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Mistakes guys make with online dating

Ooooooh boy. This is kind of a minefield topic so I may start slow and edit along. Disclaimer real quick though: There’s nothing wrong with online dating per se. I personally don’t have much success with it but my odds are still greater than the chances of meeting the man of my dreams while sitting on my futon watching movies with Greta Garbo and Bette Davis. I digress…

  • Posing with a child or children in your profile picture. Confusing! I have to check to make sure you don’t already have kids. Because, you bet your bippy, I don’t want no baby mama drama.
  • Trying to “IM” me. Who IM’s? Reminds me of AOL instant messenger in high school only you’re no one I want to talk to. I honestly think it’s one of the most irritating forms of communication. Just call someone already! I never respond.
  • Weird compliments. One guy recently said I have great dimples in one picture and I should “smile like that all the time!” Um. I have dimples pretty much every time I smile and I can only genuinely smile one way.
  • Living hundreds of miles away and messaging me with pining messages. What’s your point, exactly?
  • Messages that just say “hey, how’s it going?” We aren’t friends, so why would I talk to you like I already know you?
  • Begging to “let them” take me out. When I politely decline, groveling ensues. “Please? Just one date? I promise you’ll like me.” Ugh why!?
  • hey. your very pretty.    y don’t we chat sum time?
  • Email blasts. For awhile I kept getting messages from a dude who’d say “Hi, my name is Justan. I just read your profile and we have a lot in common. Message me if you’re interested!” Or some lame shit that was not at all directed to me, because this was some army guy (USA love) who was clearly a meathead and possibly has never read a book ever. Dating isn’t a numbers game so don’t treat it like a marketing venture. Please.
  • Profile picture deceit! Concealing lazy eyes with good photo angles should be a crime punishable by the gods of match.com! But mostly…you just looked better online.
  • Shirtless pictures in a bathroom mirror taken with a cell phone. Never ever can I say that my husband or my cat’s stepfather would ever do that.
  • Saying stupid shit. “You like wine too? You don’t get too drunk off some of the good stuff right?” I never responded and a day later, “You know _______ is such a great town except my GPS always loses itself on The ______ Turnpike. What kinds of thing do you like to do around ________?” Hm. Clearly you haven’t been to my town because it sucks. What do I like to do? Honestly what an inane question. Read my profile you dumb shit, I outline it for you.

It has come to my attention that I’m a complete bitch.

Over and out!

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Chivalry: WTF happened?

I’m a lady. I happen to enjoy being treated like one. And I just love gentleman. I’m no stranger to dating; I’ve spent much of my twenties single. It seems like though, especially in more recent times, that the notion of “chivalry” has fallen by the wayside. I’m not exactly expecting a guy to take off his jacket and throw it across a puddle, but come on. It’s been quite awhile since I had a car door opened for me, my chair pulled out at a restaurant. Yes, I know I’m perfectly able-bodied, and can do all of those things myself. Totally not the point. Acts of chivalry are symbolic. They represent who you are as a man, and what matters to you. Plus they are very nice, and in my case, never go unnoticed.

Let’s discuss for a moment who pays for the bill. This is my number one chivalry gripe, and makes or breaks whether I will pursue a long-term relationship with a man or not. I’ve had plenty of men who wined me and dined me endlessly. No matter my insistence (and often willingness) to pay for my own meals and drinks, they shoo’d me away. “Please!/Get out of here/Don’t be silly!/It’s my treat!” It’s politeness. Especially in the stages of early courtship…or I guess these days, what we call “dating.” More often than not, my favorite men courted me. Even ones who lacked in other areas or with whom things didn’t work out, they seemed to understand the significance of paying for dinner. I’m a smart, capable woman, and I do believe in women’s rights. But, I’ve always been on the more old-fashioned side. I was raised that way. If you’re dating a man, you want to feel taken care of. And lately, I don’t. I say, “Let’s split this?” or “Do you want some cash/my card?” and with no hesitation, he snatches my money and we go dutch. Quite frankly, few things make me want to put out less.

I realize we don’t live in the nineteenth century anymore, and I suppose it would be wise for me to slightly modify my expectations. I guess I’ve had a taste of what it can be like to be treated extremely well, and I won’t lie, I enjoy it. I like hand kisses, getting flowers and random presents, and being courted — and by the way, you should want to do all of this. Men who take a girl out for a certain number of dinners or try to buy their way in and then have some sort of expectation of a reward, or are trying to satisfy some waiting period — no. I’m pretty good at sensing intention, and if it doesn’t feel genuine, that isn’t going to work out for me, either. My thought is: If the man isn’t willing to pay for your first meal, he isn’t going to want to pay for any subsequent meals, either. He will expect you to float your own way, which is totally fine, if you just want to be friends. It’s about knowing and feeling that your man can take care of you — even if I can (and do!) take care of myself just fine.

Not that long ago, I met up with a fellow I’d met through match.com (sigh). He was mid thirties (almost ten years older than me), and seemingly successful. He looked better online, but that’s beside the point. He had selected the restaurant and he had initiated the date. (This seems to be an important “point.”) We had an unremarkable yet not completely unpleasant meal; he selected to sit on the patio even though it was freezing. The check came and he ignored it for awhile as it lingered on his side of the table out of my reach (sometimes the waitresses try to help us ladies out). Finally he picked up the $50 dinner/drink tab and said “how about you grab this, and I’ll grab drinks afterwards?” Pardon?! Needless to say, we went splitsies and he made a big point of asking the waitress to “please make sure she pays for hers, and I pay for mine.” I wound up needing an “out” from my friends on this one, which entailed an awkward phoned in pseudo-emergency. I felt a little bad, but. If the guy had been gentlemanly I wouldn’t have bailed so soon and maybe would have spent a little time getting to know him — I usually give the guys I date ample “chances” if things seem to not be going well right out of the gate.

And this works both ways. If a man courts me the way I expect, I would not only reward him handsomely in the bedroom (once the time arrives), but also eventually work my way up to cooking him meals and otherwise pampering him. Not because I feel that’s my gender role necessarily, but that’s what I like to do. I’m more traditional. Things have a way of balancing out. There has to be a happy medium, even in these mixed up modern times, of getting exactly what we want and expect from the opposite sex. Until then, I’ll be watching old movies and pining away for the men who wear gloves and will help a fair maiden down from her carriage without even blinking an eye.

(Stolen from my other blog.)

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Good date fadeout, and why texting confuses me.

In my dating life, a FAD (aka freaking awesome date) almost never happens. Obviously. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so chock full of ideas for a single gals blog with my cat lady soul sister. So when one does happen it’s kind of like a rare event.

Meet C. He was a find from match.com, a handsome dude in his mid twenties, a few months older than me. He was a little on the vanilla side over email, admittedly, but seemed earnest and genuine. I wanted to meet to see if there was any in-person chemistry, so we moved on to texting and agreed to meet up soon. (No one calls each other anymore. Sigh.) Over text he titillated me with his use of proper grammar, and didn’t wait 2 days in between texts. Yay! We made plans to meet up on a Friday night for sushi, again this happened all over text. As soon as I saw him, I was pleasantly struck. He was cuter than I thought he would be, with gorgeous, even white teeth, nice eyes, and perfect height for me (I’m a little short). We had a great date, not explosive chemistry but more of a warming feeling. But I’ll take it.  In my experience, online dating jades you a little and makes you more reserved.

After he paid for sushi (a gentleman!) we headed over to a local dive bar to grab a couple beers. The live music was terrible; I paid the $5 cover for both of us, I realized then that I didn’t have my debit card so wasn’t able to buy beers for us, which was totally my intention. Oops. I may have come off as an airhead, a mooch, or both, who knows. We had a good time though, I criticized the other patrons (my specialty) and we showed each other our tattoos (nothing scandalous), inked by wife (his) and husband (mine). A cool bonding experience. At the end of the night, I offered to drive him back to his place as he lived in town. I did, and at the end, we hugged. No kiss – I was wearing my signature first-date red lipstick. I did actually want to kiss him, but you know. It’s a good barrier to avoid premature physical contact.

I got home that night and was snuggling with my cats when my phone lit up. “Had a great time tonight! Hope you did too.” I texted him back and said that I had really enjoyed his company, along with a witty quip about accidentally kissing the top of my cat’s head with my red lipstick on (sorry Frodo).

Saturday passed with no word. I waited anxiously to hear from him. Nada. Sunday afternoon. Text “Hey! How’s your weekend going?” I texted him with a semi long paragraph about my trip to the beach and a cookout I was attending at a friend’s parents. He mentioned he went fishing, and when I asked him more about it, he let the conversation taper. I made several attempts to pick up the conversation string but this guy is a taper-er. No second date in sight…

Fast forward a week. I was at a pub with a group of new/old friends for pint night. Of course the second you’re NOT willing your phone to vibrate is when it does. “Hey, how’s it goin?” From C. I texted him back awhile later and a few exchanges later he was asking me out on a second date. I said I’d love to hang out again. Then he said he was super busy and would see what he could do to “free up.” (Even though when I asked him what he was doing he said he was at home playing guitar and watching SNL.) His M.O. is now to be super slow to respond to all my texts and has yet to actually set up date #2, even though he made a point to ask me how my tattoo session was the other night. (Sidebar: I’d been with another guy for 13 hours straight, but that’s another story.)

Bottom line: I absolutely refuse to chase him. Is he “just not that into me?”Stay tuned…

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Kinder, gentler dating.

This is quoted from a blog I’m super into, Rachel Machacek who wrote the book The Science of Single. Get there now!

My friend was telling me the other day about his dating stuff. The ah-maze-balls first date that ended up going nowhere because the biotch didn’t call, the next first date that went even better AND she wanted to go out again. And I see him going through everything I did when I was dating. One day you’re perched on the back of an angel’s gossamer wings, the next, you’re bleeding wine and tears out of every pore because that angel dumped your ass.

Dating is hard. And it runs your life. I wish I hadn’t worried so much about dating when I was single. I don’t know how I would have achieved that especially since I was writing a book about dating. But still. That is what I wish. I wish I didn’t get so caught up in the drama and had more faith in myself and my choices and didn’t get creative with my bar of standards – lowering it to the floor, standing on my tip toes with it sometimes. I suppose that just meant I was still getting to know and understand myself, and that’s what you do – you have a ridiculous game of limbo with yourself to figure out what works. But I just wish I’d found a space somewhere in that roller coaster to take it easy with the dating. To not push so hard. To be kinder. Gentler.

I don’t say this in an annoying hand-patting “It will happen for you one day so don’t you worry little friend.” Because what do I know about predicting your future? IT might not happen for you. And that might be okay. Or IT might not happen for you the way you think it will. But I hope that you have your blinders off and can see clearly all of the paths before you for whatever IT is.

I was reading Date Lab in WaPo recently and the date seemed like a good one. He rated it a 4.5. She rated it a 3 but said she probably wouldn’t want to go out with him again. She said he was great but she just didn’t feel it. SISTER: It was the first date that you knew you would be sharing with the entire readership of the Post magazine. I’m pretty sure that means there’s a pressure cooker on both of you. For the record: If you go on a date and you can rate it a 3 (out of 5) or higher, GO OUT AGAIN. Please. For the love of everything holy. Slow down. Give it a chance. Give him/her a chance. Give yourself a chance.

Be kinder. Gentler.

I love this. It’s a great reminder to those of us who set super high expectations of being blown away the second you meet someone. Couldn’t have said it better myself – thanks Rachel!

xo,
V

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Why coffee dates suck.

Coffee dates are classic in the world of dating as a low-commitment, breezy, time-condensed, non-intimidating way to “break the ice” and see how well you “connect” with someone. The problem with that? They suck. I’ve rarely had JUST coffee with someone and had it be a good experience. I can count my coffee date experiences on one hand and they were unremarkable at best, objectionable at worst.

Lazy Eye Guy comes to mind. Pardon my shallowness. But this one was a match.com find (I know, I know). He seemed masculine and cute in his photos. I met him at a local coffee shop as a spur of the moment “I’m not doing anything else and it’s Saturday and I’m bored” kind of a way. When I went into the little indie shop with my mug in hand (eco friendly!) I went up to get tea, he texted me saying “I think I see you.” Creepy much? I saw him lurking in the way back, far in the corner. After I got my mug full of Earl Grey, I made my way to where he sat. Yup, sat. Didn’t get up, nothing. Also, I found it strange that while lingering in the coffee shop, he didn’t have coffee, tea, water, anything. I said “do you want to get something?” He said “no, I’m fine.” Weird. Up close in personal, he did in fact have a lazy eye, which, superficial it may be, but it distracts me. I can’t get into it. Plus the guy was boring. It was awkward. Tedious. I kept my eye on the clock. I texted a friend for an out after about 40 painfully polite minutes. She called me with a pseudo emergency and I almost knocked the café table over on my way out.

I didn’t hear from Lazy Eye until about three weeks later, when he randomly texted me to let me know he was “sexually” attracted to me. Needless to say, I told him off. My other coffee date stories aren’t much better. Don’t get me wrong – I love going for coffee casually with friends, or a guy I’m already dating. I had one coffee date once upon a time that turned into a long walk, and then a drive, and then a short but meaningful relationship, and after that, a long on and off friendship that enriched my life.

But! For the most part, coffee dates seem to be relegated to a noncommittal state – typically a guy who I haven’t spoken with on the phone (I’m a big fan of the phone screen) and it usually sucks. A lot.

Here’s my breakdown of why, after doing a little online digging – I love my research.

1) Coffee dates indicate a lack of financial commitment or class. It seems logical and low-risk to only take a lady out for coffee if you aren’t “sure,” and save the cash for dinner on a second date, but it also comes across as cheap. Especially like, in my case, when meeting at the coffee shop, I’ve always paid for my own tea or coffee. Hmm.

2) Low commitment in general. If I meet someone, I’d like to be able to stand them for a couple of hours. If you’re meeting for coffee you may not have screened them properly.

3) It’s not creative. How about meeting for a walk? Or a visit to a museum? A show? I’m a fan of dinner and drinks, personally. I’ve run the gamut of good, bad and in-between, and the guy may or may not pay (even if he SHOULD), but that’s my preference.

What’s your stance on coffee dates?

xo,
V

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He was flakier than a bowl of Kellogg’s.

In somewhat recent times, I’ve reappeared on the dating scene. How fun! Refreshing! Full of possibility that the love of my life, future stepfather of my cats, could be right around the corner. Haha no.

In this episode, I try to date a man who works on a boat doing marine biology and research. I found this specimen on match.com. We emailed back and forth for weeks. He was amusing and cute. Liked cats. Most of the time he was out at sea for days at a time, and then would return back for short stints. He did say in his profile it made it difficult for him to keep a relationship. We made tentative plans to meet, and they never materialized. We made more solid plans, and I never heard from him on the Friday we were supposed to meet. At 1:00 am on that Saturday, I get a text: “Plans today?” No apology for blowing me off, nothing.

Fast forward. Dude gets more serious about making plans. Like, it’s really going to happen. Maybe on a Wednesday, he suggests. Then it gets moved to Thursday – “no matter what” according to his text. Then the next day “possibility of me not being home in time. I should be but wanted to let you know.” Thursday comes. Evening time, once I’m already home and doing my own thing “I’ll be at port around eight… Probably another night? :(” Well, I hadn’t been holding my breath. Reschedule for Saturday. I hear nothing for days and then on Saturday afternoon I get a text: “Don’t hate me, can we postpone a day? I accidentally went out last night and now I’m knee deep in paperwork. :(”

Dude. I don’t hate you. But I’m all done. I’m not that girl. We tried for awhile to get together and he continually blew me off. All the while, my interest tapered. What was there when I first started talking to him all but disappeared. Momentum lost. I was bluntly honest in my response. I never heard back from him, not even an apology or a “fair enough. ” End of story, and rant. Why, on God’s green earth, do you even bother making plans, only to break them at the last minute. Once okay, maybe twice. But before you’ve even met the person? Please. He was 23, which may have been a concern, and was always out at sea for his job. It couldn’t have worked. But man… did he have a nice beard…

xo
V