Friday, May 31, 2013

Since you asked...

Sometimes, people do the dumbest, strangest, meanest things...or maybe they're just not paying attention. For instance...

+ I say right on my profile that I am a cat-mom. I do this to let you know that if you don't like cats or are allergic, we're probably not a good match. If you have kids, there's a good chance I won't like them - and might even be allergic to them - but I understand they're part of the deal. Relax, parents, I'm not comparing your kids to my cat, so don't get your mom-jeans in a bunch. I'm simply saying that loyal, honest, unconditional friendship and love is hard to find. I won't be giving up the one person in my life who shows me all of that, even if he does have four legs.

+ Just because I looked at your profile doesn't mean I'm interested. Therefore, it isn't necessary for you to send me an email telling me I'm not your type. If you were my type, chances are I would have emailed you first. Simmer down, champ - you're not all that.

+ Along the same lines, just because I hold the door open for you when you walk into the building behind me doesn't mean I'm flirting. I'm being polite - blame my grandmother.

+ Standing someone up is just plain rude, mean, immature, cowardly, and totally uncalled for. If you changed your mind, just say so.

+ If you get stood up, remember it says way more about the other person than it does you. You held up your end of the bargain - s/he is the jackass.

+ If your interests include "vampires" and your profile picture clearly shows you're wearing contacts to color your eyes yellow and either you've had your teeth shaped so you have fangs or you wear some sort of prosthetic to make it look as though you do - move along. I don't like horror movies, I'm a afraid of the dark, and I'm anemic.

Found it here

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Know your role

I'm endlessly fascinated by what makes people tick. I'm curious about why they say what they say, and do what they do. It's one of the things about dating I find so interesting - and at the same time, so frustrating. 

So the other day, I got a message on Plenty of Fish that a user wanted to "meet me" (POF's quick-match feature, similar to daily matches on He had no photo, and his profile was barely completed, so I just ignored the message. 

Later, I noticed he had uploaded a photo. Nice looking man - but the photo didn't look real. Plus, it showed him with a dog - and his profile said he had no pets. He claimed to be a sociologist, with a four-year degree, yet his about section read:
Alor ro tell ask away i am open book

Something seemed off. I was curious, so when I had the chance, I said I wanted to "meet him" too, to see if he'd message me. He did.
"So u want to make my acquaintance"
How many sociologists do you suppose there are who don't use punctuation, and who use "u" instead of "you?"

I asked about the dog in the picture - he said the dog died. Very possible, so I extended my sympathies.  Then I asked,
"So what do you do as a sociologist? Specifically, I mean." 
I'm not even kidding when I tell you his response.
"Im conducting a study on affect of photos vs non photo profiles and success rates of relationships started online"
He then asked, "So whats ur experience" - to which I responded:
"Are you also studying the effects of good grammar versus poor grammar on the success of online interaction?"  
"Look lovey know ur role" then "lol" 
I asked what was funny, and he said:
"U in a kitchen doing ur role"  
I wished him well and said good luck with his "study." I'm not sure what the point was of telling me all of that,or what he hoped to accomplish. I assume he's telling the same lie to others - or maybe he's telling other stories depending on how the interaction starts?

See what I mean? Endlessly fascinating - and something else to look out for when I'm visiting profiles.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Work at it

Baking Suit sent me a link to this post, which I think is genius. The tell-it-like-it-is style and attitude is perfect, and the advice is sound, and fair, without being preachy at all. It all made me think...but I especially liked:
"Dumping the bastard doesn't solve everything"
In other words - don't give up on something just because it isn't perfect. Relationships are about give and take - and sometimes, it takes a little work to make all the parts fit.

I agree with that - and think I'm probably guilty of doing that very thing. If something doesn't feel right, I do tend to just walk away. I convince myself that I'm compromising too much, or I tell myself that if it was meant to be, it would "just fit" - so this must not be meant to be.

The truth is, I think you do have to trust your gut (another point made in the post), and sometimes my gut truly does tell me to cut my losses. Other times, it really is just a lack of patience - or a refusal to compromise even the slightest.

I do believe that when it's right - it's right. There might still need to be compromises, but I think when you find the right person, the compromises feel OK. So does the effort it takes to make the relationship work.

That's not usually my situation. More often than not, I feel like I'm either doing all the compromising - or I'm compromising on things when I feel I shouldn't. I leave conversations feeling bad about myself, regretting my choices, and wishing things were different.

I used to believe that was how relationships worked - someone has to be on the losing end, and I accepted that role all too often. I recognize now that's not the definition of compromise.
"It's not compromise if you're the only one compromising. That's what we call 'giving into someone's demands via relationship speak.' Or manipulation for short.
So I'm learning that I don't want to compromise - at least not all the time. I'm learning when a compromise feels OK to me, and when it just feels like I'm giving too much, without enough in return. This may seem like common sense, or something that I should have learned long ago, but for a life-long people-pleaser, trust me - it's a big deal.

I know I haven't yet gotten it completely right. I think I'm still giving in sometimes when I shouldn't, and not giving in on some things when I should. I like to think that this is all teaching me what I want - and how to get it.

I'm also quite hopeful that all my mistakes will teach me how to recognize what I want when I (finally) see it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A little crazy

You meet a guy. The two of you seem to hit it off. You have great conversation, a lot in common, it seems like you want the same thing - and he appears to be just as into you as you are him.

Your first date goes well. He gives you a great hug (maybe a kiss) and right away, he wants to set up the next date.

Things seem to be going great. Except he makes plans to go out a couple times that week - but you're not sure where, or with who. He calls you on his lunch, instead of at night. He gives you what seems like a preemptive blow-off.

But why should any of that matter? You only just met. It's not like you're exclusive - you're barely dating! In fact - you have a date of your own set up for one of those nights! So why do you care?

Some will say this is an example of a "crazy" woman - clingy, needy, insecure. While I don't like the word "crazy" to describe what is honestly very common dating behavior (for both men and women) - I do see the point. But honestly, I think it only seems crazy because we're not acknowledging the real problem.

Sure, it would be unreasonable to set any sort of expectation on this guy so early on. But what if our expectation isn't about him? What if it's about us?

At the end of the day, we're all looking for the "right" one. "Right" looks different for each of us - but the feeling is the same. It feels certain, and secure, and - well, right.

The what-ifs and the I-wonders come in when we're not sure something is right. That's OK - that's what dating is for, to figure it out.

I think the insecurity pops in not because we don't trust this particular guy, but because deep down, we don't trust our feelings. We know something is just a little off. It isn't what we were expecting.

That expectation has way more to do with our own feelings, yet we focus it on his actions. Inside, we're doubting ourselves and our feelings and whether or not this is what we expected to feel. But outwardly, we point our doubt at him, and his actions, with very little reason.

That could make anyone seem a little crazy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Freedom to love

From The Inquisitr - via Baking Suit

As you eat your hot dog today,
don't forget to celebrate all the beautiful freedoms we enjoy -
including finding love in its many, wonderful forms!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Since you asked...

I met a man who seems very interested in pursuing a relationship with me. He's nice, sweet, smart, with his act semi-together. He's attractive and funny, and we have a few things in common.

As I was processing this information the other day, it occurred to me I may need to rethink how committed I am to a full-blown relationship. Why? Since you asked...
  • The idea that I might be giving up my booty-call guy (don't judge, he's adorable and very sweet and respectful) actually bothered me more than the idea of missing out on the relationship.
  • I'm happy to have "the talk" - but didn't feel it was important enough to interrupt the season finalĂ© of Criminal Minds.
  • I have to Google how to spell the word "commitment" every single time I type it.
  • I immediately began thinking of all the single activities I'd have to give up - and teared up a little.
  • Immediately after that, I started coming up with excuses I was prepared to make to keep my single engagements...well, single.
In theory, I love the idea of a healthy, balanced, monogamous relationship. I just wonder if I'm cut out to be in one.

Found it here

Thursday, May 23, 2013

First dates are not dates

A couple of weeks back, after going on what feels like my thousandth first date since I started dating after my marriage ended (which was really only four years ago, though it seems like an eternity), I came to the following conclusion:

First dates should not be called dates.

Yes, I know we all want them to be "dates" because no one wants to feel like the guy she likes is doing something other than dating her. Yes, I know it's a big deal to get a guy to even use the word because they seem convinced it commits them to some sort of indentured servitude. It is already next to impossible to get a guy to admit we're even on a date - and here I am, taking the word away and making us one outing further away from a relationship. 

But hear me out. 

The first time you meet someone, you don't even know if you like him. Sure, you know enough to know you want to meet him in person (assuming you met online), or you liked him enough during that first chance meeting to set up something a little more formal.

But you don't really know if you like him. You don't know how he behaves in public, how good he is at conversation, how he'll treat you, or how he'll treat others. You have no idea how much you enjoy talking with him, or if his jokes are too corny or goofy - or just the right amount of both. You don't know what type of future you might want with this person, other than the hour or so you're willing to devote to finding out if he might be worth more. 

There are no romantic feelings at all - yet "date" implies that there are. It implies that you have decided you can't wait to see him. It implies that he is worth a new outfit or super-uncomfortable shoes. That he deserves your best perfume or the few extra minutes it takes to do your eye makeup just right. 

You don't know any of that yet, though, because you haven't even met him. How could you possibly know if he's worth all that time or effort, until you've had a chance to talk and get to know at least a little bit about him? 

Until you get to that point, it's not a date. It's just a meeting. Or as Baking Suit suggested, an "initial assessment."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Changes at Plenty of Fish

Every now and then, I get an email in my POF inbox from "Markus." Markus is the creator of Plenty of Fish - one of the largest online dating communties in the world. The site is completely free (though there are upgrades available for a ridiculously small monthly fee) and is actually the way I've met the nicest of any of my dates.

So the other day, I got an email from Markus, and I just had to share the highlights (the email has been edited for length and grammar - sorry Markus).
When I created POF, I wanted it to be all about finding relationships with the right person. For the first 7 years this worked really well.... Today about 70% of POF use is via the mobile app and unfortunately about 2% of men started to use POF as more of a hookup site mostly due the the casual nature of cell phone use.
In sticking with my vision that POF is all about Relationships, I'm going to make a bunch of changes to ensure it stays a relationship-focused site.
  • Any first contact between users that contains sexual references will not be sent. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will be deleted without warning. This rule has actually been in effect since last month and it's made the site so much better.
  • You can only contact people +/- 14 years of your age. There is no reason for a 50 year old man to contact an 18 year old women. The majority of messages sent outside those age ranges are all about hookups. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will get deleted.
  • Intimate Encounters will go away in the next few months. There are 3.3 Million people who use the site every day; of those there are only 6,041 single women looking for Intimate Encounters. Of those 6,041 women, the ones with hot pictures are mostly men pretending to be women. Intimate Encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women.
In short the vast majority of people will not be impacted.  This is because the vast majority of people are not going around spamming women saying "let's have sex tonight". I can't change POF alone, I need your help to get the word out there that POF is all about relationships!
I love Markus' idea. If it's just sex you're after, there are sites specifically geared for that purpose (and actually, they advertise on POF, so you can navigate quickly). I do have to say - I'd be curious how POF arrived at that 2% figure. I think the number of men using POF for hookups is much higher. From what I hear from the guys I talk with, the same is true of women on the site.

Eliminating "intimate encounters" should be enough to encourage relationships over casual sex. Markus, and POF, should be aware that people everywhere find ways to use online dating for sex. I've been approached for casual sex on - which is supposedly all about relationships.

My point is - it's their site, their platform, their business. They can run it however they see fit. In my opinion, trying to discourage casual hookups is the right place to start - and probably end. I think monitoring first contacts and limiting age criteria is a little overboard and probably unnecessary.

POF already has a setting that allows users to manage who can send them a message. So why not let users decide if they want to receive messages from people much older or younger? Why not let users report messages that are inappropriate, or profiles that are obviously all about sex?

Markus says it himself - he can't change POF alone. Online dating sites are just like any other social networking site - eventually, it's the users who define the community. Rather than spending time and resources to play hall monitor, POF might be better served teaching its users what they can do to improve their own experience.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Smart, honest, and funny

I promised you a little bit more about one of my conversations from this weekend. I always try to keep my promises.

This guy messaged my on OKCupid. Of all the dating sites to which I belong, OKCupid is probably my least favorite. Not because of the site - I actually really like the way it works. It happens to appeal to a demographic that doesn't really want the same as I do. At least in my area, there just aren't a lot of options. 

But, a girl's gotta find blog material somewhere...and the site is my profile stays. If it didn't, I wouldn't have gems like this to share. 

First of all - the guys name on OKCupid is normalwomenonly. Now - we know how I feel about guys who make a big deal about avoiding crazy women.

I noticed, and viewed his profile, mostly because OKCupid makes a big deal about telling you every single time someone views your profile (when you're signed in). 

Right away, he sent me a message:
just checked you out as u know because i seen u check me out while i checked u out lol very nice
It took me a minute to figure out that he was laughing at the fact that we looked at each other's profiles at the same time.

My response was:
So you prefer normal women, huh?
What he said was priceless:
well im smart enough to know thats an oxymoron and it really doesn't exist. I just want someone on the lower end of the crazy spectrum
Good grief. Later on, he asked what I look for in a man. My response was:
 Smart, honest, funny. Those are the big things.
Mr. Smarty-Pants said:
well i definately got all those covered
When I pointed out he thinks all women are crazy, he said:
lol i think all humans in general are crazy in there own way we all have flaws. I guess its just peoples quirks. I think i just find the crazy ones lol
My head hurt then, so I said goodnight and went to bed.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

One of those weekends

Recently, I mentioned two dates on my facebook page, and a reader commented I should be her dating coach because she hasn't had one date in a while, let alone two.

I replied that she probably does just fine. Unless you have a dating blog (and a need for consistently new stories) quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to dating.

One side effect of online dating is quantity - which is why I have active profiles on three different dating sites. Another side effect is men coming out of the woodwork. It's happened before - and it happened again this past weekend.

Thursday night, a guy with whom I made a very big mistake last summer sent me a facebook message to ask me out. He went from telling me he wanted to go to the movies to telling me he wants to just date to telling me he wants to be in a relationship with me. I pointed out that he'd (literally) just said he didn't want anything serious. I'm still waiting for his retort.

Friday, Chef texted me. He's been MIA for about 6 weeks - apparently, he was spending time with his aunt in the south, where they obviously don't have internet or cellular connections, and was unable to send me any messages. He'd like to have dinner.

Saturday, I woke to two separate emails from guys who said I'm cute. Well, one said "Wow, your cute!" (sigh) and the other said I am "cute as a button." I appreciated the compliments (and thanked them both) but honestly, one is in his fifties and the other used a picture of himself holding a fish as his profile picture. We aren't a match.

I also spent Saturday fending off messages from three separate guys who just couldn't hold a conversation. One I engaged with a bit because it was freaking hysterical - more on that to come.

Sunday, Bachelor #1 (Remember him?) called - twice. He left one message, which I have not returned.

I did have a date Friday night - who canceled. He made up for it Sunday, and we had a lovely time.

So if you're frustrated by how difficult it is to meet new people, online dating might be worth a shot. You can meet people - sometimes a lot of people - easily and fairly quickly.

Sometimes, a little too easily.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Since you asked...

It's been a week. Lots of stuff going on - most of which, honestly, has little to do with dating. But, I did have two dates last week (two different guys) and a (fingers crossed) a date tonight with another adorable man. I've been poking around on different dating sites...and that always leads to a few observations.
  • Describing yourself as loyal makes you sound like a dog.
  • If you're unemployed, maybe now isn't the best time to set up a dating profile. That said - kudos for being upfront!
  • Taking photos of yourself flipping off the camera is crude, unnecessary, and a turn-off.
  • Related: I wish I was mean enough to post a link to some profiles - pictures and all.
  • Nobody drops their phone in water that often. Plus, I can see you're online. That lie is not only unnecessary, it's an insult to us both.
  • You don't need to keep telling me how compassionate, caring, romantic, faithful you are. Message received. How about we start with something more basic.... Like your job?
  • If you don't even know how to spell the name of the city in which you live...we are not a good match.
  • If we're of different races, and we're on a date, asking me how I feel about interracial dating is probably a little redundant.

Many of the men I talk with are either African American or mixed-race.
I may start calling them Hot Chocolate (in fun, of course).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weird questions from OKCupid

If you have, or have ever seen, an OKCupid profile, you're aware that users have the option to answer profile questions. These are a seemingly endless list of personality questions addressing everything from politics to sex to body hair.

Supposedly, your answers - along with the importance you put on the answers of others - help OKCupid find matches for you. The more questions you answer, the better matches you'll find.

I'm absolutely convinced that personality tests and profiles can be dead-on when looking for a good match - on paper. Of course that doesn't always translate to a real connection - but this site has successfully "matched" me with guys in the past. We dated (in some cases, it lasted a while) and have remained friends. So there's something to it.

Of course, in the case of OKCupid, that also requires that everyone answers the questions - and that they do so honestly. So while I don't put too much stock in the match percentages shown (I will talk to a guy who only has a 60% match, because you never really know), I do sometimes find the questions helpful.

For example, a guy might seem like a great match for me - but if he's answered questions saying he thinks homosexuality is a sin, or he believes the man should always be the head of the household, I know to back away. Quickly.

I've had an OKCupid profile for almost three years, and I'm sure I've answered hundreds of questions. I have seen (and answered) the ten listed in this Mashable article (which I found via Baking Suit).
The article suggests the questions are "user-generated." I was under the impression that they are generated by the site - but perhaps there is a mixture? I can't seem to find anything to confirm either way.

The questions aren't mandatory. You can opt to answer none, or skip questions you don't like. You have the option of answering privately, so that only OKCupid knows your answer (for use in its algorithm magic). Usually you do have to answer a question publicly if you want to see another person's response. 

I think the Mashable artical is hysterical - but the idea that people use these questions to "find a lover who showers once a month, eats garbage, likes tortured animals, and finds the threat of nuclear war exciting" is probably a little off. I mean - I suppose there might be some people out there looking for someone to join them in their bomb shelter for a nice compost dinner- but I suspect they are few and far between.

I have answered hundreds of the OKCupid questions - mostly to see the responses of others. I also like to be able to indicate what answers are unacceptable to me (an example would be questions on same sex marriage). Plus - answering the questions is a great way to kill time at work.

For the record, if STALE equals 89475, then STEAL equals 89547 - but if you answered 89754, you're in luck! Ms. Attkisson thinks you're smart and might go on a date with you. I probably won't, though.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stir up your summer - create a summer singles event and win!

Click to visit the official contest site for a chance to win!
I went to my first Stir event last summer. I've been to a couple more since, and actually have one on my calendar for the end of the month.

While I really love the events - and the whole idea of taking online dating offline - I didn't realize that the concept is only one year old. In those twelve months, has hosted 2,850 events - which breaks down to 320 events a month. That's 75 Stir events a week! Over 225,000 singles have attended Stir events, in over 80 cities nationwide - including Anchorage and Honolulu!

Both events I've attended were happy hours at local, laid back venues. That's my style - relaxed, no pressure, just cool people having good conversation in a nice setting. But organizes more than just happy hours. Popular Stir events have included DJ lessons, cooking classes, tasting events, bowling, etc. has partnered with over 1,200 venues and organizations, including House of Blues, Banana Republic, Sur la Table and Warrior Dash. How's that for variety?

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Stir, is offering singles the opportunity to create their own Stir event. What could be better? How about having your event chosen, and working with to bring it to life!

How does it work? Visit's "What Stirs You?" contest page now through Tuesday, May 28, 2013, and tell what you think would make a perfect singles event in your area. Entries will be judged based on creativity, quality, uniqueness, and geographical relevance. The winning event will be re-created by the local Stir event team, and the winner will be invited to attend the event with 10 friends - at no charge! 

As if that's not enough, the winner will also receive a free six-month subscription to!

So get to work on your ideas! Want inspiration? More info? Or just want something to do now that this blog post is over? Check out the Stir One Year Anniversary video below - and get working on your idea!

Monday, May 13, 2013


One of the things I like best about Match, that other dating sites lack, is the fact that the profiles tell what the person's criteria is (if any). For example, right next to the profile picture, information like this appears:
MrPerfect is looking for women ages 26-38 within 50 miles of Albany, NY
Of course, nothing is without exceptions. I mean, Prince Charming searched the whole kingdom for Cinderella, and her shoes didn't even fit right. You can't plan who you'll love.

Still, now I know that if I'm 40 and live 100 miles away from him - even if all else is perfect - there's probably little reason to email him. Or if I do, I should at least be prepared that he may not be willing to step outside those requirements.

At the bottom of a Match profile, you can share even more information about the person you hope to meet. If you have preferences for race, religion, education, income, lifestyle (smoking, drinking, etc), body-type - even hair and eye color, for those who only date blue-eyed blondes!

Most people don't go into too much detail in this section. One thing almost everyone completes is the body-type they find attractive. I actually find this pretty helpful. I'm not even close to being "athletic and toned" or "thin" so if a guy specifically states that's what he finds attractive, why waste his time, or mine?

Whether you follow people's criteria without exception, or prefer to take a chance here and there, I still think it's worth respecting what they say they want. I mean - hopefully they know best what will work for their life, right?

I have been approached by many, many men who are considerably younger than me. On OKCupid, I get it

Guess they're hoping I'm a cougar.
 - it's a totally different circumstance. Plus, my profile doesn't actually say that I want to meet people in a certain age-range.

But on Match? A guy 10 years my junior approached me last week. He even said to me, "I know I'm younger than your profile states you want - does that bother you?"

Well, yeah. Especially since his profile specifically said he "definitely" wants to have kids someday - and mine says I definitely don't. When I pointed this out, he said, "That's OK. I work a lot right now, so not having kids is not an issue."

Great - so you don't want to have kids right this second. But the thing're 28! That will probably change, especially since you already know you want a family. So why on Earth would you approach a woman who is past the age where she can safely have kids, and who is saying she definitely does not want them - ever?

My profile actually says I am looking for men my age and older (I say up to 49; I can't bring myself to admit I could date a 50-year-old, yet). Why? Not because I have anything against younger guys - but with older men, the issue of having kids is usually eliminated. Either they already have and don't want more, or they've decided they never want kids. Either way - problem solved!

I usually avoid men who are looking for younger women - especially if they're in their forties, and they're looking for a woman in her twenties. I figure either they're still hoping to meet someone who can have kids - or they're just emotionally immature, and have found their games don't work on women their own age. Either way - not for me.

I don't believe in having a type. Opposites attract all the time, and you never know with whom you'll find a connection. Sometimes it's worth a little extra effort, just to see what might happen.

But don't completely discount what someone says they want. Even if you don't think it has anything to do with you, it might offer a little insight into the person you're potentially trying to meet. Who someone chooses to spend time and effort on says an awful lot about him.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Since you asked...

I made several note-worthy observations on last weekend's date. Actually, I was mentally preparing this post while plowing through my dinner to make it end faster. Want to hear? Since you asked...

     * If the wait for a table is an hour, it's probably rude to spend the entire time in the ladies room.

     * Then again, it's equally as rude for him to ask why you were gone so long. I say split the difference.

     * If you don't know the walking situation, it's best to wear comfy shoes, even if they're not your favorite.

     * Wear the right bra with the right tank-top and no one cares about your shoes anyway.

I might start doing that!

     * Whether we realize it or not, we all have little tests we give our dates. It's human nature to want to know what we're getting into.

     * If you sincerely want to pay the check, you'll grab it as soon as it hits the table. No matter how intended, a delay gives the appearance you want to split the bill, or expect the other person to pay.

     * Even if the place has a super-long wait, you shouldn't make your displeasure obvious. Doing so is rude, mean, and unnecessary. Just be grateful someone thought enough of you to make a plan.

     * That said, when you're the one making plans, it's nice to take things like travel and wait time into consideration.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Avoid guys who avoid crazy

I see a lot of profiles in which the guy makes a point of saying he's not looking for "crazy" women. Most of the time it's built into his profile - occasionally, a guy will go so far as to make it his headline.

I get the point - he's met women who played games, messed with his head, and treated the relationship and/or him with disrespect. He knows he doesn't want that again, and is saying so up front.

I respect the rationale - I just don't think it's effective.

My uncle always says, "Locks are for honest people." The meaning, of course, is that only an honest person would let a locked door stop them from entering. The people you're really trying to keep out - the dishonest people - won't let a lock stop them. In their world, locks don't apply.

Same idea here. Women who are disrespectful, immature, or insecure are not going to think the message "no crazy women allowed" applies to them. They don't think they're crazy - so obviously, you must not be referring to them. Meanwhile, the women you do hope to attract are turned off by the negative approach, and have moved on to the next profile.

Why? Let me tell you.

First of all, a profile should talk about the person in a positive manner. I want to know more about the guy, to decide if I'm even interested in reaching out in the first place. If he comes across as negative, I can already conclude I'm not interested. Referring to women as "crazy" makes him sound bitter, angry, or like he's not over past experiences. Moving on...

Am I interested in what he wants? Of course! But again - in a positive way. I would much rather read that a guy is looking for a confident, secure, grounded woman, over reading that he doesn't want a "crazy" person.

Plus, that eliminates the element of interpretation. I already know believe have it on good authority that I'm
not crazy. If that's you're only requirement, it'd be easy for me to think that maybe we are a good match. But if you remember to say in your profile that what you really want is an active, athletic woman interested in training with you for a marathon - you have just saved us both some time.

Not to mention - you're always going to meet people who are not a good match. Everyone needs an affirmative, defined idea of what he's looking for, to make it easier to tell the good matches from the bad.

In the last few months, I have broken my own rule and talked to guys who specifically said in their profiles that they didn't want any more "crazies." Both reached out to me first, and I chatted briefly with each. After a few emails back and forth, both just sort of faded away.

I suppose I may have come across as crazy, though I'm pretty good about hiding that, at least in the first few emails.

More likely, I think it just comes down to the fact that guys who say they want to avoid crazy do so because they are accustomed to meeting crazy women, and are convinced that's all there is. Why?

Either they are crazy themselves, and therefore attract crazy. Or they treat women so badly they eventually make them crazy.

Either way - I'll be avoiding those guys from now on.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Face to face rejection

I realized this weekend that I need to work on the face-to-face rejection. I have no problem telling someone that I'm just not that into him over the phone or in text {oh, how sweet it is when I can get away with that}, but when it comes to in-person - I choke.

Found it here
I do feel like it's either rude - especially after a date for which he's paid - or mean. But the truth is, I can get over being rude and mean. What I can't get over is the idea that it will turn into an embarrassing scene, or worse, he'll refuse to go away when the conversation is over.

On the phone, I have more control. If the conversation gets out of hand, I can just hang up. In person - and especially in public - I can't. Even walking away doesn't always work. Case in point - when Mr. Crazy-Pants approached me at the gym. He kept talking to me, and even though the conversation wasn't out of control, I still felt embarrassment. 

Honestly, there's also a safety concern. I don't want to sound all melodramatic, but the truth is - I have been in situations where I thought the guy might be less than a gentleman if he was rejected.

Sometimes, it's just easier to save-face in person, and then reject over the phone later.

But we all know the right thing to do is usually not the easy thing. It really only comes up if the guy is looking for confirmation of the next date before the current date ends. Sometimes guys don't ask {though I have met those that ask before the bill is paid - sneaky} and just wait until the follow-up phone call or text. I find this happens mostly if the guy is only a little interested in another date. If a guy is very interested, he will want to close the deal before saying goodbye.

A preemptive rejection isn't necessary - and that really would be mean. So, if the guy says something, I need to get better at replying with a nice, friendly, thanks, but no thanks. The truth is, embarrassment is my issue, not his, and safety is rarely a real concern. Sure I want to be courteous - but real courtesy is treating this person the right way, and being up-front if asked.

Of course, there will always be times when you just have to dive into your car head first to avoid an unwanted goodnight kiss. I don't think any of us should be too hard on ourselves - desperate times, desperate measures, and all.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Little tests

My date wasn't with "Know games" guy -
but hiding still looks pretty good.
I was on a date this weekend. He suggested meeting half way, and driving together to a restaurant he likes that is about 90 minutes away. Normally, I don't do the whole ride-together thing on a first date. I've been talking to this guy online for a while, and had an OK vibe from him. Plus, I liked the idea of me saving on gas.

Safety isn't the only concern, of course. Riding together, and traveling that far, pretty much guaranteed the date would be at least four hours long. Trapped with someone for all that time, with no idea how conversation would be? That was the real problem.

I started noticing comments that made him seem...a little old-fashioned. It's tough to explain, but he was coming across as very opinionated and rigid. He definitely did not have a lot of education, and definitely blue collar. I don't really care about any of that, but those things sometimes add up to a person with whom I might not share some political or social ideals.

So, I brought up an incident that happened in my city recently. It was a domestic disturbance between two men, who were also a couple. I figured the story might be a good conversation starter (or filler) but also give me a chance to observe his reaction to a gay couple.

It wasn't positive. Actually, I think he scowled.

At that point, I was pretty much done (which was unfortunate, because we were only half way through dinner and still had an hour drive together). Even if we got past the lulls in conversation, it appeared my instincts were right, and we differed in some very key ways.

It occurred to me that we probably all do these kind of tests on dates. I don't just do it with issues - I also do it with how a guy treats me. If I mention I have bad knees, will he remember, and offer to get the car for me or help me down a curb? Will he walk on the curb-side of the sidewalk? Will he let me order first? Does he grab for the check right away? Is he nice to the server?

I'm sure everyone guages behavior differently. The point is, whether we realize it or not, a first date is really just a series of tests. A chance to observe how the other person carries himself (or herself), and to try and predict how well that will mesh with our own behavior.

I'm sure he's a nice guy. He may just be too down-home, good-old boy for me. Or maybe I'm too snobby, white-collar bred for him. In either case, we're not a good match.

And I'll be sticking to coffee for first dates from now on.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Plenty of intentions

One of the basics of a Plenty of Fish profile is your intent. The current choices are:
  • Wants to date but nothing serious
  • Wants to find someone to marry
  • Actively seeking a relationship
  • Casual dating/no commitment
After some of the people I've met, it occurs to me more options are needed. I suggest:
  • Wants to find a sugar-momma
  • Wants a pen-pal, nothing more
  • Wants women to reject, in order to feel better about himself
  • Seeking gullible women willing to believe almost anything
  • Looking for "crazy women" so he can continue complaining all women are crazy
That's just a few suggestions, based upon some recent online dating experience.

For those who think I'm suggesting no guys are looking for relationships, I'm not. I'm just thinking a lot of time could be saved if some guys could share their true intentions up-front.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Minimum requirements

Not too long ago, I participated in a twitter chat about dating. One of the questions asked was, "Why do women marry men who are not really marriage material?" My reply was also my first thought - because they think they can "fix" him.

I know this because years ago, a guy from work told me about a conversation he overheard between his new wife (of about six months) and her mother. His wife said, "I almost have him fixed, mom."

For many women, marriage is the main goal when choosing dates. Little things, like whether they have
anything in common or whether or not she even likes him, take second place to concerns like his job, his income, how good he is with kids, whether or not he wants kids, his family, etc.

They figure they can change (or "fix") whatever might be wrong, as long as they're working with a solid foundation. After all, you can guilt a guy away from the big game, or force him to have dinner with your parents, but if he can't afford the house you can you work with that?!

Sometimes, marriage isn't the goal. Take women my age, for example (late 30s to - gulp - early 40s). Most of the time we already have kids (or have come to the conclusion we don't want them). We may have already been married once, or decided it doesn't really matter. We may be looking for a committed relationship, but usually the dreams of the white picket fence and 2.2 kids have evaporated, if they even ever existed.

That doesn't mean we don't want a specific type of guy. Whether it's his job, or his income, or his love for cats, there is something that we want in a guy before we graduate from dating to relationship.

I imagine we have all, at some point, convinced ourselves that we could fix or replace whatever was missing or not working. As long as he has those minimum requirements, we can work with anything.

A few months back, when I met a guy who had a good job, owned a house, and a car, and was polite and didn't cancel dates, I wondered if I'd hit the jackpot. Successful, handsome, nice - and he liked me. I felt like I'd found a unicorn!

After a few dates, though, I found something was missing. That little "something extra." No butterflies. Some friends thought I should stick it out. Maybe feelings would develop - and how was I ever going to find another guy with his act together!? I thought that was a lousy idea - because others have done the same to me, with bad results.

I don't feel like I should have to settle for my minimum requirements. Especially things like a job and a car and a stable living arrangement, which should really be givens when a guy is 30 or 40-something. Of course the guys I date should be "required" to have those things. That doesn't mean I should settle for the first guy who offers them.

I'm better than my minimum requirements - and the guy for me will be better, too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Safety first

Safety is a big deal when you're dating. Especially when you're a woman, and dating online. Anyone can get scammed, but women also have to worry about their own physical safety.

[Though, according to last night's episode of Criminal Minds, guys should watch out too!]

A few weeks back, I met this man on Plenty of Fish. To describe him as attractive would be the understatement of the year. He seemed very nice - but something just felt off. He texted everyday, and seemed like he wanted to meet. But his suggestion for a date was questionable.

He lives near a park, and thought we could meet and sit in my car and talk for a little while.

Now - I've dated guys who live in this neighborhood. Parking is difficult at best. Sometimes the park is the only option. So I wasn't shocked he suggest that's where I park - but to suggest that as a date?!

I thought maybe transportation was an issue for him, which I understand. But this is a very walkable area - plenty of coffee shops and small restaurants to meet.

I kept putting it off, hoping he'd figure something else out. He finally suggested meeting at a nearby coffee shop, which worked fine. The day of, though, he was out of town and unsure about what time he could meet. In confirming with him, I had an uneasy feeling, so I told him I had plans for later, and was just hoping to get some coffee and chat for a while.

He said sure, but he figured we'd either go back to his place or go sit in my car.

I told him I wasn't comfortable with either option, and he reluctantly agreed to just sit and talk in the coffee shop.

Based on his attitude, I figured the meeting would just be a waste of time (mine and his). We were obviously not on the same page, and his agenda seemed quite different from mine. Whether he was up to no good, I wasn't sure - but I wasn't about to ignore the warning signs.

So, I (politely and nicely) told him while I was sure he is a very nice guy, I just didn't think we were on the same page. Seemed silly to meet when our agendas are obviously very different. I apologized for the short notice, and wished him a lovely evening.

He didn't seem at all upset.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Have You Been Catfished?

We're probably never more vulnerable than when we're lonely. Someone who longs for love, commitment, and companionship will do just about anything to find it. Most people still keep their BS reader finely tuned, or have friends who can help when they don't. Some are out there, willing to believe, and do, just about anything to find love.

A catfish scam is when a person creates a fake profile, for the purpose of stealing money from someone (or sometimes, a lot of someones). We're not talking about a woman lying about her weight, or a man about his height.

A catfish scam involves a completely fictional identity, used to establish a relationship. Once the relationship is formed, the scammer starts requesting money. Who among us wouldn't be willing to send money to our true love?

Thanks to Baking Suit for sending over this link to Daily Infographic on how to know if you have been Catfished. Click the link for the details; here are some highlights:
  • The 1995 merger of and created the first major internet dating site.
  • Today Americans spend an estimated $500 million annually in their search for love and romance.
  • Nearly 20 million people visit a dating site at least once a month.
  • Catfishing is the word used to describe scams involving "hooking" a target and "reeling" him in.
  • Catfish is the title of a 2010 movie about one man's story of meeting the love of his life online.
  • Catfish scams involve posing as a love interest, and eventually convincing the target to send money.
  • In 2011, the FBI received 5,600 complaints from victims of these scammers.
  • Victims reported collective losses of $50.4 million.
  • About 80% of online profiles contain some sort of "fib," usually involving weight, salary, or height.
  • Photographs are usually the most misleading part of an online profile.
  • Signs of a fake profile:
    • Pictures that appear fake
    • Facts that don't add up
    • Unnatural eagerness to establish intimacy
    • Poor grammar and spelling
    • Immediate request for personal info to communicate away from the site 
I believe I have "met" people who are scammers. I am certain I've talked with people online who were either looking for money, or a green card. I followed my instincts and stayed away from offline communication or in-person meetings.

Online dating requires common sense. Don't be afraid to take risks...but also don't be afraid to ask questions, or simply walk away from a situation that doesn't feel right.