Stick to Your Dating Rules!

Most of us have our own rules we go by when doing online dating.  I recently broke two of mine on one date, with disastrous results!

The first thing about dating is that we need to know and understand ourselves.  I do.  However, I tend to be open-minded and try hard not to judge people.  I applied these principles and went against my own guidelines I set for myself in online dating.  The two rules I broke are not to date guys with tattoos because I find them slightly revolting and do not understand marring the body in such a way.  It’s not that I find all tattoos unappealing if they are done tastefully, but I am not a fan of the vast majority of them, so I tend to steer clear of what I find unattractive (as most everyone does).

The second rule I broke was not to date any man who has a photo of himself without a shirt.  Sorry, guys.  While there are a few women who are okay with this, most women I speak to on this subject do NOT want to see shirtless photos on a man’s online dating profile.  I am one of them.  Allow me to explain.  While you may argue that men are shirtless at the beach and it is acceptable, unless I see you at a beach, I do not need to see you without a shirt on.  Most women are online looking for a decent respectable man.  We want to feel you are one.

Okay, so back to my date.  He was not a guy I would typically date.  He had large tattoos across his shoulders and down his arms in his shirtless boating photos.  Okay, so now you may be thinking what is wrong with a shirtless boating photo.  Nothing, if you are sharing it with friends or on Facebook.  However, it is not necessary to post this type of photo on a dating site.  I get that you worked hard to get those abs and are proud of all that hard work, but putting it out there like that can also mean you are shallow – not a positive image to present.  You may be proud of that boat you own – that’s great!  Talk about it in your bio – most of you could use a little more meat in your bio, anyway!

When I arrived on my date, I found my date waiting for me at the bar as he said he would be.  I walked over and introduced myself (I am not shy).  When I sat down he asked how I recognized him.  I said he looked like his photos (thankfully, because sometimes they don’t).  He went on to say he was not sure if I would recognize him and maybe if he took his shirt off he would look more like his pictures.  I politely ignored this statement and kept the conversation going.  He made two more references to taking his shirt off and asked if I wanted to see him without his shirt on – I answered with a firm NO!  Look dude, I just met you and at this point I don’t even like you, and you are not making a good impression on me!

As the conversation progressed, we started talking about movies and seeing movies in the theater. He then asked me if I ever saw a particular movie.  I stated no.  He said we could watch it, but not in the theater – we could rent it.  Um…really? We just met.  Do you really think I am going anywhere alone with you?? And now you are really creeping me out!!

At this point I was more than a little annoyed at his antics.  I steered the conversation to expectations.  Explaining to him that my expectations are to find a man who wants to get to know ME – the me I refer to is between my ears.  Me, the human being;  me, the woman;  me, the person – NOT the objectification of an outward shell of who I am.  To this he argued that I am all wrong in my thinking and there is no man who will want to get to know me and not have sex.  Really?  I beg to differ.  I have met many respectable men over the years.  I certainly did not need this guy, who was more annoying than anything.

So what did I do next?  Well, since I knew what he had in mind and what was NOT going to happen, I did the one thing that was a surefire way to get rid of him – I told him I was a born-again virgin!  I sure did!  Well, I never saw a guy hightail it out of a date so fast.  He actually left me sitting at the bar by myself.  He did pay – but stiffed the bartender of a tip.  This was a first for me – I have NEVER had a guy skip out on the date before.  Hey, but there is always a first.

I had to laugh at the situation.  We always hear of things like this, but when it actually happens, it becomes laughable.  I stayed and chatted with the people around me.  The ladies sitting next to me thought my date and I were on different levels – we were.  The couple sitting on the other side who took his seat were glad they had each other and not dating anymore. The best part?  When I was sitting there chatting with the lovely people around me, I received a message from my date.  The message read, “I thought the date was going well.  You sure know how to ruin it.”   Wow!  Really?  He thought that was a good date?

From the minute I sat down, it was not a good date for me.  In the hour we were there he drank 2 beer and one shot – a little excessive for a first date and in under an hour, I think (he also told me he drank one before he left his house).  I had to field inappropriate remarks the whole conversation and it was clear we had little in common.  But for him, it was a good date?  I cannot imagine.  I am sure he sent that message so he could feel better about himself, and that is okay.  I don’t really put much credence to his message.  He was clearly not for me.

Back to the drawing board – and I will be sticking to my dating rules from now on!  No more exceptions.

Have you ever broken your rules and had something like this happen?  I would love to hear other people’s stories!

In Dating, You Need to Show Up!

  A few months ago, I met a man at a business meeting.  He seemed really nice and we hit it off right away.  He left early and I thought I would never hear from him again.  However, that was not the case.  He found me on Facebook and we started talking.  A little while later, we went on a date.

He was such a gentleman on our date and we had loads to talk about.  The conversation was easy and there seemed to be a mutual interest.  At the end of the date, he was a perfect gentleman and walked me to my car.  We talked for a few more minutes and parted ways, agreeing we both wanted to see each other again.

Before we went out, he let me know that he had a trip planned to the Bahamas for a few weeks.  So, after our date, he went on vacation.  Lucky him!!  While in the Bahamas, he sent me a beautiful picture of a beach!  Oh, how nice that would be!!  I was surprised to actually hear from him while he was on vacation, and took this as a positive sign.  After all, most men would not take time out of a vacation to think of someone they had one date with!

However, we had not planned a second date, and he still needed to call me when he returned.  When things like this happen and a second date is not or cannot be planned, for whatever reason, beware!  Boy, did I learn that one!

When he returned, he did call me!  I was elated, since I am used to online dating and the land of the one date wonders.  We had a very nice conversation and we planned on a date for the upcoming Sunday.  We did not set an exact time, since I attend church in the morning, but we did discuss what we would do.  He said that he likes to go to movies on Sundays, and would I mind doing that.  Well, no.  I love movies and don’t attend many these days!  I was really looking forward to seeing a movie and getting to know this man better and hear all about his trip.

So Sunday arrived, and when I got home from church I started working while waiting to hear from him.  Well, that never happened.  He never called.

I had so many things to do that day.  I was invited to three different events, and my grass needed to be mowed.  However, since I had not committed to any of those things yet, I committed myself to another date with him.

I was furious!  How dare he tell me we will be doing something and then not show up or call! It would not have been a big deal, except that I had other things I wanted to do, but did not do them due to our plans to see a movie.  How rude and inconsiderate of him to leave me sitting waiting to go on a date that never happened.  Unless he, or an immediate family member died, there is just no excuse good enough to make up for leaving someone sitting there waiting to go on a date.

Now, you are probably wondering why I did not call him at this point.  Well, I don’t call men, unless I am in a relationship with a man.  I will not run after a man – ever.  From my observations, if a man is not interested in a woman, he will stray.  So there is no point in chasing after them.  Now there does need to be mutual interest, but it really makes no difference how interested the woman is if the man is not interested.  She may get some dates, he may sleep with her, but she will surely get her heart broken when he moves onto someone he is truly interested in.    I am too old for all this drama and, quite frankly, just don’t have the time for it.  This is why I will never chase after a man.

We are still “friends” on Facebook.  However, there is little this man can do to make this up to me.  There are just very few excuses that would be acceptable at this point.  He has not contacted me since then, which leads me to believe he is either not interested or found someone new.  Either way, it is okay.  But it should have been communicated.  I am a big girl, I can handle this!  Not showing up is unacceptable.   I am a person with feelings and things to do.  Be considerate and call (or even text if you aren’t man enough).  Do something!  Don’t just let someone sit there waiting to go on a date.  That is wrong on so many levels.  In dating, you need to show up!

 

 

My Dating High Horse

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“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

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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.