Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My First Foray Into the Dating Jungle


Every day I open up my MSN and invariably there is an article on dating and relationships. What to do, what not do, when to sleep with him/her, when not to sleep with him/her, when to run, when to stay and the list goes on. Needless to say this can all be very overwhelming and not just a tiny bit confusing.

I’ve been divorced for 4 years now and honestly dating sucks. It can also be fun, exciting, and adventurous and sometimes a little bit on the scary side. I was married right out of high school as was married 20 years before getting a divorce so I didn’t have much experience with dating. Since my divorce I’ve done a lot of dating, almost embarrassingly so.

One of the things I’ve discovered about dating is that one of the easiest ways to meet people is through various online dating sites, especially in the area I live in. There is and abundance of dating sites or services! You have Match.com, EHarmony, American Singles, Christian Singles, Interracial dating, GoCougar.com, and the list goes on and on and on. Dating has become big business. Some of these dating sites/services are free and others charge you a monthly fee or can you cost you thousands of dollars. This, of course, is all in the name of finding Mr. or Ms. Perfect.

After exploring all options, you pick a service or a couple of them to increase your odds. You create an account, which by the way is pure torture. This includes filling out the basic information such as hair/eye color, you body build, your ethnicity, etc. After this mild form of torture, the real torture begins. Writing something about yourself that will attract someone to your profile. This is the point where you want to hire a ghost writer. After all how does one make yourself sound like you walk on water without sounding like you walk on water?

Last but not least let’s not forget the picture. This is very important as honestly this is the first thing a prospective date looks at. He/she doesn’t really care that you may have spent the past 5 years helping poor people in Uganda, you’ve won a Pulitzer, or you’re in line to win the Nobel Peace Prize. What he/she really cares about is that when they are walking by your side they are not going to be embarrassed. So, with the final piece of the puzzle in place, you finish your profile, publish it, cross your fingers, and pray to the dating gods.

Now begins the waiting. I found myself checking my e-mail 100 times a day compared to the once or twice a day that I was used to. Thinking please god let someone like my profile just enough to say hi. Wondering, did I say too much about myself, did I say too little? Could I have picked a better picture? And then, there it was, I got a wink. Wait several winks and a couple of e-mails! Hallelujah somebody likes me!!!

The first hurdle in online dating is how do you respond to a wink? Do you e-mail them? Do you wink back? Does it mean he’s only slightly interested so a wink is too see how much of a response he gets from you? Or is he shy and unsure what to say? What to do, what to do? Since that first foray into the dating jungle I have solved the winking problem by just not replying in any fashion. My theory is if you can’t sit down and formulate at least one sentence to say hello, you’re probably not all that interested. But, since it was my first expedition into the dating world, depending on the picture and profile I winked back, ignored or sent a brief e-mail in reply to their wink.

I responded those first few e-mails and winks and again waited by my computer for a response, any response. Let me mention now that since those initial e-mails I have received many emails that have run the gambit of a mini novella to “hey baby let’s do it”. I couldn’t tell you what those initials e-mails entailed but I can tell you that I eventually picked someone as my “first” date as a divorced woman.

I will call my first date “Mike” one to protect the innocent and two because it was so long ago I can’t remember what his name was anyway. By the way if his name really was Mike, so sorry. We decide to meet for drinks at Mike’s American Grill. Someplace I’d never been to but was close to home. I remember trying to figure out what to wear. I mean really what do you wear on a first date? Do you wear a dress, is jeans ok, a little cleavage, too much cleavage, after all I hadn’t been on a date in over 20 years!

Day of date arrives and by this time I’m a nervous wreck. I still haven’t figured out what I’m wearing and I’m thinking what the hell was I thinking doing this? After finally deciding on my outfit, I head out and arrive at the restaurant and there he is sitting at the bar already. Damn, I thought to myself, I wanted to be early so I could scope him out. So there’s my date sitting at the bar sipping on a drink and definitely not looking like Prince Charming, not to say that he was an ogre just not my “type”. Of course I had seen a picture of him before meeting him, but sometimes a picture doesn’t do a person justice but in this case well…… need I say more? I go up to him introduce myself, order a drink and see that my hands are shaking so badly I can barely get the drink to my mouth without spilling it everywhere. Nice, I’m thinking to myself, now my date is going to think I’m terrified of him that should bring his ego up a notch or two.

I eventually calmed down and we spent a couple of pleasant hours at the bar. Unfortunately I talk way too much so the poor guy probably learned more about me than he ever wanted to know but hey that’s me. As first dates go it was very pleasant. Mike was very nice and considerate knowing that he was my “first” date after 20 years of marriage and totally on unfamiliar ground. We did have a couple of dates after that but obviously it didn’t go anywhere as its now years later and I’m still single.

In retrospect I believe that my first date after my divorce was more an exercise of proving to myself that I can get out there and date rather than finding a boyfriend or my next husband. Taking that first dating step is hard after so many years of being with the same person. Was I ready to date at that time? I don’t think so but I did that first experience need to prove to myself and that was I am dateable and I could do it. Since then I’ve been on many dates and all of them have been a learning experience.

I’m still confused about dating, but I can say that for the most part of I’ve enjoyed most of my experiences and if there hasn’t been a steady boyfriend or a future husband I’m ok with that. But boy what a ride it has been!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Is it Just Me?


I'm on this dating site called OKcupid. It's like most of them, you can exchange winks, be brave and daring and actually send an e-mail, it's picks people who according to certain criteria would be a match for you, all in all a typical dating site. On this site I've exchanged a few e-mails with a couple of people and actually gone on a couple of dates.


I've been exchanging e-mails with this one guy or to be more accurate I've been exchanging one-liners with him. He doesnt' seem to be much for the written word and I understand that some people are just better in person than e-mails or phone. We decide to meet for coffee. I live in Sterling and he lives in Leesburg which really isn't all that far apart but we are in different cities. So again, we decide to meet for coffee and he sends me an e-mail saying we can meet at the Starbucks across from Home Depot. Hmmmmmm the Starbucks across from Home Depot. That tells me nothing. Helloooooo we live in the DC Metro area and I'm pretty sure there are several Home Depots and even more Starbucks. So I write him back..."which Home Depot would that be?" His response was "the one you can see from Rt. 7 and he gives me a street address, but again, still no city. I mean really? The one you can see from Rt. 7? Would that be Rt 7 in McLean, Tysons, Falls Church, Arlington, Leesburg, the middle of nowhere? I put the street address that he gave me into mapquest and I come up with Leesburg. Now let me say right here, those who know me know that I'm a pretty flexible person, easy going, not so easily annoyed but this is starting to irrate me. One he doesn't even discuss what might be a mutually convenient Starbucks to meet at. Two he assumes I'm driving to him in Leesburg. Three he just assumed I would know what Starbucks, Home Depot and city he was talking about.


Now maybe its just me, but when I make plans with people I try to find something that is mutually convenient. I also, when providing a destination, provide the name of the place and the address which includes the street and the city. I know that we all think differently but to me this is just common courtesy.


At this point I now have no desire to meet him. But my question is am I being too harsh? Too picky? Too quick to judge? I feel that one, he is lazy by not providing me a decent address and two, he only considering what is convenient for him. Maybe I'm wrong, as honestly I have no real sense of the person he is as his e-mails have been generic as well as his profile. He could be a really great guy, but I'm thinking I'm a little jaded by his apparent laziness and as I don't feel even a slight connection with him, I feel like I don't want to make a further effort. So should I let it go and just go and have coffee as what do I have to lose or stick with my initial feelings and skip it altogether?


Monday, July 20, 2009

Craig's List


I know most of us has heard of Craig's List, you know the infamous list where you can sell or buy anything, meet people and even rant and rave about something that excites or pisses you off. Hell some of the funniest reading is on Craig's List. I know it's not meant to be funny, after all searching for your soul mate is serious business, so I apologize now to all those who pour their hearts out on Craigs List searching for their missed connection, the girl/boy who left them or just simply looking for the "One", but you can't help but read some of those ads and laugh or in some cases just wonder what in the hell they were they thinking?

For example, today I was bored so I decided to cruise the men seeking women ads and I came across an ad written by a 23 year old. The headline read "Girls Are Dumb". Well, being the curious girl I am I had to open it up. The ad was about 30 paragraphs of what women should/shouldn't wear, how to act and not act, what men really want, what we don't get about men, how women are always playing games, etc. It's very amusing and he does have a couple of good points. He's actually posted this diatribe several times before and within the last couple of days reposted it, but under different titles. Somehow I don't think he's winning any brownie points or dates even though he did end his bit of literary prose asking the question "so who wants to be my gf?" I'm thinking ........no.

I wish Mr. 23 would read some of the ads the men have posted looking for women as maybe he would notice a parallel. He would notice that the men have a long list of requirements that they are looking for in women, that men state they don't want to play games and yet do, that some men brazenly state in their ads they are only looking for a "mutually beneficial relationship", yet these are the things Mr. 23 is complaining about regarding women.

My next favorite ads were written by 3 different men between the ages of 25 and 40. Apparently these 3 men are very interested in getting married and quickly! One wants to be married within the year and the other 2, well they are ready to take the plunge after a few email exchanges, a coffee date and maybe a kiss! So ladies getting your engines running these 3 are not to be passed up. I mean really do these men not know the time and energy it takes to plan a wedding! I'm pretty sure this could stretching the boundaries of "love at first sight".

The winner of the day though was the ad titled " Need a psycho/schizo woman with bad credit and worse temper - 24". After reading this mini novella I'm convinced this young man needs to take a serious break from dating. If what he is "looking for" is any indication of what he has already gone through I'm thinking dating may not be for him, at least right now.

There is a running theme in the Craigs List ads and that is "you must be real". Real? I mean who have these people been dating? Mickey Mouse, their imaginary friend, a ghost? Maybe instead of saying "please be real", they should define what being real to them is. What are the qualities they are looking for that makes a a person "real"?

Admittedly there are several good ads on Craigs List that are well written and sincere and I hope they are finding what they are looking for. As for the others well they are entertaining and break up a boring afternoon. Not sure if I hope they are finding what they are looking for, especially the poor boy looking for a psycho chick, but I wish them luck too.











Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kissing


Kissing to me is kind of a big deal. For me, that's how I can tell if there will be some chemistry or not. Plus, I like kissing and I like to be kissed, does that mean I kiss every guy I go out with? Hell no. But, I have gone out with enough guys to figure out what I like and what I don't like and unfortunately there are a lot of bad kissers. I get that every one has their own technique and I'm not saying I'm the world's best kisser but there are some kisses that should never be unleashed on a person. Case in point, one time I went out with this very attractive guy from Spain. He was very sweet and funny and I liked him but when he kissed me it was like being licked on the face by a dog! Now, if I don't like a dog licking my face why in God's name would I enjoy a man doing that? Another example of bad kissing is the lip biter or sucker. You know the the kiss where the guy bites your lip or somehow grabs your upper lip and sort of sucks on it. One, that actually HURTS and two its really not enjoyable, I mean I don't get anything from it except a sore lip. My favorite bad kissing technique though is the tongue swirling in my mouth. You know kind of like you taking your finger and swirling it in your drink, well, some like to do that with their tongues. So there you are mouth open wondering what the f#*%? That is just a couple of examples of what I consider bad kissing. I don' t know, maybe I'm just too picky, but I can't imagine anyone enjoying those kissing techniques, but what I do I know maybe someone actually does.

Dating younger men


I'm sure by now most have heard the term Cougar. You know the one that describes older women dating younger men. Personally I hate the term and I don't consider myself a cougar. I feel it applies to those women who actively seek out younger men. Me on the other hand, I've never tried or sought to date younger men, honestly it just kind of happened.

I remember the first time I experienced a younger man being interested in me. It was my 40th birthday and I had flown to Texas to spend my birthday with my daughter. The day of my birthday she and her friends took me out to celebrate. We went to a couple of bars and by the end of the evening it was just me and her friends. At one point I ended up in the ladies room with two of her friends. The began to tell me that one of guys who was with us thought I was hot. Of course I was surprised, after all he was 24 and I thought they were joking. They kept saying that no "T' thought I was attractive and they thought it was cute. They left the bathroom and a few minutes later I followed. Well sneaky girls that they were, they manged to arrange it so that the only seat available was next to "T". Well we began talking and flirting with each other and well no need to mention where it all lead.

A few days I flew home and went back to work. I was actually feeling good about the experience although a little embarrassed after all I was 40 and he was 24 a concept that was unfamiliar to me. I told a few of my friends what happened and a couple were "happy" for me. In the same token was of my friends was appalled and although she never said it to my face she let it be known to a couple of other people.

At first I was angry with her after all I hadn't done anything wrong, then I was hurt as she's supposed to be my friend. I mean there are celebrities dating younger men for heaven's sake and men have been dating and marrying younger women for years!

Since then I've gone out with several younger men. The reaction I get to that varies. Most are supportive and are cool with it, some not so much. The most interesting reactions are from my own children. I have a son who is 19 and is totally cool with it, his thoughts are if I am happy then cool. My daughter who is 24, is not down with me dating younger men. Once I was dating a guy who was 24 and she informed me that her boyfriend was older than mine. Awkward.

Unfortunately there is a bit of a stigma to dating younger men. Some feel your dating them because of the mis-belief younger men last longer in the bedroom. Some people are quick to tell you a younger man is dating you only for sex or monetary reasons. Most feel that younger men are too immature. All valid points. Honestly I've dated men my age who act like they are 24, or only out for sex, or they act like they are 80 and ready for grave.

Why do I date younger men? I date younger men cause there are younger men out there that are mature for their age, they are usually more active, meaning they like getting out of the house to do things, they are usually more adventurous, they are usually more attentive, and well I just like dating younger men.

Do I date younger men exclusively? No. I've dated men all ages and there is good and bad in dating every age. I'm still surprised that younger men are interested in me and yes its flattering, I won't lie. Age is just a number, nothing more, nothing less. I still get teased sometimes for my preferences but that's OK. I sometimes think that those who tease would like to date a younger guy they just haven't whipped up the courage yet.


The Third Wheel


Lately I've found myself in a situation that I've never been in before, I'm the third wheel. For the most part I don't mind being the third wheel. My friend's boyfriend is really nice, I like him and he's even gone out of his way to include me in some of their outings. But today I found myself resenting her boyfriend and her good fortune all because of a band.


You see there's this band I've been wanting to see, in fact this outing has been planned for weeks, the only thing we hadn't done yet was get the tickets. What I forgot to plan for was the boyfriend. Here's the issue her boyfriend has a kid and this weekend is the first weekend in about 3 weeks he hasn't had him so of course she wants boyfriend time, which I totally get but hey I was here before him. This irratates me. One because I don't remember inviting him and two her going now depend on his plans!


Of course my resentment is short lived as I love my friend and I want to see her happy and I now feel bad for all the times SHE was the third wheel. I'll admit I'm a little jealous, I want a boyfriend, I want to be able to find out what he wants to do before I make plans to do anything else, I want to be able to say "hey do you mind if so and so goes?" but alas that is not in the cards at the moment.
Could I find someone else to go with me? Yes, but it wouldn't be the same, so if we don't go I will be disappointed but the world will not end and I will be happy that my friend has a really great guy that adores her and she's happy. There's still Chris Isaak.