My Dating High Horse

high-horse1

“Get off your high horse!”

This line was used on me on a dating website a few months ago, so I feel the need to address it.  In dating, as in all things in life, we all have expectations and hopes.  We all have things we look for, things we want in our lives, and things we know we don’t.  The fact of the matter is, we SHOULD have these things.  Otherwise, how would we ever know what we want in our lives or what we need to do to get there?

On many dating profiles, I specifically state not to contact me if (I list a few things).  The reason I do this is because I don’t want to waste others time, or my own.  There are just some things that are not negotiable, so why not just put it out there?  It makes no sense to spend time communicating with someone who has different relationship expectations than yourself.  Sure, they COULD change their mind, but why waste time on COULD, when there are people who already KNOW.  Quite frankly, at this age I don’t have the time or patience for COULD.  And that’s really my point.

What I find sort of amusing is the fact that someone would waste time contacting me to actually state how they feel, even though they know there is no chance of ever meeting me.  Why would they spend their valuable time even doing that?  Don’t they have more productive things to spend their time on?  And therein lies one of the stark differences between them and me.  This is who someone is at the core, and this difference makes ALL the difference in relationships.

So what was written to me?  Well, a man thought it appropriate to write to me to tell me that maybe I belong on one of those elite dating sites.  He went on to say that I need to get off my high horse (among other things).  Now normally, I would not respond to someone who was clearly wasting my time, but I felt inclined to respond to let him know a few key things.  First, maybe he is right.  Maybe I do belong on an elite dating site.  Is he volunteering to pay for one?

Second, I pointed out to him how silly it was for him to be so upset by the standards I hold for myself and my life.  The reason he was so upset was because it clearly counted him out.  What I found interesting was the fact that this upset him.  He did not know me, so why would it even matter?  If I hold expectations for my life and my future husband that differ from his, it is a clear indication that we are not meant for each other.  Why not just move on?  After all, dating sites are like candy stores for many men.  It just does not make sense to want someone who is not for you when there are hundreds (or even thousands) more who could be for you.  It is a time waster and an inefficient use of the tools available for actually finding that right person.

The third thing I pointed out to him was that the only reason he was upset is because he was not included in the type of man I would want.  One thing I always find annoying in dating is that men see a woman and think they want her, but take no time in determining if they really do want her, the real person.  Many men base this decision on looks without considering who she really is – and this is my whole point in putting my expectations out there.  After spending many of my younger years with men who thought they wanted to be with me, only to find out they really only wanted the arm candy and not the real me, I am focusing only on the real me.  Men will still contact me based on  looks alone, but if they go on to actually read my profile, they will know I will not respond to any comments on looks. This man actually did read my profile, but didn’t like what he read because it counted him out – but at least he did the due diligence of reading it!  Kudos to him for that!

The last thing I pointed out to him was that just the fact that he contacted me to basically tell me off when he did not even know me, is enough for me to know that he was not the kind of man I was looking for.  My main point to him was really that if he would put that much effort into the right women, he will find that right one and bitterness that was clear in his contact with me would disappear.  As in all things in life, we need to put our efforts into what makes sense, not what does not.

My high horse will stand on its four long legs.  Everyone has standards, including me.  I have seen many unhappy marriages because people have compromised their standards just to have someone in their life.  While we all do essentially want that love and connection, we should not have to compromise ourselves to have it.  I will ride my horse into the sunset of life.  My hopes and dreams will live on.  Dreams do not die if you keep them alive!

 

 

Can Online Dating Lead to Love?

I hopped on a few dating sites today after taking a break from them for over a year.  I was immediately reminded of all the reasons I haven’t been online seeking love.  I had so many messages to weed through that it was a bit overwhelming at first.  I soon came to realize that about a third of them were from those guys that hit on everyone and are immediately kicked off the site due to their content or sending personal contact infor through the site (one would think they would have learned this by now).

Many of the rest were one line wonders, which always perplex me.  Do men really think a “hi” will get them in good graces with anyone of substance?  And then there were the abundance of emails that simply stated something about my looks.  These always make me cringe.  Did they even read my profile?  If they had, they would know better than to send something like this since I warn them I will immediately delete those emails.  My feeling is that if they cannot take the time to see who I am as a human being, and not just what I look like, then I don’t have time to talk to them, either.

So now I was down to the last third or so.  In reading the emails and looking at the profiles, I had mixed feelings.  There are many reasons I have not been checking my dating sites for over a year, and this was a big reminder why.  Out of all the emails I received, I only replied to less than a handful – actually, only 3 to be exact.  These men I would definitely like to meet.  However, since I have not been online in over a year, some of the emails were from almost a year ago.  Okay, my bad.  In my defense, I was extremely frustrated with the men I was meeting from these sites and needed a break.

It left me wondering if love can actually be found online.  I believe it can.  The reason I believe this is because I have met some fabulous men online and have had some wonderful relationships with men I met online.  I am keeping the faith that the right one for me is out there.  I will be keeping my options open, but will not compromise who I am in finding love online.  What this means is that there will be many, many emails sent to me wasting my time that I will never respond to.  As in everything in in life, I will focus on the goal, which is getting to the right man out of the many who write saying they are interested.  For those I pass over – trust me guys, after reading some of your profiles, I know for a fact you would never be interested in me (the actual person).  While we all have our “lists” of what we are looking for, my negotiable items are many with the right person; but some things would never work.  As warmer weather is here, I am once again giving this another chance.  After all, I do believe the right one is out there somewhere!

The Marriage Dilemma

wedding-1064523_1280

I recently attended a singles networking event and discussion.  The topic was interesting enough, but as we went around the room I came to realize that the way I feel about relationships and marriage was quite different than others in the room.  This could be partly because I was probably the youngest person in the room.  But as I listened to others speak, I became saddened by the state of being single today.

You see, as I listened, it became abundantly clear that everyone in the room except me would be perfectly happy to either find someone to date and get along with, have a long-term relationship with, or live with.  None of these options are acceptable to me.  I want to get married.  Of course, one must go through some of the above to get there, but the singles in this room made it very clear that they had no desire to get married (again).  I left feeling very disenchanted with even the thought of dating.  Were my expectations unrealistic for someone of a certain age?  While I was younger than those present, I am considered what is solidly middle-aged.  Could someone like me find love again?  I will say, I still hold out that God has someone for me.

Listening to the conversations, most in the room have been in marriages that lasted for some length of time or were recently back in the dating scene.  As for me, I have been looking for marriage for well over 20 years, with little success.  Over the years, I have met many wonderful men and been in relationships with several.  However, it seems as though finding the RIGHT one for me has proven more challenging than I could have ever imagined.

Friends have told me things like my standards are too high, or that I should give someone a chance that clearly has qualities I would never want in my life.  So as the topic turned to things we look for in the opposite sex, this brought me back to all of those conversations with my friends.  So, are my expectations unrealistic?  As I listened to others talk about what they are looking for, I came to realize that their expectations were different because they were not looking at it from a marriage standpoint, and I was.  Since most of my friends hold the same view on marriage as those in the room, their expectations would be that of those present, also.

So why is it that most people my age want marriage?  I have asked many, and most state they have been through the wringer with their exes and don’t want to do that again.  Others state that they “don’t need a piece of paper to justify their relationship.”  Again, I disagree.  If someone truly loves me and does want to spend his life with me, he should not hesitate at that piece of paper.  If he does, I would question his commitment to me.  Now I realize some would argue this point, but I stand firmly on my belief.  It is okay if you disagree.  You see, to me marriage is sacred.  It is far more than a piece of paper and a level of commitment.  While others may not see it this way, I do.  So I will trust in my belief that the right man is out there for me.  I cannot and will not settle for less than I deserve.  I am not asking for unrealistic expectations, but simply for love and a man who is okay with making the commitment of “I do.”

For those who have said to me that marriage is not all its cracked up to be.  Well, maybe that was your marriage.  Allow me to have my own and make my own judgment on that.

Dating During the Holidays

 Let’s face it.  The Holidays can be challenging for many singles for a variety of reasons.  Dating during these busy and sometimes stressful times can also prove challenging.  While I will not say I have answers to these issues, I would like to share some of the challenges I encounter.  By sharing, I hope this may help some other who feel as I do!

Loneliness

Singles can feel lonely on any given day, but during the Holidays this can be amplified by basic Holiday activities.  For me, watching families just out enjoying shopping, or enjoying other Holiday fun can send me into a downward spiral that I don’t want to go down.  While I am genuinely happy for these families, and especially my friends, when I see the joy they have with their families, it hits me hard that I want this also, and don’t have it.  If I dwell on this too long, I am in trouble.  The Holidays tend to make me think of all the things I don’t have that are so valuable.  

When I was younger, I was so focused on having the husband, family,  good job, the latest fashions, nice house and nice car.  Out of all of those things, there were only two that were really worth spending my time on.  Since I felt education was the key to getting all of those material things I wanted in life, I lost focus of the things that mattered to me the most – a husband and family.  I spent 10 years in the prime of my life in college to get my education while working my way up the corporate ladder.  That did not leave me time to establish a solid relationship and several were destroyed in that time because they could not be properly nurtured.  I wasted so much time on the things that really did not matter and not enough on the ones that did.  The Holidays have a way of forcing me to think of these things when I watch others enjoying the families they have, and yearning for the one I don’t have.

Bittersweet Family Gatherings

While I love seeing my family and thoroughly enjoy the time with them, there is a real disconnect at family gatherings for me.  I listen to their banter of Christmas morning, the thrill of the children, the gifts received by the adults, and can only wish I had someone to share those memories with.  The Holidays are essentially very sad for me – and I haven’t even touched on New Years, yet!  New Years Gatherings are extremely stressful, with everyone toasting with their significant others, and kissing at New Year’s Eve and bringing in the new year with a new-found hope for their future together.  While I know my New Year will hold promises I have not yet imagined, I cannot help but be brought to my knees at the thought of having another year alone without love in my life.  Many of my single friends don’t really understand the deep desire and longing I have for being married.  Many have spent years in marriage.  I have not.  At family gatherings, I feel a little left out and forgotten.  I don’t have stories to share of Christmas morning, and I have received gifts from no one.

Someone to Enjoy Holiday Events With

Another stressful thing is going to Holiday events alone, being a third wheel, or just not going at all because you have no one to go with.  Sure, many people go to events with friends, and that is great!  I do, too!  However, some events are just not the same without a special love in your life to enjoy them with.  For someone who yearns for love, the Holidays can be a very lonely and stressful time.

Some Things that Can Help

As briefly mentioned above, there are some things you can do to alleviate the stress and loneliness. Spending time with friends enjoying festivities certainly helps.  You can find Holiday singles mixers to meet others just like you!  You could do what I do and keep really busy, so you don’t have time to think about it.  While most of us try to embrace being single and making the best of it, there are times when it can get to us.  We all put on our brave faces and go out into the world, but brave faces do not change the way we feel inside.  .

Since this post is a little different than most of my posts, and the intention is to help others by letting them know they are not alone in how they feel, I would love to hear some things you do to manage the stress of being single during the Holidays.

 

Are You Too Busy to Date?

Busy

How Busy is too Busy?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask.  As an extremely busy person, I am asked this all the time when communicating with men online.  Usually they will ask probing questions trying to figure out if I will make time for them in my schedule.  The answer is: it depends.

First, I will not cancel any of my plans for a date.  Most of these men, you never hear from again, so they need to find a time that is good for me if they want to meet.  This can be challenging since I keep an extremely full schedule, but it also gives me a very good indication of what the man is all about.  If he is respectful and understanding, then he is worth meeting.  Any man who questions me too much or acts like me being busy is a problem is almost certainly not the man for me.

While some may not agree with me, my take on this is that a man would expect you to understand if he is busy and would expect you to work with his schedule.  What is the difference if it is a women?  There is none – other than that some men expect women to cater to their needs without regard to hers.  For this simple reason, I know right away if someone will work with my lifestyle.  Someone who seems as though he wants all my time and attention prior to even knowing me, will surely be far too needy and clingy for me.

Prioritizing Dating and the Rest of your Life

I have a canned response when someone asks me if I am too busy to date right now. And that response is: “Today everyone is busy and if we all wait until we are not busy to date, we may be dead first.”  It is true, if you think about it.  Who do you know that is NOT busy?  Not very many people can say that.

While I will not cancel anything in my schedule to accommodate a date, I will reprioritize if I meet someone worth a relationship.  This is the part that men do not seem to get.  They see busy and they think there is no room for them.  As in anything important in life, it is all about priorities!  When we first meet someone, they have not earned a place in our schedules before other things in our lives.  When we establish a relationship with someone, that shifts, and they become a higher priority than some of those other things.  For any man to expect a women to cancel other plans to go on a date with them is totally unrealistic, since there is no guarantee you will even like each other.  However, when a relationship is being established and people spend more time together, they have earned a place in our schedules.  I am uncertain as to why men only see busy as no place for them.  It could be selfishness, it could be ego, it could be neediness, or something deeper like control issues.  However, I do know that if someone doesn’t respect my life as it is now, and does not want to work on a common time to meet, it puts up all kinds of red flags for me.

NO ONE is too busy to date if it is something that is important to them.  Stop asking.  If we did not want to be dating, we would not be looking!  Don’t be needy, be a gentleman!  Happy dating!

 

2 Things That Will Scare Men Away

  In our quest for love, sometimes we try so hard we do not realize what we are doing or saying can be counterproductive.  While we need to ask questions in order to determine if our date is someone we want to continue a relationship with, we have to be smart about the questions we ask and the messages we send out.  We need to realize that men are not women, and they do not think like women, either.  There are a few subjects that should be saved for later in a relationship, and some that are just never good to ask.  Here are two that will surely send most men running the other direction:

1. Marriage

This should be a no-brainer.  However, sometimes women forget this because they want to be married and they feel they need to let the man know this, or they are nervous and blurt out things like this to try to make conversation.  While this subject will need to be addressed at some point if that’s the direction you want to go, it is never a good idea to address it within the first few dates.  Most women realize that many men have a fear of marriage for a variety of reasons.  There may be a fear of being “tied down” or not being “free.”  Or some men may feel a loss of control in their lives if they feel they are being pressured or forced into something or feeling a specific way.  My suggestion is to allow the relationship to progress naturally.  There needs to be a certain level of connection to address this subject.  When women put this out, they do not mean they want to marry that particular man or at that particular time, men hear something quite different and if the subject of wanting to be married is approached too soon, they will run the other direction if they are not in a place where they could actually see it with you.  Yes, some of us may want to be married, but we need to keep this conversation to ourselves until we have a deep connection with the man we are having the conversation with!

2. His “Type”

Another subject sure to make a man cringe is asking his “type” of woman.  First of all, do you really want an answer to that?  Ladies, if a man answers this one with what pops into his head, I assure you it will not be anything you want to hear or could ever live up to.   A man’s “type” is not necessarily who his ideal mate is.  Men are visual and when you are asking a type, many men will conjure up images of what they want a woman to look like, followed by all of their ideal personality characteristics.  This is hardly a real human, just as your fantasy guy is not real.  Do not make your date squirm, or put yourself through this!  Leave this one alone!  You may be his ideal woman, but he does not yet know it.  Why torture yourself and feed all the insecurities we all carry around?  Learn about each other and allow your relationship to grow naturally.  Do not try to force your way in by trying to meet an ideal that does not exist in real life.

Of course, if you are on a date and you want to send him running, feel free to talk about these.  I do NOT guarantee these subjects will send the wrong guy running.  He could be one of the few guys these subjects do not send running.  But do not chance talking about these to someone who could potentially be the right guy.  You want him to be around to get to know you!  Happy dating!