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Monday, 2 January 2012

Doesn't it figure?

Doesn't it figure?

It figures. I went on two first dates last week. The first was with this really nice guy - about whom I had a lot of doubts. I wasn't sure how much we would really have in common, and I was concerned we might not be a great fit. But I as enjoying the email exchange, and he suggested meeting for ice cream.

Ice cream. Who says no to ice cream?

I really liked him. We have similar jobs - in that, both are office-type jobs that aren't really what we love, but they pay the bills - and are about the same age. We're both divorced, after having been married a long time. He has a daughter from his marriage, and has primary custody. We both like to write - and I told him about a couple of my more public blogs.

So, we had a really nice conversation for about two hours. He paid our bill - and then shook my hand. Yeah.

Safe to assume he wasn't interested, but he had asked me to email him with links to my blogs, so I did. In that email, I also thanked him for the date and said I'd like to get together again, if he was interested. He responded the next morning, saying "I'm glad you had a good time....talk to you soon." And I haven't heard from him since.

The next night, I had a first date with this guy. Prior to our dinner conversation, I was really looking forward to this date. It seemed like we might have a lot in common, tons to talk about and be a really good match in terms of age, lifestyle, interests, etc.

While we did, as I mentioned - there were red flags.

Doesn't it figure? I end up liking the guy I wasn't jazzed about - but he doesn't like me. The guy I was jazzed to meet gives me doubts - but won't stop texting me.

Yep - sounds about right.

Was I just being a bitch?

I went on a first date with Gardner the other night. We met about a week ago online, chatted via email and text for a few days, and then decided to meet. He seemed very nice, and cool, and fun, and I was actually really excited about the date.

The day of - I was totally drained. I had a terrible day at work, with stress right up until I left (late). Not the best mood for a date, and I realized that going in. I didn't want to cancel, since it was so last minute.

He was on time, was wearing a collared shirt, dress pants and shoes, and he greeted me with a hug. He pulled out chairs and opened doors for me. He picked up the check, without hesitation. He walked me to my car. He didn't try to "steal" a kiss, though he did affectionately put his arm on my back on the way to the car, hug me goodbye and give me a "friendly" kiss; - more cheek than lip, so not too presumptuous.

We had a great conversation, though I have to say, he seemed way more interested in hearing about me than sharing about himself. He asked about my ex, and I was honest. When I asked about his, he was vague, and didn't really offer a lot of detail, either in what happened, or how he felt about it. I told him what I do for a living, and when I asked about his work - more vague answers. He said he's a landscaper (hence his nickname) and works for himself. But does that mean he's actually unemployed, and just does this to earn cash - or does he have a bona fide business? I don't know - because he was vague.

Should that matter? I'm not sure. I also didn't like his teeth (which is really, really bitchy of me) and I found myself preferring the longer hair in his pictures than the shorter do his sporting now. Still, I found him attractive, and I'll admit - I like how much he compliments me and seems to like me. I find it attractive that he is willing to say - even as we just met - that he wants a second date, and he really likes me. That takes guts - and that's attractive.

But I still have these red flags. He told me he just took a test to be an aide at a state run facility for developmentally disabled. But he (vaguely) mentioned that he used to work for a phone company, and for an insurance company - and the landscaping thing. So is he one of those guys who goes from job to job? I have little patience for that - I like stability, and consistency. To me, it's a sign of maturity.

I know I haven't been in the best mindset for meeting people in a while - and I'm afraid that has me looking for reasons to shut people out. Add to that the fact that I came into the date from a bad work day, and I figured I wasn't giving this guy a fair shot. He did all the things that I've said I want a date to do - without prompting. He was just a nice guy - cute, funny, nice.

That warrants a second date, right?

Taking my ex on a date

They (and by "they," I mean dating blogs, experts and other advice-givers) say that talking about an ex on a first date is a no-no. I do my best to listen to those who are more experienced, and generally better at dating, than I. But - I have to say....

...I can't seem to avoid the "ex" conversation.

I'm not sure why. I don't set out to have the conversation. I take (what I think are) the proper precautions. If I'm talking about something I did while with an ex, I change the "we" to an "I" and share my experience. I try to stick to general, getting-to-know-you topics - funny childhood stories, family, favorite foods, work, that sort of thing.

In fact - if the ex comes up, a lot of times, it's my date that brings it up. Especially if we meet online. He'll ask, "So how long have you been on the site?" or "How did you get started on the site?" at which point I might mention when I got divorced - and there we go.

Before you know it, I often find myself getting (or giving) dating advice. To a potential date.

Which would be great - if I were applying for a job, or just looking to be friends. And sometimes, I think that's how I've managed to keep some of the friends that I have.

But it's not useful when I might like another date.

It's like I'm taking my ex on the date - in which case, I think he should be stuck with the bill.

But, how do you know it's serious?

Okay - clearly I'm not an expert on this topic. If you've read previous posts, you know that I was in a relationship I believed to be serious - room for my stuff in his bathroom, met the parents, met the friends, etc. - and it wasn't.

But in my defense - when people say these are the signs that a relationship is getting serious - what's a girl supposed to think?

The moral of this story, I think, is that there are no rules in dating - and you should always just be very clear in your communication. Don't assume that just because you start spending Fridays in, that you are getting  serious. There's no formula, no one set of rules that applies to every couple.

Just two people, finding their way to each other, at the right time and right place.

Still - never, ever, be afraid to argue.

Can you really date online?

Ever wonder about relationships that start online, at a long distance, and flourish? What about relationships that go from physically close to long-distance, and need the online world to help stay connected?

How do they start? What keeps them together?

What about a relationship that happens completely online? I write about that at Singles Warehouse today.

What's perfect for you?

My friend shared this story the other day about a man who spends a year planning his girlfriend's dream wedding - and then surprises her with the whole thing the day of his proposal.

Insanely romantic, right? I still think he might be an alien.

Nevertheless, hopeless hopeful romantics (including me) blew up the interwebz with thoughts about how wonderful this is, how romantic and perfect the guy is - and just how lucky can one girl get, anyway?

People who know me - I mean really know me - would laugh if I mentioned this story, and how lucky this girl is. Why laugh? They would say it's funny that I would think this was romantic and wonderful, when, if someone did that for me - I'd hate it.

And you know what? They'd be right.

Not that I'd hate the gesture. It seems like his heart was in the right place, and he's totally doing something just to make his love happy. That's sincere, and it's wonderful.

What I'd hate would be the fact that something I said a year ago was put into action - even if I'd since changed my mind (which happens a lot). I'd also not be thrilled that I didn't know I was getting married - no chance to have a pedicure, manicure, hair appointment, waxing appointment, makeup done, or dress fitting. I'd be upset that I didn't have the chance to get "wedding fit" or plan all the little details that I love so much.

Would I be mad at my new husband? No. Would I refuse the wedding? Of course not. I'd love and appreciate someone doing something that nice for me - and I'd be grateful for anyone wanting me to be that happy.

But for those of you thinking, "Gee, no one would ever do that for me," you should ask yourself:

Would you really want him to do that? Or is your perfect love out there, right now, doing something completely different?

I think OK Cupid hates me

My new thing is when I get a "quiver match" (Suggested matches from OK Cupid. Get it, it's the quiver from cupid's arrow? Oh, nevermind....) I take a look, and if they look interesting, I email them. I say new because I used to just ignore them, and look on my own when I was darn good and ready.

So, the other day, I signed in and found a new group of three. The first? This guy - because apparently, he created a new profile and cupid thought he was being helpful.


Was a guy whose profile says he earns less than $20,000/year, his education and job are blank, and his interests include bowling, surfing the net and "i also like to wear diapers 24/7 and have girl/female change mydiaper!!!"

Just because Cupid wears a diaper....
I was going to do a "best of the worst" entry on this, but I was afraid to read further in his profile. I did scan down to the bottom to read the last sentence about who should message him. My eye started to twitch, so I moved on - right after I hid his profile.

Now listen - I'm not judging. Whatever floats your boat; just because I'm not into something doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. But it seems to me like a fetish that can only be caused by some sort of stunted emotional development can't be good for you as an adult - or your relationships.

But what do I know, anyway?

What's the worst online dating profile you've come across? 

The (dating) standings

Yesterday, over at Singles Warehouse, I wrote about a guy who approached me in a less-than-friendly way. He was gruff, and reprimanding - and just a little bit desperate.

Not very appealing.

Know what else is less than appealing? A guy who approaches you with a challenge, and then showing that the only reason he contacted you in the first place was to argue - or brag about his baseball team.

Part of my profile claims I can match any outfit to its shoes. (This, of course, is true.) A guy sent me an email last week that said:
So you can always match the outfit with the shoes, eh? Okay, smarty pants, what shoes would go best with a light blue checkered dress over a white blouse top--old canvas tie-ons, rusty tin boots, lion-leather loafers (with claw treads), or ruby slippers? 
Go Sox! >:D
I thought he was just being playful, so I replied that none of those shoes go with the outfit described and that was actually something I didn't like about the movie. Then I said all that glitter is such a mess, and jokingly asked him if the Red Sox are still playing. Then I smiled - to show I was being playful.

His response?
Glitter? They're RUBY! And, since the only way most women would be caught in that outfit is dead, then they match since, as you pointed out, they're to die for. 
Yes, the Sox are still playing...2.5 games ahead of NY, it seems, and because they're red, they match the slippers.
At this point, I figured he wasn't playfully joking. Which seemed silly to me. I mean, if he's not interested, that's very understandable. But who would purposefully contact someone - on a dating site - that they're not interested in dating, just to trash talk their favorite baseball team?

Seems....childish. Desperate. Honestly - (more than) a little pathetic. It even seems a little counterproductive. Why alienate someone with whom you could have a friendship? Someone who, if given the chance, might  be someone you could chat with, get advice from or share baseball games? Maybe even an ally - you never know who she might know (such as, someone you want to date in the future)?

It just seems to me that you never want to risk talking trash until you have all the information, and know all the players.

After all - standings change all the time.

Don't write me, I'll write you

Ever wonder why some people think just because you're online, it's cute to approach someone in a nasty, snarky way?

Or maybe that's just how they behave in real life?

Either way - it doesn't work. Read why in my guest post over at the Singles Warehouse dating blog, Warehouse Life.

A couple of things....

Did you see my guest post at Singles Warehouse last week? If not, check it out here. Keep an eye out for regular guest-spots over there - my next one should post tomorrow.

I'm also opening up the Girl's Got Shine site for anyone who wants to write about dating adventures (the good, and the not-so-good variety). If you don't have a blog, but have something you want to get off your chest. Or you do have a blog, but don't want people to know it's you doing the talking. Or you just go on so many bad dates, you can't possibly fit it all at one url - the floor is yours. Send me an email with your post, title and any pictures you want included.

I met a very nice guy. He almost seems normal. He's a bit younger than me, and has primary custody of an almost-2-year-old, which might make dating a little tough. I guess time will tell.

Remember this guy? On our date, he told me I was charismatic, and beautiful, and he couldn't wait to see me again. He has since cancelled two dates, and the other night, he immediately signed off IM the minute I signed in (and I hadn't even opened up a chat with him).


Which is bigger?

OK Cupid has a feature on their website that allows users to answer questions as part of the matching process. Your answers are matched against other users answers to gauge compatibility, and extra weight is given to those questions you indicate have some importance to you.

I assume there's some science and a little math involved. I'm not sure. There might be some info about it here if you're interested.

Some of the questions are personality related; some are related to political or social issues; some are, naturally, related to sex and relationships. Other questions seem to be a test of intelligence; number series, spelling questions...that sort of thing.

Recently, I stumbled on the question: Which is bigger, the sun or the earth.

Do you know?

Here's the thing - it doesn't really matter to me if a guy knows, or even cares. But his response tells me a lot.

The answer is, the sun is larger than the earth. Now, I was horrible in earth science and astronomy, and I never pretend to be any sort of academic. But I am smart enough to know the basics - like the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. Any fan of Jimmy Buffett knows that, for cryin' out loud.

If sun's gravitational pull is strong enough to keep the earth in line, doesn't it make sense the sun is the larger of the two? I thought so.

So, if a guy answers earth, it reveals several things:
  • He may not have made it to the eighth grade
  • He may be very self-centered and think everything revolves around him
  • He lacks anything resembling common sense
  • He haa no idea how google works
....so let me google that for him.

It's an online dating site question, not a proctored bar exam. If you're not sure, look it up - or at least just skip the question. Then, at least, I am free to assume you just didn't like the question - and I just might talk to you long enough that you can keep me convinced.

"It's better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

Awful dates

I've been on some really bad dates. There was the guy from a couple of weeks ago who wanted to split the check - after suggesting dinner. He wasn't actually the first guy to do that to me - I went on one date with a guy pre-Big who did the same thing. At least this most recent guy was interesting - the first guy nearly put me to sleep in my pasta.

Let's not forget the guy who left the theater three times - three times! - to take a phone call. I also once went out with a guy who spent the entirety of our date trying to convince me why Alex Rodriguez is better than Derek Jeter.

He nearly didn't make it out alive.

But I do have to say, as bad as some of my dates have been, no one has suggested a venue that was a problem. Cliché or boring? Yes. But not a problem. Of course, I also take some ownership of my dates, too. If I get the feeling that a guy is going to suggest something I won't enjoy, and he's open to suggestions - I'll make one. I think everyone should do that - you can't bitch that you didn't like a date, if you don't put any effort into it yourself.

So, I'm not entirely sure I agree with this article from Match.com, which talks about six dates men should never suggest.

Sports-themed places
Theme parks
Chain restaurants
Gross-out comedies
To meet your mother.

I sincerely hope that last one is a joke - on a first date, I'd run away screaming. There'd be a GGS shaped hole in the wall.

But the others - I guess it's a good rule of thumb to avoid those dates in general, if you don't really know someone. I mean, if your date has a fear of heights, a theme park might not be the best choice. But if you've met someone who is into sports, or you you've been talking non-stop about seeing that movie, I guess I don't see what's wrong with these dates? With one caveat - I wouldn't recommend a theme park as a first date. That's a major time commitment, better left for when you know you want to spend that kind of time with the other person.

I think dates should be personal. You shouldn't go to the same place with every date - unless it's a very generic place you take first dates just to chat it up a bit. After that - and if you really want to make an impression - suggestions should be more catered to the her/him specifically.

Anything you'd add to the list? A must-avoid date spot?


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