Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy out

Remember this guy? From conversations I've seen around twitter, I know that he's been thinking that his kids are the reason he has trouble finding a date.

But I know that he can be difficult, and a little judgmental and...well, honestly, a little pompous at times.

That got me wondering - are the women really turned off by the fact that he's a parent? Or are they just looking for an easy out?

That's the topic of today's Singles Warehouse guest post. Check it out here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Monday

Because I blog about dating, my friends send me dating stories they find online, or from their own lives (or lives of others). I might get a short story, or a picture or an excerpt from a profile.

Sometimes the stories are funny, or ironic or just plain weird.

Then there the stories like this one - just plain horrifying.

Happy Monday, from Cute Ella.

Friday, November 25, 2011

He's a trooper

Things are going fabulous with Trooper. Fabulous. He's smart, funny, kind, caring, sweet, honest, and not afraid to tell and show me how he feels. I couldn't possibly be happier.

So of course - I'm a little afraid to blog about him.

I feel sort of...guilty, as if I shouldn't be sharing wonderful things that include him, when he doesn't know that I share this way. But friends have said I should wait to tell him about this blog.

Oddly enough, though I can never remember when my next dentist appointment is, what I needed to put on the shopping list, or what I had for breakfast - I have instant recall when it comes to key dates. That being the case - I know for a fact that today is exactly one month since my first date with Trooper.

So does that mean it's time to tell? We've had a couple of very personal talks; he's shared things and so have I. It seems to make sense, and I suspect it would actually be an okay conversation. Still, there's a little part of me that's worried.

I bet crazy cat ladies never have these problems.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Who's on first?

I pointed out this article from iVillage the other day. I was reading the article a little more closely, and one of the items caught my attention.
She never makes the first move.
The article says though this issue has been "debated to death," the reasoning is that if the woman is always planning dates, she'll never know if the guy is really interested.

I disagree. Based on what, you ask? In a word - Big.

I applied this rational when we were dating, totally letting him plan our dates. Just about every time we saw each other for the first six months, it was because of his initiative. In the end, it still turned out that he was just not that into me. But here he'd been, planning dates for months, and here I was - believing the signs.

That just goes to show that, no matter how careful you are, if you're assuming how someone feels, and attempting to read between the lines, there will always be room for misunderstanding. Though I definitely like the idea of being pursued, at some point, you just have to take things into your own hands.

Even though it feels a little bit like game-playing, I really do try for some balance when it comes to who initiates what, and when. If a guy has suggested a bunch of dates, I will make the effort on the next one. Why?

First, because it shows him I'm interested. That seems only fair. I mean, guys have insecure moments, too, right?

Second - women spend entirely too much time trying to make sure we are the woman he likes. We never concern ourselves with whether or not he's the guy we like. The guy I like is someone with whom I don't have to assume or play games. He can handle me being upfront, and letting him know how I feel.

Lastly, I think all that guess-work and wondering and assuming and "what iffing?" leads to poor communication. I want someone with whom I can be honest, and talk comfortably. Otherwise, our conversations start to sound a little like Abbot & Costello.

And Who wants that?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday cheer

I came across this post the other day about the traits men look for in a girlfriend. The subject of the email that I got read, "Have a boyfriend by the holidays!"

Then I heard a local radio station talking about whether or not online dating sites are busier, and the women more aggressive, once the holidays roll around.

It got me thinking - are women really more interested in finding a steady-date this time of year? Do we cave under the pressure of family, and holiday parties, and the dreaded prospect of being dateless on New Year's Eve?

I think we might - and I confess, it makes me a little sad. That's the subject of this week's Singles Warehouse post - check it out, here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Best facebook face

Trooper sent me the friend request on facebook, after our second date. I accepted it, already aware of what my profile looks like. I warned him ahead of time that I am friends with a couple of exes - and learned that so is he, so it's actually fine. 

Just to double check, I also used the feature on my profile page, allowing me to view it as him - to see what he'd see. I double checked my privacy settings, friend lists, etc. I don't post pictures of myself that are embarrassing or compromising, anyway, so that wasn't an issue. As a rule, I don't say anything on the internet I wouldn't want the internet to see - and that includes any new people in my life. 

About 20 minutes after I did all this, I got an email from How about we, with a link to an article called 9 Things to Do When Someone You Like Friends You on Facebook

Honestly - the tips are really what everyone should be doing anyway. I mean, wouldn't you always show off your best self, crush or not? Things like checking the top five photos, and watching what you post on others pages, and carefully choosing which pages to "like" - that's all normal facebook activity. 

Always show off your best facebook face. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Worth the wait

After I went out and invested a bunch of money (and risked personal injury) for Big - which obviously didn't pan out the way I hoped - I promised myself I would never do that for a guy again. I told myself that I would never do anything that I didn't want, just because it was important to any guy.

Never say never. 

I spent Sunday with Trooper. First up? Church. 

I never go to church. When I say never, I mean since the day I was confirmed into the Catholic church, I haven't attended a mass unless someone got married, died or was baptized. I only went through with the confirmation because my father insisted. 

But, it's important to Trooper. Not that I go to church, but going is an important part of his life. I figure if this relationship is going to continue in the direction I'd like, then I'd better be ready to compromise. If I remember correctly, that is a part of a relationship. 

After church we went to lunch - and then back to my house. You'll never guess what we did. Go ahead...just try.

Football. All afternoon.

I don't watch football.

X tried. 28-year-old tried. Heck even Gardner tried to get me to watch a game. With Gardner and 28YO, I'd say maybe it was that I  didn't care enough. With X that certainly wasn't the case; I did marry the guy, so I think I could have given him a Sunday or two over the years. 

But there I was, sitting on my sofa with Trooper asking questions, cheering when it seemed appropriate, and generally trying to get into the game. I said to him, "You should be proud of yourself; you managed to do what no man has done before you - and not for a lack of trying." I was kidding - mostly. Then I said, "I must really like you...." (That wasn't kidding at all.) 

No matter how independent or stubborn or protective you are of your time, if you want a relationship to work, eventually you're going to have to step outside your comfort zone. There's no way around it; everyone has to give a little to get a lot. 

I guess what I'm learning is that some guys really are worth the trouble. And those guys are most definitely worth the wait.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Good problem

Simone had a great post earlier this week about fear. She points out that some people are afraid of silence. I couldn't agree more - in fact, I just had that conversation with another friend of mine.

Simone isn't afraid of the silence; she's afraid of losing the silence. My friend and I agreed we both feel the same way. I think that happens when you're single long enough. When you're first alone, the silence can be scary. Some keep giving in, and do anything to fill it up with distractions and noise. Others embrace that time, using it to learn more about themselves.

Things are going well with Trooper. It's way too soon to be worried about giving up personal space or time, but if things continue the way they've been going - it's only a matter of time before it has to be considered.

The truth is, I want a relationship, and all the commitment and (necessary and reasonable) complications that brings. At one time, I think I was built to be in a relationship; but I'm not as sure of that now. Now I wonder if I've become so settled in my single ways, so comfortable in the silence, that I won't be able to open up and let someone else fill that space.

I think what I'd like is to find a relationship with the right balance between silence and distraction. A relationship that helps me keep up my self-improvement journey, but add some company along the way. I'm not sure if I'm completely ready for that - but I will enjoy finding out.

It's not a bad problem to have.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have this nagging voice in the back of my head that says I'm not attractive enough to date. I know, I know, this is a bad way to think about yourself. It's a faint voice; barely audible, really. But it's there. Sometimes, it screams. I'm working on it.

I've been told, though, that the most attractive quality a woman can possess is confidence. That it doesn't matter what color your hair is, or how tall you are, or if your butt is a little too round. If you love yourself, put your best foot forward, and walk like you mean it - you'll be attractive.

I think there's some truth to that. Let's face it, you could be the prettiest blonde with the best body, but if you hide in the corner, you're not really attracting anyone, are you? Besides, attraction is relative; qualities that one guy finds to be a total turn-on might not even register with another guy.

But if you're confident, you'll be out there, open to meeting the person who finds you attractive (and about whom, hopefully, you feel the same). You'll be smiling and happy, and generally prettier because of that.

How About We has a post this week about how to make yourself attractive to anyone. Not surprisingly, attitude is in the top five.

Apparently, the must-have accessory for any dating season? Confidence and a good attitude.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little bits

Just a few little items I thought worth mentioning - but that really don't deserve their own post:

> Remember the article that told us scary activities can be a great date? I tested that theory not too long ago with Trooper - and it is totally true. The scare factor is a tremendous ice-breaker, conversation is natural because there is so much going on - and there's plenty of opportunity for hand-holding.

> Remember Crush? And remember that his former girlfriend is someone I know? They got married last weekend. Awkward.

> Things are going well with Trooper - well enough, that I'm thinking I will have to tell him about this blog at some point. I've wondered about this before, and the consensus was wait about a month, see how things are going, and then tell. Feel free to weigh in.

Better than a bed and breakfast.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sappy, happy girl

I said to my cousin, "I think I'm in love."

Her response? "Oh, I could have told you that last week. But I figured I'd keep my mouth shut and let you tell me."


Apparently, when I told her about my second date with Trooper, and how much I was looking forward to the third date, she could see it "all over my face." She could tell I was getting all sappy and gooey and lovey-dovey over him already.

I just realized it, myself. After our third date - and then a fourth - I noticed a shift. I'm reacting to silly love songs differently. I'm smiling - but not just in an, "Oh, look, she's having a good day," sort of way; more of a, "Oh my goodness, she's annoying!" way.

If I had a notebook, I'd be doodling our names in little hearts.

It's all so silly, and sappy, and I am totally becoming that girl I can't stand, who gets all starry-eyed over a guy.

At some point, I know I'll have to reign it in; but for right now, I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Place and time

Last week, I told you about a "couple" who contacted me via OK Cupid. I'm still not over that, and how a "traditional" dating site seems like the wrong place and time for that sort of overture.

That's the topic for today's Singles Warehouse post - the right place and time for everything.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bad boys

There's just something about a bad boy. When I was younger, all I wanted was that guy who wasn't quite on the right side of things; who had a little edge; who didn't always walk the straight and narrow. I wanted a guy who commanded respect, and maybe even a little fear, in others - but who would be a teddy bear for me. I wanted the guy who seemed like he was too wild to be tamed - except by our love. *swoon*

I wanted it so much - I married it.

I was lucky; though things ultimately didn't work out as planned, my bad boy never treated me badly. But isn't it funny how so many women girls, who don't know better, want the boy who's bad to treat them well? 

Most aren't as lucky as me. Those guys who can't be tamed, who don't know how to behave, or treat others don't usually make good sons, or employees or students. Most also don't make very good partners. But the idea is just s'darn romantic. How does a girl get over that? 

The idea that you can change a person, that love can conquer all (including personality flaws) is a fairy tale. So the way you get over that? 

Grow up. 

Realize that you should stop looking for the guy you think you want, and then hoping he'll learn how to behave, or treat you. Figure out how you want to be treated; figure out what you need, and what you want - and what you can't put up with.

Then go find a guy who already knows how.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Simple answers

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." Dr. Seuss

So, there's this guy. He's a little unexpected. We met online (OK, that's not unexpected), but in a roundabout way. I was already so upset and jaded by the whole Gardner experience, and frustrated with the pen pals, and just generally not enthusiastic about dating, that I almost didn't meet Trooper.

But our first date was dinner after I ran an errand with my cousin. I complained to her about how first dates are like job interviews, and not really any fun, and I didn't want to go. I was whining; she was't having it. She gave me a pep talk, straightened my coat and sent me on my merry way.

My first date with Trooper wasn't anything like an interview. It was like two friends just having a nice dinner, and a nice conversation. It was relaxed, and comfortable. It was fun.

It made me think about Gardner, and the other guys that I just let go. What was the difference? Why let one in, but not another? Why do some relationships seem to fit so much better than others?

I'm sure there's all kinds of scientific mumbo-jumbo that defines relationships and why they work. You can rely on astrology, or numerology, or personality types or whatever.

But in the end, I realized, the answer that matters is pretty simple. It's all about the butterflies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Best of the Worst: Polyamorous

Strange inbox messages are par for the course when it comes to online dating. I've accepted that reality, as should anyone who is going to try meeting people online. I've been at this, on and off, for a few years, so not much surprises me anymore.


I got a message the other day from a guy, my age, local, with a decent picture. His message read, "Liked your profile. Please read ours and if you like it, let us know. If not, have a great day anyway." 

Our profile? Let us know? Wait...what?

Figuring I knew what the deal was, I thought I should at least check it out. Here's what I found:
Ok, so thanks for stopping by and reading this rough draft of me and my wife's profile. We are a married poly couple that has recentley lost our partner of nearly 5 years. So we have a ton of real experince in being a trio. We are looking to get ourselves back out into the dating pool. We tend to favor long term over short, but right now we are just open to whatever comes our way.
We are thinkers, love conversation, having a new adventure, we are nerdy, we love being different. We have income, own our own home, drive, etc. We do have wonderful kids. We are stable and very real. Many poly couples run seperate profiles we don't. We barely have time to run one and my wife hates this part of the process. Also we don't split up, you take us both or take nothing.
Lastly we aren't looking to meet tons of new people and play the field. We want to meet one person we have chemistry with and see where things go. I could write on and on about all we are and aren't but the best way to know is to talk to us directly.
The profile page also listed some of their interests, which I assume are shared. The main profile picture was just the guy, but a picture of the couple was also included.

Setting aside the grammar and spelling, I couldn't get past the WTF factor here. First of all, I asked myself, aren't there dating sites specifically geared towards this type of relationship? (The answer is yes, by the way.)

Secondly, the profile was set up as though it was for a single guy (specific details were for him, him alone was the main photo, and preferences stated they're looking for girls who like guys). Seems a little...deceptive, to me. I suppose this is understandable, since I was on OKCupid (a traditional dating site) and the profiles aren't flexible enough to include details for couples.

But, that sort of brings me back to my first point.

I didn't respond. I took his advice, and had a nice day anyway.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pretty picture

A picture in our mind, a vision, of what life, and love, should look like.

Admit it - you have one. We all do. 

We're conditioned, even as young kids, that love is supposed to look a certain way. In fairy tales, everyone is pretty and perfect; everyone looks, acts and talks the same. 

We're taught that everything should happen in an order, and on a schedule. We're given the perfect formula for that picture-postcard life that our parents had, and for which we should strive. 

But that's not how life works. 

I'm as guilty as anyone. Convinced I knew what I wanted, I never thought twice about shutting something out if it didn't look just right.  

But life's not a curio cabinet, and love isn't a recipe. You can't follow instructions, mix as directed and expect things to always turn out just right. Sometimes, you have to let people in who are too old, or too young, or who live too far away or have the wrong job. You have to take risks, and get uncomfortable, to find what's really right.

After all, some of the best things in life are the worst mistakes.