Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Doesn't it figure?

It figures. I went on two first dates last week. The first was with this really nice guy - about whom I had a lot of doubts. I wasn't sure how much we would really have in common, and I was concerned we might not be a great fit. But I as enjoying the email exchange, and he suggested meeting for ice cream.

Ice cream. Who says no to ice cream?

I really liked him. We have similar jobs - in that, both are office-type jobs that aren't really what we love, but they pay the bills - and are about the same age. We're both divorced, after having been married a long time. He has a daughter from his marriage, and has primary custody. We both like to write - and I told him about a couple of my more public blogs.

So, we had a really nice conversation for about two hours. He paid our bill - and then shook my hand. Yeah.

Safe to assume he wasn't interested, but he had asked me to email him with links to my blogs, so I did. In that email, I also thanked him for the date and said I'd like to get together again, if he was interested. He responded the next morning, saying "I'm glad you had a good to you soon." And I haven't heard from him since.

The next night, I had a first date with this guy. Prior to our dinner conversation, I was really looking forward to this date. It seemed like we might have a lot in common, tons to talk about and be a really good match in terms of age, lifestyle, interests, etc.

While we did, as I mentioned - there were red flags.

Doesn't it figure? I end up liking the guy I wasn't jazzed about - but he doesn't like me. The guy I was jazzed to meet gives me doubts - but won't stop texting me.

Yep - sounds about right.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Was I just being a bitch?

I went on a first date with Gardner the other night. We met about a week ago online, chatted via email and text for a few days, and then decided to meet. He seemed very nice, and cool, and fun, and I was actually really excited about the date.

The day of - I was totally drained. I had a terrible day at work, with stress right up until I left (late). Not the best mood for a date, and I realized that going in. I didn't want to cancel, since it was so last minute.

He was on time, was wearing a collared shirt, dress pants and shoes, and he greeted me with a hug. He pulled out chairs and opened doors for me. He picked up the check, without hesitation. He walked me to my car. He didn't try to "steal" a kiss, though he did affectionately put his arm on my back on the way to the car, hug me goodbye and give me a "friendly" kiss; - more cheek than lip, so not too presumptuous.

We had a great conversation, though I have to say, he seemed way more interested in hearing about me than sharing about himself. He asked about my ex, and I was honest. When I asked about his, he was vague, and didn't really offer a lot of detail, either in what happened, or how he felt about it. I told him what I do for a living, and when I asked about his work - more vague answers. He said he's a landscaper (hence his nickname) and works for himself. But does that mean he's actually unemployed, and just does this to earn cash - or does he have a bona fide business? I don't know - because he was vague.

Should that matter? I'm not sure. I also didn't like his teeth (which is really, really bitchy of me) and I found myself preferring the longer hair in his pictures than the shorter do his sporting now. Still, I found him attractive, and I'll admit - I like how much he compliments me and seems to like me. I find it attractive that he is willing to say - even as we just met - that he wants a second date, and he really likes me. That takes guts - and that's attractive.

But I still have these red flags. He told me he just took a test to be an aide at a state run facility for developmentally disabled. But he (vaguely) mentioned that he used to work for a phone company, and for an insurance company - and the landscaping thing. So is he one of those guys who goes from job to job? I have little patience for that - I like stability, and consistency. To me, it's a sign of maturity.

I know I haven't been in the best mindset for meeting people in a while - and I'm afraid that has me looking for reasons to shut people out. Add to that the fact that I came into the date from a bad work day, and I figured I wasn't giving this guy a fair shot. He did all the things that I've said I want a date to do - without prompting. He was just a nice guy - cute, funny, nice.

That warrants a second date, right?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Taking my ex on a date

They (and by "they," I mean dating blogs, experts and other advice-givers) say that talking about an ex on a first date is a no-no. I do my best to listen to those who are more experienced, and generally better at dating, than I. But - I have to say....

...I can't seem to avoid the "ex" conversation.

I'm not sure why. I don't set out to have the conversation. I take (what I think are) the proper precautions. If I'm talking about something I did while with an ex, I change the "we" to an "I" and share my experience. I try to stick to general, getting-to-know-you topics - funny childhood stories, family, favorite foods, work, that sort of thing.

In fact - if the ex comes up, a lot of times, it's my date that brings it up. Especially if we meet online. He'll ask, "So how long have you been on the site?" or "How did you get started on the site?" at which point I might mention when I got divorced - and there we go.

Before you know it, I often find myself getting (or giving) dating advice. To a potential date.

Which would be great - if I were applying for a job, or just looking to be friends. And sometimes, I think that's how I've managed to keep some of the friends that I have.

But it's not useful when I might like another date.

It's like I'm taking my ex on the date - in which case, I think he should be stuck with the bill.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

But, how do you know it's serious?

Okay - clearly I'm not an expert on this topic. If you've read previous posts, you know that I was in a relationship I believed to be serious - room for my stuff in his bathroom, met the parents, met the friends, etc. - and it wasn't.

But in my defense - when people say these are the signs that a relationship is getting serious - what's a girl supposed to think?

The moral of this story, I think, is that there are no rules in dating - and you should always just be very clear in your communication. Don't assume that just because you start spending Fridays in, that you are getting  serious. There's no formula, no one set of rules that applies to every couple.

Just two people, finding their way to each other, at the right time and right place.

Still - never, ever, be afraid to argue.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can you really date online?

Ever wonder about relationships that start online, at a long distance, and flourish? What about relationships that go from physically close to long-distance, and need the online world to help stay connected?

How do they start? What keeps them together?

What about a relationship that happens completely online? I write about that at Singles Warehouse today. Check it out here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's perfect for you?

My friend shared this story the other day about a man who spends a year planning his girlfriend's dream wedding - and then surprises her with the whole thing the day of his proposal.

Insanely romantic, right? I still think he might be an alien.

Nevertheless, hopeless hopeful romantics (including me) blew up the interwebz with thoughts about how wonderful this is, how romantic and perfect the guy is - and just how lucky can one girl get, anyway?

People who know me - I mean really know me - would laugh if I mentioned this story, and how lucky this girl is. Why laugh? They would say it's funny that I would think this was romantic and wonderful, when, if someone did that for me - I'd hate it.

And you know what? They'd be right.

Not that I'd hate the gesture. It seems like his heart was in the right place, and he's totally doing something just to make his love happy. That's sincere, and it's wonderful.

What I'd hate would be the fact that something I said a year ago was put into action - even if I'd since changed my mind (which happens a lot). I'd also not be thrilled that I didn't know I was getting married - no chance to have a pedicure, manicure, hair appointment, waxing appointment, makeup done, or dress fitting. I'd be upset that I didn't have the chance to get "wedding fit" or plan all the little details that I love so much.

Would I be mad at my new husband? No. Would I refuse the wedding? Of course not. I'd love and appreciate someone doing something that nice for me - and I'd be grateful for anyone wanting me to be that happy.

But for those of you thinking, "Gee, no one would ever do that for me," you should ask yourself:

Would you really want him to do that? Or is your perfect love out there, right now, doing something completely different?

Friday, August 19, 2011

I think OK Cupid hates me

My new thing is when I get a "quiver match" (Suggested matches from OK Cupid. Get it, it's the quiver from cupid's arrow? Oh, nevermind....) I take a look, and if they look interesting, I email them. I say new because I used to just ignore them, and look on my own when I was darn good and ready.

So, the other day, I signed in and found a new group of three. The first? This guy - because apparently, he created a new profile and cupid thought he was being helpful.


Was a guy whose profile says he earns less than $20,000/year, his education and job are blank, and his interests include bowling, surfing the net and "i also like to wear diapers 24/7 and have girl/female change mydiaper!!!"

Just because Cupid wears a diaper....
I was going to do a "best of the worst" entry on this, but I was afraid to read further in his profile. I did scan down to the bottom to read the last sentence about who should message him. My eye started to twitch, so I moved on - right after I hid his profile.

Now listen - I'm not judging. Whatever floats your boat; just because I'm not into something doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. But it seems to me like a fetish that can only be caused by some sort of stunted emotional development can't be good for you as an adult - or your relationships.

But what do I know, anyway?

What's the worst online dating profile you've come across? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The (dating) standings

Yesterday, over at Singles Warehouse, I wrote about a guy who approached me in a less-than-friendly way. He was gruff, and reprimanding - and just a little bit desperate.

Not very appealing.

Know what else is less than appealing? A guy who approaches you with a challenge, and then showing that the only reason he contacted you in the first place was to argue - or brag about his baseball team.

Part of my profile claims I can match any outfit to its shoes. (This, of course, is true.) A guy sent me an email last week that said:
So you can always match the outfit with the shoes, eh? Okay, smarty pants, what shoes would go best with a light blue checkered dress over a white blouse top--old canvas tie-ons, rusty tin boots, lion-leather loafers (with claw treads), or ruby slippers? 
Go Sox! >:D
I thought he was just being playful, so I replied that none of those shoes go with the outfit described and that was actually something I didn't like about the movie. Then I said all that glitter is such a mess, and jokingly asked him if the Red Sox are still playing. Then I smiled - to show I was being playful.

His response?
Glitter? They're RUBY! And, since the only way most women would be caught in that outfit is dead, then they match since, as you pointed out, they're to die for. 
Yes, the Sox are still playing...2.5 games ahead of NY, it seems, and because they're red, they match the slippers.
At this point, I figured he wasn't playfully joking. Which seemed silly to me. I mean, if he's not interested, that's very understandable. But who would purposefully contact someone - on a dating site - that they're not interested in dating, just to trash talk their favorite baseball team?

Seems....childish. Desperate. Honestly - (more than) a little pathetic. It even seems a little counterproductive. Why alienate someone with whom you could have a friendship? Someone who, if given the chance, might  be someone you could chat with, get advice from or share baseball games? Maybe even an ally - you never know who she might know (such as, someone you want to date in the future)?

It just seems to me that you never want to risk talking trash until you have all the information, and know all the players.

After all - standings change all the time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Don't write me, I'll write you

Ever wonder why some people think just because you're online, it's cute to approach someone in a nasty, snarky way?

Or maybe that's just how they behave in real life?

Either way - it doesn't work. Read why in my guest post over at the Singles Warehouse dating blog, Warehouse Life.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A couple of things....

Did you see my guest post at Singles Warehouse last week? If not, check it out here. Keep an eye out for regular guest-spots over there - my next one should post tomorrow.

I'm also opening up the Girl's Got Shine site for anyone who wants to write about dating adventures (the good, and the not-so-good variety). If you don't have a blog, but have something you want to get off your chest. Or you do have a blog, but don't want people to know it's you doing the talking. Or you just go on so many bad dates, you can't possibly fit it all at one url - the floor is yours. Send me an email with your post, title and any pictures you want included.

I met a very nice guy. He almost seems normal. He's a bit younger than me, and has primary custody of an almost-2-year-old, which might make dating a little tough. I guess time will tell.

Remember this guy? On our date, he told me I was charismatic, and beautiful, and he couldn't wait to see me again. He has since cancelled two dates, and the other night, he immediately signed off IM the minute I signed in (and I hadn't even opened up a chat with him).


Friday, August 12, 2011

Which is bigger?

OK Cupid has a feature on their website that allows users to answer questions as part of the matching process. Your answers are matched against other users answers to gauge compatibility, and extra weight is given to those questions you indicate have some importance to you.

I assume there's some science and a little math involved. I'm not sure. There might be some info about it here if you're interested.

Some of the questions are personality related; some are related to political or social issues; some are, naturally, related to sex and relationships. Other questions seem to be a test of intelligence; number series, spelling questions...that sort of thing.

Recently, I stumbled on the question: Which is bigger, the sun or the earth.

Do you know?

Here's the thing - it doesn't really matter to me if a guy knows, or even cares. But his response tells me a lot.

The answer is, the sun is larger than the earth. Now, I was horrible in earth science and astronomy, and I never pretend to be any sort of academic. But I am smart enough to know the basics - like the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. Any fan of Jimmy Buffett knows that, for cryin' out loud.

If sun's gravitational pull is strong enough to keep the earth in line, doesn't it make sense the sun is the larger of the two? I thought so.

So, if a guy answers earth, it reveals several things:
  • He may not have made it to the eighth grade
  • He may be very self-centered and think everything revolves around him
  • He lacks anything resembling common sense
  • He haa no idea how google works let me google that for him.

It's an online dating site question, not a proctored bar exam. If you're not sure, look it up - or at least just skip the question. Then, at least, I am free to assume you just didn't like the question - and I just might talk to you long enough that you can keep me convinced.

"It's better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Awful dates

I've been on some really bad dates. There was the guy from a couple of weeks ago who wanted to split the check - after suggesting dinner. He wasn't actually the first guy to do that to me - I went on one date with a guy pre-Big who did the same thing. At least this most recent guy was interesting - the first guy nearly put me to sleep in my pasta.

Let's not forget the guy who left the theater three times - three times! - to take a phone call. I also once went out with a guy who spent the entirety of our date trying to convince me why Alex Rodriguez is better than Derek Jeter.

He nearly didn't make it out alive.

But I do have to say, as bad as some of my dates have been, no one has suggested a venue that was a problem. Cliché or boring? Yes. But not a problem. Of course, I also take some ownership of my dates, too. If I get the feeling that a guy is going to suggest something I won't enjoy, and he's open to suggestions - I'll make one. I think everyone should do that - you can't bitch that you didn't like a date, if you don't put any effort into it yourself.

So, I'm not entirely sure I agree with this article from, which talks about six dates men should never suggest.

Sports-themed places
Theme parks
Chain restaurants
Gross-out comedies
To meet your mother.

I sincerely hope that last one is a joke - on a first date, I'd run away screaming. There'd be a GGS shaped hole in the wall.

But the others - I guess it's a good rule of thumb to avoid those dates in general, if you don't really know someone. I mean, if your date has a fear of heights, a theme park might not be the best choice. But if you've met someone who is into sports, or you you've been talking non-stop about seeing that movie, I guess I don't see what's wrong with these dates? With one caveat - I wouldn't recommend a theme park as a first date. That's a major time commitment, better left for when you know you want to spend that kind of time with the other person.

I think dates should be personal. You shouldn't go to the same place with every date - unless it's a very generic place you take first dates just to chat it up a bit. After that - and if you really want to make an impression - suggestions should be more catered to the her/him specifically.

Anything you'd add to the list? A must-avoid date spot?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lie to me

Have you ever thought how great it would be to know exactly when the "other" in your life is lying to you?

I just discovered a show called Lie to Me, about just that.

I wrote about here, over at the Singles Warehouse dating blog - Warehouse Life.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Do men make women crazy?

Remember this guy? He didn't want to keep dating because it was causing him "anxiety." I didn't really get into it in that post, but the way we left things was that we would just be friends - and we have kept in touch.

So last week, we were emailing, and he was asking me some questions about my freelance work, and whether or not I could help his business. We ended up agreeing to meet next week to go over some ideas. I feel funny charging my friends for help, so I told him just to buy me dinner and we'll call it even.

Then the other night I was poking around on the site where we met - and noticed that he was online*. It left me wondering - if he's so "afraid of women" and has such anxiety that we couldn't date - why is he online at all?

Want to know my theory?

He made a big deal in his profile about not being "superficial" and judging women by their looks. I think that he decided he wasn't attracted to me (he's big into fitness; I - am not) but didn't want to admit that was the problem - so he used his fall-back excuse.

The interesting thing is, this guy really does have a problem with women going "crazy." We've talked a couple of times about how his history is riddled with women who just go plain cuckoo at some point in the relationship. I've told him how some women really have been hurt, and don't handle it well, and a lot of times the next guy is who pays for how badly the last guy hurt her.

But what if he was lying to me? Assuming he was - and that he has lied to women before - then really, what right does he have to be mad about the crazy?

If he's not being honest with women, then he's really messing with their heads. Not intentionally, maybe - but the affect is the same. If he's messing with heads and playing with emotions, it seems to me he should expect women to "lose it" at some point. After all, everyone has their limits as to how much and how far they can be messed with, led on.

Not to mention, if he's lying about what he wants and why he wants it, he's not really being true to himself. Like saying looks don't matter, because he thinks that's how he should feel, but not because that's how he does feel. How does he expect to find the right match? He puts forth this image, this personality - this guy - that doesn't exist. He allows women to fall for that guy - and then pulls the rug out from underneath them. How does he expect them to react?

On behalf of crazy women everywhere, I think I'll make him buy dinner - and pay double my regular freelance rates.

*Yes, I realize there could be a bunch of reasons why he was online. My point is just that if he was online for the regular reason of emailing people and visiting profiles - then this is all true. Even if it isn't true in his case - people do treat others this way. He just got my wheels turning.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dating myself

No, this isn't a post about me revealing my age. I did that a couple weeks ago.

I'm actually writing about exactly what the posts says - going on dates with just myself.

During a recent conversation, I mentioned to a friend that I went to the movies on a Saturday night. She asked who I went with, and I answered that I'd gone by myself. She responded by saying, "Oh, I never do that."

I wanted to ask why (but I didn't). She's not the first person to make a comment like that to me. I do understand the hesitancy - I used to feel the same way. When you walk into a room on your own, especially a room filled with couples and groups, you feel incomplete. What's worse - you feel like everyone is looking.

The thing is, once you get past that feeling (and I swear, you do get past it), going places on your own is okay. It can even be enjoyable!

More than that, it teaches you confidence - which makes you instantly more attractive to anyone you might be trying to...attract. You get to know yourself better, you have more to talk about when you are with others, and it makes you happier.

I mean, what could be more miserable than just sitting around your house waiting for something to do? Go out and find something -  a movie, a concert, a book store. Or better yet - make something to do! A meal at that new restaurant you've been wanting to try, a day trip to a town you've never been. You'll have stories and memories...and things to add to your "dating resume."

I've taken myself on "dates" many times - I'll just pick an evening, and go out to dinner and to a movie, or to a concert, or a museum, by myself. I eat what I want, when I want. I go where I want and stay as long as I want.

I really am a terrific date.

So terrific, in fact, that I've decided this is going to be a weekly thing. If couples can have "date night" with each other, then as a single, I think I'm entitled to a "date night" too. Except my long-term relationship is with myself - so that's the one I need to recharge after several nights of hanging with others

After all - if I'm not even cool enough that I want to date me, how can I expect that anyone else will want to date me, either?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guess what....

I've got a new gig - and I'm kind of excited about it. I'm going to be guest-posting at Singles Warehouse, a UK dating site, on their blog, Warehouse Life.

In case you're wondering, there is a Singles Warehouse US site - visit here. I have.

My guest posts will be up once a week. Of course, I'll share them on twitter, facebook and tumblr. And you'll find them here as well.

Check out my first guest post here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dating sites need new algorithms

Occasionally, dating sites send me an email and tell me that one of the best matches out there for me is - my ex-husband.

While that's clearly not 100% accurate - it does lend a certain amount of validity to the online dating process. After all, even though we got divorced, we are still really good friends. Not only that - we were together for fourteen years.

It makes sense that "on paper" we'd be a good match. Ages, education levels, interests, political/social views, personality types are all taken into account in those match suggestions. Obviously, the "spark" or connection can't be predicted, but you have to start by meeting someone. The criteria dating sites use to suggest who you should meet is as good a place to start as any.

Most of what's used is public information - what you share in your profile. Your interests, what you're looking for in a relationship, whether you have kids, whether you want kids, if you're single or divorced, how long your longest relationship lasted, education, work and interests, etc.

But doesn't it make sense that dating sites could also use some of the private information to match - or not match?

My ex and I share a last name, because I never went back to my maiden name after the divorce was final. So...the site thinks that two people with the same last name would be a good match? I suppose it can't totally be disqualified - there are very common names out there that two people could share, and not be related.

You might wonder, what could be more awkward than being matched to your ex-husband?

Being matched to your brother - which happened to my friend recently. She and her single brother live near each other, are close in age, and have a lot of the same interests. Match thinks they're like 90% likely to be an excellent couple.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Best of the Worst: No BS

Me thinks he doth protest too much. ~ William Shakespeare

We don't usually need to be convinced of the truth. Do I need to convince you that the sky is blue, grass is green, water is wet, or summer is hot? No. If I have to try and convince you of something, it's probably because it's not actually a truth; it might be my opinion, but that doesn't make it so.

Or maybe I'm just trying to sell you a line of bull.

Which is how I feel about online daters (or just people in general) that try to convince the world that they are drama free, offer no bullshit, or are totally laid-back and carefree. No you're not. You know it, we know it - so stop trying to sell us the bridge and just fess up to who you actually are.

This guy announced via his profile name that women will find no BS here. As always, the horrendous grammar and punctuation are his.
blah blah blah.. If you want to know anything, just ask me, its really that simple. I'm tired of trying to sell myself on these singles sites like I'm the latest tech gadget, especially being that I'm single at this point in my life, I feel more like a defective toy on the island of misfit toys.
If someone approached me in a bar or at a coffee shop with this attitude, I'd walk away quickly and probably alert security. Why on earth would anyone ever think this would work as a dating profile? But, if you manage to get past this, here's what's next.
I'm also very tired of all you women asking where all the 'nice' guys are, when 9 out of 10 times you always choose the 'bad boy/arrogant/drunken/cheating/full of BS kinda guy' over the nice guy and then wonder why you aren't happy in the end, and then wonder why you can't find a 'nice guy" apparently forgetting you've been blowing them off all your life for the 'bad boy.' 
You just addressed your next potential love as "all you women" and then said we do something "always" or 9 out of 10 times - which is, in fact, not always. Also - bitter much?
It also baffles my mind that there are so many women on this site with no pictures. Seriously? Have you not figured out by now that men are visually stimulated creatures. Like it or not, it's how we are wired, don't hate us for it, it's not our fault. Try selling a guy a car/truck or motorcycle without showing him a picture and see how much luck you have, ... exactly, so what makes you think we would have interest in a women who we had no clue what she looked like. 
Well, he is a peach, isn't he? Did he actually just compare women to cars and trucks and motorcycles?
I'm an imperfect, straight forward, down to earth, easy going, honest, sincere, compassionate, passionate, emotional common sense kind of guy, that believes our government needs a major ass kicking due to it's overwhelming amount of corruption, yet easily sheds a tear watching some sappy movie. There, that should just about cover both ends of the spectrum. haha ... any questions ?
Just one. How can you be anti-BS and still focus on everyone else's flaws, without admitting or facing any of your own?