Online Dating, Karma & Poker
Many of you probably don’t know that I’ve been getting into poker lately.
It’s such a fun, complex sport (sport in that it works out your mind).
Anyway, I’ve been watching youtube videos, absorbing information and strategy, and played a couple of tournaments at the Hard Rock Seminole Casino down here, with some pretty decent results (lost both times, but played pretty well).
I’ve been thinking of playing again today or tomorrow, but there’s something I need to clean up first.
You see, just last week, I made a fb post:
Well, something happened last night in my dating life that has me writing this for you to read right now.
Why? Because in my system of belief, when I feel guilty about something that I’ve done, and I’ve not paid off my karmic debt, then nothing will go well until I do.
And I really, really want to play (and do well) at some poker!!!
So, here’s what happened:
Last night I went on a tinder date with a woman. She’s 43, one year my junior, and her pictures made her look really fit.
Within a few seconds of meeting her, I felt a bit gipped. She didn’t look nearly as good as her pictures. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is common. And part of me should have known better than to have believed otherwise.
“Fool me once… shame on you…”
We all know the rest.
But here’s the thing. It came out about an hour after we started hanging out that she had lied about her age a few years; nothing crazy, but usually when people lie about their age on Tinder, they say so in their profile because they were just doing it to get seen by more people in their desired age range.
It was not to fool anyone outright before meeting.
I say all this to assuage my guilt (which I’ll soon give you ample reason to judge me for).
Although I wasn’t *immediately* that attracted to her (this point comes back to haunt me), after a couple of drinks and spending some time chatting, I became more attracted.
Ok, let’s not lie, Alex.
It wasn’t just the drinks; it was that I’ve been masturbating at near-epic proportions–and that’s for me (which should mean you see alarms and red flashing lights going off)!
It’s that I’m also almost perpetually starving/hungry for touch.
She was quite sweet and easy to talk to, and so I stuck around because
a) It was a chance to be “out” (I’ve been a hermit for several months)
b) I came open to whatever kind of connection we might have (including friendship, potentially hooking up, a great conversation, etc.)
So, after the second drink, we talk about smoking out and going to her place. It was pretty mutual. At this point, I’m not expecting to get laid, but I’m drunk enough (read: beer goggles) that it’s definitely not out of question.
Brace yourselves: this is only going to get worse.
So, fast-forward, we’re at her place, and we do smoke some. I’m now feeling tipsy, tired and stoned–and her sweetness and proximity next to me on the couch means we eventually start touching and being playful.
(Just fyi: all major clothing remained on for the entirety of the evening.)
This doesn’t sound bad, you hear yourself saying.
What is Alex not telling me, I hear you wondering.
At some point in the evening, I’m either going to have to take a nap (I slept just a few hours the night before) or leave, and so it was a good time to say goodnight.
Still waiting, Alex…
I drive home (not drunk at all at this point, but super-sleepy, which is actually worse in many ways than driving home drunk), and I crash immediately upon hitting my pillow around 2:30am.
So. I wake up to a text from 2:47am and feeling shitty.
Did you get home safely?
I laid in bed, awake, around 9am. I took 2 advil and drank a large glass of water, wondering… why don’t I ever drink that water before I go to sleep…
And that’s when it hit me.
Like Britney Spears, I did it again.
You see, lying in bed I realized:
had I not been drunk, I would never have messed around with her.
And I was mad at myself–for doing this again.
It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to her.
(You may think I’m over-reacting here, and that’s ok btw.)
But wait… there’s more!
I didn’t just ghost her.
I didn’t just ignore her.
I texted her.
Thanks, yes I got in safely.
Full stop. Next text.
And I sincerely apologize but I’m not interested in continuing this connection any further. Be well.
Wow!!!!! (I hear you.)
What an asshole.
Well, judge me if you will (trust me, I’ve already judged myself plenty), but I have forgiven myself already (for being a moron).
Here’s my thinking from this morning:
I would never have messed around with her had it not been for the alcohol.
I fucked up.
Even though she is sweet, I don’t need/want any new friends who are women in my life (that I meet online), unless there’s a really strong connection, which there was not.
I don’t like the fact that she lied to me about her age.
I don’t want to go through the motions of a friendship I don’t want!
And, lastly, and I hated myself for doing this, I’m going to text her that I don’t want to continue this connection instead of a) ignoring her; b) ghosting her (which may be the same); c) feigning a friendship with her that I don’t really want to pursue!
Essentially, the choice felt like this:
either honor her or honor myself.
Yes, yes, it’s a false dichotomy. Those aren’t really the only two choices, but that’s how I saw it at the time.
But if I dig deeper, this:
I chose to disconnect from her fully… because I was ashamed!
I was ashamed that I allowed myself, even tipsy, to do something that I wouldn’t do while sober!
I’m literally disgusted with myself for that!
And because of that shame/disgust, any connection with her, moving forward, would remind me of my shame; and the only way to get rid of it was to cut her off completely.
(Now… how’s that for a mindfuck!?!)
If I could go back, I wouldn’t have sent that text. I would have simply apologized or said I didn’t see a romantic connection developing between us, but I would have let the rest alone.
We didn’t have to become “buddies,” but I didn’t need to completely sever the connection (especially the way I did).
I would have done the exact same thing, just with more… kindness.
So, there. I said it. I have owned my shame and disgust.
And she actually responded to my text:
I think the kindness of her response made me feel worse about what I did.
So, let’s wrap this lil puppy up.
Here’s what I’m doing moving forward:
First off, I deleted all of my dating apps.
Second, I commit to not drinking and going/taking home women that I’d not want to participate with (as friends or lovers or more) while sober, in the future, again.
Third, I’m writing this, publicly, so that maybe others who see themselves in this–men or women–will take something from this and adapt their own behavior to be more genuine.
Now, what does this have to do with karma and poker?!
I feel like my poker playing was doomed by my dating karma until I cleared this up and wrote this piece.
(Now, it doesn’t mean I’ll win, but at least I’ll lose because I played poorly–and not because I didn’t pay my karmic debt.)
Did you really pay off this karmic debt completely, Alex?
(Part of me wants to send a big fuck you to any of you who just thought this.)
I declare that I have.
And by the way, that’s a wonderful thing I learned from Landmark Education:
you can simply declare something is complete, sometimes, and it it’s so because you declared it.
(In this case, I’ve taken actions and made commitments, so I feel good about this declaration.)
I hope you took something out of this. It’s tough to look at our own ugliness. It’s tough to look and be honest about what we see. But to admit it is the first step in terms of our growth and having something different be possible in the future.
To be clear: I don’t ever want to feel this way again, and I’m going to do my very best to move forward consciously with respect to dating.
Now, with my recent karmic dating debt paid off,
let’s go play some fucking cards!
ps. A brand new website and book are going to be coming out real soon!
pss. I apologize (sorta) for not writing more frequently, but I’ve been writing tiny travel books! Six and counting!
psss. Even if you judge(d) me, I still love ya.
pssss. The more we judge others, the more we judge ourselves.
psssss. I’m at this moment giving up caring whether you judge me or not.