Friday, April 18, 2014

Post it

I see these memes all the time. Graphics about having a great guy/kid/parent, instructing facebookers to post if they have one of the aforementioned that meets the listed criteria.

They kinda drive me nutty.

I'm not sure why. Maybe because they seem phony. Most women I know complain about their husbands and boyfriends in private, then pretend in public that he's the greatest. Or maybe it's because it's not an original thought, they're just sharing a post. Or maybe it's because the posts are, in a way, designed to make others who don't have those things feel bad.

The most recent one I've seen told people to share "if you have a wonderful man who is your whole world, who isn't perfect but is perfect for you, who works hard and would do anything for you, who makes you laugh, who is your best friend and sometimes your only friend, who you are thankful for everyday..."

I very nearly shared to my wall in honor of my cat. He's a guy who makes me laugh and is sometimes my only friend. Honestly, the only thing that doesn't apply is the hard-working part. He really doesn't.

I don't want to belittle anyone's gratitude for their awesome husband. A part of me just wants to point out that even those of us who are single can have wonderful people in our lives who are worth appreciating. 

Besides - even us singletons deserve corny, poorly-written, unoriginal posts to share.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

All roads

So, I haven't been meeting anyone. I'm super-busy with other stuff in my life, and dating has taken a back, back burner.

But there's one guy who has always kept coming back. At first it was annoying...then it became amusing.

The thing is, the last few months....I also keep going back. I have reached out to him more than once to reconnect, even if it's just to say hi and check in. We haven't seen each other since January-ish.

I have no illusions about who he is or what he wants. He can be a difficult guy, and he has not seemed open to the idea of any sort of committed, long-term relationship.

But no matter who else I meet, or how good (or bad) dating seems to be going - he's always on my mind. It's like all roads lead to this guy, and no matter how hard I try to get away, I end up right back where I started.

I like the idea that people can be meant for each other. I do believe everyone we meet serves a purpose in our life.  But I don't believe a strong attraction or even a real connection is enough to sustain a lasting relationship.

Eventually, you have to work out the logistics. We don't like to talk about it, because it's not all romantic and draped in fantasy, but things like personality differences, religion, politics, geography can all impact relationships in a big way.

I've always figured me and this guy had great attraction and a great connection, but logistics would prevent us from having a successful relationship. Yet I can't get this person out of my brain.

Which is a logistic pretty tough to ignore.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I am a bad speed-dater

Last week, I went speed-dating for the fourth time. For the second time ever, I had no matches (meaning no one said "Let's Talk" after my name, and they all said "No Thanks"). 

I have to tell you - it's kind of blow to the ego. After a short pity-party involving some Chocolate Therapy (the Ben & Jerry's ice cream), I wanted to turn the pity-party into a brainstorming session where I figure out how to improve my results.

The problem? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.

I feel like the secret to a successful speed-date is having a conversation that you want to continue. 

Obviously, 6 minutes is enough time to decide if you're physically attracted to someone. But it's not a lot of time to establish any other kind of connection - especially if you use the entire time repeating the same basic information about yourself (what you do for fun, work, etc). 

So, I try to keep the conversation away from the boring "So what do you do for work?" or "What do you do for fun?" which are staple questions. I think it's more fun to use the conversation-starter questions the organizer provides, or even to talk about what you each think about the whole speed-dating thing. Both of those options are more fun than repeating the same work and hobby history 8-12 times in one night. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the guys seem to want to err on the safe side and lead in with those questions. They all seem afraid to start a conversation that will last more than 6 minutes. They stick to the basics, which are safe, painless, and will easily just fill the time if both people answer. 

But that results in a dozen dates that, at the end of the night, all run together. Nothing stands out
because it's like you repeated the same date over and over. Not only that, but if you fill the time without running over, it feels final - leaving no reason to continue.

I think the secret to a good speed-date is to get a conversation going that you want to finish - but can't. That would (probably) make you check "Let's Talk" and have a real date with the person, if only to finish what you started.

But - apparently that strategy isn't right for me. While I've been interested in people, and people have been interested in me, they've never been the same people. Dozens of dates, and not one has resulted in anything past the first 6 minutes. 

Which leads me to believe I'm either not attractive enough...or I'm talking too much and/or scaring them away with my conversation choices. 

Since I had no matches this last time, Pre-Dating will give me a free event. Though a part of me thinks I should hang up my speed-dating clipboard for good, the bargain-shopper in me can't walk away from a deal. So I may try at least one more time.

But I definitely need a new plan.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Honest dating confessions

Have you seen the Buzzfeed list of 29 Startlingly Honest Dating Confessions?

Confessions I find totally reasonable:

• I stopped dating someone because I didn't like his Netflx queue.

Confessions I find totally unsurprising:

• I'm dating someone for his money.

• I'm dating a man that's as old as my father.

• I run background checks on every guy before I start dating him.

Confessions I suspect will lead to big problems:

• I'm dating a dad, but have no interest in being involved with his kids...I just love him so much.

• We act like we're dating but he won't make it official. He just says "we will." I've fallen...I hope he's serious.

....and now, a few of my own personal, startlingly honest dating confessions...

• I have gone on dates solely for free meals, blog material, and/or sex.

• I have lied to end a bad date quickly.

• I have dated people longer than I wanted, just because I was bored.

• I would rather make a guy break up with me than have to do the breaking up. I'm always afraid I'll cave if he asks for another chance.

• I have dated guys who I honestly believed to be out of my league.

• I think I might have a fear of commitment.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meet me

I can't emphasize enough how important it is for a guy to have a plan. There is no bigger turnoff to me than when a guy asks me out, and then says, "OK, what time and where do you want to meet?"

Planning a date is work. If I was looking for a project, I could have found one on my own.

So when I say I'll meet you for coffee, and ask you to let me know where, saying "Probably some Dunkin' Donuts somewhere," is not a plan.

Considering there are approximately 873,954 DDs in this area, what you've really come up with is a hassle. I do not need to meet men in order to find a hassle. I have family for that.

Honestly - if you're not even interested enough to actually choose a place, how badly do you really want to meet? It's OK if you're not that into me - just say so, and we can just move on.

I can get my own hot chocolate.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Probably not a match

Sometimes when I look at who Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid want to match me with, I giggle. Mostly just so I don't cry.

I know they have to work with what they've got - but I wish I could just give them a hint.

We're probably not a match if...

• He's wearing camouflage in his profile photo.

• Or really, any photo.

• In fact, if he even owns any camouflage.

• If he has posted a photo of himself holding a fish.

• Or a dead deer he obviously just shot. Or really, any dead animal.

• Or a gun.

• If the name of the town in which he lives includes the word "Falls" or ends in "ville." There may be exceptions to this, but only a few.

• He can not properly spell the name of the town in which he lives.

• If he has posted a shirtless photo.

• Or a bathroom-mirror selfie. C'mon.

• He drinks more than socially.

• He doesn't actually know what socially means.

• He has problems with any other 3rd grade words.

• He owns a snowmobile. Or a kayak.

• He runs marathons and is looking for a partner to run with him.

• He thinks the man should be the head of the household.

• Or that cooking is a "woman's job."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Never send money to strangers

It should go without saying that it's not advisable to send strangers money. Unless, of course, you can afford to lose it and are planning to consider it a donation.

It seems one New York man did not get the memo, and sent nearly $70,000 - $70,000! - to a scammer in a series of transactions.

Apparently, "OKCupid's reputation made him feel safe, and he trusted the profile of a man he met in February 2013." (New York Daily News)

He is suing OKCupid for $70,000, for not warning users that scams like this could happen.

Like I said to Baking Suit (thanks for sending the link) - I suppose I'm lucky that I am too poor to be a desirable target for these scams.

As adults, it should go without saying that sending money to strangers is a mistake. Sadly, though, these scammers are good. So good, they know how to find people who not only have the money, but are also lonely and trusting enough to believe that "talking on the phone one month in" is a whirlwind romance.

Let's be clear: It is not.

But OKCupid doesn't entirely agree with me, on the "it should go without saying" part, anyway. If you visit the full site (not the mobile site or app) and navigate to the legal page (menu at the bottom of the screen) they do warn users to be careful about sharing personal information (example: sure, I have $70k), and that the site has not conducted background checks. Which, incidentally you should realize, since your background was not checked.

They do not specifically warn against this particular type of scam. I suspect we'll see an update to the warning, and probably a message to all users with that warning soon enough.

File this under the heading "expensive lesson learned."