No, I Don’t Want to Kiss You!

It is hard enough dating without any additional pressures and stresses.  First dates are even harder.  One of my rules, is that I do NOT want to kiss a complete stranger on a first date!  No way, no how!  I do not know enough about someone I just met to be any form of intimate with them, and that includes kissing.  First off, I do not know his oral hygiene, which is super important.  Second, gum disease is a bacterial infection and can be spread person to person via saliva.  I know this is not sexy, but it is fact, and I think about these things, as should you!

Men, if you just met someone, you should have enough respect for them not to kiss them or touch them inappropriately.  It is just not okay!  Women, you need to have more respect for yourselves and set boundaries to get to know someone on a personal level before you ever think of getting anywhere near physical.  Save all of that for a time when you truly know each other.  Isn’t that the point?    A good man will want to get to know you as a person and respect you enough to do that before he gets physical with you.  Do you really want that guy who wants everything right away?  Imagine how many others he has been with this way?  No, thank you!  I feel I deserve much better than that, and so do you!  I am not saying kissing is bad, I am merely saying to save it for after you know the person a little better.  What is the rush?

  I realize there are people who will totally disagree with me on this subject, and that is okay.  I write from a “lived and learned” perspective and your lessons may have been different than mine.  As I pointed out in my last post, a first date should be all about getting to know the person better, and be very conversation-oriented.  Now, if you do hold a different view, that is fine.  This is just my recommendation to finding Mr. Maybe.  Be physical too soon, and he has nothing to look forward to, so beware if your goal is finding a guy to keep.  Of course, I realize there are always exceptions.

Mr. Maybe is out there!  I would rather wait for him to arrive in my life than go through all the heartache with Mr. Wrong and waste my time.  Take the time to know who you are choosing to be with.  If he is Mr. Maybe, he will still be there.  If he goes away, then he was not the right one anyway.  Ladies, you need to set the boundaries and stick to them!  This, sadly, is up to you.  The right man will respect those boundaries and they will respect you!  You deserve that and nothing less than that!  So save that first kiss for someone special.  Waiting will make it a special and memorable moment for both of you!

A More Active First Date

Some people prefer a more active date than dinner, brunch, or coffee.  There are plenty of things to do on a first date that are also great for getting to know someone.  The first option is to go to a park, garden, or other recreation area for a stroll.  In this environment, you have the opportunity to talk and get to know each other without having to stare at each other across a table.  If you both like horticulture, go to a garden and enjoy that while getting to know each other.  I will put out a few cautions here, though.  If you do choose something like this and you have never met the person before, make sure you are going to a place that there are other people and you feel safe.  Do not go for a walk on secluded paths, such as hiking, until you know the person you are with. While this should go without saying, sometimes when we communicate online, we feel like we know the person a little – WE DON’T.  Stop for ice cream or a frosty drink on a hot day and enjoy that while chatting.

  If you prefer something a little more active, you could opt for a short bike ride together, or even ice skating at a local rink in the winter.  Anything you both agree is fun, but always make sure you are around other people on a first date.  Shooting pool or Quizzo at the local hang out are some other options you may want to explore, if they are of interest to both of you.

While there are many things to do on a first date that provide ample time to get to know each other, there are also some things I would not recommend.  Steer clear of movies, theater, bars with loud music, sports events, concerts, or any other similar venue.  While you both may enjoy some of these activities, they do not provide ample time to talk and get to know each other – and that is the whole point of a first date.  Save these things for later.  If you do find your Mr. Maybe there will be plenty of time to enjoy these things together in the future.  Right now, on your first date, your goal should be to walk away from the date with a feel for who your date is as a person.

Again, my recommendation would be to keep your activity date short.  You do not want to overwhelm your date by appearing too needy.  Prior to your date, make a list of things you would like to know about your date, and have them in your head as conversation subjects.  Do not blast them off like you are interviewing your date, but get them to flow into the conversation naturally when the time is appropriate.  Make a point to guide to conversation to those areas if you need to, but make sure you get your questions answered.  You want to walk away from your date feeling like you have as accurate an assessment of your date as possible from one date.  Most importantly, don’t forget this is a date!!  Relax and enjoy the date.  The more you smile and laugh, the more attractive you will be!

First Date Dilemma

First dates are all about getting to know a little more about each other and seeing if there is enough there to take it further.  In our eagerness to find love, sometimes we forget the importance of keeping this initial contact light and brief.  Of course, much will depend on how much communication you have had with each other prior to meeting, also.  The whole idea about this first meeting is not to spend the day together, but to share a brief time together, learn about each other, size each other up, and see how you interact with each other.

 

Coffee, Brunch, Breakfast and Other Early Options

One of my favorite times to meet someone is early in the day.  The reason I like these options so much is that is provides for a more relaxed and stress-free meeting.  If you choose to meet for coffee, the meeting can be as brief as either of you wants it to be.  If you are really unsure, I would stick with a coffee meeting so you do not have to be there long, if you do not want to.  This is also a very inexpensive way to meet, if you are unsure of the person prior to meeting.

Brunch and breakfast are also low-cost options that provide minimal stress for both parties.  These options give you a little more time together to get to know each other.  Because brunch and breakfast are generally served very quickly or are buffet style, you still have a fairly easy out if the date is not working out for you.  I really enjoy the light early day atmosphere of these type of dates.  It provides a great environment for talking without all the potential pressures of a dinner date.  The only down side of this is that many restaurants do brunch only on Sundays, and that means if you attend Sunday religious services, you have very limited options on a Saturday.

If your date goes well, you are both available, and you want to do something else together, this early date provides ample time to spend even more time together.  I will add a caution here, though.  I would not overdo the time together on this initial meeting.  Men tend to feel overwhelmed and may want to pull away if you seem too needy on this first date.  Use good judgment on the amount of time to choose to spend together on the first date.

   Dinner or Drinks

My advice here would be to NOT do just drinks.  First off, it is very hard to have an actual conversation in many of the places where drinks are served.  The whole idea is to get to know each other, and that cannot be accomplished.  The other caution I will mention is that when you meet a complete stranger for drinks, you should always use extreme caution.  Never leave your drink unattended – EVER!  If you must use the restroom, finish your drink and tell your date you do not want another one, even if you do.  You can always order one when you get back.  I also caution on meeting for drinks because it is not wise to drink alcohol with no food on a date where you are trying to evaluate someone to potentially have a relationship with.  I am not saying you should not have a drink, but only to use caution and good judgment.

My choice here would always be a nice dinner – and by nice, I do not mean it has to be expensive.  There are plenty of great date restaurants that offer affordable food, a nice wine selection, and great atmosphere to talk.  These are not your chain restaurants, either.  Choose something cozy, so you can have a nice conversation.  This atmosphere is great for gauging chemistry and attraction to each other.  Relax, enjoy your date and get to know each other!  It is all in the journey, so enjoy the ride!

Frustration Nation

I had several conversations this week with people about Dating After 40 and online dating and I wanted to address several things that came up in the conversations.  Most of the single people I know have at least dabbled in online dating with varied degrees of success.  This weekend I was speaking with some men on their experiences with online dating. They have many of the same complaints as women do, but take a surprisingly more tolerant view on some issues than I do.  We were discussing how some people lie about their age.  To me, this is a major issue on two levels:

1) I cannot start a relationship with someone who is not honest about something so basic as who they really are.

2) I generally do not date much older than me because I find the men look and act much older than me.

To me, this is wasting my time. The men I spoke with were surprisingly a lot more tolerant, to a point.  They did not place the same emphasis on starting with a lie as I do.  I found this interesting.  While I do not think either view is wrong, I do find it to be something to consider. What are we all looking for out here?  It seems like many of the same people are on the dating sites year after year.  How could they possibly not have found someone who is compatible and who they enjoy spending time with?  This has been an ongoing point of contention with me because I love meeting people and genuinely enjoy the dates I go on.  I love getting to know someone and learning new things and new perspectives on things through the conversations I have.  There are many times that we really want to know more about our dates, but we never hear from them again.  We could have the best date, and the phone never rings.

So why is it so hard to get from online to an actual relationship?  It is something I have thought a lot about.  One point I would like to make is that online dating is kind of like ordering dinner – it depends on what mood we are in.  I am convinced that many view this form of dating as a smorgasbord of choices – and they are either afraid of making the wrong one or they take advantage of the choices and never take the time to know one person.  One thing is for sure – we cannot develop anything lasting from one date.  That is only where it starts.  We need to really take time to get to know someone if we are to be successful in finding a potential life partner.  First dates are kind of like job interviews – people can present themselves a certain way, but it is hard to really know what they are all about from one date.  If you use online dating sites, more than likely you are talking to more than one person – so are men.  From my personal experience, when I have been interested on someone I do not bother going online and/or answering emails from other prospective date.  I focus on the guy I am interested in.  Again, from my experience, the men I have dated continue the conversations they are having because they are afraid of what they may be missing.  To this day, I do not understand what they think they are missing.

So what are we all looking for that we are not finding?  Is it that we are not taking the time to really know people anymore?  Relationships do take time to develop, and it seems like everyone is in so much of a hurry with the demands of their lives that we cannot slow down long enough to develop proper relationships anymore.  Based on my interviews, online dating is frustrating for both men and women.  We all want love in our lives.  We go online with high expectations that maybe, just maybe, that special someone is there.  We leave there frustrated and jaded.  But yet, we all know someone who found their ideal person online, so we do know there is hope and we keep that hope alive in our hearts.  As frustrating as it is, we put ourselves out there and guard our fragile hearts with shields of armor. We may not all find our Mr. Maybe, but even if we don’t we need to enjoy the journey.  There are many great and wonderful men out there, even if they are not the right one for us.  I, for one, genuinely enjoy meeting them and getting to know them.  Sure, there will be the occasional nightmare date (hopefully not too many), but if we look at most of our dates with an open mind, we will know in our hearts that meeting wonderful men along the way is not a bad thing, and they are really the pebbles we leave along our trail to our destiny.  So stop being frustrated!  Enjoy the journey!

Radio Interview

Radio Interview

I will be interviewed this evening at 7PM EDT on WTER Talk Exchange Radio.  Here is the write-up by the host from Facebook:  

Laini Bianculli writes:
Join me tonight on TALK Exchange RADIO at 7:00 p.m. for the launch of Ready-to-Wear…Are you ready to wear the custom blended version of you?Lisa Balthaser a/k/a Ms. Maybe is my guest and we will be discussing her blog and book titled Dating After 40: How to Weed Out Mr. Wrong to get to Mr. Maybe. Her blog has struck a cord with many as she discusses her experiences and systematically looks at solutions for weeding out Mr. Wrong and getting to the man who could ultimately be Mr. Maybe. Her goal is to help other women who find themselves in the same circumstances, and help them realize they should never give up on the dream of finding Mr. Maybe, if that is really what you want. — with Lisa Balthaser.

How Much Clutter Do You Have?

Clutter2What is clutter?  Merriam Webster defines clutter as “a crowded or confused mass or collection.”  So what does that have to do with dating?  A LOT!  While most of us think of clutter as something we have in our home, what we may not realize is that we all carry around mental and emotional clutter – the collection of  life experiences that clogs our brains and prevents us from moving forward with our lives in a healthy way.  Think about it this way – what often happens in the home of someone who has a lot of clutter?  They tend to become complacent and the clutter starts to accumulate.  This can happen in our brains, also, if we are not paying attention.

In verb form, to clutter means “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.” With this definition, it is easy to see how clutter would prevent us from successfully finding the right person for us.  Our brains can be scattered and disordered, which prevents us from moving forward to the right person.  Did you ever notice that some people date people who are very similar to a previous partner?  The same issues arise in the new relationship as they did in previous relationships.  Well, this is because they are not moving forward and are stuck in their own clutter.  Having a lot of clutter absolutely reduces our effectiveness in finding the right partner because there is no room in our brains to properly process the reality of the other person.  Our brains contain so much chaos, excess, and frustration, and it overwhelms us to come to the right conclusion because we cannot even find room in our heads for all the information we need to make that decision.

Clutter Cloud

So what is all this clutter that is clogging our senses and making us unable to logically find the right person?  Some of it is baggage from our past and emotional baggage we gain throughout our lives and have never dealt with.  Some of it is from our daily lives, which tend to be a lot busier than they were a few decades ago.  We are so busy today with so much on our plates, we rarely take the time to assess all the “stuff” we are carrying around that is preventing us from living our fullest lives.  Some never even give this a thought.

I know when I was younger, I never realized all the emotional baggage I carried from my childhood.  It took me until well into my 30’s to understand it all and where it all came from.  But once we realize that it is there and what form it takes, we need to understand it and recognize exactly how it is manifesting itself into our lives today.  Some of us may need to seek professional help to really get to the core, but if that is not an option, understanding that it is there will at least help some.  I challenge you to assess what your clutter is.  Write it down!  If you are not finding the relationship you want, more than likely you are carrying around some kind of clutter that is preventing you from finding what you need!  It is important that you take time to really be alone and honestly assess the emotional clutter that is preventing you from living a happy life.  You only have things to gain by truly understanding what is blocking you from your dream of a healthy and fulfilling relationship!  Throw as much of the clutter out the door as you can!  There may be some left, but we will explore that. too!