Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lessons in miscommunication. (Or, games we play.)

[via a close friend who has managed to get it right (she's married) via A Cup of Jo]

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Patience is not a virtue. Waiting for Date No. 2.

It's been a while since I've last chronicled my adventures in un-romance and dating disasters. This is in large part due to the fact that I've been on so many dates and corresponded with so many new men this week that I can no longer keep track of their names, let alone remember to tell you all about them!

I'll get to the week's juicy tidbits and tadpoles later. But in the meantime, let me share this story and subsequent sage advice with you daters.

Last Sunday's date. You'll remember him as the fellow I didn't have much chemistry with but hey that could develop over time but time would take him calling and setting up a 2nd date. You remember, yes? Well I didn't hear from...we'll call him Jed...all week. And I thought, hey no biggie. Onwards and upwards you know. Then on Thursday night--this is 4 nights after our initial meeting for you slow counters out there--he texts (not calls, but texts) me:

'btw it was good to hang out with you on Sunday night...'

Okay, let me start here. 'Btw???' 'By the way' indicates an afterthought. And no one makes this highly eligible bachelorette out to be an afterthought. No one puts me in a corner. Secondly, yes, I know it was good to hang out with me. I was there. And I give good date. I give great date, in fact. And thirdly, you want it? Come and get it. Ask me out again (over the phone would be best now, but I'll take a text with abbreviations and emoticons if necessary). But ask or get off the pot.

I could likely attribute Jed's  iffy communication skills to the fact that he's a mere 26. But I had high hopes that his maturity level might match the fullness of his facial hair. Which is quite scruffy and lovely.

I'll give Jed til tomorrow to get his young act together. If not, my patience will retire and his name will exit my cell phone directory. To make room for new names, of course.

Note to the Ladies: Your date did not lose his phone. He's not working that hard. He has indeed likely passed many phones this week and had opportunity to call.

Advice to the Gents: Okay, so you're not ready to go on Date 2 yet. You don't have time. Maybe you're not sure you even want a Date 2 yet. That's okay. If you think you might ever, ever want to get with this. Keep the doors open. Cause otherwise, us wise ladies are gonna slam 'em in your face.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The morning after [the first online date].

As those of you who've been reading the blog or eagerly following me on Twitter know (wait, what? you don't follow me on Twitter? Oh, you must fix that before we go on. Go here. Now.), I went on a date last night. The first fruit of my online dating labors. And a good looking fruit. Sort of like a ripe apple. But I digress.

I met this fellow on a small, new dating site--the kind that seems appealing because it's cool and it's quirky and the ratio of cute, normal looking dudes is slightly higher than on other sites, but is in reality so new and small still that the guy you recognize from work has now appeared 3 times in your matches.

So, I could tell you all about the date. But all I need to tell you for the purposes of the conundrum in which I now find myself is the following:

* We had a pretty good thing going over email before meeting. He'd write. I'd write longer. He'd write again. I'd write a novel. And so on and so forth.
* We have similar humor. Both on paper and in person. And that's saying a lot. How many times have we all met hysterical people [or so we thought] only to meet them in person and find out they've got Dead Face Syndrome (a very serious condition in which one's face is in a constant state of appearing constipated) or is, worse yet, just totally and utterly awkward. If the 'we' is 'me' in this query, than this has happened often.
* We had a good f-cking time on our date. Conversation flowed. Laughs were shared. Eye contact was made (I made sure of this with deep, long stares into his eyes that may have rightfully freaked him out). There were less than 5 stand-out awkward pauses (this is record breaking, really). And we discovered more things in common than 2 strangers generally discover in each other.
* The end of the date began just as it started--with a hug.

The conundrum is then of course--was there chemistry? Can a date be good without the romance being great? I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes. But even so, part deux of the conundrum--shouldn't we at least give it a second date to be absolutely, 100%, let's never say never, fair chance? Which leads right into part 3--why hasn't he called?!

I've always been a forward-thinking, independent woman of the 21st century. But, if for centuries before this one, the man courted the woman with some degree of success, maybe the 21st hasn't gotten everything quite right. And maybe I shouldn't have to be the first one to write post-date. And that's why I've given my texting thumbs a break today and steered clear of my date's initial in my phone's contact list. Cause no second date is bad. But being the loser in the game of post-first date chicken is worse. Much, much worser.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Online dating. Last resort or new beginning.

I have spent the last 10 years making fun of online dating. The following are the truths I held to be self evident which both justified my mockery and defended my refusal to engage in the act.

  • Shopping for partners in catalog form, I reasoned, was as calculated, pragmatic and utterly unromantic as it could get. It was counter to everything so wonderful about the concept of 'love at first sight.' It gave new meaning to the term 'meat market.' It was not the kind of start to a relationship that one would be proud to tell her child about 10 years down the line. ('I met your father in a search for tall, slender-to-built Jewish men. Earning $150,000 or more a year. In the legal profession. Within 5 miles of my zip code. I spent $44.95 on membership to and the cost of a profile headshot to find him.')
  • The only men who I'd find on a dating site would be far too eager to settle down. And men who were looking to settle down were certainly not my type. Oh no. I far preferred men with no interest in marriage at all who I could then spend months trying to convince that they did want to marry--to marry me, in fact. Men who wanted to settle down and went on dating websites wore collared shirts and went to nightclubs on the weekends and had mommy issues.
  • I was not sure I wanted to settle down. Sure, I wanted a boyfriend sometimes. Sure, I thought dating was fun. But in the same way that I had no desire to 'shop' for me, the idea of a man shopping for me was ever more horrifying. I didn't want to be pegged by my height, judged by my photo, skipped over because my profile was sassy when it should have been sweet.
So, as you may have figured out, I recently gave the idea of online dating a second thought. The open-mindedness arrived somewhere between flu-like symptoms and congestion...and a fever-induced revelation that I was ready to settle down. Oh, and the frequent rise of pregnancy, toddlers, and exposure to 'mommy bloggers' may have been a cause as well.

And while online dating is not easy--they may screen for nudity in profile pics but they do not screen for IQ it's become abundantly clear (horror stories to be shared later, don't you worry)--I have signed up. Ohmigod, that was hard for me to say. And I have told some friends. And my mother. I still feel so wary about it that confessionals seem the only way for my made up screen name, emails with strangers and [dare I say] excitement about some of the guys I've started talking to, not to become a deep, dark, mortifying secret.

In that spirit (yeah, I guess it's the spirit of embarrassment), I'm telling you too. Later on, I'll walk you through tips for the game--but, in the meantime, I'll share with you that my first date, the fruit of an online dating site, is tonight. Wish me luck and check in later for tales of horror, humor and perhaps a little romance.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's gonna be as good for me as it is for you.

I know that those of you who read yesterday's first post have already gotten way too excited for this blog, bookmarked it on all your internet browsers and shared the news of its inception with your friends. A chronicle of some stranger's dating life? In all its sad, miserable, funny, awesome detail? Amazing! A chance to be a fly on my wall? To be a voyeur--a spectator of someone else's dating doozies? How great!

Well, the news gets better than that. This won't just be a diary of my dreadful dates. This will be a guidebook of the dos and donts of romance for you, friends. There'd be no point in my going through it all without sharing a bit of the learned wisdom with you after. And by you, I mean the ladies and the gents. Girls--this is a no-brainer for you. But boys--listen up too. Because I'm prepared to tell you what y'all are doing wrong here. It takes two to tango. And neither gender is winning the dance competition when it comes to dating.

Stay tuned for all the awesome knowledge you can handle.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Single Story.

29 years ago a baby girl was born. By the time she turned 5, her parents had divorced. By the time she was 10, she'd seen more animated Disney romances than she could count. And by 15 she still hadn't kissed a boy.

See, when a girl has no particular romantic role model at home and Cinderella teaches her that men show up on horses with slippers, she gets the impression that she doesn't need to do much to catch one of these fellows falling from the sky. She just needs to stand on the right spot of ground while he's falling.

And until my late 20s (okay, the cat's out of the bag--I am that baby girl. shocker) I was just fine waiting around for Mr. Right to approach one day. Until then I'd continue to date the occasional Mr. Wrong, sleep with the not-so-infrequent Mr. Right Now, and not give my romantic future much thought.

Well, now I've got the distinct impression that my approach toward my dating life has been mostly, if not all, wrong. The evidence, of course, is the fact that I am still single while close friends, former classmates, and Natalie Portman have gotten engaged and are on their way toward marital bliss and long-lasting, meaningful partnerships.

I've realized that waiting around is not enough. I've got to take an active role in my dating destiny. And you, friends, are welcome along for the ride.