Dating advice

After a short hiatus from the dating world, I have returned ready to get back in the saddle (and probably knocked down as well). I didn’t take a long hiatus, a few weeks at most and have been on one date since I’ve been “back”, a date that actually had some potential. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something about myself through these experiences. The latest lesson has been how not to obsess when the seemingly perfect date doesn’t call for a week and a half… and then he calls and I still obsess. Yes! It does happen to the best of us. Since I have been a little obsessive lately I have been talking with girlfriends frequently. The result? Receiving some of the best dating advice I have ever heard.

My personal favorite: Relationships are like buses and if the one you’re on isn’t going in the right direction get off and take another one. And these buses, there are tons of them and they are going all different places, everywhere. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I am finding this to be so true. I have gotten on a few buses over the past few months and almost as quickly as I get on, I seem to be getting off of them. But the truth is that you never really know until you get all the way on the bus. Sometimes it’s scary to get off the bus and so I find a lot of peace in the part about there are all different buses going all different places, everywhere.

And the runner up: Online dating is like going to a candy shop. You should try a little of this, a little of that, find out what you like! Oh yes that’s right, dating doesn’t have to be as serious as my head sometimes wants to make it. It seems as though I have been naturally inclined to try a “little of this and little of that.” Turns out I have actually found out a lot about what kind of candy I’d like to invest in. Some of it I had no idea I’d ever like.

So for now, it’s on the bus, and off the bus, and maybe I’ll try a bus going this way or that way…

E

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A push in the right direction.

With every new experience comes the initial excitement and anxiety,then a feeling of pure adventure, maybe a sense of being a bit overwhelmed, and finally after coming down from this huge climactic ride, it pauses. And at this point, without the adrenaline, you become aware of reality.

The reality being, it was time to get down and dirty and deal with people’s emotions and expectations, you know, the real shit. The shit no one wants to deal with. It takes more courage than I’d imagined to tell (practically) strangers I’m no longer interested. Who likes confrontation? So, I’ve swept all this out of the way and here I am, embarking on some new adventures.

I’m not incredibly faithful to reading my horoscope but when my co-blogger and I were both feeling a little discouraged she reminded me to read it. A wise choice. A push in the right direction.

The emotional tone could be sharply mixed, with high contrasts between vivid sensations. The nature of your opportunities may seem warm and bright one moment, cool and dark the next. If you regard this as interesting rather than difficult, it won’t be a problem, but rather an adventure.

– From Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology

Until then,
-B

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Come again?

Being that for the last few weeks I have been on quite a few dates with the same guy and he seemed to be meeting all the “basic criteria”, I decided to take a break from online dating to see where this went. In the very beginning “the basic criteria” goes something like this, Is he taller than me?, Is he attractive? (I’m not shallow but there has to be something to work with), Are there any complete freak red flags? And as time goes on the criteria gets a little more specific, signs of a drinking problem? asshole tendencies?, judgmental?, compatibility?, chemistry? and of course any major baggage not yet dealt with? It kind of ends up being like a game, as time goes on and one continues to meet the requirements, they get permission to proceed to the next level.

Things were going quite well and I had for the first time in about a year decided that maybe this one was worth letting in. My latest experiences have consisted of eliminating men very quickly because they didn’t meet criteria. Most of them never even made it to more “specific criteria” round. However, I had forgotten how frightening it can be to let someone in. He seemed to be really interested, he was incredibly sweet, and he also made me feel pretty safe and comfortable. And so, I slowly started to open up to the idea of actually dating someone (and not just coffee and than me explaining why I don’t think we are a match). So you can imagine my surprise when this person seemed to be pulling back. He seemed distant and he seemed more withdrawn than before. And in response I got really freaked out. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my head immediately started running through previous conversations, trying to pinpoint the exact moment it started to go south. The problem was, I had no idea what was going on and so my head decided to come up with all sorts of stories.

I saw him for the last time this week. We had a good time together. I eventually asked what was going on (he had texted me earlier in the week and apologized for his distance and explained it had nothing to do with me). What he shared though, was that his ex fiancée (who I thought left him almost two years ago based on a prior conversation) had actually left him 2 months ago and that he is still trying to piece his life back together… I’m sorry, come again? Your fiancée left you two months ago?

Knowing in my gut that he was not ready to date I very quickly suggested that we stick to a friendship. And just like that another one had been disqualified from proceeding to the next round.

And so it’s back to the drawing board… but first I need a mini vacation from all this dating.

-E

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Throwing in the Towel

They say, when it rains, it pours.

The dating universe’s sky has parted and it’s pouring. It’s a flood of male interest, endearing names, free drinks and dinner invitations (I’m not complaining).

I’ve been on a handful of dates so far, with 3 different guys. I’ve really enjoyed myself, and if anything I’m really impressed that I can meet a complete stranger and have an engaging conversation for a few hours. I’ve begun to understand exactly what I don’t want and the light is beginning to reveal what I DO want.

On my first date, I was…nervous! I’ve never had to pick up a beer with BOTH hands. Within about 5 minutes I could tell, “it” wasn’t there. Maybe I’m expecting love at first sight, some type of fairy tale from the get go. Damn it Disney. Well, since “it” wasn’t there, I figured, what the hell, I’m just going to have fun. And I did. And I ended the night in the same way I would with some of my male friends…
By telling a completely inappropriate joke.

Then, he laughed. He loved it.

This was continued by a text afterwards about planning our next date and that he would follow up with an equally terrible joke. I thought I had neatly placed him in the ‘friend zone’. Well, not quite. So I had to make the uncomfortable effort to tell him how I felt…or didn’t feel. But you know what? It’s all gravy. And even though he wasn’t Mr. Right, I learned a lot from my maidan online dating voyage.

So maybe I’m throwing in the towel on fairy tales and love at first sight. But I’ll embrace all the wisdom I’ll pick up along the way.

-B

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And sometimes we dodge a bullet

What I have come to realize in these last few weeks is that online dating is an art. It is the art of listening to your gut and it is the art of deciphering other people’s flags (the red ones that is). And so just the other day I decided to reveal something private and personal about myself to one of the men that I had been out with. (I assure you this something is not something weird or bizarre or fetishy or something to be ashamed of, nor is it a medical issue… it is more about a lifestyle choice, however it is not something that I care to share here). So I shared with him a struggle that I went through a few years ago and how I have grown and changed over the last few years in a very positive way. His response was that what I was sharing with him was “very disconcerting” and he began to criticize me … I promptly told him that I thought it was time to end the phone conversation. After hanging up, I composed myself after venting to a girlfriend or two. Realizing that I wasn’t actually mad at him, just surprised at his response and also aware that this was a big red flag for lack of compatibility, I wasn’t sure what to do and so I left it alone. He began texting. I was sure he was texting to apologize and explain how he had over reacted. When I opened the text I was shocked to see “well you shouldn’t have sprung that on me! How was I supposed to react?” Okay… so at this point I could see not only that he was narrow-minded, but now he is unapologetic, and he is unaccountable… to make matters worse he proceeded to text and call the rest of the evening, begging me… yes begging me (not exaggerating) to forget what was said and go out with him again. I told him I needed to finish my work and that I didn’t know if I wanted to go out with him again. First thing the following morning I received another text “So I take it you’re done with me?” my response was this… “You did nothing wrong. Your actions showed that we are not compatible. And so yes we should go our separate ways. Take care.” The conversation pretty much ended there; aside from the fact that he immediately blocked me…. not defriended but BLOCKED me on Facebook. So at that point he had proven he was narrow-minded, unapologetic, unaccountable, too persistent, obsessive, resentful, and now he was completely insane and delusional!

 

And so I did not walk away with hurt feelings, or feeling insecure about what I had shared, but I walked away feeling grateful that I had dodged a bullet (a potentially fatal bullet). And I only dodged that bullet because I was willing to see the red flags, and for once in my life I’m not ignoring those anymore. I have had too many bad boyfriends because of my choosing to ignore those flags. And so when I start to see the big red flags, I’m going to continue to run the other way. And so I’ve gotten a little bit better this week, mastering the art of online dating.

-E

Worth A Laugh, But Not A Reply

There are plenty of nice guys out there in the dating universe, then there are some with (very) questionable skills when approaching women. The following messages may not have provoked a response, but they sure did get my attention…

– Good luck fending off all the perverted assholes on here

– I love you

– You have a great smile! Reminds me of Bugs Bunny.

– Let me know if you’d be interested in an open relationship

– So does it count as a shirtless photo if I’m just trying to show off my tattoos?

– Want to climb trees, eat gummy bears and take over the world?

– I just finished reading your profile…you sound normal enough.
Now tell me what’s really wrong with you.

– I’d like to think I’m a perfect combination of nice guy and asshole

– I send you my congratulations, as I’ve decided to bestow upon you the rare honor of going out with me, something that most girls won’t experience.

– Wow! Huge booger!

– Hit me up and we can get up wit each other for real girl

– If I dared you to kick me in the balls would you do it?

– How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice.

The following was contributed by a friend who also recently began online dating:

Hey, how are you? Can i ask if you would let a guy serve as your domestic servant or slave? Nothing sexual, could just have me do chores, clean, run errands, serve as a driver, anything you want

Signing off…
-B

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The Pretty Faced D Bag (AKA the learning curve)

Okay so I’m actually sort of embarrassed to tell this story. But if nothing else it’s rather entertaining! So I’ll take one for the team and share with you.

This was actually last week so some of you have heard the story already. A really handsome guy messaged me last week. 6’4, built, blonde hair (not generally my type, but why not?), and seemed normal enough. He very quickly asked me to meet up. I asked him if I could friend him on Facebook as to be sure that he was what he said he was. I mean after the email from the little person, I’d just like to make sure that if I’m going to meet someone, I know what I’m getting myself into. Anyhow, I friended him and we had 1 mutual friend (which turns out can be very telling). The mutual friend, is a girl that I went to high school with and is pretty good friends with a woman I am also close with. (I will try to be somewhat principled in the next few sentences, but no promises) The mutual friend is a woman who probably makes me look like a prude and quite honestly, she is bat shit crazy (and I generally like crazy people). So I asked how he knew her, which he did not answer right away.

Fast forward to the pre-date phone conversation. He tells me that he knows the mutual friend because she is his ex girlfriend… uh-oh! I decided to overlook this fact because lord knows that if someone judged me on some of my ex’s (one in particular), they may also mistake me for a crazy person. Since she has exceptionally large fake breasts (G…no lie) and is covered in tattoos, I guess he thought it would be funny to ask me if I too had fake breasts. I told him no and his response was “oh no, I’m not sure that we can go out if you don’t have fake boobs and tattoos”. Oh boy. Red flag #10! I texted him when we got off the phone and told him I would not be coming to coffee. He begged, he apologized, and asked for a second chance and I…. well I let the pretty face get the best of me.

So I went to coffee. He was handsome, as expected and a complete D bag, also as expected. Before we even sat down he found it necessary to completely embarrass the guy getting our coffee by jokingly saying to him that he was probably a pimp at Panera Bread (the guy was 5’5, chubby, and had dimples). The guy waiting on us said it was his first day and started to blush. Apparently that wasn’t enough for Mr. D Bag, he continued on. We finally sat down and he very promptly made a joke about me being fat (yes I am aware how ridiculous that is). We sat for an hour over coffee, he never really asked anything about me. Quite honestly, I think that I was a pretty face to him, and that, that alone was enough.

He asked me to have dinner with him on Friday. I’m not sure why but I went along with it. Then he called me an hour after coffee, started referring to me as babe, and the next morning texted me at 6:30am… I’m not awake at that hour. Interrupting my sleep… that’s where I draw the line.

And so I texted him telling him that I would not be coming to dinner on Friday, that we were not compatible. He told me that I change my mind too much and I responded by explaining changing my mind isn’t my issue, that my real problem is that I don’t listen to my gut instincts quickly enough. I wished him luck dating, and quite honestly I meant it, there’s probably a woman out there for him, it’s just not me and it never will be. And so I had survived my first online date and just like that it was over… and I had a little more insight and a little more proof that those gut instincts, they might be worth listening to. And so it was back to the drawing board….
E

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The Tale of Two Chris’s

So I took the plunge shortly after the New Year thinking that maybe, just maybe, 2013 would bring me some dating luck. I lasted four days online, between the little person and the man who clearly had a foot fetish, it was too much. I had to get the hell off there.

So less then two weeks later, I found myself sitting with two girlfriends over a pizza discussing one of their live-in boyfriends that she found online. Of course my little romantic wheels began to turn and I decided that maybe, just maybe, my future live-in is somewhere out there in the world of online dating.

Anyhow, profile back up, 48 hours and twenty something messages later, I also had two promising matches. First ever online date, coffee, with the 6’4 hottie, that turned out to be a total D bag (I’m saving this one for a future post).

Enter, guy I used to date… Chris #2, who emails totally out of the blue and asks to have coffee. I told him I could do Monday or Wednesday. He chose the day, the place, and the time, date set.

In the mean time the 2nd online guy that was promising, Chris #1… was a little late to asking me out. So after multiple emails back and forth and a clear connection, I asked if he’d be interested in coffee. His response was yes when and where? I told him the day that I was available, Monday or Wednesday, and gave him the choice of 3 separate coffee shops. He choose Monday, and the day and the time. Great! Date set! Shit… Chris #1 and Chris #2 chose the same day, same coffee shop, and times within an hour of each other. What’s a girl to do?

I thought long and hard, who to re-schedule and who to keep. Turns out I was more excited to meet the stranger than see the ex. There is something unusually exciting about the fantasy, that online dating is or can be, there is something exhilarating about the pre-date shaking hands… and basically something far more interesting than knowing exactly what you’re going to get…during coffee (and potentially after as well).

Chris #2 got rescheduled via email and took days to respond and well had me in a panic of what if he didn’t get my email and shows up to meet me an hour into my other date? So over dinner with some girlfriends I came up with a plan B, that fortunately, I did not have to resort to.

The date with Chris #1, was actually surprisingly great! He’s a total dork but we had a ton to talk about and clearly hit it off. So there is a date #2 scheduled with Chris #1, but this time not scheduled on the same day as Chris #2. Hopefully there will be no more Chris’s I don’t think I could handle a #3.

Until next time…

-E

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The Initial Strike

I just couldn’t get myself to pull through with it. Marketing yourself
online for love seemed so, superficial. Things could be easily
misconstrued; free spirited (can’t commit), adventurous (promiscuous),
easy going (lazy), fun (a lush).

I struggled with how to phrase my love of Brazilian Jui Jitsu, beer
and the outdoors without sounding like a rough-around-the-edges
mountain woman living in the suburbs. I wrote and rewrote my
“tagline”, this being the biggest challenge of all. I completed my
profile early on a Sunday afternoon, anxious and very, very skeptical.

My friends warned me, but I wasn’t ready for the abuse my inbox took
those first couple of hours. At first it was flattering, then it
became hysterical and eventually I didn’t even want to open my inbox
knowing that the contents would most likely be some endearing name and
wink face.

Do they even read the profile? Did they see the part at the bottom
about not bothering to message me with one liners?

Why are everyone’s shirts off? The classic self pic in the mirror with
some mysterious look in their eye, hand on the chest, biceps ripping,
holding their iphone…just so.

This is not sexy and doesn’t really paint a picture of enduring love
and commitment.

Not everything was hopeless about my experience so far, within 24
hours I had been contacted by two outgoing and rather attractive guys.
Ready to face that unnerving first date, I’m hitting the dating scene
hard this week. Happy Valentine’s Day folks.

-B