Wednesday, July 31, 2013
When I first logged into Skout locally, I noticed a familiar face right away. I looked at the profile to confirm it was him, and then I moved on.
See, we dated a few months back. When I say "dated" I mean we met for coffee once, and then twice I went over to his apartment with dinner, and we hung out. Both times he was very quick to rush me out, saying he needed to get to sleep. (The first time, I happen to know he logged into OKCupid as soon as I left.)
I tried to raise the rushing-out issue in person, but he was too busy rushing me out to listen. So when he texted me the next day, I mentioned I wanted to continue the conversation. He said sure...and then I never heard from him again. I asked him to call when he had time to talk...and then a couple days later I tried to get in touch with him. Nothing. Finally, I sent him a text and told him what I wanted. I asked him to call if he was interested in the same, and if not, no hard feelings.
Since I didn't hear from him, I took that to mean he wasn't interested in further discussion, so I moved on. He could have contacted me by phone, or on OKCupid, or later on Plenty of Fish, when he joined.
But he didn't. It wasn't until Skout that he reached out to me.
It's one of those situations where I wish I had a transcript of our entire exchange. I am second-guessing myself, and tempted to take all of the blame, even though I realize it can't possibly be all my fault.
It occurs to me what I really need are objective opinions offered by people who have no reason to lie.
That's where you, the internet, come in.
(It also occurs to me the NSA should offer transcripts like that for sale. I think the government is missing the boat on a huge revenue stream.)
To be continued....
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I have been on Skout a little over a week. I've "met" dozens of men. Most have resulted in little more than a few exchanges on the site. One or two graduated to my phone number. I haven't met anyone in person, and currently have no plans to do so.
I have made a few observations...
» The economy must be worse than I thought, because there are a lot of unemployed men out there.
» It really doesn't matter how attractive you are.... I can't look past a sentence like "u is pretty."
» "Were your parents bakers? Cuz you're a cutie pie," is very cheesy, but give the man some grammar points!
» After a few days of observing what other women post, I'm more understanding as to why men approach us like meat. I'm also far less complimented when they tell me I'm pretty.
» Everyone should carefully consider how things like platform, design, and ad placement affect the overall look of their posts.
(Please forgive the photo. It was too good not to share.)
Monday, July 29, 2013
I joined right on my phone. Since the app works by tracking your location and finding people close by using the phone's GPS feature, using Skout on a desktop or laptop doesn't make a lot of sense. This on-the-go dating at its finest.
[Side Note: For this reason, I don't recommend creating your account when you're 100 miles from home. Just creates confusion.]
Skout is basically a chat site. You have a profile, but it includes far less detail than sites like Match or Plenty of Fish. You can enter search criteria, but I'm not convinced it pays attention when you're looking for people. I keep finding guys way too young in my search results.
You can also update your "Buzz." This feature allows you to share by posting a status or a photo. It goes into your Buzz feed, but does not become a part of your profile. When you check out the Buzz, you're seeing posts from everyone, everywhere. The stuff people post on the internet is amazing - and a little horrifying. It is also exceptionally entertaining, and is a great source for blog material.
As far as the people you meet....it's what you'd expect. Skout is really like what would happen if Craigslist Personals included a chat feature. The fact that it's location-based doesn't help. People do travel, and while I'm happy for the travel and tourism business in my area, I'm not looking to meet someone who is just passing through. I have also "successfully" connected with several truck drivers - who were also just passing through.
The chat feature also draws a particular kind of crowd - the kind that is looking totally for online relationships. They just want to chat online - and, I'm sure if you let it get to that point, they want to sext - and go no further. The kind of relationship that allows them to be anyone they want - except the person they really are.
That is understandably a turnoff to a lot of people. That type of interaction (totally online) also means that people are more aggressive in approaching others. I had dozens of messages within hours of making my profile public. Most of it was just nonsense, of course. But if you're like me and really want to put in effort before just dismissing someone, that can all be a little overwhelming. It took me the better part of a week to adjust to the increased activity on this site, versus what I'm used to elsewhere.
Like any other site, Skout is all about getting a handle on how things work on the site, what to expect, what features you like, and what you don't. Also like any other way of meeting people, if you're willing to do the work, you never know what you might find.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Well, first - etiquette is just an unwritten and/or unspoken understanding about how one should behave in a given situation. So etiquette applies to everything.
Second - as long as everyone is legal, single, and consenting, there's nothing wrong with a booty call. In fact, I hate to even use the phrase - but it gets the point across.
Call it a booty call, or friends with benefits, or a f*ck buddy (thanks, SATC). Call it whatever you want. It's just sex - and that's the point. It's sex without attachment or commitment or connection. A complete separation of the physical act from the emotional response.
|Found it here|
Actual experts say that separation really isn't possible. Sex releases a chemical in our brain that triggers the emotional response. So one causes the other - they can't be independent. That chemical reaction creates a feeling of connection to the other person.
That's not to say some people can't make it work. But I think that's where the etiquette comes in. We may not be able to control a chemical reaction, but we are in complete control of our own behavior.
If you want to keep it casual, you need to avoid the affection. Talk about sports, talk about movies, talk about politics. Don't get too deep into your family, your friends, or your feelings. That's too personal, and once you start sharing personal stuff, you're moving away from casual.
I've met men who actually avoid kissing. Sounded ridiculous to me - the only place I'd heard it before was Pretty Woman - but I have to say, it does actually work. You may not avoid emotions completely, but they definitely take longer to develop when there's no smooching.
Skip the "I had a great time" text. If you're both just in it for the sex, that kinda goes without saying. This comes across as the sort of check-in you'd do after a date, to gauge interest in the next one. If it's just sex, that's unnecessary.
Along those same lines, don't send the cute little text messages like, "Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you," or "Good morning, beautiful." Not necessary. If you want a woman to see you just for the sex, don't give her anything more.
That's the thing, though. While it can be very liberating to "date like a guy" without attachment, I think we all (women and men) want more sometimes. Some men really want to make a woman feel special and loved - or at least know they can make her feel that way. Some women really want a guy to look at her like she's the only one.
At some point, we probably all need to admit that no matter how much we want it, and no matter how hard we try - in the end, there's really no such thing as casual sex.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
#9 - Let's not only revoke his dating license. He should probably be arrested.
#15 - Similarly, let's revoke his dating license and put him on a 72-hour hold.
#22 - Someone alert the writers at Criminal Minds!
#20 - Yes.
#14 - ?????
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I agree with some of what she says.
For some odd reason, certain online daters feel the need to share bad things about exes. “I like outdoorsy girls. My ex-girlfriend wasn't interested in hiking and camping.” Oh, really? Is that why you two broke up? Of course not, unless you permanently live off the land. No need to talk about past relationships (including marriages), or really any past experiences. Get into the present and write about what you want now.
*Exception to the above rule: Your past may have led to children. In that case, you should mention them. It’s creepy if you don’t.If you prefer an "outdoorsy girl" definitely say so. Do you need to mention the bit about the ex? No - but that's not really a lie, either. Also, it is definitely creepy if you have kids and don't mention them. Super creepy.
I don't agree that it's OK to lie about your height, weight, or only show photos from the waist up. I get what she's saying (best foot forward and all), but I believe your best foot includes working with what you've got. I'm a curvy girl, and I would never not post that on a dating profile. What good is that doing? If a guy knows he's only attracted to thin women, I'm just wasting his time - and mine.
[PS - How dare anyone suggest that in order for a curvy girl to put her best foot forward, she needs to hide her body?]
Ms. Cook also said it's OK to lie about vices.
Are you a twice a week social smoker or a once a month marijuana dabbler? Forget about it. Even people who are super-anti whatever mild vice this might be for you probably won't care if you do it only occasionally or only with certain friends. I wouldn't worry about describing your substance habits unless they are excessive. Your date probably behaves the same way.NO she doesn't behave the same way, and YES she does want to know if you "dabble" in anything, especially if it's illegal where she lives. To some of us - and our jobs - this sort of information is deal-breaking. I wonder if Ms. Cook will pay my mortgage when I lose my job because my next date gets me arrested for possession because it was OK to forget to mention his intense cocaine habit?
Of course it takes time to share everything about your life with someone. No one does that upfront. I'll tell you I'm divorced before we've ever met, but it might be a while before I share all the details about what happened.
But if I don't even mention I've been married before? That's uncool.
Lying is a time-waster. It's not up to anyone to decide what is and is not a deal-breaker for others. Your job isn't to get inside your potential date's head; your job is to show off who you are, and let the right date find you.
Monday, July 22, 2013
I don't drink - ever. I can count on one hand the number of times I've had alcohol, and all were 20+ years ago. I've never been drunk. I don't ever plan to change.
So when I answer "never" I am being completely honest. I wish other people would do the same (be honest, I mean - I don't care if they drink).
I would say about 90% of the profiles I see say the person is a social drinker. But what does that mean,
|Found it here|
I say a social drinker is someone who has a drink when he goes out. He's at a bar or dinner with others, and enjoys a drink - or maybe even a few. I'd even agree that a person could over-indulge once in a while, and still be a social drinker.
As long as it's done socially (as in, while in the company of others) and responsibly (as in, there's a sober designated driver or other plan in place).
I'd say someone who has a liquor inventory on hand and is constantly restocking is more than a social drinker. I'd say someone who drinks every night - even when he's alone - is more than a social drinker. I'd say someone who drinks and then drives to work is way more than a social drinker.
Yet few people will admit to being more than a social drinker - even though choices like 'often' or 'moderately' are available.
I get a variety of reactions when I tell people I don't drink. Some are appalled. Some don't actually believe me. Some get excited at the prospect of a built-in designated driver (which, by the way, is the reaction I find most annoying).
Others feel the need to excuse their own habits. "Yeah, I hardly ever drink," said one. Then he drank three beers at dinner that night, and two on our next date. I'm sure he was in control. I'm also sure, based on his size and the timing, that he would have been legally drunk if pulled over.
It seems like there's a perceived stigma about people who like to drink. I think people are hesitant to admit to drinking more often out of worry they will be pre-judged.
I've been told that I shouldn't say "never" on my profile. That it makes me sound dull, and probably scares people away; that they might figure it'd be a problem for me if they wanted to drink.
I disagree. As surprised as most men are when I don't order a drink, there's no way they're actually reading that part of my profile. Not to mention, if my drinking habits matter that much, we're probably not a good match, anyway.
Lying or pretending, on the profile or in person, accomplishes nothing - something I wish more people would learn.
Friday, July 19, 2013
» You shouldn't have to specify in your profile that you won't be abusive. Yes, some men are - but not abusing a woman is the bare minimum you can do to be a good guy. If you lower the bar any more, you might trip.
» I'm not on a "search" so please don't ask me how it's going. I'm out to meet nice, cool, smart people and hopefully find a connection worth pursuing. Don't make me sound like Pochahantas leading an expedition.
» You message me for days...then ignore me for week...then message me and tell me how you met someone, it didn't work out, and you are wondering how I'm doing. Translation: You were more interested in her, but it didn't work out, so now you're back to me. You disliked her low self-esteem. Well here's something else not to like: Mine isn't low, and I don't play second fiddle. Better luck next time.
» It's never, ever cool to date when you're not ready. It's especially not cool to do so with someone who is loving, caring, and who has honest feelings for you.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
[Side Note: The first Tuesday of every month, pre-dating hosts a free teleseminar on a dating topic. Registration gets you a coupon code which can be used to save 50% on a pre-dating event - or buy one, get one so you can bring a friend.]
It works much like you might imagine:
- There is an even number of men and women.
- Women sit at the same table all night; men move from one table to the next in order.
- Everyone gets a badge number and wears name tags with their first name only.
- There is a time limit for each "date." When the time is up, the facilitator rings a bell indicating that the men should move to the next table.
- Everyone has two note sheets with a list of numbers. You note the person's name next to his/her number on both. On one you make notes for yourself; on the other, you indicate "Let's talk" or "No thanks" to indicate your interest.
- At the end of the night you hand in your feedback sheet to the facilitator.
- A day or two later, you get an email with contact information for any mutual matches, and anyone who wanted to meet you (in case you want to give them another chance).
The event I attended was supposed to have 12 men and 12 women, but we had several no-shows. We ended up going on 7 "dates" at 6 minutes each.
I know what you're thinking...6 minutes isn't that long, right? Trust me when I say you have no idea how long 6 minutes truly is until you've spent it being leered at by a guy from Beirut who barely speaks English.
What I liked:
- The price (after my discount, not before)
- The location (they chose a fun bar in a cool town)
- The logistics (easy to understand)
- Most of the people were nice enough
- Six minutes really did seem like just the right amount of time
- They provided a list of interesting questions to ask, in case you found yourself at a loss for conversation
- The paperwork - it seems unavoidable, but it does make the transition from one date to the next a little awkward. I made the best of it by turning into a joke and using it to break the ice.
- The age range - I went to an event for ages 30-39; I was 38 (I turned 39 three days later). Most of the people were just too young. There is an upcoming event for ages 33-42, and I've seen them for 35-44, which is probably more my speed.
- Feeling trapped - See mention of man from Beirut above. Tough to not know what you're getting yourself into.
- Get a drink - for liquid courage and/or to keep your mouth from getting dry. You will do a lot of talking.
- Dress appropriate for the venue, but also comfortable so you feel confident. It'll probably be in a lounge or bar. Others probably won't be too dressed up, and there's no reason you should be uncomfortable.
- Women should let their best shoes out of the closet. You get to sit behind a table all night!
- Go to an event that's a good age-range for you, but don't sign up if you're outside the age-range - even if you think it would work for you. It's just creepy. Don't be creepy.
- Have fun. Laugh, and make jokes. Show off your personality. Don't try to be something you're not, but do try to put your best put forward.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
This from a guy who waited a whole 6 messages before asking this incredibly personal, and difficult to answer, question.
He's not the first to ask. Sometimes it's phrased as, "How are you single?!" or "Why is someone like you online?"
I think sometimes the question is meant as a compliment. Like, "how has no one seen how wonderful you are?"
|Found it here|
That brings us back to a pet-peeve I've mentioned earlier - the idea that when it comes to relationships, all you're looking for is someone who likes you. As if who you like isn't important at all. But that's a different post.
But it also brings us to a misconception about online dating - that everyone there is desperate, and unable to meet people elsewhere. Listen, I'm the first to admit I'm no beauty queen. But I'm not a bad catch, either. I have plenty of absolutely gorgeous friends who have used online dating to meet people - and I've met attractive, sweet, successful, honest men online too (though I have yet to meet one guy who has all of those qualities).
Not to mention, the question also suggests that just because someone has a profile, that means she has no one in her life. That's a bad assumption - and you know what they say about people who ass-u-me.
Maybe I am dating - just not seriously. Or maybe I just met someone. I might be a player... Or maybe three other guys used that same line earlier in the day, and I'm suddenly quite busy.
My point is, me being online doesn't make me lonely, or alone - any more than us talking online makes us together. Don't go into a conversation with someone having already made assumptions and set expectations.
That rarely works out well for anyone.
Monday, July 15, 2013
|Visit to Enter|
Friday, July 12, 2013
*disclaimer*If you're into head games keep moving, most of you say you're not into them but as long as it's you playing them its fine.
Don't reply or message me if you are not willing to do what you say in your profile. You want honesty but can't be honest then you're fake.
Apparently women say one thing but do the complete opposite.
Don't know why I even keep this profile. I have meet women I am interested in but for some reason none of them can be truthful but say they want a man to be truthful. Another peev of mine, dont click the damn meet me button if you seriously don't feel like chatting.
Have had several women click the meet me and then I message them and they just don't reply back.
Seriously, there is a little icon that allows you to see the persons profile before you click yes or no. It amazes me how little effort people put into this anymore. (Effort...you mean like spell-check, punctuation, and grammar?)
I'm trying my first speed-dating event tonight. Wish me luck! Hope this guy isn't there.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
I want to just date who I want, when I want, and if something more develops, fine. If not - that's fine too, and at least I'll have fun.
I realize this will make me seem quite selfish, and under the right circumstances, possibly a little...out of control. I also realize people will probably judge me and assume I'm making bad decisions and big mistakes.
I guess I don't care about any of that, either.
Which means I'm no longer single woman. If I'm dating with that attitude, I've clearly become a single guy.
Which means I have cooties. Apparently, they're not only real - they're contagious.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
That's how I feel about dating.
I can meet guys who are successful or smart or funny or interested in me.
I've tried combining just a couple of these qualities. I've even tried replacing one or more of them with 'ridiculously handsome.'
But the more I try to substitute or make concessions, the more I realize that car commercial is right.
And is better.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Which - I get. That's what most people want help with - finding, attracting, and keeping the person.
I guess there's a part of me that wishes people were less concerned with meeting someone and more concerned with meeting the right one.
It's like the message is that our only real standard should be that a guy want us. Like what we want doesn't even matter, so don't bother trying to figure that out.
I don't think people need to consult relationship experts, or even become relationship experts.
I think we need to become an expert on ourselves.
Once you know yourself, I think the right person is just around the corner.
Monday, July 8, 2013
|Derek Jeter and Shemar Moore (aka Derek Morgan)|
It's a Derek Collage! For this, I could hang in there.
But...for attending the seminars, you get a coupon code for 50% off a pre-dating (speed dating) event. Since I've been wanting to try one, I really wanted a code. When there's money involved, I can pay attention a little longer.
I think the tele-seminars are a great idea - but there is one problem. Most of these "experts" are authors - books, articles, blogs, etc. When someone is a talented writer - often he is not a talented speaker.
It's tough to listen to a bad speaker (and don't even get me started on when the open it up to questions from the public - horrible). It's even tougher to listen to a pompous, condescending know-it-all.
So last week's call was particularly tough. The speaker was Roy Biancalana. His website says he's a "Certified Relationship Coach" (which, it seems, is fairly easy to become). I'm sure he's a great guy, and he did tell a little of his personal story.
Of course, he also said at one point he was "having sex twice a day. I'm not sure if any of you guys can match that." Really? I think he may have been trying to point out that a passionate relationship is not necessarily a fulfilling one - but mostly he just sounded full of himself.
I listened to enough of the questions to hear him advise a single mom with a 13 year old that maybe she didn't want to bring up she was a mom on a first date. He then went on to say, "If you hang in there, you'll find someone who wants to be with you, even though you're a mom." That's a huge pet-peeve of mine - I don't think "someone who wants to be with me" should be anyone's goal when looking for a date. It should be "someone I want to be with."
But I'm no expert - and, according to him, he is. I have a tough time seeing how anyone could really be an "expert" in something that involves human emotions and experience. Can anyone really know all there is to know about something that is ever-changing and unique?
Freedictionary.com defines "expert" as:
A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject. Having, involving, or demonstrating great skill, dexterity, or knowledge as the result of experience or training.By this definition, I suppose a person is an expert on relationships if he has studied relationships and personalities, and has developed knowledge that is beyond common sense. As long as we're willing to say that a person is an expert simply because he knows more than some.
Maybe. He's still pompous though.
*I didn't receive any compensation for this post. I plugged the site pre-dating.com because I have found it to be useful. I plugged Roy Biancalana's site because I figured it was the least I could do, after being critical.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Me: Eventually I'd love to meet someone nice, smart, likes me AND has time to spend. And yeah, I know, I'm asking a lot. While I'm wishing for stuff that's never gonna happen, I'm going for rich and handsome too. Go big or go home.
I have managed to meet this person. Unfortunately I forgot to specify he should want to be in a relationship, or at least be open to the idea down the road.
Sigh. Next time I'll try to be more specific.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
These users are sorted by the probability that you will have a LONG TERM relationship with them. Only users near by and who you had first contact with during the last 90 days are shown. The list has been generated by our resident team of PhDs who are experts in compatibility science. Our research shows that if you are in contact with 100 different users, 50% of the time your future partner is in the top 10, and 17% of the time the top user on this list is the person you will end up dating.The person at the top of the list is someone with whom I actually did go out - once. We had very little in common, and though he's contacted me randomly in the weeks since, he's never asked me out again.
So, according the smarty-pants at POF, I've used up my top prospect.
But just in case that wasn't bad enough, I decided to review the top 25...
- Four are guys who emailed me first, and I never responded.
- Ten are guys with whom I exchanged multiple emails, but it never really went anywhere.
- Six are guys I approached, who never replied.
- One is this guy.
- One is a guy who used to date my best friend. I've never even looked at his profile. He looked at mine once - and emailed me to ask me to ask her to contact him.
- One of these "near by" guys lives about 1,000 miles away. As far as I can tell neither of us has ever emailed the other.
- And last but not least... one of them is me. I created a male profile in order to test one of the POF features. It's hidden, and I've never used it to view anyone's profile. But apparently, I am very compatible with myself.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
While I'm no expert, I do think the experience has taught me something valuable when it comes to representing yourself online.
First thing's first - be yourself. Be honest about what you want, why you're there in the first place, and who you are. I know it's tempting to be someone else - after all, if you can't be someone different on the internet, where can you?! While that might be fun for a while, and might even help you meet people, it won't help you meet the right person.
When I say be yourself, I don't just mean be honest about where you live, the number of kids you have, and your relationship status and goals (though please be honest about these things). I mean let your personality show through - not just in the words you choose, but in your tone.
Are you sarcastic? Write a playful profile. Are you all business? Get right to the point. Are you a vampire? OK - maybe mention that, with no photos. Are you super-athtletic and active? Show it off in your profile pictures.
Whatever you do, the whole point is to set yourself apart from everyone else. I mean - whoever you're looking to meet has probably rejected those other profiles, so why lump yourself in with the crowd?
To this end, try to avoid words and phrases that are generic or vague. Such as....
- Laid back - EVERYONE thinks they're laid back, but most people think everyone else is not. Conclusion: This phrase does not mean what we think, and is therefore useless.
- Loyal - Unless you're describing your dog, this word has no place in your profile.
- I like to laugh - Everyone likes to laugh.
- I like to have fun - See above.
- I like to smile - ENOUGH ALREADY!!!
- I like to go out, but also stay in - No matter where you go, what you do, or how often - you're always either home, or away from home. (Unless you're homeless, in which case, get off the dating site and start looking for an apartment.) Everyone likes to go out and stay in. (Unless you're agoraphobic, in which case get off the dating site and start looking for a therapist.)
- I'm a gentleman - Unless you go on to define what that word means to you, it's pointless. Some guys think a gentleman is a guy who allows a woman to do all the cooking and cleaning, while not asking her to clutter her mind with opinions.
- I don't like liars - Ya don't say? That's weird, because I always make sure a new date is only telling me the truth 50% of the time. Otherwise, where's the mystery?