the house was the upstairs. We paused a moment so I could points out the stairs and the steps with different carpeting.  

At first she didn’t notice but after a few seconds she identified the three steps with different carpeting. She jokingly suggested, “You could make every other step have different carpeting to create that unique pattern.” We both laughed. 

We climbed the stairs to the landing and sat on the sectional. I mentioned and provided explanations about the decor or lack of. We toured the remaining exercise room, upstairs bathroom, laundry room, and finally the messiest of rooms- my office.  

Shelly didn’t think it was messy since every thing were either in boxes or in storage bins or on shelving. 

We headed back downstairs and I brought her into my favorite domain- my kitchen. This is where I spend most of my time and where my OCD really shines. It’s evident in the pantry and my spice cabinet as all the labels are faced front. 

Now everyone I know has a junk drawer in the kitchen where things go to die and get rediscovered at a later time and the phrase “oh that’s where that is” gets uttered in a surprising tone. 

 I went for broke and revealed my tidy junk drawer where I have a mixed assortment of items from hand tools to vitamin bottles and sticky notes. Of course the labels of the bottles were facing up and the tools were organized and the sticky notes had their respective containers. By this time Shelly was fully indoctrinated into my OCD world. She laughed and at the same time looked shocked. “Did I just lose her?” I wondered. 

In my mind my house wasn’t as organized as it should be, Shelly was overly impressed. Throughout the tour she made several comments as to the level of organization I had. 

 I brought her up to speed on the discussions had earlier that day regarding how my friends thought my house was decorated as if an old gay guy lived in it who has OCD tendencies. Without missing a beat, she nicknamed me affectionately as her “metro sexual” guy she was dating. We later relabeled me as her “renaissance” man. 

Just to set the record clear, I’m as straight as straight can be…

#singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #speeddating #fifthdate #datingshelly

Online Dating: week 12

I didn’t do much activity with the online dating sites this week as I’ve found it to be very tedious with very little results. So for me it’s not where I want to spend my time. 

One of the things I did differently was to attend an eflirting webinar.  

My thought was that maybe I was doing something incorrect that was not enticing female members to respond. Turned out I was doing the right things already.

  1. Establishing a connection
  2. Sharing
  3. Inquiring 

The eflirting webinar also boiled it down to a numbers “game”. Meaning the more inquiries you send out the higher your response rate and the better the results to obtaining an actual face to face date. 

Duh…and I paid money for that information…

There was also some tips for creating searches on Match. But you can google that which is free. My advice would be don’t waste your money or your time. 

Based on my numbers for online dating, I’m at about 1% for getting a face to face date. So out of over 200 inquiries, I had two actual face to face first dates. Sadly neither of the two would result in more dates as there wasn’t any chemistry (at least not on my end). 

Another observation is online dating takes up a lot of time. In the past 12 weeks I spent about 20 hours a week searching, answering questions, sending inquiries, and maintaining my dating profiles. Basically it became a part-time job with no benefit other than I could say I’ve tried it. 

So I’ve decided to back off the online dating sites and focus on my budding relationship with Shelly which has naturally grown more intimate as we learn about each other. However I’ll continue to post my life experiences as a single Asian male until such time I become partnered. 

Unless Shelly and my relationship stops growing, this would be my final dating summary. Here are my numbers. 

  • eHarmony: 85 icebreakers initiated; 9 responded; 2 face to face dates
  • Match.com: 58 messages sent; 6 responded; 0 face to face dates; 1 spam that I detailed in a series of post – it’s a doozy but worth the read (here’s the link: http://wp.me/p70WJj-a9)
  • Zoosk: 79 messages sent; one responded; 0 face to face dates

Online dating – 16 responses out of 222 conversations initiated. Response rate remained steady at 7.2% or a 1:13 ratio and resulted in two face to face dates.

Speed dating – 19 face to face conversations; 3 I selected; 1 of which selected me in return and is now growing into a stronger relationship with several dates already completed and several more dates planned. 

    #singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #loveletters #speeddating #buddingromance

    Fifth Date With Shelly (meet me at my house)

    When I sent Shelly the menu of the Russian restaurant, we established that she would come to my house on our date night and from there I would drive us. 

    On the afternoon of our date, I texted Shelly that I was leaving the office and confirmed she would meet me at my house. She texted back, “Yes, my workshop just ended and I’ll be there somewhere between 5 and 6pm.”

     Let’s go back a few steps…

    I’ve got a bit of a neat freak issue which stems from my OCD – or obsessive compulsive disorder. I don’t personally consider it a disorder but a gift for keeping my house organized and free of clutter.  

    My obsession of neatness and the minimalistic home decor became a topic of office conversation on that Friday afternoon a few hours before Shelly was to arrive. 

    Jackie advised, “You shouldn’t let Shelly go to your house. At least not yet as she’ll take one look and bolt.” Lois added, “You have to ease her into your overly neat freakiness of your house!” 

    Now Jackie and Lois have been to my house several times and haven’t said not to bring a date there. There’s no adrenaline rush like finding out your house is a prime detour zone for the person you’re dating. 

    “What’s wrong with my house?”, I intrigued. Jackie described as she chuckled, “Your decor is nice but it looks like an old gay guy’s house.” 

    I asked shockingly, “What? An old gay guy! Really? That’s not the look I was going for.” We both laughed. 

     Lois commented while nodding, “Yeah! I didn’t know how to describe it before but that’s it! Your house is decorated like an old gay guy’s house!” 

    I shooked my head and asked, “Why haven’t either of you said anything before? It’s too late now as Shelly will be at my house tonight.” 

    Jackie replied, “It didn’t occur to me until now. But it’ll be fine.” Lois also reaffirmed, “It’ll be fine! Everything will be just fine.”

     “Oh well,” I thought. “It’s too late to redecorate…”

    #singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #speeddating #fifthdate #datingshelly

    Fifth Date With Shelly (setting up the special dinner)

    In the start of relationships, things between couples are assumed as truths become clearer as discussions get more intimate and details get revealed. In my case Shelly made some generalizations that my children were all birthed by my last wife. 

    Why is it that we ask how many children each of us have but we don’t ask are they from the same marriage? 

    As Shelly and I were becoming closer, I felt the obligation to correct her assumptions. But how and when to do that was not clear in my mind. At least not yet, but I know it needs to be done soon and I felt the opportunity would invite itself. 

    Maybe over our next dinner…

     On our fourth date, Shelly and I discovered our birthdays were one day apart. So I thought it would be great to have a celebratory birthday dinner. We both love food so I sought out advice from Lois where she thought a good place would be. She said, “There’s a Russian restaurant that serves incredible food. It’s one of my favorites!”

    I googled the eating establishment and read through the menu.  

    The description of the food sounded delicious. I forwarded it to Shelly and she also thought the same. We established the date and our next date night was on.

    As the day came closer, the little voice in my head nagged, “You better make reservations. You don’t want a repeat of the last dinner plans where you settled on a table behind the greeting podium!”

    I opened a new internet browsing window on my work laptop, found the Russian small plate restaurant and called to reserve a table.  

    This particular restaurant had a self service reservation portal online which the recorded message directed me to. Unfortunately there were no time slots after 4:30pm for our Friday date night. 

    Time to find plan B…

    Over the course of a couple of days, I called several restaurants that had deliciously described food. Two days out, I still had no backup plan.  

    Since Portland is a foodie town and our date was on a Friday, I knew from the last experience I needed a reservation to eliminate long waiting times. I was getting a bit apprehensive, but I knew deep down everything would work out as it should. 

    The day before our date, I asked if Jean knew any place that would be great. Now Jean and her husband are foodies and explored new restaurants regularly. 

     Jean showed me four options which all had fantastic menus. One of the places indicated availability at 7:30pm and it allowed me to make reservations via the Open Table app. 

    I didn’t tell Shelly that I changed our place of dining as I figured she would be okay since although the menu was different it had similar sounding quality food as the menu I sent her a few days prior. 

     The dinner reservation was set…

    #singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #speeddating #fifthdate #datingshelly

    Let the Waters Flow Through My Kitchen Faucet (Part 5 of 5)

    It only took about one full days time, a couple emotional breakdowns, several cups of coffee, and a half tank of gas (probably not an exaggeration), to finally complete the installation my new kitchen faucet with no leaks. 

    The final test was if I can wash a big item in a more efficient manner. Remember that was the problem I was trying to solve after discovering how difficult it was to wash my pots and pans (or other large items) with the short faucet. 

     I guess I could have gone through the pain of the washing difficulties, which would have been less frustrating than the changing of the faucet and the pipe fittings.

    But after looking at my new faucet compared to the original, and being able to wash out my large wine carafe under the spigot with ease,  I’m glad I did. 

    Bring in the next plumbing project! “Wait, I was just kidding!”

    #kitchenupdates #dyikitchen #kitchenfaucet #weekendwarrier #homeprojects

    Hike #3: Tualatin Hills Nature Park 

    I only had time for another short hike this week. Luckily I live in a city where trails are available without the need to travel long distances. 

    Tualatin Hills Nature Park is a large network of paths that cut in and out of the main trail. So depending on your timeline, you can probably spend a good two hours exploring each spur.  

     My time was limited so I stayed on the main trail. The trail is used by trail runners as well as folks like me who like to hike. 

    I started (as I normally do) taking the trail hugging to the right. Wonder why I never start a trail going left. It must be just how my brain works. 

    I took the right at the first crossroad which meandered me through a stand of oak and fir trees. The path was paved so ideal for a good walk (or run). I came across a raised foot bridge that crosses a creek.  

    In the center of the bridge was what looked like a strip of outdoor carpeting. I didn’t see water directly under the bridge but did spot water off to both sides halfway through. The standing water made it look like I was in the middle of wetlands.  

     So I’m thinking the strip of carpeting must be for traction during rainy conditions or when the creek water rises. 

    It first looked like the footbridge was straight but actually makes a 90 degree right turn where more bog like setting awaited me. 

     After making the right turn, the footbridge continued through the bog like area. Along this area were several outcropping of view points. The raised footbridge continued to zigzag over the bog. 

     Passed the zigzagging footbridge, the trail followed the side of a industrial building. The trail turned left and the footbridge picked up again zigzagging over the bog like setting. 

     As the footbridge ended, the path turned left and became a natural trail with puddles of water that became muddy as many hikers and trail runners before me had traveled through it. 

    At this transition to the natural dirt path, the trail narrowed. At times it became a single path and required some maneuvering over fallen trees. You’ll also need to be prepared for some mud along this stretch of this trail. 

    The trail finally widened and turned into a gravel path which then blended into a paved path that had several bridges to cross. The trail then traversed over the bog area over a series of zigzagging footbridge. 

     The trail looped back and merged into the  first intersection where I took that first right as I entered the trail. I continued through the intersection which took me back to where I had parked my car.  

    At the entrance to the trail was one last glimpse of the bog like area…

    Hike #3 summary:

    • place: Tualatin Hills Nature Park
    • miles: 2.1
    • trail type: loop
    • elevation change: 22′
    • weather: sunny with a slight breeze
    • temp: 51 degrees 
    • completion time: 1 hour 

    #hiking #trails #outdoors #living #tualatinhillsnaturepark #singlelife #pacificnorthwest #menshealth #portland

    Online Dating: week 11

    Gauging from the previous weeks, this week’s dating activities are much busier. I had three dates. Last Saturday was with Shelly, Sunday was with Karly, and Monday was with JoJo. 

    I’m really crushing on Shelly as we are opposites yet very compatible. There was no spark with Karly and also none with JoJo. But I think I’ll still keep in touch with JoJo as she needs a friend to get her through this rough spot in her life. 

    On to this week’s dating summary (these are collective numbers)

    • eHarmony: 86 icebreakers initiated; 9 responded; 2 face to face dates
    • Match.com: 58 messages sent with one of them as an upgraded message; 6 response; 0 face to face; 1 spam that I detailed in a series of post – it’s a doozy but worth the read (here’s the link: http://wp.me/p70WJj-a9)
    • Zoosk: 79 messages; one response; 0 face to face 

    Online dating – 16 responses out of 223 conversations initiated. Response rate dropped a little to 7.2% but remained at a 1:13 ratio with 2 face to face dates.

    Speed dating – 19 face to face first meetings; 3 I selected; 1 of which selected me in return and is now becoming a budding relationship with our fifth upcoming date. 

    #singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #loveletters #speeddating #buddingromance

    Fourth Date With Shelly (I’m crushing on you) 

    With all the preparation and calling ahead several days in advance, my reservation was not found. We were given the option to wait at the bar or take the table behind their podium where they greeted their patrons. 

    Since we were in no rush we opted to wait for a better table. We walked to the bar but did not find anyplace to sit. So we decided to take the two seater behind the greeting podium. 

    We both removed our outer jackets and took our seats. Shelly removed her white overcoat and revealed a nice print blouse and slacks and opened toe shoes that matched the color of her overcoat. I thought to myself, “Very cute outfit.”

    Similar to our previous dates, we talked for hours and hours.  

    By the time we left we were the only couple remaining in the restaurant. I glanced at my watch and it showed the time was almost 11pm. We met at our rendezvous location five hours  prior. Funny thing is, it didn’t seem like five hours had passed. 

    I paid for our dinner and we exited the restaurant. I drove while Shelly navigated us back to her awaiting car. We talked for a few more minutes. I was determined not to strike out. So I leaned in and kissed her passionately. She returned the kiss. A few minutes later we surfaced for air. 

     I was still facing her when I confessed, “I hadn’t made out in a car since high school days.” She replied, “it’s been awhile for me as well.” We both telepathically agreed to engage in a second round of spittle exchange. At the next breather she said she had better go. 

     I helped her to her car and we exchanged another quick serious of kisses, then hugged and said our goodbyes. She texted me later that evening that she arrived home safely. 

    She confessed, “… I think I’m crushing on you.” I texted back, “I feel the same about you…”

    #singleasianmale #onlinedating #textdating #speeddating #fourthdate #datingshelly #valentines