Friday, July 29, 2011

Honesty is a good dating policy

This guy I went out with the other night did mention to me while we were talking that he is currently unemployed. That was part of the reason why I didn't suggest dinner; I figure he's always on a tight budget, and I was too that week - so why add the pressure?

I suppose that could have contributed to why he asked to split the check. And honestly - I do get it. My tight budget is temporary and I know exactly when the vice will release; he doesn't. Totally understandable.

I know I must sound like I'm a complete bitch when I say I think the guy should pay. I'm not, though, I swear. It really comes down to two things: I like a guy who wants to treat me like I'm special, and I like a guy who can take charge - make a plan and execute. Being decisive and picking up the bill, especially on the first date when he suggested dinner, demonstrates those qualities.

That said - being honest and upfront demonstrates those qualities, too. If he had just said to me, "Listen, I'd like to take you to dinner, but really all that's in my budget is a slice and a soda...." I'd have been totally cool with that.

Case in point - when Big and I first started dating, he sent me a text on a Friday night and said, "Here's the deal. I have free time and I'd like to see you - but I have no money. I can do pizza and a movie in my living room." I didn't even make him pay for the pizza; I picked it up on my way. He was taking charge and offering a plan he could execute. He was saying he had free time and he wanted to spend it with me - which is really all I wanted.

I joke a lot about saving money by dating - and some of it is actually serious. I can save money by going out with a guy who I know will pay. And I do. But I'm not dating as a way to beef up my savings account. I'm dating to find love and romance and butterflies.

I can't find any of that with a guy who can't be honest.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I think I'm love broken

Recently, a friend asked me how a date went. My answer was that the date was nice, that we had a good time, talking and laughing and that the guy was really cool and nice and funny.

"So this is working out, then?" She asked., I hadn't said that; I wasn't even thinking it, actually. Which got me wondering if something might be wrong with me? I even said to her, "Maybe I'm broken?" 

Yeah, I know - she had no idea what I meant, either. Let me explain (or make a solid attempt, anyway). 

When you give all of yourself over to someone, the way I did with Big, and then it doesn't work, it really is like a part of you is left behind. Like a small part of what you invested in the relationship never bounces back. 

I guess I'm wondering if that small part of me that I left behind in my relationship with Big was the part of me that falls in love? I've met some nice, decent men who are sweet and kind and treat me with nothing but respect. They are funny and honest and just plain nice to me - and yet, I'm not interested. 

It's not the bad-boy thing, either. Them I won't even give the time of day. 

I want butterflies; I deserve butterflies. But what if I don't know how to feel them anymore? 

Anyone else ever feel that way? Or is this one of those, "Nope - just you," things? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Should we split the check?

I know we've talked about this before; but it's a topic that comes up pretty regularly, and is definitely worth talking about.

I am a very independent woman, and I can take care of myself. The thing is - the only person I need to prove that to is me. And I already know I'm independent and capable. So I'm not above chivalry and romance and tradition. In fact, I rather like it - it makes me feel special, and it takes some of the guess work out of dating.

Of course, if you've been on more than a few dates, or you're in a relationship, I think it's very normal to split costs. Life is expensive, and since everyone is on an equal playing level these days (more or less) it is only fair. Once you're comfortable with someone, it's easier to have the conversation about who will pick up which tab.

But when you're first dating, I think tradition is a great thing. It helps us avoid awkward conversations by always giving us a fall-back plan. Traditionally, the guy pays. Frankly, as someone whose cost of living has increased exponentially faster than her income - I'm okay with that.

In all fairness, though - I never suggest a date when I can't afford to pay. When I invite someone out, I fully intend and expect to pick up the entire bill. So I think it's a perfectly acceptable tradition and expectation that the person who suggests the date should do the paying.

I went on a date the other night (with this guy). My budget is tight this week. I mean - tight. So, I was perfectly happy wandering around the little town and sitting in the park, listening to the free jazz concert. He suggested dinner.

Since it was his suggestion, it was our first date and he is the guy - you might imagine my surprise when he picked up the bill, reviewed it, and then looked at me and said, "Shall we split this, or should I pay?"

Well, now that you've asked, it's too late. I know you want me to split it, and I can't very well say, "No, I think you should pay." That would be rude and ungrateful and, frankly, pretty class-less. Which, I am not (or at least make every effort not to be).

See, at one time I'm sure there was a financial reason behind this tradition. After all, at one time, it wasn't unusual for women to not have their own money - so of course the guy had to pay. Nowadays, I feel like the tradition is more there to guide a new relationship - and also to make the woman feel special. To let me know you're interested in another date, and interested in treating me like I'm important to you.

The minute you hesitate, you let me know that's not the case. So, if you want to keep dating, then the answer is no - we shouldn't split the check.

But it really shouldn't be a question anyway.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dating quizzes and tests

This is going to totally age me, which is depressing so soon after my birthday, but.... 

As a kid, I had hundreds of pen pals. I'm talking about people I met through a teenie-bopper magazine, where my address was published and people started writing to me, and I wrote back. This was (here it comes) before texting, cell phones, email or even the internet. I'm not kidding; phones still had cords and were attached the wall in the kitchen. 

I had paper just like that.
These people lived all over the country - and sometimes the world - and I never met one of them in person. But that didn't mean there wasn't a friendship, or a connection of some sort. Some wrote a few letters and faded away; others remained my pen pal until I moved after college. I grew up with them; I trusted them; I told them things I couldn't tell anyone else. 

So I firmly believe that a connection can be established, and develop, without meeting in person. It's probably one reason why online interaction works so well for me as a way to meet people, and why I'm so willing to give online dating sites the benefit of the doubt. 

I've been messaging through a site with one guy for a while. (SN: Are you noticing a theme? Me too.) I actually really enjoy his emails - they are not the boring, how-was-your-day, oh-I-did-this type of emails. They are more like here I am sitting at the computer, I have something random and interesting I want to share - so I do. 

Have regular old conversations come up? Sure. I asked what was exciting for the weekend, he responded sarcastically about pizza, and I asked what type of crust he prefers and what toppings are his favorite. That's a fun way to find out some basic information about the person you're getting to know. 

He's smart, his sense of humor is dry and he is quick-witted. He's all the things I like when communicating with someone - especially through emails/messages. 

Recently, though, I became curious if this was all our relationship was going to be. So, I went way out on a limb and did something crazy - I asked. Simply put - I asked if he planned to invite me on a date, or if we would just be pen-pals - without the pens.

His answer? Most unexpected.
....I hadn't thought about it. You might have gathered I'm not especially sociable. But, it's more interesting to do something with someone than by yourself...
Not a ringing endorsement. Having no desire to push, I responded:
I feel like I want to point out the irony of a non-sociable guy, who wasn't thinking about dating, having a profile on a dating site. 
As you might expect (or maybe you didn't), he had an answer for that.
Originally, I joined the site for the quizzes and other time-wasters. 
I totally did not see that coming.
The thing is, this guy is a few years older than me. That means he remembers pen-pals - and he also remembers the early internet days, when things like chat-rooms were common. When you went in a chat-room, it was expected that your relationship would remain online - the intent wasn't to meet in real life.
So on the one hand - I get it. He was looking for a site that offered some mindless distraction, accompanied by the occasional conversation. Just like a chat-room, he never expected it to turn into actual, in-real-life dating.

On the other hand - I feel... betrayed, maybe? Duped? Led on? It's a dating site. When he filled out his profile, he indicated he was a single guy looking for single women for dating. He went to the trouble of really describing who he is and what he's looking for in a date. He uploaded photos of himself - with captions, for crying out loud.

Not only that - he responded to my email, when my profile clearly states I'm looking for dating and a relationship. And we're on a dating site.

So now I feel like I was dragged into a time-wasting test of sorts. And here I thought that's what facebook is for.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Women are crazy and men are stupid

Do you read Amanda Talar's blog? You don't? What the heck is wrong with you?!

While you get caught up on her posts, let me share a couple of her most recent bits o' genius:

Women are confusing

Men are confusing

I agree - on both counts. Let me elaborate...

I think relationships are confusing. Let's face it - when your friends do something you just don't understand, you might wonder why, but you're not personally invested. It won't affect you if she goes on the date with the DUI guy, or he creates a dating profile when he really doesn't want to date anyone. So you shake your head, and you move on.

But when you're invested in the person - and in a relationship - and they do something puzzling, it's a whole new story. Now it matters. And if it's a new relationship, it matters even more because you have to wonder if it's a big deal with this person - or something that will just blow over. Is it something you can overlook forever, or is there a possibility it will change? Or is it a deal-breaker?

Everything gets so much more complicated - and confusing. Maybe the trick is to find the guy (or gal) who isn't confusing. Maybe that's how you know when it's right.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When should a date become a friend?

I've opened up my personal facebook a lot in the last year. Still, I have some rules guidelines preferences about who to add, and when.

I've been emailing this guy who lives long distance for a few weeks now. We have tentative plans to meet in a couple of weeks - but he wasn't even willing to commit to that date, instead saying he'll "keep me posted" on his schedule. I really don't like feeling like I'm his back-up plan; if nothing better comes up, he'll meet me.

But I digress....

So, we've been emailing and we have these "plans" to meet. Obviously, all we are at this point is casual acquaintances. He knows I am big into social networking, and I was nice enough to send him an invite to Google+, because we'd been talking about it, and I knew he was chomping at the bit to get in there and see what it was all about.

Yesterday morning, I woke to find a request in my email - Long-Distance-Guy (LDG) wants to be friends on facebook.


I have all kinds of friends in my facebook. Guys who are exes; guys who were never more than friends; and those in-between guys. You know, we tried to date, but before it ever really got anywhere, we realized the connection just wasn't there. We stayed friends because, well, just because the romantic part of our relationship didn't work, doesn't mean this person isn't meant to be in my life.

But I've also met guys, attempted to date, and had it turn out poorly. These are guys who never made it to the friend stage, and once the dating was over, there was no real reason to stay in touch. Not necessarily hard feelings (only sometimes), but also not someone who needs to see my status updates or photos from my birthday party, either.

The problem is - I don't yet know which of these guys LDG will end up. With all this emailing, I assume he'll be someone I want to add - but I'm not ready.

My two major concerns? Obviously, giving him access to personal stuff when I don't really "know" him. But also, I'm concerned that my profile might not be "dating ready." I don't want to put myself on lock-down until I really know if he's worth it - but I also don't want to jeopardize things if he is.

What do you think? When do you add a "new guy" to your facebook friends?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A new direction

He first contacted me through a dating site on a Thursday. Remember that he contacted me first; that's important.

We exchanged email addresses, and I sent him a note telling him that while I don't mind a little email/text exchange, I really prefer to just meet for a casual date (coffee, a quick drink, whatever) rather than get caught in the endless email.

On Saturday, he replied that he would like that, and we made plans to meet later in the week.

On Sunday - one day after we made our date, three days after he contacted me - I got an email that read:
I'm going to have to cancel our meeting. I've met someone and have decided to go in that direction. I hope I didn't waste your time.
It could be me, but...

If you're so involved with someone else that you're within days of making the decision to not see anyone else - why would you be contacting people on a dating sites, and setting up dates?

If you've just met someone - why are you already so involved that you're cancelling plans to have coffee with someone who is, at this point, just an acquaintance (or not even)?

Why do you feel the need to offer an excuse or explanation like this to someone you haven't met, and who you clearly have no interest in getting to know?

Who refers to dates as "meetings?"

If you're this socially inept and awkward, why on earth are you dating at all? You should be focused on fixing your own issues; they'll get in the way of that new relationship faster than coffee with me ever could.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Best of the Worst: Online profile, or advertisement?

The economy is bad. I get it. No one has as much money as they once did, and everyone has to make a buck somehow. Most people have a supplemental income - whether it's a direct selling business, or a second job - or ads on a blog *ahem*.

But on your online dating profile?

I know it's still the internet, and I know in a lot of ways, it's a very cheesy, silly way to meet people. But I still think you should treat it with some dignity. Complete sentences, proper spelling....

Not selling anything to people until you've at least said hello first....

Any P90X'rs on here? I have been on a health and fitness journey for a few months now and feeling and looking better than I ever had in my entire life! After seeing the P90X comercial for about the millionth time on Tv I decided to order the program and since I have committed to the program, I have gotten awesome results! I did it originally because I wasn't feeling my best and knew if I didn't make a change in my poor habits now, my health would not be good in my "golden years" but haveing been in the program for a while now, I am totally hooked on fitness! Here is my website! I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Please look around my site, and if you have any questions, click the "Contact me" button...
I am looking for someone who has the same outlook as I do and is into health and fitness and is willing to encourage others that want to lose weight and get into shape. If that is you, I would love to hear from you. but if you are not interested in dating but want to get started on a journey to lose weight and get into shape, I really want to hear from you too! So C'mon! What are you waiting for? I once wieghed 198 lbs and am now 163 lbs! Every great adventure starts with a single step forward.....Take that step with me.....
In case you're curious, this guy actually clicked on the "meet me" feature and indicated that he'd like to meet me, which triggers a notification - which is how I found this profile. If you know me, then you know this is not who I am. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a "P90Xer;" I'm not into fitness, and even if I was, it wouldn't be something I'd share with others. 

I assume this guy viewed me as a "potential customer" and is using my dating profile as a way to get more business. I couldn't possibly be more offended or turned off by that - so it's not a tactic I'd recommend. 

And Mr. P90X won't be meeting me any time soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Is he afraid of relationships?

After a couple weeks of emailing, I finally went on a first date with this very cool guy I met on a dating website. I thought it went really well; we talked for a few hours, and he seemed to have fun. I know I did. Then, less than a week later, we met for date number two. Again, dinner with a couple hours of conversation. When we said goodbye, he hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

Then I heard nothing. He'd admitted to me he's shy, so I thought maybe that was it. But I refused to reach out to him after date number two, since I'd already done that after date number one. I decided if he really liked me, he'd have to do the work. (Which probably proves I didn't really like him that much - but that's a different post.)

Five days later, he sent me an email.
"Sorry I haven't been in touch this week, but I've been in a little bit of a panic mode. The idea of dating still causes me a bit of anxiety. It has nothing to do with you, just me and my fear of women."
I thought - how in the world am I supposed to respond to that?!

I asked twitter - no suggestions. I asked facebook - everyone said to run away. Two friends suggested he could be lying to end things (And who wants to deal with that?) or he really is that messed up (And who wants to deal with that?).

Honestly - I was kind of annoyed. After five days, I assumed it was over, and had no plans to contact him. Why couldn't he just leave it alone? But I get that he could actually be a good guy (go figure) and far be it from me to discourage any guy from actually behaving like a man. The problem wasn't whether or not I should walk away - the problem was, how to do so nicely.

So I replied, saying that I appreciated his honesty; that it sounded like either I wasn't the right woman, or the timing was off. Either way - no hard feelings, and we could certainly be friends.

He liked that idea, and told me a little bit more about what made him so afraid - he's used to women getting upset and/or lecturing when he says something "wrong." I thought back to when we met for our second date. We'd agreed to meet at a movie theater box office - and I stood right in front of it. He got there after me, and waited near the mall entrance before walking over to the ticket window, so it took him some time to find me. He seemed frustrated when he did - almost like he was angry.

Now I wonder - was he worried that I was going to be upset? Did he expect me to have an outburst or deliver a lecture about making me wait?

It really doesn't matter; it's not up to me to fix anyone else, and if he has issues, he has to deal with them himself. And I'm certainly not going to convince someone that he wants to date me - the person I'm looking for will already know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But it does make me wonder - are there people out there who are just afraid to be in a relationship?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Endless emails

There are a lot of side effects of online dating. Since you meet someone on a dating site, eventually, you have to give out some sort of contact information. It's usually an email, but since everyone texts these days, it might be your cell number.

But what do you really know about this person with whom you're sharing? Not a whole lot - only what they've shared with you online or in their profile. Of course, sometimes he will move too fast - but what happens if he moves too slow? 

The endless email. 

I'm currently involved in two of these. It's been a couple of weeks - I'm starting to feel as though I've met two pen pals, rather than potential dates.

One guy has an excuse - we live about 80 miles apart, and we happened to meet at a time when he had plans for several weekends in a row. Totally understandable and cool. 

The other guy? I suggested that maybe we meet for coffee - you know, something nice and casual where we could just decide if it should go further - but still an actual date. His response was that we should "chat" before we meet.

But of course he was on vacation when we met. Then we had a "date" for him to call - and he didn't (he said he had to go in to work early). But we've been emailing this whole time, so my question is - what does he need to learn that he hasn't already? What will talking on the phone show him, that meeting in person wouldn't? 

I guess there are some safety or privacy concerns - but the truth is, nowadays, the bigger concern there is sharing your email and/or phone number. Meeting in person, there's no contact after (unless you want there to be). 

My thought? He's worried that there will be a rejection - and rejection is easier to take/do over the phone. Which, in my opinion, is a sign of someone who lacks some of the character I'm looking for in a guy. Sure, it's awkward to get rejected/reject someone - and anything awkward is harder to handle in person. 

But it's part of dating. Seems to me, if you're not mature enough to handle the awkward, you really have no business dating in the first place. 


Monday, July 11, 2011

The dangers of sexting

Last week was definitely one of the most interesting exciting ridiculous I've had, as far as dating goes.

My thoughts exactly.
On Tuesday, I got a text from a guy I'd met on a dating site. We'd exchanged a couple of emails, and he asked if I would give him my phone number so we could text. I did - and we exchanged a few texts. They stopped after  while, I deleted the thread, then I got a new phone, and I'd honestly forgotten all about him. But he was still a contact, so the text came up from "Scott POF" (because that's all I know about him) and attached was a picture - of "little Scott" (and I do mean little).

Seriously? A friend of mine, who is much younger than I, said to me, "You mean that still happens at your..." Of course she trailed off, because she didn't mean for it to come out that way, but I finished for her. Yes, it still happens - at any age. Why? Because some men never outgrow their cooties.

After over two years of active online dating, this is the first time it has ever happened - and I was not (still am not) happy. But I barely had time to recover when I got the next email, through that same site.
Him: Hi there. How are you?
Me: I'm doing well, thanks. You?
Him: Good, thanks for asking. What are you looking for on this site?
Me: Looking to meet people. Hoping that meeting turns to dating and eventually a relationship. It all takes time, you know?
Him: I'm looking for a nasty, kinky, horny woman to have fun with.
Seriously? Now - I have no issue with people looking for casual sex. I do have an issue with people wasting my time with these inquiries when my profile clearly states I am looking for a relationship.

I ignored his email, figuring anything I could say back might sound judgmental or nasty, and I really didn't care. But he emailed me, saying he was sure he'd scared me away but that he "finds it easier to be completely honest."

"You were Brett Farved!" ~ Friend
Really? Now I was just - irritated beyond description. So, I double-checked his profile, and responded by saying that, yes, honesty is best. I suggested maybe he start with his own profile, and stop advertising that he's looking for a relationship, and start being upfront about the fact that all he's interested in is casual, "kinky" sex.

Surprisingly enough, he had nothing to say to that.

I got a whole days reprieve before getting an email, this time from another dating site. I opened up the sender's profile first - 28. Great, I thought. Can't wait to read what he has to say.

Turned out to be one line: I wish you were into disciplining naughty boys.

Did I read that right? I went back to his profile, and when I scrolled down, I found where he said he's into SM, and "if you know what means, then great!"

At that point, I sent my profile (both of them) to a friend and asked if there was something - anything - on there that suggested I was even remotely interested in these sort of inquiries. I've been assured there is not - but I'm still wary.

And, quite frankly, pissed.

I don't like being attacked like this. Is it really an attack? I think so. I'm at the point now where I avoid the sites, am afraid to open emails, and feel like I have to do so with extreme caution. I shouldn't have to feel that way. The fact that my trust in the sites, and freedom to communicate, is compromised means it's an attack. Maybe less serious than most, but an attack nonetheless.

Someone asked me what men are thinking when they send these kind of emails. The truth is, I have no idea. Do they work? I suppose they must, or men would stop sending them. But why send them when you don't know how the woman will react? What if she gets turned off - or worse?

I'll admit, I will probably just ignore these - to do otherwise would invite all sorts of drama. But I considered naming fingers and pointing names - how do guys know they won't cross a woman who is just daring enough to do so? Are they prepared for the consequences if they do?

I was reading this article from Sexis, which seems to sum it up perfectly. Some women like them; others don't. But they all agree that if it wasn't requested, or from someone you know - it's skeevy.

So what are guys thinking? What are they trying to accomplish?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Signs are everywhere

"Women might be able to fake orgasms, but men can fake whole relationships." Sharon Stone

For someone who is usually a pretty good judge of character, I kinda suck at reading a guy's interest. I'm really hoping to get better (another reason to keep at this dating thing; I have skills to perfect).

On a first date, I have a tough time identifying the signs that will tell me whether the guy wants a second date. I always tell myself I'll wait and see if I hear from him - but if I really like him, I don't always want to wait. Plus, I feel this need to reach out to him and say "thank you" for the evening, especially if he paid. I blame genetics and the fact that thank you notes were drilled into me starting at birth.

I assume if I were more patient, and waited for him, I'd have a clear answer. Though I've been told this isn't always the case; that some guys are just shy and will think I'm not interested if he doesn't hear from me. Good grief. That being the case - I gotta write the email/text. At least that way, I know I expressed my feelings, and put the ball back in his court.

So I send the thank you. With TG - I think it backfired. I didn't hear from him until I sent the note - and his response was to ask me out again. Of course, most women think that a second date must mean that he's interested - but we know better, don't we? After he gave me the fade away brush off, I think it's safe to say that TG was, in fact, not interested - even after four dates, all of which he suggested.

I found this article at iVillage - 13 Signs He's Just Not Into You (Sorry). It's really about more advanced relationships, beyond the first date stage. Oddly enough - with Big, he did the opposite of all these things, which by their logic, means he was into me.

So I guess there's no fool-proof rule book. Which leaves me where? Being honest and hoping for the best. I guess that's my only fool-proof rule.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dating savings account

I've joked that part of the reason I keep dating is because I'm often short on grocery money, so the free meals are helpful. It's only half a joke. Usually, a guy will pay for the first date, so dating is actually a very good way to save money.

But, I can't realistically expect that a guy will always pay. My rule is whenever I go on a date, I'm prepared to pay - so that really means dating has to fall within my budget, and if he does pay, I've saved some money.

So that begs the question - are coupons appropriate for dating?

My friend sent me this article from an interesting blog in which the author is seeking financial independence. That's a fabulous goal; one I'll have to table for later in life, I think.

Anyway, the blogger asked her twitterverse what they thought about using coupons on a date. They didn't like it; the word tacky was mentioned more than once. People said a guy still "has to be a gentleman" and we all know what a lady will think if a guy slaps down a coupon on a date.

But what if it's the gal doing the paying? Would that make a difference? Or do some of you feel differently about a guy using a coupon? 

I'm undecided myself. Part of me says no, it's tacky and he should save the coupon for another time. Another part of me says I really want the freedom to do it myself - and fair is fair.

Tell me what you think.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Let freedom ring!

"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone." Audrey Hepburn

I've been dating - a lot. Maybe too much. The truth is, when I meet someone new, I don't want to discount him. I want to let that new person into my life, and find out what I can learn from him, what he can add to my world. I believe everyone comes into our life for a reason, and I don't want to throw away the chance to find out what that might be.

Plus, I am short on grocery money, so free meals are a plus. [I'm only half kidding.]

So, I keep dating. Some I meet, and write about; others I don't. Some are just guys I spend some time chatting with online. Some never make it off the dating site where I met them, or email if I met them elsewhere.

It's frustrating, it's disheartening and it's scary. Not too long ago, a friend asked me how I do it without getting discouraged. The truth is - I do get discouraged; I get angry; I get sad; I cry. It hurts to keep at something without improvement. It makes you feel inadequate - like there must be something wrong with you. It makes you feel like you're being punished - because otherwise, it would work for you the way it works for others. It makes you feel like you must be a bitch, or too picky, or too snobby - that you're passing up good people for stupid reasons.

But if you really think about it, you'll find that dating is as much a process of you finding you as it is you finding someone else. You find what you really want and need - and what is unacceptable. You find your middle ground; things you don't really want, but can overlook for the right person.

While you're at it, you build the life you want - on your own, without relying on anyone else. You're free to build a life independent of commitment or obligation to someone else's happiness. It doesn't mean you're alone - it means you're free to find the people you want in your life, because you're finding the strength not to need anyone.

Independence isn't about shutting people out; it's about finding your own strength and happiness - and then finding the right people to match up. It doesn't take strength to quit - it takes strength to keep going, keep searching for that one, extra-special-right person who will take your happiness and send it over the top.

I'll keep searching. And let my freedom ring in the process.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Spot a liar

Disclaimer: This is sort of a rant. But don't abandon all hope; I could totally end up making a point.

There is a lot of back and forth about what to do when you get a message on a dating site, and you're just not interested. Do you ignore the message, and hope the person isn't one of those aggressive, stalker types? Or do you respond with a polite "Thanks, but no thanks?"

I'm honestly okay with either. More honesty: I've done both.

The one thing I don't think is okay? Lame, half-assed lies that are easily seen through. Not only are they a waste of the time I took to read your email, they're an insult to my intelligence.

I've gotten two "thanks, not interested" emails recently. One was well done; he commented back to me that he hopes the Yankees pick things up after the All Star break. It's friendly, polite and shows he actually looked at my profile. Then he wished me good luck in my search.

The other guy responded by saying that due to unforeseen circumstances, he's decided not to date right now. Really? Something that drastic happened in the two hours since you viewed my profile - but you were able to drop what you were doing and reply to my message? Or was that because you've been signed on this site with your chat enabled for the last thirty minutes?

You might not think I'm pretty. I'm certainly not thin; or maybe you prefer tall women. Maybe you don't like my church or my job or my politics. Maybe you don't like my movie choices or my sense of humor. Maybe you're a Red Sox fan.

There are definitely a lot of things that I am not. But something I definitely am? Smart enough to spot a liar.