Don’t Say Hello

   This is one of the things you will find on many online dating profiles….”Don’t just send a message saying ‘Hi’ “.
   Seriously, this is one of the stupidest things I see. If I am interested in you and don’t yet know if the feeling is mutual, why should I put a lot of effort into a first message? ” Hi” is plenty to see if they are interested. If so, they will respond….I always do. If not, you likely won’t ever hear back, anyway.
   What’s the first thing you’d say if you met in person? “Hi”… conversation starters come after that.
   Personally, I don’t like profiles that are negative, anyway, or being told what to do/not do. Big turn off! If you can’t talk a little bit about yourself, then how do you expect someone to want to get to know you?


The ‘Wanting a Relationship’ Guy

   Doing the online dating thing, you begin to see patterns in human behavior. I hate to lump people into a certain ‘type’, but there do seem to be similarities. One type of man that I see over and over on these websites is the guy who wants to have a relationship (sometimes desperately), but who is not really in a place to do it.
   I don’t mean to discriminate against men….I’m positive that there are tons of women in a similar situation. I date men only, so I only see the men.
   My last boyfriend was a perfect example of this type of guy. He was lonely, depressed, and tired of being alone. Meeting me seemed to boost his self esteem and regulate his depression. He was a great guy- treated me well, and almost immediately started talking about becoming more serious. Very serious. He never asked me to marry him, but he told me that he wanted to build a life together and be my husband….that’s where he wanted things to lead.
   Sounds great, right? Except that he wasn’t employed at the time, and that he lived in a house with his mother, sister, two brothers, and his four kids. He *wanted* a serious relationship…..but he wasn’t in a place financially to develop one. That may sound shallow, but it’s the reality for me. I am financially independent and live alone, and I expect as much from my man.
   Another prime example is a friend that called me at 7 freaking o’clock this morning….on a holiday! He has decided that he’s open to a relationship (where before he wanted no commitment). Great! Except that he’s a raging alcoholic, and has put himself in a precarious position where his work commute is 100 miles each way every day. He can’t afford to commute (and still afford beer), or to stay closer to work without selling his house or renting it out (which he won’t do), and his health is all messed up because of his drinking. Sounds like a real catch, eh?
   These guys often wonder why the only women they attract are the ones who are jobless and living with someone else. The fact is, if you want to attract a good mate….you have to become the type of person that would make a good mate for them.
   Another one of these ‘wanting a relationship guys’ is the never been married, no kids guy. At first, this guy seems like a real catch. He probably even has a decent job and a place of his own. ‘No baggage!’ You think. Think a little harder about it. Any man who has hit middle age, and has not been able to commit to a marriage and family, has commitment issues. He will say that he hasn’t found the right woman….he will say that he is ready now to make a commitment…he will say that his issues are in the past…. Move on from this one quickly. He is just fooling himself. He will never find anyone ‘good enough’ for him.
    Then there are the straight up liars. They will say they are looking for a relationship just because they don’t think the girls will give them the time of day otherwise. They are really just looking to hit it and quit it….one conversation is usually enough to figure it out, but sometimes they put on quite a show.
  So there you go, just because he says that he’s looking for a relationship, doesn’t mean it’s true.

Enjoying the Woo

   I guess that I can say I’ve been seeing this guy…’s been three times now, and another date set for tomorrow. We’re taking it slow….haven’t even kissed yet. I enjoy his company, we have common interests, and he’s a good person. I’m waiting to see if the romance grows.
   I guess he’s interested….he keeps coming around. Last night, he stopped by my friends party on his way home. I wasn’t really sure how he would get along with my friends…..liberal homeschooling lesbian bikers who like to drink and talk shit….but he actually got along great with them. That means a lot to me. My friends are important, and not going anywhere. If the person that I’m dating can’t be comfortable hanging out with my friends, they won’t last long.
   At my friends advice, I am letting this man woo me. I am really holding back and I am glad that I am. Last night, he asked me to dance with him. It was nice. It was our first real physical contact. It’s an interesting dynamic for me holding back on the physical relationship. I’m sure my friends are right, and it’s a good thing.
   We are going to the fair tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it. He entered some photographs, and I can’t wait to see them. I’ll even admit that I am harboring a secret fantasy of a top of the ferris wheel first kiss!

Weeder Questions

   If you’ve done any amount of online dating, you will probably be familiar with what “weeder questions” are. They are questions determined to weed out undesirable partners. After the initial chit chat, you will find one or more of these thrown in your direction. They may be as simple as “what do you do for a living”, or as complex as ” what happened with your last relationship”.
   We all have certain things that we are looking for, and certain things that we want to avoid. It’s a necessarily evil. It let’s you know the other party is serious about a relationship, but it does make you feel as if you’re on an interview.
   I’ve had some interesting experiences with being weeded out. One guy didn’t think that opposite sex friendships were appropriate. Many men want a woman who is established in a career
(Which I am not, since I spent 19 years being a stay home mom). I now shy away from anyone with younger kids, so I have dine my share of weeding.
   Last night, I had what I thought was a strange weeder question put to me…he wanted to know if my cat was indoor or outdoor. When I said indoor (which is the only safe place for a cat in the desert), he said EW, and then quickly asked what kind of movies I like. I understand that if you’re not a cat person, the idea of a litter box might gross you out. I live in a small apartment, and I take pride in the cleanliness of the whole place. I completely change out the litter once a week, scoop each day, and use pine litter which is the best for controlling odor. I have been told by guests that they cannot smell it. And really, who says EW to a potential date?
   The weeder questions say a lot more about the person asking than the person being asked. If you’re smart enough, you can get the information you’re looking for through a simple conversation. It also puts you in a better light, and proves your conversational skills. Just a thought…

Embracing Nature

   I was working out of town this week, and a conversation with some coworkers got me thinking about how we try to change ourselves, and why we do that. Isn’t life easier if we embrace our natural attributes?
    We had to be at work at 6:45am each morning. My roommate would shower the night before, and get up at 5:45 so that she could blow straight, flat iron, and then re-curl her naturally curly hair. I could have probably slept until 6, except that she woke me up doing her hair.
   We had another curly haired coworker who was talking about how long it took her to straighten her hair. If she blow dries it straight, it takes 10-15 minutes, but from curly it takes 45 minutes. Often these girls then curl their hair in a different way.
   I just can’t wrap my head around fighting the natural propensity of my hair each morning. Beating it down with product and tools, trying to make it be something that it is not. Maybe it’s just because I have straight hair, but if your hair is curly…wouldn’t it make more sense to embrace the curls and work with them….at least on a daily basis?
   I have always loved really curly hair….probably because my hair is so straight. I like to describe it as “Asian people straight”. Won’t hold a wave to save its life….
   I know this about my hair…it’s straight, flat, and limp. I choose hairstyles that work well with my hair type (currently an A-line Bob). I can’t imagine trying to make my hair curly every morning. The amount of time and effort just seems like it could be spent some other way.
   I guess this is just the way that I approach most problems, to work within the natural order of things. I don’t want a dress that I have to wear shapewear under to feel like I look ok, I want the dress that flatters my natural shape.
I guess that’s what makes me a low maintenance kinda gal…

Bound to Happen

   If you spend any amount of time on a dating website (or ap), and you live in a small community like I do….you’re bound to keep running into the same old folks over and over again. I knew that when I went back, I would be seeing familiar faces.
   This time, I am also using Tinder….because- why the hell not?? I don’t really expect to meet the man of my dreams there, but it’s a boredom buster. Every once in a while I open it up and swipe a few people. I have only had a few matches, and never even gotten a conversation out of it.
   The other day, I opened my Tinder and discovered a familiar face. I have seen other local people from other dating sites, but this was someone that I actually knew in person.
   Well, I met him on another dating site…so no surprise there. I liked him instantly…he made me feel like he would take care of me, and he called me ‘honey’. We dated for several months, but things were always complicated for him. His work, his kids, his family….
   I should have known, should have been able to read the red flags….I can now- thanks to him. He was my lesson in how to identify a married man. One night we went out to a bar to see a band play. Suddenly, he was nowhere to be found. He texted me to meet him at the back of the parking lot…his wife was there.
   Of course he had told me that they were divorced, and of course afterward he tried to convince me that I had misunderstood. No, I never had anything more to do with him.
   Last fall, he contacted me through Facebook…a desperate plea to please call him- he needed to talk to me. It went into my ‘other’ folder, and I didn’t see if for a month. I sent him a message back that I was not comfortable with that. He replied that he had been freaking out because his wife had been arrested for stealing from work (again….she had a history of this), and had wanted someone to talk to. Why he thought that I was the person to talk to about this is beyond me.
   So, the other day when I saw him on Tinder, I took a minute to look at his new pictures… to think about the good times that we had (we did have some), and then I remembered that sick feeling in my stomach when I realized that I had become ‘the other woman’. I quickly swiped left. I hope that he does not take this as an opportunity to contact me again…


   Being ‘officially’ single again, I went back to the online dating sites. I’ve been here before, learned a lot, didn’t have much hope. Saw a lot of the same guys that I saw before…got a lot of the same messages. I don’t send a lot of messages (or answer them, either), but one day I was reading profiles and I could just tell this man was honest and sincere. He was local to me and we shared a lot of interests, and so I sent him a message.
   His messages were just like his profile…honest, sincere, and straight forward. We messaged for a few days, then he asked if we could text instead and gave me his number. We texted a little bit, and then he asked me if I’d like to go see his sons band play that night (we had talked about them previously).
   Every interaction with someone is different. Normally, I would be weary of meeting someone that I had been talking to for so short a period of time, and hadn’t spoken to in the phone or skyped…but I could just tell that this man was different. I said yes.
   We met at a restaurant for dinner. His son’s girlfriend happened to be our server, and he introduced me, which just proved how straight forward he is. We had a nice dinner, conversation was easy, and time passed quickly. He paid the bill, opened doors, and was very much a gentleman.
   After dinner, we drove our own cars to the bar where his son was playing. He introduced me to his son….who was very polite, and we saw one band play before his son’s band. It was dark and noisy, so difficult to have much conversation, but we were both enjoying the music. He would lean over and make a comment every once in a while, or I would. He put his hand on my back several times…I thought it was going well.
   It was a late night for me, and I had warned him of that. I couldn’t stop yawning after a certain point. As soon as his sons band finished, he said let’s get out of here. He waved a good bye to his son, and walked me to my car. He said a very curt I’ll talk to you again, and when I gave him a quick hug he felt stiff. It was late, and cold…but I figured that he just wasn’t into it, and I wouldn’t hear from him again.
   The next day, I told my friends that we had a nice time, he was a nice guy, but I didn’t think I’d hear from him again. That evening I got a text from him. I was pleased, and we went back and forth for a while. He caught me off guard with a message that said he didn’t get a strong vibe from me either way, and wanted to know how I was feeling. It was so refreshing to just be asked. The fact is that he read me just right. I had a good time, I thought that he was a really nice guy…. Sometimes it takes time for things to grow. It doesn’t have to be fireworks from the first time you meet. He liked that, and agreed. I wish more people would just ask, instead of assuming and making judgments.