Friday, March 29, 2013

Since you asked...

I've had a few thoughts swirling around in my head this week, but none of them seemed to form their own post. What was I thinking? Since you asked...

...If you start off by telling me you work a lot and don't have time for much else, I will assume dating falls into the "much else" category, and move along.

...If your profile says your kids are your world, I will assume you have no plans to make room for other priorities.

...I "don't want to rush into anything" is just code for I "just want sex."

...If I've moved so far over in my seat at the movies that I'm practically sitting in a stranger's lap, I probably don't want to hold your hand.

..."Does dad know about me?" is not a reasonable question on a fourth date.

...Meeting on a dating site doesn't make us an automatic couple. We have to take things at the same pace as anyone else. We still need to date.

...How straight-forward can you really be if you won't even upload a profile picture?

Found it here

Thursday, March 28, 2013

See ya

Engineer has a friend who has a profile on dating site. He viewed some profiles last week, but didn't email anyone.

A few days later, he got an email from a woman whose profile he viewed, saying she appreciated his interest, but didn't think they were a good match.

Because he viewed her profile? I told Engineer this woman is either harsh, or stupid. Maybe both.

The story provides a nice segue into a topic that is worth kicking around...when you owe someone a "see ya" and when you can just fade away.

I'm not bothered at all by men who talk to me online or over text, and then one day just disappear. I figure it's one of the hazards of dating, especially online dating where you meet a lot of people at the same time.

I'm also not bothered by guys with whom I have a couple of dates, and they still just fade away - if the dates weren't going well. You can kind of tell if things just aren't clicking, and can almost see the fade coming before the date has even ended.

I am bothered by guys who make a big deal about really liking me, wanting to see me, talking about the future - and then disappear. I'd prefer a guy just not lay it on so thick, because I find it sets me up with false expectations. Without the expectations, we could go on dates for weeks, and if he did the fade, it wouldn't bother me.

Which brings me to my problem...

I've been on four dates with Bachelor #2. He's very, very sweet. He has laid it on thick, but I think he's prepared to back it up, so really, he's done nothing wrong.

I just don't like him.

We've been on four dates. I purposely never went overboard with flirting, or texting, or anything because I wasn't sure how I felt and didn't want to lead him on. After our last date, I hinted - strongly - that I just want to be friends. I did not hear from him again for a couple of days.

Now that I have, I feel like he deserves more than just a fade. If he was a jerk...or we'd only gone out once...I could see myself just ignoring the text and hoping he'd go away. But this is a nice person who did everything right - so he deserves better.

The idea of having an actual conversation puts knots in my stomach. I'm mostly afraid of a) hurting his feelings and b) that he'll ask for another chance, and I'll cave because he's so nice. Friends say they're sure I'll be nice - and I know I will be. But that won't change the fact that his perception could be that I led him on, and he may still be hurt and/or angry.

Guess I'm starting to understand why the fade is favored by so many. If I wasn't so concerned about doing the right thing (and honestly, my dating karma) - I'd be tempted.
By the way....if someone has just viewed your profile, you don't need to send them a "see ya" email. That would be like rejecting every guy in a bar before they ask you out.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Just a little weird

Last week, I received an email in my personal email account from someone I don't know. When I opened it, this is what I found:
Could it be you?
Hello dearie, i got your email from a dating site...these things can be awkward atimes but then there aint no harm in trying, is there? despite all the reasons to despair and lose faith that abound in the world, i still believe that sometimes, things may work out perfectly against all the odds. my name is *****, single man of 39. hardworking, romantic and heartbroken but still a firm believer in love and still ready to love is too short for me not to take a shot when the opportunity presents itself. i believe getting your email is no mistake, this is destiny and i plan to see how this plays out. enough about me, let's meet you. cheers...
I copied it exactly as he wrote it (eliminating his name). A few observations....
  • Do you suppose there's some weird cult somewhere that prohibits the use of capital letters?
  • Why on Earth would you call someone you don't know "dearie?"
  • Ain't is not a word, even with the proper punctuation.
  • I don't publish my email address on dating sites - I suspect he actually pulled this email from my facebook page.
  • Pulling my email from Facebook is a little also means he lied in the first 10 words he ever spoke to me.
  • Using his email, I found him on Facebook. We have no one in what does he do, just stalk random Facebook profiles in search of "destiny?"
  • While my Facebook timeline might include enough posts to indicate I'm certainly doesn't indicate if I'm interested in dating.
  • According to his Facebook page, we live about 300 miles apart. What's the point?
I know people use Facebook as a dating site. The problem with that plan is that simply having a Facebook profile doesn't mean I'm single, available, or interested. It just means I'm on Facebook - like a billion other people.

I can understand the temptation to use the largest social networking site as a way to find new dates. Maybe someday Facebook will even figure out a way to do so that makes sense.

For now though - I suggest everyone stick to dating sites for dating.

In case you're wondering...I did not reply to his email.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Don't be lonely

A couple weeks ago, I participated in a twitter chat hosted by Your Tango and Laurie Davis (eFlirtExpert) promoting her new book Love at First Click. One of the questions asked was, "What are some of the words to avoid in an online dating profile?"

Without hesitation, I answered "lonely" as being the worst word to use. Several others agreed, and as Laurie Davis said, "Who wants to date a Danny Downer?"

I definitely prefer profiles that are upbeat and positive. Obviously we all have our bad days. If you're on a dating site, and especially if you're in your 30s - 40s, it's a fair assumption that your heart has been broken a lot before. But that shouldn't be your lead, ya know?

Even more than that... I don't want to feel that lonliness is what motivates you to look for dates. Why? It means you're just looking for someone to fill the space. You don't have an idea of what you want, beyond the fact that you know you don't want to be alone.

I want to know you're happy in your life, with or without a date. I want to know that any relationship you pursue is because you want that person in your life.

I've said it before....looking for love when you're lonely is like grocery shopping when you're hungry: You take home things you don't really want.

I want to be the relationship you want; not the regrettable decision you made because you were trying to force the issue.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm not scared - I just don't like you

I was talking with a friend about this situation. The conversation went something like:

Me: The thing I don't want to do is lead [Bachelor #2] on. If I'm not feeling it, I don't want to give him the impression that there's a chance.
Friend: I understand. But you never know, if you take it slow, maybe something will come out of it.
Me: And if it doesn't? That's what Big and Trooper both thought - that if they kept dating me, eventually they'd fall for me. They never did, but I let myself trust and fall for them. In the end, I ended up getting really hurt.
Friend: I think a lot of people feel that way, but the problem is they don't know if they like someone early on, and sometimes they find out too late.
Me: Some people think this is me running away. It's not.
Friend: I think it's just knowing what you want. Some people settle.
Me: I don't want to settle, and I don't want to be with anyone who is settling for me. I'd rather be single and completely open if the right guy ever comes along.
No one likes to hear that there's just no "spark." Women are especially fond of finding reasons for a guy not wanting to date them, when the simple truth is "he's just not that into" you/her/us/me. There's a whole book, movie, and Sex and the City episode about it for crying out loud!

So we make excuses - either having to do with the guy (he's afraid of commitment; he's afraid to trust) or about how wonderful we are (he's intimidated by my success; he wants someone less independent). Either way, we lay the blame elsewhere rather than just admitting the simple truth - it just isn't meant to be.

I wondered if maybe I was walking away from Mr. Perfect-Dating-Resume because I was scared to trust or commit. I've said a million times I want a relationship, and I want it with a successful, responsible, respectful, smart guy who will treat me right. Here it is, being served up on a silver platter - and I'm thinking about pushing it back?

Then when I typed it out in that email, I realized that sometimes, you meet the "perfect" person - but you're just not that into him. The truth is yes, I want that relationship - but I don't want doubt or worry or to "see if it happens."

That same day a different friend had a great facebook post about why women are single. It was too long to share here, but at one point he wrote how we spend so much time trying to manufacture love. Sure, you can manufacture a date - but love happens when its meant to, and not a minute sooner.

I think people who settle are trying to "manufacture love." They want it so much, they find somewhere it'll fit and they just work with what they've got. I could easily do that with Mr. Perfect-Dating-Resume.

But I want a spark - something that happens quickly, uncontrollably, and by surprise. Without that, there's nothing perfect about a relationship, regardless of its resume.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Finding Mr (or Ms) Right the smart and safe way

I didn't author this post...Colter Brian is the author. We spend so much time talking about online dating around here, and while I personally have never had a problem, I have heard horror stories. Some of Colter's suggestions might be a good idea, especially if you want to dip your toe in the online dating pool, but are hesitant to do so.
Let’s face it, we are most definitely not a society based upon delayed gratification, rather we are a culture of instant satisfaction, of super-speed, fast and convenient, quick and painless. We can’t stand having to wait for the latest and greatest thing to come our way and yes, this includes dating. It seems that sometimes we are in such a big hurry to shed that ‘single’ status, we are willing to thwart the time it takes to meet a compatible mate and subject ourselves to painful task of weeding out numerous clunkers in the process. 
This is exactly what dating sites are banking on. 
No doubt about it; dating is big business; numbers from 2012 alone were in the billions of dollars! 
If online dating stills sounds appealing, just use caution. Don’t forget, that there are those in the cybersphere just lying in wait to take advantage of your naiveté and willingness only to present you with a host of false pretenses (think, Manti Teo’o). With internet dating users estimated in the millions, this phenomenon could potentially invite a huge pool of trouble, all at your fingertips. 
So how can you start your love match without the worry? 
* Research the Company: This includes taking the time to look online and read reviews about other client’s experiences. The Better Business Bureau is also another avenue to double-check the company’s integrity as well as finding out about any pending legal situations. Are there numerous complaints? Get out and talk with friends and acquaintances about their own experiences, chances are if a trusted friend has had some success you can feel confident to pursue your own quest.

* Background Check: If you go to an online site and are determined to start your match quest, do so at your own peril. According to statistics, men on average add about two inches to their height and women submit much lower numbers for their weight. If, of course, certain physical attributes are not your key criteria, still be a bit wary with the fact that someone is already using false material to try to attract your attention. If they are lying about something as minimal as height/weight, what else might they be lying about? A site like Online Searches can take the worry out about a new prospect. If your new paramour claims to be a CFO of a certain Fortune 500 company and you find out that not only are they not a CFO, CEO or a GCC (Garbage Collector Consultant) they actually haven’t held a job in ten years, in fact they live at home in their parent’s trailer - run, do not walk away!

* Good Judgment: When starting with your dating adventures, don’t forget to bring a bout of common sense along. After all, a dating site that claims scientific methods for matches can never predict how two interacting humans will act once introduced, genetically or personality matches might be a good start, but there is no guarantee in a ‘perfect’ match.   Remember the old ‘oil and water’ mix or rather ‘fire and gasoline’. You like the fact that he called you often to check to see how you were doing, but what you didn’t like was the last ten phone calls that came in quick succession, starting at three in the morning. What might initially seem like a cute, little quirk can get tiresome and creepy, very quickly. The laws of attraction may seem initially enticing but don’t go overboard, as with anything in life; moderation is the key to success. Take your time, if it doesn’t feel right, heed those instincts. After all, the stress of breaking up with ‘new someone special’ certainly does dampen those romantic flames before your next potential date.

Yes, we all love the idea of finding our soul mate; someone who shares our dreams, our values, who not only meets but exceeds our personal criteria. It would be nice to find this certain someone and there is a host of valid testimonials online about those lucky few who met the man/woman of their dreams. Let's face it, for the majority of users, the old tried and true methods may actually have the same amount of success, as in, meeting someone at an activity you love to do; pottery making, hiking, book clubs and church can be some of these places that your true love might just be waiting. If however, these methods are failing to amount to any success you can try the online route; just use good judgment, double-check their background and don’t be in such a hurry. 

Remember what your mother always told you: Haste makes waste! Keep this in mind the next time you start perusing your online dates. The last thing you want to do is to find yourself in a dating nightmare, changing your old routines (and phone numbers, emails) to avoid running into them. After all that you might even start lamenting those easier, single days again.
Colter Brian is a former private investigator/photographer and now a freelance writer. He contributes to sites such as Online Searches. Some of Colter's hobbies include spending time in the outdoors and perfecting his pasta recipes for his toughest critics - his two children.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

So there's these two guys...

I've been seeing two guys. Let me be clear - it's casual with both, no one has asked for exclusivity and no one has promised it either. But I assume it's heading in the general direction of that conversation, so I need to figure something out. Like, now.

I have a nice time with both. I have enough in common with both that the conversation is good and silence (when we have it) is not uncomfortable.

I find Bachelor #1 to be very sexy and good looking. I also like that when we don't agree on something down to the letter, he's not afraid to share his opinion, but he'll also listen to mine. He challenges me which is cool. We laugh a lot. But he and I don't agree on some fundamentals - like living arrangments, whether it's OK to have a corporate job, responsibility, and some morality.

The truth is, as much as I like him, I'm not sure #1 and I have a real shot at anything more than just casual dating.

On the other hand, Bachelor #2 and I see eye-to-eye on those issues. He's established, responsible, thoughtful, respectful. He's attentive, kind, funny. He's all the things you want a guy to be (or at least, I want a guy to be). But there's no challenge - he agrees with just about everything I say. I'm not even sure if he actually agrees with me, or he's just saying it because he doesn't want to disagree. Though he's handsome, there's no real "wow" factor.

So now what do I do?

On the one hand, #1 has been taking his time - but maybe that's a good thing. I tend to rush into things (or out of them). Maybe what this needs is a chance to grow.

But #2 seems like he'd rush into a relationship right now. Which makes me wonder if he's just checking off a list of criteria, and since I meet the minimum requirements, he's going to settle before he really knows me.

It has occurred to me that maybe I just need to stop seeing both of them. That if the choice is difficult, maybe it's because I'm just trying to figure out where to settle.

I haven't felt that moment where I just know with either guy. So maybe it's time to move along and keep looking?

Thoughts, suggestions, comments all welcome. Please!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nothing less than wonderful

I feel like I've settled in relationships before. Not that the men I "settled" on were not quality men for whom I had honest feelings and with whom I could have had a great life. They all were, and I would have been lucky to be with any of them.

I just feel like I was settling by not looking for exactly what I want.

From Joel Osteen's Facebook Page
Are we all guilty of that? Of feeling like...
  • I'm tired of dating and looking for "the one." This guy is here, he likes me, and he gives me most of what I want. Easier if I just stick with this one.
  • Well, I can't have it all - romance, money, looks, sweet, smart, funny. Something has to go.
Sure it's great to give everyone a chance. You never know when you'll meet your Mr. Wonderful - but one thing's for sure, you'll never meet him if you're not meeting new people.

It seems like there's a fine line between finding excuses to shut people out, and acknowledging reasons to not pursue a relationship. So if you meet someone who is Mr. Practically Perfect, is it settling if you stay with him? Or is that just realistic, and not being closed off?

If we know we want a relationship, does it make sense to have a checklist, find someone who meets the minimum criteria, rush into a relationship - and then worry about things like trust, communication, romance, etc.?

Or should we keep meeting people, keep looking for that connection - for that Mr. Perfect - and refuse to stop until we find it?

Do we run the risk of passing over something terrific while we keep searching for wonderful? Or is that just faith and hope alive and well inside our hearts? Are we self-sabotaging our own love-life, or are we making room for the perfect love we believe is in store?

I'm not sure I know the answer, but more and more I believe that I don't want to settle for anything less than wonderful.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fools rush in

I am starting to notice a pattern when it comes to the men I meet: They want to rush into a relationship.

One guy suggested we would go right from casually dating to a full-blown relationship in which we lived together. No middle-ground; no exclusive dating; no time to get to know each other.

In his case, this is how he has historically solved his living situation. He goes from one "relationship" to the next, always living with the woman. When a relationship ends, he finds a friend's sofa to crash on until he can get the next relationship up and going.

Rest assured he and I never made it to "relationship" status.

He seemed unwilling to accept that there was anything in between - like going on actual dates, getting to know each other, meeting friends and family. He just wants someone he finds attractive, who he likes as a person, and with whom he can get along. Then he wants to move in with her.

I guess he just figured the rest would fall into place. If he found out the person couldn't be trusted, then I guess he'd find a new sofa and start the process all over again.

He was the most extreme case, but not the only guy I've met with that attitude. Several have said things like, "So we need to meet so we can get this relationship underway" without even knowing who I am or what I'm about. Again, it seems they put the cart before the horse - they get the relationship going, then figure out if the person makes them happy, is trustworthy, wants the same things, etc.

With the one guy, it seemed to be a matter of trust. Unless a woman agreed to be in a relationship with him, he didn't feel he could trust her enough to show the real him. So he wanted to rush right into the relationship.

But how is that honest trust? Just because someone says sure, I'll be "in a relationship" with you - what does that mean? Eventually, you're going to have to drop any pretense and let this person see the real you - and that's when you'll know if you can trust her, or if the two of you are going to work as a couple. Wouldn't it make more sense to know that before you've moved all your stuff in together?

Then I started to wonder if it's a confidence thing. Most of the time when you first meet someone, you know they could be dating others. Or at the very least, they're not fully committed to you yet. It takes a lot of confidence to feel you can "compete" with others, and stand out as someone s/he might want to keep seeing - maybe eventually the only person.

I suppose if you don't have that confidence, skipping ahead to the commitment feels like a way to outsmart the competition.

But what have you really secured? A relationship based on half-truths and ignorance, where no one knows if s/he is happy?

Wouldn't it make more sense to take your time, get to know each other, learn to trust, and then enter into a committed relationship with a solid foundation?

Or is that just foolish talk?

Monday, March 18, 2013


When I meet a new guy, one of the first things he usually wants to talk about is my past relationships. How long did they last? What went wrong? Are we still friends?

It makes sense, because how a person behaved in past relationships is something of a hint as to how they'll behave in the next.

It's funny to me that guys are so concerned with relationships and not with the "date here, date there guys." You know, the guys I went out with once, or just talked with, or maybe went out just a couple of times before one or both of us said, "Uh uh."

Those mini-relationships, or whatever you want to call them, have just as much - if not more - effect on how I view and approach dating, love, and relationships now.

For example, I've met a lot of people who do the whole fade away thing after you start speaking. It wasn't until after Trooper that I met so many men who would just "fade away" after actually meeting, going out on a few dates, making plans, etc.

Without ever being in a full-blown relationship, these men have shaped my view tremendously. I notice I am more cynical, less trusting, and way more closed-off than I once was. Don't misunderstand - I'm not saying this is a good thing (in fact, it's something I'm trying to reverse). My point is that the little, mini, supposedly insignificant relationships are more to blame for these feelings than any long-term relationships.

Should we be discussing these dates when discussing past relationships? Recently, it came up with someone, but not when he asked about previous relationships. It came up when he asked what I was looking for, and my reponse was that I'm looking for something I've found lacking in a lot of men.

What about ourselves? We spend so much time reflecting on past relationships, and recovering, and looking at what we could have done differently and what we could improve or change for next time. Should we be taking as hard a look at these one-off dates, and what we did (or didn't do) that could maybe have made things go a little better?

If it's true that everyone comes into your life for a reason, then that must be true even for the guys who come and go quickly. Even if we never discuss them with our next hopefully-last first date, we should probably be looking for the reasons, at least for ourselves.

Friday, March 15, 2013

In my head

You may be wondering why on Earth I let this conversation go on for as long as it did.

For fun? Sort of. It was entertaining at first. For blog material? Well, I'd be lying if I said a post (or two or three) wasn't on my mind. Because I liked the guy? At one point I did, and I think a small part of me kept hoping things would take a drastic turn and maybe there could be something.

Mostly though, if I'm honest, I have to admit that I kept the conversation going because I let the guy get in my head.

He had me wondering:
Am I putting up a wall? Do I rush to judgment without giving guys a chance? Am I too critical or cynical? Am I unfair? Am I selfish? 
I wanted a chance to explain to him that he had it wrong when he thought I was mad he had rescheduled. I wanted to say to him, "I didn't care that you rescheduled; I cared that you didn't respond when I tried to confirm."

I wanted to say that he had made me uncomfortable with his innuendo, and if I had misread him, I was sorry - but that forcing me to "guess" what he meant was sort of setting me up to fail. If you insist on dropping hints rather than just being straight-forward, it's unreasonable to get upset with someone when they misread your hint. That can happen to anyone, and it's one reason hints are not a great way to communicate.

I wanted him to understand that opening the conversation with an apology and quickly turning it around to be my fault is insincere and manipulative. I wanted him to see that most of our interaction had been him pointing out my mistakes and laying blame at my feet. Doesn't it make sense I might have a wall up where he's concerned?

I had myself convinced that I wanted to say all these things so that he would see how he was wrong, and how he'd mistreated me. We could have one of those chick-flick movie moments and live happily ever after.

Then he said, "I've done nothing." In that moment, I remembered something my counselor helped me realize during my divorce.

Two people won't always agree on how a conversation or interaction is playing out. Each may only see his or her own side. If you want to be a couple, you have to find a way to agree, or at least acknowledge and try to understand where the other person is coming from.

If you can't, you probably can't be a couple, whether that means breaking up, or realizing you're never getting together. While that may seem like bad news, the good news is you can stop beating your head against the wall trying to get the other person to understand your point of view.

You don't agree - and if you're not going to be a couple, it's not necessary that you do.

I'm not even saying his observations about me were wrong - I'm just saying he wouldn't let me share my observations, and that's an issue for me. It occurred to me that this was a sign we probably don't agree on enough to ever be a couple.

I realized if we didn't need to agree, then there was no reason to try and explain my point of view. It was time to get him out of my head - so I gave myself permission to kick him out.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Moving on

Continuing from here....

A couple of days later, he texted me saying I "sounded offended or uncomfortable...sorry if I made you feel that way. I wasn't implying anything."

Part of me wanted to ignore the message. It felt like a trap, coming from someone who had never admitted to being wrong about anything. However, not knowing him well enough to be so judgmental, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I responded by saying I appreciated what he said.

He said, "You did feel something didn't you?" I admitted I had just a little, and he said, "It was that assuming thing again, wasn't it?"

At which point I knew I probably should have just listened to my gut.

I told him I was just a little uncomfortable. I didn't want to assume or accuse, but I also didn't want to stay in a situation that felt awkward. The only thing I could really do was end the conversation.

At which point, Mr. Not-so-Perfect proceeded to tell me that I am selfish. Well, to be fair, he said he wasn't saying I am selfish, but I made the conversation about me, and how could I possibly get to know him if I'm always making conversations about me? That's a "selfish tendency."

"It's like you purposely put up road blocks to protect yourself."

At this point, I should have ended the conversation. I realize that - and I knew it at that point. But he was in my head. I was thinking, "Do I push people away by jumping to conclusions? Am I unfair? Am I selfish?"

So, I asked him. I repeated the last couple of things he'd said to me about "relieving stress" and asked what he meant. His response was that he was looking to play basketball or golf, but he didn't want to invite me out of fear of rejection, so he dropped a hint. He then referred back to one of our previous conversations, suggesting my behavior is the result of my "baggage."

I pointed out that he actually put me in the position to have to guess what he was getting at, because he hinted rather than just saying. I also pointed out that fear of rejection is a pretty big piece of his own baggage he's lugging around.

I noted that throughout our communication, we have spent a lot of time talking about my mistakes and flaws and very little time talking about his. I told him that what I know of him is that he lays blame, criticizes, and does not say what is on his mind. I suggested that is also baggage.

He didn't seem to like that.

In way more words than I care to repeat, he told me he's simply pointing out behavior I need to change, that I am obviously tired of guys treating me badly so I put up a wall, but I have no reason to think he would do the same, he was offended I thought he was lying when he rescheduled the date (we're back to that?), and I need to get past my issues.

I didn't disagree with him, because I didn't see the point. Then he asked me to explain what I thought his part in this was...and he cut me off before I had the chance. I have to give credit where it's due, though. He did say he was just trying to explain stumbling blocks to us getting to know each other, and if we knew each other better, conversations would not go this way.

So I responded by saying that some conversations are tough over text, and maybe we could get together. I said I really do like him. Which he responded to by saying:
Have you been fantasizing about me? Lol cause you like I wouldn't have guessed that.
I pointed out that getting to know him is difficult when he responds to me reaching out by laughing and poking fun. He felt I needed to "lighten up" because he was just using a "little humor to loosen up the conversation."

I pointed out I have no way of knowing that because I don't know him. Which he said was my fault. I suggested it was half my fault, half his. He said, "So I gotta be guilty even though I did nothing? lol lmao."

He eventually suggested that our conversation had gotten immature and if I looked at his texts, I'd see he'd let it go and had moved on to humorous conversation. That I can't expect to win every disagreement, so I should "move it along or lose it standing still."

So, I told him I was moving on - though I'm not sure I moved on in the way he meant.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stress relief

"Remember that guy....?"

Baking Suit looked at me, laughed, and said I needed to narrow that down a bit.

"The one who yelled at me...."

"Oh, OK, him."

He texted me again. The first time was back in February. The first conversation was very generic and cordial. The second conversation we spoke about relationships, but in a general way (we weren't talking about us dating, just dating in general).

He said he was sort of sitting on the sidelines after a couple of bad experiences. I got the impression he had dated someone who said she was OK with something, and then changed her mind. He seemed disappointed that dating can be full of people setting false expectations, and then changing their minds about what they really want.

Those conversations actually went very well. It seemed like we were getting along, and while we didn't agree on everything, we weren't adversarial. I thought it was progress towards friendship, at least, even if we're not meant to date.

I'm often wrong.

I reached out to him again about a week later, and asked how things were. He told me he'd had a busy week at work and was just winding down. I commented that when I'm stressed out, a movie or mindless TV does wonders, something where I don't have to think.

He said, "Nah, I want an active distraction. I need to work off some stress so to speak."

I suggested the gym, because I didn't like where it felt the conversation was headed.

"I will think of something fun and stress relieving."

I told him to enjoy his night.

"I'm in search of stress do the same."

It's worth noting that this conversation happened at 9:30 pm on a Thursday night.

You won't believe what happened next....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time out

Did you ever date someone who was stubborn and opinionated and who wouldn't back down or admit he was wrong for anything - even if he was?

I have. I'm also quite sure that anyone who has ever dated me would say this sometimes describes me. While I'll admit to my share of stubborn moments, even I can't compete with this...

Found it here
Following a disagreement, a guy told his girlfriend that he would not be speaking to her over the weekend. He would not text or call her, and she should not reach out to him because he would not answer or return her phone calls or reply to her texts. They had no plans to see each other becasue theirs is a long-distance relationship, and travel was not in the cards that weekend.

I suspect he thought this would "put her in her place." I know he told her this was her "punishment." I imagine he envisioned her having a very lame weekend, waiting and hoping to hear from him, and was probably pretty proud of himself that he didn't reach out to her. He probably expected she would sit at home, maybe spend some time with family, at first stewing, then eventually coming to the conclusion that she was, naturally, wrong.

Basically, he put her in time out.

I wonder, though, how he'd feel if he knew that same woman spent her weekend talking with a new guy she met online. One who was successful and good-looking and fun. One who she spent all of Saturday night with and most of Sunday afternoon? One who took her to see one of her favorite bands, and spent the weekend just generally having fun and relaxing?

Time out indeed.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Worst ever

I've seen a lot of bad profiles...a lot. This may be the worst yet. I copied, pasted, and changed nothing.

Found it here
I am a 40 year old black male from the capital district,have been n a couple serious relationships.I have learned alot from them not really different from any1 else been threw tralis and tribulations.Had 1 10yr strech out of 1 of them,you no did the whole family thing,had tha big house 3 kids a good job,and a nice car.But some times things dont work out n you know how that goes,good things don,t always last for every.Anyway on another note im doing alright ilike two have fun because tommrow is not promise so you must live everyday like its your last in treat women like it is your mother.I like sports,2laugh,basketball,and 2 travel.Look two enjoy life and two hav fun maybe meet tha right one.If your fake don,t reply im grown a don,t have time for bs remmeber trix r 4kids.

Sort of makes you want to cry, no?

Friday, March 8, 2013

God's match for you

On Sunday I watched the first installment of The Bible on the History Channel. Meh. The show was OK - but it was one commercial that really caught my eye.

You can probably imagine that most of the advertising was geared towards Christians. Christian Mingle seemed to be a pretty big sponsor. I saw at least one, sometimes more, advertisements for the popular dating site during each commercial break.

Though I consider myself a Christian, I've never considered joining this particular site. Being Christian is a (relatively small, new) part of who I am; it doesn't define me. I get the impression that this site is geared towards people for whom Christian faith is very important, and a cornerstone of the relationship they want to find. I think I'd be out of my element.

I do think that dating takes a certain amount of faith and hope (and the occasional willingness to set aside trivial things like dignity and rational thought). Although I do sometimes push a dating agenda, I have said before, and firmly believe that God has a plan. No matter how much I push, the right relationship will happen in His time, not mine.

I believe Christians would feel the same. Putting your life in God's hands, trusting His plan, faith, etc. are things I learned in a Christian church.

Which was in line with the theme of most of Christian Mingle's message - join the site to find "God's match for you." The commercials showed a few happy couples, and quick interviews about how the site helped them find each other.

More than one happy couple said,
"I don't see how we would have met if it hadn't been for Christian Mingle."
Wait a minute....

You're saying that this person you met is "God's match." In other words, of all the people in all the world, this is the person God intended for you to meet. God - creator of all living creatures, the land, the sea, the sun, time - life itself. You're saying that He wouldn't have been able to figure out a way to get you and yours together if it hadn't been for a website?!

I agree God has a match for you; and I agree that you might need to help the meeting along a little, and online dating is one way.

But I think if God wanted me to meet someone, He doesn't need the internet's help to make it happen.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Since you asked...

... I don't understand why people don't include a photo with their profile. It's dating. Like it or not, physical attraction counts for something. That doesn't make people shallow - it makes them human.

... Some people need to keep their photos offline (they're in law enforcement, a teacher, etc.). That's cool - but offer to share a photo as soon as you connect with someone. Don't expect someone to feel comfortable talking when you know more about her than she knows about you.

... It's 2013, age of the smartphone with front-facing cameras, timers, and stands. Can we please stop with the bathroom mirror selfies?

... Don't take a photo of you in your dingy, dark basement, or at night with no flash. Questionable backgrounds make you look like a serial killer.

... Don't suggest we meet for the first time at your home, or in some dive bar, or that I pick you up and drive you anywhere. I'm not auditioning for my own episode of the First 48.

... Newly single, full-time dads with three kids under the age of 10 who are separated but not yet divorced have no place saying "drama queens need not apply." Trust me, you bring more drama to the relationship than I could ever hope to stir up on my own.

... If you're going to list your body-type as "athletic" and then show a full-body shot- especially one showing off the abs - you really should have an athletic build.

... While everyone is entitled to his or her own preferences when it comes to physical attraction - no one is entitled to be nasty. Saying "skinny chicks need not apply" is as rude as "no fatties." It's enough to just not email us. In fact, we'd consider it a favor.

... When we've literally just met and I ask how you're doing, "I'd be better if you were next to me" is not an acceptable answer. It's an obvious line, and a bad one at that. I could be a psycho. Or a murderer. Or wear socks with sandals. You don't know if I'm pleasant to be around, so please don't pretend that you do.

... It really doesn't do any good to say in your profile you're looking for a "connection" and a "real relationship" and then make it clear in the first five minutes all you want is sex. Newsflash - we can tell the difference.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guys have to lie

"Sometimes, men have to lie to a woman, to protect her."

That's what this guy said.

I must have given him a quizzical look, because he asked if he "needed to explain further." I am quite certain that any sane, rational, reasonably intelligent man would have taken one look at my face and immediately shut up.

I, apparently, was not having dinner with a sane, rational, reasonably intelligent man. Since he offered, I asked him to please go on. Dinner was boring and I thought this might be amusing.

He explained that a man might know there's a "truth" about him that might scare away a woman who doesn't know him. He wants to get to know her a little bit, and let her get to know him, before he tells her. So, he has to lie - but it's only to protect her from walking away from the relationship prematurely. You know, because she doesn't know any better.

"He's really just doing it to protect her. You understand?"

I really don't think my date was prepared for my reaction...which went something like:
Sure, I understand - I just don't think you do. What you're describing isn't "protection" - it's manipulation. You're talking about letting a woman enter into a relationship when she doesn't have all the facts. You know everything - but she doesn't. The balance is all off.
The truth is the truth. You can hide it, walk away from it, ignore it all you want - it's still there. She's going to find out eventually. You're severely underestimating a woman by thinking if she's "deep enough" into the relationship, she won't walk away from a deal-breaker. Any woman worth dating still would. Your very suggestion that her standards are so low is an insult.
Not only that, now you've given her another reason to walk away. Not only do you have whatever the strike is you've been hiding - now you're a liar, too. Would you want to date a liar? No. So why should she?
Not to mention - wouldn't you rather be with someone who will accept you for all your flaws? So why hide them? All that does is help you find someone who doesn't like the real you.
I could tell he didn't agree with me. Or maybe he just didn't like what I was saying. Either way he didn't argue with me. 

Probably in his best interest.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trooper owes me shoes

For years, when things would go wrong in my dating life, I would tell X it was all his fault. After all, I'm supposed to be married to him...if he'd never left me, all this dating nonsense wouldn't be an issue.

But X is really good to me, and besides - I probably can't hold him responsible forever. At some point, it was bound to happen that another great relationship would come along, fail, and that would be the relationship that was supposed to work, and that would be the guy to blame for future disasters.

I believe that baton has officially been passed to Trooper.

Last month, I met this guy on Plenty of Fish. He seemed nice enough, and he seemed interested and willing to put himself out there and ask me out. It took us a couple of weeks to get our schedule in synch, and finally met for drinks one Saturday night.

Side note: I thought we were meeting for dinner, since we met at a restaurant, and he had them seat us at a table. Turned out he wasn't eating, so I just got an appetizer. This should have been a hint, but I missed it completely. Lesson learned.

That Monday he asked if he could "take me to dinner" that week. I said yes. He asked me to pick the restaurant (SN: I hate that. Come with a plan. If I wanted to do all the work, I'd just go to dinner alone.). Parking was tough, so we walked over from an adjacent parking lot. I was concerned about falling on snow, and he laughed at me. No, I'm not kidding. Then he made fun of me. "Oh, don't worry, I'll hold your hand."

I should have ended the date right then, but I'm very polite.

Once we sat down, he announced he wasn't eating - again. Now, I was raised that you don't eat in front of someone who isn't also eating. He informed me that was "stupid." Then he proceeded to tell me he doesn't eat a lot of foods for health reasons...which was a big fat lie because he was looking at the chicken wings at the time.

He eventually admitted he's just a very picky eater. That was evidenced when the waitress came and he agreed to order a sandwich - and then gave her the biggest hassle over choices of sides and additions to the sandwich. Just as embarrassing as calling her hon and then laboring over the bill.

I posted this picture on Trooper's facebook.
Even provided a link and my size.
That's reasonable, right?
 Conversation was tough. First he wanted to hear about my exes, and what had happened. He didn't believe what I told him, which annoyed me - but not nearly as much as when he started to "explain" why men sometimes "need to lie to protect a woman."

I swear it's a miracle I didn't stab him with my fork.

When he started telling me about his ex, and how much he regrets losing her and how he hasn't been able to "close that door all the way" - I put on my coat and said I needed to leave.

Now, I understand that Trooper and I are not meant to be anything more than friends. I understand that everyone - even this guy - comes into my life for a reason. I can't call this date a "mistake." But he laughed, condescended, poked fun, lied, defended lying, accused me of lying, and was rude to me and others.

So, while I understand that ultimately I am responsible for my own choices in life - I still say Trooper owes me shoes.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Into hiding

I had been talking to a few guys (who I met before Lent started) leading up to Valentine's Day. I met one for dinner a few days prior; the rest, we were just talking as of that day, with no firm plans to meet.

I figured they would all avoid me on VDay. Even though we had been talking every day, I had a feeling they wouldn't know what to do with that day - so rather than deal with it, they'd avoid it and hope it would just sort of pass by, unnoticed.

I asked a few guy friends what a guy does in this situation. They all agreed that if you might want to date the woman, you shouldn't ignore the day altogether - that sends the wrong message - but that if you aren't "officially dating" (seeing each other for a while, at least) then you can't really do a gift or even a card or dinner.

Apparently, men are under the impression that women assume a card on Valentine's Day is similar in scope to building a Taj Mahal in her honor.

"Well, what would you expect these guys to do?" Engineer asked, when I expressed my near-fatal exasperation at that assumption.

Found on Facebook. If it's yours, let me know.
Just treat it like any other day, for crying out loud.

If we've been talking every day, and suddenly, you avoid me (and I mean ignoring me altogether) I'm going to figure you either a) Have changed your mind about me or b) Are a spineless coward.

Newsflash: Like most women worth dating, I am not interested in men who are not interested in me, nor am I interested in spineless cowards.

If you're trying to date me - or at least keep the option open - you have just ruined that chance, because you were afraid to "send the wrong message."

For goodness sake - just say what you mean, and mean what you say. If you want to say hi - say hi! If you want to say Happy Valentine's Day - go for it! I won't start ordering wedding invitations, or picking out the tux you'll wear.

The truth is, I don't necessarily blame the guys for being unsure of what to do. Being single is tough; it's even tougher when you think you might like to not be single.

If you ignore the girl you like on Valentine's Day, she probably won't remember, and you'll be no worse off. But if you can make a single girl smile on Valentine's Day?

That will open up a whole lot of options.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Someone for everyone

Baking Suit sent me this photo. I think she found it on facebook. 

Two days later, a single friend texted that she'd seen the photo. It bummed her out, which I believe was the creator's intent.

I'm not even going to get into how mean and harsh this is. I've seen the woman all dressed up, and I've seen her in her more...natural state. Is she attractive? I don't particularly think so, and I'm sure there are plenty who agree.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm "curvy" - a quality many men don't find attractive. Yet, I meet plenty of men who actually prefer my body-type to the thin look. Does that make me more attractive than my skinny peers? No. It means different guys find different women attractive.

Which is sort of the premise of life, if you really stop and think. I mean, we can't all like the same people, the same careers, the same homes, the same religion, the same lifestyles... This is life, not Stepford.

What's important to remember is that the guy who loves "Honey Boo Boo's Mom" (Mrs. Honey Boo Boo?) sees something in her the rest of us do not, which is a lovely thing.

It's also important to remember that just because she has a boyfriend, doesn't mean he's the boyfriend you want. There's really no point in making the comparison.

A photo like this really plays into a woman's tendency to base her self-worth on whether or not there is currently a man who finds her attractive. Personally, I think that's what needs to change. You can't always please a guy - so stop trying, and just concentrate on pleasing yourself.
"You're damned if you're too thin and you're damned if you're too heavy. According to the press I've been both. Its impossible to satisfy everyone and I suggest we stop trying." ~ Jennifer Aniston*
*(Yes I realize the point of the picture is about more than just weight...but the whole comparison reminded me of the JA quote, which I've always loved.)