Friday, December 28, 2012

A tone for 2013

I dreaded writing this post, but I suppose it needs to be done. The blogosphere loves a good year-end recap, and since what I write about is dating... Sigh. Let's just get this over with, shall we?

2012 started off just ducky. I thought I'd found the love of my life; my happily-ever-after. He turned out to be nothing more than a really well-disguised frog who broke my heart and sent me reeling into months of grief and heartache. Thank goodness for good friends.

Then I met a guy who, though it didn't work out, taught me an awful lot about myself. I learned what I really want from a relationship, and what I need to change in order to find it. Plus he took me on a really good vacation.

I also met a couple of OK guys. One taught me that ridiculously good-looking guys could actually be interested in me. A valuable lesson, which helped me to meet another guy.

I attempted a dating nap - and failed miserably. It's coming, trust me.

I went on a few really bad dates. Eventually, I met a guy I really like, which has led to very little positive. You haven't heard about him, because I can't even find words to describe how I feel. Yes, it is that bad, and that is how the year is ending.

Still, 2012 wasn't a total loss. I learned a lot, did a lot, and made some important decisions. I made some bad choices, which led to some good stories.

But I'm not sorry to see 2012 go.

I plan to ring in 2013 alone; home with my new TV, my BluRay (both courtesy of X), and my kitties. I believe that 2013 will be a good year, full of positive choices and options, and new, exciting stories. I believe 2013 will be a year full of happy. I believe that any good I find will start within me. 

So the tone I'm setting for 2013 is one of peace and quiet, and comfort and happiness - all found with me, and me alone. I'm hoping it helps me to find the center I'll need to move forward and make 2013 a fabulous year.
"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." Hellen Keller

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nice guys?

Baking Suit sent me a link to this article over at Inquistr.

My reaction? I so wish I had the nerve to do the same thing.

The blog is dedicated to the "nice guys of OK Cupid." The author (unknown) has apparently set out to uncover some of that women find in men's online dating profiles.


You know, like this guy, who thinks women are sluts if they've had a lot of partners, and that women are "obligated" to shave their legs - but who also sees himself as a "sweet guy" who is one of the "few chivalrous guys left out there." At least he spelled chivalrous correctly.

Or this guy, who thinks that a "No is just a yes that needs a little convincing" - ah yes, that is "hopelessly romantic."

I'm assuming the blogger is a woman, but of course I don't know that for sure. In any case - I find this concept to be genius.

Yeah, yeah...people will say it's mean, or out of line. The blogger is just pulling a bunch of quotes and pictures and answers to silly questions and reassembling them together, all out of context.

Thing is...that is an online dating profile. A collection of photos, quotes, summaries, anecdotes, questions and answers that represent a person in the online world. I'm sure everyone has mistakes in their profile. I bet even I have mistakes in mine (which is why I occasionally ask friends to take a look and give me some feedback).

If you don't want to come across as a jerk, hypocrite, or just plain psycho - blogs like this are actually really just constructive criticism.

Delivered with a little bit of genius.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Point made

I was raised to believe everything was my fault, and I was always guilty for something. That's not a criticism of my family or a complaint; it's a cultural, religious, and generational thing. It also shouldn't have been a big deal, because I should have just let it go once I grew up.

Instead, somehow I managed to transfer those childhood feelings to adulthood - and place them smack in the middle of every relationship I have. Not just dating, either - I'm talking every relationship. When there's a problem, my first reaction is always that it's my fault. Then I apologize and I try to fix whatever is wrong.

Every. Single. Time.

But, in the last few years, I've started to realize that thinking isn't really doing me any favors. The truth is - I'm not always wrong (I'm not always right, either, but that's a different blog). Sometimes, stuff goes wrong and it's on the other person. Other times, stuff goes wrong and no one is to blame.

I read somewhere (probably Facebook) that we teach others how to treat us. I had to read the quote a few times before it finally started to sink in.

By always taking the blame, I'm teaching others that it's OK to blame me for everything. By always apologizing, I'm teaching others it's OK to treat me as though I'm always wrong.

I figure that probably needs to stop.

I'm not looking to convince anyone I'm always right, and we should do everything my way. I'm just looking to show people (read: Guys) that I might be right, that sometimes I do have a point, and they should listen and respect my opinions and feelings. I want them to treat me well; the way I deserve to be treated.

The thing I'm wondering...if someone makes a mistake and treats me poorly, is it enough to tell him (emphatically, categorically, and specifically) what is and is not acceptable? Or do I have to actually walk away from that person, in order to drive home the lesson?

I'm not looking to get hurt. I'm not looking to be anyone's doormat. I'm also not looking to walk away from something that actually might have potential, just to make a point.

In the end, it may not matter (too soon to tell). But in the mean time, I'm do I teach others how to treat me?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Official grievance filing

Yesterday was Festivus. Did you air your grievances?


PS - Merry Christmas Eve!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Declaration of Romantic Intent

Found on Facebook.
I feel like I should start using this when I decide I am interested in someone. Yes, I know - open, honest communication is more adult and important - blah, blah, blah.

There's something to be said for a little fill-in-the-blank simplicity. Keeps me focused, concise, and on track.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thanks, hon

My friends will tell you that I'm a stickler for etiquette and respect. It might seem old-fashioned to some, but I just think that there's something to be said for observing a defined guideline for how to behave in a given situation. If you think about it - many awkward, angry, and sad moments could be avoided if people would just mind their manners.

First dates are a prime example. Most of the time, you don't know each other very well - if at all. Even if you've been talking for a while, it's a first date - so it's probably the first time you're meeting in person. That also means it's your one-and-only chance to make that first impression.

If you don't know the person well, it's hard to predict how he will react to certain behavior (running late, texting while at the table, offering to pay). If you know the proper etiquette (don't be late, don't talk on the phone, let him take the lead on the check) at least you have a place to start.

Some things are less obvious. I mean, anyone can put their phone away on date number one. The real truth comes out on date number twelve, when both of you have your phones sitting right on the table. But there are little subtleties in people's behavior that can be really telling about exactly who they are.

Like, showing up for a Friday night date wearing dirty sneakers. (Why do men do this?!) Our date is not at the gym, or a walk in the park. We met at a restaurant. For drinks. Wear shoes. Don't own any? Do us all a favor and stop dating.

Or how about having something to talk about? We're both on this date (which, by the way, you asked for) - why am I doing all the work? If you don't want to be here, that's fine with me. I've got stuff to do.

Want to split the check? Okay with me (Disclaimer: It's not okay with all women, so tread carefully here). But by split, I mean we each pay half. I don't mean for you to sit there and review the check with the waitress, itemizing which items you want her to tally up and take out of your $20. Mortifying.

Unless you know the person you're with, and/or the waitress is related to you, you really shouldn't refer to her as "hon." See - some women (ahem) consider that to be very condescending and disrespectful. Now, I expect you to treat me well, because you're on your best behavior. That's fine - but just know I'm paying a lot of attention to how you treat others, as well. It tells me a lot about what you really think is acceptable treatment of the women in your life.

So, thanks - hon - for the heads up. At least now I don't need to waste anymore time on dates with you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stick to the plan

"So should I cancel the dates?"

Because it's been pouring for a little while, a couple of weeks ago I talked with several guys on a Sunday, and scheduled casual dates for later in the week. Of course, then I met the man of my dreams, and that completely threw the whole thing out of whack (more to come on that...).

As dreamy as he may be, and as too-good-to-be-true as he may seem - we did just meet. It is a little foolish to cancel casual dates over something that isn't much more than casual itself. On the other hand, I didn't want to lead anyone on.
I asked Baking Suit and another trusted friend for advice. They each gave me a slightly different answer - but both agreed:
  • I wasn't doing anything wrong by keeping the dates
  • It's just a first date - no big deal, and not really leading anyone on
In the end, I decided to stick to the plan. I kept both dates (more on that, also). Why? I know I really need to work on slowing things down, and not getting ahead of myself. I felt like canceling the dates would be me taking a step in the wrong direction.

I am so certain of what I want, that as soon as I see it within reach, I want to grab it and hold on tight. I don't want to wait, because I'm afraid that if I hesitate at all, it'll get lost.

I have to keep reminding myself to deal with what is in front of me, not what might be in the future. I have to keep reminding myself that things are going to work out the way they're meant to, no matter what I do. If it's meant to happen, and I stay true to myself, then I can't mess it up. I have to keep reminding myself that all I can control is me - I can't control how someone else feels about me, or how they react or behave. All I can do is be who I am, and control my own reactions and behavior. If I do that, though, things should fall into place.

I just need to stick to that plan.

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's raining

In many ways, my life is cyclical. Either there's nothing going on - or everything is happening all at once.

Some might guess this is because my astrological sign is Cancer, which is ruled by the moon, which of course is cyclical. Others might guess it's because I'm a woman, and we're also cyclical. Some might say it's because that's how it is for everyone.

I say I really don't care why it happens...but for whatever reason, when it rains in my life - it freakin' pours.

That's never more true than when it comes to dating. I go through long stretches where I meet no one and am ready to adopt 18 cats. Then, out of nowhere, someone pulls a plug on the black hole, and all the guys fall out and land in a heaping pile smack in the middle of my nice, calm, quiet, happy little existence.


That's what happened at the beginning of the month. In one day, I got an email from a guy I went out with once three years ago (pre-Big), another guy who I had talked with before Trooper but never actually met in person - and this guy. I also got a message from a guy on Match who I thought had gone away (not this one, another one), and a guy on Plenty of Fish started calling me again, after we hadn't talked in a while.

That was one weekend. See what I'm saying? Pour-ing....

....and I haven't even mentioned the new guy I met the next day.

I'll admit the attention is good for my ego - but not much else. It makes life busy and complicated and stressful. I'm worried that I'll lead someone on, or that I'll meet a few people who seem right - and then pursue the wrong one. I'm worried that no one will end up liking me, and I'll feel let down.

I would much prefer to meet one person at a time, see how it goes, and then if it doesn't work out, replace him with the next. A nice, organized, calm, orderly love-life.

The thing is, life doesn't always give us what we prefer. It gives us what we need, and often that arrives in the form of a lesson to be learned, in preparation for something bigger.

So I can let myself get caught up in the rain, and all stressed out, and worry if I'll make a mistake, and eventually just chicken out and avoid the whole thing. Or I can take a breath and realize that the storm was sent for a reason, and if I push through, there's probably something even better for me on the other side.

Time to grab my umbrella.

Friday, December 14, 2012

He's out

The last "bad decision" I made a few weeks ago resulted in a date with a convicted felon.

Let me start at the beginning...

Music Man clicked "Yes" to my profile on the Plenty of Fish "Meet Me" feature. I was notified. I'd seen his profile before, and honestly - I thought we probably wouldn't be a good fit because it looked like he led a pretty exciting life. He's in entertainment, goes to parties, most of his pictures were at bars, etc.

Emboldened by the "Yes," I sent him an email. We started chatting, and then texting, and the next night we spoke on the phone. We agreed to meet for lunch the following day.

I'd already learned that not only did he work in entertainment - his job is in the "adult entertainment" industry. By itself, not a huge issue - though I'll admit, a little intimidating. The biggest challenge that presented would actually have been logistical - his schedule is completely opposite my own. It's very rare that we are both not at work and awake at the same time.

But I wasn't going to let that stop me.

Over lunch, he told me he has several kids (each with a different mom) but no baby-momma-drama. Hmmm... I wonder how you could have that many people, and no drama? He also admitted that his last relationship ended badly, and quite abruptly, leaving him without a place to live or a car. His boss had stepped in to help out - and he was still taking advantage of those favors.

Now...I don't begrudge anyone riding a wave and saving a little money. What I am not a fan of is someone trying to date while his life is in transit. See, my life (work, home, car, bills, etc) is pretty settled. That frees me up to pursue relationships. I understand life happens, and you can't always be settled - but maybe those unsettled times are not the best time to be searching for your soul mate? Just sayin'.

That was truly strike one.

Then he admitted to having a felony conviction. By itself, under different circumstances, maybe not a huge thing. But he still engages in the behavior that landed him in trouble. That's a problem for me. Making a mistake and learning a lesson? Fabulous. Ignoring that lesson and perpetuating the problem?

Strike two.

After lunch, he texted to tell me that he'd had a great time, and asked when he could see me again. This was a Wednesday. I told him next week, because I was busy Thursday, he works Friday and Saturday nights, and spends Sundays with his kids. That brings us to Monday, so did he want to make plans?

That was the last I ever heard from him.

Strike three. He's out.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I paid for this?

As part of my most recent string of bad decisions, I met a guy - on Since joining Match last summer, this is the first guy I've talked with long enough for it to turn into a date (though, I admit, I haven't been using Match the way they suggest).

Everyone says that the people on paid dating sites are of a different caliber. Even the most minimal financial commitment tends to limit the users to those who are more serious about meeting others.

I have honestly not found that to be the case. I have met more than one guy on Match who is either looking for just a hook-up, or who is looking to never meet in person. I do have to say - I find it hilarious that people will actually pay for this sort of "arrangement" when there are free sites that can get the job done.

That's not to say all guys on Match are jerks. I have met a few nice guys, it just happened there was no real spark, either on my end or theirs. That's not the site's fault. I actually really like Match. I'm particularly fond of their Stir Events.

So, I found this profile back in November. Attractive, funny, seemed to have his act together (though you never know...). I winked; he winked back. So I took the initiative and sent an email. We exchanged a few, and finally agreed to meet for coffee (this was about a week later).

We met at 6 on a Monday, and talked for two hours. Honestly, we only got up to leave because the cafe was closing. We were heading in separate directions once we got outside. He looked me right in the eye and said, "I really enjoyed myself, and would like to do this again."

We texted back and forth the following week and agreed we'd meet for dinner that Saturday at 7. At 4:30 pm, I got a text message that said, "I just walked in from work, my day was much longer than I expected. I am asking if we could reschedule for Monday. I understand if you're upset." Then he signed his name to the text, like it was a letter.

I knew he was working that morning, and at first, I really didn't think much of the text. I replied saying of course I still wanted to see him, and Monday would be fine.

That was the last I heard from him.

When I thought about it more, I knew the text was a blow-off. First of all, who signs his name to a text? That made it seem more like a goodbye. Plus, he said he'd understand if I was upset, and didn't want to see him again. If you are really into someone and planning the first real date, you wouldn't risk doing anything that might send them packing. You would just suck it up and keep the date. The fact that he wasn't really said all I needed to know.

But honestly, the fact that he didn't want to see me again didn't bother me. We met once, and it was barely a date. He owed me nothing. I totally get if the guy didn't want to see me again. But there are a few things I don't get...
  • Why say you want to see me again, if you really don't? I could I understand if I asked you, and you felt pressure. That's why I never ask. I figure I'll know soon enough.
  • Having said that...why set up the second date at all? Just say no, for crying out loud! (Or, don't ask, don't tell, depending on which administration you prefer.)
  • Why try to reschedule, if what you really want is to cancel? What you should have said was, "I've changed my mind and don't want to see you again." (Feel free to copy and paste this for future use, when the truth fails you.)
I know dating is tough, and this guy is just starting back after taking a long break to raise his kids. I get that it's hard when you meet someone who is nice, and you don't want to hurt her feelings. You never really know how to say you don't want to see her again.

So let me help you out - you can start by not saying that you do want to see her again. Then don't keep in touch, or schedule another date. Eventually, she'll either go away, and you'll never have to have the difficult conversation - or she'll get so annoying that you won't care about hurting her feelings. Either way, problem solved.

But maybe it goes even deeper than that. Maybe people - men and women - need to learn that before they start dating, they should be sure they're ready for everything it involves. We spend so much time preparing ourselves to handle rejection from others, and eventually commitment and all that entails, that we never prepare ourselves to be considerate of other people's feelings.

You will meet people who want to date you, but in whom you're not interested. You will have to reject them. You should be prepared to do so with some class and respect, because that's how you would want to be treated. You can't expect to get what you're not prepared to give.

So, yeah, you definitely find more serious users on paid dating sites. I would say overall, Match users are definitely more ready for commitment and relationships.

But they still have an awful lot to learn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dating, parents, and priorities

I'm going to preface this post by saying that you should always take what I say with a grain of salt. Sometimes - you should take it with a whole shaker.*

A lot of my single friends are parents. For the most part, they prefer to date other parents. "Non-parents just don't get it," they say to me. I think sometimes they forget that I am a non-parent.

It's cool, though. I'm not a parent by choice. It's not like it offends me or hurts my feelings to be reminded. They're right, too - I don't "get it." I mean, I'm not a moron - I understand that parents have to deal with issues that I don't. But I'm not in a position to really relate to how those issues affect their other relationships.

But that lack of understanding goes both ways. I think parents sometimes forget what it was like before they had kids.

The fact that I don't have kids does not mean I don't have a life. It does mean that, aside from my (9-5, M-F) job, there isn't a lot in my life that is an obligation. Most of what I do is a choice, and stuff I enjoy, leaving me free to reprioritize as I see fit.

Parents can't - and in many cases, don't want to, which is great. I am not being sarcastic when I say that - I have nothing but admiration for people who put their kids first, even before their own wants or needs. My dad did that for me, and I am tremendously grateful to him. I believe it made me a better person.

(It's worth noting that while my dad was doing that for me as a kid...he also didn't date.)

Relationships only work when everyone is on a level playing ground. That's true of any relationship, not just dating. Think about it - you probably know at least one person who doesn't put in as much effort to keep your friendship going. You feel like you do all the work; you're always the one reaching out, the one suggesting plans, and the one working your schedule around hers.

That wears thin after a while. No one likes to feel as though they are being given less priority than they are giving. No one likes to feel that their schedule and life is less important than another person's. Eventually, that relationship will whither.

It works the same when you're dating. Parents tend to expect that the other person will adjust her schedule, because it doesn't include kids. As a non-parent, I will tell you - 9 out of 10 times, I'm on board. I know it is easier for me to adjust my schedule, and am happy to do so.

But I still need to feel like I'm on level playing ground with you. If we just started dating, the relationship is as new for me as it is for you. If I feel like I'm making all the effort, and I am not as much of a priority for you as you are for me - that's going to be a problem.

When you agree to start dating, and especially when you agree to pursue a long-term relationship, you have to give as much as you're looking to get. Being a parent may be the most important thing in your life, and that's fine. You still signed up for this, and now you owe a little something to that other person.

I'm not saying parents should forget their kids, and I'm also not saying that non-parents shouldn't try to be a little flexible.

I'm just saying that if I'm not the most important thing in your life, don't expect that you'll be the most important thing in mine.

*In other words, I assume I'll probably p*** some people off with this post. Sorry if you're one of them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hair products to the rescue

We all know dating is difficult. A single gal needs all the help she can get. Good friends, willingness to take risks, a good place for advice, and a little confidence all go a long way in navigating the rough waters of dating. Hair products can go a long way to helping with confidence.
This post is sponsored - but I really do use
this product. I absolutely recommend it to anyone,
and can tell you Folica's price is a good one. 
So let's talk hair. 

I have always been the sort of woman who takes her hair style very seriously. I am blessed with hair that grows outrageously fast, so I can take more chances with cuts and color than some - because I know it'll grow right back (or out). 

I've joked that growing up in the 80s means that my self-confidence is directly correlated to the amount of hairspray in my hair. I'm obviously kidding about the hairspray (though I sported my share of big 80s hair), but there is something to be said for how much more confident one feels when she knows her hair is looking good.

When you like your hair, you hold your head higher. You smile more, you stand up straighter, you walk into a room without hesitation. I have had more than one guy say to me that a woman's hair is one of the first things he notices. But even if the guy whose attention you're after doesn't feel that way - he's sure to notice the confident smile from the word go.

Since I have a lot of hair, and what has been described as a "sassy" style, I am not one to skimp when it comes to hair care, or hair styling products. But, I have a lot of important ways to use my money, so making my style dollars stretch is also a priority. 

Through the magic of the Single Edition Network, I found a site called - where it's all about hair. Folica understands that your hair is an important accessory - and through January 1, they are giving customers the chance to win up to $50 instantly, to spend on great hair!

With over 60,000 hair products, 300 brands, and 70,000 customer reviews, is your source for one-stop hair-care shopping. Check them out today - and cross great hair off your holiday wish list!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It should go without saying...

I was recently asked by a prospective second date to name my favorite food. Without hestiation, I responded, "Sushi."

That was met with a disgusted look, and a request for me to name my second favorite food.

Again, without hesitation, I answered, "Mexican."

His response? "Does Taco Bell count as Mexican?"

I mulled that question over and over in my mind for days. The problem seemed obvious to me. But then I started to wonder...what else might seem obvious to some, but go completely missed by others?

When you're meeting new people, you never know what social, economic, or cultural differences you might encounter. That's especially true with online dating, where you often meet people with whom you would never have otherwise interacted.

I've dated men of different races and nationalities. I've dated guys who were rich, and I've dated men who were poorer than poor. I've dated men who barely graduated high school, and guys with multiple degrees in master and doctoral programs. So, I am abundantly qualified to make the following statement:
No man has all the answers, no matter how perfect he may seem on paper.
(For what it's worth, I'm not actually sure how proud I should be of my extensive research; I'm just qualifying my opinion.)

So, because I'm here to help...and because I've been on a lot of bad dates...and because I see no reason that all of my suffering should be in vain...I thought I'd mention a few things that I think everyone should know. Feel free, of course, to add your own in the comments.

It should go without saying that... food is not an acceptable "date" - ever should not refer to someone as "babe" until you're dating (or you have permission)
..."sooner or later" is not an acceptable response if I ask you out
...a t-shirt purchased in Wal-Mart's underwear section is not acceptable dinner attire, and
...neither are bright blue sneakers, like the ones worn by my friend's six-year-old son
...who is paying should never be sorted out in front of the restaurant staff
...if you suggest the date, you should arrive prepared to pay the entire bill (this goes for women, as well) really shouldn't be late for a date, especially when you chose the time, date, and place
...if my plate is empty and yours is full of cold food, you're probably talking too much
...using bribery and/or extortion to get dates is not only unnattractive, it rarely achieves the desired result

...there was not, nor will there be, a second date with the guy who asked me that question.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Desperate measures

I read a lot of dating profiles (mostly belonging to heterosexual males, but you'd be surprised). In nearly four years of online dating, I bet I've read hundreds - maybe thousands.

Some are funny, some are smart, some are creative - and some are just really, really dull. Many include at least one typo, suggesting the writer is human. Others contain so many mistakes, I'm left wondering if the writer even speaks English fluently.

Most of the time, a profile is really just a small glimpse of that person. If you read carefully, that small glimpse can offer a lot of insight into someone's character, personality, and what he (or she) really wants.

Sometimes, a person's profile makes him seem perfectly normal. There are no red flags, no indicators of what the bag of hair will be. No real reason to say no, if that person asks you to meet him for coffee.

Which is where my problems usually start.

Sometimes, that person will start dropping little hints in those first messages, whether they are texts or emails. Unfortunately, you might not see those hints until you've already agreed to a date. Besides - everyone deserves a chance. I mean, unless he's hinting that he might be a serial killer...then maybe don't give him a chance.

Ball Boy seemed like a good guy from his profile, and from the first few emails. It wasn't until we set up the date that I started to see signs that we might be in different places. He was obviously nervous - and he made a couple of mistakes that weren't a big deal on their own. When I tallied up the evening, though, it all added up to one very uncomfortable hour with a guy in whom I was not really that interested.

It was obvious Ball Boy is just getting back into dating, after having been married for a long time. He did not rush into dating (which is a good thing); but he seems at a point where he's willing to rush into a relationship. That became even more evident when he pursued me after the date, saying that everything we had in common made him feel there was a connection. (Side note: Liking the same baseball team and TV shows is not a love connection.)

Maybe that's unfair. Maybe he really is just "ready" for a relationship. Thing is, I have found (more than once) that a person thinking he's ready means he'll get into a relationship without hesitation. Which is great - provided he's doing so for the right reason.

Sometimes people are ready, and jump into a relationship with the first person they find, who even remotely fits the criteria they want. To me, that's not ready - that's desperate.

I know I complain (a lot) about meeting people who say they're ready, and then hesitate. It's frustrating and exhausting because I keep meeting the wrong people, keep starting the same thing over, and I keep getting left in the dust.

While there are certainly better ways to handle walking away, there is something to be said for people who at least know themselves well enough to know when a relationship isn't for them.

The people who just rush right into something, even though it should be obvious that there is no connection, are just as bad. Sometimes, they're even worse. I have had guys go black hole after the first date, and I have had men fake entire relationships because they "thought they'd fall in love with me."

Trust me - the latter hurts a lot worse.

Anyone looking for a relationship will tell you it's difficult. Most will tell you the toughest thing is meeting other people. I disagree.

I think the most difficult thing is knowing yourself; knowing what you want, and what you need, and being honest with yourself about what is really, truly a good idea.

That sort of honesty is especially tough when the noise of all the people you're meeting makes it hard to hear your own thoughts. Sometimes, you have to do something drastic - like step away.

After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dating coach

So, Ball Boy and I agreed to meet for coffee. It seemed like we had some things in common, and at first I was really looking forward to meeting him in person.

Prior to meeting, he messaged me online - and he continued to do so, until I told him I had things to do, and would just seem him later. He admitted he was nervous; that he had never "met someone online" before. Are there rules, he asked?

Oh, boy.

I could already sense that maybe this wasn't going to go so well.

I told him that, to me anyway, dating sites are just a way to say hello to someone who you might not run into otherwise. After that initial exchange, it's really just like any other dating, and the same "rules" apply.

Rules like, never let 'em see you sweat...keep a little mystery...she can't miss you if you won't go away...don't talk about yourself too much...don't bring up your ex (unless you're asked)...come prepared...

He needs a rule book.

He showed up at the date a few minutes late (remember, he picked the day, time, and place). We walked into the coffee shop, where he he asked if I minded "going Dutch" because he only had $5 to his name until tomorrow, when he gets paid.

I truly don't mind paying on a date - ever. But I couldn't help but wonder - why suggest meeting today if money was an issue?

I handed the barista my credit card to pay for both drinks - and Ball Boy promptly handed me a $5 bill. I had no intention of taking this guy's last penny, and I shook my head. He wouldn't let it go, and kept trying to shove the money into my purse.

More rules: Don't ever touch my purse....don't embarrass me in public...

I took the money to put an end to that embarrassing moment. We sat down, and Ball Boy proceeded to tell me all about himself...and his ex-wife. All that had happened, how he had felt, how lonely he is he wonders if he could ever go back with her...

Oh. My. Goodness.

That date only lasted about an hour. I deflected his question about getting together again (he was nice, and I did feel bad). He messaged me the next day, and I explained that I just didn't feel a connection, and didn't see us ever being more than just friends. It took a while for him to get that message - but he finally did.

I don't actually think there's any such thing as "rules" when it comes to dating. Dating involves people, and everyone is different. Every combination of people is also different, and what works for one couple will not work for another. Example: I don't want to hear about your ex, or know you're nervous, or have you offer to pay for your hot chocolate; someone else might.

But if there's one thing that could pass for a good dating rule, I'd have to say it'd be to set the tone. If you want to set yourself up for a second date, make sure you treat her like you're on a date - not hanging out with a good friend, talking about your problems.

I can be your date - or I can be your dating coach. I can not be both.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Play ball

The thing about bad decisions is, they can lead to really good stories. I mean, let's face it, if you always do exactly what you should, when you should, a lot of lessons will go unlearned.

I napped from dating for a short time, but I'll be the first to admit - I got bored. Maybe it's because I'm restless, or impatient, or a hopeless romantic who is ready to find the love of her life. Maybe it's becasue I need more apps on my phone, or more hobbies.

Whatever the reason, I un-hid my profiles on two dating sites, to see what might happen.

That was bad decision number one.

I went on three dates with three different guys; two I approached, one approached me. (Side Note: Singles who say meeting someone is difficult are wrong. Meeting someone is easy; meeting someone worth meeting - that's the challenge.)

The one who approached me seemed very nice. While not necessarily my type physically, it seemed like we had a lot in common, and he seemed to really have his act together. Since those things are much more important than looks, I agreed to meet him for coffee.

He chose the place, the time, and the date. That's important to remember for later.

One of the guys I approached turned out to have a job in the "adult" industry. I won't say exactly what, since some of you are locals and I don't want to out the poor guy. Seriously good looking guy - but his job, and history made us a less than desirable match.

What's interesting is these dates took place on the same day. Bummer that I couldn't mesh them together and make a really, really datable guy. But that's not possible - yet, anyway. I'm sure someone's working on it (SN: If you are - call me!).

The last guy seemed to have it all; polite, funny, smart, attractive, success, etc. We went out the following week, and had a lovely two-hour conversation, after which he said he wanted to see me again. Without prompting from me - that's also important to remember for later.

I am sure you can figure out how these dates played out...but if you want to hear more, stay tuned....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back later

I'm home sick. Actually, technically I'm home because of back pain - the medication for which has made me sick.

It sucks to get old.

I will be "back" soon, to share a few bad decisions.